Archive | September 21st, 2012

My Land was Bulldozed by the Nazi Occupation


Occupied Lives: Nothing left to hope for 

Youssef Abu Mghasib

Youssef Abu Mghasib (38) owns 10 dunnums of farmland in Deir el Balah, in the central part of the Gaza Strip, just over 300 meters from the Gaza-Israeli border and beyond Israel’s unilaterally imposed 300 meter buffer zone.  Here, he grows olives and an assortment of vegetables to support his family, though Youssef lives with wife, 9 children, mother and sister in a home 500 meters from their farm.  On 12 June 2012, Youssef’s land was bulldozed by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).

On the day of the bulldozing, Youssef recalls that: “I was watering plants on my farm when I heard the sound of the bulldozers and tanks.  I could also hear heavy shooting.  I was really scared that something would happen to me, so I ran home.  The bulldozers came and destroyed all of my olive trees and crushed my vegetables.  My irrigation system was completely destroyed.  Nothing could be salvaged from the land.  Then, just 4 days later, they came back with their tanks and leveled the land until all of it was finally flat.”

The bulldozing of Abu Mghasib’s land has subsequently plunged the family into financial and emotional turmoil: “I felt completely destroyed when they bulldozed my farm.  I had been cultivating that land since 2001, when my father died and left it to me.  It was destroyed in the Second Intifada, but I had worked very hard to plant new olive trees and put in an irrigation system.  My mother had a nervous breakdown when they were bulldozing the land.  She was shouting and crying and we had to rush her to hospital.  My wife was also hysterical.”

The loss of Youssef’s land and equipment is estimated to be USD 20,000: “My land is not even within the 300 meters considered to be the buffer zone, yet it was destroyed.  My irrigation pipes are now useless.  I used to feed my family from that land and sell the extra produce in the market.  I currently have no other source of income and no other occupation.  When the opportunity arises, I work on other people’s farms to make a few shekels.  Life has just been hard since 12 June.  I had taken out a loan before the land was destroyed to rebuild the farm.  Now, I have no way of paying back this loan.  My neighbors gave me a bale of wheat because we have nothing to eat, but it will not feed us forever.  It pains me that I could not even afford to buy my children school bags.”

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Ab-A$$ Zionist puppets Arrest Dozens of Hamas Members in the West Bank


Palestinian Security Services Arrest Dozens of Hamas Members in the West Bank

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the wide-scale campaign of arrests waged by Palestinian security services in the West Bank, which targeted dozens of members of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the past 24 hours.  PCHR calls upon the Palestinian government in Ramallah to fully comply with the law and stop political arrests.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, the Preventive Security Service (PSS) and the General Intelligence Service (GIS) have arrested 71 members of Hamas.  According to PCHR’s field workers in the West Bank, these detainees were first summoned by phone to the headquarters of the 2 services, where they were then arrested, and/or were arrested from their houses or workplaces.  The detainees include a number of leaders of Hamas, reconciliation figures, ex-prisoners, journalists, youth activists and university students.  The most prominent persons arrested by the security services include: Fu’ad Nazem al-Khuffash (43), Director of Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights; Waleed Khaled Ali (45), Director of the Office of Palestine Daily in Salfit; and Sheikh Riad Rasheed al-Walweel (53), a prominent reconciliation figure in the West Bank.

Palestinian security services arrested 19 persons in Salfit, 18 in Tulkarm, 15 in Qalqilya, 11 in Nablus, 6 in Hebron, 1 in Jenin and 1 in Ramallah.

(PCHR has a list of the detainees.)   

PCHR reiterates its condemnation of political detention, and:

1- Stresses that “personal liberty is a natural rights that is guaranteed and must not be violated,” according to the Palestinian Basic Law, which also prohibits “arresting, checking, detaining or limiting the freedom of any person or preventing his/her movement without a judicial warrant” and guarantees that “any persons who arrested or detained must be informed of the reasons for his/her arrest or detention;”

2- Reminds the Palestinian Supreme Court of Justice of the ruling on 20 February 1999, which considers political detention illegal, and demands all executive bodies to respect the Court’s ruling and refrain from practicing political detention;

3- Emphasizes that detention is governed by Palestinian law and falls within the competence of judicial warranty officers, represented by the police, under direct supervision of the Attorney-General; and

4- Calls for the immediate release of all political detainees who are held by the Palestinian security services in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Posted in West BankComments Off on Ab-A$$ Zionist puppets Arrest Dozens of Hamas Members in the West Bank

Mark Dankof’s America

Mark Dankof’s America Sept 19, 2012

by crescentandcross


Download Here


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Court and planning authority raise “serious issues of rights and justice” and “problems” with plans for Jewish town of Hiran


HAIFA – On 6 September 2012 the District Court of Bir el-Sabe (Beer Sheva) held a session to hear arguments in Adalah’s appeal against the Kiyat Gat Magistrates’ Court’s decision to uphold 33 demolition orders on homes in the unrecognized Arab Bedouin village of Umm el-Hieran. Judge Ariel Harzak, presiding over the court, said that the plan raises “serious issues of rights and justice” in response to the attorneys’ arguments.

While the State Attorney claimed that the issue was one of unlicensed building that contradicted regulations under the Planning and Building Law, Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara explained that the village was set to be demolished to make way for a Jewish town named ‘Hiran.’ The judge ordered the state to provide written arguments to demonstrate the necessity of demolishing the village, and scheduled a hearing on the case for mid-December. He noted that Adalah had also filed an appeal against eviction orders against the village’s residents.

The Magistrates’ Court in Kiryat Gat approved the demolition orders against Umm el-Hieran on 11 December 2011, paving the way for the forcible eviction of 1,000 residents and the demolition of their homes in order to build a Jewish-designated city named Hiran on the village’s ruins. The court also suspended the implementation of the resolution for one year in order to allow the families to negotiate alternative housing solutions with the state, after rejecting Adalah’s motion to cancel the demolition orders in 2007.

In a related matter, on 11 September 2012 the National Council of Planning and Building (NCPB) heard Adalah and Bimkom’s objections to Organizational Chart 107/02/15, which lays out detailed plans for the town of Hiran. Adalah Attorneys Suhad Bishara and Aram Mahameed, Bimkom urban planner Cesar Yehudkin and residents of the village attended the hearing along with delegates from the “Ur” Association, which is preparing to settle Hiran.

Attorney Bishara emphasized at that hearing that the planned map and structure for Hiran disregarded the homes of Arab Bedouin, who have lived in the village for 60 years. The NCPB representatives said that there were no regulations in the plan designating Hiran as a Jewish town, and that homes would be open to all. In response, Attorney Bishara alerted the representatives to the fact that only one week earlier, in a hearing at the Magistrate’s Court on the demolition orders, the prosecutors representing the planning authorities had stated that the town would be established as a Jewish municipality. The chairperson of the session stated that if the town was indeed established with a Jewish municipality, then the council would view the matter as seriously problematic.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Court and planning authority raise “serious issues of rights and justice” and “problems” with plans for Jewish town of Hiran

Catholic official worried about IsraHell attacks


by crescentandcross

FILE- In this Sept. 4, 2012, file photo, a Catholic monk stands in a doorway of the Latrun Trappist Monastery where Israeli police say vandals spray-painted anti-Christian and pro-settler graffiti and set the monastery's door on fire, in Latrun, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel. After a series of attacks on Christian holy sites in Israel, Roman Catholic church officials recently issued a rare "declaration" calling on Israeli leaders to take action against vandalism and violence.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)


ed note–2 comments tobemade here–

1) Sorry to be so glib here, but WHAT DID YOU EXPECT, PADRE???

The time for the Catholic Church to recognize the danger posed to its places of worship and other holy sites in Palestine was 100 years ago when this mad dream of bringing the Jews back to the holyland was first being discussed. If the Church–and more importantly, its leader,  had been a little more up to date in their ‘Judaic studies’, they would have seen this thing coming from a mile away. Now, like stupid farmers who listened to the coaxing arguments of foxes who offered to guard the henhouse for free, they are coming to understand the nature of problem they are facing, but again, as we said earlier, a century too late.

2) The problems faced by Christians viz a viz ‘Islamists’ (referenced at the end of this piece) are nothing but BS. Muslims and Christians have lived side by side peacably in the Holy Land for over a thousand years. It is the Jews who are the problem, they and their control over Christian countries in bringing about this ‘clash of civilizations’ between the Christian and Islamic worlds that is causing friction between the 2 peoples.

JERUSALEM (AP) — After a series of attacks by vandals on Christian holy sites in Israel, normally tight-lipped Roman Catholic officials are beginning to speak out, publicly appealing to authorities to take a stronger stand against the violence.

The Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, one of the church’s top officials in the Holy Land, said he is worried about relations between Jews and Christians in the Holy Land. He believes the blame can go all around.

“I think the main atmosphere is ignorance,” Pizzaballa told The Associated Press in an interview.

Because the local Christian population is tiny, “we do not exist for the majority … They have other priorities,” he said. “On the other side, we as a minority maybe didn’t invest enough energy and initiatives” to reach out to Israeli Jews.

That may be changing following this month’s attack on a well-known Trappist Monastery in Latrun, outside Jerusalem. Vandals burned a door and spray-painted anti-Christian graffiti on the century-old building with the words “Jesus is a monkey.” Suspicion has fallen on extremist Jewish West Bank settlers or their supporters, who are believed to be behind a series of attacks in recent years on mosques, Christian sites and even Israeli army property to protest moves against settlements.

In response, the church’s top officials, including Pizzaballa, the “custos,” or custodian of Catholic holy sites, to issue a rare “declaration” calling on Israeli leaders to take action.

“Sadly, what happened in Latrun is only another in a long series of attacks against Christians and their places of worship,” the Catholic leaders said. “What is going on in Israeli society today that permits Christians to be scapegoated and targeted by these acts of violence?”

It said authorities should “put an end to this senseless violence and to ensure a ‘teaching of respect’ in schools for all those who call this land home.”

Israeli leaders swiftly condemned the attack, and police vowed to bring the vandals to justice. Nearly two weeks later, there have been no arrests.

The monastery was targeted shortly after Israel evacuated an illegally built West Bank settler outpost. In recent months, two other monasteries and a Baptist church were vandalized. It is not clear why the vandals have targeted Christian sites. For years, Christian clergymen also have been spat at by ultra-Orthodox seminary students in Jerusalem’s Old City.

There are about 155,000 Christian citizens of Israel, less than 2 percent of its 7.9 million people. About three-quarters are Arabs, and the others arrived during waves of Russian immigration over the past 20 years. They are split between Catholicism and Orthodox steams of Christianity. Tens of thousands of Christian foreign workers and African migrants also reside in Israel.

Pizzaballa said he recognizes the attacks do not reflect the views of most Israelis, and he welcomed the condemnations by Israeli police, politicians and mainstream rabbinical authorities.

But he said Israel must do more.

“It’s important not just to condemn, but also to work, to take initiatives to stop this phenomenon,” he said.

Far “more serious,” he said, was an incident in July in which an Israeli lawmaker ripped up a copy of the New Testament in front of TV cameras after Chrisitan missionaries mailed him the book. The lawmaker, Michael Ben-Ari, is now the subject of an ethics probe in parliament.

“This is a member of the Knesset. He is a representative of Israeli institutions,” Pizzaballa said.

Even if the delivery of the book was a “provocation,” he said, “you cannot rip the New Testament in front of the cameras and throw it in the trash and ask that the New Testament be banned from the country. This is unacceptable for every Christian believer.”

He pointed to the recent uproar in the Muslim world over a movie that mocked the Prophet Muhammad as an example of how explosive and hurtful religious hatred can be.

Pizzaballa’s words carry extra weight because of his strong ties with Israel. Pizzaballa, 47, has lived in the country for two decades, speaks Hebrew and has been a faculty member at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is scheduled to complete his term as custos next year.

Jews and Catholics have had a fraught relationship over the centuries. It was only in 1965 that the Vatican rejected the long-held charge that the Jewish people were responsible for killing Jesus. The actions of Pope Pius XII during World War II still remain a sensitive diplomatic issue between Israeland the Vatican. Critics have long contended that Pius could have done more to stop the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis. The Vatican says Pius used quiet diplomacy to save Jews.

Israel and the Vatican have made inroads in recent years. The late Pope John Paul II established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1994, and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, has promoted interfaith dialogue.

Pizzaballa acknowledged the difficult past but said Israelis have little understanding about modern Christianity or “the reality of the Christians in the country.”

While Christianity was born in the Holy Land, Christians’ situation here is fragile. In Israel, the number of Christian citizens has remained about the same for 20 years, with the influx of Russian immigrants balancing out some emigration by Arab Christians.

The West Bank has seen its Christian population dwindle over the years to roughly 50,000 people today, less than 3 percent of the population, the result of a lower birthrate and increased emigration in search of a better quality of life. Just one third of Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Christ, is Christian today, down from 75 percent half a century ago.

In the Gaza Strip, ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas, the situation is even more precarious.

Fewer than 3,000 Christians live among 1.7 million Muslim residents, and their numbers have rapidly shrunk in recent years because of turmoil in the territory.

A Christian activist — who ran Gaza’s only Christian bookstore — was stabbed to death after Hamas took power in 2007. The killer was never found. In recent years, several Christian institutions were attacked by suspected Muslim hardliners. In at least two cases, including the torching of the local YMCA, assailants were caught and sentenced to prison.

Pizzaballa said Hamas has ensured that local Christians can worship freely, but nonetheless the environment is uncomfortable.

“You feel the pressure in the society and the life of the Islamic regime,” he said.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Catholic official worried about IsraHell attacks

New French cartoons inflame prophet film tensions


France stepped up security Wednesday at its embassies across the Muslim world after a French satirical weekly revived a formula that it has already used to capture attention: Publishing crude, lewd caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

Wednesday’s issue of the provocative satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were firebombed last year, raised concerns that France could face violent protests like the ones targeting theUnited States over an amateur video produced in California that have left at least 30 people dead.

The drawings, some of which depicted Muhammad naked and in demeaning or pornographic poses, were met with a swift rebuke by the French government, which warned the magazine could be inflaming tensions, even as it reiterated France’s free speech protections.

The principle of freedom of expression “must not be infringed,”Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, speaking on France Interradio.

But he added: “Is it pertinent, intelligent, in this context to pour oil on the fire? The answer is no.”

Anger over the film “Innocence of Muslims” has fueled violent protests from Asia to Africa. In the Lebanese port city of Tyre, tens of thousands of people marched in the streets Wednesday, chanting “Oh, America, you are God’s enemy!”

Worried France might be targeted, the government ordered its embassies, cultural centers, schools and other official sites to close on Friday — the Muslim holy day — in 20 countries. It also immediately shut down its embassy and the French school in Tunisia, the site of deadly protests at theU.S. Embassy last week.

The French Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning urging French citizens in the Muslim world to exercise “the greatest vigilance,” avoiding public gatherings and “sensitive buildings.”

The controversy could prove tricky for France, which has struggled to integrate its Muslim population, Western Europe’s largest. Many Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad should not be depicted at all — even in a flattering way — because it might encourage idolatry.

Violence provoked by the anti-Islam video, which portrays the prophet as a fraud, womanizer and child molester, began with a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, then quickly spread toLibya, where an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration believed the French magazine images “will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory.”

“We don’t question the right of something like this to be published,” he said, pointing to the U.S. Constitution’s protections of free expression. “We just question the judgment behind the decision to publish it.”

In a statement, Arab League chief Nabil Elarabi called the cartoons “provocative and disgraceful” and said their publication added complexity to an already inflamed situation. He said the drawings arose from ignorance of “true Islam and its holy prophet.”

A lawsuit was filed against Charlie Hebdo hours after the issue hit newsstands, the Paris prosecutor’s office said, though it would not say who filed it. The magazine also said its website had been hacked.

Riot police took up positions outside the magazine’s offices, which were firebombed last year after it released an edition that mocked radical Islam.

Chief editor Stephane Charbonnier, who publishes under the pen name “Charb” and has been under police protection for a year, defended the cartoons.

“Muhammad isn’t sacred to me,” he told The Associated Press. “I don’t blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law. I don’t live under Quranic law.”

He said he had no regrets and felt no responsibility for any violence.

“I’m not the one going into the streets with stones and Kalashnikovs,” he said. “We’ve had 1,000 issues and only three problems, all after front pages about radical Islam.”

The cartoonist, who goes by the name Luz, also was defiant.

“We treat the news like journalists. Some use cameras, some use computers. For us, it’s a paper and pencil,” he said. “A pencil is not a weapon. It’s just a means of expression.”

A small-circulation weekly, Charlie Hebdo often draws attention for ridiculing sensitivity about the Prophet Muhammad. It was acquitted in 2008 by a Paris appeals court of “publicly abusing a group of people because of their religion” following a complaint by Muslim associations.

The magazine has staked out a sub-genre in France’s varied media universe with its cartoons. Little is sacred, and Wednesday’s issue also featured caricatures of people as varied as Clint Eastwood, an unnamed Roman Catholic cardinal who looked a bit like Pope John Paul II and French President Francois Hollande, a staple.

At the demonstration in Lebanon, Nabil Kaouk, deputy chief of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, warned the United States and France not to anger Muslims.

“Be careful of the anger of our nation that is ready to defend the prophet,” he said. “Our hearts are wounded and our chests are full of anger.”

Nasser Dheini, a 40-year-old farmer, said instead of boosting security at its embassies, France should close down the offending magazine.

“Freedom of opinion should not be by insulting religions,” said Dheini, carrying his 4-year-old son Sajed.

Outside the magazine’s Paris offices, a passer-by wearing a traditional Muslim tunic said he was neither surprised nor shocked by the cartoons. He criticized France’s decision to close embassies and schools for fear of protests by extremists.

“It gives legitimacy to movements that don’t have any,” said Hatim Essoufaly, who was walking his toddler in a stroller.

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Egypt Issues Arrest Warrants for Terry Jones and Anti-Islam Filmmaker


On Tuesday, Egypt’s general prosecutor issued eight arrest warrants for anti-Muslim U.S. pastor Terry Jones, producerNakoula Basseley Nakoula and six other Coptic Christiansassociated with the incendiary film Innocence of Muslims, the  The prosecutor’s office says the seven men and one woman could face the death penalty and are charged with “harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information.” It’s not clear where the other Coptic Christians live (an names them as Adel Riad, Morris Sadek, Nabil Bissada, Esmat Zaklama, Elia Bassily, Ihab Yaacoub and Jack Atallah) but the prosecutor says they are outside of Egypt at the moment. Meanwhile Jones and Nakoula live in the free lands of Florida and California, respectively, where it’s not a crime to make or promote a movie that depicts the prophet Muhammad as an effete homosexual. 


However, that doesn’t mean their security situation isn’t a major legal headache for U.S. officials. As the U.S. is in a tricky position. “If the government were to overtly protect Nakoula, it could be seen by some as tacit approval of the film, and further enflame protests. Leaving him to fend for himself could have deadly consequences. There are examples of violence against others who have written or spoken against Muhammad.” So far, the government has offered some assistance, in the form of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies escorting Nakoula to a meeting with probation officials in the dead of night.


One would assume the U.S. would reject any Egyptian extradition request on First Amendment grounds, which could inflame Egyptian sentiment further. As Lawrence Rosenthal, a professor at Chapman University’s School of Law,  . ‘‘The thing that makes this particularly difficult for the United States is that … we treat what most of us would refer to as hate speech as constitutionally protected speech and Americans don’t appreciate, I think, how unusual this position seems in the rest of the world.” You can say that again.

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Rumors of Wars


The presidential candidates’ failure to have a serious discussion about Afghanistan and America’s other ongoing wars has been noted by many. Mitt Romney did not mention Afghanistan at all in his acceptance address. In his defense, he cited a speech made to the American Legion on the night before his appearance in Tampa. “The president was also invited to the American Legion and he was too busy to go. It was during my convention. I went to the American Legion, described my views with regards to our military, my commitment to our military, my commitment to our men and women in uniform.”

Paul Ryan also pitched in to defend the Afghanistan omission, telling Charlie Rose on Sept. 4 that Romney “repeatedly” speaks about Afghanistan, expressing gratitude for the “sacrifice of our troops” and striving for “peace through strength.” He also noted that he had spoken about veterans in his own convention speech, “I talked about veterans and what they’ve done for our country.” The remainder of the Ryan interview, including a series of foreign policy bromides bereft of any content, was largely incoherent, concluding with a comment that the President Romney position on Afghanistan would include making “an assessment” through consulting with “our generals” on how to manage security arrangements both preceding and after 2014.

Obama did at least mention Afghanistan, dissing the Republicans with an argument that was used against him in 2008, “My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy.” He explained further, “but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly. After all, you don’t call Russia our number one enemy — not al-Qaeda, Russia — unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War mind warp. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally. My opponent said it was ‘tragic’ to end the war in Iraq, and he won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan. I have, and I will.”

Romney and Ryan should perhaps consider that telling veterans’ groups of their respect for American soldiers is not exactly a foreign policy, while listening to the generals is a formula for Vietnam redux or maybe even Apocalypse Now. Obama for his part wants to tell us about what dangerous things the Republicans might do rather than explaining what he is doing and why. “Osama is dead” only buys so much favorable press, and the president fails to grasp that his softer defense policy has replaced several biggish wars with a whole bunch of possibly avoidable smaller conflicts. But what is missing from both sides is any genuine consideration of the underlying premise, whether the United States is actually responding to real threats and whether the ruinously expensive wars actually make the United States safer.

If there were to be a serious consideration of foreign policy it has to deal primarily with war and impending wars because they have the potential to bring about a radical realignment of the international order. It should probably begin with the major war that the United States is still fighting and the one it has just concluded, then moving on to the minor conflicts, continuing with an assessment of current threats, and concluding with a consideration of over-the-horizon developments.

Afghanistan, President Obama’s “good war” and a war that the GOP would prefer to forget, takes center stage because it continues to consume American lives and resources and it is rapidly developing into a bottomless pit into which billions of dollar will pour without any tangible gains. It would be good to hear an honest assessment from the president, noting that the training program is bedeviled by increasing “green on blue” violence that is threatening to derail the handover to Afghan forces, and confronting honestly the problem of massive corruption and drug trafficking that mean that no nation building can be successful. Every American who follows the news knows that to be true, so why shouldn’t the president say it, abandoning any pretense of fudging his way through another year and then escaping shortly before the point where it is necessary to send in helicopters to take survivors off the roof of an American Embassy under siege. From the Republicans, it would be interesting to learn what exactly they expect the generals to tell them that would be (a) credible or (b) would alter the developing narrative about overwhelming corruption, Afghan security forces incompetence, and lack of any exit strategy or endgame. Both Republicans and Democrats should explain why leaving in 2014 will be any more “victorious” or successful than leaving tomorrow, as Clint Eastwood somewhat whimsically suggested.

And then there is the postmortem on the recent big war just completed. Have I heard President Obama or Mitt Romney admit that Iraq was a massive failure at a cost of nearly 6,000 American lives and possibly trillions of dollars, producing an unstable yet fundamentally autocratic regime that cannot maintain security and is leaning politically toward Iran? Again, most Americans have figured it out, so why can’t the politicians say it, respond to it, and learn something from it?

And then there is the global war on terror, which includes all the little wars and “constabulary actions” that have sprung up in places like Yemen, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritania, Mali, Colombia, the Philippines, and Pakistan. Do any of those places threaten the security of the United States? I think not, with the possible exception of Pakistan, which is in crisis precisely because of the American intervention in the region. Shouldn’t someone be explaining exactly why humanitarian interventionism should be a driver of U.S. foreign policy or, alternatively, why Washington should be using armed force as a first option in situations where there is no demonstrable threat? Shouldn’t someone at least make an effort to justify drone warfare? Or extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens overseas as a response to terrorism?

President Obama has rightly noted that the Romney’s campaign’s general belligerency guarantees poor relations with Russia and China, two key competitors. But should the discussion stop there? Obama has also been sharply critical of both countries and he should explain how he believes that the State Department is supporting American interests in getting involved in their internal politics. Romney should try to explain why Russia is “public enemy number one” and exactly how he would actually address China’s currency manipulation short of taking steps that would turn a major trading partner and holder of U.S. Treasury notes into an enemy.

And then there is Iran, the now, tomorrow and over the horizon threat all rolled into one. The debate should be over what the actual U.S. interests and are together with a consideration of what steps should be taken to resolve the areas of disagreement short of a war. Iraq should be held up as the model of what might happen, only worse. If Romney can make a case for attacking Iran which actually relates to American as opposed to Israeli interests he or Paul Ryan should explain what exactly it would be. Obama should be required to explain how sanctions and the negotiations that he has not seriously engaged in at any point can possibly be the key to resolving the crisis. Both Republicans and Democrats should try to explain how Iran actually threatens the United States even though it has no nuclear weapons program, has not threatened to attack anyone, and has not initiated an offensive war for at least three centuries. And they should be willing to discuss in a serious way what the possible consequences for the U.S. military, Americans traveling overseas, and also for the U.S. economy might be if a war does start.

And finally there is the cost. Someone should be explaining why the country is still involved in a hideously expensive war on terror, possibly exceeding $1 trillion per year if state and local costs are included, when more Americans are killed annually by bee stings or falling television sets than by terrorists. Iraq might possibly cost $5 trillion when all the accumulated debts and legacy costs are paid, a war that the Pentagon initially sold as paying for itself from oil revenue. The bill and still counting on Afghanistan is $1 trillion. And focusing on all that money makes it easy to forget the human costs of 6,600 dead Americans, 1,500 dead NATO and “Coalition of the Willing” allied soldiers, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, and tens of thousands of dead Afghans.

Jobs and the economy are rightly the focus of the upcoming election because of their immediate impact on every American, but it is also essential to address the issue of how a dysfunctional and horrifically expensive foreign and defense policy has made every American poorer and even threatened the continued existence of our republican form of government. It is a discussion that must take place even if the two major parties do their best to avoid it.

Posted in USAComments Off on Rumors of Wars

Russian FM: USAID Trying to ‘Influence’ Elections


Blunt Statement Explains Order to End US Govt. Operations

by Jason Ditz,

Shedding more light on the Russian government’s order that USAID end all operations in the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statementconfirming speculation that indeed the move was related to concerns of election tampering.

“It’s about attempts to influence political processes, including elections of various types, and institutions of civil society though the distribution of grants,” the statement insisted, saying they were worried in particular about meddling in the Caucasus region.

US officials say they knew about this upcoming ban well in advance and are already working to circumvent it and continue operations indirectly in Russia, with administration officials saying the US would “continue to support democracy” in Russia.

Several Russian opposition groups which not coincidentally receive large portions of their funding directly from US government grants bashed the ban, saying that they proved Putin wanted to continue to retain control over society in Russia.

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Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on NAZI’S IN PALESTINE

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