Archive | March 25th, 2014

Zio-Wahhabi Cleric on ‘Black-Eyed Virgins’ & What Happens to ‘Earthly’ Wives in Paradise

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A Saudi cleric was caught on video tantalizing his many listeners with an account of just how many “black-eyed virgins” they get in the afterlife — and he also shared what he believes will happen to the “earthly” wives of the men.

“If you get married in this world, then [in paradise], you get your wife from this world, along with 70 black-eyed virgins with whom you are allowed to have sex, and each of these 70 virgins comes with 70 servant girls,” the cleric said with a smile. “So how many women do you get? That’s the minimum.”

Seventy times 70 is 4,900.

Saudi Cleric Muhammad Ali Shanqiti Discusses Virgins & Wives in Paradise

Image via Middle East Media Research Institute

“Your reunion [with your wife] lasts for 70 earthly years,” the cleric, identified as Muhammad Ali Shanqiti, continued. “When the 70 years are about to come to an end, another black-eyed virgin calls to you from above: ‘Oh servant of Allah, don’t we get a piece of you?’”

“You turn to her, and you see that she is more beautiful than the woman you are with,” he proceeded. “You ask her: ‘Who are you?’ and she says: ‘I’m your virgin in paradise. Allah told you about me, saying: ‘There is more of them with us’. I am one of the ‘more’.”

Each of the virgins is more beautiful than the last, he added, “God help you…”

Watch the complete video, located and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, below:

 

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15 years on: Looking back at NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ bombing of Yugoslavia

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An explosion followed by a huge fire rages in the south-west part of Pristina in the early hours March 25, 1999 after NATO forces launched a missile attack against Yugoslavia (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)An explosion followed by a huge fire rages in the south-west part of Pristina in the early hours March 25, 1999 after NATO forces launched a missile attack against Yugoslavia (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis).

Exactly 15 years ago, on March 24, NATO began its 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. The alliance bypassed the UN under a “humanitarian” pretext, launching aggression that claimed hundreds of civilian lives and caused a much larger catastrophe than it averted.

NATO bombings of Yugoslavia in 15 dramatic photos 

Years on, Serbia still bears deep scars of the NATO bombings which, as the alliance put it, were aimed at “preventing instability spreading” in Kosovo. Questions remain on the very legality of the offense, which caused casualties and mass destruction in the Balkan republic.

The Yugoslav Army Headquarters building hasn't been rebuilt after being damaged by cruises missiles in April 1999 during NATO's bombing of Serbia over Kosovo. Belgrade (AFP Photo)The Yugoslav Army Headquarters building hasn’t been rebuilt after being damaged by cruises missiles in April 1999 during NATO’s bombing of Serbia over Kosovo. Belgrade (AFP Photo).

Codenamed ‘Operation Allied Force,’ it was the largest attack ever undertaken by the alliance. It was also the first time that NATO used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council and against a sovereign nation that did not pose a real threat to any member of the alliance.

NATO demonstrated in 1999 that it can do whatever it wants under the guise of “humanitarian intervention,” “war on terror,” or “preventive war” – something that everyone has witnessed in subsequent years in different parts of the globe.

Nineteen NATO member states participated to some degree in the military campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), which lasted for 11 weeks until June 10, 1999.

More rubble, less trouble

In the course of the campaign, NATO launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs, including depleted uranium bombs and cluster munitions (unexploded cluster bombs continued to pose a threat to people long after the campaign was over.) Over 2,000 civilians were killed, including 88 children, and thousands more were injured. Over 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to leave their homeland in Kosovo.

In what the alliance described as “collateral damage,” its airstrikes destroyed more than 300 schools, libraries, and over 20 hospitals. At least 40,000 homes were either completely eliminated or damaged and about 90 historic and architectural monuments were ruined. That is not to mention the long-term harm caused to the region’s ecology and, therefore, people’s health, as well as the billion-dollar economic damage.

A woman passes a destroyed car March 28,1999 after a NATO missile hit downtown of Kosovo's capital of Pristina in Saturday night's NATO attack (Reuters)A woman passes a destroyed car March 28,1999 after a NATO missile hit downtown of Kosovo’s capital of Pristina in Saturday night’s NATO attack (Reuters).

News correspondents Anissa Naouai and Jelena Milincic, the authors of RT’s documentary ‘Zashto?’ – which means “Why?” in English –traveled through former Yugoslavia to Belgrade, Kosovo, and Montenegro and spoke to people who endured the atrocities and horrors of the war and lost their friends and relatives.

There is a bridge near the city of Nis, which was bombed at the time when a passenger train was passing through it,” Milincic recalls.The tragedy on April 12, 1999 killed 15 people and wounded 44 others, while many passengers were never accounted for.

“We felt the blast and saw flames under the locomotive. The train was blown so powerfully, half a meter from the ground. I don’t know how we stayed on the rails,” recalled witness Boban Kostic.

Our colleague got off the train when I did,” he said. “He was really scared. But another rocket hit and blew him to pieces,” added another witness, Goran Mikic.

Why? Why civilians? Why a train?” said Dragan Ciric. “It still torments me, if the first rocket was a mistake, what were the next three for?” he told RT.

The Chinese embassy in the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade was also hit and set on fire by NATO airstrikes on May 7, 1999. Three citizens of the country were killed. The alliance called the attack “a mistake.” China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and, along with Russia, did not support a military solution for the Kosovo crisis.

A worker walks in front of the remains of the former Chinese embassy during its demolition in Belgrade November 10, 2010. During the NATO offensive against Yugoslavia, U.S. warplanes bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, killing three Chinese nationals, and consequently igniting protests outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing (Reuters)A worker walks in front of the remains of the former Chinese embassy during its demolition in Belgrade November 10, 2010. During the NATO offensive against Yugoslavia, U.S. warplanes bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, killing three Chinese nationals, and consequently igniting protests outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing (Reuters).

Prior to the military assault, the Milosevic regime was accused of “excessive and disproportionate use of force in Kosovo.” But was the force that NATO used when bombing the sovereign state’s territory proportionate and restrained? Rights organization Amnesty International accused the allied forces of committing war crimes.

“Indications are that NATO did not always meet its legal obligations in selecting targets and in choosing means and methods of attack, On the basis of available evidence, including NATO’s own statements and accounts of specific incidents, Amnesty International believes that – whatever their intentions – NATO forces did commit serious violations of the laws of war leading in a number of cases to the unlawful killings of civilians,” the rights watchdog said in a report published in June 2000.

The alliance dismissed the accusations, saying that cases involving civilian deaths were due to technological failure or were simply “accidents of conflict.” NATO failed to say that they were due to the alliance’s own failure to take all necessary precautions.

We never said we would avoid casualties. It would be foolhardy to say that, as no military operation in history has been perfect,” said Jamie Shea, NATO’s chief spokesman, the Guardian reported at the time.

Bombing background

Former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana ordered military action against Yugoslavia following a failure in negotiations on the Kosovo crisis in France’s Rambouillet and Paris in February and March 1999.

NATO’s decision was officially announced after talks between international mediators – known as the Contact Group – the Yugoslav government, and the delegation of Kosovo Albanians ended in a deadlock. Belgrade refused to allow foreign military presence on its territory while Albanians accepted the proposal.

A US F-15C Eagle flies a mission over Yugoslavia 08 April 1999 (AFP Photo)A US F-15C Eagle flies a mission over Yugoslavia 08 April 1999 (AFP Photo).

Back then, Slobodan Milosevic’s forces were engaged in armed conflict with an Albanian rebel group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which sought the province’s separation from Yugoslavia. Former US President Bill Clinton’s special envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, had earlier described the KLA as “without any questions, a terrorist group.” (The KLA was later repeatedly accused of being involved in the organ trafficking of Serbs in the late 1990s.)

However, despite not announcing the link officially, NATO entered the conflict on the side of the KLA, accusing Serbian security forces of atrocities and “ethnic cleansing” against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. The main objective of the campaign was to make Milosevic’s forces pull out of the province. The fact that there was violence on both sides of the confrontation was ignored both by allied governments and Western media – which stirred up public anger by focusing only on Serbs’ atrocities and being far less vocal regarding abuses by Albanians.

All efforts to achieve a negotiated political solution to the Kosovo crisis having failed, no alternative is open but to take military action,” Solana said on March 23, 1999. “We must halt the violence and bring an end to the humanitarian catastrophe now unfolding in Kosovo.”

A police training centre in Novi Sad, in the north of Yugoslavia burns 25 March 1999 after it was destroyed during NATO air strikes, according to the official Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug (AFP Photo)A police training centre in Novi Sad, in the north of Yugoslavia burns 25 March 1999 after it was destroyed during NATO air strikes, according to the official Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug (AFP Photo).

Racak massacre controversy

An incident involving the “mass killing” of Albanians in central Kosovo’s village of Racak – a KLA stronghold – became a major excuse and justification for NATO’s decision to start its operation. Serbs were blamed for the deaths of dozens of Albanian “civilians” on January 15, 1999. However, it was alleged that the accusations could have been false and the bodies actually belonged to KLA insurgents whose clothes had been changed.

Kosovar families enter Racak mosque where the coffins of ethnic Albanians killed on January 15 were brought in,10 February, in southern Kosovo (AFP Photo)Kosovar families enter Racak mosque where the coffins of ethnic Albanians killed on January 15 were brought in,10 February, in southern Kosovo (AFP Photo).

A central role in labeling the events in Racak “a massacre” belonged to William Walker, who headed the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission. He visited the site shortly after the incident and made his judgment.

“[Walker] arrived there having no powers to make conclusions regarding what had happened,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazenta paper in November last year.

Yugoslav authorities accused Walker of going beyond his mission and proclaimed him persona non grata, while Western leaders were infuriated over the Racak incident.

Smoke rises over the local red cross office destroyed in last night's NATO air strike on centre of Kosovo's capital Pristina March 29, 1999 (Reuters)Smoke rises over the local red cross office destroyed in last night’s NATO air strike on centre of Kosovo’s capital Pristina March 29, 1999 (Reuters).

And some time later the bombing started,” Lavrov recalled, adding that the situation in Racak became the “trigger point.” Moscow insisted that an investigation should be carried out. The EU commissioned a group of Finnish forensic experts to prepare a report on the incident. Later, the European Union handed it over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Lavrov said. The full version of the document has never been made public, said the minister, who was Moscow’s permanent representative to the UN between 1994 and 2004.

But parts of the report leaked and were quoted in the media saying that [the victims] were not civilians and that all the bodies found in Racak were in disguise and that bullet holes on clothes and bodies did not match. There was also no one who was killed at short range,” Lavrov said.Even though I’ve repeatedly raised this issue, the report itself still has not been shown.”

An Ethnic Albanian refugee from Kosovo looks at her destroyed kitchen after she returned to her house, 22 June 1999 on a road near Orahovac (AFP Photo)An Ethnic Albanian refugee from Kosovo looks at her destroyed kitchen after she returned to her house, 22 June 1999 on a road near Orahovac (AFP Photo).

NATO halted its air campaign with the signing of the Military Technical Agreement in Kumanovo on June 9, 1999, with the Yugoslav government agreeing to withdraw its forces from Kosovo. On June 10, 1999, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1244 to establish the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

In August 2013, Amnesty International accused the UNMIK of failing to properly investigate the abductions and murders of Kosovo Serbs in the aftermath of the 1998-1999 war.

“Years have passed and the fate of the majority of the missing on both sides of the conflict is still unresolved, with their families still waiting for justice,” the organization said.

Moscow’s former envoy to NATO (1997-2002), Viktor Zavarzin, believes the military alliance’s aggression was “a crime against humanity” and a “violation of international laws and norms.” The event that unfolded 15 years ago laid ground to a new era of the development of international relations – the era of “chaosization of international law and its arbitrary manipulation,” Zavarzin, an MP for the United Russia party said at the State Duma plenary session on Friday.

Photo released 11 May 1999 by the official Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug shows a view of a bridge on the Belgrade-Nis highway, 90 km south of Belgrade which was reportedly damaged during NATO air strikes the night before (AFP Photo)Photo released 11 May 1999 by the official Yugoslav news agency, Tanjug shows a view of a bridge on the Belgrade-Nis highway, 90 km south of Belgrade which was reportedly damaged during NATO air strikes the night before (AFP Photo).

Michael McFaul, who recently quit the post of the US Ambassador to Russia, tweeted his reaction to RT’s NATO bombing anniversary coverage, pointing to dramatic growth in Serbia after Milosovic was ousted.

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The Real Story of How I$raHell Was Created

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The common  representation of Israel’s  birth is that the U.N. created Israel, that the world was in favor of this move, and that the U.S. governmental establishment supported it. All these assumptions are demonstrably incorrect. 

 

by Alison Weir

In 1947 the CIA reported that Zionist leadership was pursuing objectives that would endanger …“the strategic interests of the Western powers in the Near and Middle East.”…The common representation of Israel’s birth is that the U.N. created Israel, that the world was in favor of this move, and that the U.S. governmental establishment supported it. All these assumptions are demonstrably incorrect.

To better understand the Palestinian bid for membership in the United Nations, it is important to understand the original 1947 U.N. action on Israel-Palestine.

The common representation of Israel’s birth is that the U.N. created Israel, that the world was in favor of this move, and that the U.S. governmental establishment supported it. All these assumptions are demonstrably incorrect.

In reality, while the U.N. General Assembly recommended the creation of a Jewish state in part of Palestine, that recommendation was non-binding and never implemented by the Security Council.

Second, the General Assembly passed that recommendation only after Israel proponents threatened and bribed numerous countries in order to gain a required two-thirds of votes.

Third, the U.S. administration supported the recommendation out of domestic electoral considerations and took this position over the strenuous objections of the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon.

The passage of the General Assembly recommendation sparked increased violence in the region. Over the following months the armed wing of the pro-Israel movement, which had long been preparing for war, perpetrated a series of massacres and expulsions throughout Palestine, implementing a plan to clear the way for a majority-Jewish state.

It was this armed aggression, and the ethnic cleansing of at least three-quarters of a million indigenous Palestinians, that created the Jewish state on land that had been 95 percent non-Jewish prior to Zionist immigration and that even after years of immigration remained 70 percent non-Jewish. And despite the shallow patina of legality its partisans extracted from the General Assembly, Israel was born over the opposition of American experts and of governments around the world, who opposed it on both pragmatic and moral grounds.

Let us look at the specifics.

Background of the U.N. Partition Recommendation

In 1947 the U.N. took up the question of Palestine, a territory that was then administered by the British.

Approximately 50 years before, a movement called political Zionism had begun in Europe. Its intention was to create a Jewish state in Palestine through pushing out the Christian and Muslim inhabitants who made up over 95 percentof its population and replacing them with Jewish immigrants.

As this colonial project grew through subsequent years, the indigenous Palestinians reacted with occasional bouts of violence; Zionists had anticipated this since people usually resist being expelled from their land. In various written documents cited by numerous Palestinian and Israeli historians, they discussed their strategy: They would either buy up the land until all the previous inhabitants had emigrated or, failing this, use violence to force them out.

When the buy-out effort was able to obtain only a few percent of the land, Zionists created a number of terrorist groups to fight against both the Palestinians and the British. Terrorist and future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin later bragged that Zionists had brought terrorism both to the Middle East and to the world at large.

Finally, in 1947 the British announced that they would be ending their control of Palestine, which had been created through the League of Nations following World War I, and turned the question of Palestine over to the United Nations.

At this time, the Zionist immigration and buyout project had increased the Jewish population of Palestine to 30 percent and land ownership from 1 percent to approximately 6 percent.

Since a founding principle of the U.N. was self-determination of peoples, one would have expected to the U.N. to support fair, democratic elections in which inhabitants could create their own independent country.

Instead, Zionists pushed for a General Assembly resolution in which they would be given a disproportionate 55 percent of Palestine. (While they rarely announced this publicly, their stated plan was to later take the rest of Palestine.)

U.S. Officials Oppose Partition Plan

The U.S. State Department opposed this partition plan strenuously, considering Zionism contrary to both fundamental American principles and U.S. interests.

Author Donald Neff reports that Loy Henderson, Director of the State Department’s Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, wrote a memo to the secretary of state warning:

[S]upport by the Government of the United States of a policy favoring the setting up of a Jewish State in Palestine would be contrary to the wishes of a large majority of the local inhabitants with respect to their form of government. Furthermore, it would have a strongly adverse effect upon American interests throughout the Near and Middle East ….” [Citations.]

Henderson went on to emphasize:

At the present time the United States has a moral prestige in the Near and Middle East unequaled by that of any other great power. We would lose that prestige and would be likely for many years to be considered as a betrayer of the high principles which we ourselves have enunciated during the period of the war.

When Zionists began pushing for a partition plan through the U.N., Henderson recommended strongly against supporting their proposal. He warned that such a partition would have to be implemented by force and emphasized that it was “not based on any principle.” He went on to write:

[Partition] would guarantee that the Palestine problem would be permanent and still more complicated in the future ….

Henderson went on to emphasize:

[proposals for partition] are in definite contravention to various principles laid down in the [U.N.] Charter as well as to principles on which American concepts of Government are based. These proposals, for instance, ignore such principles as self-determination and majority rule. They recognize the principle of a theocratic racial state and even go so far in several instances as to discriminate on grounds of religion and race ….

Henderson was far from alone in making his recommendations. He wrote that his views were not only those of the entire Near East Division but were shared by “nearly every member of the Foreign Service or of the Department who has worked to any appreciable extent on Near Eastern problems.”

Henderson wasn’t exaggerating. Official after official and agency after agency opposed Zionism.

In 1947 the CIA reported that Zionist leadership was pursuing objectives that would endanger both Jews and “the strategic interests of the Western powers in the Near and Middle East.”

Truman Accedes to Pro-Israel Lobby

President Harry Truman, however, ignored this advice. Truman’s political adviser, Clark Clifford, believed that the Jewish vote and contributions were essential to winning the upcoming presidential election and that supporting the partition plan would garner that support. (Truman’s opponent, Dewey, took similar stands for similar reasons.)

Secretary of State George Marshall, the renowned World War II general and author of the Marshall Plan, was furious to see electoral considerations taking precedence over policies based on national interest. He condemned what he called a “transparent dodge to win a few votes,” which would cause “[t]he great dignity of the office of president [to be] seriously diminished.”

Marshall wrote that the counsel offered by Clifford “was based on domestic political considerations, while the problem which confronted us was international. I said bluntly that if the president were to follow Mr. Clifford’s advice and if in the elections I were to vote, I would vote against the president ….”

Henry F. Grady, who has been called “America’s top diplomatic soldier for a critical period of the Cold War,” headed a 1946 commission aimed at coming up with a solution for Palestine. Grady later wrote about the Zionist lobby and its damaging effect on U.S. national interests.

Grady argued that without Zionist pressure, the U.S. would not have had “the ill-will with the Arab states, which are of such strategic importance in our ‘cold war’ with the Soviets.” He also described the decisive power of the lobby:

I have had a good deal of experience with lobbies but this group started where those of my experience had ended …. I have headed a number of government missions but in no other have I ever experienced so much disloyalty …. [I]n the United States, since there is no political force to counterbalance Zionism, its campaigns are apt to be decisive.

Former Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson also opposed Zionism. Acheson’s biographer writes that Acheson “worried that the West would pay a high price for Israel.” Another Author, John Mulhall, recordsAcheson’s warning:

[T]o transform [Palestine] into a Jewish State capable of receiving a million or more immigrants would vastly exacerbate the political problem and imperil not only American but all Western interests in the Near East.

Secretary of Defense James Forrestal also tried, unsuccessfully, to oppose the Zionists. He was outraged that Truman’s Mideast policy was based on what he called “squalid political purposes,” asserting that “United States policy should be based on United States national interests and not on domestic political considerations.”

Forrestal represented the general Pentagon view when he said that “no group in this country should be permitted to influence our policy to the point where it could endanger our national security.”

A report by the National Security Council warned that the Palestine turmoil was acutely endangering the security of the United States. A CIA report stressed the strategic importance of the Middle East and its oil resources.

Similarly, George F. Kennan, the State Department’s director of policy planning, issued a top-secret document on Jan. 19, 1947, that outlined the enormous damage done to the U.S. by the partition plan (“Report by the Policy Planning Staff on Position of the United States with Respect to Palestine”).

Kennan cautioned that “important U.S. oil concessions and air base rights” could be lost through U.S. support for partition and warned that the USSR stood to gain by the partition plan.

Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s nephew and a legendary intelligence agent, was another who was deeply disturbed by events. He noted:

The process by which Zionist Jews have been able to promote American support for the partition of Palestine demonstrates the vital need of a foreign policy based on national rather than partisan interests …. Only when the national interests of the United States, in their highest terms, take precedence over all other considerations, can a logical, farseeing foreign policy be evolved. No American political leader has the right to compromise American interests to gain partisan votes ….

He went on:

The present course of world crisis will increasingly force upon Americans the realization that their national interests and those of the proposed Jewish state in Palestine are going to conflict. It is to be hoped that American Zionists and non-Zionists alike will come to grips with the realities of the problem.

The head of the State Department’s Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Gordon P. Merriam, warned against the partition plan on moral grounds:

U.S. support for partition of Palestine as a solution to that problem can be justified only on the basis of Arab and Jewish consent. Otherwise we should violate the principle of self-determination which has been written into the Atlantic Charter, the declaration of the United Nations, and the United Nations Charter — a principle that is deeply embedded in our foreign policy. Even a United Nations determination in favor of partition would be, in the absence of such consent, a stultification and violation of U.N.’s own charter.

Merriam added that without consent, “bloodshed and chaos” would follow, a tragically accurate prediction.

An internal State Department memorandum accurately predicted how Israel would be born through armed aggression masked as defense:

[T]he Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the U.N. …. In the event of such Arab outside aid the Jews will come running to the Security Council with the claim that their state is the object of armed aggression and will use every means to obscure the fact that it is their own armed aggression against the Arabs inside which is the cause of Arab counter-attack.

And American Vice Consul William J. Porter foresaw another outcome of the partition plan: that no Arab State would actually ever come to be in Palestine.

Pro-Israel Pressure on General Assembly Members

When it was clear that the partition recommendation did not have the required two-thirds of the U.N. General Assembly to pass, Zionists pushed through a delay in the vote. They then used this period to pressure numerous nations into voting for the recommendation. A number of people later described this campaign.

Robert Nathan, a Zionist who had worked for the U.S. government and who was particularly active in the Jewish Agency, wrote afterward, “We used any tools at hand,” such as telling certain delegations that the Zionists would use their influence to block economic aid to any countries that did not vote the right way.

Another Zionist proudly stated, “Every clue was meticulously checked and pursued. Not the smallest or the remotest of nations, but was contacted and wooed. Nothing was left to chance.”

Financier and longtime presidential adviser Bernard Baruch told France it would lose U.S. aid if it voted against partition. Top White House executive assistant David Niles organized pressure on Liberia through rubber magnate Harvey Firestone, who told the Liberian president that if Liberia did not vote in favor of partition, Firestone would revoke his planned expansion in the country. Liberia voted yes.

Latin American delegates were told that the pan-American highway construction project would be more likely if they voted yes. Delegates’ wives received mink coats (the wife of the Cuban delegate returned hers); Costa Rica’s President Jose Figueres reportedly received a blank checkbook. Haiti was promised economic aid if it would change its original vote opposing partition.

Longtime Zionist Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, along with 10 senators and Truman domestic adviser Clark Clifford, threatened the Philippines (seven bills were pending on the Philippines in Congress).

Before the vote on the plan, the Philippine delegate had given a passionate speech against partition, defending the inviolable “primordial rights of a people to determine their political future and to preserve the territorial integrity of their native land.”

He went on to say that he could not believe that the General Assembly would sanction a move that would place the world “back on the road to the dangerous principles of racial exclusiveness and to the archaic documents of theocratic governments.”

Twenty-four hours later, after intense Zionist pressure, the delegate voted in favor of partition.

The U.S. delegation to the U.N. was so outraged when Truman insisted that they support partition that the State Department director of U.N. affairs was sent to New York to prevent the delegates from resigning en masse.

On Nov. 29, 1947, the partition resolution, 181, passed. While this resolution is frequently cited, it was of limited (if any) legal impact. General Assembly resolutions, unlike Security Council resolutions, are not binding on member states. For this reason, the resolution requested that “[t]he Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation,” which the Security Council never did. Legally, the General Assembly Resolution was a “recommendation” and did not create any states.

Israel’s Creation

What it did do, however, was increase the fighting in Palestine. Within months (and before Israel dates the beginning of its founding war) the Zionists had forced out 413,794 people. Zionist military units had stealthily been preparing for war before the U.N. vote and had acquired massive weaponry, some of it through a widespread network of illicit gunrunning operations in the U.S. under a number of front groups.

The U.N. eventually managed to create a temporary and very partial cease-fire. A Swedish U.N. mediator who had previously rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis was dispatched to negotiate an end to the violence.Israeli assassins killed him, and Israel continued what it was to call its “war of independence.”

At the end of this war, through a larger military force than that of its adversaries and the ruthless implementation of plans to push out as many non-Jews as possible, Israel came into existence on 78 percent of Palestine.

At least 33 massacres of Palestinian civilians were perpetrated, half of them before a single Arab army had entered the conflict, hundreds of villages were depopulated and razed, and a team of cartographers was sent out to give every town, village, river, and hillock a new Hebrew name. All vestiges of Palestinian habitation, history, and culture were to be erased from history, an effort that almost succeeded.

Israel, which claims to be the “only democracy in the Middle East,” decided not to declare official borders or to write a constitution, a situation which continues to this day. In 1967 it took still more Palestinian and Syrian land, which is now illegally occupied territory, since the annexation of land through military conquest is outlawed by modern international law. It has continued this campaign of growth through armed acquisition and illegal confiscation of land ever since.

Individual Israelis, like Palestinians and all people, are legally and morally entitled to an array of human rights.

On the other hand, the state of Israel’s vaunted “right to exist” is based on an alleged “right” derived from might, an outmoded concept that international legal conventions do not recognize and in fact specifically prohibit.

 

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US Ambassador: Support for I$raHell drives all US policies

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While many Americans may believe that US policies are designed to address American needs, America’s new Ambassador to Israel explains that this is far from the case.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres, right, raises a toast with newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro during a ceremony introducing new ambassadors to the President at his Jerusalem residence, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

by Alison Weir

 

In a recent speech before the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), Ambassador Daniel Shapiro clarified what drives US policies:

“The test of every policy the Administration develops in the Middle East is whether it is consistent with the goal of ensuring Israel’s future as a secure, Jewish, democratic state. That is a commitment that runs as a common thread through our entire government.”

Shapiro went on to say: “This test explains our extraordinary security cooperation, our stand against the delegitimization of Israel, our efforts on Iran, our response to the Arab Spring, and our efforts on Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

It also explains a factor in the downward slide in American prosperity and standing in the world.

US funding of Israel and its weapons industry

Shapiro elaborated: ‘Israel will receive over $3 billion in U.S. funding for training and equipment in the coming fiscal year. This assistance allows Israel to purchase the sophisticated defense equipment it needs to protect itself, by itself, including the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Our assistance has also helped boost Israel’s domestic defense industry.”

On top of this, Shapiro pointed out, “Congress, at the request of President Obama, provided $205 million to accelerate production and deployment of the Iron Dome short-range missile system, a project to which I devoted particular attention during my tenure at the White House.”

Shapiro failed to note that this system competes with American defense firms, causing still further job loss for Americans, who have a higher unemployment rate than Israel.

Shapiro said that one of his first visits as Ambassador to Israel was to see an Iron Dome battery deployed near Ashkelon, where he “had very moving visits with the victims of rocket attacks in Ashdod.” Palestinian rocket attacks have killed approximately 20 Israelis. There is no report that Shapiro has visited the victims of Israeli shelling attacks on Gaza, where over 1,400 have been killed.

Opposing international initiatives, undermining US needs

Shapiro continued: “The test of our policy – that it advances Israel’s status as a secure, Jewish, democratic state – also explains our commitment to vigorously battle against those who would attempt to isolate or delegitimize Israel in the international community.”

As a result, Shapiro said, the US withdrew from the South African conference on racism in Durban and vetoed UN efforts on Israel (which otherwise would have passed).

Currently, he said, the administration is “doing everything we can” to oppose the Palestinian bid for UN membership to come later this month. “We are taking our opposition to capitals around the world.”

This campaign is reminiscent of previous pro-Israel campaigns, including the original pressure brought by Israel partisans in 1947 on the UN General Assembly to pass a recommendation to give over half of Palestine to a Jewish state.

It could also be a major blow to the US.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a member of the Saudi Royal Family who headed up its intelligence service for many years, has just published Veto a State, Lose an Ally, in which he warns that if the US vetoes Palestinian UN membership, “Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to cooperate with America in the same way it historically has.”

He writes that it would “provoke uproar among Muslims worldwide,” further undermining American relations with the Muslim world (over 1.2 billion people), “threaten regional stability,” and increase “the chances of another war in the region.”

In 1973 Saudi Arabia, which has been an extremely important US ally, issued a warning based on a similarly reasonable request (that Israel obey international law – see discussion below). When Henry Kissinger ignored it, the US was thrown into a major recession and thousands of Americans lost their jobs and homes.

Author and international attorney John Whitbeck writes that “the adverse consequences for the United States of blocking Palestine’s membership are dazzlingly obvious. An American veto would constitute a shotgun blast in both of its own feet, further isolating the United States from the rest of mankind and outraging the already agitated and unstable Arab and Muslim worlds (notably including Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey).

Since 120 nations have already recognized Palestine, such a veto would outrage countries all over the globe.

Policies on Iran based on Israeli concerns

Shapiro went on to say:

“The test of our policy – to advance Israel’s status as a secure, Jewish democratic state – explains our persistent efforts and the President’s determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“Since 2009, the United States has led the world in imposing the toughest sanctions ever against Iran, through U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929, through the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions and Divestment Act, and through additional sanctions imposed by European and other partners beyond those mandated by the U.N. Security Council… We are working to increase pressure on Iran through additional means, and have taken no option off the table.

Twenty years ago similar pressure on Iraq created a humanitarian catastrophe in which, according to the World Health Organization, over 5,000 children under the age of five died each month from “embargo-related causes.”

Arab Spring actions predicated on Israeli interests

Shapiro explained that concerns for Israel also drive the Administration’s actions regarding the Arab Spring:

“The test of our policy explains President Obama’s original outreach to the Muslim world, and his response to the Arab Spring.

“Israel’s interests were not served by the deep anger felt toward the United States in many Muslim communities, and the President made clear that those who would accept his outstretched hand must do so knowing that the United States will remain a fierce defender of Israel’s legitimacy and call on others to build their own connections with Israel.

“As the unprecedented events of the Arab Spring have unfolded, we have recognized the opportunity presented by the possible emergence of more open, transparent, peaceful, and democratic governments, who will make better neighbors, while remaining vigilant about the risks these changes could present. We know the stakes for Israel are high, and in a situation where neither of us can control outcomes, we are working closely together to chart a common strategy.”

Shapiro said that US support for a “two-state solution” is also based on Israeli desires, explaining that he and the Administration are “convinced that a two-state solution is the only way to guarantee Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.” Therefore, he said, the administration’s “vigorous pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian peace” also meets the pro-Israel test.

Need to bolster pro-Israel ties among Jewish Americans

Shapiro spoke of the close allegiance that most Jewish Americans feel for Israel, but expressed concern that “much research has shown that growing numbers of younger American Jews feel disconnected, or at best ambivalent, toward Israel. Valuable programs like Birthright have exposed many to this connection, but many more have not been reached.”

He said that “a stronger commitment to Zionist education for American Jewish youth could do much to strengthen bonds that we want to be even stronger in the next generation, but may not be if left untended.”

Helping Israeli finances even further

Shapiro said that “one of the most fruitful opportunities for deepening ties” between Americans and Israelis is in the economic sphere:

“There are approximately one dozen American-Israel Chambers of Commerce throughout the United States, based in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. These organizations are run and organized by Americans who care deeply about the U.S.- Israel relationship and strive to facilitate U.S.-Israel business connections.”

Shapiro pointed out:

“In 2010 alone the U.S. imported $21 billion of Israeli goods and services; that’s 10 percent of Israel’s GDP. American companies and their representatives here directly employ about 60,000 Israelis; that’s fully 2 percent of Israel’s entire workforce. This figure does not include the many thousands more that are supported by American companies here as subcontractors or in downstream businesses.

“American companies have opened two-thirds of all foreign R&D facilities in Israel and brought in nearly 60 percent of all foreign direct investment. In 2011, American companies have acquired ten Israeli startups to the tune of $1.5 billion dollars, not just for their products, but to establish leading international R&D centers tapping into the greatest asset of Israel’s people, their brainpower. American-sourced venture capitalism provides more than half of all money for nascent technology companies to get off the ground.

“Just as other Diaspora communities are often in the lead in promoting economic ties with their countries of origin, many of these projects began because of Jewish-American ‘champions’ of corporate interaction with Israel.”

Ambassador Shapiro failed to mention that Israel’s current account balance is 29th in the world; the U.S. comes in at 196th.

1973 War and Shapiro’s personal ties to Israel

In his speech, Ambassador Shapiro recounted his personal history “for the insights it can give us about the connection of the American Jewish community to the U.S.-Israel relationship.” He stated:

“I am a proud member of our Jewish community in Washington, DC, active in a Conservative synagogue and the Jewish day school that my children attend and where my wife, Julie, worked for many years. And my profound respect for the State of Israel and its remarkable achievements stems from a lifetime of exposure to the extraordinary people who brought Theodore Herzl’s Zionist dream to life.”

Shapiro explained that his close attachment to Israel began in 1973 when he was four years old and his family spent a fall semester in Israel. They were there during the war in which Egypt and Syria tried to retrieve land that had been taken by Israel seven years before.

While Ambassador Shapiro didn’t go into this, there is a close US connection to the 1973 war, called by Israel and US media the “Yom Kippur War.”

Before and during this war, Saudi Arabia called on the US to pressure Israel to return the lands that it had taken and held since 1967, in violation of international law. Instead, Henry Kissinger arranged a massive airlift of US weaponry to Israel, saving Israel from losing the war. This support led to the oil embargo against the US that caused a deep depression and cost thousands of Americans their jobs.

As historian Donald Neff later wrote, this boycott, induced by Kissinger’s weapons to Israel, left “economies around the world shattered and many individuals living poorer lives.” Neff wrote that while “Kissinger admitted, ‘I made a mistake,’ skeptics might wonder whether it was a mistake, or wanton disregard of U.S. interests during a passionate effort to help Israel.”

Shapiro explained that the 1973 war had a major impact on his family:

“By the end of the war, and even more so, by the end of our stay, our family’s relationship with Israel had been utterly transformed, from a solid but light connection to the deepest of bonds. Throughout the remainder of my childhood, family dinner conversations turned easily to events in Israel, from the thrill of the peace with Egypt to the anguish of the Lebanon War [initiated by Israel; fatalities were approximately 25:1 Lebanese to Israelis]. The ample bookshelves in my parents’ home grew laden with studies in Zionism, Jewish history, and Israeli literature.

“A product of the Reform Movement, I nurtured my own connection to Israel primarily through summer camp experiences at the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, an unlikely setting for some of the most innovative Jewish and Zionist education to be found anywhere.

“These experiences led me to spend half a year after high school in Israel on a Reform Movement program, living with an Israeli family in Jerusalem, studying at Hebrew Union College, traveling widely throughout the country, and volunteering on Kibbutz Yahel in the Arava.

“I returned for my sophomore year of college at Hebrew University, supplementing my studies with work as a waiter at the wedding hall in the Beit Knesset HaGadol and long walks in Rehavia, where my girlfriend – who is now my wife of 19 years – took an apartment.

“In the years since, I have made Israel, its history and people, its quest for peace and security in the Middle East, and its relationship with the United States, the centerpiece of my academic studies at Brandeis and Harvard, my work on Capitol Hill, and my service in the Clinton and Obama Administrations.”

Shapiro emphasized that in many ways his story is not unique, stating that “it is impossible to deny the special connection that most in the American Jewish community feel for Israel…. wherever they fall on the political spectrum, and whatever their views on American policy, Israeli policy or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the vast majority of American Jews care deeply about Israel…”

Shapiro said that he is deeply honored that President Obama has entrusted him with the “task and responsibility of strengthening and deepening” US ties to Israel.

Shapiro concluded: “… as a committed Jewish American, with deep roots in the American Jewish community and warm bonds of affection with Israel, I will have an opportunity to draw on those associations to help make the U.S.-Israel relationship, strong as it is, even stronger in the years ahead.”

 

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on US Ambassador: Support for I$raHell drives all US policies

British snipers killed Afghans in pointless ‘turkey shoot’ and boosted support for the Taliban, says major who revealed how troops died due to lack of equipment

NOVANEWS
  • Major Streatfeild commanded a company of riflemen fighting the Taliban
  • Says many shot and killed as a result posed no risk to British forces
  • Streatfeild condemns ‘turkey shoot’ tactics that led to ‘repetitive slaughter’
  • Says British soldiers pointlessly killed hundreds of armed villagers  
    

By MARK NICHOL

terrorism

British soldiers pointlessly killed hundreds of armed villagers in Afghanistan who posed no imminent threat, a former officer has claimed.

In a sensational new book, Major Richard Streatfeild condemns the ‘turkey shoot’ tactics that led to the ‘repetitive slaughter’ of people that UK troops were supposed to protect.

Soldiers based in Helmand from 2006 to 2009 were permitted to open fire on anyone approaching their bases while carrying a weapon.

But Major Streatfeild, who commanded a company of riflemen fighting the Taliban, said many of those shot and killed as a result posed no risk to British forces, in what amounted to ‘a turkey shoot masquerading as professional soldiering’.

While the actions of these British Forces were legal, and met the Rules of Engagement enforced by top brass, the former officer has revealed how the incidents turned locals against British troops and persuaded more Afghans to support the Taliban.

Major Streatfeild, 41, caused outrage last week when the MoS reported his claims that many British troops died in Afghanistan due to a woeful lack of equipment.

The officer, who presented a series of emotional Radio 4 dispatches from the frontline, The Sangin Diaries, admitted misleading the public in his broadcasts by playing down the full scale of the kit crisis affecting troops. 

An exclusive extract from his memoir, Honourable Warriors, appears below.

Last night he said: ‘The repetitive slaughter of local people forced by the Taliban to take up arms against us was pointless and counter- productive. 

British soldiers patrolling Sangin, Afghanistan

British soldiers patrolling Sangin, Afghanistan

Under fire: The soldiers were working in Sangin province, pictured, one of the most dangerous places on Earth

Under fire: The soldiers were working in Sangin province, pictured, one of the most dangerous places on Earth

Claims: Major Streatfeild said there were not enough armoured vehicles, which the MoD denied

Claims: Major Streatfeild said there were not enough armoured vehicles, which the MoD denied

These men, who lived in the villages surrounding our bases, did not want to fight us. Instead, they were forced by the enemy to join the battle, over issues such as their failure to pay a tax demanded by the Taliban.

Sadly, there were many occasions when these men approached our bases and, as they were carrying a weapon, they were shot dead.

‘But the truth was they posed very little threat to us, in particular if no British patrols were out on the ground at the time. 

Major Richard Streatfeild before he gave evidence in the inquest into the death of Lance corporal Michael Pritchard, which he claims was caused by a lack of proper equipment and training

Major Richard Streatfeild before he gave evidence in the inquest into the death of Lance corporal Michael Pritchard, which he claims was caused by a lack of proper equipment and training

‘These men were not hard-core or “Tier One” Taliban and they should have been spared.

‘By killing them, we made enemies of the local communities because they were honour-bound by their cultural codes of behaviour, to avenge the deaths.

‘We also handed the Taliban a propaganda victory; the insurgents were able to say to the locals “look, this is how the British treat you, come with us”.’

Horrified by the damage done by the ‘turkey shoot’ tactics, Streatfeild, of A Company, 4th Battalion, the Rifles (4 Rifles), ordered his riflemen only to take aim at Afghans carrying weapons in situations when those gunman posed a definite threat to British troops or local civilians.

Streatfeild, who served in Sangin district, Helmand Province, in 2009-2010, urged his riflemen to fire warning shots when they saw Afghans carrying weapons or preparing Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).

But while community leaders thanked Streatfeild for the restraint displayed by his troops, his approach fell foul of top brass from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) based in Kabul.

He said: ‘In March 2010, after I had seen the benefits of warning shots in order to de-esculate a potentially fatal situation, an order was passed down from ISAF banning their use.

‘Apparently the inaccurate firing of warning shots by international troops had caused civilian casualties in other parts of Afghanistan.

‘While the ISAF dictat was well intentioned, removing the option of warning shots forced soldiers to either shoot to kill or not intervene at all.’

Streatfeild told last night how, after the ISAF dictat, one of his riflemen spotted a child laying an IED on the 611 highway, a main road through Helmand Province used by British troops.

The soldier could not bring himself to shoot dead the child. 

Major Streatfeild, left, replaces Major Ian Moodie in Sangin in 2009

Major Streatfeild, left, replaces Major Ian Moodie in Sangin in 2009

Michael Pritchard in Afghanistan, the young soldier who was accidentally shot dead by a comrade while on active service by a sniper who thought he was a Taliban fighter. Streatfeild claims 'battlefield beacons' could have been used to save Pritchard's life

Michael Pritchard in Afghanistan, the young soldier who was accidentally shot dead by a comrade while on active service by a sniper who thought he was a Taliban fighter. Streatfeild claims ‘battlefield beacons’ could have been used to save Pritchard’s life

‘He said to me afterwards that he had fired a single shot to kill the child but had simply missed the target. I didn’t believe the soldier.

‘It was clear to me that he’d fired a warning shot, just as I would have wanted him to in that situation. The child was no older than ten years old.

‘Because of the ISAF dictat, the soldier felt he had to lie  to me. Afterwards, I told all my troops to ignore the ban and to fire warning shots in situations when this would save lives.’

In his book, Streatfeild also launches a sensational attack on former service chief General Sir Mike Jackson, who he accuses of waiting until his ‘splendidly rewarded retirement’ before calling on the MoD to improve soldiers’ welfare.

Lance Corporal Michael David Pritchard 22, of the 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police, who was killed as a result of small arms fire in Afghanistan

Lance Corporal Michael David Pritchard 22, of the 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police, who was killed as a result of small arms fire in Afghanistan

Sir Mike, 69, Head of the Army from 2003 to 2006, was popular among troops and a formidable leader. But Streatfeild said last night: ‘Let’s look at the record of Sir Mike.

‘He waited for his pension then burst into print. He had the rank and position to do more before then.’

Following his retirement in 2006, Sir Mike wrote a memoir in which he accused the MoD of failing to value the contributions of soldiers and their families.

He described the wages paid to soldiers at the time – just over £1,000 a month while they were serving on operations – as ‘hardly an impressive figure’ while he added that the standard of some accommodation for troops was ‘frankly shaming’.

In Honourable Warriors, Streatfeild describes the moment in 2007 when Sir Mike’s book arrived at the MoD’s public relations department, where Streatfeild was then working.
Streatfeild writes: ‘The newshound [press officer] in the MoD put it well on getting a copy of Mike Jackson’s book: “One hundred thousand reasons why I didn’t resign.”

‘Many a true word said in jest. The reality is that they [Sir Mike and other senior officers] needed to stand up for the right thing when they had the chance, not bleat in splendidly rewarded retirement.’

Streatfeild, who left the Army in 2012, added: ‘I spoke my mind while commanding troops in Afghanistan and never kept my powder dry.

‘After the death of Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard, who was shot by a British sniper following a communication breakdown, I wrote a memo accusing the Army of criminal negligence over the lack of radios.’

Last night, an MoD spokesman said: ‘Our troops have shown extraordinary courage protecting the lives of civilians.’

I ONLY LEARNED OF MY DEAD SON’S INJURIES FROM OFFICER’S BOOK

A grieving mum has expressed her fury after reading in Richard Streatfeild’s book that her teenage son lost his legs in a Taliban bomb blast – despite his assurances that the book would not contain any shocks for her.

Insead, says Caroline Aldridge, 46, she was devastated to read about her son Rifleman Peter Aldridge’s injuries.

 

Mrs Aldridge had been told her 19-year-old son had remained ‘intact’ when he died in January 2010 – an assurance by Army counsellors  which gave her comfort.

Now she feels betrayed by Major Streatfeild, who has also been attacked over ‘misleading’ comments about the Government’s failure to provide life-saving equipment to troops.

She said: ‘I never read my son’s  post-mortem report and his injuries were not described at his inquest.

‘Every document we’ve received from the Army has been edited for sensitivity reasons. Major Streatfeild assured me I’d only read what I’d been told before.

‘To see that Peter’s legs were blown off was horrific.

‘I haven’t stopped crying since. “Intact” meant so much to me. Now I must start the grieving process again.’

The book also shocked Lisa Inns, whose son Rifleman Martin Kinggett, 19, was shot dead after heroically saving a colleague’s life in a brutal Taliban battle in February 2010.

She said: ‘Streatfeild made misleading comments about kit on the radio.

‘Reading his book has brought back painful memories. I’m looking into the detail and wondering what’s true. It is very distressing.’

Last night Major Streatfeild said:  ‘I inferred that Peter Aldridge lost  his legs in the blast. I have spoken to Mr Aldridge, his father, and he has accepted my explanation and apology.’

‘Furgie’ lost his legs and an eye, but radio nearly cost his life

In this exclusive extract from Major Streatfeild’s memoir, Honourable Warriors, he describes how morale in the Upper Sangin Valley was high, despite a crippling lack of equipment, until a horrific turning point . . .   

In the early hours of January 13, 2010, Corporal Ricky Furgusson stepped on an improvised explosive device. 

Corporal Ricky Furgusson, 24, from Telford, who serves with the 4th Battalion The Rifles (4 Rifles), is seen at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire

Corporal Ricky Furgusson, 24, from Telford, who serves with the 4th Battalion The Rifles (4 Rifles), is seen at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire

Both his legs were missing; five of ten digits from his hands were gone or partly gone, as was a good deal of the flesh from his wrists.

Where the force of the IED had picked him up and smashed his head against a wall, his left eye was a gaping hole; his lips and most of the left side of his face were badly mangled.

Sergeant ‘H’ Henry charged down the road on his quad to pick him up. He was still alive, by a thread.

The prospects for his continued survival were appalling. I began to wonder if death might not be more merciful.

In the aftermath, I finally shouted as loudly as I could about the acute deficiency of radios.

The lack of radios had almost caused a critical delay in getting Furgie treatment.

By luck, a rifleman on a personal radio had been able to relay to a guard post that was able to relay to the ops room what was going on. 

It was mid-February by the time I was home on leave and could see Furgie again.

He had taken days to become medically stable, then flew back to Birmingham in a medically induced coma from which he had been woken some time in late January.

We got to Birmingham after 1pm; no time for lunch just straight in. Bad idea. I glanced over at Ricky lying on the bed.

‘Holy s***,’ I thought, as I turned away to take off my jacket and compose myself.

‘Alright, Corporal F?’ I said.

‘Al’iit iir’. Ricky was speaking through a tracheotomy halfway up his neck. The hole where his mouth might have been was on his right cheek. 

Among Streatfeild's revelations into the problems facing the army was that they lacked proper equipment for the field of battle, a claim that the MoD rejects

Among Streatfeild’s revelations into the problems facing the army was that they lacked proper equipment for the field of battle, a claim that the MoD rejects

Damage: Cricket ball sized hailstones also punched holes in Hercules transporter planes like the one pictured

Damage: Cricket ball sized hailstones also punched holes in Hercules transporter planes like the one pictured

‘And the doctors had planted a large graft on his left cheek for use in later cosmetic surgery. His right eye, glazed, and looking frankly pretty manic, stared out following the conversation.

‘The other empty socket was covered in gauze. The bed lay flat where his legs should have been. He proffered his available semi-digitised hand to shake, which I carefully held.

Hypersensitivity kicked in. I was in trouble. I made it downstairs into the fresh air.

‘Bugger me.’ I thought it might be different. I lit a fag. Another bad idea. I began to walk back inside. Light-headed from the cigarette, I went down in a dead faint.

I was soon back in the land of the living, feeling rather embarrassed. Still, better to have come than not. 

Eleven months later, Ricky climbed aboard his full prosthetic legs for the first time to have his Military Cross pinned to his chest by the Queen.

It was, and still is, a remarkable story of survival and recovery. 

Posted in Afghanistan, UKComments Off on British snipers killed Afghans in pointless ‘turkey shoot’ and boosted support for the Taliban, says major who revealed how troops died due to lack of equipment

Scarlett Johansson controversy shows Hollywood’s fading Zionism

NOVANEWS

Max Blumenthal

 

These are trying times for the generation of liberal Zionist baby boomers. As American Jews, many of them became magnetised to Israel after the war of 1967. As liberals, they became convinced that their Zionism could be seamlessly intertwined with the liberation movements they supported during the heady days of the 1960s.

When they entered positions of influence during the 1980s, they urged respect for multiculturalism and immigrant rights, campaigned for nuclear-free zones, puttered around in eco-friendly vehicles and demanded free-range eggs at the organic co-op.

And at the same time, they rallied around a far-off ethnocracy that concealed a vast nuclear arsenal beneath the veil of strategic ambiguity, while doing everything in its power to eliminate the phenomenon of free-range Palestinians.

They are the PEPs – Progressives Except for Palestine – and today they find themselves consumed in anguish.

If there was any date that marked the high point of PEP-ism in Jewish-American life, it was May 8, 1978. That evening, a star-studded cast appeared before an audience of millions of Americans in The Stars Salute Israel at 30, a nationally televised gala beamed live by ABC from the Los Angeles Music Center.

The stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was filled with Hollywood A-listers, including outspoken liberals like Paul Newman, Anne Bancroft and Barry Manilow. None were asked to ponder the cruelty of Israel’s 11-year-old occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip before signing on to appear in the gala. Back then, celebrities leapt at the opportunity to sing and dance for Israel, if not out of genuine conviction, then at least out of careerist considerations.

Of all the stars on stage that night, it was the proudly Jewish singer and actress Barbra Streisand who stole the show. The curly-haired Streisand belted out schlock anthems like Tomorrow and Happy Days Are Here Again to an enchanted crowd, before the former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir appeared on a gigantic television screen above the stage to greet her.

The raspy voiced Meir was an icon to many Jewish American liberals, who either studiously ignored or quietly endorsed her Milwaukee-accented denial of the existence of Palestinians and her orders to carpet bomb refugee camps.

“The country needs you, and the world needs you,” Streisand told Meir before launching into a soaring rendition of the Israeli national anthem.

Starting with her donation to the Emergency Committee for Israel during the 1967 war, Streisand’s unabashed Zionism propelled her career. She has been a regular headliner at benefits for the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces and serenaded Israeli President Shimon Peres on his 90th birthday last year. When she withdrew in protest from a celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary, it was not out of opposition to its siege of Gaza or destruction of South Lebanon, but because the bane of all good-hearted American progressives, George W Bush, would be in attendance.

By marrying liberalism and Zionism during decades in the public limelight, Streisand became the ultimate embodiment of the PEP sensibility that influenced Jewish-Americans baby boomers.

However, thanks to the rise of the BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) movement she is a relic.

These days, celebrities who shill for Israel can expect to be relentlessly harried and forced to declare where they stand on Israel’s ongoing dispossession of Palestinians.

For those who have attached themselves to humanitarian do-gooder causes, the potential for PR damage is considerable — certainly enough to give them second thoughts. As the price tag on pro-Israel activity rises, some performers are quietly opting out of attractive deals before the controversy shatters their image.

But others like Scarlett Johansson, the comely blonde starlet described by Woody Allen as “sexually overwhelming” were not willing to let apartheid get in the way of a sizeable profit.

In January, the Israeli company Sodastream signed Johansson to promote its home soda-making machines in a $16 million (Dh58.8m) Super Bowl ad that featured her sucking suggestively on a straw off-and-on for two minutes.

Johansson, a standard-fare Hollywood liberal who proclaimed in 2008 that her “heart belongs to Barack”, cast her deal with Sodastream as a shining example of “conscious consumerism and transparency”.

She seemed oblivious to the fact that Sodastream operates out of Maale Adumim, an illegal Israeli mega-settlement built on privately owned Palestinian land whose master plan would eventually bisect the West Bank.

Within days of inking the deal, she found herself at the centre of a global controversy, as Palestine solidarity activists homed in on her global ambassadorship with the international aid agency, Oxfam, which opposes all Israeli settlement activity.

With demands rising for Oxfam to cut ties with Johansson, the actress published a crafted press release, with apparent help from her PR handlers.

Johansson claimed that Sodastream was “supporting neighbours working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights” in its settlement factory, recycling the paternalistic arguments familiar to apologia for the apartheid regime of South Africa. The deeper she waded into the controversy, the more she confirmed her indifference to the facts on the ground in occupied territory.

After more than a week of internal dissension and high-level anxiety, Oxfam finally compelled Johansson to withdraw her ambassadorship.

What at first seemed like an enviable endorsement deal had transformed into a PR nightmare for one of Hollywood’s rising stars.

Johansson had become the target of widespread derision on social media, with viral internet memes mocking her cynical motives and humanitarian pretensions. The campaign gained so much mainstream traction that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed in on Twitter, calling BDS “immoral and unjust”.

Shaken by the PR catastrophe, operatives from Israel’s multibillion dollar propaganda machine rallied around Johansson, deploying a series of dunderheaded and downright weird social-media postings, demanding supporters thank her for combating “hate and bigotry”.

Unlike Streisand, an ardent Zionist who acted on her convictions, Johansson had never visited the Holy Land or expressed any opinion about the place prior to her endorsement deal with Sodastream. Whether she liked it or not, the clueless starlet had suddenly become the new poster-girl for Zion.

Unlike the behaviour of pro-Israel PR operatives, which was amusingly predictable, the liberal Zionist reaction was stunning to behold.

Having always insisted that they were personally opposed to Israel’s settlement enterprise, major pro-Israel liberals were forced to demonstrate their stated principles. Asked about the campaign against Sodastream during a Huffpost Live segment, Jewish Daily Forward editor-in-chief Jane Eisner typified the mealy-mouthed liberal Zionist response: “It’s complicated … we’re trying to sort it out.”

A week later, she orchestrated an editorial denouncing settlement boycotts as “unfair”. By closing ranks with right-wing partisans of Greater Israel, Eisner and a chorus of liberal Zionists revealed their claims to reject the settlement enterprise as empty bluster.

As the discussion on Israel-Palestine slips from their control, the greying band of PEPs has nowhere to turn but the past. All they have are dreams of the magical night in 1978 when Streisand stood in the spotlight of Hollywood, sang for Israel, and the nation cheered. They are marching forward against BDS in a rosy haze of nostalgia, united by the terror of what lies beyond.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Scarlett Johansson controversy shows Hollywood’s fading Zionism

I$raHell fears the ‘apartheid’ label as it reveals its gruesome tactics

NOVANEWS

IsraelBrickWall

Ben White

In recent years, Israeli leaders and advocates have repeatedly warned of the threat posed by so-called “delegitimisation”. Yosef Kuperwasser, the current director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, has claimed it is the country’s most important challenge.

“Delegitimisation” is frequently used to variously describe Palestine solidarity activism, boycott and divestment campaigns, and opposition to Israel’s definition as a Jewish state. The term is intended to rally the faithful, and place the targeted critics beyond the pale. To describe Israeli policies in terms of apartheid is also considered a form of “delegitimisation”.

Apartheid, outlawed as a crime against humanity in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, is when “inhumane acts” are “committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime”.

The term itself comes from the defeated South African system – but it can take place anywhere independent of comparisons. Some academics and activists have long described Israeli policies as a form of apartheid: Uri Davis, for example, was writing on the topic in the 1980s. More recently the term has been used by former US president Jimmy Carter, while Archbishop Desmond Tutu – in 2002 and again just this month – has criticised Israeli policies in terms of apartheid.

I was delighted to have Mr Tutu endorse my book Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide, just published as an updated second edition. In the foreword, South African jurist and former UN special rapporteur John Dugard put it in the following terms: “It is Israel’s own version of a system that has been universally condemned.”

Examples abound. There is the legislative framework of ethnocracy embodied in the Absentee Property Law, Law of Return, and Citizenship Law, crucial for maintaining an artificial Jewish majority achieved through violent displacement.

There are the admission committees filtering residents in hundreds of communities used, according to Human Rights Watch, “to exclude Arabs”.

Across the West Bank, hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens live in a network of illegal settlements, while around them, Palestinian homes are demolished in a process EU officials have called the “forced transfer of the native population”.

This is a country whose housing minister in 2009 declared it a “national duty” to “prevent the spread” of Palestinian citizens, whose president, Shimon Peres, called Bedouin citizens a “demographic threat”, and whose former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, as mayor of Jerusalem, said was “a matter of concern when the non-Jewish population rises a lot faster than the Jewish population”.

I marked the publication of my book with a well-attended launch event last night at Amnesty International UK, chaired by David Hearst, former chief foreign leader writer for The Guardian.

In the weeks before the event, the Israeli embassy itself directly contacted Amnesty UK to ask them to cancel the launch, and also pressured Mr Hearst to withdraw his participation.

In targeting my book launch, Israeli diplomats in London resorted to crude smear tactics, the sort that are familiar fare for lobby groups, but rather more extraordinary coming from senior embassy officials. Thankfully, neither Amnesty UK nor Mr Hearst gave them the time of day, but the clumsy efforts by Israel’s official representatives to make certain topics “off limits” only drew attention to the issues my book is intended to address.

Of course, that pales in significance compared to the repression of Palestinian dissent by Israeli authorities, where tools like house arrest, travel bans, detention without trial and the use of deadly force are routinely used against both Palestinian citizens and those under military occupation.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on I$raHell fears the ‘apartheid’ label as it reveals its gruesome tactics

Rassoul Promises to Combat Militancy

NOVANEWS
by Ghafoor Saboory

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Presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul pledged to combat militancy and corruption effectively if elected president on Tuesday in front of his supporters in Kunduz.

Rassoul’s first vice president Ahmad Zia Masoud, who was also at the campaign rally, called on the people of the province to vote in the elections scheduled to take place on April 5.

As the elections near, security challenges and intimidating armed groups in some regions have residents in Kunduz distressed.

“From an economic perspective, Kunduz is an important province because Sher Khan Port, Amu River and agriculture play a major role in Afghanistan’s economic growth,” Rassoul said. “There are also issues in Kunduz in regards to the presence of Illegal Armed Groups (IAGs) and mistreatment of people by these groups; I will address these issues if we win the elections.”

At the gathering, female participation was visible and the role of women in the elections was expressed with importance by Rassoul and his team members.

“As I analyze Rassoul’s construction and moderation of his team, my study shows that his team would be a good team for Afghanistan,” former Member of Parliament Fazel Kareem Emaq said. “This team hasn’t been formed on the basis of language and ethnicity, but in the form of a good political structure.”

Posted in AfghanistanComments Off on Rassoul Promises to Combat Militancy

Karzai: Afghanistan Endorses Crimean Right to Decide Their Future

NOVANEWS
Sunday, 23 March 2014 18:17Last Updated on Sunday, 23 March 2014 18:32Written by Aazem Arash

On Sunday President Karzai announced in a meeting with the US congressional delegation that Afghanistan respects the decision made by the Crimean people to become a part of the Russian Federation. However, some analysts interpreted Karzai’s statement not in compliance with national interest.

Political commentators believe that Karzai’s statement could further escalate tensions between Afghanistan and the west.

“Looking at the current situation, we must pursue a proper policy and deal with the issue in a diplomatic manner,” political analyst Mia Gul Waseeq said.

Waseeq said that president Karzai should focus closely to the needs and improvements of Afghanistan instead of involving the country in other political tensions with the US.

During the meeting the US delegation urged Karzai to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which will allow US forces to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014. However, Karzai declined signing the agreement until the preconditions are honored by the US for him to sign the pact.

Karzai clarified his stance on the Crimea adhesion to Russia days after tensions between Moscow and the western nations increased over disintegration of Crimea from Ukraine.
“The Crimean people decided on their future in the referendum,” president Karzai said. “Crimea is part of Russia and Afghanistan respects it.”

Last week the Russian embassy in Kabul announced that Moscow looks to play a great role in the future of Afghanistan.

The Crimean issue has led to a political confrontation between Russia and the west. Despite the US and other western countries being the large donors to Afghanistan, president Karzai has backed Russia in the Crimea affair.

Posted in Afghanistan, Russia, UkraineComments Off on Karzai: Afghanistan Endorses Crimean Right to Decide Their Future

Taking on Putin: The Gessen Plan

NOVANEWS

putin5

NGOs, not bombs – an embittered expatriate has an idea

What to do about Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea? This is the question of the hour for the War Party, and they are tearing their hair out in a paroxysm of frustration about what course to take.

The Obama administration, for its part, seems content to get up on its high horse and issue feckless denunciations which aren’t all that convincing even to those who have joined the rapidly-expanding Russia-Haters Club. Sanctions aimed at top Russian officials and businessmen are part of the “package,” but aside from not allowing some apparatchik to visit his children while they go to school in the US these actions only underscore the simple fact that there is very little the US and its European sock-puppets can do in the short term that will make much difference.

Washington’s impotence in the face of Russian assertiveness only served to further enrage our political class, which is used to having its whims treated as immutable edicts. This is doubtless what drove the Wall Street Journal editorial page as well as neocon pundit Charles Krauthammer to demand the President deploy the Sixth Fleet to the Black Sea. As to what would follow from this show of force the assembled neocons did not say: a reenactment of the charge of the Light BrigadeWorld War III?

The economic sanctions crowd is depressed because Europe depends on Russia for a great deal of its energy in the form of oil and natural gas: the Germans would stand to lose billions if they got on board with the sanctions and the loss of jobs would be significant. The sanctioneers will probably have to be content with mostly symbolic actions, such as a Western boycott of the Sochi G-8 summit and/or kicking Russia out of the G-8 entirely.

In all the brouhaha over Crimea, only one Russophobe had the imagination to proffer a long-range and perfectly viable plan to get back at the Russians and that was Masha Gessen, author of Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy RiotWriting in Slate, she averred that the whole course of history had been changed with the Crimean annexation – but that this was merely a delayed reaction to the bombing of Serbia during the Kosovo war. Russia was now taking “revenge” on the West for the Serbian strike: that’s the “real” reason the Crimeans demanded accession to Russia and Putin accommodated them. Kosovo, she believes, augured a “catastrophic historic change” in the course of events as they should have unfolded, but it “has taken 15 years” to show itself. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” says Gessen, “completes that story.”

But what is this “story”? It all started with Kosovo, when the US didn’t even warn the Russians that the US assault on the former Yugoslavia was coming – just as Yevgeny Primakov was en route to Washington for talks. Primakov turned his plane around upon hearing the news and headed back to Moscow:

“From this point on, Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s administration, already weak and embattled, would be unable to justify its friendly, perennially de-escalating posture toward the West. Anti-American feelings ran so high you would have thought the U.S. were bombing Russia.”

And this anti-Americanism led directly to Putin’s rise:

“When I returned to Moscow in mid-May, the liberals’ panic and the nationalists’ fervor had subsided, but I found signs of the nationalists’ newfound strength – and wrote my final dispatch about that. And then history followed its changed course. In August, Yeltsin anointed as his successor, a virtual unknown named Vladimir Putin. Within a few weeks, Putin became spectacularly popular by launching a new war in Chechnya. Politicians formerly known as liberals praised the Russian army for its performance there; one said it was ‘regaining its dignity.’ He did not mention Kosovo, but he was referring to the general sense of humiliation that had stayed with Russians since the spring.

“In December 1999, Putin became acting president, and the following March, he was elected to the office. Over the course of the following 14 years, he nurtured in the Russian public a sense of nostalgia for the Soviet Union and especially for the fear it inspired in the rest of the world.”

Note how we are supposed to believe Putin simply “launched a new war in Chechnya” merely on a whim: terrorist attacks on Russian cities, their destructive power and viciousness roughly comparable to what happened in Manhattan on 9/11, apparently had nothing to do with it. According to Gessen, Weimar Russia was so “humiliated” by the loss of the Soviet empire that it elevated Putin to the Russian presidency – just like another wannabe tyrant had done the same in Germany during the 1930s after ahumiliating defeat. No, she doesn’t pull a Hillary on us by openly comparing Putin to Hitler, but the implication is clear.

Yes, Putin appealed to Russian nostalgia, albeit not for a lost empire or the Leninist project but for a country that didn’t have a rapidly shrinking birth rate, didn’t have areeling drunk at its head, and didn’t allow a rising class of oligarchs to steal the nation blind. Gessen’s hate for her own country doesn’t allow her to see this: she sees only a “catastrophe,” never acknowledging that the corruption of the Yeltsin years was the real catastrophe. She views Russia only in relation to the US government: before Putin, Russia was “friendly” and “de-escalating.” Yeltsin knew his place. Putin, who refused to accept subordination to Washington’s diktat, was a Hitler in the making. And now he’s on the march:

“Revenge has been sweet, but when other opportunities present themselves – and this will happen more often now, at least from Putin’s point of view – he will deploy Russian military force or the threat of Russian military force in other neighboring countries. He will take his revenge not only cold but plentifully.”

It must be quite interesting to know the future in advance, as Nostradamus Gessen clearly does: perhaps she is counting on Transdniester deciding to go the way of Crimea, or perhaps a fresh provocation from Georgia will tease the Russian bear into taking another swipe at his tormentors, but this mystic prognostication is flawed by Gessen’s essentialist error. She thinks Putin is a stereotypical tyrant, clearly based on the 1930s German model, but this lazy analysis clearly misreads both the man and the nation he leads.

Russia is acting from weakness, not strength: that has been the case ever since the fall of the Soviet Union and the expansion of NATO to the very gates of Moscow. Gessen never mentions NATO, or its unjustified post-cold war expansion, because that would undermine her narrative depicting Putin as a Hitler-in-waiting, yet it is the key to understanding the distortion of Russo-American relations.

When Gorbachev agreed to the reunification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he did so on the condition that NATO would not expand eastward. That promise was broken long ago – but Gessen doesn’t see this as aggression. Putin is the only “aggressor” – America, and it’s Western allies are inherently benevolent and therefore anything they do is non-aggressive by definition.

Far from seeking to recreate the old Russian empire, the Russian leader is merely trying to consolidate the country’s Slavic core, reversing the disintegrative process that began in 1989 and has continued to the present day. His strategy, therefore, is necessarily defensive, not offensive – and Washington knows this, even if its journalistic camarilla are clueless on the matter.

However, Gessen, unlike John McCainLindsey Graham, and the editorial board of the War Street Journal, has a practical plan, a viable response to Putin, and that is the deployment of “soft power” in pursuit of Russian regime-change, just as we did in Serbia when Slobodan Milosevic was in power:

“After the bombing campaign, which strengthened support for Milosevic and weakened his opponents, the US poured cash into rebuilding the Serbian opposition. The funding was contingent on the disparate opposition groups agreeing to work together and attending regular coordination meetings held in Budapest, Hungary, and run by people whom participants understood to represent the State Department. The plan for the anti-Milosevic revolution was worked out in these meetings down to the smallest detail, including where the leaders of each of the 18 participating political organizations would be if mass protests broke out in Belgrade. They did, in October 2000, and Milosevic didn’t seem to know what hit him.”

This is a very Soviet plan: a revolutionary project, directed by a foreign power “down to the smallest detail,” aiming to subvert an elected government. Looks like Gessen couldn’t avoid her Russian heritage even if she wanted to. Yet she and many of her fellow expatriates despise their old homeland with a hot passion: Julia Ioffe’s Russia-hating tirades in The New Republic are typical of the genre. They blithely liken Putin to Stalin, ignoring that the latter killed as many as 60 million people, and also blanking out the great progress Russia has made in its long journey to democracy since the fall of Lenin’s heirs.

The Gessen plan, I fear, is already in operation: Gessen is merely describing what has already been occurring after the fact. Millions of US taxpayer dollars went into the forging of the Ukrainian coup revolution, which were handed out to dubious “NGOs” of one sort or another in pursuit of regime change. This had been going on in Ukraine since well before the soured “Orange Revolution,” and will no doubt continue in the Russian case on a much higher level – that is, a higher level of expenditure.

The United States government has been trying to get rid of Vladimir Putin ever since he was elected President the first time: the passage of Russian laws forbidding foreign-funded NGOs from operating was designed to head off Gessen’s preferred strategy at the pass. But there are ways around this, and no one should be in any doubt that the US is taking them: after all, how do you think “Pussy Riot” manages to travel all overRussia posing for Western photographers without any visible means of support? How does a political movement with more fans outside of Russia than inside manage to survive in spite of being held in contempt by most Russians?

The Russia-haters will not rest until Putin is overthrown by a Western-backed “opposition.” And they aren’t all that choosy about which forces to back, as the Ukrainian events illustrate: Washington is about to send a cool $1 billion to a government that includes open neo-Nazis in top positions. And when it comes to Russia, there are even darker forces operating in the “opposition,” such as Eduard Limonov’s National Bolshevik Party, which manages to combine the mystic evil of Nazism with the “scientific” malevolence of Marxist-Leninism. As leader of the activist base of the primary Russian opposition coalition, dubbed “The Other Russia,” I wouldn’t be in the least surprised to discover that Limonov is on Washington’s payroll, along with the rest of the trash who will turn on their own country for a regular paycheck.

As there is no limit to the arrogance and hubris of US policymakers, so nothing is off bounds in their pursuit of global dominance – and collaborating with Ukrainian neo-Nazis is just the beginning.

Posted in RussiaComments Off on Taking on Putin: The Gessen Plan

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