Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Current News and Analysis

Montreal police disperse hundreds of protesters with tear gas, stun grenades

Israeli forces briefly hold, threaten Ramallah governor

Ma’an – 28/03/2015

RAMALLAH – Israeli forces briefly detained the governor of the Ramallah and al-Bireh district, Laila Ghannam, at the entrance of Nabi Saleh village in the northern Ramallah district on Saturday.

Soldiers reportedly threatened the governor of “direct targeting” if she continues to participate in the weekly march organized by the popular committee against settlements and the separation wall in Nabi Saleh.

Ghannam said “we will not be frightened of detention even if we are directly targeted; we will take part in the weekly march and will not be prevented from exercising our rights on our land.”

Ghannam was detained in a similar incident in February last year while travelling from Jericho to Ramallah. … continue

Youth shot by Israel for waving flag and flashing V sign

58101013Palestine Information Center – March 28, 2015

Anas Qdeh, 21, had no idea that waving the Palestinian flag and flashing the V sign is a crime for which he will be shot by the Israeli Occupation forces (IOF) which fired explosive bullets directly at his legs while he was with scores of citizens about 10 meters away from the security fence separating Khan Younis from 1948 occupied lands.

Qdeh told the PIC reporter: “On Friday March 20, I headed to our land east of al-Sanati in Greater Abasan where many youths gather every Friday to stress that this is our land and that we will never give up on it even if Israel isolated it. … continue

EU keeps Hamas on terror list despite court ruling

AFP – 28/03/2015

BRUSSELS – The European Union kept Hamas on its terrorism blacklist Friday despite a controversial court decision ordering Brussels to remove the Palestinian Islamist group from the register.

Brussels has lodged an appeal against a December ruling by the bloc’s second highest court that Hamas should be delisted for the first time since 2001.

“Hamas stays on list during Council’s appeal to December judgement,” Susanne Kiefer, a spokeswoman for the European Council, said on Twitter.

The appeal process is expected to take around a year and a half.

Two other groups have however been withdrawn since the last EU list was published in July 2014: the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which US officials have accused of funneling money to Hamas, and Al-Takfir and Al-Hijra, an Egyptian Islamist group. … Full article

Israeli forces conduct military training in Palestinian town

Ma’an – 28/03/2015

BETHLEHEM – Israeli forces conducted military training exercises in the Ramallah district earlier this week, according to Israeli media.

The Israeli force’s Territorial Brigade allegedly raided the town of Birzeit, just outside the central West Bank city of Ramallah, in what was reported by Israeli news source Haaretz as “preparation for a possible escalation on the ground.”

The forces engaged in a variety of potential scenarios including confronting violent mass demonstrations, shooting attacks, and use of live fire by members of Palestinian security forces.

While Haaretz reported the exercise was planned with the intention to cause “relatively little disruption to the routine of Palestinian life,” the account included a training exercise in the home of a Birzeit University college student, whose house was searched during the night while he stood in his pajamas with an Israeli soldier. … continue

Manipulating security narratives and the two-state paradigm

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 27, 2015

1159bbd31582f6213e0f6a706700afb4The US obsession with manipulating security narratives for political purposes has recently been manifested in Obama’s Executive Order dated 9 March, 2015 in which he declared Venezuela to be “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”. Alleged threats by socialist governments against the US have been regurgitated throughout the decades – a trend which, although within a different context, has also been absorbed within Israel’s colonial narrative against Palestinians.

While the political scenario is different, both Venezuela and Palestine have faced the application of human rights discourse in an attempt to divert attention away from resistance struggles. As Venezuela battles the US-funded opposition and violence against the Bolivarian Revolution established by Hugo Chavez, Palestine is relegated to oblivion through the US’s and Israel’s collective efforts to raise security concerns above the reality of colonial surveillance and the usurpation of territory. … continue

America’s Anti-ISIS Gambit Falling Apart

By Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | March 27, 2015

When the United States began its so-called ‘war on ISIS’ back in August of 2014, I immediately inferred that the campaign was completely fraudulent.

In an August 2014 article titled ISIS, Israel and US duplicity, I posited that US airstrikes against the terrorist outfit in Iraq and Syria would be deliberately ineffective. I even opined that Washington would aim some of its bombs at Iraqi government and aligned forces fighting against ISIS and then claim these incidents are accidental – a duplicitous but prototypical US strategy of playing both sides against the middle. I asked:

How do we really know what the US is doing in Iraq at the moment? How do we know that they really are carrying out strikes against ISIS? How do US forces know who is ISIS and who isn’t? Do ISIS members wear bright pink uniforms so that they stand out in a crowd and can thus be precision targeted by American fighter jets? For all we know, these air strikes could be targeting Iraqi army and police forces that are fighting against ISIS militants. Maybe the plan is to covertly help ISIS fragment and destabilize Iraq and exacerbate the country’s misery.

Recent occurrences prove me right. … continue

UN staff, diplomats evacuated from Yemen as 24 killed in airstrikes

RT | March 28, 2015

Some 100 UN staff and more than 80 foreign diplomats have been evacuated from Yemen, following the night of intensive airstrikes by Saudi-led forces. Twenty-four people were killed and 43 injured over the last 24 hours, the Yemeni Interior Ministry said.

Among those killed and injured were Yemeni troops, police, security forces and civilians, the ministry said in a statement, cited by the state news agency Saba. Fourteen buildings were destroyed, it added.

The deteriorating security situation has led to the United Nations evacuating its estimated 100 staff from the capital, Sanaa, a source within the UN told Reuters. […]

Full article

US has to climb down on sanctions to reach Iran deal: Gareth Porter

Press TV – March 28, 2015

The United States has to make an “extraordinary climb-down” on the issue of sanctions in order to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran over its nuclear energy program, an American investigative journalist says.

Gareth Porter, a historian, journalist, author and policy analyst specializing in US national security policy, made the remarks in his article, titled Sanctions and the Fate of the Nuclear Talks, published on Friday by Middle East Eye, an online news portal covering events in the Middle East. […]

Porter said that the fate of the talks hangs on closing the gap between the two sides on removing sanctions imposed against Iran.

He stated that the issues related to Iran’s civilian nuclear program have now been more or less resolved, but the issue of sanctions relief is still very much there.

Porter wrote that “all the evidence indicates that the two sides have not advanced beyond where they were last November, when they were very far apart.”

He said that the Obama administration wrongly believes that Iran is negotiating with the P5+1 because sanctions are seriously hurting its economy.

Porter wrote that Washington “fails to grasp the depth of Iranian commitment to removing the sanctions as a matter of national pride as well as to be able to achieve a higher level of economic development.”

He said the “myopic perspective” of the US and its allies is part of the problem, adding that they “intend to maintain the ‘sanctions architecture’ in place for many years after the implementation of the agreement has begun.”

In adopting such a policy, the investigative journalist said, “the Obama administration is following precisely the course outlined by Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), the neoconservative think tank whose outputs align completely with Israeli interests.”

He revealed that Dubowitz designed the anti-Iran sanctions which were approved by Congress in late 2011 and he “strongly influenced the administration’s sanctions policy for the entire Joint Plan of Action period.” – Full article

Body Count Report Reveals At Least 1.3 Million Lives Lost to US-Led War on Terror

Although a conservative estimate, physicians’ groups say the figure ‘is approximately 10 times greater’ than typically reported

By Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams | March 26, 2015

How do you calculate the human costs of the U.S.-led War on Terror?

On the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, groups of physicians attempted to arrive at a partial answer to this question by counting the dead.

In their joint report— Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror—Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War concluded that this number is staggering, with at least 1.3 million lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001.

However, the report notes, this is a conservative estimate, and the total number killed in the three countries “could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.”

Furthermore, the researchers do not look at other countries targeted by U.S.-led war, including Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, and beyond. … continue

Retaliate against Israel for sucker punching us

By Dan Simpson | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | March 25, 2015

Israel has delivered three major body punches to the United States this month, which means it is time to hit back — unless our government wants to be perceived by Americans, Israelis and everyone else in the world as a bad joke as a world power.

The first blow was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu using the House of Representatives as the site of a campaign pep rally for himself, with congressmen and senators as cheerleaders and majorettes. His speech on that occasion just happened to be an attack on a major American project: the achievement of an international agreement with Iran to control its nuclear ambitions and begin the end of 36 years of estrangement.

That agreement, by the way, is being negotiated in coordination with China, France, Germany, Russia and Britain. … continue

For Once, Don’t Blame the Israelis

By Philip Giraldi | Ron Paul Institute | March 26, 2015

aipac-boehner-543The recent revelation that the Israelis had obtained classified information relating to the P5+1 negotiations with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program should not really surprise anyone. Israel has invested a great deal of political capital in confronting Iran and convincing the American public that it poses a genuine threat. So, it would be a given that its intelligence service, Mossad, would be tasked with finding out what information is not being shared by the White House.

But the truly intriguing back-story to this development is, “how did the Israelis do it and with whom exactly did they share their information?” The information obtained was described by the White House as “eavesdropping,” which would suggest some sort of electronic interception. But as the meetings undoubtedly took place in a technically secured room, which means that it was electronically “swept” before, during, and after meetings, the conversations could not be picked up either from bugs planted inside — which would be detected — or from penetration techniques originating outside, which is possible but would require a major deployment of high-tech gear close to the target. … continue

Why Using Pension Money to Fund Israeli Bonds is Both Wrong and Illegal

Funding Illegal Israeli Settlements

By JAMES ABOUREZK | CounterPunch | March 27, 2015

The Minnesota State Board of Investment is honor bound when it invests monies from Minnesota’s public employee pension funds. Each of the Board members, which includes Governor Mark Dayton (Chair), State Auditor Rebecca Otto, Secretary of State Steve Simon and Attorney General Lori Swanson know, or should know, that by investing in Israel Bonds the Board has violated its fiduciary responsibility to only invest public pension funds prudently. Israel Bonds are government bonds issued by the State of Israel.

Earlier this month I appeared before the Board members to urge them not to invest in Israel Bonds. Immediately after I ended my presentation, the Governor handed the other Board members a previously prepared written motion to continue investing the state’s pension funds in Israel Bonds. All of us in the packed hearing room understood that my testimony had been wasted. Facing members of the pro-Israel Lobby who had been seated in the front row, three of the four board members voted to invest. Only the State Auditor, Rebecca Otto, voted against the motion. … continue

US making ‘no practical steps’ to ratify Nuclear Test Ban Treaty – Russia

RT | March 27, 2015

Moscow has slammed Washington for taking “no practical steps” to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) – despite countless promises to do so – and consequently preventing the important international treaty from going into force.

“The main load of responsibility that the CTBT has not entered into force so far lies on the eight remaining countries from the so-called ‘list of 44′ whose ratification documents are needed to launch the treaty,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry stressed that “first of all, this refers to the US, a country that positions itself as a leader in the sphere of strengthening the regime of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.”

“Unfortunately, despite the repeated statements on the plans to ratify the Treaty, the US has yet taken no practical steps in this direction,” the statement said. … continue

Cancer and Infant Mortality at Three Mile Island

By JOHN LAFORGE | CounterPunch | March 27, 2015

The partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, March 28, 1979, involved the loss-of-coolant, the melting of half its fuel, a hydrogen explosion in the “containment” building,(i) the uncontrolled, frightening buildup of explosive hydrogen in the reactor vessel, the venting of radioactive gases, and the dumping of contaminated water into a major source public drinking water. The accident caused such a scare that it ended the expansion of nuclear power in the US. Today, reactor builds can’t keep up with closures.

Yet the human health consequences of TMI aren’t well known, and official cover-ups, propaganda and ignorance of radiation-induced illnesses have led to trivialization of the disaster. As Gar Smith notes in his 2012 book Nuclear Roulette, public officials issued one false statement after another for days, like: there were no radiation releases; radiation releases were “controlled”; radiation releases were “insignificant”; there was no melting of the reactor fuel; there was never any danger of an explosion; there was no need to evacuate close communities. In fact, TMI’s failed containment released a plume of radiation “about 100 times more significant than the initial estimates offered” by the industry and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission — which still doesn’t know how much radiation was released or where it went. … continue

£500k-a-year: MoD splashes out on new boss despite military spending cuts

RT | March 27, 2015

Amid chaos over defense cuts and strategy, the Ministry of Defense’s newest boss will be paid up to £535,000 (around US$800,000) a year to lead the department’s multi-billion pound equipment program.

Tony Douglas, currently CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, is the latest high-powered corporate executive to make a move to the public sector.

He will become Head of Defense Materiel at the Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S) agency, which sources and purchases military equipment ranging from boots to jet fighters.

The figures were originally disclosed to the Financial Times newspaper by two senior civil servants.

With a basic salary of £285,000 and the potential to earn another £250,000 in performance-related bonuses, Douglas will become the highest-paid civil servant in Whitehall… Full article

Four US warplanes conduct military drills in Poland

Press TV – March 27, 2015

American warplanes have been participating in war games in Poland as part of a training mission for a massive NATO military drill amid tensions between Washington and Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

Four US A-10 Thunderbolt II warplanes, capable of destroying tanks, are involved in a series of drills in the European country this week, the Associated Press reported.

The warplanes which followed two C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft on Tuesday are temporarily based at the Powidz Transport Air Base in western Poland, Polish army spokesman Lt. Col. Artur Golawski said on Thursday. […]

Earlier this month, US military tanks also arrived in the country to participate in NATO’s Atlantic Resolve operation. … Full article

Court dismisses Kirchner ‘cover-up’ charges

Press TV – March 27, 2015

An Argentinean appeals court has dismissed charges against the country’s president and foreign minister over an alleged cover-up said to have taken place with regards to a 1994 bombing.

DpWPjNApu_3aYCtdP_m05-KTL7fH_0Sd8zi04eCkwhw=w207-h215-p-noOn Thursday, the Federal Chamber voted 2-1 to reject the allegations leveled by late special prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

In July 1994, a car bomb exploded at the building of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, also known as AMIA, in the capital, Buenos Aires. Eighty-five people died and some 300 were injured.

The Israeli regime accuses Tehran of masterminding the terrorist attack. The Islamic Republic of Iran has strongly denied any involvement in the incident.

The prosecutor had accused a number of high-ranking Argentinean officials, including President Fernandez de Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, and lawmaker Andrés “Cuervo” Larroqu of trying to “protect Iranians” in the case.

The government has staunchly denied the allegations and insisted that “there is no evidence whatsoever, not even circumstantial in nature,” that Fernandez de Kirchner or her aides committed any crimes.

On February 26, Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas said likewise that there were no elements to justify the continuation of an investigation into an alleged political effort by Kirchner to cover up the role claimed to have been played by Iran in the bombing. … continue

Colombian Report on US Military’s Child Rapes Not Newsworthy to US News Outlets

By Adam Johnson | FAIR | March 26, 2015

… Thus far, however, these explosive claims seem to have received zero coverage in the general US press, despite having been reported on Venezuela’s Telesur (3/23/15), the British tabloid Daily Mail (3/24/15) and Russian RT (3/25/15).

But why? These aren’t fringe claims, nor can the government of American ally Colombia be dismissed as a peddler of Bolivarian propaganda. … Read full article

Hamas rejects Amnesty report on war crimes

Ma’an - 27/03/2015

GAZA CITY – The Hamas movement on Friday rejected a report by human rights group Amnesty International accusing the group of war crimes during last summer’s war with Israel.

While the report claims that Hamas killed both Israeli and Palestinian civilians using indiscriminate projectiles, Hamas criticized the findings as being unbalanced, adopting “the Israeli version of the story.”

In a statement, the group said that it is the right of Palestinians to defend themselves against both the ongoing Israeli occupation and Israeli military offenses. … continue

Assad: Anti-ISIS coalition doesn’t want to get rid of Islamic State completely

RT | March 27, 2015

The alliance of 60 countries declaring plans to finish off the Islamic State is not serious, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Russian media. Some of its members would prefer to retain the terrorist force to blackmail different countries, he said. […]

The Syrian president said the West does not have a political solution to the crisis in Syria, claiming it is only interested in destroying the government.

“They want to turn us into puppets. I do not think that the West has a political solution. It does not want one. When I say the West, I am primarily referring to the US, France, the UK. Other countries are secondary.”

To put an end to the ongoing armed conflict in Syria between the government troops and international militants, such countries as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some European countries should stop arming the terrorists, the Syrian president said. … Full article

Pakistan Says Not Prepared to Take Part in Any Muslims-Dividing Conflict

Al-Manar | March 27, 2015

Pakistan announced it was ready to defend Saudi Arabia’s “territorial integrity” but not to escalate any conflict, the defense minister said Friday, after Riyadh asked Islamabad to join the coalition of countries launching an aggression against Yemen.

Khawaja Asif told parliament Pakistan was not prepared to take part in any conflict that would divide the Muslim world on sectarian lines. “We don’t want to be part of any proliferation, we will try to contain it,” he said. … Full article

39 civilians dead in Saudi airstrikes on Yemen

Press TV – March 27, 2015

Nearly 40 civilians have lost their lives as neighboring Saudi Arabia pushes ahead with its airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in Yemen, health officials say.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP on Friday that twelve of the 39 victims were killed when Saudi warplanes struck residential areas close to al-Samaa military base, north of the capital city of Sana’a.

The military base is used by army units believed to be loyal to former Republican Guard Commander Brigadier General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Three airstrikes also targeted the presidential compound in southern Sana’a in the wee hours of Friday, witnesses said. … Full article

The Vicious Circle of U.S. Military Involvement in Africa

By Sonny Okello | Dissident Voice | March 27, 2015

It seems that a day rarely passes without news of a new atrocity committed by an increasingly notorious terrorist group. And, without fail, this news is accompanied by an increase in U.S. military interventions around the world.

While for many Americans, supporting intervention may come from a laudable sentiment – the desire to ‘do something’ in the face of widespread suffering – the situation on the ground is always more complicated than it appears, with various powerful interests intersecting. Now, under the guise of counterterrorism efforts – the U.S. military’s alibi of choice since 9/11 – the Pentagon is spreading its ever-expanding footprint throughout the African continent despite the understandably lackluster welcome they are receiving from many ordinary Africans on the ground. … continue

Major coup for AE9/11Truth – American Institute of Architects green lights Building 7 vote

By Craig McKee | Truth and Shadows | March 26, 2015

Sometimes it really pays to be persistent.

That’s what Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth found out this week when the organization achieved something truly remarkable. It succeeded in getting a commitment from the largest association of architects in the U.S. to debate and vote on a resolution supporting an investigation into the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 on Sept. 11, 2001.

The vote will take place at the annual convention of the American Institute of Architects, May 14-16, in Atlanta, GA. (If you’re not sure how much of a big deal this convention is, the keynote speaker is former president Bill Clinton.)

After several failed attempts to get the AIA to even consider looking into Building 7, AE tried a different approach in early 2015. Instead of simply appealing to the AIA leadership, they used the organization’s own rules to create a resolution that, pending approval by the AIA resolution committee, would come to the floor of the convention where it would be debated and voted on by delegates.

That approval came this week. … continue

American ‘patriot’ attempts false flag to ‘make point about terrorism’

By Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | March 26, 2015

WSBTV reports that the FBI has arrested and charged a 67-year-old man who they claim placed a backpack containing partially made bombs and a Koran in an Atlanta-area park last November.

The man identified as Michael Sibley told authorities that he placed the backpack bomb in the park because he’s a ‘patriot’ trying to alert people to the threat of terrorism.

The criminal complaint against Sibley outlined his motive:

[Sibley] stated he is a ‘patriot’ and he felt no one was paying attention to what was going on the world. Sibley felt if he placed the package in a Roswell park then people would finally get that this type of activity could happen anywhere.

Authorities found that the backpack contained not just a Koran but “soft targets,” particularly Atlanta’s Jewish community centre.

The attempted false flagger seems to have the neocon narrative down pat: frame Muslims and make Jews out to be the victims.

Canadian cops fire tear gas at student protesters’ faces

RT | March 27, 2015

11.siStudents in Quebec City were sprayed with tear gas by Canadian police after holding an ‘illegal’ gathering to protest the provincial budget. A brief scuffle broke out before law enforcement officers began randomly gassing the demonstrators.

Hundreds of students, some traveling from as far as Montreal, had gathered in front of the National Assembly to protest the Quebec government’s budget, which had been tabled on Thursday.

The demonstrators wanted to hold a protest in front of the National Assembly to show their disgust at cuts to services such as healthcare on campus and library hours. They were met by a line of riot police in full body armor.

There was a little pushing between the two sides and after a brief stand-off, the police began firing tear gas indiscriminately at the protesters from close range. … Full article with video

Police Implement New Policy to Treat Everyone as Criminals: When a Cop Stops You, Hands Must Go Up

By Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project | March 26, 2015

Topeka, KS — Drivers as well as their passengers in Topeka Kansas will soon be subject to a new policy requiring everyone to put their hands up during police stops.

Police say they are implementing this policy because “we all want to go home to our families, and this makes it safer for us to approach vehicles to gain that compliance. It gives us a chance to survive these encounters.”

However, the implications regarding this practice are horrid, and many residents are up in arms about being forced to be up in arms. … continue

‘Please, I can’t breathe:’ Unarmed black man beaten by Michigan cops in arrest video

RT | March 26, 2015

Newly released police dashcam footage shows the violent arrest of an unarmed African-American during an alleged traffic violation in Michigan. The man claims he did nothing wrong but was put in a chokehold, beaten and Tasered repeatedly.

The incident, which is now under state investigation, happened in January, but the police dashcam video was obtained by Detroit’s WDIV and released on Tuesday. The video shows Michigan State Police pulling over Floyd Dent, 57, for an alleged traffic violation. Dent is seen opening his car door as two police officers arrive, one with his gun drawn, and pull him from the car, forcing him to the ground. One officer put him in a chokehold. … continue

Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen unwise, illegitimate: Hezbollah

Press TV – March 26, 2015

The Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, has slammed as “unwise” and “illegitimate” Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen.

“Hezbollah strongly condemns the US-Saudi aggression targeting the brotherly people of Yemen and the national army and vital installations,” a statement from Hezbollah’s media office said on Thursday.

The condemnation by the Lebanese resistance movement came after warplanes of the Saudi Air Force bombed the positions of the Ansarullah fighters and launched attacks against the Sana’a International Airport and a nearby military air base early on Thursday. Based on early reports, 18 civilians have been killed in the airstrikes.

Hezbollah further warned of the repercussions of the Saudi invasion, “which lacks wisdom and rationale and legal legitimacy,… [and] is moving the region towards more tensions and risks.” … Full article

Saudi Arabia puppet of US, Israel: Houthi leader

Press TV – March 26, 2015

The leader of Yemen’s Houthi fighters has heaped scorn on Saudi Arabia for conducting unjust and heinous attacks on Yemeni people, saying the Arab kingdom is serving as a puppet for the United States and the Israeli regime.

Abdul-Malik al-Houthi made the remarks in a televised address on Thursday in reaction to Saudi Arabia’s “unjustified” deadly attacks targeting Yemeni people in the capital, Sana’a.

Saudi Arabia is a puppet at the disposal of superpowers, the Houthi leader said, adding that Riyadh is putting in action the US-Israeli conspiracy in Yemen.

He noted that the US-Israeli plot in Yemen aims to break up the chaotic country and deprive people of security and freedom.

Al-Houthi said the Saudi invasion of Yemen came after their agents, including al-Qaeda terrorists and the ISIL Takfiri terrorists, failed to execute their plots in Yemen. … continue

The Houla Massacre Revisited: “Official Truth” in the Dirty War on Syria

By Prof. Tim Anderson | Global Research | March 24, 2015

This article examines and documents the Houla massacre of May 2012, a terrible incident in the Syrian Crisis which came closest to attracting UN intervention. The analysis here seeks to include all relevant evidence, both from witnesses and on the UN processes. A series of appalling civilian massacres during the conflict helped set the tone for another round of ‘humanitarian intervention’ or ‘responsibility to protect’ debates. The killings at Houla deserve close attention. However, because of NATO’s abuse of the ‘no fly zone’ authorisation for Libya and the wider geo-politics of Syria, Russia and China would not allow a similar UN Security Council authorisation of force. Big power intervention therefore remained indirect, through proxy militias. While the Syrian army attacked those militias and many Islamist groups carried out public executions, attempts to blame the Syrian Army for attacks on civilians remained hotly contested.

The context to this was two very different narratives. Western propaganda attacked Syrian President Bashar al Assad, claiming that he, through the Syrian Arab Army, was repeatedly ‘killing his own people’. From the Syrian side this was always a proxy war against Syria, with NATO and allied Gulf monarchies backing sectarian terrorist gangs, with the aim of ‘regime change’. The western line maintained that a peaceful protest movement, after many months of ‘regime brutality’, transformed into a secular (later ‘moderate Islamist’) ‘revolution’. The western popular media reinforced this line, with calls to arm the ‘civilian protestors’. … continue

British state ‘involved in mass murder on British soil, colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in 80 deaths between 1972 and 1978′

Belfast Telegraph | March 24, 2015

The state was involved in mass murder on British soil, a lawyer has told a coroner’s court.

The security forces colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in 80 deaths between July 1972 and June 1978 in Northern Ireland’s “murder triangle” in counties Armagh and Tyrone, Leslie Thomas QC said.

He said many were carried out by the Glenanne Gang of gunmen with the alleged involvement of soldiers and police officers. … continue

US fines oil giant $232 million over Iran trade

Press TV – March 26, 2015

The US government has slapped oil services giant Schlumberger with a $232.7 million fine for “violating” its sanctions on Iran and Sudan.

The US Justice Department says the company had admitted “knowingly and willfully conspiring to violate” unilateral American sanctions.

The French-US services company is charged with secretly providing services to Iran and Sudan.

While Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings was allowed to work in both countries, the government says the fine involved the company’s US Drilling and Measurements unit which was not. … continue

Israel, Palestine and ‘Greenwashing’

By Robert Fantina | Aletho News | March 26, 2015

olive-tree-awarta-600x450The genocidal methods employed by Israel against the Palestinians know no boundaries. The degree to which apartheid Israel works to erase Palestine, its people, history and culture is truly extraordinary. One method in use that may not be commonly known is referred to as ‘greenwashing’.

To fully understand this concept, it’s necessary first to understand and appreciate Palestinians’ devotion to, and reliance on, their lands in general, and olive trees in particular. For millennia, Palestinians have farmed the land and supported themselves and their families in this way. The olive tree has a central role in the lives and the very existence of Palestinians.

A newly-planted olive tree takes several years to bear fruit, but most will live for hundreds of years, producing fruit. It is not unusual for such trees to live for 2,000 years. The olives are used in a variety of ways, not only for oil, but in the making of soap, hair treatment and other products, and even to light their homes. Since many Palestinians live on lands that have been in their families for countless generations, there is a strong attachment to olive trees. Some families name their olive trees, indicating the importance the trees have to them.

Israel is not unaware of the significance of olive trees to the Palestinians. … continue

France-based firm pulls out of Jerusalem cable car project

AFP – 26/03/2015

JERUSALEM – France-based utility giant Suez Environnement said Wednesday that, because of political sensitivities, it has decided not to take part in a cable car project linking west Jerusalem to the annexed Eastern sector.

The project, run by Jerusalem city council, has stoked controversy over the Israeli cable car’s planned route, which passes through parts of mostly Palestinian East Jerusalem. … Full article

What legitimacy does Israel have to be de-legitimised?

By Ibrahim Hewitt | MEMO | March 25, 2015

Southampton University is hosting a conference next month which has stirred a whole raft of Zionist anger. “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism” is, say its detractors, “anti-Semitic” and will, according to one British MP, “de-legitimise the existence of a democratic state”. Ah, is that the same “democratic state” wherein one-fifth of its citizens face official discrimination on a daily basis and the de-legitimisation of their culture, identity and existence in their own land?

Without wishing to pre-empt what the speakers at the conference are likely to say, this issue of “de-legitimisation” of Israel is fascinating, not least because it presupposes that the state has legitimacy in the first place. Accusations that Southampton’s examination of this topic will actually “legitimise anti-Semitism” are part of the usual smokescreen put up by the pro-Israel lobby in order to kill any discussion of Israel’s contempt for international laws and conventions. … continue

Rafah buffer zone to extend 1,000 more meters into Egypt

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm – 24/03/2015

People in the restive Sinai Peninsula have been informed of a third phase of evacuations to be made as part of government plans to create a 2,000-meter buffer zone along the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

People in Rafah said they have been notified that the third phase of evacuations will begin in early April. The first two phases involved the evacuation of 3,350 families from land that extended 1,000 meters into Egypt along the 14 km-long border. … Full article

Mubarak-era Interior Minister Habib al-Adly released from Tora Prison

Mada Masr | March 25, 2015

Former police chief Habib al-Adly, who served as Hosni Mubarak’s interior minister, has been released from prison today after receiving clearance from the Prosecutor General’s office. He is the latest figure – and perhaps the most controversial – from Mubarak’s inner circle to be released from detention over the past few months. … Full article

Russia: Nationwide Dialogue Must Replace Military Actions in Yemen

Al-Manar | March 26, 2015

Russia will continue to stay in contact with all parties involved in the conflict to quickly find a way to peacefully settle the conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry urged parties to the conflict in Yemen to cease any military activity, according to the ministry’s official website.

“We believe it is highly important that all parties to the conflict in Yemen and their foreign allies stop any military actions and abandon any efforts to achieve their goals in a military way. We believe that severe contradictions in Yemen can be settled only through a nationwide dialogue,” the ministry said.

Moscow also expressed serious concerns over the latest events in Yemen.

The Russian government will continue to stay in contact with all parties involved in the conflict, including using UN institutions, to quickly find a way to peacefully settle the conflict, the ministry underscored.

Saudi Arabia along with other Gulf states launched late Wednesday a military offensive against Yemen, claiming over 20 civilians.

Iran’s Zarif urges immediate end to Saudi attacks on Yemen

Press TV – March 26, 2015

The Iranian foreign minister has called on Saudi Arabia to immediately cease its military aggression against Yemen.

“We demand an immediate stop to the Saudi military operations in Yemen,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam news network on Thursday.

Zarif said the military operations constitute a violation of Yemen’s sovereignty and will only lead to bloodshed.

“We will spare no effort to contain the crisis in Yemen,” Zarif said.

He pointed out that the act of aggression will benefit no country, adding that the military campaign will further escalate the tensions in the region.

The Iranian foreign minister also urged the regional and western countries to avoid playing into the hands of terrorists such as al-Qaeda and ISIL in Yemen. … continue

Whats up with the Atlantic?

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | March 25, 2015

The Washington Post has this dramatic headline: Global warming is now slowing down the circulation of the ocean with potentially dire consequences.

A new paper has been published that has the media talking about The Day After Tomorrow [link]. What is this new paper? … continue

Bipartisan bill would repeal Patriot Act, cut down American surveillance

RT | March 25, 2015

The bipartisan Surveillance State Repeal Act, if passed, would repeal dragnet surveillance of Americans’ personal communications, overhaul the federal domestic surveillance program, and provide protections for whistleblowers.

House lawmakers Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) are co-sponsoring bill H.R.1466, which was introduced on Tuesday and would repeal the 2001 Patriot Act, limit powers of the FISA Amendments Act, and prohibit retaliation against federal national security whistleblowers, according to The Hill.

“The Patriot Act contains many provisions that violate the Fourth Amendment and have led to a dramatic expansion of our domestic surveillance state,” said Rep. Massie in a statement. “Our Founding Fathers fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize. It is long past time to repeal the Patriot Act and reassert the constitutional rights of all Americans.”

Specifically, the bill would revoke all the powers of the Patriot Act, and instruct the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to destroy any information collected under the FISA Amendments Act concerning any US person not under investigation. … continue

US troops, contractors sexually abused Colombian girls with impunity – report

RT | March 25, 2015

Fifty-four Colombian girls were sexually abused by US troops and military contractors between 2003 and 2007, claims a new report by the country’s reconciliation commission. None of the perpetrators were ever prosecuted because US forces had immunity.

The claims are part of an 800-page report by an independent commission established by the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group. The commission’s goal is to determine the causes and document the consequences of the civil war that has ravaged the country for 50 years and claimed over seven million lives.

“There exists abundant information about the sexual violence, in absolute impunity thanks to the bilateral agreements and the diplomatic immunity of United States officials,” Renan Vega, of the National University of Colombia in Bogota, told Colombia Reports. … continue

Resisting Israeli politics

By Brenda Heard | Aletho News | March 25, 2015

Six months prior to the upcoming UK general election, the Board of Deputies of British Jews published its “2015 General Election Jewish Manifesto.” This forty-page document urges both existing and prospective members of the UK Parliament to support various “policy asks” and to “champion these causes.” The Manifesto was styled after a very similar one created for the 2014 EU elections.  Indeed their goals appear the same: to ensure a pro-Israeli agenda in the House of Commons and beyond.

The 2015 Manifesto does include some discussion of faith-based issues, such as underscoring the need of the Jewish community in the UK to be able to provide Kosher meat and to observe the Sabbath. This discussion is a just and valid participation of citizens in their government. The problem arises, however, when the Manifesto equates Jewish and Israeli. With 58 mentions of Israel, the Manifesto, cloaked in blue and white imagery throughout, even boasts a full-page illustration of the British and Israeli flags flying together.

This self-proclaimed “voice of British Jewry” avows a “very strong attachment to the State of Israel.” Yet it is difficult to reconcile this support with such statements as “The UK Jewish community is committed to peace, security, prosperity and equality for Israel, the Palestinians and the wider Middle East” when this statement was penned less than two months after a vicious Israeli onslaught against Gaza, an indiscriminate rampage that in just fifty days killed at least 2,100 Palestinians, some 70% of whom were civilians, including 519 children. A recent report by the American National Lawyers Guild concluded that “both facts and law refute the Israeli self-defense claims” and that Israel had “collectively punished the entire civilian population.” Indeed, Israeli forces intentionally targeted Palestinian civilians, leaving them dead and wounded, homeless and devastated. There has been no peace, no security, no prosperity and no equality for the Palestinians. Not ever.

Yet the Board of Deputies of British Jews expresses unwavering support for Israel. … continue

March – 2015

February – 2015

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 937 other followers