Sunday, November 29, 2015

"November 29: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" -- by Zeina Azzam

In my opinion, the UN's initial failure to protect Palestine set the pattern for its actions ever since -- Linda
On November 29, 1947, after Great Britain--the mandatory power in Palestine--had asked the United Nations to meet in a special session to discuss the "problem of Palestine," the General Assembly passed Resolution 181 (II) to end the British mandate by August 1, 1948. The centerpiece of this historic resolution, however, was to partition Palestine and call for the establishment, after a transition period, of "Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem."
This United Nations decision unleashed a catastrophe whose reverberations Palestinians continue to experience until today. Three-quarters of a million Palestinian Arabs--who were the majority of the population of historic Palestine--fled for their lives after experiencing or learning of massacres by Zionist paramilitary organizations, or were expelled from their homes during the ensuing Arab-Israeli war of 1948. By the 1949 armistice, the original partition lines had shifted violently so that Israel's footprint became much larger than envisioned by theproposed partition plan--it was accorded 55 percent by the plan, but seized an additional 23 percent of Palestinian territory. At present, the drastically reduced Palestinian land continues to be occupied by the Israeli military and Jerusalem is occupied and divided with Israel controlling and limiting access to religious sites. Palestinians originally displaced during the Nakba (the Arabic word for Catastrophe--what the Palestinians call the 1948 war when they lost their homeland) are still prevented from exercising the right to return to their homes in what is now Israel. And contrary to the resolution (and to the Fourth Geneva Convention) Israel has expropriated additional vast tracts of Palestinian territory for its own use and especially for the building and transfer of its own Israeli citizens to illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
Thirty years after the UN partition plan, the General Assembly passed a new resolution proclaiming an annual observation, on November 29th, to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The particular date, the UN notes, "was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people... Of the two States to be created under this resolution, only one, Israel, has so far come into being."
UN Resolutions 32/40 (1977), 34/65 (1979), and subsequent General Assembly mandates enshrine the annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Observances at UN offices in New York, Geneva, and Vienna include special bulletins, cultural events, and meetings that feature high level speakers, such as the UN Secretary-General and the Presidents of the General Assembly and Security Council, as well as messages from the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. The United Nations describes the day as providing 
"an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine remained unresolved and that the Palestinian people are yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly, namely, the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced."
The fact is that this historic dislocation has resulted in a massive diaspora for the Palestinian people living in the Palestinian territories, Israel, Arab countries, and beyond. The total population of Palestinians numbered about 11.8 million as of the end of 2013, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. This figure comprises 4.5 million in Palestine, 1.4 million in Israel, 5.2 million in Arab countries, and approximately 665,000 in other countries throughout the world.
In November of 2012, exactly 65 years after the UN's partition plan, the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to grant Palestine non-member observer state status at the United Nations. The report of the Secretary-General, one of the documents used to consider this vote, ended with the following words: 
"As Secretary-General, I will continue to ensure that the United Nations works towards the establishment of an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace with a secure Israel in the framework of a comprehensive regional settlement consistent with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1860 (2009), and in accordance with the Quartet road map, the Arab Peace Initiative and the principle of land for peace."
Despite numerous declarations and resolutions by the United Nationsconcerning Israel and Palestine, the status of the Palestinian people remains unresolved, precarious, and unjust. They have not attained their rights to "self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced." In fact, about half of the world's Palestinian population continues to live as refugees and in exile. Those who are citizens of Israel are treated as second class citizens, while those in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem live under various levels of repressive military occupation and witness, daily, the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. 
Although UN member states have tried since the late forties to propose and gain support for resolutions that push for Palestinian human and national rights, their efforts have largely been derailed, particularly in the form of vetoes by powerful members such as the United States. At the same time, it is also important to remember that many UN agencies, especially UNRWA (the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees), have played a crucial role in providing assistance to the refugees since 1950; UNRWA continues to serve as a lifeline to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People honors all those who have struggled for Palestinian independence and all the Palestinians who have lived and died in wars, under occupation, as refugees, and in exile.
Zeina Azzam is executive director of The Jerusalem Fund and its educational program, the Palestine Center. The views expressed are her own.

Friday, November 27, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter Repurposes Seattle's Black Friday

Really glad to see #FreeLeonardPeltier represented here.
And Free All Political Prisoners.  #FreeAlbertWoodfox!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Eric Burdon - "Mother Earth"

When it all is up,
You’ve got to go back to Mother Earth

Day of Mourning Statement from Leonard Peltier, 40 Years A Political Prisoner of the USA. Shame on America!

Original at:

November 26, 2015 - Day of Mourning
Brothers and Sisters,
It makes my heart happy to know so many of you are keeping this Day of Mourning event going.
I hear there is going to be a National Geographic movie this month called "Saints and Strangers" about the REAL Thanksgiving. I want you to know that I believe… I KNOW this has only come about from your continued protest and determination to expose what really happened. But, damn, huh has it ever taken so long! :( Let’s hope this film DOES tell the truth. I, for one, thank you very much, as this is what it was and is all about—getting the real history told about the genocide that was committed against us as a race of people and against our Nations. If we don't do this, then it can and will happen again until we have all been exterminated.
I'm so proud of you young People out there too, all over the country, standing up for our Nations and taking over because some of us can no longer get out there to stand by your sides—or to stand there with you and shake your hands.
February 6, 2016, will make it 40 straight years in here. Under the laws I was indicted with, a life term was seven years. I have served over six life sentences! As you know, I was sentenced to only two. To Native Peoples this is also not surprising. In fact, this is something that happens on a regular basis throughout Indian Country. And, as always, this is not acceptable to us. So we protest, and we protest some more.
Over the last four decades, I have been supported by people of all backgrounds, races, and religions. As we approach the one-year mark on President Obama’s remaining time in office, it is crucial for my survival that everyone who has ever supported my release to please contact my official Committee that works on my behalf, and coordinate and organize with them.
In 2008, when asked about my case, then Senator Obama supposedly said, “Show me the support." If all of you dedicate some of your time in 2016 to support my bid for clemency, I believe this President has the courage to do the right thing and let me go home.
Remember, too, that we have brothers and sisters who are themselves wrongfully incarcerated, and I ask that we all coordinate to put an end to these injustices.
I wish I could lie to you and tell you I'm doing O.K., but that would not be fair to you. Today, I have another call out to the prison clinic. I guess some of the results must have come back from my last blood work. I know I'm not feeling very well. It seems as if there are so many things wrong with me… I don't know what to do or say to you, or even where to start. Hell, I cannot even sit for any length of time. When I get up my plexis area hurts so bad, I cannot walk but very slowly and while hanging on to someone for support. But after a few steps I'm O.K. So I move right along with the crowd. :) But those first few steps are awfully painful. I asked for a cushion, but was told they don't have any here—and to make one myself from a blanket. Well, news flash. I did this and every time I did they took it away. Yep, for some reason this is illegal. Then I have to deal with the other medical problems. So, yeah, this is my Sundance. But you know what? You’re all worth it and I would not hesitate to suffer for any of you again and again.
Well, I better end this before you get bored with me. :) So, again, thank you—all of you—for being decent loving human beings.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse…
Leonard Peltier

Leonard counts on supporters like you!
Mail donations to ILPDC, PO Box 24, Hillsboro, OR 97123

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Unbreakable Spirit of Gilmore Homes -- Thanks to @therealnews


Sly & the FAMILY Stone -- 1968 - "Everyday People - Dance To The Music" -- From My Family to Yours


Saturday, November 21, 2015

"Merchants of Menace: How US Arms Sales are Fueling Middle East Wars" (from Counterpunch) by William Hartung

Link to original:
The recent surge in U.S. arms transfers to the Middle East is part of an unprecedented boom in major U.S. arms sales that has been presided over by the Obama administration.
The majority of the Obama administration’s major arms sales have gone to the Middle East and Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia topping the list with over $49 billion in new agreements. This is particularly troubling given the complex array of conflicts raging throughout the region, and given the Saudi regime’s use of U.S.-supplied weaponry in its military intervention in Yemen.
The Obama administration has made arms sales a central tool of its foreign policy, in part as a way of exerting military influence without having to put “boots on the ground” in large numbers, as the Bush administration did in Iraq—with disastrous consequences.
The Obama administration’s push for more Mideast arms sales has been a bonanza for U.S. weapons contractors, who have made increased exports a primary goal as Pentagon spending levels off.  Not only do foreign sales boost company profits, but they also help keep open production lines that would otherwise have to close due to declining orders from the Pentagon.
For example, earlier this year it was reported that Boeing had concluded a deal to sell 40 F-18s to Kuwait, which will extend the life of the program for another year or more beyond its current projected end date of early 2017. Similarly, the General Dynamics M-1 tank has been surviving on a combination of Congressional add-ons and a deal for tanks and tank upgrades for Saudi Arabia.
But it’s not just about money. U.S.-supplied arms are fueling conflict in the region. The most troubling recent sales is a deal in the works that would supply $1 billion or more in bombs and missiles for the Saudi Air Force, again for use in the Yemen war.
The use of U.S.-supplied helicopters, combat aircraft, bombs, and missiles in Yemen has contributed to the humanitarian catastrophe there. A recent attack on a wedding party that killed more than 130 people is just the latest example of the indiscriminate bombing that has resulted in the majority of the more than 2,300 civilian deaths caused by the war.  [I didn't realize the number of people Saudi  killed in Yemen was almost identical to the number IS killed in Paris.  Linda]  
The bombing has been coupled with a naval blockade that has led to a situation in which four out of five people in Yemen are now in need of humanitarian aid.  An estimated 12.9 million people in Yemen are considered food insecure, and more than 1.2 million children are suffering from moderate to acute malnutrition and half a million are severely malnourished, according to the United Nations World Food Programme. There is a risk of mass starvation if the conflict is allowed to proceed on its current course.
Evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International indicates that this includes the use of U.S.-supplied cluster bombs in Yemen.
Cluster bombs are indiscriminate weapons that are the subject of an international treaty banning their use—a treaty that unfortunately has not been signed up to by either the United States or Saudi Arabia.
Things have gotten so out of hand that it is quite possible that U.S.-supplied arms have made their way into the hands of all parties to the conflict in Yemen.  As indicated above, U.S. arms are being used by Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti ground and air forces that are intervening in Yemen, and some weapons may haaudive been lost to either the Houthis or al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Yemeni military has split down the middle, with forces loyal to former Yemeni president Saleh making common cause with the Houthis while others have taken the side of the Saudis and former President Hadi.  Both factions have been on the receiving end of U.S. arms transfers and military training in recent years.  Statistics gathered by the Security Assistance Monitor indicate that Yemeni forces received or have been offered over $900 million in U.S. military and police aid since 2009.
Concern about the U.S. role in facilitating the Saudi bombing campaign is growing. Oxfam America has called on the United States to “withdraw its support to the [Saudi-led] coalition including the transfer of arms to belligerent parties, publicly demand the free flow of commercial goods into all ports, and rally support at the United Nations Security Council for an immediate, unconditional cease-fire and inclusive political process to bring an end to the war.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has raised questions as to what U.S. responsibility may be for Saudi actions, and whether the bombings violate the U.S law that bears his name. The Leahy Law “prohibits the United States from providing assistance to any foreign military or police unit if there is credible information that such unit has committed grave human rights violations with impunity.”
And a letter to President Obama organized by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Ted Lieu (D-CA) urged the president to make “greater efforts to avoid civilian casualties in Yemen and achieve a diplomatic solution to the conflict.”
The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led intervention in Yemen needs to stop.  Stopping U.S. military support for the Saudi effort is a good place to start.
William D. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and a senior adviser to the Security Assistance Monitor and a columnist for the Americas Program.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Clemency for Leonard Peltier -- These People Are Asking Pres. Obama. Will You?

Paris Attacks and Climate Change Push Us to Fix a World of Broken Systems -- Nafeez Ahmed [EXCELLENT!]



State sponsors

Earlier this year, the Turkish daily Today’s Zamanreported that the Turkish government “has been accused of supporting the terrorist organization by turning a blind eye to its militants crossing the border and even buying its oil.”
A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”
In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in September 2014, Gen. Martin Dempsey, then chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham whether he knew of “any major Arab ally that embraces ISIL.” Gen. Dempsey replied: “I know major Arab allies who fund them.”
In other words, the most senior U.S. military official at the time had confirmed that ISIS was being funded by the very same “major Arab allies” that had just joined the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition—these include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Kuwait, which for the last four years have funneled billions of dollars to largely extremist rebels in Syria, with Western support.
Which begs the question as to why Western leaders determined to “destroy” ISIS are avoiding the most significant factor of all: the material infrastructure of ISIS’ emergence in the context of ongoing Gulf and Turkish state support for Islamist militancy in the region.
There are many explanations, but one perhaps stands out: oil.
“Most of the foreign belligerents in the war in Syria are gas-exporting countries with interests in one of the two competing pipeline projects that seek to cross Syrian territory to deliver either Qatari or Iranian gas to Europe,” wrote professor Mitchell Orenstein of Harvard University in Foreign Affairs, the journal of Washington, D.C.’s, Council on Foreign Relations.
In 2009, Qatar had proposed a pipeline to send its gas northwest via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria to Turkey. According to Orenstein, Assad “refused to sign the plan” under pressure from “Russia, which did not want to see its position in European gas markets undermined."
Instead, Russia put its weight behind “an alternative Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline that would pump Iranian gas from the same field out via Syrian ports.”
Then in 2011, the Arab Spring protests erupted. By July, Assad signed a preliminary agreement for a $10 billion Russia-backed Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline agreement.
Later that year, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Israel ramped up covert assistance to rebel factions in Syria to elicit the collapse of Assad’s regime from within.
“The United States … supports the Qatari pipeline as a way to balance Iran and diversify Europe’s gas supplies away from Russia,” explained Orenstein in Foreign Affairs.


Assad’s repression of his own people was exploited by foreign powers to fan the flames of this proxy war for black gold. But the popular discontent was amplified by deeper systemic factors.
In Syria, climate-induced droughts over the preceding decade had ravaged agriculture, forcing more than a million poor Sunni farmers to seek employment in the Alawite-dominated coastal cities.
Globally, climate-induced extreme weather had triggered a string of crop failures in major food basket regions, driving global food prices up. The price spikes made staple foods like bread too expensive for the poor majority in many Arab countries, Syria among them.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

"Max Blumenthal: Palestine's Rebellion, Israel's Fascism" -- Abby Martin & The Empire Files



"Outrage at Paris Attacks Masks our Racism" -- Jonathan Cook

Original article at

[The Australian Article Jonathan refers to is linked at the bottom of this article.]

An article in the Australian publication New Matilda gets to the real point about last night’s attacks in Paris – one that no one wants to talk about. What westerners feel right now is a powerful and very selective outrage that identifies with the suffering of people “like us”. We mourn the deaths in Paris while not even noticing those killed in Lebanon a day earlier and almost certainly by the same fanatics that launched the attacks in France.
Lots of westerners like to dismiss such observations as “whataboutery”. It is natural, they say, to care more about people we know and who are similar to us. That knee-jerk reaction may be comforting, but it is precisely the problem.

After all, what drives our selective outrage if not selective compassion? But our selective compassion is what got us into this mess in the first place. As Europeans we have always viewed ourselves as fully human, but seen those in the Middle East and much of the rest of the world as slightly less than human, and not quite as deserving of our sympathy. It is such feelings that allowed Europe to colonise, abuse and exploit brown people.

The historic racism that we Europeans are all too ready now to acknowledge, and that we understand fed western colonialism, is not a thing of the past. It still thrives deep in our souls. Where once we felt the white man’s burden, we now feel his outrage. Both depend on the same arrogance, and the same ascription of lesser human qualities to those we see as different from us.

We are still trying to civilise brown people. We still think we have the right to change them, bend them to our will, improve them by force. We still want to lecture them, condemn them, threaten them, overturn their elections, arm their oppressive leaders, plunder their resources.

And after we have destroyed their societies, we expect to be able to shut our borders to them as they make desperate journeys to find some peace, some safety away from the war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere we either created directly or supported with our money and arms.

Our racism has not changed. It is alive and creating new justifications for our selective compassion every day.

What has changed is that technological advances have made weapons of death and destruction ever easier and cheaper to acquire. Those we once oppressed with impunity and far from our homes, out of sight, can now find us and give us a taste of our own medicine.

If we want to stop the attacks, and avoid turning our own societies into the oppressive dictatorships we have supported across much of the rest of the globe, then we need to stop interfering, pillaging, manipulating and abusing. And we have to start by refusing to allow ourselves to identify more with the victims in Paris than those in Beirut. If we were really as civilised as we believe, we would understand that both are equally deserving of our compassion.

Some Observations about the Carnage in Paris -- As'ad AbuKhalil at Angry Arab News Service


1) ISIS has gone on the offensive: in ten days, they downed a Russian civilian airliner, massacred Hazara Shi`ites in Afghanistan, bombed the southern suburbs of Beirut and now Paris.
2) Western governments: US and France in particular along with their Saudi,Qatari, and Turkish allies are directly responsible for the rise and expansion of ISIS through their policies in Syria which cuddled and nurtured ISIS and its sister terrorist organizations.
3) there is no way on earth to stem the menace of ISIS and Al-Qa`idah like organizations without going to the source, in Saudi Arabia which is the official headquarters of the Ibn Taymiyyah's terrorist interpretation of Islam.
4) Ibn Taymiyyah is the one thinker/theologian who has inspired and guided the deeds and thoughts of terrorists striking in the name of Islam.
5) Western governments AND media have been rather cynically silent about victims of ISIS terrorism if the civilian victims happen to be categorized as "enemies".  Western governments AND media (look at the dispatches from Times and Post over the last 4 years about Syria) have consistently ignored and even cheered sectarian massacres of Syrian and Lebanese civilians if seems as being perpetrated by foes of the Syrian regime. 
6) Just as ISIS and Al-Qa`idah brought terrorism to the heart of the West, Western governments have also been exporting death and destruction to the Middle East and North Africa: from Mali to Libya to Egypt to Sudan to Somalia to Syria to Iraq to Pakistan to Afghanistan.  Terrorism has been inflicted on people in those countries by the terrorism of ISIS and Al-Qa`idah and by the bombs and rockets and drones of Western governments.
7) All Arabs today have noticed something that can't be ignored: how ISIS and Al-Qa`idah terrorists travel the world to inflict their terrorism by yet spare Israel and its interests.  The relationship between the Israeli Zionist occupation entity and Nusrah Front--the official branch of Al-Qa`idah in Syria--is not a secret anymore.
8) ISIS can't be defeated from the air as long as Western governments and their Gulf and Turkish allies assist it on the ground, directly or indirectly.
9) Just as Western powers created and nurtured the precursor of Al-Qa`idah in Afghanistan in order to defeat the communist regime there, those same powers have created and nurtured a cocktail of the worst Middle East terrorists ever in Syria in the hope that they would bring down the Syrian regime.
10) the story of ISIS terrorism began with not only the invasion of Iraq and its repercussions in 2003 but also with the creation of a vast save haven for Islamist terrorism in Libya.  Libya was the biggest gift to Jihadi terrorism since the fall of the Taliban.
11) US and France have been creating the culture of terrorism in the region (along with GCC regimes) but creating a reckless and terrorist haven in Syria in the name of fighting for "democracy and secularism"--in the stupid language of John Kerry--by making dubious distinctions between various terrorists in Syria through making allies with Nusrah Front there and its affiliates. 
12) The myth of moderate Syrian rebels in Syria has to be discarded.  The remnants of Free Syrian Army units are basically ISIS in the waiting. 
13) Western correspondents in Beirut who are in charge of covering the Syrian savage war are all guilty (with the exception of Patrick Cockburn) for misinforming their leaders and misguiding them.  They have been ignoring AND JUSTIFYING the scores of car bombs and war crimes by Syrian rebels in Syria and Lebanon because those crimes fit into their struggle against the Syrian regime.
14) Western human right organizations are also guilty for creating a culture of bogus human rights rhetoric which belittled and even justified the war crimes of Syrian rebels (see the latest human rights report by HRW on placing Alawite women in cages).
15) French policy under the socialist government has even elevated the relationship with the Saudi and Qatari regimes--the two governments which more than anyone have sponsored and armed and financed the cocktail of the most dangerous terrorists in Syria.
16) It is high time that Western governments give up on their policies and wars in Syria not to preserve the Syrian regime (as Iran and Russia would like) but to exclude from the future of Syria both sides of war criminals there. 
17) I don't like Bashshar Al-Asad one bit and I wanted the overthrow of that regime since 1976 when its army invaded Lebanon and smashed my dreams of a progressive leftist revolution in Lebanon, but who can now disagree with the warnings given by him three years ago that those terrorists that they are helping will one day strike in the heart of Europe? Syrian regime supporters are today all over reproducing those remarks and reairing them.
18) The Saudi and Qatari regime media (Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiyya in particular but others as well) have created a culture of terrorism in which crimes against civilians who happen to be Shi`ites or Alawites or Christians or Sunnis who reside in "regime dominated areas of Syria" are justified on a daily basis.  Just yesterday, after the bombs of the southern suburbs both Saudi and Qatari regime media provided ample justifications and rationalization for the crimes and lionized the terrorists who perpetrated them.  This culture of terrorism is responsible climate in which crimes of Paris take place. 
19) Western governments can't have it both ways: they can't continue to support gulf regimes and arming them while claiming to want to fight terrroism.
20) US and Western governments and media are responsible for the selective denunciations and condemnations culture: they are silent about the daily crimes against the Palestinian civilian population by key West ally, the terrorist state of Israel.
21) Arabs/Muslims and Westerners can't get to reach a common understanding against all manners of terrorism as long as Western governments and Arab regimes continue to be selective in condemnation of terrorism.
22) Western support for dictatorships in the Arab world are responsible in many ways for the creation of ISIS and those terrorist groups.
23) terrorist groups in the Middle East have been used and misused by local regimes and Western powers and Israel for many decades.
24) Yes, the Iraq invasion of 2003 has proven to be exactly what Jacque Chirac has warned it would be: a dangerous pandora's box.
25) Obama has really not deviated from the dangerous policies of Bush and his expansion of wars in the Middle East fueled the rise of ISIS.
26) The Islam of Arab regimes is a dangerous and conservative Islam.  It can't be changed by the military commanders of Western powers but it can be changed by the people of the region if they are allowed to choose and think freely: but neither the West nor the Arab regimes want the Arabs to think freely. Al-Azhar University has become through bribes a tool for the Saudi Wahhabi regime.
27) It is not sectarian to declare Saudi Wahhabi doctrine as the official doctrine of Jihadi terrorism.  Wahhabiyyah is not a sect: it is a school of fanatical terrorist thought and practice.
28)  How does Western powers fight ISIS? They foolishly rely on a royal buffoon in Jordan and on the UAE regime to engage in promoting a kinder Islam in social media. The fools in DC who think that those potentates have any standing among the young Muslims need to have their heads examined.
29) Western powers and media are all hypocrites: they still cheer or cover up the war crimes of ISIS and Nusrah in Syria if the affected victims happen to reside in Syrian regime controlled areas.
30) there should be a categorical end to external support of ALL Syrian rebels and to the Syrian regime by all sides.
31) there is more but I have to run.
32) Oh, also: why does the media coverage make these massacres West-versus-Islam when many of the victims in Paris would most likely include many Muslims and when ISIS in the Middle East kill more Muslims than non-Muslims, despite the fact that members of US Congress only see Jews and Christians as victims but not Muslims.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

“Occupation is Root Cause of Violence”: Jewish-Americans Protest at Israel’s Western Wall, Call for Boycott


"Occupation is root cause of violence": Jewish-Americans protest at Israel's Western Wall, call for boycottEnlargeCODEPINK activists protest at Israel's Western Well on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 (Credit: CODEPINK)
Jewish-American activists with the peace organization CODEPINK protested at Israel’s Western Wall (also known as the Kotel or Wailing Wall) on Tuesday morning. They unfurled a banner that read “American Jews support BDS,” referring to Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, a peaceful global human rights movement called for by Palestinian civil society that seeks to use nonviolent economic means to pressure the Israeli government to end its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, grant equal rights to Palestinian citizens, and allow Palestinians who were violently expelled from their ancestral lands to return — as is required by international law.
After five minutes, plain-clothed Israeli authorities confiscated their banner and told them to leave. The activists, Ariel Gold and Ariel Vegosen, were part of a week-long CODEPINK trip to Israel-Palestine, where they witnessed firsthand what life is like for Palestinians living under military occupation.

AEI Hosts Bibi Netanyahu; Sane People Outside Ask Why? -- Video from @therealnews

My first posting here of this video mistakenly said the protest was at Center for American Progress (CAP).  Though Netanyahu did go there this week, this video is outside the American Enterprise Institute's event, where he was getting some kind of prize.  Sorry for the mix-up.  And SCREW BOTH THE AEI & CAP for hosting him!

"What the Videos Show: Israel is Killing in Cold Blood" -- Barbara Erickson at TIMES WARP blog

From Barbara Erickson's TIMES WARP blog


What is inspiring young Palestinians to attempt yet more stabbing attacks on Israelis? The answer, according to The New York Times, has nothing to do with the violence of military occupation, the abuse of Palestinian children or trigger-happy troops; it is merely a “loop-like dynamic” of attack and response inspired by video clips.
In a story today, Isabel Kershner reports that videos showing knife attacks and heavy-handed treatment of young detainees are inspiring Palestinian boys as young as 12 to attempt knife assaults. But in a significant omission, the article says nothing about disturbing videos that support a different take: Many Palestinians have been killed when they posed no possible threat.
Likewise, even as Kershner writes about youthful attackers, she (and the Times) have avoided any mention of the constant reports from rights groups over recent years that detail the abusive treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli custody. These include reports of troops arresting children as young as 6 and documentation of violence used against the young detainees. (Also see TimesWarp 1-13-14.)
Instead, readers are introduced to two cousins, 12 and 13, who played hooky from school yesterday in order to carry out a copycat stabbing attack in Jerusalem. Both were arrested; one was seriously wounded in the process; and both had watched video footage the night before of Israeli interrogators aggressively questioning another young teen, Ahmad Manasra, who was wounded after an alleged attack that left his cousin dead.
Kershner then devotes much of her article to rehashing the story of Manasra, who was featured earlier in a lengthy piece aimed at showing how Palestinians got it wrong when they claimed the boy had been killed. It appears to have the same purpose here: to undermine charges that Israeli troops have made false claims about knife attacks and have planted evidence.
She writes, “In several cases, with no video corroboration, Palestinians have insisted that no stabbings took place and have accused the Israeli authorities of planting knives at the scene.”
Several significant factors are missing from this statement: Although video evidence is unavailable in some cases, others are supported by credible eyewitness accounts contradicting official claims; rights groups, not only Palestinians, have charged Israeli troops with killing innocent victims; and video evidence does exist that bolsters many of the charges against Israeli forces.
In a press release last month, Amnesty International said Israeli soldiers and police had resorted to “extreme and unlawful measures” and had “used intentional and lethal force without justification.” The rights group highlighted four cases of “what appear to have been extrajudicial executions.”
Amnesty pointed up one “especially egregious case” in which Israeli forces killed 19-year-old Sa’ad Muhammad Youssef al-Atrash in Hebron on Oct. 26 as he tried to retrieve an identity card on. As the youth reached into his pocket, a soldier behind Atrash shot him on the right side. The report continues, “The eyewitness said he was shot six or seven times and bled profusely as he lay on the ground for about 40 minutes afterwards, while soldiers failed to provide medical treatment.”
Times readers, however, are unlikely to know anything about Muhammad Atrash and how he died, nor are they aware of the Amnesty statements or of reports from other rights groups, including those in Israel and Europe, all of them charging Israel with unlawful killings.
Since the Amnesty release last month, Israel has continued to kill Palestinians, many of whom posed no possible threat, bringing the total to over 80 killed and some 8,500 wounded since the beginning of October. As of Oct. 31, eight Israelis had died and 115 had been wounded, according to the United Nations. These numbers, however, do not appear in Kershner’s story.
Last week Israeli forces shot and killed a 73-year-old grandmother as she drove through Hebron to meet her sister for lunch. A spokesman said she tried to ram soldiers with the car and that a knife was found in her car. Video footage shows a different scenario: Tharwat Sharawi was driving at a moderate speed and in no way aimed to hit soldiers when a barrage of bullets took her life.
The Times has made no mention of this video evidence, nor has it informed readers of other disturbing cases, also caught on video:
  • A settler shoots and kills Fadi Qawasmi, 18, in Hebron on Oct. 17, and appears to hand a knife to a soldier, who drops it near the body.
  • A mob chases Fadi Alloun in Jerusalem on Oct. 4, shouting, “Shoot him!” as he runs for his life. Police bring him down with a hail of bullets.
  • Muhammad Ramadan al Muhtasib, 23, is shot multiple times and killed as he lies helpless on the ground in Hebron on Oct. 30. The army alleges that he tried to stab a soldier.
  • Issra Abed, 30, is shot at a bus station in Afula as she stands with her hands over her head. After she lies wounded on the ground, a bystander approaches and kicks away a pair of sunglasses lying by her side. (Police said she was grasping a knife.)
  • Dania Irsheid, 18, is shot and killed at a checkpoint in Hebron after passing through metal detectors and a revolving iron gate. Video footage show Israeli police giving her no assistance as she lies bleeding on the ground.
  • Hadeel al Hashlamoun, 18, is shot at a checkpoint in Hebron on Sept. 22 and left to bleed to death. A video shows her being dragged by her heels along the ground.
In several of these videos the indifference of Israeli troops is striking. None of them attempts to help the victims, and in some cases witnesses report that settlers are allowed to take pictures of the dead and dying while Palestinian journalists and medics are turned away. One highly disturbing photo shows a smiling settler taking a photo of a dead Palestinian in Hebron on Oct. 29.
In this context, the report by Kershner is appalling. Although video evidence, eyewitness accounts and investigations by rights groups point to a pattern of trigger happy—even blood thirsty—security forces killing Palestinians with the slightest degree of suspicion, the Times has made no effort to inform readers of these findings. On the contrary, it places this misleading story by Kershner on page 1 above the fold.
Here we find another attempt to blame the victims, to paint Palestinians as the violent offenders, omitting even the numbers of dead and injured, which reveal a disproportionate death toll of 10 Palestinians for every one Israeli. The facts, however, seem to be of no account when it comes to protecting Israel. Given the choice between shielding this rogue state and reporting the news, the Times stands with Israel.
Barbara Erickson

"The Pentagon's Empire of Whining" -- Pepe Escobar in Asia Times



Donald “known unknowns” Rumsfeld was a nasty piece of work (“iron-ass,” as Daddy Bush would have it). Fellow neocon and current Pentagon supremo Ash Carter – whose job will last shortly over a year – now runs the risk of forging a reputation as a discount diva on the lam.
Ash Carter
Ash Carter
After eight days traveling in Asia, Ash hit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California sounding like a stray ballistic whining missile. And he hit where it hurts: the Russia-China strategic partnership. How dare they? Don’t you step on my blue Pentagon shoes.
So Russia is guilty of undertaking “challenging activities” at sea, in the air, in space and in cyberspace. Not to mention “nuclear saber-rattling.”
Ash once again enumerated all those “pillars of the international order” that Russia-China are allegedly violating; peaceful resolution of disputes, freedom from coercion, respect for state sovereignty and freedom of navigation. Considering Exceptionalistan’s recent record in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and myriad assorted latitudes, one can always count on the Pentagon to bolster the annals of hyper-unrealism.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

"Noam Chomsky & Abby Martin: The Empire's Election Extravaganza" -- Abby Martin Interviews Noam

After a crisp and clear analysis of U.S. imperialism, Noam criticizes Bernie because he is not trying to build a movement.  Then Noam says, however, that Bernie is doing "good and courageous things."  

How can that be?  This is a contradiction that Noam refuses to see in every presidential election.   Noam is into lesser evils.  Too bad, because so many people look up to him. 

In my opinion, it is better to be straight with people and let them know the grounds on which they need to fight.  Not lead them into laying down and accepting the mediocrities (most of which are threatening their very lives) thrust upon them by the ruling elites.