Aletho News


Cut Zionist genocide, feed Americans instead

Press TV – November 2, 2013

Some 47 million poor Americans – one in four children – see their already meager federal food allowances slashed this week.

The cuts amount to $4 billion a year over the next decade.

That $4 billion figure should ring a bell. It is equivalent to the official annual subvention that the US government sends to Israel – courtesy of the American taxpayer.

This week that $4 billion annual donation to the regime in Tel Aviv was on display with the following items: Israeli tanks, warplanes and troops carried out deadly raids on occupied Palestinian territories, resulting in at least nine deaths and dozens of wounded; dozens of Palestinians continued to be kidnapped (“arrested”) from their homes and streets by Israeli troops; also the dominant Likud party of Benjamin Netanyahu announced that illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Al Quds “will be intensified” with plans to build an additional 5,000 housing units.

The accelerated construction on Palestinian land is in blatant contravention of international law.

In other words, this week, as in every other week, the war crimes that the US-backed Israeli regime has been committing since at least 1967 continued apace. This in the same week that millions of Americans are on notice that they are being put on starvation rations because their government would rather send $4 billion to a genocidal regime than pay for basic human nutrition.

The fact is that the Israeli criminal regime gets away with this genocide only because the US rulers hand over $4 billion every year to a state that comprises some seven million Israeli nationals.

It is astounding that tens of millions of Americans are going hungry because the same amount of money being cut from their social welfare is bankrolling Israel.

Ironically, some 900,000 of those hungry Americans are believed to be former US soldiers, many of whom are mentally and physically broken from fighting in the so-called Wars on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Israeli regime, its American lobbyists and its bought-and-paid-for politicians created the false premises for these criminal wars – and many others besides.

But the men and women who served as cannon fodder in these criminal wars are now being abandoned in hunger, while the regime that helped cause their misery is still creaming off American taxpayers.

Hunger, poverty, suffering, death, genocide are all consonant and consistent in this grotesque system deified as capitalism.

Here are a few other figures to round out the abject picture. If just 0.6 per cent were shaved off the annual $700 billion US military budget, that would be enough to cover the cuts in the food stamp program this year.

If the $52-billion-a-year NSA spying program that is operated against our own citizens was cancelled that would pay for the immediate food needs of all Americans and, moreover, help build an economy for genuine social development, with good paying jobs, welfare and infrastructure. But, again, that won’t happen because the US economy is a war economy based on fear and paranoia.

US lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat – they are all the same puppets – want to axe a total of $40 billion from the food program over 10 years. This is the same figure – $40 billion – that these same minions throw at Wall Street and the mega-banks every two weeks under the scam known as “Quantitative Easing.” Taxpayers, many of them on food stamps, are bailing out corporations that crashed the world economy and which are up to their necks in militarism. Yet, this bloated elite turns around and snatches the crumbs out of people’s mouths.

But we return to the Zionist regime. These crimes are subsidized and enabled by money that would otherwise feed hungry Americans. People will die this year in the US simply from poverty and the lack of food. These American deaths will be for the same reason that Palestinians will die from poverty and hunger.

The choice is revealingly simple. Stop funding genocide in the Middle East or start feeding Americans.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Comments Off on Cut Zionist genocide, feed Americans instead

70% want BBC licence fee to be cut or abolished, poll finds

Press TV – November 3, 2013

Seventy percent of voters paticipating in a new ICM poll for The Telegraph believe the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) exclusive right to the television licence fee should be cut or scrapped.

According to the poll, 21 percent of voters believe the BBC must face a cut in the amount it receives or have to share with other broadcasters while about 50 percent said the charge should be scrapped entirely.

Only 10 percent of the voters say they want to see the fee increase in the BBC’s Charter in 2016.

Chairman of the Commons media select committee John Whittingdale said the poll shows “considerable public dissatisfaction” with the current system of funding.

He added that there was a strong case for allowing other broadcasters to compete for licence fee funding to put an end on the BBC’s “monopoly”.

According to earlier reports, British ministers are willing to consider licence fee reforms if the BBC fails to undertake changes in the wake of a series of scandals hitting the corporation.

Earlier last week, the Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps said the corporation needs to tackle a culture of “secrecy” following the Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall scandals as well as disclosures about pay-offs to senior executives.

The licence fee, which is currently frozen at £145.50 annually, brings the broadcaster some £3.6 billion in revenue.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Comments Off on 70% want BBC licence fee to be cut or abolished, poll finds

The role of the BBC in the Syrian conflict

The following report contains disturbing images”

This is how the BBC website introduces a report by its BBC Panorama’s Syria correspondents Ian Pannell and Darren Conway on August the 30th, 2013. The story contained a video, ostensibly shot near Aleppo, Northern Syria, by an anonymous school headmaster, and documenting the aftermath of a napalm attack on his school, supposedly perpetrated by the Syrian armed forces on August 26th. According to the story, the “evil” forces of Bashar al-Assad, at a time when they had just about established their strategic advantage over the anti-government rebel forces and the foreign mercenaries they had been fighting for over two years, had found nothing better to do than attack a school, a target which presented no military interest whatsoever, with napalm – no less – just so the international media, and BBC Panorama in particular, could pick the story and broadcast it to Western audiences, in perfect timing to coincide with the British Parliament’s vote on the so-called “humanitarian intervention” in Syria, which was being pushed for by Prime Minister David Cameron, ostensibly to prevent precisely this kind of atrocities.

Were Assad’s forces really that stupid? Of course not.

It did not take long before several international commentators and observers pointed out the many implausibilities in the video and the story in general. Among them, Italian author Francesco Santoianni, showed how incongruent the whole story was, sparking the suspicion that the entire video might have been a fabrication. What follows is his analysis.

First of all, Napalm is a substance which generates temperatures between 800 and 1,200 degrees Celsius: in other words, no one has ever survived direct exposure. These physical characteristics mean that when Napalm was utilised in theatres of war, it was primarily used to defoliate areas covered with thick vegetation, and not urban areas, where white phosphorus is more often used, as the United States Armed Forces did in Falluja in 2005, and the Israeli Defence Forces did in Gaza in 2008. Nevertheless, the BBC expected its viewers to believe that Assad’s forces had employed the obsolete napalm on a school. Of course, a school with no teaching resources in sight, but somehow a swimming pool in the back. Oh, and a swing. Case closed: it MUST be a school. Although, we are told by our sources in Syria that the school year did not start until September 15: so what exactly were all those people doing in a locked-up school?

In the video, we were also shown a pair of winter shoes – not clear how they ended up there: it was after all August – and a woman’s shoe. Was all this footwear worn by the victims? How did it remain intact?

Almost every British newspaper which reported the story informed us that “The attack killed more than ten pupils and left many more seriously injured”: and yet, despite the warning against graphic images, we are not shown the bodies, or the grieving parents.

There is – to be sure – a child, seeing shaking in one scene. His skin is actually intact, and so is his hair: certainly not consistent with napalm, or anything like it. And what is the white stuff on his body? Surely, it cannot be the chemical fired from the fighter jets – that wouldn’t have left his hair intact – therefore we must assume that it’s some kind of first-aid ointment, of sorts? Whoever administered it could not even be bothered to remove the watch from the kid’s wrist. In fact, no one seems to be attending this child: the only person with some kind of interest is the cameraman.

Somewhat less convincing is a couple, seen in the video going through the well-rehearsed motions of cursing in Arabic. There is a problem though: the woman’s face is covered in that same white stuff: and the couple has just arrived to the so-called hospital, so it cannot be “some kind of first-aid ointment”. It must be the “napalm-like chemical”. We are expected to believe that a “napalm-like” chemical, fired from a fighter jet, somehow ended up sprayed on this woman’s face leaving her veil intact?

We also see what is supposed to be a makeshift hospital. On the floor, five adult males are shaking – three of them still have their clothes perfectly intact, of course – although one of them at some point stands up and walks off, having presumably decided that he’s had enough.

By the way, we keep seeing paramedics from the so-called charity Hand in Hand for Syria supposedly handling chemical burns victims without any gloves on – but wearing gas masks, for some reason. And even a dust mask: what’s that? The woman in question is of course Dr. Rola, the star of this video [segment introducing Dr. Rola]

Then, of course, we get the obligatory segment showing a distraught local, venting his powerless rage at the International Community, invariably denounced as inefficient and perennially locked in futile negotiations. The Public Relations rules dictate that such a character must be somehow connected with the tragedy (no details given), and that, when he addresses the camera, he must not speak in the local language – which would only sound like terrorist gibberish to most Western audiences: rather, he has to produce an impromptu speech in an impeccable English, so impeccable to the point of sounding scripted and well-rehearsed, or even read off a prompter. After all, these PR rules did work for Libya.

All these absurdities were exposed almost immediately after the release of the video on the BBC’s channels. So why talk about them again now?

Well, one reason is that the BBC itself, presumably after receiving dozens of complaints from viewers who didn’t appreciate their intelligence being insulted, decided to salvage what little they could from the story, and delete the biggest blooper of all. And this is where it gets creepy. Because what follows leads one to believe that this was not the case of the BBC naively buying into a story packaged and sold to them by the anti-Assad PR machine (it wouldn’t have been the first time), but rather that the BBC itself actively created a product that was intended to steer the public opinion towards a more interventionist position. For such a product, there can only be one definition: propaganda.

What happened was that Human Rights activist Craig Murray, among others, realised that, between the first and the second release of the video, something was different in the lines spoken by Dr. Rola. Listen to the original one, containing references to napalm.

The reference to napalm has disappeared in the redacted version.

Both audio clips have the same identical sound quality: of course, there is very little that cannot be accomplished with the kind of technology that’s available to the British Broadcasting Corporation, thanks in part to the fact that Dr. Rola was wearing her exaggerated dust mask, which conveniently did away with all the challenges involved in dubbing, lip-synch, etc. However, the redacted audio clip must have been added at a much later stage, for reasons we have just explored, which prompts us to ask: how can we even be sure that the original audio clip was not scripted and recorded in a studio? Also, Robert Stuart, writing on the Media Lenses Forum, points out that Dr Saleyha Ahsan, featured in the new version of the video, is a filmmaker with a military background: a former Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps and a freelance current affairs journalist. Was she involved in packaging this product?

The background of Dr. Rola herself is also interesting. Of course, she’s no stranger to the BBC:here she can be seen appearing on a political programme, advocating for the bombing of Syria.

Also of interest is the fact that the Charity Hand in Hand for Syria, where Dr. Rola supposedly works as a volunteer medic, happens to sport a flag of the French colonial era on its logo – a flag now adopted by the Anti-Assad Coalition. This is an affiliation which the BBC did not see fit to disclose to its viewers.

For those who still believe in whatever is left of the BBC’s reputation for upholding the mediatic standards of fair and balanced reporting, here is some useful information about another so-called “charity”. The BBC Media Action (formerly the BBC World Service Trust), with its catchy slogan: “Transforming Lives through Media around the World”.

In an interesting report available on its website, BBC Media Action explains:In 2008, BBC Media Action launched its three-year project ‘Socially Responsible Media Platforms in the Arab World’ with funding from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Syria News was the official Syrian partner, endorsed by the Ministry of Information on behalf of the BBC. The project aimed to set up an interactive online training platform, the Ara2 [opinions] Academy, for Syria’s journalistic and blogging communities, creating networks between the two. This reflected the changing status of bloggers in the regional media and responded to their aspiration to be seen as credible social commentators. The project also supported Syria News as an example of a sustainable independent media organisation, with managerial staff taking part in study tours in London and in business development training. BBC Media Action did not work with a local partner on blogger training, as this could have alienated and excluded parts of the blogging community. Instead, the BBC collaborated with an informal network of bloggers from across the country and recruited mentors for the distance learning system (the Ara2 Academy) who were trained at workshops in London and Damascus”.

One could not have wished for a clearer description of a Trojan horse, funded by one government in order to destabilize another. Just to go over the timeline again: the three-year BBC Action Syria Project started in 2008. The “Syrian uprising” began in February 2011.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘It’s Your Father’ – Each Stretcher is a Tragedy

By Tamar Fleishman | Palestine Chronicle | November 1, 2013

Qalandiya – Each time it seems like we have reached the bottom of the pit, but reality proves there to be an even deeper one.

Perhaps to those who do not stand in front of the ambulances, the stretchers and the back-to-back procedures the pictures seem the same. But they really aren’t. Each person is a story and on each stretcher is a tragedy. Only the occupation is the same, as well as the rifles, the regulations and the orders.

And because of the regulations a six year old child who had severely injured his head at 10 AM with a metal bar had arrived at Qalandiya checkpoint at only 3 PM, although his father immediately after the injury phoned a brain specialist in Amman who told him that the child must be on the operation table within the hour.

By the time the mechanism of the occupation had permitted the child and his mother (not his father) to pass through to a hospital in Jerusalem, five hours had past. Five hours is a time frame that hands out the verdict of life and death.

The child was hazy, his eyes were open but they weren’t focused; his hands rose without purpose and fell down as though on their own, and the father begged that they take him as well with the child to the hospital, so that he be with his child- but no, only the mother could go.

The man stood by the child who couldn’t really see him, and touched the child who couldn’t really feel, and talked to him, and the child didn’t really hear, and said to him: “it’s your father, my child, it’s your father…” and kept saying it again and again.

The man bent over and touched the child’s body and hands and the tip of his head that remained exposed, as though saying goodbye, and keeping it together until the ambulance drove off and only then did tears come bursting out of his eyes.

And from mine once I was on my own.

(Translated by Ruth Fleishman)

– As a member of Machsomwatch, once a week Tamar Fleishman heads out to document the checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | Comments Off on ‘It’s Your Father’ – Each Stretcher is a Tragedy

Netanyahu orders building of wall in the Jordan Valley along borders with Jordan

Palestine Information Center – 03/11/2013

RAMALLAH — Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has given instructions for the building of a wall along the borders with Jordan in the Jordan Valley, Hebrew press reported on Sunday.

Maariv daily said that the instructions were given for planning that wall, which would entail full Israeli control of the area.

The decision was taken despite the ongoing negotiations between Israel and the PA with the Jordan Valley being one of the negotiated issues.

The paper quoted Netanyahu as saying that one of the reasons for building the wall was fears of alleged influx of Syrian refugees from Jordan in addition to sending a message to the Palestinians who object to the presence of Israel on the Jordan Valley mainly that Israel does not intend to withdraw from the Jordan Valley in any future settlement.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Comments Off on Netanyahu orders building of wall in the Jordan Valley along borders with Jordan

Bahraini court sentences four activists to life

Press TV – November 3, 2013

A court in Bahrain has sentenced four anti-regime activists to life in prison and six others to 15-year jail terms, as the country’s prosecutors begin interrogation of opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman.

Bahraini opposition sources said on Sunday that the activists were handed prison sentences for taking part in anti-regime protests.

Earlier this week, ten protesters were also imprisoned over similar charges.

The court rulings are issued at a time when Bahraini regime forces have intensified their crackdown on opposition leaders.

Reports say the Manama regime has begun the interrogation of Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary-general of the main opposition group, al-Wefaq.

The Saturday summoning of Sheikh Salman sparked protests across Bahrain.

The demonstrators expressed solidarity with the al-Wefaq leader.

The Bahraini opposition group believes the summoning of Salman “to be part of the political blackmail and revenge against the peaceful opposition that is asking for democracy.”

The Manama regime is under fire for its heavy-handed crackdown on protests.

On October 30, Bahraini regime forces stormed and shut down an exhibition, dubbed the revolution museum, which was opened by al-Wefaq.

The party says it will lodge a complaint with the United Nations over the raid on the exhibition, which had been organized in an effort to portray the brutal regime clampdown on peaceful protests.

In September, Wefaq’s deputy leader, Khalil al-Marzouq, was arrested on charges of “inciting protests” against the ruling Al Khalifa family. The opposition party said the detention was “a clear attack on political activism in Bahrain.”

Scores have been killed, many of them under torture while in custody, and thousands more detained since the popular uprising began in Bahrain in early 2011.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Comments Off on Bahraini court sentences four activists to life

Putin Signs Law Punishing Terrorists’ Relatives

RIA Novosti | November 3, 2013

MOSCOW  – President Vladimir Putin signed a law Sunday forcing the relatives of terrorists to pay for the damages caused by their attacks.

The law submitted by President Putin in September that includes measures to criminalize training in terrorist camps was approved by the country’s parliament in late October.

Effort to target the families of militants marks the latest attempt by Russian authorities to stamp out an insurgency in the turbulent North Caucasus that has claimed thousands of lives over more than a decade.

Under the law, material and moral damages inflicted as a result of a terrorist attack should be compensated “by the perpetrator and his or her family members, relatives, in-laws and other people, whose lives, health and well-being are significant to him or her because of established personal relations.”

The new law stipulates closer scrutiny toward property belonging to the relatives and loved ones of people who have “committed a terrorist act,” with the goal of verifying whether such money or goods were acquired legally.

People found guilty of training with the aim of carrying out terrorist activities will now face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($15,700). Anybody found guilty of creating terrorist networks could be sentenced to 20 years behind bars and fines of up to one million rubles.

Individuals found to be parts of terrorist organizations can now be punished with 10-year jail sentences and 500,000 ruble fines.

The new legislation increases penalties for setting up, leading or financing armed groups to up to 10 years. Participation in such groups, including those based abroad, is punishable with up to six years in jail.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | Comments Off on Putin Signs Law Punishing Terrorists’ Relatives

US won’t ignore Israeli interest at N-talks: Sherman

Press TV – November 3, 2013

US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman says Washington will take into consideration Israel’s security interests at the upcoming talks between Iran and the group of six major world powers.

According to a report published by the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post, Sherman said the US will not ignore Israel’s security interests at the forthcoming nuclear talks, which are slated to be held in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 7-8.

Sherman made the remarks in an interview with Channel 10, which is set to be broadcast later on Sunday.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the US – plus Germany held two days of talks over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 15-16.

During the talks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif presented Tehran’s proposal titled, “Closing an Unnecessary Crisis, Opening a New Horizon” to the six countries.

Sherman also rejected reports about Washington offering Iran relief from unilateral sanctions imposed over the country’s nuclear energy program.

“We have not offered any sanctions relief on Iran, and we have not removed any sanctions,” the US official added.

Under pressures by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the US Senate is ratcheting up pressure on the White House to tighten the sanctions against Iran in line with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand for more pressure against Tehran.

In a statement on Saturday, the AIPAC said there would be “no pause, delay or moratorium in our efforts” to seek new sanctions on Iran.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Comments Off on US won’t ignore Israeli interest at N-talks: Sherman