Archive | December 1st, 2010

ZIONIST MU-BARAK ELECTION: A TEST FOR OBAMA RHETORIC ON DEMOCRACY

NOVANEWS

ZIONIST MU-BARAK REGIME SUPPRESSED THE OPPOSTION SO CRUDELEY: for the Nov. 28 elections that it demands a strong US reaction.

 

By the Monitor’s Editorial Board 

December 1, 2010

Elections in Egypt have become a leading bellwether for how much a US president really cares about democracy in the world.

Egypt, after all, is the second largest recipient of American aid, the most populous Arab nation, and the birthplace of modern radical Islam. In theory, it could become a beacon of liberty for a Middle East largely stuck in medieval ways.

In 2005, when President George W. Bush was strongly pushing democracy in the region as an antidote to terrorism, the political opposition in Egypt won more than one-fifth of the seats in the lower house of parliament.

By contrast, last Sunday’s elections were so full of fraud, violence, ballot rigging, bogus arrests, and other heavy-handed tactics – even by Egyptian standards – that the ruling National Democratic Party “won” nearly all the seats. The opposition was almost wiped out, left with only a few representatives. The vast majority of Egyptians stayed away from the polls, knowing how little their voice means.

It’s clear now that the authoritarian regime of President Hosni Mubarak has dropped any pretense about a multiparty system and fair elections as it struggles internally over who will succeed the ailing octogenarian general, who has ruled since 1979.

And then this weekend, the disclosure of secret US dispatches by WikiLeaks revealed this: Mr. Mubarak advised a group of US lawmakers in 2008 to “forget” about democracy in Iraq. The leaked cables also cited US diplomats as saying Egypt is “stubborn and recalcitrant” about taking advice.

The debacle of the Nov. 28 elections should be seen as a major blow to President Obama’s recent rhetoric about democracy. Just two months ago, after meeting with Mubarak, Mr. Obama called for “credible and transparent elections in Egypt.” And in a famous 2009 speech to all Muslims delivered in Cairo, he pledged his commitment “to governments that reflect the will of the people.”

At the United Nations in September, he declared that “democracy, more than any other form of government, delivers for our citizens.” During a recent swing through Asia, he visited only democracies, even calling India, the largest democracy, an “indispensable” partner. Obama is also helping form an alliance of democracies in the region to challenge China’s rise.

But when it comes to applying pressure on Mubarak, Obama has put democracy promotion at a lower priority than other interests. Egypt is a leading opponent of Iran and a key player in the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Mubarak knows these security issues are the short-term interests of Obama more than the long-term American role of encouraging global stability through the expansion of freedom.

Mubarak also knows Obama pushes democracy only when “individual citizens demand a say in how they are governed,” as the US president stated at the United Nations. But short of resorting to violence, Egyptians hardly have a chance to “demand a say” – given the regime’s rough suppression of dissent, from bloggers to the Muslim Brotherhood.

From Haiti to the Philippines to Latin America, the US has often not hesitated to bring its muscle to bear on dictators. But for the Obama administration, the reaction to Egypt’s elections was mainly this: The US is “worried” and “disappointed.”

If Obama wants repressed people to stand up for their freedom, he could do better at standing up for them.

Posted in WorldComments Off on ZIONIST MU-BARAK ELECTION: A TEST FOR OBAMA RHETORIC ON DEMOCRACY

US PRESENCE IN AFGHANISTAN SURPASSES FAILED SOVIET ATTEMPT AT OCCUPATION

NOVANEWS

November 30, 2010

by Robert L. Hanafin

 

When the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the early 1980s, one of the last acts of the Carter Administration was to implement a limited military draft that today still funds the U.S. Selective Service System and THE DRAFT collecting personal data on young Americans 18 and over, although the political possibility of conscription appears to be highly unlikely unless the Pentagon begins to run out of too many of our gallant volunteers.

Today our own invasion (well liberation if you prefer), and occupation of Afghanistan officially surpassed the Soviet’s failed attempt.

In recognition of this historic milestone I have decide to write about the downside of our occupation (liberation) of Afghanistan and the latest official U.S. Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan highlighting the contrast. 

Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, GS-14, U.S. Civil Service-Retired, Veterans Issues Editor,Veterans Today News Network

Veterans Today is a full service network of 63 web sites that service the U.S. Military Veterans and Family Community. With over 390,000 plus unique visitors per month bringing in over 22,000,000 page hits, we’re growing into a dynamic interactive conglomerate of information, service, and product sites serving the U.S. Military Veterans market. Created in 2004, Our “Veterans Today” brand name is growing and gaining mass acceptance in this niche marketplace.

Nine years, 50 days US presence in Afghanistan surpasses failed Soviet occupation

Extract from article by AP Reporter Patrick Quinn, Thursday, 25 Nov

The Soviet Union couldn’t win in Afghanistan, and now the U. S. is about to have something in common with that futile campaign: nine years, 50 days.

Today, the U.S.-led coalition will have been fighting in this South Asian country for as long as the Soviets did in their humbling attempt to build up a socialist state. The two invasions had different goals, and dramatically different body counts, but whether they have significantly different outcomes remains to be seen.

What started out as a quick war on 7 Oct 2001, by the U.S. and its allies to wipe out al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and the Taliban has instead turned into a long and slogging campaign. Now about 100,000 NATO troops are fighting a burgeoning insurgency while trying to support and cultivate [an experiment in] democracy.

A Pentagon-led assessment released earlier this week [see Executive Summary below] described the progress made since the U. S. injected 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan earlier this year as fragile.

NATO’s core objective is to ensure that Afghanistan “is never again a sanctuary to al-Qaida that it was prior to 9/11.”

The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, has said NATO’s core objective is to ensure that Afghanistan “is never again a sanctuary to al-Qaida or other transnational extremists that it was prior to 9/11.”

He said the only way to achieve that goal is “to help Afghanistan develop the ability to secure and govern itself. “To a level that is good enough for Afghanistan.”

Ongoing effort to get the Taliban to the negotiating table

To reach that, there is an ongoing effort to get the Taliban to the negotiating table. President Hamid Karzai has set up a committee to try to make peace, and the military hopes its campaign will help force the insurgents to seek a deal.

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on 27 Dec 1979, its stated goal was to transform Afghanistan into a modern socialist state. The Soviets sought to prop up a communist regime that was facing a popular uprising, butleft largely defeated on 15 Feb 1989.

In 1992, the pro-Moscow government of Mohammad Najibullah collapsed and U.S.-backed rebels took power. The Taliban eventually seized Kabul after a violent civil war that killed thousands more. It ruled with a strict interpretation of Islamic law until it was ousted by the U.S.-led invasion.

Nader Nadery, an Afghan analyst who has studied the Soviet and U.S. invasions, said “the time may be the same” for the two conflicts, “but conditions are not similar.”

More than a million civilians died as Soviet forces propping up the government of Babrak Karmal waged a massive war against anti-communist mujahedeen forces.

“There was indiscriminate mass bombardment of villages for the eviction of mujahedeen,” Nadery said. “Civilian casualties are not at all comparable.”

Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank and Afghanistan expert, said NATO forces have killed fewer than 10,000 civilians and a comparable number of insurgents.

The allied military presence has also been far smaller and more targeted. Even now, nearly all operations are restricted to the south and east of the country where the insurgency is most active. O’Hanlon points out that at the height of the resistance, there were 250,000 mujahedeen representing all Afghan ethnic groups fighting the Soviets, while “the current insurgency is perhaps one-eighth as large and is only Pashtun.”

“We do have big problems. But there is no comparison between this war and what the Soviets wrought,” he said.

“The Soviet war set Afghanistan back dramatically from what had been a weak but functioning state. NATO has, by contrast, helped Afghanistan to a 10 percent annual economic growth rate, 7 a million kids are now in school, andmost people have access to basic health care within a two-hour walk,” O’Hanlon said.

He also points out that although Karzai was hand-picked by the United States after the invasion “he has since been elected twice by his own people.”

The U. S. and its allies, however, have made strategic mistakes

Such as taking their eyes off Afghanistan and shifting their attention to the war in Iraq. In those crucial years, the Taliban and their allies surged back and took control of many parts of the Afghan countryside and some regions in the south — especially parts of Kandahar and Helmand.

Wadir Safi, a professor at Kabul University who served as civil aviation minister under the Najibullah government, said risks surround the U.S. effort because “the Americans never reached the goal for which they came.”

“If they don’t change their policy, if they don’t reach their goals, if they don’t reach agreement with the armed opposition and with the government, then it is not a far time that the Afghan people will be fed up with the presence of these foreign forces,” Safi said.

2014 date when NATO forces are supposed to transition to a noncombat role.

The U. S. has pledged that its commitment to Afghanistan will run past the 2014 date when NATO forces are supposed to transition to a noncombat role.

A Russian analyst said the Soviet Union tried to do something similar when it left Afghanistan. It backed Najibullah with money and weapons, and left behind a trained and heavily armed Afghan military. But it all crumbled and the mujahedeen took over Kabul in 1992. Najibullah stayed in the city’s U.N. compound until Kabul fell to the Taliban in 1996, and he was hung from the main square.

“The Soviet Union tried to leave its protégé alone to run the country, but that ended in the Taliban victory,” said Alexander Konovalov, the head of the Moscow-based Institute of Strategic Assessment, an independent think-tank.

“The U.S. now wants to create a self-sufficient structure behind backed by some support forces,” he said. “It remains to be seen how successful it could be in Afghanistan.”

On a more satirical note, in his article The US of A Breaks the Soviet Record, Salon’s Glenn Greenwald takes a somewhat humorous approach to our progress in Afghanistan.

Source: 26 Nov 2010 “Salon” – Even for the humble among us… some national achievements are so grand that they merit a moment of pride and celebration:

US presence in Afghanistan [surpasses] Soviet

The Soviet Union couldn’t win in Afghanistan, and now the U. S. is about to have something in common with that futile campaign: nine years, 50 day and counting.

On 26 Nov 2010, the U.S.-led coalition will be fighting in this South Asian country for as long as the Soviets did in their humbling attempt to build up a socialist state.

It’s vital that we stop the threat of Terrorism [over there despite the never ending story of potential or failed terrorist threats and attacks over here] and nothing helps to do that like spending a full decade, and counting, invading, occupying, and bombing Muslim countries.

It seems clear that a similar, or even grander, prize awaits us as the one the Soviets were rewarded.  Greenwald hopes nobody thinks that just because we can’t identify who the Taliban leaders are after almost a decade over there that this somehow calls into doubts our ability to magically re-make that nation [into whatever image of a democratic state is on our politicians minds at any one time – talk about CHANGE].  Even if it did, it’s vital that we stop the threat of Terrorism, and nothing helps to do that like spending a full decade, and counting, invading, occupying, and bombing Muslim countries.

Veterans Today Editorial Comment: Re-make that nation into whatever image of a democratic state is on our politicians’ and military leaders’ minds at any given time – talk about CHANGE that image of democracy is just about as elusive as finding Osama Bin Laden, dead or alive].

The good news- Our Government’s appetite for endless war in the Muslim World has not diminished.

Beyond our shattering this record and thus showing that we can still kick those Soviets around even after they no longer exist, is that this decade of utter futility hasn’t at all diminished the Government’s appetite for endless war in the Muslim world.

–          By all accounts, the [Obama] administration its actively debating whether to accelerate its already escalated intervention in Yemen.

–          We’ve dramatically increased our covert actions in countless countries across the Muslim world.

–          And former Bush State Department legal adviser John Bellinger III (one of the “moderates” from that era)argues in The Washington Post for a re-writing of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) — not in order to rescind it after nine years of endless war-fighting, but rather to expand it, on the grounds that it “provides insufficient authority for our military and intelligence personnel to conduct counterterrorism operations today” and outrageously fails to empower the President’s ”wish to target or detain a terrorist who is not part of al-Qaeda“ (for good measure, he also wants the new law to authorize the killing of American citizens and to allow detention without charges.

Now that will make the Tea Party happy (wink).

Clearly, the AUMF is far too narrow and weak for our purposes since, as Bellinger notes, this is all we’ve been able to do in its name. The Bush and Obama administrations have relied on this authority to:

–  wage the ground war in Afghanistan;

–  to exert lethal force (including drone strikes) against al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia;

–  and to detain suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban members in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Afghanistan.

What kind of lame AUMF is that?

A decade’s worth of war, some slaughtering through the use of remote-controlled sky robots over a few countries, and a worldwide regime of lawless detention (to Stay Safe)?

How are we supposed to Stay Safe [over here or over there] when we tie one arm behind our back that way?

Expanded Endless War(s) because America is Financially Strong!

That’s right when it comes to foreign policy – America is Financially Strong. Tell that to the unemployed who seriously think they have no role to play in these wars. They have yet to realize that unless they join the Army or Marines, they surely will remain unemployed despite America being Financially Strong.

The Vision of Expanded Endless War instead of CHANGE

Fortunately, if this vision of Expanded Endless War proves to be unwise, the harm will be contained, since the U.S. (unlike the former Soviet Union) is so financially strong that it can easily sustain this.  And whatever else is true, there’s one thing we should all be able to agree on:  the person presiding over all of this deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

UPDATE:  In a New York Times article on the possibility that many newly elected Tea Party candidates will dare to include military spending in demanded budget cuts and will be similarly hostile to foreign aid — including, most alarmingly for some, to Israel — the following passage appears (h/t Matt Duss):

“One of the first things Congressman Cantor can do is to make sure that his colleagues vote for aid to Israel,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who also met with Mr. Netanyahu.

In the face of all these economic difficulties, austerity measures, and calls for Endless War, it’s comforting that at least some of America’s representatives in Congress — such as the Good Democrat Chuck Schumer — have their priorities [Israel] straight.

Veterans Today Editorial Comment: In contrast to the satirical Salon take on passing an historic milestone in Afghanistan provided by Glenn Greenwald above, we have a more serious and sobering official U.S. government version of ‘progress in Afghanistan’ presented by our government as if they were going to present anything other than PROGRESS. This is the official Pentagon version although several other executive agencies have contributed. BTW there is nothing satirical about this report.

Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan

November 2010 [Covering period of April 1, 2010 to September 30, 2010]

Report to Congress [Next report will cover October 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011]

In accordance with the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, as amended

Executive Summary

This report to Congress is submitted consistent with the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 as amended by the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. It includes a description of the strategy of the U. S. for security and stability in Afghanistan. This report is the fourth in a series of reports required every 180 days through fiscal year 2010 and has been prepared in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, the Attorney General, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the Secretary of Agriculture. 

This assessment complements other reports and information about Afghanistan provided to the Congress; however, it is not intended as a single source of all information about the combined efforts or the future strategy of the United States, its Coalition Partners, or Afghanistan.The information contained in this report is current as of September 30, 2010.

NOTE: This is a historical document that covers progress made in Afghanistan from April 1, 2010 to September 30, 2010. The next report will include an analysis of progress toward security and stability from October 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011.

Progress across the country remains uneven, with modest gains in security, governance, and development in operational priority areas. The deliberate application of our strategy is beginning to have cumulative effects and security is slowly beginning to expand.

Although significant challenges exist, some signs of progress are evident.

Areas of security in Kabul and the surrounding districts have allowed for improvements in development and governance.

Progress is also visible in areas where Coalition forces have been on the ground for more than six months, such as Central Helmand Province.

Socio-economic development throughout the country is slowly improving, as the Afghan Government shows initial signs of improving essential service delivery, although it is limited still by the security environment in some areas.

 

Overall governance and development progress continues to lag security gains.

Agricultural development and productivity has also improved. Overall governance and development progress continues to lag security gains. Governance capacity and economic development are long-term efforts that will require sustained support from the international community.

Key strategic events

Included the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Dialogue in May, the National Consultative Peace Jirga in June, the Kabul Conference in July, and the Afghan Parliamentary elections in September. This period also saw the arrival of U.S. [SURGE] forces in theater, along with more than three-fourths of the pledged North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [SURGE] forces and remarkable growth of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by about one third since November 2009. This period included several important political developments including President Hamid Karzai’s approval of the Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP), a Presidential decree establishing the Afghan Local Police (ALP), the signing of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, and the establishment of the Joint Afghan-NATO Inteqal (“transition”) Board (JANIB).

Page 7

Increase in Violence

The increase in violence during this period was concurrent with the arrival of Coalition personnel, the dramatically accelerated pace of operations, and the spike of violence often seen on Election Day. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is seeing some early indications that counterinsurgency operations are having localized positive effects and are producing initial signs of progress. Indications of local resistance to insurgents continue to emerge alongside positive indications, such as newly opened schools and police stations.

ISAF and ANSF [Afghan] forces gradually are pushing insurgents to the edges of secured population areas, in a number of important locations. The Afghan Government and ISAF continue to face a resilient enemy that exploits governance gaps and continues to fight to retain long-standing sanctuaries where the insurgency historically has had strong roots. Yet, the insurgent-generated violence remains largely localized and does not threaten all of Afghanistan: 45 percent of all violence and two-thirds of all improvised explosive device (IED) activity take place in the south.

General Petraeus takes Command

After taking command as Commander ISAF (COMISAF) and Commander U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (COMUSFOR-A)on July 4, 2010, General Petraeus issued a revised Tactical Directive. This directive provides guidance and intent for the employment of force. In addition, General Petraeus issued refined counterinsurgency (COIN) guidance to reinforce the principles of conducting COIN operations in Afghanistan, and new COIN contracting guidance to reinforce that contracting is “commanders’ business” and that commanders must understand the effects of contract spending.

The ISAF operational main effort is focused on protecting the most threatened population in the heart of the Taliban-led insurgency in Helmand and Kandahar Provinces. The split of Regional Command-South (RC-S) and Regional Command-Southwest (RC-SW) on June 14, 2010 has allowed for more effective and streamlined [ISAF-ANSF] command and control and improved ANSF partnering in both provinces. Civil-military efforts in RC-S and RC-SW are making slow but steady progress. Initial signs of this progress are evident especially in Central Helmand, where ISAF and ANSF have been conducting counterinsurgency operations for over a year.

 

Progress: Despite the enemy’s continued efforts to counter coalition and ANSF actions to expand security in the south,slow and incremental gains are being achieved. Six months ago, Marjah was an insurgent command-and-control center, a base for IED assembling, and a nexus for illegal narcotics industry activities. Now the city is controlled by the Afghan Government. Signs of progress in Marjahinclude voter registration, increased activity in local marketplaces, and the reopening of schools that were closed for several years.

Relatively secure environment for the people of Kabul and the surrounding districts,

Combined ISAF and ANSF Forces in Regional Command-Capital (RC-C) continued to sustain a relatively secure environment for the people of Kabul and the surrounding districts, where approximately one-sixth of all Afghans live. Combined Afghan security forces in Kabul performed notably well in the planning and the execution of security for the Peace Jirga and the Kabul Conference, as well as during Parliamentary elections. Indeed, the transition of key security functions and responsibilities already occurring in RC-C is similar to that which is envisioned to occur across the country in the coming years.

In the coming months, ISAF will focus on expanding security from Kabul into surrounding provinces, particularly in Regional Command-East (RC-E). ISAF operations in RC-E have continued to apply pressure and disrupt the leadership of the Haqqani and Taliban Networks. Combined forces in RC-E are securing critical lines of communication and infrastructure that supports the commerce to and from Pakistan. Efforts in RC-E will further increase the pressure on some of Afghanistan’s most lethal enemy networks, expand population security from Kabul to key population centers in Wardak and Logar [south of Kabal], neutralize the Haqqani Network’s footholds and disrupt its access to Kabul, and secure the main economic border crossing point at Torkham.

 

The insurgency has failed to gain significant footholds

Despite recent high-profile events, the insurgency has failed to gain significant footholds in Regional Command-North (RC-N) and Regional Command-West (RC-W). ISAF and ANSF efforts have benefitted from expanded partnering and remain focused on improving security in key terrain districts and ensuring gradually improving freedom of movement along Highway 1.

Afghan National Security Force [ANSF] growth and development are among Afghanistan’s most promising areas of progress.

The ANSF has, at times, been considered one of the greatest risk areas of the ISAF strategy. As of the end of this reporting period, ANSF growth and development are among Afghanistan’s most promising areas of progress,though numerous challenges persist. In July 2010, the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP) both met their growth goal of 134,000 and 109,000 personnel, respectively, three months before the target date of October 31. The ANA end strength for July was 134,028 personnel, and the ANP end strength was 115,525personnel.

If the ANA and ANP continue to grow at a similar pace, which will be challenging, they will also meet their October 2011 goals of 171,600 and 134,000 personnel, respectively. Although the growth during this reporting period is significant, improving the quality of the force remains a serious challenge, in particular in the area of leadership development. Also, given the expanded requirements described in the Combined Joint Statement of Requirements, released on September 1, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan will face a shortfall of ANSF trainers and mentors that will grow more acute through the fall and into next year, if troop contributions do not meet the growing need for training. If not adequately addressed, this shortfall poses significant strategic risk and threatens to delay the upcoming [2011] transition process.

Leader shortfalls in the officer and non-commissioned officer (NCO) Corps of the ANA will remain as the force grows, and low literacy rates and lack of technical expertise present challenges to force development. Mandatory literacy training and the establishment of branch specialty schools will begin to alleviate some of this challenge, and aggressive partnering is starting to address development deficits. Significant shortfalls in specialist instructor pledges, if persistent past this year’s force generation process, will delay transition of institutional capacity. The ANP reached its 2010 growth objective of 109,000 three months early, but the severe attrition rate in Afghan National Civil Order Policy (ANCOP) puts the 2011 growth goal of 134,000 at risk as 90 percent of programmed growth this coming year is in the ANCOP.

In August, President Karzai authorized the establishment of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) program. ALP is a temporary, village-focused program that complements counterinsurgency efforts by targeting select areas with limited or no ANSF presence to shape security conditions and allow for improved governance and development. In September, the Afghan Government approved ALP at 68 sites and established the first eight ALP sites. We anticipate the establishment of most of the remaining ALP sites by the end of 2010. Page 9

Afghan government corruption continues to fuel the insurgency in various areas

As President Karzai has recognized, corruption continues to fuel the insurgency in various areas. ISAF, in coordination with the international community and the Afghan Government, established the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force (CJIATF)-Shafafiyat (“Transparency”) to develop a common understanding of corruption, to support Afghan-led anti-corruption efforts, and to integrate ISAF anti-corruption activities with those of key partners. CJIATF-Shafafiyat achieved initial operational capability in late August, with full operational capability expected in October 2010.

Karzai Administration has improved its stance against corruption

The U.S. Embassy-Kabul, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and ISAF, together with the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), continues to work with the Afghan Government to help improve governance and accelerate development.

The Karzai Administration has improved its stance against corruption by prosecuting several high-profile senior officials. However, progress remains uneven and incremental. The Afghan Government also has improved inter-ministerial coordination, but faces several challenges and has yet to establish unified control over border control and customs – one of the primary sources of government revenue. The Kabul Bank episode continues to foster uncertainty in the financial sector and poses potential threats to investment and economic growth.

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FEDS PLANT INTERT BOMB IN PORTLAND BEFORE ARRESTING MUSLIM MAN

NOVANEWS

November 30, 2010 

By: Debbie Menon  

Media Circus: police could have arrested the man sooner; they took part in his suspected terrorist act.

By Tim King

19-year old Mohamed Osman Mohamud

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – An alleged plot to detonate a bomb at the Pioneer Square Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Portland Friday was foiled by FBI agents and Portland Police officers. A close examination of the facts raises concerns that the story is simply conditioning to prepare Americans for more military conflict in the Middle east.

Vehicle based IED’s (Improvised Explosive Device) are known in Iraq and Afghanistan as ‘VBID’s’ and they are among the deadliest bombs. The VBID can be maneuvered into very busy areas before being blown up; they are a frightening thought.

Portland Police Bureau Chief Michael Reese stated, “This threat was very real but at no point was the public ever in danger. The cooperation of various law enforcement agencies was critical in making this case. I appreciate the partnership we have with the FBI and I’m very proud of the Portland Police Bureau’s role in this investigation. The Portland Police Bureau works to maintain the highest level of safety for our community and this case stands as an example of our commitment to the people we serve.”

That sure sounds reassuring, but I wouldn’t take it to the bank. Like recent similar stories, the ‘official’ account is missing a few key ingredients. Yet it makes great reading for the average citizen who believes there are dangerous ‘Muslims’ lurking around the corners of their living room.

It has all of the catch phrases:

  • The suspect’s name is “Mohamed”.

  • He allegedly yelled “Allah Akbar” when arrested.

  • He supposedly has links to Al Qaeda.

  • Evidence is sealed and the investigation will never reveal many details.

  • The FBI informant doesn’t use their name.

  • Interestingly, the alleged crime never involved any danger to the public.

The suspect is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia. 19-year old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a resident of Corvallis, Oregon, was arrested Friday in connection with the alleged plan to detonate a vehicle bomb at the Christmas tree lighting event.

Police say Mohamud attempted to remotely detonate what were “believed to be” explosives in a van that was parked near the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The device was in fact inert and the public was never at risk, police say.

I have been reading other accounts of this event and it is clear that the anti-Muslim lobby in the US scored big with this story.

FOX News doesn’t hold back at all, stating:

“Attorney General Eric Holder said the indictments reflect a disturbing trend of recruitment efforts targeting U.S. residents to become terrorists.”FOX follows that with…

“Officials have been working with Muslim community leaders across the United States, particularly in Somali diasporas in Minnesota, trying to combat the radicalization.” [1]

Wow, millions believe it is sort of “radical” for Americans to support Israel’s continual brutal occupation and genocide in Palestine. Yes, downright radical to support an apartheid government that grinds people up and spits them out without ever stepping out of the victim role that truly belongs to a past generation.

My question is, how do we know he couldn’t have been working with a second group that law enforcement didn’t know about?

It amounts to a slew of attention on Islam and enforcing the same paranoia that has swept this nation since 2001 when Saudi Arabian terrorists allegedly boarded airplanes, flew them into buildings in New York, and then had their passports miraculously land on the sidewalks below, legible enough to indict the men almost immediately.

I know the Saudi Arabians have sponsored many terrorists, that is where the crazy Wahhabi religious zealots with the money come from. They are close allies with the U.S. government and Saudi oil families are closely affiliated with Texas oil families; roger, got that. But Somalia, really?

Salem-News.com readers know we cover Somalia’s piracy problem regularly, frequently offering in-depth accounts of the situation with the help of our friends at ECOTERRA Intl. in Nairobi, Kenya who monitor the situation fromAfrica, not a New York or Los Angeles news office.

This is the single most violent and impoverished country in the world. Somalia is controlled by a group known as al Shabab and they are dangerous, known for elevated levels of piracy that plague African waters. Yet Somalia’s piracy began as a response to the environmental pillaging of Somalia’s coast and the overfishing of its waters. They used to and still frequently avoid killing their captives. The media almost never mentions that part.

What if there was a simultaneous bomb set to go off at the same time?

Terrorizing America would logically be the last of their concerns.

Why? Because nations like Iraq don’t have to lift a finger toward the U.S. in order to watch over a million people blasted into oblivion by American bombs and munitions. Afghan people by and large didn’t even know where the U.S. is on a map, yet they have watched collateral damage claim lives in the tens of thousands, probably much higher.

To suggest that any small nation would come and pick a fight with a warmongering nation like the United States of America is pretty silly really.

It is the same thing in Palestine:

 

Israeli War Crimes Suspects

People there know that if they fire a slingshot at an Israeli soldier, they could see a reprisal leaving dozens or more dead. People learn over time who not to mess with. I fear that this story may be rigged with propaganda, regardless of whether this 19-year old kid had evil intent or some level of involvement. It sounds like he was led down a road to notorious stardom.

Killing people en masse is terrorism and there is never an excuse for it. It is the work of cowards any time civilians are in the mix.

On that note, there are British soldiers who are active, free and clear; men who were caught by the Iraqi police immediately after a shootout that left Iraqi officials dead. The men were transporting weapons and explosives and picked out of a group as they looked suspicious. The men were busted out of jail by British troops.

 

British SAS soldiers arrested by Iraqi Police, dressed as Arabs  

According to The Insider:

British soldiers have been caught posing as Arabs and shooting Iraqis in the occupied city of Basra in southern Iraq. A group of them was caught yesterday by Iraqi police. They were driving an Iraqi car, wearing Arab clothing, and carrying weapons and explosives.The Iraqi police were patrolling the area looking for suspected “terrorists” or “insurgents”, and they noticed that the men were acting suspiciously. Suddenly, without warning, the suspicious men started shooting at people, but the new Iraqi security forces managed to capture some of them before they could escape. Obviously, if these men had not been caught, the mass media would now be reporting the incident as just another attempt by evil “terrorists” to create civil war in Iraq.[2]

Then there is the massive list of Israeli war criminals who the U.S. blocks from being brought to justice. We just published an extensive piece on that recently[3][4].

There is no honor in any of this. Bring them all to a world war crimes court in handcuffs; law enforcement has no business being selective.

Police Endanger Portland

Fox News confirms that Friday:

“an agent and Mohamud drove to downtown Portland in a white van that carried six 55-gallon drums with detonation cords and plastic caps, but all of them were inert, the complaint states.”

Do Portland residents appreciate that the feds actually placed their supposedly “inert” bomb laden van in Portland’s downtown district with the suspect?

I wouldn’t think so.

The feds sound like they took this guy by the hand and somehow became the “terrorists” he was working with. In fact from the various media accounts, there doesn’t seem to be proof that this man ever talked to any actual “terrorists” except the FBI.

FOX also reports that “As a trial run, Mohamud and agents detonated a bomb in Lincoln City, Ore., earlier this month.”

A trial run? A real bomb? Feds and a supposed terrorist? And that wasn’t enough to arrest him?

I have dear friends in Lincoln City, I used to live there, in fact I was in Lincoln City last night. This is a populated coastal city, not the middle of the desert, I am truly shocked to learn of this.

Arresting this guy before he tried to do a “media worthy” act would have eliminated the FBI’s chance to scare the living bejesus out of people with this “Allah Akbar” story. The police let the supposed terrorist detonate the “fake bomb” and then, “swooped down on him” according to FOX and other sources.

My question is, how do we know he couldn’t have been working with a second group that law enforcement didn’t know about?

What if there was a simultaneous bomb set to go off at the same time?

Of course you would probably need real terrorists for that.

But what would have happened then?

I guess they had to run the full course in order to get this story out. I cry foul at this point and I believe absolutely nothing the feds are reporting. I’m not saying they are dishonest, it just fits a pattern of conditioning that is part of a ramp up for more military action in the Middle east, namely against Iran. No bombs blow up, but “Muslims” are constantly in the news for these supposed bomb plots. It all might be a big crockpot of sh*t, it pays to look closely. And when these supposed terrorists turn out to have ties with Israel, it is amazing how quickly the mainstream media forgets the events ever existed.

But here is the coup de grace; Portland Mayor Sam Adams now says Portland will begin “cooperating” with the federal government at a higher level, just what we need.

According to the New York Times:

In response to the thwarted plot, Mayor Sam Adams has floated the idea of cooperating more fully with federal law enforcement agencies. In 2005, the Portland City Council passed an ordinance that put conditions on the city’s continued participation in the F.B.I. Joint Terrorism Task Force out of concern for the civil liberties of residents.Now Mr. Adams said he was prepared to reconsider his opposition. “It’s been five years since our last policy review,” he said.

City officials said they were also concerned about the safety of Portland’s Muslim population. The police authorized additional patrols around Muslim community centers, said Sgt. Peter Simpson, a police spokesman[5].

Extra police patrols? That’s funny, I haven’t heard of any incidents that would require that, and some people would not consider increased police patrols in their area a courtesy, more like harassment by policy. But what I really find interesting is how that story suggests Portland is “hands off” with the feds; like they have been keeping them out of Oregon.

It was just three years ago that Portland devoted enormous time and resources to a huge federal emergency planning event that was not just federal, it was actually sponsored by Homeland Security.

We covered the story in October 2007:

Using resources that Congress made available to prepare for acts of terrorism, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sponsors the TOPOFF exercises as part of a thorough assessment of America’s ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from an attack that involves a weapon of mass destruction.Each TOPOFF exercise involves a two-year cycle of seminars, planning events, and exercises. The exercises enable federal, state and local agencies to identify ways to improve their ability to save lives and protect property when any major public emergency occurs, regardless of whether that emergency is natural or manmade[6].

I am going to continue studying this story and this Muslim-indicting pattern that the feds and western media are peddling like Lance Armstrong on race day.

It is amazing how many alleged Muslim “terrorists” are constantly arrested and caught “just in time” when in fact no bombs are detonating and no people are dying from these supposed actions. If there are terrorists operating here then of course they must be stopped, but why the big show?

I said it early in the story and I will say it again; Americans are being conditioned to hate Muslim people as the U.S. prepares for war on Iran, the ancient land of Persia that has zero history of attacking other nations off its own soil, with very few exceptions, yet is continually pushed to the brink by Israel because it is one of the few countries that openly condemns Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

Remember, that is always what it is about.

Law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation include the FBI, with assistance from the Oregon State Police, the Corvallis Police Department, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and the Portland Police Bureau.

Mohamud was booked into the Multnomah County Jail and is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Portland on Monday. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

[1] Nov-27-2010: Somali-Born Teen Who Plotted Car Bombing Contacted Suspected Terrorist – FOX News

[2] Nov-29-2010 British special forces caught dressed as Arab ‘terrorists’ – The Insider

[3]Nov-17-2010: Israeli Military War Crime Suspects Revealed – Salem-News.com

[4]Nov-24-2010: 200 Israeli War Criminals Better Hope for Palestinian Amnesty – Opinion by Gilad Atzmon Salem-News.com

[5] Nov-28-2010: After Thwarted Attack, Question Is ‘Why Portland?’ – Beth Slovic

[6] Oct-15-2007: TOPOFF 4 Exercise Begins in Portland – Salem-News.com

Source: Salem-News.

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com’s Executive News Editor. You can send Tim an email at this address:newsroom@salem-news.com

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1971: SARMILA BOSE SALUTES THE PAKSITAN ARMY

NOVANEWS

November 30, 2010

by Raja Mujtaba  

The courageous Pakistan army stand on the eastern front —Sarmila Bose

By Sarmila Bose

There is much for Pakistan to come to terms with what happened in 1971. But the answers don’t lie in unthinking vilification of the fighting men who performed so well in the war against such heavy odds in defence of the national policy. Rather, in failing to honour them, the nation dishonours itself.

Bengalis draging the bodies of non-Bengalis during 1971 war

My introduction to international politics was 1971, as a schoolgirl in Calcutta. Many images from that year are still etched in my mind, but the culminating one was the photo on Ramna racecourse of two men sitting at a table — the smart, turbaned Sikh, ‘our’ war-hero, Jagjit Singh Aurora, and the large man in a beret, A A K Niazi, commander of the other side, signing the instrument of surrender.

Nearly a generation later, a chance interview for the BBC with Lt Gen. Aurora took me back to 1971. The interview was not about 1971, but about injustices suffered by Sikhs at the hands of the state General Aurora had served.

I thought he was a bigger hero for what he had to say then. That view was reinforced as I read — with incredulity — the disparaging remarks by other Indian officers about him, and each other, in their books. If this is what happened to the winning commander, I wondered what had happened to the other man in the photo. The result was a revelation.

It turns out that General Niazi has been my ‘enemy’ since the Second World War. As Netaji Subhas Chandra Boseand his Indian National Army fought on the Burma front in 1943-45 in their quest for India’s freedom, Niazi was fighting on the other side, for the British Indian Army, under the overall command of General (later Field Marshal)William Joseph Slim. Slim and his 14th Army halted the advance of the INA and the Japanese at the Imphal campaign and turned the course of the war.

In the process of inflicting military defeat upon my ancestor, Niazi’s performance was so exceptional that the British awarded him an on-the-spot Military Cross for action on the Assam-Burma front in June 1944. On another occasion they wanted to award a DSO, but he was too junior, so a Mention in Despatches was recorded.

In the original record of his MC signed by his commanding officers all the way up to Slim, which I obtained from theBritish Ministry of Defence, the British commanders describe Niazi’s gallantry in detail: “He organized the attack with such skill that his leading platoon succeeded in achieving complete surprise over the enemy.” They speak of how he personally led his men, the ‘great skill and coolness’ under fire with which he changed tactics with changing circumstances, created diversionary attacks, extricated his wounded, defeated the enemy and withdrew his men by section, remaining personally at the rear in every case.

The British honoured Niazi for “personal leadership, bravery and complete disregard for his own personal safety.” On 15 December 1944 the Viceroy Lord Wavell flew to Imphal and in the presence of Lord Mountbatten knighted Slim and his corps commanders Stopford, Scoones and Christison. Only two ‘Indian’ officers were chosen to be decorated by the Viceroy at that ceremony — ‘Tiger’ Niazi was one of them.

In 1971 Niazi was a highly decorated Pakistani general, twice receiving the Hilal-e-Jurat. He was sent to East Pakistan in April 1971 — part of a sorry tradition in South Asia of political rulers attempting to find military solutions to political problems. By then Tikka Khan had already launched the crackdown of 25 March for which he has been known to Bengalis as the ‘butcher of Bengal’ ever since. The population of East Bengal was completely hostile and Pakistan condemned around the world.

Authoritative scholarly analyses of 1971 are rare. The best work is Richard Sisson and Leo Rose’s War and Secession. Robert Jackson, fellow of All Soul’s College, Oxford, wrote an account shortly after the events. Most of the principal participants did not write about it, a notable exception being Gen. Niazi’s recent memoirs (1998). Some Indian officers have written books of uneven quality — they make for an embarrassing read for what the Indians have to say about one another.

However, a consistent picture emerges from the more objective accounts of the war. Sisson and Rose describe how India started assisting Bengali rebels since April, but “the Mukti Bahini had not been able to prevent the Pakistani army from regaining control over all the major urban centers on the East Pakistani-Indian border and even establishing a tenuous authority in most of the rural areas.” From July to October there was direct involvement of Indian military personnel. “…mid-October to 20 November… Indian artillery was used much more extensively in support …and Indian military forces, including tanks and air power on a few occasions, were also used…Indian units were withdrawn to Indian territory once their objectives had been brought under the control of the Mukti Bahini — though at times this was only for short periods, as, to the irritation of the Indians, the Mukti Bahini forces rarely held their ground when the Pakistani army launched a counterattack.”

Clearly, the Pakistani army regained East Pakistan for their masters in Islamabad by April-May, creating an opportunity for a political settlement, and held off both Bengali guerrillas and their Indian supporters till November, buying more time — time and opportunity that Pakistan’s rulers and politicians failed to utilise.

Contrary to Indian reports, full-scale war between India and Pakistan started in East Bengal on 21 November, making it a four-week war rather than a ‘lightning campaign’. Sisson and Rose state bluntly: “After the night of 21 November…Indian forces did not withdraw. From 21 to 25 November several Indian army divisions…launched simultaneous military actions on all of the key border regions of East Pakistan, and from all directions, with both armored and air support.” Indian officers like Sukhwant Singh and Lachhman Singh write quite openly in their books about India invading East Pakistani territory in November, which they knew was ‘an act of war’.

None of the outside scholars expected the Eastern garrison to withstand a full Indian invasion. On the contrary, Pakistan’s longstanding strategy was “the defense of the east is in the west”. Jackson writes, “Pakistani forces had largely withdrawn from scattered border-protection duties into cleverly fortified defensive positions at the major centres inside the frontiers, where they held all the major ‘place names’ against Mukti Bahini attacks, and blocked the routes of entry from India…”

Sisson and Rose point out the incongruity of Islamabad tolerating India’s invasion of East Pakistani territory in November. On 30 November Niazi received a message from General Hamid stating, “The whole nation is proud of you and you have their full support.” The same day Islamabad decided to launch an attack in the West on 2 December, later postponed to 3 December, after a two-week wait, but did not inform the Eastern command about it. According to Jackson, the Western offensive was frustrated by 10 December.

Though futile, the Western offensive allowed India to openly invade the East, with overwhelming advantages. “ …despite all these advantages, the war did not go as smoothly and easily for the Indian army…”, but Sisson and Rose come to the balanced judgment that “The Pakistanis fought hard and well; the Indian army won an impressive victory.” Even Indian officers concede the personal bravery of Niazi and the spirited fight put up by the Pakistanis in the East. That the troops fought so well against such overwhelming odds is a credit both to them, and to their commanders, for an army does not fight well in the absence of good leadership.

However, as Jackson put it, “…India’s success was inevitable from the moment the general war broke out — unless diplomatic intervention could frustrate it.” As is well known, Pakistan failed to secure military or diplomatic intervention. Sisson and Rose also say, “The outcome of the conflict on the eastern front after 6 December was not in doubt, as the Indian military had all the advantages.” On 14 December Niazi received the following message from Yahya Khan: “You have fought a heroic battle against overwhelming odds. The nation is proud of you …You have now reached a stage where further resistance is no longer humanly possible nor will it serve any useful purpose… You should now take all necessary measures to stop the fighting and preserve the lives of armed forces personnel, all those from West Pakistan and all loyal elements…” Sisson and Rose naturally describe this message as “implying that the armed forces in East Pakistan should surrender”.

No matter how traumatic the outcome of 1971 for Pakistan, the Eastern command did not create the conflict, nor were they responsible for the failure of the political and diplomatic process. Sent to do the dirty work of the political manoeuvrers, the fighting men seem to have performed remarkably well against overwhelming odds. It is shocking therefore to discover that they were not received with honour by their nation on their return. Their commander, Niazi, appears to have been singled out, along with one aide, to be punished arbitrarily with dismissal and denial of pension, without being given the basic right to defend himself through a court-martial, which he asked for.

The commission set up allegedly to examine what had happened in 1971 was too flawed in its terms of reference and report to have any international credibility. However, even its recommendations of holding public trials and court-martials were ignored. There is much for Pakistan to come to terms with what happened in 1971. But the answers don’t lie in unthinking vilification of the fighting men who performed so well in the war against such heavy odds in defence of the national policy. Rather, in failing to honour them, the nation dishonours itself.

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”WIKI-MURDERS” IN IRAN, SIGNAL ”FALSE FLAG” TERROR

NOVANEWS

November 29, 2010

by Gordon Duff

SITE OF REPUTED MOSSAD ATTACK IN TEHRAN

“WIKI-MURDERS”…”WIKI-TERROR”….”WIKI-WAR

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

An attack on American forces in the Persian Gulf is being planned.  Wikileaks is an integral part of the operation.  Step one was the current “diplomatic” Wikileak.  Step two, the brazen “Mossad style”murders in Iran.

Wikileaks couldn’t be more involved if they built the bombs or fired the missiles themselves.

When America is attacked, either in the Persian Gulf or at home, Wikileaks will be a part of it.  The operation is staged for the Persian Gulf where American warships are “sitting ducks” for a sneak attack like the USS Liberty “incident.”

As with the Liberty attack, Israel can use friends in high places in the United States to assure that if they are blamed, they can claim it was an honest mistake, even if an American super-carrier goes down with all hands.

The preferred weapon will be submarine launched missiles, probably with small nuclear warheads, that will appear to be launched from Iran. Israeli submarines are currently on station within range of American targets, subs known to be armed with cruise type missiles similar to those used by Iran.  The attacks on US forces are dependent on the build-up of tensions tied to terror bombings that have killed one Iranian scientist and wounded another.

A “working group” within the American military is tasked with placing the blame on Iran with “in the can” intelligence much as was used on 9/11. The same forces responsible for planning the Building 7 demolition on 9/11 are being called upon.

Iran is being “set up” through terrorist attacks timed to make any military action in the region immediately look like Iran “out of control.”  More attacks on scientists and their families are planned until international tensions are high enough for a “false flag” terror attack on the United States to seem plausible.

ISRAELI SUBMARINE LAUNCHED MISSILES

Key media assets have been warning that a major story can be expected.

It will be claimed Iran attacked the United States in retaliation for terrorist acts Iran now  blames on Israel and the United States.  In truth, these acts are meant to be intentional provocations, but it is clearly understood that Iran is incapable of acting.  Russia has never delivered the advanced air defense system Iran needs and with virtually no air force, Iran is incapable of resisting an American onslaught.

A SIGNATURE MOSSAD OPERATION

The attacks have killed one scientist and wounded another.  The wives of both men were wounded.  Israel has done everything but announce that it planned and executed these attacks and is planning more. Iran is being dared to respond but, in fact, no response by Iran will be necessary.  Sources tell us that an act of war against the United States, one which can be blamed on Iran, is in the planning.

The attacks inside Iran are staged from Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, a remote province of Pakistan.  Each of these nations has surrendered control of border regions with Iran to intelligence agencies, including the CIA, Mossad and MI-6.  All have separatist movements with ties to Israel and India.

The Baloch separatist group, Jundullah, funded by the CIA and operated by the Mossad, acts for Israel much as Hizbollah acts for Iran in Lebanon.  Regular terror attacks inside Iran are staged, not only military targets but mosque bombings and assassinations.  Jundullah, the PKK in Turkey and Kurdistan, the Tehrik-i-Taliban in Pakistan, all are operated by Israel as surrogates, attacking Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and sometimes American forces as well.

WIKILEAKS TIMING

There is now little doubt that Wikileaks is an intelligence operation managed from Tel Aviv, carrying out Israeli foreign policy.  The most recent “leaks” have successfully reset the diplomatic stage in the Middle East, exposing undercurrents of animosity against Iran while destroying American diplomatic credibility.

Were a crisis in the region to arise, and one is already in motion thanks to the Israeli terrorists openly operating inside Iran, the United States would now be hamstrung in attempts to foster a regional settlement.  Nobody is talking, not anymore, not when anything said will be in the newspapers and nobody is trusting the United States.  President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have been exposed as highly suspicious of Gulf region allies.

As clear as it was, from the outset, that Wikileaks is an intelligence operation of Israel, making use of their extensive network within the Departments of Defense and State, staffed by hundreds of “dual citizens,” it is really the powerful Israeli lobby, AIPAC, that makes it all possible.

AIPAC SPYING ACCUSATIONS

Former AIPAC lobbyist, Steve Rosen, an employee we have been informed was fired, not for spying against the United States but being “caught,” is suing the organization for defamation.  He claims to have extensive files outlining spy operations by AIPAC that penetrate every aspect of America’s national security, information he claims the FBI has had all along, has had but has ignored.

Rosen claims, in a sense, that AIPAC is a spy organization.

AIPAC, the single most powerful organization in American politics, no member of congress, no president has ever held office without their blessing, has long been reputed to be a foreign lobby.  However, loopholes created specifically for AIPAC allow it to circumvent all regulations that help protect America from foreign influences.

Now it is believed that the information Rosen is referring to is actually Wikileaks itself and that AIPAC is, in fact, Wikileaks.

AMERICA, NOT THE SAME “RUBES” AS ON 9/11

One question that is never asked in the United States is how many American believe 9/11 was not what it seemed.  After ABC’s Jon Faine attacked Kevin Bracken, a popular Australian labor leader, a poll with over 10,000 respondents showed 77% support for a 9/11 conspiracy.  Though Bracken never accused Israel, Jon Faine was clear.  Faine believed that, if 9/11 was a “false flag” that Israel would be blamed.

Though it isn’t clear how many Americans support one of the several 9/11 conspiracies, with or without Israel’s involvement, one thing is clear.  When a suspected terrorist is arrested and a terrorist plot is uncovered, Americans seem unconcerned and millions are clearly skeptical.  The current car bomb threat in Portland, Oregon is one such incident.  There is no news followup, no internet chatter, nothing on “talk radio.”  Most Americans assume the FBI invented the whole thing.  Though this is probably not true, it is far easier to convince the average American the FBI has “gone bad” than of terrorist plotters.

A decade of phony alerts, airport hassles and outright lies have worn Americans out on terrorism.  If asked, Americans would say, “bring it on.”  However, it is because they fear real terrorists much less than their own political leaders, both former and current.

PLANS FOR A “WIKI-WAR”

The geopolitical goals of a “Wiki-War” are potentially unlimited.  The China-Iran-Pakistan axis, one that really doesn’t yet exist, could be preempted.  Turkey can be isolated from its Islamic neighbors and intimidated.  More likely, Israeli expansion is looking toward Western Iraq, where Israel has maintained a foothold in Mosul, near the Syrian border, for decades.  Israel believes Western Iraq is as much a part of Israel as Jerusalem itself, tracing their stake on the region back 3500 years.

Israel has managed to play Chaldean Christian groups against their Shiite neighbors, who have longstanding enmity toward their Sunni countrymen, a region ripe for plucking.  With Iran crushed by the United States, a nation whose economic viability would face immediate collapse with the closing of Persian Gulf oil supplies, a power vacuum would immediately open.  Wikileaks has had significant success in neutering America’s diplomatic capabilities, leaving Israel as the regions only military force.

The “Wiki-War” is dependent on Iran having no air force and poor air defenses.  With these crippling problems and a “defense only” capability aimed at shutting off the world’s oil supply, an air campaign against Iran will be devastatingly successful.  Iran is virtually defenseless against it.

When the oil stops and the banks and stock markets crash, the exodus of “dual citizens” will begin.

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DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWSW

 

Dear Friends,

 

The 4 items below begin with one fresh off the press: Israel will build another 625 housing units in East Jerusalem.  Bravo Israel!  Keep up the good work of expanding.  That won’t bring security or peace to Israelis (not to mention Palestinians), but it sure will make Israel bigger.  The only problem is, what is the use of expansion when there is neither security nor peace?

 

Item 2 informs us that Israel sees a global market for its arms.  Would it not be wonderful if Israel saw a global market for things that were beneficial to human kind rather than for items to kill more efficiently with?  Of course, when it comes to making money, who cares about what is beneficial to human kind?

 

Item 3 reminds us that Gazans continue to suffer due the blockade.  21 Human Rights organizations say that conditions in Gaza have not improved much the past 6 months.  This, of course, is contested by COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories).  But who would you believe?  COGAT or human rights organizations?

 

Lastly, we learn that Hamas “would accept the outcome of a Palestinian referendum on a future peace treaty with the Jewish state.”  Don’t expect this to change anything.  Israel’s leaders will pooh pooh Hamas, will say everything possible to avoid having to deal with this.  But would it not be wonderful if instead they took Hamas at its word and ran ahead to make peace?

 

All the best,

Dorothy

 

1. Haaretz,

December 1, 2010

 

Israel approves plan for 625 new housing units in East Jerusalem

Move comes despite wide international opposition to Israeli construction beyond the Green Line.

 

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-approves-plan-for-625-new-housing-units-in-east-jerusalem-1.328290

 

By Nir Hasson

 

The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee announced Wednesday its plan to build 625 new housing units in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

 

The move comes despite wide international opposition to Israel’s construction in East Jerusalem, with U.S. President Barack Obama calling it ‘unhelpful’ to peace efforts.

 

The plan was approved by the committee over two years ago but was put on hold due to several faults in the plan. Once the specific problems were corrected the plan was brought before the public and approved.

 

Israel’s last announcement of its plan to construct 1,300 new housing units in East Jerusalem drew harsh criticism from the United States, European Union, and the United Nations.

 

“This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations,” said Obama, adding that he was concerned Israel and Palestinian were not making enough of an effort to advance peace negotiations.

 

=================================

2.  LA Times

Saturday, November 27, 2010

 

Israeli firms see a global market for their anti-terrorism know-how

The nation is moving aggressively to turn domestic security technology into one of its biggest exports.

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-israel-homeland-security-20101128,0,3300966.story

 

 

By Edmund Sanders and Batsheva Sobelman, Los Angeles Times

 

9:05 PM PST, November 27, 2010

 

Reporting from Tel Aviv

 

 

As he inspected the Taj Mahal hotel after the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, and listened to a hotel manager bemoan the lack of adequate security preparations, Israeli export official Avi Hefetz saw a growth market in the making.

 

“I thought to myself, if we have the state-of-the-art technology, the defense know-how and our considerable experience gained throughout the intifadas, why not organize a platform for displaying our technologies in this field?” he said.

 

“We might be a small country, but we’re not small in this business,” said Hefetz, director of the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, a quasi-government business promotion group that this month organized the Homeland Security Conference, Israel’s first expo for domestic security providers.

 

As the threat of terrorism spreads, Israel has moved aggressively to turn domestic security technology into one of its biggest exports.

 

More than 400 Israeli companies export about $1.5 billion annually in domestic security goods and technology, including biometric devices, tear gas canisters, anti-intrusion systems, airport screening machines, explosives detectors and remote-controlled vehicles.

 

Israel’s share of the $175-billion global domestic security market is less than 1%, but government and industry officials think they can increase that tenfold by ramping up marketing and promotion. This year Israel sent a record nine trade delegations to India. When the president of Brazil’s Olympic Committee visited Israel this month, he was received by President Shimon Peres, who touted his nation’s security firms.

 

“Unfortunately, we have a name in this area all around the world because we are living these issues day in and day out,” said Dani Werber, international marketing manager for IDO Security Inc., which makes MagShoe, a machine used in airports in Europe and Australia to detect weapons hidden in shoes without passengers having to remove their footwear.

 

“But it’s not just a name, it’s also the proven technology,” Werber said. “Most of what Israeli companies sell is, again unfortunately, field-proven. Whether it’s dealing with a suicide bomb or metal detection, things work.”

 

Israel is focusing its efforts on Brazil, which could spend as much as $3 billion on security for the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympics, and on India, whose annual internal security budget in the government and corporate arenas now tops $1 billion, experts estimate.

 

Israeli-made 360-degree cameras have been installed on Indian oil rigs, and Mumbai government officials sent police officers to Israel for training after the 2008 terrorist attacks, Hefetz said.

 

The Israeli firm Magal Security Systems Ltd., which made its name with perimeter-intrusion systems along Israel’s tense borders with Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, is installing its wares at 11 airports in China.

 

Nice Systems, an Israeli company that sells data-analysis and surveillance systems, counts among its customers the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Bank of America and the New York City Police Department.

 

“Israel’s domestic market is tiny,” said Alon Slonim, vice president for international marketing at Ispra, which manufactures tear gas and other riot gear. “The only way to grow is to export.”

 

Competing with mass-producing firms in nations such as the United States and China is challenging, Slonim said, so Israeli companies need to be creative to stand out.

 

For example, based on Israel’s experience in dealing with Palestinian protests and uprisings against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Ispra designed tear gas canisters made of softer plastic to reduce the risk of injury if the projectiles hit demonstrators. The canisters are also designed to blow up shortly after they disperse their gas, to discourage protesters from picking them up and tossing them back at police.

 

Ispra was among dozens of Israeli firms presenting their products at the security expo in Tel Aviv, which drew mayors, police chiefs and security officials from around the world.

 

Among the offerings was document-scanning software from IntuView that not only translates Arabic text but also searches for key words and phrases, including names, dates and Koranic verses commonly cited by extremists, software engineer Amit Seker said. The U.S. Army has bought the software, he said.

 

WeCU Technologies Ltd., another Israeli start-up, presented its camera-monitored airport kiosks, designed to detect “malicious intent” of users by tracking facial expressions, stress levels, breath and heart rate and sweating in response to questions or images displayed on the screen.

 

Israel’s experience in combating Palestinian extremists has made Israeli companies somewhat expert in guerrilla tactics, rocket attacks and suicide bombers, said Doron Havazelet, director of the new Homeland Security Institute at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

 

“The proximity of Israeli culture to Islamic culture produces a better understanding of the issues,” he said. “Israel is a country that stood at this front line earlier than most others.”

 

edmund.sanders@latimes.com

 

Sobelman is a news assistant in The Times’ Jerusalem Bureau.

======================

3,  The Guardian

30 November 2010

 

Israel accused over ‘cruel’ Gaza blockade

Report calls for end to embargo, saying easing agreed by Israel six months ago has done little to improve plight of Gaza civilians

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/30/israel-accused-over-gaza-blockade

 

Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem

 

Gaza’s 1.5 million people are still suffering from a shortage of construction materials, a ban on exports and severe restrictions on movement six months after Israel agreed to ease its blockade on the territory, according to a report from 21 international organisations.

 

The loosening of the embargo has done little to improve the plight of Gaza’s civilians, according to the coalition, which includes Amnesty, Oxfam, Save the Children, Christian Aid and Medical Aid for Palestinians. It calls for fresh international action to persuade Israel to unconditionally lift the blockade.

 

Israel agreed to ease its restrictions on goods and materials allowed into Gaza following its attack on a flotilla of aid boats in May, in which nine Turkish activists were killed. Since then the import of food and many other consumer items has resumed, although there is still a ban on exports and severe restrictions on construction materials. Israel argues that the latter could be used by militants for military purposes.

 

Tony Blair, the representative of the Middle East Quartet of the US, the UN, the EU and Russia, echoed the call for Israel to accelerate its easing of its blockade in an interview at the weekend. “There has been significant change in Gaza, but not nearly as much as we need,” he told the Associated Press.

 

According to today’s report, Dashed Hopes: Continuation of the Gaza Blockade, imports of construction materials are 11% of the 2007 pre-blockade levels. Despite having agreed to allow in materials for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to rebuild its schools and clinics damaged or destroyed in the three-week war in 2008-09, Israel has permitted only 7% of the necessary amount.

 

Many of the thousands of homes and businesses hit during the war are still unrepaired almost two years later because of the shortage of building materials.

 

Exports remain banned with the exception of strawberries and carnations for European markets. Israel now allows clothing factories to import fabric, but blocks the export of finished items.

 

But some businesses are still unable to import raw materials they need. According to the report, two-thirds of Gaza’s businesses have closed since the blockade was tightened in June 2007, and the rest are operating at restricted capacity.

 

Israel is maintaining an overall ban on the movement of people, with the number of permits granted to people to leave Gaza less than 1% of the number 10 years ago, the report says. There has been a rise in the number of businesspeople allowed to travel, “but ordinary Gaza residents are still denied access to their friends and family, and to educational opportunities in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and abroad”.

 

There has been no change on the “buffer zone” around Gaza’s perimeters, which swallows 35% of Gaza’s arable land and 85% of maritime fishing waters “with devastating impact on the economy and people’s rights and livelihoods … Boundaries of the restricted areas are highly arbitrary and enforced by live fire,” says the report. Since the blockade was eased six months ago, six civilians have been killed and 50 injured by Israeli fire in the buffer zone.

 

“The so-called ‘easing’ of the Gaza blockade does not change the fact that there’s still a cruel and illegal blockade collectively punishing the entire civilian population,” said Amnesty director Kate Allen. “The only real easing has been the easing of pressure on the Israeli authorities to end this cruel and illegal practice.” Jeremy Hobbs, director of Oxfam, said: “Israel’s failure to live up to its commitments and the lack of international action to lift the blockade are depriving Palestinians in Gaza of access to clean water, electricity, jobs and a peaceful future.”

 

The coalition calls for renewed international pressure on Israel over Gaza. “There cannot be a just and durable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without an end to the isolation and punishment of people in Gaza,” the report says. “The government of Israel and parts of the international community remain reluctant to fully lift the blockade as long as Hamas holds power in Gaza. Yet upholding the rights and needs of civilians in Gaza must not be conditional on other political objectives.”

 

In a statement, COGAT, the Israeli military body responsible for Gaza, said the report’s claims were “biased and distorted and therefore mislead the public”. It said the number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip every day had increased by 92% since last June. There were security and logistical issues regarding exports of goods and and the import of construction materials, it added.

 

“Israel will not allow any hidden agenda party to disrupt the process to which both the government of Israel and the international community are fully committed”.

======================

4.  Reuters

 

Wed Dec 1, 2010

 

GAZA (Reuters) – The Islamist Hamas movement, whose charter advocates the elimination of Israel, would accept the outcome of a Palestinian referendum on a future peace treaty with the Jewish state, its Gaza leader said on Wednesday.

 

Ismail Haniyeh, addressing a rare news conference in the Israeli-blockaded enclave, signaled a softening of Hamas’s long-standing position prohibiting the ceding of any part of the land of what was British-mandated Palestine until 1948.

 

“We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,” Haniyeh said, referring to the year of Middle East war in which Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories.

 

“Hamas will respect the results (of a referendum) regardless of whether it differs with its ideology and principles,” he said, provided it included all Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and the diaspora.

 

The Hamas charter, drafted in 1988, regards all of the land of Palestine, including what is now Israel, as the heritage of Muslims. The idea of a referendum on a future peace accord with Israel was rejected by some Hamas leaders when it was proposed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas several months ago.

 

Negotiations between Abbas and Israel have since faltered over Israel’s refusal to halt settlement building in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

 

NO AL QAEDA HERE

 

Haniyeh said Israel was not willing to give the Palestinians a fully sovereign state and he therefore had no hope the fragile U.S.- brokered attempts to revive peacemaking would succeed.

 

He said his movement was willing to cooperate with Western and European countries “who want to help the Palestinian people regain their rights.” The United States and European Union shun Hamas as a terrorist organization and do not recognize its Gaza authority.

 

“We urge European foreign ministers to revise their position regarding meetings with the elected government,” Haniyeh said, adding that contacts were being made with United Nations officials in the Gaza Strip in this regard.

 

Haniyeh denied Israel’s claim to have killed three members of the al Qaeda organization in Gaza in the past month.

 

Israel said two of three militants it killed in November were planning attacks against Israeli and western tourists in the Egyptian territory of Sinai.

 

He said a priority of his government was to avoid a military escalation with Israel by persuading other militant factions to preserve a de facto ceasefire.

 

Hamas had repeatedly distanced itself from al Qaeda and had not hesitated to condemn al Qaeda-claimed attacks in some Arab and western capitals, he noted.

 

(Editing by Douglas Hamilton and Samia Nakhoul)

 

 

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

RELEASE ALL PALESTINIAN CHILDREN FROM GESTAPO CAMPS

NOVANEWS

Action Alert: Release all Palestinian Children from Israeli Prisons

November 30, 2010

 

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition calls on all its members,supporters and people of conscience to demand that the US administration direct the state of Israel to stop the targeted arrests and immediately release all Palestinian children detained in its prisons and detention centers. The US is bound by its laws and international conventions to cut off all aid to Israel until it ends the institutionalized and systematic abuse of Palestinian children and all of its violations of Palestinian human rights and basic freedoms in a verifiable manner.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Palestinian Children Right's Campaign

Recent reports have shown that there has been an escalation of night raids and systematic arrests of Palestinian children in the Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem. These reports indicate that at least twenty one children in this Palestinian neighborhood have been arrested and subjected to physical abuse in the period from October 8, 2010 to November 3, 2010 alone. Children as young as 10 years old are deliberately targeted, arrested, and taken to al-Mascobiyya center (The Russian Compound), a notorious detention and interrogation center.

According to Defense for Children International (DCI), a Geneva-based non-governmental agency, 700 Palestinian children in the West Bank alone are detained and imprisoned by Israel every year. Furthermore, based on a survey in 2009 of 100 of these children, lawyers found that 69% were beaten and kicked, 49% were threatened, 14% were held in solitary confinement, 12% were threatened with sexual assault, including rape, and 32% were forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew, a language they do
not understand. Such institutionalized and systematic mistreatment is considered torture by the United Nations under international law and specifically contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Israel is a signatory.

Of the estimated 11 million Palestinians in the world today, 7.2 million, including children, live in forced exile or are internally displaced; they have been denied their right to return to their homes and lands of origin by the state of Israel. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 43.6% of Palestinian children living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are refugees. While refugee children experience special hardships,
they also endure the hardships that all Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are exposed to by the state of Israel. They are systematically and often denied their right to education, to medical and psychological care, and to freedom of movement and expression.

ACTION

  

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition calls on all its members, supporters and people of conscience to write to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to demand that they direct the state of Israel to immediately cease the targeted arrests of Palestinian children in Jerusalem, and to release all Palestinian children from its prisons. The US administration must demand an immediate end to all forms of institutionalized and systematic abuse of Palestinian children by the state
of Israel.


SAMPLE LETTER


Dear President Obama,


I am shocked and disturbed to learn about the recent night raids and systematic arrests of Palestinian children in the Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem. Twenty one of these children have been arrested and subjected to physical abuse in the period from October 8, 2010 to November 3, 2010 alone. Children as young as 10 years old are deliberately targeted, arrested, and taken to al-Mascobiyya center (The Russian Compound), a notorious detention and interrogation center. Furthermore, 700 Palestinian children in the West Bank alone are imprisoned by Israel every year. Based on sworn affidavits of 100 of these children, lawyers found that 69% were beaten and kicked, 49% were threatened, 14% were held in solitary confinement, 12% were threatened with sexual assault, including rape, and 32% were forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew, a language they do not understand. Such institutionalized and systematic mistreatment by the state of Israel against Palestinian children is considered torture by the United Nations under international law and specifically contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Israel is a signatory.


Therefore, I call on you to direct Israel to

  • Stop the night raids and arrests in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem forthwith.

  • Immediately release all Palestinian children detained in its prisons and detention centers.

  • End all forms of systematic and institutionalized abuse against all Palestinian children.

  • Implement the full restoration of Palestinian children’s rights in accordance with international law including, but not limited to, their right to return to their homes of origin, to education, to medical and psychological care, and to freedom of movement and expression.

The US government, which supports Israel to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars a year while most ordinary Americans are suffering in a very bad economy, is bound by its laws and international conventions to cut off all aid to Israel until it ends all of its violations of human rights and basic freedoms in a verifiable manner.


Sincerely,


Your Name
Address
Phone Number

To contact the White House, please use this form:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

 

Alternatively, write to:

 

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Call: 202-456-1414
Fax: 202-456-2461

 

To contact the Secretary of State:

 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Main Switchboard: 202-647-4000
Secretary Hillary Clinton Office: 202-647-5291
Fax: 202-261-8577

 

Letters in the US may be faxed online via: http://www.tpc.int/sendfax.html 

 

Please send copies of your correspondence to child.rights@al-awda.org

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on RELEASE ALL PALESTINIAN CHILDREN FROM GESTAPO CAMPS

NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS

NOVANEWS

WikiLeaks – More Israeli Game Theory Warfare?

by Jeff Gates

“The United States is the real victim of WikiLeaks. It’s an action aimed at discrediting them.” Franco Frattini, Foreign Minister of Italy

The impact of the WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables fits the behavior profile of those well versed in game theory warfare.

When Israeli mathematician Robert J. Aumann received the 2005 Nobel Prize in economic science for his work on game theory, he conceded, “the entire school of thought that we have developed here in Israel” has turned “Israel into the leading authority in this field.”

The candor of this Israeli-American offered a rare insight into an enclave long known for waging war from the shadows. Israel’s most notable success to date was “fixing” the intelligence that induced the U.S. to invade Iraq in pursuit of a geopolitical agenda long sought by Tel Aviv

When waging intelligence wars, timing is often the critical factor for game-theory war planners. The outcome of the WikiLeaks release suggests a psy-ops directed at the U.S.

Why now? Tel Aviv was feeling pressure to end its six-decade occupation of Palestine. With this release, its foot-dragging on the peace process was displaced with talk of an attack on Iran.

While the U.S. bore the brunt of the damage, the target was global public opinion. To maintain the plausibility of The Clash of Civilizations, a focus must be maintained on Iran as a credible Evil Doer.

With fast-emerging transparency, Israel and pro-Israelis have been identified as the source of the intelligence that took coalition forces to war in Iraq. Thus the need to shift attention off Tel Aviv.

WikiLeaks may yet succeed in that mission.

Foreseeable Futures

Game theory war planning aims to create outcomes that are predictable – within an acceptable range of probabilities. That’s why Israeli war planners focus on gaining traction for a plausible narrative and then advancing that storyline step by gradual step.

For the Zionist state to succeed with its expansionist agenda, Iran must remain at center stage as an essential villain in a geopolitical morality play pitting the West against Islamo Fascists.

To displace facts with false beliefs – as with belief in the intelligence that induced the invasion of Iraq – momentum must be maintained for the storyline. Lose the plot (The Clash) and peace might break out. And those deceived may identify the deceiver.

Thus the timing of this latest WikiLeaks release. Its goal: to have us believe that it is not Tel Aviv but Washington that is the forefront of geopolitical duplicity and a source of Evil Doing.

Intelligence wars rely on mathematical models to anticipate the response of those targeted. With game theory algorithms, reactions become foreseeable – within an acceptable range of probabilities.

Control enough of the variables and outcomes become a mathematical inevitability.

The WikiLeaks Motive

Was the reaction to this latest WikiLeaks foreseeable? With exquisite timing, the U.S. was discredited with an array of revelations that called into question U.S. motives and put in jeopardy U.S. relations worldwide.

As the Italian Foreign Minister summarized: “The news released by WikiLeaks will change diplomatic relations between countries.”

The hard-earned trust of the Pakistanis disappeared overnight. Attempts to engage Iran were set back. The overall effect advanced The Clash storyline. If Washington could so badly misread North Korean intentions, then why is the U.S. to be trusted when it comes to a nuclear Iran?

This Wiki-catalyzed storyline pushed Israel off the front page in favor of Iran.

Even U.S. detainees at Guantanamo are again at issue, reigniting that shameful spectacle as a provocation for extremism and terror. U.S. diplomats will now be suspected of spying and lying. What nation can now trust Americans to maintain confidences?

In short, the risks increased for everyone.

Except Israel.

Should Israel launch an attack on Iran, Tel Aviv can cite WikiLeaks as its rationale. Though an attack would be calamitous from a human, economic and financial perspective, even that foreseeable outcome would be dwarfed by the enduring hatred that would ensue.

That too is foreseeable – from a game theory perspective of those marketing The Clash.

The effect of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was predictable. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia foresaw it, noting simply that the U.S. invasion would “give Iraq to Iran as a gift on a golden platter.”

With the elimination of Sunni leader Saddam Hussein, the numerically dominant Shiites of Iraq were drawn into the political orbit of the Shiite-dominant Iran.

Game theorists focus their manipulation of affairs on their control of key variables. Then events take on a life all their own. The impact of this discrediting release was wide-ranging and fully foreseeable.

A Mossad case officer explained Israel’s success at waging war by way of deception: “Once the orchestra starts to play, we just hum along.”

These, after all, are the leading authorities in the field.

Former Pakistani General: CIA, Mossad behind WikiLeaks Reports

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A former Pakistani army commander said that the disclosure of classified documents by the whistleblower site of Wikileaks is a US plot to create rift among friendly and neighboring states.
 
“The US has a hand in this plot, and these reports (posted by the WikiLeaks website) are part of the US psychological warfare,” former Chief of the Staff of the Pakistani Army General Mirza Aslam Beg told FNA in Islamabad on Tuesday.

He stated that the US could prevent the leak of information if it wanted to do so, and warned that the real plot and conspiracy pursued by these reports will be unraveled in future.

Aslam Beg further reiterated that the CIA and Israel’s spy agency Mossad have launched efforts to weaken and destabilize Pakistan, and WikiLeaks reports are part of these efforts.

The remarks by the Pakistani figure came after US embassy cables posted by WikiLeaks website sparked hot reactions in the region.

In one cable, the WikiLeaks claimed, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, a close ally of Pakistan, reportedly called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari the main cause of his country’s woes.

Pakistani President’s office responded on Monday that the leaks were “no more than an attempt to create misperceptions between two important and brotherly Muslim countries”.

 

US severs access to diplomatic files

In dramatic move following disclosure of sensitive cables, State Department disconnects access to government’s classified computer network.

(AP) Reeling from disclosures of sensitive diplomatic messages, the State Department has disconnected access to its files from the US government’s classified computer network.

The move dramatically reduces the number of employees inside the government who can see important diplomatic messages.

In first public comments since release of hundreds of thousands of classified State Department cables, US secretary of state says leak erodes trust among nations. Obama administration ‘aggressively pursuing’ those responsible, she adds

A State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, said Tuesday that the decision was temporary, at least until workers correct what he called “weaknesses in the system that have become evident because of this leak.”

WikiLeaks, a self-styled whistle-blower organization, this week published some of more than a quarter-million diplomatic memos that were never intended to be read outside the US government.

The State Department also said that secret instructions to American diplomats to gather sensitive personal information about foreign leaders originated from the US intelligence community but did not require diplomats to spy.

According to Crowley, requests for DNA and biometric data on foreign officials contained in leaked classified cables published by WikiLeaks came from “outside the Department of State.” He said other government agencies passed the requests along as part of a “wish list” for information on foreign officials.

A senior department official said the requests came from “intelligence community managers.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that WikiLeaks’ mass dump of classified American documents was embarrassing but will have little impact on US relations with other countries.

‘West is assassinating scientists as negotiation strategy’

 

(jpost.com) Iranian atomic chief: Killings are carrot-stick approach ahead of talks; Ahmadinejad threatens legal action against UNSC members. Addressing mourners at a funeral procession for assassinated scientist Majid Shahriari in Teheran on Wednesday, Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi said, “Ahead of the upcoming talks, the malicious [arrogant powers] intended to display a glimpse of their political mischief, which is their carrot and stick approach.”

Talks between the West and Iran on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program are scheduled to begin early next week.

Speaking to veterans and families of war casualties in northern Iran on Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened take legal action against the world’s most powerful nations

Addressing the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist this week, Ahmadinejad said, “By God, if such a thing happens again, we will put each of the UN Security Council permanent members on trial,” official Iranian news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday. Ahmadinejad added that Iran would put forward cases going back before the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

He did not specify what judicial body he would take action in.

“They falsely think that if they take nuclear scientists or other scientists from us, the forward-looking path of the Iranian nation will be stopped,” IRNA reported. He added, the “intelligence forces will whole-heartedly guard the scientists.”

Ostensibly referring to nuclear talks scheduled to take place with the West next week, Ahmadinejad said, “Do you want to hold dialogue this way? Your move showed that you have hostile intentions,” according to the report.

WikiLeaks: Iran won’t use nuclear bomb on Israel, says Assad

 

Iran would never risk massive Palestinian casualties, Syrian president told U.S. officials.

A US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks revealed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told U.S. officials Iran would not use a nuclear weapon against Israel, according to media reports Tuesday.

According to the cable, the Syrian president said “an Iranian nuclear strike against Israel would result in massive Palestinian casualties, which Iran would never risk.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Photo by: AP

The cable was sent from the US embassy in Damascus in March last year and described a meeting between al-Assad and several US senators.

In the meeting, al-Assad stressed that he was not convinced Iran was developing nuclear weapons.

Al-Assad also said he wanted peace between Syria and Israel, and encouraged US involvement in the issue.

Aid groups: Plight of Gaza civilians still dire

 

(AP) Business and construction in the Gaza Strip remain stifled half a year after Israel announced it would ease its three-year-old blockade of the needy, war-ravaged Palestinian territory, a report by several aid groups said Tuesday.

The groups accused Israel of ducking promises to ease the blockade’s effects on civilians, a pledge it made under pressure after a deadly Israeli commando raid in May on an international flotilla protesting the restrictions. The report said Israel is allowing in more food and some building materials but is dragging its feet on major construction projects.

“We aren’t seeing an easing of the blockade compared to Israel’s declared aims,” said Karl Schembri of Oxfam, among the 21 groups behind the report. Others included Amnesty International and Save the Children.

“It’s not having any impact,” he said.

Israel and Egypt have blockaded Gaza since the Islamic militant Hamas group seized power there in June 2007. Israel says the blockade is needed to keep Hamas, which has fired thousands of rockets into southern Israel, from building up its arsenal. But critics counter that the blockade has failed to weaken Hamas, while causing widespread misery among Gaza’s 1.5 million people.

Government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel is easing the blockade but must check everything entering Gaza.

“We want to see civilian goods reach the civilian population of the Gaza Strip,” he said. “Obviously goods have to be checked to make sure weapons and dual-use goods don’t enter the Gaza Strip.”

Israeli military spokesman Guy Inbar rejected the findings, saying Palestinians in Gaza had not built up the capacity to allow more materials to enter the coastal territory. While they were allowed to bring in 250 trucks a day, Palestinians were only bringing in 176.

Inbar said movement at the crossings was sluggish because the crossings were being renovated to enlarge their capacity.

He said Israel strictly supervised the entry of building materials because militants could use items like concrete and pipes in their fight against Israel.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the report “needs immediate translation into action … to force the occupation government to immediately end the Gaza Strip’s suffering.”

The blockade kept out raw materials for factories and construction — hindering economic recovery and reconstruction after Israel’s winter 2009 offensive against Hamas, which left thousands of Gaza buildings in ruins. It also penned in residents, banned exports and restricted fuel to Gaza.

Gaza residents largely made due with goods — ranging from cows to computers — smuggled through tunnels under the border with Egypt.

Hamas also obtains building materials, weapons and cash through the tunnels, meaning shortages most harshly affect civilians.

On May 31, Israeli commandos raided an international flotilla seeking to break the blockade, killing nine activists on a Turkish ferry boat. The incident drew international criticism, and Israel said it would ease the blockade and facilitate large projects supervised by the United Nations and other aid groups.

The report said Israel’s easing has focused on food and consumer products, which have largely replaced dusty, tunnel-smuggled goods on Gaza’s shelves. But it has had little effect on larger projects.

The U.N. has plans to build 100 schools and 10,000 housing units, some to replace those destroyed in the war. The report said it has been able to start only 7 percent of these and even those have been slowed by Israeli bureaucracy and sluggish border crossings.

Israel has allowed other groups to begin work on projects like sewage plants, wells and community centers, but the report describes these as marginal compared with Gaza’s needs.

Overall, 11 percent of the materials entering Gaza before the blockade are now getting in, the report said.

The report noted that Israel has allowed in materials like wood for building and butter and fabric for factories. But it said the continued ban on most raw materials has kept 65 percent of Gaza’s factories shut.

Some 40 percent of Gazans are unemployed and 80 percent depend on aid.

 

US Announces More Sanctions Against Iran

 

One Week Ahead of Talks, US Extends Sanctions Yet More

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

The Obama Administration has decided to ratchet up their sactions against Iran once again, with officials announcing today that 10 additional businesses and five more individuals were blacklisted for ostensible ties with Iran’s nuclear program.

The companies were centered around Iran’s banking and shipping industry, and the US Treasury Department is freezing all assets they have in US jurisdictions. Though the companies were described by officials as “Iranian fronts,” eight were actually Manx companies, and one was Malaysian-based.

The moves come just one week before the P5+1 talks with Iran in Geneva, Switzerland, and will almost certainly be viewed in a negative light by Iranian officials. As the talks are meant to reconcile Iran’s nuclear program with US demands it appears odd timing.

It will likely take a back seat in the question of US hostility to the talks, however, compared to Admiral Michael Mullen’s Sunday comments, suggesting that the US was still considering attacking Iran in the near future. The US has been threatening to attack Iran regularly for years.

Mike Huckabee Demands Bradley Manning’s Execution

Anything Short of Execution ‘Too Kind’

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

In the midst of a book signing for his new children’s book “Can’t Wait Till Christmas!” former government and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee appeared to lose sight of his Christmas spirit and went off on a tirade demanding the immediate execution of Pfc Bradley Manning, a 23 year old Army intelligence analyst.

Gov. Huckabee wants Bradley Manning executed

editor’s note–We are forced to wonder what Huckabee’s position is viz a viz Jonathon Pollard, the Israeli spy whose treason led to the deaths of over 1,000 intelligence agents/assets serving behind the Iron Curtain? We would be safe in betting our last dime on the likelihood that if asked Huckabee is in favor of commuting Pollard’s sentence and that short of that, would be decidedly opposed to Pollard riding the lightning express.

Manning is facing up to 52 years in prison for leaking documents to WikiLeaks, which violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice with regards to his handling of classified materials. Huckabee angrily declared that a prison sentence was “too kind.”

Rather Huckabee says that the leaker “is guilty of treason” and that anything short of execution was unacceptable. So far none of the charges against Manning could even theoretically carry the death penalty.

Later Huckabee condemned the New York Times for publishing the documents because “they know they (were) obtained in a way that is not appropriate.” He quickly transitioned from outraged demands for execution back into jovial joking with interviewers, and advised people to stay away from sugar during the holiday season.

Manning is being held incommunicado by the US military and as such was not available for immediate comment on the call for his death.

State Dept Warned Spain: US ‘Running Out of Patience’ With Antiwar Positions

Ambassador Told PM Zapatero to ‘Tone Down’ Criticism of Iraq War

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

A new revelation from the WikiLeaks Cablegate releases comes from 2007, as Spain’s government was preparing to fight for reelection. The Bush-era State Department reacted with outrage that Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero’s Socialist Party was criticizing the former government’s involvement in the Iraq War, and concern that they were associating with “pacifists.”

Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero

Zapatero’s first term in office was won largely on opposition to the Iraq War, and he withdrew all the Spanish troops from Iraq shortly thereafter. Faced with criticism over his handling of the internal ETA conflict, the prime minister re-raised the issue of the Iraq War, condemning the invasion as “illegal.”

This was of serious concern to the Bush Administration which warned him that they were “running out of patience” with his public criticisms of the war, even though this is nearly three years after Spain had ended its participation in it. Then-ambassador Eduardo Aguirre is said to have accused Zapatero of being unfair in bringing the US and Britain into his criticism of the invasion of Iraq, saying Zapatero should focus exclusively on internal political rivals.

The cable ends with a warning to Zapatero to “tone down” his criticism of US foreign policy, and a note that Deputy Envoy Hugo Llorens (now ambassador to Honduras) intended to warn other top members of Spain’s ruling party not to publicly criticize the US invasion of Iraq in their campaigns.

Wiki-Leaks Serves Israeli Agenda Of Demonizing Iran

 

Joe Quinn
Sott.net

I obviously missed the momentous occasion when the mainstream media turned anti-war. But who can now deny that it is so when we see Wiki-leaks and the mainstream media joining forces to expose the ugly truth of the US invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and more recently, what the US state department thinks of world leaders? I mean, that is what is happening, right?

Wrong.

What is happening is that Wiki-leaks is being promoted by the media in order to sell the same old lies, except that now the lies are coming sugar-coated, with a ‘whistle-blower’ gloss to better enable digestion. The lies themselves don’t frustrate me so much anymore, and I can understand why the general public are fooled, but I have to admit to being disappointed at how effortlessly the Wiki-leaks poison is being swallowed by so many supposedly alternative news sites. Sites like CounterpunchGlobal ResearchCitizens for a Legitimate Government and Information Clearing House, to name but a few, are all disseminating the Wiki-leaks story without so much as a hint of critical thought it seems.

From day one, the Wiki-leaks Afghan – and then Iraq – war logs revealed little if anything that was not already publicly available:

That the US uses assassination squads in Iraq and Afghanistan? Old news. Seven years ago the Guardianinformed us that not only were US ‘hit squads’ operating in Iraq, but that they were being trained by the Israelis! And in any case, is the idea that ‘hit squads’ are being used to track down the evil ‘Taliban’ in Afghanistan more appalling than the fact, splashed across American broadsheets earlier this year, that Obama signed a bill authorizing the assassination of American citizens by the CIA??

That the US pays the Iraqi and Afghan media for positive coverage is not only old news, it’s only half the story! Have we already forgotten the Lincoln Group and the precocious Christian Bailey? In 2005 the Lincoln group won (was awarded) a $100 Million contract to essentially control the entire Iraqi media via its own ‘Iraqi’ publications and the monopolization of the Iraqi advertising industry on an ongoing basis. All of these details have been carried in the mainstream press, yet they have done nothing to stop the bogus endless ‘war on terrorism’. Why then are we being encouraged to expect that the Wikileaks documents, which convey the same information, will fare any better? Is it because these details will soon be consigned to the memory hole (again) while other, more strategically important, details will be repeated ad nauseum?

 

 

Julian Assange and Wiki-leaks support the bogus ‘Iraq body count’ estimation of Iraqi deaths

That the US has killed thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan? Old news. In fact, on this one, the Wiki-leaks documents offered support for the much lower estimation of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan by the discredited ‘Iraq Body Count’ rather than the much more realistic estimation of almost 1.5 million (in Iraq) by Just Foreign Policy

But quibbling over the number of dead Muslims is not important these days anyway, after all, they’re only Muslims, not real people, and the over-all exposure by the mainstream media of US misdeeds in Iraq and Afghanistan is, in itself, no bad thing. If Wiki-leaks left it at that, I would be more than happy to applaud the mysterious Mr Assange and the equally mysterious provenance of his documents. But the Wiki-leaks documents tell much more than arbitrary killing in wars of conquest, they also provide support for the continuation and expansion of those wars, most notably to Iran and Pakistan.

For example, the Afghan ‘war logs’ offered ‘evidence’ that Pakistan is helping the Taliban – that’s Pakistan, and not, as has been reported, the CIA:

Persistent accounts of western forces in Afghanistan using their helicopters to ferry Taleban fighters, strongly denied by the military, is feeding mistrust of the forces that are supposed to be bringing order to the country.

One such tale came from a soldier from the 209th Shahin Corps of the Afghan National Army, fighting against the growing insurgency in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan. Over several months, he had taken part in several pitched battles against the armed opposition.

“Just when the police and army managed to surround the Taleban in a village of Qala-e-Zaal district, we saw helicopters land with support teams,” he said. “They managed to rescue their friends from our encirclement, and even to inflict defeat on the Afghan National Army.”

The UK Guardian‘s summation of the Afghan war logs was this:

– How a secret “black” unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for “kill or capture” without trial.

– How the US covered up evidence that the Taliban have acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles.

– How NATO commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fueling the insurgency.

– How the Taliban have caused growing carnage with a massive escalation of their roadside bombing campaign, which has killed more than 2,000 civilians to date.

Are these the type of revelations that are going to cause serious problems for the US governments? Are they going to outrage the public? Having been conditioned for years to believe that the ‘Taliban’ are evil monsters, are people going to be angry or quietly proud that a ‘secret special forces unit’ is hunting the Taliban down ‘without trial’?

Does the ‘revelation’ that the Taliban acquired surface-to-air missiles damage or bolster the US government claim that they are fighting a war against a formidable foe in Afghanistan? Of what significance is it that the coalition covered up this alleged ‘fact’?

And the data that the Taliban ‘massively escalated their roadside bombing campaign, killing more than 2,000 civilians’; is this damaging to the US government, or ‘evidence’ that the US is fighting the good fight in Afghanistan?

The other English paper that ran with the Afghan ‘war logs’ was the NY Times. Their headline summation told us:

Pakistan Spy Service Aids Insurgents, Reports Assert

The fate of Combat Outpost Keating illustrates many of the frustrations of the allied effort: low troop levels, unreliable Afghan partners and a growing insurgency.

The military and intelligence reports provide a real-time history of the Afghan war from the vantage point of American troops actually doing the fighting and reconstruction.

So, thanks to Wiki-leaks, the unlikely darling of the mainstream media, the world is being informed that the ‘enemy’ in Afghanistan is growing stronger, Pakistan and Iran are to blame, and brave US troops are engaged in ‘reconstruction’ there!

But Pakistan and the Taliban are not the main target of disinformation in these documents. As more documents are released, it becomes clear that, sitting square in the bulls-eye, is Iran. The initial round of leaks provided this sensational ‘revelation’, reported here by the UK Telegraph:

Wiki-leaks: how Iran devised new suicide vest for al-Qaeda to use in Iraq

Iranian-backed forces supplied insurgents attacking coalition troops and devised new forms of suicide vests for al-Qaeda, according to assessments released by Wiki-leaks.

Only in their wildest dreams could the war-mongers in Washington and Tel Aviv have wished for a more on-message leak of ‘secret information’.

And so to the latest raft of documents, partially released just a few days ago. When I read their contents, to say that I was shocked would be to grossly over-state my reaction. I could have written them myself:

Wiki-leaks: Iran ‘obtains North Korea missiles which can strike Europe’

This one, I have to admit, is entirely believable because, after all, everyone knows Saddam had the same capability several years ago, remember? In fact, this ‘revelation’ about Iran’s capability to threaten Europe is even more believable than the ‘sexed-up’ Iraq dossier claim, because this revelation comes from Wiki-leaks, an honest-to-god whistle blower organization, right? I mean, there’s just no way that agents working on behalf of the US and Israeli governments could possibly use such an organization to spread propaganda, right?

Is there no one in the alternative news community that can see this for what it is? North Korea supplying missiles to Iran to attack Europe?! Right when the US and Israel are involved in a protracted effort to demonize Iran to the world and the US has an aircraft carrier sitting off the Korean Coast!? Is all of this meant to be so obvious, or did my reading of ‘psychological operations for dummies’ gift me with amazing insight into how political propaganda really works?

Does anyone truly believe that the fact that someone in the US State Department thinks that Sarkozy is an ‘Emperor with no clothes’ will do any real damage? Is this meant to be a secret? It is certainly no secret to over 60% of the French public who, years ago, openly stated as much. Likewise the ‘revelation’ about Berlusconi; ‘feckless, vain and ineffective as a modern European leader’? What about ‘senile, megalomaniac, psychopath, pedophile’ this is what the Italians and most Europeans are saying, does the US State Department not read the papers before compiling ‘secret dossiers’ on foreign leaders?

 

 

Wiki-leaks reveals inane, open secrets about Presidents and Prime Ministers

And what of the the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il? He’s a ‘flabby old chap’ according to these ‘damaging reports’. Is this meant to cause some kind of diplomatic rift between North Korea and Washington before or after the USA and its client state of South Korea bombs Kim and a few million North Koreans back to the stone age? And Iranian President Ahmadinejad – ‘Hitler’?? Does anyone expect the Obama government to want to retract that one or hide it from the public? More to the point, are we all suffering from collective amnesia? Who has repeatedly referred to Iran and it’s democratically-elected leader as Nazi Germany and a new Hitler? Anyone? Ok, here’s a hint.

Ok, so I mentioned Israel a couple of times. Why? Here’s one reason, from the horse’s mouth:

In Israel the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he felt vindicated by [Wiki-leaks] revelations about the extent of international and Arab concern about Iran and its nuclear programme. “Israel has not been damaged at all by the WikiLeaks publications,” Netayahu said.

“The documents show many sources backing Israel’s assessments, particularly of Iran. Our region has been hostage to a narrative that is the result of 60 years of propaganda, which paints Israel as the greatest threat. In reality leaders understand that that view is bankrupt. For the first time in history there is agreement that Iran is the threat,” he said.

There is also the fact that it is public knowledge that Israel operates an extensive and very well-entrenched network of spies in the US, including the infamous Israeli art students.

In 2005 the FBI noted, for example, that Israel maintains “an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States.” A key Israeli method, said the FBI report, is computer intrusion.

And what are we to make of the strange coincidence where, on the very same day that Wiki-leaks releases documents that contain key data about the Iranian nuclear program, the Israeli Mossad murdersone Iranian nuclear scientist and injures another in Tehran?

In determining the origin of the Wiki-leaks documents, we need ask ourselves but one question: in whose interest is it to put pressure on the US government through the release of documents to the press (via Wiki-leaks) that force the US to do a certain amount of damage control, while simultaneously portraying Iran as the biggest threat to world peace? Because that, in the final analysis, is the overall effect of the Wiki-leaks documents. Wiki-leaks performs so poorly in the ‘smell test’ that I feel confident in suggesting that the documents may not even be original documents; and if they are, they have very likely been amended in such a way that they serve the Israeli/Zionist agenda.

  

CIA implanted electrodes in brains of unsuspecting soldiers, suit alleges

By David Edwards
 

(rawstory.com) A group of military veterans are suing to get the CIA to come clean about allegedly implanting remote control devices in their brains.

It’s well known that the CIA began testing substances like LSD on soldiers beginning in the 1950s but less is known about allegations that the agency implanted electrodes in subjects.

2009 lawsuit (.pdf) claimed that the CIA intended to design and test septal electrodes that would enable them to control human behavior. The lawsuit said that because the government never disclosed the risks, the subjects were not able to give informed consent.

Bruce Price, one plaintiff in the lawsuit, believes that MRI scans confirm that the CIA placed a device in his brain in 1966.

At one point, Bruce was ordered to visit a building with a chain link fence that housed test animals, including dogs, cats, guinea pigs and monkeys. After reporting, Bruce was strapped across his chest, his wrists, and his ankles to a gurney. Bruce occasionally would regain consciousness for brief moments. On one such instance, he remembers being covered with a great deal of blood, and assumed it was his own, but did not really know the source. Also portions of his arms and the backs of his hand were blue. His wrist and ankles were bruised and sore at the points where he had been strapped to the gurney. Bruce believes that this is the time period during which a septal implant was placed in his brain.

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DEFENDANTS placed some sort of an implant in Bruce’s right ethmoid sinus near the frontal lobe of his brain. The implant appears on CT scans as a “foreign body” of undetermined composition (perhaps plastic or some composite material) in Bruce’s right ethmoid, as confirmed in a radiology report dated June 30, 2004.

According to a 1979 book by former State Department intelligence officer John Marks, The CIA and the Search for the Manchurian Candidate, an internal 1961 memo by a top agency scientist reported that “the feasibility of remote control of activities in several species of animals has been demonstrated… Special investigations and evaluations will be conducted toward the application of selected elements of these techniques to man.”

“The CIA pursued such experiments because it was convinced the Soviets were doing the same,” The Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein noted.

In mid-November, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Larson ruled that the CIA must produce records and testimony regarding the experiments conducted on thousands of soldiers from 1950 through 1975.

“The CIA has already claimed that some documents are protected under the state-secrets privilege, but Larson said the agency needs to be more specific,” Courthouse News Service reported.

The CIA insisted discovery was unwarranted in its case, because it never funded or conducted drug research on military personnel.

Larson wasn’t convinced.

“[T]his court rejects the conclusion that the CIA necessarily lacks a nexus to Plaintiffs’ claims, and orders the CIA to respond in earnest” to the veterans’ requests, “particularly because defendants have presented evidence that would appear to cast doubt on that conclusion,” he wrote.

But Larson ruled that the CIA did not have to produce records about devices implanted in some of the subjects.

Gordon P. Erspamer, lead attorney for the veterans, told The Washington Post that he is still pursuing the CIA for implanting devices in his clients’ brains.

“There is no question that these experiments were done but defendants say that they used private researchers and test subjects drawn from prisons, hospitals and nursing homes as subjects, not active duty military [personnel],” Erspamer said. “CIA said it had no one knowledgeable on this topic.”

Erspamer noted that papers filed in the case describe “electrical devices implanted in brain tissue with electrodes in various regions, including the hippocampus, the hypothalamus, the frontal lobe (via the septum), the cortex and various other places.”

“A lot of this work was done out of Tulane University using a local state hospital and funding from a cut-out (front) organization called the Commonwealth Fund,” he said.

“We tried to get docs from Tulane, but they told us that they were destroyed in the hurricane flooding.”

 

“Return to sender” – Israel blocks the mail to Gaza

 

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Palestinians in line at a post office in Gaza City.

 (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

by Rami Almeghari

During the last four years of siege, Israel has tightly restricted the movement of people and goods in and out of the occupied Gaza Strip, which is home to 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority refugees.

Palestinians in Gaza cannot even communicate by mail, as Israel also severely restricts or delays the delivery of post including letters and packages.

Mahmoud Shehab owns a small factory in Gaza City that has made household water heaters for the past 15 years. Recently a friend of Shehab’s in London advised him to try to export his heaters. During a visit to Gaza, the friend was impressed by Shehab’s products and offered to send him some samples of parts that could be used to manufacture the products to a higher standard and produce a heater that would be considered environmentally-friendly.

“I did receive some catalogues and a small part,” Shehab said, but “for the past three months I have been trying to bring in British sample equipment. I am exhausted from phone calls to Majdi [his friend], and to courier offices in Gaza and Israel. I have lost about $600 in phone calls.”

Shehab still hasn’t given up. He says he has heard that someone from Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, who is currently based in London, is planning a visit home to see his family. “He has been asked if he would agree to bring the equipment to Gaza with him,” Shehab said.

For Shehab the inability to send and receive material is devastating: “Can you imagine, If I had received the parts I need in the past three months, I would have already shipped at least one sample water heater back to London.”

Despite Israel’s announcement that it has “eased” the blockade of Gaza in the wake of its attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla last May — when nine activists were shot dead by Israeli commandos — Palestinians in Gaza still have severe problems receiving mail. Israel especially blocks electronic equipment, which affects doctors, those needing hearing aids, electricians, technicians of all kinds and journalists.

Indeed, last week EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that Israel had largely failed to live up to its promises to ease the siege. Ashton, speaking on behalf of EU foreign ministers, said that too few goods to meet humanitarian and reconstruction needs were flowing in to Gaza and “at the present time, we think that what’s happened with Gaza is unsatisfactory, the volume of goods is not increasing as significantly as it needs to.”

Yousef al-Mansi, Minister of Post and Telecommunications with the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority in Gaza, told The Electronic Intifada that Israel continues to block the regular movement of mail in and out of Gaza.

“They now prevent everything. For example, for the past eight months they have restricted entry of papers and documents. We have been in constant contact with concerned postal bodies worldwide in order to pressure the Israeli side,” al-Mansi said. According to the postal ministry, in the summer of 2008, Israel withheld about twenty trucks loaded with mail packages from abroad. When the cargo was released in the winter of 2009, most of the items inside packages were either damaged or expired. International courier offices in the region say that Israel permits only papers, documents and some clothes into Gaza.

Israel’s mail blockade has attracted some international solidarity. In August, the Canadian postal workers union announced its support for activist efforts to send a Canadian boat to try to break the blockade on Gaza. The union said it would symbolically deliver mail to Gaza on the boat. This followed the announcement by Canada Post, the country’s postal service, that it would no longer accept mail destined for Gaza since there was no way to deliver it.

Explaining his members’ support for the boat to Gaza, Denis Lemelin, president of the Canadian postal workers union, told The Star newspaper “Mail is something that’s important for people. It’s contact with members of family and the outside world. It’s always important to find an alternative and this alternative is the boat to Gaza” (“Postal union gives stamp of approval to Gaza mail mission,” 25 August 2010).

For Mahmoud Shehab there is no immediate relief in sight. “It is my right to proceed with my production,” he said. “I wonder why the Israelis prevent the entry of the equipment I need?”

The restrictions on the mail are just one more way Israel keeps Palestinians in Gaza cut off and prevents them using their own creativity to improve their situation.

Rami Almeghari is a journalist and university lecturer based in the Gaza Strip.

 

5 Palestinians Injured By Army Fire In Gaza


 

 

(uruknet.de) Five Palestinian workers were wounded, on Tuesday, in an area close to the border north of Gaza after the army opened fire at them. The incident followed a rapid succession of sniper attacks, Ma’an News reported.

The attack took place when the men were reportedly gathering stone aggregates in the northern Gaza Strip, near the Israeli settlement of Eli Sinai, north of Beit Lahia. The injured were taken by Red Crescent ambulances that took them to Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabalia.

According to medics, the five were first carried out from the area by donkey cart, as ambulances could not reach the area, until they were safely taken out of the “no-go-zone” imposed by Israel.

The Palestinians are not allowed into the zone as the army believes attacks against nearby Israeli areas stem from there. The lands of this zone form about 20% of arable farm lands in the coastal strip.

With the latest injuries confirmed, the number of workers shot by Israeli forces went up to 12 in the last 48 hours.

Israel blocks two UN Gaza schools, citing Hamas threat

 

(uruknet.de) GAZA CITY — UN plans to address Gaza’s schooling shortage have hit a wall, with Israel banning the construction of two new schools on a site it says could be targeted in strikes on Hamas.

The two schools at the centre of the dispute between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and Israeli authorities are part of the agency’s plans for 12 new schools in the Gaza Strip.

At the moment, little more than mounds of sand and some prefabricated building materials mark the site where UNRWA wants to put the new facilities.

The plot was once the location of the preventative security headquarters, which fell into the hands of Hamas fighters after they routed the rival Fatah faction in bloody internecine fighting in June 2007.

Little over a year later, the entire building was reduced to rubble when Israeli forces bombed it during Operation Cast Lead, which lasted from late December 2008 to January 2009.

Now, a lone guard watches over the precious building materials that UNRWA, which cares for Palestinian refugees, has stacked at the site.

“We saw an opportunity for building on the site of a security installation two civilian schools to educate thousands of children,” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told AFP.

The agency has launched a series of projects since Israel announced it would ease a blockade on the Gaza Strip it imposed in 2006, after the kidnap of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Gaza militants.

Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, after Hamas routed Fatah from Gaza, but bowed to international pressure after a May 2010 raid on aid ships attempting to break the siege, agreeing to loosen the restrictions.

Israel agreed to allow the import of construction materials for projects supervised by the international community, allowing UNRWA to start addressing Gaza’s school shortage.

The agency already accommodates over 200,000 students in Gaza, 90 percent of them studying in schools that run double shifts to expand access.

But with building material trickling into Gaza and construction running at a slow pace, UNRWA had to turn away some 40,000 schoolchildren at the start of the school year in September.

Gunness said the two new facilities could accommodate some 4,000 children in a district where there are no UNRWA schools, but in October Israel said the construction could not proceed because of Hamas activity in the area.

“In the list of the 12 schools that they gave us, we allowed all the schools and only two of them were close to a Hamas implantation,” said Major Guy Inbar, spokesman for the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

“We have information that there is still activity of Hamas there in that place and because we don’t want the Hamas later on to use the schools and the children as human shields… that’s why we didn’t allow them to build,” Inbar told AFP.

During the Gaza war, Israel and Hamas accused each other of using civilians as human shields.

Residential buildings, some still blackened and pockmarked by the impact of the blast that destroyed the former security headquarters, surround the site.

Several bearded men clear debris from the ground of a grey building damaged by the attack, while children file out of a nearby red-brick government school.

A few dozen metres (yards) away lies Al Quds hospital, where France is upgrading the emergency services unit, with Israeli permission.

But despite the civilian buildings the surround the site, Inbar said any school there would be at risk.

“If there is Hamas activity, they can shoot rockets from there and then when we will attack in response to their shooting, we could hurt the people there,” he said.

In January 2009, an Israeli strike next to an UNRWA school in the northern Gaza Strip killed 43 people, in one of the bloodiest episodes in the three-week war.

 

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Majority of Israeli Jews think Arabs should be treated as second-class citizens, says poll

30 Nov 2010

A thriving democracy that only rabid Zionists could be proud of:

Approximately 86 percent of Israeli Jews believe any final Knesset decision regarding the country’s future political arrangement must be approved by a Jewish majority, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Israel Democratic Institute.

More than 62 percent of Israeli Jewish respondents also said that as long as conflict with the Palestinians continued, the state should not take into account Israeli Arab opinions regarding foreign policy.

The study also found that 53 percent of Israeli Jews believe the state has the right to encourage Arab citizens to emigrate, while 55 percent said Jewish cities should receive more government resources than Arab communities.

Another 51 percent of those polled said that Israeli Arabs and Jews should have equal rights.

Some 54 percent of Israelis said they believed legal action should not be taken against citizens who speak up against the state. Another 50 percent supported the claim that anti-Zionist parties should be allowed to run for the Knesset.

The study also revealed that almost half of the Jewish Israelis polled would be bothered to have an Arab neighbor. That topic also found that 39 percent considered patients in mental institutions and foreign workers to be the most disruptive kind of neighbor; 25 percent said living next to a homosexual couple was the most disruptive; 23 percent said ultra-Orthodox neighbors bothered them most; and 17 percent would rather not live next to Ethiopian immigrants.

The study found a high correlation between the level of religious observance and the belief that Arabs should have different rights. The study indicated that the Russian immigrants were the least liberal population in the country.

Israeli Arab respondents expressed less tolerance for foreign neighbors; 70 percent of whom said they would rather not live beside a homosexual couple, while 67 percent said they would rather not live next to Haredi families.

The study revealed, however, that 48 percent of Israeli Arab were tolerant of living beside foreign workers.

The study was conducted by six researchers and compiled its answers from public opinion polls that questioned more than 1,203 people.

 

Yes, US involved in shady dealings globally and its standing is still low

30 Nov 2010

Another day and more Wikileaks revelations. Who the hell is saying there’s nothing in these documents? Only people who resent light being shone on the true dealings of the US. More, please.

One:

Pakistan‘s president, Asif Ali Zardari, whose wife, Benazir Bhutto, was killed in a suicide bombing, has made extensive preparations in case of his own assassination.

Last year Zardari told the US ambassador, Anne Patterson, that if he was assassinated, “he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as president“.

This year Zardari requested the United Arab Emirates to allow his family to live there in the event of his death. His wife lived in self-imposed exile in the UAE for years before her ill-fated return to Pakistan in 2007.

The cables provide a changing portrait of Zardari, America’s key Pakistani ally along with the army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani. A sharp-edged 2008 description of Zardari notes that he hails from a tribe with “little social standing” in Sindh; “there is a story that as children, Sindhis were told ‘a Zardari stole it’ if something went missing”.

But later dispatches portray him as a more capable leader, with considerable political nous, although often burdened by his association with deep-seated corruption.

Zardari is frank about the strength of the Taliban – “I’m sorry to say this but we are not winning” the war against extremists he told the US vice-president, Joe Biden, in 2009 – and his own limitations.

I am not Benazir, and I know it,” he told the US ambassador after his wife’s death.

Two:

Small teams of US special forces soldiers have been secretly embedded with Pakistani military forces in the tribal belt, helping to hunt down Taliban and al-Qaida fighters and co-ordinate drone strikes, the embassy cables reveal.

The numbers involved are small – just 16 soldiers in October 2009 – but the deployment is of immense political significance, described in a cable that provides an unprecedented glimpse into covert American operations in the world’s most violent al-Qaida hotbed.

The first special forces team of four soldiers was deployed to an old British colonial fort in the northern half of the tribal belt in September 2009, helping Frontier Corps paramilitaries to carry out artillery strikes on a militant base.

A month later, two more teams of six soldiers each were deployed to Pakistani army bases in North and South Waziristan, a lawless warren of mountains considered to be the global headquarters of al-Qaida.

Their job was to provide “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” support – ISR in military jargon – “general operational advice” and to help set up a live satellite feed from American drones flying overhead, presumably CIA-operated Predator and Reaper aircraft.

American officials, who had long been pushing for such a deployment in the face of “adamant” Pakistani opposition, were jubilant, viewing it as a sign of growing trust in an often troubled relationship.

“The developments of the past two months thus appear to represent a sea change in [the military’s] thinking,” read the cable.

Three:

The British government promised to protect America’s interests during the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, according to a secret cable sent from the US embassy in London.

Jon Day, the Ministry of Defence’s director general for security policy, told US under-secretary of state Ellen Tauscher that the UK had “put measures in place to protect your interests during the UK inquiry into the causes of the Iraq war”.

The admission came in the cable sent on 22 September 2009, which recorded a series of high-level meetings between Tauscher and UK defence officials and diplomats, which involved the then foreign secretary, David Miliband.

Day was a senior adviser to the Labour government, and told the American delegation that “Iraq seems no longer to be a major issue in the US”, but said it would become a big issue – a “feeding frenzy” – in the UK “when the inquiry takes off”.

The revelation of the move to defend Washington threatens to undermine the inquiry, which was launched by Gordon Brown ‘to identify lessons that can be learned from the Iraq conflict’. It is due to deliver its findings around the turn of the year.

The diplomats do not record which measures the British government took to protect US interests. No American officials were called to give evidence in public, and evidence from US officials was heard in private during visits by inquiry members to the US. The inquiry was also refused permission to publish letters between George Bush and Tony Blair written in 2002 in the run-up to the war, even though they were referred to in evidence. There were fears that the release of the details could harm both UK-US relations, and those with other countries. In January, a Blair ally told the Guardian: “They are full of scurrilous remarks about other people, including [Jacques] Chirac [the former French president].”

Four:

Besieged by criminal inquiries and Congressional investigators, how could the world’s most controversial private security company drum up new business? By battling pirates on the high seas, of course.

In late 2008, Blackwater Worldwide, already under fire because of accusations of abuses by its security guards in Iraq and Afghanistan, reconfigured a 183-foot oceanographic research vessel into a pirate-hunting ship for hire and then began looking for business from shipping companies seeking protection from Somali pirates. The company’s chief executive officer, Erik Prince, was planning a trip to Djibouti for a promotional event in March 2009, and Blackwater was hoping that the American Embassy there would help out, according to a secret State Department cable.

But with the Obama administration just weeks old, American diplomats in Djibouti faced a problem. They are supposed to be advocates for American businesses, but this was Blackwater, a company that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had proposed banning from war zones when she was a presidential candidate.

The embassy “would appreciate Department’s guidance on the appropriate level of engagement with Blackwater,” wrote James C. Swan, the American ambassador in Djibouti, in a cable sent on Feb. 12, 2009. Blackwater’s plans to enter the anti-piracy business have been previously reported, but not the American government’s concern about the endeavor.

According to that cable, Blackwater had outfitted its United States-flagged ship with .50-caliber machine guns and a small, unarmed drone aircraft. The ship, named the McArthur, would carry a crew of 33 to patrol the Gulf of Aden for 30 days before returning to Djibouti to resupply.

And the company had already determined its rules of engagement. “Blackwater does not intend to take any pirates into custody, but will use lethal force against pirates if necessary,” the cable said.

At the time, the company was still awaiting approvals from Blackwater lawyers for its planned operations, since Blackwater had informed the embassy there was “no precedent for a paramilitary operation in a purely commercial environment.”

Lawsuits filed later by crew members on the McArthur made life on the ship sound little improved from the days of Blackbeard.

 

If you are a dictatorship, Washington is keen to help

30 Nov 2010

Before they’ve even been released, US ambassador to Sri Lanka already almost begs for global understanding. Only positive words towards Colombo and little about punishment or sanction for massacring thousands of Tamils:

Strongly condemning the release of classified diplomatic communications by WikiLeaks, the United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka said the U.S. has worked hard to assist the government and people of Sri Lanka to strengthen security, to further economic development, and to foster political reconciliation.

The U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis said her government is working hard to strengthen its existing partnerships and build new ones to meet shared challenges, from climate change to ending the threat of nuclear weapons to fighting disease and poverty and she is proud to be a part of that effort.

“As the United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka, I’m proud to be part of this effort,” she said.

Butenis recalling the assistance given by the U.S. to Sri Lanka for its development said the diplomatic mission recently collaborated with the government of Sri Lanka to bring a delegation of business leaders to increase trade between the two nations.

In addition the Ambassador pointed out that USAID, has partnered with local companies to train people in the former conflict zones in new skills to aid their livelihoods and the U.S. has just handed over the first installment of a $1.5 million donation to the Sri Lankan Army’s Humanitarian Demining Unit.

Since 2009, the U.S. government has contributed approximately $180 million to help Sri Lanka, she said.

 

Being civilised means not covering for diplomatic cover-ups

30 Nov 2010

Heather Brooke in the Guardian on what Wikileaks offers and the choice we all must make:

The former US ambassador to Russia James Collins told CNN the disclosure of the cables, “will impede doing things in a normal, civilised way”. Too often what is normal and civilised in diplomacy means turning a blind eye to large-scale social injustices, corruption and abuse of power. Having read through several hundred cables, much of the “harm” is embarrassment and the highlighting of inconvenient truths. For the sake of a military base in a country, our leaders accept a brutal dictator who oppresses his population. This may be convenient in the short term for politicians, but the long-term consequences for the world’s citizens can be catastrophic.

We are at a pivotal moment where the visionaries at the vanguard of a global digital age are clashing with those who are desperate to control what we know. WikiLeaks is the guerrilla front in a global movement for greater transparency and participation.

 

Syria gives US lesson in Mid-East realities

30 Nov 2010

Robert Fisk, in a piece titled, “Now we know. America really doesn’t care about injustice in the Middle East“, writes that the Wikileaks cables are a depressing read of US and Israeli arrogance:

One of the most interesting reflections – dutifully ignored by most of the pro-Wikileaks papers yesterday – came in a cable on a meeting between a US Senate delegation and President Bashar Assad of Syria earlier this year. America, Assad told his guests, possessed “a huge information apparatus” but lacked the ability to analyse this information successfully. “While we lack your intelligence abilities,” he says in rather sinister fashion, “we succeed in fighting extremists because we have better analysts … in the US you like to shoot [terrorists]. Suffocating their networks is far more effective.” Iran, he concluded, was the most important country in the region, followed by Turkey and – number three – Syria itself. Poor old Israel didn’t get a look in.

 

Can we trust the press to be totally honest over Wikileaks (hint: no)

30 Nov 2010

I wish this interview was more comforting. The idea of a Murdoch editor talking about resisting potential Australian government requests not to publish certain Wikileaks cables requires a suspension of disbelief, not least because he argues about not challenging anything that “could imperil the lives of Australian soldiers, men and women serving overseas in a war effort which enjoys bipartisan support.” That’s Afghanistan. And let’s face it; governments will often claim something is top secret when in fact it’s simply embarrassing:

MARK COLVIN: So how might Australia’s editors react to an approach from the Government along the lines that Mr [Attorney General Robert] McClelland sketched out? Not a lot of them wanted to talk about it today but I’m joined now by one who would – David Penberthy, editor of news.com.au. First thoughts?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: Look I think that a lot of editors would respond pretty unfavourably to the request from the Attorney-General to somehow consider unilaterally desisting from publishing any of this material because I think that some of the material – and certainly listening to a lot of what you were broadcasting then in that report Mark – a lot of that is stuff which is wholly in the public interest.

I mean I would have thought that if there are senior ministers, senior world leaders who have serious drinking problems, behavioural issues, that that is something there’s absolutely no reason why aspects of those cables couldn’t be gleefully reported by the popular press.

I would even argue that the fact that it appears that China is wising up to what a dysfunctional dystopia North Korea is, is something which, shining a light on that pretty heartening little titbit of information could actually make the world a better place rather than a worse place.

MARK COLVIN: And what if McClelland came to you and said there was a matter of national security involved in one of these cables, Australian national security?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: You would have to assess it on its merits. I mean I doubt whether any news organisation in Australia setting aside any commercial imperatives because of the inevitable reader backlash that you would suffer – no one in this country is going to gleefully report on something which is a wholly logistical matter which could imperil the lives of Australian soldiers, men and women serving overseas in a war effort which enjoys bipartisan support.

But equally if it emerges that there’s stuff in these 1500 cables about Australia that go to the existence or more accurately nonexistence of weapons of mass destruction, you know stuff which might cause a bit of political embarrassment for people who are still in politics but has absolutely no operational bearing on the way the war on Afghanistan is being conducted or would endanger our remaining deployment of troops in Iraq, I think that instinctively any editor would think long and hard before agreeing to what the Attorney-General somewhat cutely calls an informal protocol.

Because it must be a pretty informal protocol because we’ve got rid of D notices in this country.

MARK COLVIN: I was going to ask you about the D notices, don’t notices. They petered out in the mid-90s. But for instance at one stage they protected the identity, the new identity and the whereabouts of the Petrovs, the famous defectors from Russia.

And the argument was that the Petrovs might be at risk from the Russians. They could be assassinated if their whereabouts were known. Would editors go along with that now?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: Well look I don’t know. I mean it would be something which would be decided on a case-by-case basis. And I think that if there was any evidence that someone was going to wind up being executed as a result of recklessly publishing any kind of information, particularly you know a person who had been working in the national interests of Australia, you know you’d think long and hard about it.

But I think that as a general instinctive rule particularly when this is quite a different round of leaks this time from WikiLeaks. A lot of the stuff that’s come out has been fascinating and harmless. A lot of it has shed light on a lot of diplomatic toing and froing which ordinary citizens are never privy to.

And I think that any blithe acceptance of a request from the Attorney-General, or worse any sort of suggestion that we’re going to somehow be locked into not reporting this, the absurdity would be if they were that worried about it they should stop the leaks in the first place.

Because we’re going to end up with this ridiculous situation where Fairfax, News Limited, the ABC – all of us are being told what we should do by the Attorney-General. Yet out there in the social media landscape no one’s going to be abiding by what some bloke called Robert McClelland has got to say about it and it’s all going to get published anyway.

MARK COLVIN: And that’s the other question I was going to ask you. Do the editors really have any power anymore?

DAVID PEMBERTHY: Well I think that you know that the daunting and excellent thing about the media these days Mark – and you as a frequent Tweeter know this yourself – is that information cannot be controlled. Nobody has a monopoly on information anymore.

So in a landscape where some you know fairly colourful young Australian guy who’s set up this website is quite clearly going to be madly publishing whatever lands in his lap, rest of us are going to look like saps if we sit here abiding by rules which don’t seem to apply to anybody else out there in the social media landscape.

MARK COLVIN: Thank you very much David Pemberthy, editor of news.com.au.

 

There ain’t no Islamic state in Gaza

29 Nov 2010

Dr. Ahmed Yousef is Deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Gaza and the Former Senior Political Adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza. I interviewed him last year in Gaza City and he was a pretty Westernised man. His latest piece challenges the impression that “Talibanisation” has arrived in Gaza under Hamas rule:

To accuse Hamas of marketing fundamentalism and extremism in the Gaza Strip is false and inaccurate. There is no “Talibanization” of Gaza. Such a claim is based on Israeli propaganda and the deliberately distorted accounts of those in Gaza who are politically and ideologically opposed to the government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. It is true that some individuals in the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs have acted in an overzealous or misguided manner driven by their own concern to preserve what they see as the culture of the community; but their actions were not done on the basis of any governmental decision or a ministerial policy. In fact on a number of occasions the government directly intervened to reverse their misguided actions.

Palestinian society is inherently a conservative society, where the values that govern people’s lives are mostly pure Islamic. The proper way to correct the kind of public behavior that can threaten those values is to address them through the existing educational frameworks of the family and the mosque.

Unfortunately, the combination of the Israeli misinformation campaign and the misguided actions of a few overzealous individuals who see themselves as the guardians of public morality provides the Western media with the kind of stories that feed the common stereotypes they have of Islamists. Hamas is portrayed as being a fundamentalist and extremist movement that intends to launch an Islamic emirate in the Gaza Strip!

 
 

Whispering sweet Saudi nothings into Obama’s ear

29 Nov 2010

One of America’s finest allies in the Middle East:

Last year, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia proposed an unorthodox way to return Guantánamo Bay prisoners to a chaotic country like Yemen without fear that they would disappear and join a terrorist group.

The king told a top White House aide, John O. Brennan, that the United States should implant an electronic chip in each detainee to track his movements, as is sometimes done with horses and falcons.

“Horses don’t have good lawyers,” Mr. Brennan replied.

That unusual discussion in March 2009 was one of hundreds recounted in a cache of secret State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations that reveal the painstaking efforts by the United States to safely reduce the population of the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba so that it could eventually be closed.

 

Assange may have a new home

29 Nov 2010

Bravo:

Ecuador on Monday offered Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has enraged Washington by releasing masses of classified U.S. documents, residency with no questions asked.

“We are ready to give him residence in Ecuador, with no problems and no conditions,” Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas told the Internet site Ecuadorinmediato.

“We are going to invite him to come to Ecuador so he can freely present the information he possesses and all the documentation, not just over the Internet but in a variety of public forums,” he said.

 

 

 

Wikileaks may not be quite as bad as al-Qaeda

29 Nov 2010

Another day and so much more Wikileaks news.

Currently snowed under with work related to the information dump, so here are a number of relevant links to keep things flowing (here,hereherehereherehere and here).

This is perhaps the funniest and more tragic response thus far:

American Conservative standard bearer Sarah Palin has compared the founder of Wikileaks to al-Qa’ida and accused US President Barack Obama of not doing enough to prevent the latest release of secret US documents by WikiLeaks.

In a message on her Facebook page, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate also suggested the use of what she called “cyber tools” to permanently shut down the WikiLeaks site.

Palin, who has been stoking speculation she will run for president in 2012, said the latest release of US documents by WikiLeaks “raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.”

“First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop WikiLeaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months?” she asked.

“Assange is not a ‘journalist,’ any more than the ‘editor’ of al-Qa’ida’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a ‘journalist,”’ Palin said of the Australian-born WikiLeaks founder.

“He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands,” she said.

“His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban.

“Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qa’ida and Taliban leaders?” she said.

Palin posed a series of questions about the handling of WikiLeaks.

“What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt WikiLeaks’ technical infrastructure?” she asked. “Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle WikiLeaks?”

Palin noted steps taken by the White House to prevent such leaks from happening again but said “why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July?”

“What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?” she said.

Palin concluded by saying that US soldiers in Afghanistan are “serious about keeping America safe.”

“It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task,” she said.

 

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

IMAGINE, PRESIDENT SARAH PALIN

NOVANEWS    

modernityblog 

01/12/2010

 

 

Imagine President Palin.

If that thought doesn’t send a chill down your spine then I know what will.

Imagine someone who can’t differentiate between North and South Korea, as the leader of the world’s only hyperpower.

Imagine President Palin’s finger on the nuclear button.

Imagine the idiocy of allowing such a person to obtain the highest office in the land.

Now think on her latest comments, the Torygraph has more:

“Writing on her Facebook page on Monday, Mrs Palin questioned why the US authorities were not looking for him in the same way that it had hunted suspected terrorists.

“The latest round of publications of leaked classified U.S. documents through the shady organization called Wikileaks raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.

“First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop Wikileaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months?

“He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”

She went on: “What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt Wikileaks’ technical infrastructure? Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle Wikileaks? Were individuals working for Wikileaks on these document leaks investigated? Shouldn’t they at least have had their financial assets frozen just as we do to individuals who provide material support for terrorist organizations?”

I suppose a President Palin would want to nuke the Internet, if she actually knew where and what it was. Frightening.

Posted in USAComments Off on IMAGINE, PRESIDENT SARAH PALIN

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