Archive | November 20th, 2015

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime Sentences Palestinian Poet Ashraf Fayadh To Death For Renouncing Islam

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Ashraf Fayadh

A Palestinian poet and artist has reportedly been sentenced to death by a Saudi Arabian court for abandoning his Muslim faith.

Ashraf Fayadh was first detained by the country’s religious police in 2013 and then rearrested and tried in May 2014.

The court sentenced him to four years in prison and 800 lashes, but an appeal saw a different judge pass a death sentence on Fayadh three days ago, Reuters reports

Adam Coogle, the Middle East researcher for Human Rights Watch told the agency: “I have read the trial documents from the lower court verdict in 2014 and another one from 17 November. It is very clear he has been sentenced to death for apostasy.”

Fayadh’s conviction is based on a complaints about his 2008 poetry collection Instructions Within and from a prosecution witness who claimed to have heard him cursing God, Islam’s Prophet Mohammad and Saudi Arabia, which is a Gulf Kingdom governed by ”Sharia law.

Fayadh, who has curated art shows in Jeddah and at the Venice Biennale told the Guardian the complaint arose from a personal dispute with another artist about contemporary art in a café in Abha.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime Sentences Palestinian Poet Ashraf Fayadh To Death For Renouncing Islam

Why U.S. governors are wrong to oppose taking in Syrian refugees

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Juan Cole

Americans willing to house Syrian refugees.

Some half of US governors have announced their opposition to their states taking in Syrian refugees after the Paris attacks. Although they can bother refugees, they can’t actually dictate to people who are here legally where they can live. But anyway, here are the reasons for which these announcements are a form of political hysteria and not grounded in any rational policy considerations:

1. The attackers in Paris were European nationals. The Syrian passport found near one of them was a fake. So are the governors opposed to Belgian immigration into the United States?

2. The attackers were not refugees. They were born in Europe. Refugees are poor and lacking in knowledge or resources about their new environment. The attackers knew exactly where everything was that they wanted to assault and were hooked in with arms smugglers and other hard-to-discover criminal networks.

3. There is no rational reason to bar Syrian refugees but accept refugees from other conflict areas. The US already admits 70,000 refugees every year, but only took in about 400 Syrians last year. Most refugees are fleeing conflict situations or oppressive governments, and if you wanted to be paranoid about them you could fear them all on the same grounds that the GOP fears Syrians. The US has accepted a former child soldier from the Congo (might have skills). In 2014 the US accepted 758 refugees from Afghanistan; how are they different from Syrian refugees? And here’s the kicker: the US accepted 19,651 refugees from Iraq last year! It is completely irrational to single out Syrians if you are going to take in Iraqis.

4.These refugees undergo at least 18 months of background checks, contrary to what Sen. Mario Rubio (whose parents were Cuban immigrants to the US) has alleged.

5. The Economist points out that since 2001, the US has admitted roughly 750,000 refugees and none, zero, nada have been accused of involvement in domestic terrorism aimed at the US homeland (2 Iraqis were accused of trying to help a terrorist organization back in Iraq).

6. The need is urgent. Of the some 22 million Syrians, a good half are homeless. About 7.5 million have been displaced within the country and some 4 million have been forced abroad. Little Jordan (pop. 6 million) has taken 800,000. Little Lebanon (pop. 4 million) has taken 1.2 million. Turkey (pop. 75 million) has taken 2 million. Sweden is accepting Syrian refugees without announcing limits. Germany is taking tens of thousands (though probably most of the refugees Chancellor Angela Merkel has accepted are not Syrians). Winter is arriving and the refugees have no proper shelter, clothing or nourishment. The US has to step up in the face of one of the world’s great humanitarian crises.

7. Syrian refugees are not guerrilla fighters or terrorists. They are fleeing the oppression of the Bashar al-Assad government or the brutality of Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) or al-Qaeda. The are the victims of America’s enemies.

Comment: These refugees aren't fleeing Bashar al-Assad, they are fleeing the devasta ting conditions wrought by the mercenaries who have been trained,funded and supportedby the US and its allies. Could it be that part of the hesitancy of the PTB to acceptthese refugees, is that they will carry news stories which will counter the carefullycrafted narrative of the Western press and ultimately turn the tide of public opinionagainst this regime change escapade? 

8. The US owes these refugees. Without the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, there would have been no al-Qaeda in that part of the world, and no al-Qaeda offshoots like Daesh/ ISIL. Why do the governors (most of whom supported the invasion of Iraq) think the US can go around the world sowing instability and being responsible for creating the conditions that lead to millions of refugees but then can avoid the responsibility of ameliorating those broken lives?

9. Some US politicians, such as Ted Cruz, have spoken of taking in only Christian refugees. That step would be unconstitutional. But let’s remember that such a policy would have excluded Albert Einstein from coming to the US in 1933, after the Nazis seized his property in Germany. You wonder without such refugee intellectuals, would the US have fallen behind Nazi Germany on, e.g., constructing an atomic bomb?

10. Cruz’s call for Christian refugees to be given special privileges reminds us of the the racist Chinese Exclusion Act, which derived in part from Christian American dislike of those they called “heathens.” Religion is often an element in the construction of ethnicity, so the privileging of Christianity has a long history of being a stealth form of racism.

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Russia escalates air campaign against ISIS with new deployment of strategic bombers

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Daniel Fielding
The Islamic State and the other jihadi groups fighting alongside it in Syria are now experiencing bombing the like of which they have never known before or could probably even imagine.

Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber
On Tuesday Russia’s military briefed Putin on the further escalation of the air campaign in Syria.The new air forces deployed are of a power beyond anything seen before.

They all operate from bases deep inside Russia.

There is no plan apparently to send more aircraft to Syria itself.

The air base at Latakia is full to capacity. There is no room for more aircraft there.

Apparently there are no plans for the moment to establish another base in Syria. The Russians continue to rule out sending a ground force.

The plan is that the aircraft flying to Syria from Russia will maintain the attack on the jihadis’ logistics and infrastructure – the main target of the Russian strike force at Latakia up to now. 

The strike group in Latakia is now free to provide close air support to the Syrian army as it continues its offensive.

This suggests the new deployment was planned well in advance.

The additional aircraft now deployed come in three groups:

TU160 and TU95 strategic bombers flying from Engels, an airbase near Saratov in southern Russia .

Russian TU95 bomber
TU22M3 medium bomber flying from Mozdok, a giant airbase in northern Ossetia in the northern CaucasusSU27 and SU34s tactical fighters and fighter bombers, flying from an unidentified airbase, possibly Mozdok but more probably Budyonnovsk in Stavropol Region just north of the Caucasus.

All aircraft types have the range to reach targets in Syria from their bases in Russia, though the SU27s and SU34s may have to use extra fuel tanks and fly with lighter loads.

The oldest design by far is that of the TU95

This aircraft was designed and entered service in the 1950s. It is the Russian equivalent of the US B52 bomber, which entered service at roughly the same time.

The TU95 has a lighter bomb load than the B52 bomber. However its range is probably greater.

It looks antiquated. This is because it uses giant contra rotating turboprop engines instead of jet engines

Looks however are deceptive. The TU95 flies at barely lower speeds than subsonic jet powered aircraft.

Its extraordinary range, heavy bomb load and low operating costs have kept it in continuous service with the Russian airforce since the 1950s.

The effectiveness of this aircraft is shown by the fact the Russians actually restarted its production in the 1980s.

All B52s in US airforce service were built before 1963. All TU95s serving in Russian airforce service were built after 1981.

Amazingly, though the TU95 has been in Russian service for almost 60 years, this is the first time it has been used in action.

The other strategic bomber is the far more modern and far more powerful TU160

The TU160 is the heaviest and fastest bomber in the world. It can fly at supersonic speeds and carries the heaviest bomb load (40,000 kgs) of any bomber flying today.

Russian TU160 bomber

The Russians have not said how many TU95s and TU160s they have committed to the air campaign in Syria. However they have confirmed these aircraft in their first strike did not drop bombs but hit targets in Aleppo and Idlib with long range cruise missiles.

The missiles used were Kh-65 cruise missiles in the case of the TU95s, and very advanced Kh-101 cruise missiles in the case of the TU160s.

Some reports refer to the missiles launched by the TU95s as “Kh-55s”.

The Kh-55 is essentially the same missile as the Kh-65. However unlike the Kh-65 it uses a nuclear warhead.

These cruise missiles are completely unrelated to the sea launched Klub/Kalibr cruise missiles used earlier in the conflict, which were launched from Russian navy ships in the Caspian Sea. They were designed by completely different design teams.

The Kh-65 and Kh-101 missiles were designed by the Raduga design bureau. The Klub/Kalibr missiles were designed by the Novator design bureau.

With ranges believed to be 3,000 km and 5,000 km respectively, the Kh-65 and Kh-101 missiles have longer ranges than the Klub/Kalibr missiles fired from the Caspian Sea.

Both the Kh-65 and the Kh-101 are long range subsonic air launched cruise missiles.

The very advanced Kh-101 is a highly stealthy missile, practically invisible to most radar. It also has more advanced targeting and is more accurate than the Kh-65.

The TU95 is believed to carry up to 16 Kh-65 missiles.

The TU160 is believed to carry up to 12 Kh-101 missiles.

The Russians say 34 cruise missiles were used in total in the first strike.

This could mean the number of TU95s and TU160s used in the first strike might have been as few as three. A good guess might be one TU160 and two TU95s.

Since the Kh-65 and Kh-101 are long range missiles, it is likely the TU95s and TU160s launched their missile strikes from outside Syrian airspace – probably whilst flying over Iran or Iraq.

The Russians say the total number of TU95s, TU160s and TU22M3s bombing the jihadis in Syria is 25. Most of these are probably TU22M3s.

The TU22M3 is a very powerful medium range supersonic bomber.

It entered service in the 1970s. However it has been continuously updated since.

Russian TU22M3 bomber

TU22M3s would have no difficulty reaching targets in Syria from their base in Mozdok with a full bomb load. They can carry up to 24,000 kgs of missiles and bombs

Though capable of launching cruise missiles, Russian reports suggest the TU22M3s used in the first strike dropped bombs in early morning bombing raids on Raqqah and Deir ez-Zor.

The Russians say 12 TU22M3s took part.

The point of using such powerful aircraft with bomb loads of 24,000 tonnes is not just that they have the range to reach targets in Syria from Russia.

It is that they can carry the heaviest bombs in the Russian arsenal.

These include the 9,500 kg FAB-9000 high explosive bomb – currently the heaviest bomb in the world – or the truly monstrous 7,000 kg AVBP (“the father of all bombs”) – a fuel air bomb which is the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in existence, with a blast effect of 44,000 kg of TNT.

Either of these bombs would have an utterly devastating effect on the Islamic State’s facilities. They could effortlessly destroy even the most heavily hardened bunkers or shelters.

It is in order to use such bombs that the TU22M3s have probably been deployed.

Reports are circulating that in response to the growing number of Russian air raids the Islamic State is trying to hunker down.

Deploying heavy bombers with gigantic bombs is Russia’s response.

What of the 6 SU27s and 8 SU34s also flying to Syria from bases in Russia?

The SU27 is a fighter aircraft.

The variant being used is the SU27SM

Unlike the SU30, which has a pilot and navigator, the SU27SM is a single seat fighter.

It is a much more advanced aircraft with better radar and engines than the original SU27 of the 1980s.

It does not however have the super manoeuvrability of the SU30 deployed in Latakia.

It is nonetheless a formidable fighter aircraft with a longer range than the SU30 and able to carry the same sophisticated air to air missiles as the SU30.

Its job is to provide air protection (“top cover”) for the SU34s and TU22M3s that are carrying out the bombing missions.

The Russians have released film showing the SU27SMs doing this: escorting the TU22M3s.

Deployment of the SU27SM – like that of the SU30 – shows that the Russians are taking no risks.

Russian SU-27M bomber

Though the Islamic State has no air force, the Russians clearly think there is a risk other fighter aircraft might try to interfere with their bombing raids. 

These other aircraft can only be those of the US, Turkey and Israel.

Deployment of the SU27SM – like that of the SU30 – reduces that risk, whilst providing protection if things go wrong.

As for the 8 new SU34s, their purpose is to carry out precision strikes on smaller targets where use of the big TU22M3s would be overkill and not cost effective.

The Russians have said the additional aircraft double the striking power of their strike force in Latakia.

This is untrue.

The maximum theoretical bomb load of all the aircraft that form the strike group in Latakia taken together is around 200 tonnes.

The maximum theoretical bomb load of all the aircraft now flying to Syria from Russia is around 600 tonnes.

Obviously neither the aircraft at Latakia nor the aircraft flying from Russia always or even usually carry their total theoretical bomb loads.

Nonetheless this comparison gives an idea of the extent to which the force the Russians are using in Syria has multiplied.

Ir has not doubled as the Russians say. It has at least quadrupled.

To this should be added the force multiplier effect of the giant bombs the TU22M3s are almost certainly carrying.

The Russians have released film of all of the aircraft discussed in this article engaging in the first strike. The TU95s and TU160 can been seen launching their missiles. The film can be seen here 

Putin has said the Russian operation is not time limited.

The Russians have confirmed they have no fewer than 10 satellites watching Syria. The whole operation is controlled from the Russian General Staff’s war room in Moscow.

The Islamic State and the other jihadi groups fighting alongside it in Syria are now experiencing bombing the like of which they have never known before or could probably even imagine.

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6 painful truths about the war on terrorism

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Dylan Charles
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© Anthony Freda

If you were 4 years old when 9/11 occurred in 2001, then you’re now old enough to enlist and fight in the war on terror. Recent geopolitical events suggest that this conflict may endure for some generations to come, so, regretfully, your children may also get to participate. The war on terrorism is apparently part of our culture and part of our lives now.

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for peace in our time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are at war now — with somebody — and we will stay at war with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives. It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerrilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy. – Hunter S. Thompson

By no means a prophet, Hunter S. Thompson was just an eccentric observer with a knack for connecting the dots between political events and the ongoing mainstream media narrative that supports and manufactures consent for the oligarchy. When taken at face value, the terror script is indeed a rather convincing and motivating story, but when you dismantle the official fiction and bring the hidden pieces into the picture, the truth about the war on terror is just too heavy for conscious people to ignore any longer.

As it persists, international terrorism is guaranteed to increase; and as time goes by, we learn more and more about the real reasons why we’ve been forced into this apocalyptic conflict. After nearly 15 years of kicking down doors, drone bombing villagers, shattering societies, and mourning our own senselessly dead, here are 6 things we now know for sure about the war on terrorism.

The first casualty when war comes is truth. – Hiram W. Johnson

1.) The war on terror was never about ensuring the security of Americans at home or abroad, nor was the current situation the result of foreign policy blunders. 

The conflict was engineered from the onset to break up, destroy and destabilize most of the oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. The war on terrorism is about control of oil, about conquering national economies and turning them over to ‘foreign investors,’ about demonizing Muslim nations, about creating a lawless territory in which to develop Western-controlled mercenary armies like ISIS, about protecting Israel’s interests in the region, about destabilizing Europe, about opening access to the poppy fields of Afghanistan, and about punishing those nations which dared to defy the international banking cartel by moving to avert the petro-dollar.

The war on terrorism is also about radically altering the legal framework of Western governments to allow for greater surveillance, control and the militarization of once free societies. The aim is to continually broaden the definition of terrorism so that any act of defiance against the state or the corporate oligarchy, whether advocating for human rights, the environment, or any other issue of popular concern, can be prosecuted without due process. The war on terror will be used to target American citizens who support the idea of limited government and strive to maintain the protections afforded by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United States of America.

Additionally, the war on terror is about creating new markets for the security industry and opening steady income streams for war profiteers and arms manufacturers, so that a relative minority can profit heavily from the continuance of the war and the waste, swindling and destruction involved.

2.) The war on terror doesn’t stop terror, because it is terror.

The Western nations most heavily invested in the war on terror are also the nations most heavily involved in global arms trading, which gives advanced weaponry to any despotic tin pot dictator with an oilfieldAnd France just happens to be the world’s number one exporter of arms per capitaThe Western ‘coalition’ regularly kills civilians in other nations directly and indirectly, which is in and of itself a very real type of terrorism.

You cannot have freedom or peace in a country whose government is engaged in the global wholesale of advanced military arms and weaponry to national governments. – Stefan Molyneux

3.) Our worst terrorist enemies are the products of government, the military industrial complex and Western intelligence agencies.

The Mujahideen was originally organized, funded, trained and supplied by the CIA to oppose the Soviet Union. The Mujahideen became Al Qaeda with the assistance of Saudi Arabia and American training, arms and financial aid. Al Qaeda has morphed into, or been replaced with ISIS, who is the creation of the military industrial complex, the US, Israel, the UK and France, and is supported by some 40 other nations who knowingly trade and deal with ISIS.

They tax you in order to create weapons to sell to foreigners to attack you. – Stefan Molyneux

ISIS, the new Islamic Caliphate as they call it, is the most barbaric, cruel and inhumane social movement to come about in some number of centuries, perhaps even a millennia or more. ISIS was given birth and nurtured into being by the West, and now primarily Muslim people are suffering horribly in their own homelands while the war intensifies and extends into Europe in acts of urban terrorism.

4.) The mainstream media plays a crucial in perpetuating the war on terrorism.

The primary role of the corporate-owned and government-controlled mainstream media is to transform selected acts of terror into enduring symbols that can be used again and again to reinforce the war on terror narrative. Their secondary role is to keep the level of tension and stress as high as possible by ceaselessly over-reacting to non-events and over-reporting on non-issues, thereby keeping the public captivated and hypnotized by an ongoing drama so that when a major event does occur it has the greatest possible psychological impact.

Reporting on global terrorism is duplicitous and hypocritical because certain events have more franchise than others in influencing public support for government policy changes and military actions. In the practical world of marketing, French flags pictured draped over national monuments at night-time will go much further in promoting the war on terror than Kenyan flags draped over African monuments.

The media uses shock and awe in a war of psychological attrition against the public. The objective is to incapacitate and sideline people from participating in dissent, while scaring people into acquiescence to any imposed government authority or security measures.

5.) State-sponsored False Flag attacks still work to achieve political objectives.

There is a tremendous continual international effort underway to expose the true facts behind each new terror attack, terror plot, and major government lie. The alternative media is growing in reach and effectiveness; however, the reality is that the Hegelian dialectic of problem, reaction, solution still works on a shell-shocked public.

6.) Suicide is more deadly to our soldiers than any terrorist organization.

The war on terrorism represents the first time in US history that suicide has been the leading cause of death of US soldiers. The psychological impact of this type of conflict is unique and the suicide rate of returning soldiers may be our best evidence that the war is unwinnable.

Final Thoughts

The goal of the war on terror is transform people into willing participants in chaos, mayhem and murder, or to turn them into collateral damage. Nobody is born a terrorist, and we are all being set up as dispensable pawns in an orchestrated clash of civilizations.

The truth is out there. When you cut through the propaganda, emotional triggers, and the divisive nature of discourse today, what’s left is the truth that the war on terror is something that we must end. The rise in global consciousness and our willingness to speak out may be our only hope.

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Zionist Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Combating Terror,’Stop Demonizing Israel, Learn From Them’

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News.

‘Over time, and in a painful way, Israel developed an infrastructure. It is legal. It is counterterrorism measures. It’s intelligence. They know what they’re doing.’

Haaretz Nov 18,11,2015

 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News.Screen grab
Decision to outlaw Islamic Movement criminalizes thousands
Republicans clash over Syrian refugee plan as 2016 elections loom
France asks European partners to join attacks on ISIS in Syria

Fox News transcript:

KELLY: Breaking tonight. Hillary Clinton is not the only one who will not identify this enemy as radical Islam. Here is President Obama, just earlier today.

OBAMA: And, so to the degree that anyone would equate the terrible actions that took place in Paris with the abuse of Islam, those kinds of stereotypes are counterproductive, they’re wrong. They will lead, I think to greater recruitment in the terrorist organizations over time if this becomes somehow defined as a Muslim problem as suppose to a terrorist problem.

KELLY: Joining me now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is the author of the book Heretic and founder of the Ayaan Hirsi Ali foundation. Ayaan was raised Muslim and was forcibly mutilated before renouncing the religion and its ideals, Ayaan, thank you very much for being with us tonight. So what of that argument? We’ve heard that argument from the president and his supporters that if we call it a war on radical Islam, we’re going to alienate the rest of the Muslim world, not just the radical Islamists, but the rest of the Muslim world.

skip – Activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali shares her thoughts about the Paris terror attacks on ‘The Kelly File’

AYAAN HIRSI ALI, FOUNDER OF AYAAN HIRSI ALI FOUNDATION: I think the president is right. The United States of America and the western civilization is not at war with Islam, but Islamic extremists is invoking Islamic theology, and aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, the most prominent which is Saudi Arabia and the other one is Qatar are waging war on us. And the strategy from 9/11 that is indeed the former President Bush, but also other western leaders, the strategy that if we equate, if we say this is something within Islam, we’re going to lose the battle to them, that has been tried and it is failing as we are seeing now in Paris. I lived in Europe, and the entire leadership agreed on this argument, but what we are witnessing now is a failure of that strategy. We need to face the problem and we should start by naming it.

KELLY: We look at this over and over again, and we believed here in America, many, that if we wouldn’t use that terminology, and did — and pulled back from the Middle East somewhat, perhaps, they wouldn’t hate us so much. Perhaps, they wouldn’t want to hit us. Perhaps, there would be some detente with these people. It now appears that hasn’t worked.

HIRSI ALI: It hasn’t worked. We — listen, one of the things that we really have to digest is that Islamic extremism is older than this election cycle and the last one and 9/11. It is at least, Sunni Islamic extremism is at least 95 to 98-years-old. And it’s going to outlast this election cycle. This is — this problem is just stay with us. It’s not what we do or say what we don’t do or we don’t say, we have a substantial number of people on the planet who are Muslim, invoking Islamic theology, who have declared war on our way of life. The association between men and women on our tolerance, our freedoms, the call on everything that western civilization is, we need to acknowledge that and defend ourselves. And the way to first thing to do is to acknowledge.
KELLY: I want to ask you that. That’s the thing.

HIRSI ALI: Ideology for instance.

KELLY: That’s the thing is that, it doesn’t matter — it doesn’t, doesn’t matter what we call them or what we do, it seems — they object to our belief system. They left — object to our way of life. They object to the fact that we don’t necessarily believe in Allah. That we have the First Amendment, that we have the (inaudible). They object to so much about who we are and the way we live. And so, you wrote.

HIRSI ALI: Absolutely. And by ignoring all of that.

KELLY: How, how we could — as a practical matter, go about protecting ourselves and the first thing in your article was learn from Israel.

HIRSI ALI: Absolutely. Israel, from the time it was founded, had to deal with this. And over time, and in a painful way, Israel developed an infrastructure. It is legal. It is counterterrorism measures. It’s intelligence. They know what they’re doing. We should stop demonizing Israel. We should start learning from them. And by my knowledge, it’s — you know, Israel really doesn’t call — doesn’t — hasn’t declared war on Islam. Israel collaborates with some of the Muslim countries when they want to collaborate with Israel. But Israel is at a place now where I think, in terms of fighting domestic terrorism, they have made such headway that the scenes we’ve seen in Paris are unthinkable. Yes, the terrorists are using knives and cars and other desperate measures, but the mass murder of Israelis on Israelis soil is now unthinkable because of the measures that they put in place. And I think we have a lot to learn from them.
KELLY: I recommend — it is for everybody. It’s fascinating. It offers so many smart insights as we always expect from you, Ayaan, thank you for being here tonight.

HIRSI ALI: Thank you, Megyn. Thank you.

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Jonathon Pollard Should Be Hang, Not Freed

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CARTOON BY SHOAH
By Mahmoud El-Yousseph
Jewish American spy Jonathon Pollard was released from a U.S. prison today after serving 30 years for passing America’s top secrets to Israel.
I said it 19 months ago and I will say it again, Jonathon Pollard should be hung, not freed.  I am revisiting what I wrote about this traitor on April 2014.
He is responsible for leaking the names of U.S. agents and giving enough top secret U.S. info to fill a 6x6x10 foot room to Israel – for which he got a citizenship to that country – to go free over Passover.
Jonathon Pollard is a U.S. citizen who was nabbed by the FBI outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1985 when he was trying to flee the country. Pollard was a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to espionage and was sentenced to life imprisonment two years after his capture.
Contrary to his supporters’ claim that the espionage was carried out to help ” a small and vulnerable ally” better defend itself, Pentagon investigators believed that he was only motivated by money. Pollard reportedly offered to sell his information to four other countries, including Pakistan and then under Apartheid South Africa.
According to former CIA Director William Casey, Israel has traded the stolen information with the former Soviet Union in exchange for expedited emigration of more Russian Jews to Israel.
It is poppycock to argue that Pollard stole our secrets to protect Israel. This traitor could have had a chance to move to Israel and enlist in its armed forces, but the truth is, Pollard sold his country’s secrets to finance his drug habit.
It is no wonder why, for the last three decades, every Israeli Prime Minister and every major Jewish American organization in the U.S. have lobbied and pressured the White House for Pollard early release and/or a clemency.
Israel has repeatedly harmed U.S. interests and is not an ally. Who can forget the Israeli assault on U.S. Liberty in which 34 sailors were murdered and another 174 were maimed for life in international waters?
Pollard stole our nuclear secrets, sold them to Israel, and now Israel is using this extortion tactic to have him freed for the sake of not using the Jewish Lobby to block Iran Nuclear Deal. That is what our “special relation ally” offers.
Pollard stole top U.S. secrets, compromised our national security, and exposed the names of all U.S. agents in the former Soviet Union. He should have been hung, not freed.
Mahmoud El-Yousseph
Retired USAF Veteran

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U.S. House passes bill to curb Syrian refugees from entering country

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© Sputnik/Igor Mikhalev

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at strengthening the vetting process for Syrian refugees attempting to enter the United States.

Passing with a vote of 289-137 in the Republican-controlled House, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act will now move to the Senate, where it is not expected to pass. President Obama has also vowed to veto the bill if it passes through Congress. If passed into law, the bill would require increased verification of vetting procedures already in place to ensure terrorists do not enter the country disguised as refugees.

The terror attacks in Paris last week have led a number of US lawmakers to reconsider the Obama administration’s pledge to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States. Over two dozen governors said they would refuse to allow refugees into their states, citing concerns that some of the individuals seeking asylum may be members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group.

Syrian and Iraqi refugees currently go through an extensive vetting process. Lasting, on average, between 18 and 24 months, individuals undergo background checks from nine federal agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

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Kuwaiti security forces dismantle multinational ISIL cell

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The Kuwaiti security forces have dismantled a multinational cell of the Islamic State militant group, local media reported Thursday.

According to the KUNA news agency, there are nationals of Syria, Australia and Egypt in the cell.

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Former drone operators say they were horrified by cruelty of assassination program

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Murtaza Hussain
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Former drone operators Brandon Bryant, Michael Haas and Cian Westmoreland

U.S. drone operators are inflicting heavy civilian casualties and have developed an institutional culture callous to the death of children and other innocents, four former operators said at a press briefing today in New York.

The killings, part of the Obama administration’s targeted assassination program, are aiding terrorist recruitment and thus undermining the program’s goal of eliminating such fighters, the veterans added. Drone operators refer to children as “fun-size terrorists” and liken killing them to “cutting the grass before it grows too long,” said one of the operators, Michael Haas, a former senior airman in the Air Force. Haas also described widespread drug and alcohol abuse, further stating that some operators had flown missions while impaired.

In addition to Haas, the operators are former Air Force Staff Sergeant Brandon Bryant along with former senior airmen Cian Westmoreland and Stephen Lewis. The men have conducted kill missions in many of the major theaters of the post-9/11 war on terror, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We have seen the abuse firsthand,” said Bryant, “and we are horrified.”

The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beyond the press conference, the group also denounced the program yesterday in an interview with the Guardian and in an open letter addressed to President Obama.

At the press conference, Bryant said drone killings of civilians is exacerbating the problem of terrorism. “We kill four and create ten [militants],” Bryant said. “If you kill someones father, uncle or brother who had nothing to do with anything, their families are going to want revenge.”

The Obama administration has gone to great lengths to keep details of the drone program secret, but in their statements today the former operators opened up about the culture that has developed among those responsible for carrying it out. Haas said operators become acculturated to denying the humanity of the people on their targeting screens. “There was a much more detached outlook about who these people were we were monitoring, he said. “Shooting was something to be lauded and something we should strive for.”

The deaths of children in strikes was rationalized by many drone operators, Haas said, with minors in the targeted warzones described as “fun-size terrorists” and their potential deaths in strikes likened to “cutting the grass before it grows too long.” As a flight instructor, Haas claimed to have been non-judicially reprimanded by his superiors for failing a student who had expressed “bloodlust,” an overwhelming eagerness to kill.

Haas also described widespread alcohol and drug abuse among drone pilots. Drone operators, he said, would frequently get intoxicated using bath salts and synthetic marijuana to avoid possible drug testing and in an effort to “bend that reality and try to picture yourself not being there.” Haas said he knew at least a half-dozen people in his unit who were using bath salts and that drug use had “impaired” them during missions.

The Obama administration’s assassination program has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months. This October, The Intercept published a cache of classified documents on the program leaked by a government whistleblower that showed how the program killed people based on unreliable intelligence, that the vast majority of people killed in a multi-year Afghanistan campaign were not the intended targets, and that the military by default labeled non-targets killed in the campaign as enemies rather than civilians.

The operators said that they felt increasing urgency to speak out in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last week; they believe drone assasinations have fed the rise of the extremist group Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Westmoreland said of drones that “In the short term they’re good at killing people, but in the long term they’re not effective. There are 15 year olds growing up who have not lived a day without drones overhead, but you also have expats who are watching what’s going on in their home countries and seeing regularly the violations that are happening there, and that is something that could radicalize them.”

In their open letter to Obama, the former drone pilots made a similar point, writing that during their service they “came to the realization that the innocent civilians we were killing only fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS,” going on to describe the program as “one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world.”

At the press conference today, the pilots echoed these sentiments. “It seems like our actions of late have only made the problems worse … The drones are good at killing people, just not the right ones,” Bryant said. “Have we forgotten our humanity in the pursuit of vengeance and security?”

Comment: The bottom line here is that using drones to target alleged “terrorists” is not only haphazard, it’s also incredibly irresponsible and outright cowardly. It’s the same old “kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out” psychopathic mentality all too prevalent among the powers that be.Below is a copy of the open letter written to President Obama, the US Department of Defense, and the CIA :

President Barack Obama
The White HouseWashington, D.C.

Secretary Ashton B. Carter
Department of Defense

Director John O. Brennan
Central Intelligence Agency

Dear President Obama, Secretary Carter and Director Brennan:

We are former Air Force service members. We joined the Air Force to protect American lives and to protect our Constitution. We came to the realization that the innocent civilians we were killing only fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS, while also serving as a fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantanamo Bay. This administration and its predecessors have built a drone program that is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world.

When the guilt of our roles in facilitating this systematic loss of innocent life became too much,all of us succumbed to PTSD. We were cut loose by the same government we gave so much to ­­ sent out in the world without adequate medical care, reliable public health services, or necessary benefits. Some of us are now homeless. Others of us barely make it.

We witnessed gross waste, mismanagement, abuses of power, and our country’s leaders lying publicly about the effectiveness of the drone program. We cannot sit silently by and witness tragedies like the attacks in Paris, knowing the devastating effects the drone program has overseas and at home. Such silence would violate the very oaths we took to support and defend the Constitution.

We request that you consider our perspective, though perhaps that request is in vain given the unprecedented prosecution of truth­tellers who came before us like Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden. For the sake of this country, we hope it is otherwise.

Sincerely,

Brandon Bryant
Staff Sergeant
MQ­1B Predator Sensor Operator
SERE Instructor Trainee
USAF Joint Special Operations Command
3rd Special Operations Squadron
Disabled Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran
Founder of Project RED HAND

Cian Westmoreland
Senior Airman
RF Transmissions Systems
USAF CENTCOM
73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron
Disabled Afghanistan Veteran
Project RED HAND’s Sustainable Technology Director

Stephen Lewis
Senior Airman
MQ­1B Predator Sensor Operator
USAF Joint Special Operations Command
3rd Special Operations Squadron
Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

Michael Haas
Senior Airman
MQ­1B Predator Sensor Operator Instructor
USAF Air Combat Command
15th Reconnaissance Squadron
Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

Posted in USAComments Off on Former drone operators say they were horrified by cruelty of assassination program

Zionist divides the Jews

NOVANEWS
Netanyahu does not speak for me

By Lawrence Davidson

Reform Judaism vs Israel

Something significant recently happened in the ongoing political-ethical drama that grips Israel and, by extension, Jewish communities worldwide. As reported by the Jewish Daily Forward on 6 November 2015, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism (a position that makes him the leader of largest Jewish denomination in the United States), publicly broke with Israel’s political and religious leadership. In a major speech at the Union’s biennial conference he said:

Asking Jews around the world only to wave the flag of Israel and to support even the most misguided policies of its leaders drives a wedge between the Jewish soul and the Jewish state.

Going public in this fashion is significant and welcome. However, as we shall see, this aspect of his critique has a long history.

Jacobs then got more specific: “the treatment of Israel’s minorities” and the “way ultra-Orthodox views of Judaism are being enshrined in secular law” are indications that Israeli society is “broken” and that Reform Jews will not be quiet about this.

Jacobs offers the concept of Tikkun olam or “good works that benefit the wider community” and the “power and wisdom of pluralism” as antidotes that can help “repair” Israel.

This is potentially powerful stuff for the situation here in the US, if not in Israel itself. If Jacobs moves to mobilise America’s Reform Jews behind a campaign opposing present Israeli behaviour, it will constitute a major challenge to Zionist tribalism. It might also help liberate the US Congress from its present role of accomplice to Israeli crimes.

The past as prologue

While the Zionists will never admit it and it is unlikely that the great majority of Reform Jews are aware of it, Rabbi Jacobs’s criticism is not new. Indeed, warnings and scepticism of what Zionism meant for the Jews and Judaism go back to the late 18th century and intensified with the announcement of the Balfour Declaration in 1917.

I wrote a long essay on this subject in 2004. It is entitled Zionism and the attack on Jewish values and appeared in the online journal of ideas Logos(Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring 2004). Here are some excerpts:

  • In England, on 24 May 1917, the Joint Foreign Committee of two Jewish organisations, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Anglo-Jewish Association, issued a statement which asserted, “the feature of the Zionist programme objected to proposes to invest Jewish settlers in Palestine with special rights over others. This would prove a calamity to the whole Jewish people who hold that the principle of equal rights for all denominations is essential. The [Zionist programme] is all the more inadmissible because… it might involve them in most bitter feuds with their neighbours of other races and religion.”
  • Ahad Ha-am (the pen name of the famous Jewish moralist Asher Ginzberg) noted as early as 1891 that Zionist settlers in Palestine had “an inclination to despotism. They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause, and even boast of these deeds; and no one among us opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination.”
  • Hannah Arendt, one of the most insightful Jewish political philosophers of the 20th century, characterised the Zionist movement in a 1945 essay as a “German-inspired nationalism”. The result of this was a modern form of tribal ethnocentrism that led to virulent, politicised racism. In 1948 she and 27 other prominent Jews living in the United States wrote a letter to the New York Timescondemning the growth of right-wing political influences in the newly founded Israeli state.
  • Toward the end of his life, Albert Einstein warned that “the attitude we adopt toward the Arab minority will provide the real test of our moral standards as a people”. An investigation of the conclusions drawn by every human rights organisation that has examined Israeli behaviour toward the Palestinians over the last 50 years, leaves no doubt that the Zionists have failed Einstein’s test.

Yet that is just the conclusion that today’s Zionists cannot face. Any revival of these early and prescient objections as part of a contemporary critique of Zionism represents, to the ardent Zionist, the promotion of supposedly traitorous anachronisms that are not only an embarrassment, but also politically dangerous. Jews who express such concerns are systematically denigrated and non-Jews who are critical of Zionism are slandered with charges of anti-Semitism.

Judaism divided

Thus, Rabbi Rick Jacobs is the latest in a long line of important critics. Now that he has joined their ranks, the question is this: Will Jacobs be able to popularise his critique while withstanding the enormous pressure that is certainly about to befall him? He will be libelled and threatened in an effort to force him to back down.The movement of Reform Judaism might itself come under fire as subversive. After all, officially Israel doesn’t even see Reform Jewry as real Jews.

Though an effort to discredit Jacobs and the Reform movement will be made, it will only make matters worse for the Zionists and Israel. Thanks to its racist policies and brutal aggressiveness, the Zionist state has become the most divisive issue for Jews  throughout the Western world. Jacobs’s pronouncement is a sure sign of this. A Zionist counterattack on Reform Jewry will make it more so.

The truth is that Zionism has always divided Jews. On one side have been those sensitive to humanitarian issues and the religion’s traditional championship of egalitarianism and justice. And on the other side have been those who have committed themselves to a Jewish future defined in Zionist ideological terms. Before World War II those on the humanitarian side were mainly outspoken intellectuals. At that time the Zionists were better organised than those who opposed them and they were politically savvy and assertive. However, apart from areas of Eastern Europe, the vast majority of ordinary Jews remained neutral. With the advent of Nazi persecution the entire balance shifted in favour of the Zionists, who saw vindication for their statist philosophy in the holocaust. By 1948, few Jews said a word against Zionism and the state of Israel.

But that pro-Zionist balance could not last. Eventually Israel’s combining of religion and state power produced the worst of both worlds. In the name of defending Judaism, Israel has conquered, persecuted, and massacred, and it has self-righteously refused to acknowledge its own culpability for the ongoing tragedy of both itself and its victims. Now, more and more Jews are disgusted and alienated, or just mightily confused, by the ongoing malfeasance of a movement that was supposed to create their ultimate safe haven.

As the journalist Laurie Goodstein noted in a 22 September 2014 article in the international edition of the New York Times, ever greater numbers of younger American Jews are turning against Zionism and Israel. However, older and more conservative Jews still remain ardent Zionists. These are the big donors not only at their local congregational level, but also when it comes to politics. They will continue to try to intimidate Jewish sceptics into silence and to sway members of Congress. Hopefully, the efforts of men like Rabbi Jacobs will make it easier for those Jews who support more progressive and humane policies to stand up and compete for influence.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Zionist divides the Jews

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