Asked on the night of September 11, 2001 what the terrorist attacks meant for U.S.-Israel relations, Benjamin Netanyahu, the then former prime minister, tactlessly but accurately replied, “It’s very good.” And on the day after WikiLeaks’ publication of U.S. diplomatic cables, Netanyahu “strode” into a press conference at the Israeli Journalists Association, looking “undoubtedly delighted” with the group’s latest embarrassment of U.S. President Barack Obama.
“Thanks to WikiLeaks,” Aluf Benn wrote in Haaretz, “there is now no fear Washington will exert heavy pressure on Israel to freeze settlement construction or to accelerate negotiations on a withdrawal from the territories.” Instead, also courtesy of WikiLeaks, the world’s attention had been shifted exactly where a “vindicated” Netanyahu wanted it – toward Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons programme.
“Our region has been hostage to a narrative that is the result of 60 years of propaganda, which paints Israel as the greatest threat,” Netanyahu told the assembled journalists. “In reality leaders understand that that view is bankrupt. For the first time in history there is agreement that Iran is the threat.” While there is considerable dispute about the extent to which Arab leaders share Netanyahu’s understanding of “the Iranian threat,” the Arab public overwhelmingly considers Israel to be a far greater threat.
Nevertheless, according to Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit, Julian Assange “has shattered the accepted dogma on the understanding in the Middle East in the 21st century.” WikiLeaks, crowed Shavit, “proved” that the Israeli occupation and colonisation of Palestine was not the main cause of instability in the Middle East. Instead, the secret cables “revealed” that “the entire Arab world” is concerned about “one problem only — Iran, Iran, Iran.” Thus, Shavit concluded, the only way to bring peace to the region was to deal with “Iran first.”
Strangely, the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seems to accept the Israeli vision of “war is peace” in the Middle East. In an interview with Time magazine, Assange singled out Netanyahu as an example of a world leader who believed the publication of Arab leaders’ provocative privately expressed comments “will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran.”
Even more puzzling, Assange had an op-ed piece in Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian, in which he quoted something the media mogul had written in 1958: “In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.” In choosing another pro-Israelapologist as a model of transparency, is it possible that Assange is ignorant of the key role played by Murdoch’s media empire in propagating the lies that led the New York Times to dub the war in Iraq “Mr. Murdoch’s War”?
Assange seems equally oblivious to the significant contribution made by the New York Times itself to the war whose conduct he now claims to oppose. On September 8, 2002, the paper of record led with a front-page story by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon, which falsely claimed that Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy aluminium tubes as part of its “worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb.” As Michael Massing later wrote, “In the following months, the tubes would become a key prop in the administration’s case for war, and the Times played a critical part in legitimizing it.” Chosen by Assange to publish its leaked documents because it is one of “the best newspapers in the world for investigative research,” the pro-Israel Times is now busily spinning the leaks to push America into an equally unnecessary but even more disastrous war with Iran.
Given that the WikiLeaks revelations have been such an unexpected “diplomatic coup” for Israel, its American lobby appears to be strangely divided over the issue. On one side, there are those like David Frum, Jeffrey Goldberg and Michael Ledeen who delight in being able henceforth to cloak their incessant Iran warmongering behind a specious Arab cover. “Those who suggest that it’s some ‘Israel lobby’ or Jewish cabal that is driving the confrontation with Iran” should be embarrassed by the leaks, writes Frum. “WikiLeaks confirms that the region’s Arab governments express even more anxiety than Israel about the Iranian nuclear weapons program.”
Meanwhile, the most virulent attacks on WikiLeaks have come from some of Israel’s staunchest supporters. William Kristol, editor of Rupert Murdoch’s Weekly Standard, wants Congress to enable Obama to “Whack WikiLeaks.” Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, appear only too willing to oblige. Both senators have called for the prosecution of Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. Feinstein is also working with Senator Charles Schumer on media legislation that would allow the prosecution of organizations like WikiLeaks.
How do we reconcile the Israel lobby’s apparently schizophrenic reaction to WikiLeaks? Could it be that Julian Assange has killed two birds for Israel with one document dump?
Thanks to WikiLeaks, the well-publicised remarks of a few Arab leaders provide much-needed cover for pro-Israelis as they relentlessly press America to whack Iran. At the same time, the disclosure of U.S. diplomatic secrets has given the likes of Joe Lieberman another excuse to “kill the internet” — to prevent Americans from ever finding out how they got into such a mess in the Middle East.
In this urgent message delivered by ultra snail method of delivery due to restrictions placed upon our communication means (warrantless mass surveillance by our government targeting our telephone, text messages, e-mail, fax, and internet accessibility) we, American citizens, hereby urgently request that the recipients on the other side of the Atlantic and Pacific add our desperately repressed nation to their list of qualified political refugee nations and or raise their existing annual quota for US political refugees.
We not only meet but surpass the United Nations 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees on the grounds of political opinion and membership and or participation in any particular social group or social activities.
We Americans, every single one of us, are treated as potential terrorists, are considered guilty with no way to prove otherwise. We all are subjected to round the clock surveillance (phone, e-mail, fax, text, internet accessibility; with internet activities soon to be monitored and restricted), and degrading physical probing-groping searches as mandatory requirements for our travel.
We United States Citizens have been deprived of expressing collective dissent even through the most peaceful means and pacifist manner. Our participation or membership in social groups or gathering that challenge illegal wars or anti humanitarian practices land us on our government’s never-defined ‘enemy & terrorist’ list, with consequences ranging from being prohibited from traveling by air, to having our homes raided and families intimidated by armed government militia, to being persecuted and thrown before a federal grand jury to face possible incarceration for our beliefs.
We now face prosecution, persecution , and even possible assassination for engaging in certain journalistic or Good Samaritan reporting of wrong-unethical-even illegal activities by those trusted with our nation’s health, wealth, and security. This situation now is being extended to those of us who may have read or disseminated information originally gathered and distributed by others. Today our whistleblowers are thrown behind bars, while our criminals who engage in robbing our taxpayers of billions of dollars, or, those who engage in torture and murder games are highly protected and handsomely awarded by our rulers.
We urge you to remember the Stasi and the suffocating repression suffered by the East Germans, and then, go ahead and multiply that by a four digit number of your choice. Any number will do, that is, as long as it has four digits. Our technology-enabled Stasis can tap and record hundreds of millions of communications. Our rulers’mega corporate collaborators can pull the plug on hundreds of thousands of us with no recourse available or even imaginable.
On top of all that, unlike those lucky East German-ers we don’t have a meager little wall to overcome, nor do we have a viable, trust-worthy, or sovereign enough neighbor nation next door to escape to. Our frigid northern neighbor is as keen on outlaw style assassination as our ruthless rulers. As for our southern neighbor?
First we’d have to make it to the other side of the border by surviving armed citizen-soldiers who can easily mistake those of us with dark hair for Mexicans to be hunted. Next, we have to survive the Mexican drug gang-police combination who may easily perceive us as competitors in their Narc-Territory. As you can see, the chances of our survival there are slim to none.
We implore you to grant us Americans ‘High Priority Political Asylum’ Status. At least consider a swapping arrangement whereby your high-level criminals, con artists, professional swindlers, and or psychotic serial torturers are sent here where they can find an agreeable working-practicing environment and unlimited government protection and rewards, and in exchange those of us in search of a reasonable degree of freedom and justice would be given asylum in your nations.
Waivers do not match the number of discharges so there is a clear problem still going on in the military. While “personality disorder” discharges dropped, it looks like they are still trying to get rid of “problems” instead of taking care of them. We would have to believe that the mental health tests are all flawed to have allowed men and women into the military when they had mental health problems already, training them to use weapons to kill and sending them into combat. This would also mean they didn’t care about the rest of the troops enough to prevent mentally ill recruits from entering into the service.
Troops booted for pre-existing mental issues
By Kelly Kennedy – Staff writer
From 2003 to 2008, more people were separated from the military within their first year of service for “pre-existing” psychiatric conditions than for any other reason, according to a military report.
Those discharges do not qualify a service member for medical benefits or medical retirement pay after leaving.
Twenty-two percent of soldiers who were given “existed prior to service,” or EPTS, discharges had psychiatric conditions, while 42 percent of Marine Corps EPTS discharges fell under that category. The figures for the Navy and Air Force were 24 percent and less than 1 percent, respectively.
Whether the Marine Corps is not screening its new recruits for mental health issues as well as the other services, or whether other factors are at work, is not clear.
“I guess that means the services have knowingly been enlisting and sending to war individuals who have significant mental health disorders,” said Andreas-Georg Pogany, a Colorado-based veterans advocate who has tried to help combat veterans fight military efforts to discharge them for pre-existing mental conditions.
According to the 2010 Accession Medical Standards Analysis & Research Activity Report, the Army approved 1,231 waivers for anxiety, dissociative and somatoform disorders from 2004 until 2009, and another 522 for depressive disorder.
The Marines gave out 766 waivers during the same period for neurotic, mood, somatoform, dissociative or fictitious disorder, and 230 for “disturbance of emotions specific to childhood and adolescence.”
But discharges for pre-existing mental health conditions far exceed recruitment waivers for those conditions. Psychiatric discharges are the top diagnosis for pre-existing discharges for Marines and soldiers. From 2004 to 2009, 4,359 soldiers and 3,636 Marines were discharged during their first year of service for pre-existing psychiatric conditions.
read the rest of the report here Troops booted for pre-existing mental issues
If you look up the symptoms of PTSD you see that it is an anxiety disorder. This is from National Institute of Mental Health
What are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps one deal with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, keep focused on an important speech. In general, it helps one cope. But when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it has become a disabling disorder. More about Anxiety Disorders »
Five major types of anxiety disorders are:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Effective treatments for anxiety disorders are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives. More about Treatment »
Getting Help: Locate Services
Locate mental health services in your area, affordable healthcare, NIMH clinical trials, and listings of professionals and organizations. More about Locating Services »
Information on coping with traumatic events
Information about medications
Anxiety Disorders Information and Organizations from NLM’s MedlinePlus (en Español)
Some mental illnesses also carry an increased risk for suicide.
PTSD is caused by an outside force and not from within.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
Yet while on of the causes of PTSD is combat, the military wants us to believe they did not due proper testing before they allowed the enlistments in the first place.
According to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center report, adjustment disorder diagnoses rose from 35,774 in 2006 to 51,545 in 2009. Over the same period, anxiety disorder diagnoses rose from 14,140 to 23,609 and PTSD diagnoses rose from 8,416 to 14,193.
Personality disorder diagnoses decreased from 7,459 to 5,020.
What we think about how they operate means less than having to honor the men and women who risk their lives in combat, experience the higher risk of PTSD due to redeployments and will have to live with their lives changed for the rest of their lives. Honoring the men and women serving affected by PTSD will cost them money and they have little interest in doing that when they can get away with just getting rid of the “problem” leaving them with nothing more than a pair of boots and a uniform they cannot wear with pride anymore.
This sounded too good to be true because it is. The Marines have been changing their attitude on PTSD and depression so deeply felt they want to end their own lives, but they have a long way to go. More Marines tried to kill themselves this year with 14 attempts last month.
These numbers are bad but at least they do show some of the efforts made have been working. We’ve seen these numbers go down before only to be followed by an increase the following month. Let’s hope they are finally getting it right.
MILITARY: Marines record first suicide-free month since 2007
NUMBER OF ATTEMPTED SUICIDES THIS YEAR, HOWEVER, EXCEEDS PREVIOUS RECORD TOTAL
November was the first suicide-free month for the U.S. Marine Corps since June 2007.
“It’s a good sign, but we are not even thinking of celebrating,” Col. Grant Olbrich, head of the Marine Corps’ Suicide Prevention program, said Friday. “There is no trend yet.”
Through November, 35 Marines have killed themselves this year, compared with a record 52 suicides among its 202,000 troops in 2009. That was up from 42 in 2008, 33 in 2007 and 26 in 2006, according to service statistics.
“My goal is zero suicides,” Olbrich said. “If we end next year at a lower level than 2006, still no one in the Marine Corps will be satisfied.”
While there were no suicides in November, the Marine Corps’ monthly suicide report, issued this week, showed that the number of troops who attempted suicide in 2010 now exceeds the total for any previous year. Fourteen troops tried to kill themselves in November, the report said, raising that number for the year to 165, one more than the record 164 attempted suicides in all of 2009.
More than 50,000 troops are stationed at two local bases, Camp Pendleton and Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. The Marines and the Army are bearing the brunt of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the increases in military suicides have been particularly vexing to them. Marines record first suicide-free month since 2007
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Americans are not supposed to know, apparently, that behind the scenes Saudi Arabia has been encouraging the U.S. to take military action against Iran.
But if we end up going to war with Iran shouldn’t it be in America’s national interest, and not simply as a subcontractor for another country?
Lovers necessarily keep or share secrets. Being in a healthy relationship means achieving a certain level of intimacy, where shared knowledge of each others’ weaknesses and insecurities is protected by a bond of mutual trust. Sometimes lovers might do devilish things that outsiders wouldn’t understand, or shouldn’t be privy to, and this is fine. But by and large, what they do is simply no one else’s business.
But imagine that the man in the relationship kept it a secret that he had other women on the side, kids, a criminal record, venereal disease, and basically betrayed his lover in every way imaginable, unbeknownst to her?
Now imagine a third party felt it was their moral duty to reveal it?
No one questions that governments must maintain a certain level of secrecy, including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who told Time that “Secrecy is important for many things … [but it] shouldn’t be used to cover up abuses.” The entire premise of Assange’s whistleblower organization is this: To what degree is government secrecy justified? And when particular secrets could be damaging to the other partner in the United States government’s relationship — the American people — should these secrets be revealed in the name of protecting the public?
How often does our government use “national security” simply as an excuse to cover up questionable dealings? Reports Time: “in the past few years, governments have designated so much information secret that you wonder whether they intend the time of day to be classified. The number of new secrets designated as such by the U.S. government has risen 75% … . At the same time, the number of documents and other communications created using those secrets has skyrocketed nearly 10 times…”
To say that government must keep secrets is not to say that all government secrets must be kept.
As admitted even by Pentagon officials and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, none of WikiLeaks’ revelations do anything to compromise national security or endanger American lives — but they have wreaked havoc on political life in Washington, D.C. Americans are not supposed to know, for example, that their government bullied and threatened individuals and other governments that might have undermined the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009. The federal government attempting to squelch anyone who might undermine global-warming dogma? Do WikiLeaks’ conservative critics believe revealing this is a “national security” risk?
Americans are not supposed to know, apparently, that behind the scenes Saudi Arabia has been encouraging the U.S. to take military action against Iran. But if we end up going to war with Iran shouldn’t it be in America’s national interest, and not simply as a subcontractor for another country? Asks Fox News’ Judith Miller: “Why should Americans not know that Arab states, often at the top level, have been urging Washington to take military or other drastic action against Iran, while they publicly oppose such action?”
And when did conservatives become so protective of Hillary Clinton? What happened to the days of the “Stop Hillary Express,” when right-wing talk radio portrayed the former first lady as Satan and theorized about all the devious ways in which, if in power, she might conspire to bring down the country? When WikiLeaks revealed that Secretary of State Clinton tried to obtain DNA, fingerprints, credit-card numbers, and other private information belonging to United Nations officials, we learned that Clinton’s style was every bit as mafia-esque as her conservative critics once warned. Yet conservatives now attack WikiLeaks for revealing what they once feared.
It should also be remembered that the same conservatives now calling for Assange’s head either ignored or were sympathetic to Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame allegedly at the Bush administration’s behest — a revelation arguably far riskier to our national security than anything ever released by WikiLeaks.
But the worst hypocrisy throughout this controversy has been in conservatives reflexively defending the government and attacking WikiLeaks. Since when have conservatives believed that Washington should be able to shroud any action it likes in secrecy and that revealing government’s nefarious deeds is tantamount to treason? Isn’t it government officials who might secretly work for corporate, ideological or transnational interests — and against the national interest — who are betraying their country?
Interestingly, Wikileaks’ founder espouses the traditionally conservative, Jeffersonian view that America’s constitutional structure limits and lessens government corruption. Reported Time: “Assange appears to believe that the U.S. has not become ‘a much-worse-behaved superpower’ because its federalism, ‘this strength of the states,’ has been a drag on the combination of the burgeoning power of the central government and a presidency that can expand its influence only by way of foreign affairs.”
Decentralizing government power, limiting it, and challenging it was the Founders’ intent and these have always been core conservative principles. Conservatives should prefer an explosion of whistleblower groups like WikiLeaks to a federal government powerful enough to take them down. Government officials who now attack WikLleaks don’t fear national endangerment, they fear personal embarrassment. And while scores of conservatives have long promised to undermine or challenge the current monstrosity in Washington, D.C., it is now an organization not recognizably conservative that best undermines the political establishment and challenges its very foundations.
Franklin Lamb’s Saturday Mideast Report –- Al Manar
On October 24, 1970, during its 25thsession, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted theDeclaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
The UN Declaration provides in part:
“No State has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law”.
Perhaps not since the Vietnam War, with the exception of Iraq, has an American Embassy so inextricably inserted, bullied and entangled itself into the internal affairs of another country. Or so brazenly targeted a nationalist political party that won the largest number of votes in the most recent election and that likely represents a majority of the country’s population. Not since 1982 has it occurred in Lebanon.
Myriad extra-consular activities by ‘Embassy Beirut’, many of which violate American as well as international laws including the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, present serious problems for Lebanon. They ultimately constitute major problems for the American people who increasingly seek an even handed American Middle East policy and friendship with all legitimate countries in the region.
The de-facto American Ambassador to Lebanon and Syria remains Undersecretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman who on December 9 during a phone conference with Arab reporters in Washington, London and some Arab capitals, complained: ” the Wilkileaks information is being used to sow strife in Lebanon.” He added that he was “afraid that some Lebanese nationalists would be harmed for cooperating with the U.S and for better ties between Washington and Beirut.” He added, “The release of private conversations calls for disgust and anger.”
Not for the first time, Mr. Feltman has his analysis precisely backwards . For it is not some leaked cables, which to date have revealed nothing not already widely known or suspected in Lebanon, but rather it is the internationally banned and intense US interference in Lebanese internal affairs on behalf of Israel that is causing deep distrust and suspicion of American motives-all across the region-as well as among American citizens living here and at home. These fundamental causes include, what every school child in Lebanon has witnessed in one form or another, directly or through relatives or friends. That is the massive US weapon supplies delivered to Israel , used to repeatedly and ferociously attack Lebanese civilians, killing more than 30,000, wounding more than 200,000, and displacing more than two million, during a quarter century of Israel’s use of American weapons against Lebanon.
In addition to regularly unleashing and green lighting Israeli aggression against Lebanon, there is the continuing and ever evolving ‘Embassy Beirut’ based Welsh Club ” Lebanon Project List” (LPL) which lengthened in early 2005 and endures following Mr. Welsh’s retirement in 2009 . It is from this informal unit that State Department lawyers urged the White House to establish the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (UNSCR 1757) under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
“The duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the UN Charter.” UN Declaration Concerning Friendly Relations among States
At various times joint US-Israeli Welch Club projects included plans for an airbase to be shared with Israel and NATO at Kleit near the Sunni area of Akkar as part of ‘Northern Sunni army’ to confront Southern Shia Hezbollah, moving the US Embassy and its electronic equipment to a hillside overlooking Dahieyh with the capacity to listen in on virtually to all conversations and watch the movements of many Hezbollah officials, setting up Druze leader Walid Jumblatt as front man to confront the Resistance over its secure telecommunications system, and one of their supporters in charge of aspects of Beirut airport security, to helping bring in Salafists, among others and implanting them in certain areas including Nahr al Bared and Ein el Helwe Palestinian Refugee camps, igniting, at every opportunity, sectarian tensions among, Sunni, Shia and various Christian sects, labeling certain media outlets, and publishing the names of their investors, and social service organizations as “terrorists’, channeling USAID projects, to chosen sects rather than on the basis of equality for all Lebanese and more than a dozen unproven projects to keep Lebanon divided, and weakened in its capacity to confront Israeli aggression, or to emerge from its history of domination by foreign powers.
In addition, ‘Embassy Beirut’ continues to function as Salon and sounding board for all many of schemes to re-shape Lebanon to Israel’s liking including this week’s confirmation of the earlier rumored Israeli backed Saudi brainstorm to establish an “All Arab Force” to invade Lebanon and fight Hezbollah.
According to the 12/10/10 Beirut Daily Star, WikiLeaks cables given exclusively to the newspaper suggested that Feltman repeatedly expressed alarm at what he saw as France opening the door to Hezbollah as Lebanon’s political deadlock deepened in late 2007. ‘Embassy Beirut’ blamed Paris for succumbing to “shameless fear-mongering” and empowering the opposition party.
Said Feltman: “Having watched the French badly fumble or [intentionally foul] the presidential elections so far, we assume the Beirut Embassy will need to take on the leadership role in building an international consensus for presidential elections now, without complicating linkages. We recommend starting to point fingers at who is to blame for Lebanon’s presidential vacuum.”
US interference on behalf of Israel, even to the degree of seeming to condone, and sometimes extend, the destruction of much of this country including a willingness to cede Lebanese sovereign territory to Israel, allow daily air and sea invasions of Lebanese sovereignty, has sown strife in Lebanon. It is that, not some leaked Embassy cables that prevents “better ties between Washington and Beirut” which Undersecretary Feltman and no fewer than 43 visiting US officials have bleated to Lebanese media over the past several years.
As it is up to the Lebanese themselves to pass judgment on who is a nationalist and who is a collaborator, it is the right and responsibility of the American people to decide if their ‘Embassy Beirut ‘ serves American or Israeli national interests.
The consequences of ‘Embassy Beirut’ actions are increasingly coming under scrutiny and rejection, as the American public, rather like a huge super-tanker sized sailing ship, sighting danger ahead, adjusts its course, ever so slowly, yet powerfully, tacking 22 degrees aft.
As American public opinion confronts the dangerous current some American political analysts are identifying a harbinger when on 12/9/10 the U.S. House of Representatives approved more than 205 million dollars to help Israel deploy a short-range anti-missile defense system called “Iron Dome.” What some find remarkable was the slight margin of the vote, 212-206, hardly the 392 to 7 or 8 votes that Israeli lobby initiatives regularly command from the House side of Congress.
It was on April 17, 1983, after a similar intense period of US Embassy meddling in Lebanese internal affairs and using its diplomatic compound as a base to support one pro-Israeli Lebanese faction that many innocents were killed because the US Embassy had become a virtual command center and hence a legitimate military target.
While the 1983 tragedy will hopefully not repeat during the immediate intense period, barring new revelations or overt actions by the Embassy that green light another Israeli aggression against Lebanon, some here believe that the US Embassy may well be closed down, and experience an imposed ‘time out’ which in the case of the US Embassy in Tehran has lasted for 30 years.
Forcing such an eventuality would serve neither Lebanese nor American interests.
In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a “war of perception . . . conducted continuously using the news media”. What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where “the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences”. Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. “We had a secret weapon,” he boasted. “We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media.”
Never has so much official energy been expended in ensuring journalists collude with the makers of rapacious wars which, say the media-friendly generals, are now “perpetual”. In echoing the west’s more verbose warlords, such as the waterboarding former US vice-president Dick Cheney, who predicated “50 years of war”, they plan a state of permanent conflict wholly dependent on keeping at bay an enemy whose name they dare not speak: the public.
At Chicksands in Bedfordshire, the Ministry of Defence’s psychological warfare (Psyops) establishment, media trainers devote themselves to the task, immersed in a jargon world of “information dominance”, “asymmetric threats” and “cyberthreats”. They share premises with those who teach the interrogation methods that have led to a public inquiry into British military torture in Iraq. Disinformation and the barbarity of colonial war have much in common.
Of course, only the jargon is new. In the opening sequence of my film, The War You Don’t See, there is reference to a pre-WikiLeaks private conversation in December 1917 between David Lloyd George, Britain’s prime minister during much of the first world war, and CP Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian. “If people really knew the truth,” the prime minister said, “the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don’t know, and can’t know.”
In the wake of this “war to end all wars”, Edward Bernays, a confidante of President Woodrow Wilson, coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for propaganda “which was given a bad name in the war”. In his book, Propaganda (1928), Bernays described PR as “an invisible government which is the true ruling power in our country” thanks to “the intelligent manipulation of the masses”. This was achieved by “false realities” and their adoption by the media. (One of Bernays’s early successes was persuading women to smoke in public. By associating smoking with women’s liberation, he achieved headlines that lauded cigarettes as “torches of freedom”.)
I began to understand this as a young reporter during the American war in Vietnam. During my first assignment, I saw the results of the bombing of two villages and the use of Napalm B, which continues to burn beneath the skin; many of the victims were children; trees were festooned with body parts.
The lament that “these unavoidable tragedies happen in wars” did not explain why virtually the entire population of South Vietnam was at grave risk from the forces of their declared “ally”, the United States. PR terms like “pacification” and “collateral damage” became our currency. Almost no reporter used the word “invasion”. “Involvement” and later “quagmire” became staples of a news vocabulary that recognised the killing of civilians merely as tragic mistakes and seldom questioned the good intentions of the invaders.
On the walls of the Saigon bureaus of major American news organisations were often displayed horrific photographs that were never published and rarely sent because it was said they were would “sensationalise” the war by upsetting readers and viewers and therefore were not “objective”. The My Lai massacre in 1968 was not reported from Vietnam, even though a number of reporters knew about it (and other atrocities like it), but by a freelance in the US, Seymour Hersh. The cover of Newsweek magazine called it an “American tragedy”, implying that the invaders were the victims: a purging theme enthusiastically taken up by Hollywood in movies such as The Deer Hunter and Platoon. The war was flawed and tragic, but the cause was essentially noble. Moreover, it was “lost” thanks to the irresponsibility of a hostile, uncensored media.
Although the opposite of the truth, such false realties became the “lessons” learned by the makers of present-day wars and by much of the media. Following Vietnam, “embedding” journalists became central to war policy on both sides of the Atlantic. With honourable exceptions, this succeeded, especially in the US. In March 2003, some 700 embedded reporters and camera crews accompanied the invading American forces in Iraq. Watch their excited reports, and it is the liberation of Europe all over again. The Iraqi people are distant, fleeting bit players; John Wayne had risen again.
A statue of Saddam Hussein is pulled down in Baghdad on 9 April 2003. Photograph: Jerome Delay/AP The apogee was the victorious entry into Baghdad, and the TV pictures of crowds cheering the felling of a statue of Saddam Hussein. Behind this façade, an American Psyops team successfully manipulated what an ignored US army report describes as a “media circus [with] almost as many reporters as Iraqis”. Rageh Omaar, who was there for the BBC, reported on the main evening news: “People have come out welcoming [the Americans], holding up V-signs. This is an image taking place across the whole of the Iraqi capital.” In fact, across most of Iraq, largely unreported, the bloody conquest and destruction of a whole society was well under way.
In The War You Don’t See, Omaar speaks with admirable frankness. “I didn’t really do my job properly,” he says. “I’d hold my hand up and say that one didn’t press the most uncomfortable buttons hard enough.” He describes how British military propaganda successfully manipulated coverage of the fall of Basra, which BBC News 24 reported as having fallen “17 times”. This coverage, he says, was “a giant echo chamber”.
The sheer magnitude of Iraqi suffering in the onslaught had little place in the news. Standing outside 10 Downing St, on the night of the invasion, Andrew Marr, then the BBC’s political editor, declared, “[Tony Blair] said that they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating, and on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right . . .” I asked Marr for an interview, but received no reply.
In studies of the television coverage by the University of Wales, Cardiff, and Media Tenor, the BBC’s coverage was found to reflect overwhelmingly the government line and that reports of civilian suffering were relegated. Media Tenor places the BBC and America’s CBS at the bottom of a league of western broadcasters in the time they allotted to opposition to the invasion. “I am perfectly open to the accusation that we were hoodwinked,” said Jeremy Paxman, talking about Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction to a group of students last year. “Clearly we were.” As a highly paid professional broadcaster, he omitted to say why he was hoodwinked.
Dan Rather, who was the CBS news anchor for 24 years, was less reticent. “There was a fear in every newsroom in America,” he told me, “a fear of losing your job . . . the fear of being stuck with some label, unpatriotic or otherwise.” Rather says war has made “stenographers out of us” and that had journalists questioned the deceptions that led to the Iraq war, instead of amplifying them, the invasion would not have happened. This is a view now shared by a number of senior journalists I interviewed in the US.
In Britain, David Rose, whose Observer articles played a major part in falsely linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida and 9/11, gave me a courageous interview in which he said, “I can make no excuses . . . What happened [in Iraq] was a crime, a crime on a very large scale . . .”
“Does that make journalists accomplices?” I asked him.
“Yes . . . unwitting perhaps, but yes.”
What is the value of journalists speaking like this? The answer is provided by the great reporter James Cameron, whose brave and revealing filmed report, made with Malcolm Aird, of the bombing of civilians in North Vietnam was banned by the BBC. “If we who are meant to find out what the bastards are up to, if we don’t report what we find, if we don’t speak up,” he told me, “who’s going to stop the whole bloody business happening again?”
Cameron could not have imagined a modern phenomenon such as WikiLeaks but he would have surely approved. In the current avalanche of official documents, especially those that describe the secret machinations that lead to war – such as the American mania over Iran – the failure of journalism is rarely noted. And perhaps the reason Julian Assange seems to excite such hostility among journalists serving a variety of “lobbies”, those whom George Bush’s press spokesman once called “complicit enablers”, is that WikiLeaks and its truth-telling shames them. Why has the public had to wait for WikiLeaks to find out how great power really operates?
As a leaked 2,000-page Ministry of Defence document reveals, the most effective journalists are those who are regarded in places of power not as embedded or clubbable, but as a “threat”. This is the threat of real democracy, whose “currency”, said Thomas Jefferson, is “free flowing information”.
In my film, I asked Assange how WikiLeaks dealt with the draconian secrecy laws for which Britain is famous. “Well,” he said, “when we look at the Official Secrets Act labelled documents, we see a statement that it is an offence to retain the information and it is an offence to destroy the information, so the only possible outcome is that we have to publish the information.” These are extraordinary times.
In an extraordinary alliance of TV and cinema, John Pilger’s new film, ‘The War You Don’t See’, opens in the UK mid-December. Having premiered at The Barbican on Tuesday 7 December 2010, the first Pilger film since 2007 will be showing at Curzon Soho in London on Sunday 12 December at 12pm, Monday 13 December at 6.20pm (including a satellite Q&A) and Thursday 16 December at 9pm.
On Tuesday 14 December, ITV will broadcast ‘The War You Don’t See’ at 10.35pm.
The new film is a powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of ‘embedded’ and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq. As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an ‘electronic battlefield’
Posted in UKComments Off on NEWFILM: THE WAR YOU DON’T SEE
(San Francisco) – Early December 2, 2010 deadly fires were set in Israel’s remaining forest. Before it was all said and done at least 42 people were dead – burned to death in the fire, three prisons, a hospital and a university evacuated.
36 Prison Cadets died in Bus Yessir Kaminsky AP
Israel was caught quite unprepared and asked more than 20 countries to send help – quick! What started out as a forest fire quickly escalated to a major international incident.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on a visit to the scene by helicopter Israel had suffered a “disaster on a scale we have never seen before.”
A Week Later…….
It is now Dec 9, 2010. The forest fire in the Carmel Mountains around Haifa, Israel, killed 42 people, destroyed about 250 homes, 17,000 people were evacuated, 5,000 acres (2,023.5 hectares) burned and about 5,000,000 trees were lost.
But, let’s back up to that first night and a photo op that PM “Bibi” Netanyahu, like all politicians, just could not pass up. The Prime Minister of Israel embarked on “a visit to the scene by helicopter …”
My first thought was “He did WHAT?” I was concerned for his safety, of course.
After all, Israel is in the middle of a nuclear war being fought with little American nuclear weapons and hundreds of thousands of tons of nuclear munitions.
What goes around, comes around and uranium dust never goes away. The Prime Minister’s office, no doubt, got the memo from the UN International Fire Fighters on the re-suspension of uranium dusts during forest fires.
My second thought was “I wonder how much of a shot of re-suspended highly radioactive uranium oxide, and its lethal decay products, PM Netanyahu got while flying around in his helicopter? What an idiot!” that’s what I thought immediately, more or less.
Israeli Sperm and Eggs take a hit from DU
Just a few months ago, I did an article on a plummeting sperm count report from the Israeli Sperm Bank at University Hospital in Jerusalem. Long story short, all Israeli male teenagers make a sperm deposit at the University Hospital on entering their compulsory two years of military service.
The Israeli national sperm count has fallen 40% in less than ten years according to the Israeli Sperm Bank. Another eight years of this and Israel is extinct, history, a disappearing population; since 20% live sperm is considered baseline Sterility in men.
By now the Israeli guys are shooting blanks, mostly, when it comes to making babies. In the article I blamed pervasive uranium oxide radiation poisoning for the Israeli race to bottom – Extinction.
Sterility is one result of 20 years of uranium wars in Central and Western Asia, aka, the Middle East to Westerners. The military forces using uranium weapons are the US, the United Kingdom and Israel itself. Looks like using weaponized uranium poison gas is its own punishment for the Israeli troops and now the national leader. The leader of the Israelis, at least.
The third thing his deadly helicopter trip through Uranium smoke did: it explained the riddle of the insane actions of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) in using radioactive poison gas to bomb countries adjoining Israel. Since any Corporal on the battlefield knows the Army cannot control poison gas – no one can, it goes with the wind – there is only one conclusion left.
When all the possible answers are dismissed and only the improbable or impossible answers remain, then, the improbable/impossible is the answer. Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu and the IDF leadership are just plain old garden variety Stupid. They probably foolishly believed the American Defense Department Big Lie that radiation does not hurt you. After all, it was in the New York Times. Right?
Nothing else explains poison gas bombing your own country. Netanyahu and the IDF Generals are morons. No other explanation works. They can’t be trusted to run with knives or screwdrivers, much less 1,875 mph F-15s with 5,000 lb GBU-28 uranium poison gas bombs; both supplied by the American Pentagon.
30 Million Jews and No Babies?
There are about 30 Million Jews in the world today; including about 7 Million Jews in Israel. All Jews worldwide had best use all their Powers to ditch this schlemiel now. Netanyahu is as deadly as any mass murderer in history. No live Sperm = no more Jewish babies. It is that simple.
Do you have a better answer? Let’s hear it! All the forest fire did was recontaminate every man, woman, child and fetus in Israel – again! The uranium poison dust from the American Uranium Wars, the Lebanon and Gaza War, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Chernobyl, the Mayak fires, and all other nuclear activities, all re-suspended by the Mt Carmel fire.
Here’s what you got yourself into, Mr. Netanyahu. It is called the “photo-electric enhancement of background radiation.” The tiny radioactive particles that went through your skin and that you breathed into your body magnify Gamma and X-Ray Radiation by 583,365 times. This photo-electric enhancement effect has even been patented and used for radiotherapy.
That makes you, Mr Netanyahu, a walking, talking, out of control X-Ray Machine until the day you die. The high powered radioactivity won’t stop even then. Tell your staff of yes-men to dispose of your remains as Radioactive Waste.
Chris Busby Explains Why Uranium Is Bad For You (Part 1 & 2)
Dr. Chris Busby is a world famous physicist and an expert on Uranium.
“Fact (1) : Absorption of gamma and X-radiation is proportional to the fourth power of the atomic number Z.” See chart at 8:45.
Uranium binds “ferociously strongly” to DNA, Mr. Netanyahu. Scientists working for the American military and political leaders have known this since 1960, when you were only 11 years old.
Don’t feel like you are special or singled out, Mr Prime Minister. The American Politicians and military lied to you the same way they did to more than a million American Soldiers.
Want to shoot somebody? Get in line, Dude, err, … Mr Prime Minister, … get in line.
Ecological Development Biology: Intergrating Epigenetics, Medicine and Evolution Scott F. Gilbert and David Epel, December 2008, 459 pages, 182 illustrations, Sinauer
“42 People Died in Blaze,” Netanyahu flew to the scene by helicopter and said Israel had suffered a “disaster on a scale we have never seen before.”
The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten, *“schlemiel” Pronounced shleh-MEAL., to rhyme with “reveal.” McGraw-Hill Book Company.
1. A foolish person, a simpleton, “He has the brains of a shlemiel.”
2. A consistently unlucky or unfortunate person, a “fall guy”; a hard-luck type; a born loser; a submissive and uncomplaining victim. “That poor schlemiel always gets the short end of the stick.” A Yiddish proverb goes: “That schlemiel falls on his back and breaks his nose.”
3. A clumsy, butterfingered, all-thumbs, gauche type. “Why does a schlemiel like that ever try to fix anything?”
4. A social misfit, congenitally maladjusted. “Don’t invite that schlemiel to the party.”
Posted in PoliticsComments Off on DID PM NETANYAHU GET A LETHAL DOSE OF DU?
When it comes to finding ways to reduce the U.S. deficit, everything is on the table with one exception–more aid to Israel. And by the way, the following story can only be found in the two Israeli newspapers, Haaretz or the Jerusalem Post. I guess the American media have been ordered to keep this story silent as to not anger Americans who have to sacrifice with this budget deficit. This is just one more example as to the way the American media is controlled. The Associated Press never misses an opportunity to slam Iran or Syria or even the Palestinians, but when it’s something embarrassing to Israel the presses are silent.
Barack Obama’s administration has allocated $205 million dollars toward funding Israel’s advanced anti-rocket system, the Iron Dome.
The House of Representatives made the decision 212-206 after it passed a continuing resolution regarding funds for the 2011 fiscal year.
“This was a priority of Congress and President Obama, and it is the first funding of its kind for this important short-range rocket and artillery shell defense system,” said Representative Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.
The funds are in addition to the more than $200 million allocated for the Arrow and David’s Sling, joint U.S.-Israel anti-missile systems.
“This funding sends a strong message, to both our enemies and allies, by providing more total dollars than ever before toward these rocket and missile defense programs,” said Rothman. “This is only the latest example that when it comes to defense, military, and intelligence cooperation, the relationship between the U.S. and Israel has never been stronger.”
[If this relationship is so strong, then why did Israel refuse the request by the U.S. State Department to extend the settlement building freeze another 90 days? It’s obvious that this relationship is strong only if the U.S. keeps feeding Israel with more weapons. See how fast this strong relationship ends if the U.S. would say no to Israel.]
“Given the scrutiny that our nation is appropriately giving to every dollar expended for all purposes – including the defense of the United States and its allies – it is a mark of the great importance of these projects that they were included in this funding bill,” Rothman added.
The U.S. Congress passed last week the Obama administration’s initiative to provide Israel with the grant to procure Iron Dome batteries just before the system aced its final test over the summer.
To date, the Defense Ministry has bought two batteries. Several months ago, the ministry’s top brass estimated the sum the Americans allotted would be sufficient for procuring eight or nine batteries, half of what is necessary to protect the Negev and the Galilee from short- and intermediate-range rockets and missiles.
The defense establishment is still weighing the balance between the number of radars for the systems to the number of intercept missiles necessary. Different estimates suggest that each intercept missile will cost $40,000.
Posted in USAComments Off on U.S. ALLOCATES $205 MILLION FOR ISRAEL’S IRON DOME ANTI-ROCKET SYSTEM