Archive | February 2nd, 2017

‘Not like Gitmo’: Jewish Nazi interrogators explain torture techniques to media

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Jewish Nazi Gestapo interrogators with experience in using ‘special means’ of interrogation, which involve inflicting physical pain on detainees, have described details of their methods to an Zionist newspaper.

Reports of Nazi intelligence services using violent methods of interrogation have been around for years, even after the country ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 1991. In a landmark case in 1999, the High Court of Justice outlawed torture, but left a loophole called “necessity of defense.” This gives a waiver for cases when torture is deemed necessary to save lives or similarly dire circumstances.

Critics however say that interrogation using what Nazi calls “special means” remains widespread. The UN Committee Against Torture last year cited continued complaints of torture by the Nazi Security Agency (NSA) as well as Nazi regime refusal to implement the convention on occupied Palestinian territories and reluctance to criminalize torture among its concerns.

So far most of the information about “special means” reported by the Nazi media has come from detainee complaints. The new expose published by Haaretz on Tuesday is based on “a conversation among interrogators in the presence of several witnesses.”

The newspapers primary source, named only as N., is described as a former senior interrogator, who had the authority to give the green light for “special means”. N. insisted that what the Jewish Nazi Gestapo do to detainees is “not like Guantanamo.”

“The methods used are carefully chosen to be effective enough to break the suspect’s spirit, but without causing permanent damage or leaving any marks,” the newspaper says of his account.

Among the techniques described by N. was putting a blindfold on a person and slapping him. The slapping is meant “to hurt sensitive organs like the nose, ears, brow and lips.” The blindfold is needed to prevent the detainee from seeing a slap coming, so that he wouldn’t “move his head in a way that results in vital organs being injured,” according to N.

Another technique is to force the subject into an extended “wall sit” – bending their knees halfway, only supported by their back pressed to a wall.

“If the suspect falls, the interrogators put him back in position, and they keep him there even if the suspect cries, begs or screams,” the newspaper said.

Another variant is having the suspect sit on a backless stool with his arms and legs cuffed. The interrogator then forces him to lean back and remain in the stress position. The subject would be forced to use his stomach muscles to avoid falling. Sometimes the interrogator would force the detainee to raise his hands shoulder height while they’re handcuffed behind his back.

The newspaper said the interrogators were aware of the discomfort and pain caused by “special means” and some even tried the stress positions themselves to assess how bad they are.

Other methods discussed included shouting at the detainee from a close distance while grabbing him by the clothes.

Another interrogator said that while normally a permission to use “special means” from a senior official was needed, in urgent cases it would not be required. For instance, an interrogator could make the call in case of an imminent suicide bombing.

The debate over use of torture was reinvigorated in 2015 during an investigation into arson attacks against Palestinian homes, allegedly committed by Jewish radicals. Some of the suspect complained of being subjected to torture by investigators.

Read more:

‘Cruel, inhuman and degrading:’ Israel’s systematic abuse of Palestinian detainees exposed by NGOs

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on ‘Not like Gitmo’: Jewish Nazi interrogators explain torture techniques to media

MSF paramedic, civilian first responders killed in Saudi Zio-Wahhabi double-tap airstrike in Yemen

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Almost two dozen people, including civilian rescuers and an ambulance driver from an MSF-affiliated hospital, have reportedly been killed after Saudi-led coalition planes carried out repeated airstrikes on the same target in Sa’ada province, Yemen.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) confirmed the fatal air raids in Sa’ada, saying the “planes went back to bomb areas already hit.”

“An ambulance driver from an MSF hospital [was] killed,” the NGO wrote, explaining that the first responders at the scene had been trying to help those wounded in the first round of strikes.

The ambulance had just picked up the victims when a direct strike killed everyone inside it, said the director of the Jumhuriya Hospital in Sa’ada province, according to the New York Times.

Yemen’s Health Ministry has strongly condemned the coalition’s actions as a “heinous massacre” that first targeted a residential building in Sa’ada, Saba news agency reports, citing ministry spokesperson Dr. Nashwan Attab.

According to reports, at least 20 people were killed and another 35 wounded, in what the medics claim was a deliberate attack. Following the initial air raid in the Dhahyan district of Sa’ada, first responders rushed to the scene to care for the wounded. But the planes soon returned to strike again in an attempt to “completely eliminate the few remaining medical staff in the province,” Dr. Attab said.

WARNING! DISTURBING VIDEO, VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!

“There are still people under the rubble and it is difficult to get them as a result of targeting by Saudi aggression of paramedics and medical personnel in the region,” he added.

Earlier this week, MSF said that the Saudi coalition continues to engage civilian targets on the ground, in particular medical treatment facilities, noting that over 100 hospitals have witnessed attacks since the Saudi-led intervention began last March.

The constant bombing of health clinics in Yemen has created conditions in which locals fear for their lives and try to avoid hospitals at all costs, MSF said. The United Nations has criticized the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen for the disproportionate number of civilian deaths and the destruction of infrastructure.

The UN estimates that the violence has resulted in a dramatic increase in civilian casualties, with more than 5,800 people killed in Yemen since March.

READ MORE:

Yemeni hospitals seen as targets, people ‘avoid them as much as possible’ – MSF

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US Public Discourse Slipping Further from Reality

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By Richard Edmondson 

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) is the latest example of a member of Congress who seems to be slipping further and further from reality. Rogers has introduced a bill entitled “The American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017”–which sounds good until you get to the fine print.

The bill is aimed at eliminating US membership in the United Nations, which Rogers sees as a threat to US sovereignty. It also would end US support for UN agencies such as UNESCO and the World Health Organization, and would even have the UN headquarters kicked out of New York.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the UN. It has been used often as a political tool to support US foreign policy objectives, for instance in 2011 when it authorized a no-fly zone over Libya–and so for this reason I have some doubts as to whether Rogers’ bill will pass. But this is neither here nor there. Where things get really crazy is when you look at the congressman’s reasoning behind the bill.

According to RT, Rogers’ bill, officially HR 193, was motivated by the UN Security Council resolution adopted last month criticizing Israeli settlements. I have already discussed HR 11, a bill introduced specifically in response to that Security Council resolution and which was approved by a vote 342-80, and HR 193 seems to have been similarly motivated. Or at least partly, at any rate–for the RT report makes note of the fact that the Alabama congressman introduced an earlier version of the bill back in 2015.

“Why should the American taxpayer bankroll an international organization that works against America’s interests around the world?” Rogers is said to have asked at that time. “The time is now to restore and protect American sovereignty and get out of the United Nations.”

A little more from the RT report:

Later, in June 2015, Rogers had introduced his document – then named HR 1205, but essentially the same USExit idea he’s proposing now.

“The UN continues to prove it’s an inefficient bureaucracy and a complete waste of American tax dollars.” Rogers went on to name treaties and actions he believes “attack our rights as US citizens.” These included gun provisions, the imposition of international regulations on American fossil fuels – but more importantly, the UN attack on Israel, by voting to grant Palestine the non-member state ‘permanent observer’ status.

“Anyone who is not a friend to our ally Israel is not a friend to the United States.”

So in Rogers’ delusional thinking, it is the UN, and not Israel or its US Lobby, which threatens the sovereignty of the United States.

American funding to the UN comes to approximately $8 billion per year, that’s in mandatory payments as well as voluntary contributions. This makes up about 22 percent of the UN’s overall budget.

By contrast, US funding of Israel presently comes to about $3.8 billion per year (in direct aid). Presumably, if Rogers’ bill passes, the $4.2 billion difference will then be available to pass along to Israel. I’m not saying that’s what will happen, but worth keeping in mind is that in September of last year, Obama signed a $38 billion aid package to the Jewish state, and Obama wasn’t even on good terms with the Israeli leadership. Imagine what largess may flow under a Trump administration.

As I said before, the US is often able to pressure other nations and thereby use the UN as a political tool to advance its own foreign policy objectives, so from that standpoint one might argue that the $8 billion per year was an investment which brought back a return.

By contrast, if the money goes to Israel, the opposite will be the case: for it is Israel which uses the US as a political tool, not the other way around.

If we continue to be ruled by people like Rogers, our national sovereignty will eventually disappear. We will become a nation governed in total by a foreign power.

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Undercover Nazi Gestapo detain 2 students from Birzeit University

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undercover_abduct-e1486045796143Jewish Nazi special forces disguised themselves as Palestinians and “kidnapped” two Palestinian students at the entrance of Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Thursday afternoon, according to a statement released by the university.

The two students were identified as Tawfiq Abu Arqub, a coordinator for the Hamas-affiliated Islamic student bloc at the university, and Basel Falaneh, the secretary of specialities committee of the student council. They were studying computer science and business, respectively.

Birzeit University released a statement after the incident, saying that the two students were detained at the western gate of the university by “a number of [Israeli] soldiers.”  The students were forced into a vehicle “at gunpoint,” while also pointing guns at other students in the area.

The head of the university’s security, Muhammad Rimawi, stated that Nazi forces had “intercepted” a car that Abu Arqub and Falaneh were riding in, according to the statement, when “a number of undercover occupying forces took the students out of the car and kidnapped them.”

“This is neither new nor unprecedented given the ongoing colonial aggression against the people and institutions of Palestine,” the statement said.

The statement called the incident an “outrageous act of violence,” and part of a larger Israeli campaign resulting in the “rapid arrests” of students.

“This violation of our students’ right to learn is a part of a systematic attack on the right of education and freedom of expression,” the statement added.

The university’s Dean of Student Affairs Muhammad al-Ahmad also said in the statement that Israel’s “repressive measures” against all Palestinians and specifically students “shall only strengthen international efforts in support of an academic boycott of Nazi institutions.”

“The University condemns these outrageous acts in the strongest possible terms and calls upon all international and human rights organizations to speak this truth loudly in the face of these violations immediately and without reserve and to stand in solidarity with our struggle,” the statement concluded.

Birzeit University, ranked the top university in Palestine and among the highest-ranking universities in the Arab world, has been the focus of an Nazi military crackdown in recent months, which increased after the Hamas-affiliated Islamic bloc won student elections at Birzeit last year for the second consecutive year.

In December, more than 20 Nazi military vehicles raided the campus before dawn, forced campus security guards to stand against walls, and proceeded to raid several buildings, including the university’s administration building, the student council’s headquarters, Kamal Nasir Hall, and the Faculty of Science.

Another incident occurred in July, when at least 11 Palestinian youths were injured after Nazi  undercover forces and soldiers opened live fire on the campus amid clashes sparked by Nazi raid to detain a former member of the Islamic bloc.

At the start of 2016, Nazi military forces also raided Birzeit, destroying and confiscating university equipment. It was reported at the time that Nazi forces had detained more than 80 students between Oct. 2015 and the start of 2016.

Rights groups have widely condemned the concerted detention of Islamic bloc members at the university since their initial victory in 2015.

The Hamas movement is deemed illegal by the Nazi regime — along with the majority of Palestinian political factions and movements — making students involved with the Islamic bloc vulnerable to raids and arbitrary detentions. Members have also been targeted by Palestinian security forces.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Undercover Nazi Gestapo detain 2 students from Birzeit University

BOYCOTT NAZI I$RAHELL

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Report Examines Widespread Attacks On Palestinian Human Rights Activists On College Campuses

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By Kevin Gostzola | ShadowProof

A nonprofit legal advocacy organization has documented and responded to nearly 300 incidents of censorship, punishment, and other actions intended to “burden” advocacy for Palestinian human rights. The incidents point to a pervasive problem on American campuses, which is chilling the rights of individuals to engage in free speech.

The incidents are largely a result of pressure from defenders of Israel to the increased success of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli military occupation.

Palestine Legal, which was founded in 2012 to support the rights of Americans to speak out for Palestinian freedom, and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) put together a “first of its kind” report focusing on the suppression of speech, expression, and activism over the past two years.

According to the report, the organization “responded to 140 incidents and 33 requests for assistance in anticipation of potential suppression” in the first six months of 2015. In 2014, the organization “responded to 152 incidents” and “68 additional requests for legal assistance in anticipation of such actions.”

“The overwhelming majority of these incidents—89 percent in 2014 and 80 percent in the first half of 2015—targeted students and scholars, a reaction to the increasingly central role universities play in the movement for Palestinian rights,” noted Palestine Legal.

Of incidents from the first six months of 2015, Palestine Legal found more than half involved “false accusations of anti-Semitism” based “solely on speech critical of Israeli policy.” About half of the incidents responded to in 2014 involved accusations of anti-Semitism based solely on criticism of Israeli policy.

Nearly a third of incidents in the first six months of 2015 stemmed from “false accusations of support for terrorism.” This was an increase, as only 13 percent of incidents in 2014 suggested Palestinian advocates supported terrorism.

A map of the United States showing incidents where Palestine Legal responded to the suppression of free speech rights of pro-Palestine activists. Since January 2014, they've responded to 292 incidents. (Palestine Legal)

“The claim that Palestine activists support terrorism frequently relies on anti-Muslim and xenophobic stereotypes about the inherent violence and hateful worldviews of Arab, Muslim, and international students,” the report states.

Most importantly, the accusations are “baseless,” because “no links between terrorism and student activism for Palestinian rights have been substantiated.”

Dima Khalidi, the director for Palestine Legal, noted the organization had interviewed hundreds of students, professors, administrators, and others. Eighty-five percent of the incidents took place on 65 college and university campuses and in 24 different states.

“We’re not just talking about a handful of isolated incidents,” Khalidi declared. “This is really a widespread problem that affects hundreds of people across the country.”

A “primary tool” for pro-Israel groups is vilification

Israel advocacy groups, university administrators, and government officials accuse Palestinian human rights activists of anti-Semitism or “supporting Hamas” to frighten them into abandoning their organizing. Several students informed Palestine Legal false accusations “would hinder their ability to find a job or travel.”

As the report acknowledges, “The speech activities of Palestinian-American, Arab-American, and Muslim students routinely subject them to heightened harassment, intimidation, and discriminatory treatment in the midst of a post-9/11 climate in which their communities already face infringements of their civil liberties.”

Vilification is a “primary tool” for pro-Israel groups. One student falsely accused of associating with terrorists suggested, “The underlying message [is] that if you speak out too loudly or work too hard … anti-Palestinian activist[s] will smear you just like [they] tried to smear me.”

These accusations of anti-Semitism and support for terrorism coerce campus administrators into restricting and punishing students or scholars for their speech.

Fodder for character assassination against Palestinian human rights activists sometimes comes from surveillance of social media. Organizations “identify out-of-context quotations, Facebook posts, and other material.”

In January 2015, as the report highlights, “The Reut Institute reportedly held a ‘hackathon,’ in which Israeli officials and a number of other Israeli advocacy groups participated, aimed at exploring ways to gather intelligence on and target individuals involved in Palestine solidarity work. In its June 2015 strategy document, the Reut Institute highlighted the need to ‘out-name-shame the delegitimizers’ as a strategy to fight BDS, recommending the use of ‘all available firepower—financial, social, legal, etc.’”

A shady outfit called Canary Mission put out a “list of organizations and activists it accused of supporting terrorism, including campus chapters of the Muslim Student Association, which it refers to as a ‘virtual terror factory.”

The list was published for the express McCarthyist purpose of “exposing” individuals and student groups to make it harder for them to obtain positions in school and earn jobs after graduation.

Students have reported being spied upon by Israeli consulate officials. For example, in 2014, students reported members of the Israeli consul general’s entourage “photographed pro-divestment student campaigners as they spoke with other students and leafleted.”

The surveillance was part of acts to disrupt a divestment vote on campus. Students with family and friends in occupied Palestine expressed concern “such surveillance could have serious consequences” as it might allow Israel to block them from entering Israel and the West Bank to visit family.

Additionally, the comprehensive report examines various other tactics used against activists, including: official denunciation, bureaucratic barriers, cancellations and alterations of academic and cultural events, administrative sanctions, threats to academic freedom, lawsuits and legal threats, legislation, and criminal investigations and prosecutions.

“All of these tactics—individually and in the aggregate—threaten the First Amendment rights of people who seek to raise awareness about Palestinian human rights and challenge the dominant perspective in this country, which discounts Israel’s discriminatory and violent government policies,” the report asserts.

Multiple examples of tactics used against activists

The report details several examples of instances when these tactics were wielded to disrupt and stifle actions.

In February 2015, DePaul University’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter sought to hold a fundraising event for Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian American organizer who was tortured by Israeli forces into confessing that she played a role in a 1967 bombing. The United States government prosecuted her for lying about her past history in immigration documents.

DePaul administrators imposed security fees on the SJP because of a “planned counter-protest,” which led administrators to determine they might need the protection. Four security guards were detailed, and SJP was billed $480. After being forced to subsidize risk from threatened opposition, SJP could not afford to pay the bill and lost the privilege to reserve space for events on campus.

On October 8, 2014, John Jay College instructed the SJP chapter not to “use sheet covered in red paint (representing blood),” as they did during their “Die In/Vigil from Ferguson to Gaza” action. The instruction was a response to pro-Israeli students, who claimed they “felt uncomfortable with the message.”

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign violated Professor Steven Salaita’s academic freedom when they terminated him in 2014 over tweets he sent reacting to Israel’s assault on Gaza.

At Montclair State University, the student government initially sanctioned the university’s SJP for handing out “offensive” pamphlets. The literature led SGA to “fine the group five percent of its fall semester budget” and an order to cease distribution of all “political propaganda.” The brochure focused on Israeli settlements and the loss of Palestinian land from 1946 to 2000.

In April 2013, Northeastern University placed SJP members on “probation” after they walked out of a campus event featuring a soldier from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Offficials warned the students before the event not to hold signs or engage in “vocal disruption.”

“Students decided to tape the names of Palestinian children killed by the IDF to their shirts and planned a walkout,” the report notes. “During a pause in the presentation, one SJP student stood up and stated, ‘The IDF are war criminals and they are not welcome on our campus,” then proceeded to walk out with other students, who spontaneously chanted ‘Free Palestine’ as they left the room.”

Students were investigated by university administrators, and the university canceled a lecture the SJP had planned with Dr. Abu Sitta. The students were later charged with violations of school codes, and after a hearing, SJP was found to have violated “demonstration policy.” They were on probation until December 2013 and forced to write a “civility statement.”

In November 2010, Rutgers University administrators refused to allow students, who raised money for the Gaza Flotilla, to disburse those funds after Hillel alleged the fundraising constituted “material support for terrorism.”

Rather stunningly, University of California President Mark Yudof issued a rare public statement in February 2012 after activists disrupted an event, which compared Palestinian rights activism to incidents of racism. He likened the “hecklers” to the “hanging of nooses” on black students’ dorm doors or putting “swastikas on Jewish students’ property. He pledged to get the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance involved to “improve campus climate for all students.”

In the spring semester of 2015, the University of Toledo student government caved to Israeli advocacy groups and blocked the public from attending a divestment hearing, a violation of the Open Meetings Act in Ohio. Attendance by SJP members was restricted, as they were forced to sit in a “separate room” away from Hillel students. Student senators were blocked from voting on the resolution. But outcry eventually led to the resolution coming up for a vote and it passed “overwhelmingly.”

One of the more stunning examples involves eleven University of California-Irvine students, who were criminally prosecuted in 2010 for walking out of a speech by then-Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren. They were charged with misdemeanors for disrupting a public meeting, and the jury found ten of the students guilty.

The numbers do not necessarily tell the full story of how organizing is being suppressed. These are only incidents, which were reported to Palestine Legal so the organization could provide assistance.

“They’re really only the tip of the iceberg with a lot more incidents that go unreported,” Khalidi added.

However, the report clearly demonstrates how heavy-handed tactics are being used to intimidate Palestinian human rights activists and chill their criticism of Israeli policies against Palestinians.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on BOYCOTT NAZI I$RAHELL

King Salman has no issues with Trump

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By M K Bhadrakumar 

The US President Donald Trump must be a man with a queer sense of humour. He kept the call to King Salman of Saudi Arabia pending for his announcement on Friday to fully sink in – to the effect that the Saudi citizens will be subject to “extreme vetting” before being allowed to enter America.

Trump singled out Saudi Arabia as the only GCC country to be treated badly like this, on par with Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Finally, Trump made the call to Salman on Saturday. One would have liked to be a fly on the wall in the Oval Office. From all accounts, neither side showed fluster. The conversation was smooth as silk.

Salman is the Custodian of the Two Holy Places, and yet he didn’t raise the issue of Trump’s Muslim ban, which has created a world-wide uproar, including among non-believers.

Not only that, the accounts of the conversation suggest that Trump’s main purpose was to demand that Saudi Arabia should fund the ‘safe zones’ in Syria and Yemen – yes, Yemen, too, where the Saudis have been involved in a war of destruction. Simply put, Trump pricked the Saudi pride and 24 hours later asked Riyadh for money. Apparently, Salman agreed.

Thereupon, Trump and Salman agreed on the importance of making ‘joint efforts’ to erase the Islamic State from the face of the earth. The White House readout says,

  • The president requested, and the King agreed, to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen, as well as supporting other ideas to help the many refugees who are displaced by the ongoing conflicts.

The Saudi press agency initially omitted any reference to Salman’s commitment on the ‘safe zones’, but later put out an amended version to say, “The custodian of the Two Holy Mosques had confirmed his support and backing for setting up safe zones in Syria.” It nonetheless did not mention Yemen, where a Saudi alliance is waging a bloody military campaign against the Houthi group.

The Saudi version emphasised that Salman and Trump affirmed the “depth and durability of the strategic relationship” between the two countries. For Salman, it is crucially important to proclaim that Trump intends to continue with the strategic ties with Saudi Arabia. His main worry would be that without Trump’s support, Iran will steal a march over Saudi Arabia as the dominant Muslim power in the Middle East.

Curiously, Salman went on to invite Trump “to lead a Middle East effort to defeat terrorism and to help build a new future, economically and socially.” Plainly put, Saudi Arabia is petrified about a US retrenchment from the Middle East and is willing to overlook anything – even the humiliating blow of Trump’s Muslim ban – if only the American troops stayed on.

Salman’s fawning attitude in the face of Trump’s Muslim ban will put the Ummah in a quandary. Logically, Saudi Arabia ought to have reacted strongly in the same unequivocal manner in which Iran has reacted. No sooner than Trump announced a travel ban on Iranian nationals, Tehran imposed a reciprocal ban on US citizens. A foreign ministry statement said in Tehran on Saturday,

  • While respecting the American people and distinguishing between them and the hostile policies of the U.S. government, Iran will implement the principle of reciprocity until the offensive U.S. limitations against Iranian nationals are lifted.

Herein lies the secret of the western hegemony over Muslim Middle East. The bizarre truth is that the Gulf Arab regimes relish criticizing the US’s policies but cannot live without US military support because without that support they would collapse like a pack of cards. Besides, the Saudi elites keep their illegal private wealth in western banks and they own vast properties and business interests in the US. They travel to the US for fun as a permissive home away from their Wahhabi environs. In sum, they simply cannot afford to uphold self-respect and dignity as norms in their dealings with the Americans.

To be sure, Trump has put fear into the Saudi mind. What worries Salman most is Trump’s earlier stance that if the families of the victims of 9/11 attacks seek compensation from Saudi Arabia, he wouldn’t stand in the way. The finger has been pointed at important figures in the House of Saud for complicity in the 9/11 attacks.

But the Iranians have no such problem. They can insist on equal relationship and mutual respect from Washington because they owe Trump nothing. I can only echo Pakistani politician Imran Khan’s stirring call: “’Iran is an independent nation and other (Muslim) nations need to follow Iran against foreign pressures.” But then, Khan Saheb is asking too much.

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Go figure: Soros-funded watchdog says populist politicians ‘undermine fight against corruption’

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George Soros Image © Maurizio Gambarini / http://www.globallookpress.com
By Robert Bridge

With the EU elite threatened by a populist insurgency aiming to end free and easy immigration programs and promote nationalism over globalism, an influential think tank says populism will only – wait for it – fuel the fires of corruption.

Transparency International, a Berlin-based anti-graft group, warned in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index about the purported perils of populism, a political animal that on occasion rolls through nations like a force of nature to contend with the excesses of an out-of-touch, elitist minority.

“Populism is the wrong medicine,” stated TI chair Jose Ugaz, without offering any alternative prescriptions. “In countries with populist or autocratic leaders, we often see democracies in decline and a disturbing pattern of attempts to crack down on civil society, limit press freedom, and weaken the independence of the judiciary.”

“Instead of tackling crony capitalism, those leaders usually install even worse forms of corrupt systems,” Ugaz continued.

With regards to corruption, the watchdog attempts mind-reading by asserting that populist politicians “have no intention of tackling the problem [of corruption] seriously.”

The report takes to task some firebrand politicians, including Donald Trump (USA), Marine Le Pen (France), Jaroslw Kaczynski (Poland) and Victor Orban (Hungary), among others, who are currently topping the popularity charts among their constituents by declaring open season on the moribund establishment.

Transparency International sounded the alarm over these political “con artists” who are “reactive, nativist and often right-wing…” while alleging that these disruptive newcomers “have been able to exploit the disenchantment of people with ‘the corrupt system’ and present themselves as the only ‘way out’ of the vicious cycle described… ”

While deliberating upon the potential risks associated with the new agitators on the block, the report conspicuously failed to mention the reasons why so many voters today are disaffected with the same old run-of-the-mill politicians, who are guilty, it must be said, of far worse crimes than mere corruption.

In all too many cases we are talking about complicity in actual atrocities, from bloody regime change in places like Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, with efforts underway in Syria, to the wholesale destruction of Western civilization due to the unchecked immigration of war refugees without the consent of the governed. If NATO member states are feeling pangs of guilt over their direct complicity in the serial murders of nation states, forcing the refugees of these war zones onto the territory of their people is undoubtedly not the answer.

In light of these unsavory actions on the part of many NATO countries, concerns over high level corruption may seem a bit exaggerated and misplaced. At the risk of sounding cynical, separating corruption from the world of politics is tantamount to separating the chicken from the egg, and, as the popular riddle reminds us, very difficult to say what came first.

And speaking of corruption. The scale of corruption in the Clinton camp, revealed by WikiLeaks in the run up to the 2016 presidential election, is simply astounding and should be enough to preclude any lectures on good behavior by the folks at Transparency International.

For starters, it was revealed in November that the Clinton Foundation received a $1 million ‘gift’ from Qatar without telling the State Department, thereby breaking an agreement requiring it to reveal all foreign donations. The check was reportedly a gift to former President Bill Clinton in 2011 for his 65h birthday. A meeting was to take place between him and Qatari officials at some point, according to an email published last month, but it is not clear if this ever happened.

At the same time, it was also established that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were not only donating heavily to the Clinton Foundation but were also arming and funding the militants of Islamic State. Now if that isn’t the worst case of political corruption then I don’t know what is.

It is, therefore, no coincidence that populist politicians, simply responding to the market demand for fresh leadership, appeared around the world at just about the same time. The fact that France has its own version of Donald Trump in the form of Marine Le Pen would only come as a surprise to those people who don’t follow world events, or who are not told the truth about them.

Now that so many Western politicians and their affiliated parties are facing the threat of eviction this year (The most influential EU member states are witnessing a fierce struggle in the ranks amid the spectacular rise of anti-establishment, far-right politicians, like Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in Holland and Frauke Petry in Germany), it is somewhat ironic that Transparency International would release a report warning voters that they are about to be hoodwinked by rabble-rousing, right-wing demagogues.

But there is a simpler explanation for the one-sided nature of this report, and it is due to a massive conflict of interest on the part of its sponsors.

Take it away, George

If you were doing consumer research on a particular product, would you trust the manufacturer of that product to carry out the research, or would you prefer some independent body to handle the job? I think most people would agree that the most reliable, trustworthy method would be to commission some third party with no connections to the company to provide its consensus. That would dramatically reduce the chances of inaccurate results due to something called ‘self-interest.’

And therein lies the glaring problem not only with this report but with Transparency International as a watchdog group.

A brief perusal of its supporter list should remove any doubt as to why Transparency International is extremely wary about populist politicians rocking the European boat of power.

Aside from receiving from a number of foreign governments (Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, Estonia and Finland, to name a few), TI is sponsored by the some of the most dubious names in democracy today, brought to you by none other than investor and philanthropist George Soros himself.

The Open Society Institute (OSI) and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) ranks just behind the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a soft power non-profit sponsored by the US government, on the list of TI’s supporters.

Clearly, this is the last organization one should trust for providing an objective look at the rise of new political parties across the world. Indeed, George Soros himself has been largely responsible for the massive influx of refugees to the European Union, going so far as to offer cash incentives to refugees who wish to make the long, dangerous journey from the Middle East to the European continent.

Never mind that none of these displaced peoples, who have every right to our sympathy, will live in the same neighborhood as Mr. Soros, who can well afford all the personal protection that is certainly desirable when embracing such reckless policies. But for the average European citizen, who must accommodate these millions of new people who do not share the same religious, social and cultural predilections, nor in many cases the same high level of education, this social experiment carried out on the whim of a billionaire is the epitome of reckless behavior.

In fact, it should come as no surprise that the TI report singled out Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban. Just this month, Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, said it would use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born financier, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments.”

But all that pales in comparison to an award that Transparency International bestowed upon none other than former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 for “her emphasis on the importance of increasing transparency and countering corruption as part of US foreign policy, with the award addressed solely to those contributions.” Needless to say, that award drew a lot of raised eyebrows around the world.

There is a breathtaking degree of conflict of interest in this TI report, which, like so many closed halls of power in the EU today, is just begging for the transparent light of day.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Go figure: Soros-funded watchdog says populist politicians ‘undermine fight against corruption’

Hamas and Al-Sisi: A new page?

NOVANEWS
Image result for HAMAS LOGO
Al-Araby Al-Jadid

Spokespersons for the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement — Hamas — have given the impression that their movement’s relationship with Egypt is on the verge of dramatic shifts that will put an end to the tense relations between the two since the coup that deposed President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Hamas has indicated that the recent visit to Cairo by the Deputy Head of the movement’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, has paved the way to turning a new page in these relations. Hamas officials have attributed this “radical” change to a “strategic” shift in the position of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government towards the movement. They believe that this shift will manifest itself in the improvement of the economic and living conditions in the Gaza Strip.

However, what the Hamas officials are promising contradicts with the voices in Cairo, as media mouthpieces linked to Al-Sisi’s government have attributed the rapprochement between Egypt and Hamas to a deal which stipulates that Hamas should take measures on the border that the Egyptian government view as necessary to improve its ability to deal with the growing security challenges in northern Sinai. This will be in exchange for Egypt reducing the impact of the blockade on the Gaza Strip as well as taking measures to improve the economic and living situation in the besieged territory.

It is clear that if the purpose of these measures is to restrict the ability of members of Salafist jihadi groups to move across the border separating Gaza and Sinai, then this would also serve Hamas’s interests, as it is the target of hostility from these groups, a number of which have “excommunicated” the movement. In addition, Hamas is facing the consequences of what was a catastrophic mistake in trying to combine government of the enclave with resistance to the occupation, which gave Israel, as well as regional and international parties, another justification for imposing the suffocating siege on Gaza. The Islamic movement is concerned about improving the economic situation in Gaza, which has deteriorated so much that there could be an explosion of public anger against it.

However, in the event that a positive change does occur in the Egyptian government’s position towards Gaza, the rationale for this transformation will go beyond all considerations regarding the security situation in Sinai. Important circles in the Egyptian security institution have acknowledged the failed strategy adopted by Cairo towards Hamas in the form of the siege, security measures aiming to dry out the sources of its military strength, political boycott, demonisation in the media, and delegitimising the movement by means of pushing the Egyptian judiciary to consider its military wing to be a terrorist entity. According to Palestinian figures who have visited Cairo recently, some officials from the security institution in Cairo are pushing for a new approach to be adopted that aims to contain Hamas by alleviating the siege and improving the economic situation, while using the shift in Egypt’s position to influence the balances of power within the movement. This is especially due to the fact that Hamas is on the verge of holding critical internal elections, and therefore Egypt may influence one side over the other.

We can’t imagine that Al-Sisi’s government would make any change in their policies towards Gaza without coordinating with Israel, since it relies on the extremist, right-wing Israeli government in Tel Aviv to continue to provide it with international legitimacy. The Israeli position on Hamas is also subject to its own interests, and it seems apparent from the recent internal discussions that Tel Aviv’s interests currently lie in improving the economic situation in Gaza out of fear that Hamas might engage in a military confrontation as a means of preventing a popular outburst due to the deteriorating economic situation. Such fears were clearly evident in the last meeting of the Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs, during which Intelligence Minster Yisrael Katz once again proposed the idea of establishing a floating harbour off the coast of Gaza.

Another motivation for the shift in Cairo’s position towards Gaza is Egypt’s angry reaction to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of the pressure from Al-Sisi to restore Mohammed Dahlan to Fatah’s ranks and allow him to play a leading role in Palestinian affairs.

In any case, contrary to what some Hamas officials believe, the promised shift in the Al-Sisi government’s position on Hamas and Gaza will be tactical and not strategic. This is due to the fact that working on accumulating international legitimacy by getting involved in the war on “Islamic terrorism” is at the top of the list of strategic constants for the current regime in Cairo. Al-Sisi’s delight at his recent phone call with US President Donald Trump and his boast that they are both on the same page in terms of the war on “terrorism” reflects the rooting of this strategy within the government as a means of security legitimacy.

As such, regardless of Hamas’s behaviour towards Egypt, Al-Sisi can turn against the movement very easily if he believes that the new resident of the White House would welcome such a move. If we take into account the general agreement between the Trump administration and the Israeli government, then we can understand that Al-Sisi’s sensitivity to the Israeli considerations, including those regarding Hamas, will grow. If Israel believes at some time in the future that it is in its best interest to wage a war on Gaza, then Al-Sisi would most likely adopt the same position that he did during the 2014 military offensive.

Gaza is eager to get rid of the unlawful blockade imposed on it, and so any shift in the Egyptian position that reduces the effects of the siege will be considered as a positive and important development. However, it is important to be aware of the environment surrounding this expected shift in Egypt’s position and not to rely too much upon it, just in case there is a painful disappointment.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Egypt, GazaComments Off on Hamas and Al-Sisi: A new page?

An Interesting Note on the US and the Seven ‘Banned’ Countries…

NOVANEWS

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I have decided – due to requests from several people – to stop writing negative things about Donald Trump or the Steve Bannon administration that has just come into the White House.

Even though I have serious misgivings about this new administration and its outlook (along with some more positive views on some specific ideas), I will – for a little while, at least – refrain from upsetting anyone any further or bursting any bubbles by asking questions or being too critical about the Trump White House.

Barring any particularly extraordinary event, this will be a Trump-free zone for a while.

So, concerning something like this ‘Muslim Ban’ controversy that is currently going on, I’ve chosen to keep it brief and to not go into a big diatribe about why the ostracizing or demonisation of an entire religious community or entire nations of people is troubling or about how the ban may be unconstitutional under US law and actually illegal under international human rights law.

Also, for the sake of clarity, we should note that it is only a temporary ban for a probationary period of 90 days for now: and that, technically, it isn’t a ‘Muslim Ban’, just a ban on people from seven specific countries (although Trump did openly propose a ban on “all Muslims” during his campaign – which makes it understandable why it would be perceived that way now).

Instead, I’ll just put forward a few curious notes on the details.

Firstly, the seven countries banned by the new White House administration is interesting for a reason I haven’t seen anyone else pick up on yet. It matches, almost precisely, the list of seven countries on the post-9/11 Rumsfeld ‘hit-list’.

That list of nations that were to be targeted for ‘regime change’ by the US Neo-Cons was leaked by Retired General Wesley Clark some years ago. That list matches the Trump/Bannon list of proscribed countries except for one exception – you’d literally just have to swap Yemen for Lebanon and it would be the same list.

I’m not sure precisely what this correlation signifies – but I thought it was curious enough to draw attention to.

What’s also interesting about this current list of banned countries is that it is a list that is – supposedly – meant to stop terrorism or radical Islamic infiltration and yet it doesn’t include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, Afghanistan or Egypt. Pakistan and Afghanistan are both long-term sufferers of Islamist radicalism and extremist groups, while Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the primary funders and orchestrators of Wahhabism and jihadism. 17 of the 19 alleged hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia: but, for some reason, this list instead focuses on countries that – though admittedly unstable – don’t have a history of conducting hostile activity or terrorism on American soil. Post Arab Spring Tunisia is also regarded as suffering an increase in radicalised individuals and jihadists, but is not on this list either.

I’m not suggesting that those countries *should* be on a ban list or that a ban list should even exist – just highlighting the potential logical lapses in this policy. Instead this list seems to focus on countries from which there are genuine humanitarian crises and a genuine outflow of refugees – many of whom are fleeing *from* terrorism and radicalism.

What’s also interesting is that several of these countries – Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen – are countries that the US has either invaded, wrecked or helped to collapse. The US invaded Iraq, violently toppled the state in Libya, spent several years waging proxy war in Syria, and is presently directly aiding and enabling the Saudi bombing campaign and humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

Those four countries being on this list feels a little like an arsonist setting several houses on fire and then imposing a ban on anyone trying to flee the burning houses.

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program has been (indefinitely) suspended, with Syrian refugees in particular being rejected outright. Already, among other incidents, this resulted in a family of Christian Syrian refugees being rejected from Philadelphia Airport and sent back to Qatar. It also means, for example, that Iraqis – including Kurds – fighting alongside US forces against ISIS are banned from visiting the United States even to reunite with relatives already in the US.

Aside from all of that, this policy – as it currently seems to stand – seems like a propaganda god-send for the so-called Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and other Islamo-fascists whose entire radicalisation process is based on the false (or at least it used to be false) idea of ‘Islam versus the West’ or ‘Us and Them’. This policy, if pursued and expanded, will give a massive propaganda boost to recruiters and extremist ideologies; while, at the same time, will target, victimise and demonise innocent, normal people – and refugees – while doing nothing to deter terrorism (as most terrorists are home-grown – and the US has hardly had any ‘Islamic’ terrorism anyway).

Trump’s original ‘Muslim Ban’ idea came as an immediate response to the Orlando nightclub shootings: an attack carried out by a homegrown perpetrator with no links to any foreign groups (and which itself was almost certainly an FBI-built plot: see here and here).

Frances Flannery, a terrorism expert who runs the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Terrorism and Peace, warnedSalon that America is likely to experience major blowback from this policy, noting that only “0.02 percent of Muslims in the world are terrorists, based on State Department statistics. Consequently, any “black-and-white, ‘us vs. them’ rhetoric that groups 134 million people [meaning those affected by the ban] together with the radicalized few, or claims that the problem is Islam, is both seriously misinformed and dangerous.”

I am choosing to assume that President Trump himself genuinely thinks he is following a smart course to ‘make America safe again’.

I don’t extend the same good will, however, to Steve Bannon and some of the other figures around Trump and whispering in his ear. It also seems perverse that this much attention is being focused on keeping America safe from radical Islam when both extreme-right terrorism and general gun crime kills far more Americans than ‘Muslims’ or foreigners do – and yet Trump and everyone in the administration is entirely against gun control.

There is some basic logic in restricting entry to people from unstable, crime-ridden countries like Somalia and Sudan or from war-torn countries like Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, but it is difficult to see what is to be gained from a blanket ban on anyone – including refugees – from those nations. All it does is further stigmatise a particular community, amplify the ‘Us and Them’ paradigm both at home and abroad, and confirm and reinforce the atmosphere of division.

The US – contrary to Trump’s claims – already has/had very strict and thorough vetting procedures, particularly in regard to immigration or entry from Muslim-majority countries and particularly after 9/11.

The claims about lackluster screening mechanisms are entirely false, and there is no record of a ‘terrorist’ ever slipping through the system. At any rate, this current 7-country-ban would never have prevented 9/11 (even if you believe 9/11 was a genuine terrorist operation and not an inside job), as none of the 19 alleged hijackers were from any of these seven countries.

We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out, what happens after the 90-day period or whether this policy can even be legally sustained. It is difficult, however, to see what is going to be gained from it.

_____________

Related: The Refugee/Migrant Crisis – Exposing the Anti-Refugee Lies/Propaganda‘…

Posted in USAComments Off on An Interesting Note on the US and the Seven ‘Banned’ Countries…

What’s the End Game: hype and hysteria surrounding the “Muslim Ban”

NOVANEWS
Image result for Muslim Ban CARTOON
By Kit 

They’re calling it the “Muslim Ban”, that’s the headline attention-grabber. It has its own twitter hashtag too. Everyone, all around the progressive “free world” is coming together to denounce this barbarism with one voice. Actors are making speeches at the SAG awards, and earnest navel-gazing columnists are writing about how this travel ban clashes with “British values”. There’s a petition to ban Trump from entering the UK with over a million signatures already (only tree from the British Antarctic Territories this time). John Harris, in the Guardian, even manages to make this all about Brexit – how triggering Article 50 will push us closer to a Trump administration that is “ruining America’s reputation”. Not even Jeremy Corbyn was immune, his biggest weakness it seems, is that he cannot ever miss an opportunity to be “nice”.

So what does it all mean? I have no idea. Is it a catastrophe? Absolutely not. It’s not even a surprise. This is something Trump spoke about doing over and over again during his campaign. That we’ve got to the point where a politician actually doing something he said he was going to do is a shock, is perhaps the most revealing aspect of this whole situation.

    Some fact-checking:

  • It’s NOT a Muslim ban. It applies to only seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. All in all less than 200 million of the world’s 1.6 BILLION Muslims are affected.
  • It’s NOT permanent, or even long-term. It’s only 90 days long for everywhere but Syria.
  • It’s NOT unprecedented, Jimmy Carter banned all immigrants from Iran during the Hostage Crisis, and Barack Obama put a six month delay on Iraqi refugees in 2011. Just two years ago, during the “ebola crisis”, America imposed a travel ban on people coming in from West Africa. It is an entirely sensible and pragmatic thing to do…. if you believe your country to be in some kind of danger.

NOTE: Somehow, in the last four years or so, the media has established a meme that protecting the borders of your country is akin to racism. (This is probably part of a corporate, globalist agenda to allow the free movement of cheap labour, to undermine workers rights).

Now – let’s look at the seven named countries.

Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. These seven countries have all been bombed by America in the last 12 months, and regularly going back dozens of years.

Obama sent predator drones to attack weddings and markets in Somalia and Iraq, and Britain and US sell bombs to the Saudis, who drop them on Yemeni civilians without a thought of repercussion, or even rebuke, from their Western allies. These countries have been destroyed. Libya, Iraq and Somalia are husks of states, with barely infrastructure enough to supply water to everyone, let alone do background checks on all the mercenaries and militant zealots hopping over the borders between the various war-zones America has dotted the Middle-East with.

Interestingly, none of these cynical and murderous acts of war ever resulted in a petition to stop Bush, Clinton or Obama from entering the country. Creating a failed state, killing a million people, and rendering millions homeless is less of a black-mark on your character than a 90 day travel ban.

The idea it “damages America’s reputation”? That is hilarious. America’s reputation was in tatters decades ago, to anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention. If drone assassinations, or dropping Agent Orange on Vietnamese children, or cluster bombs on Baghdad, or torturing people in Gitmo doesn’t dint your belief in American values… then a 90 travel ban shouldn’t either. And if it does, you need to re-sort your priorities.

What those seven countries have in common is not Islam, but chaos, violence and (allegedly) terrorism.

IF you believe in the rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS, IF you still think that these organizations are anything but American constructs for proxy wars and regime change, IF you truly believe in the fear porn and staged-managed terror the media hydra constantly pumps out, IF you truly believe these people are a threat to ordinary innocent civilians all over “the West”… then you have to agree a travel ban is a practical and logical step to control that threat. Just as it was in the 1970s, just as it was in 2011, just as it was in 2014.

And if your response to this move, as the mainstream media response has been, is to talk as if this threat doesn’t exist? Well, then you are admitting that you don’t believe your own coverage, that all the hyped-up “terrorism” talk was at best ratings driven hysteria, and at worst agenda-pushing lies.

The political establishment’s rush to virtue signal and oppose this move simply confirms what so many of us in the alt-news have been saying for years – terrorism was never the threat they pretended it was.

The question becomes – why is the vast majority of the media, the establishment and their various media voices so against this move? Is it because it means nothing? It is essentially harmless, but allows “liberals” and “progressives” to add some virtuous notes to their CV though strident opposition.

Is it simply a case that Trump will be opposed and ridiculed no matter what he does? If so, why? What good does turning the POTUS into a figure of scorn and mockery do anyone?

Is Trump essentially the anti-Obama? Obama was a construct that allowed immediate good-by association. Supporting Obama meant you were a good-guy, perhaps in a change of tack we now have a president you have to hate. Perhaps it’s all just an elaborate social experiment. It’s impossible to tell anymore.

The first 10 days of Trump’s presidency has, so far, produced far more questions than answers.

Posted in USA, CampaignsComments Off on What’s the End Game: hype and hysteria surrounding the “Muslim Ban”

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