Archive | February 5th, 2015

US loses its grip on I$raHell and Palestinians

NOVANEWS
Zionism corrupting US democracy

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

For 20 years, the White House stood guard over the peace process, reserving for itself the role of stewarding Israel and the Palestinians to a resolution of their conflict. Like some Godfather, the US expected unquestioning loyalty.

But Washington’s primacy in the relationship with both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships is unravelling at astonishing speed.

The crisis has been building for six years. Barack Obama arrived at the White House just as Israel elected one of the most right wing governments in its history, led by Binyamin Netanyahu.

Engineering a US-Iran war

At their first meeting Obama reportedly told his Israeli counterpart “not one more brick”, insisting on a settlement-building freeze so that Washington could revive the long-stalled Oslo peace process.

Netanyahu soon defied the president, and has been doing so ever since. The latest humiliation – the final straw, according to White House officials – was Netanyahu’s success in engineering an invitation to address the US Congress next month.

By all accounts, the Israeli prime minister hopes to undermine a key plank of Obama’s foreign policy – negotiating a deal with Iran on its nuclear programme – by persuading Congress to stiffen sanctions against Tehran. That risks a crisis that might ultimately drag the US into war with Iran.

But Netanyahu is not alone in testing Obama’s power. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has also recently chosen to bypass the White House. After years of fruitless waiting, he has pinned his hopes on new international sponsors who can help him achieve his goal of statehood.

Ignoring White House injunctions, he has pressed ahead with resolutions at the United Nations and has now deployed his doomsday weapon: joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague. Israelis are calling this a “diplomatic intifada” and urging the US to cut its USD 400 million annual aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Just as with a mafioso boss, Obama is in trouble if he can no longer inspire fear, let alone respect. But the problem is all his own making.

Spitting in America’s face with impunity

For six years, Netanyahu “spat in our face”, as one White House official memorably observed of the latest crisis, and paid no discernible price for his impudence. Conversely, Abbas has done everything the Obama administration asked of him, and has precisely nothing to show for his efforts.

Both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships believe separately that they have core – even existential – interests that the White House is now an obstacle to realising.

Abbas’s disobedience is born of necessity. Aware that the US will never act as honest broker in the peace process, he has been forced to turn to international forums, where Washington’s power is weaker, in the hope of forcing Israel to concede a small Palestinian state.

Netanyahu’s move, meanwhile, is based on the risky calculation that he can manoeuvre the US into a confrontation with Iran to maintain Israel’s regional domination. In doing so, he has made two dubious assumptions.

The first is that he can wait out Obama, who has little more than a year and a half left in office. Netanyahu is betting on a hardline Republican successor who will follow his lead against Tehran.

He may well be disappointed. Even assuming a Republican wins, their hawkish campaign rhetoric on Iran will be fiercely tested by the limitations of office. The US intelligence agencies and military will be instructing the next president in the same cold political realities faced by Obama.

And second, Netanyahu believes he can use the Congress to stymie any threat of an agreement between Washington and Tehran. His working assumption is that the Congress is “Israeli-occupied territory”, as a US observer once called it.

Certainly, Israel has enormous sway in the Congress, but Netanyahu is already getting a lesson in the limits of his influence when up against a cornered US president.

Leading Democrats, it seems, are choosing to side with Obama. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, has already warned that many Democrats may boycott Netanyahu’s speech. Others may attend but sit on their hands rather than join in the rapturous applause he received last time he addressed Congress.

Risking the bipartisan consensus on Israel

And here is one of the several warning signs Netanyahu has adamantly refused to heed.

His – and Israel’s – influence in the US depends on its bipartisan nature. By taking on the president, Netanyahu risks smashing apart Washington’s political consensus on Israel and exposing the American public for the first time to a debate about whether Israeli interests coincide with US ones.

The very rift he is fostering with Obama is likely to rebound on him strategically too. He is giving Tehran every incentive to sign an accord with the Western powers, if only to deepen the fracturing relationship between Israel and Washington.

Meanwhile, the ICC has preferred to initiate an investigation itself against Israel for war crimes, even before the Palestinians’ accession, rather than wait for the threats of retaliation from Israel and the White House to escalate.

What the unravelling of the triangular relationship has achieved – stoked by Netanyahu’s intransigence towards the Palestinians and insolence towards the US –  is an opening up of diplomatic wriggle room.

Others states, from Europe to Russia, China and Iran, and international bodies such as the ICC, will fill the void left by Washington’s diminishing credibility and start to shape perceptions about the Israel-Palestine conflict.

That could yet have unpredictable – and dangerous – consequences for Israel.

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Digital Electronic “Internet of Things”(IoT)

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And “Smart Grid Technologies” to Fully Eviscerate Privacy

Global Research
internet3

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Grid technologies will together be aggressively integrated into the developed worlds socioeconomic fabric with little-if-any public or governmental oversight. This is the overall opinion of a new report by the Federal Trade Commission, which has announced a series of recommendations to major utility companies and transnational corporations heavily invested in the IoT and Smart Grid, suggesting that such technologies should be rolled out almost entirely on the basis of free market principles so as not to stifle innovation.[1]

As with the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, the FTC functions to provide the semblance of democratic governance and studied concern as it allows corporate monied interests and prerogatives to run roughshod over the body politic.

The IoT refers to all digital electronic and RFID-chipped devices wirelessly connected to the internet. The number of such items has increased dramatically since the early 2000s. In 2003 an estimated 500 million gadgets were connected, or about one for every twelve people on earth. By 2015 the number has grown 50 fold to an estimated 25 billion, or 3.5 units per person. By 2020 the IoT is expected to double the number of physical items it encompasses to 50 billion, or roughly 7 per individual.[2]

The IoT is developing in tandem with the Smart Grid, comprised of tens of millions of wireless transceivers (a combination cellular transmitter and receiver) more commonly known as smart meters. Unlike conventional wireless routers, smart meters are regarded as such because they are equipped to capture, store, and transmit an abundance of data on home energy usage with a degree of precision scarcely imagined by utility customers. On the contrary, energy consumers are typically appeased with persuasive promotional materials from their power company explaining how smart meter technology allows patrons to better monitor and control their energy usage.

Almost two decades ago media sociologist Rick Crawford defined Smart Grid technology as real time residential power line surveillance (RRPLS). These practices exhibited all the characteristics of eavesdropping and more. Whereas primitive forms of power monitoring merely sampled one data point per month by checking the cumulative reading on the residential power meter, Crawford explains,

modern forms of RRPLS permit nearly continued digital sampling. This allows watchers to develop a fine-grained profile of the occupants electrical appliance usage. The computerized RRPLS device may be placed on-site with the occupants knowledge and assent, or it may be hidden outside and surreptitiously attached to the power line feeding into the residence.

This device records a log of both resistive power levels and reactive loads as a function of time. The RRPLS device can extract characteristic appliance signatures from the raw data. For example, existing [1990s] RRPLS devices can identify whenever the sheets are thrown back from a water bed by detecting the duty cycles of the water bed heater. RRPLS can infer that two people shared a shower by noting an unusually heavy load on the electric water heater and that two uses of the hair dryer followed.[3]

A majority of utility companies are reluctant to acknowledge the profoundly advanced capabilities of these mechanisms that have now been effectively mandated for residential and business clients. Along these lines, when confronted with questions on whether the devices are able to gather usage data with such exactitude, company representatives are apparently compelled to feign ignorance or demur.

i210

Yet the features Crawford describes and their assimilation with the IoT are indeed a part of General Electrics I-210+C smart meter, among the most widely-deployed models in the US. This meter is equipped with not one, not two, but three transceivers, the I-210+Cs promotional brochure explains.[4]

One of the sets transceivers uses ZigBee Pro protocols, one of several wireless communication standards in the works to link up appliances, light bulbs, security systems, thermostats and other equipment in home and enterprises.[5] With most every new appliance now required to be IoT-equipped, not only will consumer habits be increasingly monitored through energy usage, but over the longer term lifestyle and thus behavior will be transformed through power rationing, first in the form of tiered usage, and eventually in a less accommodating way through the remote control of smart appliances during peak hours.[6]

Information gathered from the combined IoT and Smart Grid will also be of immense value to marketers that up to now have basically been excluded from the domestic sphere. As an affiliate of WPP Pic., the worlds biggest ad agency put it, the data harvested by smart meters opens the door to the home. Consumers are leaving a digital footprint that opens the door to their online habits and to their shopping habits and their location, and the last thing that is understood is the home, because at the moment when you shut the door, thats it.[7]

ES

As the FTCs 2015 report makes clear, this is the sort of retail (permissible) criminality hastened by the merging of Smart Grid and IoT technologies also provides an immense facility for wholesale criminals to scan and monitor various households activities as potential targets for robbery, or worse.

The FTC, utility companies and smart meter manufacturers alike still defer to the Federal Communications Commission as confirmation of the alleged safety of Smart Grid and smart meter deployment. This is the case even though the FCC is not chartered to oversee public health and, basing its regulatory procedure on severely outdated science, maintains that microwave radiation is not a threat to public health so long as no individuals skin or flesh have risen in temperature.

Yet in the home and workplace the profusion of wireless technologies such as ZigBee will compound the already significant collective radiation load of WiFi, cellular telephony, and the smart meters routine transmissions. The short term physiological impact will likely include weakened immunity, fatigue, and insomnia that can hasten terminal illnesses.[8]

Perhaps the greatest irony is how the Internet of Things, the Smart Grid and their attendant Smart Home are sold under the guise of convenience, personal autonomy, even knowledge production and wisdom. The more data that is created, Cisco gushes, the more knowledge and wisdom people can obtain. IoT dramatically increases the amount of data available for us to process. This, coupled with the Internets ability to communicate this data, will enable people to advance even further.[9]

In light of the grave privacy and health-related concerns posed by this techno tsunami, the members of a sane society might seriously ask themselves exactly where they are advancing, or being compelled to advance to.

Notes

[1] Federal Trade Commission, Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World, Washington DC, January 2015. Accessible at http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/federal-trade-commission-staff-report-november-2013-workshop-entitled-internet-things-privacy/150127iotrpt.pdf

[2] Dave Evans, The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet is Changing Everything, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, April 2011, 3. Accessible athttp://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac79/docs/innov/IoT_IBSG_0411FINAL.pdf

[3] Rick Crawford, Computer Assisted Crises, in George Gerbner, Hamid Mowlana and Herbert I. Schiller (eds.)Invisible Crises: What Conglomerate Control of Media Means for American and the World, Boulder CO: Westview Press, 1996, 47-81.

[4] I-210+C with Silver Spring Networks Micro-AP [Brochure], General Electric, Atlanta Georgia. Accessible athttp://www.gedigitalenergy.com/app/Resources.aspx?prod=i210_family&type=1

[5] Stephen Lawson, ZigBee 3.0 Promises One Smart Home Standard for Many Usespcworld.com, November 16, 2014.

[6] One of the United States largest utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric, has already introduced tiered pricing to curb energy usage in summer months during high demand times of the day.http://www.pge.com/en/myhome/saveenergymoney/plans/smartrate/index.page

[7] Louise Downing, WPP Unit, Onzo Study Harvesting Smart-Meter DataBloomberg.com, May 11, 2014.

[8] Sue Kovach, “The Hidden Dangers of Cellphone Radiation,” Life Extension Magazine, August 2007; James F. Tracy, Looming Health Crisis: Wireless Technology and the Toxification of AmericaGlobalResearch.ca, July 8, 2012.

[9] Evans, 6.

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Jewish arrested in Turkey for ‘stealing soup on flight’

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Ben Gal (57) spent 3 days in Turkish jail after Pegasus Airlines flight attendant accused him of stealing in-flight food on plane to Istanbul.

 

Jewish businessman spent three days in a Turkish jail after a Pegasus Airlines flight attendant claimed he stole a bag of dry soup mix on a flight to Istanbul.

“Never in my life was I as afraid as when I was in the prison cell,” Ben Gal (57), a co-owner of the perfume wholesaler distributor “Benron perfume”, told Ynet on Tuesday. Only after his release did the airline company admit that the bag of soup had been found under Gal’s seat, and claimed he had been arrested due to his behavior on the flight.

On Friday, Gal boarded a flight from I$raHell to Turkey for an exhibition, with a stopover in Istanbul. “During the flight, I brought myself breakfast and paid the flight attendant with dollars,” Gal recalled. “After a few minutes, she came back and mumbled the word ‘soup’. I told her that I didn’t understand what she wanted from me.”

The flight attendant then returned with another stewardess, and the two ordered him to empty his pockets. However, Gal in turn asked them not to bother him during his meal and requested that they don’t approach him again. According to him, after landing in Turkey, he found three detectives waiting for him. They took him for questioning in a side room at the international airport, and after a few hours transferred him to the police station for further investigation.

On Saturday, the next morning, Gal was taken to a detention facility where he was held with 25 detainees,

“It was insulting, degrading and mostly scary,” Gal said. “Ninety percent of the detainees were Muslims, and one of them said he had been deported from the United States for his ties with the Islamic State. I actually did get along with the Iraqis and the Iranians, but the Palestinians frightened me and threatened me. I kept hearing the words ‘Israel’ and ‘Jew’ thrown into the air.”

Sharing more details of his ordeal, Gal said that it was a group of detainees from Turkmenistan who had protected him, enabling him to sleep in a corner of the room, far away from the rest. “At night I wanted to cry, I was so insulted,” he continued. “I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night so that no one would hurt me.”

Only on Monday was Gal deported back to I$raHell. Pegasus Airlines representatives in I$raHell said that after a search, the bag of soup powder was found under his seat, but that the arrest was made due to the passenger’s behavior: “The passenger behaved in a manner that violated rules of conduct during the flight and the staff is obligated to report such incidents to the authorities. The passenger was warned to stop acting in a way that endangered the safety of the flight and its passengers.”

 

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B is for Billion: What Military Cuts?

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A U.S. Army helicopter taking off from Forward Operating Base Shindand, Afghanistan, Oct. 3, 2012. (Photo: DoD/public domain)

This week we’ll hear proposals to massively increase military spending in the face of last year’s outcries about “draconian” cuts to our defense budget and criticism of “out of control” spending on public services. But don’t be fooled by the hyperbole. In fact, our military budget, still at historically unprecedented highs, was cut by less than one percentlast year. The president’s proposed FY16 budget again preserves our outsized military spending while continuing a long, dangerous trend of underfunding human needs.

I might describe cuts that will displace thousands of children from Head Start programs as ugly, or cuts to low-income families already struggling to survive as brutal. And cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that might send millions of kids to bed hungry could be described as draconian. But the military spending cuts that we’ve had so far are as gentle and easy as cuts come.  A better grasp on how much our government is actually spending on the military might be the first step to an honest debate about our spending priorities.

It’s hard to follow the money, even for those of us who study the budget process.  For example, the original cuts slated for military spending under the Budget Control Act in FY14 amounted to around $56 billion. However, there was a $20.3 billion reduction in cuts through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, then another $20 billion of non-war funding that was requested by the Pentagon, and an additional $10.8 billion from a Congressional war funding account (read slush fund) to cover regular military expenses. The final Pentagon reduction: $3.6 billion.

Is that a big cut?  Not to an overall military budget of well over half a trillion dollars annually, a mindboggling amount that represents nearly half of the entire world’s military spending. But the money we spend on the military in the name of security becomes even more astounding when you consider what we’re not willing to invest federal dollars in.

I recently started attending meetings with other community members to discuss the U.S. non-military budget, and the newly imposed cuts in this sequestration era. In my first meeting, the chair began listing the millions of dollars in cuts on the table to several domestic human needs programs. “Excuse me,” I said. “Didn’t you mean billions with a B?” Everyone laughed and said it would be a dream for even $1 billion to be spent on any of the programs being discussed.

It’s hard for most of us to understand the difference between a million and a billion.  But think about it this way: a million minutes ago it was March of 2013. A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Jesus. What a difference a letter makes!

Not many Americans realize that the vast majority of the U.S. discretionary budget goes to military spending. This is the spending that Congress has authority to determine every year — a good indicator of our priorities as a nation. Although the official Pentagon budget in 2015 is “only” $495 billion, the actual budget for all Pentagon expenses is $645 billion. If we add the cost of nuclear weapons (usually classified under the Department of Energy) the total is around $665 billion, which is more than 57 percent of this year’s discretionary spending. The rest — less than 43 percent — will cover a broad set of public services, including education, environmental protection, job training, scientific research, transportation, economic development, and a bunch of low-income assistance programs.

No sticker shock yet? Wait until you hear about our so-called “National Security Budget.” When you add the Pentagon expenses to all the other money we spend on veteran’s affairs, non-Department of Defense national security, and the share of interest on our national debt attributed to military spending, the number in 2015 is $1,009.5 billion. That is one trillion – with a “t” — and 9 billion bucks. It looks like this: $1,009,000,000,000.

Meanwhile, since 2011, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have scrambled to add billions back to the military budget, even as they’ve cut a further $87 billion – a staggering 15 percent – from regular non-defense discretionary spending. These programs are now in the fifth year of an austerity drive that is a true security crisis.

I’ll leave you with this: While a million seconds adds up to less than two weeks, a trillion seconds ago is almost 32,000 years to date. This is right around the time Neanderthals were discussing their national security (no offense to creationists).

It’s about time for us to mind our Ms, Bs, and Ts and bring our budget priorities into the 21st century.

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War Is the New Normal: Seven Deadly Reasons Why America’s Wars Persist

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Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

How do we inoculate our children against such a permanent state of war and the war state itself?  I have one simple suggestion: just stop it.  All of it.

“What’s truly ‘exceptional’ in twenty-first-century America,” writes Astore, “is any articulated vision of what a land at peace with itself and other nations might be like.” (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Robert Reeves)

It was launched immediately after the 9/11 attacks, when I was still in the military, and almost immediately became known as the Global War on Terror, or GWOT.  Pentagon insiders called it “the long war,” an open-ended, perhaps unending, conflict against nations and terror networks mainly of a radical Islamist bent.  It saw the revival of counterinsurgency doctrine, buried in the aftermath of defeat in Vietnam, and areinterpretation of that disaster as well.  Over the years, its chief characteristic became ever clearer: a “Groundhog Day” kind of repetition.  Just when you thought it was over (Iraq,Afghanistan), just after victory (of a sort) was declared, it began again.

Now, as we find ourselves enmeshed in Iraq War 3.0, what better way to memorialize the post-9/11 American way of war than through repetition.  Back in July 2010, I wrote an article for TomDispatch on the seven reasons why America can’t stop making war.  More than four years later, with the war on terror still ongoing, with the mission eternally unaccomplished, here’s a fresh take on the top seven reasons why never-ending war is the new normal in America.  In this sequel, I make only one promise: no declarations of victory (and mark it on your calendars, I’m planning to be back with seven new reasons in 2019).

 

1.  The privatization of war: The U.S. military’s recourse to private contractors has strengthened the profit motive for war-making and prolonged wars as well.  Unlike the citizen-soldiers of past eras, the mobilized warrior corporations of America’s new mercenary moment — the Halliburton/KBRs (nearly $40 billion in contracts for the Iraq War alone), the DynCorps ($4.1 billion to train 150,000 Iraqi police), and theBlackwater/Xe/Academis ($1.3 billion in Iraq, along with boatloads of controversy) — have no incentive to demobilize.  Like most corporations, their business model is based on profit through growth, and growth is most rapid when wars and preparations for more of them are the favored options in Washington.

Freedom isn’t free,” as a popular conservative bumper sticker puts it, and neither is war.  My father liked the saying, “He who pays the piper calls the tune,” and today’s mercenary corporations have been calling for a lot of military marches piping in $138 billion in contracts for Iraq alone, according to the Financial Times.  And if you think that the privatization of war must at least reduce government waste, think again: the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated in 2011 that fraud, waste, and abuse accounted for up to $60 billion of the money spent in Iraq alone.

To corral American-style war, the mercenaries must be defanged or deflated.  European rulers learned this the hard way during the Thirty Years’ War of the seventeenth century.  At that time, powerful mercenary captains like Albrecht von Wallenstein ran amok.  Only Wallenstein’s assassination and the assertion of near absolutist powers by monarchs bent on curbing war before they went bankrupt finally brought the mercenaries to heel, a victory as hard won as it was essential to Europe’s survival and eventual expansion.  (Europeans then exported their wars to foreign shores, but that’s another story.)

2.  The embrace of the national security state by both major parties: Jimmy Carter was the last president to attempt to exercise any kind of control over the national security state.  A former Navy nuclear engineer who had served under the demanding Admiral Hyman Rickover, Carter cancelled the B-1 bomber and fought for a U.S. foreign policy based on human rights.  Widely pilloried for talking about nuclear war with his young daughter Amy, Carter was further attacked for being “weak” on defense.  His defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980 inaugurated 12 years of dominance by Republican presidents that opened the financial floodgates for the Department of Defense.  That taught Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council a lesson when it came to the wisdom of wrapping the national security state in a welcoming embrace, which they did, however uncomfortably.  This expedient turn to the right by the Democrats in the Clinton years served as a temporary booster shot when it came to charges of being “soft” on defense — until Republicans upped the ante by going “all-in” on military crusades in the aftermath of 9/11.

Since his election in 2008, Barack Obama has done little to alter the course set by his predecessors.  He, too, has chosen not to challenge Washington’s prevailing catechism of war.  Republicans have responded, however, not by muting their criticism, but by upping the ante yet again.  How else to explain House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress in March?  That address promises to be a pep talk for the Republicans, as well as a smack down of the Obama administration and its “appeasenik” policies toward Iran and Islamic radicalism.

Serious oversight, let alone opposition to the national security state by Congress or a mainstream political party, has been missing in action for years and must now, in the wake of the Senate Torture Report fiasco (from which the CIA emerged stronger, not weaker), be presumed dead.  The recent midterm election triumph of Republican war hawks and the prospective lineup of candidates for president in 2016 does not bode well when it comes to reining in the national security state in any foreseeable future.

3.  “Support Our Troops” as a substitute for thought. You’ve seen them everywhere: “Support Our Troops” stickers.  In fact, the “support” in that slogan generally means acquiescence when it comes to American-style war.  The truth is that we’ve turned the all-volunteer military into something like a foreign legion, deploying it again and again to our distant battle zones and driving it into the ground in wars that amount to strategic folly.  Instead of admitting their mistakes, America’s leaders have worked to obscure them by endlessly overpraising our “warriors” as so many universal heroes.  This may salve our collective national conscience, but it’s a form of cheap grace that saves no lives — and wins no wars.

Instead, this country needs to listen more carefully to its troops, especially the war critics who have risked their lives while fighting overseas.  Organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace are good places to start.

4.  Fighting a redacted war.  War, like the recent Senate torture report, is redacted in America.  Its horrors and mistakes are suppressed, its patriotic whistleblowers punished, even as the American people are kept in a demobilized state.  The act of going to war no longer represents the will of the people, as represented by formal Congressional declarations of war as the U.S. Constitution demands.  Instead, in these years, Americans were told to go to Disney World (as George W. Bush suggested in the wake of 9/11) and keep shopping.  They’re encouraged not to pay too much attention to war’s casualties and costs, especially when those costs involve foreigners with funny-sounding names (after all, they are, as American sniper Chris Kyle so indelicately put it in his book, just “savages”).

Redacted war hides the true cost of a permanent state of killing from the American people, if not from foreign observers. Ignorance and apathy reign, even as a national security statethat is essentially a shadow government equates its growth with your safety.

5.  Threat inflation: There’s nothing new about threat inflation.  We saw plenty of it during the Cold War (nonexistent missile and bomber gaps, for example).  Fear sells and we’ve had quite a dose of it in the twenty-first century, from ISIS to Ebola.  But a more important truth is that fear is a mind-killer, a debate-stifler.

Back in September, for example, Senator Lindsey Graham warned that ISIS and its radical Islamic army was coming to America to kill us all.  ISIS, of course, is a regional power with no ability to mount significant operations against the United States.  But fear is so commonplace, so effectively stoked in this country that Americans routinely and wildlyexaggerate the threat posed by al-Qaeda or ISIS or the bogeyman du jour.

Decades ago, as a young lieutenant in the Air Force, I was hunkered down in Cheyenne Mountain during the Cold War.  It was the ultimate citadel-cum-bomb-shelter, and those in it were believed to have a 70% likelihood of surviving a five-megaton nuclear blast.  There, not surprisingly, I found myself contemplating the very real possibility of a thermonuclear exchange with the Soviet Union, a war that would have annihilated life as we knew it, indeed much of life on our planet thanks to the phenomenon of nuclear winter.  You’ll excuse me for not shaking in my boots at the threat of ISIS coming to get me.  Or of Sharia Law coming to my local town hall.  With respect to such fears, America needs, as Hillary Clinton said in an admittedly different context, to “grow a pair.”

6.  Defining the world as a global battlefield: In fortress America, all realms have by now become battle spheres.  Not only much of the planet, the seas, air, and space, as well as the country’s borders and its increasingly up-armored police forces, but the world of thought, the insides of our minds. Think of the 17 intertwined intelligence outfits in “the U.S. Intelligence Community” and their ongoing “surge” for information dominance across every mode of human communication, as well as the surveillance of everything.  And don’t forget the national security state’s leading role in making cyberwar a reality. (Indeed, Washington launched the first cyberwar in history by deploying the Stuxnet computer worm against Iran.)

Think of all this as a global matrix that rests on war, empowering disaster capitalism and the corporate complexes that have formed around the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and that intelligence community. A militarized matrix doesn’t blink at $1.45 trillion dollars devoted to the F-35, a single under-performing jet fighter, nor at projections of $355 billion over the next decade for “modernizing” the U.S. nuclear arsenal, weapons that Barack Obama vowed to abolish in 2009.

7.  The new “normal” in America is war: The 9/11 attacks happened more than 13 years ago, which means that no teenagers in America can truly remember a time when the country was at peace.  “War time” is their normal; peace, a fairy tale.

What’s truly “exceptional” in twenty-first-century America is any articulated vision of what a land at peace with itself and other nations might be like.  Instead, war, backed by a diet of fear, is the backdrop against which the young have grown to adulthood.  It’s the background noise of their world, so much a part of their lives that they hardly recognize it for what it is.  And that’s the most insidious danger of them all.

How do we inoculate our children against such a permanent state of war and the war state itself?  I have one simple suggestion: just stop it.  All of it.  Stop making war a never-ending part of our lives and stop celebrating it, too.  War should be the realm of the extreme, of the abnormal.  It should be the death of normalcy, not the dreary norm.

It’s never too soon, America, to enlist in that good fight!

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Malcolm X Was Right About America

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Malcolm X about two weeks before he was murdered in 1965.

Malcolm X, unlike Martin Luther King Jr., did not believe America had a conscience. For him there was no great tension between the lofty ideals of the nation—which he said were a sham—and the failure to deliver justice to blacks. He, perhaps better than King, understood the inner workings of empire. He had no hope that those who managed empire would ever get in touch with their better selves to build a country free of exploitation and injustice. He argued that from the arrival of the first slave ship to the appearance of our vast archipelago of prisons and our squalid, urban internal colonies where the poor are trapped and abused, the American empire was unrelentingly hostile to those Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth.” This, Malcolm knew, would not change until the empire was destroyed.

“It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck,” Malcolm said. “Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, then capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

King was able to achieve a legal victory through the civil rights movement, portrayed in the new film “Selma.” But he failed to bring about economic justice and thwart the rapacious appetite of the war machine that he was acutely aware was responsible for empire’s abuse of the oppressed at home and abroad. And 50 years after Malcolm X was assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem by hit men from the Nation of Islam, it is clear that he, not King, was right. We are the nation Malcolm knew us to be. Human beings can be redeemed. Empires cannot. Our refusal to face the truth about empire, our refusal to defy the multitudinous crimes and atrocities of empire, has brought about the nightmare Malcolm predicted. And as the Digital Age and our post-literate society implant a terrifying historical amnesia, these crimes are erased as swiftly as they are committed.

“We are the nation Malcolm knew us to be. Human beings can be redeemed. Empires cannot.”

“Sometimes, I have dared to dream … that one day, history may even say that my voice—which disturbed the white man’s smugness, and his arrogance, and his complacency—that my voice helped to save America from a grave, possibly even fatal catastrophe,” Malcolm wrote.

The integration of elites of color, including Barack Obama, into the upper echelons of institutional and political structures has done nothing to blunt the predatory nature of empire. Identity and gender politics—we are about to be sold a woman president in the form of Hillary Clinton—have fostered, as Malcolm understood, fraud and theft by Wall Street, the evisceration of our civil liberties, the misery of an underclass in which half of all public school children live in poverty, the expansion of our imperial wars and the deep and perhaps fatal exploitation of the ecosystem. And until we heed Malcolm X, until we grapple with the truth about the self-destruction that lies at the heart of empire, the victims, at home and abroad, will mount. Malcolm, like James Baldwin, understood that only by facing the truth about who we are as members of an imperial power can people of color, along with whites, be liberated. This truth is bitter and painful. It requires an acknowledgment of our capacity for evil, injustice and exploitation, and it demands repentance. But we cling like giddy children to the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves. We refuse to grow up. And because of these lies, perpetrated across the cultural and political spectrum, liberation has not taken place. Empire devours us all.

“We’re anti-evil, anti-oppression, anti-lynching,” Malcolm said. “You can’t be anti- those things unless you’re also anti- the oppressor and the lyncher. You can’t be anti-slavery and pro-slavemaster; you can’t be anti-crime and pro-criminal. In fact, Mr. Muhammad teaches that if the present generation of whites would study their own race in the light of true history, they would be anti-white themselves.”

Malcolm once said that, had he been a middle-class black who was encouraged to go to law school, rather than a poor child in a detention home who dropped out of school at 15, “I would today probably be among some city’s professional black bourgeoisie, sipping cocktails and palming myself off as a community spokesman for and leader of the suffering black masses, while my primary concern would be to grab a few more crumbs from the groaning board of the two-faced whites with whom they’re begging to ‘integrate.’ ”

Malcolm’s family, struggling and poor, was callously ripped apart by state agencies in a pattern that remains unchanged. The courts, substandard schooling, roach-filled apartments, fear, humiliation, despair, poverty, greedy bankers, abusive employers, police, jails and probation officers did their work then as they do it now. Malcolm saw racial integration as a politically sterile game, one played by a black middle class anxious to sell its soul as an enabler of empire and capitalism. “The man who tosses worms in the river,” Malcolm said, “isn’t necessarily a friend of the fish. All the fish who take him for a friend, who think the worm’s got no hook on it, usually end up in the frying pan.” He related to the apocalyptic battles in the Book of Revelation where the persecuted rise up in revolt against the wicked.

“Martin [Luther King Jr.] doesn’t have the revolutionary fire that Malcolm had until the very end of his life,” Cornel West says in his book with Christa Buschendorf, “Black Prophetic Fire.” “And by revolutionary fire I mean understanding the system under which we live, the capitalist system, the imperial tentacles, the American empire, the disregard for life, the willingness to violate law, be it international law or domestic law. Malcolm understood that from very early on, and it hit Martin so hard that he does become a revolutionary in his own moral way later in his short life, whereas Malcolm had the revolutionary fire so early in his life.”

There are three great books on Malcolm X: “The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley,” “The Death and Life of Malcolm X” by Peter Goldman and “Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare” by James H. Cone.

On Friday I met Goldman—who as a reporter for a St. Louis newspaper and later for Newsweek knew and covered Malcolm—in a New York City cafe. Goldman was part of a tiny circle of white reporters Malcolm respected, including Charles Silberman of Fortune and M.S. “Mike” Handler of The New York Times, who Malcolm once said had “none of the usual prejudices or sentimentalities about black people.”

Goldman and his wife, Helen Dudar, who also was a reporter, first met Malcolm in 1962 at the Shabazz Frosti Kreem, a Black Muslim luncheonette in St. Louis’ north-side ghetto. At that meeting Malcolm poured some cream into his coffee. “Coffee is the only thing I liked integrated,” he commented. He went on: “The average Negro doesn’t even let another Negro know what he thinks, he’s so mistrusting. He’s an acrobat. He had to be to survive in this civilization. But by me being a Muslim, I’m black first—my sympathies are black, my allegiance is black, my whole objectives are black. By me being a Muslim, I’m not interested in being American, because America has never been interested in me.”

He told Goldman and Dudar: “We don’t hate. The white man has a guilt complex—he knows he’s done wrong. He knows that if he had undergone at our hands what we have undergone at his, he would hate us.” When Goldman told Malcolm he believed in a single society in which race did not matter Malcolm said sharply: “You’re dealing in fantasy. You’ve got to deal in facts.”

Goldman remembered, “He was the messenger who brought us the bad news, and nobody wanted to hear it.” Despite the “bad news” at that first meeting, Goldman would go on to have several more interviews with him, interviews that often lasted two or three hours. The writer now credits Malcolm for his “re-education.”

Goldman was struck from the beginning by Malcolm’s unfailing courtesy, his dazzling smile, his moral probity, his courage and, surprisingly, his gentleness. Goldman mentions the day that psychologist and writer Kenneth B. Clark and his wife escorted a group of high school students, most of them white, to meet Malcolm. They arrived to find him surrounded by reporters. Mrs. Clark, feeling that meeting with reporters was probably more important, told Malcolm the teenagers would wait. “The important thing is these kids,” Malcolm said to the Clarks as he called the students forward. “He didn’t see a difference between white kids and kids,” Kenneth Clark is quoted as saying in Goldman’s book.

James Baldwin too wrote of Malcolm’s deep sensitivity. He and Malcolm were on a radio program in 1961 with a young civil rights activist who had just returned from the South. “If you are an American citizen,” Baldwin remembered Malcolm asking the young man, “why have you got to fight for your rights as a citizen? To be a citizen means that you have the rights of a citizen. If you haven’t got the rights of a citizen, then you’re not a citizen.” “It’s not as simple as that,” the young man answered. “Why not?” Malcolm asked.

During the exchange, Baldwin wrote, “Malcolm understood that child and talked to him as though he was talking to a younger brother, and with that same watchful attention. What most struck me was that he was not at all trying to proselytize the child: he was trying to make him think. … I will never forget Malcolm and that child facing each other, and Malcolm’s extraordinary gentleness. And that’s the truth about Malcolm: he was one of the gentlest people I have ever met.”

“One of Malcolm’s many lines that I liked was ‘I am the man you think you are,’ ” Goldman said. “What he meant by that was if you hit me I would hit you back. But over the period of my acquaintance with him I came to believe it also meant if you respect me I will respect you back.”

Cone amplifies this point in “Martin & Malcolm & America”:

Malcolm X is the best medicine against genocide. He showed us by example and prophetic preaching that one does not have to stay in the mud. We can wake up; we can stand up; and we can take that long walk toward freedom. Freedom is first and foremost an inner recognition of self-respect, a knowledge that one was not put on this earth to be a nobody. Using drugs and killing each other are the worst forms of nobodyness. Our forefathers fought against great odds (slavery, lynching, and segregation), but they did not self-destruct. Some died fighting, and others, inspired by their example, kept moving toward the promised land of freedom, singing ‘we ain’t gonna let nobody turn us around.’ African-Americans can do the same today. We can fight for our dignity and self-respect. To be proud to be black does not mean being against white people, unless whites are against respecting the humanity of blacks. Malcolm was not against whites; he was for blacks and against their exploitation.

Goldman lamented the loss of voices such as Malcolm’s, voices steeped in an understanding of our historical and cultural truths and endowed with the courage to speak these truths in public.

“We don’t read anymore,” Goldman said. “We don’t learn anymore. History is disappearing. People talk about living in the moment as if it is a virtue. It is a horrible vice. Between the twitterverse and the 24-hour cable news cycle our history keeps disappearing. History is something boring that you had to endure in high school and then you are rid of it. Then you go to college and study finance, accounting, business management or computer science. There are damn few liberal arts majors left. And this has erased our history. The larger figure in the ’60s was, of course, King. But what the huge majority of Americans know about King is [only] that he made a speech where he said ‘I have a dream’ and that his name is attached to a day off.”

Malcolm, like King, understood the cost of being a prophet. The two men daily faced down this cost.

Malcolm, as Goldman writes, met with the reporter Claude Lewis not long before his Feb. 21, 1965, murder. He had already experienced several attempts on his life.

“This is an era of hypocrisy,” he told Lewis. “When white folks pretend that they want Negroes to be free, and Negroes pretend to white folks that they really believe that white folks want ’em to be free, it’s an era of hypocrisy, brother. You fool me and I fool you. You pretend that you’re my brother, and I pretend that I really believe you believe you’re my brother.”

He told Lewis he would never reach old age. “If you read, you’ll find that very few people who think like I think live long enough to get old. When I say by any means necessary, I mean it with all my heart, my mind and my soul. A black man should give his life to be free, and he should also be able, be willing to take the life of those who want to take his. When you really think like that, you don’t live long.”

Lewis asked him how he wanted to be remembered. “Sincere,” Malcolm said. “In whatever I did or do. Even if I made mistakes, they were made in sincerity. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong in sincerity. I think that the best thing that a person can be is sincere.”

“The price of freedom,” Malcolm said shortly before he was killed, “is death.”

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Zio-Wahhabi ”ISIS” Chemical Weapons Expert

NOVANEWS

Shifted Jobs from Saddam Hussein Rule and Al Qaeda; Killed in Iraq

By 

Abu Malik, a chemical weapons expert who shifted to the Islamic State after working with the Al Qaeda and the previous Saddam Hussein government, has been killed in Iraq in a US strike.

ISIS Flag. Creative Commons/Global Panorama

Malik was taken out in an air raid near Mosul last Saturday, and his death is expected to “degrade and disrupt the terrorist network and diminish ISIL’s ability to potentially produce and use chemical weapons against innocentpeople”, the US Central Command said.

Abu Malik earlier worked at the Muthana chemical weapons production facility under Saddam Hussein’s rule, before joining the Al Qaeda in 2005, and is said to have the ability to create deadly chemical weapons for the Islamic State, which he joined last year.

“Based on his training and experience, he was judged to be capable of creating harmful and deadly chemical agents,” a defence official told AFP.

The Islamic State has been harbouring ambitions of using chemical weapons in its quest for expansion, and has allegedly used mustard gas and chlorine gas on civilians on several occasions.

“We know ISIL is attempting to pursue a chemical weapons capability, but we have no definitive confirmation that ISIL currently possess chemical weapons,” the official said.

According to British military expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, the Islamic State has the ability to make ‘dirty bombs’, radiological dispersal device (RDD) that combines conventional explosives, such as dynamite, with radioactive material.

He had said that the ISIS could access stockpiles of mustard gas and sarin gas, that are used as chemical weapons.

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Zio-Wahhani regime: Beheads Three, Marking 21st execution of 2015

NOVANEWS
 

Saudi Arabia beheaded three on Wednesday convicted of rape and murder, the interior ministry said, bringing to 21 the number of foreigners and locals executed in the kingdom this year.

The three were all Saudis.

Abdul Kareem bin Abdul Sattar Meezi and Hashim bin Abdo Mahragi had been convicted of kidnapping and raping a girl and were executed in Mecca, the ministry said.

“The interior ministry confirms that it is determined to maintain security, serve justice and implement the provisions of God on all those who attack the innocent, shed blood or cause disgrace,” it said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

Separately, another Saudi, Mohammed bin Ouda bin Naji al-Inzi, was beheaded in the northwestern Jawf region after being convicted of a fatal shooting, the ministry said.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under the country’s strict version of Islamic sharia law.

Saudi Arabia has faced constant international criticism over its human rights record, including the use of the death penalty. In September, an independent expert working on behalf of the United Nations called for an immediate moratorium on executions in the oil-rich kingdom.

The kingdom executed 87 people last year, up from 78 in 2013, according to an AFP tally.

Amnesty International claimed in a report that more than 2,000 people were executed in the Gulf state between 1985 and 2013.

According to Amnesty, trials in capital cases are often held in secret.

Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program, said the fact “that people are tortured into confessing to crimes, convicted in shameful trials without adequate legal support and then executed is a sickening indictment of the Kingdom’s state-sanctioned brutality.”

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Zio-Wahhani Kingdom: blocks human rights group website

NOVANEWS
 

A regional human rights group on Tuesday denounced what it called Saudi intimidation, saying its website has been blocked by authorities in the conservative Gulf nation.

Attempts inside Saudi Arabia to access the Internet site of the Gulf Center for Human Rights (http://gc4hr.org) brought up a notice saying: “Sorry, the requested page is unavailable.”

Still accessible outside Saudi Arabia, the center posted a message saying it “deplores the blocking of its website… by the Saudi authorities and considers it as a form of repression that is part of intimidation patterns that are being used persistently in the Kingdom these days.”

It did not say what might have prompted the censorship, but said it occurred “at a time when human rights defenders are exposed to various kinds of harassment and arrests, arbitrary imprisonment and unfair trials that lack legal procedures and minimum international standards.”

After Saudi police arrested on Monday two women on the UAE border for driving, the center published a report explaining the arrest and calling for authorities to release the detained, in a reminder of the oil-rich kingdom’s violations of basic human rights.

Countless news websites are blocked in Saudi Arabia, including Al-Akhbar.

Meanwhile, a court in Saudi ally and neighbor Bahrain on Monday sentenced in absentia the director of the center, Maryam al-Khawaja, to a year’s jail for allegedly assaulting police.

Khawaja, daughter of jailed Bahraini Shia opposition figure Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, refused to attend the hearing, saying a fair trial was not possible.

London-based watchdog Amnesty International said last month that Saudi authorities “have sought to stamp out all critical voices demanding peaceful reform.”

In February, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said that Gulf monarchies, fearful of unrest, have stepped up efforts to monitor and control the media, particularly online.

Saudi Arabia, which is on the group’s “Enemies of the Internet” list, has been particularly aggressive in policing the Internet, including by arresting those who post critical articles or comments, RSF said.

Scores of Saudis have been arrested over the years for posting content critical of the Wahhabi regime on Twitter and other social media outlets.

Saudi judges have this year passed death sentences on five pro-democracy advocates, including prominent activist and cleric Nimr al-Nimr, for their part in protests.

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Zio-Wahhabi regime: in the Twitter Trap Classified Security Documents Leaked

NOVANEWS

By: Mohamed Nazzal

 

The Mufti of Saudi Arabia was right on the mark when he recently said that Twitter was a source of “evil” and a “scourge” for his kingdom. Secret Saudi documents from the interior and defense ministries were leaked on Twitter on Tuesday.

The documents reveal much about the Saudi government’s efforts to spy on its citizens and monitor their accounts, as well as details on arrest warrants and detention of individuals who called for political reform, and the “royal hysteria” over otherwise unremarkable articles published online.

Saudi Arabia being a police state won’t come as news to most people. What is new, however, is that the public can now examine the kingdom’s administrative mechanisms for spying and surveillance — thanks to classified documents leaked on social media sites.A twitter account called “Monaseron” posted the documents on Tuesday. The account claimed that the set of documents came from the Saudi ministries of interior and defense.

The documents are signed and sealed by official bodies. One such cable (bearing the number 3567 and the date 03/03/1435 AH – 2014 AD) is addressed from the General Directorate of Investigations to the General Directorate of Information. The document is a statement of “the most important identifiers on social networking sites that we follow up: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.” The cable is signed by senior liaison officer Major-General Abed bin Mohammed al-Hoyarini.

Another document, titled confidential and urgent cable, mentions a Saudi citizen named Ahmed bin Amer al-Sanusi (numbered 5/272). The General Investigations here notifies Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef of the danger posed by this citizen. But for what crime? “He called for freedom of expression and opinion, and for the Saudi government not to interfere in this.” Apparently, to the Saudi authorities, this is an unforgivable infraction.

Another “sin” committed by Sanusi, according to the cable, was that he dared to say, in a video he posted on YouTube, “The Saudi government accuses lawyers, who defend detainees, of rebelling against the rulers.”

But is there anyone in the world who does not know this? What recently happened to blogger Raif al-Badawi and Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in the court system, and to their lawyers, is but a small example of this overarching, repressive process.

Sanusi was also accused of “calling for political reform and a constitutional monarchy.” As a first measure against him, the General Investigations noted that Sanusi’s name was placed on a list of people to be summoned once they return to Saudi Arabia. Sanusi is currently in the United States, where he is working and studying, so “his activities will be monitored and those influencing or supporting him will be identified to clarify his situation,” as the cable disclosed.
It does not end there. The General Investigations recommended contacting the Education Minister Khaled al-Faisal to take the necessary measures, including suspending his scholarship “given his clear ingratitude to his homeland and his affronts to the policies of the kingdom.”

A third cable came from the Directorate of Investigations – General Administration for International Cooperation, addressed to the Minister of Interior (Numbered 30906 and dated 10/5/1435 AH). The cable is about Saudi citizen Abdel-Rahman Ali Ahmed al-Assiri.

Assiri is on a scholarship to study in the United States — or was, at least. Now, “funding and insurance for him have been cancelled.” For what reason or crime, this time? Saudi spies apparently found an online video of the Saudi citizen in question, in which he supported Saud Mardi al-Harbi, Abdul-Aziz Mohammad al-Dosari, and Abdullah Mabrouk al-Ghamdi in demanding their rights. “He also attacked rulers (may God preserve them) and described the appointment of HRH Prince Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz as deputy crown prince from the result of bribery.”

Another cable bearing the number 34962 from the Financial Investigations Department is addressed to the Ministry of Interior. The cable includes information on financial transactions involving citizens and residents, without mentioning any particular suspicions.

Other documents mention wiretapping citizens’ phone conversations in detail. Saudi citizen Zuhair Katbi committed “treason” because he told his wife on the phone that he was fed up of life in the kingdom and was thinking of seeking political asylum in Germany.

In cable number 35976 dated 1/6/1435 AH, the government’s eavesdropper listened in on another phone conversation between Zuhair and another citizen named Khaled Nahhas.

During the conversation, Zuhair apparently said that he refuses the appointment of the deputy crown prince, and that the visit by US President Barack Obama was good for the safety and security of the kingdom. Interestingly, the General Directorate of Operations of the Interior Ministry, in reference to the latter opinion, states in the cable that the citizen in question made some positive remarks.

In other words, the kingdom loves Obama, and expects its citizens love Obama as well. Wahhabism and Obama’s orders are easily reconcilable in Saudi.Nevertheless, Zuhair will be thrown into jail for two years. Previously, he had received amnesty after pledging to abandon his previous ways (i.e. voicing criticism), because “his writings inflame the public opinion and go against the orientations of the state.”

A document (statement No. 4) contains 29 names of people who travelled to Qatar over the past three years. It seems that travelling to Qatar is cause for suspicion, to Saudi authorities. In addition, a list (statement No. 5) contains the names of Saudi princes who have Twitter accounts. There are 15 princes and princesses who use Twitter, that “evil scourge” (Saudi Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh).

As might have been expected, the spies in statement No.2 made a list of residents accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, numbering 27.

A document signed “for presentation to the honorable noble office,” contains a “dangerous” cable dispatched from the officer of Defense Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz (the new king) to the head of General Intelligence, with a copy for the head of the Royal Court. The cable says, “We learned from the competent authority at the Ministry of Defence that the French website Intelligence Online published two articles whose gist is: Paris downplays the importance of the Saudi grant to the Lebanese army. The kingdom declared it would send military aid to the Lebanese army, and less than two weeks later, Emmanuel Bonne, the French president’s Middle East adviser, visited Lebanon and met the political adviser to Hezbollah Ammar Moussawi. The sources pointed out that Hezbollah officials, during the meeting, recalled that the kingdom is not a neutral party in the Lebanese scene, and that Riyadh must give this grant directly to Lebanon.”

The cable continues, “The sources added that Bonne’s visit was not entirely successful. (At a later time), the French Chief of Staff Admiral Édouard Guillaud visited Lebanon to discuss the details of the grant. The army presented a working plan to be implemented in two stages: A- Establishing a new military infrastructure that would include hospitals, shelters, air bases, naval bases, and communications systems. B- new weapons systems.”

The other article of concern to the Saudi Ministry of Defense mentioned that Saudi intelligence relied on Pakistani intelligence to train jihadists who go to fight in Syria.

In other words, the current king (former crown prince) was concerned last year with two articles published on a website, and decided that this (public and widely published) information should be passed urgently to the late king, interior minister, and intelligence chief.

Welcome to the Kingdom of Horror.

■ For the documents, click here: http://www.al-akhbar.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/20150128/doc20150128.pdf

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