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Washington Post lying about Iran’s nuclear program yet again

By Cyrus Safdari | Iran Affairs | November 02, 2014

Ray Takeyh has a piece in the Washington Post today claiming that Iran was choosing “poverty over nuclear disarmament” and furthermore that Iran was somehow dishonest in its past dealings with the European Union.

“Between 2003 and 2005, while the Europeans negotiated a suspension of Iran’s program, Tehran continued to accumulate nuclear materials and hone its research skills and, when it was ready, abandoned its pledges.”

This is utter nonsense that is contrary to the actual, well-known history of the Paris Agreement fiasco.

But first, what “nuclear disarmament” is he talking about, since there is no nuclear armaments program to begin with? Even the US intelligence community has consistently stated that there’s no nuclear weapons program in Iran, and that the Iranian authorities have made no decision to seek nuclear weapons.

But regarding the negotiations with the Europeans, it was in fact Iran that was cheated. The Iranians had made clear to the Europeans that they would not accept any deal that required Iran to give up enrichment, and the Europeans agreed to this, even though they had at the same time agreed with the US not to respect Iran’s right to enrichment. They tried to drag on the negotiations as long as possible, during which time Iran had in fact suspended enrichment entirely as verified by the IAEA but Iran eventually grew tired of the foot-dragging by the EU-3 and restarted its enrichment program — after about 2.5 years. It was the EU3 and not Iran which had been dishonest in that affair, a fact pointed out by Peter Oborne in the Telegraph :

Iran: how the West missed a chance to make peace with Tehran

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

ISM activist shot in the head with rubber-coated steel bullet

International Solidarity Movement | November 2, 2014

Ramallah, Occupied Palestine – Today during a protest at Qalandia checkpoint, an Italian ISM volunteer was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

The injury is just two centimetres above her left eye.

Photo by IWPS

Photo by IWPS

Giulia, the ISMer, stated, “I was just standing on the side of a street, and the military was firing tear gas at the protesters. I was photographing the army when I felt the bullets strike me, one in the head, and another in my leg, and then all I could see was blood.”

At least one other Palestinian teen was hospitalized after being shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

Giulia was immediately transferred to Ramallah Hospital for medical treatment, requiring stitches for her injury.

Approximately 100 people attended the demonstration, where Israeli forces fired stun grenades, tear gas canisters, and rubber-coated steel bullets.

The protest was called today to commemorate the 97th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

In Ukraine, A Tale of Two Elections

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By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | November 1, 2014

The US government loves to “promote democracy” overseas, often at the barrel of a gun. Strangely enough, however, it often “deplores” actual elections being held in such places. Take Ukraine, for example. An election held last week by a group that forcibly seized power from a legitimately-elected government was hailed by the US administration as a great democratic achievement.

Said John Kerry about last week’s parliamentary election held by the post-coup government in Kiev:

We applaud Ukraine’s commitment to an inclusive and transparent political process that strengthens national unity. … The people of Ukraine have spoken, and they have again chosen to chart the course of democracy, reform, and European integration.

In this US-approved vote, the parties disapproved by the US were harassed and even essentially banned. But that’s OK.

However in eastern Ukraine, which refused to recognize February’s US-backed coup in the western part of the country, parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for tomorrow are scorned and even “deplored” by the US administration.

The White House condemned tomorrow’s elections in eastern Ukraine in no uncertain terms:

We deplore the intent of separatists in parts of eastern Ukraine to hold illegitimate so-called local ‘elections’ on Sunday, November 2. If held, these ‘elections’ would contravene Ukraine’s constitution and laws and the September 5 Minsk Protocol.

So much does the US administration hate the idea of unapproved people voting, that it even refused to call them elections, placing the very term in “scare quotes.”

Shortly after the February coup in Kiev, referenda were held in Crimea and in parts of eastern Ukraine to determine whether to remain tied to Kiev or declare independence from the new regime. Those elections were also condemned by the US.

“We reject the ‘referendum’ that took place today in the Crimean region of Ukraine.  This referendum is contrary to Ukraine’s constitution,” said the White House immediately after the March vote in that region. The February coup was also contrary to Ukraine’s constitution but that did apparently not bother Washington.

Similarly, when referenda were held in eastern Ukraine this spring to determine that region’s future course, the White House spokesman condemned them as “illegal under Ukrainian law and a transparent attempt to create further division and disorder.”

When the wrong people hold votes, it seems, “division and disorder” are the result.

Those who overthrow democracy by force are legitimized – you might even say laundered – by an election they had no legal right to hold in the first place, while those who stood by previously-elected leaders and scheduled elections as a way out of the crisis caused by US interference are condemned, ignored, and not even recognized by the US government.

So here is the real message from the US government: elections overseas are only legitimate if we have pre-approved the parties allowed to stand and if we have pre-approved the outcome. The election must result in exactly the kind of “pro-West” government that we desire or we will begin destabilization and regime change, if completely ignoring the results does not do the trick.

Is that what John Kerry meant when he said, “you just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion”?

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

The US-Israel Special Relationship Timeline That AIPAC Doesn’t Want You To See

The Bilzerian Report | August 23, 2012

May 14, 1948Official Recognition- The United States of America becomes the first country to officially recognize Israel as an independent nation.

1949-1973- US-Israel Aid Commences– The United States gives Israel an average of $122 million per year in foreign aid payments.

Summer 1954Lavon Affair– Israel recruits Egyptian Jews to blow up American and British targets in Egypt. Israel planned on blaming the murderous false-flag attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood in an effort to garner support from the US and Britain. After officially denying any involvement, the Israeli government finally admitted their role in the incident in 2005 by honoring the surviving agents with a certificate of appreciation.

1955-1970- Israel Steals American Uranium to Build It’s First Nuclear Weapons In 2011, the Institute for Research on Middle Eastern Policy examined hundreds of newly de-classified documents from the FBI and CIA and discovered that Israeli spies in collaboration with American Jews stole hundreds of kilograms of weapons grade uranium from US stockpiles and shipped it to Israel. Although Israel does not officially acknowledge the possession of nuclear weapons, their nuclear arsenal is estimated at between 200-300 nuclear weapons. (Source)

1963AIPAC Formed– The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby” is formed, but refuses to comply with US law and register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. AIPAC has been in violation of federal law for nearly 50 years, but through political contributions and connections, AIPAC officials have remained above prosecution for their many violations of Federal law, including espionage (as addressed later).

June 8, 1967USS Liberty– Israeli jets and torpedo boats attack the American naval ship USS Liberty with the intention of murdering every sailor on board and then blaming the attack on Egypt. Israel’s goal was to draw America into the Israeli-Arab War. Israel has officially claimed the attack was an “accident,” but every survivor of the USS Liberty claimed that it could not possibly have been an accident given that Israeli jets flew directly over the ship hours earlier on several occasions and one pilot flew so close that he waved to the US sailors, and the sailors waved back. Given the proximity of the jets and the surrounding facts of the incident, there is no question that Israel knew whose ship it was. Lt. General Marshall Carter, the director of the NSA, told congress the attack, “couldn’t be anything else but deliberate.” A later coverup ensued, and in 2002, Captain Ward JAGC senior counsel for the court of inquiry claimed that the court of inquiry’s findings were intended to coverup what was a deliberate attack by Israel on a ship it knew to be American.

1975–  Oil Guarantee-  The Jewish US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, secretly brokered a deal in which the United States of America guaranteed Israel’s oil supply in the event of a crisis. The 1975 Israel-United States Memorandum of Understanding (see the full text here) required the United States to maintain an oil reserve for Israel and guarantee the shipping of that oil to Israel in times of emergency. This deal has cost the United States more than a hundred billion dollars since it was first enacted. The most troubling aspect of this deal was not the cost however, but the stipulation that in case of an oil emergency in which both the US and Israel needed oil, the US would give its oil to Israel. Section 3 (b):

 If the oil Israel needs to meet all of its normal requirements for domestic consumption is unavailable for purchase in circumstances where’ quantitative restrictions through embargo or otherwise also prevent the United States from procuring oil to meet its normal requirements, the United States Government will promptly make oil available for purchase by Israel in accordance with the International Energy Agency conservation and allocation formula as applied by the United States Government, in order to meet Israel’s essential requirements. If Israel is unable to secure the necessary means to transport such oil to Israel, the United States Government will make every effort to help Israel secure the necessary means of transport.

This is oil that would have been used to heat homes during the winter, power ambulances, and provide the fuel for tractors to farm America’s agricultural lands. To put this into perspective, in the event of an oil crisis, the fuel that Americans would need to heat their homes, get them to work, and produce food would go to Israel. This agreement very well could have starved tens of thousands of Americans in order to save Israelis if an oil crisis would have taken place.

1978US Starts Paying Egypt $1.3 Billion Annually In Exchange For Maintaining Good Relations With Israel- John McCain admitted in a CNN interview that US-Egyptian aid was essentially a bribe to maintain good relations with Israel. The aid was pledged during a US-brokered peace negotiation between Egypt and Israel, and began to be distributed just after the signing of the Egypt-Israel peace accord.

1980-1981- Israel Teams Up With Republicans to Defeat Jimmy Carter- During the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981, Israel, upset at President Jimmy Carter’s attempt to create a peaceful two-state solution in Palestine, used its clandestine operations in Iran to prevent American hostages from being released before Carter’s re-election bid. Carter wrote in his White House Diaries that Israel was purposefully thwarting the peace process with Palestine so it could continue to settle on Palestinian land. History has certainly proven Carter right, and Peter Beinart, the author of The Crisis of Zionism confirms this fact by investigating every major Israeli-Palestinain peace negotiation, and pointing out Israel’s efforts to subvert them. According to Consortium News, Israel used its operatives in Iran to ensure that US hostages were not released before the election, which doomed Carter’s chances for re-election. The hostages were released immediately after Reagan’s inauguration, and Israel was subsequently caught shipping US weapons to Iran after an Israeli chartered plane crashed in the Soviet Union. Israel claimed to have the Reagan administration’s approval for the transfer. As the Consortium article points out, recent discoveries make the cooperation between the Israelis and Republicans to remove a US President by using American hostages as political pawns, impossible to ignore.

1980-1990- Israel Steals American Technology and Equipment at Unprecedented Levels- According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, “It is worth mentioning that in the 1980s, regardless of Jonathan Pollards’ espionage activities for Israel, Israeli companies and individuals were involved many cases of  technological espionage, stealing U.S. secrets, technology and equipment. The most outstanding case involved Milco, a U.S. based company owned by Israeli tycoon Arnon Milchan, which bought and shipped equipment with which could have also been used as triggers for nuclear weapons.” Recently released FBI documents revealed that current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was integrally involved in the Milco incident.

1982- Sabra and Shatila Massacres– The Israeli military purposefully allowed a right-wing Lebanese militia to enter two Palestinian refugee camps, which were under Israel’s control, and rape, murder, and dismember 800 civilians. Nearly all of the dead were women, children, and elderly men. In 1983, an Israeli investigation concluded that then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for failing to prevent the massacre. The New York Times recently uncovered de-classified transcripts of conversations between US officials and Israeli officials, in which Israeli officials misled the Americans about the events in Beirut, and bullied them into accepting outrageous accusations that the Palestinian women and children were “terrorists,” and therefore deserved to be massacred. According to the New York Times, “The Sabra and Shatila massacres severely undercut America’s influence in the Middle East, and its moral authority plummeted.” Only a year later, in 1983, the US marine barracks were bombed in Lebanon, in which 241 marines were killed.

1985Jonathan Pollard Incident– A Jewish American named Jonathan Pollard was caught stealing American secrets and selling them to Israel. At first, Israel denied any involvement in the incident, but later admitted complicity in 1998. The wife of Pollard’s handler, Avi Sella, worked for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and Pollard later admitted that a prominent ADL member was deeply involved in the spying. Like AIPAC, the ADL does not register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act as per the law, even though it works closely with the Mossad, and has been caught spying on Americans for Israel. Amazingly, the ADL even had the gumption to shamelessly appeal to President Clinton in 1993 to commute their spy’s sentence. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also campaigned for Pollard’s release.

1987Israel Starts Receiving Regular Payments of More Than $3 Billion Per Year. The real US-Israel aid is estimated to be $15-$20 billion per year when valuable military equipment deemed “scrapped”, loan guarantees, under the table aid, and preferential contracts are factored in.

1990First Gulf War. Saddam agreed to withdraw from Kuwait if Israel complied with international law and withdrew from Palestine. Instead of encouraging Israel to abide by international law, the US launched an attack on Iraq, even though Iraq did not threaten America’s oil supply nor pose any danger to US interests. Israel did not send any troops or material support for the invasion.

1993- ADL Spying Scandal– San Francisco newspapers broke the story that the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, which has close ties to Israel, had been paying American police officers for confidential information, illegally wire-tapping phones, and even dumpster diving to acquire  private information on American citizens. The Anti-Defamation League later sold the information to the Israeli and South African governments. Among the individuals the ADL spied on were civil rights activists deemed “anti-Israel”, Congressmen such as Nanci Pelosi, reporters, labor unions, the NAACP, African National Congress, and the Rainbow Coalition. Presumably the ADL was going to use any damning material acquired during their spying efforts to blackmail these politicians and influential people into changing their negative stances on Israel. Just one of their spies, Roy Bullock, had compiled files on more than 9,800 Americans and 950 organizations spanning three decades. After the search of the ADL offices, the San Francisco District Attorney said the ADL was conducting a “national spy network.”

1993– AIPAC President David Steiner Caught on Tape Bragging About his Organization’s Incredible Power in America. Steiner first admitted to manipulating the US Secretary of State into giving Israel more foreign aid. Steiner said he, ”met with [Secretary of State] Jim Baker and I cut a deal with him. I got, besides the $3 billion, you know they’re looking for the Jewish votes, and I’ll tell him whatever he wants to hear … Besides the $10 billion in loan guarantees which was a fabulous thing, $3 billion in foreign, in military aid, and I got almost a billion dollars in other goodies that people don’t even know about.”

In the same conversation, Steiner said he would support any politician who has been good to Israel over his own brother. He also discussed his efforts to get Jewish, and pro-Israel candidates re-elected, even by paying for a rigged poll. Steiner was attempting to raise money for dozens of pro-Israel candidates through his position at AIPAC, even though the organization claims that it doesn’t engage in such behavior. In the conversation, Steiner asked a potential Jewish donor to get his children to write checks in order to subvert political donation laws.

Steiner also said, “We gave two employees from AIPAC leave of absences to work on the [Clinton] campaign. I mean, we have a dozen people in that campaign, in the headquarters…. and they’re all going to get big jobs. We have friends. I also work with a think tank, the Washington Institute. I have Michael Mandelbaum and Martin Indyk being foreign policy advisers. Steve Speigel—we’ve got friends—this is my business.”

“I talked to Bill Clinton [and he made a commitment that] he’s going to be very good to us.” ”One of my officers, Monte Friedkin, is one of the biggest fund-raisers for them [Clintons]. I mean, I have people like that all over the country.”

When asked if he knows who Bill Clinton would put on the Supreme Court if elected, Steiner replied, “We’re talking now. We don’t have no commitments yet. We’re just negotiating. We’re more interested right now, in the Secretary of State and the Secretary of National Security Agency. That’s more important to us.” He also said, “we are negotiating” who will be Secretary of State.

1993- Israel Caught Selling US Military Secrets to China– Israel sold $2-3 billion worth of sensitive US military technology to China. This was technology that the US had specifically forbidden to be delivered to China in anyway shape or form, as it would undermine America’s national security. Read this link for the full story.

1996 GAO Spy Report The Government Accountability Office reported that Israel spies on the US more than any other ally.

2000-2003 Iraq Sanctions-  In 2000, AIPAC distributed a letter asking AIPAC members to put pressure on the US Congress and the President to ramp up sanctions on Iraq and block the oil for food program, which was providing Iraqi civilians with much needed food and medicine. In 2003, AIPAC attempted to block a bill that would have allowed US companies to export food and medicine to Iraqi civilians. AIPAC took the position that the food and medicine would not help the Iraqi people, which is obviously untrue, and that the bill would hasten Saddam’s effort to procure weapons of mass destruction. Saddam was of course not building weapons of mass destruction, and the AIPAC efforts ended up murdering thousands of Iraqi civilians.

September 11, 2001Five Dancing Israelis– The terrorists who perpetrated the worst attack on America in its history stated on record that their motivation was America’s unabashed support for the apartheid regime of Israel. Five dancing Israelis were actually caught filming the world trade center attacks and dancing in celebration afterwards. When the Israelis were caught in a van that had contained explosives, they said we are all on the same side now against the Palestinians. The dancing Israelis later admitted on an Israeli talk show that they were there to document the event. Before the US government classified all information on Israel’s involvement in 9-11, the FBI officially concluded that Israel had to have known of the attack before 9-11-2001 and didn’t warn the US. After the attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We are benefitting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.” He also said, “these events have swung American public opinion in our favor.”At best, Israel knew of the attacks before hand and did not warn America because of the strategic support against the Palestinians that it would bring. At worst, Israel had a hand in planning the attacks.

2001- Israeli Spies Deported– More than 60 Israeli spies were arrested and detained. Most of them failed lie-detector tests about their spying activities on the US and their connection to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

2002- Harvard Economist Estimates Total US-Israel Aid At $3 trillion. Dr. Thomas R. Stauffer, a world renowned economist who taught economics and Middle East studies at Harvard, as well as serving twice in the Executive Office of the President on a task force for oil imports and controls, estimated that as of 2002 (in 2002 dollars) Israel has cost the US $3 trillion. His estimate took into account direct military aid, political support, oil price increases as a result of conflicts, and peripheral/hidden foreign aid.

In Stauffer’s estimation, US aid to Israel costs 275,000 American jobs per year due to unfair trade imbalances and sanctions on Israel’s enemies. In one example of under the table aid, Stauffer pointed out that the US actually gave Russia and Romania billions of dollars in undeclared aid to facilitate Jews moving to Israel. The US has also spent hundreds of billions in the region to secure friendly relationships with Israel. John McCain admitted in an interview that US aid to Egypt is really just a bribe so the Egyptians will maintain friendly relations with Israel. The US has also given Turkey and Greece billions for the same purpose.

A summary of Stauffer’s breakdown can be found here.

2003Iraq War–  In January 2003, AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr stated, “quietly lobbying Congress to approve the use of force in Iraq” was one of AIPAC’s successes over the past year.” Jeffrey Goldberg reported during a profile piece of AIPAC’s policy director Steven J. Rosen that, “AIPAC lobbied Congress in favor of the Iraq war.”

In addition, the US media, which by this point was almost completely controlled by Jewish American supporters of Israel (see this link for proof), refused to investigate the validity of the government’s accusation of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. The mainstream media then went a step further by criticizing anti-war activists and even called them traitors who were against the troops. Many Americans leaders and reporters came out after the war and criticized the media for its pro-war propaganda, but very few spoke of the Israeli connection for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic.

Even though Israel aggressively lobbied America to attack Iraq, they committed no troops or resources to the struggle.

2005AIPAC Spying Scandal– A pentagon analyst pleads guilty to passing military secrets to two AIPAC employees en route to Israel. After some political wrangling, all charges were dropped against the two Jewish AIPAC employees in 2009, even though the analyst agreed to testify against the AIPAC employees, and the government had overwhelming evidence to prosecute. It was later reported by Time magazine that Jane Harman, a Jewish congresswoman, was bribed by AIPAC to lobby the Department of Justice to drop the spying charges against the AIPAC employees. In 2009, CQ politics reported that Harman was caught on a NSA wiretap telling an Israeli agent that she would lobby the Department of Justice to drop the case.

2008-2009- Israel Fires White Phosphorous Shells Into Civilian Locations, Including a Crowded Refugee Camp. At first, the Israeli army categorically denied the use of white phosphorous gas on civilians (a war crime), but then later admitted it when video footage made it impossible to deny. These weapons were made in the USA.  The entire planet criticized the barbaric and internationally illegal war crimes, but President Bush and the United States supported the Israeli atrocities, which hurt America’s standing in the world.

2010- Israel is Caught Stealing America’s Nuclear Triggers– The United States Bureau of Industry and Security released a report concluding that nuclear triggers were illegally exported to Israel. (Source)

2010Israel Bribes US News Outlets for Biased Stories– Newly declassified files prove that Israel has actually been covertly paying American media outlets tens of millions of dollars to publish pro-Israel stories. Among other things, the documents revealed that Israel paid the Atlantic magazine $50,000 to disrupt a US peace proposal that would have allowed Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel. These documents came from a Senate hearing, which ended up being censored by American politicians who received significant campaign financing from non-gentile sources. The bribed senators even went as far as sealing the most damning documents from the investigation.

January 13, 2012- Atlanta Jewish Times Owner Claims the Mossad is Considering Assassinating President Obama- Andrew Adler, the owner of the Atlanta Jewish Times, writes an article stating that Israel has three options in order to defend itself. 1. Attack Hezbollah and Hamas 2. Defy the US and attack Iran 3. “give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.” He went on to say, “Yes you read three correctly. Order a hit on a US President in order to preserve Israel’s existence.” He claimed to know for sure that this option was already “being discussed in Israel’s most inner circles”, and given his high powered Israeli friends, you can bet that he is correct.

April 18, 2012- The Bilzerian Report Estimates the Total Cost of America’s Relationship with Israel, Adjusted for Inflation and Including the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to be in Excess of $5 trillion, or $16,000 per American.

July 28, 2012CIA Reports that Israel is the Largest Spy Threat in the Middle East. The report details numerous incidents of Israeli spies breaking into American diplomats’ homes and offices to steal sensitive material.

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , | 13 Comments

Israeli Matrix of Control: Use of Palestinian Civilians as Human Shields

Euromid Observer – October 30, 2014

This report presents documented cases of Palestinian civilians used as human shields by Israeli military forces during the 51-day conflict in the Gaza Strip, 8 July-26 August, 2014. It also discusses Israeli claims that Palestinian armed factions used their own civilians as human shields.

After interviewing Palestinians who reported being used as shields by Israeli forces, and documenting the testimonies of additional eyewitnesses, Euro-Mid Observer concluded that the Israeli army committed this violation of international law in at least six cases in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. These civilians were held against their will for hours or days to protect Israeli soldiers from fire, and in the meantime were subjected to inhumane and abusive treatment such as beating, humiliation and exposure to the hot sun while naked for long periods of time.

Israeli authorities deny using Palestinian civilians as human shields. However, the testimonies documented by Euro-Mid prove the lie. Moreover, it seems that using Palestinian civilians as human shields is an Israeli policy, since other, similar cases have been documented in the West Bank.

In contrast, the Euro-Mid team did not find any evidence of Palestinians who were forced to stay in their homes or to use their bodies for the protection for Palestinian resistance factions. Likewise, the Israeli army did not provide any evidence to substantiate their accusations. Moreover, the UN’s Goldstone Report issued following Operation Cast Lead in 2009 exonerated Palestinian armed factions from previous claims by Israeli forces that Palestinians used their own people as human shields.

The use of human shields is a form of cruel and inhumane treatment, and constitutes a flagrant violation of the international humanitarian law and a war crime according to the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.

Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights calls on Israel’s military prosecutors to carry out a serious and reliable investigation of the cases discussed in this report, and to hold the individuals found guilty to account. Euro-Mid also calls on the Fact Finding Committee on the Gaza Conflict recently established by the UN Human Rights Council to make every effort to focus international attention and pressure on all parties found to be guilty of this crime.

Download the Report: Here

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | 3 Comments

Over 1.7 million Gazans isolated from the world after Israel, Egypt close crossings

Keram Shalom crossing
Al-Akhbar | November 2, 2014

Gaza has become an open-air prison after Israel decided to close two border crossings with Gaza, the army said on Sunday, after a rocket allegedly fired from the Palestinian enclave struck its territory.

The Israeli blockade comes a week after Egypt closed its border with Gaza. With all borders closed, more than one and a half million people in Gaza are now isolated from the outside world. They are prisoners inside the 360 square kilometers that make up the coastal Strip.

“The crossing points for people and goods, Erez and Kerem Shalom, have been closed until further notice except for humanitarian aid,” an army spokeswoman said.

She said that the measure was taken after a rocket fired from Gaza hit Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory on Friday, without causing any casualties or damage.

There was no claim of responsibility from any armed faction in Gaza. A military spokeswoman said forces were still searching for debris.

The projectile struck harmlessly was the first to strike Israeli-occupied territory since September 16, and the second since the end of the Zionist state’s devastating 51-day assault on Gaza.

For 51 days this summer, Israel pounded the Gaza Strip – by air, land and sea – with the stated aim of ending rocket fire from the coastal enclave.

More than 2,160 Gazans, at least 505 of them children, were killed – and 11,000 injured – during seven weeks of unrelenting Israeli attacks in July and August.

The Israeli offensive ended on August 26 with the an Egypt-brokered cease-fire agreement.

However, Israel has violated the terms of the agreement repeatedly ever since.

The agreement calls for reopening Gaza’s border crossings with Israel after an eight-year blockade. Instead, Israel has further sealed the crossings.

The truce also stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.

However, since the ceasefire was signed, Israeli forces have fired at several fishermen who they say have ventured beyond the newly-imposed limit of six nautical miles.

The head of the Gaza fishermen syndicate accused Israel of constantly violating the terms of the agreement.

“Since signing the truce, the Israeli army has violated (the agreement) eight times, arresting fishermen and destroying a giant fishing boat, in addition to firing at fishermen on a daily basis,” he said.

Besides the fishermen, Israeli forces have also fired at other civilians. On Wednesday, Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man on the beach in the northern Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, Gaza is also littered with a large number of unexploded Israeli shells, one of which has recently killed 4-year-old Mohammed Sami Abu-Jrad from the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun.

Israel also agreed to allow construction material into Gaza. But two months after the war ended, no building material has entered Gaza due to Israel’s ongoing blockade.

Israel routinely bars the entry of building materials into the embattled coastal enclave on grounds that Palestinian resistance faction Hamas could use them to build underground tunnels or fortifications.

For years, the Gaza Strip has depended on construction materials smuggled into the territory through a network of tunnels linking it to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

A recent crackdown on the tunnels by the Egyptian army, however, has effectively neutralized hundreds of tunnels, severely affecting Gaza’s construction sector.

Egypt leaves Gaza isolated

On Wednesday, Egypt began setting up a buffer zone along its border with the Gaza strip in a move which will see about 800 homes demolished.

It comes in the wake of a suicide car bombing which killed 30 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai last week, the deadliest attack on the military since ousting Egypt’s former president Mohammed Mursi.

Following the bombing, Egypt immediately closed the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip, the principal connection between Gaza’s 1.7 million people and the outside world.

In August, Egypt’s authorities have used an attack on the Egyptian military in Sinai as a pretext to start a campaign to destroy lifelines into Gaza. Over 120 tunnels were blown up or filled in.

More than just being the only way for some products to make it into the over 1.5 million Palestinians living in the strip, the Gaza tunnels have become a major source of income for the transporters of goods. Egypt has closed Gaza’s lifelines.

Since the beginning of 2014 until the end of May, Rafah crossing has been opened only 14 out of 120 days, limiting access to humanitarian cases and for other authorized travelers – including foreign nationals and visa holders.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ballots or Bullets: Democracy and World Power

By James Petras | October 31, 2014

The principal reason why Washington engages in military wars, sanctions and clandestine operations to secure power abroad is because its chosen clients cannot, and do not, win free and open elections.

A brief survey of recent election outcomes testify to the electoral unattractiveness of Washington-backed clients. The majority of democratic electorates rejects candidates and parties which back the US global agenda: neo-liberal economic policies; a highly militarized foreign policy; Israeli colonization and annexation of Palestine; the concentration of wealth in the financial sector; the military escalation against China and Russia. While the US policy attempts to re-impose the pillage and dominance of the 1990s via recycled client regimes the democratic electorates want to move on toward less bellicose, more inclusive governments, which restore labor and welfare rights.

The US seeks to impose the unipolar world, of the Bush Sr. and Clinton era, failing to recognize the vast changes in the world economy, including the rise of China and Russia as world powers, the emergence of the BRIC and other regional organizations and above all the growth of popular democratic consciousness.

Failing to convince electorates by reason or manipulation, Washington has opted to intervene by force, and to finance organizations to subvert the democratic electoral process. The frequent resort to bullets and economic coercion when ballots fail to produce the “appropriate outcome” testifies to the profoundly reactionary nature of US foreign policy. Reactionary in the double sense of ends and means.

Pragmatically, the imperial centered socio-economic policies deepen inequalities and depress living standards. The means to achieve power, the instruments of policy, include wars, intervention, covert operations, are more akin to extremists, quasi-fascist, far right regimes.

Free Elections and the Rejection of US Clients

US-backed electoral parties and candidates have suffered defeats throughout most of the world, despite generous financial backing and international mass media propaganda campaigns. What is striking about the negative voting outcomes is the fact that the vast majority of adversaries are neither anti-capitalist nor ‘socialist’. What is equally striking is that all of the US clients are rightist or far-rightist parties and leaders. In other words, the polarization is usually between center-left and rightist parties; the choice is between reform or reaction, between an independent or satellite foreign policy.

Washington and Latin America: Masters of Defeats

Over the past decade, Washington has backed losing neo-liberal candidates throughout Latin America and then sought to subvert the democratic outcome.

Bolivia

Since 2005, Evo Morales, the center left leader favoring social reforms and an independent foreign policy, has won three Presidential elections against Washington backed rightist parties, each time by a greater margin. In 2008, he ousted the US ambassador for intervening, expelled the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 2008, USAID in 2013 and the Military Mission after foiling an aborted coup in Santa Cruz.

Venezuela

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and its predecessor have won every Presidential and Congressional election (over a dozen) except one over the past 15 years despite US multi-million dollar funding of neo-liberal opposition parties. Unable to defeat the Chavez-led radical-reform government, Washington backed a violent coup (2002), a boss’s lockout (2002/3), and decades long paramilitary attacks of pro-democracy leaders and activists.

Ecuador

The US has opposed the center-left government of President Correa for ousting it from the military base in Manta, renegotiating and repudiating some of its foreign debt and backing regional pacts which exclude the US. As a result Washington backed an abortive police led coup in 2010 that was quickly defeated.

Honduras

During democratically elected President Manual Zelaya’s tenure in office, a center-left President, Honduras sought to pursue closer relations with Venezuela in order to receive greater economic aid and to shed its reputation as a US dominated “banana republic”. Washington, unable to defeat him at the ballot box, responded by supporting a military coup (2009) which ousted Zelaya and returned Honduras to the US fold. Since the coup Honduras has experienced more killings of popular leaders-200- than any country in Latin America.

Brazil

The center-left Workers Party has won four straight elections against US backed neo-liberal candidates beginning in 2002 and continuing through the 2014 elections. The US propaganda machine, including NSA’s spying on President Rousseff and the strategic state petrol company, Petrobras, and the international financial press went all out to discredit the reformist center-left government. To no avail! The voters preferred an ‘inclusive’ social liberal regime pursuing an independent foreign policy to an opposition embedded in the discredited socially regressive neo-liberal politics of the Cardoso regime (1994-2002). In the run-up to the 2014 elections Brazilian and US financial speculators attempted to strike fear in the electorate by betting against the currency (real) and driving the stock market into a precipitous fall.

To no avail. Rousseff won with 52% of the vote.

Argentina

In Argentina a massive popular revolt overthrew the US backed neo-liberal regime of De la Rua in 2001. Subsequently, the electorate elected the center-left Kirchner government over the rightist, US backed Menem candidacy in 2003. Kirchner pursued a reformist agenda imposing a moratorium on the debt and combining high economic growth with large scale social expenditures and an independent foreign policy. US opposition escalated with the election of his wife Cristina Fernandez. Financial elites, Wall Street, the US judiciary and Treasury intervened to destabilize the government, after failing to defeat Fernandez’s re-election. Extra-parliamentary financial pressures were matched by political and economic support for rightist politicians in preparation for the 2015 elections.

Earlier, in 1976, the US backed the military coup and political terror that led to the murder of 30,000 activists and militants. In 2014 the US backed a “financial coup” as a federal judge sided with vulture funds, sowing financial terror in international markets against a democratically elected government.

Paraguay

President Fernando Lugo was a moderate former Bishop who pursued a watered-down center-left agenda. Nevertheless, he raised issues that conflicted with Washington’s extremist agenda, including Paraguay’s membership in regional organizations that excluded the US (MERCOSUR). He appealed to the landless rural workers and he retained ties to other Latin American center-left regimes. He was deposed by Congress in 2012 in a highly dubious ‘institutional coup’, quickly supported by the White House and replaced by a straight-line neo-liberal, Federico Franco with tight links to Washington and hostile to Venezuela.

Globalizing US Threats to Democracy

US subversion of democracy when center-left political formations compete for power is not confined to Latin America – it has gone ‘global’.

Ukraine

The most egregious example is the Ukraine, where the US spent over $6 billion in over a decade and a half. Washington financed, organized, and promoted pro NATO shock troops to seize power against an elected regime (Viktor Yanukovych) which tried to balance ties between the West and Russia. In February 2014, an armed uprising and mob action led to the overthrow of the elected government and the imposition of a puppet regime totally beholden to the US. The violent putschists met resistance from a large swathe of pro-democracy activists in the Eastern region. The Kiev junta led by oligarch Petro Poroshenko dispatched air and ground troops to repress the popular resistance with the unanimous backing of the US and EU. When the rightist regime in Kiev moved to impose its rule over the Crimea and to break its military base treaty with Russia, the Crimean citizens voted, by a large margin (85%), to separate and merge with Russia.

In both the Ukraine and Crimea, US policy was directed toward imposing by force, the subordination of democracy to NATO’s drive to encircle Russia and undermine its democratically elected government.

Russia

Following the election of Vladimir Putin to the Presidency, the US organized and financed a large number of opposition “think tanks”, and NGO’s, to destabilize the government. Large scale demonstrations by well-funded NGO’s were given wide play by all the Western mass media.

Failing to secure an electoral majority and after suffering electoral defeats in the executive and legislative elections, Washington and the EU, using the pretext of Russian “intervention” in the Ukraine, launched a full scale economic war on Russia. Economic sanctions were enforced in the hopes of provoking economic collapse and a popular upheaval. Nothing of the sort occurred. Putin has gained greater popularity and stature in Russia and consolidated its ties with China and the other BRIC countries.

In sum, in the Ukraine, Crimea and Russia, facing independent elected governments, Washington resorted to a mob uprising, military encirclement and an escalation of economic sanctions.

Iran

Iran has periodic elections in which pro and anti-western parties compete. Iran has drawn the wrath of Washington because of its support for Palestinian liberation from the Israeli yoke; its opposition to the Gulf absolutist states; and its ties to Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah) and post- Saddam Hussain Iraq. As a result, the US has imposed economic sanctions to cripple its economy and finances and has funded pro-Western neo-liberal opposition NGO’s and political factions. Unable to defeat the Islamist power elite electorally, it chooses to destabilize via sanctions in order to disrupt its economy and assassinations of scientists and cyber warfare.

Egypt

Washington backed the Hosni Mubarak dictatorship for over three decades. Following the popular uprising in 2011, which overthrew the regime, Washington retained and strengthened its ties to the Mubarak police, military and intelligence apparatus. While promoting an alliance between the military and the newly elected President Mohammed Morsi, Washington funded NGO’s, who acted to subvert the government through mass demonstrations. The military, under the leadership of US client General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, seized power, outlawed the Moslem Brotherhood and abolished democratic freedoms.

Washington quickly renewed military and economic aid to the Sisi dictatorship and strengthened its ties with the authoritarian regime. In line with US and Israeli policy, General Sisi tightened the blockade of Gaza, allied with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf despots, strengthened its ties with the IMF and implemented a regressive neo-liberal program by eliminating fuel and food subsidies and lowering taxes on big business.

The US backed coup and restoration of dictatorship was the only way Washington could secure a loyal client relationship in North Africa.

Libya

The US and NATO and Gulf allies launched a war (2011) against the independent, nationalist Libyan government, as the only way to oust the popular, welfare government of Colonel Gaddafi. Unable to defeat him via internal subversion, unable to destabilize the economy, Washington and its NATO partners launched hundreds of bombing missions accompanied by arms transfers to local Islamic satraps, tribal, clans and other violent authoritarian groups. The subsequent ‘electoral process’ lacking the most basic political guarantees, fraught by corruption, violence and chaos, led to several competing power centers. Washington’s decision to undermine democratic procedures led to a violent Hobbesian world, replacing a popular welfare regime with chaos and terrorism.

Palestine

Washington has pursued a policy of backing Israeli seizures and colonization of Palestinian territory, savage bombings and the mass destruction of Gaza. Israel, determined to destroy the democratically elected Hamas government, has received unconditional US backing. The Israeli colonial regime has imposed racist, armed colonies throughout the West Bank, financed by the US government, private investors and US Zionist donors. Faced with the choice between a democratically elected nationalist regime, Hamas, and a brutal militarist regime, Israel, US policymakers have never failed to back Israel in its quest to destroy the Palestinian mini-state.

Lebanon

The US, along with Saudi Arabia and Israel, has opposed the freely elected Hezbollah led coalition government formed in 2011. The US backed the Israeli invasion in 2006, which was defeated by the Hezbollah militias. Washington backed the right wing Hariri-led coalition (2008 – 2011) which was marginalized in 2011. It sought to destabilize the society by backing Sunni extremists especially in Northern Lebanon. Lacking popular electoral support to convert Lebanon into a US client state, Washington relies on Israeli military incursions and Syrian based terrorists to destabilize Lebanon’s democratically elected government.

Syria

Syria’s Bashar Assad regime has been the target of US, EU, Saudi and Israeli enmity because of its support for Palestine, its ties with Iraq, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah. Its opposition to the Gulf despotism and its refusal to become a US client state (like Jordan and Egypt) has been another source of NATO hostility. Under pressure from its internal democratic opposition and its external allies, Russia and Iran , the Bashar Assad regime convoked a conference of non-violent opposition parties, leaders and groups to find an electoral solution to the ongoing conflict. Washington and its NATO allies rejected a democratic electoral road to reconciliation. They and their Turkish and Gulf allies financed and armed thousands of Islamic extremists who invaded the country. Over a million refugees and 200,000 dead Syrians were a direct result of Washington’s decision to pursue “regime change” via armed conflict.

China

China has become the world’s largest economy. It has become a leading investment and trading country in the world. It has replaced the US and the EU in Asian, African and Latin American markets. Faced with peaceful economic competition and offers of mutually beneficial free trade agreements, Washington has chosen to pursue a policy of military encirclement, internal destabilization and Pan Pacific integration agreements that exclude China. The US has expanded military deployments and bases in Japan, Australia and the Philippines. It has heightened naval and air force surveillance just beyond China’s limits. It has fanned rival maritime claims of China’s neighbors, encroaching on vital Chinese waterways.

The US has supported violent Uighur separatists, Tibetan terrorists and protests in Hong Kong in order to fragment and discredit China’s rule over its sovereign territory. Fomenting separation via violent means results in harsh repression, which in turn can alienate a domestic constituency and provide grist for the Western media mills. The key to the US countering China’s economic ascent is political: fomenting domestic divisions and weakening central authority. The democratization which Chinese citizens favor has little resonance with US financed ‘democracy’ charades in Hong Kong or separatist violence in the provinces.

Washington’s effort to exclude China from major trade and investment agreements in Asia and elsewhere has been a laughable failure. The principle US “partners”, Japan and Australia are heavily dependent on the Chinese market. Washington’s (free trade) allies in Latin America, namely Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico are eager to increase trade with China. India and Russia are signing off on multi-billion dollar trade and investment deals with China! Washington’s policy of economic exclusion miscarried in the first month!

In sum, Washington’s decision to pursue confrontation over conciliation and partnership; military encirclement over co-operation; exclusion over inclusion, goes counter to a democratic foreign policy designed to promote democracy in China and elsewhere. An authoritarian choice in pursuit of unachievable Asian supremacy is not a virtue; it is a sign of weakness and decay.

Conclusion

In our global survey of US policy toward democracy, center-left governments and free elections we find overwhelming evidence of systematic US hostility and opposition. The political essence of the “war on terrorism” is Washington’s world-wide long-term pernicious assault on independent governments, especially center-left democratic regimes engaged in serious efforts to reduce poverty and inequality.

Washington’s methods of choice range from financing rightist political parties via USAID and NGO’s, to supporting violent military coups; from backing street mobs engaged in destabilization campaigns to air and ground invasions. Washington’s animus to democratic processes is not confined to any region, religious, ethnic or racial group. The US has bombed black Africans in Libya; organized coups in Latin America against Indians and Christians in Bolivia; supported wars against Muslims in Iraq, Palestine and Syria; financed neo-fascist “battalions”and armed assaults against Orthodox Christians in the Eastern Ukraine; denounced atheists in China and Russia.

Washington subsidizes and backs elections only when neo-liberal client regimes win. It consistently destabilizes center-left governments which oppose US imperial policies.

None of the targets of US aggression are strictly speaking anti-capitalist. Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina are capitalist regimes which attempt to regulate tax and reduce disparities of wealth via moderate welfare reforms.

Throughout the world, Washington always supports extremist political groups engaged in violent and unconstitutional activity that have victimized democratic leaders and supporters. The coup regime in Honduras has murdered hundreds of rank and file democratic activists, farm workers,and poor peasants.

The US armed Islamic jihadist and ex-pat allies in Libya have fallen out with their NATO mentors and are at war among themselves, engaging in mutual bloodletting.

Throughout the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa, Central America and the Caucuses wherever US intervention has taken place, extreme right-wing groups have served, at least for a time, as Washington and Brussels’ principal allies.

Pro EU-NATO allies in the Ukraine include a strong contingent of neo-Nazis, paramilitary thugs and “mainstream” military forces given to bombing civilian neighborhoods with cluster bombs.

In Venezuela, Washington bankrolls terrorist paramilitary forces and political extremists who murdered a socialist congressional leader and dozens of leftists.

In Mexico the US has advised, financed and backed rightist regimes whose military, paramilitary and nacro-terrorist forces recently murdered and burned alive 43 teachers’ college students, and are deeply implicated in the killing of 100,000 “other” Mexicans, in less than a decade.

Over the past eleven years the US has pumped over $6 billion dollars in military aid to Colombia, funding its seven military bases and several thousand special operations forces and doubling the size of the Colombian military. As a result thousands of civil society and human rights activists, journalists, trade union leaders and peasants, have been murdered. Over 3 million small land-holders have been dispossessed.

The mass media cover up the US option for right wing extremism by describing ruling mass murderers as “center-right regimes” or  as“moderates”: linguistic perversions and grotesque euphemisms are as bizarre as the barbarous activities, perpetrated by the White House.

In the drive for world power, no crime is left undone; no democracy that opposes it is tolerated. Countries as small and marginal as Honduras or Somalia or as great and powerful as Russia and China cannot escape the wrath and covert destabilization efforts of the White House.

The quest for world domination is driven by the subjective belief in the “triumph of the will”. Global supremacy depends entirely on force and violence: ravaging country after country, from carpet bombing of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya to proxy wars in Somalia, Yemen, Ukraine to mass killings in Colombia, Mexico and Syria.

Yet there are limits to the spread of the “killing fields”. Democratic processes are defended by robust citizens’ movements in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. The spread of imperial backed terrorist seizures of power are stymied by emergence of global powers, China in in the Far East and Russia in Crimea and eastern Ukraine have taken bold steps to limit US imperial expansion.

In the United Nations, the President of the United States and his delegate Samantha Powers rant and rave, in a fit of pure insanity, against Russia as “the greatest world terrorist state” for resisting military encirclement and the violent annexation of the Ukraine.

Extremism, authoritarianism and political insanity know no frontiers. The massive growth of the secret political police, the National Security Agency, the shredding of constitutional guarantees, the conversion of electoral processes into elite controlled multi-billion dollar charades, the growing impunity of police involved in civilian murders, speaks to an emerging totalitarian police – state inside the US as a counterpart to the violent pursuit of world power.

Citizens’ movements, consequential center-left parties and governments, organized workers, in Latin America, Asia and Europe have demonstrated that authoritarian extremist proxies of Washington can be defeated. That disastrous neo-liberal policies can be reverted. That welfare states, reductions in poverty, unemployment and inequalities can be legislated despite imperial efforts to the contrary.

The vast majority of the Americans, here and now, are strongly opposed to Wall Street, big business and the financial sector. The Presidency and the Congress are despised by three quarters of the American public. Overseas wars are rejected. The US public, for its own reasons and interests, shares with the pro-democracy movement’s world-wide, a common enmity toward Washington’s quest for world power. Here and now in the United States of America we must learn and build our own powerful democratic political instruments.

We must, through the force of reason, contain and defeat “the reason of force”: the political insanity that informs Washington’s ‘will to power’. We must degrade the empire to rebuild the republic. We must turn from intervening against democracy abroad to building a democratic welfare republic at home.

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment