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The Conference of 52 Presidents of the Major American (sic) Jewish Organizations and the US-Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Centerpiece of US Foreign Policy Struggle

By James Petras :: 08.11.2015

Prologue: In the village of Duma, an 18 month old Palestinian baby died following the fire-bombing of his family’s home by Israeli settlers. The father of the child died of burns a week later and the surviving mother and young sibling are barely alive – covered with burns from racist Jewish arson.

The United Nations Special Committee to investigate Israel’s practices toward Palestinians in Israeli occupied territory have revealed that the ‘root cause’ of the escalating violence is the ‘continuous policy of Jewish settlement expansion (financed and defended by the Netanyahu regime) and the climate of impunity relating to the activities of the settlers (financed and defended by the Presidents of the 52 Major American Jewish Organizations). (UN News Centre, Aug. 10, 2015).

Introduction

The recent US-Iran nuclear agreement, entitled Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, has implications far beyond the ending of nearly 40 years of regional confrontation.

Several fundamental issues concerning the nature of US policymaking, the power of a foreign regime (Israel) in deciding questions of war and peace and the role organized power configurations with overseas loyalties play in making and breaking executive and legislative authorities.

To investigate these fundamental issues it is important to discuss the historical context leading up to the rise of this paradoxical situation: Where a ‘global power’ is subject to the dictates of a second-rate state through the strategic penetration and influence by domestic organizations composed of ‘nominal citizens’ of the subject state with ‘divided (to put it politely) loyalties’.

The Centrality of Israel’s Unchallenged Regional Supremacy

The motor force of Israeli foreign and domestic policy is their drive for unchallenged regional supremacy: Military dominance through wars, territorial occupation, brutal armed interventions, extra territorial political assassinations of opponents and favorable one-sided treaties. To ensure its unquestioned dominance Israel has developed the only nuclear weapons arsenal and largest missile launch capacity in the region and has openly declared its willingness to use nuclear weapons against regional rivals.

Israel’s repeated mantra that it faces an ‘existential threat’ from its Arab neighbors and subjugated Palestinians has no factual basis. On the contrary, history has taught the world that Israel, directly and indirectly, has engaged a series of aggressive wars devastating its Arab and Muslim neighbors. Israel has bombed and/or invaded Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Sudan. Israel has assassinated scientists in Iran and Palestinian political leaders as well as intellectuals, writers and poets in the Gulf, Jordan and Europe. Even family members have not been spared Israeli terror.

Israel can brutalize its neighbors with total impunity because of its vast military superiority, but its real power is found in its overseas proxies, the Tel Aviv-dominated Zionist power configurations, especially in North America and Europe. The most important proxy organizations and individuals operate in the United States. Thanks to them Israel has received over $150 billion dollars in economic and military grants and loans from US taxpayers in the past half-century. Each year Israel rakes in billions in tribute, billions in tax-free donations from billionaire Israel loyalists with dual US citizenship, who extract their wealth from American workers, investors and gamblers, and hundreds of billions via unrestricted investments, privileged market access and technology transfers.

The economic and military transfers to Israel result from the cumulative build-up of political power among powerful US Zionists. No one disputes today that what is dubbed as the ‘pro-Israel lobby’ is the most powerful configuration inside Washington DC today. Focusing primarily on the ‘Israel lobby’ overlooks the powerful role that influential, Zionist political officials have played in deciding issues prioritized by the Israeli leadership.

Israeli power over the making and implementing of US Middle East policy has led to the US invasions of Iraq, Syria and Libya; the current economic boycott and blockade of Iran; the breakup of Sudan; and the bombing of Somalia.

Israeli power in the US operates through various political instruments in different institutional settings. The pro-Israel mass media moguls at the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and all the TV networks unconditionally defend Israel’s bombing, dispossession and repression of Palestinians while demonizing any Arab or Muslim states which has opposed its brutality – frequently calling for the US to impose sanctions and/or to launch armed attacks against Israel’s critics.

The US military campaign known as the ‘Global War on Terror’, a series of brutal invasions and ‘regime changes’, launched after the attacks of September 11, 2001 was formulated and promoted by fanatical Israeli proxies in strategic positions within the Bush government, especially Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, ‘Scooter’ Libby, Elliott Abrams and Richard Perle. The boycott of Iran was designed and implemented by US Treasury officials Levey and Cohen. The drumbeat for war in Iraq and the phony ‘intelligence’ about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ was propagated by New York Times scribe Judith Miller, designed by Wolfowitz and Feith, backed by the 52 President of Major American Jewish Organizations and ultimately paid for with the lives of over five thousand Americans and well over a million Iraqi civilians. The destruction and breakup of Iraq, a long-time supporter of Palestinian national rights, was accomplished without the loss of a single Israeli life – despite the enormous benefit the Jewish state has enjoyed from the war! The extraordinary success of this highest Israeli military priority was due entirely to the machinations of Israel’s highly placed US proxies.

Yet the cost of the war has been very high for the American people (and unimaginably high for Iraqis): Over a quarter million physical and mental casualties among US troops; two trillion dollars and counting in military expenditures crippling the US economy and a vast and growing army of Islamist and nationalist rebels opposing US interests throughout the region.

The Israeli power configuration within the US led the US into a war, which enhanced Israel’s dominance of the Middle East region and accelerated its annexation of Palestinian land. But Israeli ambition for total regional power is not complete. It still faces a formidable opponent to its conquest of the Middle East: Iran remains a staunch supporter of the people and national sovereignty of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.

The regime of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, backed by the entire Israeli political opposition and the majority of the Jewish electorate, has been aggressively pushing for a US confrontation with Iran – through economic and eventually military warfare.

There have been scores of public and private meetings in the US and elsewhere, where Netanyahu’s regime “informed” (or rather dictated to) the entire Zionist power configuration to launch an economic and military attack against Iran with the open aim of ‘regime change’ and the ultimate aim of breaking up and destroying the Islamic republic – similar to the destruction of Iraq, Libya and now Syria.

Israel’s Proxies and the Obama – Iran Nuclear Accord

All the major US spy agencies, including the CIA, long concluded that Iran did not have a nuclear weapons program. Its nuclear program has been proven to be limited to legal, internationally sanctioned peaceful civilian use. When the US intelligence establishment went ‘off-script’ and cleared Iran of a nuclear weapons program, Israel responded by brazenly assassinating five Iranian scientists and engineers, leaking faked evidence of a nuclear weapon program and directing its US proxies to push the US toward greater economic sanctions. They escalated their media campaign demonizing Iran, pushing for an economic and military blockade of Iran using the US naval forces in the Persian Gulf and its military bases in adjoining countries. Israeli officials want yet another US war for Israel along the lines of the Iraq invasion.

With the recent change in the Iranian government leadership via democratic elections there have been serious expressions of greater flexibility with regard to inspections of its nuclear programs and facilities. At the same time Washington has been confronted with multiple escalating insurgent wars in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan. This provides the context for President Obama’s ‘pivot’ toward negotiations and diplomacy to secure an agreement with Iran and away from military confrontation.

This has infuriated the Netanyahu regime. Its government leaders and agents met with the Presidents of the 52 Major American Jewish Organizations, leading Zionist Washington insiders like (Dennis Ross), super-rich Zionist billionaires and multiple delegations of notables and told them to launch an all-out campaign to sabotage the Iran-US- England- France-Russia-China, and Germany (‘P5+1’) nuclear agreement.

The entire Zionist political apparatus immediately organized a multi-prong, multi-million dollar campaign blitz to undermine the US President. The American (sic) Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) mobilized hundreds of its full-time functionaries, invading the US Congress with offers of all expense-paid junkets to Israel, political threats, campaign ‘donation’ enticements and outright blackmail.

Influential US Zionist Congress people joined the onslaught with their ‘leader’ the ‘Senator from Tel Aviv’ Charles Schumer, accompanied by his fellow Zionist one-hundred percenters, Congress people like Steve Israel, Ted Deutsch, Eliot Engel and Nita Lowery. They have openly chosen to follow the dictates of the Israeli Prime Minister against their fellow Democrat US President Obama. Schumer, who frequently boasts that his name derives from ‘shomer Yisrael’ (Israel’s Guardian), flaunts his ‘role in Washington’ to serve Israel’s interest. The unannounced (or undenounced) ‘elephant in the room’ is their primary loyalty to Israel over the US. The Democratic Congressional Zionists have joined hands with the Republican war mongers – both in tow to militarist, Zionist billionaires and media moguls. The 52 organizations brazenly announced a $40 million budget to fund an Israeli front group “Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran” to undermine President Obama’s (and the other members of the P5+1) push for diplomacy.

Netanyahu’s ‘megaphones’ in the US mass media spread his message in their daily reports and editorial pages. The Zionist power configuration ran roughshod over dissident Jewish voters and Congress people who dared to support Obama’s Iran agreement – an agreement which has majority support of the war-weary US public and strong support from US scientists and Nobel Prize recipients.

President Obama has finally counter-attacked this campaign to undermine the agreement, calling attention to the fact that “the same people who led us into the Iraq war are pushing us into war with Iran”. The President discreetly omitted identifying the Israeli links of the “same people”.

Obama understands that the alternative to the peace accord opposed by Israel and the Zionist-led US Congress members will be a devastating regional war, costing trillions of dollars in losses to the US economy, thousands of US lives and hundreds of thousands of wounded soldiers – not to speak of millions of Iranian casualties – and an environmental holocaust! While the Zionist power configuration saturates the airwaves with its unending lies and fear mongering, each and every major city and community Jewish Confederation have sent their activists to plant stories and twist arms to sabotage the agreement.

While many US intellectuals, liberals, progressives and leftists support the US-Iran agreement (see the Scientists’ Letter to Obama on Iran Nuclear Deal, Aug. 8, 2015 with 29 top scholars and Nobel laureates support diplomacy), few would dare to identify and attack Israel’s US proxies as they promote Tel Aviv’s agenda pushing the US to war with Iran. A brief glance through the sectarian left press, for example, The Socialist Register, New Politics, New Left Review, finds no discussion of the powerful, well-financed, highly organized, elite-driven Israeli proxies and their role in determining US wars in the Middle East, and more specifically the war agenda toward Iran.

Conclusion

The success or failure of the US-Iran nuclear agreement will have momentous, world-historic consequences that go far beyond the Middle East. Obama is absolutely right to pose the question as one between a diplomatic accord or a large scale, long-term devastating war. But war is what Israel, its leaders, its majority and its opposition parties are demanding and what its US proxies are pursuing.

The basic question for all Americans is whether we will act as an independent, sovereign country pursuing peace through diplomacy, as we currently see unfolding with Iran and Cuba, or a submissive military instrument, directed by Israel’s proxies hell-bent on destroying America for Israel.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Generic Medicines Used to be Cheap… Not Any More

By Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley | AllGov | August 12, 2015

Disappearing are the days of going to the pharmacy and asking for a generic version of a drug and expecting it to cost a lot less than its name brand equivalent. Consolidation in the generic drug industry has allowed manufacturers to raise prices dramatically.

Only two years ago, the cost of the antibiotic tetracycline in generic form was only $1.50 for pharmacies, according to Steve Hendricks at Truthout. But by 2014, the same drug cost $257.70 … a 17,080% increase. Another antibiotic, doxycycline, went from costing $1.20 to $111 in just six months. That’s an increase of 9,150%.

One of the big players in the generic field is Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals. Teva has bought up competitors and as it has done so, it has raised its prices. The company now controls 22% of the generic market.

Teva even bought a name-brand manufacturer, Cephalon, and in doing so became liable to pay a $1.2 billion fine for paying generic companies to give up their rights to manufacture a drug after patent protection expires. “Pay for delay” lets a drug’s originator keep its monopoly longer. Its drug Provigil went from $166 for a month’s supply to $1,001.

Hendricks also cited data from Medicare and Medicaid that showed from July 2013 to July 2014, “the price of half of all generics went up, and nearly 10 percent of them went up by double or more,” he wrote. Among that 10%, the average increase was 448%.

Something that would help cut costs would be giving the federal government the right to negotiate Medicare Part D drug prices. President George W. Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress inexplicably gave up that right when the law was passed in 2003.

To Learn More:

The Rise of Big Generic: Why Knockoff Prescriptions Now Cost $1,200 (by Steve Hendricks, Truthout )

How High? The Backlash Over Rising Prescription Drug Prices Gains Steam (by Ed Silverman, Wall Street Journal )

CVS Health Accused in Suit of Overcharging for Generic Drugs (by Michael Hytha, Bloomberg )

This Hepatitis C Drug, Developed with U.S. Government-Funded Research, Costs $300 per Treatment Course in India… and $84,000 in the U.S. (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov )

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , | 1 Comment

Former Guatemalan Dictator Released from Psychiatric Hospital

teleSUR | August 12, 2015

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was released from a psychiatric hospital Tuesday, after undergoing seven days of tests that effectively delayed his retrial for charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Attorney Jaime Hernandez, who is part of Rios Montt’s defense team, confirmed that psychiatrists had finished their assessment of the 89-year-old retired-general and submitted their final report to the Public Ministry, about one week earlier than planned.

The court must now wait until Aug 18 when it will hear testimony from the doctors who examined Rios Montt and the ministry to determine whether he is physically and mentally fit to face the severe charges.

Rios Montt is accused of killing at least 1,771 Guatemalans in the Mayan area of Ixil, committing 1,400 human rights violations, and displacing tens of thousands of indigenous people during his 1980’s dictatorship.

His military regime marked one of the bloodiest periods of Guatemala’s 36-year civil war (1960-1996).

In May 2013, Rios Montt was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity for thousands of human rights abuses, but the historic verdict and accompanying 80-year prison sentence were overturned just 10 days later, purportedly due to errors in process.

In July, the courts ordered that Rios Montt be admitted to a psychiatric hospital to undergo tests, after defense lawyers presented a report that declared him mentally unfit to face a re-trial, saying he is not capable of comprehending the charges against him or of defending himself.

The court order was the latest in a long string of delays and procedural setbacks for the retrial of the former-general, which was supposed to begin in January. Next week the courts will make the final decision whether or not to finally proceed with the retrial.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Nobel Peace Laureates Endorse Violence, Crimes Against Humanity

By Robert J. Burrowes | Blacklisted News | August 12, 2015

In a recent letter to US President Barack Obama twelve Nobel Peace laureates declared their support for the long history of US elite violence against Native Americans and enslaved Africans, as well as the US imperial violence around the world that has butchered tens of millions of people over the past 200 years. See US: An End to Torture: Twelve Nobel Peace Prize laureates write to President Barack Obama asking the US to close the dark chapter on torture once and for all. Obama responds.

The letter to Obama was signed by ex-President José Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste, prize recipient in 1996), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (South Africa, 1984), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia, 2011), Mohammad ElBaradei (Egypt, 2005), Jody Williams (USA, 1997), Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh, 2006), F.W. De Klerk (South Africa, 1993), John Hume (Northern Ireland, 1998), Oscar Arias Sanchez (Costa Rica, 1987), Bishop Carlos X. Belo (Timor-Leste, 1996), Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina, 1980) and Betty Williams (Northern Ireland, 1976).

The letter, the response from Obama and a subsequent article written by Ramos-Horta – see Obama: The Courage to Say “We Were Wrong” – were a stark reminder, to those of us who struggle to end the violence in our world, of what genuine peace activists are up against.

It was also a stark reminder that the Nobel Peace Prize, founded in response to the will of Alfred Nobel following his death in 1896, to be awarded to a person ‘who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses’ – see The establishment of the Peace Prize – was corrupted beyond recognition a long time ago, as has been carefully documented by Fredrik S. Heffermehl in The Nobel Peace Prize Watch and again graphically illustrated by its recent award to a prominent perpetrator of violence like Barack Obama. See Understanding Obama and Other People Who Kill (In fairness, perhaps, it should be noted that Obama is not the most violent recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize: that title should no doubt go to former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.)

Ostensibly written by the twelve laureates to ask Obama to end the extensive US torture program, the letter includes the following words:

‘The United States, born of the concept of the inherent equality of all before the law, has been since its inception a hallmark that would be emulated by countries and entire regions of the world. For more than two centuries, it has been the enlightened ideals of America’s founders that changed civilization on Earth for the better, and made the US a giant among nations.’

Given the systematic atrocities planned, organised, sponsored, financed and committed by the US government throughout its history, which have been carefully documented by one author after another, one can only presume that the authors of the letter are delusional, incredibly ignorant or utterly devoid of compassion for those who have suffered or are still suffering from the extraordinary violence inflicted by military and economic forces controlled by the United States elite.

In relation to the domestic history of the United States, perhaps they should read Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States: 1492 – Present or they might try a shorter, more recent book in which Professor Timothy Braatz noted that US society was organized around the violent dispossession of Native communities, the enslavement of blacks, the marginalization of women, the exploitation of working people and industrial warfare. See Peace Lessons.

This seems a long way from the ‘enlightened ideals of America’s founders that changed civilization on Earth for the better’ to which our Noble peace laureates refer. And I’m sure that if they care to go out and ask a sample of Native Americans, African-Americans, women, working people and soldiers suffering from PTSD, they will get more insight into the accuracy of their claim as it stands today.

And what of the US impact on the rest of the world? Incredibly, in his article, Ramos-Horta says that ‘many of us on the other side of the world were touched forever when the Kennedys came out in support of the rights of Africans to rule themselves’. Is he naïve? A sycophant? Has he forgotten the vital role, extensively documented in the US National Security Archive, played by the US government in supporting the Indonesian occupation of his own country? See A Quarter Century of U.S. Support for Occupation.

I wonder what Desmond Tutu thinks of Ramos-Horta’s comment. Tutu, at least, should know what happened to the visionary leader of the newly independent Congo – see Patrice Lumumba: the most important assassination of the 20th century – and have some idea of the history of US violence throughout Africa, Asia and Central/South America, killing true leaders and installing US stooges so that western corporations can ruthlessly exploit their natural resources. For a taste of the extensive documentation of this point, see many of the books by Noam Chomsky and the recent book by Andre Vltchek Exposing Lies of the Empire.

I am only too familiar with the truth being butchered by elites and their agents in academia and the corporate media. But to read the truth being butchered so ruthlessly by Nobel Peace laureates is nauseating indeed.

Let us hope that those Nobel peace laureates who did not sign this letter will share their response to it with us.

I am deeply committed to searching out ways to resolve all conflicts nonviolently. But we must always start with the truth. Deluding ourselves about history or letting perpetrators get away with violence in the hope that they will be kinder to us next time does not work. Despite his pretty words, Obama will not change – see The Destruction of Barack Obama – and the US elite would not allow him to change should he seriously consider doing so. See The Global Elite is Insane.

If you have the courage to acknowledge and act on the truth, you are welcome to consider signing the online pledge of The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World which has been signed by one honest and genuinely admirable Nobel peace laureate already.

And remember this: if you have not won the Nobel Peace Prize, you are in the same category as Mohandas K. Gandhi and many other fine people around the world who still struggle relentlessly for a world without violence whatever personal price they may pay.

Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is at http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

Steven Salaita, Palestine and Free Speech

steven-salatia

By Margaret Kimberley | Black Agenda Report | August 12, 2015

Steven Salaita is a renowned academic in the field of Native American Studies. That is why the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) hired him in 2013 as a tenured associate professor in the American Indian Studies Program. Salaita resigned from his previous position and had every reason to believe that he was on his way to Illinois. However he was terminated on August 1, 2014.

In the summer of 2014 Israel was in the midst of a murderous campaign in Gaza which killed more than 2,000 people, including 500 children. Steven Salaita is a Palestinian-American and like millions of people he vented anger and outrage as the horrific war crime continued. His posts on twitter garnered the attention of the administration and donors at the University of Illinois and he was fired before he even began working.

From the beginning Salaita waged a courageous fight to prove that he was in fact already an employee and to see that the university paid a price for mocking academic freedom, ruining his career and upending his personal life. He has succeeded in some of those efforts. The university experienced nearly universal condemnation and was censured by the American Association of University Professors for violating the principles of academic freedom. In addition, prominent persons such as Cornel West are boycotting the University of Illinois and have cancelled appearances in support of Salaita’s struggle.

UIUC has been on the losing end of the court battle, with one judge ordering the university to release emails related to the case and another ruling that Salaita’s lawsuit can proceed. That decision renders as patently false the university’s claim that he was not yet an employee. Salaita is enjoying legal victories and has secured a temporary position at the American University in Beirut, but his difficult experience points out that in America speech isn’t so free if powerful interests are taken to task.

Criticism of Israel is the third rail in American life. Politicians dutifully toe the line and either praise Israel without question or say nothing and hope to be unnoticed. Even local elected officials who have no role in foreign policy secure campaign funds and protection from political challengers if they support Zionism. They may face defeat should they do otherwise.

The Salaita case shows the insidious nature of the censorship that is imposed from without which inevitably creates self-censorship for millions of people. Even as Israel wages a very public campaign against congressional approval of the P5+1 nuclear energy agreement with Iran, the president still gives words of support to a country which boldly and blatantly interferes with his policy agenda.

Not only did president Obama praise Israel even after he was publicly humiliated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but he claimed an equivalence between that country’s apartheid system and the black American struggle for freedom. Among the many shameful things he has said in his political life that is among the worst.

Taking on Israel in a public forum is a daunting task. The rules may be unwritten but they are real and Salaita’s experience is not lost on others. There is no other issue that engenders so much fear, silence and acquiescence. So great was the fear of retribution that the university’s trustees and administration made a decision which they should have known would come back to haunt them. Such incompetence only happens in an institution operating in a state of corrosive group think, outside pressure and systemic rot.

The university has spent more than $843,000 in public money to defend its losing cause. The soon to be former chancellor and other staff tried to hide their dirty work by using personal email addresses and not just in regards to the Salaita case. This inherently unethical behavior was meant to thwart any search for public information but shoes have begun to drop as more wrong doing comes to light. Chancellor Phyllis Wise, who orchestrated the firing, recently resigned but she will still have a $300,000 faculty salary and receive a $400,000 golden parachute.

When Salaita chose to fight for his right to work and to speak freely he revealed a lot more about the rotten state of academia and its connections with wealthy donors. Even public institutions are beholden to big money and live in fear of losing favor and funding. In an era of triumphant neo-liberalism everything is a commodity, including higher education.

Salaita could have condemned any country other than Israel using the same language and would not have lost his job. Such is the power of Zionism and its defenders. They have what amounts to a gangster protection racket, enforced not with guns but with money and positions for those who go along. Those who don’t are made to suffer.

The right to speak freely does not extend to everyone in this country, but then again it never did. Because of people like Steven Salaita some of that injustice is out in the open for all to see. American politicians, the corporate media, and big universities may still genuflect in Israel’s direction but that obedience shouldn’t extend to every citizen. Salaita is fighting not just for himself, but for true democracy for everyone.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She can be reached via Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1,312 reported attacks against fishermen since the end of 2014 massacre on Gaza

International Solidarity Movement | August 11, 2015

portt-600x450Gaza, Occupied Palestine – Two days ago, on Sunday night at 3am, the occupation forces kidnapped fishermen Mohamed Ismail Sharafi, 34 years old, and Mohamed Saidi, 22 years old, in Gaza City waters.

According to the testimony of the other fishermen that where working with them the night of the attack, around 10 boats, one of the two fishermen was injured by live ammunition before being kidnapped.

The aggression took place at 5 miles off shore and their boat was also taken to Ashdod.

Two weeks ago Ahmed Sharafi, Mohamed’s brother, was shot in his back with live ammunition while working with his father.

Since the end of the last Zionist massacre against Gaza there have been 1,312 reported attacks against the fishermen.

Since then, 22 boats have been stolen; 26 fishermen have been injured; one fisherman, Tawfiq Abu Riela, has been assassinated; 28 boats have been disabled by bullet fire; 2 big fishing boats have been sunk by rocket fire, one in Deir El Balah at 300 meters from the coast and one in Gaza City at 5 miles; 51 fishermen have been kidnapped while working and 3 fishermen remain prisoners until now.

Those facts, among other practices of the occupation forces, have caused the quantity of fish caught to decrease from 1,600 tons the year before the massacre to 1,000 tons the year after. At the same time the number of fishermen who work in the Gaza Strip has decreased from 3,000 to 1,000 and the fishermen who keep working have seen how their monthly income decreased from 2,000 ILS to the actual 100 ILS.

This last year, just in Beach Camp, 50 children of fishermen have left the school in order to work carrying flour sacks at the doors of UNRWA for 1 ILS each sack.

It’s becoming something common that the fishermen families have to choose between their children and decide which ones will go to school and which ones will have to work in order to support the family.

In this moment there are 900 children of fishermen in Gaza City, and 1,700 in all the Strip, that should start the academic year in 20 days and whose parents can’t afford to buy them school materials.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi Arabia repeating Israel stance on JCPOA: Iran

Press TV – August 11, 2015

Iran has dismissed Saudi Arabia’s anger about Tehran’s recent nuclear agreement with the six world powers, saying the Arab kingdom is rehashing the Israeli regime’s stance against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, said on Tuesday that remarks by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in a joint press conference with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in Berlin on Monday showed that the JCPOA, which is aimed at ending an “unnecessary crisis,” has incurred the Saudi official’s “irrational wrath.”

“When the senior representative of a regional government is infuriated to such extent by the political settlement of issues in the region and at the international level, it leaves no doubt that he has chosen a life of problems and crisis,” she said.

She expressed regret that the Saudi minister’s remarks about the JCPOA were an “echo of the Zionist regime’s stance.”

The Saudi foreign minister on Monday claimed that despite the Vienna agreement between Iran and the six global powers in July, Iran would go ahead and manufacture nuclear weapons because Tehran has consistently refused to allow nuclear inspectors to visit some of its military sites.

On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 countries finalized the text of the nuclear agreement in Vienna.

Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

Iran has repeatedly stated that it has not and will not have a non-civilian nuclear program, irrespective of the JCPOA.

The UN Security Council on July 20 unanimously endorsed a draft resolution turning the JCPOA into international law. All 15 members of the UN body voted for the draft UN resolution in New York, setting the stage for the lifting of the Security Council sanctions against Iran.

Afkham further pointed to the Saudi foreign minister’s claims about Iran’s uranium enrichment activities, saying, “Such remarks indicate an incorrect comprehension of international relations and the competence of countries.”

In his joint press conference with the German foreign minister, Jubeir aslo claimed that Riyadh is closely monitoring Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Islamic State — New Tool of Washington

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 11.08.2015

A year has passed since the establishment of a rather peculiar state—the Islamic Caliphate. And today, a year later, its “founding fathers,” allies, enemies, objectives and tasks (which will define its further development) can be identified with precision.

Hardly anybody doubts today that the notorious al-Qaeda is responsible for the creation, nurturing and funding with dollars (supplied by the U.S. and their allies from the Persian Gulf region, headed by Saudi Arabia) of a terrorist organization the Islamic State. Al-Qaeda had already been suspected of being an “American mercenary.” That is why it is believed that al-Qaeda was behind the formation of a terrorist organization the Islamic State of Levant in Syria, whose objective was to oppose country’s President Bashar Assad, who, unlike Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of Yemen, had been legitimately elected and had never abandoned his country. The members of this organization were those same militants, who had undergone combat training conducted by American military advisors in the territory of Turkey and Jordan and had been supplied with the most advanced weapons. From time to time, in order to acquit themselves, Washington officials would admit that yes, indeed, there were instances when American weapons did not reach the intended people and fell into the wrong hands. However, it is an irrefutable fact that militants of the Islamic State of Levant were much better armed with American weapons as compared to the fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army (an organization, which is now almost completely forgotten).

Despite their high-tech armament, militants and terrorists failed to achieve considerable success, and this is why militants of the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq had to be relocated to the Syrian territory. It should be noted that the CIA spawned this organization during the U.S. occupation of Iraq with the objective of curbing the intentions of Tehran to gain full control over Iraq. Soon this organization, whose core consisted of the former officers of Saddam Hussein’s army and members of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, became an influential force, capable of “showing teeth” to its overseas patrons to display their unwillingness to always dance to their tune. There was something about those former members of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party (who, perhaps, still maintain their memberships): they were aware of their worth and were very skillful negotiators. After the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq seeped to the territory of Syria, they joined forces with the Islamic State of the Levant. Thus, a new organization was formed — the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which is led by none other than the Head of the Islamic State of IraqIbrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi.

Since the leader of ISIS is a very intriguing and nontrivial character, whose charisma affects all activities of this organization, it would be proper to share a few interesting facts about this individual. According to the official data of the United States Department of Defense, from February to December of 2004 Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi was detained and held as a suspect in Camp Bucca, the largest detention camp in Iraq. But according to the memoirs of the commander of the Camp, US Army Colonel Kenneth King, who remembers this person very well, he is “99 % sure” that the Iraqi prisoner left the Camp not in 2004, but only right before its closing, i.e., at the end of the summer of 2009. The Colonel remembers Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi because when leaving the Camp, he said to his guards, “See you in New York,” because he knew that the guards were from New York and served in the 306th Military Police Battalion.

An unidentified friend of Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi, who was also detained at the Camp, told Iraqi newspaper Al-Fourat about their life in the American Camp Bucca. Only two people were detained in one cell, which was more like a room of a campsite; their daily ration was the same as the ration of a US Army sergeant; they would regularly receive carefully selected fresh press; a TV in the cell was always on; cells were equipped with a powerful AC unit. They would spend a part of their day talking with American advisors, who tried to convert the detainees to their faith. Often pro-American Iraqi university professors would come to teach the prisoners international relations, politics, history and geography. In other words, those prisoners of the Camp, selected for the close cooperation with Americans, not only had to participate in an extensive “counterinsurgency program” from early morning to late evening, but were also trained by American advisors “for future collaborative business.” Perhaps this is why Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi was released only on the 5th year of his imprisonment, or rather “training.”

Truth be told, American advisors, who lack the knowledge of Arab morals and customs, used to make and still make many mistakes. One of the Arab sayings is that, “a Bedouin cannot be enslaved, he can only be killed.” And Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi, not a Bedouin, but an Arab (though a descendant of Bedouins) and a faithful follower of Islam, who after his liberation had at his disposal a powerful organization and plenty of money, started playing by his own rules.

It is peculiar that the interests of this Iraqi and of the Washington rulers still coincide, at least to some extent. It is also noteworthy that the borders of the proclaimed state (Caliphate) perfectly fit the borders of the “Sunni State,” outlined in the map elaborated by Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters (at the order of the Pentagon), which was assigned the name the New Middle East. Militants did not immediately head for Baghdad, which is supposed to be the capital of the Caliphate, but took Mosul first, from which the Sunni army of Iraq quietly withdrew leaving behind most of its inventory. Newspaper Al-Mashriq reported that on the day right before the seizure of Mosul, 50 million dollars had been delivered to the city’s Central Bank from Baghdad. Was it a coincidence? Later newspapers wrote that militants acquired a total of 200 million dollars in the Mosul operation.

Simultaneously, by having engaged in battles against Kurds and having threatened Iraqi Kurdistan, militants did an invaluable favor to Washington. First of all, Kurds were then faced with a rather tangible threat, were forced to begin mobilization and had to throw their Peshmerga forces into the battle. Secondly, in the absence of any considerable assistance on the part of the rulers of Baghdad, who were themselves hanging by a thread, dependence of Erbil on the U.S. had increased even more. It is not surprising then that the US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter promptly arrived in Kurdistan and held talks with the senior Kurdish leadership, not even having informed the central government of that. The day before, Ashton Carter defined the ground forces of the army of Kurdistan as “powerful and successful” and confirmed his eagerness to meet Barzani who, being the leader of the guerrilla movement, had been opposing the regime of Saddam Hussein for decades. It is no surprise either that the Pentagon intended to deploy American military units, including its elite special forces, in the territory of the autonomous Kurdish region. The Western mass media reported that military machinery, weapons and equipment would be delivered to Kurdistan to arm Kurdish groups countering jihadists of the Islamic State. All these actions were never coordinated with the Iraqi central government, which, as the facts suggest, was no longer viewed by Washington as a real power. By the way, neither such country as Iraq is at present in the Lt. Col. R. Peters’ map, nor its name is mentioned anywhere.

At the same time, unceasing clashes in the northern Iraq forced Turkish government to issue a permission to the US Air Force to use the Incirlik Air Base located in the eastern part of the country to launch air operations against the Islamic State in the territory of Syria. “We have endorsed the agreement pertaining to the Incirlik Air Base. The Base can start operating at any time. First of all, it will be used to target the IS’s facilities in Syria,” the agency quotes the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tanju Bilgiç. And recently, the implementation of the agreement on the construction of the Turkey Stream pipeline, signed with Russia, has been considerably slowed down. Based on the opinion of a knowledgeable expert in the field of energy Efgan Nifti, statements made by the Russian party, in which the beginning and end dates of the construction of the gas pipeline were announced, were premature since not all contentious issues had been resolved. The expert stressed that the parties have to find common ground and ensure their interests are harmonized. Apparently, the slowing down of the pipeline construction process was also “accidental.”

So far it looks like the IS is acting in line with the Washington’s interests, and Islamist militants carry out tasks orchestrated by their oversees patrons. But that, as they say, can go on only until the IS matures. The Caliphate was proclaimed in the entire territory of the Arab world and, apparently, Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi is ploughing around in an attempt to find the most vulnerable “link in the chain.” Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi had realized a long time ago that he could not stake on Jordan, as Washington would not give it up. Therefore, he does not seem to show any particular interest in it, though, he would not mind stirring up “an Islamic wave” (and it would not be hard to accomplish) in this small neighboring state. But a solemn pledge to free both holy cities—Mecca and Medina—from the notorious House of Saud has already been made. And, having put all pieces of this crazy jigsaw together, we get a bizarre picture: Saudi Arabia, which played the first fiddle and had made major monetary contributions to support the creation of terrorist organizations (including IS) in Syria to fight President Bashar Assad now faces the risk of falling victim of its own brainchild!

However, these actions of the IS fit perfectly into the map of the New Middle East, in accordance with which, a number of new states controlled by the United States is supposed to emerge in the territory of Saudi Arabia. Besides, when the time of the “one” Saudi Arabia is long gone would there be anybody to recall that almost a trillion dollars, deposited into accounts of American banks, earlier belonged to Saudi citizens? The U.S. would only gain from such a development since, having deployed its military bases in the territory of 140 states worldwide and having put together a huge military budget, the world’s gendarme would be fully insured against claims made by any country. Thus, since the only good enemy is a dead enemy, total destruction of this state would solve all the problems. Such thinking pattern was vividly illustrated in the situation with Iraq.

There we have it: a new American “assistant” with a proven track record of the obedient fulfillment of all uncle Sam’s orders has emerged in the Middle East. And apparently (for the above reasons), militants of the IS and the IS itself will not be at risk of destruction in the near future, as long as they continue launching strikes against victims picked by Washington. And all these speculations and vague hints that the U.S. are presumably countering the IS just do not withstand any criticism because criticism is supported by numerous crying facts.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NY prison inmates suffered beatings, retaliation after historic escape – report

RT | August 12, 2015

After two inmates escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility, those who stayed endured a “campaign of retribution” by correctional officers, with dozens reporting secret beatings and other abuses, according to a New York Times report.

Richard Matt and David Sweat, convicted killers who shared a cell in the maximum security prison in New York, broke free on June 6. Their escape triggered a massive manhunt, which resulted in Matt killed and Sweat injured and captured three weeks later.

Prison worker Joyce Mitchell was arrested and pled guilty to providing the tools that allowed Matt and Sweat to cut through their cell wall and get away. Another faces criminal charges over contraband while nine officers have been suspended and the leadership of the prison has been removed in the wake of the escape.

But in the days after Matt and Sweat left the facility it was their fellow inmates who suffered at the hands of correctional officers, the New York Times reported. Dozens reported being handcuffed and beaten by officers demanding information about the escape.

One prisoner, Patrick Alexander, was handcuffed and taken to a broom closet, where three corrections officers he didn’t know interrogated him, he told NYT.

“The officer jumps up and grabs me by my throat, lifts me out of the chair, slams my head into the pipe along the wall,” he said. “Then he starts punching me in the face. The other two get up and start hitting me also in the ribs and stomach.”

When he repeatedly denied having any information, the officer conducting the interrogation threatened to waterboard him, he said.

Victor Aponte worked in the prison tailor shop, where Matt also had a job. He described undergoing a similar interrogation, saying one guard tied a plastic bag around his neck and used it as a hanging noose.

“I don’t know how long he hung me up like that because I passed out,” he wrote in a letter.

Several inmates were denied medical care after the interrogations and were later bullied out of reporting how they sustained their injuries, the report said.

Clinton inmates were also subjected to harsh reprisals by the authorities. Dozens were transferred from the privileged “honor block” of the Clinton Correctional, where Matt and Sweat lived, to solitary confinement or other prisons. Others were stripped of privileges that they had earned by years of good behavior. Unlike prison staff, no inmate was found linked to the escape, the newspaper commented.

Over 60 inmates have filed complaints with Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, an organization that assists prisoners, the newspaper said. A letter making similar allegations was sent last month to state corrections officials by an inmate council at the facility.

The state corrections department launched an investigation into the allegations, pledging that “any findings of misconduct or abuse against inmates will be punished to the full extent of the law.”

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Repression in Jordan to Protect Israel

The Trial and Sentencing of Amer Jubran

By Noah Cohen | Dissident Voice | August 11, 2015

On July 29, 2015, the trial of Palestinian activist Amer Jubran in Jordan reached its predictable conclusion: 10 years with hard labor for phony “terrorism” offenses, based at least in part on laws manufactured after his arrest.

Last year I wrote an article about the circumstances of Amer’s arrest and detention. At that time he was being held without charges, after being seized from his home in the middle of the night and held incommunicado at an undisclosed location for over 2 months.

In August of 2014, he was finally given a list of charges against him. These included the charge of threatening to “harm relations with a foreign government,” part of a new set of “anti-terrorism” laws enacted in Jordan in June of 2014 (a month after Amer’s arrest in May). The law is a codification of Jordan’s existing practice of arresting dissidents who call attention to the regime’s traitorous collaboration with the main political enemies of its own people: Israel and the United States. A pertinent example would be Mwaffaq Mahadin, tried in 2010 for “endangering relations with a foreign state” for speaking on Al-Jazeera about Jordan’s security cooperation with the US. Under the new legislation, this “crime” became a “terrorism” offense, punishable before the State Security Court.

In a statement about his trial and sentencing recorded from prison (recording here, transcript here), Amer recounts a moment in his interrogation by the GID (General Intelligence Directorate, Jordan’s infamous secret police) which leaves no doubt about the real decision-makers behind his arrest and imprisonment:

During the interrogation period, I was told by the GID that any decision made about me is involving (quote) ‘our American and Israeli friends’ (end-quote). All started when I refused to be a sell-out and work against the Lebanese resistance. I was told then that I will be sent behind the sun for such a refusal. And frankly it is very easy for me to disappear behind the sun rather than to be well outside, but a sell-out and traitor.

The involvement of the US in Amer’s detention and trial comes as no surprise. As I recounted in my earlier article, the US had already detained Amer while he was living in the United States for his political activism on behalf of Palestine and against the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. While living here as a green-card holder, he committed the inexcusable crime of refusing to be intimidated by the wave of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim repression that immediately followed September 11.

In 2002, he stood on a stage in Washington DC, before an anti-war gathering of more than 75,000 people, and spoke against US support for Israel and against the invasion of Iraq.

Amer has clarified in conversation that his refusal “to be a sell-out and work against the Lebanese resistance” was a refusal to act as an infiltrator and informant for the GID. He was thus charged with supporting Hezbollah.

In a similar trial that reached its conclusion a day earlier, another 12 people were sentenced for periods of up to 15 years for supporting Hamas. As one commentator asked in the Jordan Times: “[I]n whose interest is it to try those who support the Palestinian Hamas movement?”

“Anti-terrorism” laws that criminalize support for armed movements of national liberation in Palestine and national self-defense in Lebanon have nothing to do with protecting Jordan or its people. Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah has ever threatened the security of Jordan. Such laws are designed purely to protect the interests of Israel and the US in their ongoing violations of the national sovereignty of Arab lands.

Likewise, Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate and its State Security Court function as arms of foreign powers. They are not protecting the security of Jordanians, but rather the security of Jordan’s most violent and militarily aggressive neighbor (Israel), and US soldiers who use Jordan as a base for attacking other Arab countries. Most recently, the US has been using Jordan as a base for training military forces involved in the destabilization of Syria–a conflict that threatens to engulf the entire region in violence.

To do their work effectively, these agencies must necessarily suppress the human and political rights of Jordanians. Journalists, activists, professors, religious leaders and all of Jordan’s ordinary citizens live under the constant threat of Jordan’s secret police and its judicial security apparatus. Trials before the State Security Court lack even the outward semblance of judicial independence, with judges recruited from the military and the GID itself.

In the campaign to free Amer Jubran, we are calling for letters on Amer’s behalf to be directed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein, a Jordanian. We have no illusions about the UN or its High-Commissioner for Human Rights. The value of such a campaign is to show that people around the world are watching, and to strip away the sham of “human rights” and “democracy” in Jordan.

Jordan is the most valuable regional asset for both Israel and the US. Its GID is one of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world, active throughout the region, and does much of the dirty work of suppressing the rights of people in the Arab world. It’s time to expose its crimes, and disrupt the political arrangement behind them.

Noah Cohen is active with the Amer Jubran Defense Campaign and can be reached through the campaign at defense (at ) amerjubrandefense.org

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

David Albright: Congress’ Favorite Fear-Monger

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep In America | August 5, 2015

This just in! David Albright of the Washington-based propaganda factory Institute for Science and International Security is making predictions about

Iran’s nuclear program again.

After years and years of his utter nonsense, how can anyone take this guy and his ridiculous analysis seriously?

Here’s a quick trip – just using his own reports, not his endless appearances spouting disingenuous garbage in the media – down memory hole lane:

But don’t worry, Albright will never pay any professional price for his endless, agenda-driven drivel. And he’ll surely be back soon with more scary predictions and alarming speculation. We won’t have to wait long.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

264 Egypt activists died in jail due to ‘medical negligence’ since 2013

Press TV – August 11, 2015

As many as 264 detainees in Egyptian prison facilities have died in jail since the 2013 military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi due to what is widely described as “medical negligence” on the part of prison authorities, a report said.

Seventy-two of the detainees have died this year while in government custody due to denied access to medications or treatment facilities, the UK-based Arab Organization for Human Rights said in a statement, the Middle East Monitor reported on Monday.

The development came as other human rights groups pointed to the death of jailed political activists Essam Derbala, who was the chairman of Egypt’s prominent Jamaa al-Islamiya Shura Council in Qena, as well as Mohammad Mehdi Hajjaj.

According to the Arab African Center for Freedom and Human Rights, Hajjaj died in the Raml police station in Egypt’s second largest city of Alexandria after local authorities denied the delivery of his medication and refused to transport him to a local hospital when his condition deteriorated.

The report further noted that the list of Egyptian opposition figures who died in prison due to medical negligence includes senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Farid Ismail who died in May, Sheikh Nabil Maghribi the oldest political prisoner in Egypt who died in June, and Sheikh Morgan Salem Jouhari, a former member of the Shura Council.

In August alone, the report added, four political prisoners have so far died in government custody, including Sheikh Izzat Salamoni, Ahmed Ghozlan, Sheikh Morgan Salem Jouhari, and Mahmoud Hanafi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi himself has reportedly asked to be transferred to a private medical center, claiming that an attempt has been made to poison him inside the prison.

In a brutal government crackdown on pro-Morsi protest rallies following his ouster, at least 1,400 people have been killed and thousands arrested and jailed by security forces. Many of the detainees have been sentenced to death or long prison terms in mass trials.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment