Archive | July 12th, 2017

Condemnation as govt bans report into who funds Britain’s extremists

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RT 

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has confirmed an already much-delayed report into the foreign funding and support of extremist groups in the UK will be banned from publication for “national security” reasons.

Rudd instead released a parliamentary written answer outlining the details of the report, which was commissioned by former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.

“Having taken advice, I have decided against publishing the classified report produced during the review in full,” she said.

“This is because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons.”

“We will be inviting privy counselors from the opposition parties to the Home Office to have access to the classified report on privy council terms.”

According to the Home Secretary’s summary, some key findings include that UK-based individual donors primarily fund extremist organizations in the UK, while some donations also came from overseas.

The report was finished six months ago, and it is thought its publication had been further delayed over government fears diplomatic links with principal Middle East ally Saudi Arabia would be at stake if had been implicated in the foreign financing of UK radical groups.

The summary said foreign aid helped individuals enter institutions that “teach deeply conservative forms of Islam and provide highly socially conservative literature and preachers to the UK’s Islamic institutions.”

Some of those individuals have since become of “extremist concern,” the report added.

The decision to permanently shelve the report has caused an outcry among opposition parties, with Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron arguing that extremism can only be tackled if full information is released, regardless of what consequences there may be for the UK’s diplomatic ties abroad.

“We cannot tackle the root causes of terrorism in the UK without full disclosure of the states and institutions that fund extremism in our country.”

“Instead of supporting the perpetrators of these vile ideologies, the government should be naming and shaming them – including so-called allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar if need be,” he said, according to Business Insider.

“It seems like the government, yet again, is putting our so-called friendship with Saudi Arabia above our values. This shoddy decision is the latest in a long line where we have put profit over principle.”

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas also blasted the “unacceptable decision” not to publish the report, warning that it fuels speculation the government wants to cover up Saudi Arabia’s terrorist funding.

“The statement gives absolutely no clue as to which countries foreign funding for extremism originates from – leaving the government open to further allegations of refusing to expose the role of Saudi Arabian money in terrorism in the UK,” Lucas said.

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Naziyahu slams Ireland’s pro-Palestine stance

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Enraged by Dublin’s financial aid to anti-Zio-Nazi Palestinian rights groups, Prime Minister Benjamin Naziyahu has lashed out at visiting Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney over his country’s pro-Palestine policy.

Naziyahu’s office made the criticism in a statement issued on Tuesday after the premier’s meeting with Coveney in Jerusalem al-Quds.

The premier “expressed his dissatisfaction over Ireland’s traditional stance” on Palestine and urged Coveney to condemn what he called Palestinian “incitement,” the statement read.

He also challenged the top Irish diplomat over Dublin’s assistance to the “NGOs that call for the destruction of Israel,” it added.

Coveney, for his part, said in a news briefing that his discussions with Naziyahu touched on a range of issues, including Nazi Jewish settlements, the humanitarian and political situation in the blockaded Gaza Strip and the so-called ”peace process’.

“Of course, we have clear differences on some issues, but these differences are honestly held and openly expressed,” he noted.

Ireland runs Irish Aid, an official overseas development program for overseas development.

A number of Palestinian rights groups, such as Al-Haq, Addameer and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, are funded by the program.

During his three-day trip, which began on Monday, Coveney is scheduled to meet with Zionist puppet Mahmoud Ab-A$$, United Nations officials and representatives from the NGOs funded by Irish Aid.

Speaking prior to his departure for the occupied territories, Coveney said he was “looking forward to hearing a diverse range of views from” the Palestinians, Israelis and NGOs.

“Of course, I will also use the opportunity to make clear Ireland’s concerns about the impact of the continuing occupation and the fact that, as things stand, the prospects of a comprehensive peace agreement remain dim,” he pointed out.

The meeting took place on the same day that Ireland’s South Dublin County Council voted unanimously to fly the Palestinian flag over the County Hall in Tallaght for a month in solidarity with the “oppressed people of Palestine.”

It has become the fourth Irish local authority to make such a move in recent months.

“I am delighted with [the] vote in solidarity with the people of Palestine. It might seem like a very small gesture but I know from the reaction to similar decisions made by other councils that today’s vote will be applauded across Palestine and elsewhere,” said Councilor Enda Fanning.

About 600,000 Nazi Jewish live in over 230 Nazi Jewish settlements built illegally since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian officials say they want the resolution of the conflict with Tel Aviv based on the so-called two-state solution along pre-1967 boundaries.

However, Naziyahu has on several occasions said Nazi regime should maintain its military occupation of the West Bank under any agreement with the Palestinians.

In recent months, the Nazi regime has stepped up its illegal Nazi Jewish settlement construction activities in the occupied lands and oppressive measures against the Palestinians, leading to an increase in global anti-Jewish sentiment.

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BDS gains support from US Mennonite churches

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The Mennonite Church of America has voted to sell its holdings in companies that profit from the Zionist occupation, according to the Washington Post.

The church, which has over 75,000 members voted by a majority of 98 per cent to support the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign last week in Orlando.

The resolution voted upon, called on “individuals and congregations to avoid the purchase of products associated with acts of violence or policies of military occupation, including items produced in [Israeli] settlements.”

In a statement, the Mennonite Church explained its decision: “The Palestinian people have suffered injustices, violence, and humiliation, including … life under Israeli military occupation and in refugee camps throughout the Middle East.”

The church has also turned to their own $3 billion fund and asked investment managers to review all investment practices that may benefit the ongoing Nazi occupation.

Numerous churches in the US have also committed to a divestment campaign of Jewish Nazi goods, including the Presbyterian Churchthe United Church of Christ, the Quakers, the Unitarian Universalists and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Whilst the 12.8 million-member United Methodist church did not move to support BDS outright, they have barred investment in five Israeli banks citing human rights concerns.

Read alsoBDS campaign supported by African churches

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Saudi’s Qatif in Mourning after Zio-Wahhabi Regime Killed Four Political Detainees

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Father of Saudi martyr Yousef Ali Abdullah al-Mishaikhesh, after being informed of his son’s execution.

Saudi Arabia’s Qatif region is in mourning on Wednesday after the ruling Zio-Wahhabi regime announced a day earlier it had executed four people over allegations of “conducting terror activities”.

Zio-Wahhabi Interior Ministry claims that the four, who were executed in Qatif Governorate in Eastern Province, had attacked police stations and petrol officers.

The ministry identified the four men as Zaher Abdulraheem Hussein al-Basri, Yousef Ali Abdullah al-Mishaikhesh, Mahdi Mohammed Hasan al-Sayegh, and Amjad Naji Hasan Al Moaibed.

The Shia-dominated Eastern Province, particularly the Qatif region, has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters, complaining of marginalization in the Zio-Wahhabi ruled kingdom, have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

However, the government has responded to the protests with a heavy-handed crackdown, but the rallies have intensified since January 2016 when Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime executed respected Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest rates of execution. Rights groups last month expressed concern that 14 Saudi Shia individuals face execution for protest-related crimes.

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Read the CIA’s 1951 listicle comparing U.S and Soviet Propaganda

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Agency memo found 33 similarities between Voice of America and its USSR counterparts

By: Alec Shea

In 1951, as the Cold War was intensifying, the CIA decided to see how Voice of America radio broadcasts into Eastern Europe compared with Soviet efforts. In a remarkably candid document, the Agency critically assessed the similarities and differences between U.S. and Soviet propaganda.

Today, VOA claims that it was founded during the Second World War to provide “Unbiased and accurate information.” The CIA officers assessing VOA in 1951, though, saw the service as essentially similar to Soviet propaganda, going so far as saying that most Americans would be surprised by the similarities between the two.

The document proposes that similarities could be the result of opposing countries imitating the propaganda put out by their rivals, and even posits the existence of an “international propagandists culture” that tended to produce similar techniques

The document includes a list of 33 main similarities between Soviet and American propaganda, including the “impression of objectivity,” “avoiding obvious lying on tangible facts,” blurring distinctions within enemy camp,” and “not dignifying opponent’s position by quoting it.”

However, it was in identifying where the two styles differed that the Agency saw the most strategic value.

Some of the differences that the CIA identified included “Soviet Conflict-Mindedness” …

which was directly opposed to “Greater American Fact-Mindedness”

Changes in the National Defense Authorization Act this year ignited fears that VOA could be marketing itself to an American audience. If it does, the American public may get a direct demonstration of exactly what the “international propagandists culture” looks like today.

Read the complete report.

Edited by JPat Brown

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Nazi army abducts Palestinian lawmaker on security allegations

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Nazi military forces have abducted a Palestinian legislator and a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) during separate raids across the occupied West Bank.

On Sunday morning, a large number of Nazi troopers raided the home of 55-year-old Khalida Jarrar in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, located 10 kilometers (six miles) north of Jerusalem al-Quds, and arrested her.

Her husband, Ghassan said Nazi forces seized computers during the raid.

Nazi Gestapo internal spy agency, Shin Bet, announced in a statement that Jarrar was arrested along with a Palestinian activist for “promoting terror activities,”  without providing any further information.

Jarrar is one of the most outspoken critics of the Nazi illegal occupation and has repeatedly slammed the Nazi regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.

The Nazi regime has been denying the lawmaker the right to travel outside the occupied Palestinian territories since 1988. She campaigned for months in 2010 before receiving the permission to travel to Jordan for medical treatment.

In August 2014, Jarrar received a “special supervision order” from the Nazi military, instructing her to leave Ramallah to the West Bank city of Ariha (Jericho).

However, she set up a protest tent outside the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah, where she lived and worked, until the controversial order was overturned later in September that year.

Nazi soldiers last arrested the Palestinian lawmaker on April 2, 2015 after storming her house in Ramallah. She was released from prison on June 3, 2016 on a suspended sentence of 12 months within a five-year period.

According to reports, a total of 13 Palestinian lawmakers are currently imprisoned in Nazi detention Camp’s.

Nine of them are being held without trial under the so-called administrative detention, which is a policy according to which Palestinian inmates are kept in Nazi detention Camp  without trial or charge. Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

Palestinian MK enters prison with “pride”

Meanwhile, a Palestinian member of the Knesset (parliament) has headed to prison with “pride” as he began a two-year sentence on charges of giving cellphones and SIM cards to Palestinian prisoners in Nazi Camp’s.

Basel Ghattas of the Joint List, a political alliance of four Arab-dominated parties, said he was entering prison with his “head held high” and with “support from my people.”

File photo shows Palestinian member of Knesset (parliament) Basel Ghattas at his office at the Knesset in Jerusalem al-Quds

More than 6,500 Palestinians are reportedly held at Nazi Camp. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention.

The Palestinian inmates regularly go on hunger strike in protest against the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.

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The ‘Civilianization’ of Movie Scripts: The Pentagon’s Counter-Subversion Program for Hollywood

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By Tom Secker

While Hollywood is generally supportive of the government – and of the military in particular – the Pentagon faces a problem.  In order to stand out from the crowd and make their screenplays a bit different to the usual schlock, screenwriters like to include subversive elements and aspects, even in films that are broadly in favour of institutions like the Department of Defense and the CIA. Because the Pentagon wants to support films that promote them as a benevolent force in the world, these subversive elements present a problem for them. One solution is civilianization.

In our new book National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood, we document numerous politically-motivated changes made to script by the Pentagon and CIA in exchange for production assistance. We collated this information from a vast range of sources including over 4,000 pages of documents we obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. One recurring theme we found in these changes is the civilianization of characters, action and dialogue that the Pentagon didn’t like.

The Civilianization of Contact

In the 1997 extra-terrestrial epic Contact the National Guard provided vehicles and uniformed extras for a small handful of scenes but in exchange had a considerable influence on the script. In one scene in the White House where the protagonists are deciding what to do with blueprints they have decoded from an alien signal the original script portrays the military as deeply worried that this could be a ‘Trojan Horse’ that would instantly transport an alien army to Earth and take over. Jodie Foster’s character Ellie responded, ‘This is communist paranoia right out of War of the Worlds’.

The Pentagon saw scenes like this as a ‘silly military depiction’ and so they ‘Negotiated civilianization of almost all military parts’. In the revised scene it is the National Security Adviser, not the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who expresses outlandish fears about what this technology might be, and Ellie’s response about paranoia was cut entirely.

In another scene in the pre-civilianized version, the President gives a stirring speech at the UN about the building of this great new technology and this is intercut with a military convoy and Apache helicopters approaching the construction site. The script describes how ‘Encircling the installation is a vast graveyard of discarded aircraft—the detritus of Twentieth Century war-making.’ This is rather obvious symbolism representing how technological efforts are moving from the violence of the 20th century military industry to peaceful 21st century space exploration. In the final version this sequence does not appear, and there is no indication of military involvement in the construction of the wormhole machine. This compromised the creative and philosophical vision behind Contact – of a future where war-making is left behind in favour of learning and discovery.

The Civilianization of Jurassic Park and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

National Security Cinema records numerous other examples of this phenomenon, where instead of outright censoring troublesome scenes the Pentagon distances itself, reducing its presence in these films to a benevolent or benign background entity. For Jurassic Park III the producers approached the Pentagon wanting to film some A-10 gunships for a scene where they battled with flying dinosaurs.

The Pentagon’s chief Hollywood liaison Phil Strub turned down this request because ‘We weren’t about to provide them something that would only generate sympathy for the dinosaurs’. He also requested that they change the identity of the character who discovers the island full of dinosaurs, asking, ‘would you change his character, make him like the president’s science adviser or something like that? Just get him out of the uniform.’ Strub also promoted the idea of the film ending with a ‘nice military rescue’, reducing the military’s role from reckless pioneers and murderers of cute flying dinosaurs, to responsible officials providing emergency/disaster relief.

This technique continues into the most recent films we examined. In 2016’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – a Tina Fey comedy – the military allowed several days filming at Kirtland Air Force Base in exchange for civilianizing one aspect of the script they didn’t like. The version the DOD reviewed, ‘portrayed a US Army transport brake failure, resulting in it hitting a group of Afghani shoppers in Kabul, killing and injuring them. This was changed to an NGO vehicle.’

Independence Day: When Civilianization Fails

Independence Day was not so lucky. When they approached the Pentagon for support making their alien invasion adventure there were numerous aspects of the script that Strub and his colleagues found objectionable. From Will Smith’s Air Force character dating a stripper to the fact that ‘all advances in stopping the aliens are the result of actions by civilians’ which contrasted the ‘anaemic US military response’, the Pentagon was not happy on a number of levels.

They particularly objected to the inclusion of references in the dialogue to Area 51 – the common name for the Groom Lake facility at Edwards Air Force base. Even when the producers civilianized Area 51, making it a non-military facility run by non-military officials, this still didn’t satisfy the Pentagon. As a result, the producers of Independence Day had to use CGI (still a relatively new and very expensive technology at the time) to duplicate the one fighter jet they had to create the scenes of numerous jets in dogfights with alien craft.

However, despite the production being made more difficult and expensive, the Pentagon’s rejection did mean that the producers had more creative freedom. The result was a hugely popular and successful summer blockbuster that is fondly remembered. Had the scenes in Area 51 been removed, or reworked so that they did not involve such an obvious element of UFO folklore, then the film would have been fundamentally different, and less memorable. By contrast, the Pentagon did support the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, which almost everyone who saw it has already forgotten.

The Consequences of Civilianization

At its most fundamental, the Pentagon’s strategy of civilianization of movies is a means of removing subversive moments from the military realm, or of changing them so they aren’t subversive at all. The image of a US Army transport crashing in downtown Kabul and killing innocent people is an effective, provocative symbol representing the abject futility and stupidity of the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Changing this to an NGO vehicle dilutes this subversive element to almost nothing, and it becomes more of a plot point than politically-charged symbolism.

Similarly, by removing the scene from Contact where the construction of the wormhole machine rises above the detritus of 20thcentury war-making, the Pentagon diluted the subversive philosophy of that film.  While Contact remains an intelligent and in places profound movie its critical light was not allowed to shine on the Pentagon – all so that they could use a couple of National Guard helicopters and jeeps and a handful of real life troops as extras.

This is perhaps the more obvious consequence of military involvement in Hollywood – that films are less radical and challenging than they would otherwise be. However, there is another, more significant and perhaps unintended consequence. In movies subject to this process the characteristics of recklessness, incompetence, deceit and so on are civilian traits, not military ones. The result of this is a semi-consistent worldview across a range of fantasy movies that says that the problems of the world are civilian problems, not resulting from the military’s behaviour.

In reality, as the biggest, richest, most violently powerful organisation in the world, the Pentagon, has greater means to inflict the consequences of human vice on people around the world. While Hollywood is rarely known for being realistic, the ‘soft censorship’ of civilianization exacerbates this problem, with considerable political consequences. Hundreds of millions of cinema-goers are being repeatedly told that the reasons bad things happen are because of ordinary citizens, and not institutionalised military power on a massive scale. This makes it seems like in the real world wars are not the forces of murder and destruction they really are, but are rather the background noise to the evils of human nature. As a result, civilianization of movie scripts helps make wars more likely, more popular and therefore easier to maintain for long periods, and thus more prolonged and destructive. What likely began as a means of ensuring better PR for the military through Hollywood adds up to a powerful political phenomenon.

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The nuclear bomb is a weapon of crime and mass destruction

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Roland Oldham, head of the nuclear test veterans organization Mururoa e tatou, addresses UN conference to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 21 June.
By Roland Oldham – International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War 

Moruroa e Tatou, Tahiti – The nuclear bomb is a weapon of crime and mass destruction.

We should all be well aware of the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the consequences still today have effects across generations.

Like those in other places, nuclear tests in the Pacific by France, America and Britain were a crime towards indigenous people, and the defenceless people of the Pacific. It is a racist crime—nuclear racism. This destroyed and contaminated their environment, the natural resources that they depend on to live. The damages are irreversible.

Look at Moruroa for example—137 nuclear blasts underneath the coral atoll have severely fractured the atoll which is sinking down into the rising ocean, leaking radioactive gases and plutonium into the sea, risking disastrous damage for marine life. French authorities have assessed that there is a danger of a landslide of 670 million cubic meters of rock at Moruroa, creating a 15-20 meter tsunami.

The responsible governments used the Pacific as a dumping ground for nuclear waste—in the Marshall Islands, Moruroa, Fangataufa, Christmas Island, and elsewhere. Plutonium is in the lagoon of Moruroa and leaking from the 147 underground test explosion holes in Moruroa and Fangataufa. Not to mention the widespread radioactive fallout from atmospheric nuclear explosions.

There are thousands, millions of victims out there around the world—former test and weapons production site workers, military staff, civilians; women and children. They are invisible. They are voiceless. They have cancers: leukemia, thyroid, others…. Women in French Polynesia now have the highest rates of thyroid cancer and myeloid leukemia in the world. Their children through many generations will be affected by genetic mutations and damage.

It is a poisonous heritage that is left to humanity and future generations.

It is a crime against humanity.

I don’t see much of the word “crime” in the ban treaty: crime against our planet, crime against our environment, crime against humanity. The aim of the treaty is to stop all these crimes.

Why is there no word about these crimes.

Is there pressure from somewhere? Is there censorship?

Have we lost our morality?

But as victims we are not begging for favour, we are just standing up for our rights and our dignity.

There exists an obligation for the nuclear-armed states to compensate their victims, and to make reparation for the damage done to the environment.

There must be no more mushroom clouds producing untold numbers of new victims.

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Hungary: Paradise for liberals

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By István Lovas 

Do you wonder what you are going to read in the mainstream press on Hungary tomorrow? I will tell you. The same as yesterday, and the same as in the past almost seven years since Hungary’s right-of-center Fidesz government, led by the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was elected.

You will learn that Mr. Orbán is a populist, an autocratic ruler, a menace to Europe, and a politician not hesitating to use anti-Semitic language in order to win over voters of the far-right Jobbik, and cover up uncomfortable truths about whatever is on the agenda in Hungary on that day.

He, of course, has muzzled the media, made the court system a handmaiden of the ruling elite, abolished checks and balances, while he is suffocating the voice of dissenters, creates inordinate fear, chases away half of the country beyond Hungary’s borders, and the rest of the stuff.

Lately, Hungary has been called the safe haven of the European ultra-right. At the time when Hungary’s authorities have arrested and expelled two such figures, such as Nick Griffin and James Dawson, both of them ultra-right British politicians.

In our “free” media world, it is impossible to request corrections from any western media with regard to outright lies that they publish about Hungary, and those lies will be repeated ad nauseam.

So, if you just want to read yet another of the mainstream media mill churning out the same heap of trash, and want to see how Hungary’s regime reminds you of the “darkest period of history”, turn, please, to the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Guardian, the German, the French, and the Austrian mainstream press. Here, in this article, you will find facts. That you have never heard of. Only if you go to Hungary and look around for yourself.

First, let us glance at how the Hungarian press is “muzzled.”

Have you ever heard of any Western voice complaining about the media situation in Serbia, Hungary’s southern neighbor? No. Well, in that country of 7,4 million people, the opposition has a single national political daily newspaper with a circulation of 2,000. The rest is pro-government stuff.

In a sharp contrast to Hungary where the combined circulation of the two national dailies in opposition to the government is clearly superior to that of the two national pro-government dailies.

Out of the six weeklies that you can see at any newsstand, supermarket, or gas station, only two are pro-government.

One million people watch the news program of RTL Klub, a commercial television station owned by a Luxembourg-based media group. The Hungarian public television, controlled strictly indeed by the government, has a viewership that is one tenth of RTL’s. Other than that, Hungarians can switch, in addition to RTL KLub, to ATV or HirTV if they want to be informed how corrupt and horrible their government is. And where expert after expert try desperately to find a reason why Hungarians still overwhelmingly support their horrible incumbent government, and why Fidesz will win handily in next year’s election.

Self-censorship in the opposition media? Come on, there is no country on the face of the earth where you can say things about the Prime Minister or members of the ruling Fidesz party that can appear in an American paper only as three dots.

On June 10th, the 88th Book Festival Week was officially opened in Budapest with the speech of a Hungarian writer called Pál Závada. He started his speech by declaring that he has to speak in the gag press of a one party, autocratic state.

What do you think, who financed the festive event? None other than the government.

The government sponsors almost of all its enemies and dissenters with a magnanimity that is unimaginable in any other country. And they – both the government and the dissenters – are mum about it.

It is a special Hungarian disease that you can call a political Stockholm syndrome that you cannot find anywhere else in the world.

The head of the court system in Hungary is a lady, called Tünde Handó, who selected a judge to a key position, who is the sworn enemy of the incumbent government, and who sentenced an editor-in-chief of the weekly Demokrata to prison for writing something during the previous, socialist-liberal government that was offensive to that government.

The chief Hungarian public prosecutor is a person who has been described by two well-known Hungarian pro-Fidesz journalists, Zsolt Bayer and Péter Csermely, as a stooge of the “other side”. No wonder that practically not a single leading corrupt socialist politician is in prison, including the most rotten figure of all, former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, who ordered the police force to remove their ID numbers, and shoot rubber bullets at, and kicking almost to death, innocent passers-bye during a public revolt in the fall of 2016.

The anti-Semitism charge leveled regularly against the Orbán government is the biggest fake news of our times.

Take the Maccabiah Games, the international Jewish multi-sport event held quadrennially in Israel. Except in 2019 when it will be staged in Budapest. At the cost of the Hungarian taxpayers.

There is no gesture, including self-destructing ones, the Hungarian government would not be willing to engage in order to show its unconditional loyalty to Israel and the Jewish people. Hungary’s ambassador in Israel, Andor Nagy, told the Jerusalem Post that anti-Semitism was growing in Hungary when, in fact, it was declining. However, he thought that that such talk would please the daily. And he was not recalled.

The Hungarian government is supporting the Hungarian Jewish community with huge amounts of money, restoring synagogues and cemeteries.

And the country, including the culturally vibrant Jewish quarter of the capital, Budapest, is the safest for its inhabitants and visitors in whole of Europe. It is a district where Jews feel completely secure and at ease, not being afraid, just like in any other corner of Hungary, to stroll while showing their religious identity.

Or take MTI, the official Hungarian news agency. It does not have a single correspondent in China, Hungary’s strategic partner, but it has one in Jerusalem.

In spite of all this, the country and its government will be attacked tomorrow with the assistance of Hungarian Jewish organizations that have accustomed to the idea that any charge of anti-Semitism thrown at the government or the Prime Minister, coming from them or their co-religionists abroad, would surely increase their budget.

The government’s masochistic policy is in evidence in every walk of life.

Hungary’s lobby organization in the U.S., the Hungarian Initiatives Foundation, led by Tamás Fellegi, a figure with a shady past in the United States before 1990, supports Hungary’s most acerbic critics in the United States. Most lately, he has provided substantial financial assistance to a foundation set up by Ann Applebaum, Hungary’s fiercest critic in the Washington Post, with an amount of money that would make any Hungarian voter extremely angry if it were told about it.

Any other questions?

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The QATAR ‘Diplomatic Crisis

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The QATAR ‘Diplomatic Crisis’: Understanding a Tangled Web of Pantomime/Hypocrisy

 

It was difficult to work out exactly what is behind the ‘Qatar Diplomatic Crisis’ that seemed to suddenly emerge early in June.

The Qatar diplomatic crisis apparently began on 5th June when several countries – principally Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE – abruptly cut off diplomatic relations. This included trade and travel bans.

Subsequent to this, the Saudi-led group of governments has issued an ultimatum to Qatar in the form of a list of demands that the Gulf State will have to meet.

Why? On the surface of it, Saudi Arabia and the other countries have criticised Qatar for funding terrorist organisations. There has also been criticism of Qatar’s relations with Iran and criticism too of the Al-Jazeera broadcaster that is based in Qatar.

Donald Trump joined in, endorsing the isolation of Qatar and accusing it of being a state sponsor of terrorism.

My immediate thinking was that this is all a scripted pantomime being played out for public consumption.

When President Trump was in Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago and his big, dramatic summit was held, he gave a big speech – directed at Muslim governments – about stopping all support for extremists and terrorist groups. ‘With God’s help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed,’ the president had said. ‘At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East—and maybe, even all over the world. But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it…’

It seems likely that this plan to ostracize Qatar was already on the cards before Trump even made the speech: what has immediately played out (in regard to Qatar) might simply have been a related script in which Trump gets to look like he’s taking hard action against terrorists and their supporters in the Middle East; and then, by sanctioning and condemning Qatar, the Saudis get to look like they’re cooperating with the US President and acting against state-sponsors of terrorism in the region.

Essentially, everyone (accept Qatar) gets to look good and it seems like decisive action is being taken.

The cleverness of this is that no one can dispute Qatar’s activities in state-sponsored terrorism. The problem with it is that the Saudis aren’t exactly innocent bystanders.

That Qatar has been a key player in funding and supporting terrorism and extremism in Syria (as well as in Libya and elsewhere) is beyond dispute. Qatar played a major role on the ground in Libya in the operation to overthrow Gaddafi and a major role in supporting jihadist militias in Syria in the programme to overthrow the Syrian state. In addition to this, of course, its broadcaster – Al-Jazeera – played a major, central propaganda role in the Arab world in facilitating the collapse of Libya and the demonisation of both the Gaddafi government and the Assad government.

And Qatari money has been behind much of what has been tearing up the Middle East.

However, to suggest that Qatar has been doing all of this alone is a joke. The Saudis and Qatar have appeared to be hand-in-hand the entire time. Both were directly supporting Salafist/jihadist groups in Syria and pumping billions of dollars into the war. Both, for example, made the grand gesture of donating over a billion dollars to militias that were trying to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya in 2011.

Moreover, Qatar has been deeply allied to the United States, Britain and others in its sponsoring and facilitation of Islamist extremist groups and terrorism: in Libya, for example, Qatari agents and British special forces were operating hand-in-hand on the ground.

And Donald Trump, and everyone in the Trump administration and US military, knows all of this.

The Saudis, in the meantime, seem to have come to an agreement with the Trump administration that its own role in supporting terrorist/extremist groups could be forgotten (including involvement in 9/11), in exchange for vast flows of Saudi money into the US military-industrial complex. President Trump and the Saudis apparently just signed defense contracts worth somewhere in the region of 100 billion dollars.

And then, suddenly, Qatar was being sacrificed on the altar of bloodstained ultra-capitalism: suddenly, Qatar alone was responsible for all the terrorism.

There are likely other things behind this move against Qatar too.

As a number of observers highlighted very quickly, Qatar maintains relatively good relations with Iran, certainly compared to the Saudis and the other Gulf Arab states. Qatar and Iran share ownership of South Pars/North Dome Gas-Condensate field – the world’s largest natural gas field.

In April this year, the Qataris lifted a self-imposed ban on developing the gas field with Iran, requiring better cooperation between the two countries around their mutual interest. Qatar might simply be being punished – not for its sponsoring of extremist or terrorist activity, but for contradicting Saudi, Israeli and US interests in regard to Iran.

Most of what is happening in the Middle East seems to revolve around the Saudi/Iran proxy war or the Israel/Iran conflict.

The other problem, of course, is that Qatar doesn’t only fund and support Muslim Brotherhood organisations and various Salafist/Wahhabist jihadist groups across the region, but it also supports Hamas in Israel.

It is well worth noting an item of US legislation – something called the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2017.

As a Journal of America piece notes, the legislation specifically included threats to sanction Qatar for its support of ‘Palestinian Terror’. It was sponsored by various US lawmakers who, according to Al-Jazeera, received more than $1 million from lobby groups all linked to Israel, Saudi Arabia or the UAE.

Concerning Al-Jazeera, the international news broadcaster features prominently in the list of demands that have been issued to Qatar – specifically, a demand that Al-Jazeera be shut down.

As much as Al-Jazeera has acted as a propaganda broadcaster (its role in both the Libyan and Syrian crises qualifies it as one of the worst propaganda machines of this century), it is no more or less so than most other broadcasters, includingCNN, FOX, the BBC and others.

And, like the BBC, although Al-Jazeera has been guilty of major propaganda activity (and ‘fake news’, essentially), it has also – like the BBC – produced some genuinely high quality journalism at times too (in regard to investigating Lockerbie, for example, or uncovering the fact that Yasser Arafat was assassinated and didn’t die naturally).

I am not trying to sing Al-Jazeera’s praises here: but singling out Al-Jazeera for condemnation or a total shut-down seems dubious, given the comparable activities of most other major broadcasters.

Also, the one thing Al-Jazeera doesn’t do is follow a pro-Israel script. In fact, Al-Jazeera has a record of being highly critical of the Israeli government, the occupation and of the activities of Israeli lobbies in the US, and it has produced or financed serious investigative journalism over the years in regard to uncovering things relating to Israel.

This fact may be significant.

This is how convoluted and twisted the entire state of geopolitical relations and proxy terrorism/warfare has gotten.

Because, while Israel may oppose Qatar for its sponsorship of Palestinian extremist groups, in other areas Qatari and Israeli policy has previously coalesced – in Syria, for example, where both governments have been supporting Al-Qaeda and ISIS related jihadist groups fighting to overthrow the Syrian state and establish a ‘caliphate’.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have seemingly been of one mind until now. And, even more jarringly, Qatar and Iran are seeking to develop a lucrative, shared project, even as Qatari money is funding Sunni militias and extremists who are at war with Shia militias and extremists, many of whom are Iranian-backed.

In any case, what seems to be evident here is the ongoing hypocrisy and fakery concerning the ‘War on Terror’.

In this instance, Saudi Arabia’s links to extremist ideology and terror has become so widely known (or at least so widely believed to be the case) that something has to be done to shift the blame or focus off of the Saudis. At the same time, President Trump needs to live up to his self-made image of the big tough guy who was going to do something about Islamist-related terrorism.

And since Qatar is actually guilty of all those things, this becomes easy to do – the fact that it also serves Israel’s interests in cutting off support to Palestinian militants and serves Saudi-US-Israel interests in stopping Qatari cooperation with Iran is probably what pushed this action to be taken.

As the AntiMedia has also pointed out, over the passed two years Qatar has also been conducting major business (allegedly to the tune of over $86 billion) with China and in Chinese Yuan, signing agreements designed to established further economic cooperation with China: which may have given the US all the more incentive to punish or isolate Qatar.

Even taking all of that into account, it is hard to imagine that this seeming action against Qatar is going to amount to much. For one thing, there is just too much Qatari money invested in the UK and the US.

The BBC reports that ‘The UK is Qatar’s single largest investment destination, with £35bn in place and another £5bn on its way in the next five years.’

The same report reminds us that ‘At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, Qatar and Abu Dhabi pumped some £7.3bn into Barclays bank as it attempted to avoid being bailed out by the UK government, Qatar paying £4bn.’

It is also looking to invest some $35bn (£27bn) into the US economy over the next few years.

Britain has also in recent years increased the sale of arms to Qatar, identifying the rich Gulf state as a “priority market”for its weapons, according to documents witnessed by The Guardian. In 2014 the Qatari Amiri Guard was reported to have ordered more than £3m of British-made Heckler and Koch assault rifles, according to a copy of a “purchase order” document exposed by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

The UK approved export licences for the sale of £23 million of weapons to Qatar since 2008, including assault rifles and components for machine guns. Given that Qatari agents have been found supplying weapons to Islamist terror groups in Syria and Iraq (including ISIS/Daesh), these arms sales become even more dubious.

Britain also recently, and for the first time, set up a national UK pavilion at the annual Milipol military equipment exhibition in Doha, the Qatari capital.

What’s worse – and this really just demonstrates what a buffoon ‘President’ Trump is – less than a week after siding with the Saudis and accusing Qatar of funding terrorism, Trump signed off on the sale of $12 billion worth of weapons to Qatar (!).

Qatari Defense Minister, Khalid Al Attiyah, met with Trump’s Defense Secretary James Mattis just a couple of weeks ago: what they signed was only the first part of a deal that is supposed to result in the Qatari purchase of over $21 billion of American weapons overall.

This was barely a week after Trump had accused Qatar of funding terrorists.

Which should demonstrate beyond any doubt that (1) whatever this diplomatic crisis is about, it isn’t about stopping terrorism, and (2) it’s all massive hypocrisy and deception all around.

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