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Trump: Obama regime ‘killed hundreds of thousands’ in Syria

Press TV – December 13, 2015

US presidential candidate Donald Trump says the Obama administration is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria and Libya.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, the Republican frontrunner pinned blame for the deadly Syrian conflict and the rise of the Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri group in Iraq and Syria on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama.

“She is the one that caused all this problem with her stupid policies,” Trump said on “Fox News Sunday.” “You look at what she did with Libya, what she did with Syria.”

“You look, she was truly, if not the, one of the worst secretary of states in the history of the country,” he added. “She talks about me being dangerous; she’s killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity.”

Fox News questioned Trump about the claim. “What do you mean, ‘hundreds of thousands?’ ”

“She was secretary of state. Obama was president, the team,” Trump responded. “Two real geniuses.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. The United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – have been supporting the terrorists operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.

The foreign-sponsored war against the Syrian state and people has killed more than 250,000 people and driven more than 10 million from their homes.

Daesh terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large parts of Iraq and Syria.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Five Palestinian teens blackmailed into accepting 15 years prison term and exorbitant ‘fines’ for a crime that never happened


The Hares Boys campaign | December 13, 2015

Hares, Salfit – It is with great sadness and anger that we hereby inform you of the outcome of the Hares Boys case: the five teenagers are being sentenced to 15 years in prison and are to pay a total of NIS 150,000 (~US $39,000 or €35,000) to the Israeli authorities. Failure to provide the exorbitant sum would, it is implied, result in more years of prison added to the boys’ sentences.

Ali Shamlawi, Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Ammar Souf, and Tamer Souf have been kept in prison for 2 years and 8 months and are now being sentenced for a crime that never happened. The five teenagers (16-17 years old at the time) from the village of Hares (Salfit governorate, West Bank, occupied Palestine) were kidnapped from their homes by the Israeli army in March 2013. The teens were accused of throwing stones at illegal settler cars, one of which drove under a truck that was parked along Route 5 near the village of Hares. The driver’s children were injured during the accident and one of them died two years later after pneumonia complications. The boys denied throwing stones but were forced to sign ‘confessions’ following torturous interrogations at the hands of Israeli secret services. There was never any evidence of the boys’ guilt but it is sadly a reality in the Israeli military court system that does not comply with due process and convicts Palestinians at a 99.7% rate.

After almost 3 years of routine hearings at Israeli military courts, where the boys were initially accused of ‘attempted murder’, they were told on 26 November 2015 that they are now being charged with manslaughter and are being sentenced to prison terms of 15 years, provided their families pay ‘fines’ of NIS 30,000 [US $7,750 or € 7,100] each by the deadline of 28 January 2016. Failure to pay the amount requested by the Israeli military court would, it is understood, result in each boy’s sentence being prolonged, possibly to at least 25 years in prison.

There is no other way to describe this situation the five teens and their families have endured other than as criminal activity on behalf of the Israeli system of ‘justice’. Pressing the families to agree to a court ‘deal’ and threatening them with harsher sentences if they don’t accept is nothing less than extortion. Demanding that families pay large sums of money as a ‘fine’ or a ‘compensation’ to the occupying power is nothing less than a demand for ransom.

On behalf of the Free the Hares Boys campaign we condemn such acts of injustice committed by the Israeli military court.

We invite local and international human rights organizations, the world’s democratic government institutions and people of conscience to stand up to this injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation and to demand justice for the Hares Boys. Please consider contacting your country’s diplomatic representatives in Tel Aviv or occupied Jerusalem; the Israeli Ministry of Justice; your local politicians; asking them to intervene and condemn such injustice and disrespect for the rule of law. Organize events in your community to highlight the Hares Boys case and the situation of hundreds of other Palestinian children who are being kept in occupation prisons.

Do not stay silent in the face of what is not right.

Further information and Contact:
Website:    Email:

Facebook:   Twitter: @HaresBoys

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rights group urges end to Dutch sale of ‘attack dogs’ to Israel

Ma’an -December 13, 2015

BETHLEHEM – A Palestinian animal rights group has called on the international community to pressure the Dutch government to halt the sale of “attack dogs” to Israel.

168027_345x230Said Ahmad Safi, Executive Director of the Palestinian Animal League, said in a statement that dogs exported by European countries — especially the Netherlands — have long been used by the Israeli military as “living, breathing weapons — leading to devastating injuries on many civilians.”

Palestinian human rights organization, Al Haq, has reportedly carried out attempts to sway the Dutch government to place a ban on the export of the dogs for such use.

“As a result of communication between Al Haq and the Dutch government, officials in the Netherlands have suggested that they will consider placing restrictions on the export of dogs to Israel, but no firm decision has been reached, nor has any action been taken to date,” PAL said in a statement.

The restrictions would join one of several placed by European countries on trade with Israel, the European Union most recently passing a decision to label products made in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Such measures are part of a boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) pushed by activists and increasingly by politicians, in effort to place pressure on Israel to stop ongoing violations against Palestinians.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Street art campaign brightens Gaza refugee camp

30 artists attempt to lift spirits in Gaza Strip’s poverty-stricken, war-weary Al-Shati refugee camp


MEMO | December 13, 2015

At the Al-Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, the streets and walls of many of the homes have been splashed with color by 30 painters in an effort to bring some cheer to an area usually associated with war and poverty.

The “Better Gaza” campaign is aimed at giving the Al-Shati camp – home to some 82,000 Palestinian refugees – a new face by adorning its homes and public spaces with colourful images of trees, flowers and butterflies.

But while camp residents are pleased with the new, cheerful appearance of many of their homes, Al-Shati nevertheless remains haunted by the spectre of poverty and privation.


Bahgat Abu Hamad, the father of eight children, likes the cheerful images of orange and purple flowers that now adorn his once-gray home.

“But the pretty paintings will neither improve our deplorable living conditions nor provide me with a job or food for my family,” he laments.

“Our house is colourful on the outside but it remains dark on the inside as we continue to struggle with poverty and our chronically tough circumstances,” says Abu Hamad.

“Nevertheless,” he adds, “the bright and beautiful colours have made many of us happy, especially the children.”


Eleven-year-old Nidal Semir, for one, loves the new paintings.

“I can’t believe how pretty they are,” she said when she first saw the bright flowers and butterflies on the wall of her family home.

Nine-year-old Raed Bekr also loves the new look of his home, but adds, “I wish they had painted the inside of the house as well.”


According to campaign coordinator Dalia Abdurrahman, “Better Gaza” aims to revive hope among struggling camp residents who in recent years have had little to smile about.

“The message we’re trying to deliver is that the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip still have a longing for life,” Abdurrahman said.


According to a September report issued by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Gaza Strip could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current economic trends — and an ongoing blockade by Israel and Egypt – persist.

In May, the World Bank warned that the Gaza Strip’s unemployment rate had reached a whopping 43 percent – the highest in the world.

News from Anadolu Agency. Images by MEMO Photographer Mohammed Asad.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

South Florida Deputy Indicted for Killing Man After Winning Award for Killing Same Man

By Carlos Miller| PINAC | December 11, 2015

A South Florida sheriff’s deputy who received an award for bravery after shooting and killing a man in 2013 was indicted for that same shooting Thursday.

Broward County sheriff’s deputy Peter Peraza was charged with manslaughter with a firearm, a first-degree felony that could land him in jail for 30 years.

But only because a photo emerged in May 2015 that showed Jermaine McBean was wearing headphones when he was shot and killed.Prior to that photo surfacing, Broward sheriff investigators claimed that McBean had his headphones in his pocket.

They also claimed that McBean had swung the gun around, making the deputies fear for their lives.

But the gun was an unloaded pellet gun he had just purchased at a pawn shop.

Not only did the photo prove the sheriff’s office to be lying, it provided evidence that perhaps McBean did not hear Peraza yelling at him to drop the gun.

In fact, even the man who called deputies on McBean, reporting a man walking down the street with a rifle slung over his shoulder, said McBean never pointed the gun at the deputies.

The photo did not surface for almost two years because the woman who took it feared retaliation.

According to an NBC News article from May:

But a newly emerged photo that shows headphones in McBean’s ears immediately after the 2013 shooting raises questions about the police version of events, including why the white earbuds were later found stuffed in the dead computer expert’s pocket.

And another aspect of the police account is also being contradicted — by a man who called 911 in alarm when he saw McBean walking around with the air rifle but who also says McBean never pointed it at police or anyone else.

Michael Russell McCarthy, 58, told NBC News that McBean had the Winchester Model 1000 Air Rifle balanced on his shoulders behind his neck, with his hand over both ends, and was turning around to face police when one officer began shooting.

“He [McBean] couldn’t have fired that gun from the position he was in. There was no possible way of firing it and at the same time hitting something,” McCarthy said. “I kind of blame myself, because if I hadn’t called it might not have happened.”

Jermaine McBean graduating
Jermaine McBean and his grandmother

McBean was a 33-year-old computer engineer who had a masters degree in computer science. His LinkedIn page indicates a man who is serious about his career. He also had marijuana in his system as they always like to point out.

But the case seemed to have been forgotten about but a grand jury began looking at the evidence last week, more than two years after the July 31, 2013 shooting, determining on Thursday that there was enough evidence to charge Peraza. 

The indictment marks the first time since 1980 that a Broward deputy was charged for an on-duty killing.

According to today’s NBC News article:

In videotaped statements to investigators, Peraza said he fired because he feared for his life.

“I’m outraged,” Peraza’s lawyer, Eric Schwartzreich, said of the indictment. “This was a justified shooting.”

Schwartzreich said his client was responding to 911 calls of a man with a gun and the air rifle McBean carried “looked very real.” He insisted McBean pointed it at the officer and that Peraza “was simply protecting what he perceived to be a threat.’

The lawyer suggested that anger over police shootings around the country led prosecutors to “steer this into the lion’s den” and said the charges against Peraza “could have a chilling effect on law enforcement officers anywhere.”

“My client should never have been indicted,” he said.

The sheriff’s department gave bravery awards to two of the officers involved in the shooting — including the deputy who fired the fatal shots — while the incident was still under investigation. The sheriff later told NBC News that was a mistake.

Like so many police reports we have seen over the years, the letter announcing the departmental award to Peraza completely overdramatized the situation, claiming that Peraza was only trying to protect himself and children who were in the area.

But as we’ve seen so many times over the years, it appears as if he didn’t want to lose his chance at being able to kill another human being.

And as we’ve seen so many times over the years, departmental awards handed out to officers are nothing more than a cheap motivational tool, if not an outright attempt to coverup a murder.

Broward sheriff awards

Pedraza, in the middle, awarded for his heroism for an incident that might land him in prison.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Chicago’s Embattled Mayor

By Stephen Lendman | The People’s Voice | December 13, 2015

Career Democrat party member, former congressman, Obama White House chief of staff, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel took office in May 2011 – reelected last April for another four-year term.

He’s notoriously hard-line, neoliberal and pro-Israeli to a fault. The late Chicago-based Citizens Committee to Clean up the Courts chairman Sherman Skolnick called him the “acting deputy chief for North America of Mossad.”

His father, Benjamin, was involved in smuggling weapons to the Jewish Irgun underground terrorist group (co-led by future Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin) in Palestine pre-1948.

Their elements were notoriously involved in bombing Jerusalem’s King David Hotel (July 1946 – slaughtering 92 Brits, Arabs and Jews, along with wounding 58 others), as well as the horrific Deir Yassin massacre (April 1948), randomly killing up to 120 defenseless Palestinians mercilessly, including women and children, dozens more in continued fighting – part of the future state of Israel’s genocidal ethnic cleansing master plan.

Emmanuel is a former civilian IDF volunteer during the 1991 Gulf War. It’s believed he holds dual citizenships – a dubious status for any US politician.

Throughout his political career, he’s been unabashedly pro-war, neoliberal and anti-populist. His abrasive style alienates him from anyone opposing his hard-line views.

Chicago notoriously earned a reputation as the police repression capital of America. A Gitmo type operation on the city’s west side is Exhibit A – operating off-the-books in a nondescript Homan Square warehouse, the domestic equivalent of a CIA or Pentagon black site.

Mostly Blacks are lawlessly arrested, detained, painfully shackled, interrogated, terrorized and beaten without access to counsel for a day or longer – to coerce confessions to offenses never committed or ones too minor to matter.

City police have virtual carte blanche authority to operate with impunity. Responsibility goes right to the top – Emanuel complicit with what goes on, likely much more illegally than now known, including cops killing Chicagoans unaccountably.

In late November, a seven-minute video surfaced, showing officer Jason Van Dyke extrajudicially executing 17-year-old Lanquan McDonald – guilty of being Black, threatening no one, innocent of any crime.

Van Dyke lawlessly shot him 16 times, twice in the back first, mostly as he lay dying. The incident occurred on October 20, 2014. Coverup and denial followed, police authorities calling cold-blooded murder justifiable self-defense.

Emanuel and other city officials lost a 13-month Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit battle to prevent release of the video. It’s damning.

A knife planted on McDonald’s body was exposed as a Big Lie. Video evidence showed him moving away from Van Dyke unarmed when gunned down from behind in cold blood.

Chicagoans are justifiably outraged. Thousands have been protesting outside City Hall for days, calling for Emanuel’s resignation, along with complicit city and police officials.

Police chief Garry McCarthy was sacked. So was chief of detectives Dean Andrews. Protesters want Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez removed for complicity in months of coverup.

Emanuel’s administration is a cesspool of corruption and other forms of lawlessness, perhaps the worst in city history – ill-serving the vast majority of Chicagoans.

On Thursday, state Rep. La Shawn Ford said “(p)eople are (being) hurt. People have died. People feel they are forgotten about in” a city serving powerful monied interests exclusively.

He introduced legislation to amend state law, authorizing a recall election, letting Chicagoans decide up or down if Emanuel should stay or go.

On Thursday, city medical students staged a silent “die-in” outside City Hall for 16 minutes – symbolizing 16 bullets Van Dyke fired into McDonald’s body.

They lay supine, at least one holding a sign saying: “DO NO HARM.” A much larger “die-in” protest occurred Thursday evening.

Some critics called for abolishing the so-called Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) – notorious for covering up cop killings. A criminal code of silence prevails.

Almost never are officers responsible for killing civilians held accountable. Even the right-wing Chicago Tribune said “it’s common knowledge that Chicago’s system of investigating shootings by officers is flawed…at so many levels…by design…”

Critics want a new independent, citizen-controlled police audit authority established, empowered to sue the city administration and police so killer cops and their superiors up the chain of command to the top can be held accountable for crimes too serious to ignore.

An Illinois Better Government Association study, covering the period 2010 – 2014, called Chicago tops among America’s largest cities in fatal shootings by police, most often targeting defenseless Black males.

Rarely do incidents make headlines. Video evidence showing officer Van Dyke murdering McDonald in cold blood is a rare exception – whether enough to convict him another issue altogether.

Almost never are cops prosecuted imprisoned, especially in cases involving extrajudicial assassinations. Emanuel’s hollow apology for McDonald’s murder and duplicitous promised “complete and total reform of the system” fooled no one.

Protesters outside City Hall chanted “no more killer cops” and “Rahm must go.” Chance for real reform by his or any other city administration is virtually zero.

Last of Chicago’s saloon keeper aldermen, Paddy Bowler, was right, saying: “Chicago ain’t ready for reform” – for sure not with Emanuel as mayor.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III”.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Bulgaria closes busy border crossing with Turkey

Press TV – December 13, 2015

Bulgaria has shut its busy border crossing with Turkey, which is known for notorious activities of human trafficking and smuggling.

The busy Bulgaria-Turkey border crossing at Kapitan Andreevo, which is an important point of entrance to the European Union, would remain closed until further notice.

The closure came after Bulgaria detained some 14 customs officials in an anti-corruption raid on Sunday.

“All customs officers from the morning shift, who control the entries into Bulgaria at the Kapitan Andreevo (border checkpoint) were detained within a probe against contraband,” Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) quoted Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov as saying.

“We apologize to travelers” over the closure, the prosecutor added.

Media reports indicated that a queue of a dozen kilometers long of trucks, waiting to enter Bulgaria, had formed on the Turkish side.

According to Tsatsarov, State Agency for National Security (SANS) conducted about 100 raids in five towns close to the border.

Kapitan Andreevo is the largest and busiest border checkpoint in the Balkans. The crossing is also considered a major crossing point on the route between Europe and the Middle East.

In recent years, Bulgaria has deported hundreds of refugees at its border with Turkey as the poorest country of the European Union grapples with a sharp rise in the number of refugees from non-EU states.

The developments also come as European countries reportedly remain divided over how to deal with refugees, most of whom are fleeing conflict-hit zones in the Middle East and Africa.

The influx of asylum seekers into Europe has sparked pro- and anti-refugee sentiments across the continent.

Leader of several Balkan countries have repeatedly threatened to shut their borders if their northern European Union neighbors refuse to accept refugees.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov recently announced that Balkan nations desired a Europe-wide solution to the crisis, but would not become a “buffer zone” for the tens of thousands of newly-arriving refugees.

Sofia has already started mobilizing hundreds of forces to its border with Turkey to stop trespassing refugees amid ongoing measures elsewhere across Europe to counter the influx.

According to the recent figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 924,140 refugees have reached Europe’s shores so far this year while more than 3,670 people have either died or gone missing in their perilous journey to the continent.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s Syrian blues

By M K Bhadrakumar | India Punchline | December 11, 2015

At the Brookings Institution in Washington last Friday, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon gave an expose of his country’s perspectives on the conflict in Syria. Ya’alon is a former chief of staff of Israeli armed forces. His extensive remarks betrayed Israel’s acute dilemma on the policy front following the traumatic defeat its diplomacy suffered in attempting to forestall the Iran nuclear deal. Israel is finding it hard to turn a new leaf, while other protagonists in the region and indeed the Obama administration are moving on. Ya’alon made the following points:

  • Russia is playing a “more significant role” than the US in the Syrian conflict at present. This is not to Israel’s liking, because Russia supports the ‘Shia axis’, which includes Iran, Syria (Assad regime), Hezbollah, Houthis in Yemen and other Shia elements in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, etc.
  • Israel disfavors the Syrian peace process devolving upon the UN-sponsored International Syria Support Group and the Vienna talks because it recognizes Iran’s key role in reaching any settlement, which can only lead to the consolidation of Iran’s ‘hegemony’ in Syria.
  • The geopolitics of the Middle East in general and in Syria are centred around three groupings: a) The “very solid” Shia axis which at present enjoys the support of Russia, is anathema to Israel; b) The Muslim Brotherhood axis which comprises Turkey, Qatar, and Gaza (Hamas), which is “not on the same page” as with the US or Israel; and, c) The Sunni Arab camp, “the most significant camp” in the region, which lacks leadership, but brings together Israel with Saudi Arabia and other GCC states, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.
  • The US should “orchestrate” and lead the Sunni Arab camp; in Syria, this means defeating Daesh with the foot soldiers provided by Sunni Arabs and Kurds, whom, therefore, Washington should ‘empower, support, finance and arm’. The US should have done this from the very beginning, but it is not yet “a lost cause. There is still a chance to do it”.
  • One of the dangerous implications of the Iran deal is that Tehran is increasingly perceived as “a part of the solution” in Middle East’s hot spots, whereas, a resurgent Iran is a more confident Iran which is all set on the path to become a big military power. The S-300 missiles supplied by Russia recently “are going to be operational within a couple of weeks.”
  • The Russian military operations in Syria have been a failure insofar as Moscow had estimated that a 3-month offensive would gain more territory for the Syrian regime, whereas, this hasn’t happened, and, therefore, pressure has built on Moscow to explore a political settlement.
  • A settlement is hard to reach in Syria and the country will remain unstable for a very long time to come.

Interestingly, Ya’alon conceded that the “apocalyptic, messianic” regime in Iran is firmly ensconced in power in Tehran and “with more money now, without political isolation, without external pressure”, it has more room to maneuver. Thus, no change can be expected in the Iranian policies. As he put it, “I don’t see the chance to have McDonald branches in Tehran as the new future”.

The remarks by Ya’alon underscore the stark isolation of Israel in the politics of the Middle East. Evidently, Israel’s preferred option is that the US resumes its containment strategy against Iran, and, as part of the policy, should lead its regional allies to militarily push for regime change in Syria. On the other hand, the Obama administration has had enough of confrontation with Iran, has no stomach for getting involved in a prolonged war in Syria or anywhere in the Middle East. Besides, Israel is overlooking that the West’s attitude toward the Assad regime has mellowed significantly and there is overall acceptance that Assad has a role in the transition.

On the other hand, the S-300 missiles supplied by Russia recently are becoming operational within the coming week or so and they will considerably strengthen Iran’s air defence system. In sum, an Israeli military option against Iran is inconceivable from now onward. Both Iran and Israel are acutely conscious that the power balance in the region has shifted. Put differently, the spectre that is haunting Israel is the inexorable rise of Iran as a regional ‘superpower’. At one point Ya’alon put it as follows:

  • We believe in the end Daesh (Islamic State) is going to be defeated. Iran is very different. It’s actually an original superpower… That is why we worry about this regime, and if they are perceived as a key for the solution because they are ready to fight Daesh, then they are going to gain more hegemony in the region… to be more dangerous, to be situated on our border, as part of the political settlement in Syria. This is very dangerous.

The implications of a Syrian settlement, reached on the basis of a consensus involving Iran, are very serious indeed for Israel. Iran put its cards on the table recently by stressing that the fate of President Assad is a ‘red line’ for Tehran – non-negotiable. And Iran openly regards Assad as an anchor sheet of ‘resistance’. Significantly, one of the most influential figures in the Iranian establishment, Ali Akbar Velayati, the advisor on foreign affairs to the Supreme Leader and a distinguished former foreign minister himself, made a stunning statement last week that Tehran expects Russia to join the resistance soon — and China too in a conceivable future. Velayati’s statement cannot be without any basis.

Israel has adopted a tactful line so far by engaging Russia and avoiding any skirmishes with the Russian forces operating in Syria. But it thoroughly dislikes the Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis in Syria, which is only going from strength to strength. Israel watches with unease that the Russian-Iranian military ties are poised for a phenomenal makeover. (Iranian and Hezbollah forces apparently helped in the rescue of the Russian pilot recently on the Syrian-Turkish border.) The Russian operations go hand in hand with the ground attacks by the Syrian government forces, who are assisted by the Hezbollah and are operating under the guidance of Iranian military advisors.

The crunch time comes if and when the military operations intensify in the southern regions of Syria bordering the Golan Heights. The instability in Syria is useful for Israel to disrupt the supply lines for Hezbollah. But the new reality could be a strong Iranian-Hezbollah presence in southern Syria in the approaches to the Golan Heights enjoying Russian air cover. If that happens, Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights could become a theatre for the forces of the ‘resistance’. Read Ya’alon’s extensive remarks here.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dead, Disabled, Displaced or Destroyed – Democracy Delivered

Dead, disabled, displaced - democracy delivered

By Graham Vanbergen | TruePublica | December 10, 2015

Six months ago, the Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) released a landmark study over the death toll from 10 years of the “War on Terror” since the 9/11 attacks. It was largely ignored by the world’s press.

The 97-page report accompanied by hundreds of studies, reports and investigations by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning doctors’ group is the first to tally up the total number of civilian casualties from US-UK led interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This article uses much of the content from that report called the IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) Body Count publication.

A poll carried out by the Associated Press (AP) two years ago found that, on average, U.S. citizens believe that only 9,900 Iraqis were killed during the 2003-2011 occupation of Iraq by the US, UK and allied forces.

Random spot checks have suggested that more than two-thirds of all violent deaths that occurred in Baghdad between 2003 and 2007 did not appear in the media, and were therefore not included in official statistics distributed by the Iraq Body Count (IBC). The IBC has a media-centered approach to counting and documenting the deaths and is considered very unreliable as a result but is much quoted by the establishment and mainstream press the world over.

For instance, evidence of the 27,000 bombs that were dropped in just the first year during the invasion of Iraqi cities is practically non-existent in the IBC database.

In many cases, the occupying powers explicitly blocked journalists from investigating instances where the British or American forces were accused of mass killings. Numerous journalists in Iraq who tried to report on the activities of the occupation troops and their consequences were killed or arrested.

In Iraq itself, only a small number of casualties made it to the central hospitals or morgues where they could be registered. That proportion decreased the more intense the military battles were and the more the violence between various sections of the population escalated. Since Islam requires a funeral within one day, relatives generally had no choice but to bury their dead directly – either in their yards or close to their homes.

Moreover, the occupying power often forbade the hospitals and morgues from making their numbers public.

The fate of Iraqi physicians is one area that is very well documented. According to data from the independent Iraqi Medical Association, of the 34,000 registered physicians, almost 2,000 were killed and 20,000 left the country. In its database, IBC lists only 70 Iraqi physicians. Even though this may in part be due to a lack of data on the profession of the victims, this piece of evidence alone suggests very large gaps in IBC’s calculations.

According to the Najaf governorate’s spokesperson Ahmed Di’aibil (member of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq), in this city alone, which has a population of close to 600,000, 40,000 non-identified corpses were buried since the start of the war. The IBC database documents only 1,354 victims in Najaf, barely 3% of the actual.

In a September 2009 speech, Samir Sumaidaie, the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. installed by the occupation power, talked about 500,000 newly widowed persons in Iraq. A February 2007 BBC poll in the region came to the conclusion that 17% of all Iraqi households have lost at least one member through violence since 2003. Given the total population at the time of some 27 million, this too suggests that more than 500,000 Iraqis fell victim to the war and its consequences just in the first four years.

By 2008, the number of refugees from Iraq in foreign countries and internally displaced persons had risen to 5 million.

Such a high number of victims – reaching genocidal dimensions – represented a massive indictment of the U.S. administration, British government and its allies that they simply could not allow to stand. Hence, the findings of this study were furiously criticized. Even though nearly all the experts in the field, including the scientists of the British administration, confirmed the accuracy of the study, it was slandered by governments and main stream establishment media.

Dr. h.c. Hans-C. von Sponeck, UN Assistant Secretary General & UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (1998-2000); UN Resident Coordinator for Pakistan (1988- 94) covering also Afghanistan said in his report:

“The U.S.-led Multinational Force have carefully kept a running total of fatalities they have suffered. However, the military’s only interest has been in counting “their” bodies.”

“Since U.S. and other foreign military boots are only intermittently and secretly on the ground in Pakistan, mainly in the northern tribal areas, there are no body count statistics for coalition force casualties available for Pakistan. The picture of physically wounded military personnel for both war theatres is in- complete. Only the U.S. military is identified: (a) 32,223 were wounded during the 2003 Iraq invasion and its aftermath, and (b) until November 2014 20,040 were wounded in Afghanistan.”

No figures are known for mental disorders involving military personnel who have been deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan but US veteran soldiers are still committing suicide at the rate of 22 per day.

Officially ignored are casualties, injured or killed, involving enemy combatants and civilians together. This, of course, comes as no surprise. It is not an oversight but a deliberate omission. The U.S. authorities have kept no known records of such deaths. This would have destroyed the arguments that freeing Iraq by military force from a dictatorship, removing Al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and eliminating safe-havens for terrorists in Pakistan’s tribal areas has prevented terrorism from reaching the U.S. homeland, improved global security and advanced human rights, all at “defendable” costs.

The IPPNW Body Count publication must be seen as a significant contribution to narrowing the gap between reliable estimates of victims of war, especially civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and tendentious, manipulated or even fraudulent accounts.

After 58,000 dead US soldiers and 2 million civilian deaths in Vietnam, the Reagan Administration sought to resolve the negative public opinion problem by utilizing obeisant client states or surrogate forces, epitomized by the “Contra” armies and death squads deployed in Central America and Southern Africa instead of using its own attacking forces. With the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers triumphantly pronounced the end of the “Vietnam Syndrome,” and ushered in a new era of American “boots on the ground” that led ultimately to the debacle in Iraq, Afghanistan and the surrounding region.

This investigation and report comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs. And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could easily be in excess of 2 million.

For some degree of context – should the number of Iraqis killed from the 2003 U.S. invasion until 2012 actually be around one million, this would represent 5% of the total population of Iraq. By contrast, during World War II Germany lost around 10% of its population.

In Iraq, results from statistical surveys conducted by the Johns Hopkins University, published in 2004 and 2006 in the medical journal The Lancet, (The basis of the Lancet study, which was executed by a U.S.-Iraqi team led by renowned scientists was a survey of a representative selection of 1,850 Iraqi households across Iraq) as well as by the British polling institute Opinion Research Business (ORB) in 2007 suggest that already by 2008 over one million Iraqis had died as a result of war, occupation and their indirect consequences. many more have died since.

Moreover, and in addition to the appalling numbers, according to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), between 250,000 and one million persons are missing in Iraq, presumed dead.

For an estimate of the current casualty numbers, one has to interpolate. The U.S. NGO Just Foreign Policy does exactly this with its Iraqi Death Estimator, where it multiplies the number of victims of violence determined by the Lancet study as of June 2006 by the increase in the number since then as provided by IBC. From the relation between the current number given by IBC and the one given for the end of June 2006 (43,394), it concludes that the number of Iraqis killed up to September 2011 is at around 1.46 million.

One development of the scale of bombing was that the health care system largely collapsed. Diseases spread because of the lack of access to drinking water and the contamination of rivers. Almost three million people became internal refugees; as a consequence, large parts of once reasonably affluent cities turned into slums.

The long-term consequences through the poisoning of the environment brought about by the war must also be taken into consideration. Many areas of Iraq that were subjected to furious attacks by the occupying forces show a dramatic increase in the number of diseases. In many areas, the number of occurrences of various forms of cancer, of miscarriages and abnormal and deformed babies multiplied. A major reason for this is likely to be the massive use of ammunition containing depleted uranium.

According to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), since 2003, U.S. and UK troops have used around 13,000 cluster bombs in Iraq. Iraq is littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination. These have disseminated their sub-ammunition – almost 2 million bomblets – widely in and around the fought-over cities. In addition, the 20 million bomblets from the 61,000 cluster bombs dropped in 1991 have also still not all been cleared. This makes Iraq one of the countries with the highest contamination of highly explosive unexploded ordnance in the world.

Evidence of this can be seen in child mortality that multiplied in the following years, the number of occurrences of cancer quadrupled, and the number of cases of leukemia increased by a factor of 40.

Afghanistan and Pakistan

There have so far been no representative studies on the number of victims from the ongoing UN-mandated NATO war in Afghanistan. The few investigations that exist on deaths as a result of that war are all based on passive observation.

In Pakistan, the number of killed civilians and combatants is much harder to determine than in Afghanistan. Even data based on passive observation are barely existent. Taking all sources and factors into account, a total number of 300,000 war deaths in the AfPak War-Theatre until 2013 seems realistic.


Estimates of deaths in the fall of Libya as a result of US/UK/NATO bombing and subsequent civil war between March 2 and October 2, 2011 vary. An exact figure is hard to ascertain, partly due to a media clamp-down by the Libyan government. Some conservative estimates have been released of around 25,000. NATO holds itself to no standard of measurement whatsoever in this regard. If Iraq and Afghanistan are anything to go by this number could easily be over 100,000.  Some of the killing “may amount to crimes against humanity” according to the United Nations Security Council and as of March 2011, is under investigation by the International Criminal Court.


It is impossible to calculate the death, destruction and decay incurred by the people of these countries. It is fair to say two million are dead, another one million presumed dead with many more deaths as a result of disease, lack of medical care, child birth, birth defects, cancer care and the like. One should not forget, these countries continue to feel the after effects of current governance and a lack of control over security that culminates in many bombings, shooting, kidnapping, murders and suicides.

The current death toll in Syria is reported at 250,000 and counting with 6.5 million displaced.

Finally, as the FT reported in FebruaryIn all, more than 100,000 people, perhaps a third or more civilians, died violently in conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and the Gaza Strip in 2014, making it one of the bloodiest years in the Middle East’s history”. Death continues at a horrific rate.

Read the full IPPNW report HERE

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’re all terrorists now

By Sam Gerrans | RT | December 12, 2015

The concept of terrorism has been extended from carrying out physical acts in which innocent people are killed, to wrong opinions, sweaty palms and disagreement with government. If you want to find a terrorist, soon all you will have to do is look in the mirror.

Words are political. They change shape to suite agendas.

In the 1970s, ‘terrorist’ meant a paid-up member of the IRA, the Irgun, ETA and the like. These were bad people perpetrating evil and indiscriminate deeds upon a defenceless public. They used bombs, worked in cells, and killed people without warning before fading into the shadows.

Although the UK had legislation specifically geared to deal with what is called terrorism on the books, people deemed terrorists, when they were caught, were prosecuted under existing laws – i.e. for actual crimes they had committed.

Bobby Sands, for example, who fought and died for the IRA cause, was incarcerated for nothing more sinister than owning illegal firearms.

Since 9/11 and the implementation of the so-called Patriot Act (and equivalent legislation in other countries), the definition of terrorism is itself becoming a source of terror.

As part of this process, we are being taught to live with the new nomenclature of ‘terror suspect’; that is you haven’t done anything wrong, but you might.

The Independent reports that: “315 terror suspects were arrested between September 2014 and September 2015, according to new figures from the Home Office.”

The same article continues: “[…] it seems what we are seeing is an increase in terrorism-related fear rather than terrorism itself – totally understandable of course in itself, but not when it leads to the kind of heavy-handed policing that can actually radicalize more people.”

Read another way: the British Government is harassing increasing numbers of innocent people and generating both fear and the chance of more ‘radicalization’ thereby.

The no-fly list

The Huffington Post reports that one can be identified and placed on a ‘no-fly list’ for any number of reasons.

It tells us: “government officials have secretly characterized an unknown number of individuals as threats or potential threats to national security. In 2013 alone, 468,749 watch-list nominations were submitted to the National Counterterrorism Center. It rejected only one percent of the recommendations.”

This is nearly half-a-million US citizens in one year; this means they are finding almost 1,400 new American enemies a day.

The article goes on to list seven criteria government agencies use to put a person on a list. These criteria are vague and admit to the broadest and most subjective interpretation; in short they break down to: we don’t like the cut of your jib.

Yes, some life-failed bureaucrat you will never meet can decide – extra judicially – that you may not travel on an aeroplane.

The no-gun list

If there is to be no due process, why stop there?

Obama certainly agrees. The Guardian tells us: “Closing the No-Fly List loophole is a no-brainer,” Barack Obama tweeted on Tuesday, arguing that Congress should pass laws to prevent anyone on the government’s terrorist watch list from buying a gun.”

I see: the president calmly tweets that revoking the Constitution he swore to uphold is a “no brainer,” and we can all go about our business.

Terrorist events

Since Obama is so concerned with guns, he might want to do something about all the smoking guns that feature so prominently in the so-called terrorist attacks on US soil.

RT’s Marina Portnaya did a piece on the release of a report, which identifies the FBI as the mastermind of 95 percent of all domestic terrorism in the US.

Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst for Fox News, concurs. He tells us that of the 20 terrorist attacks the FBI claims to have foiled on US soil, three were thwarted by members of the public and the remaining 17 were masterminded and carried out by the FBI itself.

Who is a terrorist?

The so-called War on Terror is worldwide.

For its part, the French government is educating its population to spot a terrorist.

The Independent gives us these bonmots: “The French government has launched a campaign which appears to warn parents that their children may have been recruited by terrorists if they stop eating baguettes.”

Other tell-tale signs of nascent radicalism include deciding not to watch television.

US airport security staff operate on a much more scientific basis. The Telegraph reports on a leaked document revealing: “Excessive yawning, strong body odour and arrogance are among the suspicious signs that US airport staff are trained to associate with potential terrorists.”

Excessive yawning? Remember that if find yourself on a stopover in a US airport on a long-haul flight.

Other warning signs include: “protruding or throbbing neck arteries, whistling, excessive laughter, and verbally expressing contempt for the screening process.”

The full list of 17 ‘fear factors’ staff are trained to spot include: arriving late for a flight, sweaty palms, and a pale face indicating the recent shaving of a beard.

More government

Naturally, the only rational response to this exploding bomb of suspicion is more government. Was there ever any doubt?

The UK government’s website tells you exactly what to do in the event of a terrorist attack: Step 1: run. Step 2: Hide. Step 3: Tell the authorities. Step 4: Wait for armed police to arrive (and keep your hands where they can see them). Step 5: Be ready for those authorities to point guns at you and treat you ‘firmly’ (i.e. brutalize you).

No mention of repealing UK gun laws so that British adults can defend themselves, of course.

Imagine what would happen to any real terrorist threat in Britain if one in three Britons carried a handgun.

No. What we need is more government; more intrusion by the very agencies that not only benefit from the events they pretend to protect us from (and use said events to take away our rights), but which – according to all objective analysis – are also central in bringing those events to pass.

So terrorism has morphed from real actions which killed people – the destruction of the King David Hotel by the Irgun or the Iranian Embassy siege – to intuitions about people, sweaty palms and the non-eating of French bread.

The simple definition for such a subjective and arbitrary application of power is this: tyranny.

Why stop there?

Since there is no place for principle or due process in this new tyranny, insanity must follow.

Under such a regime things just are because someone – in this case an opinion-leader – says they are.

For his part, supposed science guy Bill Nye makes a strong connection between what he calls ‘climate change’ and what he terms ‘terrorism’.

The Huffington Post reports: “Nye’s reasoning hinges on a water shortage in Syria, which researchers have blamed on climate change. As Nye explained, the shortage has stunted farming and pushed young people to look for work in more densely populated areas.

“Young people have gone to big cities looking for work. There’s not enough work for everybody, so the disaffected youths, as we say – the young people who don’t believe in the system, believe the system has failed, don’t believe in the economy – are more easily engaged and more easily recruited by terrorist organizations, and then they end up part way around the world in Paris shooting people,” Nye asserts.

The Independent breathlessly informs us that one of the country’s most senior advisers on health has warned: “Obesity is such a threat to women it should be treated as a “national risk” – like terrorism, natural disasters and cyber attacks.”

And Obama claims that the ‘climate change’ conference in Paris (the only outcome of which will doubtless be more government control for them and more taxes for us), offered the chance to show the ‘terrorists’ that the world was standing together against them.

Sound insane? That’s because it is; until we realise that none of this has anything to do with genuine science or actual terrorists – or if there is any correspondence it is purely coincidental.

We are living through a revolution, a play for total power; or in modern parlance: full-spectrum dominance.

And we have been here before. Last time round it was called Communism. It accused its critics of being counter-revolutionaries or reactionaries. And it murdered those people – and many besides – in their tens of millions.

This time round it is called Freedom.

And if you disagree with it, or don’t smile fast enough or wide enough – or suffer from body odour or weigh too much – today it can stop you from getting on a plane. Tomorrow it may deny you the right to defend yourself.

After that, it may decide on some new arbitrary method of protecting everyone else from you.

Still think your government is there to protect you?

I hope so.

Or you may be a terrorist.

Sam Gerrans is an English writer, translator, support counselor and activist. He also has professional backgrounds in media, strategic communications and technology. He is driven by commitment to ultimate meaning, and focused on authentic approaches to revelation and realpolitik. He is the founder of – where the Qur’an is explored on the basis of reason rather than tradition – and offers both individual language training and personal support and counseling online at

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 1 Comment

Argentina’s New President Won’t Seek to Revive Deal with Iran

teleSUR | December 12, 2015

Argentina’s newly elected President Mauricio Macri will not appeal a court’s decision to strike down a deal with Iran over investigating a deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center, Reuters reported on Friday.

Former leader Cristina Fernandez had said she would appeal the ruling last year voiding the agreement she signed with Iran in 2013 to investigate the country’s suspected role in the bombing.

The memorandum would have launched a joint “truth commission” comprised of five independent judges from third-party countries to investigate the bombing. It would also have allowed for Iranian suspects in the case to be questioned.

Tehran denies any responsibility in the attack that killed 85. No one has yet been found responsible or tried in court over the incident.

Earlier this year, in April, a bill to compensate the victims was passed by parliament, after receiving unanimous approval from the Argentine senate. The legislation provides a one-time compensation of US$170,000 for the relatives of those killed in the attack. The hundreds who suffered “extremely grievous” injuries will receive 70 percent of that amount, while those who suffered “grievous” injuries will receive 60 percent of that amount, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The bombing of the AMIA Jewish center made headlines recently after the mysterious death of Federal Attorney Alberto Nisman who was investigating the case. The Argentine opposition has used his death to try to implicate Kirchner’s government, even though it was not in power in 1994.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

Thousands gather in Montenegro capital to protest NATO membership

RT | December 13, 2015

Shortly after Montenegro’s bid to join the North Atlantic Alliance was given the green light, thousands flooded the streets of the capital to protest the upcoming membership and remind people of lives taken during the NATO invasion of 1999.

Former Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and opposition leaders called the rally on Saturday in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica. They gathered at least 5,000 supporters outside the parliament, according to the local Vijesti newspaper. The protesters held national flags while patriotic and pro-Russian chants rang out from the assembled crowd.

Bulatovic, who was also prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1998 to 2000, told the rally that joining NATO would mean the “blood of innocent people on our hands,” and emphasized his country had been against the alliance’s wars until recently.

“What has Afghanistan done wrong, what has Iraq done wrong? Why has Libya been destroyed, what’s happening today in Syria? Can we close our eyes to that?” he said.

He added that Montenegro’s ascension into NATO is strange, because “in 1999 NATO attacked Yugoslavia [and] bombs fell on Montenegro as well.”

“It’s impossible to erase such [actions] with an apology,” he said as quoted by Sputnik, adding that by letting his country in, NATO simply wants to have “a few more soldiers against Russia.”

The protesters chanted “Russia” as well as “NATO Murderers” in reference to NATO’s war in 1999 against the former Yugoslavia, which took the lives of many civilians in the alliance’s nationwide bombing raids against what were called military targets.


© Ruptly

One of the placards raised by the protesters showed the faces of six civilians – including children – who died in NATO’s airstrike on the small Montenegrin village of Murino in May 1999. The village had no military significance, nor did it host any troops at that time. The bombing added further to the so-called “collateral damage” log of NATO’s war against the former Yugoslavia. No official apology or inquiry followed that incident.

Montenegro was offered NATO membership at the alliance’s summit on December 2. It was pushed forward by the current pro-Western President Milo Djukanovic. Montenegro remained part of a union with Serbia until 2006 and has since been actively integrating in EU and NATO structures. According to recent polling by the Podgorica-based Center for Democracy and Human Rights, 37 percent of surveyed Montenegrins oppose NATO membership, with 36 percent welcoming it. The country is home to 600,000 people.

Another anti-NATO protest took place in Montenegro’s capital earlier in October, involving as many 5,000 people who clashed with police after demanding President Djukanovic step down due to his pro-alliance stance.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment