We're All Palestinians

Stephen Lendman

The late Edward Said called "any serious public discussion" about Israeli policies the last taboo. It's no exaggeration, he said.

"Abortion, homosexuality, the death penalty, even the sacrosanct military budget can be discussed with some freedom." "The extermination of native Americans can be admitted, the morality of Hiroshima attacked, the national flag publicly committed to the flames."

"But (decades-long Israeli) oppression and maltreatment of the Palestinians is virtually unmentionable, a narrative that has no permission to appear."

Why, he asked? Because of enormous Israeli Lobby influence. The "power of Zionist organizations in American politics…" An "absolute astonishing" refusal to openly discuss what's vital. One-sided MSM media support for Israel. Many US Zionists believe "Palestinians are not real beings." They're "demonized fantasms - fearsome embodiments of terrorism and anti-Semitism." AIPAC is Washington "most powerful single lobby," Said said.

It "inspires an awed fear and respect across the political spectrum." "Who is going to stand up to this Moloch on behalf of the Palestinians, when they can offer nothing, and AIPAC can destroy a congressional career at the drop of a check book?" "(V)irtually the entire Senate can be marshalled in a matter of hours into signing a letter to the President on Israel’s behalf."

"No-one exemplifies the sway of AIPAC better than Hillary Clinton, outdoing even the most right-wing Zionists in fervor for Israel in her avid clawing for power in New York, where she went so far as to call for the transfer of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the grant of leniency for Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy serving a life sentence in the US."


From Pol Pot to ISIS: “Anything that flies on everything that moves

John Pilger

In transmitting President Richard Nixon's orders for a "massive" bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, "Anything that flies on everything that moves". As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger's murderous honesty.

As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery - including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields - I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today's Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.

According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of "fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders". Once Nixon's and Kissinger's B52 bombers had gone to work as part of "Operation Menu", the west's ultimate demon could not believe his luck.

The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors "froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told... That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over."


War, circus and injustice down under

John Pilger

There are times when farce and living caricature almost consume the cynicism and mendacity in the daily life of Australia's rulers. Across the front pages is a photograph of a resolute Tony Abbott with Indigenous children in Arnhem Land, in the remote north. "Domestic policy one day," says the caption, "focus on war the next."

Reminiscent of a vintage anthropologist, the prime minister grasps the head of an Indigenous child trying to shake his hand. He beams, as if incredulous at the success of his twin stunts: "running the nation" from a bushland tent on the Gove Peninsula while "taking the nation to war". Like any "reality" show, he is surrounded by cameras and manic attendants, who alert the nation to his principled and decisive acts.

But wait; the leader of all Australians must fly south to farewell the SAS, off on its latest heroic mission since its triumph in the civilian bloodfest of Afghanistan. "Pursuing sheer evil" sounds familiar; of course, an historic mercenary role is unmentionable, this time backing the latest US installed sectarian regime in Baghdad and re-branded ex Kurdish "terrorists", now guarding Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Marathon Oil, Hunt Oil et al.

No parliamentary debate is allowed; no fabricated invitation from foreigners in distress is necessary, as it was in Vietnam. Speed is the essence. What with US intelligence insisting there is no threat from Islamic State to America and presumably Australia, truth may deter the mission if time is lost. If this week's police and media show of "anti-terror" arrests in "the plot against Sydney" fails to arouse the suspicions of the nation, nothing will. That the unpopular Abbott's reckless war-making is are likely to be self-fulfilling, making Australians less safe, ought to in headlines, too. Remember the blowback of Bush's and Blair's wars.


"The Russians Are Coming" Big Lies

Stephen Lendman

Anti-Russian lies keep repeating. So many proliferate, it hard keeping up. The latest is over-the-top and then some. It accuses Russia of launching a major offensive against Ukrainian forces. Accusations without evidence are made.

Kiev sources are cited. They've been caught red-handed lying many times. Nothing they say is credible. It doesn't matter. Major media scoundrels repeat their rubbish like gospel. More on this below.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki claimed unsubstantiated reports "indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk."

"(W)e're also concerned by the Russian Government's unwillingness to tell the truth even as its soldiers are found 30 miles inside Ukraine," [she said]. "Russia is sending its young men into Ukraine but are telling - are not telling them where they’re going or telling their parents what they’re doing."

Asked why she said "likely" instead of saying a Russian invasion is underway, Psaki said she "decided to say likely." "But why," she was asked? "(L)ikely implies…some uncertainty because there is a possibility that it's not." Psaki ducked the question. She merely cited "a range of (unsubstantiated) reports." "Well, is it an invasion," she was asked? "(A)re we seeing, like, brigades or divisions crossing the borders into Ukraine?" "I don't have any other details to read out for you at this point in time," she said.


Palestine Is Still the Issue

John Pilger

John Pilger first made the film 'Palestine Is Still The Issue' in 1977. It told how almost a million Palestinians had been forced off their land in 1948, and again in 1967. Twenty five years later, John Pilger returned to the West Bank of Jordan and Gaza, and to Israel, to ask why the Palestinians, whose right of return was affirmed by the United Nations more than half a century ago, are still caught in a terrible limbo - refugees in their own land, controlled by Israel in the longest military occupation in modern times.

"If we are to speak of the great injustice here, nothing has changed," says Pilger at the start of the film, "What has changed is that the Palestinians have fought back. Stateless and humiliated for so long, they have risen up against Israel’s huge military regime, although they themselves have no army, no tanks, no American planes and gunships or missiles. Some have committed desperate acts of terror, like suicide bombing. But, for Palestinians, the overriding, routine terror, day after day, has been the ruthless control of almost every aspect of their lives, as if they live in an open prison. This film is about the Palestinians and a group of courageous Israelis united in the oldest human struggle, to be free."

Pilger distills the history of Palestine during the twentieth century into an easily comprehensible struggle for land - the loss of seventy-eight per cent of that belonging to Palestinians when the state of Israel was founded in 1948 and their claim to only the remaining twenty-two per cent, which had for thirty-five years been occupied by Israel.


The Moral Failure Of The West

Paul Craig Roberts

Israel Is Stealing and Murdering Its Way Through Palestine

Readers are asking for my take on the Israel-Gaza situation, and, believe it or not, Oxford University’s famous debating society, the Oxford Union, invited me to debate the issue.

I replied to the Oxford Union that I was unprepared to take responsibility for the Palestinians without undergoing the extensive preparation that an Oxford Union debate deserves and requires. Unless things have changed since my time at Oxford, one prevails in a Union debate by anticipating every argument of one’s opponent and smashing the arguments with humor and wit. Facts seldom, if ever, carry the day, and sometimes not even wit and humor if the audience is already committed to the outcome by the prevailing propaganda. There is no time or energy in my overfull schedule for such preparation plus time away and jet lag.

Moreover, I am not an expert on Israel’s conquest and occupation of Palestine. I know more than most people. I was rescued from Zionist propaganda by Israeli historians, such as Ilan Pappe, by Jewish intellectuals, such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, by documentary film makers, such as John Pilger, by Israeli journalists such as Uri Avnery and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, and by an Israeli houseguest who is an Israeli member of an Israeli peace group that opposes Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes, villages, and orchards in order to build apartment blocks for settlers. There is only one take on the current Israeli slaughter of Palestinians, which Netanyahu, the demonic Israeli leader, declares will be a “protracted campaign” this time.


The return of George Orwell and Big Brother’s war on Palestine, Ukraine and the truth

John Pilger

The other night, I saw George Orwells's '1984' performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell's warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, "To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country."

Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. "What a mindfuck," said the young woman, lighting up her phone.

As advanced societies are de-politicised, the changes are both subtle and spectacular. In everyday discourse, political language is turned on its head, as Orwell prophesised in '1984'. "Democracy" is now a rhetorical device. Peace is "perpetual war". "Global" is imperial. The once hopeful concept of "reform" now means regression, even destruction. "Austerity" is the imposition of extreme capitalism on the poor and the gift of socialism for the rich: an ingenious system under which the majority service the debts of the few.

In the arts, hostility to political truth-telling is an article of bourgeois faith. "Picasso's red period," says an Observer headline, "and why politics don't make good art." Consider this in a newspaper that promoted the bloodbath in Iraq as a liberal crusade. Picasso's lifelong opposition to fascism is a footnote, just as Orwell's radicalism has faded from the prize that appropriated his name.


Recent report confirms: US depleted uranium weapons targeted civilian areas in Iraq war

Barry Mason

Laid to Waste”, a report by the Dutch Catholic NGO Pax Christi International, confirms that US forces in Iraq used depleted uranium (DU) weapons in civilian areas during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

More than a decade later, DU is still harming people’s health. The impact of the use of DU in 2003 added to that resulting from the Gulf War of 1991.

Pax made field trips to Iraq in November 2013 and January 2014 to collect data for the report, visiting sites containing scrap metal remnants resulting from DU attacks. They interviewed people living or working nearby.

DU weapons are formed into dart-like projectiles from the remains of natural uranium, left when it is enriched to make nuclear weapons or for use in a nuclear reactor. It is mildly radioactive, but is extremely dense—1.7 times that of lead.

As well as being radioactive, it is chemically toxic. It was developed as a weapon to use against armour-plated objects like tanks and can be fired from planes, tanks or armoured vehicles. When fired the DU core of the projectile (the penetrator) penetrates the armour plating and burns fiercely, producing a radioactive and toxic dust.


Break the silence: a world war is beckoning

John Pilger

Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a "brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis", as if the truth "never happened even while it was happening".

Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his "updated summary of the record of US foreign policy" which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.

In many cases Britain has been a collaborator. The degree of human suffering, let alone criminality, is little acknowledged in the west, despite the presence of the world's most advanced communications and nominally freest journalism. That the most numerous victims of terrorism - "our" terrorism - are Muslims, is unsayable. That extreme jihadism, which led to 9/11[*], was nurtured as a weapon of Anglo-American policy (Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan) is suppressed. In April the US state department noted that, following Nato's campaign in 2011, "Libya has become a terrorist safe haven".

The name of "our" enemy has changed over the years, from communism to Islamism, but generally it is any society independent of western power and occupying strategically useful or resource-rich territory. The leaders of these obstructive nations are usually violently shoved aside, such as the democrats Muhammad Mossedeq in Iran and Salvador Allende in Chile, or they are murdered like Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. All are subjected to a western media campaign of caricature and vilification - think Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, now Vladimir Putin.

Washington's role in Ukraine is different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the US is threatening to take the world to war. With eastern Europe and the Balkans now military outposts of Nato, the last "buffer state" bordering Russia is being torn apart. We in the west are backing neo-Nazis in a country where Ukrainian Nazis backed Hitler. Having masterminded the coup in February against the democratically elected government in Kiev, Washington's planned seizure of Russia's historic, legitimate warm-water naval base in Crimea failed. The Russians defended themselves, as they have done against every threat and invasion from the west for almost a century. But Nato's military encirclement has accelerated, along with US-orchestrated attacks on ethnic Russians in Ukraine. If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained "pariah" role will justify a Nato-run guerrilla war that is likely to spill into Russia itself.


The Strangelove effect - or how we are hoodwinked into accepting a new world war

John Pilger

I watched Dr. Strangelove the other day. I have seen it perhaps a dozen times; it makes sense of senseless news. When Major T.J. 'King' Kong goes "toe to toe with the Rooskies" and flies his rogue B52 nuclear bomber to a target in Russia, it's left to General 'Buck' Turgidson to reassure the President. Strike first, says the general, and "you got no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops."

President Merkin Muffley: "I will not go down in history as the greatest mass-murderer since Adolf Hitler."
General Turgidson: "Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American people than with your image in the history books."

The genius of Stanley Kubrick's film is that it accurately represents the cold war's lunacy and dangers. Most of the characters are based on real people and real maniacs. There is no equivalent to Strangelove today, because popular culture is directed almost entirely at our interior lives, as if identity is the moral zeitgeist and true satire is redundant; yet the dangers are the same. The nuclear clock has remained at five minutes to midnight; the same false flags are hoisted above the same targets by the same "invisible government", as Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations, described modern propaganda.

In 1964, the year Strangelove was made, "the missile gap" was the false flag. In order to build more and bigger nuclear weapons and pursue an undeclared policy of domination, President John Kennedy approved the CIA's propaganda that the Soviet Union was well ahead of the US in the production of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. This filled front pages as the "Russian threat". In fact, the Americans were so far ahead in the production of ICBMs, the Russians never approached them. The cold war was based largely on this lie.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its "Nato Enlargement Project". Reneging a US promise to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand "one inch to the east", Nato has all but taken over eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucuses, Nato's military build-up is the most extensive since the second world war.


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