Conversations with Fidel Castro: The Dangers of a Nuclear War

Global Research, August 09, 2019

First published by Global Research on November 13, 2010. Today is August 9, 2019. A second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945

Introductory Note

From October 12 to 15, 2010, I had extensive and detailed discussions with Fidel Castro in Havana, pertaining to the dangers of nuclear war, the global economic crisis and the nature of the New World Order. These meetings resulted in a wide-ranging and fruitful interview.

The first part of this interview published by Global Research and Cuba Debate focuses on the dangers of nuclear war.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. We have reached a critical turning point in our history.

This interview with Fidel Castro provides an understanding of the nature of modern warfare: Were a military operation to be launched against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US and its allies would be unable to win a conventional war, with the possibility that this war could evolve towards a nuclear war.

The details of ongoing war preparations in relation to Iran have been withheld from the public eye.

How to confront the diabolical and absurd proposition put forth by the US administration that using tactical nuclear weapons against Iran will  “make the World a safer place”? 

A central concept put forth by Fidel Castro in the interview is the ‘Battle of Ideas”. The leader of the Cuban Revolution believes that only a far-reaching “Battle of Ideas” could  change the course of World history. The  objective is to prevent the unthinkable, a nuclear war which threatens to destroy life on earth.

The corporate media is involved in acts of camouflage. The devastating impacts of a nuclear war are either trivialized or not mentioned. Against this backdrop, Fidel’s message to the World must be heard;  people across the land, nationally and internationally, should understand the gravity of the present situation and act forcefully at all levels of society to reverse the tide of war.

The “Battle of Ideas” is part of a revolutionary process. Against a barrage of media disinformation, Fidel Castro’s resolve is to spread the word far and wide, to inform world public opinion, to “make the impossible possible”, to thwart a military adventure which in the real sense of the word threatens the future of humanity.  

When a US sponsored nuclear war becomes an “instrument of peace”, condoned and accepted by the World’s institutions and the highest authority including the United Nations, there is no turning back: human society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of self-destruction.

Fidel’s “Battle of Ideas” must be translated into a worldwide movement. People must mobilize against this diabolical military agenda.

This war can be prevented if people pressure their governments and elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens regarding the implications of a thermonuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.

What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people’s movement which criminalizes war. 

In his October 15 speech, Fidel Castro warned the World on the dangers of nuclear war:

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people. In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity. Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!”

The “Battle of Ideas” consists in confronting the war criminals in high office, in breaking the US-led consensus in favor of a global war, in changing the mindset of hundreds of millions of people, in abolishing nuclear weapons.  In essence, the “Battle of Ideas” consists in restoring the truth and establishing the foundations of World peace.

 

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG),

Montreal, Remembrance Day, November 11, 2010.


“The conventional war would be lost by the US and the nuclear war is no alternative for anyone.  On the other hand, nuclear war would inevitably become global”

“I think nobody on Earth wishes the human species to disappear.  And that is the reason why I am of the opinion that what should disappear are not just nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons.  We must provide a guarantee for peace to all peoples without distinction

“In a nuclear war the collateral damage would be the life of humankind.  Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!”

“It is about demanding that the world is not led into a nuclear catastrophe, it is to preserve life.”

Fidel Castro Ruz, Havana, October 2010.

CONVERSATIONS

Professor Michel Chossudovsky: I am very honored to have this opportunity to exchange views concerning several fundamental issues affecting human society as a whole. I think that the notion that you have raised in your recent texts regarding the threat against Homo sapiens is fundamental.

What is that threat, the risk of a nuclear war and the threat to human beings, to Homo sapiens?

Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz: Since quite a long time –years I would say- but especially for some months now, I began to worry about the imminence of a dangerous and probable war that could very rapidly evolve towards a nuclear war.

Before that I had concentrated all my efforts on the analysis of the capitalist system in general and the methods that the imperial tyranny has imposed on humanity.  The United States applies to the world the violation of the most fundamental rights.

During the Cold War, no one spoke about war or nuclear weapons; people talked about an apparent peace, that is, between the USSR and the United States, the famous MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) was guaranteed.  It seemed that the world was going to enjoy the delights of a peace that would last for an unlimited time.

 Michel Chossudovsky: … This notion of “mutual assured destruction” ended with the Cold War and after that the nuclear doctrine was redefined, because we never really thought about a nuclear war during the Cold War.  Well, obviously, there was a danger –as even Robert McNamara said at some point in time.

But, after the Cold War, particularly after September 11 [2001],  America’s nuclear doctrine started to be redefined.

Fidel Castro Ruz: You asked me when was it that we became aware of the imminent risk of a nuclear war, and that dates back to the period I talked to you about previously, barely six months ago.  One of the things that called our attention the most regarding such a war danger was the sinking of the Cheonan during a military maneuver. That was the flagship of the South Korean Navy; an extremely sophisticated vessel.  It was at the time when we found on GlobalReasearch the journalist’s report that offered a clear and truly coherent information about the sinking of the Cheonan, which could not have been the work of a submarine that had been manufactured by the USSR more than sixty years ago, using an outdated technology which did not require the sophisticated equipment that could be detected by the Cheonan, during a joint maneuver with the most modern US vessels.

The provocation against the Democratic Republic of Korea added up to our own earlier concerns about an aggression against Iran.  We had been closely following the political process in that country. We knew perfectly well what happened there during the 1950s, when Iran nationalized the assets of the British Petroleum in that country- which at the time was called the Anglo Persian Oil Company.

In my opinion, the threats against Iran became imminent in June [2010], after the adoption of Resolution 1929 on the 9th of June, 2010, when the United Nations Security Council condemned Iran for the research it is carrying out and the production of small amounts of 20 per cent enriched uranium, and accused it of being a threat to the world.  The position adopted by each and every member of the Security Council is known: 12 member States voted in favor –five of them had the right to veto; one of them abstained and 2 –Brazil and Turkey- voted against. Shortly after the Resolution was adopted –the most aggressive resolution of of them all– one US aircraft carrier, embedded in a combat unit, plus a nuclear submarine, went through the Suez Canal with the help of the Egyptian government.  Naval units from Israel joined, heading for the Persian Gulf and the seas nearby Iran.

The sanctions imposed by the United States and its NATO allies against Iran was absolutely abusive and unjust.  I cannot understand the reason why Russia and China did not veto the dangerous Resolution 1929 of the United Nations Security Council.  In my opinion this has complicated the political situation terribly and has placed the world on the brink of war.

I remember previous  Israeli attacks against the Arab nuclear research centers.  They first attacked and destroyed the one in Iraq in June 1981.  They did not ask for anyone’s permission, they did not talk to anybody; they just attacked them and the Iraqis had to endure the strikes.

In 2007 they repeated that same operation against a research center that was being built by Syria.  There is something in that episode that I really don’t quite understand:  what was not clear to me were the underlying tactics, or the reasons why Syria did not denounce the Israeli attack against that research center where, undoubtedly, they were doing something, they were working on something for which, as it is known, they were receiving some cooperation from North Korea.  That was something legal; they did not commit any violation.

I am saying this here and I am being very honest: I don’t understand why this was not denounced, because, in my opinion, that would have been important. Those are two very important antecedents.

I believe there are many reasons to think that they will try to do the same against Iran:  destroy its research centers or the power generation centers of that country.  As is known, the power generation uranium residues are the raw material to produce plutonium.

Michel Chossudovsky:  It is true that that Security Council Resolution has to some extent contributed to cancelling the program of military cooperation that Russia and China have with Iran, especially Russia cooperates with Iran in the context of the Air Defence System by supplying its S-300 System.I remember that just after the Security Council’s decision, with the endorsement of China and Russia, the Russian minister of  Foreign Affairs said: “Well, we have approved the Resolution but that is not going to invalidate our military cooperation with Iran”. That was in June.  But a few months later, Moscow confirmed that military cooperation [with Iran] was going to be frozen, so now Iran is facing a very serious situation, because it needs Russian technology to maintain its security, namely its [S-300] air defence system.

But I think that all the threats against Russia and China are intent upon preventing the two countries from getting involved in the Iran issue. In other words, if there is a war with Iran  the other powers, which are China and Russia, aren’t going to intervene in any way; they will be freezing their military cooperation with Iran and therefore this is a way [for the US and NATO] of extending their war in the Middle East without there being a confrontation with China and Russia  and I think that this more or less is the scenario right now.

There are many types of threats directed against Russia and China. The fact that China’s borders are militarized –China’s South Sea, the Yellow Sea, the border with Afghanistan, and also the Straits of Taiwan- it is in some way a threat to dissuade China and Russia from playing the role of powers in world geopolitics, thus paving the way and even creating consensus in favour of a war with Iran which is happening under conditions where Iran’s  air defence system is being weakened.   [With the freeze of its military cooperation agreement with Russia] Iran is a “sitting duck” from the point of view of its ability to defend itself using its air defence system.

Fidel Castro Ruz:  In my modest and serene opinion  that resolution should have been vetoed.  Because, in my opinion, everything has become more complicated in several ways.

Militarily, because of what you are explaining regarding, for example, the commitment that existed and the contract that had been signed to supply Iran the S-300, which are very efficient anti-aircraft weapons in the first place.

There are other things regarding fuel supplies, which are very important for China, because China is the country with the highest economic growth.  Its growing economy generates greater demand for oil and gas.  Even though there are agreements with Russia for oil and gas supplies, they are also developing wind energy and other forms of renewable energy. They have enormous coal reserves;  nuclear energy will not increase much, only 5% for many years. In other words, the need for gas and oil in the Chinese economy is huge, and I cannot imagine, really, how they will be able to get all that energy, and at what price, if the country where they have important investments is destroyed by the US.  But the worst risk is the very nature of that war in Iran.  Iran is a Muslim country that has millions of trained combatants who are strongly motivated.

There are tens of millions of people who are under [military] orders,  they are being politically educated and trained, men and women alike.  There are millions of combatants trained and determined to die.  These are people who will not be intimidated and who cannot be forced to changing [their behavior]. On the other hand, there are the Afghans –they are being murdered by US drones –there are the Pakistanis, the Iraqis, who have seen one to two million compatriots die as a result of the antiterrorist war invented by Bush.  You cannot win a war against the Muslim world; that is sheer madness.

Michel Chossudovsky:  But it’s true, their conventional forces are very large,  Iran can mobilize in a single day several million troops and they are on the border with Afghanistan and Iraq, and even if there is a blitzkrieg war, the US cannot avoid a conventional war that is waged very close to its military bases in that region.

Fidel Castro Ruz: But the fact is that the US would lose that conventional war. The problem is that nobody can win a conventional war against millions of people; they would not concentrate their forces in large numbers in a single location for the Americans to kill them.

Well, I was a guerrilla fighter and I recall that I had to think seriously about how to use the forces we had and I would never have made the mistake of concentrating those forces in a single location, because the more concentrated the forces, the greater the casualties caused by weapons of mass destruction….

Michel Chossudovsky: As you mentioned previously, a matter of utmost importance: China and Russia’s decision in the Security Council, their support of Resolution 1929, is in fact harmful to them because, first, Russia cannot export weapons, thus its main source of income is now frozen.  Iran was one of the main customers or buyers of Russian weapons, and that was an important source of hard currency earnings which supported Russia`s consumer goods economy thereby covering the needs of the population.

And, on the other hand China requires access to sources of energy as you mentioned. The fact that China and Russia have accepted the consensus in the UN Security Council, is tantamount to saying: “We accept that you kill our economy and, in some ways, our commercial agreements with a third country”.  That’s very serious because it [the UNSC Resolution] not only does harm to Iran; is also harms those two countries, and I suppose –even though I am not a politician –that there must be tremendous divisions within the leadership, both in Russia and in China, for that to happen, for Russia to accept not to use its veto power in the Security Council.

I spoke with Russian journalists, who told me that there wasn’t exactly a consensus within the government per se; it was a guideline.  But there are people in the government with a different point of view regarding the interests of Russia and its stance in the UN Security Council.  How do you see this?

Fidel Castro Ruz: How do I see the general situation? The alternative in Iran –let me put it this way –the conventional war would be lost by the US and the nuclear war is not an alternative for anyone.

On the other hand, nuclear war would inevitably become global.  Thus the danger in my opinion exists with the current situation in Iran, bearing in mind the reasons you are presenting and many other facts; which brings me to the conclusion that the war would end up being a nuclear war.


Filming of Fidel’s message on October 15. 2010 From left to right: Fidel Castro, TV crew, Michel Chossudovsky, Randy Alonso FalconMichel Chossudovsky: In other words, since the US and its allies are unable to win the conventional war, they are going to use nuclear weapons, but that too would be a war they couldn’t win, because we are going to lose everything.Fidel Castro Ruz: Everyone would be losing that war; that would be a war that everyone would lose. What would Russia gain if a nuclear war were unleashed over there? What would China gain?  What kind of war would that be? How would the world react? What effect would it have on the world economy? You explained it at the university when you spoke about the centralized defence system designed by the Pentagon.  It sounds like science fiction; it doesn’t even remotely resemble the last world war.  The other thing which is also very important is the attempt [by the Pentagon] to transform nuclear weapons into conventional tactical weapons.

Today, October 13th, I was reading about the same thing in a news dispatch stating that the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were drawing up strong protests about the fact that the US had just carried out subcritical nuclear tests.  They’re called subcritical, which means the use of the nuclear weapon without deploying all the energy that might be achieved with the critical mass.

It reads:  “Indignation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of a United States nuclear test.”…

 “The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that suffered a nuclear attack at the end of WW II, deplored today the nuclear test carried out by the US on September last, called sub critical because it does not unleash chain nuclear reactions.

“The test, the first of this kind in that country since 2006, took place on September 15th somewhere in Nevada, United States.  It was officially confirmed by the Department of Energy of that country, the Japan Times informed.”

What did that newspaper say?

“I deeply deplore it because I was hoping that President Barack Obama would take on the leadership in eliminating nuclear weapons”, the governor of Nagasaki, Hodo Nakamura, stated today at a press conference.

A series of news items related to that follows.

“The test has also caused several protests among the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, including several survivors of the atomic bombs attacks that devastated both cities in August of 1945.

“We cannot tolerate any action of the United States that betrays President Barack Obama’s promise of moving forward to a world without nuclear arms, said Yukio Yoshioka, the deputy director of the Council for the Victims of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb.

“The government stated that it has no intention of protesting.”  It relegates the protest to a social level and then said: “With this, the number of subcritical nuclear tests made by the United States reaches the figure of 26, since July 1997 when the first of them took place.”

Now it says:

“Washington considers that these tests do not violate the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) since they do not unleash any chain reactions, and therefore do not release any nuclear energy, and so they can be considered to be laboratory tests.”

The US says that it has to make these tests because they are necessary to maintain the “security of its nuclear arsenal”, which is the same as saying: since we have these great nuclear arsenals, we are doing this in order to ensure our security.

Michel Chossudovsky:  Let us return to the issue of the threat against Iran, because you said that the US and its allies could not win a conventional war.  That is true; but nuclear weapons could be used as an alternative to conventional warfare, and this evidently is a threat against humanity, as you have emphasized in your writings.

The reason for my concern is that after the Cold War the idea of nuclear weapons with a “humanitarian face” was developed, saying that those weapons were not really dangerous, that they do not harm civilians, and in some way the nuclear weapons label was changed.  Therefore, according to their criteria, [tactical] nuclear weapons are no different from conventional weapons, and now in the military manuals they say that tactical nuclear weapons are weapons that pose no harm to civilians.

Therefore, we might have a situation in which those who decide to attack Iran with a nuclear weapon would not be aware of the consequences that this might have for the Middle East, central Asia, but also for humanity as a whole, because they are going to say: “Well, according to our criteria, these [tactical] nuclear weapons [safe for civilians] are different from those deployed during the Cold War and so, we can use them against Iran as a weapon which does not [affect civilians and] does not threaten global security.”

How do you view that?  It’s extremely dangerous, because they themselves believe their own propaganda.  It is internal propaganda within the armed forces, within the political apparatus.

When tactical nuclear weapons were recategorized in 2002-2003, Senator Edward Kennedy said at that time that it was a way of blurring the boundary between conventional and nuclear weapons.

But that’s where we are today; we are in an era where nuclear weapons are considered to be no different from the Kalashnikov. I’m exaggerating, but somehow nuclear weapons are now part of the tool box –that’s the word they use, “tool box” –and from there you choose the type of weapon you are going to use, so the nuclear weapon could be used in the conventional war theatre, leading us to the unthinkable, a nuclear war scenario on a regional level, but also with repercussions at the global level.

Fidel Castro Ruz: I heard what you said on the Round Table [Cuban TV] program about such weapons, presumably harmless to people living in the vicinity of the areas where they are to be targeted,  the power [explosive yield] could range from one-third of the one that was used in Hiroshima up to six times the power [explosive yield] of that weapon, and today we know perfectly well the terrible damage it causes.  One single bomb instantly killed 100,000 people.  Just imagine a bomb having six times the power of that one [Hiroshima bomb], or two times that power, or an equivalent power, or 30 per cent that power.  It is absurd.

There is also what you explained at the university about the attempt to present it as a humanitarian weapon that could also be available to the troops in the theatre of operations.  So at any given moment any commander in the theatre of operations could be authorized to use that weapon as one that was more efficient than other weapons, something that would be considered his duty according to military doctrine and the training he/she received at the military academies.

Michel Chossudovsky:  In that sense, I don’t think that this nuclear weapon would be used without the approval, let’s say, of the Pentagon, namely  its centralised command structures [e.g. Strategic Command]; but I do think that it could be used without the approval of the President of the United States and Commander in Chief.  In other words, it isn’t quite the same logic as that which prevailed during the Cold War where there was the Red Telephone and…

Fidel Castro Ruz: I understand, Professor, what you are saying regarding the use of that weapon as authorized by the senior levels of the Pentagon, and it seems right to me that you should make that clarification so that you won’t be blamed for exaggerating the dangers of that weapon.

But look, after one has learned about the antagonisms and arguments between the Pentagon and the President of the United States, there are really not too many doubts about what the Pentagon decision would be if the chief of the theatre of operations  requests to use that weapon because he feels it is necessary or indispensable.

Michel Chossudovsky: There is also another element.  The deployment of tactical nuclear weapons now, as far as I know, is being undertaken by several European countries which belong to NATO.  This is the case of Belgium, Holland, Turkey, Italy and Germany.  Thus, there are plenty of these “little nuclear bombs” very close to the theatre of war, and on the other hand we also have Israel.

Now then, I don’t think that Israel is going to start a war on its own; that would be impossible in terms of strategy and decision-making.  In modern warfare, with the centralization of communications, logistics and everything else, starting a major war would be a centralized decision.  However, Israel might act if the US gives Israel the green light to launch the first attack.  That’s within the realm of possibilities, even though there are some analysts who now say that the war on Iran will start in Lebanon and Syria with a conventional border war, and then that would provide the pretext for an escalation in military operations.

Fidel Castro Ruz: Yesterday, October 13th, a crowd of people welcomed Ahmadinejad in Lebanon like a national hero of that country.  I was reading a cable about that this morning.

Besides, we also know about Israel’s concerns regarding that, given the fact that the Lebanese are people with a great fighting spirit who have three times the number of reactive missiles they had in the former conflict with Israel and Lebanon, which was a great concern for Israel because they need –as the Israeli technicians have asserted – the air force to confront that weapon.  And so, they state, they could only be attacking Iran for a number of hours, not three days, because they should be paying attention to such a danger.  That’s the reason why, from these viewpoints, every day that goes by they are more concerned, because those weapons are part of the Iranian arsenal of conventional weapons. For example, among their conventional weapons, they have hundreds of rocket launchers to fight surface warships in that area of the Caspian Sea.  We know that, from the time of the Falklands war, a surface warship can dodge one, two or three rockets.  But imagine how a large warship can protect itself against a shower of weapons of that kind.  Those are rapid vessels operated by well-trained people, because the Iranians have been training people for 30 years now and they have developed efficient conventional weapons.

You yourself know that, and you know what happened during the last World War, before the emergence of nuclear weapons.  Fifty million people died as a result of the destructive power of conventional weaponry.

A war today is not like the war that was waged in the nineteenth century, before the appearance of nuclear weapons.  And wars were already highly destructive.  Nuclear arms appeared at the very last minute, because Truman wanted to use them.  He wanted to test the Hiroshima bomb, creating the critical mass from uranium, and the other one in Nagasaki, which created a critical mass from plutonium.  The two bombs killed around 100,000 persons immediately.  We don’t know how many were wounded and affected by radiation, who died later on or suffered for long years from these effects. Besides, a nuclear war would create a nuclear winter.

I am talking to you about the dangers of a war, considering  the immediate damage it might cause.  It would be enough if we only had a limited number of them, the amount of weapons owned by one of the least mighty [nuclear] powers, India or Pakistan.  Their explosion would be sufficient to create a nuclear winter from which no human being would survive.  That would be impossible, since it would last for 8 to 10 years.  In a matter of weeks the sunlight would no longer be visible.

Mankind is less than 200,000 years old.  So far everything was normalcy.  The laws of nature were being fulfilled; the laws of life developed on planet Earth for more than 3 billion years.  Men, the Homo sapiens, the intelligent beings did not exist after 8 tenths of a million years had elapsed, according to all studies.  Two hundred years ago, everything was virtually unknown.  Today we know the laws governing the evolution of the species.  Scientists, theologians, even the most devout religious people who initially echoed the campaign launched by the great ecclesiastical institutions against the Darwinian Theory, today accept the laws of evolution as real, without it preventing their sincere practice of their religious beliefs where, quite often, people find comfort for their most heartfelt hardships.

I think nobody on Earth wishes the human species to disappear.  And that is the reason why I am of the opinion that what should disappear are not just nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons.  We must provide a guarantee for peace to all peoples without distinction, to the Iranians as well as the Israelis.  Natural resources should be distributed.  They should!  I don’t mean they will, or that it would be easy to do it.  But there would be no other alternative for humanity, in a world of limited dimensions and resources, even if all the scientific potential to create renewable sources of energy is developed. We are almost 7 billion inhabitants, and so we need to implement a demographic policy.  We need many things, and when you put them all together and you ask yourself the following question:  will human beings be capable of understanding that and overcome all those difficulties? You realize that only enthusiasm can truly lead a person to say that he or she will confront and easily resolve a problem of such proportions.

Michel Chossudovsky:  What you have just said is extremely important, when you spoke of Truman.  Truman said that Hiroshima was a military base and that there would be no harm to civilians.

This notion of collateral damage; reflects continuity in [America’s] nuclear doctrine ever since the year 1945 up until today.  That is, not at the level of reality but at the level of [military] doctrine and propaganda.  I mean, in 1945 it was said: Let’s save humanity by killing 100,000 people and deny the fact that Hiroshima was a populated city, namely that it was a military base.  But nowadays the falsehoods have become much more sophisticated, more widespread, and nuclear weapons are more advanced.  So, we are dealing with the future of humanity and the threat of a nuclear war at a global level. The lies and fiction underlying [US] political and military discourse would lead us to a Worldwide catastrophe in which politicians would be unable to make head or tails of their own lies.

Then, you said that intelligent human beings have existed for 200,000 years, but that same intelligence, which has now been incorporated in various institutions, namely the media, the intelligence services, the United Nations, happens to be what is now going to destroy us.  Because we believe our own lies, which leads us towards nuclear war, without realizing that this would be the last war, as Einstein clearly stated. A nuclear war cannot ensure the continuation of humanity; it is a threat against the world.

Fidel Castro Ruz: Those are very good words, Professor.  The collateral damage, in this case, could be humanity.

War is a crime and there is no need for any new law to describe it as such, because since Nuremberg, war has already been considered a crime, the biggest crime against humanity and peace, and the most horrible of all crimes.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  The Nuremberg texts clearly state: “War is a criminal act, it is the ultimate act of war against peace.” This part of the Nuremberg texts is often quoted. After the Second World War, the Allies wanted to use it against the conquered, and I am not saying that this is not valid, but the crimes that they committed, including the crimes committed against Germany and Japan, are never mentioned.  With a nuclear weapon, in the case of Japan.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  It is an extremely important issue for me and if we are talking about a “counter-alliance for peace”, the criminalization of war seems to me to be a fundamental aspect. I’m talking about the abolition of war; it is a criminal act that must be eliminated.

Fidel Castro Ruz –  Well, who would judge the main criminals?

Michel Chossudovsky.- The problem is that they also control the judicial system and the courts, so the judges are criminals as well. What can we do?

Fidel Castro Ruz   I say that this is part of the Battle of Ideas.

It is about demanding that the world not be spearheaded into a nuclear catastrophe, it is to preserve life.

We do not know, but we presume that if man becomes aware of his own existence, that of his people, that of his loved ones, even the U.S. military leaders would be aware of the outcome; although they are taught in life to follow orders, not infrequently genocide, as in the use of tactical or strategic nuclear weapons, because that is what they were taught in the [military] academies.

As all of this is sheer madness, no politician is exempt from the duty of conveying these truths to the people. One must believe in them, otherwise there would be nothing to fight for.        

Michel Chossudovsky .- I think what you are saying is that at the present time, the great debate in human history should focus on the danger of nuclear war that threatens the future of humanity, and that any discussion we have about basic needs or economics requires that we prevent the occurrence of war and instate global peace so that we can then plan living standards worldwide based on basic needs;  but if we do not solve the problem of war, capitalism will not survive, right?          

Fidel Castro Ruz.– No, it cannot survive, in terms of all the analysis we’ve undertaken, it cannot survive. The capitalist system and the market economy that suffocate human life, are not going to disappear overnight, but imperialism based on force, nuclear weapons and conventional weapons with modern technology, has to disappear if we want humanity to survive.

Now, there something occurring at this very moment which characterizes the Worldwide process of disinformation, and it is the following: In Chile 33 miners were trapped 700 meters underground, and the world is rejoicing at the news that 33 miners have been saved. Well, simply, what will the world do if it becomes aware that 6,877,596,300 people need to be saved, if 33 have created universal joy and all the mass media speak only of that these days, why not save the nearly 7 billion people trapped by the terrible danger of perishing in a horrible death like those of Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

Michel Chossudovsky. -This is also, clearly, the issue of media coverage that is given to different events and the propaganda emanating from the media.

I think it was an incredible humanitarian operation that the Chileans undertook, but it is true that if there is a threat to humanity,  as you mentioned, it  should be on the front page of every newspaper in the world because human society in its totality could be the victim of a decision that has been made, even by a three-star general who is unaware of the consequences [of nuclear weapons].

But here we are talking about how the media, particularly in the West, are hiding the most serious issue that potentially affects the world today, which is the danger of nuclear war and we must take it seriously, because both Hillary Clinton and Obama have said that they have contemplated using nuclear weapon in a so-called preventive war against Iran.

Well, how do we answer? What do you say to Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama regarding their statements pertaining to the unilateral use of nuclear weapons against Iran, a country that poses no danger to anyone?      

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Yes, I know two things: What was discussed. This has been revealed recently, namely far-reaching arguments within the Security Council of the United States.  That is the value of the book written by Bob Woodward, because it revealed how all these discussions occurred. We know the positions of Biden, Hillary, Obama, and indeed in those discussions, who was firmer against the extension of the war, who was able to argue with the military, it was Obama, that is a fact.

I am writing the latest reflection, actually, about that. The only one who got there, and gave him advice, who had been an opponent because of his Republican Party membership, was Colin Powell. He reminded him that he was the President of the United States, encouraging advice.

I think we should ensure that this message reaches everybody; what we have discussed. I think many read the articles you have published in Global Research.  I think we need to disclose, and to the extent that we have these discussions and harbor the idea of disclosure. I am delighted every time you argue, reasonably, and put forth these issues, simply, in my opinion, there is a real deficit of information for the reasons you explained.

Now, we must invent. What are the ways to make all this known? At the time of the Twelve Apostles, there were 12 and no more, and they were given the task of disseminating the teachings a preacher transmitted to them. Sure, they had hundreds of years ahead of them. We, however, we do not have that. But I was looking at the list of personalities, and there are more than 20 prominent people who have been working with Global Research, prestigious people, asking the same questions, but they do not have hundreds of years, but, well, very little time.

Michel Chossudovsky. –  The antiwar movement in the United States, Canada and Europe is divided. Some people think the threat comes from Iran, others say they [the Iranians] are terrorists, and there is a lot of disinformation in the movement itself.

Besides, at the World Social Forum the issue of nuclear war is not part of the debate between people of the Left or progressives. During the Cold War there was talk of the danger of nuclear conflict, and people had this awareness.

At the last meeting held in New York on non-proliferation, under the United Nations, the emphasis was on the nuclear threat from non-state entities, from terrorists.

President Obama said that the threat comes from Al Qaeda, which has nuclear weapons.  Also, if someone reads Obama’s speeches he is suggesting that the terrorists have the ability of producing small nuclear bombs, what they call “dirty bombs”. Well, it’s a way of [distorting the issues] and shifting the emphasis.

Fidel Castro Ruz. – That is what they tell him [Obama], that is what his own people tell him and have him believe.

Look, what do I do with the reflections? They are distributed in the United Nations, they are sent to all governments, the reflections, of course, are short, to send them to all the governments, and I know there are many people who read them. The problem is whether you are telling the truth or not. Of course, when one collects all this information in relation to a particular problem because the reflections are also diluted on many issues, but I think you have to concentrate on our part, the disclosure of essentials, I cannot cover everything.

Michel Chossudovsky. – I have a question, because there is an important aspect related to the Cuban Revolution. In my opinion, the debate on the future of humanity is also part of a revolutionary discourse.  If society as a whole were to be threatened by nuclear war, it is necessary in some form, to have a revolution at the levels of ideas as well as actions against this event, [namely nuclear war].

Fidel Castro Ruz .- We have to say, I repeat,  that humanity is trapped 800 meters underground and that we must get it out, we need to do a rescue operation. That is the message we must convey to a large number of people. If  people in large numbers believe in that message, they will do what you are doing and they will support what you are supporting. It will no longer depend on who are those who say it, but on the fact that somebody [and eventually everybody] says it.

You have to figure out how you can reach the informed masses. The solution is not the newspapers. There is the Internet, Internet is cheaper, Internet is more accessible. I approached you through the Internet looking for news, not through news agencies, not through the press, not from CNN, but news through a newsletter I receive daily articles on the Internet . Over 100 pages each day.

Yesterday you were arguing that in the United States some time ago two thirds of public opinion was against the war on Iran, and today, fifty-some percent favored military action against Iran.

Michel Chossudovsky .- What happened, even in recent months, it was said: “Yes, nuclear war is very dangerous, it is a threat, but the threat comes from Iran,” and there were signs in New York City  saying: ” Say no to nuclear Iran, “and the message of these posters was to present Iran as a threat to global security, even if the threat did not exist because they do not have nuclear weapons.

Anyway, that’s the situation, and The New York Times earlier this week published a text that says, yes, political assassinations are legal.

Then, when we have a press that gives us things like that, with the distribution that they have, it is a lot of work [on our part]. We have limited capabilities to reverse this process [of media disinformation] within the limited distribution outlets of the alternative media. In addition to that, now many of these alternative media are financed by the economic establishment.            

Fidel Castro Ruz.- And yet we have to fight.

Michel Chossudovsky .- Yes, we keep struggling, but the message was what you said yesterday. That in the case of a nuclear war, the collateral damage would be humanity as a whole.

Fidel Castro Ruz.- It would be humanity, the life of humanity.

Michel Chossudovsky.-   It is true that the Internet should continue to function as an outreach tool to avoid the war. 

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Well, it’s the only way we can prevent it. If we were to create world opinion, it’s like the example I mentioned: there are nearly 7 billion people trapped 800 meters underground, we use the phenomenon of Chile to disclose these things.

Michel Chossudovsky .- The comparison you make with the rescue of 33 miners, saying that there are 33 miners below ground there to be rescued, which received extensive media coverage, and you say that we have almost 7 billion people that are  800 meters underground and do not understand what is happening, but we have to rescue them, because humanity as a whole is threatened by the nuclear weapons of the United States and its allies, because they are the ones who say they intend to use them.        

Fidel Castro Ruz.- And will use them [the nuclear weapons] if there is no opposition, if there is no resistance. They are deceived; they are drugged with military superiority and modern technology and do not know what they are doing.

They do not understand the consequences; they believe that the prevailed situation can be maintained. It is impossible.

Michel Chossudovsky. – Or they believe that this is simply some sort of conventional weapon.           

Fidel Castro Ruz. – Yes, they are deluded and believe that you can still use that weapon. They believe they are in another era, they do not remember what Einstein said when he stated he did not know with what weapons World War III would be fought with, but the World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. I added there: “… there wouldn’t be anyone to handle the sticks and stones.” That is the reality; I have it written there in the short speech you suggested I develop.

Michel Chossudovsky .- The problem I see is that the use of nuclear weapons will not necessarily lead to the end of humankind from one day to the next, because the radioactive impact is cumulative.

Fidel Castro Ruz. – Repeat that, please.

Michel Chossudovsky. – The nuclear weapon has several different consequences: one is the explosion and destruction in the theater of war, which is the phenomenon of Hiroshima, and the other are the impacts of radiation which increases over time.           

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Yes, nuclear winter, as we call it. The prestigious American researcher, University of Rutgers (New Jersey) Professor Emeritus Alan Robock irrefutably showed that the outbreak of a war between two of the eight nuclear powers who possess the least amount of weapons of this kind would result in “nuclear winter”.

He disclosed that at the fore of a group of researchers who used ultra-scientific computer models.

It would be enough to have 100 strategic nuclear weapons of the 25,000 possessed by the eight powers mentioned exploding in order to create temperatures below freezing all over the planet and a long night that would last approximately eight years.  Professor Robock exclaims that it is so terrible that people are falling into a “state of denial”, not wanting to think about it; it is easier to pretend that it doesn’t exist”.  He told me that personally, at an international conference he was giving, where I had the honor of conversing with him.

Well, but I start from an assumption: If a war breaks out in Iran, it will inevitably become nuclear war and a global war. So that’s why yesterday we were saying it was not right to allow such an agreement in the Security Council, because it makes everything easier, do you see?

Such a war in Iran today would not remain confined to the local level, because the Iranians would not give in to use of force. If it remained conventional, it would be a war the United States and Europe could not win, and I argue that it would rapidly turn into a nuclear war. If the United States were to make the mistake of using tactical nuclear weapons, there would be consternation throughout the world and the US would eventually lose control of the situation.

Obama has had a heated discussion with the Pentagon about what to do in Afghanistan; imagine Obama’s situation with American and Israeli soldiers fighting against millions of Iranians. The Saudis are not going to fight in Iran, nor are the Pakistanis or any other Arab or Muslim soldiers. What could happen is that the Yanks have serious conflicts with the Pakistani tribes which they are attacking and killing with their drones,  and they know that. When you strike a blow against those tribes, first attacking and then warning the government, not saying anything beforehand;  that is one of the things that irritates the Pakistanis. There is a strong anti-American feeling there.

It’s a mistake to think that the Iranians would give up if they used tactical nuclear weapons against them, and the world really would be shocked, but then it may be too late.

Michel Chossudovsky .- They cannot win a conventional war.          

Fidel Castro Ruz .- They cannot win.

Michel Chossudovsky. – And that we can see in Iraq; in Afghanistan they can destroy an entire country, but they cannot win from a military standpoint.          

Fidel Castro Ruz. – But to destroy it [a country] at what price, at what cost to the world, at what economic costs, in the march towards catastrophe? The problems you mentioned are compounded, the American people would react, because the American people are often slow to react, but they react in the end. The American people react to casualties, the dead.

A lot of people supported the Nixon administration during the war in Vietnam, he even suggested the use of nuclear weapons in that country to Kissinger, but he dissuaded him from taking that criminal step. The United States was obliged by the American people to end the war; it had to negotiate and had to hand over the south. Iran would have to give up the oil in the area. In Vietnam what did they hand over? An expense. Ultimately, they are now back in Vietnam, buying oil, trading. In Iran they would lose many lives, and perhaps a large part of the oil facilities in the area would be destroyed.

In the present situation, is likely they would not understand our message. If war breaks out, my opinion is that they, and the world, would gain nothing. If it were solely a conventional war, which is very unlikely, they would lose irretrievably, and if it becomes a global nuclear war, humanity would lose.

Michel Chossudovsky.- Iran has conventional forces that are …significant.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Millions.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Land forces, but also rockets and also Iran has the ability to defend itself.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   While there remains one single man with a gun, this is an enemy they will have to defeat.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  And there are several millions with guns.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Millions, and they will have to sacrifice many American lives, unfortunately it would be only then that Americans would react, if they don’t react now they will react later when it will be too late; we must write, we must divulge this as much as we can.   Remember that the Christians were persecuted, they led them off to the catacombs, they killed them, they threw them to the lions, but they held on to their beliefs for centuries and later that was what they did to the Moslems, and the Moslems never yielded.

There is a real war against the Moslem world.  Why are those lessons of history being forgotten?  I have read many of the articles you wrote about the risks of that war.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Let us return to the matter of Iran.  I believe that it is very important that world opinion comprehends the war scenario.  You clearly state that they would lose the war, the conventional war, they are losing it in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran has more conventional forces than those of NATO in Afghanistan.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Much more experienced and motivated.  They are now in conflict with those forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and one they don’t mention: the Pakistanis of the same ethnic group as those in the resistance in Afghanistan. In White House discussions,  they consider that the war is lost, that’s what the book by Bob Woodward entitled “Obama’s Wars” tells us.  Imagine the  situation if in addition to that, they append a war to liquidate whatever remains after the initial blows they inflict on Iran.

So they will be thrust into a conventional war situation that they cannot win, or they will be obliged to wage a global nuclear war, under conditions of a worldwide upheaval.  And I don’t know who can justify the type of war they have to wage; they have 450 targets marked out in Iran, and of these some, according to them, will have to be attacked with tactical nuclear warheads because of their location in mountainous areas and at the depth at which they are situated [underground].  Many Russian personnel and persons from other nationalities collaborating with them will die in that confrontation.

What will be the reaction of world opinion in the face of that blow which today is being irresponsibly promoted by the media with the backing of many Americans?

Michel Chossudovsky.-  One issue, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, they are all neighbouring countries in a certain way.  Iran shares borders with Afghanistan and with Iraq, and the United States and NATO have military facilities in the countries they occupy.  What’s going to happen? I suppose that the Iranian troops are immediately going to cross the border.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Well, I don’t know what tactic they’re going to use, but if one were in their place, the most advisable is to not concentrate their troops, because if the troops are concentrated they will be victims of the attack with tactical nuclear weapons. In other words, in accordance with the nature of the threat as it is being described, the best thing would be for them to use a tactic similar to ours in southern Angola when we suspected that South Africa had nuclear weapons; we created tactical groups of 1000 men with land and anti-air fire power.  Nuclear weapons could never within their reach target a large number of soldiers. Anti-air rocketry and other similar weapons was supporting our forces.  Weapons and the conditions of the terrain change and tactics must continuously change.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Dispersed.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Dispersed, but not isolated men, there were around 1000 men with appropriate weapons, the terrain was sandy, wherever they got to they had to dig in and protect themselves underground, always keeping the maximum distance between components.  The enemy was never given an opportunity to aim a decisive blow against the 60,000 Cuban and Angolan soldiers in southern Angola.

What we did in that sister country is what, a thousand strong army, operating with traditional criteria, would have done.  Fine, we were not 100 000, in southern Angola there were 60,000 men, Cubans and Angolans; due to technical requirements the tactical groups were mainly made up of Cubans because they handled tanks, rockets, anti-aircraft guns, communications, but the infantry was made up of Cuban and Angolan soldiers, with great fighting spirit, who didn’t hesitate one second in confronting the white Apartheid army supported by the United States and Israel.  Who handled the numerous nuclear weapons that they had at that moment?

In the case of Iran,   we are getting news that they are digging into the ground, and when they are asked about it, they say that they are making cemeteries to bury the invaders. I don’t know if this is meant to be ironic, but I think that one would really have to dig quite a lot to protect their forces from the attack which is threatening them.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Sure, but Iran has the possibility of mobilizing millions of troops.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Not just troops, but the command posts are also decisive.  In my opinion, dispersion is very important.  The attackers will try to prevent the transmission of orders.  Every combat unit must know beforehand what they have to do under different  circumstances.  The attacker will try to strike and destabilize the chain of command with its radio-electronic weapons.  All those factors must be kept in mind.  Mankind has never experienced a similar predicament.

Anyway,  Afghanistan is “a joke” and Iraq, too, when you compare them with what they are going to bump into in Iran: the weaponry, the training, the mentality, the kind of soldier…  If 31 years ago, Iranian combatants cleaned the mine fields by advancing over them, they will undoubtedly be the most fearsome adversaries that the United States has ever come across.

 

Our thanks and appreciation to Cuba Debate for the transcription as well as the translation from Spanish.

 

 

Fidel’s Message on the Dangers of Nuclear War

Recorded on the last day of the Conversations, October 15, 2010

TRANSCRIPT

The use of nuclear weapons in a new war would mean the end of humanity. This was candidly foreseen by scientist Albert Einstein who was able to measure their destructive capability to generate millions of degrees of heat, which would vaporize everything within a wide radius of action. This brilliant researcher had promoted the development of this weapon so that it would not become available to the genocidal Nazi regime.

Each and every government in the world has the obligation to respect the right to life of each and every nation and of the totality of all the peoples on the planet.

Today there is an imminent risk of war with the use of that kind of weapon and I don’t harbour the least doubt that an attack by the United States and Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran would inevitably evolve towards a global nuclear conflict.

The World’s peoples have an obligation to demand of their political leaders their Right to Live. When the life of humankind, of your people and your most beloved human beings run such a risk, nobody can afford to be indifferent; not one minute can be lost in demanding respect for that right; tomorrow will be too late.

Albert Einstein himself stated unmistakably: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. We fully comprehend what he wanted to convey, and he was absolutely right, yet in the wake of a global nuclear war, there wouldn’t be anybody around to make use of those sticks and stones.

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people.

In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity.

Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 15, 2010

Escalating Online Censorship

By Stephen Lendman
Source

In cahoots with dark US forces, anti-social media escalated their war on alternative views – ones conflicting with the official narrative by pulling down hundreds of pages.

The worst is likely yet to come. Censorship in America is the new normal – speech, media and academic freedoms threatened.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other tech giants are allied with Washington against digital democracy, the last frontier of media freedom.

Major print and electronic media operate as press agents for wealth, power, and privilege, suppressing what’s vital to know on issues mattering most.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is increasingly ignored in America and Europe, stating:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

These fundamental rights and values are increasingly eroding. When they’re compromised, so are all others – free societies replaced by totalitarian rule, increasingly where US-led Western societies are heading.

In August, Facebook purged over 650 pages originating in Russia and Iran, falsely calling them malicious accounts engaged in disinformation.

Twitter suspended nearly 300 accounts at the same time, falsely accusing them of involvement in “coordinated manipulation.”

Ahead of November midterm elections, Facebook purged over 800 legitimate pages, including some with millions of followers.

Reliable indymedia sites and others were shut down for “inauthentic behavior” – code language for diverging from the official narrative, truth-telling exposing state-sponsored disinformation and Big Lies.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other tech giants are coordinating censorship tactics to suppress important alternative views on major issues.

They’re using censorship algorithms to greatly diminish traffic on targeted sites. Their so-called war on disinformation, fake news, hate speech, inappropriate language, spamming, and inauthentic behavior is all about blatant censorship, the hallmark of totalitarian rule.

Online censorship so far may be prelude for much worse to come. Maybe all content dark forces in Washington want suppressed will be eliminated – including truth-telling web sites.

America and other Western societies are on a slippery slope toward full-blown tyranny.

A month-ago article discussed the Trump regime’s plan to charge fees for groups wanting to demonstrate on the National Mall, a flagrant First Amendment violation if imposed.

Restricting public demonstrations on sidewalks in front of the White House and at other city locations, including Trump’s Washington hotel, was proposed – another affront to constitutionally protected speech and public assembly.

According to Partnership for Civil Justice Fund executive director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, other US administrations tried curbing Washington protests.

Trump regime hardliners intend “the most bold and consequential overhaul” of First Amendment rights – way beyond where their predecessors dared go with enormous potential consequences.

“There’s never been such a large effort at rewriting these regulations. I don’t think there can be any question that these revisions will have the intent and certainly the effect of stifling the ability of the public to protest.”

Perhaps it’s coming everywhere after enforcing it in the nation’s capital.

Speech, media, academic, and assembly freedoms are threatened in America and other Western societies. 

Greatly curbing or prohibiting them is what tyranny is all about.

I am expelled from FB for 30 days for telling the truth!

June 19, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Am I wrong? Am I referring to the Jews as a race, as a biology or even as a people? Quite the opposite, I point at people who, for some reason, operate within racially exclusive Jewish political groups and are primarily committed to the interests of one tribal group.

I think the FB robot better be re-programmed in accordance with The Wandering Who’s findings.

Gilad’s Being in Time can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com  and on Gilad’s site  here.

Lionel Nation – More Calls for the Internet Kill Switch and Suspending the First Amendment

March 26, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

 

Wikileaks ‘Vault 7’ Release Shows Vast Spying Capacity of CIA

[ Ed. note – Do you get the feeling the people running the US government aren’t sane? It has been a day of amazing revelations. ]

Apple, Samsung, Microsoft: WikiLeaks blows lid on scale of CIA’s hacking arsenal

RT

The major takeaway from the latest WikiLeaks dump centers around the terrifying, ‘all-seeing-eye’ surveillance project codenamed ‘Weeping Angel.’ The CIA appears to have taken espionage to a whole new level if WikiLeaks’ initial analysis is accurate.

According to the preliminary release, the CIA has the capability to hack, record and even control everyday technology used by billions of people around the world.

These include smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and even vehicles with remote control navigation systems.

On these devices themselves, the CIA can allegedly hack into some of the world’s most heavily encrypted social media and communications platforms such as WhatsApp, Weibo, Confide, Signal and Telegram before any encryption can even be applied.

For example, WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption means that only the direct participants in a conversation can read messages; not even WhatsApp is capable of reading them.

The CIA, however, was able to hack into individual private WhatsApp messages before encryption could even be applied.

Continued here

Here are a few tweets that have been posted on the subject:

is proof that the CIA is spying on us. There is zero on-the-record evidence that Russia is. Deep state controls U.S. “news.”

FLASHBACK: CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/31/cia-admits-spying-senate-staffers?CMP=share_btn_tw 

Photo published for CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers

CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers

John Brennan issues apology after acknowledging that agency spied on Senate intelligence committee’s staff members

theguardian.com

The CIA is out here hacking our phones, computers, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc. & what are the liberals shrieking about? RUSSIA.

The media HATES Wikileaks because they have impeccable credibility & a virtually spotless record.

As for the media…. 😄 

 Watson’s observation about the media is rather on target. The following, written by writer Ted Kaplan, was published today at Slate:

Tuesday’s WikiLeaks release exposing thousands of detailed documents on CIA hacking tools is an unbridled attack on U.S. intelligence operations with little or no public benefit.

It is of no benefit to know the government can eavesdrop on us through our TV sets or smart phones? A rather astounding assertion to say the least.

Sweeping UK Spy bill Dubbed ‘Snoopers’ Charter’ Becomes Law

By Jill Lawless

LONDON (AP) — In Britain, Big Brother just got bigger.

After months of wrangling, Parliament has passed a contentious new snooping law that gives authorities – from police and spies to food regulators, fire officials and tax inspectors – powers to look at the internet browsing records of everyone in the country.

The law requires telecoms companies to keep records of all users’ web activity for a year, creating databases of personal information that the firms worry could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers.

Civil liberties groups say the law establishes mass surveillance of British citizens, following innocent internet users from the office to the living room and the bedroom.

Tim Berners-Lee, the computer scientist credited with inventing World Wide Web, tweeted news of the law’s passage with the words: “Dark, dark days.”

The Investigatory Powers Bill – dubbed the “snoopers’ charter” by critics – was passed by Parliament this month after more than a year of debate and amendments. It will become law when it receives the formality of royal assent next week. But big questions remain about how it will work, and the government acknowledges it could be 12 months before internet firms have to start storing the records.

“It won’t happen in a big bang next week,” Home Office official Chris Mills told a meeting of internet service providers on Thursday. “It will be a phased program of the introduction of the measures over a year or so.”

The government says the new law “ensures powers are fit for the digital age,” replacing a patchwork of often outdated rules and giving law-enforcement agencies the tools to fight terrorism and serious crime.

In a move taken by few other nations, it requires telecommunications companies to store for a year the web histories known as internet connection records – a list of websites each person has visited and the apps and messaging services they used, though not the individual pages they looked at or the messages they sent.

The government has called that information the modern equivalent of an itemized phone bill. But critics say it’s more like a personal diary.

Julian Huppert, a former Liberal Democrat lawmaker who opposed the bill, said it “creates a very intrusive database.”

“People may have been to the Depression Alliance website, or a marriage guidance website, or an abortion provider’s website, or all sorts of things which are very personal and private,” he said.

Officials won’t need a warrant to access the data, and the list of bodies that can see it includes not just the police and intelligence services, but government departments, revenue and customs officials and even the Food Standards Agency.

“My worry is partly about their access,” Huppert said. “But it’s much more deeply about the prospects for either hacking or people selling information on.”

James Blessing, chairman of the Internet Services Providers Association, said the industry has “significant questions” on how the law will work – including “how to keep the vast new data sets secure.”

He warned that if the law is not implemented in a “proportionate, considered way, there is a real danger the U.K. could lose its status as a world-leading digital economy.”

Some aspects of the new law remain clouded by secrecy. Not all internet companies will have to comply – only those that are asked to by the government. The government won’t say who is on that list, and the firms involved are forbidden from telling their customers.

Service providers are also concerned by the law’s provision that firms can be asked to remove encryption to let spies access communications. Internet companies say that could weaken the security of online shopping, banking and a host of other activities that rely on encryption.

The new law also makes official – and legal – British spies’ ability to hack into devices and harvest vast amounts of bulk online data, much of it from outside the U.K. In doing so, it both acknowledges and sets limits on the secretive mass-snooping schemes exposed by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The government says the law incorporates protections against intrusion, including an investigatory powers commissioner to oversee the system, and judges to scrutinize government-approved warrants to hack into electronic devices or look at the content of communications.

David Anderson, a lawyer who serves as Britain’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said the new law “creates powerful new safeguards” and “achieves world-leading standards of transparency by putting on a detailed statutory basis all the powers which police and intelligence agencies already use.”

Privacy groups battled to stop the new legislation, and now say they will challenge it in court. But public opposition has been muted, in part because the bill’s passage through Parliament has been overshadowed by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the upheaval that has followed.

Renate Samson, chief executive of the group Big Brother Watch, said it would take time for the full implications of the law to become clear to the public.

“We now live in a digital world. We are digital citizens,” Samson said. “We have no choice about whether or not we engage online.

“This bill has fundamentally changed how we are able to privately and securely communicate with one another, communicate with business, communicate with government and live an online life. And that’s a real, profound concern.”

Russia’s Air Force cuts off mercenary-terrorists’ communication lines with Turkey’s intelligence agency MIT

Syrian Free Press
putin-syria-fighter-jets-vs-mit

Russian Fighter Jets Cut Off Terrorists’ Communication Lines with Turkish Intelligence Agency

The Russian air force targeted and destroyed the telecommunication towers in Northern Syria near the borders with Turkey and cut off the terrorists’ internet and lines of communication with Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency.

According to a report by al-Mayadeen news channel, the Russian warplanes smashed two telecommunication towers at the Syrian-Turkish borders, disconnecting the terrorists’ contacts with the Turkish intelligence agency.

mit_turkiye

Other sources said the terrorists who have be caught off hand are now thinking of ways to reestablish their contacts with Turkey.

Earlier reports said that the European satellite operators give terrorists, specially the ISIL (ISIS, IS, Daesh) members, an opportunity to upload propaganda, exchange information and possibly even prepare terrorist attacks.

The ISIL members located in Syria and Iraq are gaining access to the Internet using opportunities offered by European satellite operators, Spiegel online wrote last year.

The communication is reported to be carried out via satellites of European companies Avanti Communications headquartered in the UK and Eutelsat in France.

eutelsat_

According to the magazine, there are thousands of devices in Syria and Iraq, which enable terrorists to use the satellite Internet. Theoretically, everyone who wants to get online can do so only by using the satellite technology, as the telecommunications infrastructure in the country is destroyed.

However, for ordinary people living in the cities captured by the ISIL militants it is almost impossible. ISIL is controlling Internet access and prohibits private individuals from buying the required devices. Only members of the terrorist group have the right to use the Internet, others are being threatened with severe punishment.

As reported by the magazine, the devices are being exported to Syria through Turkey.

Turkey Replaces Al-Nusra Front with Turkmen gang


SOURCES:
Fars News
Sputnik News
Submitted by Cem Ertür 
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/russia-vs-mit/
~

Israeli Official Called for World Internet Censorship in January…’Hate Speech’ Controls Announced by Social Media Giants Today

Posted on May 31, 2016

erdan

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan

[ Ed. note – If you’re a critic of Israel and suddenly one day find your Facebook page or Twitter account deleted…well…there may be a reason for that…

Below are two articles, the first published in January in the Times of Israel concerning efforts to put together an “international coalition” to force social media companies to delete posts containing “hate” or “incitement”…the otherpublished today, at RT, on an agreement reached between four US tech giants and the EU Commission to “tackle the spread of illegal hate speech online.”

“This is a perfectly logical and just project,” said a spokesperson for Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan as quoted in the Times of Israel article. “If a hotel was being used as a venue for a hate group, we would demand that the hotel break its contract, and we would lean on other hotels to abstain from hosting them, so that the hate group would not be able to hold its event. This is no different.”

The article includes links to material allegedly posted by Hamas officials or individual Palestinian activists, including an anatomical chart designed to show which parts of the body to aim for in order to fatally stab someone, but as one commenter here notes, postings of this nature are “tiny in comparison to the volume of material going up on the Internet, and there are already more than sufficient methods in place to deal with such incidents and get them removed.

This would indeed seem the case at least if we go by the many reports we hear of Facebook posts getting deleted or videos pulled from YouTube. The above-mentioned commenter additionally opines:

Although the Israelis are attempting to disguise the project as a counter to Palestinians posting “violence promoting material” on the Internet, it is clear that the extension of this “coalition” has a far wider scope.

Zionists not only are out to destroy the BDS movement, but it seems they are aiming to kill freedom of speech on the Internet as well, or at least any free speech critical of Israel. How close are they to succeeding?

“There is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate,” says Karen White, a Twitter official quoted in the RT story. She additionally insists that the company is “committed to letting the Tweets flow”.

But as an article in Bloomberg recently noted,

“Pressure is on from governments from Israel to Germany to step up the fight against hate speech as Internet platforms become center stage for everything from political activism to promoting terror.”

One thing you may note as well from the article below is that the terror attacks in Europe now conveniently seem to be providing justification for the new measures. ]

***

Israel Eyes World Coalition to Force Social Media Platforms to Block Incitement

By David Shamah | January 19, 2016

Israel is aiming to build an international coalition to force the world’s leading social media giants to prevent their platforms from being abused to peddle incitement to terrorism.

The move, which was unveiled by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, aims at requiring Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other social networks to take greater responsibility for such content.

While some experts consider the idea unworkable — arguing that the terms of service of such platforms protect them from any legal threat, and that the preventative measures Erdan wants to see introduced are not possible technologically, others say a coalition pushing for change could be effective, and certainly stands more of a chance than an effort led by Israel alone.

The social media giants “make millions but claim they are not responsible for content, and that they only provide a platform,” a spokesperson for Erdan told The Times of Israel. “That is not going to wash. We are planning to put a stop to this irresponsibility, and we are going to do it as part of an international coalition that has had enough of this behavior as well.”

On Sunday, Erdan introduced the idea of building an international legal coalition to take action against social media platforms if they do not proactively prevent the use of their systems to upload videos, songs, photos, and other content that inspire would-be terrorists to pick up knives, guns, rocks, and other weapons to attack Israelis.

At the weekly cabinet meeting, Erdan presented ministers with an “index of incitement,” showing a correlation between instances of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic content posted by Palestinians, and the level of violence by Palestinians against Israelis.

Innumerable posts, videos and tweets have extolled the virtues of attacking Israelis in the ongoing terror wave, with terror groups andprivate individualsposting incitement, songs hailing the terrorists, and instructional videos telling them how best to attack. In several cases, attackers have posted their own messages ahead of such attacks.

There were numerous things Israel could do to combat the phenomenon, said Erdan. In a statement Sunday, Erdan said that he “intended to methodically expose the Palestinian culture of incitement among relevant communities around the world.”

Among Erdan’s proposals for action: Linking a reduction in incitement to assistance provided by Israel or other parties to the Palestinian Authority; publicizing the link between incitement, both by individual Palestinians and the Authority itself, to violence against Israelis; and developing legislation in Israel and abroad to prosecute social media platforms for failing to keep calls for violence and hateful materials off their platforms.

Erdan’s plan, said his spokesperson, calls for developing legislation in conjunction with European countries, most of which “are very interested in this idea. The legislation would have common features, such as defining what constitutes incitement and what the responsibilities of social networks regarding it are. Companies that do not comply will find themselves hauled into court, paying a penalty.”

The participating countries would be part of a loose coalition that would keep an eye on content and where it was being posted, and members of the coalition would work to demand that the platforms remove the content that was posted in any of their countries at the request of members.

“This is a perfectly logical and just project,” Erdan’s spokesperson said. “If a hotel was being used as a venue for a hate group, we would demand that the hotel break its contract, and we would lean on other hotels to abstain from hosting them, so that the hate group would not be able to hold its event. This is no different.”

Erdan’s proposal came weeks after the son of a Jerusalem man killed in a terror attack urged lawmakers to do more to quash social media incitement. Richard Lakin, a US-born teacher and peace activist, was shot and seriously wounded on October 13, and died of his injuries two weeks later. His son, Micah Avni, has been campaigning against social media incitement, with Lakin named as lead plaintiff in a 20,000-complainant-strong lawsuit against Facebook.

At a Knesset hearing in November, Avni argued that social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, virtually inhabited by millions of people every day, should be thought of as countries or continents. It would follow, he said, that it is necessary to regulate social media in the same way that nations regulate other areas such as finance, transportation, communication, broadcast, healthcare, and food.

LAWYERS RESPOND

Reaction to Erdan proposal from attorneys who spoke to The Times of Israel was mixed. One attorney involved in the highest echelons of the Internet business in Israel asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of her position. She said the terms of service of social media platforms protect them from prosecution.

“The point of social media platforms is to provide a forum for users to express themselves,” said the attorney. “We wouldn’t want them to micromanage every bit of data that we post, and we probably don’t want the admins at Facebook and Twitter reading or looking at all the images we post, either,” she added.

“In addition, this would be next to impossible to pull off technologically,” the attorney continued. “How would the site know when something negative was uploaded? And even if such a law were passed, the platform might decide that it is just not worth the trouble to do business in the country where they are being prosecuted – like Israel – and just shut off access to their platform altogether. Is that what we really want?”

Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Israel Law Center disagreed, however. Actually, she said, “that is exactly why Erdan is seeking a coalition.”

It turns out that Israel already has in place the legislation needed to prosecute Facebook and other social media sites for anti-Semitic content; a law that allows Israel to prosecute anti-Semites who threaten the existence or welfare of the Jewish people has been on the books for decades. That law, she said, could be used to prosecute social media networks that do not do enough to prevent anti-Israel or anti-Jewish incitement.

But if Israel goes it alone, “then they might decide to cut off ties with us,” said Darshan-Leitner. “That is why Erdan is seeking to build this international coalition. There’s safety in numbers; if Facebook et al. know they are going to have to face the music in a dozen countries, they will be much more amenable to being proactive on this matter than if they were just contending with Israel.”

Darshan-Leitner said she thinks Erdan’s idea will succeed. “While we are perhaps the biggest sufferers of Arab incitement, we are not the only ones. The Europeans, after all, have in recent years been given devastating tastes of what that incitement can lead to — in the terror attacks in Marseille, Paris, Toulouse; in the stream of Muslims in Sweden identifying with IS, and many other incidents and attacks, large and small.

“This is not about freedom of speech,” said Darshan-Leitner. “It’s long ago been established that yelling ‘fire’ in a movie theater is a prosecutable offense. You are free to say what you want, but when what you say leads to damages – much less murder – that’s a different story altogether.”

Twitter and Youtube could not be reached for comment for this piece. In a statement, Facebook said that “we regularly work with safety organisations and policy makers around the world to ensure that people know how to keep safe when using Facebook. There is no place for content encouraging violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speech on our platform.

“This is a community of over 1.5 billion people, including more than 4 million people in Israel, with clear rules. We have a set of Community Standards to help people understand what is allowed on Facebook, and we urge people to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates these standards, so we can investigate and take swift action. We look forward to continuing dialogue with the government about these issues,” the statement added.

***

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube Adopt EU Hate Speech Rules

RT | 31 May, 2016 20:01

US tech giants have signed an agreement with the European Commission to tackle the spread of illegal hate speech online that requires them to address complaints within 24 hours.

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and YouTube adopted the code of conduct on Tuesday, committing to crackdown on the use of online hate speech swiftly by putting in place internal procedures to respond to the majority of notifications of abuse within 24 hours and remove the offending content if necessary.

The guidelines are aimed at combatting the use of social media by terrorists, according to a joint statement issued by the EC and the IT companies.

“The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech. Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalize young people and racists use to spread violence and hatred,” said Vĕra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.

The IT companies also agreed to educate their users about the types of content banned under their rules and to encourage them to flag material violating the “code of conduct.”

The measures are based on the Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, which criminalizes public incitement to violence or hatred and forms the legal basis for defining online content as illegal.

The European Court of Human Rights distinguishes between content that “offends, shocks, or disturbs the State or any sector of the population” and content genuinely intended to incite people to violence or hatred.

All of the companies said “hate speech” has no place on their platforms and promised to continue to take measures to combat it.

Twitter’s Head of Public Policy for Europe, Karen White, said the microblogging site remains “committed to letting the Tweets flow”.

“There is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate.

“In tandem with actioning hateful conduct that breaches Twitter’s Rules, we also leverage the platform’s incredible capabilities to empower positive voices, to challenge prejudice and to tackle the deeper root causes of intolerance,” she said.

Microsoft noted that it had recently announced additional steps to specifically prohibit the posting of terrorist content.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google were sued by a French Jewish youth group this month after only a small number of posts containing hate speech that they had flagged were deleted, and only after a lengthy period – an average 15 days in the case of YouTube and Twitter.

However, two civil society groups involved in the discussions announced on Tuesday that they would not take part in future talks after they were excluded from final negotiations.

European Digital Rights (EDRi) and Access Now say they do not have confidence in the “ill considered” code of conduct, saying that there had been a lack of transparency and public input during the creation of the document.

The groups claim that the “‘code of conduct’ downgrades the law to a second-class status, behind the ‘leading role’ of private companies that are being asked to arbitrarily implement their terms of service.”

They have also pointed out the possibility that the agreement could be in breach of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

In addition, concerns are being raised that the agreement could damage freedom of expression by allowing private companies to define what constitutes hate speech and what does not.

Zionists Push for Multi-National Firing Squad Aimed at Internet ‘Hate Speech’

Posted on June 1, 2016

firingsquad

By Richard Edmondson

The European Commission has reached an agreement with four major Internet tech companies on the terms of a “code of conduct” governing “illegal hate speech” on social media platforms. The companies are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft.

The announcement was made May 31 and comes just four months after a high-ranking Israeli official called for an “international coalition” to force social media outlets to eliminate “hate” or “incitement” in user posts and threatening legal action against those who fail to comply.

“By signing this code of conduct, the IT companies commit to continuing their efforts to tackle illegal hate speech online,” says the European Commission’s formal announcement. “This will include the continued development of internal procedures and staff training to guarantee that they review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content, if necessary.”

“Hateful conduct has no place on Twitter and we will continue to tackle this issue head on alongside our partners in industry and civil society,” said Karen White, Twitter’s Head of Public Policy for Europe.

“We remain committed to letting the Tweets flow. However, there is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate,” she added.

The Code of Conduct adopts the definition of hate speech incorporated into aFramework Decision on racism that had been previously adopted in 2008. Under that framework, “public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined on the basis of race, colour, descent, religion or belief, or national or ethnic origin” would be considered a criminal offense, as would “publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes…when the conduct is carried out in a manner likely to incite violence or hatred” against such a group or individual.

It is impossible to glean from the EC press release what part Israel or its European lobbies may have played in advocating for the new measures, but we do know that at a cabinet meeting in January, Gilad Erdan, Israeli Public Security Minister, discussed plans to form an “international legal coalition” of countries with the objective of pressuring social media companies to remove “incitement” from their platforms.

erdan

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan

Erdan’s views on the matter are discussed in a January 19, 2016Times of Israel article that even names three of the four companies–Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube–who signed on to the European Commission’s code of conduct this week. The coalition would “take action against social media platforms if they do not proactively prevent the use of their systems to upload videos, songs, photos, and other content that inspire would-be terrorists to pick up knives, guns, rocks, and other weapons to attack Israelis,” says the report.

Apparently under the scheme envisioned by Erdan, one does not actually need to advocate an act of violence to be guilty of an offense; one might simply post a song, video or photo that might conceivably “inspire” someone else. The ultimate goal would be “developing legislation in Israel and abroad to prosecute social media platforms for failing to keep calls for violence and hateful materials off their platforms,” as the article puts it.

The Internet companies “make millions but claim they are not responsible for content, and that they only provide a platform,” commented an Erdan spokesperson quoted in the story. “That is not going to wash. We are planning to put a stop to this irresponsibility, and we are going to do it as part of an international coalition that has had enough of this behavior as well.”

The spokesperson described unnamed European countries as being “very interested in this idea,” and went on to add:

“The legislation would have common features, such as defining what constitutes incitement and what the responsibilities of social networks regarding it are. Companies that do not comply will find themselves hauled into court, paying a penalty.”

The article also includes links to material allegedly posted by Hamas officials or individual Palestinian activists, including an anatomical chart designed to show which parts of the body to aim for in order to fatally stab someone, but as one commenter here notes, postings of this nature are “tiny in comparison to the volume of material going up on the Internet, and there are already more than sufficient methods in place to deal with such incidents and get them removed.”

That would seem to be the case judging by the sheer number of reports we hear of Facebook pages getting deleted or videos being pulled from YouTube. However, a study published by a French Jewish group, the UEJF, or Jewish Students Union of France, alleges that more than 90 percent of posts they viewed as objectionable on Twitter and YouTube remained online an average of 15 days after requests for removal had been filed. Facebook is said to have been somewhat more obliging to the demands, deleting a third of the posts.

According to Bloomberg, the study was conducted by UEJF in conjunction with two other groups, SOS Racisme and SOS Homophobie, and a lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook and Google was filed in a Paris court earlier this month.

According to the report, the content still online includes a comment on Facebook saying that “homosexuals are disgusting;” a YouTube video that uses a derogatory term for black people and said “go back home you apes;” and a Twitter post that applauded the Brussels attacks and stated “Death to the Jews.”

Conveniently, the terror attacks in Europe seem to be providing a good bit of the justification for the measures. The attacks are cited in both the Times of Israel report and the European Commission’s press release as well.

“The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech,” said Vera Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. “Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalise young people and racist use to spread violence and hatred.”

“While we are perhaps the biggest sufferers of Arab incitement, we are not the only ones,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Israel Law Center. “The Europeans, after all, have in recent years been given devastating tastes of what that incitement can lead to — in the terror attacks in Marseille, Paris, Toulouse; in the stream of Muslims in Sweden identifying with IS, and many other incidents and attacks, large and small.”

The Times of Israel article notes that Israel already has on its books “the legislation needed to prosecute Facebook and other social media sites for anti-Semitic content,” but as Darshan-Leitner points out the big companies could simply cut off services to the Jewish state should it attempt enforcement on its on.

“That is why Erdan is seeking to build this international coalition. There’s safety in numbers; if Facebook et al. know they are going to have to face the music in a dozen countries, they will be much more amenable to being proactive on this matter than if they were just contending with Israel.”

The code of conduct agreed to this week provides a mechanism of “self-enforcement,” as it were, under which the companies will be “taking the lead” insofar as reviewing notifications of material deemed objectionable–an exercise that in all likelihood will require the hiring of additional employees–and deleting those which presumably cross the line. Just exactly where “the line” will be seems to be rather subjective, however.

For now this determination is left to the companies–surely a disappointment to the hardliners in Israel–but that could change. A few more terrorist attacks in Europe and we could well see the emergence of an EU-wide censorship regime imposed on social media, a regime whose regulations pro-Israel lobbies likely would have a large hand in crafting.

This could of course supply a motive for a false flag attack–a tactic Israel has not been averse to using in the past.

Beheaded Journalist Sotloff Had Info Rebels Used Chemical Weapons

Source

Posted on September 3, 2014

He believed being Kidnapped by AlQaeda would earn their trust

Beheaded Journalist Sotloff Had Info Rebels Used Chemical Weapons and believed being Kidnapped by AlQaeda would earn their trust. Journalist Steven Sotloff who was kidnapped and beheaded by ISIS believed the Syrian rebels possessed and possibly used chemical weapons on Aleppo and wanted to report it leaked conversations show. American foreign fighter Matthew Vandyke who fought along side the Libyan insurgency and also went to Syria on a pro Syrian Rebel mission, revealed to Sotloff that he had information that Syrian rebels posed chemical weapons before they were used in Aleppo.

In another conversation Sotloff told Vandyke that he believed being kidnapped by Al Qaeda group Jabhat Al Nusra would be a way to earn their trust. Vandyke agreed claiming some of the best connections he made with Al Qaeda groups were after being ‘arrested’. In another conversation Vandyke was very eager to meet with the AlQaeda group Jabhat AL Nusra and network with them.

The conversations where leaked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) who hacked Vandyke’s email and Facebook account. A Zip file of several hundreds of conversations can be downloaded here. Vandyke has confirmed that his Facebook account and email were hacked by the SEA, and other journalists have also authenticated that the leaked conversations are real and accurate.


Journalist Steven Sotloff who was kidnapped and beheaded by ISIS believed the Syrian rebels possessed and possibly used chemical weapons on Aleppo and wanted to report it leaked conversations show. American foreign fighter Matthew Vandyke who fought along side the Libyan insurgency and also went to Syria on a pro Syrian Rebel mission, revealed to Sotloff that he had information that Syrian rebels posed chemical weapons before they were used in Aleppo.

In another conversation Sotloff told Vandyke that he believed being kidnapped by AlQaeda group Jabhat Al Nusra would be a way to earn their trust. Vandyke agreed claiming some of the best connections he made with Al Qaeda groups were after being ‘arrested’. In another conversation Vandyke was very eager to meet with the AlQaeda group Jabhat AL Nusra and network with them.

The conversations where leaked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) who hacked Vandyke’s email and Facebook account. A Zip file of several hundreds of conversations can be downloaded here.  Vandyke has confirmed that his Facebook account and email were hacked by the SEA as well as stating that his comments about rebel chemical weapons were true, and other individuals have also authenticated that the leaked conversations are real and accurate.

Confirmation

Authenticity of private conversations were made public of Vandyke and Jack Murphy’s wall.

 

The leaked conversations

Downloaded Facebook history is compressed into this format you will end up with, compressed without images.

Stoloff tried to convince Vandyke to go on record about Rebels possessing chemical weapons , assuring him the information could be spun in favour of the rebels

Dangerous acquaintances – meeting with Jabhat Al Nusra

Sotloff told Vandyke that he believed being kidnapped by AlQaeda group Jabhat Al Nusra would be a way to earn their trust.

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The BRICS “Independent Internet” Cable. In Defiance of the “US-Centric Internet”

Global Research, September 17, 2013

internet1The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff announces publicly the creation of a world internet system INDEPENDENT from US and Britain ( the “US-centric internet”).

Not many understand that, while the immediate trigger for the decision (coupled with the cancellation of a summit with the US president) was the revelations on NSA spying, the reason why Rousseff can take such a historic step is that the alternative infrastructure: The BRICS cable from Vladivostock, Russia  to Shantou, China to Chennai, India  to Cape Town, South Africa  to Fortaleza, Brazil,  is being built and it’s, actually, in its final phase of implementation.


No amount of provocation and attempted “Springs” destabilizations and Color Revolution in the Middle East, Russia or Brazil can stop this process.  The huge submerged part of the BRICS plan is not yet known by the broader public.
Nonetheless it is very real and extremely effective. So real that international investors are now jumping with both feet on this unprecedented real economy opportunity. The change… has already happened.

Brazil plans to divorce itself from the U.S.-centric Internet over Washington’s widespread online spying, a move that many experts fear will be a potentially dangerous first step toward politically fracturing a global network built with minimal interference by governments.

President Dilma Rousseff has ordered a series of measures aimed at greater Brazilian online independence and security following revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted her communications, hacked into the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network and spied on Brazilians who entrusted their personal data to U.S. tech companies such as Facebook and Google.
..
BRICS Cable!
http://www.bricscable.com/(see video)
netw_geo
BRICS Cable… a 34 000 km, 2 fibre pair, 12.8 Tbit/s capacity, fibre optic cable system

      • For any global investor, there is no crisis – there is plenty of growth. It’s just not in the old world
      • BRICS is ~45% of the world’s population and ~25% of the world’s GDP
      • BRICS together create an economy the size of Italy every year… that’s the 8th largest economy in the world
      • The BRICS presents profound opportunities in global geopolitics and commerce
  • Links Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil – the BRICS economies – and the United States.
  • Interconnect with regional and other continental cable systems in Asia, Africa and South America for improved global coverage
  • Immediate access to 21 African countries and give those African countries access to the BRICS economies.
  • Projected ready for service date is mid to second half of 2015.

Israel setting up “covert units” to tweet, Facebook government propaganda

Source

Tue, 08/13/2013 – 10:21   

war_room.jpg

Screenshot shows Israelis in an organized digital “war” room posting tweets against the flotilla to Gaza in the summer of 2011. (Source)

The Israeli prime minister’s office is organizing Israeli students in “covert” and “semi-military” style units to tweet and post pro-Israel messages on social media without revealing they are doing it as part of a government propaganda campaign, Israeli media reported today.

But as The Electronic Intifada has previously revealed, this effort is not entirely new.

Haaretz reports today:

The Prime Minister’s Office is planning to form, in collaboration with the National Union of Israeli Students, “covert units” within Israel’s seven universities that will engage in online public diplomacy (hasbara).

The students participating in the project, who would post on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter on Israel’s behalf, will be part of the public diplomacy arm of the PMO [prime minister’s office], but would not identify themselves as official government representatives.

It is clear that the Israeli government views universities and students as tools in its international propaganda, as a government document, cited by Haaretz, reveals:

“In light of the success in the battle for awareness during the Pillar of Defense Operation [the Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip in November of last year] and the experience gained in activating a large number of situation rooms on university campuses and work with students in general, it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country.”

Haaretz adds that it is apparent from the document “that a diplomacy group will be set up at each university and structured in a semi-military fashion.” The person in charge of the initiative is Daniel Seaman, former director of the Government Press Office, who has used his personal Facebook page to post racist, Islamophobic and violent material.

Israel’s covert use of social media not new

But this effort is not new. Last year, The Electronic Intifada revealed that the National Union of Israeli Students was already a full-time partner in Israeli government propaganda and set up a project to pay Israeli university students up to $2,000 to spread propaganda online.

As The Electronic Intifada also reported, the National Union of Israeli Students sent its members for government propaganda training and described students as Israel’s “pretty face,” to be deployed as a propaganda auxiliary force.

The union set as one of its organizational goals, working “in cooperation with government ministries and additional organizations, to improve the explanation [hasbara] of Israel’s position around the world.”

At the time, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jillian C. York compared Israel’s online propaganda efforts to those of China, Syria and Bahrain.

“I have seen considerable efforts, both by Israeli companies like Ahava and–apparently–government-supported groups, to utilize some of the same techniques as Syria and Bahrain, particularly on Twitter,” York also previously wrote.

Such Israeli government efforts, which attempt to disguise official propaganda as the work of ordinary concerned citizens and students, date back at least to December 2008, during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead assault on Gaza.

Every computer user is a “kind of soldier”

At that time Israeli social media strategist Niv Calderon wrote that he was hired by the foreign ministry for a first of its kind effort to create a  digital “war room” to promote Israel’s propaganda message internationally.

Calderon was later involved in similar organized social media efforts to discredit the Gaza flotillas, and in one report on Israeli TV from June 2011, Calderon can be seen managing a social media “war room” working against that summer’s flotilla to Gaza.

“There is a media war here,” Calderon explains, “and every citizen, every computer user, is a kind of soldier.”

“Equipped with laptops and iPhones,” the report says, government social media propagandists go to war using “tweets as their weapons.”

The report even shows social media propagandists being trained to find random images of market places in Gaza to post online to obscure the fact that Israel’s siege has caused severe hardship to the civilian population there.

Calderon has also previously worked on the social media campaigns of the anti-Palestinian group StandWithUs.

Desperate

The new “covert” social media push comes as surveys confirm Israel’s status as one of the most negatively viewed countries in the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrugged off these findings, declaring, “it’s not about the facts, it’s about the defamation of Israel and our portrayal as peace rejecters, war mongers instead of an enlightened nation that is fighting against aims to destroy us.”

Netanyahu, like the Israelis behind these various covert schemes, seems to think Israel can still market, sell, cheat and tweet its way out of being seen, rightly, as an apartheid-practicing, colonizing occupier, violently depriving millions of Palestinians of their most fundamental rights.

One obstacle the Israeli campaigns must overcome is the fact that Israel’s biggest social media hits have been entirely negative – a result of the tendency of many Israelis, especially soldiers, to post violent, hateful and outright racist material on their social media accounts, especially on Facebook and Instagram.

Strengthens case for academic boycott

The recruitment of universities and their complicity in government propaganda efforts aimed at justifying Israeli violations of Palestinian rights will likely strengthen arguments in favor of the Palestinian call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

This call received a boost this week – unrelated to these social media campaigns – from dozens of international faculty calling on their peers to boycott an upcoming conference on oral history at the Hebrew University

NO SOPA: ‘American Censorship Day’

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Israel is under Cyber Attack

DateMonday, January 16, 2012 at 6:20PM AuthorGilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

The ‘Arab hackers’ attack on Israel escalated today. The Israeli Stock Exchange’s and El Al’s sites collapsed on Monday. The hackers say that it is within their capability to crash every Israeli server.

“If Israel apologises to the people of the Gaza genocide, we may reduce the attacks,” said Saudi Hacker OxOmar to Ynet in an interview via email. “I want to harm Israel in any way possible. Hitting Israel in the pocket is certainly where it hurts. “I’ll Make the Israeli authorities cry ” warned OxOmar who operates from Mexico.

OxOmar wasn’t very happy with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who called the Hacker’s attacks an act of “terrorism”. Ayalon also warned that hackers may have to bear the consequences. He obviously referred to Israeli vengeance. But OxOmar seems to be resilient, “If the Israeli authorities, and especially Danny Ayalon, apologise to me and the people in Gaza, I may reduce my attacks,” he said. “Ayalon has to apologise for threatening to kill me, and Israel should also apologise for the massacre in Sabra and Shatila.”

Needless to say that the Jewish State is pretty devastated by the Idea that a bunch of ‘indigenous Arabs’ are far more technologically advanced than its own chosen cyber pirates.

I guess that this Cyber attack on Israel is a clear warning to Britain and America. Every cyber tactic implemented against Israel could easily be employed against Britain, America or any other Western State or institution. If Israeli banks are vulnerable, there is no reason to suspect that HBSC or Lloyds are much safer.

Gilad Atzmon’s New Book: The Wandering Who? A Study Of Zionist’s global interests Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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Internet Killed Israeli PR (fun watch)

DateMonday, December 26, 2011 at 1:57PM AuthorGilad Atzmon


Gilad Atzmon’s New Book: The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics is available on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

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Be Careful: US Navy Spying on Lebanese Internet!

 

Local Editor
After military and security, telecommunication sector has also been a victim of US espionage activities in Lebanon.

Under the title, “Call of the Ocean” U.S. Navy conducted tests in the Mediterranean Sea in order to improve the ability of warships to monitor threats, mainly the torpedo.

According to “as-Safir” newspaper one of the examples of these tests is resembled when the cruiser “USS Leyte” passed the Mediterranean Sea late February through the Strait of Gibraltar, coming from the Atlantic Ocean.

The US specifically uses this relatively small size and low weight cruiser in the Mediterranean since it is difficult for large pieces (weighing up to 90 thousand tons) coming from the Atlantic to cross the strait of which depth of water ranges between a thousand and three thousand feets, in addition to the “overcrowding” resulting from the presence of other vessels at this point in the world.

The “USS Leyte” crew of experts in the sonar (marine radar) techniques experienced the “soft murder” technology, known as «Niksie» AN | SLQ-25A assigned to intercept torpedo missiles.

The technique works to influence the course of the torpedo, which may be launched against any vessel through a device that sends electronic signals similar to those of the ship, but more strongly so that this leads to modify the torpedo’s sensors noting that the device being tested works under a certain depth in the water, if needed, after being lowered through a hole in the bottom of the ship.

During the tests, the Internet service in Lebanon experienced a jamming to discover later that its source is an American warship stationed off the coast eastern of the Mediterranean.

It should be noted that the experts at the Lebanese Ministry of Telecommunications have experienced a similar something during July 2006 war, when they noticed strong jamming on the local airwaves of, mentioning that pieces of offensive “Enterprise” were stationed at that time off the Lebanese coast and they spread on a regular basis in the Mediterranean .

If during the July war the cause of jamming was clear and “sense”, what explains the jamming in the waves caused by American military units located at least once each year off the Lebanese coast? (A replacing process is carried every six months to switch ships in the Mediterranean and the Gulf).
We can’t be sure about the jamming cause since the public reports issued by the Navy do not specify the coordinates of the warships, but tend to talk about their tasks. For further illumination on the subject, we should provide a simplified technical explanation of jamming process that affects radio waves.

The process of jamming is defined as radio waves that arise from outside the system and target waves of a transmitting (e.g. radar or broadcast station), to revoke its work.

Jamming may be deliberate, as is the case in the military uses in the context of the so-called electronic war, and may be unintentional, as in the case of any overlap in waves so that two different devices use the same broadcasting wave.

It should be noted that the most vulnerable devices to jamming during the U.S. Navy test are those operating within the scope of C-Band, i.e. those wireless Internet networks in Lebanon, as well as in the case of meteorological waves which commonly use “Wi-Fi” technique on 5.4 GB Hz wave
.
Regardless of the cause of jamming that Lebanon witnesses, it is certain that the U.S. Navy has a prior knowledge of waves used by the Lebanese state in its operating of local networks in various fields.

Whatever the motives or causes behind jamming, a big question is raised on Washington’s ships respect to Lebanese sovereignty.

Source: “as-Safir” newspaper

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

HASBARA SPAM ALERT FEB.16 2011

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Australians for Palestine logoby Richard Silverstein 

–  The Guardian –  9 January 2011

Via MCS

The hasbara brigade strikes again! You always hear about Israeli attempts at media manipulation. Everyone knows it’s going on but usually the process happens through cyber insurgents like those involved with Giyus (and its media monitoring software, Megaphone). Now, we know that the Israeli foreign ministry itself is orchestrating propaganda efforts designed to flood news websites with pro-Israel arguments and information.
A reader of my blog has received the following email which documents both the efforts and the agency that originated them. The solicitation to become a pro-Israel “media volunteer” also includes a list of media links which the ministry would like addressed by pro-Israel comments:

Dear friends,
We hold the [sic] military supremacy, yet fail the battle over the international media. We need to buy time for the IDF to succeed, and the least we can do is spare some (additional) minutes on the net. The ministry of foreign affairs is putting great efforts in balancing the media, but we all know it’s a battle of numbers. The more we post, blog, talkback, vote – the more likely we gain positive sentiment.
I was asked by the ministry of foreign affairs to arrange a network of volunteers, who are willing to contribute to this effort. If you’re up to it you will receive a daily messages & media package as well as targets.
If you wish to participate, please respond to this email.

My friend did so and received this official communique from the ministry with talking points about Operation Cast Lead which s/he was to use in her/his propaganda efforts. Among the links was was a Peter Beaumont Cif piece. The following were identified as “target sites”: the Times, the Guardian, Sky News, BBC, Yahoo!News, Huffington Post, and the Dutch Telegraaf. Also targeted were other media sites in Dutch, Spanish, German and French considered critical of the invasion.
Locally, here in Seattle, peace activists held a rally at our federal building attended by 500 protesters. In the foreign ministry communique issued the next day, activists were directed to comment in the Seattle Post Intelligencer’s article about the demonstration. The comment thread for the article is riddled with clear hasbara “plants” who distort the balance and tone of the discussion with their programmed arguments, making it much more favorable than it otherwise would be.
Here the foreign ministry’s coordinator describes a meeting he attended at the government’s offical office:

Hi all,
I had a meeting in the ministry of foreign affairs today, and was very happy to hear that their metrics show that Israel’s position in the internet is getting better every day. It means that you’re doing a good job! MFA are concerned with the biased public opinion in Europe. So please focus your efforts on European media.
What can you do to help?
– Identify internet battle-grounds in different languages, and let me know
– Comment/post/vote in the listed links and others; you can use the material attached below
– Write letters to authors and editors. Identify yourself as a local resident
– Have your friends join this activity

This message was meant to encourage the pro-Israel activists in their work:

World governments are still patient with Israel’s justified operation in Gaza. The [sic] public opinion, on the other hand, is impatient, to say the least. This gap will soon close – it always does.
It is our goal to shift the public opinion, as conveyed in the internet; avoiding, or at least minimising, sanctions by world leaders. We need to buy the IDF enough time to achieve its goals.

Besides the talking points provided by the foreign ministry to the pro-Israel web activists, they are offered online pro-Israel material to link to in their comments such as these:Bicom.org.uk/
Remember when the defence department was paying public relations companies and Iraqi newspapers to insert articles praising the Iraq war? The companies also attempted to plant coverage favorable to the US military in US newspapers. There rightly was a media uproar about the manipulation. We’ll see whether the same happens over this.
The foreign ministry shouldn’t get a pass on this one. It may view such hasbara as maximising its efforts to “explain” Israel’s position in the world media. I view it as a cynical attempt to flood the web and news media with favorable flackery in a vain attempt to tilt public opinion toward Israel. Not only does it do Israel a disservice, it stains every legitimate effort that the ministry might make to explain Israel to the world, since no one will believe a word it says knowing it engages in such outright propaganda.
Not to mention that this is such cheap pennyante stuff. What do they gain by this? How effective can it be and how many can be convinced? By the way, I’ve even noticed the hasbaraniks in my own blog. You can see them a mile away because they’ve never published a comment before yet write something like: “I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long time, but anyone with a brain in their head knows that Hamas is out to destroy Israel blah, blah blah.” Pretty formulaic stuff. Also, you can Google a few phrases of the comment and if you find it appears elsewhere on the web you know you either have a hasbaranik or someone who has repetition compulsion.
In some instances, western media may intentionally or unintentionally fall victim to manipulation. Tony Karon points out that pro-Israel journalist-historian Michael Oren has published several stories since the Gaza incursion began in US media outlets like the New Republic and Los Angeles Times. He is also on active duty with the IDF in Gaza serving as a public affairs officer liasing with foreign media. You will find nothing noting this in the Los Angeles Times op ed. In effect, the media is allowing advocates like Oren to pass themselves off as disinterested experts when they are anything but. It behooves editors to do some due diligence when they publish any piece that advocates for one side or the other to determine whether there may be conflicts of interest or other unacknowledged factors influencing a commentator’s judgment.
It seems we are now well and truly in the world of Propaganda 2.0.
Richard Silverstein writes Tikun Olam, a blog dedicated to resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict. He also contributed to the Independent Jewish Voices essay collection A Time to Speak Out.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Protesters, Unfazed by Mubarak’s Pledges, Escalate Moves Monday-Tuesday

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31/01/2011 Egyptian protesters have been unfazed by the Egypt President Hosni Mubarak’s promises and bids to satisfy them calling on Monday for an indefinite strike and a “million man march” on Tuesday in Cairo.
In Cairo’s Tahrir square, hundreds of protesters camped out overnight, defying a curfew that has been extended by the army.

Mubarak pledged institute economic, social and political reforms but people feel that such pledges “are too little, too late”. He appointed the first vice president in his 30-year-rule, the intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, and a new prime minister in a desperate attempt to cling to power. The new Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has chosen on Monday two new ministers for his cabinet.

The announcement had little discernible effect on the more than 1,000 people encamped at Tahrir square, the protest epicentre, early Monday, marching and shouting their determination to stay there until Mubarak quits.

Early on Monday morning, unconfirmed reports said the police had been ordered back on the streets. The army has positioned tanks around the square and was checking identity papers but letting protesters in. Civilian popular committee members were also checking papers to make sure no plainclothes police get in. the 7-days-old protests have left at least 125 people dead.

Top dissident Mohamed ElBaradei late Sunday told a sea of angry protesters in the square that they were beginning a new era. The former IAEA chief, who was mandated by Egyptian opposition groups including the Muslim Brotherhood to negotiate with Mubarak’s regime, hailed “a new Egypt in which every Egyptian lives in freedom and dignity.” “I ask you to be patient, change is coming.”

European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton urged Mubarak to immediately hold talks with the opposition and respond to the aspirations of anti-government protesters.
Several foreign governments said they would evacuate their nationals, while the United States authorized the departure of embassy families, AFP reported.

Washington, a key ally of Egypt, called on Mubarak to do more to defuse the crisis but stopped short of saying he should quit.

International press institutes have come out strongly against Egyptian authorities’ suppression of the media, following the withdrawal of Al Jazeera’s license to broadcast from the North African country.
Egyptian police on Monday arrested six foreign journalists working for Al-Jazeera English news channel at their Cairo hotel after authorities forbade them covering anti-regime protests, the channel said.
Mobile services were partly restored on Saturday, though the CPJ says that 90 per cent of internet connections in the country remain disconnected.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Carlos Latuff: My artwork is not for sale, It is about love. I love the Palestinian people!

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Article

Features

Drawing fire

Brazilian cartoonist and political activist Carlos Latuff visited Amman last month to present his groundbreaking work on his favourite subject: Palestine

Issue: Jun, 2009

words: Roba Assi images: Ibrahim Owais

“Why the hell is a bourgeois publication interested in interviewing a pro-Palestinian cartoonist?” asks the skinny 40-something in a black and white keffiyeh. If it wasn’t Carlos Latuff, the now legendary Brazilian political cartoonist, we might have been offended. But for a man who has made a career championing a political cause some 15,000 kilometres away from the home he shares with his working class parents in Rio de Janeiro, a cup of tea is probably a means of capitalist oppression. And having avoided the temptation to question why being pro-Palestinian and bourgeois were somehow mutually exclusive – he might want to visit Abdoun to appreciate how many Palestinians have successfully graduated from the refugee camp – we managed to convince him that as Arabs, some of us actually Palestinian, the NOX staff does care rather a lot about the 40-year occupation. Maybe even as much as he does.

Bad first impressions aside, we moved to a comfortable spot in Darat al-Funun, the scene of an exhibition and talk, and he proved more than willing to discuss his career-long commitment to the cause. “I am an ordinary guy,” he says. “There is nothing special about me. The special thing in this whole formula is the Palestinian people. They transform ordinary people to pro-Palestinian activists – this is why I am here, this is why I am now displaying my art in Amman. It’s the Palestinians. Me, I am just ordinary.”

A crowd of well-over 500 people who attended the event would no doubt dispute his claims of “ordinariness”. Latuff, a cartoonist from Brazil, came to focus almost exclusively on Palestine after his visit to Hebron in 1998 and a conversation with a local man. “Khalid Idriss did not know me, neither knew what I did for a living,” he explained in the talk. “To him I was someone from the outside and his story can be echoed through me. So he invited me to his home. He took out his wallet and started pulling out broken teeth,” Latuff recounted passionately. “I said, ‘Jesus Christ, what is this?’ And he said, ‘It’s all the teeth I lost to the butts of the M16s of both Israeli settlers and soldiers.’ He then brought his teenage daughter and lifted her shirt off her back to show me all the scars and wounds. So I promised him to get his story out. Today, I am still keeping my word.”

NOX: You were one of the top finishers in Iran’s 2006 International Holocaust Cartoon Competition. Aren’t you afraid of being accused of being anti-Semitic?
Carlos Latuff: Of course, I was bashed as a racist and anti-Semite. But have you seen the cartoon that won? It does not deny the holocaust, but actually reaffirms it. Today, we are witnessing a whole new holocaust against the Palestinians, and yet you can’t even say that in the media. I don’t care if people call me anti-Semitic, and I don’t care about what people think of me; I care about the Palestinians. It’s really amazing that when the Western media heard about the International Holocaust Cartoon Competition, they all cried “Rage!”. Just a few weeks earlier, they were defending “freedom of speech” over the Mohammad cartoon incident. Their double standards were exposed, and I saw a good a chance to make a point about the Palestinian cause.

NOX: Have you had many problems with censorship?

CL: In 2002, the Independent Media Centre in Switzerland was shut down over claims of anti-Semitism after they published my series “We are all Palestinians”.

The cartoons portrayed Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, Black South Africans, Native North Americans and Tibetans in China. All of these groups are drawn saying, “I am Palestinian”. A few months later, police in Israel arrested the editor. I have not only dealt with censorship, but also with police brutality, and blacklisting. I can’t visit Palestine because of my cartoons.
NOX: You sometimes need to rely on stereotypes to make the average person understand, but stereotypes can also be clichés. How do you create a balance?
CL: I have no problems with clichés. Cartoons should not only be accessible to intellectuals – they need to be clear enough to be understood by the janitor as well as the CEO. They should be like street signs, which everyone can understand. My real problem is fighting the negative clichés and stereotypes that people have.

NOX: An active member of Deviant Art, an active blogger, a supporter of Creative Commons… You are all over the internet. Would you say that the internet and social web was a main channel for your activism?

CL: Without the internet, this interview would not be possible. The internet has opened a very big window for me, and without it the mainstream Western media would have never published my work. Western media loves representing Israel as the victim, and as a result people see no difference between the Taliban and the PFLP! But I don’t have a Facebook account. There is a Facebook profile of an impersonator, but that’s not me.

NOX: Do you see a change in the West’s outlook with alternative media providing a slightly more balanced view?
CL: Absolutely. I think that people’s perception of the Palestinian cause is slowly changing. For example, Brazilian magazine Istoé, which is equivalent to Newsweek, had “Terrorismo de Israel” on their cover with an image of a Palestinian woman crying in front of her ravaged house. I would have never thought in a million years I’d see the day when a mainstream Brazilian magazine would have the Palestinian cause on the cover!
Israel cannot keep convincing people that the 410 children who died in Gaza were killed for security reasons. Yes, Israel is losing ground, and I hope to help erode the credibility of Israel.

NOX: In a world where even air is packaged and sold, why do you encourage people to freely print and reproduce your work?

CL: It is very important for people all over the world to feel free to print out, reproduce and distribute my work however they wish. In a capitalist system, everything is produced for money, but my artwork is not for sale, they are made to be spread around, to counter the Western media war against Palestine. They are also to fight Islamophobia, although I am not Muslim myself. This isn’t about money, or cartooning, or anything like that. It is about love. I love the Palestinian people! I dedicate my art to Khalid Idriss, I know you are in Hebron and you can’t hear me, and I know that I can’t visit you because Israel has blacklisted me, but I am here in Amman, and I have kept my promise.

Carlos Latuff’s work can bee seen at his deviant art webpage.
He also has a comic series named Tales of Iraq War, where his superhero, Juba, is a Baghdad sniper.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

>Age of Censorship and Internet Trade Wars

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Francis Anthony Govia

Activist Post

New U.S. legislation will impact every user of the Internet. The “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” would empower the U.S. Department of Justice to shut down, or block access to, websites found to be dedicated to infringing activities. The bill also contains provisions to block sites with domain names and Top-Level Domains (TLDs) that are maintained by overseas companies, which exist outside the U.S. legal jurisdiction and enforcement mechanism. The Justice Department would obtain court orders directing United States-based Internet Service Providers to stop resolving the IP addresses that allow customers in the United States to access the infringing websites. As a result, the sites will be inaccessible to U.S.-based Web users who do not use some sort of proxy service. The bill was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary last Monday; it is sponsored by Senators Hatch, Leahy, Klobuchar, Whitehouse, Schumer, Kohl, Specter, Durbin, Bayh, Voinovich, and Feinstein.
The legislation is expected to have strong support in Hollywood, labor unions and manufacturers, but in some circles — namely grassroots political organizations, alternative press, and Internet start-ups — the response has been lukewarm, and even questioning. They are concerned that the “other purposes” of the legislation include censorship and, if made law, will employ the Justice Department to police the Internet, eventually resulting in the disruption of the free flow of information and trade globally.
To some extent, their concerns are formed by experience. There have been examples of business censorship, and government legislation to curtail what is viewed on the Internet. Infowars reported recently that “London’s St. Pancras International, one of the biggest transport hubs in the West,” implemented “stringent filters that block users of their Wi-Fi service from accessing even mildly political websites.” Sites like prisonplanet.com and thinkprogress.org were not available to customers in some areas. There are plans in Australia to promulgate legislation to institute a “mandatory, countrywide filtering system,” which supporters say is “designed to keep out child abuse content, but which blocks a much wider variety of content and topics.” And recently when media reported about an Iranian website with cartoons denying the Holocaust, some viewers in the U.S. discovered that access to the site was blocked.
Granted, there is recognition in Washington that the Internet is the new frontier for global enterprise, but some perceive that Washington still views the world through the lens of a bygone era. A critic of the bill told me that many nations, including the United States, legislate for businesses founded in a brick-and-mortar world; and attempts to regulate the Internet would be like turning back the clock.
“Nations will act independently and this will be detrimental to customers that use the Internet near and far,” advised the critic.
A similar sentiment was echoed by former Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, in a speech at the Foreign Ministry Faculty of International Relations in Tehran. Mr. Prodi suggested that Italy within Europe must play a greater role in matters of global importance, and that may entail Europe’s acting with greater independence of the United States. The message, though given on a different topic, is not one that instills confidence to those who see governments encroaching on their privacy, and would prefer unrestricted use, or less regulation, of the services for which they pay.
The U.S. legislation for infringement is written to tackle many concerns, and is certainly not archaic in regard to lawmakers’ ambition to affect what goes on well beyond the scope of U.S. jurisdiction.
For infringing sites outside the United States, it provides for in rem action in the District of Columbia to prevent the importation into the United States of goods and services directed to U.S. residents. The effect of this “importation” must be that the owner or operator of the infringing site must harm intellectual property rights holders that are residents of the United States.
The Justice Department will be granted power to serve court orders upon the registry where the domain name registrar is not located in the United States, and upon receipt of such an order, the domain registry must suspend operations of, and lock, the domain name of the infringing site.
During the action intended to “lock the domain name,” a court may determine, at a minimum threshold, that an Internet site is not conducting business to residents in the United States if the Internet site “states that it is not intended, and has measures to prevent, infringing materials from being accessed in or delivered to the United States,” including other provisions in subsection (d)(2)(B). The owner or operator of the “infringing site” shall also have recourse to petition the Justice Department to remove his domain name from an offending list, or petition the court to modify, suspend, or vacate the order in accordance with subsection (h)(1)(B).
The bill has an immunity clause which protects any entity from a cause of action in U.S. courts or administration agency for any action reasonably calculated to comply with an action intended to prevent the infringing site from continuing to do business with U.S.-based customers, receive financial transactions, and other matters under subsection (e)(3).
The U.S. legislation does not appear to put the onus on any businesses, such as Internet Service Providers, to stop known infringement from occurring. This is an interesting stance. In February, an Australian ISP won a precedent-setting copyright infringement lawsuit (Down Under) against the Motion Picture Industry. The bill sponsors may be cognizant of this ruling.
Softpedia reported that 34 U.S. movie studios and broadcasters filed a lawsuit in Australia against iiNet after the ISP refused to send warning letters to its customers who illegally downloaded movies using BitTorrent. The Australian Justice, Dennis Cowdrey, ruled that while iiNet had knowledge of infringements occurring, and did not act to stop them, such findings do not necessitate a finding that the ISP authorized the infringing activities. Possibly, Hollywood supporters of the U.S. infringement legislation now agree with Cowdrey’s ruling that to ask ISPs to police the Internet would “open them any number of legal claims for anything that might happen over their pipes,” and that would engender strong opposition to the legislation among ISPs in the United States. However, to take on the responsibility of policing the Internet may not seem a burden to Obama’s Justice Department.
Certainly, Hollywood will welcome any new infringement legislation aimed at stemming the loss of royalties through piracy and copyright violation in the digital age. Infringers often meet efforts to protect intellectual property with resilient and thought-out action to thwart the law. As a law intern in Thailand I learned, for example, that illegal duplication facilities for CDs and DVDs existed in mobile transportation. Persons engaged in copyright violations avoided the ability of local enforcement to easily locate them and shut them down. It is a sure bet that those engaged in infringing activities overseas will find ways and new technology to evade laws promulgated by a foreign government (like the U.S.) that will have no jurisdiction over them.
The Obama Justice Department, which tapped Hollywood lawyers, may be charged to police Intellectual Property — an assignment to which attorneys for President George W. Bush were “strongly opposed.” The Republican President threatened to veto a previous version of the bill sponsored by the same Sens. Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter.
In correspondence to the Senators, attorneys for President Bush wrote that they “strongly opposed” expanding the powers of the Justice Department. Doing so, they said, could undermine the Department’s prosecution of criminal cases and transform it into an office “serving as pro bono lawyers for private copyright holders.”
It is obvious during this era when citizens’ rights are curtailed and infringed upon, with the bipartisan sponsorship of the bill and the composition of the current administration, that the infringement legislation has a better chance of becoming law. But will it open a Pandora’s Box? Will it do exactly what critics suspect it is intended to do: censor more of the Internet, create bottlenecks that will allow governments to intrude on the flow of information and services around the world, and do possible damage to a wider spectrum of businesses (other than those it is intended to protect)?
Many of the dynamic economies that U.S. businesses now compete against were born out of things other than a free market; and other economies are driven, or manipulated by State controls, as is the case of China. Foreign nations may follow the U.S. lead in writing laws to regulate the Internet and address their concerns, but not with the results U.S. legislators necessarily hope to engender.
Through retaliation, or even pretext, governments may decide to regulate, or shut down legitimate Internet traffic and services to violate human rights, hinder trade, and to engage in industry espionage. We already have examples of these developments with China’s efforts to regulate Google, and the recent firestorm when India and other nations, acting within their security concerns, decided to take action to regulate Blackberry and gain access to users’ encrypted corporate e-mails and messages. The offices of Sen. Byron L Dorgan and Rep. Sander M. Levin of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China undertook a hearing in March to investigate if China’s efforts to regulate the Internet contravene free trade and human rights. Delegates to the hearing cited that:
China’s Internet users remain subject to the arbitrary dictates of state censorship. More than a dozen agencies are involved in implementing a host of laws, regulations, and other tools to try to keep information and ideas from the Chinese people . . .
China’s censorship practices and control of the Internet have had a terrible impact on human rights advocates. These include ordinary people who promote political freedoms or try to organize online . . . attempting to share information about ongoing government repression.
Internet censorship and regulation in China have serious economic implications for many U.S. companies . . . [and] often run against basic international trade principles of nondiscrimination and maintaining a level playing field.
To these charges, China responded that it laws regarding the Internet are not much different than those of the West, and that critics are applying a double standard.
Perhaps U.S. lawmakers have forgotten a cause it often champions: that respect for human rights, deregulation, and open trade are important to a dynamic and properly functioning global community. As ownership of patents, trademarks, and copyrights becomes a contested grey area, nations may block business occurring over the Internet through the guise of copyright infringement. Only the rich and powerful will have the resources to go through the legal hurdles at home and/or abroad to clear their domains of actions to lock them, and resume operations. Damage would be done to a business during the course of a legal action brought against it; its customers may simply believe that the domain ceases to exist, with transactions lost forever.
Small businesses could be shut out of that presumptuous dream of going global and becoming rich, while the elite, big businesses and powerful governments can dominate cyberspace. Many micro-states and individuals could be harmed, and educational pursuits stifled through this world of more legislation, regulation, and censorship.
Why should we be concerned about this future for the Internet?
Well, because the Internet is now everyone’s classroom; and perhaps more-so it has become individuals’ business personality. A properly set up website for a Mom-and-Pop enterprise can look as good as that of a billion dollar company’s front-store. The ramifications of more regulation will result in the free and booming frontier of cyberspace, now functioning as the gold rush for enterprise, ceasing to exist.
The U.S. may find it useful to confer with trading partners in the North and the South, and come to an understanding that perhaps unilateral action is not the way to address concerns in regard to a frontier in which everyone has an interest. President George W. Bush may have gotten it right when his attorneys writing on his behalf to Sens. Leahy and Specter implied, when taken altogether, that U.S. law already provides owners of Intellectual Property with effective legal tools to protect their rights. It need not go in the direction proposed by the Senators.
No one wants Washington’s efforts to backfire and force us to return to a world where we have to resort domestically to find the goods and services that we need, such as cheap medicine. Or, to have to wait on someone in a dusty library to find a book or paper we once could have accessed readily over the Internet. Or, in some far corner of the world men will cower in fear of infringing before they cite links as sources of information. A Big Brother that will censor access to the latest celebrity sex videos, or certain religious texts or even Osama bin Laden’s latest rant (however misguided they may be). The result of this could be that owners of presumed “infringing sites” must raise ungodly sums of money to hire attorneys to clear their domain names, while good sites like WikiLeaks (which make governments accountable for their actions) are shut down or blocked here and abroad through a pretext; and Mom-and-Pop operating a start-up Internet business within the cornfields of America are locked out through action suggested by a smooth operator with deep pockets who knows how to play the system and use it against his competitor, blocking sites because somebody with power did not like the owner’s point of view.
Francis Anthony Govia received a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Boston University where he studied U.S. National Security and Foreign Policy with teachers who inspired him, such as General Fred F. Woerner (Ret.), Ambassador Stephen R. Lyne (Ret.), and Joseph Fewsmith. He received a law degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a contributor to Activist Post.
September 29, 2010

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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