The Hunger Games Economy

Military Industrial Complex

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The Hunger Games Economy,

Military Industrial Complex

The Hunger Games Economy
Jeff Faux: Dreams of Wall St. and Military Industrial Complex are not compatible with dreams of American middle class
io
Jeff Faux is the Founder and now Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC. He is an activist, economist and writer, He has written extensively on issues from globalization to neighborhood development. His latest book is “The Servant Economy; Where America¹s Elite is Sending the Middle Class.”
Transcript
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.
There's been some debate amongst the American governing elite about America's place in the world and its declining power. Barack Obama went to Australia not long ago and declared that America will continue to be an Asia-Pacific power. And the issue of the Brzezinskian grand chessboard is still very much on their mind. But what does this maintaining America's position in the world mean for ordinary Americans? Who's going to pay for all this? When it comes to competitiveness, it really means wages, although that word doesn't get talked about very much, not in the mainstream press or in the halls of Congress.
Well, it does get talked about in a piece written by Jeff Faux, and he's now joining us. Jeff is a founder and distinguished fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. He's an activist, economist, and writer. He's written extensively on issues from globalization to neighborhood development, and his latest book is The Servant Economy: Where America's Elite is Sending the Middle Class. Thanks very much for joining us, Jeff.
JEFF FAUX, AUTHOR: Oh, it's great to be here, Paul. Thank you.
JAY: So, I mean, clearly we are dealing with a different world. And it's not just that it's militarily different, in the sense that China's now somewhat of a power, so is Russia and—back somewhat of a power—I mean, nothing on the scale of the United States, but the geopolitics and chessboard has changed somewhat. But where it's changed a lot more is with this massive industrial capacity in areas of the world where 20, 30 years ago there was nothing like it—advanced technology, high-quality production, very low wages. And America wants to maintain its competitiveness in all of this. So talk a bit about that and what that might mean for ordinary Americans, and maybe what the word competitiveness means.
FAUX: Well, I think—start from what I think is the basic assumption, and that is the United States can no longer satisfy the three great dreams that have driven American politics over the last decades. The first dream is the dream of Wall Street and business for unregulated access to speculative profits. The second dream is the dream of the military and foreign-policy elite and the military-industrial complex for global hegemony. The third dream is the dream of ordinary Americans for a rising living standard.
Now, we can have one out of three, certainly. Two out of three, maybe. Three out of three? No way. So in effect the decision is being made right now—or has been made—by this country's elite.
There's a lot of talk in Washington, as you know, about the grand bargain between Republicans and Democrats over budgets and taxes. But the real deal has already been cut. The average American income in real wages is going to decline over the next 10 years, 15 years, as far into the future as we can see. Now, this has been coming for a long time. It's not just about the recession and it's not temporary. As you probably know, for the last 30 years we've had stagnant wages in America. After wages rise steadily since World War II, they flattened out after 1979 and essentially have been flat.
So the question is: if wages were flat, how come everything looked so good? That is, people went to shopping centers and bought cars and houses during those 30 years that ended in 2008. And the reason is two. One, family incomes kept up because we sent more members of the family to work, usually the wife. Now there are more women than men in the labor force so that that strategy for most people is exhausted. The second is debt. People weren't getting raises, but they were getting access to cheaper and accessible credit. That has evaporated with the collapse of the financial sector.
JAY: Jeff, before you continue, let me ask: so if this process more or less began in the '70s, why? What happened? Why? If you could—you know, to some extent one could say that third dream of ordinary Americans, you know, to own a house, send the kids to college, not to be terrified of losing their job, to some extent that's—dream was still possible, at least in the early '60s.
FAUX: Oh, yeah. And the reason—.
JAY: So what happens?
FAUX: Yeah. There are three things that happened since the end of the '70s. The data starts from 1979; the kink in the curve starts from 1979. One was globalization, and by that I mean, essentially, exposing American workers to a very brutal and competitive global labor market before they were prepared.
Second, the weakening of the bargaining position of the average American worker. A lot of that had to do with the decline of unions. But it affected union members and nonunion members. The second thing that happened was the weakening of the bargaining position of the average American worker. This was not just about weaker unions, but weaker unions played a key role, not just for union members, but for people who aren't union members. Because unions were strong—or certainly stronger than they are now—the threat of unionization kept the bosses and kept the employers from cutting wages too much, cutting pensions too much, even though they would have liked to. So weaker unions, weaker bargaining positions [crosstalk]
JAY: And is weaker unions and bargaining positions linked to number one, which is globalization and the threat of moving offshore?
FAUX: That's right, certainly linked to number one. And number three, later, was the shredding of the safety net, the real value of the minimum wage, and the kinds of New Deal protections for labor that have been frayed away over the last 10 or 15 years.
But on the first, on globalization, there's something very important here to remember, and that is it not only affected working people, but it changed the culture of the American elite. You know, if you go back to the early part of the 20th century, labor and capital were in fierce struggles. But both labor and capital knew that they needed each other and were stuck in the same country. So, you know, when Henry Ford raised the wages of his Ford employees to $5 a day, the Wall Street guys said, Henry, what are you doing here? I mean, you can't pay—you're spoiling these people, you're paying them too much. And Henry Ford, who was a SOB union buster, said, look, I've got to pay them enough to come in to make the cars, but I also need to pay them enough to buy the cars. So it was an economy in which, while there were labor and capital disputes, we were all in it together.
What happened—what's happened since the 1980s is that globalization, the deregulation of trade and investment, has allowed the American commercial and economic elite to roam the world in search of lower wages, in search of government subsidies by Third World countries, etc.
JAY: Yeah, so you now have a situation where they saved GM and Chrysler, but workers'—starting worker wages go from, what, $26 to $14 an hour, and you probably couldn't buy a new car at $14 an hour.
FAUX: Exactly. And unlike Henry Ford, the people who run the Ford Motor Company today, you know, have other people they can use to sell their cars to. And so high wages, which we sort of learned after the 1930s were good for the economy because it created consumer demand and consumers bought the goods that were being produced, high wages in America are no longer what they were. They're now a threat to multinational corporations who still produce and sell things. And that's been a critical change.
JAY: They also seem to no longer think they need an educated workforce. I used to—in the '50s and '60s, all this talk about, you know, America will compete because it's going to be the most educated working class and this and that, they don't seem to care anymore. The public school system can go to hell and they don't seem to care.
FAUX: They don't care. But that's sort of the last excuse of the political governing class. I mean, whether it's, you know, Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton, they're all the so-called education presidents, and their answer to this decline in living standards and wages is not to worry, just go get an education. Barack Obama was in Florida about a year ago touring the country, saying the way we're going to compete in the world is to out-educate everyone.
Well, first what's obvious: that we're shrinking the schools, we're laying off teachers, kids can't go to college because it costs too much. But second, which is really important, we are not creating jobs for educated young people. You go into Apple, in the Apple Store, there is the future. And it's not the technology. It's in all those smart college-educated kids working as retail clerks for $10, $12 an hour. The Bureau of Labour Statistics—government agency—projects that between 2010-2020, the largest, fastest-growing occupations in this country, of the ten largest and fastest-growing, only one requires a college education.
JAY: Well, Jeff, we're going to pick this up in part two, and what I'll be asking in part two is it seems to me while this may make sense for Apple and it may make sense for a lot of individual companies to drive wages down and have more and more service jobs, as an economy somebody's got to be making money to buy all this stuff, and that seems to be where the rub is. So join us for part two of our series of interviews with Jeff Faux on The Real News Network.

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Iran

دیو داعش و نقش غرب Image

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دیو داعش و نقش غرب

دیو داعش و نقش غرب

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

گوینده آنچه را که مربوط به ریشه سعودی،سلفی،سیاه ایی، زهش یا زایش، پیدایش یا پالایش تاول یا تکاثر،ترسناک،تروریسم تکفیری میشود را در یک ویدئویی،بتاریخ 24 فوریه 2014 میلادی،با نوضیح و نفسیر، و بر پایه پویش پروسه تیک پژوهشی،تکوینی،تاریخی،در جهت آژیرنده و آگاه کننده، مورد ارزیابی و آنالیز منطقی قرار داده ام

ولی بعد و بنیاد پحث امروز گوینده بطور اختصار و در حد اختیار،اختصاص دارد به حوادث دهشتناک و دردناکی که بطور فزاینده و فژاگن در کشور همسایگی،ما ایرانیان یعنی کشور عراق جریان دارد.


 

راهبرد راسیستی غرب علیه ایران Image

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راهبرد راسیستی غرب علیه ایران

راهبرد راسیستی غرب علیه ایران

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

بحثی تحلیلی،تفسیری بر اساس جامه شناسی علمی،تاریخی،تکوینی در پیرامن یا prephery  یا راهبرد راسیستی آخر و اخیر پارلمان اروپا علیه ایران بتاریخ ماه آوریل 2014 میلادی.

امید است که کار گوینده در عقل وعمل، در verbal و visual ، در واقعیت و factual بمثابه وظیفه ملی، میهنی، مدنی، مفید واقع گردد!

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نوروز امسال: نیک پرس

نوروز امسال: نیک پرس

 

نیک پرس، با افتخار، امیدوار وآرزومند است که فرارسیدن فروردین و نوروز، این فراشگرد فروزندهٔ فرهنگ ایرانی، بر همهٔ شهروندان شیدا و شیفتهٔ سر زمین کهن و زرخیز و زرفام، ایران زمین، خجسته و فرخنده باشد!

امید است که نوروز امسال شروع دیگری باشد که ایرانیان در سراسر گیتی، با فراست وفرزانگی و فرهیختگی پیروزمندانه، بسان پارتیزانهای پیشرو و پیشاهنگ، پژواک گر و مشعل دار مدنیت ملی، بر فرازستان بشریت باشند تا با اتخاذ گروش به راه و روش اعتقاد و اعتماد به مقاومت مداوم و مقتدرانهٔ خویش در جهت همبستگی، همگرایی وهمبودگی، هم سویی وهم گونی ملی و وارستگی سیاسی ـ اقتصادی، آلبته با اهداف دست یازیدن به قلعهٔ ایده آل های ایرانی، بتوانند چون گذشتهٔ دورتر، اما اکنون بیشتر،

نقشه های ابلیسانه و اهریمنانهٔ جانیان جهانی، یعنی یاغی های اروپايئ و یانگی ها ی آمریکایی را که با سلاح و سخن تهدید وتحریم، تخریب وترور، تزویر و ترفند، با آمیزه ای آغشته و آمیخته به دروغ و دیو دروج، و با تکیه بر مدد مزدوران وموریدان مرتد و مکار، چون دوزخیان دون پایهٔ ایرانی نما، که با دژآهنگی و کژآهنگی سیاسی وبا سپر سرسپردگی، جاسوسی و سالوسی به همراه چاکری و چابلوسی، در تلاشند تا سرعت سمند تکامل وتداوم تمدن ایران را سترون سازند را با سرسختی سرآفرازانه وسرورمنشانه با عقل و عاطفه و علاقهٔ ملی ـ میهنی، سد نمایند!

فروردین 93 .سوئد: نیک پاکپو

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Independence Day
The Untold History of Independence Day
Historian Peter Linebaugh: The rights and freedoms that we celebrate on the Fourth of July are the product of vast human struggle that remains unfinished -   July 4, 14
Bio
Peter Linebaugh is an American Marxist historian who specializes in British history, Irish history, labor history, and the history of the colonial Atlantic. He recently retired after fifty years as a professor of history. Peter is the author of many books, including The London Hanged: Crime And Civil Society In The Eighteenth Century, The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, and most recently, Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance.
Transcript
The Untold History of Independence DayJAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to Real News Network. I'm Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.
July 4 is celebrated here in the U.S. as Independence Day to mark the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain by the Second Continental Congress in 1776.
Now joining us to discuss the radical, little-known history of Independence Day is Peter Linebaugh. Peter is a historian and author. He just retired from the University of Toledo, where he taught for 20 years. He's the author of many books, including The Many Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. He's also the author of the The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All, as well as, most recently, Stop, Thief! The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance.
Thank you so much for joining us, Peter.
PETER LINEBAUGH, AUTHOR, THE MANY-HEADED HYDRA: You're welcome, Jaisal.
LINEBAUGH: So, Peter, you know, in popular memory, this day, Independence Day, we remember the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but it was a long process that got the colonists to that point. Talk a little bit about the different political forces, social forces that helped get the US--and this was just within the first year or two of the Revolutionary War, but it had been a decade or longer that this conflict had been ongoing between the colonies and Great Britain. Talk about how we got to this point.
LINEBAUGH: Okay, Jaisal, I will talk about that, but it's hard. And even your question, you referred to how the U.S. got to this point, but, of course, it wasn't the U.S. at the time. The United States of America is an expression that Tom Payne invented and used to apply to what had been 13 colonies in revolt against Great Britain. So we're talking about an era before the U.S. has been formed. We're talking about a period of historical creation.
And it's complex. There are several sides to it. One side, it's the struggle of freedom against monarchy, a struggle of the notion of a republic against monarchy. And that is probably the principal theme of the Declaration of Independence.
I would suggest, you know, that people reread the Declaration of Independence, because they'll find 28 reasons for declaring independence from Great Britain. And these reasons reflect "a long train of abuses and usurpations" (or takeovers), to use Thomas Jefferson's language in the Declaration of Independence.
And I think one of the most important of these grievances was that the King of England had opposed conditions for new appropriation of land. This is the seventh of 28 different reasons for declaring independence. And what that meant was that these settlers from Europe wanted to appropriate lands belonging to the Indians, belonging to different Native American peoples--the Haudenosaunee people, a confederation in New York; the Cherokee people of what's now Tennessee and the Carolinas; the Potawatomi, from my part of the country, in Michigan and Ohio. The settlers wanted these lands. But Great Britain, as a result of the Seven Years' War, had said that these lands were off-limits to settlement. This was part of the Treaty of Paris of 1763. So here is one of the lesser-known reasons for declaring independence, that is, that the settlers could not take as much land as they wanted.
On that same theme of wars against Native Americans, the 28th reason given is really misleading. It claims that the king of England, George III, and his ministry and parliament had caused the inhabitants of, quote, "our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions"--. So this was like--Jaisal, I liken it to a jihad or I liken it to a crusade, because this is precisely what Thomas Jefferson claims of the Native Americans is actually what will happen to them as a result of the Declaration of Independence, that is, that the wars against Great Britain led to a merciless destruction--in New York particularly of Sullivan's raid of 1779 of the orchards, the cornfields, the senior citizens, the men and the women of the Haudenosaunee people of the Confederation in New York.
NOOR: And, Peter, it's worth mentioning that the British weren't necessarily against expanding and taking more of the natives' land. It was just getting too expensive for them. They had, you know, spent an enormous amount of money fighting the French in the French and Indian War, as well as--and so they had been taxing the colonists, which had, you know, caused a great protest.
LINEBAUGH: Yes, a very good point, very good. They wanted the settlers, the settler colonists to pay for those wars against France. Quite right. And that's where the famous phrase "no taxation without representation" comes in, and it's--I think it's the 17th reason given in the Declaration of Independence for severing the connection with Great Britain, that. And also the 19th reason--I'll quote that--is "for transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences".
And that--I pause there for a minute to let the words sink in, because what will come to mind to those who've been following subsequent U.S. history is the practice by the CIA to render terrorist suspects and have them tried overseas, where torture is a form of investigation in secret courts in Egypt and Poland and in other countries we don't know about. This process is called rendition. But I was amazed, you know, in the early part of this millennium, after the invasion of Iraq and when this kind of torturing began, that it was explicitly given as a reason for independence back in 1776, that is, transporting people beyond the seas to be tried for pretended offenses in foreign courts. So excuse me, Jaisal, for jumping, you know, right into the Iraq Wars, but the Declaration of Independence, if it's going to live at all in current realities, you know, we must--we go back and forth between our present and our past.
NOOR: And, Peter, so we were going to talk about a whole range of issues, but, you know, in your book Many-Headed Hydra, you talk about the little-known role that commoners and even slaves played in fomenting the American Revolution. Can you give us a little bit of that history?
LINEBAUGH: I can give you a little bit of it. The Dunmore's Proclamation in Virginia promised freedom to slaves. Dunmore was a British general. So the slave, like the Indian, was caught between a rock and a hard place, that is, whether to join the colonists in their bid for independence, or whether to join the British, who promised immediate emancipation.
But slave revolts preceding the War of Independence, like the Indian revolts, like the great revolt of Pontiac in 1763, or the revolts against impressment that took place up and down the coast of the colonies, all of these here--you know, I gesture to Indians, to African Americans, and to European sailors and workers--I call them--we call them commoners because so many of them before they came to colonies under terms of coerced labor, so many of them had participated in economies which were not based on private property or incessant accumulation and aggression for land belonging or used by others. And these forms of other forms of economies, especially in England, were called commons. They were common lands. And when those lands were enclosed are fenced off, the people who formerly had subsisted on them now had few choices in life. And even if they weren't enslaved or coerced as teenagers in West Africa or as commoners in England who were impressed, they began in the United States, in Philadelphia and Boston, in Providence, Rhode Island, they began to get to know each other, they began, and they did so in taverns, they did so in poorer parts of the town, and they did so above all on ships. So the ship itself was a machine--we usually see it as a machine of commerce or a machine of war, but it was also a machine where the people of the world first got to know each other, they first get to hear one another's stories. And in some ways you can say, this is where multicultural America began to be formed.
NOOR: And so, Peter, you call that the motley crew, because it's a multiethnic crew. Then the population may--oh, not even a crew, not just a crew, but also bands of people that worked on land as well, and, you know, they were multiethnic, and, you know, their relationships might have crossed class lines as well.
LINEBAUGH: Yes, this is quite true. You know, Herman Melville was the man who had the imagination to see this in all his great nautical books, whether Billy Budd or /taɪfuː/ or White-Jacket, and then of course Moby-Dick. But that reality of democracy on shipboard and, as you say, multiethnic communication was a big part of the background to the American Revolution. And it was--even though those people did not lead the revolution in the sense of signing their names to documents, they led the freedom from actual slavery, they led the freedom from actual coerced labor on ships, and they also led--in Philadelphia here I'm thinking, Jaisal--they led the struggle for fair prices, and they led the struggle against debt. And these are two issues that remain with us. So this motley crew will provide the force of the revolutionary armies. And when they're not paid or when they're mistreated, they are perfectly capable of mutiny.
NOOR: And, Peter, you mentioned one of the slogans of the revolution, "no taxation without representation". But as we touched upon in this conversation already, there were many groups that were not franchised at the culmination of the revolution--obviously African-Americans, women, and men that were not--that didn't don't land. And, you know, it's often portrayed as the elites created this framework, they created a constitution that would eventually grant these rights and, you know, the right to vote and other civil rights to the entire population. But talk about the revolutionary process that actually led to those rights being achieved.
LINEBAUGH: Okay, Jaisal, that's a process of American history, that's a process of struggle. That's a--I hesitate to say class struggle, though it is a class struggle of slaves, it's a struggle of poor people, it's a struggle of weavers and spinners, it's a struggle of housewives, it's a struggle of women more generally, it's a struggle that is not over. And sometimes the American Civil War is seen as a continuation, as the Chapter 2 where the Declaration of Independence and Fourth of July was Chapter 1.
This is why the Fourth of July, you know, has this military flavor to it, you know, and we all turn out and we watch the fireworks. But the first fireworks, of course, were, as we know from the song, "the rockets' red glare". This came from a war. Speaking to you in Baltimore, I don't need to remind you that Fort McHenry in Baltimore was where the British invaded in 1812. So what I'm trying to say is that war is the most extreme form of struggle, on a large scale, anyway. And those powers and rights and freedoms that you referred to and that we celebrate on the Fourth of July, they are the product of vast human struggle. I mean, the struggle for American independence was not just that war but was goes back to the 17th century.
The struggle against slavery was at least 100 years old. You know, if you take 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation, 100 years earlier it was 1763. That's the plantation of George Washington. A hundred years before that, 1673, you also have slavery. So the struggle against slavery is a very old and long struggle and reaches a great, great culmination in the war between the states, in the Civil War. And may I quote, Jaisal, from Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist?
NOOR: Yes, absolutely.
LINEBAUGH: Okay, because he says something that I'm thinking about, and I wonder whether you all are thinking about it too. This is the speech he gave on the Fourth of July. And I think a lot of you are familiar with that speech where he says, what is the meaning of the Fourth of July to the slave? But before he says that, he says, what it is that we need. In this now is just a few years before John Brown's raid, it's a few years before Fort Sumter and the beginning of the Civil War. Here in the words of Frederick Douglass is what we need:
[I]t is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
Isn't that powerful? Here he's using the rhetoric from the era of the Declaration of Independence, and he's prophesying--it's a prophetic voice from the Old Testament imagining the war to come, the American Civil War that at last put an end--well, not quite; it didn't quite end slavery, did it? Because the Thirteenth Amendment permits slavery or involuntary servitude in cases of prison. And so I think it's--you know, if we're going to jump from the past to the present continuously, then we need to say, that is not yet finished, as the prison population of the U.S. continues to grow and to grow.
NOOR: Peter Linebaugh, thank you so much for joining us.
LINEBAUGH: You're very welcome.
NOOR: And we'll continue this conversation at TheRealNews.com. Thank you so much for joining us.
End

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  • "Kurdistan" Israeli Style
    "Kurdistan" Israeli StyleWhile everything is being set up to create an independent Kurdistan, Thierry Meyssan sees a manipulation of the Kurdish peoples’ dream to profit Israel, the United States and Turkey. Also, he denounces the Barzani ethnic cleansing project and observes the PKK opposition to the creation of a "Kurdistan" of this nature.Voltaire Network | Damascus | 14 July 2014 During the 60s, Mullah Mustafa Barzani (the father of Massoud Barzani) approached Washington and the Shah of Iran. He became an officer of the Mossad. Seen here in Israel with Abba Eban (Foreign Minister) and General Meir Amit (Director of the Mossad).When David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel unilaterally, supposed defense needs created a security zone around it. It was the implementation of the European strategy of "steps": Israeli wars attempting to expand its territory and, failing that, to demilitarize the areas on its border. However, with the emergence and spread of missiles, the freezing of "steps" no longer guarantees much. So that in 1999, Israel hesitated to return the Golan [1] and in 2000, it chose to withdraw from southern Lebanon rather than continue to be harassed by Hezbollah. Gradually, another military doctrine has emerged: the security of a country depends on the ability to destroy threatening missiles from afar. Now it is necessary to not only demilitarize "steps" to protect from a land invasion, but also to provide a circle of protection beyond enemy states to neutralize the threat of missiles. Hence the creation of South Sudan (2011) and soon Kurdistan (2015?). In this way, Israel will be able to threaten Egypt, Syria and Lebanon all at once. The experience of South Sudan shows the artificial nature of these creations. It is currently a state without statehood, a lawless area occupied by the Israeli army. From the U.S. point of view, the creation of Kurdistan is a step in the remodeling of the "Middle East region" (Greater Middle East), that is to say, the division of the area into ethnically homogeneous micro-states, easy to dominate. That is why the Pentagon has been conspicuously absent. At a closed meeting during which the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel and the Chief of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, came to explain to congressmess situation in Iraq, they not only claimed to have lost the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi file (and thus didn’t know why they arrested him in 2004 and why they released him a few months later) [2], but also admitted to having no intervention plan and leaving the field entirely open to the Islamic Emirate and Kurdistan. [3] From the Turkish point of view, this "Kurdistan" is also a boon to solve its own Kurdish problem. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan whispered the whole operation to the ears of the Barzani family. Moreover, he had his Parliament pass a law authorizing negotiation with the Kurds in Turkey: parliamentarians who contribute to disarm and integrate the rebels will be exempt from prosecution. [4] The Prime Minister hopes to be elected president with the votes of Turkey’s Kurds who would thus thank him for sponsoring "Kurdistan" abroad. Of course, it is unlikely that he will continue his overture once elected. The Kurdish people would be wrong to believe that the "Kurdistan" offered by Israelis and Turks will be that to which they aspire. In contrast to their ancestor Saladin the Magnificent who liberated and unified the Levant, the Barzani clan will separate them from other populations in the region, Arabs, Armenians, etc.. and transform them into apartheid auxiliaries. While on the Internet, members of PDK discuss their future currency, the Kuro [5], the Barzanis already behave as if they had won with Israeli assistance. They sent the peshmerga to seize the oil fields of Kirkuk and Bai Hassan - allegedly to secure them from Baghdad maneuvers - and expel Arab workers [6]. There can be no doubt: the Barzanis’ Israeli ethnic cleansing project is just beginning. Abdullah Öcalan’s PKK has already called for not falling into the trap. He has published an excerpt from the secret June 1st meeting held in Amman at which armed Islamist groups and Massoud Barzani’s PDK sealed their alliance and planned a coordinated attack on Iraq [7]. The PKK has called for a general mobilization of the Kurdish people against the Barzani Israeli project. For his part, the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has revealed that his army could not attack the High Command of the Islamic Emirate ... because it was located in Erbil and protected by the local government of Kurdistan. Two lines are therefore opposed, but only the Kurdish people can defeat the Israeli plan.
  • Monsters!
    Monsters!by  Ingrid R. ZundelThe letter below, written by a Norwegian physician volunteer working in Gaza, needs no introduction – the heading I gave it says it all! A lifetime ago, I was a child who experienced first-hand the kind of carnage the Gaza civilians experience even as I write this. To call it “inhuman” does not do it justice. It is, in my opinion, satanic. Please circulate this letter widely. It needs to go viral on the Net. ________________________________ Mads Gilbert MD PhD
. The last night was extreme. The “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying – all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent. The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12-24 hour shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last 4 months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS! Now, once more treated like animals by “the most moral army in the world” (sic!). My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless, my closeness to the Palestinian “sumud” gives me strength, although in glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace – but we cannot afford that, nor can they. Ashy grey faces – Oh NO! Not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding, we still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes,cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away … to be prepared again, to be repeated all over. More then 100 cases came to Shifa in the last 24 hrs. Enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: no electricity, water, disposables, drugs, OR-tables, instruments, monitors – all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterday’s hospitals. But they do not complain, these heroes. They get on with it, like warriors, head on, enormously resolute. And as I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, my tears flow, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening! An then, just now, the orchestra of the Israeli war-machine starts its gruesome symphony again, just now: salvos of artillery from the navy boats just down on the shores, the roaring F16, the sickening drones (Arabic ‘Zennanis’, the hummers), and the cluttering Apaches. So much made in and paid by the US. Volunteers tend to the wounded of Gaza. I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe. I am convinced, 100%, it would change history. Nobody with a heart AND power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people. But the heartless and merciless have done their calculations and planned another “dahyia” onslaught on Gaza. The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death. Please. Do what you can. This, THIS cannot continue. Mads Gilbert MD PhD
. Professor and Clinical Head Clinic of Emergency Medicine University Hospital of North Norway
  • Whistleblower: U.S. Satellite Images Show Ukrainian Troops Shooting Down MH17
    Whistleblower: U.S. Satellite Images Show Ukrainian Troops Shooting Down MH17Source tells award winning reporter Washington lying about responsibility for tragedyBy Paul Joseph WatsonAward winning former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry has been told by an intelligence source that the United States is in possession of satellite imagery which shows that Ukrainian troops were responsible for the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. In the absence of any proper investigation, media rhetoric over the last few days has firmly pointed the finger of blame for the downing of the aircraft on Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels, but Parry’s source tells a different story. What I’ve been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms. The source said CIA analysts were still not ruling out the possibility that the troops were actually eastern Ukrainian rebels in similar uniforms but the initial assessment was that the troops were Ukrainian soldiers. There also was the suggestion that the soldiers involved were undisciplined and possibly drunk, since the imagery showed what looked like beer bottles scattered around the site, the source said. Although the establishment press has attempted to deride any questioning of the official narrative that Ukrainian rebels were responsible for the incident by invoking the tired “conspiracy theory” pejorative, Parry can hardly be dismissed as a crank given his key role in covering the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press and Newsweek. Indeed, Parry’s investigative work on intelligence matters, for which he was awarded the George Polk Award, suggests that the information provided by his source is worthy of serious attention. U.S. and Ukrainian authorities continue to insist that Moscow-backed separatists were responsible for the tragedy, asserting that a BUK missile system was used to bring down the airliner. However, this was contradicted by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema, who stated, “The military told the president after the passenger plane had been shot down that the terrorists did not possess our Buk missile systems.” In a related development, audio experts who conducted a study into the authenticity of a recording released by Ukrainian authorities which implicated Russian-backed rebels as being responsible for the missile attack on MH17 concluded that the tape was fabricated. “The tape’s second fragment consists of three pieces but was presented as a single audio recording. However, a spectral and time analysis has showed that the dialog was cut into pieces and then assembled. Short pauses in the tape are very indicative: the audio file has preserved time marks which show that the dialog was assembled from various episodes, the expert said,” reports ITAR-TASS.
  • 'We will react to NATO build-up!': Key Putin quotes from defense policy address
    'We will react to NATO build-up!': Key Putin quotes from defense policy addressBy RTMoscow will respond to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin said at the emergency Security Council meeting in Moscow. Here are his key quotes on Russia’s defense, Western sanctions, and violence in eastern Ukraine. On NATO'S missile system and Russia's defense NATO forces have been increasing military presence in Eastern European countries bordering Russia and sending warships to the Baltic and Mediterranean due to the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. NATO has also stated that it will endorse new funding for Ukraine's defense, blaming Russia for destabilizing the situation in Ukraine. “We shall provide an adequate and well-measured response to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, and we shall take note of [the West] setting up a global missile defense architecture and building up its arsenals of precision-guided weapons,” Putin said on Tuesday. “No matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what’s going on. As it stands, NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas. Its operational and combat training activities are gaining in scale.” Putin stated that NATO’s military build-up near Russia’s border is not just for defense, but is an “offensive weapon” and an “element of the US offensive system deployed outside the mainland.” “With that in mind, we need to promptly and diligently implement all the measures we have planned to strengthen our nation’s defense capabilities, including our plans for Crimea and Sevastopol, where we will practically have to set up our military architecture from scratch.” On sanctions and sovereignty Putin has criticized the rounds of sanctions that the US and EU have imposed on Russia, which began during Crimea's accession to Russia and continued after the MH17 plane crash in Ukraine. “The very concept of the state sovereignty is becoming diluted. Unwanted regimes and countries that are trying to exercise independent policy or simply stand in the way of someone’s interests are getting destabilized,” Putin said. “Attempts aimed at destabilizing the social and political situation, throwing off Russia and striking at its vulnerable and soft spots have been and will be made,” he added. According to Putin, Western states are trying to “make Russia agreeable so that certain matters at the international arena are resolved in favor of other countries.” “The so-called competitive struggle at the international arena will imply the use of tools in both economic and political fields. This will include the potential of security services, modern information and communication technologies, and connections of dependent, puppet NGOs – the so-called soft power,” Putin pointed out. “Apparently, some countries regard it as democracy.” Putin stressed that Russia has an edge over other states, as the country isn’t a member of any alliance. “Any alliance member countries lose part of their sovereignty and it rarely goes in tune with the national interests of the country. But it’s their sovereign decision.” “On our part, we follow all the norms of international law and fulfill our obligations to our partners. We expect other countries and organizations, military and political alliances – Russia is not a part of any alliance, and that underpins our sovereignty – to take our national interests into consideration.” The president also pointed out that any controversial issues in Russia will be “settled through diplomatic means only,” with no other state meddling in the country's internal affairs. Such methods that are used to pressure weak countries will not work on Russia, he said, adding that they are “absolutely unacceptable and counterproductive” and “undermining the current world order.” On Ukraine crisis and MH17 investigation Internal problems are often used to trigger coups that are financed from outside, Putin said. “Of course, there always are some kinds of problems, but it is not clear why one has to use them to completely destabilize and destroy the country – what we often see recently in various regions of the world.” As a result of such coups, radical nationalist – or simply neo-fascist, fundamentalist forces – come to power, which is what happened in Ukraine, Putin said. "Yes, after the coup, elections were held, but for some reason again those who funded or carried out the coup became the heads of state. The current authorities are using force trying to silence the part of the population that disagrees with this development," Putin noted with regret. The international community has been calling on Russia to use its influence on the eastern anti-government militia to cooperate in the resolution of the crisis. “We of course will do everything in our power but that is not nearly enough,” the president said. Putin believes the West must appeal to Kiev to honor its ceasefire pledge. Putin highlighted that Kiev should not fuel the conflict, citing Tuesday’s incident when “the Ukrainian Armed Forces attacked Donetsk with their tanks” as the local militia were handing the black box of the crashed MH17 over to experts. “Tanks broke through to the train station and opened fire at it. The international experts there could not even look out of the windows,” said the Russian head of state. “It’s not like the rebels are shooting at themselves.”
  • VT Education Series: Satellite Missile Detection Notes
    VT Education Series: Satellite Missile Detection Notes THE TESTIMONY Conspiracies are tough to kill and in this case some mysterious aspects really make me and others wonder. One of these has to do with the Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites and a fantastic Freudian slip on the part of a government spokesman. Basically, the DSP satellites are extremely sensitive infrared cameras in orbit over the Earth intended to monitor the launch signatures of (Soviet) ICBMs.   Classy, USAF artist’s rendering of DSP in deep space. TRW built the DSP satellites and also the famous KH-11 “KEYHOLE” series spy satellites. But they also serve other purposes, like spying on missile tests done by other countries. Since this is a spy system the full capabilities are a guarded secret, but we know that even though they orbit at 22,300 miles, something like an aircraft on afterburner or the Russian missile attack on a Grozny market can be easily verified, as has been reported in the media. These satellites also recorded the TWA 800 explosion, but what’s more critical is, did DSP see the TWA missile plume? After all if around 100 eyewitness’ saw it then DSP should have seen something. The DSP satellite could not have seen the aircraft explosion yet not seen the missile, or whatever that bright streak of light was! Yet that’s exactly what the Air Force claims. It’s possible the brief burn-time of the small rocket motor may have been difficult to detect … but wait, the story gets even more interesting. During one press conference the man in charge General Estes said, “I looked at it when I was the J-3 here when TWA 800 was shot down.” What was that, shot down? Psychologically this seems like a subconscious attempt by a basically honest individual to counter one or more lies with the truth, as you’ll see below. Not surprisingly his statement was quickly corrected with another press release and since this is a key element and for accuracy here is the exact memorandum, and besides, some of what he says is so weird one has to read it to believe it! Memorandum: No. 035-M March 13, 1997 MEMORANDUM FOR CORRESPONDENTS During the course of the on-the-record briefing by Gen. Howell M. Estes, Commander in Chief, U.S. Space Command, at the Pentagon, conducted Thursday, Mar. 13, 1997, Gen. Estes responded to a question regarding TWA Flight 800. Gen. Estes at one point said: Gen. Estes did not mean to say TWA 800 was “shot down.” In the context of his response to the questions, it is clear that he mispoke and meant to say “went down.” The corrected transcript of the question and answer sequence is printed below with the correction in brackets. Copies of the transcript and video tape are available in the Directorate for Defense Information. Q. “Gen. Estes, I’m sorry to have to bring this up, but in Pierre Salinger’s controversial report about the shootdown of TWA 800, he charges that the U.S. Space Command has refused to release information about a U.S. spy satellite that was overhead on the night of the disaster and–quote–recorded important information about the shootdown. Can you put that into any kind of perspective at all? Is that true? Or can you tell us if there’s anything to that at all?” Estes. “Again not to give you a long answer. Let me give you a direct answer. I’ll guarantee there’s nothing like that out there. I’ve looked since I’ve been there. I looked at it when I was the J-3 here when TWA 800 was shot [went] down. I’m not telling you that there wasn’t a missile that caused this problem. I don’t know. As we know the National Transportation Safety Board has said there are three options on what happened. This is their business. What I’m telling you is that in the military I was here when that incident happened, and I know the steps we went through. We went back just to make sure something hadn’t been missed somewhere and took a missile count of every single missile we had–Army, Navy and Air Force–to make sure that something didn’t happen that we weren’t aware of. We looked at the location of every aircraft to make sure we knew where everything was–where ships were–and we validated to the best of our ability, and I have to say that there isn’t anybody who’s going to have better information than this, and we are convinced that the military was not involved in this in any way, shape or form. Now, was there a missile attack? We have people who said that they saw a missile. We had people back when it happened who said they saw a missile. And the investigators that are looking at this have determined there is, to the best of their ability, they have not been able to find any evidence of this either in the pieces of TWA 800 that have come off the bottom of the ocean nor any verification anything that they’ve seen off of any location either on the shore or at sea. This investigation continues. But there is nothing–back to your exact question to me–there is nothing at Space Command that we know of that has anything to do with Flight 800 that hasn’t been released. Clearly, the defense support program–the DSP satellites–did see the explosion of Flight 800 because of its infrared source that it was. And we saw it falling. And so that‘s the piece of information that we had from the beginning from the U.S. Space Command. We still have it today. Nothing’s changed. That was all seen. We know of nothing–” Q. “That doesn’t show in any way, that doesn’t confirm any missile theory or add any credence to the missile–” Estes. “It does not. And I would tell you to be very blunt and very factual about this that the infrared source out of a small missile is not intense enough to for us to see with these space- based systems. That’s the fact. OK?” Questions concerning this Memorandum for Correspondents should be referred to Col. Richard M. Bridges, Director for Defense Information, (703) 695-9082 or Lt. Col. Don Planalp, U.S. Space Command, (719) 554-3525. FROM: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Mar1997/m031397_m035-97.html Now General Estes is an expert on space defense systems, he knows exactly what the DSP satellite system can actually do; he should since he was commander of NORAD and the US Space Command. Somebody is lying here, either Estes is not telling the truth on what DSP saw or 100 eyewitness got an upward streak confused with down and their temporal sense skewed as well. But it gets worse, at the end he says “…that the infrared source out of a small missile is not intense enough to for us to see with these space- based systems”. How does he know it was a small missile?! Indeed how does he know it was a missile at all! Is this twoFreudian slips in one poorly conducted speech? Or is it that he just was parroting Salinger’s claims (which he seems to know a lot about oddly enough) in order to refute those ideas? Besides the above two cases he also says they saw TWA 800 explode and saw it falling, but then doesn’t that make it obvious the system can track small moving infrared objects thereby contradicting his assertion? All right then, assuming that DSP can’t detect small missiles, what about large missiles? I’ve already established that it couldn’t have been a conventional Manpad. I’d like to see Estes say DSP couldn’t detect missiles, because that is the whole intention of the satellite system! The DSP has had five improvements in its lifespan and I don’t see any limitations that would prevent it from tracking the contrail of a small missile against the flat cold Atlantic backdrop. Either way no DSP image of the event has ever been released (that I know of) which merely adds another question to the mystery.
  • EU, P5+1, Iran Joint Statement
    EU, P5+1, Iran Joint Statementfrom the  Islamic  Republic  of  Iran  Broadcasting,  TehranBy VT Iran is on the verge of a surge in growth with the removal of the Western stranglehold [ Editors Note:  This announcement is just a formality, as we learned about the extension earlier, but I am publising this today for its historical significance, and the extension specifically is not the key point. What makes it historic is that the Zionist/Jewish Lobbies were not able to torpedo the talks, and they did everything they could to do so. They got shut down. So even though they are not leaving the planet on the next spaceship, and will remain here to torment us, the blush is off their bloom. We see fear beginning to recede in general, but not in the political arena where they still have a tight lock. But momentum is something that can be built on. All those who support the Zionists should have a PR targer hung around their neck so people can show their contempt at their being such long time enablers. It is way past time that they should suffer some poltical paine for their efforts. While our election system is largely rigged, they can be embarrassed in public, easy and affordable to do. One last note, the EU was very quick to renew their sanctions relief of the the just past six month period so Iran can continue its oil exports, something you know the Zios tried to block but it passed I think almost unanimously. This was a huge public defeat of the expected thug power of the Israelis to block it. The Europeans have figured out that the more oil Iran can sell, the more hard cash it has to buy European products. Imagine that!... Jim W. Dean ] ________________________________ Iran continues to march forward…out if its long past  -  First published July 21,  2014  -   The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, and the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, made the following statement: We, together with the Political Directors of the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States), have worked intensively towards a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, building on the political momentum created by the  adoption and smooth implementation by both sides of the Joint Plan of Action agreed on 24 November 2013. We are grateful to the Austrian government and the United Nations for their tremendous support in hosting these negotiations in Vienna. We have held numerous meetings in different formats, and in a constructive atmosphere, to reach a mutually agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful. During the past few weeks, we have further intensified our efforts, including through the active involvement of E3+3 Foreign Ministers or their Vice Ministers, who came to Vienna on 13 July 2014 to take stock of progress in the talks. While we have made tangible progress on some of the issues and have worked together on a text for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, there are still significant gaps on some core issues which will require more time and effort. We, together with the Foreign Ministers of the E3+3, have therefore decided to extend the implementation of measures of the Joint Plan of Action until 24 November 2014, in line with the timeframe that we envisaged in the Joint Plan of Action. Iran and the  E3/EU+3  reaffirm that they will continue to implement all their commitments described in the Joint Plan of Action in an efficient and timely manner. We will reconvene in the coming weeks in different formats with the clear determination to reach agreement on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action at the earliest possible moment.
  • EU to present extended Russian sanctions on Thursday – Ashton
    EU to present extended Russian sanctions on Thursday – AshtonBt RTThe EU Council did not agree to new Russian sanctions on Tuesday. However, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said an extended ‘black list’ will be published on Thursday. It will include the energy, and defense sectors, and financial markets. At the moment there is not a complete list of Russian companies or people that will fall under the new EU sanctions, Ashton said. Last week, before Malaysia flight MH17 crashed, Europe declined to follow the US move and expand sanctions. Prior to the crash, media reported the EU planned to stop Russian loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). US sanctions hurt Europe more than America Suspending lending from these institutions would cut off substantial funding from Russia, as it’s the biggest recipients of the London-based EBRD. Last year Moscow received $2.5 billion (1.8 billion euro) in investments from the EBRD and $1.4 billion (1 billion euro) from the EIB. Russia used the money to finance a variety of projects: from pipeline valves, property purchases, and a loan to a hypermarket chain. There are two Russian projects currently awaiting funding from the EBRD, one a 300 million euro plan to promote energy efficiency, and the other a $180 million loan to lease agricultural and forestry equipment. The EBRD invests about 9 billion euro annually across Europe, Central Asia and North Africa, and is more than 50 percent owned by the G7 nations. The US has a 10 percent stake in the institution, and Russia has 4.05 percent. The bank has a total of 64 shareholders. The second round of EU sanctions targeted specific individuals and companies, a follow up to the first round of asset and travel bans. Russia-EU trade EU’s trade with Russia is about 10 times the size of that with the US, which means harsh economic sanctions would mean huge losses for member states. Russia is the EU’s third largest trading partner, with turnoverof about $330 billion. Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands all have multibillion dollar business relationships with Russia. Germany is one of the largest exporters of goods to Russia. In 2013 it ranked at number seven on the list Germany’s overseas markets with trade between the two at $88 billion, according to the country’s statistics service. Germany has over 6,200 companies engaged in Russian business, according to the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services. Russia imports manufactured goods and cars, and companies like Volkswagen and Siemens have large Russia-based operations. The Netherlands’ is the biggest destination for Russian exports in Europe and is a partner in oil and gas, because of its developed shipping and transport industry. Many Russian companies are incorporated in the Netherlands because of low tax incentives. State-controlled oil company Rosneft and gas major Gazprom both have concerns in the Netherlands as does Lukoil, Russia’s largest independent oil company. Mining company Norilsk Nickel and Google rival Yandex are incorporated in Luxembourg. Italy supplies Russia’s booming consumer market with manufactured goods, as well as fashion wear. Bilateral trade is nearly $37 billion. France’s trade with Russia is dominated by air and defense, and last year, it reached $21 billion. France will go ahead with supplying Russia with at least one Mistral helicopter assault ship, despite warnings from UK Prime Minister David Cameron saying the UK wouldn’t green-light such a contract. French President Hollande said on Monday the deal, originally slated for two units, will go on. The first warship is scheduled for delivery in October. Britain, a loud advocate of widening sanctions against Russia, has significantly less trading ties with Russia, and is worth some $23 billion. The Netherlands, which mainly supplies flowers, agriculture, and technology, has a trade turnover of $75 billion with Russia.
  • UN slams ISIL for persecuting Christians
    UN slams ISIL for persecuting ChristiansBy presstvThe United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has denounced the persecution of Christians and other minorities in Iraq by the ISIL Takfiri militants. In a unanimous declaration issued on Monday, the body condemned the systematic persecution of minorities and warned that such actions can be considered crimes against humanity. “The members of the Security Council further recall that widespread or systematic attacks directed against any civilian populations because of their ethnic background, religious beliefs or faith may constitute a crime against humanity, for which those responsible must be held accountable,” the declaration read. It also asked the UN and the Iraqi government to do their best to remove the “terrorist threat” against minorities and provide humanitarian aid for those displaced because of the conflict. This comes after the ISIL Takfiri militants started marking houses belonging to the Christian community in the Iraqi city of Mosul and issued a statement that told the Christians to convert, pay a special tax, leave the city, or face death. Thousands of Christians left Mosul ahead of the ISIL’s ultimatum. The fleeing Christians have largely sought refuge in areas under the control of Kurdish regional government. But Shia shrines and institutions in Najaf and Karbala also offered to shelter them. A large number of Shias as well as people from other faiths escaped the city fearing violence by the ISIL terrorists. The crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL terrorists took control of Mosul on June 10. HRM/HJL/HRB
  • 600 deaths in Israeli Gaza op: Military hits mosques, stadium, homes, hospital
    600 deaths in Israeli Gaza op: Military hits mosques, stadium, homes, hospitalBy RTIsrael kept up attacks on Gaza on Tuesday, killing three Palestinians and hitting over 70 targets, including five mosques, a sports stadium and the home of the deceased Hamas military chief. The latest casualties in the fortnight-long violence have brought the Palestinian death toll to 570, according to AP. Almost 100 of them are children and many others are civilians. Additionally, nearly 500 homes have been destroyed in the Israeli bombardments and 100,000 people have been displaced, said Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) at a Geneva news briefing. On Monday, a hospital was hit in Gaza, with four people killed and scores of others wounded in the attack. Thirty of the wounded were medics, according to Sky News. The International Committee of the Red Cross issued a statement condemning the shelling "in the strongest terms," Reuters reports. The organization stated that the hospital came under fire at least four times, with life-saving equipment severely damaged. About 2,000 rockets have been launched over the past fortnight, Israeli military says. The country has also been destroying tunnels that Hamas reportedly constructed from Gaza into Israel to carry out attacks. Palestinian boys walk past debris, including Korans and other items from a mosque destroyed in an overnight Israeli military strike, on July 22, 2014, in Rafah the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP Photo / Said Khatib) Israeli military accuses Hamas militants of firing rockets from the grounds of Gaza hospitals and seeking refuge there. All in all, Israel has lost 29 people – two of them civilians, with two soldiers killed on Tuesday, as stated by the country’s militia. This death toll is the highest number of Israeli military deaths since the 2006 Lebanon war. Violence is raging on the West Bank as well. Medics told Reuters that soldiers shot a Palestinian man dead after cracking down on stone-throwing protesters. Tel Aviv stated that a Palestinian shot at a car and seriously wounded an Israeli in the Nablus area. This comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo on Monday for talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the region’s plight. The US is set to give $47 million in humanitarian aid for Gaza, Kerry said. A Palestinian man removes goods from the rubble of a destroyed store located on the ground floor of a building hit by an Israeli air strike on July 22, 2014 in Gaza city. (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams) The US is "deeply concerned about the consequences of Israel's appropriate and legitimate effort to defend itself," Kerry said. "But always, in any kind of conflict, there is a concern about civilians - about children, women, communities that are caught in it," Kerry added, as quoted by Reuters. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to fly to Israel on Tuesday for peace negotiations with the country’s premier Benjamin Netanyahu and to meet the Palestinian authorities. A day earlier, Ban Ki-moon condemned the killings as an "atrocious action," and called for an immediate end to the fighting, urging Israel to “exercise maximum restraint.” “Too many innocent people are dying (and) living in constant fear,” he said at news conference in Doha. Last week, Egypt suggested a roadmap for the ceasefire which Israel accepted, but Hamas rejected. The ceasefire plan stalled after Hamas requested that Israel and Egypt lift the blockade on the coastal region that has a population of 1.8 million people. Another demand was for Israel to free a few hundred Palestinian inmates detained after the murder of three Jewish teenagers last month, Reuters reported. "The world must understand that Gaza has decided to end the blockade by its blood and its heroism," deputy Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a televised address on Monday.
  • Blinded by Israel, Visionless in Gaza
    Blinded by Israel, Visionless in GazaThe Power and the Ignominy By TARIQ ALI   "Counter Punch"The US Senate votes unanimously to defend Israel including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. I don’t think he did it for the money. He is a paid-up member of POEEI (‘Progressive on Everything Except Israel’ and pronounced pooee) the liberal segment of US society, which is not progressive on many things, including Israel. Take, as one example, the case of  ‘Colonel’ Sanders. I thought my late friend Alexander Cockburn was sometimes too harsh on Sanders, but I was wrong. Sanders has been arselickin bad for a long time now as Thomas Naylor informed us while exploding the myths surrounding the Senator in a CounterPunch piece in September 2011: “Although Sanders may have once been a socialist back in the 80s when he was Mayor of Burlington, today, a socialist he is not.  Rather he behaves more like a technofascist disguised as a liberal, who backs all of President Obama’s nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen..  Since he always “supports the troops,” Sanders never opposes any defense spending bill.  He stands behind all military contractors who bring much-needed jobs to Vermont. Senator Sanders rarely misses a photo opportunity with Vermont National Guard troops when they are being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq.  He’s always at the Burlington International Airport when they return.  If Sanders truly supported the Vermont troops, he would vote to end all of the wars posthaste.” A unanimous Senate vote is rare, so what explains being more loyal to Israel than quite a few critical Jewish Israelis in that country itself? An important factor is undoubtedly money. In 2006 when the London Review of Books  published an article (commissioned and rejected by the Atlantic Monthly) by Professors Walt and Mearsheimer  on the Israel Lobby, there was the usual brouhaha from the usual suspects. Not the late Tony Judt, who publicly defended publication of the text and was himself subjected to violent threats and hate mail by we know who. The New York Review of Books, perhaps shamed by its own gutlessness on this issue among others, commissioned a text by Michael Massing which pointed out some mistakes in the  Mearsheimer/Walt essay but went on to provide some interesting figures himself. His article deserves to be read on its own but the following extract helps to explain the unanimous votes for Israeli actions: “AIPAC’s defenders like to argue that its success is explained by its ability to exploit the organizing opportunities available in democratic America. To some extent, this is true. AIPAC has a formidable network of supporters throughout the US. Its 100,000 members—up 60 percent from five years ago—are guided by AIPAC’s nine regional offices, its ten satellite offices, and its one-hundred-person-plus Washington staff, a highly professional group that includes lobbyists, researchers, analysts, organizers, and publicists, backed by an enormous $47 million annual budget…. Such an account, however, overlooks a key element in AIPAC’s success: money. AIPAC itself is not a political action committee. Rather, by assessing voting records and public statements, it provides information to such committees, which donate money to candidates; AIPAC helps them to decide who Israel’s friends are according to AIPAC’s criteria. The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that analyzes political contributions, lists a total of thirty-six pro-Israel PACs, which together contributed $3.14 million to candidates in the 2004 election cycle. Pro-Israel donors give many millions more. Over the last five years, for instance, Robert Asher, together with his various relatives (a common device used to maximize contributions), has donated $148,000, mostly in sums of $1,000 or $2,000 to individual candidates. A former AIPAC staff member described for me how the system works. A candidate will contact AIPAC and express strong sympathies with Israel. AIPAC will point out that it doesn’t endorse candidates but will offer to introduce him to people who do. Someone affiliated with AIPAC will be assigned to the candidate to act as a contact person. Checks for $500 or $1,000 from pro-Israel donors will be bundled together and provided to the candidate with a clear indication of the donors’ political views. (All of this is perfectly legal.) In addition, meetings to raise funds will be organized in various cities. Often, the candidates are from states with negligible Jewish populations. One congressional staff member told me of the case of a Democratic candidate from a mountain state who, eager to tap into pro-Israel money, got in touch with AIPAC, which assigned him to a Manhattan software executive eager to move up in AIPAC’s organization. The executive held a fund-raising reception in his apartment on the Upper West Side, and the candidate left with $15,000. In his state’s small market for press and televised ads, that sum proved an important factor in a race he narrowly won. The congressman thus became one of hundreds of members who could be relied upon to vote AIPAC’s way. (The staffer told me the name of the congressman but asked that I withhold it in order to spare him embarrassment.)” All this is made possible by official US policies since 1967. Were the US ever to shift on this issue unanimous votes would become impossible. But not even the United States has so far banned public demonstrations opposing Israeli brutality and its consistent deployment of state terror. On a weekend (18-19 July 2014) where demonstrations took place in many different parts of the world, the French government banned a march in Paris organised by many groups including France’s non-Zionist Jewish organisations and individuals. The ban was defied. Several thousand people were drenched in tear gas by the hated CRS. The French Prime Minister Manual Valls, a desperate opportunist and neo-con, the scourge of the Roma in France, competing with Le Pen for the right wing vote and unsurprisingly an adornment of the French Socialist Party who models himself on a shameless war-criminal and shyster (Tony Blair) explained the ban in terms of  ‘not encouraging anti-semitism’, etc. The grip of the Israel Lobby in France is complete. It dominates French culture and the media and critical voices on Israel (Jewish and non-Jewish) are effectively banned. The Israeli poet and critic, Yitzhak Laor (whose work depicting the colonial brutality of Israeli soldiers has sometimes been banned in his own country) describes the new rise of Euro-Zionism in sharp terms. The  ‘philosemitic offensive’ is ahistorical: It would be facile to see this memorializing culture as a belated crisis of international conscience, or a sense of historical justice that took time to materialize . . . The majority of United Nations General Assembly members have emerged from a colonial past: they are the descendants of those who suffered genocides in Africa, Asia or Latin America. There should be no reason for the commemoration of the genocide of the Jews to block out the memory of these millions of Africans or Native Americans killed by the civilized Western invaders of their continents. Laor’s explanation is that with the old Cold War friend-enemy dichotomy swept aside a new global enemy had to be cultivated in Europe: In the new moral universe of the ‘end of history’, there was one abomination—the Jewish genocide—that all could unite to condemn; equally important, it was now firmly in the past. Its commemoration would serve both to sacralize the new Europe’s liberal-humanist tolerance of ‘the other (who is like us)’ and to redefine ‘the other (who is different from us)’ in terms of Muslim fundamentalism.  Laor skillfully deconstructs the Glucksmanns, Henri-Levys and Finkelkrauts  who dominate the print media and the videosphere in France today. Having abandoned their youthful Marxist beliefs in the late Seventies, they made their peace with the system. The emergence of an ultra-Zionist current in France, however , predates the ‘New (sic) Philosophers’.  As Professor Gaby Piterburg, reviewing Laor’s essays in the New Left Review, explained: As in the US, the 1967 war was a turning point in French Jewish consciousness. A young Communist, Pierre Goldman, described the ‘joyous fury’ of a pro-Israel demonstration on the boulevard Saint-Michel, where he encountered other comrades, ‘Marxist-Leninists and supposed anti-Zionists, rejoicing in the warrior skills of Dayan’s troops’. But the political reaction of the Elysée to the 1967 war was the opposite to that of the White House. Alarmed that Israel was upsetting the balance of power in the Middle East, de Gaulle condemned the aggression, describing the Jews as ‘an elite people, sure of itself and domineering’. French Jewish organizations that had taken a pro-Israel foreign policy for granted began to organize on a political basis for the first time, as Pompidou and Giscard continued de Gaulle’s arms embargo into the 70s. In 1976 the Jewish Action Committee (CJA) organized a ‘day for Israel’ which mobilized 100,000 people. In 1977 the formerly quietist CRIF, representative council of some sixty Jewish bodies, produced a new charter denouncing France’s ‘abandonment of Israel’, published by Le Monde as a document of record. In the 1981 presidential election the CJA founder, Henri Hajdenberg, led a high-profile campaign for a Jewish vote against Giscard; Mitterrand won by a margin of 3 per cent. The boycott was lifted, and Mitterrand became the first French president to visit Israel. Warm relations were sealed between the CRIF and the Socialist Party elite, and a tactful veil of silence drawn over Mitterrand’s war-time role as a Vichy official. [A small footnote: Whenever Professor Piterburg (a former officer in the IDF) is attacked by Zionists at public lectures for being a ‘self-hating Jew’, he responds thus: “I don’t hate myself, but I hate you.” ] So much for official France. The country itself is different. Opinion polls reveal that at least 60 percent of French people are opposed to what Israel is doing to Gaza. Are they all anti-semites? They couldn’t be influenced by the media, could they? Because it’s totally pro-Israel. Could it be the case that the French population is ignoring Hollande, Valls and the mercenary ideologues who support them? What about Britain? Here the  Extreme Centre that rules the country as well as the  official ‘Opposition’ dutifully supported their masters in Washington. The coverage of the recent events in Gaza on state television (BBC) was so appallingly one-sided that there were demonstrations outside the BBC’s offices in London and Salford. My own tiny experience with the BBC reveals the fear and timidity at work inside. As I blogged on the London Review of Books, this is what happened: On Wednesday 16 July I received four calls from the BBC’s Good Morning Wales. First morning call: was I available to be interviewed about Gaza tomorrow morning? I said yes. First afternoon call: could I tell them what I would say? I said (a) Israel was a rogue state, pampered and cosseted by the US and its vassals. (b) Targeting and killing Palestinian children (especially boys) and blaming the victims was an old Israeli custom. (c) The BBC coverage of Palestine was appalling and if they didn’t cut me off I would explain how and why. Second afternoon call: was I prepared to debate a pro-Israeli? I said yes. Afternoon message left on my phone: terribly sorry. There’s been a motorway crash in Wales, so we’ve decided to drop your item. Few British citizens are aware of the role their own country played in creating this mess. It was a long time ago when Britain was an Empire and not a vassal, but the echoes of history never fade away. It was not by accident, but by design that the British decided to create a new state and it wasn’t Balfour alone. The Alternate Information Center in Beit Sahour, a joint Palestinian-Israeli organization promoting justice, equality and peace  for Palestinians and Israelis recently put up a post. It was a quote  from The Bannerman Report written in 1907 by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and, as it was strategically important it was suppressed and was never released to the public until many years later: “There are people (the Arabs, Editor’s Note) who control spacious territories  teeming with manifest and hidden resources. They dominate the intersections of  world routes. Their lands were the cradles of human civilizations and religions.  These people have one faith, one language, one history and the same aspirations.  No natural barriers can isolate these people from one another … if, per chance,  this nation were to be unified into one state, it would then take the fate of  the world into its hands and would separate Europe from the rest of the world.  Taking these considerations seriously, a foreign body should be planted in the heart of this nation to prevent the convergence of its wings in such a way that  it could exhaust its powers in never-ending wars. It could also serve as a springboard for the West to gain its coveted objects.” [Dan Bar-On & Sami Adwan, THE  PRIME SHARED HISTORY PROJECT, in Educating Toward a Culture of Peace, pages  309–323, Information Age Publishing, 2006]