Saturday, March 31, 2012
State-Sponsored Terrorism in Europe
Originally aired on BBC2 in 1992, Operation Gladio reveals Gladio, the secret state-sponsored terror network operating in Europe. This BBC series is about a far-right secret army, operated by the CIA and MI6 through NATO, which killed hundreds of innocent Europeans and attempted to blame the deaths on Baader Meinhof, Red Brigades and other left wing groups.
Known as stay-behinds these armies were given access to military equipment which was supposed to be used for sabotage after a Soviet invasion. Instead it was used in massacres across mainland Europe as part of a CIA Strategy of Tension. Gladio killing sprees in Belgium and Italy were carried out for the purpose of frightening the national political classes into adopting U.S. policies.
Can you spell "Syria"? Try Libya or the name of many other countries
- perhaps your own.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Gabriela Oviedo is a fashion model and TV personality. She is a 28-year-old brunette, almost six feet tall. Born in the Bolivian province of Santa Cruz, she was elected as the national beauty queen in 2003. In 2004, Gabriela took part in the Miss Universe pageant. There she was asked to name one of the biggest misconceptions about her country. In awkward English, she answered: "Um … unfortunately, people that don't know Bolivia very much think that we are all just Indian people from the west side of the country. It's La Paz, all the image that we reflect, is that poor people and very short people and Indian people ... I'm from the other side of the country, the east side, and it's not cold, it's very hot and we are tall and we are white people and we know English."
Gabriela's answer, heavy with racism, raised such a wave of outrage in her country that she was forced to give up the contest. Two in every three Bolivians are indigenous people. Her answer, however, was not an isolated occurrence. It reflects the persistence of a white, deeply anti-indigenous Bolivia, which survives today even though deep changes have been introduced, including the approval of anti-racist legislation.
In spite of the force of racial discrimination, on 22 January 2006, the Aymara Indian and cocalero unionist Evo Morales was elected president. Since then, the Bolivian state and society have undergone a profound transformation. The country has been decolonised. Indigenous people hold key cabinet positions in government and also in political institutions, while their standard and quality of life have been notably improved.
In the past six years, Bolivia has become one of the Latin American countries most successful at improving its citizens' standard of living. Economic indicators such as low unemployment and decreased poverty, as well as better public healthcare and education, are outstanding.
Between 2005 and 2010, the proportion of those in moderate poverty went down from 60% to 49.6%, while extreme poverty fell from 38% to 25%. Likewise, the unemployment rate decreased from 8.4% to 4%. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) points out that Bolivia is the top country in Latin America in terms of transferring resources to its most vulnerable population – 2.5% of its GNP.
According to Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, "Bolivia is one of the few countries that has reduced inequality … the gap between rich and poor has been hugely narrowed."
One of the key tools in reducing poverty has been the expansive distribution of economic surplus among the population, through direct cash transfers and bonds in programmes such as Juancito Pinto and Juana Azurduy, the Renta Dignidad, and salary increases. These payments have contributed to increasing the number of children attending school, broadening the coverage of public pensions to alleviate extreme poverty among senior citizens, and delivering subsidies to mothers excluded from social security, so as to reduce children's mortality and expand pre- and post-natal attention.
Bolivia has been declared an illiteracy-free country. Income redistribution has fuelled a 7% increase in the internal consumption of electricity, purified water and domestic gas among sectors that didn't have access to those services before.
During 2011, the country's economy grew at 5.3%, above the Latin American average. It is not an isolated event. The economy has been constantly expanding since 2007, averaging 4.5% a year.
These economic and social successes have been attained following an alternative route to neoliberalism. Evo Morales's government did the opposite of what the Washington Consensus recommends: it nationalised hydrocarbons, electricity, telecommunications and mining; renegotiated the presence of direct foreign investment in the country; implemented an expansive fiscal policy and closed borders to the free importation of economically strategic products. The state took 34% of the economy under its control.
This exceptional performance was obtained even though remittances decreased, the United States revoked the most-favoured nation status for some Bolivian products, and in spite of a global recession. The oil income is now three times that of 2005. The tax revenues went up. The international currency reserves are up to more than $12bn dollars. The banking savings-and-loans system has been "Bolivian-ised" and the external debt has been reduced. The bid now is that Bolivia will take a "big industrial leap" in the next five years so that it ceases to be an extractor of natural resources and begins to export value-added goods.
However, the Bolivian story is not one of "progress", but of forging an alternative economy, one which stems from the original peoples and nations. At the centre of its proposal is the Suma Qamana, a notion that has been incorporated into the constitution and that is translated as "living well", meaning to be in harmony and equilibrium with other people and with nature. It is a proposal born in the community, and it is based, not in the logic of economic profitability, but on producing goods according to nature. As Evo Morales has said: "We don't believe in the linear, cumulative conception of progress and of an unlimited development at the cost of other people and of nature. To live well is to think not only in terms of per capita income, but of cultural identity, community, harmony among ourselves and with Mother Earth."
Raúl García Linera, one of Bolivia's principal political strategists, describes the current process of transformation in his country as trying to change the engine of a car while it's moving. It is, no doubt, a genuine, bold and encouraging attempt.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
No Dollar Trade
BRIC Nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) signed Local Currency agreement at Summit.
They will not trade in U.S. dollars anymore. Agreements around the world between Countries to Drop U.S. dollar for trade (including Australia)
The BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) signed an agreement to not trade in U.S. dollars anymore, but in their own currencies. They are even working on creating their own bank for trading between each other and to handle the currencies, besides lines of credit in the currencies. BRIC nations account for half of the world's population.
New Delhi: In an initiative to promote trade in local currencies, the BRICS nations today signed two agreements to provide line of credit to the business community and decided to examine the possibility of setting up a development bank on lines of multilateral lending agencies. The agreements were signed by officials of five countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- at the fourth BRICS
"The agreements signed today by development banks of BRICS countries will boost trade by offering credit in our local currency," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a media statement after the meeting. The Master Agreement on Extending Credit Facility in Local Currency and the Multilateral Letter of Credit Confirmation Facility Agreement are being perceived as a step towards replacing the dollar as the main unit of trade between them.
As regards the initiative to set up a BRICS Development Bank on the lines of multilateral lending agency, Singh said the proposal would be examined by the finance ministers.
"A suggestion has been made to set up a BRICS development bank, we have directed our FM to examine the proposal and report back by next summit," Singh said.
Intra-BRICS trade is about USD 230 billion and has the potential of more than doubling to USD 500 billion by 2015....
The countries are the largest developing countries in the world. The dropping of the U.S. dollar will affect us especially since the U.S. is printing dollars non-stop.
Considering that Saudi Arabia and China have entered into an agreement to build a mega oil refinery worth 8.5 Billion last week, who knows how long the dollar will remain the "Petro dollar". Iran stopped trading oil for dollars on March 20th.
Media reports suggests that India has agreed to pay the price of crude oil it imports from Iran in gold, which makes it the first country to drop the US dollar for purchasing the Iranian oil.
India, which is highly dependent on imports to meet its crude oil consumption needs, is Iran’s second-largest oil customer after China and purchases around $12 billion worth of Iranian crude every year, about 12 percent of its consumption.
Iran is one of the world’s leading producers of both natural gas and oil; it is OPEC’s second-largest oil producer and exporter after Saudi Arabia and, in 2010, was the world’s third-largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia and Russia.
It has been reported, Iran stopped trading oil in Dollars on March 20th 2012.
Last week, the Tehran Times noted that the Iranian oil bourse will start trading oil in currencies other than the dollar from March 20.
Do not forget even Australia (a stanch U.S. ally) has made an agreement with China on March 23 2012, to trade in the Chinese Yuan and not the U.S. dollars for $30 billion over 3 years time.
Mar. 23 – The central banks of China and Australia signed a currency swap agreement yesterday that will allow RMB200 billion (A$30 billion) worth of local currencies to be exchanged between the two countries over three years.
The purpose of the agreement, according the People’s Bank of China, is to help strengthen financial cooperation between the two sides, boost bilateral trade and investment, and promote regional financial stability.
“The agreement reflects the increasing opportunities available to settle trade between the two countries in Chinese renminbi and to make RMB-denominated investments,” the Reserve Bank of Australia said in a press release.
If Americans think they are immune to hyperinflation due to the dollar being the reserve currency of the world, then they have not been paying attention. The facts are the dollar is being dropped all around the world as the trading currency and countries are trading in local currencies or the Chinese Yuan/renminbi.
Sir! No Sir!
Things come and go but can come again. As you will find in trying the above video embed, YouTube reports, "This video has been removed by the user". Strange. Now why would some go to the effort to put it there and then remove it. It does tend to happen frequently with information some the wrong do not want seen. Thanks however to an anonymous user who commented below, here it is again. A video search for its title "Sir! No Sir!" may bring it back again if the current user mysteriously changes mind about its showing. K Keep on stepping to stay one ahead.
Old Syria is Over
28 March, 2012
It was obvious from the very beginning that the Arab left have a problem of how to respond to the Syrian protests. There was no problem in the case of Tunis and Egypt because both regimes were extremely corrupted and evidently agents to the Us and Israel. They have no achievements to convince anybody to disagree about their fall. All Arab left wing was united in supporting the revolutions in both countries.
In Syria the problem is obviously more complicated to deal with from an Arab left point of view. This which explains the division in the Arab left movement towards the crisis in Syria. Even though nobody considers Syria an Arab Hanoi in the conflict with Israel, there is no doubt that the Syrian regime protected the minimum of the Arab pride in the conflict with the Zionist occupation.
Bearing in mind that Syria was almost alone in this position after Egypt and Jordan singed peace treaties with Israel and withdrew from the conflict.
Syria defied the Us in Iraq and much of the support to the Iraqi resistance came from Syria. It supported the Palestinian resistance movement and allowed it to operate politically in Syria with relative freedom, and supported the Lebanese resistance against the Zionist occupation. All these are undeniable facts despite the attempt of the opposition to underestimate it obviously to delegitimize the regime. And the regime in its turn accuses the opposition in getting support from the enemies of Syria like Israel to delegitimize the opposition.
And there is nothing considered that bad in the Arab world more than accusing a state or a party or a person with dealing with the Zionist state.
(The new left) criticize the traditional left silence in the past about the oppressive nature of the one party system regime.
Their argument is that the Syrian support to the resistance against the Zionist occupation must not have legitimated the corruption, the lack of freedom or the absence of independent media in Syria.
But it is difficult to find any credibility in this accusation because the traditional left has always been critical to the regime in questions like the lack of freedom, and corruption and the liberalization policy of the Syrian economy which increased the numbers of the poor and weakened the middle class in Syria. And its leaders such as Michel kilo and Abd al Aziz al khaier were among the best customers of the Syrian jails.
The (new left) believe that it is time to remove the rule of the one party system which ruled Syria more than 40 years, and there is no way left for any compromise with the regime.
The (new left) trend composed of left wing generation involved in revolution does not seem to be unaware of the fact that the revolution might be kidnapped by the Islamists as the case in Tunis and Egypt.
But they think that the revolution has a long way to go and the Syrian society is opened now to all sorts of conflicts.
They also think they are aware of the fact that the support of non democratic Arab countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar is not a good sign for the future. In their view the popular revolution initiated by ordinary people in the neglected and marginalized areas of Syria, is the most important thing and the rest is only details. This is one of the questions that raise much debates because one apparently cannot ignore the nature of the regional players and their intention .Would a country like Saudi Arabia that prohibit woman of driving cars support a change for democracy in Syria, some ask? Or the other argument which says would the Syrian revolution becomes less legitimate if the Us known for its support to the oppressive regimes show support to the Syrian revolution?
This picture is not the same for the pan Arab left wing who though recognizes the necessity of the reform in Syria and increasingly critical to the excessive use of force by the regime; believes that the real aim of the west is to destabilize Syria and weaken the resistance against Israel.
They bring the example of Iraq to support their argument that the western intervention lead only to more problems. And they are increasingly skeptical towards the role of the islamists in the Syrian revolution believing that the success of the Islamists would mean the end of the secular nature of the Syrian state.
They argue that if the regime has made some gestures towards Israel the western pressure would not have been the same. Besides they link it with the Israeli continuous threats to attack Iran accused to intend to develop military nuclear power. For them the plan to weaken Syria is a part of an overall plan to attack Iran and to divide Syria into several states for the benefit of the Zionist state which never conceal its intention to play off the social fabric of Arab societies with the aim to put the region into endless conflict.
In the view of this trend the political compromise is the best solution which stops the conflict and opens up towards gradual and peaceful change especially after the change of the Syrian constitution which ends the domination of the Bath party.
Others go as far in their pessimism to the extent that the Syrian crisis which obviously brought back the atmosphere of the cold war might be the spark toward total confrontation between Russia and china on one hand and Europe and the US on the other hand.
Despite of all these contradicting views the concern that Syria might fall into chaos is one of the things all agree upon. Many express their concern over the future of Syrian territorial integrity probably more than about the future of the Syrian regime. The militarization of the revolution has also consolidated that concern and more voices are wondering to where all this would lead.
Many Arab political analysts in the region points out to the possible danger of expanding the conflict outside the Syrian territory. Iraq and Lebanon who share borders with Syria and have the same ethnic and cultural variations are probably the most concerned about a political compromise despite the fact that the 14 march political block in Lebanon openly supports the Syrian opposition mostly for its own reasons.
The concern of these countries are not without reason, Lebanon experienced 14 years of civil war which took the life of more than 100,000 and Iraq is witnessing a civil strife that killed hundreds of thousands since the occupation of Iraq in 2003. And in general one observes that Arab countries such as Algeria, Sudan, and Iran and Lebanon which experienced civil strives are the most skeptical to the Syrian revolution
One of the problems that the developments are taking the form of either a winner or a looser in a multi ethnic and multi cultural Syria that might lead to more problems even if the regime falls. This is expressed in the opposition position which rejects to talk with the regime until its fall, and this is in the view of many a recite for the continuation of the conflict. This in my view should encourage both sides to search for creative solutions that can lead to some breakthrough in the conflict.
Nevertheless the fact which has become obvious to all is that that the old Syria is over, and the era of the one party system has become history, but the real challenge for Syrians is how to transit towards the coming period with the minimum loss.
And the question remains, would be there a political compromise which opens the road towards a sort of political solution which moves Syria towards the hopeful democracy? the certain answer is that there is no indication in the present time which points out to this possibility. The absence of a political compromise, means that the Syrian crisis would become more complicated which endanger the unity of Syria and opens the road towards the Iraqization of Syria.
The term traditional left wings is used to describe a variety of views of some left wing which tend towards a political compromise, while the term new left wing loosely used to describe the views of left wingers critical to the views of the old generation of the left wing and tend to continue the revolution until the fall of the Assad regime.
Dr. Salim Nazzal, a Palestinian-Norwegian historian on the Middle East, He has written extensively on social and political issues in the region.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
USA at Fault
Let me recap some of what he said.
Since 2009, when the Attorney General’s Office publicly identified the 37 most-wanted criminals in Mexico, authorities have arrested or killed 22 of them.
Authorities have seized criminal assets (Calderon cited seizure of 562 aircraft) and vastly expanded the federal police force, from some 6,000 officers to 36,000. About a quarter of them have university degrees.
But drug trafficking provides a gusher of cash that makes the fight against organized crime “interminable,” he said, adding that experts put the value of narcotics moving toward the United States at between $20 billion and $60 billion a year.
It is urgent to reduce U.S. demand for drugs in order to stop this “exorbitant flow” of cash into countries like Mexico.
“Without this flow of money, we would have clearly finished the job of putting the criminals out of business a while ago,” he said.
Now here’s the money graph of what Calderon has been calling for for at least six months, speaking in vague terms:
“It is the obligation of everyone, but fundamentally of those who consume drugs and provide this cash, to find a way to cut the financial flows and search all possible public policy options, including alternative public policies, to halt the profits from narcotics black markets that are the origin of violence and death in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
I wrote about Calderon’s first hints at this last summer (click here).
Of 84,000 assault weapons sized in the past five years, 80 percent come from U.S. gun sellers, he said.
Calderon said two-thirds of the world’s kidnappings occur in the Americas, and 150,000 people died violent deaths last year alone. Something new has to be tried to stop the hemisphere from remaining the most violent region on earth.
“We have to make a hemisphere effort not only to identify novel schemes and practices but also come with a joint strategy to combat and defeat organized crime,” he said.
Calderon made this speech at the opening session of a meeting of justice ministers and attorney generals from around the hemisphere gathered to talk about organized crime. His appearance was impromptu (he cancelled a trip to Tabasco state suddenly), offering a sign of how strongly he wanted to address this subject to a hemispheric audience with clout.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Madison Ruppert, Contributor
So much for revolution, and so much for the United States being absolutely and completely broke. Since I wrote the article “Egypt: what revolution?” in July of last year, very little progress has been made.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States will be giving military aid to Egypt even though there are “concerns that Cairo was not meeting goals in its democratic transition,” according to Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency.
I believe that this is a bit of an understatement, seeing as the democratic transition has yet to occur and, like Libya, the people of Egypt are in many ways worse off than they were before.
Instead of addressing the fact that Egypt is being ruled by a military dictatorship, Clinton waived all of the conditions placed by Congress on the $1.3 billion in aid.
According to Haaretz, Clinton simply claimed that giving the aid was in the national interest of the United States. As per usual, she didn’t bother to justify it beyond that or actually explain why this was at all in our interests.
As Americans, we are simply expected to believe whatever the government tells us without question. After all, our so-called government thinks they do not even need to tell us why they think it is legal to murder us.
If they don’t feel the need to explain that, I seriously doubt they will actually justify $1.3 billion of our non-existent taxpayer dollars.
“These decisions reflect America’s over-arching goal: to maintain our strategic partnership with an Egypt made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
Once again, this explains very little about why exactly the American people should be put up as collateral against spending to support a military dictatorship.
In an attempt to support her statements, Nuland pointed to progress in elections, yet she had to acknowledge the significant concerns the U.S. has about how non-governmental organizations are treated, among other issues.
“Egypt’s transition to democracy is not yet complete, and more work remains to protect universal rights and freedoms. The Egyptian people themselves have made this clear to their own leaders,” she added.
However, giving these corrupt leaders more money to stay is just about the worst way to push them to reform and change their actions.
Late last year, Congress passed a law which required that the Egyptian military junta to hold elections, support the transition to actual civilian rule, and protect religious freedoms before receiving U.S. aid.
Yet the State Department, under Clinton’s guidance, decided to throw this out entirely.
Senator Patrick Leahy seems to be disappointed by the State Department decision, although he has yet to actually do anything to oppose or change it beyond hollow rhetoric.
“Waiving the new conditions on democracy and human rights is regrettable, and handing over the entire 1.3 billion dollars at once to the Egyptian military compounds the mistake by dissipating our future leverage,” Leahy said.
I very much agree with his point that all leverage is lost when we hand over all of the aid at once. There is absolutely no incentive for the military dictatorship to give up any power or implement reforms now that they have the money.
“Using this waiver authority, at this time, sends a contradictory message. The Egyptian military should be defending fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, not harassing and arresting those who are working for democracy,” Leahy added.
While the U.S. Congress has supposedly increased pressure on Cairo after offices of U.S. non-governmental organizations along with other groups were raided, this pressure does not seem to be materializing in any visible way.
I’m not quite sure how rewarding the military dictatorship with $1.3 billion can be construed as pressure but then again the last thing that Clinton and the rest of the corrupt individuals in Washington care about is freedom.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
The Road to Disaster
Global Research, March 23, 2012
Cuba Debate - 2012-03-21
This Reflection could be written today, tomorrow or any other day without the risk of being mistaken. Our species faces new problems. When 20 years ago I stated at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro that a species was in danger of extinction, I had fewer reasons than today for warning about a danger that I was seeing perhaps 100 years away. At that time, a handful of leaders of the most powerful countries were in charge of the world. They applauded my words as a matter of mere courtesy and placidly continued to dig for the burial of our species.
It seemed that on our planet, common sense and order reigned. For a while, economic development, backed by technology and science appeared to be the Alpha and Omega of human society.
Today, everything is much clearer. Profound truths have been surfacing. Almost 200 States, supposedly independent, constitute the political organization which in theory has the job of governing the destiny of the world.
25, 000 nuclear weapons needed to defend the changing order ?
Approximately 25,000 nuclear weapons in the hands of allied or enemy forces ready to defend the changing World order, by interest or necessity, virtually reduce to zero the rights of billions of people.
I shall not commit the naïveté of assigning the blame to Russia or China for the development of that kind of weaponry, after the monstrous massacre at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ordered by Truman in August 1945 after Roosevelt’s death [April 1945].
Nor shall I fall prey to the error of denying the Holocaust that signified the deaths of millions of children and adults, men or women, mainly Jews, gypsies, Russians or other nationalities, who were victims of Nazism. For that reason the odious policy of those who deny the Palestinian people their right to exist is repugnant.
Does anyone by chance think that the United States will be capable of acting with the independence that will keep it from the inevitable disaster awaiting it?
In a few weeks, the 40 million dollars President Obama promised to collect for his electoral campaign will only serve to show that the currency of his country has lost its value, and that the US, with its unusual growing public debt drawing close to 20 quadrillion, is living on the money it prints up and not on the money it produces. The rest of the world pays for what they waste.
Nor does anyone believe that the Democratic candidate would be any better or worse than his Republican foes: whether they are called Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. Light years separate these three characters from Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King.
It is really unheard-of to observe such a technologically powerful nation and a government so bereft of both ideas and moral values.
Iran has no nuclear weapons. It is being accused of producing enriched uranium that serves as fuel energy or components for medical uses. Whatever one can say, its possession or production is not equivalent to the production of nuclear weapons. Dozens of countries use enriched uranium as an energy source, but this cannot be used in the manufacture of a nuclear weapon without a prior complicated purification process.
However, Israel, with the aid and cooperation of the United States, has manufactured nuclear weaponry without informing or accounting for their actions to anybody. Not admitting their possession of these weapons, they have hundreds of them. To prevent the development of research in neighbouring Arab countries, they attacked and destroyed reactors in Iraq and Syria. They have also declared their objective of attacking and destroying the production centres for nuclear fuel in Iran.
International politics have been revolving around that crucial topic in that complex and dangerous part of the world, where most of the fuel that moves the world economy is produced and supplied.
The selective elimination of Iran’s most eminent scientists by Israel and their NATO allies has become a practice that motivates hatred and feelings of revenge.
The Israeli government has openly stated its objective to attack the plant manufacturing Iran’s enriched uranium, and the government of the United States has invested billions of dollars to manufacture a bomb for that purpose.
On March 16, 2012, Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham published an article revealing that “A top US Air Force General has described the largest conventional bomb – the re-invented bunkers of 13.6 tons – as ‘fantastic’ for a military attack on Iran.
“Such an eloquent comment on the massive killer-artefact took place in the same week that President Barack Obama appeared to warn against ‘easy words’ on the Persian Gulf War.”
“…Herbert Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for US Air Force operations […] added that probably the bomb would be used in any attack on Iran ordered by Washington.
“The MOP, also referred to as ‘The Mother of All Bombs’, is designed to drill through 60 metres of concrete before it detonates its massive bomb. It is believed to be the largest conventional weapon, non-nuclear, in the US arsenal.”
“The Pentagon is planning a process of wide destruction of Iran’s infrastructure and massive civilian victims through the combined use of tactical nuclear bombs and monstrous conventional bombs with mushroom-shaped clouds, including the MOABs and the larger GBU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) that exceeds the MOAB in destructive capacity.
“The MOP is described as ‘a powerful new bomb that aims straight at subterranean Iranian and North Korean nuclear facilities. The giant bomb –longer than 11 persons shoulder to shoulder, or more than 6 metres from end to end’.”
I ask the reader to excuse me for this complicated military jargon.
As one can see, such calculations arise from the hypothesis that the Iranian combatants, numbering millions of men and women well-known for their religious zeal and their fighting traditions, surrender without firing a shot.
In recent days, the Iranians have seen how US soldiers occupying Afghanistan, in just three weeks, urinated on the corpses of killed Afghans, burned copies of the Koran and murdered more than 15 defenceless citizens.
Let us imagine US forces launching monstrous bombs on industrial institutions, capable of penetrating through 60 metres of concrete. Never has such an undertaking ever been conceived [and carried out].
Not one word more is needed to understand the gravity of such a policy. In that way, our species will be inexorably led towards disaster.
If we do not learn how to understand, we shall never learn how to survive.
As for me, I harbour not the slightest doubt that the United States is about to commit and lead the world towards the greatest mistake in its history.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 21, 2012
The Birth Of Israel
The BBC Film That Made Public
Israel's Secret Illegal Nuclear Weapons
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The Take Over
Even as the 2012 NDAA was rooted in the Patriot Act and the various executive orders and Congressional bills that ensued to broaden executive power in the "war on terror," so the new Executive Order is rooted in the Defense Production Act of 1950 which gave the Government powers to mobilize national resources in the event of national emergencies, except now virtually every aspect of American life falls under ultimate unchallengeable government control, to be exercised by the president and his secretaries at their discretion.
The 2012 NDAA deemed the United States a "battlefield," as Senator Lindsey Graham put it, and gave the president and his agents the right to seize and arrest any U.S. citizen, detain them indefinitely without charge or trial, and do so only on suspicion, without any judicial oversight or due process. The new Executive Order states that the president and his secretaries have the authority to commandeer all U.S. domestic resources, including food and water, as well as seize all energy and transportation infrastructure inside the borders of the United States. The Government can also forcibly draft U.S. citizens into the military and force U.S. citizens to fulfill "labor requirements" for the purposes of "national defense." There is not even any Congressional oversight allowed, only briefings.
In the NDAA, only the president had the authority to abrogate legitimate freedoms of U.S. citizens. What is extraordinary in the new Executive Order is that this supreme power is designated through the president to the secretaries that run the Government itself:
• The Secretary of Defense has power over all water resources;
• The Secretary of Commerce has power over all material services and facilities, including construction materials;
• The Secretary of Transportation has power over all forms of civilian transportation;
• The Secretary of Agriculture has power over food resources and facilities, livestock plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment;
• The Secretary of Health and Human Services has power over all health resources;
• The Secretary of Energy has power over all forms of energy.
The Executive Order even stipulates that in the event of conflict between the secretaries in using these powers, the president will determine the resolution through his national security team.
The 2012 NDAA gave the Government the right to abrogate any due process against a U.S. citizen. The new Executive Order gives the government, through the Secretary of Labor, the right to proactively mobilize U.S. citizens for "labor" as the government deems necessary and to coordinate with the Secretary of Defense to maintain data to coordinate the nation's work needs in relation to national defense.
What is extraordinary about the Executive Order is that, like the NDAA, this can all be done in peacetime without any national emergency to justify it. The language of the Order does not state that all these extraordinary measures will be done in the event of "national security" or a "national emergency." They can simply be done for "purposes of national defense," clearly a broader remit that allows the government to do what it wants, when it wants, how it wants, to whomever it wants, all without any judicial restraint or due process. As Orwell famously said in 1984, "War is peace. Peace is war." This is now the reality on the ground in America.
Finally, the 2012 NDAA was hurried through the House and Senate almost like a covert op with minimal public attention or debate. It was then signed by the president at 9:00 PM on New Year's Eve while virtually nobody was paying attention to much other than the approaching new year. This new Executive Order was written and signed in complete secret and then quietly released by the White House on its website without comment. All this was done under a president who studied constitutional law at Harvard.
It is hard to know what to say in the face of such egregious disregard for the integrity of what America has stood and fought for since its founding. It is hard in part because none of us thought such encroachments would ever happen here, certainly not under the watch of a "progressive" like Obama.
At one level, the prospect for war with Iran is probably an immediate justification. But the comprehensiveness of the Executive Order, like that of the 2012 NDAA, speaks to something much deeper, more sinister. I would suggest that this Order, like the NDAA, has been in the works for some time and is simply the next step in the logic of the "global war on terror." Our political elites have come to consider democracy an impediment to effective governance and they are slowly and painstakingly creating all the democratic legalities necessary to abridge our democratic rights with impunity, all to ensure our "security." Of such measures do republics fall and by such measures tyrants emerge.
The only thing that really remains is the occasion to test the new rules of the game. Perhaps that will be war with Iran, perhaps some contrived emergency, or perhaps, as long as the public and media remain asleep, no occasion will be necessary at all. It will just slowly happen of its own accord and we, like the frog in the pot of slowly boiling water, will just sit there and be consumed by our own turpitude.
About 20 years ago I was arguing a Zionist at the university who literarily told me that Israel can wipe out the whole middle east (which means murdering about 300 million people).It was not the last time I heard such a terrific expression, these same words were said directly and indirectly about Israel capability to return the whole region to the stone age. The Israeli Professor Martin van Crevel said that Israel posses several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at all directions. The problem then goes beyond the talk of an insane man but rather reveals a suicidal thinking in the Zionist Jewish mindset, and this is the most serious problem towards achieving any reasonable compromise in Palestine.
Apparently this thinking does not fall by parachut, but rather by means of systematic education which turning ordinary Jews into potential killers. This culture is fed by the media, by direct and indirect education and socialization, and by the army which is the perfect melting pot academy for manufacturing and practicing the brutal culture.
An Israeli mother who opposes the occupation told that her son was taken with other soldiers to the holocaust museum as a (mental preparation) before attacking Gaza. The point of this step is obvious, to provide soldiers with more hate vitamins to murder innocent Palestinians as if those are who killed Jews under the Nazi times. In other words by means of substitution and projectionism Israel is committing crimes against a nation who want to live free in their home.
No wonder that this type of education is which producing soldiers, who have no respect for human life, and who enjoy beating, humiliating and torturing Palestinians as if this is the right thing to do!
To understand the reasons behind this mentality the Israeli professor Nurit peled Elhanan studied recently the violent phenomenon in the Israeli educational system and published her findings in a research under the title, Palestine in Israeli books, ideology and propaganda in education.
Nurit peled concludes that the Israeli text books encourage the hate culture among Israelis and that in her view which explains the brutality of the Israeli soldiers towards Palestinians. Nurit peled points out precisely to the political aim of this education:
Israel wants a de-Arabization of the whole area,” she said. (The Authorities have been tremendously successful in teaching this and they know that they won’t have good soldiers if they change the textbooks).
My interpretation to the Zionist brutality goes together with Edwards said theory about the west manufacturing the east which fits its imagination. Zionists have too created a fixed imaginable picture for Palestinians to demonise them to make their killing easy for the Jewish conscious.
In other words the Zionist settlers who hardly know Palestinians have created their (own Palestinians) to fit their fantasy and their imagination which does not belong at all to the reality.
But when Palestinians confront them with the fact that hating Jews never exist in the Palestinian Arab culture, brainwashed Israelis could not or perhaps would not believe that. And this is the fact which Palestinians have said all the times, they never hates Jews because they are Jews, but rather because they are occupants.
The Israeli historian Shlomo Sand has confirmed this fact in his lecture few weeks ago in Oslo in which he said that Jews were never looked at negatively in the Arab culture and that the concept of the Jewish ghetto never exists in the Arab and Islamic culture.
However if Sand spoke about the historical truth it is obvious that the ruling right wing class in the state of Israel still think that the peoples of the region can only understand the language of power which has become among the most repeated Zionist saying . But history demonstrates clearly that this sick thinking is the thinking of all aggressors throughout history which led to nothing except wars and miseries to human beings.
Therefore, the Jewish community in Palestine needs to confront themselves with this question, have they come to Palestine to flee the horror which they had in Europe as they said and to live in equality and peacefully with native Palestinians and the region, or have they come to Palestine to be the masters of Palestine and the region? This in my view is the key question of the whole conflict.
Dr. Salim Nazzal, a Palestinian-Norwegian historian on the Middle East, He has written extensively on social and political issues in the region.
Faces of Israel
"Many faces of Israel" is the title chosen by the Zionist propaganda machine to counteract the solid fact that Israel is an apartheid state. The goal obviously is to wash down the ugly Zionist face. For that reason Israel formed a team of hundred propagandists which included two Arab woman apparently cultural collaborators to help in misleading the world that Israel is a democratic state!
But it is not difficult to predict that Israel is going to have a hard job in selling its expired product to the public opinion aware of the ugly nature of the apartheid Zionist state.
They will ask the Zionist propagandists if occupying another nation and depriving them of their right to be free has anything to do with democracy apart from the fact that it is a violation of the human rights as defined by the Un. They will also ask them about the thousands of Palestinian in Israeli jails because they demand the freedom for their nation.
Zionists will be asked if constructing roads on Palestinian land to oversees Jewish settlers while denying the natives of using it has to do with humanity let apart democracy.
They will ask them if stealing the water resources of native Palestinians and cutting their olive tree which is their source of living has anything to do with civility or humanity. They will also ask them if besieging the one and half million Palestinians in Gaza, depriving them from medicine, food and electricity, and bombing them continuously has to do with democracy, humanity or ethics.
Zionists will be asked if the daily campaigns of terror in the west bank has anything to do with human rights or morals. And surely will ask them whether arresting and beating and humiliating Palestinians in front of their children have anything to do with morality.
They will ask Zionists if there is any place on this earth in the size of the west bank which has 600 check points designed to humiliate Palestinians in order to destroy the Palestinian morale and dignity and resistance.
They will ask Zionists if treating Palestinian in the Zionist state as a second or third citizen has to do with democracy, equality or human rights.
They will ask them about all those Palestinian murdered by Zionist Jews who declared themselves the gods of the region and the only holders of truth on earth!
They will ask them about the mass destruction arms which the Zionist state has gathered through years and which countries on their list for bombing in the year 2012 or the 2018 or the year 2020?
And if Zionists exploit as usual the holocaust to justify their terror they will be surely told that the mentality which produced it is the same mentality which causes the Palestinian suffering. They will be reminded that oppressors share the same mindset regardless of faith, ethnicity, color or location.
All these questions will be asked and the trained Zionists propagandist will surely have big problem to answer. They will try to conceal the truth as usual but luckily they won’t convince anybody except the few brainwashed.
The remaining question is, what are, the many faces which Israel will introduce? Is it the face of the land grab, or the daily arrest, or the daily humiliation or the daily terror or the bombing? The answer to this question is related to the title which indicates that all these faces are only sides of the inhuman apartheid state of Israel which the Palestinian victims know it very well.
Dr. Salim Nazzal, a Palestinian-Norwegian historian on the Middle East, He has written extensively on social and political issues in the region.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
On Women’s Rights: Yeah, Yeah, Blah, Blah, Blah. Whatever.
Last week, I was having a conversation with friend, when she made mention of a mutual friend, who has been generally very supportive of my writing about women. She shared with me that he saw my writing and advocacy on behalf of women as an “overreaction,” that I was overly emotional about it and that my views on what women really face in our culture is overblown.
As much as I may be frustrated by my friend’s opinion and angered that he is so dismissive of what women face, as a man, I don’t deal with the same kind of dismissal that women are subject to.
In their case it’s personal.
Women who attempt to address or discuss concerns they have with the men who claim to love them too often get a wave of the hand, and hear “Yeah yeah, women’s rights, it’s important, I know, whatever.”
The men who dismiss these women treat their desire for equality as if it were a hobby or a pet project. But in these moments, men are fundamentally dismissing the women they are speaking with.
While I wish my friend had the chutzpah to actually tell me his opinions himself, I understand, but don’t accept why he thinks my work is an overreaction.
For men to really understand the obstacles women face on an everyday basis, they are going to have to come out of their comfort zone in order to break the seemingly equitable surface between the genders.
I’ve written about men and their understanding of what it’s really like to be a woman in our culture before, in a piece entitled “Men Will Never Truly Understand A Day In the Life Of Women. But Shouldn’t We Try?” In the piece, I write about how men will never truly understand what it’s like to be a woman moving about in her day, but that we must make an effort to learn what it’s like in order to better understand what they face, in order to properly combat gender discrimination.
But, I have never really examined why it is that men don’t dig deeper into the gender inequality question.
Why is the discussion about gender inequality such an inconvenient and annoying bore to men, especially socially progressive men who would otherwise advocate on behalf of any other oppressed group or population?
What really frustrates me is my male friends’ willingness to stand up for women only if the situation involves rape or domestic violence–and even then, their support is at best tepid and never pro-active.
I am not discounting the efforts of men who do advocate for women who are facing, or have faced, sexual and physical abuse, but if we think that we’ve done our part to balance the gender scales and can go home after fighting for women on these critical matters, we’re fooling ourselves.
The same progressive male friends who accuse me of overreacting when it comes to advocating for women’s rights or who say things like (in jest…but not really in jest), “Oh god, here we go again” when I try to address an issue related to gender inequality, would not dare accuse me of overreaction if I were writing and talking about issues related to race or sexual orientation.
Because as much as we live in a racist, homophobic culture, gender inequity is a great equalizer in a way–the hatred for women is universal and knows no race, sexual orientation…or sometimes gender.
Some men seem to believe that gender issues are no longer relevant because most of us are looking at the man/woman balance in terms of statistics, anecdotes, and governmental change.
If we look only at statistics, there is lots of evidence that things are better for women (and lots of evidence that we’re still in the gutter), especially since the women’s movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. For example, the numbers show that in the United States, more women attend college than men. To be exact: 57 percent of women vs. 43 percent of men.
A recent TIME Magazine cover story outlined that over the past twenty years, the percentage of women who make more than their husbands has risen by 14 percent. This article also pointed out that since 1965, men have tripled their weekly domestic contributions. These are all positive numbers, despite both just being a start, but I fear cover stories such as this one will lead to a relaxation about the perception of gender imbalance.
So while we may have made a great deal of progress in those departments and many others, it doesn’t change the fact that women still face a massive amount of discrimination. Despite the recent and very public war on women in America, gender discrimination has been moving deeper and deeper underground, no longer as publicly visible as it was in the past. However, the intensity of that discrimination has not changed at all, it’s just become covert rather than overt.
We may look at the people near us as validation and proof that women no longer face any burdens beyond the big issues, but that’s all circumstantial. A man can point to his wife or sister and note that she is a company executive as proof that women face no glass ceiling in the corporate world. He can point to the fact that at work, he reports to a woman, or in his particular position, there happens to be a female colleague who is paid more than him. And some men will say, “Well my wife (or girlfriend) tells me what to do, she controls everything”
As if that anecdote, if actually true, speaks to the fact that gender discrimination doesn’t really exist.
Finally, and this is the biggest way in which men misjudge gender imbalance: we look at the issue of gender discrimination in terms of governmental change as a justification for pushing women’s issues into the fog. We can point to many laws that balance the gender scales: from equal pay laws to pregnancy discrimination laws. Over the past 30 years, a great deal of progress has indeed been made in the US and other countries. Besides the obvious, these laws are only useful when discrimination is reported and the laws are enforced.
We can’t legislate to protect a woman against many of the nearly invisible issues they face today and have no means of reporting.
We can’t make a law to protect women against horrible emotional abuse, we can’t make a law that requires parents to instill their daughters with a health body image, we can’t force a legislature to pass a law that demands husbands to support their wives during menopause.
While it’s important to look at the gender imbalance issue through these lenses, the most important and most often forgotten way is to see this issue through empathy. Empathy is about understanding, about being aware, about making attempts to feel what another person feels.
Men can selectively use the statistics, the laws, and stories around us to explain away the gender imbalance and deny the subtlety of sexism as a serious issue. But when we work to understand, to empathize, to learn what women face, to ask them how it feels to be a woman…we will soon learn the secret world in which they live in.
It’s not that men are less empathetic than women. It’s just that we are conditioned not to feel comfortable showing empathy. Being empathetic, taking the energy to emerge from our perfectly comfortable reality is an exercise in exhaustion. Obviously heeding the plight of women requires effort and expending of energy. Perhaps it’s just too much work for us.
Our looking at gender issues through governmental, statistical, or anecdotal lenses is just about logistics. So often discrimination, of any form, does not get borne through these means. Rather it’s about what is felt by the individual being discriminated against. And often with gender discrimination, women simply don’t share their feelings of frustration because their claims have been dismissed, “You’re just overreacting. You’re paranoid.”
One shouldn’t equate the empathy I speak of as related to pity or feeling sorry for women. Men aren’t here to save women from themselves, empathy is something that women practice with men everyday…all I’m saying is, it’s time for men to work to provide the same kind of empathy to women that they provide to us.
The question is, do we, as men, have to care about women enough to notice what they are facing, or do we first have to notice what they are dealing with in order to care about their burdens?
It’s hard to say which scenario comes first.
I am reminded of a seminal moment that sparked my own awareness of gender imbalances. I was 21 and out with two women friends at an electronics store. As I explored the DVD section, they were seeking to have their questions answered by a male salesperson. After two minutes, they found me and explained their frustration and demanded to leave.
When I asked my friends why they were frustrated, both of them explained that the salesman (this was a store that didn’t pay commissions to salespeople) was unhelpful, giving only short and clipped responses to their questions.
My friend Mychelle told me, “It’s a woman thing.”
I remarked that I was confused by what she meant.
“He doesn’t want to deal with two women, he hates women.”
To prove their point, they asked me to go up to the man and ask him the same questions they asked him. I did exactly as they suggested and found the man to be helpful and knowledgeable. He could have, seemingly, spent all day with me.
After that moment, I have been witness to many other similar subtle moments of discrimination, only because I was looking at the issue of discrimination through a new lens.
In the case of the salesman, he didn’t say to my friends “I don’t want to help you because you’re women.”
He just detached himself, he filtered their normal and pertinent questions through his conditioning and arrived at a point where he saw them as inconvenient, annoying women who knew nothing. But to him, I was a guy who wanted to learn more and make an informed decision.
These were moments that didn’t hit me over the head like rape or domestic violence, but they were the discriminatory equivalent of a paper cut: annoying, painful, and persistent.
Our underlying fear and hatred of female equality lives, so often, in private. This space of privacy is largely occupied by women and the only way we are going to solve this problem is if we crack the door open and attempt to join them.
So in my case, through the help of my friends, I noticed, and began to care…much more deeply. But then again, I cared enough about my two friends and for women in general, to not tell them that they are overreacting. I cared enough to explore their circumstance with them.
As much as some people want to portray the fight for gender equity/feminism as a niche issue, it’s not. Women and gender inequality refer to a reality in which half the world’s population faces a tremendous burden put upon them at birth.
And for those men who doubt the realities for women that I write about, I guess the question is, do you not believe your mother, your girlfriend, your sister, your wife, your women friends? If not, then you’ve got bigger problems.
I see one central problem as connected with the men who are fundamentally good, but who pretend as if there is no major gender imbalance. These men, like my friend, when asked if women deserve equality, resoundingly respond “yes.” But when they are put in a position to support the women in their lives or when they are put in a place where they can directly react to discrimination, they lack any sort of action or assertion, or worst yet, they only offer dismissal.
These men may see this dismissal as a matter of opinion–almost as if a political issue is being discussed. But in reality, in that moment, they are committing wholesale dismissal of these women. They are failing to show empathy for the unique experience of all women and for the women in their lives, in particular. They are deciding what is valid based on the lens that feels most comfortable to them: one of male comfort and privilege.
But things won’t be too comfortable for long, because as long as we leave half our population behind, things will continue to become more and more uncomfortable for all of us. We don’t need to do anything but turn on the TV to notice that over the past two months, Rome is burning, and that the position many men hold on gender equality is receding, rather than advancing.
So, until the day comes when things change on the gender equality front, it’s our responsibility, as men and human beings to care, and to care enough to ask. And wait and learn from the answer. And god forbid, try to understand what it’s like for the women we claim to love.
And that, my friend, is not an overreaction.
It’s just the right thing to do.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Have Been Common For Centuries
Detail from The Sand Creek massacre, painted on elk hide by
Northern Arapaho artist Eugene Ridgely
Most U.S. massacres are totally censored by the U.S. and its Big Media. Some come to light many decades later, as in the case of No Gun Rhi in which the U.S. gunned down unknown numbers of South Koreans. Lt, Calley and his company in South Vietnam massacred somewhere near 500 women and children in the My Lai Massacre. Much to his horror, it got into the Media around the world, so the U.S. carried out a Sweet Heart Show Trial. Only Calley was convicted and sentenced to many years up to life, but he only served about three years in comfy house arrest.
American troops know they can massacre innocent civilians and captured POW's with impunity, as long as they don't get into the headlines of the world and make the Empire look like a Great Satan. Almost all the Iraqi massacres that did get into the headlines led to Sweet Heart Show Trials. The DOD talks tough and shouts naughty! But, as soon as the headlines go away, the mass murderers go free with sweetheart taps on the wrist or the rump.
There have been masses of massacres in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most of them are done by the Special Ops Cowards at night when they attack single homes and small villages and murder women and children. Many are done by using the Murder Joy Sticks of the drones in the air-conditioned GHQ's where they fire these Hell Fire Missiles with the Joy button as they eat pop corn and slurp beer. It's an All American Pasttime for the Special Ops and CIA and BO who obviously get a real kick out of these "fun murders" and "massacres."
The Media got hold of the latest Special Ops Massacre in Kandahar sometime yesterday. This broke the total shut down of Afghanistan reporting in the U.S. I think foreign Media probably put out the news first and forced the U.S. Official Media Corps. to follow up or lose all credibility. So far this seems to be a small, SOP Special Ops Massacre. As usual, they killed almost entirely women and children and old men when the young men were away and unable to fight back. The Black Ops of the Special Ops are especially cowardly. The U.S. says only one U.S. murderer did it, systematically shooting all the women and children in their sleep. Afghans near by say more troops were involved in this systematic, intentional massacre. That would be SOP for the Seals, etc.
By the way, the U.S. air attacks in Yemen yesterday killed nearly two dozen civilians, probably mostly women and children, as usual. They almost certainly used the standard Hell Fire Missiles which are SOP for The Great Satan.
When these guys get back to Miramar or North Island they will be greeted as Heroes, as usual. I see it all the time in the local Media of San Diego, the biggest military base in the world. They never took the slightest risk or even got dusty in their air-conditioned F-18 cockpits pushing that Joy button to massacre the women and children below, then flying back to base for some pop-corn and beer. The Good Life American style these days.
Most Americans will hardly notice the few minute blips on tv-news about this poor "psycho" who has suffered such immense stress in killing Iraqis and now Afghans who are unarmed and mostly tiny children in their sleep. BO will shed a few Media tears for show. Many Americans will dance with glee inside their smiling faces. They really love massacres like this and greet the returning "Heroes" with real joy. This "psycho" might get a Show sentence, but he'll fly free and live happily ever after as another American "Hero."
Western cultures became the great centers of Creative Carnage in the ancient world and have taken the lead in developing ever more horrific, terrorizing weapons over all these eons. The U.S. emerged at the end of WWII on top of all these Cultures of Carnage as the Great Victor because it was the most creatively gory of them all. This did not happen by accident. Americans are in love with terrorism and mass murder. It fills them with joy and their Entertainment Media are vast oceans of gore, including these days heroic vampires who love the taste of blood from their victims.
Victor Davis Hanson, an American military historian, has celebrated the fundamental ways in which Western and especially American culture have been focused on Carnage and Culture in his book by that name. He routinely celebrates the vast carnage of American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever. You can read some of the gory details in works such as that, but, of course, they are not going to reveal the most ghastly details of America's love affair with Carnage. You can see that in all the movies and pictures of all the burned out cities of Germany and Japan in WWII and in lesser ways in all of America's vast celebrations of Carnage.
Obviously, not all of us American are in love with vast Carnage. If I were, I would write Lies about it all like the official text book historians, not essays like this. We are the minority who have not been mass