Tuesday, November 26, 2019

White Helmets Whitewash: founder's death, OPCW scandal lift mask on al-Qaida. [YOUTUBE SCARED OF THIS VIDEO! :)

Leonard Peltier on The Meaning of Thanksgiving (2019)


The year of 2019 is coming to a close and with it, comes the day most Americans set aside as a day for Thanksgiving. As I let my mind wander beyond the steel bars and concrete walls, I try to imagine what the people who live outside the prison gates are doing, and what they are thinking. Do they ever think of the Indigenous people who were forced from their homelands? Do they understand that with every step they take, no matter the direction, that they are walking on stolen land? Can they imagine, even for one minute, what it was like to watch the suffering of the women, the children and babies and yes, the sick and elderly, as they were made to keep pushing west in freezing temperatures, with little or no food? These were my people and this was our land. There was a time when we enjoyed freedom and were able to hunt buffalo and gather the foods and sacred medicines. We were able to fish and we enjoyed the clean clear water! My people were generous, we shared everything we had, including the knowledge of how to survive the long harsh winters or the hot humid summers. We were appreciative of the gifts from our Creator and remembered to give thanks on a daily basis. We had ceremonies and special dances that were a celebration of life.

With the coming of foreigners to our shores, life as we knew it would change drastically. Individual ownership was foreign to my people. Fences?? Unheard of, back then. We were a communal people and we took care of each other. Our grandparents weren’t isolated from us! They were the wisdom keepers and story tellers and were an important link in our families. The babies? They were and are our future! Look at the brilliant young people who put themselves at risk, fighting to keep our water and environment clean and safe for the generations yet to come. They are willing to confront the giant, multi-national corporations by educating the general public of the devastation being caused. I smile with hope when I think of them. They are fearless and ready to speak the truth to all who are willing to listen. We also remember our brothers and sisters of Bolivia, who are rioting, in support of the first Indigenous President, Evo Morales. His commitment to the people, the land, their resources and protection against corruption is commendable. We recognize and identify with that struggle so well.

So today, I thank all of the people who are willing to have an open mind, those who are willing to accept the responsibility of planning for seven generations ahead, those who remember the sacrifices made by our ancestors so we can continue to speak our own language, practice our own way of thankfulness in our own skin, and that we always acknowledge and respect the Indigenous linage that we carry.

For those of you who are thankful that you have enough food to feed your families, please give to those who aren’t as fortunate. If you are warm and have a comfortable shelter to live in, please give to those who are cold and homeless, if you see someone hurting and in need of a kind word or two, be that person who steps forward and lends a hand. And especially, when you see injustice anywhere, please be brave enough to speak up to confront it.

I want to thank all who are kind enough to remember me and my family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for continuing to support and believe in me. There isn’t a minute in any day that passes without me hoping that this will be the day I will be granted freedom. I long for the day when I can smell clean fresh air, when I can feel a gentle breeze in my hair, witness the clouds as their movement hides the sun and when the moon shines the light on the path to the sacred Inipi. That would truly be a day I could call a day of Thanksgiving.

Thank you for listening to whomever is voicing my words. My Spirit is there with you.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Cells (official video) -- They Might Be Giants

Lessons Learned From Moving To Palestine | Mazin Qumsiyeh -- PopularResistance.Org

Lessons Learned From Moving To Palestine | PopularResistance.Org:

It has been ten years since I returned to Palestine after
living in the US for nearly three decades. Those ten years in Palestine
have been truly phenomenal and inspirational despite the pain and agony
associated with them. For example, they are bracketed by an attack on
Gaza in 2008 when we saw hundreds of Palestinian civilians murdered and
by the attacks on Gaza and on the freedom flotilla trying to break the
siege on Gaza in 2018. In between much pain that I relayed in my weekly
email messages including losing 19 of my personal friends killed by the
Israeli colonization army. But also in between we have much to be proud
of in Palestinian community achievement with help of others. Personally I
am proud of publishing over 50 articles, books, building a museum and
an institute for biodiversity (palestinenature.org). I took time to
update the lessons I learned from life especially from those ten years
(but also from >40 years of human rights activism):

-Being surrounded by friends, family, and volunteers and
working for causes larger than our-selves is the key to happiness.
Having family members (wife, children, brothers, sisters etc) who are
also friends and confidants are gifts but I know many people who lead a
beautiful and meaningful life without a family, only friends.  We can
all make friends and the best friends are created as we work together
for good causes that serve fellow human beings.

-Diversity is good and a sign of health. This is true in nature
(Biodiversity) and in people (languages, cultures, backgrounds,
religions). Societies and ecosystems dominated by one or two forms are
instrinsically unstable and about to crash. So our taks is to maintain
and strengthen diversity.

-The only forms of successful colonization and occupation are
those that occur in our own minds. What determines things is how we
react to adversity and to goodness.  Our free will gives us the ability
to react in different ways and choose to internalize or resist
repression, to appreciate or ignore kindness, to be engaged or be
apathetic. Real freedom is the one that no one can take away from us.
Some people can take away our jobs, our family members, our friends, our
homes, our lands, our belongings and much more but as long as we do not
get infected with their hate and fear, we will continue to love and be
content and hopeful. In this lies the fact told by many philosophers
that secrets of our happiness is WITHIN US not in those ephemeral things
that happen TO us. You can think those who do evil things are guided by
evil forces (Satan) or you can think they are guided by their own
upbringing and circumstances.  In either case if you reflect rationally
on the causes of their actions and cannot convince them of the errors of
their ways then what can justify hating them or fearing them. Isn’t
that the only real way they can harm you and rattle your
tranquility.  Corollary: things and events and people cannot make me
lose tranquility or happiness.. only I can do that! (I have a chapter on
mental colonization and happy to share that if you are interested).

-When I came back to Palestine, I thought I could help liberate
Palestine. I learned that there is so much great work and so much
injustice that we each do what we can to help but we are small drops in
this very large ocean. We do have roles and things we can do. Finding
those out and doing our small parts is important.  So we must carry on
our duty with energy and humility.

-Watch carefully these things that happen in your presence and
take mental and physical notes of everything. This I regret not doing
much of in my youth. This is immersing yourself in life to the
fullest.  It is also sometimes the prepared mind that captures the
opportunities that are presented to us. I cannot count the times (in the
thousands) where I found success by paying attention and following the
clues left for us (by God or fate or mere chance).

-The journey itself and how we conduct ourselves along the road
are far more important than the destination. We may arrive at the
destination (freedom and return and self-determination) but at least
three generations passed before us who helped propel us along the
way.  We may or may not live to see the end of this colonial system but
it is inevitably coming and our personal victories is that we contribute
in small ways. As the Buddhists say: let us work to “have joyful
participation in the Sorrows of this world”.  Doing our duties and
expecting nothing in return other than the privilege of participation IS
our path to joy.

-Change is good. Life is good. The two are the same.  

-No person is worth more than any other. Some people are more
fun and far more worth hanging around with (to me) but this is due to my
own circumstances and life. You can sometimes learn far more from
someone “uneducated” (e.g. Bill Hill who drove the Wheels of Justice bus
tour or a farmer in Al-Walaja) than from a president of a university or
a governor or a professor.

-Just like if you have food and do not share with those who
could use it, it is also with having “wisdom”. But it is wise to
remember to be humble and that the old teachers taught us well only when
we wanted to learn.

-Palestinian politicians are just as corrupt as Israeli or US
politicians. Do not look for leadership from supposed “leaders”. Look to
yourself and fellow activists for change. Organize.. ORGANIZE

-There are really very few people who know how to live with
love. Love makes them act in courage and speak truth to power. These are
the teachers we should learn from.

-Some people can eat a tortured lamb while treating their cats
and dogs better than children are treated. Others go pray in a church to
the prince of peace (Jesus who asked us to love our enemies) and then
drop a 1000 pound bomb on a city obliterating hundreds of lives. We
could cite hundreds of other such things that make good material for
stand-up comedy (or drama). But my responsibility is to reflect on my
own behavior and change and help.

-Strive to live life free from hypocricy, envy, self-indulgence, jeolousy, vanity, and frivolty.

-As the sages wrote “eveyone dies but not everyone lives” so live life to the fullest.

When given a chance to eat good food- do it

When given a chance to drink good drinks- do it

When given a chance to dance- do it

When given a chance to have fun- do it

When given a chance to help others- do it

when given a chance to do all the other things that life gives us to do (love, share, laugh, etc), do it!


-Activism is the best antidote to despair. I learned through
participation and close work with activists that popular resistance as
practiced is rather different from popular resistance “as projected”. I
summarized some of these issues in my book on “Popular Resistance in
Palestine.” When I lived in the US and came to visit and participate in
actions, I had certain impressions about things and people. But being
here gives you a very different take. I discover major weaknesses and
even corruption among local Palestinians I used to admire (based on
superficial contact). Those were highly visible abroad. By contrast I
discovered people who I never knew existed and who do amazing and
inspiring work. Some of them suffered, some were killed, some in jail
now. All are true inspiration.

-We need to start with a change in the way we educate children.
We need critical thinking, questioning, and much less rogue
memorizations. The museum we started (see palestinenature.org) aims to
create environment to foster more RESPECT: respect for ourselves,
respect for others, respect for nature.

-A million dollars can make some men feel poor while a few
essential belongings or a good meal can make another feel rich. Thus it
is not what I have but how I feel about what I have. No one and no
comfort or pain can make me feel as happy or as unhappy as I can make
yourself. It is all under my ultimate control.

-Correct your errors, repent (and if harmed others provide
correct recompense and apology) and then forgive yourself. If you are
able to do that and understand your circumstances then why would you
ever think ill of anyone else.

-To quote Howard Zinn “To be hopeful in bad times is not just
foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a
history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage,
kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will
determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity
to do something. If we remember those times and places – and there are
so many – where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the
energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top
of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small
a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future
is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human
beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself
a marvelous victory.” Howard Zinn (You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving
Train: A personal history of our times, p. 208)

-Don’t take yourself too seriously 🙂

-There is evil and goodness in all human traditions and strains
of thought (e.g. Judaism, Christianity, Western Civilization,
socialism, capitalism). If we learn to look honestly at each thing on
its own and not on the box it was contained in at one time, we will not
be in the least bit harmed but be enriched by the knowledge.

-An old saying in the fight against segregation in the South
was “free your mind and your ass will follow”. Shakespeare wrote: “assay
the power within you, our fears make traistors of us all”. Martin
Luther King, Jr. wrote: “Cowardice asks the question – is it safe?
Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question –
is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe,
nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.”

-The highest purposes in life is doing our duty as human
beings, part of this social network of human beings.  That is why doing
something good for another should n=be its own reward.  Looking for and
receiving thanks and recognition actually diminishes the goodness of the
act. When tempted by our petty egos to do that, it is best to remember
that these things do not add one thing to what you gave.  When death
comes and afterwards, all these things will be forgotten only the ripple
effect of the actual action might persist.

-First do no harm, second, third.. and last do no harm. In between do some good.

-A touch, a tear, a smile, and a facial expression are far more
powerful than any words in expressing ourselves. Do not thus be afraid
to let your emotion express itself in these higher forms of expression.

-Most of us are more scared of our abilities than disabilities.
We are scared of success more than of possible failure.  Failure is
used an excuse but it is only a lesson. We can do far more than what we
even imagine if have courage (in its true decent sense).

-I learned that I am able to evolve my writing and speaking
skills much more than I can my managerial skills. I learned that it is
OK not to be good at everything and to admit limitations and
failures.  In the issue of writing, I now know what Edward Said meant
when he stated that: “I think an author should continuously attempt
something new, centering on all that he has, to prevent a reduction of
his works. Knowledge of all an author�s different writings leads to
understanding the developments in their thinking and research from one
area to another. It is important to me that people read my books, but my
major interest centers on writing rather than revising what I have
written. I mean, I want to continue my journey a little bit further.”
Edward Said http://www.aljadid.com/content/edward-said-discusses-%E2%80%98orientalism%E2%80%99-arab-intellectuals-reviving-marxism-and-myth-palestinian

-Making many mistakes is the price of learning so we should not fear making them.  Just m,ake sure we learn from them.

-It is for a good reason that many religions and traditions
hold patience and hope as the highest virtues (ofcourse when accompanied
with doing what you are able to do). For the alternative vices of
impatience and dispair only lead to destruction. Further, patience and
hope are virtues associated with freedom because the outside world can
enslave us only if we internalize our external difficulties and exude
the negative.  Negative waves can only be countered with positive

-Those who support racism (though think of themselves as not
racist) and those who support war crimes (though they justify it in
their mind) need to be challenged with facts and figures but if they
chose to remain where they are then we should neither assign blame to
them or to us for failing to convince them.  They are like patients who
refuse to recognize their illness or its treatment, they are only to be
looked it with compassion.  This is true even when those people try all
sorts of techniques to cause us harm.  For again, they can only alter
the circumstances external to us and if we are well grounded, they
cannot cause us any harm (a real harm is one that I can only inflict on
myself by accepting that which I claim to reject).

-Others may hate me, despise me, be jeolous of me but these
things should only concern me if they are based on a real defect in my
behavior. In that case, that should not distress me since I could/should
correct such defects. If they are not based on real defects, then that
also should not cause me distress.  Similarly, some may love me and
admire me. If that is based on real good characters in me then why
should that please me. Isn’t having good character a reward in
itself.  And if they are mistaken then also why should that please me?

-Do not seek the convoluted explanations. Sometimes the simple
ones and the first ones are more correct. This is called parsimpny and
follows Occam’s razor. It applies also to your thinking about others and
their behavior.

-Let us contemplate our lives and always strive for maximum
humility. What I do not like about others, they may not like about me.
As a scientist, I believe there is no certainty in anything.  In fact,
the definition of scientific hypothesis (e.g. that there is gravity,
that the earth is spherical, that speciation by evolution occurs) is
that it is FALSIFIABLE.  So if someone asks me if I have considered that
what I think of this or that matter today may be entirely wrong, the
answer is: yes! Maximum objectivity is not equivalent to maximum
certainty. The only people absolutely certain of their positions are
actually those who lead us to wars, oppression and destruction. Make
sure to increase your love and diminish your hate. Increase your
kindness and diminish your selfishness. Increase your hope and decrease
your scepticism. This will make you live better.

-Real change and the one that is most significant is what
happens within us.  Change in our circumstances is of far less
importance.  Because of this it is also true that people can change
circumstances of other people but only people themselves can affect the
more important change within ourselves. For those who were there along
our path and whose actions helped us reach the correct internal change,
our debt is great.

-Many of these lessons were available to me as child if I chose
to see (e.g. how my grandfather lived). It is the nature of things that
we absorb things with age and only fully understand them when the
ripeness of time and with other experiences they come to to the forth
and become clearer.

Pramila Jayapal Takes On Medicare for All’s Critics | Portside

Pramila Jayapal Takes On Medicare for All’s Critics | Portside:

I wrote the damn bill,” Bernie Sanders frequently says. But on Medicare
for All, he’s not the only one. Pramila Jayapal, a second-term
Representative from Seattle who has rapidly ascended as a progressive
congressional leader, wrote the House version of single-payer. The
co-chair of the Progressive Caucus has been touring the country to talk
about it. She feels Medicare for All has been unfairly maligned during
the presidential primary cycle.

“It is very frustrating to have your own party making the arguments of Republicans and insurance companies.” Jayapal told the Prospect in an interview after a health care town hall in Los Angeles. “And they’re not accurate in their representations.”

Jayapal’s bill, H.R. 1384, has 119 co-sponsors in the House, and was
the subject of historic hearings in the Budget, Rules, and Ways and
Means Committees, the first time Medicare for All has been formally
debated in Congress. Jayapal said that Energy and Commerce, another
committee with jurisdiction over health care, would hold hearings soon.
But as Elizabeth Warren hunkers down to determine the financing for a
national health care program, and as Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg attack the concept, the benefits of getting everyone in the nation covered have been pushed to the side.

For Jayapal, the debate comes down to two things: coverage and
cost—but not government costs. “It is absolutely absurd to subject
Medicare for All to a different standard of scrutiny,” she says.
“Instead of saying, ‘Wow, Medicare for All costs too much, how are you
going to pay for it,’ the question to every candidate should be, ‘What
is your plan to bring down health care costs over the next ten years?
And what is your plan to universally cover everybody, because none of
the other plans do that.’”

H.R. 1384 takes direct aim at lowering health care costs, more than
the Affordable Care Act or even Bernie Sanders’s companion bill in the
Senate, by setting a global budget for
health care providers. Instead of Medicare paying individually for each
service, providers would get a set budget for the year to work within.
Bonuses for employees, marketing expenses, and political donations would
be strictly disallowed, and special funds for new equipment or managing
an epidemic would be segregated. Hospitals would have to manage costs
better, perhaps by reducing re-admissions, eliminating unnecessary
treatments, purchasing supplies more cheaply, or maybe even cutting
salaries for administrators.

Rare among politicians,
Jayapal has been willing to cite the hospital industry’s role in
unsustainable price increases. But she has also attempted to drive a
wedge within the wall of opposition to health care reform among hospital
industry leaders. “I’ve been meeting with a number of major hospital
CEOs, in community-based care [and] state hospital systems,” Jayapal
says. “They are getting upset with the American Hospital Association’s
opposition and the money they are putting in. So I’m working to try to
build a little coalition that will feel brave enough to come out.” Some
hospital CEOs have cited the high cost of securing care for their own
employees as a reason to transform the system.

The U.S. pays more for health care than any other industrialized
nation, which is why a mechanism like global budgeting is so critical.
Yet the only costs being discussed in the national debate involve the
taxes to pay for the government’s assumption of insurance. Overlooked in
that discussion is the fact that the federal and state governments
already pay for two-thirds of the system through Medicare, Medicaid, and
private-insurance subsidies.

Jayapal argues that reducing costs to international norms is
one way for Medicare for All to pay for itself. “You can’t legitimately
say that you’re going to fix the health care crisis we have if you
don’t bring down the costs,” she says.

By driving down costs through global budgeting, negotiating
prescription drug prices, busting up health care monopolies, and other
measures, you end up with significantly lower financing needs. Cutting
out such middlemen as for-profit insurers gets you part of the way
there, but only part. “You do have to have a mechanism to directly
address that for the future,” Jayapal says.

Jayapal’s ideas for reducing costs were borne out recently by an
analysis of the effects of H.R. 3, a modest bill that allows the
government to negotiate prices on 25 high-cost drugs per year. Despite
that small number, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that
such negotiations would save the government $345 billion over a
ten-year period. “Imagine if it was 250 drugs,” Jayapal says. “Some
members feel strongly about lifting the entire ban on negotiations.”

Moreover, it’s hard to know if these kinds of savings will be fully
accounted for in the budgeting process. Moving from curative to
preventive care, for instance, could save trillions, and while the
Affordable Care Act went part of the way on that, Jayapal’s bill would
go a lot further, particularly as those currently uninsured get regular
treatments and thereby avoid more costly procedures. Medicare for All
also eliminates the passed-on costs of uncompensated care.

Currently, Warren is working with outside experts to
craft funding for her own Medicare for All plan. Jayapal’s and Warren’s
teams have discussed the funding issue with each other. I asked Jayapal
if she thought it was worth it for Warren to counter the somewhat disingenuous debate around costs, where it’s only the supporters of Medicare for All who have to justify them.

“The way [Warren] talks about it in terms of overall costs instead of
taxes is actually the right way to talk about it,” Jayapal answers. “I
think some of this is also for her to be comfortable with how to respond
on this. Because this was Bernie’s original bill that she sort of
signed onto, I think she has been less engaged on some of the details.
If she wants to come up with two or three things, that will give her
that muscle to say, ‘I’ve looked at this, and this is how I’m proposing
to pay for it.’ What I hope is that it gets that question off the table,
because I think it’s a red herring.”

The constant talk about financing crowds out the benefits of Medicare
for All. Jayapal highlights the angle of personal freedom. “I have so
many people who write to me with these unbelievable stories about how
they have these dreams and they were lost, because they have to work for
a company that they totally don’t believe in because they need the
health care,” she explains. “People who have gotten divorced because
that’s the only way to get care. I do think a part of this health care
debate is about the freedom to dream and be. And we don’t talk about
that nearly enough.”

Ultimately, Jayapal finds the Democratic infighting over Medicare for
All to be unnecessary and dangerous. “We have to be united in the end
of whatever comes out of this presidential debate,” she says. “I have
not said anything bad about the Affordable Care Act: We can’t wait for
the perfect system, we’ve got to do what we can to shore it up. However,
to criticize a plan that is in-depth and thoughtful, and actually
addresses the very issues we need to address, and has the support of
enormous numbers of Americans, is a big mistake.”

Jayapal says that one of her biggest fears is that a Democratic
president wins in 2020 and doesn’t follow through on alleviating the
health care crisis. “For 2024, if we don’t have this addressed, and
Americans don’t see substantial improvements in these broad structural
issues, we’re not going to win,” she says. “That is what gave rise to
Trump. I have said that Trump is both a symptom and a cause. Those
entrenched interests that have stopped us from making these structural
changes, like with the Affordable Care Act, have to be taken on.”

David Dayen is the executive editor of The
American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New
Republic, HuffPost, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Israel's relentless violence on Gaza met by global silence

New Israeli war crime: 8 Members of the Same Family Killed in Dier Al-Balah, including 2 Women and 5 Children, 48 Hours of Israeli Aggression on the Gaza Strip: 33 Palestinians Killed, including 14 Civilians among them are 3 Women and 8 Children | Palestinian Center for Human Rights

New Israeli war crime: 8 Members of the Same Family Killed in Dier Al-Balah, including 2 Women and 5 Children, 48 Hours of Israeli Aggression on the Gaza Strip: 33 Palestinians Killed, including 14 Civilians among them are 3 Women and 8 Children | Palestinian Center for Human Rights 

In the latest Israeli war crimes, on
Thursday, 14 November 2019, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed 8
members of one family, including 2 women and 5 children, and wounded 13
others, including 11 children, after bombing their houses in Dier
al-Balah City in the central Gaza Strip. This attack occurred before the
declaration of ceasefire and after two bloody days of military

According to investigations
conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR),  at
approximately 00:25, IOF warplanes launched 4 missiles at 2 tin-plate
houses belonging to Rasmi Salem ‘Ouda al-Sawarkah (45) and his brother
Mohammed (40) in al-Berkah area in Deir al-Balah. According to PCHR’s
investigations, at approximately 00:25 on Thursday, Israeli warplanes
launched 4 missiles at 2 houses in al-Berkah area in Deir al-Balah,
belonging to Rasmi Salem ‘Ouda al-Sawarkah (45) and his brother Mohammed
(40). As a result, both houses were destroyed while both families were
inside. Rasmi, his wife and 3 of their children were killed; Mohammed
was critically wounded but his wife and 2 of his children were killed.
Moreover, 13 others were injured, including 11 children. Ten minutes
later, an ambulance arrived at the area while the neighborhood residents
gathered and started searching for the residents under the rubble. Six
dead bodies and 13 wounded were recovered. The wounded were transferred
to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. At approximately 07:00, the area
residents recovered the dead bodies of 2 children from under the rubble.
IOF officially announced later that they targeted al-Sawarkah claiming
that he was the head of the rockets division at al-Quds Brigades in the
central Gaza Strip. The killed civilians were identified as:
  1. Rasmi Salem ‘Ouda al-Sawarkah (45);
  2. Mariam Salem Nasser al-Sawarkah (33);
  3. Yusra Mohammed ‘Awad al-Sawarkah (39);
  4. Wasim Mohammed Salem al-Sawarkah (13);
  5. Mohanned Rasmi Salem al-Sawarkah (12);
  6. Mo’ath Mohammed Salem al-Sawarkah (7);
  7. Feras Rasmi Salem al-Sawarkah (2); and
  8. Salem Rasmi Salem al-Sawarkah (3).
This crime took place within the
2-day Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip which caused
many civilian causalities as IOF warplanes launched dozens of airstrikes
on civilian targets and Palestinian armed groups’ sites, some located
within densely populated areas. This reflects the highest degree of
Israeli recklessness with Palestinian civilians’ lives.  Up to the
release of this document, IOF killed 33 Palestinians; 14 of them were
civilians, including 3 women and 8 children. Furthermore, 46 Palestinian
civilians, including 16 children and 6 women, were injured.
Additionally, seven residential buildings as well as civilian objects
and properties were destroyed.

PCHR condemns the Israeli crimes,
stressing that these crimes are new evidence that Palestinian civilians
always pay the price for Israeli attacks and military escalations.
Furthermore, PCHR stresses that the
continued IOF attacks at densely populated areas and the use of weapons
based in a manner of collective punishment are in violation of the 1949
Fourth Geneva Convention and amount to war crimes.

PCHR reiterates its call upon the High
Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill
their obligations under Article 1 to respect and ensure respect for the
Convention in all circumstances, and their obligations under Article 146
to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the
Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147
of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva
Conventions on the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to
protection in the occupied territory.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Evo Morales’ 10 Commandments to save the Plane

Bolivian President Evo Morales said today that to save the planet requires putting an end to the capitalist model and for the North to pay its Ecological Debt. This was the first of 10 points presented by Morales at the inauguration of the UN’s VII Indigenous Forum, in a long address acclaimed by participants at this annual gathering.

Morales Ayma proposed 10 commandment to save the world, life, and all of humanity, making reference to respect for the earth, renouncing war, bilateral relations without impositions, water and land as human rights, clean energy, no to biofuels, basic services, prioritizing what is produced locally, promoting cultural diversity, and the notion of “living well” through communitarian socialism and in harmony with mother Earth.

The president affirmed that there remain two paths toward saving humanity, life, and the plant Earth: either recovering a way of life in harmony with mother Earth and all of life, or following the path of capitalism and death.

Morales insisted that the only way to save the world is to put an end to this way of thinking that promotes individualist selfishness and a thirst for profits. He asked indigenous peoples, peasants and governments of the world to consume what is necessary, giving priority to what is produced locally and avoiding waste and luxury.

The head of state further expressed that “the huge impact of climate change is not a product of human beings in general, but of the dominant capitalist system with its unlimited industrial development; that is why I feel it is important to put an end to the exploitation of human beings and the plundering of natural resources”.


1. In order to save the planet, the capitalist model must be eradicated and the North pay its ecological debt, rather than the countries of the South and throughout the world continuing to pay their external debts.

2. Denounce and PUT AN END to war, which only brings profits for empires, transnationals, and a few families, but not for peoples. The million and millions of dollars destined to warfare should be invested in the Earth, which has been hurt as a result of misuse and overexploitation.

3. Develop relations of coexistence, rather than domination, among countries in a world without imperialism or colonialism. Bilateral and multilateral relations are important because we belong to a culture of dialogue and social coexistence, but those relationships should not be of submission of one country to another.

4. Water is a human right and a right for all living things on the planet. It is not possible that there be policies that permit the privatization of water.

5. Develop clean energies that are nature friendly; put an end to energy wastefulness. In 100 years we are doing away with the fossil fuels that have been created over millions of years. Avoid the promotion of agrofuels. It is incomprehensible that some governments and economic development models can set aside land in order to make luxury cars run, rather than using it to provide food for human beings. Promote debates with governments and create awareness that the earth must be used for the benefit of all human beings and not to produce agrofuels.

6. Respect for the mother Earth. Learn from the historic teachings of native and indigenous peoples with regard to the respect for the mother Earth. A collective social consciousness must be developed among all sectors of society, recognizing that the Earth is our mother.

7. Basic services, such as water, electricity, education, healthcare, communications, and collective transportation should all be considered human rights; they cannot be privatized but must rather be public services.

8. Consume what is necessary, give priority and consume what is produced locally, put an end to consumerism, waste, and luxury. It is incomprehensible that some families dedicate themselves to the search for luxury, when millions and millions of persons do not have the possibility to live well.

9. Promote cultural and economic diversity. We are very diverse and this is our nature. A plurinational state, in which everyone is included within that state - whites, browns, blacks, everyone.

10. We want everyone to be able to live well, which does not mean to live better at the expense of others. We must build a communitarian socialism that is in harmony with the mother Earth.

(PL and ABI New York, April 21, 2008).- (translation from Spanish courtesy Jubilee South/Americas)

How Amazon Supports Israeli Atrocities [AN ADDITIONAL REASON TO HATE AMAZON!!!]

Sunday, November 03, 2019

The United States Has Produced Very Few Anti-imperialists. Noam Chomsky Is Not Among Them. by Stephen Gowans


Imperialism has penetrated the fabric of our culture, and infected our imagination, more deeply than we usually think.—Martin Green. [1]

[Americans] have produced very, very few anti-imperialists. Our idiom has been empire.—William Appleman Williams. [2]

November 3, 2019

By Stephen Gowans

In a recent Intercept interview with the beautiful soul Mehdi Hassan, Noam Chomsky resumed his efforts to recruit the political Left into a scheme to support US imperialism.

In the interview, Chomsky spoke about his reasons for trying “to organize support for opposition to the withdrawal” of US troops from Syria. US troops ought to remain in Syria, he said, to deter a planned Turkish invasion and to prevent what he warned would be the massacre of the Kurds. Yet weeks after the Turks moved into northeastern Syria nothing on the scale of massacres had occurred.
The high-profile anarchist, former champion of international law, and one-time outspoken critic of wars of aggression, supports the uninterrupted invasion of Syria by US forces, despite the fact that the invasion is illegal and contravenes the international law to which he had so frequently sung paeans.
But the principles he once upheld appear to have been sacrificed to the higher goal of defending the anarchist-inspired YPG, the Kurdish group which had sought and received support from Washington to establish a Kurdish mini-state in Syria in return for acting as a Pentagon asset in the US war on the Arab nationalist government in Damascus. In this, the YPG recapitulated the practice of political Zionism, offering to act as muscle in the Levant in exchange for imperialist sponsorship of its own political aspirations. For Chomsky, the desired end-state—what he would like the political Left to rally in support of—is the restoration of the status-quo ante, namely, robust US support for a Kurd mini-state in Syria.

Washington’s illegal military intervention has been the guarantor of the YPG’s aspirations to create a state on approximately one-third of Syrian territory. A YPG state east of the Euphrates would be an asset to the US imperialist project of expanding Washington’s already considerable influence in the Middle East. A Kurd-dominated state under the leadership of the YPG would function as what some have called a second Israel. As Domenico Losurdo put it in a 2018 interview,
In the Middle East, we have the attempted creation of a new Israel. Israel was an enclave against the Arab World, and now the US and Israel are trying to realize something similar with the Kurds. That doesn’t mean to say that the Kurds don’t have rights and that they haven’t been oppressed for a long time, but now there’s the danger of them becoming the instruments of American imperialism and Zionism. This is the danger—this the situation, unfortunately. [3]
To make the US invasion palatable to the political Left, Chomsky misrepresents the US aggression as small-scale and guided by lofty motives. “A small US contingent with the sole mission of deterring a planned Turkish invasion,” he says, ‘is not imperialism.” But the occupation is neither small, nor guided by a mission limited to deterring a planned Turkish invasion. Either Chomsky’s grasp of the file is weak, or he’s not above engaging in a spot of sophistry.

Last year, the Pentagon officially admitted to having 2,000 troops in Syria [4] but a top US general put the number higher, 4,000. [5] But even that figure was, according to the Pentagon, an “artificial construct,” [6] that is, a deliberate undercount. On top of the infantry, artillery, and forward air controllers the Pentagon officially acknowledges as deployed to Syria, there is an additional number of uncounted Special Operations personnel, as well as untallied troops assigned to classified missions and “an unspecified number of contractors” i.e., mercenaries. Additionally, combat aircrews are not included, even though US airpower is critical to the occupation. [7] There are, therefore, many more times the officially acknowledged number of US troops enforcing an occupation of parts of Syria. Last year, US invasion forces in Syria (minus aircrew located nearby) operated out of 10 bases in the country, including “a sprawling facility with a long runway, hangars, barracks and fuel depots.” [8]
In addition to US military advisers, Army Rangers, artillery, Special Operations forces, satellite-guided rockets and Apache attack helicopters [9], the United States deployed US diplomats to create government and administrative structures to supersede the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic. [10]

“The idea in US policy circles” was to create “a soft partition” of Syria between the United States and Russia along the Euphrates, “as it was among the Elbe [in Germany] at the end of the Second World War.” [11]

During the war on ISIS, US military planning called for YPG fighters under US supervision to push south along the Euphrates River to seize Syria’s oil-and gas-rich territory, [12] located within traditionally Arab territory. While the Syrian Arab Army and its allies focused on liberating cities from Islamic State, the YPG, under US direction, went “after the strategic oil and gas fields,” [13] holding these on behalf of the US government. The US president’s recent boast that “we have secured the oil” [14] was an announcement of a longstanding fait accompli.

The United States has robbed Syria of “two of the largest oil and gas fields in Deir Ezzour”, including the al-Omar oil field, Syria’s largest. [15] In 2017, the United States plundered Syria of “a gas field and plant known in Syria as the Conoco gas plant” (though its affiliation with Conoco is historical; the plant was acquired by the Syrian Gas Company in 2005.) [16] Russia observed that “the real aim” of the US forces’ (incontestably denominated) “illegal” presence in Syria has been “the seizure and retention of economic assets that only belong to the Syrian Arab Republic.” [17] The point is beyond dispute: The United States has stolen resources vital to the republic’s reconstruction, using the YPG to carry out the crime (this from a country which proclaims property rights to be humanity’s highest value.)

Joshua Landis, a University of Oklahoma professor who specializes in Syria, has argued that by “controlling half of Syria’s energy resources…the US [is] able to keep Syria poor and under-resourced.” [18] Bereft of its petroleum resources, and deprived of its best farmland, Syria is hard-pressed to recover from a war that has left it in ruins.

To sum up, the notion that the US occupation is small-scale is misleading. The Pentagon acknowledges that it deliberately undercounts the size of its contingent in Syria.  But even if there are as few US boots on the ground in Syria as the US military is prepared to acknowledge, that still wouldn’t make the US intervention trivial.

US boots on the ground are only one part of the occupation. Not counted are the tens of thousands of YPG fighters who operate under the supervision of US ground forces, acting as the tip of the US spear. These troops, it should be recalled, acted as muscle for hire to seize and secure farmland and oil wells in a campaign that even US officials acknowledge is illegal. [19]

Another part of the occupation—completely ignored by Chomsky—is US airpower, without which US troops and their YPG-force-multiplier would be unable to carry out their crimes of occupation and theft. US fighter jets and drones dominate the airspace over the US occupation zone. Ignoring the significant role played by the US Air Force grossly distorts the scale of the US operation.
What’s more, Chomsky’s reference to the scale of the intervention as anodyne is misdirection. It is not the size of an intervention that makes it imperialist, but its motivations and consequences.
Additionally, Chomsky completely misrepresents the aim of the US occupation. It’s mission, amply documented, is to: sabotage Damascus’s reconstruction efforts by denying access to revenue-generating territory; to provide Washington with leverage to influence the outcome of any future political settlement; and to block a land route over which military assets can easily flow from Tehran to its allies Syria and Hezbollah. [20] In other words, the goal of the occupation is to impose the US will on Syria—a textbook definition of imperialism.

The idea that it is within the realm of possibility for Washington to deploy forces to Syria with the sole mission of deterring aggression is naïveté on a grand scale, and entirely at odds with the history and mechanisms of US foreign policy. Moreover, it ignores the reality that the armed US invasion and occupation of Syrian territory is an aggression itself. If a man who has been called the principal critic of US foreign policy can genuinely hold these views, then Martin Green’s contention that “Imperialism has penetrated the fabric of our culture, and infected our imagination, more deeply than we usually think,” is surely beyond dispute.

The US occupation, then, is more substantial than Chomsky alleges; it is an aggression under international law, not to say under any reasonable definition; the claim is untenable that the sole motivation is to deter Turkish aggression; and the US project in Syria is imperialist. All the same, one could still argue that US troops should not be withdrawn because their presence protects the YPG and the foundations of the mini-state is has built. If so, one has accepted the YPG’s and political Zionism’s argument that it is legitimate to rent oneself out as the tool of an empire in order to achieve one’s own narrow aims, even if it is at the expense of the right of others to be free from domination and exploitation.
  1. Quoted in William Appleman William, Empire as a Way of Life, IG Publishing, 2007, p. 10.
  2. Ibid. p. 33-34.
  3. Domenico Losurdo, “Crisis in the Imperialist World Order,” Revista Opera, March 2, 2018
  4. Nancy A. Yousef, “US to remain in Syria indefinitely, Pentagon officials say, The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2017.
  5. Andrew deGrandpre, “A top US general just said 4,000 American troops are in Syria. The Pentagon says there are only 500,” The Washington Post, October 31, 2017.
  6. John Ismay, “US says 2,000 troops are in Syria, a fourfold increase,” The New York Times, December 6, 2017; Nancy A. Yousef, “US to remain in Syria indefinitely, Pentagon officials say,” The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2017.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Dion Nissenbaum, “Map said to show locations of US forces in Syria published in Turkey,” The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2017.
  9. Michael R. Gordon, “In a desperate Syrian city, a test of Trump’s policies,” The New York Times, July 1, 2017.
  10. Nancy A. Yousef, “US to send more diplomats and personnel to Syria,” The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2017.
  11. Yaroslav Trofimov, “In Syria, new conflict looms as ISIS loses ground,” The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2017.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Raj Abdulrahim and Ghassan Adnan, “Syria and Iraq rob Islamic State of key territory,” The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2018.
  14. Michael R. Gordon and Gordon Lubold, “Trump weights leaving small number of troops in Syria,” The Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2019.
  15. Abdulrahim and Adnan, November 3, 2018.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Raja Abdulrahim and Thomas Grove, “Syria condemns US airstrike as tension rise,” The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2018.
  18. Joshua Landis, “US policy toward the Levant, Kurds and Turkey,” Syria Comment, January 15, 2018.
  19. Michael Crowley, “’Keep the oil’: Trump revives charged slogan for new Syria troop mission,” The New York Times, October 26, 2019.
  20. Gordon Lubold and Nancy A. Youssef, “US weights leaving more troops, sending battle tanks to Syria,” The Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2019; Gordon and Lubold, October 21, 2019.

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