Archive | September 13th, 2014

On I$raHell Doomed Fate


By Gilad Atzmon

IDF’s colossal defeat in Gaza this week leaves Israel and Israelis with just three political and personal options:

1.     Mass expulsion – ethnic cleansing of the entire Palestinian population from territories controlled by Israel.  Such action may sound unreasonable or even phantasmic, but it is actually consistent with Zionist ideology and has many supporters within Israel and within the current Israeli cabinet. Moreover, oppression and brutality are embedded within Jewish political culture and even within the culture of the Jewish Left*. Clearly Israel possesses the military capability and fire power to proceed with such a plan for Nakba II.

2.     Exodus – mass emigration of Israelis who, quite reasonably, prefer to run for their lives. This option is obviously embedded within the exilic Jewish culture and completely consistent with Jewish diaspora identity. Emigration is available to most Israelis at the moment. However, it is likely that as violence in the region continues to escalate and Israel finds itself complicit in more and more war crimes and human rights abuse, Israelis may find out that their freedom to travel around the world is gradually restricted.
3.     Buying time –Israel’s favourite option. And certainly Benjamin Netanyahu’s preferred policy.

While both the 1st and the 2nd options are consistent with Jewish ideology, heritage and culture, it is the 3rd option that has been chosen by Israel’s governments for decades. It entails constant devastation of Gaza by means of medium scale massacres in the hope that Palestinians will eventually surrender and accept the domination of the Jewish State.

Just a month ago it seemed as if only divine intervention could save the Palestinians. However, as things stand at the moment, even God may find it difficult to rescue his favourite people. Israel has sunk into a fatal political, military and ideological paralysis. The destiny of the Jewish State has been revealed. It has no future in the region.

The key to understanding of Israel’s paralysis is not complicated. As much as Israelis favour the deployment of their devastating military might and its fire power, Israelis do not like to be caught with blood on their hands. As much as they like to kill, they hate to be the killers. This dilemma has matured into a political, ideological, strategic and spiritual deadlock. It puts the Jewish State into an impossible scenario that makes dwelling on someone’s else land simply unimaginable.

Noticeably absent among the viable options above is peace. Reconciliation is not a viable concept anymore. The notion of ‘peace’ as we understand it in the west (harmony and reconciliation) does not exists in modern Hebrew. The word ‘shalom’ that is commonly translated as ‘peace” is understood by Israelis as ‘security for the Jews.’ Israel has had plenty of time to reach harmony and reconciliation with the Palestinians. But it didn’t happen and for a reason. Israel is the Jewish State, it is ethno centric to its core, it is blind to the notion of universal rights and totally dismissive of the Palestinians and their rights.

It may be crucial at this point to add that the final stage of the Jewish State and the genocidal enthusiasm in which it manifests itself,  throws a devastating light on Jewish culture and the dangerous aspects that are entangled with Jewish identity politics and Jewish national collectivism.



Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on On I$raHell Doomed Fate

Muslim councillor Aicha Mesrar flees Italy in fear for her life after death threats


‘I cannot always live under escort,’ says Mesrar as she resigned her post

Italy’s first Muslim councillor says she is fleeing the country after a series of death threats, in the latest example of racism suffered by the country’s non-white public figures, from politicians to football players.

Aicha Mesrar, 45, resigned from her post as local councillor for the Democratic Party in Rovereto, in the northern Trentino province, saying she feared for her children’s lives.

The Moroccan-born politician, who has lived in Italy for 23 years, has been an active and effective community liaison worker, according to local media. She was the first woman to wear a veil in the city hall. The city’s Mayor, Andrea Miorandi, had hailed her appointment as president of the local Open City cooperative.

On announcing her resignation, however, she said: “I cannot always live under escort. I have no fear and it is not the fault of the people of Rovereto, but of some. I leave with pride, satisfied with everything I have done, what I did and what I received.” She has not said where she intends to move to.

The threats against her have come in the form of anonymous letters. The police, who have provided special protection for councillor and her family for two years, are investigating where they may have come from.

Mayor Andrea Miorandi, a political ally of Ms Mesrar, has also been threatened due to his backing for a Muslim cemetery and a mosque to be built in  the city, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper.

Bruno Dorigatti, the head of the provincial government, expressed his alarm at the news. “If Aicha Mesrar, an extraordinary example of commitment towards building bridges between cultures – in Rovereto and Trentino – decides to abandon her post and even leave the country, then everyone should be concerned,” he said. “If she has to give in to intimidation and anonymous threats it means that Trentino has yet to defeat the dangerous disease of  intolerance.”

But the immigrant-bating Northern League, many of whose politicians have aimed racist abuse at non-whites living in Italy, mocked Mr Dorigatti’s comments. The party’s regional secretary, Maurizio Fugatti, said: “This isn’t the impression of many people in Trentino who themselves feel discriminated against by the supply of public subsidies to foreigners.

“So we won’t accept lessons about tolerance from Ms Aicha Mesrar. We don’t know why she’s leaving Trentino.

“Certainly, we won’t be lacking in foreigners like her, who’ve come to this province as guests and exploited Trentino’s social services then ungratefully stabbed Trentino’s citizens in the back.”

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Any West moral claim shattered in Gaza Holocaust


We have learned that her name as Katrina. We are trying to contact her family to see if they have a message to Obama and Congress

We have learned that her name was Katrina. We are trying to contact her family to see if they have a message to Obama and Congress, and NATO and the EU

Any West moral claim shattered in war on Gaza: Analyst

by  Jim W. Dean, VT Editor

[ Editors Note:  Press TV had Gordon and I on together for the first time for rolling coverage on Gaza. We got some good licks in not just on Israel but the pitiful weakness of the UN for doing anything about state sponsored terrorism which is going on everywhere behind diplomatic immunity. If we don’t show some stomach for standing up to this we are going to reap the whirlwind, as the attitude I am seeing quite widespread is that  “as long as it is not happening to me, it’s not a problem.”

We wove into the show that Israel is involved in almost all of these terror wars in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Ukraine, and Gaza, given the financial strength to do it in large part via the huge subsidies by the American taxpayers through our compromized Congress.

We closed by getting the boycott word back out on the table as the only thing that is going to effect Israeli behavior is force…both publicly and behind the scenes. And the politicians will not take the lead on that for sure. They will also have to be forced. So we are left with a two front war, here and now… Jim W. Dean ]

2014_israel_rockets_gaza_ banner

The silence and inaction of the Western governments over Israel’s crimes in Gaza has obliterated any residual moral standing that the West has claimed for itself, a political analyst tells Press TV.
YouTube – Veterans Today –
YouTube – Veterans Today –

In a Tuesday interview with Press TV, Jim W. Dean, Chief Editor of Veteran’s Today, slammed the West for turning a blind eye to Israel’s crimes, saying,

“The whole reputation and morality of Western jurisprudence and everything is … on display here as to how decrepit it is, and how hollowed out, and how it really represents nothing. Any claim to any morality by Western governments is … dying in Gaza as we speak,” he added.

Some day the Israelis may get to experience being on the receiving end of this. Then they will know.

Some day the Israelis may get to experience being on the receiving end of this. Then they will know.

The analyst also lashed out at the UN for its failure to put an end to Israel’s atrocities in Gaza and said,

“They never contribute anything to try to end this because they would rather be a friend of Israel than a friend to the Arabs and the Palestinians in Gaza. For them they have earned a special disgrace for their behavior.”

The Israeli regime is continuing its relentless aerial and ground attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip for the 22nd consecutive day, causing more deaths and destruction.

At least 100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and many more injured since the Israeli regime escalated the war on Gaza Monday night.

Since July 8, Israeli warplanes have been pounding numerous sites in the Gaza Strip, demolishing houses and burying families in the rubble. Israeli forces also began a ground offensive against the impoverished Palestinian land on July 17.

The overall death toll among the Palestinians in more than three weeks of Israeli attacks has neared 1,200. More than 6,700 others have been injured.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, Europe, GazaComments Off on Any West moral claim shattered in Gaza Holocaust

Mainstream Media Propaganda: Breaking the Last Taboo – Gaza and the Threat of World War


U.S Zionist Propaganda
Global Research

There is a taboo, said the visionary Edward Said, on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free.

For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence cant look away now. Staring at them from their TV, laptop, phone, is proof of the barbarism of the Israeli state and the great destructive force of its mentor and provider, the United States, the cowardice of European governments, and the collusion of others, such as Canada and Australian, in this epic crime.

The attack on Gaza was an attack on all of us. The siege of Gaza is a siege of all of us. The denial of justice to Palestinians is a symptom of much of humanity under siege and a warning that the threat of a new world war is growing by the day.

When Nelson Mandela called the struggle of Palestine the greatest moral issue of our time, he spoke on behalf of true civilisation, not that which empires invent. In Latin America, the governments of Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador, Peru and Ecuador have made their stand on Gaza. Each of these countries has known its own dark silence when immunity for mass murder was sponsored by the same godfather in Washington that answered the cries of children in Gaza with more ammunition to kill them.

Unlike Netanyahu and his killers, Washingtons pet fascists in Latin America didnt concern themselves with moral window dressing. They simply murdered, and left the bodies on rubbish dumps. For Zionism, the goal is the same: to dispossess and ultimately destroy an entire human society: a truth that 225 Holocaust survivors and their descendants have compared with te genesis of genocide.

Nothing has changed since the Zionists’ infamous Plan D in 1948 that ethnically cleansed an entire people. Recently, on the website of the Times of Israel were the words: Genocide is Permissible. A deputy speaker of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, Moshe Feiglin, demands a policy of mass expulsion into concentration camps. An MP, Ayelet Shaked, whose party is a member of the governing coalition, calls for the extermination of Palestinian mothers to prevent them giving birth to what she calls little snakes.

For years, reporters have watched Israeli soldiers bait Palestinian children by abusing them through loud-speakers. Then they shoot them dead. For years, reporters have known about Palestinian women about to give birth and refused passage through a roadblock to a hospital; and the baby has died, and sometimes the mother.

For years, reporters have known about Palestinian doctors and ambulance crews given permission by Israeli commanders to attend the wounded or remove the dead, only to be shot through the head.

For years, reporters have known about stricken people prevented from getting life-saving treatment, or shot dead when theyve tried to reach a clinic for chemotherapy treatment. One elderly lady with a walking stick was murdered in this way a bullet in her back.

When I put the facts of this crime to Dori Gold, a senior adviser to the Israeli prime minister, he said, Unfortunately in every kind of warfare there are cases of civilians who are accidentally killed. But the case you cite was not terrorism. Terrorism means putting the cross-hairs of the snipers rifle on a civilian deliberately.

I replied, Thats exactly what happened.

No, he said, it did not happen.

Such a lie or delusion is repeated unerringly by Israel’s apologists. As the former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges points out, the reporting of such an atrocity invariably ends up as caught in the cross-fire. For as long as I have covered the Middle East, much if not most of the western media has colluded in this way.

In one of my films, a Palestinian cameraman, Imad Ghanem, lies helpless while soldiers from the most moral army in the world blew both his legs off. This atrocity was given two lines on the BBC website. Thirteen journalists were killed by Israel in its latest bloodfest in Gaza. All were Palestinian. Who knows their names?

Something is different now. There is a huge revulsion across the world; and the voices of sensible liberalism are worried. Their hand wringing and specious choir of equal blame and “Israel’s right to defend itself” will not wash any more; neither will the smear of anti-Semitism. Neither will their selective cry that “something must be done” about Islamic fanatics but nothing must be done about Zionist fanatics.

One sensible liberal voice, the novelist Ian McEwan, was being celebrated as a sage by the Guardian while the children of Gaza were blown to bits. This is the same Ian McEwan who ignored the pleading of Palestinians not to accept the Jerusalem Prize for literature. If I only went to countries that I approve of, I probably would never get out of bed, said McEwan.

If they could speak, the dead of Gaza might say: Stay in bed, great novelist, for your very presence smoothes the bed of racism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing and murder no matter the weasel words you uttered as you claimed your prize.

Understanding the sophistry and power of liberal propaganda is key to understanding why Israels outrages endure; why the world looks on; why sanctions are never applied to Israel; and why nothing less than a total boycott of everything Israeli is now a measure of basic human decency.

The most incessant propaganda says Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel. Khaled Hroub, the Cambridge University scholar considered a world leading authority on Hamas, says this phrase is “never used or adopted by Hamas, even in its most radical statements”. The oft-quoted “anti-Jewish” 1988 Charter was the work of “one individual and made public without appropriate Hamas consensus …. The author was one of the ‘old guard’ “; the document is regarded as an embarrassment and never cited.

Hamas has repeatedly offered a 10-year truce with Israel and has long settled for a two-state solution. When Medea Benjamin, the fearless Jewish American activist, was in Gaza, she carried a letter from Hamas leaders to President Obama that made clear the government of Gaza wanted peace with Israel. It was ignored. I personally know of many such letters carried in good faith, ignored or dismissed.

The unforgivable crime of Hamas is a distinction almost never reported: it is the only Arab government to have been freely and democratically elected by its people. Worse, it has now formed a government of unity with the Palestinian Authority. A single, resolute Palestinian voice in the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court is the most feared threat.

Since 2002, a pioneering media unit at Glasgow University has produced remarkable studies of reporting and propaganda in Israel/Palestine. Professor Greg Philo and his colleagues were shocked to find a public ignorance compounded by TV news reporting. The more people watched, the less they knew.

Greg Philo says the problem is not bias as such. Reporters and producers are as moved as anyone by the suffering of Palestinians; but so imposing is the power structure of the media — as an extension of the state and its vested interests — that critical facts and historical context are routinely suppressed.

Incredibly, less than nine per cent of young viewers interviewed by Professor Philos team were aware that Israel was the occupying power, and that the illegal settlers were Jewish; many believed them to be Palestinian. The term Occupied Territories was seldom explained. Words such as murder, atrocity, cold-blooded killing were used only to describe the deaths of Israelis.

Recently, a BBC reporter, David Loyn, was critical of another British journalist, Jon Snow of Channel 4 News. Snow was so moved by what he had seen in Gaza he went on YouTube to make a humanitarian appeal. What concerned the BBC man was that Snow had breached protocol and been emotional in his YouTube piece.

Emotion, wrote Loyn, is the stuff of propaganda and news is against propaganda. Did he write this with a straight face? In fact, Snows delivery was calm. His crime was to have strayed outside the boundaries of fake impartiality. Unforgivably, he didnt censor himself.

In 1937, with Adolf Hitler in power, Geoffrey Dawson, editor of The Times in London, wrote the following in his diary: I spend my nights in taking out anything which will hurt [German] susceptibilities and in dropping in little things which are intended to soothe them.

On 30 July, the BBC offered viewers a masterclass in the Dawson Principle. The diplomatic correspondent of the programme Newsnight, Mark Urban, gave five reasons why the Middle East was in turmoil. None included the historic or contemporary role of the British government. The Cameron governments dispatch of £8 billion worth of arms and military equipment to Israel was airbrushed. Britains massive arms shipment to Saudi Arabia was airbrushed. Britains role in the destruction of Libya was airbrushed. Britains support for the tyranny in Egypt was airbrushed.

As for the British invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, they didnt happen, either.

The only expert witness on this BBC programme was an academic called Toby Dodge from the London School of Economics. What viewers needed to know was that Dodge had been a special adviser to David Petraeus, the American general largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this, too, was airbrushed.

In matters of war and peace, BBC-style illusions of impartiality and credibility do more to limit and control public discussion than tabloid distortion. As Greg Philo pointed out, Jon Snows moving commentary on YouTube was limited to whether the Israeli assault on Gaza was proportionate or reasonable. What was missing and is almost always missing was the essential truth of the longest military occupation in modern times: a criminal enterprise backed by western governments from Washington to London to Canberra.

As for the myth that “vulnerable” and “isolated” Israel is surrounded by enemies, Israel is actually surrounded by strategic allies. The Palestinian Authority, bankrolled, armed and directed by the US, has long colluded with Tel Aviv. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Netanyahu are the tyrannies in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar — if the World Cup ever gets to Qatar, count on Mossad to run the security.

Resistance is humanity at its bravest and most noble. The resistance in Gaza is rightly compared with the 1943 Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto which also dug tunnels and deployed tactics of subterfuge and surprise against an overpowering military machine. The last surviving leader of the Warsaw uprising, Marek Edelman, wrote a letter of solidarity to the Palestinian resistance, comparing it with the ZOB, his ghetto fighters. The letter began: Commanders of the Palestine military, paramilitary and partisan operations and to all soldiers [of Palestine].

Dr. Mads Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor renowned for his heroic work in Gaza. On 8 August, Dr. Gilbert returned to his hometown, Tronso in Norway which, as he pointed out, the Nazis had occupied for seven years. He said, Imagine being back in 1945 and we in Norway did not win the liberation struggle, did not throw out the occupier. Imagine the occupier remaining in our country, taking it piece by piece, for decades upon decades, and banishing us to the leanest areas, and taking the fish in the sea and the water beneath us, then bombing our hospitals, our ambulance workers, our schools, our homes.

Would we have given up and waved the white flag? No, we would not! And this is the situation in Gaza. This is not a battle between terrorism and democracy. Hamas is not the enemy Israel is fighting. Israel is waging a war against the Palestinian peoples will to resist. It is the Palestinian peoples dignity that they will not accept this.

In 1938, the Nazis called the Jews Untermenschen subhuman. Today, Palestinians are treated as a subhuman people who can be slaughtered without any in power reacting.

So I have returned to Norway, a free country, and this country is free because we had a resistance movement, because occupied nations have the right to resist, even with weapons its stated in international law. And the Palestinian peoples resistance in Gaza is admirable: a struggle for us all.

There are dangers in telling this truth, in breaching what Edward Said called the last taboo. My documentary,Palestine Is Still the Issue, was nominated for a Bafta, a British academy award, and praised by the Independent Television Commission for its journalistic integrity and the care and thoroughness with which it was researched. Yet, within minutes of the films broadcast on Britains ITV Network, a shock wave struck a deluge of emails described me as a demonic psychopath, a purveyor of hate and evil, an anti-Semite of the most dangerous kind. Much of this was orchestrated by Zionists in the US who could not possibly have seen the film. Death threats arrived at a rate of one a day.

Something similar happened to the Australian commentator Mike Carlton last month. In his regular column in the Sydney Morning Herald, Carlton produced a rare piece of journalism about Israel and the Palestinians; he identified the oppressors and their victims. He was careful to limit his attack to “a new and brutal Israel dominated by the hard-line, right-wing Likud party of Netanyahu”. Those who had previously run the Zionist state, he implied, belonged to “a proud liberal tradition”.

On cue, the deluge struck. He was called a bag of Nazi slime, a Jew-hating racist. He was threatened repeatedly, and he emailed his attackers to get fucked.

The Herald demanded he apologise. When he refused, he was suspended, then he resigned. According to theHeralds publisher, Sean Aylmer, the company expects much higher standards from its columnists.

The “problem of Carlton’s acerbic, often solitary liberal voice in a country in which Rupert Murdoch controls 70 per cent of the capital city press — Australia is the world’s first murdocracy — would be solved twice over. The Australian Human Rights Commission is to investigate complaints against Carlton under the Racial Discrimination Act, which outlaws any public act or utterance that is reasonably likely … to offend, insult, humiliate another person or a group of people on the basic of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin.

In contrast to safe, silent Australia — where the Carltons are made extinct — real journalism is alive in Gaza. I often speak on the phone with Mohammed Omer, an extraordinary young Palestinian journalist, to whom I presented, in 2008, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. Whenever I called him during the assault on Gaza, I could hear the whine of drones, the explosion of missiles. He interrupted one call to attend to children huddled outside waiting for transport amidst the explosions. When I spoke to him on 30 July, a single Israeli F-19 fighter had just slaughtered 19 children. On 20 August, he described how Israeli drones had effectively rounded up a village so that they could savagely gunned down.

Every day, at sunrise, Mohammed looks for families who have been bombed. He records their stories, standing in the rubble of their homes; he takes their pictures. He goes to the hospital. He goes to the morgue. He goes to the cemetery. He queues for hours for bread for his own family. And he watches the sky. He sends two, three, four dispatches a day. This is real journalism.

They are trying to annihilate us, he told me. But the more they bomb us, the stronger we are. They will never win.

The great crime committed in Gaza is a reminder of something wider and menacing to us all.

Since 2001, the United States and its allies have been on a rampage. In Iraq, at least 700,000 men, woman and children are dead as a result. The rise of jihadists in a country where there was none is the result. Known as al-Qaeda and now the Islamic State, modern jihadism was invented by US and Britain, assisted by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The original aim was to use and develop an Islamic fundamentalism that had barely existed in much of the Arab world in order to undermine pan-Arab movements and secular governments. By the 1980s, this had become a weapon to destroy the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The CIA called it Operation Cyclone; and a cyclone it turned out to be, with its unleashed fury blowing back in the faces of its creators. The attacks of 9/11 and in London in July, 2005 were the result of this blowback, as were the recent, gruesome murders of the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. For more than a year, the Obama administration armed the killers of these two young men — then known as ISIS in Syria — in order to destroy the secular government in Damascus.

The West’s principal “ally” in this imperial mayhem is the medieval state where beheadings are routinely and judicially carried out — Saudi Arabia. Whenever a member of the British Royal Family is sent to this barbaric place, you can bet your bottom petrodollar that the British government wants to sell the sheiks more fighter planes, missiles, manacles. Most of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, which bankrolls jihadists from Syria to Iraq.

Why must we live in this state of perpetual war?

The immediate answer lies in the United States, where a secret and unreported coup has taken place. A group known as the Project for a New American Century, the inspiration of Dick Cheney and others, came to power with the administration of George W Bush. Once known in Washington as the crazies, this extreme sect believes in what the US Space Command calls full spectrum dominance.

Under both Bush and Obama, a19th-century imperial mentality has infused all departments of state. Raw militarism is ascendant; diplomacy is redundant. Nations and governments are judged as useful or expendable: to be bribed or threatened or “sanctioned”.

On 31 July, the National Defense Panel in Washington published a remarkable document that called for the United States to prepare to fight six major wars simultaneously. At the top of the list were Russia and China nuclear powers.

In one sense, a war against Russia has already begun. While the world watched horrified as Israel assaulted Gaza, similar atrocities in eastern Ukraine were barely news. At the time of writing, two Ukrainian cities of Russian-speaking people Donetsk and Luhansk are under siege: their people and hospitals and schools blitzed by a regime in Kiev that came to power in a putsch led by neo-Nazis backed and paid for by the United States. The coup was the climax of what the Russian political observer Sergei Glaziev describes as a 20-year “grooming of Ukrainian Nazis aimed at Russia”. Actual fascism has risen again in Europe and not one European leader has spoken against it, perhaps because the rise of fascism across Europe is now a truth that dares not speak its name.

With its fascist past, and present, Ukraine is now a CIA theme park, a colony of Nato and the International Monetary Fund. The fascist coup in Kiev in February was the boast of US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, whose “coup budget” ran to $5 billion. But there was a setback. Moscow prevented the seizure of its legitimate Black Sea naval base in Russian-speaking Crimea. A referendum and annexation quickly followed. Represented in the West as the Kremlin’s “aggression”, this serves to turn truth on its head and cover Washington’s goals: to drive a wedge between a “pariah” Russia and its principal trading partners in Europe and eventually to break up the Russian Federation. American missiles already surround Russia; Natos military build-up in the former Soviet republics and eastern Europe is the biggest since the second world war.

During the cold war, this would have risked a nuclear holocaust. The risk has returned as anti-Russian misinformation reaches crescendos of hysteria in the US and Europe. A textbook case is the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in July. Without a single piece of evidence, the US and its Nato allies and their media machines blamed ethnic Russian separatists in Ukraine and implied that Moscow was ultimately responsible. An editorial in The Economist accused Vladimir Putin of mass murder. The cover of Der Spiegel used faces of the victims and bold red type, Stoppt Putin Jetzt! (Stop Putin Now!) In the New York Times, Timothy Garton Ash substantiated his case for Putins deadly doctrine with personal abuse of a short, thickset man with a rather ratlike face.

The Guardians role has been important. Renowned for its investigations, the newspaper has made no serious attempt to examine who shot the aeroplane down and why, even though a wealth of material from credible sources shows that Moscow was as shocked as the rest of the world, and the airliner may well have been brought down by the Ukrainian regime.

With the White House offering no verifiable evidence even though US satellites would have observed the shooting-down — the Guardians Moscow correspondent Shaun Walker stepped into the breach. “My audience with the Demon of Donetsk,” was the front- page headline over Walker’s breathless interview with one Igor Bezler. “With a walrus moustache, a fiery temper and a reputation for brutality,” he wrote, “Igor Bezler is the most feared of all the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine …nicknamed The Demon … If the Ukrainian security services, the SBU, are to be believed, the Demon and a group of his men were responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 … as well as allegedly bringing down MH17, the rebels have shot down 10 Ukrainian aircraft. Demon Journalism requires no further evidence.

Demon Journalism makes over a fascist-contaminated junta that seized power in Kiev as a respectable “interim government”. Neo-Nazis become mere “nationalists”. “News” sourced to the Kiev junta ensures the suppression of a US-run coup and the junta’s systematic ethnic cleaning of the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine. That this should happen in the borderland through which the original Nazis invaded Russia, extinguishing some 22 million Russian lives, is of no interest. What matters is a Russian “invasion” of Ukraine that seems difficult to prove beyond familiar satellite images that evoke Colin Powell’s fictional presentation to the United Nations “proving” that Saddam Hussein had WMD. “You need to know that accusations of a major Russian invasion of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence,” wrote a group of former senior US intelligence officials and analysts, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Rather, the intelligence seems to be of the same dubious, politically fixed kind used 12 years ago to justify the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

The jargon is “controlling the narrative”. In his seminal Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said was more explicit: the western media machine was now capable of penetrating deep into the consciousness of much of humanity with a “wiring” as influential as that of the imperial navies of the 19th century. Gunboat journalism, in other words. Or war by media.

Yet, a critical public intelligence and resistance to propaganda does exist; and a second superpower is emerging the power of public opinion, fuelled by the internet and social media.

The false reality created by false news delivered by media gatekeepers may prevent some of us knowing that this new superpower is stirring in country after country: from the Americas to Europe, Asia to Africa. It is a moral insurrection, exemplified by the whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. The question begs: will we break our silence while there is time?

When I was last in Gaza, driving back to the Israeli checkpoint, I caught sight of two Palestinian flags through the razor wire. Children had made flagpoles out of sticks tied together and theyd climbed on a wall and held the flag between them.

The children do this, I was told, whenever there are foreigners around, because they want to show the world they are there — alive, and brave, and undefeated.

This article is adapted from John Pilgers Edward Said Memorial Lecture, delivered in Adelaide, Australia, on 11 September.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, GazaComments Off on Mainstream Media Propaganda: Breaking the Last Taboo – Gaza and the Threat of World War

For Nazi regime arms makers, Gaza war is a cash cow




Factories worked around the clock turning out munitions as the army tested their newest systems against a real enemy. Now, they are expecting their battle-tested products will win them new customers.

Far from the fighting in the Gaza Strip and the rocket attacks that have pummeled Israel from south to the Sharon, some 300 employees of Israel Military Industries in Nazareth haven’t left their assembly lines for a minute in the past four weeks. They have been working in shifts, 24 hours a day, to ensure a regular supply of 5.56 mm bullets to Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Others have been hard at work turning out highly sophisticated Kalanit and Hatzav tank shells for the Artillery Corps. The shells, which are fired above the heads of militants armed with anti-tank weapons, exploding in midair above them and releasing shrapnel, were both used on a massive scale for the first time in Operation Protective Edge.

For some years now the state-owned IMI has had an image problem, in part due to it enormous debts and management’s cozy ties with the union locals and the political establishment. Next to the two other big government-owned defense companies, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, until recently IMI looked decided dowdy, low-tech and crony-ridden. Three months ago the state signed a recovery accord with IMI, which offered a generous severance package of 1.3 million shekels ($370,000) to any employee who took voluntary early retirement. Early next year the government plans to hold a tender to privatize the company, and by early 2016 IMI should be in private hands.

Image aside, for several years IMI has very quietly been developing more sophisticated products than bullets, rifles or hand grenades. For example, its new, super-smart MPR-500 multipurpose rigid bomb, which is designed to penetrate reinforced concrete structures and other difficult targets, was first used operationally in Protective Edge. Today, back orders for the bomb total 5.6 billion shekels.

IMI has built the foundations for a more successful business, and in a market where violence erupts every few years a new round of violence erupts, a dependable customer with the IDF and a classroom to test its equipment.

“IMI cooperates with the IDF and the defense establishment in adapting quick solutions for changing needs,” says UMI chairman Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Adam. “The defense industry is in a perpetual learning mode together with the IDF and the Defense Ministry to examine the weapons systems that were introduced for initial operational use in Operation Protective Edge, as well as weapons systems that have been in operational use for a long time.”

One unit of IMI has already been privatized. Israel Weapon Industries, which makes the Tavor assault rifle that is used today by most of the infantry, is owned by Samy Katsav and is considered one of the world’s six leading light-weapons manufactures. The SK Group comprises several companies that supply the IDF.

Israel Shipyards, for example, makes missile boats and the Shaldag patrol boat for the Israeli military, while Meprolight manufactures sights for sniper rifles and night-vision equipment. As is the case for all companies in the group, Meprolight’s most important customer is the IDF, even if 90% of the company’s sales are to foreign countries,.

“After every campaign of the kind that is now taking place in Gaza, we see an increase in the number of customers from abroad,” says Meprolight CEO Eli Gold, adding, “Of course, we marketing abroad aggressively, but IDF operations definitely affect marketing activity.”

Protective Edge’s marketing edge

“Battle-tested” is the best marketing slogan for defense industries the world over, so for Israeli military manufactures Operation Protective Edge has yielded a major competitive edge.

“For the defense industries this campaign is like drinking a very strong energy drink — it simply gives them tremendous forward momentum,” says Barbara Opall-Rome, Israel bureau chief for the U.S. magazine Defense News. “Combat is like the highest seal of approval when it comes to the international markets. What has proven itself in battle is much easier to sell. Immediately after the operation, and perhaps even during, all kinds of delegations arrive here from countries that appreciate Israel’s technological capabilities and are interested in testing the new products.”

That was also the opinion of veteran military correspondent Amir Rapaport, editor of Israel Defense, which covers the local defense industry. “From a business point of view, the operation was an outstanding thing for the defense industries,” he says. “There are two main reasons for that. First, the cloud of budget cuts and project cancellations has been lifted. I believe that after the operation, Israel’s defense budget will be increased and projects that were frozen will be revived. Second, during the weeks of the war, new products were introduced for the army’s use. The war is an opportunity to cut red tape. Weapons systems that have long been under development suddenly became operational during the course of the fighting.

Operation Protective Edge saw many weapons systems and other technology that had been under development since the time of the Second Lebanon War in 2006 enter the field of battle, for instance a unique communications system designed to link air, sea and ground forces to the same infrastructure. “It’s very difficult to defeat an enemy like Hamas, which is a guerrilla organization, but in terms of technology the victory is quite clear,” says Rapaport.

“The operation has a potential to promote defense exports, mainly systems that have proven themselves,” says Maj. Gen. (res.) Danny Yatom, who now deals in defense equipment and other business. “The industry will also benefits as the [Israeli] defense establishment rebuilds inventories. Also, in this war we saw that the army has new needs, especially in regards to tunnels. In my opinion, there will now be an accelerated process of development for that. There’s a financial incentive both for the developers and the manufacturers.”

Yatom contends that the course of Operation Protective Edge shows that future weapons systems must be designed to combat guerrilla organizations rather than conventional armies. One example of the likely change is increased demand for thermal-imaging night-vision equipment, rather than the Starlight technology, based on available light, that is currently more common in the IDF. “Thermal-imaging night-vision equipment is not affected by glow of bombs and by urban lighting, so it makes identification easier,” he explains.

Gold confirms that the army is already thinking about this issue. “During the war the IDF took an interest in this subject,” he says. “But still it’s hard to estimate how things will turn out, because the IDF has yet to formulate a view on the matter. The product itself is not new, and we’ve already sold it to various armies worldwide.”
On the other hand, not everyone thinks that a successful campaign means an increase in defense exports. Maj. Gen. (res.) Isaac Ben Yisrael, a former director of the Defense Ministry’s Research and Development Directorate, cautions that the success in Israel of a certain military system does not necessarily carry over to foreign sales.

“Iron Dome, for example, is one of the main developments in this war,” he says, “but there’s no demand for it in the world, because other countries don’t face a similar threat. Besides, after the war most of the money channeled into the defense budget will be used for restocking inventories, so that the money that would normally be directed toward developing combat systems will decrease.”

He says that despite the criticism being heard about the size of the defense budget, Israel has no choice but to increase the army’s R&D spending. That should be done by channeling profits from the government defense industries into the IDF’s R&D units, he says, rather than handing them over to the Finance Ministry, which funnels this money into the general state budget.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza1 Comment

Anti-war movement responds to Obama’s speech on Iraq, Syria and the Islamic State


No New Iraq War

We in the ANSWER Coalition oppose this war and we will be organizing mass demonstrations to oppose the bombing of Iraq and Syria.”

President Obama’s new war plans in Iraq and Syria will not liberate the people of either country but will lead to more destruction. The U.S. military defeat of the secular Iraqi and Libyan governments (in 2003 and 2011) and its policy of fueling armed civil war against the secular, nationalist government in Syria are the fundamental reasons the so-called Islamic State has grown and become strong.

Perpetuating a now 23-year-long U.S. political tradition, President Obama is announcing tonight that he, like the three preceding U.S. presidents, will go forward with another bombing campaign in Iraq. This is a war that will lead only to more catastrophe and destruction.

We in the ANSWER Coalition oppose this war and we will be organizing mass demonstrations to oppose the bombing of Iraq and Syria. This war, like the earlier ones, is being sold on the basis of misinformation and fear. The United States is a major part of the problem and cannot be the solution to the current crisis in Iraq,” stated Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.

This Administration and the previous three administrations have each waged war or conducted a bombing campaign in Iraq under a shifting set of public rationales. Each was carried out under the supposed imperative need to protect “U.S. interests” and each was conducted using noble, humanitarian or anti-terrorist slogans.

If one goes by the media headlines this U.S. war too will be for another noble cause — just as the previous wars and bombing campaigns were described when they were conducted by George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush. This time the war will be conducted under the slogan of defeating the heinous so-called Islamic State forces who have come to dominate predominantly Sunni communities in northern and western Iraq.

The U.S. military cannot solve, but only exacerbate, the current crisis in Iraq and Syria. In fact, the U.S. government, the CIA and the Pentagon are responsible for the disintegration of Iraq and Syria and the consequent rise of the Islamic State and other equally reactionary, sectarian forces in Iraq’s central government and elsewhere in these countries.

The so-called Islamic State did not exist a decade ago. It exists now and has grown strong for three basic reasons each of which is a direct consequence of U.S. policies and actions in Iraq, Libya and Syria.

  1. The United States invasion in 2003 destroyed the unitary secular government of Iraq and then followed it up by outlawing the Baathist political party, disbanded the national Baathist-led Iraqi army, and then, as an occupation strategy, hand picked Iraqi Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki whose government pursued a sectarian policy of terrorizing Sunni communities.

    This Iraqi national government and army, and the Shiite militias that support the government, have carried out similar atrocities against Sunni communities that the Islamic State forces are carrying out against Shiites, Christians, Yazidis and other Sunnis who don’t support their ultra-reactionary, sectarian and anti-women policies. It was precisely the brutality of the Maliki government that has allowed the Islamic State to pretend to be the defender of Sunni communities in north and western Iraq. If the US media had reported on the widespread abuses and atrocities committed by the Iraqi government against Sunni communities, it would have aroused the same visceral disgust that has now been engendered against the atrocities committed by the Islamic State.

  2. The United States and its NATO partners smashed the secular, nationalist Libyan government through a massive bombing campaign in 2011. This war of aggression fractured Libya as a unitary state, similar to what happened in Iraq, and led to the seizure of vast tracts of territory and heavy weapons by jihadist militias. These weapons and many fighters quickly migrated to join the war supported by the United States and its regional allies against the secular nationalist government in Syria.
  3. The Islamic State in Syria acquired vast quantities of heavy weapons and funds since 2011 as part of the armed opposition in Syria. Official U.S. policy was to support the armed struggle against the secular Syrian government. The armed opposition groups, including the Islamic State, received weapons and funds from a coalition of countries that included the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The U.S. government is also planning to use the current crisis to directly intervene militarily in Syria. The real goal in Syria will be to militarily defeat the Assad government. The armed rebel groups in Syria – including the Islamic State – have shown that they cannot defeat the Syrian army without the direct military intervention of the United States. Any military intervention by the United States in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government is a violation of international law and the UN Charter.

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No governmental action despite warnings of nuclear meltdown

By Ethan Jury


Within days of the record 6.0 earthquake that shook northern California last month, the Associated Press released the findings of a secret government report detailing significant “earthquake vulnerabilities” of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Facility located just 200 miles south of the region in Avila Beach, California. The report was written by Dr. Michael Peck who for 5 years served as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) lead on-site inspector at the plant, and expresses significant doubt regarding its ability to withstand extreme seismic activity.

However, despite Peck’s expert concerns, the plant’s owner, Pacific Gas & Electric, has essentially ignored the report and is seeking to extend the plant’s license of operations until 2045. Situated in a geologic hotbed just 45 miles from the San Andreas Fault, 3 miles from the off-shore Hosgri Fault, and only 650 yards from the recently-discovered Shoreline Fault, Diablo Canyon is essentially a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. A significant earth quake from any one or the combined forces of the 3 nearby faults could suddenly – and according to Peck, easily – result in an uncontrollable nuclear meltdown.

Experts are drawing comparisons between this scenario and the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which released harmful levels of toxic radiation into the atmosphere and irrevocably altered the planet. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Japanese people exposed to the radiation continue to suffer headaches, bloody noses and pre-cancerous thyroid cysts among other symptoms. The soil and coastline around Fukushima remain contaminated with radiation, and as contaminated water continues to spill into the Pacific Ocean, little is known about the disaster’s long term effects on life on our planet.

And according to experts, a meltdown at Diablo Canyon – located within 50 miles of 500,000 people – could be significantly worse. A 1982 study commissioned by the NRC suggested that such a disaster could result in up to 10,000 initial casualties and billions of dollars in damage. Marine life and ecosystems directly surrounding the plant would be utterly devastated and the inevitable contamination of the area’s water, air and soil would have disastrous effects on the state’s agricultural industry.

However despite the severity of these predictions, neither the NRC nor any other governmental regulatory body has raised a finger towards closing Diablo Canyon, and the media remains largely silent on the issue. This is not surprising, though, given the US Government’s continual subservience to entrenched corporate interest. President Obama’s continual silence over construction of the notorious Keystone XL pipeline which climate scientists have called “game-over for the planet” is emblematic of this fundamental contradiction. If there’s money to be made, regulations, and therefore public and environmental safety mean very little.

Clearly, what is needed is a new system. A socialist system of government would never allow for the construction of a pipeline that would mean “game-over for the planet”, and a socialist system would never allow for a private company like Pacific Gas & Electric to continue operating a plant like Diablo Canyon that poses such a significant risk to the people and the environment. The risks outlined in Dr. Peck’s report are real, and clearly the responsibility falls to us who will suffer the consequences of inaction. Fighting to close Diablo Canyon also means fighting for a system that prevents such possible catastrophes from occurring in the future. It means fighting for socialism!

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Obama’s immigration delay: A kick in the teeth to Latinos, Immigrants


President Obama, April 2009, in reference to his pledge of Comprehensive 

Immigration Protest

Immigration Reform: “I see the process moving this first year.”

President Obama, June 2014: “If Congress will not do its job, at least we can do ours… I expect the recommendations before the end of the summer, and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay.”

From the moment President Obama began campaigning for the 2008 presidential election, he was lying. His campaign made promises that he would later intentionally break. The sad part is that we already expect this of U.S. politicians – even the president.

But millions of immigrants and their families believed that this president would be different. This president would care about the suffering of Latinos; the suffering of millions who live and work in this country, despite being born in oppressed countries around the world.

In some ways, Obama’s presidency has been different: this President has faked legitimate concerned for those separated families, for children torn from their parents.

But President Obama, as a bourgeois politician, is not really so different than the others. During his presidency, he has run the largest deportation machine in U.S. history. His promises to pass immigration reform in his first year as President rang hollow when he simply failed to try – even though the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate.

This spring, President Obama promised to use his executive authority to protect at least 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. Even this promise was shallow. Just last week, the President used the midterm elections and undocumented immigrant children at the border as excuses to delay any executive action.

Erika Andiola, an undocumented activist whose mother is in deportation proceedings, described the move as the President “throwing [Latinos] under the bus.” She is right. While the Democratic Party uses immigrant suffering to its advantage with conservatives, approximately 1,100 people continue to be deported daily.

Cecilia Munoz, Director of Domestic Policy for the White House, tried to excuse the delay by pointing to supposed political necessity. This is also a lie.

Deportation isn’t necessary. Family separation isn’t necessary. Mass incarceration of immigrants is certainly not necessary. And we shouldn’t put up with it for another minute, just like we cannot be told to put up with racism against African American communities, police murders, unemployment, sexism, anti-LGBTQ bigotry, or many of the other ills rampant under U.S. capitalism.

As the clock ticks on Obama’s latest promise of action by the end of the year, let’s remember: Democrats and Republicans lied to us and threw over 2 million of our working brothers and sisters under the bus. We cannot trust them with setting policy, and we cannot trust this corrupt system to serve justice. Let’s replace it with a system that has a fighting chance.

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Reflections on the killing of an innocent teen, Rashawn Williams

By Frank Lara
Rashawn Williams

Rashawn Williams

On late Tuesday night, Sept. 2, the Mission District community in San Francisco began to disseminate the unthinkable news that a teen had been stabbed to death on 26th and Folsom St. Since then, investigations have identified the alleged assailant to be another teen from the neighborhood. Both Rashawn and the teen who is accused in his murder attended Buena Vista Horace Mann, a prominent K-8 bilingual public school in the heart of the Mission. Much has been written about the beautiful boy that was Rashawn Williams and any attempts to add more to what he must have meant to everyone who knew him falls short.

The indescribable tragedy has hit our community hard. As a teacher at BVHM, a community activist in the Mission and as a person who tries to struggle for a better world, the news has disturbed me deeply. The following are simply thoughts offered as a way of coping and attempting to rationalize the irrational, so that the work for a socially just world can continue. To my co-workers who taught Rashawn, the staff who related to both teens in ways much more profound than I, and especially to the family, these words are in no way able or meant to justify this act.

Like many others, the news conjured up a never-ending list of questions. “What could we have done better to prevent this? Did we offer enough services to support these youth and their families? What was going through this child’s head? Why did it have to be two young people of color? What will happen to the other child who committed such an atrocious act? How does the family survive?” And the list has continued to spiral into the deep immensity of confusion always concluding with the fact that I and the institutions and groupings I influence failed this boy, his family and the broader community.

Such feeling of failure can lead to all the negative, conditioned responses under this society. Confusion, fear, anger, hate, frustration, and retribution are all reactionary sentiments, which ultimately afflict the self. Unlike the violence perpetuated by the State, its courts, police or its military, where the militant cry for “justice” righteously targets the oppressor, violence amongst all shades of the oppressed is a tragedy whereby the target ultimately is ourselves.

The crisis of violence and killings among youth in our communities cannot be ignored. That would be failing our children. Struggling for a better world means it is necessary to also have the answers as to how we would solve the crises today, and in the long term. Each child lost to violence is a wound the family will bear forever, a blow to schoolmates and a whole community.

When I or another teacher — in the Mission or Oakland or New York or Los Angeles, or a small town anywhere in the U.S. — sees a crisis unfolding with a youth crying out for help, or even one who may be a danger to others by a pattern of violence or dangerous behavior, what do you do? Who do you call? The police? They are as likely to abuse or even shoot. How many times have families called for help if a loved one becomes violent or has a mental breakdown? Today, people in oppressed communities have learned a lesson: Don’t call the police, they’ll make it worse. They only know how to arrest someone for a crime, not work to solve problems.

Blame the family? Make change there? But grinding poverty, growing alienation and isolation in this society means that many families don’t have the tools or available social services — or even the time with extra jobs — to get help. There are almost no after-school programs, no universal community centers with structured programs, only a tiny amount of subsidized childcare, no substance-abuse programs. Mental healthcare is treated as a luxury and not offered as preventive or primary care. Real and effective anti-violence prevention is non-existent.

Television, video games, movies, U.S. “culture,” mirror the violence that America is perpetrating on the world, from Central America to the Middle East to our own neighborhoods. Guns and high-powered weapons are glorified so the arms manufacturers can keep making billions in profit. How many of our kids have been killed by stray and not-so-stray bullets in the oppressed neighborhoods from those military-grade arms?

How many young violent perpetrators will get locked up for life, literally — teenagers or twenty-somethings who will never see the outside of a prison again, because of a reckless act, because they knew no other options in life.

In San Francisco, the pronounced class war is constantly making national headlines. From the protest around the “Google buses,” to the evictions of 90-year-old tenants, to the skyrocketing cost of housing, to the inexcusable wages paid to teachers, working families and people of color who are being marginalized with no end in sight. Yet, the waning state of adults is only trumped by the state of young people in the City. The youth, specifically the youth of color, are not welcomed in this supposedly liberal bastion. They cannot participate in the expensive and resource-dependent activities the City offers its tourist, techies, hipsters, gentrifiers, etc. and they are monitored by the racist police who know well the antagonism behind their needs and wants. And yet, they flourish. From letting their presence be known at the malls, bringing life to the plazas and parks as they grind their skate boards and piss off the “welcomed” folk, hanging out in front of their friend’s stoops, to having joyful dinners at the local McDonalds’, their ability to smile and laugh under capitalism is a big “FU” to the system.

Unfortunately, there is only so much a whole community can withstand before the constant self-centeredness and greed promoted by capitalism  brews division. From the killing of Alex Nieto, a SF native whose Latino identity was no longer welcomed by the gentrifiers on Bernal Hill, to the tidal wave of displacement of working class families and people of color by white higher paid occupiers the boundaries where our future is allowed to grow up are shrinking. This diminishing space is causing tensions among various groupings of youth and communities of color. This antagonism is first and foremost a condemnation of the social/economic conditions that the city officials have forced upon the population. And it’s these conditions that we must focus our anger and frustrations on in order to resist, not on our sisters and brothers.

The killing of young, bright and beautiful Rashawn Williams was truly senseless and tragic. Locking up one more youth is another great tragedy. We must get to the root of this crisis if we really want to save our youth. This system is steadily driving the masses downward to more poverty, more hunger, racism, more prisons, more war, more despair.

We teachers dedicate our lives to teach our young children and help them in life. But for me, that is only part of the answer. I know it takes a wholesale change of the system to really affect societal change. To that I also dedicate my life.

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Cuban 5: imprisoned for fighting terrorism


In front of White Hous

Originally posted in COUNTERPUNCH Weekend Edition September 12-14, 2014.

The Cuban Five are Not Alone

Can you be imprisoned for fighting terrorism?

Yes, if you fight terrorism in Miami.

Today marks 16 years that five Cuban men known as the Cuban Five have endured prison — 5,840 days — precisely for having fought terrorism in Miami.

The reason is, the terrorism the Cuban Five were fighting against has been supported and financed by the U.S. government, through the CIA and other means.

The Cuban Five were prosecuted by the U.S. government and convicted on espionage conspiracy charges, but their real “crime” was working to uncover and thwart terrorist plots of Cuban-American paramilitary organizations based in Miami.

In the name of fighting terrorism, the U.S. government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars in wars and occupations since 9/11.

But Washington should arrest and prosecute Cuban-American extremists in Miami who have carried out hundreds of terrorist attacks against Cuba.

And it should immediately free the Cuban Five, who took on the incredible mission of infiltrating those dangerous and deadly organizations in order to disrupt their armed attacks and save lives.

Long before the crime of 9/11, the Cuban people experienced the scourge of terrorism.

More than 3,400 Cubans have been killed and 2,000 wounded in armed attacks carried out by Miami-based Cuban right-wing terrorists since the early 1960s, a fact unknown to most Americans.

Yet, the FBI has never placed any of those Cuban-American criminals on its “Most Wanted” list, nor its “Most Wanted Terrorists” list.

That is because the CIA trained and armed them — almost 4,000 Cuban right-wing exiles — to carry out bombings, assassinations and biological warfare against Cuba.

Because of its close proximity to Cuba, Miami became the central base of operations for right-wing Cuban exiles who fled Cuba after the 1959 revolution, many with nefarious histories who had acted as henchmen for U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Dozens of paramilitary organizations sprang from this massive CIA operation based in Miami, groups like Alpha 66, Omega 7, Comandos F-4.

The impunity granted to literally dozens of Cuban exile terrorists by the U.S. government is shameful.

One example was Batista torturer Esteban Ventura, chief of Havana’s 5th Police Precinct. Notorious for massacring many young Cubans in the 1950s, he escaped to Miami after Batista’s overthrow.

Washington repeatedly refused Cuba’s requests to extradite Ventura. He lived in Miami — sheltered by the U.S. government —until his death in 2001.

But a search of names on the Internet reveals a shocking and disturbing list of other men and their crimes: among them, Orlando Bosch, Guillermo Novo Sampol, Gaspar Jiménez, Pedro Remón Crispín, and the godfather of Miami terrorists, Luis Posada Carriles.

To this day, Luis Posada Carriles, walks the streets of Miami a free man, despite being the mastermind of the mid-air bombing of Cubana airlines plane on Oct. 6, 1976, killing 73 people.

Again, despite Venezuela’s repeated requests for Washington to extradite Posada Carriles to Caracas — where he engineered the Cubana bombing, the U.S. has refused.

With Miami paramilitary groups posing a constant threat to its people, the Cuban government had to act.

Starting in 1990, the Cuban Five entered the United States in order to monitor those extremist organizations and individuals. They successfully infiltrated the groups, gaining their confidence while in reality working to disrupt the plots.

The Cuban Five even reported to the FBI plots and crimes they had uncovered.

But instead of prosecuting the Miami extremists, the FBI raided the homes of the Cuban Five anti-terrorists, on Sept. 12, 1998 and arrested them. They have been imprisoned ever since.

The Cuban Five are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González.

In a seven-month process that did not remotely resemble a fair trial, the five defendants were denied several motions to move the trial out of Miami.

How could Miami be a neutral venue, a city that has awarded terrorists like Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles with medals and keys to the city, where bombings exploded frequently in the 1970s and 1980s, where 6-year-old Elián González was held captive for five months by the extremists?

The Five were held pre-trial in solitary confinement for 17 months, despite having no discipline issues. The Miami media went on a tirade against the defendants for two-and-a-half years, including during trial.

Later, it has been revealed through subsequent investigations, that dozens of Miami journalists in radio, TV and newspaper were on the U.S. government payroll, many of them actually covering the Cuban Five trial in the most prejudicial manner imaginable. This fact alone, Miami reporters creating a poisoned atmosphere against the defendants while secretly receiving U.S. government money, should nullify their convictions immediately.

Today, this new evidence forms the basis of their Habeas Corpus appeals.

But the same judge, the same court district, the same venue is where the appeals are being reviewed. Justice can hardly be expected there.

The Cuban Five never belonged a day in prison. In any other country, they would be honored as heroes for putting their lives on the line to save other people.

Two of the Five, René González and Fernando González, completed their sentences and returned home to their families in Cuba, but the remaining three, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, and Antonio Guerrero, are fighting for their freedom and justice.

They are not alone. Today, hundreds of support actions are taking place around the world and across the United States.

President Barack Obama has the power to undo an enormous injustice. Let the Cuban Five go home to Cuba now.

Gloria La Riva is coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, formed soon after their convictions in 2001.

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