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Atlantic Free Press OP/ED

Mon

27

Dec

2010

Gilad Atzmon: Jewish Diplomacy
Monday, 27 December 2010 09:17
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.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman taught us today another lesson in Jewish diplomacy calling his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu a liar. Lieberman took aim at Turkey today just hours after the Mavi Marmara was cheered into Istanbul port.

At a conference of Israeli ambassadors Lieberman also rejected the notion of peace with the Palestinians.

"Even if we were to offer Tel Aviv as the capital of Palestine and returned to the 1948 borders they would still find a reason not to sign a deal."

I can only advise Lieberman to give it a try. If he is indeed correct, if the Palestinian refuse to take Tel Aviv aka Yaffa back, it could be presented as a great Hasbara victory.
 

Mon

27

Dec

2010

The Consequences of Modernization The Techno-Fantasies of Evo Morales
Monday, 27 December 2010 09:09
by Chellis Glendinning Ph.D.

Cochabamba.

On 22 January 2006, newly-inaugurated President Evo Morales made his exuberant procession through the streets of La Paz to join the throngs of supporters awaiting him in the Plaza de los Héroes.  To the excited crowds, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano announced that the historic event signaled “the end of fear.”  Vice-president Álvaro Garcia Linera shouted that, in the new government, poor Bolivianos would be given equality at last.

And President Morales proclaimed, “Our job is to finish the work of Che Guevara!”

It was a triumphant day — for the most destitute country in South America had finally risen above the centuries of oligarchies and dictatorships to elect one of its own: the first indígena to lead the nation in 500 years.

But who, at that peak moment, was remembering that Che Guevara was not just the hero of courage and confrontation whose life’s work lay unfinished due to assassination in Bolivia?  He was also Cuba’s great pusher of industry, development, and modernization.

And so, true to his words, Morales has pursued industry, development, and modernization.

From Flores to Progreso

Perhaps the tip-off to this lunge toward technological expansion arose when billboards leading into the tiny agricultural town of Tiquipaya were abruptly changed from “EL CAPITÁL DE FLORES” to “EL CAPITÁL DEL PROGRESO” – and high-rise apartments and office buildings, suddenly and without local input, began to tower over tin-roofed shanties and women hawking papayas on the Reducto.

Or perhaps the tip-off came when President Morales proclaimed via his government T.V. station that the goal was to make Bolivia’s economy like that of Brazil, which is currently viewed as the #1 (and, according to financial advisers in the U.S., only) country in Latin America to invest in.

Or perhaps it surfaced when he claimed access to wireless Banda Ancha/Universal Broadband as a “human right” – despite that international scientists have proven that electromagnetic emissions can cause sleeplessness, anxiety disorders, depression, cancer, genetic breakage, heart disorders, immunological deterioration, and other health problems.

The discovery of lithium was the biggest boon to Morales’ urge to emulate Brazil’s rise to economic potency.  The rarity of the “gold of the 21st century” — with its importance to the up-and-coming electric-car battery industry, as well as to nuclear weaponry — has put Bolivia in the running to build a Saudi-Arabia-size bank account, with battery sales between 2011 and 2014 slated to top $902 million and total sales possibly reaching $515 billion.  At the same time, partnerships with the likes of Mitsubishi and South Korea have traditional communities nervous about any possibility of local input – as does the inevitable contamination of air, water, and soil via leeching, leaks, spills, and emissions.  
 

Mon

27

Dec

2010

Former CIA Spook Calls For “Covert” Action vs. Assange
Monday, 27 December 2010 08:38
by Sherwood Ross

Two writers with close ties to U.S. intelligence agencies published a shocking article Dec. 23rd in The Miami Herald asserting that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is "a narcissistic nut" with "blood on his hands" and President Obama should do "whatever it takes to shut down WikiLeaks." Without giving a single example of how Assange's disclosures caused blood to flow, co-authors Thomas Spencer and F. W. Rustmann warn, "No nation can operate without secrets. Unless we adopt an aggressive plan, adopt new tough laws and take immediate action---overt and covert---we face disaster." The authors go on to state the president should be joined in this suppression of the press by "Congress and our entire intelligence, military and law-enforcement communities" because "(our)lives are depending" on it.

While the above is vaguely worded it does appear that Spencer and Rustmann are calling for "immediate" and "covert" action---to put a stop to Assange's activities. In short, they appear to be saying Obama & Co. has the right to terminate Assange covertly, that is to say, secretly, and, as the word has come to mean in CIA parlance, "violently" as well. It is no surprise that two writers closely tied to U.S. spy agencies appear to be advocating covert action against Assange, but it is a bit of a shock that the Miami Herald would publish this seeming call for blood.

Pardon me for suspecting this hysterical screech for Assange's scalp was published with the blessing of the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA). Rustmann spent 24 years as a CIA payroller and was an instructor in its covert training center, so he would know, if anybody, how to stick Assange's feet into a block of cement and dump him in the Everglades. (Hollywood might even make a movie about it, with Rustmann's intoning, "He sleeps with the alligators.") As for Herald co-author Spencer, he is a lawyer who represents intelligence officers and is a Life Member in the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.

Rustmann's former CIA employer, by the way, probably could have taught gangster Al Capone a thing or two. Capone's record for murders at a single "massacre" was a measly seven, famously achieved in Chicago on Saint Valentine's Day, 1929. The CIA's covert killers, who do things globally, triggered a slaughter of 75,000 folks just in El Salvador alone in the 1980s. By some estimates, the CIA has been responsible for overthrowing a score of governments resulting in the murders of millions of people around the world.

Apparently, Spencer and Rustmann weren't paying attention to former CIA Director Robert Gates, now our Secretary of Defense, who conceded there was no proof that Assange has blood on his hands. As Scott Horton pointed out in Harper's: "When pressed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, Secretary Gates was forced to admit that these claims were hyperbole—'the leak… did not disclose any sensitive intelligence sources or methods.' Gates went on to acknowledge that there was no evidence of any informant being killed or threatened or even requesting protection as a result of the WikiLeaks publications."

In fact, the charge Rustmann and Spencer make about Assange having "blood on his hands" is true not of WikiLeaks but is true over and over again of the CIA. It is the world's No. 1 gangster organization and it operates at the direction of the White House, and has done so for years. Only Dec. 21st, the Associated Press reported from Santiago that "A Chilean government lawyer is seeking to arrest four retired army officers for the killing of renowned folk singer Victor Jara during the 1973 coup." And which U.S. Agency was behind that violent overthrow? At least 3,000 innocent Chileans were tortured and executed by the generals with the support of the CIA. And Spencer and Rustmann want WikiLeaks shut down? It is the CIA that needs to be abolished.

While Rustmann and Spencer do not cite a single instance of blood on Assange's hands, investigative journalist William Blum in "Rogue State"(Common Courage Press) reels off a long list of CIA violent actions more than 20 pages long. Here are just a few:
 

Tue

21

Dec

2010

The Rise of ‘British’ People Power
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 08:04
by Adam W. Parsons
In the space of a few weeks, a nationwide protest movement has emerged in Britain characterised by intelligent, humorous and peaceful direct actions. The question that remains is whether it can connect with the popular protests in other countries through its fundamental call for equality and justice...

This weekend in central London, amidst the falling snow and crowds of Christmas shoppers, British protesters carried out their biggest day of mass action this year - the targeting of major high street retailers to highlight the issue of corporate tax dodging.

On the surface, the cause of the protests might seem nothing new; campaign groups have long pointed out how Britain loses an estimated £100 billion a year to tax dodging by multinational corporations, money that could double funding for the ailing National Health Service and finance poverty reduction programmes throughout the developing world. Many non-governmental organisations, such as the Tax Justice Network, have dedicated years of high-level research and advocacy work to the important field of tax and regulation, boldly declaring on their website homepage that "tax havens cause poverty" - a cause that is seldom discussed around most kitchen tables and widely ignored by most governments.

Yet on Saturday, hundreds of protesters braved the freezing weather and carried out 55 separate protests up and down the country in the name of corporate tax evasion, closing down several high street stores on the busiest shopping day of the year. For a British public renowned for its stiff upper lip and middle class respectability, there is no real precedent for hundreds of people storming through the commercial maelstrom of Oxford Street - without prior permission from police authorities, as in the usual city demonstrations - and chanting such slogans as "Pay Your Tax!", or "Where Did All The Money Go? He Sent It Off To Monaco!". In Brighton, some activists even glued themselves onto store windows as a way of stopping trading.

Contrary to what the establishment Daily Telegraph newspaper reported, the main victims of the protests were not the people trying to buy Christmas presents for their loved ones. As Jeremy Wight reported in Red Pepper, most shoppers weren't at all annoyed with the tax protesters - in fact, many of them joined in the sit-down demonstrations and showed "a spontaneous outpouring of solidarity", even ordinary ‘shoppers' who had known nothing about the cause.

The obvious reason for this drastic change in public sentiment is the harsh austerity measures currently being pushed through by the UK coalition government. As expressed by UK Uncut, the umbrella group that has organised the nationwide protests which first began on December 4th; "If you're angry that the government is cutting services for the poorest and most vulnerable whilst letting the rich avoid billions in tax, then please join us, even if you have never been on a protest before." Tax justice is back on the agenda because people can clearly see the link with ‘austerity', now that the government's rhetoric on public sector cuts is being exposed as a confidence scam.
 

Tue

21

Dec

2010

William A. Cook, Ph.D.: Slave to Shame, Whipped by Deceit
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 07:13
by William A. Cook, Ph.D.
“I was broken in body, soul, and spirit…my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed…the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!
- Frederick Douglass
On June 4, 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama stood strong before the world in the Levant and declared “Israel must live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work, and develop their society…we should choose the right path, not just the easy path… we must do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and peoples…”
 
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