Archive | October 27th, 2012

Syrian toddler thought dead reunited with parents


Bushr Al Tawashi, as he is carried by his mother Arin Al Dakkar, outside of a private Sigma TV station, in Nicosia, Cyprus, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. A 2-year-old Syrian boy who was believed dead after his family inadvertently left him behind as they fled shelling in Damascus last summer has been reunited with his parents in Cyprus, a lawyer said. "You can imagine how they felt when they were told their son was alive after bearing all this guilt thinking that he was dead," lawyer Stella Constantinou told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

ed note–as relieved as I am about this little boy being reunited with his family, there are nevertheless a few items worth mentioning here–

1. The story says that ‘rebels’ put this little boy in the care of ‘another family’. This is a FAR  FREAKING CRY from the reports the world has seen concerning how these same rebels have dealt with others, including the little 6 year old boy who was hanged by them.

2. This nightmare, as well as the entire ordeal whereby Syria has been RIPPED TO SHREDS would never have taken place were it not for what the West–working as Israel’s surrogates–has done in bringing about this chaos, as an extension of the non-revolution known as the ‘Arab Spring’. It is a case of thieves breaking into a home, killing most of the family memebers, stealing everything they have and then later setting up a fund-raiser for the victimized family in the interests of rehabilitating the thieves’ image to the rest of the town.

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Media in Cyprus are hailing it as a miracle.

A 2-year-old Syrian boy who was believed dead after his family inadvertently left him behind as they fled shelling in Damascus last summer has been reunited with his parents in Cyprus, a lawyer said Friday.

“You can imagine how they felt when they were told their son was alive after bearing all this guilt thinking that he was dead,” lawyerStella Constantinou told The Associated Press.

The story of little Bushr Al Tawashi’s survival evokes every parent’s nightmare.

No one knows exactly how long Bushr wandered about alone in the rubble of his family home before rebel fighters sweeping through the Al Kaboun suburb found him and handed him over to another family to look after, Constantinou said.

In their chaotic haste to escape fighting between government troops and Syrian rebels, Bushr’s father Machhour Al Tawashi and his mother Arin Al Dakkar had assumed the boy was picked up by other members of their extended family who had been staying with them, the lawyer said.

Heavy fighting prevented the parents from going back to search for Bushr once they found temporary shelter at a refugee camp and realized that he was missing, she said.

Believing he did not survive the shelling, his parents and their other two sons aged 4 and 6 arrived in Cyprus on Aug. 6 in search of asylum, some two weeks after they had lost track of Bushr.

But word that the boy was safe eventually reached the parents, who now live in the coastal town of Limassol.

Macchour told the AP through an interpreter that someone had recognized Bushr, since everyone knows each other in their tight-knit community, and called the family in Cyprus to deliver the good news.

The family then sought Constantinou’s help to bring him to this Mediterranean island, which lies 64 miles (103 kilometers) east of Syria.

Macchour’s sister, who had joined the family in Cyprus, volunteered to return to Damascus on Sept. 9 to take care of Bushr until arrangements for his return could be made. She is now being prevented from leaving the Syrian capital, the lawyer said, without elaborating.

The Cypriot Foreign Ministry expedited the process once Bushr’s parents provided proof that he was their child. Bushr’s father then travelled to the Lebanese capital of Beirut where he was reunited with the boy at the Cypriot Embassy. He brought Bushr back to the island on Thursday.

“I can’t describe how I felt when I saw him, just overjoyed at seeing him again,” Macchour said Friday. “At first he didn’t recognize me, but then they embraced and he started calling out ‘Father, Father.’”

Macchour said although he still has relatives in Syria, his home was flattened like half of the buildings in Al-Kaboun and there’s no way he’ll ever go back.

“Absolutely not,” the father said.

Activists say some 35,000 people have been killed in Syria since an uprising against President Bashar Assad’s government began in March 2011.

Constantinou said the toddler was just happy to be in his mother’s arms again and calling out to his older brothers.

She said what drove her to make sure that the family was reunited was that she became emotionally involved.

“As a grandmother of a 2-year-old myself, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to get that boy back to his parents,” she said.

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Islamic militant group in Syria rejects truce


Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) – The current international peace plan seeking to stop Syria’s civil war suffered a major setback Wednesday when an al-Qaida-inspired militant group rejected a cease-fire proposed by the international envoy.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, said the government in Damascus and some rebel leaders had agreed to a four-day truce during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, which starts Friday.

The modest scope of the proposal reflected how short the international community is on ideas – and even that appeared doomed. Both sides have agreed to previous, more ambitious cease-fires in the past only to break them, and neither side shows much interest in stopping the fight now.

The Syrian government denied it has made a decision, saying it is studying the proposal, and rebel leaders have expressed doubts.

An extremist group, Jabhat al-Nusra, which has joined the fight against President Bashar Assad, also rejected the truce.

“There will be no truce between us and the prideful regime and shedder of the blood of Muslims,” the group said in a written statement posted Wednesday on militant websites. “We are not among those who allow the wily to trick us, nor are we ones who will accept to play these filthy games.”

While the group is on the extreme edge of the rebel groups fighting in Syria, it also expressed a sentiment most of them share: that after 19 months of deadly violence, there is little faith that Assad’s regime will abide by any agreement.

Brahimi told reporters in Cairo Wednesday that Assad’s government had agreed to the truce and would issue a statement on the matter later “today or tomorrow.” He did not say how it would be monitored.

Brahimi met with Assad in Damascus on Sunday after talks last week with opposition groups inside and outside Syria. He has said he received promises but not a commitment from them to honor the cease-fire.

Speaking by videoconference from Cairo on Wednesday, he told the U.N. Security Council that he hopes a temporary cease-fire in Syria can break the cycle of violence and allow a political transition to start, a U.N. diplomat in the closed meeting said.

He also said another failure would let the conflict worsen and spill over to other countries, the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

In Damascus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi said Wednesday that proposal was still “being studied” by Syrian army leaders and that Syria’s decision would be announced Thursday.

Another opposition leader said he had little hope the truce would hold. Abdelbaset Sieda, head of the exile Syrian National Council, said opposition fighters have told him they are willing to adhere to it but will respond if attacked by regime forces.

“This regime, we don’t trust it, because it is saying something and doing something else on the ground,” Sieda said by phone from Sweden.

Brahimi’s proposal is far more modest than a six-point plan by his predecessor as Syrian envoy, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. A cease-fire was the centerpiece of Annan’s proposal and was to lead to talks on a peaceful transition.

But the truce broke down soon after it started and the two sides returned to all-out war, although Annan said the regime was the main aggressor.

Violence continued around Syria Wednesday. A car bomb exploded in the Tadamon neighborhood of Damascus, killing at least eight people, said Rami Abdul-Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Regime warplanes struck the village of Mar Shureen near a strategic rebel-held town in the country’s north Wednesday, killing five members of an extended family, activists said.

The village is just outside the town of Maaret al-Numan, about a mile (nearly two kilometers) from a Syrian military camp that has been the site of fierce fighting for several days.

Opposition fighters seized Maaret al-Numan, which lies along the main highway between Aleppo and Damascus, earlier this month. That has disrupted the ability of Assad’s army to send supplies and reinforcements to the northwest where troops are bogged down in a stalemate with the rebels in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.

Syria’s uprising started in March 2011 with anti-regime protests. The conflict has since turned into a civil war. Anti-regime activists say more than 34,000 have been killed.

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Presidential Elections 2012 PART 2



Below are statements made on the campaign trail by the two presidential candidates (Romney in red andObama in blue) regarding Syria and the Arab Awakening.

Syria’s Chemical Weapons:

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my equation.”

“I think we have to also be ready to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that we do not have any kind of weapon of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists and whether that requires troops, or whether that requires other actions by our friends and allies.”

How to Work Toward a Resolution in Syria:

“What we’ve done is organize the international community, saying Assad has to go. We’ve mobilized sanctions against that government. We have made sure that they are isolated. We have provided humanitarian assistance and we are helping the opposition organize, and we’re particularly interested in making sure that we’re mobilizing the moderate forces inside of Syria.

But ultimately, Syrians are going to have to determine their own future. And so everything we’re doing, we’re doing in consultation with our partners in the region, including Israel, which obviously has a huge interest in seeing what happens in Syria; coordinating with Turkey and other countries in the region that have a great interest in this.”

“And so the right course for us, is working through our partners and with our own resources, to identify responsible parties within Syria, organize them, bring them together in a—in a form of—if not government, a form of—of—of council that can take the lead in Syria. And then make sure they have the arms necessary to defend themselves. We do need to make sure that they don’t have arms that get into the—the wrong hands. Those arms could be used to hurt us down the road. We need to make sure as well that we coordinate this effort with our allies, and particularly with—with Israel.”

Geographic Confusion:

“Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea. It’s the route for them to arm Hezbollah in Lebanon, which threatens, of course, our ally Israel. “

Approach Toward Transitioning Countries:

“What I’ve done throughout my presidency and will continue to do is, number one, make sure that these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts. Number two, make sure that they are standing by our interests in Israel’s security, because it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region.

Number three, we do have to make sure that we’re protecting religious minorities and women because these countries can’t develop unless all the population, not just half of it, is developing. Number four, we do have to develop their economic—their economic capabilities.

But number five, the other thing that we have to do is recognize that we can’t continue to do nation building in these regions. Part of American leadership is making sure that we’re doing nation building here at home. That will help us maintain the kind of American leadership that we need.”

“What we’re seeing is a pretty dramatic reversal in the kind of hopes we had for that region. But the key that we’re going to have to pursue is a—is a pathway to get the Muslim world to be able to reject extremism on its own. And how do we do that?….

One, more economic development. We should key our foreign aid, our direct foreign investment, and that of our friends, we should coordinate it to make sure that we—we push back and give them more economic development. Number two, better education. Number three, gender equality. Number four, the rule of law. We have to help these nations create civil societies.”

“And so my message to the presidents of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and these other countries is, we want to be a partner with you, we will work with you, and we stand on the side of democracy, but democracy is not just an election; it’s also, are you looking out for minority rights, are you respecting freedom of speech, are you treating women fairly.”

“I think when there’s a country like Lebanon, that becomes a democracy, that instead of standing by and seeing how they do, we should have been working with the government there to assure that they have the rule of law, that they have agricultural and economic policies that work for them, that they have schools that are not Wahhabi schools, that we try and make sure they have good health care. We bring together not just America, but all the nations of the civilized world. We help draw these folks toward modernity, as opposed to having them turn toward the violence and the extreme.”

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Presidential Elections 2012 PART 1



In the remaining days leading up to the Nov. 6 election, the Washington Report will issue additional “Action Alerts” to inform readers about other foreign policy differences between the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

The United States desperately needs to have a national dialogue on the nature of its foreign policy in the Middle East. For far too long—and through Democratic and Republican administrations alike—the same issues have plagued Washington and the region: The U.S. and Iran seem incapable of dialogue, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is stalled and illegal settlement building continues, and approval ratings of the U.S. remain paltry. Newer issues—such as the morality and effectiveness of U.S. drone attacks—must also be addressed.

Unfortunately, the third and final presidential debate did not serve as a platform for this national conversation. Instead, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney squabbled over details of the status quo. Those aware of the issues plaguing the region know that neither candidate painted a vision of the future that differs very much from the past or the present.

Below are statements made by the two candidates (Romney in red and Obama in blue) on the campaign trail regarding Israel, Palestine and Iran. It is important that voters know where the candidates stand on these issues. As the quotes, sadly, reveal, they stand side-by-side most of time—particularly when it comes to Israel.

Shared U.S.-Israeli Values:

“We [Israel and the U.S.] both believe in democracy, in the right of every people to select their leaders and choose their nation’s course. We both believe in the rule of law, knowing that in its absence, willful men may incline to oppress the weak. We both believe that our rights are universal, granted not by government but by our Creator.”

“As for Israel, our friendship is rooted deeply in a shared history and shared values. Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. And we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums.”

American Military Defense of Israel:

“And if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily.”

“And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel. I’ve made that clear throughout my presidency.”

Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process:

“I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way.”

“Ultimately, the Palestinians and the Israelis are going to have to agree on how they’re going to settle the differences between them.”

“Nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel, to renounce violence, and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region. Israel is the linchpin of much of our efforts in the Middle East.”

“The ultimate goal is two states for two people:  Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people and the State of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people—each state in joined self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.”

The Iranian Military Option:

“It’s worth putting in place crippling sanctions…And if all else fails, if after all of the work we’ve done, there’s nothing else we can do beside take military action, then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

“I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power: a political effort aimed at isolating Iran, a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored, an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.”

How to Approach Iran:

“Something I would add today is I would tighten those sanctions. I would say that ships that carry Iranian oil can’t come into our ports. I imagine the EU would agree with us as well. Not only ships couldn’t, but I’d say companies that are moving their oil can’t, people who are trading in their oil can’t. I would tighten those sanctions further. Secondly, I’d take on diplomatic isolation efforts. I’d make sure that Ahmadinejad is indicted under the Genocide Convention. His words amount to genocide incitation. I would indict him for it. I would also make sure that their diplomats are treated like the pariah they are around the world. The same way we treated the apartheid diplomats of South Africa.”

“From my very first months in office, we put forward a very clear choice to the Iranian regime: a path that would allow them to rejoin the community of nations if they meet their international obligations, or a path that leads to an escalating series of consequences if they don’t. In fact, our policy of engagement—quickly rebuffed by the Iranian regime—allowed us to rally the international community as never before, to expose Iran’s intransigence and to apply pressure that goes far beyond anything that the United States could do on our own.”

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Police State USA: In Amerika there will Never be a Real Debate

Global Research

God help them if Obama and Romney ever had to participate in a real debate about a real issue at the Oxford Union. They would be massacred.

The “debates” revealed that not only the candidates but also the entire country is completely tuned out to every real problem and dangerous development. For example, you would never know that US citizens can now be imprisoned and executed without due process. All that is required to terminate the liberty and life of an American citizen by his own government is an unaccountable decision somewhere in the executive branch.

No doubt that Americans, if they think of this at all, believe that it will only happen to terrorists who deserve it. But as no evidence or due process is required, how would we know that it only happens to terrorists? Can we really trust a government that has started wars in 7 countries on the basis of falsehoods? If the US government will lie about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in order to invade a country, why won’t it lie about who is a terrorist?

America needs a debate about how we can be made more safe by removing the Constitutional protection of due process. If the power of government is not limited by the Constitution, are we ruled by Caesar? The Founding Fathers did not think we could trust a caesar with our safety. What has changed that we can now trust a caesar?

If we are under such a terrorist threat that the Constitution has to be suspended or replaced by unaccountable executive action, how come all the alleged terrorist cases are sting operations organized by the FBI? In eleven years there has not been a single case in which the “terrorist” had the initiative!

In the eleven years since 9/11, acts of domestic terrorism have been miniscule if they even exist. What justifies the enormous and expensive Department of Homeland Security? Why does Homeland Security have military-equipped Special Response Teams with armored vehicles? Who are the targets of these militarized units? If eleven years of US government murder, maiming, and displacement of millions of Muslims hasn’t provoked massive acts of domestic terrorism, why is Homeland Security creating a domestic armed force of its own? Why are there no congressional hearings and no public discussion? How can a government whose budget is deep in the red afford a second military force with no defined and Constitutionally legal purpose?

What is Homeland Security’s motivation in creating a Homeland Youth? Is the new FEMA Corps a disguise for a more sinister purpose, a Hitler Youth as Internet sites suggest? Are the massive ammunition purchases by Homeland Security related to the raising of a nationwide corps of 18- to 24-year-olds? How can so much be going on in front of our eyes with no questions asked?

Why did not Romney ask Obama why he is working to overturn the federal court’s ruling that US citizens cannot be subject to indefinite detention in violation of the US Constitution? Is it because Romney and his neoconservative advisers agree with Obama and his advisers? If so, then why is one tyrant better than another?

Why has the US constructed a network of detainment camps, for which it is hiring “internment specialists”?

Why does the US Army now have a policy for “establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations“?

Here is Rachel Maddow’s report on how Obama criticizes the neoconservative Bush/Cheney regime for violations of the US Constitution and US statutory law and then proposes the same thing himself.

How did the presidential debates avoid the fact of Predator Drones flying over us here in the domestic United States of America? What is the purpose of this? Why are the smallest police forces in the most remote of locations being equipped with armored cars? I have seen them. In small lilly-white communities north of Atlanta, Georgia, communities of sub-million dollar MacMansions have militarized police with armored cars and automatic weapons. SWAT teams in full military gear are everywhere. What is it all about? These small semi-rural areas will never see a terrorist or experience a hostage situation. Yet, they are all armed to the teeth. They are so heavily armed that they could be sent into combat against the Third Reich or the Red Army.

Any such questions run afoul of the assumption of America’s moral perfection. No such debate will ever happen. But if “it is the economy, stupid,” why is there no economic debate?

Last month the Federal Reserve announced QE3. If QE1 and QE2 did not work, why does anyone, including the Federal Reserve chairman, think that QE3 will work?

Yet, the utterly irrational financial markets, which haven’t a clue about anything, were overjoyed at QE3. This can only be because what rules the equity market is propaganda, spin, and disinformation, not facts. The vaunted stock market is incapable of making any correct decision. The decisions are made by the fools in the market operating on a short-run basis. The only safe path to take is to run with the lemmings. This strategy insures that a portfolio manager is always in the middle of his peers and, therefore, he doesn’t lose clients.

How wonderful it would have been for Obama and Romney to have confronted in a real debate how QE3, designed to help insolvent “banks too big to fail,” can help households operating, with two earners, on real incomes of 45 years ago, which is where the current real median household income stands.

How does saving a bank, designated as “too big to fail,” help the family whose jobs or main job has been exported to China or India in order to maximize corporate profits, executive performance bonuses and shareholders’ capital gains?

Obviously the working population of the US has been sacrificed to the profits of the mega-rich.

An appropriate debate question is: Why has the livelihood of working Americans been sacrificed to the profits of the mega-rich?

No such question will ever be asked in a “presidential debate.”

In the 21st century, US citizens became nonentities. They are brutalized by the police whose incomes their taxes pay. They, for protesting some injustice or for no cause at all, are beaten, arrested, tasered and even murdered. The police, paid by the public, beat up paralyzed people in wheel chairs, frame those who call them for help against criminals, taser grandmothers and small children, and shoot down in cold blood unarmed citizens who have done nothing except lose control of themselves, either through alcohol, drugs, or rage.

Brainwashed Americans pay large taxes at every level of government for protection against gratuitous violence, but what their taxes support is gratuitous violence against themselves. Every American, except for the small number of mega-rich who control Washington, can be arrested and dispossessed, both liberty and property, on the basis of nothing but an allegation of a member of the executive branch who might want the accused’s wife, girlfriend, property, or to settle a score, or to exterminate a rival, or to score against a high school, college, or business rival.

In America today, law serves the powerful, not justice. In effect, there is no law, and there is no justice. Only unaccountable power.

What is the point of a vote when the outcome is the same? Both candidates represent the interests of Israel, not the interests of the US. Both candidates represent the interests of the military/security complex, agribusiness, the offshoring corporations, the suppression of unions and workers, the total demise of civil liberty and the US Constitution, which is in the way of unbridled executive power .

In the US today, the power of money rules. Nothing else is in the equation. Why vote to lend your support to the continuation of your own exploitation? Every time Americans vote it is a vote for their own obliteration.

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Crimes against Humanity: Iraq’s Mass Graves

Global Research

* US Occupation authorities: guilty. They created, trained and armed the National Police and controlled the Ministry of Interior, responsible for death squad policies.

* Maliki government: guilty. They acted as local US stooges. They carried out the US counterinsurgency strategy, protected the kidnappers and prevented an investigation.

* UN Human Rights Bodies: guilty by negligence. They refused to nominate a special Human Rights rapporteur for Iraq. They refused toinvestigate thiscrime against humanity.

On 22 October 2012, Shafaq, an Iraqi News Agency, reports: “An official security source revealed on Monday that a mass grave was found in Sada area on the outskirts of Sadr City, belonging to the staff of the Department of missions of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research who disappeared in 2006.”

“A security force found 16 bodies buried in a mass grave in Sadr City in Baghdad belonging according to the confessions of one of the detainees of the staff members of the Department of Missions of the Ministry of Higher Education. The available intelligence reports that the bodies belong to employees of the Department of Missions who were abducted in 2006 and buried in a mass grave. The competent authorities are conducting DNA tests on the bodies to make sure of their identities and inform their families”.

Summary of Events

On Tuesday 14 November 2006 paramilitary gunmen in the uniforms of Iraqi National Police commandos raided a building belonging to the Ministry of Education in Baghdad’s Karrada district and arrested around 100 members of staff from two departments and around 50 visitors, according to lists compiled by the Minister of Education.

The raid took place in broad daylight, 1km from the Green Zone, in an area that contained several high-security compounds, including the department where passports are issued. According to a BBC correspondent the Karrada area, occupying an isthmus in the River Tigris, is ‘well protected with a heavy presence of Iraqi troops and several checkpoints’. The paramilitary force estimated at between at least 50 and 100 arrived in a fleet of some 20-30 camouflage pickup trucks of the kind employed by the Interior Ministry and rapidly established a cordon of the area.

They stated that they were from an anti-corruption unit and were carrying out arrests ahead of a visit by the US ambassador. The paramilitaries made their arrests according to lists, confirming the identities of those present by their ID cards, then handcuffed and blindfolded the detainees and put them into the backs of pickups and into two larger vehicles.

The paramilitaries then made their exit through heavy traffic without opposition, despite the reported presence of a regular police vehicle. According to some witnesses, the paramilitaries made off in the direction of Sadr City.

The Iraqi government quickly declared that the number of detainees was far lower (18 guards, 16 members of staff and five visitors) and by Wednesday claimed that all of the detainees had been released after a series of dramatic police raids. A number of senior policemen, including the district police chief and the commander of a National Police paramilitary commando brigade and three other officers were reportedly detained for questioning over possible complicity. According to one report, an Interior Ministry spokesman claimed the senior police commanders ‘should be held responsible’.

Prime Minister Maliki declared that this was not a case of terrorism, but a dispute between ‘militias’.

The Education Ministry insisted that both Sunnis and Shiites were among those illegally detained.

US commanders stated that they would support all efforts to free the detainees.

By Thursday the Education Minister stated that around 70 of 150 detainees had been released and reported that some of those released had been tortured (some legs and hands had been broken) and that there were allegations that others had been killed.

On Friday 17 November MowaffakRubiae, the National Security Advisor, stated that all of the detainees had been released, although an Interior Ministry spokesmen claimed that all of the Education Ministry personnel had been released but some of the visitors detained were still missing.

One of the detainees, who refused to reveal his actual name, said that his arm had been broken while in detention. He also described seeing three security guards suffocated to death and hearing a number of senior academics who had been put in a separate screaming in agony; according to the witness their cries were cut off abruptly.

The witness also said that he had not been released as the result of a dramatic police raid. His captors had simply dragged him and others from the building where they were held, put them back into trucks and dumped them at various locations around Baghdad. His account is confirmed by earlier reports, which stated that those released had been blindfolded and deposited in various parts of Baghdad.

Five more detainees were reportedly released on Friday. They had been tortured.

On Saturday 18 November the Education Ministry continued to insist that 66 people were still missing.

The Interior Ministry spokesman said that all of the detainees had been released and the matter was now closed.

Joint US and Iraqi forces conducted a raid on a mosque in Sadr City on Saturday. None of the detainees were found.

On Sunday 19 November a further four detainees were released, who reported seeing one Ministry official, Hamid al-Jouani, killed.

On Monday 20 November joint US and Iraqi forces conducted another raid in Sadr City. None of the detainees were found.

The BRussells Tribunal issued a statement on 22 November 2006: “Action Needed Over Detention of Iraqi Education Ministry Officials. Unknown numbers murdered, dozen still illegally held

The BRussells Tribunal requested clear answers from the occupation forces and Iraqi authorities and formulated relevant questions:

Unanswered Questions

From the above description of events drawn from mainstream media sources (please see references at end) making use of government statements and eyewitness testimony it is clear that the raid on the Interior Ministry was carried out as a complex military operation requiring detailed intelligence, careful preparation and extensive training. In fact, everything about this raid conforms with what we should expect of an operation conducted by Iraq’s new US-trained, armed and supported specialist counterinsurgency paramilitary National Police commandos, who are specifically trained to conduct cordon and search operations of this kind.

It is impossible to believe that any forces but officially sanctioned ones could have made such a daring daylight assault in one of the most secure areas of Baghdad. It is equally impossible to believe that any forces but Interior Ministry ones could have assembled a fleet of Interior Ministry camouflage pickup trucks. The designation of the paramilitaries responsible for this outrage as Interior Ministry commandos is fully confirmed by eyewitness testimony, which specifies that at least some of the raiders were wearing blue camouflage uniforms of a type very recently introduced to National Police commandos, specifically intended to prevent any other parties from masquerading as National Police commandos.

The digitally designed uniforms are supplied by the US. A US Army spokesman was so convinced that the uniforms would have been impossible to replicate that he stated that the raiders could not have been wearing such uniforms. Of course, he was not at the scene. Eyewitnesses contradict him.

The fact that the raid was conducted by Interior Ministry forces was in fact confirmed by Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh, who claimed the mass detention was the work of militiamen who had infiltrated the Interior Ministry.

Since it is almost certain that the raid was carried out by National Police commandos, it is imperative that the following questions are answered immediately and publicly.

  • Which National Police or other Interior Ministry force carried out the raid?
  • Under whose authority was the raid authorised?
  • From whom did the Interior Ministry force obtain the lists of names that were used to select individuals for arrest?
  • Where were the international advisers (Special Police Transition Teams) that are embedded with each battalion of National Police Commandos and work with them on a daily basis?
  • Where did the police commandos take the detainees?
  • Why were aerial surveillance assets not immediately deployed to follow a fleet of pickup trucks through heavy traffic in Baghdad? How many such aerial assets were operating over the Green Zone and other parts of Baghdad at that time?
  • Who operates the facility where the detainees were held?
  • If detainees were freed as a result of police raids, why have no large scale arrests been made and why has the only detainee to speak on record stated that no such police raid occurred?
  • What are the names of the individual police officers who have been held for questioning?
  • Have they been charged and if so what have they been charged with?
  • Why is the Interior Ministry insisting that the case in now closed, when the Education Minister has provided a list of the name of further detainees and the subsequent release of additional detainees demonstrates that he is wrong.
  • Why is the Interior Ministry insisting that none of the detainees were killed when eyewitnesses reported seeing people brutally murdered in front of them?
  • How is it that paramilitary/militia death squads can operate from the Interior Ministry, making full use of US-supplied government equipment, without the knowledge of embedded international training teams and advisors within the Interior Ministry?

It is absolutely clear that neither in this case nor in any of the multitude of other equally harrowing cases that show Interior Ministry involvement with extrajudicial killing can the Iraqi government be trusted with carrying any sort of investigation. In the case of the Jadiriyah torture facility discovered in November 2005, the government has still to make public findings that were promised within weeks. It should also be noted that at that time, US officials promised to increase their efforts to oversee Iraqi detention facilities and police commando units, stating that they would double the number of embedded trainers. Since that promise, extrajudicial killings at the hands of Interior Ministry forces, mostly inside detention facilities, appears to have grown exponentially.

It is equally clear that US authorities in Iraq have no interest in carrying out an investigation or restraining the killers.

It is therefore imperative for teams of international investigators to take on the task with the full cooperation of British and American forces. Manfred Novak, the UN rapporteur for torture has indicated his willingness to undertake such a mission. Such a mission must be immediately supported by all those who honestly claim to seek to halt the genocidal violence in Iraq; those who will not support such a mission must be considered accomplices to crimes against humanity.


Nothing happened. Now they’re dead.

As usual nothing has been done,nor by the occupation authorities, nor by the UN official Human RightsBodies.And certainly not by the Iraqi authorities.

On 27 April 2011 the Iraqi government has set up a committee to trace thousands of Iraqis missing since the 2003 US-led invasion, said an official.The government committee includes representatives from the ministries of defence (Islamic Dawa Party), interior (Islamic Dawa Party), national security (Islamic Dawa Party), health(Al Sadr bloc), justice (Islamic Virtue Party) and human rights (Islamic Dawa Party), in addition to intelligence services and anti-terrorism forces.

Many of those Ministries were involved or are leading the very militias that have been suspected of carrying out most of the ferocious crimes of extrajudicial assassination, inciting sectarianviolence, torture and enforced disappearance, in conjunction with the occupying forces. So how can one expect this committee to investigate the very crimes that their militias are responsible for?

Human Rights Council: it’s time to ACT

So now we finally know part of the terrible truth. Will the Human Right Council finally wake up and start to investigate the thousands upon thousands of war crimes, committed by the Anglo-American occupation forces and their local Iraqi stooges? Will the ICC finally do what it is created for: persecute war criminals? Investigate the US genocide in Iraq? Please? After more than one million deaths, and millions of refugees?

2013: the commemoration of 10 years of US occupation. It would be only fair if this and other clear cases of crimes against humanity would be put on the agenda of International Human Rights bodies. It would be only fair if the full truth of this dirty counterinsurgency war is finally revealed.

2013: the year of “Accountability and Restoring Justice For Iraq”. DO something !



Five police chiefs arrested after mass kidnapping,23599,20761611-401,00.html

Fate of Iraq Education Ministry abductees remains unclear

Desperate search after mass-kidnapping of Sunnis ends with hostages found alive

Iraq hostages ‘freed by police’

Iraq: Kidnapped People Have Been Freed

Iraq minister says some hostages tortured, killed

Iraq ministry hostages ‘tortured

Arrest of Sunni Leader Sought in Iraq,,-6219741,00.html

US warns Iraq against sectarianism

Coalition Forces Conduct Raid in Iraq,,-6227509,00.html

Bloodshed piles pressure on Iraq govt,2106,3867624a12aT,00.html

Iraq police rebrand to foil fakes

New uniforms to tackle Iraq killings

Iraq: Fresh effort to trace missing persons,,IRIN,,IRQ,,4dbe609c1e,0.html

Iraq: UN calls for immediate action to free kidnapped education ministry workers

Mass Grave found in Sadr city

Copyright © 2012 Global Research

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Globalists Use “Brazil” Strategy in the US

(Obama with Lula, ex-President of Brazil)
The Globalists are using the same strategy in the US as in Brazil, bribe people with their own money and make them  debt slaves at the same time. 

by Marcos

SAN PAOLO — To understand how Marxists take power and deliver countries to the globalists,  Brazil is a paradigm.

This week, several leaders of the Worker’s Party, the governing Marxist party of Brazil, were found guilty of  stealing over US$ 70 MM in government money and bribing Congressmen from other parties to vote for all government initiatives coming from ex-President Lula’s office.

One of them, Jose Genoino, was the president of the Party. This scandal was labelled Mensalão, meaning a “large monthly payment”. Most educated people in Brazil were outraged and we saw demonstrations in social media, the press and the streets. 

One would think that such a scandal would mean the end of the Workers Party. Not at all. Lula lied and said he never knew anything about it. 

He was shielded by the comrades, who will take the blame even though they didn’t steal the money for themselves. 

The strategy of the Party is to send the faithful comrades to the gallows, while keeping the Party’s image untouched.

 Lula is travelling all around the country, promising government funds from the federal governments for cities which vote for the Party’s mayors (this is illegal). 


Brazil is not a small Banana republic. It is the sixth largest economy in the world, with a free press, stable elections, religious freedom and the second largest community in Facebook, after only the US. If Marxist takeover can happen here, it can happen anywhere.

Most people know that Brazil had a military regime from 1964 to the 1980s, but few people know that Cuba’s Castro was funding a terrorist revolution in Brazil since 1962. Che Guevara received a medal from the President. Brazil was turning into a communist dictatorship. 

The military takeover was not a coup, but a Constitutional prerogative demanded by millions of people who marched on the streets to ask for the protection of family and freedom. 

Lula lost several elections before coming to power, mostly due to his being an ignorant fool who couldn’t even speak Portuguese properly. That’s when the Party had a great idea: Lula used to say that the dole started by the previous president was leading them to laziness and more poverty. Now, instead, Lula started to say that he would give much more money, to many more people. 
Lula was elected in 2002 based on this promise and because there was really no opposition. He effectively started increasing the dole program to 13 million families, at a rate of US$ 15 for each child. These people have indeed sold their political souls for  lentil soup. 

They don’t know that the whole program costs the government only US$ 20 BI a year, while the federal bank grants to large companies from friends went up close to US$ 60 BI in 2010. Large capitalists are very happy with the Party. The richest man in Brazil just got more US$ 450 MM in subsidized grants this week. 

At the same time, Lola spent billions in advertising (gaining the support of almost all the press), hired hundreds of thousands of leftist public employees, bought off all opposition by distributing positions in the federal ministries and built a government subsidized network of blogs and TV stations. He also put two personal friends as judges in the Supreme Court.  

The tentacles of the Party are everywhere. The Party led Brazil to the front in every globalist forum, too, hosting the infamous Rio 12 UN meeting and leading the carbon taxes discussions in Copenhagen. 

The electoral process was destroyed, because it turned into a competition of who can give away more benefits, instead of focusing on values and practical programs. One has many options to choose from: 50 shades of red. In this area, nobody can beat the Party. They have the image of the champions of the poor.


Religious conservatives usually state that America deteriorated because it lost touch with God. They are confusing cause and effect. This is the consequence of one hundred years of consistent Marxist efforts. Once the Marxist ideology becomes so widespread, people naturally begin expressing Marxist opinions, unaware of where they come from. Opposition ceases to exist, because it no longer had Conservative values to build upon.

It took the globalists 50 years to bring down the US economy and bankrupt  American citizens with NAFTA, the destruction of the family, drugs, internal debt and deficits with China. 

Americans are desperate and ready for the plucking. The dole strategy can now be used. The country recently passed the no turning back line, with almost 50% of people receiving some kind of Federal aid. These people will vote for the continuity of their dole money. Romney understands this and talked about the situation, but shamefully apologized for saying the truth that these people have been politically enslaved. 

People laughed about the Obamaphone story, about people saying they would vote for Obama because he would give them a cell phone. There is no reason to laugh. When I heard about it, I thought Lula had given Obama a lesson. 


Marxism is a global strategy, and it’s no wonder it displays the same traits in diverse countries. Since the 1950s, they abandoned classic economic Marxism as inviable and, following the doctrine of Antonio Gramsci, now put their focus on two fronts: a fascist economy that is controlled by the State and where big capitalists with ties to the Party are handed all advantages  and Cultural Marxist tactics to enforce social control and the supression of individual initiative and freedom. 

Once the country is subjugated, the small controlling minority hands the nation over to the globalists and the New World Order. It is important that Americans start studying the marxist strategies, read their books and get to know their mentors. One can’t beat an enemy one doesn’t understand.   

A good place to start: a film:  Agenda – Grinding America Down

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9-11 As Occult Trauma Brainwashing


We are being inducted en masse into a satanic cult, based on Cabalism

S.K. Bain exposes the unholy wizards, revealing their hidden agenda: Large-scale psychological warfare – built upon a deadly combination of black magic, symbolism and high technology.

The Most Dangerous Book in the World:
9/11 as Mass Ritual, by S. K. Bain, 
Anyone with an innate desire to understand themselves and the world will find a veritable feast in S.K. Bain’s discoveries. 

Mind-baffling outrageous crimes have a certain logic, language, and dark humor that repeats itself again and again.  

If you aren’t familiar with Aleister Crowley, you will learn how his writings and philosophy have been embraced and disseminated widely by those who believe that a select few should rule over the masses; Bain spells out how the 9/11 events are an “Ode to Aleister Crowley.”

 Bain’s work is a virtual Rosetta Stone, a key to decoding the images and signals that constantly bombard us.  Bain modestly acknowledges that he is simply compiling the insights of other writers, thinkers, and researchers who have penetrated the matter in depth.  He quotes sources like Michael Hoffman, who authored Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare  (1989):
“In occult crimes the objective is not linear, that is to say, is not solely bound to the achievement of the immediate effects of the attack on the victim, but may in fact be part of a larger, symbolic ritual magnified by the power of the electronic media, for the purpose of the alchemical processing of the subconscious Group Mind of the masses…  it is the subconscious that is being addressed in occult ritual, in a process CIA behavioral scientist Dr. Ewan Cameron termed, ‘psychic driving.'”
The intent of psychic driving is to break down the personality and alter behavior; under the CIA’s MK Ultra program victims were also given drugs to facilitate this process.  Psychic driving can be applied to individuals or on a large scale to an entire population. 

It is worth noting here that recreational as well as prescription drugs are becoming ever more prevalent in today’s world, and people are under constant assault from chemicals and pollution in their water, food, and air, as well as in various products, which hinder their cognitive abilities.
Hoffman also warns that revealing the secrets of ritual murder to an “unprocessed, healthy and vigorous population… [would] have proved fatal to them (the perpetrators).
“But to reveal these after-the-fact secrets in our modern time, to a people who have no memory, no will-power and no interest in their own fate… actually strengthens the enslavement of such a people.”


Voltaire wrote, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” As an illustration of this statement, it is now known that the vast majority of American soldiers who fought in Iraq believed that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the 9/11 attacks. 
Bain lays out the occult significance of many of the details of 9/11 in such a way that it becomes obvious that it was orchestrated to terrorize people, while the perpetrators of the event ended up laughing at those who fell for it. 

He shows how they have flaunted their power through their control over the media and the official narrative. At the same time, we have witnessed the subsequent assassinations, both literal and figurative, of those who have had the temerity to challenge the official story. 

The term “conspiracy theorist” was coined and promoted by the CIA to discredit the critics of the Warren Report’s lone nut theory, which was the official attempt to close the case on JFK’s assassination.  The term was then revived in 2001 to be used against those who question the 9/11 narrative.
Daniel Lerner, author of Psychological Warfare Against Nazi Germany, states, “Before you can make a man do as you say, you must make him believe what you say.” 

While verifying Bain’s research, I stumbled across the Vigilant Citizen website  which proclaims: “Symbols Rule the World, Not Words Nor Laws.”
Imagine for a moment that you lived in a different country, spoke a different language, and followed a different calendar.  Place and time shape our identity. The rhythms of our lives are significantly determined by the larger culture, and by how our activities intersect with society, social institutions, and networks of transportation.  Places and dates have great meaning in the cultural realm and are amplified by the electronic media, connecting the entire planet via the global news networks. 9/11 was not merely reported in London, Madrid, Bali and India; it was echoed in subsequent “terror attacks.”

The second half of Bain’s work follows the logic behind 9/11, as well as behind the “terror attacks” of 7/7, into a more speculative realm.
On the Vigilant Citizen website I found a review of “The Cabin in the Woods: A Movie Celebrating the Elite’s Ritual Sacrifices,” which provides a set of rules for understanding mega-rituals that closely reflects Bain’s insights about 9/11:
“Most mega-rituals follow specific rules that are clearly spelled out in the movie. These rules are made to give the rituals more potency while allowing the powers that be to avoid the negative effects of bad karma (according to their weird interpretation of it).
“1st Rule: Announcing What Will Happen Beforehand.”
As Bain says, in the case of 9/11 the writing was all over the wall. There were multiple public warnings, and a blitz of warnings from numerous intelligence agencies, not to mention all the private warnings to prominent people.
The Vigilant Citizen article continues:
“Mega-rituals are often preceded by ‘clues’ in mass media, warning or preparing the victims (and the world) for what’s coming. If after being warned, victims go on by their own free will, then the puppeteers are liberated from karmic responsibility.  

During the movie, one technician says:
“They have to make the choice of their own free will. Otherwise, the system doesn’t work. It’s like The Harbinger…this creepy old fuck who is practically wearing a sign saying ‘You Will Die.’ Why do we put him there? The System. They have to choose to ignore him. They have to choose what happens in the cellar. Yeah, we rig the system as much as we need to but, in the end, if they don’t transgress, they can’t be punished…”

“2nd Rule: The Victims Must Seal Their Own Fate
“Although every aspect of their environment is tightly controlled and manipulated by the puppet masters, the victims are still made to choose their fate by their own free will.”
Over half of Bain’s The Most Dangerous Book is devoted to the next mega-9/11 ritual, which he fears is scheduled to happen on 12/25/2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.
S. K. Bain writes ironically as he lays out the plot, the details, and the numerological references, symbols, and players in the upcoming drama, including the globally televised prelude at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London leading up to “Black Christmas.” Here is an excerpt from the foreword, which is written as if in hindsight:
“If only we had been able to use the occult script from 9/11 to decode their plans sooner, in advance… maybe, just maybe, this might have allowed us to stop their next act of false flag terror.  If only…”  The nightmare scenario that he lays out, an “unimaginably horrific assault” upon the city of Phoenix and other targets, becomes an immediate justification for martial law and a global religious war.
The first casualty of war is truth.  At the core of Sun Tzu’s Art of War is the acknowledgement, “All warfare is based on deception.” 

The truth about false flag operations, ritual murders, and other violent acts always threatens the criminals responsible for them­ but silence and consent serve to enhance the criminals’ aura of immunity and invincibility.

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Who Will Win the Elections? “The Republicrats”

Global Research

There is no democracy in the United States.

American political life is dominated by one party with two heads, often called the “Republicrats”.

Republicans and Democrats agree on core issues and only argue on technicalities. Obama, who was portrayed as a peaceful saviour in the last presidential elections, has demonstrated during his four years in office that he is not much different from his predecessor.

Nobel “Peace” Prize Laureate Barack Obama’s “war record” is worse than that of George W. Bush; the civil rights of Americans have shrunk further in the last four years and President Obama has shown that he is closer to Wall Street than to Main Street.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are more of the same on key issues as Glen Ford explains:

To any objective observer, the consensus that exists between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the fundamental issues of war and peace, Wall Street’s dominance of American life, and fiscal austerity, has been made crystal clear in the two “debates.” In the absence of effective popular resistance to the duopoly of money, the economic and social crisis fails to create a corresponding political crisis for the rulers. As a result, there is nothing important for them to debate. (Glen Ford, Obama-Romney: The Duopoly Debates Itself)

But how are Presidential debates regulated? The history of the Commission on Presidential Debates sheds light on how and why other parties are excluded from the political debate and kept away from the public’s eyes and ears:

The Commission on Presidential Debates is a private corporation headed by the former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties. The CPD is a duopoly which allows the major party candidates to draft secret agreements about debate arrangements including moderators, debate format and even participants. The result is a travesty riddled with sterile, non-contentious arguments which consistently exclude alternative voices that Americans want to hear. (VIDEO : SpartacusMoriarty, The Truth About the Commission on Presidential Debates)

In 2008, while the Republicrats agreed on bailing out Wall Street, ALL other presidential candidates were against this massive institutionalized fraud. Thanks to the Commission on Presidential Debates, Americans were led to believe that the bank bailout was not only inevitable but in the public interest. Americans were not prevented from hearing the dissenting political voices, who were opposed to this odious debt. The same goes for the Republicrats’ Imperial design fueled by “the war on terrorism” and regime change, defended by both Romney and Obama as a legitimate “humanitarian” undertaking.

This excerpt of the last debate shows the extent to which American tyranny around the world is trivialized by the two major parties. The only two presidential candidates allowed to “debate” can casually declare on national television that their country is superior to all others, that they wish to arm foreigners in order to remove a foreign head of state and replace him with a “friendly” leader instead, all of this, oddly enough, for the benefit of the values America advocates with all its might: “human rights […], freedom of expression, elections […]”

Romney: Well I — I absolutely believe that America has a — a responsibility, and the privilege of helping defend freedom and promote the principles that — that make the world more peaceful. And those principles include human rights, human dignity, free enterprise, freedom of expression, electionsBecause when there are elections, people tend to vote for peace. They don’t vote for war. So we want to promote those principles around the world.


ObamaAmerica remains the one indispensable nation. And the world needs a strong America, and it is stronger now than when I came into office.


Romney: As I indicated, our objectives are to replace Assad and to have in place a new government which is friendly to us, a responsible government, if possible. And I want to make sure they get armed and they have the arms necessary to defend themselves, but also to remove —to remove Assad.

As you hear from intelligence sources even today, the — the insurgents are highly disparate. They haven’t come together. They haven’t formed a unity group, a council of some kind. That needs to happen. America can help that happen. And we need to make sure they have the arms they need to carry out the very important role which is getting rid of Assad.


Obama: What you just heard Governor Romney said is he doesn’t have different ideas. And that’s because we’re doing exactly what we should be doing to try to promote a moderate Syrian leadership and a — an effective transition so that we get Assad out. That’s the kind of leadership we’ve shown. That’s the kind of leadership we’ll continue to show.

It is mind-boggling to see how both candidates in chorus “promote democracy”, while calling for the removal of a head of state by arming terrorist gangs to do the job. And whoever is in office in the wake of the November elections, “that’s the kind of leadership [they]’ll continue to show”.

For Bill van Auken the debate was a “filthy political spectacle”:

In what can only be described as a degrading and filthy political spectacle, both the questions posed by the moderator and the answers provided by the candidates of the two major capitalist parties began with the premise that US imperialism has the unassailable right to defend its interests by inflicting death and destruction on anyone or any country that is deemed an obstacle.

No attempt was made to probe the broader interests of American capitalism underlying the wars, occupations and assassination campaigns that have dominated world affairs over the past decade. The impression was promoted that opposing these policies is beyond the pale of American politics, at once forbidden and futile. (Bill Van Auken, Obama and Romney concur on War, Assassination and Reaction

Even if the two parties are two sides of the same coin, fraudulent behaviour is not ruled out of the Presidential equation. Reminiscent of the 2004 election fraud, a new controversy surrounding voting machines has arisen. Do the Romneys “own your vote”?

Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the US. (Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis, and Harvey Wasserman, United StatesDoes the Romney Family now Own your E-Vote?)

[T]he Romney family, namely Mitt, Ann, G Scott and Tagg Romney, along with Mitt’s “6th son” and campaign finance chair have a secretive private equity firm called Solamere Capital Partners. This firms ties to Romney’s campaign and bundlers is already well documented, along with its connection to the manufacture and distribution of voting machines. What is not as well documented is a subsidiary of that private equity firm hiring employees of a failed firm tied to a Ponzi scheme that has a long history of money laundering for Latin American drug cartels and to the Iran-Contra scandal. (Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Employees of Romney family’s secret bank tied to fraud, money laundering, drug cartels and the CIA)

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Occupied Lives: There was no reason for my son’s death


Fahmi’s wife, son, brother and mother at their home in Salatin area 

On 28 September 2012, Israel’s forces shot and killed Fahmi Abu Riash (22), a Palestinian fisherman, and wounded his brother Youssef (19), while they and a group of other fishermen were pulling out their fishing nets a few meters from the shore in the northern Gaza Strip.  According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), an Israeli infantry unit crossed the northwestern border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, and moved nearly 20 meters into Palestinian territory, along the beach area of the northwestern town of Beit Lahia.

Israeli soldiers took position behind a hill at the beach, facing a number of Palestinian fishermen who were fishing a few meters offshore, and opened fire at the fishermen.  The majority of the fishermen were able to flee.  However, two fishermen, who were located nearly 15 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, were unable to escape. According to fishermen present in the area, Israeli soldiers fired directly at the two fishermen, wounding them.  One of the men, Fahmi Abu Riash, died of his wounds later on the same day.

Fahmi’s brother, Youssef, was also shot.  He gives the following account: “We left the house at around 5am and went down to the sea.  I was with my 2 brothers, Fahmi and Ahmed, and 2 of my cousins.  We were not out on a boat that day.  We just had our nets and we were fishing near the shore.  It was at around 9.30am, when I heard someone screaming.  I then realized that it was my brother, Fahmi, and he had been shot in his left leg.

I remember seeing about 10 soldiers standing on an elevated piece of land and there were many more mobilized behind them.  I rushed to help Fahmi and started shouting for help from the other fishermen on the shore.  I carried my brother, and then they shot at us again.  They were firing from behind and I also got hit on my arms and legs.  I carried Fahmi, and then walked about 30 meters before I fainted.”

The fishermen on the shore called an ambulance and the 2 brothers were rushed to Kamal Adwan Hospital.  Youssef had sustained several injuries but was in a stable condition.  He recalls: “When I finally came to, I was in hospital.  I was treated for my wounds and discharged. I had been shot in the left arm and I developed partial paralysis as a result of damage to my nervous system.  I also had shrapnel lodged in my arms and legs.  Some of the shrapnel was removed but some of it requires surgery.”  Youssef’s brother Fahmi, however, died of his injuries some hours later.

As she remembers the incident, Mariam recounts what had become a tradition for the family.  Most days, from 11am until 6pm, she used to accompany them to the beach and make them lunch as they worked: “On that day, I did not go with them.  I was at home making them lunch when the incident happened.  My sister came and told me that Fahmi and Youssef had been taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital and I rushed there.  I never expected this to happen.

I would have never sent my sons to fish if I had known it was dangerous.  We used to go to that same place all the time and the soldiers used to watch us.  My whole family used to swim, cook and have fun there over the weekends.  They knew who we were.  I never let my sons go beyond the fence.  I would never put my children in danger.  It was normal to fish there and there had never been any threat, yet on that day they decided to shoot at my sons for no reason.”

Fahmi’s mother, Mariam Abu Riash

The Abu Riaj family was fully dependent on fishing as a means of income before the death of Fahmi.  Since the attack, the family is facing hard times financially, as Marjam explains: “Fishing was the only thing sustaining my family.  It is the only thing my sons knew how to do.  Fahmi had been fishing since he was 10 years old.  He had been arrested twice by the Israeli Forces while he was fishing and released at Erez on the same day.

They only used to question him and release him afterwards.  My sons had a boat but it was damaged in a previous incident and can no longer be used. Now Fahmi is dead, Youssef is wounded and I will not send Ahmed back there to be killed.  My husband was injured in the First Intifada and he is in no condition to work.  Ahmed has now taken up temporary work at a construction site and his income is what the family is living on.  Fahmi was the first born son and he was responsible for the family.  We do not know what to do without him.”

The death of Fahmi has been particularly hard for his mother.  She goes quiet then breaks down in tears as she speaks of him: “My son was so close to my heart and they killed him.  Everything was destroyed by his death.  I was proud of how good he was at sports, such as volleyball, football and swimming.  He always promised me that when he got enough money, he would take me to have surgery to correct a problem with my eyes.  He had only been married for two years and he has left behind a 1-year-old son.

This little child lost his father and he will never know how it feels to have one.  Fahmi’s wife is still young, only 22.  She stays at home mourning her husband.  What does the future hold for her?  All my hope in life is lost.  I do not know how to move on without my son.  In the past, we were a bit hopeful that everything would be okay but now we know that nothing is ever going to change.  The Israeli occupation is full of liars and criminals.  They claimed that Fahmi had gone beyond the border fence.  I never allowed my sons to do that.  They have never done that.  There was no reason for my son’s death.

The targeting and killing of a civilian, a protected person, is a war crime, as codified in Articles 8(2)(a)(i) and 8(2)(b)(i) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  Similarly, under Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the destruction of private property is prohibited unless rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.

In addition, the destruction of fishing equipment such as boats, which are private property, results in Palestinians being unable to use the property necessary for the production of food, violating numerous human rights provisions, including the right to adequate food contained in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Israel’s actions against the fishermen is also a violation of their right to an adequate standard of living, as codified in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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