Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Wartime internment camps in Australia

National Archives of Australia

World War I

During World War I, for security reasons the Australian Government pursued a comprehensive internment policy against enemy aliens living in Australia.

Initially only those born in countries at war with Australia were classed as enemy aliens, but later this was expanded to include people of enemy nations who were naturalised British subjects, Australian-born descendants of migrants born in enemy nations and others who were thought to pose a threat to Australia’s security.

Australia interned almost 7,000 people during World War I, of whom about 4,500 were enemy aliens and British nationals of German ancestry already resident in Australia.

Records of World War I internment camps

World War II

During World War II, Australian authorities established internment camps for three reasons – to prevent residents from assisting Australia’s enemies, to appease public opinion and to house overseas internees sent to Australia for the duration of the war.

Unlike World War I, the initial aim of internment during the later conflict was to identify and intern those who posed a particular threat to the safety or defence of the country. As the war progressed, however, this policy changed and Japanese residents were interned en masse. In the later years of the war, Germans and Italians were also interned on the basis of nationality, particularly those living in the north of Australia. In all, just over 20 per cent of all Italians resident in Australia were interned.

Australia interned about 7,000 residents, including more than 1,500 British nationals, during World War II. A further 8,000 people were sent to Australia to be interned after being detained overseas by Australia’s allies. At its peak in 1942, more than 12,000 people were interned in Australia.

Records of World War II internment camps

Residents of Australia

Most internees during both wars were nationals of Australia’s main enemy nations already living in Australia. During World War I Germans made up the majority of internees. During World War II, as well as Germans there were also large numbers of Italian and Japanese internees. Internees also included nationals of over 30 other countries, including Finland, Hungary, Portugal and Russia.

Not all internees were foreign nationals. Naturalised British subjects and those born in Australia were among those of German, Italian and Japanese origin who were interned. British-born subjects who were members of the radical nationalist organisation, the Australia First Movement, were also interned.

Men made up the majority of those interned, but some women and children also spent time in the camps.

Overseas internees

Included in the numbers of internees accommodated in Australia were enemy aliens, mostly Germans and Japanese, from Britain, Palestine, Iran, the Straits Settlements (now Singapore and Malaysia), the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), New Zealand and New Caledonia. Most famous among these groups were the Germans and Italians who arrived on the Dunera from England in 1940. The overseas internees included many women and children.

Prisoners of war

During World War I and World War II, Australia held both internees and prisoners of war. Prisoners of war were members of enemy military forces who were captured or had surrendered, whereas internees were civilians. Most prisoners of war in Australia were sent from overseas, very few were captured in Australia.

Many records do not make a clear distinction between civilian internees and military prisoners of war. The terms ‘prisoner’ and ‘internee’ were often used for both groups. In many cases internees and prisoners of war were accommodated in the same camps.

There were differences, however, in the rights of these two groups and the way they could be treated by Australian authorities. For example, prisoners of war could be made to work while internees could not. Internees also had to be paid for any work they undertook.

Camp life

Internment camps were administered by the army and run along military lines. During World War I they were often referred to as concentration camps. Camps were established in re-purposed institutions such as the old gaols at Berrima and Trial Bay in New South Wales. The largest camp during World War l was at Holsworthy (Liverpool), west of Sydney.

During World War II, internees were first housed in prisons, such as at Long Bay gaol in New South Wales, or impromptu accommodation such as the Northam race course in Western Australia and the Keswick army barracks in Adelaide. The first camps were set up at the Enoggera (Gaythorne) and Liverpool military bases in Queensland and New South Wales and at the Dhurringile Mansion in Victoria.

As the numbers of internees grew, the early camps became too small. The Australian Government then constructed purpose-built camps at Tatura (Rushworth) in Victoria, at Hay and Cowra in New South Wales, at Loveday in South Australia and at Harvey in Western Australia.

Life for the internees varied between the camps, particularly between those that were temporary camps and those that were purpose-built. The conditions also depended on the geographical location of the camp, its climate, the composition of the camp population and importantly, the personality of the officer in charge.

After the wars

At the end of each war the internment camps were closed down. After World War I, most internees were deported. During World War II many internees, particularly Italians, were released before the end of the war. Others were allowed to leave the camps after hostilities ceased. Internees of British or European origin were permitted to remain in Australia after the war, including those who had been brought from overseas by British authorities. Most of those of Japanese origin, however, including some who were Australian-born, were ‘repatriated’ to Japan in 1946.

April 24, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Merkel’s Syria Safe Zone Partition Scheme

By Stephen Lendman | April 24, 2016

Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for redrawing the Middle East map – including partitioning Iraq and Syria, installing pro-Western/Zionist puppet regimes.

Turkey wants a Syria buffer zone to annex border areas between both countries. Weeks earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted the idea, saying creating one would “violate every principle of international law and will lead to a substantial, qualitative escalation” of tensions.

In February, John Kerry told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members that establishing a buffer or safe zone in Syria would require up to 30,000 troops to enforce it, according to Pentagon estimates.

Last November, Trump endorsed the idea, saying “(b)uild a big, beautiful safe zone, and you have whatever it is so people can live, and they’ll be happier.”

Hillary Clinton earlier urged establishing a no-fly zone, the same scheme she used to wage US-led NATO aggression on Libya.

Merkel supported the idea. Now she seeks creating “safe zones” on the phony pretext of protecting internally displaced Syrians, saying:

Establish “zones where the ceasefire is particularly enforced and where a significant level of security can be guaranteed.”

Syria and Russia categorically reject the idea, a thinly veiled partition plan, flagrantly violating international law, also aiming to stem the refugee flow caused by Obama’s war – NATO and regional rogue states complicit in his high crime.

On Friday, Syrian chief peace talks negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari minced no words blasting Western and regional regimes for supporting “organized networks of international terrorism,” continuing to send them cross-border into Syria, “sabotaging the rules of international law,” while claiming to support diplomatic conflict resolution.

War without resolution continues. Peace prospects are unattainable as long as Washington demands regime change.



Stephen Lendman can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

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

April 24, 2016 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

Is Hillary Clinton ‘Honest’?

83a59f94-c8df-4c68-80e0-792afa639b92

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | April 24, 2016

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has offered a curious defense of Hillary Clinton’s “honesty,” refuting the public’s widespread view that she is a liar by narrowly defining what it means to be “honest” and arguing that she is less dishonest than she is a calculating and corner-cutting politician.

Kristof writes, “as we head toward the general election showdown, by all means denounce Hillary Clinton’s judgment and policy positions, but let’s focus on the real issues. She’s not a saint but a politician, and to me this notion that she’s fundamentally dishonest is a bogus narrative.”

Kristof cites, for instance, that half of her campaign statements, as evaluated by PolitiFact, were rated either true or mostly true, comparable to how the group assessed statements by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Ted Cruz and much better than Donald Trump’s 22 percent. Leaving aside the “conventional wisdom” bias of this mainstream media organization, Kristof does seem to have a point. In a narrow definition of “honesty,” former Secretary of State Clinton may be “truthful” or kind of truthful half the time.

But Kristof misses the larger point that the American people are making when 56 percent of them rate her negatively and many call “crooked” and “dishonest.” They seem to be commenting on her lack of authenticity and perhaps her resistance to sincerely acknowledging major errors in judgment. She only grudgingly apologized for her pro-Iraq War vote and still insists that her bloody “regime change” scheme for Libya was a good idea, even as the once-prosperous North African nation slides into anarchy and deprivation – with the chief beneficiary the head-choppers of the Islamic State.

A Nixonian Quality

Many Americans sense that there is a Nixonian quality to Hillary Clinton – her excessive secrecy, her defensiveness, her rigidity, her unwillingness to acknowledge or learn from mistakes. Even when she is forced into admitting a “mistake,” such as her violation of State Department rules when she maintained a private email server for official correspondence, she acts as if she’s just “apologizing” to close off further debate or examination. As with Richard Nixon, there’s a feeling that Clinton’s apologies and rationales are self-serving, not forthcoming.

Yet, while it’s true that Nixon was a deceitful character – his most famous lie being when he declared “I am not a crook” – I would argue that he had some clear advantages over Clinton as President. He was a much more strategic thinker than she is – and sometimes went against the grain of expectations as encapsulated in the phrase “Nixon goes to China,” meaning that Nixon could open up to communist China precisely because he was viewed as such a hardliner who would never do such a thing but who finally judged that the move was in America’s interests.

While it’s impossible to say whether Clinton would seize unexpected openings as President, she showed none of that creativity, subtlety and courage as Secretary of State. She marched down a straightforward neocon line, doing precisely what Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted in the Middle East.

Clinton tried to sabotage President Barack Obama’s diplomatic outreach to Iran and favored military solutions to Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. She also followed a rightist approach in backing the 2009 coup in Honduras that ousted an elected progressive president who had offended some of the Honduran oligarchs and outside corporate interests.

Lack of Self-Criticism

In addition, Clinton appears to have learned nothing from her support for the catastrophic Iraq War and has argued against “conflating” her Iraq decision with her Libya decision. But that suggests that she is incapable of learning a lesson from one mistake and applying it to a similar situation, an almost disqualifying characteristic for someone who hopes to become President.

Being a successful President requires extracting painful lessons from one mistake and making sure you don’t make the same mistake again. But Clinton’s personal arrogance or defensiveness (it’s hard to figure out which is dominant) prevents her from that sort of self-criticism.

Indeed, her ritualistic (and politically timed) apology for her Iraq War vote in 2006 came across less than an honest recognition that she had done something horribly wrong than that she had to say something to appease a furious Democratic electorate as she mounted her first run for President against anti-Iraq War candidate Obama.

After losing to Obama and becoming his Secretary of State, she privately hedged her Iraq War apology by saying privately that she thought that President George W. Bush’s “surge” in Iraq was successful and admitting that she had only opposed it in 2007 for political reasons, according to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his memoir, Duty.

On Oct. 26, 2009, as Gates — a holdover from the Bush administration — and Clinton joined forces to pressure Obama into approving a similar “surge” for Afghanistan, Gates recalled a meeting in which Clinton made what he regarded as a stunning admission, writing:

“The exchange that followed was remarkable. In strongly supporting the surge in Afghanistan, Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary [in 2008]. She went on to say, ‘The Iraq surge worked.’

“The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.” (Obama’s aides disputed Gates’s suggestion that the President indicated that his opposition to the Iraq “surge” was political, noting that he had always opposed the Iraq War. The Clinton team has not challenged Gates’s account.)

But the exchange, as recounted by Gates, indicates that Clinton not only let her political needs dictate her position on an important national security issue, but that she accepts as true the superficial conventional wisdom about the “successful surge” in Iraq, which claimed the lives of about 1,000 American soldiers and a much larger number of Iraqis but failed its principal mission of buying time for the Iraqis to resolve their sectarian differences.

So, when one considers Hillary Clinton’s “honesty” more should be in play than simply whether she accurately describes her policy positions half the time. Honesty, as most people would perceive it, relates to a person’s fundamental integrity, strength of character, readiness to acknowledge mistakes and ability to learn from them. On that measure, the American people seem to have sized up Hillary Clinton pretty well.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’sYes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon.“]



Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

April 24, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , | 6 Comments

NYU grad student union votes to boycott Israel

Ma’an – April 24, 2016

A graduate student union at New York University on Friday voted in favor of joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.

Two-thirds of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee cast a vote in support of the resolution, which calls on both NYU and its United Automobile Workers union affiliate to divest from all Israeli state institutions — including universities — and corporations “complicit in” Israeli violations.

The resolution proposes that NYU join the movement “until Israel complies with international law and ends the military occupation, dismantles the wall, recognizes the rights of Palestinian citizens to full equality, and respects the right of return of Palestinian refugees and exiles.”

Over 600 union members voted in the referendum, a reportedly larger-than-average turnout for union votes. The 2,000-strong union represents graduate teaching and research assistants at the university.

Some 57 percent of voters made a voluntary individual pledge to participate in the academic boycott against Israel.

The BDS movement has gained momentum over the past year, aiming to exert political and economic pressure over Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory in a bid to repeat the success of the campaign which ended apartheid in South Africa.

Major actors to join the movement this year include British security giant G4S and French telecom company Orange.

The NYU union’s support of BDS comes after US President Barack Obama in February signed into law an anti-BDS trade agreement reiterating that US Congress “opposes politically motivated actions that penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel,” referring directly to BDS activities.

The Israeli leadership has widely condemned the BDS movement as antisemitic or carried out from “hatred of Israel,” while proponents of the movement argue divestment measures are necessary in pressuring Israel to end its decades-long military occupation.

Moves inside the US — Israel’s longstanding ally and number one provider of military aid — to criminalize BDS have meanwhile been slammed by human rights defenders as a violation of free speech.

April 24, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Proposed Sham Israeli/Palestinian Peace Conference

By Stephen Lendman | April 24, 2016

The longstanding Israeli/Palestinian peace process is the greatest hoax in modern times, repeating on and off for decades, dead-on-arrival each time, accomplishing nothing.

Obama hopes to lay the groundwork for another round of sham talks after he leaves office. France proposed an international conference in Paris this summer, presenting general ideas and principles only. Solutions remain elusive.

Months of John Kerry’s mediated talks collapsed in April 2014. America is no honest broker, one-sidedly supporting Israel, spurning Palestinian rights.

France’s position is no different. Israel rejects Palestinian self-determination. Liberation depends on resistance, not more talks achieving nothing.

A Paris meeting later this week is expected to involve high-level international diplomats, according to Palestinian ambassador to France Salman al-Harfi.

Israeli and Palestinians representatives aren’t attending. Objectives include agreeing on a way to achieve Palestinian statehood within pre-1967 borders, Jerusalem as a shared capital for both states, and resolving the right of return issue.

Mahmoud Abbas’ draft Security Council resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements was withdrawn. It wasn’t a serious effort in the first place, having no chance to pass.

Netanyahu criticized the French initiative. Israel rejects Palestinian self-determination. It wants full control over future talks – to manipulate them to its advantage.

It long ago declared Jerusalem its exclusive capital, categorically rejects the right of diaspora Palestinians to return home.

It wants endless war and turbulence. Peace and stability defeat its imperial aims.

On Saturday, it approved stealing another 1,250 acres of privately owned Palestinian land, declared “state land” under full military control.

It’s intended for expanding illegal settlements – more proof Israel wants continued conflict, not peace.



Stephen Lendman can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

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

April 24, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas: France peace conference a ‘waste of time’

MEMO | April 24, 2016

Hamas said it rejects the France-sponsored international peace conference between the Palestinians and the Israelis, which is scheduled to take place on May 30 in Paris.

“We consider it a waste of time and a free service for the Israeli government that continues its daily violations against the Palestinians,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

Abu Zuhri also warned against agreeing to any deal that would harm the Palestinians and their national interests.

In March, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed his support for the French proposal.

Peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators collapsed in April 2014 over Israel’s refusal to release a group of Palestinian political prisoners despite earlier pledges to do so.

April 24, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Argentina Forks Over $6.2 Billion to Vulture Funds

teleSUR – April 23, 2016

Former economy minister Axel Kicillof warned Friday that the decision would lead to harsh austerity in the country.

Argentina repaid its holdout creditors on Friday, ending a 15-year dispute with vulture fund holders who rejected debt restructuring that followed Argentina’s US$100 billion debt default in 2001.

“The republic has made full payment in accordance with the specific terms of each such agreement,” Argentina’s chief lawyer working on the case said in a statement to a U.S. court on Friday.

Argentina handed over US$6.2 billion to settle disputes with 20 creditors. It is due to pay another US$3.1 billion in the coming days to settle lingering claims, the finance ministry explained in a statement.

The move follows a decision handed down earlier this month by a U.S. court that cleared the way for Argentina to start borrowing again, which had been excluded from international markets after breakdown in talks with the country’s the holdout creditors.

Argentina has since raised US$16.5 billion in funds from international lenders in order to payback the creditors that have been holding out for more than a decade.

However, the decision by the government of President Mauricio Macri to reopen negotiations with vulture funds has been met with sharp criticism within Argentina.

Former economy minister Axel Kicillof told Argentine media on Friday that the new debts would be followed by further painful public spending cuts that will affect the poorest Argentines most.

The case also raised crucial questions about contracts and the rights of both borrowers and lenders in the massive and largely unregulated global sovereign debt markets.

Last September, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a sovereign debt restructuring proposal, which would grant countries the right to design their own macro economic policy, including restructuring its own sovereign debt.

April 24, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , | 1 Comment

Hypocrisy, cynicism and terror: An American triad

By Michael Howard | American Herald Tribune | April 24, 2016

U.S. government hypocrisy is, as most everyone knows, boundless. It’s also utterly transparent. Our public officials evidently see no shame in belying their professions of benign intent with awesome malevolence and destruction. After all, there’s always the doctrine of American Exceptionalism to justify the unjustifiable. Take for instance Barack Obama’s global assassination campaign, or “drone war” in media-speak. It is now common knowledge (among the mildly informed, anyway) that said campaign is only nominally discriminate, and furthermore essentially pointless, assuming its point is not to foster Islamic extremism. Last year, leaked government documents confirmed what was already suspected: most of those killed by Barry O’s drone fleet are unidentified people who happen to be standing near the intended target, who for one reason or another (we’re not allowed to know) was selected for summary execution.

What is the effect of this policy? It’s not difficult to figure out. Let’s suppose for a moment that these remote control airstrikes really were “surgical”—that they didn’t result in dead civilians. It would still be an exercise in futility. Wiping out a single jihadist, no matter his rank, doesn’t eliminate his position: he can and will be replaced. Would it disrupt the relevant cell’s operation? Does it matter? Disrupt it enough and it will splinter, and now you’ve got two cells instead of one, and perhaps the new one is more monstrous than the original. ISIS, let’s remember, was first an al-Qaeda franchise. The latter group, whose side we’ve taken against Syria’s elected president, now seems like the “JV team” (credit to Obama for the awkward analogy) to the former’s Varsity. Needless to say, U.S. foreign policy, in its liberal interventionist form, facilitated the rise and expansion of ISIS; the group that now, according to most Republicans, presents the gravest threat to our national security.

To label the drone war as merely futile, however, is disingenuous. Counterproductive is a better word, although probably still too charitable. We take out one militant—reducing him to “a greasy spot on the ground”—and another springs up to take his place. That’s futility. But in the process, people living in Pakistan and Somalia and Yemen observe that the U.S. is not bound by any standard principle of law, least of all the one guaranteeing a criminal suspect due process. How, one wonders, are they expected to feel about that? If the American Empire says you’re fit to die, you’re fit to die, and that’s the end of it. Interesting concept. Of course, such tyranny would never be tolerated here at home, where a criminal defendant’s right to a fair trial remains (for the most part) inalienable and uncontroversial. Not so for foreigners suspected by the U.S. government of terrorist activity in their own countries, with whom the U.S. is not at war and over whom the U.S. has no jurisdiction in any reasonable sense of the word.

The American public may not care very much about the extrajudicial killing of a few supposedly dangerous Muslims living in Somalia. (CNN doesn’t tell them to worry about it, so why should they?) They do, however, seem to care about anti-Americanism in the Muslim world, the threat of global jihad, etc.—and rightfully so. These are serious issues; they should be treated as such. Here’s an axiom: if we’re going to take an issue seriously, the very least we can do is make an effort to understand it. Why does Salafism (i.e. Wahhabism, i.e. Saudism) continue to spread like wildfire over the Middle East and beyond? Why do so many Muslims have, in the words of Donald Trump, a tremendous, tremendous hatred for the U.S.?

It couldn’t have anything to do with the continuous, illegal bombing of Muslim-majority countries. That would be too straightforward an answer, and moreover contradictory to the narrative our policy-makers, always looking out for the weapons industry, like to spin for us. There is, however, Occam’s razor, which would insist that we stop dismissing simple, obvious explanations. One such explanation might be that Obama’s drone fetish, even without the civilian death toll, certainly doesn’t make the jihadist recruiter’s job any less difficult (and in fact does precisely the reverse). Another might be that, by shoring up the medieval sadists governing Saudi Arabia and oppressing its population, the U.S. indirectly (or perhaps directly) promotes the ideology underpinning every Wahhabi terrorist gang in the world, whether JV or Varsity.

Saudi Arabia. The world’s most prolific exporter of oil. Also the world’s most prolific exporter of Islamic extremism, that omnipresent threat to civilization we’re allegedly so bent on eradicating. It was reported that our dear leader was cold-shouldered upon his recent arrival to the great pious kingdom. The impudence! Have the Wahhabi princes no appreciation for the Obama administration’s generosity? After all, $50 billion in munitions sales is nothing to sneeze at, particularly when those munitions are earmarked for war crimes. The United States has given Saudi Arabia, and its Wahhabi coalition, carte blanche to commit atrocities against civilians in Yemen: American bombs, including illegal “cluster bombs,” are being used to blow up schools, hospitals, mosques, etc., in the name of… well, nothing, really. What more could the Saudis want! More weapons? All they have to do is ask. Obama distributes “smart bombs” like candy.

The civil war in Yemen represents the latest, though not quite the greatest (which says a lot), failure of American foreign policy. With our weapons and whole-hearted support, Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabi pals have managed to do to Yemen what NATO did to Libya. In other words, Yemen is now a failed state with no central government and a massive power vacuum—ideal conditions for terrorists, in this case al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, to exploit. Naturally, all of this is underreported by Western media, since we have no enemy on whom to cast blame. You may hear the occasional whisper about Ayatollah culpability, but that’s about it.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen… every time the same result. To say that the U.S. has failed to learn its lesson is erroneous. I’ve seen no evidence that U.S. policy-makers are interested in learning any sort of lesson, nor that they actually desire a better outcome to begin with. They’re not merely inept, as so many like to insist; they’re cynical, and profoundly so.

Terrorism is useful. It can be, and is, cited to justify almost anything: extravagant military budgets, abrogation of civil liberties, alliance with nefarious regimes, arbitrary detention, torture, war. They all matter, but the last one matters most. If the objective really is to defeat terrorism, as defined by us, then our policy is irrational; in fact it meets the famous definition of insanity. Plainly, bombing volatile societies and unleashing dormant sectarian violence does nothing to contain terrorism. Plainly, it has the opposite effect. Terrorists draw strength and support from chaos and carnage; if you think Cheney et al. were oblivious to that fact, I’ve a got a plot of land to sell you…. Bush may be simple, and it’s certainly possible that he derived his conception of war from the pictures, but his cabinet was a sly bunch; a bunch whose loyalty was not to our nation’s security but rather to the Pentagon and the weapons manufacturers.

Before Bush was sworn in by the Supreme Court, Dick was pushing for a bigger military budget. Little did he know that he needn’t bother! The events of 9/11 were a windfall for the jingoists, damage to the Pentagon notwithstanding. Terrorism was no longer an abstract threat; the threat was all too palpable, all too urgent, and nobody was prepared to question the government’s response, which was not to invade the country that produced 15 of the 19 hijackers, but rather the one in which the plot’s ringleader, another Saudi, happened to live. The U.S. could have invaded Canada that October (surely there were some Bin Laden sympathizers loitering in that country)—we just wanted a show of military might, projected wherever.

That’s the terrorism effect. That’s why Saddam Hussein, our long-time ally and Israel’s great “existential threat” of the day, was suddenly charged with sponsoring terrorism. Casting Saddam as a Bin Laden advocate, however false, gave us a solid pretext for war. The consequence of that war—ISIS—gives us a solid pretext for more war, etc. As long as terrorism exists, we can go to war, and as long as we go to war, terrorism will exist. Meanwhile the Pentagon’s budget continues to swell. The War on Terror, then, is a self-sustaining enterprise.

The beauty of Obama’s global assassination campaign is that it allows us to bomb without declaring war. We don’t have to worry about running out of countries to invade; we can drone our allies if we so choose. That being said, no war machine is complete, and no Empire content, without the occasional full-scale invasion. Iran has been in the crosshairs for a long time—ever since they had the nerve to overthrow the iron-fisted dictator we kindly installed for them. Predictably, the Iranian nuclear agreement, Obama’s most significant foreign policy achievement, has done nothing to curb the hawks’ appetite. Indeed, many Republican presidential candidates have assured us that, as commander in chief, they would make it their first order of business to tear up the internationally-recognized treaty.

At the other end of the aisle, H.R. Clinton, the “superprepared warrior realist,” derides the prospect of normalizing relations with Iran. Back in 2008, she demonstrated her warrior spirit, boasting of her preparedness to “totally obliterate” the 80 million people who live there, which would steer the U.S. into a nuclear conflict with Russia, quite possibly annihilating us all. (Lest you forget: Trump is the real danger.)

Clinton and her fellow jingos hate the nuclear deal, and the reason is simple: it eliminates a major pretext for war. After all, the case against Iran is identical to the case against Iraq. Weapons of mass destruction and support for terrorism. And Israel at the center of it all. The Zionists lobbied hard for war with Iraq, and no one is lobbying harder for war with Iran. They intend to make Hillary’s obliteration fantasy into reality. Lucky for them, and unlucky for the rest of us, she is almost certainly our next president, and no one is more subservient to their will.

Unsurprisingly, no presidential candidate has been asked whether they plan to adopt Obama’s failed anti-terror policy, which is to fight terror with more terror, forever fanning the proverbial flames. Perhaps “failed” is not quite an accurate description, though, as that word implies a wish to succeed. Presently there’s no excuse to believe the Obama administration was ever serious about checking the scourge of Saudi-inspired terrorism. If Trump is right, and the Muslim world hates us, Obama was very much committed to aggravating that sentiment. He’s done a fine job.

Michael Howard can be contacted at mwhowie@yahoo.com

April 24, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dutch columnist detained in Turkey ‘over Erdogan tweet’

571c89c1c361883e548b458b

Ebru Umar, Dutch writer © wikipedia.org
RT | April 24, 2016

The Turkish police have detained a Dutch columnist over a critical tweet she posted about Turkish President Recep Erdogan, her newspaper said. The woman intends to go back to the Netherlands after being released.

Ebru Umar is a Dutch columnist of Turkish origin, who writes for several newspapers, including Metro. On Saturday, the Turkish police detained her at the resort of Kusadasi and seized her laptop, the newspaper reported.

Umar said she was questioned about critical tweets about the Turkish president. She expects to be released soon and leave for the Netherlands, Metro reported.

Dutch and Turkish officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, the newspaper said.

It comes amid public outcry in the Netherlands over a letter sent by a Turkish consular to its citizens asking to report insults to the Turkish leader they encounter.

The Turkish authorities have launched some 2,000 lawsuits against people accused of insulting Erdogan.

Umar is a regular guest on Dutch TV panels on Muslim-related issues. She has a reputation for being highly critical of Islam and was reportedly targeted with retaliation in Amsterdam.

April 24, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment