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ISM volunteers attacked by Zionist tourists in Hebron

International Solidarity Movement | March 11, 2014

Two International Solidarity Movement activists walking on Shudaha Street area were brutally attacked by French Zionist tourists who were visiting to attend the weekly settler tour of the Palestinian part of Hebron.

Zionist perpetrator responsible for the attack.

Zionist perpetrator responsible for the attack.

At around 1:30 PM the activists were walking in the direction of Shuhada Street when the 6 young men rounded the corner, upon seeing the activists they spread across the road. Within seconds, the group attacked the ISM activists, chasing one back in the direction of the Ibrahim Mosque and continued to attack while soldiers leveled their weapons at the attacker.

The other activist was chased, tripped and kicked in the body and face by the Zionist assailant until he was chased away by the two soldiers. On gaining his feet, the activist was punched in the face by the man who had just chased his companion away. The activist ran and the army stopped his pursuer.

The incident was reported to the police, who found two of the attackers in Shuhada Street and took their details. They were not detained as it was the Sabbath when religious Jews are rarely arrested. The activists were taken to a local Police station to make a statement and overheard aggressive integration of a Palestinian prisoner.

We also received a report that an Italian tourist was attacked by 10 religious Zionists in the city on the same day of the attack. After his beating, was told that if he wants to come back he must wear a Kippah.

March 11, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Human Radiation Experiments in the Pacific

By Glenn Alcalay | CounterPunch | March 11, 2014

” . . . protect the inhabitants against the loss of their lands and resources; protect the health of the inhabitants . . .” (1) 

According to Marshallese folklore a half-bad and half-good god named Etao was associated with slyness and trickery. When bad things happened people knew that Etao was behind it. “He’s dangerous, that Etao,” some people said.  “He does bad things to people and then laughs at them.”(2) Many in the Marshall Islands now view their United States patron as a latter day Etao.

Castle-Bravo

The "Baker" explosion, part of Opera...Sixty years ago this month the American Etao unleashed its unprecedented  fury at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. It was nine years after the searing and indelible images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that the world first learned about the dangers of radioactive fallout from hydrogen bombs that use atomic Hiroshima-sized bombs as triggers.

Castle-Bravo, the first in a series of megaton-range hydrogen bomb tests at Bikini Atoll on March first of 1954, was nicknamed “the shrimp” by its designer – Edward Teller – because it was the first deliverable thermonuclear weapon in the megaton range in the U.S. nuclear holster. We had beaten the Soviets in this key area of nuclear weapons miniaturization when the Cold War was hot and the United States did not need to seek approval from anybody, especially the Marshallese entrusted to them through the U.N.

At fifteen megatons – 1,000 times the Hiroshima A-bomb – the Bravo behemoth was a fission-fusion-fission [3-F] thermonuclear bomb that spread deadly radioactive fallout over an enormous swath of the central Pacific Ocean, including the inhabited atolls of Rongelap, Rongerik and Utrik in the Marshalls archipelago. The downwind people of Rongelap [120 miles downwind of Bikini] and Utrik [300 miles east of Bikini] were evacuated as they suffered from the acute effects of radiation exposure.

As an international fallout controversy reached a crescendo, a hastily called press conference was held in Washington in mid-March 1954 with Eisenhower and AEC chair Admiral Lewis [“nuclear energy too cheap to meter”] Strauss, his Administration’s top lieutenant in nuclear matters.

Adm. Lewis Strauss:  “I’ve just returned from the Pacific Proving Grounds of the AEC where I witnessed the second part of a test series of thermonuclear weapons .  .  . For shot one [Bravo] the wind failed to follow the predictions, but shifted south of that line and the little islands of Rongelap, Rongerik and Utrik were in the edge of the path of the fallout . . . The 236 Marshallese natives appeared to me to be well and happy . . . The results, which the scientists at Los Alamos and Livermore had hoped to obtain from these two tests [Bravo and Union] were fully realized.  An enormous potential has been added to our military posture.” Strauss added the caveat that “the medical staff on Kwajalein have advised us that they anticipate no illness, barring of course, diseases which may be hereafter contracted.” (3)

Even former Sec. of State Henry Kissinger took note of the significance of Bravo and the new perils associated with widespread radioactive fallout contamination from megaton sized H-bombs, as might happen if the Soviets dropped The Big One on our nation’s capital and the fallout headed up the Eastern Seaboard.  Writing about nuclear weapons and foreign policy in 1957, Kissinger wrote: “The damage caused by radiation is twofold:  direct damage leading to illness, death or reduced life expectancy, and genetic effects.”(4)

Almira Matayoshi was one of the Rongelap “natives” referred to by Adm. Strauss. When I interviewed her in 1981 in Majuro she recounted her experience with Bravo:

The flash of light was very strong, then came the big sound of the explosion; it was quite a while before the fallout came.  The powder was yellowish and when you walked it was

all over your body.  Then people began to get very weak and began to vomit.  Most of us were weak and my son was out of breath.

I have pains and much fear of the bomb. At that time I wanted to die, and we were really suffering; our bodies ached and our feet were covered with burns and our hair fell out. Now I see babies growing up abnormally and some are mentally disturbed, but none of these things happened before the bomb. It is sad to see the babies now.(5)

A persistent puzzle surrounds the question of intentionality. In a 1982 New York Times interview, Gene Curbow (the former weather technician during Bravo) confessed that the winds did not “shift” according to the official U.S. explanation for the massive contamination during Bravo. “The wind had been blowing straight at us for days before the test,” said Curbow. “It was blowing straight at us during the test, and straight at us after the test. The wind never shifted.” When asked why it had taken so long to come forth with this important information, Curbow replied “It was a mixture of patriotism and ignorance, I guess.”(6)

The late Dr. Robert Conard, head of the Brookhaven/AEC medical surveillance team for the islanders, wrote in his 1958 annual report on the exposed Marshallese: “The habitation of these people on Rongelap Island affords the opportunity for a most valuable ecological radiation study on human beings . . . The various radionuclides present on the island can be traced from the soil through the food chain and into the human being.”(7)

In reference to the exposed Marshallese after Bravo, AEC official Merrill Eisenbud bluntly stated during a NYC AEC meeting in 1956, “Now, data of this type has never been available. While it is true that these people do not live the way westerners do, civilized people, it is nonetheless also true that they are more like us than the mice.”(8)

At present, the atoll communities of Bikini, Enewetak, and Rongelap remain sociologically disrupted and uncertain about their future as their contaminated islands and lagoons have yet to be fully repatriated and restored for permanent human habitation.

Kwajalein

Following 67 A- and H-bombs at Bikini and Enewetak between 1946-58, the U.S. was not about to let go of its island capture, terminate the AEC-Brookhaven long-term human radiation studies at Rongelap and Utirk,  nor forfeit the valuable “catcher’s mitt” at Kwajalein for monthly incoming ICBMs from Vandenberg air base in California and Kauai. In 1961 – following a polio outbreak on Ebeye, Kwajalein – Pres. Kennedy ordered a comprehensive review of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands by his Harvard economist friend Anthony M. Solomon, head of the New York Reserve Bank.

Correspondingly, JFK’s National Security Action Memorandum 145 of April 18, 1962 called for the movement of Micronesia into a permanent relationship with the U.S.(9)

Through legerdemain and the inherent asymmetry of the relationship, the U.S. took every conceivable  advantage of its island wards, thus setting the stage for the ongoing human and ecological radiation studies and other Pentagon activities in perpetuity.

To this end the Solomon Report recommended a massive spending program just prior to a future status plebiscite being planned for Micronesia. “It is the Solomon Mission’s conclusion that those programs and the spending involved will not set off a self-sustaining development process of any significance in the area. It is important, therefore, that advantage be taken of the psychological impact of the capital investment program before some measure of disappointment is felt.”(10)

As the Pentagon and AEC used the isolated isles of the Marshalls to perfect its Cold War nuclear deterrent – replete with human subjects for longitudinal radiation studies – let us not forget the Pentagon’s ongoing project of missile defense, aka “Star Wars” at Kwajalein Atoll encompassing the world’s largest lagoon bull’s eye.

Characterized as “hitting a bullet with a bullet,” ballistic missile defense has always had a reputation for fantasy and wish fulfillment, sold to Pres. Reagan with an exciting and glitzy video designed to parallel the then-sensation called  “Star Wars.” Kwajalein and the fiction of Ballistic Missile Defense has tragically dumped good money after bad, notwithstanding the huge profits by Boeing, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman,  MIT’s Lincoln Lab, Aerojet, Booz Allen et al. Between 1962 and 1996 the U.S. spent $100 billion.  And between 1996 and 2012 the total comes to $274 billion and still counting.(11)

And what do we have to show for our nearly $300 billion missile defense boondoggle? Last July 4th was also the planned launch date for a test of the BMD program. The Ground Based Missile Defense system at Kwajalein Atoll failed again, despite the fact that the test was manipulated: “The intercept team knew ahead of time when to expect the incoming missile and all its relevant flight parameters. Such luxury is obviously not available in real-life combat. But even if the $214 million ‘test’ had worked it would not prove much.”(12)

The collateral damage known as Ebeye Island at Kwajalein is infamously tagged throughout the region as the “slum of the Pacific.” The appalling conditions on Ebeye for its 15,000 cramped residents and pool of cheap labor for the adjacent missile base are in stark contrast to the southern California-like setting on ten times as large Kwajalein Island for the 3,000 Americans manning the missile base.

Likening it to South African apartheid, I recall my first encounter with Kwajalein and Ebeye as a young Peace Corps volunteer in 1976:

Having spent the afternoon on Kwajalein yesterday left me feeling ashamed to be an American citizen. The overt segregation of the American civilian and military employees on Kwajalein Island, and the cheap labor pool of Marshallese living on nearby Ebeye Island, makes me realize that racism is not confined to the American south.(13)

And just to insure the longevity of the asymmetry, the American Etao embedded a little-noticed caveat into the 1963 Limited [Atmospheric] Test Ban Treaty that allows the U.S. to unilaterally resume nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, despite assurances to the contrary during the 1986 Compact status negotiations. Safeguard “C,” as the provision is known, also calls for the readiness of Johnston Atoll and Kauai in the Hawaiian archipelago, and Enewetak Atoll in the Marshalls under the auspices of the DOE’s Pacific Area Support Office in Honolulu.(14)

Several formerly inhabited atolls remain off limits due to lingering radioactivity decades after the last H-bomb shattered the peace on Bikini and Enewetak. Imagine if the U.S. finally saw fit to do the right thing and pay their past-due $2 billion nuclear legacy bill, a small morsel of the annual Star Wars budget.(15)

The recently discovered Mexican refugee fisherman on Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands drew world attention to these obscure coral formations atop extinct and submerged volcanoes where a continuous culture has survived and nearly thrived for the past two thousand years. And even though Jose Salvador Alvarenga said he had no idea where he was, Uncle Sam has always known where these tiny islands are, strategically located stepping stones in the bowels of the northwestern Pacific leading to Asia’s doorstep, now in the era of the pending Trans Pacific Partnership.

Undoubtedly the legendary Etao is somewhere lurking in these once-pacific isles savoring the work of its American protégé . . .

Glenn Alcalay is an adjunct professor of anthropology at Wm Paterson Univ. and Montclair State Univ. in New Jersey. Alcalay was a Peace Corps volunteer on Utrik Atoll in the Marshalls, and has conducted anthropological research re: reproductive abnormalities among the downwind islanders.  Alcalay may be reached at:  alcalayg@wpunj.edu

[Addendum:  PBS is sitting on an important 90-minute film about the radiation experiments in the Marshall Islands titled “Nuclear Savage The Islands of Secret Project 4.1” by Adam Horowitz.  Please contact PBS and urge them to air “Nuclear Savage,” a documentary film they funded and are keeping from the public’s view.  Also, please see these additional articles about the Marshall Islands:   http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/01/nuclear-savages and PBS’ attempt to suppress this film:  http://www.opednews.com/articles/2/Nuclear-Savage-by-William-Boardman-Broadcasting_Navy_Nuclear-Arms-Race_Nuclear-Attack-140110-941.html]

Endnotes

(1)       United Nations.  Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.  Trusteeship Agreement. URL:  http://www.fsmlaw.org/miscdocs/trustshipagree.htm.  New York.  1947.  Article VI.

(2)       Grey, Eve.  Legends of Micronesia.  Book Two. The sly Etao and the sea demon.   1951.  Honolulu:  Office of the High Commissioner.  TTPI, Dept. of Educations.  Micronesian Reader Series.  Pages 35-36.

(3)       Adm. Lewis Strauss, chair-AEC.  Press conference about Bravo with Pres. Eisenhower, March 12, 1954, Washington, D.C.  The archival footage may be viewed in this clip @ 1:00-4:30 in Part 3 of O’Rourke’s Half Life.

(4)       Henry Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy.  Council on Foreign Relations.  Harper Bros.:  New York.  1957.  Page.75.

(5)       Interview with Almira Matayoshi conducted by Glenn Alcalay in Feburary 1981 in Majuro, Marshall Islands.  This interview is online:   http://archive.is/M5aH

(6)       Judith Miller.  “Four veterans suing U.S. over exposure in ’54 atom test.”  New York Times.  Sept. 20, 1982.

(7)       Robert Conard, M.D., et al.  March 1957 medical survey of Rongelap and Utrik people three years after exposure to radioactive fallout.  Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N.Y.  June 1958.  Page. 22.

(8)       Merrill Eisenbud.  Minutes of A.E.C. meeting.  U.S.A.E.C. Health and Safety Laboratory.  Advisory Committee on Biology & Medicine.  January 13-14, 1956.  Page 232.

(9)       Report by the U.S. Government Survey Mission to the TTPI by Anthony M. Solomon, October 9, 1963.  Page 41.  The Solomon Report is online:  https://archive.org/stream/TheSolomonReportAmericasRuthlessBlueprintForTheAssimilationOf/micronesia3_djvu.txt

(10)     Report by the U.S. Government Survey Mission to the TTPI by Anthony M. Solomon, October 9, 1963.  Pages 41-42.  The Solomon Report is online:  https://archive.org/stream/TheSolomonReportAmericasRuthlessBlueprintForTheAssimilationOf/micronesia3_djvu.txt

(11)     Stephen Schwartz.  “The real price of ballistic missile defenses.”  The Nonproliferation Review.  April 13, 2012.

(12)     Yousaf Butt.  “Let’s end bogus missile defense testing.”  Reuters.  July 16, 2013.

(13)     Glenn Alcalay.  Journal entry of January 21, 1976.  Aboard the MV Militobi.  Peace Corps Journal, Marshall Islands 1975-77.

(14)     David Evans.  “Safeguard ‘C’: U.S. spending millions on plan to re-start Pacific nuclear tests.”  Chicago Tribune.  August 26, 1990.

(15)     Giff Johnson.  “At 60, legacy of Bravo still reverberates in Marshall Islands.”  Editorial.  Marshall Islands Journal.  February 28, 2014.

March 11, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crimean parliament guarantees broader rights to Tatar minority

RT | March 11, 2014

A resolution passed by the Crimean parliament guarantees proportional representation in the republic’s legislative and executive bodies for the Crimean Tatar ethnic minority and grants their language official status, among other things.

The resolution provides for constitutional reform that would amend several key provisions of Crimea’s basic law. Under the amended constitution, the Crimean Tatar language would be granted official status, on a par with Russian and Ukrainian in Crimea.

It stipulates proportional representation in future parliaments and provides for at least 20 percent of seats in the republic’s executive for Crimean Tatars. They would have guaranteed representation in the lower levels of government as well.

The parliament also wants to recognize as official the self-governance bodies of the Crimean Tatars, starting with the Kurultai, a general assembly of the Tatars.

Crimean MPs pledged to fund programs for support of the Tatar community in Crimea and repatriation of Crimean Tatars, who were deported from the peninsula by Joseph Stalin’s Soviet government in the 1940s.

There will also be recognition of the Tatars’ cultural impact on Crimea through the return of the original names of some geographical features such as mountains or rivers that were changed at the time of the deportation.

Parliament Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov called the bill “historic” and said Crimean Tatars have been waiting for the reform for 70 years.

“The Crimean Tatar people have not been offered anything like this from either the Soviet Union or independent Ukraine. They have been hoping for this for decades, and it will allow Crimeans of all nationalities to develop and feel safe and comfortable on Crimean soil,” he said.

The Crimean authorities have denounced the self-proclaimed government in Kiev. Crimeans began protesting after the new Kiev authorities introduced a law abolishing the use of other languages for official purposes in Ukraine. More than half the Crimean population is Russian and uses only this language for their communication.

On Tuesday, the Crimean parliament adopted a declaration of independence from Ukraine, which is required to hold a March 16 referendum. On Saturday, Crimean residents will cast their ballots to decide whether the region wants to remain part of Ukraine with broader autonomy rights, or to join Russia.

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

America’s Unceasing Contempt for Venezuela

By Jason Hirthler | CounterPunch | March 11, 2014

Some things never change. The petulant and undemocratic Venezuelan opposition is at it again, with the full backing and check-writing support of the U.S. government. Recent protests have inflamed the streets of Caracas, as opposition groups, as they have in the Ukraine, called for the ouster of the sitting president. I suppose it’s needless to note that Nicolás Maduro is Venezuela’s democratically elected president, and that he won by a higher victory margin in a cleaner election than did Barack Obama in 2012. Nor is it worth asking, one supposes, that if the entire country is engulfed by dissent, as The New York Times insidiously suggested by claiming the “The protests are expressing the widespread discontent with the government of President Nicolás Maduro, a socialist…”, then why did Maduro’s party, Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV), claim wide majorities in municipal elections in December? Or why are these “widespread” protests largely confined to middle-class or student areas of Caracas and not rife within much larger poor neighborhoods? Or if a government has the right to arrest opposition leaders (in this case Leopoldo Lopez, the latest rabid ideologue) for inciting violence?

Public Virtue, Private Vice

Secretary of State John Kerry has ratcheted up the drivel stateside, claiming to be “alarmed” by reports that Maduro has “detained scores of anti-government protesters” and that the crackdown would have a “chilling effect” on free expression. A bit rich coming from a man whose own government has been icing free speech since the Snowden revelations. Kerry failed to mention whether the millions of American taxpayer dollars being funneled to the opposition were behind the violence. The Los Angeles Times described Maduro’s administration as an “autocratic government.” Opposition leader Henrique Caprilles, demolished by Maduro in last year’s landslide election, rejected Maduro’s invitation to talks and claimed one of the Latin America’s most popular political parties was a “dying government.”

For its part, Mercosur, the alliance of South America’s southern cone countries, denounced the violence as an attempt to “destabilize” a democratic government. Of course, the behavior of Maduro’s government in response to these street provocations ought to closely watched, as this is the new president’s first real test coping on an international stage with the intrigues of a small but virulent neoliberal opposition.

There’s plenty to suggest that this is, like Ukraine, another external attempt to uproot a democratically elected government through a volatile cocktail of in-country agitation and violence paired with global media defamation of the existing administration. It wouldn’t come as a surprise. Like a frustrated and petulant infant, the United States has repeatedly attempted to derail the Bolivarian Revolution launched by former President Hugo Chavez in the late nineties, as CEPR’s Mark Weisbrot has noted. It backed an anti-democratic coup by business elites in 2002 that actually succeeded for a couple of days and happily dissolved parliament before Chavez regained power. It supported an oil strike in an attempt to destabilize the economy and perhaps bring down the government. It encouraged opposition members of parliament to push for recalls (failed) and boycott National Assembly elections (useless) and clamor incessantly that last year’s national presidential election was rigged (false). Of course, despite being widely held to be a superior electoral process than that of the United States, Kerry was only shamed into recognizing the legitimacy of the election long after the rest of the world had.

The U.S. has poured millions into opposition activities on an annual basis since the failed coup in 2002. (NGOs are convenient destinations for this money since foreign contributions to political parties are illegal in both countries.) Just look at 2013 alone. Washington would hardly stand for interference of this kind from, say, China. Or, better, from Venezuela itself. Imagine if it was discovered that Chavez had been seeding major American metropolises with anti-capitalist pamphleteers. Obama wouldn’t be able to hit the “signature strike” button fast enough. Nevertheless, Kerry, in his role as Secretary of State, has turned out to be a masterful mimic capable of registering a fusty outrage on short notice, especially over claimed violations of civil liberties. Curious, since the ceaseless trampling of civil liberties by his own Democratic party have elicited nothing from this flag-bearer for democratic values.

Dollars & Bolivars

This is not to say that Venezuela does not have protest-worthy problems. Inflation has been chronic since the pre-Chavez days. Now food shortages are trying the patience of the population. And in one sense, these shortages are self-inflicted. According to Gregory Wilpert of VenezuelAnalysis, the government’s currency controls have been undermined by an all-too-predictable black market. While the government has placed strict criteria on the ability of citizens to purchase dollars with bolivars, the black market allows citizens to buy dollars without any criteria whatsoever. The government’s exchange rate is likewise controlled, and has over time begun to distort the real value of the bolivar. The black market exchange rate, by contrast, reflects the external value of the currency. The gap between these exchange rates has grown rapidly, such that there now exist huge incentives for citizens to play currency arbitrage. If they satisfy the federal criteria—such as needing dollars to travel or import goods—Venezuelans can buy dollars cheaply using the government exchange rate. They can then pay those dollars to import goods, then export those goods in exchange for the dollars they just spent on the imports. From there it is a simple step to the black market, where they can sell those dollars for many times what they paid at the government’s official rate, making a tidy profit for themselves. If they happen to be rabid anti-socialists, they can enjoy the companion thrill of generating food shortages that can be blamed on the government. Ah, the timeless magic of import/export.

These are legitimate grievances, however, as are crime figures, which top the regional table. Yet the question is, do they merit the overthrow of a legitimate government backed by a wide majority of the population at the behest of a small but fierce oppositional faction openly funded by an imperial power committed to its overthrow? To do so would risk the absurdity of gratifying the strident demands of a few at the expense of the many. … The fact is, despite the inflation and shortages, the population continues to support the Bolivarian Revolution because of its accomplishments—massive reductions in poverty, extreme poverty, and illiteracy. Significant growth in per capita GDP and other important metrics.

A Doctrine in Decline

We’re seeing in clear images the viciousness with which neoliberal factions resent the loss of power and seek to restore it by any means necessary. Democracy is the least of their concerns. But this has been the Latin American back-story for a couple of centuries. Much of the U.S. activity in Latin America feels like a frantic and desperate last-ditch effort to preserve the Monroe Doctrine, by which we essentially declared Latin America to be our own backyard, off-limits to European empires. What was ostensibly a call to respect independent development in the Southern hemisphere rather predictably evolved into an excuse for self-interested intervention. But now, for the first time in centuries, Latin America has struck out on its own, slipping from beneath the clutch of the eagle’s claw to form organizations like Mercosur and CELEAC, PetroCaribe and Petrosur, the Bank of the South as well as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). Aside from Columbia, an implacable outpost of American influence, the region has shunned greater U.S. involvement, and begun to view its proffered trade agreements with far more suspicion, particularly in the long wake of NAFTA, the poster child for lopsided and economically destructive trade treaties.

Whether the U.S. will eventually succeed in a cynical ploy to unseat Maduro remains to be seen. If recent events in the Ukraine are any indication, that may have been a test run for Venezuela, as Peter Lee suggests. It hasn’t helped that, as in practically every country that comes to mind, an elite class of neoliberal ideologues own the mainstream media. The tools of propaganda have rarely been more fiercely deployed than since Chavez launched his socialist revolution. And yet, since then, practically the entire continent has experimented with left-leaning leadership: Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Nicanor Duarte in Paraguay, Tabare Vazquez in Uruguay, to some degree Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, and Maduro in Venezuela. Nor should exiled Honduran president Manuel Zalaya be forgotten. These figures have collectively stepped back from the brink of dubious integration with North America and sought stronger regional ties and continental autonomy.

The U.S. has replied with a predictable confection of threats, lies, and sacks of cash for ferociously anti-democratic elements. Perhaps it most fears the bad karma it generated for itself with Operation Condor, which on September 11, 1973 overthrew and murdered Chile’s socialist leader Salvador Allende and replaced him with a gutless sadist, Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet—a repressive militarist—happily instituted the untested prescriptions of the Chicago School of Economics’ sermonizing armchair guru Milton Freidman, with predictable results. Now, Maduro, carrying the mantle of Chavez and his Bolivarian manifesto, is arguably the spiritual vanguard of the socialist left in South America. Venezuela’s efforts to continue to forge its own independence in the coming decade will surely influence the mood and courage of other leftists in the region. The stakes are obviously high. Hence the relentless American effort to destabilize and publicly discredit the PSUV. The fate of the global left is in a very real sense being tested in the crucible of Caracas.

Jason Hirthler can be reached at jasonhirthler@gmail.com.

March 11, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Witnesses at Crimea base: ‘No fighting or shooting like reported on TV’

RT | March 11, 2014

Recent reports from Western media say Russian troops have allegedly seized control of the naval base near the Crimean city of Bakhchisaray on Monday, with “shots being fired in the air.” However, the sailors at the base deny all these reports.

“We were never ambushed or beaten. That’s just nonsense,” Aleksandr Gubenko, a seaman at the Crimean naval base, told Crimea-based journalist Ryan O’Neill.

According to Gubenko, the sailors at the base were told to come to the security checkpoints because “someone was trying to get in.”

“When we got there, these men asked us who we want to align ourselves with,” said Gubenko, “I am leaning towards Crimea because that’s where I’m from, same as 80 percent of other people at this base, and they all know they won’t go fighting their own people.”

It’s not only sailors that have denied the reports of an ambush. The members of the Crimean self-defense squads also say there was “no fighting or shooting” at the Bakhchisaray base “like they are reporting it on TV.”

“A group of Crimean self-defense forces just came in,” Sergey Yurchenko, from the Crimean self-defense squad, told O’Neill, “Their leader is currently negotiating with the commander of the base.”

“I don’t know what exactly they’re talking about there. There is definitely no fighting and no conflict,” he adds.

On Monday many Western media outlets have run reports that “masked troops of unidentified armed men fired in the air at the base near Bakhchisaray.” Some said that it was “Russian forces” which “took over a military hospital and a missile unit” in the naval base.

According to some reports these “masked pro-Russian troops” on Sunday kidnapped the base commander Vladimir Sadovnik. However, later it turned out that Sadovnik had never been kidnapped. On Monday he arrived at the Bakhchisaray base along with self-defense squads.

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea will hold a referendum for March 16 where its people – about 60 percent of whom are ethnic Russians – will decide whether they want the Crimea to remain part of Ukraine, or join Russia.

The situation on the Crimean Peninsula is tense and the authorities fear possible provocations from the coup-imposed Kiev government. On Monday radicals backed by the Kiev authorities made provocations in the village of Chinghar in northern Crimea, said a source from the Crimean self-defense squads. Over 30 cars with nearly 70 people, apparently intending to organize a coup, demanded the self-defense groups let them pass into the territory of Crimea.

Despite all these attempts to disrupt the upcoming the referendum, the Crimean government is controlling the situation on the peninsula, according to the speaker of the Supreme Council of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov. He added that “No provocations will be staged before or during the referendum as the region has enough self-defense forces to protect itself.”

The US and EU authorities do not recognize the legitimacy of the Crimean authorities, nor the March 16 referendum, despite the Crimean parliament welcoming a mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to observe the ballot.

Meanwhile, Crimean authorities are preparing for the Sunday poll. The government of the autonomous republic will issue up to US$2 million for ballot printing and providing technical support. Overall 1,550,000 ballots will be printed.

Over 1,500 Crimean troops will be deployed at polling stations, according to Crimean Prime Minister Aksyonov.

March 11, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Witnesses at Crimea base: ‘No fighting or shooting like reported on TV’

RT | March 11, 2014

Recent reports from Western media say Russian troops have allegedly seized control of the naval base near the Crimean city of Bakhchisaray on Monday, with “shots being fired in the air.” However, the sailors at the base deny all these reports.

“We were never ambushed or beaten. That’s just nonsense,” Aleksandr Gubenko, a seaman at the Crimean naval base, told Crimea-based journalist Ryan O’Neill.

According to Gubenko, the sailors at the base were told to come to the security checkpoints because “someone was trying to get in.”

“When we got there, these men asked us who we want to align ourselves with,” said Gubenko, “I am leaning towards Crimea because that’s where I’m from, same as 80 percent of other people at this base, and they all know they won’t go fighting their own people.”

It’s not only sailors that have denied the reports of an ambush. The members of the Crimean self-defense squads also say there was “no fighting or shooting” at the Bakhchisaray base “like they are reporting it on TV.”

“A group of Crimean self-defense forces just came in,” Sergey Yurchenko, from the Crimean self-defense squad, told O’Neill, “Their leader is currently negotiating with the commander of the base.”

“I don’t know what exactly they’re talking about there. There is definitely no fighting and no conflict,” he adds.

On Monday many Western media outlets have run reports that “masked troops of unidentified armed men fired in the air at the base near Bakhchisaray.” Some said that it was “Russian forces” which “took over a military hospital and a missile unit” in the naval base.

According to some reports these “masked pro-Russian troops” on Sunday kidnapped the base commander Vladimir Sadovnik. However, later it turned out that Sadovnik had never been kidnapped. On Monday he arrived at the Bakhchisaray base along with self-defense squads.

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea will hold a referendum for March 16 where its people – about 60 percent of whom are ethnic Russians – will decide whether they want the Crimea to remain part of Ukraine, or join Russia.

The situation on the Crimean Peninsula is tense and the authorities fear possible provocations from the coup-imposed Kiev government. On Monday radicals backed by the Kiev authorities made provocations in the village of Chinghar in northern Crimea, said a source from the Crimean self-defense squads. Over 30 cars with nearly 70 people, apparently intending to organize a coup, demanded the self-defense groups let them pass into the territory of Crimea.

Despite all these attempts to disrupt the upcoming the referendum, the Crimean government is controlling the situation on the peninsula, according to the speaker of the Supreme Council of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov. He added that “No provocations will be staged before or during the referendum as the region has enough self-defense forces to protect itself.”

The US and EU authorities do not recognize the legitimacy of the Crimean authorities, nor the March 16 referendum, despite the Crimean parliament welcoming a mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to observe the ballot.

Meanwhile, Crimean authorities are preparing for the Sunday poll. The government of the autonomous republic will issue up to US$2 million for ballot printing and providing technical support. Overall 1,550,000 ballots will be printed.

Over 1,500 Crimean troops will be deployed at polling stations, according to Crimean Prime Minister Aksyonov.

March 11, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Witness: Allenby victim shot 3 times in chest

Ma’an – 11/03/2014

JERICHO – A man who was with Raed Zeiter, who was shot dead Monday by Israeli troops at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan, says he suffered three gunshot wounds to the chest.

Mohammad Zayd told Ma’an that about 8 a.m. he, Zeiter and another woman were late to return to the bus after the first Israeli inspection point.

When they were returning, an Israeli soldier pushed Zeiter, they started scuffling and Zeiter was brought to the floor. Zeiter then stood up and shoved the soldier, who in turn fired a shot that barely missed Zeiter, Zayd said.

The soldier then proceeded to fire three shots that hit Zeiter in the chest, leaving him dead on the floor, Zayd added, explaining that he tried to resuscitate Zeiter to no avail.

Zayd added that medics arrived almost an hour later, and covered Zeiter’s body, while Israeli police closed the scene and unloaded passengers off the bus and ordered them to the ground in order to search them.

Israeli soldiers then recorded accounts from people on the bus, and asked them about Zeiter, he added.

Earlier, an Israeli army spokeswoman said “a Palestinian attempted to the seize the weapon of an Israeli soldier at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan. Israeli soldiers opened fire and a hit was identified.”

Army commander Yaron Beit On, speaking in a conference call with reporters later in the day, said that as the man attempted to snatch an Israeli soldier’s gun, another soldier shot him in the leg.

The man then managed to grab a metal bar from one of the Israeli troops, Beit On said. When he tried to use it as a weapon, a soldier shot and killed him.

He said that the incident occurred at around 9:30 a.m., and that the man was carrying two suitcases with him.

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

Palestinian killed after occupation forces open fire on his car

Al-Akhbar | March 11, 2014

A Palestinian died and a second was injured Tuesday after Israeli occupation forces fired on their car near Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security sources said.

The sources told AFP that the car then veered off the road, and it was not clear whether the gunfire or the subsequent crash led to the casualties.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli army.

Abdullah Kamil, Tulkarem governor, identified the man who died as Fidaa Muhye Addin Majadlah, and his passenger as Ibrahim Adnan Shukri, both from the Tulkarem village of Attil, according to Palestinian news agency Ma’an.

The latter was reported to have suffered moderate to serious wounds, and is in Israeli custody. Occupation authorities are also holding Majadlah’s body, the Ma’an report added

The death comes one day after occupation forces shot dead two Palestinians in separate incidents in the West Bank.

In the first of Monday’s killings, a Jordanian-Palestinian judge was shot dead by Israeli troops at the Jordan border, with the Israelis claiming that he tried to snatch a weapon and “strangle” a soldier.

But Palestinian witnesses said the man was shot following an argument over a cigarette in an incident which prompted a furious response from the Palestinian Authority and Amman.

The man was identified as 38-year-old Raed Zeiter who worked as a judge in Amman. Jordan’s justice ministry said he worked at a magistrate’s court in the capital.

Several hours after Zeiter’s death, occupation forces shot dead a 20-year-old Palestinian, identified as Fadi Sayel Darwish, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The army said he had been throwing stones at soldiers.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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

Israeli airstrike kills 3 Palestinians in southern Gaza

Ismail Abu Judah, Shahir Abu Shanab, and Abd al-Shafi Muammar.
Ma’an – 11/03/2014

GAZA CITY – An Israeli airstrike killed three Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, an official said.

Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma’an that three Palestinian resistance fighters were killed by the airstrike in southeast Khan Younis near the Sufa crossing.

Al-Qidra identified the victims as Ismail Abu Judah, 23, Shahir Abu Shanab, 24, and 33-year-old Abd al-Shafi Muammar.

The bodies were taken to the European Hospital in Khan Younis, al-Qidra said.

Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, said in a statement that the victims were militants affiliated to the group.

“They were in confrontation with the occupation trying to stop the progress of Israeli military vehicles which were approaching the area,” the statement said.

The Israeli army said in a statement that “terrorists affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the southern Gaza Strip fired a mortar shell at IDF forces.”

“An IAF aircraft responded immediately in order to prevent further attacks on Israeli civilians and targeted the terrorist squad. Direct hits were confirmed, the army statement said.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, an Israeli drone fell in the area of the attack.

The airstrikes came just hours after Palestinian security sources said a man died after Israeli soldiers fired at him while he was driving near the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

The Israeli army also killed two Palestinians in the West Bank on Monday.

Israeli soldiers shot and killed 18-year-old Saji Darwish near Ramallah late Monday, after he allegedly threw stones at Israeli vehicles.

Earlier, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian-Jordanian judge at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan.

March 11, 2014 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia says US proposals on Ukraine crisis ‘not suitable’

Press TV – March 11, 2014

Russia says proposals by the United States on finding a solution to the crisis in Ukraine are “not suitable.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a televised briefing with President Vladimir Putin on Monday that the proposals made by US Secretary of State John Kerry are inappropriate as they take the “situation created by the coup as a starting point”, in an apparent reference to the ouster of Ukraine president, Viktor Yanukovich by the parliament on February 23.

The Russian foreign minister said the document he received from Kerry on Washington’s recommendations to end the crisis in Ukraine “raises many questions.”

“Everything was stated in terms of allegedly having a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and in terms of accepting the fait accompli,” Lavrov said.

He also commented on Kerry’s delay in a visit to Moscow for talks on the Ukraine crisis. Lavrov said the Kremlin had decided to draft counter proposals to resolve the situation on the basis of international law.

“We suggested that he (Kerry) come today… And we were prepared to receive him. He gave his preliminary consent. He then called me on Saturday (March 8) and said he would like to postpone it for a while,” the Russian foreign minister stated.

Russia has sent forces to Ukraine’s southern region of Crimea after the Russian parliament authorized President Putin to use armed forces to “protect Russia’s interests in that region.”

Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia in November 2013. The move triggered weeks of anti-government protests in the country.

The local Crimean administration is expected to hold a referendum on March 16 in order to decide whether the Black Sea peninsula should become part of Russia or remain part of Ukraine.

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