Archive | October 12th, 2012

Reorientation of Pak-Russian Relationship

By Sajjad Shaukat

Recently, Pakistan’s analysts made misperceived speculations about the postponement of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s scheduled visit to Islamabad. He had to participate in the summit, comprising Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, which was also cancelled.

Some political experts said that President Putin cancelled his visit because Russia which was not included in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline has shown interest in the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project without an international tendering process, but Islamabad refused. Some of them presumed that the US and India which are against Pak-Russian growing ties might have played their role regarding cancellation of his trip.

However, these speculations proved untrue when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Islamabad on October 3 and on the same day, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani left for Moscow. The main aim of these visits is the reorientation of Pak-Russian Relationship by concluding strategic partnership in the long run.

Addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on October 4, Russian counterpart Lavrov said that the two countries had detailed discussions on bilateral relations. Both the ministers agreed that they have common goals on regional and current global challenges.

Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia supports Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan by pointing out that any solution imposed from outside would not work there. And there should be national reconciliation and the process should be driven by Afghans themselves for durable peace and stability. Lavrov also opposed CIA-operated drone strikes against Pakistan. Khar also expressed similar views.

About postponement of President Putin’s visit, Lavrov clarified that Putin has already conveyed to President Zardari that he was unable to visit Pakistan due to tough schedule.

Recently, both the countries have signed three agreements (as part of MOUs), and Moscow will cooperate in moderanisation of Pakistan Steel Mills, the up-gradation of Pakistan Railways and enhancing power generation.

Besides, recently, the two countries held their second inter-governmental commission (IGC) on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation in Islamabad and discussed concrete proposals in various areas of cooperation.

It is mentionable that we cannot see Pak-Russia new relationship in isolation as both the countries need each other’s assistance due to emerging geo-political scenario in the world, focusing on Afghanistan, while Pakistan has become special arena of the major countiries’ rivalries.

During his Asia visit, on June 2, this year, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta disclosed, “The United States will shift a majority of its warships to the Asia-Pacific region by 2020” as part of a new US military strategy in Asia. The main is to counterbalance China in Asia.

While Russia opposes US intentions to deploy national missile defence system (NMD) in Europe, and expansion of NATO towards Eastern Europe. In this backdrop, the Russian President Putin had openly stated that his country was returning to its Soviet era practice.

Besides, some other developments like rejection of US-led western sanctions against China by Russia and Iran, their joint veto of UN Security Council resolution against Syria and Turkey’s increase of trade with Iran indicates new shift in world politics. Meanwhile, Moscow and Beijing have asked the US to resolve the question of Iran’s nuclear programme peacefully. But America and Israel are still acting upon a war-like diplomacy against Tehran.

Notably, it is also owing to the Pakistan’s province of Balochistan where China has invested billion of dollars to develop Gwadar seaport which could link Central Asian trade with rest of the world irritates US and India. Therefore, their secret agencies have been destabilising Balochistan and other cities of Pakistan including Iranian Sistan through various subversive activities.

Pakistan also rejected American duress in relation to IP gas pipeline, and is no more interested in the US-supported gas pipeline TAP.

Taking note of US anti-Pakistan plans such as drone attacks, pressure to launch military operation in North Waziristan etc., besides China, Pakistan has also cultivated its relationship with the Russian Federation. In 2010, President Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which includes Russia, China, four Central Asian Republics as permenent members, and Pakistan and Iran as observers. Putin also remarked that Pakistan was very important partner for Moscow in South Asia and the Muslim world. Notably, during her trip to Moscow on February 9, 2011, Foreign Minister Khar stated that SCO was an exceptionally important forum within the region to counter regional challenges.

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari participated in the 12th summit of the Shanghai SCO recently held in Beijing. In their speeches, hinting towards US secret designs, Chinese president Hu Jintao and President Putin stated, “Only when SCO member states remain united can they effectively cope with emerging challenges—enhancing security cooperation.”

In various summits, the SCO leaders displayed strength against the US rising dominance in the region and military presence in Afghanistan, near Central Asia.

Nevertheless, Russia has offered Pakistan counter-terrorism equipments. When Russian military Chief Col-Gen. Alexander Postnikov visited Pakistan in May 2011, he even discussed with Gen. Kayani—the possibility of expanding defence ties by holding joint military exercises, exchanging trainees and trainers and selling and buying weapons. In this context, Gen. Kayani’s four day trip to Russia has consolidated progress in defence cooperation as his Russian counterpart gave a positive response.

Nonetheless, after the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014, US which signed an agreement of partnership with Kabul, has decided to establish six military bases in that country having eyes on the energy resources of Central Asia, with multiple strategic aims against Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia. US also encouraged India to take a more active role in Afghanistan. However, Moscow wants to get more involved in regional affairs to counterbalance growing influence of US in Afghanistan. It knows that due to its strategic geo-political location, Pakistan can play a key role in Afghanistan for Russian interests. So, Pak-Russian reorientation of relationship is owing to the emerging geo-political scenario.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Affairs

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Liar’s master class in Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney liarBy Lawrence Davidson

Lawrence Davidson analyses Mitt Romney’s history of compulsive lying and argues that, sadly for Americans and the rest of the world, the US Republican Presidential candidate’s habitual lying, which could be a case of pseudologia fantastica, will not necessarily be an election handicap.

Earning a place in the eighth rung of hell

Mitt Romney might be the most brazen political liar since James Polk. Polk, who was the 11th US president (1845-49), lied through his teeth – to Congress, to his cabinet, to the newspapers – in order to get the country into a war with Mexico. Of course, other presidents have lied to this end, for instance presidents Johnson (Vietnam) and Bush Junior. (Iraq), but Polk had the same audacious, “lying is part of what I do”, disposition as does our current Republican candidate.

If one has any doubt about Mitt Romney’s mendacious temperment, the first presidential debate should have put it to rest. According to one analyst, Romney let loose with “27 myths in 38 minutes”, finishing with a big grin after most of these prevarications. He produced trumped up assertions, false statistics and wild exaggerations about taxes, energy independence, job creation, the deficit, medicare, “Obamacare” and military spending.

If Dante Alighieri came back to life today and produced an updated list of lost souls for the “Inferno” section of his Divine Comedy, Romney would certainly earn a spot in the eighth rung of hell.

If Dante Alighieri came back to life today and produced an updated list of lost souls for the “Inferno” section of his Divine Comedy, Romney would certainly earn a spot in the 8th rung of hell. That is where Dante placed, among others, the “falsifiers, those who attempted to alter things through lies or alchemy”. Their punishment was “based on horrible … diseases such as rashes, dropsy, leprosy and consumption”. I suggest that, come the second debate, we all keep a sharp eye on Romney’s nose and fingertips for signs of leprosy. By the way, there seems to be a suspicion that Romney also cheated during the first debate. The debate rules say that the candidates cannot use “prepared notes”. However, a video of the debate shows that he had put what looks like a white piece of paper down on his podium, or maybe it was just his handkerchief.

Some specifics

The second debate, scheduled for 16 October, will be partially about foreign policy. On 8 October Romney gave a speech on foreign affairs. It should be kept in mind that between the 8th and the 16th he might completely change his positions. The man has such a flip-flop record that this is quite possible. However, assuming he doesn’t do that, let’s take a look at just how truthful are his foreign policy statements.

1. As Robert Parry points out in Consortium News, Romney lied when he said Obama “has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years”. Obama has in fact signed three (South Korea, Panama and Columbia). He also lied when he said that Obama was “silent” during the suppression of demonstrations in Iran after the re-election of President Mahmoud Amadinejad. Obama spoke out on multiple occasions. By the way, one might not approve of NAFTA [North American Free Trade Area] style trade agreements. I certainly don’t. But that does not make Romney’s lies about Obama’s actions acceptable.

2. Parry goes on to detail how Romney’s accusation that Obama’s foreign policy is “weak” is groundless. After all, he is talking about the man who wages war in Afghanistan, helped bring down the dictatorship in Libya and took down Osama bin Laden. Parry explains that Romney credits a lot of this to the US military as if Obama had nothing to do with it. Once more, Obama’s foreign policy has much about it that can be criticized. Why do it through sheer falsehoods? Perhaps because Romney actually has no problem with Obama’s actions, but does not want the public to associate them with the president.

3. Then there is Romney’s sudden embracing of a Palestinian state when just a few weeks ago he described such a goal as “almost unthinkable to accomplish.” At that time the reason he gave for his position was that Palestinians are not interested in peace. That was an outrageous lie. It is hard to believe that he has now changed his mind. More likely he is attempting to preclude any charge that he has abandoned the search for peace, even as he asserts that Obama has not displayed leadership toward that same end.

4. When it comes to the Arab Spring, Obama allegedly missed “an historic opportunity to win new friends and share our values in the Middle East”. Who would these friends be? Those fighting against “evil tyrants and angry mobs who seek to harm us”. This is so much gobbledygook. Most of the evil tyrants are our longstanding old friends and the angry mobs are the only hope for any governmental improvement.

Parry points out that the real difference between Romney and Obama is that Romney is much more the militarist. He has embraced neocon advisers, given carte blanche to Israel and verbally attacked Russia as “without question, our No. 1 geopolitical foe”. All of this suggests that between Obama (who is certainly no saint and has plenty of blood on his own hands) and Romney, it is the latter who is more likely to get the nation into yet another war. As Juan Cole has observed, “…wars and lots of other conflicts are not a foreign policy vision, they are a nightmare”.

Does lying work?

So, does this serial falsification work? Can it actually help get a mythomanic elected president? It seems that the answer is yes. According to a Pew Research Center polltaken after the first Obama-Romney debate, “It’s official. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney … erased President Barack Obama’s lead.” According to a graph of the poll results Romney picked up five percentage points to come even with Obama. A total of 64 per cent of voters “thought that Romney was more informative than President Obama”.

The liar is more informative! How is that possible? Well, you start with a lot of ignorance. The ignorance is not a function of lack of intelligence, but a function of lack of accurate contextual knowledge. As a consequence, the level of understanding of the average American about government policy on national issues such as healthcare, energy independence, job creation, the deficit, military spending and even taxes is considerably lower than their average IQ. It is even worse when we get to foreign policyand its formulation.

Into the resulting knowledge vacuum comes the misleading statements and assertions of politicians, so-called experts and media spokesmen of all descriptions. Fox TV has made millions of dollars selling advertising that accompanies biased opinion passed off as fact. In the end what the majority of Americans think they know about both domestic and foreign policy is based on media hear-say. Romney’s assertive and stylized lying fits well into this scenario. And his style also passes for strength and self-confidence.

Is it pathological?

Romney’s lying is so pervasive, so ever-present, that one starts to wonder if it is pathological.

There is a mental illness characterized by habitual lying. It goes by the name of pseudologia fantastica. Here are some of the characteristics of this ailment:

1. The lies told “are not entirely improbable” and “upon confrontation, the teller can admit them to be untrue, even if unwillingly”. In other words, the liar is aware that he or she is lying.

2. The lies told cast the teller in a favourable light.

3. The tendency to lie is a long-lasting one and not the product of the moment. It reflects an innate trait of the personality.

Well, Romney fits this pattern when it comes to the first two traits. It is hard to tell about the third. We will have to await the in-depth biographies that are certain to hit the market in short order. However, there is no doubt that the man has an easy facility for lying. One doubts if it keeps him up at night.


When the powerful lie it is a problem for all of us. That is because we do not act on the basis of what is true. Rather, we act on the basis of what we think is true. When it comes to foreign policy, what the powerful and the media tell us is what most of us accept as true. This distinction between what is true and what we think is true is critically important. If what we believe is true approximates the reality outside of us, then our plans and actions usually work out. If, however, what we think is true is off the mark, we can end up walking right off a cliff.

In the last 50 years Americans have been walking off cliffs quite regularly, with the result that millions have been killed and maimed. They have done so in large part because they have a hard time knowing when they are being lied to, especially about foreign policy. If the Pew poll cited above is any predictor, nothing is going to change any time soon. Elect Mitt Romney and that walk toward the cliff might turn into a run. Re-elect Obama, and the cliff will probably remain our self-destructive destination, but perhaps the pace will be more measured.

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Zio-Nazi Bombardment of Gaza Schools

 The Palestinian Ministry of Education in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, evicted Monday dozens of schoolchildren from five schools, east of Khan Younis, due to heavy Israeli bombardments targeting the area.

The Ministry issued a press release stating that dozens of Israeli shells landed near the schools since early morning hours, an issue that forced the ministry to send the children home in fear of further Israeli military escalation.

The evicted schools are Khuza’a High School for Boys, Khuza’a Girls School, Abasan Al-Jadeeda Elementary School for Boys and Girls, and Al-Ma’arry Elementary School for boys and girls.

The Ministry of Interior said that the eviction of the schools was successfully conducted due to previous trainings that were conducted by the ministry in different schools due to ongoing Israel assaults against the coastal region.

Also on Monday, a young Palestinian man died of wounds suffered Sunday after the Israeli army bombarded Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip wounding ten Palestinians, three seriously. Children were also among the wounded.


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Turkey Warns Syria It May ‘Respond With Greater Force’


A week of cross-border skirmishes is making Turkey seem eager for a fight, but NATO still urges calm

by John Glaser

After a week of exchanging cross-border attacks with Syria, Turkey on Wednesday warned that it may respond even more forcefully than it already has.

“We responded, but if it continues we will respond with greater force,” the Turkish chief of staff, Gen. Necdet Ozel said, according to Reuters.

Last week, shelling from Syria landed in a Turkish town and killed 5 civilians. Turkey immediately responded with returning artillery fire. But after Damascus said it would investigate the initial shelling, Ankara just kept on firing across the border, seemingly eager for a fight.

For much of the mortar fire coming into Turkey from Syria, according to the New York Times, “It has not been clear whether the Syrian mortar is deliberate or the result of inaccurate fire in clashes between government forces and rebels seeking the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.”

Still, Turkey has kept up its “retaliation.” NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday that NATO would back Turkey in case of a more substantial break-out of war. But at the same time he urged the two sides to avoid escalation, in a sign of the West’s remaining unease with getting involved in anything more than a proxy war in Syria.

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Who’s Advising Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy?


With Mitt Romney’s comments on Libya drawing attention today–specifically, his criticism of Obama–it’s worth examining whom Romney listens to on such matters.

Dan Senor is one of Romney’s closest advisers on foreign policy. Since Paul Ryan has been selected as the GOP’s vice presidential candidate, Senor has been traveling with Ryan–but today, he left the trail because of the “foreign policy developments” and is in Boston and NYC.

Senor is the former spokesman for the American government in Iraq (the Coalition Provisional Authority at the beginning of the Iraq war under George W. Bush) and is a particularly close adviser to Romney on the Middle East. (He has traveled with Romney to Israel three times, as well as written a book on Israel that Romney often cites). With Ryan, he consults on domestic and foreign policy issues.

Last month, the New York Times described Senor as an “advocate of neoconservative thinking that has sought to push presidents to the right for years on Middle East policy.” Senor led a foreign policy briefing for Ryan on the plane yesterday from Seattle along with Jamie Fly, executive director, Foreign Policy Initiative and Reuel Marc Gerecht from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Romney keeps a large group of foreign-policy advisers, eight of whom participated in the early neoconservative group Project for a New American Century think tank, founded in 1997 and headed by William Kristol, the Nation’s Ari Berman reported in May. In the same month, The New York Times’ Magazine’s David Sanger reported on discontent within that big team, with some complaining that Romney only listens to John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador under president Bush.

Romney has long sought to distinguish himself from the president by drawing a contrast between weakness and strength, and his posture is reflected in the team he’s chosen, peppered with luminaries from the Bush administration. The “special advisers”–who do not comprise the entire foreign policy team–are listed on Romney’s campaign website:

Cofer Black

Christopher Burnham

Michael Chertoff

Eliot Cohen

Norm Coleman

John Danilovich

Paula J. Dobriansky

Eric Edelman

Michael Hayden

Kerry Healey

Kim Holmes

Robert Joseph

Robert Kagan

John Lehman

Andrew Natsios

Meghan O’Sullivan

Walid Phares

Pierre Prosper

Mitchell Reiss

Daniel Senor

Jim Talent

Vin Weber

Richard Williamson

Dov Zakheim


Michael Hayden served as CIA director under president Bush, who nominated him in 2006. Michael Chertoff served as Bush’s second Homeland Security secretary. Jim Talent and Norm Coleman are former Republican senators.

At least one of them presaged Romney’s attack line on Libya. Richard Williamson, who served as Bush’s special envoy to Sudan and ambassador to the U.N. Security Council, leveled an attack at Obama last night before it was known that Americans had been killed.

“The events in Egypt and Libya show the failure of the Egyptian and Libyan governments to uphold their obligations to keep our diplomatic missions safe and secure and the regard in which the United States is held under President Obama in these two countries,” he told Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin. “It’s all part of a broader scheme of the president’s failure to be an effective leader for U.S. interests in the Middle East.”

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Russia FM: Iran doesn’t intend to attack IsraHell with nuclear weapons


In meeting with Knesset Speaker Rivlin, Sergei Lavrov says Tehran will avoid such an assault as a result of millions of ‘Arabs and Muslims’ who reside in the country; Rivlin: Only Russia can stop Iran without sanctions, military action.


Russia does not believe that Iran intends to attack Israel with nuclear weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a top Israeli official on Thursday, adding that there wasn’t any proof that the Islamic Republic was developing nuclear arms.

Lavrov’s comments came after, on Monday, Foreign Policy reported David Rothkopf claimed that the United States and Israel are considering the possibility of a joint “surgical strike” against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

While Israel and the U.S. still don’t entirely agree on the “red line” which would trigger a military response, the report said that the Israelis are now suggesting a more limited attack than was previously debated.

Rothkopf, a former Clinton administration official and international relations expert, quoted a source said to be close to the discussions, which claimed that a small-scale attack is currently viewed as the most likely military option. Such strike, the source said, is likely to only take a few hours and would be conducted by air, using bombers and supported by drones.

During a meeting with the Russian foreign minister in Moscow on Thursday, Knesset Speaker Rivlin, who headed a delegation of MKs, said that “the friendship between Russian and Iran allows Russia the opportunity and obligation to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

“Russia may be the only [nation] able to stop the Iranian nuclear program, without necessitating sanctions or military moves,” the Knesset speaker added.

Lavrov, however, dismissed Israel’s suspicions concerning Iran’s nuclear aspirations, saying that “until now, it had not been clearly proven that Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons.”

“Russia believes that Iran doesn’t intend to attack Israel with nuclear weapons, especially when taking into account the makeup of Israel’s population, which includes millions of Arabs and Muslims,” the Russian FM added.

On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the West was lying when it claims that harsh economic sanctions imposed on Iran will be lifted if the Islamic Republic halts its nuclear progress, said on Wednesday, adding that the “enemies” were exaggerating the extent of the sanctions’ damage.

Cited by Iranian media, Khamenei said that embargoes and sanctions were imposed on Iran even before the world began protesting against its nuclear program, saying that the West says that if Iran “desists from its nuclear energy right, they will remove sanctions, but they lie.”

“[The existence of] a relationship between the sanctions and Iran’s nuclear issue is a lie, and it is the pride and rise and persistence of the Iranian nation which has angered them (the enemies),” Ayatollah Khamenei was cited by both the Fars news agency and Press TV as saying.

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Mask of Zion Broadcast: Israeli-American atrocities

Mask of Zion Broadcast Oct 11, 2012

by crescentandcross

Jam-packed 2-hour edition of the Mask of Zion Report today! The one

and only Jonathan Azaziah covers several anniversaries of inhumane

Israeli-American atrocities, an update on “solidarity movement”

discourse and then explores the blistering revelation of Hezbollah

acquiring drone capabilities as well as the electoral victory of Hugo

Chavez in Venezuela, two crucial victories in our global struggle against

the Jewish supremacist enemy.


Download Here


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Terry Jones, controversial U.S. pastor, denied entry into Canada


terry jones

Stephen M. Dowell/MCTControversial anti-Islamic pastor Terry Jones has been denied entry into Canada. Jones was to attend a rally at Queen’s Park on Thursday evening.

Nicholas Keung and Touria Izri

About 50 people showed up at the Freedom Showdown event in Toronto Thursday, most apparently sharing dissenting views from Rev. Terry Jones, the missing speaker famous for threatening to burn the Qur’an.

The dissidents said they were as disappointed as Jones, the pastor from Florida who was turned back at the Canada-U.S. border earlier Thursday, because they would have liked to engage in dialogue with him and understand what leads someone to adopt such hateful views against Islam.

“I’ve talked to Muslim radicals, and they are so similar to non-Muslim radicals,” said Mubin Shaikh, one of two undercover counter-terrorism operatives who assisted Canadian authorities in uncovering the Toronto 18 terrorism case in 2006.

“The best antidote to hate speech is truth speech. Is the society really better off by demonizing a minority group?”

Hoisting a banner that promoted peace between Christians and Muslims, Max French said people like Jones are “toxic.”

“I’m here to bring a voice of sanity to an otherwise insane society. They do nothing but incite conflicts,” said French.

More than 20 Toronto police officers were on guard monitoring the hour-long event that also commemorated the death of U.S. Cpl. Chris Speer, killed in a fight in Afghanistan that involved Canadian-born 15-year-old Omar Khadr, who was recently returned to Canada after years imprisoned at Guantanamo.

Jones, who leads Florida’s tiny Dove World Outreach Centre, was held up for four hours earlier Thursday at the Windsor border crossing, before being denied entry into Canada to attend the evening event outside the Ontario Legislature.

The vehicle Jones shared with Pastor Wayne Sapp, as well as their cellphone records and computers, was searched while the two were interrogated by Canada Border Services Agency about the intent of their visit and what he was prepared to preach at the event.

Authorities also seized two 1-by-1.5-metre cardboard signs that said, “Koran burning site” and “Islam is the new Nazism.”

“Dr. Jones is obviously very disappointed. It’s a big blow to him and all of us,” said his spokesperson, Fran Ingram, in Florida. “This is not about him. This is about free speech in the West.”

In barring Jones, border officials cited a fine he got in Germany in 1993 for using the title “doctor” there (as a recipient of an honorary doctorate in theology), as well as a criminal charge of breaching the peace at a planned rally in Detroit last year.

Ingram said Jones got both decisions overturned on appeal. However, unconvinced border officials demanded proof.

“You are required to provide a criminal records check before returning to Canada,” said a notice issued to Jones at the border, obtained by the Star. “Failure to provide this criminal history record, while attempting to enter Canada, may result in your arrest.”

Jones’s refusal wasn’t the first instance of a controversial visitor being prohibited from entering Canada on the basis of stated views and remarks made elsewhere.

Last year, British activist Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee eventually released without charge, was refused entry twice by Ottawa while on a world tour to talk about his experiences in detention. Canadian officials said he was denied based on “information via open sources (that the) subject is/would have been a member of al-Qaeda.”

In 2010, Mumbai-based Muslim televangelist Zakir Naik was banned from attending the Journey of Faith Conference in Toronto for comments he had made that appeared sympathetic to the late Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

In 2009, outspoken British MP George Galloway was stopped because of his alleged support for Hamas, which is classified in Canada as a terrorist group.

Jones was invited by a group calling itself Canadians United Against Terror to take part in a debate on “free speech” in Toronto at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Event organizer Allan Einstoss said the government’s actions show “great cowardice” and that the event would go on without Jones. “It will be offensive on both sides,” said Einstoss.

Jones caused international outrage in 2010, when he planned the “International Burn a Koran Day” on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The Qur’an burning was put off until the following March, at Jones’s church in Gainesville, Fla. That incident set off bloody riots in Afghanistan.

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Why US media is biased against Arabs and Muslims

US media biasBy Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj explains that lopsided US media coverage of the Arab and Muslim worlds is rooted not just in cultural biases and political motives, but in the fact that media reporters and editors themselves are sometimes part of the Israeli military establishment.

In previous article I referred to Edward Said’s scholarly work on Western media coverage of Muslim and Arab countries and how it is shaped by discreet cultural biases or political motives. This fact couldn’t be more pertinent than in recent coverage of protests against the film deriding the Prophet Muhammad.

For days, the media was fixated on protests and the ensuing senseless violence.

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s knee-jerk reaction to protests in Libya and Egypt was to admonish the Obama administration, blaming the violence on US ambassadors for condemning the movie and not “standing up for American values”.

The same media and candidate (until his speech last week) all but ignored the more than 30,000 Libyans who took to the streets of Benghazi, protesting against the attack on the US consulate.

Americans and Israelis are considered actual people, while others are “collateral damage” statistics.

At least 10 Libyans were killed as they ransacked offices of the group allegedly linked to the assault on the consulate, but the Western media downplayed the sacrifices of Libyans fighting the suspected killers of the US diplomat and staff.

The cultural bias in reporting is prevalent in major US media outlets. For example, on 1 October US news station NBC reported that “three US soldiers” and “several Afghans” were killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan. Viewers were not told that the “several Afghans” were actually 11 humans, including four police officers, an interpreter and six civilians.

This pattern of reporting exemplifies a subconscious cultural bias, where the loss of American or Israeli life is more important.

Americans and Israelis are considered actual people, while others are “collateral damage” statistics.

The cultural bias is complemented by self-serving reporters who manipulate the Middle East news narrative relayed to unsuspecting Westerners.

For example, many international correspondents in Jerusalem are reserve duty officers or have children serving in the Israeli army.

It is common to hear Western reporters [in Israel] boasting to one another about their Zionist credentials, their service in the Israeli army or the loyal service of their children.

Jonathan Cook, British journalist

Jonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth, said: “It is common to hear Western reporters [in Israel] boasting to one another about their Zionist credentials, their service in the Israeli army or the loyal service of their children.”

The New York Times never disclosed that its Jerusalem bureau chief between 2010 and 2012, Ethan Bronner, was an Israeli citizen, with a son serving in the Israeli army.

Nor did National Public Radio reveal that its correspondent Linda Gradstein was married to an Israeli military sniper.

Other media pundits, including Joel Greenberg, once a New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem, have served in the Israeli army and been on reserve duty. Mitch Weinstock, national editor of the Union Tribune in San Diego, is an Israeli military veteran.

Wolf Blitzer, otherwise known by his Israeli pen name Zev Barak, hosts a major CNN news programme, but was once the Middle East foreign policy analyst and editor for Near East Report, a mouthpiece of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the strongest US foreign lobby.

News correspondents, veterans or reserve army officers with conspicuous national allegiance cease to be objective, especially when reporting on their own military units or governments. Reporters with predisposed opinions are advocates incapable of being neutral.

The combination of a formidable Israeli lobby charting US foreign policy in the Middle East and special interest reporters manipulating America’s public opinion suggest more US involvement in new, Israeli-contrived adventures akin to the invasion of Iraq, is likely.

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‘Police fail to prosecute Palestinian trees vandalism’


Human rights group says 162 complaints filed by Palestinians over alleged orchard vandalism by Nazi settler last seven years have yielded only one indictment

The Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights group leveled harsh criticism at the Judea and Samaria District Police Thursday, saying the department is failing to prosecute cases of vandalism against Palestinian orchards in the West Bank.

According to a report by the group, released following the beginning of the olive-picking season, the 162 complaints filed by Palestinians over the past seven years – mostly against settlers – have so far yielded only one indictment.

The complaints detail acts of damaging trees, uprooting them, cutting them down and stilling the produce, Yesh Din said.

The majority of complaints entail damage done to olive groves across the West Bank, but some detail damage to fruit orchards as well.

According to the report, 124 of the cases were dismissed on grounds of “felon unknown”; 16 cases were dismissed over insufficient evidence; two cases were dismissed over “lack of criminal liability” and the reason for the dismissal of five other cases were not released.

The police told Yesh Din that files concerning two of the complaints were lost.

The Judea and Samaria District Police said in response that, “The report compiled by Yesh Din has yet to be received by the police. It will be reviewed and we will respond to it accordingly.”

Yesh Din’s report further criticizes the police for also failing to enforce the law and deal with what the group defines as “Ideological offences by Israeli citizens against Palestinians in the West Bank.”

According to the group, less than 9% of all active cases resulted in any kind of legal action.

“The police’s failure to enforce the law encourages such acts of vandalism, since the perpetrators are not punished.”

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