Another View of the EU (European Union)

 

December 10, 2018

by Jimmie Moglia for The Saker BlogAnother View of the EU (European Union)

The MacDonaldization of words forces many to lay that reason asleep which disturbs their gayety. Among recent new entries is ‘Brexit’, a word suitable to a speaking-club made of millions, where most half-hear what, if they heard the whole, they would but half-understand.

Furthermore, some words in time are debased by repetition, and can no longer be heard without an involuntary sense of annoyance. Hence I will spare my twenty-five readers further comments on how England will work-out her separation from the European Union. Official news suggests that about half of the citizenry is filled with all that sparkles in the eye of hope, while the other sees but penury ahead and thickens the gloom of one another.

Being a matter of contest, the success of one party implies the defeat of the other, and at least half the transaction will terminate in misery.

Instead I will deal with two separate events in another European country, a historic Italian chocolate factory being moved to Turkey, and the saga of an Italian truck driver – both edifying examples of the benefits of the European Union and of globalization at large.

To start, while being conscious that dainty bits make rich the ribs but bankrupt quite the wits, I confess to liking chocolate. On mountain-walks or bike-rides I rate it well above any ‘energy-bar’, another recent entry in the MacDonaldized English dictionary.

As a brief aside, in his essay “In Praise of Idleness”, Bertrand Russell presents an argument in support of useless knowledge and says that he enjoyed peaches and apricots more since he learned that they were first cultivated in China in the early days of Han Dynasty, and that the word ‘apricot’ is derived from the same Latin source as the word ‘precocious’, because the apricot ripens early; and that the A at the beginning was added by mistake, owing to a false etymology.

In the same spirit… the chocolate factory in question is (was) dear to my heart for being old, historic and located in a small town not far from where I was born – besides being famous worldwide for a special brand of chocolates.

The town is Novi Ligure, mostly unknown outside Italy. Its ancient Latin name was Curtis Nova (New Court) and in 970 AD Emperor Otto 1st donated it to a monastery. In time it became an Independent Township, then it changed hands among various neighboring feudal rulers. When Napoleon invaded Italy in 1798 he annexed it to the French Empire. After Waterloo and the Congress of Vienna, Novi became part of Piedmont and the Kingdom of Savoy.

In 1860 – one year before Italy became a country as the Kingdom of Italy – Stefano Pernigotti set up a shop in the market square selling his home-made ‘torrone’ (an Italian hard candy of Arabic origins) and ‘mostarda’ (an Italian chutney). In 1882 King Humbert I allowed the Pernigottis to use the royal emblem on the cover of their products – then Pernigotti started experimenting with chocolate. Their actual chocolate industrial production began in 1927 with the ‘Gianduiotto,’ a now world-famous and classy dessert chocolate.

During the 1980s, reaganomics, thatcherism, their continental followers and globalization created a crisis. Heinz acquired the company, but management and manufacturing remained in the hands of the last Pernigottis. Followed a sequence of different ownerships and management transfers, until the Turkish group Toksoz acquired it two years ago. Now Toksoz announced the closure of the Italian plant for good and the 200 employees will be laid off. There have been demonstrations by workers and their families, but very likely nothing will come of it.

Turkey is not part of the European Union, but, as far as workers’ rights, there is no difference, as the next recounted saga of an Italian truck driver will illustrate.

I translate here the actual recordings of an interview that the truck driver gave to a journalist. The translation cannot fully convey the spirit and nuances of a truck driver’s rendition of his state of mind and view of life, but the reader can easily imagine.

“I’m 52 years old and have always been a truck driver. I started at 20, driving a small truck, delivering drinks in my area, which is a valley in Northern Italy where the “white-asses” (read the Christian Democrats) were always predominant. Then came Bossi, (leader of the Northern League – more on him and the League later) who began to pick up more votes than the white-asses ever did. But with the League, things, as I’m about to tell you, instead of improving worsened.

At the age of 23, I began driving a large truck for a young entrepreneur of the town (near Milan). I carried iron rods. The truck was always overloaded by up to 100 tons. In those conditions, to stop the truck you need tens and tens of extra meters: if you are a car or a cyclist or a pedestrian at less than that distance braking is useless. The truck does not stop and mangles everything.

It happened to some of my colleagues, but even after that no one ever checked. That overload was a weapon: one unexpected occurrence and all is gone, cargo, bodies and all. One day I said to the boss:

– Boss, do we need to overload the truck in this manner?

– I am forced to do it – he replied – because to win the contract with the foundry, I had to lower the rates. If I respect the load limits I have to make more trips and I will be in the red. If you don’t feel like driving on overload, I can find someone else.

To make all of the trips our owner was committed to do, we also had to reduce loading and unloading times. Which meant that the load was not secured to the floor – a real problem during transport because materials can slip.

One day, a friend and colleague who was carrying cold-drawn steel tubes, had to brake suddenly to avoid a tractor coming out of a field. My friend was driving like crazy, because another risk factor was speed: to respect the scheduled deliveries, you were forced to routinely exceed the legal limits.

When my friend saw the tractor he immediately realized he had no chance of stopping in time, precisely because it was overloaded and going too fast. But, instinctively, he pushed on the brake, partly due to conditioned reflex and partly to the fear of killing the poor fellow driving the tractor.

The tractor, on seeing the truck in the mirror approaching at crazy speed, swerved into a field, tipped over but the driver was not seriously hurt. But the braking of the truck caused the mountain of steel tubes to slide against the cabin, killing my friend. His body was so mangled that his wife identified him from a shoe. “I bought him these shoes the day before yesterday at the market,” she said. The rest of her husband was literally mush, “Martha, it’s better you don’t look,” said a firefighter who knew her.

Then the steel tube manufacturers transferred their ironworks in Eastern Europe and I was unemployed for a few months. Until the owner of a company who contracted for a larger company in another province hired me.

It was, in fact, a detached department of the same larger company, with about 200 employees. But in this detached department employees were split-up into many small sub-companies, each with less than 15 employees. The 200 employees worked essentially elbow-to-elbow, but the payroll had the stamp of 14 different companies. This enabled the employer to bypass the workers’ statute and trade-union rights that apply to companies with over 15 employees. Therefore the boss was free to fire anyone at any time and without reason.

Yet no one complained. They thought that, in a ‘valley of hunger’ like ours, it was already a sign of grace having a boss and a shitty job, because both are still better than no boss and no job.

I was on the TIR truck (TIR= acronym of International Road Transport) from Monday to Friday and often on Saturday and even Sunday, if there were urgent deliveries. Yet I was considered as having a privileged position. I climbed in the cabin at six in the morning and left it at six in the evening, with an hour stop for lunch, later reduced to twenty minutes because the intensity of the traffic forced you to make up for lost time. More and more often I happened to leave after eight in the evening.

A couple of years ago the owner calls me, invites me to sit down, and shows me a letter with a header consisting of a yellow and red truck, and asks:

– Camillo, you know Willi Betz?

– Who is he?

– He is a sharp and sly German who understood everything about the European Union and organized himself ahead of time to use it to advantage.

Basically, the boss explains to me that this German set-up a transportation company with hundreds of trucks in an Eastern European country. Now, thanks to the European Union, which has knocked down the borders, they can transport goods anywhere without any problems, no bureaucracies, no duties, nor loss of time. At the wheel of all those trucks the German has put East European drivers, whose wages are one-third of ours.

– In short, Camillo – my master comes to the point – you understand that if I sell my truck and have Bets transport my goods I save a lot of money. Look here – and he shows me a letter by Betz hammering it with his finger – have you seen those prices? Calculating your contributions and the cost of the truck, you cost me 60% more than a driver of Betz…

– Boss, you don’t mean to lower my pay by 60%?

– Nooo! Whom are you taking me for? A slave driver? I am happy with a 40% reduction.

My blood went to my head, I wanted to punch the bastard. But I checked myself. My wife lost her job in the garment industry many years ago and I still have one son at school. The other works but earns so little that each month he asks me to help… So I accepted.

Six months ago, the boss calls me in again. With him there is a guy I don’t know, greasy haired and badly dressed.

– Camillo – says the boss– this is Vilic… his name would be a bit complicated to learn, but let’s call him Vilic. He comes from Poland and for a while he will give you a hand.

I’m worried. Each time the boss announces a novelty it turns out to be a rip-off.

– Vilic, continues the boss, will make a few journeys with you, to learn the way. Then he will take your place, but you don’t have to worry, because you will drive a new truck and make deliveries elsewhere, even abroad. You know, the bosses of the mother company are moving operations to the East and I need someone I can trust, like you, for deliveries to their new factory, and you will see advantages from this change.

The prospect of international travel and of being away for a whole week scares me a little, but I think of the gain. I have driver friends who commute between Milan and Poland, and bring home a salary that is the double of mine.

I begin my journey with Vilic at the side. He brought a bag with him, from which drifts out an unpleasant smell of food. He wears the same clothes when I first met him in the office of the boss, and smells a bit.

He speaks little, in a broken Italian. At any road deviation I point to a reference that will help him remember. Here, you see that big sign? Careful, here you must stay on the left and turn…

He points with his finger at the sign, tells the names of the towns we go through, and takes notes in a notebook.

We stop at a rest station. He tells me that he brought food with him. He pulls from the bag an oily paper bag, and begins to eat a kind of meatballs that exude an unpleasant smell of garlic. When I go to the toilet, I find him drinking from the faucet.

This continues for a week, he’s always dirty and smelly, always munching on meatballs. One day I offered to buy him lunch, but he refused.

I thought that he had no money and felt uncomfortable for not being able to reciprocate. So the next day, I made up that the owner had offered lunch to us both. He devoured everything like a very hungry creature. With the beer he opened up for the first time with a few confidences. He said he had a wife and a daughter, who, however, left him.

He told me that at night he sleeps in a kind of closet that the boss found for him, and that, with the first pay-check, he will move into digs that a Polish shopkeeper has promised him in exchange of an advance.

He told me his wages: less than half of mine, and no contributions. The boss convinced him to register as a business owner and independent contractor. I look at this poor soul with the unpronounceable name and I feel great pity for him. Yet, according to European Union statistics, he is an industrialist, a businessman, a sole proprietor, the founder of a start-up company!

One Saturday evening I speak with my wife about these filthy tricks, and she says:

– Camillo, according to me, your boss cannot get away with this business! Do you remember what Bossi said at Ponte di Legno? [Bossi was the notorious boss of the Lega Nord – I will get back to this later. Ponte di Legno is the resort where Bossi went on vacation, near Camillo’s town].

Bossi said that we have everything to gain with the European Union. Why don’t you go to talk about your situation with Congressman Magrelli? [name altered].

So I go to see Congressman Magrelli, whom I have known for many years, we use the ‘thou’ when talking to each other.

– Dear Magrelli – I say at the end of a meeting in the headquarters of the League Section in the Valley – do you think it’s right that they reduce my pay by 40% while they hire a Pole to do the driving, treating him as an independent contractor and with a pay at the level of hunger?

– Dear Camillo, says Magrelli, we of the (Northern) League are not afraid of free competition, because a free market benefits all.

– But if the free market is the freedom to reduce the pay of the Italians to the level of those of the slaves of the East, the European Union is a big workers’ rip-off! But tell me Magrelli, Bossi preaches the autonomy of Padania (Northern Italy), but he is not even able even to defend the autonomy of Italy?

At this point, Magrelli moves away to greet someone else, and we are no longer able to talk. Every time I get closer to him, and try to restart our conversation, he ignores me until he leaves.

Last week the owner calls me again. He keeps his gaze low and his features are drawn. With a wave of the hand, he invites me to sit down without even looking at me. Minutes go by while he shifts sheets on his desk, reads or glances at them, as if I were not there. Then he says:

– Unfortunately, things are not good, we need to cut costs, and you are a burden that we can no longer afford… tomorrow Vilic takes your place, as he has learned roads and ways.

– Will I then be given another truck to drive?

– No, No… in fact, here lies the problem, the mother company has moved operations to the East and has taken over cross-border deliveries – they will handle them.

I never felt so humiliated. I was shown the door because a slave imported from Poland costs much less than me, who had already given up 40% of the salary.

As for the Northern League, here is a related personal but short chapter from my extended chronicles of wasted time. The N League had originally acquired notoriety, among other things, for having introduced the language of the toilet in the main stream of Italian politics. Though tasteless, I rated the matter as an act of sincerity, given the notoriously pharisaical nature of politicians at large.

Still, it never dawned on me to participate in the N League or in any other party. Then a friend of mine called me to say that the Politbureau of the N League had decided to establish a foreign chapter. The goal, my friend said, was to soften the tone and modify the coarse impression of the party abroad – as well as, indirectly, projecting an alternative image of the party at home. That is, the objectives of the Foreign League were cultural. One of which was a broadcast, on the League’s Radio Network, of call-in shows. Another was to establish links with political or educational groups in various countries interested in preserving their own local languages.

Though generally skeptical, I decided to believe my friend and accepted the invitation. It was a voluntary operation – no salaries or compensation involved.

For some time I broadcast a live monthly radio program titled “Window on America,” which was well followed, at least judging by the number of phone calls and messages. Then some inexplicable events converted a developing suspicion into a conviction – namely that the objectives of the Foreign N League were not as stated – therefore I resigned.

A few short months later, the bubble burst. It turned out that Bossi and a restricted conniving crew, were crassly and personally appropriating the funds that flowed into the coffers of the League, thanks to the quizzical Italian system of funding political parties. Unofficially included in the bubble were 3 million Euros assigned to the Foreign N League.

In time Bossi was condemned to over 2-year imprisonment. But, via continued and extended appeals, it is expected that the sentence will exceed the statute of limitations, hence it will not be served.

Something similar happened with Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister who vied with Bill Clinton to get the Nobel Prize for porno-lies and porno-politics. Sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment for a fiscal fraud of gargantuan dimensions, his sentence was converted into a few sessions of community service in a retirement home.

These people represent the simple, squalid and frightening concretion of personal interest with the arrogance of power. In the end, the only good thing that can be said of them is that they are not worse than what they could be.

But what connects the tortuous Brexit, a closed chocolate factory, the depressing story of a truck driver, the corruption of politicians and the European Union?

Most readers will know already. They are examples and consequences of an ideology imposed from above under different disguises.

All men are agreed concerning the truth, when demonstrated; but they are too much divided about latent truths, or when truth conflicts with prejudice. Brexit is/was about immigration from within and from without of the European Union. The saga of the truck driver made redundant, thanks to the European Union, is both an example and an archetype.

As many by now know, the founder of the European Union was Coudeneuve-Kalergi in the 1920s. When his book , “Praktischer Idealismus” came out, it caught the attention of wealthy (Jewish) bankers who offered massive financial backing for the program. A “Coudeneuve-Kalergi” prize is conferred yearly to the best among the deserving “European-Unionizers.” Two years ago the current Pope got the prize.

However “anti-semitic” it may sound, it is not my or anyone else’s invention. Kalergi envisioned a mongrelized Europe led and controlled by the best of the Jews. They would retain their racial-ethnic identity, though the genetic stock of their upper echelon was to be strengthened by intermarriage with the best of the European nobility.

WW2 disrupted the plan. After the war, the Allies (Roosevelt and Churchill) first signed off on the Morgenthau Plan for the actual physical elimination of the German race. Morgenthau was Roosevelt’s Jewish Secretary for the Economy. And only the fear of Germany’s assimilation by the Soviet Union caused the Morgenthau plan to be scrapped.

Nevertheless, the Kalergi plan restarted with a vengeance in the early 70s, following three events that I do not think unconnected.

a) The 1968 ‘student’ revolution, a product of Cultural Marxism – whose end result was trading the workers’ struggle for sexual liberation and degeneracy.

b) The 1967 Israeli aggression and annexation of Arab and Palestinian lands, aiming at the goal of a “Greater Israel” (from the Nile to the Euphrates). It turned out to be a test to see if the world would react to the utter disregard by Israel of the UN resolutions, calling for the return of lands stolen through aggression in 1967. As we know the world did nothing.

c) The launching of the “Holocaust” in 1972, a program whose strength increases in proportion to the distance in time from the alleged historical occurrence of the event.

Add to this a parallel phenomenon in the US, with massive Jewish congressional and senate pressure to first eliminate quotas on immigration and now to eliminate borders altogether.

For the saga affecting the truck driver in Italy is repeated in America on a scale comparable or greater than in Europe. The human tsunami that reached California from the South essentially eliminated jobs for those Americans who cannot survive on radically lower wages.

But unlike Americans, immigrants can accept jobs at essentially any compensation, because they automatically join the welfare system, which includes various supplementary benefits and health-care.

Of course it would be inhuman to deny treatment to a person who needs it. At which point the endlessly intractable issue of health-care meets with the equally intractable issue of the hyper-medicalization of America. Prompted and encouraged through massive advertising to seek treatment for any ailment, the migrant patient could not possibly pay for insurance, medicines and costs. Whereupon the government becomes the payer, and the consequences are easy to envision and calculate.

In the meantime, the human tsunami in California initially caused Americans looking for a job to move North. But now the same tsunami is moving North. Trump promised to put America First, but at least so far, it turned out to be mostly a euphemism for “Israel First.”

One factor, certainly ignored by the Zionist controlled media, but even overlooked by the social media, has to do with the nature of current Zionism. And I realize that the subject would need a better treatment than the simple following references.

There have been different currents (religious and political) among Jews. Through history, the strain that most antagonized the goy is referred to as ‘Classical Judaism.’ Exemplified by the case of the ultra-religious Jew who refused to allow his phone to be used on the Sabbath to call an ambulance for a non-Jew who collapsed in a street of Jerusalem. Or by the declared contempt for the goy at large by high-ranking rabbi(s), who said and say that that the goy will hopefully live long, because they are like donkeys, alive only to serve the Jews.

Furthermore, it is generally unknown, that at the historical peak of Classical Judaism, Jews always succeeded in allying themselves with the upper echelons of goy society, kings, lords, even some Popes. For, setting National Socialism aside, resentment and pogroms against the Jews came from below, not from above.

Today, the same symbiotic relationship of old seems to bind the American Congress with the neo-cons and their own current-day version of Classical Judaism. Which goes some way to explain the fathomless hypocrisy inspiring the present (nominally American) foreign policy. Including ignoring the ongoing murders of Palestinians, waging disastrous wars in the Middle East for the benefit of Israel, declaring unending friendship with the retrograde state of Saudi Arabia, (with Trump literally dancing with the Saudis,) piling beyond-ridiculous accusations and threats against Russia, subjecting to racketeering, via the international payment system, countries that do not pay homage to Israel, and so on.

There is no viable explanation as to why more reasonable currents of the Jewish community are unheard or ignored. Because there is no plumb line long enough to fathom the depth of hypocrisy, contained in some pronouncements of the Talmud, on which Classical Judaism was founded. And the current neo-conservative practitioners of Classical Judaism seem to have preserved with steadiness a doctrine which their ancestors have accepted with docility.

To conclude, this was but a quick sketch, traced by the pencil of concern for the patience of the readers. And I realize that in detailing, however cursorily, what I learned, I fear I may be accused of exaggeration. All I can do is cautiously to avoid deserving it. The intent is always to motivate readers to inform themselves independently. The subject is highly interesting, let alone critical, and it would be a fault of no trifling nature to treat it with levity.

Advertisements

Gideon Levy: “In U.S. Media, israel (apartheid state) Is Untouchable”

Gideon Levy: “In U.S. Media, Israel Is Untouchable”

Marc Lamont Hill

Marc Lamont Hill is an American writer and lecturer in communications at Temple University in Philadelphia, and also an analyst with CNN. In a speech last week at a United Nations conference he called for “international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”

In a matter of hours, the skies collapsed into well-orchestrated hysteria. Seth Mandel, editor of the Washington Examiner, accused Hill of having called for Jewish genocide; Ben Shapiro, an analyst on Fox News, called it an anti-Semitic speech; Consul Dani Dayan tweeted that Hill’s remarks were like a “swastika painted in red,” the Anti-Defamation League said they were tantamount to calling for Israel to be wiped off the map. The inevitable outcome was not long in coming and CNN fired the rebel analyst on the very same day.

How dare he? What was he thinking? Where did he think he’s living, in a democracy with free speech or a country where dialogue about Israel is under the serious censorship of the Jewish establishment and Israeli propaganda? Hill tried to claim that he’s opposed to racism and anti-Semitism and his remarks were intended to support the establishment of a binational, secular and democratic state. But he didn’t stand a chance.

In the heavy-handed reality that has seized control over dialogue in the United States, there’s no room for expressions that may offend the Israeli occupation. On a liberal day it’s permissible to say “two states” as long as you do it in a whisper.

What would have happened if Hill had called for the establishment of a Jewish state between the Jordan and the sea? He would have safely continued holding down his job. Rick Santorum, the former senator, said in 2012 that “no Palestinian” lives in the . Nobody thought of firing him. Even Hill’s critic, Shapiro, has called in the past for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the territories (he backtracked on it a few years later) and nothing happened to him.

You can attack the Palestinians in America uninterrupted, call to expel them and deny their existence. Only don’t dare to touch Israel, the holy of holies, the country that exists above suspicion. And the height of chutzpah? Israel and the Jewish establishment keep on accusing the media, including CNN, of being slanderers of Israel. There’s no worse joke than that. Try to publish a critical article about Israel in a mainstream newspaper in the West – it’s getting more and more difficult, more often than not, impossible. But nothing will satisfy the lion’s hunger: The more he complains, the stronger he gets.

The key word of course is anti-Semitism. A lot has been written about the use Israel and its supporters make of anti-Semitism. And it works wondrously, it’s a magic word that silences people. There has not yet been a single critique of occupation that isn’t tagged as anti-Semitism. Everything is anti-Semitism: Hill is anti-Semitic because he favors a one-state solution, Roger Waters is an anti-Semite because that’s how Gilad Erdan described him at a conference last week about propaganda in Germany, UNRWA is anti-Semitic, and of course, BDS. The whole world is against us.

Last week there was a lot of fuss over a world survey of anti-Semitism conducted by CNN. It turns out that the Jews are not as hated as Israel would like: Only 10 percent said they had any negative feelings about them. Nearly four times as many people said they don’t like Muslims. Along with its worrisome aspects, the survey points up more than a few truths you can’t deny. Twenty-eight percent of those questioned said that anti-Semitism in their countries is a result of Israeli policy. A third believe that Israel takes advantage of the Holocaust to advance its positions. One in five thought the Jews have too much influence in the media.

Fire more analysts who dare to criticize Israel or suggest just solutions to the occupation – and more people surveyed will say what everyone knows: The Jews and Israel have an incredible degree of influence in Western media. Now you can call me an anti-Semite, as well.

Source

The Bottomless Dishonesty of CNN on Palestine and Marc Lamont Hill Firing

The Bottomless Dishonesty of CNN on Palestine and Marc Lamont Hill Firing

By Juan Cole,

CNN has fired contributor Marc Lamont Hill for a speech he gave on Palestinian rights at the UN. The speech can be found here.

You can protest this outrageous firing at this petition site.

And here is a link to his book, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond, which everyone should buy and read.

CNN would have been under special pressure to fire Hill because he is a prominent African-American intellectual with a following in his own community, and the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs (the propaganda arm of the Likud government) is worried about the boycott and sanctions movement spreading among American minorities who might sympathize with the oppressed Palestinians.

In his speech, Hill carefully explained all the ways in which Israeli Apartheid practices (my word, not his) devastate the basic human rights of the 5 million Palestinians living under Occupation. Not only are the 20 percent of Israeli citizens who are of Palestinian heritage second class citizens (and, increasingly, third class citizens), but those kept under the jackboot of the Israeli military in the Palestinian West Bank and in Gaza are kept stateless and without even the right to have rights.

These crimes, epochal and unparalleled in our own time, are being committed by Binyamin Netanyahu and his henchmen in plain sight, violating every principle of agreed-upon international law in the post-1945 period. (I say unparalleled because I know of no other government on earth in the 21st century deliberately keeping millions of persons stateless and depriving them of citizenship. Some countries give minorities a citizenship many of the latter do not want, but they still do have a passport and property rights). Israel occupied the Palestinian West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967 and refuses to relinquish them or grant citizenship to the inhabitants, ensuring they remain in the twilight zone of statelessness. They are by far the largest stateless population in the world, (Undocumented migrants are not stateless since they have citizenship in their home country). The Nazis made Jews stateless as a prelude to the Holocaust.

One way that the Israeli right wing gets away with these atrocities is to use techniques of blackballing, smearing, and propaganda to marginalize any voices they don’t like. Jewish American mainstream organizations like the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco secretly have created web sites and techniques for getting people fired or blocking their career advancement if they aren’t on board with Israeli colonization of the Palestinian West Bank. Canary Mission is even now targeting our undergraduate students, hoping to blight their lives for taking a stand for justice. I do not believe it is too much to say that Canary Mission is evil.

Pro-Israel bigots in the United States who freely speak about Arabs as “animals” or speak of “filthy Arabs” suddenly develop a saintly halo and accuse anyone who points to Netanyahu’s systematic dispossession of the Palestinians of being an anti-Semite. And they’ve been remarkably successful in marginalizing anyone who takes them on. They connive at unelecting congressmen and -women, they block appointments to the Federal government, and organize massive letter-writing campaigns to news outlets to pressure them into firing and blackballing journalists or changing the way they speak about Israeli colonizing activities. (The organization “CAMERA” targets journalists in particular).

This success is not because “Jews” are “powerful.” First of all, only a minority of Jewish Americans sympathize with the far right politics of the Likud Party. Jon Stewart used to complain tongue in cheek that if Jews were so powerful he ought to have been able to get off basic cable and have a network show.

The success is because right wing white people are so powerful, and many of them still have a latent belief in the goodness of colonialism and in the White Man’s Burden. Melanie McAlister argued brilliantly that for right wing Christian whites in the United States, the Israeli domination of the Palestinians is a symbolic reenactment of the Vietnam War, in which this time the “white people” (as they characterize themselves) win instead of losing. I.e., Israel functions as did those old Rambo movies. I was shocked to discover that my opposition to Bush’s Iraq War and critique of it as neo-colonialism was offensive to the Northeast power elite because they supported the war and apparently couldn’t deal with their unfaced assumption of racial superiority over Iraqis.

On the other side, a Christian Zionist such as Rick Santorum is paid to go on CNN and say things like, “If they want to negotiate with Israelis, and all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. There is no ‘Palestinian.’ This is Israeli land.”

That is all right in White America, but substitute Palestinians for Israelis and vice versa in Santorum’s vile quote and imagine what would happen to someone who said *that* on t.v.

Hill was raked over the coals by the bigoted and racist Israel lobbies for saying this:

    “we have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grassroots action, local action, and international action that will give us what justice requires. And that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”

You will notice that Palestine, i.e. the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza (the Green parts), stretches from the river to the sea:

Source: Informed Comment

It is interrupted by Israeli territory in between, of course.

Dishonest propagandists accused Hill of using the language of Hamas, which rejects Israel and has said, “Palestine is ours, from the river to the sea and from the south to the north.” But you’ll note that Hill did not say anything about north to south.

Hill admittedly does not think a two-state solution is any longer plausible. But what he was calling for was for the people living in the Occupied territories to be full citizens, and to have these citizenship rights pertain to everyone living between the river and the sea. He did not say anything about Israelis not having equal rights.

It is not a firing offense to ask for Palestinians living between the river and the sea to enjoy the full rights of citizenship. In fact, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres pledged exactly that. Rabin shook Yasser Arafat’s and Bill Clinton’s hand over it on the White House lawn. Rabin was later assassinated by the sort of person now howling for Hill’s blood. Rabin’s vision of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution may well be impossible. That outcome has been engineered by Netanyahu and his thugs. But whatever the diplomacy, it cannot be allowed to keep Palestinians stateless and virtually without secure rights forever.

Hill was also slammed for urging Palestinian activism to oppose the Occupation. One of the standard Israeli propaganda techniques is to equate any resistance to their frankly fascist techniques of social control imposed on the colonized Palestinians with “terrorism.” There is nothing new or strange about this. The British in India considered Gandhi a terrorist. Of course the colonial state views opposition as terrorism.

That same dishonest columnist at The Forward managed to reconfigure Hill’s activism as violence. The fact is that international law recognizes the right of occupied peoples to mount even violent resistance to occupation militaries. But that isn’t what Hill was calling for. And then, any violence is then twisted around as violence toward civilians. And there you have it. Terrorism.

The golden magic circle of Hasbara (Zionist propaganda) gives us: resistance= violence= terrorism.

The only thing the Palestinians and their sympathizers can do to make Zionists happy is to bend over and allow themselves to be royally screwed– or better yet, allow themselves to be deported from their homeland of millennia at the hands of the Russian and Polish immigrants.

The Likudniks don’t actually want nonviolent resistance. That prospect horrifies them since they can’t do a magic circle number on it. When Mubarak Awad tried to start a center for Palestinian nonviolent resistance on the West Bank, the Israeli government illegally expelled him from his own home. One of the reasons the Israeli army is just shooting down unarmed Palestinians in cold blood inside Gaza is that they want to create the image of a violent confrontation where there is none (the marches have not involved clashes with the Israeli army).

CNN does a criminally negligent job of covering Palestine, giving us little better than Israeli propaganda. For the most part, it shapes the presentation of the story by simply ignoring it. But it also shapes the story with a systematically biased language intended to demonize the Palestinians and exonerate Israeli crimes against humanity.

Last March when Palestinians imprisoned in the open air concentration camp of Gaza by the Israeli army, navy and air force– and blockaded from key commodities– began marching to draw attention to their imprisonment, the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his officer corps decided to deal with these protests by shooting down unarmed protesters, many of them women and children, with live fire, on the Gaza side of the border. Using live ammunition on protesters is a war crime. All the civilized countries in the world should have withdrawn their ambassadors and slapped severe economic sanctions on the Netanyahu regime in response.

CNN’s reporting on one of the first such Israeli crimes? “Gaza: 17 Palestinians killed in confrontations with Israeli forces – CNN”. That makes it sound as though the dead Palestinians had come over to the Israeli side of the border and attacked Israeli “forces” (Israel has an army, let us call it an army). But there is a problem with this framing. Those shot down were on the Gaza side of the border and there has been no direct physical encounter with Israeli troops. The dozens of Palestinians shot down in cold blood and the hundreds shot and injured in these demonstrations since March have largely gone unreported at CNN. Otherwise there’d be a segment every Friday afternoon.

In the first six months of the ongoing weekly rallies, Mezan reported that “150 Palestinians have been killed in the demonstrations. At least 10,000 others have been injured, including 1,849 children, 424 women, 115 paramedics and 115 journalists. Of those injured, 5,814 were hit by live ammunition…”

Amnesty International notes that many of the injuries inflicted on the protesters are to lower limbs and that:

    • “According to military experts as well as a forensic pathologist who reviewed photographs of injuries obtained by Amnesty International, many of the wounds observed by doctors in Gaza are consistent with those caused by high-velocity Israeli-manufactured Tavor rifles using 5.56mm military ammunition. Other wounds bear the hallmarks of US-manufactured M24 Remington sniper rifles shooting 7.62mm hunting ammunition, which expand and mushroom inside the body.

The nature of these injuries shows that Israeli soldiers are using high-velocity military weapons designed to cause maximum harm to Palestinian protesters who do not pose an imminent threat to them. These apparently deliberate attempts to kill and maim are deeply disturbing, not to mention completely illegal. Some of these cases appear to amount to wilful killing, a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime.”

Again, the weekly carnage committed by the Israeli army in direct violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of Occupied populations and in direct violation of the 2002 Rome Statute that created the International Court of Justice, is not covered by CNN. If you got your news from that source, you would not know anything is going on in Gaza.

Nor does CNN cover the tripling of Israeli squatter colonies on Palestinian land in the Palestinian West Bank during the Trump administration, nor the daily acts of violence, sabotage and usurpation committed by Israelis squatting on Palestinian land against Palestinians in their own homes.

This United Nations set of reports is what the real news from the Occupied Territories looks like.

If Netanyahu could shut the UN up, he would. His minions have shut up Marc Lamont Hill, a brave voice for freedom and human rights in our time who will now be replaced by the Rick Santorums.

 

Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect

Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect

Major Psy-Op in Europe Exposed: UK Government Tramples on Values It Vowed to Protect
Those who have been saying that the West has turned Russia into a scapegoat to be blamed for each and every thing that goes wrong have been proved right. We have witnessed concocted stories invented to denigrate Moscow that have gone viral as directed by the secret services. The UK, the country that is spearheading the anti-Russian information campaign, offers a good example that illustrates how this is being done.An online group of hackers known as Anonymous has just revealed covert UK activities in the EU. According to the documents released by that group, London is in the midst of a major program to interfere in the internal affairs of EU members, the US, and Canada. Anonymous threatens to release more information on the clandestine operations of the UK government, unless it agrees to remove the shroud of secrecy protecting those information-warfare efforts. On Nov. 24 Twitter deleted RT comments on the issue. The UK knows it has friends it can rely on in a crunch.

The Integrity Initiative is a London-based organization set up and funded by the government-friendly Institute for Statecraft, in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to wage information-warfare operations against Russia. Anonymous calls it a “large-scale information secret service.” It aims to “change attitudes in Russia itself” as well as the influence of Russian natives living abroad. The Integrity Initiative’s budget for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2019 is estimated at £1.96 million ($2.51 million). The network has received grants from NATO, the US State Department, and Facebook.

The Initiative’s operations have been kept under wraps. Its activities are conducted by “clusters” of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists, and academics involved in anti-Russian propaganda efforts. The list includes William Browder, a US-British businessman convicted in absentia in Russia for tax evasion.

The Integrity Initiative network has offices from which to conduct its covert operations in France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia, Spain, and Montenegro. Its plans to expand to the US, Canada, Eastern Europe, and the MENA region are already underway.

The Anonymous hackers mention Operation Moncloa that was launched in June in Spain to prevent Pedro Baños, a colonel known for his Russia-friendly views, from being appointed the new head of Spain’s influential national security agency.

It’s all part of a broader picture. In March, Prime Minister Theresa May promised to “defeat” Russia with a new cyber-warfare initiative titled the Fusion Doctrine. Back then, Ms. May told British intelligence services to use social media “to prevent the spread of misinformation.” In other words, she has pulled the military into this anti-Russian propaganda effort. Security sources have floated the idea that that the UK must harness “soft power” and “counter-propaganda” on social media networks. Is it possible to imagine any media remaining independent in a country where they’re part of a “soft power strategy” implemented by the government under the rallying cry of protecting national security?

This is the origin of so many fantasies about Russia and the imaginary threat it poses. The plan included an enhanced role for the BBC World Service to promote British “values” abroad, ensuring that the Ofcom shuts down media organizations that fail to meet “high British standards.” Only gullible people can believe that such “values” and “standards” exist. Russia has been used as a bogeyman to justify measures aimed at killing off the freedom of the media. Any story about Russia’s nefarious deeds spread by British news outlets should be taken with a grain of salt.

The UK government is facing some hard times. The Brexit deal with the EU is headed to parliament for approval. It’s impossible to predict whether the MPs will vote yes or no. Both outcomes threaten the very existence of the United Kingdom. The use of the “Russian threat” is seen as one way to keep the nation united and the media under control.

Keeping its activities out of the public eye, the government is doing exactly what it has so indignantly accused Russia of. The pot is calling the kettle black. As the freedom of the press is being suppressed and the media networks are following the government’s instructions about what information they should offer their readers, UK officials continue to brazenly deliver their pompous speeches about the need to protect those very values to which the government itself poses the greatest challenge. Anonymous is right — any responsible government must explain the intentions behind the Integrity Initiative, how exactly it is funded, and why its activities should be shielded from public view.

Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza

Photo Source U.S. Embassy Jerusalem | CC BY 2.0

Whenever bombings and shootings escalate in the Middle East, Israeli propagandists say that Israel is exercising its right of military self-defense against indiscriminate attacks coming from the Gaza Strip. But as this article documents, the right to use force in self-defense is contingent on Israel ending its military occupation and blockade of Gaza.

DON’T MISQUOTE ME ON THAT!

Doubtless some unscrupulous person or persons will quote or interpret this article out of context and claim that I’m saying that Israel has no right to self-defense at all. So, let me be clear: Israel is a nation-state like any other, like it or not. It therefore has the same legal rights as any nation-state, like it or not; including the right to use self-defense when under attack.

However, that right within the context of occupation is contingent on Israel’s adherence to international law; again, just like any state. For example: The US and British forces had no legal right to hurt or kill Iraqis resisting the illegal US-British invasion and occupation, which began in 2003. The only rights that the US and British had there was to leave.

Since 1967, Israel has occupied the Gaza Strip (and the West Bank of the Jordan, which it has now de facto annexed) in violation of international law. Yes, Israel withdrew its illegal colonies from Gaza in 2005, but it maintained the military blockade, which is an act of war and a violation of the IV Geneva Convention, which prohibits collective punishment.

As long as it continues its occupation/annexation of the Palestinian territories, Israel cannot use force in self-defense from attacks, even indiscriminate ones, emanating from Gaza. If it ended the occupation and blockade of the Palestinian territories, then it could argue a case for the use of force, assuming peaceful options are exhausted.

WHAT THE LIBERAL MEDIA SAY

Forget the madcap right-wing (e.g., a Fox News reporter standing next to what he claims is a flaming bakery hit by Palestinian rockets). How are the supposedly more intelligent and humane liberal media reporting the current violence?

The BBC says that “Violence has flared between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, a day after seven militants and an Israeli soldier were killed during an undercover Israeli operation in Gaza.” Militants? It goes on to say that: “Militants fired 300 rockets and mortars at Israel. One hit a bus, seriously injuring a soldier nearby. Israel responded with more than 70 strikes on what it said were targets belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” Responded? Surely the BBC means to say that armed Palestinian groups responded to Israel’sactions, which occurred in the context of its unlawful 50-year occupation?

Notice the use of the word “militants.” The report doesn’t use words like “Zionists” when describing Israelis.

The online article includes an embedded tweet from the Israeli Defense Forces: “RAW FOOTAGE: The skies of southern Israel RIGHT NOW. Dozens of rockets are being fired from #Gaza at Israeli civilians.” There is no embedded video of the shocking conditions in which Palestinian civilians are forced by Israel to live (a point to which we shall return). Near the bottom of the article, the BBC approaches something bordering truthfulness when it says: “Israel, along with Egypt, has maintained a blockade of Gaza,” but it then goes back to the lies: “…since about 2006 in order, they say, to stop attacks by militants.”

The word “occupation” is mentioned not once. So, the gist of the BBC’s reporting is that Gaza is plagued by dangerous Islamists hell-bent on Israel’s destruction and that Israel is doing what it can, sometimes ham-fistedly (as in the latest “botched” special forces operation), to defend itself.

CNN quotes Israeli PM Netanyahu as saying that “Hamas vowed to destroyed Israel,” ergo long-term peace was “impossible.”

The Washington Post claims that the latest “flare-up” was “triggered” by a “botched” Israeli operation inside Gaza. It quotes Israeli Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, that Israelis under Palestinian rocket-fire face “the most severe attack on … civilians by terrorist organizations from Gaza since our 2014 operation [Protective Edge].” Near the end of the article, the reporters mention, casually, Israel’s “tight restrictions on trade and travel.” Below, we’ll take a look at what these “tight restrictions” actually mean.

The New York Times describes what is happening as “An eruption,” rather than a continuation and predictable consequence of Israel’s ongoing brutality. It also mentions Israel’s “tight control over the border,” which has endured since 2005, they claim (not 1967 as is the reality), when Israel withdrew its illegal colonies. Approaching truth toward the end of the article, the NTY, unlike the BBC, quotes Chris Gunness of the UN Relief and Works Agency, who describes the humanitarian situation in Gaza for nearly 2 million ordinary civilians, half of whom are children, as a disaster and a “collective punishment.”

WHAT HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS SAY

With the exception of the Gunness quote, the media have suppressed the severity of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The crisis is caused by the US-enabled Israeli blockade. Its importance in terms of the number of people affected vastly eclipses the firing of indiscriminate rockets into Israel by armed Palestinian groups.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs states:“Palestinians in Gaza are ‘locked in’, denied free access to the remainder of the occupied Palestinian territory and the outside world.” According to the UN children’s fund UNICEF, “more than 96 per cent of abstracted water is polluted and not fit for human consumption due to high salinity levels from sea water intrusion and high nitrate levels from excessive use of agrochemicals and wastewater infiltration.”

Jamie McGoldrick and James Heenan of the UN say:

“All over the occupied Palestinian territory, but particularly in the Gaza Strip, we see children robbed of every right. Families cope with four hours of electricity per day in the sweltering heat. Clean drinking water is expensive and hard to find. The start of the school year in one month will be very difficult for tens of thousands of families who cannot afford basic school supplies.”

When trapped Gazans resist with overwhelmingly non-violent protest, they receive the following treatment, as described by a Red Cross doctor, Gabriel Salazar: “We estimate there are over 1,300 people with complex, sometimes multiple injuries,” care of the Israeli Defense Forces responding to the protests, “that will require at least three to five surgeries each. The recovery period may take months or even years and we believe some 400 will remain with temporary or permanent disability.” Many demonstrators are deliberately shot in the legs and refused treatment by Israel in neighboring Jordan.

IS GAZA STILL OCCUPIED?

Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been unlawfully occupied by Israel since June 1967. This means that every Israeli military action in those territories, except withdrawal, is unlawful. In November 1967, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 242, which states:

Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,…

1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict…

In 2004, the International Court of Justice opined:

“All these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power … Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal … The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.”

In 2018, the UN Human Rights Council reaffirmed that Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are occupied by Israel:

“In the resolution, adopted by a vote of 29 in favour, two against [the US and Australia], and 14 abstentions, the Council decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018.”

ISRAEL’S RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENSE

Given that the international consensus is that Israel remains the illegal occupying power in the Palestinian territories (including Gaza and East Jerusalem), Israel has no right to use force to defend itself against Palestinian attacks while it remains the illegal occupying power. If Israel ended the occupations of Gaza and the West Bank, it would be entitled to use force in self-defense, assuming that peaceful options are exhausted.

Hyde’s International Law Volume III states: “A belligerent,” i.e., Israel in this case, “which is contemptuous of conventional or customary prohibitions,” i.e., Israel continues to occupy Gaza, “is not in a position to claim that its adversary,” i.e., Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups, “when responding with like for like,” i.e., rocket-fire into Israel, “lacks the requisite excuse” (emphasis in original).

The Annual Digest and Reports of Public International Law Cases 1948 states: “Under International Law, as in Domestic Law, there can be no reprisal against reprisal. The assassin who is being repulsed by his intended victim may not slay him and then, in turn, plead self-defense.” By the same logic, Israel cannot occupy Gaza, collectively punish the population, and then claim to be acting in self-defense against Gazan rocket-fire.

In response to the Gaza massacre 2014, international jurist John Dugard said: “given the fact that Gaza is an occupied territory, it means that Israel’s present assault is simply a way of enforcing the continuation of the occupation, and the response of the Palestinian militants should be seen as the response of an occupied people that wishes to resist the occupation.”

More articles by:

Dr. T. J. Coles is director of the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research and the author of several books, including Voices for Peace (with Noam Chomsky and others) and the forthcoming Fire and Fury: How the US Isolates North Korea, Encircles China and Risks Nuclear War in Asia (both Clairview Books).

US, Britain Push Yemen Ceasefire as Tactic to Defeat Houthis

US, Britain Push Yemen Ceasefire as Tactic to Defeat Houthis

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 16.11.2018 |

US, Britain Push Yemen Ceasefire as Tactic to Defeat Houthis

At first glance, it may seem like a positive move. The Trump administration and London are both putting pressure on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to implement a ceasefire in Yemen’s atrocious war. Washington and London are also calling for warring sides to enter into peace negotiations within a month.

What’s wrong with that, you may ask? Well, as Houthi rebels who took over Yemen at the end of 2014 are saying, the country has been under aggression for the past three years from a Saudi-led coalition supported militarily by the US, Britain and France. The unrelenting war on the poorest country in the Middle East has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in decades, with over half of the population – some 14 million people – at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

Therefore, the appropriate legal and moral course of action now is not merely a ceasefire or talks. It is for the Western-backed Saudi, Emirati coalition to immediately halt its criminal aggression against Yemen. In short, stop the foreign interference in Yemen’s sovereign affairs.

US Secretary of State James Mattis and Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt appear to be impelled by humanitarian concern for the massive human suffering in Yemen with their recent calls for cessation of hostilities.

But a more nuanced reading of their exhortations suggest that the real concern is to burnish the blood-soaked image of the Saudi coalition that their governments support, and, secondly, to inveigle the Houthis into a negotiations framework that will result in undue foreign influence over Yemen’s politics.

Last week, Washington announced that it was suspending mid-air refueling flights for Saudi and Emirati warplanes that have been pounding Yemen since March 2015, which has resulted in a horrendous death toll among civilians. The indiscriminate killing of the Saudis and Emirati air strikes has been amply documented, albeit downplayed by Western media. The latter keep repeating a figure of 10,000 dead in Yemen – a figure which has bizarrely remained unchanged for at least the past two years. The real death toll from air strikes is unknown but likely to be near 50,000.

American, British and French military support for the murderous operations in Yemen should have stopped months, even years ago, if official humanitarian concerns were genuine.

The question is: why the sudden effort by Washington and London, as well as Paris, to call for a ceasefire and follow-on political talks?

One factor, no doubt, is the barbaric murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by assassins linked to the House of Saud. Turkish authorities believe that Khashoggi was brutally murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, his body hacked to pieces and dissolved in industrial-strength acid. Audiotapes obtained by the Turkish authorities have implicated the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder plot against the dissident journalist.

The gruesome details of Khashoggi’s killing and the blatant lies that the Saudi rulers have issued to cover up their barbarity have heaped immense pressure on Washington, London and Paris over their close ties with the House of Saud. Public outrage has demanded that sanctions be imposed on Riyadh, such as cancelling multi-billion-dollar arms deals.

It seems significant that the acute disgrace over the appalling Khashoggi affair and the association of the US, British and French governments with such a despotic Saudi regime has in turn prompted these Western powers to mount a damage-limitation exercise in public relations.

This is where the Yemen war provides an opportunity for the Western powers and their Saudi clients to salvage their tarnished public image.

By pushing for a ceasefire in Yemen, Washington, London and Paris can claim to be “getting tough” with the Saudis for the sake of alleviating “humanitarian suffering”. By appearing to respond to the Western calls for a ceasefire, the Saudis can then also claim they are relenting out of humane concern.

However, such pleas have not stopped Saudi and Emirati-backed militia on the ground besieging the Yemeni port city of Hodeida on the Red Sea, for which 80-90 per cent of the entire population in the country rely on for food and other vital supplies. In other words, the Western-backed Saudi coalition is using starvation tactics to bring the Houthi rebels and the wider Yemeni population to their knees. That is a monstrous war crime.

What Mattis is calling for in terms of ceasefire is for all heavy weapons in Yemen to be put under the control of United Nations peacekeepers. Washington is also demanding that the Houthis rebels withdraw from the country’s border with Saudi Arabia, from where the rebels have mounted missile attacks which have gravely harassed the Saudis, including in the capital Riyadh. The Houthis have struck Saudi territory in response to the air strikes.

So, what the Americans, British and French are striving for is, firstly, a respite from the sordid publicity over the Khashoggi killing. If the “humanitarian appeal” over Yemen succeeds to placate Western public outrage, then these governments will be able to continue business-as-usual selling the Saudi regime lucrative weapons contracts.

Secondly, by drawing the Houthi rebels into “peace negotiations” that will also burnish the Western and Saudi public image, as well as – equally importantly – forcing the rebels into accepting a compromise on their revolutionary government. By entering negotiations with the Saudi-backed remnants of the exiled Yemeni leader Mansour Hadi, the Houthis will inevitably have to accept making concessions and allowing an accommodation with the ousted, discredited regime.

Mansour Hadi, who has been living in exile in Saudi Arabia since the Houthis seized power, was reviled by most Yemenis for his corruption and being a puppet of the Saudis and Americans. His exiled clique is routinely and mendaciously referred to by Western media as the “internationally recognized government of Yemen”.

When he fled the country in ignominy in early 2015, the Houthi rebels had succeeded in spearheading a popular revolt. The rebels profess a branch of Shia Islam, but there was every indication that they had a relatively democratic program for pluralist governance.

The Saudi and American sponsors of the ousted Mansour Hadi reacted to the overthrow of their puppet by launching an air war on Yemen in late March 2015 – a war which has continued unremittingly ever since, with Britain and France also joining the profitable slaughter by suppling warplanes and missiles.

Another lie told by Western media is that the rebels are proxies of Iran, a lie which is used to “justify” the Western-backed criminal war against the country. Iran supports the Houthis diplomatically, but there is no evidence of arms supplies. Even if there was, so what? That wouldn’t justify aerial bombardment of the country and its people.

The devastation inflicted on Yemen and its people has largely been ignored by Western news media. Despite the lack of coverage, the Western public have nevertheless become aware of the horror and their governments’ complicity. Harrowing images of skeletal children dying from starvation and lack of basic medicines have shamed Washington, London and Paris into taking some action, however despicably inadequate and long overdue.

The recent impetus for a ceasefire and talks in Yemen coming from the US and its Western allies is not due to humanitarianism. It’s a cynical PR exercise to whitewash bloodied images – both theirs and that of their Saudi client regime. The Yemen war has been shown to be a sickening charnel house in a futile bid for Western regime change against the Houthi revolution. By forcing the Houthis into negotiations, the Western powers hope to achieve their regime change objective by another tactic – and gain PR capital at the same time.

If Washington, London and Paris were really serious about ending the suffering in Yemen, they would simply demand that the aggression stops immediately, so that the Yemenis are allowed to determine their own political future without foreign interference. But the Western powers will not do that because their interference in Yemen, along with the Saudis, is the very reason why this criminal war of aggression started and grinds on.

Propaganda during World War I: An Illustrated Account

By Terje Meloy
Source

These stories are not unique cases from a remote war. The same methods are constantly rinsed and repeated, the mentality in our ruling elites is the same, and the risk of a major conflict is as great today as in 1914.

These examples concentrate mostly on British/American perception management and propaganda. First of all, because they are masters of the art, and secondly, as victors they still dominate the narrative.

Arthur Ponsonby and Falsehood in Wartime

lord_ponsonby.jpg

After the Great War came a huge backlash of disillusion and revulsion. Calmly analysed, most of what had been told in the war turned out to be lies and half-truths. «Falsehood in War-time, Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations During the Great War» was the title of a book published in 1928. Written by Arthur, Ponsonby, it discussed 20 instances of lies in wartime.

The contents of the book can be summed up in the Ten Commandments of War Propaganda:

  1. We do not want war.
  2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
  3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
  4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
  5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
  6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
  7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
  8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
  9. Our cause is sacred.
  10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

The Enemy Is the Face of the Devil

mb_walker_-_german_bayoneting_children_-_life_-_july_25_1915.png

The perception of German atrocities in World War 1 has had is up and downs during the decades.  They ‘Huns’ were indeed quite ruthless, and freely executed several thousand suspected franc-tireurs and hostages when they invaded Belgium and Northern France in 1914.

However, the theme of barbaric, nun-raping, baby-bayonetting Huns was so carried to excess by the Entente propaganda machine that there came a backlash in public opinion after the war. By the 1920s, the disillusionment with the war and its aftermath was so great that all of these stories were dismissed as atrocity propaganda, which again would backfire in 1939, when there was reluctance to believe stories of – this time real – massive German atrocities.

The same theme was used more recently, with the infamous tale of «Iraqis ripping babies from incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals», in the warm-up to the Gulf War in 1990. Before the US Congress, a young woman in tears testified how she as a nurse in Kuwait witnessed Iraqi soldiers ripping prematurely born babies out of their incubators, leaving them to die on the floor. The story was later repeated by an equally moved President George HW Bush.

The public later found out that the woman was in fact not a nurse, but the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington, and the story was concocted as part of the propaganda effort by the PR-Agency Hill & Knowlton.

Mussolini Changes His Mind — Italy Should Join the War

benito-mussolini-arrested-at-pro-war-rally-1915.jpg

Italy at first stayed neutral, then chose to join the Entente. This turned out to be a really bad decision, killing a generation of young men, and with not many gains to show for it in the peace treaties.

The decision was partially helped by subsidies from English and French intelligence to the Italian press. The Italian journalist Benito Mussolini (picture: in white coat, arrested during a scuffle with police in 1914) had a change of heart, and went from a leading socialist and war opponent to a fierce advocate of Italy joining the war.

According to a note written in November 1922 by the French secret services in Rome, Mussolini (who was described in another note from the same service as «an agent of the French Embassy in Rome») had in 1914 collected ten million francs «to support Italy’s war alongside the allied powers». In 1915, he was one of the founders the Fascist movement, which later took power in 1922.

The Difference Between Declared War Aims and Real Ones

httpsen-wikipedia-orgwikiseptemberprogramm.jpg

In August 1914, when an almost unanimous German parliament voted yes to war, it was presented to the German public as a defensive Schutzkrieg against conniving enemies. With the exception of one member, Karl Liebknecht, the entire 110-member delegation from the Social Democratic Party bowed to the war euphoria and voted yes to war loans.

The perception presented to the public during the first few years of fighting, was of a Germany fighting a defensive war for survival, not a scheme for imperial aggrandizement. But in reality, already in September 1914, in the first few weeks of the war, a secret plan for an extensive redrawing of Europe’s borders was prepared for Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, the Septemberprogramm (see map).

After the Brest-Litovsk separate peace with the Bolsheviks in 1917, the eastern part of these war aims were achieved, where Germany occupied or created puppet governments in Poland, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Baltic areas, and created a dependent state in Finland.

Although a victory, this led to great disillusionment in the German liberal-left, which so far had supported a war to preserve the country. Now he myth of a defensive war was exposed as a lie, and the treaty showed it to be a war for imperial expansion.

The Sinking of the Lusitania

lusitania1.jpg

In May 1915 the British Government was in trouble. The European war was not going well. Instead of reacting to aggressive British blockades by begging for mercy, Germany was sinking more and more British ships with her U-boats.

The Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine on Friday May 7 1915, 12 miles off the coast of Ireland, killing 1198 people. The ship was running at two-thirds speed and in a straight line, rather than the recommended zigzag used to avoid torpedoes. The passengers were mostly US citizens (including millionaire Alfred Vanderbilt).

Her cargo consisted mostly of undeclared weapons and explosives, a fact finally confirmed in 1960, and which explained why she sank so fast. She was bound for the UK, sailing all alone, inexplicably without escort from the Royal Navy and right into a known U-boat hunting ground.

mediaresponse.jpg

No members of the press even considered asking why Lusitania had been steaming so slowly and in a straight line, or why the British Admiralty had chosen to withhold the usual naval escort.

The numerous travel warnings posted by the German government in US newspapers, warning people they traveled on British shipping into British waters at their peril, was left out of the narrative. The German explanation, that the Lusitania was a legitimate target because she carried armaments, was dismissed out of hand.

And totally forgotten was the aggressive policy of starving Germany to its knees that had prompted the U-boat campaign in the first place. After the war began in 1914, Britain immediately began a naval blockade of Germany. Since even food was classified as “contraband,” the Germans had to ration food. By all estimates, several hundred thousand people ultimately died of starvation due to the blockade.

The sinking of the Lusitania was one of the main causes that brought the United States into the war, saving the war for the British.

An Inconvenient Peace Offer: “What Does He Want to Butt In for?”

pope-peace-1917-secret-agreement.jpg

In July 1915, Pope Benedict XV published the apostolic exhortation «To the Peoples Now at War and to Their Rulers.» Two years later, in 1917, this became The seven-point plan, a peace note presented to the warring parties. It was based on a peace linked to justice rather than military conquest, cessation of hostilities, a reduction of armaments, a guaranteed freedom of the seas, international arbitration, and Belgium restored to independence and guaranteed «against any power whatsoever.» (But it tacitly implied that Germany would gain some territory in the east).

The initiative failed: Although the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary) were positive to the mediation after three years of exhausting war, no one on the Entente side showed any interest. (The collapse of the Russian imperial government a few months later reduced the German willingness to negotiate.) Britain did not even show the Holy See the common courtesy of a proper reply. The French and Italian replies were hostile, and the rejection on behalf of the alliance was made by president Woodrow Wilson of the United States, who had initially remarked of the pope’s proposal: “What does he want to butt in for?»

The decision to reject any proposal from the Vatican was already decided in 1915. The threat was that a peace mediation from someone like the Pope might create so much pressure from a war-weary populace that it might just gather enough momentum to force the powers to accept.

The secret Treaty of London (1915), committing Italy to the Entente (Britain, France and Russia) contained a clause, article 15, where Italy is given carte blanche to do whatever is deemed necessary to silence the Church: «France, Great Britain and Russia shall support such opposition as Italy may make to any proposal in the direction of introducing a representative of the Holy See in any peace negotiations or negotiations for the settlement of questions raised by the present war» .

From Women’s Liberation to a Tool for the State

articles-a-womans-place-ww1-impact-of-war-2-dt-emmeline-pankhurst.jpgEmmeline Pankhurst addressing a pro-war rally in 1914

There is nothing new about liberal social reformers falling into lockstep when the country goes to war.

British Emmeline Pankhurst was the most prominent member in the Women’s Suffrage movement. She founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1902. After a remarkable and highly radical campaign for women’s rights, including hunger strikes, arson and window smashings, the group changed from a reformist program to a hard right reactionary nationalism as soon as the war broke out.

In 1914-15, bands of women roamed the cities of England handing out white feathers of cowardice to men wearing civilian clothes. The ‘White Feather Brigade’ was established by admiral Charles Fitzgerald, a war hawk who wished to see Britain institute mandatory military service. The campaign spread through the country with astonishing rapidity.

whitefeather-arnoldbennettcolliersweekly.jpg

The highly successful White Feather campaign, shaming British men to enlist.

Not unconnected, the WSPU successfully carried out secret negotiations with the government, and on the 10th August 1914, the government announced it was releasing all suffragettes from prison. After receiving a £2,000 grant from the government, the WSPU organised a pro-war demonstration in London. Members carried banners with slogans such as «We Demand the Right to Serve» and «Let None Be Kaiser’s Cat’s Paws».

Pankhurst founded the Women’s Party in 1917. Excerpts from the program:

(1) A fight to the finish with Germany.

(2) More vigorous war measures to include drastic food rationing, more communal kitchens to reduce waste, and the closing down of nonessential industries to release labour for work on the land and in the factories.

(3) A clean sweep of all officials of enemy blood or connections from Government departments. Peace terms to include the dismemberment of the Hapsburg Empire.

(8) Irish Home Rule to be denied.

In the Suffrage Movement’s defense, many members chose a different and more honorable stance, like her daughter Sylvia Pankhurst. In 1915, Sylvia gave her enthusiastic support to the International Women’s Peace Congress, and she later became a leading international voice in the resistance to Mussolini’s attack on Ethiopia.

Edith Cavell – Nurse (And a Hundred Years Later, a Spy After All)

71848754_lal_337800_bridgeman_edith_hospital_artwork.jpg

Few incidents created bigger outrage in the First World War than when the British nurse Edith Cavellwas executed by firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium. In the trial, she admitted to leading a people smuggling network.

But the German charges also claimed that Cavell was a spy, sending sensitive intelligence through the same network, a claim which was strongly denied by both Cavell and the British government.

The government’s insistence on her innocence was taken as implicitly true in Britain, and she became a symbol for victims of Hunnic habitual cruelty. This perception also had great impact on public opinion in the still neutral United States. The implicit presumption of innocence lingered for a many years, and was a useful propaganda tool for many decades.

In a BBC-program in 2015, a hundred years after Cavell’s death, Stella Rimington, former head of the MI5, revealed that she had discovered documents in Belgian archives indicating that Cavell was in fact a spy.

This is of course a limited hangout. MI5 would have known this all along, being Cavell’s boss, but naturally chose to keep quiet about it, since the idea of her innocence was so convenient.

Rimington said her evidence showed «that the Cavell organisation was a two-pronged affair» and that espionage was the other part of its clandestine mission.

The documents included an account by Herman Capiau, a young Belgian mining engineer who had brought the first British soldiers to Cavell in 1914 and was an important member of her network.

He wrote: «Whenever it was possible to send interesting intelligence on military operations, this information was forwarded to the English intelligence service punctually and rapidly.»

Capiau referred to information about a German trench system, the location of munitions dumps and the whereabouts of aircraft.

Since she was in fact guilty, it would make her case similar to the famous spy Mata Hari, who was unceremoniously executed by the French in 1917, without any international outcry. Of course, Cavell’s case is worse, since she used a humanitarian cover for her activities, putting all medical personnel under suspicion.

Most of Our Opinions Are Formed by Men We Have Never Heard of

After the United States joined the war in 1917, president Wilson founded a government agency, The Committee on Public Information, to drum up support in public opinion for the US Crusade for Freedom©.

A young man, Edward Bernays,  started working for it, and quickly learned his trade there. He later became known as «the father of public relations», and a pioneer in the modern PR-industry, where he, among other things, arranged the media part of the CIA-regime change operation in Guatemala in 1954. The full quote from him is as follows:

«The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.»

The Invasion of 1910 — A Book Commissioned to Tell the Public Who the Next Enemy Is

times19060313p11.png

Describing an imagined German invasion of England, the book The Invasion of 1910 was written by William le Queux on commission from the press magnate Lord Northcliffe and serialized in his newspaper the Daily Mail in 1906. After the detente with France and friendlier relations with Russia, British elites circles agreed on who the next likely enemy would be. But the British public still wasn’t ‘with the program’, and a large campaign was started to prepare them mentally. In the years 1906-1914, a torrent of books and articles on the terrible Hun menace poured out from a number of authors, including Arthur Conan Doyle.

Bits by Bits a War Memorial Day Gets a New Meaning

14027266043_a3a49cb221_z.jpgCadets march in the 2014 ANZAC day parade (Picture: Flickr/Chris Phutully)

World War 1 was a bloody affair for the Commonwealth countries. Most Australian country towns or even small villages have a cenotaph or monument with a shockingly long list of local men lost in WW1. ANZAC-day  (on 25th of April, the anniversary of the Anglo-French campaign to conquer Gallipoli and the Dardanelles, where Australia played a part) was decided as a holiday in 1921 to commemorate these war dead, in a rather sombre spirit. The holiday and ceremony was a quiet affair for most of last century, apart from the usual right-wing forces trying to capitalize on it. It reached it’s nadir in the late 1970s, after the Vietnam war.

A marked change started in the 1990s, with a concerted and very well funded campaign from the government to militarize Australian history. Now the ceremonies are huge, military-political events, full of pathos, cant and sentimentality.  By spending huge sums to connect the public idea of Australianness to a glorification of its military glory, it seems Australian participation, like in 1914 by choice, in the next bloody world war is inevitable – nothing learned Down Under.

Neutral Countries Are the Winners

604123605663673.jpg

This Swiss cartoon by Karl Czerpien, is captioned «The wooing of the Neutrals», where orators from the warring countries are trying to entice neutrals to join them. The different alliances spent large efforts to tangle neutral countries into their imperialistic intrigues (see the case of Italy above). For smaller neutral countries, war between the great powers is always a dangerous time, but by trying to stay neutral, they are rather better off than by joining an alliance. A lesson for our time, when small countries in Europe seem very eager to get the honor of being the battlefield in the next war.

1924 — The Pacifist Ernst Friedrich Shows the Real Faces of War

In 1924, in the book War against War, the German anti-war activist Ernst Friedrich breaks a taboo in war reporting, by showing real war injuries. Such horrific pictures were – and still are – generally very rarely shown in war reporting, both in the corporate media and in anti-war literature.

This unwillingness contributes, intentionally or just because the pictures are too shocking to handle, to an almost idealized image of war, where our dead are always beautifully serene and the wounded well wrapped in bandages.

%d bloggers like this: