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What it really means to be a friend of Israel

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | March 29, 2016

Once again the AIPAC annual pantomime in Washington DC has played itself out while the world outside watches aghast at the gullibility of America’s political elite. And how they flocked to hear the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech.

Whatever happened to the Un-American Activities Committee set up to investigate disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens and public employees, one wonders?

 “The terrorists have no resolvable grievances. It’s not as if we could offer them Brussels or Istanbul, or California or even the West Bank,” said Netanyahu. “That won’t satisfy their grievances because what they seek is our utter destruction and their total domination. Their basic demand is that we should simply disappear.”

Funny, the Israelis have been working for nearly 70 years to make the Palestinians disappear. Domination is their specialty.

“The only way to defeat these terrorists is to join together and fight them together… with political unity and with moral clarity. I think we have that in abundance….” Achingly funny.

“The chain of attacks from Paris to San Bernardino to Istanbul to the Ivory Coast and now to Brussels, and the daily attacks to Israel… This is one continuous assault on all of us.” No it isn’t.

And who is this “we”? It’s Netanyahu’s endless attempt to push the old ‘hasbara’ line to make us think we’re all in it together.

A few years back ‘The Israel Project’, a US media advocacy group, produced a revised training manual to help the worldwide Zionist movement win the propaganda war, keep their ill-gotten territorial gains in Palestine and persuade international audiences to accept that their crimes are necessary and conform to “shared values” between Israel and the civilised West.

  • “Draw direct parallels between Israel and America—including the need to defend against terrorism…. The more you focus on the similarities between Israel and America, the more likely you are to win the support of those who are neutral. Indeed, Israel is an important American ally in the war against terrorism, and faces many of the same challenges as America in protecting their citizens.”

Note how Israel’s strategy is almost totally dependent on the false idea that they are victims of terror and western nations need to huddle together with Israel for mutual protection.

  • “The language of Israel is the language of America: ‘democracy,’ ‘freedom,’ ‘security,’ and ‘peace.’ These four words are at the core of the American political, economic, social, and cultural systems, and they should be repeated as often as possible because they resonate with virtually every American.”

If so fluent in this language, why won’t Israel acknowledge their neighbours’ rights to democracy, freedom, security and peace and end their military oppression? Level-headed people have begun to realize who the terrorists really are. And it is obvious by now that allowing parallels to be drawn between Israel and America only serves to increase the world’s hatred of America.

  • “A simple rule of thumb is that once you get to the point of repeating the same message over and over again so many times that you think you might get sick — that is just about the time the public will wake up and say ‘Hey, this person just might be saying something interesting to me!’ But don’t confuse messages with facts…”

The only people who are interested these days are the ‘Friends’ and the other assorted stooges in thrall to the Israelis and the politicians they have bribed.

  • “Successful communications is not about being able to recite every fact from the long history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is about pointing out a few core principles of shared values—such as democracy and freedom—and repeating them over and over again…. You need to start with empathy for both sides, remind youie, on average, ten times to be effective.”

Is democracy a shared value? Around Western nations, maybe. But Israel is an ethnocracy and a rather nasty one. Is freedom a shared value? The world is still waiting for Israel to allow the Palestinians their freedom after decades of brutal military occupation.

Embracing evil

As La Clinton and others perform their obscene ritual acts of obeisance let us ponder what being a Friend of Israel really entails. It means aligning yourself with the vilest villainy. It means embracing the terror and ethnic cleansing on which the state of Israel was built.

It means embracing the dispossession at gunpoint and oppression of the native Palestinians. It means embracing the discriminatory laws against those who remain.

It means embracing the jackboot thuggery that abducts civilians, including children, and imprisons and tortures them without trial.

It means embracing the theft and annexation of Palestinian land and water resources, the imposition of hundreds of military checkpoints, severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods, and maximum interference with Palestinian life at every level.

It means embracing the strangulation of the West Bank’s economy and the cruel blockade on Gaza.

It means embracing the denial of Palestinians’ right to self-determination and return to their homes.

It means embracing the religious war that humiliates Muslims and Christians and prevents them from visiting their holy places.

It means endorsing a situation in which hard-pressed British and American taxpayers are having to subsidise Israel’s illegal occupation of the Holy Land.

And if, after the most recent bloodbaths inflicted by the Israelis on Gaza, you are still Israel’s special friend, you are comfortable with blowing to smithereens hundreds of children, maiming thousands more, trashing vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, power plants and clean water supplies, and causing $6billion of devastation that will take 20 years to rebuild. And, by the way, where is the money for that coming from?

By then you should consider how you no longer qualify for membership of the human race.

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

When “fundamentally” = “not”

By Black Catte | OffGuardian | March 29, 2016

Jill Abramson, the latest EMT wheeled out to provide life support for Hillary Clinton’s clinically dead reputation, is telling us via the Guardian (where else?) that “this may shock you: Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest

Well, Jill (I’m assuming first name terms since we’re all girls together here), I have to say it doesn’t shock me at all. If I were shocked every time some erstwhile well respected commenters, such as yourself, elected to spout morally and intellectually specious clickbait I’d never get anything done.

It’s not shocking, Jill. It’s just not true. And since you claim to have spent many years fearlessly tracking Clinton’s seedy and nefarious deeds – Whitewater and all – you must be well aware of this.

Or maybe you just plum forgot? After all it’s been a while, and none of us are getting any younger.

So, here’s a few reminders about why all those silly old “Hillary is a liar” vids are out there on Facebook.

See, Jill, even among her political peers (a group not known for its honesty and integrity), Hillary is noteworthy as an unscrupulous, self-serving, compulsive (and psychopathically incompetent) purveyor of terminological inexactitude. Even in Washington she stands out as a moral blank.

Think about that.

PS – I think Vince Foster might also have a few items to draw to your attention on this matter. Except he can’t, of course. Because he’s dead.

But of course you know all this. You know you have no material to help sell the line you’ve been asked to take, which is why your piece is nothing but a loose crochet of generalities and allusions. Seeking to persuade the gullible that black is actually white.

Are you happy with the way it turned out? Are you happy to have that sad and lukewarm defence of this dangerous lunatic hang on your reputation?

Or are you ashamed in the depths of your soul?

I really hope so. If not now then later.

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Knesset passes first reading of bill to suspend Palestinian MKs

Ma’an – March 29, 2016

BETHLEHEM – Israel’s Knesset on Monday night passed the first reading of a bill that would allow MKs to expel lawmakers, in what has been roundly condemned as a political campaign launched against the parliament’s Palestinian members.

The law could see lawmakers suspended from their duties if voted for by 90 MKs — three-quarters of Israel’s lawmakers — for behavior deemed inappropriate.

The bill — an amendment to an existing law — could see an MK suspended for “negating” the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, incitement to racism, or supporting an armed struggle against Israel, according to the Association for Civil Rights (ACRI) in Israel.

It stipulates that grounds for suspension can be proved solely by a statement provided by MKs, the group said.

A draft of the bill was submitted and approved upon the urging of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who last month called for the suspension of three Palestinian MKs when they visited the families of Palestinians killed while allegedly carrying out attacks on Israelis.

The three MKs — all members of the Joint Arab List, which represents Palestinians with Israeli citizenship — were later suspended by the Knesset’s Ethics Committee.

During Monday’s Knesset meeting, the Joint List slammed the bill as “racist and unconstitutional.”

“The suspension law has only one aim, to strike against the political existence of Palestinians in Israel,” the coalition of four Palestinian parties said in a statement following Monday’s vote.

It condemned the bill as a “continuation of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians” by Israel, which it said was carried out through incitement and threats.

“What Netanyahu does not understand is that just as ethnic cleansing failed to strain our (Palestinian) existence, political cleansing will not succeed in stopping our political movement and resistance,” the Joint List went on.

“We reject that a radical and racist occupation government draws limits on our political capability by setting conditions on our parliamentary membership,” the group added.

Ahead of Monday’s meeting, Joint List head Ayman Odeh warned last month that he and other Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset may resign if the bill was passed.

The first reading was passed despite efforts by ACRI to urge MKs to vote against the bill, saying that “freedom of expression is expressed precisely through respecting and being inclusive of positions that are considered extreme.”

“This law is being promoted to harm the Arab MKs, whose statements and actions do not find favor with the political majority,” ACRI said.

Netanyahu’s championing of the bill has exacerbated longstanding frustrations from members of the Joint List who say they have faced staunch resistance from the Israeli government since they came together.

The coalition was formed ahead of the last round of Israeli elections to fight for the rights of Israel’s Palestinian minority, which rights groups say has faced systematic discrimination for decades.

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli bill on prison sentences for minors ‘targets Palestinian children’

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By Chloe Benoist – Ma’an – March 29, 2016

BETHLEHEM – The Israeli Knesset on Tuesday approved the first reading of a bill which would allow Israeli courts to hand down prison sentences to minors under the age of 14 — legislation critics say is targeted at Palestinian children.

A recent amendment to the bill, which would apply to children convicted of murder, attempted murder, and homicide, reportedly declared that the prison terms would be postponed until the accused minors turn 18.

If passed into law after two more successful readings in the Knesset, the legislation would apply to residents of Israel and occupied East Jerusalem, whereas Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are tried in military courts.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, at least 108 Palestinian minors under the age of 16 were being held by Israel as of February.

“Unfortunately, terrorism does not have an age, and today there are no punishments matching the cruel reality we face,” The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked as saying on Sunday. “In order to create deterrence and change the situation around us, we must adopt the suggested new amendments to the law.”

Shaked first proposed the bill in November, after two Palestinian children ages 12 and 13 allegedly stabbed and injured an Israeli security guard on Jerusalem’s light rail near the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev.

An increase in violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel has led to the death of more than 200 Palestinians and nearly 30 Israelis since October, with a wave of small-scale attacks and attempted attacks, the majority carried out by Palestinian individuals on Israeli military targets.

Knesset member Yousef Jabareen of the Joint Arab List has criticized the bill as an affront to international law.

“Israel is a party to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, and this change contradicts Israel’s obligation to this convention,” the politician, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, told Ma’an.

The convention states that “the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”

According to Jabareen, Shaked’s statements regarding the bill leave little doubt as to who will be the main targets of such legislation.

“This bill targets Palestinian children,” he said. “Of course the bill is written in objective terms, but everyone knows the context in which it is being presented, and I doubt it will be used in other contexts.”

“This is an integrant part of a wave of bills introduced in the past few months which are harshening punishments for Palestinian children and families, especially in East Jerusalem,” Jabareen added.

The MK notably mentioned a law passed by the Knesset in July which made penalties for stone-throwing more severe, allowing for stone-throwers to receive a 20-year prison sentence where intent to harm could be proven, and 10 years where it could not.

Jabareen said he believed the bill would likely pass into law.

“Unfortunately, in the current atmosphere, there is a good chance the bill will pass,” he said. “Even some opposition MKs support the bill.”

However, he expressed doubts that the legislation would effectively act as a deterrent.

“The (Israeli) government is attempting to oppress and suppress the Palestinian resistance, but everybody knows that without a serious proposal for advancing the political process, they are doomed to fail.”

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Kerry’s Plan at Balkanising Syria

By Maram Susli – New Eastern Outlook – 29.03.2016

Last month, US secretary of State John Kerry called for Syria to be partitioned saying it was “Plan B” if negotiations fail.  But in reality this was always plan A. Plans to balkanize Syria, Iraq and other Middle Eastern states were laid out by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a 2006 trip to Tel Aviv. It was part of the so called “Project For a New Middle East”. This was a carbon copy of the Oded Yinon plan drawn up by Israel in 1982. The plan outlined the way in which Middle Eastern countries could be balkanized along sectarian lines. This would result in the creation of several weak landlocked micro-states that would be in perpetual war with each other and never united enough to resist Israeli expansionism.

“Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan… ” Oded Yinon, “A strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”

The leaked emails of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reveal advocates of the Oded Yinon plan were behind the US push for regime change in Syria. An Israeli intelligence adviser writes in an email to Hillary,

“The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies,”

Kerry’s plan B comment came right before the UN’s special envoy de Mistura said federalism would be discussed at the Geneva talks due to a push from major powers. Both side’s of the Geneva talks, the Syrian Government and the Syrian National Coalition flat out rejected Federalism. Highlighting the fact that the idea did not come from the Syrian’s themselves. The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Al Jaafari, said that the Idea of federalization would not be up for discussion. “Take the idea of separating Syrian land out of your mind,” he would say.

But some may not completely understand the full implications of federalism and how it is intrinsically tied to balkanization. Some cite the fact that Russia and the United States are successful federations as evidence that federation is nothing to fear. However the point that makes these federalism statements so dangerous is that in accordance with the Yinon plan the borders of a federalized Syria would be drawn along sectarian lines not on whether any particular state can sustain its population. This means that a small amount of people will get all the resources, and the rest of Syria’s population will be left to starve. Furthermore, Russia and the US are by land mass some of the largest nations in the world, so federalism may make sense for them. In contrast Syria is a very small state with limited resources. Unlike the US and Russia, Syria is located in the Middle East which means water is limited. In spite of the fact Syria is in the so-called fertile crescent, Syria has suffered massive droughts since Turkey dammed the rivers flowing into Syria and Iraq. Syria’s water resources must be rationed amongst its 23 million people. In the Middle East, wars are also fought over water. The areas that the Yinon plan intends to carve out of Syria, are the coastal areas of Latakia and the region of Al Hasake. These are areas where a substantial amount of Syria’s water, agriculture and oil are located.  The intention is to leave the majority of the Syrian population in a landlocked starving rump state, and create a situation where perpetual war between divided Syrians is inevitable. Ironically promoters of the Yinon plan try and paint federalism as a road to peace. However, Iraq which was pushed into federalism in 2005 by the US occupation is far from peaceful now.

Quite simply, divide and conquer is the plan. This was even explicitly suggested in the headline of a Foreign Policy magazine article, “Divide and conquer Iraq and Syria” with the subheading “Why the West Should Plan for a Partition”. The CEO of Foreign Policy magazine David Rothkopf is a member of to the Council of Foreign Relations, a think tank Hillary Clinton admits she bases her policies on. Another article by Foreign Policy written by an ex-NATO commander James Stavridis, claims “It’s time to talk about partitioning Syria”.

The US hoped to achieve this by empowering the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist groups, and introducing Al Qaeda and ISIS into Syria. The Syrian army was supposed to collapse with soldiers returning to their respective demographic enclaves. Evidence of this could be seen in the headlines of NATO’s media arm in 2012, which spread false rumours that Assad had run to Latakia, abandoning his post in Damascus. The extremists were then supposed to attack Alawite, Christian and Druze villages. The US hoped that enough Alawites, Christians and Druze would be slaughtered that Syria’s minorities would become receptive to the idea of partitioning.

Then NATO planned on shifting narratives from, ‘evil dictator must be stopped” to “we must protect the minorities”. Turning on the very terrorists they created and backing secessionist movements. There is evidence that this narrative shift had already started to happen by 2014 when it was used to convince the US public to accept US intervention in Syria against ISIS. The US designation of Jabhat Al Nusra as a terrorist organisation in December of 2012 was in preparation for this narrative shift. But this was premature as none of these plans seemed to unfold according to schedule. Assad did not leave Damascus, the Syrian army held together, and Syrian society held onto its national identity.

It could be said that the Yinon plan had some success with the Kurdish PYD declaration of federalization. However, the Kurdish faction of the Syrian national coalition condemned PYD’s declaration. Regardless, the declaration has no legal legitimacy. The region of Al Hasakah where a substantial portion of Syria’s oil and agriculture lies, has a population of only 1.5 million people, 6% of Syria’s total population. Of that, 1.5 million, only 40% are Kurdish, many of which do not carry Syrian passports. PYD’s demand that the oil and water resources of 23 million people be given to a tiny part of its population is unlikely to garner much support amongst the bulk of Syria’s population.

Former US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger understood that the key to dismembering a nation was attacking its national identity. This  entails attacking the history from which this identity is based upon. In an event at Michigan University Kissinger stated that he would like to see Syria balkanized, asserting that Syria is not a historic state and is nothing but an invention of the Sykes-Picot agreement in the 1920’s. Interestingly, Kissinger is using the same narrative as ISIS, who also claim that Syria is a colonial construct. In fact, ISIS has been a key tool for Kissinger and the promoters of the project of a New Middle East, as ISIS has waged a campaign of destruction against both Syrian and Iraqi historical sites.

In spite of efforts to convince the world of the contrary, the region that now encompasses modern day Syria has been called Syria since 605 BC. Sykes-Picot didn’t draw the borders of Syria too large, but instead, too small. Historic Syria also included Lebanon and Iskandaron. Syria and Lebanon were moving towards reunification until 2005, an attempt at correcting what was a sectarian partition caused by the French mandate. Syria has a long history of opposing attempts of divide and conquer, initially the French mandate aimed to divide Syria into 6 separate states based on sectarian lines, but such plans were foiled by Syrian patriots. The architects of the Yinon plan need only have read Syria’s long history of resistance against colonial divisions to know their plans in Syria were doomed to failure.

Maram Susli also known as “Syrian Girl,” is an activist-journalist and social commentator covering Syria and the wider topic of geopolitics.

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump and Clinton: Censoring the unpalatable

By John Pilger | March 29, 2016

A virulent if familiar censorship is about to descend on the US election campaign. As the cartoon brute, Donald Trump, seems almost certain to win the Republican Party’s nomination, Hillary Clinton is being ordained both as the “women’s candidate” and the champion of American liberalism in its heroic struggle with the Evil One.

This is drivel, of course; Hillary Clinton leaves a trail of blood and suffering around the world and a clear record of exploitation and greed in her own country. To say so, however, is becoming intolerable in the land of free speech.

The 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama should have alerted even the most dewy-eyed. Obama based his “hope” campaign almost entirely on the fact of an African-American aspiring to lead the land of slavery. He was also “antiwar”.

Obama was never antiwar. On the contrary, like all American presidents, he was pro-war. He had voted for George W. Bush’s funding of the slaughter in Iraq and he was planning to escalate the invasion of Afghanistan. In the weeks before he took the presidential oath, he secretly approved an Israeli assault on Gaza, the massacre known as Operation Cast Lead. He promised to close the concentration camp at Guantanamo and did not. He pledged to help make the world “free from nuclear weapons” and did the opposite.

As a new kind of marketing manager for the status quo, the unctuous Obama was an inspired choice. Even at the end of his blood-spattered presidency, with his signature drones spreading infinitely more terror and death around the world than that ignited by jihadists in Paris and Brussels, Obama is fawned on as “cool” (the Guardian).

On March 23, CounterPunch published my article, “A World War has Begun: Break the Silence”.  As has been my practice for years, I then syndicated the piece across an international network, including Truthout.com, the liberal American website.  Truthout publishes some important journalism, not least Dahr Jamail’s outstanding corporate exposes.

Truthout rejected the piece because, said an editor, it had appeared on CounterPunch and had broken “guidelines”.  I replied that this had never been a problem over many years and I knew of no guidelines.

My recalcitrance was then given another meaning. The article was reprieved provided I submitted to a “review” and agreed to changes and deletions made by Truthout’s “editorial committee”. The result was the softening and censoring of my criticism of Hillary Clinton, and the distancing of her from Trump. The following was cut:

Trump is a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our scepticism. Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama … The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system … As presidential election day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies– just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about “hope”.

The “editorial committee” clearly wanted me to water down my argument that Clinton represented a proven extreme danger to the world.  Like all censorship, this was unacceptable. Maya Schenwar, who runs Truthout, wrote to me that my unwillingness to submit my work to a “process of revision” meant she had to take it off her “publication docket”.  Such is the gatekeeper’s way with words.

At the root of this episode is an enduring unsayable. This is the need, the compulsion, of many liberals in the United States to embrace a leader from within a system that is demonstrably imperial and violent. Like Obama’s “hope”, Clinton’s gender is no more than a suitable facade.

This is an historical urge. In his 1859 essay “On Liberty,” to which modern liberals seem to pay unflagging homage, John Stuart Mill described the power of empire. “Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians,” he wrote, “provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end.” The “barbarians” were large sections of humanity of whom “implicit obedience” was required.

“It’s a nice and convenient myth that liberals are the peacemakers and conservatives the warmongers,” wrote the British historian Hywel Williams in 2001, “but the imperialism of the liberal way may be more dangerous because of its open ended nature – its conviction that it represents a superior form of life [while denying its] self righteous fanaticism.” He had in mind a speech by Tony Blair in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, in which Blair promised to “reorder this world around us” according to his “moral values”. The carnage of a million dead in Iraq was the result.

Blair’s crimes are not unusual. Since 1945, some 69 countries — more than a third of the membership of the United Nations – have suffered some or all of the following. They have been invaded, their governments overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted and their people bombed. The historian Mark Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions. With the demise of the European empires, this has been the project of the liberal flame carrier, the “exceptional” United States, whose celebrated “progressive” president, John F Kennedy, according to new research, authorised the bombing of Moscow during the Cuban crisis in 1962.

“If we have to use force,” said Madeleine Albright, US secretary of state in the liberal administration of Bill Clinton and today a passionate campaigner for his wife, “it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”

One of Hillary Clinton’s most searing crimes was the destruction of Libya in 2011. At her urging, and with American logistical support, NATO, launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, according to its own records, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles with uranium warheads. See the photographs of the rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves identified by the Red Cross. Read the UNICEF report on the children killed, “most [of them] under the age of ten”.

In Anglo-American scholarship, followed slavishly by the liberal media on both sides of the Atlantic, influential theorists known as “liberal realists” have long taught that liberal imperialists – a term they never use – are the world’s peace brokers and crisis managers, rather than the cause of a crisis. They have taken the humanity out of the study of nations and congealed it with a jargon that serves warmongering power. Laying out whole nations for autopsy, they have identified “failed states” (nations difficult to exploit) and “rogue states” (nations resistant to western dominance).

Whether or not the targeted regime is a democracy or dictatorship is irrelevant. In the Middle East, western liberalism’s collaborators have long been extremist Islamists, lately al-Qaeda, while cynical notions of democracy and human rights serve as rhetorical cover for conquest and mayhem — as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Haiti, Honduras. See the record of those good liberals Bill and Hillary Clinton. Theirs is a standard to which Trump can only aspire.

Follow John Pilger on Twitter @johnpilger and on Facebook

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment

Candidates double down on Israel at AIPAC

What They Said

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • March 29, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might just have a solution for dealing with the recent bombing attacks in Western Europe. The countries involved should follow Israeli practice and demolish the homes of those accused of carrying out terrorist acts, thereby punishing whole families and making the consequences of misbehavior more severe. He might have also suggested that Arabs should be shot in the head when they are incapacitated and lying on the ground. That saves the trouble of having to go through a trial and also sends an even stronger message.

Some American presidential wannabes also agree that tougher is always better. Donald Trump has again spoken up in favor of torture while Ted Cruz is advocating using police “to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods” in the United States.

Hillary Clinton opted for security to preempt privacy, stating that “We have to toughen our surveillance, our interception of communication.” John Kasich hyperbolically called the bombings “attacks against our very way of life and against the democratic values upon which our political systems have been built” though he mercifully did not single out Muslims for retribution.

When it comes to beating down on Muslims there is a certain unanimity of opinion that unites Israel and the United States. To an extent, it evidently derives from the unsurpassed love that American politicians appear to have for Israel, a sentiment that was on display in its most effusive form last Monday at the annual summit meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC.

I confess to having watched the Donald Trump speech live and in its entirety in the vain hope that he would tell AIPAC to get stuffed. The other speeches I saw after the fact on YouTube or C-Span with occasional pauses to allow my blood pressure to recede. Plus there are transcripts of all the speeches but Cruz’s available online. At a certain point all the presentations blended together, as if they had been written by the same person working for AIPAC, which might indeed have been the case, though there were some individual touches.

But for random obligatory shots at the apparently subhuman and hopelessly terroristic Palestinians one might well have thought that the AIPAC summit conference was all about Iran. As Iran is the bête noir of Netanyahu and his thug-like government it was perhaps inevitable that the candidates should follow suit in their carefully coached presentations.

Hillary, who has promised to move the U.S.-Israel relationship up to the “next level” of subservience, started with the obligatory loud sucking noises about how much she loves Israel before citing “Iran’s continued aggression.” In the past she has threatened to “obliterate” Iran. Regarding the recent nuclear agreement, she demanded “vigorous enforcement, strong monitoring, clear consequences for any violations and a broader strategy to confront Iran’s aggression across the region. We cannot forget that Tehran’s fingerprints are on nearly every conflict across the Middle East, from Syria to Lebanon to Yemen. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxies are attempting to establish a position on the Golan from which to threaten Israel, and they continue to fund Palestinian terrorists… Iranian provocations, like the recent ballistic missile tests, are also unacceptable and should be answered firmly and quickly including with more sanctions. Those missiles were stamped with words declaring, and I quote, ‘Israel should be wiped from the pages of history.’ We know they could reach Israel or hit the tens of thousands of American troops stationed in the Middle East. This is a serious danger and it demands a serious response.”

Hillary’s extraordinary comments depicting Iran as if it were a latter day Soviet Union or Nazi Germany leave one gasping for an adequate rejoinder. But her observations were more intriguing in that she actually made an attempt to pretend that there is an American interest in joining Israel in confronting Iran consisting of the poor, defenseless tens of thousands of American troops in the region. She inevitably failed to note that the troops are all based in Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, not in Israel, demonstrating the utter irrelevancy of Tel Aviv to U.S. defense. No Israeli has ever died as an “ally” of the United States, but that is perhaps a tale best explored another day.

Donald Trump was, if possible, even more outrageous than Hillary opening his rant with a prolonged encomium on “… our strategic ally, our unbreakable friendship and our cultural brother, the only democracy in the Middle East, the state of Israel,” nearly every element of which is either a lie or a misrepresentation. He then took on Iran, saying “My number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran… The problem here is fundamental. We’ve rewarded the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with $150 billion, and we received absolutely nothing in return… The biggest concern with the deal is not necessarily that Iran is going to violate it because already, you know, as you know, it has, the bigger problem is that they can keep the terms and still get the bomb by simply running out the clock. And of course, they’ll keep the billions and billions of dollars that we so stupidly and foolishly gave them.”

“When I’m president, I will adopt a strategy that focuses on three things when it comes to Iran. First, we will stand up to Iran’s aggressive push to destabilize and dominate the region… Now they’re in Syria trying to establish another front against Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights… And in the West Bank, they’re openly offering Palestinians $7,000 per terror attack and $30,000 for every Palestinian terrorist’s home that’s been destroyed. A deplorable, deplorable situation… Secondly, we will totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network which is big and powerful, but not powerful like us. Iran has seeded terror groups all over the world. During the last five years, Iran has perpetuated terror attacks in 25 different countries on five continents. They’ve got terror cells everywhere, including in the Western Hemisphere, very close to home. Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world. And we will work to dismantle that reach, believe me, believe me… Third, at the very least, we must enforce the terms of the previous deal to hold Iran totally accountable. And we will enforce it like you’ve never seen a contract enforced before, folks, believe me… Iran has already, since the deal is in place, test-fired ballistic missiles three times. Those ballistic missiles, with a range of 1,250 miles, were designed to intimidate not only Israel, which is only 600 miles away, but also intended to frighten Europe and someday maybe hit even the United States. And we’re not going to let that happen. We’re not letting it happen. And we’re not letting it happen to Israel, believe me.”

So Trump will both dismantle and strictly enforce the multi-party agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, and, like Hillary, he detects a threat to the United States, for him in the form of missiles that will “someday maybe hit even the United States.” If The Donald is speaking honestly his desire to end America’s role as international policeman will find an exception if Israel is somehow involved. Taking him at his word he would start a worldwide crusade against Iran and its presumed proxies, all on behalf of Israel.

John Kasich repeated the reasons why all true red blooded Americans love Israel, which apparently includes having wealthy Jewish supporters in Ohio whom he identified by name. He boasted of his sponsorship of a Holocaust memorial in Columbus before doubling down on Iran, stating that “we share a critically important common interest in the Middle East, the unrelenting opposition to Iran’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons. In March of 2015, when the prime minister spoke out against the Iran nuclear deal before a joint session of Congress, I flew to Washington and stood on the floor of the House of Representatives that was in session, the first time I had visited since we had been in session in 15 years. And I did it to show my respect, my personal respect, to the people of Israel. And I want you all to know that I have called for the suspension of the U.S.’s participation in the Iran nuclear deal in reaction to Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests. These tests were both a violation of the spirit of the nuclear deal and provocations that could no longer be ignored. One of the missiles tested had printed on it in Hebrew, can you believe this, ‘Israel must be exterminated.’ And I will instantly gather the world and lead us to reapply sanctions if Iran violates one crossed T or one dot of that nuclear deal. We must put the sanctions back on them as the world community together. Let me also tell you, no amount of money that’s being made by any business will stand in the way of the need to make sure that the security of Israel is secured… And I want you to be assured that in a Kasich administration there will be no more delusional agreements with self-declared enemies. No more.”

One might note that Kasich, who also claimed that Palestinians embrace a “culture of death,” did not even make an effort to identify an American interest. He refers to Netanyahu as “the prime minister.” It was all about Israel. But even Kasich was outdone by Ted Cruz, who started his talk by stating that “Palestine has not existed since 1948.” And he promised that if a resolution on Palestinian statehood might come up at the United Nations he would “fly to New York to personally veto it myself.”

Cruz went on to claim that Palestinian children killed by Israeli weapons in Gaza had died because Hamas was using them as human shields before declaring that he would rip up the agreement with Iran, which he compared to “Munich in 1938,” and demand that it close its existing nuclear research program or “we will shut it down for you.” Like Hillary and The Donald before him he declared Israel to be a “steadfast and loyal ally” before defending military aid to Israel as “furthering the vital national security interest of the United States of America.” He did not elaborate on either point.

My citations from the candidates’ presentations are, of course, selected by me and intended to establish a certain narrative. Anyone who is truly desirous of experiencing just how awful the complete speeches were should look up the YouTube and C-Span originals and watch them. The obscene pandering to a bunch of wealthy and politically connected fifth columnists who are in love with a country and government that is not their own is shameful, particularly as the speakers are de facto ceding national sovereignty by committing Washington to become militarily engaged no matter how Israel behaves. The calls to enter into something not unlike a state of war with Iran, a country that does not threaten the United States, just because Tel Aviv considers it an enemy is something that in another place and time would equate to treason. Excluding only Bernie Sanders, that every other man and woman currently in the running for the presidency of this country representing America’s two major parties should be complicit in this outrage defies belief, but their own words tell the tale.

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Head in the Sanders, Up Hillary Creek, Without a Trump Card

By Linh Dinh | Postcards from the End of [the] America[n Empire] | March 28, 2016

No presidential candidate should be taken seriously unless he or she addresses these basic concerns:

9/11

Since this is the pretext for our endless War on Terror, it should be examined thoroughly and publicly, with testimonies from pilots, architects, engineers, scientists and eye witnesses, including first responders. Like many Americans, I find the official explanation ludicrous. Why can’t we have a convincing answer to how World Trade Center 7 imploded and collapsed into its own footprint? Or how was it possible for a Boeing 757 to shave the ground and hit the Pentagon from the side, as steered by an amateur pilot? Many other questions have also been brushed aside, with Donald Trump going only as far as implying that Saudi Arabia may be behind this tragedy. Why Saudi Arabia, but not Israel? By suppressing a legitimate investigation, Washington is at least complicit in this unspeakable crime. Both the how and who of that day need to brought to light, though I fear much of America will be smoldering ruins before then. The criminals will have finished the job.

Terrorism

The US and its allies have funded and trained the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS, so how can it claim to be fighting terrorists? Bin Laden, too, was an American asset, and it sure wasn’t him our bumbling Seals killed on May 2nd, 2011. Even as a non-corpse, Osama served Uncle Sam. For five years, Syria has been attacked by American-backed terrorists. Many arrived from Libya, a country we’ve already wrecked, to the glee of Hillary Clinton. The US has a long history of using terrorists and hooligans to destabilize countries, but it poses, preposterously, as the upholder of global stability. Though none of our politicians can possibly be blind to this grotesque contradiction, they play along with the Disney script. In spite of his token or symbolic objection to the Iraq invasion, Sanders supported regime changes in Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and now Syria.

Military Reach

The US isn’t patrolling this entire earth to protect its allies, but to make sure they don’t fall out of its sphere of influence. It’s not occupying Europe to shield it against Russia, for example, but to prevent Europeans from cozying up to Russia and China. Eurasia must not become an integrated block. Fine, this is what an empire is supposed to do, but when it’s hollowed out and falling apart, perhaps it’s time to redefine America? Though brainwashed from cradle to grave that theirs is the indispensible nation, the apex of mankind and climax of history, many Americans have started to doubt their special status as their Access card runs short each month, their muffler scrapes the asphalt and their toothache goes untreated. Though it’s painful to fall from first to middling, one must deal with this new reality. Closing bases, withdrawing troops and gutting the military budget will allow us to focus and spend on domestic exigencies. The alternative is to go berserk with missiles as the curtain falls. Lost in unreality and hubris, Donald Trump wants our allies to pay us to keep them in line. He also thinks Mexico should foot the bill for a border wall to keep themselves out.

Borders

U.S. borders are not porous out of charity or ineptness, but because this benefits American businesses, and it has always been this way. Instead of bringing in slaves, indentured servants and coolies, our rulers welcome illegal immigrants to keep wages down. This also keeps our social fabric in constant turmoil, thus making a unified front against our masters nearly impossible.

Illegal immigration from Mexico was greatly exacerbated by NAFTA, for it allowed us to dump subsidized corn onto the Mexican market, thus bankrupting their farmers and forcing many to sweat inside American-owned maquilladoras. When many of these shut down, a wave of Mexicans crossed over to become the main workforce of our housing bubble.

America’s borders, then, are essentially violated by its own government, but this shouldn’t surprise, since Washington routinely ignores other countries’ borders. There is a huge difference, however. When we barge into another country, it’s never to empty their bedpans or wash their dishes, but usually to kill them. America is the world’s most persistent and violent violator of international borders.

Moving forward, the US should respect all borders, including its own. Without having to relentlessly compete against illegal immigrants, poorer Americans will have a better chance at regaining their economic equilibrium.

Banks

Reviving an initiative started by Ron Paul, Donald Trump wants to audit the Federal Reserve, but as Paul, Ellen Brown and others have pointed out repeatedly over the years, the ultimate solution is to abolish the Fed altogether, for why should this criminal banking cartel have the power to ease money out of its fat ass to lend to the rest of us? We need United States Notes, as authorized by Kennedy before he was shot, not Federal Reserve perpetual debt vehicles. A country that can’t even coin its own currency is one without sovereignty. Since it’s nothing but a loan shark outfit and money counterfeiter, the Federal Reserve must be eliminated.

Israel

Israel is a horrible concept criminally maintained by a deluge of American tax dollars, plus rivers of blood, much of it Muslim but also American. Defending this most hated state, the U.S. has also become a pariah. Under Israel’s manipulation, the United States hasn’t just systematically destroyed one Muslim country after another, it has wrecked its own honor, reputation, present and future. In spite of all this, no American presidential candidate can question the U.S.’ eternal role in propping up this criminal country.

Chained to endless war on a false premise, enslaved by banksters and led by the nose by a tiny, besieged nation that must spill blood endlessly just to exist, it’s no wonder the United States is going down.

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

UN says disputed Falkland Islands are in Argentina territorial waters

RT | March 29, 2016

Argentina has officially expanded the outer limits of its continental shelf beyond the UK-claimed Falkland Islands, following a UN commission ruling which increased its maritime territory by 35 percent to include the waters around the disputed islands.

According to the Argentinian Foreign Ministry, the newly introduced continental shelf borders are based on a “unanimous” decision by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, that ruled in Argentina’s favor earlier in March.

According to UN ruling, Argentinian waters have expanded by 1.7 million sq km, which encompass those surrounding the disputed Falklands, or as they are known in Argentina, Islas Malvinas. Essentially the UN ratified the country’s 2009 petition to fix the limit of its territorial waters at 200 to 350 miles from its coast.

“We’re reaffirming our sovereignty rights over the resources from our continental shelf, minerals, hydrocarbons and sedentary species,” Foreign minister Susana Malcorra said, when making the announcement. “I sincerely believe that is a very significant foreign policy achievement of Argentina.”

“This is a historic occasion for Argentina because we’ve made a huge leap in the demarcation of the exterior limit of our continental shelf,” she added.

The UN ruling increased Argentinian territory by 35 percent, as under the previous 200 nautical mile extension Argentina’s shelf consisted of 4.8m sq km. Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Foradori who chaired the panel presentation at San Martin Palace, said that UN ruling was carried out by design and planning and not by accident.

It “is not a sovereignty dispute, but the creation of national sovereignty quietly and in peace, with all Argentines working in a team, for years, under different governments with a common objective. It was the generation of a policy by design and planning, and not by accident,” Foradori said.

Meanwhile, UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) defense spokesman Mike Hookem slammed the decision, while adding that the British government must “stand by the Falkland Islanders and tell the United Nations it does not accept its decision on Argentina’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).”

“The Falkland Islands do not lie in Argentinian waters and the UN should not be altering customary international law for the sake of one country whose actions in 1982 cost over one thousand lives,” he said in a statement on UKIP’s website.

“I thought the UN was supposed to be a global arbitrator and stick to its own laws, not pick favourites at the expense of its own principles,” he added.

The UN is yet to officially confirm Buenos Aires announcement, but according to Article 76, paragraphs four to seven of the Convention, the coastal state can “delineate the outer limits of its continental shelf, where that shelf extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines …” London is also yet to comment on Argentina’s announcement.

In the long standing dispute, Buenos Aires claims it inherited the Falkland Islands from the Spanish crown in 1816, while London justifies its position saying it has continuously administered the territory since 1833, as well as the islands’ population, which is almost entirely of British descent.

While the islands are self-governed, London provides for its defense and foreign affairs, and fought a war with Argentina to protect its claim in 1982. The British government also maintains that islanders cannot accept Argentinian sovereignty against their will. During the 2013 referendum 99.8 percent of residents favored the status quo.

The people of the Falkland Islands are trying to find out from the British government about “what, if any, decisions have been made, and what implications there may be” for the territory in relation to the UN decision.

“As soon as we have any firm information we will make it available,” Mike Summers, chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, said in an e-mailed statement to the Associated Press. “Our understanding has always been that the UN would not make any determination on applications for continental shelf extension in areas where there are competing claims.”

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

NSA Director Meets Secretly in Israel to Plan Stuxnet-Like Operations

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© Flickr/ EFF Photos
Sputnik – 29.03.2016

Last week, NSA chief, Admiral Michael Rogers met with Israeli security officials in secret to explore forging closer ties between US and Israeli cyber intelligence gathering.

The NSA, America’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) agency, is responsible for electronic collection abroad in addition to protecting US government information and communication systems from foreign penetration and sabotage.

Admiral Rogers was hosted by the leadership of the Israeli Defense Forces’ SIGINT unit, or Corps Unit 8200. The secretive Corps Unit 8200 is tasked with collecting SIGINT from the Middle East. The meeting was focused on cooperation of the two entities to tackle regional powers with an emphasis on Iran and Hezbollah.

Security analysts have largely credited IDF’s Unit 8200 with creating the Stuxnet virus which toppled Iran’s main nuclear reactor in 2010. That effort, codenamed OLYMPIC GAMES, similarly involved a collaboration between Unit 8200 and NSA between 2008 and 2011.

Reports are that Rogers’ visited with a view towards not just defensive and intelligence gathering collaboration, but offensive cyber operations like the Stuxnet operation.

This stride towards offensive cyber collaboration with Israel comes less than one week after the US government advanced criminal charges against Iranian military officials for engaging in cyber warfare.

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment