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US deploys destroyer to Europe amid Russia concerns

Press TV – February 11, 2014

The first of four US missile destroyers has arrived in Europe, an apparent move by Washington to challenge Russia that voiced concerns over the deployment.

The USS Donald Cook arrived in the Spanish port of Rota on Tuesday.

“For the first time, a ship of the United States Navy equipped with the Aegis ballistic missile-defense system is permanently based in Europe,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

“The arrival of the USS Donald Cook marks a step forward for NATO, for European security, and for transatlantic cooperation,” he added.

Three more American destroyers will also be joined the USS Donald Cook at the base in Rota over the coming two years. Other US destroyers are the USS Ross, the USS Porter, and the USS Carney.

The deployment of the four destroyers is part of Washington’s military policy in Europe that includes land-based Aegis interceptor batteries in Romania and Poland, radar in Turkey and a command center at the US Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany.

The Obama administration’s plans for increasing military presence in Europe have caused a major rift with Russia.

Moscow says the system is major threat to its own security and has threatened to beef up its own nuclear arsenal in response.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already ordered the deployment of short-range missiles to the country’s western Kaliningrad enclave, which is situated between Poland and Lithuania.

In a speech to the country’s Federal Assembly in December, the Russian president said that his country will not allow any nation to dominate it in military terms.

“We realize clearly that the AMD system is only called defensive, while in fact it is a significant part of the strategic offensive potential,” Putin said.

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Aussie TV dares to show the real occupation

Four Corners | February 10, 2014

Jonathon Cook writes:

I never thought I would see it. A mainstream TV programme, this one made by Australian channel ABC, that shows the occupation in all its inhuman horror.

The 45-minute investigative film concerns the Israeli army’s mistreatment of Palestinian children. Along the way, it provides absolutely devastating evidence that the children’s abuse is not some unfortunate byproduct of the occupation but the cornerstone of Israel’s system of control and its related need to destroy the fabric of Palestinian society.

Omar Barghouti has spoken of Israelis’ view of Palestinians as only “relatively human”. Here that profound racism is on full show.

There are, of course, concessions to “balance” – in the hope of minimising the backlash from Israel – but they do nothing to dilute the power of the message.

This is brave film-making of the highest order.

It is an indication of quite how exceptional this film is that it has cornered Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, into expressing her “deep concern“. That’s the same Bishop who last month doubted that the settlements in the West Bank were illegal.

If the video above is removed, you can also watch the film here:

www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2014/02/10/3939266.htm

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 5 Comments

On the Eve of an Illegal Attack on Syria, Avaaz/350.org Board Members Beat the Drums of War

By Cory Morningstar | Wrong Kind of Green | August 30, 2013

AVAAZ3

Appalling.

350.org’s Van Jones (U.S. Advisory Council Board member and NRDC trustee), is calling for airstrikes on Syria. [CNN Video below.]

From the 350.org website:

“Van Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. He is a co-founder of three successful non-profit organizations: The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. Jones is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs, The Green-Collar Economy. He served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009. Jones is currently the President of Rebuild the Dream.” [Emphasis added.]

Never has the legacy of Ella Baker been so disgraced. Ella, today, spinning in her grave, once conveyed to the world:

“Remember, we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro alone, but for the freedom of the human spirit a larger freedom that encompasses all mankind.”

Ella would surely spit on Van Jones if she were alive today.

350.org’s Ricken Patel (350.org International Advisory Council member – and Avaaz founder) is also pounding the drums of  war. Just 4 days ago, on August 22, 2013, Patel himself urged Avaaz supporters to demand world leaders “place a no-fly zone over Syria.” Those who comprise Avaaz are already up to their necks – in the blood of the Libyan people who they helped annihilate. [Further reading: Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention? A ridiculous question, yet according to Avaaz, the answer is yes.]

The following link is Google’s cache of the Avaaz/Patel campaign to demand a no fly zone (https://secure.avaaz.org/en/syria_no_fly_zone/). It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 22 Aug 2013 18:08:13 GMT: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:vzBe8PMa7H8J:https://secure.avaaz.org/en/syria_no_fly_zone/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca&client=firefox-a

Screenshots of Patel’s email:

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Add to this the “Humanitarian Intervention” and “Responsibility to Protect” doctrines. The crème de le crème of imperial rhetoric. Such doctrines, created by American “think-tanks”, for the elite, by the elite, are of critical use for a declining and morally bankrupt empire. An empire that brilliantly attempts to convince and portray, utilizing the language within these doctrines, that the atrocities they manufacture, call for, and carry out, are somehow honourable and admirable – as opposed to what they actually are: crimes against humanity. Orwell would have called this psychopathic persistence a stunning feat in doublespeak.

Many so-called civil society organizations/NGOs have been instrumental in making these doctrines palatable to the public.

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

PALESTINE: Border Police detain, humiliate and arrest men trying to go to Friday prayers; CPTer’s camera taken.

CPTnet |  February 11, 2014

On 7 February 2014, CPTers went to the routine Friday mosque patrol around prayer time. Often during Friday prayers, Israeli Border police will take the IDs of young Palestinian men while they going into the Ibrahimi Mosque, check to see if they have any outstanding warrants and then return the IDs when the men come out of the mosque. This Friday, however, Border Police were not allowing the men to go to the mosque while they were checking the IDs.

When CPTers called members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), TIPH personnel told them that Border Police were detaining men at several H-2 checkpoints. The CPTers decided to look at Checkpoint 29 and found Border Police detaining twenty to thirty men there. Several of them were quite angry because of the way the Border Police had been treating them. Other men were trying to calm the situation. When one man, after realizing he was going to miss prayers at the mosque, began to lay his prayer rug on the ground to pray at the checkpoint, one of the Border Police shoved him against a wall, which really enraged several people in the crowd.

Soldiers pepper-sprayed a boy who appeared to be about eleven or twelve and an older man, who was later hospitalized. The boy passed out and was taken down the hill to a shop. Additional soldiers arrived and began deploying sound bombs and teargas. Police arrested eight men.

Video of Border Police pepperspraying man

After the police took away the men they had arrested, CPTers remained in the area because of the heavy soldier and Border police presence. Civilian police approached one and asked for his passport and his camera. They insisted on taking his camera to the police station and he accompanied it. While he was at the police station, they asked him questions about what he had witnessed, periodically coming out of a room and telling another CPTer that “your friend isn’t arrested; he is just giving testimony.”

As of this writing, six of the men arrested on Friday have been released, while two are still in custody.

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Only Some Massacres Matter?

Munich Olympics, Revisited

By Alison Weir | CounterPunch | February 11, 2014

The Washington Post has published a moving article, “Russian Jews remember Israeli athletes murdered at 1972 Munich Olympic Games.” Unfortunately, it gets a few things wrong and provides a one-sided context for the tragedy.

Allow me to correct the report and fill in a few of the missing facts.

Just 23 years before the Olympic incident, Israel had been created through ethnically cleansing much of the indigenous Palestinian population.

This had been accomplished through at least 33 massacres and was maintained in the years following by still more acts of ethnic cleansing and additional massacres. (These included areas from which the Munich kidnappers came).

Five years before the Munich incident, Israel violently conquered even more Palestinian land (illegal under international law), pushing out another 325,000+ Palestinian men, women, and children, and killing at least 13,000 Arabs in all. About 800 Israelis died.

The violence continued, and beginning in 1968 Israeli forces repeatedly savaged 150 or more towns and villages in south Lebanon alone. By the time of the Munich Olympics, Israel held hundreds of prisoners in its notorious prison system.

It is widely known, but rarely stated, that the goal of the Munich hostage-taking was not to kill them; it was to return the athletes to Israel in return for Israel returning its Palestinian prisoners.

Many of these prisoners were also young people, and, if we could have seen them, they might have looked very much like the Israeli athletes, minus the physical health. Israel is not known for its merciful treatment of those it dislikes.

When the Israeli government refused to consider an exchange, the German police, with the Mossad at hand, were pushed into an ill-planned rescue attempt in which some of the hostages (no one knows how many) were killed accidentally by the attackers, and a German policeman was also killed.

The day after the botched and unnecessary “rescue,” Israel launched heavy air attacks against Lebanon and Syria, killing between 200 and 500 Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians, mostly civilians.

While Washington Post reporter Kathy Lally gives a great deal of information about the position of Russian Jews, going back over 100 years, it would have been valuable for her to tell a little about what the Munich incident was about – and about all the tragic victims of violence connected to the event, not just the 11 preferred ones.

~

Alison Weir is the executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of the upcoming history of US-Israel relations, Against Our Better Judgment, to be released next month.

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia slams UN move on Syria as one-sided

Press TV – February 11, 2014

Russia has lashed out at the UN Security Council over a draft resolution that would impose more sanctions on Syria unless the government gives unrestricted access to aid delivery.

“Indeed, our Western partners in the [UN] Security Council addressed us and offered to work together to draft this resolution. However, the ideas that they shared with us are absolutely one-sided and divorced from fact,” Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

The top Russian diplomat went on to say that the draft resolution also disregards the measures already taken to deliver humanitarian supplies, and international agencies’ assessments of the humanitarian situation in Syria.

He further noted that the resolution needs to be issued in a way that would condemn terrorist activities in Syria.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin has pledged to veto the proposed measure if necessary, saying the resolution would increase tension in Syria.

“This text would not have any positive impact on the situation,” Churkin said, “If anything, it would create disruption of humanitarian efforts.”

The Russian ambassador added that the measure would endanger the Geneva talks being held in Switzerland.

The comments come as the Syrian government delegation, led by Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, and foreign-backed opposition hold a second day of talks in Geneva.

The first round of the talks aimed at containing the deadly violence ended inconclusively on January 31, amid sharp differences between representatives from the Syrian government and the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC).

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

The day the world fought back

By Danny O’Brien | EFF | February 11, 2014

Mass surveillance of electronic communications is a vast, new, government intrusion on the privacy of innocent people worldwide. It is a violation of International human rights law. Without checks and balances, its use will continue to spread from country to country, corrupting democracies and empowering dictators.

That’s why, today, on February 11th, around the world, from Argentina to Uganda, from Colombia to the Philippines, the people of the Internet have united to fight back.

The Day We Fight Back’s main global action is to sign and promote the 13 Principles, a set of fundamental rules that, in clear language, tells lawmakers and governments how to apply existing human rights law to these new forms of surveillance. With the support of thousands of Net users, we’ll use your voice to demand that all governments comply with their obligation to protect privacy against unchecked surveillance.

But there’s more to today’s global action than the Principles. Hundreds of digital rights and privacy groups, thousands of individual Net users, in dozens of countries, have come together to protest surveillance by governments at home and abroad. Here’s just a sampling of the campaigns and events happening today:

In Argentina, the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles and Vía Libre Foundation is suing the Argentinian Congressional surveillance oversight commission for withholding basic information on surveillance practices in the country.

In Australia, a coalition of groups under the banner Citizens Not Suspects, is joining to demand a government investigation of the practices of the notorious “Five Eyes” countries — the nations, including Australia, which share intelligence with the NSA.

In Brazil, where the upcoming Marco Civil bill promises to encode human rights into the country’s Internet law, citizens are renewing their demands to include strong privacy protections.

In Canada, more than 45 major organizations, and tens of thousands of Canadians are calling their elected representatives to stop illegal spying by Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), Canada’s spying agency.

Colombians have launched “Internet sin Chuzadas”, a campaign calling for the end of unchecked surveillance at home and abroad.

France’s La Quadrature Du Net have started an NSA Observer program to inform people of the NSA’s global surveillance. The Philippines’ Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA) is organizing a day of mass action against the country’s draconian Cybercrime Prevention Act.

Poland’s Panoptykon Foundation is demanding answers from the Polish government and Barack Obama.

The NetherlandsBits of Freedom will call on Dutch citizens to join their campaign to stop mass surveillance: bespiedonsniet.nl (“Don’t Spy On Us”).

In Serbia, SHARE Foundation, one of the earliest supporters of the 13 Principles, is renewing their campaign against surveillance locally and internationally.

In Uganda, Unwanted Witness will be urging their local telephone companies to stop sharing private data with politicians.

And in the United Kingdom, a huge coalition of Britain’s privacy groups is launching DontSpyOnUs.org.uk, to pressure the UK’s GCHQ to stop its global mass surveillance apparatus.

In the US? Call Congress today.

Dial 202-552-0505 or click here to enter your phone number and have our call tool connect you

Privacy Info: This telephone calling service is operated by Twilio and will connect you to your representatives. Information about your call, including your phone number and the time and length of your call, will be collected by Twilio and subject to Twilio’s privacy policy.

Calling Congress takes just five minutes and is the most effective action you can take right now to let your elected officials know that mass surveillance must end.

Here’s what you should say:

I’d like Senator/Representative __ to support and co-sponsor H.R. 3361/S. 1599, the USA Freedom Act. I would also like you to oppose S. 1631, the so-called FISA Improvements Act. Moreover, I’d like you to work to prevent the NSA from undermining encryption standards and to protect the privacy rights of non-Americans.

Where ever you live, can join them: you can visit Necessary And Proportionate, the home of the 13 Principles, and add your name to our action, and find out what is happening in your own country. Write your own posts of opposition, and spread the word through the hashtag #stopspying .

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment