More starvation and death guaranteed by blocking poorer countries from building coal-fired power plants
Paul Joseph Watson
January 26, 2010
Under the provably fraudulent and completely corrupted justification of fighting global warming, the Obama administration has ordered the World Bank to keep “developing” countries underdeveloped by blocking them from building coal-fired power plants, ensuring that poorer countries remain in poverty as a result of energy demands not being met.
Even amidst the explosive revelations of the United Nations IPCC issuing reports on the Himalayan Glaciers and the Amazon rainforest littered with incorrect data, the U.S. government has “Stepped up pressure on the World Bank not to fund coal-fired power plants in developing countries,” reports the Times of India.
The order was made by U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank Whitney Debevoise, who represents the United States in considering all loans, investments, country assistance strategies, budgets, audits and business plans of the World Bank Group entities.
By preventing poor nations from becoming self-sufficient in blocking them from producing their own energy, the Obama administration is ensuring that millions more will die from starvation and lack of access to hospitals and medical treatment.
Not only does strangling the energy supply to poorer countries prevent adequate food distribution and lead to more starvation, but hospitals and health clinics in the third world are barely even able to operate as a result of the World Bank and other global bodies ordering them to be dependent on renewable energy supplies that are totally insufficient.
A prime example appeared in the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, which highlighted how a Kenyan health clinic could not operate a medical refrigerator as well as the lights at the same time because the facility was restricted to just two solar panels.
“There’s somebody keen to kill the African dream. And the African dream is to develop,” said author and economist James Shikwati. “I don’t see how a solar panel is going to power a steel industry … We are being told, ‘Don’t touch your resources. Don’t touch your oil. Don’t touch your coal.’ That is suicide.”
The program labels the idea of restricting the world’s poorest people to alternative energy sources as “the most morally repugnant aspect of the global warming campaign.”
As we have previously highlighted, the implementation of policies arising out of fraudulent fearmongering and biased studies on global warming is already devastating the third world, with a doubling in food prices causing mass starvation and death.
Poor people around the world, “Are being killed in large numbers by starvation as a result of (climate change) policy,” climate skeptic Lord Monckton told the Alex Jones Show last month, due to huge areas of agricultural land being turned over to the growth of biofuels.
“Take Haiti where they live on mud pie with real mud costing 3 cents each….that’s what they’re living or rather what they’re dying on,” said Monckton, relating how when he gave a speech on this subject, a lady in the front row burst into tears and told him, “I’ve just come back from Haiti – now because of the doubling in world food prices, they can’t even afford the price of a mud pie and they’re dying of starvation all over the place.”
As a National Geographic Report confirmed, “With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some must take desperate measures to fill their bellies,” by “eating mud,” partly as a consequence of “increasing global demand for biofuels.”
In April 2008, World Bank President Robert Zoellick admitted that biofuels were a “significant contributor” to soaring food prices that have led to riots in countries such as Haiti, Egypt, the Philippines, and even Italy.
“We estimate that a doubling of food prices over the last three years could potentially push 100 million people in low-income countries deeper into poverty,” he stated.
Even if we are to accept that fact that overpopulation will be a continuing problem in the third world, the very means by which poorer countries would naturally lower their birth rates, by being allowed to develop their infrastructure, is being blocked by global institutions who craft policies designed to keep the third world in squalor and poverty.
This goes to the very heart of what the real agenda behind the global warming movement really is – a Malthusian drive to keep the slaves oppressed and prevent the most desperate people on the planet from pulling themselves out of destitution and despair.
By Adam Horowitz | January 26, 2010
As Israel prepares its response to the Goldstone Report, several articles indicate that its primary objective is to discredit the contention that it carried out, in the words of Ethan Bronner, “an official plan to terrorize the Palestinian population.” Today Haaretz reports that Israel’s response to the UN will seek to “reject most of the fundamental claims of the Goldstone report: it intentionally waged a punitive campaign against a civilian population, including the destruction of infrastructure.”
This promises to be one of the most contentious debates over the report in the coming months, and as part of our effort to post portions of the Goldstone Report there are several relevant portions we want to share. The excerpt below outlines Israel’s possible strategy and intention for the Gaza attack based on prior history and statements from Israeli military and political leaders. Because Israel refused to participate with the inquiry there was no way to interview them directly about this.
The following passage is found of pages 250-258 of the report. I have removed the footnotes from the text, but you can find them in the original.
Objectives and Strategy of Israel’s Military Operations in Gaza
This chapter addresses the objectives and the strategy underlying the Israeli military operations in Gaza.
The question of whether incidents involving the Israeli armed forces that occurred between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 are likely to be the result of error, the activities of rogue elements or a deliberate policy or planning depends on a number of factors, including the degree and level of planning involved, the degree of discretion field commanders have in operations, the technical sophistication and specification of weaponry, and the degree of control commanders have over their subordinates.
The Government of Israel has refused to cooperate with the Mission. The Mission has therefore been unable to interview high-level members of the Israeli armed forces. It has, nevertheless, reviewed a significant amount of commentary and conducted a number of interviews on planning and discipline, including with persons who have been connected with the planning of Israeli military operations in the recent past. The Mission has also analysed the views expressed by Israeli officials in official statements, official activities and articles, and considered comments by former senior soldiers and politicians.
1. The context
Before considering the issue of planning there is an important issue that has to be borne in mind about the context of Israeli operations in Gaza. The land mass of Gaza covers 360 square kilometres of land. Israel had a physical presence on the ground for almost 40 years with a significant military force until 2005. Israel’s extensive and intimate knowledge of the realities of Gaza present a considerable advantage in terms of planning military operations. The Mission has seen grid maps in possession of the Israeli armed forces, for example, that show the identification by number of blocks of houses throughout Gaza City.
In addition to such detailed background knowledge, it is also clear that the Israeli armed forces were able to access the telephone networks to contact a significant number of users in the course of their operations.
Since the departure of its ground forces from Gaza in 2005, Israel has maintained almost total control over land access and total control over air and sea access. This has also included the ability to maintain a monitoring capacity in Gaza, by a variety of surveillance and electronic means, including UAVs. In short, Israel’s intelligence gathering capacity in Gaza since its ground forces withdrew has remained extremely effective.
2. Legal input and training of soldiers on legal standards
The Israeli Government has set out the legal training and supervision relevant to the planning, execution and investigation of military operations. The Mission also met Col. (Ret.) Daniel Reisner, who was the head of the International Legal Department of the Military Advocate General’s Office of the Israeli Defense Forces from 1995 until 2004. In an interview with the Mission he explained how the principles and contents of international humanitarian law were instilled into officers. He explained the four-tiered training system, reflecting elements similar to those presented by the Government, which seeks to ensure knowledge of the relevant legal obligations for compliance in the field. Firstly, during training all soldiers and officers receive basic courses on relevant legal matters. The more senior the ranks, the more training is required “so that it becomes ingrained”. Secondly, before a significant or new operation, legal advice will be given. Col. Reisner indicated that he understood from talking with colleagues still in active service that detailed consultations had taken place with legal advisers in the planning of the December-January military operations. He was not in a position to say what that advice had been. Thirdly, there would be real-time legal support to commanders and decision makers at headquarters, command and division levels (but not at regiment levels or below). The fourth stage is that of investigation and prosecution wherever necessary.
The same framework explained by Col. Reisner appears to be repeated in similar detail in a presentation of the Office of the Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3. The means at the disposal of the Israeli armed forces
The Israeli armed forces are, in technological terms, among the most advanced in the world. Not only do they possess the most advanced hardware in many respects, they are also a market leader in the production of some of the most advanced pieces of technology available, including UAVs. They have a very significant capacity for precision strikes by a variety of methods, including aerial and ground launches. Moreover, some new targeting systems may have been employed in Gaza.
Taking into account all of the foregoing factors, the Mission, therefore, concludes that Israel had the means necessary to plan the December-January military operations in detail. Given both the means at Israel’s disposal and the apparent degree of training, including training in international humanitarian law, and legal advice received, the Mission considers it highly unlikely that actions were taken, at least in the aerial phase of the operations, that had not been the subject of planning and deliberation. In relation to the land-air phase, ground commanders would have had some discretion to decide on the specific tactics used to attack or respond to attacks. The same degree of planning and premeditation would therefore not be present. However, the Mission deduces from a review of many elements, including some soldiers’ statements at seminars in Tel Aviv and to Breaking the Silence, that what occurred on the ground reflected guidance that had been provided to soldiers in training and briefing exercises.
The Mission notes that it has found only one example where the Israeli authorities have acknowledged that an error had occurred. This was in relation to the deaths of 22 members of the al-Daya family in Zeytoun. The Government of Israel explained that its armed forces had intended to strike the house next door, but that errors were made in the planning of the operation. The Mission expresses elsewhere its concerns about this explanation (see chap. XI). However, since it appears to be the only incident that has elicited an admission of error by the Israeli authorities, the Mission takes the view that the Government of Israel does not consider the other strikes brought to its attention to be the result of similar or other errors.
In relation to air strikes, the Mission notes the statement issued in Hebrew posted on the website of the Israeli armed forces on 23 March 2009:
Official data gathered by the Air Force concluded that 99 per cent of the firing that was carried out hit targets accurately. It also concluded that over 80 per cent of the bombs and missiles used by the Air Force are defined as accurate and their use reduces innocent casualties significantly…
The Mission understands this to mean that in over 80 per cent of its attacks the Air Force deployed weapons considered to be accurate by definition – what are known colloquially as precision weapons as a result of guidance technology. In the other 20 per cent of attacks, therefore, it apparently used unguided bombs. According to the Israeli armed forces, the fact that these 20 per cent were unguided did not diminish their accuracy in hitting their targets, but may have caused greater damage than those caused by precision or “accurate” weapons.
These represent extremely important findings by the Israeli Air Force. It means that what was struck was meant to be struck. It should also be borne in mind that the beginning of the ground phase of the operation on 3 January did not mean the end of the use of the Israeli Air Force. The statement indicates:
During the days prior to the operation “Cast Lead”, every brigade was provided with an escorting UAV squadron that would participate in action with it during the operation. Teams from the squadrons arrived at the armour and infantry corps, personally met the soldiers they were about to join and assisted in planning the infantry manoeuvres. The UAV squadrons had representatives in the command headquarters and officers in locations of actual combat who assisted in communication between the UAVs – operated by only two people, who are in Israeli territory – and the forces on the ground. The assistance of UAVs sometimes reached a ratio of one UAV to a regiment and, during extreme cases, even one UAV to a team.
Taking into account the ability to plan, the means to execute plans with the most developed technology available, the indication that almost no errors occurred and the determination by investigating authorities thus far that no violations occurred, the Mission finds that the incident and patterns of events that are considered in this report have resulted from deliberate planning and policy decisions throughout the chain of command, down to the standard operating procedures and instructions given to the troops on the ground.
B. The development of strategic objectives in Israeli military thinking
Israel’s operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have had certain consistent features. In particular, the destruction of buildings, including houses, has been a recurrent tactical theme. The specific means Israel has adopted to meet its military objectives in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Lebanon have repeatedly been censured by the United Nations Security Council, especially its attacks on houses. The military operations from 27 December to 18 January did not occur in a vacuum, either in terms of proximate causes in relation to the Hamas/Israeli dynamics or in relation to the development of Israeli military thinking about how best to describe the nature of its military objectives.
A review of the available information reveals that, while many of the tactics remain the same, the reframing of the strategic goals has resulted in a qualitative shift from relatively focused operations to massive and deliberate destruction.
A comparison of the Dahiya neighborhood before and after Israel attacks in 2006. (Photos: Gorillas Guides)
In its operations in southern Lebanon in 2006, there emerged from Israeli military thinking a concept known as the Dahiya doctrine, as a result of the approach taken to the Beirut neighbourhood of that name. Major General Gadi Eisenkot, the Israeli Northern Command chief, expressed the premise of the doctrine:
What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. […] We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. […] This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.
After the war in southern Lebanon in 2006, a number of senior former military figures appeared to develop the thinking that underlay the strategy set out by Gen. Eiskenot. In particular Major General (Ret.) Giora Eiland has argued that, in the event of another war with Hizbullah, the target must not be the defeat of Hizbullah but “the elimination of the Lebanese military, the destruction of the national infrastructure and intense suffering among the population… Serious damage to the Republic of Lebanon, the destruction of homes and infrastructure, and the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people are consequences that can influence Hizbollah’s behaviour more than anything else”.
These thoughts, published in October 2008 were preceded by one month by the reflections of Col. (Ret.) Gabriel Siboni:
With an outbreak of hostilities, the IDF will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemy’s actions and the threat it poses. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes. The strike must be carried out as quickly as possible, and must prioritize damaging assets over seeking out each and every launcher. Punishment must be aimed at decision makers and the power elite… In Lebanon, attacks should both aim at Hizbollah’s military capabilities and should target economic interests and the centres of civilian power that support the organization. Moreover, the closer the relationship between Hezbollah and the Lebanese Government, the more the elements of the Lebanese State infrastructure should be targeted. Such a response will create a lasting memory among …Lebanese decision makers, thereby increasing Israeli deterrence and reducing the likelihood of hostilities against Israel for an extended period. At the same time, it will force Syria, Hizbollah, and Lebanon to commit to lengthy and resource-intensive reconstruction programmes…
This approach is applicable to the Gaza Strip as well. There, the IDF will be required to strike hard at Hamas and to refrain from the cat and mouse games of searching for Qassam rocket launchers. The IDF should not be expected to stop the rocket and missile fire against the Israeli home front through attacks on the launchers themselves, but by means of imposing a ceasefire on the enemy.
General Eisenkot used the language quoted above while he was in active service in a senior command position and clarified that this was not a theoretical idea but an approved plan.
Major General Eiland, though retired, was a man of considerable seniority. Colonel Siboni, while less senior than the other two, was nonetheless an experienced officer writing on his field of expertise in a publication regarded as serious.
The Mission does not have to consider whether Israeli military officials were directly influenced by these writings. It is able to conclude from a review of the facts on the ground that it witnessed for itself that what is prescribed as the best strategy appears to have been precisely what was put into practice.
C. Official Israeli statements on the objectives of the military operations in Gaza
The Mission is aware of the official statements on the goals of the military operations:
The Operation was limited to what the IDF believed necessary to accomplish its objectives: to stop the bombardment of Israeli civilians by destroying and damaging the mortar and rocket launching apparatus and its supporting infrastructure, and to improve the safety and security of Southern Israel and its residents by reducing the ability of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza to carry out future attacks.
The Israeli Government states that this expression of its objectives is no broader than those expressed by NATO in 1998 during its campaign in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The Mission makes no comment on the legality or otherwise of NATO actions there.
D. The strategy to achieve the objectives
The issue that is of special concern to the Mission is the conceptualization of the “supporting infrastructure”. The notion is indicated quite clearly in General Eisenkot’s statements in 2006 and reinforced by the reflections cited by non-serving but well-informed military thinkers.
On 6 January 2009, during the military operations in Gaza, Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai stated: “It [should be] possible to destroy Gaza, so they will understand not to mess with us”. He added that “it is a great opportunity to demolish thousands of houses of all the terrorists, so they will think twice before they launch rockets”. “I hope the operation will come to an end with great achievements and with the complete destruction of terrorism and Hamas. In my opinion, they should be razed to the ground, so thousands of houses, tunnels and industries will be demolished”. He added that “residents of the South are strengthening us, so the operation will continue until a total destruction of Hamas [is achieved]”.
On 2 February 2009, after the end of the military operations, Eli Yishai went on: “Even if the rockets fall in an open air or to the sea, we should hit their infrastructure, and destroy 100 homes for every rocket fired.”
On 13 January 2009, Israel’s Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, was quoted as saying:
We have proven to Hamas that we have changed the equation. Israel is not a country upon which you fire missiles and it does not respond. It is a country that when you fire on its citizens it responds by going wild – and this is a good thing.
It is in the context of comments such as these that the massive destruction of businesses, agricultural land, chicken farms and residential houses has to be understood. In particular, the Mission notes the large-scale destruction that occurred in the days leading up to the end of the operations. During the withdrawal phase it appears that possibly thousands of homes were destroyed. The Mission has referred elsewhere in this report to the “day after” doctrine, as explained in the testimonies of Israeli soldiers, which can fit in with the general approach of massively disproportionate destruction without much difficulty.
The concept of what constituted the supporting infrastructure has to be understood not only in the context of the military operations of December and January, but in the tightening of the restrictions of access to goods and people into and out of Gaza, especially since Hamas took power. The Mission does not accept that these restrictions can be characterized as primarily an attempt to limit the flow of materials to armed groups. The expected impact, and the Mission believes primary purpose, was to bring about a situation in which the civilian population would find life so intolerable that they would leave (if that were possible) or turn Hamas out of office, as well as to collectively punish the civilian population.
The Israeli Government has stated:
While Hamas operates ministries and is in charge of a variety of administrative and traditionally governmental functions in the Gaza Strip, it still remains a terrorist organization. Many of the ostensibly civilian elements of its regime are in reality active components of its terrorist and military efforts. Indeed, Hamas does not separate its civilian and military activities in the manner in which a legitimate government might. Instead, Hamas uses apparatuses under its control, including quasi-governmental institutions, to promote its terrorist activity.
The framing of the military objectives Israel sought to strike is thus very wide indeed. There is, in particular, a lack of clarity about the concept of promoting “terrorist activity”: since Israel claims there is no real division between civilian and military activities and it considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization, it would appear that anyone who supports Hamas in any way may be considered as promoting its terrorist activity. Hamas was the clear winner of the latest elections in Gaza. It is not far-fetched for the Mission to consider that Israel regards very large sections of the Gazan civilian population as part of the “supporting infrastructure”.
The indiscriminate and disproportionate impact of the restrictions on the movement of goods and people indicates that, from as early as some point in 2007, Israel had already determined its view about what constitutes attacking the supporting infrastructure, and it appears to encompass effectively the population of Gaza.
A statement of objectives that explicitly admits the intentional targeting of civilian objects as part of the Israeli strategy is attributed to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Dan Harel.
While the Israeli military operations in Gaza were under way, Maj. Gen. Harel was reported as saying, in a meeting with local authorities in southern Israel:
This operation is different from previous ones. We have set a high goal which we are aiming for. We are hitting not only terrorists and launchers, but also the whole Hamas government and all its wings. […] We are hitting government buildings, production factories, security wings and more. We are demanding governmental responsibility from Hamas and are not making distinctions between the various wings. After this operation there will not be one Hamas building left standing in Gaza, and we plan to change the rules of the game.
The Israeli military conception of what was necessary in a future war with Hamas seems to have been developed from at least the time of the 2006 conflict in southern Lebanon. It finds its origin in a military doctrine that views disproportionate destruction and creating maximum disruption in the lives of many people as a legitimate means to achieve military and political goals.
Through its overly broad framing of the “supporting infrastructure”, the Israeli armed forces have sought to construct a scope for their activities that, in the Mission’s view, was designed to have inevitably dire consequences for the non-combatants in Gaza.
Statements by political and military leaders prior to and during the military operations in Gaza leave little doubt that disproportionate destruction and violence against civilians were part of a deliberate policy.
To the extent to which statements such as that of Mr. Yishai on 2 February 2009 indicate that the destruction of civilian objects, homes in that case, would be justified as a response to rocket attacks (“destroy 100 homes for every rocket fired”), the Mission is of the view that reprisals against civilians in armed hostilities are contrary to international humanitarian law. Even if such actions could be considered a lawful reprisal, they do not meet the stringent conditions imposed, in particular they are disproportionate, and violate fundamental human rights and obligations of a humanitarian character. One party’s targeting of civilians or civilian areas can never justify the opposing party’s targeting of civilians and civilian objects, such as homes, public and religious buildings, or schools.
Destroyed school and mosque in Rafah, Gaza, 12 January 2009. Photo taken from UNRWA refugee shelter. (Photo: Pieter Stockmans)
Lawrence of Cyberia | January 26, 2010
Today you can hardly utter the acronym BDS without hearing that the very idea is anti-semitic.
But in the February 1921 edition of The Atlantic Magazine, Prof. Albert T. Clay (Assyrologist at the University of Pennsylvania) described how the Zionist incomers to Palestine were imposing their politics on the pre-existing Jewish minority there, which was largely made up of religious, non-Zionist Jews.
Ironically, their tactics comprised
- Boycotting non-Zionist Jewish businesses;
- Divestment of Zionist funds from non-Zionist Jews;
- Sanctions such as threatening the removal of non-Zionist Jews from office, the closure of their businesses, denial of essential services to them, and their exclusion from any dealings with other Jews…
POLITICAL ZIONISM (Part IV) by Albert T. Clay
The old resident Jews of Palestine certainly have other than religious grounds for their indifference toward the efforts of the Political Zionists. Last winter the [Zionist-dominateded.] Council of Jerusalem Jews appointed a commission of representative men holding leading positions, to visit parents who were sending their children to proscribed schools, in order to secure their withdrawal. Among these schools, which included those conducted by the convents and churches, some of which have existed in Jerusalem for a long time, are the British High School for Girls, the English College for Boys, and the Jewish School for Girls. In the latter, conducted by Miss Landau, an educated English Jewess, all the teachers are Jewish; most of the teaching is in the English language. This school, which is financed by enlightened Jews of England, was denounced more severely than the others, because, not being in sympathy with the programme of the Political Zionists, Miss Landau refused to teach the Zionist curriculum. She was even informed that her school would be closed.
In a series of articles that appeared in Doar Hayom, the Hebrew daily paper, last December, it was stated that the parents who refused to comply with the requests of the Commission were to be boycotted, cast out from all intercourse with Jews, denied all share in Zionist funds, and deprived of all custom for their shops and hotels. ‘Anyone who refused, let him know that it is forbidden for him to be called by the name of Jew; and there is to be for him no portion or inheritance with his brethren.’ They were given notice that they would ‘be fought by all lawful means.’ Their names were to be put ‘upon a monument of shame, as a reproach forever, and their deeds written unto the last generation.’ If they are supported, their support will cease; if they are merchants, the finger of scorn will be pointed at them; if they are rabbis, they will be moved far from their office; they shall be put under the ban and persecuted, and all the people of the world shall know that there is no mercy in justice.’
A month later the results of this ‘warfare’ were reviewed. We were informed that some Jews had been influenced, but others—and the greater number, and those of the Orthodox, — those who fear God — having read the letters [signed by the head of its delegates and the Zionist Commission] became angry at the “audacity” of the Council of Jerusalem Jews “which mix themselves up in private affairs,” have Torn up the letter up, and that finished it.’
Then followed a long diatribe against these parents, boys, and girls, in which it was demanded that the blacklist of traitors to the people be sent to ‘those who perform circumcision, who control the cemeteries and hospitals'; that an order go forth so that’ doctors will not visit their sick, that assistance when in need, if they are on the list of the American Relief Fund, will not be given to them.’ “Men will cry to them, “Out of the way, unclean, unclean.” . . . They are in no sense Israelites.’
It is to be regretted that only these few paraphrases and quotations from the series of articles published can be presented here.
The work of the Councils Committee met with not a little success; pupils left schools, and teachers gave up their positions. Two instructors in the English College, whose fathers were rabbis, and a third, whose brother was a teacher in a Zionist school, resigned. Another refused to do so, and declared himself ready, in the interests of the Orthodox Jews, who were suffering under this tyranny, which they deplored, to give the fullest testimony to the authorities concerning this persecution. The administration, under Governor Bols, finally intervened, and at least no further public efforts to carry out their programme were made.
If, in this early stage of the development of Political Zionism, even the Palestinian Religious Jews already find themselves under such a tyranny, what will happen if these men are allowed to have full control of the government? And what kind of treatment can the Christian and the Moslem expect in their efforts to educate their children, if the Political Zionists are allowed to develop their Jewish state to such a point that they can dispense with their mandatory and tell the British to clear out? When such things happen under British administration, what will take place if the Jewish State is ever realized, and such men are in full control?…
By Eric Sommer | The People’s Voice | January 26, 2010
The western media is currently full of articles on Google’s ‘threat to quit China’ over internet censorship issues, and the company’s ‘suspicion’ that the Chinese government was behind attempts to ‘break-in’ to several Google email accounts used by ‘Chinese dissidents’.
However, the media has almost completely failed to report that Google’s surface concern over ‘human rights’ in China is belied by its deep involvement with some of the worst human rights abuses on the planet:
Google is, in fact, a key participant in U.S. military and CIA intelligence operations involving torture; subversion of foreign governments; illegal wars of aggression; and military occupations of countries which have never attacked the U.S. and which have cost hundreds of thousands of lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and elsewhere.
To begin with, as reported in the Washington Post and elsewhere, Google is the supplier of the customized core search technology for ‘Intellipedia, a highly-secured online system where 37,000 U.S. spies and related personnel share information and collaborate on their devious errands.
Agencies such as the so-called ‘National Security Agency’ have also purchased servers using Google-supplied search technology which processes information gathered by U.S. spies operating all over the planet.
In addition, Google is linked to the U.S. spy and military systems through its Google Earth software venture. The technology behind this software was originally developed by Keyhole Inc., a company funded by Q-Tel http://www.iqt.org/ , a venture capital firm which is in turn openly funded and operated on behalf of the CIA.
Google acquired Keyhole Inc. in 2004. The same base technology is currently employed by U.S. military and intelligence systems in their quest, in their own words, for “full-spectrum dominance” of the planet.
Moreover, Googles’ connection with the CIA and its venture capital firm extends to sharing at least one key member of personnel. In 2004, the Director of Technology Assessment at In-Q-Tel, Rob Painter, moved from his old job directly serving the CIA to become ‘Senior Federal Manager’ at Google.
As Robert Steele, a former CIA case officer has put it: Google is “in bed with” the CIA.
Google’s Friends spy on millions of Internet Users
Given Google’s supposed concern with ‘break-in’s to several of its email accounts, it’s worth noting that Wired magazine recently reported that Google’s friends at In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA, are now investing in Visible Technologies, a software firm specialized in ‘monitoring social media’.
The ‘Visible’ technology can automatically examine more than a million discussions and posts on blogs, online forums, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Amazon, and so forth each day. The technology also ‘scores’ each online item, assigning it a positive, negative or mixed or neutral status, based on parameters and terms set by the technology operators. The information, thus boiled down, can then be more effectively scanned and read by human operators.
The CIA venture capitalists at In-Q-Tel say they will use the technology to monitor social media operating in other countries and give U.S. spies “early-warning detection on how issues are playing internationally,” according to spokesperson Donald Tighe. There is every possibility that the technology can also be used by the U.S. intellligence operatives to spy on domestic social movements and individuals inside the U.S.
Finally, there is a curious absence from the statements emanating from Google – and from U.S. media reports – of any substantive evidence linking the Chinese government with the alledged break-in attempts to several Google email accounts. Words like ‘sophisticated’ and ‘suspicion’ have appeared in the media to suggest that the Chinese government is responsible for the break-ins. That may be so. But it is striking that the media has seemingly asked no questions as to what the evidence behind the ‘suspicions’ might be
It should be noted that the U.S. government and its intelligence agencies have a long history of rogue operations intended to discredit governments or social movements with whom they happen to disagree.
To see how far this can go, one need only recall the sordid history of disinformation, lies, and deceit used to frighten people into supporting the Iraq war.
Whether the attacks on Google email originated from the Chinese government, from the U.S. intelligence operatives, or from elsewhere, one thing is clear: A company that supplies the CIA with key intelligence technology; supplies mapping software which can be used for barbarous wars of aggression and drone attacks which kill huge numbers of innocent civilians; and which in general is deeply intertwined with the CIA and the U.S. military machines, which spy on millions, the company cannot be motivated by real concern for the human rights and lives of the people in China.
Mohammad Alsaafin writing from Doha, Qatar, Live from Palestine, 26 January 2010
Israel restricts the freedom of movement of Palestinians through the imposition of an ID system. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills.org)
One of the most traumatic effects wrought upon Palestinian society by the 1948 Nakba, or the dispossession of historic Palestine, is the physical separation it forced upon Palestinians, between those in the diaspora and the refugees, between those living in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and those who became citizens of Israel. Yet this process is ongoing to this very day, and targets even individual families, like mine. This is our story.
My dad was born in the Gaza Strip in 1962, the son of refugees, and left to the United Kingdom along with his wife and first son (myself) in 1990 to pursue his PhD at the University of Bradford. By 2004, I had a brother and two sisters, and our entire family moved back to Palestine, this time to the town of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. My father was working as a foreign journalist licensed by the Israeli Government Press Office and we were living in our country on yearly renewable Israeli work visas.
In 2005, I was turned back by Israeli border agents at the Sheikh Hussein Bridge as I attempted to cross into Jordan to visit my aunt. The agents told me that since I was born in the Gaza Strip in 1988 I had been issued a Gaza ID by the Israeli occupation authority and was therefore not allowed to legally reside in the West Bank. Additionally, I was informed that from then on, Israel would not recognize my British passport. I was able to return to Ramallah that day, but for the next four years I risked daily arrest by Israeli troops on the way to Birzeit University, where I was studying, and for a year after that while I was working in Ramallah. This summer, I left the West Bank to find work abroad, and was told by the Israelis that I would not be allowed to return home.
Despite this reprehensible situation, the rest of the family was thankfully spared such hardship. My dad continued working relatively unhindered as he moved across what is now Israel, the occupied West Bank and Gaza, and my mother and siblings enjoyed freedom of movement across the West Bank and inside Israel. This all changed very suddenly last August when, on a routine trip to Gaza where my dad had several assignments and where he wanted to visit his ailing father, he was detained by Israeli security at the Erez checkpoint, and was harassed, stripped of his press credentials and told — as I was four years earlier — that his British passport was worthless in Israel. He was also informed that he too had an Israeli-issued Gaza ID and thus would be treated as a Gazan, deprived of the most basic freedom of choice and movement and barred from ever returning to his wife and children in Ramallah. He was sent into Gaza, where he appealed to Israeli rights organizations, and as a British citizen to the British consulate and to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, now the Quartet’s Middle East envoy, for the right to leave Gaza and see his wife and children, if only for a day. The Israeli organizations were unable to help, the consulate was unable to circumvent a wall of Israeli bureaucracy, and Tony Blair chose to ignore our letter calling for assistance. In order to save his job, my dad had to give up hope of being allowed back into the West Bank, and left Gaza through Egypt in December.
At the time that my dad was stripped of his press credentials and work visa, my mother and siblings back in Ramallah were forced to accept their own Israeli-issued ID cards. Incredibly, my mother was given a Gaza ID despite being born abroad, raised in the West Bank and still owning a copy of her original West Bank ID! She now lives in constant fear of arrest and deportation by Israeli troops; if she were to leave the West Bank she would also be banned from returning to our family and home in Ramallah.
Meanwhile my brother and sister, who were both born in the UK and are now university students, have bizarrely been issued with West Bank ID cards, even though their parents and older brother were given Gaza IDs.
As a result of all of this, our family has been torn apart. My father is finally out of Gaza, but he is unable to see his children unless they travel abroad to meet him. My mother is in the West Bank, afraid to even leave Ramallah and risk being detained and deported at an Israeli army checkpoint. She is unable to leave the West Bank while my father and I are unable to enter. We don’t know how long it will be before we can see each other again — the Israeli authorities have said that they will not change my mother’s ID.
Israel has treated my family like criminals for being Palestinians. We have been punished, displaced and deprived from each other’s company. Our extended family was torn from its land in 1948 and expelled to refugee camps. In the 1990s, Israel’s policy of closure solidified our separation, particularly from my father’s side in Gaza. Now Israel’s racist and draconian demographic policies have separated my parents, my siblings and myself, just like they separate Jerusalemites who wish to marry other Palestinians from the West Bank, or Palestinian citizens of Israel who are legally barred from marrying Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.
This is one of the many faces of the ongoing Nakba today, and I urge more individuals and families who have suffered like this to speak out. The world must realize the true nature of Israeli apartheid, and the cruel separation of families is one more reason why Israel must be boycotted.
Mohammad Alsaafin is from the Palestinian village of Fallujah, ethnically cleansed by Israeli forces in 1949. He was born in the Khan Younis refugee camp and lived in the UK and US, before moving back to Palestine to study at Birzeit University.
Israeli soldiers enter Palestinian homes, attack Palestinians, and throw tear gas
Christian Peacemaker Team
26 January 2010
AT-TUWANI – On Tuesday, 26 January 2010 approximately fifteen Israeli settlers from the Israeli settlement of Ma’on and the Israeli outpost of Havat Ma’on attacked Palestinians in the village of At-Tuwani. The settlers were accompanied by Israeli soldiers in three army jeeps and the settlement security agent of Ma’on. Villagers from At-Tuwani arrived, protesting the settlers coming into their village. An Israeli soldier punched a Palestinian villager, who was hospitalized for his injuries. Immediately thereafter, Israeli settlers began throwing stones at the Palestinian villagers while soldiers fired three canisters of tear gas at Palestinians.
Afterwards, the settlers drove to the entrance of At-Tuwani, and began throwing stones at passers-by on the road.
The day’s incident began at 9:20 am when three army jeeps and a pickup truck with an Israeli settler from Havat Ma’on and the settlement security guard from Ma’on drove into At-Tuwani. The settler walked throughout the village, entering Palestinian homes, accompanied by the soldiers and settlement security guard, and then remained in the village and made phone calls until other settlers arrived.
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Can Obama ‘Take Out’ a Citizen Not Charged With Any Crimes?
By Jason Ditz | January 25, 2010
According to US intelligence officials, the Obama Administration has “missed” several opportunities to assassinate US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki because lawyers are still unclear on the legality of killing him.
At issue is that Awlaki, a New Mexico-born Muslim cleric, is not charged with any crimes under US law and is only speculatively linked by the Obama Administration to terrorism through secret “intelligence reports.”
As a native-born citizen of the United States, assassinating him on the basis of secret evidence which is so shaky that officials haven’t felt comfortable issuing charges against him is a legal grey area, to say the least.
But despite this legal concern, officials had no problem in backing Yemeni air strikes which attempted to assassinate Awlaki just last month. US officials said Awlaki was ‘probably’ killed in those strikes, though it later turned out he wasn’t even present at the site of the attack.
Joe Quinn | Sott.net | January 26, 2010
Scape goat for the continued illegal US occupation of Iraq – ‘Chemical Ali’
Saddam Hussein’s former defense Chief Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikritieh, cynically dubbed ‘Chemical Ali’ by the US government was hung yesterday by the US puppet government in Iraq. That is to say, yesterday, the US government hung a former Iraqi politician in an effort to justify its almost 7 year old invasion, occupation and wholesale destruction of Iraq and the genocidal murder of millions of Iraqi civilians.
The US government has long claimed that Saddam, and Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikritieh were responsible for the gassing of thousands of Iraqi Kurds in the town of Halabja in 1998 as part of the Iran-Iraq war. Strong evidence however suggests that the Iranians were responsible for the attack. Even stronger evidence exists to support the argument that the US government far-surpasses any other nation in the use of chemical and biological weapons against innocent civilians.
Dr Stephen C Pelletiere was the CIA’s senior political analyst during the Iran-Iraq War. In a Late Night Live interview in 2003 with the Australian broadcaster, Phillip Adams, Pelletier stated that he and his colleagues who investigated the gassing in Halabja did not believe that Saddam Hussein committed the atrocity.
Pelletier told Adams:
“Halabja was a battle between the Iraqis and the Iranians and the Kurds were … collateral damage”. “Halabja was a tragedy of war, it was not a war crime”. Pelletier goes on to say that Iraq did not have cyanide gas, Iran did.
“I examined the case very deeply afterwards … those of us who examined the bodies concluded that most of the Kurds who died, or the ones we examined, died of cyanide poisoning” … “it is spin doctoring” … “people who die in a battle are unfortunate victims.
Pelletiere wrote on January 31, 2003 in the NY Times:
“And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas.
“The agency did find that each side used gas against the other in the battle around Halabja. The condition of the dead Kurds’ bodies, however, indicated they had been killed with a blood agent — that is, a cyanide-based gas — which Iran was known to use. The Iraqis, who are thought to have used mustard gas in the battle, are not known to have possessed blood agents at the time.
“These facts have long been in the public domain but, extraordinarily, as often as the Halabja affair is cited, they are rarely mentioned.”
Even if it were true that the Iraqi government used chemical weapons to quell the opportunistic Iraqi-Kurd rebellion during the Iran-Iraq war, it is common knowledge that the Regan and Thatcher governments (among others) provided them, in full expectation that they would be used as part of their grander plan to curb Iranian influence in the Middle East.
But what surely galls the most is the fact that the American government itself has committed much worse atrocities with the use of chemical weapons. We could cite the massive napalming of villagers during the Vietnam war for but one example, but it seems more appropriate to use an example from the Iraq invasion.
During the ‘battle of Fallujah’ in 2004, the US military reduced much of the city to rubble and used chemical weapons, poison gas and white phosphorous on the civilian population, killing an estimated 6000 thousands Iraqis. Of these, the army reported that 42 were insurgents.
In his story Fallujah Refugees Tell of Life and Death in the Kill Zone published on December 3, 2004 reporter Dahr Jamail states:
Burhan Fasa’a, an Iraqi journalist who worked for the Lebanese satellite TV station, LBC and who was in Fallujah for nine days during the most intense combat, said Americans grew easily frustrated with Iraqis who could not speak English.
“Americans did not have interpreters with them,” Fasa’a said, “so they entered houses and killed people because they didn’t speak English. They entered the house where I was with 26 people, and [they] shot people because [the people] didn’t obey [the soldiers’] orders, even just because the people couldn’t understand a word of English.” He also added, “Soldiers thought the people were rejecting their orders, so they shot them. But the people just couldn’t understand them.”
A man named Khalil, who asked not to use his last name for fear of reprisals, said he had witnessed the shooting of civilians who were waving white flags while they tried to escape the city.
“I watched them roll over wounded people in the street with tanks,” said Kassem Mohammed Ahmed, a resident of Fallujah. “This happened so many times.”
Other refugees recounted similar stories. “I saw so many civilians killed there, and I saw several tanks roll over the wounded in the streets,” said Aziz Abdulla, 27 years old, who fled the fighting last November. Another resident, Abu Aziz, said he also witnessed American armored vehicles crushing people he believes were alive.
Abdul Razaq Ismail, another resident who fled Fallujah, said: “I saw dead bodies on the ground and nobody could bury them because of the American snipers. The Americans were dropping some of the bodies into the Euphrates near Fallujah.”
A man called Abu Hammad said he witnessed US troops throwing Iraqi bodies into the Euphrates River. Abu Hammed and others also said they saw Americans shooting unarmed Iraqis who waved white flags.
Believing that American and Iraqi forces were bent on killing anyone who stayed in Fallujah, Hammad said he watched people attempt to swim across the Euphrates to escape the siege. “Even then the Americans shot them with rifles from the shore,” he said. “Even if some of them were holding a white flag or white clothes over their heads to show they are not fighters, they were all shot.”
White phosphorus is highly flammable and ignites on contact with oxygen. If the substance hits someone’s body, it will burn until deprived of oxygen.
Defence website Globalsecurity.org states that “phosphorus burns on the skin are deep and painful… These weapons are particularly nasty because white phosphorus continues to burn until it disappears… it could burn right down to the bone.”
half of Fallujah’s 120 moques were destroyed by the US military and air force. Night-time bombing raids hit a clinic inside the Sunni Muslim city, killing doctors, nurses and patients. Body parts were everywhere as god’s holy warriors dropped one tonne bombs on the already devastated city.
Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli, an official at Iraq’s health ministry, said that the U.S. military used internationally banned weapons during its deadly offensive in the city of Fallujah. He said that researches, prepared by his medical team, prove that U.S. occupation forces used internationally prohibited substances, including mustard gas, nerve gas, and other burning chemicals in their attacks in the war-torn city.
The health official announced his findings at a news conference in the health ministry building in Baghdad. The press conference was attended by more than 20 Iraqi and foreign media networks, including the Iraqi ash-Sharqiyah TV network, the Iraqi as-Sabah newspaper, the U.S. Washington Post and the Knight-Ridder service.
For an in depth investigation of the use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians in Fallujah by the US military see this Italian national Televsion documentary entitled ‘Fallujah – The Hidden Massacre‘