Warmonger Netanyahu at UN

Stephen Lendman

Some Israeli officials around him think he's deranged for good reason. His satanic eyes alone give him away. He's a world class thug, a menace. He heads Israel's most extremist ever government.

He exceeds the worst of Ariel Sharon and previous hardline leaders. He's an embarrassment to democratic governance. He should have been kept out of New York instead of let in. He should be locked up for humanity's sake.

He represents state terrorism, occupation harshness, racist hate, neoliberal rapaciousness, and potential catastrophic regional war able to go global if waged.

He deplores peace. He's all take and no give. He calls diplomacy a four-letter word. He turns a blind eye to equity and justice. He's contemptuous of human and civil rights. He maliciously calls Iran's peaceful nuclear program an existential threat.

He's silent on Israel's stockpile of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. He won't say it's state policy to use them if threatened.

He's unfit to serve. He's a menacing danger to humanity. On September 27, he proved it in New York. At the same time, he made a fool of himself before a world audience.

The Ubiquitous New Yorker

Philip Giraldi

The next New York Police Department coming to a place near you!

Remember the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel who made his mark saving aristos from the guillotine? “They seek him here, they seek him there. Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven or is he in hell? That damned elusive Pimpernel.” Fortunately Baroness Orczy’s creation lived and worked in the eighteenth century. It’s not so difficult to find people these days given the capabilities afforded by high tech methods of intruding into people’s lives and monitoring their activities. Nowadays the Pimpernel would no doubt be detected and detained when using his cell phone or swiping his credit card at a 7-11.

For New Yorkers nostalgic for a reminder of life in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s city, experiencing something from home is not now nearly so elusive. In fact, New York is pretty much anywhere you turn. A little bit of New York has turned up in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and even Williamsburg, Va. It’s in Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Spain, India, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, and Israel. No, it’s not in the form of a Broadway deli or a Famous Original Ray’s pizza. It’s the New York City Police Department, which proudly displays the motto “Fidelis ad Mortem,” faithful unto death. The NYPD is everywhere.

The terror of US drone warfare

Ernst Wolff

A new study, “Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan,” describes the terrorizing of Pakistan’s civilian population by US drone assaults.

The study, released by researchers at New York University School of Law and Stanford University Law School, includes interviews with survivors of drone attacks and relatives of victims, giving a searing account of the horror and suffering that US imperialism has inflicted on an entire population.

Armed US drones first began operating over Afghanistan in October 2001, followed by attacks in Yemen and Pakistan, where most killings have occurred so far. From 2002 until today, the US has extended its arsenal from 167 to 7,000 unmanned aerial vehicles that are remotely controlled from facilities in the US, including the US Air Force Base in Creech, Nevada and the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The Obama administration has increased the number of attacks from between 45 and 52 under G.W. Bush to 293. It has also changed the strategy for picking the drones’ victims from “personality strikes” – aimed at high-ranking members of alleged terrorist organizations – to a strategy of “signature strikes.”

A Culture of Delusion

Paul Craig Roberts

Americans live in a matrix of lies. The endless lies have created a culture of delusion. And this is why America is lost.

A writer’s greatest disappointments are readers who have knee-jerk responses. Not all readers, of course. Some readers are thoughtful and supportive. Others express thanks for opening their eyes. But the majority are happy when a writer tells them what they want to hear and are unhappy when he writes what they don’t want to hear.

For the left-wing, Ronald Reagan is the great bogeyman. Those on the left don’t understand supply-side economics as a macroeconomic innovation that cured stagflation by utilizing the impact of fiscal policy on aggregate supply. Instead, they see “trickle-down economics” and tax cuts for the rich. Leftists don’t understand that the Reagan administration intervened in Grenada and Nicaragua in order to signal to the Soviets that there would be no more Soviet expansion or client states and that it was time to negotiate the end of the cold war. Instead, leftists see in Reagan the origin of rule by the one percent and the neoconservatives’ wars for US hegemony.

In 1981 curtailing inflation meant collapsing nominal GNP and tax revenues. The result would be budget deficits–anathema to Republicans– during the period of readjustment. Ending the cold war meant curtailing the military/security complex and raised the specter in conservative circles of “the anti-Christ” Gorbachev deceiving Reagan and taking over the world.

In pursuing his two main goals, Reagan was up against his own constituency and relied on rhetoric to keep his constituency on board with his agenda. The left wing heard the rhetoric but failed to comprehend the agenda.

US elections conceal preparations for war with Iran

Barry Grey

Within American ruling circles, it is well known that plans for war against Iran are far advanced, but there is a conspiracy of silence by both political parties and the media to keep this reality out of the presidential election. The intent is to drag the American people into yet another bloody war in the Middle East on the basis of false pretexts and lies, despite broad popular opposition to an attack on Iran.

Nothing reveals the anti-democratic and fraudulent character of the elections more clearly than the refusal to explain to the American people the military carnage that is being prepared in their name and allow them to express their democratic will.

Over the past week, a number of commentaries in the American and European press have warned of an attack by either Israel or the US, or both, against Iran in the near future, and a bipartisan group of former foreign policy officials, retired generals and former legislators has issued a report outlining the potentially catastrophic consequences of an unprovoked attack on the Persian Gulf country.

Some of the recent articles have the character of a pre-emptive political strike by ruling class figures wary of a war against Iran, while others suggest that such a war is necessary and inevitable. The confluence of such commentaries is itself an indication that detailed planning for war is underway.

Drones: Instruments of State Terror

Stephen Lendman

A new report jointly prepared by Stanford University's International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (SU) and New York University School of Law's Global Justice Clinic (NYU) is titled "Living Under Drones."

Part one discusses strikes on rescuers, funerals, and other civilian targets. Part two examines surveillance, the effects of drones overhead, and how their use creates fear and distrust. Part three considers the economic and impoverishment hardships families and communities sustain. Overall SU/NYU examines key aspects of the CIA's drone policy. It exposes facts political Washington and media scoundrels suppress. The dominant narrative claims drone strikes are precise and effective. They involve "targeted killings." Terrorists are assassinated with "minimal downsides or collateral impacts." As a result, America is much safer. "This narrative is false." It's a bald-faced lie. Drone strikes are indiscriminate. Mostly noncombatant civilians are killed.

The SU/NYU report followed nine months of intensive research. They included two investigations in Pakistan. Over 130 interviews were conducted with victims, witnesses, and experts. Thousands of pages of documentation and media reports were reviewed. This report "presents evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of" America's drone-strike policy. Firsthand evidence confirms it. So-called benefits don't exist. Civilians sustain enormous harm. "Living Under Drones" exposes what official accounts won't say.

Homelessness: the Destruction of Lives

Adnan Al-Daini

In 1966, I watched Ken Loach’s drama documentary “Cathy come home”. Wikipedia summarizes the play thus:

“The play tells the story of a young couple, Cathy and Reg. Initially their relationship flourishes and they have a child and move into a modern home. When Reg is injured and loses his job, they are evicted by bailiffs, and they face a life of poverty and unemployment, illegally squatting in empty houses and staying in shelters. Finally, Cathy has her children taken away by social services.”

I still remember the play vividly; it had a profound effect on me as it brought my earliest memories as a child of 5 into focus, living in my uncle’s house, his family, my grandmother, and my family (my parents, my sister and me); my family had one tiny room.

My father was desperately looking for work, and eventually found some labouring work in a school in another town 60 miles away. We moved with him, and again had to live in a rented room for another 6 months. That experience made me regard homelessness as one of the greatest horrors that could befall an individual or a family.

Pay in Blood: The Bipartisan Terror Machine Stripped Bare

Chris Floyd

In the category of "the sky is blue," "fire is hot" and "the sun rises in the east," the Guardian reports on a new study showing that Washington's murderous drone killing campaign in Pakistan is "counterproductive."

The sarcasm above is not meant to cast aspersions on the report itself -- which is detailed, devastating, and very productive -- but on the prevailing mindset in the ruling circles of the West (the self-proclaimed "defenders of civilization") that makes such a study even necessary, much less 'controversial.'

For of course even the denizens of the many secret services and black-op armies and intelligence agencies that make up America's world-straddling security apparat have said, repeatedly, that Washington's policy of murdering, torturing, renditioning and indefinitely detaining innocent people all over the world -- day after day, week after week, year after year -- is in fact creating the very extremism and anti-Americanism the policy purports to combat.

Thus the new report, by the law schools of New York University and Stanford (a famously if not notoriously conservative institution) should be, in a sane and rational world, a case of carrying coals to Newscastle or selling ice to the Inuit: an exercise in redunancy.

But instead, sadly, the report, "Living Under Drones," is a very, very rare instance of speaking truth to the power that is waging a hideous campaign of terror -- there is no other word for it -- against innocent people all over the world.

The personal testimonies gathered by the researchers -- on the ground, in Pakistan -- are shattering ... at least for those who actually believe that these swarthy foreigner are actually human beings, with "hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions .. fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is." You can be sure -- you can be damned sure -- that the Nobel Peace Laureate in the White House has never and will never read these stories of the ones he is terrorizing, night and day. These testimonies will never appear beside the scraps of rumor, conjecture and brutal prejudice that constitute the "reports" he sees each Tuesday -- "Terror Tuesday" -- when he meets in the Oval Office with his death squad team to decide who will be assassinated that week.

Europe strengthens repressive powers of the state

Peter Schwarz

The poster reads: "This definitely is...a Madrid without hope".

The aim of this anti-Islamic campaign is to divide the working class, suppress opposition to imperialist war, whip up right-wing forces, and direct growing social tensions into reactionary, racist channels.

The anti-Islamic film The Innocence of Muslims has triggered a storm of protest extending from Indonesia in Southeast Asia to Tunisia in northwestern Africa. The sheer magnitude of the protests demonstrates that they are not simply a response to the ravings of individual religious fanatics, but an expression of broad popular opposition to the US and its European allies, which have plunged the affected countries into war, humiliated their peoples, and exploited them as cheap labor.

The ruling circles of Europe have responded to the protests by defending the anti-Islamic propaganda in the name of free speech, while suppressing demonstrations against these racist provocations and strengthening their own state apparatuses. The most striking example is France, where the government has banned all protests against the defamatory Muhammad cartoons published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

This buildup of state power is directed against the entire working class. The ruling class anticipates violent class struggles. Social contradictions and tensions in Europe are rapidly increasing as the euro crisis intensifies and a new recession gathers pace.

The French government claims it is acting in defense of freedom of expression, but grants this right only to the satirical magazine while denying it to those who feel offended and denigrated by the caricatures. In other countries, too, freedom of expression is used to justify the defamatory cartoons while protests against them are criminalized.

Stemming the Tides of Protest

William T. Hathaway

As the living conditions of ordinary people inevitably worsen under capitalism and as its wars cause increasing devastation, tides of protest rise up from the population. The ruling elite then seek to stem these tides before they reach flood state.

In 2008 the tide was rising to dangerous levels as millions of people worldwide took to the streets to demonstrate against US economic and military imperialism. The elite then defended against a revolutionary flood by heralding the promise of "Change you can believe in." They presented a candidate who seemed to be the total opposite of their previous servant, George W. Bush. Barack Obama promised a new era of peace abroad and progressive policies at home. America and the world loved him. His rhetoric of cooperation instead of confrontation won him the presidency and the Nobel Peace Prize. The tide of protest drained away, mollified by his charisma.

Now the tide is rising again, angrier this time from being duped. And again the elite are seeking to stem it. Their liberal media are taking a populist tone: "Yes, the system is broken, really in need of repair. The financial markets should be regulated to avoid these destructive orgies of greed that have concentrated too much wealth in too few hands. We should even consider tax measures that would redistribute some of this and give the ordinary person a fair chance."

As a model for these changes, some liberal commentators are pointing to the social democracies of Europe. Stephen Hill's new book, Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age, champions social democracy, claiming it combines positive features of capitalism and socialism by using market regulations and welfare measures to produce a high level of general prosperity. He enumerates the benefits of public health insurance, environmental protection, access to education, decent wages, unemployment benefits, and secure retirement, and suggests we can adapt these in the USA. This call for a kinder, gentler capitalism based on the European model can also be found in The Nation magazine and in groups like Move On. It sounds good, and it was good for a while, but now it's disappearing in Europe.

Attack in Libya disrupted major CIA operation

Bill Van Auken

There is every reason to believe that the robust CIA presence in Benghazi after Gaddafi’s fall also involved more than just surveillance.

The September 11 attack that claimed the life of the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans disrupted a major CIA operation in the North African country.

According to the New York Times, at least half of the nearly two dozen US personnel evacuated from the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi following the fatal attack on the US consulate and a secret “annex” were “CIA operatives and contractors.”

“It’s a catastrophic intelligence loss,” a US official who had been stationed in Libya told the Times. “We got our eyes poked out.”

The Times report describes the mission of the CIA station in Benghazi as one of “conducting surveillance and collecting information on an array of armed militant groups in and around the city,” including Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamist militia that has been linked by some to the September 11 attack, and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM.

It further states that the CIA “began building a meaningful but covert presence in Benghazi” within months of the February 2011 revolt in Benghazi that seized the city from forces loyal to the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Stevens himself was sent into the city in April of that year as the American envoy to the so-called “rebels” organized in the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council (NTC).

What the Times omits from its account of CIA activities in Benghazi, however, is that the agency was not merely conducting covert surveillance on the Islamists based in eastern Libya, but providing them with direct aid and coordinating their operations with those of the NATO air war launched to bring down the Gaddafi regime. In this sense, the September 11 attack that killed Stevens and the three other Americans was very much a case of the chickens coming home to roost.

USA to continue its wars as long as dollar remains reserve currency

Dmitry Sudakov/Paul Craig Roberts

The US today is ruled by an oligarchy of private interests.

Pravda.Ru interviewed Paul Craig Roberts, an American economist, who served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration and became a co-founder of Reaganomics - the economic policies promoted by the U.S. President Ronald Reagan during the 1980s. We asked Mr. Roberts to share his views about the current state of affairs inside and outside the United States.

Pravda.Ru: Mr. Roberts, you are known in Russia as the creator of Reaganomics, which helped the country overcome stagflation. What were the key aspects of that policy and how would you estimate its results today? Do you think your faith in free market has shattered?

Paul Craig Roberts: Free market means the freedom of price to adjust to supply and demand. It does not mean the absence of regulation of human behavior.

Reaganomics was a political word for supply-side economics, a new development in economic theory. In the post World War 2 western world, governments used Keynesian demand management economic policy to control inflation and to boost employment. John Maynard Keynes was the British economist who explained the Great Depression in the West as a consequence of insufficient aggregate demand to maintain full employment and stable prices. Keynesian demand management relied on government budget deficits and easy monetary policy (money creation) to stimulate demand for goods and services. To control inflation from too much demand for goods and services, high tax rates were used to reduce disposable income.

At daggers drawn with 'demonized flesh' (4)

Alan Ireland

Palestinian Refugees from Lydda and Ramle, 1948

Murray Dixon and the specter of Christian Zionism

PART FOUR - Theology and fraud

Needless to say, it is not that "the Arab" is not an individual, but that the Christian Zionists are determined not to see him as one. As a non-person, as "a naughty child who throws stones", his subordination can be made to seem essential — as can the firm, paternalistic hand that ensures he accepts, but remains relatively harmless in, his assigned role of Ishmael. This is the role of the violent outsider (Gen. 16:12) and wanderer (Gen. 37:25) who, ipso facto, cannot be attached to land, and whose claims of attachment must therefore be a subterfuge. For this eternal reprobate, this sensual antagonist of the more favored, intellectual Isaac, there can be no peace except the peace of capitulation. At every turn, he is to be policed by prurient scholars, draconian bureaucrats and casually callous soldiers of the Israel Defence Forces. Even his awareness of himself is to be shaped by the definitions of others.

But the Christian Zionists have another reason for ignoring the individual: With their eyes on the Tribulation, the Rapture, the Battle of Armageddon and other chiliastic events, they have little time for minutiae. They prefer the panorama — the cosmic, inexorable scheme of things, in which the individual is subsumed. They talk grandiloquently of peoples and "nations": those abstract entities that will be collectively rewarded if they act to Israel's benefit and collectively punished if they don't. (I put the latter term in quotation marks because the biblical idea of a nation is not analogous to the modern concept of a state.)

There is little room for law in all this, because legislation tends to deal with discrete, concrete cases. The last person a Christian Zionist wants to know about is poor, dispossessed Abdullah from, say, Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon, who still treasures the deeds of his property in Palestine (as it was until 1948) and the key to his now non-existent front door. So he elevates the whole issue of land ownership in Israel / Palestine to the rarefied level of theology. Hence the reference to the Israelis' and Palestinians' "strong but conflicting theologies of the land" in ITAC's press release, dated July 29, 2006, dissociating itself from the Anglican Peace and Justice Network's call for (among other things) "the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from all occupied areas . . . [and] the immediate dismantling of the separation wall . . . wherever the wall violates West Bank land."

At daggers drawn with 'demonized flesh' (3)

Alan Ireland

Murray Dixon and the specter of Christian Zionism

PART THREE - Twisting the history of the Middle East

In view of the deep-seated contempt for Islam, it is not surprising that someone like Murray Dixon invariably comes up with the worst possible interpretation of Arab / Muslim actions. For instance, in the Page 1 article in the Manawatu Standard on July 26, 2006, on the reaction of Lebanese people to the Israeli leaflets telling them to flee their homes, he said: "And we've seen on television — you may have too — they have these leaflets and have just torn them up and laughed (emphasis added)."

Where others, myself included, saw the actions as gestures of contempt or defiance — perfectly understandable feelings in the circumstances — Dixon professed to see only inappropriate levity. Elsewhere in the article, he drew a distinction between Hezb Allah and the Lebanese by saying that when Israel pulled out of the south of Lebanon a "few years ago", Hezb Allah moved into the "vacuum" and then proceeded "to [push] Lebanese out of their homes". In reality, the members of Hezb Allah are Lebanese, and were in south Lebanon throughout the Israeli occupation of 1982-2000. It is also highly ironic that Dixon leveled the charge of evicting civilians against Hezb Allah at a time when hundreds of thousands of Lebanese were being driven from their homes by the Israelis. He claims that Israel launched its assault partly because — in the words of the article — it "has had rockets being fired over the border for a long time and has had enough". But only four of the 19 border incidents listed by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs between May 2000 and July 2006 involved the (localized) use of rockets by guerrillas in Lebanon; and as Nazareth-based British journalist Jonathan Cook pointed out in his article in Al-Ahram Weekly, August 3-9, 2006, Hezb Allah "paused five days, while Israel wrecked Lebanon with aerial bombardment, fulfilling its promise to 'turn the clock back 20 years', before raining down its rockets on Haifa".

At daggers drawn with 'demonized flesh' (2)

Alan Ireland

John Laffin

Murray Dixon and the specter of Christian Zionism

PART TWO -Semantics in the service of polemics

As New Zealand entered the 1980s, the country was more concerned about apartheid in South Africa than about Islam. Islam was sometimes in the news, but was not a big issue. All that changed in 1986, when local Christian Zionists declared war on their perceived enemy in the interminable struggle against "demonized flesh" and the "father of lies".

I realized that something was afoot on July 13, when a letter from a "Dr John Laffin", of Monomark House, London [4], appeared in the letters columns of the Tribune — a free, weekly, Palmerston North newspaper that doesn't normally find its way to Wellington, let alone London. The letter began: "As a recognized world authority on Islam I cannot allow to go unchallenged and uncorrected some comments made by Dr Ashraf Choudhary [5] in your issue of June 23." (This issue had carried an article by Jim Marr about the contributions that Muslims could make to New Zealand society.) The letter went on to make such sweeping statements as "Islam is a religion of pride while Christianity is a religion of humility". Laffin then took Choudhary to task for saying that "Islam" means "peace", and claimed that "No authority on Islam, whether Muslim or not, construes or translates 'Islam' to mean 'peace' ".

Puzzled by this alacritous outbust from an "authority" in London, I went to see the editor of the Tribune. But she only added to the mystery: The letter had been posted in Palmerston North, not London. "Yes," we thought it was a little strange," she said, "so we kept the envelope." She produced it for me. And there, in the top left-hand corner, were the words "International Christian Embassy (Jerusalem)". There was also a Palmerston North telephone number, which I called.

The telephone was answered by Murray Dixon, to whom I introduced myself as a person who was "interested in religion". Could he tell me what "International Christian Embassy" was all about? He certainly could. He spent about 10 minutes explaining the principles of Christian Zionism, although he did not, of course, use that term. I thanked him, and hung up.

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