Soldier Committed Violence and Abuse Against Palestinian Detainees

Stephen Lendman

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PACTI - calls "torture and ill treatment of any kind....incompatible with" moral democratic values. It "advocates for all persons" in Israel and Occupied Palestine to protect them from abusive treatment of all kinds.

In June 2008, its report titled, "No Defense: Soldier Violence against Palestinian Detainees" is just as relevant today, perhaps more so given Israel's intensified violence and abuse in Gaza and the West Bank in the past year.

PACTI interviewed detainees and participating soldiers, included media reports, IDF provided information, and comments of political figures regarding these practices.

Observed was a phenomenon dating back decades, and, of course, remains ongoing today. Hence, the report's relevance and need to discuss it. Especially since September 2000 (the beginning of the second Intifada), "the number of arrests has been unprecedented. Thousands of Palestinians are arrested each year....and are executed by a large number of combat units in the Israeli military."

Violent arrests followed by torture and ill treatment are commonplace. For decades, Israeli soldiers have abused Palestinian detainees "on a routine basis." Recognizing and exposing it is key to stopping it.

Obama Threatens Iran With "All Options" Again

Kourosh Ziabari

Government-run psy-ops campaigns as a prelude to war

"The continued presence of all options on the table"; this is the disappointing message which a Nobel Peace Prize laureate dispatches internationally. In his latest interview with CBS news, American President Barack Obama refused to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran. By saying so, he linked up with former U.S. President George W. Bush, who coined this well-known catchphrase.

Putting the nature of these options aside, the very "table" on which they should be placed is a matter to be considered too. -In terms of legitimacy, who is in a position to decide upon the destiny of Iran's nuclear program? Does the Nobel Peace Prize laureate want to set aside the question of legitimacy and rather engage in power politics? -What is wrong with Iran having a nuclear program? Why, exactly, should a 70-million nation be subjected to crippling sanctions, continued threats of military strike, isolation and economic embargo? What is the definite answer to the simple question that "why should the U.S., France and Israel possess nuclear weapons"? Which nation is the more offensive and violent? -Iran with its nuclear program, which has been demonstrated time and again to not have anything to do with military purposes, or Washington and its European allies, who have started on this adventurous, and aggressive trajectory of threats and sanctions?

Will Hollywood go the way of Enron? Derivatives come to the movies

Ellen Brown

As if attacks from paparazzi and star-crazed fans weren’t enough, Hollywood stars may soon have a literal price put on their heads by investors in the Cantor Exchange, a real-money trading platform where people can bet on the gross profits of upcoming movies. Sales of The Dark Knight skyrocketed after Heath Ledger died unexpectedly, and so did sales after the deaths of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Will greed-driven investors now be laying in wait for the stars of movies they have bet on?

The Cantor Exchange (CE) is based on a virtual trading platform called the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX), a web-based, multiplayer simulation in which players buy and sell “shares” of actors, directors, upcoming films, and film-related options. The difference is that where the HSX uses virtual money, CE will turn the game into a real casino using real dollars.

Iraq War Veteran on a Mental-Health Mission

Dahr Jamail

(Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted:
Kevin N. Murphy, abrinsky)

Chuck Luther, who served 12 years in the military, is a veteran of two deployments to Iraq, where he was a reconnaissance scout in the 1st Cavalry Division. The former sergeant was based at Fort Hood, Texas, where he lives today.

“I see the ugly,” Luther told Truthout. “I see soldiers beating their wives and trying to kill themselves all the time, and most folks don’t want to look at this, including the military.”

Luther, who founded and directs “The Soldier’s Advocacy Group of Disposable Warriors,” knows about these types of internal problems in the military because he has been through it himself.

The Web site for the group explains his story:

“SGT Luther unknowingly suffered PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] after living in the combat environment. After weeks of suffering with sleepless nights/nightmares, headaches, bouts of anger, lack of focus, weight loss, depression, high stress and extreme exhaustion, SGT Luther sought out his Command for help. Knowing he was not able to perform his daily duties in this state of mind, he’d hoped to be sent for some form of treatment and sent back into battle. Unfortunately, this is not what happened. SGT Luther’s chain of command responded with phrases such as, ‘Drink water and drive on …’ and told he was ‘malingering’ and ‘faking’ his symptoms. After being belittled and stripped of his dignity, still, with no assistance from those in charge, he was then placed on suicide watch and held in an Aid Station for five weeks.

“Those sent to watch over him for potential ’suicide’ spoke down to him, and he was not given meals or showers on a regular basis. Even prisoners receive better treatment. SGT Luther was told that if he continued in this manner, he would be discharged from the Army with a Chapter 5-13, Personality Disorder. Because SGT Luther would not give in to the demands of his command to ‘drink water and drive on’ - knowing he needed some form of treatment, he was brought back to Ft. Hood in July of 2007 where he was quickly discharged with a Personality Disorder. His 12 years of Military Service was ended abruptly with the brush of a Colonel’s pen.”

Can the U.S. Beat Israel at their Game?

Jeff Gates

Americans can now see the light at the end of a long dark tunnel—if only they will look.

We entered this tunnel in 1948 when an enclave of religious fanatics induced President Harry Truman to portray them as a “state” meriting recognition, aid and protection.

We were warned not to do so.

These extremists had just inflicted on the Palestinians an ethnic cleansing that rivaled in its savagery the fascist abuse of ethnic groups during WWII. In December 1948, Albert Einstein and 27 other concerned Jews urged us “not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.”

Our failure to heed that warning led to the current morass in which we find ourselves.

Einstein and his colleagues foresaw that a “Leader State” was the goal of the “terrorist party” that has led Israel over all but a few of the 62 years since Truman’s fateful decision.

The latest Likud Party coalition ranks among the worst in the consistency of its duplicity and the blatant manipulation of its loyal ally, the American people. By our unbreakable bond with this abusive enclave, the U.S. appears guilty by association, making us a target of those abused.

From the outset, deceit was the foundation on which this ill-fated alliance was built. To betray, one must befriend. To defraud, one must first create a relationship of trust. Therein lies the basis of the “special relationship” through which Tel Aviv pursued, though us, its expansionist agenda.

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