| Europol chief warns about ‘lone wolf’ jihadist threat!

Europol chief warns about ‘lone wolf’ jihadist threat

The head of the EU’s criminal intelligence agency said homegrown jihadists like the Toulouse gunman posed new security challenges, warning that individual terrorist operations are much harder to track down than coordinated bombing campaigns.

Europol chief warns about ‘lone wolf’ jihadist threat

By News Wires (text)

AP – With France’s deadly attacks, Islamic terror has apparently struck once more in the heart of Europe – and authorities say there’s a dangerous twist: the emergence of homegrown extremists operating independent of any known networks, making them hard to track and stop.

“We have a different kind of jihadist threat emerging and it’s getting stronger,” Europol chief Rob Wainwright told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from The Hague.

“It is much more decentralized and harder to track.” France’s motorcycle gunman traumatized a nation heading into presidential elections and spread fear across the continent that the specter of al-Qaida was once again threatening daily life.

Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, sowed his terror over the course of nine days, killing paratroopers, Jewish children and a rabbi. He died Thursday in a shootout after police raided the Toulouse apartment where he had been holed up.

Merah traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan and had claimed to have trained with al-Qaida there, but French authorities said Thursday they had no evidence that he had any contact with terrorist groups or that al-Qaida had ordered the killings.

Wainwright warned that Europe faces a tough challenge ahead. Combating individuals acting in apparent isolation, he said, will take smarter measures in monitoring the Internet, better intelligence and international cooperation in counterterrorism efforts. And he conceded there were limits to what law enforcement officials can do. “We can’t police the Internet,” he said.

Other European terror authorities echoed that view, saying that apprehending suspicious individuals with no clear connections to terrorist networks is legally problematic.

“We have one law for war, one law for peace, but we don’t have a law for the current situation,” said Alain Chouet, a former intelligence director at France’s DGSE spy agency.

“If we stopped (Merah) three weeks ago, what would people have said? ‘Why are you stopping him? What did he do?”. German officials expressed the same frustration in the case of Arid Uka, a Kosovo Albanian who gunned down two American airmen and wounded two others last year at the Frankfurt airport before being captured. Aside from illegally acquiring a handgun, the 22-year-old, who was convicted last month, had committed no crime until he shot his first victim in the back of the head.

“A group preparing an attack with bombs or other instruments is running the danger of being detected,” said a high-ranking German intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

“A single person or a group of two, they have a greater chance of not being observed by security forces or getting tracked by police. It is very hard to find individuals like this and stop them from acting.” Some experts believe that al-Qaida’s new strategy is, in fact, to stop acting like a network.

Encouraging individuals to carry out terrorist attacks, without organizing them in cells, has become integral to the terrorist organization’s modus operandi, said Noman Benotman, a former jihadist with links to al-Qaida and who now works for the London-based Quilliam Foundation. “They are part of the overall al-Qaida strategy, and they are part of the instructions – or suggestions, if you will – for groups and individuals seeking guidance or inspiration,” he said.

Benotman, who maintains contact with the jihadist community, said that since the death of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida’s strategy has evolved to include more individual attacks, rather than the heavily choreographed and expensive operations seen in the Sept. 11 attacks or the London suicide bombings in 2005.

The German intelligence official noted that al-Qaida theorist Abu Musab al-Suri published a book about 10 years ago putting forth the strategy of “leaderless resistance.” The official said that with Internet propaganda, “you don’t need any teacher or some other person any more to push people toward these actions.” Wainwright also sees al-Qaida’s hidden influence in the France attacks. “He was acting in line with al-Qaida inspired tactics, and although it may not have been closely coordinated, it was certainly al-Qaida inspired,” he said.

Wainwright said Merah lacked the professionalism of terrorists of the past. He said the gunman seemed divided between wanting to increase his death toll and publicizing his acts by filming his deeds and bragging about them. “It is very telling that he filmed his exploits,” he said. “Still, in spite of the mistakes, he managed to carry out significant damage. … That is the challenge for us.” A British security official said the key to targeting this brand of individualized terror was figuring out whether people were simply thinking extremist thoughts or would truly turn violent.

“We prefer the term self-starting over lone wolf,” the official told the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of his work. “But the reality is that there are hosts of people like this out there and most of them will never do anything. You have to have information to suggest they are about to do something. Unfortunately, there are no thought police.” There are, nonetheless, plenty of recent examples of the dangers of terrorists working in isolation:

– Maj. Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people during the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting rampage in 2009.

– Taimour Abdulwahab, an Iraqi-born Swede, who targeted Christmas shoppers in Stockholm in December and blew himself up.

– Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was sentenced last month to life in prison after admitting he attempted to blow up an international flight with a bomb in his underwear as the plane approached Detroit on Christmas 2009. President Barack Obama said last summer that a “lone wolf” terror attack in the U.S. is more likely than a major coordinated effort like 9/11. In the case of Merah, it’s still too early to know whether he was acting alone or had outside support.

Authorities are trying to determine whether Merah’s 29-year-old brother, Abdelkader, was involved, and are searching for accomplices who might have encouraged Merah to kill or furnished the means to do so. Merah told negotiators he killed to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children and to protest the French army’s involvement in Afghanistan as well as France’s law against the Islamic face veil.

French authorities have acknowledged that Merah had been under surveillance for years and that his travels to Afghanistan and Pakistan were known to French intelligence, raising the question of whether security services might have been able to act against him before he was able to carry out his attacks.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told German media that there were striking similarities between the Uka and Merah attacks, and that it drives home the need for a “security partnership” between intelligence services and Muslim groups and communities.
“We need them to report the first signs,” he said. “We need the help of society.”

TOULOUSE GUNMAN’S BROTHER QUIZZED IN PARIS
The older brother of the Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah was transferred to Paris along with his girlfriend on Saturday for questioning by anti-terrorist police, a source close to the investigation said.Several police vans were seeing leaving the central police station in Toulouse shortly after 8:00 am.

Abdelkader Merah and his girlfriend were taken into custody after his brother was killed trying to shoot his way out of an apartment following a 32-hour police siege.

The 23-year-old had murdered three Jewish children, a trainee rabbi and three soldiers in three separate gun attacks between March 11 and March 19 in this southwestern French city, shocking France in the build-up to a presidential election.

Police and prosecutors have said that 29-year-old Abdelkader Merah is a radical Islamist and that traces of what could be an explosive material had been found in his car.

He and his girlfriend will be questioned at the anti-terrorist police headquarters in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret. Under French law, they could be held until Sunday morning, after which they would have to be taken before a judge in the French capital.

Source: AFP

Pretensions of political correctness aside, simply getting more and more desperate and targetting anyone suspected of meeting ‘lone wolf jihadist-threat’ criteria is about as effective as searching for a needle in a haystack and as useful as treating a terminal brain tumour with aspirin, sadly, because this undermines the very democratic values we’re apparently ‘championing’ by disproportionally seeking regime-change everywhere else, but consequently makes us less not more safe as repercussions trickle through in all shapes and sizes.

A more ethical foreign policy, bringing home troops from misconceived foreign adventures/occupations, and, above all, resolving the festering sore of the Palestinian Question – all need to be dealt with properly and equitably – not swept under the rug, to achieve real justice, for any form of enduring Peace – instead of endless war – to stand a chance.

As elections loom large across much of Europe as well as America, never has the average citizen needed to wake up as much as now to hold his or her elected servant to full account.

Meanwhile …

 As Santorum Fires Gun, Woman Shouts ‘Pretend It’s Obama!’

WEST MONROE, Louisiana – At a campaign stop at a firing range, while Rick Santorum was firing off some rounds, a woman shouted, “pretend it’s Obama.”

Santorum, who was far from the woman, couldn’t hear the comment as he proceeded with his target practice. Neither could his staffers.

But the yell – the identity of the yeller is not clear, although the words were clearly audible – was in close proximity to journalists traveling with the candidate.

WELL WORTH A LOOK:

Europol Report: All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t

| Hubris: The Roads Leading to Disaster!

The Roads Leading to Disaster ~ Reflections By Fidel Castro.

This Reflection could be written today, tomorrow or any other day without the risk of being mistaken. Our species faces new problems. When 20 years ago I stated at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro that a species was in danger of extinction, I had fewer reasons than today for warning about a danger that I was seeing perhaps 100 years away. At that time, a handful of leaders of the most powerful countries were in charge of the world. They applauded my words as a matter of mere courtesy and placidly continued to dig for the burial of our species.

It seemed that on our planet, common sense and order reigned. For a while economic development, backed by technology and science appeared to be the Alpha and Omega of human society.

Today, everything is much clearer. Profound truths have been surfacing. Almost 200 States, supposedly independent, constitute the political organization which in theory has the job of governing the destiny of the world.

Approximately 25,000 nuclear weapons in the hands of allied or enemy forces ready to defend the changing order, by interest or necessity, virtually reduce to zero the rights of billions of people.

I shall not commit the naïveté of assigning the blame to Russia or China for the development of that kind of weaponry, after the monstrous massacre at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ordered by Truman after Roosvelt’s death.

Nor shall I fall prey to the error of denying the Holocaust that signified the deaths of millions of children and adults, men or women, mainly Jews, gypsies, Russians or other nationalities, who were victims of Nazism. For that reason the odious policy of those who deny the Palestinian people their right to exist is repugnant.

Does anyone by chance think that the United States will be capable of acting with the independence that will keep it from the inevitable disaster awaiting it?

In a few weeks, the 40 million dollars President Obama promised to collect for his electoral campaign will only serve to show that the currency of his country is greatly devaluated, and that the US, with its unusual growing public debt drawing close to 20 quadrillion, is living on the money it prints up and not on the money it produces. The rest of the world pays for what they waste.

Nor does anyone believe that the Democratic candidate would be any better or worse than his Republican foes: whether they are called Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. Light years separate the three characters as important as Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King. It is really unheard-of to observe such a technologically powerful nation and a government so bereft of both ideas and moral values.

Iran has no nuclear weapons. It is being accused of producing enriched uranium that serves as fuel energy or components for medical uses. Whatever one can say, its possession or production is not equivalent to the production of nuclear weapons. Dozens of countries use enriched uranium as an energy source, but this cannot be used in the manufacture of a nuclear weapon without a prior complicated purification process.

However, Israel, with the aid and cooperation of the United States, manufactured nuclear weaponry without informing or accounting to anybody, today not admitting their possession of these weapons, they have hundreds of them. To prevent the development of research in neighbouring Arab countries, they attacked and destroyed reactors in Iraq and Syria. They have also declared their aim of attacking and destroying the production centres for nuclear fuel in Iran.

International politics have been revolving around that crucial topic in that complex and dangerous part of the world, where most of the fuel that moves the world economy is produced and supplied.

The selective elimination of Iran’s most eminent scientists by Israel and their NATO allies has become a practice that motivates hatred and feelings of revenge.

The Israeli government has openly stated its objective to attack the plant manufacturing Iran’s enriched uranium, and the government of the United States has invested billions of dollars to manufacture a bomb for that purpose.

On March 16, 2012, Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham published an article revealing that “A top US Air Force General has described the largest conventional bomb – the re-invented bunkers of 13.6 tones – as ‘fantastic’ for a military attack on Iran.

“Such an eloquent comment on the massive killer-artefact took place in the same week that President Barack Obama appeared to warn against ‘easy words’ on the Persian Gulf War.”

“…Herbert Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for US Air Force operations […] added that probably the bomb would be used in any attack on Iran ordered by Washington.

“The MOP, also referred to as ‘The Mother of All Bombs’, is designed to drill through 60 metres of concrete before it detonates its massive bomb. It is believed to be the largest conventional weapon, non-nuclear, in the US arsenal.”

“The Pentagon is planning a process of wide destruction of Iran’s infrastructure and massive civilian victims through the combined use of tactical nuclear bombs and monstrous conventional bombs with mushroom-shaped clouds, including the MOABs and the larger GBU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) that exceeds the MOAB in destructive capacity.

“The MOP is described as ‘a powerful new bomb that aims straight at subterranean Iranian and North Korean nuclear facilities. The giant bomb –longer than 11 persons shoulder to shoulder, or more than 6 metres from end to end’.”

I ask the reader to excuse me for this complicated military jargon.

As one can see, such calculations arise from the supposition that the Iranian combatants, numbering millions of men and women well-known for their religious zeal and their fighting traditions, surrender without firing a shot.

In recent days, the Iranians have seen how US soldiers occupying Afghanistan, in just three weeks, urinated on the corpses of killed Afghans, burned copies of the Koran and murdered more than 15 defenceless citizens.

Let us imagine US forces launching monstrous bombs on industrial institutions, capable of penetrating through 60 metres of concrete. Never has such an undertaking ever been conceived.

Not one word more is needed to understand the gravity of such a policy. In that way, our species will be inexorably led towards disaster. If we do not learn how to understand, we shall never learn how to survive.

As for me, I harbour not the slightest doubt that the United States is about to commit and lead the world towards the greatest mistake in its history.

Fidel Castro Ruz

March 21, 2012

7: 35 PM

Heading For Inevitable Disaster
~ Stephen Lendman
3-24-12
In 1959, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz liberated Cuba from imperial America, police state rule, and mafia bosses who turned the nation into a casino and brothel.Cubans may want change, but won’t tolerate recolonization under puppets serving Washington’s interests.

On August 13, Fidel turns 86. After leading Cuba for decades, surviving hundreds of US attempts to kill him, a punishing embargo, and numerous other hostile acts, illness forced him to step down in December 2008.

It didn’t slow his determination to speak and write vital truths, especially on issues of war and peace.

Like others, including this writer, he justifiably fears inevitable disastrous war.

His latest article explains headlined, “The roads leading to disaster.”

Fidel’s intellect remains acute, his perceptiveness keen. His knowledge of vital issues is impressive. His honesty and integrity are impeccable, his forthrightness noteworthy. So is his fear about an inevitable disaster.

“As far as I am concerned,” he said, “I do not harbor the slightest doubt that the United States is about to commit, and lead the world toward, the greatest error in its history.”

Humanity will suffer. Castro long feared nuclear destruction, perhaps eventual annihilation. In a July 2010 videotaped interview, he expected Washington and Israel to target Iran, saying:

“When they launch war, they’re going to launch it there. It cannot help but be nuclear. I believe the danger of war is growing a lot. They are playing with fire.”

Indeed so he explained in his August 24, 2010 article headlined, “The nuclear winter,” saying:

He expressed surprise about learning that “we do not need a nuclear world war for our species to perish.” A nuclear conflict between any two nations can do it.

“A nuclear war is inevitable,” he added. It could happen “when the first Iranian vessel is inspected” or by any other trigger. Washington wants regime change. So does Israel. All means will be employed to achieve it, including the unthinkable – nuclear war.

In his latest article, Castro said:

“Does anyone think that the United States will be capable of acting with the independence that could preserve it from the inevitable disaster awaiting it?”

Does anyone believe Democrats or Republicans differ, especially on relentlessly advancing America’s imperium for unchallenged global dominance, and choosing war to achieve it.

“It is really extraordinary to observe a nation so powerful technologically and a government so bereft of both ideas and moral values.”

Iran threatens no one. Washington and Israel know its nuclear program is peaceful. It complies fully with Nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT) provisions. Even having nuclear or any other destructive weapons doesn’t imply intent to use them.

In contrast, America is nuclear armed and dangerous. So is Israel. Advancing its own imperium, it “declared its intention to attack and destroy Iran’s nuclear fuel production facilities.”

“The Israeli government has openly declared its intention to attack the enriched uranium production plant in Iran, and the government of the United States has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in manufacturing a bomb for that purpose.”

“Imagine United States (and/or Israeli) forces dropping monstrous bombs, capable of penetrating 60 meters of cement, on industrial facilities. Never before has such an adventure been conceived.”

It’s vital to understand “the seriousness” of doing it, he said. Humanity “will be led inexorably toward disaster.” If simple truths aren’t understood, survival’s impossible.

If Mother of all Bombs (MOB) are used like king-sized hand grenades, can human extinction be far behind, or at least face tens of millions of lives lost, multiples more condemned to slow, painful death, and countless others from disease.

Given disturbing rhetoric regurgitated daily by major media scoundrels, Castro hasn’t “the slightest doubt” it’s coming in some form and perhaps soon.

Major Media Scoundrels Promote War

What Fidel fears, US policy makers and major media scoundrels support, no matter the potentially catastrophic consequences.

AIPAC lobbies aggressively for war on Iran. It spuriously calls the Islamic republic “the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability.”

“Through its proxy armies of Hizballah in Southern Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iranian regime is supporting terrorists carrying out daily attacks on American troops and Israeli civilians.”

Media scoundrels repeat these lies. Rush Limbaugh openly supports bombing, saying:

“The only way to stop them is to destroy the Iranian regime, the mullahs, and that can only be accomplished through war.”

Blatant misreporting, deliberate lies, and fearmongering define America’s print and broadcast media. News anchors and reporters claim Iran may be planning a strike on US soil. The very notion’s preposterous.

Others demand it give up what doesn’t exist and endorse war as the price for refusal. Former Bush administration official/now regular Fox News contributor, and member of America’s lunatic fringe John Bolton calls sanctions “half measures doomed to fail” and favors war, saying:

The “way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons is to attack its nuclear weapons program directly and break their control over the nuclear fuel cycle.”

He’s not alone. Viewers and readers get steady warmongering propaganda. It replicates the run-up to attacking Iraq in 2003 based on spurious WMD hype. It was repeated against Libya based on falsified reports and willful lies.

At all times, public sentiment’s influenced. People are manipulated to support war. They do unwittingly not knowing they’re lied to. It happens no matter how previous many times they later learned they were fooled.

In a recent column, the Washington Post’s resident zealot (and regular Fox News contributor), Charles Krauthhammer outrageously called Iran “the world’s greatest exporter of terror, the systematic killer of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, the self-declared enemy that invented ‘Death to America Day,’ ” and soon to have “nuclear capability.”

Claiming Israel’s “threatened with annihilation,” he favors war as the way to prevent it, despite no threat whatever existing.

The New York Times regularly features pro-war advocates like former Israeli intelligence head Amos Yadlin. He used it to claim Israel faces an existential threat of annihilation and must act preemptively against it.

Whether or not Obama agrees, “Israeli leaders may well choose to act while they still can.”

In June 2009, pro-Israeli ideologues prepared a Brookings Institution policy paper titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran.” It openly endorsed regime change, including by air strikes, invasion, and/or encouraging Israel to attack.

A recent International Crisis Group (ICG) report was more measured. Titled, “In Heavy Waters: Iran’s Nuclear Program, the Risk of War and Lessons from Turkey,” it favors giving diplomacy a chance to convince Iran to give up its legitimate nuclear program, then consider other options if fail. ICG implied but stopped short of endorsing war.

Scoundrel media’s common theme is Iran’s alleged existential threat. Decisive action to prevent it is vital. Failure poses unacceptable risks. War’s the last option, but important to wage if others fail to convince Iran to give up what it doesn’t have and has no intention of pursuing.

Castro’s right warning of inevitable disaster, and saying he has no doubt it’s coming. Given America’s rage for war, forewarned is forearmed for essential grassroots action.

Nothing else potentially can stop what no one should tolerate, given stakes able to threaten humanity. If that’s not incentive enough, what is?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/

| Pentagon predicts Israel will drag US into war with Iran!

Pentagon predicts Israel will drag US into war with Iran ~ DAVID USBORNE.

Secret US simulation assumes Tehran would retaliate against ships if nuclear sites bombed

Classified war games conducted by the Pentagon have sketched a scenario in which an attack by Israel on Iran’s suspected nuclear facilities would lead to Tehran launching a counter-strike against a US ship in the Gulf. That in turn would drag a reluctant US into a fresh war in the Middle East.

The results of the simulation, meant primarily to test co-ordination and communications between the various arms of the US military in the event of a flare-up with Iran, were reported by The New York Times.

The revelations came as Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned yesterday that Tehran would attack any enemy “on the same level” as it attacks Iran. He named both Israel and the US as enemies, in remarks on state television.

The war games were completed earlier this month under a long-standing programme called Internal Look to test the readiness of the Pentagon, Central Command in Florida and military resources in the Middle East to respond to any fallout from an Israeli strike.

That fallout, the simulation showed, might include the Iranian leadership reasoning that any Israeli incursion would have come with an American stamp of approval and would justify a counter-strike against a US target. Under that scenario, Tehran would hit a US Navy vessel in the Gulf with the loss of 200 or more American lives. At that point, the US would feel bound to retaliate. The top military commander in the Gulf, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, General James Mattis, is reportedly using these results to underscore his belief that any attempt by Israel to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities could lead to a potentially disastrous conflagration.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama sent a message to Iranians celebrating New Year, or Nowruz, saying he hoped to bridge divides with their country. “America seeks a dialogue to hear your views and understand your aspirations,” he said, calling on the regime in Tehran to respect human rights. During a visit to Washington last week by David Cameron, the President conceded that the US military was engaged in contingency planning with regard to Iran. But he underscored that the Pentagon has a responsibility to prepare for any eventuality and it did not follow that the US expected war with Iran.

Mr Obama has said repeatedly that the “military option” is on the table if diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear stand-off with Iran fail. Recently Iran agreed to resume talks with the permanent five UN Security Council members, plus Germany, to try to resolve the dispute.

Washington has no appetite for a new war in the region and would prefer to rein in Iran through tougher sanctions and at the negotiating table. But Mr Obama may find himself hostage to the intentions of Israel, which believes more strongly than the US that the window for sanctions to work is narrowing quickly. Any daylight between Mr Obama and Israel could be costly for him in an election year.

According to The New York Times, the exercise lasted two weeks. It suggested an Israeli strike on Iran would delay it achieving a nuclear weapon by one year, but subsequent – and presumably more intense – US attacks would set the programme back by only two more years.

 

 

| Toulouse cannot be explained as an isolated hate crime or the deed of one fanatic!

Toulouse cannot be explained as an isolated hate crime or the deed of one fanatic ~ Lindsey German.
Stop the War Coalition.

No one can justify such attacks, but the shootings in south west France are the terrible and disastrous outcome of the West’s war policies and anti-Muslim racism.

The shootings in south west France were, it appears, the work of a young Algerian Muslim, who had been trained in camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan and was one of the prisoners who escaped from Kandahar prison in a Taliban jailbreak.

No one can justify such attacks, which have seen the killing of Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi, and of French soldiers of North African and Caribbean descent.

But nor should anyone be in any doubt that this act cannot be explained as an isolated hate crime, or the deed of one fanatic. It is the terrible and disastrous outcome of a series of policies which could have been avoided and which now risk making the situation even worse.

French President Sarkozy has placed France at the centre of the US “war on terror” and has been instrumental in introducing legislation that has inflamed anti-Muslim feeling in his country.

Firstly there have been the years of racism against Muslims in France. The current presidential election campaign has seen incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy whip up a racist storm in an attempt to win votes from the far right National Front. He attacked those who were not French, inferred that the French were being forced to eat halal meat.

The ban on women wearing the hijab in school, the high rates of unemployment among North African descent youth, the police repression in the banlieues which surround France’s major cities, have all contributed to this wave of racism. Sarkozy now appeals for unity but he has spent recent weeks creating disunity between races.

The shooting at the Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday took place on the 50th anniversary of the end of the Algerian war for independence, a war which still has a bitter legacy of racism and colonialism in France.

The recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were supposed to end terrorism. Instead terrorism has grown around the world. The grievances over the wars have lengthened in the past ten years. The continued occupations of mainly Muslim countries, the inability to deal with the question of the Palestinians, the current threats to  Iran, and perhaps most importantly the growing number of deaths of civilians in Afghanistan, have all fuelled this sense of grievance.

The killing of 16 Afghan civilians at the hands of a US soldier two weeks ago was treated with much less outrage than the French killings, leading to the perception that Afghan lives are worth less than those of westerners.

Former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham Buller, in evidence at the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war said that intelligence services had warned the British government that these wars would exacerbate terrorism not decrease it.

Those who supported the wars are like the Bourbons — they learn nothing and forget nothing. Their response to this terrible act will be more justification for wars, more money spent on the military and weaponry, more surveillance of Muslims, more support for extensions of the war to ‘root out terrorism’.

They will also continue to treat Muslims as second class citizens, increasing restrictions on what they can wear or how they behave. Islamophobia is not some aberration in France: it stems directly from the support for imperialist wars and the legacy of colonial rule.

The way to end the terror attacks would be to find a political solution to the grievances and injustices which give rise to it in the first place. Fat chance of Sarkozy, Cameron and the rest even thinking about that.

 

It’s high time to completely end wrong-headed foreign adventures and focus on domestic accountability all round instead.

And how?

Glaringly obvious.

Political solutions through dialogue and honest negotiations.

 

ALSO SEE:

| Auto Updates: Toulouse deputy mayor confirms an assault has begun on French school shooting suspect’s apartment!

11.48pm: Here’s the latest from Reuters, backtracking further from the earlier report that an assault had been launched:

Three blasts at the building were the suspect in seven shootings in southwest France is holed up were intended to intimidate him and there has not been an assault to get him out of his apartment, the interior ministry said on Thursday.
“They were moves to intimidate the gunman who seems to have changed his mind and does not want to surrender,” ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told Reuters. “There is no assault.”
A police source and a deputy Toulouse mayor had said earlier that an assault had started after three loud blasts had been heard at the building following a more than 20-hour standoff.
Police have been trying to get 24-year-old Mohamed Merah to turn himself over after he fired through the door at them while they tried to storm his apartment in the suburbs of Toulouse in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

11.36pm: Reuters is now quoting the French interior minister saying that a raid has not been launched on Mohammed Merah’s apartment. He said the three explosions were meant to intimidate the suspect. This clearly contradicts earlier reports quoting the deputy mayor of Toulouse saying an assault had begun.

11.30pm: Several French news outlets are quoting police sources saying that authorities have not yet launched an assault on the school shooting suspect, but were putting pressure on him after he U-turned on an earlier decision to turn himself in.

“He said he wanted to give himself up. He changed his mind, so we’re stepping up on the pressure on him to surrender,” two sources toldFrance 3.

| The Wandering Who storm in a teacup benefits whom?

ANTI-ATZMON ZIONIST PROPAGANDA ~ Mary Shepard.

Recently the Palestine activism community was rocked by the circulation of a letter written by The Electronic Intifada’s editor, Ali Abunimah, calling for the “disavowal” of fellow activist Gilad Atzmon and his recently published book, “The Wandering Who?”

To say that I am astonished at the content of this letter, and even more so at who authored it, is an understatement.  I have read the book – twice – and found it challenging, daring and evocative, but not once did I find anything hateful or anti-Semitic within its pages.

What I do find, however, is that this whole episode just stinks of hypocrisy.   I’m aghast that Atzmon and his book have been labeled anti-Semitic, ostensibly out of a concern for the integrity of the activist community, yet not a word of condemnation passed Abunimah’s lips (or ended up on his website) when the activist Ken O’Keefe recently erupted in what could be termed hate speech against Jews, and has also been under investigation for financial malfeasance in regards to his “humanitarian work” in Gaza.   Instead, O’Keefe is left undisturbed to continue speaking publicly.  The continued fracturing of the Palestine activism community, with Atzmon’s book as the focal point, is so bizarre that it demands some questions be raised, including whose words and ideas are deemed acceptable, and whose are not, by this self-appointed star chamber.

Of course, the first question is, did Abunimah even read the book?  I strongly suspect he did not, since he failed to quote even one sentence from it as evidence of its alleged bigotry.  I would like to ask him to quote at least one passage substantiating his allegations, just to enlighten me.  Because I liked the book, I would like Abunimah to explain to me how that makes me an anti-Semite.

We also have to ask whether we really want to sit by and watch this equivalent of a book-burning.  If Atzmon’s ideas are controversial, why is there no discussion of them, but instead an insistence on silencing him and discrediting the message his book contains?  Why the sudden attack on Atzmon’s credibility, and at this particular time (he is in the US on a speaking tour promoting “The Wandering Who?”)?  Are we seeing a fit of professional jealousy, or is there something darker behind it?

Despite what one may think of “The Wandering Who?, we have to remind ourselves of who we are and what we believe in.   Those who have been working to free Palestine have enjoyed the privilege of holding the moral high ground against the thievery and murderousness of Zionism.  Attacking Gilad Atzmon for his ideas without discussing them and learning from them, definitely lowers the bar.  We also run the risk to become what we hate: we oppress, we deny, we lie to ourselves and each other just as the Zionists do.

******************************************

ALSO SEE:

Book review: The Wandering WHO?  Paul J Balles

Gilad struggled with the conflict between his early experiences as an Israeli Zionist and his awakening as a humanist

The Wandering WHO? navigates between thought-provoking personal experiences, historical and philosophical issues. 

Gilad Atzmon, scholar, prolific writer and leading jazz saxophonist has authored the book The Wandering WHO? In it he astutely explores the identity crisis he himself experienced and one faced by many Jews.

 

***********************

The unfortunate division over Gilad Atzmon ~ Alison Weir

| Mainstream Corporate Media and its methods of manipulation!

METHODS OF MEDIA MANIPULATION ~ Michael Parenti

We are told by media people that some news bias is unavoidable. Distortions are caused by deadline pressures, human misjudgment, budgetary restraints, and the difficulty of reducing a complex story into a concise report. Furthermore, the argument goes, no communication system can hope to report everything. Selectivity is needed.

I would argue that the media’s misrepresentations are not all the result of innocent error and everyday production problems, though such problems certainly exist. True, the press has to be selective–but what principle of selectivity is involved? Media bias does not occur in a random fashion; rather it moves in the same overall direction again and again, favoring management over labor, corporations over corporate critics, affluent Whites over low-income minorities, officialdom over protesters, the two-party monopoly over leftist third parties, privatization and free market “reforms” over public-sector development, U.S. corporate dominance of the Third World over revolutionary social change, and conservative commentators and columnists like Rush Limbaugh and George Will over progressive or populist ones like Jim Hightower and Ralph Nader (not to mention more radical ones).

The corporate mainstream media seldom stray into territory that might cause discomfort to those who hold political and economic power, including those who own the media or advertise in it.

What follows are some common methods of media manipluation:

Suppression by Omission.

The most common form of media manipulation is suppression by omission. The things left unmentioned sometimes include not just vital details of a story but the entire story itself. Reports that reflect poorly upon the powers that be are least likely to see the light of day. Thus the Tylenol poisoning of several people by a deranged individual was treated as big news, but the far more sensational story of the industrial brown-lung poisoning of thousands of factory workers by large manufacturing interests (who themselves own or advertise in the major media) remained suppressed for decades, despite the best efforts of worker safety groups to bring the issue before the public.

Often the media mute or downplay truly sensational (as opposed to sensationalistic) stories. Thus, in 1965 the Indonesian military–advised, equipped, and financed by the U.S. military and the CIA–overthrew President Achmed Sukarno and eradicated the Indonesian Communist Party and its allies, killing half a million people (some estimates are as high as a million) in what was the greatest act of political mass murder since the Nazi holocaust. The generals also destroyed hundreds of clinics, libraries, schools, and community centers that had been opened by the communists. Here was a sensational story if ever there was one, but it took three months before it received passing mention in Time magazine and yet another month before it was reported in The New York Times (April 4, 1966), accompanied by an editorial that actually praised the Indonesian military for “rightly playing its part with utmost caution.”

Information about the massive repression, murder, and torture practiced by U.S.-supported right-wing client states such as Turkey, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, El Salvador, Guatemala, and others too numerous to mention is simply omitted from the mainstream media and thereby denied public debate and criticism. It is suppressed with an efficiency and consistency that would be called “totalitarian” were it to occur in some other countries.

Attack and Destroy the Target.

Sometimes a story won’t go away. When omission proves to be insufficient, the media move from ignoring the story to vigorously attacking it. For example, over the course of 40 years, the CIA involved itself with drug traffickers in Italy, France, Corsica, Indochina, Afghanistan, and Central and South America. Much of this activity was the object of extended congressional investigations–by Congressman Pike’s committee in the 1970s and Senator Kerry’s committee in the late 1980s–and is a matter of public record. But the media did nothing but relentlessly misrepresent and attack these findings in the most disparaging way.

In August 1996, when the San Jose Mercury News published an in-depth series about the CIA-Contra crack shipments that flooded East Los Angeles, the major media suppressed the story. But after the series was circulated around the world on the Web, the story became too difficult to ignore, and the media began its assault. Articles in the Washington Post and The New York Times and reports on network television and PBS announced that there was “no evidence” of CIA involvement, that the Mercury News series was “bad journalism,” and that the public’s interest in this subject was the real problem, a matter of gullibility, hysteria, and conspiracy mania. In fact, theMercury News series, drawing on a year-long investigation, cited specific agents and dealers. When placed on the Web, the series was copiously supplemented with pertinent documents and depositions that supported the charge. In response, the mainstream media simply lied, telling the public that such evidence did not exist. By a process of relentless repetition, the major media exonerated the CIA of any involvement in drugs.

Labeling.

A label predefines a subject by simply giving it a positive or negative tag without the benefit of any explanatory details. Some positive labels are: “stability,” “the president’s firm leadership,” and “a strong defense.” Some negative ones are: “leftist guerrillas,” “Islamic terrorists,” and “conspiracy theorists.” In the June 1998 California campaign for Proposition 226, a measure designed to cripple the political activities of organized labor, union leaders were repeatedly labeled “union bosses,” while corporate leaders were never called “corporate bosses.” The press itself is falsely labeled “the liberal media” by the hundreds of conservative columnists, commentators, and talk-show hosts who crowd the communications universe with complaints about being shut out of it.

A strikingly deceptive label is “reform,” a word that is misapplied to the dismantling of social reforms. So the media talked of “welfare reform” when referring to the elimination of family assistance programs. Over the last 30 years, “tax reform” has served as a deceptive euphemism for laws that have repeatedly reduced upper-income taxes, shifting the payment burden still more regressively upon middle- and low-income strata.

Preemptive Assumption.

Frequently the media accept as given the very policy position that needs to be critically examined. During the 1980s, when the White House proposed a huge increase in military spending, the press went along without giving any exposure to those who called for reductions in the already bloated arms budget.

Likewise with the media discussion on Social Security “reform,” a euphemism for the privatization and eventual abolition of a program that is working well. Social Security operates as a three-pronged human service: in addition to retirement pensions, it provides survivors’ insurance to children in families that have lost their breadwinner, and it offers disability assistance to people of preretirement age who have sustained serious injury or illness. From existing press coverage you would never know the good that Social Security does and how well it works. Instead, the media assume a very dubious position that needs to be debated: That the program is in danger of collapsing (in 30 years) and therefore needs to be privatized.

Face-Value Transmission.

One way to lie is to accept at face value what are known to be official lies, uncritically passing them on to the public without adequate confirmation. When challenged on this, reporters insist that they cannot inject their own personal ideology into their reports. No one is asking them to. My criticism is that they already do. Their conventional ideological perceptions usually coincide with those of their bosses and with officialdom, making them faithful purveyors of the prevailing political orthodoxy. This confluence of bias is experienced as the absence of bias, and is described as “objectivity.”

Slighting of Content.

One has to marvel at how the media can give so much emphasis to style and process, and so little to actual substance. A glaring example is the way elections are reported. The political campaign is reduced to a horse race: Who will run? Who will win the nomination? Who will win the election? News commentators sound more like theater critics as they hold forth on what candidate is performing well and projecting the most positive image. The actual issues are accorded scant attention, and the democratic dialogue that is supposed to accompany a contest for public office rarely takes place.

Accounts of major strikes–on those rare occasions when the press attends to labor struggles–offer a similar slighting of content. We are told how many days the strike has lasted, about the inconvenience and cost to the company and the public, and that negotiations threaten to break down. Missing is any reference to the content of the conflict, the actual issues: the cutback in wages and benefits, the downgrading of jobs, or the unwillingness of management to negotiate a new contract.

False Balancing.

In accordance with the canons of good journalism, the press is supposed to tap competing sources to get both sides of an issue. In fact, both sides are seldom accorded equal prominence. One study found that on NPR, supposedly the most liberal of the mainstream media, right-wing spokespersons are often interviewed alone, while liberals–on the less frequent occasions when they appear–are almost always offset by conservatives. Left-progressive and radical views are almost completely shut out.

False balancing was evident in a BBC World News report (December 11, 1997) that spoke of “a history of violence between Indonesian forces and Timorese guerrillas”–with not a hint that the guerrillas were struggling for their lives against an Indonesian invasion force that had slaughtered some 200,000 Timorese. Instead, a terrible act of aggression was made to sound like a grudge fight, with “killings on both sides.” By imposing a neutralizing gloss over the genocidal invasion of East Timor, the BBC announcer was introducing a distortion.

Framing. 

The most effective propaganda relies on framing rather than on falsehood. By bending the truth rather than breaking it, using emphasis and other auxiliary embellishments, communicators can create a desired impression without departing too far from the appearance of objectivity. Framing is achieved in the way the news is packaged, the amount of exposure, the placement (front page or buried within, lead story or last), the tone of presentation (sympathetic or slighting), the headlines and photographs, and, in the case of broadcast media, the accompanying visual and auditory effects.

Newscasters use themselves as auxiliary embellishments. They cultivate a smooth delivery and try to convey an impression of detachment. They affect a knowing tone designed to foster credibility, voicing what I call “authoritative ignorance,” as in remarks like: “How will this situation end? Only time will tell”; or “No one can say for sure.” Sometimes trite truisms are palmed off as penetrating truths. So we are fed sentences like: “Unless the strike is settled soon, the two sides will be in for a long and bitter struggle.”

Learning Never to Ask Why.

Many things are reported in the news but few are explained. We are invited to see the world as mainstream pundits do, as a scatter of events and personalities propelled by happenstance, circumstance, confused intentions, and individual ambition–never by powerful class interests, yet producing effects that serve such interests with impressive regularity.

Passive voice and the impersonal subject are essential rhetorical constructs for this mode of evasion. So recessions apparently just happen like some natural phenomenon (“our economy is in a slump”), having little to do with the profit accumulation process, the constant war of capital against labor, and the inability of underpaid workers to make enough money to buy back the goods and services they produce.

In sum, the news media’s performance is not a failure but a skillfully evasive success. Their job is not to inform but to disinform, not to advance democratic discourse but to mute it, telling us what to think about the world before we have a chance to think about it for ourselves. When we understand that news selectivity is likely to favor those who have power, position, and wealth, we move from a liberal complaint about the press’s sloppy performance to a radical analysis of how the media serve the ruling circles with much skill and craft.

Michael Parenti is a leading progressive thinker and author of more than ten books including Against Empire; Dirty Truths; and Blackshirts and Reds. He lives in Berkeley. His latest book, America Besieged, which includes an earlier version of this article, is published by City Lights.

 

| Nine years out of Govt + pinning hopes on those who challenge it!

Nine Years Out of Government and Pinning Hopes on Those Who Challenge it! ~  

 

Nine years ago, on March 19, 2003, I resigned from the U.S. Department of State in opposition to President Bush’s war on Iraq.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge in the past nine years, but the concerns I have about our government and its policies have only grown — with the second four years of President Bush and now three years of President Obama.

U.S. policies continue to elicit concern/hatred around the world

U.S. continues to create and implement policies that invite concern and/or hatred from most of the people of the world while governments/heads of governments continue to be coerced, bribed, and bought-off to go along with whatever the United States decides is best for itself.

Ten and one-half years after the events of 9/11, America continues to consider itself a nation under siege by groups of non-state actors (al Qaida, Somali pirates and God know who else as we, the American public, are not cleared to know), and by the remainder of Bush’s Axis of Evil — Iran and North Korea.

The third of Bush’s Axis of Evil — Iraq — is now free of U.S. occupation forces after eight years, but is hardly a nation of democracy and rule of laws, very similar to the United States in the past 10 years of its War on Global Terrorism where laws against torture, illegal imprisonment, assassination and entrapment have been wholesale violated by the past two Presidential administrations.

Military Justice?

The terrible Guantanamo prison is still open, military commissions rather than federal courts will adjudicate tainted evidence stained by 10 years of imprisonment for the 150 still imprisoned there.

Justice Military style with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs declaring yesterday that Bradley Manning is guilty, just like President Obama did several months ago — so why even have a court-martial?

What military jury or judge will go against the publicly stated opinions of the President of the United States of America (a Constitutional Law professor, who must know the impact of a statement of the President — and a law professor to boot) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

Iran and North Korea still are U.S. Targets

Iran and North Korea, the other Bush Axis of Evil countries, continue to be in the cross-hairs of U.S. targeting for regime change and destruction. The coordinated U.S. and Israeli war-mongering against Iran and its nuclear program — still an energy program by estimates of all intelligence agencies — and the crippling sanctions that follow the same type of inhumane and illegal sanctions wrecked upon Iraq for eight years before the US invasion of that country, will never result in an uprising against a heavily armed government, but the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iranians, just as in Iraq, where Secretary of State Albright said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children will be acceptable to the Bush administration.

Afghanistan: Drones and Night Raids Murder Innocent Civilians

Afghanistan is suffering tremendous civilian casualties from the U.S. invasion and occupation, as did Iraq during its US invasion and occupation. Just this past week, the U.S. maintains that only one soldier massacred 16 civilians in 3 homes in two villages, hardly believable after endless years of U.S. military night raids by squads of soldiers who killed hundreds of innocent civilians, and certainly not believable to members of the Afghanistan Parliament who have visited the area and investigated the massacre.

Thousands of Afghans and thousands of Pakistani civilians have been killed by U.S. military and CIA drones in the past three years. The Obama administration has exponentially increased the number of drone attacks in both countries. The Pakistan government has refused to allow supply convoys from the port of Karachi to travel through Pakistan to resupply US and NATO bases in Afghanistan because of the drone attacks that have killed so many Pakistanis.

Israelis Are Still Attacking Palestinians, but Palestinians Refuse to Surrender

Nine years ago, my letter of resignation focused on my opposition to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, but I also mentioned the lack of Bush administration effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The lack of effort has continued in the Obama administration.

In the past three years, all during the Obama administration, I have been to Gaza four times, the first time days after the Israeli 22-day attack on Gaza that killed 1,440, wounded 5,000 and left 50,000 homeless. I have been to Israel and to the West Bank in the past three years and have seen the illegal Israeli settlements, the apartheid walls and the demeaning endless checkpoints. I was a passenger on the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla that the Israeli commandos attacked and killed nine unarmed passengers and wounded 50 others. I was an organizer and a passenger on the 2011 U.S. Boat to Gaza, the Audacity of Hope.

Nine years after my resignation, the land and sea blockade of Gaza continues as do the illegal Israeli settlements, the apartheid walls and the inhumane Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank.

Other than mounting Israeli crimes on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, not much has changed in nine years!

Massive Assault on Civil Liberties in the U.S.

In my resignation letter nine years ago, I also mentioned my concern about the curtailment of civil liberties under Bush’s Patriot Act. Bush’s illegal surveillance and wiretapping was codified into US law. Under the Obama administration we have assassinations of US citizens by drones upheld by the Attorney General as due process — not judicial process — but good enough for this administration.

We have the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) giving the US military rights to arrest and imprison American citizens in the United States. Whistleblowers are now charged with espionage and, if you are a Muslim in America, for the 10th year in a row, you had better watch out for local, state and federal police watching your every move. Secret America has placed cameras everywhere and is monitoring your every email, Facebook and GPS connection.

Two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder, in defending Obama’s decision to assassinate by drone strikes three American citizens in Yemen, said that our Constitution does not require judicial process in determining whether Americans, or anyone else, are guilty of crimes. Instead, “due process” is all that is required — due process of a political administration determining who are their enemies and executing them without a trial. This Attorney General, like the three before him — Ashcroft, Gonzalez and Mukasey — have subverted our Constitution on torture, wiretapping, illegal detention and now execution.

And because of US government policies and the curtailments of civil liberties, I firmly believe America is less secure than in 2001.

U.S. Government is Running Scared

The US Government is still running scared. It is scared of everything and everyone, including Americans who are trying valiantly to turn our country and government from a fear-based society to a rational society looking at the good and the bad and how we fix the challenges.

The brutal response of police to the OCCUPY movement across the nation is an indication of the fright of government and law enforcement to those who are saying that the scare policies of our government are not working and that the extreme corporate greed, much of it coming from the tremendous amounts of money thrown to “combat terrorism” must end. The double-dipping of police in most big cities of the US, of city policing by day and being the hired security squads of corporate America, has blurred to many police what their duties and responsibilities really are.

My Hope is Standing with Those Challenging U.S. Policies

Nine years after my resignation from the US government, I am proud to stand with the millions of Americans who work each day to challenge our governments at every level, to force them to respond to the needs of the people, not the needs of corporate America and the military-industrial complex.

Nine years after my resignation from the US government, I am proud to stand with the millions of Americans who work each day to challenge our governments at every level, to force them to respond to the needs of the people, not the needs of corporate America and the military-industrial complex!

In the rain, snow and hot sun, they stand on street corners and in front of Federal buildings with their signs and leaflets telling fellow citizens of their concerns. They are in front of the White House and at the U.S. Capitol giving the President and the Congress an earful of comments on the direction our country should be going! They are in tents and on streets with OCCUPY EVERYTHING, the latest, greatest action(s) in our history of citizens telling the government what it needs to hear.

Those who challenge our government’s unlawful policies are truly the hope for our country and I am proud to have been for the past nine years to be one of them!

 

| The endless ripples of Balfour and the illegitimate state of Israel!

How would the British feel and react if the United States gave France the right to takeover their country?

Did England have any right or authority to approve forcing the Palestinians to give up their territory?

Why did England issue its Balfour Declaration supporting the establishment of a homeland for the Jews in Palestine approximately four months after the United States entered WWI?

 

 

Israel Is IllegitimateAlan Hart

05 April, 2010
Countercurrents.org

For readers who may not be intimately familiar with English terminology, an oxymoron is a figure of speech by which contradictory terms are combined to form an expressive phrase or epithet such as cruel kindness and falsely true. (It’s derived from the Greek word oxymoros meaning pointedly foolish).

For my contribution to the De-legitimizing Israel series, I’m going to confine myself to one question and answer.

The question is: How can you de-legitimize something (in this case the Zionist state) when it is NOT legitimate?

Leaving aside the fairy story of God’s promise, (which even if true would have no bearing on the matter because the Jews who “returned” in answer to Zionism’s call had no biological connection to the ancient Hebrews), the Zionist state’s assertion of legitimacy rests on the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the UN General Assembly’s partition plan resolution of 1947.

The only real relevance of the Balfour Declaration is in the fact that it was an expression of both the willingness of a British government to use Jews for imperial purposes and the willingness of Zionist Jews to be used. The truth is that Britain had no right whatsoever to promise Zionism a place in Palestine, territory the British donot possess. (Palestine at the time was controlled and effectively owned by Ottoman Turkey). The Balfour Declaration did allow Zionism to say that its claim to Palestine had been recognised by a major power, and then to assert that the Zionist enterprise was therefore a legitimate one. But the legitimacy Britain conveyed by implication was entirely spurious, meaning not genuine, false, a sham.

Zionism’s assertion that Israel was given its birth certificate and thus legitimacy by the UN General Assembly partition resolution of 29 November 1947 is pure propaganda nonsense, as demonstrated by an honest examination of the record of what actually happened.

In the first place the UN without the consent of the majority of the people of Palestine did not have the right to decide to partition Palestine or assign any part of its territory to a minority of alien immigrants in order for them to establish a state of their own.

Despite that, by the narrowest of margins, and only after a rigged vote, the UN General Assembly did pass a resolution to partition Palestine and create two states, one Arab, one Jewish, with Jerusalem not part of either. But the General Assembly resolution was only a non-binding proposal – meaning that it could have no effect, would not become binding, until and unless it was approved by the Security Council.

The truth is that the General Assembly’s partition proposal never went to the Security Council for consideration. Why not? Because the US knew that, if approved, and because of Arab and other Muslim opposition, it could only be implemented by force; and President Truman was not prepared to use force to partition Palestine.

So the partition plan was vitiated (became invalid) and the question of what the hell to do about Palestine – after Britain had made a mess of it and walked away – was taken back to the General Assembly for more discussion. The option favoured and proposed by the US was temporary UN Trusteeship. It was while the General Assembly was debating what do that Israel unilaterally declared itself to be in existence – actually in defiance of the will of the organised international community, including the Truman administration.

The truth of the time was that Israel, which came into being mainly as a consequence of Zionist terrorism and pre-planned ethnic cleansing, had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist unless ….. Unless it was recognised and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved.

As it was put to me many years ago by Khalad al-Hassan, Fatah’s intellectual giant on the right, that legitimacy was “the only thing the Zionists could not take from us by force.”

The truth of history as summarised briefly above is the explanation of why, really, Zionism has always insisted that its absolute pre-condition for negotiations with more than a snowball’s chance in hell of a successful outcome (an acceptable measure of justice for the Palestinians and peace for all) is recognition of Israel’s right to exist. A right, it knows, it does not have and will never have unless the Palestinians grant it.

It can be said without fear of contradiction (except by Zionists) that what de-legitimizes Israel is the truth of history. And that is why Zionism has worked so hard, today with less success than in the past and therefore with increasing desperation, to have the truth suppressed.

Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent. He is author of Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews. He blogs at http://www.alanhart.net and tweets via http://twitter.com/alanauthor

This article is part of a special Israel de-legitimization series.

Other articles in the series are:

Israel Is Illegitimate 
By Alan Hart

The Palestinians Are Winning The Legitimacy War:
Will It Matter? 

By Richard Falk

Total Boycott Against Total Occupation 
By Antoine Raffoul

Rule By Law or Defiance 
By William A. Cook

Reversing Faux Legitimacy
By Paul Balles

Was Israel Ever Legitimate ?
By Jeff Gates

 

| Libya’s new dawn goes dark: The forgotten victims of NATO strikes!

Libya: “Dawn” turns into chaos ~ Garibov Konstantin

Right now, tribal discords advance to the level of genocide, with some African tribes being slaughtered. 

Photo: EPA


Exactly a year ago, France, Britain and the US kicked off a military operation in Libya. The aim was declared in a UN Security Council resolution on March 17, 2011. The document authorized an embargo on arms supplies to the Gaddafi regime and a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians from air strikes.

During the vote, Russia, China and Germany abstained from adopting the resolution which Moscow said could be loosely interpreted by the West to start a military intervention against Libya. Russia, however, decided not to veto the resolution which Moscow hoped would help resolve the political standoff in Libya at the time. In the end, the Libyan variant of the Arab Spring resulted in an intervention and the ouster and the subsequent killing of Muammar Gaddafi. The West and its allies’ Operation Odyssey Dawn led to chaos in Libya, believes Yevgeny Satanovsky, head of the Middle East Institute in Moscow.

“The Arab Spring in Libya saw a separatist mutiny in Benghazi which was followed by Cyrenaica’s proclaiming its autonomous status,” Satanovsky says. “This explains why Saudi Arabia and Qatar were trying to topple Gaddafi. Right now, tribal discords advance to the level of genocide, with some African tribes being slaughtered. No modern-day democracy under the aegis of the Arab Spring has taken place in Libya which is currently on the edge of disintegration,” Satanovsky concludes.

When supporting Libyan rebels’ fight against Muammar Gaddafi, the West did not care a bit about democratic reforms in Libya. The goal was to take control of the countries’ resources – something that was not achieved, says Sergei Demidenko, expert of the Moscow-based Institute for Strategic Assessments and Analysis.

“Britain and France were trying to take control of the Libyan oil, but to no avail,” Demidenko says, referring to the political deadlock in Libya which prevented London and Paris from resolving the task. “The Libyan gridlock contributed greatly to the spread of Islamist radicalism in the region – something that the EU should grapple with,” Demidenko adds.

Right now, field commanders are seen as Libya’s new rulers, analysts say, citing more than 100,000 armed Libyans currently in place in this North African country. Also, there is a big question mark over the activities of the Libyan National Transitional Council, commentators say. Alexei Podtserob, of the Moscow-based Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, shared his thoughts on what countries benefited from Libya’s Arab Spring.

“Capitalizing on this were those countries which currently have Libyan assets that are yet to be finally unfrozen,” Podtserob says, citing Qatar which significantly expanded its regional clout thanks to Gaddafi’s ouster.

The Russian expert pointed to poor living standards in Libya, where unemployment is on the rise and GDP is on the decline. More than 10,000 people are still in prison in Libya, and the crackdown on Gaddafi supporters continues. Podtserob also mentioned unsuccessful attempts by the International Criminal Court to obtained unbiased information about what is going on in Libyan jailhouses.

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Also see:

 

Libya: The forgotten victims of NATO strikes

In March 2011 several member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launched a military campaign against Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi’s forces. Although NATO appears to have made significant efforts to minimize the risk of causing civilian casualties, scores of Libyan civilians were killed and many more injured. Amnesty International is concerned that no information has been made available to the families of civilians killed and those injured in NATO strikes about any investigations which may have been carried out into the incidents which resulted in death and injury.

 

This document is also available in:

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Index Number: MDE 19/003/2012
Date Published: 19 March 2012

Arabic:

 

| Israel: How many violations of US arms laws are too many?

 

How many violations of US arms laws are too many?
~ Dr. Franklin Lamb
It depends whether the miscreant enjoys “We will always have your back regardless”…. status

 

Cluster bombs
Washington Post Pentagon reporter George Wilson interviewed Lamb in Washington in late 1982, & said this Janet Lee Stevens / Franklin Lamb research photo convinced the Reagan administration to ban shipments of American cluster bombs to Israel for nearly 6 years. Pres. Reagan reportedly told Rep. Paul Findlay that when he saw this photo and read the Pentagon report he was furious with Israeli PM Begin for lying to him.

Franklin Lamb

Beirut

On March 6, 2012, the US Congressional Research Service released a report to the US Congress concerning Restrictions on the use of American weapons by recipient countries.

For those who have followed the subject there was not a whole lot new in the CRS study, yet it is instructive in identifying Israel once again as far and away the most consistent egregious violator of virtually every provision of every US law which purports to regulate how American weapons are used.

In accordance with American law, the U.S. Government is mandated to enforce strict conditions on the use against civilians, of weapons it transfers to foreign recipients.

child injured
More

Violations of these conditions can lead to the suspension of deliveries or termination of contracts for such defense items, and even the cutting off of all aid to the violating country.

Section 3(a) of the 1976 US Arms Export Control Act (AECA) sets the standards for countries to be eligible to receive American arms and it also sets express conditions on the uses to which these arms may be put. Section 4 of the AECA states that U.S. weapons shall be sold to friendly countries “solely” for use in “legitimate self-defense, for use in “internal security,”  and to enable the recipient country to participate in “collective measures requested by the United  Nations for the purpose of maintaining or restoring international peace and security.”

warlane missiles

Should the President or Congress determine pursuant to section 3(c)(3)(A) of the Arms Export Control Act that a “substantial violation” by a foreign country of an applicable agreement governing an arms sale or grant has occurred, then that country is automatically ineligible for further U.S. military hardware. This action would also terminate provision of credits, loan guarantees, cash sales, and deliveries pursuant to previous sales or grants. Other options include suspension of deliveries of defense items already ordered and refusal to allow new arms orders.

 

US cluster bomb canisters
American researchers documented scores of US cluster bomb canisters including the one pictured above during the summer of 1982 in Beirut and shared the serial numbers with the US Navy in exchange for information on how the Lebanese public could reduce the dangers from unexploded cluster bomblets. Meetings were sometimes held in the summer of 1983 with US ordinance disposal experts at the Beirut airport based US Marine barracks. One Marine was killed by an M-43 “birdie” in this period while examining the wing tipped device shown in the photo

The United States has only once used such an option against Israel.

Questions raised by researchers in Beirut during the summer of 1982 and by Washington Post journalist Jonathan Randel regarding the use of U.S.-supplied military equipment by Israel in Lebanon in June and July 1982, led the Reagan Administration to determine on July 15, 1982, that Israel “may” have violated its July 23, 1952, Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the United States (TIAS 2675) and the AECA.

fighter

The pertinent language of the 1952 agreement between Israel and the United States states:

beirut 1982
Beirut 1982

“The Government of Israel assures the United States Government that such equipment, material, or services as may be acquired from the United States … are required for and will be used solely to maintain its internal security, its legitimate self-defense, or to permit it to participate in the defense of the area of which it is a part, or in United Nations collective security arrangements and measures, and that it will not undertake any act of aggression against any other state.”
Alarm centered on whether or not Israel had used U.S.-supplied antipersonnel cluster bombs against civilian targets during its carpet bombing West Beirut during the nearly three month siege.

bombs bomb

 

Franklin Lamb in 1982
The author shown in West Beirut in early July 1982 collecting unexploded US cluster bombs that Israel dropped on civilian targets in Lebanon. Stevens and Lamb traded the Pentagon 36 pages of serial numbers from US bomb canisters and other US ordnance in exchange for the Pentagon allowing the Indian Head Maryland Navy ordnance center to give Lamb the then classified relevant CBU manuals showing how to defuse them. These manuals helped the PLO distribute posters in the camps showing residents and security forces how to disarm them. The FBI decided against prosecuting Stevens and Lamb bringing nearly 50 lbs. of highly exposive material into the United States and the Reagan Administration learned much about how far down the stockpile of American weapons Israel was operating from.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee held hearings on this issue in July and August 1982.

On July 19, 1982, the Reagan Administration announced that it would prohibit new exports of cluster bombs to Israel.

This prohibition was lifted by the Reagan Administration in November 1988 under US Israel lobby pressure on the White House designed to assist the Presidential campaign of George H. W. Bush against Senator Walter Mondale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The facts of this case which manly centered on events in Lebanon are instructive. During the 1973 Ramadan war, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, watching Arab forces advance on Israel troops following the October 6 Egyptian and Syrian offensive, and being advised by the Israeli Defense Ministry of a pending disaster, threatened President Nixon with Israel using nuclear weapons unless the US rescued Israel. Nixon’s immediate response was to order a massive air lift to Israel of US arms stockpiled for use in Vietnam at Clark air force base near Subic Bay, Philippines.

Israel’s Gifts to Lebanon

The base commander at Clark immediately resigned because being on the defensive in Vietnam, US troops he advised Washington needed those weapons. Included were eight types of US cluster bombs including the M-42, M-46,CBU-58 A/B, APAM (BLU) 77/B, MK 20 “Rockeye”, MK 118 and he M-43 “Birdie” as the U.S. Marines in Beirut referred it in late 1982 and 1983.

During a late June 1982 meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Begin, Reagan was handed a note from George Shultz. Based on the information he had in hand, Reagan directly told Begin that the US had reliable information than Israel was using American weapons against civilians in Lebanon. At this point according to Reagan, Begin became very agitated.

He lowered his glasses and while glaring at Reagan and shaking his index finger said, “Mr. President, Israel has never and would never use American weapons against civilians and to claim otherwise is a blood libel against every Jew, everywhere.”

Following their meeting Reagan told Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, as reported by Weinberger and by various biographers of Reagan that “I did not know what the term “blood libel” meant, but I know that the man looked me straight in the eyes and lied to me.”

An expert from the Mines Advisory Group inspects an unexploded Israel cluster bomb in the Lebanese village of Ouazaiyeh, Lebanon, 2006. Photo: AP/Mohammed Zaatari

The original Secretary of State George Schultz suggestion to Reagan of Israel using two types (the M-42 and the CBU-58) of American cluster bombs was soon changed to the charge that Israel in fact used all eight types of American cluster bombs Nixon had sent to Meir.

Israel’s Gifts to Lebanon Anti-persons mines

Proof of the use of the eight types of US cluster bombs was delivered to an assembly of US Pentagon and other officials in late July 1982 at the Indian Head Ordnance facility on the Potomac River in Southern Maryland on instructions from the late American Journalist Janet Lee Stevens to this observer.

Substantive and still preserved demonstrative and physical evidence, including photographs  and US cluster bombs some of which still were filled with the high explosive minol, that were carried in my suitcase, (at least a ten year sentence in the Feds one imagines if done these days even in  the then ignorance of possible ignition) that had been gathered from around West Beirut by Janet and her research team that included Palestinian fighters delegated by Yassir Arafat and Khalil al Wazir (Abu Jihad), some Marabatoun fighters, Amal, as well as this observer, to aid with the task,

The US Zionist lobby accurately considers American arms control laws as meaningless. The prohibitions against Israel’s use of American weapons against civilians have not, are not and in all likelihood will never be enforced against Israel given the regimes continuing occupation of much of the US government.

The once cherished American value of building a nation based on humane laws and the American national security interest of achieving a foreign policy that deals on the basis of equality with other nations have been sacrificed  so as to delay the inevitable collapse of the apartheid colonial enterprise implanted on Palestine.

The Obama “we’ve got your back regardless” genuflection endangers America as surely as it threatens with US weapons, every capitol in the Middle East and beyond that may even contemplate challenging Zionism’s regional hegemony.

It’s high time for true American patriots to take back their country and rejoin the community of nations on the basis of equality and mutual respect for all, entangling and corruptive alliances with none.

 

Franklin Lamb in doing research in Libya and can be reached c/ofplamb@gmal.comHe is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon. Dr. Lamb is Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Wash.DC-Beirut Board Member, The Sabra Shatila Foundation and the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Beirut-Washington DC
Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp
Beirut Mobile: +961-70-497-804
Office:  +961-01-352-127

 

 

Source: Al-Manar Website