israel’s war on Christianity, but still those a-holes in the U.S. Congress support them

Israel is “Targeting Christian-Palestinian Communities in the West Bank”. Confiscating Lives, One Hectare at a Time

Israel_Palestine_Flag

The expansion of Israel’s ‘separation barrier’ is targeting Christian-Palestinian communities in the West Bank, reports Noreen Sadik.

On 17 August, Issa al-Shatleh, of Beit Jala, Palestine, started his day with news that Israeli soldiers were on the land that had belonged to his family for hundreds of years. When he arrived, he found ‘they were destroying the land, and cutting my ancient olive trees, some hundreds of years old’. ‘They came without a warning,’ he said.

And it is not just al-Shatleh’s land that is being confiscated. Close to 3 hectares of private land were razed that morning and 45 trees, some of them over 100 years old, were uprooted. As landowners tried to stop the destruction, violent clashes broke out, sending al-Shatleh’s brother to the hospital.

baitblog.jpg [Related Image]

The Cremisan valley has long been a source of dispute: here, in 2013, men plant olive trees to protest the land confiscations taking place. at the © Labour Palestine

Beit Jala is located in the Cremisan Valley, near the Bethlehem area in Palestine. It lies between the illegal Israeli settlements of Gilo in East Jerusalem and the illegal West Bank settlement Har Gilo. Approximately 16,000 people live there, the majority of whom are Christian. Christians number about 2% of the population of the West Bank.

The Cremisan Valley is home to the Salesian Sisters’ Convent and school, and to the 19th-century Salesian Monastery and Cellars.

The green, fertile land is a source of livelihood for many local families, and is dotted with pine, apricot and olive trees, as well as other agricultural delicacies, including grapevines, used by the Cremisan winery. Not only is it a place of spirituality, it also serves as the last piece of agricultural and recreational land available to residents of Bethlehem.

For years, it has also been a source of contention and legal battles between Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the residents of Beit Jala, including the Salesian Monastery and the Salesian Convent.

Extending the wall

In 2006, the Israeli military declared its plan to extend the already-existing Separation Barrier, which had gaps in it, thereby dividing the land of Beit Jala.

The army’s original plan would have led to the confiscation of privately and church-owned land, and would separate 58 Palestinian families from their agricultural lands, affecting their livelihoods.

It would also have left the monastery and orchards on the Israeli side of the barrier, and the convent and school on the Palestinian side. Access between the two sides would have had to be given via an agricultural gate. With the convent and school surrounded by the barrier, and a military road nearby, hundreds of schoolchildren would essentially be living in a military zone.

On 24 April 2013, the Special Appeals Committee of the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court approved the land confiscation for the Separation Barrier along a route that would have annexed 75% of the convent’s property and enclosed it on three sides.

Two years later, this past April, after years of fighting to keep their lands, the residents of Beit Jala enjoyed the sweet taste of victory when the Israeli Supreme Court ruled against the Ministry of Defense’s proposal. The Court ordered the Ministry to find a route which would be less disruptive to the Palestinians.

Labour Palestine

The Cremisan Valley is home to the Salesian Sisters’ Convent and school, and to the 19th-century Salesian Monastery and Cellars. Labour Palestine

On 6 July 2015 however, Beit Jala residents were shocked when the Court reversed its April decision, thereby permitting the Ministry of Defense to begin building the extension following an alternative route. The Ministry was instructed to leave monastery and convent lands untouched.

According to NGO Stop the Wall, ‘The Supreme Court ruling applies the need to re-route the Wall only as far as the lands surrounding the Salesian Sisters’ Convents and the Salesian Monastery and its agricultural lands. The court ruled that the Israeli authorities can initiate building the Wall on privately owned lands in Beit Jala.’

Construction of the Separation Barrier between Israel and the West Bank, also known as the Wall, began in 2002. Israel claims that it is a security measure designed to prevent attacks by Palestinians in the West Bank. In 2004, the International Court of Justice declared that the ‘construction by Israel of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its associated regime are contrary to international law’.

Hundreds of hectares were confiscated from Beit Jala to build the 3 settlements of Gilo, Har Gilo and Giv’at Hamatos, as well as the part of the wall currently standing. The new extension to the wall is going to destroy another 350 hectares.

Residents of Beit Jala consider it to be a land grab, a means of linking Gilo and Har Gilo, and therefore annexing further Palestinian land to Israel.

According to Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, 85% of the barrier’s planned route of 709 kilometres runs through Palestinian land, rather than on the Green Line (representing the 1948-established borders). Upon completion, 46% of Palestinian land will have been annexed, and the barrier will be almost twice as long as the border, as it zigzags around Palestinian communities.

‘What can we do if the world doesn’t stand with us? The land of Jesus is calling you. Stop the aggression against us. We are human and we have rights. We just want to live in peace’

Meanwhile, Catholic leaders have been holding vigils every Friday in the Cremisan Valley since 2011, drawing international, diplomatic and media attention. Over the years, appeals for help have been made to several world leaders, including Pope Francis, who visited the area last year.

On 30 July 2015, the Society of St Yves Center for Human Rights, representatives of the Convent, submitted a new petition to the Supreme Court. It requested that ‘the Ministry of Defense reveal and present its whole planned route of the Separation Wall in Cremisan before it proceeds with building it in the privately owned lands’.

St. Yves also requested the High Court issue an order ‘to prevent the army from building the Wall before such a route plan is presented, and after allowing all parties and petitioners to submit their objections, especially for the landowners, who will incur severe damages from the construction of the Separation Wall’.

But in spite of that, while the landowners and residents of the community were waiting for yet another decision from the Israeli Supreme Court, the bulldozers rolled in, beginning the construction of the extension of the barrier.

A solidarity tent has been set up on the land, and public events and protests have been organized.

‘We are calling on the European Union and the international community, including the Vatican, to go beyond their statements of concern and condemnations, and to put real pressure on Israel to stop the construction of the Apartheid Wall, dismantle the Wall and the settlements and to respect international law and human rights,’ Stop the Wall declared.

In Beit Jala, frustrated and angry, al-Shatleh says: ‘What can we do if the world doesn’t stand with us? The land of Jesus is calling you. Stop the aggression against us. We are human and we have rights. We just want to live in peace.’

 

EU and Iran Demand a “Nuclear Free Middle East” as AIPAC-Funded Congress Supports “Nuclear-Armed israel”

EU and Iran Demand a “Nuclear Free Middle East” as AIPAC-Funded Congress Supports “Nuclear-Armed Israel” a Global Weapons Supplier

AIPAC

Europe and Iran demand Nuclear Free Middle East as AIPAC-funded Congress creates nuclear-armed  Israel a global weapons supplier

A Congressional Research Service study, on June 10, concluded that American military aid has  ’helped Israel build a domestic defence industry, which ranks as one of the top 10 suppliers of arms worldwide,’ ** (read ‘attack’ for ‘defence’).

Under pressure from AIPAC, the Zionist Lobby in Washington, the White House is reported to be intending to increase its military aid to Israel to unprecedented levels i.e. to $3.5 billion a year for each of the next ten years.   The U.S. also announced a $1.88 billion gift to Israel of bombs and  precision guided weapons including BLU-113, 5000-pound penetrating bombs for use on buried targets – such as Iran’s atomic energy research sites. However, unlike Israel, Iran has no nuclear weapons and subscribes to the entire Middle East being designated a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) as wanted by the EU.

Israel will also apparently be offered the new F-35, fifth generation American strike fighter aircraft in order to maintain Qualitative Military Edge, or QME – an incredible policy enacted into law by a heavily AIPAC-influenced  U.S. congress, in 2008, that requires all US presidents to ensure that Israel possesses a ‘qualitative military edge’.

These unprecedented policies that maintain the only undeclared nuclear state in the world are implemented at a huge cost to the American tax payer, who receives nothing in return other than the threat of a future nuclear war in the Middle East that would almost certainly lead to the deployment of American troops and their inevitable sustainment of heavy losses in a foreign theatre of war.

Rarely if ever mentioned, however, is the apparently secret, federal gag order in force in the U.S. that prohibits informed debate regarding Israel’s nuclear program and that it is apparently an offence for any federal employee to mention the Israeli arsenal of nuclear warheads, in the Iran deal debate. Doing so could end in being summarily fired and possibly imprisoned!  (*see link below).   It is a matter of conjecture as to the precise reasons for such an unprecedented, clandestine, draconian gagging order and as to which country specifically benefits from it, given that it has no bearing on U S national security.

Tragically, President Obama has little alternative but to comply with laws enacted under the previous Bush administration under pressure from the Israel lobby – although he clearly disapproves of a policy that disturbs the balance of global power in favour of a small, strategically insignificant, Mediterranean state – the prime minister of which heads up a right-wing Likud coalition government whose aim is to ethnically cleanse the whole of former Palestine.

Anthony Bellchambers, London.  August 2015

Blair’s main concern about Corbyn is that it might lead to him facing justice

Labour must come to its senses – Blair

Reject ‘Alice in Wonderland’ politics, Blair tells Labour

Tony Blair

Tony Blair has told Labour party members to come to their senses and reject the “Alice in Wonderland” politics of Jeremy Corbyn.

Writing in the Observer, the former Labour prime minister accuses those backing Mr Corbyn for party leader of being in a “parallel reality”.

He says he does not know what is stoking “Corbynmania” but a win for Mr Corbyn would spell electoral disaster.

Liz Kendall, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper are also seeking the leadership.

Recent polls suggest Mr Corbyn, MP for Islington North, is the favourite to succeed Ed Miliband.

Mr Blair has made previous appeals to party members to steer clear of Mr Corbyn.

Switzerland apologises for a brilliant Netanyahu cartoon

Switzerland Says Regrets Envoy’s Display of Netanyahu Cartoon

The cartoon
The cartoon

Swiss ambassador to Iran showed the cartoon of two doves defecating on Netanyahu’s head to a conference meeting of Swiss and Iranian business people.

Switzerland expressed regret on Friday after its ambassador to Iran displayed a cartoon depicting two doves defecating on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s head, at an event promoting Iranian business opportunities.

Ambassador Giulio Haas showed the image during a speech to hundreds of Swiss and Iranian business people at a Zurich hotel on Thursday

 

The cartoon
The cartoon

Russia has taken over 1 million refugees escaping the USA installed Kiev fascists

Russia has accepted over 1mn Ukrainian refugees forced out of homes by Donbass war

RT | August 28, 2015

Over 1 million people have moved to Russia from southeast Ukraine since the beginning of the armed conflict and about 600,000 of them decided never to return home, the head of the Federal Migration Service says.

Konstantin Romodanovsky said in an interview with Interfax that about 114,000 Ukrainian refugees took part in the government program of resettlement and received material aid and a short track in getting Russian citizenship.

Romodanovsky also said that the influx of refugees from Ukraine had led to improvement of Russians’ attitudes towards migrants in general. According to a recent poll conducted by the independent Levada research center, 41 percent of Russians hold that the best way to tackle illegal migration was to help the refugees find jobs and receive legal status – twice as many as the 19 percent who gave the same answer just one year back.

In the same interview, Romodanovsky said that his agency was actively fighting illegal migration and over the past 2 1/2 years they have managed to detain and send back about 1.5 million people who tried to get in to Russian territory by bypassing the rules.

In mid-June this year the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that in 2014 the influx of Ukrainian citizens seeking refuge on Russian territory put the Russian Federation in first place in the world by number of asylum applications.

The UN confirmed that the military conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region was the main reason for the surge in asylum applications. Over 271,000 requests came from Ukrainian citizens, making 99 percent of the total number, the report reads. The report also stated that Russian authorities proved to be much more tolerant in their approach to Ukrainian applicants than their colleagues from Western countries.

Russia and Belarus fulfilled 90 percent of the asylum requests while nations such as the UK, France, Poland or Finland accepted no more than 10 percent of Ukrainian asylum seekers. The US, Canada and Germany proved to be more hospitable, fulfilling between 35 and 65 percent of requests, but these numbers are still far lower than the Russian figures, wrote the UN researchers.

The report also stated that in 2014 Ukraine surpassed the previous years’ leader, Syria, by number of people who wanted to flee their homeland. About one-fifth of a total 1.47 million asylum requests was made by Ukrainians and 94 percent of these requests were made in Russia.

READ MORE: Russia had world’s highest number of asylum applications in 2014 – UN

How can any true Christian support Zionism?

Why We Should Be Concerned About Christian Zionism

Christian’s United For Peace

This is a letter from a Palestinian Christian to the news director and lead anchor of EWTN News, the news division of the Eternal Word Television Network, a Catholic broadcast network with Zionist leanings.

Dear Raymond Arroyo,

I was watching your world over segment last night on EWTN and I had some concerns. My name is Mary. I’m a conservative Catholic from Bethlehem, Palestine.

I know you didn’t think we existed – don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Besides, Israel propaganda does a great job making sure people think Palestinians only consist of mean crazy Muslims fighting the innocent virtuous God chosen people.

I couldn’t help but notice you were one of them, which struck me as very odd considering you work for a religious channel not political, and even if you yourself had your biases it should not be portrayed on your show.

Let me clarify some things if I may, sir. I have three cousins that are priests an uncle who is a Bishop look them up Bishop William Shomali, Fr. Ibrahim Shomali and Fr. Issa Shomali.

My mother lived in Rome for ten years, she almost got ordained to become a nun.

Yes we are pretty conservative and we are proud of our faith. Growing up in occupied Palestine just made our faith even stronger.

Watching on a daily basis Israeli jeeps with huge rifles sticking out from the back of the jeep threatening to shoot us at any moment just because we happened to live on the wrong side of town.

On the way to my St Joseph all-girls Catholic school I saw them making dirty comments, staring me in the face, mocking me.

I saw them shoot little children because they threw rocks at them, and sometimes for absolutely no reason.

In my peaceful town of Beit Sahour, mostly Christians, the first boy to get killed by Israelis was 16 years old.

11866210_10153062623158671_7338599799141080429_n

He was walking home from the store when Israeli soldiers dropped a huge rock on his head from the top of a building and watched him crawl home bleeding until he died at the front steps of his home. He was Christian, he did nothing to them.

Yet you don’t feel any sympathy for him. The second boy was at home in the kitchen watching his mom making fries.

An Israeli settler — you know, those guys who built a home illegally on Palestinian land and are armed — shot him through the window and killed him in front of his mom.

His name was Salam, it means peace. He was a Christian, not involved in anything. Yet you wouldn’t feel any sympathy for him because he’s not Jewish.

I can go on and on and on about how Israel was created, the wars literally kicking people out of their homes and moving in them, the massacres.

The times when they would put the whole town on house arrest, which means we can’t leave the home or look out the window. It would take weeks sometimes.

We are Christians and yet you wouldn’t feel any sympathy for us. When they would set us free they would shout in the microphone in their jeeps “home arrest is off you dogs and cows and donkeys”. And yet it’s all justified.

One time a Christian nurse from my home town took home a young boy who was wounded by Israeli soldiers. He was involved in a protest against occupation and must have thrown a rock at one of the jeeps (oh the horror!)

The soldiers went to her home, and arrested and imprisoned her for years for treating a wounded boy; how dare she!!

And when the town had many protests to free her they released her to Jordan and she was never allowed back to her home. And yet we are the terrorists and you have no sympathy for us.

My ancestors come from that land back in the days when people lived in caves even.

What if we are the original Christians that followed Jesus 2000 years ago — wouldn’t we have the same right to live there in dignity and yet we have none.

And you don’t care. We will continue to carry the cross proudly on our shoulder and suffer, we will continue to pray for our enemy and for peace.

We will not hate, we will only tell the truth. This is what our Bible teaches; you should try doing the same. Peace be with you my friend.

Love, Mary Alshomaly from the Holy Land of Jesus

Syrian Army Targets al-Nusra in Daraa, Strikes ISIL in Homs

 

Local Editor

Syrian army eliminates takfirisUnits of the Syrian army on Saturday continued to tighten the noose around the Takfiri terrorists across the country through launching wide-scale military operations against their dens and positions, killing scores of them and destroying their arms and ammunition, state-run SANA news agency reported.

In Daraa, an army unit targeted a terrorist group driving three vehicles equipped with machine guns in the surroundings of al-Sheikh Hussein and Khleif hills near the border between the provinces of Sweida and Daraa.

A military source told SANA that one of the vehicles was damaged and a number of the group’s members were killed or injured, while the rest managed to flee.

Another army unit killed 10 terrorists and destroyed their weapons and ammunition as it targeted their positions in Bosra al-Sham city in the eastern countryside of Daraa province.

Meanwhile, a number of al-Nusra Front terrorists were killed during army operations against their positions in separate areas in Daraa al-Balad neighborhood in the city of Daraa.

In Sweida, the popular defense groups killed a number of terrorists in the villages of Radimat al-Liwa and Lahtha in the northern countryside of Sweida and seized their weapons and ammunition.

A source in Sweida Province told SANA Saturday that the popular defense groups clashed with terrorists in Koa Hadar area between the two villages as they were attempting to infiltrate from al-Lajat area towards al-Abdias.

The source added that the clashes resulted in the killing and injuring of a number of terrorist s, confiscating their weapons, including various kinds of weapons, rockets , mortar shells and RBJ, while the rest fled.

In Homs, the army units destroyed vehicles of the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group and killed a number of its operatives in the area surrounding Wadi al-Zakara in Tadmour countryside.

Hama/Idleb 

The army air force raided the terrorist organizations’ hideouts in the villages of Qarqour and north of Kaniset Nakhleh in Jisr al-Shughour in the countryside of Idleb province.

A military source told SANA Saturday that a number of terrorists were killed and their vehicles, equipped with machineguns and ammunition were destroyed during the army operations.

The source added that the terrorists of the so-called Jaish al-Fateh organization were inflicted heavy losses in personnel and equipment, while their machinegun-equipped vehicles were destroyed in the army air strikes against their hideouts and positions in Ariha city in the southern countryside of the province.

Meanwhile, a number of terrorists, mostly of al-Nusra Front, were killed and injured in the army raids against their gatherings in the villages of al-Teraa and al-Shwaiha in Abu al-Duhour area in the southeastern countryside of the province.

The terrorist organizations admitted on their social media websites the killing of a number of their members, among them terrorist Radwan Hussein al-Ali.

In Aleppo, many al-Nusra terrorists were killed as the army targeted their gatherings and hideouts in Binyamin and Khan Touman villages in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo province.

Movements and hideouts of terrorists were also targeted in the surroundings of the Scientific Research Center’s building and in al-Mansoura village in the western countryside.

Army operations continued in the southern and southeastern countryside of Aleppo, with the army units targeting gatherings of terrorists in al-Wudeihi village and to the west of al-Nairab Airport.

An army unit destroyed terrorists’ supply routes across Turkey in Hreitan town in the northern countryside, leaving a number of them dead or wounded.

The army also destroyed ISIL hideouts and vehicles in the vicinity of the Air Force Academy, located on the international road linking Aleppo with the northeastern Raqqa province.

In Aleppo city, army units targeted positions in the neighborhoods of Bani Zaid, Karm al-Jabal and Tal al-Sheikh Saeed, killing many terrorists and destroyed a bulldozer they had been using for demolishing houses and digging tunnels.

In Lattakia, a number of the terrorist organizations’ members were killed; their vehicles were destroyed in army air force strikes against their hideouts at the surroundings of Kinsaba and Shalaf Castle in the northern countryside of the coastal province of Lattakia.

In Rabe’a to the north-eastern countryside of Lattakia, a field source told SANA that 6 terrorists at least were killed in clashes erupted between a unit of the army and terrorist groups.

Abdullah Omar, Mohanad Bikdash from the so-called “Liwa al-Asifah” terrorist organization in addition to Mohammad al-Jablawi were identified among the dead terrorists.

Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fuelled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 230,000 people, according to reports. New figures show that over 76,000 people, including thousands of children, lost their lives in Syria last year.

Over 3.8 million Syrians have left their country since the beginning of the crisis. According to reports, more than seven million Syrians have become internally displaced.

Source: Agencies

29-08-2015 – 17:54 Last updated 29-08-2015 – 17:58


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The Wise Guardians

 Thursday, 27 August 2015 20:03

The Syrian State has the right to invite those who defend the Syrian people, said H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad in his recent interview with the Lebanese al-Manar Satellite TV, describing His Eminence Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as the genuine, sincere, principled honest and transparent resistant Leader. The Syrians are indeed indebted to their Hezbollah brothers in blood and destiny.

When the wahabi Al-Qaeda affiliates and cannibals invaded the sacred Syria of tolerance, amity, secularity, the Syrians have been left a prey along with their culture, heritage, mosques, churches, synagogues and other worship places. Had it not been for the brave President, Army, Defense and Resistance Forces, Syria, the cradle of civilization and of monotheist religions could have been by now filled but only with ignorance, slaughter, extremism and non-humans! Thus, Syrians bow in respect for those heroes who brave every danger to save a child, church, mosque or whatever living, civilized.

This is what H.E. President Al-Assad underlined of the popular support and backing of the Syrians and the friends who support Syrian in the Middle East as well as in the world as the source of steadfastness. “We rely firstly on people, of course after relying on God, but if you don’t have public support then you cannot withstand. If you don’t have public support then there is no value for any political or national direction you adopt as a president or official or state. First, you rely on the people, and second on friends who stand firm alongside Syria and support in the region and in the world,” His Excellency said.

President Assad’s relation with His Eminence Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is strong and dates back to more than 20 years ago, and is a relation characterized by honesty and transparency, as Nasrallah is absolutely honest, transparent, principled, and loyal to his principles and his associates and friends to the extreme. It is the relationship between a ”resistant state and a true resistant figure who gave his son in defense of Lebanon.”  Back in April 1996, as SANA journalist, I was an eye witness to the late President Hafez Al-Assad’s masterminded international recognition of the Resistance, ”April Understanding”. Rest in Peace, father, your sons have indeed been honored to inherit all and every sacred of yours.

Hi Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Leader, on April 6, 2015 declared:

“One of God blessings bestowed on Syria is Presidency of Bashar Al-Assad when the ongoing conspiracy took place… the steadfast brave President Al-Assad has proved through his courage and for all those who are near and far that Syria is an independent State…I call on you to appreciate and esteem the value of having President Bashar Al-Assad, who has indeed a huge popular backing, as the head of the Syrian State.”

Yes, this is the leadership deeds and words of the brave and wise. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s June 15th, 2000 pledge as to complete the honorable process of the late President Hafez Assad have come true. During his meeting with Lt. Gen. Bashar Assad on that day to extend comfort to the Assad’s family, Nasrallah stressed that the Lebanese Resistance would be ‘’permanent following the steadfastness and struggle inclination of the late President Hafez al-Assad and to back his process. I am here to support the process and inclination of Dr. Bashar al-Assad due to his being perpetuity to his father.’’ It is the blessings of God to have the wise guardians for all of the humanity, nobility and justice.

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

President Bashar Al-Assad’s al-Manar August 25, 2015 Interview

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ISIS LOSES ELECTRONIC RAT WIZ; TRUCE FALLS APART IN AL-ZABADAANI; RATS COLLECT RODENT ORGANS IN TURKEY

Ziad Fadel

مقتل العقل المدبر لتنظيم «داعش» في الرقة البريطاني جنيد حسين

AL-RAQQA:  All rats, no matter how much talent they might have, are going to die in Syria.  This is exactly what happened to the degenerate monster and heretic seen in the picture herein-above.  He was Junayd Hussayn (a/k/a “Abu Hussayn Al-Bareetaani”), a U.K. citizen (natch) of Pakistani origin.  He was reportedly killed in an American aerial attack around the Al-Raqqa area, at the Abu Hayf Fuel Station, last Monday.  Along with him were 3 others who also were vaporized.  According to some sources he stole over $200,000,000.00 American dollars through computer hacking.  He was an electronic warfare wiz responsible for ISIS’s world-wide campaigns of recruitment and propaganda.  Very secretive, he had the full confidence of the Caliph of Cockadoodledoo.  To his family, we extend our middle fingers and wish him and them a prompt descent into Hell.

_____________________________________________________________

TURKEY:  The assassinated chief of the “Association of the Falcons of the Ghaab” is robbed of his body organs by his own allies:

سرقة أعضاء متزعم ما يسمى

Here lies the deserter, Major Jameel Ra’doon, after being deprived of his body’s organs which were harvested in order to be sold to some Zionist.  He was assassinated in Antioch by gangsters who were in the business of trafficking  in body parts.   “You reap what you sew”.  Nyuk. Nyuk.

__________________________________________________________

DAMASCUS:  Syrian Army has ceased withdrawal of  heavy equipment and armor from the town of Al-Zabadaani.  The planned truce has collapsed due to constant violations of its terms by the disorganized terrorist rodents.  So, what that means is that the towns of Al-Zabadaani, Al-Faw’ah and Kafrayyaa will continue to suffer material and human losses for the time being.  In fact, of interest to some readers might be the fact that scores of terrorists in Al-Zabadaani were exploring an Amnesty offer from the government.  All that was for naught once the truce fell apart.

 

الجيش السوري يسحب معداته الثقيلة من الزبداني

Doumaa:  Very heavy fighting with the SAA on the offensive and the SAAF tracking, with pin-point accuracy, the movement of terrorists, an activity which led to the bombardment and total annihilation of an IED and rocket factory run by the illustrious rodent, Zahraan ‘Alloosh, who may be dead for all we know.  4 pickups were destroyed by the SAAF near the village of Al-Shifooniyya.

‘Abdul-Jabbaar Al-Faytoori (LIBYAN WEASEL GLAND)

Sa’eed Al-Asadi (PALESTEEZIAN PEANUT FUNGUS)

Khaalid Al-Hayya (PALESTEEZIAN SNAKE)

Saaber Makhool (PALESTEEZIAN PUS MERCHANT)

‘Abdul-Shaafi’ Jayjooni

Taaher Al-‘Ajjaan

Maalik Khawwaan

Nabeel Al-Noori

Another 11 could not be identified.

 

Doumaa:  The SAA struck hard at the Upper Corniche, North of Martyr’s Square, Karm Al-Rassaass and the area of the Medical Tower destroying a rocket launcher and killing these jackals:

‘Abdul-Sattaar Shamsham

Faayez Al-Taweel

Khudhr Haaj-Muhssin

Faysal Muhammad

‘Ayyaadh Al-‘Anzi

Ziyaad Al-Qidda

Muhammad Al-Naqshabandi

عودة العمليات العسكرية بعد انهيار الهدنة في الزبداني وكفريا والفوعة

Zamalkaa:  SAAF destroyed a van near the Abu Bakr Mosque killing these:

‘Aatif Al-Tallaawi

Nuhaad Dihna

Bilaal Hamaada

Muhyi-Al-Deen Sa’adoon Al-Jabboori (IRAQI MUSKRAT PUSTULE)

 

Harastaa:  The SAA destroyed a mortar at the ‘Aqeel Mosque and killed these ‘Allooshis:

Muhammad Halbooni

Ishaaq Al-Ghaanim

Nidhaal Al-Za’eem

Jawaad Sabhaa

Khaalid Al-Shaami

Hameed Al-Akta’

Ahmad Firdoos

 

Between Saqba and Jisreen:  SAA seized weapon and ammunition in a van and killed these:

‘Aadil Al-Dabbaas

Zhaafer Al-Beetaar

 

Tal-Kurdi Village:  An SAA unit destroyed a truck with a heavy cannon.  All rats were killed northeast of Doumaa.  No other details.
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Mass Crowd Floods Beirut Streets in anti-Corruption Rally

Local Editor

Thousands of citizens waving the Lebanese flag and holding banners to denounce corruption and the politicians’ failure to manage the state converged Saturday on Martyrs’ Square in Downtown Beirut.

Citizens had marched from the Interior Ministry in Sanayeh at 5:00 p.m. to Martyrs Square to take part in a mass rally organized by the ‘You Stink’ campaign and other civil community organizations.

Shortly after the march began, the Internal Security Forces posted on its official Twitter page that it “completely respects the citizens’ freedom of expression and peaceful protesting rights.” ISF members marched in front of protesters as they made their way through the streets towards the square.

Protesters that joined the march were chanting against corruption and politicians.

People, including children and the elderly, started arriving in the early afternoon to the square to protest against the country’s political class for mismanaging the economy and failing to provide basic services such as electricity, water and trash collection.

Buses and minivans were seen transporting people from the southern city of Sidon, the northern city of Tripoli and from Baalbek and Hermel in east Lebanon to join the rally.

“Game over,” a banner held by one protester read.

Some demonstrators held banners that read “We have no electricity, no water… remove the garbage” and waved Lebanese flags.

Others held a large banner saying: “We want to hold you accountable.”

The rally also saw the participation of several syndicates, most prominently the Union Coordination Committee, which has been demanding that the state endorse a new pay scale for public employees for years.

Demonstrators, angered by the government’s failure to provide basic services, have held protests for the past week in Downtown Beirut.

Rallies last weekend, which managed to draw thousands to the city’s center, saw clashes between security forces and protesters.

The You Stink movement held a press conference Friday ahead of Saturday’s rally to announce their political manifesto.

Source: Websites

29-08-2015 – 20:07 Last updated 29-08-2015 – 20:07

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israel’s new U.N. ambassador Danny Danon says “Gott Mit Uns” not USA. I don’t like the sound of that God

God is on Israel’s side, but not the United States, says Israel’s new U.N. ambassador

The new Israeli ambassador to the United Nations believes that Israel has God on its side but not the United States. In fact, U.S. policy has cost Israel “thousands of young lives.” The appointment of the rightwing Israeli politician Danny Danon as ambassador is widely seen as an expression of contempt for diplomacy on the part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a specific rebuke of President Obama, because Danon argues that Israel should annex the West Bank and force Palestinians to become citizens of Jordan. But Danon’s beliefs go beyond rightwing political dictums to a religious understanding of Israel’s best friends. In his 2012 book, Israel: The Will to Prevail, Danon repeatedly quotes God, saying that God gave the land of Canaan to the Jews as an “everlasting possession” and God even went took the trouble to renname the land “Israel.” He also states that Israel has only been hurt when it responded to pressure from the United States: Israel has served itself best by undertaking preemptive attacks, against Egypt and Iraq, rather than accepting American counsel to hold back– a view that applies to Iran as well.

That country is similar to Nazi Germany and therefore must be attacked. Danon wrote: “Compare the period of Nazi Germany to what is happening now in Iran and you will find many similarities, from a messianic leader to national unification via hatred and propaganda. The lack of firm action and the dialogue of the international community are very similar to those in Europe before the Second World War. There isn’t time to wait and see what the Iran scenario will turn out to be.” What follows are passages from the book in which Danon repeatedly quotes God’s promises and in which he expresses contempt for American counsel for Israel, including the charge that the U.S. cost Israel “thousands” of young lives in 1973. First, God: The Jewish people base their claim of the Land of Israel on a few basic premises aside from the fact that the territory was captured in defensive wars: (1) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham… Open the Bible to nearly any page and …. You will see that in every description of the place there is a connection of Jews to the land… Essential to even a basic understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures is recognition of the connection between a specific area of land and a specific people in covenant with God. In the Bible, God gave Abraham, the first patriarch of Israel, the land of Canaan, renamed “Israel” by God, as an everlasting possession…. The patriarch Abraham was told by God to leave his native land and his father’s house for a land that God would show him. God promised to make of him a great nation, to bless him, make his name great, bless Those who blessed him, and curse those who cursed him…. Upon entering the land, God told Abraham that it would be for him and his descendants as a pledge: “Unto thy seed will I give this land”…

Note that the term Palestine is rarely used in the Old Testament…. God told Moses to bring the people out of Egypt and return them to their land. During the 40 years it took to reach their destination, God gave the people of Israel the Torah and the Tabernacle, both with an eye on the upcoming conquest of The Land…. For the next almost two thousand years, Jews everywhere kept an intimate relationship with their land. Three times daily in prayer and every time bread was broken, the Jews would remember their land and beseech God to return them to it… The Jewish people’s claim to Israel is older and stronger than any other people’s in the history of the world. Now here are passages in which Danon states that the American policy toward Israel only hurt Israel. The pattern began during the Holocaust: The very people in whom the Jews had the most faith—Americans–essentially abandoned the Jews in Europe during the Holocaust.

It continued in the Eisenhower administration, which threatened “to outlaw American Jewish organizations that aided Israel.” Danon even implies that the United States should have sent troops to Israel to defend it in 1967, but didn’t have the will. Before the ’67 war, he writes, “the United States refused to support Israel’s efforts to defend herself…. The United States didn’t have the stomach for involvement with another war on an entirely different front [in Vietnam]. Instead of sending aid or troops, it tried very hard to find diplomatic solutions to the problem.” The U.S. again failed Israel in the Yom Kippur war of 1973, an episode that “exposes the deadly effects of too much U.S. interference.” Instead of engaging in a preemptive attack against the Arab nations that were gearing up once again at the borders, Israeli leadership succumbed to U.S. pressure, ultimately losing thousands of young lives in a surprise attack by Egypt and Syria…. Had we not been so worried about what [Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger and President Nixon thought, and called the reserves a day before Yom Kippur, there would have been troops at the border that could have protected citizens and defended Israel… As a result, 2,222 Israelis were killed… I can only wonder how many lives would have been saved had Prime Minister [Golda] Meir massed troops for the surprise attack and told Kissinger, I put the safety of my people before your ideas. Later American pressure stopped Israel from destroying the Egyptian Third Army in the Sinai.

Because of U.S. pressure, Israel was not able to pursue the fruits of war to her advantage. Israel did not double down on the Third Army and by capitulating to Kissinger’s demand lost an opportunity to show… that we could dominate even when taken by surprise…. Again the U.S. failed Israeli in 1981. America knew that Iraq was reaching “nuclear capability and would exploit the ability to influence or destroy Israel. Despite the American consensus, America refused to act, perhaps because it did not truly grasp the danger, or, more realistically, because it did not want to upset Iraq. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin insisted that he would “not be the man in whose time there will be a second Holocaust” and ordered a strike on the Iraqi nuclear facility at Osirak. Danon offers a rationale for preemptive strikes by Israel. Preemptive, preventive strikes are risky for many reasons…. They may not be greeted with enthusiasm or admiration from the international community. So be it.

Israel must be willing to make decisions that are unpopular around the globe. Danon is now setting out on that path of unpopularity. In that book he describes the peace process as insane: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The one-state reality is here. Even the Washington Post is acknowledging as much. What do Americans (and liberal Zionists) have to say about giving $4 billion a year to a country where half the people can’t vote, because of their ethnicity?

Bush-Era Torture Apologists Whitewash Their Crimes

Bush-Era Torture Apologists Whitewash Their Crimes

by John Kiriakou

The CIA’s torture-era leadership just won’t repent.

Even after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report saying in no uncertain terms that the CIA had tortured its prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that torture never elicited any actionable intelligence that saved American lives, Bush-era CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and several of their underlings announced plans to release a book justifying torture.

They intend to repeat a lie over and over again in this book: that torture worked. They hope that the American people are either so gullible or so stupid that they’ll believe it. It’s up to the rest of us to ensure that our government swears off committing this crime against humanity.

I know that these former intelligence leaders are lying because I worked with them at the CIA. When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program in 2007, they came down on me like a ton of bricks.

It’s not necessarily news that these former CIA heavyweights believe in torture, even if they refuse to call it what it is. Many television news outlets still run clips of George Tenet’s 2007 appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes” in which he repeats “We do not torture! We do not torture!” as though he were unhinged and living in a dream world. Perhaps what Tenet needs to do is to read the United Nations Convention on Torture, to which the United States is a signatory.

This global accord says that torture is “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining…information or a confession, punishing him for an act…or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or when such pain or suffering is inflicted by…a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”

It’s plain and simple: The CIA tortured its prisoners. They can call it anything they want. It’s still torture.

These same former CIA leaders already have set up a propaganda website to accompany their book. The site explains away their violations of international law with the lie that torture worked, that it was legal, and that it was smart policy.

President Barack Obama decided to ignore these officers’ violations of the law, to “look forward as opposed to backwards.” I disagree.

If these folks want to talk about torture, let’s talk about torture.

Let’s talk about the prisoners who were killed — murdered — by CIA officers during questioning and why those officers were never brought to trial. Let’s talk about the sexual assault perpetrated against prisoners by CIA officers, but described as “rectal rehydration.” Let’s talk about the CIA’s secret prisons around the world. Let’s talk about the CIA’s doctors involved in the torture program who violated their Hippocratic oaths to “first do no harm.” Let’s talk about the targeting and murder of U.S. citizens overseas without the benefit of trial.

I have no doubt that these former CIA leaders think they are patriots. They believe they have bravely served the country. But what they’re missing is that they didn’t take an oath to protect the CIA. They took an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution. They didn’t do that. Instead, they committed crimes against humanity, and for that they should be prosecuted.

John Kiriakou is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. He’s also a former CIA counterterrorism officer and former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This piece originally appeared in Foreign Policy In Focus.

Bestial actions taken against Palestinian Minors by israeli Interrogators

Palestinian Minors Abused by Israeli Interrogators

Ali Etani, a 17-year-old detainee from the northern West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, briefed his lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) on the ill-treatment and abuse he has been subjected to, during interrogation in Israeli prisons.

photo source: Days of Palestine
photo source: Days of Palestine

According to WAFA, Etani told his lawyer that Israeli interrogators harass minor detainees and employ various physiological and physical torture techniques; some of these methods include tying the minor’s hands and feet and humiliating him by interrogators who place their legs on the detainees shoulders while handcuffed.

Etani added he has breathing difficulties and sinuses as well as chronic headache, yet receives no medical care from the prison service.

The Israeli prison guards carry out regular and surprising night raids in minors’ sections, the last of which was a raid targeting one of the cells; the guards locked down the detainees in the lavatories while tampered with their personal belongings.

According to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, at the end of May 2015, 163 Palestinian minors were held in Israeli prisons as security detainees and prisoners.

Most of the minors in detention are subjected to verbal and physical abuse, which is an outright violation of international law. Defense for Palestinian Children reported, “The majority of children are detained from their West Bank homes during the middle of the night by heavily armed Israeli soldiers.”

It added, “Several hours after their arrest, children arrive at an interrogation and detention center alone, sleep deprived and often bruised and scared. Interrogations tend to be coercive, including a variety of verbal abuse, threats and physical violence that ultimately result in a confession.”

The international law stipulates that minors are not to be handcuffed or terrorized during interrogation. Upon detention, the authority detaining the minor should immediately inform the family and allow his parents to be present during interrogation.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said parents have the right to accompany the child to the interrogation at the police station, even if the station is located within a settlement. If not allowed to enter a settlement, an attorney should accompany the minor immediately.

According to statistics, 90 minors, who are under the age of 18, are currently detained in the Ofer Military camp near Ramallah, while another 110 are detained in Hasharon and Majedo military camps.

via DCI Palestine: Rising Physical Violence against Palestinian Child Detainees

 

USA Pushing the Edge on Nuclear War

Pushing the Edge on Nuclear War

Exclusive: Official Washington’s neocons and liberal hawks are ratcheting up tensions again over Ukraine with the goal of humiliating and even destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia – and there’s no modern-day JFK to tamp down the enthusiasm, an existential risk that ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk examines.

By William R. Polk

Decisions on nuclear weapons are and will remain the most important part of our quest for world security since even small mistakes or wrong actions would probably be catastrophic. We now seem to be moving closer to the danger point of provoking their use. So I want particularly to emphasize four points on the issues we all face and then raise a few other general considerations:

–Technical mistakes are always possible. More have happened than is generally known. In the Eisenhower administration, NORAD at least once spotted on radar a flight of geese over Iceland and went to Red Alert. It took a critical period of minutes to recognize the cause and stand down the alert. During that time, the danger of a missile launch or an aircraft attack was clear and present.

President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Some years later, a nuclear bomb was actually dropped on America (by a U.S. Air Force bomber flying where it should not have been while carrying a weapon it should not have been carrying).  Fortunately, the firing mechanism was faulty and the bomb did not go off. Had it detonated, in the confusion SAC and other formations would have been hard to stop from reacting to the supposed attacker. These are just two of many incidences of dangerous times.

I fear that we are again heading into dangerous times.

–Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is often said to be “stable” under certain conditions. It follows that it becomes unstable under others. Thus, we can predict that since our world is in rapid transformation, we cannot rely upon temporary stability.

For years, as former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara observed, we have had at least 500 missiles armed with nuclear weapons on “hair trigger” alert in Europe. If you multiply the number of missiles by the number of months, the scattering of sites over a large area and continuous changes of personnel, it is obvious that even the best designed systems of command and control are always fragile.

Much more fragile is the situation in countries that do not spend the enormous amount of money (and talent) required to maintain missiles and nuclear weapons. Without “upkeep,” both missiles and bombs are inherently dangerous. And dangerous both to the country in which they are located and to their assumed targets. I find this particularly worrisome in the confrontation between India and Pakistan.

–Decisions on war and peace are often discussed in the abstract. That is, the assumption is that decision on their use is determined by “national” interests. As has been said, “The risk and consequences of nuclear war are so great as to outweigh any possible advantage in trying to use them.” That gives some analysts and practitioners a sense of security. They should not have it.

That is because decisions are not made by “nations” but by people. And, in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the deadly serious war game (designed by Thomas Schelling) played in the Pentagon (by teams of the most senior U.S. officials) demonstrated that there were circumstances in which even sober, well-informed and intelligent officials would find that their less ruinous choice would be opting for general war. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine War: A Reverse Cuban Missile Crisis.”]

Ironically, I think we owed much of the “success” we had in the Cuban Missile Crisis not to the agreement to withdraw the Jupiter missiles from Turkey, although this was clearly necessary and I had long been advocating it, but to the bravery or even foolhardiness of  Nikita Khrushchev.  He risked a coup d’état and certain death by accepting the humiliation we necessarily imposed on him.

And Kennedy, of course, deserves great credit for partially masking the Russian defeat. That was the real significance of the withdrawal of the Jupiters. Had other men been in the White House or the Kremlin, the outcome might have been very different. I might not be writing or you reading. We both would probably have long since been dead (or for those of you born after 1962, you might never have lived).

–Since human beings make the decisions, we must be aware of decision makers’ vulnerabilities. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was one of about 25 civilians fully engaged in the events. I was not at the center but in the second or third “echelon.” So I did not feel the full strain, but by the Thursday of the Crisis, I was thoroughly exhausted. My judgment must have been impaired even though I was not aware of it.

I do remember, however, a terrible episode – fortunately lasting only a few minutes – at which I thought to myself, “let’s just get it over with.” When later I met with my Soviet counterparts, I got the impression, although they denied it, that my feelings were not unique. How the strain impacted on the inner group I can only guess. But reading McNamara’s later remarks, I suspect they were far stronger than on me.

Now, please consider a few other random issues:

First, contrast North Korea and Iraq: the logical deduction from the contrast of our approach to North Korea (which does have weapons) and Iraq (which did not) is that having a nuclear arsenal is the ultimate, sometimes the only, defense.

If defense is decided upon as a national objective, as presumable all governments will decide, nuclear weapons must be acquired covertly to avoid attack in the acquisition phase. This is presumably and logically still a danger in the Iran case if the Congress turns down the current agreement.

Second, Iran (along with Japan and other countries) illustrates that the division between nuclear bomb possession and nuclear bomb potential is fungible. If the Bush administration had pushed even harder toward a war with Iran or had Israeli threats been even more dire, Iran might have added to its extant and growing nuclear establishment, which then did not produce weapons, weapons from North Korea or Pakistan – and/or gone all out to build its own.

That would not have been an irrational act by “mad mullahs” but, under the circumstances, a wise move. Under parallel circumstances, the United States certainly would have done it. Russia, China, India and Pakistan did it. Israel is a different but comparable case.

Third, the India-Pakistan confrontation raises another related question. Even though Pakistan took much punishment in three wars without using its nuclear weapons, we should not be deluded into thinking that it never will. There must be a “red line” beyond which a nuclear war is inevitable.

Fourth, some commentators have argued that the risks of escalating to nuclear exchanges are so obvious and so well known that they will have a conservative effect on everyone. Generally that is true, but we have seen situations where decision-making  is variable, unpredictable, even irrational.

And, events which appear “singular” are actually steps in a process. Thus, when an act is taken and fails to produce the desired result or calls for a reaction, it may and usually does become step “A.” Step “B” becomes the logical extension. And somewhere down the alphabet successive steps became inevitable.

In the Cuban Crisis, JFK was acutely aware of this. He was determined not to be trapped by sequence, but it was difficult to avoid. Our military, as I had reason personally to see, was not so aware or so guided by concern with “process.”

Would the Pakistani general staff be smarter than ours? Does Pakistan have a civilian commander to take the place of JKF? And, finally, does Pakistan have a group that could perform like the Crisis Management Committee and other advisers in and around the presidency? If so, I have not seen them.

Fifth, Americans, and presumably all other peoples, have very short memories. This may be less true of officials than of the general public, but my reading of history and my experience in government make me doubt it.

I would wager that if one tested even supposedly well-informed college students on the report Carl Sagan orchestrated with some our leading scientists on the effects of nuclear weapons he would find little knowledge, understanding – or fear. And beyond students, I shudder to think what the result would be. (It would be a very useful contribution to world peace to republish Sagan’s report. I summarized it in a previous article.) To call it horrifying is to mince words.

Since we cannot predict how our own successors will act – and certainly cannot predict how other governments in the future will act – I argue that in anyone’s hands, nuclear weapons are deadly threats to us all. It follows that we must try, as we intermittently and feebly have tried in the past, to get rid of them before they get rid of us.

The argument is often made that reduction to a “sufficient” deterrent number could work, but what that number would be, who could determine it for the several nation-states and how it could be enforced is, I think at best, problematical. Beyond zero, everything is slippery.

Sixth, Henry Kissinger to the contrary, there is no such thing as limited nuclear war. Kissinger, Schelling, Kahn, Wolhstetter et al were perhaps deluding themselves, but they certainly were deluding us.

This was the major result of the Pentagon war game I cited above. The war game showed conclusively that the basis of our Cold War strategy was perhaps just lucky but certainly was not decisive.  However, no one wanted to consider the result. We had invested in a whole industry of Cold War rhetoric and were determined not to give it up.

Last, while the minute hand on the clock on the cover of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is probably now a bit further from midnight than at various times in the past, there are fresh warning signs that:

–We are moving back toward a confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. And, while Russia is not so formidable as it appeared a generation ago, it still has a nuclear arsenal as large and as deployable as ours. Led by us, NATO is moving into areas of great sensitivity;

–While North and South Korea seem to have reached a sort of deal over at least propaganda and artillery exchanges, all the elements are in place for further trouble;

–While the fate of Kashmir and the division of water between India and Pakistan catch our attention less often, the risks of a serious confrontation remain;

–While Israeli threats to bomb Iran appear to have worn somewhat thin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to threaten war;

–While the United States has backed off from its blockade and sanctions program against Iran, the prospects for hostilities remain if Congress refuses to recognize the Iran nuclear agreement

If we want our children and grandchildren to live, we had better use the “minutes” before midnight to get our act in better shape, rather than just sitting back and relaxing. We have much to do and now is the time to get started.

 

America’s “Justice” system is a lie, Police totally out of control

AMERICA’S “JUSTICE” SYSTEM IS A LIE

During my more than twelve years of writing for Pravda.Ru, I don’t believe I’ve ever opened an article with a warning to readers. So this will be a first. Therefore, I respectfully ask you to sit down before reading further, because the news I am about to relate is so shocking, so out of the norm, and so unimaginable that you might faint if you read it while standing up.

A white cop is going to walk free after shooting an unarmed African-American man.

Although my warning is sarcastic, it is not meant to be humorous. The cold, harsh reality is that, in recent months, numerous cops who have killed unarmed people have escaped any form of justice. Some were not charged at all. Others evaded prosecution after farcical “grand juries” were convened to provide the illusion that some “impartial” procedure created the failure to bring criminal indictments. And even when a few of these cases made it to trial, the results were almost always a hung jury or an outright acquittal.

The case I am discussing above involves the killing of Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot ten times by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick.

I first discussed Ferrell’s murder in my Pravda.Ru article, America’s Epidemic of Killer Cops (December 1, 2014), by explaining how “it actually required a second grand jury to secure an indictment [against Kerrick] because the first apparently thought ‘voluntary manslaughter’ was too severe a charge for a white police officer who gunned down an unarmed African-American.”

During the facade that masqueraded as a trial, a police captain testified that Kerrick violated departmental policy by shooting Ferrell, and an officer who was on the scene at the time of the killing stated that Ferrell represented such a minor threat that “he never considered pulling [his] weapon.”

But, predictably, this wasn’t enough for the jury, who deadlocked 8-4 in favor of acquittal. And, a few days after this deadlock occurred, prosecutors stated they would not seek a retrial, thus making Kerrick a free man.

Knowing that this trial was held in North Carolina—the state where two separate juries once acquitted Klansmen and Neo-Nazis who were videotaped shooting anti-Klan protesters (see Greensboro Massacre: Justice Delayed or Justice Denied?, Pravda.Ru, February 28, 2008), and where voters elected a virulent racist named Jesse Helms to the United States Senate five times—it is tempting to blame the outcome of the Kerrick case on “good old boy southern justice.”

But this ignores the tragic reality that juries have also acquitted cops of killing unarmed people in states like California and New York.

The question is, WHY?

One answer I proposed in my America’s Epidemic article is fear. Even though most reasonable people will acknowledge on the intellectual level that police brutality and excessive force exists, on the visceral level they want to pretend it doesn’t happen: “People do not want to believe that a late-night trip to the grocery store, a stroll through a parking lot (Kelly Thomas), driving home from a party (Samantha Ramsey), or seeking assistance after a traffic accident (Jonathan Ferrell) can result in an encounter with police that ends in their death. So the natural instinct is to blame the victims of police brutality, to find something, anything, no matter how minute, that can be used to rationalize a cop’s actions.”

But this is only part of the story. In today’s America open displays of racism are looked upon with disfavor, and often result in economic and social repercussions for those who express them. But two sanctuaries where racism can still be exhibited is the voting booth and the courts.

This is why I have stated in several previous Pravda.Ru articles that America’s so-called “legal” system habitually works harder to perpetuate and cover-up injustice than it does to promote justice, and it will go to extraordinary lengths to support and protect the criminality and corruption of those who serve the system, while rabidly imprisoning people—even innocent people—who expose or challenge this criminality and corruption.

Those who doubt this should recall that in the past few years alone, American courts have endorsed the torture and extrajudicial execution of American citizens, warrantless surveillance and spying, and the usurpation of the democratic process by billionaires and corporations. It is a system that is unabashedly racist, hopelessly corrupt, and unyieldingly vindictive. And, since many of the sociopaths who control, manipulate, and profit from this system (most of whom already come from backgrounds of wealth and privilege) exploit it as a gateway to greater wealth and power, it is also self-servingly intransigent.

Make no mistake about it. If America’s legal system truly wants to get you, it will. You can bet if Jonathan Ferrell had been accused of shooting Randall Kerrick, no hung jury would prevent a retrial. In fact, there would most likely be no hung jury at all, because every means at a prosecutor’s disposal—suborning perjury, withholding exculpatory evidence, fabricating incriminating evidence, intimidating witnesses, excluding racial minorities from the jury—would be deployed to obtain a conviction.

The outcome of the Kerrick case and countless others like it lead to one inescapable truth: America’s criminal justice system is not equipped to effectively prosecute police brutality and excessive force cases, and no proposed reforms are going to alter that reality.

Cops are already reluctant to testify against their fellow officers, and the outcome of the Kerrick case will undoubtedly entrench this reluctance even further. Why suffer the wrath of your fellow officers, endure a hostile work environment, or risk being denied necessary backup in a dangerous situation when you know your testimony will be meaningless?

A more racially diverse legal system will not by itself solve these problems. During my years of practicing law, I discovered that African-American cops, prosecutors, and judges were often more zealous in demanding harsh punishments for racial minorities than their white counterparts. Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, for example, has done more to destroy the civil rights gains of African-Americans than most white racists ever could.

Creating laws that make it easier to prosecute police brutality and excessive force cases on the federal level will most likely fail as well. Laws are only as good as their enforcement, so it would still be up to prosecutors or grand juries to decide whether to bring charges. And even if those charges are brought, the accused officer will still be tried by a jury system that incessantly refuses to criminally punish police misconduct.

Finally, as the rubber-stamp acquittal issued to Cleveland, Ohio police officer Michael Brelo by Judge John P. O’Donnell glaringly illustrates, even judges cannot be entrusted with rendering unbiased verdicts when it comes to police shootings of unarmed African-Americans.

At the end of my Pravda.Ru article Scott Walker: Satan’s Candidate (July 20, 2015), I quoted a passage from the 1979 movie And Justice for All, which starred Al Pacino as an idealistic criminal defense attorney named Arthur Kirkland. I will do so again here. As Kirkland’s frustration with the shameless corruption and callousness of the legal system mounted, he finally realized, “It’s just a show.”

And indeed it is. America’s justice system is one of the biggest frauds ever foisted on the American people, and the argument that it may be less fraudulent than justice systems in some other countries doesn’t make it any less despicable.

The true danger right now is that the refusal of biased prosecutors and farcical grand juries to bring charges, and the egregious acquittals of police officers who shoot and/or beat unarmed people to death, have become so routine that Americans will soon become desensitized to them. Some pundits are already arguing that focusing on police misconduct should be subordinate to focusing on crimes that racial minorities perpetrate upon each other.

While that problem certainly should not be ignored, two wrongs do not make a right. When anyone, in any profession, knows he or she can get away with murder, there is a danger to all people, of all races.

And murderers will continue to walk freely among us.

David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru

Only in America; Private gulags will sue states unless they provide enough slave labour

Private prisons threaten to sue for more inmates for free labour

Freedom is apparently bad for business. That’s the message from the private prison industry which is threatening to sue states if they don’t start locking more people up.

The private prison companies, well-known for profiting off of incarceration and crime, is now saying that the state’s they have contracted with aren’t keeping up their end of the bargain. The private prisons rely on a certain number of inmates for free and virtually-free slave labor. 

That labor is used for a variety of trades, including making uniforms for popular restaurants like McDonalds and Applebee’s. But if the private prisons don’t have enough inmates locked up then production goes down correlative with the decrease in free labor (i.e. slavery).

It comes as a surprise to many Americans, but slavery was never actually abolished in the United States. That’s not a metaphor, it’s a matter of careful reading of the 13th amendment to the Constitution. That amendment – often lauded for abolishing slavery – actually makes an exception for prisons. Slavery is still completely legal as “punishment for a crime.”

USA Today explains the following:

Ratified at the end of the Civil War, the amendment abolished slavery, with one critical exception: Slavery and involuntary servitude actually remain lawful “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” In other words, according to this so-called punishment clause, if you get pulled over with the wrong controlled substance in your trunk, there’s nothing in the 13th Amendment to ensure you can’t be considered a slave of the state.

The punishment clause was taken directly from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and reflected the belief of the time that hard work was essential to prisoners’ moral rehabilitation. But the language was also ambiguous enough to be grossly abused. Soon, the clause was being used to reinstitute slavery under another guise.

Consider that there are more African Americans behind bars today than there were enslaved at any given time in American history and it becomes clear how corporations got their “work around” to keep slavery 100% legal. This is nothing new. This is the way it has been since slavery was supposedly abolished.

Now, the private prison industries say the government isn’t keeping up their end contracts for this slave labor.

Those government agencies signed contracts guaranteeing a minimum occupancy or quota of prisoner-slaves

California guarantees that prisons will be filled to 70% capacity at all times. Arizona promises almost 100% occupancy.

With crime dropping, the private prison industry is losing money and they are none too pleased.

In order to avoid these lawsuits, judges will have to dish out extra-long maximum sentences – not because the defendant deserves it, but because the state wants to keep these contracts in good standing with the private prison industry.


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60,000 Illegal West Bank Settlers (Terrorists) Are Americans

Study: 60,000 West Bank Settlers Are Americans

Americans ‘Strikingly Over-Represented’ in Occupied Territory

A new study by Oxford University scholar Sara Hirschhorn on the makeup of settlers in the occupied West Bank has revealed what she described as a “strikingly over-represented” number of American settlers. Some 60,000 Americans are settlers, fully 15% of the overall settlement population.

By comparison, only 170,000 American immigrants are living in Israel all told, including the children of immigrants, which means that the overall Israeli-American population of Israel is just about 2%. It is puzzling, then, to find such a huge number of American settlers.

Hirschorn is planning to publish an entire book on the phenomenon of Jewish-American settlers in the occupied territories, with some other surprising demographic facts about them. She noted that a large number of them were politically active American Socialists in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Hirschorn noted that the American settlers tended to use the “values and language of the left to justify projects on the right,” and that many seem convinced they are creating ideologically important “suburbanized utopian communities” in the region.

Her research in the past shows an interest in how Americans shaped the settler movement, and the ideological origins of “occupied suburbia.” The book is expected to come out some time in 2016.

Chilcot’s report on illegal Iraq invasion will be a typical Whitehall fudge

Beware of Chilcot

By Craig Murray | August 28, 2015

I am worried that the continued delay in the publication of Chilcot’s report is giving rise to expectations that it will be forthright and damning of Blair and his supporters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though Blair plunged us into an illegal war with dreadful long-term consequences, the report has always been designed to be a typical Whitehall fudge. Mistakes made – errors of judgement – all in good faith – lessons learned. You don’t have to wait for it, that is it.

The Chilcot team was handpicked by Gordon Brown – himself up to his neck in guilt for the illegal invasion – and three of the five had been aggressive proponents of the war. The remaining two, Chilcot and Baroness Prasad, are “sound” for the Establishment. Let me remind you of my analysis of the committee members in 2009. Sir Lawrence Freedman was an active propagandist for the invasion while Sir Martin Gilbert (died while contributing to the committee) was so enamoured of the invasion he compared Bush and Blair to Roosevelt and Churchill. Rod Lyne was actively involved in selling the WMD lies and arguably in danger of war crime accusation himself.

None of the committee members had ever expressed the slightest doubt about the Iraq War while 60% had actively promoted it. Of Chilcot himself the eminent international lawyer Phillippe Sands noted:

“Sir John’s spoonfed questions give every impression of being designed to elicit a response from the attorney general that would demonstrate the reasonableness of his actions and those of the government.”

The point of the delay is to give the impression Chilcot has been absolutely painstaking and therefore the bucket of whitewash he will throw cannot be hiding anything.

Do not be fooled.

Purge of Corbyn voters unmasks Labour

 

Purge of Corbyn voters unmasks Labour

By Jonathon Cook | The Blog From Nazareth | August 27, 2015

The British political and media elite have been agreed on one thing this summer: the need to character-assassinate Jeremy Corbyn, the only half-decent politician (make that, human being) running for the Labour leadership.

If Corbyn wins, it would be the first time in living memory that the UK has had a Labour leader who is actually of the left. It is a prospect terrifying our supposedly liberal media, including the BBC and most of the Guardian’s senior staff, from Polly Toynbee to Jonathan Freedland.

Because all indications are that Corbyn will win in a fair fight, the caretaker Labour leadership is trying to stitch up the election to ensure he loses. Corbyn’s entry into the race has led to a tripling of Labour’s membership, as those who had grown disillusioned with Labour politics or joined the Greens consider returning to the Labour fold. You would think the Labour party would be cock-a-hoop. Think again.

The problem is that, if Labour admits Corbyn is actually harnessing massive support from the real left, it would also have to concede that long ago it departed from its roots, becoming just another wing of the neoliberal elite. And more significantly, it would also have to be prepared to contemplate changing course, opening itself up to the possibility that someone with social democratic convictions might again lead the party.

Neither is about to happen, so Labour is finding the flimsiest of excuses to purge itself of any voters it can identify as likely to back Corbyn in the leadership vote. Farcically, among those is Mark Serwotka, the leader of one of the UK’s biggest trade unions, after he said he would consider affiliating his PCS civil servants union with Labour if Corbyn wins.

Below is a great article from Kerry-anne Mendoza, another of those purged. She’s not a Tory mischief-maker or a Militant entryist. She’s an old-fashioned Labour supporter. Her mistake was to tweet her local Labour MP before the last election to say she would be voting Green after becoming fed up with the neoliberal takeover of Labour. That was the pretext to bar her from the coming leadership vote.

As she points out, she’s exactly the kind of voter the Labour party needs if it ever wants to form a government again. Instead she’s been cast out.

Notice also how the self-righteous New Labour elites characterise her – a long-standing Labour supporter who became disillusioned with the party – as an “infiltrator”. They were so sure of themselves they even included her in a list of people they had barred from the vote that they then issued to the media. The list ended up being published uncritically by the Guardian.

If despite all this, Corbyn does win, there can be no doubt it will be far from the end of the story. The Labour party establishment will make the job of leading the party impossible, and Corbyn will face an even more intense campaign to discredit him from all parts of the media.

If there is any consolation to be drawn from these events, it is this: the pervasive myth that Britain still enjoys pluralism in its politics and media may finally be unmasked.

 

1,000 Gaza Children Disabled by Israeli Attack

Local Editor

More than 1,000 Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip sustained permanent disabilities during last year’s 51-day Zionist military onslaught, according to Defense for Children International (DCI), an NGO devoted to children’s rights.

In a report entitled “Operation Protective Edge: A war waged on Gaza’s Children”, released on Tuesday, DCI’s Palestine unit said last year’s Zionist offensive had led to the injury of more than 11,000 Palestinians, including 1,000 permanently disabled by the violence.

The children’s rights organization also noted that, a full year after the Zionist assault, thousands of victims — including a number of children — continued to suffer from their injuries and the attendant psychological trauma.

The Gaza Strip, with some 1.9 million inhabitants, is known to be the world’s most densely populated area.

On July 7, 2014, the Zionist entity launched a major offensive against the coastal territory – dubbed “Operation Protective Edge” – which finally ended on August 26.

Over 51 days of fierce bombardment by air, land and sea, more than 2,147 Palestinians were killed, including 578 children, 489 women and 102 elderly persons.

Another 11,000 Palestinians were injured during the onslaught, 3,303 of whom were children, according to a report by the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Source: Websites

28-08-2015 – 12:27 Last updated 28-08-2015 – 12:27

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