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Heart of the Matter

Introduction by Health Impact News

Dr. MaryAnne Demasi’s documentary on the criminal activity of the pharmaceutical industry regarding cholesterol-lowering statin drugs sent shock waves through the mainstream media in Australia at the end of 2013. Published in two parts on the popular news show The Catalyst, the pharmaceutical industry complained loudly after the first show, and requested the network not air the second episode, “Heart of the Matter Part 2 – Cholesterol Drug War.”

ABC Australia aired it anyway, but the pharmaceutical influence was apparently too strong, as they later announced that the network would remove the videos from their website because “they breached its impartiality standards.”

Heart of the Matter – Part 1

Heart of the Matter Part 2 – Cholesterol Drug War

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

Iran Leader: Enemies won’t lift sanctions even if they dictate their terms

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Progressive Hypocrite, Video, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Setting the Stage for Another Proxy War in Yemen

By Michael Horton | CounterPunch | February 18, 2015

On 26 September 1962, four tanks rumbled through a moonless night and surrounded Imam Badr’s palace in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a. Hearing the tanks Badr and his father-in-law descended from the highest room of the palace moments before it was shelled.

The coup that would plunge north Yemen into almost eight years of bloody civil war was underway. Imam Badr ordered his remaining guards to bring him Bren guns. Then Badr and his father-in-law stepped out onto a balcony and opened fire on the mutinous soldiers that surrounded the palace while gasoline soaked sandbags were ignited and hurled onto the tanks below. The soldiers momentarily fled and Badr lived on to fight from northwest Yemen’s rugged mountains until his eventual exile in the UK in 1970. Imam Badr’s exile marked the end of the Zaidi Imamate that had ruled parts of Yemen for a thousand years.

The leader of the coup was the chief of Badr’s corps of bodyguards, Colonel Abdullah al-Sallal who was supported by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. Within months, several thousand Egyptian soldiers were on the ground in north Yemen to support Sallal’s republicans in their fight against Badr’s royalists. The royalists were bankrolled by Saudi Arabia and covertly supported at various times by Jordan, Israel, Iran, France, and the UK, all of whom had a strategic interest in weakening Nasser and the Egyptian Army. Nasser would eventually commit more than fifty-thousand soldiers supported by MiGs and heavy weaponry to Yemen. Despite the number of soldiers, extensive air-support, and even the Egyptians’ use of chemical weapons, the war in Yemen became what Nasser would later describe as, ‘my Vietnam.’

With the recent Houthi takeover of much of northern Yemen, there are echoes of the 1960s. There seems little likelihood of Yemen not becoming a battleground for a protracted proxy war between two regional powers: Saudi Arabia and Iran which, in contrast to the 1960s, are now on opposite sides. The Saudis are vehemently opposed to the Houthis because they are Shi’a, adherents to the Zaidi sect of Shi’a Islam. The Saudis are fearful that the Houthis’ ‘revolution’ could spread across their southern border and embolden their own restive Shi’a minority. In April 2000, the Saudis put down a Shi’a led rebellion in the province of Najran, which borders areas that are now controlled by the Houthis.

On the other side of the emerging proxy war is Iran whose material support for the Houthis is limited. The claims made about Iran supplying arms and training to the Houthis are dubious. The Houthis are in no need of weapons—they have more than they can manage—and the core Houthi fighters are battle-hardened and require no training. However, if isolated, the Houthis may increase their level of engagement with Iran.

What the Houthis do need and what Iran has likely been providing, at least in token amounts, is money. The Yemeni economy is moribund. The Central Bank of Yemen is dependent on loans and grants from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. The resignation of Yemeni President Hadi and his government and the Houthis’ unilateral and extralegal dissolution of the Yemeni Parliament have meant that money from the Gulf States has dried up. It is an open question as to where the money for the salaries for tens of thousands of Yemeni bureaucrats and soldiers will come from. The lack of funds to pay government salaries poses a serious and potentially fatal challenge for the Houthi leadership.

Saudi Arabia will take full advantage of the Houthis’ limited financial resources by providing blank checks to those tribal leaders and displaced military figures who oppose the Houthis and agree to fight them. Most worrying is the fact that some of this money could make its way to groups like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who, as militant Salafis, are the sworn enemies of the Shi’a led Houthis. AQAP is a far more amorphous organization than is commonly supposed. The Houthi takeover of Sana’a and the resignation of the government will mean that the lines between tribesmen and tribal militias opposed to the Houthis and the militants allied with AQAP will become even less distinct. Militant Salafi organizations like AQAP will be key beneficiaries of a proxy war in Yemen.

The calls by some in the Yemeni government for members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to intervene in Yemen in order to force the Houthis to withdraw is a first step toward igniting a new proxy war in Yemen. The calls will likely go unheeded, at least in terms of an overt ground-based intervention. The members of the GCC, most particularly Saudi Arabia, do not have the capabilities or constitution for a military intervention in Yemen. Yemen is most definitely not Bahrain. However, some members of the GCC will undoubtedly fund a host of covert measures in Yemen, all of which will add fuel to the fire that threatens to wash over Yemen.

The Houthis are a distinctly Yemeni movement that is deeply rooted in the Yemeni socio-cultural context. All outside parties, including those in the US government, like Senators John McCain and Diane Feinstein, who recently called for more ‘boots on the ground’ in Yemen, would do well to remember the words—some of his last words—of Field Marshal Amer, the architect of Egypt’s disastrous campaign in north Yemen: ‘we did not bother to study the local, Arab and international implications or the political and military questions involved. After years of experience we realized that it was a war between tribes and that we entered it without knowing the nature of their land, their traditions and their ideas.’ The Egyptians became involved in Yemen thinking that they were supporting a proxy, the republicans, in what would be a short sharp war against the Saudi backed royalists, but it ended up costing them more than twenty-thousand dead soldiers. Meddling in Yemen without taking into account the country’s history, traditions, and intricate patchwork of loyalties is a dangerous game for all involved.

Michael Horton is a writer and Middle East analyst.

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , | 2 Comments

Dennis Ross calls for law mandating US war on Iran if deal “violated” to “address Israel’s concerns”

Press TV – February 18, 2015

A former US presidential aide says Washington should pass a law mandating military action against Iran if the Islamic Republic violates the terms of a final deal over its nuclear program.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Dennis Ross said the US must be clear what the consequences would be for any possible Iranian violations of the deal in any agreement over Tehran’s nuclear work.

“You cannot wait until you face the violations, and decide what it (the consequence), will be,” he said. “You actually should work that out now.”

Ross, who from 2009 to 2011 was a key White House official dealing with Iran, said this is an area where the US administration and Congress can cooperate and agree in advance what the price of violations will be.

If Iran is found to have been engaged in a non-civilian nuclear work despite a nuclear agreement, said Ross, then the consequence should be the use of American military force.

“There should be legislation, worked out with the [Capitol] Hill in advance, which says if we catch them with the following kinds of violations, then the implication is that we are going to take out those facilities,” he added.

He said a law that would authorize military action if Iran violates the deal, could also address Israel’s concerns.

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – are seeking to reach a high-level political agreement by April 1 and to confirm the full technical details of the accord by July 1.

Since an interim deal was sealed in the Swiss city of Geneva in November 2013, the negotiating sides have missed two self-imposed deadlines to ink a final comprehensive agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has in numerous times confirmed Iran has been abiding by its commitments to the Geneva deal.

The Agency that is supervising Tehran’s nuclear program, has never reported any deviation in Iran’s nuclear program toward militarism.

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

French Media Documents Israeli Reporter’s Fraudulent Paris Walk on Muslim “Wild Side”

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | February 18, 2015

Though Israeli “journalist” Zvika Klein’s Paris “walk on the wild side” through allegedly Muslim Paris neighborhoods aroused indignation in Israeli and western media, the story aroused skepticism in French media. The French publication Les Inrocks published an investigative piece and interview with Klein which undermined many of the claims and assumptions on which his video was based.  Thanks to reader Deir Yassin for bringing the article to my attention.

As I noted in an earlier post, Klein claims he walked through Paris for “ten hours,” yet the entire video is 1:36.  Almost half of the video shows him walking with no interaction with anyone (let alone being insulted).  So there is less than one minute of negative interaction with Parisian Muslims.

At one point, Klein claims a woman spat at him. Yet you cannot see what he claims on the video itself. He admits in his NRG article that he also was accompanied by a “security guard” because of “tense conditions” in the city.  One wonders if Klein half expected or hoped that he would be attacked by an Islamist in order to get a really good story.

In an interview with Les Inrocks, Klein claims to have walked through the 23rd Arrondissement. There are only 20 in Paris. He also claims he walked through Barbes in the Parisian suburbs when it’s in the city center.  He claimed he was constantly harassed in Saracelles, but one-third of this neighborhood is itself Jewish. Apparently, Jewish residents have figured out a way to live with their Muslim neighbors.

As you read him, Klein’s fear and racist assumptions about Paris’ Muslims becomes ever clearer:

At times, it feels like wandering around Ramallah.  Most of the women wore veils and hijabs and the men had distinctively Muslim faces. Arabic was heard everywhere… I would be lying if I didn’t say I was frightened.

Klein’s own video puts the lie to his claims about the dress of women he passed. In only one short section are the heads of women covered at all and no women wear hijabs in all the video footage he displays.  In fact, the hijab is legally prohibited in France.

A French reader who walks in Paris daily says the last time she saw anyone wearing a hijab was months ago.  As for “distinctively Muslim faces” you can see many such faces in Israel, and they are the faces of Mizrahi Jews, not Muslims. She lives in the 19th Arrondissement, a popular new neighborhood where Orthodox Jews have flocked since they were driven out of the Marais by gentrification. She sees scores of kippot each day on the streets and in the Metro. Apparently these French Jews don’t face the problems Klein found.

The Les Inrocks article also displays a tweet Klein published during Operation Protective Edge in which he quotes Meir Habib, a member of the French legislature who represents overseas French voters in Israel. Habib is also the former Likud Party spokesperson in France.

French MP Meyer Habib to http://www.nrg.co.il : “Unfortunatley, I don’t think there is a future for Jews in France”.

Read the interview Klein published with Habib in NRG. None of the quotations he included in the article have Habib saying what he claimed in the tweet. At no time does he say there is no future for Jews in France. And even if he did, Habib is little more than a Likud appointee dutifully representing the views of his master, the Israeli prime minister, who’s called publicly for all Jews to leave not just France, but all of Europe.  I asked Klein to explain the discrepancy, but he hasn’t responded.

Klein’s foray into the heart of the Paris’ Muslim beast is an extension of the Robert Spencer fake “No-Go” claims about UK cities like Birmingham. The truth is that there are no No-Go neighborhoods in any European city where Jews may not walk without being in fear of their lives. If you create a provocation and act suspiciously as Klein did taking a cameraman and security guard with him into such a neighborhood, then of course you will arouse suspicion. And why wouldn’t  you?

The French publication also researched Klein’s background, job history, and previous social media activity. Earlier in his career, he served in the IDF spokesman’s unit responsible for outreach to the Orthodox community. After that, he did similar work for Bnai Akiva, the Orthodox Zionist youth organization. You’ll remember that the world leader of B’nai Akiva, Rabbi Noam Perel, urged the IDF to avenge the kidnap-murder of three Israeli youth by collecting the foreskins of 300 Palestinians, just as David had offered 200 Philistines foreskins as a bride price to King Saul for his daughter. That should tell you quite a bit about Klein’s own views of “Arabs.”

Consider also this distinguished part of Klein’s journalistic oeuvre: a profile of an American motorcycle gang, Defenders of Liberty, which boasts on its Facebook page that it will demonstrate in Washington in favor of Bibi Netanyahu’s speech.

On a related subject, the leader of a distinguished French Jewish organization fighting anti-Semitism has roundly condemned Netanyahu’s pandering to French Jews. This is a translation by Walid of an article in Le Figaro :

In an interview of Alain Jakubowicz, the President of the International League Against Racism and Antisemitism by Le Figaro, he said Jews in France have a future there since they have a past and that he has asked Netanyahu to stop encouraging French Jews to return to Israel. Jakubowicz said that it was to be expected for Israeli leaders to do it but that Netanyahu’s repeated calls to do so are devastating. There is a way that this should be asked but the way Netanyahu is doing it is menacing and cataclysmic. Netanyahu conveys to French Jews that they are second class citizens that their country can no longer protect.

Jakubowicz went on to say that Netanyahu is re-asserting that Jews have dual loyalties and that they aren’t really French, which feeds anti-Semitism. He also said that the reunification of all the world’s Jews in Israel to create a village worthy of Asterix would be a disaster for the world and for the Jews. It is often thought there is an exodus of French Jews, which is an exaggeration. In fact, thousands have chosen to go to Israel and elsewhere; some of these had problems living their Judaism according to the Torah in neighbourhoods of a secular society, but this is not an exodus and it shouldn’t become one. There is a difference between what happened with Merah (Toulouse) and Charlie Hebdo; this must be deconstructed to show that it’s a matter of French citizens.

Zvika Klein might’ve done better to publish an interview and profile of Jakubowicz than gallivant around Paris needlessly provoking a harsh Muslim response.

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Canada adds Russia’s Rosneft, Rostec CEO to sanctions list

RT | February 18, 2015

Canada has added Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, and the CEO of Rostec, to a sanctions blacklist along with 37 Ukrainians and 17 Russian and Ukrainian organizations. They are all covered by economic sanctions and travel bans.

It’s a coordinated move with the European Union and the United States, who have already imposed a number of sanctions on Russia, according to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“In coordination with our EU and US partners, Canada is once again intensifying its response to the situation by announcing further sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities,” Harper said in a statement on his official website on Tuesday.

Canada has been trying for months to resist the pressure on taking any further restrictive measures against Russia, despite the fact it had already sanctioned 80 Russian and Ukrainian officials last year.Last May, the country decided not to impose sanctions against Rosneft and Rostec because it didn’t want politics to hurt Canada’s biggest business projects.

Russia’s oil giant Rosneft owns about 30 percent of an ExxonMobil oil field in the Canadian province of Alberta. Rosneft purchased a stake in the Cardium basin deposit in 2012; the deal became Russia’s first Canadian presence and was expected to benefit Canada’s economy by accelerating resource development.

Russian state-owned industrial and defense firm Rostec, and Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier signed a $3.4 billion deal two years ago. The companies had decided to establish joint venture to produce Q400 aircraft, which Canada recognized as a “landmark opportunity for the Q400 NextGen aircraft program.” The venture intended to build 24 aircraft a year, with some 250 constructed by 2030. The deal was postponed last year due to the anti-Russian sanctions imposed then by the Canadian government.

Read more: EU adds more Russians, eastern Ukrainians to sanctions list after successful Minsk talks

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

IMF aid package pushes Ukraine gas prices up 280%

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RT | February 18, 2015

Ukraine has agreed to increase the cost of gas to consumer by 280 percent, and 66 percent for heating, as part of the IMF terms for getting extra financial aid, says Valery Gontareva the head of the National Bank of Ukraine.

“From now on, in accordance with our joint program with the IMF, the tariffs will see rather a sharp increase of 280 percent for gas and about 66 percent for heat,” said Gontareva Wednesday during the 11th Dragon Capital investment conference in Kiev. She added that as a result inflation will be 25-26 percent by the end of 2015.

The tariff rises are part of the amendments to the 2015 budget the government has had to introduce in order to receive an $8.5 billion loan from the IMF by the end of the year.

The changes will also see Ukraine’s budget deficit growing to 4.1 percent of GDP and forecasts a 5.5 percent decline in the Ukrainian economy.

Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk had warned of future price rises for gas and heating, and stressed the IMF saved Ukraine from default, and now it’s time to make moves which should eventually result in Ukraine’s complete independence from Russian gas.

The tariff increase was among the subjects Ukraine and the IMF touched upon during negotiations in January. Deputy Chairman of the Ukraine parliament’s budget committee Viktor Krivenko said the IMF had requested a sevenfold increase in prices.

The head of IMF Christine Lagarde said on February 12 that the preliminary agreement reached between Kiev and Western creditors envisages increasing the aid package to $40 billion over the next four years.

The program will help Ukraine receive an additional $25 billion in financial aid, of which $17.5 billion will be provided to stabilize the financial situation in the country.

The latest IMF program will replace the $17 billion package agreed in April 2014. Ukraine has already received $4.5 billion under that agreement, thus the total IMF loans to Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis amount to $22 billion.

Read more: IMF announces new $17.5bn bailout package for Ukraine

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas rebuffs Blair’s allegations

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MEMO | February 18, 2015

Senior member of Hamas’ political bureau Mousa Abu-Marzkouk yesterday revealed that Quartet peace envoy Tony Blair is trying to blackmail Hamas in return for reconstructing the Gaza Strip.

On his Facebook page, Abu-Marzouk revealed five conditions put by the Quartet that Hamas has to meet in order to make way for the reconstruction of what the Israeli occupation destroyed during last summer’s 51-day war in Gaza.

Abu-Marzouk said: “Once again, and in the name of the international community, Tony Blair is exploiting the tragedy made by the Israeli occupation that includes the destruction of homes and making people homeless.”

Expressing deep concern about the devastated people in Gaza, Abu-Marzouk said: “Destroyed homes of Palestinians in Gaza became shrines to Blair and his likes. Blair says that there is no reconstruction unless these five conditions are fulfilled, and Hamas has to agree to:

  • Accept the Palestinian reconciliation.
  • Accept the political programme based on a Palestinian state on 1967 borders.
  • Reiterate that Hamas is a Palestinian faction with only Palestinian goals and it is not part of any Islamist movement with regional goals.
  • Adopt the two-state solution as a final, not temporary, solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
  • Send an assurance message to Egypt that Gaza is not a terror base for Sinai terrorists and hold talks with the Egyptian government to stop terrorism in Sinai.”

“These are the conditions for Hamas to be accepted by the international community as well as the Quartet’s conditions for rebuilding Gaza and improving living standards,” Abu-Marzouk said.

He added: “These conditions do not mean that Hamas will deal with the Zionist enemy; not even one condition was put on Israel.”

Abu-Marzouk refuted the conditions one by one. Regarding the reconciliation, he said: “It was achieved. I do not know what more is needed from Hamas, which conceded everything for a technocrat government.”

About the state on the 1967 borders, he said: “The problem is not with the Palestinian side, but with the other side. Blair should have spoken about it with Israel. He should have asked it whether it accepts a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital and whether it accepts to dismantle settlements.”

Regarding Hamas’s goals, he stressed that Hamas is a Palestinian faction with Palestinian goals and it is not part of a regional Islamist movement. “We know that he means the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said.

“This is used by all as a pretext,” he stressed. “Hamas is a Palestinian movement and its history proves that as it has not carried out any of its operations outside the Palestinian lands. Even when its leaders were targeted outside Palestine, it did not respond in the same places.”

Meanwhile, he reiterated the importance of Hamas having links with any side offering help for it. “We have no interest to have hostility with any party wherever it is and whatever the ideological differences with it are,” he said.

About the two-state solution, Abu-Marzouk said: “Blair knows that any oppressive agreement cannot remain alive for too long. Any agreement imposed by the current powers cannot remain the same when these powers change.”

Regarding Egypt, he explained: “Egypt is not merely a neighbouring country; its stability and unity are in the Palestinian interest. We deal seriously and responsibly with anyone who harms Egypt. Gaza will absolutely not be a breeding ground for terrorism.”

Adding that Hamas’s relationship with Egypt is not of Blair’s concern.

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

India to sign major weapons deal with Israel

Press TV – February 18, 2015

India reportedly plans to finalize a major arms deal with the Israeli regime worth nearly USD1.5 billion that includes Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) and four aerostat radars.

The military deal will likely be sealed during a visit to India by Israeli minister for military affairs, Moshe Ya’alon, who is due in the city of Bangalore on Wednesday for the Aero India show, which will continue through February 22.

The Israeli official, who is due to hold talks with India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, will be accompanied by major Israeli military contractors.

The bi-annual Aero India exhibit is India’s biggest showcase of military equipment.

“We are flexible when it comes to transfer of technology,” said the spokesman for the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, Ohad Horsandi, who added, “A while back, Israel and India had shifted away from buyer-seller relations toward a stronger and more equal partnership that can include joint production and co-development.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reportedly seeking to enhance its military and security ties with the Washington and Tel Aviv in a bid to overhaul a largely Soviet-era arsenal and turn India into a global manufacturing hub.

India plans a USD 150-billion military spending spree through 2027. Pending purchases include 126 Rafale fighter jets from the France-based Dassault company and 145 howitzer guns from the UK-based firm, BAE Systems Plc.

During a visit to India last month, US President Barack Obama agreed to a pilot project in which India will jointly manufacture parts for drones and transport jets. The two countries will also set up a working group to share aircraft carrier technology and develop jet engines.

India last year decided to buy Israeli anti-tank guided missiles and launchers and revive the joint development of a long-range missile. The USD 659 million of Israeli arms purchases since Modi took power is more than Israeli regime’s total military exports to India in the prior three years.

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment