Archive | December 31st, 2014

2 Breslov Hasidim Sentenced To Prison In Spain For Drug Smuggling

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kosher konnection

OCDG: Silly Goyim, drug trafficking is for Learned Elders.

Failed Messiah

Two Beslov hasidim from Rabbi Eliezer Berland’s Shuvu Banim sect have been sentenced to prison in Spain for drug smuggling, Yeshiva World reported based on a report in Kikkar HaShabbat.

The two men – both in their earlier 20s and both at one time residents of Sefat in Northern Israel – were arrested in May after entering Spain from Morocco with a large amount of illegal drugs. They claimed they were only couriers and did not know what they were carrying.

Berland had spent time in Morocco last year before being expelled. He has moved from country to country, trying to avoid extradition by or deportation to Israel where he will likely be indicted for series of alleged sexual assaults against female followers – at least one of who was a minor at the time the assault took place. He was eventually arrested in Amsterdam and is now waiting for a Dutch court to make a final decision on his extradition.

His two drug courier followers were sentenced this week to 3.5 years in prison.

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Murdoch, Scaife and CIA Propaganda

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Special Report: The rapid expansion of America’s right-wing media began in the 1980s as the Reagan administration coordinated foreign policy initiatives with conservative media executives, including Rupert Murdoch, and then cleared away regulatory hurdles, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The Reagan administration pulled right-wing media executives Rupert Murdoch and Richard Mellon Scaife into a CIA-organized “perception management” operation which aimed Cold War-style propaganda at the American people in the 1980s, according to declassified U.S. government records.

President Reagan meets with publisher Rupert Murdoch, U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Wick, lawyers Roy Cohn and Thomas Bolan in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1983. (Photo credit: Reagan presidential library)

President Reagan meets with publisher Rupert Murdoch, U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Wick, lawyer Roy Cohn and his law partner Thomas Bolan in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1983. (Photo credit: Reagan presidential library)

Although some records relating to Murdoch remain classified, several documents that have been released indicate that he and billionaire Scaife were considered sources of financial and other support for President Ronald Reagan’s hard-line Central American policies, including the CIA’s covert war in Nicaragua.

A driving force behind creation of Reagan’s extraordinary propaganda bureaucracy was CIA Director William Casey who dispatched one of the CIA’s top covert action specialists, Walter Raymond Jr., to the National Security Council to oversee the project. According to the documents, Murdoch was brought into the operation in 1983 – when he was still an Australian citizen and his media empire was much smaller than it is today.

Charles Wick, director of the U.S. Information Agency, arranged at least two face-to-face meetings between Murdoch and Reagan, the first on Jan. 18, 1983, when the administration was lining up private financing for its propaganda campaign, according to records at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California. That meeting also included lawyer and political operative Roy Cohn and his law partner Thomas Bolan.

The Oval Office meeting between Reagan and Murdoch came just five days after NSC Advisor William Clark noted in a Jan. 13, 1983 memo to Reagan the need for non-governmental money to advance the project. “We will develop a scenario for obtaining private funding,” Clark wrote, as cited in an unpublished draft chapter of the congressional Iran-Contra investigation.

Clark then told the President that “Charlie Wick has offered to take the lead. We may have to call on you to meet with a group of potential donors.”

The documents suggest that Murdoch was soon viewed as a source for that funding. In an Aug. 9, 1983 memo summing up the results of a Casey-organized meeting with five leading ad executives regarding how to “sell” Reagan’s aggressive policies in Central America, Raymond referred to Murdoch as if he already were helping out.

In a memo to Clark, entitled “Private Sector Support for Central American Program,” Raymond criticized a more traditional White House outreach program headed by Faith Whittlesey as “preaching to the converted.”

Raymond told Clark that the new project would involve a more comprehensive approach aimed at persuading a majority of Americans to back Reagan’s Central American policies, which included support for right-wing regimes in Guatemala and El Salvador as well as the Contra rebels fighting the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

“We must move out into the middle sector of the American public and draw them into the ‘support’ column,” Raymond wrote. “A second package of proposals deal with means to market the issue, largely considering steps utilizing public relations specialists – or similar professionals – to help transmit the message.”

To improve the project’s chances for success, Raymond wrote, “we recommended funding via Freedom House or some other structure that has credibility in the political center. Wick, via Murdoch, may be able to draw down added funds for this effort.”

Raymond included similar information in a separate memo to Wick in which Raymond noted that “via Murdock [sic] may be able to draw down added funds” to support the initiative. (Raymond later told me that he was referring to Rupert Murdoch.)

In a March 7, 1984 memo about the “‘Private Funders’ Project,” Raymond referred to Murdoch again in discussing a request for money from longtime CIA-connected journalist Brian Crozier, who was “looking for private sector funding to work on the question of ‘anti-Americanism’ overseas.”

Raymond wrote: “I am pursuaded [sic] it is a significant long term problem. It is also the kind of thing that Ruppert [sic] and Jimmy might respond positively to. Please look over the stack [of papers from Crozier] and lets [sic] discuss if and when there might be further discussion with our friends.”

Crozier, who died in 2012, had a long history of operating in the shadowy world of CIA propaganda. He was director of Forum World Features, which was set up in 1966 by the Congress for Cultural Freedom, which received covert funding from the CIA. Crozier also acknowledged in his memoir keeping some of his best stories for the CIA.

At least one other document related to Murdoch’s work with USIA Director Wick remains classified, according to the National Archives. Murdoch’s News Corp. has not responded to requests for comment about the Reagan-era documents.

Helping Murdoch

Murdoch, who became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1985 to meet a regulatory requirement that U.S. TV stations must be owned by Americans, benefited from his close ties to both U.S. and British officialdom.

On Monday, the UK’s Independent reported that Ed Richards, the retiring head of the British media regulatory agency Ofcom, accused British government representatives of showing favoritism to Murdoch’s companies.

Richards said he was “surprised” by the informality, closeness and frequency of contact between executives and ministers during the failed bid by Murdoch’s News Corp. for the satellite network BSkyB in 2011. The deal was abandoned when it was discovered that journalists at Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid had hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and others.

“What surprised everyone about it – not just me – was quite how close it was and the informality of it,” Richards said, confirming what had been widely reported regarding Murdoch’s access  to powerful British politicians dating back at least to the reign of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. The Reagan documents suggest that Murdoch built similarly close ties to leading U.S. politicians in the same era.

In 1983, Murdoch’s rising media empire was still based in Australia with only a few U.S. properties, such as the Star tabloid and the New York Post. But he was eyeing expansion into the U.S. media market. In 1984, he bought a stake in 20th Century Fox and then six Metromedia television stations, which would form the nucleus of Fox Broadcasting Company, which was founded on Oct. 9, 1986.

At the time, Murdoch and other media moguls were lobbying for a relaxation of regulations from the Federal Communications Commission, a goal that Reagan shared. Under FCC Chairman Mark Fowler, the Reagan administration undertook a number of steps favorable to Murdoch’s interests, including increasing the number of TV stations that any single entity could own from seven in 1981 to 12 in 1985.

In 1987, the “Fairness Doctrine,” which required political balance in broadcasting, was eliminated, which enabled Murdoch to pioneer a more aggressive conservatism on his TV network. In the mid-1990s, Murdoch expanded his political reach by founding the neoconservative Weekly Standard in 1995 and Fox News on cable in 1996. At Fox News, Murdoch has hired scores of prominent politicians, mostly Republicans, putting them on his payroll as commentators.

Last decade, Murdoch continued to expand his reach into U.S. mass media, acquiring DirecTV and the financial news giant Dow Jones, including The Wall Street Journal, America’s leading business news journal.

Scaife’s Role

Richard Mellon Scaife exercised his media influence on behalf of Reagan and the conservative cause in a different way. While the scion of the Mellon banking, oil and aluminum fortune did publish a right-wing newspaper in Pittsburgh, the Tribune Review, Scaife mostly served as a financial benefactor for right-wing journalists and think tanks.

Indeed, Scaife was one of the original financiers of what emerged as a right-wing counter-establishment in media and academia, a longstanding goal of key Republicans, including President Richard Nixon who recognized the importance of propaganda as a political weapon.

According to Nixon’s chief of staff H.R. Haldeman, as reported in The Haldeman Diaries, one of Nixon’s pet ideas was to build a network of loyal conservatives in positions of influence. The President was “pushing again on project of building our establishment in press, business, education, etc.,” Haldeman wrote in one entry on Sept. 12, 1970.

Financed by rich conservative foundations and wealthy special interests, Nixon’s brainchild helped tilt politics in favor of the American Right with Richard Mellon Scaife one of the project’s big-money godfathers. By using family foundations, such as Sarah Scaife and Carthage, Scaife joined with other leading right-wing foundations to fund think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation, which Scaife helped launch in 1973.

In 1978, Nixon’s friend and Treasury Secretary William Simon provided more impetus to this growing machine, declaring in his book, Time for Truth: “Funds generated by business … must rush by the multimillion to the aid of liberty … to funnel desperately needed funds to scholars, social scientists, writers and journalists who understand the relationship between political and economic liberty.”

With Reagan’s inauguration in 1981 – and Casey’s selection as CIA director – Scaife and other right-wing ideologues were in position to merge their private funding with U.S. Government money in pursuit of the administration’s geopolitical goals, including making sure the American people would not break ranks as many did over the Vietnam War.

Building the Operation

On Nov. 4, 1982, Raymond, after his transfer from CIA to the NSC staff but while still a CIA officer,wrote to NSC Advisor Clark about the “Democracy Initiative and Information Programs,” stating that “Bill Casey asked me to pass on the following thought concerning your meeting with Dick Scaife, Dave Abshire [then a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board], and Co.

“Casey had lunch with them today and discussed the need to get moving in the general area of supporting our friends around the world. By this definition he is including both ‘building democracy’ … and helping invigorate international media programs. The DCI [Casey] is also concerned about strengthening public information organizations in the United States such as Freedom House. …

“A critical piece of the puzzle is a serious effort to raise private funds to generate momentum. Casey’s talk with Scaife and Co. suggests they would be very willing to cooperate. … Suggest that you note White House interest in private support for the Democracy initiative.”

In subsequent years, Freedom House emerged as a leading critic of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government, which Reagan and Casey were seeking to overthrow by covertly supporting the Contra rebels. Freedom House also became a major recipient of money from the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy, which was founded in 1983 under the umbrella of the Casey-Raymond project.

The role of the CIA in these initiatives was concealed but never far from the surface. A Dec. 2, 1982 note addressed to “Bud,” a reference to senior NSC official Robert “Bud” McFarlane, described a request from Raymond for a brief meeting.  “When he [Raymond] returned from Langley [CIA headquarters], he had a proposed draft letter … re $100 M democ[racy]  proj[ect],” the note said.

While Casey pulled the strings on this project, the CIA director instructed White House officials to hide the CIA’s role. “Obviously we here [at CIA] should not get out front in the development of such an organization, nor should we appear to be a sponsor or advocate,” Casey said in one undated letter to then-White House counselor Edwin Meese III as Casey urged creation of a “National Endowment.”

On Jan. 21, 1983, Raymond updated Clark about the project, which also was reaching out to representatives from other conservative foundations, including Les Lenkowsky of Smith-Richardson, Michael Joyce of Olin and Dan McMichael of Mellon-Scaife. “This is designed to develop a broader group of people who will support parallel initiatives consistent with Administration needs and desires,” Raymond wrote.

Bashing Teresa Heinz

One example of how Scaife’s newspaper directly helped the Reagan administration can be seen in clippings from the Tribune-Review that I found in Raymond’s files. On April 21, 1983, the newspaper published a package of stories suggesting illicit left-wing connections among groups opposed to nuclear war.

The articles leave little doubt that Scaife’s newspaper is suggesting that these anti-war activists are communists or communist fellow travelers. One headline reads: “Reds Woo Some U.S. Peace Leaders.”

Another article cites an accusation from one congressman in the 1950s, after hearings on foundation grants “to numerous Communists and Communist-front organizations,” that “Here lies the story of how Communism and Socialism are financed in the U.S. – where they get their money.” The 1983 article then asks: “Is history repeating itself?”

Ironically, one of the philanthropists who is singled out in these red-baiting articles is Teresa Heinz, then married to Sen. John Heinz, R-Pennsylvania, who died in a 1991 plane crash. In 1995, Teresa Heinz married Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, who is currently Secretary of State.

The organizational role of Casey and Raymond in this domestic propaganda campaign raised concerns about the legality of having two senior CIA officials participating in a scheme to manage the perceptions of the American people.

Both in internal documents and a deposition to the congressional Iran-Contra committee, Raymond made clear his discomfort about the possible legal violation from his and Casey’s roles. Raymond formally resigned from the CIA in April 1983, so, he said, “there would be no question whatsoever of any contamination of this.”

That sensitivity was also reflected in press guidance prepared in case a reporter noted Raymond’s CIA background and the problems it presented to the “public diplomacy” effort. If someone challenged press reports that asserted “there is no CIA involvement in the Public Diplomacy Program” and then asked “isn’t Walt Raymond, a CIA employee, involved heavily?” – the prescribed answer was:

“Walter Raymond is a member of the National Security Council staff. In the past he has worked for Defense, CIA and State. It is true that in the formative stages of the effort, Walt Raymond contributed many useful ideas. It is ironic that he was one of those who was most insistent that there be no CIA involvement in this program in any way.

“Indeed, it is a credit to the Agency that it has stressed throughout that the United States ought to be completely open about the programs it puts in place to assist in the development of democratic institutions and that none of these programs should come under the aegis of the CIA. They do not want to be involved in managing these programs and will not be. We have nothing to hide here.”

If a reporter pressed regarding where Raymond last worked, the response was to be: “He retired from CIA. He is a permanent member of the National Security Council.” And, if pressed about Raymond’s duties, the scripted answer was: “His duties there are classified.” (Raymond’s last job at the CIA was Director of the Covert Action Staff with a specialty in propaganda and disinformation.)

Beyond how Raymond’s “classified duties” contradict the assertion that “we have nothing to hide here,” there was a more deceptive element of the press guidance: it didn’t mention the key role of CIA Director Casey in both organizing and directing the project – and it suggested that Raymond’s role had been limited to offering “many useful ideas” when he was the hands-on, day-to-day manager of the operation.

Casey’s Hidden Hand

Casey’s secret role in the propaganda scheme continued well into 1986, as Raymond continued to send progress reports to his old boss, even as Raymond fretted in one memo about the need “to get [Casey] out of the loop.”

The “public diplomacy” operation was “the kind of thing which [Casey] had a broad catholic interest in,” Raymond shrugged during his Iran-Contra deposition. He then offered the excuse that Casey undertook this apparently illegal interference in domestic politics “not so much in his CIA hat, but in his adviser to the president hat.”

Though the Casey-Raymond teamwork ended with the exposure of the Iran-Contra scandal in late 1986 and with Casey’s death on May 6, 1987, its legacy continued with Scaife and other rich right-wingers funding ideological media that protected the flanks of President Reagan, his successor President George H.W. Bush and other Republicans of that era.

For instance, Scaife helped fund the work of Steven Emerson, who played a key role in “discrediting” investigations into whether Reagan’s 1980 campaign had sabotaged President Jimmy Carter’s hostage negotiations with Iran to gain an edge in that pivotal election. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Unmasking October Surprise Debunker.”]

Scaife also helped finance the so-called “Arkansas Project” that pushed hyped and bogus scandals to damage the presidency of Bill Clinton. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Starr-gate: Cracks on the Right.”]

Walter Raymond Jr. died on April 16, 2003. Richard Mellon Scaife died on July 4, 2014. But Rupert Murdoch, now 83, remains one of the most powerful media figures on earth, continuing to wield unparalleled influence through his control of Fox News and his vast media empire that stretches around the globe.

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2015: “Year of the Militaristic Neocons”: Looming Global Financial Crisis and Wars?

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Global Research

 

The dangerous patriot: The one who drifts into chauvinism and exhibits blind enthusiasm for military actions. He is a defender of militarism and its ideals of war and glory. Chauvinism is a proud and bellicose form of patriotism, … which identifies numerous enemies who can only be dealt with through military power and which equates the national honor with military victory.” – James A. Donovan (1916-1970), American lawyer and Commander in the United States Navy Reserve

“Where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control.” – Lord Acton (1834-1902) (John E. Dalberg), English Catholic historian, politician, and writer

“If you want war, nourish a doctrine. Doctrines are the most frightful tyrants to which men ever are subject… ” – William Graham Sumner (1840-1910), American academic

“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. … It is our true [foreign] policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” – George Washington (1732-1799), First President of the United States, (1789-1797), Farewell Address, 1796

These days, militaristic Neoconservatives, or Neocons, have near complete control of the American government under the façade of whoever is president at the time. They direct U.S. policies at the State Department, at the Pentagon, at the U.S. Treasury and at the Fed central bank. They are thus in position to influence and frame American foreign policy, military policy, economic and financial policies and monetary policy.

This was not the case before the Ronald Reagan administration (1981-1989) when the latter adopted a neocon-inspired “muscular foreign policy” based on military intervention abroad, perpetual war, arbitrary regime changes, and imperial worldwide governance in any matters deemed to be in American interests and of that of its close allies. Even though they fared less well under the George H. Bush administration (1989-1993), when they were considered the “crazies in the basement”, they resumed their ascendance within the American government under the Bill Clinton administration (1993-2001) with the U.S.-led Kosovo war and with the irresponsible dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act, thus paving the way for the 2008 worldwide financial crisis.

The Neocons’ greatest success, however, came with the George W. Bush and Dick Cheney administration (2001-2009) when they persuaded the latter to launch the (illegal) 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a war still with us and expanding today, twelve years later. They also drafted the so-called “Bush Doctrine” of (illegal) preemptive wars and of forced political regime changes in other countries.

This was an ideology that the Neocons had long advanced, both when Paul Wolfowitz was Deputy Secretary of Defense for policy in the George H. Bush administration (1989-1993), even though the latter publicly repudiated it, and in various essays published by a neocon think-tank dubbed “The Project for the New American Century (PNAC)” and founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan.

After the fall of the Soviet empire in 1991, the warmongering Neocons argued that there should not be any “Peace dividend” for American taxpayers but rather that the United States should seize the opportunity to become the sole world military superpower and should therefore increase and not decrease its military spending. The intention was to establish a military New American Empire for the 21st Century, along the lines of the British Empire in the 19th Century.

Indeed, after the events of 9/11 and the arrival of George W. Bush in the White House in 2001, Paul Wolfowitz, as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld, was in a better position to push for increased U.S. military spending and for the adoption of a new aggressive U.S. foreign policy. What was most troubling is the fact that the PNAC produced a paper in 2000, titled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, (of which Paul Wolfowitz was a signatory), which enigmatically noted that only a “new Pearl Harbor” would make Americans accept the military and defense policy transformations that the neocon group was proposing. Then, in September 2001, the “new Pearl Harbor” coincidentally and conveniently morphed into the 9/11 attacks.

The war against Afghanistan, where the 9/11 terrorists had trained (and who came from Saudi Arabia and a few other countries), and the war against Iraq, a country not even remotely connected with the events of 9/11, followed.

At the beginning of 2015, Neocons occupy key positions within the Barack Obama administration and it should be no surprise that U.S. foreign policy is hardly any different than it was under the George W. Bush administration. They are constantly pushing for provocations, confrontations, conflicts and wars. In fact, the year 2015 could be the year when many of the fires they have lit could turn into conflagrations.

Let us look at a few of them.

1. The danger of another major financial and economic crisis

On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed an already watered down version of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to reign in financial corruption that brought about the 2008 financial crisis. The new law was supposed to re-establish part of the provisions of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act gutted out by the Clinton administration in 1999, in order to prevent megabanks and insurance companies from using government-insured deposits to build for themselves a pyramid of risky bets on the derivatives market (credit default swaps, commodity swaps, collateralized-debt obligations and other risky derivative financial products, etc.).

But guess what! Only four years later, on December 16, 2014, lobbyists and lawyers working full time for the megabanks persuaded President Obama to sign a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus bill disguised as a Budget Bill and which contains a provision to remove a rule known as the ‘swaps push-out’ rule, the latter requiring insured banks to establish uninsured subsidiaries to conduct their speculative derivatives trading activities.

As a consequence, American megabanks are now back in business speculating with government-insured deposits. When the entire financial house of cards will blow out again is unknown, but you can be sure that it will, especially if a serious political or economic shock hits the economy.

I would call that ‘financial brinkmanship’ and I would call Obama’s caving in to the megabanks ‘political cowardice’. And who do you think will pay in various ways for the economic mess when it occurs? Certainly not the megabanks that transformed their insolvent asset-backed securities into newly printed cold cash after the 2008 financial crisis, but ordinary people.

The U.S. economy and many other economies are still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis brought about by corrupted politicians and bankers with their lax or nonexistent regulations and excessive speculation schemes. Such economies are vulnerable and sensitive to unforeseen financial shocks because debt-to-income ratios are still high in many countries, including in the U.S. where the indebtedness ratio reached a peak of 177 percent just before the 2008-09 economic recession and still now stands at a lofty 152 percent. (Historically, the debt-to-income ratio has remained well below 90 percent.) A sudden rise in interest rates could therefore wreak havoc with many economies.

For one, the European Union (EU), the largest world economy, is teetering on the brink of recession, suffering from various government-imposed austerity programs, from an overvalued euro currency (for those countries in the euro zone) and from the economic blowback of its conflicts with Russia over including Ukraine into NATO. Europe is indeed in the midst of a lost decade of high unemployment, low economic growth and deteriorating social conditions. And, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

China’s economy, the third largest world economy, is also slowing down fast, with excess manufacturing capacity while its exports are suffering from a 25 percent appreciation of the Chinese renminbi since 2004 and from weak world demand. Moreover, its financial sector is also vulnerable to the fact that China’s debt level is now at a lofty 176 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Chinese economy is also going through structural changes as the Chinese government pursues policies to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign markets and to shift from an export-oriented model to more domestic sources of growth.

As for the U.S. economy, it is still weak and unable to generate enough new jobs, despite a rebound during the last few months, while the labor force participation rate has declined from 66.5 percent before the 2008-09 recession to 62.7 percent today. The fact that millions of Americans have part-time jobs and would like to have full-time jobs, and that real wages of those who work are stagnant or falling are also indicators that things have not come back to normal.

Since there is no fiscal policy and no industrial policy originating from the U.S. government, the Fed central bank has been obliged to step in with the most aggressive monetary policy in its history. Indeed, the Fed has quadrupled its bank lending to $4.5 trillion since 2008 and it has pursued a policy of risky zero-rate and low-rate policies.

As a consequence, the Fed has created a gigantic financial asset bubble. The unwinding of such monetary prodigiousness won’t be an easy task. What’s more, the U.S. government will be paralyzed by a political gridlock over the coming two years, a republican-controlled Congress being pitted against a lame-duck Democratic president, thus making it difficult for the U.S. government to respond adequately to a new financial crisis.

Another ominous sign is the collapse of the velocity of money in the U.S., just as during the late 1920s, right before the start of the Great Depression, and it is now at a nearly 20 year low. That both the American political and financial sectors are unhealthy should be worrisome for the coming years.

2. The real danger of a nuclear war with the rekindling of the old Cold War with Russia

Brinkmanship in financial matters is one thing; brinkmanship with nuclear war is another. Sadly, the neocon-inspired U.S. government is today involved in both.

Indeed, for many years now, the U.S. government has been engaged in an aggressive geopolitical warfare against Russia, first in pursuing a policy of geopolitical and military encirclement of Russia by expanding NATO to its borders with the integration of Ukraine, and second, by implementing a policy of economic warfare against Russia in order to undermine its economy and, eventually, to provoke a regime change in that country. It’s a game of “dare you?”

Some of the more lunatic Neocons openly call for a new World War III, presumably with Russia a country against which they seem to have personal animosities. These are some of the lunatics President Barack Obama listens to.

Oil as a geopolitical tool

The 50 percent drop of oil price in 2014 may be part of a wider U.S.-led economic warfare plan to destabilize the Russian economy and provoke an Oil Slump, knowing full well that 50 percent of Russian state revenue comes from its export sales of oil and gas. Above all, policy-makers in Washington D.C. want to break the Gazprom-E.U. supply dependency to weaken Russia and keep control over the E.U. via American allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Such an artificial drop in oil price appears to be a complement to the already known decisions to saddle Russia with stiff American-led economic and financial sanctions designed by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, (an outfit created in 2004 after intensive lobbying by AIPAC) and other attempts by the U.S. government to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian oil and gas.

Since September, Saudi Arabia, a country with excess oil capacity and low-cost production, (and in a position to manipulate the international price for oil), has suddenly and dramatically decided to sell crude oil at deeply discounted prices and to maintain its oil production at high levels in face of a declining world oil demand.

This is a reversal of what Saudi Arabia and the OPEC countries did in the fall of 1973 when they suddenly quadrupled the price for oil and provoked a global economic recession.

This is, however, a strategy similar to what Saudi Arabia adopted in 1986 when it flooded the world with cheap Saudi oil, thus collapsing the international price of oil to below $10 a barrel, after an agreement with the U.S. government. The objective then was to undermine the economies of the Soviet Union and its then Iraq ally, even though other economies such as the Canadian economy suffered greatly from such a gambit.

This time, there seems to be a convergence of interests between the U.S. government and the Saudi kingdom. From a U.S. government’s point of view, the main objective is to hurt the Russian and Iranian energy sectors and damage the finances of President Vladimir Putin’s Russian government, while securing Saudi Arabia’s assistance in fighting the Islamist State (IS) in Iraq and in Syria.

From a Saudi point of view, a world oil price war meets its regional and global objectives in three ways. First, it is well known that the Saudi government wants to dominate oil and gas production in the entire Middle East region and is in opposition to Iran and Syria for securing the rich European market. Second, the Saudi government would also like to pressure Russia to end its support for the Syrian al-Assad government. Third, Saudi Arabia also wishes to regain market shares that it lost to more costly oil from shale oil and oil sands. By lowering oil prices, Saudi Arabia hopes to reduce or even put such competing oil production out of business by making their production less profitable.

However, such a move is bound to severely damage oil production from oil shale in North Dakota in the USA and oil-producing states like Texas may fall into recession, even though the overall U.S. economy will benefit from cheaper oil. Oil production from tar sands in Alberta, Canada will also badly suffer and this means a drop in the Canadian dollar, and possibly a Canadian recession. The shale and tar sands oil industries will be the main innocent victims of the overall geopolitical policy pursued by the U.S. government and its Middle East allies.

Indeed, since the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an American client state, it is most unlikely that such a move to flood oil markets and precipitate a stiff drop in oil price was decided without a tacit, if not an overt, approval by the U.S. government. In fact, there is wide speculation that when U.S. secretary of state John Kerry met with King Abdullah in September 2014, they allegedly struck an overall deal to that effect.

Ukraine as a geopolitical pawn

As to the destabilization of Russia’s neighboring Ukraine, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has pretty much confirmed that the U.S. government was deeply involved in overthrowing the legitimate elected Ukrainian government last February, with the avowed objective of installing a U.S.puppet government in that country. This makes a mockery of democracy and only demonstrates how deeply the U.S. government is involved abroad in power politics and in aggressive interference in the domestic affairs of other countries.

Neoconservative Victoria Nuland, appointed Assistant Secretary of State by President Barack Obama, has publicly confirmed that the U.S. government has “invested” $5 billion to destabilize Ukraine and create a conflict between the latter country and Russia. It is hard not to conclude that the Ukrainian crisis is a made-in-Washington crisis. Her famous and insulting remark about Europe [“f*** the E.U.”] is another clear indication that the U.S. government wished to provoke a crisis with Russian not to help Europeans but to serve its own narrow imperial objectives, whatever the costs to the Russian people and to Europeans.

What is most disturbing is the irresponsibility with which the U.S. House of Representatives passed Resolution 758, on December 4, 2014, that is tantamount for all practical purposes to a declaration of war against Russia, based on false premises, distorted facts and false accusations. With that kind of irresponsible leadership, the world is presently in very bad hands.

The truth is that if Soviet missiles in Cuba, 90 miles from U.S. territory, were unacceptable to the U.S. government in 1962, American missiles in Ukraine, on the Russian borders, are unacceptable to the Russian government in 2015. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. For whoever knows history, that should not be too difficult to understand.

Conclusion

If world affairs take a turn for the worse in 2015, the world should know where to point the finger at the culprits. Some people think that world events occur by pure chance and there is no planning behind them. They are wrong. Dead wrong. Bad government policies, misdeeds, false flag operations or simple miscalculations are often at the heart of many geopolitical crises, be they financial, economic or military. Sometimes, it just happens that the “crazies in the basement” are in charge.

It is becoming clearer and clearer, even for the uninformed and the misinformed among us, that the resurgence of the Cold War confrontation with Russia has been engineered in Washington D.C. and that Russia has not been the aggressor, (as the official propaganda wants us to believe), but has rather reacted to a whole series of U.S.-led provocations.

Why have there been so many destabilizing interventions by the U.S. government around the world and who profit the most from this man-made instability? This is a good question that ordinary Americans should ask themselves.

Domestically, should the U.S. economy continue to be run by bankers? Internationally, should the U.S. government pursue its policy of deliberately attempting to drive the Russian government into a corner and takes measures to destroy the Russian economy? These are acts of war. Are ordinary Americans in agreement with such policies? Who will profit the most and who will loose the most if there were to be a nuclear war with Russia? Since Europeans would be at the forefront of such a conflict, this is a question that has also to be answered in Europe.

What the world desperately needs now is a law-governed international environment, not a jingoistic and chauvinistic world empire that looks only after its narrow self-interests.

More fundamentally maybe, we should reject the false ideology of clash between nations. It is a grave and dangerous fallacy that can only lead the world to disaster.

Posted in WorldComments Off on 2015: “Year of the Militaristic Neocons”: Looming Global Financial Crisis and Wars?

Terrorism, Torture, and the Problem of Evil in Our Time

NOVANEWS

by Richard Falk

Reading Confessions of a Terrorist: a novel by Richard Jackson (published by Zed Books, London & New York, 2014, $24.95, £16.99)

Richard Jackson, a professor of peace studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, has written a probing political essay that takes the form of an imagined dialogue between a British interrogator and an Egyptian terrorist who is apparently thought at the time of their conversation to be the mastermind of an imminent attack on Great Britain. Jackson is a well-regarded expert on the politics and tactics of terrorism and counterterrorism.

The novel complicates our understanding of such fundamental questions as ‘what is terrorism?’ ‘who are the terrorists?’ ‘when is violence justified?’ ‘is torture ever justified?’ ‘what is the proper balance between resistance and violence against the innocent?’ ‘is there an effective alternative to violence in conditions of foreign occupation? The motivation of those who choose violent resistance against various forms of oppression are depicted in a balanced and perceptive way, as well as the life choices made by individuals who forsake ‘normalcy’ to pursue radical political goals are sensitively explored.

There is a narrative line that keeps the reader engaged, and slightly disoriented. The text of the novel is presented to the reader in the format of an official government transcript replete with redactions and occasional italicized comments made by a higher ranking bureaucrat who recommends various deletions so as to avoid causing adverse impressions on politicians and public opinion. The interrogator acknowledges from time to time the validity of his captive’s arguments, but by contrast the commentary by the bureaucrat is totally devoid of affect, concerned only with saving face in the event of exposure, and has recourse to various devices to cover up any disclosures in the transcript that could prove awkward if exposed.

Part of what makes Confessions such an effective book is its non-judgmental tone that accepts this role-playing dynamic in which the two characters largely choose their respective ‘careers’ on the basis of their distinct social locations and individual experience. Neither is presented as morally superior to the other. Above all, morality and legality are sidelined by according priority to the higher callings of ‘freedom’ and ‘security’ by both characters—by the interrogating official and by the terrorist (addressed as ‘professor’ because he had been a professor economics in Egypt before joining the struggle). There is a spirit of mutual recognition, which occasionally lapses into an attitude of appreciation. Each person is responding to a challenging situation in an understandable manner, and yet each at the same time passes judgment on the dirty work of his counterpart. The interrogator is dragged through the counterterrorist mud by ‘the professor’ while the terrorist is humanized by linking his violent behavior to his deep experience of intolerable realities of inequality and oppression. In the end both men seem to coexist on a plane of ethical equivalence, with each destined to play out their part as if entrapped in a tragic drama. The tone of Confessions contrasts with American neocon Manicheanism, epitomized by the simplistic language of George W. Bush who insists that the CIA torturers were ‘patriots’ (and good) while their victims were ‘terrorists’ (and evil).

Jackson leaves readers on their own to contemplate the carnage and suffering caused by the actual encounters taking place in the real world, inevitably raising concerns as to whether there might be a better way to organize the collective life of the planet. In other words, can the characters in the novel escape from their assigned roles?

With nuclear weapons under the control of as many as nine governments and trends toward global warming showing few signs of abatement, the hegemonic and militarized dynamics of control and resistance seem dangerously precarious compulsions, threatening future catastrophe, and maybe even species annihilation. It seems to me that the sub-text of Confessions, if I am not (mis)reading is the question that haunted many of Jacques Derrida’s later reflections: are societies capable of finding ways to live together in peace and harmony? Not just to get along or cohabit, but to enjoy the reality of the other in sustainable and mutually satisfying ways. Even positing such an aspiration amid the turmoil and strife of our lifeworld strikes an irresponsibly utopian note. Perhaps, Jackson doesn’t want us to go there at all, but to stop short, and be content to decode what these archetypal adversaries of contemporary state/society relations are really saying and doing. If this is indeed the intention, we can thank Jackson for bestowing an excellent pedagogical tool that can serve us well in classrooms and life circumstances.

While the dialogue proceeds, there is also a drama of sorts mysteriously unfolding. It becomes unclear toward the end who is the prisoner of whom, and the entire plot thickens, raising the broad question as to which side has the upper hand in these titanic struggles of our time. In effect, is there ‘a right side’ of history that will eventually prevail, or are we forever doomed to be afflicted by the toxic dialectics of violence? The collapse of European colonialism suggests one kind of answer, but the rise of neoliberalcapitalism suggests another. These larger concerns are not addressed directly by this fundamental interplay between violence from below and violence from above, which is what our preoccupation with whether such a struggle can be restrained within limits (respecting prohibitions on torture, refraining from targeting schools and hospitals) or is inevitably controlled by revolutionary absolutes.

The decision to have the interrogator be British, not American, seems odd at first, appearing to divert attention from the core global encounter, but on further thought, there is a supporting rationale. The colonial background of Britain in the Middle East may be a more valid perspective than the more conventional focus on the post-colonial role being played by the United States throughout the world.

Whatever else, Jackson has written a page-turning and thought-provoking book, which is highly recommended to anyone perplexed by this incurable scourge of violence. Although its characters are invented and the dialogue imagined, the reading experience is uncomfortably closer to non-fiction than fiction. In this instance, the imagined world is the real world! You can get a fuller sense of Richard Jackson’s thinking by visiting his consistently intelligent blog <richardjacksonterrorismblog.wordpress.com> The foreign offices and intelligence services of the world should have been required to read his posts on ISIS, which might have encouraged some thinking outside the militarist box, which is long overdue.

Posted in USAComments Off on Terrorism, Torture, and the Problem of Evil in Our Time

QALAMOON: SYRIAN SPEC FORCES AMBUSH MAIN LEADERS OF NUSRA

NOVANEWS
HOMS: THE DEFEAT OF OBAMA’S TERRORISTS CONTINUES

فيديو/الجيش يسيطر على بلدتين بريف اللادقية ويقتل قادة للمسلحين

‘Assaal Al-Ward Foothills:  Some of the most dangerous criminal leaders in the Nusra gang were killed yesterday in a perfectly executed ambush by SAA Special Forces here.  They were traveling in a convoy in cars specially fitted for them.  The names have not been released, yet, but we are expecting some glowing reports.

Fighting also reported at Qaarra, Al-Burayj, Ra`s Al-Ma’arra Foothills

HOMS:

مقتل أخطر قيادات الإرهابيين بكمين محكم للجيش في جبال القلمون

Al-Wa’er:  The SAA continues to beat away at terrorist revetments and fortifications in this quarter that is home to 300,00 innocent Syrian civilians.  Yesterday, the SAA killed members of a group called the Al-Baraa` Bin Maalik Brigade (yawn) and Nusra:

Muhammad Abu ‘Izzu

Saleem Khattaat

The total killed here yesterday was 7.

City of Homs:  At the Al-Bayyaadha Roundabout, SAA sappers dismantled a car fitted with 100-120 kgs of C-4 enhanced explosive which was rigged to detonate by remote control.

 

 

تفكيك سيارة مفخخة بـ120 كغ من مادة السي فور في حي البياضة بحمص

Rajm Al-Qassr:  An attempted infiltration to the secure Umm Jaami’ village in the area of Jubb Al-Jarraah was a typical failure.  No other details.

Ayn Hussayn:  An attempted infiltration to secure ‘Ayn Al-Danaaneer resulted in 9 dead rodents yesterday.

Fighting reported in these areas:  Al-‘Ilyaana Village, West Habra Village, Jadhal gas fields in Al-Shaa’er Mountain area, Rasm Al-Dhab’ah

West Al-Mushayrifa:  Confirmed 18 rats killed.  A pickup with 23mm cannon destroyed.  1 pickup loaded with IEDs destroyed along with a van used to transport rodents.

Al-Rastan:  Confirmed 5 rats killed yesterday.  No names.

North Talbeesa:  A field commander for the idiotically named Brigades of Faith in Allah was killed:

“Abu Waa`il Al-Homsi” (Id pending)

PICTURE OF THE WEEK:

Saudi King Taken to the Hospital

The child molesting degenerate ape “king” of Scarabia, ‘Abdullah, seen in this photo gagging and retching as he is taken off to certain death at the hands of Saudi quacks at some hospital built by Europeans.  He is dying of lung cancer but has defied our prayers for a quick, but painful, demise for months.

Posted in USAComments Off on QALAMOON: SYRIAN SPEC FORCES AMBUSH MAIN LEADERS OF NUSRA

‘Today is the day democracy is murdered’: Wave of repression sweeps South Korea

NOVANEWS
By Gregory Elich
‘Today is the day democracy is murdered’: Wave of repression sweeps South Korea

“With each passing week, mass demonstrations in downtown Seoul swelled ever larger in size, denouncing the NIS for its interference in the electoral process.”

On December 19, the South Korean Constitutional Court delivered a devastating blow against the progressive movement when it disbanded theUnified Progressive Party (UPP) with immediate effect. That act came as the culmination of a long campaign by South Korean President Park Geun-hye to shackle the labor movement and smash political opposition.

The Constitutional Court case was initiated over a year ago when the Ministry of Justice filed a petition with the court to ban the UPP.  The pretext for the petition was the arrest of six prominent members of the UPP on the charge of plotting a rebellion to overthrow the government.  As evidence, the government offered a speech National Assembly representative Lee Seok-ki delivered to fellow UPP members, which was recorded by a turncoat acting as a spy for the National Intelligence Service (NIS). The NIS released to the media a transcript of the speech that it had substantially altered, replacing ordinary words and phrases with inflammatory rhetoric. By attributing words to Lee that he had never spoken, the NIS succeeded in whipping up hostility against the UPP.

The trial of Lee Seok-ki and his five colleagues was notable for the prosecution’s distortions and fanciful testimony. It was clear that the state’s star witness had concocted the entire scenario of rebellion from his imagination and unsupported supposition. The lack of evidence to back the prosecution’s case was no impediment for the staunchly conservative judge, however, and he found all six defendants guilty of plotting rebellion. The case was appealed to the High Court, which ruled that it could not conclude that the defendants had plotted a rebellion. The defendants were nevertheless found guilty of “incitement” and for having violated the vaguely worded National Security Law, resulting in only a modest reduction of their prison terms.  The case is now before the Supreme Court, which is expected to issue a ruling within weeks.

The timing of the initial accusation and publication of the fabricated transcript of Lee Seok-ki’s speech came at a decisive moment in the Korean political scene. One revelation after another had been appearing in the press, showing that the National Intelligence Service had persistently and extensively interfered in the 2012 electoral campaign. The NIS sought to sway the election by flooding the Internet with postings and tweets that defamed liberal and progressive candidates and praised conservatives, all done under the guise of originating from private citizens.

With each passing week, mass demonstrations in downtown Seoul swelled ever larger in size, denouncing the NIS for its interference in the electoral process. The Unified Progressive Party and its allies spearheaded these demonstrations, earning the undying enmity of the conservative ruling party.

The demonstrations placed the ruling party in an embarrassing position. It struck back by launching a campaign of lies against the UPP, which succeeded in driving a wedge between the progressive movement and liberals, and brought the demonstrations against the NIS to a halt. Public attention was diverted from the record of NIS malfeasance.

In its decision, the Constitutional Court ruled that the UPP had a “hidden objective of realizing North Korean-style socialism” and presented a “substantial threat to society.” The court declared that the party “aims to accomplish progressive democracy through violence.” UPP members, it added, are “followers of North Korea, and the progressive democracy they pursue is overall the same or very similar to the North’s revolutionary strategy against South Korea in almost all respects.”

Those assertions were wholly unsupported by the evidence and reflected the conservative-dominated court’s antipathy towards the ideals espoused by the UPP. Nothing in the party’s history or record backed the court’s claims.

Like many other Koreans across a broad political spectrum, the Unified Progressive Party wished for “peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula,” as the party program expresses it. This widespread and non-controversial sentiment hardly makes the UPP “followers of North Korea.”

The Unified Progressive Party aimed to create “a people-centered world by being on the ground with the working class.” Its program called for “non-discrimination and labor rights” and a half tuition fee for students. In support of farmers, it advocated implementation of a government purchasing policy on agricultural products. On behalf of working people, the party called for “youth employment through a youth employment quota” and a halt to privatization of government entities. Only during an era dominated by neoliberal hegemony could such goals be considered a threat to society.

The forced disbanding of the UPP casts the party’s 100,000-some members and its many followers adrift, without political representation. As UPP chairwoman Lee Jung-hee put it during her final testimony before the Constitutional Court: “The government’s attempt to dissolve the UPP is not just about determining the fate of the party or its representatives.  It’s about depriving workers, farmers, and the common people—who, by voting for the UPP, wanted to be equal owners of Korea—of their right to vote and freedom of political opinion.”

“The government’s key argument is that the UPP—after achieving confederation-model unification—will opt for North Korean-style socialism,” Lee continued. “This is baseless speculation. North Korean socialism is a system designed for North Korea and cannot be a system for South Korea. The government says that having an omnipotent supreme leader is at the heart of North Korean socialism. There is no reason for the people of South Korea, who rejected the prolonged Yushin dictatorship of Park Chung-hee and the indirect election system of the Chun Doo-hwan regime, and waged the Kwangju People’s Uprising and the June Uprising to achieve direct elections and single-term presidency, to throw away these achievements and choose to follow an omnipotent supreme leader. The majority of the UPP’s staff and members participated in and dedicated themselves to these democratic struggles, and the party’s platform clearly states that the UPP follows the tradition of these struggles.”

As the Constitutional Court announced its verdict against the UPP, defense lawyer Kwon Young-guk stood up and exclaimed: “Today is the day democracy is murdered.  History will rule on this verdict.” In what would prove symbolic of the government’s attitude as a whole towards progressives, security guards swarmed over Kwon, covering his mouth so that he could not speak, and dragged him out of court.

With the decision banning the party in effect, the witch hunt against progressives is on. The party was directed to relinquish its government subsidies, and all of its assets have been frozen. All five party members who held seats in the National Assembly were removed from office. The National Election Commission then stripped six UPP officials of their seats on local councils.

A right-wing civic group filed a complaint against the UPP with the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office, asking for the arrest of all 100,000-some members of the party for violating the National Security Law. It reveals the malevolence of the government vendetta against the UPP that such an outrageous complaint was accepted and is being pursued. The Public Security office has begun an investigation to determine if the UPP “aided the enemy,” and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Security Unit is handling the investigation of individuals. Although it is not likely that the entire membership will be arrested, the investigation will probably sweep up a great many of the most active.

Meanwhile, police raided the offices of the progressive organization Corea Alliance, as well as the homes of nine of its members. Attorney Jang Kyung-wook, who successfully defended a client against the charge of violating the National Security Law, has come under police investigation. Police searched the offices of his group, Lawyers for a Democratic Society.  Jang is under investigation for having spoken to a North Korean representative at a seminar in Germany. “Am I not supposed to go to an international seminar I’ve been invited to if a North Korean also participates?” Jang wondered.

Similarly, police struck at the home and church of a pastor who had had a conversation with the North Korean representative at the same seminar. The police regarded his innocuous conversation as a violation of the National Security Law’s restriction against “meeting, correspondence, or coordination with the enemy.”

Months before the dissolution of the UPP, the Ministry of Justice announced a plan to have legislation passed that would grant it authority to disband what it termed “anti-state” groups. “The UPP is just the tip of the iceberg,” one Justice Ministry official disclosed, adding that there are many individuals and groups that the ministry wanted to go after. The initial raids on the homes and offices of progressives mark only the beginning. Attacks on progressives are sure to mount in the coming months.

The government has already gone after the labor movement, banning the teachers’ union and refusing to recognize the government employees’ union. One year ago, several hundred police stormed the headquarters of theKorean Confederation of Trade Unions, detaining around 130 people. Six union officials were arrested on the charge of supporting a strike by railway workers.

President Park Geun-hye is calling for “reform” of the labor market as “an urgent and important task.” Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan reproached workers for being “overprotected.” The solution, as the government sees it, is to bring “flexibility” to the entire labor force, allowing companies a freer hand in adjusting wages downward and setting schedules. The Federation of Korean Trade Unions condemns the plan as a “gift set for capitalists” and pointed out that it would only “produce low-quality jobs.”

The ruling Saenuri Party is taking steps to ensure that progressives can never again run for electoral office. UPP members are already banned from creating another progressive party. A conservative assemblyman has drawn up a bill that would prevent anyone having belonged to the UPP from running for office for the next ten years.  The Ministry of Justice is planning to draw up legislation that would prohibit the creation of a political party with a program similar to the UPP. If that legislation passes, it will make it illegal for any political party to advocate a progressive program on behalf of working people.

During the 2012 election, the Unified Progressive Party joined in an electoral alliance with the mainstream Democratic United Party (since renamed to the New Politics Alliance for Democracy – NPAD).  Such alliances should be a thing of the past, the ruling party warns. Saenuri Party spokesperson Park Dae-chul rebuked the NPAD in a dark tone: “The party that formed an alliance with the UPP, and those central to the move, must reflect on their actions.” Saenuri Party Chairman Kim Moo-sung demanded that NPAD “must declare the termination of its ties with the UPP.”

If the ruling party believes it can crush the spirit of progressives and silence their voices, then it is seriously mistaken. Korean activists braved police batons, bullets, imprisonment, and torture to oppose the Yushin dictatorship and bring down military rule. Their battle to bring democracy to South Korea was an inspiration to fighters for justice throughout the world.

In a heartfelt message to supporters following the Constitutional Court decision, UPP chairwoman Lee Jung-hee said: “The Park Geun-hye administration degraded this country to a dictatorship. With a judgment that employed fictions and imagination, the court opened the door to totalitarianism. Beginning today, the doctrines of independence, democracy, equality, peace and unification, and politics for the laborers, farmers, and the people, are banned. Dark times, where freedom of expression and assembly is completely denied, lie ahead.”

“The government in power dissolved the UPP today and will tie down our hands and feet,” Lee continued. “But they cannot dissolve our dream for progressive politics, nurtured in our hearts. The government banned the platform of self-reliance, democracy, and unification, but it cannot ban our love for the weary and our divided peninsula. Because they cannot stamp out our dream and love . . . we will not abandon progressive politics.”

The Korean progressive movement has a militant spirit second to none. Do not look for the Western media to report on it, but the Park Geun-hye government can expect to face one hell of a fightback.

Posted in South KoreaComments Off on ‘Today is the day democracy is murdered’: Wave of repression sweeps South Korea

If You Want to Live a Happy LifeThen Be Like the Jews,

NOVANEWS

In Arab British Jewish Newspaper Declares

regurgitating kosher propaganda by deception commode

“I personally learned from the Jews that it is no exaggeration to say that ‘if you want to live a happy life, then be like the Jews.’” So says the Kurdish writer Mahdi Majid Abdullah in a remarkable oped published in the liberal Arab daily Elaph, based in London. (Arabic text only)

But Abdullah’s article is likely to cause a stir regardless, and not only because the author is a member of the one Middle Eastern nationthe Kurds, with whom Jews have always enjoyed warm relations.

 Jewgle-translated English version : https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http://www.elaph.com/Web/opinion/2014/12/968094.html&edit-text=&act=url  [Copy and paste, clicking the link doesn’t work properly]

Algemeiner

“I personally learned from the Jews that it is no exaggeration to say that ‘if you want to live a happy life, then be like the Jews.’” So says the Kurdish writer Mahdi Majid Abdullah in a remarkable oped published in the liberal Arab daily Elaph.

Based in London, Elaph bills itself as the Arab world’s only independent newspaper, with a particular accent on liberal and democratic causes. The paper has tussled with several Arab regimes in the past, including those in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

The paper is, therefore, no stranger to controversy. But Abdullah’s article is likely to cause a stir regardless, and not only because the author is a member of the one Middle Eastern nation, the Kurds, with whom Jews have always enjoyed warm relations. His views directly challenge the prevailing climate of hostility and prejudice towards Jews across the region.

“When I came to the European country where I live, I settled in the city inhabited by a large number of Jews and I got to know a Jewish family and which strengthened my relationship with other Jewish writers and journalists,” Abdullah wrote.

He then continued:

Jewish families teach children from a young age on the proper goals and values ​​and principles, which instill confidence and facilitate the way for him and fueled by tenderness and kindness and to make him know how to walk in the path of his life, so the Jew does not see failure in his life. Where Jews entered a city or a country they dominated them culturally and intellectually, politically and economically for the greater good at this place. There is no need to list many examples; just to know that the United States and Europe are successful was because of the Jews who have lived there, and in the eastern countries if we go back to the history books, we find the Arab and Islamic countries were living in affluence in all respects when the Jews inhabited them.

In European countries do not see the young Jew interested in meaningless things, while the young Muslim and Christian is interested in pursuing football supporting his club or national team, or gasping behind drinks and pursuing girls in the bars and nightclubs or on the streets. You find a Jew interested in the study or the economy or in the goal of particular benefit to himself and others. Of course, there are also creative and responsible Muslims and Christians, but compared with the Jews their proportions are negligible.

Dear reader, do you ever asked yourself why Jews are ahead and in control of the economy and politics and media world, but in the field of singing and dance and football you hardly see them?

Those that say Jews are racist are wrong because the Jews’ main purpose in life has a focus and organization and no time for the side conversations or cafes or chasing girls and young women, or alcohol or recreational things that do little but to grant a false sense of temporary pleasure.

You do not see a Jew insult the validity of your religion and you do not hear from him a word of abuse towards any belief or religion or any nationality or any civilization; they have respect for themselves, respect for women and others. They do not ask you to give up your religion; in Israel you can find dozens if not hundreds of cultural centers and religious heritage centers that are government-backed and sponsored, with the knowledge that most of these centers do not coincide with thought, but no one objected to them and their religious freedom and cultural and expressions reserved for all patrons.

Some critics might say these words reflect more benevolent stereotypes of Jews, as well as pointing out that there are indeed professional Jewish soccer players and pop singers, and that Jews are occasionally spotted drinking in bars. Still, Abdullah’s article illustrates dramatically the limitations of the Arab campaign to demonize both the Jews and the Jewish state.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IraqComments Off on If You Want to Live a Happy LifeThen Be Like the Jews,

When truth is outlawed German Holocaust Penalcode ”VIDEO”

 NOVANEWS

(Sylvia Stolz speech)

 

Posted in GermanyComments Off on When truth is outlawed German Holocaust Penalcode ”VIDEO”

Wiesenthal Center top 10 list: Worst global ”anti-Semitic”/anti-Israel incidents of 2014

NOVANEWS

Nazi Holocaust in Gaza

Europe dominates the list of incidents of Zionist hatred and ”anti-Semitic” violence, with six mentions??

JP

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has ranked the 10 worst outbreaks of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in 2014. Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the human rights organization, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that this year’s list seeks to show how anti-Semitic “rhetoric at the top has filtered down to average people.”

Hier said the center deliberately chose not to include principal Arab leaders and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan because the ranking system reveals the spread of hate on a grassroots level.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center’s associate dean, told the Post that Europe dominated the list of incidents of Israel hatred and anti-Semitic violence, with six mentions.

The No. 1 slot went to a doctor in Belgium who refused to provide medical care to a 90-year-old Jewish woman with a fractured rib. He told her son, who had requested the care: “Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she will get rid of the pain. I’m not coming,” and hung up.

Hershy Taffel, Bertha Klein’s grandson, filed a formal discrimination complaint with the authorities, according to the paper Joods Actueel.

“It reminds me of what happened in Europe 70 years ago,” Taffel said. “I never thought those days would be repeated.”

Parts of Jordan’s government and the Palestinian Fatah party in Israel’s disputed territories garnered the second spot. After Palestinian terrorists murdered four rabbis in the Kehilat Bnai Torah synagogue in west Jerusalem, Jordanian MPs organized a moment of silence for the terrorists and read Koran verses aloud, stating their purpose was to “glorify their pure souls and the souls of all the martyrs in the Arab and Muslim nations.”

The Wiesenthal Center’s list noted that Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour sent a condolence letter to the families of the terrorists, writing, “I ask God to envelope them with mercy and to grant you patience, comfort and recovery from your grief…” In response to Palestinian acts of vehicular terrorism, which included the death of a baby at a Jerusalem light rail stop, and the murder of three Israeli teenagers kidnapped from a bus stop, Fatah depicted the boys as rats in a cartoon on its official website.

The brutal assault on a Jewish couple, including the rape of a woman, in an apartment on the outskirts of Paris, resulted in ranking No. 3.

Assailants tied up the couple and demanded, “Tell us where you hide the money. You Jews always have money.”

MPs from the radical anti-Israel wing of Germany’s Left Party secured the No. 4 spot. Annette Groth, Inge Höger, Claudia Haydt and Heike Hänsel fomented hatred of the Jewish state during a talk in the Bundestag. Höger and Groth invited two obscure anti-Israel extremists, Max Blumenthal and David Sheen, to deliver talks against Israel.

According to the center, “On November 10, the Left Party invited notorious Israel-bashers… in the party’s meeting room in the Bundestag, the day after commemoration of the anniversary of Kristallnacht – the 1938 pogrom when the Nazis burned Jewish synagogues across Germany. Blumenthal often casts Zionism as racism and conflates alleged Israeli misdeeds with Nazi imagery.”

The center wrote, “That was too much for top party leader Gregor Gysi, who canceled the usage of the party’s meeting room. The incident came to be known as ‘Toiletgate,’ because Gysi was forced to barricade himself in a bathroom to escape the wrath of Blumenthal and Sheen.

“It highlighted the ongoing efforts to demonize Israel by a group of extreme anti-Israel MPs, led by Inge Höger and Annette Groth. Both of these parliamentarians were onboard the controversial 2010 Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla and upon their return to Berlin, were hailed by many of their party’s MPs.”

In response to the Toiletgate scandal, a petition signed by reform Left Party MPs, local politicians and members directed at but not limited to Haydt, Hänsel, Höger and Groth, states: “By stoking obsessive hatred of and demonizing Israel, members of our party in positions of responsibility are promoting anti-Semitic patterns of argument and a relativization of the Holocaust and the German responsibility for the extermination of millions of European Jews.”

The fifth ranking went to Turkish columnist Faruk Köse, who in his column in Yeni Akit, a newspaper with closes ties to President Erdogan’s government, wrote that Turkish Jews should pay a special tax for damages during Operation Protective Edge this past summer.

Köse also sought to convince Erdogan that the Jewish community should apologize for Israel’s self-defense measures during the operation.

“You came here after being banished from Spain. You have lived comfortably among us for 500 years and gotten rich at our expense. Is this your gratitude – killing Muslims? Erdogan, demand that the community leader apologize. “So of course one feels like saying, ‘God bless that Hitler!’”

The spread of right-wing anti-Semitism by Björn Söder, a Sweden Democrats Party politician, resulted in a sixth-place ranking. He said in an interview, “Most [people] of Jewish origin who have become Swedes leave their Jewish identity,” and that it is important to distinguish between “citizenship and nationhood.”

The Wiesenthal Center blasted Sweden’s government for failing to combat Jew hatred, saying, “Swedish Jews have been targets of hate crimes from Muslim extremists, but authorities have rarely, if ever, taken action against the perpetrators.”

The neo-fascist Mayor Mihaly Zoltan Orosz of Erpatek in eastern Hungary garnered the seventh slot, for his hanging of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres in effigy at a public display in early August. According to the Wiesenthal entry, he told reporters “the Jewish terror state” was trying to annihilate the Palestinians, and he opposed “the efforts of Freemasons to rule the world.”

The sign hanging above the “body” of Peres reads: “I am a war criminal, bastard genocider, that’s why I get my rightful punishment, death by hanging! I am going to my master, to Satan, because hellfire awaits me! – Simón Peresz.”

The eighth spot listed two examples of “spreading hate in academia.” The United Auto Workers #2865 union, which represents graduate students in California, promoted a successful boycott to demonize the Jewish state.

Steven Salaita, an Arab-American professor, called “for the destruction of Israel.” On social media, he wrote, “At this point, if Netanyahu appeared with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?” Salaita also said of American Jewry: “Every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime.”

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. a former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon, earned No. 9 on the list. He drove to a Jewish community center and the Jewish Home for the Aging in suburban Kansas City, Kansas, prior to the Passover holiday and shot three people. He told a journalist that he “wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews… before I died.”

The three victims were non-Jews.

The final ranking captured the outbreak of Jew hatred in the United Kingdom. A sporting goods store in Hertfordshire, England was cited, where a security guard barred Jewish students from entering, saying “No Jews, no Jews.”

Dave Whelan, owner of the Wigan Athletic football team, told reporters, ‘I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else.”

Rabbi Cooper told the Post that the center aimed to present “the global nature of all strata of society of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic stuff.” He said the list was not supposed to be a purely scientific instrument, but to capture broad trends across the world to demonize Jews and Israel.

In several countries, up to a third of Jewish residents are mulling emigration, according to a 2013 study by the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights. Anti-Semitic chants and physical violence against Jews during European protests against Israel’s Gaza offensive this summer brought widespread condemnations by leading politicians there and made life feel very precarious for those affected.

At the time, European leaders issued strong statements against the rise of anti-Semitism in their countries, with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy harshly condemning pro-Palestinian demonstrators, vowing to make use of “all legal measures” to maintain public order over the summer.

In a joint statement from Brussels this summer, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier, France’s Laurent Fabius and Italy’s Federica Mogherini denounced “the ugly anti-Semitic statements, demonstrations and attacks of the last few days,” declaring that “nothing, including the dramatic military confrontation in Gaza, justifies such actions in Europe.”

Recent developments in Europe, including a court decision to remove Hamas from the EU’s list of terrorist organizations and the failure of the European Parliament to establish a working group on anti-Semitism, have weakened faith among some Jews in the continental association’s ability to combat anti-Semitism.

The Wiesenthal list quoted Danny Cohen, director of BBC television, as capturing the feelings of many: “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months. And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually? Because you feel it; I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before, actually.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Wiesenthal Center top 10 list: Worst global ”anti-Semitic”/anti-Israel incidents of 2014

Answering The Beit Yosef’s Famous Hanukkah Question Or Why Jewish Tales Are For Fairies

NOVANEWS

untruthful menorah

OCDG: An admission by the jews that the “hanukkah miracle” was made up. If you can’t trust jewish stories, what can you trust? 🙂

FailedMessiah (Does that mean that the Messiah has failed?)

Rabbi Yosef Karo, the author of the Shulkhan Arukh, wrote an earlier work called the Beit Yosef, and is often referred to by its title. Karo asked a question several Rishonim (leading medieval rabbis) asked before him and other leading rabbis asked afterward: If the oil in the Temple menorah lasted seven days when there was only enough oil to last one day, why do we commemorate this miracle of oil on Hanukkah by lighting menorahs for eight days? Shouldn’t we light them for seven? Shouldn’t Hanukkah only be seven days long? The answer to Karo’s famous question is actually quite simple – so simple, in fact, that almost all haredim don’t have any idea what the real answer to Karo’s question is.

Here’s the answer in eight parts:

1. Hanukkah does not commemorate a miracle of oil. There was no such miracle. All contemporaneous accounts of the first Hanukkah make no mention of such a miracle and for hundreds of years afterward, the sources are silent about this ‘miracle of oil.’  We first hear about it in Talmudic times about 600 years after the purported miracle supposedly took place.

2. Hanukkah celebrates the capture and rededication of the Temple by the Hasmoneans (Maccabees), who had hoped to have the Temple liberated and ready for use in time for Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret – which together are 8 days long. But the capture and cleanup took longer than expected, and the Hasmonean’s rededication celebration took place about two months after Sukkot-Shemini Atzeret was over. As part of the celebration, the Hasmoneans lit torches and lamps in the Temple compound (something Jews really liked). Ancient contemporaneous sources confirm this.

3. The first Hanukkah was intended as a one-off holiday that was a combination of a celebration of the military victory and the Temple’s rededication on one hand and a kind of make-up holiday for the Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret holidays which had been missed due to the war on the other, but by the second year it had morphed into its own folk festival roughly analogous to America’s Fourth of July. People lit lights – usually one light – each night for eight days and partied.The Hasmoneans decided to continue having a yearly commemoration of their victory and of the Temple liberation, and called it Orot – lights. (The name is also confirmed by early sources.)

4. The early rabbis were ambivalent about the holiday and about the Hasmoneans, and that ambivalence grew to outright opposition by late in the Hasmonean reign.

5. The people kept celebrating Hanukkah anyway, because the early rabbis were almost completely irrelevant.

6. During the First Revolt against Rome, and after the Temple was destroyed and that revolt was crushed, and then again during and after the Bar Kokhba revolt, Jews viewed Hanukkah much like American’s might have viewed July Fourth during the War of 1812 when the Capital and White House were burned by the British.

7. As the Land of Israel became less and less Jewish due to persecution, hardships and conversion, Hanukkah (likely still called Orot) was a wistful symbol of hope for the remaining Jews, and was likely a popular folk holiday among Jews in Babylon and elsewhere in the Middle Eastern Diaspora.

8. At about this time, the rabbis began teaching about a “miracle of oil” and tried to use it to convert the Hasmonean’s celebration of a military victory and a make-up holiday for a missed Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret into a rabbinic holiday that proved God’s power. This became the holiday we now call Hanukkah.

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