Archive | August 14th, 2013

USA MIDDLE EAST: LIES, HYPOCRISY, AND ON THE RUN — SYRIA, EGYPT, YEMEN, PALESTINE

NOVANEWS

In Yemen the Americans are at war with whom then call “al-Qaida “affiliates” who have mestatacized throughout the Middle East.   Drone killing machines, CIA black ops, propping up the repressive government, are the order of the day; along with evacuation of Americans.   Similar Pakistan by the way.

In Syria the same Americans and their Arab “client regime” allies (Saudis, Qatar, UAE, Jordan) are arming and financing the “al-Qaida affiliates” in that country trying to topple the long-time secular regime there.   hmmm?     Memories of Bin Laden as U.S. ally in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation come to mind – i.e., the origins of al-Qaida in the first place!

In Egypt the Americans keep preaching democracy (after a generation of backing the brutal thuggish Mubarak police state) but are now accused of being too supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood after it legitimately won both the Parliamentary and Presidential elections.   The Americans and EU keep calling for the release from prison of Brotherhood leaders and national dialogue and reconciliation; but keep arming and financing the military coup and counter-revolutionaries.

Yet in Palestine the Americans are doing the opposite once again — refusing to support Hamas, the Brotherhood affiliate which won the last elections — and are propping up the illigitimate regime of Abbas and the “Palestine Authority” in Ramallah with large amounts of money, weapons, and CIA covert assistance.   Here the Americans keep helping the Israelis imprison and kill the elected leaders as together they make fools and quislings of the PA.

From country to country in the Middle East the U.S. has quite literally become hypocrisy central with blatantly contradictory policies that suit their political interests, and those of the Israeli/Jewish Lobby that dominates Washington on all matters Middle Eastern, but defy both basic American values and logic (not to mention long-term interests).

About the only consistency in all this now is that more and more American Embassies are fortresses, more and more American officials are isolated and afraid, and more and more Americans far and wide are being evacuated.

More to be said soon about Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait…

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EGYPT: Damn the Army, Police, and “Interims”

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The military and the counter-revolutionary “interims” of Egypt not only must be held accountable but they must be brought down.  Egypt now enters a phase of revolutionary chaos and violence that is likely to go on for years if not decades.

The Police State is completely back for the moment, the Army has taken charge once again — but the price for Egyptians, for the Middle East, for the United States, and for the world, will be bitter and violent and deadly for a long time to come.

What is being done by the American trained, armed, and financed Army and police of Egypt is worse than Tiannamen.  This is an illegitimate regime for which the Americans are responsible, no matter how much they try to verbally distance themselves from the death, destruction, and brutal police-state realities.

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P3 Legislation in El Salvador: An Aggressive Reassertion of Neoliberal Economics?

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[ED NOTES:IM GOING TO JUST CITE A FEW EXCERPTS HERE DUE TO LENGTH…
Over the past several weeks, El Salvador has begun to restructure its port and electricity services as the first consequence of the newly enacted Ley de Asocio Público-Privados (Public-Private Partnership Law; P3), which took effect in El Salvador on June 16 after legislative approval on May 23. A history of unsuccessful privatization measures in El Salvador indicates that this economic policy will threaten many Salvadorans while doing little to promote genuinely productive economic activity in the region. In fact, the law is evidently aimed more at opening new markets and increasing profits for large foreign corporations than improving the lives of average Salvadoran citizens. However, P3 not only achieved unanimous approval in the Salvadoran legislature after merely two days of discussion, but did so with the support of President Mauricio Funes of the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front (FMLN).
The implementation of this anachronistic neoliberal policy by a president whose party, the FMLN, had previously opposed privatization not only underlines a consistently unproductive relationship between the United States and El Salvador, but also reveals much about the internal tensions of the FMLN party that may have significant implications for the upcoming 2014 Salvadoran presidential elections. Background   The new P3 measure was drafted as a joint effort between the ruling Funes Administration, Washington, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank (WB) in the name of efficiency and economic development.  Foreign Pressures  As evident in the Bajo Lempa statement, Salvadoran social organizations are not oblivious to the foreign roots of this policy. Washington’s promotion of P3 has been blunt and unrelenting. The United States and the IMF have used financial conditionality to promote the interests of large multinational corporations, directing their influence in El Salvador through two specific U.S. programs: the Partnership for Growth (PFG) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
U.S. financial involvement in El Salvador has been channeled through the work of development programs created by President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. P3 was created as a derivative of the PFG program, a bilateral development program established by President Obama and extended to El Salvador after Obama’s 2011 visit to the country. The program seeks to create an environment that is friendly to U.S. business and has identified security issues and a lack of tradable goods as the primary barriers to this goal.
Through PFG, El Salvador receives development funding when it implements policies that promote the interests of foreign corporations. Similarly, the MCC, a USAID project created by the Bush Administration, focuses on infrastructure, education, and business development, and has complemented PFG funding in El Salvador. Between 2007 and 2012, the MCC invested $463 million USD in a new highway spanning the northern border of the country. The next round of funding has been allocated towards developing the Pacific coast of El Salvador. [18]Initially, encouragement from these programs was not enough to quell the concerns of protestors, and the Funes administration was reluctant to bring privatization initiatives to the legislature. Thus, early in 2013, the IMF urged President Funes to organize a national dialogue to address the issue of public debt and heavily recommended privatizing public goods and services as a solution. When there was no indication of P3 legislation moving forward in a timely manner, the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, responded to fierce local opposition from social organizations by publicly threatening to withhold the pending second round of MCC funding unless P3 was passed. [19]

[ed notes;click link for whole piece,then afterwards also see… U.S. Intervention in El Salvador, by Privatization This Time http://www.labornotes.org/blogs/2013/01/us-intervention-el-salvador-privatization-time 

U.S. Intervention in El Salvador, by Privatization This Time – See more at: http://www.labornotes.org/blogs/2013/01/us-intervention-el-salvador-privatization-time#sthash.4aOivMet.dpufEL SALVADOR RIGHT WING DESTABILIZATION THWARTED BY SOCIAL MOVEMENTS,FOR NOW…

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Syria Watch- The US Only Cares About Expanding the Empire and IsraHell

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By(world reknown war correspondant) William Blum
Hello, this is John Robles. I’m speaking with Mr. William Blum, he is an American author, a historian and a long-standing critic of US foreign policy. Robles: Hello, William, how are you this evening? Blum: Fine, thank you. 
Robles: Thanks for agreeing to speak with me, appreciate it. Recently, the Deputy Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency Michael Morrel stated to the “Wall Street Journal” that Syria was a top threat to US security. Now, it’s a small country on the other side of the planet. I don’t think it was ever really a threat to US security. He said that there are now more foreign fighters flowing into Syria each month to take up arms with Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, I quote, then there were going to Iraq. He’s also stated that the Syrian Government’s weapons, if the Bashar al-Assad Government falls, will be up for grabs and up for sale by Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. What do you make of these statements? Do you think this is a change in the US position in the country? 
Blum: Well, certainly a change in public to admit that they’ve been supporting all these Al Qaeda types for a long time. That’s quite an admission, quite a change. Will this have any effect on the US foreign policy remains to be seen, but if the past is any indication we can’t expect too much change. [[[[[[The US is committed to overthrowing Assad because of Israel. That’s the main motivation for the US. Israel doesn’t want Assad to be there and that is not going to change. It just makes their position more absurd than before.]]]]]]]] The US’s foreign policy is a continuous piece of absurdity, and to get it even more absurd at times like now. [[[[[[They’ve been supporting these terrible people in Syria for a couple of years now and now all of a sudden one of their officials wakes up and says: “Hey, these are really bad guys we’ve been supporting, maybe, we should stop doing that?” It’s almost comical.]]]]]
Robles: Yeah, if there weren’t so many people dying, it would be laughable, I think. So, they seem to have flipped the switch or switched the flip, but in an absence of a statement saying they would support the government of Bashar al-Assad, if they are going to be against Assad and they are going to be against the insurgents, what kind of a scenario could that possibly bring about? 
Blum: They may just stop giving any kind of support to the insurgents. They have given them all kinds of intelligence support and so-called non-lethal military support. Probably more than that but that is what they have admitted to, but they gave them arms as well. So, they gave them all this support.[[[[ In such a case, it was difficult for Assad’s government to be victorious. And, Israel may pick up the slack and invade Syria, I wouldn’t put it past them]]]]].
Robles: Do you think Israel is the one behind all this, pushing for Bashar Assad’s demise? 
Blum: [[[[[In fact, Israel is certainly the root here if Israel was not a factor the US would not be fighting in Syria they would not have been fighting in Iraq and they would have to be threatening Iran the way they are. Israel is the important key in each of these battles. So they may do more in Syria than they have been doing.]]]]]]]]
Robles: I came to my own conclusion, if I may… it seems to me that this new flip of the switch which Israeli just… much of a switch… is just another reason for an armed, if you want to call it, “intervention” into Syria. I mean, O.K., they wanna get rid of Assad, to get chemical weapons, that didn’t seem to work, and now, they can say: well, if Assad falls, these terrorists are getting all these weapons. They might have to go in and invade and kill everybody, without statements of support for Assad. What do you think of that?
Blum: I can see logic in what you are saying. I can see the US government doing that. But then, what will happen? If they interfere in force, who would they actually be shooting at? It’s not clear what the repercussions of this statement would be. 
Would they fight against the so-called insurgents, the jihadists – or will they fight against the government? It’s an absurd situation, and I cannot predict what’s going to happen. 
Robles: Do you think that they are going to fight against everybody and just wipe everybody out? 
Blum:[[[[[[I’m sure there are people in the US establishment who would like to see that, yes. They are crazy and evil enough to want to kill them all. That is the name of a new book in the US about Iraq, it’s called “Kill Them All”!]]]]
[ed note:as soon as conflict broke out,i hypothesized that the Zionist ran us client regimes who armed rebels,would serve as justification for another occupation…in same way they did in Iraq…why didnt Zionist us and allies in europe attack their gcc allies militarily or verbally for sending figthers and coordinating militants to figth against occupational forces?because they needed controlled opposition in order to stay there and rationalize fake war ”of” terror to western public…how else could they expalin increasing military budget expenditures?in other words.us would back rebels including those whom it called al qaeda in iraq(their gulf allies mercenaries),then if they succeed in overthrowing Assad,they ,zionist west would say,that they stated all above they favored moderates ,secularists,but jihadis took over,and now must invade and occupy Syria to remove them from country,all while silent on its gulf allies exporting tehse terrorists there to begin with since day one,hell even before that!
Robles: That’s interesting. There are those in US policy establishment who would promote an idea of just wiping everybody out if they could? 
Blum: When Iran and Iraq fought against each other in the 1980s, the expressed wish of some leading American politicians like Henry Kissinger was “give aid to both sides and let them kill as many of each other as they can”. That was expressed by Kissinger and probably somebody else at the time. They did give more aid to Iraq than to Iran, but still, they were not above saying that they hoped that both sides would maximize death and destruction as much as possible. 
Robles: That’s a very interesting point you’ve raised, because it has seemed to me – well, I’m sure that its clear to everybody – that they have promoted and stoked sectarian violence between Sunni and Shias, but in reality, I think, the US does not support either group. Would you agree with that? 
Blum: The US supports only one group – and that’s the United States. Maybe, Israel but that is the other side of the same coin. There is the only reason – expanding the American empire. And, the US is not anti-Islam as you often hear people saying on the left and on the right that it’s anti-Islam. It’s not anti-Islam. What they’ve been doing in recent years in the Middle East – they’ve wiped out the three leading secular societies in the Middle East.
[ed notes:they are anti Islam,Blum fails to discern between true Ilsam,and islam(ism).They want to pit secularists against islamistsand vice versa..reasons why they hate true Islam,is because it one forbids usury(islamists promote neoliberalism),second it promotes/d and pursues scientific ,technological development wich will bring about progress and rival west in competion for markets in Islamic world…(islamists are backwards and their govt backers promote orientalism behind scenes)…pushing it out(west)Islamic world markets...also True Islam is tolerant and demands protection of minorities and those persecuted,whereas islamism does exact opposite,wich benefits zionist west who needs to demonize Islam to its mostly ignorant citizens
Robles: Right, right, right. Unbelievable! 
Blum: In Iraq, then, Libya, and, then, Syria. The public says good we are fighting Islam we are fighting these terrorists but to the powers that be in Washington there is no such thing. They just want to expand the empire and to protect Israel, and that’s all that counts. 
Robles: Very, very good point, Bill, because in Syria, there were Orthodox Christians, there were Coptic Christians, there were hundreds of different ethnic groups, all living peacefully side by side, the same thing in Iraq, I mean, Sunnis and Shias… Sunni women were marrying Shia men, marrying and living together side by side before the invasion. Now I’ve heard that many Shia in Iraq wake up with a pot of blood on the doorstep, left by Sunnis stirring them to leave. And there is no more intermarriage. 
Blum: Right. The same thing in Libya, any coexistence between various sects has been wiped out by the revolution, and the jihadists have a great influence in the new government. [ed note;again exactly my point above..they are anti Islam!
William Blum is a U.S. foreign policy critic.

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Lebanon watch- Sawan issues arrest warrants against Syrian rebel terrorists

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http://www.nna-leb.gov.lb/en/show-news/12415/Sawan-issues-arrest-warrants-against-terrorists

Military investigating judge Fadi Sawan Monday interrogated a group of detained in the offense of belonging to an armed organization in order to carry out terrorist acts, target passing cars on the road to Al-Masnah and attack the Lebanese army, issuing arrest warrants against them. Sawan also issued five arrest warrants in absentia against fugitives and launched investigations to determine the identity of four Syrians belonging to a terrorist group.

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NEED WATCH- LEBANON IN CROSSHAIRS ,THE ZIONIST SAMI ATTALAH

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INTERVIEW  Video of the Day – Democracy Ideas: Sami Atallah Discusses Think Tanks in Lebanon 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1TSGzGSKpc

In the video above, Sami Atallah speaks on the opportunities and challenges for think tanks in Lebanon. The interview comes from the International Forum for Democratic Studies Interview Series from the National Endowment for Democracy. Atallah is director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), a member institute of the Forum’s Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI), and he contributed to the recent report, Democracy Think Tanks in Action: Translating Research into Policy in Young and Emerging Democracies.”
[ed notes; Prior to joining LCPS, he served as a consultant for the World Bank, the European Union, and the UNDP in Syria and Saudi Arabia, as well as with the Dubai Economic Council. 

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Jesse L. Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months in prison

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Jesse L. Jackson Jr., the namesake of the famed civil rights leader and once-promising Illinois congressman, was sentenced to 21 / 2 years in prison Wednesday for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money to fund an extravagant lifestyle over many years.

In an emotional hearing in federal court in the District, Jackson said he failed to separate his personal life from his political activities and “could not have been more wrong.”

Jackson, 48, and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, pleaded guilty in February to using about $750,000 in campaign funds to pay for high-end items, such as fur wraps and a gold-plated Rolex watch, in addition to private-school tuition and trips to Costco.

“I misled the American people, I misled the House of Representatives,” Jackson said as he dabbed his eyes with a pile of tissues. “I was wrong and I do not fault anyone.”

He asked to serve his term in Alabama, “far away from everybody for awhile.”

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson (no relation) said the former congressman and his wife used his campaign funds as a “personal piggy bank.”

“There may be blurred lines for Congress to follow when their lives are political, this case did not come near those areas,” she said after a more than three-hour hearing. “This was a knowing, organized joint misconduct that was repeated over many years.”

The judge also ordered Jackson to perform 500 hours of community service that is unrelated to politics. She sentenced Sandra Jackson to one year in prison.

Prosecutors said in court papers that Jesse Jackson Jr. was driven by “greed and entitlement,” and they asked the judge to sentence him to a prison term of four years, which falls on the lower end of federal guidelines.

In court Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves called Jackson’s crimes “staggering,” in part because the couple had sufficient independent financial resources, earning nearly $350,000 in 2011.

“These were extreme abuses that strike at the integrity of the campaign finance system,” Graves said.

The defense team asked for a term of less than four years, saying that a shorter term is critical to Jackson’s mental health and that a lengthy sentence would be “devastating” to the couple’s two children – ages 13 and 9.

“His public fall from grace has already made an example of him, warning other politicians and elected officials of the dangers of personal use of campaign funds,” Jackson’s attorneys wrote in their sentencing memos.

The downfall of the Illinois Democrat began when he was implicated in allegations that then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) tried to sell to the highest bidder an interim appointment to the Senate seat vacated by president-elect Barack Obama. Jackson was not charged, but prosecutors investigated allegations that he directed his fundraiser to bring in millions for the governor.

Jackson’s personal life was unraveling, too. Before resigning from the House in mid-November, he disappeared from Washington for several weeks without explanation. He later announced that he was being treated for depression and released a statement saying he suffered from bipolar disorder.

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Finkelstein on the peace talks

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VIDEO- Zio-Nazi kill Palestinian woman after telling she is safe

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?

A video circulated on Facebook shows Israeli forces gun down a defenseless Palestinian woman in Gaza Strip after making her believe she is safe and can come out of her house. In the amateur video which seems to be recorded with a cell phone, a Palestinian woman is seen who is waving a white flag toward a group of Israeli forces. She is then shown walking away from her house, after she demands permission to leave with safety, but she falls on the ground following a gunshot by Israeli soldiers who laugh in enjoyment after they see her fall dead. The shooting happens despite Israeli soldiers tell her to come out, but it seems in the video that they just deceived her to get out and then shoot her. Human rights activists wrote in response to the video that the incident shows how priceless is Palestinians’ lives to the Israeli forces who easily take a life and then laugh in amusement. Palestinians are suffering from widespread and internationally-ignored human rights violations by Israelis on a daily basis.

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Who Dies in Yemen Drone Strikes?

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A headline is sometimes worth a thousand words, and this was definitely the case after a deadly drone strike occurred in Yemen last week.

“Drone Strike Kills Six Suspected Militants in Yemen,” a Reutersheadline (8/7/13) declared.  “More Suspected Al-Qaeda Militants Killed as Drone Strikes Intensify in Yemen,” a CNN.com headline  (8/8/13) offered. Whatever the language, one message was clear: “Suspected terrorists” or “militants” had been killed.

But with several drone strikes over the past week in Yemen, how can anyone actually know who is being killed?

The deceptive way the Obama administration defines “militants” has already been well-established–as the New York Times (5/29/12) put it, the White House policy “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants.”

But awareness of this kind of doublespeak has not deterred reporters from using the term to describe drone casualties. Media generally refer to the victims as “militants” (Salon,5/29/12)–which essentially allows the government to define the victims of its attacks.

In many cases, though,  it is unclear exactly who has been killed. Reporters often rely on government officials to characterize the victims, which is reckless; not only does the U.S. government have a deceptive definition of “militant,” but the government of Yemen has been known to claim that civilians killed in U.S. drone strikes were actually combatants, as theWashington Post (12/24/12) reported.

In contrast to corporate media’s acceptance of a self-serving official line, an independent outlet like Democracy Now! reported in one recent  segment (8/7/13) that “officials said the dead were Al-Qaeda suspects, but witnesses who arrived at the scene found only charred bodies and the wreckage of two vehicles.”

Corporate media too often serve to legitimize U.S. military actions instead of scrutinizing them. Much of the recent coverage portrayed the attacks as serving the greater purpose of foiling an Al-Qaeda plot:  “An American drone delivers a deadly message to Al-Qaeda,” asCBS Evening News (8/7/13) put it .

The tendency to let government officials determine who is killed in drone strikes only underscores the lack of interest when others try to put faces to collateral damage. When Yemeni journalist Farea al-Muslimi  testified before Congress about the suffering that drones had inflicted upon people in his country, it was not even considered newsworthy to mainstream media (FAIR Blog4/24/13).

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