Aletho News


International Injustice: the Conviction of Radovan Karadzic

By Diana Johnstone | CounterPunch | March 30, 2016

Last Thursday, news reports were largely devoted to the March 22 Brussels terror bombings and the US primary campaigns. And so little attention was paid to the verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for (former) Yugoslavia (ICTY) finding Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of every crime it could come up with, including “genocide”. It was a “ho-hum” bit of news.  Karadzic had already been convicted by the media of every possible crime, and nobody ever imagined that he would be declared innocent by the single-issue court set up in The Hague essentially to judge the Serb side in the 1990s civil wars that tore apart the once independent country of Yugoslavia.

Although it bears the UN stamp of approval, thanks to the influence of the Western powers, ICTY is essentially a NATO tribunal, with proceedings in English according to a jurisprudence invented as it goes along. Its international judges are vetted by Washington officials. The presiding judge in the Karadzic case was a South Korean, O-Gon Kwon, selected surely less for his grasp of ethnic subtleties in the Balkans than for the fact that he holds a degree from Harvard Law School. Of the other two judges on the panel, one was British and the other was a retired judge from Trinidad and Tobago.

As is the habit with the ICTY, the non-jury trial dragged on for years – seven and a half years to be precise. Horror stories heavily laced with hearsay, denials, more or less far fetched interpretations end up “drowning the fish” as the saying goes. A proper trial would narrow the charges to facts which can clearly be proved or not proved, but these sprawling proceedings defy any notion of relevance. Nobody who has not devoted a lifetime to following these proceedings can tell what real evidence supports the final judgment. The media stayed away from the marathon, and only showed up to report the inevitable “guilty” verdict condemning the bad guy. The verdict reads a bit like, “they said, he said, and we believe them not him.”

There was a civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina from April 1992 to December 1995. Wars are terrible things, civil wars especially.  Let us agree with David Swanson that “War is a crime”. But this was a civil war, with three armed parties to the conflict, plus outside interference. The “crime” was not one-sided.

Muslim False Flags

The most amazing passage in the rambling verdict by Judge O-Gon Kwan consists of these throw-away lines:

“With respect to the Accused’s argument that the Bosnian Muslim side targeted its own civilians, the Chamber accepts that the Bosnian Muslim side was intent on provoking the international community to act on its behalf and, as a result, at times, engaged in targeting UN personnel in the city or opening fire on territory under its control in order to lay blame on the Bosnian Serbs.”

This is quite extraordinary. The ICTY judges are actually acknowledging that the Bosnian Muslim side engaged in “false flag” operations, not only targeting UN personnel but actually “opening fire on territory under its control”. Except that that should read, “opening fire on Johnstone-Queen-Cover-ak800--291x450civilians under its control”. UN peace keeping officers have insisted for years that the notorious Sarajevo “marketplace massacres”, which were blamed on the Serbs and used to gain condemnation of the Serbs in the United Nations, were actually carried out by the Muslim side in order to gain international support.

This is extremely treacherous behavior. The Muslim side was, as stated, “intent on provoking the international community to act on its behalf”, and it succeeded!  The ICTY is living proof of that success: a tribunal set up to punish Serbs. But there has been no move to expose and put on trial Muslim leaders responsible for their false flag operations.

The Judge quickly brushed this off: “However, the evidence indicates that the occasions on which this happened pale in significance when compared to the evidence relating to [Bosnian Serb] fire on the city” (Sarajevo).

How can such deceitful attacks “pale in significance” when they cast doubt precisely on the extent of Bosnian Serb “fire on the city”?

The “Joint Criminal Enterprise” Label

ICTY’s main judicial trick is to have imported from US criminal justice the concept of a “Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE)”, used originally as a means to indict gangsters.  The trick is to identify the side we are against as a JCE, which makes it possible to accuse anyone on that side of being a member of the JCE. The JCE institutionalizes guilt by association. Note that in Yugoslavia, there was never any law against Joint Criminal Enterprises, and so the application is purely retroactive.

Bosnia-Herzegovina was a state (called “republic”) within Yugoslavia based on joint rule by three official peoples: Muslims, Serbs and Croats. Any major decision was supposed to have the consent of all three.  After Slovenia and Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia, the Muslims and Croats of Bosnia voted to secede from Yugoslavia, but this was opposed by Bosnian Serbs who claimed it was unconstitutional. The European Union devised a compromise that would allow each of the three people self-rule in its own territory. However, the Muslim leader, Alija Izetbegovic, was encouraged by the United States to renege on the compromise deal, in the hope that Muslims, as the largest group, could control the whole territory. War thus broke out in April 1992.

Now, if you asked the Bosnian Serbs what their war aims were, they would answer that they wanted to preserve the independence of Serb territory within Bosnia rather than become a minority in a State ruled by the Muslim majority. Psychiatrist Radovan Karadzic was the elected President of the Bosnian Serb territory, “Republika Srpska”. However, according to ICTY the objective of the Serbian mini-republic was to “permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Serb-claimed territory … through the crimes charged”, described as the “Overarching Joint Criminal Enterprise”, leading to several subsidiary JCEs. Certainly, such expulsions took place, but they were rather the means to the end of securing the Bosnian Serb State rather than its overarching objective. The problem here is not that such crimes did not take place – they did – but that they were part of an “overarching civil war” with crimes committed by the forces of all three sides.

If anything is a “joint criminal enterprise”, I should think that plotting and carrying out false flag operations should qualify.  ICTY does not seem interested in that.  The Muslims are the good guys, even though some of the Muslim fighters were quite ruthless foreign Islamists, with ties to Osama bin Laden.

One of the subsidiary JCEs attributed to Karadzic was the fact that between late May and mid-June of 1995, Bosnian Serb troops fended off threatened NATO air strikes by taking some 200 UN peacekeepers and military observers hostage. It is hard to see why this temporary defensive move, which caused no physical harm, is more of a “Joint Criminal Enterprise” than the fact of having “targeted UN personnel”, as the Muslim side did.

The final JCE in the Karadzic verdict was of course the July 1995 massacre of prisoners by Bosnian forces after capturing the town of Srebrenica. That is the basis of conviction for “genocide”. The Karadzic conviction rests essentially on two other ICTY trials: the currently ongoing ICTY trial of Bosnian Serb military commander General Ratko Mladic, who led the capture of Srebrenica, and the twelve-year-old judgment in the trial of Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic.

The Karadzic verdict pretty much summarizes the case against General Mladic, leaving little doubt where that trial is heading. Karadzic was a political, not a military leader, who persistently claims that he neither ordered nor approved the massacres and indeed knew nothing about them. Many well informed Western and Muslim witnesses testify to the fact that the Serb takeover was the unexpected result of finding the town undefended. This makes the claim that this was a well planned crime highly doubtful. The conclusion that Karadzic was aware of what was happening is inferred from telephone calls. In the final stages of the war, it seems unlikely that the Bosnian Serb political leader would compromise his cause by calling on his troops to massacre prisoners. One can only speculate as to what “a jury of peers” would have concluded. ICTY’s constant bias (it refused to investigate NATO bombing of civilian targets in Serbia in 1999, and acquitted notorious anti-Serb Bosnian and Kosovo Albanian killers) drastically reduces its credibility.

What exactly happened around Srebrenica in 1995 remains disputed. But the major remaining controversy does not concern the numbers of victims or who is responsible. The major remaining controversy is whether or not Srebrenica truly qualifies as “genocide”. That claim owes its legal basis solely to the 2004 ICTY judgment in the Krstic case, subsequently echoed (but never investigated) by the International Court of Justice.

“Procreative Implications”

That judgment was very strange. The conclusion of “genocide” depended solely on the “expert” opinion of a sociologist. It was echoed again in the Karadzic case. ICTY reiterated its earlier judgment that the “killings demonstrate a clear intent to kill every able-bodied Bosnian Muslim male from Srebrenica. Noting that killing every able-bodied male of a group results in severe procreative implications that may lead to the group’s extinction, the Chamber finds that the only reasonable inference is that members of the Bosnian Serb Forces orchestrating this operation intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica as such.”

In other words, even though women and children were spared, Srebrenica was a unique genocide, due to the “severe procreative implications” of a lack of men. The ICTY concluded that “the members of the Srebrenica JCE… intended to kill all the able-bodied Bosnian Muslim males, which intent in the circumstances is tantamount to the intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica.” Thus genocide in one small town.

This judgment is widely accepted without being critically examined. Since wars have traditionally involved deliberately killing men on the enemy side, with this definition, “genocide” comes close to being synonymous with war.

In fact, not all Srebrenica men were massacred; some have lived to be witnesses blaming the Bosnian Muslim leadership for luring the Serbs into a moral trap. Moreover, there were many Muslim soldiers temporarily stationed in Srebrenica who were not natives of the town, and thus their tragic fate had nothing to do with destroying the future of the town.

Never mind. ICTY did its job. Karadzic, aged 70, was sentenced to 40 years in prison. As if to make a point, the verdict was announced on the 17th anniversary of the start of NATO bombing of what was left of Yugoslavia, in order to detach Kosovo from Serbia. Just a reminder that it’s not enough for the Serbs to lose the war, they must be criminalized as well.

The verdict is political and its effects are political. First of all, it helps dim the prospects of future peace and reconciliation in the Balkans. Serbs readily admit that war crimes were committed when Bosnian Serb forces killed prisoners in Srebrenica. If Muslims had to face the fact that crimes were also committed by men fighting on their side, this could be a basis for the two peoples to deplore the past and seek a better future together. As it is, the Muslims are encouraged to see themselves as pure victims, while the Serbs feel resentment at the constant double standards.  Muslim groups constantly stress that no verdict can possibly assuage their suffering – an attitude that actually feeds international anti-Western sentiment among Muslims, even though the immediate result is to maintain the Yugoslav successor states as mutually hostile satellites of NATO.

The other political result is to remind the world that if you get into a fight with the United States and NATO, you will not only lose, but will be treated as a common criminal. The US-led NATO war machine is always innocent, its adversaries are always guilty. The Roman Empire led the leaders it defeated into slavery. The United States Empire puts them in jail.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book is Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton. She can be reached at

March 30, 2016 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Colombia and ELN Rebels to Begin Formal Peace Talks

teleSUR – March 30, 2016

The Colombian government announced the launch of formal peace talks on Wednesday with the country’s second-largest rebel group the National Liberation Army or ELN. The announcement takes place after the guerrilla group freed two hostages to meet a government condition for the start of formal peace talks.

During a joint press conference Wednesday, the Colombian government’s top delegate for the ongoing FARC peace talks, Frank Pearl, outlined the key aspects of negotiation between the ELN and the Colombian government, which will include six major points: participation of society, peace through democracy, transformations necessary for peace, victims rights, the end of the armed conflict, and the implementation and signature of the agreement.

Pearl also confirmed that Cuba, Norway, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil and Ecuador will act as guarantor countries.

Meanwhile, moving forward, the ELN commander Antonio Garcia promised to communicate on all future progress made during the talks and vowed “to create a favorable environment for peace.”

Shortly after the press conference, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos delievered a statmenent in which he emphasized the importance of the peace talks with the ELN, stating, “We have to finish this conflict in order to construct peace in our country.”

During his speech, the Colombian President likened the talks to the ongoing negations between the government and the FARC, saying that, “the objective is the same, which is to eliminate violence.”

The announcement marks a new stage in peace negotiations as the government also closes in on a deal with the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC.

Leading up to the joint press conference, ELN officials thanked the Venezuelan government via Twitter for their role in the Colombian peace process.

“We would like to thank the Venezuelan people for their unconditional support in helping us get to this point.”

Meanwhile, the regional integration bloc, UNASUR, also issued its support in a statement saying, “The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR ) welcomes this agreement, which was made possible in part due to the participation of several regional governments.”

The Foreign Ministry of Ecuador also praised the news, expressing its “profound satisfaction” regarding the recent announcement.

The government and the ELN had been in preliminary talks for more than two years, but had failed to begin formal negotiations until today.

Colombia has seen armed conflict between the state, paramilitaries, crime syndicates and revolutionary left-wing groups such as the FARC and the Marxist-Leninist ELN since the 1960s.

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

US Responsibility for Widespread Palmyra Destruction

By Stephen Lendman | March 29, 2016

Washington bears full responsibility for ISIS capturing UNESCO World Heritage site Palmyra last May, causing widespread destruction and looting of precious artifacts, plundered from other sites in the country.

Russian air power helped Syrian ground forces liberate the city after weeks of heavy fighting, the most important strategic victory since Obama launched naked aggression in March 2011, using ISIS and other imported death squads as imperial foot soldiers, a major turning point in the war achieved.

Syrian presidential advisor Bouthiana Shaaban said throughout months of America’s air campaign, begun illegally in September 2014, together with coalition partners Britain, France and others, it “didn’t lift a finger” to prevent Palmyra’s fall.

It “pretended to fight terrorism” while helping ISIS fighters take the ancient city, knowing widespread destruction and looting would follow, priceless artifacts lost forever, ending up in private collections.

Washington and its rogue allies could have prevented what happened. Instead of conducting airstrikes against advancing ISIS fighters, it supported them, its war on terrorism an utter hoax.

Its war on Iraq destroyed the cradle of civilization. It was complicit in the looting of precious artifacts from its National Museum in Baghdad.

Its head, Dony George, said looters knew what they wanted, including the priceless 5,000-year-old vase of Warka.

British Museum’s John Curtis called its theft “like stealing the Mona Lisa.” Occupying US authorities did nothing to stop it.

They let ISIS plunder and destroy ancient sites in the country, including Hatra.

UNESCO called its destruction “a turning point in (its) appalling strategy of cultural cleansing…a direct attack against the history of Islamic Arab cities.”

Stealing Iraqi antiquities from museums and archeological sites began after America’s 1991 Gulf War. Iraq’s National Library was looted, centuries old Korans and irreplaceable historical documents stolen.

Wealthy collectors profited hugely, aided and abetted by Washington. The cradle of civilization and many of its treasures no longer exist.

During and after Obama’s naked aggression on Libya, it was looted and destroyed the same way, its historical artifacts stolen, ancient Roman Empire era city Leptis Magna and Phoenician trading post Sabratha terror-bombed.

America bears full responsibility for the looting and destruction of Syria, many of its priceless artifacts now in private collections, its historical heritage systematically plundered.

Wherever America shows up, mass slaughter, destruction, as well as looting national resources and priceless artifacts follow – a longstanding despicable legacy, continuing with no end in sight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

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

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Austria casts doubt on immediate bans lift from Iran

Press TV – March 30, 2016

Austrian President Heinz Fischer has cast doubt on the US and Western resolve for the immediate removal of all anti-Iran sanctions.

Fischer has told IRIB that it is unclear how long it will take for the West to lift sanctions on Iran.

Iran’s historic agreement last year with permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany (P5+1) went into force on January 16 to end 13-years of Western dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program and pave the way for the lifting of sanctions on the country.

But more than two months later, Iran is still awaiting the full opening of business transactions with some companies in the West as some banks are facing restrictions in the US on handling business with Tehran.

The Austrian leader said it was not up to a single country to lift all the sanctions, but that the United States had a part to play.

“Austria alone cannot lift the sanctions. The EU cannot do it alone too, but it is the international community that should do it,” Fischer said.

“The US also plays a role in this regard,” he added.

“A process for sanctions removal has begun, but I cannot make any predictions on how long this issue will last. I hope all sides fully adhere to the [nuclear] agreement.”

The Austrian president was answering a question on issues facing Iranian banks, some of which still seek to join the international payments system, SWIFT, for the resumption of foreign transfers.

The Austrian leader paid a visit to Tehran in September 2015 at the head of a 240-member delegation with the purpose of discussing ways to improve Tehran-Vienna relations.

Not all the banks in Iran have been able to reconnect to SWIFT since the lifting of sanctions was announced in January.

A senior Iranian official said last month that 26 Iranian banks have so far been reconnected to SWIFT after the removal of the economic sanctions against Iran in mid-January.

SWIFT – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – is used by nearly every bank around the world to send payment messages that lead to the transfer of money across international borders. It provides a wide range of service including transmitting letters of credit, payments and securities transactions among 9,700 banks in 209 countries.

However, it became off limits to Iranian banks in 2012 after the implementation of the US-led sanctions against the country. Accordingly, around 30 Iranian banks were blocked from using SWIFT services, literally cutting off Iran from the global banking system.

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , | 1 Comment

Land Day: Palestinian anti-colonial struggle against land confiscation, for freedom and liberation


samidoun – Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | March 30, 2016

30 March 2016 marks the 40th Land Day, a day of Palestinian struggle against settler colonialism and celebration of the connection of the Palestinian people to the land that continues despite expropriation and dispossession. The day marks the anniversary of the mass upsurge inside Occupied Palestine ’48 on 30 March 1976, in response to an Israeli state attempt to confiscate over 20,000 dunums of land from Palestinians in the Galilee; like today, Israeli “citizenship” has never spared Palestinians from land confiscation and dispossession on their soil.

land-day-3Thousands of Palestinians in ’48, those with Israeli citizenship imposed upon them by the state, who remained on the land after 80% of Palestinians were expelled in the Nakba, rose up with a general strike and mass popular protests in the most visible resistance to the Israeli state and its policies of dispossession since the Nakba. They were met with massive state violence, and the killing of six Palestinians – Kheir Mohammad Salim Yasin, Khadija Qasem Shawahneh, Raja Hussein Abu Rayya, Khader Eid Mahmoud Khalayleh, Muhsin Hasan Said Taha and Raafat Ali Al-Zheiri – by the Israeli army as they marched to defend their land.

Just as Palestinians in ’48 face state violence, land confiscation, and the racist policies of Zionism, they also confront imprisonment, arrests and repression. There are currently 75 Palestinian “security” prisoners from Occupied Palestine ’48, housed with fellow Palestinians and facing the same restrictions and denial of rights. Karim Younis, the longest-imprisoned Palestinian prisoner, is from Occupied Palestine ’48 as is his cousin Maher; indeed, six of the seven Palestinian prisoners imprisoned over 30 years for their role in the Palestinian resistance are from Occupied Palestine ’48: Karim and Maher Younis, Walid Daqqa, Rushdi Abu Mukh, Ibrahim Abu Mukh and Ibrahim Bayadseh. Palestinian theater Al-Midan in Haifa was subjected to state scrutiny, repression and denial of funds for its exhibition of Palestinian culture, which included the theatrical performace of a short story by Daqqa.

Karim Younis
Karim Younis

They have been consistently denied release in both prisoner exchanges with the Palestinian resistance and in Oslo-negotiations-based prisoner releases, as the Israeli state attempts to separate them as “Israeli citizens” from their fellow Palestinian prisoners in releases and labels them a “domestic matter“. At the same time, they are housed with fellow Palestinian prisoners, denied family visits, forced to see family only through glass, and held in solitary confinement while Israeli “criminal” prisoners – and even the rare Israeli Jewish prisoner held as a “security” prisoner for extreme-right violence – are granted temporary releases, their sentences limited and lowered, and allowed lengthy family visits, furloughs, and conjugal visits.

Palestinian prisoners from Occupied Palestine ’48 include the long-time prisoners held since the 1980s as well as Lena Jarbouni, the longest-serving woman Palestinian prisoner; Ameer Makhoul, the imprisoned director of Ittijah, the Union of Arab Community-Based Associations; and Asmaa Hamdan, the 19-year-old Palestinian woman ordered to administrative detention without charge or trial for sending a text message to her family.

Lina Jarbouni
Lina Jarbouni

The roots of the Israeli military system currently imposed upon Palestinians in the West Bank were derived from British colonial military orders imposed on Palestine – and then on the martial law imposed on Palestinians in occupied Palestine ’48 until 1966, used to undermine all attempts of Palestinians organizing inside their occupied homeland to organize and defend their land.

For example, the Al-Ard movement, which was composed of Palestinians in ’48, founded in 1958, was outlawed in 1964; its very name highlighted the centrality of the land and the struggle to preserve of its Palestinian and Arab identity. The criminalization of the movement only reinforced the defense of the land as central to a movement of indigenous people struggling to defend “the imprisoned land” from colonization.

Cultural resistance was critical for the Palestinians of ’48. Describing the growth of resistance poetry, Ghassan Kanafani wrote, “Many popular poets were put in prison or confined under severe restrictions. And as the trend of popular poetry grew and expanded, the occupying forces extended their tyrannical, measures, killed some poets and prohibited all Arab gatherings. Such measures could not anyhow uproot this trend of resistance but rather kept it dormant for almost five years to burst anew with intense force and vitality.” Poets like Samih al-Qasim and Mahmoud Darwish were imprisoned; the resistance poetry of the prison became a major contribution of the Palestinians of ’48 to Palestinian culture.

Palestinian organizations were outlawed while Palestinians were denied freedom of movement, speech and association; at the same time, the confiscation of Palestinian land continued in an ongoing Nakba; by 1993, over 80% of lands under the control of Palestinians after the Nakba in Israel were confiscated. Palestinians in ’48 were, and are, an integral part of the modern Palestinian revolution as well as fellow victims of Israel’s repression and racist violence.

Palestinians in ’48 are at the center of organizing Palestinian support for all prisoners; as most Palestinian prisoners are held within the 1948 occupied areas, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Palestinian political leaders and activists engage in visits, demonstrations outside prisons, and campaigns of support. The Palestinian movement in ’48 has played a critical role in supporting, publicizing and defending Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli hospitals, including Mohammed al-Qeeq, Khader Adnan, Mohammed Allan and many others.

land-day-6Today, 40 years later, Palestinians throughout occupied Palestine continue to resist and confront settlement expansion, land confiscation, racism, Zionism and apartheid. From the expansion of settlements, to the destruction of villages and the confiscation of land, to the ban on Palestinian agricultural products entering Jerusalem, to new racist laws proposed daily atop a racist foundation, the Israeli state continues – and is intensifying – its policy of attempting to sever the Palestinian people from the land of Palestine.

Land Day is a day of anti-colonial struggle for all Palestinians: for Palestinian prisoners, struggling for freedom in their homeland; for Palestinians in ’48, struggling against apartheid, racism, and dispossession; for Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, struggling against ethnic cleansing, occupation, home demolitions, land confiscation and settlement construction; for Palestinians in Gaza, struggling against siege and the occupation of the skies, seas and borders; for Palestinians in exile and diaspora everywhere, struggling for the right of return and the liberation of the land of Palestine. It is also an international day of anti-colonial struggle that salutes the struggles of indigenous people in North America, Australia, New Zealand and everywhere confronting settler colonialism, genocide and racism, and the liberation movements everywhere confronting imperialism and exploitation of land, people and resources.

As the extreme-right Zionist government of Netanyahu, Ayelet Shaked, Naftali Bennet, Miri Regev, Moshe Ya’alon, Gilad Erdan, Uri Ariel and their compatriots intensify the repression of Palestinians in ’48 and throughout Palestine, it is critical more than ever to intensify our efforts to defend the Palestinian people and Palestinian land, including the campaign to free all Palestinian prisoners. The international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions, and the Palestinian call that has inspired and led that campaign, highlights the struggle of Palestinians in ’48 for justice and equality as central to Palestinian freedom and justice in Palestine. On the 40th Land Day, we must escalate global boycott and BDS campaigns and the international isolation of Israel – and the corporations, like G4S, that profit from its oppression and racism.

The occupation of Palestinian land is the central facet of the settler colonial Zionist project in Palestine; Land Day marks the unity of the Palestinian land, people, and cause, everywhere inside and outside Palestine, for defending and liberating the land and people of Palestine.

Historical References:

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Anti-Trump NYT Blasts His Foreign Policy

By Stephen Lendman | March 30, 2016

He’s a serious presidential contender with unorthodox views on some issues – making him appear anti-establishment, worrying duopoly power brokers and media scoundrels supporting them.

Wide-ranging interviews with NYT and Washington Post editors, as well as opinions expressed separately, showed his foreign policy views differ considerably from other candidates.

“I want to get along with Russia,” he said, calling good relations “very good… I’d get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”

“I want to get along with all countries, and we will,” he said, calling his approach to world affairs “unabashedly noninterventionist.”

He opposes expensive worldwide nation-building projects while America’s infrastructure deteriorates.

He’s against massive US military buildups in Europe and East Asia. “We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore. NATO is costing us a fortune…”

“Why are we (risking) potentially (a) third world war with Russia?” He questions involvement in protecting allies like Japan and South Korea, wanting them to do more on their own.

US intervention abroad caused more problems than solutions, notably in the Middle East, he said.

“Every bad decision that you could make in the Middle East was made.” If Obama and Bush “just (went) to the beach and enjoyed the ocean and the sun, we would’ve been much better off… than all of this tremendous death, destruction, and… monetary loss. It’s just incredible,” he stressed.

He called NATO obsolete, preferring an alternative organization focusing on counterterrorism. He questioned the benefit of America’s global empire of bases.

He called nuclear weapons “the biggest problem the world has,” saying he’d use them only as “an absolute last step,” instead of renouncing them altogether.

The New York Times is America’s leading establishment media organization – supporting policies favoring wealth and power interests exclusively.

It editors called Trump’s foreign policy views “dangerous babble,” uneasy about an administration under his stewardship curbing its warmaking appetite – hyping nonexistent “Russia(n) aggressive movements in Ukraine and threats to the Baltics…”

Saying “this is no time (for) Washington” to restrain its global militarism. Trump’s views “are contradictory and shockingly ignorant.”

Times editors support US military involvement worldwide, its wars of aggression in multiple theaters.

They call today’s world “dangerous,” failing to explain Washington allied with Israel and other rogue states bear full responsibility for its deplorable state.

Trump if elected president will differ from traditional candidates largely in style. At the same time, if he favors more cooperation and less confrontation with other nations, “that’s a good thing” as he puts it in his own words.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

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

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Less than 5% of new flats built in Arab areas in Israel last year

MEMO | March 30, 2016

Arab residents in Israel received only 4.6 per cent of the newly built apartments during 2015, a reported issued yesterday revealed. The report, which was issued by the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel Adalah, said that it monitored government bidding for building new apartments in 2015 and found that Israel is adopting “racial” policies in this regard and it resulted in a “severe residential crisis” in Arab villages and cities in Israel.

According to the report, which was prepared by the Lawyer Mohamed Bassam from Adalah, the overwhelming majority of land and houses marketed during the year were specified for Jewish communities.

Statistics showed that the Arab residents in Israel only had 4.6 per cent of the marketed houses during 2015; however, Arabs make up 20 per cent of the Israeli population.

Only 2.5 per cent of the apartments marketed with discounted prices were available to Arabs.

Regarding the number of bids for industrial zones, the report showed that the Arab cities and villages received only two of 20, and five out of 42 bids to establish commercial zones.

Adalah warned in its report that a solution for the residential crisis of the Palestinian community in Israel will never be achieved unless Israel reforms the historical “deep racial” plans adopted against Arabs.

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces ‘assault’ Palestinians detained for Facebook posts


Ma’an – March 30, 2016

RAMALLAH – Four Palestinians arrested this week for Facebook posts have spoken of physical assault during their detention and interrogation, in the latest evidence to emerge of abuse that rights groups say is systemic in Israel’s jails.

The testimonies were collected by the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs and relate to four Palestinian youths, including at least two teenagers detained overnight Tuesday.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a lawyer with the committee, said 19-year-old Sameh Abu Sel was “seriously assaulted” when Israeli forces stormed his home in al-Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron on Tuesday.

The youth was tied up and left outdoors in cold weather for more than 10 hours, al-Sheikh said, noting that the mistreatment left him sick.

Meanwhile, al-Sheikh said that 18-year-old Ahmad Raed Jadallah, from Beit Ur at-Tahta in Ramallah district, was physically assaulted by Israeli forces during the four-hour drive to the Etzion detention center after he too was detained Tuesday.

The lawyer also cited two other recently detained Palestinians — Muhammad Mahmoud Othman and Muhammad Samer Othman — who also spoke of being physically assaulted in the Etzion detention center, although no further details were provided.

All four detainees were charged with “inciting violence” against Israel in posts made Facebook, al-Sheikh said.

In recent months, Israeli has detained scores of Palestinians for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by “incitement.”

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.

Those detained for Facebook posts join an estimated 7,000 Palestinians currently inside Israeli prisons, where reports of mistreatment and torture is common.

Earlier this year, Israeli rights group B’Tselem released a report documenting “systemic” torture in Israel’s Shkima prison, which they said was taking place with total impunity.

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli Minster Calls for “Civil Targeted Killings” of BDS Leaders

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | March 30, 2016

The Yediot Achronot conference attacking BDS has become a veritable carnival of hate.  Everyone from delusional Hollywood celebrities (Roseanne Barr) to cabinet ministers, to the leader of the Opposition have pledged fealty to the cause.

But the apogee came yesterday when Transportation Minister Israel Katz called for the “civil targeted killing” of BDS leaders like Omar Barghouti. The phrase he used (sikul ezrahi memukad) derives from the euphemistic Hebrew phrase for the targeted killing of a terrorist (the literal meaning is “targeted thwarting”). But the added word “civil” makes it something different. Katz is saying that we won’t physically murder BDS opponents, but we will do everything short of that.

One may rightly ask what business a transportation minister has conducting targeted killings, physical or otherwise, against anyone. Though everything in Israel is in service to the national security state, has transportation fallen under that bailiwick as well?

We are entering dangerous territory when an Israeli cabinet minister engages in wordplay that verges on putting a bull’s-eye on the backs of non-violent activists. If there are Israel apologists out there who dismiss the significance of such rhetoric they are sadly mistaken. In this torrid political environment in which Israeli leftists have become criminals and wounded Palestinian youth may be summarily executed in the street, it is only too easy to foresee Palestinian activists like Barghouti having a bounty on their heads.

Does anyone doubt there are scores of Yigal Amirs out there who’d be pleased to strike a blow for their hateful cause by putting a bullet in the head of a Palestinian?

Not to be outdone, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri called for stripping BDS founder Omar Barghouti of his Israeli residency, which he gained in 1994 when he married an Israeli citizen. Deri claimed that Barghouti is employing a scam against Israel because his main residence is Ramallah and not Israel (though he’s pursuing, or has completed, an MA at Tel Aviv University). Given Katz’s ever so veiled threat against him it would be no wonder if Barghouti did choose to value his safety and live where he’s not under threat of death.

In this context, it’s ironic Facebook activists have posted a gag order involving a potential criminal case against Deri himself. It seems that the Israeli Attorney General has been investigating criminal charges of an unspecified nature. It’s important to recall that Deri has been charged with corruption in the past, been convicted, and spent time in prison. However, when his sentence was served, he was reappointed to the leadership of the Shas party, won a seat in the Knesset, and became interior minister. It appears this recycled thief may be up to the same old tricks once more.

Deri’s spiritual boss, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, told an audience of the faithful a few weeks ago that under Jewish law, no Palestinian should be allowed to live in the land of Israel. In other words, he was espousing the ethnic cleansing of Israel, and the expulsion of 20% of its population. Only later did the rabbi explain that he wasn’t, God forbid, proposing that Palestinians be expelled now, but that this would only happen after the Messiah came and Israel was a proper halachic state. Is it any surprise that Deri himself would jump on the band wagon and commence the expulsion by stripping Barghouti of his legal rights to residency?

Israel’s major concert promoter, Shuki Weiss, who plays a major role in combating the cultural boycott against Israel, complained at the Yediot conference that Deri’s interior ministry was demanding that international artists wishing to perform in Israel sign a loyalty oath in order to obtain a visa. The ministry immediately denied the claim. And concert promoters aren’t known for being fonts of truth. So it’s hard to know what’s the truth in this context. But given how extreme this government is and how petty its leadership, it’s not hard to believe a ministry official would think it was a terrific idea to pressure Elton John to sign a loyalty oath before permitting him to step foot in the Holy Land.

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Enforcing UK surveillance powers may cost over £1bn, 7 times original estimate

RT | March 30, 2016

Online surveillance on the scale proposed in the UK government’s Investigatory Powers Bill could end up costing more than £1.2 billion, over seven times the Home Office’s highest estimate.

A Danish digital rights group told British MPs the government’s estimated cost of rolling out a new system for spying on internet users is too low and could only cover “a small part” of the population.

Denmark recently suspended plans to introduce a similar internet surveillance program after an official study by Ernst & Young (EY) found set-up costs would be much higher than originally projected.

The IT-Political Association of Denmark said in written evidence to the committee scrutinizing the Investigatory Powers Bill that Britain should expect a similarly high price tag.

“Based on the new cost information from Denmark, it seems unlikely that the Home Office budget can cover a sufficiently effective ICR implementation, unless only a small part of the British population is subjected to [ICRs].”

The revised bill, published last month, ignored criticism from MPs by expanding the most controversial powers.

The new legislation requires internet companies to collect and store everyone’s web browsing history for 12 months, and gives security services the power to hack into citizens’ computers and smartphones.

Home Secretary Theresa May estimates the Home Office would need to compensate internet companies between £130.6 million and £164.4 million to start new data systems capable of gathering and storing the public’s Internet Connection Records (ICRs).

In addition, the government projects running costs of £4.4 million to £5.6 million over 10 years.

However, the EY study from Denmark suggests costs could be exponentially higher. EY found the cost of building computer systems capable of collecting and storing ICRs would be about £19 per person.

If this figure is the same for the UK, with its 64.6 million population, it adds up to a hefty £1.2 billion price tag.

Liberal Democrat peer Paul Strasburger, who sits on the committee, called on the government to “scrap this bad idea.”

“This news about the real cost should be the final nail in the coffin for ICRs.

“The Danes found that it was about as useful as a chocolate teapot for catching criminals or preventing terrorism, and anyway it is very easy for the bad guys to evade.

“What’s worse is that collecting everyone’s data would put every British internet user at risk of having their most intimate information stolen by hackers, thieves, and blackmailers,” Strasburger concluded.

The Mirror reports a Home Office spokesperson as claiming the Danish model is not comparable to the plan outlined in the Investigatory Powers Bill.

The Home Office said an updated figure would be published before the bill is passed, but could not give a date.

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Police shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes was lawful, rules ECHR

RT | March 30, 2016

Strasbourg’s European Court of Human Rights has ruled it was ‘right not to charge’ police over the 2005 shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles De Menezes.

Brazilian electrician De Menezes died in 2005 after he was pinned down by police on a London train and shot 11 times. Strasbourg’s European Court of Human Rights ruled on Wednesday that the killing was lawful.

The shooting took place nearly 11 years ago in the tense days following the 7/7 terror attacks in which 56 Londoners died.

De Menezes, 27, was pursued by armed police into Stockwell Underground Station, South London, on July 22, 2005. They allegedly believed he was a terrorist fugitive.

The electrician, who lived in the same block of flats as several of the [alleged] 7/7 bombers, was shot 11 times at close range.

The decision brings an end to a decade-long legal battle in which the De Menezes family argued the threshold for police use of lethal force was too low, meaning the 27-year-old was killed despite a lack of evidence suggesting he posed a security threat.

The deceased’s cousin Patricia Armani Da Silva in 2008 had challenged an earlier ruling by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which said none of the officers should face charges.

A 2006 report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) suggested a number of command mistakes had led to the killing. It identified several instances that may constitute criminal acts, including gross negligence and murder.

However, the CPS decided not to press charges at the time, saying there was a low possibility of conviction.

A 2008 inquest rejected the official account of the killing, but returned an open verdict arguing it was not within the power of the jury to push for unlawful killing prosecutions.

Mystery still surrounds the involvement of a shadowy military Special Forces unit called the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) in the events leading up to the killing.

The unit had been tailing De Menezes. But in the immediate aftermath of the killing Whitehall sources told the Guardian their roles had been purely surveillance, and that there was “no direct military involvement in the shooting.”

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

US, three allies urge UN meeting on Iran missile tests

Press TV – March 30, 2016

The United States and some of its European allies have reportedly called for a meeting at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Iran’s recent missile tests, which they claim were carried out in defiance of a UN resolution.

According to a letter reportedly obtained by Western news outlets on Tuesday, the US, Britain, France, and Germany have asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Spain’s UN Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi for discussions on an “appropriate response” by the UNSC to Iran’s missile tests.

The four countries claimed that the missiles used in Iran’s recent tests were “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons” and were “inconsistent with” and “in defiance of” UNSC Resolution 2231 (2015), adopted last July to endorse a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

Spain has been assigned the task of coordinating UNSC discussions on Resolution 2231.

The claim comes even as Resolution 2231 does not prohibit Iran from testing missiles, and only “calls upon” the Islamic Republic to refrain from testing missiles “designed to be capable of” carrying nuclear warheads. Iran has made clear that it does not seek to build nuclear warheads to be carried on missiles and has put its atomic activities under unprecedented, enhanced international supervision under the nuclear deal with the P5+1.

On March 9, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) successfully test-fired two ballistic missiles as part of measures to assess IRGC capabilities. The missiles, dubbed Qadr-H and Qadr-F, were fired during large-scale drills code-named Eqtedar-e-Velayat.

Iran fired another ballistic missile dubbed Qiam from silo-based launchers in different locations across the country on March 8.

A similar US-led bid against the Iranian missile tests failed in March, as other diplomats in a closed-door UNSC meeting on Iran back then made it clear that Resolution 2231 did not prohibit Iranian missile tests and thus a response was not warranted to such tests.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin reiterated that, in the view of veto-wielding Russia, Iran’s ballistic missile tests did not violate Resolution 2231.

In the new letter, the four countries refrained from using the term “violation,” saying instead that the Iranian missile tests were “in defiance of” the resolution. However carefully-worded, it is not clear what kind of legal action the four countries would want to be taken against Iran, as the Islamic Republic says it has not violated its commitments.

Resolution 2231 (2015), which endorses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the Iran-P5+1 agreement — provides for the termination of the provisions of previous Security Council resolutions over the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran argues its missiles are defensive and designed to carry conventional explosives only.

Earlier this month, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the missiles are a means of defense. “We spent a fraction of any other country in the region on defense, and missiles are a means of defense that we require,” he said.

Tehran insists that given the deepening insecurity in the region and the fact that many countries are spending hefty sums on arms purchases, it needs to boost its defensive missile program.

The US, Britain, France, and Germany were, along with China and Russia, members of the P5+1. Iran and the six other countries started implementing the deal on January 16.

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , | 2 Comments