Aletho News


American lawyers request investigation into the Jewish National Fund status


PNN/Bethlehem – March 31, 2016

The U.S. National Lawyers Guild (NLG) on Wednesday submitted a regulatory challenge to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requesting an investigation into the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) on grounds of discrimination and contravention of U.S. policy.

According to the NLG, the JNF enjoys tax-exempt status as a charitable organization in the United States even though the reality of its work- supporting Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine – is anything but charitable.

The JNF’s mandate is to promote racist and discriminatory policies such as forcibly displacing Palestinians from their lands to make way for Jewish-only housing developments, including inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

The JNF’s support for illegal settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem also means its activities violate longstanding official U.S. policies against settlements, as well as international law.

“The IRS has an obligation to revoke the JNF’s status because of its involvement in displacing Palestinian Bedouins from the Negev Desert and elsewhere, and because of its support for illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” said Andrew Dalack, one of the co-chairs of the NLGIC’s Palestine Subcommittee. “How can the IRS certify with a straight face that the JNF is organized for a charitable purpose when it engages in conduct that violates international law and well-established U.S. foreign policy?”

The regulatory challenge is part of a larger international Stop the JNF Campaign that seeks to end the JNF’s role in Israel’s continuing displacement of Palestinians.

Efforts targeting the JNF are part of a growing boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement in support of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice, and equality.

The campaign is calling for people to take part in Days of Action from March 30-April 18 (Tax Day) to pressure the IRS to respond to the regulatory challenge and launch an investigation into the JNF.


“The JNF is complicit in Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and it is completely unacceptable that an organization engaging in war crimes is considered to be a charity in the United States,“ said Ramah Kudaimi of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. “It is also confusing how U.S. policy is clear about settlements being a primary obstacle to peace but Americans are allowed to give money to an organization that supports these very same settlements.”

Founded in 1901, the JNF is a quasi-governmental Israeli agency that has played a major role in the dispossession of the Palestinians people, planting forests to help cover the reality of the more than 400 Palestinian towns and villages destroyed when Israel was created in 1948.

Today the JNF continues to play an important role in the dispossession of Palestinians in both in the 48 territories -Israeland the in the occupied West Bank.

The complaint was filed on Land Day because on this day Palestinians commemorate the day in 1976 when the IOF killed six Palestinians who were peacefully protesting the appropriation of their land.

“For nearly 70 years Palestinians have been resisting Israel’s continued theft of our land,” said Nick Sous of the US Palestinian Community Network. “So many Palestinians have been directly impacted by Israel’s stealing their land with the support of the JNF and it is shameful that the IRS actually awards people who donate to support these illegal actions by allowing them to get a tax write-off.”

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Trump Way to the Left of Clinton on Foreign Policy – In Fact, He’s Damn Near Anti-Empire

By Glen Ford | Black Agenda Report | March 30, 2016

If the Bernie Sanders campaign has propelled the word “socialism” – if not its actual meaning – into common, benign American usage, Donald Trump may have done the world an even greater service, by calling into question the very pillars of U.S. imperial policy: the NATO alliance; the U.S. nuclear “umbrella”; the global network of 1,000 U.S. bases; military “containment” of China and Russia; and U.S. “strategic” claims in the Persian Gulf. Were the U.S. to actually rid itself of these strategic “obligations,” the military hand on the doomsday clock would immediately be rolled back, giving humanity the breathing space to tackle other accumulated crises.

Of course, Donald Trump may over time rephrase, reverse or “clarify” out of existence some of his profoundly anti-imperial, “America First” foreign policy points, elicited in extended interviews with major U.S. media. However, if Trump’s tens of millions of white, so-called “Middle American” followers stick by him, despite his foreign policy heresies – as seems likely – it will utterly shatter the prevailing assumption that the American public favors maintenance of U.S. empire by military means. If the rank and file right wing of the Republican Party is not a pillar of such policies, then who is? – rank and file, Black, white and brown Democrats? If the Trump candidacy can continue to thrive while rejecting the holiest shibboleths of the bipartisan War Party, then we must conclude that the whole U.S. foreign policy debate is a construct of the corporate media and the corporate-bought duopoly political establishments, and that there is no popular consensus for U.S. militarism and no true mass constituency for war in either party.

If Donald Trump is to be the catalyst for such a revelation, then may all the gods bless him – because lots of assassins will be out to kill him.

Trump’s language is sloppy, but there can be no mistaking the thrust of his position on key points. He calls NATO, the globe-strutting Euro-American military juggernaut that extended its domain to Africa with the 2011 war of regime change in Libya, an alliance that is “unfair, economically, to us.” Trump told the New York Times that NATO should focus on “counter-terrorism” – clearly a fundamentally scaled-down mission.

He repeated his often-expressed willingness to withdraw U.S. forces from Japan and South Korea, where American troops have been stationed since the end of World War Two, unless both countries pay a lot more money to maintain them. Trump actually seems eager to get out of the region, based on the number of times he has brought the subject up in his campaign. As with everything else in the Trump paradigm, he hooks the alliance to his quest for a “better deal” – but the point is that he doesn’t think the “price” of the far-flung U.S. military commitment is “worth it.” Trump’s stated intention to renegotiate virtually all of the “deals” the U.S. has made around the world – the military architecture of imperialism – means he is pointedly applying a cost-benefit test to the 1,000 U.S. bases around the globe. He is reluctant to offer other nations the “protection” of U.S. nuclear weapons.

The crucial point is: Trump does not accept the fundamental premise that these bases exist for U.S. “security” interests, but rather, he frames them as a kind of “service” that the clients should pay for. Once the “national security” veneer is withdrawn, the military-imperial rationale evaporates and all that is left is a business transaction – not enough to call a nation to war, or to risk a world over.

Trump appears to welcome a strategic break with Saudi Arabia, threatening to cut off U.S. purchases of oil from the kingdom unless it “substantially reimburse[s]” Washington for fighting the Islamic State, or unless the Saudis and the other rich oil states commit troops to the anti-jihadist battle – at their own expense. It’s all nonsense, of course, since Washington and Saudi Arabia have been partners in global jihadism for two generations – but so what? Trump seems to relish the idea of severing the Saudi connection. “If Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection, I don’t think it would be around,” he said. His threat to withdraw the “cloak” unless the potentates pay for protection would negate the U.S. “national security” rationale in the Persian Gulf going back to President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1943 declaration that “the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States.” President Carter, another Democrat, upped the ante in 1980 with his doctrine that the United States would use military force if necessary to defend its “national interests” in the Persian Gulf. Bush presidents One and Two were simply building on these previous national security rationales. Trump recognizes no such imperative, without which U.S. imperial policy in the region has no political basis.

Trump plays the trade card rather than the military gambit in dealing with China. He would threaten economic retaliation for China’s fortification of islands in the China Sea – not military encirclement. “We have tremendous economic power over China, and that’s the power of trade,” he said. The same, presumably, would apply to Russia.

The presidential candidate shows no interest in “spreading democracy,” like George W. Bush, or assuming a responsibility to “protect” other peoples from their own governments, like Barack Obama and his political twin, Hillary Clinton. On the contrary, Trump has stated that the U.S. should not have invaded Iraq and Libya and killed their leaders, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, because they killed terrorists – in contrast to Hillary Clinton’s macabre cackling over Gaddafi’s body. He opposed the U.S. proxy war against the al-Assad government in Syria, for similar reasons.

He even briefly defied the ultimate taboo, using the word “neutral” to describe the stance he would take on Palestine.

In sum, albeit sloppily, and with no guarantee that he won’t change his mind at any moment, Trump has rejected the whole gamut of U.S. imperial war rationales, from FDR straight through to the present. For who knows what reason, Trump is busily delegitimizing U.S. imperial policy since World War Two.

It’s not that the Empire has no clothes, but that it is being stripped of its rationale to march around the planet in battle gear. Thanks, not to Bernie, but to The Donald.

Trump has reduced white American nationalism to Race, his “trump” card – but without his hero, Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet sailing the world to plant the flag on distant shores.

The first effect of Trump’s intervention in the Republican primaries was to demonstrate that his white hordes really don’t give a damn for the GOP establishment’s corporate agenda; indeed, Trump gave them a chance to show they hated what global capitalism has done to “their” jobs. The fact that this cohort despises and fears non-whites of whatever citizenship status is nothing new – it’s a constant in U.S. politics, which is why there has always been a White Man’s Party. What makes this electoral season different – and, hopefully, a turning point in U.S. history – is that much of the rank and file of the White Man’s Party, the GOP, is rejecting the economic agenda of its corporate masters. If the Republican voters accept Trump’s assault on the ideological rationale undergirding U.S. foreign policy and its imperial structures, there will be nothing left of the GOP for the corporate rulers to defend. The Republican house of cards is collapsing, inevitably throwing the whole duopoly system out of whack.

The job of the Left, at this historic juncture, is to ensure that the two-party duopoly is permanently broken, to create the space for a much broader national discourse and, especially, to free Black America from the “trap within a trap” of the corporate-controlled Democratic Party. As we have written before in these pages, the best scenario of 2016 would be a fracture at both ends of the Rich Man’s Duopoly. It is insane – although perfectly explainable – that the most leftish constituency in the nation, Black America, is aligned with the right wing of the Democratic Party in the person of Hillary Clinton, while white Democrats man the barricades for the nominal socialist, Bernie Sanders. Blacks are the most pro-peace ethnicity in the nation, but have also been the indispensable bloc behind Hillary Clinton, the warmonger who is on her way to becoming the sole candidate of both Wall Street and the Pentagon.

It is magnificent, grand and glorious that the duopoly system is in deep trouble. But it is sad beyond measure that the near-extinction of independent Black politics has placed African Americans in the most untenable position imaginable at this critical moment: in the Hillary Clinton camp. Fortunately, key elements of the Movement for Black Lives have pledged not to endorse any candidates this election season. We hope that they stick with that commitment, continue to build a grassroots movement, and resist the corporate Democratic hegemony that has strangled and subverted Black politics for the past 40 years. The Black Left, broadly defined, must engage in a thorough reassessment of its politics and practice, in light of the great fissures that are occurring in the structures of the rulers’ system. That’s why the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is holding a National Conference on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and the Struggle for Black Self-Determination, on April 9th, in Harlem, New York City. This electoral season will see massive realignments of parties and coalitions – events that will happen whether Black people are organized or not. But Black self-determination is only moved forward if people push it. The most optimum time to press issues of Black self-determination is when the larger polity is in flux, such as exists today – thanks, in great measure, to the racist billionaire, Donald Trump.

Actually, there’s no need to thank him. That wealth-born son-of-a-rich-developer has already been paid. And by his own standards, that’s all that matters.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas slams Twitter for closing of accounts

Press TV – April 1, 2016

Hamas has slammed Twitter for closing several accounts linked to the Palestinian resistance movement, saying the company is biased in favor of the Israeli regime.

The Hamas military wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement on Friday that its English- and Arabic-language accounts had been shut down for the third time in a fortnight.

Twitter is showing a “clear bias to the Israeli occupation where it should (adopt a) neutral position toward both sides,” the statement added.

It said that the closure comes while Twitter allows Israeli officials to encourage “racism, extremism and terrorism” on the social networking site.

Qassam also urged Twitter to reopen its accounts, saying one of those closed accounts had been followed by over 140,000 followers.

Twitter declined to comment, saying in a statement that the company does not comment on individual accounts citing “privacy and security reasons.”

Since its establishment in December 1987, Hamas has refused to recognize Israel and adopted resistance against the Israeli occupation, which it believes is the sole way of bringing about the liberation of occupied Palestinian territories. The movement says its goal is to liberate the entire Palestine.

The Palestinian resistance movement scored a landslide victory in Palestinian elections in 2006. Hamas has ruled the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, while Fatah has set up headquarters in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.

Israel has waged three large-scale aerial and ground wars on Gaza in the past seven years. In its latest act of aggression in the summer of 2014, which lasted for 50 days, the regime killed about 2,200 Palestinians and inflicted heavy damage on Gaza’s infrastructure and economy. In that latest Israeli aggression, Twitter shut down most of Hamas’ accounts.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Why do Palestinians commemorate Land Day?


Palestinian Information Center – April 1, 2016

Palestinians commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Land Day on Wednesday, March 30 with various events. To understand the importance of that Day and why it is observed each year we should go back a little bit in history.

In 1976, the Israeli authorities confiscated large areas of Palestinian lands in the Galilee triggering large-scale protests that ended with killing 6 Palestinians and the injury of more than 100 others.

Palestinians all over the world commemorate the Day in marches and rallies to reflect their resilience in facing the Israeli occupation.

The events actually date back to the establishment of Israel in 1948, also known as the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe), when around 150,000 Palestinians remained in their homes in historical Palestine.

Israel granted them the Israeli nationality, but it kept confiscating their lands and restricting their rights to encourage their migration out of their homeland.

In 1976, the Israeli authorities confiscated vast areas of the lands of these Palestinians in regions with Palestinian majority in the Galilee, a region in northern Palestine.

Israel reacted to the nonviolent protests of Palestinians by gunfire and brutal force. Six Palestinians were slaughtered, more than a hundred injured, and many more arrested.

Resistance Day

Dr. Ghassan Wishah, head of the Department of History and Archeology at the Islamic University of Gaza, stressed the need of informing the world about the importance of this Day, saying, “When Zionists declared the establishment of their state in 1948, they expelled two thirds of the Palestinian people and took over 78% of the their land.”

He added that a significant number of Palestinians persisted in their homes, and Israel started attempts to brainwash them so they would forget about Palestine.

Wishah pointed out, “This Day shows the world that Palestinians insist on their demands, that Israel has failed, and that the new generation is stronger than the older one.”


Ghassan al-Shami, a political analyst and a specialist in the Palestinian history, said, “We can never forget our land especially with the Israeli occupation stealing thousands of acres and building settlements on a daily basis.”

He stated that hard work is required so that Palestinians would devote more time and effort toward their lands through events on the ground and on social media to put pressure on Israel to stop the Judaization attempts of the Palestinian lands.

Al-Shami stressed the importance of delivering the Palestinian message to the world in all possible ways to win international support for regaining the Palestinian lands and rights.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

The Ultimate Trial of Israeli Society

By Yoav Litvin | CounterPunch | April 1, 2016

Last Thursday, March 24th, an Israel defense force (IDF) soldier was filmed executing a wounded Palestinian man alleged to have carried out a stabbing attack against IDF soldiers in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. The videographer responsible for the filming is Imad Abu Shamsiya, a Palestinian shoemaker who has since received death threats and intimidation from extreme right-wing Israeli settlers with the prospect of a potential lawsuit. Though the incident is part of a wave of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians carried out by Israeli soldiers, this particular case is different. Here, the film unambiguously shows that the wounded Palestinian man did not present a danger to his surrounding. Quite shockingly, not only does the film implicate the executioner; it also shows his IDF comrades as completely unfazed by the incident, including medical personnel. What’s more, the soldier has received a wave of public support that politicians from the right-wing have seized as an opportunity to further erode the moral fabric of Israeli society in a bid to serve their political and ideological interests.

But what is the significance of yet another injustice in an endless list of those committed as a result of the occupation? While cold-blooded murder is an “official” taboo for the “most moral army in the world”, last week’s execution and Israeli society’s response to it may serve as a milestone on the long and ugly road toward complete dehumanization of Palestinians and the resulting collapse of Israeli society.

A civilized society is comprised of a collective of people who share a common moral fabric, which is held together by taboos at its extremes. The moral boundaries define the mindset at the center, which represents the majority of the society’s people. These boundaries are typically codified by laws and the practices of enforcement. For example, the United States constitution defines the rights and restrictions and it is the evolving interpretation and enforcement of these by which people are either included or excluded from the American collective.

Within societies there are constant tugs of war between forces that reside on its extremes. The fundamental goal of these forces is to stretch or shrink the moral boundaries of the society in directions that serve particular agendas: ideological, economical or otherwise.

Taboos which truly anchor a society are deeply entrenched within the human psyche. Thus, the process of undermining them with the purpose of redefining a society is gradual and includes resistance on the one hand and persistence on the other.

The process of breaking taboos and redefining moral boundaries begins with experimentation. When such an experiment is successful, it becomes a precedent that serves to shatter a taboo. Furthermore, if experiments and the resulting precedents they set are not met with sufficient resistance, the extreme boundaries of the moral fabric stretch, shifting the society as a whole in a particular direction that can be either regressive or progressive.

Rosa Parks is known as an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. In an act of civil disobedience, on December 1st, 1955, Parks refused to relinquish her bus seat to a white passenger. Her courageous experiment served to galvanize many in the struggle against racial segregation. Parks’ case became a precedent, which shifted the moral fabric of American society in a progressive direction. But Parks was not the first to protest segregation on buses, so what made her act successful?

An experiment can set a precedent only within a broader context of a society that is primed for that particular change. In addition, an experiment must withstand a variety of challenges to its integrity. In Parks’ case, American society was ready for desegregation. Plus, she was viewed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as a good candidate to see through the court proceedings in Montgomery, Alabama. Collectively, her experiment set a precedent, which significantly helped serve to shatter a taboo.

In Israel, right-wing forces are using the recently filmed execution as an experiment. Their goal is to test the Israeli mainstream reaction when faced with an uncensored cold-blooded murder of a Palestinian. Thus, Israeli society faces a watershed in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: If this incident is to pass without a firm conviction of the soldier involved and his commanders, together with an independent inquiry into the lax rules of engagement of the IDF, a dangerous, notorious, and graphic precedent will be set. The precedent will solidify the complete dehumanization of Palestinians and pave the way for further ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and even genocide, en route toward the messianic fantasy of Greater Israel.

Yoav Litvin is a Doctor of Psychology/ Behavioral Neuroscience.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

The Cowards’ Wars

By Luciana Bohne | CounterPunch | April 1, 2016

As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods.

They kill us for their sport

— Edgar in William Shakespeare’s “King Lear”

[The condemnation of Radovan Karadzic to forty years of imprisonment by the International Crime Tribunal-Yugoslavia occasions these reflections.]

They come; they see; people die. They laugh. Or say it was worth it. Their maps are not a territory inhabited by living beings; they are military targets. They bomb from safe altitudes, no lower than 15,000 feet (Yugoslavia, 1999, for example) to protect their own volunteer warriors. In 38,000 sorties and 22,000 tons of bombs in three months (Yugoslavia, 1999), they never lost a plane. They promise the people their bombs will not harm a hair on their heads; then, they bomb markets and bridges at noon, when people are at their thickest; the say they are as careful at noon as they are at midnight. They claim they have nothing against the people—only against their leaders; then they bomb water supplies, electrical grids, schools, hospitals, churches, libraries, museums. They hold civilians in their power, hostages to their air force, their cluster and phosphorus bombs. They poison the land with depleted uranium and raise whole crops of human cancers for generations. They send drones. They fund, train, and arm cutthroat armies. They terrorize civilians for their political ends. They are the humanitarians of the “international community,” and they have nothing to envy the conquistadores, the exterminators of native people, the enslavers, the imperialists of times gone by. They are the agents of collateral genocide.

They are the terror they claim to fight, and they dress it in noble words.

“Operation Iraqi Freedom” (9 March to 9 April 2003) claimed from 40,000 to 100,000 Iraqi military deaths. “Insurgent” deaths (April 2003 to January 2009) amounted to between 26, 320 and 27, 000. Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated from between 190,000 and one million. The death toll for “Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan” (2001-2014) adds up to 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan. By contrast, the NATO British contingent in Afghanistan, a total of 134,780 troops, lost 447. At a conservative estimate the total deaths caused by the “war on terror” in these three war zones alone are 1.3 million (estimates from Iraqi Body Count, The Lancet, Physicians for Social Responsibility). But these estimates include only deaths resulting from violent conflict. They do not include deaths resulting from the aftermath of war—destroyed infrastructure and support institutions. From sanctions: the regime of sanction in Iraq, August 6th (Hiroshima Day) 1991 to 2003, claimed 1.7 million Iraqi lives, according to UN data.

How do they get away with it? By thwarting, strong-arming, co-opting, bribing, rewriting, and abusing international law: the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1976 amended Geneva Conventions (on the laws and customs of war, which the US did not sign), the Charter of the United Nations, and their own constitutions. They wage wars of aggression in the name of abstractions or noble causes—“the war on terror,” R2P, “human rights,” and the prize, “genocide,” debasing the term, if convenient, to a street rumble between two ethnic groups.

What if the United Nations issued a resolution banning wars on abstractions? The “wars on terror” would become illegal (and, no, they didn’t end with Obama; they just became the “humanitarian wars”). The Security Council could order a “global police action” to sweep up and “neutralize” the army of cutthroats. So far, only Russia has shown, with actions in Syria, that it is willing to act to remove the terrorist scourge, whose atrocities proliferate and extend from the Middle East, through the heart of Africa, to European capitals. As I write, the Syrian Army, backed by Russian airstrikes, has retaken Palmyra, a significant strategic victory, opening the way to liberation of Raqqa, the IS stronghold, in the east of Syria.

But, in fact, there is no need for such a resolution. The UN Charter forbids wars of aggression. It specifies that breaking the peace to wage a “war of choice” is the “supreme international crime.” The provisions of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC) include jurisdiction over crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes but exclude the “supreme international crime,” the crime of aggression. This exclusion resulted at the instigation of the US in 1998-99, just as it prepared to attack Serbia in the Kosovo War. The US signed (Clinton) and then unsigned (Bush) the statute, without ever intending to ratify it, but it meddled, bullied and coerced so as to make it clear who was in charge of writing and unwriting the laws, who had the right to impunity ad infinitum, based on its assumed altruistic morality of intervening to adjust the affairs of the world.

The US exercised every political muscle to subordinate the ICC to the authority of the Security Council, where it could exercise its veto power to deep-six any prosecution of crimes it opposed. It favored ad-hoc tribunals such as the International Tribunal for Crimes in Yugoslavia (ICTY), instituted by the Security Council in 1993, at the request of the US. A virtual kangaroo court, it abducted and tried Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague in a show trial for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes—without any substantial evidence, limiting time for cross-examination by the defense, using pseudo-legal pretexts to harass and obstruct it, treating the defense contemptuously, and in every way demonstrating that the tribunal was politically motivated, a feature contrary to the spirit and purpose of criminal law. The tribunal refused to investigate credible evidence charging NATO with war crimes, though it was charged with investigating crimes committed by all parties in the tragic secession wars of Yugoslavia. An example will suffice to demonstrate the political bias of the tribunal: Milosevic was indicted, among other spurious charges, for murdering 374 people; NATO killed 500 civilians. Only one of the two was investigated.

Failing to secure impunity for aggression by placing the ICC under the authority of the Security Council, the US insisted on an amendment, preventing the court from exercising that jurisdiction, until seven eights of ratifying states agreed on a definition of aggression and the means by which it could be prosecuted. Until the angels stop dancing on the pin of that prevarication, the US and its junior partners in the “international community” can freely exercise their right to crimes of aggression. This is how the ICC lists the crimes of aggression it is prevented from prosecuting:

*Invasion or attack by armed forces against territory

*Military occupation of territory

*Annexation of territory

*Bombardment against territory

*Use of any weapons against territory

*Blockade of ports or coasts

*Attack on the land, sea. Or air forces or marine and air fleets

*The use of armed forces which are within the territory of another state by agreement, but in contravention of the conditions of the agreement

*Allowing territory to be used by another state to perpetrate an act of aggression against a third state

*Sending armed bands, groups, irregulars, or mercenaries to carry out acts of armed force

Tell me one crime of aggression the “international community,” the dogs of war, has not committed with impunity since the unfortunate downfall of the Soviet Union in their unopposed quest for recolonizing the world? Do you wonder that Putin is garnering so much global popularity for insisting on acting within the law? How many Security Council resolutions have authorized actions by the “international community” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen—not to mention actions in martyred Africa or the underhanded counter-reform chicaneries in Latin America? None. This is a period of American absolutism, which is wiping clean the rule of law off the face of the earth. The result is creeping barbarism. No one is safe from Timbuktu to Brussels. Anarchy is indeed loosed upon the world.

Take Libya: now that it is not even a functional state, does any law there even apply? Why do the cowards who destroyed it bother to twist themselves into knots, like serpents in a pit, to justify a second intervention? Why don’t they maraud right in—like ISIS does? Because cowards cannot admit to cowardice, much less submit to judgment–and because the tatters they made of the law are the last cover for these scoundrels’ moral nakedness. They drag others into their bolgia of deepening Hell. Right now, for NATO member Italy, it’s a question of complying with US request, already approved in late February, to use the military base at Sigonella, Sicily, to send drones to Libya to protect American Special Forces while they clear out ISIS. Since when have Special Forces required the assistance of a mechanical Mary Poppins? They’re supposed to be in dangerous situation, by definition. It’s not conscience that “makes cowards of [them] all.” It’s criminality. If Qaddafi had not been sadistically and illegally removed (check list of crimes of aggression above) there would be no ISIS in Libya.

Never mind: Sigonella will be used for American drone raids in Libya. Opposition in the Italian Parliament and public opinion are vocally against this use, so the Italian government is presenting the project as “defensive,” just as in 1999 the formula of “integrated defense” was deployed to justify the use of Italian Tornadoes bombing Yugoslavia. Drones in this case will not be “defensive.” Contrary to the idea of protecting Special Forces, drones depend on precisely those forces on the ground to furnish the exact coordinates of the target the drone must hit and destroy. Precision attacks will be launched from Sigonella not “integrated defense.”

And then what? Retaliation— Paris, Istanbul, Beirut, Brussels in Rome or Milan? State of siege in Italy? Suspension of civil liberties? Hecatombs of dead civilians? Well may the Italian government resent the publicity the United States has bestowed on the accord over the use of Sigonella. They would have preferred to keep the accord secret, hoping that ISIS wouldn’t notice Italy’s collaboration with US forces in Libya. Fat chance, but cowards and gangsters think like that—make it look like an accident or construct “plausible deniability.”

“Your wars; our dead” is a popular poster in protests against wars in Italy. It expresses the consciousness of the ultimate cowardice of these wars, and, indeed, of all aggressive wars.

Luciana Bohne is co-founder of Film Criticism, a journal of cinema studies, and teaches at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. She can be reached at:

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Turkey is key supplier of weapons, military hardware to ISIS – Russian envoy to UN

RT | April 1, 2016

Moscow has submitted data on Turkey’s illegal arms and military hardware supply to Islamic State in Syria to the UN Security Council. Supplies are supervised by the Turkish intelligence service, Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said as cited by Russian media.

“The main supplier of weapons and military equipment to ISIL fighters is Turkey, which is doing so through non-governmental organizations. Work in this area is overseen by the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey,” Churkin wrote.

According to the envoy, transportation “mainly involves vehicles, including as part of humanitarian aid convoys.”

The letter mentioned several NGOs, which are funded from Turkish and foreign sources, which sent different cargo, including military equipment, to Syria last year.

“The Besar foundation (President — D. Şanlı) is most actively engaged in pursuing these objectives and, in 2015, formed around 50 convoys to the Turkmen areas of Bayırbucak and Kızıltepe (260 km north of Damascus),” Churkin stressed, adding that Iyilikder Foundation and The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms were also involved.

In total, the terrorists were delivered 2.5 thousand tons of ammonium nitrate (worth around $788,700), 456 tons of potassium nitrate ($468,700), 75 tons of aluminum powder ($496,500), sodium nitrate ($19,400), glycerin ($102,500) and nitric acid ($34,000 thousand) via Turkey in 2015, Churkin wrote.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Scandal of privatized aid’: Free-market consultants cream off £450mn in UK govt funds

RT | April 1, 2016

Free-market consultants in Britain are taking hundreds of millions of pounds ring-fenced to alleviate poverty in the developing world, as the government continues with its agenda of privatizing aid, a damning report has warned.

A study conducted by British NGO Global Justice Now (GJN) raises grave concerns over the sheer amount of aid money the Department for International Development (DfID) has given to consultants Adam Smith International (ASI) for overseas aid projects.

The report, titled The Privatization of UK Aid, was published on Friday.

It found that ASI has won a minimum of £450 million (about US$640 million) in aid-funded contracts over the last five years. DfID funneled almost £90 million of its budget through the consultancy firm, more than the total amount given to human rights and women’s rights groups. This figure is almost double that spent on projects to tackle Aids and HIV, according to the report.

The study examined how much of DfID’s work was geared towards supporting market-based development and the private sector in poor states. Recent projects included backing for a “business advocacy capacity development program” in Zimbabwe, and projects to increase private schooling in Kenya.

The report also analyzed a number of existing case studies on ASI projects, such as the consultancy firm’s role in privatizing Nigeria’s energy system and making Afghanistan “investor friendly” by helping to rewrite energy extraction legislation there.

The NGO said the legislation, which was later passed into law, lacks transparency and does not protect local citizens’ rights. ASI has also helped to develop new mining legislation and regulations in Papua New Guinea, where the energy extraction technique has a legacy of violent conflict. GJN’s report says the laws have been branded “authoritarian and regressive” by critics.

The NGO argues that Westminster’s increasing use of consultancy firms forces out smaller companies in impoverished states and highlights DfID’s tendency to embrace private partnerships and back private-sector development schemes that risk jeopardizing communities in the developing world. It has called on DfID to explain why it chooses to hire profit-driven British firms like ASI rather than using its own employees or companies in the developing world.

GJN also urged DfID to be more transparent on contractors’ costs, and to release a robust plan on spending more through organizations in developing countries.

DfID defended its use of private contractors, arguing British aid is assisting highly vulnerable people in crisis-ridden states.

“UK aid is focused on tackling extreme poverty, helping people in some of the most fragile and dangerous places on Earth, including war zones and disaster areas,” a spokeswoman for the government department told the Guardian.

“We draw on specialist expertise from charities, NGOs and the private sector to get the job done and get the best value for taxpayers.”

Labour’s Shadow Secretary for International Development Diane Abbott said the government must take a serious look at how aid money is spent.

“UK aid is being used to pay for consultants instead of alleviating poverty in the global south. We must look beyond simply spending 0.7 percent of UK GNI on aid, but look at how it is spent. UK aid should be first and foremost about tackling poverty and inequality and not benefitting the UK,” she said.

“We need to critically assess if the sort of free market reforms that Adam Smith International are enabling in the developing world, using UK taxpayers’ money, are actually helping to alleviate poverty or if they are making it worse.”

ASI defended itself against the allegations in the report.

“The vast majority of the world’s poor are in the informal private sector. To bring people out of poverty, one must address the factors that are keeping them poor,” the firm said in a statement.

“We engage with the private sector to reduce poverty by helping create jobs and make markets more accessible. This type of development is widely reflected in donor strategies and recognized in the 8th sustainable development goal.”

ASI stressed its “expert associates” and employees hail from diverse backgrounds, and are “all committed to poverty alleviation.” The think tank went on to claim the projects mentioned in GJN’s study had been misreported and “taken out of context.”

However, GJN’s campaigns and policy officer, Aisha Dodwell, hit back, saying British taxpayers would be shocked if they knew how much UK aid money was given to free-market consultants.

“UK aid could be used to strengthen public services, support civil society, and build democratic and accountable institutions,” she said.

“Instead of padding the pockets of big UK contractors like Adam Smith International.”

ASI describes itself as a transparent, objective organization dedicated to making public services more robust. It also claims to support economic growth and civil society, while building “democratic and accountable institutions.”

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics | , | Leave a comment

Biden pledges Ukraine additional $335mn in military assistance

RT | April 1, 2016

The US has promised Kiev an additional $335 million in security aid to help Ukraine boost its military strength. Washington also made it clear to the Ukrainian president that to unlock the next tranche of IMF money, Kiev should push ahead with political reforms.

US Vice President Joe Biden held a luncheon with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is currently visiting Washington as part of a nuclear summit comprising more than 50 world leaders. Poroshenko seized the rare opportunity to touch base with Obama administration officials.

According to an official statement on Poroshenko’s website, Biden has indicated Washington’s readiness to provide Kiev with additional $335 million in security assistance, which would be used to reform Ukraine’s Armed Forces, National Guard and border control.

Last year, the House Armed Forces Committee suggested providing some $300 million aid on the Ukrainian government and offered to “provide appropriate security assistance and intelligence support, including training, equipment, and logistics support, supplies and services, to military and other security forces.”

At the same time, Kiev also heavily relies on a financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Having received $6.7 billion from the fund’s $17.5 billion bailout package in 2015, the third tranche has now been stalled.

Plagued by corruption and deep political crisis, Kiev has been failing to fulfill reforms to unlock the next tranche of the loans worth $1.7 billion. To secure its lenders’ confidence, Ukraine must implement reforms and made scant progress in stamping out corruption.

Meeting with Poroshenko Thursday, Biden reminded that Kiev would not receive international economic assistance unless it forms a new government, “oriented on reforms and cooperation with the IMF,” Poroshenko’s office said.

For his part, Poroshenko responded that setting up “an effective anti-corruption system” was his government’s priority.

Ukraine’s corruption was one of the main topics of Biden’s trip to Kiev in December 2015.

“Corruption siphons off resources. We know this. You know this,” he told Ukrainian MPs, saying that “corruption eats Ukraine like cancer.” At the time, he assured Kiev of the Washington’s support and announced allocation of additional $190 million from the US budget to help conduct structural reforms in Ukraine and fight corruption in the first place.

While in Washington, Poroshenko also tried to lure more investment to his country’s economy while meeting with US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Read more:

Obama signs NDAA, approving $800 million aid to ‘moderate’ Syrians, Kiev

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

German spy services granted asylum to refugees in exchange for ‘questionable’ intel – report

RT | April 1, 2016

German intelligence agencies and police have granted asylum to roughly 1,000 refugees in exchange for sensitive information, often by means of “intervention” in the decisions of the national immigration authority, the government has said.

Intelligence services and the federal police have granted asylum to almost 1,000 migrants over the past 15 years, the government’s official response to a parliamentary request for information said. According to the paper, between 1958 and 2013 Germany’s main intelligence agency, the BND, operated a so-called Main Questioning Facility (HBW) which was in charge of collecting specific intelligence from migrants entering the country.

Many “questioning” sessions involved US officers from the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), though respondents were not aware of the officials’ real identities. Other German agencies such as the federal police, customs service and regional domestic intelligence authorities were also said to have access to recruiting their own informants among migrants.

The HBW would then ask the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) to grant asylum to each migrant deemed suitable to become a BND source. Such requests, described in the paper as “interventions,” were justified by the claim that the migrants would face imminent death or torture if forced to return to their countries of origin.

Most informants came from the Middle East – with the peak figures in 2001-2002 after 9/11 – followed by nationals of post-Soviet countries, Africa, Asia and the Balkans, the document says. Notably, the immigration service rejected two asylum “interventions” in 2002, even after those informants had been recruited by the BND.

The BND’s “questioning facility” allegedly maintained close contact with both the DIA and NSA, allowing them to access intelligence collected from migrants. In several cases, the intelligence was used to identify targets for US drone strikes in the Middle East and Africa. The government document described the information as extremely valuable for military use.

But Martina Renner, an MP from Die Linke party who co-authored the request for information, told Die Zeit newspaper that “the quality of information obtained could be very questionable.” She argued that refugees – keen to get permission for their stay in Germany – would say anything they believed their questioners wanted to hear.

One of the most dramatic examples, Renner said, was the DIA agent codenamed “Curveball” (real name Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi), who initially defected from Iraq to Germany in 1999.

His fake testimonies about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program were used by the US as a rationale to invade Iraq in 2003, despite both the BND and British MI6 questioning the authenticity of the claims.

Although the BND’s questioning facility was officially closed in 2013, the recruitment of agents from among migrants did not stop. Germany’s domestic intelligence, the Federal Service for the Protection of the Constitution, contacts asylum seekers on a “case-by-case” basis, while the BND still monitors refugee hostels to look for prospective informants, Die Zeit reported.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The French Malaise: ”National security” but for which nation?

By Gearóid Ó Colmáin | American Herald tribune | March 31, 2016

Since the Belgian attacks on March 22nd, there has been much talk of Europe’s need to increase security and modernize methods of mass surveillance and control in all public transport, particularly airports and underground trains. One country in the world has received a considerable degree of publicity in this regard: Israel. The Jewish State is now being held up by the French media as a ‘model of security’ which should be emulated by the European Union.

Henceforth, Israeli security methods are to be employed in our Airports. Travelers parking their cars will be interrogated by police and secret service personnel; passengers will be questioned about their destination and further interrogations will ensue if they are perceived to be engaging in prevarication or showing signs of anxiety or stress. Passenger profiling is to become the norm rather than the exception. People’s travel records will be taken into consideration in assessing whether or not they pose a ‘threat’. This ultimately means that all citizens will be treated as though they were terrorists.

The French media have not been embarrassed about suggesting Israeli security methods be introduced throughout Europe, notwithstanding the fact that Israel is a racist and criminal entity which cruelly keeps over a million people locked up in an open air concentration camp, subjecting the native population of the occupied territory to constant state terror and torture. The pro-Israeli propaganda is being aggressively pushed through both national and regional newspapers throughout France.

An article appeared in Quest France on Sunday March 27 with the headline: L’aéroport de Tel-Aviv, modèlede sécurité- ‘Tel-Aviv Airport, model of security’.

The report describes the interrogation methods mentioned above which are routinely carried out in Tel -Aviv’s Ben Gourion airport. We are also informed that Israeli security experts from the EL AI airline visited Zaventem Airport in Bruxelles shortly after the terrorist attacks in order to assess the site’s security; they were apparently ‘outraged’ by the lax security at the airport. But the reader is not told who was in charge of surveillance at Zaventem Airport. Security at the airport is in fact provided by ICTS, an Israeli company which was set up by former operatives of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic spy agency. So Israeli experts were ‘outraged’ by the lack of security provided by Israeli intelligence?

According to :

‘ICTS uses the security system employed in Israel, whereby passengers are profiled to assess the degree to which they pose a potential threat on the basis of a number of indicators, including age, name, origin and behavior during questioning’.

ICTS provided security at Logan Airport in 2001 when the infamous ’19 hijackers’ allegedly boarded their flight to New York on their way to the World Trade Centre. A few months later in December 2001, Richard Reid, who had previously spent time in Israel, boarded a flight in Paris’ Charles De Gaulle airport heading for Miami. He was carrying explosives which he unsuccessfully attempted to detonate on the plane. ICTS, who were in charge of security at Charles De Gaulle airport, failed once again.

ICTS was in charge of London’s bus security system in 2005 during the terrorist attacks there and on Christmas Day 2009 at Schipol Airport, Amsterdam, the Israeli company failed to prevent ‘knicker-bomber, Nigerian ‘terrorist’ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the wealthy son of a former Nigerian MP, who boarded a flight from to Detroit without a passport, while carrying explosives. According to US attorney Kurk Haskel who was an eye-witness, Abdulmutallab was escorted on board the plane by a ‘well-dressed’ man of ‘Indian’ origin who told ticket officials that “the man was from Sudan and that it was typical (to let him on the plane without a passport).”

This strongly suggests the terrorists had security clearances.

So now we have a barrage of media sound bites about the effectiveness of Israeli security and the necessity of introducing further police-state measures in Europe, in spite of the fact that Israeli companies are already providing ‘security’ here and doing a spectacularly dismal job at preventing terrorism!

After the March 22nd attacks in Brussels, a video circulated on the Internet drawing attention to the suspicious behavior of an ”eyewitness’ on France 24 news station after the bombs in Zaventum airport. The ”eye-witness” named Alexandre claims to be a Belgian living in America but his accent is unusual. Alexandre, who is supposed to be in shock and trauma after a brutal terrorist attack, suggests that perhaps European authorities will be forced to adopt security measures similar to those in Israel. Although this ”eye witness” experienced a terrorist attack, he admits that he has ‘ no idea’ what the other victims in the Brussels metro bombs went through. The statements are odd and suspicious but there is no way of proving whether the character is a Mossad agent as the video caption implies.

Nonetheless, it is particularly surreal to find the mass media in France promoting the ‘Israeli security model’ when it is Israeli security companies who are responsible for ‘failing to prevent’ so many terrorist attacks. Of course, the Zionist entity is the only real and long term beneficiary of the War on Terror. As Benjamin Netanyahu himself put it in 2007: ” We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.”

There is no reason to suppose that this recent wave of terrorist attacks in Europe is not also ”benefiting” the Zionist entity.

Promoting emigration and multiculturalism in Europe, propping up Zionist regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey who are Wahhabising Europe’s youth, while at the same time fomenting Islamophobia among European citizens, all these policies serve Israel’s imperial ambitions to rule over all the Arabs and Muslims of the Middle East, while maintaining support in Europe and America by reminding its people every time there is an ‘Islamist’ terrorist attack that this is what Israel is fighting every day.

In his new book Palestine, le malaise Français  Franco-Camerounian investigative Journalist Charles Onana shows how the Jewish Lobby in France harassed and demonised President Francois Mitterand for insisting on Yasser Arafat’s visit to France in 1989.

Onana’s study of French government archives prove that the influence of the Jewish Lobby on French foreign policy is deeper and more far-reaching than commonly understood.

Mitterand’s defiance of the Jewish Lobby was continued to a certain extent by President Chirac when he refused to participate in the Zionist-orchestrated war on Iraq in 2003. Since the accession of Nicolas Sarkozy to the French presidency in 2007 and the current regime of François Hollande, Zionism has become almost inseparable from French ruling class ideology. From arch-Zionist Bernard-Henri Lévy’s war on Libya to the war on Syria and a whole series of artificially engineered destabilizations in Africa involving Takfiri Muslims murdering Christians, France has become the bellicose avant-garde of Zionism, carrying out a strategy of chaos which is making the world dangerous for the many but safe for the ‘chosen ones’ and their ever expanding Zionist entity.

Mitterand and Chirac were certainly no friends of French workers nor of the African nations writhing under the yoke of French neo-colonialism, but both leaders had, on the contrary, the merit of setting some limits to Zionist omnipotence. Mitterand’s haughty refusal to ‘apologise’ to Israel on behalf of the French people for the crimes of the Vichy regime, and Chirac’s imperious reprimand of Israeli troops during his visit to Palestine.

[This] contrasts poignantly with the craven, sycophancy of President Hollande’s abasement of the French nation before Israel, when at Netanyahu’s Israeli residence in November 2013 the French president, like a court jester,  nauseatingly offered to ” sing  a song of love for Israel”.

None of the articles in the French press, published since the Paris and Belgium terrorist attacks mention the criminal ‘negligence’ of ICTS. Instead, we are being told Israeli security is a model we should follow when in fact, we are already living under ‘Israeli security’, the same security agencies who have boasted about committing false flag terrorism against the French public.

In 1979, Israel bombed a factory in France making parts for a nuclear reactor in Iraq. The attack was blamed on ecologists. The Israeli Secret Intelligence Service ( ISIS or Mossad) then proceeded to issue death threats to French engineers working on the project, threatening to kill them and their families if they returned to Iraq. The death threats were issued in the name of an ‘Islamist’ group. All of this was admitted by the Mossad agents themselves in a documentary aired on French television entitled: ‘Droit d’Inventaire: quand le Mossad frappe en France’.

Israel is the only foreign state to have bombed France since the German occupation of the Second World War, a terror campaign admitted by the Zionist entity’s government, yet Israeli companies are providing ‘security’ for French citizens.

Israel’s global role as a pariah state operating outside the norms of international law, flouting all international conventions on human rights, repeatedly committing heinous war crimes and waging wars of aggression, while functioning as a veritable shadow government within the corridors of Western imperial states, this is a problem no nation can continue to ignore. But the few who refuse to ignore it risk their lives.

On March 26 French senator Natalie Goulet received death threats on social media after she wrote a letter to the secretary of state in charge of the budget, requesting clarification for the French government’s policy of giving a 60 percent tax deduction to families who make donations to the Israeli Defense Forces. Although banned in Israel, Betar, the Zionist terrorist militia, regularly issue death threats to their enemies with total impunity from the French state.

But perhaps we should feel ‘safer’ now that the ‘Israeli security model’ is being reinforced as the metropolitan world, our world, slowly metamorphoses into a vast, sprawling Gaza-zone.

Gearóid Ó Colmáin, AHT Paris correspondent, is a journalist and political analyst. His work focuses on globalization, geopolitics and class struggle. His articles have been translated into many languages. He is a regular contributor to Global Research, Russia Today International, Press TV, Sputnik Radio France, Sputnik English, Al Etijah TV, Sahar TV Englis, Sahar French and has also appeared on Al Jazeera. He writes in English, Irish Gaelic and French.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CIA leaves explosives on school bus borrowed for training

RT | April 1, 2016

For at least two days a school bus in northern Virginia has been carrying students with explosive material hidden in its engine compartment. The explosives fell out of a container, which was used by the CIA for training last week.

“During the exercise, explosive training material was inadvertently left by the CIA K-9 unit in one of the buses used in the exercise,” the CIA said in a statement. The agency attested that the explosives were “incredibly stable” and “benign” and didn’t put anyone in danger.

The explosive was discovered on Wednesday during a routine maintenance check. It had been unnoticed for nearly a week since March 24.

The CIA was called to retrieve the material. Neither the federal agency nor local authorities would go into detail about what kind of explosive was involved.

“The exact nature of the training material used in this exercise is not being released at the request of the CIA so as not to compromise its training techniques,” Loudoun County officials said.

Loudoun schools spokesman Wayde Byard described the explosive as a “putty-type” material designed for use on the battlefield and which requires a special detonator. Putty or plastic explosives, including the well-known C-4, are easily shaped and well-suited for demolition works.

The Briar Woods High School, which provided its premises to the CIA for the spring break training, said the vehicle was used for eight runs on Monday and Tuesday before the explosives were discovered. It carried 26 students attending Rock Ridge High School, Buffalo Trail Elementary School and Pinebrook Elementary School.

The CIA said the training was routine and part of exercises its agents do with local law enforcement. The container with explosive was designed to see how good sniffer dogs would be at finding it.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment