Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ukraine, Gaza, and The Political Uses of Selective Outrage

The reaction of the power structures of the U.S. bloc to the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine contrasts nicely to their complete silence- indeed ignoring- of the deliberate murder of four Palestinian boys playing soccer on a Gaza beach by an Israeli gunboat the day before. Or for that matter the killing of around 700 Palestinians in the past few weeks in what NPR calls an Israeli “incursion” (there’s euphemism for invasion for you) or “fighting between Hamas and Israel.”

There is an overriding FACT that must be stressed in the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner- that IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! This is proven by the intercepted communications released by the Kiev regime that they have been waving like a bloody flag that they say are between the Ukrainian rebels and one of the rebel commanders, and with a Russian intelligence Colonel. It is clear from the recordings that the rebels thought they were shooting down a Kiev regime military transport, and were surprised to find Malaysian airliner markings on the wreckage when they got to the scene. The BBC played excerpts, with translations, of these recordings. (The details are below.) A New York Times reporter interviewed on the BBC said there were “very many bombings in the area” by the Kiev regime’s air force. Given that the area is under aerial attack, and the rebels shot down a Kiev military transport just a week earlier over the same area, it is not surprising that such an accident would occur. Other airlines previously rerouted their planes to avoid overflying the area, two of them having done so months ago (CBS reported), and others within the last few weeks. Malaysian Airlines, obviously incompetent and cheap, to save money on fuel probably, refused to do so. Now the Malaysians are saying they had every right to fly over the area, it’s perfectly normal to do so. [1]

The FAA issued a warning on April 3rd prohibiting U.S. carriers from overflying parts of eastern Ukraine. The European Aviation Safety Agency also issued a warning to airlines. Yet Malaysian Airline System flew right over an area that has been under aerial bombardment for months and over which a military transport jet had been shot down by a missile just three days earlier on July 14th. [2]
Even their own evidence that it was an accident didn’t stop the Western stooges installed in power in Kiev from screaming “terrorism!” “atrocity!” and “crime!”

Western media are wringing their hands in grief over the 300 or so people killed on the Malaysian jet. They’ve barely uttered a peep about the hundreds of eastern Ukrainian civilians killed by aerial and artillery bombardments of their towns and villages by the Kiev regime.

And here’s an irony that apparently escaped Ukraine kingpin, “president” Petro. O. “I’m a Billionaire From Selling Candy!” Poroshenko: in 2001, Ukraine shot down a civilian airliner and lied, denying it did, until soon forced to fess up. [3] So accidents DO happen, contrary to his immediate insistence that the downing of the plane was a deliberate act of “terrorism.” For good measure, right-wing Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, who was elected on a platform of making global warming worse, demonstrated his bona fides as a U.S. stooge and political handmaiden by attacking the shoot-down as a “crime.” His Malaysian counterpart ran cover for the irresponsible, inept, penny-pinching state airline company by insinuating criminality and vowing to get to the bottom of it. (I say penny-pinching because flying over the war zone was a shorter path to the plane’s destination.)

It’s germane to mention some deliberate downings of civilian jetliners at this point. The Israeli air force chased and shot down a Libyan airliner over the Sinai desert (Egypt). The U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian airliner which was flying in a civilian commercial air corridor over the Persian Gulf. Both of these acts were deliberate. [4]

In the last couple of days we have been fed a new propaganda theme, such as by the BBC: the awful disrespect towards the bodies of those killed in the Malaysian plane. This “disrespect” apparently consists of the fact that all the corpses weren’t IMMEDIATELY scooped up and delivered to the Netherlands. The BBC (and U.S. corporate establishment media) hasn’t even whispered about the fact that ambulances can’t even go to villages in Gaza under Israeli bombardment because the Israelis deliberately shoot at the ambulances to drive them back. Or that patients are being killed in hospitals by Israeli bombardment. 46 schools and 7 hospitals in Gaza have been bombed, and as usual, Israel is targeting UN facilities for attack.

But the failure of a ragtag militia to immediately collect hundreds of bodies strewn over a wide area- as if there are mortuary workers and facilities there to handle it- that’s an outrage.

Contrast all this with an actual deliberate crime that Israel committed a day earlier, July 16th, in Gaza, when using one of their gunboats they deliberately killed four young boys playing football. (Called soccer in the U.S.) It was a broad daylight attack witnesses by numerous journalists in a hotel on the beach. A first shot missed them, and the boys started running. A second shell finished them off. The journalists said the boys were clearly recognizable to the naked eye as children from hundreds of yards away, on a big empty beach. Obviously the crew of the gunboat would have binoculars, not to mention sophisticated surveillance equipment, plus aerial surveillance. Israel has been issuing blanket statements blaming all civilian deaths in Gaza on Hamas, since Hamas won’t surrender. The U.S. agrees and calls the bombings of 7 hospitals, 46 schools, numerous mosques, hundreds of homes, ambulances and the power plant “self-defense.”

So how did the Western media handle this? Well, it wasn’t uniform- except in the U.S. The pretense that it must have been unintentional was maintained, despite numerous journalist eyewitnesses. NBC wouldn’t allow its own reporter, who saw the attack, to report it, and immediately yanked him out of Gaza, obviously to put him on ice. (NBC was forced to reverse the decision thanks to the empowering nature of the Internet, which provides an alternative means of communicating news outside the monopoly corporate propaganda system.)

BBC didn’t use words like “horrifying” and “awful” for this incident. No imputations of criminal intent were made by it or the other organs of Western propaganda. There hasn’t been a weeklong propaganda campaign beating the drums and rallying “the world” to oppose Israel in righteous outrage, as they’re trying to do against the Ukrainian separatists and Russia.

So we have, on the one hand, a tragic accident in a war zone that has been under attack from months by a regime that calls the people it is killing “terrorists.” That accident is branded as “terrorism” and a “crime.” On the other hand, a powerful nation is attacking an already-besieged people, has killed as of this writing about 800 (75-80% of whom were civilians, according to the UN), has wounded over 3,000, is bombing the hospitals, schools, and UN facilities, and the reaction of the U.S. and its stooge nations and their media is- gee, isn’t Hamas awful! They’re firing rockets at Israel.

Selective outrage and selective indifference. And the explanation lies in cynical power politics.

1] The BBC aired long descriptions of wreckage and bodies, personal items on the ground, from Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times. “There’ve been many bombings by Ukrainian jets in the area recently” she says, apropos of saying locals thought the explosion was “just another bombing.” “It’s a very confused situation on the ground.” Tavernise describes the plane “crashing practically on top of their village, I mean it was very close.” [Tavernise’s emphases.] BBC, July 18, 2014, the day after the shoot-down.

The Kiev regime put forth three tapes of what they said were intercepted calls between the rebels and Russia. The Kiev regime is pretending the tape prove the downing was a deliberate act of terrorism. Assuming the tapes are genuine, in fact they prove the shoot-down was an accident. (BBC played excerpts showing that- a fact BBC then ignored.) The rebels thought they’d shot down a military transport plane, then discovered when they went to the wreckage site that it was a civilian plane, resulting in cursing, not jubilation. There was mystification as to why a civilian plane was flying over a war zone.

One call is between a rebel commander and a Russian intelligence Colonel 30 minutes after the shoot-down. The rebel reports that they shot down “a plane,” and men have been dispatched to investigate. No mention of a civilian jetliner. The Russian asks about “Pilots? Where are the pilots?” clearly thinking it was a military plane and the pilots may have bailed out.

Another call, allegedly between “a rebel commander and one of his officers” was played with translation by the BBC: “What was it doing in the Ukraine’s territory?” “That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be flying. There’s a war going on!” Then BBC “News editor” Dina Newman in the BBC studio comments on the tapes: “There seems to be genuine surprise when they realize that a civilian plane was shot down and they cannot understand why the civilian plane was flying over an area where there was war going on.” [Her emphases.] She mentions “a lot of swear words” that BBC didn’t translate.

The fact that this key “evidence” of “guilt” put forth by the Kiev regime proves the shoot-down was an accident is deftly elided by U.S. media. Meanwhile Western political rulers from Obama on down are waxing wroth and fulminating over the “outrage” and “crime.” Tragedy would be the correct, that is, accurate and honest, word. But politicians deal in cynical manipulation, thus speak propaganda, not accurate and honest words.

2] Obama’s immediate response to the shoot-down of the Antonov military transport, an act of self-defense by the separatists fighting for their self-determination and their own nation- they declared themselves a new Republic, not part of Russia- was to heap harsh new sanctions on Russia. OBAMA: “Given its continued provocations in Ukraine, today I have approved a new set of sanctions on some of Russia’s largest companies and financial institutions.”

3] On October 4, 2001, Ukraine shot down a Siberian Airlines Tupolev TU-154 civilian airliner on its way to Tel Aviv, using an S-200 missile to do the deed. The Ukrainian regime at the time lied about it and denied it, before eventually ‘fessing up and saying it was an “accident.” But you didn’t know this
because you’re relying on the “news” media to keep you informed. Big mistake. You have to spent thousands of hours of your own time, unpaid, reading all kinds of esoteric sources, to keep up on things. Or rely on others who do. This interesting incident was in Aviation Week & Space Technology, a U.S. trade journal for military and civilian aircraft manufacturers. It ran in the July 21, 2014 issue, “Malaysian 777 Shoot-Down Another Big Blow,” p. 12.

4] For the U.S. Navy crime, see “Vincennes: A Case Study,” Proceedings Magazine, U.S. Naval Institute, August, 1993. Also see “U.S. Forces Down Plane of Bolivian President in Attempt to Kidnap NSA Whistleblower,” July 5th, 2013, for more on air piracy by the U.S. and the U.S. Navy shoot-down of TWA Flight 800.









Monday, July 21, 2014

Propaganda Campaign over Downed Malaysian Jet Provides Cover for Latest Israeli Massacre

72 Palestinians were slaughtered by the Israeli army in an assault on a very poor residential area in the Gaza concentration camp.

These were not “militants” or “terrorists” or people firing rockets. These were Palestinian civilians.

Heavy Israeli artillery shelling prevented ambulances from going in.

Israel has as of this writing killed over 500 Palestinians in the Gaza concentration camp and wounded over 3,100, who lack medical care.

Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu says Israel didn’t choose to attack Gaza, but it “was forced on us.” Yeah, like Poland forced Hitler to invade it. Really, it is the same. Hitler staged “provocations,” including murdering concentration camp inmates, dressing them in German uniforms, and claiming Poland had killed them on the border. Israel did (and does) it a bit differently, killing Palestinians, rounding up hundreds, trashing and demolishing homes, until Hamas was provoked into shooting some rockets onto Israeli territory. That gave Netanyahu the pretext to start aerial and naval bombardments of Gaza, and now another invasion.

Israel shells a hospital, again, killing patients while they were in surgery. Al-Aksa hospital. The genuine atrocities Israel is committing elicits no response from the propaganda system of the U.S. bloc, which is daily trying to stoke outrage over the accidental downing of a Malaysian airliner flying over a Ukraine war zone, where it had no business being.

Israel is sadistically using illegal flechette explosives, which explode in the air and spew thousands of tiny steel darts which rip human flesh and embed themselves in people’s bodies, making treatment and removal difficult. (Especially when the hospitals are being bombarded, ambulances targeted on the streets, and medical supplies have run out.)

The establishment U.S. media are acting as accomplices, indeed as aiders and abetters, to Israel’s war crimes.

“Hamas exploits journalist as human shields!” Israel announced. Israel further said that therefore it wasn’t responsible for journalists killed by Israel. The next day they murdered a journalist. So obviously this was premeditated murder.

Ambulances and journalists have been specifically targeted by Israel.


Meanwhile, U.S. politicians and the government give complete support to Israel. One line you hear from government officials from Obama and Kerry on down, and then dutifully parroted by a media chorus of propagandists is “no nation would tolerate rockets being fired at it.” (Apparently Palestinians should tolerate mass arrests, killings, bombings of hospitals, etc.) Another line is “Israel has the right to defend itself.” So war crimes, deliberate murders of civilians, etc., is “self-defense.” This is truly sick stuff.

But "the world's attention" (i.e. a massive propaganda campaign is going on) is focused on the accidental downing of a Malaysian airliner stupidly flying over a war zone. (The FAA banned flights over eastern Ukraine, and normal airlines stopped overflying the area weeks and even months ago.) The Kiev regime has been bombing towns and cities from the air, so naturally the rebels in the east attempt to shoot down planes. The Malaysian jet was flying at 33,000 feet, so it was just a blip on a radar screen. A blip that would be the same as the Kiev regime's military transport plane the rebels shot down a few weeks ago.The Kiev regime released intercepted rebel communications that prove they didn't know it was a civilian jet until they went to examine the wreckage. Naturally, the regime and their backers in the U.S. bloc government and commercial media are cynically ignoring that fact and presenting it as a deliberate atrocity, to "rally the world against Russia." (The way the U.S. media has been carrying on, you'd think Putin personally launched the anti-aircraft missile.)

I'm working on a longer piece about this travesty, and the sickening double standard of ginned up outrage, so typical of Western imperialist hypocrisy when it comes to life and death.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Score So Far in Latest Israeli Attack on Gaza: 238 to 1

That’s the tally of dead bodies that Israel has racked up so far. Hamas’ 1,000 rockets, about which much hysteria is beamed to international publics through Israeli-aligned Western propaganda systems, has killed a grand total of ZERO Israelis. The sole Israeli death so far was caused by a mortar shell. So much for the “terror” being inflicted on the Israeli population, according to U.S. Emperor Obama, who apparently doesn’t think the Palestinians have human feelings. I would say the relentless Israeli bombardment with their U.S.-provided arsenal, is creating a lot more fear among Palestinians than what the Israeli public is experiencing. In fact, anyone in Israel experiencing more than anxiety is a scaredy-cat. The vast majority of the rockets fired into Israel land on dirt, too far from anyone or anything to do any damage or cause any casualties. Furthermore, their U.S.-financed Iron Dome missile defense system is reportedly shooting down a sizable fraction of those rockets. Finally, Israelis have air raid shelters to go to- Palestinians don’t.

As for the wounded, there are over 1,600 on the Palestinian side, about a dozen on the Israeli. 50 Palestinian children have been killed in ten days by Israel’s oh-so-accurate aerial attacks. (Israeli shills have boasted about how accurate they are- so let’s take them at their word and not assume the slaugher of civilians is “accidental” or “mistaken”.) The UN says 80% of the Palestinian dead were civilians. (But everybody knows the UN is anti-Semitic, right?)

But let us review how this started. Three Jewish colonizer teenagers were kidnapped. One called the police on his cellphone and reported they had been seized. It turns out that the police then heard gunshots over the phone. This fact was suppressed on orders of Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, under Israeli censorship laws that give the government the power to muzzle the media, using the standard excuse, “security.” Then for several weeks a frantic, bogus “search” ensued, which was a pretext for the Israeli army and secret police to smash into hundreds of Palestinian homes (destroying property and looting some, for good measure), round up several hundred Palestinians, and KILL eleven Palestinians. This cynical operation of a bogus search for “missing” teens has been kept hidden by the venal U.S. establishment media, who are NOT subject to Israeli government censorship. (Apparently the self-censorship imposed by their own iron ideological discipline serves just as well as government control.)

Eventually civilian Israeli colonists found the three slain teens’ bodies, buried near the surface. At least that’s the story they’re telling us now. (Could be true.)

Then, not satisfied with the eleven Palestinians already killed by Israeli “security forces,” “settlers” tried to kidnap an 8-year old Palestinian boy, slashing his throat in the process (superficially- photos have been published) then finding a 16 -year old Palestinian victim, who they sadistically burned alive (according to the Israeli autopsy). After that, Israeli “Border Police” brutally beat the face and head of the victim’s 15-year old cousin at a protest against the murder.

Naturally, the puppet “Palestinian Authority,” at this point virtually a wholly-own creature of the U.S., was passive through all this. (The PA’s “security services” are creations of and proteges of the CIA, which trains and guides them) Finally Hamas responded to the provocation the arrests of numerous Hamas members, including the Speaker of the Palestinian parliament, by firing rockets at Israel. Literally just at the country. Apparently these homemade rockets can’t hit the broad side of a barn.

This gave Israel the excuse it was looking for to start its third aerial bombing campaign on the Gazan open air concentration camp in 6 years.

Since then, another 221 (as of today) Palestinians have been killed, and over 1,600 wounded, some grievously maimed or burned, trapped in a prison with a dearth of medical supplies, much less advanced treatment and rehabilitation facilities. There are already numerous amputees.

Netanyahu’s main motive is to break up the newly-formed coalition government between Hamas and the PA. Israel reacted hysterically to this tentative Palestinian unity. Naturally Israel wants to keep the oppressed Palestinian population divided.

A couple of days ago, U.S. Secretary of State John “Skull and Bonesman” Kerry called Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and told him to call Netanyahu to cook up a scheme to guard the Israelis on the public relations flank. They came up with a “ceasefire” deal, without telling Hamas, which Hamas rejected, as the three conspiring parties knew they would. [1]

Sure enough, Netanyahu followed up by saying Hamas had “shut the door” to a diplomatic “solution.” In other words, he can pretend HE TRIED to stop bombing Gaza, after over a thousand air sorties, plus naval bombardment, but Hamas JUST WON’T LET HIM. So he has NO CHOICE to continue the slaughter and destruction, and maybe invade again for good measure.

How very clever!

Not that Hamas isn’t playing right into Netanyahu’s hands. But in a way, he’s playing into theirs too. Their refusal to say uncle, their continued defiant (if militarily futile) rocket firing at Israel, builds up their stature in the eyes of Palestinians, who see them resisting (at great cost to the Palestinians) Israeli occupation, imprisonment, and endless oppression. So once again Israel undercuts the very puppet PA regime it relies on to deliver the Palestinian people to the surrender table. (I’m being a bit unfair to the PA; it’s more complicated than a simple puppet relationship, largely because the PA has to try and maintain SOME credibility with the people it misrules as surrogate for Israel and the U.S., but it will take up too much time and space to explain all the nuances here.)

The fundamental “problem,” from the point of view of Israeli imperialism and its U.S. and European backers, is that the Palestinian people stubbornly refuse to surrender. They refuse to recognize their status as a defeated people doomed to be perpetually oppressed. The “peace process” has always been a disguised surrender process- but the Palestinians won’t surrender. Thus, they must be made to suffer until they resign themselves to defeat. Oddly, they persevere, despite their hopeless situation. It’s enough to remind one of Jewish perseverance over the centuries. (Is that idea “anti-Semitic”? Ask a Zionist!)


1] For an explanation of why the phony “ceasefire” deal arranged by Israel and Egypt behind Hamas’ back was rejected, the history of Israeli treachery and double crosses, and a deeper understanding of the Palestinian situation and perspective, see the interviews with Norman Finkelstein and with Haaretz journalist Amira Hass -two people of unusual personal integrity, principle, and grit. “After Palestinian Unity Deal, Did Israel Spark Violence to Prevent a New ‘Peace Offensive’?Democracy Now! interview with Finkelstein, July 15th, and “With 192 Dead in Gaza, Is Lasting Ceasefire Possible Under Israeli Occupation?Democracy Now! interview with Amira Hass, July 15th.

Notes for another essay:
7/17/14 Israeli gunboat slaughters 4 children, cousins, ages 9-11, in broad daylight on a beach in Gaza. This was done in full view of the international media, whose personnel were in a hotel right on the beach. First the gunboat blew up a shack on the beach, then 30 seconds later lobbed a shell at the fleeing kids, killing four of them, wounding others, and wounding a man, with shrapnel. The beach was otherwise empty, and the children were clearly children playing soccer, visible to the reporters’ naked eyes hundreds of yards away (and certainly easily identifiable to the Israelis with their binoculars an sophisticated surveillance equipment).

BBC covers up these details, instead feeding us Israeli president Shimon Peres’ propaganda. Slying combining crocodile tears with shifting the blame onto the Palestinians, Peres, a lifelong Zionist bigwig and top overseer of the creation of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, said this:

“It wasn't intentional and we are really sorry to see four children being killed. I think the air force [sic-this particular atrocity was by an Israeli navy gunboat] is taking the maximum care not to hit children. And it was an accident because it was an area that we warned would be bombed, because there was a great concentration of weapons. And unfortunately they didn't take out the children.”

First, it very obviously WAS intentional, as numerous eyewitnesses from the international media can attest. Second, the Israelis aren’t sorry at all. They have been killing Palestinian children, deliberately, for decades. They don’t want them to grow up. This is part of their population control of the Palestinians, along with stunting their growth by limiting food supplies (“keeping them on a diet,” in their own cynical insider phrase).

Third, there were NO weapons there, much less “a great concentration.” And finally he blames the Palestinians, for not hiding their children in an underground bunker or something, I guess. Reminds one of the sneering, laughing comment by one of the U.S. Apache helicopter murderers in the infamous “collateral murder” video that Chelsea Manning gave to WikiLeaks. After shooting up a van full of children, he says to his fellow crewmen something like That’s what they get for bringing their children to a firefight.” (This was the murder of a Reuters camera crew walking in Baghdad, along with other civilians. You can search youtube.com for “collateral murder video” for numerous versions of it.)

The attack on Gaza is what the Israeli military police state calls “mowing the lawn,” the need to periodically stomp down on the Palestinian people.


For two eyewitness journalists’ accounts, see “Witness to a shelling: first-hand account of deadly strike on Gaza port, the guardian, 16 July 2014, and an interview with New York Times photographer and eyewitness Tyler Hicks, “Horror on Gaza Beach: New York Times Photographer Witnesses Israeli Killing of 4 Palestinian Boys,” Democracy Now!, July 17th.

Malaysian Airliner Crashes Over Ukraine- A Provocation or a Blunder?

A Malaysian airliner went down today over eastern Ukraine, an area where the Kiev client regime of the U.S. and EU has been waging a military offensive to wipe out what it calls "terrorists" (secessionists and rebels, presumably backed by Russia). The U.S. is already putting it out in whispers into friendly media ears that a surface to air missile brought the civilian airliner down. Putin mentioned the plane crash/shootdown
during a phone call with Emperor Obama of the U.S.

Two main possibilities suggest themselves here. 1) Rebels made a bad mistake or did something stupid. It certainly couldn't benefit them to commit such an atrocity. 2) The Kiev regime arranged a shootdown to blame it on the "terrorists" (shooting down airliners is the kind of thing "terrorists" do, right?).

Under 2), there are a few possibilities. Kiev's "National Guard," filled with fascists, could have done the deed. Or it could be a false flag operation, just as the snipers who killed numerous policemen and rioters during the siege of government buildings in Kiev that led to the overthrow of the previous elected president of Ukraine, were a false flag operation, as revealed in an intercepted phone call between the Estonian foreign minister and EU poohbah Catherine Ashton. [1]

Just a few days ago the Kiev regime apparently lobbed an artillery shell into Russia, killing a Russian citizen, then denied they did it. They seem to be trying to provoke a Russian invasion (which they've been screeching about for months) in order to bring in more Western military might. An arranged airliner atrocity by "terrorists backed by Russia" could be a provocation, as well as providing useful agit-propaganda material as a bonus.

And Emperor Obama has just announced sanctions against various Russian companies, trying to cut them off from the U.S.-dominated international financial system. Interesting coincidence of timing, but it's too soon to speculate if there's a connection. Obama announced the new sanctions as punishment for Russia "interfering" in Ukraine, and its failure to order the rebels to surrender.

Speaking of shooting down civilian airliners, the U.S. bloc has a long and nasty history of that sort of thing. The U.S. infamously sponsored the Cuban exile fascist terrorists Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, who planted a bomb on a Cuban civilian airliner, killing all 78 people on board. In particular, the senior George Bush protected them, both as CIA director, and later as Emperor of the U.S., but the protection is extended by the entire police state of the U.S. and most of the establishment media. Under Emperor Reagan, the U.S. navy ship Vincennes infamously deliberately. shot down an Iranian jetliner over the Persian Gulf. And Israel shot down a Libyan civilian jetliner over the Sinai desert. The U.S. and Israeli-backed South African apartheid regime used a decoy radio beacon to lure the plane of Mozambican president Samora Machel into a mountainside. And speaking of false flag ops, the U.S. military had a plan to shoot down a CIA drone aircraft disguised as a civilian airliner, using a fake U.S. MiG, and pretend the Castro regime did it, as a pretext for a U.S. invasion.

1]  See "Ukraine Snipers Worked For U.S. Puppet Government, Estonian Foreign Minister Told Ashton," where you can listen to the phone call and read an analysis of it.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Israel Racks Up 101 Dead Palestinians- Hamas Rockets Kill Zero So Far

So what is the focus of the U.S. media? Hamas rocket fire, of course. Par for the course.

As usual, the Hamas rockets land almost entirely ineffectually. Israel, on the other hand, thanks to its U.S.-supplied F-16 fighter jets and U.S.-supplied munitions, is lethally effective. For good measure, Israel has been shelling Gaza from the sea.

Entire families have been wiped out. A cafe blown off the face of the earth, killing terrorist World Cup fans watching Television. (They must be terrorists, right? Anyone Israel or the U.S. kills is by definition a posthumous terrorist. Actually Israel called that one a “mistake.” On the other hand, they whispered in various reporters’ ears that they were targeting a single man allegedly present. Well he shouldn’t be using people as human shields! He should stand in the middle of nowhere with a target on his back! Actually Gaza is so tightly packed with people, there are no areas where a bombardment by air and sea, as Israel is conducting, wouldn’t kill “human shields” that “terrorists hide behind.”)

On top of 101 dead Palestinians (about half women and children), over 700 have been wounded- and the Gaza hospital lacks medical supplies.


The U.S. calls all this “self-defense” by Israel. The U.S. Secretary of State, the unbearable blowhard Skull and Bonesman John Kerry thundered that “no nation!” would or could tolerate rockets fired at it. (Actually plenty of nations have had to tolerate that, and worse. Victims of U.S. aggression, for example. And Lebanon, attacked repeatedly by Israel. But never mind. No point going once again through the futile exercise of illuminating the breathtaking hypocrisy and utter contempt for historical facts of the U.S. imperialist overlords.)

Israel has called up 40,000 reservists and is massing its army on the border with Gaza in preparation for a land invasion. Israel’s “intelligence” head has openly proclaimed the need to occupy Gaza for a spell, to root out Hamas.

A standard trope of Israeli propaganda (repeated by their supine parrots, the U.S. media) is that Hamas rocket fire is “indiscriminate.” “Indiscriminate” is code for inaccurate. It’s Israel that is killing people indiscriminately. It actually tacitly admits this by its standard justification line: “Hamas is using human shields! Hamas hides behind the civilian population! (Ergo, we have to blow up their shields.)”

Not to defend Hamas- those fanatics have brought down pointless suffering and death on the Palestinians in the Gaza open air concentration camp since the Israelis threw in the towel on “settling” Gaza. They had 10,000 army troops to defend 8,000 colonizers. Ariel Sharon The Slaughterer made a pragmatic decision that the cost wasn’t worth it. Instead he decided to concentrate on driving the Palestinians out of conquered East Jerusalem and expanding the colonial effort in “Judea and Samaria” (the West Bank to the world outside of Israel and Zionist circles). Hamas at that point made the very poor decision to lob ineffectual rockets into Israel. This provided a pretext for Israeli attacks, and also a propaganda coup for Israel, which could say “You see? We withdrew from Gaza and they respond with attacks on our civilians. They don’t want peace.” This also helped harden the attitude of the Israeli public towards Palestinians. Probably 90% of the Israeli public at this point viscerally despises the Palestinians, and some large percentage would be glad to see them exterminated.

Now Hamas, with its suicidal bravado, is giving Israel another excuse to butcher Palestinians and once again reduce their pathetic infrastructure to rubble. (This will be the third time in 6 years Israel has done this. They also do it to Lebanon every decade or so.)

Let’s recap how the current situation started. Parties unknown kidnapped and shot dead three Israeli teenaged colonists, burying their bodies. Israel blamed Hamas, presenting no evidence; Hamas denied it. (Without evidence, we cannot know who did it, but as I previously wrote, it doesn’t have Hamas’ M.O. That by itself doesn’t rule out Hamas.) Israel went on a rampage in the West Bank to try and find the missing teens, arresting around 400 Palestinians and killing 7 in the process- already double the number of missing Israelis. In response, rockets were fired from Gaza, perhaps by Hamas, perhaps by a fringe group. When after several weeks, the bodies of the teens were found, Jewish colonists kidnapped a 16 year old Palestinian boy, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and burned him alive (as an Israeli autopsy discovered- burns in the air passages of the victim established that). Subsequently his teen cousin, who was visiting from Florida and is an American, was savagely beaten unconscious by Israeli police at a demonstration by Palestinians angry over Khdeir’s murder. (The Israelis claim he had a slingshot. Well, ok then, beat him unconscious!) Only because the beating was captured on video did anything come of this. The U.S. mildly objected, so Khdeir was put under house arrest and fined. (Fine before conviction- that must be another Israeli innovation in repression.) Well, that’s more than the U.S. did when Rachel Corrie was murdered by an Israeli army bulldozer driver, obvious acting under orders, or when scores of American sailors and killed and wounded when Israel tried to sink the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967, so maybe that’s progress. (Not really.)

It doesn’t matter what the Palestinians do- their situation is hopeless. Israel respond to peaceful Palestinian protests the same way it responds to Palestinian violence- with violence. And in fact it has always done so, and that is well documented, including by Israelis. So the fact that the Palestinians are an oppressed people cannot be denied.

And the U.S. imposes its usual double standard. Violence is fine to achieve its ends. When it doesn’t like a regime, it will support violence against that regime, as it did earlier this year in Ukraine. The U.S. has supported numerous guerrilla and terrorist groups historically. But the Palestinians aren’t even allowed to join international organizations without suffering reprisals by the U.S. and Israel. They are supposed to docilely participate in the charade called “the peace process,” which is nothing more than the creeping Bantustanization of the Palestinians. Recall that during the 8 years of the “Oslo process” under the mass murderer Bill Clinton, the colonizer population doubled. Which put the lie to the idea that the Israelis were negotiating a handover of the West Bank (much less East Jerusalem, although to this day those lies are repeated, along with the claim that Arafat ruined everything).

Meanwhile the cynical, feckless, and cruel Arab regimes once more do nothing to help the Palestinians, instead spouting anti-Semitic crap to dupe their credulous publics. Thus the worst of both worlds- anti-Semitism with no actual opposition to Israeli imperialism and repression, but in fact secret connivance. The Saudis in particular are secretly tight with Israel. Jordan is an Israeli ally in all but official name. And Egypt has been a co-repressor of the Palestinians with Israel for decades.

But the new Egyptian military dictator, Sisi, is all heart. He decided to allowed badly wounded Palestinians (no one else) to pass through the Rafa border crossing into Egypt for medical care. Otherwise the blockade of Gaza by Egypt stands. (Palestinians have to dig tunnels, like moles, to get even basic supplies. Israel is now bombing those tunnels- again.) A whole 20 ambulances- 20! have been sent by Egypt to the border.


Thanks, Sisi! What a guy!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

How Many Eyes for an Eye Will Israel Want This Time?

Well, it’s over. And it’s just starting.

The drama of the missing and presumed kidnapped Israeli teenagers, who disappeared in the West Bank hitchhiking home from religious school, has concluded Act One with the discovery of their bodies in a shallow grave near Hebron by civilian searchers. Act Two will be the intensification of the violent Israeli response, which has already claimed the lives of seven young Palestinians (including minors), the rounding up and imprisonment of hundreds (who of course are being subjected to Israel’s version of non-torture torture), mass raids and destruction of property and the demolition of several homes already with all their inhabitants’ earthly belongings inside- homes of two men Israel blames for the killings of the three teens. [1]

The shooting of the Israeli Jewish teens was “brutal,” a “brutal” killing. The shooting of 7 (and counting) Palestinians isn’t “brutal,” aren’t “shootings,” aren’t even killings, in the active verb sense. Palestinians are merely “killed,” as if by a falling tree branch. “Seven Palestinians have been killed” by some unnamed force, is how U.S. and much of the Western media describes it- when they even mention it, which they do barely at all.

"There can be no forgiveness for the killers of children and those who sent them. Now is the time to act," Israel's economy minister, Naftali Bennett, said in a statement.

The “liberal” British paper the Guardian went into detail about the grief and pain of Israelis over the fate of the three youths. They also got around to mentioning what the Israeli military and police were doing in the meantime to the Palestinians, in a brief paragraph, the tenth:

“The hunt for the three missing youths has seen several hundred Palestinians rounded up in a massive operation – often without charge or connection to the kidnapping – and five [as of that writing] Palestinians, including a number of minors, killed.” Check out the anonymizing phrase, “a number of minors.”

That’s it on Palestinian losses and suffering. Then the article returns to the business of focusing on Israeli’s pain, and descriptions of weeping. [1]

Which I am not scoffing at. I am pointing out the selective empathy, where the people of the nation backed by the West is populated by feeling human beings, and their victims, the Palestinians, are ciphers at best and terrorists at worst. The deaths and maimings of Palestinians are mere statistics. The destruction of tens of thousands of Palestinian homes not worthy of mention, except occasionally one at a time as an aside. Focusing on the handful of Israeli Jews who are occasionally killed, and the mostly impotent rockets landing on Israeli soil, paints the picture of the Israeli Jews as the victims of the Palestinians- a grotesque and vulgar inversion of reality that Western publics have been indoctrinated with over decades. Here is an example of lying by selective emphasis, and denying, ignoring, and deemphasizing what needs to be kept concealed to sustain the grossly misleading, fundamentally mendacious narrative.

The Guardian even serves up a quote from a neighbor of the slain teens which neatly inverts reality, and offers nothing to contradict or correct her utterly twisted and delusional statement: "When the Arabs are doing the killing the world stays silent, it is always Israel [who is criticised]."

In some alternate universe, that is. Maybe she’s living in one of those hidden extra dimensions physicists like to speculate about.

Obama issued this fulmination: "The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth." Namely the Jewish youth. On the Palestinian youths and young adults killed by the Israeli army, not a peep. But then, there never is when Palestinians are killed, as thousands have been over the years by Israel. But why would the U.S., a nation that has murdered millions, complain about that. It only denounces killings by official enemies.

This one-sided outrage has to be called propaganda. If there was genuine humanitarianism and morality operating here, the U.S. media and government wouldn’t be ignoring the slayings of Palestinians. The Western Establishment is continuing its decades-long policy of hostility and demonization of Palestinians and complete backing of Israel.

The head of the U.S. parrot government of “Great” Britain weighed in. British prime minister David Cameron emitted this: "I am deeply saddened by the news that the bodies of the three Israeli boys ... have been found ... This was an appalling and inexcusable act of terror perpetrated against young teenagers. Britain will stand with Israel as it seeks to bring to justice those responsible." Nothing ever said about any of the 7 Palestinians killed. On top of the tens of thousands killed by Israel starting in 1948, I might add. (And not only by Israel, but by Egypt and the U.S. satrapy Jordan too. And of course the U.S. has killed some too, for good measure.)

Israel’s Nazi-type tactics of mass roundups, property destruction, and random murders are simply mentioned in passing, neutrally, by Western media, and ignored by the governments. Not worth paying attention to. The fate of three teenaged colonists is of burning import.

The Israeli political bosses are continuing to insist, as they have since the teens first went missing, that Hamas is “responsible,” they did it, they’re guilty, indeed in the words of Binyamin Netanyahu, the Remorseless One, the culprits are “wild beasts.” (I.e. subhuman and thus worthy of summary execution.) He issued a bone-chilling threat: "Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay."

Hamas, as it has all along, continues to deny they kidnapped, and killed, the teens. Hamas is in the difficult position of trying to prove a negative. The Israelis, for their part, have offered no evidence or factual assertions to back up their claim that Hamas is guilty. Nor do they need to, since as far as Western elites (government and media) are concerned, Hamas has zero credibility so their denials can be discounted. Hamas is, after all, branded a “terrorist” organization by the U.S. and its Eurolackeys. Once an organization or individual is categorized as “terrorist,” accusation equals proof, no evidence or facts required. Thus the accusations of those with the power of life and death becomes a conviction carrrying a death sentence. The chief executive is a self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner. (Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu being two examples of this.) Mere assertion of guilt is proof of guilt. Then the state carries out the “sentence”- generally death by assassination.

Now, I have no idea whether Hamas, as an organization, planned and carried out the kidnapping and slayings of the three teens, or if people associated with Hamas, or lower-ranking members, did it without higher authorization, or if Hamas wasn’t connected with it at all. Let us keep in mind that this occurred in the West Bank, around Hebron. Hamas is in Gaza. The “Palestinian Authority” and Israel itself control the West Bank. (“Judea and Samaria,” in Israeli-speak, a term, redolent of ancient Holiness, which should leave no doubt about their intention to absorb as much of that conquered territory as is practical for them to do.) Secondly, coming so soon after a new unity government between Hamas and the PA, the timing would be profounding counterproductive. Israel has been at pains to keep the Palestinians divided (a divided people are easier to oppress and rule), and went ballistic when the unity agreement was announced just a few weeks before the kidnapping. This has given Netanyahu a pretext to try to smash up the unity government. Thirdly, Hamas has never been shy about taking credit for their acts of violence against Israel and Israelis, on the principle of The Deed as Propaganda. They build up their credibility and reputation (and thus support) among Palestinians by advertising their attacks. An act like this in which they claim to have no responsibility does not bring them any political benefit. It only brings ferocious Israeli assaults. The only theory I can think of which would explain Hamas behaving in such a way would be a desire by them to bring Israeli punishment on Palestinians to radicalize them. But Palestinians hardly need to be convinced to hate Israel at this point. And as I’ve pointed out, the downsides are considerable.

Another possibility, and I am not saying this is what happened, just that it is a hypothetical possibility at least, is an Israeli false flag operation or a manipulation of a radical group or individuals put up or steered to doing this in order to have a pretext to try and violently break up the Palestinian government. I doubt it, but given the ruthlessness and cynicism of governments generally, and certainly of the Israeli government, it can’t be ruled out categorically, although I would put the probability as very low, like one percent or less. [3]

Another benefit for Netanyahu and Israel from the martyrdom of the three teens is it allows a psychological/emotional/propaganda pushback against the Boycott, Divestiture, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which just scored a victory when the Presbyterian church, in a close vote, voted to sell stock in criminal corporations that supply Israel with important weapons of repression, namely Caterpillar (armored home demolition bulldozers), Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard (electronic surveillance and police state computer equipment). This event received prominent play in the New York Times, and evoked howls of outrage and moral indignation from the usual prominent agents of Israel in the U.S. Indeed, some of these American agents, acting as emissaries for the Government of Israel, offered the Presbyterian leadership an audience with Netanyahu himself (apparently this is to be seen as a great privilege) if they would NOT EVEN TAKE A VOTE on divestiture. This oh-so-generous offer was declined by the Presbyterians, and the vote was duly held.

Already Jewish vigilantes, apparently deciding that seven dead Palestinians aren’t enough, have kidnapped, tortured, and murdered a 16-year-old Palestinian boy, whose badly burned body was found. Israeli air raids have been intensified. (A pregnant woman was wounded in one.) The Palestinian firing of rockets into Israel from Gaza, which started as a reaction to the massive Israeli sweep in the West Bank and has continued in defiance of Israeli air raids, is used, as it always is, as the “reason” for Israeli bombing runs (with free jets and bombs supplied by the U.S.).

Past kill ratios of Jews to Palestinians have ranged from 10 to 1 to 100 to 1. Since the current ratio is only up to about 3 to one, there’s a way to go yet before Israel’s thirst for revenge is slaked.

Whatever the Palestinians do, their situation is hopeless. Peaceful protest, negotiation, violence, terrorism, diplomacy- all is futile. Their fate is heartbreaking.


If you follow Israeli media, you’d have learned that the Israeli police made a huge blunder. One of the teens managed to call the police on his cellphone and tell them he was kidnapped. They just blew it off, didn’t bother locating the call. Cellphones can be located even when they’re off. A number of officers have been replaced at the police call center, including supervisors who blew off the teen’s call. See “Police officers dismissed in wake of botched kidnapping call: Committee probe finds severe misconduct in handling of emergency hotline center on night three teens were kidnapped in West Bank; Police commissioner calls failure 'unforgivable,'Haaretz, June 30, 2014.

3] Given what we know about what governments HAVE done, we would be foolish to rule out any possibility. The assassination of the president of the U.S. in 1963 by the “security services” with the collaboration of others is a prime example. Remember, also, that entrenched fascist elements of the U.S. state, guided by none other than Richard Cheney, planted nano-thermite explosives in the World Trade Center twin towers and in 7 World Trade Center, blowing them up September 11, 2001, a day that should live in infamy for reasons still unknown to most Americans, indeed to most people on this planet, thereby killing most of the almost 3,000 people who died on that day, plus another 1,000 who subsequently died from illnesses contracted from working in the ruins without respirators, thanks to the homicidal lies by the Bush regime and its Environmental “Protection” Agency head, Christine Todd Whitman, a member of the New Jersey landed gentry, horsewoman, and former Governor of that state, that the air was safe to breathe, which it obviously was not. The ruins in fact gave off noxious fumes that could be smelled miles away, for several months, and that caused me for one to cough. The very notion that pulverized lead, asbestos, concrete, and numerous hazardous substances contained in computer equipment and etc. crushed to dust in the explosions and collapses, was somehow harmless, is ludicrous on its face. So the kind of ruthless people who rule many nations are certainly not inhibited about sacrificing their own citizens in pursuit of their political goals.

This should not surprise or shock anyone. What, after all, is war, but the sacrifice of the citizens for the Great Glory of the Rulers? (Yes, we can make exceptions for defensive wars, but in those cases only one side is fighting in self-defense.)

For the details of the demolitions at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, see the documentary by 9/11 Architects for truth.




Obama Proposes Solution to Tidal Wave of Central American Waifs Arrested in U.S.

Deport ‘em faster.

That’s his solution.

Since October, over 50,000 children and teenagers have entered the U.S. from the three Central American hellholes created directly by the U.S.: Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. In each case, those societies have been brutally maimed by U.S. power which destroyed the democratic developments in each and has imposed fascist state terror regimes. Life in them has now degenerated to the point of complete non-livability.

Hence the mass, desperate migration of refugees.

Ignoring international and human rights law, the U.S. ships these kids back to the lethal environments they fled.

Obama has asked Congress for $2 billion to fast track deportations of these youths. The money would be much better spent instead on social and economic development for those nations the U.S. destroyed with its creation and indoctrination of depraved militaries there.


Yeah, it makes SUCH a big difference to elect Democrats in the U.S.!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Medea Benjamin’s Arm “Wakes Me Up Every Single Night in Pain”*

Thank Barack Hussein Obama for that, honey. He’s the guy who had the Egyptian secret police break your arm in the Cairo airport. He owes Sisi a favor for that. (Just a very personal reason for the Obama regime to support the Egyptian military tyranny, in addition to the “American interests,” that is, the reasons of state that the American populace need to be kept ignorant of. But if you know how to translate the euphemisms, you can find out the reasons of state in rags like Foreign Affairs, the organ of the New York City-based Council on Foreign Relations, where members of the U.S. imperialist nomenklatura hang out between their stints committing crimes inside the U.S. government.)

I wonder which secret police agency will grab the honor of informing the Emperor of Benjamin’s condition? They’ll probably be tripping over each other to be the first.

Medea Benjamin committed the crime of interrupting one of Obama’s propaganda speeches with pointed questions shouted concerning his violence. Of course the establishment media made sure to keep her punishment a secret from people who are still dumb enough to rely on it for news. I can imagine a very different reaction of the “thuggish” Putin had done such a thing.

*Medea Benjamin in her own words on WBAI Pacifica Radio, July 1st, 2014, 6:47 pm EST.

See “Obama Has Egyptian Military Regime Break American Peace Activist's Arm,” March 8, 2014, for proof Obama indeed is responsible.




Saturday, June 28, 2014

Armed U.S. Drones Over Baghdad Precursor to More Atrocities Against Iraqis

It has just been revealed by the Pentagon via the U.S. “news” media that armed (killer) drones have been flying over Baghdad as of several days ago “to protect Americans.” To one who remembers the history of the U.S. “intervention” in Iraq, that is chilling. In the name of preventing U.S. casualties, a value of zero was placed on Iraqi life. Thus numerous civilians were butchered, including at “checkpoints” where their cars would be shot up, killing and maiming the drivers and passengers on the chance that they might be suicide bombers. The U.S. military’s “rules of engagement” were designed to minimize risk of U.S. casualties which meant maximizing Iraqi civilian ones. [1]

And the New York Times let slip in the last paragraph of an editorial, inside parentheses, that on top of the 300 American “advisers” Obama sent into Iraq, (who will be calling in airstrikes, among other duties, and directing Maliki’s troops on who to kill) the U.S. emperor is also sending what the Times misleadingly calls “private security guards” to bodyguard the “advisers.” [2]

Well, these no doubt aren’t the guys hired to stand at the doors in mall stores to deter shoplifters. These are those “private security contractors” that the U.S. has long used as a shadow army in Iraq. Like the Blackwater Butchers of the Nisur Square massacre in Baghdad, a notorious mass murder. Accompanying State Department officials they were bodyguarding, the Blackwater Butchers apparently were impatient with a traffic jam and so opened fire in a murderous frenzy on the Iraqis helplessly trapped in their cars, killing 17, including children, and wounding others. The Iraqi traffic police on the scene had to run for their lives. The U.S. Army arrived on the scene of the massacre after the Blackwater Butchers had fled, and concluded that no one had fired on the Blackwater/State Dept. convoy.

Another example of the U.S. “warriors’” attitude towards Iraqis was revealed by the infamous video of the U.S. Army helicopter assault on the Reuters’ crew walking in the street in Baghdad, and then the firing on a civilian van whose driver stopped to help the dying men. The helicopter crew makes callous cracks about the children in the van who they wound, sneering that the driver shouldn’t have brought children into a “combat zone.” (Of course the U.S. turned every square inch of Iraq into a “combat zone.”) The only soldier ever punished for that wanton atrocity and war crime was the soldier who exposed it by sending the helicopter video to WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning, sentenced to 35 years in military prison for his awful crime of revealing the murders. [3]

The Times editorial feeds the reader this standard U.S. government guff: “Obama administration officials have said any strikes will depend on factors like support from Iraq’s political leaders and intelligence that identifies precise ISIS targets.” [Emphases added.]

Yeah, right. they’re so “precise.” Why, their bombs and missiles are downright “surgical,” they claim. So does that mean that all those civilians you blow to pieces were deliberately slaughtered, America?

We’ve had numerous examples over the past 13 years of how reliable U.S. “intelligence” is, from the bogus “intel” used as a pretext to invade Iraq, to the random civilians (some bought with bounty money from the Pakis and from Afghan marauders) murdered in U.S. captivity or sent to rot at Guantanamo Bay, to the cruise missile and drone attacks that have repeatedly slaughtered villagers and wedding parties, to the night raids like the one in Gardez, Afghanistan in which U.S. “Special Forces” (death squad) troops murdered the local police commander and two pregnant women, then blamed it on the Taliban.

In Yemen, the corrupt Yemeni rulers have bumped off political rivals, including government officials, by whispering in the U.S.’ ear that their cars were terrorist caravans. (The Wall Street Journal exposed this years ago on its front page, describing a specific example at the time the loathsome Ali Abdullah Saleh was “president.”)

Then there’s just the general bloodthirstiness of U.S. “elite” troops and “private security contractors” like the cutthroats of Blackwater. (Now called Academi, after cycling through other name changes like Xe designed to flee from its murderous reputation. Here’s a suggestion to its boss, the fanatical reactionary and ex-Navy SEAL Eric Prince, for his next corporate disguise: just call yourselves John Doe Inc.)

Since American life is precious (well, as long as they’re Americans in good standing with the Imperialist-Corporate state; the lives of people like Michael Hastings, or Rachel Corrie, or Americans foolish enough to try and sail humanitarian supplies to Palestinians imprisoned in the Gaza strip aren’t worth bupkis) and the lives of Third Worlders like Iraqis, or Vietnamese, or Salvadoreans, or Angolans, aren’t just expendable, but are treated as having negative value, like trash or a form of insect life, slaughter is deemed reasonable under the “rules of engagement” that are crafted to keep U.S. casualties to an absolute minimum.

This has a political dimension, based on the knowledge that the U.S. public doesn’t give a rats’ ass how many non-Americans the U.S. kills, it only cares about “our side” losing bodies. That’s how they keep score. As the rulers learned during the Vietnam War, American body bags = more opposition to war. (Oh, how happy everyone was when the U.S. conquered Grenada! And iraq too, until the going got rougher.) With 5,000 Americans at the world’s largest U.S. embassy in Baghdad, there will be plenty of opportunities to kill Iraqis “just to be on the safe side.”

Warning to Iraqis: Stay as far away from Americans as you can!

1] For a good overview of the toll the U.S. military took on Iraqi civilians, see “DISPATCHES: IRAQ'S SECRET WAR FILES,” on youtube.com.

2] “While Iraq Burns,” New York Times, 6/28/14.

3] There are many copies of the “collateral murder” video on youtube.com, released by WikiLeaks in 2010, including a full length one The murders occurred in 2007. See “Original Wikileaks 'Collateral Murder' Video.” You can hear these vicious killers saying things like “C’mon, let us shoot!” to their controllers back at their base. They falsely claim to be shooting armed insurgents.










Friday, June 27, 2014

Israel Seizes 370 Palestinian Hostages and Slays 6 in Retaliation for 3 Missing Teenage Colonists

That’s the latest cumulative tally as Israel continues to rampage in the West Bank, furious over what it calls the “kidnapping” of three Israeli Jewish teenage colonists who went missing while hitchhiking several weeks ago. No one has issued any messages claiming to have seized them, or issued any demands. Israel vociferously asserts that Hamas kidnapped them, which Hamas denies. [1]

The toll of dead and newly-imprisoned Palestinians added to Israel’s permanent cache of thousands of Palestinian prisoners (most of whom are never charged with a crime, much less tried and convicted, which makes them state hostages) will continue to grow, as Israel goes berserk over the three missing Jewish teenage colonizers of the West Bank (“Judea and Samaria” in official Israeli rhetoric); kicking down the doors to people’s homes, ransacking them, breaking the stealing Palestinians’ possessions and carting off “suspects” without explanation, leaving families terrorized and traumatized. (The condition Israel has employed much violence over the years to put Palestinians in, starting with the violent ethnic cleansing of 1948 as a key, premeditated part of the much-lauded creation of the State of Israel.)

In reaction to the disappearance of their boys, Israel has already killed twice as many Palestinians (teens and young men) as the number of Jewish teenaged colonists whose disappearance it is avenging. And there will be more killed and imprisoned. The moral perversion, not just in Israel but in those nations that back it, is that the colonizers are the moral ones and the colonized who resist their dispossession are the evil ones. That’s not an endorsement of kidnapping or violence. Violence is always ugly, and kidnapping is ruthless. So is demolishing tens of thousands of people’s homes with bulldozers, uprooting their orchards, imprisoning them to crush their political organizing, shooting and beating demonstrators, and bombing refugee camps and hospitals. If anything, the seizing of three Israeli colonizers, tragic as it is for the kidnapped and their families, is a feeble response to all the Palestinians, now imprisoned in their nascent Bantustans, have endured for 66 years with no end in sight.

It seems to me that Israel’s violent response makes it more likely that whoever presumably seized the 3 teenagers are now going to feel more pressure to kill them, if they haven’t already, since they will fear being captured and Israel is making it harder to move their prisoners around. Israel would have been better off offering a reward for their safe return, or a prisoner swap. But that would be “weak” and “only encourage more kidnappings,” in the mindset of the tough guys who run the Israeli state. Making the political point that Palestinian resistance is intolerable is the Israelis’ imperative, and thus any act by Palestinians contrary to Israeli demands, whether constructing a home, a peaceful demonstration, lobbing a homemade rocket onto Israeli soil, or seizing or killing Israeli Jews, will be met with the mailed fist. Forcing the Palestinians to knuckle under, and “proving” to them the futility of resistance, takes precedence over the safe return of the 3 teens.

1] My guess is that if a Palestinian political group did seize them, it would have been one of the smaller, more extreme groups, not Hamas. Hamas has just entered into a political unity government with the “Palestinian Authority” run by Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas. They wouldn’t want to destabilize it just weeks after its formation. Israel is using the boys’ disappearance as a wedge to try and pry apart the new unity between the two main Palestinian factions to once again keep the Palestinians divided and even weaker than they are. Once again Netanyahu is issuing thunderous demands that Hamas be thrown out of the Palestinian “government,” such as it is.

But it’s typical for Israel to blame Hamas first. Israel always blames Hamas whenever some tiny Palestinian sect lobs an explosive onto Israeli soil. So there’s a pattern here.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Obama Regime Supporting Egyptian Repression of Journalists

As I previously wrote about, three journalists working for Al-Jazeera, the Qatari-owned news organization, were convicted in an Egyptian kangaroo court of “broadcasting false information” for the “terrorist” Muslim Brotherhood. Two were sentenced to 7 years, and the third got an extra 3 years for the “crime” of possessing an empty bullet shell casing he had as a souvenir. (Come to think of it, the same thing could happen in the U.S., particularly if you’re a black or leftist.)

Nine other journalists (among 20 other defendants) have been sentenced to 10 years in absentia, including a Dutch journalist who had to flee the country with the help of her embassy in Cairo. None of these people dare travel to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, or the “United Arab Emirates” (a collection of medieval Arab monarchs), for those three are paymasters of the Sisi dictatorship in Egypt an despise the Muslim Brotherhood. Nor can they now travel anywhere in Africa, as the gang of African rulers have welcomes the Egyptian regime into their fold, and are bound to hand over Egyptian convicts to Egypt should any land in their territories. Here is another example of human beings held hostage to the vagaries of the politics of national rulers. We are like corks in the ocean, tossed about by forces much larger than ourselves.

New Egyptian military dictator Abdel Fattah El-Sisi hates Qatar for supporting the government he overthrew, the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi. (Who Sisi threw in prison after his coup.) The imprisonment of Al-Jazeera is Sisi’s petty, vindictive way to last out at Qatar. Except it doesn’t hurt Qatar, just the journalists and their families. (Similarly, Bill Clinton’s sanctions against Iraq didn’t hurt Saddam Hussein, but they sure hurt the over half a million Iraqi children Clinton thereby murdered, and their families.)

Secretary of State John “I’m a Hawk Now!” Kerry had a congenial meeting with military dictator
Sisi the day before the “verdict.”

The Obama regime has cleared $575 million worth of military armaments for the Egyptian military dictatorship, strengthening its repressive hold on that country. Apache attack helicopters are being delivered for use inside Egypt (since Egypt is not going to attack any external enemies, nor be invaded by any) against any rebellious Egyptians. Since actions speak louder than words, and what a military dictatorship craves above all else is weapons and munitions, we can discount whatever hypocritical, cynical, phony, insincere “expressions of concern” the Obama regime will emit. It’s just the usual U.S. guff.

But to be fair to Obama, he supports regimes that are a lot more repressive towards journalists than Egypt is. So why can’t he back Egypt’s repression too? Obama supported the Honduran coup, and supports the government there, which MURDERS journalists (and many other people also). He of course supports the Guatemalan permanent fascist military government, which murders journalists (and many others) routinely. He’s a big fan of the Colombian rulers, who murder many journalists (and union organizers and others). Why not Egypt? All they did was imprison some journalists- and ones working for the hated-by-the-U.S. Al-Jazeera, to boot.

And Obama himself imprisons journalists. So you could say he’s avoiding being hypocritical (for once) by not opposing Sisi for doing what Obama does. (Although saying that would be a bit perverse. Or ironic, if you prefer.) Obama has imprisoned an Al-Jazeera employee in his military gulag torture center at Guantanamo Bay in U.S.-occupied Cuban territory. He ordered the U.S.-client regime in Yemen to imprison the reporter who dared expose a drone attack atrocity by the U.S. He criminally investigates U.S. journalists, such as the Fox “News” reporter who was targeted. (Numerous Fox phone lines were tapped in that “investigation.”) He surreptitiously obtained voluminous AP phone records to track down and persecute an unauthorized leaker. He is trying to force New York Times reporter James Risen to testify in a criminal persecution of a former government employee in another unauthorized leak case. (Risen faces imprisonment if he refuses to testify- the Supreme Court just rejected his last attempt to quash the subpoena demanding his testimony.) [1]

Obama’s lawyers reserved the right in court to imprison journalists (and anyone else) in a military gulag, indefinitely, without charges, under the section of the “National Defense Authorization Act” that he sneakily signed into law on the last day of 2012 (New Year’s Eve, trying to sneak under the media radar). Obama’s lawyers did this in the course of defending against a lawsuit brought by American dissidents (including Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky) challenging the Constitutionality of this totalitarian law.

So no one should expect Obama or his henchmen like Skull and Bonesman Kerry to man the ramparts for journalistic freedom. People like that use the media to plant their propaganda, but despise it for acting independently.

1] Here is an excerpt from an interview conducted by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! with journalist Jeremy Scahill and filmmaker Rick Rowley about their film “Dirty Wars.” It starts with a description of a U.S. military death squad raid on the home of an Afghan police chief (which was a “mistake,” apparently) and the murder of the chief and several pregnant women during a family celebration. This occurred in Gardez. The soldiers then conspire to concoct a cover story, digging bullets out of their victims’ bodies. (Rowley subsequently obtained cellphone videos shot surreptitiously by survivors in the house recording the voices of the soldiers and showing their hands tampering with the corpses.) NATO then put out a cover story blaming the butchery on the Taliban. However one journalist acted as an actual journalist instead of as a stenographer for official propaganda. He was then branded a liar and his character assassinated.

Scahill then discusses the case of a Yemeni journalist who exposed Obama atrocities against Yemeni villagers, blowing the Yemeni government’s lies that it was their own airstrikes against “terrorist training camps,” not U.S. cruise missile and drone attacks which massacred civilians. (In one case the target was a retired veteran of the U.S.-backed jihadist war against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan, who could have easily been arrested in the village where he lived.) Obama had this journalist imprisoned to silence him.

Scahill then returns to the Gardez case.


video




Monday, June 23, 2014

His Grip on Iraq Tottering, al-Maliki Resorts to What He Knows Best: Committing Atrocities

As U.S.-installed dictator of Iraq Nuri Kamal al-Maliki loses his grip on more of Iraq, including the last border crossing with Syria, to the “Islamic State In Syria and Iraq” and other Sunni armed groups, including Baathists, he is falling back on the only thing he knows, besides blatant theft: namely murder.

A cryptic report on the BBC said that 70 “terrorist prisoners” were killed “in transit” when “gunmen” attacked. No guards reported killed, no gunmen reported killed, no explanation of who they were or why they attacked and killed prisoners, and why they were allowed to. No skepticism by BBC towards this extremely dubious claim by the Maliki regime.

One of two things happened: Maliki had the (Sunni political) prisoners killed by those transporting them, or it was arranged for a Shiite “militia” or some Malaki-regime U.S.-trained death squad to rendezvous with the guards and murder the prisoners.

And Maliki’s helicopters attacked civilian cars lined up at a gas station. (No doubt the pilots were Shiites, who wanted to kill Sunnis, any Sunnis.) Maliki’s regime called the victims “terrorists.” No word on BBC, NPR, et al. I only heard this on “alternative” (non-establishment) Democracy Now today, (Democracynow.org.)

Meanwhile Secretary of State John “I’m a Hawk Now!” Kerry flew into Baghdad to jawbone Maliki about being more “inclusive,” a joke almost as sick as Kerry’s “peace process” with Israel and the Palestinian “Authority.” At the same time, the Obama regime keeps dropping hints that maybe it would be better if someone else became “prime minister” of Iraq now. Typical Hamlet-like behavior by Obama.

On the other hand, Iran is clear and decisive (as in Syria too, also in contrast with the dithering, indecisive U.S.) The real boss of Iran, the Big Ayatollah, says Maliki must stay in power. This is a reflection of the fact that Maliki evolved into more of an Iranian client than a U.S. one, even though U.S. weapons, and training in murder and mayhem, still props up Maliki’s venal and cruel regime.

The U.S. has had similar relationships with Maliki, with Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and with the Pakistani military. In all three cases, the clients somehow seem to have had the upper hand in the relationships. The U.S. propped up, funded, and armed all of them, in return for consistent kicks in the teeth by Karzai and the Pakis, and cozying up to hated U.S. enemy and bete noire Iran in the case of Maliki. Perhaps the U.S. got into the bad habit of being others’ bitch from it relationship with Israel. [1]

If I were a U.S. media propagandist, I’d be tempted to resort to a superficial pop psychology explanation, as they do with Putin and leftist opponents, among others. One could liken the U.S. to a powerful man, a plutocrat or politician, with a hidden submissive sex life, who patronizes dominatrixes in secret. But I won’t, because that’s silly (if amusing). I think the actual explanation is complex, with many political factors, both domestic and international, exerting influences. A political analysis, not a psychological one, especially not a shallow and glib pop-psychological one, is what is called for here. Perhaps I will provide one at another time.

There is a parallel with “South” Vietnam, a U.S.-created artificial nation that came into being when the U.S. sawed Vietnam in half after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. That battle ended the attempt of imperialist France to reconquer its erstwhile Indochinese colonies, which Imperial Japan had seized in World War Two. (France wheezed another last gasp of its formal imperialism in Algeria, where through massive torture by the French army, the Algerian independence movement was temporarily suppressed.) At the ensuing Geneva, Switzerland, conference to decide Vietnam’s fate, China sold out the Vietnamese so-called “communists” and went along with a U.S. scheme to “temporarily” divide Vietnam in half, with elections to follow in two years, at which point the country would be “reunited.” Since Ho Chi Minh was projected to win 80% of the vote in a nationwide election, U.S. president Dwight “Watch Out For the Military-Industrial Complex!” Eisenhower made sure to subsequently kill the election and set up a permanent client regime in the southern half of the country. When two decades later, after slaughtering millions of Vietnamese, committing innumerable atrocities and war crimes, dropping three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as it dropped in World War II, and poisoning the land with dioxin, creating a toxic legacy that produces thousands of birth defects to this day from permanent damage to the human gene pool, the U.S. was forced to pull out its expeditionary force, the “South” Vietnamese army collapsed like a house of cards in a few weeks in 1975 when the northern half’s army launched an offensive. [2]

Likewise the “Iraqi” army of Nuri al-Maliki, 350,000 strong, built up at a cost of $42 billion in the last three years alone, is incapable of even fighting, much less defeating, a few thousand fanatical Islamofascist terrorists. Because, as in the “South” Vietnamese army’s case, conscripts won’t risk their lives fighting for a venal dictator for whom loyalty and service are one-way streets.

1] If one wanted to blame a single person for foisting both Karzai and Maliki on the United States, the culprit would be Bush family henchman Zalmay Khalilzad. As U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan under the regime of Bush the Younger, Khalilzad tapped Karzai to be installed as president there. Later, when Bush moved him to the ambassador role in Iraq, he recommended Maliki to Bush as prime minister of Iraq. O for two, Zalmay.

Here’s a portion of an interview on Democracy Now! with Harper’s magazine Washington editor Andrew Cockburn that is packed with information on Khalilzad and is a good description of the relevant history in a nutshell:

[ANDREW COCKBURN]: “Maliki is in power, really, thanks to the—thanks to the U.S. Zalmay Khalilzad, then the ambassador to Baghdad, in 2006 selected Maliki, much to everyone’s surprise, including Maliki’s. When Khalilzad said, "How would you like to be prime minister?" Maliki said, "Are you serious?" So, and then that was reaffirmed again in 2010 when Maliki had basically lost an election, and the U.S. and Iran, for that matter—further ironies here—really got—really rammed him back down the throats of the Iraqi people. So, now to be saying, you know, Maliki has to go, as I say, is rich with irony.

[JUAN GONZÁLEZ]: “And your article on Khalilzad also talks about his influence in Afghanistan, as well. Could you talk a little bit about his history?

[ANDREW COCKBURN]: “Well, Khalilzad, yeah, he’s been a sort of longtime foot soldier in the neocon, neoconservative, movement. I mean, he has a sort of pretty grisly pedigree. He, early on—I mean, he’s an Afghan, and then made his way to the U.S. as a young man, as a bright student. And from there, he fell under the influence of Albert Wohlstetter, who was a character in Chicago who was very influential in the movement, who also mentored Richard Perle.

“And then you see Khalilzad—from the beginning of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan, he’s very much in the mix. He claims now to have been instrumental in sort of directing the whole policy, which I don’t think is really the case. But anyway, there he was signing all the resolutions, calling for war with—overthrowing Saddam, and so forth.

“And his moment came in 2001, or after 2001, when we, you know, successfully toppled the Taliban regime, and Khalilzad was really only the Afghan or sort of pretty much the only Muslim any of these people knew, and so they appointed him the overseer of the post-Taliban Afghanistan, from which position he selected one Hamid Karzai—again, much to the subsequent grief of U.S. administrations—really with the view of—a lot of Afghans I talked to at the time thought, well, Karzai was a fairly weak figure, and Khalilzad’s idea was that he, Khalilzad, would be the real ruler of Afghanistan and behave like that, really. He was bossing all them, and he restored—he fostered all these ghastly warlords and strongmen, with himself really as the biggest warlord of all. He’d threaten them with airstrikes and so forth. [U.S. power attracts gangsta wannabe types as imperialist apparatchiks- JZ.]

“So, after he had pretty much ensured that no stable settlement would emerge in Afghanistan, and really his actions had led to the revival of the Taliban, he failed upwards and was moved to Iraq, where the U.S. was trying to sort of put in place some kind of government that they could entrust Iraq to. And as I said, they didn’t like the man they had, a prime minister called Jaafari. And Khalilzad looked around and selected this character, al-Maliki, who was a fairly comparatively obscure figure in the—had been in the exiled opposition. He had lived in Damascus for most of his adult life, running a butcher shop. And suddenly, as I say, he called in al-Maliki.

“And, actually, I know quite a lot about the scene. He was with the British ambassador, and they started talking. And when the ambassador realized, the British ambassador realized that, my god, this character Maliki was being offered the job of leading Iraq, he started to protest, whereupon Khalilzad kicked him out of the room and then turned to Maliki and said, "Would you like to be prime minister?" And as I said earlier, Maliki said, "Are you serious?" And it turned out he was.

“So, there was Maliki in power, having made all sorts of promises, like they’re demanding now, that he would reach out to the Sunni minority, that he would respect human rights, he would stand up to Iran, and so forth—all of which promises, of course, he immediately broke. And, you know, he’s just a very narrow-minded, very sectarian, very paranoid character.”

- “Iraq’s Next PM? Ahmed Chalabi, Chief Peddler of False WMDs, Meets U.S. Officials as Maliki Falters,” Democracy Now!, June 20, 2014. Oh yeah, there’s talk of bringing back mega-embezzler and disinformation specialist Chalabi to take over Iraq. Just how bankrupt can U.S. policy get?

But that’s only if we believe the New York Times report on Chalabi meeting with U.S. officials, which Chalabi himself may have planted there, Cockburn speculates. You would HOPE that the NY Times, having made itself a platform for Chalabi-originated disinformation on Iraq in 2002-3 to provoke a U.S. invasion, would do some verification of a story from Chalabi, but knowing the Times, one never knows.

2] Here’s in part the version of the Office of the Historian of the U.S. State Department of the Geneva deal and what the U.S. did afterwards. It’s rather revealing:

“In the wake of the French defeat, the French and Vietnamese, along with representatives from the United States and China, met in Geneva in mid-1954 to discuss the future of Indochina. They reached two agreements. First, the French and the Viet Minh agreed to a cease-fire and a temporary division of the country along the 17th parallel. French forces would remain in the South, and Ho Chi Minh’s forces would control the North. The second agreement promised that neither the North nor the South would join alliances with outside parties, and called for general elections in 1956. Laos and Cambodia were to remain neutral.

“The United States did not sign the second agreement, establishing instead its own government in South Vietnam. As the French pulled out, the United States appointed Ngo Dinh Diem to lead South Vietnam. Like Bao Dai, Diem was an unpopular choice in Vietnam as he had waited out the nationalist struggle against France abroad. Diem had also collaborated with the Japanese occupation, but his Catholicism appealed to the Western powers. The United States also supported the formation of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, designed to respond if there was an armed attack on any nation in the region.” [Emphases mine.]