Mass protests shake the throne of Serbia’s insufferable tyrant

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Mass protests shake the throne of Serbia’s insufferable tyrant

July 10, 2020

by Saker’s Johnny-on-the-spot in Serbia for The Saker Blog

The regime of one of Europe’s last two tyrants (guess where the other one is, hint: also in the Balkans) has been convulsed by massive outbursts of popular discontent and disobedience during the last two days. For all his fabled manipulative skills, Alexander Vučić, the tyrant here in question, made the foolish miscalculation by taking himself and his ability to intimidate the populace he was eight years ago installed to rule by the machinations of Western intelligence services, just a bit too seriously.

The immediate trigger for the popular insurrection was the autocrat’s apparent impression that he could continue to play indefinitely and with impunity the nasty cat-and-mouse lockdown game begun after the arrival of the corona virus to Serbia several months ago. Corona resonated favourably with the mean streak deeply embedded in Vučić’s disturbed psyche, and it was quickly welcomed by him as one of those crises he just could not allow to go waste. Surrounding himself with a coterie of medical charlatans who correctly sensed their boss’ sadistic inclinations and were willing to lend them a superficially scientific veneer, disciplinarian Vučić eagerly embraced the most restrictive, Chinese model for dealing with the pandemic. Over a seemingly interminable two and half month period during the spring the populace were subjected to a brutal lockdown regimen which during some weekends, including Orthodox Easter, stretched to 96 hours of continuous house arrest. But when in June it was ordered from on high that “election” preparations disrupted by corona were to be resumed, the medical hacks dutifully announced that thanks to Vučić’s brilliant handling of the emergency, in Serbia corona was “vanquished.”

Parliamentary elections were then triumphantly staged on June 21 with Vučić’s party – unsurprisingly – sweeping 66% of the seats, and a few satellite political groups being awarded the rest. This touching expression of popular gratitude for a corona job well done, as it turned out, was strategically indispensable to enable Vučić, already neck-deep in secretive negotiations to sign off on NATO-occupied Kosovo’s formal separation from Serbia, to use fraudulently acquired total control over parliament to amend the constitution to “legally” do just that.

Believing his purpose to have been accomplished, the arrogant tyrant then foolishly overplayed his hand. The medical issues were of course unresolved by the brilliant Dr. Vučić and in fact continued to simmer under the surface (the real number of people affected by the contagion and who actually died from it were crudely falsified down) and Serbia’s hospital infrastructure was collapsing. On Monday therefore Vučić went on national TV to decree the only therapy he knows how to impose – brute force. He announced to a stunned nation, which had just emerged from two and a half months of house arrest and was left deeply humiliated by crudely falsified “elections,” that beginning on Friday he would reimpose lockdown and compel large sectors of the population, about a third in the initial stage, to submit to forced vaccination. Never mind that Dr Vučić had apparently overlooked the minor detail that even magnates most interested in cashing in on forced mass vaccination, like Bill Gates, were not claiming that presently one was actually at hand. But that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The mere thought of being forced back into their cages and, to boot, of being obliged to submit to the injection of unknown, untested, and possibly dangerous substances hastily improvised to make loads of money and get rid of useless mouths was enough to trigger a reaction even from the dispirited and docile population of Serbia.

On Wednesday this week huge crowds began to gather spontaneously in front of the Parliament building to express their boisterous disapproval of the tyrant’s plans. After an assault they even managed briefly to burst into the eerily empty parliament building, still unoccupied by Vučić’s yet-to-be sworn-in fraudulently elected deputies. At first, the police stood by and merely watched the unprecedented manifestation of popular disgust; once they regained their wits, received reinforcements, and were issued orders from above they pounced viciously on the protesters.

Stunned by his helots’ unpardonable act of lèse-majesté, a visibly rattled Vučić then went on to make his second foolish gaffe in as many days. He again appeared on nation-wide TV, to denounce the protesters as outlaws and fascists, but that was the least of the absurdities that he uttered in the live broadcast. He went on to ramble incoherently that the dissidents were not just “flat-earth” partisans, but even more outlandishly that they were infiltrated and directed by believers in a “square earth,” whatever that silly construct is supposed to mean in his mind. (One recalls with amusement the leader of a Caribbean nation pontificating several years ago on the subject of extra-terrestrials during his address to the UN General Assembly.) That was at 3 pm on Wednesday, as an incredulous Serbia watched its megalomaniacal and delusional President go off the deep end on live television, Ceausescu style.

Three hours later, around six in the evening, an even larger and angrier crowd of “square earthers” began to gather in front of Parliament. But Vučić’s tontons macoutes were also ready, reinforced by cohorts of provocateurs infiltrated in the crowd with the task of creating incidents that would furnish the rationale for the police and the gendarmerie to do a Belgrade replay of Tiananmen square. The tension on the streets was so thick it could be cut with a machete. Groups of regime hooligans were positioned in spots not far away from the parliament area, ready to assist the forces of “law and order” when instructed. As the crowd in Belgrade booed the tyrant and screamed indelicate insults inspired by his widely suspected intimate preferences, heartening news was being received of similar manifestations erupting in the streets of Novi Sad, Niš (where in a huge hint to Vučić the police and army units refused to beat up on peaceful citizens), and other Serbian cities. Broken heads and bones were everywhere.

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Sidebar: We report with sorrow that information was just received that the young man who was brutally gang beaten in Belgrade by Vučić’s Serbian police last night, as shown in the video, has passed away. The authorities are trying to hush up his death and have not released his name or any official admission of the circumstances in which he was murdered. We do not have any details, other than that by the time the ambulance brought him to the hospital he was dead. Also, information was just received that last night the police used military grade poison gases rather than regular tear gas to disperse the crowds. People exposed to these combat weapons whose use on civilians is prohibited by international conventions were losing consciousness and collapsing to the ground. The use of these illegal substances by the authorities was witnessed by French doctors who will document it. Tonight at six o’clock in the evening protesters will be assembling again in front of the parliament building.

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Eventually, of course, the thousands of students, retired people, housewives, and citizens from all walks of life retired for the evening. But as Scarlet O’Hara memorably put it, “Tomorrow is another day.”

What is now in store for Vučić? On Thursday he nonchalantly flew to Paris (colleague Ceausescu had flown to Teheran just shortly before his day of judgment) to discuss Kosovo arrangements with Macron. On Sunday he is scheduled to meet with one of the Kosovo secessionist leaders in Brussels, presumably to put finishing touches on the recognition agreement. Whatever the further course of civic opposition to the regime (civic revulsion would perhaps be a better term), it is clear that during the last two days Vučić was politically wounded, and irreparably. In the eyes of his NATO sponsors he was whacked where it hurts the most. He has been delegitimized as Serbia’s spokesman and will henceforth be perceived as being without authority to sign off on an agreement amputating 15% of the country’s territory and renouncing its cultural and spiritual heartland, whatever titles he might still officially claim to have.

The commotion in the streets of Serbia has hugely complicated the successful completion of his one remaining task – signing off on Kosovo – after which (mission accomplished) he will become a useless burden and be thrown under the bus by his Western sponsors before the Serbian people even come to arrest him. They have tolerated his moral turpitude and unbridled tyranny for the sole purpose of achieving that objective. They needed a seemingly strong Serbian leader with an appearance of popular support to perform the dastardly deed so they could then say pacta sunt servanda and make it binding on his successors. But now, the entire operation looks far less certain and even if Vučić signs off as instructed, legally and politically (never mind morally, that is of no concern whatsoever to any of the actors) the value of his signature will be greatly diminished.

Vučić is cornered. If he keeps the commitment he made to his Western sponsors to formally accept the rape of Kosovo in the name of the Serbian state, the disturbances of the last few days will be a mere garden party compared to what he would then have to face. If he continues to delay the promised act of treason and reneges on the Faustian bargain he made in return for power and plunder, he will face the outrage of his foreign handlers. There is no need to elaborate. He knows exactly what that means. One feels sorry for the man, almost.

Death Penalty: A Tool of Vengeance in Bahrain

Death Penalty: A Tool of Vengeance in Bahrain

By Sondos al-Assad

Lebanon – Since 2017, Bahrain has executed five political prisoners by firing squad instead of launching a political dialogue and national reconciliation that ease the prolonged crisis. The execution of those detainees has been part of a broad repressive trend sweeping the tiny Gulf Kingdom since February 2011.

Meanwhile, there are 12 death row detainees who are on death row, all of them are victims of severe and inhumane treatment, 10 could be executed at any moment, without warning, in case the verdicts were ratified by the monarch.

Those victims of torture have convicted based on confessions that they had retracted in court because they were extracted under pressure and torture.

So, the king’s signature is now all that stands between those victims of torture and their execution.

According to rights groups, Manama pays less and less attention to the question of civil liberties and rights in its attempts to tamp down on peaceful dissents. Hence, the trend of Death Penalty has sharply exacerbated in the recent years amid the absence of censure from Western allies, namely Washington and London, whose priority is security and oil not human rights.

Annually, the UK spends $1.59 million on supporting Bahrain’s Special Investigation Unit [SIU] and the Ombudsman who are accused of violating their international and domestic human rights commitments.

Those so-called oversight bodies have failed to investigate torture allegations against two death row inmates Mohamed Ramadan and Hussain Moussa.

“I’d been taken in handcuffs to village of Al-Deir to act out a murder I didn’t commit… It terrifies me to think there is only one chapter left,” says sentenced to death Hussain Musa.

Besides, the authorities is accused of using the terrorism charge to retaliate against number of conscience activists and social justice seekers, a crime which is deemed to be an extrajudicial killing which results of unfair trials.

Bahrain uses the “Anti-Terrorism Act” as pretext to justify illegal sentences against its peaceful citizens only because they exercise their rights for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, which are guaranteed not only by international covenants but supposedly by the Bahraini constitution.

Amid the absence of fair judicial transparency, perpetrators of human rights violations are not held accountable in a blatant attack against the minimum standards of human rights stipulated in international conventions.

Ali Al-Arab, Ahamd Al-Malali, Abbas Al-Samei, Sami Mushaima and Ali Al-Signace are the 5 inmates who have been sentenced to death so far.

They were arbitrarily executed by firing squads after allegations of their unjust trial, inhumane torture, sexual assault and medical negligence.

Prior to their execution, they met their families; however they hadn’t even known about the visit that was scheduled based on an ambiguous call from the prison’s administration as part of psychological intimidation. Furthermore, while their last visit, their families noticed that the searching measures were specific, exceptional and humiliating.

Currently and before it’s too late, Bahrain must be pressured to immediately commute the death sentences and establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

The king must not ratify but urgently quash these death sentences which are a result of sham court proceedings that brazenly flout international fair trial standards.

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The will of people is like a fire smoldering under ashes: ex-Bahraini parliamentarian

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July 7, 2020 – 11:34

TEHRAN – Pro-democracy protests in Bahrain have entered their ninth year. The rights of protesters are gravely violated, especially as authorities are continuing to enforce repressive policies in conjunction with an imposed censorship supported by Persian Gulf monarchies.

Ironically, authorities have a monopoly on television, radio, and newspapers. There are no independent media that can work freely inside Bahrain.

In light of this fact, the Tehran Times interviewed Ali AlAshiri, a former member of the Bahraini Parliament.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: Bahraini courts continue to uphold death sentences against political detainees, despite being tortured. Please explain?

A: Yes. These courts continue to uphold the death sentence against the political convicts, while the constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain states that any confession under torture is unacceptable.

If we look closely at most of the cases in which the death sentence was pronounced, we see no real evidence or material fact but confessions of the convicts who stress that they have been subjected to torture and physical and psychological coercion.

Q: Why are Arab regimes silent on repression in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia but accusing countries like Syria of dictatorship?

A: We can see these kinds of double standards in most of these countries. They support movements and protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and Syria, but they talk about Bahrain as if there is no protest or describe it as a riot provoked by foreign countries. The reasons are clear: They may endanger their interests if talk about the demonstrations because of sectarian reasons; most of the protestors are from the Shiite community in Bahrain.

Q: Do you think that repression will continue in Arab countries? And, can we bet on the awakening of Arab nations?

A: Despite decades of continuous repression, the will of the peoples remains like a fire smoldering under the ashes, and they will come back to the streets as soon as they find an opportunity again.

Q: Regarding what is happening in Yemen, Bahrain, and Palestine, how do you see the UN performance?

A: The positions of the United Nations are based on politicized reports rather than real evidence.

Regarding Bahrain, Palestine, and Syria, the UN says nothing more than expressing concern and issuing statements, but in other regions, they impose their resolutions on the pretext of human rights violations.

Q: What is your comment on the release of Bahraini political activist Nabil Rajab, who is still not allowed to move around or speak out on human rights abuses?

A: The step to release human rights activist Nabil Rajab came late, and the remaining period was replaced in accordance with Law No. 18 of 2017.

 It may be in response to many calls from human rights organizations, given his medical care, after a critical situation imposed by the Coronavirus outbreak that necessitated his release from prison.

Leading Saudi Activist Dies in Detention: Amnesty International

Leading Saudi Activist Dies in Detention: Amnesty International

By Staff, Agencies

A leading activist serving an 11-year prison sentence has died in detention in Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International said, highlighting the kingdom’s human rights record.

Abdullah al-Hamid, 69, died after a stroke in his prison cell earlier this month, according to multiple rights groups, including Amnesty International.

“Dr. Hamid was a fearless champion for human rights in Saudi Arabia,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East research director at Amnesty.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends, who for the past eight years had been deprived of his presence as a result of the state’s inhumane repression.”

“He, and all other prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia, should never have been in jail in the first place,” Maalouf added.

Hamid was a founding member of the rights group the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association [ACPRA] and was sentenced to prison in March 2013, the rights groups said.

He faced multiple charges, including “breaking allegiance” to the Saudi ruler, “inciting disorder” and seeking to disrupt state security, Amnesty explained.

Other ACPRA members have also been imprisoned in the past, including another co-founder, Mohammad al-Qahtani, who was jailed for 10 years in 2013, Amnesty said.

Saudi Arabia has long faced international criticism over its human rights record. That criticism has grown since Mohammed bin Salman was named crown prince and heir to the Saudi throne in June 2017.

The murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 and the increased repression of dissidents have overshadowed so-called efforts by the prince to modernize the economy and society.

Bahrain Political Prisoners Struggle with Coronavirus Risks as They’re Denied Freedom

Bahrain Political Prisoners Struggle with Coronavirus Risks as They’re Denied Freedom

Alwaght News and Analysis

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, governments introduced quarantine regimes and closed down crowded public places in a bid to reduce the fatalities.

Meanwhile, prisoners as a spectrum of citizens are at risk as they are kept in confined prison conditions. In prisons, where there is no way the social distancing can be implemented properly and in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization, people are more than in any other place at risk as the special conditions increase their vulnerability to the coronavirus.

These threats to the prisoners’ health motivated the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to urge the governments to release them.

Although large number of prisoners in many countries were freed to reduce the pandemic fatalities, the Al Khalifa regime in Bahrain refused to take similar steps to the frustration of the rights groups and the families of the prisoners. The tiny Arab kingdom has so far confirmed 1,895 people tested positive for COVID-19 pandemic, as it said that 7 died of the disease.

Legal organizations and prominent political figures write a protest letter

The Bahraini regime’s failure to show commitment to the principles of human rights and show responsibility to the demands of the UN human rights commission to protect the prisoners aroused the ire of the political figures, NGOs, and rights organizations towards Manama’s repressive and stubborn approach.

On Sunday, 67 rights and legal organizations in a joint statement asked Bahrain’s officials to affirmatively respond to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and immediately free political prisoners. The statement said that the Bahraini government should put the release of the political prisoners as part of its agenda to fight the coronavirus as the prisons are among the places of high risk for those inside. In the densely populated detention centers it is difficult to meet the standards of the WHO that are designed to check the pandemic. Official reports suggest that prisons in Bahrain has the challenge of congestion.

In their statement, the rights organizations referred to the Bahraini security officials’ deprivation of the prisoners of treatment as a torture trick. The consequence of this action is the downfall of the levels of healthcare in the prisons to the lowest level. They warned that such a situation could result in a disaster.

Lynn Maalouf, the Amnesty International’s Middle Ease Research director, said: “Authorities must now speedily release those who never should have been in jail in the first place, namely all prisoners of conscience who remain detained solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and other human rights.”

Sheikh Ali Salman, the Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society as well as rights activists Nazar al-Wadee, Nabil Rajab, and Naji Fatil are among the political prisoners whom the Amnesty International called for their immediate and unconditional release from prison.

Ahmad al-Wadee, the director of London-based Bahrain Center for Human Rights, is among those who over the past few days warned against the situation of the prisoners in Bahrain. He said: “coronavirus spreads in Bahrain’s overcrowded prisons would have disastrous consequences.

On April 14, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassem, the spiritual leader of the Bahrain’s uprising, in a statement warned that the potential spread of the virus in the prisons rings the alerts for the lives of thousands of political prisoners. He called for an initiative to release this category of prisoners. “There is no excuse to keep these people in prison,” he asserted.

Hussain al-Daihi, the deputy secretary-general of Al-Wefaq, echoed Ayatollah Qassem’s statement, saying that the prisoners must be released for their lives to be saved as many governments in other countries did. Social media users inside and outside the small Gulf island kingdom launched a campaign calling for the political prisoners to be released.

Bad prison conditions and doubled challenges for security prisoners

The concerns about possible exploitation of the coronavirus crisis by Al Khalifa regime to build pressures on the political prisoners and protestors in the upcoming weeks and months and even intentional abandoning of healthcare and concealing the reality about the situation of prisons come while the hygiene and security conditions in the detention centers are already improper. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, there were reports about the outbreak of contagious diseases in the prisons. Jaw Prison as the biggest prison in the country and Dry Dock [Al-Hawdh al-Jaf] detention center from December through January witnessed the outbreak of Scabies infectious disease. About half of the prisoners of the two prisons were infected, reports said.

Over the past few days, some prisoners tried to leak part of the realities of the prison conditions to the outside world and media. Abdullah Habib Sawar, Reuters reported, is one of these prisoners who is behind the bars of a cell along with 14 inmates.

He told Reuters that congestion of political prisoners’ cells invites for worries about coronavirus spread. “All are afraid,” he further told the news agency.

According to the report, the political prisoners in Jaw Prison are held in cells that can accommodate only 8 people and are special for security prisoners. The report further said that Bahrain like other regional countries freed the risked prisoners. But security prisoners were not among the freed 1,500.

Despite pressures from the rights organizations, the Western governments that claim to be patrons to human rights kept silent regarding violation of rights of Bahraini political prisoners. On Tuesday, Trump had a phone conversation with King Hamad bi Isa Al Khalifa in which he lauded Manama’s measures to control the pandemic but did not raise the case of political prisoners. This promotes the notion that Bahrain’s regime continues to shrug off the criticism on the strength of political support from the West.

عبد الرحيم الحويطي: بطل «مدن الملح» الجديد

مريم عبد الله 

الجمعة 17 نيسان 2020

«ذيك النخلة، الرابعة على اليسار، بعمرك يا وليدي، وكل ما تكبر إنت تكبر معك، وباكر إنت تزرع نخلة لابنك وابنك يزرع نخلة لابنه، وسنة بعد سنة ويظل وادي العيون أخضر، ويظل الناس يمرون بالوادي ويشربون من ماي الوادي، ويترحمون على الأموات ويقولون وهم بظل الشجر: الله يرحم كل من زرع نخلة وعرقاً أخضر».

(متعب الهذال، بطل رواية «مدن الملح» لعبد الرحمن منيف)
في رواية «التيه»، البطل الهذال اختفى ورحل غاضباً عن أرضه، تعبيراً عن رفضه للترحيل بحجّة الخوف من عنف السلطة. كان ذلك بداية «الخماسية» التي وثّقت تاريخ تحوّلات المدن والسياسة عقب اكتشاف النفط في صحراء الجزيرة العربية، وصولاً إلى سبعينيات القرن الماضي.

بعد أكثر من 30 عاماً على رحيل متعب الهذال (طبعة 1984)، وحوالى 100 سنة على بدء الحقبة النفطية، ظهر «بطل من هذا الزمان»، رفض الركون والخوف من ظلمات سيف الملك وأعوانه المسلّط فوق الرقاب ترغيباً وترهيباً، متحولاً إلى «هذال جديد» يرفض الحداثة النفطية والمدن العابرة للحدود حتى للإسرائيليين. يشهر، عبر مواقع التواصل، الكلمة والموقف رفضاً لـ«إرهاب الدولة»، ملوّحاً بصكّ ملكية أرضه في عالم بلا قيم، ويعلن المواجهة التراجيدية بوصيّة سجّلها قبل مقتله بساعات. يقول فيها: «أنا عبد الرحيم بن أحمد محمود الحويطي، أرفض الترحيل بالقوّة، ولا أخاف السجن أو الموت، فلا معنى للحياة في ظل حكم ابن سلمان». يهاجم «الجبناء» من رجال الدين التابعين للأمير، متوجّهاً إليهم بالقول: «بئس وعاء العلم أنتم». ويضيف: «ما أستغرب لو جو يقتلوني في بيتي ويرموا عندي سلاح زي ما يسووا في مصر، يقتلوا المواطن ويرموا سلاح عنده ويقولوا إرهابي». وهذا بالضبط ما أعلنته قوّات الأمن السعودي في بيانها الرسمي لاحقاً.

وقد حصلت عملية القتل بعد محاصرة القوّات الأمنية لقرية الخريبة، التي تسكنها قبيلة الحويطات، من أجل إجبار أبناء القبيلة على ترك منازلهم الواقعة في المناطق الداخلة ضمن مشروع «نيّوم». والأخير جوهرة «رؤية 2030» التي أطلقها ولي العهد محمد بن سلمان، وطريقه إلى الحكم، وهو بكلفة 500 مليون دولار على مساحة 26 ألفاً و500 كلم مربع شمال غرب المملكة، بالاشتراك مع مصر والأردن.

ليست المرّة الأولى التي يقوم فيها النظام بتهجير سكّان من مناطقهم


منظّمات حقوقية كانت قد حذّرت من أن المشروع المرتقب ينتهك حقوق السكّان الأصليين في عملية ترحيل قسري لأكثر من 20 ألفاً من أرض أجدادهم، وعلى رأسهم قبيلة الحويطات التي سبقت ملكيّتها للأرض قيام دولة آل سعود بفترة طويلة ولها فروع تتوزّع في الأردن وفلسطين ومصر، وذلك مقابل وعود بتعويضات سخيّة بدل الانتقال من أراضيهم، مع التهديد باستخدام القوّة في حال عدم الامتثال.

وأجبرت السلطات السعودية أعيان القبيلة على التبرّؤ من ابنهم واستنكار تصرّفه ضد من سلبه روحه وأرضه، بإصدار بيان جاء فيه: «تصرّف المدعوّ الحويطي تصرف فردي لا يمثّل القبيلة… نحن مع مشاريعنا التي فرح بها أبناء المنطقة، واستبشرنا بها الخير كلّه».

وفي حملة غاضبة على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، علّق مواطن سعودي عبر تدوينة على «تويتر»، بالقول: «بيان رئاسة أمن الدولة بخصوص مقتل عبد الرحمن الحويطي، إنما هو أحد الأساليب الأمنية، فعندما ترتكب الدولة خطأ ما بحق أحد المواطنين، وفي حال كُشف الخطأ وكثرت البلبلة بخصوصه فإن الدولة تلجأ إلى أسلوب «إحداث بلبلة مضادة» عن طريق تشويه صورة الشخص الذي قُتل أو حُبس، كذلك ما حدث مع الحويطي».

وأدانت «المنظّمة الأوروبية السعودية لحقوق الإنسان»، في بيان، عمليات الإخلاء القسري لأبناء قبيلة الحويطات وغيرهم من السكّان المحلّيين. وانتقدت المنظّمة الشركات الدولية التي تساعد وتحرّض على «الحملة الإجرامية»، داعية كل الشركات إلى الابتعاد عن المشروع حتى يتخلّى النظام عن «ممارساته الإقطاعية» ويتفاوض مع السكّان المحلّيين بما يحفظ حقوقهم المتواصلة والقديمة في أراضي أجدادهم.

وهذه ليست المرّة الأولى التي يقوم فيها النظام بتهجير سكّان من مناطقهم، إذ تشير المعلومات إلى أن السلطات السعودية الرسمية عملت على تهجير سكّان مكّة المكرّمة بحجّة توسعة الحرم المكي. وعملت بشكل ممنهج على تهجير قبائل جيزان، على الحدود مع اليمن، خلال سنوات الحروب السابقة والحالية مع «الحوثيين»، وبلغت حدّ التهجير بالقوّة وسجن الرافضين لترك قراهم وحقولهم مقابل وعود بتعويضات فورية لم تسجّل حتى اللحظة في ميزان المدفوعات.

ينسحب حال شمال وجنوب المملكة على شرقها، إذ قامت السلطات بتجريف أراضي السكّان في العوامية التي تحوّلت إلى ساحة حرب حقيقية في أيار / مايو 2017. والمشهد الأكثر قسوة، كان من نصيب تدمير حي المسوّرة التاريخي، الذي يتخطّى تشييده أكثر من 400 سنة، كما قامت بتجريف «وقف الرامس» الزراعي وطرد العاملين المحلّيين منه، انتقاماً من الاحتجاجات في المنطقة «الشيعية» ضد التهميش والغبن المستمرّين في عمر «مدن الملح».

Executions Double In Saudi Arabia under King Salman

Executions Double In Saudi Arabia under King Salman

By Staff, Agencies

Saudi Arabia carried out its 800th execution last week, marking an almost two-fold increase in the use of the medieval practice since King Salman assumed power in 2015, a rights group warned.

Reprieve, a UK-based non-profit organization, alarmed in a report on Tuesday that the Riyadh regime last week beheaded Abdulmohsin Humood Abdullah al-Ghamdi, a national accused of committing murder, marking the 800th execution in the Arab country since Salman assumed power in January 2015, following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah.

The report said that executions had almost doubled in just five years in comparison with the 423 executions conducted in Saudi Arabia from 2009 through 2014.

Reprieve added that the Saudi regime had executed 186 people in 2019 alone, 37 of whom were killed in one mass execution on April 23 last year. It said six of the men beheaded during the mass execution had been juveniles at the time of their purported offenses.

Of those who had been executed in 2019, at least 58 people were foreign nationals targeted for preaching Shia Islam, which the Saudi regime considers a crime, the report said, adding that others were executed last year for allegedly participating in or inciting political demonstrations.

Reprieve also criticized Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is regarded as the de facto ruler of the kingdom, for not keeping his word to limit the number of executions as part of what he initially claimed would be “reforms” in the highly-conservative kingdom. “The reality is far from that statement,” Reprieve said.

According to the report, the increase in the number of executions during the past five years is partly due to the number of people accused of politically-motivated crimes under Salman.

“For all the rhetoric of reform and modernization, Saudi Arabia is still a country where speaking out against the king can get you killed,” said director of Reprieve, Maya Foa.

In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the Riyadh regime, along with 46 other men on “terrorism” charges.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up the politically-motivated arrest, prosecution, and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners, particularly in the country’s Shia-populated Eastern Province.

Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.

Citizens of Saudi Arabia Pay their Lives as MBS Advances in His NEOM City

By Staff

The Saudi regime is sending its police to besiege its own citizens, then force them out of their houses to remain homeless, landless and even lifeless.

Citizens of Saudi Arabia Pay their Lives as MBS Advances in His NEOM City

One example is Saudi citizen Ahmed Mahmoud al-Huwaiti, alias “Abu Anas”. The man, who belongs to the al-Huwaitat tribe, which lives in the village of al-Khraibah northern Medina, was killed in daylight by the Saudi regime’s police, while he was documenting his last moments using his phone’s camera. The deceased man was besieged inside his home as he refused to leave his land.

“Abu Anas” has published, before the police killed him, several videos that expose the criminal acts. He also expected that he will be killed by the police, and he has lamented his own self before he was martyred.

Displacement is a suffering that has long been randomly imposed by the Saudi authorities against the people they select upon their preferences. This often forces others to obey any rule not to face a similar fate. It also widens the gap between the state and the citizens with every such attack.

It was reported by “Anu Anas” shortly before his death that any citizen who doesn’t hand his house will be forcibly dealt with by the intelligence and emergency forces.

The man, who possesses a legitimate instrument that shows his ownership of the house and the land near it, has repeatedly warned of similar acts.

People of that area are forced to evacuate their shelters as part of the implementation of Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s [MBS] so-called NEOM project.

ISRAELI COMPANIES TALKING TO SAUDI ARABIA ABOUT $500B. 'SMART CITY'
ISRAELI COMPANIES TALKING TO SAUDI ARABIA ABOUT $500B. ‘SMART CITY’

In the course of implementing NEOM, MBS is displacing original landowners to build the city he has announced. MBS’ city stretches over the Saudi kingdom’s northwestern area, and includes lands inside Egyptian and Jordanian borders.

Bahrain the Merciless Kingdom: Journalist in Solitary Confinement after Reporting on COVID-19 Danger

Bahrain the Merciless Kingdom: Journalist in Solitary Confinement after Reporting on COVID-19 Danger

By Staff, Agencies

The Committee to Protect Journalists urged the Bahraini authorities to immediately stop retaliating against imprisoned journalist Mahmoud al-Jaziri for reporting on conditions inside Bahraini prisons and should free all journalists imprisoned for their work,.

Al-Jaziri, who according to CPJ research has been imprisoned since December 2015 and is serving a 15-year prison sentence on charges of belonging to a terrorist group, recorded an audio clip that was posted on dissident-run channel Bahrain Today3 on YouTube on April 7. During the clip, al-Jaziri disputed reports that Bahraini authorities had taken measures to protect prisoners from the spread of COVID-19 and that in-person family visits for prisoners have been replaced by video calls, according to a CPJ review of the clip.

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, director of advocacy at the independent, London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, told CPJ via email that al-Jaziri was moved to solitary confinement the next day, citing phone calls with two different inmates at Jaw Prison. Alwadaei told CPJ that he confirmed the voice on the audio clip was al-Jaziri, but CPJ is withholding the details in order to protect the security of his source.

In his audio clip, al-Jaziri referred to an April 6 interview with Mariah Khoury, president of the Bahrain Institute for Human Rights, a government body that was posted to the Bahraini Interior Ministry’s YouTube channel. The interview detailed the measures taken to protect prisoners and showed footage purportedly from Jaw Prison, where according to CPJ research al-Jaziri and several other imprisoned journalists are held. In his recording, al-Jaziri describes the segment as an “acting performance” and says that there is no system for video calls in place, adding that the prisons remain overcrowded and that authorities have not undertaken health and sanitation measures in response to COVID-19. On April 9, Reuters also reported that inmates in the prison were afraid of contracting the virus due to the lack of access to medical care and protective gear inside the facility, as well as overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.

“Not only is Mahmoud al-Jaziri at risk from COVID-19 in Jaw Prison, but now he’s also being punished for pushing back on the official narrative,” said CPJ Senior Middle East and North Africa Researcher Justin Shilad. “Instead of retaliating in a petty manner against journalists, Bahraini authorities should be releasing Mahmoud al-Jaziri and all other imprisoned journalists right now.”

Last week, CPJ wrote an open letter to world leaders urging them to immediately release all journalists behind bars, as freedom has become a matter of life and death amid the coronavirus pandemic. Imprisoned journalists have no control over their surroundings, cannot choose to isolate, and are often denied necessary medical care.

Earlier this week, CPJ signed on to a joint letter calling on Bahraini authorities to free all journalists and other prisoners of conscience, citing poor conditions and lack of access to medical care in Jaw Prison and other facilities and in light of the increased danger posed by the spread of COVID-19.

Related

In Overcrowded Cells, Bahrain’s Political Prisoners Suffer New Calamity amid Covid-19

In Overcrowded Cells, Bahrain’s Political Prisoners Suffer New Calamity amid Covid-19

By Staff, Agencies

When jailed Bahraini activist Abdullah Habeeb Swar developed a bad cough that lasted several days, his 14 cell mates feared he might have contracted the coronavirus and would spread it through their overcrowded wing.

They share a cell designed to sleep eight in one of three wings in Manama’s Jaw prison reserved for detainees sentenced on security-related charges.

“You can imagine how scared they were,” Swar told Reuters by telephone, referring to last month’s coughing fits.

He is one of hundreds of opposition politicians, activists, journalists and human rights defenders sentenced in mass trials. Detained in 2019 after six years in hiding and serving a 40-year term, Swar said he was not seen by a doctor.

US-allied Bahrain has come under pressure from human rights organizations over prison conditions including overcrowding, poor sanitation and lack of medical care.

Rights groups including Amnesty International last week jointly called Bahraini authorities to release those who “peacefully exercised their rights to freedom of expression”, especially elderly prisoners or those with existing health conditions.

“The authorities don’t like to be seen to bend to political pressure,” said Marc Owen Jones of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter.

Mass trials became commonplace in Bahrain – home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet – after an uprising in 2011.

Medical Science under Dictatorship: COVID-19 Must Not Open Door to Euthanasia

April 6, 2020 Miri Wood

11 October 1905-20 July 1985. Neurologist & psychiatrist Leo Alexander was Chief Prosecution Counsel at the Nuremberg Tribunals for Crimes Against Humanity, particularly those of euthanasia.

Syria News makes available Dr. Leo Alexander’s full paper on Medical Science Under Dictatorship which was originally published in The New England Journal of Medicine, July 1949. Given the media and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a foot-in-the-door to the legalization of euthanasia via fear tactics of scarce medical equipment, his words must be brought to the public’s attention. In one of his last interviews, Dr. Alexander reaffirmed the moral imperative that medicine and society should never again be permitted to deem there is such a thing as “life not worthy to be lived.” He was in a nursing home at that time.


DESCRIPTION

In this alarming 1949 article, Leo Alexander examines the horrific crimes committed by Nazis in Germany and explains their shocking relevance to our modern society. He lists the gruesome atrocities committed by Nazis to eliminate the “useless” members of society – those with incurable mental or physical illnesses. The accounts are so horrific that one wonders how the Germans could have arrived at such a bleak state of moral numbness. Alexander argues that it all began with the belief that there is “such a thing as life not worthy to be lived.” Doctors began to ask the question: are those with chronic illnesses worth the cost and trouble of treatment that may prove hopeless? Alexander claims that the medical community in America has already begun to ask a similar question. Doctors are losing interest in people with chronic illnesses, and often consider it more worthwhile to treat people who can be healed and restored to a normal (useful) life in society. Alexander reminds us, “Corrosion begins in microscopic proportions.” While this may seem to be a fairly harmless attitude at first, ultimately it will be destructive of society and even self. The only life-preserving, sustainable attitude is one that cares for every suffering individual, regardless of his chance of being healed.

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Science under dictatorship becomes subordinated to the guiding philosophy of the dictatorship. Irrespective of other ideologic trappings, the guiding philosophic principle of recent dictatorships, including that of the Nazis, has been Hegelian in that what has been considered “rational utility” and corresponding doctrine and planning has replaced moral, ethical and religious values. Nazi propaganda was highly effective in perverting public opinion and public conscience, in a remarkably short time. In the medical profession this expressed itself in a rapid decline in standards of professional ethics. Medical science in Nazi Germany collaborated with this Hegelian trend particularly in the following enterprises: the mass extermination of the chronically sick in the interest of saving “useless” expenses to the community as a whole; the mass extermination of those considered socially disturbing or racially and ideologically unwanted; the individual, inconspicuous extermination of those considered disloyal within the ruling group; and the ruthless use of “human experimental material” for medico-military research.

This paper discusses the origins of these activities, as well as their consequences upon the body social, and the motivation of those participating in them.

Preparatory Propaganda

Even before the Nazis took open charge in Germany, a propaganda barrage was directed against the traditional compassionate nineteenth-century attitudes toward the chronically ill, and for the adoption of a utilitarian, Hegelian point of view. Sterilization and euthanasia of persons with chronic mental illnesses was discussed at a meeting of Bavarian psychiatrists in 1931.[1] By 1936 extermination of the physically or socially unfit was so openly accepted that its practice was mentioned incidentally in an article published in an official German medical journal.[2]

Lay opinion was not neglected in this campaign. Adults were propagandized by motion pictures, one of which, entitled “I Accuse,” deals entirely with euthanasia. This film depicts the life history of a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis; in it her husband, a doctor, finally kills her to the accompaniment of soft piano music rendered by a sympathetic colleague in an adjoining room. Acceptance of this ideology was implanted even in the children. A widely used high-school mathematics text, “Mathematics in the Service of National Political Education,”[3] includes problems stated in distorted terms of the cost of caring for and rehabilitating the chronically sick and crippled, the criminal and the insane.”

Euthanasia

The first direct order for euthanasia was issued by Hitler on September 1, 1939, and an organization was set up to execute the program. Dr. Karl Brandt headed the medical section, and Phillip Bouhler the administrative section. All state institutions were required to report on patients who had been ill five years or more and who were unable to work, by filling out questionnaires giving name, race, marital status, nationality, next of kin, whether regularly visited and by whom, who bore financial responsibility and so forth. The decision regarding which patients should be killed was made entirely on the basis of this brief information by expert consultants, most of whom were professors of psychiatry in the key universities. These consultants never saw the patients themselves. The thoroughness of their scrutiny can be appraised by the work of on expert, who between November 14 and December 1, 1940, evaluated 2109 questionnaires.

These questionnaires were collected by a “Realm’s Work Committee of Institutions for Cure and Care.”[4] A parallel organization devoted exclusively to the killing of children was known by the similarly euphemistic name of “Realm’s Committee for Scientific Approach to Severe Illness Due to Heredity and Constitution.” The “Charitable Transport Company for the Sick” transported patients to the killing centers, and the “Charitable Foundation for Institutional Care” was in charge of collecting the cost of the killings from the relatives, without, however, informing them what the charges were for; in the death certificates the cause of death was falsified.

What these activities meant to the population at large was well expressed by a few hardy souls who dared to protest. A member of the court of appeals at Frankfurt-am-Main wrote in December, 1939:

There is constant discussion of the question of the destruction of socially unfit life—in the places where there are mental institutions, in neighboring towns, sometimes over a large area, throughout the Rhineland, for example. The people have come to recognize the vehicles in which the patients are taken from their original institution to the intermediate institution and from there to the liquidation institution. I am told that when they see these buses even the children call out: “They’re taking some more people to be gassed.” From Limburg it is reported that every day from one to three buses which shades drawn pass through on the way from Weilmunster to Hadmar, delivering inmates to the liquidation institution there. According to the stories the arrivals are immediately stripped to the skin, dressed in paper shirts, and forthwith taken to a gas chamber, where they are liquidated with hydro-cyanic acid gas and an added anesthetic. The bodies are reported to be moved to a combustion chamber by means of a conveyor belt, six bodies to a furnace. The resulting ashes are then distributed into six urns which are shipped to the families. The heavy smoke from the crematory building is said to be visible over Hadamar every day. There is talk, furthermore, that in some cases heads and other portions of the body are removed for anatomical examination. The people working at this liquidation job in the institutions are said to be assigned from other areas and are shunned completely by the populace. This personnel is described as frequenting the bars at night and drinking heavily. Quite apart from these overt incidents that exercise the imagination of the people, the are disquieted by the question of whether old folk who have worked hard all their lives and may merely have come into their dotage are also being liquidated. There is talk that the homes for the aged are to be cleaned out too. The people are said to be waiting for legislative regulation providing some orderly method that will insure especially that the aged feeble-minded are not included in the program.

Here one sees what “euthanasia” means in actual practice. According to the records, 275,000 people were put to death in these killing centers. Ghastly as this seems, it should be realized that this program was merely the entering wedge for exterminations for far greater scope in the political program for genocide of conquered nations and the racially unwanted. The methods used and personnel trained in the killing centers for the chronically sick became the nucleus of the much larger centers on the East, where the plan was to kill all Jews and Poles and to cut down the Russian population by 30,000,000.

The original program developed by Nazi hot-heads included also the genocide of the English, with the provision that the English males were to be used as laborers in the vacated territories in the East, there to be worked to death, whereas the English females were to be brought into Germany to improve the qualities of the German race. (This was indeed a peculiar admission of the part of the German eugenists.)

In Germany the exterminations included the mentally defective, psychotics (particularly schizophrenics),epileptics and patients suffering from infirmities of old age and from various organic neurologic disorders such as infantile paralysis, Parkinsonism, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors. The technical arrangements, methods and training of the killer personnel were under the direction of a committee of physicians and other experts headed by Dr. Karl Brandt. The mass killings were first carried out with carbon monoxide gas, but later cyanide gas (“cyclon B”) was found to be more effective. The idea of camouflaging the gas chambers as shower baths was developed by Brack, who testified before Judge Sebring that the patients walked in calmly, deposited their towels and stood with their little pieces of soap under the shower outlets, waiting for the water to start running. This statement was ample rebuttal of his claim that only the most severely regressed patients among the mentally sick and only the moribund ones among the physically sick were exterminated. In truth, all those unable to work and considered nonrehabilitable were killed.

All but their squeal was utilized. However, the program grew so big that even scientists who hoped to benefit from the treasure of material supplied by this totalitarian method were disappointed. A neuropathologist, Dr. Hallervorden, who had obtained 500 brains from the killing centers for the insane, gave me a vivid first-hand account.[5] The Charitable Transport Company for the Sick brought the brains in batches of 150 to 250 at a time. Hallervorden stated:

There was wonderful material among those brains, beautiful mental defectives, malformations and early infantile diseases. I accepted those brains of course. Where they came from and how they came to me was really none of my business.

In addition to the material he wanted, all kinds of other cases were mixed in, such as patients suffering from various types of Parkinsonism, simple depressions, involutional depressions and brain tumors, and all kinds of other illnesses, including psychopathy that had been difficult to handle:

These were selected from the various wards of the institutions according to an excessively simple and quick method. Most institutions did not have enough physicians, and what physicians there were either too busy or did not care, and they delegated the selection to the nurses and attendants. Whoever looked sick or was otherwise a problem was put on a list and was transported to the killing center. The worst thing about this business was that it produced a certain brutalization of the nursing personnel. They got to simply picking out those whom they did not like, and the doctors had so many patients that they did not even know them, and put their names on the list.

Of the patients thus killed, only the brains were sent to Dr. Hallervorden; they were killed in such large numbers that autopsies of the bodies were not feasible. That, in Dr. Hallervorden’s opinion, greatly reduced the scientific value of the material. The brains, however, were always well fixed and suspended in formalin, exactly according to his instructions. He thinks that the cause of psychiatry was permanently injured by these activities, and that psychiatrists have lost the respect of the German people forever. Dr. Hallervorden concluded: “Still, there were interesting cases in this material.”

In general only previously hospitalized patients were exterminated for reasons of illness. An exception is a program carried out in a northwestern district of Poland, the “Warthegau,” where a health survey of the entire population was made by an “S.S. X-Ray Battalion” headed by Professor Hohlfelder, radiologist of the University of Frankfurt-am-main. Persons found to be infected with tuberculosis were carted off to special extermination centers.

It is rather significant that the German people were considered by their Nazi leaders more ready to accept the exterminations of the sick than those for political reasons. It was for that reason that the first exterminations of the latter group were carried out under the guise of sickness. So-called “psychiatric experts” were dispatched to survey the inmates of camps with the specific order to pick out members of racial minorities and political offenders from occupied territories and to dispatch them to killing centers with specially made diagnoses such as that of “inveterate German hater” applied to a number of prisoners who had been active in the Czech underground.

Certain classes of patients with mental diseases who were capable of performing labor, particularly members of the armed forces suffering from psychopathy or neurosis, were sent to concentration camps to be worked to death, or to be reassigned to punishment battalions and to be exterminated in the process of removal of mine fields.[6]

A large number of those marked for death for political or racial reasons were made available for “medical” experiments involving the use of involuntary human subjects. From 1942 on, such experiments carried out in concentration camps were openly presented at medical meetings. This program included “terminal human experiments,” a term introduced by Dr. Rascher to denote an experiment so designed that its successful conclusion depended upon the test person’s being put to death.

The Science of Annihilation

A large part of this research was devoted to the science of destroying and preventing life, for which I have proposed the term “ktenology,” the science of killing.[7-9] In the course of this ktenologic research, methods of mass killing and mass sterilization were investigated and developed for use against non-German peoples or Germans who were considered useless.

Sterilization methods were widely investigated, but proved impractical in experiments conducted in concentration camps. A rapid method developed for sterilization of females, which could be accomplished in the course of a regular health examination, was the intra-uterine injection of various chemicals. Numerous mixtures were tried, some with iodopine and others containing barium; another was most likely silver nitrate with iodized oil, because the result could be ascertained by x-ray examination. The injections were extremely painful, and a number of women died in the course of the experiments. Professor Karl Clauberg reported that he had developed a method at the Auschwitz concentration camp by which he could sterilize 1000 women in one day.

Another method of sterilization, or rather castration, was proposed by Viktor Brack especially for conquered populations. His idea was that x-ray machinery could be built into desks at which the people would have to sit, ostensibly to fill out a questionnaire requiring five minutes; they would be sterilized without being aware of it. This method failed because experiments carried out on 100 male prisoners brought out the fact that severe x-ray burns were produced on all subjects. In the course of this research, which was carried out by Dr. Horst Schuman, the testicles of the victims were removed for histologic examination two weeks later. I myself examined 4 castrated survivors of this ghastly experiment. Three had extensive necrosis of the skin near the genitalia, and the other an extensive necrosis of the urethra. Other experiments in sterilization used an extract of the plant caladium seguinum, which had been shown in animal studies by Madaus and his co-workers[10,11] to cause selective necrosis of the germinal cells of the testicles as well as the ovary.

The development of methods for rapid and inconspicuous individual execution was the objective of another large part of the ktenologic research. These methods were to be applied to members of the ruling group, including the SS itself, who were suspected of disloyalty. This, of course, is an essential requirement in a dictatorship, in which “cut-throat competition” becomes a grim reality, and any hint of faintheartedness or lack of enthusiasm for the methods of totalitarian rule is considered a threat to the entire group.

Poisons were the subject of many of these experiments. A research team at the Buchenwald concentration camp, consisting of Drs. Joachim Mrugowsky, Erwin Ding-Schuler and Waldemar Hoven, developed the most widely used means of individual execution under the guise of medical treatment—namely, the intravenous injection of phenol or gasoline. Several alkaloids were also investigated, among them aconitine, which was used by Dr. Hoven to kill several imprisoned former fellow SS men who were potential witnesses against the camp commander, Koch, then under investigation by the SS. At the Dachau concentration camp Dr. Rascher developed the standard cyanide capsules, which could be easily bitten through, either deliberately or accidentally, if mixed with certain foods, and which, ironically enough, later became the means with which Himmler and Goering killed themselves. In connection with these poison experiments there is an interesting incident of characteristic sociologic significance. When Dr. Hoven was under trial by the SS the investigating SS judge, Dr. Morgen, proved Hoven’s guilt by feeding the poison found in Dr. Hoven’s possession to a number of Russian prisoners of war; these men died with the same symptoms as the SS men murdered by Dr. Hoven. This worthy judge was rather proud of this efficient method of proving Dr. Hoven’s guilt and appeared entirely unaware of the fact that in the process he had committed murder himself.

Poisons, however, proved too obvious or detectable to be used for the elimination of high-ranking Nazi party personnel who had come into disfavor, or of prominent prisoners whose deaths should appear to stem from natural causes. Phenol or gasoline, for instance, left a telltale odor with the corpses. For this reason a number of more subtle methods were devised. One of these was artificial production of septicemia. An intramuscular injection of 1 cc. of pus, containing numerous chains of streptococci, was the first step. The site of injection was usually the inside of the thigh, close to the adductor canal. When an abscess formed it was tapped, and 3 cc. of the creamey pus removed was injected intravenously into the patient’s opposite arm. If the patient then died from septicemia, the autopsy proved that death was caused by the same organism that had caused the abscess. These experiments were carried out in many concentration camps. At Dachau camp the subjects were almost exclusively Polish Catholic priests. However, since this method did not always cause death, sometimes resulting merely in a local abscess, it was considered inefficient, and research was continued with other means but along the same lines.

The final triumph of the part of ktenologic research aimed at finding a method of inconspicuous execution that would produce autopsy findings indicative of death from natural causes was the development of repeated intravenous injections of suspensions of live tubercle bacilli, which brought on acute miliary tuberculosis within a few weeks. This method was produced by Professor Dr. Heissmeyer, who was one of Dr. Gebhardt’s associates at the SS hospital of Hohenlychen. As a means of further camouflage, so that the SS at large would not suspect the purpose of these experiments, the preliminary tests for the efficacy of this method were performed exclusively on children imprisoned in the Neuengamme concentration camp.

For use in “medical” executions of prisoners and of members of the SS and other branches of the German armed forces the use of simple lethal injections, particularly phenol injections, remained the instrument of choice. Whatever methods he used, the physician gradually became the unofficial executioner, for the sake of convenience, informality and relative secrecy. Even on German submarines it was the physician’s duty to execute the troublemakers among the crew by lethal injections.

Medical science has for some time been an instrument of military power in that it preserved the health and fighting efficiency of troops. This essentially defensive purpose is not inconsistent with the ethical principles of medicine. In World War I the German empire had enlisted medical science as an instrument of aggressive military power by putting it to use in the development of gas warfare. It was left to the Nazi dictatorship to make medical science into an instrument of political power—a formidable, essential tool in the complete and effective manipulation of totalitarian control. This should be a warning to all civilized nations, and particularly to individuals who are blinded by the “efficiency” of a totalitarian rule, under whatever name.

This entire body of research as reported so far served the master crime to which the Nazi dictatorship was committed—namely, the genocide of non-German peoples and the elimination by killing, in groups or singly, of Germans who were considered useless or disloyal. In effecting the two parts of this program, Himmler demanded and received the co-operation of physicians and of German medical science. The result was a significant advance in the science of killing, or ktenology.

Medico-military Research

Another chapter in Nazi scientific research was that aimed to aid the military forces. Many of these ideas originated with Himmler, who fancied himself a scientist.

When Himmler learned that the cause of death of most SS men on the battlefield was hemorrhage, he instructed Dr. Sigmund Rascher to search for a blood coagulant that might be given before the men went into action. Rascher tested this coagulant when it was developed by clocking the number of drops emanating from freshly cut amputation stumps of living and conscious prisoners at the crematorium of Dachau concentration camp and by shooting Russian prisoners of war through the spleen.

Live dissections were a feature of another experimental study designed to show the effects of explosive decompression.[12-14] A mobile decompression chamber was used. It was found that when subjects were made to descend from altitudes of 40,000 to 60,000 feet without oxygen, severe symptoms of cerebral dysfunction occurred—at first convulsions, then unconsciousness in which the body was hanging limp and later, after wakening, temporary blindness, paralysis or severe confusional twilight states. Rascher, who wanted to find out whether these symptoms were due to anoxic changes or to other causes, did what appeared to him the most simple thing: he placed the subjects of the experiment under water and dissected them while the heart was still beating, demonstrating air embolism in the blood vessels of the heart, liver, chest wall and brain.

Another part of Dr. Rascher’s research, carried out in collaboration with Holzlochner and Finke, concerned shock from exposure to cold.[15] It was known that military personnel generally did not survive immersion in the North Sea for more than sixty to a hundred minutes. Rascher therefore attempted to duplicate these conditions at Dachau concentration camp and used about 300 prisoners in experiments on shock from exposure to cold; of these 80 or 90 were killed. (The figures do not include persons killed during mass experiments on exposure to cold outdoors.) In one report on this work Rascher asked permission to shift these experiments from Dachau to Auschwitz, a larger camp where they might cause less disturbance because the subjects shrieked from pain when their extremities froze white. The results, like so many of those obtained in the Nazi research program, are not dependable. In his report Rascher stated that it took from fifty-three to a hundred minutes to kill a human being by immersion in ice water—a time closely in agreement with the known survival period in the North Sea. Inspection of his own experimental records and statements made to me by his close associates showed that it actually took from eighty minutes to five or six hours to kill an undressed person in such a manner, whereas a man in full aviator’s dress took six or seven hours to kill. Obviously, Rascher dressed up his findings to forestall criticism, although any scientific man should have known that during actual exposure many other factors, including greater convection of heat due to the motion of water, would affect the time of survival.

Another series of experiments gave results that might have been an important medical contribution if an important lead had not been ignored. The efficacy of various vaccines and drugs against typhus was tested at the Buchenwald and Natzweiler concentration camps. Prevaccinated persons and nonvaccinated controls were injected with live typhus rickettsias, and the death rates of the two series compared. After a certain number of passages, the Matelska strain of typhus rickettsia proved to become avirulent for man. Instead of seizing upon this as a possibility to develop a live vaccine, the experimenters, including the chief consultant, Professor Gerhard Rose, who should have known better, were merely annoyed at the fact that the controls did not die either, discarded this strain and continued testing their relatively ineffective dead vaccines against a new virulent strain. This incident shows that the basic unconscious motivation and attitude has a great influence in determining the scientist’s awareness of the phenomena that pass through his vision.

Sometimes human subjects were used for tests that were totally unnecessary, or whose results could have been predicted by simple chemical experiments. For example, 90 gypsies were given unaltered sea water and sea water whose taste was camouflaged as their sole source of fluid, apparently to test the well known fact that such hypertonic saline solutions given as the only source of supply of fluid will cause severe physical disturbance or death within six to twelve days. These persons were subjected to the tortures of the damned, with death resulting in at least 2 cases.

Heteroplastic transplantation experiments were carried out by Professor Dr. Karl Gebhardt at Himmler’s suggestion. Whole limbs— shoulder, arm or leg—were amputated from live prisoners at Ravensbrucck concentration camp, wrapped in sterile moist dressings and sent by automobile to the SS hospital at Hohenlychen, where Professor Gebhardt busied himself with a futile attempt at heteroplastic transplantation. In the meantime the prisoners deprived of limb were usually killed by lethal injection.

One would not be dealing with German science if one did not run into manifestations of the collector’s spirit. By February, 1942, it was assumed in German scientific circles that the Jewish race was about to be completely exterminated, and alarm was expressed over the fact that only very few specimens of skulls and skeletons of Jews were at the disposal of science. It was therefore proposed that a collection 150 body casts and skeletons of Jews be preserved for perusal by future students of anthropology. Dr. August Hirt, professor of anatomy at the University of Strassburg, declared himself interested in establishing such a collection at his anatomic institute. He suggested that captured Jewish officers of the Russian armed forces by included, as well as females from Auschwitz concentration camp; that they be brought alive to Natzweiler concentration camp near Strassburg; and that after “their subsequently induced death—care should be taken that the heads not be damaged [sic]” the bodies be turned over to him at the anatomic institute of the University of Strassburg. This was done. The entire collection of bodies and the correspondence pertaining to it fell into the hands of the United States Army.

One of the most revolting experiments was the testing of sulfonamides against gas gangrene by Professor Gebhardt and his collaborators, for which young women captured from the Polish Resistance Movement served as subjects. Necrosis was produced in a muscle of the leg by ligation and the wound was infected with various types of gas-gangrene bacilli; frequently, dirt, pieces of wood and glass splinters were added to the wound. Some of these victims died, and others sustained severe mutilating deformities of the leg.

Motivation

An important feature of the experiments performed in concentration camps is the fact that they not only represented a ruthless and callous pursuit of legitimate scientific goals but also were motivated by rather sinister practical ulterior political and personal purposes, arising out of the requirements and problems of the administration of totalitarian rule.

Why did men like Professor Gebhardt lend themselves to such experiments? The reasons are fairly simple and practical, no surprise to anyone familiar with the evidence of fear, hostility, suspicion, rivalry and intrigue, the fratricidal struggle euphemistically termed the “self-selection of leaders,” that went on within the ranks of the ruling Nazi party and the SS. The answer was fairly simple and logical. Dr. Gebhardt performed these experiments to clear himself of the suspicion that he had been contributing to the death of SS General Reinhard (“The Hangman”) Heydrich, either negligently or deliberately, by failing to treat his wound infection with sulfonamides. After Heydrich died from gas gangrene, Himmler himself told Dr. Gebhardt that the only way in which he could prove that Heydrich’s death was “fate-determined” was by carrying out a “large-scale experiment” in prisoners, which would prove or disprove that people died from gas gangrene irrespective of whether they were treated sulfonamides or not.

Dr. Sigmund Rascher did not become the notorious vivisectionist of Dachau concentration camp and the willing tool of Himmler’s research interests until he had been forbidden to use the facilities of the Pathological Institute of the University of Munich because he was suspected of having Communist sympathies. Then he was ready to go all out and to do anything merely to regain acceptance by the Nazi party and the SS.

These cases illustrate a method consciously and methodically used in the SS, an age-old method used by criminal gangs everywhere: that of making suspects of disloyalty clear themselves by participation in a crime that would definitely and irrevocably tie them to the organization. In the SS this process of reinforcement of group cohesion was called “Blukitt” (blood-cement), a term that Hitler himself is said to have obtained from a book on Genghis Khan in which this technic was emphasized.

The important lesson here is that this motivation, with which one is familiar in ordinary crimes, applies also to war crimes and to ideologically conditioned crimes against humanity—namely, that fear and cowardice, especially fear of punishment or of ostracism by the group, are often more important motives than simple ferocity or aggressiveness.

The Early Change in Medical Attitudes

Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them that they had started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans. But it is important to realize that the infinitely small wedged-in lever from which this entire trend of mind received its impetus was the attitude toward the nonrehabilitable sick.

It is, therefore, this subtle shift in emphasis of the physicians’ attitude that one must thoroughly investigate. It is a recent significant trend in medicine, including psychiatry, to regard prevention as more important than cure. Observation and recognition of early signs and symptoms have become the basis for prevention of further advance of disease.[8]

In looking for these early signs one may well retrace the early steps of propaganda on the part of the Nazis in Germany as well as in the countries that they overran and in which they attempted to gain supporters by means of indoctrination, seduction and propaganda.

The Example of Successful Resistance by the Physicians of the Netherlands

There is no doubt that in Germany itself the first and most effective step of propaganda within the medical profession was the propaganda barrage against the useless, incurably sick described above. Similar, even more subtle efforts were made in some of the occupied countries. It is to the everlasting honor of the medical profession of Holland that they recognized the earliest and most subtle phases of this attempt and rejected it. When Sciss-Inquart, Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands Territories, wanted to draw the Dutch physicians into the orbit of the activities of the German medical profession, he did not tell them” You must send your chronic patients to death factories” or “You must give lethal injections at Government request in your offices,” but he couched his order in most careful and superficially acceptable terms. One of the paragraphs in the order of the Reich Commissar of the Netherlands Territories concerning the Netherlands doctors of 19 December 1941 reads as follows: “It is the duty of the doctor, through advice and effort, conscientiously and to his best ability, to assist as helper the person entrusted to his care in the maintenance, improvement and re-establishment of his vitality, physical efficiency and health. The accomplishment of this duty is a public task.”[16] The physicians of Holland rejected this order unanimously because they saw what it actually meant—namely, the concentration of their efforts on mere rehabilitation of the sick for useful labor, and abolition of medical secrecy. Although on the surface the new order appeared not too grossly unacceptable, the Dutch physicians decided that it is the first, although slight, step away from principle that is the most important one. The Dutch physicians declared that they would not obey this order. When Sciss-Inquart threatened them with revocation of their licenses, they returned their licenses, removed their shingles and, while seeing their own patients secretly, no longer wrote death or birth certificates. Sciss-Inquart retraced his steps and tried to cajole them—still to no effect. Then he arrested 100 Dutch physicians and sent them to concentration camps. The medical profession remained adamant and quietly took care of their widows and orphans, but would not give in. Thus it came about that not a single euthanasia or non-therapeutic sterilization was recommended or participated in by any Dutch physician. They had the foresight to resist before the first step was taken, and they acted unanimously and won out in the end. It is obvious that if the medical profession of a small nation under the conqueror’s heel could resist so effectively the German medical profession could likewise have resisted had they not taken the fatal first step. It is the first seemingly innocent step away from principle that frequently decides a career of crime. Corrosion begins in microscopic proportions.

The Situation in the United States

The question that this fact prompts is whether there are any danger signs that American physicians have also been infected with Hegelian, cold-blooded, utilitarian philosophy and whether early traces of it can be detected in their medical thinking that may make them vulnerable to departures of the type that occurred in Germany. Basic attitudes must be examined dispassionately. The original concept of medicine and nursing was not based on any rational or feasible likelihood that they could actually cure and restore but rather on an essentially maternal or religious idea. The Good Samaritan had no thought of nor did he actually care whether he could restore working capacity. He was merely motivated by the compassion in alleviating suffering. Bernal[17] states that prior to the advent of scientific medicine, the physician’s main function was to give hope to the patient and to relieve his relatives of responsibility. Gradually, in all civilized countries, medicine has moved away from this position, strangely enough in direct proportion to man’s actual ability to perform feats that would have been plain miracles in days of old. However, with this increased efficiency based on scientific development went a subtle change in attitude. Physicians have become dangerously close to being mere technicians of rehabilitation. This essentially Hegelian rational attitude has led them to make certain distinctions in the handling of acute and chronic diseases. The patient with the latter carries an obvious stigma as the one less likely to be fully rehabilitable for social usefulness. In an increasingly utilitarian society these patients are being looked down upon with increasing definiteness as unwanted ballast. A certain amount of rather open contempt for the people who cannot be rehabilitated with present knowledge has developed. This is probably due to a good deal of unconscious hostility, because these people for whom there seem to be no effective remedies have become a threat to newly acquired delusions of omnipotence.

Hospitals like to limit themselves to the care of patients who can be fully rehabilitated, and the patient whose full rehabilitation is unlikely finds himself, at least in the best and most advanced centers of healing, as a second-class patient faced with a reluctance on the part of both the visiting and the house staff to suggest and apply therapeutic procedures that are not likely to bring about immediately striking results in terms of recovery. I wish to emphasize that this point of view did not arise primarily within the medical profession, which has always been outstanding in a highly competitive economic society for giving freely and unstintingly of its time and efforts, but was imposed by the shortage of funds available, both private and public. From the attitude of easing patients with chronic diseases away from the doors of the best types of treatment facilities available to the actual dispatching of such patients to killing centers is a long but nevertheless logical step. Resources for the so-called incurable patient have recently become practically unavailable.

There has never in history been a shortage of money for the development and manufacture of weapons of war; there is and should be none now. The disproportion of monetary support for war and that available for healing and care is an anachronism in an era that has been described as the “enlightened age of the common man” by some observers. The comparable cost of jet planes and hospital beds is too obvious for any excuse to be found for a shortage of the latter. I trust that these remarks will not be misunderstood. I believe that armament, including jet planes, is vital for the security of the republic, but adequate maintenance of standards of health and alleviation of suffering are equally vital, both from a practical point of view and form that of morale. All who took part in induction-board examinations during the war realize that the maintenance and development of national health is of as vital importance as the maintenance and development of armament.

The trend of development in the facilities available for the chronically ill outlined above will not necessarily be altered by public or state medicine. With provision of public funds in any setting of public activity the question is bound to come up, “Is it worth while to spend a certain amount of effort to restore a certain type of patient?” This rationalistic point of view has insidiously crept into the motivation of medical effort, supplanting the old Hippocratic point of view. In emergency situations, military or otherwise, such grading of effort may be pardonable. But doctors must beware lest such attitudes creep into the civilian public administration of medicine entirely outside emergency situations, because once such considerations are at all admitted, the more often and the more definitely the question is going to be asked, “Is it worth while to do this or that for this type of patient?” Evidence of the existence of such an attitude stared at me from a report on the activities of a leading public hospital unit, which stated rather proudly that certain treatments were given only when they appeared promising: “Our facilities are such that a case load of 20 patients is regularly carried . . .in selecting cases for treatment careful consideration is given to the prognostic criteria, and in no instance have we instituted treatment merely to satisfy relatives or our own consciences.” If only those whose treatment is worth while in terms of prognosis are to be treated, what about the other ones? The doubtful patients are the ones whose recovery appears unlikely, but frequently if treated energetically, they surprise the best prognosticators. And what shall be done during that long time lag after the disease has been called incurable and the time of death and autopsy? It is that period during which it is most difficult to find hospitals and other therapeutic organizations for the welfare and alleviation of suffering of the patient.

Under all forms of dictatorship the dictating bodies or individuals claim that all that is done is being done for the best of the people as a whole, and that for that reason they look at health merely in terms of utility, efficiency and productivity. It is natural in such a setting that eventually Hegel’s principle that “what is useful is good” wins out completely. The killing center is the reductio ad absurdum of all health planning based only on rational principles and economy and not on humane compassion and divine law. To be sure, American physicians are still far from the point of thinking of killing centers, but they have arrived at a danger point in thinking, at which likelihood of full rehabilitation is considered a factor that should determine the amount of time, effort and cost to be devoted to a particular type of patient on the part of the social body upon which this decision rests. At this point Americans should remember that the enormity of a euthanasia movement is present in their own midst. To the psychiatrist it is obvious that this represents the eruption of unconscious aggression on the part of certain administrators alluded to above, as well as on the part of relatives who have been understandably frustrated by the tragedy of illness in its close interaction upon their own lives. The hostility of a father erupting against his feebleminded son is understandable and should be considered from the psychiatric point of view, but it certainly should not influence social thinking. The development of effective analgesics and pain-relieving operations has taken even the last rationalization away from the supporters of euthanasia.

The case, therefore, that I should like to make is that American medicine must realize where it stands in its fundamental premises. There can be no doubt that in a subtle way the Hegelian premise of “what is useful is right” has infected society, including the medical portion. Physicians must return to the older premises, which were the emotional foundation and driving force of an amazingly successful quest to increase powers of healing if they are not held down to earth by the pernicious attitudes of an overdone practical realism.

What occurred in Germany may have been the inexorable historic progression that the Greek historians have described as the law of the fall of civilizations and that Toynbee[18] has convincingly confirmed—namely, that there is a logical sequence from Koros to Hybris to Atc, which means from surfeit to disdainful arrogance to disaster, the surfeit being increased scientific and practical accomplishments, which, however, brought about an inclination to throw away the old motivations and values by disdainful arrogant pride in practical efficiency. Moral and physical disaster is the inevitable consequence.

Fortunately, there are developments in this democratic society that counteract these trends. Notable among them are the societies of patients afflicted with various chronic diseases that have sprung up and are dedicating themselves to guidance and information for their fellow sufferers and for the support and stimulation of medical research. Among the earliest was the mental-hygiene movement, founded by a former patient with mental disease. Then came the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, the tuberculosis societies, the American Epilepsy League, the National Association to Control Epilepsy, the American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association, “Alcoholics Anonymous” and, most recently the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. All these societies, which are coordinated with special medical societies and which received inspiration and guidance from outstanding physicians, are having an extremely wholesome effect in introducing fresh motivating power into the ivory towers of academic medicine. It is indeed interesting and an assertion of democratic vitality that these societies are activated by and for people suffering from illnesses who, under certain dictatorships, would have been slated for euthanasia.

It is thus that these new societies have taken over one of the ancient functions of medicine—namely, to give hope to the patient and to relieve his relatives. These societies need the whole-hearted support of the medical profession. Unfortunately, this support is by no means yet unanimous. A distinguished physician, investigator and teacher at an outstanding university recently told me that he was opposed to these special societies and clinics because they had nothing to offer to the patient. It would be better to wait until someone made a discovery accidentally and then start clinics. It is my opinion, however, that one cannot wait for that. The stimulus supplied by these societies is necessary to give stimulus both to public demand and to academic medicine, which at times grows stale and unproductive even in its most outstanding centers, and whose existence did nothing to prevent the executioner from having logic on his side in Germany.

Another element of this free democratic society and enterprise that has been a stimulus to new developments is the pharmaceutical industry, which, with great vision, has invested considerable effort in the sponsorship of new research.

Dictatorships can be indeed defined as systems in which there is a prevalence of thinking in destructive rather than in ameliorative terms in dealing with social problems. The ease with which destruction of life is advocated for those considered either socially useless or socially disturbing instead of educational or ameliorative measures may be the first danger sign of loss of creative liberty in thinking, which is the hallmark of democratic society. All destructiveness ultimately leads to self-destruction; the fate of the SS and of Nazi Germany is an eloquent example. The destructive principle, once unleased, is bound to engulf the whole personality and to occupy all its relationships. Destructive urges and destructive concepts arising therefrom cannot remain limited or focused upon one subject or several subjects alone, but must inevitable spread and be directed against one’s entire surrounding world, including one’s own group and ultimately the self. The ameliorative point of view maintained in relation to all others is the only real means of self-preservation.

A most important need in this country is for the development of active and alert hospital centers for the treatment of chronic illnesses. They must have active staffs similar to those of the hospitals for acute illnesses, and these hospitals must be fundamentally different from the custodial repositories for derelicts, of which there are too many in existence today. Only thus can one give the right answer to divine scrutiny: Yes, we are our brothers’ keepers. 433 Marlborough Street

ENDNOTES

1. Bumke, O. Discussion of Faltlhauser, K. Zur Frage der Sterilisierung geistig Abnormer, Allg. Zischr. J. Psychiat., 96:372, 1932.

2. Dierichs, R. Beitrag zur psychischen Anstaltsbehandlung Tuberkuloser, Zischr. f. Tuberk., 74:24-28, 1936.

3. Dorner, A. Mathematik in dienste der Nationalpolitischen Erziehung: Ein Handbuch fur Lehrer, herausgegeben in Auftrage des Reichsverbandes Deutcher mathematischer Gesellschaften und Vereine. Second edition. (revised). Frankfurt: Moritz Diesterweg, 1935. Pp. 1-118. Third edition (revised), 1936. Pp. 1-118.

4. Alexander, L. Public mental health practices in Germany, sterilization and execution of patients suffering from nervous or mental disease. Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee, Item No. 24. File, No. XXVIII-50. Pp. 1-173 (August), 1945.

5. Idem. Neuropathology and neurophysiology, including electro-encephalography in wartime Germany. Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee, Item No. 24. File, No. XXVII-1. Pp. 1-65 (July), 1945.

6. Idem. German military neuropsychiatry and neurosurgery. Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee, Item No. 24. File, No. XXVIII-49. Pp. 1-138 (August), 1945.

7. Idem. Sociopsychologic structure of SS: psychiatric report of Nurnberg trials for war crimes. Arch. Neurol. & Psychiat. 59:622-634, 1948.

8. Idem. War crimes: their social-psychological aspects. Am. J. Psychiat. 105:170-177, 1948.

9. Idem. War crimes and their motivation: socio-psychological structure of SS and criminalization of society. J. Crim. Law & Criminol. 39:298-326, 1948.

10. Idem. Madaus, G., and Koch, F.E., Tierexperimentelle Studien zur Frage der medikamentosen Sterilisierung (durch Caladium seguinum ([sic] Dieffenbachia sequina). Zischr. f. d. ges. exper. Med. 109:68-87, 1941.

11. Madaus, G. Zauberpflanzen im Lichte experimenteller Forschung, Das Schweigrohr – Caladium seguinum. Umschau 24:600-602.

12. Alexander, L. Treatment of shock from prolonged exposure to cold, especially in water. Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee, Item No. 24. File, No. XXIX-24. Pp. 1-163 (August), 1945.

13. Document 1971 a PS.

14. Document NO 220.

15. Alexander, L. Treatment of shock from prolonged exposure to cold, especially in water. Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee, Item No. 24. File, No. XXVI-37. Pp. 1-228 (July), 1945.

16. Seiss-Inquart. Order of the Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands Territories Concerning the Netherlands Doctors. (Gazette containing the orders for the Occupied Netherlands Territories), pp. 1001-1026, December, 1941.

17. Bernal, J. D. The Social Function of Science. Sixth edition. 482 pp. London: George Routledge & Sons, 1946.

18. Toynbee, A. J. A Study of History. Abridgement of Vol. I-VI. By D. C. Somervell. 617 pp. New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1947.

(This article was taken from the July 14, 1949, issue of “The New England Journal of Medicine.”)

This item 492 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org

السعوديّة نحو مملكة سلمانيّة جديدة

د.وفيق إبراهيم

ما يجري في السعودية أكبر من مسألة نقل للسلطة من الأعمام إلى الأحفاد، يتجاوز حقوق أميرين من أولاد المؤسس عبد العزيز وهما أحمد ومقرن، شقيقا الملك الحالي سلمان، لا شك في أن الأمر أخطر بكثير، فهناك مشروع إلغاء كامل للمعادلة التاريخية التي تحكم السعودية منذ مطلع القرن الماضي ابتدأت مع عبد العزيز، وقامت على أساس أفقي ينتقل الحكم فيه من الأخ إلى أخيه وهكذا دواليك حتى استنفادهم بالكامل، وعندها ينتقل الملك الى الإبن الأكبر من عائلة الأخ الأكبر بشكل يستمر فيه النظام الملكي الأفقي على هذا المنوال إلى ان تنتهي السعودية نفسها، فلا يستاء جناح سعودي من أي جناح آخر، لأن دوره آتٍ في الحكم حتى لو طال الانتظار بضعة عقود أو قرون.

أما القاعدة الثانية للحكم فتقوم على أساس تبعية كاملة للسياسات الأميركية في العالم، خصوصاً في تنفيذ ما تحتاجه في العالم الاسلامي، إلا أن الحكم السعودي الذي ينصاع دائماً للنفوذ الأميركي، يحرص على عدم اهتزاز صورته على مستوى الاسلام وتقديم صورة قوية عن التزامه بالقضية الفلسطينية. وهنا يلعب الاعلام دوراً في عرض صور إيمانيّة لآل سعود مع عمق دفاعهم عن فلسطين والتزامهم بتقديم مساعدات للدول الاسلامية، يتبين في ما بعد أنها «رشى» لضبط هذه الدول في إطار الجيوبولتيك الاميركي.

ماذا يفعل محمد بن سلمان، ولي العهد السعودي بالمعادلة السعودية؟

استفاد إبن الملك سلمان من الرئيس الأميركي ترامب فاشتراه بعلاقات اقتصادية دفع فيها الأمير محمد نحو 500 مليار دولار دفعة واحدة، كانت كافية لتلبية طموحاته وأولها أن يكون وريث ابيه سلمان في الملك السعودي، على أن يصبح في مراحل لاحقة الزعيم الأبرز في العالمين العربي والاسلامي.

لذلك تزامن تعيينه ولياً للعهد في توسيع احجام التدخلية السعودية في اليمن وقبلها في سورية والعراق ومصر، والقرن الأفريقي والسودان والجزائر، وتونس وليبيا. فكل ما أرادته السياسة الأميركية، نفذه من دون نقاش، حتى أنه اغتال الاعلامي جمال الخاشقجي في القنصلية السعودية في اسطنبول التركية من دون أي مساءلة دولية فعلية، وذلك للغطاء السميك الذي وفره له ترامب.

لكن تراجع السياسات السعودية في سورية والعراق وانكسار مشروعها في اليمن وعجزها عن السيطرة على قطر، وانحسار مراكز قوتها في مجمل العالمين العربي والاسلامي، انتجوا مرحلة تقلص الأهمية السعودية من دولة ذات مدى اقليمي دولي يصل الى حيث يوجد مسلمون، ثم تقلصت الى مستوى دولة عادية جداً من دول السرق الأوسط تعجز عن إقناع معظم جوارها باهتماماتها السياسية، كما فشل السعوديون في دفع أصدقائهم الدوليين والإقليميين الى محاربة ايران، وظلت تهديداتهم لها مجرد جعجعة أصوات وحبر على ورق.

هذا الانكسار السعودي انعكس على مستوى الداخل، فهناك نحو خمسة آلاف أمير سعودي ممتعضين من استئثار محمد بن سلمان بالحكم وولاية العهد بالقوة وعكس مألوف معادلة الحكم التقليدية في السعودية.

هناك إذاً إحباط من فشل السياسة الخارجية لإبن سلمان، بالإضافة إلى اغتيالاته المتعدّدة لمنافسين له سواء بأحكام ملفقة او باغتيالات سرية.

لكن ولي العهد وصل الى مرحلة استشعر فيها أن الأميركيين خصوصاً والغرب عموماً لن يتورعوا عن اقصائه عن ولاية العهد في السعودية اذا شعروا أن إبعاده يضمن استقرار هيمنتهم على شبه الجزيرة العربية.

بأي حال، تنبّه محمد بن سلمان الى هذا الاحتمال، بمواكبة بدء عمه أحمد بن عبد العزيز بالالتقاء مع محمد بن نايف وزير الداخلية السابق المعزول ايضاً عن ولاية العرش، وكثير من بعض الأجنحة الأخرى، المنزعجة من دكتاتورية محمد بن سلمان، هذا مع دعم خفي من بعض الاجنحة الاميركية التي أسرعت لبناء بدلاء من محمد بن سلمان، في حالة انهياره، والبديل الموضوعي هنا، هو عمه احمد وشقيقه مقرن وصولاً إلى اولاد عمه محمد بن نايف وأخيه نواف، من دون نسيان آلاف الامراء السعوديين الرافضين لمعادلة ابن سلمان بالاستئثار بالحكم على اساس نظام جديد ينقل المُلك من سلمان الى محمد ابنه وأولاد نجله، ما يعني تغييراً بنوياً في المملكة السعودية الى المملكة السلمانية، فما هي تداعيات هذا الاحتمال؟

لا بد في المنطلق من وجود دعم اميركي ضروري لمثل هذا الانقلاب السلماني في مفهوم السلطنة، لأن السعودية جزء بنيوي من الجيوبولتيك الاميركي تتمتع بحرية نسبية بتأسيس علاقات مع اوروبا وتجارية مع الصين وروسيا انما بشكل مخفف، ما يربط أي اتجاه لتغيير عميق في بنية المملكة لتأييد أميركي مسبق، فهل هذا موجود؟

صمت البيت الأبيض يعكس تأييداً أميركياً مضمراً يترقب النتائج للاعلان عن تأييده، كذلك فإن اوروبا تنتظر المسألة نفسها ومعها روسيا والصين.

لجهة الداخل السعودي، فقد تمكن محمد بن سلمان من الإمساك بكل عناصر القوة السعودية من الجيش والحرس الوطني والمخابرات ورؤوس العشائر، والقوة النفطية عبر سعيه إلى بيع أسهم أرامكو في السوق العالمية. وهذا بمفرده عنصر جذب للقوى الغربية وإبعادها عن الصراعات بين الامراء في الداخل.

كما أنه قطع علاقات النظام السعودي بمجمل القوى الإرهابية الممتدة من الحركة الوهابية الخاصة ببلاده، وذلك في حركة لكسب الودّ الغربي، وإيهامهم بتطورات حديثة في المجتمع السعودي التقليدي.

ما هو واضح إذاً ان ابن سلمان يترقب موت والده سلمان مهيئاً مجلس البيعة لإعلانه ملكاً، وبحركة تمهيدية اعتقل المنافسين المحتملين من أعمامه أحمد بن عبد العزيز ومقرن وأبرز منافسيه الناقمين عليه من أولاد عمومته والأكثر فاعلية وهما محمد بن نايف وشقيقه نواف، مع نحو ثلاثين أميراً من اصحاب العلاقات الخارجية والداخلية.

إن هذه الصراعات تنذر باقتراب موعد النهاية الدرامتيكية لهذه المملكة على وقع الانفجارات المرتقبة بين الآلاف من أمرائها، ما يفقدها اهمياتها الاسلامية والخليجية والعربية وبالتالي الدولية. فهل يغفل الأميركيون عن هذه التطورات؟ تعتقد الدولة الاميركية العميقة ان دفع هذه الصراعات الى التأجيج، كفيل بإعادة انتاج دولة جديدة تقوم على النفط المتراجع وكميات كبيرة من الغاز لم يبدأ استثمارها بعد وهي المعادلة الجديدة الدافعة للاميركيين لتأييد أي دولة سعودية وجديدة وإحاطتها بدعم أميركي مشبوه.

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Censorship Is the Way that Any Dictatorship — and NO Democracy — Functions

Eric Zuesse February 15, 2020

No democracy can survive censorship. If there is censorship, then each individual cannot make his/her own decisions (voting decisions or otherwise) on the basis of truth but only on the basis of whatever passes through the censor’s filter, which is always whatever supports the censoring regime and implants it evermore deeply into the public’s mind — regardless of its actual truthfulness.

The public does have a mind, as a collective constituting the majority of the residents in the given land, which majority rules any democratic government. If the government doesn’t really represent the majority, it’s no democracy, at all, but instead represents other individuals, the real rulers, who might be hidden. Consequently, if a democracy exists but a censor somehow becomes allowed, and emerges into existence in a given land, then democracy will inevitably be snuffed-out there, and dictatorship will inevitably be the result — merely because censorship has been applied there, which blocks some essential truths (truths that the rulers don’t want the public to know) from reaching the public.

Nothing is as toxic to democracy as is censorship. Censorship prevents democracy.

If a dictatorship already exists in a given land, then it does so by means of censorship, because only by that means will the public be willing to pay taxes to the regime and to go to war for it and to kill and die for it. Without censorship, none of that could happen, except in an authentic democracy. An authentic democracy has no censorship.

This is why democracy is so rare. Almost every dictatorship calls itself a ‘democracy’. But a government which calls itself “democratic” isn’t necessarily democratic, but more likely it has simply fooled its public to think that it is one (such as the United States has by now been scientifically proven to be — an actual dictatorship).

Anyone who endorses censorship is a totalitarian, a supporter of totalitarianism, even without recognizing the fact. If the person fails to recognize the fact that censorship is applied only in a totalitarian regime, then that person has bought into the most basic belief of totalitarianism: the idea that censorship can be justified in some circumstances. Dictatorships always pump that lie, so as to be able to continue to exist as a dictatorship. There is no circumstance which ever can justify censorship, unless one believes that dictatorship is, or can be, good instead of bad.

If you think that some censorship is good, then you have bought into the fundamental belief that is promulgated in any dictatorship. It’s a lie, but it fools the majority of people, in a dictatorship.

No writing, nor any other statement, should ever be censored, no matter how vile it is. Indeed, if it is vile, then it needs to be exposed, not hidden; because, if it is hidden, then it will fester until it grows in the dark and finally becomes sprung upon a public who have never been inoculated against it by truth, and therefore the false belief becomes actually seriously dangerous and likely to spread like wildfire, because it had been censored before it became public. The most deadly infections are those that grow in the dark and then become released upon a population who have no pre-existing protection against it.

Every religion, and every evil regime, seeks to censor-out whatever contradicts its propaganda, and is therefore intrinsically hostile toward democracy, but the danger is always being presented not by the writers and speakers of the propaganda, but by its publishers (regardless of media: print, broadcast, or online) — they are the source of all censorship. They are the censors. The people who select what to publish, and what not to publish, are the censors. The regime’s media are what perpetrate censorship, routinely, because those media are actually essential arms of the dictatorship, even if they are not directly owned by the government but instead by the clique who actually possess control over the government because they possess control over the mainstream (and much of the non-mainstream) media and thus the public’s mind in a ‘democracy’ in order to make it the dictatorship that it actually is.

Much has been written about how this censorship has been perpetrated in the post-WW-II (post-26-July-1945) USA., such as here, and here, and here, and here. (All of that has been censored-out from the major media — they don’t report that they represent the regime instead of the public.) As a consequence of that censorship against truth, history is being revised to be ‘history’ so as to portray a false ‘reality’ to people today. And there are numerous other examples of this, by the U.S. regime, each instance, of which lying, is affirmed as being truth by the regime’s agents, but is actually nothing more than vicious lies that are spread by the regime and its agents. What goes on behind the scenes is hidden from the American public, not really in order to protect them, but purely in order to deceive them. The deception of the American people, and of the residents in all of the U.S. Government’s foreign vassal-states (or ‘allies’) in Europe and elsewhere, is extreme, in all fields of international relations. Whereas Julian Assange was the world’s strongest enemy against censorship, he has been almost ten years now under some form or another of imprisonment, including solitary confinement and torture, all without ever having been convicted of anything, and all because he is an enemy against censorship instead of a flak for censorship. And Twitter and other ‘social media’ are hiding from the public — censoring — the sheer outrageousness of it all.

The solution to the problem of lies is not censorship, it is banning censorship. On 7 June 2019, the need for this seemed even clearer to me after Russia’s RT headlined on that date “Glenn Greenwald rips liberals who ‘beg for censorship’”, and that brilliant lawyer and investigative journalist presented powerfully the case against any censorship at all. As one can see from the accompanying video interview there of him, Greenwald was like a force of nature, in that video, or (to use a different metaphor) a huge dose of mental draino for clogged minds.

This also means that issues of libel and slander are only to be addressed in the civil courts, and not, at all, in the government’s prosecutions, the criminal courts.

All censorship needs to be banned. The question therefore becomes: How can this be done? That’s a question I have never seen discussed, perhaps because it is being censored. It’s a very serious question. Any ‘political science’ which exists that has no extensive literature about this question is fake. Perhaps draino for clogged minds is needed especially for scholars.

Things are worse than we know, because censorship exists. Maybe censorship is pervasive.

So: I shall venture a solution to this problem: By law, all media which discuss national and/or international affairs will fire all editors and producers of “news,” but not the employees who have only managerial, presentational, and/or stylistic assignments, and replace these people (all personnel who select what to present and what not to present) by a randomized algorithm being applied to each topic, so that, if, for example, something is entered into a search-box, then the order or presentation of the findings will be listed either (at the user’s selection) from earliest-posted to latest-posted, or latest-posted to earliest-posted, but not by anything that is chosen or determined by the search-engine itself. (In other words: no search-engine will be allowed to censor.) On print or broadcast media, every news-piece will be controlled in real time by its audience so as to determine what the questions are and then to bring into the presentation randomly selected scientifically qualified experts regarding each such question. For example: on the question of climate-change, the experts would be individuals who have terminal graduate-level degrees in each of the related climatology sub-specialties, such as those listed at Wikipedia, but also in essential related fields such as economics (an important climatological sub-specialty that’s not listed there). If, indeed, over 90% of climatologists agree that man-made global warming is a reality, then the result of this method of selecting the “experts” who will be presented is that that viewpoint will be represented by over 90% of the experts — and this outcome would not be controlled by the given ‘news’-medium, nor affected by its advertisers. In other words: only the subject-matter and academic qualifications — no governmental positions or background — would qualify individuals as being “experts” on the given topic. If a terminal degree isn’t a qualification for expertise on a topic, then what is? Aren’t government officials supposed to be relying on them? And if, for example, the topic is Syria, then shouldn’t all individuals who have terminal degrees on Syria be the “experts” who are invited, on a randomized basis, to comment to the public about Syria-related issues? If that were the case, then perhaps many Americans would know that the U.S. and NATO “began operations in April- May 2011 to organize and expand the dissident base in Syria,” “organizing defectors in Syria,” and “smuggle U.S. weapons into Syria, participate in U.S. psychological and information warfare inside Syria” to produce regime-change there, and that Syria had never posed any threat to U.S. national security. And Barack Obama was hoping for such opportunities to overthrow Syria’s Government even when he became President in 2009. If the American public didn’t know those things at the time, then perhaps America’s censorship was total — which would indicate how absolutely crucial a randomization of the public’s information-sources is, so as to replace the power that the existing mainstrean ‘news’-media have over the public’s mind, in America, and in its vassal-nations (which don’t yet include Syria). If the public do not have unprejudiced — which means entirely uncensored — information presented routinely to them, then democracy isn’t even possible.

Anyway: that is one proposed way of replacing censorship, and overcoming dictatorship. How many politicians are proposing such changes? Why aren’t any? Are all of them afraid of the dictators? Is there no basis for hope, at all?

Understanding why they lie and why they get away with it

Understanding why they lie and why they get away with it

In lieu of an normal introduction: the eternally evolving BDA

Over 100 US service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries in the wake of the January 8 Iranian missile attack on the al Asad military base in Iraq, according to a US official with knowledge of the latest information?

On his website, Colonel Cassad offered this, shall we say, “evolution” of the truth as reported by the United States:

X stands for “surviving casualties”

Y stands for “dead”

  1. X = 0, Y = 0
  2. X = 11, Y = 0
  3. X = 34, Y = 0
  4. X = 50, Y = 0
  5. X = 64, Y = 0
  6. X=100+?, Y = 0
  7. X> 200, Y> 80?

(that last line is, obviously, hypothetical, but at the time of writing, we are already up to 109 casualties!)

Notice that while the number of surviving wounded steadily goes up, there is no corresponding increase in the number of dead. All we have are “aircraft crashes” (all, we are told, accidental). Ask any military specialist (or military historian) and you will be told that this kind of “evolution” is exceedingly unlikely (see here for one discussion). Simply put – these kinds of numbers are pretty obviously impossible, which means that from the moment the Idiot-in-Chief tweeted “so far so good”, the US was already lying:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.

307K people are talking about this

Is there really anybody out there who will deny that the US government lies pretty much about everything and anything?. And it’s not just the Executive Branch, Congress lies possibly even more (both parties, of course). In fact, I would argue that lying is both necessary AND expected from any US politician. When somebody like Tulsi Gabbard or Ron Paul don’t abide by this rule, the media immediately dismisses them as “Putin agents” or something equally insipid.

The truth is that lies have become the norm of the western political discourse.

That is bad enough by itself. But there is worse.

The worst is not that western politicians lie, the worst is that almost nobody cares.

That is really scary.

Why?

Because in a society which expects everybody to lie, facts simply don’t matter any more.

So that is the key question: do we care or don’t we?

Well, some clearly still care. Or we would not have Howard Zinn’s books, or Oliver Stone’s movies as best sellers. Neither would we have a vibrant 9/11 Truth movement. You want more evidence? Sure! How about all the folks who are willing to go into exile (or to jail!) to uphold the rights of historians to freely investigate the history of WWII? How about Ed Snowden, Julian Assange or Bradley Manning? How about the millions of people in the West who took to the streets to protest the various GWOT wars? No, there clearly are a lot of people who care.

The problem is that their impact is minimal, and that is what I want to look into today.

Have facts and truth become redundant?

I doubt that there are many reading these lines who don’t already know for a fact that Kennedy was not killed by one “lone gunman”. Likewise, we all know the truth about the “Gulf of Tonkin” incident. Then there are those who realize that something about the Pearl Harbor attack stinks to high heaven. Some even remember the USS Liberty. Most specialists know about GLADIO. And I could go on and on. The fact is that most of the worst lies of the 20th century have been debunked beyond reasonable doubt, really.

Chris Hedges really nailed it when he spoke of an “Empire of Illusions“. He names the following types of illusions: the illusion of Literacy, the illusion of Love, the illusion of Wisdom, the illusion of Happiness and the illusion of America. The book is most interesting, and I highly recommend it. But I think that there is one crucial aspect of the Empire being an “Empire of Illusions” and that is the illusion of Reality. What do I mean by that?

I mean the following: most people are aware that there is a “reality” of some kind out there. Of course, many people are aware of how difficult it can be to ascertain what the “real reality” really is, thus they prefer to cautiously state that getting to the truth is a very difficult endeavor. These are the folks who know enough to know that they really don’t know much. But then there are also those who misinterpret this caution as to mean that there really is no such thing as reality at all and all there is, is the sum of our subjective perception thereof (of reality that is). Pretty soon we have slipped from:

  • Reality is often very difficult to establish

to

  • Reality is impossible to establish

to

  • Reality does not really exist at all (or, if it does, it really doesn’t matter)

Of course, most people won’t directly declare that reality does not exist – they just act as if it didn’t.

It all began centuries ago by a quite formidable indifference to Truth on the part of the leaders of the Papacy. These folks were all about power, so if religion could give it to them, then religion was good, but when religion placed limits on what the Latins could or could not do (say like during the famous “Valladolid debate“), then suddenly religion became a hindrance which had to be “reformed”. And, indeed, once the original Christianity was “reformed” (be it by the Reform or the Counter-Reformation) all hell broke lose for most of mankind and the Age of Imperialism was fully ushered in and the ancient motto “exitus acta probat” became the de facto measure of morality.

Then came the first blow of the scientific revolution of the late Renaissance which left the Papacy with very little credibility left.

The next blow came during WWII when the Papacy saw its very last hurrah come and go, pretty quickly, in fact (it lasted just as long as Hitler’s “1000 year Reich” did: 12 years). By the end of the war, western Christianity was left in shambles and, even worse was the fact that none of the victors of WWII (Reformed Anglos, Atheist Soviets, Jews – secular and not, etc.) had any warm feelings left for the Christianity (truth be told, neither did Hitler or Mussolini). At this point the Papacy decided to commit suicide and organized the Vatican II Council, which must be the most massive surrender of values previously held for sacred in history. This ill-advised attempt to show “Roman Catholicism with a human face” resulted in a total failure. Those who hated the Papacy were unimpressed did not like it any more. As for the confused rank and file “Roman Catholics” (whom I refer to as “Latins”), they were were left with the following conundrum: if the Pope is infallible (which he is as per the First Vatican Council of 1868), how can he so clearly contradict the teachings of his own Church (not to mention the teachings of his putatively infallible predecessors!)? Some declared that the Pope was a heretic, others simply declared that the “Holy See” was unoccupied (“sedevacantism“), but most simply gave up in total disgust (sex scandals did not help!) and simply stopped asking “what is the truth”?

When a Church which had declared itself “The Church” (all in CAPS, and at the exclusion of all others) for 910 years (almost a millennium!) suddenly acts as if all religions were equally “true” (this is logically impossible, but never mind that) and when a once powerful “Holy Father” (and Vicar of Christ, no less!) becomes just another public figure somewhere between Kim Kardashian and Greta Thunberg, you know that something very big has taken place.

Something very bad too.

 

The truth is not only unwelcome, it does not even exist, right?!

Both world wars were the manifestation of an immense civilizational collapse. WWI saw the collapse of the traditional European monarchies and empires. WWII, and its absolutely unprecedented explosion of hatred (political, class, racial, linguistic, religious, etc.) saw Europe, once the center of our planet, being subjected to a monstrous (but also highly predictable) bloodbath which resulted in two non-European powers splitting the world into two spheres of influence (at least that was the plan). More interestingly, while nominally “Christian” rulers and countries could not openly advocate for mass terror, the “enlightened” secular folks had no such problems at all. Just read Trotsky’s brilliant, if clearly satanic, “Dictatorship versus Democracy” or Hitler’s 5th chapter in Mein Kampf (here in German if you can!).

Both Dostoevskii and Solzhenitsyn predicted what would inevitably happen to a world in which Nihilism prevails. Dostoevskii very simply summarized it all when he wrote (in the Karamazov Brothers) “if there is no God, then everything is allowed“. The Nihilists have simply logically concluded that if there is no God, and everything is allowed, then nothing really exists, most certainly not any “real” (objective) reality. Even the very notions of “good” and “evil” are absolutely meaningless absent an absolute reference system.

Bertrand Russel (and, apparently, also Voltaire) once brilliantly wrote that “God created Man in His image and Man returned Him the favor“. Amazing words, really! If we are not the creation of God, but God is our creation, that makes us very much God-like, does it not? And, as “gods” – don’t we deserve to define for ourselves what is “good” and what is “bad”? Of course we do! Once life/existence has no meaning, how could concepts such as “good” or “evil”? And that is exactly what we have done, especially our post-modern 21 century Nihilists!

Back to where we started – assessing the “so what?” defense

I have already mentioned many times the mind-blowing hypocrisy of the Dems, who all hate on Trump for his alleged “so what?” defense (which, by the way, is a mis-characterization – his defense was much more solid and logical), but have absolutely no problems with people like the Obamas or, even better, the Clintons next to whom Trump almost sounds like a paragon of honesty, integrity and an acute sense of decency. I mean, really, the Clintons made even violent mobsters (Italian or Jewish) look pure and innocent. And when they lie, this is absolutely no big deal. But when Trump lies, then he elicits the kind of blind, impotent, rage which in the Gospel is described by the words “weeping and gnashing of teeth“. Maybe that is what they refer to when they speak of a “Trump derangement syndrome” amongst US liberals?

The truth is simple: we all know that Trump lied. About the Iranian counter-strike and about many other things. We also know that Obama lied. And Baby-Bush too. And the Clinton and his no-sex cigars… And we remember “read my lips, no new taxes” just as well as we remember “We did not, I repeat, did not trade weapons or anything else [to Iran] for hostages, nor will we“. So yes, we remember.

We just don’t care anymore.

We have been completely desensitized not only to truth, but even to reality.

So what, right?

And the consequences are dire indeed!

Conclusion: life in a reality-free world

The fact that we, who live inside the Empire, live in a reality-free world has a huge impact upon the actions of our rulers. After all, if nobody really believes in, or cares about, reality, then why should our rulers bother with making reality any better, especially for us? It is much, much, simpler to simply present a “feelgood” message about how great “America” is (as in “We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!“) and never mind that this most powerful military in the Galaxy could not even protect its own soldiers even though they knew exactly when and where the Iranian counter-strike would come.

Of course, with time, the entire edifice of lies built by US and EU politicians will come crashing down, either as a consequence of a military defeat impossible to hide, or from a major economic shock. This will be totally unexpected for those who choose to live in a reality-free world.

Bahrainis Mark Ninth Anniversary of Revolution

 February 14, 2020

http://program.almanar.com.lb/episode/97704 Video link

Bahrainis marked Friday the ninth anniversary of their revolution in face the Manama regime which resorted to the worst forms of suppression against the peaceful protesters who have sought freedom and democracy.

During a conference held in Beirut, the deputy chief of Al-Wefaq Islamic Association Sheikh Hussein Al-Dihi delivered a speech which called on the Bahrainis to preserve the peaceful protests till reaching the revolution’s goals despite all the regime arbitrary acts.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Bahrainis Mark 4th Anniversary of Popular Uprising

Alwaght-The Bahraini people have taken to the streets across the country to mark the fourth anniversary of the popular uprising amid a heavy-handed crackdown by Al Khalifa regime forces to curb the undying anti-government rallies, Press TV reports.

Bahrainis are marking the anniversary of their February 14, 2011 revolution amid soaring tensions in the Persian Gulf country and heavy clashes between police and protesters.

Security forces once again on Saturday fired tear gas to disperse anti-regime demonstrators in Sitra Island, northeast of the Bahraini capital of Manama.

On Friday, people took to the streets and staged mass demonstrations in Manama and several towns and villages across the kingdom, including Sitra, Belad al-Qadeem, and Diraz on the eve of the anniversary of the revolution.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters in Manama while clashes also broke out in several other towns.

Bahrainis have been holding numerous protests in the past few days to mark the fourth anniversary of their uprising against the ruling Al Khalifa regime.

Demonstrators are seeking the downfall of the Al Khalifa regime and establishment of a democratically elected government.

The protesters also called for the release of the main opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, and other political prisoners.  Salman has been under arrest since December last year on charges of inciting regime change.  He denies the charges.

Amnesty International on Friday called on Bahraini officials to observe the citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly ahead of the revolution’s anniversary.

“The Bahraini authorities must uphold the rights to freedom of peaceful expression and assembly and rein in security forces as thousands of protesters are taking to the streets ahead of the fourth anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain,” the rights group said in a statement.

Amnesty also slammed Bahraini authorities for the arrest of a number of opposition figures and activists, including al-Wefaq National Islamic Society Secretary General Sheikh Salman and prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations on the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.

On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.

Bahrain’s Clerics: The Best Jihad Is To Tell a Word of Truth before a Tyrannical Ruler

Bahrain’s Clerics: The Best Jihad Is To Tell a Word of Truth before a Tyrannical Ruler

By Sondoss al-Asaad

On the eve of February 14 revolution, Bahrain’s religious scholars or the Ulama applauded the Bahrainis’ faith in the righteousness of their cause against the arrogant tyrants’ injustice and corruption.

In a statement, the scholars added that it is by this faith the people have been confronting the oppressive regime for prolonged years of injustice and aggression and the status quo has relatively been constant in light of the government’s bogus reforms and its denunciation of many covenants.

The Bahrainis profoundly reject despotism and experience has shown that they are hard to succumb to injustice neither do Bahrain settles in its shadow; hence, comprehending this dogma is the only gateway to resolve the crisis and to take the country to safety, stability, development and prosperity, the scholars averred.

The scholars renewed commitment, loyalty and devotion to His Eminence Ayatollah Isa Qassim; to the righteous martyrs and their families who have shown supreme epics of steadfastness; to Bahrain’s wounded, patient and detained people; and predominantly to God Almighty.

They pledged to carry on their uprising against injustice and dictatorship and that they do not condone the oppression of the people.

The statement reaffirmed the scholars’ assertion that the victory of the people is imperative because of their righteousness and the law of God Almighty states that the oppressed is superior.

They stated that they are fully confident of God’s promise and promised victory, and confident in the wisdom of their leadership; the sincerity of their national symbols; the unflinching patience, solidity and willingness of their people.

The scholars also reiterated the Bahrainis’ adherence to their legitimate demand of having a just government and a constitution through which they determine their destiny; and their inalienable political right to freedom and dignity, especially what relates their religious rituals, sanctities and statutes, which have not been spared from the government’s aggression.

They also affirmed that in light of their leadership’s shrewdness, popular figure’s resilience and people’s awareness; all attempts by the regime to circumvent over these demands have been and would ultimately fail.

The Bahrainis’ exceptional allegiance to Ayatollah Isa Qassim, from diversified affiliations orientations, especially at this stage, the statement noted, would strengthen their unity in front of the unprecedented arrogance practised by the government, the scholars emphasised.

They added that the people’s trust in this leadership would undoubtedly pave the path, in the better means, to a bona fide cooperation, stemming from the commonalities and the legitimate responsibilities they share.

The Bahraini scholars further affirmed the people’s conviction to the nonviolent revolution approach as a strategic option, which has demonstrated its reasonability and inevitability, as a prerequisite to the permanence and survival of the movement; this approach is today confirmed more than ever.

They then called upon Bahrain’s promising young generation; chiefly those with leadership qualifications, to peacefully revive the revolution, adding the Bahrainis’ hope reckon on their vitality and vigour and are looking for their revolutionary fingerprints on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the revolution and in the upcoming years.

The scholars then expressed extreme indebtedness to Bahrain’s beloved sons who are unfairly chased by the authority; the wounded; the detainees; the martyred, saying all Bahrainis are charged with the duty to stand by them, to check their conditions and to strive to fulfil their needs.

On the glorious 14th anniversary of February revolution, the day of standing with just and truth, the statement, at last, urged all loyal people to take actions by their words, positions, pens, footages and all available and peaceful means; to partake in the held events, peaceful marches and field tours and on social media platforms.

 Your movement is an ethical and religious obligation, based on the Islamic principle that the best jihad is to tell a word of truth before a tyrannical ruler, the scholars concluded.

A Tour for Americans in Kaddafi’s Libya they never saw on Television

Meet the king:  Added by UP
Anyone talking about pre-war Libya is simply making it up.  
The King never lived under Gaddafi, still,
he can tell you “everything” about Libya,
and he is not making it up.
This post was first posted on 27 Oct 2011 as reply to Senior Editor of VT Gordon Duff, who rejoiced the Death of on TV: Gaddafi Questions. Though Duff never lived in pre-war Libya may be never visited Libya, he claimed he can tell his readers “everything” about Libya, and he is not making it up.



A Tour for Americans in Kaddafi’s Libya they never saw on Television


The Libya Americans never saw on Television

You know I have to wonder if Americans know anything about Libya at all. There are many from other countries that don’t seem to know much about it either I am afraid.

Comments on different news sites tell me how mislead many are. One of the most predominant comments is now Libya will come out of the Dark Ages.
Well I am not sure what dark ages they are talking about as Libya was quite advanced.
NATO has blown them back to the dark ages,
So take a tour of Libya with me and see how things were before US/NATO intervention and tell me if they lived in the Dark Ages.
Videos of how Libya was before the invasion are below. Definitely they did not live in the dark ages.
Before we start the tour there are a few things you need to know however.
1. There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at zero percent interest by law.
3. Having a home considered a human right in Libya.
4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 dinar (U.S.$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25 percent of Libyans were literate. Today, the figure is 83 percent.
6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kickstart their farms are all for free.
7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need, the government funds them to go abroad, for it is not only paid for, but they get a U.S.$2,300/month for accommodation and car allowance.
8. If a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidizes 50 percent of the price.
9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amounting to $150 billion are now frozen globally.
11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession, as if he or she is employed, until employment is found.
12. A portion of every Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
13. A mother who gives birth to a child receive U.S.$5,000.
14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $0.15.
15. 25 percent of Libyans have a university degree.
16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Manmade River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
17 Women’s Rights: Under Gaddafi, gender discrimination was officially banned and the literacy rate for women climbed to 83 per cent. The rights of Black’s were also improved.
To add to problems now facing those in Libya are the tons of DU dropped on them by US/NATO forces.
There was no DU before to make people sick, so now there will be numerous health problems never before seen in Libya.
1. Libya is Africa’s largest exporter of oil, 1.7 million tons a day,
which quickly was reduced to 300-400,000 ton due to US-NATO bombing.
Libya exports 80% of its oil: 80% of that to several EU lands (32%
Italy, 14% Germany, 10% France); 10% China; 5% USA.
2. Gaddafi has been preparing to launch a gold dinar for oil trade with
all of Africa’s 200 million people and other countries interested.
French President Nickola Sarkozi called this, “a threat for financial
security of mankind”. Much of France’s wealth—more than any other
colonial-imperialist power—comes from exploiting Africa.
3. Central Bank of Libya is 100% owned by state (since 1956) and is thus outside of multinational corporation control (BIS-Banking International Settlement rules for private interests). The state can finance its own projects and do so without interest rates
4. Gaddafi-Central Bank used $33 billion, without interest rates, to
build the Great Man-Made River of 3,750 kilometers with three parallel pipelines running oil, gas and water supplying 70% of the people (4.5 of its 6 million) with clean drinking and irrigation water.
5. The Central Bank also financed Africa’s first communication satellite with $300 million of the $377 cost. It started up for all Africa, December 26, 2007, thus saving the 45-African nations an annual fee of $500 million pocketed by Europe for use of its satellites and this means much less cost for telephones and other communication systems.
Some of the numbers above vary a bit from web site to web site but all are relatively close.More here

The Bahrain Gov’t Is Attacking Female Activists – And Trump’s Policies are Emboldening Them

The Bahrain Gov’t Is Attacking Female Activists – And Trump’s Policies are Emboldening Them

By Lucilla Berwick and Bridget Quitter, Ms. Magazine 

In 2017, Bahraini human rights defender Ebtisam al-Saegh found herself sitting in a dark room before a pair of chain smoking officers from Bahrain’s National Security Agency. “No one is going to hear you in this place,” sneered one of the men, who introduced himself as ‘the torturer.’ “No one can protect you here, not the Human Rights Council or any other organization. You know we have a green light from Trump, right?”

It had been a brutal year in the tiny island of Bahrain, the home of the US Navy Fifth Fleet and a key American ally in the Arab Gulf. The government, led by the AlKhalifa monarchy, had begun a severe and ongoing crackdown, which saw all political opposition groups and independent media forcibly dissolved and thousands incarcerated on political charges, amid accusations of rampant torture and due process violations. Ebtisam had recently returned from the UN in Geneva, where she spoke out about Bahrain’s repression.

With her arrest and torture, the government was sending a message: this would not be tolerated.

Women like Ebtisam have long played a central, albeit overlooked, role in Bahrain’s opposition movement. As the government increasingly targeted women for their opinions or those of their relatives, many began to come forward. Our organizations, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy and Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, have worked with nine women to share their stories. The resulting report, Breaking the Silence, traces the path of these women – from their arrests, through their interrogations and trials, to their detention at Isa Town Detention Centre, Bahrain’s only women’s prison. We uncovered horrific patterns of abuse, from sham trials to torture and sexual violence.

We encountered considerable obstacles to our work from the outset. The Bahraini state is highly resistant to scrutiny, making it virtually impossible to visit the country for research. UN Special Rapporteurs have not been permitted entry since 2006, while human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have been denied access since 2015. However, through regular phone calls with the imprisoned women and their families, as well as analysis of court rulings and medical reports and comments from psychologists and legal experts, we pieced together a coherent picture of their experiences.

As we assembled their stories, the systematic nature of government abuses became clear. During brutal interrogations, the women experienced extreme violence, ranging from threats of rape or death to beatings, sexual assault and witnessing the torture of relatives. To end these abuses, many agreed to sign pre-written confessions, later used by Bahrain’s widely condemned judiciary to convict them. When they attempted to raise their ill-treatment in court, they were dismissed by judges.

Once sentenced, the women were singled out for mistreatment at Isa Town prison due to their political status, as is common across the Bahraini prison system. They reported punitive measures, including restrictions on family visits, religious discrimination, physical assault and medical negligence. Two of the women who remain in prison today, Medina Ali and Hajer Mansoor, have only seen their children once over the past year – a visit that was granted only after significant international pressure.

The legacies of the women’s abuse affect them to this day. Ebtisam reported she can no longer sleep in the dark or tolerate the smell of cigarettes, both of which immediately transport her back to the smoky room where she was tortured. Others reported psychological trauma in their young children related to their prolonged separation. The stigma attached to incarceration also makes returning to society difficult: After being released following an international campaign against her unlawful conviction, Najah Yusuf was fired by her employer who questioned her integrity due to her criminal record.

“Sometimes I speak normally about my ordeal,” Yusuf told us, “but the truth is that I am bleeding from within. It’s painful, and I have no idea when all of this is going to end.”

While abuses in Bahrain may seem distant, the US exerts a huge influence on the country, and American policy has actively contributed to the crackdown. Since Trump’s election, Obama-era human rights conditions on arms sales have been removed and the State Department has approved an unprecedented $8.5 billion worth of arms sales, upgrades, services and training to the country. Despite evidence that some of this funding has gone directly to bodies implicated in the abuse of the women we interviewed, the US places no human rights conditions on its substantial investment in Bahrain.

Trump seemingly gave the “green light” to Bahrain’s crackdown during a state visit in May 2017, where he promised an end to the “strain” his predecessor had placed on US-Bahrain relations. Two days later, Bahraini police opened fire on peaceful protests in the village of Diraz, in what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights described as among the “deadliest” operations since Bahrain’s pro-democracy uprising was crushed in 2011. The conservative shift in American domestic policy has also encouraged Bahrain’s rights abuses: days after the White House announced the resumption of federal executions in July 2019, Bahrain executed two torture victims amid international outcry; when asked for comment ahead of the executions, the Bahraini Embassy in Washington, DC explicitly referenced the US decision.

Trump’s barely-concealed enthusiasm for authoritarianism is bolstering a climate of impunity in the region. In Bahrain, this means abusers are free to operate without fear of consequences. When Trump received Bahrain’s Crown Prince to discuss arms deals last month, he made the message very clear: keep buying arms, and we will stay silent on rights abuses.

For the women we worked with, the knowledge that they could be seized again at any point is among the most terrifying aspects of their entire experience. It is time for Congress to make clear that these violations cannot be tolerated.

These nine women have broken the silence. Now it is up to us to raise our voices and make sure that their efforts are not in vain.

الاستعمار العسكري المباشر هل يعود إلى المشرق…؟

سبتمبر 19, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

دول المشرق تستنجد مجدداً بالمستعمر الغربي لحماية أنظمتها السياسية من الانهيار بتدخلٍ عسكري مباشر ومكشوف يضاف الى سلسلة قواعده المنتشرة منذ سبعة عقود تقريباً في النقاط الاكثر استراتيجية في المنطقة.

هكذا حال كل المعادلات السياسية الضعيفة التي لا تؤمن الا بحراب المستعمر لحماية مشيخاتها وإماراتها وملكياتها وتتجاهل شعوبها بإفقار وتجهيل لا مثيل لهما في حركة التاريخ.

فمن يصدّق ان بلداناً غنية بمستوى الخليج لا تصنع شيئاً سوى احتراف السيطرة على مجتمعاتها بالدين والقمع وقليل من الذهب المنثور، لكن هذه الوسائل لم تعد تكفي، فلا بد اذاً من العودة الى الخدمات المباشرة للمستعمرين اصحاب المصلحة بالدفاع عن مستعمرات تكتنز معدلات قياسية من النفط والغاز والقدرة على استهلاك الصناعات الغربية والموقع الاستراتيجي.

إلا انّ هناك استثناءات على هذه المعادلة في سورية التي تقاتل دولتها ضدّ عودة الاستعمار المتسربل بأدوات إرهاب داخلية وعالمية وإقليمية.

وكذلك اليمن الثائر على استعمار سعودي خليجي يغطي الاستعمار الأميركي الفعلي، والعراق المجابه لاستعمارين مباشرين، الأميركي والتركي واعوانهما من تنظيمات ارهابية وعرقية.

اما إيران فلا تزال منذ اربعة عقود تتصدّى لحملات عسكرية واقتصادية تستهدف إعادة إخضاعها للمستعمرين.

لجهة تركيا فلا تنتمي الى تلك الاستثناءات لانها «تستضيف» على اراضيها قواعد نووية وعسكرية أميركية واخرى لحلف الناتو، على الرغم من تماسك دولتها وقوة جيشها، لكنها آثرت الاتكاء على خدمات المستعمرين بتبرير الانتماء الى حلف واحد في وجه العدو السوفياتي حينه.

للتوضيح فإن الاستعمار العسكري الغربي المباشر رحل عن المشرق محتفظاً بقواعد في معظم الخليج والاردن انما بأشكال مختلفة تقاطعت مع هيمنة اقتصادية كاملة، وهذه هي أهداف الاستعمار الباحث دوماً عن المصادر الاقتصادية المتنوعة.

لذلك بدت بلدان المشرق في السبعين سنة المنصرمة وكأنها مستقلة شكلاً تديرها شبكة من عائلات وقوى منتمية الى محور السياسة الغربية من دون أي نقاش ومع رجحان كبير لمحورها الأميركي.

هذا ما جعل الحماية الغربية المعنوية والمباشرة قادرة على إجهاض اي محاولات تغيير فعلية في المنطقة العربية.

لكن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي استولد فرصة تاريخية ليحاول الأميركيون إعادة تشكيل المشرق على نحو مستسلم غير قادر على إحداث اي تغيير لمدة طويلة.

فابتدأوا باحتلال افغانستان قافزين مباشرة من آسيا الوسطى الى المشرق باحتلال العراق في 2003 ولمزاعم تبين أنها كاذبة وادت الى مئات آلاف القتلى من دون ان تتجرأ قوة واحدة على انتقاد الأميركيين.

واستكمالاً لخطتهم حاولوا تدمير سورية بالارهاب وقواهم المباشرة والاسناد الاقليمي العربي بالتمويل والتركي بالتدريب والحدود والخدمات اللوجستية والاحتلال المباشر والاسرائيلي بالغارات الجوية.

إلا ان هذه المخططات لم تنجح في سورية والعراق فبدت الحرب على اليمن وسيلة اضافية وضرورية بموازاة خطة تقسيم العراق وإضعافه وسيلة اساسية لحماية البقرة الخليجية الحلوب من كامل الاتجاهات.

بدوره تصدّى اليمن المتواضع الإمكانات والكبير بتاريخه، لأوسع عدوان خليجي عربي أميركي غربي ناقلاً المعارك الى ميادين السعودية بإصابته عشرات المرات لمصافي نفطية ومطارات ومواقع عسكرية وإدارية.

ان مثل هذا القصف وضع الأنظمة الخليجية وتغطيتها الأميركية أمام حقائق مذهلة، فلا سورية سقطت ولا تمزقت وسورية لم تتفتت وتبين بوضوح أن دول الخليج عاجزة عن الدفاع عن انظمتها حتى امام القوى المتواضعة في اليمن، فكيف يكون حالها مع العراق او سورية، وانكشف ان مصر والاردن وباكستان تؤيد الخليج خطابياً لان مشاكلها الداخلية والخارجية لا تسمح لهم ارسال قوات اليه.

هناك قلق أميركي إضافي من احتمال انفجارات شعبية داخلية في الخليج قادرة على بناء تغيير فعلي في انظمته الحاكمة.

لقد تزامنت هذه التحليلات الخليجية الأميركية مع قصف يمني لمصافي بقيق وخريص اللتين تنتجان ستة ملايين برميل اي نصف الإنتاج السعودي النفطي المرتبط بالاقتصاد الغربي بشكل كامل. فوجدها الغرب الأميركي فرصة تاريخية جديدة يلعب بها على الضعف الخليجي بمحاولة رفع مستوى استفادته منه، والزعم انه عائد للدفاع عنه، وهذا يتطلب ارسالاً سريعاً لقوى برية وجوية وبحرية انما ليس بالأعداد الكبيرة لان الحروب اليوم تقتصد في البنى العسكرية البشرية لمصلحة استعمال آليات الحرب الحديثة والمتطورة التي تعتمد بشكل شبه كامل على الوسائل المادية المتطورة. لجهة أنظمة الخليج المذعورة فهي مستعدة للتغطية المادية والسياسية واستعمال فقه ديني تزعم انه إسلامي لتسهيل حركة هذا الاستعمار الجديد ولتوسيع مشروعه، اتهم الغرب الأميركي إيران بقصف المصفاتين على الرغم من ان خبراء عسكريين غربيين أكدوا ان الحصار على اليمن بمنع اي حركة بشرية بحراً وبراً، معتبرين ان خبراء إيرانيين علموا اليمنيين فنون صناعة المسيَّرات بما فيها المتطورة القادرة على اجتياز اكثر من الف كيلومتر وهذا هو التحليل العلمي الصحيح والذي يبرر لليمنيين الدفاع عن وطنهم في وجه أي عدوان خارجي.

من جهته، يستنجد هذا الخليج بالأميركيين عن طريق اثارة خوفهم على مصالحهم الاقتصادية عنده، او بالإيحاء من خطر تغييرات داخلية لن تكون بالطبع لصالح استمرار الهيمنة الغربية على دول الخليج وثرواتها.

يتبين بالمحصلة ان الأميركيين يبتعدون عن فكرة الحرب على إيران مع ميلهم لنشر قوات غربية في مواجهتها على السواحل السعودية والاماراتية استكمالاً لقواعدهم في الكويت والبحرين وقطر والاردن، فبهذه الطريقة يعود الاستعمار المباشر الى كامل جزيرة العرب بنفقات مرتفعة تتحمّل وزرها الدول المحتلة.

فهل لهذه القوات وظائف اكبر؟ يعرف البيت الأبيض انه لا يستطيع ممارسة هذا الدور الا في الخليج، فسورية طردت الاستعمار منذ سبعين عاماً وتواصل طرد ما تبقى منه، والعراق يتحضّر لإبعاده حالياً، واليمن ينجز مهامه التحريرية.

بناء على هذه المعطيات فإن عودة الاستعمار الغربي الى الخليج هي لمهمة وحيدة وهي منع أي تغير داخلي يؤدي الى تحرير ثروات الخليج من الحكام وتغطيته الغربية، ووضعها في خدمة تطوّر دول يصرُ الأميركيون على سحبها من القرون الوسطى.

A Bahraini Activist climbs the London’s roof of Bahraini embassy to stop execution of Two Activists on False Accusations

Update :

 

A Bahraini Activist climbs the roof of the Bahraini embassy in London to protest against executions and British police storm the building

Bahrain: Execution of Two Activists on False Accusations! UPDATED

Martyr Ali Al-Arab’s Last Words: I Didn’t Kill Him, I Don’t Even Know Where the Incident Happened!

By Bahrain Mirror – Translated by Staff

“I didn’t kill Hisham al-Hamadi, at all, I am satisfied with Allah’s judgement,” those were the last words mouthed by martyr Ali Mohammad al-Arab who was on imminent death row. His family was totally concerned about his fate after a visit that seemed to be the last ever.

Bahrain Mirror cited his mother, who described the last moments of meeting with her son who has been detained for two years, as saying: “Everything was unusual when we arrived at Central Jaw Prison.”

Ali’s family reported that there was tight security measures at the prison, huge numbers of officers and policemen, and double inspection. The first time was when entering the prison’s building, and the second time was before entering the room where they met their son.

“We entered as groups. The duration of the visit was around an hour and a half. Ali said that after having lunch he was moved into a solitary cell like what they did to Ahmad al-Malali. I was handcuffed and remained so until before I entered this room,” Ali narrated.

The mother, who was very confused out of the shock, and asked one of her sons about the year Ali was born, said that Ali was studying Accounting in Saudi Arabia. He turned 25 a few months ago. And he spent more than two years in prison.

“As he told us earlier, the moment he entered Jaw Prison after issuing the verdict was very difficult on him because, according to his jailers, they prepared for him a torture and humiliation party the moment he arrived there,” the mother added.

“He stood in front of us, he was very happy to hug us without a glass barrier after this long period of separation. He looked into my eyes and was very calm as he told me: don’t worry mother, martyrdom is my wish, and here it is coming true.”

The mother recalled that Ali was way stronger than her. He was resilient and very calm until the last moment with him. He didn’t mention writing a will, but perhaps he had told one of his siblings about it: “I don’t know, I just know that he was worried about me and he didn’t want me to cry.”

As a mother, I can bear witness that my son Ali Mohammad al-Arab was subjected to torture, the lady said. During the first visit after his arrest, the mother said she saw him on a wheelchair and that he mentioned the names of those who tortured him.

Ali’s brother also told Bahrain Mirror that during the farewell meeting, his brother stressed total satisfaction with Allah’s judgement, and that he feels he will soon be executed.

“He entered the room wearing the prison’s grey uniform. After we had a short chat, I had a question in my mind about the truth of the accusation filed against him. I asked him: Brother, do you have anything to do with the killing of Hashem al-Hamadi? He replied: Not at all, I have nothing to do with his killing, I even neither know him nor the place where he was killed.”

The policewomen were secretly listening to al-Arabs from the open window in the small visit room. They were listening to every detail, and were surrounded by armed guards. They have clearly seen that Ali didn’t care to any of their behaviors. “Perhaps they wanted to witness the reaction of humans passing through such hard times as we were doing,” the brother added.

Ali’s mother noted that her son didn’t experience imprisonment before: “This is his first time in prison.” His siblings say: “We asked him about his will, but he said the only thing he wanted is Allah’s pleasure.”

Martyr Ali al-Arab’s mother and his siblings couldn’t find words that describe their loved one during that horrible moments. One of his siblings said: “What could I tell more? There wasn’t but a strong calm man. He greeted us and was full with pleasure.”

According to a report issued by Amnesty International in March 2018 on the issue of Ahmad al-Malali and Ali al-Arab and what they were subjected to after arrest: “During detention, the two men were subjected to torture by the security officers, including electrocution and beating. The toenails of Ali al-Arab were also ripped out.”

This Happened in the Small Room, Martyr Ahmad al-Malali’s Father Describes the Farewell Visit

By Bahrain Mirror – Translated by Staff

“I wish I were martyred in a different way, but it finally happened,” these were the words of detainee Ahmad al-Malali who was facing imminent execution by Bahraini regime’s authorities on the issue of killing officer Hisham al-Hamadi, on which there is no evidence but the confessions made under systematic torture; a method that tops all kinds of evidence in Bahraini courts.

Isa, father of martyr Ahmad al-Malali told Bahrain Mirror that his son was pursued by the regime between 2011 and 2017, when he was only 16 years old. Now, as he turned 24, he didn’t enjoy his life, he couldn’t study or work, until he was arrested and accused of assassinating that officer.

Seeking freedom, martyr Ahmad was trying to escape via sea before a military force raided the boat and arrested him. During the urgent and quick visit that came a few hours before the expected execution, Ahmad said:

“I was hiding behind the edge of the boat. Bullets were flying over, so I told myself I wish one of them would hit me so I can be martyred. The bullet, however, settled in my wrist. I wished I could have martyred in another way. But it has finally happened, and this is the most important.”

The Urgent Visit

The urgent visit didn’t go as normal as before. The family received a call in which they were informed that they are allowed a special visit to see their detained son at noon. There number for the members allowed to visit was unlimited. It was a clear that it is a “farewell visit”, the father says. Isa al-Malali narrates that some 35 members of the family came to the gate of Central Jaw Prison to meet with Ahmad.

“The situation was unusual there. Military patrols were roaming the area surrounding the prison. We were divided into groups of five. Each group can enter to meet with Ahmad for 15 minutes and so on…” the father says.

Inspection was tight, the policewomen took off the women’s headscarves, even their headbands. After the inspection, every member was escorted with two police officers. On both sides of the corridor leading to the visit room, there were armed policemen. When the members arrived at the room, other officers were examining the names.

Inside the Room

The visit room has two doors, the one that the family entered through, and the other through which Ahmad entered. “We hugged him, he sat in front of us. He was aware of what was going on. He knew they were his last hours before the execution,” the father describes the situation.

There was a small window inside the room, it was open and the policewomen sitting behind it were listening all what was going on inside. Beside them there were some armed policemen. “You won’t doubt for a single moment that their looks hide killing and death.”

I talked to my son, the father says.

He described his escape attempt and how he was wishing for martyrdom. “We all know that my son is innocent, but unfortunately no one called us to ask about what he was saying over that period. Neither the family of the killed officer, nor the MPs called us. After this visit, only human rights activists called us although they learned that this will happen and that he will be executed after a few hours.

Inside the room, Ahmad asked for forgiveness from all the family members in case he had made something wrong to them during his life. “He wrote his will, he told us, and we will read it after his execution. He refused to give us details. He asked us to read it only after he leaves this world,” the father narrates.

We started performing prayers inside the room, and Ahmad participated with us. We also recited the Ziyara (visit) of Imam Hussein (AS). We were reciting as we heard the policewomen laughing as they were overlooking us from the window, Isa al-Malali explains.

An officer who seemed responsible for the visits entered the room and told me, “bid your son farewell, the visit is almost over,” the father said, adding that martyr Ahmad was the one helping us to stay patient, asking us to trust God and be patient and satisfied with Allah’s judgement and destiny.

“I bid my son who will leave this life at 24 farewell. He is my eldest. I only say that my son is innocent. May Allah avenge from anyone who wronged my son,” the father concludes.

According to a report issued by Amnesty International in March 2018 on the issue of Ahmad al-Malali and Ali al-Arab and what they were subjected to after arrest:

“During detention, the two men were subjected to torture by the security officers, including electrocution and beating. The toenails of Ali al-Arab’s feet were also ripped out.”

 

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