Archive | September 9th, 2014

Key Author of War Powers: Obama Needs Authority to Bomb Syria — Or Iraq


USA Today reports: “President Obama spends Tuesday soliciting congressional support for expanded military action against the insurgent group known as the Islamic State.”

The Jacksonville Journal-Courier in Illinois reports today: “President Barack Obama’s plans to expand the U.S. military role against Islamic extremist groups could overstep his authority, according to a longtime Jacksonville congressman who helped write the law that keeps the president’s power in check.

“Obama is expected to announce plans this week to expand the military campaign against the Islamic State. According to the Wall Street Journal, that could include intensifying air attacks to target militant strongholds.

“Paul Findley of Jacksonville, who served in Congress from 1961 to 1983 and was a principal author of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, says the president could be usurping authority specifically given to Congress.

“‘President Obama stated on network television … that he ‘may’ have authority to order airstrikes in Syria. He does not. Moreover, bombing he ordered in recent days in Iraq by U.S. aircraft violated the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973,’ Findley said.”

PAUL FINDLEY, findley1 at
Available for a limited number of interviews, Findley was a member of Congress from Illinois for 22 years. He is the author of six books including the bestseller They Dare to Speak Out. He resides in Jacksonville, Ill. The federal building in Springfield, Ill. is named for him.

He said today: “Our elected leaders are acting like jelly fish. Members of Congress must decide whether to bomb Iraq or Syria, or both. The president has no authority to bomb either country. He violates the Constitution with every bomb he sends to Iraq. Ordering acts of war is too serious a decision to leave to one man. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

“We just marked the 50th Anniversary of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which I voted for and which President Johnson used to dramatically escalate the Vietnam War. I never intended that Resolution to be a blank check for war against Vietnam. Yet that is exactly what Johnson used it for.

“As a consequence, in 1973, I helped draft the The War Powers Resolution and my vote helped override President Nixon’s veto.

“Enforcement of limits on presidential employment of war powers deserves the vigilance of each member of Congress. Each member should consider enforcement a grave personal responsibility. War measures that today seem inconsequential can lead to larger involvements tomorrow. Their ultimate size and duration are unpredictable, as we found in our costly war experiences in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Just recently, Congress stood by as the President ordered bombings in Iraq. Then two U.S. citizens were killed. Rather than using their deaths as a rallying cry for more war, they should be a warning of the negative consequences of war. It’s no accident that the framers deemed the decision of war-making too important to be made by one person.

“If the president orders acts of war in the absence of congressional approval, he risks impeachment by the House of Representatives for usurping a power the Constitution reserves exclusively to the Congress. If Obama wishes lawfully to order airstrikes in the territory of Iraq or Syria, he must first secure a resolution of approval from Congress.”

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ISIS War Needs to Be Debated, in US Congress and in UN Security Council


ISIS is itself a product of the dissolution of Iraq, brought about by the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation; and the civil war in Syria, to which Washington also contributed enormously by insisting on regime change as the starting point for any negotiated settlement and by enabling allies who poured weapons and fighters into Syria. Let’s be significantly more careful and thoughtful when it comes to a new military campaign targeting people in Iraq. (Phoeo: Public domain)

The “Islamic State,” or ISIS as others refer to them, present themselves to the world as an enemy that hardly anyone can stomach.  Like villains in a Batman movie, they announce threats to the entire world, releasing gruesome videos of their killings to show that they are serious and without mercy. They proclaim the right to kill apostates and infidels who do not share their brand of extremist religion.

For these reasons, it is not surprising that President Obama has been able to send 1,200 soldiers back to Iraq and carry out more than 100 airstrikes, and commit himself to a longer engagement, without authorization from the U.S. Congress.  But the United States is still a constitutional democracy, or is intended to be one; and under our Constitution (and the War Powers Resolution) it is still the Congress that has to decide if the country is going to war.

It is interesting that many pundits who are quick to criticize Latin American “populist” governments for skirting the mandates of their own constitutions (or even for creating new constitutions through a democratic process) do not apply the same standards to the United States. What constitutional mandate is more important than the one to protect the people from their rulers sending them to die in unnecessary wars?

In any case, this will be the battle in the U.S. over the coming months, led by members of Congress who take their commitment to the rule of law seriously.  There needs to be a public debate about this military intervention that has already begun, and part of that debate must be in Congress.

After two long, unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that cost thousands of American lives, tens of thousands wounded and more than a trillion dollars, the American public is sick of war and wary of new, open-ended military ventures. Tens of millions of Americans – including many experts – also know that the threat of terrorism has been grossly exaggerated for political purposes. For Americans who stay out of zones of armed conflict, they are still many times more likely to be killed by lightning than by a terrorist attack.

And more importantly for the rest of the world – including the million Iraqis who lost their lives after the U.S. invaded Iraq – both the terrorist threat that Washington has used as justification to mount a “global war on terror,” as well as the new threat from ISIS, are products of U.S. foreign and military policy.  Al-Qaeda and even Osama bin Laden himself were trained and organized in the Afghan civil war of the 1980s. This is where the United States poured in many billions of dollars that would produce the jihadis who would lead most major terrorist attacks, up to and including 9/11.

ISIS is itself a product of the dissolution of Iraq, brought about by the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation; and the civil war in Syria, to which Washington also contributed enormously by insisting on regime change as the starting point for any negotiated settlement and by enabling allies who poured weapons and fighters into Syria. The U.S. miscalculated badly, believing those who said Assad would be easily toppled. Washington’s “experts” did not realize that many Syrians, perhaps the majority, could see that there was something worse than Assad’s dictatorship.  And they were right, and now we have ISIS. This group could never have achieved its battlefield successes in Iraq without the military experience (as well as money and weapons) that they got from the Syrian civil war; as well as the U.S.-created Iraq war and resulting, continuing sectarian civil war.

For all of these reasons and more, limiting the United States’ involvement in what promises to be yet another long war will be key to ensuring that this intervention does not do what prior U.S. interventions in the region have done: cause further destabilization and give birth to new wars and escalating violence.

Just as the U.S. Constitution provides a check on the president’s authority to wage war, at the international level there is the law of the United Nations, which is supposed to govern the use of force in international relations.  Article 2 of the U.N. charter, to which the U.S. is a signatory, prohibits the use of military force against other nations unless authorized by the Security Council.  There are exceptions, for threats of imminent attack, but the U.S. is not under imminent threat of attack and no one has claimed that it is.

That means that governments throughout the world should bring this matter to the Security Council, so that any military force that is authorized can be limited and oriented to ending the conflict, rather than waging war to promote the interests of any one country or alliance. This is an unusual situation, in that governments that have recently been on opposing sides of various conflicts – Iran, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and of course the U.S. and its Western allies – all see ISIS as a security threat.  In fact, the U.S. is currently – at least implicitly — co-operating with Iran and there is at least the possibility that Washington may give up on its disastrous “regime change” strategy in Syria.

Bringing the decisions on the use of military force to the Security Council is not only required by international law.  It also provides the best hope of bringing about an end to the murderous conflicts in the region, by advancing a negotiating process among the various governments and perhaps some non-state actors that are involved. The alternative could be endless wars.

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Islamic State Fighting With Weapons From US and ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels: Report


Conflict Armament Research Group traces origin of IS weapons to United States, Saudi Arabia, and Free Syrian Army

This US assault rifle was one of many captured in Iraq from IS by Kurdish People’s Protection Unit and featured in the report. (Photo: Conflict Armament Research)

The Islamic State (IS) is now in possession of lethal weapons formerly owned by so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels, as well as large quantities of arms produced in the United States, a new report (PDF) reveals

The study — conducted by Conflict Armament Research, a research organization that tracks weapons proliferation in war zones — documents arms and ammunition captured by Kurdish People’s Protection Units and Peshmerga forces from IS in Iraq and Syria from from mid-June to early August 2014.

The researchers found that M79 anti-tank rockets used by IS in Syria are “identical” to those shipped by Saudi Arabia to Free Syrian Army fighters in 2013. Furthermore, the report states that IS combatants are using “significant quantities of US-manufactured small arms and have employed them on the battlefield” and provides numerous photographs of assault rifles, which were seized by IS, that are engraved with “Property of U.S. Government.”

“This is one more piece of evidence of why military solutions have devastating consequences in the immediate and long terms,” said Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at Institute for Policy Studies, in an interview with Common Dreams. “We see an example of the consequences of the over-arming of the region if we look back at Afghanistan in the 1980s during the anti-Soviet War when the U.S. provided stinger missiles that can bring down aircraft to mujahedin guerrillas who morphed into al Qaeda.”

The researchers uncovered evidence that weapons intermediaries sought to conceal the source of the arms by removing serial numbers with torches. “The consistent welding methods applied to several weapons suggests that the same party removed the serial numbers — most likely to conceal the point at which parties diverted the weapons from legal (state-owned) to illicit (non-state) custody; and that the weapons were diverted from a common source,” states the write-up.

The report aims to “review physical evidence” about weapons captured by IS forces and does not make claims about who or what is responsible for the weapons flow, state the researchers. Whether the weapons are captured by IS or willingly transferred by other militias, the findings are likely to bolster warnings that U.S., Saudi, and other states’ arms shipments to so-called moderate Syrian combatants will ultimately contribute to the rise of IS, which is far stronger than the FSA.

The U.S. last spring escalated arms shipments to combatants of what was referred to as the Free Syrian Army, following covert programs, in cooperation with allies including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to ship weapons and money to armed groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The U.S. has no way to bring pressure on Iran and Russia to stop arming the regime in Damascus as long as the U.S. and its allies are arming all the rebels,” said Bennis. “We need an arms embargo on all sides.”

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Jewish Mob Force anti-Zionist Jew from his Manchester Home for Condemning Destruction of Gaza by I$raHell


By Dominic Gover | IB Times

Orthodox Jewish pro-Palestinian demonstrators march through central London to call for an end to Israeli military action in Gaza
Orthodox Jewish pro-Palestinian demonstrators march through central London to call …

A Jewish man has been hounded out of his home in an Orthodox community by a campaign of hate after condemning violence by Israel in Gaza.

An angry mob of up to 30 people is understood to have massed outside his home in a Jewish part of Salford, Broughton Park, during three nights of rage in Manchester.

The victim was reportedly targeted after he spoke out against the violence by Israel at a public event, reported the Manchester Evening News.

According to neighbours in Curzon Road, the attacks were a case of Jew-on-Jew violence. One woman said: “I have never known a situation where the Jewish community turned on each other.”

Police received three reports of incidents at the man’s home near the end of July – when Israel and Gaza were at war in the Middle East.

His home was pelted with eggs and his car vandalised with spray paint during three nights of victimisation.

On another occasion, the man was beaten up by an unknown attacker apparently motivated by his critical stance on military action by Israel.

The intimidation got so  serious that police deployed a special video to record the scene outside the property for days.

Local media said the property now had a ‘to let’ sign outside.

Greater Manchester Police said: “Inquiries are ongoing and no arrests have been made.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns, UKComments Off on Jewish Mob Force anti-Zionist Jew from his Manchester Home for Condemning Destruction of Gaza by I$raHell

9/11 terror attacks ‘contrived event’ by US, I$raHell: Journalist


An American journalist says former al-Qaeda leader “Osama bin Laden was not involved” in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

He said the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a “contrived event” secretly executed by neoconservatives in the Pentagon in cooperation with US and Israeli intelligence agencies.

“9/11 was a contrived event involving collusion between the CIA, the neocons in the Department of Defense and the Mossad,” said James Henry Fetzer, an editor at Veterans Today and co-founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth.

The retired professor from Madison, Wisconsin said reports that the CIA tortured al-Qaeda suspects close to the point of death during interrogation sessions in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks is a “striking revelation” that “violates international standards of law and principles of human decency.”

The CIA tortured the suspects by drowning them in baths when conducting interrogation. The alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was among them.

“We have here brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation,” Fetzer told Press TV during a phone interview on Monday.

The torture revelations are “one more horrific consequence of the fabricated events of 9/11 which of course ensnared the United States in these wars of aggression in the Middle East, bringing untold misery and chaos,” Fetzer contended.

The US Senate is preparing to publish a declassified version of its so-called “Torture Report,” which is a 3,600-page document after reviewing several million classified CIA documents.

US Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said the report will reveal “brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation.”

The torture technique is said to be much worse than the waterboarding or simulated drowning. The CIA has already been under fire from rights groups for the controversial technique which amounts to torture.

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The Zio-Wahhabi Islamic State: Who Is ISIS? An Open Source Investigation



Global Research

The hysteria over the supposed threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) is now undeniable. Every day new stories emerge focusing on the groups brutality, its resources, its capabilities and its intention to strike out at the West. The US Defense Secretary, Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ranking Senators have all delivered somber assessments of the groups evil aims in recent weeks, and have they been joined in that effort by a host of counterparts in foreign nations.

The mainstream media, for their part, report these pronouncements without question, and with only a bare minimum of context to help their audience understand the group.isis-army-700x430

An open source investigation is desperately needed to sort through the hype to determine the facts behind this shadowy terror group. In this article we will examine the background, current status and future aims of the group, as well as the numerous facts that have been carefully omitted from the officially-sanctioned narrative of the group.

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Background History of ISIS

The Islamic State is a caliphate established by a jihadist Islamic group in June 2014. Their expressed goal is to establish Salafist government over the Levant region of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus and Southern Turkey. The groups leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been declared caliph and leader for Muslims everywhere.

The Islamic State has gone through numerous name changes since its founding in Iraq in 1999. originally known asJamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād (JTJ), (The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad), it changed to Tanẓīm Qāʻidat al-Jihād fī Bilād al-Rāfidayn (The Organization of Jihads Base in the Country of the Two Rivers) in 2004 after the group swore allegiance to Osama Bin Laden. During this period it was popularly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). In 2006 it became the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), but changed again in 2013 after expanding into Syria. At that point it became Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Its latest moniker, the Islamic State, came about after the proclamation of a new caliphate on June 29, 2014.


The group was founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 1999. Zarqawi, a Sunni militant from Jordan, enjoyed a remarkable career that involved numerous imprisonments, escapes, evacuations, deaths and resurrections. Meeting Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan at the tail end of the Soviet-Afghan war, Zarqawi was imprisoned in Jordan for six years for attempting to overthrow the Jordanian government. Released in 1999, he made his way to Afghanistan where he ran a militant training camp before making his way to Iraq, allegedly via Iran. During his time in Iraq, he was killed in a bombing raid in April of 2003; miraculously resurrected to be arrested in Fallujah in 2004; re-arrested in Baakuba in January of 2005; evacuated from Iraq in May of 2005; killed in fighting in June of 2005; and once again resurrected to bekilled once again (presumably for good) in 2006.

The group was taken over by Abu Omar al-Badhdadi (Hamid Dawud Mohamed Khalil al Zawi, also known as Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Baghdadi). Baghdadi, exactly like Zarqawi before him, enjoyed an interesting career of imprisonments, deaths and resurrections, as well as questions as to his very existence. He was reported as captured on March 9, 2007, but that claim was retracted on March 10. In May 2007 the Iraqi Interior Ministry reported he had been killed, but the very next month the US military proclaimed he had never existed, citing information from a detainee who said that recordings of Baghdadi were actually recordings of an Iraqi actor hired to put a local face to what was in fact a foreign-run terror campaign, a claim subsequently echoed by Hamas-Iraq. However Baghdadi was reported as arrested on April 23, 2009, a claim that was denied by ISI the next month. The group continued to release recordings of Baghdadi throughout 2009 and 2010 that were authenticated by the (highly suspect) SITE Institute. He was reported askilled once again in April 2010 after a rocket attack on the home he was hiding.

The group was then taken over by Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai, better known by his nom de guerre, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This Baghdadi, too, has an uncertain background constructed from conflicting reports. Alleged to have been born in Samarra, Iraq, in 1971, an unverifiable internet biography claims he attained a PhD in Islamic studies at the Islamic University of Baghdad, and unidentified reports suggest he may have been a cleric at a mosque in Samarra during the American invasion in 2003. He was then captured and held as a civilian detainee by US Forces-Iraq at Camp Bucca before being granted an unconditional release on a recommendation from the Combined Review and Release Board. The Defense Department officially proclaims he was detained from February to December 2004, but Army Col. Kenneth King, the former commander of Camp Bucca, insists he was at the camp until 2009, when he was turned over to the Iraqi justice system after the camps closure. He was announced as leader of the ISI in May 2010 and reported captured in December 2012, a claim that was immediately denied. He oversaw the expansion of the group into Syria in 2013 and was rumoured to have been killed in June 2014, but a rare video of him delivering a sermon at a mosque in Mosul appeared less than 24 hours later to quash the rumor. He was proclaimed Caliph Ibrahim and leader of all Muslims upon the establishment of the Islamic State caliphate on June 29, 2014.


The New Face of the War on Terror

The group sprang to the attention of those in the West this year when the group launched an incursion into Iraq that saw them repel the Iraqi army and capture Mosul, Iraqs second largest city, as well as parts of Salahuddin and Ninevheh Provinces, and the cities of Fallujah and Tikrit. According to reports, the group seized as much as $429 million dollars from Mosuls central bank after taking over the city. With anywhere from 4,000 to 80,000 fighters, the group possesses convoys of identical Toyota trucks, and an arsenal most countries in the region would be envious of, including Stinger missiles, anti-aircraft guns, anti-tank weapons, Blackhawk helicopters and cargo planes, and even a Scud missile. The group also allegedly gained possession of nuclear materials from Mosul University, but the IAEA believes the material is not of sufficient quality to be dangerous in nuclear terrorism.

A stream of increasingly hysterical reports about the group and its supposed existential threat to the region and the world in general has included a joint press conference by US Secretary of Defense Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Dempsey in which they laid out ISIS End-of-Days vision and stressed that the group is beyond anything that weve seen. Senator James Inhofe has joined the fray, insisting that the group is working on plans to blow up an American city, and numerous outlets have now suggested that city may be Chicago. The hysteria increased with the release of the (nowadmittedly fake) beheading video of American journalist James Foley and the similarly suspicious video of American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff.

In August, President Obama ordered airstrikes over northern Iraq to combat the ISIS threat, warning Americans that the bombing would be a long-term project. The airstrikes have been endorsed by Pope Francis, and after Secretary of State Kerry announced that a worldwide coalition would be required to defeat the Islamic State, the US has since declared the formation of just such a core coalition which includes NATO powers such as the UK.

Alternative Accounts

The group and its leaders have been shrouded in myth and mystery since its inception, as documented above. Even the US government has declared that the Islamic States second leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, never existed. The current leader, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, is so elusive that there are only two known photographs and one video recording of him in existence, leading security experts to declare: They know physically who this guy is, but his backstory is just myth. This has led many to speculate on the groups possible founding and backing by Western intelligence as a front for foreign policy goals such as the sectarian division of Iraq or as an excuse to keep the west militarily involved in the region. As far back as 2006 the UK Telegraph reported that prominent Sunni insurgent leaders in Iraq were claiming that the groups founder, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was an American, Israeli and Iranian agent who is trying to keep our country unstable so that the Sunnis will keep facing occupation. This sentiment is echoed to the present day, with Saudi scholar Consultative Assembly member Dr. Aissa Al-Ghaith claiming that the Islamic State is backed by America, Israel and Iran. This sentiment is bolstered by the revelation earlier this year that ISIS fighters were trained by the US military at a camp in Jordan in 2012.

There are many questions surrounding the groups online PR activities and its unlikely facility with various forms of media, a phenomenon that even the New York Times has noted. Although much has been made of the rounds of photos claiming to show the groups brutal execution and treatment of its prisoners, at least some of these photos appear to have been recycled from other countries at other times. There is still no answer as to who staged the beheading video of James Foley or why it was faked, but many point to the fact that British authorities warned that merely looking at the video might qualify as terrorism as a sign of the videos true nature and origins.


This continues a tradition of suspicious ISIS media releases dating back to the recordings of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi that were released during the 2009-2010 period after the US government had declared him a fictitious character and Iraqi authoritiesr eported that he was under arrest.

An image of US Senator John McCain in Syria in April 2013 has generated controversy for claims that it pictures him with ISIS member Mohammad Nour and even ISIS leader Baghdadi himself. Some have cast doubt on whether the man in the photograph is Baghdadi, but the man does bear an uncanny resemblance to the official picture of Baghdadi on the State Department Rewards for Justice website.

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Roger Godsiff didn’t turn up to vote


Roger Godsiff MP

Dear All

This could be big. Thousands of us stood up to the government against the bedroom tax, and we’ve just won the first round. [1]

The bedroom tax targets the most vulnerable people in our society. It forces people to move or pay more rent if they have a “spare” room, even when there aren’t any other homes to go to. It’s left some people on the brink of losing their homes, and forced others into debt. [2]

Last week, 38 Degrees members asked our MPs to vote for a new law to scrap some of the worst parts of this unfair tax. The good news is that the vote went the right way. But unfortunately, your MP, Roger Godsiff, didn’t turn up to vote. [3]

But there’ll be more debates before we can get this new law passed – and we can’t afford to lose any of them. Sending an email to Roger Godsiff will let him know how much him voters care about this and could convince him that he can’t miss the next vote.

Not everyone expected this new law to get this far. Some politicians are still sitting on the fence. Emailing Roger Godsiff today will send a strong message that you want him to fight the bedroom tax – and that you’ll be watching how he votes next time. It’s easy to email your MP here: 

38 Degrees members have already persuaded scores of other MPs to vote for this new law. People power is working. Here’s what some MPs have been saying about the impact 38 Degrees members had on their decision:

“I have re-organised my constituency diary and intend to attend this important debate in Parliament tomorrow.” Louise Ellman MP

“I have listened long and hard to your good self and many others who hate this disgraceful tax. I am happy to tell you that I am going to attend, and, hopefully, speak in the debate, and support the motion.” David Anderson MP

But it’ll take several more votes before these changes to the bedroom tax are written into law. We need more MPs to support it. Together, let’s keep up the pressure on Roger Godsiff to make sure he takes a stand next time.

So can you take two minutes now to email your MP, Roger Godsiff, to ask him to vote for these vital changes to the bedroom tax? 

When 38 Degrees members work together, we get things done. Earlier this year, thousands of us emailed our MPs asking them to stop the Hospital Closure Clause – a new law that would have made it easier for the government to close hospitals. And we won! [4]

Together, we have the power to get the worst parts of the bedroom tax scrapped too. [5] Let’s keep up the momentum and show politicians that these cruel cuts are no match for people power.

Thanks for being involved,

Rebecca, Maddy, Rachel, James, David and the 38 Degrees team

PS: If we can get this new law passed, then people living with disabilities, or living in areas where there aren’t smaller council properties to move to, won’t have to pay the bedroom tax. The new law isn’t perfect – it wouldn’t fully scrap the bedroom tax. But it’s a big step in the right direction. Right now, it’s the best chance we have to reduce the number of lives hit by these unfair cuts. Please click the link below to send an email now:

[1] Independent: ‘Bedroom tax’ to be abolished as Coalition is rocked by Lib Dem-Labour alliance:

BBC News: Why Andrew George’s benefit bill may become law:

[2] Shelter: The Bedroom Tax:

The Guardian: Bedroom tax affected more than 522,000 people, first figures show:

Worcester News: Worcester mum says bedroom tax move has left her £900 out of pocket:

[3] Hansard: Commons Debate record for Friday 5th September 2014:

[4] 38 Degrees blog: Hospital closure clause: we did it!:

[5] Andrew George’s website: Private Members’ Bill decision – George goes with ‘Affordable Homes Bill’:

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Nazi Wehrmacht’s violence against peaceful protest in Palestinian village of Wadi Fuqeen


A peaceful protest against Israel’s latest illegal land grab was violently suppressed by the Israeli occupation forces on the afternoon of 5 September.

What began as a peaceful march for the cultivation of land threatened with confiscation in the village of Wadi Fuqeen, situated to the west of Bethlehem, ended with Israeli soldiers using tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades.

Wadi Fuqeen lies on the borders of historical Palestine, which was occupied in 1948, and the additional Palestinian territories occupied 1967. It lies almost exactly where Israel has announced its intention to confiscate a further 4,000 acres of land. Of these, around 1,000 acres will be stolen from the people of the village of Wadi Fuqeen.

The protest march began after noon prayers on 5 September with the participation of people and institutions from the village. It was led by the head of the Village Council, Abo Zaid Ahmed Sukkar. Taking part were other council members, as well as representatives of various institutions and political factions.

Also present were people from the Committee Resisting the Apartheid Wall and Illegal Settlements, in addition to dozens of international solidarity activists. The president of the Coordinating Council of the Supreme Resistance Committees, Munther Amira, also attended.

The march proceeded peacefully towards the land threatened with confiscation. People carried Palestinian flags and banners condemning the Israeli occupation and racism. Speeches were made in Arabic and English and they stressed that this land is Palestinian land and will remain so.

The head of the Village Council, Abo Zaid Ahmed Sukkar, told a reporter from Palestine News Network PNN (English) that this protest was the Palestinian people’s first effort to challenge the latest decision of the Israeli occupation authorities. He explained that people will now follow a series of other steps to counter the Israeli decision to confiscate huge tracts of Palestinian land.

He said that the village of Wadi Fuqeen will in future be besieged by Jewish shatter colonies and squatters – ending up as nothing more than an island surrounded by Jewish squatter colonies. He explained that the village currently only has 2,500 acres of land left, with more than 12,000 acres having already been stolen from the village before 1948.

He further explained that, if the proposed land grab goes ahead, Israel will steal about half of the village’s remaining 2,500 acres. The protest was a message to Israel that the people of Wadi Fuqeen will not be silenced on the theft of their lands no matter what happens, he said.

In turn, Munther Amira, who is the chairman of the Coordinating Committee of Supreme Resistance to the Wall and Settlements in the West Bank, told PNN that this event represented a message to the Israeli occupation that the Palestinian people rejected all forms of barbaric Israeli aggression, whether Israel was killing Gazans and demolishing and destroying the Gaza Strip, or whether it was confiscating land and expanding Jewish squatter colonies in the West Bank.

Munther Amira said the Palestinian people will continue to resist this aggression in all its forms, noting that Israeli soldiers were preventing citizens from reaching their lands and trees. They ought to realize that what they are doing was protecting a crime committed by their government, which is led by extreme racist gangs who are plunging the region into further turmoil.

Amira added that the residents of Wadi Fuqeen, Jab’a and Souria Bnaouha will be embarking on a legal challenge, raising objections in the High Court of Justice in Israeli, despite the fact that the occupation authorities are both judge and executioner, as well as the offender. Nonetheless, he said, it was necessary to pursue the legal case.

For his part, Sam Hamdan, from the town of Jab’a – an area from which the occupying forces wish to steal another 1,000 acres of territory – confirmed that the Palestinian people would continue to struggle for their homeland and their land. Hamdan stressed that this process is only the first in a series of events being planned in response to the Israeli decision.

The participants in the march planted many olive saplings in the area adjacent to the huge illegal squatter colony of Beitar Illit – which was built on land stolen from the town – in spite of the soldiers who then fired stun grenades, gas and rubber bullets towards the marchers and nearby homes.

The Israeli army sprayed pepper spray directly in the face of the head of the Village Council, Abo Zaid Ahmad Sukkar.

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Bomb blast in Chile wounds 10; government blames ‘terrorists’


A police officer uses a dog to inspect an area where a bomb exploded in Santiago September 8, 2014. REUTERS-Ivan Alvarado

1 OF 5. A police officer uses a dog to inspect an area where a bomb exploded in Santiago September 8, 2014.

A bomb exploded next to an underground train station in the Chilean capital of Santiago on Monday afternoon, wounding at least 10 people, and the government said it bore the signs of “a terrorist” act.

The blast occurred at lunchtime in a fast-food restaurant in a small shopping and eating area next to the Escuela Militar metro station in the affluent residential and shopping neighborhood of Las Condes.

“This is a cowardly act because it has as its objective to hurt people, create fear and even kill innocent people,” President Michelle Bachelet said.

“We’re going to use all the weight of the law, including the anti-terrorist law, because those responsible for these acts have to pay,” she said.

Anti-terrorism laws give prosecutors more powers and allow for harsher sentencing.

Bachelet asked for residents to remain calm, saying, “This is horrible, tremendously reprehensible, but Chile is and remains a safe country.”

No group has claimed responsibility, and the police said the attack was being investigated.

“This is an act that has all the hallmarks of a terrorist deed,” Alvaro Elizalde, the government’s chief spokesman, said in remarks to journalists outside La Moneda presidential palace. “There is no doubt. And it has been carried out with the intention of hurting innocent people.”

Chile, which returned to democracy in 1990 after a 17-year dictatorship, is normally one of Latin America’s most stable countries and has not suffered an attack of this magnitude in at least 20 years.

However, there have been a number of low-level attacks by anarchist groups in recent years, including in July, and Monday’s blast will put pressure on Bachelet to respond at a time when her popularity is slipping and she has her plate full with a reform drive and worsening economy.


“At 1400 (1700 GMT) an explosive device was detonated in the center (mini-mall) by the metro station, and at the moment investigations are being carried out to determine the origin,” Mario Rozas, head of police communications, said.

Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy said security cameras showed that two suspects planted the device in a metal container, possibly a trash can, outside the fast-food restaurant and escaped in a car.

None of the injuries were fatal. Local health officials said a Venezuelan man in his 30s suffered trauma to his leg and a woman had at least one of her fingers amputated. Others suffered hearing losses.

Government authorities increased the number of wounded to at least 10, from a previous estimate of seven.

“I was having lunch, I felt the noise and we went out to see and we saw a lot of smoke, people running and shouting,” said Joanna Magneti, who works in the shopping center.

“A young man was badly wounded, a lady had her hand wounded,” she said.

A number of explosive devices have been planted close to banks and police stations in Chile in recent years.

In the past, one member of an anarchist group has been killed and another injured trying to set off explosive devices, but no bystanders have been hurt.

In July, incendiary devices exploded on an underground train and outside a church without causing injuries. Leaflets were found at the church site seeking “rights” for two Chileans held in Spain and linked to an extremist anarchist group.

This week Chile commemorates the 41st anniversary of the 1973 military coup that removed socialist President Salvador Allende from power. The events of the coup still deeply divide Chilean society, and the anniversary is traditionally a time of protests that often turn violent.

The metro was operating normally on Monday evening, police said.

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US not after eradicating ISIL militants


Press TV has conducted an interview with Ibrahim Mousawi, political analyst from Beirut, about Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying the United States has not been serious in its fight against the ISIL Takfiri militants.

What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: You know this thing with ISIL and US; Iran’s Foreign Minister did pinpoint one important fact [that] the US [is] supporting the ISIL in Syria and then of course what has happened in Iraq showing that the US is not serious.

But isn’t it a bit more complicated than that because Saudi Arabia has been supporting these terrorist groups so there has got to be an alliance there between the US and Saudi Arabia? Who is listening to who? Is Saudi Arabia directing US policies in some regards when it comes to these Takfiri militants or terrorists?

Mousawi: Well it would be difficult to assume so. It would be difficult to assume that Saudi Arabia is directing the policies of the United States of America but at one point we have to remember that we are talking here about a matrix of Takfiri groups organization that takes their intellectual input from many school of thoughts that maybe even found in Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabi thinking and theology.

Well in this regard we have to understand a very important issue that the Americans, and here I totally agree with what has been mentioned by His Excellency the Foreign Minister of Iran Mr. Zarif, that the United States is not serious actually about this. We know very well that the Americans, the great powers, the world arrogant, they always make use of a certain phenomenon, they always make use of certain Takfiri groups, extremist organizations, they help them as much as they could boil down to their own interest.

There is a kind of divergence between one interest and other that they start to talk about containment. They want to contain those groups. They do not want to get rid of them, they do not want to eradicate them, and they do not want to eliminate them. They would want to use them always as a stick in order to blackmail this party or that party in the region. That is why I believe they are not serious about fighting, eradicating, [and] eliminating the danger. They want only just to make it subservient to their own goals.

Press TV: And I will never forget Mr. Mousawi [that] during the Geneva talks the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem came out and made a very interesting statement when he was back in Syria and he said that for the region to be in the state and form that it is – chaos, destruction – that serves Israel’s interest.  So, that kind of reflects or connects to what you said this idea of containment of these terrorists.

Mousawi: Absolutely. I mean yes. When you talk about containment you are talking about a policy that would serve many regional and international powers actually. When you talk about Israel, the Israelis are very happy. They would never be in a better position when it comes to the inter-communal conflicts and to inter-societal clashing that is taking place in this region.

So yes the Americans and this is one of the criteria of the great powers that they can make use always of the differences and of the clashes that happen in a regional level.

They would invest upon them, they would want to perpetuate them as much as they could so they could make interest, they could make benefits out of them rather than eradicating the problem from its roots.

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