Archive | November 28th, 2012



Israeli Faces 'Obama' Blackface Backlash (ABC News)

Racist Zio-Nazi Sacha Dratwa

Racist Zio-Nazi most visible spokesmen is under fire for a photo he posted on his Facebook page captioned “Obama style” in which his face is smeared with mud.

Racist Sacha Dratwa posted the photo in late September, but since the furor he has restricted access to his account. A screengrab of the original post circulating online showed that it drew mixed reactions, with one commenter saying, “You know this is racist, yeah?”

In the photo, Dratwa appears to be smeared in mud from the Dead Sea, a popular activity for many visiting and living in IsraHell. Dratwa responded to a user on Twitter accusing him of racism saying, “I’m not a racist, please stop [spreading] lies about me.” He also posted a response on Facebook saying the firestorm around the photo misrepresents his opinions and is a “cynical use of the information” on his profile.

“I am, and have always been, completely candid about my beliefs and have nothing to hide,” wrote Dratwa on Sunday. “The aforementioned photos do not reflect my beliefs and have no bearing whatsoever on my position in the IDF.”

Dratwa, 26, is originally Belgian and heads the Nazi propaganda news media desk, active in engaging Nazi supporters and critics on social media. The Nazi Twitter account and various web sites were regularly updated during Nazi Holocaust in Gaza Strip. 

“What we try to do is to be fast and get information out before the old media,” Dratwa told Tablet Magazine last week. “We believe people are getting information from social media platforms and we don’t want them to get it from other sources. We are the ones on the scene, and the old media are not on the scene as are the IDF.”





The  casualties Names  classified  up to their:  Name  Age  Gender  housing preservation

1 Ahmed Said Khalil Jabari 52 Male  Leader of Al-Qassam Brigades Shijaia Neighborhood  14/11/2012

2  Mohammed Hamed Subhi al-Hams 28 Male Shijaia Neighborhood 14/11/2012

3 Ronan Yousef Jalal Arafat 7 Female Zaytoon Neighborhood 14/11/2012

4 Heba Adel Fadel Mashharawi  19 Female Zayton Neighborhood 14/11/2012

5 Mahmoud Hamad Abu Soawin 61 Male Nusseirat Central 14/11/2012

6 Omar Jihad on Mashharawi 4 Male Gaza Strip 14/11/2012

7 nostalgia Khalid Ahmed Tafesh 1.5 Female Zaytoon Neighborhood  Gaza 15/11/2012

8 Habis Hassan Awad Msmah 29 Male Khan Younis 15/11/2012

9 Wael Haider Saeed Ghalban 26 Male Khan Younis 15/11/2012

10 Hesham Mohamed Ahmed Ghalban 26 Male Khan Younis 15/11/2012

11 Mohamed Hani Ibrahim  AlKaseeh 18 Male Beit Lahiya 15/11/2012

12 Essam Mahmoud Ahmed Abu Alme’za 22 Male Beit Lahiya 15/11/2012

13 Khaled Mahmud Muhammad Abu Nasr, 23, Jabalya 15/11/2012

14 Rani Mahmoud Abdel Rahman Hammad 28 Male Jabalya 15/11/2012

15 Marwan Abdul Rahman Mohammed Abu Qumsan  52 Male Jabalya 15/11/2012

16 Walid Mahmoud Abdul Razzaq A’badleh  3 Male Khan Younis 15/11/2012

17 except Gamal Abdel Nasser Nasser 16 Male Beit Hanoun in the north 15/11/2012

18 Faris Ahmed Diab Bassiouni 8 Male Beit Hanoun 15/11/2012

19 Mahmoud Raed Mohamed Saadallah 4 Male Jabalya 16/11/2012

20 Ayman al-Hassan Abu Warda, 24 male Jabalya north 16/11/2012

21 Tahrir Ziad Mohammed Salman 22 Female Beit Lahiya north 16/11/2012

22 Ismail Khattab Omar Qandil 23 Male Khan Younis 16/11/2012

23 Younis Kamek  Younis Tafesh 55 Male  Zaytoon Neighborhood 16/11/2012

24 Mohammed Talal Saeed Salman 28 Male Beit Lahiya  16/11/2012

25 Hassan Salem the Alhela 29 Male Maghazi District  16/11/2012

26 Ziad Farhan Suleiman Abu Jalal 23 Male Maghazi Central 16/11/2012

27 Ahmed Mohammed Jadou Abu Jalal 34 Male Maghazi Central 16/11/2012

28 Amjad Mohammed Jadou Abu Jalal 25 Male Maghazi Central 16/11/2012

29 Khaled Khalil on poet 26 Male Maghazi Central 16/11/2012

30 Ayman Rafiq Hassan Selim 26 Male Shijaia Neighborhood 16/11/2012

31 Ahmed Osama Mohammed Al-Atrash 24 Male  Rafah 17/11/2012

32 Mohammed Saleh Ashtawy Alloulihy 24  Male Rafah 17/11/2012

33 Awad Hamdi Hassan Alnahal 31 Male Rafah  17/11/2012

34 Abdulrahman Salem Samara Almasry 25 Male  Rafah 17/11/2012

35 Moklles  Mahmoud Adwan 30 Male  Rafah 17/11/2012

36 Osama Musa Hassan Abdel Gawad 27 Male Maghazi Central 17/11/2012

37 Ali Abdel Halim Ali Mana’ma 13 Male Maghazi Central 17/11/2012

38 Ashraf Hassan Alsayed Darwish 12 Male Maghazi Central 17/11/2012

39 Mohammed Mahmoud Amr Yaasin 21 Male Zaytoon Neighborhood Gaza 17/11/2012

40 Osama Yousef Mansour Alqadi 26  Male Rafah 17/11/2012

41 Ahmed Salim Salama bin Saeed 60 Male Maghazi Central 17/11/2012

42 Hani Abdel Majid Salem Briam 31 Male Maghazi Central 17/11/2012

43 Ali Hassan Ali Bin Saeed 25 Male Maghazi Central 17/11/2012

44 Samantha Khalil Mahmoud Kodeih 28 Female Khuza’a Khan Younis 17/11/2012

45 Mohammed Sabri return Aydat 25 Male Bureij Central 17/11/2012

46 Tamer Khaled Ahmed Al Hamri 26 Male Deir al-Balah Central 17/11/2012

47 Saadia Mohamed Aidi Deeb Female Nasir District  18/11/2012

48 Jamal Mohammed Jamal Aldalo 5 Male Nasir District  18/11/2012

49 Abdullah Mohammed Ramadan Alemsenr 20 Male Nasir District  18/11/2012

50 Suhaila Mahmoud Yassin Aquarius 50 Female Nasir District  18/11/2012

51 Samah Abdul Hamid Yitzhak Aldalo 25 Female Nasir District  18/11/2012

52 Tahani Hassouna Ahmed Aldalo 46 Female Nasir District  18/11/2012

53 Ibrahim Mohammed Jamal Aldlo 0.11 Male Nasir District  18/11/2012

54 Yusuf Mohammed Jamal Aldalo 5 Male Nasir District  18/11/2012

55 Amina Hassan Mattar Alemsenr 80 Female Nasir District  18/11/2012

56 Sami Imad Subhi Shijaia legions 20 Male Nasir District  18/11/2012

57 Mohammed Bakr  Aref Alaaf 33 Male Nasir District  Gaza 18/11/2012

58 Sarah Mohammed Jamal Aquarius 4 Female Nasir District 18/11/2012

59 Sohail Ashour Mohamed Hamada 42 Male Jabalya north 18/11/2012

60 Ashour Ashour Suhail Hamada 7 Male Jabalya north 18/11/2012

61 Atiyah Abd al-Mubarak 58 Male Nusseirat Central 18/11/2012

62 Hossam Hussein Mohamed Abu Shawish, 38 Male Nusseirat Central 18/11/2012

63 Jumana Salama Ibrahim Abu Seifan 1.5 Female Jabalya north 18/11/2012

64 Tamer Salama Ibrahim Abu Seifan 3 Male Jabalya north 18/11/2012

65 Nawal Faraj Mahmoud Abdel Aal 52 Female Tuffah district Gaza 18/11/2012

66 Iyad Yousef Ahmed Abu Khoussa 1 Male Bureij Central 18/11/2012

67 Musa Mahmoud Juma Sumairi 76 Male Bureij Central 18/11/2012

68 Ahmed Essam Sami Alnahal 27 Male beach Gaza 18/11/2012

69 Tasneem Zuhair Mohammed Alnahal 9 Female beach Gaza 18/11/2012

70 Ahmed Mahmoud Ahmed Abuamrh 42 Male Gaza Strip 19/11/2012

71 Nabil Ahmed Aouda  Abuamrh 28 Male Gaza Strip 19/11/2012

72 Mohammed Iyad Fouad Abozzor 4 Male Gaza Strip 19/11/2012

73 Sahar Fadi Asad Abozzor 20 Female Gaza Strip 19/11/2012

74 Mohammed Salameh Saadi soldier Gaza Strip said 31 19/11/2012

75 Ahed Hamdi Ismail Alqtati 37 Male Gaza Strip 19/11/2012

76 Nesma  Helmi  Salem Abozzor 20 Female Gaza Strip 19/11/2012

77 Ibrahim Amin Zuhdi Bashir 41 Male Deir al-Balah Central 19/11/2012

78 Tamer Rushdie Mohammed Bashir, 31 Male Deir al-Balah Central 19/11/2012

79 Rashid Alyan Atiya Abu Amra 51 Male Deir al-Balah Central 19/11/2012

80 Ibrahim Mohamed Suleiman al-Astal 46 Male Qarara Khan Younis 19/11/2012

81 Omar Mahmoud Mohammed al-Astal 14 Male Qarara Khan Younis 19/11/2012

82 Jalal Mohammed Saleh Nasr 36 Male Jabalya north 19/11/2012

83 Hussein Jalal Mohamed Nasr 6 Male Jabalya north 19/11/2012

84 Al-Mohammad Al-Attar 51 Male Beit Lahiya north 19/11/2012

85 Saifuddin Mahmoud Suleiman Sadiq 27 Male Rafah 19/11/2012

86 Hossam Eddin Ibrahim Mohammed Zeiny 30  Male Rafah 19/11/2012

87 Mahmoud Saeed Suleiman Abu Khater 26 Younis Khan Younis said 19/11/2012

88 Abdullah Harb Salem Abu Khater 28 Male  Younis s 21 19/11/2012

89 Mohamed Riad Asaad Hmlkh 23 Male Maghazi Central 19/11/2012

90 Ramadan Ahmed Mahmoud 21 Male Maghazi Central 19/11/2012

91 Rama Imad Mamedalhanda 1 Female Gaza Strip 19/11/2012

92 Mohammad Alqaseer  20 Male Gaza Strip 15/11/2012

93 Ranen  Jamal  Mahmmoud Aldlo 22 Female Gaza Strip 18/11/2012

94 Ramiz Najib Musa war 29 Male Gaza Strip 19/11/2012

95 Aouda  Sabri Mohammed Radi 48 Male Nusseirat Central 19/11/2012

96 Amin Ramadan shipping 24 Male patients Nusseirat Central 19/11/2012

97 Husam Fayez Hamdan Mahmoud Abdel Gawad  32 Male Maqqousi District  19/11/2012

98 Salem Paul Salem Sweilem 53 Male Gaza Strip 19/11/2012

99 Mohamed Zidan Zayed Tubail 25 Male Nusseirat Central 19/11/2012

100 Ibrahim Mahmoud Mohammed Hawajri 34 Male Bureij Central 19/11/2012

101 Arkan  Harbi Jamal Abu Kmail 24 Male Bureij Central 19/11/2012

102 Osama Walid Ibrahim Shehadeh 17 Male Nusseirat Central 19/11/2012

103 Khalil Ibrahim Abdul Aziz Shehadeh 53 Male Nusseirat Central 19/11/2012

104 Suhaib Fouad Khalil Hijazi 2 Male Jabalya Gaza 19/11/2012

105 Mohamed Fouad Khalil Hijazi 3 Male Jabalya 19/11/2012

106 Fouad Khalil Ibrahim Hijazi, 46 Male Jabalya 19/11/2012
107 Ahmed Tawfik, Mamdouh Nasasrh 18 Nasir  District Rafah 19/11/2012
108 Mohammed Tawfiq Mamdouh Nasasrh 20 Nasir  District Rafah 19/11/2012
109 Bilal the Jihad Barrawi 22 Male Beit Lahiya north 20/11/2012
110 Yahya Akram known 20 Male Beit Lahiya north 20/11/2012
111 Yahya Mohamed Awad 17 Male Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza 20/11/2012
112 Abdul Rahman Mustafa Abdul Rahman Hamad 31 Male beach neighborhood  20/11/2012

113 Mohammed Abed Rabbo Joseph Bader 24 Male Deir al-Balah Central 20/11/2012

114 Fares Mansour Ahmed Esbaitah 20 Male Tal Gaza 20/11/2012

115 Mahmoud Rizk Salman al-Zahar 30 Male  Zaytoon neighborhood  20/11/2012

116 Amin Mahmoud Asaad Alddh 29 Male Darag neighborhood Gaza 20/11/2012

117 Hossam Mohammed Abdel Rahman Salama 30 Male Remal neighborhood Gaza


118 Mahmoud Rizk Kilani Ashour 54 olive Male Sabra neighborhood 20/11/2012

119 Saqr Yousef Kahlil  Shijaia 57 Male Shojaeya  neighborhood 20/11/2012

120 Tariq Awni Mustafa Hadjilh 40 Male Turkmen neighborhood  20/11/2012

121 Mahmoud Mohamed Hussein new syphilis 21 Male Turkmen neighborhood 20/11/2012

122 Yossra  Basil Murtada al-Shawa 18 Female Shojaeya Gaza 20/11/2012

123 Mahmoud Ahmed Komi 29 Male Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza 20/11/2012

124 Ahmed Jamil Hamdan Dughmush 30 Male sand Gaza 20/11/2012

125 Sobhy tiger Dughmush 29 Male Sabra neighborhood  20/11/2012

126 Salah Mohammed tiger Dughmush 29 Male Sabra neighborhood of Gaza 20/11/2012

127 Ayman Rafiq Mohammed Abu Rashid 33 Male Jabalya north 20/11/2012

128 Mohamed Moussa Abu Eisha 24 Male Deir al-Balah Central 20/11/2012

129 Hassan Youssef Hassan Alaustaz 22 Male Deir al-Balah Central 20/11/2012

130 Musab Mahmoud Rushdie Dughmosh 22 Male Sabra neighborhood of Gaza 20/11/2012

131 Salem Ayesh Hussein Abu Sitta 32 Male Zawaida Central 20/11/2012

132 Mohammed Ahmed Said Abu six 21 Male Zawaida Central 20/11/2012

133 Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud Hamad 16 Rafah 20/11/2012

134 Ahmed Abed Ibrahim Abu Muur 24 Male Rafah 20/11/2012

135 Khalid Abed Ibrahim Abu Muur 20 Male Rafah 20/11/2012

136 Mahmoud Khalil Mahmoud Arja 16 Rafah 20/11/2012

137 Shawki Solomon Abu Snema 28 Rafah 20/11/2012

138 Fares Mansour Ahmed Esbaitah 25 Male Turkmen Gaza 21/11/2012

139 Mustafa Awad Abu Hmeidan 23 Male Jabalya north 21/11/2012

140 Muhammad Adnan al-Ashqar 22 Male Yarmouk Gaza 21/11/2012

141 Ayman Talal Saadi Asali 17 Male Jabalya north 21/11/2012

142 Talal Saadi Asali 45 Male Jabalya north 21/11/2012

143 Abeer Talal Saadi Asali 10 Female Jabalya North 21/11/2012

144 Mubarak Ibrahim Abu Ghoula 24 Male Nusseirat Central 21/11/2012

145 Mahmoud Atiyah Abd al-Raziq Abu Khussa 13 Male Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza 21/11/2012

146 Abdul Rahman Majdi Ramadan Naim 2 Male Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza 21/11/2012

147 Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Nasr, 80  Male Abasan  21/11/2012

148 Reham Maher Nabahin 13 Female Bureij Central 21/11/2012

149 Mohammed Mohammed Khader Bakr 27 Male Sabra neighborhood of Gaza 21/11/2012

150 Amira Abu Nasr 14 Female Jabalya North 21/11/2012

151 Ahmed Awad Mahmoud Abu Alian 14 Male Bani Suhaila Khan Younis 21/11/2012

152 Ibrahim Mohsen Mohammed Shehadeh 20 Male Jabalya north 21/11/2012

153 Saadi Mohammed Abu Kamil 26 Male Mughraqa Central 21/11/2012

154 Rami Abed Rabbo Awad Obaid 30 Male Mughraqa Central 21/11/2012

155 Mohammed Salama Ahmed Abu Itwuy 33 Male Mughraqa Central 21/11/2012

156 Nidal Hassan Mughraqa  32 Male Mughraqa 21/11/2012

157 Ahmed Abu Kamil said Mughraqa Central 21/11/2012

158 Mohamed Kamel Salama Abu Adwan 18 Rafah 21/11/2012

159 Amer Abdul Rahman Abdul Rahman Ayesh 32 Male Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza 21/11/2012

160 Ahmed Samih the Eid Jarour 31 Male Remal Gaza 21/11/2012

161 Mohammed Jamal Mohammed Aquarius 29 Male sand Gaza 22/11/2012

162 Yara Mohammed Jamal Aquarius 15 Female Remal neighborhood Gaza 22/11/2012

163 Imad Abdul Karim Hussein Abu Hamda 35 Male Shatie neighborhood Gaza 18/11/2012

164 Ahmed Ismail Abu Musameh 29 Male Maghazi neighborhood 23/11/2012

165 Aouda Arafat Aouda Alshendi  17 Male Maghazi neighborhood 20/11/2012

166 Fadi Mousa Samir Alqtnana 28 Male Maghazi neighborhood 20/11/2012

167 Kamal Mohammed Murad Maqat Male 20/11/2012

168 Ahmed Suleiman Rabih Abou Nkirh 61 Rafah 18/11/2012

169 Zaki Said Mohammad Kdadh 41 Male Gaza port 20/11/2012

170 Jouda  Suleiman Ezzat Hmlkh 31 Male Gaza  23/11/2012

171 Anwar Abdul Hadi Muslim Kodeih 20 Female Khan younes 23/11/2012

172  Basim Muhammad Alsha’er, 26 Rafah  23/11/2012

173 Abdullah Talaat Ahmed Ibrahim 18 Male  Rafah 21/11/2012

174 Ahmed Ali Nimr Mashharawi  20 Male  Zaytoon neighborhood 14/11/2012

175 Sabah Mohamed Harb Skafi  40 Female Shojaeya neighborhood 23/11/2012


Man behind anti-Islam film has no regrets


Mark Basseley Youssef says decided to shoot film that sparked global anti-American unrest after Muslim gunman killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas


The Egyptian-born Coptic Christian who made the anti-Islam film that sparked protests across the Muslim world has no regrets about his insulting portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad, according to an interview with the New York Times.

In his first public comments since the 14-minute trailer for his film, “Innocence of Muslims,” gained notoriety in September, Mark Basseley Youssef told the newspaper he wanted to reveal what he called “the actual truth” about Mohammad and raise awareness of the violence committed “under the sign of Allah.”

The film portrayed Mohammad as a womanizer, ruthless killer and child molester. The film touched off a torrent of anti-American unrest in Arab and Muslim countries. For many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is considered blasphemous.

In explaining his reasons for the film, he cited “atrocities” by Muslims. After a Muslim gunman killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009, “I became even more upset and enraged,” he said in written comments conveyed to the Times through his attorney. A Times request to interview him in person was blocked by prison authorities.

“I thought, before I wrote this script that I should burn myself in a public square to let the American people and the people of the world know this message that I believe in,” said Youssef.

Youssef, a former gasoline station owner identified in some public records by his birth name, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, received a one-year prison sentence in early November for violating terms of his 2011 supervised release from prison on a bank fraud conviction. In the course of making the film, he made use of false identities and lied to his probation officer, both of which were prohibited under his probation.

As early as 2008, Youssef had completed a brief treatment for his movie, which he originally wanted to call “The First Terrorist.” After going through five versions of the script, he raised $80,000 to finance the film, apparently through his second ex-wife’s Egyptian family and donations from other Copts.

The shoot for “Innocence of Muslims” lasted only 15 days. Although only the film’s 14-minute trailer has been released online, a feature-length movie does exist, running about one hour and 40 minutes, the newspaper said.

Some actors were under the impression that they were performing in an adventure drama called “Desert Warriors” whose villain was named George. Youssef, who worked on the film under the alias Sam Baccil, later dubbed the name Muhammad whenever an actor said George.

At least one actress has sued Youssef, claiming her image and reputation were harmed and her safety put in jeopardy, citing a religious edict she said an Egyptian cleric had issued against anyone connected with the movie. Youssef, however, has no qualms about how he handled the cast.

“They had signed contracts before they went in front of any camera, and these contracts in no way prevented changes to the script or movie,” Youssef told the New York Times.

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Army mom: Military suicides ‘out of control’


Libby Busbee pounded on the window of her son’s maroon Dodge Charger as he sat in the driveway of their home earlier this year. Locked inside his car, Army Spc. William Busbee sat with a .45-caliber gun pointed to the side of his head.

“Look at me,” his mother cried out as she tried to get her son’s attention. “Look at me.”

He wouldn’t look.

He stared out the front windshield, distant, said Libby Busbee, relating the story from an apartment complex in Callaway.

“I kept yelling, ‘Don’t you do this. Don’t do it.’ He wouldn’t turn his head to look at me,” she said, looking down at the burning cigarette in her hand.

A 911 call was made. The police pulled her away from the car.

William, Libby Busbee’s 23-year-old son, was talking with a police officer when he fired a shot through the front windshield of his car, according to the police report.

The police recoiled. William rapped on the window in apparent frustration, the report indicated.

Then the second shot was heard.

“I knew that was the one,” said Libby Busbee.

William Busbee took his life in March with his mother and sisters looking on.

William Busbee was no casualty of the war in Afghanistan. He was a casualty of his own mind, his mother said.

Libby Busbee bowed her head, talking as she sat next to a bird-of-paradise on the front porch of her apartment. She could no longer live in the home on 12th Street.


11/19: Army, Navy see record year for suicides

11/15: Army: As many as 20 suspected suicides in Oct.

9/10: DoD, VA roll out new suicide awareness effort

“They wouldn’t let me talk to him,” she said, referring to the day her son shot himself. “I know if he was able to see me he wouldn’t have done it.”

According to a Veterans Affairs report this spring, a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 suicides have occurred since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. For every service member who dies in battle, 25 veterans die by their own hands.

According to a Pentagon report, more American active service members have killed themselves in the first six months of 2012 than in the first six months of any of the previous 11 years, The Associated Press reported.

The report reveals 154 service members killed themselves in the first 155 days of 2012 alone. The number of deaths by suicide is 50 percent higher than combat deaths in Afghanistan during the same period and an 18 percent increase over active service member suicides in the first six months of 2011.

And, while only 1 percent of Americans have served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, veterans of these conflicts represent 20 percent of all suicides in the United States, the VA reported.

Libby Busbee said when her son returned home, he didn’t leave the war behind.

“He saw horrible things — his friends dying,” she said. “The people over there were constantly attacking them. He even said the kids would be with them when they attacked.”

William Busbee was in the Army Special Forces, airborne and the Army Rangers.

“He told me how he picked up the body parts and loaded them onto a helicopter so their families would have something to bury,” she said.

She said her son had tried to commit suicide in Pesh Valley of Afghanistan. “He told me, ‘Momma, the William you knew died over there,’ ” she said.

On his return home, “He couldn’t be in the dark — at all. He’d flip out in the dark,” she said. “He was sleepwalking and they gave him 400 milligrams of Seroquel, they gave him Paxil, Klonopins. They had him on a lot of stuff. I don’t think he knew which way to go.

“When he would have his nightmares he would stand right up staring at me,” she said. “He would say, ‘Who are you?’ “

It was as though her son was not inside his body at times, she said.

“It was the medications,” Libby Busby said. “That caused hallucinations.”

She stared out across the green patch of lawn across from her apartment as her daughters played inside.

“We thought he was happy, and then he killed himself right in front of us,” she said.

Deb Tainsh Of Panama City Beach has become friends with Libby Busbee. Tainsh has been a fighter against the silence surrounding veterans affairs issues.

Tainsh and her husband, David, are the parents of Army Sgt. Patrick Tainsh, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. They are the founders and executive directors of Bereaved Military Families of America & Hearts for Military Heroes Veterans Assistance Program, a Florida all volunteer not-for-profit organization.

Tainsh traveled to Washington, D.C., to rally more support for veterans in the Gulf Coast area. She was unable to get to Gen. Eric Shinseki, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, but she did make contact with his staff.

“The Veterans Administration was supposed to get 1,900 mental health professionals, and a couple were to be coming to Panama City,” Tainsh said. “What has become of the them?”

In April, Shinseki announced the increase in mental health care workers would be 1,600. The VA said it was moving quickly to address this top priority, but they are not here yet.

Tainsh has admitted she feels anger at the number of suicides she sees among young veterans.

“Like I told the director of the VA Gulf Coast, it is a monster out of control,” Tainsh said. “They are not prepared for the number of veterans.”

Tainsh said it was about leadership and doctors who work in the hospitals.

“There is a lack of professional personnel to deal with the veterans,” she said. “An example of that is our Delwood Clinic here in Panama City.

“There was a professional mental health doctor there who left in the past several months, and I have heard from a number of our local veterans that hated to see him go because he was one of the best,” she continued. “I learned later that he left because he could not deal with the volume.”

That doctor declined to speak with The News Herald.

Delwood Chief Managing Officer Robert Mishra agreed there is a shortage of psychiatrists at Delwood.

“We have two psychiatrists and two nurse practitioners,” he said. “There is a shortage out there.”

Mishra said the veterans clinics are having trouble retaining qualified help. “The private sector pays more.”

Edwin R. Ailes, president and CEO of Life Management Center of Northwest Florida, said the rise in suicides is troubling but probably will not subside since the number of veterans coming home from war continues.

“We are seeing people requesting help that have military experience coming to Life Management Center,” Ailes said. “And sadly this will go on for a long time. We still see persons with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and suicidal thinking from the Vietnam era, and we’re relatively certain we will see this well into the future with persons who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Ailes also noted that family members and friends of suicide victims are left with feelings of anger, sadness and guilt. He believes the experiences of the combatant are unique to them, and they often become reclusive.

“Witnessing combat is not normal life,” said Ailes. “Witnessing tragedy is not normal life.”

Ailes said traumatic events are constantly being repeated in the service member’s mind.

“It is the traumatic event over and over again,” Ailes said. “It is a constant battle within.”

Ailes, who did not wish to comment on the Busbee case specifically, said mixing drugs and taking too much of one type of drug could be detrimental to an individual’s health. Overdoses of prescribed medicine can add to a person’s psychological problems, he said.

Libby Busbee continues to do the best for her daughters. But she wonders how long the impressions they had of that day William Busby took his life will continue to impact their lives. She smiles as guests enter her home, a smile that struggles.

During a recent interview, she sifted through the bottle of pills in a plastic bag and looked at the labels from three pharmacies in three states.

She wonders what could have been for her son. She doesn’t believe he got the help he deserved.

She has saved a lot of the belongings her son left behind — the uniform with Army Special Forces badge, a Rangers badge and Airborne badge. She doesn’t know what all the medals mean.

On his last day, William Busbee had his uniform cleaned and pressed. She keeps the uniform hanging in a closet. She rarely takes it out.

She has saved several of the last text messages she received from her son on the day he killed himself. One still haunts her to this day: “I love you.”

William Busbee had numerous drugs, or the metabolites of drugs, in his body after his death. He had prescriptions for some of these drugs from three pharmacies in three states.

Present in the body: Tramadol (pain reliever), bupropion (antidepressant), paroxetine (anti-anxiety), alpha-hydroxyalprazolam (metabolite of alprazolam, anti-anxiety/panic disorder), cannabinoids (marijuana), oxycodone (pain reliever)

Prescribed but not present: Seroquel (schizophrenia/bipolar disorder), Paxil (antidepressant), Prazosin (high blood pressure), clonazepam (anti-anxiety), ondansetron (anti-nausea), cyproheptadine (allergies), Percocet (pain reliever)

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Likud Primary Shows Dramatic Rightward Shift in IsraHell Ruling Party


‘Moderate’ Longtime Members Ousted in Favor of Hawks
After a primary that was marred by technical problems over the weekend, Israel’s ruling Likud Party has issued unofficial results showing a surprisingly extreme shift in sentiments, with three current cabinet ministers find themselves on the outside looking in.

The three ministers, Benny Begin, Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan, are all long-standing MPs perceived as the more moderate wing of the party. At number 20 on the list Begin might conceivably be re-elected, but the others are almost certainly out, especially now that Likud is running a combined list with the even farther right Yisrael Beiteinu.

In their places, the primary voters threw support toward Likud’s most extremist members, with Moshe Feiglin, who has praised Adolf Hitler for his “exemplary regime” and has called for the expulsion of not only Palestinians but Israeli Arabs from the nation, is virtually certain to enjoy his first term in the Knesset.

With the Beiteinu merger and the dramatic rightward shift in their own party, opposition parties are chomping at the bit to campaign against the increasingly chauvinistic and extremist ruling bloc. The big question is whether there is enough appetite among left and moderate voters left to change the result, or if Likud’s primary is just reflecting Israel’s current political reality.

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Dutch TV Spoofs Naziyahu Speech About Targeting Gaza Civilians


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces operation Pillar of Defense at a press conference at the Hakirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Wednesday night (photo credit: AP/Ariel Schalit)

Satirical video shows prime minister bragging to Hillary Clinton about killing innocents

“We are trying to maximize the number of civilian casualties. We prefer that,” Netanyahu is seen telling Clinton in the video, which the broadcaster Vara aired on Nov. 21, as part of the satirical corner of the prime-time news show De Wereld Draait Door. Approximately 1.5 million viewers watch the show every evening.

The video, made to appear genuine through seamless splicing of sound bites from previous speeches by Netanyahu, was spread by thousands of Twitter and Facebook users who advertised it under the headline “Netanyahu finally tells the truth.”

“We are conducting these surgical operations against schools, mosques, hospitals, children,” Netanyahu is heard saying, adding: “This is something I don’t have to explain to Americans.”

De Telegraaf, the Netherlands’ largest-circulation daily, reported that the video irked Israel’s supporters here. “The video is tasteless but the show’s satirical corner spares no one, so this isn’t about agenda,” said Esther Voet, deputy director of the pro-Israel Center for Information and Documentation on Israel. “The problem is that the clip is humorless and technically a good forgery, so many people don’t understand its satirical nature.”

Timon Dias, a Sri Lanka-born columnist for the Dagelijkse Standard – the Dutch equivalent of the Huffington Post – said the video is “reminiscent of the many blood libels that already exist about Israel and Jews.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Dutch TV Spoofs Naziyahu Speech About Targeting Gaza Civilians

American Jews sue Clinton over aid money to Palestinian Authority


Group claims State Department ignored transparency requirements attached to US aid to Palestinians, allowed money to fund terrorist organizations


Dual US-Israeli citizens filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and the State Department claiming that the US administration provided the Palestinian Authority with billions of dollars in aid money which were used to fund terrorist groups such as Hamas instead of supporting humanitarian causes, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

According to the lawsuit, the State Department ignored congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached to US aid to the Palestinian Authority.

The White House, it was claimed, did not comply with the regulations and reporting obligations governing presidential waivers which facilitate emergency funding to the Palestinians.

Evidence collected by the plaintiffs indicates that the PA directly funds terrorist organizations and that some PA officials also serve organizations which the US considers terrorist groups.

The plaintiffs’ attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center said that the US government did not adhere to the law and harmed US citizens.

“Once handed over, US funding of the PA and UNRWA is difficult to trace and the State Department has been lax in requiring the Palestinians to utilize bank accounts and other transfer methods that ensure transparency,” she said.

“Elements of the US Government, particularly the State Department and USAID, are breaking the law and must cease all funding of the PA immediately. US aid to the Palestinians is killing innocent people,” she added.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on American Jews sue Clinton over aid money to Palestinian Authority

IsraHell in last ditch effort to prevent PA bid


State officials still confused as to how IsraHell intends to handle Abbas’ status upgrade bid. Will Israhell pursue a diplomatic showdown or quietly ignore Palestinians’ statehood campaign?


Israel and the United States are still engaged in efforts to thwart Mahmoud Abbas’ plan to seek a status upgrade at the General Assembly on Thursday but chances of halting the bid appear very unlikely. The Palestinian bid is set to receive the support of over 150 states.

A senior US administration official said that Abbas’ decision to take his bid for non-member state to the UN is unwise and will not bring the Palestinians any closer to realizing their legitimate aspirations for statehood.

He said that the bid creates “a negative atmosphere” and complicates efforts to restart peace talks and promote a two-state solution.

According to the official, Washington is currently focused on one task – persuading the Palestinians to withdraw their bid and getting as many nations to vote against it. He hinted that the status upgrade would have an effect on the US’s financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his top nine ministers to discuss Israel’s policy ahead of the vote. Several ministers were absent from the meeting due to the Likud primaries and no decisions were reached.

State officials are consequently confused as to Israel’s policy in respect to the UN bid.

A senior state official said that Jerusalem will not be able to ignore the bid if it is adopted. He estimated that Israel will respond with penal measures such as freezing funds, adopting parts of the Edmond Levy Report and revoking VIP cards for senior PA officials.

However, Israel will likely heed the US request and not take any harsh steps such as revoking the Oslo Accords, annexing settlements and overthrowing Abbas. These are only likely if and when the PA tries to prosecute Israel in the International Court of Justice.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has instructed all Israel missions to refuse to accept official letters containing the words “State of Palestine.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on IsraHell in last ditch effort to prevent PA bid

‘Flatten All Of Gaza’ – The ‘Benghazi Moment’ That Didn’t Matter

A fantastic must read piece from Media Lens on the double standards and hypocrisy of the reporting on the recent War on Palestinians in Gaza:
“On March 30, 2011 – eleven days into Nato’s war on Libya – Professor Juan Cole wrote from his armchair at the University of Michigan:
‘The Libya intervention is legal [sic] and was necessary to prevent further massacres… and if it succeeds in getting rid of Qaddafi’s murderous regime and allowing Libyans to have a normal life, it will be worth the sacrifices in life and treasure. If NATO needs me, I’m there.’
Cole thus declared himself ready to suit up and reach for the sky with Nato’s bombers. It was an extraordinary moment….
…With the above in mind, consider that, on November 16, on the third day of Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, with at least 18 Palestinians already killed, the BBC reported:
‘Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza has intensified after it authorised the call-up of 30,000 army reservists, amid reports of a possible ground offensive.’
Israel’s cabinet quickly approved the activation of 75,000 reservists, as well as hundreds of Merkava main battle tanks, armoured bulldozers and other assault vehicles, which were transported into position for attack.
Was a massacre looming? The Israeli deputy prime minister Eli Yishai appeared to promise as much on November 18:
‘We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water.’

By: David Edwards


On March 30, 2011 – eleven days into Nato’s war on Libya – Professor Juan Cole wrote from his armchair at the University of Michigan:

‘The Libya intervention is legal [sic] and was necessary to prevent further massacres… and if it succeeds in getting rid of Qaddafi’s murderous regime and allowing Libyans to have a normal life, it will be worth the sacrifices in life and treasure. If NATO needs me, I’m there.’

Cole thus declared himself ready to suit up and reach for the sky with Nato’s bombers. It was an extraordinary moment.

The rationale, of course, was the alleged risk of a massacre in Benghazi by Gaddafi’s forces. Cole told Democracy Now!:

‘They mounted tanks, 30, 40, 50 tanks, sent them into the downtowns of places like Zawiyah, and they just shelled civilian crowds, protesters… And then they started rolling the tanks to the east, and they were on the verge of taking the rebel stronghold, Benghazi. And there certainly would have been a massacre there in the same way that there was in Zawiyah, if it hadn’t been stopped at the last moment by United Nations allies.’

This was mostly a product of the fevered atmosphere generated every time state-corporate propaganda targets a ‘New Hitler’ for destruction (Gaddafi, Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Assad, et al). Two or three weeks of sustained moral outrage from Washington, London and Paris, echoed across the media, are more than sufficient to generate the required hysteria. Almost anything can then be claimed, with even rational questioning denounced as ‘apologetics for tyranny’. In The Politics of Genocide, Edward Herman and David Peterson wrote:

‘The vulgar politicisation of the concept of genocide, and the “emerging international norm” of humanitarian intervention, appear to be products of the fading of the Cold War, which removed the standard pretexts for intervention while leaving intact the institutional and ideological framework for its regular practice during those years.’ (Herman and Peterson, The Politics of Genocide, Monthly Review Press, 2010, pp.10-11)

With mainstream political parties no longer exercising restraint on the war wagon, the need to ‘do something’ can be turned on and off like a tap.

By way of a rare exception, Seumas Milne noted in the Guardian of Gaddafi that ‘there is in fact no evidence – including from other rebel-held towns Gaddafi re-captured – to suggest he had either the capability or even the intention to carry out such an atrocity against an armed city of 700,000’.

But most of the press was untroubled by a lack of evidence – the West was simply right to act. A leader in The Times commented on October 21, 2011:

‘Without this early, though sensibly limited, intervention, there would have been a massacre in Benghazi on the scale of Srebrenica.’ (Leading article, ‘Death of a Dictator,’ The Times)

An Independent editorial agreed:

‘Concern was real enough that a Srebrenica-style massacre could unfold in Benghazi, and the UK Government was right to insist that we would not allow this.’ (Leading article, ‘The mission that crept,’ Independent, July 29, 2011)

‘We Must Blow Gaza Back To The Middle Ages’

With the above in mind, consider that, on November 16, on the third day of Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, with at least 18 Palestinians already killed, the BBC reported:

‘Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza has intensified after it authorised the call-up of 30,000 army reservists, amid reports of a possible ground offensive.’

Israel’s cabinet quickly approved the activation of 75,000 reservists, as well as hundreds of Merkava main battle tanks, armoured bulldozers and other assault vehicles, which were transported into position for attack.

Was a massacre looming? The Israeli deputy prime minister Eli Yishai appeared to promise as much on November 18:

‘We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water.’

A prominent front-page article in the Jerusalem Post by Gilad Sharon, son of the former Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, openly advocated mass killing:

‘We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

‘There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire.’

Was the call to ‘Flatten all of Gaza’ beyond the pale of respectable discourse? Apparently not for the BBC, which quoted a less frenzied comment by Sharon three days later.

Recall the human cost of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s three-week offensive waged between December 2008 and January 2009. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported:

‘The magnitude of the harm to the population was unprecedented: 1,385 Palestinians were killed, 762 of whom did not take part in the hostilities. Of these, 318 were minors under age 18. More than 5,300 Palestinians were wounded, of them over 350 seriously so.’

There is no question, then, that a ‘Benghazi moment’ had arrived for Gaza around November 16 or shortly thereafter. A Cast Lead-style massacre of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of civilians was a very real possibility. If Hamas rockets had killed more civilians, for example in Tel Aviv, it might well have happened.

Whereas Benghazi was being torn apart by a Western-fuelled insurgency, Gaza is under decades of military occupation and years of siege, greatly strengthening the moral case for external intervention. Escape from a ground assault would have been completely impossible for Gaza’s 1.6 million people, about half of them children. And whereas Benghazi was up against Gaddafi’s tin pot army, Gaza was targeted by the most advanced weaponry US taxpayers’ money can buy. Gaza, certainly, was facing a cataclysm beyond anything Gaddafi could have inflicted on his own people.

By any reasonable accounting, then, the case for a no-fly zone, indeed a no-drive zone – some kind of humanitarian intervention – was far more compelling for Gaza than it had ever been for Libya. And yet our search of the Lexis media database found no mention in any UK newspaper of even the possibility of setting up a no-fly zone over Gaza. There was no reference to Gaza’s ‘Benghazi moment’.

By contrast, many ‘Benghazi moments’ have been identified in Syria. A leader in the Independent commented in July:

‘It was the imminent threat to civilians in Libya’s second city, Benghazi, that clinched the argument at the UN for outside intervention. But with multiplying reports that the fight is on for Syria’s second city, Aleppo, the signs are that even government air strikes will not spur a similar Western and Arab alliance into action. Morally, that has to be deplored.’

We saw no commentary suggesting that Western military action might have been justified to prevent a massacre of civilians in Gaza.


Moral ME – The Armchair Warriors Doze Off

In 1999, David Aaronovitch (then of the Independent) made an announcement on Nato’s war to ‘defend’ Kosovo that equally stunned and inspired readers (Juan Cole among them, perhaps):

‘What would I myself be prepared to sacrifice in order to stop the massacres and to strike an immense blow against the politics of racial and ethnic nationalism? Would I fight, or (more realistically) would I countenance the possibility that members of my family might die?’

His answer:

‘I think so… So yes, for this cause, if the government asked me to, I’d do what was necessary without complaining a lot.’ (Aaronovitch, ‘My country needs me,’ The Independent, April 6, 1999)

Presumably, with Gaza facing another massacre this month, Aaronovitch must again have been eager to swap his armchair for a cockpit to ‘strike an immense blow’ against racial and ethnic nationalism. Not quite:

‘Thinking about how to write about Gaza without just repeating laments of last decade. Sometimes seems little that is both true and useful to say.’

No fighting to be done, it seems, and not even much to be said – it was just all very sad. As Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky commented inManufacturing Consent of a similar case:

‘While the coverage of the worthy victim was generous with gory details and quoted expressions of outrage and demands for justice, the coverage of the unworthy victims was low-keyed, designed to keep the lid on emotions and evoking regretful and philosophical generalities on the omnipresence of violence and the inherent tragedy of human life.’ (Herman and Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, Pantheon Books, 1988, p.39)

Leading Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland also shook his head sadly and wondered whether Israelis and Palestinians would be ‘locked in a battle that drags on and on, perhaps till the end of time?’ Freedland focused on ‘the weariness’: ‘I feel it myself, a deep fatigue with this struggle, with the actions of both sides’. ‘So yes, I’m weary’, ‘weary of it’, ‘I’m tired’, ‘I’m tired’, ‘I’m tired’, ‘I’m weary’, ‘And I’m especially tired’, ‘I feel no less exhausted. For I’m weary’, ‘I’m tired, too’, ‘And I’m weary’, ‘this wearying’… and so on.

Prior to the onset of this moral ME, Freedland had been the very picture of interventionist vim and vigour. In March 2011, he wrote an energetic piece on Libya titled, ‘Though the risks are very real, the case for intervention remains strong.’ A key obstacle was that ‘Iraq poisoned the notion of “liberal interventionism” for a generation’. No matter:

‘If those nations with the power to stop these pre-announced killings had stood aside, they would have been morally culpable. Benghazi was set to become another Srebrenica – and those that did nothing would share the same shame.’

Last February, ignoring the chaos he had helped make possible in Libya, Freedland wheeled out the same arguments in response to the Syrian crisis. The article featured a picture of Syrian children holding up a cartoon of a green-headed Assad pointing a Kalashnikov at the head of a little girl holding an olive branch. Freedland wrote:

‘The 2003 invasion of Iraq has tainted for a generation the idea once known as “liberal interventionism”.’

He added: ‘We have new problems now. Fail to see that and we make the people of Homs pay the price for the mistake we made in Baghdad.’

And Tripoli! Freedland had clearly not wearied of the price paid by the victims of ‘liberal interventionism’ in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.


‘Terror Attack’ In Tel Aviv

One week into Israel’s Operation Pillar of Cloud, on a day when 13 Palestinians were killed – with more than 136 people in Gaza killed by that point in 1,500 attacks since the operation began on November 14 – 28 people were injured in a Tel Aviv bomb attack. ITV News’s international editor Bill Neely commented: ‘Tel Aviv bus bomb is first terror attack there in 6 years.’ And: ‘Israeli Police confirm terror attack.’

We wrote to Neely: ‘Bill, are the attacks on Gaza “terror attacks”? Have you described them as such?’

Neely replied: ‘Media Lens; Love what U try 2 do – keep us all honest – but pedantry & refusing 2 C balance hs always bn ure weakness.’

Neely wrote again to us and another tweeter: ‘U & Media Lens R absolutely right. Language is v. important. But a bomb on a bus, like a missile, is terror weapon.’

Neely clearly agreed that missiles were also weapons of terror. So we askedhim: ‘Bill, agreed. Given that’s the case have you ever referred to Israel’s “terror attacks” in a TV news report?’

Neely responded: ‘Just to be clear, do you think British bombs on Afghanistan are terrorism? Or on Berlin in 44?’

We answered: ‘Very obviously. Winston Churchill thought so, too.’

We sent a comment written by Churchill to Arthur Harris, Commander-in-Chief of RAF’s Bomber Command in 1945:

‘It seems to me that the moment has come that the bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed.’ (Blitz, Bombing and Total War, Channel 4, January 15, 2005)

Neely wrote back: ‘States use terror – the UK has in war, but groups do 2 & we shd say so.’

We tried again: ‘Bill, you’re not answering. You’ve described Hamas attacks as “terror” on TV. How about Israeli, US, UK attacks?’

Neely simply wouldn’t answer our question. But how could he? The truth, of course, is that ITV would never refer to these as ‘terror attacks’. Words like ‘terror’, ‘terrorism’, ‘militant’, ‘regime’, ‘secretive’, ‘hermit’ and ‘controversial’ are used to describe the governments of official enemies, not our own government and its leading allies.


‘Is This What They Mean By The Cycle Of Violence?’

The November 21 bus bombing, injuring 28 Israelis (initially reported as ten injured), was a far bigger story for the media than the killing of 13 people in Gaza that day. The bias was reflected in the tone of coverage. The BBC reported ‘Horror in Israel’ whereas they had earlier referred to a ‘difficult night for people in Gaza’ after 450 targets had been struck with scores of people killed.

Ordinarily, the BBC loves to compare the line-up of hardware available to combatants, for example here and here. But during Operation Pillar of Cloud, the broadcaster was far more interested in comparing the ranges of Hamas’ home-made rockets. In this deceptive example of BBC ‘balance’ two maps show ‘Areas hit in Gaza by Israel’ and ‘Areas hit in Israel and the West Bank by Gaza militants’ (only the Palestinians are ‘militants’). The impression given is of two roughly equal threats.

The BBC graphic also shows the exact ‘Range of Hamas rockets.’ But there was no graphic of this kind comparing Palestinian and Israeli firepower. Perhaps the juxtaposition of home-made weapons and a long list of very powerful high-tech weapons would have been too absurd, even embarrassing.

The final death toll of the latest massacre is horrifying: 103 of the 158 people killed in Gaza were civilians. Of these, 30 were children – twelve of them under ten-years-old. More than 1,000 Palestinians were injured. Six Israelis were killed, two of them soldiers. This infographic provides a shocking comparison of numbers killed on both sides since 2000. And thisexcellent little animation asks: ‘Is this what they mean by the cycle of violence?’

Inevitably, president Obama said: ‘we will continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself’.

Noam Chomsky has been a rare voice making the counter-argument:

‘You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.’

Obama also said: ‘There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.’

Try telling that to the many bereaved in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. Irony is dead, it seems – killed by drone-fire!

Posted in Gaza, LibyaComments Off on ‘Flatten All Of Gaza’ – The ‘Benghazi Moment’ That Didn’t Matter



by Sarah Gillespie

It is a rather curious time for Hollywood to launch a blockbuster movie based on the worst US/Iranian diplomatic fallout in history. Currently Iran is threatened with attack from the West almost on a daily basis, and sanctions have devastated the rial, plunging millions into poverty for the crime of (allegedly) developing the same weapons that Iran’s agitators enjoy without reprisal. Meanwhile, in the fantasy emporiums of high street cinemas, millions of moviegoers across the world are invited to imagine the opposite scenario, a tale in which the innocent Western subject is faced with extinction at the whim of an Iranian aggressor.

Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ is a nailbiting thriller based on the incredible true story of the CIA operation that rescued 6 American diplomats from the turmoil of a revolutionary Iran. Conspicuously, the film barley touches on the central humiliating debacle of the Iranian hostage crisis in which 52 Americans were held for 15 months and 8 American servicemen were killed during a fiasco of a ‘rescue mission’, commonly blamed for costing Carter the 1980 election. Instead, the narrative depicts a parallel, minor side-story of an America that duped the Persians with lashings of moral superiority and machiavellian cunning. Indeed, an uninitiated Western audience would almost certainly leave the cinema with the firm impression that the Iranian hostage crisis was one of the most triumphant episodes of US history – instead of one of the most embarrassing.

Ben Affleck’s film goes out of its way to deflect the kind of criticism I offer here. He begins the movie with a quick narrated round-up of Iran’s pre-revolutionary history, including a confession of the CIA/MI5 coup that replaced the democratically elected Mosaddegh with the universally despised Shar. In one scene, an Iranian mocks our heroic CIA protagonist with dialogue straight out of Edward Sied’s ‘Orientalism’, accusing the American of seeking “snake charmers and flying carpets”. Affleck is clearly well-versed in standard post-colonial discourse. His film delivers its main points with a disingenuous candour that enables the audience to feel superior without feeling like a supremacist.

But the pseudo Western self-criticism is undercut by the fact that, aside from one traitor, there is not one single Iranian who is remotely likeable in the entire film. The Iranians in ‘Argo’ are essentially a screaming, braying mass of hysterical mobs. They bang on cars, smash buildings, exploit children, torch flags and torment innocent people. They are scary, suspicious, and innately violent. Most harrowing of all, their streets are peppered with cranes hung with the corpses of collaborators. For the audience, it is almost impossible to root for any character that acquiesces in such a harrowing spectacle.

And yet, for some reason, the fact that the American Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by firing squad in the state of Utar in 2010 never made it into a Hollywood movie. Garner’s death wouldn’t seem too pretty in HD surround-sound either. In short, ‘Argo’ ultimately reinforces the binary opposition of a civilized West and a savage Iran. We hear a lot of Farsi in the movie, but only when Farsi is spoken by a Western character is the dialogue given subtitles. Farsi spoken by Iranian characters in the film is merely incomprehensible noise. Here the film accurately mirrors our contemporary reality, in which we inflict our discourse on Iranians, but are incapable of listening to theirs.
We all know that in Hollywood, narratives are applauded for their appeal, not their accuracy. Fictional reconstructions of past events do not claim to ask questions about history. What they do provide are parables loaded with collective wishes, hopes, fears and unarticulated anxieties.  In this movie (and in real life) the Americans escape Iran by pretending to be a Canadian film crew with a real, bona fide Jewish Hollywood producer, LA studio backing, reviews in the Californian press, posters, merchandise and a genuine commissioned script about alien invaders taking over the planet. It is this movie within a movie that makes ‘Argo’ a complex example of the power of fiction, to not only tell a story, but also to shape reality. Both espionage and filmmaking rely on telling complicated lies that people need, not necessary to believe in, but to suspend our disbelief.

As such, ‘Argo’ provides a respite from America’s encroaching anxiety surrounding its own impotence at a time when it was locked in conflict with an enemy it failed to conquer in the past. It retells the tale of the worst fiasco in US/Iranian history as if the West had triumphed. But the West didn’t triumph then, and it may not triumph now. The film implores us to differentiate between what we know and what we believe. It tells us that if we all invest in the myth of Western omnipotence the West might prevail. Let’s see if it works.


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