Archive | April 2nd, 2012

US editorialist Thomas Friedman’s “Festival of lies”

NOVANEWS

By Lawrence Davidson

Lawrence Davidson explains why Thomas Friedman, one of the most widely read editorial writers in the United States, is confused and unreliable when it comes to the Middle East.

Friedman’s frustrations

In a piece entitled A festival of lies” published in the New York Times on 25 March, editorialist Thomas Friedman expressed his frustration with American foreign policy in the Middle East. “It’s time to rethink everything we are doing out there,” he proclaimed. To be sure, he is not the only one frustrated by this situation, but in Friedman’s case it is best to ask just what it is he finds disconcerting about US behaviour?

Actually, he doesn’t formulate a list of his own, but instead latches on to one put together by the historian Victor Davis Hanson (a military historian whose specialty is ancient warfare) and published in the National Review. This is neither here nor there because Friedman tells us that Hanson is correct in all his particulars. So here are some examples of what Friedman via Hanson find frustrating about US policy in the region:

1. Giving all that military assistance (when we really should be helping the Arabs build schools)

2. Mounting punitive attacks (but then letting the results fade away because we “fail to follow through”)

3. “Keeping clear of maniacal regimes” (which then allows these regimes to either acquire nuclear capabilities, commit genocide or create “16 acres of rubble in Manhattan”)

4. Propping up dictators (which is “odious and counterproductive”)

Friedman notes the obvious: these sort of “policy options” cannot change the Middle East for the better. According to both him and Hanson, the region is a perpetual “mix of tribalism, Shi’i-Sunni sectarianism, fundamentalism and oil – oil that constantly tempts us to intervene or to prop up dictators”.

All this might make sense to some readers of the New York Times, but it seems superficial and confused to me. After all, I am an historian too. My speciality is the development of US foreign policy in the Middle East. So what do I find frustrating about Friedman’s frustrations?

Frustrating frustrations

1.To reduce the Middle East to tribalism, sectarianism, fundamentalism and oil is just stereotyping and inappropriate reductionism. You might as well reduce the US to Christian fundamentalism, Tea Party fanaticism, south-west-east sectional animosity and gas guzzling pickup trucks. Are they there? Yes. Are they the sum total of the USA? No. It is the same for the Middle East.

2. It is certainly a very good idea to stop giving so many of the region’s armies American weapons and training (and so stop “propping up the dictators), but before you go using the savings to build “community colleges across Egypt” as Friedman suggests, you better consider that Egypt and many other nations in the region are awash in college graduates who cannot find employment. The economies of the Middle East suffer from structural problems, part of which have to do with their ties to a Western-controlled world economy.

3. I can only imagine what Hanson and Friedman mean by “punitive interference without follow-up” being bad policy.

– Maybe they mean that when Ronald Reagan put troops in Lebanon in 1982 in support of the minority Maronite Christian attempt to subvert the country’s constitution there should have been sufficient military follow-up to decimate their rivals, the majority Lebanese Shi’is. Keep in mind that a similar follow-up in Iraq in 2003 killed up to a million people.

– Or perhaps when that same president (darling of all neocons) attacked the home of Muammar Gaddafi in 1986 … setting in motion a chain of events that led two years later to the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie Scotland, he should have immediately followed through with a full scale invasion of Libya.

– Or when George Bush Senior chased Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in 1991 he should of followed-up with an invasion of the country then and there instead of following through with draconian sanctions that eventually helped kill up to a million Iraqi poor children.

Supposedly all of these “follow-ups” represent policy options that would have resulted in a better, happier and more American-friendly Middle East. This sounds doubtful to me.

4. And what about the supposed mistake of “staying clear of maniacal regimes” which in turn allows for “nuclear acquisition or genocide – or 16 acres of rubble in Manhattan”. What the heck does this mean? It was not a “maniacal regime” that launched the 9/11 attacks; the US did not stay clear of the “maniacal regime” of Saddam Hussein but instead sold it the poison gas used against the Kurds; and the Iranians (who are arguably less “maniacal” than the Israelis) have no nuclear weapons programme.

What all this points out is that Thomas Friedman, one of the most widely read editorial writers in the country, is confused and unreliable when it comes to the Middle East. And, his relying on a conservative military historian venting in the National Review does nothing to sharpen his perception. What is worse is that none of this prevents Friedman from telling us that the US government, which he has just accused of utter failure for decades, now has the responsibility to tell the people of the Middle East some “hard truths”. And what might they be?

Hard truths

“In truth, the US has not and does not give a damn for either good government or good behaviuor in the Middle East. What it cares about are governments that cooperate with us in terms of trade, acceptance of Israel and now hostility toward Iran.”

1. Tell the Afghans that the Karzai government is corrupt and will be abandoned by most of its troops as soon as we stop paying them. Alas, the Afghans already know this. What Friedman actually should be suggesting is that the US government tell the US people this hard truth.

2. Tell the Pakistanis that they are “two-faced” and the only reason that their military is not “totally against us” is because, again, we pay them. Alas, the Pakistanis know this. What Friedman actually should be suggesting is that the US government tell the US people this hard truth.

3. Tell the Saudis that they are a bunch of Wahhabi religious fanatics and dictators and that we don’t want their oil. But wait, it is not the US that should be telling the Saudis this. It should be the European and Japanese governments because they are the ones who buy Saudi oil. We get most of ours from Mexico and Canada.

4. Tell the Israelis that they are a bunch of Jewish fundamentalist fanatics who are putting their (alleged) democracy in danger with all that settlement building on the West Bank. Before you can tell the Israelis that, you will have to tell the US Congress to forego the largess of certain special interests, or even better, tell the American people that they must change the lobby-based nature of their government.

Conclusion

Friedman ends by lamenting that the US government has chosen to tell the easy lie that all is OK to the Middle Eastern regimes it supports rather than tell them the hard truth. However, he has it wrong. Sure, we haven’t gone around telling the corrupt, dictatorial, fanatical leaders of those regimes that they have made a mess of the place – largely because we helped them do it. The people of the Middle East know this. It is the people of the US who do not. We have not been lying to the people of the Middle East so much as to ourselves.

And it appears that Thomas Friedman also doesn’t know these hard truths. Hence his contradictory conclusion: “…we must stop wanting good government [for them] more than they do, looking the other way at bad behaviour…” It is a contradiction to say that you want good government for this region while simultaneously turning a blind eye to bad governmental behaviour that you yourself have underwritten.

But the contradiction is there only in Friedman’s version of history. In truth, the US has not and does not give a damn for either good government or good behaviuor in the Middle East. What it cares about are governments that cooperate with us in terms of trade, acceptance of Israel and now hostility toward Iran.

One has to wonder about Thomas Friedman. He seems to have periodic problems thinking straight. But in an oblique fashion he is on to something. There are lies aplenty when it comes to US actions in the Middle East. However, they are not lies we tell to others but rather to ourselves. And from that, nothing good can come.

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Iranian Terror Threat — Panic Hits New York City!

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Pandora Pushkin comments on the scary situation

NEW YORK…2013?

Source: NYPD Concerned NYC Is Under Iranian Terror Threat

See also: NYPD Increase Patrols In Wake Of Deadly Shooting In France

Posted by MIKE GILLIAM PIX11.com | @pix11mike
NEW YORK (WPIX)—

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has talked to more than a dozen people with ties to Iran caught photographing New York Citylandmarks that could be terrorist targets, and that is raising major security concerns.

This is really scary! I am canceling my trip to New York next week!

With coordinated attacks from Thailand to India to Georgia the intelligence community believes the covert war between Israel and Iran is underway and it’s now touching New York.

This is NOT good news! I am utterly spooked. I have a granny who lives in New York City and I’m keeping my fingers crossed, like, she’s gonna be okay. Why are these evil Iranians picking on innocent American citizens who just want to get on with their lives? Why can’t Iran and Israel sit down and settle their problems, like, amicably, without involving peace-loving Americans in their disputes?

The NYPD says it believes Iran has people on the ground covered by diplomatic rights conducting reconnaissance missions and photographing possible targets like landmarks and infrastructure in the City. The fear is that information is going directly to Iran’s Hezbollah faction.

I think all New Yorkers should keep an eye out for these evil Iranians prowling round our streets and, like, “up to no good”, if you know what I mean.

If you happen to see any guys with interesting noses, drawing  swastikas on walls, ignore them! They’re the good guys. On our side. They just like drawing swastikas on walls for fun. They’re talented graffiti artists.

“Hezbollah is a threat to this country, a growing threat and it has gone from terrorist financing to being capable of fully operational terrorist activities,” said Republican Representative Peter King of Long Island, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Yeah, Hezbollah is evil. No doubt about that. It’s defending evil Lebanon from the nice Israelis who are only trying to expand their borders a bit by occupying south Lebanon up to the Litani River. Nothing wrong with that, is there? I mean, c’mon! Evil Hitler wanted Lebensraum, if you know what I mean, so why shouldn’t nice Jews help themselves, like, to a bit of extra land in evil Lebanon?!?

After all, the whole Middle East (except for valiant little Israel) is full of Islamofascist terrorists. Brainwashed by the Koran into wanting to conquer the world!  Yeah, and they wanna  force young women like me to stop wearing miniskirts! Honestly, I’d go crazy if some horrid Muslim forced me to wear a veil and ankle-length dresses!  I’d never be able to go into a bar again and, like, pick up a nice guy, know what I mean!?!  So banning miniskirts is dead wrong!

Another thing. Have you ever met a Hezbollah terrorist? I have. I met one in Beirut once, on  a bus, and I will NEVER  forget the way he looked at me! He called me a “Western whore”. And just because I was wearing a miniskirt and a tight low-cut blouse with one shoulder strap, like, hanging loosely off my shoulder, like I wear when I go to that disco in Manhattan!

These guys have no tolerance and lassy-fair. (Spelling?) They smell of garlic! They live with goats! They don’t even use underarm deodorant! And of course they’re extremely, like, anti-feminist. They want to ban makeup, miniskirts, and sex toys. Heck, they don’t even approve of porn!!!  So what I say is, our government is right. These guys are dead evil and  they should be killed on sight.

The landmarks range from the Brooklyn Bridge to Grand Central Terminal and other infrastructure and an NYPD intelligence official says since 2005, 13 people with connections to the Iranian government have been interviewed for taking pictures in the city. They could have been tourists but the NYPD is being cautious.

I think this presents a really scary picture! People sneaking around doing surveillance and taking pictures of landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge. All this kinda reminds me of  what happened just before 9/11…if you remember. Only on that occasion it was nice Israelis, wasn’t it?  Driving round in white vans and doing, like, high fives…as the Twin Towers came crashing down.

Anyone remember what happened to those guys? They beat it right sharpish, didn’t they? Skedaddled pronto.  Hopped on a plane to Tel Aviv and became national heroes on Jew TV!?! Well, what I’m saying is…if the cops can let those Jewish guys get away so easily, I really don’t see how they’re gonna catch these sneaky Iranian terrorists in time?!?

Yeah okay, that sounds a bit, like, “unpatriotic”. No point saying bad things about our cops now they’re trained, like, to do their jobs in Israel!

Hey, read this fantastic new article if you have some time: it’s called The Israelification of American Domestic Security.” Looks like nice Jews from Israel are now running our police forces across the country… helping our cops do surveillance of nasty Americans and taser them good and proper if they, like, misbehave!  Frankly, that’s the best news I’ve heard in a long, long  time!!!

Why? Well, seems those Jews have a much higher IQ than us dumb Americans do, Jewish average of 115 compared to our national average of only 98, so I’m damn relieved a smarter race is helping to run our policeforces! Know what I mean, like?

Hey, don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying, like, our cops are STUPID! No way! I’m just saying they gotta be pretty smart to call in the Jews to run the show! Know what I mean? No? Never mind! (Guess you’re stupid too, like).

The heated battle between Iran and Israel could easily spill over to the streets of New York with it’s very large Jewish population.

Jiminy crickets, why didn’t I think of that? I’ll have to warn all my nice Jewish friends to get out of New York real quick. Heck, it’s safer right now for Jews in Iran!!!  Looks like Jews are really HAPPY in Iran — and you can’t even PAY them to GO TO ISRAEL!!!

So that’s one solution if you’re an American Jew who feels threatened by evil Iranian terrorists in New York City: just HOP ON A PLANE TO TEHRAN!!! Yeah, Iranian Jews feel really safe in Iran!!!

In recent days a gunman has killed seven in France including three children and those brutal attacks have lead to the NYPD to ramp up security here according to police commissioner Ray Kelly who said, “We put in additional coverage using our critical response vehicles around synagogues and other Jewish locations you might say in the city.”

I’m glad they shot that evil antisemitic sonofabitch  before he was caught and put on trial. The thing with these guys is this: it’s very dangerous, like, to put terrorists on trial. Cos it gives them just what they want: the oxygen of publicity. I mean, you can’t have them getting up there in the dock, in full view of the world, denying their guilt! And denying the Holocaust!!! And spouting a whole bunch of crap from the Protocols! Nosir, that’s just not on!

So what I say is, like: Kill ’em first, like, and DON’T ask questions later…know what I mean?!?

My personal hero Norman Podoretz writes: “Their first priority, as repeatedly and unequivocally announced by their president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is to “wipe Israel off the map”—a feat that could not be accomplished by conventional weapons alone….Israel would be destroyed in a nuclear exchange, but Iran would survive.

I WANT TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP
AND DRIVE ALL THE JEWS INTO THE SEA!

WOW! Israel wiped off the map and all the nice Jews driven into the sea!That would make the FIRST Holocaust look like a kiddie’s picnic!

As a result of these dreadful threats, Norman Podoretz wants to wipe Iran off  the map before Iran wipes Israel off the map! That makes sense to me. (See The Case for Bombing Iran.)

Look, they’re now threatening to, like, nuke NEW YORK! That’s even MORE serious than wiping Israel off the map!!! I can no longer visit my granny in Brooklyn or buy bagels at the corner store like I used to do. It’s praying on my mind. Or should that be “preying”? Not quite sure, but “praying” will do, cos I’m praying real hard that Obama gets his finger out and starts nuking Iran RIGHT NOW!

The sooner these guys are wiped off the map, the better.

So far the NYPD says there are no known terror threats.

Whew, thank G-d for that! Yippeeeee!  WORLD SAFE AGAIN!!!

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Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all


Defector tells how US officials ‘sexed up’ his fictions to make the case for 2003 invasion

ed note–while I have no doubt this man is guilty and deserves to fry

independent.co.uk

A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow.

“Curveball”, the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi’s lies used to justify the Iraq war.

He tries to defend his actions: “My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq because the longer this dictator remains in power, the more the Iraqi people will suffer from this regime’s oppression.”

The chemical engineer claimed to have overseen the building of a mobile biological laboratory when he sought political asylum in Germany in 1999. His lies were presented as “facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence” by Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, when making the case for war at the UN Security Council in February 2003.

But Mr Janabi, speaking in a two-part series, Modern Spies, starting tomorrow on BBC2, says none of it was true. When it is put to him “we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie”, he simply replies: “Yes.”

US officials “sexed up” Mr Janabi’s drawings of mobile biological weapons labs to make them more presentable, admits Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell’s former chief of staff. “I brought the White House team in to do the graphics,” he says, adding how “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy”.

As for his former boss: “I don’t see any way on this earth that Secretary Powell doesn’t feel almost a rage about Curveball and the way he was used in regards to that intelligence.”

Another revelation in the series is the real reason why the FBI swooped on Russian spy Anna Chapman in 2010. Top officials feared the glamorous Russian agent wanted to seduce one of US President Barack Obama’s inner circle. Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI’s head of counterintelligence, reveals how she got “closer and closer to higher and higher ranking leadership… she got close enough to disturb us”.

The fear that Chapman would compromise a senior US official in a “honey trap” was a key reason for the arrest and deportation of the Russian spy ring of 10 people, of which she was a part, in 2010. “We were becoming very concerned,” he says. “They were getting close enough to a sitting US cabinet member that we thought we could no longer allow this to continue.” Mr Figliuzzi refuses to name the individual who was being targeted.

Several British spies also feature in the programme, in the first time that serving intelligence officers have been interviewed on television. In contrast to the US intelligence figures, the British spies are cloaked in darkness, their voices dubbed by actors. BBC veteran reporter Peter Taylor, who worked for a year putting the documentary together, describes them as “ordinary people who are committed to what they do” and “a million miles” from the spies depicted in film. He adds: “What surprised me was the extent to which they work within a civil service bureaucracy. Everything has to be signed off… you’ve got to have authorisation signed in triplicate.”

Would-be agents should abandon any Hollywood fantasies they may have, says Sonya Holt at the CIA recruitment centre. “They think it’s more like the movies, that they are going to be jumping out of cars and that everyone carries a weapon… Yes we’re collecting intelligence but we don’t all drive fast cars. You’re going to be writing reports; you’re in meetings so it’s not always that glamorous image of what you see in the movies.”

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Secretary Clinton Says Syrian President Assad ‘Must Go’

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PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the media after a conference of foreign ministers in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, April 1, 2012.

ABC NEWS

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that, despite a newly-brokered cease fire agreement with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, his days as president are numbered as his forces continue the bloody clash with Syrian opposition groups.

“We think Assad must go,” Clinton told ABC today after attending the one-day Friends of the Syrian People conference in Istanbul. “The sooner the better for everyone concerned.”

But she added that the process must be multi-pronged.

The UN-Arab League peace plan and cease fire negotiated last week by envoy Kofi Annan is a good beginning, she said, but Assad has yet to stop the violence.

“There has to be a timeline,” Clinton said regarding the diplomatic process. “It can’t go on indefinitely.”

Representatives of more than 60 countries attending the conference pledged financial assistance to the Syrian Free Army, the main opposition group, in an effort to encourage further defections from Assad’s forces.

Clinton said the United States has agreed to pledge an additional $12 million for a total of $25 million in aid and to provide communications equipment to help the Syrian Free Army organize.

She met with the Syrian National Congress today to discuss how to document evidence of the atrocities for future investigations or trials in international criminal courts. A sanctions working group was also created to target those who are helping Assad.

While some Arab countries have urged western nations to arm Syrian rebels, Clinton said the United States is trying to balance its support of opposition groups without raising expectations that can’t be met.

“We do have a stake in what happens in Syria, we just have to be thoughtful about how we pursue our role,” she told ABC.

And in response to reports of the growing reach of al Qaeda in Syria, Clinton said: “The vast majority of the people who are standing up against the horrific assaults of the military machine in Syria are ordinary citizens defending themselves and their homes.”

“We want to send a very clear message to the people inside Syria … that the international community stands with you and we want to see an inclusive democratic Syria where members of every ethnic group, every religion are given a chance to be full citizens,” she said.

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Petition: Prosecute authors of ‘King’s Torah’

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http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com

Reform movements petitions High Court to file criminal charges against rabbis who penned controversial book; say it incites violence

ed note–do not be seduced by this. It is all dog and pony, no different than defendants in court crying over something in order to gain sympathy from the jury.

Shapirah & co responsible for writing the King’s Torah are 1000% correct in their assessments of what is taught in Judaism with regards to killing non-Jews, and powerful Jewish interests KNOW THIS, and are terrified that the Gentile world is going to take an interest in studying the Torah more in depth and finding this dark secret out, which is WHY Shapirah & co are in the hot seat.

ynet

The Reform Movement, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, Professor Asa Kasher and several other Jewish groups filed a High Court petition Monday urging the criminal prosecution of rabbis Yitzhak Shapira, Dov Lior, Yitzhak Ginsburg and Yosef Elizor.

The four penned the controversial book “The King’s Torah,” which the petition says contains racist statements that constitute incitement and sedition.

The petition further asked the court to issue an injunction against future printings of the book. 

“The ‘King’s Torah’ is overflowing with grave racist statements, which incite violence against Arabs and other minorities in Israel, thus constituting sedition,” the petition said.

The authors “advocate the killing of Arab children and babies in order to achieve the highest form of execution of the ‘vengeance mitzvah’; as well as the bombing any area where terrorists reside even at the expense of innocent lives,” the petition said.

“The King’s Torah” was first published in 2010 and has been the focus of legal controversy.

The petition criticizes the “Judiciary’s failure to prosecute the authors… This disgraces the rule of law in Israel and undermines its foundations. The court must order the State Prosecution to indict the authors,” the petitioners argued.   “In a time when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is affecting the Israeli public’s everyday life, it is unfortunate to see how various elements chose to advocate violence.

“This is doubly true when it comes to religious leaders who use their title to disguise sedition,” the petition concluded.

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LOL!!! It’s time to intervene against racism in IsraHelli soccer

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http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com

 

The State of Israel cannot allow a situation in which a sport avidly followed by hundreds of thousands of people, among them many youngsters, turns into an untreatable abscess of racism and violence.

ed note–again, the shallow, narcissitic nature of Jewish thinking. ‘Let’s show the world that we Jews are just like everyone else in condemning racism as recently displayed in the soccer game aftermath while at the same time we maintain the racist policies of our government towards Palestinians and non-Jews.’

As with most things involving Jews and their their various dramas–’all show and no go’.

Haaretz

In March alone, there were four recorded violent incidents linked to Israeli soccer.

Thousands of Hapoel Tel Aviv fans rioted after the team lost the Tel Aviv derby, throwing objects onto the field and blocking the players of both teams from leaving it. A few days later, two Maccabi Petah Tikva fans burst onto the field and tried to assault a referee; then we had the 300 Beitar Jerusalem fans who ran amok at the Malha Mall, yelling “Death to the Arabs” and beating up Arab cleaning workers; and on Saturday two officials of the Maccabi Petah Tikva club attacked Hapoel Haifa player Ali Khatib, who was head-butted by one and kicked in the face by the other.

Khatib lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital, but it seems that it is Israeli soccer that needs some urgent treatment.

Popular sports, which are meant to provide entertainment for the entire family, have in recent years turned into the gutter of Israeli society, through which flow phenomena that are not legitimate in any other area.

Only in Israeli soccer can a club block Arabs from joining its ranks, and harsh violence is treated solely as a disciplinary infraction, to be handled by the Israel Football Association’s internal court. The anarchy and lack of police enforcement have turned Israeli soccer into a source of violence, racism and hatred, and has even started to attract dubious characters, who at times manage the teams.

The IFA is subordinate to international sports institutions, such as UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, and FIFA, the international association, and vehemently refuses the involvement of the Culture and Sports Ministry. But after several years in which Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat has proven incapable of getting rid of the rot that has penetrated Israeli soccer, it’s time for her to get into the thick of things.

She must adopt the model that has been successfully used in Britain, which combines persistent, preventive police action against hooligans and tough sentences against violent fans. The State of Israel cannot allow a situation in which a sport avidly followed by hundreds of thousands of people, among them many youngsters, turns into an untreatable abscess of racism and violence.

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Retail chain in Norway halts Ahava sales

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http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com

 

VITA, largest Norweigan retailer of dead sea products brand, says will stop sales of “Israeli settlement” products.

ed note–well, look for something to go BOOM! in the near future in Norway as a result of this decision.

jpost.com

A major retail chain in Norway halted the sale of all “products originating from settlements in occupied territories,” including Ahava cosmetics, it announced last week.

The Norwegian pharmaceutical chain VITA, which has 160 stores throughout Norway.

VITA has been the main retailer of Ahava products in Norway, according to the Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees in a statement on the BDS movement website, adding “this decision will be a serious blow to the sales of Ahava products in Norway.”

The VITA decision comes after a period of active lobbying from the Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian employees’ union.

“The principled decision by VITA not to buy products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank is based on a position of not wanting to contribute to violations of international law,” the groups’ statement said.

The flagship London branch of Ahava cosmetics closed last September, citing biweekly demonstrations that hurt its profits.

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Obama Plans Regime Change in Syria

NOVANEWS

 

By Stephen Lendman

International law prohibits interfering in the internal affairs of other states. For Washington, it’s official policy. Post-9/11, multiples countries were targeted, including Iran and Syria.

Regime change plans remain on track by any means, including war. If other methods fail against either or both countries, expect it.

Actions against Iran so far stop short of generating violence. It’s coming once Syria’s resolved. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. Since last March, Washington-orchestrated Western-led insurgency wracked the country.

Libya’s model was replicated. So far it’s short of bombs away. Expect it if current measures fail. So far, Assad’s prevailed. He wants peaceful resolution, not conflict. Insurgents reject it. They’re resolved to fight and are well armed, trained and funded to do it.

Late Friday, Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad al-Makdissi expressed optimism saying:

“The battle to topple the state is over. Our goal now is to ensure stability and create a perspective for reform and development in Syria while preventing others from sabotaging the path of reform.”

“When security can be maintained for civilians, the army will leave. This is a Syrian matter.”

While calling for a ceasefire on both sides, Annan’s six-point peace plan states:

“The Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards, end the use of heavy weapons in population centers, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers.”

“As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Syrian government should work with the envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism.”

Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said “(w)e expect (Assad) to implement this plan immediately. The deadline is now. (He) must stop first and then discuss a cessation of hostilities with the other side and with the mediator.”

He’s more victim than villain. But he’s blamed for insurgent violence and asked to stop defending his people while they continue killing them. Annan picked up where he left off as UN Secretary-General. For a decade, he supported imperial wars and did nothing to secure peace.

Unaddressed now is Assad’s responsibility to stop insurgent violence. Pulling back while it rages facilitates more. He’s obligated to protect his people. If not him, who?

At the same time, America, rogue NATO partners, and complicit regional states want Assad toppled violently. Peaceful resolution is smoke screen deception. It camouflages greater planned conflict.

Peace shifts conditions back to square one with Assad firmly in control. Longstanding Washington plans call for replacing him with a pro-Western regime. Achieving it requires conflict, not diplomacy. It’s raged for over 12 months and won’t end now.

 On April 1, US-led “Friends of Syria” meet in Istanbul. At issue is war, not peace, toppling Assad, isolating Iran, and consolidating greater US regional control.

 Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said 74 countries confirmed they’re coming. Hillary Clinton will represent Washington. She’s arriving from Saudi Arabia. She and King Abdullah discussed conflict, not peace, strategies. Their meeting included private one-on-one talks.

On Saturday, Clinton said:

“The commitment of the United States to the people and the nations of the Gulf is rock-solid and unwavering. Our strong bilateral relationships are a rock of stability in the region.”

Washington, of course, needs instability and violence. Peace defeats its regime change agenda. Syria and Iran are next. America will keep ravaging the region until it achieves unchallenged control. It may end up destroying it in the process along with millions more lives.

Expect Assad to be condemned for continuing to confront insurgents. On March 30, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich effectively accused the “Friends of Syria” of being up to no good. He said they plan to condemn him for continuing to confront insurgent violence instead of unilaterally pulling back.

Partners are required for peace. One without the other assures failure. Washington-backed insurgents plan stepping up, not halting violence. Arms flow in to help them. Humanitarian “safe zones” in Syrian territory are planned. Assad won’t tolerate what he knows assures greater violence and likely NATO intervention.

At the same time, he’ll be blamed for violating Annan’s peace plan he committed to observe. Although it commits both sides “to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilize the country,” one side can’t do it without the other.

Insurgents intend to keep fighting. Assad’s obligated to confront them. Failure is dereliction of duty. No responsible leader would refuse. Nonetheless, he’s condemned for doing his job.

Turkey’s Turkish language broadsheet Radikal explained how planned insurgency will continue, saying:

“Senior Turkish officials are saying this: the unification of all the disparate and independently acting groups in Syria, each of which calls itself the Free Syria Army, under a single ‘command and control mechanism’ and to do whatever is needed, including the provision of the necessary tools and means, to achieve this.”

Free Syrian Army insurgents are readying for more conflict from a Hatay Province, Turkey location. Dialogue’s not on their agenda, nor on Washington’s to discuss with so-called “Friends of Syria.”

These type “friends” assure conflict, not resolution. Assad faces protracted belligerence with no assurance how it’ll end. 

Expect lots more lost lives blamed on him despite his commitment to end bloodshed, restore calm, stability, and initiate popular reforms. 

Washington wants none of them. Its own agenda involves controlling and exploiting Syria like Iraq, Libya and other regional client states by one means or other.

Most Syrians understand and support Assad. They won’t tolerate becoming another US client state, especially a colonized and/or exploited one. That’s what imperial’s all about. Their struggle to stay free from it continues.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Obama Plans Regime Change in Syria

Confined Cruelty: Zio-Nazi Treatment of Palestinian Minors

NOVANEWS
Another minor arrested. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)
By Graham Peebles

For many Palestinian children their childhood is lived under a cloak of fear, and the threat of violence and abuse at the hands of an armed force that stalks the streets of their homeland.

In the eleven years since 2000, Israeli forces have killed “1,471” (1) children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the bulk of which are aged between 13 and 17 years old. The children of Gaza have been and continue to be at greater risk, with almost a thousand murdered in the last twelve years, on the streets of their city, on their way to and from school, whilst playing with friends, shopping for their family or simply relaxing in their homes. Most are shot randomly, indiscriminately, or killed as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks. Around 50 were taken prematurely from their families by unexploded ordnance.

This latest attack on the people of Gaza began on Friday 9th March, “killing 25 Palestinians.” (2) The Israeli air force fired missiles from the comfort of their warplanes at civilians in an arbitrary way, shooting onto the streets of Gaza and into peoples homes, “in the Jabaliya refugee camp that were mostly full of women and children,” (PM) The faceless attackers even shot at mourners attending a funeral. Such is the callous, vicious nature of the Israeli security forces, that kills, injures and intimidates innocent women and children, destroying all hope of living peaceful decent lives, and all in the name of ‘security’. Nonsense, this is criminal violence nothing more or less.

These most recent atrocities come on the back of the massacre that took place in December ‘08/January’09, when a total of “1417” (IOAK) Palestinians were murdered, of which ‘318” (IOAK) were children and 116 women. Fresh in the children’s young memories lie the echo of that horrendous time, the constant bombardment, the loss of loved ones, and the shootings. In addition to the deaths around 1000 children were injured in the three-week assault, many children were left with severe physical disabilities and deep psychological wounds. The mental/emotional effects more difficult to see and or to treat than broken bones and scared flesh. “The Gaza Community Health Programme estimates that half Gaza’s children – around 350,000 – will develop some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.” (3) This is staggering but unsurprising, and the attacks this March on unarmed civilians, will serve to intensify the mental suffering and anguish that these children are living with, “both parents and psychologist fear that Gaza children could be affected psychologically in the long run.” (OP)

Children make up around 45% of the four million or so total Palestinian population in the occupied territories (4) – a fact that terrifies an aging Israel. And what impact does living under the brutal Israeli occupation have on them, are they inclined towards peace and brotherhood, is tolerance fostered in their hearts and minds or are the seeds of hate and the desire for revenge being carefully sown. Does violence ever bring peace, or perpetuate conflict. Violence we see begets not harmony but further violence. Colonel Travers: “we spoke to a psychiatrist in Gaza,” (5) who said, “We already see in our schools in Gaza the next generation of Hamas revolutionaries, children exposed to so much violence, they have no option but to terminate their childhood and move into a different frame, and the likelihood is that they will never stabilize.”(Ibid) In order to justify the un justifiable, the unjust Israel needs to instil hate into another generation of Palestinians – to maintain their (Israel’s) position as the ‘enemy within’, thereby excusing in some perverted distortion of the facts, their continued aggression, violence and violation of international laws, too many to count.

Intimidation and Torture

Palestinian children living in the West Bank and the Gaza strip under the illegal Israeli occupation are subjected to brutal treatment, illegal imprisonment, torture and intimidation by the Israeli security forces. Defence for Children International states “a pattern of systematic ill-treatment [of Palestinian children] emerges, [from their report ‘Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted’] much of which amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as defined in the UN Convention against Torture, and in some cases, torture – both of which are absolutely prohibited.” (6) Since 1967 Palestinian children as well as adults have been subjected to Israeli Military Law, a legal system based on prejudice and short on justice. In the time since this emergence system was instigated 726,000 Palestinians have been arrested and detained.

The numbers of children arrested and taken from their homes is shocking. “In the past 11 years alone, around 7,500 children, some as young as 12 years, are estimated to have been detained, interrogated, and imprisoned within this ‘system. This averages out at between 500-700 children per year, or nearly two children, each and every day.” (BBCC) Mostly the arrested children live in villages in areas of tension, “friction points, namely settlements built in violation of international law, and roads used by the Israeli army or settlers.” (Ibid) The situation seems to be escalating particularly in certain areas of the West bank. “The extreme Golani Unit of the Israeli military is escalating its arrests of Palestinian children in Al Khalil (Hebron), targeting boys between the ages of 12 to15 years old with at least 10 reported cases of child arrests made (in early February 2012) just in the span of one week.” (7)

As well arrests, incarceration in solitary confinement has also increased, with almost a quarter of all children arrested being held in isolation. Children, mainly boys, aged from 12 to 17 years old are forcefully taken from their family, often at night, imprisoned in a tiny, dank cell, illegally beaten and tortured, intimidated and on occasion subjected to electronic shock treatment. Most children are detained for the terrible crime of throwing stones at soldiers armed with M16 rifles and tear gas, all courtesy of the American arms industry.

Like 15-year-old Yahia, who, with four friends was arrested and taken to the [illegal] Israeli settlement of Zuffin, where there “hands tied behind their backs, they were blindfolded, before being forced to kneel on the ground for several hours.” (BBCC)The inevitable insults then began to rein down on the children. “After about two and a half hours the boys were loaded into a truck and transported to a police station … the boys were interrogated … the interrogator grabbed the boys head and slammed it against the wall, slapping him twice, a short time later he returned holding a small electric shock device [Taser]. ‘He placed the device on my body and I felt a great powerful shock and my body started shivering’. This shock treatment continued until ‘I couldn’t feel my arms or legs and I felt extreme pain in my head. I felt I was going to be paralysed, so I decided to confess”(BBCC) In another example of torturous abuse at the hands of the Israelis, there is 16-year-old Mohammad Shabrawi from the West Bank town of Tulkarm, arrested in January 2001, again accused of throwing stones.

His ordeal mirrors in part that of Yahia – taken to a settlement, his hands tied and being forced blindfolded to kneel on the asphalt for an hour or so, before being taken to “Cell 36, deep within Al Jalame prison in northern Israel.”(8) Reports The Guardian: “It is one of a handful of cells where Palestinian children are locked in solitary confinement for days or even weeks. One 16-year-old claimed that he had been kept in Cell 36 for 65 days.” (Ibid) Mohammad spent “17 days in solitary, apart from interrogations. He first saw a lawyer 20 days after his arrest, he said, and was charged after 25 day” And the effect of this terrible ordeal on the boy, “Since his release, he said, he was “now afraid of the army, afraid of being arrested.” His mother said he had become withdrawn.” (Ibid)

The use of hand ties and blindfolds is extensive, in 2010 the UN documented 90 cases of “ill treatment” (9) of Palestinian children in Israeli detention, of which 75 had their hands tied behind their backs and were also blindfolded. Almost a third of children were under 15 years of age. Of the 90 detained “62 children reported being beaten, 35 children reported position abuse and 16 children were kept in solitary confinement. In three cases, children reported the use of electric shocks on their bodies. Particularly concerning was the fact that there was an increase in documented cases of sexual violence” (UNDOPI). All of this contravenes international law and conventions signed and ratified by Israel and the democratic principles Israel so loudly proclaims. Mark Regev, the chief Israeli purveyor of propaganda and deceit, and Spokesman for Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu said, according to the Guardian, “The test of a democracy is how you treat people incarcerated, people in jail, and especially so with minors.”(TG) Democracy damned by words of duplicity. Much of the mistreatment exercised towards Palestinian children not only contravenes international law, but also violates Israel’s own domestic laws.

When in Israeli custody children are violently interrogated; they are shackled, blindfolded and bound to a chair whilst being questioned. According to Israeli Law, “Interrogation of a minor may be conducted only by an interrogator who is trained as a youth interrogator. A parent is allowed to be present at all times,” (10) and ”Minors have the right to consult with the parent before the interrogation.” (BTSR) They are verbally insulted “You’re a dog, a son of a whore is common. Many are exhausted from sleep deprivation. Day after day they are fettered to the chair, then returned to solitary confinement.” (TG) Eventually the majority of children sign confessions that they later state were coerced, “Children under interrogation unsurprisingly eventually admit to the ‘crimes’, DCI “in the end at least 90 percent will plead guilty, as this is the quickest way out of a system that denies children bail in 87 percent of cases.”(BBCC) Accusations of crimes justifying these illegal detentions are commonly, throwing stones, or occasionally Molotov cocktails at soldiers or settlers – both of whom let us remember are illegally present upon Palestinian land. A few are arrested for “more serious offences such as links to militant organisations or using weapons,” states the Guardian

Major Violation, Minor Insecurity

And what ‘National security information’ is being elicited from the interrogation of these children, who the Israelis are abusing? “They are pumped for information about the activities and sympathies of their classmates, relatives and neighbours.” (TG)) Within walls of intimidation a child can be forced to betray their friends and families, eliciting the names of other stone throwers is a primary aim of the torturer. B’Tselem: “One method the police use to identify juvenile stone throwers is incrimination: the police arrest one or more youths, they are required to give names of other youths whom they saw throwing stones, and these youths are then arrested and required to provide the names of others, and so on.”(BTSR) The children under interrogation in a frightening isolated place, far from the sanctity of home, are under great emotional stress and inevitably give up the names of friends, the experience then compounded by the added trauma of guilt.

Children are mostly held inside Israel itself, which restricts access to legal support and excludes family members from visiting, their freedom of movement is constrained under the occupation, the necessary permit to visit the prisons is often impossible to obtain. Families are therefore unable to support their children through the ordeal of confinement. Holding children in prisons inside Israel is in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits such transfers. According to DCI, “testimonies [from 310 children] reveal that the majority of children are taken away to an unknown location for interrogation.” (BBCC) This process of arrests, detention and torture operating inside Israel and outside international and national law, offers the victims no legal recourse, DCI (“there is a general absence of effective complaint mechanisms.” (Ibid)

Legally Binding, Illegally Bound

The Israeli judicial system as it currently pertains to Palestinian children, allows illegal practices to take place within the walled settlements –themselves illegal, inside police stations and Israeli prisons. International law on the rights of the child, to which Israel is bound, is clear and extensive: “The main document establishing the rights of children is the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN in November 1989. Israel signed the Convention in July 1990 and ratified it in August 1991.”(BTSR) In the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, we find: “Condemning the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict and direct attacks on objects protected under international law, including places that generally have a significant presence of children, such as schools and hospitals.” (11) Schools are repeatedly targeted by Israeli security forces, according to the UN in 2010 there was an increase in the number of attacks on education institutions.

The Un continues its findings, “these attacks resulted in damage to schools or interruption of education, placing the safety of the children in Gaza and the West Bank at risk. The majority of cases involved the presence of Israeli security forces within school compounds following raids, forceful entry, and search and arrest operations, including the use of tear gas on students.” (UNDOPI) All international treaties and conventions signed by the lawbreaker, Israel, safeguard children in conflict, and Israel ignores them all. DCI: “These treaties relevantly provide that: in all actions concerning children their best interests shall be a primary consideration; children should only be detained as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;” (BBCC) Held for ‘17 days in solitary’ as Mohammed was, is neither short nor appropriate, indeed it is illegal. It is one example within a catalogue of atrocities that sees Israel contravening another convention, breaking yet another international law and doing so with impunity. This must stop, urgent action is required to safeguard the children of Palestine and protect them from the tyranny that is Israeli policy in the OPT’s.

In order to fuel what is a raging furnace of legal standards raging around Israel, let us add The Fourth Geneva Convention, which “grants special protections to minors” (IOAK) and provides 146 articles that protect in law the lives of all Palestinians living under the illegal Israeli occupation. Israel is in breach of them all. Indeed ‘grave breaches’, which in itself constitutes war crimes, “the world has seen those [grave breaches] inflicted every day by Israel against the Palestinian People living in occupied Palestine: e.g., wilful killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army and Israel’s illegal paramilitary settlers.” (Ibid)  Israel is guilty of ‘grave breaches’ of the convention and the more serious offense of ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ against Palestinians “as determined by the U.N. Human Rights Commission” (Ibid), which is the “legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” (Ibid) The argument that Israel is or has in fact already committed the crime of genocide, is powerful and to many indisputable.

Genocide, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, crimes against humanity; titles that all fit Israel bespoke. Call it what you will, the actions of Israel in the OPT’s are vile, murderous, calculated and illegal. It is for the international community acting in unity, and led by the UN to finally stand up and act to protect the lives of the innocent men, women and children of Palestine, lifting the shadow of constant fear, intimidation and aggression from their lives. Humanity is one. Together we must stand in the face of injustice, violence and hate to safeguard the lives of the innocent, the oppressed the defenceless.

– Graham Peebles is Director of The Create Trust (www.the  createtrust.org), a UK registered charity Supporting fundamental Social change and the human rights of individuals in acute need. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: graham@thecreatetrust.org.

Notes:

(1) If only Americans Knew. (IOAK) http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/dec08.html 

(2) The Palestine monitor (PM) 13th March 2012 http://www.palestinemonitor.org/?p=4401 

(3) Occupied Palestine  (OP) 17th March 2012

(4) See Wikipedioa .

(5) See Mondoweiss .  

(6) Defence for Children International  report, bound-blindfolded-and-convicted-children-held-military-detention-2012 (BBCC)

(7) See International Solidarity Movement .

(8) The Guardian  (TG) The Palestinian children – alone and bewildered – in Israel’s Al Jalame jail

(9) United Nations Developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel (UNDOPI)
http://www.un.org/children/conflict/english/palestine.html

(10) B’TSELEM report No Minor Matter: Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors Arrested by Israel on Suspicion of Stone-Throwing (BTSR)

(11) OHCHR  Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc-conflict.htm

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Human RightsComments Off on Confined Cruelty: Zio-Nazi Treatment of Palestinian Minors

NAZI DOGS ATTACK PALESTINIAN’S

Israeli police dogs used to attack 100 year old man

by crescentandcross


Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on NAZI DOGS ATTACK PALESTINIAN’S

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