Archive | June 28th, 2015

Nazi Soldiers Detain Archbishop Hanna

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atallahhanna.jpg

NAZI soldiers kidnapped, Saturday, Archbishop of Sebastia of the Greek Orthodox Church of occupied Jerusalem, Theodosius Attallah Hanna, and held him for several hours in the NAZI Camp Etzion, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Father Hanna was participating in a nonviolent protest against the illegal takeover of Beit Al-Bakara old Church, north of Hebron.

Coordinator of the National Committee against the Wall and Jewish NAZI Settlements, Hasan Breijiyya, said the soldiers attacked the nonviolent protesters against the illegal NAZI seizure, and the subsequent sale of the Beit al-Baraka hospital, part of the al-Bakara church.

He added that the peaceful protest against this NAZI illegal seizure of the Beit al-Baraka comes to expose the illegal NAZI policies, and outrageous violations against holy sites and property.

Scores of residents, and international peace activists, in addition to a delegation of the Presbyterian Church, participated in the procession, before the soldiers assaulted them.

The senior Christian figure was held for several hours in the Gush Etzion military and security base, before the soldiers eventually released him.

Prior to his release, Archbishop Hanna was handed an order for interrogation by the Israeli security services.

Breijiyya said the takeover of the church building is illegal under international law, and that the alleged sale of the church property is invalid, especially since International Law, and Church Law, states that churches and church property, must be handed back to the local church once it is out of commission.

NAZI soldiers completely surrounded the compound, and blockaded all nearby roads, eventually preventing the protestors from reaching the compound.

A committee for defending Beit al-Baraka was formed to continue organizing public actions meant at foiling the illegal NAZI colonialist takeover.

Pastor Danny Awad of the Presbyterian Church also delivered a speech explaining the role Beit al-Baraka played in helping patients through its free services to the public.

Peace activists of “Combatants For Peace” said that the illegal NAZI policies must be exposed and condemned by all religious groups around the world, and called for more public support to counter the escalating NAZI violations.

The importance of the new settlement is that it paves the way for further settlement expansion, especially since there are more than 500 Dunams (around 125 acres) of Palestinian lands illegally confiscated by Israel in 2005, used to expand kibbutz Magdalen Oz.

NAZI regime is also planning to build  illegal NAZI settlers’ road bypassing the al-‘Arroub refugee camp.

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Is more war abroad with troops on the ground what’s needed to defeat ISIS?

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Matt Carr 

Matt Carr on the deadly dynamic in which terrorism feeds militarism and militarism feeds terrorism ripping to shreds prospects for peace.

David Cameron and ISIS

It’s too early to say whether yesterday’s ‘day of terror’ was coordinated, or whether it was a random convergence of events whose perpetrators share the same commitment to ‘leaderless resistance’ jihad which makes it equally possible to murder ‘apostate’ Shia worshippers in a mosque or ‘kufar’ tourists in Tunisia.

Whoever they are, their broader intentions are not difficult to fathom.  Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Kuwait and Tunisia attacks.  Both are acts of ‘strategic’ terrorism.

The attack in Kuwait is clearly intended to foment the sectarian war that IS believes it can exploit for its own purposes.

The attacks in Tunisia are a blow aimed at Tunisia itself, whose struggling economy depends so much on tourism, and they are likely intended to pave the way for the transformation of Tunisia into yet another zone of chaos that can serve as an incubator for the glorious jihad.

The attack on the Imperial Hotel is also ‘political’ in that it is indended to show that  Western governments – and the British government in particular – connot protect their citizens anywhere in the world. They may also be partly compensatory, at a time when Islamic State has experienced a series of military reversals in Syria and faces the prospect of being driven out of its base in Raqaa.

As for the attack in France, who can ‘understand’ why a Muslim employee decapitated his boss and left the head on a fence before driving a vehicle into a gas factory?  Ultimately, those who organized or inspired these repulsive acts are trying to communicate some ‘message.’  Like the ‘tooth fairy’ serial killer in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, they want us – Muslims and non-Muslims alike – to ‘feel awe’ at their power and cower before them.

The tooth fairy’s audience was a man strapped to a wheelchair who had no choice but to cower.  We do have a choice. We can refuse to accept Islamic State’s description of the man who massacred peaceful worshippers in a Kuwaiti mosque as a ‘knight’ and say that he was a worthless murdering bigot who has disgraced his religion and the name of humanity itself.

We can say that the ‘soldier of the caliphate’ who thought slaughtering 65 unarmed tourists was funny is no more worthy of respect than a Nazi concentration camp guard.

We can say that such men are not heroes and they are not brave, anymore than Anders Breivik and Dylan Rooff were brave.

When things like this happen, we want to say something, and in fact we need to, because acts of violence like these are intended to shock us and force us into a state of impotent fury or helpless, in which the ability to think and speak begins to seem pointless and irrelevant.

And if we don’t speak, we will allow our governments and their representatives to speak for us, and what they have to say is too often stupid, self-serving and duplicitous. Consider for example,  today’s Daily Telegraph editorial, which  cited the Queen’s visit to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp this week as a reminder of what was required in the struggle against ‘radical Islamism’:

“Bergen-Belsen is a reminder of why evil needs to be confronted and why the case for liberal democracy has to be remade each generation. Western values have to be rigorously defended and promoted in schools. Rights to free speech or assembly should be respected, of course, but laws necessary to root out extremism and defend liberty may prove decisive in this struggle.

Perhaps most importantly, the West must possess the capacity to resist terrorism with military means. There is an understandable reluctance to commit troops anywhere on the ground. But there is also a pressing need to do as much as is reasonably possible to push back the advance of Islamists in the Middle East. For the moment, the highest priority should be given to securing the Mediterranean border.”

So more repression and surveillance at home. More of the ‘antiterrorism’ education of British Muslims that has had no demonstrable effect whatsoever on ‘radicalization.’

And above all more war abroad, including the unpalatable possibility of troops ‘on the ground’.

And the Mediterranean ‘border’ must be ‘secured’ – presumably against the migrants who are trying to cross it who have nothing to do with ‘radical Islam’ – in order to address the collapse of the Libyan state that took place as a result of the last war that the West just had no choice but to fight.

And as for these ‘Western values’ – please don’t make me sick.  On yesterday’s ‘day of terror’ Saudi planes carried out another round of air strikes in Yemen, in the same week that the UN announced that 21 million Yemenis – 80 percent of the population – now requires humanitarian assistance.

Some of those bombings may have been carried out with British-built planes, because Britain not only arms the Saudis, but has explicitly expressed its support for the war against the supposedly Iran-linked Houthi rebels – a war that is bringing Yemen to the point of collapse.

Unless we are supposed to believe that the Saudis and the Egyptian dictatorship and the autocrats of the Gulf are standing up for liberal democracy, we can only conclude that this ghastly war has very little to do with ‘Western values’ and a lot more to do with geopolitics and statecraft.

And that, tragically, is also the case with much of the ‘barbaric turmoil’ that is currently convulsing the Middle East, and which is sucking one country after another into a terrifying vortex of limitless and inhuman violence.

At this point I ought to come up with ‘solutions’ and ‘alternatives’, but right now I don’t have any to offer except this observation: It may be true that ‘the immediate causes and consequences of this or that particular fact’ pertaining to each individual act of barbarism is elusive.

But those of us who have no choice but to be spectators of terrorist spectacles must understand that ‘terror’ is only one manifestation – and consequence – of a dark, amoral and unjust world that many different actors are responsible for.

And until we do that, I can’t help feeling that we are doomed to see yesterday’s horrors repeated again and again, and that we will remain trapped in a deadly dynamic in which terrorism feeds militarism and militarism feeds terrorism, and our prospects of creating a just and peaceful international order are ripped to shreds.

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Armed Forces Day: exposing reality behind UK’s sugar-coated military propaganda

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Charlie Gilmour 

Action Man: Battlefield Casualties is a series of short films produced by Veterans for Peace and artist Darren Cullen.

Action Man: Battlefield CasualtiesAction Man: Battlefield Casualties

DANIEL Campbell wakes up drenched in sweat. Every muscle in his body is tense. The dead child, the one he couldn’t save, is back. He creeps to the bathroom. The child is waiting for him. Its bloodied face stares at him accusingly from inside the mirror. He splashes cold water on his forehead and returns wearily to bed.

Daniel Campbell was a child soldier in the British Army. “I wanted to see the world and I wanted to help people,” he says, remembering the day he stepped, aged 16, into Portsmouth’s recruitment centre. And see the world he did: left with severe PTSD after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army abandoned him as if he were a broken toy.

The basic brutality that underpins the work of the British Armed Forces is not something that recruiters tend to dwell on when pitching to kids. So a group of former soldiers, Veterans For Peace UK, have taken it upon themselves to highlight the harsh realities of life and death in, and after, the army.

Action Man: Battlefield Casualties, a series of darkly funny short films produced with artist Darren Cullen, is their attempt to show the shit beneath the shine of polished army propaganda. Featuring PTSD Action Man (“with thousand-yard stare action”), Paralysed Action Man (“legs really don’t work”) and Dead Action Man (“coffin sold separately”), the films are being released to coincide with Armed Forces Day.

“No matter how bad anyone thinks this film is, the reality is worse,” says artist Darren Cullen. “It’s not sick to show what actually happens in a war.It’s sick to convince people to join that war without telling them what’s possibly going to happen. Recruiting 16-year-olds into the army is sick.”

Figures released in 2014 revealed that one in four new recruits were too young to vote, smoke, or drink. In Europe, only Britain still stubbornly enlists 16-year-olds. Globally, this places us alongside North Korea and Iran.

“These recruits are typically from poorer backgrounds,” says David Gee, Child Soldiers International. “That means they are more likely, in the course of their army career, to suffer a debilitating traumatic stress reaction. Trauma or adversity during childhood markedly increases the risk of PTSD over the course of an army career.”

While they can’t legally be sent to war until they are 18, because of the army’s recruitment rules, most 16-year-olds are sent straight into the infantry. These rules, says Gee, “discriminate against the younger age group, much to their detriment in the long-term.” In Afghanistan, the infantry’s mortality rate was seven times higher than the rest of the armed forces.

Unlike adults, who only have to sign up for four years, children are made to sign away six years of their lives. And while the Army promises action, adventure, and an education to kids who might not have had much of any of these, in reality the MoD considers its obligations fulfilled if recruits have attained a reading age of nine to 11 after basic training.

Child recruits are also far more likely to die. A study conducted by ForcesWatch and Child Soldiers International found that, in Afghanistan, recruits who joined at 16 were twice as likely to be killed as those who joined in their adult years.

Officially, the MoD denies actively recruiting children. The 11,000 visits made to schools every year, along with the £36 million that has been ploughed into the government’s sinister “military ethos in schools” programme, and the £10.8 million invested in 100 new cadet forces in state schools are all acts of beneficence on the part of one of the world’s most efficient killing machines.

“The Armed Forces does not recruit in schools but provides career advice and curriculum support,” is the MoD’s stubborn line. While it is true that baton-twirling sergeant majors aren’t actually striding into kindergartens and thrusting the king’s shilling into the grubby palms of uncomprehending toddlers, they are targeting children as young as five with sugar-coated propaganda.

“Britain’s Armed Forces have an incredibly proud history… every single one of us benefits from the freedom they secured… I hope this will be the beginning of your interest in Britain’s Armed Forces – the finest and bravest in the world,” writes David Cameron in The British Armed Forces , a “learning resource” created by the MoD and promoted to every single school in Britain.

Aimed at children aged five to 16, the resource is, according to ForcesWatch, a “one-sided and politically-directed presentation” that “promotes recruitment to the armed forces”. A career in the Army, General Sir Peter Wall promises his infant audience, is “always challenging and fun.” Why not go down to your local careers office and “personally speak to a soldier”?

Certainly, Daniel Campbell had a positive image of the armed forced when he joined up – thought he was going to be making the world a better place. “I went to Afghanistan thinking I was going to go to dispose of IEDs that were killing kids,” he recalls of his 2012 deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, advising the Afghan army on the disposal of roadside bombs.

For a while, that’s exactly what he did, until a routine disposal turned into a disaster.

Campbell and his team had been working on an IED, found on Afghanistan’s main arterial road, from dawn until dusk. Traffic was piling up in both directions, civilians climbing out of their cars to watch as they sweated over the device.

When, finally, the bomb was made safe, its explosive contents were carried out into the desert for detonation.

“Disposing of the main charge is sort of the ‘packing up shop, let’s return home’ part,” says Campbell. Normally, Campbell and his team would pose for photos in front of the blast. “If we’d done that it would have killed us,” he says.

“What we think happened was it was [on top of] another, an old dead shell that went in the ground that we couldn’t see,” says Campbell. “It made the explosion ten times the size it should have been.”

The explosion mushroomed up; shrapnel tore apart the surrounding vehicles. Hot metal rained down on a distant family.

“It took a couple of minutes for us to actually work out what was going on,” says Campbell. “We got told that a baby got shot in the head. We thought that we were getting contacted.”

The child was beyond help. The mother’s femoral artery was fatally severed. The father suffered severe amputation to his left arm, but he survived.

“I really qualified my role in Afghanistan as saying, ‘No, no. I’m actually making a difference here, I’m looking after civilians.’ But then civilians ended up dying anyway. I found that really difficult to cope with,” says Campbell.

Campbell was already suffering from PTSD after coming under repeated mortar fire during his tour in Iraq. He had changed from a model soldier, with an almost perfect disciplinary record, to someone who drank heavily, got into fights regularly, and even considered driving his car off the edge of a bridge.

A clearer case could hardly be described. “I am PTSD Action Man for all intents and purposes,” says Campbell. But rather than giving him the treatment he desperately needed, the Army forced him to submit to random drug tests. They came up negative every time.

After Afghanistan, Campbell really started to crumble. The dead child from the desert entered his dreams and kept him from sleep. His seniors failed to recognise the severity of his condition for months. When he was, after a long and stressful ordeal, finally medically discharged, the treatment on offer was utterly inadequate.

PTSD is a life-altering condition, but veterans are entitled to a mere six months of treatment before they are thrown to the goodwill of charities. “They broke me,” says Campbell. “They should fucking well fix me.”

The army, however, is unwilling to fix its toy soldiers. Instead it looks to the nation’s classrooms and kindergartens for cheap replacements.

“Our new model is about raising awareness, and that takes a ten-year span,” said Colonel David Allfrey, the Army’s head of recruitment strategy, in 2007. “It starts with a seven-year-old boy seeing a parachutist at an air show and thinking, ‘That looks great.’ From then the army is trying to build interest by drip, drip, drip.”

“This is about prying open a crack in the spectacle of military propaganda,” says Ben Griffin, former SAS commando and founder of Veterans For Peace UK. “Warfare isn’t glamorous. The wars we fight are not noble causes. All of this propaganda is an attempt to recruit society to the idea that Britain has a noble and great military, and that we should use it. But there’s another side to that story.”

Watch the films when they comes out on the 24th June here. The action figures and film will be on display at Red Gallery, Rivington Street EC2A 3DT from the 24th of June to the 2nd of July.

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After terrorist atrocity in Tunisia it’s time to face facts: ISIS is a child of US-UK wars

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Lindsey German 

A decade of invasion, occupation and bombing in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere has been the seed bed of ISIS and other terrorist groups.

Medics stretcher victimMedics stretcher victim of the terror attack on tourists in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse.

THERE IS a sense of shock and horror at the series of terror attacks which took place yesterday.

One can only condemn attacks which lead to the deaths of innocent people, whether praying in a mosque or lying on a beach.

The claiming of these actions by ISIS speaks of a strategy which is not just about fighting in the Middle East but about bringing the war into Europe.

ISIS explicitly stated with the Tunisia attacks that they were in response to members of the coalition at present bombing in Iraq and Syria.

While we can all condemn the attacks we need to also try to understand he reasons why they happen.

ISIS is the child of war, the creation of more than a decade of invasion, occupation and bombing in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.

It’s brutality was forged those wars, funded by Saudi princes, facilitated by the Turkish government which allowed it to cross its borders, tacitly supported by Middle East despots.

Isis and other terrorist groups have grown as a result of the civil war in Syria, the bombing of Libya and the sectarian tensions fostered by the US in Iraq.

Support for it has also grown in western countries because of the way in which Muslims are treated here. The growth of Islamophobia means that Muslims are repeatedly under attack by government, police, media and the establishment.

The Prevent strategy in Britain is an attempt to criminalise, to spy on and to censor the Muslim community.

The vast majority of Muslims reject terrorism, but they are now being told that even if they are non violent extremists, this leads to violent extremism. The only   Muslim acceptable to them are those who raise no criticism of government policy.

Racism and attacks on civil liberties will only serve to marginalise young Muslims.

All these policies are symptomatic of government failure in its various policies.

The war on terror has created more terrorism. The prevent strategy has not prevented anything but has bred resentment among Muslims.

These are the problems which need to be addressed if we are to stop the tragedies like those on Friday, and the daily tragedies which afflict so many people in the Middle East.

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Zio-Wahhabi regime arrests Pakistani anti-war journalist

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Pakistani journalist Zaid Hamid (file photo
Zio-Wahhabi forces have arrested a leading Pakistani journalist opposed to Saudi Arabia’s military aggression against Yemen.

Zaid Hamid, a Pakistani defense analyst and political commentator, was arrested weeks ago by Zio-Wahhabi security forces in the holy city of Mecca during a private visit with his wife to the kingdom, The Express Tribune reported on Friday.

“Our embassy in Riyadh has informed us that Mr Zaid Hamid was arrested about two weeks ago. Since then, the embassy has been working with the local authorities to get consular access,” said Pakistan’s Foreign Office in Islamabad.

Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah added that, through the Pakistani embassy’s diplomatic channels, Hamid’s wife had been able to get permission to talk to him in one session.

Meanwhile, there are speculations that Saudi Zio-Wahhabi forces took the outspoken media figure into custody for his vocal anti-Riyadh stance.

Zio-Wahhabi regime are yet to comment on the report.

Hamid’s articles and speeches reportedly shed light on Saudi Zio-Wahhabi atrocities in Yemen, and accused Riyadh of providing financial support to the Takfiri ISIL terrorists and al-Qaeda militants in the region.

Zio-Wahhabi regime launched military strikes on Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to restore power to CIA agent fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a Riyadh ally, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

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Today I saw a weeping Palestinian man holding a plastic bag of meat: it was his son

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Brian Eno 

I suddenly found myself thinking that it could have been one of my kids in that bag, says Brian Eno, and that thought upset me more than anything has for a long time.

gaza_brian_eno_letter_460.jpgBrian Eno speaking at the National Demonstration for Gaza, London, 26/07/14

Brian Eno’s letter to America: WHY? I just don’t get it

This article was originally published on 3 August 2014. Brian Eno is an artist, musical innovator, record producer for artists ranging from David Bowie to U2 and Coldplay. He has been a consistent supporter of Stop the War Coalition since it was first founded.

Dear All of You,

I sense I’m breaking an unspoken rule with this letter, but I can’t keep quiet any more.

Today I saw a picture of a weeping Palestinian man holding a plastic carrier bag of meat. It was his son. He’d been shredded (the hospital’s word) by an Israeli missile attack – apparently using their fab new weapon, flechette bombs. You probably know what those are – hundreds of small steel darts packed around explosive which tear the flesh off humans. The boy was Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra. He was 4 years old.

I suddenly found myself thinking that it could have been one of my kids in that bag, and that thought upset me more than anything has for a long time.

Then I read that the UN had said that Israel might be guilty of war crimes in Gaza, and they wanted to launch a commission into that. America won’t sign up to it.

What is going on in America? I know from my own experience how slanted your news is, and how little you get to hear about the other side of this story. But – for Christ’s sake! – it’s not that hard to find out. Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just don’t get it. I really hate to think its just the power of AIPAC… for if that’s the case, then your government really is fundamentally corrupt. No, I don’t think that’s the reason… but I have no idea what it could be.

The America I know and like is compassionate, broadminded, creative, eclectic, tolerant and generous. You, my close American friends, symbolise those things for me. But which America is backing this horrible one-sided colonialist war? I can’t work it out: I know you’re not the only people like you, so how come all those voices aren’t heard or registered?

How come it isn’t your spirit that most of the world now thinks of when it hears the word ‘America’? How bad does it look when the one country which more than any other grounds its identity in notions of Liberty and Democracy then goes and puts its money exactly where its mouth isn’tand supports a ragingly racist theocracy?

I was in Israel last year with Mary. Her sister works for UNWRA in Jerusalem. Showing us round were a Palestinian – Shadi, who is her sister’s husband and a professional guide – and Oren Jacobovitch, an Israeli Jew, an ex-major from the IDF who left the service under a cloud for refusing to beat up Palestinians. Between the two of them we got to see some harrowing things – Palestinian houses hemmed in by wire mesh and boards to prevent settlers throwing shit and piss and used sanitary towels at the inhabitants; Palestinian kids on their way to school being beaten by Israeli kids with baseball bats to parental applause and laughter; a whole village evicted and living in caves while three settler families moved onto their land; an Israeli settlement on top of a hill diverting its sewage directly down onto Palestinian farmland below; The Wall; the checkpoints… and all the endless daily humiliations. I kept thinking, “Do Americans really condone this? Do they really think this is OK? Or do they just not know about it?”.

As for the Peace Process: Israel wants the Process but not the Peace. While ‘the process’ is going on the settlers continue grabbing land and building their settlements… and then when the Palestinians finally erupt with their pathetic fireworks they get hammered and shredded with state-of-the-art missiles and depleted uranium shells because Israel ‘has a right to defend itself’ ( whereas Palestine clearly doesn’t). And the settler militias are always happy to lend a fist or rip up someone’s olive grove while the army looks the other way.

By the way, most of them are not ethnic Israelis – they’re ‘right of return’ Jews from Russia and Ukraine and Moravia and South Africa and Brooklyn who came to Israel recently with the notion that they had an inviolable (God-given!) right to the land, and that ‘Arab’ equates with ‘vermin’ – straightforward old-school racism delivered with the same arrogant, shameless swagger that the good ole boys of Louisiana used to affect. That is the culture our taxes are defending. It’s like sending money to the Klan.

But beyond this, what really troubles me is the bigger picture. Like it or not, in the eyes of most of the world, America represents ‘The West’. So it is The West  that is seen as supporting this war, despite all our high-handed talk about morality and democracy. I fear that all the civilisational achievements of The Enlightenment and Western Culture are being discredited – to the great glee of the mad Mullahs – by this flagrant hypocrisy. The war has no moral justification that I can see  – but it doesn’t even have any pragmatic value either. It doesn’t make Kissingerian ‘Realpolitik’ sense; it just makes us look bad.

I’m sorry to burden you all with this. I know you’re busy and in varying degrees allergic to politics, but this is beyond politics. It’s us squandering the civilisational capital that we’ve built over generations. None of the questions in this letter are rhetorical: I really don’t get it and I wish that I did.

 

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‘ISRAEL’ MAKES A MOCKERY OF DEMOCRACY

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The tragic stories of three Palestinian women
BY MAHMOUD EL-YOUSSEPH
Israel who claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East is making a mockery of democracy by ignoring its basic element of due process of law and presumption of innocence. Case in point: Here are three stories of Palestinian women who were denied justice and were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment by the Israeli army. The reason was, to intimidate them into silence.
1. Khalida Jarrar, is a member of Palestine legislative council and high ranking official with the PFLP who was arrested by IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) in her home in Ramallah last April. She is being held on Mickey Mouse charges, such as: 1) attending a book fair, 2) giving an interview, and 3) taking part in a rally that called for the release of Palestinian prisoners. Mrs. Jarrar who is also an attorney, lobbied to have a seat for Palestine on International Criminal court of Justice. The area in which she was arrested is under the Palestinian authority control and Israel has also violated her legislative immunity. Last year the IOF served her an expulsion notice for two years. She refused to sign it and told the office, “It is the occupation and not her that needs expelled.” Her husband was arrested 11 times in the past and has served 14 years jail time under the Administrative Detention Act without being told why. Mr. & Mrs. Jarrar have two daughters who are attending a law school in Canada.
2. Shireen Issawi, a Jerusalem native and an attorney is leading the fight for justice for political prisoners. Israel has illegally imprisoned her. IOF soldiers raided her house last March and confiscated all the phones, computers, and I pads owned by all her family members, none of which have been returned. Her brother Samer Issawi held the longest hunger striker in record among Palestinian prisoners.
In 1994, an Israeli soldier shot and killed her brother Fadi on his sixteenth birthday during a peaceful march against the massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron. Her family members have served a combined of 25 years in Israeli jails since Israel occupied Jerusalem in 1967. Israel has banned her from practicing her profession as a lawyer and has cut off the water supply to her home. Miss Issawi has been put in solitary confinement for the last 3 months.
3. Muna Shalabi, a Jerusalemite mother was given last May an expulsion notice due to the fact that her husband Omar Shalabi was sentenced along with 8 other Palestinians to 9 months in jail for writing anti-Israeli comments on Facebook. This took place after the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Mohammad Abdelkader by illegal Jewish settlers in Jerusalem last summer. During the same time Facebook messages were left by illegal Jewish settlers calling for the killing of one Palestinian every hour following the disappearance of 3 Jewish settlers. These messages received 17,000 likes and no one was charged. To illustrate the Israeli bias and unfair treatment, Ayelet Shaked, who was a member of the Israeli Knesset, called for genocide against mothers and children. She has since been promoted by PM Netanyahu to serve as his Justice Minister.
Now Israel has revoked Mrs. Shalabi’s Jerusalem residency status. This move will deny her children from attending school and receiving medical treatment. She now has to leave Jerusalem with her six children, the oldest, Ihab, is 22 and the youngest Lamar, is 7.
The stories of these three Palestinian women highlight the suffering and abuse that Palestinians are subjected to on a daily basis under the Israeli occupation. All of this is done with help from our (yours and mine) tax dollars that Israel receives: 10 million dollars a day from our Treasury Department. We are all morally obligated to hold Israel accountable and demand that she stop the expulsion of Muna Shalabi and to put Khalida and Shireen on trial or release them immediately.
For the love of peace, please use your power to prevent injustice.
Write to the President and Prime Minister of Israel or the nearst Israeli embassy:
Email: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at: pmo.heb@it.pmo.gov.il 
Email: President of the state of Israel Mr.ReuvenRivlin at: public@president.gov.il

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Challenge: what US federal legislator will dare to get arrested over the TPP?

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By Jon Rappoport

TPP: US Congress’ stage play, con game, pretense, parade of cowards(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Power Outside The Matrix, click here.) 

When puppets dance on the end of a string, they need to exhibit a pretense of freedom once in a while, to keep the customers interested. It’s part of the show. It’s part of the con.

The Congress has now granted Obama “fast-track authority.” What does this actually mean?

It means that, when the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Treaty comes up for consideration soon, this gargantuan Globalist takeover of 12 national governments cannot be amended. It cannot be filibustered. From the time the TPP is introduced, no more than 90 days can elapse before the House and Senate cast their yes or no votes.

Most people concede that the passage of fast-track ensures the passage of the TPP, but of course this isn’t so.

Nothing would prevent the Congress from voting the TPP down, especially and because the contents of the Treaty are secret. The public isn’t informed of the details.

Any US legislator with a trace of courage would do just that—vote it down.

The legislators themselves have been allowed to enter a sealed room and read some of the content. But there is no guarantee that what they’re reading is in the final draft of the Treaty.

The legislators may takes notes in the sealed room, but they can’t keep their notes. They can’t make copies. They can’t discuss what they’ve read with the press or the public.

Again, on that basis alone, any legislator with a shred of honor would vote no on the Treaty.

And no on secrecy.

If a member of Congress did break omertà and reveal to the public what he read in the sealed room, he would be violating Executive Branch regulations on classified data (“national security”), and he could be arrested.

Well, that is exactly what a Senator or Representative who, with courage and honor, opposes the TPP, should welcome. An arrest? He should celebrate it.

First of all, no sitting legislator is going to receive a stiff prison sentence for violating secrecy in this instance.

Second, by being arrested, he would become a popular hero overnight and force the issue of secrecy into the global spotlight.

Third, the whole idea of the Executive Branch forcing legislators to maintain secrecy on a trade treaty is egregiously illegal—and the arrest of an honorable legislator would set up a potential Constitutional crisis. Which is exactly what this country needs.

What crisis? Ever heard of the Separation of Powers? The Constitution was established to create three branches of government—Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. The powers of each serve as a check and balance on the others, to prevent the federal government from becoming…exactly what it is today: a bloated, fungal, expanding force dominating the states and the people.

The Executive Branch telling the Legislative Branch it can’t disclose the contents of a trade treaty to the press and public is a draconian overstep of its power and a clear violation of separation of powers.

The fact that not one of these Senators or Representatives has revealed all he knows about the TPP, in order to correct this fundamental violation (and gotten arrested), is an absolute signal that they’re all faking it.

Faking it. In broad daylight.

A few legislators have alluded to what they’ve read in the sealed room—small pieces of it. But that’s it. That’s the extent of their “outrage.”

The rest is all bullshit of the highest order.

The debate over the TPP, the opposition, the objections—all bullshit.Those Senators and Representatives who will eventually vote no on the TPP know very well that the majority will vote yes. So their no votes won’t mean a thing, except for gaining a bit of publicity and perhaps currying a bit of favor with their constituency back home.

The Executive Branch, under Obama, is actually providing an ideal opportunity for any honorable legislator. By classifying the TPP as “secret,” a Senator or Representative can get himself arrested and “jump the fence.” He can cause a massive uproar.

He can also force his colleagues in the House and Senate to rally to his defense—or expose themselves as corrupt disloyal cowards.

It’s a perfect situation for any legislator with courage.

But there are no takers.

They’re all fakers. Including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Rand Paul.

These three know their opposition to the TPP doesn’t mean a thing. They know they could go further and spill all the secrets they know, at a press conference, and state in no uncertain terms that they dare the President to have them arrested.

But they won’t do it.

They’re part of what amounts to an unconstitutional “federal collective,” a club of little insiders, and they won’t break those chains.

Even when doing so would catapult themselves into the stratosphere as heroes.

Can you imagine it? Every day one of them spends in jail, his/her staff would be issuing statements to the press demanding the restoration of separation of powers.

And the headlines? And stories?

“Bernie keeps spilling secrets in jail!”

“It’s been revealed that Bernie Sanders, in his cell, is telling his guards everything he knows about the details of the TPP. He won’t shut up. We have a report that the guards have been given soundproof ear pads to wear. Bernie is scratching details of the TPP on the walls of his cell with his fingernails…”

Now THAT’S a stage play.

I’d pay to see that play.

That play would wake a lot of people up.

And for those who, even then, would refuse to fathom what’s going on…back to your snoozefest. Everything is wonderful. The State loves you. The State spies on you because it loves you. The State needs people just like you.

Posted in USAComments Off on Challenge: what US federal legislator will dare to get arrested over the TPP?

Colombian Army Murdered Thousands of Civilians with the Help of US Tax Dollars

NOVANEWS
By Claire BernishA disturbing report published Wednesday by Human Rights Watch details how the Colombian military callously murdered thousands of innocent civilians and dressed their lifeless bodies in leftist rebels’ uniforms, just to artificially inflate the body count for a period of at least six years. The commander of the armed forces and other senior army brass knew about it the whole time.

Somewhat euphemistically termed “extrajudicial killings,” the practice has been recognized for some time, but HRW found evidence in previously unpublished prosecutorial records that the practice was far more extensive and systematic than previously realized.

Prosecutors are currently investigating 3,700 deaths caused by state agents. From 2002-2008, thereport, titled “On Their Watch: Evidence of Senior Army Officers’ Responsibility for False Positive Killings in Colombia,” revealed that more than 180 brigades and tactical units—and their commanders—were responsible for murders of civilians. These “false positives” bolstered records at a time when success in the ongoing war was measured in dead rebel bodies. According to the report:

“Under pressure from superiors to show ‘positive’ results and boost body counts in their war against guerrillas, soldiers and officers abducted victims or lured them to remote locations under false pretenses—such as promises of work—killed them, placed weapons on their lifeless bodies, and then reported them as enemy combatants killed in action. Committed on a large scale for more than half a decade, these ‘false positive’ killings constitute one of the worst episodes of mass atrocity in the Western Hemisphere in recent decades […] This report provides the most detailed published account to date,” of what is “now substantial evidence that senior army officers were responsible for many of the killings [who] at least knew or should have known about the [the practice], and therefore may be criminally liable as a matter of command responsibility.”

Suspicious mitigating circumstances and irregularities surrounding death counts—dubbed “entirely obvious” in the report—led HRW to believe there could be no plausible denial of awareness by senior army officers that the murders were occurring.

In just one example, a former 16th Brigade lieutenant testified that “with the rank of a colonel and the experience you could have at this rank it is no secret that the troops . . . [were] killing innocent people who had nothing to do with the conflict and were reported with weapons that the guerrilla does not use to confront you with.” In another instance, two unnamed battalion officials described regular meetings with their commanders to plan how to lure victims to their deaths. Once those schemes had been carried out, the officials were often rewarded with vacation time.

But holding the appropriate parties accountable for the murders has been a complicated process. Prosecutors face the seeming complicity of military judges, defense attorneys, and army officials who create “bogus delay tactics” such as refusing to hand over necessary documents. Ongoing threats and attacks on key witnesses—including a likely retaliatory murder—have hindered progress significantly.

It is extremely important to note that the United States government began the “Plan Colombia” aid project in 2000 under President Clinton. The U.S. has since donated over $6.5 billion to the country, with the vast majority earmarked for military and police.

According to Amnesty International, which is calling for an end to aid because of these exact human rights abuses, “in 2006, U.S. assistance to Colombia amounted to an estimated $728 million, approximately 80% of which was military and police assistance.” This was, of course, during the height of the military’s practice of killing civilians.

Last year, the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) issued an extensivereport that found a frightening link between U.S. assistance and human rights abuses. It states:

Based on data on 5,763 reported executions in Colombia and extensive documentation of U.S. assistance to the Colombian military, we found a positive correlation between the units and officers that received U.S. assistance and training, and the commission of extrajudicial killings.

Also revealed by the telling FOR report:

U.S. military training […] is practically a required step for the promotion of a Colombian Army officer.” And of those so trained, “12 of them48%had either been charged with a serious crime or had commanded units whose members had reportedly committed multiple extrajudicial killings […] Our findings call into question much of the assumed wisdom about military assistance programs […] The U.S. Congress and State Department must take action to ensure U.S. tax dollars no longer bankroll military units that bankroll executions in Colombia.” [emphasis added].

FOR concludes by recommending ten conditions for the continuance of any further U.S. assistance to Colombia, including close monitoring of units and personnel for human rights abuses as well as judging progress by actual conduct rather than promotions of personnel.

Though a “human rights certification” by the Secretary of State—which ostensibly tracks Colombia’s progress—once covered 100% of U.S. security assistance, it has since been lowered to apply to just 25% of monetary aid, rendering the stipulation ineffective at instituting any realistic change.

Human Rights Watch is calling for the U.S. to “enforce human rights conditions on military aid,” with suspension of all assistance should the country further breach policy. The group is also urging the International Criminal Court to hold Colombia under tighter scrutiny in ongoing prosecutions.

Posted in South AmericaComments Off on Colombian Army Murdered Thousands of Civilians with the Help of US Tax Dollars

The Final Frontier: US Building War Command Center to Take Foreign Policy to Space

NOVANEWS
 
By Carey WedlerAccording to Defense One, the Pentagon is rushing to build a space war center to sustain its global power. Within six months, the space apparatus will be fully functional, as announced by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work at the 2015 GEOINT conference. Work openly admitted the move is an attempt by the Pentagon to maintain global dominance and combat alleged attacks from China and Russia.

Most prominently, the war center is intended to “track spy and military satellites at the same time so US intelligence and military can work together to create the best defense–especially against attacks on its satellite systems,” Gizmodo explained.

Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, alleged in January that Russia and China are “are conducting anti-satellite research and developing anti-satellite weapons, with the intent of denying the U.S. the use of space in the event of conflict.” Such threats are used to justify American expansion into space.

Due to the military’s general lust for power and proliferation, it is unsurprising that the Pentagon is seeking to further extend its tentacles into the universe. The project will operate as a backup to the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Joint Space Operations Center already “detects, tracks, and identifies all artificial objects in Earth orbit.” Its practices include “surveillance of space, protection of U.S. and friendly space systems, prevention of an adversary’s ability to use space systems and services for purposes hostile to U.S. national security interests, and direct support to battle management, command, control, communications, and intelligence.”

The new war center enhances these abilities but also seeks to increase surveillance on Earth. Speaking at the GEOINT conference, Work expressed excitement that the new system would allow the military an even more omniscient presence throughout the planet. By aggregating satellite images from all government departments, the war center will be able to track behavior more easily.
“We want to be able to establish patterns of life from space. We want to know what the unusual looks like,” Work said.

If, all of a sudden, a lot of cars show up in a parking lot of an adversary’s missile plant, we want to know about it and we want to know about it quickly. If, suddenly, small boats are swarming in the Gulf or pirates are starting to congregate off Aden, we want to know.

Evidently, in spite of having the most powerful, well-funded, and heavily armed military on Earth, the Pentagon has schizophrenically decided it needs more reach, authority, and access. This does not mean that there are no threats. It simply means the United States’ first avenue—whether initiatory or retaliatory—is almost always dominance and force.

Naturally, familiar battle cries justified the new program. Work insisted that the drive to surpass Russian and Chinese technologies is vital and that Russia poses a “clear and present danger to the United States.”

Work claimed that while space was once a “virtual sanctuary,” it must now “be considered a contested operational domain in ways that we haven’t had to think about in the past.”

Though Work attempted to paint the military’s further colonization of space as a recent and necessary development, the move mirrors American and Russian Cold War-era tactics. As both countries raced to make advancements in space, they revealed a paranoid—and ultimately militaristic—approach to exploration beyond the planet’s atmosphere, dragging relatively petty earthly conflicts into a solar system previously untainted by human vice. This is characteristic not only of America, but of any corrupt, global power seeking to establish dominance on Earth by conquering territory beyond it.

“We must be prepared now to prevail in conflicts that extend into space,” Work argued.

“The ugly reality that we must now all face is that if an adversary were able to take space away from us, our ability to project decisive power across transoceanic distances and overmatch adversaries in theaters once we get there … would be critically weakened,” Work stated at the conference, unashamed of the military’s blatant power play.

Rather than working diplomatically to solve problems between nations, the United States has once again defaulted on an aggressive, battle-oriented mentality—an all too common trait that reveals why America is the world’s biggest hegemony. By insisting on the necessity of even more tools to surveil and wage war, the military does nothing but expose its well-documented and transparent obsession with conflict, aggression, and its characteristic megalomania.

Posted in USAComments Off on The Final Frontier: US Building War Command Center to Take Foreign Policy to Space

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