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Fri

06

Aug

2010

Gilad Atzmon: British Jews Support Israeli War Crimes
by Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon (Hebrew: גלעד עצמון‎, born June 9, 1963) is a jazz musician, author and anti-Zionist activist who was born in Israel and currently lives in London.
"Anti-Semite is an empty signifier, no one actually can be an Anti-Semite and this includes me of course. In short, you are either a racist - which I am not - or have an ideological disagreement with Zionism... which I have."
He was born a secular Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv, and trained at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His service in the Israeli military convinced him Israel had become a militarized state controlled by religious extremists. In 1994, Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London, where he studied philosophy. Atzmon is an anti-Zionist who critiques Jewish identity issues and supports the Palestinian Right of Return as well as the establishment of a single state in Israel/Palestine. He is a signatory to the "Palestinians are the Priority Petition" which states “full and unconditional support of the Palestinian people is a condition sine qua non for activists to adopt.
The Jewish community in Britain seems to be over the moon. A survey that was published a few days ago suggests that British Jews are nothing but  ‘peace lovers’. The Guardianwas also quick to report that  77% of “British Jews favour a 'two-state solution' in Israel”.

In practice, this actually means that at least 77% of British Jews believe that millions of dispossessed Palestinians should continue to dwell in refugee camps and never be allowed to their  homes, cities, and villages. I am actually far from impressed with British Jewry’s inclination towards peace. 

Professor Dan McGowan pointed out recently that  Israel and Palestine are in fact  “one country with one water system, one electrical grid, one monetary system, one telephone system and one postal system.  It is already one state, although half the population has lesser rights or none at all.” Bearing McGowan’s insight, I wonder what drives 77% of British Jews? Why don’t they really welcome Palestinian people to return to their land and enjoy exactly the same civil rights British Jews celebrate in the UK?

But a further question must be raised here. What is it that qualifies British Jews or any other Diaspora Jews to interfere or engage so closely with the fate of millions of Palestinians? 

As it happens the Survey provides us with more devastating news. At the time we were devastated to find out that 94% of the Israelis supported the IDF's murderous tactics at the time of Operation Cast Lead.  As this new survey clearly reveals, the lack of ethics in British Jewry is far more concerning. Eighteen months after the massacre in Gaza and a year after the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict found Israel guilty of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity, nearly three quarters (72%) of British Jews agreed that Israel's action in Gaza in 2008 and 2009 was "a legitimate act of self-defence".  I believe that in practice this means that 7 out of 10 British Jews support Israeli war crimes and somehow dismiss the finding of a  UN Fact Finding Mission. This is pretty scary.

 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

Israel stops listening to its judges - Palestinians suffer as courts’ authority hits all-time low
by Jonathon Cook in Nazareth
 
The Israeli government is facing legal action for contempt over its refusal to implement a Supreme Court ruling that it end a policy of awarding preferential budgets to Jewish communities, including settlements, rather than much poorer Palestinian Arab towns and villages inside Israel.
 
The contempt case on behalf of Israel’s Palestinian minority comes in the wake of growing criticism of the government for ignoring court decisions it does not like -- a trend that has been noted by the Supreme Court justices themselves.
 
Yehudit Karp, a former deputy attorney general, compiled a list of 12 recent court rulings the government has refused to implement, but legal groups believe there are more examples. Many of the disregarded judgements confer benefits on Palestinians, either in the occupied territories or inside Israel, or penalise the settlers.
 
Critics have accused the government of violating the rule of law and warned that the defiance has been possible chiefly because right-wing politicians and religious groups have severely eroded the Supreme Court’s authority over the past few years.
 
Senior members of the current right-wing government of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including the justice minister, Yaakov Neeman, have repeatedly criticised the court for what they call its “judicial activism”, or interference in matters they believe should be decided by the parliament alone.
 
Legal experts, however, warn that, because Israel lacks a constitution, the court is the only bulwark against a tyrannical Jewish majority abusing the rights of the country’s 1.3 million Palestinian citizens, as well as 4 million Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.
 
Ilan Saban, a law professor at Haifa University, said: “Unlike most -- if not all -- other democracies, Israel lacks a political culture that respects limits on the power of the majority.”
 
Even the protections offered by Israel’s basic laws, he said, were not deeply entrenched and could easily be re-legislated. The lack of both a formal constitution and a tradition of political tolerance, he added, was “a dangerous cocktail”.
 
Israel’s liberal Haaretz newspaper went further, warning recently that, in “slandering the judiciary”, government officials had provoked a crisis that could “lead to the destruction of Israeli democracy”.
 
The country’s highest court is due to rule in the coming weeks on whether the government is in contempt of a ruling the court made four years ago to end a discriminatory scheme, known as National Priority Areas (NPA), that provides extra education funding to eligible communities.
 
The High Follow-Up Committee, an umbrella political body representing Israel’s large Palestinian minority, launched the case because only four small Palestinian villages were classified in NPAs, against some 550 Jewish communities. The scheme, introduced in 1998, is believed to have deprived Palestinian citizens, a fifth of Israel’s population, of millions of dollars.
 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

Revolution: The Wrong Kind And The Right Kind
by Carolyn Baker Ph.D.

Lately I've been encountering articles and news stories touting the need for revolution in the wake of a gansterized U.S. financial system and a government that has itself become a criminal enterprise. I sense that many bloggers and their readers are salivating with anticipation that someone or something will light the fuse of a revolutionary cannon that will eviscerate the present system and replace it with something more just and humane.

I share their enthusiasm for profound, bone-marrow transformation of the status quo. Jefferson really was right when he proclaimed that the United States needed a revolution every twenty years. Many of us who were activists during the Vietnam War era were determined to pull off a revolution that would destroy the military industrial complex, institutionalized racism, and the entire capitalist agenda.

Today's visionaries and activists cherish similar hopes, yet I fear that they do not yet grasp the kind of revolution that the planet seems to be asking for. And unlike the revolution we envisioned four decades ago, this one must be in response to the planet and the earth community. From this perspective, I believe there are two kinds of revolution in front of us: The kind that is inappropriate and the kind that is both useful and critical for planetary survival.

Inappropriate Revolutions

The most truly inappropriate revolution would be one based on false assumptions, principally, the notion that political change on a grand scale is meaningful. Pundits of this kind of revolution include all cheerleaders for the Democratic Party and all others who champion the Progressive, left-liberal landscape. These folks are currently obsessing about the November election and agonizing over Tea Party cacophonies. From this perspective, if the far-right were resoundingly defeated by the election of liberal candidates, the nation might be spared from spiraling downward into fascism.

Other well-meaning but naïve proponents of revolution argue that social upheaval and more people in the streets will signal enough distress among the population to provide fertile ground for a political and cultural revolution. While not directly advocating the overthrow of the federal government, these individuals are poised to organize and assume positions of leadership should sufficient unrest unfold.

Inappropriate revolutions tend to focus on widespread global (whether literal or symbolic) measures that will result in mass consciousness raising, mass movements, and mass political and cultural change. This philosophy mirrors "bigger is better" and assumes that significant change only happens when society at large is involved. Models of this kind of revolution in the modern era would be ones such as the Russian Revolution, the Maoist revolution in China, and the Cuban Revolution.

Such revolutions rarely address the emotional and spiritual aspects of social change because for the most part, the possibility that any force greater than the human mind and ego exists is rejected out of hand. A revolution operating from this assumption is by definition, human-centric. Whereas political revolutions may include individuals who care deeply about the ecosystems and argue passionately for stewardship of the earth, their agenda is not fundamentally informed by the earth. Man is still the measure of all things and therefore, given the desired political context, humans can reverse their species' destruction of the planet and engineer something approximating utopia.

So what is an appropriate revolution? And appropriate to what, you may ask.

 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

The American Double Standards Unjustifiable: Eric Garris
by Koroush Ziabari in Iran

Things are getting more complex concerning Iran's nuclear program. The Brazil, Turkey-brokered Tehran Declaration according to which Iran agreed to ship 1,200 kilograms of its Low Enriched Uranium to Turkey for further enrichment to be used in Tehran's research reactor was welcomed by a fourth round of UNSC sanctions and a set of unilateral sanctions imposed by the EU and United States against Iran.

At the same time, Tel Aviv has renewed its war threats against Tehran, cautioning that it might use the Saudi Arabia's airspace to launch a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities; however, the war of words and struggle over dominance and superiority between the governments does nothing but costing the daily life of ordinary Iranians who has been already entangled in a 30-year-long embargo by the United States.

"Sanctions rarely accomplish what they are intended to do, or what they are claimed to intend to do. They usually hurt the poor and middle class the most," says Eric Garris, the prominent American peace activist and the founder of Antiwar website.

"The Iraq sanctions are an excellent example. Sanctions are nothing more than a form of collective punishment and a step toward war," he adds.

According to Garris, the United States has resorted to the exercise of double standards by putting a lethal pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program while neglecting the atomic arsenal of Israel that has threatened Iran with a nuclear strike several times: "Of course these double standards are not justifiable. But it is not just Israel. The U.S. and several Western nations have threatened Iran with nuclear weapons, yet they deny the right of Iran to possess the same sorts of weapons."

"It would not be surprising if Iran was trying to obtain nuclear weapons, although there is no evidence that they are trying to obtain them, given the number of countries threatening them with the same. The U.S. should begin disarmament of its own nukes and encourage others to do the same," stressed Garris.

Eric Garris believes that the obligations of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are being imposed on Iran discriminatorily: "The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has become a farce. Nations like Israel, Pakistan, and India are not pressured to sign or submit to inspections, while Iran is forced to comply with even more inspections than are required by the treaty. The treaty can only work if it is applied equally across the board."

The co-founder of Antiwar website also believes that the United States has labeled Iran a "state sponsor of terrorism" fallaciously: "Iran is no more a state sponsor of terrorism than the U.S. is.   By labeling a nation this way, the West is able to deny it basic respect and rights and to paint it as some sort of backward nation of thugs. Americans need to learn the recent history of Iran, including the US-backed overthrow of the democratic regime in 1953 and US support for Saddam in the Iran-Iraq War."

Responding to my question about the prospect of Israel without the unconditional sponsorship of the United States, Garris stated that it would be so effortful for Israel to survive politically should the White House lifts its support for Tel Aviv: "Israel would have a hard time sustaining their warfare, welfare state without the billions of U.S. aid and its unconditional diplomatic support. Americans need to kick the ultimate welfare queen, Israel, off the dole and cut off all foreign aid."

And the final word of Eric Garris was about the recent Freedom Flotilla massacre: "The international community, by and large, let Israel get away with an act of piracy on the high seas.   They also continue to let Israel get away with turning the Gaza Strip into a giant prison camp, using collective punishment as the only rule of law."

- Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian freelance journalist and media correspondent. His articles and interviews have appeared on Tehran Times, Press TV, Global Research and Foreign Policy Journal. He has interviewed Noam Chomsky, Vicente Fox, Peter D. Feaver, Theodoros Pangalos, Joshua Frank and Gilad Atzmon.

 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

Tomgram: John Barry, The Pandemic Next Time
by Tom Engelhardt

As early as this week, engineers could seal BP’s oil leak, fastening a new cap on the mile-deep well belching crude into the Gulf of Mexico. And if they do, and a relief well follows equally successfully, sooner or later news coverage of BP’s catastrophe will begin to wane (indeed it is already), as will the public’s interest, all of it receding (like the earthquake in Haiti) into background chatter and periodic anniversary pieces. Except, that is, for residents of the Gulf coast region, who will be living with the spill’s aftermath for decades to come. Because even if BP and the government’s legion of experts do finally install that cap and then the relief well successfully, shut down their response units, and leave the south behind, the spill’s impact, especially from a public health perspective, will remain.

Consider major oil spills of the past like the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989 or the Prestige spill off Spain’s northwestern coast in 2002. In the Spanish case, serious respiratory problems plagued cleanup workers for years afterward, and DNA testing revealed that the chemical exposure they suffered could cause hormone alterations or even cancer. Today, Gulf cleanup workers face these same risks. At the moment, the federal government doesn’t even require workers to wear respirators, and according to BP’s own data, 20% of workers have already been exposed to a chemical known to cause kidney and liver problems. A new report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) details one striking aspect of the Alaskan and Spanish catastrophes: the utter lack of any systematic public health response, despite the fact that workers had been exposed to startling amounts of toxic chemicals and oil.

These previous spills and an abundance of scientific evidence suggest the need for a top-down, coherent public-health response to the BP spill. The CAP report, however, finds -- and you undoubtedly won’t be surprised by this -- that the federal government has no such plan in place.  Instead, it is relying on a jumble of agencies loosely overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) when instead, CAP argues, a top HHS official should take charge of the government’s response and roll out a comprehensive public health safety plan.

As prize-winning author of The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, John Barry points out, this lack of preparation characterizes another public-health emergency on the horizon: the next influenza outbreak. Written for the summer issue of a quarterly magazine we greatly admire, World Policy Journal, Barry’s piece is being posted here thanks to the kindness of that magazine’s editors. WPJ’s latest themed issue -- “Global Health: Protect and Cure” -- goes on sale July 20. (You can, by the way, subscribe to the magazine by clicking here.)  Andy

How Prepared Are We for the Next Great Flu Breakout? 
Why We’re Losing the War Against Influenza 

By John M. Barry

[This report appears in the Summer 2010 issue of World Policy Journal and is posted here with the kind permission of the editors of that magazine.]

It is the nature of the influenza virus to cause pandemics. There have been at least 11 in the last 300 years, and there will certainly be another one, and one after that, and another after that. And it is impossible to predict whether a pandemic will be mild or lethal.

 
 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

Give History A Chance By Gilad Atzmon
by Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon (Hebrew: גלעד עצמון‎, born June 9, 1963) is a jazz musician, author and anti-Zionist activist who was born in Israel and currently lives in London.
"Anti-Semite is an empty signifier, no one actually can be an Anti-Semite and this includes me of course. In short, you are either a racist - which I am not - or have an ideological disagreement with Zionism... which I have."
He was born a secular Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv, and trained at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His service in the Israeli military convinced him Israel had become a militarized state controlled by religious extremists. In 1994, Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London, where he studied philosophy. Atzmon is an anti-Zionist who critiques Jewish identity issues and supports the Palestinian Right of Return as well as the establishment of a single state in Israel/Palestine. He is a signatory to the "Palestinians are the Priority Petition" which states “full and unconditional support of the Palestinian people is a condition sine qua non for activists to adopt.

A talk given at the"Debunking the War on Terror" Symposium on July 14th

The War on Terror Within

1 The more pain we inflict on others the more we become familiar with evil, aggression and brutality. 

1.1  The more cruel we are towards others, the more devastated we are by the possibility that  the subjects of our brutality may also be as nasty as we happen to be.

1.2   According to Freud this is what projection is all about.

1.2.1 Otto Weininger refines it, ‘we hate in others, that which we don’t like in ourselves’ he says.

1.3  As it happens, the dynamic of projection is amplified once the subject of our terror is hopeless and defenseless.

1.3.1 The reason is obvious. The more hopeless the subject of our terror is, the more we are inclined to face our relentless viciousness first hand.

2      Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is a devastating example of the above. The more hopeless and defenseless the Palestinians are, the more vicious the Israeli becomes.

2.1   And yet, the more vicious the Israeli is, the more he or she is horrified by ‘terror’.

3      In reality, the Israelis are actually horrified by their own cruelty which they project onto others.

4      The recent cold-blooded murder of 11 peace activists in the high seas by Israeli Navy commandos was nothing but a shocking exposure of that lethal dynamic. The more ethically transparent, innocent and harmless the humanitarian mission to Gaza is, the more lethal the Israeli becomes.

 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

Under Threat: A Free and Open Internet
by Stephen Lendman

First some background. As a candidate, Obama pledged support for "network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet." As president, he reneged across the board, including for Internet freedom and openness, Boston.com writer Joelle Tessler headlining, "FCC votes to reconsider broadband regulations," saying:

Federal regulators are "wading into a bitter policy dispute that could be tied up in Congress and the courts for years." At stake: a free, open, and affordable Internet, threatened by powerful phone and cable giants wanting to privatize and control it, have unregulated pricing power, and decide what's published at what speed or blocked.

On June 16, alternate regulatory paths were considered, including the one likely to prevail, favored by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski "to define broadband access as a telecommunications service subject to 'common carrier' obligations to treat all traffic equally."

At issue is a US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia April 2010 ruling that the agency exceeded its authority over phone and cable giants, casting doubt on the future of Net Neutrality.

On June 17, Washington Post writer Jia Lynn Yang headlined, "FCC votes to seek comment on its new legal strategy" to impose rules on Internet providers, saying:

"Currently, broadband is defined as an information service," outside FCC oversight. "Genachowski's plan is to shift (it) into the same classification as telephone service," authorizing more agency control than now, partially regulating providers, a "third way" applying some rules, not all, excluding the likelihood of universal, affordable access, the Net Neutrality gold standard, anything less called unacceptable.

Opponents disagree, wanting Congress and the courts to decide, both stacked with pro-business types, sure to reward phone and cable giants the way they satisfied  bankers with financial reform, Genachowski saying:

"I fully support this Congressional effort. A limited update of the (1996 Telecommunications Act) could lock in an effective broadband framework to promote investment and innovation, foster competition, and empower consumers," leaning heavily for the former over the latter, abandoning the struggle for universal, affordable access, if Congress goes along, which is likely, given the power of big money to prevail.

Yet, according to Josh Silver, Free Press.net President and CEO, the FCC has the power by majority vote "to easily fix the problem by 'reclassifying' broadband under the law," as it now stands. "But unless the FCC puts broadband under what's called 'Title II' of the Telecommunications Act," phone and cable giants will challenge all unfriendly decisions in court, assuring consumers will lose and they'll win. The companies know this, so they're "going all out to keep the FCC from fixing the problem," so far successfully. 

 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

Beyond Violence and Non-Violence: Resistance as a Culture
by Ramzy Baroud

Resistance is not a band of armed men hell-bent on wreaking havoc. It is not a cell of terrorists scheming ways to detonate buildings.

True resistance is a culture.

It is a collective retort to oppression.

Understanding the real nature of resistance, however, is not easy. No newsbyte could be thorough enough to explain why people, as a people, resist. Even if such an arduous task was possible, the news might not want to convey it, as it would directly clash with mainstream interpretations of violence and non-violent resistance. The Afghanistan story must remain committed to the same language: al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Lebanon must be represented in terms of a menacing Iran-backed Hizbullah. Palestine’s Hamas must be forever shown as a militant group sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state. Any attempt at offering an alternative reading is tantamount to sympathizing with terrorists and justifying violence.

The deliberate conflation and misuse of terminology has made it almost impossible to understand, and thus to actually resolve bloody conflicts.

Even those who purport to sympathize with resisting nations often contribute to the confusion. Activists from Western countries tend to follow an academic comprehension of what is happening in Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. Thus certain ideas are perpetuated: suicide bombings bad, non-violent resistance good; Hamas rockets bad, slingshots good; armed resistance bad, vigils in front of Red Cross offices good. Many activists will quote Martin Luther King Jr., but not Malcolm X. They will infuse a selective understanding of Gandhi, but never of Guevara. This supposedly ‘strategic’ discourse has robbed many of what could be a precious understanding of resistance – as both concept and culture.

Between the reductionst mainstream understanding of resistance as violent and terrorist and the ‘alternative’ defacing of an inspiring and compelling cultural experience, resistance as a culture is lost. The two overriding definitions offer no more than narrow depictions. Both render those attempting to relay the viewpoint of the resisting culture as almost always on the defensive. Thus we repeatedly hear the same statements: no, we are not terrorists; no, we are not violent, we actually have a rich culture of non-violent resistance; no, Hamas is not affiliated with al-Qaeda; no, Hizbullah is not an Iranian agent. Ironically, Israeli writers, intellectuals and academicians own up to much less than their Palestinian counterparts, although the former tend to defend aggression and the latter defend, or at least try to explain their resistance to aggression. Also ironic is the fact that instead of seeking to understand why people resist, many wish to debate about how to suppress their resistance.

By resistance as a culture, I am referencing Edward Said’s elucidation of “culture (as) a way of fighting against extinction and obliteration.” When cultures resist, they don’t scheme and play politics. Nor do they sadistically brutalize. Their decisions as to whether to engage in armed struggle or to employ non-violent methods, whether to target civilians or not, whether to conspire with foreign elements or not are all purely strategic. They are hardly of direct relevance to the concept or resistance itself. Mixing between the two suggests is manipulative or plain ignorant.

 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

Terrorists United Against Peace — Illusion versus Reality
 by William A. Cook Ph.D.
 

A confluence of news stories emerged this past week that, if related, shed an unusual light on the deteriorating crisis in the mid-east, most especially on Palestine and Iran. On June 27th, Ha’aretz made this observation about discussions at the G-8 meeting in Ontario: “World leaders ‘believe absolutely’ that Israel may decide to take military action against Iran to prevent the latter from acquiring nuclear weapons,” citing a statement made by Italy’s PM Silvio Berlusconi. Indeed, he went on to say that “Israel will probably act preemptively.” So engaged were the representatives of the G-8 that they issued a statement “calling on Iran to ‘respect the rule of law’ and to ‘hold a transparent dialogue’ over its nuclear ambitions.” Their statement went on to say that Iran should show a ‘commitment to international law’.

            On July 7th, Newsmax, in an article titled “Lieberman: US Prepared to Strike Iran to Stop Nuclear Weapons” states: “The United States may be forced to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities if diplomatic efforts and economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic fail, Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Wednesday after a meeting with Israeli officials in Jerusalem.”

On July 11th, Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh told Press TV that “over a 100 countries in the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency have condemned Israel for not cooperating with the IAEA. The Zionist regime has refused to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty and it is believed that the regime has about 200 nuclear warheads capable of being mounted on long-range missiles and a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.” (http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=51135&sectionid=351020104). 

            How are these stories related?

First, the G-8 “world leaders,” i.e. the richest 8 nations on the planet, believe that Israel could preemptively attack Iran causing undisclosed consequences to the interests of the world’s communities and economies. Press TV adds that 100 countries, not all obviously among the richest, condemn Israel’s refusal to cooperate with its neighbors in working with the IAEA to ensure a safe mid-east where no nation possesses nuclear weapons. And, finally, Senator Lieberman offers that the United States might join Israel as the military force that acts preemptively. The uniting factor in the three news items is the state of Israel and its principal supporter the United States.

Second, each cites the United Nations as a significant operative in how Israel’s potential action or that of the United States affects world events and, by implication the rightful authority in the community of nations for the consequences of the actions of these two states. Note that the “world leaders” call on Iran to “respect the rule of law,” “to hold a transparent dialogue,” and to show a “commitment to international law.” International law resides in the authority of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice as reflected in the Charter of the UN, the International Declaration of Human Rights, and the Geneva Conventions. Needless to say, the IAEA is an operative agent of the UN responsible for oversight of agreements related to nuclear weapons, including the non-proliferation agreement controlling such weaponry in the mid-east.

Third, despite the apparent recognition of the UN implied in these articles, the reality of what they intend versus what they state or imply suggests that Israel is not bound by a respect for the law, by the need for transparency regarding agreements or weapons, or by a commitment to international law. Only Iran is held up for condemnation as a threat to world peace and as a nation that defies UN policies and resolutions. Indeed, as Lieberman observes regarding the Iranian threat, “There is a broad consensus in Congress that military force can be used if necessary to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.” This would suggest that it is not the UN that decides whether Iran is in conformance with the agreed upon policies of the member states of the United Nations, but the Congress of the US acting on behalf of its client state, Israel.

 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

J. D. Salinger - With Love and Squalor, For Esmé
by Katherine Smith, Ph.D

This essay will explore the relationship of America’s most famous recluse to The CIA, George H.W. Bush and the MK-Ultra mind control program.

In his celebrated story For Esmé – With Love and Squalor, Salinger, trying to get a grip on life, most probably is talking about himself when he starts a correspondence with a thirteen-year-old British girl in 1948.  A Perfect Day for Bananafish is another story about his struggle with suicide.

 “In Search of J. D. Salinger” by Ian Hamilton recounts Salinger’s experiences in the employ of United States Defense Intelligence, during and after World War II, serving with the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC).

His time was spent mainly in the interrogation of captured Nazis. However, toward the end of the war, he was involved in the denazification of Germany and the subsequent creation of the mind control program MK-Ultra.  Project Artichoke was developed under the influence of the former Nazis who worked with CIC to get the Jews to Palestine. [1]

Salinger had access to the secret memorandum written on June 21, 1933, from the German Zionist Federation to the Nazis, “All German Jewish organizations, it was declared, should be dominated by the Zionist spirit".  In 1941, the "Stern Gang," among them Yitzhak Shamir, later Prime Minister of Israel, presented the Nazis with the Fundamental Features of the Proposal of the National Military Organization (NMO) in Palestine:

The NMO, which is well-acquainted with the goodwill of the German Reich government and its authorities towards RothIsm activity … is of the opinion that: the NMO in Palestine, … offers to actively take part in the war on Germany's side. The Iron Wall, London 1984, pp.195-197, The Wall Street Journal December 2, 1976

Concentration weren’t the only camps set up by Hitler and the Gestapo. During the 1930s, in cooperation with the German authorities, Zionist groups organized a network of some 40 camps where prospective settlers were trained for their new lives in Palestine. The Transfer Agreement between Hitler’s Germany and international Zionism, implemented in 1933 and abandoned at the beginning of WWII, allowed German Jews to immigrate to Palestine. [2]

Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that Salinger connected WW2, Adolph Hitler and the Holocaust to The Modern State of Israel. Adolph Hitler: War Hero, Street Cleaner, Prostitute or Secret Agent: A Psychohistory Analysis.

Salinger was living with both the memory of the horrors of war and with the knowledge that millions of deaths and untold suffering caused by World War II had nothing to do with a fanatical dictator, Adolph Hitler financed by George H.W. Bush’s father Prescott trying to take over the world. [3]

In one of the rare moments when he did speak to the media, he said, “I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.” He displayed the mental anguish of a misanthrope involved in one of the bloodiest episodes of the war in Hürtgenwald, a useless battle, where he witnessed the horrors of war and has to confront the reality that 70 million people died in order to create the Modern State of Israel.

Salinger himself was hospitalized for stress, according to his biographer Ian Hamilton and later retreated into his private world and Zen Buddhism.  He became an ardent devotee of The Gospels of Sri Ramakrishna, a study of Hindu mysticism.

Alleging a conspiracy about the real reasons for two World Wars in 1950 would be hazardous to your mental and physical health.

It was a choice between getting killed or ridiculed; he chose to wait for death.

Salinger died at his home on January 27, 2010.

Katherine Smith, Ph.D., is a retired research professor of History

Footnote:

[1] The project's intentionally oblique CIA cryptonym is made up of the digraph MK, meaning that the project was sponsored by the agency's Technical Services Division, followed by the word ULTRA (which had previously been used to designate the most secret classification of World War II intelligence). Other related cryptonyms include MK-NAOMI and MK-DELTA.

A precursor of the MK-ULTRA program began in 1945 when the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was established and given direct responsibility for Operation Paperclip. Operation Paperclip was a program to recruit former Nazi scientists. Some of these scientists studied torture and brainwashing, and several had just been identified and prosecuted as war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_ news/magazine/4443934.stm,http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/ NaziMedEx.html

Several secret U.S. government projects grew out of Operation Paperclip. These projects included Project CHATTER (established 1947), and Project BLUEBIRD (established 1950), which was later renamed to Project ARTICHOKE in 1951. Their purpose was to study mind-control, interrogation, behavior modification and related topics.

[2] When Lenni Brenner’s, 51 Documents: Zionism Collaboration with the Nazis was published the Pro-Zionist British Jewish central organization wanted Amazon to issue a warning to their customers, "We have urged Amazon to acknowledge on the site that this book is of a dangerous and controversial nature.”

Brenner’s introduction:

The Nazi era is the most discussed period in history, yet most Jews and others are unaware of the interaction between RothIsm, Hitler and Mussolini.

What happened to the Jews is constantly utilized in RothIsm propaganda as justification for the creation of the Israeli state, the silver lining around the dark cloud of desolation.

[3]  “The Catcher in the Rye”, written in 1951, sold a mind boggling sixty-five million copies and was both the most censored and the second most popular book used in U.S. public schools in 1981. It is narrated by seventeen-year-old Holden Caulfield, a schoolboy in rebellion against the dubious values of the adult world.

The Phony Must Die Says The Catcher In The Rye !

The Phony Must Die Says Die Says The Catcher In The Rye !

John Lennon Must Die Says The Catcher In The Rye !


“The Catcher in the Rye” was used as a "mechanism of control" in the assassination of John Lennon (Mark David Chapman) and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. in 1981. H.W. Bush called “The Catcher in the Rye”, "a marvelous book," listing it among the books that have inspired him.

The attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan is believed by many to this day to have been an "in-house" conspiracy, intended to elevate former CIA Director and then-Vice President, George W. Bush to the Oval Office. Reagan was caught in "a cross-fire" from several directions as he entered an open car in a plot employed by John Hinckley Jr. a member of a family with long, close ties to the Bush’s (Scott Hinckley and Neil Bush).

I am not in any way suggesting that “The Catcher in the Rye” was written for the CIA as a triggering device intended to set off a post-hypnotic suggestion. 

What I am speculating is that his former associates in the intelligence community either in an effort to mock him (more likely) or to discredit him (less likely) by demonstrating to the world at large that such works, “The Catcher in the Rye”, is dangerous to the minds of our country's youth in, ostensibly driving them to madness but more likely dangerous for their ability to make us question are role in conforming to a consumer society.

 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

Self Defense for Radicals: Collective Soul + Activist Heart
In his book, Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats, author Gwynne Dyer presents a series of scenarios that could potentially play out (soon) as climate change advances, e.g. several million dying in cyclones and floods in Bangladesh, the US building a mined fence to stop "climate refugees" from the South, tens of millions of Chinese dead in droughts…and then things get truly catastrophic. 

Such so-called "gloom and doom" is often greeted with either denial or mockery but staring dead-on into the reality we've all helped create is the first step in the following outline for personal, intellectual, and global self-defense.

1. Accept our role 

*We're not victims (remember: victims are helpless) but we are volunteers. Due to our compliance and/or silence and/or inaction, we've played a role in bringing our culture to the brink of social, economic, and environmental collapse.
*We're not being "attacked" for our choices. For the record, I prefer to save the word "attack" for, say, those being targeted by American predator drones (subsidized by our tax dollars).
*We're not being judged as guilty. It's a little too late for that.
*We're not being judged as innocent either. We're all participants and/or witnesses (see above).
*We may think it’s not "fair" that we're the generation that has to change everything about the way we live…but to paraphrase Clint Eastwood in The Unforgiven: "Fair's got nothing to do with it."
*We are not alone. In the book (and movie), The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad sez: "Maybe we’re not all individual souls, but maybe we’re all part of one big soul." Incredibly basic, yes…but within that simplicity lies what I see as the secret: If we were to view all living things—along with ourselves—as part of one collective soul, how could we not defend that soul by any means necessary? 
 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

James Meredith Defeats Racism in Mississippi
by Sherwood Ross

The inscription on the life-sized bronze statue of James Meredith on the campus of the University of Mississippi at Oxford reads “courage,” “perseverance,” “opportunity,” and “knowledge.” Certainly those generalities apply to Meredith, the state’s unflinching African-American native son who on Monday, Oct. 1, 1962, acted on his “divine calling” to integrate “Ole Miss”---and who, against the heaviest odds, succeeded. Yet they hardly serve history as they fail to tell the story of the state’s virulent racism and of the extraordinary effort required on the part of Meredith to overcome it, even though he came armed with a U.S. Supreme Court decision to open the doors to him and was backed by the White House of President John Kennedy who deployed troops and U.S. marshals to put down rioting mobs congregating on the campus. To protect Meredith, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy dispatched 123 deputy federal marshals, 316 border guards and 97 federal prison guards, with orders not to shoot.

At the height of the disorder, some 2,000 rioters attacked them hurling bottles, bricks, and Molotov cocktails and firing guns. The Federals replied with tear gas. Nearly 200 U.S. marshals and soldiers were wounded and two persons---a French journalist and an innocent bystander---were killed in the ensuing mele, sometimes referred to as “the last battle of the civil war.” The phrase was no fancy turn of speech. The marshals proved to be only the vanguard of the 31,000 troops and lawmen President Kennedy subsequently was obliged to deploy to Oxford to maintain order. This was nearly as many as the 35,000 bluecoats General Ulysses Grant initially committed to capture Vicksburg, Miss., a century earlier in one of the pivotal battles of the Civil War. Meredith won the right to attend Ole Miss after his lawsuit alleging racial discrimination had kept him out was determined on appeal in his favor in Sept., 1962, by the U.S. Supreme Court. The suit was filed in his behalf by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

“White militants, encouraged by (Gov. Ross) Barnett’s resistance and the inflammatory rhetoric of segregationist and states’ rights leaders, joined the violent students in launching bricks, bottles, and gunfire toward the marshals,” observes historian Charles Eagles of the University of Mississippi, looking back at those tumultuous days at Oxford. “After the military secured the campus early Monday morning (October 1, 1962), Meredith registered and attended his first classes, and a critical stage in the desegregation crisis passed,” Eagles explains. “In a major victory against white supremacy, he had inflicted a devastating blow to white massive resistance to the civil rights movement and had goaded the national government into using its overpowering force in support of the black freedom struggle.”

 

Thu

05

Aug

2010

Interview with Greta Berlin – Free Gaza Movement
by Elias Harb
 

Elias Harb interviews one of the leading voices in the movement to bring freedom to the people of Gaza.

Greta Berlin (France/US, English) has been an advocate for justice for the Palestinians since the early 60s. She is the mother of two Palestinian/American children whose father was born and raised in Safad, Palestine and is a 1948 refugee. She has an MFA in Theatre and

Free Gaza

Free Gaza Movement founder Greta Berlin

a bachelor’s in English and, when she’s not working with the Palestinians, has spent the past 32 years teaching engineers and scientists how to design and deliver presentations. In 2003, she volunteered with the ISM, working in several villages in the occupied West bank as well as manning their media office, then returned to work again in 2003, 05 and 07.

She is one of the founders of the Free Gaza Movement and was on board the FREE GAZA, the first boat with internationals to reach this besieged strip of the Mediterranean in 41 years. She then helped run three more successful voyages to Gaza between October 22 and December 23, 2008 working on the land crew and media in Cyprus, sending more than 50 human rights workers to Gaza on board the DIGNITY. She is available to speak in Europe or the U.S.

In the pre-dawn hours of Monday, May 31, showing a terrifying disregard for human life, Israeli naval forces surrounded and boarded ships sailing to bring humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip. On the largest ship, the Mavi Marmara, Israeli commandos opened fire on civilian passengers, killing at least 9 passengers and wounding dozens more.  The final death toll is yet to be determined.


Elias Harb interviews Greta Berlin Co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement


Elias Harb: Can you tell us what motivated you to the Palestinian Cause and the Free Gaza Movement and when was the movement founded?


Greta Berlin: I married a 1948 Palestinian refugee from Safad and have two Palestinian/American children. I’ve been part of justice for Palestine since 1967. Once you go and see what has happened to the Palestinians (I call them the final victims of WWII, because they have paid the price for what Europe did to the Jews), it is impossible to leave. I am no longer married, my children are grown, I am still working for justice.

The movement was founded in September/October 2006. A group of us were trying to figure out how to bring to the attention of the world what was happening in Gaza. One of the people working for justice for Palestine, Michael Shaik, emailed us and said, “OK.  I have been thinking about this for a long time but am aware that I’m better at ideas than practicalities, so I’ll outline what I’d envisaged and let the rest of you do the sanity check. My plan was this: – Charter a big boat to sail from New York.  Make it clear that its purpose is to “Break the Siege of Gaza” (that can be the slogan of the campaign).  It is very important that the boat have a big send off with speeches by important people that will get it as much publicity as possible.” That kernel of an idea is what started the movement (of course, in a much smaller set of boats).


EH: How many times have the Free Gaza movement tried to break the Israeli siege and have you succeeded in getting any boasts into Gaza so far? 

GB: The Freedom Flotilla was our 9th voyage. We successfully entered Gaza five times. This attempt was the fourth time we were stopped. If you look on our website underhttp://www.freegaza.org/en/boat-trips/passenger-lists, you will find the stories and passengers there.

EH: Israel declares that it had the legal right to confront the flotilla from reaching Gaza. Do you think there is any justification in that stance?? 

 

Wed

04

Aug

2010

Tomgram: Nick Turse, American War Versus Real War
 by Tom Engelhardt
 

One striking aspect of the Vietnam years -- and the antiwar movement of that era -- was the degree to which you could see images of Vietnamese civilian suffering here in the United States.  Among the iconic images of that war, for instance, was Nick Ut’s photo of a young girl, burned by napalm from an air strike, running down a road screaming.  And among war images, it was by no means alone.  There were, of course, the horrific shots Army photographer Ron Haeberle took of what became known as the My Lai massacre as it was happening.  After a long and tortuous journey, those photos finally appeared as a ten-page centerfold-from-hell in LIFE magazine (even if an African antelope was on its cover).  Along with the piles of bodies of slaughtered women, children, and old men, the “eyewitness” text was little short of startling: “One body, an old man, had a ‘C’ carved on his chest”; “A GI grabbed the girl and with the help of others started stripping her... ‘VC boom-boom,’ another said, telling the 13-year-old that she was a whore for the Vietcong,” and so on. 

I wouldn’t want to exaggerate the degree of American compassion for the suffering of Vietnamese civilians, but it existed, along with those images.  And because, at least in the precincts of the antiwar movement, such imagery was regularly before American eyes -- some eyes anyway -- and on minds, the suffering and destruction our soldiers were bringing to ordinary civilians in a distant, disastrous war was far clearer then. 

Strangely enough, though, in the American screen war that followed the real war by some years, Vietnamese suffering largely disappeared.  Left screen center was usually the American platoon, a kind of “lost patrol” in an alien land, part of what, even during the war, was regularly referred to as an American -- but not a Vietnamese -- “tragedy.”  From Oliver Stone’s Platoon and Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket to Robert Zemeckis’s Forrest Gump, Vietnamese suffering became, at best, a distant backdrop for American suffering, and the war’s conflicts essentially took place among Americans within that platoon.  (A rare exception was Good MorningVietnam, but you would never again, in all those post-war years, see a scene like the first one in Peter Davis’s Oscar-winning 1974 documentary Hearts and Minds, which opens on a Vietnamese village, quiet and peaceful, before you notice the silhouettes of soldiers entering -- intruding on an emerald green land, really -- from the edge of the screen.)    

Even more strangely, as Nick Turse points out in his discussion of Sebastian Junger’s new filmRestrepo, our Afghan War is now generally being recorded in real time in the fashion made familiar to Americans on screen in the post-Vietnam years -- that is, largely without Afghan suffering.   Not surprisingly, Americans now pay remarkably little attention to the civilians whose lives have been destroyed in our invasions and prolonged occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Turse, who won aRidenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction for his Nation magazine piece, “A My Lai a Month,” on suppressed information about a series of mass killings by U.S. forces in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, has never reported from a war zone.  But over these last years, he’s traveled much of Vietnam, and more recently Cambodia, interviewing those (especially Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians) who were under fire.  Tom 

Death on Your Doorstep 
What Sebastian Junger and 
Restrepo Won’t Tell You About War 
By Nick Turse

I’ve never heard a shot fired in anger.  But I might know a little bit more about war than Sebastian Junger.

 
 

Mon

26

Jul

2010

Leaky Vessels: Wikileaks "Revelations" Will Comfort Warmongers, Confirm Conventional Wisdom
by Chris Floyd
 

"I am shocked -- shocked! -- to find gambling is going on in here" -- Captain Renault at the gaming tables in Casablanca.

The much ballyhooed dump of intelligence and diplomatic files concerning the Afghan War has been trumpeted as some kind of shocking expose, "painting a different picture" than the official version of events -- revelations that are sure to rock the Anglo-American political establishments to their foundations.

The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel were given 92,000 reports by Wikileaks, including thousands of pages of raw "human intelligence" (i.e., uncorroborated claims and gossip from interested parties and anonymous sources pushing a multitude of agendas), and diplomatic notes passed between the promulgators of the occupation in Washington and their factotums "in country" -- reports which you might imagine also purvey a multitude of agendas ... not least the supreme agenda of all officials involved in a dubious enterprise: ass-covering.

Yet these reports are being treated as if they are the "grim truth" behind the shining picture of official propaganda. But what do these stories in the NYT and Guardian actually "reveal"? Let's see:

  • That the occupation forces kill lots of civilians at checkpoints and botched raids, then lie about it afterward.
  • That these killings make Afghans angry and fuel the insurgency.
  • That elements of Pakistani intelligence are involved with some elements of the many resistance groups known collectively (and incorrectly) in the West as the Taliban.
  • That the Americans are using more and more robot drones to kill people.
  • That the Americans are running death squads in Afghanistan aimed at Taliban leaders.
  • That Afghan officials are corrupt, and that Afghan police and military forces are woefully inadequate.


Is there anything in these breathless new recitations that we did not already know? For example, the NYT offers a few short vignettes from the leaked documents concerning botched raids and errant missiles that slaughter civilians. But in almost every case, these have already been extensively reported -- in the Times itself and other mainstream venues -- in much greater detail, with quotes and evidence from the victims and local eyewitnesses, and not just the self-interested, ass-covering perspective of official occupation reports. And the "revelation" that occupation forces are killing "an amazing number of people" who have "never proven to be a threat" at checkpoints was confirmed months ago by no less than Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the erstwhile commander of the whole shebang.

Likewise, the entanglement between Pakistani intelligence services and some elements of violent resistance in Afghanistan has been a constant theme of mainstream reportage on the Afghan War since the very beginning -- not to mention a relentless drumbeat of official "concern" in Washington. It is a rare week indeed when some Washington bigwig is not hinting darkly -- or declaring outright -- that Pakistan needs to "get with the program" in one way or another.

 

Wed

04

Aug

2010

The EU Banking System Is In Big Trouble
 by Mike Whitney
 
The EU banking system is in big trouble. Many of the Union's largest banks are sitting on hundreds of billions of euros in dodgy sovereign bonds and non performing real estate loans. But writing down their losses will deplete their capital and force them to restructure their debt. So the banks are concealing their losses through accounting sleight-of-hand and by borrowing money from the European Central Bank. This has helped to hide the rot at the heart of the system. 

Presently, 170 banks are having difficulty accessing the wholesale markets where they get their funding,. Financial institutions are wary of lending to each other because they're not sure who is solvent or not. It's a question of trust.   

ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet has tried to keep the problems under wraps, but markets aren't easily fooled. Stress gauges, like euribor, have been  rising for the last two months. Investors smell a rat. They know the banks are playing hide-n-seek with downgraded assets and they know that Trichet is helping them out. 

A week ago, stocks rallied on news that EU banks would repay most of the 442bn euro one-year emergency loan from the ECB.  The news was mainly a publicity stunt designed to hide what was really going on. Yes, the banks  borrowed significantly less that analysts had predicted (another 132bn euro), but just two days later, 78 banks borrowed another  111bn euro. The additional loans makes it look like Trichet cooked up the whole thing to trick investors.  

 EU banks were engaged in the same high-risk activities as their counterparts in the US.  They were playing fast and loose on speculative trades that were ramped up with maximum leverage. Bankers raked in hundreds of billions in salaries and bonuses before the bubble burst. Now the securities and bonds they purchased have plunged in value, so they've turned to the ECB for a bailout. Sound familiar? 

Trichet is a banking industry rep, much like Geithner and Bernanke. His job is to maintain the political and economic power of the banks and to dump the losses onto the public. Presently, the ECB provides "limitless" loans to underwater banks so they can maintain the appearance of solvency. Trichet has lowered rates to 1 percent, provided a safe haven for overnight deposits, and begun an aggressive bond purchasing program (Quantitative Easing) which keeps prices of sovereign bonds artificially high.  Valuations on bank assets are supported by a central authority and do not reflect true market pricing. 
 
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