Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

R.I.P. Jacob David George

September 21, 2014

Jacob took his life this past week.

Since the start of the war on Afghanistan in 2001, through 2013, 2.5 million members of the military, Coast Guard, Reserve and National Guard units have deployed.

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Vietnam: My orange pain

September 21, 2014

50 years after the US military intervention in the Vietnam War, the weapons it used continue to harm the local population. Unexploded mines still take lives and the consequences of “Agent Orange” claim new victims. A defoliant used by the US Air Force to destroy forests where Vietcong guerrilla fighters were taking cover, “Agent Orange” is highly toxic to humans. The chemical not only severely harmed the health of those immediately exposed to it, but also led to birth defects in subsequent generations. Its impact is still being felt in Vietnam, where it is estimated that around 5 million people are suffering from its damaging effects. They call it their “orange pain.”

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Congress Votes for More War in the Middle East

By Ron Paul | September 21, 2014

Last week, the House and Senate voted to rubber stamp President Obama’s war plans for the Middle East. Both bodies, on a bipartisan basis, authorized the US to begin openly training and arming the rebels who have been fighting for three years to overthrow the Assad government in Syria.

Although the Syrian government has also been fighting ISIS and related extremist groups for three years, the US refuses to speak to the Syrians and has warned Assad not to interfere with the coming US attack on sovereign Syrian territory

President Obama promised that airstrikes alone would “degrade and destroy” ISIS, telling the US military in a speech last week that:

“The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission… I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.”

But of course any US troops sent into a war zone are “combat” troops. And more are on their way.

While the president was swearing that there would be no boots on the ground, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, was in open disagreement. General Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that US forces would need to embed with Iraqi or Kurdish troops in combat situations under certain circumstances.

The limited mission the president promised just weeks ago has already greatly escalated, and now threatens to become another major regional war. In reality, however, this is just a continuation of the 24 year US war on Iraq that President George Bush began in 1990 and candidate Obama promised to end as President.

Under last week’s authorization bill, the president would have authority to train 5,000 fighters in Saudi Arabia for insertion into the civil war in Syria. This is in effect a re-arrangement of the deck chairs. To this point the training was carried out by the CIA in Jordan and Turkey. Now, the program will be moved to the Pentagon and to Saudi Arabia.

The CIA training of the rebels thus far has resulted in a direct pipeline of weapons from “vetted moderates” to the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front and to the very ISIS that the administration claims to be fighting. In July, a full brigade of 1,000 fighters affiliated with the US-backed Free Syrian Army joined ISIS! Of course they took their US-provided weapons and training with them, some of which will certainly be used against the rapidly increasing US military personnel in the region.

That Saudi Arabia is considered a suitable place to train Syria’s future leaders must be some kind of sick joke. While ISIS was beheading two American journalists – as horrific as that is – the repressive Saudi theocracy was beheading dozens of its own citizens, often for relatively minor or religious crimes.

If we want to stop radical terrorists from operating in Syria and Iraq, how about telling our ally Saudi Arabia to stop funding and training them? For that matter, how about the US government stops arming and training the various rebel groups in Syria and finally ends its 24 year US war on Iraq.

There are 200 million people bordering the countries where ISIS is currently operating. They are the ones facing the threat of ISIS activity and expansion. Let them fight their own war, rather than turning the US military into the mercenary army of wealthy Gulf states.

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Israeli offensive on Gaza caused full or partial damages to 75 kindergartens and day-care centers

Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center in Palestine |  September 21, 2014

Gaza, Occupied Palestine – The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center field teams have documented full or partial damages to 75 kindergartens and day-care centers caused during the 51 day Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip this summer.

DWRC’s field workers conducted field visits to all the kindergartens that suffered damages and collected information through filling questionnaires and affidavits from kindergarten owners in the five Gaza governorates, with a particular focus on eastern areas, where these damages were concentrated.

Among the 75 kindergartens and day-care centers that suffered damages, 12 were fully destroyed and 63 partially damaged by shelling and bombing. They are distributed as follows: 10 are located in the North Gaza governorate, 17 in the Gaza governorate, 17 in the Middle Gaza governorate, 21 in Khan Younis governorate, and 10 in Rafah governorate. These kindergartens employ 629 female workers, including educators, administrators and cleaning agents, and they used to care for and provide pre-school education to 12,671 children.

The owners of some of the kindergartens have undertaken repairs at their own cost in order to reopen them and others have relocated to alternative premises near their original location, while a third group has been unable to open their kindergartens or day-care centers to this day.

The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center strongly condemns Israeli attacks on educational institutions and  calls upon the international community to hold the Israeli occupying power accountable for crimes committed during its latest military offensive against the Gaza Strip. The Center stresses the need ensure special care and protection for children under all circumstances as stipulated in international human rights law and humanitarian law, and declarations on the rights of the child. DWRC also emphasizes the urgent need to rehabilitate damaged kindergartens and day-care centers, and compensate their owners as soon as possible due to the society’s need for their essential services.

Early childhood education in the occupied Palestinian territory is provided by private sector or NGOs, and receives no subsidies from the government. 99% of the workers in the sector are women, most of them paid well below the monthly minimum wage of 1450 NIS. It is a sector that has already suffered greatly from high poverty and unemployment rates, particularly in the Gaza Strip, since it largely depends on the capacity of families to pay for its services.

For further information or to access detailed data about the damages incurred by kindergartens and day-care centers, please contact us at extr@dwrc.org

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces detain 11 Palestinians overnight, 152 last week

Ma’an – September 21, 2014

RAMALLAH – Israeli forces detained 11 Palestinians overnight and a total of 152 during the third week of September, a rights group said Sunday.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that Israeli soldiers raided Jenin overnight and detained Mahmoud Tawfiq Yahya.

In the Bethlehem district, forces detained Hamza Maali, Muhammad Maali, and Baha al-Teen.

Additionally, in Hebron, Wahid Sabarna, Faris al-Titi, Ahmad al-Qaqasmeh, and Muhammad al-Adra were arrested overnight, the statement said.

Soldiers also detained three Palestinians in the Nablus district — university lecturer Raed Abu Badawiyya, human rights activist Abd al-Rahman Rihan, and Fahd Sharaya.

Israeli forces have detained 152 Palestinians across the West Bank last week — 50 in Hebron, 40 in Jerusalem, 17 in Bethlehem, 16 in Ramallah, seven in Jenin, six in Tulkarem, six in Nablus, and ten in Salfit and Tubas, according to PPS.

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian school set on fire

International Solidarity Movement | September 21, 2014

As-Sawia, Occupied Palestine – On the evening of the 10th September, unknown assailants broke into the As-Sawia Secondary School, forced open the door and set the school on fire. Bedouins living close to the school saw the fire and alerted the fire brigade. By the time it was put out, the principal’s office and teachers’ rooms were completely burned.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“We lost six computers, four printers, all the teachers’ books and materials, but most of all, the administrative documents and files of the students and about the school situation over the past years. The whole damage is around 140,000 shekels,” the principle Adnan Hussein told ISM. The school was closed for three days after the arson attack.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As in many schools in the occupied West Bank, the students and staff of As-Sawia Secondary School suffer from constant settler and military harassment. Three days before the arson, armed settlers who called themselves “security” from one of the nearby hilltop illegal settlements stood at the school gates. When the principal spoke to them, they claimed that children threw stones at the settler cars on their way to school.

The school is located by Road 90, which was paved in 1944 and runs across the West Bank. The road is used by Palestinians and by illegal settlers. The children have to walk alongside it to get to school in the mornings and to go home after school.

“Our school is suffering both for the settlers and the army,” explained Hussein. “We constantly have the army at our gates, checking ID’s and bothering children”

On the 3 September, armed settlers stopped in a car marked as the illegal settlement Eli’s “security” at the gate of the school. One of the settlers came out of the car, jumped over the fence and started following some of the children, who have finished their classes and were leaving for home. The principle approached the settler and told him that he is not allowed in the school with weapons, and the settler responded that he was looking for a child who threw stones and shouted at the settler car earlier.

After agreeing to move outside the school gate at the head teacher’s insistence, the settler with the machine gun was joined by another settler and they insisted that the boy in the red T-shirt was brought to them. They also wanted the head teacher’s mobile phone number so that they could call him in the future.

“I had a bad feeling that something horrible will happen and that they will start shooting,” related Hussien. “I left some teachers with the settlers and with other teachers went to escort children through another gate and send them home, when three soldiers appeared. I went to speak to them. I told them that they cannot be in school with their weapons and in their uniforms but they insisted that they wanted to speak to a boy in the red T-shirt for 10 minutes.”

The principal and staff stood between the soldiers and settlers and the pupils to protect them while they were leaving the school. By this time worried parents were at the gate and they took the children away.

Throughout 2013, the army entered the As-Sawiya 51 times and children and the staff had to put up with teargas, sound bombs and arrests of pupils.

Hussein explained, “It is a constant worry that the settlers and the army will come. It is hard enough to control 350 teenagers even in the countries where there is no occupation. It is not easy and we do what we can to try to do our best keep the education for our children going. We have no problem with Jewish people and I can say that many of them are nice and honest, but settlers are generally dangerous people. I know that people should be able to choose where they live, but that does not include taking someone else’s land without permission.”

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

US not interested in ending terrorism: Ken O’Keefe

Press TV – September 21, 2014

What follows is an approximate transcription of an interview with Ken O’Keefe, a peace activist from London.

Press TV: Do you see this as a project that the United States really wants to stop this terrorist group or not?

O’Keefe: Absolutely not, and I find it laughable that anybody would even consider the United States to be seriously interested in ending terrorism.

We have had over 13 years of this farcical war on terror, all of it built on lies, from the false-flag of 9/11 to the non-prosecution of Osama bin Laden because the FBI admitted that there was no evidence linking him to 9/11, from every policy since the invasion, occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq; the attack on Libya, destroying that country; attempting to fully destroy Syria, all of this is terrorism – terrorism on a grand scale!

Let’s throw in Israel and its genocide against the Palestinians, the use of white phosphorus, depleted uranium and all sorts of other weapons of mass destruction against a civilian population in Gaza, which is comprised of over 900,000 children, and you find that the United States is without question the number one terrorist of the 20th and 21st century.

How in the world can anyone seriously believe that the United States has any interest in ending terrorism?

It is the ultimate terrorist.

Its little boogeyman creations of al-Qaeda, ISIS, ISIL – whatever the hell they call themselves tomorrow – is nothing more than the boogeyman necessary to justify this military industrial complex which is running roughshod over the world.

Press TV: Does the killing of an American citizen always trigger a specific type of a reaction from the United States?

O’Keefe: These beheadings have largely been debunked.

At the very least the people that are being executed in these videos are not alive.

We know when you execute somebody by cutting off their head when their heart is still beating blood will pour forth very profusely. This is not the case with these videos.

It also is one massive manipulation to suggest that the life of one or two Americans somehow justifies yet another invasion and occupation in which we have destroyed three countries at the very minimum in terms of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

We have largely caused the breeding grounds for so-called terrorism all around the region.

It beggars’ belief that anyone would be manipulated in yet another policy in which invasion, bombing, occupation and ultimately destruction of entire areas is somehow going to make the world a better place.

We have seen this all before and the United States is repeating its same role as it has been and it will make for more blood and more guts and more misery, and ultimately a breeding ground for those who see the West for what it is: absolutely hypocritical.

The West has no moral authority whatsoever.

It is in no position at all to discuss any issue regarding morality because it is the most corrupt and most violent of all peoples on this planet.

The West is the problem, not the rest of the world.

Our little boogeyman that we create will stop once we stop having the power through the global reserve currency of the US dollar to be able to pay these psychopaths to run around and behead and so on and so forth.

Press TV: What kind of precedent does this send? – Because US President Barack Obama has basically sent a message to the Syria government that if the Syrian government attacks any of their airplanes that they will take out their anti-aircraft system, basically that they would be under attack.

What does this mean when you’re talking about a sovereign country that another country has the right to go in and do whatever they want? – Whether they agree or disagree with the way that government does this business. What type of precedent does this set?

O’Keefe: It is not a precedent at all.

We have already been bombing Pakistan, Yemen. We have been running around the world and basically in a lawless kind of way have been carrying out policies including executions of anyone anywhere anytime based on the so-called president of the United States having a meeting and declaring somebody to be a terrorist.

This even includes American citizens. There is no sovereignty of nations. There is no international law.

This so-called intelligence analyst, this intelligence analyst seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that it was the United States which supported the Mujahideen which became al-Qaeda, which morphed into the al-Nusra Front, then ISIS, ISIL, IS – whatever the hell you want to call it – has been funding these people, training these people, providing bases, training in Jordan and also in Turkey, their little proxies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kuwait have been funneling money and arms.

And now we’re being told that they are going to be training these so-called moderate factions of resistance in Syria in Saudi Arabia. That bastion of moderate behavior, the Wahabi Saudi Arabia regime, one of the most offensive – if not the most offensive regimes – on the planet, a place that we give weapons and we give cover to, political cover, media cover.

The idea that an intelligence analyst could be so oblivious and so completely incompetent at its own field that he does not recognize that the United States having supported, armed, trained, coddled and protected all these terrorists for decades now is beyond belief.

He cannot be so stupid, surely, not to know that the United States has an inherent interest in propping up continuously one boogeyman after another to justify what I said earlier, the military industrial complex, the goal of full spectrum dominance, military bases all around the world, and people with half a brain know this.

Press TV: We are looking at this type of scenario that it seems to repeat itself time and time again, especially if we are looking at a post-9/11 world. As you have said, we see boogeyman after boogeyman sort of being created.

I want to look at then the American people and do you think that this time they had to take it or it appears that the extremist nature that ISIL is presenting itself was something that it had to be that extreme in order to shake the American people up, who are extremely war-weary but because of the extent of the violence that they’re seeing that actually they will get on the bandwagon for another war in the region?

O’Keefe: What we have really is an amazing point in human history in which the sleeping masses that are literally mind-controlled through many different mechanisms from childhood in schools are brainwashed with all sorts of rubbish.

Even the pledge of allegiance which I said, along with every other school kid, ends with “liberty and justice for all”.

We have been indoctrinated with such incredible insanity that it becomes a reality for us, and many Americans are still caught up in that as are many people around the world.

But we also have at this time a growing number of people who are recapturing the ability to think for themselves and to recognize the history of both the United States and the West in general, and also the crimes of others – let us not be oblivious to the crimes of others.

But at the end of the day I come from the West and what we can see is that my birth nation, the United States, is the number one terrorist. This is simply not debatable.

I understand that many people are still being conned into believing this nonsense, the latest boogeyman creation, but ever-growing numbers of people are not buying it. They are not. And this is extremely promising and a necessary step for us to create a better world.

If we really wanted to end ISIS we would cut off their funding. And if we wanted to we could help the Iraqi government and the military and they could wipe them out in no time with a little bit of genuine financial support to be able to do what they need to do.

Iran would be an excellent partner in this. I would encourage Iraq to invite Iran in to help them wipe them out, because Iran definitely has an interest in ending real terrorism. That is why the foreign minister all too rightly said we are not all too convinced that America is serious about it. I think he is way too diplomatic, quite frankly.

But at the end of the day the United States is not serious about ending terrorism. It thrives on terrorism. Many Americans are growing to understand this.

Press TV: What scenario is this setting up, Ken, if we are looking at on the one hand, as you said that the United States does not really want to end terrorism, and on the other hand they are directly once again involved in the region, not that they were not in the region but now more directly in Iraq and again Syria.

What is this setting up? Tell me, how do you see this basically? How are you reading what is going to happen with the United States getting involved with this situation with ISIL? What is it? Do you think that they really want to destroy them because perhaps they have served their purpose or no, do they just want to see this chaos continue in the region?

O’Keefe: Chaos in the region is extremely advantageous.

The Project for a New American Century and Clean Break is an important document to read also.

Also, Oded Yinon’s strategy for Israel in the 1980s made it very clear that Iraq was target number one because of its strong Arab nationalist dictatorship.

Ultimately in the overall scheme you have this fantasy agenda of greater Israel: Israel expanding as the next great empire into Iraq, into Syria, Lebanon, also in part of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. This is their goal and it is a psychopath’s goal.

Right now all of this chaos that you see in that region fits perfectly in line with strategy papers. The policy is being carried out exactly as it was written. And the seeds of sectarian hatred and divide, which are necessary to fracture the people of the region so that they will be in a weakened state and therefore be subject to the real intention and goal, is again to expand the Israeli empire.

Ultimately this is all going to fall flat on its face but right now the chaos that is being sown is extremely advantageous for the powers that be.

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment