Israeli-Imposed Apartheid Almost Complete in West Bank City of Hebron

Jane Adas
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

[Trash, that is, seen from below. On a street near the Abraham Mosque, occupation apartheid takes on unusually sharp visual clarity in the form of Israeli settlements comprising the the upper echelon of houses and Palestinian shops, the lower. This means the settlers can, and do, throw their trash out their windows onto the Palestinians. The torn chain-link fence halving the street manages to keep out the somewhat solid trash like bottles and bags, but not urine, dishwater, and other ugly precipitations such as egg yolks…(Work Abroad)]

Separation ("apartheid" in Afrikaans; "us here, them there," according to the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin) is almost complete in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The Hebron Protocol of 1997 divided the city into two parts: 80 percent of the city, designated H1, is theoretically under the administration of the Palestinian Authority; H2, which includes the Old City and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, is under Israeli military control. Life for Palestinians in H1, except for occasional Israeli incursions and the fact that every plane heard overhead is military, is almost normal. Israeli settlers stay clear of the area and the uniformed men in the streets are Palestinian security forces.

H2, the eastern fifth of the city, is a different matter. A few hundred Israeli settlers and yeshiva students, guarded by more than a thousand Israeli soldiers, live here in four scattered colonies. For their security and convenience, roads that connect the colonies to each other and to the larger illegal settlements of Kiryat Arba and Givat Harsina east of the city are off-limits to Palestinians, whether by car or on foot. This includes Shuhada Street, the main road running through the center of Hebron, rebuilt in 1997 as a USAID project ostensibly to benefit both communities. The Israeli military has welded shut the doors of Palestinian homes and shops along the street, meaning that the only way residents, including schoolchildren, can leave and return to their homes is out a back door, then over rooftops and up and down ladders. - For Palestinians living there, the Old City itself is a ghetto.


Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean

Rick Rozoff
Stop NATO

A year after assuming the post of president of the French Republic in 2007, and while his nation held the rotating European Union presidency, Nicolas Sarkozy invited the heads of state of the EU’s 27 members and those of 17 non-EU Mediterranean countries to attend a conference in Paris to launch a Mediterranean Union.

In the words of Britain’s Daily Telegraph regarding the subsequent summit held for the purpose on July 13, 2008, “Sarkozy’s big idea is to use imperial Rome’s centre of the world as a unifying factor linking 44 countries that are home to 800 million people.”

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, however, announced that his nation would boycott the gathering, denouncing the initiative as one aimed at dividing both Africa and the Arab world, and stating:

“We shall have another Roman empire and imperialist design. There are imperialist maps and designs that we have already rolled up. We should not have them again.” [1]

The unprecedented summit was held with the intention of “shift[ing] Europe’s strategic focus towards the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans.” [2]

The Mediterranean Union was renamed the less controversial Union for the Mediterranean and its members include all 44 nations originally invited to join except for Libya.

Less than three years later Sarkozy’s Mirage and Rafale warplanes were bombing Libyan government targets, initiating an ongoing war being waged by France, the United States, Britain and what the world news media refer to as an international coalition – 12 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the emirate of Qatar – to overthrow the Gaddafi government and implant a more pliant replacement.

The Mediterranean Sea is the main battle front in the world currently, superseding the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater, and the empire of the new third millennium – that of the U.S., the world’s sole military superpower in the words of President Barack Obama in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, and its NATO partners – is completing the transformation of the Mediterranean into its mare nostrum.


Simple truth

Nahida Izzat
Exiled Palestinian


American media silent on CIA ties to Libya rebel commander

Patrick Martin
WSWS

It has been six days since Khalifa Hifter was appointed the top military commander for the Libyan rebel forces fighting the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. His appointment was noted by reporter Nancy Youssef of McClatchy Newspapers, a US regional chain that includes the Sacramento Bee and the Kansas City Star.

Two days later, another McClatchy journalist, Chris Adams, wrote a brief biographical sketch of Hifter that left the implication, without saying so explicitly, that he was a longtime CIA asset. It headlined the fact that after defecting from a top position in Gaddafi’s army, Hifter had lived in northern Virginia for some 20 years, as well as noting that Hifter had no obvious means of financial support.

The World Socialist Web Site published a perspective March 28 taking note of both the McClatchy articles and earlier reports providing more details of Hifter’s connections to the CIA. These included a 1996 article in the Washington Post and a book published by the French weekly Le Monde diplomatique. (See "A CIA commander for the Libyan rebels”)

Both the McClatchy sketch of Hifter’s background and the WSWS perspective have been widely circulated on the Internet. The WSWS perspective has been linked to by a myriad of left-liberal and antiwar web sites, although, significantly, there has been no mention of Hifter in the press of the International Socialist Organization and other pseudo-socialist groups that adapt themselves politically to the pro-Obama liberal milieu.

Hifter has been interviewed and his appointment reported by the European press, including the Independent of Britain, the German weekly Stern, and newspapers in Spain, France, Italy and Turkey (with variant spellings, including Heftar and Haftar). But not in America.


Obama on Libya: Defending the Indefensible

Stephen Lendman

Obama's March 28 television address wreaked of hypocrisy, lies and disdain for basic democratic values, making an indefensible case for naked aggression against a non-belligerent country. America's media approved.

On March 28, New York Times writer Helene Cooper headlined, "Obama Cites Limits of US Role in Libya," saying:

Obama "defended the American-led military assault in Libya on Monday, saying it was in the national interest of the United States to stop a potential massacre that would have 'stained the conscience of the world,' " even though no threat existed until:

Washington showed up with co-belligerents France and Britain;
beginning in 2010, armed and funded so-called "rebels" who, in fact, are cutthroat killers, rapists and marauders, terrorizing every area they control, including their Benghazi stronghold; and
support them with daily "shock and awe" terror attacks, causing increasing numbers of deaths and injuries, as well as destruction and contamination of all areas struck by depleted uranium bombs, missiles and shells, spreading radiation over wide areas.

Despite Pentagon denials, conservative estimates put civilian deaths at over 100, besides combatants killed and unknown numbers murdered by rebel allies. Since March 19 air attacks began, nearly 1,500 sorties have been flown, that number to rise exponentially as daily strikes continue under US command, running all NATO operations under AFRICOM's General Carter Ham. Alleged new commander, Canada's Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, is his subordinate, a Pentagon figurehead.

The alleged handover is fabricated. NATO is code language for America/the Pentagon. Obama lied announcing otherwise, saying Washington's role will be limited to stop potential "slaughter and mass graves" in Benghazi. In fact, he supports and/or ignores rebel terror killings against defenseless civilians, making him complicit in their crimes, besides widespread ones caused by NATO, America's missile. US attacks, in fact, will continue throughout the campaign, perhaps lasting months at an enormous cost, besides hundreds of billions annually in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Making an indefensible case, Obama said, "For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant - Muammar Gaddafi," ignoring the numerous regional and global ones America supports, including rogue Israeli regimes, lawlessly terrorizing Palestinians for over six decades with generous US support and funding.


Barack Hussein Obama Earns His Bones

Charles E. Carlson
WHTT

America is a war-based economy, this is fundamental. Note that the stock market has gone up every day but one since President Obama announced the USA would bomb Libya. Please, do not take your eyes off the fact that primary Beltway support for new bomb dumping adventures come from interests that benefit from wars. We need to understand how these Warmakers sell us consumers on accepting new invasions where we pay them for killing other people's children.

Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, vowed to continue to hold hearings on "Radicalization of American Muslims." On March 10, King's star witness against Islam was professing Muslim medical doctor Zuhdi Jasser. While these hearings were going on, James Clapper, the director of US National Intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee “the Gadaffi regime will prevail” and the rebels do not have the power to resist. Concurrently, the State Department announced that the US lacks "legal authority" to act against Libya. All of these parties acted in concert to sell out the Libyan revolution.


Three Phony Reasons to Bomb Libya

Benjamin H. Friedman
The National Interest

American wars require salesmanship, even when Congress surrenders its power to authorize them. Hawks collect justifications, which need not match their motivations. The Obama administration’s case for the war under way in Libya fits this model, except that this time the bombing preceded the PR.

The primary reason we are in Libya is to help replace an especially noxious dictator with something democratic. Though it requires heroic assumptions about the rebels’ liberalism, the apparent ease of this revolution is what excited interventionists.

Certainly humanitarian concerns influenced some Libya hawks, including the President and his advisors. But that rationale is more selling point than motivation. Libya’s is a not particularly brutal civil war compared to others we ignore.

Nor is it clear that bombing Libya serves humanitarian ends. True, absent outside intervention, the Libyan government would likely have reasserted its authority in the east, killing rebellious civilians. But the civil war that intervention prolonged will probably kill more. In his March 18 speech justifying war on humanitarian grounds, Obama quoted Qaddafi’s promise to show “no mercy and no pity,” but failed to note that the dictator was threatening rebel fighters, not civilians, and explicitly excluded rebels that surrendered. The point is not that we should bank on such promises but that the path to minimizing violence is uncertain.

Another of the president’s reasons for war is that Qaddafi “lost legitimacy” to rule. Luckily we have George Will to skewer that nonsense:

Such meretricious boilerplate seems designed to anesthetize thought. When did Gadhafi lose his people's confidence? When did he have legitimacy? American doctrine — check the Declaration of Independence — is that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. So there are always many illegitimate governments. When is it America's duty to scrub away these blemishes on the planet? Is there a limiting principle of humanitarian interventionism? If so, would Obama take a stab at stating it?

The latest White House justification for war is credibility or demonstration effects. The idea is that attacking Qaddafi shows willingness to do so elsewhere, encouraging protesters and pushing dictators to capitulate to them. Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice apparently pushed this line in White House meetings, even including Iran in the list of regimes that would be deterred. Wilsonian pundits of both the neoconservative and liberal internationalist varieties agree.

Credibility arguments attach peripheral concerns to more important ones—hence the term “domino theory.” The Johnson administration claimed that leaving Vietnam would embolden Communists globally, undermining U.S. defense commitments. We bombed Serbia in 1999 partially in the name of bucking up NATO’s credibility for other wars. The Bush administration argued that deposing Saddam Hussein would deter other dictators from seeking nuclear and biological weapons or otherwise defying American and U.N. directives. Opponents of ending the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan often argue that leaving would damage our reputation for resolve and invite trouble elsewhere.


Afghanistan: More children killed in US-NATO air attacks

Patrick O’Connor
WSWS

A NATO helicopter strike in the southern Afghanistan province of Helmand last Friday killed seven civilians, including three children. The atrocity is the latest in a series of recent US-led bombing operations that have inflicted mass civilian casualties.

Nine children collecting firewood were killed on March 1 in an airstrike in northeastern Kunar province. This prompted desperate apologies from President Barack Obama and General David Petraeus, aimed at placating enormous anger among ordinary Afghans. On March 14 another two children, 10- and 15-year-old brothers, were killed in Kunar. One government official said the boys were carrying shovels on their shoulders that may have been mistaken for weapons. On March 23, a NATO airstrike in eastern Khost province reportedly killed three civilians, including one child. These incidents followed last month’s war crime in the Ghaziabad district of Kunar province, where helicopter strikes killed 65 civilians, including 22 women, and 40 children under the age of 13, according to an Afghan government investigation.

Details of the latest incident remain scant. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) ordered an air strike on two vehicles travelling through Helmand’s Now Zad district. According to ISAF, the vehicles were believed to be occupied by a “Taliban leader and his associates”. A statement acknowledged, without providing details, “Afghan civilians were accidentally killed and wounded in Now Zad district, Helmand province”. ISAF added that an investigation was underway.

Two men, two women, and three children were killed, according to Afghan officials in Helmand. Another three children and two adults were reportedly wounded. According to the Associated Press, provincial authorities said the civilians killed and injured had been in a car near the targeted vehicles. ISAF spokesman Major Tim James said he could not confirm that the Taliban leader had been present.


The Anti-Empire Report

William Blum
The Anti-Empire Report

Libya and The Holy Triumvirate

The words they find it very difficult to say — "civil war".

Libya is engaged in a civil war. The United States and the European Union and NATO — The Holy Triumvirate — are intervening, bloodily, in a civil war. To overthrow Moammar Gaddafi. First The Holy Triumvirate spoke only of imposing a no-fly zone. After getting support from international bodies on that understanding they immediately began to wage war against Libyan military forces, and whoever was nearby, on a daily basis. In the world of commerce this is called "bait and switch".

Gaddafi's crime? He was never respectful enough of The Holy Triumvirate, which recognizes no higher power, and maneuvers the United Nations for its own purposes, depending on China and Russia to be as spineless and hypocritical as Barack Obama. The man the Triumvirate allows to replace Gaddafi will be more respectful.

So who are the good guys? The Libyan rebels, we're told. The ones who go around murdering and raping African blacks on the supposition that they're all mercenaries for Gaddafi. One or more of the victims may indeed have been members of a Libyan government military battalion; or may not have been. During the 1990s, in the name of pan-African unity, Gaddafi opened the borders to tens of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans to live and work in Libya. That, along with his earlier pan-Arab vision, did not win him points with The Holy Triumvirate. Corporate bosses have the same problem about their employees forming unions. Oh, and did I mention that Gaddafi is strongly anti-Zionist?

Does anyone know what kind of government the rebels would create? The Triumvirate has no idea.


Japan's Leaking Water Radiation 100,000 Times Above Normal

Stephen Lendman


A child looks at a bottle of mineral water distributed to a nur-
sery in Tokyo Thursday, March 24, 2011. (Kyodo News/AP)

Initial March 27 Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) reports detected Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 radioactive water readings at ten million times normal levels, including:

2.9 billion becquerels of iodine-134;
13 million becquerels of iodine-131; and
2.3 million becquerels (each) of cesium-134 and 137 per cubic centimeter of water in the turbine building's basement.

This measure was 1,000 times above water readings in Units 1 and 3. Emissions happen during nuclear fission. Tokyo University Professor Naoto Sekimura said the leak came from Unit 2's damaged suppression chamber, designed to contain radioactive substance overflows. French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety's Olivier Isnard believes high readings are "proof that the reactor core (at least) partially melted." Others suggest a likely full meltdown, covered up and downplayed.

A later March 27 Mari Yamaguchi and Yuri Kageyama AP report headlined, "More obstacles impede crews in Japan nuke crisis," saying:

"Mounting problems, including badly miscalculated radiation figures and inadequate storage tanks for huge amounts of contaminated water, stymied emergency workers Sunday as they struggled to" step back from the brink of uncontrollable disaster.

After initial Sunday reports had Unit 2 radiation levels 10 million times normal, Tokyo Electric's Vice President Sakae Muto said a later test found them at 100,000 times, either way too dangerously high. In addition, nearby sea readings are 1,850 times normal. Combined, they're the highest measures since the March 11 earthquake/tsunami, showing conditions are deteriorating, not improving despite government and company reassurances.

Later, TEPCO said surface water outside the reactor contained over 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour. According to the EPA, a single dose that high can cause hemorrhaging. In fact, 100 millisieverts causes radiation sickness.

Besides TEPCO's notoriously poor safety record, also at issue is its penchant for coverup and denial. As a result, perhaps true readings are much higher than reported. UCLA Professor Najmdin Meshkati, in fact, believes "the situation is (likely) much more serious than we (are) led to believe."


Political Prisoners in America: A Shocking Example of Mistreatment

Stephen Lendman

A personal note. Writing about America's political prisoners is essential to defend freedom, justice, and other democratic values, especially wrongfully persecuted Muslims for political advantage. I communicate directly with five notable victims, all of whom I greatly respect, including:

attorneys Lynne Stewart and Paul Bergrin;
Yassin Aref;
Dr. Rafil Dhafir; and
Shukri Abu-Baker.

I've also written about them all, discussed them on the Progressive Radio News Hour, and am committed to help achieve justice so far denied them.

This article concerns Abu-Baker, after Rafil Dhafir emailed me the following from Terre Haute, IN federal prison Communications Management Unit's (CMU) segregation section where Muslims receive excessively punitive treatment:

"Last night Shukri Baker, here in CMU, got a call from his family that his daughter Sanabil is dying in the hospital. She has cystic fibrosis, Thalassemia major and diabetes. She is not eligible for lung transplant. She is only 24 who has only 2 months left to finish college. He is distraught. With tears in his eyes he kept asking:

d I do to this country to deny me enough time to talk to my dying daughter by phone? Why am I not allowed to hug my baby in her last days of her life? Who is going to council my young daughters and their mother in this hour of grief and uncertainty?'

He asked for extra phone calls to straighten things out. He was given the run around. The Chaplain claimed that he is new and does not know the procedure for approval. Those who can be talked to are no where to be found. It was late Friday when he learned of his daughter's condition.

It broke my heart to see this great man who helped save the lives of millions in places far away from here, who never hurt anyone intentionally, and who dedicated his life to saving and relieving children and needy people be denied the right of a human being to see his dying daughter off and to help his own children.

It is cruel to imprison one for providing relief but it is far worse in cruelty to deny such person the comfort of talking to his dying child. Would one then wonder why these calamities befall the world all over?"


The Zionists wield their influence by winning the ongoing propaganda war: Stuart Littlewood

Interview by Kourosh Ziabari

Stuart Littlewood is a British writer and photographer. He is the co-author of the book "Radio Free Palestine" in which he has elaborately described the plight of the Palestinian nation under the Israeli occupation. Littlewood's articles on the cause of the Palestinian nation have been published on a variety of websites, newspapers and online magazines including Intifada Palestine, Veterans Today, Palestine Chronicle, Dissident Voice, Ramallah Online and Voltaire Net. In a 2009 interview with Media Review, Littlewood described his contributions to raising the public awareness of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the ignorance of the British people concerning the suffering of the Palestinian nation.

Stuart joined me in an in-depth interview to discuss the ongoing anguish of the people of Palestine, the situation of Gaza Strip and West Bank, the influence of Israeli lobby over the mass media in the West and the international isolation of Iran due to its unconditional support for the Palestinian people.


Another Evil Little War

Nebojsa Malic
Antiwar Forum

Kosovo Repeated

Twelve years ago, Bill Clinton launched an evil little war in the Balkans, attacking what was then Yugoslavia because he could. The best indicator of that were the ever-changing pretexts for the war, from imposing a "peace" ultimatum and "protecting refugees" (created by the bombing) to stopping a (fictitious) "genocide." Four years later, when Bush the Lesser invaded Iraq, his pretexts were less humanitarian, but no less fictitious. The pattern was obvious even then. Today, the Nobel Peace Prize stands worthless as the Empire engages in yet another evil little war, this time in North Africa. Imperial policy has come full circle, with Barack Obama managing to combine the Clinton restoration with the Bush continuity.

Shifting the Goalposts

Following the 1999 war, which ended with the NATO occupation of the Serbian province of Kosovo, the Empire hired an "independent commission" to whitewash the endeavor as "illegal but legitimate." In actuality, it was both illegal and illegitimate. The war clearly violated the UN Charter, the NATO charter and the U.S. Constitution. Empire’s principal claim to the war’s legitimacy — alleged Serb atrocities against Albanian rebels — was exposed as exaggerated propaganda relatively quickly. Adding insult to injury was the wholesale campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Albanians, which started the moment NATO troops arrived in the province and went on for years with absolute impunity.

Even today, however, criticism of the Kosovo War takes on a "yes, but" form, in which the principal points of NATO propaganda — Serb atrocities, the alleged ethnic cleansing plan, 10,000 dead Albanian civilians, etc. — are taken as unimpeachable facts rather than tailor-made fiction. All that remains of the argument against the war then is that it was "too expensive" and "took too long." So, if the Empire promises and delivers a faster and cheaper war, that would make it all right? - Except there is no such thing, of course.


BBC: Imperial US and UK Tool

Stephen Lendman


Web users in China have turned to microblogging sites to
circumvent state censorship. (The Guardian)

Claiming "honesty (and) integrity (is) what the BBC stands for....free from political and commercial pressure" is untrue about an organization that from inception betrayed the public trust. For nearly nine decades, serving wealth and power alone matters most, now with State Department funds for America like Britain.

One blogger put it this way, "Let me get this straight. The US is broke, borrowing money from China, and we will be funding the BBC to broadcast in China?"

On March 20, the London Guardian's Ben Dowell broke the news, headlining, "BBC World Service to sign funding deal with US State Department," saying:

Britain's government funded BBC will "receive a 'significant" sum of money from the US government to help (circumvent) the blocking of TV and internet services in countries including Iran and China," as well as develop early warning software to more easily detect jamming.

According to Jim Egan, BBC's controller of strategy and business:

Effective software will help "monitor dips in traffic which act as an early warning of jamming, and can be more effective than relying on people contacting us and telling us they cannot access the services."

Proxy servers will also be used to misdirect web site blockers to countries other than where broadcasts emanate.

"China has become quite expert at blocking websites," said Egan, "and one could say it has become something of an export industry for them - a lot of countries are keen to follow suit. We have (also seen) evidence of Libya and Egypt blocking the internet and satellite signals in recent weeks."

Moreover, Egan said, anti-censorship software will likely need regular updating to counter new technologies developed to subvert it. Another BBC source called it "a bit of a game of cat and mouse," but didn't explain why foreign blocking occurs; namely, to prevent anti-government propaganda from being aired, a reason any nation might act defensively.

Funding also buys influence, assuring US propaganda an influential global outlet, complementing its Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and Radio Marti (Radio y Television Marti), as well as America's mainstream media and other Western conduits, delivering managed, not real, news and information.


Planned Regime Change in Libya

Stephen Lendman


Libyan soldiers survey the damage to an administrative building
hit by a missile late Sunday in the heart of Moammar Gadhafi's
Bab Al Azizia compound in Tripoli, Libya. (AP / The Hindu)

A March 25 White House press release announced Obama's planned March 28 national TV speech:

"to update the American people on the situation in Libya, including the actions we've taken with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar Qaddafi, the transition to NATO command and control, and our policy going forward."

Imagine the hypocrisy. US-style "humanitarian intervention" reigns death and destruction "to protect the Libyan people." Recall how "shock and awe" protected Iraqis, how war on Afghanistan helps Afghans and neighboring Pakistanis from predatory drone and ground attacks. Libyans are now tasting imperial viciousness firsthand.

In fact, all US wars are imperial, not humanitarian, a long discredited propaganda ruse major media reports don't explain. Instead they cheerlead for war no matter how lawless, mindless, destructive or counterproductive, spreading malicious misinformation to justify intervention, concealing or downplaying the fallout from all conflicts let alone why they're waged.

As a previous article explained, this one's for regime change like others, to replace one despot with another, control the entire Mediterranean Basin, colonize Libya, perhaps balkanize it, control its oil, gas and other strategic resources, exploit its people, privatize state industries, and establish new US bases for greater regional control.


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