Underground it was still so hot that molten metal dripped down the walls… Ken Holden, director NY Dept of Design & Construction, excerpted in video above
This video shows John Gross, a NIST engineer who played a central role in the investigation of the WTC collapses, claiming he has seen no evidence of molten steel or excessively high temperatures in the WTC rubble. His interview – in which he displays obvious signs of discomfort – is intercut with eyewitnesses at Ground Zero describing red-hot, white-hot, or specifically “molten” steel in the rubble.
Such eye-witnesses are numerous, too numerous to all be quoted in the video, and they include firefighters, structural engineers and physicists. Dr Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl was one. Permitted to examine some of the structural steel before it was taken away for melting down, he reported many anomalies:
And he was far from being a lone witness:
Are we supposed to conclude all these observers, including respected professionals, were mistaken? This is a vital question because ordinary fires can’t reach temperatures sufficient to produce the effects on steel observed by these witnesses. So, if their observations and recordings are true there is clearly some phenomenon going on at Ground Zero unaccounted for by simple office fires.
It’s not necessary to espouse a conspiracy theory in order to recognise more investigation is needed.
An ambassador is a … gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.
— Attributed to Sir Henry Wotton, 1568-1639
When Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (“We the people of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war …”) rose to speak at the UN to address Syria’s ongoing tragedy, on Sunday September 25th, US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, François Delattre, Permanent Representative for France and British Permanent Representative, Matthew Rycroft, metaphorically threw their toys out of the pram and walked out. Anything more infantile and further away from the UN’s founding aspirations would be hard to find.
They would have done well to hear Mr Churkin’s full address. It lays out home truths and the reality of international State sponsored terrorism – resulting in Syria’s living nightmare – in succinct detail. He began:
It is the sixth year that the Syrian people have been suffering a grave tragedy. In 2011, Washington and some other Western capitals decided to continue the reshaping of the geopolitical space of the Middle East and North Africa, which started with the US and UK criminal invasion in Iraq in 2003. Besides, both in Libya and Syria they continued to ‘use an axe’ without any disdain for the support of terrorist groups … consequences of countries’ break-ups and flows of millions of refugees were qualified as an unforeseen ‘irritant’.
Samantha Power, however, has never seemingly found a conflict she would not embrace (safely, from afar, of course.) The Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria, “liberation” by annihilation seemingly ever her preferred option. The UN welcomes some unlikely Representatives to uphold its founding aspirations.
“What Russia is sponsoring and doing in Aleppo is not counter terrorism, it is barbarism”, railed Ms Power. Clearly she has forgotten the US led, multi-country barbarisms above and further that Russia has been invited to work with Syria to attempt to resolve the country’s terrorist crisis. The US and their “allies” – in the air and on the ground – are illegals, in contravention of a swathe of international law.
She appears to also have forgotten the numerous substantiations of the US (and allies) funding and arming the head chopping, organ eating, child murdering and other illegal immigrants from over one hundred foreign countries, according to varying analysts. Another irony is America appointing itself the “world’s policeman” – as the world is seeing what its policemen are doing at home.
Also dropped through Ms Powell and her fellow UN absconders memory hole seems to be General Wesley Clark’s near immediate post 9/11 revelation from a Pentagon colleague that:
… we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” Moreover, not to be forgotten is that the plans for Syria’s destruction were plotted in detail from within the then US Embassy in Damascus.
Interesting is also the UK walkout Representative’s background, recalling that the UK is ever a willing killer-in-arms with the US. Matthew Rycroft has trailed around varying war zones or war enablers in a “diplomatic” capacity since graduation from Oxford University in 1989.
An early placement was at the NATO desk in the British government’s bailiwick, Whitehall. After various Foreign Office placements he joined the British Embassy in Washington in 1998, from where he was seconded to both the US State Department and US Congress. On returning to the UK he became, in February 2002, Private Secretary Foreign Affairs, to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, according to his evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq.
February 2002 was, of course, the time the planning in the Foreign Office was concentrating on Tony Blair’s now infamous meeting with George W. Bush in Crawford Texas in the coming April. Rycroft denied having any involvement in those plans; however, he had integral involvement in the infamous Downing Street memo of July 23rd, 2002.
The memo related to the plans to overthrow Saddam Hussein, discussed at a meeting held by Tony Blair at which Rycroft was one of the attendees. His memo began:
“SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL – UK EYES ONLY
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02
cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell
IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER’S MEETING, 23 JULY
Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.
This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.
John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest (Joint Intelligence Committee) assessment. Saddam’s regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action …
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action. (Emphasis added.)
In the memo’s “Conclusions” Rycroft’s first is:
(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action …
The rest is Nuremberg’s “supreme international crime …” and bloody, genocidal history. Ongoing.
Rycroft has now turned his attentions to Syria. On walk-out day, September 25th, in a speech to the UN which includes too many inaccurate and misleading statements (many might say mistruths) to address here, he includes:
… the death and destruction that the sectarian Assad regime has unleashed upon them. Nor will they forget that Russia aided and abetted this ruthless sectarian dictator in waging war against his own people.
Goodness, word for word out of the US-UK Saddam Hussein hand book – “waging a war against his own people”, “sectarian dictator.” As Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Syria is secular and the government is fighting a war to rid the country of the terrorists who flooded in as a result of the fruition of the US plans formulated in 2006.
Rycroft also alleged the use by the government of chlorine bombs – he had clearly not read, or chosen to ignore the various reports, including by the UN, categorically disproving this.
Iraq had the US inspired “Iraq Liberation Act” of 1998 held over the nation’s head until destroyed by the US and UK in 2003. Syria has the “Syria Accountability and Liberation Act” of July 2009. Apart from imposing draconian sanctions of the sort that resulted in the deaths of half a million children between August 6th 1990 and May 12th 1996 in Iraq, the Act:
Sets forth diplomatic measures intended to isolate the government of Syria.
Authorizes the (US) President to provide assistance to support a democratic transition in Syria.
In another re-run of the Iraq lies, Rycroft adapts the “Saddam starves his own people” line – when, in fact, the US-UK driven embargo even denied baby formula – and accuses President Assad of “failing to stop starvation.”
Incidentally, in 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, Matthew Rycroft was awarded the CBE: “… an honour awarded to an individual by the Queen for a leading role at a regional level or a prominent … role at a national level in any activity. The definition of CBE is Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.” The cynic might speculate that his part in “Empire’s” Iraq slaughter might have been a contributory factor.
But he has not lost talent for plotting and economy with the truth, it would seem. But then, between experience in the Foreign Office, the State Department and Congress would be a peerless education. An example:
On 12 September, the eve of the ill-fated ceasefire:
President Dr. Bashar Al-Assad vowed to regain every inch of Syria from the terrorist forces.
The Syrian President made this promise during his visit to the rural Damascus town of Darayya on Monday.
In addition to his promise to recover every inch of the country, the Syrian President stated that his government will rebuild Darayya after the four year long battle left the town in ruins.
On September 15th, Matthew Rycroft translated this statement in a address to the UN as:
Earlier this week, Assad said it was his objective to regain the entire country by force …
He surely learned well from his part in Iraq plotting.
Meanwhile, on September 25th (clearly a very busy plotting day) the UK’s new Foreign Secretary (it is hard to think of anyone less suitable to be a diplomat) was in Turkey. He tweeted:
#Turkey is a vital partner to the UK. Pleased to visit for first time as Foreign Sec for talks with Govt, civil society & #Syrian Opposition
9:34 AM – 25 Sep 2016
Meeting “opposition” head choppers, eh? Another shocking international conspiracy against a small, proud nation, which threatens no one. The onslaught against Syria, the betrayal of a fellow Member of the United Nations will be added to the list of crimes of enormity laid at the feet of the “Special relationship” – the barbarism of the US-UK alliance.
Incidentally, diplomacy: “The art of dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way.”
FBI Director James Comey went before the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the Hillary Clinton email investigation after new evidence emerged which suggested Hillary Clinton’s IT specialist, Paul Combetta (under the “Stonetear” moniker), sought advice on Reddit on how to cover her tracks. He addressed claims about the FBI’s treatment of Hillary Clinton and whether or not the they were biased in her favor. He was angered by such claims, yet continued to make up excuses for Hillary Clinton.
It might sound paranoid. It might sound anti-government. But as famous civil rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate says, it’s actually just practical advice: Don’t talk to the FBI without your lawyer present, ever. You may think you have nothing to hide. You may think your refusal to cooperate with agents’ demands will somehow hurt you. But there’s nothing you can do to better protect yourself from FBI manipulation than to refuse to say anything to FBI officials without your lawyer in the room.
The latest example of why comes in the form of a federal indictment in Atlanta, Georgia, of Ibragim Todashev‘s widow, a woman named Reniya Manukyan. She’s facing years in federal prison on a charge of lying to federal agents. Todashev, remember, was a former friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. An FBI agent killed Todashev in May 2013 in the Chechen immigrant’s Orlando, Florida apartment, in shady circumstances.
No one is accusing Ms. Manukyan of having had anything to do with the Boston marathon bombings, just as her late husband was never accused of complicity in the attacks. No one is accusing her of having anything to do with any violence. Nonetheless, she’s become the latest person connected to Todashev to face harsh government action; other people he knew in Florida, including his girlfriend, were deported in the wake of his killing.
It’s unclear why FBI and DOJ officials waited so long to go after Ms. Manukyan on the charge of lying to federal agents. But one thing is clear: She may have avoided this fate had she refused to talk to the FBI without her lawyer present. Be sure you protect yourself and don’t make the same mistake.
Watch the video below to learn more about how the FBI puts people in a vice—and how to avoid becoming a victim of this tactic.
Please note that by playing this clip YouTube and Google will place a long term cookie on your computer.
A commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has officially asked for forgiveness days after signing a peace treaty that has brought a new spirit of reconciliation to the nation.
“We ask for you to forgive us and that you give us the hope of a spiritual path, allowing us to move forward together with you,” FARC commander Ivan Marquez said Thursday in the town of Bojaya, the site of a deadly 2002 attack by the rebels.
FARC had already offered an apology for the Bojaya attack in 2014 in the Cuban capital, Havana, where peace talks had been underway for almost four years, but this time the commanders did so at the site of the attack itself.
“Once again, we offer an infinite apology, Bojaya,” Marquez said on Thursday.
On May 2, 2002, FARC guerrillas seized Bojaya in an attempt to take control of the Atrato River region from the paramilitary forces stationed there. The operation failed, and approximately 119 civilians were killed, 48 of them children, in the apparently indiscriminate firing of improvised mortars by the FARC rebels.
During a visit to a church that was destroyed in the Bojaya attack, Marquez asked the local community for reconciliation.
“Reconciled, we will move toward an era of fairness, for which humble people from every corner of Colombia have yearned for so much,” he said.
FARC’s highest commander Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, aka Timoleon Jimenez or Timochenko, asked the nation for forgiveness at the peace signing ceremony on Monday.
Timochenko and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed the peace deal in the Caribbean city of Cartagena, formally ending 52 years of a conflict.
However, the deal remains to be implemented until after it is approved in a referendum, which is to be held on Sunday.
Analysts believe that the majority of Colombians will easily vote in favor of the peace deal, which will see the rebel group laying down arms and the government facilitating their incorporation into the political scene.
The Marxist group, which took up weapons in 1964 to fight social inequalities, exerts notable influence across some poverty-stricken areas of the country.
The decades-long conflict with the central government has left as many as 260,000 people dead, more than six million others displaced, and 45,000 other still missing.
The FARC peace deal has prompted Colombia’s second-largest rebel group, the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN), to also express readiness to engage in their own peace talks with the central government, but Bogota has yet to begin formal peace talks with the group.
“De mortuis nil nisi bene” is commonly translated in English with “Speak no ill of the dead”. The headlines of German obituaries on Shimon Peres outbid themselves in adulation. President Obama, however, outbid even the Germans. He praised Peres without irony as “a champion of peace. […] As Americans, we are indebted to him”, he said. He even got metaphysical: “A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever.” The US president should have really known better, that even “Peace Angel” Peres was only interested in peace with the Palestinians on Israeli conditions, namely, their subjugation under an Israeli peace diktat. Obama’s hypocrisy was topped off by Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, who had fought fiercely against the “peace policy” of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.
Two Germans, former Germany’s President Christian Wulff and Charlotte Knobloch, former President of the Central Council of Jewry in Germany, outbid even the general adulation of Peres. Christian Wulff wrote: “[Peres] outshone his time, with his empathy, his great heart, his philanthropy and his courage, his apparently unshakeable belief that Good is possible. Shimon Peres has shown what the world so desperately needs and what it simultaneously so sorely lacks.” Ms. Knobloch said: “He was a symbol of the Zionist dream”, undoubtedly believing that she was thereby praising the deceased. This “dream” had however turned out to be a nightmare for the Palestinians. Peres’ entire political life was, according to her, a “struggle for peace”. Was he really a “smart bearer of hope, a tireless reconciler”? It seems that such delusions characterize the public image of a politician, the reality of which he had created on the ground had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with such eulogies. I need not dwell here upon the assessments of the official political class, as they are drafted in the same vein.
Peres’ career is well known to everybody: He drew his nimbus as a confidant of David Ben-Gurion; he was the main initiator of the Israeli nuclear program, friend of German CSU leader Franz Josef Strauss; he spent two stints as Israel’s Prime Minister; he held almost every government post, crowning his long career as “President of the State of Israel”. He was not elected to this function by the population but by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. In each election, Peres always came out second. He was nicknamed by the public the “eternal loser”. An important reason for that, is that Israelis deeply distrusted him.
Without much ado, it can be said that he has served the Zionist entity until the last breath. This is not to be equated with the cause of peace with the Palestinians. His image in the West has always been that of a “liberal” or a “good Israeli”. Less known is the fact that Peres was a Zionist hardliner who managed to garb his ideas in the rhetoric of the so-called “Zionist Left”. His vision was not different than that of Ariel Sharon or Netanyahu, but he knew how to present it in a less confrontational manner, designed for a Western audience. On this point, the contrived visions of Peres resemble political obituaries of political leaders in the US and Germany.
In Peres’ various political positions, he always supported the colonization of the occupied territories. After his “partner in peace”, Premier Minister Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated in November 1995 by Yigal Amir, a Jewish right-wing extremist, Peres followed Rabin in the Premiership. Peres had never served in the Israeli military, hence, in the May’s election of 1996, opposing Netanyahu, he tried to make a showing of a “strong” leader by, inter alia, authorizing Operation “Grapes of Wrath” against the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon. In that operation Israel’s army bombed the UN base at Qana. In this attack, 106 Lebanese were killed and an equal number were injured. As usual, the Peres government “regretted” the massacre. Despite playing the strongman, Peres lost the elections for Netanyahu.
Ten years earlier, in 1985, Peres as the then serving Prime Minister of Israel, was responsible for an act of aggression against Tunisia that killed 75 Tunisians and Palestinians. According to international law, Israel’s aggression violated “the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or (was) in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations”, wrote Elias Davidsson, a native of Palestine, as far back as 1993. As there existed no international enforcement mechanism at the time, which would allow “the arrest, trial and punishment of criminals such as Mr. Peres”, Davidsson urged “authorities of civilized nations to refuse any official dealings with persons for which there is prima facie evidence of implication in such crimes”, including Shimon Peres.
Shimon Peres received together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat the Nobel Peace Prize for the so-called Oslo peace process, which brought only havoc and desperation upon the Palestinian people. It’s not unusual in our world that former terrorists such as Menachem Begin or war criminals such as Henry Kissinger will be bestowed with this distinction. Immediately after taking office, Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, i.e. before he reneged on his promise to close Guantánamo and started extra-judicial executions around the world.
In obituaries, only good and beautiful things are written about the deceased. May mine only serve to complete the picture of a man who authentically personified Zionism.
The investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over two years ago always had the flavour of pre-emption, caked with assumptions of premature adjudication. Neither side, be it the assembled Joint Investigation Team, nor those on the Russian side, was going to budge on the issue of the material. In the world of the post-factoid, what matters is the sale of what we believe to be facts.
In this marketplace of saleable facts, the issue becomes how fabulous the narrative can be. Find your audience, and the relevant pitch, and half your work is done. Discoveries are made at short notice, be it data captured by a smart phone, intercepts of conversations, or radar data of the raw sort revealed with impeccable timing.
What is lost in this agitated discussion are the bloody realities of conflict, the hideous nature of those last moments when 298 civilians lost their lives over a war zone. It took a decision, made on the spur, to end the lives of those people. What we have gotten, instead of a broader reflection of the conflict that caused those deaths, not to mention thousands of others, is a deeper quagmire, a furiously ideological joust between detractors and participants.
The cruel and broadly sobering picture of those moments in July 2014 did not seem to have much truck in the JIT display. In the presentation, the JIT makes it clear that it was presenting “the first results of the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014.”
This was meant to be a show by the avengers of objectivity, coming to the rescue with clarity and positivist reassurance. “The big difference with a journalistic commentary or an internet-based investigation report,” went the presentation, “is that in our case conclusions based on probability will not suffice.” There was, in fact “legal and convincing evidence.” Helped along, of course, with the bells and smells of modern animation and social media.
That convincing evidence supposedly found the culprit: “that flight MH17 was shot down… by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi).”
At that time, the area was under pro-Russian rebel control, while the BUK-TELAR had been “brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.”
For such pomp and certainty, much of the detail remained as before, with similar questions left tantalisingly dangling in the aftermath. For instance, an acknowledgment is made about the role played by the generous supply line from Bellingcat, which purports to use readily available open source material in the name of citizen journalism.
The lingering sense of a conspiratorial design to murder, a point that has been unequivocally embraced by such figures as former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, was never dispersed. A hundred persons had been identified “who in one way or the other can be linked to the crash of flight MH17 or the transport of the BUK.” Their identity, the JIT noted smugly, had been established.
As Editor-in-Chief at Fort Russ explained to Russia Today, the origins behind the makeup of the JIT lay in a NATO ploy, creating an inquiry team that was always compromised for its raison d’être. What mattered was how Russia was involved, not the question of who actually pulled the trigger. This very point was amply illustrated by the dominant role played by Ukraine on the JIT, when its absence might have been contemplated along with that of Russia.
Bathed in the aura of criminality, the note of the report never loses the whodunit sense, the forensic pursuit of twenty weapons systems, the perusal of five billion internet pages, the inspection of dozens of containers “with thousands of wreckage parts” all examined by an army of some 100 to 200 investigators.
Absent in the JIT presentation was one glaring elephant waiting to stomp in the room. Where, for instance, did Ukraine figure in this? This is not to even take the line, as has been put forth by the Russian Defence Ministry, that there had been no signs of a missile being fired at MH17 from rebel controlled territory. (This was deemed “raw data” newly unearthed by Almaz-Antey.)
The broad issue of Ukrainian culpability in permitting MH17 to be in the vicinity of a conflict area when there had been prior knowledge of targeted flights, was not a point the JIT considered. Ukrainian criminal law was mentioned in so far as it might be useful in prosecuting any personnel who had manned the BUK, but not the violations of an assortment of aviation conventions and protocols. What we saw instead was the relentless cold march of minutiae.
The sense of creeping under a shroud of international deception, releasing the missile with callous calculation, then moving back into Russian territory, suggested a trick of terrorist import, a mission of the damned. By the JIT conveying such a tone, the sense that a war of tragic miscalculation and foolishness, along with the bloody mistakes that came with it, and continue to do so, was lost.
Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Without any skepticism, the West’s mainstream media is embracing the new allegations implicating Russia in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but there are key evidentiary and logical gaps including the presumed route followed by the supposed Buk missile convoy.
According to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which while “led” by the Dutch was guided by the Ukrainian SBU intelligence service, the Russians delivered the Buk anti-missile battery at a border crossing about 30 miles southeast of Luhansk on the night of July 16-17, 2014. From that point, there would have been an easy and logical route to the JIT’s claimed firing site.
Screen shot from the Joint Investigation Team’s video report citing where a Russian Buk missile battery allegedly crossed into eastern Ukraine
The convoy would have followed one of two roads west to H21 and then taken H21 southwest to the area around Snizhne before getting onto a back road to Pervomaiskyi where the JIT says the launch occurred.
Instead, according to the JIT account, the convoy took a strange and circuitous route, skirting south of Luhansk to Yenakiieve, a town that sits along highway E50, which incidentally offered another easy route south to Snizhne. Instead of going that way, according to the JIT, the convoy proceeded southwest to the city of Donetsk, stopping there before turning east on H21 passing through a number of towns on the way to Snizhne.
Not only does this route make no sense, especially given the extreme sensitivity of the Russians providing a powerful anti-aircraft missile battery to the rebels, an operation that would call for the utmost secrecy and care, but the eventual positioning of the Buk system in the remote town of Pervomaiskyi makes little military sense.
According to the JIT’s video narrative, the presumed purpose of the Russians taking such a huge risk of supplying a Buk system was to protect rebel troops from Ukrainian military aircraft firing from heights beyond the range of shoulder-fired MANPADs.
So why would the Russians position the Buk battery in the south far from the frontlines of the heaviest fighting which was occurring in the north and then have the crew shoot down a commercial airliner when, according to the JIT, there were no military aircraft in the area?
To accept the JIT’s narrative, you have to swallow a large dose of credulity, plus assume that the Russians are extremely incompetent, so incompetent that they would send a highly secret operation on a wild ride across the eastern Ukrainian countryside, ignoring easy routes to the target location (only about 70 miles from the Russian border) in favor of a route more than twice as long (about 150 miles) while passing through heavily populated areas where the convoy could be easily photographed.
Then, the Russians (or their rebel allies) would have placed the Buk system in a spot with marginal if any military value, misidentify a commercial airliner as some kind of military aircraft, and – with a sudden burst of efficiency and competence – shoot it down.
After the MH-17 shoot-down, which killed 298 people, I’m told the Russian government did fear that somehow one of its field operatives might have been responsible and conducted an intensive investigation, including an inventory of its equipment, concluding that all its Buk missiles were accounted for.
I was also told that at least some CIA analysts shared the doubts about Russia’s guilt and came to believe that the MH-17 shoot-down was the work of a rogue and out-of-control Ukrainian team with the possible hope that the airliner was a Russian government plane returning President Vladimir Putin from South America.
Another fallacy of the JIT’s report is to assume that in July 2014 there were fixed lines of control between the Ukrainian government and the eastern Ukrainian rebels, something like the trenches of World War I. Indeed, the fluidity of the battle lines – and Ukraine’s ability to penetrate deep into rebel “territory” – was underscored by one of the SBU’s telephone intercepts published by the JIT on Wednesday.
According to the JIT, the conversation revealed a Ukrainian military convoy passing through the town of Sabivka, which is about five miles west of Luhansk, and moving toward an airport, possibly Luhansk’s airport south of the city. If that JIT account is correct, it shows that armed Ukrainian convoys could move almost at will across much of rebel “territory.”
And that would suggest that the assumption that the Buk missile must have been fired by Russians or Russian rebels because the firing location was inside rebel “territory” is suspect. According to Dutch intelligence (which really means NATO intelligence), the Ukrainians had several high-powered anti-aircraft missile systems in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the day MH-17 was shot down.
The JIT report makes no effort to explain where those Ukrainian Buks were positioned, presumably because Ukraine was part of the JIT investigation and thus had the right to veto the release of any information. While steering the Dutch, Australians and others toward blaming the Russians, Ukraine’s SBU was never going to allow evidence that would put the spotlight on Ukraine.
In addition, by issuing the report in video form, the JIT made it difficult for the public to focus on the logical inconsistencies in the findings, such as the alleged convoy route. Further, complicating the process of evaluation, JIT enhanced its presentation by mixing in real-looking computer graphics with images found on social media.
[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Troubling Gaps in New MH-17 Report.”]
The world saw him as a friendly diplomat who called for peace and talked about the importance of future generations in his speeches, using phrases such as “the future of our children and their children”. Well, Shimon Peres went AWOL and we can all see what became of the political “peace” project, which reinforced the dominance of the Israeli occupation over the land and destroyed the chances of the Palestinians ever having a bright future, or even a viable state.
The truth is that Israel’s occupation could not have done without a politician like Peres, who climbed the ladder to a civil role that is usually reserved for retired generals holding leadership positions. He was forced, in the autumn of his life, to take a lead on Israeli diplomacy, even when a vengeful, racist and arrogant man – Avigdor Lieberman – was the foreign minister.
Peres was keen on being seen in the corridors of power in the guise of a peacemaker and he seemed to be a political visionary who spoke about the future in the way of a dreamer. He spoke tirelessly about the culture of forgiveness and he wanted his name to be associated with peace by means of multiple acts, including an eponymous centre dedicated to peace.
However, the reality speaks another language. Shimon Peres was always an example of those Israeli officials who ignore throughout their decades in prominent positions the rights of the Palestinian people, international humanitarian law and UN resolutions. He completely disregarded the Geneva Conventions and continuously and repeatedly violated them at the cost of innocent lives and human rights.
Peres was Israel’s president – head of state – during successive military offensives against the Palestinian people, such as the so-called Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009) against the civilians of Gaza. He never shied away from the atrocities committed by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). Indeed, he often publicised them, even at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He gave his backing to the appalling attacks on civilians, and always sought to justify them. In this, he played a part in Israel’s propaganda machine; you will not find a single example of him being critical of the violations committed by the IDF.
As prime minister, Peres ordered the invasion of Lebanon in spring 1996, which was known as Operation Grapes of Wrath, during which Israeli troops shelled a UN base at which refugees were sheltering. The bloody massacre killed 106 civilians and UN peacekeepers from Fiji, and wounded many more. Peres remained as prime minister even after the massacre for which he was ultimately responsible. This set a precedent for him to act with impunity, as was the case with his predecessors and successors. The same base was attacked by Israel a decade later.
Two years before the Qana massacre, Peres was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but for what exactly? For his role in reaching the Oslo Accords with a weakened and exhausted Palestinian leadership. The agreement promoted slogans of peace and security, but it lacked important terms such as human rights, fairness and justice for the Palestinian people. There is no need for me to explain, today, what Israel meant by peace in this agreement, because the reality on the ground is enough to explain what ultimately resulted from the implementation of the agreement. The occupation has been entrenched even further, with ongoing settlement expansion under an Apartheid-style government. The Palestinians, meanwhile, fell for it and were trapped; Israel restrains them with Oslo’s unfair clauses.
Peres was hailed as a visionary in his view of “The New Middle East”, which was the title of his 1995 book. The idea around which his theory revolved was that the volatile region should allow Israel to act as the intelligent brain with the others following its instructions. This is basically what one can conclude given the overtones of superiority that are consistent with the logic upon which the Israeli state was founded.
After that, Peres remained an implicit partner of the extreme right-wing Israeli governments made up of ministers who adopted neo-fascist policies and positions; he acted in his capacity as Israeli president in a manner that reinforced the programmes of such governments. The “patron of peace” did not object to the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, despite international condemnation, including that from the “Quartet” – the UN, EU, US and Russian Federation.
Similarly, Peres colluded with the construction of the Apartheid Wall built by Israel on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, despite the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the decision of the UN General Assembly (2005) against the construction of the structure. Peres also played a part in the suffocating siege, collective punishment and closure imposed on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that this entails serious violations of international human rights law, the UN Charter and the logic of peace itself. All of this is just the tip of the iceberg of his support for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine throughout his long political career.
Within Israel he made no objections known to the series of racist laws introduced by the Israeli government or passed by the Knesset (parliament) since 2009. Nor did he oppose the measures to restrict independent human rights organisations and gag civil society organisations that are opposed to occupation policies and record and document Israeli government violations.
Despite all of this, Peres will be honoured after his death and will be glorified as a patron of peace. However, before believing what you see, hear or read about him in the mainstream, why not ask the Palestinians what they think about him, or the people of Lebanon? He may have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but Shimon Peres was far from peaceful.
And will the University of Lethbridge ban non-Westerners from its campus?
The holocaust cartoon contest in Iran was attacked in the West, but immensely popular throughout the non-Western world
“East is East
and West is West
and never the twain shall meet.”
– Kipling’s famous lines certainly apply to “the Holocaust.”
In the West – Europe and the temperate lands it genocidally colonized and settled – most people believe that six million Jews, and uncounted others, were systematically exterminated, mostly in hydrogen cyanide gas chambers, by the government of Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1945.
In the East and South – those lands victimized by European imperialism and colonialism where the victims survived in considerable numbers – the great majority does not believe in “the Holocaust.”
The above figures from the ADL’s Global 100 survey show that only about one in five Asians – and one in ten Middle Easterners and Africans – knows of and believes in “the Holocaust.”
(For the story of how I was forced to confront this issue, see my article: Holocaust History Denial: A Clear and Present Danger)
I first became aware of this “Holocaust gap” when I lived in Morocco doing Ph.D. research on a Fulbright scholarship in 1999-2000. My Moroccan colleagues, whether professors or graduate students, sometimes brought up questions like: “What do you think of Robert Faurisson?” I soon learned that Faurisson, who is reviled as a “Holocaust denier” by mainstream Western institutions of power, is an intellectual hero in Morocco – and, as I later learned, the rest of the Islamic world.
No matter how strongly you may disagree with Faurisson and his vast following of North African and Middle Eastern admirers, you must admit that we live in a wildly diverse world in which conflicting beliefs and historical interpretations must coexist, at least until free and open debate leads to consensus.
If Moroccan universities made agreement with Faurisson a litmus test for admission and employment, we North Americans would rightly complain. Yet we are blind to the disgust we evoke in the vast majority of MENA intellectuals by our own refusal to allow Faurisson and those who agree with him to state their actual beliefs, and present their cases, in the North American and European academies.
As I write this, Professor Tony Hall of the University of Lethbridge is under attack by a criminal conspiracy of slanderers and false-evidence-planters who have absurdly framed him as a “holocaust denier.” These individuals appear to have manufactured a hideous “kill all Jews” image, then arranged to have it planted, unbeknownst to Professor Hall, as an obscure comment on his Facebook page. After manufacturing and planting the offensive image, they appear to have conspired with Facebook to have FB blatantly violate its own guidelines by initially refusing to take down the image – a refusal that allowed B’nai Brith to manufacture a scandal.
Since it has emerged that Professor Hall’s detractors, rather than Professor Hall, appear to have manufactured and disseminated the offensive image, they have had to resort to a fallback attack. B’nai Brith Canada, the leaders of the anti-Hall lynch mob, just published an article headlined “Academic Freedom Does Not Include Holocaust Denial.” They label/libel Hall as a “holocaust denier” because, they say, he is “a staunch advocate of launching an ‘open debate on the Holocaust’.”
How is being an advocate of “debating” an issue equivalent to “denying” it?! The claim is self-evidently absurd. The obvious implication is that it is B’nai Brith, not Tony Hall, that doesn’t believe in the holocaust, since they apparently believe the official Western version of the story will implode if debate on it is ever allowed.
B’nai Brith mouthpiece Bernie Farber, in an outrageously libelous article smearing Hall, charges:
In commenting on Menuhin’s Holocaust-denial book Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil, Hall explained, “So, I’m reading that text and having to reassess a lot of ideas.” He went on to say that the book is a “very dramatic re-looking at what happened in Europe in World War Two.”
How is “reassessing ideas” equivalent to “denial” of anything?! Farber, like B’nai Brith, seems to believe that anyone who reads Menuhin’s arguments, and is open to “re-assessing ideas” when exposed to new evidence, will automatically become a “holocaust denier.” So ironically, it seems that the defenders of holocaust orthodoxy are actually closet holocaust deniers! They appear to be terrified that the official Western narrative is so flimsy that it cannot stand even the merest hint of critical scrutiny. What else could possibly explain their behavior?
These Zionist lobbyists are apparently so convinced that the holocaust narrative is fraudulent that they not only feel the need to destroy the reputations and careers of anyone who questions it, but actually make such questioning illegal – and send revisionist historians to prison!
According to Nick Kollerstrom, thousands of people have been prosecuted for “holocaust thoughtcrimes” in Germany alone. The first people who should be imprisoned, I submit, are the Zionists who pushed through these laws – because the fact that they feel the need for these laws proves they do not actually believe in the historicity of the holocaust, and are therefore “holocaust deniers” themselves. If they actually believed what they say they believe, they would obviously be eager to clobber their opponents in a free and fair debate… not with criminal charges and imprisonment.
In fact, I would go one step farther, and assert that anyone who charges anyone else with “holocaust denial” must themselves be a “holocaust denier.” If they actually believed in their version of the holocaust, they would not feel the need to resort to name-calling. Instead, they would muster empirical arguments and evidence.
The rest of the world thinks the West, with its “holocaust denial” obsession, is completely insane. After all, the rest of the world knows that the biggest holocaust of all time has been the Western holocaust of non-Western peoples. For an introduction to that subject, one could do worse than read Professor Tony Hall’s books Earth into Property and The American Empire and the Fourth World. Other key sources include Vltchek and Chomsky’s On Western Terrorism, which documents the 50 to 60 million people murdered by the USA’s CIA and military interventions since World War II; Alfred Crosby’s Ecological Imperialism, which covers the past millennium of Western planetary genocide and ecocide; and Sven Lindqvist’s “Exterminate All the Brutes”: One Man’s Odyssey into the Heart of Darkness and the Origins of European Genocide.
Read these five books, and you will understand how “the holocaust” looks to a non-Westerner.
No wonder they don’t believe Western mainstream “victors’ history.” The West cranks out outrageous lies to disguise its own crimes. Why should World War II historiography be different?
Because they start out as natural skeptics, approaching the holocaust debates with a jaundiced eye, non-Westerners are likely to avoid being swept away by mass-media-orchestrated Hollywood-style emotions and the Western mainstream narrative. Because they have so much emotional distance from the Western history of persecutions between Christians and Jews, non-Westerners can think dispassionately about such things. And because they have seen the outrageous lies the Zionists have used to construct “Israel” (a euphemism for “genocide in Palestine”) they are naturally skeptical about any and all self-serving Zionist assertions.
If the University of Lethbridge expels Professor Tony Hall, it will either have to (1) ban all students and professors from non-Western nations and/or backgrounds, especially the MENA region and the rest of Africa, or (2) force all people from non-Western backgrounds to sign a statement that they will never express their true beliefs about “the holocaust” while they are working or studying at the University.
There are oh so many varieties of Zio-washing: pink-washing, green-washing, Black-washing, even Muslim-washing. Now, there’s another to add to the treasury of hasbara promoted by Israel to the world: nuke-washing. I wrote about a similar domestic effort at cleansing Israel’s nuclear warheads of the stench of potential mass murder.
The IAEA celebrated its 60th anniversary in Vienna, its headquarters, recently. And Israel was there with its very own exhibit featuring the innovations and contributions which Israel’s nuclear program has bestowed on humanity. No mention, of course, of Israel’s 200 nuclear weapons and the legacy that they’ve given the world. No mention, of course, that Israel has refused to join the only international agreement limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the NPT. No mention of the fact that Israel has torpedoed a U.S. and Arab effort to hold a regional conference leading to declaring the Mideast a nuclear-free zone.
Instead, we have Rays of Hope (get it? radiation=rays), Israel’s latest marketing effort to persuade the world to ignore its worst deeds and focus instead on deeds that are marginal at best in their overall impact on Israel or the world. A press release from the prime minister’s office hails this as Israel’s first international exhibit of its accomplishments in the field. Here’s some of the marketing jargon, which is about as revoltingly hypocritical as any political statement can be:
The Israeli pavilion highlights Israel as a master of research innovation in the areas of nuclear use for educational, scientific, and agricultural purposes, and for production of clean energy. Director of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, Brig. Gen. (res.) Zeev Snir told the attendees:
“Israeli developments in the nuclear field have spread Rays of Hope and inspiration to many people. Our scientific achievements permit us to manufacture critical equipment for medical treatment, agriculture, security, and safety throughout the world. Our future in the Middle East must include cooperation and joint responsibility for the health and well-being of the people’s of the region. In the spirit of the IAEA, I call upon our neighbors to join to join us and transform a dream into reality.”
Really? Cooperation? Like Israel’s rejection of the NPT? Responsibility for the health and well-being of the region? Does that include the massive poisoning of the environment surrounding the Dimona nuclear reactor and the hundreds, if not thousands of workers who’ve died of lethal doses of radiation? Does it include the impact that Israel’s 200 warheads might have on the region if even one of them was used, as Moshe Dayan advocated during a bleak moment at the outset of the 1973 War?
More nuke-washing: happy shiny Dimona’s website home page
Some in the West have recently ratcheted up their rhetoric about Russia’s “nuclear saber-rattling” in Europe. Indeed, the USSR did deploy nuclear weapons in the then countries of the Warsaw Pact.
However, it was in response to the deployment of similar US arms in NATO countries, and later the Soviet nukes were completely withdrawn from Europe. Moreover, Russia has reduced its arsenal of non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNW) by three-quarters, transferred them back home and stored within its own territory.
And what was the US’ answer to such unprecedented operation? Not only have the US continued keeping its NSNW in Europe, but have also engaged actively in their modernization with an eye on expanding their offensive capabilities. American B61 nuclear bombs have obtained a completely new capacity as precision nuclear weapons capable of striking underground targets more effectively.
Under the pretext of limiting the “collateral damage” the capacity of modernized nuclear weapons will be somewhat reduced, which might indicate the intention to use these weapons in densely populated areas. It is also planned to update delivery vehicles in Europe by purchasing new American F-35 fighter jets that are “invisible” to radar systems and capable of striking targets in Russian territory. In general, the modernization would mean a qualitative change in the characteristics of the US nuclear arsenal in Europe that is fraught with a dangerous lowering of the “nuclear threshold.”
As to the so-called NATO’s “joint nuclear missions,” including joint nuclear planning and regular exercises on rehearsing the use of nuclear weapons. These drills involve non-nuclear states providing aircraft carriers, crews, airfields and other ground infrastructure. Such acts flagrantly violate key articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The NATO Strategic Concept, adopted at the summit in Lisbon in November 2010, consolidates the nuclear backbone of the alliance’s military policy. At the summit in Chicago, in May 2012, NATO officially declared itself a “nuclear alliance”, which will remain so “as long as nuclear weapons exist.” There is no such thing in international law, which recognizes only nuclear states.
The Europeans are subjected to a propaganda campaign over a “Russian nuclear threat”, although the Russian military doctrine clearly states that nuclear weapons can hypothetically be used only in response to an attack with weapons of mass destruction or to a large-scale aggression that would threaten the very existence of our country. None of these scenarios implies any “aggression” on our part. So, who is actually rattling one’s saber in Eastern Europe?
We have been constantly championing for further limitations and reductions of nuclear weapon stockpiles, along with strengthening international arms control and non-proliferation regimes. Unfortunately, what we see now is a far cry from what the international community was striving for. Among other things that affects global stability and deterrence, and the trust between Russia and the West is being eroded. Some of the critical Russian concerns are left unaddressed. At the same time, further dialog on nuclear disarmament could only be successful if the core principle of international security is observed – i.e. that the security of one country should not be strengthened at the expense of others.
Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011). Follow him on Twitter @Amb_Yakovenko