Posted on 28 December 2010.
I woke up today, walked out my door. To the right was the insanely vivid blue of the Mediterranean. Omar al-Mokhtar was quiet. I jumped in a cab, went to a demonstration, and on the way heard about the latest sordid, crappy little thing the Israeli army had done to the people living here: six fishermen were kidnapped off the coast of Gaza City late last night, maybe as I was looking at the stars cutting through the black weft of the night sky, so bizarrely visible in Gaza when in a normal city there’d be far too much light pollution to see the stars so starkly and clearly.
One blinked oddly and too brightly, too close to be a star: a drone, hovering over the water slightly to the south. North, from the roof, I could see the flames licking out from the rig drilling the oil discovered offshore, and farther north, Ashkelon, obscenely and tauntingly glimmering, as if to say to the people living here, This is the life we have, and you don’t have and won’t have, and it’s something so simple that it’s nearly surreal: just having electricity on 24 hours a day, something so taken for granted that a blackout in a Western metropolis is a couple-times-a-century-event. Here’s it’s quotidian.
The Israeli army refrained for firing today. I was surprised. Not only had I been sure they’d fire but I’d been sure they’d hit someone too. We tramped along a dirt road with the dust nearly choking the baked air. The lack of rain and the odd heat is palpable, and my landlord tells me that it was exactly this temperature—hot days, a slight chill at a night, and a preternaturally calm sea—when the Cast Lead massacre occurred two years ago. We briefly commemorated the massacre. The Local Initiative team carried posters of several children who had been murdered in the area of Beit Hanoun during the assault. We went by the house of one of their fathers to pay our respects.
There was some singing, some chanting, some speeches. I hadn’t been on this land in six months. The Israeli army had dug a 6-foot-deep trench alongside a coiled-wire fence that the Local Initiative team had started to dismantle. They planted the Palestinian flag and a frond in the ground several hundred meters from the fence, a reminder to the Israeli soldiers manning the watchtowers that it’s Palestinian land. Even that symbolic resistance is infuriating—frequently such flags are uprooted. Then we turned around, went by the ICRC office, where Saber asked the newly-arrived manager to carry out the minimalist recommendations of the Goldstone Report, and we went home.
The next attack is on everyone’s mind. They speculate: one university professor told me that it would probably be a set of surgical strikes, hitting government targets, compressed into a two or three day hell. Any day now, he said. And, he asked, who would notice, or care? It would pass like a quick storm and be gone from people’s minds before the Western journalists left their quarters in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv to try to pass through the Erez Crossing, with the aftereffect of the government here further embittered, the population traumatized by again seeing F-16s, missiles, and apaches filling the air.
My landlord told me of hurrying past the government building in a taxi instead of by foot for fear of the next bombing. A friend tells me in response to my question of how she’s been that they are simply surviving. This is what life is like here, in the penumbra of death’s shadow, with death tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after. What they wish is so plain and regular that it’s nearly pathetic in its sheer normalcy, and what’s sickening is the wrenching denial of that wish by a state that insists that it has the right to abuse another people merely for being. What they want is for the Goldstone Report’s findings to be taken seriously.
The Bedouin farmers in Karara want to farm their land in the border areas, they want an NGO to come and repair their well to irrigate their crops. As my friend Mona al-Farra writes, “We are a nation that is looking forward towards a normal peaceful life. We deserve it.” They deserve it and we withhold it, demanding one concession after another: submit to dispossession, submit to demilitarization, submit to humiliation, just take it. And they never will, and when we reap the hell we sow here day-in and day-out, we will know exactly whom to debit.
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Posted in Gaza
Posted on 28 December 2010.
Obama’s Liberty Problem: Why Indefinite Detention by Executive Order Should Scare the Hell Out of People
President Obama proposal to create a special new legal system by Executive Order is an extremely dangerous end run around Congress and the Judiciary.
The right to liberty is one of the foundation rights of a free people. The idea that any US President can bypass Congress and bypass the Courts by issuing an Executive Order setting up a new legal system for indefinite detention of people should rightfully scare the hell out of the American people.
Advisors in the Obama administration have floated the idea of creating a special new legal system to indefinitely detain people by Executive Order. Why? To do something with the people wrongfully imprisoned in Guantanamo. Why not follow the law and try them? The government knows it will not be able to win prosecutions against them because they were tortured by the US.
Guantanamo is coming up on its ninth anniversary – a horrifying stain on the character of the US commitment to justice. President Obama knows well that Guantanamo is the most powerful recruitment tool for those challenging the US. Unfortunately, this proposal for indefinite detention will prolong the corrosive effects of the illegal and immoral detentions at Guantanamo rightly condemned world-wide.
The practical, logical, constitutional and human rights problems with the proposal are uncountable.
Our system provides a simple answer developed over hundreds of years – try them or release them. Any other stop gap measure like the one proposed merely pushes the problem back down the road and back into the courts again. While it may appear to be a popular political response, the public will soon enough see this for what it is – an unconstitutional usurping of power by the Executive branch and a clear and present danger to all Americans
The US government has never publicly said who can be prosecuted and who they have decided to hold indefinitely because they think they cannot successfully charge them. Now, after holding people for years and years, they think they can create a new set of laws by Executive Order which will justify their actions?
Recall that dozens of the very same people who would now be subject to indefinite detention have already been cleared for release by the government. How can indefinite detention of people we already cleared to go home possibly be legal?
The government proposes essentially to detain people for being a potential member or friend of the enemy force – a standard that is too open ended and inconsistent with the US and international laws of war.
Our criminal process, requiring charge, conviction and other safeguards, is the primary means by which the government may deprive a person of liberty, with carefully limited exceptions.
“Freedom from bodily restraint has always been at the core of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause from arbitrary governmental action.” The Supreme Court has “always been careful not to “minimize the importance and fundamental nature of the individual’s right to liberty.” Foucha v Louisiana, 504 US 71 (1992)
The liberty of all persons is protected by the criminal process guarantees, among other rights: the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; probable cause for arrest; right to counsel, right to indictment by grand jury; right to trial by an impartial jury; the right to a speedy public trial; the presumption of innocence; the right that government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt every fact necessary to make out the charged offense; a privilege against self-incrimination; the right to confront and cross examine witnesses; the right to present witnesses and use compulsory process; the duty on the government to disclose exculpatory evidence; prohibition against double jeopardy; prohibition against bills of attainder and ex post facto laws; and a prohibition against selective prosecution.
For hundreds of years judges and legislatures and advocates for justice have struggled to create protections for our liberty. People who suggest bypassing all of these protections of our liberty in the name of safety or politics do our people and our history a grave disservice.
Some wrongfully suggest that preventive detention by the Executive would be allowed because the law already allows civil confinement. But there are only very narrow circumstances when limited civil confinement is allowed by law. It is clear government cannot use civil detention or anything like it to effect punishment or to escape the comprehensive constraints of the criminal justice system. Kansas v Crane, 534 US 407, 412 (2002) (noting that civil commitment must not “become a mechanism for retribution or general deterrence.
Further, preventive detention also violates international law, specifically the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), article 9.
The proposal to create a special new legal system by Executive Order is an end run around Congress and the Judiciary. It will lengthen the illegal detentions in Guantanamo and will force this entire system back into the courts for years. It will further damage US efforts to portray itself as a fair country of laws, and will threaten the liberty of every single US citizen who is not in Guantanamo because it will damage the due process guarantees which have built up over the years to protect each one of us.
Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. He is also a member of the legal collective of School of Americas Watch.
Posted in USA
Posted on 28 December 2010.
By Brig Samson S Sharaf
The message being sent to Pakistan in the post Wikileaks scenario is ominous and bereft of diplomatic dignity. “We will continue to insist to Pakistani leaders that terrorist safe havens within their borders must be dealt with,” said President Obama. Retired Gen. Jack Keane, put it more bluntly: “Don’t just put a finger in their chest, put a fist in their chest.” As predicated in my columns, USA is expanding the drone war into Pakistan while our national leaders continue to put a façade of protest in the backdrop of tacit compliance.
If USA is adamant in pushing its own interests in Afghanistan and remains insensitive to Pakistan’s security, ethnic and other social concerns, Pakistan is well within its right to pursue its own ends of policy. After all it was these objectives that formed the basis of Pakistan’s cooperation with the US in the war against USSR and allowed free access to Afghans for over two decades. More than 70% population of Afghanistan is ethnically, linguistically and culturally linked to Pakistan. Despite the Durand Line, the ethnic Pashtuns and Gujjars have been flowing to and fro for centuries. The Powindas, as we call them, have rights to grazing meadows, encampments and movements as if it was their own country. Cognitively they are as much Pakistani as those living on this side of the divide. A deliberate effort is now being made to label this cross border movement as sanctuaries and lump the blame for failures on Pakistan.
Pakistan’s objectives have been consistent and USA was aware of these sensitivities once it embarked on its Shock and Awe in Afghanistan. To expect Pakistan to forego these historic, cultural, family and religious linkages to the chagrin of its public sentiments and long term interests is tantamount to asking Pakistan’s surrender.
Agreed, that within the big power play, small countries enjoy little freedom of action, but as the war of non state actors expands, the lesson is clear; it is possible to resist and defy super powers with a cause that has public appeal. Non State Actors like Al Qaeda, Taliban and the Wikileaks have proved so and Nation states backed by its people must do so as well.
On the systemic spectrum of national power, these idiosyncratic notions of leadership, national character, morale and ability to seize fleeting opportunities is what all successful nations of the world have capitalised on. Many have reinvented themselves in crises. Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Germany, the Balkans, Iran, Venezuela and the people of Afghanistan poignantly demonstrate what national will and character can accomplish. Amongst these, countries have achieved indigenous self reliance while challenging the international equilibrium through prolonged struggles based on inherent motivations, dignity and self respect.
USA too went through this phase during the American Civil War but forgot the sociology of a conflict when it shifted its national purpose and strategy to the use of Long Arm for global dominance. As more economic centres to balance the US Global Dominance will emerge, the competition will stiffen and tensions heighten. Hence before this multilayered balance of power stabilises, USA seeks to permanently entrench itself in the region to reap resource benefits and dominate the underbelly of Russia and China. In the bargain, it also establishes a strategic presence in the Islamic Heartland that it perceives as a future threat much beyond the non state actors.
In this quest to seize the global resources of the future, US in the short and medium term will not hesitate to use its Long Arm through fanning, prolonging and expanding conflicts in the zones of strategic importance. The entire arc from West to Central Asia is one such zone of conflict in which USA factorises Israel and India to act as two important citadels on the flanks. Pakistan and Afghanistan are in the eye of this storm.
This entire zone lacks democratic credentials. Most of the countries in the region are Muslim with dictatorships and kingdoms supported by USA. The publicly acclaimed US slogan of bringing democracy is a farce to say the least. It supports dictators and divisive religious policies to cement its presence in the region to the extent of interventions at the micro levels. USA calls all the shots.
First in line are the dictators and kings who need a US umbrella for their survival and reciprocate the services by allowing their sovereignty to be nibbled. The Saudis will not hesitate to request USA to bomb Iran to pulp or choose to look the other way if Israel does so. Egyptians and Jordanians will look the other way when Israel kills and maims Palestinians or constructs illegal housings.
Then there are countries vacillating between dictatorships and sham democracies with weak institutions, dependant on US/Arab support for economic and political survival. These countries are also exposed to the strings of International Financial Institutions whose controls lie in Washington and represent another dimension of non state interventionism. Pakistanis will permit micro management of its affairs and look the other way when US drones kill more innocent than Al Qaeda. Afghans will play sides and stack away millions of dollars just in case they have to make the run once they are ousted.
Third are the sea of emotions of deprivation, political marginalisation, betrayal, strong feelings of ethno-religious identity and surviving on the fringe. Their political leaders in power do not represent their feelings. These are the neglected lot whose emotions overflow the brim; who can act violently to preserve their national identity whilst some could fall victims to the extremist agenda. These are the downtrodden that hold the key to the fleeting opportunities of national character and morale.
It is time to admit that the resistance to US occupation in Afghanistan is as much indigenous as it was during the British Afghan Wars and the Soviet Invasion. It is not led by the Taliban alone but also comprises politically and ethnically diverse groups such as Younis Khalis, Gulbadin Hikmatyar and Haqqanis. As the resistance increases, in Kanduz and northern Afghanistan, it also indicates that despite a decade, the fire of Afghan pride is conflagrating. If USA does not resort to engagement methods other than the long war, it assures that it will meet its biggest defeats at the hand of rag tags for the second time after Viet Nam.
It is high time the US Policy Makers realise; once bitten, twice shy.
Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf is a retired officer of Pakistan Army and a Political Economist.
Posted in USA
Posted on 28 December 2010.
Dayton, Ohio Chapter of Veterans for Peace represented at the 16 Dec 2010 Peace Protest at the White House.
It is important to emphasize that the reason why I’m spending so much time and energy focusing on – what – one War Protest in Washington, DC when over the past decade or so there have been hundreds?
Before Christmas, I went through every video posted on YouTube, Facebook (and other social media sites), and I was not surprise to see that there was enough independent coverage of this one event to make an hour documentary movie.
Point:The videos clearly show that mainstream media is (1) intentionally ignoring dissenting views on Iraq and Afghanistan (Media Blackout of the Wars – no surprise there), or worse yet (2) mainstream media is being prevented from getting anywhere near the war protesters by law enforcement efforts to keep both the media and public from getting anywhere near the Peace activists, even if mainstream media had an interest.
This after action report was sent into Veterans Today by Steve Fryburg, the Dayton Ohio rep for Veterans for Peace.
Bobby Hanafin, Veterans Issues and Peace Activist Editor, Veterans Today News Network
These are the times that try men’s souls…
Photo courtesy of Steve Fryburg
Steve Fryburg, of Dayton, participated in the Veterans for Peace action at the White House last week, and was arrested. That’s him looking at the camera. Below the picture is a little of what Steve wrote about the experience. Steve’s son was in Iraq at the start of the war, and he is himself a veteran.
“Share by all means. The media didn’t do anything with it and the public needs to know that Veterans, including a Police Officer, a Doctor, and many other Americans are willing to go to jail in increasing numbers, because our leaders won’t listen to reason about Afghanistan.
I felt I was in wonderful company. Most of us bonded out of jail, so we won’t have to return. The misdemeanor charge was failure to obey a lawful [police] order.
“I got out of jail at a little after 5pm and got back to my car by 6 to drive back to Ohio. I arrived back in Dayton around 3am. I had the honor of sharing a jail cell with Daniel Ellsberg for a little while during processing. He has always been one of my heroes so that made my day. Only bad part about it was my old body rebels against having my arms cuffed behind my back for several hours, so I’m feeling a little sore today. But compared to School of the Americas, I’m sure this was a picnic. As a law enforcement officer, it was a really strange feeling being on the receiving end of the arrest.”
The complete YouTube video footage I was able to shoot can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg7CsI679oE . The last part of the video I had stepped down from the fence to take another video shot and that is when the police got me, I was number 52 to be arrested. We, Veterans for Peace will be returning in April 2011 for another such action.
Chris Hedge (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and war correspondent) gave a very inspiring speech before the action that can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOde31QYbI0.
[Below is a moving photo Steve posted of the family members who had lost loved ones in Afghanistan in the last weeks. This was one of the most sad and touching images to come out of the civil disobedience action on 16 Dec 2010.]
Saturday, December 18, 2010
These are the times that try men’s souls…
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Thomas Paine, The Crises, 12-23-1776.
Bill Homans, [musician] Watermelon Slim (VVAW) was in D,C. in the company of other VVAW members, who were there in support of Veterans For Peace’s call to action for Civil Disobedience; that of chaining themselves to the White House fence at the end of a march from Lafayette park, to the White House. Slim had come to town with Zach Choate, a SouthEast Region IVAW member, that is an Operation Recovery activist and spokesperson.
Those in the photo below right (courtesy of Bill Perry), are Al Kovnat, Dr Jon Bjornson, Sam Adams, and Bill Perry of the Philly Chapter of VVAW, and Jim Baldridge (holding the flag staff) of the Baltimore Chapter. I have no idea who it was that is kneeling in front, or holding up the flag tip on the right side; but, thanks for being there with my brothers. These folks joined with others at the White House fence, and handcuffed or chained themselves to it in solidarity, and with unity of purpose; that of ending the continuing war in Afghanistan…all were arrested, as seen in the compelling video (below) of the speech by Chris Hedges, and the accompanying arrests of all Winter Soldiers present and accounted for…
In all, 131 Peace activists from Veterans for Peace (VFP), Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), including Daniel Ellsberg (member of VFP) and members of supporting organizations were arrested as a result of their Civil Disobedience.
It was reported that two-thirds were Veterans, and the remainder were from Code Pink and other organizations that were there to Take A Stand For Peace On Earth. They were unified in purpose in calling for an immediate end to the continuing war in Afghanistan.
Join us as the resistance continues to grow:
NO WE CAN’T
Cartoon from Veterans Today public domain source –
Posted in USA
Posted on 28 December 2010.
ADL TO ATTACK JOURNALISTS AND PUBLICATIONS TYING ISRAEL TO WIKILEAKS
“There is a list, the Bush administration’s “working group” that green-lighted 9/11. Of the five names on it, three are Jews. “
Last week, responding to a deluge of news reports tying Israel to Wikileaks, Julian Assange announced he finally planned to release 3700 cables from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, documents previously withheld from the public. In a press release, Assange said he planned the “dump” in 6 months but didn’t indicate how many other documents involving Israel were being withheld.
Veterans Today has been informed by sources within the ADL that, in coordination with Julian Assange’s announcement, they were “tasked” by the Tel Aviv government to begin operations against journalists and online publications that had let to Wikileaks being discredited as an Israeli intelligence operation. Sources indicate that Tel Aviv values Wikileaks as a vital asset in molding public opinion and providing cover for high risk operations.
ADL’s website is loading up with warnings and attacks, all defending Wikileaks and Julian Assange and attacking news sources that print materials either critical of Julian Assange or citing Israel’s involvement in Wikileak’s agreement to allow material critical of Israel to be censored.
“If we had Wikileaks up to speed, the Goldstone Report would never have been heard of at all. There isn’t anything that can’t be covered up by a Julian Assange scandal. I just hope something doesn’t come up where it gets so serious that Assange will have to be assassinated. He is really a loveable dupe.” (ADL source)
The ADL source cited publications www.opinion-maker.org and www.veteranstoday.com as the largest threats, followed by author Jeff Gates.
“We know we aren’t going to be able to reach their audience. Our job is to insulate our own base, America’s Jewish population, one increasingly sympathetic to progressive alternative publications. With Israel and President Obama at each others throats and 78% of America’s Jewish population having supported Obama in the presidential election, we could be playing with fire here.” (ADL source)
ISRAEL’S STRATEGY BACKFIRES
It isn’t a very well kept secret that the ADL and AIPAC are agencies of Israeli intelligence. Their litany of transgressions is being dragged into the open by former AIPAC Lobbyist Steve Rosen in his defamation lawsuit against that organization. In 2004, the FBI tried to close AIPAC down for spying, only to see their criminal cases blocked by Bush administration officials.
Now, with the ADL openly going after the press for reporting ties between Julian Assange and Israel and Assange’s agreement to allow Wikileaks to be censored by both Israel and press organizations working with them, has exposed Wikileaks to even more embarrassment.
ADL actions to publicly defend Wikileaks is blowing up in their faces.
“I have no idea what they were thinking back in Tel Aviv. What kind of idiot would try to keep the Wikileaks and Israel thing quiet and then have the ADL run around like maniacs calling people names. The ADL should keep to spray painting swastika’s on synagogues and sending articles to “Stormfront” and leave the thinking to people better equipped, if there still are people like that around….which I am not so sure of.” (ADL source)
9/11, IS THAT THAT WHAT IS BEING HIDDEN?
With 9/11 more and more in the public eye, especially with Fox News and Jesse Ventura’s “Conspiracy Theory” building a powerful case for involvement by the Bush administration in the planning and execution of 9/11 as a “false flag” terror attack, it is likely that Israel feels particularly vulnerable. If a solid tie between Israel and 9/11 is made, Israel will have its first real security problem since 1973.
“I never knew Assange was working for us, not even when he started attacking the 9/11 Truth movement. I really didn’t know for sure until a couple of days ago. As for 9/11, that’s something else. There are a couple of senior guys running around, saying they planned 9/11, not Mossad, military guys. I don’t know if they are bullshitters or not. They say it like this…’Of course, we did it, who else? We don’t care, say whatever you want, who needs to hide anything, we can do whatever we want there’
This is how the put it. I just don’t know what they are saying this or why they are saying it now. What I do know is that this Wikileaks thing, somehow 9/11 may be behind it.
There is a list, the Bush administration’s “working group” that green-lighted 9/11. Of the five names on it, three are Jews. ” (ADL Source)
Posted in Politics
Posted on 28 December 2010.
“LUCY, YOU GOT SOME ‘SPLAININ TO DO..”
Part of our continuing series, “Everything You Think You Know You Learned From A Liar,” we are going to talk a bit, a short talk as it is the holiday season, abou
t Semites. Semites are people from the Middle East, not a race, but a language group. There is no Semite or Semitic race and never has been. There are Semites, however, They are people who speak Semitic languages or, if we want to apply a more modern and inaccurate definition, folks from areas where those languages, Akkadian, Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Ge’ez, Hebrew, Maltese, Phoenician,
Tigre andTigrinya and several others were spoken.
Hebrew is one of these and Jews who come from areas where Hebrew was spoken, in continuity, as a language, can be Semites as are all Arabic speakers. Since half the Hebrew speakers, anecdotally of course are Americans and Arabic speakers are spread across the world, it is fair to pull the borders in, let’s say from Ethiopia to Turkey to the border of Iran and into the Arabian Peninsula.
So, when you are talking about Antisemitism, you are talking about people who hate folks from that region, a racial mix of fully African to generally Middle Eastern. Of course, when we use a linguistic group to describe a racial or religious division, we have automatically become liars. When Israel welcomes Jews from Africa, they are welcoming pure Semites, maybe the purest Semites in all of Israel.
So, how does this apply to Helen Thomas? Remember when she said that she wanted the Jews from Germany and Poland and Russia to go back home? Helen Thomas is a ProSemite. She may now be considered an extremist, a 90 year old rights activist dedicated to the Semite cause. The problem is, her definition of “Semite” is inclusive and others is, can we be kind and say, “selective?”
PROSEMITE, HELEN THOMAS
Her issue, of course, is that she believes that Zionism, the belief by Jews that all “original Semitic regions,” constitute “Greater Israel” and are the exclusive domain of what they consider an exclusive racial group that also practices the religion of Judaism. “Greater Israel” is, as Zionists describe it, all lands from the Nile in Egypt to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and south, including the Arabian Peninsula. This, pretty much, covers the regions of the original language group, the Semites, noticeably leaving out Ethiopia and other regions of Africa. As for why these areas are omitted, we have our suspicions based on more than a bit of controversy within Israel about “racial purity” and “African blood” but that’s another story for another day.
Thomas insists that “settlers” who are displacing Palestinians, pure “Semites” if there really is such a thing, which we know there isn’t, are mostly European. Despite attempts by pseudo-science to claim there is a Jewish gene, one some claim is tied to the last surviving Neanderthals, who fled to the Caucasus Mountains, no real ties between Jews and Neanderthals has ever been established. Neanderthals, with their larger brains and aggressive nature, well, we don’t need to go there. This kind of thinking befits the people who used to predict criminal behavior by measuring heads and checking for bumps. Phrenology?
THIS IS THE BEST PART
There isn’t a shred of real evidence that the Palestinians living in Judea when Israel became a state in 1947 hadn’t originally been Jews, many converted to Christianity and more later converted to Islam. After the Jewish revolt of 132-5 CE, Hadrian tried to expel the Jews. However, all he accomplished was changing the name of Judea to Syria-Palaestinia. The Jews remained. They are still there, living behind a 20 foot wall, land mines, barbed wire, living in Gaza, some, while others are in refugee camps in Lebanon or Jordan and some are still practicing Judaism. Welcome to the wonderful world of Historical Revisionism, Israeli style.
To the majority of Semites, whatever religion they were to embrace eventually, they shared some common influences, Hellenic certainly, later Byzantine and during the 7th Century onward, that of Islam. There was clearly a broad acceptance of Christianity among Jews. In 636, when Islam Muslims arrived in Jerusalem, it was an entirely Christian city. It wasn’t until the 11th century, Caliph Hakim VI (who believed himself to be a god), that the destruction of the Holy Sepulcher led to a series of Crusades, ever changing the political perceptions of the relationships in the region.
From that time to the beginning of the 20th century, almost every version of the history of the region you will read is total fabrication, no matter whose position it supports. We know the Ottoman Empire brought Jews from Europe to help with administration. Zionist sources claim these Jews from Germany, Poland, Russia and other areas of Eastern Europe had been driven there by the Romans during the early 2nd century. There is no proof of this, quite the contrary. There is, however, considerable proof that these Jews were of Khazar ancestry.
There is considerable controversy about the Khazars simply because most Jews alive today, perhaps well beyond “most” are of Khazar ancestry. Around 740 CE, a kingdom formed of tribal groups in Southern Russia, extending from Kazakhstan on the east to well into Eastern Europe on the west, the Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Moldova, even much of Hungary, chose to convert to Judaism. The regions covered by the vast Khazarian Empire included peoples of the Steppes, Turks but also the Slavic and even Nordic groups. For 200 years, this Jewish culture flourished but was eventually crushed, overrun and displaced. However, that culture and the Khazar Jews didn’t disappear, they simply stopped existing as a nation.
The Khazar Empire lasted into the 10th century, had a total population in the many millions with a proud history. While Charles Martel was stopping Islam from overrunning Europe in the West, it was the Khazars that kept Europe as Christian by blocking Muslim expansion into Europe from the east.
However, Zionist groups trying to ascribe “Semitic” ancestry to European Jews, despite their totally European appearance, have advanced wild theories to explain how, during the Roman era, Jews were resettled across, well, Khazaria and as far west as the Rhine River in Germany. These theories minimize and erase the Khazars for no other reason than to attempt to establish European Jews as “Semites” is a useful ploy in answering attacks on ethnic cleansing policies brought against Israel. Khazars are inferior Jews, it is claimed, because they lack “Semitic blood.” But, as we explained earlier, there are only Semitic languages, there is no such thing as “Semitic Blood.”
It is far easier and so much more profitable to credit Eastern Europe and Russia’s large Jewish population to bizarre theories of Roman era emigration than to the startling fact that those groups directly overlay the former Khazar Empire. This attempt to erase Khazarian history in order to justify removal of Palestinians based on wild suppositions about the racial ancestry of European practitioners of the Jewish religion an absurd and unsupportable hypothesis. That hundreds of academics, several Nobel Prize winners, have published “race based” papers supporting these suppositions is adequate reason to doubt all race based scholarship. Race based scholarship is, in fact, racism.
Zionists support the theory that, in and around 135 CE, Jews were expelled from Judea and resettled throughout the Roman Empire, thus accounting for the Jewish populations in Eastern Europe and Russia. Perhaps, might have wanted to have taken time to view a map of the Roman world of that era. Check the Empire’s northern borders from that period against what we know to be Jewish population patterns in Europe;
When one takes into account that this border was only held for a short period of time and that the many of the frontier regions were sparely settled, largely by former Roman soldiers, one or two questions might come to mind. There is no evidence of Jewish settlements in remote regions of the Empire nor is their evidence that Jews in significant numbers fled Israel to live among the Gothic tribes.
This map depicting Jewish populations in Europe as supplied by the ADL, (Anti-Defamation League) gives clear ideas as to size and distribution of Europe’s Jewish population prior to the Holocaust. If the maps are superimposed, a pattern emerges placing Europe’s Jews either within the borders of Khazaria or close but distinctly outside the any areas of long term Roman control or established non-military settlements.
At the beginning of the 20th century, almost the entire population of Palestine were Semites. Of Palestine’s Semitic population of 700,000, approximately 70,000 or 10% were Jews. The majority were Muslim and Christian Semites.
Again, we return to the Helen Thomas issue. If Palestinian Semites, many, maybe even most of original Jewish “stock,” are forcibly removed from their land because of misconceptions regarding their race and replaced by European Jews who claim Semitic ancestry, what are the issues?
Can land be taken from one group of Semites and given to another group of Semites based on religion? Is this not a violation of Article II of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Israel is signatory?
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Is there, perhaps, some history of colonial exploitation, ethnic cleansing and mass murder based on interpretations of the wishes of invisible supreme beings? Haven’t such practices been widely discredited? With, literally tens of thousands such beings currently worshiped by the people of member states in the United Nations, everything from shark gods to statues with arms and legs coming from every direction, can we fairly establish a criteria for which being has the authority of life and death over the worshipers of another? Doesn’t Article II apply here also?
Whether Jews wanting to settle in Palestine are or are not of ethnicity directly related to one of the Semitic language groups of the Middle East, how does this diminish the rights of any other person or group? The idea of wanting to establish that European Jews settling in Palestine have superior legal status because of “Semitic” ancestry is, in itself, reasonable proof of intent to use this status, real or imagined, to violate the basic human rights of others.
‘BACK WHERE WE CAME FROM’
Helen Thomas may have stepped a bit far when telling people to “go back to where they came from.” She grew up in Detroit but is from a Lebanese-American family. In fact, not only are we all from some place else, when we go back far enough, none of us can guess where that might be. Out of convenience, I guess, some groups claim all life goes back only some 6000 years.
The real issue isn’t European Jews who settled in Israel returning to Europe. The issue is the removal of an existing population, Semites for sure, of Jewish ancestry in all likelihood, because members of an technologically and particularly militarily advanced society have the power to take what they wish and believe they can use race and historical fabrication, no matter how shoddy and haphazard, to cover their tracks.
I can’t imagine many people who are in a position to criticize Helen Thomas for a minor misstatement. What is clear is that those who attack Helen Thomas do so as in order to cover crimes against humanity as outlined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Posted in USA
Posted on 28 December 2010.
WikiLeaks and the press
26 December 2010
Paul J. Balles views the self-serving criticism of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, offered by a range of media but argues that, ultimately, the whistleblower website’s exposure of cover-ups and promotion of transparency justify its actions.
The press is down on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for all the wrong reasons.
They ought to be after Assange for giving governments reasons for censorship – just the opposite effect of the transparency he presumably wanted to promote.
“What is the press after him [Julian Assange] for? Whatever happens to suit the politics or niche of their publication or network.”
What is the press after him for? Whatever happens to suit the politics or niche of their publication or network.
Scandal sheets are going after Assange for an alleged sexual offence in Sweden, where a couple of his consensual sex partners admitted that they wouldn’t have pressed charges if Assange had willingly been tested for HIV.
The gossip sheets have been denigrating Assange for social ineptitude. Stories about his dictatorial rudeness seem to abound in these rumour mills.
A story appearing in one of the gossip sheets reports that an American journalist said: “Mr Assange was unusually rude, and when he offered him a copy of his recent, well-reviewed book, he said: ‘Don’t bother. I’d only throw it away.’ After that, he says Mr Assange ignored him, focusing intently on his girlfriend instead.”
Another newspaper has been trying to bring Andy Coulson to book for his alleged role in the News of the World phone hacking affair but has no compunction in revealing nuggets of gossip and information to the world obtained illegally by WikiLeaks.
Other reporters have questioned Assange’s belief in total openness, saying that national security is at risk and should be a consideration.
Some of those same newspapers enjoy adding that Assange “delights in asking politicians what they have to hide” but doesn’t believe in total openness for himself.
The Daily Mail claims: “He preaches openness but demands privacy. He reveals ‘secrets’ but 99 per cent are prurient gossip. He’s accused of rape but won’t face his accusers. Why do the left worship the WikiLeaks ‘god?”
The Jerusalem Post doesn’t seem to think Assange is such a bad guy. None of the cables from WikiLeaks about Israel embarrassed or irritated Israelis.
Judith Levy asks: “How has Israel responded to the WikiLeaks information dump? Mostly with a shrug.”
She adds: “What revelations there were about us are mostly positive, and they fall predominantly in the ‘Friends You Didn’t Know You Had’ category.”
Could it be that those who send cables know that Israelis spy on everything? Diplomats don’t dare expose uncomfortable truths about Israel.
Dutch Business Insider SAI, as might be expected, revealed concern about WikiLeaks that affect business.
“Two young Dutch hackers,” they relate, “who attacked sites like Visa in protest at actions against WikiLeaks were arrested, and now one of them gave an interview.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that “Bank of America Corporation, thought to be a potential target of WikiLeaks, became the latest US company to ban transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for WikiLeaks.”
Yahoo News claims: “Assange really didn’t like last month’s New York Times profile of him – so much so, apparently, that he opted against giving the Times an advanced look at the State Department cables his organization began publishing…”
Adds Yahoo: “It’s not the first time Assange has cut off a news organization following a WikiLeaks profile that he didn’t consider to be completely accurate.”
Investigative historian and journalist Gareth Porter, writing in Counterpunch, revealed how Russians challenged the existence of a mystery missile the US claims Iran acquired from North Korea.
But readers of the two leading US newspapers never learned key facts about the document. According to Porter, WikiLeaks revealed how the press has been complicit in cover-ups by the government.
That alone should justify WikiLeaks’ efforts to expose cover-ups and promote transparency – even in the press.
Posted in Politics
Posted on 28 December 2010.
I’m afraid this whole media storm around Assange reminds me of the whole O.J. Simpson circus in a way.
I recall it very distinctly because I was a single payer activist. The week of his arrest (1993) was the same week health care reform (after being headline news for a year) died a quiet death in Congress.
So what is the corporate media trying to conceal by beating Assange’s sex life to death?
Most of the information in the recent cables release is already widely available on the Internet.
At the same time I find it surprising to find absolutely nothing about the “strategic” reasons the US is at war in Pakistan and Afghanistan.Nothing about the Pentagon agenda to foster the secession of oil and mineral rich Balochistan from Pakistan as a US client state – just like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and other former Soviet republics.
Posted in Politics
Posted on 28 December 2010.
The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of a love that unites and binds the universe but also exists deepest within each one of us: Allen L Roland
To me, now more than ever, the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of a never ending love. Not the love we think of in desiring or possessing someone else but rather ~ the whole sublime aspect of conscious unconditional love which seeks only the perfection of its object and is, at the deepest level, the underlying and uniting force of the Universe ~ the Unified Field .
The birth of Jesus is, in reality, the awareness of that love in human form ~ but all of us are capable of loving that deeply if we will but surrender to what is deepest within ourselves.
Interestingly enough, the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible accurately translates the word “young woman” rather than “virgin” in Mathew’s First testament prophecy about Jesus ~ “ Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”
Thus, every child born should be seen as an emissary of love on a visit to a planet that is in the process of uniting to that same Unified Field of love, joy and soul consciousness.
Jesus then becomes an evolutionary forerunner for a love and state of soul consciousness that is deepest within us all ~ and a love which we all unconsciously seek in our individual quests to find and celebrate our authentic selves.
The best analogy for this love is the SUN which shines on everyone, from the lowest to greatest, and without which we and the planet could not survive.
However, perhaps this 3 minute rendition of John Lennon’s Happy Christmas is more appropriate for a world that would rather kill than love and ends with an appropriate Mahatma Ghandi quote An eye for an eye will eventually make us all blind.
Now connect this universal love and urge to unite with the Winter Solstice and we can see how the Sun emerging from its yearly descent is comparable to an unconditional love that never ends. If you believe in love that will be more than enough this Christmas.
Christmas is the time to honor those who have unconditionally loved us for that love still lives in our hearts.
For example, I have a permanent memory as a young child of my Grandfather playing Santa Claus one Christmas and watching with delighted joy as he slowly made his way up the snowy walkway to the front door. I could feel love leap from my heart to my grandfather and that love joined me to an unfathomable love deepest within myself.
My whole life has been a quest to feel that deeply again and share that place of delight and joy with my partner, my family, my friends, my clients and the world ~ for the true gift my grandfather gave me was the authentic, delightful and unconditional gift of himself.
I can feel and see now how my beloved granddaughters Sofia and Ellen Anna are loving me from the same deep place I loved my grandfather ~ and they are using that love, as I have, to grow and draw on as they slowly fully experience themselves and life.
As such, Christmas is the celebration of a profound love that exists not only beyond time and space but also beneath our deepest fears, aloneness and despair.
When you embrace this love ~ you will never feel alone.
ONLY LOVE UNITES AND HEALS
Posted in World
Posted on 28 December 2010.
Demand that Julian Assange of Wikileaks Offer a Retraction and Apology
By Paul Sheridan for Veterans Today (revised)
“I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies like 9/11…”
Julian Assange, July 19, 2010
For perspective we need to review at least two quotes made by the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange. In the December 8, 2010 edition of The Australian, in a front-page article entitled, Don’t Shoot the Messenger for Revealing Uncomfortable Truths, Assange opens with an exact quote from 1958 originally made by The Australian’s owner:
“In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.”
How was it arranged that the avowed Zionist Rupert Murdoch would offer Assange safe haven? What led to this cozy relationship between Assange and Murdoch, a well-established and notorious propagandist? In an exclusive interview of December 27, 2010, The Sunday Times of London, another Murdoch rag, announced that Assange agreed to a $1.5 million autobiography deal. Presumably Murdoch’s promotion of the new book will also occur.
But the second, seemingly foundational quote from Assange occurred earlier this year. In the July 19th edition of the Belfast Telegraph in an article entitled, Wanted by the CIA: Julian Assange – Wikileaks founder, the reader finds the following notorious exchange with Assange:
“His obsession with secrecy, both in others and maintaining his own, lends him the air of a conspiracy theorist. Is he one? ‘I believe in facts about conspiracies,’ he says, choosing his words slowly. ‘Any time people with power plan in secret, they are conducting a conspiracy. So there are conspiracies everywhere. There are also crazed conspiracy theories. It’s important not to confuse these two. Generally, when there’s enough facts about a conspiracy we simply call this news.’ What about 9/11? ‘I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud.’ What about the Bilderberg conference? ‘That is vaguely conspiratorial, in a networking sense. We have published their meeting notes.’”
I am concerned that there is nothing vague about the true purpose of the Assange quote which relates to the criminal conspiracy that resulted in September 11, 2001. The only way my concern will be assuaged is by a full public retraction of the Assange vitriol that 9/11 was a “false conspiracy.” But before I formally make that demand, let us review a few items related to Wikileaks:
(1) There are no credible references/sources that prove that “9/11 nutters” have been haranguing Assange. None. This remains an unsubstantiated claim. This applies to all the diversionary nonsense about “people” (whoever they are, and never identified) allegedly demanding that Assange indulge his “talents” as a 9/11 researcher, a journalist, a member of the 9/11 Truth Movement, and on and on.
However, even if one assumes that Assange has been harassed, does it not seem at least a bit suspicious that this unsubstantiated/unreferenced assumption applies ONLY to 9/11 and “9/11 nutters”? Those are the only conspiracy people that have harassed him? This is so utterly absurd on its face that only Rupert Murdoch sycophants would believe it.
And even if we assume this ‘9/11 only’ absurdity, then the obvious question is: So what?! If Assange is merely a conduit, as so many supporters have clamored, then implicitly he has no expertise in anything, never mind a subject as complex as 911. Therefore the “false conspiracy” slander he made in July 2010 has no basis whatsoever and, if nothing else, reflects directly on his intelligence and integrity. Those avoiding that latter fact should be shunned. Again, focus is needed on the Assange quote portion, “I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies like 9/11…”
(2) Assuming that lots of assorted nut cases have harassed Assange regarding lots of different subjects, then the question is no longer merely “So what?”. It now becomes, “Why is it we have not heard him besmirch those other assorted nut cases as well, and doing-so as vehemently as he did when singling-out 911? If someone can provide a reliable answer to that question, I would happy to receive it.
(3) Therefore, in all cases and at all levels, the Assange 9/11 “false conspiracy” statement must be openly condemned. Assange and his supporters cannot demand that we take him seriously, while allowing such a stupid statement to remain unchallenged. Alternatively, I am confident that Larry Silverstein, Phillip Zelikow, Binyamin Netanyahu, Susan Ginsburg, Michael Chertoff, Michael Sherman, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, the 911 Commission, Popular Mechanics, major American universities, et al. loved and perhaps orchestrated this Assange outburst!
(4) Maybe a blatantly obvious context is needed to assist Assange’s alleged integrity. Is he willing to make his “false conspiracy” statement in the presence-of and to the faces of:
9/11 victim families whose relatives and friends were told by EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman that “the air is safe to breath”?
The family members recently featured in the “Building what?” televisions ads?
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth?
Pilots for 9/11 Truth?
Firefighters for 9/11 Truth?
The friends and family members of former FBI Agent John O’Neill?
What remains of the nation of Iraq?
What remains of the nation of Afghanistan?
What remains of Palestine and Gaza?
(5) Let us examine the converse: I know of no person (of integrity), that has studied and become qualified to discuss 9/11, that has reviewed the other Assange “conspiracies for war or mass financial fraud” and later singled out those individual conspiracies as false.
(6) I hereby openly challenge anyone to prove me incorrect on the following: Given his current associations and circumstances, Assange cannot and will never retract his 9/11 “false conspiracies” slander. This reality will prevail despite the recent Rupert Murdoch Fox News reports about 9/11.
Recently Anthony Lawson uploaded a YouTube video entitled, Sex, Lies, Iran, Israel and WikiLeaks, wherein he proposes that if a Julian Assange did not emerge “the CIA would have invented him.” I am certainly not the only person that is prudently suspicious of Assange.
I hereby openly challenge Julian Assange to publicly retract and apologize for his 9/11 “false conspiracy” statement.
Paul V. Sheridan
Several comments point out that Julian Assange is not from Sweden, as my first edition had incorrectly stated, but from Australia. The corrected version is posted above. The author apologizes for the mistake.
Posted in USA