There are reports that “Syrian Helicopters have fired on rebel strongholds“
The news preceding that was the “US fears another massacre“
Addressing the first linked story. Where is the information coming from? The articles claim the information comes from the UN monitors. But, is it? Or are the UN monitors getting information from the rebels?
U.N. monitors say the Syrian government is using helicopters for air attacks against rebel strongholds, and there are fears that many civilians are trapped in besieged cities.
Exactly where the news is originating from is not being mentioned. Or intentionally omitted?
The use of helicopters gives NATO the justification to launch airstrikes.
The second linked story- Fears another massacre. In conjunction with news of helicopters being used feels a lot like were being prepped for a false flag to justify intervention
“Mr Hague said that Britain was (HAD?) training activists who were monitoring and recording atrocities, including that in Houla last month in which 108 men, women and children were killed.
Was training or had trained activists to monitor and record?? Or create and video?
Mr Hague, does not rule out intervention. Of course.
From Gulf News
Beirut: Six Syrian soldiers were killed and another 26 were buried with official ceremonies, as attacks by rebels across the country increased the pressure on President Bashar Al Assad’s army.
The soldiers died in Deir Al Zor in the country’s eastern oil-producing region, and rebel fighters also attacked a checkpoint in the village of Qusair in Homs, causing several casualties, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. Four security personnel died when an explosive device hit their vehicle in Idlib in the north, while army helicopters attacked rebels in the city of Al Rastan, the group said.
So, it is the Syrian Human Rights group reporting the helicopter attacks… via e-mail?
“The government is using helicopters more often now because of major losses to its tanks,” Rami Abdul Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a phone interview from the UK on Monday.
The United States has predicted that another Houla-style massacre will occur in Syria and has even mentioned exact locations.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Monday that the Syrian government “may be organizing another massacre, this time in the village of al-Haffa, in Latakia province, as well as in the towns Deir el-Zour, in Daraa, in Homs, in Hama, and in suburbs of Damascus.”
She accused Damascus of using new tactics of repression but made no mention of the armed gangs’ failure to abide by the joint UN-Arab League peace plan, brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan.
In 15 months of violence in Syria, the Houla massacre, in which over 100 civilians were killed in the western town on May 25, was the worst incident.
A Syrian government-appointed fact-finding mission has said armed groups carried out the Houla massacre to frame the government and foment sectarian strife.
But anti-government groups say Syrian government forces were the perpetrators of the acts of carnage in Houla.
Annan’s six-point plan, effective from mid-April, calls for the establishment of a cease-fire between the government and the opposition and also says humanitarian groups should be allowed to have access to the population, detainees should be released, and a political dialogue should be started.
The unrest in Syria began in March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Assad’s government.
The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters, but Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.
- Propaganda War: The Houla Massacre Committed by The West’s “Free Syrian Army” But They Accuse Syrian Gov’t (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Reconsidering The Houla Massacre – OpEd (eurasiareview.com)
- Syrian government denies involvement in Houla massacre (alethonews.wordpress.com)
In Washington DC, a recent Senate subcommittee hearing was held on nuclear waste. It stretched on and on for several hours. Only “experts” and Senators spoke. It was chaired by Senator Tom Carper (D, DE), who not-too-subtly confessed to possessing not a whit of knowledge about the issues: At every turn he would say things like, “I want to thank you for your report, which the experts tell me is very good.”
He did admit that his “tiny little state” is much too small to have the opportunity to bid for the privilege and PROFIT of having a federal jail facility built within its borders, let alone a nuclear waste dump.
But please come visit Rehoboth Bay when you get a chance! It hasn’t been Fukushima’d yet by Hope Creek or Salem Units 1 or 2, chugging away, rusting away, vulnerable to earthquakes and liquefaction as they sit on their manmade islands in the middle of the Delaware River, along Delaware’s northeastern edge. Essentially all of Delaware would be wiped out by an accident at these decrepit old power plants.
So of course, he wants a centralized storage facility, or several “decentralized” storage facilities scattered in “less densely populated” areas. He didn’t name a state he prefers.
The trick to getting a nuclear waste dump built, apparently, is a simple three-fold process, which, they claim, has been successfully done in other countries, but which they can’t seem to pull off here. They’ll keep trying. Here are the steps:
First, stop calling it a dump. Nuclear waste was referred to by one “expert” as a “resource”.
Second, narrow down the area which can decide yea or nay on the project. The area should be far smaller than a state or county, preferably it will be just a hole in the ground, the top of which is in somebody’s back yard. That would be the ideal situation.
And third: Pay the local community buckets full of money to get them to like the idea. This is not known as bribery, it’s called “incentive-based site location.” France added a twist the Senators liked: Start by building an underground “research facility” which everyone knows will “eventually” (read: Next generation, decades from now) be turned into a nuclear waste dump. ”We can make it attractive” announced one Senator confidently.
And sure, it sounds easy. But so far Americans apparently haven’t been dumb enough to accept the strategy. One Senator asked an “expert” if he thought the solution to get Yucca Mountain going was to pour more bribery money into Nevada (he called it “incentives”). That would probably work, was the answer.
And therefore, it was considered the right thing do to.
In the entire session, there was not one word about what processes might be studied, that had never been tried before, that had some promise… because there really aren’t any such processes being studied, and everything’s been tried before… and failed. Nuclear waste is an eternal problem. Scientific American pegs it at “250,000 years”, so that’s close enough to eternity for me.
Russell D. Hoffman lives in Carlsbad, California. He is an educational software developer and bladder cancer survivor, as well as a collector of military and nuclear historical documents and books. He is the author and programmer of the award-winning Animated Periodic Table of the Elements. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it would not review the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit against current and former government officials for their roles in the unlawful detention and torture of U.S. citizen José Padilla. In January, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s ruling that an American citizen designated an “enemy combatant” by the executive branch could not sue to vindicate his constitutional rights based on a claim that he was tortured at the direction of senior government officials.
“The Supreme Court’s refusal to consider Jose Padilla’s case leaves in place a blank check for government officials to commit any abuse in the name of national security, even the brutal torture of an American citizen in an American prison,” said Ben Wizner, the ACLU’s lead counsel on the case. “To date, not a single victim of the Bush administration’s torture regime has received his day in court. It is precisely the role of the courts to ensure that allegations of grave misconduct by executive Branch officials receive fair adjudication. That vital role does not evaporate simply because those officials insist that their actions are too sensitive for judicial review.”
Padilla was taken from a civilian jail in New York in 2002 by military agents, declared an “enemy combatant” and secretly transported to the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C. He was imprisoned without charge for nearly four years, subjected to extreme abuse and was unable to communicate with his lawyers or family for two years. The illegal treatment included forcing Padilla into stress positions for hours on end, punching him, depriving him of sleep and threatening him with further torture and death.
More information and case documents are available at:
The Israeli colonization of Palestine continues unabated, and the political show that protects and enables it has become a boring and repetitive charade. At the same time, it serves to feed the agendas, wallets and speeches of politicians and others who like to pretend that they believe in a ‘negotiated solution’. It doesn’t take a genius to see how this deceptive game works, but it may be helpful to those whose eyes are filled with the sand that routinely gets sprinkled into them by Zionist spin doctors and their supporters around the world, to have the scenario spelled out in a clear and unambiguous way.
First of all, let us have a look at the cast, as well as the audience, in this theater of deceit. Of course, first of all there are Israelis and Palestinians; then there is the Arab world, the United States, the so-called ‘Quartet’ and the International Community. Each play their own role in making sure that the charade continues, effectively resulting in the continuing theft and colonization of more and more Palestinian land. This is what we have seen, and this is what we will continue to see if nothing changes. Nowadays, the ‘debate’ centers around ‘settlements’ and ‘settlers’. Let’s have a look at what this is really about.
‘Settlers’: Trained and Armed Terrorist Militia
The first deception that needs to be exposed for what it is, is the fake distinction between ‘Israelis’ on the one hand, and ‘settlers’ on the other. If you follow mainstream media, you would be tempted to believe that Israelis are ordinary citizens in a democracy that is similar to the democracies of Europe or the American continent, while settlers are religious extremist fanatics who often are at odds with the Israeli establishment.
If you believe this, you are actually wrong twice, since the Israelis are not ordinary citizens but themselves settlers or their offspring, who all – men and women – have served their mandatory time in the military for training. Those who are called ‘settlers’ are Israelis from that same population, who are further armed, financed and trained by that same Israeli establishment, and showered in luxury in order to tempt them to populate the new Zionist colonies on stolen Palestinian land.
Those they call ‘Israeli citizens’ live in the older Zionist colonies, that were established by the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinians and the destruction of their villages and cities in 1948. The so-called ‘settlers’ live in the newer colonies, established in a similar way on lands occupied in 1967. If you wish to be confused and misled, go ahead and fall for that deceptive distinction, and you will fail to see that the settlements are the outposts of the Israeli colonization of Palestine, populated by their armed terrorist militia that works closely with the Israeli army. This cooperation is illustrated most clearly by the way that the Israeli army protects the settlers when they conduct their destructive rampages through Palestinian villages and farmlands.
As for the Palestinians, they are tied down by the harsh circumstances of the occupation, as well as by their own flaws. One of the reasons for the complexity of their situation is of their own doing, namely their faction-inspired disunity. It lays the perfect groundwork for the Israelis to practice ‘divide and conquer’.
Being dependent on money from the West is the main factor that keeps the Palestinian Authority toeing the line in this sordid game. It is to be hoped that they realize what staying in the game means for the future of the Palestinians, but their lamenting ritual usually steers away from criticizing the most essential deceptions of the charade. On June 8th, the PA complained about Israel’s settlement policies with the following words: “This Israeli government’s priority is to appease the settlers, not to resolve the conflict.”
Keeping what was commented on previously in mind, they have it all wrong; Israel’s priority is to tighten their grip on Palestinian land which they plan to never return. The ‘settlers’ are the armed terrorist militia that they have deployed for this goal. Settlement debates, even in Israeli parliament, are just part of the show.
Good Cop, Bad Cop
This leads us to one of the main actors that enable this show to keep its Palestinian-land-devouring momentum: the United States of America. Under the deceptive layers of theatrical grime and costumes, it basically boils down to a ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine, with the USA posing as the ‘good cop’. A quick overview of almost two decades of ‘Oslo’ negotiations clearly displays that the United States support Israel’s settlement policies as much as they support the Israeli occupation itself, in spite of their efforts at claiming the opposite. The USA ‘condemns’ Israeli settlement expansion in words, while at the same time funding it with millions of American taxpayers’ dollars. Even in this ‘era of communication’, action still speaks louder than words.
On June 7th, Ariel Attias, Israeli Housing Minister, summed up the US-Israeli charade on settlement expansion.”They need to condemn. We need to build.” Does it come any clearer than that?
No show is any good without an audience, and even that is something that has been well-provided for. Since the beginning of this century, the world has been introduced to a new player at the table, namely the ‘Quartet’. This basically non-existent entity is said to be comprised of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, and supposedly plays the role of a more objective force that has the capability of representing the International Community. In fact, what it truly serves as is a neutralizing chip that is meant to create a semblance of this representation, with as its main objective to render the International Community passive and inactive. This is why this so-called Quartet is barely ever mentioned, unless there is an issue that seems to require the opinion of the ‘outside world’. When the ‘Quartet’ does speak, all it does is shed a few crocodile tears about the ‘tragedy of the ongoing conflict’.
This should be no surprise, since at least 50 % of this group entails two main pro-Israeli forces: Europe, birthplace, trading partner and moral hostage of ‘Israel’, and the United States, the big bulldog that is sworn to protect Israel’s interests at whatever financial, military or strategic cost. If the idea was to have this balanced into impartiality by the presence of the United Nations (which has both these forces strongly represented in it as well, including American veto power) and by Russia, which has lost all interest in the Israeli question ever since it threw off Communism, we only deserve the title of gullible fools if we buy into this. You would think no one would, but the sad fact is that many in the International Community do, even while knowing better than to do so.
Arabs: No Fingers to Make a Fist
Motivated by selfishness, lack of principle, and a cocktail of moral, economical and strategic weakness, this last group is most visibly represented by the Arab nations. We can’t even blame the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ for this, since all these factors have been rendering the Arab voice – and even more so the Arab fist – impotent in the face of Zionism at least since the 70′s.
What we do see however, is how ‘Israel’ plays its cards comfortably to the backdrop of increased Arab disarray in this period of revolution. At times it appeals to the West for sympathy when it depicts potentially successful Arab revolutions as a threat to its existence. At other times it uses human rights violations in Arab states in revolutionary turmoil as an excuse to boost its own deceitful image as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’, while making gestures of benevolence (like its fake utterances of sympathy for Syrian civilian victims) that attempt to mask its deeply and inherently racist anti-Arab ideology.
Will We Be Fooled All of the Time?
Having seen all of this, the question remains: isn’t there anyone who sees through this ridiculously dirty setup? Why has this deceitful theater show been allowed to continue for two decades, resulting in nothing but a tightened Israeli grip on territories it occupies in violation of International Law and United Nations resolutions? The answer to this question is not as far-fetched as it may seem at first sight.
In a world run by governments that manage to confuse their citizens by instigating as much bickering as possible over domestic issues, while drawing unwarranted mandates from these populations to manage their foreign policies in any way they please to, it is not to be marveled at that governments and main stream media are doing everything they can to keep up appearances. In other words, it is not because they themselves fail to see through the charade, but because they have a stake in it.
And the rest of us? Ordinary citizens, with an inquisitive mind of our own, who do not enjoy being taken for fools? We see through it, and we search for tools to unmask it, to oppose it, and to defuse it. Keeping in mind that many Palestinian family incomes depend directly upon the existence of a Palestinian Authority, there are not many Palestinians who truly believe that the words used in those charades actually have any meaning. The same goes for many of those who inhabit the Arab World and other ex-colonies of the West, many of them recognizing the patterns of these deceptive political games. As for the populations of the United States and Europe, awareness of the situation is on a steady increase thanks to the courageous efforts of pro-Palestinian activists and writers, despite desperate attempts by Zionist ‘sayanim’ and other (often paid) protagonists of Zionism to flood social media with their propaganda.
The words of Abraham Lincoln spring to mind: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Two decades is quite a lot of time, and the hour is nearing when we must prove that Lincoln was right. Soon enough, the curtain on this political charade must fall, and the show must be over.
- Tariq Shadid is a Palestinian surgeon living in the Middle East, and has written numerous essays about the Palestinian issue over the years.
- 850 new settler flats to replace 30 slated for demolition (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Israeli violations of international law (24 – 30 May 2012) (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Settlers Set Fire to Palestinian Agricultural Land in Hebron (altahrir.wordpress.com)
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has an extremely difficult time in evaluating alleged nuclear weapons studies in Iran. While it has done an excellent job in verifying the nuclear material production activities in Iran’s uranium enrichment plants, the IAEA also appears to be willing to risk its technical credibility by insisting on visiting a military site called Parchin, near Tehran. The IAEA renewed its call to be granted access to Parchin during the past week’s negotiations with Iran on a new framework agreement for resuming its investigation of suspected military nuclear activities in the country. For its part, Iran has dismissed the IAEA’s concerns about the Parchin site, claiming that it was sufficiently inspected by the agency in 2005.
The IAEA is focusing on one particular building at Parchin on the basis of member state intelligence contained within its recent report on Iran’s alleged weapons program. This building is said to hold a massive steel chamber designed to contain explosives development tests for implosion-type uranium bombs. The IAEA believes that such a chamber is a unique indicator of nuclear weapons development. The use of such a chamber is actually rare in historical nuclear weapons development and quite inappropriate for Iran. In fact, the IAEA has already reported that the most interesting alleged large-scale nuclear weapons high explosive tests were not conducted at Parchin, but hundreds of kilometers away at site called Marivan.
Parchin is a huge ammunition and explosives plant with perhaps 1000 buildings over an area of 40 square kilometers. Despite the fact that the entire plant shows many classical signatures of explosive operations, the IAEA has chosen to focus on one building alone. The IAEA states in its report that a very large chamber for containing explosive tests was said to have been installed at Parchin and then covered up by a building. It also claims that commercial satellite imagery is consistent with this but the earliest commercial satellite imagery shows only a finished building. The only way the IAEA could make this claim would be if it possessed earlier classified imagery. The IAEA further bolsters its case by using reports from unnamed human sources.
The massive steel explosives containment chamber in the building is said by the IAEA to be able to contain an explosion of 70 kg of high explosives. This is a world-class facility, especially as it was designed 15 years ago with the help of a former Soviet engineer. It is more likely that the container will hold about 10 kg of high explosives detonation. In any case, there are few if any tests involving uranium and high explosives that Iran needs to conduct in a container that is only there to hide traces of uranium.
In fact, the chamber is far too small to contain explosive proof tests of a full scale mock-up, and far too big to contain smaller tests of research interest. Thus, a container of this size is irrelevant to an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Some say that a container for explosives tests is a clear and unequivocal indication of nuclear weapons development. This is incorrect. Most nuclear weapon development tests have been carried out in the open air for obvious technical reasons. The IAEA is therefore risking its technical reputation on tenuous premises.
The reported chamber at Parchin is too big or too small but not the right size. It was designed and built in the late 1990s when Iran might have had a different set of requirements for nuclear weapon design. The most critical experiments Iran might have done in the alleged chamber are far too large for its unbelievable 70 kg high explosive capacity. But those same experiments were done at another test site near Marivan, hundreds of kilometers away, as described in great detail by the IAEA.
The container described by anonymous sources has a massive concrete collar around the middle to contain the huge blast and make it useful for experiments. This collar makes it difficult if not impossible to make the scientific measurements that Iran needs to make in the chamber that was designed. Flash x-ray, optical and especially neutron measurements would be difficult or impossible because of the collar.
The container has wash-down systems and a vacuum pump system that are appropriate for nanodiamond production rather than for explosives tests. It was supposed to have been built by an Iranian company with the capability to build relatively thin-walled pressure vessels for the oil industry. This company could not build a small chamber appropriate to contain a large blast so they would have built a larger, but thinner-walled chamber, to offset the weakness of their vessels.
Since November 2011 there have been press reports that the Parchin site has been ‘sanitized’ to remove traces of uranium. Uranium signatures are very persistent in the environment. Stories that bulldozers are being used to sanitize the chamber are irrelevant. If Iran is using hoses to wash contamination across a parking lot into a ditch, there will be enhanced opportunities for uranium collection if teams are allowed access. If an explosion chamber has been used with uranium and explosives, uranium will be detected no matter how hard the Iranians work to clean it. If a chamber using explosives and uranium has been used inside this building, the IAEA will find the particles as surely as they did in the aftermath of the Syrian reactor bombing.
Ultimately the IAEA is trying to force Iran to grant access to a military site where they have been told that nuclear-related activities have taken place. It is unlikely that the alleged chamber is being used for nuclear activities, if it even exists. If the IAEA succeeds in visiting the site and does not find evidence of nuclear weapons activities, its credibility will be seriously damaged and it will be unable to persuasively make the case for visits to more serious sites of concern inside Iran.
Robert Kelley is a SIRPI Associated Senior Research Fellow and a veteran of over 35 years in the US Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons complex, most recently at Los Alamos. He managed the centrifuge and plutonium metallurgy programs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and was later Director of the Department of Energy Remote Sensing Laboratory, the premier US nuclear emergency response organization. He was also seconded by the USDOE to the IAEA where he served twice as a Director of the nuclear inspections in Iraq, in 1992 and 2001.
Samuel Zemurray: The Banana King Who Helped Create Israel (and f***ed up the lives of a lot of people)
For those familiar with the writings of Noam Chomsky and the anti-imperialist Left, United Fruit epitomizes the crimes of corporate-sponsored U.S. imperialism in Latin America. Much less well-known, however, is the infamous American corporation’s intimate ties to the state of Israel. In a review of Rich Cohen’s biography of Samuel Zemurray, The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King, The Jewish Week notes the crucial behind-the-scenes role the longtime president of the United Fruit Company played in the creation of Israel:
And when the initial vote to create the Jewish state failed at the United Nations in 1948 — but was close enough to allow for a re-vote within 72 hours — Zemurray went to work.
From his mansion in New Orleans (later donated to Tulane, and now the university president’s house), he called several Latin American leaders and got enough of them to switch their votes. “Knowing about the work of Zemurray,” Cohen writes in his book, “certain yes votes that might otherwise seem mysterious — Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama — suddenly makes perfect sense. Behind them, behind the creation of the Jewish state, was the Gringo pushing his cart piled high with stinking bananas.”
By comparison with the 750,000 Palestinians who lost their homes as a result of Zemurray’s work for Israel, many of the indigenous people of Latin America were even less fortunate:
He financed the coup of the Honduran government in 1910, and got the U.S. government to help overthrow the Guatemalan government in 1954 — both of which had disastrous consequences for each country. The Guatemalan coup alone resulted in three-decades-long civil war that resulted in 200,000 deaths.
In his defense, Cohen, an author with a soft spot for “Tough Jews,” says:
“You can’t exercise power without f***ing up the lives of a lot of people.”