Aletho News


Ukraine to participate in 11 NATO war games in 2015

RT | January 12, 2015

The Ukrainian army will take part in 11 international military drills this year to bolster NATO standards in troops. Despite economic crisis, Kiev will still use 5.2 percent of its 2015 budget on the army.

Ukrainian servicemen will appear at seven military drills in Europe, while four maneuvers will be hosted in Ukraine, the Ukrainian defense minister assistant, Viktoria Kushnir, said on Monday.

“These exercises are going to finalize a stage of combat training to boost NATO standards in our troops,” Kushnir said.

The largest drills will be the Ukrainian-US Rapid Trident maneuvers for ground troops and Sea Breeze, a naval exercise in Ukraine. This exercise was held as recently as last September, when NATO dispatched 700 weapons units and 50 vehicles. The US sent 200 servicemen.

Naval Trident Juncture exercises will happen outside Ukraine, said Kushnir.

The Ukrainian Navy will also take part in a number of other drills, with American warships in the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian parliament has to give permission for maneuvers in the country. President Petro Poroshenko is expected to submit a draft to the parliament to get formal approval for this.

Since September, there have been a number of reports saying NATO member states had started supplying non-lethal military aid to Kiev.

There have also been unconfirmed reports of lethal aid being supplied to Ukrainian troops conducting operations against anti-Kiev militia in the east of the country.

In December 2014, President Petro Poroshenko signed a law cancelling the country’s non-bloc status and promised to hold a national referendum on NATO accession in the next 5 to 6 years.

The latest news about NATO supplies to Ukraine came last weekend when a cargo ship with 42 containers, loaded with allegedly non-lethal military supplies, docked at the Ukrainian port of Odessa in the Black Sea.

Also last December, Canada sent a small contingent of its military police to Ukraine to help the Ukrainian government and security forces protect territorial integrity.


NATO to give Ukraine 15mn euros, lethal and non-lethal military supplies from members

NATO members start supplying weapons to Kiev – Ukrainian Defense Minister

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel punishing Palestinian prisoners by keeping them exposed in frigid weather

By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC News | January 12, 2015

The Palestinian Prisoner Society filed an appeal with the Israeli High Court Saturday calling on Israeli authorities to provide adequate clothing and covers for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prison camps, as many of the prisoners are held in outdoor camps with no heat, in the midst of a severe winter storm. The appeal also included reports that the placement in outdoor cages was being used by Israeli interrogators as a form of torture.

The Israeli High Court denied the appeal, but Palestinian prisoner groups say that the practices are ongoing, and many Palestinian prisoners are facing death or severe frostbite as a result of the cold, sleet and wind.

Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Prisoner Society, stated, “The Israeli occupation is using the extremely cold weather to kill the Palestinian prisoners as its interrogators expose them to the cold weather in order to extract confessions.”

In January 2014, during a similarly severe winter storm, the Israeli Public Defenders Office reported that Palestinian children were placed in an outdoor cage during the storm, writing on their website “During our visit, held during a fierce storm that hit the state, attorneys met detainees who described to them a shocking picture: in the middle of the night dozens of detainees were transferred to the external iron cages built outside the IPS transition facility in Ramla”.

The British Independent newspaper wrote at that time, “It turns out that this procedure, under which prisoners waited outside in cages, lasted for several months, and was verified by other officials.”

There has been no followup since last January to that report, and the practice of placing children in outdoor detention during the winter is apparently unchanged since that time.

Even those held in indoor facilities face the problem of a lack of heating in the prisons, and the cells where most prisoners are held are no warmer than the temperature outside, which continues to be below freezing.

Issa Qaraqe of the Palestinian Prisoner Society called on international human rights organizations to intervene on behalf of Palestinian prisoners held by the Israeli authorities, which he says now number over 7,000.

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 2 Comments

Freedom of speech is a French myth


By Firoz Osman | MEMO | January 12, 2015

Years of taunts, insults and humiliating caricatures of the revered Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and immigrants, by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has resulted in what the French authorities have long warned against, an explosion of violence leading to the tragic deaths and injuries of more than 20 people.

President François Hollande described the carnage as an assault on secular French values, democracy, freedom of speech and expression; he condemned “Islamic terrorists” for such heinous crimes.

The bloodbath in Paris, though, had nothing to do with freedom of speech nor, indeed, Islam.

The deliberate provocation of six million Muslims in France and their 1.8 billion co-religionists worldwide through constant racial vulgarity and indignity directed at the Prophet and Islam under the guise of freedom of speech is reckless and reprehensible. Do French “values” and democracy really confer the freedom to denigrate someone who is cherished so deeply by fellow human beings?

It is now being promoted that the French media is free to publish anything as a fundamental right without restrictions of any kind; this is a myth. For example, French law does not permit the publication of material that promotes the use of drugs; hatred based on race or gender; insults about the national flag and anthem; or questions about the Nazi Holocaust. Dieudonné M’Bala, a French comedian and satirist, was convicted and fined in a French court for describing Holocaust remembrance as “memorial pornography”.

In fact, in 2008, one of Charlie Hebdo’s famous cartoonists, Siné, wrote a short note citing a news item that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s son Jean was going to convert to Judaism to marry the heiress of a prosperous appliance chain. Siné added the comment, “He’ll go far, this lad.” For that, Siné was sacked on the grounds of his “anti-Semitism”.

When Sarkozy was the Interior Minister he ordered the sacking of the director of Paris Match because he had published photos of his wife Cécilia Sarkozy with another man in New York. He even had rapper “Joestarr’s” song censored because it criticised the politician.

A French court banned Closer magazine from re-publishing or distributing photographs in France of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless. Despite this, Muslim women have been ostracised and forbidden to wear the headscarves in educational institutions and are ridiculed, arrested and fined for wearing the face veil in public.

The “Quenelle” hand sign has been described as anti-establishment and anti-Zionist by French youth and famous footballer Nicolas Anelka. It has stoked serious controversy in France since first being used by anti-establishment comedian M’Bala in 2005. He has been barred from many theatres and convicted a number of times for exercising his “freedom of speech” and using the Quenelle.

Protests by Muslims about blasphemous films and cartoons have been banned by the French authorities; France was the first country in the world to ban demonstrations in support of the Palestinians massacred in Gaza. This has led to the further marginalisation of France’s Muslim and African minorities in the political and social life of the nation and increasing anti-Muslim bigotry and hate-crimes.

Many have seen through the hypocrisy of a nation outraged at the murder of 12 people at Charlie Hebdo’s office, and yet complicit with Israel in the murder of 17 journalists and 2,300 men, women and children in Gaza last year.

France’s support for the “war on terror”, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and its pivotal role in Libya and Mali, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, adds to the grievance and disaffection of French Muslims. The humiliation, suffering and injustices felt for their co-religionists makes for a common cause.

There is undoubtedly political motivation underlying the vile, racist and vulgar cartoons lampooning Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which is fuelling the climate of Islamophobia. Claims by defenders of Charlie Hebdo that other religious icons have been vilified disregard the fact that the targeting of Muslims has been more systematic and consistent. Instead of maligning the rich and powerful in society, the magazine’s cartoonists satirise the weak and marginalised, adding fuel to an already volatile fire.

When Muslims are mocked and insulted, and their Prophet, whom they love more than themselves, is dishonoured in an appalling way under the guise of “freedom of speech”, it has to be a factor in the explosion of violent fury in Paris. Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to defame or malign a Prophet except, it seems, in Europe.

There has been a near-universal condemnation by Muslim leaders of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Muslims have been urged to follow the Prophet’s example of never retaliating against those who insulted him personally. Islam emphasises that the rights of each individual are limited by the rights of others and society at large. These rights do not merely include freedom of speech, but equally the basic right to dignity, privacy and respect, and the right not to be subjected to degrading or inhuman treatment. Perhaps the French and their European and Western counterparts (including those in the supposedly Muslim world) need to imbibe Islamic values of tolerance, respect and honour if the obvious application of double standards is to be avoided in future.

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

More Palestinian teenagers shot by the Israeli military

International Solidarity Movement | January 12, 2015

Burin, Occupied Palestine – On Saturday, January 10th, Palestinian youths went out to play in the snow on Al-Sabeh Mountain in east Burin. A group of Israeli settlers approached the village as if to attack it, and clashes erupted between them and the youths. Israeli soldiers arrived on the scene and protected the attacking settlers. They shot two Palestinian youths, Mohammed Zacharia (15) and Abbas Jamal (18).

Mohammed Zacharia, 15 (photo by ISM).

Mohammed Zacharia, 15 (photo by ISM)

Abbas Jamal’s father Jamal Asous, director of the Nur Shams refugee camp through UNRWA, spoke with ISM. He said that Zacharia’s brother, 18, has also been wounded in clashes with settlers twice and now might face three years in an Israeli prison. He also showed where Jamal was injured in his other leg in 2013 and had to have surgery – a large scar remains to testify of the ordeal. Having injuries in both legs is disastrous for Jamal, given he is studying to be a land surveyor.

Abbas Jamal, 18, with his father Jamal Asous (photo by ISM).

Abbas Jamal, 18, with his father Jamal Asous (photo by ISM)

Violent attacks on Palestinians have become far too common throughout the West Bank. In the past few weeks, Israeli soldiers have shot several shepherds in Aqraba and fired volumes of tear gas at young schoolchildren in Hebron; settlers also attacked a 12-year-old in Nablus. As Asous conveyed in the hospital, children should be able to play, study and go about their lives freely without the constant threat of violence. It is their right.

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Israel: ‘Je Suis Hypocrite’


By Rasha B. Foda • SHAREverything • January 12, 2015

140730-rami-rayan-journalistIt is no small irony that the West, who now so vociferously speak against the so-called “intolerance of Islam” (while practicing their own censorship), should seek comfort and support from Israelis, of all people, who now too eagerly sing the hymns of free speech, while being one of the most egregious perpetrators of violence against journalists the world has ever known. Indeed, last year alone, Israelis achieved the dubious honor of being named the world’s second most lethal state against journalists, according to the watchdog Reporters Without Borders. And that’s no small accomplishment given that thanks to ISIS, only war-torn Syria beat Israel, and apparently only because Syria is engulfed in armed conflict all year round, whereas all 15 journalists killed by Israel in 2014 (only 7 of which Reporters counted as having been killed on duty) were killed during the 50 days of Operation “Protective Edge.”

So basically, Israel is second only to ISIS, who they could have beat had their Operation against Gaza lasted a little longer. Meanwhile, israel never did anything to punish the IDF soldier who killed Welsh cameraman, producer, and director James Miller almost 11 years ago.

James_Miller_BBCThe documentary which Miller was making on the day of his death (Death in Gaza, released by HBO in 2004) depicts Miller and his colleagues leaving the home of a Palestinian family in the Rafah refugee camp after dark, carrying a white flag. They had walked about 20 metres from the veranda when the first shot rang out.[15] For 13 seconds, there was silence broken only by Shah’s cry: “We are British journalists.” Then came the second shot, which killed Miller. He was shot in the front of his neck.[15]

That is one strange bedfellow to choose in championing the cause of free speech for journalists.

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Thought police’: Academic freedom threatened by anti-terror bill, MPs warn

RT | January 12, 2015

Universities should be exempted from new counter-terrorism laws because they will ‘restrict’ freedom of speech, the government’s human rights watchdog has said.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said government plans to make universities legally obliged to refer suspected would-be terrorists to the authorities would undermine academic freedom.

Under the bill, Home Secretary Theresa May would be given authority to force universities to ban speakers who are considered “extremist.”

The warning comes before the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill’s second reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

May’s bill, introduced to Parliament in November last year, is likely to receive boosted support in the wake of the terrorist attacks in France last week, which left 17 people dead.

Committee members are concerned about a legal duty that would require universities to refer students at risk of becoming terrorists to external anti-radicalization programs.

Universities would also be required to ban ‘extremists’ from speaking on campuses.

Parliament’s human rights watchdog, made up of MPs and peers, says it is “concerned about the implications for both freedom of expression and academic freedom as a result of the applicability of the proposed new duty to universities.”

Failure to comply with the new duties would result in direct intervention by the secretary of state, and “ultimately, a mandatory court order backed by criminal sanctions for contempt of court.”

The committee also argued that terms such as ‘extremist’ are ambiguous.

“Broad terms such as ‘extremist’ or ‘radical’ are not capable of being defined with sufficient precision to enable universities to know with sufficient certainty whether they risk being found to be in breach of the new duty.”

Dr Hywel Francis, Labour MP and chair of the committee, said: “As open and rigorous debate about ideas is itself one of the most powerful tools in the struggle against terrorism, and the extremism which often breeds terrorism, this is surely counter-productive.”

Martin Hall, former vice-chancellor of the University of Salford, also voiced opposition to the proposed bill, calling it “draconian.”

Writing in the Times Higher Education on Thursday, Hall warned that such legal obligations on universities could “be used against opponents of fracking, or animal rights activists, or anti-nuclear movements, or any radical opposition to the status quo.”

“There is a danger of us being turned into a thought police,” he added.

Hall also cautioned against what he sees as a disproportionate response to terrorism by the state.

“Given that the 2011 census recorded 2.7 million Muslims living in the UK and that the Home Office is currently concerned about 500 individuals, there is a question of effectiveness and proportionality.”

The warning by the Joint Committee on Human Rights comes as Prime Minister David Cameron says he will re-introduce the ‘snooper’s charter’ bill if the Tories win the general election in May.

Speaking to ITV News on Sunday, he said: “We cannot allow modern forms of communication to be exempt from the ability, in extremis, with a warrant signed by the home secretary, to be exempt from being listened to.”

The Draft Communications Data Bill would require internet and mobile phone companies to maintain records – but not the content – of customer’s internet browsing history, email correspondence, phone calls and messages.

It was previously blocked by both Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the grounds it would infringe on people’s right to privacy.

READ MORE: Military intelligence get £100m anti-terror fund, hunt ‘self-starter’ extremists – Osborne

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Nine Questions About the Paris Attacks

By Kevin Ryan | Dig Within | January 11, 2015

10898227_10152491412137471_728758766975523225_nMainstream media are busily promoting a familiar narrative for last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris. As usual this narrative demonizes Islam, calls for a reduction in civil rights, and bolsters existing military aggressions. However, a growing number of serious questions have arisen about the attacks. Until such questions are answered, citizens must consider that these events might be another pretext for an ongoing political agenda.

The Paris attacks are reported to have occurred in two parts. The first was the January 7th shooting of twelve people in and around the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a tabloid that often published offensive cartoons including some about the Prophet Mohammad. The second attack occurred the next day and was said to be the work of Amedy Coulibaly, a 32-year old Senegalese Frenchman who began shooting police officers at the scene of an accident and then took hostages in a Kosher grocery.

Some parts of the story have already proven to be inaccurate. For example, FOX News and NBC falsely reported that two of the suspects were in custody, based on information from “two consistently reliable U.S. counterterrorism officials.” One 18-year old widely reported to be a suspect turned himself in (145 miles away) and was released 50 hours later due to insurmountable contradictions.

Questions that remain unanswered include the following.

  1. The Charlie Hebdo gunmen, identified by police as brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, were said to display professional training as if they were highly-skilled Special Operations soldiers. They were calm and controlled, well equipped, and well trained. Exactly where did they get their training and high-tech equipment?
  2. Coulibaly was identified by DNA testing in only two hours. Although rapid DNA tests can be performed in a matter of hours, a match requires DNA from the suspect. How did the testing match with this man in such a short time? Did authorities have his DNA or was it already in a database? In either case, how did that happen?
  3. Videos quickly showed two people in the Hebdo getaway car with one in the driver’s seat. Why did authorities name and interrogate a third suspect (who turned out to not be involved) as the getaway car driver?
  4. Why would the Koachi brothers wear balaclavas (i.e. ski masks) to hide their identity and then simply leave Said’s national ID card in the car? If they took the time to hide their faces, why would they bring their IDs with them?
  5. Why did the masked attackers work to make sure they were quickly portrayed as Muslims and members of al Qaeda during the attacks? Witnesses said one shouted to onlookers—”Tell the media it was al-Qaeda in Yemen.” Other videos and reports indicate that they repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and proclaimed that they were avenging the Prophet Mohammad. Who benefits from this?
  6. How did the attackers escape (to the northeast—the longest route through Paris) despite the police having raised the “alarm level for the greater Paris area to its highest level.” Did they have logistical support?
  7. Why does the video of the shooting of victim Ahmed Merabet, reportedly killed by a shot to the head, suggest that he was not shot in the head?
  8. How did Helric Fredou die? A Paris police commissioner conducting the investigation, Fredou died while preparing a report on the crimes. And why did Western media not report his death for at least three days?
  9. The alleged Kosher grocery gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, met with the President of France just a few years ago. What are the odds of such a coincidental meeting and does the connection relate to the attacks?

Many people have become skeptical about mainstream accounts of terrorism. This is due to the fact that authorities, like the FBI or CIA, are often found to be involved in some way and the events always support political agendas. Therefore it is not surprising to hear people claiming that intelligence agencies were involved in these attacks, or that the attacks related to political manipulations that would “shore up France’s vassal state status to Washington.”

Whatever the truth, it seems wise to consider all possibilities when mainstream media promote stories that feed the war machine and reduce freedom. Refraining from judgment until the facts are clearer is always the best approach.

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

Police asked to investigate G4S over Guantanamo role

Reprieve | January 12, 2015

British security firm G4S could be criminally liable for its involvement in Guantanamo Bay, according to a new complaint filed with the Metropolitan Police.

Legal charity Reprieve, which represents several Guantanamo detainees, has reported the UK company to police after learning of a $113 million (£71 million) contract for G4S to supply ‘base services’ at the US prison through its US subsidiary, G4S Government Solutions (G4S GS). The exact nature of the services to be provided under the contract is unclear, prompting concerns that the company could be complicit in rights abuses under way at the prison, such as force-feeding.

G4S sold G4S GS to an undisclosed buyer for $135m (£89m) at the end of last year, and Reprieve’s complaint argues that both the contract itself and the sale could amount to an offence under the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act.

127 men remain imprisoned without charge or trial in Guantanamo Bay, including British resident Shaker Aamer. The UK government has repeatedly said that Mr Aamer, who has twice been cleared for release, must be urgently returned to his British wife and children in London. Mr Aamer’s lawyers are urging the Prime Minister to secure his release during an upcoming US visit.

Kevin Lo, an investigator at Reprieve, said: “It is a scandal that, while British resident Shaker Aamer still languishes at Guantanamo, G4S has been seeking to profit from the sale of a contract that supports the abuses he and others suffer daily. No British firm should be profiting from a prison that UK ministers have rightly called a ‘shocking affront to the principles of democracy’. The authorities in the UK must hold G4S to account for its actions.”

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment

Iran FM rejects Der Spiegel claims as ‘ridiculous’

Press TV – January 11, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected as “ridiculous” a report by the website of Germany’s Der Spiegel weekly claiming that Tehran is helping Syria build nuclear weapons.

Speaking at a Sunday news conference with visiting Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in Tehran, Zarif said such claims are part of a scaremongering campaign targeting the Islamic Republic’s peaceful nuclear work, paving the way for adopting wrong policies vis-à-vis Syria.

In an article published on Friday, Der Spiegel claimed that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is making efforts to build nuclear bombs, adding that Damascus may be getting assistance from the Islamic Republic to produce nuclear arms.

The top Iranian diplomat further described the claims as “ridiculous” and said such reports are aimed at inciting fears and promoting Iranophobia in the international community.

Iran has repeatedly voiced opposition to the possession of nuclear weapons either on its soil or anywhere else in the world, said Zarif, adding that Tehran favors the removal of all nuclear arms as they are to the detriment of everyone.

“Based on the fatwa by Leader [of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei], we have never been and will never be after nuclear weapons,” added the Iranian foreign minister.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran strongly rejects the allegations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says it needs the nuclear program for peaceful purposes, including generating electricity and producing radio-isotopes for medical purposes.

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment