Archive | December 7th, 2010

WIKILEAKS: HIZBALLAH & SYRIA

NOVANEWS

Viewing cable 09DAMASCUS804, IS NOW THE TIME TO RAISE HIZBALLAH WITH SYRIA?

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:

  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.

  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.

  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09DAMASCUS804.

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09DAMASCUS804

2009-11-19 09:09

2010-12-06 21:09

SECRET//NOFORN

Embassy Damascus

VZCZCXRO2489 OO RUEHROV DE RUEHDM #0804/01 3230900 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 190900Z NOV 09 FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7038 INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5866 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0787 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0861 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0744 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0759 RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 DAMASCUS 000804 NOFORN SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/FO, NEA/ELA, S/CT NSC FOR SHAPIRO/MCDERMOTT PARIS FOR NOBLES LONDON FOR LORD E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/07/2029 TAGS: PTER PREL LE IZ IS SY SUBJECT: IS NOW THE TIME TO RAISE HIZBALLAH WITH SYRIA? Classified By: CDA Charles Hunter, Reasons 1.4 b and d. ¶1. (S/NF) Summary: Syria's determined support of Hizballah's military build-up, particularly the steady supply of longer-range rockets and the introduction of guided missiles, could change the military balance and produce a scenario significantly more destructive than the July-August 2006 war. If rockets were to rain down on Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv, Israel would still have powerful incentives, as it did in 2006, to keep Syria out of the conflict, but it might also face compelling reasons for targeting Hizballah facilities in Syria, some of which are in and around populated areas. Syria's current strategic mindset appears to assume Syria could avoid involvement in a new conflict, based largely on its 2006 experience. Syrian leaders also appear convinced that arming Hizballah will increase Syria's leverage in bringing Israel to the negotiating table. As Washington weighs how to approach Syrian officials in upcoming engagement efforts, discussing Hizballah from the perspective of the regional strategic landscape may help to facilitate a "big picture" conversation in which we could challenge these assumptions and focus Damascus on the importance of taking cooperative steps with the U.S. now. Though raising this subject could well distract from a cooperative approach that shows signs of progress after months of investment, we believe sounding a warning, probably in a one-one-on meeting with President Asad, would be worth considering in pursuit of a broader, more strategic dialogue. End Summary. ---------------------------------- Is the Strategic Balance Changing? ---------------------------------- ¶2. (S/NF) Syria's determined efforts to re-arm Hizballah during and after the July-August 2006 war between Israel and Hizballah have consistently grabbed Israeli headlines, most recently with Israeli Chief of Staff Ashkenazi's November 10 revelation that Hizballah possessed 320-kilometer range rockets. Jane's Defense Weekly reported October 28 on Hizballah's deployment of the first guided surface-to-surface M600 missile on Lebanese soil, with a range of 250 kilometers and circular error probability of 500 meters. Public estimates put Hizballah's stockpile as high as 40,000 rockets and missiles, reinforcing assessments by some experts that this build-up may portend a shift in the military balance between Israel and its northern nemesis. Hizballah SecGen Nasrallah's recent claims of possessing a capability to "destroy" the IDF may overstate the case for domestic and regional propaganda purposes, but reporting in other channels confirms Nasrallah's bragging on November 11 that Hizballah can sustain fire on Tel Aviv and reach "all of Israel." This capability, if fully used, would represent a quantum leap over the damage and psychological terror Hizballah rockets caused in northern Israel during the 2006 war. ¶3. (S/NF) There is overwhelming evidence that shows Syria provided not just logistical and other support in moving the weapons, but was the main source of the weapons. Syria's integration of Hizballah into its military doctrine, moreover, means that Hizballah operatives and facilities enjoy a growing footprint in Syria. ¶4. (S/NF) At least two potential consequences flow from Hizballah's increased capabilities and Syria's role in creating them: (1) If there is another war between Hizballah and Israel, it will be far deadlier than the 2006 conflict; (2) as in 2006, there would be compelling reasons for Israel to want to keep Syria out of any future war if possible, but there might be a countervailing need to hit Hizballah and perhaps targets in Syria, some of which are located in populated areas. --------------------------------- Agreeing to Disagree on Hizballah ---------------------------------- DAMASCUS 00000804 002 OF 003 ¶5. (S/NF) U.S.-Syrian discussions on Hizballah have tended to "agree to disagree" after hitting the wall of conflicting views on the legitimacy of armed resistance and Israeli occupation. Syrian officials, including President Asad, emphasize their political link to Hizballah and flatly deny that Syria is arming Hizballah. They then defend the right to armed resistance in response to prolonged Israeli occupation of Syrian and Lebanese territory. When convenient, Syrian officials claim they no longer have responsibility for Hizballah, noting "we are out of Lebanon." President Asad and FM Muallim have also suggested that the challenge of disarming Hizballah would be solved after Syria and Israel signed a peace treaty. This agreement would lead naturally to a deal between Lebanon and Israel, thereby removing the rationale for Hizballah's resistance movement and setting the stage for the transition of Hizballah to a purely political party. ¶6. (S/NF) The Syrian government's strategic view of relations with Hizballah is difficult to assess with high confidence. According to various contacts, President Asad appears to be focused on the possibility of a new conflict between Israel and Syria, but many suggest he believes that the red lines of the 2006 war would be preserved. According to this model, Syria could avoid direct involvement as long as Israel refrained from striking targets on Syrian soil. Syria also seems to be hedging its bets through improved relations with Turkey, France, and Saudi Arabia, which, Syrian officials probably hope, would object to Israeli attacks against Lebanon and/or Syria. ¶7. (S/NF) Asad nonetheless appears more convinced than ever that arming Hizballah is necessary for Syrian security and perhaps as a stick to bring the current Israeli government back to negotiations on the return of the Golan. Syrians remain resistant to the notion that Syria bears responsibility for managing a potentially explosive situation that could draw Damascus into a war neither sought nor winnable. They have ably deployed a force field of cognitive dissonance to resist arguments linking Syria's arming of Hizballah and the future prospects of Syrian-Israel peace negotiations. Israel, they insist, remains the problem, and only a more active U.S. role can bring and sustain a resolution. According to the prevailing Syrian view, however, U.S.-Syrian relations must normalize before the U.S. can play the role of a credible honest broker. ---------------------------------------- The Cooperative Approach Shows Potential ---------------------------------------- ¶8. (S/NF) As the interagency continues to plot future plans to engage Syrian officials and thinks about how to recruit other countries to support our efforts, we face a choice not only about the level of our engagement, but about the approach itself. Up to now, U.S. efforts have largely focused on developing a cooperative relationship on issues of mutual interest, such as Iraq and U.S. sanctions. Our four month pursuit of military-to-military cooperation on Iraqi border security represented, in effect, a first step toward establishing a broader and higher-level dialogue on Iraqi security issues, including Syrian support of foreign fighters. After the August 19 bombings Baghdad rendered implementation of this initiative impracticable, discussions in late-September shifted toward a possible CT dialogue. This new focus provides an alternative mechanism to continue discussions on Iraqi security issues such as foreign fighters. Syrian officials appear willing to go along with this approach, as long as the emphasis is on building bilateral relations first. After months of investment, our engagement efforts are close to enabling both sides to exchange positive gestures. This cooperation should help to the stage for more focused discussions on a broad range of issues and strategic choices about the future direction of DAMASCUS 00000804 003 OF 003 the relationship. ¶9. (S/NF) During this process, U.S. officials have carefully placed markers on key issues, including human rights, IAEA compliance, Bank Aman, Lebanon (e.g., border demarcation), and Palestinians (pushing Hamas to accept the Quartet principles), and the new embassy compound. We have addressed these issues mainly in discussions with Vice Foreign Minister Miqdad and the Syrian Embassy in Washington (with less dialogue between Embassy Damascus and the Syrian MFA). Our view is that the cooperative approach will have more chance of success if we continue to use these channels to deal with such issues, until the relationship can sustain discussion at higher levels that will yield a higher probability of favorable progress. ¶10. (S/NF) Against this backdrop, sending U.S. officials to focus on Syrian relations with Hizballah could distract significantly from our efforts to build a cooperative foothold. There is unlikely to be common ground or any breakthroughs, and a new focus on Hizballah-related issues could further set back our efforts to re-energize the engagement process, not least by spurring the Syrians to demand a reciprocal change in U.S. behavior, e.g., lifting sanctions. Focusing our higher political-level discussions on the issue of foreign fighters provides a more familiar subject with a higher chance for initial progress. --------------------------------------------- -- But Hizballah's Arsenal Poses Urgent Challenges --------------------------------------------- -- ¶11. (S/NF) While the near-term chances for a successful dialogue on Syria's strategic relationship with Hizballah are much lower, the stakes -- the possibility of a regional conflict and significant obstacles to achieving comprehensive peace -- are just as, if not more, urgent. Sharing our concerns about the dangers of Syria's arming of Hizballah, probably best done privately in a one-on-one session with President Asad, could serve to establish the basis of a more frank exchange about Syria's role, and enable us to challenge potentially dangerous Syrian assumptions as part of a wider strategic dialogue. Recent revelations about Syria's role in weapons shipments create some urgency in turning Syrian attention toward ending these supplies and restraining Hizballah from making good on its provocative rhetoric. ¶12. (S/NF) We don't expect these points immediately to change Syrian behavior or its relations with Hizballah, but we believe sounding this warning would put President Asad and others (such as Turkey and France) on notice that Syria's actions have created a situation in which miscalculation or provocative behavior by Hizballah could prove disastrous for Syria and the broader region. This message could likewise underscore our belief that Syria needs to demonstrate a more active role in achieving peace with Israel and better relations with the United States. Even if a war between Israel and Hizballah does not materialize in the immediate future, we should try find a way to use our ongoing cooperative engagement with Syrian officials to help them recognize their overriding interest and responsibility in preventing this unappealing scenario altogether. HUNTER

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on WIKILEAKS: HIZBALLAH & SYRIA

WIKILEAKS: AMERICAN RACIST FOREIGN POLICY

NOVANEWS

Viewing cable 09DAMASCUS804, IS NOW THE TIME TO RAISE HIZBALLAH WITH SYRIA?

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:

  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.

  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.

  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09DAMASCUS804.

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09DAMASCUS804

2009-11-19 09:09

2010-12-06 21:09

SECRET//NOFORN

Embassy Damascus

VZCZCXRO2489 OO RUEHROV DE RUEHDM #0804/01 3230900 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 190900Z NOV 09 FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7038 INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5866 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0787 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0861 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0744 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0759 RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 DAMASCUS 000804 NOFORN SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/FO, NEA/ELA, S/CT NSC FOR SHAPIRO/MCDERMOTT PARIS FOR NOBLES LONDON FOR LORD E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/07/2029 TAGS: PTER PREL LE IZ IS SY SUBJECT: IS NOW THE TIME TO RAISE HIZBALLAH WITH SYRIA? Classified By: CDA Charles Hunter, Reasons 1.4 b and d. ¶1. (S/NF) Summary: Syria's determined support of Hizballah's military build-up, particularly the steady supply of longer-range rockets and the introduction of guided missiles, could change the military balance and produce a scenario significantly more destructive than the July-August 2006 war. If rockets were to rain down on Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv, Israel would still have powerful incentives, as it did in 2006, to keep Syria out of the conflict, but it might also face compelling reasons for targeting Hizballah facilities in Syria, some of which are in and around populated areas. Syria's current strategic mindset appears to assume Syria could avoid involvement in a new conflict, based largely on its 2006 experience. Syrian leaders also appear convinced that arming Hizballah will increase Syria's leverage in bringing Israel to the negotiating table. As Washington weighs how to approach Syrian officials in upcoming engagement efforts, discussing Hizballah from the perspective of the regional strategic landscape may help to facilitate a "big picture" conversation in which we could challenge these assumptions and focus Damascus on the importance of taking cooperative steps with the U.S. now. Though raising this subject could well distract from a cooperative approach that shows signs of progress after months of investment, we believe sounding a warning, probably in a one-one-on meeting with President Asad, would be worth considering in pursuit of a broader, more strategic dialogue. End Summary. ---------------------------------- Is the Strategic Balance Changing? ---------------------------------- ¶2. (S/NF) Syria's determined efforts to re-arm Hizballah during and after the July-August 2006 war between Israel and Hizballah have consistently grabbed Israeli headlines, most recently with Israeli Chief of Staff Ashkenazi's November 10 revelation that Hizballah possessed 320-kilometer range rockets. Jane's Defense Weekly reported October 28 on Hizballah's deployment of the first guided surface-to-surface M600 missile on Lebanese soil, with a range of 250 kilometers and circular error probability of 500 meters. Public estimates put Hizballah's stockpile as high as 40,000 rockets and missiles, reinforcing assessments by some experts that this build-up may portend a shift in the military balance between Israel and its northern nemesis. Hizballah SecGen Nasrallah's recent claims of possessing a capability to "destroy" the IDF may overstate the case for domestic and regional propaganda purposes, but reporting in other channels confirms Nasrallah's bragging on November 11 that Hizballah can sustain fire on Tel Aviv and reach "all of Israel." This capability, if fully used, would represent a quantum leap over the damage and psychological terror Hizballah rockets caused in northern Israel during the 2006 war. ¶3. (S/NF) There is overwhelming evidence that shows Syria provided not just logistical and other support in moving the weapons, but was the main source of the weapons. Syria's integration of Hizballah into its military doctrine, moreover, means that Hizballah operatives and facilities enjoy a growing footprint in Syria. ¶4. (S/NF) At least two potential consequences flow from Hizballah's increased capabilities and Syria's role in creating them: (1) If there is another war between Hizballah and Israel, it will be far deadlier than the 2006 conflict; (2) as in 2006, there would be compelling reasons for Israel to want to keep Syria out of any future war if possible, but there might be a countervailing need to hit Hizballah and perhaps targets in Syria, some of which are located in populated areas. --------------------------------- Agreeing to Disagree on Hizballah ---------------------------------- DAMASCUS 00000804 002 OF 003 ¶5. (S/NF) U.S.-Syrian discussions on Hizballah have tended to "agree to disagree" after hitting the wall of conflicting views on the legitimacy of armed resistance and Israeli occupation. Syrian officials, including President Asad, emphasize their political link to Hizballah and flatly deny that Syria is arming Hizballah. They then defend the right to armed resistance in response to prolonged Israeli occupation of Syrian and Lebanese territory. When convenient, Syrian officials claim they no longer have responsibility for Hizballah, noting "we are out of Lebanon." President Asad and FM Muallim have also suggested that the challenge of disarming Hizballah would be solved after Syria and Israel signed a peace treaty. This agreement would lead naturally to a deal between Lebanon and Israel, thereby removing the rationale for Hizballah's resistance movement and setting the stage for the transition of Hizballah to a purely political party. ¶6. (S/NF) The Syrian government's strategic view of relations with Hizballah is difficult to assess with high confidence. According to various contacts, President Asad appears to be focused on the possibility of a new conflict between Israel and Syria, but many suggest he believes that the red lines of the 2006 war would be preserved. According to this model, Syria could avoid direct involvement as long as Israel refrained from striking targets on Syrian soil. Syria also seems to be hedging its bets through improved relations with Turkey, France, and Saudi Arabia, which, Syrian officials probably hope, would object to Israeli attacks against Lebanon and/or Syria. ¶7. (S/NF) Asad nonetheless appears more convinced than ever that arming Hizballah is necessary for Syrian security and perhaps as a stick to bring the current Israeli government back to negotiations on the return of the Golan. Syrians remain resistant to the notion that Syria bears responsibility for managing a potentially explosive situation that could draw Damascus into a war neither sought nor winnable. They have ably deployed a force field of cognitive dissonance to resist arguments linking Syria's arming of Hizballah and the future prospects of Syrian-Israel peace negotiations. Israel, they insist, remains the problem, and only a more active U.S. role can bring and sustain a resolution. According to the prevailing Syrian view, however, U.S.-Syrian relations must normalize before the U.S. can play the role of a credible honest broker. ---------------------------------------- The Cooperative Approach Shows Potential ---------------------------------------- ¶8. (S/NF) As the interagency continues to plot future plans to engage Syrian officials and thinks about how to recruit other countries to support our efforts, we face a choice not only about the level of our engagement, but about the approach itself. Up to now, U.S. efforts have largely focused on developing a cooperative relationship on issues of mutual interest, such as Iraq and U.S. sanctions. Our four month pursuit of military-to-military cooperation on Iraqi border security represented, in effect, a first step toward establishing a broader and higher-level dialogue on Iraqi security issues, including Syrian support of foreign fighters. After the August 19 bombings Baghdad rendered implementation of this initiative impracticable, discussions in late-September shifted toward a possible CT dialogue. This new focus provides an alternative mechanism to continue discussions on Iraqi security issues such as foreign fighters. Syrian officials appear willing to go along with this approach, as long as the emphasis is on building bilateral relations first. After months of investment, our engagement efforts are close to enabling both sides to exchange positive gestures. This cooperation should help to the stage for more focused discussions on a broad range of issues and strategic choices about the future direction of DAMASCUS 00000804 003 OF 003 the relationship. ¶9. (S/NF) During this process, U.S. officials have carefully placed markers on key issues, including human rights, IAEA compliance, Bank Aman, Lebanon (e.g., border demarcation), and Palestinians (pushing Hamas to accept the Quartet principles), and the new embassy compound. We have addressed these issues mainly in discussions with Vice Foreign Minister Miqdad and the Syrian Embassy in Washington (with less dialogue between Embassy Damascus and the Syrian MFA). Our view is that the cooperative approach will have more chance of success if we continue to use these channels to deal with such issues, until the relationship can sustain discussion at higher levels that will yield a higher probability of favorable progress. ¶10. (S/NF) Against this backdrop, sending U.S. officials to focus on Syrian relations with Hizballah could distract significantly from our efforts to build a cooperative foothold. There is unlikely to be common ground or any breakthroughs, and a new focus on Hizballah-related issues could further set back our efforts to re-energize the engagement process, not least by spurring the Syrians to demand a reciprocal change in U.S. behavior, e.g., lifting sanctions. Focusing our higher political-level discussions on the issue of foreign fighters provides a more familiar subject with a higher chance for initial progress. --------------------------------------------- -- But Hizballah's Arsenal Poses Urgent Challenges --------------------------------------------- -- ¶11. (S/NF) While the near-term chances for a successful dialogue on Syria's strategic relationship with Hizballah are much lower, the stakes -- the possibility of a regional conflict and significant obstacles to achieving comprehensive peace -- are just as, if not more, urgent. Sharing our concerns about the dangers of Syria's arming of Hizballah, probably best done privately in a one-on-one session with President Asad, could serve to establish the basis of a more frank exchange about Syria's role, and enable us to challenge potentially dangerous Syrian assumptions as part of a wider strategic dialogue. Recent revelations about Syria's role in weapons shipments create some urgency in turning Syrian attention toward ending these supplies and restraining Hizballah from making good on its provocative rhetoric. ¶12. (S/NF) We don't expect these points immediately to change Syrian behavior or its relations with Hizballah, but we believe sounding this warning would put President Asad and others (such as Turkey and France) on notice that Syria's actions have created a situation in which miscalculation or provocative behavior by Hizballah could prove disastrous for Syria and the broader region. This message could likewise underscore our belief that Syria needs to demonstrate a more active role in achieving peace with Israel and better relations with the United States. Even if a war between Israel and Hizballah does not materialize in the immediate future, we should try find a way to use our ongoing cooperative engagement with Syrian officials to help them recognize their overriding interest and responsibility in preventing this unappealing scenario altogether. HUNTER

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on WIKILEAKS: AMERICAN RACIST FOREIGN POLICY

DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

I was hoping to find an article in the San Francisco Chronicle or Oakland Tribune today about the ads put up at Bart stations (metro stations), or perhaps in the LA Times.  But found nary a word on them.  Perhaps tomorrow.  Surely there will be a hue and outcry against the ads by the supporters of Israel, but they will or should have a tough time fighting the argument that the US needs money for domestic purposes, not foreign ones.  

May their message spread.  Obama should have used that argument from the start.  It’s pure bullshit that the US has no lever with which to push Israel into ending colonization.  Who else gives Israel $3billion taxpayer dollars worth of military aid every year, guaranteed for the next 10 years!  WOW! That’s a lot of money—and dear American citizen, every penny of it is from your pockets.

——————————–

Today’s message consists of 3 items. 

 

In the first one, Akiva Eldar argues that the delegitimizing is not of Israel, but only of its occupation.  Well, that’s right to a degree, but if accurate is a pity.  In the first place, I think that the term ‘delegitimizing’ is misleading unless it is applied to acts rather than to the country.  Surely numerous of Israel’s acts are far from legitimate.  But arguing over whether Israel is or is not being delegitimized draws attention from the crux of the matter: the continuing colonization of historic Palestine, the continuing ethnic cleansing, and the continuing occupation.  It’s not Israel’s image that’s at stake.  It’s Israel’s conduct.

 

Item 2 reports on Israeli Rabbis who dictate to Jews not to rent or sell living quarters to Arabs—an overtly racist attitude, of course.  Goes to show that there are fundamentalist Jews, just as there are fundamentalist Christians and Muslims. Fundamentalists are, among other things, racists.  However, Israel’s racism is not limited to fundamentalist rabbis.  They are only a part of the reason that “Israeli-Arabs, who make up about 20% of the population of Israel, say they are facing increasing racism and discrimination” [below, end of item 2].

 

In item 3 Ali Abunimah relates the difficulties that pro-Israel forces are thrusting against the Electronic Intifada, an online news journal, attempting to force it to close.

 

All the best,

Dorothy

  

1.  Haaretz,

December 07, 2010

 

Europe doesn’t delegitimize Israel, only the occupation

Massive foreign aid in battling the Carmel fire proves what former kibbutz volunteer and current Norwegian Ambassador Svein Sevje has always known.

 

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/europe-doesn-t-delegitimize-israel-only-the-occupation-1.329263

 

By Akiva Eldar

 

The flying squadron of international firefighters that came to extinguish the flames in the Carmel region has poured cold water on the “they are delegitimizing us” campaign. Even Norway – which, heaven help us, keeps an open channel to Hamas and heads the list of critics of Israel’s government – offered a pair of helicopters.

 

It is hard to find a diplomat who epitomizes the difference between support for Israel and delegitimization of the occupation better than Svein Sevje, Norway’s ambassador to Israel.

 

In 1968, a few months after completing high school, Sevje answered an advertisement for young Norwegians to volunteer on kibbutzim and reported to Mishmar Ha’emek. He kept in touch with his new friends and returned to the kibbutz three years later to study Hebrew at an ulpan (intensive language course).

 

Sevje says he didn’t need the generous aid in battling the flames to reject the claim that European countries, among them Norway, have been casting doubt on Israel’s legitimacy. What is illegitimate, the ambassador stressed in an interview at his spacious home in Herzliya, is the occupation and the settlements, which violate international law and United Nations resolutions.

 

He also noted that Oslo’s criticism of the occupation is more moderate than that voiced by quite a few Israelis. Norway has never spoken in post-Zionist terms, he said with a smile.

 

The ambassador is vehemently opposed to any form of boycott of Israel. Nonetheless, it doesn’t surprise him that Norwegians are refraining from buying Israeli products after learning that Israel has circumvented its commitment to indicate the origin of goods produced in the settlements. Nor would Sevje be surprised if stagnation in the diplomatic process and the global economic crisis increase domestic public pressure on the Palestinian Authority’s donor countries, including his own, to transfer responsibility for funding essential services in the occupied territories back to Israel (to date, Norway has donated more than $2 billion for this purpose).

 

Even though he has only recently entered the ambassador’s office in Tel Aviv, Sevje swims easily in the swamp of the Israeli-Arab conflict. His CV is studded with postings in the Middle East. In the mid-1990s, he served as the first Norwegian representative to the Palestinian Authority and also as acting ambassador to Israel. He informed former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize and was at PA headquarters in Ramallah when Mahmoud Abbas told Yasser Arafat that Rabin had been assassinated and heard the Palestinian leader prophesy, “Now all red lines will be crossed.”

 

Before returning to the region as ambassador to Syria and Lebanon (he was in Beirut when Israeli air force planes bombed the city), Sevje served as head of the Middle East section of the Foreign Ministry in Oslo. His next position, before being sent to Israel, was special envoy for the peace process.

 

Sevje is familiar with the average Israeli’s attitude toward the brand name “Oslo,” which, to the veteran diplomat’s great regret, has fallen victim to abuse by opponents of compromise and hesitant leaders. His challenge is to restore a bit of warmth to Israeli society’s chilly attitude toward the land of the fjords. As part of its effort to nurture relations between the two countries, the embassy recently hosted a performance of a noted duo of jazz musicians from Norway.

 

This effort is why he considers it important to explain Norway’s decision to maintain relations with Hamas. “Since 1993, Hamas has been a political force, whose ideology is contrary to our belief in a peace-seeking secular state,” Sevje said. “However, if you ignore it, it isn’t going to disappear.”

 

In his conversations with Hamas leaders, he formed the impression that there have been missed opportunities to reach an agreement with the movement on de facto recognition of Israel in the 1967 borders. One of them was during the brief period of the Palestinian unity government.

 

He wonders if anyone in Israel still believes the blockade of Gaza is achieving its aim. He himself has no doubt the siege is not harming Hamas’ status.

 

The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah sends the Hamas government in Gaza a large cut of the money it receives from donor countries, but Sevje’s government does not transfer a single Norwegian krone to Hamas. The tunnel economy supplements the organization’s income.

 

Though Israel has not asked Norway to use its connections to help negotiate a deal for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, Oslo has discussed Shalit with Hamas as a humanitarian issue. Sevje said confidently that the considerable amount of time that has elapsed hasn’t changed the price Hamas is demanding for the soldier’s release one iota.

 

Israel’s silence

 

Based on his Syrian experience, Sevje finds it hard to believe that Syria (via Hamas) would watch tranquilly from the sidelines if a permanent-status agreement resulted in Israel leaving the West Bank and East Jerusalem but continuing to hold the Golan Heights. However, Sevje’s impression is that President Bashar Assad is committed to the principles of the Arab peace initiative (recognition and normalization in return for a withdrawal to the 1967 borders and a just and agreed upon solution to the refugee problem on the basis of UN General Assembly Resolution 194).

 

He was in Beirut on that day in March 2002 when the Arab League adopted the initiative, and he wonders why to this day, no Israeli government has even bothered to discuss this revolutionary proposal.

 

“If Israel doesn’t believe the Syrians,” he said, “why isn’t it putting them to the test and exposing the bluff?”

 

Before we parted, I asked Sevje if the Israel he lives in today, which hates foreigners and Arabs, arouses nostalgia for the Israel he knew 40 years ago.

 

“My friends at the kibbutz are very worried about this trend,” he replied diplomatically. “If Israel wants to be a normal country with its face toward the West, it has to respect universal values.”

 

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

2.  The Guardian

7 December 2010

 

Israel Dozens of Israeli rabbis back call to forbid sale of property to Arabs

Publicly funded municipal chiefs accused of racial incitement after signing letter in support of ultra-orthodox Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/07/israeli-rabbis-ban-rental-sale-to-arabs

 

 Harriet Sherwood GMT 

 

 Safed, northern Israel, where Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu ordered his followers not to offer accommodation to Arabs. Photograph: Ariel Schalit/AP Dozens of Israeli rabbis today backed a call to forbid Jews to rent or sell property to Arabs in a move likely to further stoke tensions in some cities.

 

More than 40 municipal chief rabbis, whose salaries are paid from public funds, signed a letter in support of a ruling by Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed in Upper Gallilee instructing his followers not to offer accommodation to non-Jews.

 

Anyone doing so, the letter said, “causes his neighbour a great loss, and his iniquity is greater than can be borne”. It went on: “It is incumbent upon the seller’s neighbours and acquaintances to warn and caution, first in private and then they are entitled to publish him in public, to distance themselves from him, to prevent trade from being done with him, not to have him read from the Torah and so forth until he reverses his decision that causes harm to so many people.”

 

Following Eliyahu’s earlier ruling, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor who rents out rooms to three Arab students in Safed was threatened with having his house burned down and was denounced as a traitor to Judaism.

 

Safed, which has a large conservative ultra-orthodox population, has become a focus of anti-Arab sentiment although rabbis in other cities have also warned Jewish residents against renting or selling to non-Jews.

 

Avishay Braverman, the Israeli minister for minority affairs, last month called for Eliyahu to be suspended from his post and investigated for incitement.

 

Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli-Arab member of parliament, today said the signatories to the letter should also be prosecuted for racial incitement. “Muslim clerics were recently prosecuted or fired from their jobs over far smaller things but the rabbis continue to run amok without any fear of being prosecuted,” he told Walla News.

 

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel demanded that the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, condemn the rabbis’ letter and take disciplinary action against those employed by the state.

 

“Rabbis who are civil servants have an obligation to the entire public, including Israel’s Arab citizens. It is unthinkable that they would use their public status to promote racism and incitement,” ACRI said in a statement.

 

Israeli-Arabs, who make up about 20% of the population of Israel, say they are facing increasing racism and discrimination. Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s rightwing foreign minister, has argued that they should be compulsorily “transferred” to a future Palestinian state. [The Israeli parliament has passed a law that will force non-Jewish citizens of Israel to pledge loyalty to the Jewish state.  [The previous statement is incorrect.  The cabinet has passed the bill, but it has not yet been presented to the Knesset, i.e., the Israeli Parliament.  It is not, therefore, yet law.  Dorothy]

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

3.  Al Jazeera,

December 07, 2010

Opinion  

 

Defending Palestinian solidarity 

 

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2010/12/2010126104756228834.html

 

Ali Abunimah

 

 

There has been a recent escalation by the ‘Israel Lobby’ to muzzle the growing Palestinian solidarity movement.

Ali Abunimah Last Modified: 07 Dec 2010 05:40 GMT

Email ArticlePrint ArticleShare ArticleSend Feedback

 

Uri Rosenthal, the Dutch foreign minister, has taken it upon himself to investigate the source of The Electronic Intifada’s funding, at the ushering of the ‘Israel Lobby’  [EPA]

 

The Electronic Intifada, the online publication about Palestine that I co-founded in 2001, finds itself at the centre of a storm as a pro-Israel group applies pressure to have a grant from a Dutch foundation withdrawn.

 

This assault on our freedom of conscience is about much more than our website. It is part of a well-coordinated, escalating Israeli government-endorsed effort to vilify individuals and cripple organisations that criticise Israel’s human rights record and call for it to respect Palestinian rights and international law.

 

The latest salvo came in a scurrilous article in The Jerusalem Post based on allegations from a group called NGO Monitor, accusing The Electronic Intifada of “anti-Semitism” – without citing a single example from the almost 12,000 articles we have published. The Electronic Intifada has responded to NGO Monitor’s accusations. Of course the charge of “anti-Semitism” has long been a weapon in the hands of Israel’s apologists when they cannot find a factual basis to challenge the site’s reporting and analysis.

 

 

NGO Monitor zeroed in on a grant The Electronic Intifada has received from the Dutch foundation ICCO, which is itself subsidised by the Dutch government. Since 2006, this grant has made up about a third of The Electronic Intifada’s budget (our total expenses were around $180,000 in 2009 as our public filings show and the majority of our funding comes from donations by our readers).

 

In published comments, Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said he would investigate the matter personally. MP Geert Wilders, Europe’s most prominent Islamophobic politician, who has said he is proud to be compared to Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, also took aim at The Electronic Intifada in an interview with Israel’s Haaretz.

 

It is clear that by attempting to starve us – and other organisations of funds – NGO Monitor is trying to silence us. That The Electronic Intifada, a publication run by a handful of people, finds itself under sustained assault, only demonstrates the impact that independent online media have had by consistently reporting stories and providing analysis that mainstream media have sidelined.

 

While NGO Monitor poses as an independent watchdog, it is in fact an Israeli organisation with close ties to Israel’s radical West Bank settler movement, the government and military, and is supported by notorious purveyors of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim propaganda in the United States such as Daniel Pipes and Rita Emerson (who along with her husband Steven Emerson has been at the forefront of Islamophobic campaigns).

 

Before attacking The Electronic Intifada, NGO Monitor made its name going after Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and distinguished Palestinian human rights organisations among dozens of others. Notably it has launched a McCarthyite war from within against Israeli human rights groups and foundations such as B’Tselem, HaMoked and the New Israel Fund. Indeed, by its own indiscriminate definition, NGO Monitor could well be considered “anti-Semitic” as it spends so much effort attacking Israelis and Jews around the world, especially Zionist ones, who argue that Israel would be more viable if it had a higher regard for human rights. NGO Monitor, while calling for transparency from others, remains opaque about its own funding sources.

 

While NGO Monitor has been in business for years, its latest tactics fit into the strategy outlined by the Reut Institute, an influential Israeli think-tank that earlier this year called for Israel and its advocates to wage war against so-called “delegitimizers.” Reut defined virtually the entire global Palestine solidarity movement, especially the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions modelled on the South African anti-apartheid struggle, and those who call for a one-state solution, as an “existential threat” which has the potential to rob Israel of its remaining legitimacy and bring about its collapse.

 

On its website, the Reut Institute called for Israel’s intelligence agencies to use possibly criminal “sabotage,” and for pro-Israel groups to “attack” activists all over the world in “hubs” such as London, Madrid, Toronto and the San Francisco Bay Area. After The Electronic Intifada raised the alarm, the Reut Institute sanitised its website, although a copy of its original document remains on The Electronic Intifada, along with our report.

 

Reut’s call to “delegitimize the delegitimizers” and “name and shame” human rights activists has now become Israeli government policy. As part of its failed efforts to bribe Israel into renewing a largely fictitious moratorium on West Bank settlement construction, the Obama administration even promised, as Haaretz reported, to lend Israel support in the battle against “delegitimization.”

 

Focusing on “delegitimization” rather than trying to change Israel’s atrocious behaviour, has also become the central strategy of Israel lobby groups in the United States. In October the Jewish Federations of North America – an umbrella for 157 major pro-Israel organisations – and the Jewish Council on Public Affairs launched a $6 million initiative called the “Israel Action Network” to fight “delegitimization,” especially boycott, divestment and sanctions.

 

I got a foretaste of what the Israel Action Network’s tactics will likely be when Sam Sokolove, the head of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, launched a failed effort to get academic departments at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque to withdraw their support for a lecture I gave in November. Sokolove’s campaign involved publicly vilifying me in the media, likening me to a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It is probably because of the publicity the Jewish Federation gave me that hundreds of people attended my talk.

 

These sorts of personal attacks and attempts to sabotage the work of people committed to justice and international law are only going to escalate. But will they work?

 

The campaign against “delegitimizers” is based on a fundamental misunderstanding among Israel and its advocates that Israel suffers from an “image problem” which can be fixed on the one hand with better public relations, and on the other with the sorts of dirty tricks used against The Electronic Intifada and others. But Israel does not have an image problem, it has a reality problem.

 

Its well-documented war crimes and brutal siege in Gaza, its expanding settlements in the West Bank, its slow ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, its escalating racism against Palestinian citizens of Israel, its use of extra-judicial executions and torture and its killing of unarmed activists on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla cannot be concealed.

 

A fatal flaw in Israel’s plan to fight back against “delegitimization” is that it offers only justifications for these deplorable realities and no positive vision of a decent, peaceful, sustainable and just life in the future for Israelis and Palestinians. For years, the so-called two-state solution filled this void – at least rhetorically – but it has lost all credibility in no small part because Israel lobby groups were so successful at protecting Israel from any action, especially American pressure, that would bring an end to the colonisation that has destroyed any possibility of a Palestinian state.

 

Now, these same lobby groups find themselves fighting against growing support for the alternative their own actions have rendered inevitable: a struggle for equal rights for all the people who inhabit the land. Their war against “delegitimization” offers nothing more than anger, hatred and demonization, often in alliance with the most racist and openly Islamophobic elements in Israel and North America. That is not a vision but a dead-end. And while it will be another challenge on top of so many faced by Palestinians, it won’t stop those who have a vision for justice, equality and universal rights and who are working to make it a reality.

 

 

Ali Abunimah is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of One Country, A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

 

 

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

GOVERNMENTS, RETRIBUTION & JULIAN ASSANGE

NOVANEWS

modernityblog
 
 07/12/2010
 
 

 

A reader of mine has suggested that I am trivialising the rape charges against Julian Assange. So I wanted to deal with this issue head-on.

I am not trivialising those charges, rather I am aware of how governments and secret services act, and unless we see these unfolding events in a wider context then I am afraid we will get lost.

Firstly, we need to remember that governments have for many centuries used indirect means to get at their enemies.

Secondly, Assange has seriously annoyed some very powerful people and it is highly likely that they would want some form of revenge.

Thirdly, within living memory governments have done far worse, such as overthrowing elected democracies, causing panic and shortages, manipulating whole countries.

I would heartily recommend reading through Philip Agee’s CIA Diary for a small glimpse into what governments can do to others.

Fourthly, we shouldn’t forget that even the US Congress investigated how security agencies manipulated, controlled and tried to destroyperceived enemies by indirect means.

Fifthly, these allegations against Julian Assange only really came to light after Wikileaks had released some 75,000+ documentsconcerning US activities in and around Iraq last year.

So when considering this issue we need to bear those points in mind.

As commentators have remarked how Julian Assange was, until today, beyond the grasp of those he annoyed, primarily the current US administration:

“Besides, even if current law were sufficient, how would authorities bring Assange, an Australian native in hiding outside the U.S., into this country to stand trial?

Presented with this question, Holder told reporters that no one’s foreign citizenship or residence would prevent them from being targeted. But that brings us back to this question: on what charge could he be indicted?”

That again “… that no one’s foreign citizenship or residence would prevent them from being targeted….”

Which suggest to me on the balance of probability that the US administration had for many months been looking at a way of “acquiring” Julian Assange.

I have no doubt that soon after Assange’s time in Sweden that he will be deported to the United States.

Once more, if governments and security services are perfectly capable of overthrowing elected governments in Latin America and across the world then organising for some form of charges to be the pretext for getting Julian Assange into custody seems like child’s play to them.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on GOVERNMENTS, RETRIBUTION & JULIAN ASSANGE

ASSANG’S ARREST FOR RAPE ???

NOVANEWS

Julian Assange’s Arrest And The Broken Condom.

 
07/12/2010
 
 

 

Julian Assange has been arrested on the grounds of rape.

But that might not be the full story, it makes a good headline and him a less sympathetic individual but that’s not the full story.

It seems that Mr. Assange whilst in Sweden months back had sex when a condom broke. It might be that later on he also had unprotected sex with another woman, all very consensual.

But apparently under Swedish law rape can be defined as “unprotected sex”.

This is despite the fact that the case was originally dropped by the prosecutor.

Back in Auguest 2010 according to Karin Rosander, communications head at Sweden’s prosecutors’ office:

“”The [chief prosecutor] will look into that later. She hasn’t been able to do that, but that’s not enough for being arrested. It’s not a serious enough crime.”

That was back in August 2010 before the release of the quarter million documents, which have embarrassed governments across the globe and made Mr. Assange some rather thin-skinned enemies.

In my view, it seems like a pretext to arrest him and eventually deport him to America, and if he lives then he’ll probably be fitted up under some spurious espionage charge.

We have already seen how American politicians openly called for his assassination, he won’t receive a fair trial in America and at the best is destined for years and years of incarceration, for his political crimes.

His crime? Humiliating politicians, potentates, dictators, mandarins and bureaucrats across the world.

His crime? Shining a light onto their incompetency and misrule.

He should be congratulated not punished.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on ASSANG’S ARREST FOR RAPE ???

A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS


 

More allegations that Wikileaks is helping terrorists

 

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 01:00 PM PST

More challenges to the heart of the US empire:

Wikileaks raised the stakes in its battle with America last night by releasing a secret list of all the global industries and assets that the US most wishes to protect.

Security experts said that the cable, published by the whistleblower website as part of an unauthorised package of diplomatic correspondence, was a gift for terrorist organisations.

It spelt out hundreds of pipelines, undersea cables and factories across the world, including a number in Britain, that would cause most damage to US interests if destroyed.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former British Defence and Foreign Secretary and chairman of the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee, said WikiLeaks had made no credible attempt to find out whether the material could assist terrorists.

“This is further evidence that they have been generally irresponsible, bordering on criminal. This is the kind of information terrorists are interested in knowing,” he added.

A spokesman for Downing Street condemned the unauthorised release of classified information, saying: “The leaks and their publication are damaging to national security in the United States, Britain and elsewhere.

“It is vital that governments are able to co-operate on the basis of confidentiality of information.”

In Washington, Philip Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State, said: “There are strong and valid reasons information is classified, including critical infrastructure and key resources that are vital to the national and economic security of any country.

“Julian Assange [the founder of WikiLeaks] may be directing his efforts at the United States but he is placing the interests of many countries and regions at risk. This is irresponsible.”

But WikiLeaks said that the document, approved by Hillary Clinton, provided further evidence that the US Administration was hoarding sensitive information on countries without their knowledge. The Secretary of State faced embarrassment after earlier cables revealed that US diplomats were asked to collect information on high-ranking UN diplomats and other individuals.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, a spokesman for the website, said: “This further undermines claims made by the US Government that its embassy officials do not play an intelligence-gathering role.

“In terms of security issues, while this cable details the strategic importance of assets across the world, it does not give any information as to their exact locations, security measures, vulnerabilities or any similar factors, though it does reveal the US asked its diplomats to report back on these matters.”

US embassies were told to update a 2008 list of critical infrastructure and key resources in their host countries whose loss would “critically impact the public health, economic security and/or national and homeland security of the United States”, according to the leaked cable.

The order was under the direction of the Department for Homeland Security in co-ordination with the Department of State.

The cable said: “Department is surveying posts for their input on critical infrastructure and key resources within their host country which, if destroyed, disrupted or exploited, would likely have an immediate and deleterious effect on the United States.

“Posts are not/not being asked to consult with host governments with respect to this request.”

The leaked document, written in February last year, gives Washington’s 2008 list of key infrastructure and resources overseas, naming each relevant country and its factories, railways, ports or other areas of interest.

The file identifies where the US is reliant on a range of substances, from smallpox vaccines in Denmark to bauxite in Guinea and liquefied natural gas in the Middle East. Several underwater pipelines are listed in Japan, China and Britain, while Indonesia is flagged up for its tin mines and Iraq for its oil.

The embassies are specifically asked not to include US government or “war-fighting” facilities, but a number of defence-related sites are listed, including three in Britain run by BAE Systems.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “BAE Systems recognises its role as a custodian of key industrial and military assets. We would be concerned at any activity which comprises this.”

The British sites identified in the latest cable, which include a telecommunications hub in Hereford, and one end of an undersea cable that stretches from Cornwall to New York, were already in the public domain, but it was not helpful to have them listed as being of such importance to the US, added Sir Rifkind.

Is Qatar unduly affecting al-Jazeera’s clarity?

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 03:00 AM PST

Al-Jazeera is a truly unique news service that covers the world in a way that no other global network does.

However, there is always a risk when the major sourcing of funding is a Middle East dictatorship:

Qatar is using the Arabic news channel al-Jazeera as a bargaining chip in foreign policy negotiations by adapting its coverage to suit other foreign leaders and offering to cease critical transmissions in exchange for major concessions, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks claim.

The memos flatly contradict al-Jazeera’s insistence that it is editorially independent despite being heavily subsidised by the Gulf state.

They will also be intensely embarrassing to Qatar, which last week controversially won the right to host the 2022 World Cup after presenting itself as the most open and modern Middle Eastern state.

In the past, the emir of Qatar has publicly refused US requests to use his influence to temper al-Jazeera’s reporting.

But a cable written in November 2009 predicted that the station could be used “as a bargaining tool to repair relationships with other countries, particularly those soured by al-Jazeera’s broadcasts, including the United States” over the next three years.

Doha-based al-Jazeera was launched in 1996 and has become the most watched satellite television station in the Middle East. It has been seen by many as relatively free and open in its coverage of the region, but government control over its reporting appears to US diplomats to be so direct that they said the channel’s output had become “part of our bilateral discussions – as it has been to favourable effect between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and other countries”.

In February, the US embassy reported to Washington how “relations [between Qatar and Saudi Arabia] are generally improving after Qatar toned down criticism of the Saudi royal family on al-Jazeera”. In July 2009, the US embassy said the channel “has proved itself a useful tool for the station’s political masters“.

In one dispatch, the US ambassador, Joseph LeBaron, reported that the Qatari prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, had joked in an interview that al-Jazeera had caused the Gulf state such headaches that it might be better to sell it. But the ambassador remarked: “Such statements must not be taken at face value.” He went on: “Al-Jazeera’s ability to influence public opinion throughout the region is a substantial source of leverage for Qatar, one which it is unlikely to relinquish. Moreover, the network can also be used as a chip to improve relations. For example, al-Jazeera’s more favourable coverage of Saudi Arabia’s royal family has facilitated Qatari-Saudi reconciliation over the past year.”

Although LeBaron noted that the station’s coverage of the Middle East was “relatively free and open”, he added: “Despite GOQ protestations to the contrary, al-Jazeera remains one of Qatar’s most valuable political and diplomatic tools.”

US allegations of manipulation of al-Jazeera’s content for political ends also contradict Qatar’s claim to support a free press. “The Qatari government claims to champion press freedom elsewhere, but generally does not tolerate it at home,” the US embassy said after the French director of the Doha Centre for Media Freedom resigned in June 2009, citing restrictions on the centre’s freedom to operate.

In a clear example of the regional news channel being exploited for political ends, the Doha embassy claimed Sheikh Hamad (HBJ) told the US senator John Kerry that he had proposed a bargain with the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, which involved stopping broadcasts in Egypt in exchange for a change in Cairo’s position on Israel-Palestinian negotiations.

“HBJ had told Mubarak ‘we would stop al-Jazeera for a year’ if he agreed in that span of time to deliver a lasting settlement for the Palestinians,” according to a confidential cable from the US embassy in Doha in February. “Mubarak said nothing in response, according to HBJ.”

The US has benefitted, too. “Anecdotal evidence suggests, and former al-Jazeera board members have affirmed, that theUnited States has been portrayed more positively since the advent of the Obama administration,” a cable in November 2009 said. “We expect that trend to continue and to further develop as US-Qatari relations improve.”

In 2001 the emir, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, refused a US request to stop al-Jazeera giving so much airtime to Osama bin Laden and other anti-American figures, saying: “Parliamentary life requires you to have a free and credible media, and that is what we are trying to do.

“Al-Jazeera is one of the most widely watched [TV stations] in the Arab world because of its editorial independence.” The Gulf state has frequently held up al-Jazeera as evidence of its relative openness. The independent Visit Qatar website states: “What makes al-Jazeera such a unique channel in the Middle East is its editorial independence.

“This has been seen by many as evidence that Qatar is one of the region’s more liberal and democratic countries, and one which provides freedom of press and speech.”

Qatar maintains a working relationship with Iran, and the US embassy was concerned by the lack of al-Jazeera coverage of the civil unrest in Iran after the disputed presidential election in the summer of 2009.

“Al-Jazeera’s coverage of the Iranian election and its aftermath has been scanty by comparison to other hot topics in the region, such as Gaza,” reported the embassy at the time.

Al-Jazeera “has proved itself a useful tool for the station’s political masters”, the cables said.

Local media are also affected by government interference. “Over the past three [visits] we have assessed as steady the lack of overall media freedom in Qatar,” the November cable said.

“Although overt and official censorship is not present, self and discreet official censorship continue to render Qatari domestic media tame and ineffective.”

Al-Jazeera last night denied the claims. A spokesman for the station said: “This is the US embassy’s assessment, and it is very far from the truth. Despite all the pressure al-Jazeera has been subjected to by regional and international governments, it has never changed its bold editorial policies which remain guided by the principles of a free press.” The embassy of Qatar in London declined to comment on the story last night.

 

Of course MSM wish leakers had come to them first

Posted: 05 Dec 2010 11:37 PM PST

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young tweets on the Gillard government’s selective outrage:

Would the govt be talking about passports & charges if [Murdoch’s] The Oz had got their hands on the leaks given to WikiLeaks first? I think not.

 

Ending the occupation by telling Israel there will be a price

Posted: 05 Dec 2010 11:16 PM PST

About bloody time and this needs to be enforced. If Britain and the EU are serious about Zionist occupation (and that’s doubtful) they need to do something about it. No more excuses:

Britain’s new shadow foreign minister has called for her government to pressure the European Union to introduce labelling on West Bank products to differentiate between goods produced by Palestinians and Israeli settlers.

Yvette Cooper told The Guardian on Saturday that the government should step up pressure on Israel to stop building settlements by pushing for greater Europe-wide transparency on food products exported from the West Bank.

“The continued building of settlements in the occupied territories is illegal and a serious obstacle to peace,” she told the paper.

“If EU member states can speak with one voice, including guidance to retailers on produce from settlements in the West Bank, it will send a strong signal on how important this is.”

The Labor politician, who recently returned from a visit to the region, said she was against a blanket boycott of Israeli goods but believed that retailers and consumers should be informed whether products are produced “by illegal settlers.”

“Consumers should be able to choose what produce they buy,” Cooper told the Guardian. “That includes knowing exactly where it came from and having access to all markets, including Gaza, whose population is still unable to export to the wider world.”

Cooper also blamed both Israel and the Palestinians for “a worrying lack of urgency in the peace process.”

Last December, while Labor was still in power, the government introduced voluntary guidelines calling for the clear labeling of goods and produce originating from the West Bank. It said the advisory was a response to consumer demand for information about the origin of produce that had been produced in the West Bank, and dismissed the accusation that the move would lead to a wider boycott of Israeli goods.

Leading the call for labeling was the radical fringe group Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which calls for a complete boycott of Israel.

“Importers, retailers, NGOs and consumers have asked the government for clarity over the precise origin of products from the occupied Palestinian territories,” Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary of State Hilary Benn said at the time. “The label ‘West Bank’ does not allow consumers to distinguish between goods originating from Palestinian producers and goods originating from illegal Israeli settlements.”

The advisory drew an angry response from Israel, which said the move would promote further radicalization of the Palestinians.

In September, there were concerns within the Jewish community when Ed Miliband, Labor’s first Jewish head, won his party’s leadership contest. An ardent socialist, most of his leadership campaign had been directed toward the left of the party, describing the direction of the party as “brutish US-style capitalism.” His narrow victory – gaining 50.65% of votes – owed much to votes from trade unions.

The Conservative party said this would mean he’ll remain in debt to them, while MPs who supported his brother David for the party leadership warned that Ed Miliband’s dependence on union votes would be a “disaster” for the party.

Many of Britain’s top unions support a boycott of Israel and severing ties with the Histadrut labor federation.

Miliband, who is an atheist, told the party conference in October that Britain must “strain every sinew” to make Israel end the blockade of Gaza, He also condemned Israel’s response to the Gaza flotilla incident in May.

 

Rudd misses main message of Wikileaks dump

Posted: 05 Dec 2010 10:59 PM PST

Australia’s Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd doesn’t seem to understand the paradigm shift of the Wikileaks release. His answer is more secrecy, less transparency and less democracy. He may find himself more shocked in the months and years ahead. Here’s hoping:

Kevin Rudd has suggested the United States “tighten things up a bit” following the publishing by WikiLeaks of confidential US documents.

The Foreign Minister also said Australia had a “robust” diplomatic relationship with China and would not contact Beijing to smooth over relations following the embarrassing leaking of a conversation he had with Hillary Clinton.

Mr Rudd was responding to revelations that while prime minister he warned the US Secretary of State in March 2009 that the world must be prepared to “deploy force” if China could not be integrated into the international system.

He said today such releases of diplomatic material could occur at any time and without prior warning from the United States.

“I think foreign ministers around the world from countries of all sorts of political traditions are scratching their heads a bit about this one at the moment. And I’m just being frank with you,” Mr Rudd said in Canberra.

“You’ve had recent reports concerning heads of government being accused of corruption, of being associated with the mafia, of…..urging the United States to go to war against particular countries……. it does create a separate and new dynamic,” he said.

“What now happens? I think rule number one for our friends in the United States is `how do you tighten things up a bit?”’

Mr Rudd also said diplomacy was a “robust” business and leaked documents were “part and parcel of the business of the relations between states”.

 

Wikileaks insurance policy is the internet itself

Posted: 05 Dec 2010 08:08 PM PST

Julian Assange speaks to El Pais:

If there is a battle between the US military and the preservation of History, we have insured History will win…I believe geopolitics will be separated into pre and post cablegate phases.

 

Finding ways to wipe Tamils from the picture entirely

Posted: 05 Dec 2010 05:51 PM PST

He’s back. “Terrorism expert” Rohan Gunaratna loves to talk about violence and evil and is very close to the Colombo brutes.

Here he is wishing that any resistance to the autocratic Rajapaksa regime would disappear. Dream on:

The cancellation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Oxford Union speech and the events leading to that controversial decision is a good wake-up call for the External Affairs Ministry to get their act together to develop a proper communication strategy and plan, international terrorism expert Prof Rohan Gunaratna said.

“I think this is a good reminder to the Sri Lankan Government that the country needs to develop proper counter propaganda strategies. They also need to develop a proper communication strategy and plan, to bring out the reality of what happened in Sri Lanka. They can point out that the civilian deaths in Sri Lanka is much lower as a percentage compared to the civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan by US and British troops,” he said.
According to the professor, the first step in the strategy is to dismantle the Global Tamil Forum.

The second step should be to disable Nediyavan’s organisation, which is operating in Norway with considerable strength and expanding influence, he added.  And thirdly, he said the Sri Lankan Government should engage the NGOs.

With the demise of the LTTE’s military wing, Prof Gunaratna said the ‘public face’ of the terrorist group had become quite active in propagating their ideology in western countries, and they were mainly doing it through NGOs.

“Up till this day, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry does not have an NGO division. You must create a specialist NGO division because today NGOs are very powerful in the international system. And if the government continues to resist the NGOs, the LTTE and its fronts like the Global Tamil Forum will keep engaging these NGOs, and getting what they want,” he added.

He also said Sri Lanka should handle international relations very delicately and pointed out that when some of the British leaders visited Sri Lanka they faced a difficult time here.

“When those politicians returned to their home country the Tamil Tigers very cunningly adopted them as friends, and it is those British leaders who were humiliated in Sri Lanka earlier, who are now playing an active role against Sri Lanka.”

 

Leading Australian politician defends Wikileaks

Posted: 05 Dec 2010 05:41 PM PST

Australian Federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie:

Mr Wilkie believes WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has not broken any US or Australian laws in publishing the documents.

“It’s not Assange’s fault that this information is leaking out of the [US] administration – it’s the administration’s fault.”

 

More on the Assange accuser

Posted: 05 Dec 2010 05:16 PM PST

Mmm:

Yesterday Alexander Cockburn reminded us of the news Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett broke at Counterpunch in September.   Julian Assange’s chief accuser in Sweden has a significant history of work with anti-Castro groups, at least one of which is US funded and openly supported by a former CIA agent convicted in the mass murder of seventy three Cubans on an airliner he was involved in blowing up.

 

New South Wales Greens embrace BDS

Posted: 05 Dec 2010 05:05 PM PST

At its State Delegates Council meeting held on the weekend in Sydney, the NSW Greens unanimously endorsed the following proposal:

That the Greens NSW call upon all Australians and the Australian government to boycott Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territory, the siege of Gaza and imprisonment of 1.5 million people, and Israel’s institution of a system of apartheid, by endorsing the following actions:
1. condemning Israel’s apartheid and occupation policies;
2. censuring Israel’s violations of the human rights of Palestinians and its failure to abide by international law;
3. halting any military cooperation or trade with Israel;
4. refraining from participation in any form of sporting event, academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions or teams except those that publicly oppose Israel’s apartheid and occupation policies;
5. advocating a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions; and
6. supporting and promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS


 

Australia likes the role of regional bully rather well

Posted: 05 Dec 2010 03:09 PM PST

No wonder Australia is so upset over Wikileaks; released cables show a government keen to keep military options (aka US fire-power) on the table. And Canberra’s enthusiasm for special forces in Pakistan is another worrying sign that “fighting terrorism” knows no limits, legalities or bounds:

Kevin Rudd warned Hillary Clinton to be prepared to use force against China ”if everything goes wrong”, an explosive WikiLeaks cable has revealed.

Mr Rudd also told Mrs Clinton during a meeting in Washington on March 24 last year that China was ”paranoid” about Taiwan and Tibet and that his ambitious plan for an Asia-Pacific community was intended to blunt Chinese influence.

It also reveals Mr Rudd offered Australian special forces to fight inside Pakistan once an agreement could be struck with Islamabad.

The cable details a 75-minute lunch Mr Rudd held as prime minister with Mrs Clinton soon after she was appointed US Secretary of State.

Signed ”Clinton” and classified ”confidential”, it is the first of the WikiLeaks cables that includes a substantive report on Australia.

The unprecedented disclosure of such a frank exchange between political leaders is bound to complicate Australia’s ties in the region, especially with Beijing.

At the lunch Mrs Clinton confided to Mr Rudd America’s fears about China’s rapid rise and Beijing’s multibillion-dollar store of US debt. She asked: ”How do you deal toughly with your banker?”

In a wide-ranging conversation Mr Rudd:

Described himself as ”a brutal realist on China” and said Australian intelligence agencies closely watched its military expansion.

Said the goal must be to integrate China into the international community, ”while also preparing to deploy force if everything goes wrong”.

Characterised Chinese leaders as ”sub-rational and deeply emotional” about Taiwan.

Said the planned build-up of Australia’s navy was ”a response to China’s growing ability to project force”.

Sought Mrs Clinton’s advice on dealing with the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, and Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, whom she labelled the ”behind-the-scenes puppeteer”.

Mr Rudd agreed any success in Afghanistan would unravel if Pakistan fell apart – and that Islamabad must be turned away from its ”obsessive focus” on India. He also discussed ways to bring China to the table in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The disclosures in the cable, posted online by the British newspaper The Guardian, will complicate Mr Rudd’s already testy personal links with China after his reported reference to Chinese negotiators as ”rat f—ers” during the Copenhagen climate change conference.

Mr Rudd gave Mrs Clinton a candid assessment of the Chinese leadership, drawing a disparaging contrast between the President, Hu Jintao, with his predecessor, saying Mr Hu ”is no Jiang Zemin”.

Mr Rudd said no one person dominated China’s opaque leadership circle but the Vice-President, Xi Jinping, might use family ties to the military to rise to the top.

Mr Rudd said he had urged China to strike a deal with the Dalai Lama for autonomy in Tibet and while he saw little prospect of success, he asked Mrs Clinton to have ”a quiet conversation” to push the idea with Beijing’s leaders.

On his plan for an ”Asia-Pacific community”, Mr Rudd said the goal was to curb China’s dominance. He wanted to ensure this did not result in ”an Asia without the United States”.

Mrs Clinton has since publicly praised Mr Rudd for his advice on China and credited him for the US decision this year to join the East Asia Summit.

Mr Rudd is in the Middle East and a spokeswoman said he did not have any comment on the release of the cable.

The Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, declined to answer questions on any damage to Australia’s ties with China or the role of Australian special forces in Pakistan arising from the revelations in the cable.

In a statement issued by a spokesman he said: ”The government has made it clear it has no intention to provide commentary on the content of US classified documents.”

In the cable, Mr Rudd appears eager to impress on Mrs Clinton his knowledge of international affairs, promising to send her copies of his speech in April 2008 at Peking University and a draft journal article on his Asia-Pacific community plan.

The thoughts of chairman Rudd

Kevin Rudd’s China strategy

‘‘Multilateral engagement with bilateral vigour’’ — while also preparing to deploy force if everything goes wrong.

Rudd on China’s military modernisation

Australian intelligence keeping a close watch, and Australia responding with increased naval capability.

On the Chinese leadership

President Hu Jintao ‘‘is no Jiang Zemin’’. No one person dominated, although Hu’s likely replacement Xi Jinping could rise above his colleagues.

On China’s attitude to Taiwan and Tibet

Chinese leaders paranoid about both. Reaction to Taiwan sub-rational and deeply emotional. Hardline Tibet policies crafted to send message to other ethnic minorities.

 

Australia shows true colours over Wikileaks (and the look is bad)

Posted: 04 Dec 2010 09:06 PM PST

If the Australian government thinks it can simply do Washinton’s bidding and not pay a price they have another thing coming. Public campaign on its way. So much for a “progressive” Labor regime:

Julian Assange is being investigated by Australian police to establish whether he has broken any of the country’s laws and is liable to prosecution there, foreign minister Kevin Rudd said today.

Washington is furious about WikiLeaks‘ release of hundreds of its confidential diplomatic cables, which have given unvarnished and sometimes embarrassing insights into the foreign policy of the United States and its allies.

“The federal police was asked by the Australian attorney general some days ago to investigate whether or not Assange has breached any element of the Australian criminal law,” Rudd told reporters at a security conference in Bahrain.

If Assange – the Australian founder of WikiLeaks – has broken any Australian laws, his case will be referred to the public prosecutor, Rudd said.

“The Australian government unequivocally condemns the action by any of those responsible for the unauthorised release of classified and confidential information and diplomatic communications between states,” he said.

Assange, who is reported to be somewhere in southern England, said on Friday he and colleagues were taking steps to protect themselves after receiving death threats.

One of Assange’s lawyers has also said he would fight any attempt to extradite his client to Sweden to face questions over alleged sexual misconduct.

Asked if the Australian authorities were considering withdrawing Assange’s passport, Rudd said: “Any action on his passport would be entirely contingent on the recommendations provided by the Australian federal police.”

 

 

The deep love between Canada and Israel

Posted: 04 Dec 2010 08:53 PM PST

Fascinating Al-Jazeera/Avi Lewis documentary on the incestuous relationship between Israel and Canada. Australia take note. Defending every Israeli action – war, occupation, humiliation – simply makes you look like a clueless idiot with no principle. But at least Washington will love you:

 

 

Scahill faces threats from deep inside the Empire

Posted: 04 Dec 2010 08:03 PM PST

A revealing comment from Jeremy Scahill on Democracy Now! last week that highlights the establishment fear of fearless reporters doing their job:

I wanted to also say, Amy, that after I did the story for The Nation in November 2009 talking about JSOC’s operations inside of Pakistan and the involvement of Blackwater, elite soldiers from a Blackwater unit called Blackwater Select, I couldn’t get the Pentagon or anyone else to comment. I receive a call, unprompted, from a Captain [John] Kirby, who was the spokesperson for Admiral Mike Mullen, calls me on my cell phone, wouldn’t tell me how he got my cell phone number, wouldn’t tell me who told him about the story—this is hours from publication—and told me that if we published the story inThe Nation, that I would be, quote, “on thin ice.” That was a direct quote from Admiral Mullen’s spokesperson, Captain John Kirby. Called me up. And I said, “Well, I want to know how you heard about the story, and I want to know how you got my number.” And he said, “Let’s just say that I heard about it.”

And so, then what happened is that the military did a—went over—and I learned this from a member of Congress. The U.S. military orders an investigation on the ground inside of Pakistan. They apologize to General Kayani after my story came out. And they did a report essentially characterizing me and Sy Hersh as being crazy people who are making—

AMY GOODMAN: Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Seymour Hersh, right, who’s done a lot of reporting on the—and this is the first time that I’ve talked about this publicly. My understanding is that there’s a classified report that smears me and Sy Hersh, and it was distributed to members of Congress after my story came out—and Hersh had a story a little bit before it about Pakistan’s nukes—essentially accusing us of making things up and not actually having sources for these stories.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, since you had a spokesperson on the phone for Admiral Mullen, did you ask him to confirm the story?

JEREMY SCAHILL: And he wouldn’t. I mean, this is how it works in Washington. Juan, I’m sure you know this well. You know, you say to them, “OK, well, if it’s not true, if none of it’s true, let me just say, ‘Captain Kirby says this.’” No, he doesn’t want to put his name to it. And I said, “Well, can I have another official that’s willing to talk on the record.” I don’t want some background thing where somebody says it’s not true. I want a name to someone who’s going to say this story is not true, because that’s accountability. That’s what journalists should be demanding, not anonymous sources when it comes to officialdom. No, we want to know what person in the military is going to put their name on it. And they wouldn’t do it.

Geoff Morrell says, well, the State Department has put out a statement saying that this is—that the allegations in the story are totally false. That’s not true. When the State Department was asked about it that day, they said, “Oh, you’ll have to ask the U.S. embassy in Islamabad.” Then the U.S. embassy in Islamabad puts out a statement, unsigned, saying that the story was totally false. So now, all of a sudden, you have the U.S. embassy, not a named official, being somehow the spokesperson for the most clandestine unit of the U.S. military? I mean, you know, the first rule of journalism in these things is, you know, never believe any story until it’s officially denied. And it took a long time, but they officially denied it. And lo and behold, because of these cables, we find out, of course, it’s true. Of course it’s true.

 

Rajapaksa learns something about how he’s seen in civilised society

Posted: 04 Dec 2010 07:22 PM PST

So close and yet:

Tamil campaigners were stopped from serving a war crimes arrest warrant on a Sri Lankan general by his premature departure from Britain. An application was lodged at Horseferry Road magistrates court, central London, but inquiries by Scotland Yard established that he had left on Thursday night. Tamil groups blame the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and his senior officers for the deaths of 40,000 civilians in the final stages of the civil war last year. The Oxford Union withdrew an invitation for Rajapaksa to speak this week citing threats of mass protests.

A Rajapaksa-aligned journalist in Sri Lanka wrote this embarrassing defense of his dear leader (indeed, truly independent and critical voices inside Sri Lanka are rare these days):

The Sri Lankan leader had arrived in Britain with a large entourage for the main purpose of addressing Oxford’s prestigious Oxford Union. Now the union had cancelled it unilaterally at very short notice.

It was definitely a political snub for the man who had successfully defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militarily in Sri Lanka. In an ironic twist supporters of the LTTE in Britain had struck back by compelling the Oxford union to backtrack on an extended invitation.

The unilateral cancellation was indeed a political embarrassment for President Rajapaksa. He had been riding the crest of a victorious wave in recent times. Now he was being forced to eat humble “kola kenda” by the Oxford union which had unilaterally cancelled the scheduled speech

Shabby treatment was being meted out to Sri Lanka’s popular head of state who had come all the way to Britain to address the Oxford union. Apart from the insulting conduct of the union the issue was also a denial of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s freedom of expression.

And here’s one Sri Lankan who thanks former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband for standing up for Tamils last year (even if the reasons were less than pure):

On Thursday morning I opened the newspaper to a photograph I have seen before. One lone, damaged coconut palm and a handsome Singhalese soldier against an explosive-blackened sky. Beneath was the story of a diplomatic scandal. Nothing unusual, only this time it was, to my surprise, about a country that I love. So, thank you David Miliband for bringing Sri Lanka back into the news. While some may be outraged at your seemingly artful ploy to win Tamil votes, I, as a Sri Lankan, am delighted.

Incredible though it may seem, any mention of my island home (no matter what British political scandal it may involves), is most welcome. For here is a chance for the world to stop its hurried turning, pause a moment, and remember that savage kingdom in the Indian Ocean. To read once more of the 100,000 Tamils thought to have died in a few balmy days last May.

So David Miliband, maybe you did see a window of an opportunity and try, by focusing on the humanitarian plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, to affect the marginal seats in the last British election. I am quite prepared to believe that maybe your motives were less than saintly. But one thing is clear, you have brought the place I still call home back into the public eye. Sri Lanka is a country that plays games with itself. Now there is a war, now there isn’t. Look, here are honeymoon resorts, boutique hotels, marvellous beaches. In the midst of the economic gloom in Britain, who can resist taking the simple view and forgetting what lies beneath such affluence? As for the 300,000 Tamils in Britain, trying and failing to have a voice, weren’t they all terrorists, anyway?

 

Why not bomb Syria?

Posted: 04 Dec 2010 07:06 PM PST

This is mainstream media reporting. Anonymous voices advocating war and chaos in the Middle East, courtesy of Israel and the US:

Syria’s fresh interference in Lebanon and its increasingly sophisticated weapons shipments to Hezbollah have alarmed American officials and prompted Israel’s military to consider a strike against a Syrian weapons depot that supplies the Lebanese militia group, U.S. and Israeli officials say.

 

PayPal takes the gutless option

Posted: 04 Dec 2010 07:01 PM PST

First Amazon, now PayPal:

PayPal has frozen WikiLeaks‘ account in the latest action against the whistleblower website, which has been posting leaked US embassy cables online.

The decision by the online payment site – which WikiLeaks had used to raise funds for web hosting and other costs – has been announced with a posting on PayPal’s blog.

PayPal, owned by the auction website eBay, said the account had been frozen because it was being used for “illegal” activity.

This week Amazon withdrew its cloud hosting of WikiLeaks’ cables site and the WikiLeaks.org domain was taken offline. It has since moved to other domains based outside America.

PayPal said: “PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal acceptable use policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action.”

 

Monsters, the kind of political sci-fi film with passion

Posted: 04 Dec 2010 06:51 PM PST

 

More here.

 

Wikileaks has allies, many of them

Posted: 04 Dec 2010 06:43 PM PST

Julian Assange on the futility of trying to shut Wikileaks down:

The Cable Gate archive has been spread, along with significant material from the U.S. and other countries to over 100,000 people in encrypted form.

And the fight goes on:

In a bid to stay one step ahead of the governments, companiesfreelance hackers trying to shut down its operations, WikiLeaks mobilized its vast base of online support Saturday by asking its Twitter followers to create copies of its growing archive of hundreds of classified State Department cables.

By late afternoon Eastern time, more than 200 had answered the call, setting up “mirror” sites, many of them with the name “wikileaks” appended to their Web addresses. They organized themselves organically using the Twitter hashtag#imwikileaks, in a virtual show of solidarity reminiscent of the movie V is for Vendetta. In that 2005 film, a Guy-Fawkes masked vigilantee inspires thousands of Londoners to march on the Parliament similarly disguised — while it blows up in front of their eyes. Presumably, many of these people believe they are facing the same sort of tyranny that V, the film’s protagonist, fought against.

 

Does the Australian government work for its own citizens?

Posted: 04 Dec 2010 06:36 PM PST

There is a battle looming between a subservient Australian government and its American benefactor:

Prominent human rights lawyer Julian Burnside told The Sunday Age Mr Assange’s reference to Mr Hicks was apt, given the government’s apparent enthusiasm to assist the US rather than an Australian citizen.

But he said he ”wouldn’t be surprised” if Mr Assange had committed an offence, given he almost certainly knowingly assisted with the publication of classified documents when the first wave of 250,000 sensitive US diplomatic cables was posted on WikiLeaks last Monday.

Ms Gillard has asserted that Mr Assange’s actions were illegal. A taskforce of Australian soliders, intelligence officers and officials is investigating whether he has breached any Australian laws.

Mr McClelland yesterday said Mr Assange might not be welcome back in Australia if he is convicted over the leaks. He confirmed Australia was providing ”every assistance” to US authorities in their investigation.

”Some of these documents [have] … the potential to put an individual’s safety or national security at risk,” Mr McClelland told The Sunday Age. Should Mr Assange be arrested, he will be offered consular assistance.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

THE IRS EXTORTION OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

NOVANEWS

December 5, 2010

by J. Bruce Campbell

IRS and ZIONISM

The income tax is a Zionist extortion racket. It is the duty of every American to resist Zionist Power by non-compliance with this anti-American stealing of our wealth by the most treacherous and merciless aliens in history, the Zionists.

The “Internal Revenue Service” is a collection agency for the private, profit-making corporation that calls itself the Federal Reserve System. The fools who still send money to this private company can prove this by examining the backs of their canceled checks to the IRS. It will say “Pay to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.” It doesn’t say, “Pay to the US Treasury Department.” Why do you suppose that is? Your hard-earned money goes to a private company that has never been audited, that was created by foreign Zionists for their own gain. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is a private company, just like Goldman Sachs, both owned by pretty much the same people. See Lewis v. US (1982).

Aaron Russo, a producer of feature films, made a documentary film called “America: Freedom to Fascism.” Russo has since died and his film can be seen online for free. It is based on a simple question: “Is there a law that requires any private American to file a tax return or to pay income taxes?” The answer, as we all know, is no.

But, as we also know, the truth has no place in Zionist thinking. Russo’s legacy is not the Hollywood movies he made but rather the segment in his documentary in which he interviews the Jewish former commissioner of the IRS, Sheldon Cohen. He asks Cohen to name the law that requires an American to file a tax return or pay any money? Cohen is taken aback at his effrontery and says that he didn’t expect such a question. Russo asks it again. Cohen then mutters something unintelligible, which he follows with, “You know Yiddish and you know what that means: There is no hope for you.” Russo later states that Cohen threatened him in Yiddish. For asking a simple question about the legitimacy of the income tax.

Cohen’s reason for his anger and surprise is probably this: The entire Zionist criminal enterprise of fractional reserve banking depends on having the central bank, the ultimate and most lucrative monopoly, in Jewish hands. Its authority must not be questioned! To be most lucrative, it must inflate the currency supply at will and deflate the supply when the owners wish to take over property and businesses and homes. During the inflationary periods, much of the currency has to be recovered from the unaware people through the “income tax,” lest we have too much discretionary money to buy what we need or want. The whole idea is to keep us under control and the best way is to take away our money. That’s all this is about.

Naturally, awareness of the nature of this extortion has increased and millions of Americans don’t bother to file the fake paperwork demanded by the Zionists and their running dogs in the IRS. So the Zionists are getting mad, as we see in this official document from the “Department of Justice” an official statement in the name of a Nathan J. Hochman, the Tax Division’s assistant attorney general. Hochman is, of course, a Zionist. The tone of this official document borders on hysteria:

(Department of Justice Seal) Department of Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2008
WWW.USDOJ.GOV

TAX
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

STATEMENT OF NATHAN J. HOCHMAN, TAX DIVISION’S ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, ANNOUNCING CREATION OF THE NATIONAL TAX DEFIER INITIATIVE

WASHINGTON – Today Nathan J. Hochman, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, announced the creation of the National Tax Defier Initiative or TAXDEF. The purpose of this initiative is to reaffirm and reinvigorate the Tax Division’s commitment to investigate, pursue and, where appropriate, prosecute those who take concrete action to defy and deny the fundamental validity of the tax laws.

Millions of hard-working Americans take time out of their hectic schedules to perform a time-consuming and often arduous task of filing federal income tax returns. 130 million Americans voluntarily engage in this ritual every year. These individuals participate because they know that with the privileges that the United States has given them come the responsibilities and obligations of citizenship. Former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ saying states it best: “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”

This initiative is aimed at stopping those tax defiers who do not meet their federal tax obligations and seek to transfer those obligations to their neighbor’s back. The tax defier is not someone who has a legitimate or factual dispute about the amount of tax due. The tax defier is not someone who is merely exercising his or her First Amendment rights to challenge the tax policy choices that Congress has made. Instead, the tax defier is someone who rejects the legal foundation of the tax system, despite decades of legal precedent upholding the system’s constitutional and statutory validity, and who takes specific and concrete action to violate the law.

It is this tax defier conduct, which results in fraudulent claims, frivolous returns and bogus schemes, that threatens the foundation of our tax system and must be vigorously countered. This activity not only wastes limited governmental investigative, administrative and judicial resources, but it also fundamentally undermines the public’s confidence in the fairness of the tax system.

Although the Tax Division and the IRS have been effective at times in combating tax defier activity, the problem demands constant vigilance. Today I want to renew and revitalize the Tax Division’s commitment to combating tax defier activity by announcing the creation of the National Tax Defier Initiative, or TAXDEF. Jennifer Ihlo will serve as the National Director of TAXDEF and she will report directly to me. Her primary mission will be to ensure that we are using all of the tools in our enforcement arsenal to address this nationwide problem.

The TAXDEF initiative will:

  • Strengthen and expand coordination among the Tax Division, IRS and US Attorneys’ offices to ensure that both criminal and civil enforcement tools are fully considered and utilized.

  • Leverage expertise and resources to enable agents and attorneys across the country to efficiently detect, investigate and where appropriate, prosecute tax defiers, viewing enforcement from a national rather than regional or local perspective.

  • Expand our efforts to enjoin tax defier activity. Since 2001 the Tax Division has obtained over 300 civil injunctions against tax promoters and preparers, over a third of which directly involved tax defier activity. Injunctions are a powerful method of stopping the promotion of tax defier activity at the earliest possible moment. We estimate that we have collected over $600 million in tax as a result of our efforts.

  • Maximize our use of technology to detect, develop and prosecute cases. The explosion of the Internet in the last decade has greatly facilitated tax defier activity and turned what was once a paper–based local or regional enterprise into a click and download national operation. Our response must take full advantage of ongoing changes in technology.

  • Alert and educate the public to the falsity of tax defier claims and publicize the consequences of tax defier conduct. Simply stated, we want to pull back the curtain and show the public that the promoters of these schemes are not wizards imparting the secrets of a “tax-free universe” but are nothing more than garden variety hucksters and modern day snake oil salesmen peddling tax evasion schemes.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Tax Division, and throughout its history its mission has been marked by the full and fair enforcement of the nation’s tax laws. As long as there has been a Tax Division, there have been tax defiers willing to subvert our nation’s tax system for their greedy self-interest. This TAXDEF Initiative should send an unequivocal message to honest taxpayers that to the extent that any of their neighbors engage in tax defier conduct, those neighbors will go to bed knowing that tomorrow may be the day when their crimes will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

This righteous Zionist uses his police power to intimidate us into giving his Zionist bosses our money, promising to prosecute us to the full extent of the law for knowing the law.

What law? Jewish Law? Zionst Law? The income tax law? Pretty much all law is Jewish Law, especially including the income tax law. The income tax law is the best example of bogus Jewish law, which is law based only on deception and enacted by fraudulent methods.

Hochman’s announcement is a sign of pending defeat, of desperation. This is how the Zionists wind up treating everyone under their control. First they seize control and then they lose control. They always lose control – after they’ve wrecked everything. And then they take off, pretending they had nothing to do with the catastrophe they’ve created. They even claim to be its victims!

This Hochman threat shows that they will make vicious demands for obedience, just as they did in Russia. They’ll kill anyone who opposes them, as they tried three times to kill me. They’ll put millions of people in gulags who don’t oppose them and won’t know what they did to be put in there. They took the Russians by surprise in 1917, then the Germans and Hungarians in 1919.

They took the Palestinians totally by surprise in 1948. Nobody could believe the little harmless, pious Zionists could be so horrible if they ever got total power over others. Hochman shows how it will work here when we’re under Zionist Rule. We’re almost there. We’ll actually be under Zionist Rule (Communism) soon if this worm doesn’t turn even sooner.

Anyway, the income tax is the key to overthrowing the Zionists. How?

Well, who likes to pay income taxes? Do you? I don’t and haven’t since 1976, once I caught on to the scam. I didn’t actually understand the scam until ’79, but in 1977 I saw a real anti-IRS guy in action in Bakersfield. My pal had an auto repair shop.

One day, two IRS agents, a man and a woman, came into the shop and found him under a car. They introduced themselves and asked why he hadn’t responded to their letters and demands for payment? He came out from under the car, wiped his hands and invited them into his office. They followed as he got to his desk, reached under it and produced a shotgun. “What do you want to talk about?”

“Are you threatening us?!”

“What do you think?”

They made some counter-threats and then took off. He never heard from them again. That was my introduction to the real tax rebellion, the one you never hear about. But that’s how you got the IRS off your back in the good old days. My buddy showed me that the IRS was a criminal operation. The “agents” just moved on to tamer prey. I didn’t file that year or any other.

Nathan Hochman’s threats are extremely valuable to us, as is Sheldon Cohen’s threat. They show how important the income tax is to the Zionists. It’s not so much that the Zionists get our tax money (they do) as much as the income tax proves to us that we are not in control of our lives. The income tax takes our lifeblood away from us along with our dignity.

Mention of the IRS has the same effect on Americans as KGB had on Soviet citizens. A letter from the IRS produces a loosening of the bowels in almost every American, especially an American who has been in full compliance. The only reason you “voluntarily comply” with the IRS is fear of prison. The big scary stories about outrageous and illegal IRS assaults and taxpayer suicides and Wesley Snipes and Al Capone are acts of war against the American people. We just have to wake up and smell the gefilte fish, that is, recognize that the IRS is scientific Zionist aggression and mind control, not to mention grand theft.

The big Zionists, the big Warburg and Rothschild Zionists that stuck us with their Federal Reserve and their IRS, owe us a lot of money. The little Zionists like Hochman and Cohen owe us their stinking lives. How many of our lives have they destroyed? How much of our treasure have they stolen? The true figures are beyond our imaginations.

Hochman has dreamed up a typically Jewish label for those of us who understand the scam: “Tax Defier.” Sound familiar? Rhymes with “Holocaust Denier.” Tax Defier makes tax rebellion a hate crime with special circumstances. Zionists hate defiance against their demands.

Tax Defier. That’s me, except I’m not selling anything other than revolution, so maybe I don’t actually qualify as the sort of con-man Hochman wants you to associate with his smear job. No – I’m something totally different. I think we need to take the IRS on.

Not legally, in court. Physically, when they actually threaten us. And they’ve threatened each and every one of us. The IRS is the terror arm of the government. It’s time to face this ugly fact and deal with it.

I’ve been preaching revolution for a long time. A real revolution – not the sort that replaces the British royal tyranny with an American Masonic tyranny, nor the sort that replaces a Czar with a Jewish tyranny, nor the sort that replaces a harmless king with a “Committee of Public Safety” that cut off everyone’s head.

I’m talking about a revolution against the Jewish rulers of this country, represented by the Jewish organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Federal Reserve, AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League and the Department of Justice, to name a few.

Organizations too powerful for the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, as I have written over and over. They have to be destroyed before we can ever gain control of our lives, our savings, our future and our dignity. Not regain – gain. We’ve never had any control of any aspect of our lives as long as we’ve been alive. And we never will unless we do this.

Another Zionist organization that we should destroy is the Internal Revenue Service. Not legally – physically. There’s no legal way to do it because the ABA satraps are mostly Zionists and Masons – our deadly enemies. Any organization that would let a renegade Zionist represent it and threaten to show us “the consequences of tax defier conduct” must not be tolerated.

What will a real revolution produce for us?

It will remove the scum who have sucked us dry for as long as we’ve been alive. Imagine a country with no Zionist  influence, no obscene Zionist poison in our entertainment, no more billions in “foreign aid” to Israel and all the other countries, no more kosher food tax, no more illegal aliens plaguing us and consuming our savings, no more Chinese junk products made by slaves, no more jobs sent overseas, no more Federal Reserve Notes and paying interest to the Jewish Federal Reserve to borrow our own currency. And of course, no more Jewish income tax.

The government at all levels will have to shrink drastically to the point where it hardly exists and where it must exist it will live in fear of us, the opposite of what we have now, thanks almost entirely to the Zionists.

The key is to tie the IRS and the income tax to the big Zionists who gave it to us and to the little Zionists such as Cohen and Hochman who threaten us with being gang-raped and maimed and murdered in prison. That’s how they run the IRS racket, with our fear of their prisons. So let’s not be afraid and let’s get with a new program: Connect the hated income tax to its operators, the Zionists. This will eventually do two things: it will destroy the IRS and it will create hatred of illicit Zionist Power such as AIPAC and the Federal Reserve.

Hatred of evil is a good thing. Destroying evil is even better.

* The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views and opinons of  the Veterans Today Network or the VeteransToday.com. We offer these writers in the spirit of free speech and free communication of differing points of view.

Posted in USAComments Off on THE IRS EXTORTION OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

W.MADSEN ON WIKILEAKS & UFO’S

NOVANEWS

December 6, 2010 

by Gordon Duff 

RUSSIA TODAY INTERVIEW WITH MADSEN

www.RT.com

 

Journalist and former intelligence officer Wayne Madsen clearly hits one out of the park with this interview on RT (Russia Today.)  His take on Wikileaks is clear and reality based despite the desire to “soft peddle” on the subject by the interviewer.  We will let Wayne speak for Wayne on this subject.

The other issue, a very devisive one, UFOs, is mentioned as the next Wikileak.  It is not covered in substance on the video.  I have been getting continual feedback out of the DOD on this subject, long the “Holy Grail” of the intel world.  Warnings have been coming out about the United States having UFO technology for decades, capabilities we have kept secret from the public, are in the “chatter world” every day. 

As to whether recent stories about arsenic based life forms, supposedly conclusive proof that off-planet life exists, are a precursor to some announcement and Wikileaks is another way of softening the public up for “the other shoe to drop” is not yet seen.

However, I suspect this is exactly the case.  What is really funny is that the media has long treated 9/11 and the revelations about Building 7 as conspiracy theory at the level of UFO stories.  Now, the idea of having to eat both subjects is funny.  First Fox broke 9/11 and the controlled demolition of Building 7 as fact, not fiction, a humiliating blow for those who spent years backing the government’s wild conspiracy theory about imaginary Arabs with box cutters, now we are forewarned that UFO’s are now going to become “hard news.”

The real joke, of course, is that our news has long been crazier than any conspiracy theory anyway.  Who would notice daily UFO reports and interviews with “little green men?”

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on W.MADSEN ON WIKILEAKS & UFO’S

PSYCHOLOGICAL ARMOR

NOVANEWS

December 6, 2010

by J. Bruce Campbell  

Here’s one reason that so many American soldiers and marines have died in Iraq…

 

Back in 1981, I was the head of a bulletproof car company in Monterey, California. We’d construct a box made of Lexgard inside a limo or regular car. It was pretty effective but difficult to install. Lexgard is General Electric’s transparent polycarbonate armor, very effective at stopping handgun bullets. If you put a hard surface in front of it, such as glass or sheet metal, it will stop rifle bullets. After the bullet hits the hard surface it is upset slightly on its axis and is then trapped in the dense but crystal-clear polycarbonate material.

 

Iraq War

The FMC factory was in nearby San Jose. I read a story about the troubles with the aluminum armor on their new Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The Bradley was having PR problems already but now the issue was the armor. Aluminum is a bad material for armor, since it doesn’t stop bullets very well. When they come through, they cause something called “spall,” which means that the pieces of the armor itself become deadly little weapons. And – aluminum melts.

The army, though, wanted to save weight so they told FMC to make the Bradleys out of aluminum. (FMC was later sold and is today United Defense LP, owned by George Bush’s Carlyle Group.)

So I went to FMC and proposed to line the inside of a Bradley with Lexgard, the way we did with limos. This would protect everyone from spall and fire, because Lexgard is fireproof and non-toxic. Installation would have been relatively easy in the boxy Bradley. I was politely turned down.

Puzzled, I called Dr. Charles Church, the head of research at the Pentagon. He said, “Listen – don’t try to modify an existing vehicle. If you want to do something, design it from the ground up and make your armor integral with your chassis.”

So that’s what I did. I came up with something I called “The FLEA,” which stood for, “Forward Light Escort, Armored.” I used an unknown but powerful fiberglass armor for the body with hardened Lexgard windows. It was to be hydraulically operated with its wheels almost two feet away from the body, for protection against tank landmines. My design was based on my experience with landmines in Rhodesia as a member of their security forces in the terror war in the ‘70s.

Shortly after my design was complete (1982), the army put out a request for proposal (RFP) for a new vehicle they called the “High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle,” or “HMMWV.” The new Jeep and light truck. I duly submitted the FLEA to Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) in Michigan.

After a month or so, I called TACOM and inquired as to the progress of the selection process. The officer said, “The FLEA – yes, I have it here… Oh, yeah – this is armored. We don’t want armor.”

I knew the specification they wanted. The bodywork had to defeat the equivalent of a pellet fired from a pellet gun. Something like 19 grains at 435 feet per second. Something silly like that. I mentioned this to the officer. He said, “Yeah, right. We call it ‘psychological armor…’”

“’Psychological armor?’” I let that sink in to my brain. “You mean, the guys just THINK they’re sitting behind armor?”

He chuckled. “Yeah, pretty much.”

“But, “ I said, “I’m under the weight requirement even with the armor. Why not give them the protection?”

“That’s not what we want.”

I kept trying to get some interest in the vehicle for its own sake, as a tank killer, not as a Humvee. No sale. Well, actually, there was some interest. I got a retired general to promote it to the army’s Advanced Development Experimental Agency at Ft. Hunter Liggett. They liked it and sent it to their commander at Ft. Lewis, who liked it and sent it to TACOM, who didn’t like it again.

In 1993 I took a chance and put $80,000 into building the rolling (unarmored) chassis, so people could actually see its basic dimensions and logic. The army still wasn’t interested, apparently not wanting to believe that a lightweight vehicle could do what I advertised.

Then I forgot about the whole thing ‘til 2000, when my old friend, Skip, persuaded me to go to a symposium on humanitarian demining in Monterey. I made some good contacts, such as the general who became the head of Army Materiel Command. He was vitally interested in mine protection. But I became vitally interested in humanitarian mine removal. I thought the FLEA would be ideal for this noble effort, since I was by this time a serious opponent of the US Army, the US government and war. I also had been blown up by an anti-tank mine in Africa in 1973 while riding in a police Land Rover, so I appreciated the mine problem made famous by the late Diana, although she was involved more in the small but terrible anti-personnel mines.

By 2003, I moved to Las Vegas and became partners with a guy who liked my humanitarian plan. The FLEA was now patented and protected here and overseas. I began to seek support for the humanitarian version of the vehicle. It turned out that the US Army is in charge of humanitarian demining, so they were invited to come to Las Vegas to view the now-armored rolling chassis. The two men who came were the director of combat development at Fort Leonard Wood and a man from Night Vision Labs in New Jersey, a retired colonel. The men were astonished on seeing the FLEA. One said that he’d been asking TACOM for just such a design for years, that is, a lightweight vehicle that could withstand the hit of an anti-tank mine. He was told repeatedly that such a vehicle was impossible. “But here it is,” he marveled, “this is how you beat the tank mine, with your wheels way outboard.”

It was clear there was no budget for a humanitarian demining vehicle, but there was great interest in this thing for Iraq.

The FLEA is designed to keep moving with the loss of one or even three wheels. By now the design had replaced the hydraulic operation with hybrid-electric drive and steering and air suspension. And it had six wheels instead of four – an army requirement for trench-crossing.

The man confided several secrets to us, secrets about the Bosnian adventure and about the six-month old invasion of Iraq. American vehicles were unusable in Bosnia, he said, due to their gross weight. “The roads and bridges couldn’t support them and they never left the airport.” This would continue to be a problem even in Iraq, where the ballyhooed “Stryker” vehicle would collapse roads and bridges and roll over into canals and drown crewmen.

He said, “You’ve obviously solved the tank-mine problem, but the real threat in Iraq is the IED (improvised explosive device).” The IED would continue to cause 70% of US casualties to this day. He revealed that even the Future Combat System requirement for mine protection was only against anti-personnel mines!

But, of course, the real scandal is the ridiculous Humvee, perhaps the most preposterous idea of all, after the invasion itself. A preposterous invasion needs a preposterous vehicle.

First of all, the Humvee is just an aggressive-looking station wagon. It has four doors, unless they are removed. If you want to shoot out from the thing, the doors have to be removed, so you can swing your rifle around. That’s what we did in Rhodesia, with our Land Rovers. Took the doors off so that when we drove into an ambush we could return fire and save ourselves. The Humvee’s windows don’t roll down, so you can’t shoot with the doors closed. And it’s pretty silly to open the door and try to stick your rifle out with the thing swinging around as you’re trying to return fire, escaping up the road. A real tactical vehicle has no roof, either, so that you can see and shoot at an overhead threat. If it has a roof, you better be able to see and shoot up!

As we saw with the “psychological armor” bit, it doesn’t really matter if the doors are on or off, because you have no protection either way. With the doors off, you can at least shoot back. With the doors on, you’re a sitting duck. And the real problem is not bullets, but blast from IEDs. Serious armor protection was called for! Duh.

So, when enough people started getting killed in these things, the army decided to armor them. It went from the ridiculous to the insane.

Meanwhile, TACOM sent engineers from its R&D group, TARDEC, to Las Vegas for discussions with us in January, 2004. We also had representatives from Michelin, Eaton-Vickers and the armor manufacturer in San Antonio (Safeguard Security) and others, including the Chain Gun makers, present, plus men from Senator Harry Reid, who was backing the project. The TARDEC men said that the landmine requirement for Future Combat System vehicles would have to be rewritten now, due to the FLEA’s design. The FLEA would be funded for 2005 and Senator Reid’s military liaison said that if TARDEC would go ahead and use some discretionary funds for 2004, the senator would pay them back in ’05, so as to get this wonderful vehicle to the troops this year (’04).

This was agreed to by the TARDEC men. By all accounts it was an unprecedented meeting of army, industry, political and us entrepreneurs. Michelin has a fantastic new plastic wheel/tire combo that is virtually indestructible. They were interested in introducing it on the FLEA. So were we. And so was the army. I regaled everyone with the story about Psychological Armor. The chief engineer from TARDEC squirmed and said quietly, “Let’s hope that doesn’t come out…”

Later in January my partner and I flew to Washington DC to meet with Senator Reid’s chief counsel, the US Army Materiel Command and the State Department’s landmine removal personnel.

The Army Materiel Command had tried to get us into business with United Defense, mentioned above. The general thought if UD went ahead and built the prototype, the army could purchase it that way. But United Defense wouldn’t do it without millions of dollars being paid to them first. That’s how they’re used to doing things. It’s the Halliburton method.

All went well until we got back to Las Vegas. The army had investigated us and found that we were both politically incorrect. Perhaps “incorrect” is not strong enough a word. Disastrous is the word. Actually, I’d been in a strange situation, a true enemy of the state wandering around the capital of enemy-occupied territory, going into the Senate and House office buildings, gathering congressional support for the FLEA. Several congressmen and two senators signed on with Senator Reid. Reid’s senior counsel asked me to draft a letter from Reid to Rumsfeld, which I did do.

Reid, Ensign and Carl Levin signed it, along with some congress-people on the House Armed Services Committee who had raised hell with the army chief of staff a couple of days earlier over the failures of the Humvee. My future seemed secure! Anything for the troops! I turned out to be quite an effective lobbyist.

Jeremy Hekhuis was Carl Levin’s assistant in the Senate Armed Services Committee office. His eyebrows raised on hearing the Psychological Armor story, since by that time quite a number of GIs had been killed in un-armored Humvees. “Well, let’s hope that that doesn’t come out…”

However, I was the guy who started the militia movement back in the late ‘80s, with my book, The New American Man. I had also written quite a bit since then against the US government and against the state of Israel, as I still do from time to time. In my book I had actually called for the overthrow of the Zionist US government. No one took me very seriously in 1989 except for the government. The militia movement did take off around 1991 but all it really did was stockpile a bunch of guns and ammo. The FBI and CIA, though, thought that I was very serious, which I was. They followed me everywhere for a year or more. They sent informants to get friendly with me.

The Secret Service in 1991 threatened to kill me if I was anywhere near President GHW Bush, currently the head of United Defense. There was irony all over the place.

Senator Reid’s chief counsel now said that the army and the senator would have nothing to do with the FLEA because of what I had written about Israel! That was all that mattered, my criticism of Zionism and its control of the US government. The glaring need of a safe vehicle became irrelevant.

Frankly, I was relieved. The whole thing had gotten out of control. I, of all people, trying to protect the troops. Did the troops deserve a decent vehicle? Not really, since they’re nothing but vicious, mindless war criminals, like their commander-in-chief and his Zionist controllers.

But maybe the parents of the 5,000 dead troops (or is it 72,000?) and the thousands of injured and maimed troops would not appreciate the army’s need to avoid offending the Jews by refusing on principle to deal with a helpful villain such as I. I’d had a bumper sticker on my truck since 2002, when it appeared that Bush was going to invade Iraq for his own personal reasons: “Bush Is A Liar And An Oil Thief.” That was a year before the invasion. I had been severely injured by two poisonings in Las Vegas maybe over that bumper sticker, or maybe the other one, which read, “Stop Obeying Our Zionist Parasites.” I paid heavily for my “free speech” right. Of course, it could have been the vehicle itself that got me poisoned. No doubt there were people who did not want someone such as I making many millions of dollars, much of which would have funded a serious anti-Zionist operation.

I gave the patent to my friend, Skip. It’s in his name now. What he does or doesn’t do with it is a matter of complete indifference to me.

Before we leave this ridiculous (but true) story, let’s see what happened to the Humvee. It got “armored.”
While we were still friendly, Senator Reid had encouraged us to visit the Nevada Automotive Test Center near Reno. This is truly a fantastic if unknown place. Situated on a million acres in the desert and mountains near the ruins of Ft. Churchill, NATC is the test bed for most new military vehicles and many civilian vehicles. The engineers are the best and they know what is needed for vehicles to survive the worst military and off-road conditions. They even have a half-mile oval track with electronic controls under the pavement so that big rigs can be run for a million miles with no drivers, to be stopped only for fuel and maintenance.

The owners gave us the royal treatment and they were enthusiastic about improving the design of the FLEA so that it would pass all tests and be immediately accepted by the army, as well as perform even beyond what I and my design engineer, himself a Silver Star winner (Vietnam), had designed it to do. John M. had also been blown up by a Soviet TM-46 tank mine, as had I. The FLEA is undoubtedly the only vehicle designed by two guys who’d survived tank mine explosions in lighter vehicles.

When we got there I was surprised to see fifteen or so stripped down Humvees parked around the place. Bolted to the front and rear of each vehicle were heavy weights. The chief engineer explained that the army wanted these Humvees tested with the added three thousand pounds to simulate the weight of the new armor kits and OEM armoring that was to be done. The army wanted to test tire wear with the extra weight. Early results showed that the tire wear had gone all to hell.

The NATC guys had just come back from Iraq. Talk about tire wear! Talk about – well, you name it. The supply convoys out of Kuwait are run like this: 60+ miles per hour for the 900 mile round trip. If anybody gets ambushed or breaks down, he’s on his own. The convoy keeps rolling! See you on the flip side. Or not.

When the vehicles get into the built-up areas, there are nine-inch square curbs along the streets. If there is a problem with a breakdown or ambush, all vehicles have to crash over the curbs to get around the stalled vehicle. This tends to destroy the front ends of all the vehicles. Alignment is not possible. Tires last a few thousand miles. No vehicles will be returned to the US after the war because they are all trashed. This of course makes the truck and car makers very sad, because they all have to be replaced. C’est  la guerre!

But here is the reality of the “armored Humvees:” These essentially half-ton civilian vehicles in camouflage paint are not designed to have three thousand pounds added to them. That’s three times more than their payload in the first place, which means that with the armor added, they have no payload! Instead of carrying four soldiers, they can only carry three. But that’s better because only three guys will be killed instead of four. Killed by an IED or by an RPG or killed by the heat.

An early modified Humvee was hit by an IED in Baghdad. The officer reported that “the ass end was blown off and we were stranded, but they couldn’t hit us with bullets…” They had to get out pretty quickly, though, and brave the bullets because the stranded wreck was soon hit by an RPG. This was the idea behind the FLEA: you have to be able to drive away from the kill zone without having to get out and walk.

There’s no air conditioning on any military vehicle. The FLEA would have been the first because it was designed that way. What’s the inside temperature of a vehicle in Iraq in the summertime? Pretty much like Las Vegas or Phoenix: over 140. In one of these jobs with sealed, inch and a half thick windows, we can just feel the heat stroke starting. And you still can’t defend yourself in one of these rolling ovens because the windows don’t open. The doors do, if you’re on level ground – they weigh 200 pounds. Don’t stick your rifle out this open door because if it swings shut, it’ll bend your barrel.

These are the kit cars, the ones with aftermarket armor kits. Then there are the new ones, the “up-armored” ones. These guys are so heavy that they had to be totally redesigned with more powerful engines, transmissions, suspensions, brakes – just to handle the weight of the armor. There’s no payload either because they’re just barely designed to carry their own weight, which is pretty dumb.

Back in ’82, when the HMMWV was being designed, the US Army must have thought it was never going to be shot at, ever again. That’s the charitable view. A more realistic view is that the US Army doesn’t give a damn if the troops get shot at or not. They’re expendable, just like the vehicles. The army must come up with a way to procure more of them for our next excellent adventure in Zionist genocide.

Posted in USAComments Off on PSYCHOLOGICAL ARMOR

Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

December 2010
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031