Archive | January 8th, 2011



Netanyahu asks U.S. to free superspy Pollard who betrayed America in service to a terror state


January 4, 2011


by Michael Leon

The case of Jonathan Pollard “unites us all,” Benjamin Netanyahu told his parliament, before reading the letter asking the U.S. to free the spy who sold America out to a scientific-intelligence unit in Israel. … But Israel finds no room in its heart for it’s ruthless treatment of nuclear whistle-blower: Mordechai Vanunu, th0ugh the atomic technician and peace activist, Vanunu, remains a political prisoner in Israel for alerting the world to Israel’s illegal and immoral nuclear WMD program in 1986.

JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister made a public appeal Tuesday for the freedom of an American who spied for Israel, asking in a letter to President Barack Obama for clemency after the spy has spent 25 years behind bars.

The request comes at a low point in Israel-U.S. relations over stalemated Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. A deal that would have given Israel advanced warplanes and political backing in exchange for an extension of a slowdown in settlement construction to restart peace talks, but it fell through.

In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the administration would review the request.

With relations with the U.S. strained over the lack of progress in peace efforts, it appeared unlikely it would be approved. Previous Israeli appeals have been met coolly.

Pollard, now 56, was turned away from the Israeli Embassy in Washington in 1985 with U.S. authorities close behind. He was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for passing classified information to Israel about Iraq and other subjects.

In his letter to Obama, supplied to The Associated Press by his office, Netanyahu repeated Israeli apologies about the Pollard affair, recognized as a black mark on Israeli foreign affairs. “Its actions were wrong and unacceptable,” the letter said.

Netanyahu wrote that since Pollard has now spent 25 years in prison, “I believe that a new request for clemency is highly appropriate.”

The Pollard case deeply embarrassed Israel, infuriated Washington and put American Jews in an uncomfortable position of having to defend their loyalty to the U.S. while supporting Israel at the same time. American defense officials remain furious over the case.

Netanyahu listed earlier appeals to the U.S. to release Pollard, dating back to 1995, and recounted his own visit to Pollard in prison as a private citizen in 2002. He told his parliament that Pollard asked him in a letter two weeks ago to make a public request to Obama for his release.

“I believe that after 25 years that Jonathan has sat in prison and after 15 years of unsuccessful efforts, it was right to agree to this request,” he said.

Netanyahu’s office would not comment on the timing of the appeal.

Israeli analyst Yossi Alpher speculated that it could be part of a deal over the stalled peace talks. He said Netanyahu could sell concessions to his hard-line government more easily if he won freedom for Pollard at the same time.

On the other hand, Alpher said, it could be just a “populist gesture on Netanyahu’s part directed at various circles in Israel and the American Jewish community.”





Jan 8, 2010

January 8, 2011

by crescentandcross






Please check out the brand new book detailing Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS LIBERTY here

Posted in UKComments Off on NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS




Posted By: Sammi Ibrahem

Chair of West Midland PSC


Dear Friends,

Just 5 items below.

The first, “Ajami and Mas’ha: Evidence of the Continuing Nakba,” was in yesterday’s Today in Palestine compilation.  But I have a few comments about the details concerning Hani Amer from Mas’ha, about whom I have written several times in the past.

The article below rightfully depicts the Nakba as continuing, but does not sufficiently depict the hardships that Hani and his family have to deal with.  One correction, too, the article says that Hani was born in Kfar Qassem.  He was born in Mas’ha, as was his mother.  But his father came from Kfar Qassem.  Prior to 1948 the two villages—Kfar Qassem and Mas’ha—were closely connected, with the olive groves and agricultural land between them belonging to families of both villages.

In 1948-49 many families from Kfar Qassem ‘escaped’ out of fear to Mas’ha.  Today approximately ½ of the 2,500 or so people in Mas’ha were originally from Kfar Qassem.  Hani’s mother did live in Kfar Qassem after her marriage and did, as many others, run away from there in 1948.  The Jordanians, who governed the West Bank from 1949 till 1967, allotted the family plots of land in Azun Atma, a town on road 505, 5 minutes from Mas’ha by car.  For the past 6 or 7 years road 505, which prior to the fence/wall was the main east-west road through the West Bank, has been closed to Palestinian traffic and taken over by Jewish colonies.

Consequently Hani to get to his fields must take a long detour, which can take an hour.  This detour does not take him to his fields as did road 505 but rather to the northern end of the village where there is a check point.  The length of the wait there depends on the soldiers.  Once in Azun Atma, Hani has a further obstacle to cross.  There is now a fence on the western side of the village, and Hani’s family’s fields are on the other side of the fence.  So now Hani and his brother need permits to get through the gate in the fence and to go to the fields. They also need separate permits to bring a vehicle in. Not having a vehicle makes it impossible to bring the fruit and produce harvested to market.

Hani’s well, mentioned below, is used to provide water to other farmers in the village.  3 years ago Hani paid several thousand shekel to the Israeli electric company so that he would have electricity to run his water pumps.  But the army will not allow him to have electricity, and the electric company won’t return the money.  Also, one of the water pipes is broken and needs repair, but the army does not allow the equipment in to repair it, so the water goes to waste.

Additionally, in lieu of electricity Hani uses kerosene for fuel.  This has to be brought from another village (Qalqilya) about a 40 minute drive from his wells.  Both the truck bringing the kerosene and the driver of the truck need permits to deliver the kerosene to Azun Atma.

The army is trying to choke Azun Atma.  It is a sore thumb among the colonies in the area.  Hani, like the other villagers, is a victim of the occupation, and of Israel’s expansion and ethnic cleansing.  And yet, Hani and his wife Muniera, despite all, manage to keep smiling and to not let their trials and tribulations break their will.  I doubt that I would have been smiling had I had gone through what they have, which is a good deal more than either I or the article below have revealed.

Items 2 reports an IOF killing of a Palestinian at a checkpoint; item 3 reports that 3 workers were injured by a rocket shot from Gaza.  I expect that tonight some Gazans will feel the reprisal.

Item 4 relates that the UN warns that Israel is planning to tighten controls at border crossings.

And item 5 is Uri Avnery’s take on Israeli McCarthyism.

All the best,



1.  Palestine Chronicle


Ajami and Mas’ha: Evidence of the Continuing Nakba

Amer stands in the doorway of his home, surrounded by Israeli wall. (Photo: Alex Kane)

By Alex Kane

Ramallah, West Bank

The Palestinian catastrophe, the Nakba of 1948, never really ended. What happened since then, as Yehouda Shenhav, an Israeli sociologist and the author of Bounded by the Green Line, puts it, is a “continuation of the [1948] war by other means.” There are continuous efforts by Israel to displace Palestinians of their land all over the occupied territories and inside Israel.

Two such efforts are evident in recently hearing the stories of Hani Amer, a Palestinian resident of the West Bank village of Mas’ha, and of the Palestinians living in Ajami, a neighborhood in Jaffa.

Amer sits down in his living room, talking with passion and at times smiling, despite his home being surrounded by the illegal separation barrier and Jewish-only settlements. For seven years, Amer and his family have been struggling against the barrier, which restricts their freedom of movement and ability to farm their surrounding land. As he explains, “until now, we’re being displaced”– a microcosm of Israeli efforts to confiscate Palestinian land and to push Palestinians out. “The situation we’re living in is horrible,” Amer says.

But Amer’s story of displacement did not begin in 2003. Instead, it began in 1948, the year that Israel declared its independence in the midst of an ethnic cleansing campaign that expelled about 750,000 Palestinians. Amer is a refugee from Kafr Qassem, a Palestinian city east of Tel Aviv.  If he had the chance, he says, he would return.

Amer is responsible for collecting water from his well. When he wants to go to the well, he has to make sure the Israeli army gate that leads to his land is open.

Amer tells of how he can only access his land at specific times in the day, and of the Israeli occupation’s harassment. For instance, at times Amer is forced to wait for what can be up to seven hours until the Israeli army lets him access his land.

“We are simple people facing a big entity,” he says. “The reason why we keep doing this is because we want to sustain our land.”

What Amer is up against is an individual family’s example of what the barrier and settlements are doing to Palestinians across the West Bank. In the village of al-Walajah, for example, the wall has surrounded “most of the village, with the side of the wall facing the Har Gilo settlement covered by Jerusalem stone and the side facing al-Walajah being exposed concrete,” according to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.

The same story of displacement—albeit a different chapter—is unfolding in the Palestinian neighborhood of Ajami. There, the combination of gentrification and discrimination against Palestinians has led to a deteriorating situation, according to Sami Abushhadeh, a PhD student at Tel Aviv University who is writing a thesis on Jaffa as a center of Arab culture during Mandate Palestine.

After the 1948 war, Ajami became a Palestinian ghetto when Israeli forces “surrounded [the Palestinians there] by a barbed wire fence for a number of months,” according to the Israeli organization Zochrot. But currently, real estate developers looking to make Ajami into a hot-spot for Jewish families are displacing some of the residents and threatening others with eviction.

Isabelle Humphries, writing in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, explains:

“Walking around Jaffa, our local Palestinian guide pointed out new exclusive building developments built upon the sites of recently demolished homes and buildings. Eviction orders are issued by Amidar, the housing company owned and operated by the Israeli government. Amidar claims to offer subsidized and rent-controlled housing in Israel, but the fact that its major stockholders are the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund—two institutions openly mandated to support the Jewish population only—shows that it is not simply financial gain that authorities are pursuing. Indeed, since 1948 Palestinian representatives have been excluded from all stages of the urban planning process. Ben-Gurion’s vow that “Jaffa will be a Jewish city” remains the guiding principle.

As the cases of Mas’ha and Ajami show, Ben-Gurion’s vision of an ethnically exclusive state for Jews only remains the vision for the Israeli government today.

– Alex Kane is a student, journalist and blogger based in New York City. He is a writer for the Indypendent and a frequent contributor to the blog Mondoweiss. His work has also appeared in Salon, Electronic Intifada, Common Dreams, Palestine Chronicle, Gotham Gazette and Extra! He blogs at, and you can follow him on Twitter. He contributed this article to

If you like this article, please consider making a contribution to the Palestine Chronicle.


2. Ynet


Shooting Incident

Soldiers kill Palestinian at checkpoint

IDF soldiers shoot Palestinian man who approached Bekaot roadblock while yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’. Sappers find two pipe bombs on man’s body,7340,L-4010527,00.html

Ynet reporters

A Palestinian man on Saturday was shot to death at the Bekaot checkpoint near the West Bank village of Tubas, southeast of Nablus.

The IDF said the man was carrying two pipe bombs and a knife.

Eyewitnesses said the Palestinian got out of a cab and approached the checkpoint while yelling “Allahu Akbar.” Passengers who were with him in the taxi began to walk away as they feared he might be carrying an explosive device.

According to eyewitness reports, the man wore a long coat and soldiers suspected he might be hiding explosives. The soldiers ordered the suspect to stop and then opened fire.

A sapper who was called to the scene found two pipe bombs on the Palestinian’s body.

Palestinian sources identified the man as 25-year-old Khaldoon Samoudi from the village of al-Yamun in the Jenin area.

2nd incident in a week

On Sunday, a Palestinian was shot to death at the same checkpoint. Soldiers claimed Mahmoud Muhammad Dharaghma, 20, ignored an order to stop, but Palestinian sources later said that he was unarmed.

“A female soldier screamed, and her friends fired live ammunition,” said a Palestinian eyewitness. Eight bullets were fired at Dharaghma.


3. Haaretz,

January 08, 2011

Three foreign workers wounded in mortar attack near Gaza border

Three mortars fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on Saturday afternoon; two land in open territory but one strikes a populated area in a kibbutz along the Gaza border.

By Yanir Yagna, Anshel Pfeffer and Reuters

Three foreign workers were injured on Saturday when a mortar fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in the Sha’ar Hanegev region.

Three mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip around 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Two of the mortars landed in open territory but one struck a populated area in a kibbutz near the border fence, wounding three foreign workers and damaging property.

One of the foreign workers was in moderate-serious condition from shrapnel injuries to his chest. A second foreign worker was moderately wounded by shrapnel in his leg and a third was lightly wounded in the incident.

“This is, of course, a very serious incident, one of the most severe we have had recently, it represents an escalation that appears to have reached a new height,” said Alon Shuster, head of the local municipal authority.

The wounded men were transported to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva for medical treatment.

Militant group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

The wounded men men were the first in Israel to be hurt by rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since December when a teenage girl was cut by flying glass after a rocket landed near a kindergarten in the Ashkelon area.

Saturday’s incident occurred less than 24 hours after an Israel Defense Forces soldier was killed and four IDF troops were wounded in a friendly fire incident on the Gaza border as the soldiers engaged a group of armed militants who were apparently approaching the border to lay explosives.

Violence has escalated in recent weeks along the border, though both Israel and Gaza’s Islamist Hamas rulers say they are working to avoid a full-on confrontation.

More on this topic

IDF soldier killed, 4 wounded from friendly fire near Gaza border


4. BBC,

7 January 2011

West Bank: UN warns of new Israeli controls

By Jon Donnison

West Bank  The Qalandia checkpoint between East Jerusalem and Ramallah has the feel of a permanent border crossing

The United Nations says it is increasingly concerned that Israel is about to tighten access restrictions to the occupied West Bank.

It has been briefing aid agencies that Israel could soon increase restrictions and strengthen its checkpoints.

The Israeli army declined to comment but privately officials acknowledge that changes will take place in the coming months.

Israel controls all movement in and out of the Palestinian territory.

The West Bank has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967.

It is not know what form those changes will take. But UN officials say they fear they could involve making it more difficult for foreign workers to travel between Israel and the West Bank without getting pre-arranged permission.

They also believe the changes would make it harder for Palestinians living in Israel, especially Jerusalem, to gain access to the West Bank. They also say it would make it harder to get goods in and out.

‘More like Gaza’

The UN says it fears Israel could tighten its procedures so that entering and leaving the West Bank could become more like getting in and out of Gaza, where extremely tight restrictions apply.

“The collective punishment of 1.5 millions in Gaza has severely damaged Israel’s image around the world. I can not see how establishing a Gaza-style crossing regime would be in anyone’s interest,” said Chris Gunness, a spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency which provides support for Palestinian refugees.

“I fervently urge Israel not to push ahead with its plan,” he added.

In recent months Israel has been carrying out building work to expand some of its West Bank checkpoints, making them appear more permanent.

Seeking recognition

All this happens as the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, is increasingly talking about trying to independently seek a United Nations Security Council resolution to recognise a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders.

In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem It also captured the Golan Heights from Syria.

It is believed Israel has been discussing changing its crossing procedures in and out of the West Bank for some time.

But some analysts believe the government could eventually introduce such measures as a response to any Palestinian move to achieve international recognition of a Palestinian state.

Israel has been very critical of such moves, saying a Palestinian state can only be achieved through negotiation with Israel.

In the past, Israel has argued that by strengthening security at the main checkpoints in and out of the West Bank, it has been able to relax some of the internal checkpoints, making it easier for Palestinians to move around.

More on This StoryIsrael and the PalestiniansPalestinians pursue ‘Plan B’ after failed talks  [/news/world-middle-east-12099625]With peace talks suspended, the frustrated Palestinians pursue international recognition for an independent state on 1967 borders. The BBC’s Yolande Knell reports.


5. Uri Avnery

January 8, 2011

Avnery on Israeli McCarthys

Hi, Joe!

GOOD MORNING, Joe. At home In the US, your name is mud. But

here you can really feel at home.

In your time, you succeeded in infecting all of the US with

hysteria. You detected a Soviet agent under every bed. You

waved a list of Soviet spies in the State Department (a

list which nobody was ever shown). In a hundred languages

around the world – including Hebrew – the name McCarthy,

McCarthyism, has become a household word. Yes, you made

your mark alright.

But you were, after all, only a plagiarist. Before you, the

House Anti-American Activities Committee terrorized the

country, destroyed careers, hounded people into suicide and

tarnished the reputation of the US throughout the

democratic world. It “investigated” intellectuals and

artists and branded many of them as “anti-American”.

I DOUBT that Faina Kirschenbaum ever heard about this

committee. She was not born in the United States but in the

Stalinist Soviet Union, and that’s her spiritual homeland.

Her attitude towards democracy reflects this background.

The meaning of her Germanic name is “cherry tree”. But the

fruits of this tree are poisonous.

This week, the Knesset adopted a bill tabled by

Kirschenbaum, a settler who is also the Director General of

Avigdor Lieberman’s party. The bill calls for the

appointment of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry to

investigate whether international funds or foreign

countries are financing organizations that “take part in

the campaign to de-legitimize IDF soldiers”. A parallel

bill tabled by Likud member Danny Danon demands that the

Inquiry Commission investigate whether foreign governments

finance Israeli “activities against the State of Israel”.

It is easy to guess what such an investigation by a

committee composed of politicians, appointed by the

rightist-racist majority of the Knesset, will look like.

The infamous Anti-American Activities Committee will look

distinctly liberal in comparison.

It is very interesting to see who voted for and who

against. Among the 41 who voted for, there were not only

the usual fascists of the extreme right, headed by the

declared Kahanist Michael Ben-Ari, but also the chief

Orthodox representative, Jacob Litzman, the former army

spokeswoman, Miri Regev, and the former army Chief of

Staff, Moshe Ya’alon. Special mention must go to Matan

Vilnai, who once almost became Chief of Staff, a leading

member of the Labor Party, at present the Deputy Minister

of Defense in charge of settlements.

Among the 17 who voted against were, of course, the Arab

MKs who were present and all the Meretz members. A pleasant

surprise was provided by Yitzhak Herzog, a candidate for

the Labor Party chairmanship; the former Likud and present

Kadima member Meir Sheetrit; and the Likud member Michael

Eitan. Eitan is the last remnant of the Revisionist

movement of Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky, which combined an

extreme nationalist agenda in foreign affairs with a very

liberal attitude in local matters.

All in all, 58 of the 120 members of the Knesset took part

in the vote. Where were the other 62? They were in hiding.

Binyamin Netanyahu disappeared. Ehud Barak disappeared.

Tzipi Livni disappeared. Even Eli Yishai disappeared.

Presumably they all have a doctor’s certificate to cover

their absence.

There are votes whose significance is greater even than the

matter itself – votes that characterize an era and are

looked upon, in retrospect, as decisive. This may well have

been such a vote.

THE FIRST thing about this law that stands out is that it

does not apply to all political associations in Israel.

If such an even-handed law had been enacted, I would have

welcomed it. I am very curious about the origin of the

money that supports the settlers and the other extreme-

rightist organizations.

Huge sums, tens and hundreds of millions, are flowing to

these bodies – many times more than the comparatively

pitiful amounts received by the human rights and peace

associations. Some of the recipients are devoted to the

expulsion of Arabs from East Jerusalem. They offer

Palestinian home-owners astronomical prices for their

property and promise them new identities in the US so they

can live there happily ever after. They use hired straw

men, mostly Arab. The weak succumb to the temptation. That

costs a lot of money, and one of the well-known donors is a

famous billionaire who made his money as an owner of

casinos. In Israel, incidentally, owning a casino is a


It is known that the financiers of the extreme right

include some of the heads of evangelical sects, born anti-

Semites, who believe that Jesus will return to Earth when

all the Jews are concentrated in this country. Then –

either the Jews get baptized or they will be annihilated to

the last man and woman. These adherents of the really-final

solution are the main source of the money that finances

many rightist associations.

This money nurtures openly fascist associations as well as

more discreet ones, who advocate the dismissal of “leftist”

professors from the universities, organize networks of

student-spies who inform on their lecturers (another way of

earning money for their studies). Some organizations

monitor the media in order to cleanse them of people

suspected of such misdemeanors as striving for peace. There

is also a huge apparatus that combs all TV, radio and print

media throughout the Arab world and provides our

“correspondents for Arab affairs” (almost all of them army

intelligence and Shin-Bet alumni) choice pieces, like

something about a crazy Muslim preacher in Yemen or a

particularly nasty statement in a Cairo salon. They are

very successful in poisoning the wells of peace.

If a serious inquiry committee investigates the financing

of the extreme right, it will discover that much of it

comes straight from the pocket of the American taxpayer.

That is one of the great scandals: the US government is

financing many of the settlements. For dozens of years, it

has turned a blind eye to the American organizations that

are providing funds to the settlements – settlements that

are illegal even in the official policy view of the US

government. In the US, one can donate tax-free money for

humanitarian purposes – but not for political purposes.

Almost all the money flowing to the extreme right in Israel

is officially marked as devoted to humanitarian purposes.

And what about the Russian mafiosi, who are intimately

connected with the Israeli right? What about the various

dictators in fragments of the former Soviet Union? Where

does Lieberman, whose connections with these countries are

well-known, get his money from? Police investigators have

been trying for years to unravel this mystery, with no

concrete results so far.

All this could keep several inquiry committees busy for

years to come – and the initiators of the bills know this

perfectly well. They are adamant: inquiry into leftist

associations only, most definitely not rightist ones.

(Rather like the lady who cried out in the darkness of a

cinema: “Take your hands of me! Not you, YOU!”

THE INITIATORS of the bills did not hide the identity of

the associations they want to “investigate”. The list

includes B’Tselem (“In the Image”), a veteran outfit that

monitors events in the occupied territories and is treated

with respect even by the army; Shovrim Shtika (“Breaking

the Silence”), a group of former soldiers that collects

testimonies from soldiers; Yesh Din (“There is a Law”),

which is active in matters of land ownership in the

occupied territories as well as overseeing the military

courts; Yesh Gvul (“There is a Limit”), which defends

soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied territories;

Machsom Watch (“Checkpoint Watch”), an organization of

female volunteers who oversee what’s happening at the

roadblocks; “Physicians for Human Rights”, who have just

been awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize in Stockholm for

activities in service of the sick in the occupied

territories; the Association for Human Rights, the New

Fund, IR Arim (“City of Peoples”), which conducts legal

fights against the penetration of settlers into East

Jerusalem; and Shalom Achschav (“Peace Now”) for its

important activities monitoring the building in the


(As far as I am concerned, this is a deeply insulting list

because it omits Gush Shalom. Maybe the bodies hiding

behind the initiators of the bill know that the Gush does

not receive a penny from any foreign governmental source.)

There is nothing wrong with receiving funding from

international governmental sources that are active in the

field of human rights around the world. The Breaking the

Silence group did not hide the fact that its recent book, a

collection of the testimonies of 183 soldiers, was financed

by the European Union. They boasted about it on the cover

of the book.

ESPECIALLY REPREHENSIBLE is the pretense of the racists to

be acting on behalf of the soldiers. They do not speak

about the de-legitimization of the settlers, or of the

fascist right, or of the racist policies of our government –

only about the “de-legitimization of the IDF soldiers”.

That is a classic tactic of all fascist movements in the

world. They wrap themselves in the flag of patriotism

(“patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”) and claim

to defend “our troops”.

Our troops come from all segments of society. They include

rightists and leftists, the religious and the secular,

settlers and the informants of Breaking the Silence. Who

appointed this peddler of poisoned cherries to speak for

“our troops”? Woe to the army that needs defenders like


THE CAREER of Joe McCarthy was suddenly cut short. It was

buried under one sentence that made history.

Joseph Nye Welch, a respected lawyer representing the US

army, who appeared before the McCarthy committee, was

shocked by his tactics and cried out: “Have you no sense of

decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of


The audience in the hall burst out in spontaneous applause.

These few words electrified the American public. Suddenly

the wheel turned. The McCarthy era ended, the public

regained its sanity and since then, McCarthyism is

remembered only as something to be ashamed of.

I am waiting now for a decent Israeli citizen to seal the

open sewer in the Knesset that is threatening to submerge

the entire country.

Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu, sir, have you no sense of decency


Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER



January 8, 2011

by crescentandcross  


By Yvonne Ridley

Has an open season of hate been declared on the Pakistani community in Britain?

I have to ask after listening to a former Labour minister’s astonishing attack on young, Pakistani men in recent days.

Using the same obscene politics of race – which cost neighbouring ex-MP Phil Woolas his seat – Jack Straw launched what I can only describe as a hateful blast on the Pakistani community in Britain.

The former UK foreign and home secretary accused some Pakistani men of seeing white girls as “easy meat” for sexual abuse. In a speech which could have come from the pages of a BNP election leaflet, the Blackburn MP talked of a “specific problem” involving Pakistani men and called on the community to be “more open” about the issue.

All of this only days before a crucial by-election in Britain in a constituency where the predominant minority community hails from Pakistan.

He launched his astonishing attack after two Asian men subjected a series of vulnerable girls to rapes and sexual assaults. The two were, quite rightly, given indefinite jail terms. Personally, I thought life sentences would have been more appropriate for what they did.

Abid Mohammed Saddique, 27, was jailed for a minimum of 11 years at Nottingham Crown Court and Mohammed Romaan Liaqat, 28, was told he must serve at least eight years before being considered for release. They were the leaders of a gang who befriended girls aged from 12 to 18 in the Derby area and groomed them for sex.

As a journalist of more than 35 years, I’ve sat through countless court cases and trials and listened to similar, horrific stories pour forth. As long as there are vulnerable young women, of no particular faith and skin colour, they will be targeted by criminally-driven men of no particular faith and skin colour.

Having lived in Soho, London’s so-called red light district for two decades, I’ve watched the prostitution and drug rings change hands from the control of English to Maltese to Turkish to Albanian male gangs.

Their motivation is money and their victims are always the same … young, vulnerable women and occasionally young men. Skin colour is of no significance. This is not a white on black crime, or a black on Asian crime or anything to do with race or culture and to suggest otherwise leads us down a dangerous path of politics and race. It is a well trodden path which still bears the footprint of the Nazi jackboot.

Yet this did not stop Straw telling the BBC’s flagship Newsnight programme on Friday that there was a “specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men… who target vulnerable young white girls”.

Having lit the touch paper he went on: “We need to get the Pakistani community to think much more clearly about why this is going on and to be more open about the problems that are leading to a number of Pakistani heritage men thinking it is OK to target white girls in this way.”

Warming to the theme, he then became more sensational in his thoughts on Sky TV news as he described Pakistani men who were “fizzing and popping with testosterone” who considered vulnerable white girls as “easy meat”.

Don’t all young men fizz and pop with testosterone? Wasn’t there some fizzing and popping going on when a very attractive blonde, blue-eyed female journalist from the Daily Mirror offered his teenage son some drugs in a bar? Remember that one, Jack?

And if this is such a serious problem in the Pakistani communities, why on earth is Straw just raising it now? Why did he not raise it a decade ago, 20 years ago or even two years ago with the senior leaders in Blackburn’s Pakistani community? Why now?

The reason is simple – there is a by-election down the road in Oldham.

Incidentally, this is where disgraced Labour politician Phil Woolas was kicked out because he lied in his election campaign literature using the politics of race and religion to oil the wheels of one of the most odious election campaigns in British history.

And now Straw is using the same style of tactics.

The judge in the trial said he did not believe the crimes were “racially aggravated”, but this did not stop Straw from steam-rollering ahead saying he thought vulnerable white girls were at risk of being targeted by some Asian men.

His remarks have drawn condemnation and criticism from senior Labour colleague Keith Vaz – who said it was wrong to “stereotype a whole community” and he naturally asked why the ex-home secretary had not spoken out previously.

The Leicester East MP, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said he did not believe there was a “cultural problem” and called for a high-level investigation of such grooming across the UK.

At least there is at least one sane politician left in the Labour Party and I would urge others to come out and condemn Straw’s statements, but they might wait until after the Oldham by-election.

Former British Government minister Phil Woolas was finally rumbled for playing the race and religion card in a political game which has fuelled Islamaphobia in the UK last year.

Two high court judges ordered that his election as MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth was “void”. Woolas was brought before the court on accusations of stirring up racial hatred and seizing on anti-Muslim sentiment in Oldham by claiming that his rival endorsed a Muslim campaign to remove him.

His campaign was aimed to “make white folks angry” at his opponent, the Liberal Democrat’s Elwyn Watkins, as part of a desperate bid to retain his seat in the run up to the May 2010 general election. Whipping up hysteria and rhetoric that could make him a Tea Party candidate in America, Woolas was barred from the House of Commons and ordered to pay £5,000 and costs to Mr Watkins.

The reality is Woolas had previously triggered a new, New Labour strategy which sought to encourage columns and online blogs written by aggressive secularists and so-called progressives to make Islam-bashing trendy. It was a poison which began creeping in to newspaper and magazine columns as well.

Those driven by racism also joined in the fun seeing Islamophobia as the last legitimate refuge to peddle their race-fueled hate. Phil Woolas was the man responsible for making Islamaphobia a national sport and while I’m sure he will be repulsed by the activities of the British National Party and the English Defence League they thrived in this atmosphere.

Woolas then became more specific in his targeting … the Pakistani community.

He created hysterical headlines about “Muslim inbreeding ” with his comments about the health risks of cousin marriages among Pakistanis. The way he spoke about the issue was as though some Frankenstein-like creatures were filling the baby wards in maternity hospitals around Oldham, Bradford, Burnley, Blackburn and Birmingham.

I know the Pakistani community very well and 99 per cent hold dear the same family values which were once evident in British communities before binge drinking, promiscuity and pill-popping became so commonplace.

The Pakistani parents in Oldham share the same concerns as their white counterparts and if we could bring the two communities together they would be united in a common cause to protect their children from drugs, crime and other evils.

Instead Labour politicians like Straw are manipulating Oldham’s voters by trading on fear and hatred and the cynical exploitation of this horrendous trial serves only to keep the white and Pakistani communities apart.

I was hoping the downfall of Woolas would serve as a salutory warning to all of those who indulged in the fascist politics of race, religion and fear but I was wrong.

A new election has brought in the same old hate and rhetoric designed to polarize communities.

Sections of the Labour Party are once again ruthlessly deploying the politics of fascism to win popular votes and approval. This is the same opportunist way that Jorg Haider’s Freedom Party made inroads in Austria as did Pim Fortuyn’s List Party in Holland. Geert Wilders went on to take the hate to new levels.

To all the Oldham voters I would urge you not to allow politicians like Jack Straw to cynically drive this ugly bandwagon of race hate through your community.

The by-election in Oldham is incredibly important – please use your vote, use it wisely and whoever or whatever you vote for make it clear you will not bow down to the politics of hate and fear.

* British journalistYvonne Ridley is the European President of the International Muslim Women’s Union.





Posted: January 8, 2011
by crescentandcross   







Muslims turned up in droves for the Coptic Christmas mass Thursday night, offering their bodies, and lives, as “shields” to Egypt’s threatened Christian community
Yasmine El-Rashidi
Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.

From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

“We either live together, or we die together,” was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the “human shield” idea.

Among those shields were movie stars Adel Imam and Yousra, popular preacher Amr Khaled, the two sons of President Hosni Mubarak, and thousands of citizens who have said they consider the attack one on Egypt as a whole.

“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly. “We are one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I am standing with the Copts because the only way things will change in this country is if we come together.”

In the days following the brutal attack on Saints Church in Alexandria, which left 21 dead on New Year’ eve, solidarity between Muslims and Copts has seen an unprecedented peak. Millions of Egyptians changed their Facebook profile pictures to the image of a cross within a crescent – the symbol of an “Egypt for All”. Around the city, banners went up calling for unity, and depicting mosques and churches, crosses and crescents, together as one.

The attack has rocked a nation that is no stranger to acts of terror, against all of Muslims, Jews and Copts. In January of last year, on the eve of Coptic Christmas, a drive-by shooting in the southern town of Nag Hammadi killed eight Copts as they were leaving Church following mass. In 2004 and 2005, bombings in the Red Sea resorts of Taba and Sharm El-Sheikh claimed over 100 lives, and in the late 90’s, Islamic militants executed a series of bombings and massacres that left dozens dead.

This attack though comes after a series of more recent incidents that have left Egyptians feeling left out in the cold by a government meant to protect them.

Last summer, 28-year-old businessman Khaled Said was beaten to death by police, also in Alexandria, causing a local and international uproar. Around his death, there have been numerous other reports of police brutality, random arrests and torture.

Last year was also witness to a brutal parliamentary election process in which the government’s security apparatus and thugs seemed to spiral out of control. The result, aside from injuries and deaths, was a sweeping win by the ruling party thanks to its own carefully-orchestrated campaign that included vote-rigging, corruption and rife brutality. The opposition was essentially annihilated. And just days before the elections, Copts – who make up 10 percent of the population – were once again the subject of persecution, when a government moratorium on construction of a Christian community centre resulted in clashes between police and protestors. Two people were left dead and over 100 were detained, facing sentences of up to life in jail.

The economic woes of a country that favours the rich have only exacerbated the frustration of a population of 80 million whose majority struggle each day to survive. Accounts of thefts, drugs, and violence have surged in recent years, and the chorus of voices of discontent has continued to grow.

The terror attack that struck the country on New Year’s eve is in many ways a final straw – a breaking point, not just for the Coptic community, but for Muslims as well, who too feel marginalized, persecuted, and overlooked, by a government that fails to address their needs. On this Coptic Christmas eve, the solidarity was not just one of religion, but of a desperate and collective plea for a better life and a government with accountability.


Egypt’s Muslims support Coptic Christians on religious holiday
By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Faith overcomes fear in Egypt

(CNN) — Egyptian Muslims attended Christmas services Friday in a show of solidarity with Coptic Christians days after a bombing killed 23 congregants in the country’s north.

Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas Day according to the Julian calendar, and observed it on Friday this year.

Security was tight around churches after the blast on New Year’s Day outside the Church of the Two Saints in Alexandria.

Congregants were forced to empty their pockets before the start of the service as part of security measures set up after the bombing.


“Police plan a large-scale security operation for tonight to protect Egypt’s Coptic Christians and their churches.” Col. Alla Mahmoud of the interior ministry said Thursday.

Protests have broken out in Christian areas of Egypt every night since the car bombing outside the Church of the Two Saints in Alexandria.

Hundreds of officers — outfitted in helmets with visors, body armor and carrying shields and night sticks — lined the streets, leaving a path for demonstrators to pass.

Egyptian authorities have released a sketch of a man they think is responsible for the attack.

“The man in the picture is unknown and authorities are trying to confirm his identity,” Mahmoud said.

The interior ministry used forensic technology to recreate the face of the suspected suicide bomber.

About 9 percent of Egypt’s 80 million residents are Coptic Christians.

Coptic Christians base their theology on the teachings of the Apostle Mark, who introduced Christianity to Egypt, according to St. Takla Church in Alexandria, the capital of Coptic Christianity.

The religion is known for its rift with other Christians in the fifth century over the definition of the divinity of Jesus Christ.





January 5, 2011

by Gordon Duff


By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

This week, a 3 judge panel, the 9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, found that the cross, in itself, is not “proper” representation of American war dead.  A 40 foot cross in San Diego was the subject this time, millions spent on lawsuits, reported in every paper, just as with the Mojave Cross, two rusty pieces of pipe shown in the adjacent photo.

The similar case involving the Mojave Cross, one continually stolen and replaced, unseen except by birds of prey and backpackers, helped keep the attention of the American Legion and similar groups away from key  issues of veterans housing, veteran abuses, poor or nonexistent medical care for veterans and dozens of others, most ignored entirely.

The Mojave Cross had become an obsession with the Legion while attempts to get them to focus on veteran homelessness issues in Los Angeles fell on deaf ears.

This time, the Jewish War Veterans took the lead and the American Legion, unwilling to go ‘toe to toe” publicly with this small but powerful group, stepped aside, hoping they wouldn’t be noticed.  We noticed.  We noticed all of it.  We remember when Robert Rosebrock approached the Jewish War Veterans two years ago for support, at my behest, support for needed veterans housing in Los Angeles.  They turned away.  We also remember when Rosebrock, perhaps America’s best known advocate for homeless veterans, approached the American Legion.

They passed a resolution in California which was sent to Washington and suppressed.  Suppressed.  Yes, let me say it again, suppressed.  Why?

While these powerful groups, the American Legion and Jewish War Veterans are fighting over symbols, jockeying for cheap publicity and, in truth, involved in hokey and cynical fundraising manipulation by stirring race and religious hatreds, 20,000 veterans out in California, and more around the country are dying, some freezing, suicides every day, more ending up in prison.

California is just one situation but it is a “doozey.”

There, over a century ago, what was worthless land, too close to barren bluffs overlooking the ocean, was donated to Civil War veterans.  Bars and whore houses were built to help the veterans spend their pensions and a community grew up around it.  We call that community Brentwood, famous as the former home of O.J. Simpson.

364 acres of land, now worth between 2 and 4 billion dollars, titled exclusively for veterans housing is now a hospital, a cemetery and, shamefully, being divided up between local groups into something more akin to a country club or place for them to hold their “tea socials.”

When veterans try to use the land, read a book, or even walk across it, they are arrested.  When they protest, legally as required by the American constitution, they are arrested also, though it seems the chargers are later dropped.  They aren’t just arrested, they are intimidated, they are threatened, they are bullied.  Why?

They are trying to retake land from the rich and powerful, from groups aligned with, well, the Jewish War Veterans and the Washington friends that the American Legion seems to value more than veterans.  Brentwood is the home of some of the most politically powerful people in America and some of the most notorious.

While the newspapers report the ‘battle of the crosses,’ the narcissistic time wasting of those who value the dead more than the living, the living are quickly becoming the dead.

VA Secretary Shensiki and congress have earmarked $3.2 billion for veteran housing.  However, the cronyism and corruption that typified the “privatization” of nearly everything, war, torture and now veterans housing, has created a “black hole” where that $3.2 billion will disappear.  What will happen?

Veterans own billions in land across the US, held in trust by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Where that land is wanted by others, it will be given away and sold.  Veterans housing, however, will be handled by special interest groups, churches with wild ideas, failed drug rehabilitation programs run by “hucksters” with political connections and petty gangsters who will get free land, free buildings and free money which will, somehow magically, end up being used for everything but veterans housing.

This is going on “full speed” as we speak and no one is saying a word, nobody really but Bob Rosebrock and his small group of supporters, the “Old Guard” who have been protesting these abuses every Sunday, without fail for almost 3 full years.

What is it about?  How do we fix it?

It is time we admit that those controlling veterans organizations, the real voices, are nothing but Washington hacks who should be “shilling” for pharmaceutical companies or selling used cars.  Their failures are epic and have been for decades.  The major veterans organizations lost their way 50 years ago and the “slack” has been picked up by dozens of activist organizations, unfunded but dedicated.

This is the truth of it and it is a shameful thing for the United States.

We could talk war itself.  Does anyone know why we are fighting or who?  At least check, for each estimated “Al Qaeda” member in Afghanistan, we had 20,000 troops.

In fact, upon closer examination, something newspapers in America and our Congress are unlikely to do, almost everything believed about the “war on terror” and “9/11″ is proving to be something very wrong.  You may not know it now, you may never want to believe it, but it is true.  Something very wrong, very evil, very “unAmerican” happened and is still going on.

With all the talk about honoring the dead, defending “crosses” or dishonoring Jewish War dead, who speaks for the living?  In Los Angeles, it is Robert Rosebrock and his friends, harassed and threatened, abandoned by the Jewish War Veterans, abandoned by the American Legion, abandoned by the VFW.

If you want to be abandoned, try defending the weak, the abused, the heroic, the honorable from the rich, the greedy and the heartless.

In February, Rosebrock will be in court.  He is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs for arresting him for protesting, trying to force them to do what they are supposed to do, protect and serve America’s veterans.  The ACLU is standing with him.

After three years, the police who arrested him repeatedly, employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs are standing with him also.

Most veterans groups are not.  Why?

Too busy with politics and religion?





January 5, 2011

by J. Bruce Campbell

To: Robert Wenzel

Dennis Kucinich’s proposal is an attempt to conform to Article 1 Sec 8. You have revealed yourself to be in the Alexander Hamilton camp of private bank predators with your attack on him and his proposal to liberate us from debt slavery.

Lew Rockwell calls him a Zimbabwean? What do you call Bernanke and Paulson? What do you call the Federal Reserve Corporation? Have you or the other “free-traders” ever criticized the practice of private bankers owning the nation’s currency? Of the practice of lending credit? Lending credit is supposed to be illegal because it is based on fraud. Lending credit is creating “money” out of thin air and then demanding repayment in cash or foreclosing on the property, not to mention collecting “interest” on the non-existent “money.” And let me ask you, if everyone has to pay back more than he borrows, and everyone does, where does the extra come from?

Do you “free-traders” ever point out this built-in fraud in private banking? Interest demands inflation. And when the private bankers want to harvest, they deflate, call in loans and seize property. This is the sort of crime that Kucinich wants to eliminate.

As Edison pointed out, if the government can issue bonds, it can issue currency. How can the government “borrowing” from private bankers who create debt out of thin air be supported by people such as yourself and Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell? Are you so infatuated with Privatization? The perhaps one truly legitimate function of the federal government is to issue debt-free currency but this was destroyed at the birth of this country by Alexander Hamilton for the first twenty years. And then again until Jackson put an end to it for the rest of the 19th Century. And then the racketeers tricked us for good in 1913, which you apparently support. Has Ron Paul ever asked Greenspan or Bernanke, “Who are the owners of the Class A stock of your private, profit-making corporation?” See Lewis v. US 1982.

Jack Kennedy declared war on the Rothschild/Rockefeller gang with his debt-free US Notes of ’63. I suppose you shared the gang’s horror at this great patriotic act of his, which no doubt put him on their blacklist.

Now this may offend you, but do you have any real idea how bad off Germany was in 1933? You may not realize just how bad off America was at the same time, along with most everyone else back then. But Germany had an additional problem with its “reparations” payments to the winners, who had stolen all of Germany’s gold reserves. The real reason that “we” destroyed the Germans for the second time in twenty-five years was their fabulous recovery in just two years after issuing debt-free currency, based on German productivity. If anyone needed peace to complete their miraculous recovery, it was Germany. But the owners of the gold were outraged that Germany could prosper without any gold and the rest of the world had to be shown what happens to such renegades.

Your language against Kucinich has the same ring as Untermayer’s language against Germany, apparently for the same reason. How can you support the idea of a national government (or anyone) borrowing “money” from racketeers who create “money” out of thin air and who then charge “interest” on this artificial debt? Kucinich obviously understands that this outrageous fake debt to fraudsters must be repudiated for the fraud that it has always been.

You need to wake up and realize that Privatization, while nice in theory, always leads to racketeer influenced corrupt organizations such as the First and Second US Banks, the Federal Reserve System and Blackwater. Hamilton leads to Halliburton running foreign wars of unprovoked aggression because it’s good business, and gold-bugs such as yourself can’t say “no” to anything that sounds like “profit-driven.” And it’s all based on the private central bank that you apparently support with your attack on Article 1 Sec 8.

A private central bank requires a central government to protect it. That’s why we got stuck with the Constitution instead of the de-centralized Articles of Confederation. Hamilton and his Rothschild bosses needed that federal government structure to protect their planned private central bank so that national taxes could be legally extorted to guarantee their fraudulent debt slavery they were planning for us. Government-issued, debt-free currency would destroy their racket. Andrew Jackson rescued the country from debt-slavery for about the next eighty-one years, until 1913, and was very lucky to survive the assassination attempts by the enemies of monetary freedom. Other presidents weren’t so lucky.

You and the other “free-traders” must change your ideas and support this proposal to rescue us from the hands of private bankers who create money out of thin air and place us in perpetual, unpayable debt to them, thanks to the fraud known as the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

I recommend that you watch this excellent proposal for monetary reform:

To answer your questions about Jewish profiteering in WWI, I think Benjamin Freedman told what I’m going to write much better, but it goes like this:

The war was pretty much stalemated by 1916 and the British were considering a peace proposal with the Germans, which the Germans also wanted. The Jewish scientist Chaim Weizmann, who invented acetone and some processes for improving explosives, approached Lloyd-George and told him not to sue for peace because the war could still be won. He said he could bring America into the war on the British side but would need something in return, which was a letter from the government promising a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Lloyd-George pointed out that Britain did not control Palestine but rather the Turks did. No matter, said Weizmann, I just need a letter. So Lloyd-George had Arthur Balfour, the foreign minister, draft a letter to that effect. Some say that Weizmann drafted it for Balfour’s signature.

Turkey was of course on the German side in WWI. Churchill had sent thousands of ANZACs to be slaughtered by Turkish machine guns at Gallipoli. So if England could win the war, Turkey would lose its territories, which was no doubt why Turkey was maneuvered to the German side.

Now, in America, Weizmann had a confederate named Sam Untermayer, a criminal defense attorney in New York. Untermayer had approached Woodrow Wilson earlier that year and said that he represented Wilson’s mistress and mother of his child. He had letters from Wilson to her and said that she needed assistance. Wilson said he couldn’t help her for obvious reasons. Untermayer said that he would help her himself but in return wanted to name the next Supreme Court justice. That’s how we got our first Jewish SC justice, Louis Brandeis, in 1916. Blackmail.

So Weizmann had Untermayer do it again, with the same letters and threats. Untermayer, Felix Frankfurter and Brandeis persuaded Wilson, with Col. House’s guidance, to declare war against Germany in April, 1917. A week after Congress went along with the war, Wilson sent Leon Trotsky and 350 Communist Jews who had been living on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to meet with Lenin in St. Petersburg. Lenin was working for the German army with the agreement to join forces with Trotsky and seize power from Alexander Kerensky, who had started a democratic parliamentary system following the overthrow of Czar Nicholas & Co.

Trotsky’s ship, the SS Christianiafiord, pulled into Hallifax, Nova Scotia en route to Russia and all the Jews were arrested by the Canadians. They understood the nature of the trip – that the Communists would declare peace with Germany and allow the German army to move to the Western Front and be much stronger against the Allies. And now those Allies included America! But the American president, in probably the first textbook case of treason, ordered the Canadians to release Trotsky & Co, and they sailed on to St. Petersburg and we know what happened.

The war was prolonged for two more lucrative years, millions more killed including a hundred thousand Americans. The Germans lost and Palestine became a League of Nations mandate, controlled by the reluctant British Army. In accord with the “Balfour Declaration,” Jews started pouring into Palestine, protected by British troops. Then the Jews began to wage war on their protectors, culminating in the atrocity at the King David Hotel in ’48, plus all sorts of assassinations and crimes against humanity. We know what happened after that.

But on the subject of Jewish war profiteering, have a look at the rise of Bernard Baruch, the ultimate Jewish profiteer (aside from the profits of the Jewish-owned Federal Reserve Bank, based on war loans to the US government and foreign governments). The munitions being transported on the Lusitania were from JP Morgan, but he was just the American agent for the Rothschilds. War profiteering was pretty much a Jewish thing, aside from the Zionist purpose of bringing America into the almost-ended war.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on ZIONIST PROFITEERING




January 5, 2011

by Gordon Duff

“Mr. Assange, tear down your wall of secrecy!”


Webster Tarpley exhibits a broad understanding and great personal courage in his analysis of the upcoming nuclear war, yes, it can come to that, between India and Pakistan.  Though you don’t hear it screamed out, Tarpley takes the trail to Tel Aviv.  In this 6 minute segment, Alex Jones and Webster Tarpley touch on CIA complicity in terrorist recruiting, India’s terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, things carefully censored by Julian Assange from Wikileaks, and how Pakistan is under attack.

What is made clear is that it isn’t just Iran being scheduled for destruction but India and Pakistan as well.  Veterans Today will be following up today with a detailed study of the Mumbai attacks, blamed on Pakistan but clearly an act of war against, not only India but Pakistan as well, not just by Israel, as so many are now aware but the CIA and MI-6 of Britain as well.

YouTube – Veterans Today –

For every terror attack in Pakistan and India, how many in Afghanistan?  America estimates 200 RAW terror trainers in Afghanistan but numbers may be in the thousands. The RAW, an organization partnered and supported by Israel’s Mossad, is active, not just in Afghanistan, and not just against Pakistan, America’s primary ally in the region.  Americans are being attacked too.

How many American troops have been killed by CIA recruited terrorists, how many Israeli designed and built IEDs, planted by terrorists recruited by the CIA, trained by India’s RAW?  The deaths are real and happening every day, part of the nexus of regional destabilization involving tens of billions of dollars in drug trafficking and corruption of every kind.

The proof is all there, it is in our intelligence reports, it is in those from Pakistan.  I have seen them, I have been briefed in Rawalpindi on all of this, including access to maps and documents, as has General Petraeus and Secretary Clinton.  These intelligence reports, outlining all that Jones and Tarpley are discussing and more, much more, were carefully edited from Wikileaks.

When Jeff Gates and I went over these issues in detail, this and the death of Osama bin Laden, discussed them with Major General Abbas, Brigadier Syed Azmat Ali and their staff at Pakistan’s ISPR, issues all brought to the US so many times, we saw the frustration.

It was clear to our allies in Pakistan that America’s “war on terror” was a lie, though they couldn’t say it.

VT correspondent Raja Mujtaba, editor of and my very good friend, was instrumental in arranging the briefings and our discussions afterwards.

“This is the same briefing we gave General Petraeus and yes, we agree with you, Osama bin Laden has been dead for a very long time.”

Everything Webster Tarpley is saying is in American intelligence reports, reports we all know were “Wikileaked.”

“Mr. Assange, when are you going to bring down your wall of secrecy?”

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on WIKILEAKS & FALSE FLAG TERRORISM



Army’s “Spiritual Fitness” Test Comes Under Fire—Designed by Psychologist Who Inspired CIA’s Torture Program Under Fire

January 5, 2011

by Michael Leon

An experimental, Army mental-health, fitness initiative designed by the same psychologist whose work heavily influenced the psychological aspects of the Bush administration’s torture program is under fire by civil rights groups and hundreds of active-duty soldiers. They say it unconstitutionally requires enlistees to believe in God or a “higher power” in order to be deemed “spiritually fit” to serve in the Army.

U.S. Christian militarists just will not quit

By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t Investigative Report

Comprehensive Soldier Fitness(CSF) is a $125 million “holistic fitness program” unveiled in late 2009 and aimed at reducing the number of suicides and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases, which have reached epidemic proportions over the past year due to multiple deployments to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the substandard care soldiers have received when they return from combat. The Army states that it can accomplish its goal by teaching its service members how to be psychologically resilient and resist “catastrophizing” traumatic events. Defense Department documents obtained by Truthout state CSF is Army Chief of Staff George Casey’s “third highest priority.”

CSF is comprised of the Soldier Fitness Tracker and Global Assessment Tool, which measures soldiers’ “resilience” in five core areas: emotional, physical, family, social and spiritual. Soldiers fill out an online survey made up of more than 100 questions, and if the results fall into a red area, they are required to participate in remedial courses in a classroom or online setting to strengthen their resilience in the disciplines in which they received low scores. The test is administered every two years. More than 800,000 Army soldiers have taken it thus far.

But for the thousands of “Foxhole Atheists” like 27-year-old Sgt. Justin Griffith, the spiritual component of the test contains questions written predominantly for soldiers who believe in God or another deity, meaning nonbelievers are guaranteed to score poorly and will be forced to participate in exercises that use religious imagery to “train” soldiers up to a satisfactory level of spirituality.

Griffith, who is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, took the test last month and scored well on the emotional, family and social components. But after completing the spiritual portion of the exam, which required him to respond to statements such as, “I am a spiritual person, my life has lasting meaning, I believe that in some way my life is closely connected to all humanity and all the world,” he was found to be spiritually unfit because he responded by choosing the “not like me at all” box.

His test results advised him, “spiritual fitness” is an area “of possible difficulty for you.”

“You may lack a sense of meaning and purpose in your life,” Griffith’s test said. “At times, it is hard for you to make sense of what is happening to you and others around you. You may not feel connected to something larger than yourself. You may question your beliefs, principles and values. There are things to do to provide more meaning and purpose in your life. Improving your spiritual fitness should be an important goal.”

In an interview, Griffith, who was not speaking on behalf of the Army, said he was “deeply offended” by the spiritual questions he was forced to answer.

“It seems like my destiny is all messed up and that I am unfit to serve in the United States Army, if you believe the results of this test,” said Griffith, who has served in the Army for five years. “When I think of the word spirituality I go to the root of the word: spirit. I don’t believe in that.”

Lt. Greg Bowling agreed that the test “asks rather intrusive questions about soldiers’ spirituality – coming perilously close to violating the 1st Amendment.”

“There was no option to avoid the questions, leaving our atheist soldiers to wonder if their beliefs are tolerated in today’s increasingly religious Army,” he said.

According to a copy of the test, the Army maintains that the “spiritual dimension questions … pertain to the domain of the human spirit: they are not ‘religious’ in nature. The Comprehensive Fitness Program defines spiritual fitness as strengthening a set of beliefs, principles, or values that sustain a person beyond family, institutional and societal sources of support.”

Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum, the director of the CSF program, has said, “The spiritual strength domain is not related to religiosity, at least not in terms of how we measure it.”

“It measures a person’s core values and beliefs concerning their meaning and purpose in life,” she said. “It’s not religious, although a person’s religion can still affect those things. Spiritual training is entirely optional, unlike the other domains. Every time you say the S-P-I-R word you’re going to get sued. So that part is not mandatory. The assessment is mandatory though and junior soldiers will be required to take exercises to strengthen their other four domains.”

But despite the verbal gymnastics Cornum seems to engage in over the meaning of “spiritual” and “religious,” it has been established that the spiritual component of CSF is deeply rooted in religious doctrine.

press releaseissued by Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in January 2010 said renowned “Psychology of Religion” expert Dr. Kenneth Pargament was tapped to develop the spiritual portion of the test in consultation with Army chaplains, BGSU ROTC cadets, graduate students and officials at West Point.

Cornum’s claims that soldiers are not required to participate in remedial training if they score poorly on the spiritual portion of the test were not articulated to Griffith and other soldiers, who told Truthout they feared they would be disciplined by their superior officers if they didn’t act on the recommendations they received after taking the exam. In fact, nowhere on the test does it state that such training is voluntary.

Moreover, Cornum’s attempts to replace the word “religious” with “spiritual” as a way to avoid a lawsuit was not lost on one civil rights organization.

Last week, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) sent a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh and General Casey, the Army’s chief of staff, demanding that the Army immediately cease and desist administering the “spiritual” portion of the CSF test. (Full disclosure: MRFF founder and President, Mikey Weinstein, is a member of Truthout’s board of advisers.)

“The purpose of the [spiritual component of the test] though couched in general and vague language, is to strengthen a solder’s religious conviction,” says the December 30, 2010, letter signed by Caroline Mitchell, an attorney with the law firm Jones Day, who is representing MRFF. “Soldiers who hold deep religious convictions routinely pass the spirituality component of this test while atheists and nontheists do not. The Army cannot avoid the conclusion that this test is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by simply substituting the word ‘spiritual’ for ‘religious.’”

“The majority of the spiritual statements soldiers are asked to rate are rooted in religious doctrine, premised on a common dogmatic belief regarding the meaning of life and the interconnectedness of living beings,” the letter further states. “The statements in the tests and remedial materials repeatedly promote the importance of being a believer of something over electing to be a nonbeliever. Moreover, the images that accompany portions of the CSF Training Modules make clear the religious aspects of the spirituality training.”

Mitchell says the Establishment Clause of the Constitution prohibits such religious testing.

“And it’s not just the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which is being blatantly violated here,” Weinstein said. “Clause 3 of Article 6 of the body of our nation’s Constitution specifically prohibits any type of ‘religious test’ being used in connection with any government service. Thus, this ‘spirituality’ portion of the Army’s CSF test completely savages this bedrock Constitutional prohibition.”

Weinstein said MRFF currently represents more than 200 Army soldiers who are “vehemently objecting to this clearly transparent ‘religious test’, the majority of them practicing Christians themselves.”

He said he does not expect the Army to stop administering the spirituality portion of the test. Weinstein and his legal team intend to pursue legal remedies if they are rebuffed, he said.The Freedom From Religion Foundation has also sent a letterto McHugh calling on the Army to stop assessing soldiers’ spiritual fitness.

Additionally, Jones Day filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request last week on behalf of Griffith and MRFF, seeking a wide range of documents related to the development of the spiritual portion of CSF. Truthout is also a party to the FOIA request.

A Defense Department spokesperson did not return calls or emails for comment.

“Dr. Happy”

CSF is based entirely on the work of Dr. Martin Seligman, a member of the Defense Health Board, a federal advisory committee to the secretary of defense, and chairman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, who the Army calls “Dr. Happy.

Seligman, who once told a colleague that psychologists can rise to the level of a “rock star” and “have fame and money,” is the author of “Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment.” The Penn Resiliency Program, upon which the Army’s CSF is based, “teaches cognitive-behavioral and social problem-solving skills and is based in part on cognitive-behavioral theories of depression by Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis” and Seligman.

Despite his “happy” reputation, in some circles, Seligman is best known for developing the theory of “Learned Helplessness” at the University of Pennsylvania more than four decades ago. As psychologist and torture expert Dr. Jeffrey Kaye noted in a report published in Truthout last year, Seligman and psychologist Dr. Steven Maier developed the concept of Learned Helplessness after they “exposed dogs to a situation where they were faced with inescapable electrical shocks.”

“Within a short period of time, the dogs could not be induced to escape the situation, even when provided with a previously taught escape route,” Kaye wrote. “Drs. Seligman and Maier theorized that the dogs had ‘learned’ their condition was helpless. The experimental model was extended to a human model for the induction of clinical depression and other psychological conditions.”

Seligman’s work in this area influenced psychologists under contract to the CIA and Defense Department, who applied the theory to “war on terror” detainees in custody of the US government, according to a report published in 2009 by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In May of 2002, the timeframe in which the CIA began to use brutal torture techniques against several high-value detainees, Seligman gave a three-hour lecture at the Navy’s Survival Evasion Resistance Escape school in San Diego. Audience members included the two psychologists – Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell – who have been called the architects of the Bush administration’s torture program.

Five months earlier, Seligman hosted a meeting at his house that was attended by Mitchell, along with the CIA’s then-Director of Behavioral Science Research, Kirk Hubbard, and an Israeli intelligence agent. Seligman has claimed he was totally unaware his theory on Learned Helplessness was being used against detainees after 9/11 and deniedever engaging in discussions about the Bush administration’s torture program with Mitchell, Jessen, or any other government official.

“Learned Optimism”

Seligman, a past president of the American Psychological Association (APA), began consulting with General Casey in September 2008 about applying the research he and his colleagues have conducted over the past decade to the benefits of his theories on “Learned Optimism” to all of the Army’s active-duty soldiers. Seligman then met with Cornum in December 2008 to discuss creating the foundation for CSF as a way to decrease PTSD.

According to a report published in December 2009 in the APA Monitor, Seligman believes that positive thinking methods taught to schoolchildren who “were [conditioned] to think more realistically and flexibly about the problems they encounter every day” can also be taught to Army soldiers and the results will be the same. 

Seligman said he is basing his theory on a series of 19 studies he conducted, which found that teachers who “emphasized the importance of slowing the problem-solving process down by helping students identify their goals, gather information and develop several possible ways to achieve those goals,” increased students’ optimism levels over the course of two years “and their risk for depression was cut in half.”

But unlike studies conducted on schoolchildren, there is no research that exists that shows applying those same conditioning methods to the Army’s active-duty soldiers will reduce PTSD. Seligman, however, seems to be aware that is the case. That may explain why he has referred to Army soldiers as his personal guinea pigs.

“This is the largest study – 1.1 million soldiers – psychology has ever been involved in and it will yield definitive data about whether or not [resiliency and psychological fitness training] works,” Seligman said about the CSF program.

“We’re after creating an indomitable Army,” Seligman said.

Positive Psychology’s Critics

While positive psychology, a term coined by Seligman, has its supporters who swear by its benefits, the movement also has its fair share of critics, notably authors Chris Hedges and Barbara Ehrenreich, both of who say the practice has thrived in the corporate world where the refusal to consider negative outcomes resulted in the current economic crisis.

Hedges, author of the book “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,”wrote, “positive psychology, which claims to be able to engineer happiness and provides the psychological tools for enforcing corporate conformity, is to the corporate state what eugenics was to the Nazis.”

“Positive psychology is a quack science that throws a smoke screen over corporate domination, abuse and greed,” Hedges said. “Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction.”

Hedges added that “academics who preach [the benefits of positive psychology] are awash in corporate grants.”

Indeed, Seligman’s CV shows he has received tens of millions of dollars in foundation cash to conduct positive psychology research.

According to a reportpublished in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “People credit a large part of positive psychology’s success to the solid reputations of the field’s leaders – and Seligman’s ability to get science-supporting agencies interested.”

“The National Institute of Mental Health has given more than $226-million in grants to positive-psychology researchers in the past 10 years, beginning with just under $4-million in 1999 and reaching more than nine times that amount in 2008,” according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Seligman has equated his work for the Army to assisting the “second largest corporation in the world.”

Multimillion-Dollar Contract

Seligman’s biggest payday came last year, when the Positive Psychology Center received a three-year, $31 million, no-bid, sole-source Army contract to continue developing the program. 

According to Defense Department documents, “the contract action was accomplished using other than competitive procedure because there is only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirement[s]. Services can only be provided from the original source as this is a follow-on requirement for the continued provision of highly specialized services.”

In 2009, several months after receiving the green light from Casey to develop the CSF program, the Army paid Seligman’s Positive Psychology Center $1 million to begin training hundreds of drill sergeants to become Master Resilience Trainers(MRTs), “certified experts who will advise commanders in the field and design and facilitate unit-level resilience training across the Army.”

More than 2,000 MRTs have been trained since CSF was rolled out in October 2009. The Army intends to certify thousands more MRTs.

The Defense Department’s justification for the no-bid contract said Seligman’s program “possesses unique capabilities, in that, [it is] the only established, broadly effective, evidence-based, train the trainer program currently available which meets the Army’s minimum needs.”

Seligman’s program was “explicitly designed to train trainers (teachers) in how to impart resiliency and whole life fitness skills to others (their students),” the contracting documents state. “Other existent programs are designed to simply teach resiliency directly to participants. The long-term outcomes of [Seligman’s program] have been examined in over 15 well documented studies.”

“Without the Army’s Resiliency Master Trainer Program [as taught by Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania] the exacerbated effects of multiple wars and other stressors result in a weakened corps and this directly impacts the Army’s readiness and ultimately compromises the national security of our nation … This program is vitally important to our forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The contracting documents go on to say that “market research … mostly through a thorough web search and networking with subject matter experts both within the Army, across services and in [academia] into other “positive psychology” programs was conducted between August and October 2008 before the Army decided to award the contract to Seligman because his program met the Army’s immediate needs.

Cornum said in July 2009 that similar resiliency tests used by the University of Pennsylvania for the general public would be “militarized” by the Army.

A Difficult Challenge

But according to Griffith, the atheist Army sergeant, the Army did not do enough to remove the religious connotatitions from the spiritual section of the test.

Even Seligman’s colleagues acknowledge that attempting to separate spirituality from religion is a challenge.

“Mapping the conceptual distinctions between what we refer to as ‘religion’ and what we refer to as ‘spirituality’ can be difficult,” wrote Ben Dean in an article published on the University of Pennsylvania’s Authentic Happiness web site.

Griffith said there’s a simple solution: “Scrap [the] spiritual aspect altogether.”


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