Choosing Netanyahu Over NATO

MJ Rosenberg

Anyone who wonders what American foreign policy might look like if it was not so utterly ridden with partisan political considerations should take a look at the United Kingdom.

This is not to say that politics never intrudes on foreign policy in the UK. It does, but not in any way comparable to the way politics overruns policy here.

There are many reasons for the difference but one stands out: the cost of running political campaigns in the UK as compared to the US. In the UK, television time is free for candidates. In the United States, candidates and incumbents spend a sizable chunk of time (even a majority of time in many cases) raising money to pay for campaign ads. Much of that money comes from single-issue donors.

It is hard to imagine what US policy in the Middle East would be without the influence of campaign dollars. One thing is certain: it would be very different.

This week the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on Turkey's "New Foreign Policy Direction." Its tone was set by the committee's chair, Howard Berman (D-CA) who made clear that he has had it with Turkey.

Berman said that he was not among those who criticized Turkey in 2002 when the Islam oriented AK party came to power.

After the AK Party was elected, I was encouraged by their focus on internal reform and the European Union as well as by the hopeful prospect that AK would be a model for a moderate Islam that would inspire others throughout the Islamic world.

But then he became aware of "the intensity of Prime Minister Erdogan's anger at Israel" over the 2008 invasion of Gaza. Since then, "Turkey's growing closeness with Iran has added, for many of us, a new dimension of outrage and concern." Berman said his "concerns about Turkey hit a new peak with the flotilla incident."

Berman is far from alone. All of a sudden, Congress is pretty down on Turkey. And the reason is obvious. This new hostility is all about pleasing Binyamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Israeli government.

Occupied Palestine: Home Demolitions, Dispossessions and Residency Rights Revoked

Stephen Lendman

Daily, Israeli oppression continues - demolishing homes, dispossessing occupants, and revoking residency rights, three of its many crimes under international law, Israel spurning it with impunity.

On July 22, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) reported mass Jordan Valley Al Farisyie village demolitions, displacing 107 people, including 52 children. Targeted were 26 residential tents, 22 animal shelters, seven taboun clay ovens, eight kitchens, 10 bathrooms, four water tanks, and an agricultural equipment shed - in all, 74 structures illegally bulldozed, family homes and belongings destroyed along with large quantities of food and animal fodder.

Many families weren't warned or present, so lost everything under rubble, Israel displacing Palestinians to make way for Judaization, area residents on their own, abandoned and unaided.

In July, three other communities were affected:

Fasayile al Fuga where a family home of nine, including seven children and a 10-month old infant, was destroyed;

Bardala where evacuation and demolition orders were issued; and

Ras Ar Ahmar where 13 homes and dozens of animal shelters were bulldozed after declaring the area a Closed Military Zone.

The Jordan Valley comprises about 30% of the West Bank, Israel continuing demolitions, dispossessions, land theft, and appropriation of water resources, annexing areas for Jews, collectively punishing its residents by declaring large areas Closed Military Zones, ordering entire villages evacuated in defiance of international law, hundreds of residents affected, half of them children.

Is the use of terms like "Jewish Nazism" Justified?

Khalid Amayreh

Cartoon © Pat Oliphant

I do realize that the use of terms like "Jewish Nazism" offends many people, particularly among Jews. However, those offended should also have sufficient rectitude to call the spade a spade, especially when they see it in Jewish hands.

In the final analysis, we are living in a moral universe where truth should apply to all human beings equally. This means that all peoples and all communities, Jews and non-Jews alike, ought to be treated in accordance with the same moral standards.

In fact, this is what the Ten Commandments taught thousands of years ago. Hence, when the Almighty taught "thou shall not murder," He meant thou shall not murder any human beings, and when He taught "thou shall not steal," He meant "thou shall not steal from any human beings." And when He taught thou "shall not lie," He meant "thou shall not lie to any human beings."

Unfortunately, some misguided Talmudic sages, who appeared hundreds of years later, distorted the meaning and intention of these sublime moral standards, by arguing rather erroneously that since these commandments were given to "Jews," it followed that Jews and Jews alone were concerned with these principles. The implication was very clear:

"Thou shall not murder" meant thou shall not murder a Jew. "Thou shall not steal" meant thou shall not steal from a Jew, and "thou shall not lie" meant thou shall not lie to a Jew.

As to non-Jews, the goyem, who are often viewed as cattle in some Talmudic literature, they may be murdered, stolen from and lied to. The reason is clear. Goyem are not bona fide human beings and their very existence is not essential in terms of universal wisdom.

Qana…Where Jesus’s 1st Miracle Turns Bloody

Batoul Wehbe

“We have lived through hell,” Qana resident, Fawzeya Atwi cried. “The people were chopped into pieces by the Israeli bombs. They bleed these people. You should have seen the heads.”

“Do you know what the dogs did at night after the killings? They were hungry and I saw them in the ruins eating fingers and pieces of our people,” Atwi said about the Qana massacre during the July 2006 Israeli War on Lebanon.

Head of the Red Cross in Tyre Sami Yazbak, who was helping to pull bodies from the ruins, told The Guardian that the first call about the bombing was received at 7 a.m., 6 hours after the bombing took place. He said that previous shelling on the road to Qana had delayed the arrival of Red Cross personnel.

Yazbak said that “many of the children who were sleeping inside were handicapped.”

Many journalists who arrived in Qana to cover the incident became rescuers, dugging through the rubble with the Red Cross in search for bodies.

Journalist Bahia El Ainain talks about her experiences during the 2006 Israeli massacre in Qana. “I cried several times. I couldn’t be a journalist over being a mother when I saw dead young girls. I couldn’t but think of my daughter.” She also recounts an incident when she was on a roof, along with all the foreign press and their cameras. Bahia pushed the cameras away; she admits that her patriotism outweighs the journalist’s instincts for objectivity.

The Suffering of Fallujah

Robert Koehler

A US marine walks past two bodies lying along a street in the Fallujah.
Photo: AFP/Patrick Baz The WE!

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fallujah . . .

And so it turns out that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, though not until we arrived and started using them.

Along with whatever else we did to Fallujah – exacted collective punishment on a defiant city (a war crime) in November 2004, killed thousands of civilians, shattered the infrastructure (nearly six years later, the sewage system hasn’t been repaired and waste flows in the streets) — we also, apparently, nuked the city, leaving a legacy of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and genetic abnormality.

Freedom isn’t free. Remember when that was the go-to phrase of the citizen war zealots among us, their all-purpose rebuttal when those of us appalled by this insane war cited civilian casualty stats? Discussion over. Thought stops here.

This is the power of language. Call it "war" and along come glory, duty, courage, sacrifice: the best of humanity writ large. The word is impenetrable; it sets the heart in motion; God makes an appearance, blesses the troops, blesses the weapons. Operation Iraqi Freedom: They’ll greet us with open arms.

At what point do we learn our lesson, that "war" is a moral cesspool of horrific consequences, especially, and most troublingly, unintended ones?

Damage Control: Downplaying WikiLeaks Revelations

Stephen Lendman

Assange said Monday he believes there is evidence of war crimes
in the thousands of pages of leaked U.S. military documents re-
lating to the war in Afghanistan. The remarks came after Wikileaks,
a whistle-blowing group, posted some 91,000 classified U.S. military
records over the past six years about the war online, including un-
reported incidents of Afghan civilian killings and covert operations
against Taliban figures. (Source) (AP Photo/Lizzie Robinson, PA)

When truths are too disturbing to conceal, downplay them, change the subject, and blame others, not responsible Washington officials and key allies, culpable politicians and media misinformation masters suppressing and misreporting the facts, their well-oiled spin machine counterattacking WikiLeaks - revelations too sensitive to explain, a potential game-changer otherwise, so pundits and reporters duck them.

Above all, WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries" are a powerful indictment of wars, their true face, the mindless daily slaughter and destruction too disturbing to reveal, for Julian Assange:

"the vast sweep of abuses, everyday squalor and carnage of sort of kill after another every day going on and on and damn thing after another....(endless) small events, the continuous deaths of children, insurgents, allied forces....(many) thousands" of war crimes needing exposure, accountability, and prosecutions.

The "Diaries" document them, suppressed by the major media, choosing embedded complicity and Pentagon handouts over real journalism, WikiLeaks "high quality material" and solid analysis their antidote, so far not enough to stop Congress.

One day after their release, following the Senate's passage days earlier on top of $130 billion already approved this year, the House overwhelmingly passed a $60 billion supplemental spending bill, including $37 billion for America's wars, mostly for 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan. Obama tripled the force since taking office, now around 100,000 and increasing by about 2,000 a month, their numbers exceeded by private military and other contractors, making the annual cost per US soldier $1 million and rising, reason enough to end both wars and bring them home.

Yet more escalation is planned, breaking candidate Obama's October 27, 2007 pledge saying:

"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home, We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank," perhaps an insolvent one under FDIC receivership.

A day after the WikiLeaks release, he ignored old promises, evaded indictable war crimes evidence and a deepening unwinnable quagmire, urging the House authorize more supplemental funding, then engaged in contradictory, deceitful damage control.

Another lying rabbi

Khalid Amayreh

The shipyard dogs of Zionism get ferociously mad whenever Israel is described as a racist and apartheid state. They argue rather vehemently that it is unfair and unjust to describe the deformed pariah entity as an apartheid state, citing the fact that non-Jews in Israel are accorded equal political rights and are allowed to vote.

Well, I think we do a great injustice to language when we call Israel an apartheid state because the Zionist regime is far more nefarious than all the apartheid and discrimination in the world combined.

Theoretically, Israel does give some rights to non-Jewish citizens. However, when these rights are dealt with in practice, they are effectively devoid of any substance. In fact, non-Jews are accorded citizenship in Israel only in exchange for coming to terms with Jewish supremacy and inherent discrimination against them. After all, the state is defined as Jewish first and only democratic second, meaning that in any conflict between the "Jewish" and "democratic" aspects of the state, the Jewish component will always come first.

So what is the point of having rights and privileges that are used solely for propaganda purposes and not meant to be implemented in any genuine manner?

Besides, "democracy" goes for the Jews, while "Jewish supremacy" is smacked in the face of the native Arab community?

In addition, we all know that democracy can produce criminal and racist laws. Fascism is often of a populist nature, especially in the absences of constitutional checks and balances which don't exist in Israel.

Julia Gillard, the new warlord of Oz

John Pilger

The rise to power of Australia’s first female prime minister led to hopes for political change. But early signs indicate that Gillard will do little more than protect vested big-business interests.

The Order of Mates celebrated beside Sydney Harbour the other day. This is a venerable masonry in Australian political life that unites the Labor Party with the rich elite known as the big end of town. They shake hands, not hug, though the Silver Bodgie now hugs. In his prime, the Silver Bodgie, aka Bob Hawke, or Hawkie, wore suits that shone, wide-bottomed trousers and shirts with the buttons undone. A bodgie was a 1950s Australian Teddy Boy and Hawke's thick grey-black coiffure added inches to his abbreviated stature.

Hawke also talked out of the corner of his mouth in an accent that was said to be "ocker", or working class, although he was of the middle class and Oxford-educated. When he was president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, his popularity rested on his reputation as a hard-drinking larrikin, an Australian sobriquet once prized almost as much as an imperial honour. For Hawke, it was the disguise of one whose heart belonged to the big end of town, who cooled the struggles of working Australians during the rise to power of the new property sharks, mineral barons and tax avoiders.

Indeed, as Labor prime minister in the 1980s, Hawke and his treasurer Paul Keating eliminated the most equitable spread of personal income on earth: a model for the Blairites. And the Great Mate across the Pacific loved Hawkie. Victor Marchetti, the CIA strategist who helped draft the treaty that gave America control over its most important spy base in the southern hemisphere, told me: "When Hawke came along . . . he immediately sent signals that he knew how the game was played and who was buttering his bread. He became very co-operative, and even obsequious."

Ethnic cleansing in the Israeli Negev

Neve Gordon

Link to the Guardian video HERE.

Neve Gordon recounts his experience of visiting the Israeli Arab village of Al-Arakib moments after it had been razed to the ground by the Israeli authorities, in the latest example of ethnic cleansing in the Negev desert.

A menacing convoy of bulldozers was heading back to Be'er Sheva as I drove towards al-Arakib, a Bedouin village located not more than 10 minutes from the city. Once I entered the dirt road leading to the village I saw scores of vans with heavily armed policemen getting ready to leave. Their mission, it seems, had been accomplished.

The signs of destruction were immediately evident. I first noticed the chickens and geese running loose near a bulldozed house, and then saw another house and then another one, all of them in rubble. A few children were trying to find a shaded spot to hide from the scorching desert sun, while behind them a stream of black smoke rose from the burning hay. The sheep, goats and the cattle were nowhere to be seen – perhaps because the police had confiscated them.

U.S. losing Afghanistan to China

Matthew Nasuti

The Chinese contribution (to Afghanistan) is as important as that of Western troops.” ~ A quote from Mohammad Yalaqi, the Afghan Minister of Commerce and Industry to Tini Tran of the Associated Press on July 4, 2010, for the story: “As US fights, China spends to gain Afghan foothold.”

It should stun the American public to discover that some Afghan officials place Chinese commercial ties on an equal par with ten years of American military and reconstruction efforts.

On July 5, 2010, Senator John McCain, speaking in Afghanistan, stated: “If we succeed there (Kandahar) we will succeed in the rest of this struggle.” The reality is that Afghans may credit China for any defeat of the Taliban. It is disquieting that the American Embassy in Kabul is losing a little-known propaganda war over who is helping the Afghans the most.

In contrast, the Chinese Embassy in Kabul is waging a brilliant campaign to advance its interests. Almost as significant, it is waging its war so skillfully that American diplomats are seemingly oblivious to the Chinese efforts. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell traveled to Beijing in October 2009, to urge China to assist and invest in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, when the Associated Press interviewed State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid, he praised China’s efforts in Afghanistan!

China is not merely winning the propaganda war. It is keeping a low public profile in Afghanistan, which keeps Muslim militant efforts focused on the very visible American military presence.

The Last Bastion of American Morality Is Under Assault

Paul Craig Roberts

The morality of the American people now resides, insecurely, in the Presbyterian Church. Every other institution of American society–the evangelical churches, the bought-and-paid-for American media, both houses of Congress, the executive branch, both political parties, the corporations, the financial sector, the universities–all support Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians. Only the Presbyterians dissent.

The genocide is cloaked behind the propaganda that no Palestinians lived in Palestine until after the Israelis arrived, that all Palestinians are terrorists who want to murder innocent peace-loving Israelis, and that the terrorist Palestinians are armed by the few remaining Muslim governments that so far have escaped becoming American puppet states.

The solution, of course, is for the few remaining independent countries in the Middle East to be brought by force under US and Israeli hegemony.

The Presbyterian Church, as it is the only US organization that is not under the Israel Lobby’s suzerainty, is included among the independent institutions that must be brought to heel.

The Presbyterian Church, which alone in America has a moral conscience, has been disturbed for some time by the Israeli/American policy of Palestinian extermination. In violation of international law and under the protection of US diplomacy and America’s UN veto, Israel has evicted Palestinians from their homes and villages since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967 and even before. The remaining small parts of the West Bank in which Palestinians still reside have been turned by Israel into ghettos cut off from the rest of Palestine.

The Presbyterians, being meek Christians, have only mild criticisms of Israel which are packaged together in the church’s Middle East Study Committee’s report with the Presbyterians’ commitment to Israel’s continued existence and to “our American Jewish Friends.” The Presbyterian report even disavows divestment from Caterpillar, the US company that supplies Israel with the machines that destroy Palestinian homes, thus driving Palestinians from their lands so that Zionist settlers can confiscate their properties. It was a Caterpillar bulldozer that killed the American Rachel Corrie who was protesting Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes.

Oliver Stone apologized for Telling the Truth

Gilad Atzmon

"Stone doesn’t refer to race. There is nothing anti Semitic in his remark whatsoever unless telling the truth is a form of anti Semitism. Moreover, Stone didn’t demonize Jews for being Jews, he described some actions committed by Jewish institutional lobbies, actions that are now academically documented and studied. He did it for a good reason. Stone is probably patriotic or pragmatic enough to gather that peace is important."

There you go, Oliver Stone apologized for suggesting that the Jewish lobby controls Washington's foreign policy and that Hitler's actions should be put into context.

In fact, Stone’s apology confirms Stone’s argument. We are subject to constant assault by Jewish and Israeli gatekeepers who insist on controlling the political and historical discourse and defy any possible criticism of Jewish national affairs.

“In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret,” Stone said in a statement released late Monday, the day after his remarks were published in a British newspaper.

WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries"

Stephen Lendman

Calling itself "the intelligence agency of the people," WikiLeaks is "a multi-juristidictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive material to communicate to the public" that has a right and need to know - to then use responsibly for better government in a free and open society, absent in today's America run by warlords, criminal politicians, and corporate bosses, spurning the rule of law for their own gain.

On July 26, WikiLeaks published "The Afghan War Diaries," its modern day Pentagon Papers, top-secret documents eroding support for the Vietnam War, the New York Times saying they "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance" - what Julian Assange has done on Afghanistan, revealing Bush and Obama administration lies and duplicity about their illegal war of aggression, America's longest. More on that below.

Releasing over 75,000 of nearly 92,000 reports, they represent a small fraction of millions of US files uploaded to WikiLeaks databases, more to be regularly released, "high quality material," according to Assange.

They're chronologically listed in over 100 categories, covering the period January 2004 - December 2009, describing lethal US military actions, including numbers internally killed, wounded, or detained by geographical location, units involved, and major weapons used.

Since the Pentagon Papers, they comprise the "most significant (comprehensive) archive about the reality of war," with no resolution or opposition in Congress, providing "a comprehensive understanding of the war (and) modern warfare in general."

Accounts come mainly from soldiers and intelligence officers, but also from US embassies and other sources revealing corruption and criminality across Afghanistan, including coverups, collusion, distortion, and duplicity - a sordid story needing telling to shock a comatose public to action, and revive a badly needed anti-war movement.

Wikileaks Docs Target Pakistan

Kurt Nimmo

Not long after Wikileaks dumped tens of thousands of classified Afghanistan “war” documents into the public arena for consumption, the corporate media zoomed in on Pakistan. “WikiLeaks documents released Sunday shine a spotlight on Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, a spy agency that has been accused for years of having links to terrorist groups,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

“In the reports, the retired general [Hamid Gul] and former head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1987 to 1989 is accused of ordering IED attacks against Afghan and international forces in December 2006 and of plotting to kidnap United Nations staff to use as hostages in exchange for militant prisoners,” reports the Christian Science Monitor. “The ISI is mentioned in at least 190 reports, and is accused of backing attacks against US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in Afghanistan.”

Demonizing Pakistan and Gul play right into the Pentagon’s script as the puppet Barry Obama expands the “war” in Afghanistan and sends drones armed with Hellfire missiles into Pakistan’s tribal areas to kill a never-ending cast of intelligence created bad guys.

Israel’s secret police exposed

Jonathan Cook

Sheikh Raed Salah (center)

The arrest by Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, of an Israeli Jew accused of killing at least four Palestinians has thrown a rare light on the secret police, including attempts by one of its agents to enlist the accused to assassinate a Palestinian spiritual leader.

Chaim Pearlman, who was arrested a fortnight ago, has been charged with murdering four Palestinians in Jerusalem and injuring at least seven others in a series of knife attacks that began more than a decade ago. Police are still investigating whether he was involved in additional attacks.

Although Pearlman was denied access to a lawyer until 23 July, far-right groups have rapidly come to his aid, waging what the Shin Bet officials have described as “psychological warfare” by revealing damaging details about the case.

Pearlman has released tape recordings he secretly made of recent conversations with an undercover Shin Bet agent who tried to get Pearlman to incriminate himself.

“The [Shin Bet] agent ... can be heard ex-
horting [Chaim Pearlman] both to go to an
‘Arab village’ to ‘turn it into a fireworks
display’ and to execute Sheikh Raed Salah,
a leader of the Islamic Movement and a
recent participant in the aid flotilla to Gaza.”

The agent, who befriended Pearlman and was known as “Dada”, can be heard exhorting him both to go to an “Arab village” to “turn it into a fireworks display” and to execute Sheikh Raed Salah, a leader of the Islamic Movement and a recent participant in the aid flotilla to Gaza that was attacked by Israel.

In another blow to the Shin Bet, Pearlman’s supporters have released a video secretly filmed of the head of the Shin Bet’s Jewish division, which arrested Pearlman, both naming him and identifying where he lives.

Although he is in charge of handling “Jewish terror” cases for the Shin Bet, the video states that he lives in Kfar Adumim, a West Bank settlement. It is a criminal offence to identify any employee of the Shin Bet.

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