Aletho News


New York Times-Style Journalism

Stephen Lendman | February 2, 2012

Like other major media scoundrels, New York Times writers, op-ed commentators and editorials fail the test. They’re biased, shameless and irresponsible, especially on issues of war and peace.

Times tradition dates from 1896 when Ochs-Sulzberger family members took control. Thereafter, it’s played the lead print role distorting, censoring, and suppressing truth and full disclosure.

Its shameful record includes:

  • supporting wealth and power interests;
  • backing corporate interests against popular ones mattering most;
  • cheerleading imperial wars;
  • ducking major issues like government and corporate crimes, sham elections, America’s duopoly power, an unprecedented wealth gap, and lost civil liberties and social benefits; and
  • backing regime change in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria, mindless of international laws prohibiting it.

The record of the “newspaper of record” produces misinformation masquerading as real news, information and opinion. Its slogan “All The News That’s Fit to Print” fails on truth and full disclosure.

Its war against Iran is longstanding. Against Syria, it’s more recent. It promotes regime change in both countries. On January 31, Times writer Rick Gladstone attacked them in his article headlined, “As Syria Wobbles Under Pressure, Iran Feels the Weight of an Alliance,” saying:

Pro-Western anti-Assad insurgents increased “pressure on (him) to step down….” As a result, “his main Middle East supporter, also finds itself under siege, undermining a once-powerful partnership and longtime American foe.”

If Assad falls, “Tehran would lose its conduit for providing military, financial, and logistical support to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.” Both Israeli opposition groups “considered terrorist organizations by Washington, have vast arsenals of rockets and other weapons.”

No evidence corroborates anti-Iran/Syria/Hezbollah/Hamas accusations. Ignored are sovereign country rights, international law, Lebanon’s legitimate Hezbollah-led government, and Hamas’ democratically elected Palestine one.

Neither espouses terrorism. Nor do Iran and Syria. In contrast, Washington and Israel pose grave terror threats. Both are nuclear armed and dangerous. They threaten preemptive strikes against invented threats. Neither has real ones.

Not according to Times-think. It stokes fear to promote conflict and regime change lawlessly.

Numerous articles and opinion pieces promote Washington’s imperial agenda. In 2011, Libya was target one. Before that Afghanistan and Iraq. Now it’s Iran and Syria.

On January 31, Times writer Neil MacFarquhar headlined, “At UN, Pressure Is on Russia for Refusal to Condemn Syria,” saying:

Both sides “skirmished over a draft Security Council resolution proposed by Morocco (serving Washington) that calls for (Assad) to leave power as the first step of a transition toward democracy.”

Ignored were international law issues. Among others, the 1933 Montevideo Convention explicitly prohibits interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. So does the UN Charter.

Nations doing so are criminally culpable. None are more guilty than Washington, Israel, and rogue NATO partners. In contrast, Iran and Syria threaten no one.

Yet MacFarquhar blamed Russia for blocking Security Council actions. In fact, Moscow’s resolute against Washington replicating its Libya model. Various language revisions left considerable wiggle room for war.

Russia’s determined to prevent it. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “Russia will not support anything that is imposed on Syria.” He firmly opposes anti-Assad resolutions. He called replicating “another Libya” disastrous. China’s view is similar. Both have Security Council veto power. Lavrov promised to use it.

He and others also assailed Syria’s externally generated insurgency. Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr-al Thani spuriously blamed Assad’s “fail(ure) to make any serious effort to cooperate with us.”

The Arab League’s Syrian Observers Report contradicts al Thani. Mission head General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi praised Assad’s cooperation. He also said:

“Regrettably, some observers thought that their visit to Syria was for pleasure. In some instances, experts who were nominated were not qualified for the job, did not have prior experience, and were not able to (fulfill their) responsibility.”

On January 18, Arab League Secretary-General General Nabil Elaraby suspended their mission. He said violence undermined it, dismissing the competence issue al-Dabi raised and reports about about Assad’s cooperation.

He also ignored a “confidential account of the League’s mission.” Turtle Bay obtained it. It shows monitors lacked proper staff and equipment. As a result, their mission was undermined from inception.

On January 30, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov insisted that Security Council members are briefed on its findings. Washington and rogue allies dismissed them out of hand. They call Arab League efforts a failure, saying their report adds nothing new.

One conclusion recommends Arab governments continue mediating for peaceful conflict resolution. Al-Dabi wrote:

“The mission… sensed the acute stress, injustice and oppression endured (by) Syrian citizens. Yet they are convinced that the Syrian crisis must be resolved peacefully, in the Arab context, and not internationalized so that they can live in peace securely, and achieve the desired reforms and changes.”

He also sharply criticized the ineptness and indifference of mission observers. He recommended reinforcing them with 100 more members, “preferabl(y) young with military background(s), 30 armored vehicles, protective vests, vehicle mounted cameras, and night vision binoculars.”

In addition, he said: “It should be stressed (that) performance shortcomings will be addressed and remedied with further practice and guidance, God Willing.”

He stressed no mission mandate for addressing a widening conflict, pitting heavily armed insurgents against Assad’s government. In Homs and Daraa, for example, opposition elements used “thermal bombs and anti-armor missiles” supplied by foreign governments.

Al-Dabi said “The mission was witness to acts of violence against government forces and citizens leading to death and injury of many. A case in point was the attack against a civilian bus which killed eight persons and injured others, including women and children.”

Foreign insurgents were responsible. The Times and other Western media scoundrels quoted monitor Anwar Walek’s reason for quitting the team. He called the mission a “farce,” saying:

“What I saw was a humanitarian disaster. The regime is not just committing one war crime, but a series of crimes against its people. The snipers are everywhere shooting at civilians. People are being kidnapped. Prisoners are being tortured and none were released.”

In response, al-Dabi said “Malek did not leave the hotel for six days and did not go out with the rest of the team into the field giving the excuse that he was sick.”

In other words, he saw nothing and lied. Media scoundrels regurgitated it. It’s standard practice, supporting lawless US imperialism against nonbelligerent countries.

Washington and rogue partners accused Assad of manipulating the monitoring mission to gain time to crush armed insurgents. Al-Dabi disagreed, saying their mission’s vital to Syria’s stability, adding:

“Any termination of the work of the mission after this short term will undermine the positive results – even if incomplete – that have been achieved so far. This may result in complete chaos on the ground (if) parties are neither qualified nor ready for the political process which aims at resolving the Syrian crisis.”

He, Assad, and most Syrians want peaceful resolution. Washington, rogue allies, and major media scoundrels promote war and regime change.

Civilians, of course, always suffer most and have grievously since early 2011. Washington and complicit allies share blame.

Assad’s unfairly condemned for their crimes. Don’t expect NYT writers, op-ed commentaries and editorials to explain. Truth and full disclosure’s not their long suit.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Comments Off on New York Times-Style Journalism

Messages of Support to Mustafa Tamimi’s Family

Life on Bir Zeit Campus | February 1, 2012

Martyrs are not numbers. It is essential for us and for supporters of the Palestinian cause to remember the stories behind the names and numbers.

For this reason, we offering this space as a platform where your voices will be heard regarding the first martyr the village of Nabi Saleh has sacrificed.

Write a message to Mustafa Tamimi’s family here. We will collect, translate, and print them all into a journal which we will then present to Mustafa’s family.

Let us not forget Mustafa.

On December 9th, 2011 a freedom fighter was ruthlessly murdered defending his village and the principles of freedom and justice which he fought and was previously imprisoned for by the Israeli occupation.

Mustafa Tamimi, the 28 year old resident of the tiny village of Nabi Saleh, was shot by an Israeli soldier who opened the back door of the armored jeep and fired a tear gas canister directly to his face from a distance of 3 meters.

Let us not forget Mustafa.

Villagers, locals, and other familiar activists remember Mustafa as one of the first to greet them in the village, before the popular protests started. He was the oldest of four brothers and one sister, and was engaged to be married the next month. He had the initial of his fiance tattooed on his chest, and was preparing to build another story above his parents’ house to live with his future wife there, following the traditional norm.

Let us not forget Mustafa.

The Israeli army has never been held accountable to the murder of Palestinian civilians. It continues to act with impunity and demonstrates a complete disregard for Palestinian suffering. 10 days after Mustafa’s murder, three Israeli jeeps surrounded his parents’ house, and 25 soldiers got out with the pretense to check the license of the car outside, but with the intention to arrest Mustafa’s younger twin brothers. Mustafa’s father shouted at them that if any arrests were to take place it would be over his dead body. The soldiers left. Let us not forget also the army spraying skunk water, firing tear gas, arresting activists, and beating people up on the day of Mustafa’s funeral.

Mustafa was killed on the 24th anniversary of the first Intifada, and the second anniversary of Nabi Saleh’s popular resistance protests, which started after settlers from the neighboring illegal settlement of Halamish- built upon the village’s land- further expropriated the main spring, al-Kaws.

Let us not forget Mustafa.

His murder only succeeded in strengthening the resolve of the Palestinians against occupation. Israel kills one, and a 100 rise up in his or her place.

We ask you to show your support and love to Mustafa’s family by writing messages of solidarity addressed to them either through this link or to this email: There are no guidelines to this, other than including your name and the city or country you are from.

Let us not forget Mustafa.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , | Comments Off on Messages of Support to Mustafa Tamimi’s Family

As anti-BDS attacks mount, students feel unsafe but U of Penn President maintains shameful silence

By Ali Abunimah – The Electronic Intifada –  02/02/2012

Yesterday I wrote to University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, asking her to condemn a vile and inflammatory attack by Professor Ruben Gur on the University’s own students.

Gur likened those participating in this weekend’s conference on boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) (at which I will speak) to Nazis, and Omar Barghouti to Hitler.

The unchecked inflammatory rhetoric by opponents of the conference, especially Professor Gur, is making students and conference participants feel unsafe.

Most disturbingly, Gur singled out Jewish students and speakers, calling them “capos” at Nazi extermination camps. “Capo” or “kapo” is the term for a concentration or death camp inmate who collaborated with the Nazis.

It would seem that Gutmann has no problem with such anti-Semitic attacks as long as the Jews being singled out in this despicable manner are deemed to be supporters of equal rights for Palestinians.

And Gutmann has failed to speak out even as pro-Israel groups are bringing a violence and torture advocate to campus to counter the BDS conference.

Failing to stand up to violent rhetoric

While I’ve had no response to my letter – 24 hours after sending it and confirming it was received by telephone – Gutmann wrote a public letter in the campus newspaper The Daily Pennsylvanian reiterating her opposition to BDS and adding this weak sauce:

Since its founding more than 270 years ago, Penn has stood for the free exchange of ideas. That concept is central to our mission, and is one that cannot be compromised if we are to uphold our standing as a great university.

Amid the passion that many feel around this weekend’s events, we urge you to focus on the one thing we cannot afford to lose: the great tradition and enduring gift of Penn’s founders – the chance to speak our minds freely.

These banalaties are an inadequate response to one of Penn’s faculty members denouncing Jewish students as “capos” and Nazis just because he disagrees with them.

Members of PennBDS, the campus group organizing the conference, responded to Gur’s hate speech in a letter of their own:

We read with some shock the opinion piece you published yesterday by Penn Professor Ruben Gur. With no evidence whatsoever, and in direct contradiction to everything we’ve ever said or written, Gur designates our student group “genocidal” and equates our upcoming conference with Nazi anti-Semitism. He labels our Jewish participants and organizers “Capos” and (in the same breath that he scolds us for describing Alan Dershowitz as an “Israel apologist”) compares Palestinian human-rights activist Omar Barghouti with Adolf Hitler.

Gutmann too should condemn Gur’s inciteful hate speech in clear terms. Instead, on that point, she has so far chosen silence.

Perhaps people should email or call President Gutmann (215-898-7221) to make sure she gets the message that she needs to stand up for her students against vile and discriminatory rhetoric from professors, and ensure the campus is safe for them to exercise their rights.

And yet President Gutmann and the University of Pennsylvania administration seem to take a surprisingly lax view.

A question that should perhaps be investigated is whether Gutmann’s failure to protect students – especially Jewish students – against the kind of intimidation and hate speech by Professor Gur amounts to a violation of their civil rights under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Singling out Jews

Professor Gur is not the only one attacking the BDS conference and singling out Jews for special opprobrium. In The Jewish Exponent, Bryan Schwartzman writes:

More than a third of the listed speakers are Jewish, including Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace.

This ominous sentence – where Schwartzman ‘counts the Jews’ – echoes Gur’s singling out of Jews as “capos.”

Bringing a violence advocate to campus

Not only is the University of Pennsylvania failing to stand up for its students rights, but increasing the heated atmosphere by bringing a notorious advocate of violence and torture onto campus to speak against the BDS conference. His name is Alan Dershowitz.

Max Blumenthal, a University of Pennsylvania alumnus wrote an op-ed in The Daily Pennsylvanian, abhoring Dershowitz’s incitement to violence. Here’s an excerpt:

To counter the Penn BDS event, local pro-Israel groups including Hillel and the Philadelphia Jewish Federation have summoned the famed trial lawyer and Harvard University professor of law Alan Dershowitz to campus to keynote a Feb. 2 event: “Why Israel Matters to You, Me, and Penn: A conversation with Alan Dershowitz.” Penn’s Political Science department – which has pointedly refused to co-sponsor the BDS conference – will co-host Dershowitz’s lecture, where the professor has vowed to explain why he considers BDS to be one of the most “immoral, illegal and despicable concepts around academia today.”

The support Dershowitz received from the university and from pro-Israel groups that claim to abhor violence is ironic in light of Dershowitz’s record. Indeed, Dershowitz is an open advocate of torture who has urged Israel to destroy entire Palestinian villages, attack civilians and bulldoze their homes.

It’s really past time for the University of Pennyslvania to show some responsibility, stop pandering to the political agendas of outside groups, and stand up for the safety and rights of its own students.


David Horowitz Spreading his hate on campus:

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Video | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Your cell phone is a government issued tracking device

By Daniel Taylor | Old-Thinker News | February 1, 2012

Mobile phones have become a major part of our modern civilization. These hand-held computers have reached a level of sophistication that allows us to instantly communicate through text, voice and video. This same technology is also being used to amass a situational awareness and sensory system that will track you and the world around you. You and your cell phone are nodes in a grid of sensors that paints a virtual picture of the world.

We are offering a huge amount of “human intelligence” to whoever is watching. In days gone by, this information was uncovered by finding the right paperwork and other hard intel. Now that the public has become acclimated to social media, advancing technology and a lesser expectation of privacy, we are collectively offering freely and openly information that is valuable to corporations, marketers, and especially governments. Cell phones are a nexus point for all of this information. As the Economist reports,

“…imagine [your cell phone] being able to aggregate this sort of information from large numbers of phones. It would be possible to determine and analyse how people move around cities, how social groups interact, how quickly traffic is moving and even how diseases might spread. The world’s 4 billion mobile phones could be turned into sensors on a global data-collection network.”

You post facebook updates from your phone, you post tweets, and you send texts. This information is being used to track social movements, predict crime, and build psychological profiles on individuals. Some phones are even being made that act as breathalyzers.

We have all likely heard about the NSA wiretapping of phone calls, but cell phones and mobile devices offer an entirely new level of real time information. “Social awareness” and geolocation, i.e. the “tagging” of your location with the popular Foursquare app is an example. Police are also scanning cell phones with wireless devices during routine traffic stops. The device can retrieve all photos and video from a cell phone and “…works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.”

The Air Force is developing a “Social Radar” that will track social developments and aid counter insurgency operations. An earlier model was developed by the Pentagon called the “Sentient World Simulation” that predicts “…how long you can go without food or water, or how you will respond to televised propaganda.” In 2010 Dr. Mark Maybury, an artificial intelligence specialist, wrote his paper on the proposed Social Radar for the MITRE Corporation. Wired magazine’s Danger room reports,

“Using sociometrics, it will pinpoint groups. Facebook timelines, political polls, spy drone feeds, relief workers’ reports, and infectious disease alerts should all pour into the Social Radar, Maybury writes, helping the system keep tabs on everything from carbon monoxide levels to literacy rates to consumer prices.”

The NSA is developing an artificial intelligence system called Aquaint (Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence). James Bamford, who helped expose the NSA’s illegal wiretapping under the Bush administration, covered the story in 2009. Bamford quotes one researcher who worked on the system – and quit after finding out how intrusive the technology was – as saying, “Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the most memorable character, HAL 9000, having a conversation with David. We are essentially building this system. We are building HAL.” As Bamford reports, this system will use  “…phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records…”

Not only can the government monitor your cell phone, it can now seize control of it through mandatory chips installed in new phones. Most major cell phone providers have signed on to the government program. Terror alerts, Amber alerts, public safety and presidential messages can now be sent to your phone. “Users can opt out of any of the alerts except the presidential messages,” notes the New York Times. An unannounced test of this system caused panic in New Jersey in December of 2011 when Verizon customers received an alert warning of a civil emergency.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , | Comments Off on Your cell phone is a government issued tracking device

“Free Pale*****”: BBC tries to settle censorship row

Left Foot Forward | February 2, 2012

The BBC Trust has announced that it is satisfied with the decision to censor the word Palestine from a freestyle performance by the rapper Mic Righteous.

In the show, which aired 11 February last year, Righteous rapped:

“I still have the same beliefs

“I can scream Free Palestine,

“Die for my pride still pray for peace,

“Still burn a fed for the brutality

“They spread over the world.”

The production team made the decision to put a sound effect, of glass smashing, over the word Palestine. You can listen to the whole performance here, or the offending section here.

In response to the original complaints, the BBC executive argued (pdf)

that BBC Radio 1Xtra and the BBC as a whole had a duty to be impartial. In this instance, the production team felt that Mic Righteous was expressing a political viewpoint which, if it had been aired in isolation, would have compromised impartiality.

The BBC’s guidelines on impartiality state:

The audience expects artists, writers and entertainers to have scope for individual expression in drama, entertainment and culture. The BBC is committed to offering it.

Where this covers matters of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or other “controversial subjects”, services should normally aim to reflect a broad range of the available perspectives over time.

Interestingly, the BBC apparently considers “scream Free Palestine” to be more of a controversial statement than “burn a fed”. The Trust has now released its adjudication of the matter, but in so doing has dodged the question.

They write:

The Committee agreed that it is for the Executive to decide what to include and what not to include in a broadcast, provided the result does not lead to a breach of the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines.

The Committee agreed that its duty was to assess whether the material as broadcast was likely to have been in breach of the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, in this case those relating to impartiality.

In other words, in response to complaints that the BBC was unfairly censoring an artist, the Trust has instead examined whether the finished program breached impartiality guidelines. Given the potential breach was never aired, the result of assessment was a foregone conclusion.

Amena Saleem, of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, argued:

The BBC Trust has moved the goalposts and decided to look at the censored content that was broadcast in February and April 2011.

“And the Trustees have decided that the content from which the word ‘Palestine’ had been edited was not biased against Palestine. This level of manipulation and duplicity would not be out of place in Catch 22.

The BBC needs to answer the real question; not whether the finished show was impartial, but whether it is acceptable policy to censor the word Palestine.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Get Off the Road to War: Stop the Sanctions on Iran

By Michael S. Rozeff | Lew Rockwell | February 2, 2012

It would be nice if the U.S. kept its word when it signs those international agreements that are in some kind of accord with rights and advance the international maintenance of rights.

The U.S. has not done this with Iran.

The U.S. and Iran signed the Algiers Accords in 1981 to end the hostage crisis. See also here. Point 1 of the accords is titled “Non-Intervention in Iranian Affairs”. It reads (in full):

“The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”

This is a pragmatically wise policy. Moreover, it is in the direction of respecting the rights of Iranians and also those non-Iranians who have dealings with Iranians. Overall, it is an agreement that settled a potentially explosive situation. It moved toward peace.

It’s too bad that the U.S. didn’t continue the motion toward peace. The U.S. had other ideas.

The U.S. didn’t want to make peace between it and Iran a policy. It wanted to un-do the Iranian Revolution. The U.S. did not follow up the Algiers Accords with further moves toward peace.

It did just the opposite.

The U.S. didn’t keep the bargain. It sided with Iraq after Iraq invaded Iran in 1980. It imposed sanctions in 1984, 1987 and in the 1990s. A review of sanctions is here. The U.S. tried to destabilize the Iranian government, isolate it and keep it out of the World Trade organization. See here.

Economic sanctions enacted by Congress are politically-caused interference. The Senate Banking Committee is about to enact more of these sanctions. Their open aim is “to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions”. This is political interference. This violates the Algiers Accords.

There is a rather long list of measures that the Committee says is “designed to increase pressure on Iran’s government.” The political interference of these sanctions is evident from the latter statement. In addition, the Senate measure directly targets the IRGC (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps). This is a branch of Iran’s military, with obvious political importance.

The U.S. government is once again violating the Algiers Accords, as it has in the past. However, the U.S. has not officially abrogated the Algiers Accords. It will only do so when it decides it can gain from doing so. It wants to maintain the option, for example, to seize Iranian assets.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is acting hypocritically as explained here by supporting the Accords’ provisions against lawsuits brought by the hostages.

Experiencing the sanctions for decades, observing all this and knowing what happened to Gaddafi, how can Iran trust the word of the U.S.? How can it view the U.S. as anything but a hostile power that is aiming to un-do its revolution? And when Israel, an ally of the U.S., makes strong and plain threats against Iran, what else can Iran think but that the U.S. and Israel are out to get it, not just halt its nuclear program, but overturn it and introduce the regime change that some like Tom Ridge have openly advocated?

The U.S. Banking Committee acknowledges that previous U.S. sanctions haven’t achieved their objective. They say “it is now clear that the steps taken thus far by the international community have not been sufficient to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.”

It has been argued by Lieutenant Colonel George T. Doran of the United States Air Force that economic sanctions are futile. Others have reached similar conclusions after studying many cases of economic sanctions.

It is not hard to understand why economic sanctions might hurt a country’s economy or hurt companies that deal with a sanctioned country but still not cause the leaders of that country’s state to alter a targeted policy or policies. One reason is that the leaders of a state are only indirectly affected by sanctions. They stand in a rather insulated and remote relation to political pressures from below that arise from sanctions. Any country has many political currents of which sanctions are only one. Another is that people in the country may rally around their government. A third reason is that sanctioned countries find ways around the sanctions, using other markets or trades.

Sanctions have other negative effects such as reducing the likelihood of diplomacy, raising the chance of war, raising the chance of retaliation, reducing trade and human exchanges, and driving a state to become isolated and more self-sufficient.

U.S. sanctions are said by the Senate Banking Committee to have slowed Iran’s nuclear program, a program that is allowable and legal under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (another accord that the U.S. has not lived up to), but where is the evidence that this is the case? How could the senators know this when that program has been interfered with by computer viruses introduced from without and from assassinations of nuclear scientists?

And even if Iran’s peaceful nuclear program has been slowed by sanctions, what does that mean when we consider the objectives of the U.S. government? If Iran appears still to be achieving its objective but on a slower time frame, does that mean that the U.S. or Israel will ratchet up their actions and start a war to force Iran to stop what sanctions have failed to stop? In other words, once the U.S. has set forth on a path to interfere with Iran politically, if only by sanctions and then stiffer sanctions, it appears to have committed itself to continue on that path, even if the eventual outcome is outright war. That was the outcome in Iraq and Libya.

More and stiffer sanctions will not cause Iran to change its tune, not if the following accurately reflects the views of Iran’s most important leader:

“Khamenei has been described as consistent in his opposition to the United States and the Western World in general, reportedly including this theme into his speeches no matter whether the topic is foreign policy, agriculture or education. He has declared that it is ‘clear that conflict and confrontation between’ Islamic Republic of Iran and the U.S. ‘is something natural and unavoidable’ since the United States ‘is trying to establish a global dictatorship and further its own interests by dominating other nations and trampling on their rights.’ However, while ‘cutting ties with America is among our basic policies,’ and ‘any relations would provide the possibility to the Americans to infiltrate Iran and would pave the way for their intelligence and spy agents,’ Khamenei holds the door open to relations with the U.S. at some future date, saying ‘we have never said that the relations will remain severed forever. Undoubtedly, the day the relations with America prove beneficial for the Iranian nation I will be the first one to approve of that.’ However, in a speech to Iranian students on October 29, 2008, which was quoted on Iranian TV (as translated by MEMRI), Khamenei stated that ‘the Iranian people’s hatred for America is profound. The reason for this [hatred] is the various plots that the U.S. government has concocted against Iran and the Iranian people in the past 50 years. The Americans have not only refused to apologize for their actions, but have continued with their arrogant actions.’”

This passage does not depict a man willing to be humiliated. Why should he back off of a peaceful nuclear program? Why should he implicitly acknowledge a kind of guilt or wrong-doing when Iran is blameless?

If sanctions do not have their intended effect, then war with Iran comes closer. Sanctions should be stopped.

Even forgetting sanctions, Israel is a loose cannon unless restrained by the U.S., or so it appears to us who are not privy to the secret communications between these two governments.

The situation is dangerous and getting more dangerous. Stop the sanctions against Iran. Sit on Israel. Shift onto the road to peace. Get off the road to war.

Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

Arab Observer Chief Satisfied: “Allegations against Syria Mission Untrue”

Al-Manar | February 2, 2012

The head of Syria Arab observer delegation voiced satisfaction with the monitors’ effort on Thursday, stressing there was a campaign against the mission.

“I swear by God, I am fully satisfied with myself and with all those on the mission in Syria,” Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi told reporters on a brief return to his homeland.

“There is a campaign against the mission and against the head of the mission and there are some allegations against it, but all of this is untrue,” Dabi said, adding critics did not understand the observers’ role.

The 165 monitors were deployed in December after Syria agreed to an Arab League plan for a halt to the violence, for prisoners to be freed, tanks withdrawn from towns and on the free movement of observers and foreign media.

On Saturday, the Arab League said it was suspending its mission because of an “upsurge in violence”.

Earlier last week the six Gulf Arab states announced they would withdraw their observers because “the bloodshed and killings there continue (and after) the Syrian regime did not comply with implementing the Arab League decisions.” Dabi called it “war” and said he had seen “some evidence of torture”.

He declined comment on talks at the United Nations, which moved closer to agreement on action to halt the regime’s crackdown.

Arab ministers will meet February 11 to review the suspended observer mission to Syria.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

European MPs call on Israel to release Palestinian lawmakers

Ma’an – 02/02/2012

BETHLEHEM – A group of European Parliamentarians on Wednesday called on Israel to release 26 imprisoned Palestinian lawmakers, official news agency Wafa reported.

The group, composed of 26 members of the European Parliament, urged “the EU and its Member States to take immediate action” to release all imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, a letter said.

“A strong and determined demand by the international community to free all Palestinian parliamentarians is long overdue and must become a priority,” the group said.

The EU lawmakers condemned the recent arrest of Palestinian parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik, who was seized by Israeli forces at a Ramallah checkpoint on Jan. 19.

They also criticized the arrest of Palestinian MP Mohammad Tawtah and former Jerusalem affairs’ minister Khalid Abu Arafa, who were detained on January 23. during a raid on the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Red Cross.

“The most recent arrests aim clearly at undermining the prospect of Palestinian reconciliation and preventing the resumption of parliamentary life. They also jeopardize peace efforts,” said the letter written by EU parliamentarians.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Comments Off on European MPs call on Israel to release Palestinian lawmakers