Archive | September 9th, 2011

IsraHell Wages Lawfare Against Gaza Flotilla

NOVANEWS 
Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap

Lawfare is bloodless warfare.

by Philip Giraldi 

I have already reported how “lawfare,” which was defined by Air Force Deputy Judge Advocate General Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap following 9/11, is becoming the new hot button for defenders of Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s foreign policies.

Using the law itself to subvert existing constitutional arrangements and, ironically, to undermine legal restraints has been around for quite a while, having been developed by Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt in the 1930s. In its contemporary American version, lawfare initially was used by progressives to threaten unindicted war criminals and to take the offensive against egregious violations of civil rights, such as at Guantanamo Bay prison. But it has now been adopted by governments and government-supported entities to tie up opponents using lawsuits and other forms of litigation.

Lawfare is bloodless warfare. When it is used by a government or an officially sponsored group, it has two aspects. First, it can be used to expand government prerogatives, making what was illegal legal and indemnifying those government employees who have broken the law. Second, it can serve as a tool to punish those who oppose government policies. Making the illegal legal is what John Yoo and Jay Bybee did in the George W. Bush White House when they issued legal judgments supporting torture. It is also what the Barack Obama administration has been doing in obtaining legal advice in expanding the FBI use of national security letters and in saying that the war against Libya is constitutional. The Obama administration has also protected government employees through granting de facto immunity to torturers by refusing to allow the Justice Department to prosecute them. It has used lawfare extensively to defend itself against criticism and whistle-blowers by citing the state-secrets privilege to stop legal challenges, making government employees essentially free from any accountability.

Sued by Israelis for Terrorism Financing ?

The Israeli government and its American supporters have caught on to the potential of the legal weapon and are increasingly using lawsuits to tie up and punish opponents and critics. The New York State Supreme Court recently ruled that a lawsuit filed by a group of 84 Israelis against the Bank of China can proceed in U.S. courts even though none of the plaintiffs are U.S. citizens and the alleged crime took place outside the United States. The plaintiffs, who claim to be victims of terrorist bombings and rocket attacks carried out by Islamic Jihad and Hamas in 2006 and 2007, are asserting that the Bank of China enabled the attacks by providing wire-transfer services to both groups. The plaintiffs’ lawyer argued successfully that anyone can sue in American courts against any organization that the State Department has labeled as “terrorist.”

The law was also exploited in an attempt to stop June’s Gaza flotilla. A lawsuit filed in federal court in New York City claimed that the sponsoring organization, the Free Gaza Movement, was raising money and preparing ships to be used in “hostilities” against American “ally” Israel. This would be a violation of the U.S. Neutrality Act. The suit was initiated immediately after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department made clear that they were considering even harsher measures, such as charging flotilla participants with “material support of terrorism” under the PATRIOT Act.

The New York lawsuit was filed by a U.S. citizen with the assistance of the Shurat HaDin, or the Israel Law Center, which was established as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) to use the law against groups that are perceived as being hostile to Israel. It is headed by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and her husband, Avi, who have described their organization as a means of “fighting back,” which is particularly appropriate for Israel because, they say, “the Jews invented law.”

The organization works closely with the Israeli government even though it describes itself as an NGO. It received marching orders to stop the Gaza flotilla at all costs, as well as an offer of full support, directly from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. With Netanyahu’s backing, the group asked United States Attorney General Eric Holder to take steps to stop the American participants.The group also approached Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who obligingly wrote a letter to Holder suggesting that the flotilla passengers might be prosecuted as Neutrality Act violators and terrorism supporters.

Rick Perry, Texas Gov.

The group also approached Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who obligingly wrote a letter to Holder suggesting that the flotilla passengers might be prosecuted as Neutrality Act violators and terrorism supporters.

Dershan-Leitner explains the passion behind Perry’s support: “I once spoke at a mission that Perry took part in, in Israel. And he approached me and said ‘I love what you do. It’s amazing what you do. If you ever need help combating Israel’s enemies, I’m here to assist.’”

Shurat HaDin harasses targeted groups with litigation so that they become ineffective or, even better, bankrupted by legal costs. Shurat HaDin was also behind the filing of a lawsuit in Greece claiming, incorrectly, that the flotilla ships were engaged in hostilities and also that they had not complied with Greek safety regulations. The suits in New York and Athens were palpably of doubtful validity, but once the legal process started grinding, all that was needed was a friendly judge in either location to jeopardize the sailing.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

The Greek government, needing a friendly White House to avoid economic default, was happy to oblige. Responding to the Shurat HaDin lawsuit, the Greek minister of civil protection declared that Gaza was an “illegal” destination port for ships departing Greece. He then ordered a meticulous inspection of the vessels in the flotilla, grounding six or seven over contrived safety issues.

Shurat HaDin’s website claims that it is “fighting for the rights of hundreds of terrorist victims.” In its relentless assault on the Gaza flotilla, it also went after private companies that would provide goods and services to the vessels involved. Intimidation was the name of the game. It boasted, “We are continuing our legal battle against the Islamic terrorists and extremist NGOs organizing the naval flotilla to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Last week we targeted the international insurance companies … [and] today … Shurat HaDin sent warning letters to the UK- and U.S.-based global satellite company INMARSAT, stating that it may be liable for massive damages and criminal prosecution if it provides communication services to ships used by suspected terror organizations in the Gaza flotilla planned for late June.”

Israel’s lawfare center has now expanded its activities by initiating legal action against its own citizens and foreigners connected to any and all flotillas. In 2010, Shurat HaDin petitioned the courts to hold indefinitely all detainees captured during that year’s tragic flotilla, which was intercepted by Israeli commandos, who killed nine Turks on the grounds that they were terrorist supporters. The courts rejected the demand, so Shurat Ha Din tried again. This year, on June 29, it supported the filing in Israeli courts of a “private criminal prosecution” against 13 named passengers who sailed on the flotilla of 2010. The suit contends that the 13 supported terrorist activity by being part of the flotilla.

Curiously, the suit was filed not by Shurat HaDin but by two individuals who claim to be reserve soldiers and who contend that they and their colleagues would be placed at risk by flotillas and might be subject to unprovoked attack while going about their military duties. The intention is clearly to create a legal precedent that any and all flotillas and similar humanitarian efforts should be regarded as support of terrorism, which would permit the Israeli government to bring terrorism charges against all the individuals involved. It would also permit friendly governments like the United States to follow up with their own prosecutions.

To their credit, the Israeli courts appear to be disinclined to proceed with a criminal case against the 13, none of whom is currently in Israel, and there are certain anomalies in the presentation. The alleged terrorist entity that is being supported and is the target of the petition is clearly Hamas, but the group is never named. Also, the two plaintiffs, Lior Tsuker of Kibutz Alon and Or Yirmihau Lipman of Tel Aviv, cannot be positively identified by independent investigators. According to court documents, the two plaintiffs claim that they are acting on behalf of the active-duty soldiers who were involved in stopping the flotilla who cannot be named because doing so would invite retaliation in the form of their identities appearing on lists of war criminals maintained in various jurisdictions in Western Europe, an indication that lawfare can sometimes work in two directions.

Amid all the sound and fury, it is important to recall that none of the vessels involved in the 2010 flotilla incident ever reached either Israeli or Gazan territory. They were intercepted in international waters. At that point, the passengers and crews had done absolutely nothing, illegal or otherwise. When the boats were hauled into the port of Ashdod, no weapons were found on any vessel.

Defining the flotilla’s organizers as terrorism supporters is a cheap trick, but if it passes muster in Israel, all it takes is an American judge or prosecutor to buy into the argument and bring about an indictment of any American citizen who tries to break Israel’s Gaza blockade. Eric Holder would hardly object, and it is not unimaginable that the Justice Department would make criticism of Israel de facto and de jure a crime in the United States. Could the accused be convicted in an American court “of terrorism support” given that they had done nothing illegal, particularly in light of their First Amendment rights?

Maybe not, but stranger things have happened in the past 10 years. Since lawfare as practiced by Shurat HaDin is little more than an instrument to intimidate and threaten, dragging flotilla participants into court and forcing them to pay for lawyers will be seen as a victory. More disturbing than the actions of obvious Israeli partisans like Nitsana Darshan-Leitner is the willingness of the Obama administration to go along with the charade and the enthusiasm of Republican governor and presidential wannabe Rick Perry to join in. When the U.S. criminal justice system falls in line and plays the Israeli game, we will all be in trouble.

Original source: Antiwar

FREEDOM FLOTILLA SOLIDARITY DEMONSTRATION

ustogaza.org

Posted in Gaza1 Comment

Let’s Talk “Turkey,”

NOVANEWS 

General Kosaner Resigns

Press Lies Mislead America About Major NATO Ally

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Turkey, long an American ally and NATO member, just broke off diplomatic relations with Israel.  We know that much.  Everything else reported in the US about Turkey is false, dangerously false.  The worst lies are the reports that Turkey’s democratic government, freely elected, is “Islamist” and “extremist.”  This is something reported in the US by press that, in fact, isn’t free at all.  This is an invented lie.

What is Turkey?  Turkey is an industrial powerhouse, a modern country with American military bases, a country that has fought alongside America in places like Korea, a country with a powerful army and very strong military traditions.  After World War I, the Ottoman Empire, which controled most of the Middle East, fell.  Turkey had sided with Germany.  Their new government under Mustafa Kemal, known as ‘Attaturk’ turned away from Islamic law and Islamic involvement in government.  Turkey decided to be a European country and to modernize.  Many Islamic traditions were outlawed including Islamic modes of dress.

Moreover, Turkey became a big supporter of Israel.  Their armies, for many years, trained together, Turkey bought Israeli military technology and the two nations were good friends until the 2010 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza when 8 Turkish citizens were executed in international waters by Israeli commandos.  When Israel refused to apologize, Turkey threw out their diplomats, a process that took over one year.

What did Turkey’s military do?  They had overthrown democratic governments in Turkey 5 times in recent history and were ready to do it again.  Many of their military leaders had grown “strangely fond” of Israel.  Why?  How?

Answering that without proof would be the height of conspiracy theory.

So, today, Turkey’s military leaders resigned after some of them had been arrested for planning to overthrow the government.  A new command structure has been put in place.

What is Turkey like?  I have traveled through Turkey extensively.  There are Islamic extremists in Turkey, people that hate the United States.  How many?  My guess is “few.”  Most in Turkey are openly pro-American, English is a language spoken by millions there and travel is both safe and inexpensive.

Turkey and Greece are more alike than either will admit, in fact writing this is, in itself, dangerous.

Is Turkey’s government “Islamist?”

The real answer is “NO.”

Turkey is independent, closely joined with Europe, very modern, very moderate and very ambitious.  Turkey plans to lead the Middle East.

Not everyone likes that idea, however.

For centuries, the Ottoman Empire controlled most of the Middle East.  Turks ran everything and even controlled much of Southeastern Europe.  Their rule was corrupt and, at times, horribly abusive.

Thus, Greece utterly hates them for reasons any Greek will tell you without asking.

What we do have is an unusual situation, a NATO country closely allied to the United States that is very angry at Israel.

This is also a country once a good friend of Israel.

We also have reason to be very suspicious of Israel and that they may have a role in the attempt to install a military dictatorship in Turkey that would be more “forgiving” of Israel’s offenses.

There is a ‘backstory” of Israel’s involvement in the Kurdish PKK, a terror group that has killed many, not only in Turkey but Iraq as well.  This story begins in the 1960s and may resurface if new terrorism breaks out at the hands of this group.  There will be reason, as many Turks claim, to blame Israel.

The answer?

Turkey opposes Israeli policy on Gaza and is very powerful in the region.  Turkey and Israel are both very capable of speaking with one another and coming to peaceful solutions to their disagreements.  With this upheaval in Turkey and Egypt in flux, no real government has reassumed power, it is obvious that the balance in the region has gone against Israel but there is no reason this has to indicate hostility.

It could very well indicate a new period of justice and dialog, once the spies and terrorists are exposed and real leaders begin doing what they are supposed to.

That, in itself, would be a real change.

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on Let’s Talk “Turkey,”

Is Ron Paul Still “Ron Paul?”

NOVANEWS

Bruce Fein: It Boils Down to ‘Principle’

by Sibel Edmonds

Final: The Facts, Bruce Fein, Ron Paul, and the Next Step

Today is Day 7 on the campaign to raise awareness and alert re Bruce Fein, the greatest threat to the Ron Paul Camp to date. It may be my last one depending on the public response and feedback we receive from the already active and vigilant ‘true’ Paul supporters. I am going to start with one last response to Bruce-Mattie Fein agents who have hijacked several websites to deflect attention from the facts and the real issues. If you go and read the propaganda written by the Feins’ agents you’ll see why I refer to them as ‘agents.’ Either due to certain omega fatty acid deficiencies or natural genetic misfortune, these guys slip and make clear their close associations with both Bruce and Mattie Fein. Now, allow me to provide you with a concrete rebuttal to some of this misinformation that is being spread and planted by Feins’ agents:

“So what if he is representing foreign agents, foreign governments or foreign groups. He is an attorney after all, and it is his job to represent these people?”

fein

Last time I checked attorneys represented their clients in courts. Last time I checked legal cases were not brought by attorneys before the CIA. Last time I checked lawyers did not argue their clients’ cases before State Department operatives. And last time I checked legal representation did not extend to going to Congress, wining and dining representatives, and funneling money into their pockets. Did I miss something when I checked all this last time?! Because this is what Bruce Fein writes and markets about the services he provides for foreign agenda clients, and if you read you hardly, if ever, come across any mention of legal-attorney representation:

“The Lichfield Group features unrivalled government, media, and business experience. Exemplary is the Group’s high level connections with the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Central Intelligence Agency, on the one hand, to The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, and nationwide broadcast or cable networks on the other.

Whether a client is a giant corporation handcuffed by ill-conceived United States government policies or aforeign government anxious to influence the decisions of Congress, the President, agencies, the judiciary, or State governments, The Lichfield Group is armed with the skills and contacts indispensable for success.”

Just to show my generosity and kindness towards the IQ-challenged Fein agents I am going to recap: Bruce Fein is a foreign agent-lobbyist and that has nothing to do with ‘legal representation.’ He represents foreign agendas before the CIA, the State Department, the Congress, and the White House… Courts ain’t got nothing to do with this in-name-only ‘attorney.’ Where did you guys ever hear of cases being brought before the despicable Central Intelligence Agency-CIA?! What exactly are this Bruce Fein’s ties and close connections to the CIA and State Department he keeps braschmidt

gging about?!

“Bruce Fein is a fine attorney. Regardless of his shady foreign ties and businesses, as the Chief Legal Advisor to Ron Paul Campaign he is bringing his highly regarded attorney expertise and services!”

As I am writing this piece, as has been the case since the ruling issued by the Congressional Ethics Committee, there is a fine group of legal experts who are working on getting the Bar Association to investigate and hopefully suspend Mr. Fein’s attorney license. This is a gigantic public scandal, not an allegation, people:

“In a statement released on August 5, the House Ethics Committee ruled that Rep Jean Schmidt has received multiple improper gifts totaling $500,000 from the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) between 2008 and 2010. The Committee ruled that Schmidt must pay the money back, However, she will not face sanctions by the House as she was able to pin the blame for her behavior on her attorneys Bruce Fein and David Saltzman.”

After investigating the case, the Ethics Committee says it was Bruce Fein who intentionally misled his client Rep. Schmidt and funneled half a million dollars of foreign lobby money to the Congresswoman. As I statedbefore, there are only two possible scenarios here:

His two possible explanations for this case would be: 1- I did not tell my client that my legal representation of her case was part of foreign lobby money funneling to her; 2- My client was fully aware of the foreign lobby bribery nature of my

legal representation and services, but to protect her and my foreign bosses I took the blame. Under either explanation one glaring point remains clear, and that is the lack of ethics on behalf of the involved attorney-Bruce Fein.

Feins’ agents are out there trying to persuade the Paul Camp to ‘forget Fein’s foreign lobbyist status and businesses’; that ‘you’ve got a darn good attorney as your chief legal advisor.’ It is not any of my ‘allegations’ they are countering here; it is the official findings by the House Ethics Committee. How is it going to look for Ron Paul and his supporters if and when it is announced that Bruce Fein is being barred from legal practice due to unethical practices as an attorney?! Who is going to defend Ron Paul for picking this kind of an attorney for this kind of high-official position?! What will the public say? The presidential candidate who picked a crusty foreign lobbyist and a barred attorney as his chief legal advisor?!

I did not have to invent Bruce Fein’s Foreign Lobbyist status. It is in Mr. Fein’s resume and his past and present practices, showcased by him right here. Mr. Fein’s intimate associations with the CIA, the State Department and the White House are not based on any allegations; it is in his resume as written by him. Mr. Fein’s position and membership in the Neocon Nest AEI is a fact that is highlighted and used by him when needed. The ruling on Mr. Fein’s foreign lobby money funneling scheme is not some rumor; it is in an official congressional report. And finally, it is very hard for me to believe that the propaganda, misinformation and personal attacks on me recently could possibly be coming from any ‘true’ Ron Paul supporter. We are talking about libertarians, and libertarian-leaning people who refuse to stop the critical thinking process and readily summit to any authority. Take a look at the following propaganda example from the Daily Paul website, and tell me if this jibes with the Paul Camp motto:

“I’m all for questioning things, but in the context of a presidential campaign, our leader is Ron Paul. His decision is to keep Fein. Back him up, despite your opinions.”– Road Runner on Wed, 08/31/2011 – 13:40.

Since when do Ron Paul people advocate for a monarchy-kingdom where followers must follow their king/leader blindly without question? This is disgusting. A disgrace to any libertarian minded person! Here is another one:

“An adviser may not be central in the campaign, and could be there to simply “bolster the appearance of the management team”, just like they do with company investment portfolios. It even might be for the purpose of gaining some acceptance from neocons by having the AEI adviser, even though RP is not neocon oriented and might not even take any advice from him. In the end, I have to consider RP to be capable of making these decisions. He is experienced and may have some reasons and knowledge that we do not see.” – Big T Wed, 08/31/2011 – 12:25.

What are these people saying? It is totally okay if Ron Paul hired this guy in order to expand his base to include neocons?

Okay, I am not going to waste my time with mind-boggling quotes attacking me personally, advocating a dictatorship style following, planting misinformation, and most importantly attributing all that to Ron Paul supporters. Instead, here is my message to all in the ‘true’ Paul Grassroots network: It is okay to think highly of Bruce Fein’s speeches-writings on State Secrets Privilege and some First Amendment related topics. I’ve read some of those, and I happen to like the content. Fein has been in and around the Paul Camp, giving speeches and interviews since 2008. I had no problem with that. Have the man, pay the man, to write and publish articles. That’s fine. But do NOT let this man inside as a strategically positioned insider. Do not let this man become Ron Paul’s Chief Legal Advisor.

A crusty foreign lobbyist, an unethical attorney involved in money-laundering-funneling for foreign agents, a CIA-State Department Insider, a known AEI Neocon, a covert Israel supporter, a man who has been playing all sides-from the ACLU to AEI to Turkey to Pakistan to Israel to Ron Paul…Well, that kind of man has NO place in the Ron Paul campaign as an insider, and has no place with Ron Paul. I believe I have said and done my part for now. I have been in this particular fight for way too long. Causes to fight for have not decreased but increased. I believed this to be one of those causes worth fighting for, including taking vicious attacks and insults from Paul imposters. However, the decision is now yours to make and the next step is yours to take. In the end, it all boils down to sincerity and principle. Please let me know, and until then.

Posted in USAComments Off on Is Ron Paul Still “Ron Paul?”

9/11: Watch, Explain, I Can’t Even Begin to Understand…

NOVANEWS 

UK Video Team Catches Amazing Phenomenon

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Among the thousands of pieces of proof, videos, scientific papers, testimony, timelines, so much proof it is overwhelming, this video, less than 2 minutes, makes an utter mockery of the 9/11 Commission report.

The scientists had described it, but I could never really believe it possible.  I am flabbergasted.


YouTube – Veterans Today –

No “cement columns”..no “aggregate”….all steel, strongest in the world

Posted in USAComments Off on 9/11: Watch, Explain, I Can’t Even Begin to Understand…

SEPTEMBER 11- Exploitation

NOVANEWS 

Exploitation of September 11th

By Bobby Hanifin

With the 10th Anniversary of September 11th in five days fast approaching. I, for one, am getting tired of (or is it immune to) how every politician regardless of ideology, most every lame stream media outlet, and especially the Pentagon has exploited 9/11 for political, ideological, psychological, and propaganda motivations and effect.

That said it is understandable that the people of New York City, near a field in Pennsylvania, and especially those who run the Pentagon don’t want us to ever forget- these were the unfortunate targets.

I realize that not everyone has of course forgotten Pearl Harbor, especially Pearl survivors, but in comparison to 9/11 how long was the attack on Pearl exploited for political, ideological, war mongering, and media motives and propaganda effect?

It would be fair to say that politicians, sunshine patriots, patriots, the media, and let’s not forget the U.S. Propaganda apparatus of WWII exploited the Attack on Pearl Harbor for about as long as the Second World War lasted or simply put at least until the surrender of Japan in 1945. The decision to drop the first A-Bomb on an innocent civilian population, and the U.S. Occupation of Japan did of course take into consideration the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

We must assume that there will remain political, cultural, sociological, psychological, and military motives to keep exploiting 9/11 as long as the so-called Global War on Terror (even if we no longer call it that) continues which could be the lifetime of at least the Baby Boom and Viet Nam War generation.

I did not cover the views and observations of  9/11 Truth, not because I advocate same views or not, but because there are writers on, and readers of, VT much smarter than I on articulating those beliefs.

My focus is on Veterans Issues and Peace Activism NOT the Truth behind 9/11.

I’m just simply fed up with the never ending EXPLOITATION of September the 11th.

Robert L. Hanafin, Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor, Veterans Today News

Exploitation of September 11th in All Forms

Because September 11th has continuously been exploited for ulterior motives does not mean people should not commemorate the anniversary anymore than folks should ignore the anniversaries of Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the mass media war drum beat toward that began early in 2011.

There are at least 40 different TV specials planned leading up to the awful date of September 11th. Each of the top three networks – ABC, CBS and NBC has an awesome special planned, plus extra coverage on their early morning and evening news programs. CNN has no fewer than four separate documentaries on the 9-11 attacks scheduled. The National Geographic Channel plans to devote a full week to its coverage. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) needs to get in on the exploitation as well as countless other cable channels that have their own 9-11 plans. And, of course, just wait till you see the onslaught of coverage from your local news stations.

Lame stream media coverage of September 11th will be non-stop at frenzy level as the date approaches. Some critics will say overload , I say never ending exploitation of an American tragedy. I don’t plan to watch any of the televised rehash of that awful day, because it remains USED to justify REVENGE against the Arab, if not Muslim world, but most of all I resent it being exploited as propaganda to keep our troop volunteering for multiple combat zone tours that most young Americans in their right minds would NEVER volunteer for.

Regardless, the fact remains that it was the worst  attack on American soil in recent history. Our whole world changed that day. Some of us no longer felt that America was the safest country on the planet. Others felt they could no longer rely on any of our pre-conceived notions about security and our country’s standing in the world.

If people continue to feel perpetually vulnerable – FEAR- since September 11, 2001, we have continuous exploitation to thank for that FEAR. However, over the years, some, maybe not enough, of us notice our buried indignation begin to simmer when we are asked to surrender our identification to get into a building or when we go through an airport security line and a stern looking fellow American looks suspiciously at every aspect of our being. BTW-who monitors those who monitor us?

There are far fewer smiles in America these days, almost no idle conversation among strangers and everyone seems so distrustful of others, even other Americans. There has been an explosion of security cameras snapping our pictures nearly everywhere we go for the private security industry has also made a killing on exploiting 9/11. Some of us understand why it must be this way now – but it pains us to know the carefree (or FREE) America we grew up in is gone.

It all began to change on September 11th, 2001.

Now, the very idea of watching a re-play of the country’s worst terrorist attack on any one of the 40 upcoming TV specials seems far more than pointless, and the exploitation is so blatant and obvious except to the most ignorant among us.

That said, the exploitation of 9/11 seems barbarically sadistic. A lot of Americans still carry the scab where the terrorist’s mortally wounded our country. To deny that tears still flow at the memory of that day and the immediate aftermath would be the same as denying the exploitation of the event. However, this question remains for lord only knows it will be asked when the 20th anniversary of 9/11 is exploited.

Do we really need a periodic televised reminder of what happened, who did it or what it all means?

On September 11th, those fed up with the exploitation will stay in bed with for a few extra minutes and silently, reverently remember the anniversary in our own way. We will not turn on the television.

EXPLOITATION was the most popular immediate reaction to 9/11

Of course exploitation of September 11th is nothing new. A little over seven years after the attacks (on October 20, 2007), a renewed conversation began happening out there in the blog-o-sphere about exploitation. The most prominent examples of 9/11 exploitation and culture are:

– Political Propaganda. On the right-wing, this trailer for DC 9/11: Time of Crisis, was a bizarrely hyper-real made for tv movie, launched George W. Bush’s re-election campaign. On the left, Fahrenheit 9/11 was pretty egregious with its panning shot of missing persons flyers and more. Director David Zucker tried to tip election ’08by resurrecting 9/11 twice in An American Carol, once in the linked scene as “crazy christians” take over a plane cockpit and another time as George Washington leads its Moore-esque main character from the National Cathedral to the ruins of WTC 1 & 2. Again and again, those towers just keep popping up in campaign advertising.

9/11 billboard draws flak from Florida Democrats, GOP

Although politicians from across the political spectrum have exploited 9/11 for political motives, I believe the Republicans have been and remain the EXPERTS at USING September the 11th. It remains to be seen just how much political and progaganda yardage the Tea Party can get from 9/11.

Back in 2008, a Florida man used billboards with an image of the burning World Trade Center to encourage votes for a Republican presidential candidate, drawing criticism for politicizing the 9/11 attacks.

“Please Don’t Vote for a Democrat” reads the type over the picture of the twin towers after hijacked airliners hit them on September, 11, 2001.

Mike Meehan, a St. Cloud, Florida, businessman who paid to post the billboards in the Orlando area, said former President Clinton should have put a stop to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda before 9/11. He said a Republican president would have done so.

“I believe 9/11 could have been prevented if we’d had a Republican president at the time,” Meehan told CNN’s “American Morning.”

But Democrats and Republicans said Meehan shouldn’t be using a 9/11 image to make a political point.

“This is a blatant exploitation of that terrible tragedy for political and, perhaps even worse, personal gain,” Bill Robinson, the Orange County, Florida, Democratic Party chairman told CNN affiliate WFTV-TV in Orlando.

The local Republican Party called the billboard “inappropriate,” according to WFTV.

“There are many ways to convey the importance of national security in this election without going to extremes, and we encourage a constructive dialogue,” the Florida Republican Party said in a statement condemning the billboards.

According to Meehan, President Bush has done “an excellent job … going after these terrorists.”

You got to remember all the … people that George Bush did catch and how much success he did have. And we haven’t had an attack on this soil since 9/11,” Meehan said. “Unlike Bill Clinton, who actually had bin Laden right in his hands and through the CIA and other high officials decide to get him go,” Meehan said.

In a 2006 interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Clinton said he authorized the killing of bin Laden in 2000 after the attack on the Navy warship USS Cole in Yemen, but the order was never carried out because U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies refused to certify that bin Laden was behind the Cole attack.

“I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since,” Clinton said in the 2006 interview.

Meehan was also is using the billboard to promote his Web site, the republicansong.com, where he’s trying to sell copies of his song, “Please Don’t Vote for a Democrat.”

The song goes beyond the national security issue, ripping Democrats on taxation and energy issues, too.

“They want to take the money from the hard workin’ man, and give it to the lazy folks that don’t give a damn,” Meehan sings.

Another verse takes on the oil issue.

“We’re not fightin’ for oil, we got plenty if we drill it,” he sings.

The song’s not a moneymaker, he said, just an effort to recoup some of what he’s invested in the billboards.

A copy of the song on CD cost $5 on the Web site, and the site points out that Meehan can be hired to perform at a “concert, party, meeting or event.”

“I’m willing to pay the cost for the fact that our soldiers that have died protecting this country have paid a heck of a lot more than what these billboards cost,” Meehan told “American Morning.”

Florida resident Mary Anderson told WFTV she doesn’t see politics when she’s looking at the billboard.

“Just looking at it, I’m not thinking about Democrat or Republican, I’m thinking about the twin towers and all the people killed,” she told WFTV.

However, Meehan gives inspirational credit for his song, if not his billboards, to right-wing talk radio and the FOX TV network.

“The Republican Song title is actually “Please Don’t Vote For a Democrat.” The song was written, played, sang, produced, and recorded by myself though I would like to thank Sean Hannity, Mike Huckabee, Glen Beck at Fox News and Rush Limbaugh talk radio host for their inspiration to do more than just listen and watch while we are being attacked in more ways than one.  I love this great nation, “The United States of America.” Mike Meehan

I wrote this song to encourage and motivate as many people as possible not to vote for a “Democrat” in the 2008 Presidential Election.

Commercial and Non-Commercial Advertising regularly mine the death imagery and patriotic fervor associated with September 11th. During Super Bowl ’02, Budweiser had its then-spokes-animalsbow towards Manhattan. This 2006 ad for Chevy uses a catchy John Cougar Mellencamp song and a photo of the lights erected at “Ground Zero” to firmly place the brand within the bounds of authentic Americana (pay attention for the gratuitous Katrina shots as well). Copyranter has a wonderful collection of exploitative print ads, many produced by non-profit organizations comparing deaths associated with their causes—such as smoking cigarettes orlacking access to clean water—to deaths on 9/11.

– Those in Pursuit of Cheap Emotional Pull such as the incredible ending scene of Remember Me (which may be one of the best examples), but equally exemplary is the entirety of Jonathan Safran Foer novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Retelling the story of 9/11 through the eyes of a nine-year-old who has lost his father in the attack, Foer’s story is cloying, manipulative, and shallow (truly it is “heavy boots.”) In Julie and Julia (available on Netflix Instant), the audience is expected to feel something for Julie Powell, a WTC Helpline operator charged with commiserating with the families of 9/11 victims, but nothing can overcome this character’s essentially preening personality. Sadly, Reign over Me, some Adam Sandler Oscar-bait is just boring. And finally, from the left and the right, Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising and Toby Keith’s Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue intend to stoke a similar sort of patriotic jingoism.

What 9/11 Wrought – September 2011

While waiting for a medical appointment at the Wright-Patterson AFB Medical Center, I picked up the latest copy of the Smithsonian Magazine in which Joseph Lelyveld the former editor of the New York Times wrote an article that considers the effects of the terrorist attacks on the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The part that interested me most as the Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor for Veterans Today is Mr. Lelyveld’s insight into the lack of burden sharing when it comes to the American people continuously seeking REVENGE for 9/11.

“While we mourn the thousands killed and grievously wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the hard truth is that the more privileged and better educated we are, the less likely we are to have any direct acquaintance with them or their families. At the end of the decade, many of us pay lower taxes than ever before and have suffered no worse inconvenience than having to shed our shoes and, sometimes, belts as we pass through airport checkpoints. Beyond that, how have we been affected, how changed?” Joseph Lelyveld

Lelyveld goes on to say that: The military had a name for it—“asymmetric warfare.” But until 9/11 hardly anyone imagined how surreal and coldblooded, how devastating, it could actually be: that 19 would-be suicides from distant parts, armed only with box-cutters, their leaders trained to fly but not land airliners, could bring the greatest military power the world had seen momentarily to its knees, with a loss of lives on that perfect late-summer morning surpassing that inflicted by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.

With video clips edited to remove scores of bodies flying through the air, what was shoved in our faces on our TV screens hundreds of times in the days that followed 9/11 was still close enough to the full horror: the planes serenely cruising into the towers over and over again, the vile, bilious clouds of smoke and debris that repeatedly engulfed the buildings as they kept falling; the feeling of utter vulnerability, heightened by images of further wreckage and loss at the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field; all followed by rage.

Ten years on, all of that and more—including the spontaneous surge of flag-flying patriotism and civic determination—can instantly be recalled by anyone who experienced it the first time. What’s harder to recall is the sense that it was only the beginning, that “the homeland,” as the authorities came to call it, would surely be assaulted on a wide variety of fronts. A flurry of anthrax attacks of mysterious origin deepened such premonitions. Think-tank scenarists cataloged a broad range of nightmare possibilities: suicide bombers boarding subways, infiltrating malls and multiplexes; the millions of containers unloaded in our harbors available to deliver dirty bombs; our chemical plants and the rail lines that serve them wide open to attack; our great bridges brought down. Worst of all, small nuclear devices containing radioactive material smuggled from Russian, Pakistani or (so some imagined) Iraqi stockpiles that could be hand-carried into our population centers, places like Times Square, and detonated there, causing mass panic and death on a scale that would make 9/11 look like a practice run. For a time, it seemed that none of this was impossible, even improbable, and we needed to act. What was initially branded the Global War on Terror—a struggle without geographic or temporal limits—was the result.

We Overreacted and Overreached

It may not be inappropriate on this anniversary to acknowledge that we overreacted and overreached, but that wasn’t so apparent a decade ago. Hardly anyone imagined then that all this time could pass—a period longer than our active involvement in World War II and the Korean War combined—with no large-scale recurrence of the original outrage on our territory. Other than a shooting rampage on a Texas military base, the most visible attempts have been failures: a shoe bomb on a trans-Atlantic flight, a car bomb off Broadway, a young Nigerian who sat aboard a Detroit-bound airplane with plastic explosives hidden in his jockey shorts.

While we mourn the thousands killed and grievously wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the hard truth is that the more privileged and better educated we are, the less likely we are to have any direct acquaintance with them or their families. At the end of the decade, many of us pay lower taxes than ever before and have suffered no worse inconvenience than having to shed our shoes and, sometimes, belts as we pass through airport checkpoints. Beyond that, how have we been affected, how changed?

One answer that’s plausibly advanced is that our civil liberties have been eroded and our concern for individual rights—in particular, the rights of those we deem alien—has been coarsened by the steps our government has felt impelled to take to protect us from lurking threats: using new technology to sort and listen to phone calls by the millions without judicial warrants; rounding up and deporting Muslim immigrants by the thousands when there was anything dubious about their status; resorting to humiliation, physical stress and other “enhanced” methods of interrogation, sometimes amounting to torture, in cases of supposedly “high-value” terrorism suspects; making new claims for the authority of the executive branch to wage war in secrecy (including the breathtaking claim that our president had the constitutional authority to imprison indefinitely, without trial, any person on the planet he deemed an “unlawful enemy combatant”).

One can debate the extent to which these things have happened or continue to happen. That’s one set of questions that might have been addressed had not proposals to appoint a nonpartisan commission to explore them been permanently shelved. Even so, lacking the authoritative narrative such a commission might have provided, we can still ask whether we’ve been affected or changed. Could it be that we don’t really mind the blurriness, that whatever was done secretly in the name of our security happened with our silent assent?

That’s a question I started asking myself on a reporting trip to Guantánamo in 2002, less than a year after the American naval base in Cuba was transformed into a warehouse for supposed terrorists rounded up on the Afghan-Pakistani frontier. Many of the guards had worked as correctional officers in their civilian lives. When I asked to meet some of them, I was introduced to two women normally employed in state prisons in Georgia. The harsh conditions in which the supposed terrorists were held, they told me, were a little harder than normal “segregation” for troublesome prisoners in the Georgia system, but not nearly so hard as Georgia-style “isolation.” I took this to be expert testimony. It helped me realize how little we’re normally inclined to question decisions taken, so we’re told, in the interest of our own security. If there was no big difference between prison conditions in Georgia and Guantánamo, who but a certified bleeding heart could call into question the guidelines for treatment of “terrorists” classed by a Pentagon spokesman as “the worst of the worst”?

Years later, we’d be told there was no hard evidence linking at least one-fifth—and possibly many more—of the Guantanamo detainees to terrorist movements. This belated coming to grips with the facts of each case could have been written off as carelessness were it not for the foresight displayed by members of Congress who legislated a provision barring lawsuits by Guantanamo detainees on any grounds. Suspicion alone, it seemed, was enough to keep them in the category of “the worst,” if not “worst of the worst.”

There’s the Question of What This Tells Us About Ourselves.

Beyond the constitutional, legal and even moral issues bound up in the matter of prisoner treatment, there’s the question of what this tells us about ourselves. Here again, we learn that we’ve cultivated a certain unacknowledged hardheartedness in our response to the enduring outrage of 9/11, that we’ll tolerate a large amount of “collateral damage” when it occurs out of view, far from our shores. By the time George W. Bush stood for re-election, most voters knew enough to understand that the invasion of Iraq had proved a questionable response to the events of that searing September morning; that the war, which was supposed to be over in months, was not going well, with no end in sight; and there was irrefutable evidence of prisoner humiliation and abuse, amounting to torture, at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere. From all this, key swing voters apparently concluded that in defense of the homeland, the president was more likely to hit back too hard than too softly.

Evidence that such conclusions worked in his favor could be found in the failure of his opponent [Senator John Kerry] to bring up torture as an issue. Polling, it could be surmised, had shown that a referendum on this question would favor the candidate who coupled an assurance that the United States never resorts to torture with an assurance that he’d do whatever it took to protect the country. The American people, the president’s strategists evidently concluded, wanted it both ways. If our contradictions were not called to our attention, we were as capable as any other population of double-think, the survival art of holding two conflicting thoughts in our minds.

Even after we elected a president with the middle name Hussein and the proclaimed intention of closing the prison at Guantánamo, we continued to want it both ways. Guantánamo stayed open after members of Congress from the new president’s own party deserted him when he proposed moving the remnant of detainees there—those regarded as too dangerous to be freed—to a super-maximum-security prison in Illinois. Similarly, plans to bring the admitted mastermind of the 9/11 attacks to Manhattan to stand trial in a federal court had to be abandoned. A broad consensus formed around the notion that none of these people could be allowed to set foot in our land if their mere presence here entitled them to constitutional protections we routinely extend to drug traffickers, serial killers and sexual predators. Military justice was good enough—possibly too good—for terrorists who schemed to take innocent lives by the thousands.

In more ways than one, such distancing has been a strategy. The primary point of the global war, after all, had been to pursue and engage terrorists or would-be terrorists as far as possible from our shores. After nearly ten years in Afghanistan and eight in Iraq, our war planners may say the world is better without the Taliban in Kabul or Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, but it’s the conclusions Afghans and Iraqis will draw that should count, after years of living with the possibility of sudden death or ghastly injury to themselves or their loved onesThat’s to acknowledge that many more Afghans and Iraqis have died in our war than Americans. Probably it could not have been otherwise, but that obvious calculation is one we seldom have the grace to make. We pride ourselves on our openness and plain speaking, but we have shown we can live with a high degree of ambiguity when it serves our interests; for instance, in our readiness to turn a blind eye to inimical efforts of our allies—a Saudi autocracy that pours untold millions into proselytizing campaigns and madrassas on behalf of militant Wahhabi Islam, and the Pakistani military, which allowed the worst examples of nuclear proliferation on record to be carried out on its watch, which still sponsors terrorist networks, including some that have clashed with our troops in Afghanistan, and which almost certainly harbored Osama bin Laden until he was hunted down this past May by Navy Seals in a garrison town about an hour’s drive from Islamabad. We need access to Saudi oil, just as we need Pakistani supply routes to Afghanistan and tacit permission to conduct drone attacks on terrorist enclaves on the frontier. These are matters that we, as a people, inevitably leave to hardheaded experts who are presumed to know our interests better than we do.

A skeptical journalist’s way of looking at the past decade leaves out much that might well be mentioned—the valor and sacrifice of our fighters, the round-the-clock vigilance and determination (not just the transgressions) of our thousands of anonymous counterterrorists, the alacrity with which President Bush reached out to Muslim Americans, his successor’s efforts to live up to his campaign pledges to get out of Iraq and turn the tide in Afghanistan. That said, if history permitted do-overs, is there anyone who would have gone into Iraq knowing what we now know about Saddam’s defunct programs to build weapons of mass destruction, let alone the level of our casualties, sheer cost or number of years it would take to wind up this exercise in projecting our power into the Arab world? True, under various rubrics, our leaders offered a “freedom agenda” to the region, but only a propagandist could imagine that their occasional speeches inspired the “Arab spring” when it burst forth this year.

The Global War on Terror is No Longer a Good Sales Pitch, but How will we know when it’s over?

As we enter the second decade of this struggle, we have gotten out of the habit of calling it a global war. But it goes on, not limited to Afghanistan and Iraq. How will we know when it’s over—when we can pass through airport security with our shoes on, when closing Guantánamo is not unthinkable, when the extraordinary security measures embodied in the renewed Patriot Act might be allowed to lapse? If, as some have suggested, we’ve created a “surveillance state,” can we rely on it to tell us when its “sell by” date has arrived? On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, it’s possible, at least, to hope that we’ll remember to ask such questions on the 20th[anniversary].

Posted in USAComments Off on SEPTEMBER 11- Exploitation

9/11 Unveiled (part 8 of 10): Flight 93

NOVANEWS 

by Enver Masud

 

There’s no hard evidence that Flight 93 ploughed into the ground at the Pennsylvania ‘crash site.’

Rare television footage from September 11, 2001 contradicts the generally accepted explanation that United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m., 125 miles from Washington, DC, after four passengers attacked the hijackers in an attempt to gain control of the airplane.

According to The 9/11 Commission Report, at 8:42 United Airlines Flight 93 took off from Newark, NJ, bound for San Francisco. It’s last “normal contact” with the FAA was at 9:27.

Around 9:28 the Cleveland, OH, controller heard “a radio transmission of unintelligible sounds of possible screaming or a struggle from an unknown origin.”

Other transmissions followed, and at 9:30 Ziad Jarrah, the alleged hijacker—a fragment of whose passport was found at the crash site—(CNN, August 1, 2002), was heard saying, “There is a bomb on board and are going back to the airport, and to have our demands [unintelligible]. Please remain quiet.”

“The FBI believes Jarrah, a Lebanese national, was at the controls of United Airlines Flight 93, . . . U.S. officials believe the plane’s target was the White House.”

CNN adds that Jarrah “was stopped and questioned in the United Arab Emirates in January 2001 at the request of the CIA, nearly nine months before the attacks”.

At 10:01 another aircraft is reported to have witnessed “radical gyrations in what investigators believe was the hijackers’ effort to defeat the passenger assault.”

However, television footage from September 11, 2001 tells a different story.

NBC Reporter: “The debris here is spread over a 3 to 4 mile radius which has now been completely sealed off, and is being treated according to the FBI as a crime scene. This is one of those cases where the pictures really do tell the story . . . one of the most horrifying aspects of this is how little debris is visible . . . that’s all you see, just a large crater in the ground, and just tiny, tiny bits of debris . . . the investigators out there, and there are hundreds of them, have found nothing larger than a phone book.”

A Fox News reporter is heard talking to a Fox affiliate photographer Chris Kanicki [sic].

Fox Reporter: “I’ve seen the pictures, and it looks like there’s nothing there except a hole in the ground.”

Chris : “Basically that is right . . . The only thing you could see was a big gouge in the earth, and some broken trees . . .”
Fox Reporter: “Any large pieces of debris?”

Chris: “There was nothing that you could distinguish that a plane crashed there . . . nothing going on down there, no smoke, no fire . . .you couldn’t see anything, you could see dirt, ash, and people walking around.”

Fox Reporter: “How big would you say that hole was?”

Chris: “From my estimate it was 20 to 15 feet long . . . 10 feet wide.”

Fox Reporter: “What could you see on the ground other than dirt, ash?”

Chris: “You couldn’t see anything . . . just dirt, ash, and people walking around.”

Both NBC and Fox reporters make no mention of  the Boeing 757’s fuselage, tail, landing gear, and engines which would have been found at the “crash site” had the plane plunged to the ground while the “pilot struggled with hijackers.”

Elias Davidsson, a researcher in Iceland,  reveals anomalies that cast doubt on the authenticity of the transcript from Flight 93’s Cockpit Voice Recorder. He writes (The Events of September 11, 2001 and the Right to the Truth, April 14, 2008, p16):

The transcripts of CVRs from other crashes around the world . . . mention numerous engine and ambient sounds . . . The transcript of Flight UA 93’s CVR does not mention any such sounds and particularly no crash sound at the end . . . the released transcript differed significantly from authentic CVR transcripts by failing to mention the aircraft’s ID, the name of the person and agency who issued the transcript and the date the transcript was issued. Furthermore, serious discrepancies have been revealed between what family members heard when the transcript was first played to them by the FBI on April 2, 2002, and what the 9/11 Commission reported to have heard.

Popular accounts of Flight 93 mention several phone calls describing the passengers’ struggle with the hijackers, but this is contradicted by the FBI.

According to an FBI report presented as evidence in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in 2006, Griffin writes (Canadian, October 8, 2007):

there were only two cell phone calls from United 93, and they were made at 9:58, shortly before the plane crashed, when it was down to 5,000 feet. . . . (These two low-altitude calls from Flight 93 were, according to the FBI report, the only two cell phone calls made from all four flights).

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, during a Christmas Eve address to U.S. troops in Baghdad, said “the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania.”

The Pentagon says Rumsfeld “simply misspoke.”

There’s also the statement by Lee Hamilton, Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission.

While questioning Norman Y. Mineta, Former Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Hamilton asked Mineta about an “order given, I think by the President, that authorized the shooting down of commercial aircraft that were suspected to be controlled by terrorists.”

The video of Mineta’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission has been removed from the archives of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, but links to a copy may be found at The Wisdom Fund’s website (twf.org).

Vice President Cheney admitted to giving the order to shoot hijacked aircraft.

Philip Shenon, an investigative reporter at the New York Times where he has worked since 1981, in The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation (Twelve, 2008, p264), narrates this exchange between Cheney and Tim Russert (Meet the Press, April 4, 2004):

Russert asked Cheney what was the most difficult decision made during the course of the day [September 11, 2001].

“Well, I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft,” Cheney said, referring to the decision to order military jets to shoot down passenger planes that approached Washington.

Russert asked: “And you decided . . .”

Cheney corrected Russert. “We decided to do it.” He was referring to himself and Bush.

“So if the United States government became aware that a hijacked commercial airliner was was destined for the White House or the Capitol, we would take the plane down?” Russert continued.

“Yes,” Cheney said somberly.

There is yet another twist to the saga of Flight 93.

ABC affiliate WCPO in Cleveland reported:

A Boeing 767 out of Boston made an emergency landing Tuesday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport due to concerns that it may have a bomb aboard, said Mayor Michael R. White. . . . United identified the plane as Flight 93.

However, in February 2006, Liz Foreman, whose name was attached to the original story, stated that

an Associated Press bulletin, was posted on WCPO.com during the morning of September 11, 2001. The story stated that Flight 93 landed in Cleveland. This was not true. Once the AP issued a retraction a few minutes later, we removed the link.

On April 28, 2009, Pilots for 9/11 Truth reported that Air Traffic Control radar shows Flight 93 airborne after its reported crash.

Posted in USA3 Comments

Breaking: Gaddafi’s “Last” Flee to Al Qaeda Stronghold in Niger

NOVANEWS

“Call Me Bwana”  Gaddafi Ready to Flee South?

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Convoys, crossing a thousand miles of sand, are entering the nation of Niger, said by US counter-terrorism officials to be the staging ground for Al Qaeda in Africa.  This was also where Gaddafi’s mercenary army was recruited from by Israeli contractors as negotiated by his son, Saif, during his March visit to Tel Aviv.

Now Gaddafi’s Security Chief, and other top officials, thought to have been in Sirte, proclaimed by Gaddafi as “Capitol of New Libya” have fled the country.  From the Associated Press;

But as the first group of a dozen vehicles pulled into Niger’s capital Niamey on Tuesday, a customs official confirmed that it included Mansour Dao, Khadafy’s security chief and a key member of his inner circle, as well as around 12 other Khadafy regime officials. The official, Harouna Ide, told The Associated Press that other Libyan convoys had passed through Agadez, a town about halfway between Niger’s border with Libya and its capital in the far southwest.

Estimates on the ground are that this is an ‘advance guard’ to cover Gaddafi’s withdrawal from Libya when and if Sirte and other towns in Gaddafi’s home tribal region, surrender to the new Tripoli government.

Niger is the political refuge of Boko Harum, the terrorist organization claiming credit for recent attacks in the Nigerian capitol of Abuja.  This statement from Reuters:

Nigerian authorities investigating last week’s fatal bombing of the U.N. headquarters arrested two members of Islamist sect Boko Haram a week before the attack and said they suspect a third member with an al Qaeda connection led the plot. “Investigation has revealed that one Mamman Nur, a notorious Boko Haram element with al Qaeda links who returned recently from Somalia, working in concert with the two suspects, masterminded the attack on the United Nations building in Abuja,” the Department of State Services said in a statement on Wednesday.

During the spring offensive in Libya that eventually removed the Gaddafi regime, it was a prime directive from Libyan intelligence to government financed press/blogger “embeds” to tie forces representing the new government to Al Qaeda.  However, Gaddafi’s mercenaries captured along the months long drive to take Tripoli were most often, not just from Niger but members of the Boko Harum sect, an offshoot, according to those who are paid to report such things, of Al Qaeda.

Thus, absurdity of absurdities, Gaddafi’s transitional government in exile has taken up residence among what he, himself, has labeled “Al Qaeda” factions.

What can be predicted is that, with luck, Gaddafi himself, will hold on a few more weeks, while the new government increasingly isolates Gaddafi followers.  During that time, Gaddafi will be able to access his billions invested with US based defense and oil companies and look for safe haven within the weakest and most corrupt regions of Subsaharan Africa where his dreams of “Call Me Bwana” may still have hopes.

Video:  Gaddafi, played by Bob Hope, saved from Mussolini’s fate by Eddie Adams:

Posted in LibyaComments Off on Breaking: Gaddafi’s “Last” Flee to Al Qaeda Stronghold in Niger

Exclusive: Real Terror Threat? Fox News Phony Reporting!

NOVANEWS

Orchestrated Scare, Fox Uses “Debunked” Images

By Gordon Duff,

Real terror warnings never come in.  There can be no feeling of “terror” if citizens trust in their own government, see it competent and caring.  “Terror” is hopelessness and government, especially in the United States, Britain and Israel survive on fostering that feeling.

The US has put out a general terror alert without any usable information, released it through Fox News, part of the discredited Murdoch empire tied to Britain’s current scandals, but in a more sinister sense, tied to Israel’s intelligence agencies and, in a very real aspect, one too classified for the news media to risk reporting honestly, tied to actual terrorism, from 9/11 to Norway and everything in between.

When they say “Newscorp” was hacking, what they were doing was spying, blackmailing and bribing, not about gossip but military secrets, weapons systems, defense plans and getting inside the organizations meant to prevent terror attack.

The “Last Word” on 9/11 from the Real Osama bin Laden

As a reminder to some, this is the last official word from the real Osama bin Laden as to who he felt was responsible for 9/11.  This is from a certified CIA transcript, an addendum to this article, and has been verified.  Osama bin Laden was dying when he made this statement in 2001.  There has never been any other statement from Osama bin Laden on 9/11.  This translation is officially certified by the Central Intelligence Agency from a confirmed voice print dated September 24, 2001.

The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive.

They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia.  Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him. 

Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This [funding issue] was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger. They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usama and Taliban and then this incident happened.

Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat.

President Bush or any other US President, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.  

The Real Terror Alert

There are two real and very classified terror alerts on the anniversary of 9/11.

  • September 11, 2011, the Dallas Cowboys play the New York Jets live in NBC.  To coincide with the false terror threat attributed to Osama bin Laden, who is confirmed as dying of kidney disease in 2001, another upcoming 10 year anniversary, a small plane with a weapon of some kind is said to be targeting the game.  In language you might find contradictory, this is as valid as terror threats get but if I had a ticket, I would go.  Why?  Remember the citizens of London during the blitz?  Not only would I go but I would do everything in my power to eliminate all the other intrusions on our life by government over terrorism they have been proven to have orchestrated themselves, like the ‘crotch bombing’ in Detroit.  No more airport searches, no more X-Rays, “stiff upper lip” and we live like humans, not frightened animals, sacrificing our freedoms to “big brother.”

  • Berlin:  The terror cells tied to Andrew Berwick and the Norway killings, not forgotten, misreported and subject to a full scale coverup, police complicity, as many as 8 other terrorists released secretly, all initial reports wrought with inconsistencies, are said to have a grudge against Berlin, tied to an esoteric belief serving ties between Zionism and Freemasonry.  I find all of this utterly insane, and as in such cases, credible.  Were Bush and Cheney sane?  Whatever real ‘chatter’ there is, points “Berlin.”  Any moron could track these terror cells.  Simply look inside your own police and security services, the first people you would ask to respond to an act of terrorism.

Here is the Fox Video I promised.

Now, here are the jokes:

Who is this? Long proven not “Osama bin Laden)

The person shown in the video, featured in this screen capture above, was long ago recognized as an aging Pakistani senior citizen and resident of Abbottabad.  He is the owner of the property near where the US Navy SEALS were killed in a helicopter crash in May, one of two recently.  The real Osama bin Laden, senior CIA asset, intelligence coordinator for the CIA in Saudi Arabia and trusted ally in the war against Soviet backed forces in Afghanistan, died in 2001 according to many sources, in particular his personal handlers from the CIA who said his body was recovered in December 2001.

The real CIA characterized him as “loyal and reliable” to the end.

Israeli actor used to take credit for 9/11 after bin Laden death

The photograph used by Rupert Murdoch in his terror video is that of an Israeli actor with almost no resemblance to the long dead at the time Osama bin Laden.  The actor in this scene reads a teleprompter in Arabic taking credit for 9/11.  Bin Laden spoke perfect English and denied responsibility for 9/11 as in this actual CIA document conveniently available for skeptics:

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY FOREIGN BROADCASTING INTERNATIONAL
SERVICE:

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Website of Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television in Arabic  [FBIS
Report] Website of Doha Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television in
Arabic,independent television station financed by the Qatari Government, which
can be accessedat URL: http://www.aljazeera.net, carries at 2001 GMT on 24
September the text of the following letter by Usama Bin Ladin “to the Pakistani
people.”

  • “We hope that these brothers would be the first martyrs in Islam’s battle in

    this age against the new Jewish crusade that is being led by the biggest

    crusader, Bush, under the banner of the cross. This battle is one of Islam’s

    immortal battles.”

  • “We beseech God to grant him victory against the forces of infidelity and

    arrogance, and to crush the new crusader-Jewish campaign on the land of Pakistan

    and Afghanistan.”

  • “I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in

    the United States.”

  • “Neither I had any knowledge of these attacks nor I consider the killing of

    innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. . Islam

    strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people.

    Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle.”

  • “All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to

    call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.”

  • “Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the

    American people. I have already said that we are against the American system,

    not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people

    have been killed. According to my information, the death toll is much higher

    than what the US Government has stated.

  • “The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks

    within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting

    against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to

    make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity

    so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could

    survive.”

  • “They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia.”

  • “Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President

    Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.”

  • “Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of

    dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This

    [funding issue] was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet

    Union but after that the budget of these (FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
    180
    )  (note – end of page on CIA original)

  • agencies has been in danger. They needed an enemy. So, they first

    started propaganda against Usama and Taliban and then this incident

    happened.”

  • “Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret

    agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and

    trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US

    Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show

    performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was

    made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat.”

  • “President Bush or any other US President, they cannot bring Israel to

    justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes.

    What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in

    the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the

    attacks.”

  • “Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the

    compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their

    religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and

    the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan.”

  • “I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are

    against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or

    forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom.”

  • “This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first

    priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people

    are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the

    principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel.”

  • ”The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us

    surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they

    themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin

    to cause harm to themselves.”

  • “Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is

    mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in

    the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the

    enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can

    understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which

    suffers from fear and helplessness.”

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY     END OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT

Posted in USAComments Off on Exclusive: Real Terror Threat? Fox News Phony Reporting!

Iran is a victim of constant black propaganda

NOVANEWS
By Kourosh Ziabari

 

The Middle East is experiencing hard and complicated times. Tunisia and Egypt have already witnessed all-out revolutions which put an end to the decades-long tyranny of the U.S.-backed dictators while Libya, Bahrain and Yemen are engulfed in what might be called unambiguous civil wars. The world is anxiously pursuing the developments in the region. The United States, Israel and their European allies have so far exhibited a hypocritical reaction by supporting the suppression of anti-regime protesters in Bahrain, fomenting unrest in Syria and supporting military adventure in Libya. To the U.S. and Europe, the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt have been nothing but a fait accompli.

They had no option but to laud the popular uprising of the people there. From the other side, Iran has officially joined the nuclear club and put on stream its first nuclear power plant, further complicating its blurred relations with the West.
In order to investigate the recent developments in the Middle East and the Iran-West relations, I interviewed Richard Javad Heydarian, an Iranian author and political commentator living in Manila. Richard’s articles have appeared on Foreign Policy in Focus, Alternet, Tehran Times, Counterpunch, Antiwar.com, Iran Review and Asia Times Online.

In this interview, we discussed the Arab Spring and its implications for the U.S. and Iran, the future of Iran-West relations, Western media’s black propaganda against Iran and the duplicity of the United States concerning the human rights issue.

Kourosh Ziabari: For my first question, I would like to ask you about the recent revolutions in the Middle East and their implications for the U.S. and Iran. The Western states have accused Iran of interference in the internal affairs of the regional countries. Aren’t these claims hypocritical and duplicitous? We all know that the Saudi troops launched a military campaign in Bahrain with the all-out support of the United States to save the regime of Al Khalifa from the rage of the revolutionary people. We also know that Bahrain is host to the U.S. Fifth Fleet and considered to be a strategic ally of Washington in the Persian Gulf. It seems that it was the United States, and not Iran, that interfered in the internal affairs of the Middle East nations undergoing political developments. What’s your take on that?

Richard Javad Heydarian: First of all, I think most analysts, including myself, were surprised by the depth and scope of protests, which have engulfed much of the Arab world, but the more surprising thing was how this entire “transnational” popular movement started in a relatively open and integrated Arab country such as Tunisia. Nonetheless, when one digs deeper it is very clear that structural conditions for revolutionary upheavals were always there: poor economic performance, endemic unemployment and poverty, glaring inequality; state repression, absence of competitive elections; hollowing out of productive industries, lack of genuine developmental policies; and increasingly unpopular foreign policies.

No region is completely immune to these challenges, but the Arab world has been facing a uniquely intense set of social and economic challenges. So one could argue that these uprisings were long in the making and perhaps even inevitable. Moreover, looking at protests and social movements in recent years, one could say that the secular trends towards a revolutionary upheaval were definitely there. The uprisings are a rejection of untenable, secular autocracies, which have plagued the Arab world in the post-colonial period.

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has been at the center of “resistance” to oppressive and imperial policies of Western powers and Israel. Undoubtedly, the Iranian revolution has served as an ideational inspiration for resistance movements across the region, from Iraq to Lebanon and Palestine. It was a revolution that toppled the most powerful ally of the U.S. in the region therefore it reinforced the notion that people could also dislodge Arab autocrats allied to powerful foreign patrons.

Given how most protests have occurred in pro-U.S. autocracies – from Tunisia to Egypt and Yemen – it shouldn’t surprise us that the ancient regime and its foreign allies would try to ‘discredit’ and delegitimize such genuine, multi-sectoral, and broad-based mass protests by linking them to some imaginary ‘Iranian conspiracy’. If one looks at the composition, content, and dynamics of these protests, it is crystal clear that these uprisings are largely democratic and popular, meaning they are spontaneous reactions to bankrupt and unresponsive political systems, which have failed at providing basic political and economic freedoms for the majority of people. Sure, Iran has some influence among certain sections of Arab societies, but to accuse Iran of fomenting mass protests aimed at regime change is far from the truth.

The case of Bahrain is a stark indication of how reactionary Arab regimes, with possibly an implicit approval from the U.S., are using the ‘Iranian conspiracy’ rhetoric to justify direct and brutal intervention, in a theoretically sovereign country, in order to suppress genuine democratic protests. The intervention was sanctioned by a group of monarchies that opposed democratic change; it was not approved by a popular, representative parliament, which could invoke the provisions of a ‘mutual defense treaty’ to justify the entry of foreign troops to protect national security.

Sectarian issues might have suffused protests and political movements across the region, but it is utterly disingenuous to claim that elements connected to the Iranian regime have somehow ‘organized’ these protests. A quick look at the protests would reveal how multi-ethnic, multi-sectoral, large-scale, and popular they are. To claim that hundreds of thousands of protesters are acting as some ‘fifth column’ for the Iranian regime is preposterous. If anything, it is the U.S. that has been deeply involved in the politics of most countries that are currently experiencing popular uprisings. For decades, Washington supported autocrats, financially and politically, and influenced the contours of many Arab states. Then by logic, it is more appropriate to accuse the U.S. of ‘interfering’ in the affairs of Arab societies.

KZ: Don’t you believe that the United States doesn’t have a firm and stable policy on values such as democracy and freedom? The undemocratic regimes of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been long supported by the consecutive U.S. administrations and no influential voice within the U.S. political establishment has contested this unconditional support so far. These governments have been the close allies of Washington for decades and now the international community is witnessing their dissolution. What’s your viewpoint in this regard?

RJH: Back in 2008, the Obama administration represented the greatest hope for the much-needed genuine dialogue between the Islamic world and America. After decades of imperial interventions and military misadventures in the Middle East, President Obama, as expressed in his famous ‘Cairo Speech’, promised a post-9/11 order where values of conciliation, inter-civilizational harmony, conflict resolution, mutual respect, and democratization take the upper hand. However, such ‘good will’ was somehow lost in translation when policies came into effect. The blunders started with his failed attempt at ‘resetting’ US-Iranian relations, then came his inability to stop settlement expansion in occupied territories. Instead of de-militarization, U.S. escalated its military operations in Afghanistan, while arms exports to Persian Gulf Arab states intensified. The ‘progressive shift’ somehow lost momentum to ‘realpolitik’.

The Arab uprisings have revealed America’s lack of a genuine commitment to democratization in the Middle East. Even the Obama administration, with its more liberal inflections, has waivered in its support for these democratic uprisings. In the case of Egypt, the U.S. waited until the last minute – when protests paralyzed the nation and the military threatened to intervene – before calling for ‘compromises’ on the part of Hosni Mubarak and his acolytes. In the case of Bahrain, America’s ‘silence’ on the brutal repression of protests has been highly noticeable especially in light of Washington’s deep geo-strategic interests in the Persian Gulf.

In Libya, the U.S. prioritized evacuation of its citizens while the government was engaging in en masse violence. Later, instead of exploring a workable diplomatic ‘settlement’ to the Libyan crisis, the U.S. supported ‘military intervention’ and gradually delegated operational tasks to European partners. Over all, Washington has showed little consistency in its response to popular protests across the region. Sure, each country represents a unique geo-political reality; however, Arab uprisings have been fundamentally consistent in their spirit and message, thus demanding a more coherent response from Washington and others who claim that they favor democracy.

KZ: Do you trace the footsteps of anti-American sentiments in the chained revolutions of the Middle East, or do you simply consider them an intrinsic consequence of poverty, unemployment, inflation and social inequality in these countries? Are the Arab nations of the region still willing to be allied with the United States?

RJH: Definitely, the ‘Arab street’ has been very critical of American policies in the region. Even the more liberal sections of the society have vehemently opposed American interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and later in Libya. Major surveys have consistently reflected America’s deep unpopularity – in the realm of foreign policies – in the Arab world and even in Turkey. However when one looks at the protests, you could see more signs of frustration with Arab regimes rather than hatred of America and Israel. People are deeply critical of foreign powers, but profound poverty, long periods of political exclusion, and simmering disenchantment with Arab political systems is the main driving force. Sentiments on foreign policy issues have simply complemented and reinforced predominantly domestic concerns.

If the uprisings pave the way for a more pluralistic and democratic political system, it is normal to expect some changes in Arab states’ foreign policy. For instance, one could expect more independence on certain issues that involve Iran. Arguably, new Arab regimes would prioritize normalization of bilateral relations with Tehran and adopt a more balanced approach to its nuclear program. For instance, Egypt is already exhibiting some changes in its foreign policy posturing, with the post-Mubarak government tilting towards Iran and taking a more pro-active stance on Israeli-Palestine relations.

One could also expect a more critical stance by Arab states on Israel’s oppressive policies. However, given America’s deep integration with many of these Arab states – both in the realm of economics and security – it would be difficult to envisage an abrupt ‘Arab decoupling’ from the U.S. In this sense, a more likely scenario – if the democratic transition takes place – is the emergence of more assertive and independent Arab regimes that don’t shy away from establishing good ties with Iran and criticizing U.S.-Israeli policies. In short, Arab uprisings could signal the end of the ‘Yes Man’ era, where Arab autocrats simply followed the U.S. line on certain foreign policy issues.

KZ: Let’s move to Iran and important issues concerning Iran’s position in the international community. The Western mainstream media permanently accuse Iran of violating human rights and ignoring democratic values. But let’s be impartial; who really violates the human rights? Isn’t it Israel that incarcerates Palestinian children and women and kills the unarmed civilians of Gaza? Isn’t it Saudi Arabia that tortures the prisoners using the most savage and inhumane techniques? Aren’t the Western states and media using the human rights excuse to put pressure on Iran? Why don’t they probe into the violation of human rights by their allies and cronies?

RJH: Unfortunately, the ‘human rights’ issue has always been instrumentalized by major powers in order to pressure their adversaries. Unless the U.S. improves its own record on human rights – from abolishing ‘rendition’ practices to closing the Guantanamo Prison and putting an end to tortures and random incarceration of ‘enemy combatants’ – it has no ‘moral ascendancy’ to even question other countries’ human rights record. More strikingly, the U.S. has failed to pressure many of its allies in the Middle East to improve on their human rights record. By any standard, one of the most brutal regimes in the Arab world are U.S. allies, while Israel – America’s top ally in the region – continues to build settlements and bombard highly-populated civilian areas in clear violation of international law.

Given how America continues to support one of the world’s most undemocratic and oppressive states – by any standard – it is clear that human rights, in its true sense, does not play a central role in America’s foreign policy doctrine. Instead, stability and geo-political interests – U.S. bases and safety of hydrocarbon transport and reserves – continue to dominate Washington’s agenda in the Middle East. This is why the U.S. was almost silent on the brutal suppression of protests in Bahrain and continues to stand by Israel despite growing international condemnation from all corners of the globe, including majority of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’ (OECD) members.

KZ: You might admit that the Western media are disproportionately inclined to see the dark side of stories and events in Iran. There’s a huge black propaganda campaign against Iran run by the mainstream media. You can never find any article, commentary or news package narrating one of Iran’s scientific discoveries or advancements or shedding light on Iran’s sophisticated culture, literature, history and civilization. Iranians are portrayed as barbaric and uncultured people who don’t understand anything of the life in the contemporary age. Terror, killing, execution, sanctions and nuclear energy; these are the recurrent themes of the Western media’s coverage of Iran. Why is it so? Why don’t they adopt an objective, fair and balanced stance on Iran?

RJH: First of all, it is hard to expect fair and balanced coverage by the corporate, mainstream media, where the main concern is profit and audience-satisfaction at any cost. Often, truth and complexity are the first casualties in the Darwinian media business model. However, when it comes to Iran, there are two aspects to the mainstream media’ coverage: 1) Because of the West’s deep-seated ‘orientalist’ approach, non-Western societies, especially those in the Middle East, have been portrayed as the ‘other’.

The post-colonialist literature reveals how this ‘other’ has been painted as exotic, pre-modern, barbaric, and devoid of all the beautiful and admirable values embedded in the superior western cosmos. 2) Geo-strategic and ideological factors have created sufficient incentives for both Western governments as well as a wide array of institutions – from the media to the civil society – to ‘demonize’ nations, which are perceived to be opposing West’s political, cultural, and economic interests.

Iran represents a country that has rejected a wide range of Western models and values in favor of a uniquely indigenous political model, which is supposedly closer to the true spirit of the Iranian nation. Iran has also been American’s major adversary in the Middle East. Iran has not only rejected neo-liberal market-economics, but it has also rejected liberal democracy as the foundation of its society. Therefore, the Iranian model is an antithesis, alternative to many established Western models of governance and lifestyles.

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has been a major victim of constant black propaganda, where only a handful of foreign people, mostly from the epistemic community and liberal circles, have a true knowledge of the complexities and nuances of the Iranian society. Political differences and the relative isolation of Iran have also prevented constant and deepening social and cultural exchange between scholars and people from Iran, on one hand, and Western individuals, on the other.

Crediting Iran’s achievements does not only create psychological dissonance for the Western audience – given pre-conceived negative perceptions of Iran – but it also contradicts the official line of many Western governments, which seek to either weaken Iran or totally change it. Therefore, for many media installations it is more business-friendly and politically convenient to stick to the ‘established line’, where Iran is portrayed as some backward, irrational, and aggressive country opposed to fundamental values of a supposedly universally accepted Western model. A combination of ingrained and systematic ignorance, on one hand, and deep political interests in isolating Iran, on the other, has reinforced and sustained efforts at constant discrediting and criticism of Iran. Therefore, despite Iran’s impressive achievements in the realm of socio-economic and scientific development, very few people have a balanced view of Iran.

KZ: What do you think about the unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and European Union? Together with the sanctions of the Security Council, these punitive measures have targeted Iran’s economy and paralyzed the daily life of the ordinary Iranian citizens.
Even the reformist leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have condemned the West for imposing these crippling sanctions against Iran which severely affect the life of the Iranian people, especially in medical sector and aviation industry. Aren’t these sanctions contrary to the spirit of the United Nations? Don’t they represent some kind of human rights violation?

RJH: First of all, we should separate the United Nations as a global institution for development and peace, on one hand, from the UN Security Council, which is a predominantly political body that is composed of powerful states with specific interests, on the other. Second, it must be clear that almost all sections of the Iranian society, across the political spectrum, support Iran’s quest for peaceful nuclear technology, given the immense prestige and economic benefits that comes with it. Third, we should distinguish between the UNSC resolutions, on one hand, and unilateral sanctions by the E.U. and the U.S. The UNSC resolutions were more a function of political interests of certain countries rather than a true manifestation of legal concerns vis-à-vis Iran’s nuclear program. Up to this date, no international agency can provide credible evidence that shows that Iran has violated the non-proliferation treaty (NPT), which means any hint at Iran’s ‘weaponization’ of its program belongs purely to the realm of speculation.

Unfortunately, unilateral sanctions – more than UNSC resolutions – have prevented Iran from fully exploiting its immense economic potentials, but more importantly they have placed immense pressure on the Iranian populace. Sanctions have raised transaction and import costs, restricted basic-commodity and sensitive medical-technology imports, and even affected the import of spare parts for Iran’s aviation industry. As a result, Iran has faced immense problems with aviation safety, availability of cheap and affordable food and other essential commodities, the establishment of stable and deepening channels of communication in the realm culture, education, and scientific cooperation.

At the end, the sanctions are simply hurting ordinary Iranians, but they fail to fundamentally alter Iran’s foreign policy and social configuration. By restricting people’s access to basic goods and services, these sanctions are violating individuals’ inalienable rights to food, shelter, safety, and health. By constraining Iran’s ability to fully exploit its vast economic potentials, sanctions are violating the aspirations of millions of Iranians, who strive for a better, more modern, and developed Iran. Nonetheless, the Iranian regime has remained intact, and it has moved ahead with major projects across the country in a quest to push Iran nearer to its vision of becoming a regional hub and centre for scientific, socio-economic and technological excellence.

Instead of sanctions, the West should work on a ‘solution’ that addresses Iran’s deep economic and technological concerns both in the realm of nuclear technology as well as civilian economy. However, more importantly, the West should focus on resolving and clarifying a range of security and foreign policy issues with Iran. The only way forward is a ‘grand bargain’, where Iran and the West address a range of interrelated issues across different dimensions in a hope to resolve differences on both sides. Limited, haphazard, and cynical policies do not simply work.

KZ: What’s your prediction for the future of Iran-West relations? Are they fated to remain enemies forever? Will we witness the continued bitterness and acrimony between Iran and the U.S. in the future? What’s the solution for the two sides to get out of this unending antagonism? Don’t you believe that the U.S. hasn’t taken the necessary steps to renormalize its ties with Iran and build confidence with Tehran?

RJH: Well, prediction presupposes the identification of all relevant variables and a clear understanding of their interrelationship. This is almost an impossible task when it comes to international affairs, given the sheer number of variables and their complex and often unpredictable interrelationship. However, we can make certain ‘conditional’ and qualified projections about a range of possible future scenarios when it comes to Iran-West relations. First of all, we should distinguish between ‘multiple’ centers in the West. Essentially, the West pertains to Europe and the U.S. For the purpose of simplicity, we can say that Canada, Australia, and New Zealand would maintain some level of pragmatic relationship with Iran, despite intermittent criticisms against the latter’s internal and foreign policies.

The nature of Iran’s relations with Europe is qualitatively different, given the deep interdependence between the two sides. Despite all the sanctions, divestments, and escalation in politico-diplomatic tensions, Iran’s trade with Europe has remained stable and solid – it has in fact grown in recent years. Iran has substantial investments in Europe, and deep cultural-scientific-political ties continue to bind the two sides together. Despite German, French, and Italian politicians’ often-bellicose statements against Iran, Tehran is still seen as a major power, important nation, and an inevitable partner in an extremely strategic region. This explains why Europe has been keen on sticking to a diplomatic approach in resolving issues vis-à-vis Iran’s nuclear program.

Predominantly, Europe is opposed to any military option against Iran, and one could argue that all these sanctions are one way of appeasing more right-wing and hard-line elements both within and outside the continent. This is understandable, given the gradual and noticeable rise of conservative and hawkish parties in European countries. However, given Iran’s immense geo-strategic value to Europeans, there will always be a rationale for rapprochement and even closer ties with Iran. Moreover, Russia is still seen as a potential threat, and Moscow’s virtual monopoly over Europe’s energy imports means that Iran – possessing the world’s second largest reserves of gas – could be a strong alternative and source of energy-import diversification. This has gained more importance in light of Libya’s inability – due to the ongoing conflict – to provide Europe with energy imports. Given Iran’s strong and burgeoning ties with Turkey and the prospects for a transcontinental pipeline, connecting central Asian and Iran to Europe, the economic and energy security logic will always exert a pressure on Europeans to have a more conciliatory relationship with Iran.

Iran also represents a huge and growing market for European firms and industries, which are struggling with economic recession and growing competition from emerging economies such as China and Brazil. Iran’s vast and largely untapped hydrocarbon resources do also represent a huge lure for multinational European firms, which seek to deepen their market-shares and investments in hydrocarbon-rich nations. For its part, the United Kingdom has generally adopted a policy that is more reflective of its ‘special relations’ with U.S. however it has shown more pragmatism and restraint than Washington. Iran is aware of these realities and it appreciates the rationale in having stable and strong relations with Europe. Therefore, the sanctions could serve as some sort of a blip in bilateral relations, rather than a complete rupture between the two.

Iran’s relation with the U.S. is unique and much more complicated. The two sides are hardly interdependent in economic terms, while politico-cultural-diplomatic relations are dismal. There is a total absence of formal and institutionalized bilateral security relations. However, the important variable here is the presence of strong pro-Israeli lobby in the U.S. Given the depth and gravity of Iran’s differences with Israel, one could not envisage a definitive de-escalation in anti-Iran lobby in Washington.

On its part, Tehran continues to harbor suspicion vis-à-vis America. Obama’s inability to inject a paradigmatic shift into U.S.’ Iran policy has almost eliminated whatever good will generated by his special ‘Nowrouz’ addresses to Iran. On the nuclear issue, the U.S. has not offered any concrete benefits, political and technological, to encourage more multilateral confidence-building measures, while it opposed the Turkey-Brazil-Iran deal, the ‘Tehran Declaration’, which represented the hope for a quantum-leap in nuclear talks.

The Arab uprisings have further complicated bilateral relations, since the U.S. and Iran have divergent strategic positions on protests across the region. In Bahrain and Syria, both countries stand on opposite sides, even if rhetorically they have converged on calls for restraint, dialogue, and an end to violence. At this point in time, domestic political forces in both countries have shown little interest in mending ties. With nuclear negotiations in total limbo and constant sanctions and pressure on Iran, there is little reason to believe that bilateral relations would gain a new color and character.

There are always possibilities for ‘black swans’ – occurrence of high impact, low-probability events – in Iran’s relations with the U.S, or even Europe, but given current trends – domestically and internationally – the pendulum of probabilities swings against prospects for an Iran-U.S. rapprochement in the short and medium term. However, growing tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and simmering anxieties attached to America’s impending withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan might form the rationale for some reasonable engagement between both sides. What stands between the two countries more than anything is the Israeli lobby, and right-wing political forces, which opposes any grand bargain between Iran and U.S.

Posted in IranComments Off on Iran is a victim of constant black propaganda

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

US demands Palestinians drop statehood bid as Israel does a mad dash to build support at the UN

Sep 08, 2011

Seham

Hale Demands Abbas To Void U.N Move
U.S. Envoy, David Hale, has officially demanded on Wednesday, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, to void the plan to head to the United Nations to seek international recognition of statehood, and told him that Washington opposes the move.

Obama urged to wield U.N. veto against Palestinians (Reuters)
Reuters – President Barack Obama should say clearly and publicly the United States will use its veto on the U.N. Security Council to block any Palestinian bid to gain U.N. membership, a senior Republican lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Held 70 Meetings With Counterparts
As part of Israel’s campaign to foil the Palestinian bid at the United Nations this month, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. held seventy meetings with his counterparts trying to convince them to vote against the move.

Israelis could face trial in the Hague if Palestinian statehood recognized at UN, experts warn
According to the statute of the court, the direct or indirect transfer of an occupier’s population into occupied territory constitutes a war crime.

And more news from Today in Palestine:

Israel’s right-wing prepares for UN recognition of Palestine
Coalition chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Likud) blasts IDF top brass for siding with Palestinians rather than the government. 
link to www.haaretz.com

Palestinians deploy Obama speech in U.N. campaign (Reuters)
Reuters – President Barack Obama is an unlikely participant in a Palestinian campaign to drum up support for a bid to win U.N. recognition of their statehood — a diplomatic move opposed by both his administration and Israel.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110907/wl_nm/us_palestinians_israel_obama

Egypt rallies support for Palestinians at UN
Cairo lobbies members of Non-Aligned Movement to support Palestinian statehood bid, but Belgrade meeting ends with no official declaration.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Fatah leader in Turkey ahead of UN vote
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Fatah leader Nabil Shaath met Tuesday with senior Turkish officials to discuss the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah’s bid for membership at the UN, officials said. Shaath held a series of discussions as a special envoy for President Mahmoud Abbas in talks about the September bid in the UN, Israel’s blockade on Gaza and a UN report criticizing Turkey and Israel. Shaath described the talks as deep and positive. He said the visit included passing along Abbas’ thanks for its support for the Palestinian cause and its efforts to declare a Palestinian state in the UN.
link to www.maannews.net

China Supports Palestinian UN Bid
China declared Wednesday that it supports the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations, considered the move as “unalienable legitimate Palestinian right”, and that the move will boost peace in the region.
link to www.imemc.org

Palestinians have a plan B for U.N. statehood drive
It’s generally expected that the United States will veto the Palestinian bid for full member status at the United Nations Security Council next month, but the Palestinian government thinks it has an ace up its sleeve — a workaround option that would bypass the U.S. veto and allow it to secure U.N. recognition, says the PLO’s top representative in Washington. 
link to thecable.foreignpolicy.com

Hamas ‘opposes popular protests’ in support of UN bid
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Popular Resistance Campaign coordinator Mahmud Az-Ziq said Wednesday Hamas is refusing to allow any mass protests in Gaza in support of the UN bid. Hamas has informed factions in Gaza that they are not in favor of any popular action to support the bid, Az-Ziq said.
link to www.maannews.net

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid

Peace Now: Settlement construction rate double national rate
Movement publishes report based on aerial photos, on-site visits, claims construction rate on West Bank settlements double that of rest of country.
link to www.ynetnews.com

PA: Israeli forces destroy 3 wells near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished three water wells Thursday in the village of Naseriya, east of Nablus, the official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA reported. The wells were owned by Muhammad Wahdan Abu Luay, Najeh Zaid and Nabil Judeh.
link to www.maannews.net

Al Walajeh: Demonstrators , Military clash over olive trees uprooted
Bethlehem – PNN – The Israeli Military attacked a group of Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, participating in a peaceful demonstration against the enlargement of the wall in Al-Walajah, North West of Bethlehem. For the second day running, the Israeli Military cut and uprooted the olive trees of the area around West Bank’s village of Al-Walajah. The dredging works were carried out in the area of Ain Joazh, where the Israeli Military is completing the building of the apartheid wall.
link to english.pnn.ps

Israel’s Response to Statehood Bid: More Settlements
Ramallah — Israeli occupation authorities are speeding up their plans to expand construction in the occupied Palestinian territories. Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved on Monday the construction of 277 additional housing units in Neuman neighborhood in the settlement of Ariel, north of the West Bank. These units are part of a plan to build 430 additional settlement units. According to Haaretz newspaper, the housing units were previously approved, but the designated land had not been presented to the investors. Following Barak’s announcement, the settlement administration can allocate the plots for construction that is expected to end in three and a half years. According to the plan, 100 housing units will be reserved for settlers who were relocated from the Nitzarim settlement in Gaza Strip. 
link to English Al-Akhbar

Model of Resistance: Hebron Area Family against Israeli Colonisation, Settler Violence
While the Israeli colonisation project in the West Bank is increasing and eating away at Palestinian lands, the Palestinian popular resistance continues its daily struggle.
link to www.alternativenews.org

New AIC Film- Sumoud: The Struggle for al-Araqib
Israel has demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib nearly 30 times in the span of one year. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, residents have rebuilt their homes and have vowed to remain on their ancestral lands.
link to www.alternativenews.org

Settlers

Price Tag: Mosque vandalized, cars torched
Anonymous vandals spray paint West Bank village mosque overnight in response to Migron outpost razing. Two cars set on fire in nearby village 
link to www.ynetnews.com

Soldiers, Settlers Attack Nablus
Israeli soldiers invaded, Thursday morning, the northern West Bank city of Nablus and demolished three wells, while army bulldozers uprooted farmlands in the Nablus district. Armed Israeli settlers also wrote graffiti on a local mosque.
link to www.imemc.org

Israeli Apartheid Regime Violence

Israeli air bombing of car in Gaza kills resistance fighter
Palestinian resistance fighter from Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, was killed on Wednesday evening in the Gaza Strip when an Israeli aerial attack targeted his car.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Witnesses: Overnight raid on Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli warplanes struck a site east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday without any injuries reported, witnesses told Ma’an. Eyewitnesses said that an Israeli surveillance plane fired a missile towards a group of militants east of Jabalia refugee camp. The group were located by a rocket launch site which was damaged in the raid, witnesses added. An Israeli army spokeswoman said there were no reports of any air strikes overnight.
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli Soldiers, Police Attack Beit Ommar Fruit Vendors
On 6th September, at 11:00 am, a group of Israeli soldiers and police attacked a group of fifteen local farmers who were selling local fruits at the entrance to Beit Ommar village, on the Route 60 highway. The soldiers then proceeded to confiscate and destroy 15 large stalls of the locals’ produce (consisting of tomatoes, plums, grapes and peaches) without citing any reason or justification. Farmers estimated the cost of the damage at around $10,000. More worrying for the vendors is the possibility that Israel intends to permanently prevent them from selling their fruit on Route 60, the main highway connecting Jerusalem to Bethlehem and then Hebron.
link to palestinesolidarityproject.org

Torture campaign precedes against Silwans residents and provokes them to confrontations
Collective punishment and torture campaign precede against the Palestinian in Silwan and in particular to Beir Ayoub neighborhood . The Israeli forces conducted stopping the Palestinian vehicles and torturing citizens occasionally with the beginning of the educational new year. Lately, the Israeli Authorities has been trying to practice embitterment over Palestinians in each occasion or their  important incidents. For example, they cut  electricity off the streets , set up check points to the entrances of the town and prevent the citizens of moving  and coming back for their town with their private vehicles in addition to the settlers attempt of making concerts in their settlement centers  at the time of Ramadan night prayers “Taraweeh” this  was an attempt to hide  Ramadan identity for the town especially at the nights of the feast. At the nights of the feast and the first day, the Israeli forces merged wide arrests .Moreover, yesterday, the Israeli Authority and at the beginning of the Educational year conducted wide range of traffic tickets and closed an elementary school in Abu tour the closest neighborhood to Silwan justifying this act by practicing terrorism in the mentioned school.As a reaction the kids throw stones towards the Israeli Forces which preceded their scheduled torture.
link to silwanic.net

Why dig deeper if you can just bomb civilians in Gaza? The Mysterious Raid on Eilat: Why No One Wants to Dig Too Deep, Karl Vick
A month after an unusual terror attack killed eight Israelis along a desert highway approaching the Red Sea, the incident remains shrouded in mystery, especially in Gaza, where Israeli officials insist the complex, military-style attack was orchestrated but where no group has taken responsibility. “Usually the problem is more than one group takes credit after a successful operation,” says Taheri Al-Nunu, a spokesman for Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza. Hamas had immediately denied knowledge of the attack, and hurriedly surveyed the other militant groups operating in the enclave. “All of them denied it.”
link to old.news.yahoo.com

Siege on Gaza & rest of Palestine

Unpaid salaries add to Gaza woes, Gregg Carlstrom
Business owners say conditions are “miserable” because both Hamas and Fatah are months behind on payroll.
link to english.aljazeera.net

Turkish Red Crescent tries to solve Gaza water problem
The Red Crescent helped renovation of some parts of the water supply networks in the city center in the last two years. Turkish relief agency, Red Crescent, has been trying to find a solution to the water problem in Gaza Strip. The Red Crescent helped renovation of some parts of the water supply networks in the city center in the last two years. Halim Sertac, chairman of Red Crescent’s Office in Gaza, told the A.A correspondent, “we have undertaken building of new water reservoirs to be used in city water supply and to irrigate the arable areas in the city of Rafah. We have completed the first reservoir of 2,000 cubic metres. It serves more than 50 thousand Palestinian people. The second one with a capacity of 3,000 cubic metres is about to be completed. It will serve nearly 150 thousand people in Rafah.” Acici added that they also targeted to rehabilitate arable areas in cooperation with the Gulf Countries Cooperation Council and the Islamic Development.
link to www.worldbulletin.net

Israel chokes Palestinian trade, says UN study
West Bank trade remains largely isolated from global markets due to restrictions imposed on the movement of goods, according to a July 2011 study by the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
link to electronicintifada.net

Detainees

Israeli court sentences two Jerusalemite minors to jail
The Israeli central court in occupied Jerusalem sentenced two Palestinian Jerusalemite minors to 15 months behind bars for throwing stones at Israeli vehicles.
link to Palestinian Information Center

The kidnapping of a ten year old child and assaulting him
A little time ago, the Israeli forces from the undercover units kidnapped a ten years old child, named Mahmoud al Abbasi, from Ein Alouzeh neighborhood in Silwan. Although there was the vehicle of the settlers that witnessed this, the militia still passed in front of the  under cover unit’s vehicle from Ein Al Lozeh neighborhood and did not stop when masked undercover men attacked Mahmoud al Abbasi and beat him brutally, as shared by other eye witnesses. According to the surrounding neighbors, Mahmoud continued to be assaulted by being dragged and beaten as the Mitilia of Settlers expressed their happiness for this act.
link to silwanic.net

4 Palestinians detained in northern West Bank
JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained four people in the northern West Bank overnight Wednesday, witnesses and the Israeli army said. Security sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained Muhammad Ghannam and Fadi al-Balshi, both in their twenties, from Jaba village northwest of Jenin. Soldiers also raided al-Araqa village in Jenin, witnesses said, storming a number of houses without any detentions reported. 
link to www.maannews.net

PPSF member detained at Ramallah checkpoint
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a member of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front late Wednesday after holding him at Atara checkpoint north of Ramallah. PPSF member Monadel Hanini told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained Awni Abu Ghosh, 50, while he was on his way back to Jerusalem, where he lives, from Nablus.
link to www.maannews.net

Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment/ Solidarity

Uncovered: Israel’s role in planned US lawsuit to fight BDS, Ali Abunimah
An exclusive investigation finds that pro-Israel activists, backed by an Islamophobic pro-Israel group and with the knowledge of the Israeli government, is planning to take legal action to force the Olympia Food Co-op to rescind its historic decision to boycott Israeli products.
link to Electronic Intifada

MK Rotem: Investigate Israeli Leftist Group Who Visited Ramallah
MK David Rotem asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to investigate 20 Israeli leftists who visited PA chief Abbas in Ramallah Sunday.ists who visited PA chief Abbas in Ramallah Sunday.
link to www.israelnationalnews.com

US National Building Museum Cancels Caterpillar Award Ceremony
Due to pressure from social justice groups across the country, the National Building Museum has canceled a public award ceremony to present Caterpillar Inc. with the 2011 Henry C. Turner Prize.
link to www.alternativenews.org

French street artist launches new project in West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The French street artist responsible for adorning the separation wall with giant portraits of grinning rabbis, imams, Israelis and Palestinians has returned to the West Bank with a new project. The artist, known only by his initials JR, has launched his latest project ‘Inside Out’ globally, and it arrived in Palestine on Monday. He has installed booths in Bethlehem and Ramallah where people can have their photo taken and printed in black and white as huge posters. 
link to www.maannews.net

Peaceful CODEPINK Demonstrator Files Suit Against Netanyahu’s Supporters
Rae Abileah, a peaceful demonstrator who was physically attacked and injured on May 24, 2011, while protesting the occupation and oppression of Palestinians during the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, filed a civil action in District of Columbia Superior Court today [ed. August 18, 2011] against the unknown individuals who attacked her in the House Gallery, and caused her serious physical injury.
link to blog.endtheoccupation.org

Divesting from Israel’s Occupation, Ida Audeh
In September, the University of Colorado Board of Regents will be presented with a petition urging it to remove from the university’s stock portfolio all companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. Launched by CU-Divest and signed by nearly 2,000 students and human rights activists, the petition states that the university’s $1.7 billion investments “may violate the University’s commitment to human rights and social justice.”
link to palestinechronicle.com

Racism / Discrimination 

Israel police shut kindergarten fearing it will become terror hub
“After I became convinced that the building in Abu Tor was destined to be used for Hamas activities, I am ordering it shut until October 4, 2011,” read the order posted on the buildings door.
link to www.haaretz.com

Israel banned the call to prayer from the Ibrahimi Mosque 47 times during Ramadan
The Israeli occupation authorities in the West Bank prevented the call to prayer (Adhan) being made at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of Hebron 47 times during the holy month of Ramadan. The reason given for this curtailment of religious freedom was that the call “disturbed” illegal Israeli settlers in the city.
link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk

Political / Diplomatic / International

Hamas to PA security services: Lift ban on resistance in West Bank
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri has called on the PA security to lift the ban on resistance in the West Bank in response to a wave of attacks against Palestinians by Israeli settlers and soldiers.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Hamas official: No direct contacts with Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas said Wednesday that the truce with Israel, which has mostly held for two weeks, was coordinated with Palestinian factions and not directly with Israeli authorities. The lull “was not a joint decision with Israel,” said Hamas lawmaker Salah Bardawil. Hamas is not consulting with Israel about the “Palestinian national consensus” to restore calm. If the resistance acts outside the deal, the results will be negative, he said. 
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli ambassador returns to Egypt
Yitzhak Levanon back in Egyptian capital after tense period during which widespread protests held in front of embassy.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Secret trial revelations prompt US-Israeli diplomatic storm
A court case against a translator who leaked US government secrets was conducted in secret because it centred on the revelation that the FBI had eavesdropped on Israeli embassy phone calls, it was revealed yesterday.
link to www.independent.co.uk

Official: Israel faces cyber threat
JERUSALEM, Sept. 7 (UPI) — The man in charge of Israel’s electricity said Wednesday his country needs to prepare for a possible cyberattack. Maj. Gen. Yiftach Ron-Tal of Israel Electric Corp. told the Jerusalem Post the Israel’s enemies may have already succeeded in installing viruses in computer systems that control military and civilian infrastructure.
“Israel is under a threat and we could already have experienced a silent infiltration that will be activated when the enemy wants,” Ron-Tal said. “We need to be prepared for the possibility that critical infrastructure will be paralyzed.”
link to www.upi.com

Top U.S. official: Hamas must release Gilad Shalit unconditionally
Following meeting with Noam Shalit in New York, U.S. envoy to the UN Susan Rice says Hamas holding IDF soldier in violation of international humanitarian law, ‘basic decency’. 
link to www.haaretz.com

Other News

Italian activist’s murder trial due to start in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The first session of a murder trial for the suspected killers of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni is due to start on Thursday in a Gaza court, a Ma’an correspondent reported. The Italian activist and journalist was murdered after being kidnapped by a group that identified itself as Salafist, on April 15, 2011. 
link to www.maannews.net

PCBS: Illiteracy rates drop in Palestinian territories
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics published results on Thursday showing that illiteracy rates have decreased in the Palestinian territories. A study showed that illiteracy rates in the occupied Palestinian territories dropped from 13.9 percent in 1997 to 5.1 percent in 2010, PCBS said. Demographic factors directly affected illiteracy rates, the report showed. The illiteracy rate for men is 2.4 percent and 7.8 percent for females. The highest illiteracy rate was found in people over 65, at 54.4 percent, while it stood at 0.8 percent in the 15-24 age group. 
link to www.maannews.net

Turkey/Israel

Erdogan: We will not let Israel disrespect Turkey, no matter the price
Comments come on the heels of Turkey’s expulsion of top Israeli diplomats, suspension of all military deals.
link to www.haaretz.com

Turkish presidential adviser: Palmer recommendations don’t concern us
A Turkish official has hinted that Ankara could take more punitive measures against Israel if Tel Aviv continues to reject Turkish conditions for ending the diplomatic crisis between the two countries. The Turkish presidential adviser, Ersat Hürmüzlü, told Radio Israel on Tuesday, September 6, that the ball is currently in Israel’s court after Ankara decided to downgrade the Israeli diplomatic representation in Turkey to the level of second secretary. “Turkey is awaiting Tel Aviv’s response to this step, and if Israel continues in its intransigence toward Turkey’s demands, Ankara will take further steps.”
link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk

Israel warns Erdogan will be committing ‘diplomatic mistake’ if he visits Gaza
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he may visit the Gaza Strip next week in conjunction with his scheduled visit to Cairo after talks with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Ya’alon takes on Erdogan
Vice premier addresses tensions with Turkey, asking crowd at Tel Aviv conference: ‘How can you trust a government that consorts with Iran and Hamas?’
link to www.ynetnews.com

‘Turkey violating international law’
Israeli state officials insist Ankara’s announcement of suspension of trade ties with Israel purely declarative, bears no economic significance. Israel can sue Turkey for violation of international law, legal expert claims.
link to www.ynetnews.com

What’s bad for Israel is good for Egypt: Egyptian trade delegation to visit Turkey mid-September
The Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce is organizing a visit to Turkey with the aim of attracting foreign investment into Egypt and supporting Egyptian exports to Turkish markets.  The FECC announced on Tuesday, September 6, that the trip is scheduled to take place from September 17th through to the 12th. It is to comprise a high-ranking delegation of Egyptian entrepreneurs who will be meeting a number of their Turkish counterparts to discuss the trade deficit crisis that has negatively affected trade between the two countries.
link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk

Israeli politicians, media and intelligence push for more conflict with Turkey, Max Blumenthal
The “Periphery Doctrine” has been a cornerstone of Israel’s strategic approach to the Middle East since the state’s foundation. Devised by David Ben Gurion and Eliahu Sassoon, an Israeli Middle East expert who became Israel’s first diplomatic representative in Turkey, the doctrine was based on maintaining alliances with non-Arab states and ethnic minorities in the region as a counterweight to pan-Arabism. Though three countries — Iran, Ethiopia, and Turkey — became key regional allies of Israel, Ben Gurion was keenly aware that the relationships were temporary, and could not substitute for peace with Israel’s Arab neighbors (something Ben Gurion ironically tried to manufacture through his “activist” foreign policy of unilateral military strikes and disproportionate force). From Turkey’s perspective, the relationship with Israel was never a proper strategic alliance, but rather a means of establishing leverage against nationalistic Arab governments.
link to maxblumenthal.com

The UN Palmer Inquiry and Israel’s Attack on the Mavi Marmara, Daragh Murray
The UN released its report, “Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident” on Friday, 2 September 2011. The report addressed issues relating to Israel’s attack on theMavi Marmara – which left 9 Turkish civilians dead, and some 55 others wounded – and concluded, amongst other things, that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is lawful and that Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara was justified, but involved excessive force. The panel then recommended that Israel issue an “appropriate statement of regret,” and offer compensation.
link to www.jadaliyya.com

Turkey Crisis Provokes Israeli Army Anger at Lieberman, Juan Cole
The crisis between Turkey and Israel deepened on Monday, allegedly provoking severe tensions between the Israeli officer corps and the far right-wing Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman. There was also disarray among the officers over an allegation by one general that the Middle East might be moving toward comprehensive war, an assessment that was firmly rejected by the Israeli chief of staff and the minister of defense.
link to www.juancole.com

Palestine/Israel Wikileaks

Leaked cable suggests PA hid torture death
NEW YORK (Ma’an) — Palestinian security officials privately offered American diplomats candid details about the 2009 death of a detainee while they publicly refuted allegations of torture, according to a US diplomatic cable recently released by WikiLeaks. Suspected Hamas member Haitham Amr, a nurse at a Hebron hospital, died less than a week after the PA’s General Intelligence division arrested him in June 2009. 
link to www.maannews.net

Wikileaks: Fayyad suppressed Ramallah demonstrations during 2008-9 Gaza war
A “classified” diplomatic cable leaked by Wikileaks revealed that PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad deployed 500 security officers to quell protests in Ramallah during Israel’s 2008-9 aggression on Gaza.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7pPQ8z6Jy8se9%2bznQzDXYZP0eE9fxv7jKdYZw6tJKWi9D06C4MmU5StlpFZzq9lWDV9JOVAvw8psW3NX4mE%2faMkVazejNofyQsWmUFVulYFg%3d

New Wikileaks cable shows Israel’s West Bank blockade
In a 2009 cable, American diplomats complain that Israel is not issuing work visas for Palestinian companies’ foreign employees. While most people who follow the news from Israel and the Palestinian territories know well enough that Israel blocks travel to and from Gaza, it is always surprising how few are aware that all exists and entries to the West Bank are also controlled by Israel. In fact, while Gaza has a land border with Egypt, which allows a certain flow of people and goods, the Israeli blocked on the West Bank is absolute.
link to www.promisedlandblog.com

Analysis/Op-ed

The crime of apartheid, Frank Barat
In order to keep Israel a “Jewish” state, racist policies amounting to apartheid have been used against Palestinians.
link to english.aljazeera.net

The Quartet’s envoy is no longer relevant
The Quartet’s envoy to the Middle East, Tony Blair, is trying to improve his perpetually tarnished image and convince the world that his job actually matters.  Speaking at the International Conference on Economic Regional Cooperation in Tel Aviv, he said that he was optimistic about the prospects for peace in the region. He said that he was working to get the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table and the only way to resolve the conflict was the creation of a viable Palestinian state (How many times have we heard this before?).  Tony Blair was hosted at the conference by Silvan Shalom, the Deputy Prime Minister in an Israeli government which no longer bothers to hide its contempt for the “peace process” and the very idea of peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians and its opposition to the creation of anything resembling a viable Palestinian state.
link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk

‘Hands at your side like a soldier,’ first-graders belt out ‘Hatikvah’ –at NY school with public funding
Bear in mind that NY shut down the Arabic-language school in Brooklyn, the Kahlil Gibran academy. Well Nina Porzucki reports for PRI’s The World on the new Hebrew language academy charter school in Brooklyn– which is largely supported by public funds but as the Forward says, came about through the persistent efforts of Michael Steinhardt, who is pro-Israel. The Porzucki story begins with first-grade music hour at the school. 
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/hands-at-your-side-like-a-soldier-first-graders-belt-out-hatikvah-at-ny-school-with-public-funding.html

New book explores Israel’s military legal system, Joseph Dana
The Israeli military legal system  is one of the modt under reported yet crucial components of Israel’s system of control over Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Since 1967, Israel has controlled the entire area of the West Bank using two forms of legal enforcement based on two different legal codes –  one for Israeli settlers and one for Palestinians. Palestinians are subjected to military law administered by the Israeli army. Far from providing justice for Palestinians, the military legal system functions as a foundational control mechanism over Palestinian life in all realms. In a new book from Pluto Press, Israeli professor Anat Matar and Palestinian lawyer Abeer Baker edit a collection of informative essays regarding the military justice system and Palestinian prisoners in Israel.
link to Joseph Dana

Israeli Oppression Continues While Talking Peace – by Stephen Lendman
No wonder Palestinians want and deserve statehood, as well as full UN membership to be able to seek World Court redress, and be able to sue under Genocide Convention provisions, and why not. Israel’s lawless hypocrisy is shameless given what goes on daily – bombings, killings, mass arrests, settlement expansions, dispossessions, and other civil and human rights abuses on an ongoing basis. More on that below. On September 5, ahead of the September General Assembly meeting, Netanuyahu predictably said he wants peace talks restarted with no chance whatever of succeeding like all previous attempts for decades because Israeli violence is official policy.
link to sjlendman.blogspot.com

The Mossad in Hollywood Movies, Asad AbuKhalil
Someone should write a study of the portrayal of Mossad agents in US movies. Israel’s spy agency has a special place in US popular culture. It is rather bizarre, if you think about it. It is unimaginable that Turkish intelligence or Syrian intelligence would be heroically portrayed in American culture. But the centrality of Israel in the American imagination is unmatched. No country has achieved that status: not even the UK. No one speaks of a British lobby as they speak of the Israeli lobby.
link to English Al-Akhbar

NYT’s Keller implies Iraq War aimed to save Israel from a ‘holocaust’, Matthew Taylor
NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller pens a tortured mea culpa about his support for the Iraq War, stopping short of a full apology because he “couldn’t have known better at the time.” Along the way, he drops this stunning revelation about where his and his colleagues’ priorities lie…
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/nyts-keller-infers-iraq-war-aimed-to-save-israel-from-a-holocaust.html

ATFP Finds More In Common With Zionist Fanatics Than Palestinian-Americans
Ghaith Al-Omari, who recently represented  The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) at the Iftar dinner hosted by the Israeli Ambassador, will be discussing the UN Palestine vote along with David Makovsky from the Washington Institute of Near East Policy (WINEP), the “think tank” of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  Although the stated objectives of the ATFP is to work for peace between two peoples all it seems to have achieved is a close working relationship between the three individuals that run this shop and the various components of the pro-Israel lobby.  The only individuals with whom the ATFP collaborates or maintains friendly relations are pro-Israel extremists whose views not only fall outside the scope of any reasonable debate, but are clearly beyond the pale. 
link to ikhras.com

Hussein Ibish Treads Very Carefully, Boycotts Press TV
Hussein Ibish has taken umbrage at Iran’s Press TV for misrepresenting what he said and decided he will no longer be giving interviews to the English-language Iranian network. After the interview, Press TV posted Ibish’s latest appearance on its website with the following title: “US main obstacle to peace in Palestine.”  Hussein found this title “outrageous” and thundered “the headline attributed to me a sentiment which I absolutely do not agree with and did not either say or imply and which I find completely ridiculous.”
link to ikhras.com

Israel’s Anti-democratic Enterprise, George Polley
Israel as a Jewish state is unworkable for one simple reason: non-Jews are treated differently than Jews, leaving non-Jews in a lesser-than position in which they have fewer rights than Jews, and are required to carry a special identification card that identifies them as non-Jews, and must be surrendered whenever requested by a Jewish authority.
link to palestinechronicle.com

Other News

US names aid czar for post-revolt Arab states (AP)
AP – The Obama administration has named a senior official to head a new office that will oversee U.S. assistance to Arab nations going through democratic transitions after popular uprisings toppled their longtime autocratic leaders.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110907/ap_on_re_us/us_us_mideast

Report: NYC police eyes 250-plus mosques in city
Secret document highlights how New York Police Department obtained intelligence on 250 mosques, Muslim students using undercover informants to canvas Islamic population of America’s largest city
link to www.ynetnews.com

Irvine 11’s trial begins with both sides citing 1st Amendment
Irvine 11 case pits the free speech rights of the Israeli ambassador to the United States against those of a group of Muslim college students accused of disrupting his speech. Prosecutors and defense attorneys both argued free-speech rights Wednesday during opening statements in the criminal trial against Muslim college students accused of plotting to disrupt a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States.
link to feeds.latimes.com

Pols take paid speaking engagements in support of Iranian terror group
An Iranian political group designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization is offering large payments to orators willing to speak at events on their behalf. Among those with connections to the organization, Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), are Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s chief foreign policy adviser and liberal politician Howard Dean.
link to www.rawstory.com

Discovered Files Show U.S., Britain Had Extensive Ties with Gaddafi Regime on Rendition, Torture
Human Rights Watch has uncovered hundreds of letters in the Libyan foreign ministry proving the Gaddafi government directly aided the extraordinary rendition program carried out by the CIA and the MI6 in Britain after the 9/11 attacks. The documents expose how the CIA rendered suspects to Libyan authorities knowing they would be tortured. One of the most prominent suspects rendered to Libya was an Islamic militant named Abdelhakim Belhaj, who is now the military commander for the Libyan rebels. At the time of his capture in 2004, Belhaj was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a group that had ties to al-Qaeda. We speak to Peter Bouckaert, the emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, who helped find the documents in Tripoli, and Gareth Peirce, a well-known British human rights attorney who has represented numerous Guantánamo prisoners as well as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
link to www.democracynow.org

RBS involved in conference on Middle East weapons sales
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s is sending delegates to a conference promoting weapons sales to the Middle East.
link to www.independent.co.uk

Iraqi civilian died after ‘gratuitous violence’ by UK troops
A civilian who died in British custody in 2003 in Iraq suffered “an appalling episode of serious gratuitous violence” at the hands of British soldiers, an independent inquiry found on Thursday. The treatment of 26-year-old hotel receptionist Baha Mousa represented a “very serious breach of discipline” by members of the army, said retired judge William Gage, who led the three-year probe.
link to www.rawstory.com

www. TheHeadlines.org

 

‘J St’ comes out against Palestinian statehood initiative

Sep 08, 2011

Paul Mutter, Phil Weiss

Update: A PDF of the J Street position paper is here. (Dug up by Adam Kredo.) And J Street has posted an “open letter” to “the American Jewish community” on the subject, which as that salutation signals, invokes establishment communalism:

J Street’s position on the possible Security Council resolution aligns with the position of most established institutions in the American Jewish community.

Noam Sheizaf:

J Street, the pro-peace Jewish lobbying group, has decided to join the US Administration in opposing the Palestinian’s bid for statehood at the UN. JTA reports:

“We believe that everything J Street stands for and what we do needs to promote the two-state solution and not just two states,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, the director of the dovish pro-Israel group, told JTA on Wednesday.

Palestinian statehood should come about through negotiations with Israel and not unilaterally, he said.

Ben-Ami said the group backs Obama administration plans to veto any U.N. Security Council resolution that would establish such a state and has urged Palestinian leaders to defer plans to introduce such a resolution later this month.

This is probably the worst move J Street has ever made. While past errors were political ones that could be expected from a young organization that has taken upon itself a tremendous task, this mistake is a moral one. It might bring short term gains – I am not sure, but I’m no expert on Washington politics – but in the long run, it’s likely to do more harm than good.

Adam Kredo reports that there is big division within J Street over this.

Kathleen Peratis, one of J Street’s initial founders and a member of its board, told me that insiders spent months studying the potential effects of the upcoming UN vote. By learning about different facets of the issue, their thinking evolved, she said.

Though members of the board unanimously approved the language, Peratis said that “we all came to it with a lot of preconceived and stereotypical ideas” — many of which where shattered as members informed themselves about the vote.

Still, “I can’t tell you every member of the J Street family is happy with” the position, Peratis said, explaining that she assumes there will be discontent from both the left and right. “I’m sure some are unhappy. … For nobody is it perfect.”

 

‘Huffpo’ warning: US support for Israel may be a mile wide but an inch thick

Sep 08, 2011

Philip Weiss

Clarence B. Jones at Huffpo. Note the warning about domestic divisions this issue will spur. Yes, the Democratic Party will have to choose whether it supports democracy or apartheid. That is the coming battle inside the U.S. Thanks to Peter Belmont. Jones excerpt:

Few issues, except for race relations in America, have the capacity to inflame domestic politics and become as divisive.Historically, a majority of Americans have supported successive Democratic and Republican administrations’ support for Israel. Such support will undoubtedly continue. However, there is a risk that such future support may be a mile wide; but only an inch deep. The significant domestic fiscal limitations upon United States economic power and resources have qualitatively rearranged the dynamics of the power and ability of Israel and the United States to play the decisive role they once enjoyed in the region. Sooner or later, the reality of this will impact and influence domestic politics in America.The spark most likely and immediately to reignite and inflame the Israel-Palestinian “peace negotiations” is the pending plan of the Palestinian Leadership to seek admission of Palestine, as an independent “State” to the United Nations

And this is just beautiful. Jones again:

The reason this remains such a potentially explosive issue for domestic and international politics is because the current leaders in Israel, Palestine and Washington may have become regionally and historically marginal, if not irrelevant, to the fundamental changes that have occurred and continue to occur on the ground in the Middle East following the Arab Spring. Neither Hamas, the PLO, nor the Netanyahu government can “negotiate” a solution acceptable and supportable by the emerging new generation of Israelis and Palestinians who are seeking another way; another possibility to resolving their differences. This “other way” appears to be a growing movement of peaceful non-violent protest to the status quo based on their quest for justice rooted in the principles and precepts of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Arrests of 100+ ‘Hamas agents’ in West Bank seem to be Israel’s latest effort to thwart Palestinian reconciliation

Sep 08, 2011

Paul Mutter

Israeli security forces report that they have arrested at least 100 suspected members of Hamas and claim to have foiled multiple bombing and kidnapping plots. These actions would seem to indicate a severe setback for Hamas’s influence in the Occupied Territories and undermine prospects for reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. With the UN vote approaching, the timing of the announcement can only help buttress the Netanyahu government’s

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