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Hollywood’s anti-Arab and anti-Muslim propaganda


Screengrab from American Sniper
By Noura Mansour | MEMO | January 29, 2015

The media plays a significant role in shaping public opinion and narratives. Over the years, it has become a force to be reckoned with in all aspect of life, culture, education, society, language, economy and, especially, politics. Visual media such as movies and TV shows are probably the most popular as there is a wide and diverse audience. Films and programmes target the hearts and minds of viewers, who tend to sympathise with characters and get caught up in the emotion of what they watch. The effect doesn’t end when the credits roll, as people internalise the sights and sounds they have witnessed. Some studies have shown that this not only affects viewers’ perceptions but also their behaviour, especially in the younger age groups.

Hollywood, the movie capital of the world, is as an efficient and powerful tool for mainstreaming American culture and values. However, with great power goes great responsibility. When it comes to films involving Arab and Muslim characters, Hollywood has proved repeatedly to be irresponsible, manipulative, misleading and biased. It has been presenting and reinforcing stereotypical images, which line up with belligerent and orientalist American policies towards Arabs and Muslims; the industry has seldom challenged that image or made an effort to reflect a more objective version.

“The Wind and the Lion” (1975); “Under Siege” (1986); “Wanted: dead or alive” (1987); “True Lies” (1994); “Homeland” (2011-2013); “World War Z” (2013); “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014); and “American Sniper” (2014), are all examples of films and TV programmes which contribute, directly or indirectly, to the constant vilification of Arabs and Muslims in the mainstream media. Some, such as “True Lies” and, most recently, “American Sniper” have done so openly by presenting uncivilised, violent and merciless Arab characters, which end up being killed as a part of the “happy” ending. Others have done it in a more subtle way, like “World War Z” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, for example.

In “World War Z”, the Israeli army and “security” agencies are portrayed as the guardians of Jerusalem, who built the Apartheid Wall in order to keep zombies locked-in behind it. In real life, the Wall functions as a racist barrier, a key component of Israel’s occupation policies which strip almost 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank of their rights and freedoms. That very same wall is presented in the film as a positive and necessary tool for the salvation of humanity. Israeli soldiers are the heroes and protectors, misleading viewers and distorting reality. By creating sympathy and positive feelings towards militant oppressors and a brutal colonial occupation whilst demonising those living behind the wall, the film provides a degree of legitimacy to Israel’s occupation and, indeed, to the state itself. It is worth remembering that Israel has, since 1948, committed numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity as it carries out the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

If you don’t think anything is wrong with this let’s change a few variables and then consider whether you still think nothing is wrong. Instead of the Apartheid Wall, let’s use concentration camps to control the zombies and instead of Israeli soldiers the security is provided by those in Nazi uniforms. For the sake of objectivity, let’s add that ridiculous scene where Arabs and Israelis are singing together aimlessly about peace in Jerusalem; only let’s have Nazis and Jews singing together about peace instead. See what I mean?

Such a film would, rightfully, have caused outrage around the world for diminishing the suffering of European Jews during World War Two. It should have created a similar reaction for diminishing the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people, but it didn’t.

Similarly, in “American Sniper”, US soldiers are glorified and Arabs are demonised. Saying that the movie is one-sided and biased is an understatement. American soldiers are presented as heroes, protectors and even at times victims in Iraq, whereas the Arabs are all presented as militants, including women and children, who are also engaged in fighting. There are no civilian Iraqis in this movie, except for one family, whose members are killed by Iraqi militants, of course, and not American soldiers.

The movie sends out a pernicious message at the very beginning that killing women and children is inevitable and is a part of a soldier’s duty to “protect”. The moral dilemma about such issues is absent. The sniper shoots to kill and not to disarm, even when the targets are women and children.

Furthermore, there is a clear objectification of Iraqi militants versus the humanisation of American militants. When an American soldier is killed, we get to see a close up of his face so that we can absorb his feelings and his wounds. However, when an Iraqi militant is killed, we only see his body falling down from afar; there’s no blood, no facial expressions and thus no feelings. In addition, American soldiers are more than just soldiers; they are husbands, fathers, sons and daughters, whereas Iraqi militants are one-dimensional.

The “hero” is a man admired for holding the record for the highest number of kills in Iraq and whose fellow soldiers call a “legend”; he shows no remorse over those whom he has killed. The only thing he regrets is not having the chance to kill more Arabs. It is no surprise that such a movie has evoked massive anti-Arab and anti-Muslim responses among cinema audiences in the United States; social media outlets are alive with people expressing enthusiasm for killing Arabs and Muslims.

Even when the plot has nothing to do with Arabs or Palestinians, Hollywood inserts completely irrelevant Arabic/Muslim cultural indicators, often planted on the bad guy, creating a false link between evil and Arabs or Muslims. In “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” it is deemed appropriate, relevant and logical to use the Palestinian Keffiyeh scarf as a part of the Foot Clans’ (Shredder’s army) uniform even though the characters couldn’t be any further from the Arab/Muslim world geographically, culturally, socially and politically; they were originally meant to be Japanese.


Screengrab from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Hollywood promotes anti-Arab and anti-Muslim propaganda, by creating a false association between evil and Arabs and Muslims, regardless of the context of the plot, or by portraying them as the ultimate bad guys in all contexts and providing justification for illegal, immoral and inhumane practices against them. There is a long history of this, even in apparently innocent films.

This incitement against Arabs and Muslims could have disastrous outcomes. Feelings of hate and animosity towards Arabs are translated into actions in many places around the world, not only on a political level but also socially and physically. Whether cinema reflects life or vice versa, the powerful effect it has on us is undeniable. It is pertinent to ponder the words of Malcolm X in this respect: “If you are not careful, newspapers [media] will have you hating the oppressed and loving the oppressors.” The evidence for the truth of his words can be found without too much effort. Hollywood has a lot to answer for.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Producing War Heroes: American, of Course

By BARBARA NIMRI AZIZ | CounterPunch | January 27, 2015

There must be something wrong with a nation when it has to constantly invent its heroes. As if to neutralize in the American mind any unfavorable ramifications of the US government’s summary of the CIA torture report and the growing number of suicides among its veterans, we have another war story for national consumption. This time it’s the film “American Sniper” by Clint Eastwood, one of our most acclaimed directors. His “Sniper” is yet another reminder of how noble and fierce American soldiers are, also how “we won”.

Some critics of the film have weighed in on the racist, hate-filled language used by the hero, Chris Kyle: a killer who “saves lives”. Others reveal falsifications in the film treatment of Kyle’s autobiography and raise questions about his private life.

Unfortunately, for most Americans those criticisms really don’t matter. What attracts our public, and there are tens of millions of them, women as well as men, adults as well as children, is that this is a heroic story. And sniper Chris Kyle somehow represents worthy American ideals—patriotism, saving American lives, technical skill.

What most upsets me is that this highly popular film “American Sniper” is not at all unusual in its subject and theme. By chance I found myself on the History Channel last week, viewing another ‘sniper film’— “Sniper: Inside the Crosshairs”. This film, viewed almost 800, 000 times on YouTube, is a documentary. No apologies whatsoever here; soldiers interviewed speak with great pride in the skill with which they kill. The segment I viewed focuses on the high tech nature of sniper training and weaponry. (This “Sniper” is one of dozens available for people seeking such ‘history lessons’.)

These are the latest in a flood of war films and books, among them the award- winning “Hurt Locker”, that entertain, enhance the glamour of war, present a justified and ugly enemy target and leave viewers with the clear idea that ‘America won’. (At best, Iraqis– women and children only please–are presented as people who need US protection.)

Americans are fed a steady diet of war in a multitude of forms.’s algorithmic calculations based on my innocent web searches, sent me an unsolicited list of books. Most are autobiographies by American veterans-turned-literary-celebrities; two were biographies of US soldiers by journalists. If I wanted to learn about Iraq, Amazon advises, I could read these heroic accounts of the patriotism and the conscience of American veterans.

Thirty years ago, a decade after the end of the Viet Nam war, I found myself in an American university seminar where war was under discussion. When a student declared that (some foreign power) “was upset because we won the war”, no one corrected him, neither fellow students nor the presiding professor. I suspect that today, a survey of college-age Americans would likely reveal how they too believe the US won that war; the same may prove true in regards to America’s memory of Iraq.

Apart from historical accuracy, these films are simply damned entertaining. Clint Eastwood is a brilliant director. And you can bet his “American Sniper” is top priority for Carl, our promising military recruit.

Barbara Nimri Aziz is a New York based anthropologist and journalist. Find her work at She was a longtime producer at Pacifica-WBAI Radio in NY.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 3 Comments

Dash Cam Video Shows Seattle Cop Falsified Charge Against Elderly Man Walking Down Street

By Carlos Miller | PINAC | January 28, 2015

Seattle police officer Cynthia Whitlatch was cruising down the street in her patrol car when she came across an elderly man standing on the corner using a golf club as a cane, prompting her to stop her car and order him to place the club down, claiming it could be a weapon.

William Wingate, a retired bus driver and Air Force veteran who was 69 at the time, said he’s been using that golf club as a cane for 20 years and refused to set it down.

So Whitlatch escalated the lying.

“You just swang that golf club at me …. It was on audio and videotape, put it down,” she said.

The incident took place last July, but Whitlach’s dash cam video was just released after a public records request by The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly.

The video, posted below, shows Wingate remained professional but defiant, insisting she call another officer.

But when she did, the second officer took her side, arresting him on harassment and obstruction charges when it was clear from the video she was the only one harassing and obstructing his freedom to move freely in the city.

After spending a night in jail, King County prosecutors switched the charge against him to unlawful use of a weapon, obviously not bothering to watch the video.

Wingate, represented by a public defender who also didn’t watch the video, was told to sign an agreement stating the case would be dropped in two years if he complied with certain stipulations.

Fortunately, a former politician learned of the case and got involved, and eventually persuaded the judge to dismiss the case. But police never admitted wrongdoing, even after watching the video.

And Whitlach is still on the force, a protected liar who should be behind bars.

Because Wingate is black and Whitlach is white, she was accused of racial profiling, but police balk at that notion, insisting she would have falsified records to arrest him even if he had been white.

According to The Stranger :

In the police report filed by Officer Coles about the incident, Whitlach said “she observed him look at her and aggressively swing his golf club in the direction of her patrol car.”

“Because Wingate was still in possession of the golf club,” Coles wrote in the report, “and she was fearful of being assaulted by him, she said that she kept her distance from him upon exiting her patrol car.”

“It’s like, c’mon lady. You were lying,” Mason told me. “She wasn’t afraid of him at all.”

But the police commanders, including Metz and Davis, didn’t see it that way. Mason said they “tried to convince me nothing was wrong.”

Metz, in particular, “kept trying to convince us nothing was wrong here. He defended the officer.”

Nothing came out of that meeting, Mason said. But weeks later, she received a call from Deputy Chief Carmen Best, who, like Wingate, is black.

“The solution we came up with,” she said, “was actually good on the part of the [police] chief”—who’d assigned Best to look into the case. “It became African American and white women coming together to work on a solution.”

Weeks later, city prosecutors, after conferring with Best, recommended dismissing both the case against him and the two-year stipulation.

“They know that had this been a white man,” said Mason, “we wouldn’t be here.”

But, in fact, it appears they don’t know that. The Seattle Police Department insists racial bias played no role in the incident.

“If this person had been white,” said SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb, speaking by phone on Tuesday, “I would imagine it would have been the same outcome. We don’t believe this was a biased policing incident. We don’t believe the officer acted out of malice or targeted this man because of his race.”

Whitlatch enjoys playing the victim having been one of 126 Seattle police officers last year who sued the Department of Justice, claiming the agency was infringing on their Constitutional rights by requiring them to be less violent towards citizens.

Her conversation with Wingate begins at the 1:40 mark.

UPDATE: The Stranger posted another story today, revealing some comments apparently made by Whitlach on Facebook regarding her disdain for black people who blame white people for their problems.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Israel-Egypt cooperation surpasses expectation

MEMO | January 28, 2015

Cooperation between the Israeli and Egyptian military and intelligence apparatuses exceeds all expectations, Israel’s Channel 10 stressed on Monday, noting that Cairo agrees with Tel Aviv’s requests pertaining to confronting “radical” Islamic movements in Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

In a report the channel’s military affairs broadcaster Alon Ben-David said that cooperation between the Egyptian and Israeli armies does not depend only on the coordination and sharing of intelligence information, but goes beyond this to field cooperation, in reference to the parties’ joint operations against those who are considered sources of danger for Israel and Egypt in Sinai.

Last year the Israeli TV station revealed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued instructions to carry out operations in the heart of Sinai.

Meanwhile, Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, which is close to Netanyahu, asserted on 12 June 2014 that the Egyptian army depends on intelligence information provided by Israel in its operations against jihadists in Sinai.

General Amos Yadlin, former head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Division, said the confluence of interests between Israel and the “moderate Sunni” governments represents an unprecedented opportunity for Israel to strengthen cooperation with them so as to enhance Israel’s strategic environment and help it cope with the significant challenges it faces.

In an article published by the Makor Rishon newspaper on Monday, Yadlin stressed that Israel has greatly benefited from cooperation with Egypt, Jordan and some countries in the Gulf, calling on Netanyahu’s government to take advantage of this opportunity.

However, Yadlin said that what could undermine such opportunity is the unstable situation in some Arab countries, as well as the deliberate embarrassment that Israel is causing the Arab ruling elites by rejecting the peace initiative that was launched by the late Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Minister: State saboteurs don’t deserve Egyptian nationality

Mada Masr | January 28, 2015

Endowments Minister Mokhtar Gomaa is reiterating his demand to strip citizens of their Egyptian nationality if they are found to promote acts of violence against national security.

Gomaa made these comments on Tuesday to the “Hunna al-Asema” program on the privately owned CBC channel, and again to the “Ala Masou’ouleyati” show on the privately-owned Sada al-Balad channel.

Terror groups are instigating and promoting violence against Egypt’s security forces from abroad, while funneling funds for terrorist operations across the country, Gomaa insisted while speaking to pro-regime television presenter Ahmed Moussa on Tuesday on his “Ala Masou’ouleyati” program.

The Muslim Brotherhood is at the forefront of these terror groups, Gomaa claimed.

The Cabinet officially classified the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization on December 25, 2013.

“We are calling for, and continue to call for, the stripping of citizenship from such criminals. This is an honor that they do not deserve,” Gomaa said. “Such individuals are traitors and agents, and they do not deserve the honor of belonging to this country.”

Gomaa’s comments may be buttressed by constitutional Article 86, which stipulates: “Maintaining national security is a duty, and citizens’ commitment to it is a national responsibility, guaranteed by the law. Defense of the nation and the homeland are an honor and sacred duty.”

However, Gomaa’s comments also directly contravene the rights of citizenship enshrined in the 2014 Constitution.

Article 6 stipulates that “citizenship is a right to anyone born to an Egyptian father or an Egyptian mother. Citizens have the right to legal recognition and official documentation that proves their personal information, as regulated by the law.”

Furthermore, Article 62 holds that “no citizen may be deported from or prevented from returning to the country.”

Moussa described this year’s commemorations of the January 25 revolution anniversary as an attempt to destabilize the country. Moussa referred to participants in these protest rallies as “members of the terrorist Brotherhood society,” along with “the terrorists of the April 6 Youth Movement” and “the saboteurs of the Revolutionary Socialists Movement.”

“I have no problem with the killing of two, three or four hundred terrorists,” Moussa commented during his January 25 broadcast.

While speaking on the “Hunna al-Asema” show on Tuesday, Gomaa insisted that “the Ministry of Endowments stands beside all the state’s institutions in combating terrorism and in confronting terrorist elements.”

Gomaa added that any individual ministry employee who is found to be involved in promoting or instigating violence against the state would immediately be dismissed from his or her post.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 1 Comment

US government lawyers told Gitmo authorities that force feeding is ‘never acceptable’ under medical ethical standards

Reprieve | January 29, 2015

US government lawyers advised Guantanamo authorities that force-feeding is ‘never acceptable’ under medical ethical standards, at the same time as dozens of military nurses were being sent to the prison to force-feed detainees, it has been revealed.

An internal memo, obtained by Vice News through FOIA and written on June 21st, 2013 – at the height of the prison’s mass hunger-strike – states that ‘international law and certain medical ethical standards hold that the “forced feeding” of a mentally competent person capable of making an informed decision is never acceptable.’
This previously-secret legal advice proves that the Department of Defense knew it was placing military nurses and doctors at risk of professional sanction by conscripting them into an unethical medical procedure.

The advice appears to have been drafted in the same period that dozens of fresh military medics were rushed to Guantánamo in response to the prison’s escalating hunger strike. At that time, prisoners reported that the new personnel exhibited considerable stress because they were participating, for the first time in their careers, in a forcible medical procedure. Former detainee Ahmed Belbacha recounted to lawyers at Reprieve, for example, that “Some of the newer medical staff they sent down… are afraid during feeding and it shows… when one of the new nurses, she was perhaps 40, started to feed me, I saw that her hands were shaking. I asked whether it was her first time ever to force feed someone. ‘Yes it is,’ she responded.”

It is unclear whether Guantánamo ever permits medical staff who have ethical qualms about force-feeding not to participate. One former head of nursing at the prison, Commander Jane French, had previously indicated that medical personnel who objected to force-feeding would be excused without sanction. Yet the Department of Defense is currently weighing disciplinary proceedings against one military nurse who refused to participate in force-feeding on ethical grounds.

Last year, hunger striker Abu Wa’el Dhiab – who has since been released from Guantanamo – revealed to his lawyers at Reprieve that a nurse, witnessing the suffering force-feeding caused detainees, determined he could no longer force-feed, saying “I have come to the decision that I refuse to participate in this criminal act.” The nurse, who has served 18 years in the military and is two years away from retirement, now faces the risk of being forced out of the armed services and forfeiting his pension and potentially his veterans’ benefits.

Cori Crider, a director at Reprieve and counsel to a number of detainees who are force-fed, said: “It’s disturbing to see that the Defense Department knew full well it was exposing its young nurses and doctors to a risk of professional censure and chose to plough ahead with abusive force-feeding anyway. Now the DOD has elected to stamp on the one nurse we know of who consulted his conscience and came to the right conclusion – that force-feeding, especially in the way it is done at Gitmo today, is just wrong. Our military medics shouldn’t be punished for exercising their professional judgment; that is their role, even when they wear a uniform. The DOD needs to drop its misguided effort to ‘make an example’ of this nurse. And the simplest way to keep these nurses out of harm’s way is for President Obama to end the conundrum and shut the prison.”

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Seattle faces $500k suit for pepper-spraying school teacher

RT | January 29, 2015

​A Seattle, Washington high school history teacher who was pepper-sprayed by police moments after speaking at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally is suing the city for $500,000.

Attorneys for Jesse Hagopian filed the claim against Seattle on Wednesday, nine days after the incident unfolded during, ironically, an anti-police brutality protest held in tandem with similar rallies across the United States on the holiday named for the slain civil rights leader.

Hagopian, a history teacher at Garfield High School who is known throughout the region for his activism, had just finished speaking during the January 19 event and was on the phone with his mother when a female police officer began discharging her pepper spray, striking multiple people.

An eyewitness was filming only a few feet away from where that officer and others had formed a barricade along a city intersection as law enforcement tried to control the crowd. A separate video filmed from above suggests that an officer had been knocked off their bicycle down the street, prompting the police to try and clear the area.

The ground-level footage appears to show Hagopian on the phone, walking towards the sidewalk, when he is blasted across the face with a stream of pepper spray.

“Ah, f**k. They just sprayed,”a voice on the video is heard saying as the officer barks to the crowd while attempting to clear the intersection.

Hagopian later got online and explained what happened in his own words:

“I was marching for Martin Luther King day today – amazing march! At one point after the big main march, group of bike cops set up a line to keep us from marching. Some people walked through the line, but I didn’t. When my phone rang, I turned away from the cops and began walking away to answer the phone. A cop then ran up in my face and pepper sprayed me right in the face.”

The close-up video recording of the incident has since been acquired by James Bible, the former president of the Seattle chapter of the NAACP, who in turn posted it to YouTube on Wednesday in concert with the announcement concerning the court filing. Bible is also serving as Hagopian’s attorney.

According to the Seattle Times, the suit alleges that Hagopian “instantly felt a burning sensation in his eyes and had some difficulty breathing.” The teacher later posted a photograph online showing him trying to tame the effects of the spray by dousing his face with milk.

“The main thing I’m upset about is that [I was on] the sidewalk when I was pepper sprayed so there’s really no reason at all they can use to justify what they did,” Hagopian told The Skanner News. … Full article

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

French Child Interrogated by Police for ‘Apology for Terrorism’

teleSUR | January 29, 2015

French police interrogated an eight year old child because he said that “[he was] not Charlie” in class, in the southern city of Nice on Wednesday.

The professor had begun a discussion with his students the day following the attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine that left 12 dead – 10 journalists and two police. The child justified his refusal to identify with Charlie as “they [the journalists] caricatured the prophet. I am with the terrorists.” The school director, alerted by the teacher, decided to file a complaint for the French crime of “apology of terrorism” -similar to inciting terrorism- last week, against his father, confirmed the education ministry.

One week later, the child was interrogated for two hours in the police station of Nice, informed his lawyer, Sefen Guez Guez.

To the question “What does the word terrorism mean to you?” the child replied, “I do not know,” the lawyer tweeted. “Did you say that the journalists deserved to die?” “Wrong, I have never said that,” he said.

Guez denounced the “current state of collective hysteria that surrounds this notion of apology of terrorism.”

“In this kind of case, pedagogy is what we need,” he asserted, saying he intended to sue the director, which he accused of having abusively punished the boy. The boy claimed he was deprived of playtime, had to stand in the corner, and was even told the following while playing in the sand pit, “Stop digging, you will not find any Tommy gun to shoot us all.” As a diabetic, he was also deprived of his insulin shots, claimed his lawyer.

During the two weeks that have followed the Charlie Hebdo attack, over 70 people have been put on trial for “apology of terrorism,” sometimes just for shouting “Allahu Akbar” to municipal police. In Corsica 30 people were found guilty, including people with mental issues.

Stand-up comedian Dieudonne will be heard in a Parisian court on February 4 for having posted on Facebook “I am Charlie Coulibaly,” a combining the slogan “I am Charlie” and the name of the attacker of a Kosher supermarket, a few days after the Charlie Hebdo tragedy.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia | , | Leave a comment

28-Year Crime Sprees of a Peacenik and a Colonel

By JOHN LAFORGE | CounterPunch | January 28, 2015

A former Army Brigadier General was busted two ranks and fined $20,000 this year after being charged with sexual assault of an Army Captain — a subordinate he reportedly threatened to kill if she revealed their affair. Jeffrey A. Sinclair’s multiple convictions should have gotten him thrown out of the military, sent to prison and registered as a sexual predator, but the judge in the case, Col. James L. Pohl, allowed him to retire as a Lt. Col. with full benefits and a $105,000 pension. Sinclair, 51, spent 28 years in the Army.

Meanwhile, Nukewatch just celebrated the retirement of peace activist Bonnie Urfer, 62, who has stopped answering the Nukewatch phone after co-directing here for 28 years.

Bonnie won’t get a pension from our small, non-profit nuclear watchdog, just her $662.00-per-month Social Security check which amounts to about $8,000 a year (Col. Sinclair will get $8,750 every month). This is no hardship since Bonnie is a master of political economy and downward mobility. She lives rent-free and mortgage-free in a house she helped build with her own hands at the Plowshares Land Trust. She grows her own vegetables and has reduced her expenses to a fraction of what most North Americans mistakenly believe to be bare minimum. Property taxes, groceries, gas, dog food and vet’ bills, insurance, art supplies, sundries and an internet connection are about all she needs to cover.

Bonnie’s conscientiously self-limited income keeps her from supporting the war system which now gets about half of everyone’s federal income taxes. Living under the taxable limit has always been part of her life of resisting militarism in thought, word and deed.

Bonnie’s been focused and committed in her work for nuclear disarmament and has done every sort of action to shine some light on the weapons complex: from interrupting a Gulf War “victory” parade in Madison, and sitting-in at the Oak Ridge, Tenn. H-bomb factory, to shutting down Wisconsin’s former nuclear first-strike ELF antenna with peace activist Michael Sprong (using Swede saws). She’s served a total of over six and a half years in jail and prison for taking part in about 100 civil resistance actions. In addition to her Nukewatch work, she’s spent five decades using her art and direct action in defense of women’s rights and gender equality, and against any sort of bullying, sexual harassment or abuse. With Jane Simons she helped found the Women’s Jail Project in Madison, Wis.

Compare her record to that of Sinclair, which the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, condemned as displaying “a pattern of … illegal behavior both while serving as a brigadier general and a colonel.” Sinclair was initially charged with forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, wrongful personal relationships with subordinates, misuse of government charge cards (he arranged trysts with it), maltreatment of subordinates and conduct unbecoming an officer. The L.A. Times reported that the Army Captain who was his mistress accused Sinclair of threatening to kill her and her parents if she divulged their affair and of groping and fondling her against her will in public. The charges of sexual violence and assault carried a possible life sentence and registration as a sex offender.

But Sinclair’s more serious charges were dismissed. He pleaded guilty to “maltreatment,” adultery, soliciting explicit pictures from female officers, using derogatory and demeaning language toward female officers, impeding an investigation, disobeying an Order to stay away from the Captain, and Army travel card theft. Jamie Bartlett, a lawyer for the Captain, called the sentence “a travesty” and said, “Now the Army has to face the reality that this is likely to happen again, and victims will be less likely to come forward.”

In contrast, Bonnie wears her peace activism and years of incarceration almost anonymously as something of a badge of honor as she embarks on new adventures — although her “record” will keep her from landing conventional jobs for some pocket money. Conversely, Sinclair’s solid gold plea bargain and military record of warrior heroics and ambitious rank-climbing guarantee him a fat pension and decades in which to pursue a second income-doubling career — probably with weapons contractors.

Sinclair’s lawyer said after sentencing, “He is a highly decorated war hero who made great sacrifices for his country, and it’s right that he be permitted to retire honorably.” Now, thanks to the Army Captain who leveled the charges, Sinclair will be remembered mostly as a violent, abusive sexual predator.

Bonnie on the other hand, with decades of simple, sustainable living and 35 years of nonviolent resistance to sexism, militarism and nuclear madness, is simultaneously a humble (if impish) laughing Buddha and a luminous living example of how a person can enjoy life harmlessly, thrive while living below a taxable income and still shame the devil every day.

John LaForge works for Nukewatch and lives on the Plowshares Land Trust near Luck, Wisc.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

An Auschwitz for Arabs

By Michael Hoffman | On the Contrary | January 28, 2015

The Auschwitz bandwagon has rolled onto our television and Internet screens and newspaper front pages once again. It never actually leaves, so perhaps it is more accurate to say that this week it is more present than usual.

You don’t believe we’re ruled by halacha (Talmudic law)? In that case, how is it that whatever befalls The Holy People of Counterfeit “Israel” is branded the supreme evil of the cosmos, and whatever happens to the eternally skimmed (we the goyim), counts for slightly less than nothing?

Take for example the hideously evil El Khiam concentration camp operated by the Israelis through their south Lebanon proxy army, the SLA.

You never heard of it, correct? Why is that? It was a torture camp; a death camp paid for in part with American taxpayer money. But you know nothing of it. Israeli allies under Israeli direction killed and tortured the Lebanese in that El Khiam concentration camp. All of the victims were goyim, not Holy People. Now do you understand why El Khiam is unsung and unknown?

El Khiam was liberated by Hezbollah, the people Americans are taught to hate because they are the only formidable armed resistance against Israeli conquest and land theft in the Middle East. Unlike Sunni Saudi Arabia which is allied with the Israelis, Shiite Hezbollah has not cut a deal with the US or the Israelis. This is why Assad in Syria and the government of Iran are attacked and sanctioned — they are the principal, and practically the only significant allies of Hezbollah.

“Saudi Arabian interests and Israel are almost parallel,” says Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. “He notes the startling alliance of Saudi Arabia and the Jewish state.” (Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2013, p. A11).

“…the kingdom now supports Islamist rebels in Syria who often fight alongside Qaeda groups like the Nusra Front. The Saudis say they have little choice…they believe they must now back whoever can help them defeat Mr. Assad’s forces and his Iranian allies.” (New York Times, January 5, 2014, p. A10).

Saudi Arabia, which maintains a compact with its clerics who furnish the murderous Wahhabist-Salafist theology which drives ISIS and al-Qaeda, is our precious “ally,” while Hezbollah, Iran and Assad’s Syria we are taught to hate, sanction and prepare to do war with.

We are seeing the makings of another war unfolding this week, which the Israelis are instigating in league with their covert Saudi-based Wahhabist-Salafist Sunni terrorist allies; a war intended to finish off Assad, the protector of the Christian population in Syria, and in Lebanon to “mow the lawn” (an Israeli euphemism for periodic massacres of Arab civilians so as to “tame” these lesser humans).

Here’s how it’s playing out as we write these words: nine days ago the Israeli military bombed a convoy in Syria’s Golan Heights. The bombs killed five members of Hezbollah, including the son of the group’s former military commander, Imad Mughniyeh, and an Iranian general. The Israeli government justified the unprovoked attack on Syrian land by claiming, on no evidence, that Hezbollah and its Iranian allies “had been building an infrastructure in the Syrian Golan Heights with which to attack Israel.” The NY Times and other controlled media published this alibi without skepticism and without publishing any comment from Syria, Iran or Hezbollah as a counter to it. The Israelis issue the pretext for their violence and all people who think “correct” thoughts are obligated to believe it’s true.

Today, Jan. 28, in retaliation for the Israeli attack (although the mainstream media will not patently report it as retaliation), Hezbollah struck an Israeli convoy, with the difference being that whereas the US media published almost no photos of the Israeli attack nine days ago, today graphic and grisly photos of the wounded Israelis and the wreckage of their vehicles are plastered all over the US media.

To summarize, the Israelis launched an unprovoked bombing raid on Syria, killing Hezbollah personnel and an Iranian general. When representatives of those victims fight back, we have the situation today, as decreed by “our” media: “Hezbollah launches attack on Israel.”

One envisions the shaking heads and indignation of all of those millions of Fox News habitués and “American Sniper” movie viewers, who are thinking, “Those damned Arabs are at it again! Go Israel!”

With an Israeli national election weeks away, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was anxious to initiate a tit-for-tat exchange with Hezbollah which he knew the US media would suggest was “an act of Arab terror,” which in turn provides Netanyahu the opportunity to gain more popularity with the generally bloodthirsty Israeli electorate by sparking a war with Lebanon and Syria.

All this might very well precipitate another genocidal Israeli “lawn mowing” of Lebanese civilians (last witnessed in 2006), and the opportunity to further assist the al-Qaeda connected Nusra front in Syria in finally crushing the Syrian-Christian population’s ally, Assad, and instituting Nusra’s Sharia law in Syria, which Right wing Republicans claim to oppose in the US but support in Syria — by means of their Israeli-approved goal of overthrowing Assad.

According to a statement on his Facebook page, Russian-Judaic Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, stated that “Israel” should respond to Hezbollah’s retaliation, “in a very harsh and disproportionate manner.”

We’ll wager that Lieberman’s advocacy of a “disproportionate” attack is a reference to his goal of another massacre of Lebanese. Lieberman’s political ally, Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament), spelled it out: “bombing a civilian population is justified when civilians give shelter to evil” (Jewish Daily Forward, Jan. 26, 2015).

“Evil” in this context signifies any goy who raises his head against Israeli occupation and mass murder.

Israelis have a license to kill Arabs. They can “Auschwitz” them as much as they like, on this, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Copyright©2015 by Independent History and Research

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Kidnapping attempt’ in Silwan

Ma’an – 28/01/2015

JERUSALEM – An Israeli settler on Wednesday morning assaulted a teenage Palestinian boy from the al-Thuri neighborhood near Silwan in Jerusalem while the boy was walking to school, the boy’s father says.

Jamil Gheith told Ma’an that the settler attempted to kidnap his son Ibrahim, 14, but he managed to run away.

Gheith explained that a group of settlers from one of the illegal outposts in al-Thuri stopped their private car and one of them stepped out and brutally attacked Ibrahim. The settler then tried to drag the boy forcibly into the car, but the boy started to scream for help and managed to run away, the father added.

Family members and other residents in the nearby houses heard the boy screaming and rushed to help him. At that point the attacker ran to the outpost and his escorts sped away, the father added.

Locals called Israeli police who arrived and instead of looking for the attacker they started to beat the Palestinian residents who were at the site, including family members of the assaulted boy.

The victim was then taken to Shaare Zedek medical center in West Jerusalem for treatment and his father filed a complaint at an Israeli police station.

An Israeli police spokesman said he was looking into the report.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Spain Blames ’Israel’ for Peacekeeper’s Death

Al-Manar | January 29, 2015

Spain has held the Tel Aviv regime accountable for the death of a Spanish peacekeeper serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) during an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement.

“It was because of this escalation of violence, and it came from the Israeli side,” Spanish Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi told reporters in New York on Wednesday.

Marchesi further noted that his country demands full investigation into the killing.

The Spanish defense ministry said in a statement that 36-year-old Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo “died this [Wednesday] morning during incidents between Hezbollah and the Israeli army in the area of responsibility of the Spanish contingent.”

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed on Twitter his “great sadness at the death of a Spanish soldier in Lebanon.”

The Security Council also condemned the peacekeeper’s death in its strongest terms, and extended its sincere sympathies.

See also :

Israel blames Hezbollah for Spanish peacekeeper’s death on Lebanese border

RT | January 28, 2015

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has blamed Hezbollah for the death of a Spanish UN peacekeeper killed in retaliatory Israeli mortar fire in southern Lebanon on Wednesday.

After a series of cross-border strikes that left two IDF soldiers and a Spanish peacekeeper from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) dead on Wednesday, Lieberman called Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo to express his condolences.

He also claimed that the Lebanese government was responsible for any attacks that come from its territory.

Lieberman called on Israel to respond to the attack in a “forceful and disproportionate manner.”

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also warned that Israel could retaliate harshly.

“To those who are challenging us in the north, I suggest you look at what happened in the Gaza Strip,” he said. … Full article

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments