Global Research Editor’s Note

We bring to the attention of our readers the following text of Osama bin Laden’s interview with Ummat, a Pakistani daily, published in Karachi on September 28, 2001. It was translated into English by the BBC World Monitoring Service and made public on September 29, 2001.

The authenticity of this interview, which is available in recognized electronic news archives, is confirmed.

Osama bin Laden categorically denies his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

Bin Laden’s statements in this interview are markedly different from those made in the alleged Osama video tapes.

In this interview, Osama bin Laden exhibits an understanding of US foreign policy. He expresses his views regarding the loss of life on 9/11. He also makes statements as to who, in his opinion, might be the likely perpetrator of  the September 11 attacks.

This is an important text which has not been brought to the attention of Western public opinion.

We have highlighted key sections of this interview. It is our hope that the text of this interview, published barely a week before the onset of the war on Afghanistan, will contribute to a better understanding of the history of Al Qaeda, the role of Osama bin Laden and the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Michel  Chossudovsky, May 9, 2011

 

Full text of September 2001 Pakistani paper’s “exclusive” interview with Usamah Bin-Ladin

Ummat (in Urdu), Karachi, 28 September 2001, pp. 1 and 7.

Ummat’s introduction

Kabul: Prominent Arab mojahed holy warrior Usamah Bin-Ladin has said that he or his al-Qa’idah group has nothing to do with the 11 September suicidal attacks in Washington and New York. He said the US government should find the attackers within the country. In an exclusive interview with daily “Ummat”, he said these attacks could be the act of those who are part of the American system and are rebelling against it and working for some other system. Or, Usamah said, this could be the act of those who want to make the current century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. Or, the American Jews, who are opposed to President Bush ever since the Florida elections, might be the masterminds of this act. There is also a great possibility of the involvement of US intelligence agencies, which need billions of dollars worth of funds every year. He said there is a government within the government in the United States.

The secret agencies, he said, should be asked as to who are behind the attacks. Usamah said support for attack on Afghanistan was a matter of need for some Muslim countries and compulsion for others. However, he said, he was thankful to the courageous people of Pakistan who erected a bulwark before the wrong forces. He added that the Islamic world was attaching great expectations with Pakistan and, in time of need, “we will protect this bulwark by sacrificing of lives”.

Following is the interview in full detail:

Ummat: You have been accused of involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington. What do you want to say about this? If you are not involved, who might be?

Usamah [Osama bin Laden]: In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. Praise be to Allah, Who is the creator of the whole universe and Who made the earth as an abode for peace, for the whole mankind. Allah is the Sustainer, who sent Prophet Muhammad for our guidance. I am thankful to the Ummat Group of Publications, which gave me the opportunity to convey my viewpoint to the people, particularly the valiant and Momin true Muslim people of Pakistan who refused to believe in lie of the demon.

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people.

Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children, and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.

There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya, and Bosnia?

Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies of Muslims .

The US has no friends, nor does it want to keep any because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates.

However, our case is different. We have pledged slavery to God Almighty alone and after this pledge there is no possibility to become the slave of someone else. If we do that, it will be disregardful to both our Sustainer and his fellow beings. Most of the world nations upholding their freedom are the religious ones, which are the enemies of United States, or the latter itself considers them as its enemies. Or the countries, which do not agree to become its slaves, such as China, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Syria, and the former Russia as received .

Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.

According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US government has stated. But the Bush administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia. In the US itself, there are dozens of well-organized and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.

Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This funding issue was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger.

They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usamah and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush administration approved a budget of 40bn dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance.

Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other US president, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.

Ummat: A number of world countries have joined the call of the United States for launching an attack on Afghanistan. These also include a number of Muslim countries. Will Al-Qa’idah declare a jihad against these countries as well?

Usamah: I must say that my duty is just to awaken the Muslims; to tell them as to what is good for them and what is not. What does Islam says and what the enemies of Islam want?

Al-Qa’idah was set up to wage a jihad against infidelity, particularly to encounter the onslaught of the infidel countries against the Islamic states. Jihad is the sixth undeclared element of Islam. The first five being the basic holy words of Islam, prayers, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca, and giving alms Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of it. Al-Qa’idah wants to keep this element alive and active and make it part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country nor we consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad.

We are in favour of armed jihad only against those infidel countries, which are killing innocent Muslim men, women, and children just because they are Muslims. Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan. The orders of Islamic shari’ah jurisprudence for such individuals, organizations, and countries are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. We will do the same, which is being ordered by the Amir ol-Momenin the commander of the faithful Mola Omar and the Islamic scholars. The hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad. We are grateful to them.

Ummat: The losses caused in the attacks in New York and Washington have proved that giving an economic blow to the US is not too difficult. US experts admit that a few more such attacks can bring down the American economy. Why is al-Qa’idah not targeting their economic pillars?

Usamah: I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom. This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel. In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the US is not uttering a single word.

Ummat: Why is harm not caused to the enemies of Islam through other means, apart from the armed struggle? For instance, inciting the Muslims to boycott Western products, banks, shipping lines, and TV channels.

Usamah: The first thing is that Western products could only be boycotted when the Muslim fraternity is fully awakened and organized. Secondly, the Muslim companies should become self-sufficient in producing goods equal to the products of Western companies. Economic boycott of the West is not possible unless economic self-sufficiency is attained and substitute products are brought out. You see that wealth is scattered all across the Muslim world but not a single TV channel has been acquired which can preach Islamic injunctions according to modern requirements and attain an international influence. Muslim traders and philanthropists should make it a point that if the weapon of public opinion is to be used, it is to be kept in the hand. Today’s world is of public opinion and the fates of nations are determined through its pressure. Once the tools for building public opinion are obtained, everything that you asked for can be done.

Ummat: The entire propaganda about your struggle has so far been made by the Western media. But no information is being received from your sources about the network of Al-Qa’idah and its jihadi successes. Would you comment?

Usamah: In fact, the Western media is left with nothing else. It has no other theme to survive for a long time. Then we have many other things to do. The struggle for jihad and the successes are for the sake of Allah and not to annoy His bondsmen. Our silence is our real propaganda. Rejections, explanations, or corrigendum only waste your time and through them, the enemy wants you to engage in things which are not of use to you. These things are pulling you away from your cause.

The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.

Ummat: What will the impact of the freeze of al-Qa’idah accounts by the US?

Usamah: God opens up ways for those who work for Him. Freezing of accounts will not make any difference for Al-Qa’idah or other jihad groups. With the grace of Allah, al-Qa’idah has more than three such alternative financial systems, which are all separate and totally independent from each other. This system is operating under the patronage of those who love jihad. What to say of the United States, even the combined world cannot budge these people from their path.

These people are not in hundreds but in thousands and millions. Al-Qa’idah comprises of such modern educated youths who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system as they are aware of the lines in their hands. These are the very flaws of the Western fiscal system, which are becoming a noose for it and this system could not recuperate in spite of the passage of so many days.

Ummat: Are there other safe areas other than Afghanistan, where you can continue jihad?

Usamah: There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Then it is not the problem of my person. I am helpless fellowman of God, constantly in the fear of my accountability before God. It is not the question of Usamah but of Islam and, in Islam too, of jihad. Thanks to God, those waging a jihad can walk today with their heads raised. Jihad was still present when there was no Usamah and it will remain as such even when Usamah is no longer there. Allah opens up ways and creates loves in the hearts of people for those who walk on the path of Allah with their lives, property, and children. Believe it, through jihad, a man gets everything he desires. And the biggest desire of a Muslim is the after life. Martyrdom is the shortest way of attaining an eternal life.

Ummat: What do you say about the Pakistan government policy on Afghanistan attack?

Usamah: We are thankful to the Momin and valiant people of Pakistan who erected a blockade in front of the wrong forces and stood in the first file of battle. Pakistan is a great hope for the Islamic brotherhood. Its people are awakened, organized, and rich in the spirit of faith. They backed Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union and extended every help to the mojahedin and the Afghan people. Then these are very Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defence of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who rules Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.

Copyright Ummat in Urdu, BBC translation in English, 2001

Read about Osama Bin Laden in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller

According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Order Directly from Global Research

original

America’s “War on Terrorism”

by Michel
Chossudovsky

Welcome to the newly redesigned Global Research website!

September 8th, 2012 by Global Research

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the newly redesigned Global Research website!

We are very proud to launch an updated version of our website, featuring the same timely and analytical content as before, in a display that will be easier for our readers to navigate so that you can get the information you need as quickly and easily as possible.

On this website, you will be able to access an archive of more than 30,000 articles published by Global Research.

We thank all of our readers for the feedback you have sent us over the years and hope you will enjoy your browsing experience.

These changes would not be possible without your support, and for that we extend our sincere appreciation.

To help us cover the costs of important projects and necessary upgrades like this, we kindly ask that you consider making a donation to Global Research.

We also take this opportunity to invite you to become a Member of Global Research

If we stand together, we can fight media lies and expose the truth. There is too much at stake to choose ignorance.

Be aware, stay informed, spread the message of peace far and wide.

Feedback and suggestions regarding our new website are most welcome. To post a comment, kindly visit us on the Global Research facebook page

Sincerely,

 

The Global Research Team

THE 9/11 READER. The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

April 7th, 2014 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

 

Note to Readers: Remember to bookmark this page for future reference.
Please Forward the GR I-Book far and wide. Post it on Facebook.



[scroll down for I-BOOK Table of Contents]

*

GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE

INTERACTIVE READER SERIES

GR I-BOOK No.  7 

THE 9/11 READER

The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

9/11 Truth: Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

Michel Chossudovsky (Editor)

August 2012


The 911/ Reader is part of Global Research’s Online Interactive I-Book Reader, which brings together, in the form of chapters, a collection of Global Research feature articles, including debate and analysis, on a broad theme or subject matter.  To consult our Online Interactive I-Book Reader Series, click here.


 

INTRODUCTION

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history. a decisive watershed, a breaking point. Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.

September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society.

A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11.

Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” were set in motion. 

9/11 was also a stepping stone towards the relentless repeal of civil liberties, the militarization of law enforcement and the inauguration of “Police State USA”.

September 11, 2001 marks the onslaught of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a “war without borders”, a global war of conquest. 

At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.

CIA Director George Tenet stated that same morning that Osama bin Laden had the capacity to plan  “multiple attacks with little or no warning.”

Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks “an act of war” and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, without mentioning Afghanistan, pointed his finger at “state sponsorship,” implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, “I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution.”

That same evening at 9:30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.

The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage war on Afghanistan on “humanitarian grounds”, with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the “international community”.  Several prominent “progressive” intellectuals made a case for “retaliation against terrorism”, on moral and ethical grounds. The “just cause” military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11. 

In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country in Central Asia of 30 million people.

The myth of the “outside enemy” and the threat of “Islamic terrorists” was the cornerstone of the Bush administration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.

Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet- Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress, which the mainstream media chose to either dismiss or ignore. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: “he turned against us”.

The 9/11 Commission Report has largely upheld the “outside enemy” mythology, heralding Al Qaeda as the “mastermind” organization behind the 9/11 attacks.

The official 9/11 narrative has not only distorted the causes underling the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, it has also erased the historical record of US covert support to international terrorism, while creating the illusion that America and “Western Civilization” are threatened.

Without an “outside enemy”, there could be no “war on terrorism”. The entire national security agenda would collapse “like a deck of cards”. The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.

After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive Al Qaeda “outside enemy” had been fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.

Click to view video

VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR

Special GRTV Feature Production
- by James Corbett – 2011-09-08

***

The 911 Reader is composed of a carefully selected collection of key articles published by Global Research in the course of the last eleven years.

9/11 was an important landmark for Global Research. Our website was launched on September 9, 2001, two days prior to 9/11. Our coverage of 9/11 was initiated on September 12, 2001.

Within this collection of more than 60 chapters, we have included several important reports from our archives, published by Global Research in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. These articles provide a focus on issues pertaining to the 9/11 Timeline, foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the attack on the Pentagon, the issue of insider trading on Wall Street in the days preceding 9/11 pointing to foreknowledge of the attacks.

What prevails is a complex web of lies and fabrications, pertaining to various dimensions of the 9/11 tragedy. The falsehoods contained in the official 9/11 narrative are manifold, extending from the affirmation that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind, to the assertion by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that the WTC buildings collapsed due to the impacts of fire. (see Part III).

Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?

Is there any proof to the effect that Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman, coordinated the 9/11 attacks as claimed in the official 9/11 narrative?

According to CBS news (Dan Rather, January 28, 2002), “Enemy Number One” was admitted to the urology ward of a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan. He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as presidential speeches in the course of the last eleven years.

DAN RATHER. As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.

This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan. (transcript of CBS report, see http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CBS203A.html , see also http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/28/eveningnews/main325887.shtml

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]

 

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11.

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]

The foregoing CBS report which  is of utmost relevance indicates two obvious facts:

1. Osama bin Laden could not reasonably have coordinated the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed;

2. The hospital was under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known to both the Pakistani and US military.

 U.S. military and intelligence advisers based in Rawalpindi. were working closely with their Pakistani counterparts. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed, at the time, that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown. According to Rumsfeld:  “Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.

October 7, 2001: Waging America’s 9/11 War of Retribution against Afghanistan

The immediate response of the US and its allies to the 9/11 attacks was to the declare a war of retribution against Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban government was protecting “terror mastermind” Osama bin Laden. By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Taliban were complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.

Parroting official statements, the Western media mantra on September 12, 2001 had already approved the launching of “punitive actions” directed against civilian targets in Afghanistan. In the words of William Saffire writing in the New York Times: “When we reasonably determine our attackers’ bases and camps, we must pulverize them — minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage” — and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror’s national hosts”.

This decision was taken by the Bush-Cheney war cabinet in the evening of September 11, 2001. It was based on the presumption, “confirmed” by the head of the CIA that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.

On the following morning, September 12, 2001, NATO’s Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, endorsed the Bush administration’s declaration of war on Afghanistan, invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) is an act of war against all members under NATO’s doctrine of collective security. Under any stretch of the imagination, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon cannot be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.

Meanwhile, on two occasions in the course of September 2001, the Afghan government –through diplomatic channels– offered to hand over Osama Bin laden to US Justice. These overtures were turned down by president Bush, on the grounds that America “does not negotiate with terrorists”.

The war on Afghanistan was launched 26 days later on the morning of October 7, 2001. The timing of this war begs the question: how long does it take to plan and implement a major theater war several thousand miles away. Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations. The war on Afghanistan was already in the advanced planning stages prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, almost immediately following 9/11 with the adoption of the PATRIOT legislation and the setting up of a Homeland Security apparatus, under the pretext of protecting Americans. This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.

Al Qaeda is a US Intelligence Asset

Important to the understanding of 9/11, US intelligence is the unspoken architect of “Islamic terrorism” going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.

Bin Laden was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. With religious textbooks produced in Nebraska, the number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000.

“Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the [Islamic] Jihad.” (Pervez Hoodbhoy, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)

 ”The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings….The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..”, (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)

Under the Reagan administration, US foreign policy evolved towards the unconditional support and endorsement of the Islamic “freedom fighters”. This endorsement has not in any way been modified.

In a twisted irony, throughout the post 911 era,  US intelligence in liaison with Britain’s MI6, an Israel’s Mossad, continues to provide covert support to the radical Islamist organization allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Al Qaeda and its various affiliated groups including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and factions within the Free Syria Army (FSA) are directly supported by the US and NATO.

In a bitter irony, the US and its allies claim to be waging a “war on terrorism” against the alleged architects of 9/11, while also using Al Qaeda operatives as their foot-soldiers.


Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official,
Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987.
(source RAWA)


Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)

VIDEO (30 Sec.)

The Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings

Based on the findings of  Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings was not caused by fire resulting from the crash of the planes:

In more than 100 steel-framed, high-rise fires (most of them very hot, very large and very long-lasting), not one has collapsed, ever. So it behooves all of us, as your own former chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division, Dr. James Quintiere, said, “to look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of these collapses.”

Let’s start with temperatures – 1,340° F. temperatures, recorded in thermal images of the surface of the World Trade Center rubble pile a week after 9/11 by NASA’s AVIRIS equipment on USGS overflights. Such temperatures cannot be achieved by oxygen-starved hydrocarbon fires. Such fires burn at only 600 to 800° F. Remember, there was no fire on the top of the pile. The source of this incredible heat was therefore below the surface of the rubble, where it must have been far hotter than 1,340 degrees.

Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., who was hired for the Building 7 cleanup, said that “molten steel was found at 7 WTC.” Leslie Robertson, World Trade Center structural engineer, stated that on October 5, “21 days after the attacks, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running.” Fire department personnel, recorded on video, reported seeing “molten steel running down the channel rails… like you’re in a foundry – like lava from a volcano.” Joe O’Toole, a Bronx firefighter, saw a crane lifting a steel beam vertically from deep within a pile. He said “it was dripping from the molten steel.” Bart Voorsanger, an architect hired to save “relics from the rubble,” stated about the multi-ton “meteorite” that it was a “fused element of molten steel and concrete.”

Steel melts at about 2,850 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the temperature of the World Trade Center Tower 1 and 2 fires as estimated by NIST. So what melted the steel?

Appendix C of FEMA’s BPAT Report documents steel samples showing rapid oxidation, sulfidation, and intergranular melting. A liquid eutectic mixture, including sulfur from an unknown source, caused intense corrosion of the steel, gaping holes in wide flange beams, and the thinning of half-inch-thick flanges to almost razor-sharpness in the World Trade Center 7 steel. The New York Times called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”

NIST left all of this crucial forensic evidence out of its report. Why? Because it didn’t fit in with the official conspiracy theory.

Last year, physicist Steven Jones, two other physicists, and a geologist analyzed the slag at the ends of the beams and in the samples of the previously molten metal. They found iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine – the chemical evidence of thermate, a high-tech incendiary cutting charge used by the military to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter. The by-product of the thermate reaction is molten iron! There’s no other possible source for all the molten iron that was found. One of thermate’s key ingredients is sulfur, which can form the liquid eutectic that FEMA found and lower the melting point of steel.

In addition, World Trade Center 7′s catastrophic structural failure showed every characteristic of explosive, controlled demolition. … The destruction began suddenly at the base of the building. Several first responders reported explosions occurring about a second before the collapse. There was the symmetrical, near-free-fall speed of collapse, through the path of greatest resistance – with 40,000 tons of steel designed to resist this load – straight down into its own footprint. This requires that all the columns have to fail within a fraction of a second of each other – perimeter columns as well as core columns. There was also the appearance of mistimed explosions (squibs?) at the upper seven floors on the network video recordings of the collapse. And we have expert testimony from a European demolitions expert, Danny Jowenko, who said “This is controlled demolition… a team of experts did this… This is professional work, without any doubt.”

Fire cannot produce these effects. Fire produces large, gradual deformations and asymmetrical collapses. Thermate can produce all of these effects used in conjunction with linear shaped charges. If the thermate is formed into ultra-fine particles, as has been accomplished at Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is called super-thermate, and is very explosive.(Richard Gage, January 2008)

The following AE911Truth Video provides irrefutable evidence that the WTC center towers were brought down through controlled demolition.

According to David Ray Griffin: “The official theory of the collapse, therefore, is essentially a fire theory, so it cannot be emphasized too much that fire has never caused large steel-frame buildings to collapse—never, whether before 9/11, or after 9/11, or anywhere in the world on 9/11 except allegedly New York City—never.” (See David Ray Griffin).

According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, based on solid scientific analysis and evidence, the collapse of the WTC towers was engineered through controlled demolition. While AE11Truth does not speculate on who might be behind the conspiracy to bring down the WTC buildings, they nonetheless suggest that the carrying out such an operation would require a carefully planned course of action with prior access to the buildings as well as an advanced level of expertise in the use of explosives, etc.

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven

The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed. The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.  CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event. (See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.

Coverup and Complicity

The 911 Reader presents factual information and analysis which points to cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.

This body of articles by prominent authors, scholars, architects, engineers, largely refutes the official narrative of the 9/11 Commission Report, which is reviewed in Part IV. It  dispels the notion that America was attacked on September 11, 2001 on the orders of Osama bin Laden.

This is a central issue because US military doctrine since 9/11 has been predicated on “defending the American Homeland” against Islamic terrorists as well as waging pre-emptive wars against Al Qaeda and its various “state sponsors”.  Afghanistan was bombed and invaded as part of the “war on terrorism”. In March 2003, Iraq was also invaded.

War Propaganda

Fiction prevails over reality. For propaganda to be effective, public opinion must firmly endorse the official 9/11 narrative to the effect that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks. A well organized structure of media disinformation (Part XI) is required to reach this objective. Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend also requires defying as well smearing the 9/11 Truth Movement.

Throughout the post 9/11 era, a panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.

In turn, 9/11, Al Qaeda – War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council.

September 11 and Al Qaeda concepts, repeated ad nauseam have potentially traumatic impacts on the human mind and the ability of normal human beings to analyze and comprehend the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.

What is at stake is human consciousness and comprehension based on concepts and facts.

With September 11 there are no verifiable “facts” and “concepts”, because 9/11 as well as Al Qaeda have evolved into a media mythology, a legend, an invented ideological construct, used as an unsubtle tool of media disinformation and war propaganda.

Al Qaeda constitutes a stylized, fake and almost folkloric abstraction of terrorism, which permeates the inner consciousness of millions of people around the World.

Reference to Al Qaeda has become a dogma, a belief, which most people espouse unconditionally.

Is this political indoctrination? Is it brain-washing? If so what is the underlying objective?

People’s capacity to independently analyse World events, as well as address causal relationships pertaining to politics and society, is significantly impaired. That is the objective!

The routine use of  9/11 and Al Qaeda to generate blanket explanations of complex political events is meant to create confusion. It prevents people from thinking.

All of these complex Al Qaeda related occurrences are explained –by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks under a single blanket “bad guys” heading, in which Al Qaeda is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as “the cause” of numerous terror events around the World.

The Alleged Role of Iraq in the 9/11 Attacks

9/11 mythology has been a mainstay of war propaganda. In the course of 2002, leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003,  “Osama bin Laden” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” statements circulated profusely in the news chain. While Washington’s official position was that Saddam Hussein was not behind the 9/11 attacks, insinuations abounded both in presidential speeches as well as in the Western media. According to Bush,  in an October 2002 press conference:

The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime’s own actions — its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. .,..  We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability — even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source [Iraq], that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America. President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002)

Barely two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, September 11, 2001 was mentioned abundantly by president Bush. In the weeks leading up to the March invasion, 45 percent of  Americans believed Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (See . The impact of Bush linking 9/11 and Iraq / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com, March 14, 2003)

Meanwhile, a new terrorist mastermind had emerged: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.

In Colin Powell’s historic address to the United Nations Security Council, in February 2003, detailed “documentation” on a sinister relationship between Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was presented, focussing on his ability to produce deadly chemical, biological and radiological weapons, with the full support and endorsement of the secular Baathist regime. The implication of Colin’s Powell’s assertions, which were totally fabricated, was that Saddam Hussein and an Al Qaeda affiliated organization had joined hands in the production of WMD in Northern Iraq and that the Hussein government was a “state sponsor” of terrorism.

The main thrust of the disinformation campaign continued in the wake of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. It consisted in presenting the Iraqi resistance movement as “terrorists”. The image of “terrorists opposed to democracy” fighting US “peacekeepers” appeared on television screens and news tabloids across the globe.

Iran: Alleged State Sponsor of 9/11

In the wake of the Iraq invasion, the same alleged “state sponsorship” of terrorism accusations emerged in relation to Iran.

In December 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran was condemned by a Manhattan court, for its alleged role in supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.

The investigation into Tehran’s alleged role was launched in 2004, pursuant to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission “regarding an apparent link between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers”. The 91/11 Commission’s recommendation was that the this “apparent link” required  “further investigation by the U.S. government.” (9/11 Commission Report , p. 241). (See Iran 911 Case ).

In the December 2011 court judgment (Havlish v. Iran)  “U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled  that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case”.

According to the plaintiffs attorneys “Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s. Citing their national security and intelligence experts, the attorneys explained “how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi’a divide in order to confront the U.S. (the “Great Satan”) and Israel (the “Lesser Satan”)”. Iran and Hezbollah allegedly provided “training to members of al Qaeda in, among other things, the use of explosives to destroy large buildings.” (See Iran 911 Case ).

This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated “War on Terror” to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.

But what makes this case absurd is that in September 2011, a few months before the judgment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the official 9/11 narrative, was accused by Al-Qaeda leaders of  “spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks”. The semi-official media outlet of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, insisted that al-Qaeda “had been behind the attacks and criticised the Iranian president for discrediting the terrorist group.” (See Julie Levesque, Iran Accused of being behind 9/11 Attacks. U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran), Global Research,  May 11, 2012)

Al Qaeda: US-NATO Foot-soldiers

Ironically, while Washington accuses Iran and Afghanistan of supporting terrorism, the historical record and evidence indelibly point to the “state sponsorship” of Al Qaeda by the CIA, MI6 and their counterparts in Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda death squads have been recruited to wage America’s humanitarian wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

In Syria Al Qaeda units were recruited by NATO and the Turkish High command: “Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels.” (http://www.debka.com/article/21255/  Debkafile, August 31, 2011).

In Libya, jihadists from Afghanistan trained by the CIA were dispatched to fight with the “pro-democracy” rebels under the helm of “former” Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj:

Western policy makers admit that NATO’s operations in Libya have played the primary role in emboldening Al Qaeda’s AQIM faction (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel in his article, “The New Al Qaeda Menace,” admits that AQIM is now heavily armed thanks to NATO’s intervention in Libya, and that AQIM’s base in Mali, North Africa, serves as a staging ground for terrorist activities across the region. http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-natos-pan-arab-terrorist-blitzkrieg/

Table of Contents of the 9/11 Reader

In Part I, the 911 Reader provides a review of what happened on the morning of 9/11, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, at Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM), What was the response of the US Air Force in the immediate wake of the attacks?  Part II focusses on “What Happened on the Planes” as described in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Part III sheds light on what caused the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. It also challenges the official narrative with regard to the attack on the Pentagon.

Part IV reviews and refutes the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Part V focusses on the issue of foreknowledge by Western intelligence agencies. Part VI examines the issue of how foreknowledge of the attacks was used as an instrument of insider trading on airline stocks in the days preceding September 11, 2001. The bonanza financial gains resulting from insurance claims to the leaseholders of the WTC buildings is also examined.

Part VII focusses on the history and central role of Al Qaeda as a US intelligence asset. Since the Soviet-Afghan war, US intelligence has supported the formation of various jihadist organizations. An understanding of this history is crucial in refuting the official 9/11 narrative which claims that Al Qaeda, was behind the attacks.

Part VIII centers on the life and death of 9/11 “Terror Mastermind” Osama bin Laden, who was recruited by the CIA in the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war. This section also includes an analysis of the mysterious death of Osama bin Laden, allegedly executed by US Navy Seals in a suburb of Islamabad in May 2011.

Part  IX  focusses on “False Flags” and the Pentagon’s “Second 9/11″. Part X examines the issue of “Deep Events” with contributions by renowned scholars Peter Dale Scott and Daniele Ganser.

Part XI  examines the structure of 9/11 propaganda which consists in “creating” as well “perpetuating” a  “9/11 Legend”. How is this achieved? Incessantly, on a daily basis, Al Qaeda, the alleged 9/11 Mastermind is referred to by the Western media, government officials, members of the US Congress, Wall Street analysts, etc. as an underlying cause of numerous World events.

Part XII focusses on the practice of 9/11 Justice directed against the alleged culprits of the 9/11 attacks.

The legitimacy of 9/11 propaganda requires fabricating “convincing evidence” and “proof” that those who are accused actually carried out the attacks. Sentencing of Muslims detained in Guantanamo is part of war propaganda. It depicts innocent men who are accused of the 9/11 attacks, based on confessions acquired through systematic torture throughout their detention.

Part  XIII focusses on 9/11 Truth.  The objective of 9/11 Truth is to ultimately dismantle the propaganda apparatus which is manipulating the human mindset. The 9/11 Reader concludes with a retrospective view of 9/11 ten years later.


PART  I

Timeline: What Happened on the Morning of September 11, 2001

Nothing Urgent: The Curious Lack of Military Action on the Morning of September. 11, 2001
- by George Szamuely – 2012-08-12
Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
9/11 Contradictions: Bush in the Classroom
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-04
9/11 Contradictions: When Did Cheney Enter the Underground Bunker?
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-24
VIDEO: Pilots For 9/11 Truth: Intercepted
Don’t miss this important documentary, now on GRTV
- 2012-05-16

PART II

What Happened on the Planes

“United 93″: What Happened on the Planes?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-05-01
  Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners
Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview
- by Prof David Ray Griffin – 2010-01-12
Given the cell phone technology available in 2001, cell phone calls from airliners at altitudes of more than a few thousand feet, were virtually impossible
Ted Olson’s Report of Phone Calls from Barbara Olson on 9/11: Three Official Denials
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-01
Ted Olson’s report was very important. It provided apparent “evidence” that American 77 had struck the Pentagon.

 

PART III

What Caused the Collapse of

The WTC Buildings and the Pentagon?

The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be True
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2006-01-29
The official theory about the Twin Towers says that they collapsed because of the combined effect of the impact of the airplanes and the resulting fires
Evidence Refutes the Official 9/11 Investigation: The Scientific Forensic Facts
- by Richard Gage, Gregg Roberts – 2010-10-13
VIDEO: Controlled Demolitions Caused the Collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings on September 11, 2001
- by Richard Gage – 2009-09-20
VIDEO: 9/11: The Myth and The Reality
Now on GRTV
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2011-08-30
Undisputed Facts Point to the Controlled Demolition of WTC 7
- by Richard Gage – 2008-03-28
VIDEO: 9/11 Explosive Evidence: Experts Speak Out
See the trailer for this ground-breaking film on GRTV
- 2011-08-03
9/11: “Honest Mistake” or BBC Foreknowledge of Collapse of WTC 7? Jane Standley Breaks Her Silence
- by James Higham – 2011-08-18
The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.
Interview. Comment by Elizabeth Woodworth
- by David Ray Griffin – 2009-10-17
  Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight: The 9/11 “Official Story” and the Collapse of WTC Building Seven
- by Prof David Ray Griffin – 2010-05-30
Besides omitting and otherwise falsifying evidence, NIST also committed the type of scientific fraud called fabrication, which means simply “making up results.”
VIDEO; Firefighters’ Analysis of the 9/11 Attacks Refutes the Official Report
- by Erik Lawyer – 2012-08-27
VIDEO: Pentagon Admits More 9/11 Remains Dumped in Landfill
- by James Corbett – 2012-03-01
The Pentagon revealed that some of the unidentifiable remains from victims at the Pentagon and Shanksville sites on September 11, 2001 were disposed of in a landfill.
9/11: The Attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001
The Official Version Amounts to an Enormous Lie
- by Thierry Meyssan – 2012-08-16

PART IV

Lies and Fabrications: The 9/11 Commission Report

A National Disgrace: A Review of the 9/11 Commission Report
- by David Ray Griffin – 2005-03-24
The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571 Page Lie
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2005-09-08
September 11, 2001: 21 Reasons to Question the Official Story about 9/11
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-09-11
911 “Conspiracy Theorists” Vindicated: Pentagon deliberately misled Public Opinion
Military officials made false statements to Congress and to the 911 Commission
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-02
The 9/11 Commission’s Incredible Tales
Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2005-12-13
9/11 and the War on Terror: Polls Show What People Think 10 Years Later
- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-09-10

PART  V

Foreknowledge of 9/11

  VIDEO: The SECRET SERVICE ON 9/11: What did the Government Know?
Learn more on this week’s GRTV Feature Interview
- by Kevin Ryan, James Corbett – 2012-04-10
9/11 Foreknowledge and “Intelligence Failures”: “Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-14
“Foreknowledge” and “Failure to act” upholds the notion that the terrorist attacks (“act of war”) “waged by Muslims against America” are real, when all the facts and findings point towards coverup and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.
Foreknowledge of 9/11 by Western Intelligence Agencies
- by Michael C. Ruppert – 2012-08-21

PART VI

Insider Trading and the 9/11 Financial Bonanza

9/11 Attacks: Criminal Foreknowledge and Insider Trading lead directly to the CIA’s Highest Ranks
CIA Executive Director “Buzzy” Krongard managed Firm that handled “Put” Options on UAL
- by Michael C. Ruppert – 2012-08-13
The 9/11 Attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC): Unspoken Financial Bonanza
- by Prof Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-04-27
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: Insider Trading 9/11 … the Facts Laid Bare
- by Lars Schall – 2012-03-20
Osama Bin Laden and The 911 Illusion: The 9/11 Short-Selling Financial Scam
- by Dean Henderson – 2011-05-09

PART VII

9/11 and the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT)

Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
9/11 ANALYSIS: From Ronald Reagan and the Soviet-Afghan War to George W Bush and September 11, 2001
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-09-09
Osama bin Laden was recruited by the CIA in 1979. The US spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings.

 

  The Central Role of Al Qaeda in Bush’s National Security Doctrine
“Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-07-12
NATO’s Doctrine of Collective Security
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2009-12-21
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-08-30
What is now unfolding is a generalized process of demonization of an entire population group
Osamagate
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2001-10-09
The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.
The “Demonization” of Muslims and the Battle for Oil
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-01-04
Muslim countries possess three quarters of the World’s oil reserves. In contrast, the United States of America has barely 2 percent of total oil reserves.
  Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-09-10
Much of US foreign policy since 9/11 has been based on the assumption that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11.
  New Documents Detail America’s Strategic Response to 9/11
Rumsfeld’s War Aim: “Significantly Change the World’s Political Map”
- by National Security Archive – 2011-09-12

PART VIII

The Alleged 9/11 Mastermind:

The Life and Death of  Osama bin Laden

Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2001-09-12
  VIDEO: The Last Word on Osama Bin Laden
- by James Corbett – 2011-05-24
Osama bin Laden: A Creation of the CIA
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-05-03
Interview with Osama bin Laden. Denies his Involvement in 9/11
Full text of Pakistani paper’s Sept 01 “exclusive” interview
- 2011-05-09
Where was Osama on September 11, 2001?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2008-09-11
On September 10. 2001, Osama was in a Pakistan military hospital in Rawalpindi, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan
Osama bin Laden, among the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives”: Why was he never indicted for his alleged role in 9/11?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-09-17
Osama bin Laden: Already Dead… Evidence that Bin Laden has been Dead for Several Years
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2011-05-02
The Mysterious Death of Osama bin Laden: Creating Evidence Where There Is None
- by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – 2011-08-04
The Assassination of Osama bin Laden: Glaring Anomalies in the Official Narrative
Osama was Left Handed…
- by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2011-05-11
The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
- by Fidel Castro Ruz – 2011-05-07
Dancing on the Grave of 9/11. Osama and “The Big Lie”
- by Larry Chin – 2011-05-05

PART  IX

 ”False Flags”: The Pentagon’s Second 9/11

The Pentagon’s “Second 911″
“Another [9/11] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity to retaliate against some known targets”
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-10
The presumption of this military document, is that a Second 911 attack “which is lacking today” would usefully create both a “justification and an opportunity” to wage war on “some known targets
Crying Wolf: Terror Alerts based on Fabricated Intelligence
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-20
This is not the first time that brash and unsubstantiated statements have been made regarding an impending terror attack, which have proven to be based on “faulty intelligence”.

PART X

“Deep Events” and State Violence

The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2011-11-22
The Doomsday Project is the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”
JFK and 9/11
Insights Gained from Studying Both
- by Dr. Peter Dale Scott – 2006-12-20
In both 9/11 and the JFK assassination, the US government and the media immediately established a guilty party. Eventually, in both cases a commission was set up to validate the official narrative.
Able Danger adds twist to 9/11
9/11 Ringleader connected to secret Pentagon operation
- by Dr. Daniele Ganser – 2005-08-27
Atta was connected to a secret operation of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the US. A top secret Pentagon project code-named Able Danger identified Atta and 3 other 9/11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the attacks.
9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2008-06-11
The unthinkable – that elements inside the state would conspire with criminals to kill innocent civilians – has become thinkable…
Al Qaeda: The Database.
- by Pierre-Henri Bunel – 2011-05-12

PART XI

Propaganda: Creating and Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend

September 11, 2001: The Propaganda Preparation for 9/11: Creating the Osama bin Laden “Legend”
- by Chaim Kupferberg – 2011-09-11
THE 9/11 MYTH: State Propaganda, Historical Revisionism, and the Perpetuation of the 9/11 Myth
- by Prof. James F. Tracy – 2012-05-06
  Al Qaeda and Human Consciousness: Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda…. An Incessant and Repetitive Public Discourse
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-03-24
9/11 Truth, Inner Consciousness and the “Public Mind”
- by James F. Tracy – 2012-03-18

PART XII

Post 9/11 “Justice”

IRAN ACCUSED OF BEING BEHIND 9/11 ATTACKS.
U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)
- by Julie Lévesque – 2012-05-11
U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)
American Justice”: The Targeted Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
Extrajudicial executions are unlawful
- by Prof. Marjorie Cohn – 2011-05-10
ALLEGED “MASTERMIND” OF 9/11 ON TRIAL IN GUANTANAMO: Military Tribunals proceed Despite Evidence of Torture
- by Tom Carter – 2012-05-30
Self-confessed 9/11 “mastermind” falsely confessed to crimes he didn’t commit
- by Washington’s Blog – 2012-07-15
911 MILITARY TRIAL: Pentagon Clears Way for Military Trial of Five charged in 9/11 Attacks
- by Bill Van Auken – 2012-04-06
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial will convict us all
- by Paul Craig Roberts – 2009-11-25

PART XIII

9/11 Truth

Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

VIDEO: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-01
VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR
Special GRTV Feature Production
- by James Corbett – 2011-09-08

*   *  *

Read about 9/11 in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller America’s “War on Terrorism”

According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Order Directly from Global Research

America's War on Terrorism

Salafism and the CIA: Destabilizing the Russian Federation?

September 14th, 2012 by F. William Engdahl

Part I: Syria comes to the Russian Caucasus

On August 28 Sheikh Said Afandi, acknowledged spiritual leader of the Autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan, was assassinated. A jihadist female suicide bomber managed to enter his house and detonate an explosive device.

The murder target had been carefully selected. Sheikh Afandi, a seventy-five-year old Sufi Muslim leader, had played the critical role in attempting to bring about reconciliation in Dagestan between jihadist Salafi Sunni Muslims and other factions, many of whom in Dagestan see themselves as followers of Sufi. With no replacement of his moral stature and respect visible, authorities fear possible outbreak of religious war in the tiny Russian autonomous republic.[1]

The police reported that the assassin was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam and was linked to an Islamic fundamentalist or Salafist insurgency against Russia and regional governments loyal to Moscow in the autonomous republics and across the volatile Muslim-populated North Caucasus region.

Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990. Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.

The latest Salafist murders of Sufi and other moderate Muslim leaders in the Caucasus are apparently part of what is becoming ever clearer as perhaps the most dangerous US intelligence operation ever—playing globally with Muslim fundamentalism.

Previously US and allied intelligence services had played fast and loose with religious organizations or beliefs in one or another country. What makes the present situation particularly dangerous—notably since the decision in Washington to unleash the misnamed Arab Spring upheavals that began in Tunisia late 2010, spreading like a brushfire across the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan across Central Asia to Morocco—is the incalculable wave upon wave of killing, hatreds, destruction of entire cultures that Washington has unleashed in the name of that elusive dream named “democracy.” They do this using alleged Al-Qaeda groups, Saudi Salafists or Wahhabites, or using disciples of Turkey’s Fethullah Gülen Movement to ignite fires of religious hatred within Islam and against other faiths that could take decades to extinguish. It could easily spill over into a new World War.

Fundamentalism comes to Caucasus

Following the dissolution of the USSR, radical Afghanistani Mujahadeen, Islamists from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic countries flooded into the Muslim regions of the former USSR. One of the best-organized of these was the Gülen Movement of Fethullah Gülen, leader of a global network of Islamic schools and reported to be the major policy influence on Turkey’s Erdogan AKP party.

Gülen was quick to establish The International Dagestani-Turkish College in Dagestan. During the chaotic days after the Soviet collapse, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation officially registered and permitted unfettered activity for a variety of Islamic foundations and organizations. These included the League of the Islamic World, the World Muslim Youth Assembly, the reportedly Al-Qaeda friendly Saudi foundation ‘Ibrahim ben Abd al-Aziz al-Ibrahim.’ The blacklist also included Al-Haramein a Saudi foundation reported tied to Al-Qaeda, and IHH, [2] a Turkish organization banned in Germany, that allegedly raised funds for jihadi fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, and was charged by French intelligence of ties to Al Qaeda.[3] Many of these charities were covers for fundamentalist Salafists with their own special agenda.

As many of the foreign Islamists in Chechnya and Dagestan were found involved in fomenting the regional unrest and civil war, Russian authorities withdrew permission of most to run schools and institutions. Throughout the North Caucasus at the time of the Chechyn war in the late 1990’s, there were more than two dozen Islamic institutes, some 200 madrassas and numerous maktabas (Koranic study schools) present at almost all mosques.

The International Dagestani-Turkish College was one that was forced to close its doors in Dagestan. The College was run by the Fethullah Gülen organization.[4]

At the point of the Russian crackdown on the spread of Salafist teaching inside Russia at the end of the 1990’s, there was an exodus of hundreds of young Dagestani and Chechyn Muslim students to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other places in The Middle east, reportedly to receive training with the Gülen movement and various Saudi-financed organizations, including Salafists. [5] It is believed in Russia that the students trained by Gülen supporters or Saudi and other Salafist fundamentalist centers then were sent back to Dagestan and the North Caucasus to spread their radical strain of Islam.

By 2005 the situation in the Caucasus was so influenced by this Salafist intervention that the Chechen Salafist, Doku Umarov, cited by the UN Security Council for links to Al-Qaeda,[6] unilaterally declared creation of what he called the Caucasus Emirate, announcing he planned to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law encompassing the entire North Caucasus region including Dagestan. He modestly proclaimed himself Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. [7]

*  *  *

WWIII Scenario

*  *  *

 

Part II: Salafism at war with Sufi tradition

Salafism, known in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism, is a fundamentalist strain of Islam which drew world attention and became notorious in March 2001 just weeks before the attacks of September 11. That was when the Salafist Taliban government in Afghanistan willfully dynamited and destroyed the historic gigantic Buddhas of Bamiyan on the ancient Silk Road, religious statues dating from the 6th Century. The Taliban Salafist leaders also banned as “un-islamic” all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.

Afghani sources reported that the order to destroy the Buddhas was made by Saudi-born jihadist Wahhabite, Osama bin Laden, who ultimately convinced Mullah Omar, Taliban supreme leader at the time to execute the act.[8]

Before and…After Salafist Taliban …

While Sufis incorporate the worship of saints and theatrical ceremonial prayers into their practice, Salafis condemn as idolatry any non-traditional forms of worship. They also call for the establishment of Islamic political rule and strict Sharia law. Sufism is home to the great spiritual and musical heritage of Islam, said by Islamic scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam, going back centuries.

As one Sufi scholar described the core of Sufism, “While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to God and will become close to God in Paradise–after death and the ‘Final Judgment’– Sufis believe as well that it is possible to become close to God and to experience this closeness–while one is alive. Furthermore, the attainment of the knowledge that comes with such intimacy with God, Sufis assert, is the very purpose of the creation. Here they mention the hadith qudsi in which God states, ‘I was a hidden treasure and I loved that I be known, so I created the creation in order to be known.’ Hence for the Sufis there is already a momentum, a continuous attraction on their hearts exerted by God, pulling them, in love, towards God.” [9]

The mystical Islamic current of Sufism and its striving to become close to or one with God is in stark contrast to the Jihadist Salafi or Wahhabi current that is armed with deadly weapons, preaches a false doctrine of jihad, and a perverse sense of martyrdom, committing countless acts of violence. Little wonder that the victims of Salafist Jihads are mostly other pacific forms of Islam including most especially Sufis.

The respected seventy-five year old Afandi had publicly denounced Salafist Islamic fundamentalism. His murder followed a July 19 coordinated attack on two high-ranking muftis in the Russian Volga Republic of Tatarstan. Both victims were state-approved religious leaders who had attacked radical Islam. This latest round of murders opens a new front in the Salafist war against Russia, namely attacks on moderate Sufi Muslim leaders.

Whether or not Dagestan now descends into internal religious civil war that then spreads across the geopolitically sensitive Russian Caucasus is not yet certain. What is almost certain is that the same circles who have been feeding violence and terror inside Syria against the regime of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad are behind the killing of Sheikh Afandi as well as sparking related acts of terror or unrest across Russia’s Muslim-populated Caucasus. In a very real sense it represents Russia’s nightmare scenario of “Syria coming to Russia.” It demonstrates dramatically why Putin has made such a determined effort to stop a descent into a murderous hell in Syria.

Salafism and the CIA

The existence of the so-called jihadist Salafi brand of Islam in Dagestan is quite recent. It has also been deliberately imported. Salafism is sometimes also called the name of the older Saudi-centered Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a minority originally-Bedouin form of the faith originating within Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia since the 1700’s.

Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism give the following description of Saudi conditions under the rigid Wahhabi brand of Islam:

Women living under Saudi rule must wear the abaya, or total body cloak, and niqab, the face veil; they have limited opportunities for schooling and careers; they are prohibited from driving vehicles; are banned from social contact with men not relatives, and all personal activity must be supervised including opening bank accounts, by a male family member or “guardian.” These Wahhabi rules are enforced by a mutawiyin, or morals militia, also known as “the religious police,” officially designated the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) who patrol Saudi cities, armed with leather-covered sticks which they freely used against those they considered wayward. They raid homes looking for alcohol and drugs, and harassed non-Wahhabi Muslims as well as believers in other faiths.” [10]

It’s widely reported that the obscenely opulent and morally-perhaps-not-entirely-of- the-highest-standards Saudi Royal Family made a Faustian deal with Wahhabite leaders. The deal supposedly, was that the Wahhabists are free to export their fanatical brand of Islam around to the Islamic populations of the world in return for agreeing to leave the Saudi Royals alone.[11] There are, however, other dark and dirty spoons stirring the Wahhabite-Salafist Saudi stew.

Little known is the fact that the present form of aggressive Saudi Wahhabism, in reality a kind of fusion between imported jihadi Salafists from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the fundamentalist Saudi Wahhabites. Leading Salafist members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were introduced into the Saudi Kingdom in the 1950’s by the CIA in a complex series of events, when Nasser cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood following an assassination attempt. By the 1960’s an influx of Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia fleeing Nasserite repression, had filled many of the leading teaching posts in Saudi religious schools. One student there was a young well-to-do Saudi, Osama bin Laden.  [12]

During the Third Reich, Hitler Germany had supported the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon against the British in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Marc Erikson describes the Nazi roots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood thus:

…as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and ’40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and “supreme guide” Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini.[13]

After the defeat of Germany, British Intelligence moved in to take over control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, for financial and other reasons, the British decided to hand their assets within the Muslim Brotherhood over to their CIA colleagues in the 1950s. [14]

According to former US Justice Department Nazi researcher John Loftus,  “during the 1950s, the CIA evacuated the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia. Now, when they arrived in Saudi Arabia, some of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Dr Abdullah Azzam, became the teachers in the madrassas, the religious schools. And there they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabism.” [15]

“Everyone thinks that Islam is this fanatical religion, but it is not,” Loftus continues. “They think that Islam–the Saudi version of Islam–is typical, but it’s not. The Wahhabi cult has been condemned as a heresy more than 60 times by the Muslim nations. But when the Saudis got wealthy, they bought a lot of silence. This is a very harsh cult. Wahhabism was only practised by the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia–that’s how extreme it is. It really has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion. It always had good relationships with the Jews for the first thousand years of its existence.” [16]

Loftus identified the significance of what today is emerging from the shadows to take over Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, and the so-called Syrian National Council, dominated in reality by the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly led by the more “politically correct” or presentable likes of Bassma Kodmani. Kodmani, foreign affairs spokesman for the SNC was twice an invited guest at the Bilderberg elite gathering, latest in Chantilly, Virginia earlier this year.[17]

The most bizarre and alarming feature of the US-financed  regime changes set into motion in 2010, which have led to the destruction of the secular Arab regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muhammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the secular regime of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, and which have wreaked savage destruction across the Middle East, especially in the past eighteen months in Syria, is the pattern of emerging power grabs by representatives of the murky Salafist Muslim Brotherhood.

By informed accounts, a Saudi-financed Sunni Islamic Muslim Brotherhood dominates the members of the exile Syrian National Council that is backed by the US State Department’s Secretary Clinton and by Hollande’s France. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is tied, not surprisingly to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of President Mohammed Morsi who recently in a meeting of the Non-Aligned in Iran called openly for the removal of Syria’s Assad, a logical step if his Muslim Brothers in the present Syrian National Council are to take the reins of power. The Saudis are also rumored to have financed the ascent to power in Tunisia of the governing Islamist Ennahda Party,[18] and are documented to be financing the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council against President Bashar al-Assad. [19]

Part III: Morsi’s Reign of Salafi Terror

Indicative of the true agenda of this Muslim Brotherhood and related jihadists today is the fact that once they have power, they drop the veil of moderation and reconciliation and reveal their violently intolerant roots. This is visible in Egypt today under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.

Unreported in mainstream Western media to date are alarming direct reports from Christian missionary organizations in Egypt that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already begun to drop the veil of “moderation and conciliation” and show its brutal totalitarian Salafist colors, much as Khomeini’s radical Sharia forces did in Iran after taking control in 1979-81.

In a letter distributed by the Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a Christian Egyptian missionary wrote that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood “announced they would destroy the country if Morsi didn’t win, but they also said they will take revenge from all those who voted for [his opponent Ahmed] Shafiq, especially the Christians as they are sure we did vote for Shafiq. Yesterday they began by killing two believers in el Sharqiya because of this,” the missionary added, speaking on condition of anonymity.[20]

This report came only weeks after Egyptian State TV (under Morsi’s control) showed ghastly video footage of a convert from Islam to Christianity being murdered by Muslims. The footage showed a young man being held down by masked men with a knife to his throat. As one man was heard chanting Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity, another man holding the knife to the Christian convert’s throat began to cut, slowly severing the head amid cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”), according to transcripts. In the letter, the Egyptian missionary leader added that, “soon after Morsi won, Christians in upper Egypt were forcibly prevented from going to churches.” Many Muslims, the letter claimed, “also began to speak to women in the streets that they had to wear Islamic clothing including the head covering. They act as if they got the country for their own, it’s theirs now.” [21]

Already in 2011 Morsi’s Salafist followers began attacking and destroying Sufi mosques across Egypt. According to the authoritative newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Today’s Egyptian), 16 historic mosques in Alexandria belonging to Sufi orders have been marked for destruction by so-called ‘Salafis’. Alexandria has 40 mosques associated with Sufis, and is the headquarters for 36 Sufi groups. Half a million Sufis live in the city, out of a municipal total of four million people. Aggression against the Sufis in Egypt has included a raid on Alexandria’s most distinguished mosque, named for, and housing, the tomb of the 13th century Sufi Al-Mursi Abu’l Abbas.[22]

Notably, the so-called “democratically elected” regime in Libya following the toppling of Mohamar Qaddafi by NATO bombs in 2011, has also been zealous in destroying Sufi mosques and places of worhip. In August this year, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova expressed “grave concern” at the destruction by Islamic Jihadists of Sufi sites in Zliten, Misrata and Tripoli and urged perpetrators to “cease the destruction immediately.” [23] Under behind-the-scenes machinations the Libyan government is dominated by Jihadists and by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, as in Tunisia and Egypt. [24]

The explosive cocktail of violence inherent in allowing the rise to power of Salafist Islamists across the Middle East was clear to see, symbolically enough on the night of September 11,th when a mob of angry supporters of the fanatical Salafist group, Ansar Al-Sharia, murdered the US Ambassador to Libya and three US diplomats, burning the US Consulate in Bengazi to the ground in protest over a YouTube release of a film by an American filmmaker showing the Prophet Mohammed indulging in multiple sex affairs and casting doubt on his role as God’s messenger. Ironically that US Ambassador had played a key role in toppling Qaddafi and opening the door to the Salafist takeover in Libya. At the same time angry mobs of thousands of Salafists surrounded the US Embassy in Cairo in protest to the US film. [25]

Ansar Al-Sharia (“Partisans of Islamic law” in Arabic) reportedly is a spinoff of Al-Qaeda and claims organizations across the Middle East from Yemen to Tunisia to Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Ansar al-Sharia says it is reproducing the model of Sharia or strict Islamic law espoused by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq. The core of the group are jihadists who came out of an “Islamic state”, either in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, or among jihadists in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003.[26]

The deliberate detonation now of a new round of Salafist fundamentalist Jihad terror inside Muslim regions of the Russian Caucasus is exquisitely timed politically to put maximum pressure at home on the government of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Putin and the Russian Government are the strongest and most essential backer of the current Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and for Russia as well the maintenance of Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base at Syria’s Tartus port is vital strategically. At the same time, Obama’s sly message to Medvedev to wait until Obama’s re-election to evaluate US intent towards Russia and Putin’s cryptic recent comment that a compromise with a re-elected President Obama might be possible, but not with a President Romney, [27] indicate that the Washington “stick-and-carrot” or hard cop-soft cop tactics with Moscow might tempt Russia to sacrifice major geopolitical alliances, perhaps even that special close and recent geopolitical alliance with China.[28] Were that to happen, the World might witness a “reset” in US-Russian relations with catastrophic consequences for world peace.

F. William Engdahl*  is the author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order

Notes:

[1] Dan Peleschuk, Sheikh Murdered Over Religious Split Say Analysts, RIA Novosti, August 30, 2012, accessed in

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120830/175517955.html.

[2] Mairbek  Vatchagaev, The Kremlin’s War on Islamic Education in the North Caucasus, North Caucasus Analysis Volume: 7 Issue: 34, accessed in http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=3334

[3] Iason Athanasiadis, Targeted by Israeli raid: Who is the IHH?, The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2010, accessed in http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0601/Targeted-by-Israeli-raid-Who-is-the-IHH.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mairbek Vatchagaev, op. cit.

[6] UN Security Council, QI.U.290.11. DOKU KHAMATOVICH UMAROV, 10 March 2011, accessed in http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQI29011E.shtml. The UN statement reads: “Doku Khamatovich Umarov was listed on 10 March 2011 pursuant to paragraph 2 of resolution 1904 (2009) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “recruiting for”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” and “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” the Islamic Jihad Group (QE.I.119.05), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QE.I.10.01), Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) (QE.R.100.03) and Emarat Kavkaz (QE.E.131.11).”

[7] Tom Jones, Czech NGO rejects Russian reports of link to alleged Islamist terrorists al-Qaeda, May 10, 2011, accessed in http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/news/society/czech-ngo-rejects-russian-reports-link-alleged-islamist-terrorists-al-qaeda?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=enprofil&utm_campaign=twennews.

[8] The Times of India, Laden ordered Bamyan Buddha destruction, The Times of India, March 28, 2006.

[9] Dr. Alan Godlas, Sufism — Sufis — Sufi Orders:

[10] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, Center for Islamic Pluralism, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia

[11] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia.

[12] Robert Duncan, Islamic Terrorisms Links to Nazi Fascism, AINA, July 5, 2007, accessed in http://www.aina.org/news/2007070595517.htm.

[13] Marc Erikson, Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 2), AsiaTimes.Online, November 8, 2002, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DK08Ak03.html.

[14] Ibid.

[15] John Loftus, The Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis and Al-Qaeda,  Jewish Community News, October 11, 2006, accessed in http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/loftus101106.htm

[16] Ibid.

[17] Charlie Skelton, The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?: The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …, London Guardian, 12 July 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking.

[18] Aidan Lewis, Profile: Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, BBC News, 25 October 2011, accessed in http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15442859.

[19] Hassan Hassan, Syrians are torn between a despotic regime and a stagnant opposition: The Muslim Brotherhood’s perceived monopoly over the Syrian National Council has created an opposition stalemate, The Guardian, UK, 23 August, 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/syrians-torn-despotic-regime-stagnant-opposition.

[20] Stefan J. Bos, Egypt Christians Killed After Election of Morsi, Bosnewslife, June 30, 2012, accessed in http://www.bosnewslife.com/22304-egypt-christians-killed-after-election-morsi.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Irfan Al-Alawi, Egyptian Muslim Fundamentalists Attack Sufis, Guardian Online [London],

April 11, 2011, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1770/egyptian-Muslim-fundamentalists-attack-sufis

[23] Yafiah Katherine Randall, UNESCO urges Libya to stop destruction of Sufi sites, August 31, 2012, Sufi News and Sufism World Report, accessed in http://sufinews.blogspot.de/.

[24] Jamie Dettmer, Libya elections: Muslim Brotherhood set to lead government, 5 July, 2012, The Telegraph, London, accessed in http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/9379022/Libya-elections-Muslim-Brotherhood-set-to-lead-government.html.

[25] Luke Harding, Chris Stephen, Chris Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, killed in Benghazi attack: Ambassador and three other American embassy staff killed after Islamist militants fired rockets at their car, say Libyan officials, London Guardian, 12 September 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/12/chris-stevens-us-ambassador-libya-killed.

[26] Murad Batal al-Shishani, Profile: Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen, 8 March 2012, accessed in  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17402856.

[27] David M. Herszenhorn, Putin Says Missile Deal Is More Likely With Obama, The New York Times, September 6, 2012, accessed in http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/world/europe/putin-calls-missile-deal-more-likely-if-obama-wins.html. According to an interview Putin gave on Moscow’s state-owned RT TV, Herszenhorn reports, “Mr. Putin said he believed that if Mr. Obama is re-elected in November, a compromise could be reached on the contentious issue of American plans for a missile defense system in Europe, which Russia has strongly opposed. On the other hand, Mr. Putin said, if Mr. Romney becomes president, Moscow’s fears about the missile system — that it is, despite American assurances, actually directed against Russia — would almost certainly prove true.

“Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if current President Obama is re-elected for a second term? Theoretically, yes,” Mr. Putin said, according to the official transcript posted on the Kremlin’s Web site. “But this isn’t just about President Obama. “For all I know, his desire to work out a solution is quite sincere,” Mr. Putin continued. “I met him recently on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, where we had a chance to talk. And though we talked mostly about Syria, I could still take stock of my counterpart. My feeling is that he is a very honest man, and that he sincerely wants to make many good changes. But can he do it? Will they let him do it?”

[28] M.K. Bhadrakumar, Calling the China-Russia split isn’t heresy, Asia Times,  September 5, 2012, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NI05Ad01.html.

 

Click for Latest Global Research News

October 17th, 2013 by Global Research News

Latest Global Research Articles. Subscribe to GR’s RSS Feed

December 30th, 2012 by Global Research News

A deluge of articles have been quickly put into circulation defending France’s military intervention in the African nation of Mali. TIME’s article, “The Crisis in Mali: Will French Intervention Stop the Islamist Advance?” decides that old tricks are the best tricks, and elects the tiresome “War on Terror” narrative.TIME claims the intervention seeks to stop “Islamist” terrorists from overrunning both Africa and all of Europe. Specifically, the article states:

“…there is a (probably well-founded) fear in France that a radical Islamist Mali threatens France most of all, since most of the Islamists are French speakers and many have relatives in France. (Intelligence sources in Paris have told TIME that they’ve identified aspiring jihadis leaving France for northern Mali to train and fight.) Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), one of the three groups that make up the Malian Islamist alliance and which provides much of the leadership, has also designated France — the representative of Western power in the region — as a prime target for attack.”

What TIME elects not to tell readers is that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is closely allied to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG whom France intervened on behalf of during NATO’s 2011 proxy-invasion of Libya – providing weapons, training, special forces and even aircraft to support them in the overthrow of Libya’s government.

As far back as August of 2011, Bruce Riedel out of the corporate-financier funded think-tank, the Brookings Institution, wrote “Algeria will be next to fall,” where he gleefully predicted success in Libya would embolden radical elements in Algeria, in particular AQIM. Between extremist violence and the prospect of French airstrikes, Riedel hoped to see the fall of the Algerian government. Ironically Riedel noted:

Algeria has expressed particular concern that the unrest in Libya could lead to the development of a major safe haven and sanctuary for al-Qaeda and other extremist jihadis.

And thanks to NATO, that is exactly what Libya has become – a Western sponsored sanctuary for Al-Qaeda. AQIM’s headway in northern Mali and now French involvement will see the conflict inevitably spill over into Algeria. It should be noted that Riedel is a co-author of “Which Path to Persia?” which openly conspires to arm yet another US State Department-listed terrorist organization (list as #28), the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) to wreak havoc across Iran and help collapse the government there – illustrating a pattern of using clearly terroristic organizations, even those listed as so by the US State Department, to carry out US foreign policy.Geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar noted a more direct connection between LIFG and AQIM in an Asia Times piece titled, “How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli:”

“Crucially, still in 2007, then al-Qaeda’s number two, Zawahiri, officially announced the merger between the LIFG and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). So, for all practical purposes, since then, LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same – and Belhaj was/is its emir. “

“Belhaj,” referring to Hakim Abdul Belhaj, leader of LIFG in Libya, led with NATO support, arms, funding, and diplomatic recognition, the overthrowing of Muammar Qaddafi and has now plunged the nation into unending racist and tribal, genocidal infighting. This intervention has also seen the rebellion’s epicenter of Benghazi peeling off from Tripoli as a semi-autonomous “Terror-Emirate.” Belhaj’s latest campaign has shifted to Syria where he was admittedly on the Turkish-Syrian border pledging weapons, money, and fighters to the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” again, under the auspices of NATO support.

Image: NATO’s intervention in Libya has resurrected listed-terrorist organization and Al Qaeda affiliate, LIFG. It had previously fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now has fighters, cash and weapons, all courtesy of NATO, spreading as far west as Mali, and as far east as Syria. The feared “global Caliphate” Neo-Cons have been scaring Western children with for a decade is now taking shape via US-Saudi, Israeli, and Qatari machinations, not “Islam.” In fact, real Muslims have paid the highest price in fighting this real “war against Western-funded terrorism.”

….

LIFG, which with French arms, cash, and diplomatic support, is now invading northern Syria on behalf of NATO’s attempted regime change there, officially merged with Al Qaeda in 2007 according to the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC). According to the CTC, AQIM and LIFG share not only ideological goals, but strategic and even tactical objectives. The weapons LIFG received most certainly made their way into the hands of AQIM on their way through the porous borders of the Sahara Desert and into northern Mali.

In fact, ABC News reported in their article, “Al Qaeda Terror Group: We ‘Benefit From’ Libyan Weapons,” that:

A leading member of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group indicated the organization may have acquired some of the thousands of powerful weapons that went missing in the chaos of the Libyan uprising, stoking long-held fears of Western officials.”We have been one of the main beneficiaries of the revolutions in the Arab world,” Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a leader of the north Africa-based al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM], told the Mauritanian news agency ANI Wednesday. “As for our benefiting from the [Libyan] weapons, this is a natural thing in these kinds of circumstances.”

It is no coincidence that as the Libyan conflict was drawing to a conclusion, conflict erupted in northern Mali. It is part of a premeditated geopolitical reordering that began with toppling Libya, and since then, using it as a springboard for invading other targeted nations, including Mali, Algeria, and Syria with heavily armed, NATO-funded and aided terrorists.

French involvement may drive AQIM and its affiliates out of northern Mali, but they are almost sure to end up in Algeria, most likely by design.

Algeria was able to balk subversion during the early phases of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011, but it surely has not escaped the attention of the West who is in the midst of transforming a region stretching from Africa to Beijing and Moscow’s doorsteps – and in a fit of geopolitical schizophrenia – using terrorists both as a casus belli to invade and as an inexhaustible mercenary force to do it.

Today’s Most Popular Stories

October 15th, 2013 by Global Research News

Click to Get the Latest Global Research Articles

December 23rd, 2013 by Global Research News

Global Research’s Ukraine Report: 100+ articles

April 4th, 2014 by Global Research News

This article was published on July 14, 2014. The death toll in Gaza as of today, July 23, 2014, reaches 678 according to Al-Akhbar.

Students at the IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen here in a screenshot, focus on posting propaganda justifying Israel’s attack on Gaza on Facebook.

As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has once again turned to students to sell the slaughter online.

“Although they haven’t been called up to the army yet, they’ve decided to enlist in a civilian mission that is no less important – Israeli propaganda [hasbara],” Ynet’s Hebrew edition reported about a massive initiative organized by the Israeli student union branch at theInterdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC Herzliya), a prestigious private university.

Hasbara war room

Hasbara,” literally “explaining,” is the term used in Israel for government propaganda aimed at overseas audiences.

“The goal is to deliver a very clear message to people abroad – Israel has the right to defend itself,” Lidor Bar David told Ynet.

Bar David, a student, and one of the organizers of the “war room,” adds, “We want people abroad who don’t know our reality to understand exactly what is going on here.”

(Update: In a 15 July report, which also links to this post, The New York Times notes that previously “Bar David was a captain in the Israel Defense Forces, serving in the office of the military spokesman’s unit.”)

At least 168 Palestinians have been killed since Israel massively escalated its attack on Gaza on 7 July (as of July 23, the death toll reaches 678, GR Editor). Eighty percent of the fatalities are civilians, according to the United Nations.

Thirty-six Palestinian children have been killed and more than 1,200 people have been injured. Thousands are fleeing homes fearing escalating Israeli attacks which have so far destroyed or severely damaged 940 homes, as well as numerous mosques, schools, businesses and charities.

A video accompanying the Ynet report shows rows of students beavering away at computers in a hall with a sign on its door saying “Advocacy Room” in English. In Hebrew, it says “Hasbara war room.”

While Ynet does not reveal specific government ties to this initiative, the National Union of Israeli Students, of which the IDC Herzliya student union is an affiliate, has a history of working on government-funded propaganda schemes, where students are recruited as the country’s “pretty face.”

“Organized lying”

Last year a “covert” Israeli government initiative came to light which planned to pay students for spreading propaganda online.

“The whole point of such efforts is to look like they are unofficial, just every day people chatting online,” Israel expert Dena Shunra told The Electronic Intifada.

“But in fact, these are campaigns of organized lying, orchestrated with government-approved talking points and crowdsourced volunteers and stipend recipients,” Shunra added.

According to Ynet, “The war room was opened in the afternoon of the first day of Operation Protective Edge,” one week ago, by the IDC Herzliya student union, and currently has more than 400 volunteers active in it, all students at the institution.

The IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen in a screenshot from Ynet video, is a continuation of earlier propaganda efforts.

Working in 30 languages, the students working this comment far target online forums including so called “anti-Israel” pages on Facebook and comments sections of online media.

Tomer Amsalem, a second-year year psychology student, acts as one of the war room’s graphic designers.

“In one of our graphics we show the treatment that members of [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh’s and Abu Mazen’s [Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas] families received in Israel, to show we’re even humanitarian to the families of the Palestinian leaders,” he told Ynet.

“In another graphic we show the trauma of the children living around Gaza, which is expressed in drawings of Qassams [rockets]. Another example is a series of cities around the world, being attacked. For example, Berlin – we wrote in German ‘What would you do?’ with a background of Berlin being attacked,’” Amsalem added.

Amsalem is quoted as saying that he sees his work in the “war room” as a civilian equivalent to being called up for military reserves.

Inbal Deutsch, another psychology student who moved to Israel four years ago, responds to comments. She focuses on misattributed photos – photos occasionally circulated online that show scenes that are either not current or not from Gaza. Israel propagandists likely hope that by debunking such pictures they can sow doubt about all too common real pictures of atrocities currently being committed in Gaza.

Focus on Facebook

Students working the “Hasbara war room” at IDC Herzliya, seen in a screenshot from a Ynet video, see their role as a civilian equivalent of military service. 

Yarden Ben Yosef, chair of the IDC student union, is described as the person who initiated the war room.

“Yesterday we managed to pull down a whole Facebook page that incited against Israel and called for the killing of Jews,” Ben Yosef claimed.

“It had 120,000 followers and Facebook took it down after a lot of activity on our part,” Ben Yosef said.

If true, that is in marked contrast to Facebook’s total inaction, despite complaints, to control the pervasive, raging incitement to racism and violence by Israelis on Facebook who support the slaughter of Palestinians.

Student role in government propaganda

Bar David is quoted as saying that “the war room was founded as a continuation from Operation Pillar of Cloud,” Israel’s November 2012 assault on Gaza that killed more than 170 people, again overwhelmingly civilians.

Indeed, the effort to recruit students into government propaganda has a well-documented history, as The Electronic Intifada has reported:

With thanks to Dena Shunra for research and translation.

Vladimir Putin chaired a Security Council meeting in the Kremlin.

The discussion focussed on the maintenance of Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

* * *

emphasis added by GR

Opening remarks at the Security Council meeting

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues.

Today we will consider the fundamental issues of maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country. We all understand how many political, ethnic, legal, social, economic and other aspects this topic encompasses.

Sovereignty and territorial integrity are fundamental values, as I have already said. We are referring to the maintenance of the independence and unity of our state, to the reliable protection of our territory, our constitutional system and to the timely neutralisation of internal and external threats, of which there are quite a few in the world today. I should make it clear from the start that, obviously, there is no direct military threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country. Primarily, the strategic balance of forces in the world guarantees this.

We, on our part, strictly comply with the norms of international law and with our commitments to our partners, and we expect other countries, unions of states and military-political alliances to do the same, while Russia is fortunately not a member of any alliance. This is also a guarantee of our sovereignty.

Any nation that is part of an alliance gives up part of its sovereignty. This does not always meet the national interests of a given country, but this is their sovereign decision. We expect our national legal interests to be respected, while any controversies that always exist, to be resolved only through diplomatic efforts, by means of negotiations. Nobody should interfere in our internal affairs.

However, ever more frequently today we hear of ultimatums and sanctions. The very notion of state sovereignty is being washed out. Undesirable regimes, countries that conduct an independent policy or that simply stand in the way of somebody’s interests get destabilised. Tools used for this purpose are the so-called colour revolutions, or, in simple terms – takeovers instigated and financed from the outside.

The focus is of course on internal problems. Any country always has plenty of problems, especially the more unstable states, or states with a complicated regime. Problems do exist, still it is not clear why they should be used to destabilise and break down a country – something we see rather frequently in various parts of the world.

Frequently the forces used here are radical, nationalist, often even neo-fascist, fundamental forces, as was the case, unfortunately, in many post-Soviet states, and as is the case with Ukraine now. What we see is practically the same thing.

People came to power through the use of armed force and by unconstitutional means. True, they held elections after the takeover, however, for some strange reason, power ended up again in the hands of those who either funded or carried out this takeover. Meanwhile, without any attempt at negotiations, they are trying to supress by force that part of the population that does not agree with such a turn of events.

At the same time, they present Russia with an ultimatum: either you let us destroy the part of the population that is ethnically, culturally and historically close to Russia, or we introduce sanctions against you. This is a strange logic, and absolutely unacceptable, of course.

As for the terrible tragedy that occurred in the sky above Donetsk – we would like once again to express our condolences to the families of the victims; it is a terrible tragedy. Russia will do everything within its power to ensure a proper comprehensive and transparent investigation. We are asked to influence the militia in the southeast. As I have said, we will do everything in our power, but this is absolutely insufficient.

Yesterday when the militia forces were handing over the so-called black boxes, the armed forces of Ukraine launched a tank attack at the city of Donetsk. The tanks battled through to the railway station and opened fire at it. International experts who came to investigate the disaster site could not stick their heads out. It was clearly not the militia forces shooting at themselves.

We should finally call on the Kiev authorities to comply with elementary norms of human decency and introduce a cease-fire for at least some short period of time to make the investigation possible. We will of course do everything in our power to make sure the investigation is thorough.

This is exactly why Russia supported the [UN] Security Council Resolution proposed by Australia. We will continue working together with all our partners to ensure a complete and comprehensive investigation. However, if we get back to such scenarios in general, as I have said, they are absolutely unacceptable and counterproductive. They destabilize the existing world order.

Undoubtedly, such methods will not work with Russia. The recipes used regarding weaker states fraught with internal conflict will not work with us. Our people, the citizens of Russia will not let this happen and will never accept this.

However, attempts are clearly being made to destabilize the social and economic situation, to weaken Russia in one way or another or to strike at our weaker spots, and they will continue primarily to make us more agreeable in resolving international issues.

So-called international competition mechanisms are being used as well (this applies to both politics and the economy); for this purpose the special services’ capabilities are used, along with modern information and communication technologies and dependent, puppet non-governmental organizations – so-called soft force mechanisms. This, obviously, is how some countries understand democracy.

We have to give an adequate response to such challenges, and, most importantly, to continue working in a systematic way to resolve the issues that carry a potential risk for the unity of our country and our society.

In the past few years, we have strengthened our state and public institutions, the basics of Russian federalism, and we have made progress in regional development, in resolving economic and social tasks. Our law enforcement agencies and special services have become more efficient in combatting terrorism and extremism; we are forming a modern basis of our ethnic policy, adjusting approaches to education; we are constantly combatting corruption – all this guarantees our security and sovereignty.

At the same time, we should keep these issues in mind. If necessary, we have to quickly develop and implement additional measures. We need to have a long-term plan of action in these areas, strategic documents and resolutions.

In this regard, I would like to draw attention to several priority challenges.

The first is working consistently to strengthen interethnic harmony, ensure a competent migration policy, and react rigidly to inactions by officials and crimes that may be triggered by interethnic conflicts.

These are challenges for all levels of government, from the federal to the municipal. And, of course, it is extremely important for our civil society to take an active position and react to infringements on human rights and freedoms, helping to prevent radicalism and extremism.

We are particularly relying on civil society for effective help in improving the system of state governance with regard to ethnic policy and educating young people about the spirit of patriotism and responsibility for the fate of their Fatherland, which is particularly important. We discussed this in great detail recently at a meeting of the Council for Interethnic Relations.

By the way, I want to clearly state that – with the help of civil society – we will never entertain the thought of improving our work in these areas solely by cracking down, so to speak. We will not do that under any circumstances; we will rely on civil society, first and foremost.

Our second important challenge is protecting constitutional order. Constitutional supremacy and economic and legal unity must be ensured throughout all of Russia. Federal standards as defined by the Constitution are inviolable and nobody has the right to break the law and infringe on citizens’ rights.

It is important for all Russians, regardless of where they live, to have equal rights and equal opportunities. This is the foundation for a democratic system. We must rigorously observe these Constitutional principles, and to do this, we must build a clear system of state authority, striving to ensure that all its components function as a united whole, precisely and systemically; this should include increasing local authorities’ role as part of Russia’s overall government mechanism. And naturally, reinforcing the efficacy of the work of the judicial system, the prosecutors, and the regulatory and supervisory authorities should strengthen Russia’s statehood.

The third key challenge is sustainable and balanced economic and social development. At the same time, it is fundamentally important to take into account territorial and regional factors. I mean that we must ensure priority development for strategically important regions, including in the Far East and other areas; we must simultaneously reduce drastic gaps between regions in terms of the economic situation and people’s living standards. All this needs to be taken into account when developing federal and sectoral programmes, improving inter-budgetary relations and building plans to develop infrastructure, selecting locations for new plants and creating modern jobs.

I also feel that we must think about additional steps to decrease the dependence of the national economy and financial system on negative external factors. I am not just referring to instability in global markets, but possible political risks as well.

Fourth, our Armed Forces remain the most important guarantor of our sovereignty and Russia’s territorial integrity. We will react appropriately and proportionately to the approach of NATO’s military infrastructure toward our borders, and we will not fail to notice the expansion of global missile defence systems and increases in the reserves of strategic non-nuclear precision weaponry.

We are often told that the ABM system is a defence system. But that’s not the case. This is an offensive system; it is part of the offensive defence system of the United States on the periphery. Regardless of what our foreign colleagues say, we can clearly see what is actually happening: groups of NATO troops are clearly being reinforced in Eastern European states, including in the Black and Baltic seas. And the scale and intensity of operational and combat training is growing. In this regard, it is imperative to implement all planned measures to strength our nation’s defence capacity fully and on schedule, including, of course, in Crimea and Sevastopol, where essentially we need to fully recreate the military infrastructure.

<…>

NaN/

July 22, 2014, 15:40The Kremlin, Moscow

As bombs rain down upon Gaza and Israeli troops march forward with tanks and bulldozers, a recent radio interview conducted on Israeli radio is drawing some criticism from across the world as well as in Israel.

Although the interview was conducted nearly three weeks ago, shortly after the bodies of three Israeli teens were found after being kidnapped and murdered, Dr. Mordechai Kedar stated that the only way to force “terrorists” to think twice about their actions is the threat of the rape of their sisters and mothers.

A Middle East scholar from Bar-Ilan University in Israel, Dr. Kedar stated that “You have to understand the culture in which we live. The only thing that deters [Hamas leaders] is a threat to the connection between their heads and their shoulders.”

Hakol Diburim (It’s All Talk) host Yossi Hadar then asked if that consideration “could filter down” the ranks of Hamas, Kedar responded “No, because lower down the considerations are entirely different. Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them – the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live.”

Hadar attempted to rein Kedar’s statement’s back somewhat by saying that “We can’t take such steps, of course….” However, Kedar reiterated his own statement by responding that “I’m not talking about what we should or shouldn’t do. I’m talking about the facts. The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s all. That’s the only thing that will bring him back home, in order to preserve his sister’s honor.”

Amidst the controversy, Bar-Ilan has attempted, albeit poorly, to downplay the statements made by Kedar. As Haaretz reports,

Kedar chose not to be interviewed. A joint response with spokeswomen from Bar Ilan stated that he “did not call and is not calling to fight terror except by legal and moral means.” It also said Kedar “wanted to illustrate that there is no means of deterring suicide bombers, and using hyperbole, he gave the rape of women as an example. In order to remove all doubt: Dr. Kedar’s words do not, God forbid, contain a recommendation to commit such despicable acts. The intention was to describe the culture of death of the terror organizations. Dr. Kedar was describing the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and liberal law-abiding country to fight against the terror of suicide bombers.”

Kedar’s statements rest firmly in a long line of inflammatory and wholly immoral comments arising from modern academia across the world. Indeed, the inhumanity and ridiculous statements of university professorsacademics, and scientists is by no means a monopoly of Israel.

Kedar’s comments, however, have a more immediate relevance to the time and context of which they were made. This is because Kedar is suggesting the use of rape, particularly the rape of individuals who are completely innocent, as a weapon of war – a war that is currently taking place. Kedar is also making these comments in the context of a ruling class that is rabidly racist against Palestinians and non-Israeli Jews.

As a result, feminist activists have sent a letter to the president of Bar-Ilan University Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz in complaint. The letter states opposition to Kedar’s “words of incitement that grant legitimacy to Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Israeli civilians to commit rape, and endanger both Israeli and Palestinian women. Kedar’s words echo expressions that treat rape as a remedial practice, although it is a war crime.”

It is important to mention that Kedar is a research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan. He also served as Chairman of the Israel Academia Monitor organization, a group that is actively involved in “exposing extremist Israeli academics who exploit academic freedom in order to take steps to deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.” In other words, Kedar is a chief witch hunter of Israeli academics who may question official propaganda and racist anti-historical myths regarding the nature of Israel and the questions surrounding its legitimacy.

Considering the track record of Israel in its campaign of extermination against the Palestinian people, one must wonder if Kedar’s comments will be hidden under the rug or if they will become official Israeli policy.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 

The publication of a document highly critical of the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, authored by one of the longest-serving ministers in former president Hugo Chavez’s government, has triggered an unprecedented debate among Venezuelan revolutionaries.

Jorge Giordani dropped the bombshell on June 18, a day after he was replaced as planning minister. This was preceded by his dismissal from the boards of Venezuela’s Central Bank and state oil company PDVSA, the state oil company. He had held the post almost uninterruptedly since Chavez first came to power in 1999

Many view Giordani as a principal architect of the Chavez government’s economic policy and representative of a “more orthodox Marxist strand” within cabinet.

His removal has been portrayed as evidence of a widening rift between “pragmatists” and “radicals” in the government.

Giordani’s testimony

In the document, titled “Testimony and responsibility in front of history”, Giordani highlights what he views as the three key achievements of the Bolivarian revolution.

These are:

  • the dramatic cut in poverty;
  • the dismantling of power relations that allowed foreign and domestic capital to control the state, in particular the state oil company PDVSA;
  • and the creation of a public sector that now dominates key economic sectors.

But Giordani says these gains are at risk due to a “new path taken” after Chavez’s death last year.

Combined with the impact of a right-wing offensive and a president “who lacks an ability to project leadership”, he said this has led to “a power vacuum in the presidency”.

Giordani said this resulted in “its concentration in other centres of power, thereby destroying the work of institutions such as the Ministry of Finances and the Central Bank, and consummating the independence of PDVSA from the government”.

Giordani said that capitalist interests had succeeded in pushing the Maduro government down the “path of re-installing capitalist financial mechanisms that would facilitate attempts to recapture oil wealth”.

This is in reference to attempts by the Maduro government to gradually replace strict currency controls (of which Giordani has been a strong advocate) with more market-orientated mechanisms.

Few have come out in complete support of Giordani’s statements, but at least two former ministers and high profile leaders of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), as well as the Communist Party of Venezuela, have said the document raises important issues that need to be debated.

Left versus right?

Unsurprisingly, Chavismo’s harshest critics have described Giordani’s letter as a falling out among thieves.

On the right, former opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles wrote that the letter simply “confirmed the level of corruption that exists within the government”.

He said the government’s handling of the economy was dictated not by the needs of the people, but by “personal interests and those of a political party”.

On the other side of the political spectrum, former vice-minister under Chavez and leftist dissident Roland Denis wrote that Giordani’s letter was evidence he is part of “a leadership that is in conflict with itself”.

“Without a doubt,” Denis, said, “our friend is a typical example of the moral and political bankruptcy of a state leadership that knows full well the mess that it is in, but does not want to assume full responsibility … he tries to appear as the person least involved in corruption, even if he let it all happen.”

Most commentators, however, have viewed Giordani’s sacking as the latest step in an ongoing pragmatic shift by the Maduro government.

Francisco Rodriguez, a former head of the Office of Economic and Financial Advisory of the Venezuelan National Assembly, wrote an analysis piece for the Bank of America less than a week before Giordani was removed as minister.

In it, he described Giordani’s recent ousting from the Central Bank and PDVSA boards as a “strong sign of the waning influence of the radical Marxist wing on economic policy issues”.

Taken with the government’s moves towards softening currency and price controls, Rodriguez said it was “a strong consolidation of the pragmatist wing’s control of economic decision-making”.

The view that Maduro has been gradually steering the government in a more moderate direction has also been voiced by some left sectors within Chavismo. One example is Marea Socialista, a small internal current within the PSUV.

In February, Marea Socialista said Maduro’s bid to initiate dialogue with business sectors, and the government’s decision to grant private business easier access to US dollars, but at a much high rate than the official fixed exchange rate, represented important concessions.

Seemingly adding weight to this argument was the appearance, less than two weeks before Giordani’s removal, of an article by Temir Porras, a vice-minister under Maduro when he was foreign minister. Porras had also been appointed by Maduro to preside over the national development fund, FONDEN, and national development bank, BANDES.

He did not last long in these positions, as he was removed after clashing with some of Giordani’s allies within these institutions.

Porras wrote that a “change in the strategic path” is needed as soon as possible if the revolution was to not lose its achievements. In the economic sphere, he called for more “pragmatism”.

Not all, however, are convinced that Giordani’s ouster is a sign of a struggle between pragmatists and radicals, nor that Maduro is pursing a fundamentally different path to the one charted by Chavez.

Neftali Reyes, a regular contributor to the pro-revolution website Aporrea, notes that many of the concerns Giordani raises can be traced back to Chavez’s presidency.

Reyes points out that Chavez also called meetings with business sectors and initiated mechanisms to periodically free-up the flow of dollars to the private sector.

Similarly, the fact that Rafael Ramirez has been reaffirmed as vice-president for the economy and PDVSA president (a post he has held for the past decade), is a sign of continuity in the government’s economic team. Ramirez also has a long history of involvement with Marxist groups.

Victor Alvarez, an ex-minister of basic industries, wrote that Giordani’s exit signified, at most, the speeding up of the dismantling of the current exchange rate regime already underway.

This regime, said Alvarez, has greatly contributed to the country’s economic problems by benefiting importers with overvalued bolivars, punishing local producers, stimulating scarcity and stoking inflation In this way, he said, it has greatly contributed to the country’s economic problems and was “the principal incentive for corruption and speculation”.

This process, which so far has led to the creation of an official three-tiered exchange rate system, was begun under Giordani.

The main tier of the system, which is used for 80% of Venezuela’s foreign trade, continues to be fixed at 6.30 bolivars. It is administered by the state-run National Centre for Foreign Trade, which provides dollars to companies that import basic goods.

The second tier, SICAD I (which Giordani acknowledges in his letter was originally his proposal), came into effect in July last year.

Under this mechanism, companies involved in specific industries are invited to bid in a weekly auction for access to US$220 million at a rate that fluctuates between 10 and 12 bolivars.

In March, the government announced a third tier with the creation of SICAD II. This mechanism allows PDVSA, the Central Bank, banks and private entities to buy and sell dollars at a free-floating rate. The Central Bank reserves the right to intervene, however.

SICAD II has operated at a rate that has hovered around 50 bolivars.

Finally, there is the “black market” rate, which has fluctuated around 60 to 70 bolivars in recent months. It essentially operates as an unofficial fourth tier.

Popular control

Alvarez said any real change in the direction of economic policy would require unifying the existing rates within a limited, free-floating system.

Ramirez says this is precisely what the government is working towards.

Those who argue that a shift away from strict currency controls is a move towards pragmatism have generally not explained why one flows from the other.

Writing on the debate over Venezuela’s currency controls and economic policy, Mark Weisbrot, a US economist invited to Venezuela by Chavez on many occasions, wrote: “The majority of the media tends to view changes in policies — particularly in a country like Venezuela, so disliked by the business media — through a binary prism. Changes are either ‘pro-market’ or favor greater ‘state control’.

“Many on the left have a similar opinion, but with an opposing preference: the market is bad, while state influence is good.”

Yet, as Weisbrot notes, neoliberal economists and the International Monetary Fund have supported fixed exchange rates in certain situations.

Moreover, currency controls have at times bred instability — contributing to speculation, corruption, capital flight and the rise of a black market.

Few doubt that Venezuela’s existing system of currency controls have distorted the economy.

Giordani himself denounced the existence of fictitious companies that illegally acquired about $20 billion via state regulated channels in 2012.

This is just one example of how the controls fail as a viable mechanism for controlling the flow of dollars.

However, simply removing the controls could end up further complicating the situation.

Until now, the government has sought to control currency exchange, but had little say over what happens after than. To change this situation, Venezuela economist Manuel Sutherland, among others, has proposed nationalising all of Venezuela’s international trade.

He notes that Chavez first suggested three years ago, with the former president saying: “Create a state corporation for imports and exports to end the bourgeoisie’s hegemony over imports. We look like pendejos[idiots, wimps] giving dollars to the bourgeoisie. They import, overcharge, buy whatever is desired for one dollar and charge five dollars here…”

Increasing state control would also have to go hand in hand with intensifying the struggle against corruption. A first key step in this direction would be dealing with those responsible for the US$20 billion that Giordani said was stolen in 2012. Greater state control would also have to be accompanied with greater popular participation.

For example, any move to unify the existing exchange rates will establish an exchange rate somewhere between the current fixed rate and the black market rate. Private businesses would undoubtedly use this to justify further price hikes, claiming they are due to the official devaluation.

Yet it has been demonstrated time and again that most private businesses have been using the system by importing goods at the lower exchange rate and selling them as if they had been bought at the black market rate.

The best way to stop this would be to allow workers and communities to monitor how private business set their prices.

Similarly, greater worker participation might stimulate production and help clarify whether the shortage of imported parts is due to a lack of dollars or corrupt practices (by business owners, state officials or both).

Legislation for such actions already exist but has not been fully implemented.

These are further examples of why greater popular power over production and distribution is vital to ensuring that any loosening of control over the exchange rate does not lead to a loss of control over the future of the country’s oil wealth.

[This is the first of two articles on the fall-out from Giordani’s sacking and open letter. The next will deal with the different approaches to the issue of public criticism.]

For your Summer edification: the works of “Black writers, scholars, artists, and activists” explore how “the policies of the Israel towards the Palestinian people mirror the historic regimes of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow in the United States.”

Black people have seen in the condition and treatment of the Palestinians a reflection of their own and recent statements by Black writers, scholars, artists, and activists have affirmed the history of Black solidarity with Palestine. Alice WalkerRobin D.G. KelleyAngela DavisFerrari SheppardTeju Cole,dream hamptonMargaret KimberleyGlen FordKevin Alexander Gray, and others have all spoken to the sheer brutality meted out against the Palestinian people by the State of Israel. They have foregrounded the historical parallels between the everyday practices of violence, the modes of legal disenfranchisement, the normalization of racism, and the forms of segregation and containment through which the policies of the Israel towards the Palestinian people mirror the historic regimes of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow in the United States. And they have been at the forefront of calls for international solidarity with Palestine and for support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel – calls that have taken on an added urgency in light of the current Israeli offensive against Gaza.

For background on the history and politics of the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian quest for self-determination, The Public Archive recommends a number of recent texts. In The Battle for Justice in Palestine, Ali Abunimah, editor of the Electronic Intifada, places the complex local politics of the conflict into global context while describing the impact of the neoliberal turn on the practices of occupation. The collection Palestine, compiled by Funambumlist editor Leopold Lambert as part of his fantastic publication series, offers a critical take on the cartographic, spatial, and architectural elements of settler colonialism. In Nablus: City of Civilizations [pdf] architect Naseer Rahmi ‘Arafãt conjures a meticulous oral and architectural history of the city of Nablus, a cross-roads of Arab civilization that has witnessed almost complete destruction as a result of occupation. The late Edward Said’s The Question of Palestine remains an eloquent and ethical classic while in the Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge, Israeli historian Illan Pappé, author of the earlier The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, provides an  uncompromising investigation into the ideology of Zionism and its manifestation in the practices of Israeli settler colonialism.

For more on the specific question of Black solidarity with Palestine, the Black on Palestine Tumblr is a must-follow archive of videos, links, essays, and excerpts. In Black Liberation and Palestine Solidarity, published by the excellent Atlanta-based autonomous publishing house, On Our Own Authority! Publishers, Lennie Brenner and Matthew Quest offer a clear-eyed and unflinching read of the politics and rhetorics of the Black freedom movement in its encounter with Israeli settler colonialism. The longer and broader history of the question of solidarity between the African diaspora and the Arab world is recounted in Alex Lubin’s comprehensive The Geography of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary. Sohail Daulatzai’s Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom Beyond America examines how African Americans have seen themselves as part of what Daulatzai calls the “Muslim Third World” and shows how radial, internationalist, and anti-imperialist modes of Blackness, from an era stretching from the Cold War to the War on Terror, have found alliance with Muslim struggles for freedom.

A number of recent monographs have approached a different question of solidarity, alliance, and affiliation within the Black World: the question of solidarity through the history of sound. Shana Redmond’s Anthem: Social Movements and the sound of solidarity in the African diaspora, examines Black song and Black citizenship in the soundtrack of Black protest. Tsitsi Ella Jaji’s Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music, and Pan-African Solidarity reads the reverberations of African American music across the Black Atlantic through its influences in Senegal, Ghana, and South Africa. Gaye Theresa Johnson writes of solidarity and sound in The Public Archive’s new favorite city: Los Angeles. In Space of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatial Entitlement in Los Angeles, Johnson explores the history of racial conflict and inter-racial alliance between Blacks and Chicanos in L.A. from the 1940s to the present and the sonic and spatial strategies of solidarity. Meanwhile, a more traditional group of texts have recovered the history of Black Internationalism and pan-African struggle of the of the Interwar years: Hakim Adi’s Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Diapora, 1919-1939, Gerald Horne’s Black Revolutionary: William Paterson & the Globalization of the African American Freedom Struggle, and Holger Weiss, Framing a Radical African Atlantic: African American Agency, West African Intellectuals and the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers, a book whose use of Soviet archives is unprecedented.

Finally, two recent texts look at the impact of revolutions in the Caribbean on the practices of solidarity in the international theatre of the Cold War. David Scott’s Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, and Justice considers the history and historiography of the collapse of Grenada Revolution and its impact on the Caribbean left. In Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria, and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991, Piero Gleijeses examines the resonances of the Cuban victories in Angola and Namibia on the struggles to dismantle apartheid in South Africa. Scott offers an account of failed revolution; Gleijeses one of success. Both offer lessons for Palestine and the Palestinian solidarity movement.

Enjoy the summer.

The Public Archive’s prior readings lists: Radical Black Reading: 201120122013. Reading Haiti:20112012. Radical Black Cities: 2012.

« Match Jamaique-Haiti, Port-au-Prince, 1926

Another Massacre in Gaza, This Time in Khan Younis

July 23rd, 2014 by Global Research News

PRESS RELEASE

MINISTRY OF HEALTH GAZA

Another massacre is underway in Khan Younis, where relentless Israeli shelling and sniper fire are wreaking death and destruction on all that moves in the zone east of Khan Younis city.

The villages of Khuza’a, Al Fukhari, Abasan Alkabir, Abasan Al Sa’ir, Jarara, and Bani Suhela received no warning of the attacks, and no warnings to evacuate before the bombardment began at around 11pm last night.

The intensity of Israeli shelling around the Algerian Hospital in Abasan Alkabir shattered its windows, and led to its evacuation, leaving only the emergency department operational.

Despite residents’ frantic calls to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for help in finding a safe route and safe vehicles to escape, the ICRC was unable to get a response from Israeli authorities until dawn today, when five bodies and 17 injured were retrieved and taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

An unknown number of dead and injured remain behind, as ambulances are prevented access.

Israeli military has declared the Khuza’a area a closed military zone, preventing even medics from entering it, but reports from Khuza’a stated 12 dead by morning.

The casualties in other villages are unable to be established at this time. Random shelling continues unabated, and Israeli snipers inside houses are attacking anything that moves.

Homes are being destroyed over the heads of entire families. Thousands have been displaced, many fleeing to the Nasser and European Gaza Hospitals.

Even hospitals are not safe, however. Monday’s attack on Al Aqsa hospital has left staff and patients alike fearing for their lives even within medical facilities.

The reality is that there is no safe sanctuary, for residents, patients or health personnel alike.

As they did in Shujaiyah, the Israeli military is indiscriminately attacking civilians.

As they did in Shujaiyah, the Israelis military is refusing to provide humanitarian access to the dead and injured, in clear breach of humanitarian law.

As they did in Shujaiyah, the Israeli military is committing war crimes, with apparent impunity.

The Ministry of Health Gaza demands that the international community require the Israeli military to

1.       Immediately cease all attacks on civilian targets in Gaza;

2.       Immediately cease all attacks on medical facilities and personnel in Gaza;

3.       Immediately provides access to the dead and injured, as required by international humanitarian law.

Contact: Dr Yousef AbuAlrish, Deputy Minister of Health                               +972 597 918 339

Obama’s Hot War

July 23rd, 2014 by Glen Ford

The deeper the U.S. slips into economic decline, the higher it ratchets up the pace and stakes of armed conflict. Washington appears to have crossed some kind of Rubicon, to embark “on a mad, scorched earth policy to terrorize the planet into submission through relentless escalation into a global state of war.”

The United States has set the world on fire. It is nonsense to talk of a “new” Cold War, when what the world is witnessing is multiple conflagrations as intense and horrifically destructive as at any period since World War Two. Virtually every one of these armed conflicts has been methodically set in motion by the only power capable of perpetrating such massive, simultaneous mayhem: the United States, along with its underlings in London, Paris and Tel Aviv – the true Axis of Evil.

Washington is embarked on a mad, scorched earth policy to terrorize the planet into submission through relentless escalation into a global state of war. Unable to maintain its dominance through trade and competition, the U.S. goes beyond the brink to plunge the whole planet into a cauldron of death. As Russia is learning, it is extremely difficult to avoid war when a great power insists on imposing it. That was a lesson inflicted on the world 75 years ago, by Nazi Germany.

Whoever coined the phrase “No Drama Obama” should be sentenced to a lifetime of silence. The First Black U.S. President systematically brought swastika-wearing fascists to power in Ukraine to start a war on Russia’s borders. The passengers of the Malaysian airliner are victims of Obama’s carefully crafted apocalypse, a pre-fabricated conflict that could consume us all. Obama methodically and without provocation laid waste to Libya and Syria, and now the jihadists unleashed by the United States and its allies are destroying Iraq all over again and threatening to erase Lebanon and Jordan and even the oil kingdoms of the Gulf. Obama has signed yet another blank check for Israel’s ghastly war of ethnic annihilation in Gaza – a crime against humanity for which the U.S. is fully as culpable as the apartheid Jewish State, which could not exist if it were not part of the U.S. superpower’s global war machine.

Wars “R” Us

Those who say the United States is adrift or has no coherent foreign policy are colossally wrong. Washington’s policy is the constant fomenting of war for the subjugation of the planet – or the world’s destruction, if the U.S. cannot remain Number One.

The Americans have made Africa into a killing field. Somalia and its people have been smashed and dispersed, setting the whole Horn of Africa ablaze. Ethiopia commits multiple genocides under U.S. sponsorship, while Washington’s mercenaries in Rwanda and Uganda grow fat on the bones of six million Congolese. South Sudan thrashes in agony, the result of dismemberment by American, European and Israeli ghouls. The sounds of chaos and mass murder reverberate from the Magreb in the North, through the vast Sahel region, and now deep into West Africa, a direct result of criminal U.S. aggressive war and regime change in Libya.

Obama “pivots” to East Asia with the goal of turning Japan into a militaristic state with an invitation to rejoin, after all these years, the game of global conquest. Poor Afghanistan and Pakistan have no future at all, unless the U.S. leaves their region and allows them to develop an organic partnership with China. But a world based on mutually beneficial relations among peoples has no room for empire – which is why the empire wages war against the world.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com and sign up for email notification each Wednesday, when a new issue of BAR appears.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].

The European Union’s foreign ministers’ meeting yesterday announced it would draw up a list of potentially “forceful” measures against Russia, in the wake of the crash of Malaysia flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine last week.

It is unclear, however, whether the list, which is to be presented at a meeting of EU ambassadors tomorrow, will satisfy demands from Washington for more punitive sanctions against Moscow.

The meeting took place amidst a propaganda war blaming pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine for the crash that killed 298 people. Without a shred of evidence and before an investigation has even begun, the US, backed by Britain, Poland and Ukraine charged Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government with culpability.

Last Wednesday, the EU had agreed to suspend new investments by the European Investment Bank in Russia and to draw up an unspecified list of business people for sanctions.

The largely symbolic decision had infuriated Washington, which had demand the EU move to “tier three” sanctions, targeting key sectors of the Russian economy. The day before, the US had imposed a freeze on 17 companies associated with Putin’s “inner circle” and the assets of Russian defence companies. US firms were also banned from providing anything more than short-term financing to some Russian banks and energy suppliers.

The crash of MH17 on Thursday was immediately seized on by President Barack Obama, who described it as a “wake up call” for Europe. With claims that Europe faces its own “9/11 moment”, the tragedy is being cynically exploited as a casus belli to force the EU into confrontation with Russia. Speaking before the meeting, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said, “What we need to do now is use the sense of shock, the sense of outrage, to galvanise opinion behind a more robust stance.”

The summit agreed to immediately add a number of Putin’s close associates to the EU’s travel ban and asset freeze blacklist and to draw up “tier three” sanctions, regarding “access to capital markets, defence, dual use goods and sensitive technologies.”

Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister, said “I think Europe has woken up. None of these things—capital markets, defence, dual use items, has ever been mentioned in EU documents.”

Frans Timmermans, the foreign minister for the Netherlands, which lost 193 nationals in the crash, described the threat as “a logical consequence… of the lack of progress that we have seen on the Russian side.”

The final communiqué spoke only of “possible” targeted measures and “proposals” for further action, however. The lack of a firm consensus on more wide-ranging sanctions was underscored by President François Hollande’s announcement that France intends to proceed with its €1.2 billion contract to supply Russia with two Mistral-class helicopter assault ships. Russian sailors have already arrived in the port of Saint-Nazaire for training on the new warships.

His statement led to bitter recriminations between Paris and London earlier in the day. Comparing Russia to Nazi Germany, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said it should be “unthinkable” for the sale to go ahead.

In response, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, the leader of France’s ruling Socialist Party, denounced Cameron as “hypocrite … When you see how many [Russian] oligarchs have sought refuge in London, David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own backyard.”

Cameron’s Nazi analogy is especially spurious given that the UK, alongside the US and the EU, worked with fascists to instigate February’s coup in Kiev. Their support for far right brigands, who are murdering anti-government oppositionists with impunity, is directly responsible for the civil war in Ukraine that has cost hundreds of lives, including those on board flight MH17.

His provocative statement was occasioned by the efforts of Britain’s ruling elite, on Washington’s behalf, to lead a new European “coalition of the willing” against Moscow. Currently comprising Britain, Poland and the Baltic States, its immediate objective is to employ against Russia elements of the strategy used in Ukraine, where sanctions against various oligarchs played a critical role in deposing President Viktor Yanukovych.

Dmitri Trenin for the Carnegie Moscow Center wrote, “The goal is to hurt Russia so much that it backs down on Ukraine, ideally creating enough pain within Russia to effect a regime change—that is, Putin’s ouster, either as a result of a palace coup or through a popular revolt.”

The Russian stock exchange plunged by €28 billion last week after Washington’s latest measures. The economy has suffered a massive capital flight, with Foreign Direct Investment down by 50 percent in the first six months of this year. Russia’s currency has also fallen by 6.4 percent against the dollar in the same time frame.

The extraordinary recklessness with which the major powers are proceeding points to the deep crisis of Western imperialism. Not content with destabilising Ukraine and ratcheting up tensions with a major nuclear power, they are intent on implementing measures they know will have a devastating impact on European and world economy.

Writing in the Financial Times, Wolfgang Münchau summed up the attitude prevailing in ruling circles. Calling for all-out financial sanctions and even a ban on energy imports, he wrote blithely that, “The eurozone can expect to be directly affected.” Even though, “Commentators note that the eurozone is only one shock away from deflation,” he continued, the EU should act immediately with measures that amount to economic war with Russia.

Notwithstanding Cameron’s myopic conception that London’s low level of trade with Russia will somehow insulate the UK from the fall-out, the implications are catastrophic for the entire continent and beyond.

The European and Russian economies are deeply linked, with annual EU-Russian turnover in goods trade reaching 336.5 billion euros in 2012. Germany, considered the economic engine of the EU, is especially dependent. It accounts for one-third of EU exports to Russia, and has 6,000 companies operating there. With analysts estimating 25,000 jobs could be at risk as a result of further action, the German economy has already begun to weaken, heightening deflationary concerns across the eurozone.

Nonetheless, Germany’s Social Democratic Party Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that “sharper” measures were needed against Russia. “I say we remain open to defusing the situation with all political and diplomatic means, but it will be necessary to accompany this willingness with higher pressure, which also means sharper measures,” he said.

Just as significantly, EU nations rely on Russia for about 30 percent of their gas demand—with Germany and Italy particularly exposed.

One unnamed EU diplomat was cited before the summit stating that energy sanctions “would most likely derail the fragile European recovery in general and could even lead to a complete economic collapse in certain member states. I don’t see how collective economic suicide serves us or the Ukrainians,” he said.

Collective suicide is exactly what has been placed on the table. This is not changed one iota by the Foreign Minister’s communiqué stating that further sanctions are conditional on Russian cooperation with the inquiry into the MH17 crash, and ending the “increasing flow of weapons, equipment and militants across the [Ukrainian/Russian] border.”

Putin had already agreed to this, while warning that “Ultimately, there is a need to call on the authorities in Kiev to respect basic norms of decency, and at least for a short time implement a ceasefire.”

Kiev has a vested interest in wrecking any co-operation with Moscow, given its strategic objective of drawing NATO into military action against Russia. Even as Putin spoke, Kiev was shelling towns and cities in eastern Ukraine and announced the call-up of more military reservists.

For their part, the foreign minister’s solidarised with what they farcically described as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s “peace plan”, and committed themselves to “restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity”—a reference to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Nearly one in four children in the United States lives in a family below the federal poverty line, according to figures presented in a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

A total of 16.3 million children live in poverty, and 45 percent of children in the US live in households whose incomes fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

The annual report, tilted the Kids Count Data Book, compiles data on children’s economic well-being, education, health, and family support. It concludes that, “inequities among children remain deep and stubbornly persistent.”

The report is an indictment of the state of American society nearly six years after the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. While the Obama administration and the media have proclaimed an economic “recovery,” conditions of life for the vast majority of the population continue to deteriorate.

The report notes that the percentage of children in poverty hit 23 percent in 2012, up sharply from 16 percent in 2000. Some states are much worse. For almost the entire American South, the share of children in poverty is higher than 25 percent.

These conditions are the product of a ruthless class policy pursued at all levels of government. While trillions of dollars have been made available to Wall Street, sending both the stock markets and corporate profits to record highs, economic growth has stagnated, social programs have been slashed, and public services decimated, while prices of many basic items are on the rise. Jobs that have been “created” are overwhelmingly part-time or low-wage.

“We’ve yet to see the recovery from the economic recession,” said Laura Speer, associate director for policy reform and advocacy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, who helped produce the report. “The child poverty rate is connected to parents’ employment and how much they are getting paid,” added Ms. Speer in a telephone interview Tuesday.

“The jobs that are being created in this economy, including temporary and low-wage jobs, are not good enough to keep children out of poverty,” she added.

The Kids Count report notes, “Declining economic opportunity for parents without a college degree in the context of growing inequality has meant that children’s life chances are increasingly constrained by the socioeconomic status of their parents.” The percentage of children who live in high-poverty communities has likewise increased significantly, with 13 percent of children growing up in communities where more than 30 percent of residents are poor, up from 9 percent in 2000.

Speer added that, given the significant run-up in home prices over the previous two decades, “the housing cost burden has gotten worse.” She noted that the share of children who live in households that spend more than one third of their annual income on housing has hit 38 percent, up from 28 percent in 1990. In states such as California, these figures are significantly higher.

“In many cases families are living doubled up and sleeping on couches to afford very expensive places like New York City,” she added. “Paying such a large share of your income for rent means that parents have to decide between whether or not to pay the rent or to pay the utility bills. It’s not a matter of making choices over things that are luxuries, it’s choosing between necessities.”

The report concludes, “As both poverty and wealth have become more concentrated residentially, evidence suggests that school districts and individual schools are becoming increasingly segregated by socioeconomic status.”

In most of the United States, K-12 education is funded through property taxes, and there are significant differences in education funding based on local income levels. “Kids who grow up in low-income neighborhoods have much less access to education: that’s only been exacerbated over the last 25 years,” Speer said.

The Kids Count survey follows the publication in April of Feeding America’s annual report, which showed that one in five children live in households that do not regularly get enough to eat. The percentage of households that are “food insecure” rose from 11.1 percent in 2007 to 16.0 percent in 2012. Sixteen million children, or 21.6 percent, do not get enough to eat. The rate of food insecurity in the United States is nearly twice that of the European Union.

According to the US government’s supplemental poverty measure, 16.1 percent of the US population—nearly 50 million people—is in poverty, up from 12.2 percent of the population in 2000.

The Kids Count report notes that the ability of single mothers to get a job is particularly sensitive to the state of the economy, and that the employment rate of single mothers with children under 6 years old has fallen from 69 percent in 2000 to 60 percent ten years later. This has taken place even as anti-poverty measures such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) have been made conditional on parents finding work.

The report noted that enrollment in the federal Head Start program, which serves 3- and 4-year-olds dropped off when the “recession decimated state budgets and halted progress.” It added that cutbacks to federal and state anti-poverty programs, as well as health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, are contributing to the growth of poverty and inequality.

With the “sequester” budget cuts signed by the Obama administration in early 2013, most federal anti-poverty programs are being slashed by five percent each year for a decade. “Programs like head start, LIHEAP [Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program], and other federal programs are really a lifeline in a lot of families,” Speer said.

Since the implementation of the sequester cuts, Congress and the Obama administration have slashed food stamp spending on two separate occasions and put an end to federal extended jobless benefits for more than three million long-term unemployed people and their families. These measures can be expected to throw hundreds of thousands more children into poverty.

Israel: International Anger Mounts

July 23rd, 2014 by Felicity Arbuthnot

Councillor Hugh Lewis takes down the Israeli flag in Dublin, Ireland. (Independent.ie) 

You take my water

Burn my olive trees

Destroy my house

Take my job

Steal my land

Imprison my father

Kill my mother

Bomb my country

Starve us all

Humiliate us all

But … I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.” (Placard first seen in Gaza, 2012.)                            

The “most moral army in the world” from “the only democracy in the Middle East” has attacked hospitals, a home for the disabled, a geriatric hospice, demolished five mosques, razed entire neighbourhoods, erased entire families – the youngest – so far – just three days old if you do not count the unborn, as in the case of twenty nine year old Samar Al Hallaq (1) killed with her two sons, aged four and five, other members of her family and carrying her third child. Her husband was critically injured.

Yet again a war is declared against children and the young. Forty three percent of Gaza’s population is aged 0-14 and just under twenty one percent, 15-24. (Index Mundi, 2013.) Thus sixty four percent, 0-24.

As Israel trades on eternal victim status whilst murdering neighbouring, fellow Semites with seeming legal impunity, stealing land, obliterating homes, nullifying history preceding even the coming of Christ in the land of his birth, the UN bleats weakly, as ever, of “concern” and “regret” some countries have had enough.

Ecuador has recalled their Ambassador from Israel, Chile has suspended their free trade agreement negotiations. Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro have called the assault on Gaza genocide and “extermination”, with Maduro demanding that the UN address the: “systematic violation of the Human Rights of the Palestinian population in Gaza by the State of Israel and adopt the necessary measures to halt those violations.” (2.) Venezuela severed all relations with Israel after its last massacre, “Cast Lead” over Christmas and New Year 2008-2009.

As Prime Minister David Cameron calls the onslaught on the 1.7 million people of Gaza in their forty mile long ghetto “not disproportionate”, President Maduro stated: “It is clear you cannot morally compare occupied and massacred Palestine with the occupying state, Israel, which also possesses military superiority and acts on the margins of international law.”

Meanwhile, amid massive protests in South Africa, the African National Congress in Parliament (who suffered their own long years of apartheid) is calling for the Israeli Ambassador to leave with “immediate effect” and for the South African Ambassador to Tel Aviv to be immediately recalled.

The ANC Chief Whip, Steone Sizane, MP., in a blistering address said: “The office of the UN Secretary
General issues statements which have no effect. The UN Security Council
must stand up and act to support vulnerable Palestinian people at the 
time when they need their protection.

“The situation involving Palestine
 and Israel is an undeclared war, in which the aggressor, Israel, has 
destroyed the Palestinian economy, robbed people of their land,
unilaterally changed borders, and unilaterally built a wall of exclusion
to keep Palestinians out of their land. When it feels provoked, it 
unleashes the most sophisticated military hardware on a defenceless 
people. Palestinians have been reduced to cheap labour for the Israel
 economy.

“This relentless destruction of the Palestinian territory and 
its people by Israel must be stopped. The international community needs
 to act in unison on this matter.”

Mr Sizane’s call is backed by a host of political and civil bodies including faith groups, the Young Communist League, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, seventy two leading South African Jews and many others. (3)

In Europe, the Norwegian government is resisting pressure to expel the Israeli Ambassador from pro-Palestinian and human rights organizations with the leader of the Joint Committee for Palestine (Fellesutvalget for Palestina, FuP), Anna Lund Bjørnsen telling Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK): “Norway can not uncritically maintain close diplomatic relations with a state that does not show respect for human life, international treaties or UN conventions.”

Even the resisting Foreign Minister Børge Brende acknowledges: “the suffering you see in Gaza and the West Bank”, and cites Israel’s particular responsibility in driving the peace process because its illegal settlements were the key to the conflict.

Labor Party MP and Chairwoman of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee in the Norwegian parliament, Anniken Huitfeldt is widely backed by seven left leaning parties in her call for boycotting products manufactured by Israel in the occupied territories “without wasting time.”

Two parties supporting the boycott, the Labor Party and the Center Party, are demanding a review Norway’s policy of selling arms to third-world countries, which resell those arms to Israel.(5)

In neighbouring Sweden calls are mounting by those involved in academic and cultural boycotts for all collaboration between Swedish and Israeli institutions to cease, with abstention: “from participation in EU funded projects in which Israel is involved. A letter was also addressed to the Board of the Royal Institute of Technology, which has a comprehensive cooperation program with the Technion University in Haifa.”(6)

In Ireland, Dublin City Council unanimously called on the Irish government to enforce an arms and trade embargo on Israel (7) and seventeen EU governments have now: “published online guidance warning their citizens and businesses about risks involved in trade and other economic links with illegal Israeli settlements.” The latest twelve to issue warnings did so last week, after the start of the assault on Gaza. They are: Portugal, Austria, Malta, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece, Slovakia, Belgium and Croatia, “in a move coordinated at EU level.” France, Italy and Spain issued similar guidelines the previous week.(8)

Across the world in the Maldives the government has scrapped three agreements with Israel and discussions are gathering pace to prohibit the import of Israeli goods. The tropical nation of 1,200 islands, at some potential cost to the economy has said they will also reject investors from Israel, noting international condemnation of Israel’s current actions. (9)

On 19th July, the Guardian published a letter signed by six Nobel Laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú and Betty Williams and numerous academic, intellectual, artistic and signaturies from many countries, including João Antonio Felicio, the president of the International Trade Union Confederation, and Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions calling for the UN and governments to impose a military embargo on Israel.(10)

The letter underlines starkly the culpability of the international community in Israel’s ongoing genocidal actions: “Over the period 2009-2019, the US is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30bn, while Israeli annual military exports to the world have reached billions of dollars. In recent years, European countries have exported billions of euros worth of weapons to Israel, and the European Union has furnished Israeli military companies and universities with military-related research grants worth hundreds of millions.”

It concludes: “Governments that express solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza, facing the brunt of Israel’s militarism, atrocities and impunity, must start with cutting all military relations with Israel. Palestinians today need effective solidarity, not charity.”

One Nobel Laureate’s signature was not on the letter, President “Change we can believe in” Obama.

As the death toll exceeded five hundred and serious injuries three thousand two hundred Norwegian Dr Mads Gilbert stated on Democracy Now: “This was truly a massacre, and the injuries were just horrible … Children came in without heads and totally dismantled by the shelling of the residential areas.”

On the same day (Monday 21st July) Obama merely said weakly that he had: “serious concerns.” Pathetic.

Israel too now has “serious concerns” of another kind. Hours after US airlines Delta, United and US Airways cancelled all flights to Israel on Tuesday 22nd July, the US Federal Aviation Authority issued an advisory banning all US carriers from flying to Tel Aviv. Air Canada has also cancelled their flights. The European Aviation Safety Agency has followed suit issuing a “strong recommendation” that airlines avoid travel to Israel until further notice. Air France, EasyJet, Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa, and the Netherland’s KLM were among European airlines that had already cancelled services.

The financial implications for Israel can only be imagined. Having spent two weeks telling the world of the mortal danger the country faced (in spite of crowds of residents picnicking in the open, standing on car roofs to watch the destruction of Gaza) the Transportation Minister and Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that flying to the country is “safe” and that: “There is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize.” Somewhat contradictory all round.

Further, last year 3.5 million tourists visited Israel, boosting the economy by over twelve Billion $s. This year Yahoo Travel cites Leon Avigad, the developer of Browns Hotels, a chain of boutique hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who says the conflict was already: “devastating us economically … We are losing tons of money by the minute. The entire profit from the summer (to date) is wiped out.” In the south of the country: “Hotels are completely empty … almost everything is closed.”

Surprisingly, even Israel’s loyal friends, the US State Department have been advising against all but most essential travel to Israel since February.

Especially courageous are the stands across the world by Jews themselves. Ten thousand orthodox Jews demonstrated in support of Gaza in New York, and across the world they, with other Jewish denominations have taken a visible and courageous stand.

Jewish Voices for Peace statement by their Rabbinical Council perhaps encapsulates what many believe. Headed “Stop the Bombing. Hold Israel Accountable” it reads in part:

“We are currently amidst ‘the three weeks’ – the annual Jewish period of quasi-mourning that leads to the fast day of Tisha B’Av. This is the season that bids us to look deeply into the soul of our community and examine the ways that our sinat chinam - baseless hatred – has led to our communal downfall.

“Driven by the spirit of this season, we cannot help but speak out in response to the horrific loss of life currently taking place in Gaza, at the hands of the Israeli military. We deplore the Israeli government’s military crackdown in the West Bank that led to its lethal, military onslaught on the people of Gaza.  We mourn the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, including children.

“We condemn Hamas’ rockets attacks on Israel and the anxiety, injury and death they have caused. But we cannot view this as a war between two equal sides. Israel has unlimited hi-tech weaponry; it dominates Gazan airspace, its borders, its utilities and economy…

“We can not stand idly by as the Jewish State acts with such wanton disregard, with such sinat chinam, for the humanity of the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, children and elders of Gaza.

“As Jews, we abhor the abuse of human rights that are standard practice of our fellow Jews in the Israeli government and Israeli military. This is not the path of justice.” (11)

Also grieving is NATO Member Turkey, declaring three days of mourning for Gaza this week.

Yesterday activists from Jewish Voices for Peace were arrested for a peaceful demonstration at the Friends of the Israeli Defence Forces on New York’s Broadway.

In Israel, Peace Now and Hand in Hand participants are being “shouted down or physically attacked” for their principled stance. Last week, in Tel Aviv: “about 250 Jewish protesters were set upon, punched and pushed by a well-organized group of right wingers in an attack that left several people with bruises, black eyes, or other injuries. Another (of) about 1,000 people, was also attacked” with eggs and plastic bottles.(12)

Perhaps it is time for President Obama to earn his Nobel Peace status.

This week Dr Mads Gilbert addressed a passionate appeal to him, writing:

“Mr Obama, do you have a heart? I invite you, spend one night – just one night – with us in Al Shifa’a Hospital. I am convinced, one hundred per cent, it would change history. Nobody with a heart and power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa’a without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.” If only.

The last word goes to increasingly intellectually challenged Prime Minister David Cameron, who declared on July 21st: “We can’t stand by when a strong nation bullies a weak one.” Indeed. Sadly, he was talking about Russia, who, for those fully bolted down, seems to have bullied no one.

Notes

1.http://pht2012.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/a-devastating-loss-to-the-tapestry/

2.http://rt.com/news/174144-south-america-gaza-genocide/

3.http://www.bdssouthafrica.com (subscribe, contact, site temporarily under construction.)

4.http://www.newsinenglish.no/2014/07/16/calls-to-expel-israeli-ambassador/

5.http://en.shafaqna.com/international-news/item/30340-middleeastmonitorcom/-norwegian-mp-calls-for-boycott-of-israel-over-its-gaza-offensive.html

6.http://psabi.se/?p=621

7. http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/palestine-campaigners-welcome-dublin-city-council-motion-calling-for-end-to-attacks-on-gaza-and-for-arms-embargo-trade-sanctions-on-israel-12332#sthash.98WcoSgL.dpuf

8.http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/17-eu-members-take-action-against-corporate-complicity-12200#sthash.xN7vcoes.dpuf

9.http://www.sun.mv/english/23670

10http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/nobel-celebrities-call-for-military-embargo-12316#sthash.BlqKTzg0.dpuf

11.http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/campaigns/end-the-bombing-hold-israel-accountable

12.http://www.globalresearch.ca/israeli-peace-movement-members-shouted-down-and-physically-attacked/5392698

Amnesty International recently released a report on “stomach-turning” violence in Eastern Ukraine (“Abduction and Tortures in Eastern Ukraine,”  – see for example BBC coverage here). According to the report, the acts of violence are perpetrated chiefly by pro-Russian separatist groups.
The Amnesty International’s report and its conclusion about rebel responsibility for the majority of violence doesn’t hold water and has little in common with reality.
The violence in Ukraine in general is not properly analyzed, and the report is biased. Rather than the rebels, it is the Ukrainian army and the pro-EuroMaidan forces that are responsible for the abductions and abuses.
Firstly, rebels in Eastern Ukraine enjoy almost 100% support of the local population. There is no need for them to commit any kind of violence targeting the locals. The Ukrainian army, on the contrary, is viewed as a cruel enemy and Ukrainian soldiers feel the animosity of the locals. Simple logic would argue that it is the army that has felt the need to repress its local adversaries through violence.
Moreover, it suffices to speak with any of the thousands of refugees from Eastern Ukraine and listen to their stories about the barbaric methods used by the army to break the resistance, to be persuaded that the Ukrainian army bears the responsibility for the majority of kidnappings and tortures.
Secondly, it`s well known that EuroMaidan was supported by Ukrainian neo-Nazi organizations. After the success of EuroMaidan its leaders enrolled their neo-Nazi supporters into newly formed police and National Guard battalions (“Azov”, “Donbas” and so on). From time to time foreign media speak of the neo-Nazi background of Ukrainian military units, but most of the time this fact is hidden. It`s hard to expect any respect for human rights or any other kind of law observance from these soldiers.
The facts show that EuroMaidan authorities started the terror campaign promptly after toppling the former government, that is to say long before the start of the war. The spiral of violence raging now in Eastern Ukraine is the sequel of the geopolitical drama called EuroMaidan.
In addition, to see the whole scale of violence in Ukraine one should gather information about abductions, tortures and other ill-treatment throughout the country and not only in Eastern Ukraine. And the time period should be enlarged: it’s necessary to take into consideration all of the violence perpetrated since the victory of EuroMaidan and not only since the beginning of the hostilities.
When the new post-EuroMaidan government was formed it unleashed unprecedented repressive measures, which became more and more stringent and violent. Policemen and their families were the first targets. They were threatened anonymously, their apartments burnt and some policemen killed.
Not only policemen were tracked down, but any conspicuous person loyal to the previous government.
“Unacceptable newspapers” were forcibly closed, independent journalists arrested.
The most radical pro-European movement, Neo-Nazi “Right Sector,” put forward the idea that “the revolution continues and we will hunt down the enemies of the revolution”.
After that civic activists were subjected to brutal attacks and the most active of them were arrested. Now Kiev goes even further. Following the example of the US in Iraq, the Ukrainian authorities are producing playing cards with faces of the rebel commanders as well as faces of “wrong” journalists, for the soldiers in Eastern Ukraine. The army must either arrest or kill them.
In the wake of EuroMaidan, Ukraine has become a country full of political prisoners.
The number of well-known journalists and writers who have had to escape from the country is high: Alexander Chalenko, Rostislav Ishchenko, Vladimir Rogov, myself, and many others. Even high-ranking Congressmen of the Ukrainian parliament, such as the anti-EuroMaidan politician Oleg Tsarov, have had to leave Ukraine under the threat of arrest. Before fleeing Tsarov was attacked by a crowd of EuroMaidan activists and savagely beaten. The video of the attack as well as Tsarov with torn clothes and bruises was shown on TV.  His house in Dnepropetrovsk was burnt by Molotov cocktails thrown by well-known “unknown” perpetrators.
Now Tsarov gives juridical assistance to police officers and civil activists persecuted by the new authorities. According to Tsarov, many people are being arrested throughout Ukraine and prisons are filled with political prisoners. The latest case has been the arrest of Alexander Samoylov, the vice-rector of International Slavonic University in Charkov. The picture of Samoylov beaten, with black bruises around his eyes, is circulating on the internet.
The violence against ideological rivals has turned into political advertising for the Ukrainian politicians supporting EuroMaidan, aimed toward dissuasion. Congressmen from the well-known xenophobic nationalistic party Svoboda forcibly entered the office of the Ukrainian National TV Channel director, beat him and forced him to resign. They disliked how the TV channel covered the Crimean conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
Notorious congressman and leader of the Radical party Oleg Liashko is famous for his PR actions in the zone of hostilities. He often shows up there accompanied by a large number of bodyguards and demonstrates his attitude towards the population of Eastern Ukraine. There are many videos showing Liashko humiliating his opponents and threatening to kill them — like in this video where Liashko and his bodyguards rudely force a local deputy in Slawiansk to resign and threaten to lynch him in a town square  –  or threatening to throw them into prison, like in this video where Liashko interrogates a 68-year old man with a sack on his head and threatens to keep him in prison until death.
It’s worth mentioning that in March 2014, a month before the beginning of hostilities between Kiev and the Donbass rebel, and when dialogue was still possible, Liashko ordered one of the Eastern Ukrainian leaders, Arsen Klinchaev, to be arrested. This was carried out in a rude and humiliating manner and Liashko himself took part in the action. Klinchaev was arrested in his office and not with arms in hand, but was treated like a dangerous terrorist.
Instead of dialogue, Kiev has chosen violence.

More than 20 leading doctors and scientists from the UK and Italy denounce ongoing Israeli military aggression in Gaza in a letter to The Lancet, published on Tuesday 22 July. 

“On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel,” write the authors. “We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression.”

“We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.”

The letter states that tightening blockades imposed on Gaza by Israel in the last year have not only caused starvation and poverty for residents of Gaza, but have also resulted in a dangerous lack of access to medicine and healthcare.

“Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialised treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited. Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all time low because of the blockade. They have run out now.”

“As we write, the BBC reports of the bombing of another hospital, hitting the intensive care unit and operating theatres, with deaths of patients and staff. There are now fears for the main hospital Al Shifa. Moreover, most people are psychologically traumatised in Gaza. Anyone older than 6 years has already lived through their third military assault by Israel.”

“None of these are military objectives. These attacks aim to terrorise, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild.”

“We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues. We urge readers not to be silent too. Gaza trapped under siege, is being killed by one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated modern military machine. The land is poisoned by weapon debris, with consequences for future generations. If those of us capable of speaking up fail to do so and take a stand against this war crime, we are also complicit in the destruction of the lives and homes of 1·8 million people in Gaza.”

List of signatories:

Paola Manduca, Professor of Genetics, University of Genoa, Italy

Sir Iain Chalmers, James Lind Library, Oxford, UK

Mads Gilbert, Professor and Clinical Head, Clinic of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway

Derek Summerfield, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, UK

Ang Swee Chai, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, London, UK

Alastair Hay, Dept of Environmental Toxicology, University of Leeds, UK

Steven Rose, Emeritus Professor of Life Sciences, Open University, UK

Hilary Rose, Professor Emerita, University of Bradford, UK

Angelo Stefanini, MD, Public Health, Bologna, Italy

Andrea Balduzzi, Zoologist, University of Genoa, Italy

Bruno Cigliano, MD, Paediatric Surgeon, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy.

Carmine Pecoraro, MD, Nephrologist, Santobono Children Hospital, Naples, Italy,

Emilio Di Maria, MD PhD, Medical Genetics,University of Genoa, Italy

Franco Camandona, MD, Gynaecologist, ASL3, Liguria, Italy

Guido Veronese, MD, Clinical Psychologist, University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy

Luca Ramenghi. MD, Neonatology, Gaslini Childrens’ Hospital, Genoa, Italy

Marina Rui, Chemist, University of Genoa, Italy

Pierina DelCarlo, MD, Paediatrician, Massa, Italy

Sergio D’agostino, MD, Paediatric Surgeon, Hospital Vicenza, Italy.

Silvana Russo, MD, Pediatric Surgeon, Santobono Children Hospital, Naples, Italy.

Vincenzo Luisi, MD, Paediatric Cardiac surgeon, Massa Hospital, Italy.

Stefania Papa, Environmentalist, University of Naples, Italy.

Vittorio Agnoletto, MD, University Statale, Milan, Italy

Mariagiulia Agnoletto, Psychiatrist, Milan, Italy

Currently, the world is facing a major political, social and economical crisis.

While we may be paying attention to important stories such as the Islamic State’s movements in Iraq and the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip which are extremely important, there are dealings being made behind closed doors of which we know virtually nothing about. There are major international trade deals in the works and the government seems to be getting prepared for the fallout.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has its roots in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization. In 1994, APEC stated in its Bogor Declaration that:

With respect to our objective of enhancing trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific, we agree to adopt the long-term goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific. This goal will be pursued promptly by further reducing barriers to trade and investment and by promoting the free flow of goods, services and capital among our economies.

[…]

We further agree to announce our commitment to complete the achievement of our goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific no later than the year 2020.[1] (emphasis added)

Furthermore, in the free trade agreement between the US and Singapore both leaders made a statement in 2000 in which they stated that both countries “are committed to APEC’s Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies.”[2] Thus we can see that some sort of trade deal has been sought after for quite some time and logically, it would be much easier to have a regional trade deal between APEC nations rather than individual trade deals among the many countries in the region.

The TPP itself, originally had nothing to do with the United States, rather it was a trade deal between Chile, New Zealand and Singapore and Brunei which was signed in 2005. The US became involved three years later and officially joined the TPP in 2009.[3] However, this leads to the question: If the trade deal was originally between four Asia Pacific nations, why did the US feel the need to become involved?

According to Deborah Elms, head of the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations, the US became involved for three reasons:

1) A trade agreement between the European Union and South Korea bolstered the argument for greater US economic intervention in the region.

2) Alternative trade configurations were starting to be discussed such as ASEAN plus China, Japan and Korea. If these were to become a reality, the US would end up being sidelined from Asian markets.

3) “The TPP gave the United States a seat at the economic table in Asia in a way that these alternatives did not. It represented a better platform for meaningful engagement than the only remaining configuration—somehow coaxing APEC to do more.”[4]

The last point is further backed up when one looks at the US President’s 2008 Annual Report on the Trade Agreements Program, which read that “US participation in the TPP could position US businesses better to compete in the Asia-Pacific region, which is seeing the proliferation of preferential trade agreements among US competitors and the development of several competing regional economic integration initiatives that exclude the United States.”[5]

However, there is also much more to the story than just not wanting to be locked out from Asian markets. US geopolitical interests are also involved as well. The aforementioned annual report also stated that

“Apart from economic considerations, there are also geopolitical  concerns, particularly with regard to the growing power and influence of China, something which became clearer with the Obama administration’s policy announcement of a military and diplomatic ‘pivot’ or ‘rebalance’ towards Asia” and a US Congress research paper noted that the TPP would have regional effects for the US, especially when one factors in that “the region has served as an anchor of US strategic relationships, first in the containment of communism and more recently as a counterweight to the rise of China.”[6] (emphasis added)

Jane Kelsey, a professor of law at the University of Auckland, argued that the TPP had “very little to do with commercial gain and everything to do with revival of US geopolitical and strategic influence in the Asian region to counter the ascent of China” and that the US wanted to “isolate and subordinate China in part through constructing a region-wide legal regime that serves the interests of, and is enforceable by, the US and its corporations – and in the TPPA context, what the US wants is ultimately what counts.”[7] Many in China seem believe that the TPP indeed is meant to harm China, with it being reported that “official media have suspected that the deal has more insidious goals than simply forging a trade alliance, accusing the US of corralling Pacific nations against Beijing’s interests.”[8]

While many praise the Trans-Pacific Partnership as free trade, one must be wary not only due to the geopolitical aspects, but also due to it being so secret that “often times, members of Congress and Parliament are denied access to them, even though the agreement will set out legal obligations that these elected officials will be expected to meet.”[9] However, the TPP is not the only secretive trade deal currently being discussed. There is also the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

A transatlantic partnership between the US and Europe has been in the works for quite some time. In 1995, the US mission to the European Union stated that it wanted to “create a New Transatlantic Marketplace by progressively reducing or eliminating barriers that hinder the flow of goods, services and capital” and that the US and EU would “carry out a joint study on ways of facilitating trade in goods and services and further reducing or eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers.”[10]

The idea of focusing on Europe economically was pushed by those who thought that, due to the Cold War being over, the US should shift away from examining Europe through a military lens. Robin Gaster and Alan Tonelson wrote in The Atlantic that the military-view of Europe “completely misreads the nature of America’s post–Cold War interests in Europe, and has resulted in a deepening transatlantic rift on both the security and the economic front” and that “the United States and Europe urgently need to develop a NATO-like forum for handling economic issues.”[11] While this argument isn’t for a US-EU free trade agreement, it still signals that to some, there needed to be a shift in the US relationship with Europe.

However, that quickly changed as some began to argue for a deeper economic integration between the transatlantic partners. In 1997, Ellen L. Frost, a then-senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, proposed to the to the House Subcommittee on Trade (part of the House Ways and Means Committee) the creation of a North Atlantic Economic Community which would be “a framework combining APEC-like trade and business initiatives with a NATO-like strategic, political-economic orientation” and would “establish a deadline for free and open Transatlantic trade and investment (say, 2010) on a Most Favored Nation Basis.” She argued that the Community “should span not only trade and investment but also macroeconomic coordination, monetary policy, exchange rates, and other financial aspects of the transatlantic relationship, as well as trade and investment.”[12]

The very next year, in May 1998, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair announced in a press conference that “we have launched a major new transatlantic trade initiative, the Transatlantic Economic Partnership, which will further add momentum to the process of developing what is already the most important bilateral trade relationship in the world. We’ve also agreed to work ever more closely together to promote multilateral trade liberalization.”[13]

The push for a transatlantic economic partnership has continued into the present day, both by individuals and organizations. In 2006, an article was penned in Der Spiegel which argued that “The role NATO played in an age of military threat could be played by a trans-Atlantic free-trade zone in today’s age of economic confrontation” and that such a partnership would “help reduce the slope of Asia’s ascent and prevent our flight paths from crossing too frequently.”[14]

In 2012, “Business Europe released a report to contribute to the EU-US High Level Working Group entitled, Jobs and Growth: Through a Transatlantic Economic and Trade Partnership, in which it was recommended to eliminate tariffs and barriers, to trade in services, ensure access and protection for investments, ‘opening markets,’ to establish ‘global standards’ for intellectual property rights, and to build on the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) for regulatory cooperation.”[15]

While both of these ‘free trade’ partnerships are quite worrisome, there is still the Trade in Services agreement which has recently come to light.

Trade in Services Agreement

The TiSA is so new and so secretive that barely any information can be found about it. Public Services International, a global trade union federation, issued a report in April 2014 discussing the origins of TiSA, stating

The TISA appears to have been the brainchild of the U.S. Coalition of Service Industries (CSI), specifically its past president Robert Vastine. After his appointment as CSI President in 1996, Vastine became actively involved in services negotiations. The CSI initially endorsed the Doha Round and seemed to be optimistic in the early stages of negotiations, but when the target deadline passed in 2005, the CSI became increasingly frustrated. Vastine personally lobbied developing countries for concessions in 2005 and continued to try and salvage an agreement until at least 2009.

By 2010, however, it was clear that the WTO services negotiations were stalled. In mid- 2011, Vastine declared that the Doha Round “holds no promise” and recommended that it be abandoned. Vastine was also one of the first to suggest, as early as 2009, that plurilateral negotiations on services should be conducted outside the framework of the WTO. Working through the Global Services Coalition (GSC), a multinational services lobby group, the CSI then garnered the support of other corporate lobbyists for the TISA initiative. The TISA is a political project for this corporate lobby group.[16]

Some of the actual effects TiSA would have were released in June 2014 by Wikileaks. In the leak, it explained that TiSA would have horrendous effects on public services. TiSA would “lock in the privatizations of services-even in cases where private service delivery has failed-meaning governments can never return water, energy, health, education or other services to public hands,” “restrict a government’s right to regulate stronger standards in the public’s interest,” “restrict a government’s ability to regulate key sectors including financial, energy, telecommunications and cross-border data flows,” and “limit the ability of governments to regulate the financial services industry at exactly the time when the global economy is still recovering from a crisis caused by financial deregulation.”[17] (emphasis added) This trade agreement not only has the power to allow corporations free rein and to truly be unrestricted in doing whatever they please, but also to put the public in massive danger via permanently privatizing public goods.

However, this brings up the questions of what exactly is the Coalition of Services Industries, what involvement do they have with TiSA, and who is Robert Vastine?

According to its website, the Coalition of Services Industries is an organization representing the interests of the US service economy and aims at “expanding the multilateral trading environment to include more countries and more services, enhancing bilateral services trading relationships, and ensuring competitive services trade in the global marketplace.”[18] Among its board of directors are people such as Zubaid Ahmad, the Vice Chairman of Institutional Clients Group and Member of Senior Strategic Advisory Group of Institutional Clients at Citigroup and Jake Jennings,Executive Director of International External Affairs at AT&T. It represents companies ranging from Walmart to JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup to Google, Verizon, and AIG. In many ways it represents a variety of interests, virtually all of whom benefit from worker subjugation and/or economic deregulation.

The Coalition of Services Industries is part of the TiSA Business Coalition (aka Team TiSA) which is “dedicated to promoting and advocating for an ambitious agreement which eliminates barriers to global services trade, to the benefit of services providers, manufacturers and farmers, and consumers globally.”[19]

Now, with regards to Robert Vastine, in 2012 he retired from the presidency of the Coalition of Services group and is currently a senior industry fellow at the Center for Business and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.[20] He is quite known for having stated in 2011 at the Doha Round, a round of negotiations among the members of the World Trade Organization with the aims of achieving “major reform of the international trading system through the introduction of lower trade barriers and revised trade rules,”[21] that the talks were a waste of time and “hold no promise.”[22] However, he already had problems with the Doha Round talks as he stated in 2005 in the Global Economy Journal that “High expectations for substantial reductions in barriers to services trade emerged from the 1997 negotiations, but thus far remain unfulfilled” and that “a Doha Round that does not contain substantial benefits for services is a Round that will have failed.”[23] Thus, it is no wonder that he is a supporter of TiSA.

The effects of these trade agreements will be horrendous for millions of people around the world, but especially the poor and working-class, much of whom are more vulnerable to these agreements as few have the money needed to learn new skills and adapt to the changing economy. For them and many in what remains of the middle class, if these trade agreements become a reality, it will result in a global race to the bottom in which, among them, there are no winners.

All of these trade agreements, however, are being done all the while the police are becoming increasingly militarized and the Pentagon is preparing for a mass breakdown in society.

 Police Militarization

We have recently been seeing an increase in coverage of the militarization of the police and a number of stories reveal this. It was reported in July 2014 that the Albuquerque police purchased 350 AR-15 rifles[24] and the American Civil Liberties Union released a report in which they found that the police are often being used incorrectly and actually creating violence as “SWAT teams today are overwhelmingly used to investigate people who are still only suspected of committing nonviolent consensual crimes. And because these raids often involve forced entry into homes, often at night, they’re actually creating violence and confrontation where there was none before.”[25]

Police are also acquiring military-grade weaponry. A New York Times article written in June 2014 noted that “the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice” and that “During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”[26] The situation also has the potential to get increasingly strange as it was reported that a drone which can shoot pepper spray bullets at protesters had been developed by a company in South Africa.[27] Unfortunately, however, police militarization isn’t anything new.

A study was conducted in 1998 which “found a sharp rise in the number of police paramilitary units [PPUs], a rapid expansion in their activities, the normalization of paramilitary units into mainstream police work, and a close ideological and material connection between PPUs and the U.S. armed forces. These findings provide compelling evidence of a national trend toward the militarization of U.S. civilian police forces and, in turn, the militarization of corresponding social problems handled by the police.”[28] The study found that this increased militarization would lead to three problems:

  1. It would reinforce “the cynical view that the most expedient route to solving social problems is through military-style force, weaponry, and technology.”[29]
  2. The militarist-feel could potentially infect the police on an institutional level, noting that many police departments have specific paramilitary units to deal with patrolling, drugs, and suppressing gangs.
  3. Most PPUs don’t solely react to already existing emergencies which require their level of skill, but also “proactively seek out and even manufacture highly dangerous situations” and these “units target what the police define as high crime or disorderly areas, which most often are poor neighborhoods.”[30]

Furthermore, police militarization in many ways doesn’t make sense as we have seen a decrease in the amount of crime, but it does make sense when we acknowledge the fact that most of the victims of police militarization are the poor.

According to the 2003 Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) annual crime report, violent crime in America has declined by 3 percent since 2002, and declined some 25 percent since 1994. Aggravated assaults, which make up two-thirds of all reported violent crimes, reportedly declined for the tenth consecutive year. The 2003 annual crime report also revealed that property crimes had declined 14 percent since 1994.

Similar findings of a historic decline in the violent crime rate in America over the past decade were also reported in other government studies. One such study that provided supporting evidence of this declining violent crime rate was the United States Justice Department’s annual survey of crime victims, released in September 2004. This report revealed that the nation’s violent crime rate was at its lowest point since their study of crime victims began, in 1973. However, even with this reported decline in violent crime there still remained throughout suburban communities a perceived threat of being victimized by violent acts of crime, perpetrated by the urban underclass.[31]

We can further see that there is a war on the underclass in the form of police militarization as a study in 1997 found that SWAT teams “were characterized by the deployment of military special operation weapons, such as Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine guns, diversionary devices, and the wearing of tactical body armor and camouflage uniforms” and that often those resources were used “in daily and routine policing activities against the urban underclass.” One can even go so far as to say that “the use of special weapons, military tactics, and the wearing of combat style uniforms in the course of routine urban policing by street-level law enforcement officers would suggest that they are engaged in an actual urban war with the enemy being the urban underclass.”[32]

This increased cooperation between the police and military should have us wonder: What exactly is the Pentagon up to?

The Pentagon

The Pentagon is actively preparing for civil unrest and a breakdown of society. The organization currently has a research program which “is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies” and earlier this year awarded a project to the University of Washington which “seeks to uncover the conditions under which political movements aimed at large-scale political and economic change originate,’ along with their ‘characteristics and consequences.”[33] However, like with police militarization, this has been going on for a while.

In 2008, it was noted that “A U.S. Army War College report [warned that] an economic crisis in the United States could lead to massive civil unrest and the need to call on the military to restore order.”[34] The use of the military to quell civil unrest was also discussed in Directive No. 3025.18, the Defense Support of Civil Authorities.

The directive was rather interesting in that it stated that “Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” however, later the document reads that federal military commanders are able,

“in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances,”[35] under two conditions. The two conditions are when the military has “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order” and “when federal, state and local authorities are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”[36] This is quite vague in the sense of who defines what “significant loss of life” or “wanton destruction of property” is? What exactly does “adequate protection” for federal property and/or governmental functions mean?

Unfortunately, this isn’t just occurring in the US, but also in Europe as well. It was reported in July 2014 that “European governments are working together to prepare to militarily suppress social unrest. This effort—involving legal, technical, as well as military plans—is in an advanced stage of development, according to a report by Aureliana Sorrento that aired on June 20 on Germany’s Deutschlandfun k radio station.”[37] Just like the US, the Europeans also utilize vague language, saying that a disaster “is defined as ‘any situation that has harmful repercussions on human beings, the environment or wealth assets.’”[38]

However, among all of this preparation and secrecy, there is mounting resistance to these trade deals. In December 2013, 30 protests were held across the US and Mexico, with people voicing their opposition against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[39] The World Development Movement, a UK-based group fighting poverty and inequality, noted that “Campaign groups and trade unions announced plans for Europe-wide protests on 11 October against the deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Campaigners also launched a ‘Citizens’ Initiative’ petition to the European Commission with the aim of gathering one million signatures against the deal.”[40]

We are beginning to resist against the secretive trade deals and police militarization, but we must go further. We have to also reject the governments, no matter how large are small their facilitation or complicity may be, as they are being used as tools in a corporate agenda meant to oppress us even further. The calamity may soon be coming, the question is, will you resist?

Devon Douglas-Bowers is a 22 year old independent writer and researcher. He is the Politics/Government Department Chair at the Hampton Institute, a working-class think tank and holds a BA in Political Science. He can be contacted at devondb[at]mail[dot]com.

Notes

1: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, 1994 Leaders’ Declaration Bogor Declaration, http://www.apec.org/Meeting- Papers/Leaders-Declarations/ 1994/1994_aelm.aspx (November 15, 1994)

2: US Government Printing Office, Joint Statement by President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on a United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ WCPD-2000-11-20/pdf/WCPD-2000- 11-20-Pg2885.pdf (November 16, 2000)

3: Office of the United States Trade Representative, TPP Statements and Actions to Date, http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/ press-office/fact-sheets/2009/ december/tpp-statements-and- actions-date  

4: Deborah Elms, “US Trade Policy In Asia: Going For The Trans-Pacific Partnership?” November 26, 2009 (http://www.eastasiaforum.org/ 2009/11/26/u-s-trade-policy- in-asia-going-for-the-trans- pacific-partnership/)

5: T. Rajamoorthy, “And Then There Were Twelve: The Origins and Evolutions of the TPPA,” Third World Resurgence, July 2013, pg 4

6: Ibid

7: Jane Kelsey, “TPP As A Lynchpin of US Anti-China Strategy,” Scoop, November 19, 2011 (http://www.scoop.co.nz/ stories/HL1111/S00171/tpp-as- a-lynchpin-of-us-anti-china- strategy.htm)

8: Shawn Donnan, David Pilling, “Trans-Pacific Partnership: Ocean’s Twelve,” Financial Times, September 22, 2013 (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/ 0/8c253c5c-2056-11e3-b8c6- 00144feab7de.html?siteedition= intl#axzz37adFOqTN)

9: Cory Doctorow, “Trans Pacific Partnership Meeting Switched From Vancouver to Ottawa, Ducking Critics,” Boing Boing, July 2, 2014 (http://boingboing.net/2014/ 07/02/trans-pacific- partnership-meet.html)

10: United States Mission to the European Union, Transatlanic Relations, http://useu.usmission.gov/new_ transatlantic_agenda.html(December 5, 1995)

11: Robin Gaster, Alan Tonelson, “Our Interests In Europe,” The Atlantic, August 1995, pgs 28, 31

12: Peterson Institute for International Economics, Transatlantic Trade: Towards a North Atlantic Economic Community,http://www.iie.com/ publications/testimony/print. cfm?ResearchId=286&doc=pub (July 23, 1997)

13: The American Presidency Project, The President’s News Conference With European Union Leaders in London, United Kingdom,http://www.presidency.ucsb. edu/ws/?pid=55983 (May 18, 1998)

 14: Gabor Steingart, “A NATO for the World Economy: An Argument for a Trans-Atlantic Free-Trade Zone,” Der Spiegel, October 20, 2006 (http://www.spiegel.de/ international/a-nato-for-the- world-economy-an-argument-for- a-trans-atlantic-free-trade- zone-a-443306.html)

15: Andrew Gavin Marshall, Large Corporations Seek U.S.–European ‘Free Trade Agreement’ to Further Global Dominance, http://andrewgavinmarshall. com/2013/05/12/large- corporations-seek-u-s- european-free-trade-agreement- to-further-global-dominance/ (May 12, 2013) 

16: Public Services International, TISA Versus Public Services, http://www.world-psi.org/ sites/default/files/documents/ research/en_tisaresearchpaper_ final_web.pdf (April 28, 2014)

17: CNBC, Secret Trade Deal Puts Public Services at Risk Around the World, http://www.cnbc.com/id/ 101773881 (June 19, 2014) 

18: Coalition of Services, Who We Are, https://servicescoalition.org/ about-csi/what-is-csi 

19: Coalition of Services, The TiSA Business Coalition, https://servicescoalition.org/ about-csi/team-tisa

20: Georgetown University, J. Robert Vastine, http://cbpp.georgetown.edu/ staff/j-robert-vastine/

21: World Trade Organization, The Doha Round, http://www.wto.org/english/ tratop_e/dda_e/dda_e.htm

22: Claude Barfield, “It’s Time To Dump The Doha Development Round,” Real Clear Markets, August 25, 2011 (http://www.realclearmarkets. com/articles/2011/08/25/time_ to_dump_the_doha_development_ round_99212.html)

23: Robert Vastine, “Services Negotiations in the Doha Round: Promise and Reality,” Global Economy Journal 5:4 (2005), pg 1

24:  Travis Gettys, “Highly-criticized Albuquerque police militarize with $350,000 purchase of 350 AR-15 rifles,” Raw Story, July 11, 2014 (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/ 2014/07/11/highly-criticized- albuquerque-police-militarize- with-350000-purchase-of-350- ar-15-rifles/)

25: Radley Balko, “New ACLU Report Takes a Snapshot of Police Militarization in the United States,” Washington Post, June 24, 2014 (http://www.washingtonpost. com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/06/ 24/new-aclu-report-takes-a- snapshot-of-police- militarization-in-the-united- states/)

26: Matt Apuzzo, “War Gear Flows to Police Departments,” New York Times, June 9, 2014 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/ 06/09/us/war-gear-flows-to- police-departments.html?_r=0

27: Hack Read, “Riot Control” Drone Will Shoot Pepper Spray Bullets At Protesters, http://hackread.com/riot- control-drone-shoots-pepper- bullets/ (June 22, 2014)

28: Peter B. Kraska and Victor E. Kappeler, “Militarizing American Police: The Rise and Normalization of Paramilitary Units,” Social Problems44:1 (1998), pg 12

29: Ibid

30: Ibid

31: Daryl Meeks, “Police Militarization in Urban Areas: The Obscure War Against the Underclass,” The Black Scholar 35:4 (2006), pg 37

32: Ibid, pgs 37-38

33: Nafeez Ahmed, “Pentagon Preparing For Civil Breakdown,” The Guardian, June 12, 2014 (http://www.theguardian.com/ environment/earth-insight/ 2014/jun/12/pentagon-mass- civil-breakdown?CMP=twt_gu)

34: Diana Washington Valdez, “Unrest Caused By Bad Economy May Require Military Action Report Says,” El Paso Times, December 29, 2008 (http://www.elpasotimes.com/ ci_11326744)

35: Bill Girtz, “Inside the Ring: Directive Outlines Obama’s Plan to use the Military Against Citizens,” Washington Times, May 28, 2014(http://www.washingtontimes. com/news/2014/may/28/inside- the-ring-directive-outlines- obamas-policy-t/?page=all)

36: Ibid

37: Dennis Krassnin, “European Governments Prepare For Military Suppression of Popular Opposition,” World Socialist Web Site, July 10, 2014 (http://www.wsws.org/en/ articles/2014/07/10/euro-j10. html)

38: Ibid

39: Truthout, 30 Cities Across US Protest Toxic Free Trade Agreements, http://www.truth-out.org/ speakout/item/20457-30-cities- across-us-protest-toxic-free- trade-agreements (December 5, 2013) 

40: Miriam Ross, “Opposition to EU-US Trade Deal Gathers Negotiation as Talks Falter,” World Development Movement, July 17, 2014 (http://www.wdm.org.uk/trade/ opposition-eu-us-trade-deal- gathers-momentum-negotiations- falter

 

After the Russian Federation disclosed to the world satellite imagery, radar information, and abnormalities in Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17′s flight path, it asked Ukraine and the Western nations backing the regime in Kiev, questions regarding their alleged evidence.

To these questions, the West has responded with increasingly suspicious silence and evasion. At one point, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, told journalists that the summation of US evidence was “YouTube” videos and other forms of social media – all of which are admittedly unverifiable and some of which is veritably fabricated.

All of Harf’s comments assigning blame to eastern Ukrainian separatists so far rests entirely on the alleged veracity of “YouTube clips” and “Facebook posts.” Harf left no room for the possibility that the evidence she is hinging her comments on may be fabrications, taken out of context, or otherwise inaccurate.

 The abject failure of the United States to once again put forth credible evidence amid a firestorm of propaganda and rush to judgement – and subsequent action – echoes the attempted rush to war after NATO-member Turkey and Saudi Arabia assisted terrorists from the Syrian Al Qaeda franchise, Al Nusra, in carrying out a false-flag sarin gas attack in Damascus in August 2013. It also echoes the fallacious, fabricated evidence peddled before the United Nations regarding Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” that in fact did not exist – but led to the invasion and nearly decade-long occupation of Iraq and over a million dead.

The serial fabrications the West has produced to advance its agenda worldwide is a troubling indictment of the “international order” it presumes itself chief proponent of and arbiter over. It appears to be an “international order” where the “law of the jungle,” prevails over the rule of law. Instead of an impartial investigation to ascertain the facts surrounding the downing of MH17, the US has resigned to citing “YouTube” clips as the basis upon which it seeks to undermine, isolate, and diminish the nation of Russia and its population of 142 million people, both politically and economically.

 Harf insists on behalf of the US government that “commonsense” dictates who is responsible for the downing of MH17 – but to that a simple question can be asked, and demonstrably answered – cui bono? Downing the Malaysian airliner with nearly 300 on board and blaming it on Russia has been the “game changer” desperately needed by NATO and its collaborators in Kiev to turn the tides in a battle they were decisively losing, politically, tactically, strategically, and economically.

 Another curiosity is the fact that most of the “intelligence” the US claims to have is in reference to “YouTube” clips, photography, and conclusions drawn on a series of pro-Kiev Ukrainian blogs (written in English). Is US intelligence simply reading blogs? Or are the blogs somehow a clearinghouse of US intelligence? Or are the blogs fabrications by US intelligence in an attempt to frame Russia? One in particular, “Ukraine at War,” is a definitive collection of fabrications, biased propaganda, and dubious claims that appear to precede “US intelligence” claims.

 The list of questions the US must answer after its nearly week-long campaign of baselessly accusing Russia is growing exponentially – with diversions, evasions, and juvenile deferrals to “social media” only further compromising America’s waning credibility.

The observations that follow are intended to extend the chief conclusion reached by a previous contribution (click here) to Global Research.

In essence, the previous effort concluded that the MH 370 and MH 17 events are probably not independent of one another.  The argument was based on evidence common to the two events (such as loss of communicative contact and apparent course diversion) together with associated probabilistic reasoning.

The penultimate paragraph of the earlier contribution reads as follows:

“One suspects that the MSM will completely ignore these considerations and will likely coalesce, for several reasons, around an account that blames the episode on an accidental discharge that Putin can nonetheless be blamed for given the hostilities in the region.”

So far, that prediction appears to have been accurate.  This just in from an LA Times article entitled “U.S. officials believe attack against Malaysian plane was a mistake”:

“American intelligence agencies believe Ukrainian separatists shot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet by mistake, possibly by misreading fuzzy radar images on a sophisticated surface-to-air missile launcher provided by Russia, senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday.”

The rest of this piece discusses why the U.S. government is adopting this position.  It also discusses why adopting it might, paradoxically, come close to an admission of guilt.

Notice that advancing an “accident” explanation serves several U.S. interests.  To date on MH 17, the U.S. can produce no real evidence in support even of its ragtag rebel, missile launcher account:

The officials [senior U.S. intelligence officials] made clear they were relying in part on social media postings and videos made public in recent days by the Ukrainian government, even though they have not been able to authenticate all of it. For example, they cited a video of a missile launcher said to have been crossing the Russian border after the launch, appearing to be missing a missile.

But later, under questioning, the officials acknowledged they had not yet verified that the video was exactly what it purported to be.”

While is true that geopolitical assignments of guilt are primarily attributable to political processes and not evidence in a legalistic sense, it is also true that evidentiary considerations cannot be entirely dispensed with; doing so is just not “good form.”

By adopting an accident account, the U.S. is much better positioned to throw a bunch of sand on the evidentiary examination track.  “We’re (the U.S.) not really accusing anybody here; so let’s just dial the temperature back just a bit and not worry about evidence; it was an accident after all”—that’s the idea.

Meanwhile, most Westerners don’t really care whether it was done accidentally or on purpose, passions are stoked, and EU financial institutions in particular are more or less compelled to pivot to stances more hostile to Putin.

So, the U.S. gets more or less what it wants without having to prove anything it all.

However, careful reflection shows that proceeding in this fashion paradoxically comes uncomfortably close to a U.S. admission of guilt.  To see this, let’s think in light of conclusions from the previous criminological contribution (linked at the outset of this article.)

Given the very low a priori probability that two planes, both of which were Malaysia airline planes, would each randomly figure in the two recent airline disasters to attract massive global coverage, an “accident” explanation for the downing of MH 17 is very weak indeed.

If the downing of MH 17 was merely a random accident attributable to chance, any of the other dozens of planes in the same area on the same day could in principle have been downed.  And yet, it was MH 17— which, like MH 370, appears to have lost communicative contact and diverted its course.

An intentional shoot down of a Malaysia airlines target in particular would explain far better, in terms of probability, the fact that it is MH 17’s fate we are now discussing, and not that of some other plane.

So, the U.S. knows, and must have known since the occurrence of the event, that any person who thinks about things carefully would conclude, on the basis of probabilistic considerations, that the MH 17 event was intentional.

Therefore, what we have is a charade in which each person who participates knows that

(1) the only real question is who is guilty of committing the intentional act, that

(2) everyone else who participates is thinking the same way, and that

(3) the U.S. is therefore lying when it ascribes the event to an accident.

The above reasoning leaves us three possibilities concerning U.S. guilt.  Since the MH 17 event was in all likelihood intentional and since both sides to the dispute agree that the potential guilty party or parties are either the U.S. (and/or its affiliates) or Russia (and/or its affiliates)and no one else, we have:

(1)   The U.S. cannot prove the guilt of Russia because it (the U.S.) is the guilty party not Russia;

(2)   The U.S. can prove the guilt of Russia, but for some dark reason or reasons haselected not to do so;

(3)   The U.S., even though it knows it is not the guilty party, cannot prove the guilt of Russia even though it knows that Russia must be guilty since it (the U.S.) is not and no one else is.

It is conceivable that the U.S. might have valid (from its point of view) reasons for lying by calling an event an accident even when everyone knows it was intentional— and then failing to prove the guilt of the non-U.S. intentional actor (Russia)—but it is by no means obvious.

In selecting among (1), (2), or (3), though, it is perhaps relevant to reflect that the U.S. almost immediately adverted to the ragtag rebel, missile scenario.  If it knew of its own innocence and that the act almost surely was intentional, why would the U.S. be so eager to assign blame to the ragtag rebels, especially when it had to have known that doing so quickly might leave the door open to an “accident” interpretation—unless that was the U.S. design all along?  And why would that have been the design all along?  Why not wait for additional evidence to roll in before committing to an explanation?

Finally, readers might agree that the ideas in this article are quite in keeping with recent notions that a stray surface-to-air missile did not in fact down MH 17.

Dr. Jason Kissner is Associate Professor of Criminology at California State University. Dr. Kissner’s research on gangs and self-control has appeared in academic journals.  His current empirical research interests include active shootings.   You can reach him at[email protected].

Earlier article by Prof. Jason Kissner

Russia has now shown its satellite pictures and radar information from the Donetsk, Ukraine region during the July 17, 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash.

 The Wall Street Journal reported in its article, “Russia Presents Its Account of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash,” that:

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday presented its first detailed account of the final moments of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, saying Russian radar had spotted a second aircraft in the vicinity shortly before the crash and that satellite imagery showed Ukraine had moved missile systems into the area before the incident.

At a news conference, air force chief Igor Makushev didn’t say who the ministry thought had fired the missile that apparently brought down the airliner on Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal also reported:

In an elaborate presentation displaying radar and satellite imagery, Mr. Makushev said it was likely that the second airplane was a Ukrainian fighter jet. He also showed satellite photos allegedly portraying several Buk ground-to-air missile systems in the area close to where the plane crashed. The systems, he said, could only belong to the Ukrainian military. Ukraine has accused Russia of giving the rebels a Buk system, with which they then shot down the passenger jet.

Mr. Makushev said the airplane deviated from its course by 14 kilometers, but then attempted to return to its course, before crashing shortly after.

He said Russia is prepared to hand all of the information it has to European authorities, which included satellite imagery and data from its own radars.

Indeed, the evidence suggested Kiev’s regime deployed anti-air missile systems in Donetsk in and around the area where flight MH17 crashed. They also provided information regarding Ukrainian warplanes trailing flight MH17, the possibility of an air-to-air attack on MH17, and inconsistencies with Ukrainian air traffic control.

 There were a series of questions asked throughout the presentation – nothing was “concluded” – which is in direct contrast to the West which has shown the world nothing in terms of evidence, but has drawn many inflammatory, politically-motivated conclusions.

Russia has shown a great deal of evidence directly contradicting the West’s baseless claims. Now it’s time for the Pentagon to show the world their pictures and data along with their explanations.

 The following video is presented in both Russian and English:

 

Why Israel Needs Anti-Semitism

July 22nd, 2014 by Diana Johnstone

Last July 12, Jewish Defense League (JDL) militants provoked some participants in a Paris protest demonstration against the Israeli attack on Gaza into violent clashes in front of a synagogue in the rue de la Roquette.  The JDL militants were protected by police, whereas several pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested.  The incident was loudly denounced by influential pro-Israel Jewish leaders as an act of French anti-Semitism.

It was no accident that this incident was falsely attributed to anti-Semitism.

It was no accident that Jeffrey Goldberg characterized the violence as “Jews Trapped by Rioters in Paris Synagogue” and questioned whether or not the incident was a cause for migration.

It was no accident that Avi Mayer of the Jewish Agency of Israel described the incident as an “anti-Semitic riot, which masqueraded as an anti-Israel rally.”

It was no accident that Yair Rosenberg, a writer for Tablet Magazine and employee of the Israeli State Archives, posted a video describing the incident as “European anti-Semitic attacks spiking during Israel’s operation”.

It was no accident because this incident was deliberately organized in order to brand a protest against attacks on Gaza as evidence of rampant “anti-Semitism” in France.

Above all, it was no accident because it fits perfectly into an official campaign of the Israeli government to lure French Jews to leave France for Israel.

Recruiting for Aliyah

Last December, the Israeli press announced a new three-year program designed to entice 42,000 French Jews to settle in Israel by 2017.   In 2013, 3,120 Jews left France for Israel, compared to 1,916 in 2012.  The campaign by the Israeli Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and the Jewish Agency aims to double the number of immigrants each year: targets are six thousand new Franco-Israelis in 2014, 12 thousand in 2015 and 24 thousand in 2016.  France’s Jewish population of about half a million is the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world, after Israel itself and the United States.  It is a tempting target for Israeli recruitment.

The carrot for this immigration will be government measures to recognize a range of French professional diplomas as well as funding to provide appropriate housing, education and employment.

And the stick?  Israel can count on fear of anti-Semitism, real or imagined.  Precisely by its support to Israel coupled with constant denunciations of anti-Semitism, the French government gives the impression of strong favoritism toward Jews which Arab and African immigrants interpret as discrimination against themselves.  In some mixed neighborhoods, a fringe of marginalized youth increasingly assert themselves by displays of hostility toward Jews (or women, or “native” French). Such incidents create fear that is stoked regularly by alarmist web sites and deliberate exaggerations. Lists of “anti-Semitic incidents” are padded with random personal insults which would pass unnoticed if addressed to someone for being female, badly dressed or too fat.  These scratches from prickly reality are by no means a re-emergence of “French anti-Semitism”. They are much more the result of a tendency to experience ethnic inequalities as a reflection of Israel’s domination of the people of Palestine.

Israel needs new immigrants from countries with a Jewish population, and France is high on the list.  And what is needed most to recruit new immigrants?  Anti-Semitism.  The conclusion is clear: Israel has a vital need for anti-Semitism.  The more there is, or seems to be, the better for Israel as the only “safe haven” for threatened Jews.

This fear is kept alive by Israel’s many volunteer propagandists in France, the sayanim, a category described in a novel by Jacob Cohen, Le Printemps des Sayanim.  Cohen’s novel features an extremely prominent and influential sayan who is obviously meant to represent Bernard-Henri Levy, thinly veiled with a pseudonym.  For decades, BHL has promoted the theme that France is singularly and essentially “fascist” in nature, the very heartland of fascism  – which is historical nonsense considering that in the heyday of fascism, the 1930s, France alone in Europe had a Jewish prime minister, Leon Blum, while Mussolini ruled Italy, Hitler ruled Germany and fascists flourished in much of the rest of the Continent.

Since World War II, the French alliance with Israel went so far as to include secret cooperation on building nuclear weapons in the 1950s. But the ever-present theme of “French anti-Semitism” serves to keep French leaders endlessly apologetic and submissive to Israeli demands

 “French Jews have every reason to be wary…”

An article by Sam Knight in Mondoweiss correctly reported that the July 12 clashes in front of  the rue de la Roquette synagogue were deliberately provoked by the Jewish Defense League, citing as eye witness Michèle Sibony, of the Union Juive Francaise pour la Paix (the French Jewish Union for Peace).  However, even as he set the record straight regarding the fake “anti-Semitic attack on a synagogue”, the author paid lip-service to the prevailing myth of “anti-Semitic France”.

“From multiple expulsions in the Medieval era to L’Affaire Dreyfuss (sic) and Vichy collaborationism, French Jews have every reason to be wary of anti-Semitism”, the Mondoweiss article conceded.

Unfortunately, this sort of reference to “French anti-Semitism” has become so standard, especially in the United States, that it may be considered required background even to an article casting doubt on the phenomenon.

Let’s look at the three assumptions supposedly confirming the danger of French anti-Semitism mentioned above.

1. As for the Medieval era, there were all sorts of reasons for various people to be
foolsjohnstone“wary” in those days; serfs had reason to be wary of the Lord of the Manor, for example.  The Medieval era is over, and was abolished by the French revolution which was first to give equal rights to Jews. A few now complain at having lost their Medieval privileges, but you can’t keep your cake and eat it.

2. The main historical significance of the Dreyfus affair is that defense of a Jew in the end prevailed over the honor of the Army, which wanted to cover up its judicial mistake in condemning the wrong man.  The incident served to align the progressive intelligentsia with defense of the Jews, even at the expense of the Army, which marked a basic ideological change.  The long-term losers of the affair were the aristocracy (linked to the Army officer corps) and the Catholic Church, as secularism triumphed in France in the 20th century and the status of Jews was strengthened.  In other countries, many comparable miscarriages of justice – especially military justice – have surely gone unnoticed.

3. As for Vichy collaboration, how well is this really understood? Jews were persecuted and deported all over Nazi-occupied Europe, but most of France’s Jewish population was spared.  Last year, Alain Michel, born in France but now a rabbi in Israel and member of Yad Vashem, published a book, Vichy et les Juifs, which argues that the Vichy regime of Marshal Pétain and Pierre Laval set out to protect French Jews from Nazi persecution and was largely successful.  When Nazi Germany defeated France in 1940, there were 195,000 Jews in France with French citizenship as well as 135,000 Jewish refugees, many having fled anti-Semitism in Poland and Germany. Vichy’s concern was to protect the French Jews, and succeeded in saving 95% from persecution and deportation.  As for stateless Jewish refugees in France, Vichy’s attempts to persuade governments in the Americas to take them in failed, and over a third were deported to Nazi camps, while the rest escaped deportation thanks in part to evasion and stalling by the Vichy regime, as well as protection by ordinary French citizens.  Alain Michel’s evaluation echoes the conclusions of earlier French historians, such as Leon Poliakov, who concluded that Vichy’s collaboration saved many Jewish lives which would have been lost had “Jewish policy” been left to the Nazi Occupation authority alone.

Interpretation of history has its oscillations between the glass half empty and the glass half full. In 1972, the influential film “le Chagrin et la Pitié”, and a year later, the publication of the French translation of American scholar Robert Paxton’s Vichy France contributed to a radical shift away from idealization of the French Resistance which had flourished under the post-war influence of De Gaulle and the French Communist Party. The loss of influence by both de Gaulle and the Communists among the post-war generation that emerged in May ’68 favored identification of France as a whole with the regime of Marshal Pétain in Vichy.  Under the influence of so-called “new philosopher” ideologues such as Bernard-Henri Lévy, who stressed this identification as essential, it was easy to forget that Pétain came to power only as a result of France’s humiliating military defeat. His regime never was and never could have been chosen by the French people in free elections. This shift of focus from pride in the Resistance to shame for collaboration has contributed to a prevailing mood of anti-nationalism, even of penitence, centered on commemoration of the Holocaust (or Shoah), which may seem designed to reassure French Jews, but can make them uneasy as well.  It may be too much to hope that the pendulum will stop swinging from one extreme to another and seek balance and accuracy in evaluating the complexities of the past.

“Importing the Israeli-Palestine conflict into France”

France today rivals the U.S. Congress as Israel’s most important overseas occupied territory.  Considering the incredible rise of BHL to the role of a sort “spiritual guide” to French presidents, advising them to go to war in Libya and Syria and claiming that he does so “as a Jew”, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the most active Jewish community leaders and their organizations, far from “having reason to be wary”, know full well that they have no reason to be waryof anti-Semitism in France.  French politicians, media and even school teachers are overwhelmingly devoted to commemorating the Shoah and defending both Jews and Israel (with varying degrees of subtlety). The Jewish Defense League has close relations with French police, even training in their headquarters, on the pretext of “protecting their community”.  No other ethnic group enjoys such favors.

That is why certain Jewish organizations and individuals dare engage in the most outrageous provocations, acting as both master and victim, sure that they get away with it. If they really had reason to be “wary”, they might act wary. They might worry (and with reason!) that by constantly claiming to be persecuted in a country where they enjoy every privilege, they could easily be arousing the very hostility to Jews they claim to fear. Instead, the leading Jewish organizations flaunt their unrivaled influence, in blatant contrast to a large Muslim community which is on the constant defensive.  They are sure that in a contest between French Jews and Muslims, the Muslims will lose.

Exploiting this favorable position amounts to more than just plain chutzpah.  It is primarily an “Israel first” policy.

On the French national holiday, July 14, President François Hollande denounced the rue de la Roquette incident as an attempt to “import the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” into France as a pretext for “anti-Semitism”. Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared that “the Israeli-Palestine conflict cannot be imported into France.”

The French Jewish Consistory denounced “systematic exploitation of the Middle East conflict by organized groups and supporters of Jihadist terrorist movements”.

Roger Cukierman, president of the extremely influential Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF), took his complaints in person to President Hollande.“We are in an unheard-of anti-Semitic climate”, he declared, demanding that such demonstrations be banned.

Obediently, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called on local authorities to increase their “vigilance” and to ban demonstrations that risk to “trouble public order”.

Claiming that France is unable to “guarantee security”, Cazeneuve went on to ban a pro-Gaza demonstration scheduled for Saturday, July 19. The French government threatened demonstrators and even individuals calling for demonstration with long jail sentences and hefty fines.

Thus France became the first European country to outlaw a pro-Palestinian demonstration. Meanwhile, it goes without saying that all manner of demonstrations of solidarity with Israel are totally kosher.

The main effect of the ban was to place the French government clearly on the Israeli side of the Middle East conflict. On July 19, several thousand people defied the ban to gather in the Barbès section of Paris, focusing their protest on President Hollande’s support for the latest Israeli assault on Gaza. As was bound to happen once the demonstration was declared illegal, it attracted a number of apolitical youth who never miss a chance to fight with police, causing violent incidents in the neighborhood, notably setting fire to vegetable stands in a mainly Afro-Arab market.

Pascal Boniface, director of IRIS (the Institute of International and Strategic Relations), and author of La France malade du conflit israélo-palestinien (France is sick from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) is not the only one to point out that the Middle East conflict has long since been “imported” into France, primarily by Jewish organizations which insist on identifying Jewish interests with Israel and stigmatizing criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism.  In response to the latest demands “not to import” the conflict, Boniface asked ironically whether that meant banning the annual CRIF banquets – events to which French politicians flock to proclaim their devotion to the Jewish State.

Clearly, the most active Jewish organizations feel that they can only gain by doing what politicians keep saying “mustn’t happen”. Importing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Europe is exactly what they have been doing for years.  In Europe, portraying the conflict as a war between “survivors of the Holocaust” and Islamic terrorists seems a sure way to mobilize public opinion in favor of Israel.  Identifying the Palestinians with “Islamic terrorism” has been an obvious Israeli policy goal since September 11, 2014.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations are called by an array of small organizations of diverse ethnic composition, including the Trotskyist New Anti-Capitalist Party, which like other such groups includes people of Jewish origin.  In Belgium more than in France, a certain “return to religion” among young people of immigrant origin makes it easier to identify the Palestinian cause with Islam, even though this identification is false.  Nevertheless, using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to denounce Muslims is indeed tending to foster a religious civil conflict in France which Jews seem bound to win thanks to their vastly superior social status. The pro-Israel lobby can hope that such conflict will oblige European governments to strengthen their support for Israel, treating defenders of the Palestinian cause as “terrorists”. And indeed, in recent years, European governmental attitudes toward Israel have grown more favorable despite the fact that public sympathy for the plight of Palestinians has probably also increased, but lacks effective political expression.

The flagrantly unequal treatment is virtually certain to foster the growth of anti-Jewish sentiment among people of Arab and Muslim origin. But this “disadvantage” can be seen as an advantage if it serves to frighten impressionable Jews into moving to Israel.  Importing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can seem to be a win-win strategy for Israel, by strengthening French political support while increasing the Israeli population with a desirable addition of French Jews.

It would be ironic indeed if fear of Muslim neighbors in Paris suburbs should lead French Jews to move to a country totally surrounded by millions of hostile Muslim neighbors.

Such cynical calculations may backfire in various ways.  Meanwhile, the majority of French politicians are themselves responsible for importing the Middle East conflict in total contradiction to their own declarations and to the genuine interests of France as a secular country of equality among individuals regardless of religious or ethnic origins.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. She can be reached at [email protected]

Russian-made Buk anti-missile battery.

The U.S. media’s Ukraine bias has been obvious, siding with the Kiev regime and bashing ethnic Russian rebels and Russia’s President Putin. But now – with the scramble to blame Putin for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down – the shoddy journalism has grown truly dangerous.

In the heat of the U.S. media’s latest war hysteria – rushing to pin blame for the crash of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – there is the same absence of professional skepticism that has marked similar stampedes on Iraq, Syria and elsewhere – with key questions not being asked or answered.

The dog-not-barking question on the catastrophe over Ukraine is: what did the U.S. surveillance satellite imagery show? It’s hard to believe that – with the attention that U.S. intelligence has concentrated on eastern Ukraine for the past half year that the alleged trucking of several large Buk anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia to Ukraine and then back to Russia didn’t show up somewhere.

Yes, there are limitations to what U.S. spy satellites can see. But the Buk missiles are about 16 feet long and they are usually mounted on trucks or tanks. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 also went down during the afternoon, not at night, meaning the missile battery was not concealed by darkness.

So why hasn’t this question of U.S. spy-in-the-sky photos – and what they reveal – been pressed by the major U.S. news media? How can the Washington Post run front-page stories, such as the one on Sunday with the definitive title “U.S. official: Russia gave systems,” without demanding from these U.S. officials details about what the U.S. satellite images disclose?

Instead, the Post’s Michael Birnbaum and Karen DeYoung wrote from Kiev: “The United States has confirmed that Russia supplied sophisticated missile launchers to separatists in eastern Ukraine and that attempts were made to move them back across the Russian border after the Thursday shoot-down of a Malaysian jetliner, a U.S. official said Saturday.

“‘We do believe they were trying to move back into Russia at least three Buk [missile launch] systems,’ the official said. U.S. intelligence was ‘starting to get indications … a little more than a week ago’ that the Russian launchers had been moved into Ukraine, said the official” whose identity was withheld by the Post so the official would discuss intelligence matters.

But catch the curious vagueness of the official’s wording: “we do believe”; “starting to get indications.” Are we supposed to believe – and perhaps more relevant, do the Washington Post writers actually believe – that the U.S. government with the world’s premier intelligence services can’t track three lumbering trucks each carrying large mid-range missiles?

What I’ve been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms.

The source said CIA analysts were still not ruling out the possibility that the troops were actually eastern Ukrainian rebels in similar uniforms but the initial assessment was that the troops were Ukrainian soldiers. There also was the suggestion that the soldiers involved were undisciplined and possibly drunk, since the imagery showed what looked like beer bottles scattered around the site, the source said.

Instead of pressing for these kinds of details, the U.S. mainstream press has simply passed on the propaganda coming from the Ukrainian government and the U.S. State Department, including hyping the fact that the Buk system is “Russian-made,” a rather meaningless fact that gets endlessly repeated.

However, to use the “Russian-made” point to suggest that the Russians must have been involved in the shoot-down is misleading at best and clearly designed to influence ill-informed Americans. As the Post and other news outlets surely know, the Ukrainian military also operates Russian-made military systems, including Buk anti-aircraft batteries, so the manufacturing origin has no probative value here.

Relying on the Ukraine Regime

Much of the rest of the known case against Russia comes from claims made by the Ukrainian regime, which emerged from the unconstitutional coup d’etat against elected President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22. His overthrow followed months of mass protests, but the actual coup was spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias that overran government buildings and forced Yanukovych’s officials to flee.

In recognition of the key role played by the neo-Nazis, who are ideological descendants of Ukrainian militias that collaborated with the Nazi SS in World War II, the new regime gave these far-right nationalists control of several ministries, including the office of national security which is under the command of longtime neo-Nazi activist Andriy Parubiy.[See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass.”]

It was this same Parubiy whom the Post writers turned to seeking more information condemning the eastern Ukrainian rebels and the Russians regarding the Malaysia Airlines catastrophe. Parubiy accused the rebels in the vicinity of the crash site of destroying evidence and conducting a cover-up, another theme that resonated through the MSM.

Without bothering to inform readers of Parubiy’s unsavory neo-Nazi background, the Post quoted him as a reliable witness declaring: “It will be hard to conduct a full investigation with some of the objects being taken away, but we will do our best.”

In contrast to Parubiy’s assurances, the Kiev regime actually has a terrible record of telling the truth or pursuing serious investigations of human rights crimes. Still left open are questions about the identity of snipers who on Feb. 20 fired on both police and protesters at the Maidan, touching off the violent escalation that led to Yanukovych’s ouster. Also, the Kiev regime has failed to ascertain the facts about the death-by-fire of scores of ethnic Russians in the Trade Union Building in Odessa on May 2. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Burning Ukraine’s Protesters Alive.”]

The Kiev regime also duped the New York Times (and apparently the U.S. State Department) when it disseminated photos that supposedly showed Russian military personnel inside Russia and then later inside Ukraine. After the State Department endorsed the “evidence,” the Times led its newspaper with this story on April 21, but it turned out that one of the key photos supposedly shot in Russia was actually taken in Ukraine, destroying the premise of the story. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Retracts Ukraine Photo Scoop.”]

But here we are yet again with the MSM relying on unverified claims being made by the Kiev regime about something as sensitive as whether Russia provided sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles – capable of shooting down high-flying civilian aircraft – to poorly trained eastern Ukrainian rebels.

This charge is so serious that it could propel the world into a second Cold War and conceivably – if there are more such miscalculations – into a nuclear confrontation. These moments call for the utmost in journalistic professionalism, especially skepticism toward propaganda from biased parties.

Yet, what Americans have seen again is the major U.S. news outlets, led by the Washington Post and the New York Times, publishing the most inflammatory of articles based largely on unreliable Ukrainian officials and on the U.S. State Department which was a principal instigator of the Ukraine crisis.

In the recent past, this sort of sloppy American journalism has led to mass slaughters in Iraq – and has contributed to near U.S. wars on Syria and Iran – but now the stakes are much higher. As much fun as it is to heap contempt on a variety of “designated villains,” such as Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, Ali Khamenei and now Vladimir Putin, this sort of recklessness is careening the world toward a very dangerous moment, conceivably its last.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

While the mainstream media casually accuses Moscow without evidence of having orchestrated the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 in liaison with the Donesk rebels, the backlash of the crisis on international financial markets and on Russia’s financial system has passed virtually unnoticed.

Moreover, the political threats and insinuations directed against the Russian Federation in the wake of the July 17 disaster, have been coupled with a renewed wave of economic sanctions directed against major Russian corporations and financial institutions.

Inside Information and Foreknowledge

The conduct of speculative operations both prior and in the wake of the July 17 crash, is also a major consideration: In the functioning of World financial markets, terror events, natural disasters as well as major tragedies such as MH17 will invariably have an impact on the short term behavior of financial markets including major stock markets, the foreign exchange market as well the energy and commodities markets.

It should be noted that foreknowledge of a terror event such as the MH17 crash of July 17 over Eastern Ukraine’s warzone, offers an opportunity to the perpetrators as well as those who have advanced knowledge of the terror event to conduct profitable speculative transactions on various financial markets. Cui bono? Wall Street or Moscow’s Financial Establishment?

In other words, those who planned the attack on MH17 (including their political and economic sponsors) had in their possession valuable and confidential information which could be used in large scale speculative undertakings, including options trade on the DJIA, the Moscow Stock exchange (MICEX), foreign exchange markets, not to mention speculative trade (e.g. put options) on airline stocks.

What is described above is routine in the frequent conduct of “risk free” speculative trade by major financial institutions.

Major financial actors who had foreknowledge of the MH17 event of July 17 would have made billions of windfall gains in speculative transactions. With foreknowledge of the crash, institutional speculators would be in a position to accurately “predict” the short term decline of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other major stock markets, commodity and forex indexes and act accordingly, placing speculative bets through the use of different financial instruments.

Moreover, there is also an overlap between Wall Street and the corporate financial media: Timely news releases by Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, etc. in the wake of a major international event often exert a decisive influence on the actual movement of major financial indicators. At the same time, these powerful financial media –which influence investors’ perceptions regarding future market trends– overlap symbiotically with partner interests on Wall Street which are directly involved in undertaking major transactions. In fact, the corporate financial media are invariably major actors on Wall Street or the City of London. Who are the major shareholders of the WSJ, the Financial Times or the Economist? Is there a conflict of interest?

The New York Stock Exchange

In the wake of the July 17 crash of MH17, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined from its 17150 peak and subsequently bounced back (see chart below). Foreknowledge of the MH17 would have allowed the reaping of financial gains on the short term movement of the Dow from one day to the next.

Table 1 Down Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)

The London Stock Market on July 17

While the NYSE was open on the 17th after the disaster over Ukraine, the London Market Stock opened up on Friday the 18th and experienced a short term slump in market values, rebounding at the end of trade on the 18th.

  London Stock Exchange FTSE  All Share Index

The Moscow Stock Exchange

The tragic event of July 17, coupled with immediate accusations directed against Russia, contributed to precipitating the tumble of the Moscow stock exchange (see chart below).

While European stock markets were also affected, the most dramatic decline was recorded on the Moscow Stock Exchange, with Moscow’s MICEX index falling by 2.3 per cent in one day and its dollar-traded related index, the RTS index, dropping by 3.8 per cent. (Reuters, July 18, 2014) (see chart below)

Those who had advanced knowledge of the MH17 crash and the likely accusations directed against Russia by president Obama would no doubt have placed their bets on a decline of both the MICEX and the Russian ruble.

Table 2 Moscow Stock Exchange MICEX Composite Index

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphs: Source Financial Times, 2014

The Sanctions Regime

The economic sanctions regime initiated by the Obama administration had targeted the Russia’s arms industry, its major energy giants including state owned Gazprom and Rosneft as well as the privately owned gas conglomerate Novatek. Major Russian financial institutions were also the object of sanctions.

In a bitter irony, late Wednesday July 16th (ET), one day before the MH17 tragedy, the Obama administration announced a new set of sweeping sanctions directed against the Russian Federation:

[L]ate Wednesday [July 16, 2014] , President Barack Obama had announced fresh sanctions targeting Russia’s large-cap companies that included bellwether energy and banking companies.  …  “We have to see concrete actions, and not just words that Russia in fact is committed to trying to end this conflict along the Russia-Ukraine border,” Obama stated at the White House after announcing fresh sanctions on Russia’s large-caps. (MH17 Crash, Fresh US Sanctions: Beware of Funds with Russia Exposure, Zaks, July 18, 2014

It is worth noting that Rosneft has a gas deal with Exxon Mobil. The endgame of the sanctions regime is economic conquest, namely to weaken Russia’s energy giants with a view to ultimately modifying their ownership structure:

That the United States went for such a big company [i.e. sanctions] shows that it means business. Rosneft has outstanding debts of about $70 billion, close to its market capitalization, forcing it to seek persistent refinancing — and, leaving aside some Russian and Chinese financing, only the international dollar markets can provide sufficient financing.

Rosneft will have to reduce its capital expenditures because of the U.S. sanctions.” (Anders Aslund, U.S. responded to MH17 before airliner was shot down, Sanctions imposed after Russia delivered arms that brought down plane, Market Watch, July 18, 2014)

Following Obama’s timely announcement on the 16th of July, confirming a new wave of sanctions, the decline of stock values on Moscow’s Stock Exchange started at the opening of trade on July 17th prior to the crash of MH17.

Currency Markets: Decline of the Ruble

Currency markets were also affected. While the event did not precipitate a significant decline of the Malaysian ringgit, the Russian ruble fell by 1.8 per cent against the US dollar, its biggest one-day decline since June 2013. (Reuters, July 18, 2014). In the wake of the July 17 crash in Ukraine, the Russian ruble has continued to decline (see chart below).

Ongoing threats pertaining to Russia’s alleged role in the downing of MH17 not to mention the implementation of new sanctions against Russia announced on the 16 of July, have resulted in a significant decline of the Russian ruble. It should be understood that the Russian central bank must have acted to prevent a further decline of the ruble, most probably using its forex reserves to counteract the speculative attack against the ruble, leading to a significant capital outflow of  Russia’s dollar reserves.

Table 3  Russian Ruble (RUB) US Dollar Exchange Rate (June 21,  2014 – July 21, 2014) 

Source: Exchange Rate.com

Decline in Airline Stocks

There was a significant decline in airline stock values quoted on NASDAQ on July 17th following the crash of MH17 (see chart below) characterized by a dip on the 17th and a recovery on the 18th. Those who had foreknowledge of the MH17 crash could have placed safe speculative bets reaping substantial profits.

As outlined at our introduction the issue of foreknowledge is of crucial significance. By definition the criminal perpetrators of the MH17 crash had foreknowledge which could have been used by partner financial  entities involved in speculative trade. This particular dimension of MH17 foreknowledge –reminiscent of the short selling of airline stock in the days preceding 9/11–requires further analysis and investigation. It should be a component of the criminal investigation into the July 17 crash itself.

NYSE Airline Index (XAL), July 15-21, 2014

The Fate of Malaysian Airlines

With the mysterious disappearance of MH370 in March, the number of MH passengers had dropped by 60 per cent. Malaysian Airline System’s (MAS) financial situation had become increasingly fragile.

Following the MH17 crash, Malaysian Airlines System is up for complete privatization. “MAS is almost 70 per cent owned by the government investment vehicle Kazanah Nasional, which earlier this year expressed interest in offloading part of its holding.” (ABC New Australia, July 21, 2014)

The annual decline in MAS stock is of the order of 25.8 (see chart below)

Table 4 Malaysian Airlines MAS Stock Values (July 2013- July 2014)

Source: Bloomberg, 2014

 

How Britain Profits from the Attack on Gaza

July 22nd, 2014 by Ian Dunt

Palestinian boy sits on the rubble of a destroyed building following an Israeli air strike earlier today. Air strikes killed at least seven people in Gaza, including five members of the same family, an emergency services spokesman said.

The video emerged on Monday. It appears to show a man searching for his family amid the rubble of Gaza, apparently during a ceasefire. He is shot by a sniper. For a while he lies there, moving awkwardly. Then he is shot again.

The component parts of the sniper rifle may have been made in the UK. After Israel’s 2009 incursion into Gaza – Operation Cast Lead – the Commons committee on strategic export controls found British arms exports “almost certainly” were used in the attack, in direct contravention of the UK’s policy that arms exports should not be used in the occupied territories.

The military equipment sold to Israel includes parts for sniper rifles and small-arms ammunition, ground-based radar, military aircraft engines and navigation equipment, military communications and unmanned drones. Britain also supplied components for cockpit displays in US F-16 combat aircraft sold to Israel, engine assemblies for their US Apache helicopters, armoured personnel carriers and components for the guns and radar in Israeli Sa’ar-class corvettes.

Then-foreign secretary David Miliband told the Commons all future arms-related applications would be assessed “taking into account the recent conflict”. After all, it is against Department for Business rules for an export licence to be granted where there is a clear risk they might be used to “provoke or prolong conflict within a country” or “be used aggressively against another country”. Either criteria, depending on how you choose to look at it, could be applied to the Gaza crisis.

Britain even revoked a handful of licenses, all related to parts for an Israeli navy gunboat known as the Saar 4.5 Class Corvette, which was likely used to shell Gaza.

‘Israel and the Palestinian territories’ is the biggest recipient of approved export licences from the Foreign Office’s list of 27 countries of human rights concerns. They are worth £7.8 billion to the UK, towering over China’s £1.5 billion or Saudi Arabia’s £1.8 billion. Of that £7.8 billion, just £5,539 goes to the Occupied Territories.

The number seems massive, especially given Britain is responsible for just one per cent of Israel’s military imports (most come from the US). The vast majority of the figure is irrelevant. It’s made up of a single licence approval for “equipment employing cryptography and software for equipment employing cryptography” – phone masts, basically. Put that to one side and you have what experts believe to be about £10 million in military contracts.

Here is what the money goes on, according to the Commons committee:

“All-wheel drive vehicles with ballistic protection; body armour, components for body armour, military helmets, components for pistols, components for body armour, components for all-wheel drive vehicles with ballistic protection, components for assault rifles, components for pistols, components for equipment employing cryptography, components for military communications equipment, cryptographic software, equipment employing cryptography, software for equipment employing cryptography, software for the use of equipment employing cryptography, general military vehicle components, military support vehicles, small arms ammunition, weapon sights, military communications equipment and components for small arms ammunition.”

But Britain’s military relationship with Israel is not one-sided. It is based on cooperation, on British firms working with Israeli firms, in an entanglement which precludes a critical political response to the savage attack on Gaza.

Take the Watchkeeper combat drone, built in the UK by UAV Tactical Systems, which was set up by Israeli company Elbit Systems and French company Thales. Elbit’s 51% stake tells you where the balance of power is. UAV Engines, which builds the rotary engine, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elbit.

In 2007, the Ministry of Defence ordered 54 Watchkeepers at a cost of £800 million. They came in late, of course, but the Watchkeeper system will be in service until 2040.

That sort of contract is typical. At the Farnborough International Air Show, which ended a couple of days ago, Elbit was marketing its wares as ‘battle tested’.

Israeli company Rafael and the Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) were also present. Rafael announced it was in negotiations to add to its 15-year deal with the Ministry of Defence so it could supply its fighter jets with new targeting pod systems.

Several British firms provide Israel with spare parts for the F16 and Apache fighter jets and naval ships. These were the machines used to kill hundreds of civilians in Lebanon. Human rights groups estimate that they have killed 223 Palestinians during the current offensive in Gaza, 46 of them children, 26 of them women and 14 of them elderly.

Yesterday, David Cameron urged a “proportionate” response from the Israelis, but he placed the blame overwhelmingly on Hamas. As a father his heart bled when he saw images of children being killed on beaches with Israeli munitions, he said. But “this can be most quickly brought to an end” by Hamas ceasing to fire rockets.

There were gasps in the Commons from the Labour benches. “These attacks are not just disproportionate,” Peter Hain said. “In any other conflict they’d be described as war crimes.”

That is precisely what they are, as any reasoned, impartial observer would conclude. But even if Cameron were such an observer he would be hamstrung by a military-industrial network which entangles British and American firms and state military departments in decades-long, multi-million pound contracts.

These military deals do not exist in isolation. They discourage any attempt by the British government to condemn Israel’s operation with the sort of language which it deserves. Britain profits from Israel’s horrible little wars. And Israel can conduct its horrible little wars because Britain’s desire for profit trumps its commitment to human rights.

Relatives and friends carry the body of Nour al-Najdi, 10-years-old, during her funeral in Rafah after being killed by an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 11, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Said Khatib)

Updated July 22 at 6:45 pm: The Gaza health ministry has confirmed the deaths of 627 Palestinians so far in the besieged strip since Israel began its relentless assault on July 8. Among those killed, at least 158 were aged 18 or younger.

On Sunday, more than 74 people were killed in al-Shujayeh, a neighborhood east of Gaza City. According to sources in Gaza’s health ministry, 80 percent of the people killed were children under the age of 18, women, and elderly.

The youngest victim so far has been five-month-old Fares Jomaa al-Mahmoum, killed by Israeli tank shelling in Rafah. The next two youngest victims were both 18 months old: Mohammed Malakiyeh was killed along with his 27-year-old mother, and Ranim Jawde Abdel Ghafour was killed along with a member of her family in Khan Younis. The three oldest victims were all 80 years old. Naifeh Farjallah was killed in an air strike on the town of Moghraqa, southwest of Gaza City, and Saber Sukkar was killed in an airstrike on Gaza City. Hijaziyah Hamid al-Helou succumbed on Sunday to wounds sustained in the bombing of her home in Gaza City on Saturday night.

Victims’ names and ages were compiled based on information released by the Gaza health ministry, while the circumstances of the deaths were taken from the ministry and local news sources.

Al-Akhbar will update the list as new information is released.

Tuesday, July 8:

1. Mohammed Sha’aban, 24, was killed in a bombing of his car in Gaza City.
2. Ahmad Sha’aban, 30, died in the same bombing.
3. Khadir al-Bashiliki, 45, died in the same bombing.
4. Rashad Yaseen, 27, was killed in a bombing of the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.
5. Riad Mohammed Kawareh, 50, was killed in a bombing of his family’s home in Khan Younis.
6. Seraj Ayad Abed al-A’al, 8, was wounded in the same bombing and succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday evening.
7. Mohammed Ayman Ashour, 15, died in the same bombing.
8. Bakr Mohammed Joudah, 22, died in the same bombing.
9. Ammar Mohammed Joudah, 26, died in the same bombing.
10. Hussein Yousef Kawareh, 13, died in the same bombing.
11. Mohammed Ibrahim Kawareh, 50, died in the same bombing.
12. Bassim Salim Kawareh, 10, died in the same bombing.
13. Mousa Habib, 16, from Gaza City’s al-Shujayeh neighborhood, was killed along with his 22-year old cousin while the pair were riding a motorcycle.
14. Mohammed Habib, 22, was killed with Mousa Habib.
15. Sakr Aysh al-Ajouri, 22, was killed in an attack on Jabalia, in northern Gaza.
16. Ahmad Na’el Mehdi, 16, from Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, was killed in a bombing that wounded two of his friends.
17. Hafiz Mohammed Hamad, 30, an Islamic Jihad commander, was killed in the bombing of his home in Beit Hanoun, along with five of his family members.
18. Ibrahim Mohammed Hamad, 26, died in the same bombing.
19. Mehdi Mohammed Hamad, 46, died in the same bombing.
20. Fawzia Khalil Hamad, 62, died in the same bombing.
21. Dunia Mehdi Hamad, 16, died in the same bombing.
22. Suha Hamad, 25, died in the same bombing.
23. Suleiman Salman Abu Soaween, 22, was killed.

Wednesday, July 9:

24. Abdel Hadi Jamaat al-Sufi, 24, was killed in a bombing near the Rafah crossing.
25. Naifeh Farjallah, 80, was killed in an airstrike on the town of Moghraqa, southwest of Gaza City.
26. Abdel Nasser Abu Kweek, 60, was killed in the bombing of Gaza’s central governorate along with his son.
27. Khaled Abu Kweek, 31, Abdel Nasser Abu Kweek’s son, was killed in the same bombing.
28. Mohammed Areef, 13, died in a bombing in Sha’af.
28. Amir Areef, 10, died in the same bombing.
30. Mohammed Malakiyeh, 18 months old, died in a bombing along with his mother and a young man.
31. Hana Malakiyeh, 27, Mohammed Malakiyeh’s mother, died in the same bombing.
32. Hatem Abu Salem, 28, died in the same bombing.
33. Mohammed Khaled al-Nimri, 22
34. Sahar Hamdan, 40, died in the bombing of her home in Beit Hanoun.
35. Ibrahim Masri, 14, Sahar Hamdan’s son, was killed in the same bombing.
36. Mahmoud Nahid al-Nawasra was killed in a bombing in al-Meghazi.
37. Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra, 4, was killed in the same bombing and arrived at the hospital “in shreds.”
38. Nidal Khalaf al-Nawasra al-Meghazi, 5, was killed in the same bombing.
39. Salah Awwad al-Nawasra al-Meghazi, 6, was killed in the same bombing. His body was found under the rubble of the house.
40. Aisha Nijm al-Meghazi, 20, was killed in the same bombing.
41. Amal Youssef Abdel Ghafour, 27, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis.
42. Ranim Jawde Abdel Ghafour, an 18-month-old girl, was killed in the same bombing.
43. Rashid al-Kafarneh, 30, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding was bombed.
44. Ibrahim Daoud al-Balawi, 24
45. Abdel Rahman Jamal al-Zamli, 22
46. Ibrahim Ahmad Abideen, 42
47. Mustafa Abu Mar, 20
48. Khalid Abu Mar, 23
49. Mazen Farj al-Jarbah, 30, was killed in a bombing in Deir al-Balah.
50. Marwan Slim, 27, was killed in a bombing in Deir al-Balah.
51. Hani Saleh Hamad, 57, was killed in a bombing in Beit Hanoun along with his son Ibrahim.
52. Ibrahim Hamad, 20, was killed in the same bombing.
53. Salima Hassan Musallim al-Arja, 60, was killed in a bombing in Rafah that wounded five others.
54. Maryam Atieh Mohammed al-Arja, 11, was killed in the same bombing.
55. Hamad Shahab, 37
56. Ibrahim Khalil Qanun, 24, was killed in a bombing of Khan Younis.
57. Mohammed Khalil Qanun, 26, was killed in the same attack.
58. Hamdi Badieh Sawali, 33, was killed in the same attack.
59. Ahmad Sawali, 28, was killed in the same attack.
60. Suleiman Salim al-Astal, 55, was killed in a bombing of Khan Younis.
61. Mohammed al-Aqqad, 24
62. Ra’ed Shalat, 37, was killed in a bombing that wounded 6 others.

Thursday, July 10:

63. Asma Mahmoud al-Hajj, 22, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis that killed eight members of the same family and wounded 16 other people.
64. Basmah Abdel Fattah al-Hajj, 57, was wounded in the bombing and succumbed to her injuries shortly afterwards.
65. Mahmoud Lutfi al-Hajj, 58, died in the same bombing.
66. Tarek Mahmoud al-Hajj, 18, died in the same bombing.
67. Sa’ad Mahmoud al-Hajj, 17, died in the same bombing.
68. Najla Mahmoud al-Hajj, 29, died in the same bombing.
69. Fatima Mahmoud al-Hajj, 12, died in the same bombing.
70. Omar Mahmoud al-Hajj, 20, died in the same bombing.
71. Ahmad Salim al-Astal, 24, was killed in the bombing of a beach house in Khan Younis that critically wounded more than 15 people.
72. Mousa Mohammed al-Astal, 50, was killed in the same bombing. The two bodies were recovered four hours after the bombing.
73. Ra’ed al-Zawareh, 33, succumbed to his wounds and died. The location of his death was unreported.
74. Baha’ Abu al-Leil, 35, was killed in a bombing.
75. Salim Qandil, 27, was killed in the same bombing.
76. Omar al-Fyumi, 30, was killed in the same bombing.
77. Abdullah Ramadan Abu Ghazzal, 5, was killed in a bombing in Beit Lahiya.
78. Ismail Hassan Abu Jamah, 19, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis that injured two children, one critically.
79. Hassan Awda Abu Jamah, 75, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis.
80. Mohammed Ahsan Ferwanah, 27, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis.
81. Yasmin Mohammed Mutawwaq, 4 was killed in a bombing in Beit Hanoun.
82. Mahmoud Wulud, 26, was killed in a bombing of a civilian vehicle in northern Gaza. His remains were taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabalia.
83. Hazem Balousha, 30, was killed in the same bombing. His remains are at Kamal Adwan Hospital.
84. Nour Rafik Adi al-Sultan, 27, was killed in the same bombing. His remains are at Kamal Adwan Hospital.
85. Ahmad Zaher Hamdan, 24, was killed in a bombing in Beit Hanoun.
86. Mohammed Kamal al-Kahlout, 25, was killed in a bombing in Jabalia.
87. Sami Adnan Shaldan, 25, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City.
88. Jamah Atieh Shalouf, 25, was killed in a bombing in Rafah.
89. Bassem Abdel Rahman Khattab, 6, was killed in a bombing in Deir al-Balah.
90. Abdullah Mustafa Abu Mahrouk, 22, was killed in a bombing in Deir al-Balah.

Friday, July 11:

91. Anas Rizk Abu al-Kas, 33, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City.
92. Nour Marwan al-Najdi, 10, was killed in a bombing in Rafah.
93. Mohammed Mounir Ashour, 25, was killed in a bombing on the al-Ghanam family home in Rafah.
94. Ghalia Deeb Jabr al-Ghanam, 7, was killed in the same bombing.
95. Wasim Abd al-Rizk Hassan al-Ghanam, 23, was killed in the same bombing.
96. Mahmoud Abd al-Rizk Hassan al-Ghanam, 26, was killed in the same bombing.
97. Kifah Shahada Deeb al-Ghanam, 20, was killed in the same bombing.
98. Ra’ed Hani Abu Hani, 31, was killed in a bombing in Rafah.
99. Shahraman Ismail Abu al-Kas, 42, was killed in a bombing in a refugee camp in central Gaza.
100. Mazen Mustafa Aslan, 63, was killed in the same bombing.
101. Mohammed Rabih Abu Humeidan, 65, was killed in shelling that struck northern Gaza.
102. Abdel Halim Ashra, 54, was killed in an airstrike on Wednesday in the area of Birka Deir al-Balah, but his body wasn’t discovered until Friday.
103. Saher Abu Namous, 3, was killed in an airstrike on his home in northern Gaza.
104. Hussein al-Mamlouk, 47, was killed in an airstrike on Gaza City.
105. Saber Sukkar, 80, was killed in an airstrike on Gaza City.
106. Nasser Rabih Mohammed Samamah, 49, was killed in an airstrike on Gaza City.

Saturday, July 12:

107. Rami Abu Massaad, 23, was killed in a strike on Deir al-Balah.
108. Mohammed al-Samiri, 24, was killed in the same attack.
109. Houssam Deeb al-Razayneh, 39, was killed in an attack on Jabalia.
110. Anas Youssef Kandil, 17, was killed in the same attack.
111. Abdel Rahim Saleh al-Khatib, 38, was killed in the same attack.
112. Youssef Mohammed Kandil, 33, was killed in the same attack.
113. Mohammed Idriss Abu Saninah, 20, was killed in the same attack.
114. Hala Wishahi, 31, was killed in an attack on the Mabarra association for the disabled in Jabalia.
115. Suha Abu Saade, 38, was killed in the same attack.
116. Ali Nabil Basal, 32, was killed in a strike on western Gaza City.
117. Mohammed Bassem al-Halabi, 28, was killed in the same strike.
118. Mohammed al-Sowayti, 20, was killed in the same strike.
119. Ibrahim Nabil Humaide, 30, was killed in a bombing in the Tufah neighborhood in eastern Gaza City.
120. Hassan Ahmed Abu Ghoush, 24, was killed in the same attack.
121. Ahmed Mahmoud al-Ballaoui, 26, was killed in the same attack.
122. Ratib Sabahi al-Sifi, 22, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City along with five others.
123. Azmi Mahmoud Abid, 51, was killed in the same attack.
124. Nidal Mahmoud Abu al-Malish, 22, was killed in the same attack.
125. Suleiman Said Abid, 56, was killed in the same attack.
126. Ghassan Ahmad al-Masri, 25, was killed in the same attack.
127. Mustafa Mohammed Anaieh, 58, was killed in the same attack.
128. Rafa’at Youssef Amer, 36, succumbed to wounds sustained in a bombing in Gaza City.
129. Ghazi Mustafa Areef, 62, died when his home in Gaza City was bombed. His son sustained serious injuries.
130. Mohammed Adriss Abu Sulim, 20, was killed in a bombing in Jabaliya.
131. Fadi Yaqub Sakr, 25, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City.
132. Qassem Jaber Adwan Awdeh, 16, was killed in a bombing in Khan Younis.
133. Mohammed Ahmad Bassal, 19, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City.
134. Muhannad Youssef Dhahir, 23, was killed in a bombing in Rafah.
135. Mahmoud Abdallah Shratiha, 53, was killed in a bombing in north Gaza.
136. Shadi Mohammed Zarb, 21, was killed in a bombing in Rafah that wounded three others.
137. Imad Bassam Zarb, 21, was killed in the same bombing.
138. Nahid Ta’im al-Batash, 41, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City along with 16 family members. Dozens more were wounded in the same attack.
139. Baha Majid al-Batash, 28, was killed in the same bombing.
140. Qassi Isam al-Batash, 12, was killed in the same bombing.
141. Aziza Youssef al-Batash, 59 was killed in the same bombing.
142. Mohammed Isam al-Batash, 17 was killed in the same bombing.
143. Ahmad Naman al-Batash, 27 was killed in the same bombing.
144. Yahya Alaa al-Batash, 18 was killed in the same bombing.
145. Jalal Majid al-Batash, 26 was killed in the same bombing.
146. Mahmoud Majid al-Batash, 22 was killed in the same bombing.
147. Marwa Majid al-Batash, 25 was killed in the same bombing.
148. Majid Subhi al-Batash was killed in the same bombing.
149. Khalid Majid al-Batash, 20 was killed in the same bombing.
150. Ibrahim Majid al-Batash, 18 was killed in the same bombing.
151. Manar Majid al-Batash, 14 was killed in the same bombing.
152. Amal Hassan al-Batash, 49 was killed in the same bombing.
153. Anas Alaa al-Batash, 10 was killed in the same bombing.
154. Qassi Alaa al-Batash was killed in the same bombing.

Sunday, July 13:

155. Rami Abu Shanab, 25, succumbed to wounds sustained several days ago in Deir al-Balah.
156. Khawla al-Hawajri, 25, was killed in a bombing in Nusseirat.
157. Mohammed Ghazi Areef, 35, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City.
158. Ahmad Youssef Daloul, 47, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City.
159. Hijaziyah Hamid al-Helou, 80, succumbed to wounds sustained in the bombing of her home in Gaza City on Saturday night.
160. Fawzia Abdel A’el, 73, was killed in a bombing in Gaza City.
161. Haitham Ashraf Zarb, 21, succumbed to wounds sustained during an attack on Rafah on Saturday that killed two other members of the Zarb family.
162. Leila Hassan al-Awdat, 41, was killed in an attack on Meghazi that wounded four others.
163. Hussam Ibrahim al-Najjar, 14, was killed in a bombing in north Gaza. His remains were taken to Beit Hanoun Hospital.
164. Rawidah Abu Harb al-Zwaida, 31, was killed.
165. Samer Tallal Hamdan was killed in a bombing in Beit Hanoun.
166. Hussein Abd al-Qadir Muheisen, 19, succumbed to wounds sustained in Gaza City.
167. Maher Thabit Abu Mar, 24, was killed in a bombing in Rafah.
168. Mohammed Salim Abu Bureis, 65, was killed in a bombing in Deir al-Balah.
169. Saddam Moussa Moamar, 23, was killed in Khan Younis.
170. Mousa Shehade Moamar, 60, was killed in Khan Younis.
171. Hanadi Hamadi Moamar, 27, was killed in Khan Younis.
172. Adham Mohammed Abed al-Fatah Abed al-Al was killed in Gaza.

Monday, July 14:

173. Qassem Tallal Hamdan, 23, was killed in Beit Hanoun.
174. Hamid Suleiman Abu al-Araj Deir al-Balah, 60.
175. Abdullah Mahmoud Barakah, 24, was killed in Khan Younis.
176. Tamer Salem Kodeih, 37, was killed in Khan Younis.
177. Ziad Maher al-Najjar, 17, was killed in Khan Younis.
178. Ziad Salem al-Shawi, 25, was killed in Rafah.
179. Mohammed Yasser Hamdan, 24, was killed in Gaza.
180. Mohammed Shakib al-Agha, 22, was killed in Khan Younis.
181. Mohammed Younis Abu Youssif, 25, was killed in Khan Younis.
182. Sara Omar Sheikh al-Eid, 4, was killed in Rafah.
183. Omar Ahmad Sheikh al-Eid, 24, was killed in Rafah.
184. Jihad Ahmad Sheikh al-Eid, 48, was killed in Rafah.
185. Kamal Ated Youssif Abu Taha, 16, was killed in Khan Younis.
186. Ismail Nabil Ahmad Abu Hatab, 21, was killed in Khan Younis.

Tuesday, July 15:

187. Ahmad Younis Abu Youssif, 28, was killed in Khan Younis.
188. Bushra Khalil Zoarob, 53, was killed in Rafah.
189. Atwa Amira al-Maamour, 63, was killed in Khan Younis.
190. Ismail Salim al-Najjar, 46, was killed in Khan Younis.
191. Mohammed Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar, 49, was killed in Khan Younis.
192. Suleiman Abu Louli, 33, was killed in Khan Younis.
193. Sobhi Abdel Hamid Moussa, 77, was killed in Khan Younis.
194. Ismail Ftouh, 24, was killed in Gaza.
195. Saleh Said Dahliz Rafah, 20, was killed in Rafah.
196. Yasser Abdel Mahmoun, 18, was killed in Rafah.
197. Ibrahim Khalil al-Asaafi, 66, was killed in Jiher el-Deek.
198. Mohammed Abdullah al-Zahouk, 23, was killed in Rafah.
199. Mohammed Ismail Abu Awda, 27, was killed in Rafah.

Wednesday, July 16:

200. Mohammed Sabri al-Dibari, 20, was killed in Rafah.
201. Abdullah Mohammed Abdullah al-Irjani, 19, was killed in Khan Younis.
202. Ahmad Adel Ahmad al-Niwajha, 23, was killed in Rafah.
203. Mohammed Tayseer Sharab, 23, was killed in Khan Younis.
204. Farid Mohammed Abu Daqa, 33, was killed in Khan Younis.
205. Ashraf Khalil Abu Shanab, 33, was killed in Rafah.
206. Khadra al-Abd Salama Abu Daqa, 65, was killed in an attack on Khan Younis.
207. Omar Ramadan Hassan Abu Daqa, 24, was killed in the same attack.
208. Ibrahim Ramadan Hassan Abu Daqa, 10, was killed in the same attack.
209. Abdel Rahman Ibrahim Khalil al-Sarkhi, 37, was killed in an attack on Gaza City.
210. Ahed Atef Bakr, 10, was killed on a beach in Gaza.
211. Zakaria Ahed Bakr, 10, was killed on a beach in Gaza.
212. Mohammed Ramez Bakr, 11, was killed on a beach in Gaza.
213. Ismail Mohammed Bakr, 9, was killed on a beach in Gaza.
214. Hamza Ra’ed Thari, 6, succumbed to wounds sustained “a few days ago” and passed away.
215. Mohammed Akram Abu Amer, 34, was killed in an attack on Khan Younis.
216. Kamal Mohammed Abu Amer, 38, Mohammed’s brother, was reported seriously injured and then dead in the same attack.
217. Raqia al-Astal, 70, was killed in the bombing of a mosque in Khan Younis which killed at least three others and critically wounded several children.
218. Yasmin al-Astal, 4, was killed in the same attack.
219. Hussein Abdel Nasser al-Astal, 23, was killed in the same attack.
220. Usama Mahmoud al-Astal, 6, was critically wounded in the same attack and succumbed to his wounds shortly afterwards.
221. Hossam Shamlakh, 23, succumbed to wounds sustained in an attack on Sheikh Ajlin.
222. Mohammed Kamal Abdel Rahman, 30, was killed in an attack on Sheikh Ajlin.

Thursday, July 17:

223. Mohammed Mahmoud al-Qadim, 22, succumbed to wounds sustained in Deir al-Balah.
224. Zeinab Mohammed Saeed al-Abadleh, 70, died of her wounds in the Gaza European hospital.
225. Mohammed Abdel Rahman Hassouneh, 67, was killed in an attack on Rafah.
226. Mohammed Ahmad al-Hout, 41, was killed in the same attack while on his way to morning prayers.
227. Ahmad Rihan, 23, was killed in an attack on North Gaza.
228. Salam Salah Fayyad, 25, succumbed to his wounds in a hospital in Gaza’s central province.
229. Abdallah al-Akhras, 27, was killed in an attack on Rafah.
230. Bashir Abd al-A’el, 20, was killed in the same attack.
231. Mohammed Ziyad Ghanem, 25, was killed in the same attack.
232. Fulla Tarek Shaheber, 8, was killed along with two child relatives in an airstrike on their home in Gaza City.
233. Jihad Issam Shaheber, 10, was killed in the same strike.
234. Wassim Issam Shaheber, 9, was killed in the same strike.
235. Yassin al-Humaideh, 4, died of wounds suffered in an earlier attack on Gaza City.
236. Rahaf Khalil al-Jabbour, 4, was killed in an attack in Khan Younis.
237. Hamza Houssam al-Abadaleh, 29, was killed in an attack on Khan Younis.
238. Abed Ali Natiz, 26, was killed in Gaza.
239. Mohammed Salem Natiz, 4, was killed in Gaza City.
240. Mohammed Shadi Natiz, 15, was killed in Gaza City.
241. Salah Salah al-Shafiai was killed in Khan Younis.
242. Majdi Suleiman Salamah Jabarah, 22, was killed in Rafah.
243. Fares Jomaa al-Mahmoum, 5 months old, was killed in Rafah.

Friday, July 18:

244. Nassim Mahmoud Nassir was killed in an attack on Beit Hanoun.
245. Karam Mahmoud Nassir was killed in the same attack.
246. Omar Ayyad al-Mahmoum, 18, from Rafah, was killed in an attack on al-Shawka.
247. Salmiah Suleiman Ghayyad, 70, was killed in an attack east of Rafah.
248. Rami Saqqer Abu Tawila was killed in an attack east of al-Shujayeh that wounded 7 of his family members.
249. Hamad Abu Lahyia, 23, was killed in an attack east of Qarara that critically wounded several others.
250. Bassem Mohammed Mahmoud Madi, 22, was killed in an attack east of Rafah that wounded 11 others.
251. Mohammed Abdel Fattah Rashad Fayyad, 26, was killed in Khan Younis.
252. Mahmoud Mohammed Fayyad, 25, was killed in Khan Younis.
253. Bilal Mahmoud Radwan, 23, was killed in an attack in Khan Younis.
254. Mundhir Radwan, 22, was killed in the same attack.
255. Ahmad Fawzia Radwan, 23, was killed in the same attack.
256. Mahmoud Fawzia Radwan, 24, was killed in the same attack.
257. Ismail Youssef Taha Qassim, 59, was killed in an attack in Beit Hanoun that wounded 25 others.
258. Amal Khadir Ibrahim Badour, 40, was killed in the same attack.
259. Hani As’ad Abd al-Karim al-Shami, 35, was killed in an attack in Khan Younis that killed his nephew and wounded 4 others.
260. Mohammed Hamdan Abd al-Karim al-Shami, 35, was killed in the same attack.
261. Hussam Muslim Abu Eissa, 26, was killed in Jahr al-Dik.
262. Walaa Abu Ismail Muslim,12, was killed in Abraj al-Nada.
263. Mohammed Abu Muslim, 13, was killed in Abraj al-Nada.
264. Ahmad Abu Muslim, 14, was killed in Abraj al-Nada.
265. Ahmed Abdullah al-Bahnasawi, 25, was killed in the village of Om al-Nasr in Gaza.
266. Saleh Zaghidi, 20, was killed in Rafah.
267. Alaa Abu Shbat, 23, was killed in Rafah.
268. Ahmed Hasan Saleh al-Ghalban, 23, was killed in al-Fakhari.
269. Hamada Abdallah al-Bashiti, 21, was killed in al-Fakhari.
270. Abdullah Jamal al-Samiri, 17, was killed in Khan Younis.
271. Mahmoud Ali Darwish, 40, was killed in Nusseirat.
272. Wila al-Qara, 20, was killed in Khan Younis.
273. Raafat Mohammed al-Bahloul, 35, was killed in Khan Younis.
274. Mohammed Awad Matar, 37, was killed in Beit Lahia.
275. Hamza Mohammed Abu al-Hussein, 27, was killed in Rafah.
276. Imad Hamed Alouwein, 7, was killed in a strike in Gaza City.
277. Qassem Hamed Alouwein, 4, was killed in the same strike.
278. Sara Mohammed Boustan, 13, was killed in a strike in Gaza City.
279. Rizk Ahmed al-Hayek, 2, was killed in Gaza City.
280. Mohammed Saad Mahmoud Abu Saade, 26, was killed in Khan Younis.
281. Naim Moussa Abu Jarad, 24, was killed in tank shelling on his home in Beit Hanoun along with seven members of his family.
282. Abed Moussa Abu Jarad, 30, was killed in the same attack.
283. Siham Moussa Abu Jarad, 15, was killed in the same attack.
284. Rijaa Alyan Abu Jarad, 31, was killed in the same attack.
285. Ahlam Naim Abu Jarad, 13, was killed in the same attack.
286. Hania Abdel Rahman Abu Jarad, 3, was killed in the same attack.
287. Samih Naim Abu Jarad, 1, was killed in the same attack.
288. Moussa Abdel Rahman Abu Jarad, 6, was killed in the same attack.
289. Moustafa Faysal Abu Sanina, 18, was killed in an air strike on Rafah along with two relatives.
290. Imad Faysal Abu Sanina, 18, was killed in the same attack.
291. Nizar Fayez Abu Sanina, 38, was killed in the same attack.
292. Ghassan Salem Moussa, 28, was killed in Khan Younis.
293. Mohammed Salem Shaat, 20, was killed in Khan Younis.
294. Ahmed Salem Shaat, 22, was killed in the same attack.
295. Amjad Salem Shaat, 15, was killed in the same attack.
296. Mohamed Talal al-Sanaa, 20, was killed in Rafah.

Saturday, July 19:

297. Ayad Ismail al-Rakib, 26, was killed in an attack on Khan Younis.
298. Yehya Bassam al-Sirri, 20, was killed in Khan Younis.
299. Mohammed Bassam al-Sirri, 17, was killed in the same attack.
300. Mahmoud Redda Salhia, 56, was killed in Khan Younis.
301. Moustafa Redda Salhia, 21, was killed in the same attack.
302. Mohammed Moustafa Salhia, 22, was killed in the same attack.
303. Wissam Redda Salhia, 15, was killed in the same attack.
304. Ibrahim Jamal Kamal Nasser, 13, was killed in Khan Younis.
305. Ahmed Mahmoud Hassan Aziz, 34, Khan Younis.
306. Said Ola Issa, 30, was killed in the central disrict.
307. Mohammed Awad Fares Nassar, 25, was killed in Khan Younis.
308. Mohammed Jihad al-Kara, 29, was killed in Khan Younis.
309. Rashdi Khaled Nassar, 24, was killed in the same Khan Younis.
310. Raed Walid Likan, 27, was killed in Khan Younis.
311. Raafat Ali Bahloul, 36, was killed in Khan Younis.
312. Bilal Ismail Abu Daqqah, 33, was killed in Khan Younis.
313. Mohammed Ismail Samour, 21, was killed in Khan Younis.
314. Ismail Ramadan al-Lawalhi, 21, was killed in Khan Younis.
315. Mohammed Ziad al-Rahhel, 6, was killed in Beit Lahia.
316. Mohammed Ahmed Abu Zaanounah, 36, was killed in Gaza.
317. Mohammed Rafic al-Rahhel, 22, was killed in Beit Lahia.
318. Fadel Mohammed al-Banna, 29. was killed in Jbalia.
319. Mohammed Atallah Awdeh Saadat, 25, was killed in Beit Hanoun.
320. Mohammed Abedel Rahman Abu Hamad, 25, was killed in Beit Lahia.
321. Maali Abedel Rahman Suleiman Abu Zayed, 24, al-Wista.
322. Mahmoud Abdel Hamid al-Zuweidi, 23, was killed in Beit Lahia.
323. Dalia Abdel Hamid al-Zuweidi, 37, was killed in Beit Lahia.
324. Ruaia Mahmoud al-Zuweidi, 6, was killed in Beit Lahia.
325. Nagham Mahmoud al-Zuweidi, 2, was killed in Beit Lahia.
326. Amer Hamoudah, 7, was killed in Beit Lahia.
327. Mahmoud Rizk Mohammed Hamoudah, 18, was killed in Beit Lahia.
328. Mohammed Khaled Jamil al-Zuweidi, 20, was killed in Beit Lahia.
329. Mohammed Ahmad al-Saidi, 18, was killed in Khan Younis.
330. Abdel Rahman Mohammed Awdah Barak, 23, al-Wista.
331. Tarek Samir Khalil al-Hitto, 26, was killed in al-Wista.
332. Mahmoud al-Sharif, 24, was killed in al-Wista.
333. Mohammed Fathi al-Ghalban, 23, was killed in Khan Younis.
334. Mahmoud Anwar Abu Shabab, 16, was killed in Rafah.
335. Mo’men Taysir al-Abed Abu Dan, 24, was killed in al-Wista.
336. Abdel Aziz Samir Abu Zeiter, 31, was killed in al-Wista.
337. Mohammed Ziad Zaabout, 24, was killed in Gaza.
338. Hatem Ziadah Zaabout, 22, was killed in Gaza.
339. Ahmad Maher Mohammed Abu Thuria, 25, was killed in al-Wista.
340. Abdullah Ghazi Abdullah al-Masri, 30, was killed in al-Wista.
341. Ayman Hisham al-Naaouq, 25, was killed in al-Wista.
342. Akram Mahmoud al-Matwouk, 37, was killed in Jabalia.
343. Salem Ali Abu Saadah was killed in Khan Younis.

Sunday, July 20:

344. Hosni Mahmoud al-Absi, 56, was killed in Rafah.
345. Mohammed Mahmoud Moamar, 30, was killed in Rafah,
346. Hamza Mahmoud Moamar, 21, was killed in Rafah.
347. Anas Mahmoud Moamar, 17, was killed in rafah.
348. Mohammed Ali Jundieh, 38, was killed in Gaza.
349. Mohammed Khalil al-Hayyah
350. Osama Khalil al-Hayyah
351. Khalil Osama al-Hayyah
352. Hala Saqer Abu Hin
353. Fahmi Abdel Aziz Abu Said, 29, was killed in al-Wista.
354. Ahmad Tawfiq Zannoun, 26, was killed in Rafah.
355. Sohaib Ali Jomaa Abu Qoura, 21, was killed in Rafah.
356. Homeid Sobh Mohammed Abu Foujo, 22, was killed in Rafah.
357. Toufic Marshoud, 52, was killed in Gaza.
358. Ibrahim Khalil Abd Ammar, 13, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
359. Ibrahim Salim Joumea al-Sahbani, 20, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
360. Ibrahim Arrif Ibrahim al-Ghalayini, 26, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
361. Osama Khalil Ismail al-Hayya, 30, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
362. Osama Roubhi Shahta Ayyad, 31, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
363. Isra Yassir Atieh Hamidieh, 28, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
364. Akram Mohammed Ali al-Skafi, 63, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
365. Iman Khalil Abed Ammar, 9, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
366. Iman Mohammed Ibrahim Hamadeh, 40, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
367. Ahmad Ishaq Youssef al-Ramlawi, 33, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
368. Ahmad Sammi Diab Ayyad, 27, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
369. Ahmad Mohammed Ahmad Abu Zanouna, 28, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
370. Imama Isama Khalil al-Hayya, 9, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
371. Talla Akram Ahmad al-Atwi, 7, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
372. Tawfiq Ibrawi Salem Marshoud, 52, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
373. Hatim Ziad Ali al-Zabout, 24, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
374. Khalid Riyad Mohammed Hamad, 25, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
375. Khadija Ali Moussa Shahadi, 62, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
376. Khalil Osama Khalil al-Hayya, 7, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
377. Khalil Salim Ibrahim Mousbah, 53, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
378. Dima Adil Abdullah Aslim, 2, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
379. Dina Rushdi Omar Hamadi, 15, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
380. Rahaf Akram Ismail Abu Joumea, 4, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
381. Saji Hassan Akram al-Hallaq, 4, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
382. Samia Hamid Mohammed al-Shaykh Khalil, 3, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
383. Soad Mohammed Abdel Razik al-Hallaq, 62, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
384. Samar Osama Khalil al-Hallaq, 29, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
385. Shadi Ziad Hassan Aslim, 15, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
386. Shireen Fathi Othman Ayyad, 18, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
387. Adil Abdullah Salim Aslim, 39, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
388. Assem Khalil Abed Ammar, 4, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
389. Ahed Saed Moussa al-Sirsik, 30, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
390. Ayisha Ali Mahmoud Zayid, 54, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
391. Abdel Rahman Akram Mohammed al-Skafi, 22, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
392. Abdel Rahman Abdel Razak Abdel Rahman al-Shaykh Khalil, 24, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
393. Abdullah Mansour Radwan Ammara, 23, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
394. Abed Rabboh Ahmad Mohammed Zayid, 58, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
395. Isam Atieh Said al-Skafi, 26, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
396. Ola Ziad Hassan Aslim, 11, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
397. Alaa Jamal al-Din Mohammed Bourda, 35, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
398. Ali Mohammed Hassan al-Skafi, 27, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
399. Omar Jamil Soubhi Hammouda, 10, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
400. Ghada Soubhi Sa’adi Ayyad, 9, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
401. Ghada Ibrahim Suleiman Udwan, 39, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
402. Fadi Ziad Hassan Aslim, 10, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
403. Fatima Abdel Rahim Abdel Qadir Abu Ammouna, 55, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
404. Fida’a Rafiq Diab Ayyad, 24, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
405. Fahmi Abdel Aziz Sa’ed Abu Said, 29, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
406. Qinan Hassan Akram al-Hallaq, 6, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
407. Maysa Abdel Rahman Said al-Sirsawi, 37, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
408. Mohammed Ashraf Rafiq Ayyad, 6, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
409. Mohammed Hassan Mohammad al-Skafi, 53, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
410. Mohammed Rami Fathi Ayyad, 2, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
411. Mohammed Ra’ed Ihsan Aqqila, 19, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
412. Mohammed Ziad Ali al-Zabbout, 23, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
413. Mohammed Mohammed Ali Muharrib Jundiyah, 38, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
414. Mohammed Hani Mohammad al-Halaq, 2, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
415. Marrah Shakil Ahmad al-Jammal, 11, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
416. Marwan Mounir Saleh Qunfud, 23, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
417. Marwa Salman Ahmad al-Sirsawi, 13, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
418. Moussaeb al-Khayr Salah al-Din Said al-Skafi, 27, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
419. Mona Suleiman Ahmad al-Sheikh Khalil, 49, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
420. Mona Abdel Rahman Mahmoud Ayyad, 42, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
421. Nirmin Rafiq Diab Ayyad, 20, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
422. Hala Akram Hassan al-Hallaq, 27, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
423. Hala Soubhi Saidi Ayyad, 25, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
424. Hala Saqr Hassan al-Hayya, 29, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
425. Hani Mohammed Ahmad al-Hallaq, 29, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
426. Hiba Hamid Mohammed al-Shaykh Khalil, 13, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
427. Youssef Ahmad Younis Mustafa, 62, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
428. Youssef Salim Hamto Habib, 62, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
429. Unknown
430. Mohammed Ayman al-Shaer, 5, was killed in Khan Younis.
431. Leila Hasan al-Shaer, 33, was killed in Khan Younis.
432. Salah Saleh al-Shaer, in his forties, was killed in Khan Younis.
433. Hibatullah Akram al-Shaer, 7, was killed in Khan Younis.
434. Youssef Sha’aban Ziyadeh, 44, was killed in al-Barij.
435. Jamil Sha’aban Ziyadeh, 53, was killed in the same attack.
436. Sha’aban Jamil Ziyadeh, 12, was killed in the same attack.
437. Omar Sha’aban Ziyadeh was killed in the same attack.
438. Muftiya Mohammed Ziyadeh was killed in the same attack.
439. Bayyan Abdel Latif Ziyadeh was killed in the same attack.
440. Ismail al-Qurdi
441. Mohammed Mahmoud al-Muqadama, 30, was killed in the same attack.
442. Najah Sa’ad al-Din Daraji, 65, was killed in Rafah.
443. Abdullah Youssef Daraji, 3, was killed in the same attack.
444. Mohammed Baghdar al-Dughma, 20, was killed in Beni Soheileh.
445. Mohammed Raja’ Mohammed Handam, 15, was killed in Rafah.
446. Aya Bahjat Abu Sultan, 15, was killed in Beit Lahya.
447. Hani Mohammed al-Halaq, 29, was killed in al-Ramal.
448. Suad Mohammed al-Halaq, 62, was killed in the same attack.
449. Qinan Akram al-Halaq, 5, was killed in the same attack.
450. Samar Osama al-Halaq, 29, was killed in the same attack.
451. Saji al-Halaq was killed in the same attack.
452. Ibrahim Khalil Ammar was killed in the same attack.
453. Ahmad Yassin was killed in the same attack.
454. Rayan Taysir Abu Jamea, 8, was killed in Khan Younis.
455. Fatima Mahmoud Abu Jamea was killed in the same attack.
456. Sabah Tawfiq Mahmoud Abu Jamea, 38, was killed in the same attack.
457. Rozan Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jamea, 14, was killed in the same attack. Her body was recovered from the rubble on Monday.
458. Jawdat al-Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jamea, 24, was killed in Khan Younis.
459. Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jamea, 5, was killed in the same attack.
460. Haifa Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jamea, 9, was killed in the same attack.
461. Yasmin Ahmad Salama Abu Jamea, 25, was killed in the same attack.
462. Suheila Bassam Ahmad Abu Jamea was killed in the same attack.
463. Shahinaz Walid Ahmad Abu Jamea, 1, was killed in the same attack.
464. Hossam Hossam Abu Qaynas, 5, was killed in the same attack.
465. An unidentified woman was killed in the same attack.
466. An unidentified woman in her 30s was killed in the same attack.
467. An unidentified child was killed in the same attack.
468. Ahmad Suleiman Mahmoud Sahmoud, 34, was killed in the same attack.
469. Minwa Abdel Bassit Ahmad al-Sabea, 37, was killed in Beit Hanoun.
470. Mahmoud Moussa Abu Anzar, 25, was killed in Khan Younis.
471. Turkiyah al-Abed al-Biss
472. Unidentified body in Kamal Adwan Hospital.
473. Unidentified body in Kamal Adwan Hospital.
474. Abdullah Omar al-Maghribi was killed in Rafah.
475. Najah al-Maghribi was killed in the same attack.
476. Bassem al-Brayim was killed in Khan Younis.
477. Ra’ed Mansour Nayfeh was killed in Gaza City.
478. Fuad Jaber was killed in Gaza City.
479. Mohammed Mahmoud Hussein Moammar was killed in Rafah.
480. Hamza Mahmoud Hussein Moammer was killed in the same attack.
481. Anas Mahmoud Hussein Moammer was killed in the same attack.
482. Bilal Jaber Mohammed al-Ashhab, 22, was killed in al-Mughraqa.
483. An unidentified body was recovered along with Bilal.
484. Ra’ed Ismail al-Bardawil, 26, was killed in Rafah.
485. Unknown
486. Unknown
487. Unknown
488. Unknown
489. Unknown
490. Unknown
491. Unknown
492. Unknown

Monday, July 21:

493. Sumoud Nasr Siyam, 26, was killed in Rafah.
494. Mohammed Mahrous Salam Siyam, 25, was killed in the same attack.
495. Badr Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 25, was killed in the same attack.
496. Ahmad Ayman Mahrous Siyam, 17, was killed in the same attack.
497. Mustafa Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 12, was killed in the same attack.
498. Ghaydaa Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 8, was killed in the same attack.
499. Shireen Mohammed Salam Siyam, 32, was killed in the same attack.
500. Dalal Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 8, was killed in the same attack.
501. Kamal Mahrous Salama Siyam, 27, was killed in the same attack.
502. Abdullah Trad Abu Hjeir, 16, was killed in Nusseirat.
503. Ahmad Moussa Shaykh al-Eid, 23, was killed in Rafah.
504. Zakariah Massoud al-Ashqar, 24, was killed in Gaza City.
505. Kamal Talal Hassan al-Masri, 22, was killed in Beit Hanoun.
506. Ra’ed Isam Daoud, 30, was killed in al-Zeitoun.
507. Fatima Abu Ammouna, 55, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
508. Ahmad Mohammed Azzam, 19, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
509. Mahmoud Hassan al-Nakhala was killed in Gaza.
510. Kamal Massoud, 21, was killed in al-Zeitoun.
511. Saleh Badawi, 31, was killed in al-Zeitoun.
512. Unidentified body in the Gaza European hospital.
513. Majdi Mahmoud al-Yazaji, 56, was killed in Gaza City.
514. Mohammed Samih al-Ghalban was killed in Gaza City.
515. Karam Ibrahim Atieh Barham, 25, was killed in Khan Younis.
516. Nidal Ali Abu Daqqa, 26, was killed in Khan Younis.
517. Nidal Joumea Abu Assi, 43, was killed in Khan Younis.
518. Mohammed Mahmoud al-Maghribi, 24, was killed in Khan Younis.
519. Mayar al-Yazaji, 2, was killed in al-Karama.
520. Yasmin al-Yazaji was killed in the same attack.
521. Wajdi al-Yazaji was killed in the same attack.
522. Safinaz al-Yazaji was killed in the same attack.
523. Unidentified child, 5, was killed in the same attack.
524. Mahran Kamel Jondeyah, 32, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
525. Tamer Nayef Jondeyah, 30, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
526. Rahma Ahmad Jondeyah, 50, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
527. Ibrahim Shaaban Bakroun, 37, was killed in al-Shaaf
528. An unidentified person was killed in the Israeli shelling of Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. The attack killed three others and wounded 50.
529. An unidentified person was killed in the same attack.
530. An unidentified person was killed in the same attack.
531. An unidentified person was killed in the same attack.
532. Youssef Ghazi Hamidieh, 25, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
533. Moataz Jamal Hamidieh, 18, was killed in the same attack.
534. Aed Jamal Hamidieh, 21, was killed in the same attack.
535. Aya Yasser al-Qassas was killed in Gaza City.
536. Aesha Yasser al-Qassas was killed in the same attack.
537. Nasma Iyad al-Qassas was killed in the same attack.
538. Lamyaa Iyad al-Qassas was killed in the same attack.
539. Israa al-Qassas was killed in the same attack.
540. Yasmin al-Qassas was killed in the same attack.
541. Arwa al-Qassas was killed in the same attack.
542. Aliaa al-Syam was killed in Gaza City.
543. Fayza al-Syam was killed in Gaza City.
544. Soumaya al-Syam was killed in Gaza City.
545. Fatima Ahmad al-Arja was killed in Rafah.
546. Atieh Youssef Dardouna, 26, was killed in Jabalia.
547. Unidentified was killed in Rafah.
548. Unidentified was killed in Rafah.
549. Unidentified was killed in Rafah.
550. Fadi Azmi Brayaem was killed in Deir al-Balah.
551. Othman Salem Brayaem was killed in the same attack.
552. Salem Abdel Majeed Brayaem was killed in the same attack.
553. Unidentified was killed in al-Shamaa mosque in Gaza City.
554. Unidentified was killed in al-Shamaa mosque in Gaza City.
555. Ibrahim Dib Ahmad al-Kilani, 53, was killed in a strike on Israa tower in Gaza City along with his wife and their five children. Four members of his wife’s family were also killed in the attack.
556. Taghrid Shaaban Mohammed al-Kilani, 45, was killed in the same attack.
557. Yaser Ibrahim Dib al-Kilani, 8, was killed in the same attack.
558. Elias Ibrahim Dib al-Kilani, 4, was killed in the same attack.
559. Sawsan Ibrahim Dib al-Kilani, 11, was killed in the same attack.
560. Rim Ibrahim Dib al-Kilani, 12, was killed in the same attack.
561. Yaseen Ibrahim Dib al-Kilani, 9, was killed in the same attack.
562. Mahmoud Shaaban Mohammed Derbas, 37, was killed in the same attack.
563. Aida Shaaban Mohammed Derbas, 47, was killed in the same attack.
564. Soura Shaaban mohammed Derbas, 41, was killed in the same attack.
565. Inas Shaaban Mohammed Derbas, 30, was killed in the same attack.
566. Jihad Mahmoud al-Maghribi, 22, was killed in Khan Younis.
567. Fadi Bashir al-Abadleh, 22, was killed in Khan Younis.
568. Unknown
569. Unknown
570. Unknown

Tuesday, July 22:

571. Wael Jamal Harb, 32, was killed in Gaza.
572. Hasan Khodor Bakr, 60, was killed in Gaza.
573. Mahmoud Suleiman Abu Sobha, 55, was killed in Khan Younis.
574. Abdullah Ismail al-Bahisi, 27, was killed in Deir al-Balah.
575. Misaab Saleh Salameh, 19, was killed in Khan Younis.
576. Mohammed Nasr Haroun, 38, was killed in al-Nsayrat.
577. Naji Jamal al-Fajm, 26, was killed in Khan Younis.
578. Ibtihal Ibrahim al-Rimahi was killed in Deir al-Balah.
579. Youssef Ibrahim al-Rimahi was killed in Deir al-Balah.
580. Iman Ibrahim al-Rimahi was killed in Deir al-Balah.
581. Salwa Abu Monifi was killed in Deir al-Balah.
582. Samira Abu Monifi was killed in Deir al-Balah.
583. Haytham Samir al-Agha, 26, was killed in Khan Younis.
584. Walid Suleiman Abu Daher, 21, was killed in Khan Younis.
585. Yasmin Ahmad Abu Mor, 25, was killed in Rafah.
586. Sameh Zahir al-Sowafiri, 29, was killed in Rafah.
587. Mohammed Moussa Abu Fayad, 36, was killed in Rafah.
588. Fatima Hasan Azzam, 70, was killed in al-Zaytoun.
589. Maryam Hasan Azzam, 50, was killed in al-Zaytoun.
590. Unknown
591. Unknown
592. Unknown
593. Unknown
594. Unknown
595. Unknown
596. Unknown
597. Unknown
598. Unknown
599. Unknown
600. Unknown
601. Unknown
602. Unknown
603. Unknown
604. Unknown
605. Unknown
606. Soha Naim al-Kharwat, 25, was killed in north Gaza along with her daughter Mona. She was pregnant.
607. Mona Rami al-Kharwat, 4, was killed in the same attack.
608. Ahmad Salah abu Sido, 17, was killed in al-Mahatta.
609. Mahmoud Slim Mostafa Daraj, 22, was killed in Jabalia.
610. Ibrahim Sobhi al-Firi, 25, was killed in Beit Lahia.
611. Ahmad Assaad al-Boudi, 24, was killed in Beit Lahia.
612. Unknown was killed in Beit Lahia.
613. Unknown was killed in al-Braij camp.
614. Unknown was killed in al-Braij camp.
615. Unknown was killed in al-Braij camp.
616. Hasan Shaaban Khamisi, 28, was killed in al-Maghazi camp.
617. Tareq Fayeq Hajjaj, 22, was killed in Gaza.
618. Ahmad Ziad Hajjaj, 21, was killed in the same attack.
619. Mohammed Shahadeh Hajjaj, 31, was killed in the same attack.
620. Fayza Saleh Abdul Rahman Hajjaj, 66, was killed in the same attack.
621. Rawan Ziad Hajjaj, 15, was killed in the same attack.
622. Youssef Mohammed Hajjaj, 28, was killed in the same attack.
623. Hakema Nafea Abu Edwan, 75, was killed in Rafah.
624. Najah Nafea Abu Edwan, 85, was killed in the same attack.
625. Misaab Nafeth al-Ajala, 30, was killed in al-Shujayeh.
626. Khalaf Atieh Abu Sanima, 18, was killed in Rafah.
627. Khalil Atieh Abu Sanima, 20, was killed in the same attack.

As the death toll from the Israel government’s air strikes (and ground invasion) increases, consider former Rep. Ron Paul’s January 9, 2009 speech on the US House of Representatives floor explaining that Israel helped encourage the growth of Hamas to counteract the Palestine Liberation Organization. Paul, RPI’s chairman and founder, proceeds to discuss in the speech the similarity between Israel’s past actions regarding Hamas and the US Central Intelligence Agency’s support for radicalizing Muslims to compete with the Soviet Union.

Watch Paul’s speech here:

Richard Sale opens a window on the Israel government’s effort to aid Hamas’ growth in his June 18, 2002 United Press International article:

In the wake of a suicide bomb attack Tuesday on a crowded Jerusalem city bus that killed 19 people and wounded at least 70 more, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, took credit for the blast.

Israeli officials called it the deadliest attack in Jerusalem in six years.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon immediately vowed to fight “Palestinian terror” and summoned his cabinet to decide on a military response to the organization that Sharon had once described as “the deadliest terrorist group that we have ever had to face.”

Active in Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas wants to liberate all of Palestine and establish a radical Islamic state in place of Israel. It is has gained notoriety with its assassinations, car bombs and other acts of terrorism.

But Sharon left something out.

Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.

Israel “aided Hamas directly — the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),” said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.

Israel’s support for Hamas “was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,” said a former senior CIA official.

Read the complete article here.

John Reed in Ashkelon reports that, as of Monday, more than 500 Palestinians in Gaza had been killed in Israeli shelling from the land, air and sea.

Members of Israel’s Peace Now and its pro-peace activist camp are increasingly being shouted down or physically attacked.

At a demonstration in a ‘mixed city’ Haifa, counter demonstrators beat participants, including the city’s Israeli-Arab deputy mayor, a family physician, Dr. Suhail Assad and his son, chanting “Death to Arabs”. More detail in Israel’s daily, Haaretz.

On another march in Jerusalem on Sunday evening organised by parents at Hand in Hand, a bilingual school for Israeli and Arab children, participants were heckled by passers-by, one of whom shouted “Go to Gaza”.

Israeli shelter2

Above (FT): Civilians take cover in a Southern Israeli air raid shelter as several rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip

children palestine

Above: Palestinians have nowhere to hide

In Tel Aviv last week, about 250 Jewish protesters video were set upon, punched and pushed by a well-organised group of rightwingers in an attack that left several people with bruises, black eyes, or other injuries. Another, which mustered about 1,000 people, was attacked by rightwing activists, who threw eggs and plastic bottles.

missile downed iron dome shield

The Iron Dome exploded an incoming rocket overhead as the two groups fought in what one participant called a “surreal” moment.

 

Award winning former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry has been told by an intelligence source that the United States is in possession of satellite imagery which shows that Ukrainian troops were responsible for the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

In the absence of any proper investigation, media rhetoric over the last few days has firmly pointed the finger of blame for the downing of the aircraft on Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels, but Parry’s source tells a different story.

What I’ve been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms.

The source said CIA analysts were still not ruling out the possibility that the troops were actually eastern Ukrainian rebels in similar uniforms but the initial assessment was that the troops were Ukrainian soldiers. There also was the suggestion that the soldiers involved were undisciplined and possibly drunk, since the imagery showed what looked like beer bottles scattered around the site, the source said.

Although the establishment press has attempted to deride any questioning of the official narrative that Ukrainian rebels were responsible for the incident by invoking the tired “conspiracy theory” pejorative, Parry can hardly be dismissed as a crank given his key role in covering the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press and Newsweek. Indeed, Parry’s investigative work on intelligence matters, for which he was awarded the George Polk Award, suggests that the information provided by his source is worthy of serious attention.

U.S. and Ukrainian authorities continue to insist that Moscow-backed separatists were responsible for the tragedy, asserting that a BUK missile system was used to bring down the airliner. However, this was contradicted by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema, who stated, “The military told the president after the passenger plane had been shot down that the terrorists did not possess our Buk missile systems.”

In a related development, audio experts who conducted a study into the authenticity of a recording released by Ukrainian authorities which implicated Russian-backed rebels as being responsible for the missile attack on MH17 concluded that the tape was fabricated.

“The tape’s second fragment consists of three pieces but was presented as a single audio recording. However, a spectral and time analysis has showed that the dialog was cut into pieces and then assembled. Short pauses in the tape are very indicative: the audio file has preserved time marks which show that the dialog was assembled from various episodes, the expert said,” reports ITAR-TASS.

One would have thought that the Zionist Anglo-American war cabal would learn from their failures in propaganda warfare, especially now when their credibility is at rock bottom.

Post 9-11 and the Iraq wars, people the world over have got wiser to the devious propaganda ploys orchestrated by the global mass media.

Pointing an accusing finger within an hour of a false flag operation no longer carries any weight even if it is repeated hour on the hour by CNN, FOX, BBC etc. without an iota of evidence.

Obama and Hillary Clinton, war criminals and mass murderers, for all the bravado and rhetoric, sound hollow and come across as devious and opportunistic.

In trying to lay blame at Russia and the Donesk opposition forces that are fighting against the Kiev coup leaders installed by the Neocons, the propaganda stooges of the mainstream media have tripped themselves by making the most elementary mistakes.

The Daily Mail (UK) carried a report by Australian journalist, Demjin Doroschenko that there was looting at the site of the crash. He drew the conclusion purely on the fact that, he had found not one wallet that contained money while he was going through some of the passengers’ belongings to retrieve personal information on Australian victims.

In one brief statement, this pseudo journalist hopes to malign the resistance forces who have been battling the illegitimate Kiev regime installed by the Neocons and are now guarding the crash site.

In any country when a person unlawfully enters a crime scene, he would have been indicted. Doroschenko would like us to believe that he is not a looter but was merely retrieving personal information. He has also alleged that the site was not properly secured. But, he took upon himself to play the role of an investigator. He has no business to enter the site and to retrieve any information. He went specifically for the wallets. If his intent was genuine and sincere, he would look for passports. We also know that intelligence operators often posed as journalist.

Journalists have no right and or authority of any kind to enter a crime scene and examine evidence related to the crime.

Was any journalist allowed to enter ground zero immediately following the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9-11?

Was any journalist allowed to enter the Pentagon crash site and rummage through the wreckage to retrieve information on 9-11?

Then we have Michael Bociurkiw, an alleged observer from the OSCE who said, it basically looks like the biggest crime scene in the world right now, guarded by a bunch of guys in uniform with heavy firepower who are quite inhospitable.

Why is this propaganda stooge complaining that the site was being guarded by armed personnel? On the one hand, Doroschenko complains that the site was not guarded, but here we have an OSCE “observer” stating categorically that the site was guarded by heavily armed guards but, because he was not allowed into the crime scene, he vented his frustrations by making derogatory remarks about the guards. Putting tapes around a crime scene is S.O.P. and the purpose is to prevent any unlawful intrusion. And the crime scene is spread over a wide area – a few sq. kilometres. Security personnel are still combing the area for debris from the crash. It is therefore impossible to effectively secure the crash site entirely when it is spread over a few sq. kilometres!

He is but an “observer” and he should just observe but he has no authority whatsoever to enter the site as an investigator. Only duly qualified investigators are allowed.

Let us examine his words again, especially “looks like the biggest crime scene in the world right now.” What is the motive underlying such a statement?

Simple!

It is to divert attention from the war crimes committed by Zionist Israel in the biggest crime scene at the moment – GAZA where mass murder is taking place against innocent men, women and children.

The headlines of the Zionist-controlled mainstream media must now focus on MH 17 and away from Gaza so that Israel may continue their wanton massacres. But, this is not to say that the deliberate murder of the crew and passengers of MH 17 is not a heinous crime. It is! But, this false flag operation was committed to achieve bigger agendas, one of which is to divert attention from the heroic resistance by the Palestinians against Israel.

In my many articles on false flag operations, I have asserted categorically that it is the S.O.P. of Israel to piggy back on someone else’s false flag operations so as to deny any responsibility.

It is no coincidence that the shooting down of Malaysia’s MH 17 coincided with the ground invasion of Gaza.

Israel knows too well the intentions of the war party who have suffered setbacks after setbacks in trying to bait Russia to invade Ukraine thereby justifying a counter attack by the US and NATO forces. Sanctions to isolate Russia did not work and in fact have boomeranged! The latest round of sanctions proposed by US was not supported by the EU. This led to the unilateral sanctions by Obama.

A false flag operation was therefore needed to influence public opinion with a view to isolate and demonizing Russia, thereby setting the stage for a UN-declared sanctions regime against Russia coupled with further war provocations.

The global mass media was already primed to launch the propaganda campaign. Hillary Clinton was only too willing to beat the drums of war to strengthen her image as a “strong leader” committed to a war agenda to maintain the Zionist Anglo-American hegemony.

The day before the downing of MH 17, the Kiev regime deployed the Buk surface-to-air missiles to Eastern Ukraine for that said purpose. Such a deployment would make sense and deemed reasonable if the Opposition forces had aircrafts. They don’t even have tanks and or sophisticated military hardware. Their weapons were taken from Ukraine’s military bases.

The following facts cannot be denied or refuted by the Kiev regime:

Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow the plane to deviate from the regular route to the north, towards “the anti-terrorist operation zone”?

Why was airspace over the warzone not closed for civilian flights, especially since the area was not entirely covered by radar navigation systems?

We need also to ask the Kiev regime, why target Malaysia’s MH 17?

Let me suggest an answer.

To follow the template of MH 370 investigations! To be precise, to have another country take control of the investigation as Australia has done in the case of MH 370 as the alleged crash site was “near” Australia. It would be impossible for Malaysia to be in control as the search for MH 370 had to be directed from Perth. Already, there are suggestions that a European country should head the investigation even though the plane is a Malaysian registered plane.

There will be another cover-up so that there will be no evidence linking the mass murder of the crew and passengers of MH 17 to their Western perpetrators.

Obama and the war party have made a fatal mistake. In assuming that they have total control of the global mass media, Obama and the war party immediately initiated a global propaganda war against Russia regardless of the evidence. It is unfortunate for the war party’s plans that the plane crashed into an area controlled by the Resistance forces which makes it that much more difficult to plant evidence as Doroschenko and others had attempted.

We have not forgotten that the US Navy shot down an Iranian civilian jet and mass murdered all the passengers. No apology was proffered by the US war criminals to Iran. They are now condoning the mass massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel. Yet, these war criminals have the audacity to point a finger at Russia and the resistance forces against the illegitimate Kiev regime.

Russia is not Malaysia and has more resources at its disposal. It is a military power.

It is a matter of time when the truth about who fired the missile at MH 17 and from where will be established.

I am confident that when the truth is out, Obama, Hillary Clinton and the war party will be exposed as serial liars.

And not only would the US suffer a humiliating propaganda defeat, it would also have disastrous financial and economic consequences – the world would turn their backs on the US, the dollar and hasten the final phase of the global financial tsunami – the End Game.

I am disappointed with the Malaysian mass media which have uncritically reproduced the propaganda spun by the Zionist-controlled global mass media.

There was no attempt to present a balanced view as to the events leading to the downing of MH 17.

No views were sought from Russia. Why are Malaysian mass media quoting uncritically reports from US, UK and Australia but none from RT, and other Russian mass media? Why highlight Obama’s finger pointing when there was no evidence to support his allegations?

Why is the Kiev regime exempted from responsibility?

The airspace is under the control of the illegitimate Kiev regime. The emergency personnel at the site are from the Kiev regime and as such to allege uncritically that the Ukrainian Resistance was obstructing is without basis.

What is so wrong to put the bodies in refrigerated coaches to preserve the bodies for identification?

There are enough pictures showing even the observers from OSCE wearing face mask to shield them from the bodies.

Yet, when some bodies have not been removed to the refrigerated coaches (as not all bodies could be removed at once), the Western press levy criticisms that such bodies have been left to rot!

Yet, this standard operating procedure of preserving bodies under difficult circumstances have been ridiculed and criticised as an attempt to remove evidence. Where is the objectivity?

It is about time that we in Malaysia do not fall prey to Western propaganda.

On the issue of the black box – should it not be kept safe and secure rather than being left at the site pending the arrival of Malaysia’s delegation?

When Malaysia exercised the right of ownership to the MH 370 black box, if and when it is recovered, there were third countries challenging that right. Malaysia had to send a delegation to the UK to verify this inalienable right!

Malaysia should not let emotions get the better of sound judgment and not make hasty accusations.

Malaysia was severely criticised for MH 370. Russia and its leaders are being blamed for something for which they are not responsible.

Yet, having suffered such one-sided criticism for MH 370, one would have thought that we Malaysians should be more circumspect in pointing fingers at Russia and its leaders.

Stop this nonsense and wait for full investigations!

Shame on you Malaysian mass media! Why are you in cahoots with the Obama regime in spewing nonsense?

If the truth shows that the fascist Kiev regime was responsible for downing MH 17, is Malaysia willing to apologise to Russia for the false accusations?

Will our mass media pay compensation to the leaders of Russia for the defamatory articles they carried?

Malaysian mass media should not be the mouthpiece of Western propaganda!

Mish is a highly-respected financial blogger. His Global Economic Analysis site routinely wins awards such as:

One of Mish’s trademarks is to speak with knowledgeable people in various subject areas, and report on what they said.

Today, Mish debunked one of the main pieces of video “evidence” claimed by the mainstream media to prove that Russia was behind the shootdown of the Malaysian plane over Ukraine:

Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks Russian and reads Ukrainian provided this update three hours ago.

Hello Mish,

On Friday, the Daily Mail, one of the major UK tabloids carried photos and video of what was alleged to be a rebel “Buk” launcher heading back to Russia. The article carried a claim from some Ukrainian source that the launcher was missing several missiles after having shot them at the Malaysian 777. The article was prominently linked to the Drudge Report, and so was probably viewed by several million people.

Today, this meme made it into Uncle Sam’s official narrative, as per the following New York Times excerpt:

On the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Mr. Kerry referred to a video that the Ukrainians have made public showing an SA-11 unit heading back to Russia after the downing of the plane with “a missing missile or so.”

The video referenced by the New York Times was, in fact, posted on the Facebook account of the Ukrainian Interior Minister. The allegation was that the launcher was crossing the border with Russia.

However, going by the billboard and other features of the scenery, Russian bloggers and news sources claim to have identified the road in the video as having been taken in or near the town of Krasnoarmeisk (“Krasnoarmiysk” in Ukrainian), which has been under Kiev’s control since May.

In fact, the billboard is supposedly advertising a Krasnoarmeisk car dealership. Also, one of the structures in the background is said to be a construction materials store on Gorkii Street, Krasnoarmeisk.

Please note that this town is (very roughly) 120 kilometers from the Russian border and 80 kilometers from where the Malaysian 777 went down. And again, it has been under Kiev’s control since May.

At least one other clip of the “Russian Buk” that has been made available also suggests that the Ukrainians are showing their own equipment. I’m still working on researching that one for you.

Jacob

The Video in Question

It is beyond incredibly sloppy for Ukraine to release such a video with a clear billboard of something in Ukraine-held territory, purportedly showing a Buk missile launcher headed back to Russia.

And we are supposed to believe Kiev? Kerry?

Please be serious. If you are really interested in the truth, you do not resort to such easily disproved and sloppy bullsheet.

This is – of course – not the first piece of video “evidence” trumpeted by the MSM which has been debunked.

 

As if the people of Gaza have not suffered enough, Israel has escalated its brutal assault on Gaza in the last 24 hours.

Last Saturday a fantastic 100,000 marched to the Israeli embassy – this Saturday’s demonstration is even more important.

Over the weekend more than 150 Palestinians have been killed, 67 in one attack alone last night including 17 children and 14 women. The media continues to accept the rhetoric of ‘limiting casualty levels’ and ‘targeting militants’ and the politicians refuse to condemn Israel and call their action what it is, a massacre of innocents.

Why? Because Israel remains the West’s main ally in the Middle East.

That is why we have called a national demonstration this Saturday starting at the Israeli Embassy and marching to Parliament. Last week 100,000 of us descended on the Israeli Embassy, this Saturday we are taking our anger to the centre of political power in Britain.

National demonstrations are the best way to show the government that the majority in Britain oppose their disgraceful support for the Israeli assault.

We are asking all our supporters around the country to organise transport to get the maximum numbers to London next Saturday.

Check for details as they emerge on the Stop the War web site. We will email further details later in the week.

National Demonstration: Saturday 26th July. 
Meet 12 noon at Israeli Embassy. Nearest tube: High Street Kensington. March to Parliament.
Organised by Stop the War, PSC, Friends of Al-Aqsa, CND, BMI, MAB and Palestine Forum in Britain.

In a sinister ultimatum laced with dark undertones, Harry Levy, President of the London Diamond Bourse, referring to the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza, has written to colleagues in Israel telling them “we must ‘finish the job’, with hopefully the Palestinians wanting to ‘live for Palestine rather than die for Palestine’.

It’s not clear how Mr. Levy, who describes himself as “an outsider”, intends to help “finish the job”. At best this would necessitate bludgeoning Palestinians into submission; at worst it is a recipe for genocide.

This brazen, partisan intervention in support of Israel’s latest assault on the defenceless besieged residents of Gaza may well be a reaction to the growing calls from Palestinian civil society and human rights activists in many countries for people of conscience to reject diamonds from Israel, where the industry is an important source of funding for the military.

On Sunday an article in the Israeli diamond industry website revealed that Levy sent a letter to the president of the Israeli Diamond Exchange indicating his support for the illegal Israeli military action in Gaza.

In menacing and inflammatory tones, he expressed concern about the situation in Israel without displaying any comparable concern for the defenceless victims of Israel’s aggression in Gaza which has so far claimed the lives of more than 500 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are women, children and elderly.

In a not so subtle indication of his lack of enthusiasm for a proposed ceasefire, Levy said it “was good in some ways, but always after a few months it goes back to the same situation”.

He is also reported to have stated that peace will not come about until Hamas and its allies gives Israel a proper commitment to recognise it as a country with a majority of Jewish people “within boundaries in its present position”. This amounts to an endorsement of racist character of the ethnic cleansed Jewish state,  a rejection of the 1967 borders as the basis of the internationally accepted two state solution, and a rejection of the Palestinian right of return as set out in UN Resolution 194.

In an encouragement to Israel to continue with its latest orgy of violence and bloodshed, he expresses his fear that “Israel will again stop and allow the [sic] Hamas to re-arm and prepare for the next round”.

His intervention could be ignored but for the fact that the diamond industry is of critical importance to the Israeli economy, which is heavily reliant on diamond exports for the foreign currency needed to sustain Israel’s occupation and wars of aggression in the region.

His partisan intervention is particularly foolhardy at a time when growing numbers of people are being alerted to the trade in Israeli diamonds, which many believe should be regarded as blood diamonds and banned.

In recent times human rights activists have staged protests in London, Dublin, Hong Kong, Basel, Zurich, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Vicenza and New York to highlight the trade in Israeli blood diamonds.

In 2011 a broad spectrum of Palestinian society, represented by over fifty different organisation including trade unions, farmers,  fishermen and others, called on people of conscience to reject diamonds from Israel.

In 2013 South African human rights groups, trade unions and major civil society organisations called for Israel to be expelled from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and an end to the export of rough diamonds from South Africa to Israel.

The London Diamond Bourse is an integral part of the British jewellery industry and this provocative statement by its leader tarnishes the entire industry which human rights activists already accuse of laundering Israeli blood diamonds under the umbrella of the discredited Kimberley Process regulatory scheme.

Harry Levy is a leading figure in the global diamond industry and has held a number of roles throughout his career one of which was chairman of the British Jewellers Association.

Simon Rainer, the present head of the British jewellery Association, previously posed the question : “what if a democratically elected government is using diamond wealth to suppress indigenous populations?” Well that is precisely what is happening now in Gaza. Revenue from the Israeli diamond industry is being used by the regime to slaughter Palestinians. The violence, which many observers believe amounts to war crimes, is being encouraged by the head of the London Diamond Bourse – a major centre for the distribution of diamonds from Israel throughout the British jewellery market.

According to data published by the Israeli Bureau of Statistics, in 2013 Israeli diamond export to the UK were valued at $ 475 million.

The British Jewellers Association has so far remained silent about the events in Gaza, but unless it disassociates itself from Levy’s statement its silence will be seen as tacit approval.

The London Diamond Bourse and the British Jewellers Association should denounce the comments of Harry Levy and ask that he withdraw them immediately. His position as head of leading pillar of the jewellery industry is untenable and he should resign forthwith.

Along with that, British jewellers should heed the call from Palestinian civil society and take immediate steps to end the trade in diamonds from Israel.

The diamond industry has acted before to stem the flow of blood diamonds used by rebel groups when diamond-funded human rights violations made global headlines over a decade ago.  Today, however, blood diamonds that fund the world’s fourth most powerful military force, which has slaughtered over 500 Palestinians in Gaza in the past two weeks, continue to flood the market. Jewellers should be aware that cut and polished blood diamonds are not just a threat to the lives and well being of people in Gaza – they also threaten the diamond brand image which will be indelibly linked to Israel’s bloodletting and war crimes in Gaza.

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces continued airstrikes and artillery assaults on the Gaza Strip Monday for the 14th day, killing multiple members of three extended families as the death toll tops 500.

The latest strikes in Gaza City killed five members of the al-Yaziji family, including Yasmin Nayif al-Yaziji, Mayar Nayif al-Yaziji, two, Wajdi al-Yaziji, Safinaz al-Yaziji, and Anas al-Yaziji, five.

In Khan Younis, Karam Ibrahim Atiyeh Barham, 25, Nidal Ali Abu Daqqa, 26, Nidal Jumaa Asi, 43, and Muhammad Mahmoud al-Mughrabi, 24, were killed in an airstrike, and Mahran Kamil Jundiya, Majdi Mahmoud al-Yaziji, 56, and Samih al-Ghalban were killed in eastern Gaza City.

Three others were killed in ongoing fighting in the besieged Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City.

Earlier, an Israeli airstrike killed 11 members of the Siyam family in Rafah, including an eight-month old baby and two other children.

Sumud Nasser Siyam, 26, Muhammad Mahrous Salam Siyam, 25, Badir Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 25, Ahmad Ayman Mahrous Siyam, 17, Mustafa Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 12, Ghayda Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 8, Sherin Muhammad Salam Siyam, 32, Dalal Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 8 months, and Kamal Mahrous Salamah Siyam, 27, were pulled from the rubble.

In Khan Younis, at least 26 members of the Abu Jami family were killed by Israeli shelling, after more bodies were pulled from the rubble.

Earlier, medics identified 13 victims as Jawdat Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jami, 24, Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jami, 5, Hayfa Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jami, 9, Yasmin Ahmad Salamah Abu Jami, 25, Suheila Bassam Abu Jami, Shahinaz Walid Muhammad Abu Jami, one-year-old, Rayan Abu Jami, 9, an elderly woman Fatima Abu Jami, Rozan Abu Jami, 14, and Ahmad Salhoub, 34, a next door neighbor.

Bilal Abu Daqqa and Abdul-Rahman al-Qarra were killed in an airstrike on the al-Mughrabi family home east of Khan Younis, while the body of Mahmoud al-Nakhala was pulled out from underneath rubble in Gaza City.

Two more bodies were pulled form the rubble in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood, while one person was killed in al-Nuseirat, fisherman Raed Bardawil in Rafah, Zakariya Masoud al-Ashqar, 24, and Raed Issam Dawood, 33, in Zaytoun, and Kamal Talal Hasan al-Masri, 22, in Beit Hanoun.

Diplomatic push

Gaza’s emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said many of the more than 150 Palestinians killed on Sunday — the bloodiest day of fighting in Gaza in years — were women and children.

The Security Council held urgent talks on the conflict, expressing “serious concern about the growing numbers of casualties.”

“The members of the Security Council call for an immediate cessation of hostilities,” said Rwandan ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana, whose country chairs the 15-member council.

Late Sunday, the armed wing of Hamas claimed it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City and West Bank towns.

“The Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades,” a spokesman using the nom de guerre Abu Obeida said in a televised address.

Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor denied a soldier had been kidnapped, saying: “Those rumors are untrue.”

However a spokeswoman for the Israeli military said they were investigating the claim.

During the Security Council talks, Palestinian envoy Ryad Mansour called for decisive steps to end the violence, and voiced frustration with what he termed the world body’s failure to take a strong stand.

“The Council failed again and again to shoulder its responsibility,” Mansour told reporters.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was also in Doha where he urged Israel to “exercise maximum restraint”.

“Too many innocent people are dying…(and) living in constant fear,” he told a news conference in Doha.

So far, ceasefire proposals have been rejected by Hamas which has pressed on with its own attacks.

The Doctors Without Borders charity urged Israel to “stop bombing civilians trapped in the Gaza Strip”, noting the majority of the injured arriving in the al-Shifa hospital were women and children.

Around the flickering, dim light of a candle nearly gone, the family of Abu Mohammed Shabet gathered in their house in Hayy al-Touffah, north-east of Gaza City, to break their fast. In the background, they could hear explosions caused by bombs fired by Israeli tanks positioned on the eastern borders of the Strip, aimed at the houses of unarmed civilians.

Gaza – As soon as the family finished their meal, Abu Mohammed tried to calm his frightened children who were asking him to flee the house and take refuge with some relatives downtown in hopes that it would be a little safer there. But the father insisted on staying home.

“Nothing is going to happen to us. Do not worry, the bombs are far away from us,” Abu Mohammed reassured them.

As soon as he finished his sentence, a powerful explosion was heard and a large fire broke out in a hall at the house where they were gathered. Abu Mohammed was in deep shock. He did not grasp the fact that his house was targeted, especially since the power had been down for three days.

It all happened so fast, a few seconds that Abu Mohammed experienced as days, months, even years. He saw something he had “never seen before” in his 59 years.

He told Al-Akhbar, “my little children’s limbs scattered before me.” He did not really see them, it was too dark but he felt them. He did not pay much attention to the neighbors’ screams and cries of ‘God is great,’ as they tried to save them. His tongue was tied and his voice failed to cry out for help.

He went on feeling his way through [the debris], looking for his children, his hands immediately sensing heat as soon as they laid on the body of one of his sons whom he could not identify. “What is this? Who are you? What’s happening to you?” He asked many questions in a few of seconds, but all remained unanswered. He was talking to a lifeless body…

He lifted [his son’s hand] and felt warm drops coming down from his body.

“That’s when I started yelling as loud as I could. I did not know where I was or where my children were, their warm bodies terrified me, and I felt that I had lost them all,” Abu Mohammed told Al-Akhbar from his hospital bed in al-Shifa’a Medical Center.
He then asked, “What is happening? What is all this? Is this a nightmare?”

Al-Akhbar asked him what exactly happened to him, but he insisted that he had no memory of his endurance in the darkness; he only remembers the blood of his children and that he could not tell them apart. Then, he was blinded by a flashing light coming from rescue workers. He lost consciousness and woke up later at the hospital.

During the interview, Abu Mohammed learned that his three children were martyred. He cried out “Impossible, oh God no, do not deprive me of them. I have not seen them oh God, I still want them. Oh God, I promised to buy them new clothes for Eid and I have not kept my promise.”

We approached him, trying to comfort him, but he cried out, “is the shelling and destruction not enough? There was also no electricity to help me save at least one of them.”

“Maybe some of them were martyred as they were trying to extricate them, maybe they were alive but the lack of electricity killed them,” he sighed.

Electricity has been cut off in large parts of Gaza, and most areas have been plunged into complete darkness, only receiving electricity for about four hours a day.

Here, the night has become a fearful ghost, haunting Gaza’s residents. Families who have evaded the shelling so far are also facing long dreadful nights, overwhelmed by the sounds of explosions caused by missiles fired from military aircrafts or arterially shelling targeting civilians’ houses, amid power cuts that shut Gazans from the outside world.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

As a follow-up to the June summit meeting of the G77 + China leaders, held in Santa Cruz, the Bolivian government and the Bolivian Workers Central (COB) sponsored an “Anti-Imperialist International Trade Union Conference” in Cochabamba, June 30-July 2.

The conference was attended by representatives of unions in 22 countries, affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). Founded in 1945 as a postwar international labour organization, parallel to the United Nations, the WFTU became during the Cold War years a federation primarily of unions led by members of pro-Moscow Communist parties. Although it declined precipitously after the fall of the Soviet bloc, in recent years the WFTU has experienced a certain revival, and now claims a membership of 86 million in 120 countries. The Cochabamba conference marked the integration of Bolivia’s COB in the federation.

At its closing plenary session, the conference adopted an “Anti-Imperialist political thesis,” published below, outlining an “anti-imperialist, anti-colonial and anti-capitalist” strategy aimed at pointing the way toward a socialist world order. It is a strong statement of solidarity with anti-imperialist liberation movements and the “process of change” in Bolivia and other Latin American countries.

Addressing the closing session, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales called on workers around the world to prepare to confront new forms of imperialist aggression and plunder in the coming years. In this connection, he identified four phases in history when the world’s empires had agreed to “carve up” the world among themselves in spheres of influence.

The first, he said, was the Treaty of Tordecillas in 1494, when Spain and Portugal had “divided Abya Yala” (the indigenous name for the western hemisphere) with a declaration that what is now Latin America belonged to them as invaders.

The second division was the Berlin Conference, meeting in 1884-85, in which the major European powers divided Africa among themselves.

The third division took the form of a secret agreement in 1916 (the Sykes-Picot Agreement) between Great Britain and France to divide the Middle East between them at the end of the First World War.

Today, said Morales, the great powers are engaged in the fourth “imperial carving up” of the world, not through treaties but through the United Nations Security Council, and using NATO to “invade and secure control of natural resources.” (Morales did not mention another division of the world: the post-WWII agreements between Stalin and his wartime allies Britain and the United States, dividing the world between imperialist and Soviet spheres of influence.)

The translation of the Cochabamba conference’s “political thesis,” which follows, was prepared by Jordan Bishop and Federico Fuentes, with some revision by me, from the Spanish text.

— Richard Fidler, Life on the Left.

Anti-Imperialist Political Thesis of Cochabamba

“I believe that this idea of an offensive in defense of humanity is increasingly interlocked with the reality that we are experiencing in this world.”  – Hugo Chávez

“I want to propose something that concerns the social movements of this world: how can we, in a united fashion, confront capitalism? I am convinced that we must elaborate a new thesis to save the planet, a doctrine in support of life.” – Evo Morales

Introduction: The Crisis of Capitalism and its Consequences for the Working Class

The peoples of the world, and especially the popular sectors, are suffering the consequences of a crisis of capitalism. This is a crisis unlike any we have seen before, a crisis that is both global and structural.

It is a global crisis because, unlike previous crises of capitalism in the 19th and 20th centuries, in this capitalist world system the resistance movements are locally-based but have yet to create a united front that could constitute an alternative to capitalism. The peoples of the world are abandoning the belief that capitalism is democratic or that there is such a thing as capitalist democracy. However, a global alternative, one as global as the crisis we are now experiencing, has not yet emerged.

This is a structural crisis because it is the combination of various crises: economic, financial, energy, climate, food, water, institutional, political, and of values. We are suffering the crisis not only of an economic system of production that is overstretched, but of a system that in order to increase profits or maintain the surplus value produced through the exploitation of peoples, workers, and nature in the South, has to convert Mother Earth and humans into an object of its merciless, predatory domination.

We wish to highlight the climate crisis as the crystallization of all these crises. The supposed alternative of a green economy as a response to the environmental disaster that we are suffering is nothing more than the privatization of nature and all other common goods. In addition, it is clear that there is no such thing as capitalism with a human face. We are in a stage of capitalism where everything is commodified, including life itself and all common goods.

All this is occurring at the same time as imperialist wars are unleashed with the aim of plundering the peoples’ natural resources, part of a vicious circle in which these natural resources serve to fuel the war industry, thereby demonstrating the voracity of imperialism. Natural resources, energy and water are objectives of imperialism that the peoples and workers must defend since they constitute the future that we shall leave as our legacy, the Mother Earth that we must look after, for it is our home.

Capitalism has therefore adopted a planetary geopolitical standard, and the crisis reveals the basic contradiction of capitalism: the contradiction between the social character of production and the capitalist form of property over the means of production and the appropriation of its results. In these crises, the whole mechanism of the capitalist mode of production is subordinated to the pressure of the productive forces created by capitalism itself.

The consequence of this is that there are a billion people who go hungry, according to the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations], and since the crisis began the number of poor people has increased by some 100 million.

But while poverty and hunger are the most visible effects of the crisis of capitalism, all of this is linked to the peoples’ loss of social rights, especially labour rights. Capital will attempt to ride out the crisis on the backs of the workers.

The higher phase of capitalism is imperialism and neoliberalism, which involves creative destruction and anti-worker policies. In some Latin American countries, it was possible to block the Washington Consensus and the recipes of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that attempted to impose privatization and restrictions on social policies, but there are other parts of the world where the people continue to suffer as a result of the neoliberal recipe presented as a supposed solution to the crisis. Yet unemployment rates continue to rise, and cuts to social benefits, health, and education continue, even as whole families are evicted and banks are rescued.

Nevertheless, neoliberal recipes cannot resolve even the problems of the countries at the centre of the world capitalist system. These countries at times have parallel governments in the form of transnational corporations, which are new instruments imperialism has created to be able to operate in countries that are supposedly undergoing development. The wealth of a few presupposes the misery of a good part of the planet.

This was perfectly summed up by Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in the world: “Of course there is a class struggle, and our class is winning it.”

Therefore, if the class struggle is more alive than ever, the elaboration of an alternative project to confront the crisis of capitalism can only come from the popular sectors and organized labour. The struggle of organized labour therefore gains a special significance at this time.

Furthermore, the struggle of organized labour against capitalism can only have socialism as its horizon. In a globalized world in which social democracy has sold out to neoliberalism, and where 20th century socialism had serious weaknesses, the building of a socialism in the 21st century that is immune from the weaknesses and backwardness of the first attempts to implement it is an urgent and necessary task.

As the Central Obrera Boliviana explained in its Socialist Thesis of 1970, those who believe that labour organizations should limit themselves to the role of trade unions, that is to say, dedicated to purely economic struggles, are mistaken. Without abandoning the struggle to defend material conditions, workers must take part in the political life of the country in our role as a revolutionary vanguard. This is a vanguard that, in the case of Bolivia and other countries, is complemented by the political project of indigenous nations and peoples, and campesinos, fusing labour and community struggles around the goal of “communitarian socialism.”

Bolivia’s Contribution

Workers of the world have held this Anti-Imperialist International Trade Union Conference in order to recognize and learn from this Bolivia of many hues and colors, in which workers, campesinos and indigenous people have joined together in a communitarian struggle dedicated to building a socialist future.

We see in Bolivia a government of social movements, in which the direction of the process is in the hands of popular sectors, in which the state has fused with civil society. This process is based on historical struggles against colonial domination, as well as against capitalism and neoliberalism. This is a political project, uniting indigenous, worker and campesino struggles, which is still under construction but one with which the popular sectors of our countries can identify.

We recognize that in Bolivia the state has taken control of strategic sectors of the economy, hydrocarbons and energy in general, telecommunications, health and education. These now belong to the state rather than individuals, a state which is a synthesis of an epochal change in Latin America, a state that belongs to the people, because it is of the people and functions on the basis of popular needs.

In Bolivia, popular sectors and workers’ organizations are not only not repressed, but are encouraged and supported politically and materially through the establishment of a participatory democracy that incorporates workers in its decision making.

This alternative model of relationship with mobilized sectors of society is something that demonstrates to us the existence of a living, participatory, intercultural and communitarian democracy. Workers’ organizations of the world, meeting in Bolivia have been able to study the new Bolivian paradigm that proposes the idea of “Living Well” to confront the crisis that we are suffering. We strive for a development model and a political model that conceptualizes the economy from a community standpoint, looking to the emancipation of peoples and communities as a means of living in harmony with Mother Earth.

Commitment to Socialist Integration

The crisis of the capitalist world system and the geopolitical struggle for control of natural resources is leading the peoples and workers of the world toward a scenario in which it is necessary to choose between one of two projects in contention – socialist emancipation or neoliberal restoration.

Bolivia and the movements for change in Latin America have opted, with differing rhythms, intensities and nuances, for the emancipation of their peoples, their inhabitants, and their nature, recovering sovereignty over their natural resources in order to confront the imperialist and neo-colonial project.

Because of this today, here and now, the working peoples of the world want to build upon the thinking of our compañero President Evo Morales, and propose a thesis to save the planet, a doctrine in defense of life, as opposed to the doctrine of death embodied in capitalism. This thesis can have only one goal, that of socialism – with the contribution that we have taken on board from Bolivia, to incorporate the communitarian dimension – and must be based on three solid pillars: anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism and anti-capitalism.

An Anti-Imperialist, Anti-Colonial and Anti-Capitalist Thesis Pointing to Socialism

Our national realities have different rhythms and intensities, but we should view them through the prism of Bolivia, where the people have moved from resistance to the building of a political instrument for taking power, and from the taking of power to the construction of a political project of the people and for the people.

Now we want to create a world political instrument for the construction of a global political project that can provide a response to the structural crisis of capitalism.

Anti-Imperialism

The aerial kidnapping of President Evo Morales a year ago, putting various European countries on their knees, revealed that imperialism will not remain quiescent in the face of projects of social transformation that implement processes of change in defense of social majorities.

A project based on anti-imperialism must therefore repudiate the armed wing of the United States called NATO, the political and military instrument of imperialism.

Our anti-imperialist project denounces the military bases that imperialism has established throughout the world as a means of intervention. In Latin America there are 77 known military bases that violate the political and territorial sovereignty of the countries of Our America.

Colombia merits special attention due to the U.S. bases installed there, a beachhead for surrounding the Amazon, a central element in the geopolitical disputes of coming years. Peace in Colombia, to which we are deeply committed, requires the closure of these military bases, as well as ensuring that peace is accompanied by the political participation of the insurgency and the working class and popular sectors of Colombia as a means of guaranteeing social justice for the Colombian people as a whole.

Just as we condemn imperialist interference through the installation of military bases, we also denounce so-called “humanitarian wars,” “wars against terrorism,” “preventative wars” and “peacekeeping missions.” We express our solidarity with the popular sectors and working class in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, which have seen their countries destroyed by imperialist greed, military wars becoming economic and cultural wars against the peoples.

Similarly, we condemn any kind of interference against sovereign governments in Latin America in the 21st century, whether through espionage or coups d’état, as happened in Honduras or Paraguay in addition to the failed attempts in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador that were defeated by popular mobilization.

These interventions have been accompanied by media terrorism against processes, unions and social movements, the so-called Fourth Generation War, the attempt to establish a hegemonic order of communication controlled by transnational media capital that attempts to impose their political, economic and social objectives, consistently in opposition to the interests of the working class and popular sectors.

As a means of overcoming interference against the political and economic sovereignty of our peoples, we support the abolition of the Security Council of the United Nations and the democratization of the United Nations system itself.

Anti-Colonialism

We believe that the model of colonization imposed by the countries of the North involved crimes against humanity, looting and the subjugation of our peoples, and that wars have been an instrument of subjugation and domination that imperialism has employed to impose its political and economic will.

The colonial order is the nucleus of the genocide, the millions of human beings exterminated, the hundreds of languages annihilated in the interests of a supposed homogenization, the subordination of systems of economic complementarity based on barter to mercantilism, the subjection of advanced civilizations to the Inquisition, and the individualist overpowering of a social order based on reciprocity.

We strive for decolonization and the destruction of the material and subjective foundations of racism, internal colonialism and the new forms of external colonialism. Decolonization means undoing the institutional, economic, political and cultural foundations of the old regime and the construction of new institutional, economic, political and cultural foundations as a new way of organizing social life.

Decolonization is a revolutionary process that struggles against financial capital and the big transnational corporations. We must extinguish the myth of a democratic capitalism or a capitalist democracy. Decolonization also implies struggling against ideological and cultural colonialism, racism and all forms of discrimination.

We should mention here the role of women in the labour struggle. We commit ourselves to the struggle against patriarchy, celebrating the process of de-patriarchalization promoted by the Bolivian government and its social movements.

Decolonization similarly implies a struggle for interculturality, for another education model dedicated to an open, humanist, scientific, technological, productive, liberating and revolutionary, critical, education within a framework of solidarity, oriented to conservation and protection of the environment, biodiversity and territorial sovereignty.

Decolonization implies confronting the neocolonial situations that our peoples still experience. In the case of Latin America we repudiate the imperialist occupation of Puerto Rico; of Guantánamo in socialist Cuba that continues to heroically resist a criminal blockade; of the Malvinas Islands by the United Kingdom and NATO. And we undertake to support Bolivia’s claim for access to the sea with sovereignty, access that was forcibly removed in an imperialist invasion promoted by Chilean economic elites to seize Bolivia’s natural resources. Real Latin American integration includes a solution to Bolivia’s just claim against Chile. Nor can we forget about other parts of the world; thus we reject the occupation of Palestine and the genocide of an entire people being committed by Israel.

Anti-Capitalism

Our struggle is against capitalism and all of its expressions. It is against this model that destroys all forms of life and appropriates the surplus value generated by peoples, persons and our Mother Earth.

All of this is taking place during an historical moment marked by a high intensity financial war against the processes of change. We add our voice to the statements by President Evo Morales in solidarity with Argentina and against the unjust and immoral global financial system and the so-called “vulture funds” that are out to crush the processes of change through debts contracted by military dictatorships and neoliberal governments that served the interests of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

This international financial system uses the IMF and the WB, as well as the ILO [International Labour Organization], to weaken the economic sovereignty of the peoples and their workers. We denounce this kind of financial neocolonialism carried out by the “Wall Street Boys”, the operators of speculative financial capital, and we strive for a new international financial architecture.

The Havana Conference on External Debt will celebrate its 29th anniversary in July this year. External debt is an illegal mechanism used under capitalism to continue the colonial exploitation of the peoples. We repudiate all of the debt of the misnamed Third World and strive for the total cancellation of this debt.

The evolution of financial capitalism has in part involved free trade agreements that actually amount to territorial control over the processes of transformation and peoples’ natural resources. We especially repudiate the sophisticated re-edition of the FTAA [Free Trade Area of the Americas] that the peoples of Latin America and progressive governments defeated in 2005 in Mar del Plata, and is now called the Pacific Alliance, an imperialist tool of the United States designed to undermine the process of regional political integration in Latin America and to recover areas lost to the advance of processes of change.

In the face of the Pacific Alliance, we propose the Alliance of the Peoples of the South and of the working class in defense of the peoples’ natural resources and Mother Earth.

It is not by chance that Venezuela, a country with the biggest oil reserves in the world, has had to confront a terrorist attack, just as Bolivia and Ecuador did previously. The sovereign recovery of natural resources is fundamental, since it constitutes the material basis for the whole process, for the possibility of wealth redistribution and the reduction of inequalities in countries that have suffered 500 years of colonization.

Just as we defend sovereignty over natural resources, we must also defend food sovereignty. We join in solidarity with the struggles of campesinos against transnational corporations, agribusiness, the use of toxic chemicals and GMOs, as well as in defense of food sovereignty.

Toward Socialism

It is on the basis of these three pillars that we propose the coordination and cooperation of the working class and of popular sectors that are struggling to build socialism at a national, regional and global level.

In order to achieve socialism we must first of all achieve the unity of all revolutionary forces in a popular anti-imperialist, anti-colonial and anti-capitalist front, based on an alliance of workers, campesinos and indigenous peoples, an alliance of popular sectors.

A socialism that can only be democratic, expanding the margins and limits of liberal democracy, an anti-imperialist and anti-colonial socialism that can overcome all forms of alienation under capitalism, that emerges from its roots in the working class and indigenous and campesino movements, from the factories, fields and communities, to create the kind of society and community to which we aspire, a society in which use-value takes priority over the exchange value imposed by the market and capital.

A socialism where the means of production are socialized through a society in which basic services, along with labour rights, are guaranteed for everyone, in which everyone enjoys all of these rights.

The crisis of capitalism brings with it the need to maintain profit rates through the exploitation of workers. In almost every country in the world, the retirement age has gone up, pensions have been reduced and health care has been privatized and commodified.

Obviously, the socialism to which we aspire recognizes the struggles and aspirations of the working class throughout history. We want a public, universal and mandatory system of social security for all countries, in addition to the lowering of the retirement age and an increase in pensions, since only in this way can the popular classes live with dignity after retirement.

Our socialist project must guarantee that water and basic services are human rights, which requires sovereignty over natural and energy resources that are vital to social and labour rights.

In order to guarantee social and labour rights, we must develop a vision that differs from capitalist development.

The socialist outlook must be internationalist, an internationalism that, as Che noted, is based on the love of the peoples. We defend an internationalist alliance of the workers’, campesino and indigenous movement together with all national liberation movements and all movements of the oppressed across the globe that struggle for a world and a future based on peace and social justice.

This class-based and socialist internationalism should be based on political education. If we want to confront capitalist hegemony in the economic, political, cultural and media sphere, we must prepare ourselves for the Battle of Ideas. A Battle of Ideas that, as Comandante Fidel Castro points out, is not only about principles, theory, knowledge, culture, arguments, responses and counter-responses, the destruction of lies and diffusion of truth; it must involve concrete actions and achieveme

Conclusion

We recognize the contribution of the World Federation of Trade Unions in its 69 years of existence in defense of the working class in Vietnam, Cuba, Korea, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Greece during the heroic civil war, along with Guatemala, Angola, Grenada and Chile, South Africa, the Congo, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Egypt, the Golan Heights, Lebanon, Iraq, India, Indonesia, East Timor and the Western Sahara.

We also recall the legacy of all those who struggled for freedom and gave their lives for the national and social liberation of their peoples: Bolivar, Zapata, Martí, Sandino, Che, Ho Chi Minh, Sankara and Comandante Chávez, in addition to recognizing the contribution that the Cuban revolution, headed by Comandantes Fidel and Raúl Castro, has made to this present moment of history.

The period of transition we are living through demands coordination between trade unions, social movements, youth, women and committed intellectuals, so that from a position of defending these processes of change we can seek to build a political project of national and social liberation of our peoples.

But our liberation is not only the liberation of our peoples. It is at the same time the liberation of all of humanity, since we are not struggling to dominate others; we struggle in order that no one shall dominate anyone else.

And on the road to liberation, it is important to maintain the achievements already made, which is why we proclaim our solidarity with the process of change in Bolivia that we hope will be strengthened once again in the October 12 presidential elections.

Long live the Bolivian process of change!
Long live the struggles of the working class!
Against capitalist barbarism, for peace and a world without exploitation! •

This document was approved during the closing plenary session of the Anti-Imperialist International Trade Union Conference organized by the Central Obrera Boliviana [Bolivian Workers Central – COB], and the World Federation of Trade Unions [WFTU], with the support of the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

Cochabamba, Plurinational State of Bolivia, July 2, 2014.

On Mon. July 21, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Dept. (DWSD) announced in federal bankruptcy court before Judge Steven Rhodes that there would be a 15-day suspension of water shut-offs while policies would be enacted to address the current crisis in the city. Additional measures were revealed which are purportedly designed to address the massive termination of water services for thousands of households in the economically distressed majority African American municipality.

This declaration in federal court from the DWSD culminated a week-long series of activities that focused national attention on the plight of working and poor people in Detroit. A mass demonstration through downtown’s financial district on July 18 attracted thousands representing local organizations, the National Nurses United (NNU) and the delegates of the Net Roots Nation Conference held at Cobo Conference Center July 17-19.

During the objections hearing on July 15, Kris Hamel, representing the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, brought the question of the water shut-offs into the federal bankruptcy proceedings for the first time. Over 600 rank-and-file people filed objections to the so-called “plan of adjustment” submitted by emergency manager Kevyn Orr which would slash pensions, privatize public assets and create the conditions for the long term disempowerment of the residents of the city.

Hamel called upon Judge Rhodes to declare a moratorium on the water shut-offs, noting that the impact of the terminations had drawn the condemnation from the United Nations and other organizations locally and nationally. Rhodes then ordered Jones Day law firm, which is in fact administering the affairs of the city under emergency manager Kevyn Orr, a former partner in the firm, to compel the DWSD under their direction to come to the court and explain its program to prevent shut-offs.

After the presentation by the Deputy Director Darryl Latimer of the DWSD on July 15 before the court, the judge then requested that he return on July 21 with more details plans to assist residential customers facing shut-offs. Rhodes noted in his initial response to the DWSD that the shut-offs had been an embarrassment to the city and was “bad for the bankruptcy.”

At the same time on July 21 it was announced publically that a class-action lawsuit had been filed in the bankruptcy court demanding a moratorium on the shut-offs saying that the actions by DWSD at the aegis of emergency manager Orr represented a violation of due process. There were a number of plaintiffs in the filing including victims of the water termination actions along with the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organizations (MWRO), the People’s Water Board (PWB) and the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network (NAN).

National Demonstration Held in Solidarity With the People of Detroit

The social and political situation in Detroit gained renewed national and worldwide attention July 17-19 during the convening of the Net Roots Nation Conference. The conference brings together progressives, labor unions and left-wing Democrats who are heavily focused on blogging, video streaming and a myriad of social media networks.

Officials of the National Nurses United (NNU)–which represents 188,000 health care professionals–who were strong participants in the Net Roots Nation Conference, contacted the Moratorium NOW! Coalition and other local organizations to inquire about how they could lend their assistance to the struggle against water shut-offs, emergency management, privatization and the bankruptcy currently plaguing the city. Moratorium NOW! Coalition organizers immediately suggested that delegates from the conference should come out into the streets for a mass demonstration in solidarity with the people of Detroit.

In less than two weeks all of the major grassroots organizations working on the water crisis, the theft of pensions, privatization and other issues, came together in conjunction with the NNU and the National Election Integrity Coalition (NEIC) in order to mobilize the Net Roots Conference delegates and labor unions in support of the July 18 actions. Through the work of the NNU, endorsements were secured from the Detroit Metro AFL-CIO, UAW Local 600, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 26, the Communications Workers of America and a host of other labor organizations.

By the afternoon of July 18 thousands had taken to the streets for a march from Cobo Center through the financial district passing the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center (CAYMAC) into Hart Plaza for a rally. This represented the tenth consecutive week of “Freedom Fridays” organized by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, where rallies and demonstrations outside the federal courthouse, and later the DWSD headquarters, would spread into other areas of the downtown financial district.

Speakers at the July 18 rally included a representative from Moratorium NOW! Coalition, Maureen Taylor of the MWRO, Cong. John Conyers, journalist John Nichols, Monica Lewis-Patrick of We the People, Jerome Goldberg of Moratorium NOW! Coalition, Vanessa Fluker, people’s lawyer, Helen Moore of the Detroit Public Schools Education Taskforce, Cecily McClellan of the Detroit Active and Retired Employees, Bonnie Castillo, RN Director of the Registered Nurse Response Network/ NNU, Jean Ross, RN, Co-President of the NNU, Rev. Charles William II, president of the Michigan NAN chapter, Lila Cabbil of the People’s Water Board, Dennis Williams, new president of the UAW International, Jean Vortkamp, community activist, Rick Blocker, president of the Metro AFL-CIO, Elena Herrada, member of the Detroit Board of Education, among others.

The demonstration gained national and international coverage. Earlier in the day the second blockade at Homrich corporation, the private firm hired by the emergency manager to assist in the water shut-offs, took place resulting in nine arrests.

The NNU issued a statement at the rally declaring the city of Detroit as a “Public Health Emergency Zone” in light of the water shut-offs. The declaration said that “As registered nurses, we are compelled to advocate for all our patients, whether at the bedside or in our neighborhoods and communities.” (NNU)

This statement went on to say that “We demand an immediate end to all water shutoffs. We demand an end to the disgraceful practice of city officials who have removed children from homes where water has been shutoff, an especially inhumane victimization of low-income families already harmed by a city with an appalling missense of priorities. And, we demand the guarantee that all Detroit residents have immediate and full access to clean water.”

At the July 21 bankruptcy hearing where the 15-day moratorium on water shut-offs was announced by the DWSD, two representatives of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund appeared announcing that the civil rights organization combined with the ACLU had issued a letter to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, emergency manager Kevyn Orr, DWSD commission chair James Fausone and CEO Sue F. McCormick expressing concern over the shut-off policy. The letter reads in part that “The ACLU and LDF have grave concerns about the process, lack of process, or ineffective process by which DWSD has terminated water services to thousands of indigent customers, as well as the manner in which delinquent accounts have been handled and the impact of these actions on the most vulnerable residents of Detroit.”

This same letter signed by Kary L. Moss, Executive Director of the ACLU Fund of Michigan and Sherrilyn Ifill, Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., said that “We ask that DWSD immediately cease terminating services and restore water to the thousands of customers who are currently without this basic necessity. We urge DWSD to restore water service immediately to avoid further harm to the City’s most vulnerable citizens, the vast majority of whom are African American, and to place a moratorium on plans to discontinue water service pending the development of a review-and-implementation plan that is based on accurate information, that is staffed sufficiently for effective implementation, and, ultimately, that is humane.”

The ACLU-NAACPLDF letter continues stressing “Access to water is a human right and a public health necessity. The denial of this right contravenes sound public policy, health and safety laws, and international law.”

Note: This writer co-chaired the rally at Hart Plaza on July 18 along with Bonnie Castillo, Director of the Registered Nurse Response Network of the National Nurses United. In addition to the rally on July 18, the same writer addressed a plenary at the Net Roots Nation Conference on July 19 dealing with the water crisis in Detroit.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, in conversation with his French counterpart, François Hollande, compared the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The comparison reveals more about Poroshenko and his backers than the Ukrainian president intended. While there are obvious differences in the circumstances of the two events, there is nevertheless a clear parallel in the way they have been politically exploited and manipulated.

The US government used 9/11 as the pretext for a massive expansion of militarism and an unprecedented arming of the state. The “war on terror,” declared in the aftermath of the attack, was used to justify military force against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and other countries, along with the illegal practices of extrajudicial rendition, torture and targeted killings. The US built up a gigantic surveillance apparatus that spies on the US and world population.

This never had anything to do with protecting the American people from terrorist attacks. The “war on terror” was a gigantic lie—a political and ideological cover for the violent pursuit of imperialist interests and defence of the rule of the super-rich oligarchy, which has come into increasing conflict with the rest of the population.

The crash of flight MH17 is being used in a similar way to serve similarly reactionary political ends. Neither the cause of the crash nor those responsible and their motives has been established. Concrete information that has begun to emerge implicates the Ukrainian government, not the pro-Russian separatists.

Nevertheless, a torrent of deafening propaganda has been unleashed in the Western media and in Western political circles to justify an escalation of the diplomatic and economic offensive against Russia and create the pretext for a further military build-up in Eastern Europe, with the ever-present potential for war between the nuclear-armed NATO powers and Russia.

Just over two months ago, the World Socialist Web Site pointed to attempts by the European media to portray Russia’s annexation of Crimea following the right-wing putsch in Kiev as just such a “European 9/11.” The crash of MH17 and the death of the 298 people on board are being seized on to accomplish what the earlier campaign failed to do.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung, for example, writes that the crash of flight MH17 is an opportunity to break through the antiwar mood in Germany, which the war propaganda of President Gauck and the German government has been unable to shift. In a commentary published Saturday, Stefan Ulrich declares that flight MH17 “will produce a turning point and open the eyes of people in the West to the fact that they still live in times of war.”

Ulrich accuses the Europeans of “viewing the world idealistically to the point of naiveté today, following an extremely warlike past.” They tend to believe that “conflicts can instead be solved with good will and a lot of diplomacy.” Now, however, they can “take the drama in Ukraine as an occasion to think over their security and defense policy. Defense budgets cannot be allowed to sink any further. The EU countries must once again spend more for their security.”

Dominic Johnson, foreign affairs editor of the taz newspaper, which is close to the German Greens, cites the plane disaster to call for Western military intervention in Ukraine. He argues that Special Forces should be sent to the eastern part of the country “in order to secure the scene of the crime and salvage the corpses.” Johnson calls this a “highly risky operation,” which does not prevent him from insisting on it.

The taz editor accuses Western governments of confining themselves to “helpless appeals to Russian President Vladimir Putin to ‘do more.’” This, he writes, is a “declaration of bankruptcy.”

The Western governments must do more, not least for the sake of their self-respect, declares Johnson. “The terror attack of September 11, 2001 in the US was immediately used to invoke the NATO mutual defense clause. The passengers killed on flight MH17 on July 17, 2014 deserve similar solidarity.”

The implications of this demand are staggering. Without flinching, the unofficial organ of the Greens demands the transformation of Ukraine into a new Afghanistan and the incitement of a military confrontation with Russia that could turn into a nuclear world war. It does so in spite of its inability to present any evidence that Russia bears any responsibility for the plane crash.

The pattern is the same. Horror over the tragic death of passengers on the Malaysian airplane is exploited, using unsubstantiated allegations, just as the shock over 9/11 was seized on to prepare much greater crimes.

This campaign must be rejected with contempt. Countless wars have been prepared by means of propaganda campaigns resting on half-truths and lies. There was the Gulf of Tonkin incident, with which the US justified a massive expansion of its intervention in Vietnam in 1964; there was the Račak massacre, which has never been confirmed, but which provided the pretext for the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999; and, of course, the completely fabricated claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, by which the US justified its invasion in 2003.

Going back further in time, but closer geographically to the likes of Johnson and Ulrich, there was the burning of the Reichstag in February 1933, the event that served as the pretext for Hitler to consolidate absolute power.

If one considers possible motives for shooting down flight MH17, the regime in Kiev and its imperialist supporters should be placed first on the list of suspects. The plane disaster has provided a highly opportune occasion for these forces to bring governments that until now opposed a confrontation course with Russia onto their side, and to influence recalcitrant public opinion. In Russia’s case, on the other hand, it is difficult to find a plausible motive.

Clear evidence of Kiev’s guilt is lacking, just as it is lacking for the separatists or Russia. However, such a suspicion is well founded. Even if the Ukrainian regime or the Western intelligence agencies that support it did not themselves order the attack, the Ukrainian security forces include fascist and criminal elements that are by no means entirely under the control of the government in Kiev.

In any case, for the Western governments and media, the victims of the crash are not what matters. The disaster is viewed as a useful basis for intensifying war propaganda. With their support of the February 22 putsch in Kiev, their collaboration with fascists in Svoboda and the Right Sector, and their alliance with oligarchs such as Poroshenko, Kolomoisky and Akhmetov, they have driven the country into civil war and produced the very conditions that could lead to an attack on a civilian plane. Now they react by escalating their warmongering policies even more aggressively.

The death toll from Israeli violence in Gaza approached 600 Palestinians as of Tuesday morning local time, according to reports from hospitals and emergency care workers in the beleaguered territory. The United Nations estimated that three quarters of the dead were civilians, including more than 100 children of all ages.

Over 120 people were killed on Sunday, most of the them in the Shujaiya neighborhood east of Gaza City, and as many or more on Monday, in what observers described as the most intense military onslaught since the 1967 war, in which Israel first seized control of the Gaza Strip.

Particularly horrific was the slaughter of entire family groups, including 28 members of the Abu Jami family killed by an air strike near Khan Younis in southern Gaza; only four members of the family survived. In Rafah, near the Egyptian border, 11 members of the Siyam family were killed, including seven children.

Israeli tanks fired on a hospital in central Gaza Monday, killing at least five people and wounding 60, half of them medical staff. Twelve shells hit the Al Aqsa hospital, smashing into the administration building, the intensive care unit and the surgery department, according to Palestinian health officials.

Given the number of shells fired into the hospital, this was clearly a deliberate war crime, not a “mistake” as claimed by the Israeli government and parroted by the US and international media.

A spokesman for Amnesty International condemned the Israeli action, saying, “Instead of targeting medical facilities, in violation of international law, Israeli forces must protect medics and patients and ensure that the injured can safely reach medical facilities in Gaza and, when necessary, outside the Strip.”

The French medical charity Doctors Without Borders urged Israel to “stop bombing civilians trapped in the Gaza Strip,” noting that the majority of the injured at Al-Shifa hospital, where the victims of the Shujaiya massacres were taken, were women and children. “While the official line is that the ground offensive is aimed at destroying tunnels, what we see on the ground is that bombing is indiscriminate and that those who are dying are civilians,” the group said in a statement.

So hellish were the conditions in Shujaiya that even the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, until now an open supporter of the Israeli-US propaganda campaign against Hamas, denounced the Israeli attack as an “atrocious action.”

Eyewitness accounts from survivors who fled Shujaiya, reported on Al-Jazeera America, said “residents were holding whatever white cloth they could find—shirts, undershirts or tablecloths—to wave as white flags. They wanted to get out of the targeted area under constant heavy Israeli bombardment. But most white cloths were either ripped apart or covered in blood.”

“Nowhere was safe to run to,” Iman Mansour, a mother of three, told Al-Jazeera. Her three children were all injured and are now hospitalized. “We were forced to leave our house because tank shells were falling like hot raindrops,” she said.

The Al-Jazeera report continues, describing conditions at the hospital:

“The smell at Al-Shifa is of burned human flesh. The morgue is filled with all types of injuries—human body parts and limbs and burned bodies, including bad facial burns on dead children.

“The morgue has more bodies than it can hold. Many of the victims are unrecognizable. Those searching for their loved ones struggle to remember any specific physical detail—skin color, old scars, facial shape, haircut or height and weight, scraps of clothing—to be able to identify an otherwise badly damaged body.”

The United Nations said that as many as 100,000 residents were taking refuge in 67 shelters, with a spokesman citing a “situation for civilians beyond imagining.”

Even the American television networks Monday night gave a glimpse of the terrible conditions in Gaza hospitals. NBC interviewed a visiting European doctor who pointed to a small child, a victim of Israeli bombing, and said angrily, “She is guilty of a great crime—being born Palestinian in Gaza.”

The logic of the Israeli invasion is that casualties will escalate exponentially on the Palestinian side, as the population of Gaza is pushed into a smaller and smaller area where they are targets for more and more Israeli shells, bombs and missiles. As for the claims that Israel seeks to minimize civilian casualties, it should be pointed out that half the entire population of Gaza is younger than 18—900,000 children in a tiny enclave facing attack by one of the most heavily armed military forces on the planet.

In an effort to deflect mounting popular opposition—including within the United States—US President Obama commented on the Gaza bloodbath Monday morning, before issuing a statement denouncing pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. He claimed to have “serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives” and confirmed that Secretary of State John Kerry had left for Egypt to conduct further talks on a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

Despite the crocodile tears about Palestinian dead, Obama is a full partner in the Israeli war crimes in Gaza, backing both the initial air strikes and the ground invasion. The US arms and finances the Israeli war machine, which has long been a spearhead for American imperialism in the Middle East.

The Israeli government continues to portray its one-sided slaughter of Palestinian civilians as a “self-defense” operation directed against Hamas rocket-launching sites and tunnels through which Hamas militants have launched cross-border attacks into Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with military leaders on Monday morning, then issued a statement that the “operation would be expanded in order to restore quiet to Israeli citizens.”

While Netanyahu claims the invasion of Gaza was a response to recent Hamas rocket attacks, the New York Times reported Monday that “Israel had a task force studying the tunnels for a year.” In other words, the Israel Defense Forces has been planning this operation for some time, and seized on the kidnapping and murder of three young Israeli settlers on the West Bank as a pretext for stoking up tensions with Hamas and provoking a full-scale war.

While press reports from the Israeli side are subject to military censorship and Israeli soldiers have been told not to discuss their experiences during the invasion, it is clear even from fragmentary accounts that the Hamas resistance in Shujaiya was far more intense than the Israeli military expected. This accounts, in part, for the ferocity of the Israeli bombardment of the neighborhood, as they sought to avenge themselves on the entire Palestinian population after 13 Israeli soldiers were killed on Sunday in that area.

The Washington Post quoted a senior Israeli military official saying, “It was a very hard battle there. I have to admit that we were facing good fighters from the other side.” He said the Hamas militants were “highly trained” and “very well equipped” with light weapons and a few mortars. The Hamas forces fought toe to toe with the IDF for more than seven hours. The New York Times reported that the house in Shujaiya used by the Golani Brigade, the Israeli unit that took most of the casualties, was hit by an anti-tank rocket and collapsed.

Meanwhile, on the West Bank, Palestinians began three days of mourning for the victims in Gaza, and the territory was shut down by a general strike. There were scattered incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem. A 21-year-old Palestinian youth, Mahmud Shawamreh, was shot to death by Israeli troops near Ramallah.

As we watch the horrifying slaughter unfold in Gaza, bear in mind the Israeli psychosis that fuels and justifies it. Here are comments from three rightwing Israelis – two leading politicians and a professor – who very much reflect a strain of mainstream thinking in Israel, one that the international media largely avoids noting.

Each, in their different ways, is advocating a genocide of the Palestinians.

Ayelet Shaked, of economics minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, calls on her Facebook page for murdering the mothers of what she terms Palestinian “terrorists” (a very broad concept indeed in current Israeli thinking) so that they cannot give birth to more “little snakes”:

They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists. They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists. …

[The terrorists] are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer on Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University, believes the sisters and mothers of Palestinian “terrorists” should be raped:

A terrorist, like those who kidnapped the boys [in the West Bank on June 12] and killed them, the only thing that will deter them, is if they know that either their sister or mother will be raped if they are caught. What can we do? This is the culture that we live in.

Note that his university did not reprimand him. They defended his comments:

The purpose was to define the culture of death of the terrorist organizations. Dr Kedar illustrated in his words the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and law-abiding country to fight the terror of suicide bombers.

And finally we have Moshe Feiglin, a deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, urging the Israeli army to kill Palestinians in Gaza indiscriminately and use every means possible to get them to leave:

[Netanyahu] announces that Israel is about to attack military targets in their area and urges those who are not involved and do not wish to be harmed to leave immediately. Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts. … All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. …

The IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations. … The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.

This psychosis is not going to get better on its own. In fact, it’s going to get much worse. How much worse will depend entirely on the continuing inaction of western leaders.

By: Orouba Othman

This year [2013], the mandatory Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, or hajj, will compound the Palestinians’ woes. Palestinian pilgrims will be greeted by a company that assists in their repression – and even torture – under the Israeli occupation regime. Indeed, hajj this year will be brought to you by none other than G4S.

[“First, the company has provided security equipment and services to incarceration facilities holding Palestinian political prisoners inside Israel and in the occupied West Bank. Second, the company offers security services to businesses in settlements. Third, the company has provided equipment and maintenance services to Israeli military checkpoints in the West Bank. Finally, the company has also provided security systems for the Israeli police headquarters in the West Bank.”  G4S  at http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/8903]

This is not the first time that the Saudi government has hired the private security firm, which has recruited a staggering 700,000 to provide hajj-related services this year, according to exclusive information obtained by Al-Akhbar. Most of the leaked reports indicate that security for the hajj season since 2010 has been entrusted to al-Majal G4S, an affiliate of the parent company G4S.

The CEO of al-Majal G4S is a former security official in Saudi named Khaled Baghdadi. The Saudi subsidiary is fully owned by the British-Danish firm.

The parent company has not disclosed the nature of the contracts it has signed with the Saudi authorities. In its periodic reports, G4S makes limited references to its Saudi operations, such as winning a contract with Jeddah Metro to assist with security during the hajj, or stating that the company assists in the transport of more than 3 million pilgrims who visit Mecca each year. In 2011, the website Asrar Ararabiya – Arab Secrets – published an ad by the company asking people to apply to work in Mecca for seven days only, during hajj.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has not been sitting idly by. In a press conference on Wednesday, October 2, the campaign sent a clear message to the Saudi government, urging it to terminate the contract with the company that happens to provide equipment and security services to protect Israeli settlements, occupation checkpoints, and police facilities. The private security contractor has also been implicated in enabling the torture of administrative detainees in Palestine, including children, according to BDS activist Zaid Shuaibi.

BDS activists were not the only ones to react to the news. Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem and the imam of al-Aqsa Mosque, has proclaimed, “This company operates in security, and has activities and commitments in areas under Israeli occupation. Those who help the occupation must be held accountable and are complicit in the crime, as those who help aggressors also are aggressors.”

A Palestinian Muslim pilgrim prays at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt as he waits to cross the frontier to continue his journey to the Muslim holy city of Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage on 2 October 2013. (Photo: AFP – Said Khatib)

Shuaibi, speaking to Al-Akhbar, said that the BDS campaign contacted the Palestinian Ministry of Economy, being the competent authority in the issue of boycotting settlements, such as the ones serviced by G4S. But according to Shuaibi, “The ministry did not bother to respond or take action to stop the abuse, even as the company violates Palestinian law by continuing to provide services to the settlements.”

G4S in Israeli Prisons and Interrogation Centers

G4S’ subsidiary in Israel (Hashmira) was awarded a contract with the Israeli Prison Service in July 2007 to supply equipment and security services that enable violations of Articles 49 and 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The company provides security systems and centralized control systems to the Hasharon-Ramonim prison, which contains a section for Palestinian political prisoners.

G4S has installed a central command room in Megiddo Prison, in addition to supplying a wide array of security services to the Damon and Ketziot prisons. In Ofer, the prison where more than 1,500 Palestinians are detained – mostly administrative prisoners – G4S has also installed a central command room and provided protection through peripheral defense systems on the walls surrounding the prison. The company routinely supplies systems for command and control, IT, CCTV, and communications to Israeli prisons.

In the Jalma and Maskoubieh interrogation centers, which are also serviced by G4S, not even children are spared from torture. It is in one of those centers that Palestinian detainee Arafat Jaradat was tortured to death earlier this year. There, too, Luay al-Ashqar, a Palestinian administrative detainee, became permanently paralyzed in his left leg when he suffered a triple fracture in his spine during his detention.

The scope of G4S’ operations and profits in the Arab world is nearly six times the size of its operations and profits in the Jewish state. In truth, its market share in Saudi alone is about 10 times its share in Israel.

Under Israeli military law, prisoners can be detained for investigation for 60 days without access to a lawyer, which means that lawyers cannot witness interrogation methods used against their clients. All these practices and more are facilitated by G4S.

Checkpoints, Settlements, and Police Stations

According to a report by Who Profits, “G4S Israel supplied luggage scanning equipment and full body scanners to several checkpoints in the West Bank, including the Qalandia checkpoint, the Bethlehem checkpoint…[and] the Erez checkpoint in Gaza.” The company also provides security equipment to Israeli police facilities in the E1 zone of the West Bank, near the settlement of Maaleh Adumim.

Meanwhile, G4S-serviced checkpoints make life extremely difficult for more than 23,000 Palestinians who work in Jerusalem and the territories of 1948 (Israel proper), who have to wait and are often delayed as they undergo humiliating inspection each morning. G4S also operates in the Israeli settlements, catering to businesses and private citizens.

Europe Reacts

BDS campaigns have been able to achieve some success in Europe while Saudi Arabia continues to ignore appeals to terminate contracts with G4S. The company lost several contracts in Europe, including with Oslo University back in July after pressure by student groups.

In the United Kingdom, the East London Teachers Association put pressure on local authorities to terminate contracts with G4S, which provides services to more than 25 schools in the British capital. Campaigns to boycott G4S have spread to Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, and the rest of Europe. In April this year, G4S failed to renew a 2008 contract to provide security services for parliament buildings in Europe.

G4S in the Arab World

The scope of G4S’ operations and profits in the Arab world is nearly six times the size of its operations and profits in the Jewish state. In truth, its market share in Saudi alone is about 10 times its share in Israel.

The company is active in 16 Arab countries, with a turnover of 501 million British pounds ($805 million) last year, or 6 percent of its total revenues. It employs nearly 44,000, who work in operations ranging from providing security for airports in Baghdad and Dubai, Arab embassies, various Arab sports events, as well as protection for private businesses.

In comparison, G4S earns about 100 million pounds ($160 million) from its Israeli operations, or 1 percent of its total yearly revenues.

Follow Orouba Othman on Twitter.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Following is the statement delivered on Monday night by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on the latest development in the MH17 crash:

In recent days, we have been working behind the scenes to establish contact with those in charge of the MH17 crash site.

That contact has now been made. Under difficult and fluid circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied us all: securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an independent investigation, and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives.

A file picture of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak addressing a press conference on July 18, 2014, after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine. –PHOTO: AFP

Transcript of PM Najib Razak’s statement   [emphasis added by GR]

Tonight, we have established the basis of an agreement to do just that.

Earlier this evening I spoke to Alexander Borodai, who is in command of the region where the tragedy occurred. We have agreed the following:

· Firstly, the remains of 282 people, currently in Torez, will be moved by train to Kharkiv, where they will be handed over to representatives from the Netherlands. The train will depart this evening Ukraine time, and will be accompanied by six Malaysian members of the recovery team. The remains will then be flown to Amsterdam on board a Dutch C130 Hercules, together with the Malaysian team. Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be flown home to Malaysia.

· Secondly, at approximately 9pm tonight Ukraine time, the two black boxes will be handed over to a Malaysian team in Donetsk, who will take custody of them.

· Thirdly, independent international investigators will be guaranteed safe access to the crash site to begin a full investigation of the incident.

I must stress that although agreement has been reached, there remain a number of steps required before it is completed.

There is work still to be done, work which relies on continued communication in good faith. Mr Borodai and his people have so far given their co-operation.

I ask that all parties continue to work together to ensure that this agreement is honoured; that the remains of our people are returned, that the black box is handed over, and that the international team is granted full access to the site.

Only then can the investigation into MH17 truly begin; only then can the victims be afforded the respect they deserve. We need to know what caused the plane to crash, and who was responsible for it, so that justice may be done.

In recent days, there were times I wanted to give greater voice to the anger and grief that the Malaysian people feel. And that I feel. But sometimes, we must work quietly in the service of a better outcome.

I understand that for the families, nothing can undo this damage. The lives taken cannot be given back; the dignity lost cannot be regained.

My heart reaches out to those whose loved ones were lost on MH17. We hope and pray that the agreement reached tonight helps bring them a clear step towards closure.

 

How American Propaganda Works: “Guilt By Insinuation”

July 21st, 2014 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Why hasn’t Washington joined Russian President Putin in calling for an objective, non-politicized international investigation by experts of the case of the Malaysian jetliner?  

The Russian government continues to release facts, including satellite photos showing the presence of Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missiles in locations from which the airliner could have been brought down by the missile system and documentation that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet rapidly approached the Malaysian airliner prior to its downing.

The head of the Operations Directorate of Russian military headquarters said at a Moscow press conference today (July 21) that the presence of the Ukrainian military jet is confirmed by the Rostov monitoring center.

The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that at the moment of destruction of MH-17 an American satellite was flying over the area. The Russian government urges Washington to make available the photos and data captured by the satellite.

President Putin has repeatedly stressed that the investigation of MH-17 requires “a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”  Putin’s call for an independent expert examination by ICAO does not sound like a person with anything to hide.

Turning to Washington Putin stated: “In the meantime, no one [not even the “exceptional nation”] has the right to use this tragedy to achieve their narrowly selfish political goals.”

Putin reminded Washington: “We repeatedly called upon all conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed immediately and to sit down at the negotiating table. I can say with confidence that if military operations were not resumed [by Kiev] on June 28 in eastern Ukraine, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.”

What is the American response?

Lies and insinuations.

Yesterday (July 20) the US Secretary of State, John Kerry confirmed that pro-Russian separatists were involved in the downing of the Malaysian airliner and said that it was “pretty clear” that Russia was involved. Here are Kerry’s words:  “It’s pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia into the hands of separatists. We know with confidence, with confidence, that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point and time, so it obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists.”

Kerry’s statement is just another of the endless lies told by US secretaries of state in the 21st century.  Who can forget Colin Powell’s package of lies delivered to the UN about

Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” or Kerry’s lie repeated endlessly that Assad “used chemical weapons against his own people” or the endless lies about “Iranian nukes”?

Remember that Kerry on a number of occasions stated that the US had proof that Assad crossed the “red line” by using chemical weapons.  However, Kerry was never able to back up his statements with evidence.  The US had no evidence to give the British prime minister whose effort to have Parliament approve Britain’s participation with Washington in a military attack on Syria was voted down. Parliament told the prime minister, “no evidence, no war.”

Again here is Kerry declaring “confidence” in statements that are directly contradicted by the Russian satellite photos and endless eye witnesses on the ground.

Why doesn’t Washington release its photos from its satellite?

The answer is for the same reason that Washington will not release all the videos it confiscated and that it claims prove that a hijacked 9/11 airliner hit the Pentagon.  The videos do not support Washington’s claim, and the US satellite photos do not support Kerry’s claim.

The UN weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq reported that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.  However, the fact did not support Washington’s propaganda and was ignored. Washington started a highly destructive war based on nothing but Washington’s intentional lie.

The International Atomic Energy Commission’s inspectors on the ground in Iran and

all 16 US intelligence agencies reported that Iran had no nuclear weapons program.

However, the fact was inconsistent with Washington’s agenda and was ignored by both the US government and the presstitute media.

We are witnessing the same thing right now with the assertions in the absence of evidence that Russia is responsible for the downing of the Malaysian airliner.

Not every member of the US government is as reckless as Kerry and John McCain.

In place of direct lies, many US officials use insinuations.

US Senator Diane Feinstein is the perfect example.  Interviewed on the presstitute TV station CNN, Feinstein said: “The issue is where is Putin?  I would say, ‘Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say, if this is a mistake, which I hope it was, say it.’”

Putin has been talking to the world nonstop calling for an expert non-politicized investigation, and Feinstein is asking Putin why he is hiding behind silence.  We know you did it, Feinstein insinuates, so just tell us whether you meant to or whether it was an accident.

The way the entire Western news cycle was orchestrated with blame instantly being placed on Russia long in advance of real information suggests that the downing of the airliner was a Washington operation.  It is, of course, possible that the well-trained presstitute media needed no orchestration from Washington in order to lay the blame on Russia.  On the other hand, some of the news performances seem too scripted not to have been prepared in advance.

We also have the advanced preparation of the youtube video that purports to show a Russian general and Ukrainian separatists discussing having mistakenly downed a civilian airliner.  As I pointed out earlier, this video is twice damned.  It was ready in advance and by implicating the Russian military, it overlooked that the Russian military can tell the difference between a civilian airliner and a military airplane. The existence of the video itself implies that there was a plot to down the airliner and blame Russia.

I have seen reports that the Russian anti-aircraft missile system, as a safety device, is capable of contacting aircraft transponders in order to verify the type of aircraft.  If the reports are correct and if the transponders from MH-17 are found, they might record the contact.

I have seen reports that Ukrainian air control changed the route of MH-17 and directed it to fly over the conflict area.  The transponders should also indicate whether

this is correct.  If so, there clearly is at least circumstantial evidence that this was an intentional act on the part of Kiev, an act which would have required Washington’s blessing.

There are other reports that there is a divergence between the Ukrainian military and the unofficial militias formed by the right-wing Ukrainian extremists who apparently were the first to attack the separatists.  It is possible that Washington used the extremists to plot the airliner’s destruction in order to blame Russia and use the accusations to pressure the EU to go along with Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Russia.

We do know that Washington is desperate to break up the growing economic and political ties between Russia and Europe.

If it was a plot to down an airliner, any safety device on the missile system could have been turned off so as to give no warning or leave any telltale sign.  That could be the reason a Ukrainian fighter was sent to inspect the airliner.  Possibly the real target was Putin’s airliner and incompetence in implementing the plot resulted in the destruction of a civilian airliner.

As there are a number of possible explanations, let’s keep open minds and resist Washington’s propaganda until facts and evidence are in.  In the very least Washington is guilty of using the incident to blame Russia in advance of the evidence. All Washington has shown us so far is accusations and insinuations.  If that is all Washington continues to show us, we will know where the blame resides.

In the meantime, remember the story of the boy who cried “wolf!”  He lied so many times that when the wolf did come, no one believed him.  Will this be Washington’s ultimate fate?

Instead of declaring war on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, and Syria, why did Washington hide behind lies?  If Washington wants war with Iran, Russia, and China, why not simply declare war?  The reason that the US Constitution requires war to begin with a declaration of war by Congress is to prevent the executive branch from orchestrating wars in order to further hidden agendas.  By abdicating its constitutional responsibility, the US Congress is complicit in the executive branch’s war crimes.  By approving Israel’s premeditated murder of Palestinians, the US government is complicit in Israel’s war crimes.

Ask yourself this question: Would the world be a safer place with less death, destruction and displaced peoples and more truth and justice if the United States and Israel did not exist?

 

On the matter of MH17’s flight path, Malaysian Airlines confirms that the pilot was instructed to fly at a lower altitude by the Kiev air traffic control tower upon its entry into Ukraine airspace.

 ”MH17 filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000ft throughout Ukrainian airspace. This is close to the ‘optimum’ altitude.

However, an aircraft’s altitude in flight is determined by air traffic control on the ground. Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000ft.”

( For further details see press releases at : http://www.malaysiaairlines.com/my/en/site/mh17.html)

33,000 feet is 1000 feet above the restricted flight altitude (see image below). The request of the Ukrainian air traffic control authorities was implemented.

Deviation from the “Normal” Approved Flight Path

With regard to the MH17 flight path, Malaysian airlines confirms that it followed the rules set by Eurocontrol and the International Civil Aviation Authority  (ICAO) (emphasis added):

I would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules.According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH17.MH17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft.

It flew at an altitude set, and deemed safe, by the local air traffic control. And it never strayed into restricted airspace. [this MAS statement is refuted by recent evidence]

The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile.

The route over Ukrainian airspace where the incident occurred is commonly used for Europe to Asia flights. A flight from a different carrier was on the same route at the time of the MH17 incident, as were a number of other flights from other carriers in the days and weeks before. Eurocontrol maintains records of all flights across European airspace, including those across Ukraine.

What this statement confirms is that the MH17 ‘s “usual flight path” was similar to the flight paths of some 150 international flights which cross Eastern Ukraine on a daily basis. According to Malaysian Airlines “The usual flight route [across the sea of Azov] was earlier declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.”

That approved flight path is indicated in the maps below.

The regular flight path of MH17 (and other international flights) over a period of ten days prior to July 17th ( day of the disaster), crossing Eastern Ukraine in a Southeasterly direction is across the Sea of Azov. (see map below)

-

The flight path on July 17th was changed.

The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile. (MAS, ibid)

While the audio records of the MH17 flight have been confiscated by the Kiev government, the order to change the flight path did not come from Eurocontrol.

Did this order to change the flight path come from the Ukrainian authorities? Was the pilot instructed to change course?

British Media Fabrications: “Lets Conjure Up a Storm”

British news reports acknowledge that there was a change in the flight path, claiming without evidence that it was to “avoid thunderstorms in southern Ukraine”.

MAS operations director Captain Izham Ismail has also refuted claims that heavy weather led to MH17 changing its flight plan.“There were no reports from the pilot to suggest that this was the case,” Izham said. (News Malaysia   July 20, 2014)

What is significant, however, is that the Western media acknowledged that the change in the flight path did occur, and the that “heavy weather” narrative is a fabrication.

Ukraine Fighter Jets in a Corridor Reserved for Commercial Aircraft

It is worth noting that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet equipped with air-to-air R-60 missiles was detected within 5-10 km of the Malaysian aircraft, within an air corridor reserved for commercial aircraft.

-Image courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Image courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

What was the purpose of this air force deployment? Was the Ukraine fighter jet “escorting” the Malaysian aircraft in a Northerly direction towards the war zone?

The change in the flight path for Malaysian airlines MH17 on July 17 is clearly indicated in the map below. It takes MH17 over the war zone, namely Donetsk and Lugansk.

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

Comparison: MH17 Flight Path on July 16, 2014, MH17 Flight Path Over the warzone on July 17, 2014

IngoGraph

Screenshots of Flight Paths of MH17 for July 14-17, 2014

14th July Route15th July Route  16th July Route17th July Route

The first dynamic map compares the two flight paths: The second flight path which is that of July 17th takes the plane over the Donesk oblast warzone, bordering onto Lugansk oblast.

The four static images  indicate screen shots of the Flight Paths of MH17 for the period July 14-17, 2014

The information conveyed in these maps suggests that the flight path on July 17 was changed.

MH17 was diverted from the normal South Easterly route over the sea of Azov to a path over the Donetsk oblast.

Who ordered the change of  the flight path?

We call upon Malaysian Airlines to clarify its official statement and demand the release of the audio files between the pilot and the Kiev air traffic control tower.

The transcript of these audio files should be made public.

Also to be confirmed: was the Ukrainian SU-25 jet fighter in communication with the M17 aircraft?

The evidence confirms that the flight path on July 17th was NOT the usual approved flight path. It had been changed.

The change was not ordered by Eurocontrol.

Who was behind this changed flight path which spearheaded the aircraft into the war zone, resulting in 298 deaths?

What was the reason for the change in flight path?

The damage incurred to Malaysian Airlines as a result of these two tragic occurrences must also be addressed. Malaysian airlines has high safety standards and an outstanding record.

These two accidents are part of a criminal undertaking. They are not the result of negligence on the part of Malaysian Airlines, which potentially faces bankruptcy.

CHICAGO, Il - In the midst of chaos, we often find it easier to remain silent than to take a stand; to let history unfold around us rather than being present in the human struggle. Here at KAKE, we have decided to take a stand with the Palestinian people and use our platform to protest and inform. In the past 12 days, 208 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes, 1380 people have been wounded and that number is increasing by the minute. Thus far, the Israeli death toll remains at 1. When future generations look back on this travesty, we here at KAKE want to be standing on the right side of history.

In response to the recent developments surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we’re re-visiting an installment from our 300 series featuring Iymen Chehade. Professor Chehade experienced the repercussions of speaking out against popular opinion first hand when he lost his job for showing The Academy Award nominated film, 5 Broken Cameras,  a film that documents the Palestinian perspective to the class he teaches on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

One student, under the impression that showing the film was biased on Chehade’s part, complained to administration & that section of the course was cancelled soon after. But, that didn’t stop Chehade from letting his voice be heard. Through our conversation, we discover how Chehade exercises his own form of activism by presenting a break from the mainstream perspective & attempting to give a voice to the voiceless.

In this interview, KAKE delves deep into the root of the issues for 300 seconds of real.

The 300 series hones in on genuine conversation for others to relate to while promoting the lives of flourishing artists, entrepreneurs, and creatives alike. KAKE is a visual media production house geared towards creating progressive marketing strategies to find your strengths and help you capitalize upon them. KAKE uses its optimal visual, digital, and communicative departments to gear your business towards that vision. #KEEPIT300

Ride with us.

The Russian military detected a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet gaining height towards the MH17 Boeing on the day of the catastrophe.

Kiev must explain why the military jet was tracking the passenger airplane, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“A Ukraine Air Force military jet was detected gaining height, it’s distance from the Malaysian Boeing was 3 to 5km,” said the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the HQ of Russia’s military forces, Lieutenant-General Andrey Kartopolov speaking at a media conference in Moscow on Monday.

“[We] would like to get an explanation as to why the military jet was flying along a civil aviation corridor at almost the same time and at the same level as a passenger plane,” he stated.

The SU-25 fighter jet can gain an altitude of 10km, according to its specification,” he added. “It’s equipped with air-to-air R-60 missiles that can hit a target at a distance up to 12km, up to 5km for sure.”

Image courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Image courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

The presence of the Ukrainian military jet can be confirmed by video shots made by the Rostov monitoring center, Kartopolov stated.

At the moment of the MH17 crash an American satellite was flying over the area of eastern Ukraine, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry. It urged the US to publish the space photos and data captured by it.

‘Ukrainian Buk missile system transported to militia-held area’

In addition, MH17 crashed within the operating zone of the Ukrainian army’s self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air ‘Buk’ missile systems, the Russian general said.

“We have space images of certain places where the Ukraine’s air defense was located in the southeast of the country,” Kartapolov noted.

The first three shots that were shown by the general are dated July 14. The images show Buk missile launch systems in about 8km northwest of the city of Lugansk – a self-propelled vehicle and two launchers, according to the military official.

Another image shows a radar station near Donetsk.

 

Radar stations of the air defense in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Radar stations of the air defense in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

While the third picture shows the location of the air defense systems near Donetsk, he explained. In particular, one can clearly see the self-propelled system, about 60 units of military and special equipment, he elaborated.

 

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

“Images from this area were also made on July 17. One should notice that the missile launcher is absent [from the scene]. Image number five shows the Buk missile system in the morning of the same day in the area of settlement Zaroschinskoe – 50km south of Donetsk and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk,” the Kartapolov said

 

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

 

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

The question that has to be answered is why the missile system appeared in the area controlled by the local militia forces shortly before the catastrophe, he stated. Images taken on July 18 show that the missile systems left the area of the MH17 crash on July 17, the military official said. Kartapolov also pointed to the fact that on the day of the plane crash Ukraine’s military increased the intensity of the radar stations of the Buk missile systems. In response to Moscow’s evidence, Kiev said on Monday it had proof the missile that brought down a Malaysian airliner last week came from Russia. “There is evidence that the missile which struck the plane was fired by terrorists, who received arms and specialists from the Russian Federation,” spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council Andrey Lysenko told a news conference. “To disown this tragedy, [Russia] are drawing a lot of pictures and maps. We will explore any photos and other plans produced by the Russian side.”

A video has emerged of the targeting and killing by a sniper of a Palestinian civilian in Gaza City’s Shujaiya neighborhood where Israeli shelling killed dozens of civilians and caused massive destruction early on Sunday morning.

The video, documenting a war crime, was uploaded to YouTube by the International Solidarity Movement, which described the incident in a 20 July press release:

The Israeli military just shot a Gazan man trying to reach his family, during an announced ceasefire. He was with a group of municipality workers and international human rights defenders who were attempting to retrieve injured people in the Shujaiya neighborhood.

“We all just watched a man murdered in front of us. He was trying to reach his family in Shujaiya, he had not heard from them and was worried about them. They shot him, and then continued to fire as he was on the ground. We had no choice but to retreat. We couldn’t reach him due to the artillery fire and then he stopped moving.” Stated Joe Catron, US International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist in Gaza. “Shajiya is a smoking wasteland. We just passed two bombed out ambulances.”

The Israel military has also shelled Red Crescent ambulances as they attempted to retrieve injured people in the Shujaiya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City. A ceasefire was announced, during which injured and dead people, could be evacuated from the area, in which at least 60 people have been killed today.

“They said we would be able to evacuate the injured from the disaster zone, but they have been shelling ambulances,” stated Dr Khalil Abu Foul of the Palestinian Red Crescent, speaking from Shujaiya.

Now, the international volunteers, including some from the US, the UK, and Sweden, are in a rescue centre on the outskirts of Shujaiya.

Catron is also a frequent contributor to The Electronic Intifada.

This photo taken by Joe Catron shows the group of human rights defenders wearing yellow vests, and a young man in jeans and a green t-shirt. The same young man appears in the video above, shot.

Israeli war crimes have been documented on video with depressing frequency, including the 15 May sniper killings of two Palestinian teens in the occupied West Bank town of Beitunia.

However even such evidence rarely results in justice or accountability, due to the systematic impunity Israel affords perpetrators of crimes against Palestinians.

Relentless slaughter continues

Israel’s relentless slaughter continued on Monday for the fourteenth consecutive day, killing multiple members of three extended families as the death toll rose to over 500, Ma’an News Agency reported.

In Khan Younis, at least 26 members of the Abu Jami family were killed by Israeli shelling in the largest single atrocity so far. Democracy Now reporter Sharif Kouddous in Gaza captured these photos of the massacre’s aftermath.

 

Another Israeli Attack on a Hospital, Another War Crime

July 21st, 2014 by Global Research News

PRESS RELEASE,  MINISTRY OF HEALTH GAZA

July 21, 2014

The Ministry of Health Gaza strongly condemns today’s attacks on health facilities and personnel by the Israeli occupation forces, and expresses its deep concern at the serious implications for patients, health personnel and provision of critical medical care.

Israeli tanks attacked Al Aqsa hospital in Deir Al Balah three times this afternoon, killing five patients and doctors, and injuring more than 70.

The third and fourth floors, housing the emergency department, orthopaedic department, surgical department, and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were destroyed. Operating theatres had to cease work because of the lack of oxygen.

 Patients are being evacuated to the already over-stretched Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and the European Gaza Hospital between Rafah and Khan Younes, which has also been damaged by Israeli fire.

 “At a time when hospitals are overwhelmed with patients because of the brutal Israeli offensive, it is vital that these facilities be protected and medical staff be allowed to provide urgent medical, surgical and obstetric care to patients without any risk,” said Dr Medhat Abbas, Director of Al Aqsa Hospital.

 Today’s atrocity is the latest in a series of Israeli attacks on hospitals in Gaza, in clear breach of the Geneva Convention.

The European Gaza Hospital was struck on July 9, damaging the ICU and the paediatric unit, and injuring a nurse. The Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital was struck by rockets several times, eventually forcing the evacuation of 17 high-dependency patients amid fire and smoke on July 17.

Beit Hanoun hospital was hit on July 18 and 19, the first strikes targeting an area containing a children’s ward, reception area, and doctors’ offices. The next day ten shells were fired around it, injuring many and causing extensive damage in the area.

 Six Primary Health Care clinics and four ambulances have been damaged, 13 health facilities closed, 20 health personnel injured, and a pharmacist and a paramedic have been killed, in addition to today’s casualties.

We deplore the escalating violence against Gazan civilians and civilian infrastructure, and demand that the Israeli occupation respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians, health facilities and health professionals.

We note that attacks against health facilities can be considered war crimes under international law, and call upon the international community and the United Nations to take immediate action to prevent further such outrages against the Gazan citizenry by the Israeli occupation.

MH17: The Tragic Misuse of a Tragedy

July 21st, 2014 by Jan Oberg

The government of Ukraine as well as the separatists, NATO/U.S. and very many leading Western mainstream media seem all to know who has caused the tragedy. Putin believes it was caused indirectly by the West.

Given the fact that very few, if any, people or institutions canknow who did it with enough details, data and precision to accuse anyone, the MH17 tragedy has been misused to an extent that can itself only be termed tragic.

The misuse is tragic because it is a catastrophe for close to 300 people, their relatives and friends. Silence – of both verbal and military weapons – and empathy would have been appropriate.

Anyone pointing fingers and calling it a terrorist act at this point is irresponsibly or should present convincing evidence.

Secondly, the blame game makes the necessary road to peace and security even more difficult.

An All Party Peace Process should come out of MH17 and the civil war

It would have been so much more civilised to use the MH 17 tragedy to say:

This is the moment for all of us to come together – Kiev, Eastern Ukraine, Russia, the EU and the U.S.; we call upon the UN perhaps with the OSCE to convene a meeting with all parties – including civil society.

There they shall voice their grievances, say what they fearand give their priorities and, step by step, begin to discuss ceasefire, ceasefire arrangements, monitoring and dialogue (not negotiate) and brainstorm about futurearrangement they could all live with.

I would call it an All Party Peace Process, APPP, within a time horizon of 12-24 months.

Its first step must be that arms fall silent and that that silence is kept by a carpet of several thousand international military and civilian monitors. Fear must go before anyone will meet and talk.

We must understand that the alternative to such an approach – or something similar – is major war.

It will be a continued war, something like Yugoslavia but with the added risk of a military confrontation along Ukraine’s borders.

It will lead to boundless hatred among people who are otherwise very close and don’t have natural – only political, nationalist – reasons to hate.

It will mean generations of reconciliation work – again – in Europe.

Results of 1989 – 2014

The situation has moved close, very close, to a new Cold War.

Since 1989 this has been caused more by NATO’s expansion than by Russia. It is Russia that now has its former adversary at its doorstep; it is not Russia that has expanded a military nuclear-based alliance to the doorsteps of, say, the Baltic Sea, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Iran or the United States.

The Western winner has failed miserably in creating a modern version of common security and  build confidencewith Russia, the loser.

Interfering in Ukraine, instigating regime change and seeking to get Ukraine into NATO and the EU sooner instead of later is a proof of that wrong-headed approach since 1989.

Therefore, it can be argued, the situation today is moredangerous than the old Cold War. For all the believers in the idea of peace through balance, it must be frightening that Russia’s military expenditures are only 7-8% of NATO’s.

A new hot war

You may not agree with this way of seeing it. But you mustanyhow share the view that a peace process today is better than a major war tomorrow.

So let’s come together in creative thinking about the future rather than the past.

Even if the West thinks that it is right and Putin wrong does right make might?

To show just how right it is and how strong it is (sometimes called hubris) is the West and its citizens willing to endure a new Cold War with a risk higher than in the old Cold War days that it will turn hot?

To get a totally ruined Ukraine into NATO?

Another 50 years of animosity and hatred between Russia and the EU/NATO?

A Russia that allies with Asia/BRICS and turns its back on Europe?

A war that devastate our economies?

Perhaps Russian terrorists aiming their actions at Western Europe because Russia is too weak to fight a war with NATO?

Nuclear confrontation?

Think a little – is that in anyone’s interest?

The devil: the belief in violence as a solution

Am I painting the devil on the wall? In a sense, yes, because the devil in all this is violence, the belief in getting your way by destroying what you don’t like.

But even if a driver has the right because of a green traffic light, is it so smart to exercise that right if another car is approaching in high speed from the side, the driver ignoring the light?

Characteristic of all conflict situations is that the parties:

a) lose the ability to foresee the consequences of their own actions and the opponents re-action and

b) go for a tit-for-tat thinking that

c) makes the opponent the main target while forgetting what the conflict itself was all about and

d) get more and more convinced they are right and, therefore, tend to

e) escalate the tension or violence.

Everyone in a conflict usually has some good points, some justifiable arguments. The problem is that, taken togetherand pursued by violence, they end us all up in war.

That is the other devil in all this.

MH17 as a wake up call to a peace process

You and I care about human lives. Let’s think of ways to honour those killed onboard MH17 so their deaths serve something good instead of more war.

If we use instead of misuse the MH17 tragedy we shall now focus on the thousands or tens of thousands not yet killed but who will be killed and wounded in the looming larger war in Ukraine. If we don’t stop to think now.

We can’t save the lives of the MH17 passengers but we can prevent a future mass human suffering that is war.

Let MH17 be the wake up call that takes the main actors back from the abyss they are dangerously close to and taking us all with them into.

One road to peace is the APPP I suggest.

Look to the future and tell me what your constructive proposals are.

Jan ObergTFF director, dr. hc.

TFF provides research and public education related to the basic UN Charter norm that “peace shall be established by peaceful means”. 

We are always happy to hear from you or try to answer your questions.

This text may be reprinted as it is with due credit and links to TFF but we shall appreciate you telling us. If shortened, please send the abridged version to obtain our permission.

Russia has now shown its satellite pictures and radar information from the Donetsk, Ukraine region during the July 17, 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash.

The Wall Street Journal reported in its article, “Russia Presents Its Account of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash,” that:

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday presented its first detailed account of the final moments of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, saying Russian radar had spotted a second aircraft in the vicinity shortly before the crash and that satellite imagery showed Ukraine had moved missile systems into the area before the incident.

At a news conference, air force chief Igor Makushev didn’t say who the ministry thought had fired the missile that apparently brought down the airliner on Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal also reported:

In an elaborate presentation displaying radar and satellite imagery, Mr. Makushev said it was likely that the second airplane was a Ukrainian fighter jet. He also showed satellite photos allegedly portraying several Buk ground-to-air missile systems in the area close to where the plane crashed. The systems, he said, could only belong to the Ukrainian military. Ukraine has accused Russia of giving the rebels a Buk system, with which they then shot down the passenger jet.

Mr. Makushev said the airplane deviated from its course by 14 kilometers, but then attempted to return to its course, before crashing shortly after.

He said Russia is prepared to hand all of the information it has to European authorities, which included satellite imagery and data from its own radars.

Indeed, the evidence suggested Kiev’s regime deployed anti-air missile systems in Donetsk in and around the area where flight MH17 crashed. They also provided information regarding Ukrainian warplanes trailing flight MH17, the possibility of an air-to-air attack on MH17, and inconsistencies with Ukrainian air traffic control.

There were a series of questions asked throughout the presentation – nothing was “concluded” – which is in direct contrast to the West which has shown the world nothing in terms of evidence, but has drawn many inflammatory, politically-motivated conclusions.Russia has shown a great deal of evidence directly contradicting the West’s baseless claims. Now it’s time for the Pentagon to show the world their pictures and data along with their explanations.

The following video is presented in both Russian and English:

Earth rising behind the moon. (Photo courtesy of NASA, Lewis Research Center)

Washington, DC – Forty-five years ago, astronaut Neil Armstrong took his “one small step” for mankind, becoming the first person to set foot on the moon. The program that resulted in that historic event — managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) — had been a very public one ever since its announcement by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Even the Soviet government had publicized aspects of its own effort.

But there were also highly secret elements to the U.S. and Soviet schemes, which are the subject of today’s National Security Archive posting of previously classified records. The documents focus on three topics — early U.S. military plans, including the possibility of conducting nuclear tests in space, the use of the moon to reflect signals for military or intelligence purposes, and U.S. intelligence analyses and estimates of Soviet missions and their intentions to land a man on the lunar surface.

The posting includes:

Figure 1-23, “View from Flight Simulator” from Document 1.

Army and Air Force studies from 1959 – 1961 on the creation of a military lunar base, with possible uses as a surveillance platform (for targets on earth and space) and the Lunar Based Earth Bombardment System (Document 1a, Document 1b, Document 3, Document 4).

A study on the detonation of a nuclear device on or in the vicinity of the moon (Document 2).

The use of the lunar surface to relay signals from Washington to Hawaii and from U.S. spy ships (Document 15).

Collection of Soviet radar signals after they bounced off the moon — a technique known as Moon Bounce ELINT (Document 11, Document 14).

The U.S. theft and return of a Soviet space capsule during an exhibition tour (Document 13).

A 1965 estimate of Soviet intentions with regard to a manned moon landing (Document 5).

Several analyses of Soviet Luna missions, including Luna 9 — the first mission to result in a soft landing on the moon (Document 6, Document 7, Document 8, Document 10, Document 16).

* * * *

Soldiers, Spies, and the Moon

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon, an event watched by a worldwide audience of approximately 600 million people. Armstrong’s “one small step” was the result of a prolonged and intense campaign initiated when President John F. Kennedy told Congress on May 25, 1961, that “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”1

Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong left a small, gold replica of an olive branch on the moon in 1969. “The gesture represented a wish for peace for all mankind,” according to NASA. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

The prolonged and public U.S. effort that resulted in Armstrong’s arrival on the lunar surface took place along with a competing Soviet program that involved spacecraft in lunar orbit as well as unmanned landings. While the U.S. had attained a number of important firsts with regard to the secret efforts to employ space for military, particularly intelligence, purposes, the Soviets had beat the United States in the more visible achievements of placing a spacecraft in orbit (Sputnik) and a man in space (Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961). For much of the U.S. effort there was the concern that the Soviet astronauts would also arrive on the moon first.

While the U.S. civilian program to reach the moon, and some details of the Soviet one, were public, there were other aspects of the race to the moon that were more secretive. They included the details of earlier proposals for military activities on or near the moon, the ability to use “moonbounce” for intelligence or communications purposes, and the U.S. intelligence community’s attempt to collect and analyze information about the Soviet lunar program.

Lunar Bases and Detonations

Before the mission of landing a man on the moon was definitively assigned to the civilian National Aeronautics and Space Administration, both the Army and the Air Force lobbied to establish outposts on the moon. A two-volume Army study (Document 1a, Document 1b), Project Horizon, argued that there was a need for a military moon base that would be used to develop techniques for surveillance of both earth and space, communications relay, and operations on the lunar surface. The study examined not only the technical aspects — the necessary space transportation system, its launch, construction of the base, and communications — but political, management, policy and legal implications.

One Air Force study (Document 3), produced by the service’s Ballistic Missile Division in April 1960, had alternative titles — one classified (Military Lunar Base Program) and one unclassified (S.R. 183 Lunar Observatory Study). It laid out a six-phase effort, beginning in November 1964 and concluding with a lunar base becoming operational in June 1969. Among the options being considered, according to the study, was a Lunar Based Earth Bombardment System. The second Air Force study (Document 4), published in May 1961, was the Air Force Systems Command’s Lunar Expedition Plan — LUNEX. A key reason for such an expedition was to demonstrate that the United States could successfully compete with the Soviets in the technology sphere.

A different potential military use of the moon was found in a study (Document 3) produced by Leonard Reiffel of the Armour Research Institute at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1959. Its title, A Study of Lunar Research Flights, did not reveal the proposed purpose of those flights — to deliver a nuclear device to the surface or to the vicinity of the moon, where it would be detonated. Also involved in the study effort was the yet-to-become-famous astronomer Carl Sagan. Many years later, Reiffell said that the “foremost intent [of such a detonation] was to impress the world with the prowess of the United States” and that the Air Force ended the project when its leadership decided the risks exceeded the potential benefits.2

Moonbounce

Footprint left on the moon by an Apollo 11 astronaut. (Photo courtesy of NASA Langley Research Center)

While NASA’s lunar program helped preclude — undoubtedly along with international political considerations — any military service ambitions to establish an outpost on the moon, the military and the Intelligence Community found at least two ways, after 1961, to make use of the moon without leaving Earth. Both approaches involved signals bounced off the moon, a possibility that had been confirmed by experiment as early as 1946.

In one case, the U.S. was purposefully bouncing signals off the Moon as a means of relaying intelligence information. Carried on-board U.S. Navy signals intelligence ships, such as the U.S.S. Liberty, was a system designated TRSSCOMM — Technical Research Ship Special Communications — a successor to the Communications Moon Relay (CMR) system established in 1956 to relay teletype and facsimile messages between Washington, D.C. and Hawaii (Document 15). As James Bamford reported, TRSSCOM consisted of a “sixteen-foot, dish-shaped antenna mounted on a movable platform and capable of bouncing a 10,000-watt microwave signal off a particular spot on the moon and down either to the receiving station at Cheltenham, Maryland or to one of the other Navy SIGINT ships.” He also noted that, while the system had the advantage of allowing large volumes of information to be transmitted without giving away the location of the ship carrying out the transmissions, it seldom worked properly.3

In the second case, as explained in two articles (Document 11, Document 14) in the CIA’s Studies in Intelligence journal, the United States Intelligence Community was intercepting signals from Soviet anti-ballistic and air defense radar systems after they had exited the Earth’s atmosphere and bounced off the moon. The CIA employed a 150-foot dish antenna at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California to monitor Soviet radar signals reflected off the moon, while the National Security Agency used the Arecibo Ionospheric Observatory in Puerto Rico to intercept signals that had originally been transmitted from a Soviet Arctic Coast radar. The Air Force also had its own moonbounce project — designated FLOWER GARDEN — which relied on several antennas, including the 250-foot antenna at Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory in England. Other moonbounce antennas were located at Sugar Grove, West Virginia, and the Naval Research Laboratory’s Chesapeake Bay Annex. The latter made the first intercept of a signal from the Soviet Hen House radar.4

Monitoring the Soviet Lunar Program

While NASA pursued its lunar program, the U.S. Intelligence Community closely monitored the entire Soviet space program, including its lunar component. The declassified documents in this posting concern a number of aspects of that effort — collection through a variety of means, different levels of analysis, and analysis of specific missions.

Two very different collection activities are the subjects of two Studies in Intelligence articles. One, published in 1964 (Document 6), examined the interception of Soviet space pictures that had been transmitted from their assorted space programs — including Sputnik, Cosmos, and Lunik — to stations in the Soviet Union. A second, published three years later (Document 13), involved a more unconventional approach – the temporary theft of a Lunik spacecraft that was part of an exhibition of Soviet industrial and economic achievements in an unspecified country.

Early in the U.S. lunar program, in April 1963, the CIA’s Office of National Estimates, the forerunner of today’s National Intelligence Council, explored the subject of Soviet intentions concerning a manned lunar landing (Document 5). It reviewed relevant developments in the Soviet program as well as tried to assess the extent of the Soviet commitment to beating the U.S. to the moon.

One particular mission — the Luna 9 mission of February 1964 — produced a number of different classified publications. Two of those (Document 7, Document 8) followed closely after the mission and were intended to provide reasonably current intelligence. One (Document 7) was an assessment of the entire mission, while the other (Document 8) was more narrowly focused — a preliminary technical analysis of Luna 9 photography performed by the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) at the request of the CIA’s Foreign Missile and Space Analysis Center (FMSAC). (A similar study (Document 12) with regard to Luna 13 photography was also produced by NPIC at FMSAC’s request).5

Two articles published in CIA and NSA journals represented retrospective accounts concerning the Luna 9 collection and analysis effort. One (Document 16) recounted in the NSA’s Crytpologic Almanac the author’s participation in intercepting and processing Luna 9 imagery. Another (Document 10) contains a broader account of the U.S collection and analysis effort concerning Luna 9 and the years preceding it.

Overview

Much of the U.S. lunar program that followed President Kennedy’s decision to assign NASA the responsibility to send men to the moon was conducted openly — but there are other aspects of U.S. plans with regard to the moon are revealed, at least in part, by declassified documents.

The Soviet lunar program was only one part of the Soviet space program, which involved launch facilities and vehicles, production facilities, earth-orbiting military and civilian spacecraft, and interplanetary probes to Mars and Venus.6 While Soviet military satellites were the most important targets due to their potential threat to U.S. national security, the Cold War competition between the United States and Soviet Union meant that space exploration efforts, even if devoid of military activities, were significant elements of the propaganda war — which made them important targets for the U.S. Intelligence Community, a story which is also partially told by declassified documents.

THE DOCUMENTS

Document 1a: United States Army, Project Horizon, Volume I: Summary and Supporting Considerations, March 20, 1959. Classification Not Available.

Source: www.history.army.mil

Document 1b: United States Army, Project Horizon, Volume II: Technical Considerations and Plans, March 20, 1959. Classification Not Available.

Source: www.history.army.mil

This two-volume study was based on the Army’s premise that “there is a requirement for a manned military outpost on the moon” and that outpost was required to develop techniques in moon-based surveillance of the earth and space, in communications relay, and in operations on the lunar surface. Volume I consists of four chapters (introduction, technical considerations and plans, management and planning considerations, non-technical supporting considerations) and three appendices (U.S. space policy, legal and political implications, and technical services support capabilities). The second volume, fully focusing on technical considerations, examines the possible outpost, the space transportation system required, communications, the launch site, program logistics, research and development, and program cost and schedule.

Document 2: L. Reiffel, Armour Research Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology, A Study of Lunar Research Flights, Volume I (Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico: Air Force Special Weapons Center, June 19, 1959). Classification Not Available.

Source: www.dtic.mil

This volume focuses on the possibility of a nuclear detonation on or near the moon’s surface. The introduction notes the possibility that both scientific and military purposes would be advanced — including information on the space environment as well as the capability of nuclear weapons for space warfare. The chapters of volume I focus on optical studies concerning the nuclear device’s trip to the moon, the blast, and the thermal conductivity of the lunar surface; seismic observations on the Moon; the lunar radiation environment; the Moon’s magnetic field; and other topics. Two, probably classified/sensitive, chapters are contained in Volume II.

Document 3: Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, Military Lunar Base Program (C) or S.R. 183 Lunar Observatory Study (U), Volume I: Study Summary and Program Plan , April 1960. (Extract)

Source: Air Force Freedom of Information Act Release

This volume summarizes a study whose objective was to “determine an economical and sound approach for establishing a manned intelligence observatory on the moon” — with technical requirements being the subject of Volume II. It delineates a six-phase effort beginning with lunar probes in late 1964 and progressing through lunar orbits, a soft lunar landing, lunar landing and return, manned vehicle development, and concluding with an operational lunar base in June 1969. It also states that decisions concerning the types of strategic systems to be placed on the moon (including a Lunar Based Earth Bombardment System) could be safely deferred for three to four years.

Document 4: Air Force Systems Command, Lunar Expedition Plan – LUNEX , May 1961. Secret.

Source: Air Force Freedom of Information Act Release

This document identifies the purpose of a Lunar Expedition as being manned exploration of the moon with first landing and return in late 1967. It asserts that “this one achievement if accomplished before the USSR, will serve to demonstrate conclusively that this nation possesses the capability to win future competition in technology.” Its main sections provide a program description, and discuss master schedules, development and production, budget matters, program management, materiel support, engineering, personnel and training, and intelligence matters.

Document 5: Office of National Estimates, Central Intelligence Agency, Memorandum for the Director, Subject: Soviet Intentions Concerning a Manned Lunar Landing, April 25, 1963, Top Secret/ DINAR [DELETED] RUFF .

Source: CIA Records Search Tool (CREST), National Archives and Records Administration, College, Park, Maryland.

The summary to this estimate notes the uncertainty about Soviet intentions with regard to a moon landing: while repeating the Office of National Estimate’s previous view that the odds were better than even that the Soviets would seek to beat the U.S. to moon, it also states that it was possible “Soviet lunar objectives are less ambitious.” The authors examine the resumption of Soviet unmanned lunar launchings, Soviet statements concerning a manned lunar landing, an analysis of Soviet ground facilities, and offer conclusions.

Document 6: Henry G. Plaster, “Snooping on Space Pictures,” Studies in Intelligence, Fall 1964, pp. 31-39. Secret.

Source: www.foia.cia.gov

One component of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s effort in gathering intelligence on the Soviet space program was intercepting the signals, including video, from Soviet spacecraft. This article reports on the efforts and results with regard to a variety of categories of Soviet spacecraft operations – Sputnik, Cosmos, and Lunik. Included is a discussion of the efforts with regard to Lunik III’s video of the lunar surface.

Document 7: Office of Scientific Intelligence, Directorate of Science and Technology, “Preliminary Analysis of Luna 9,” Scientific Intelligence Digest, March 1966. Top Secret.

Source: CIA CREST

This heavily redacted article, which appeared in a journal of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, focuses on the Soviet Luna 9 mission — which concluded with the first soft landing on the moon and the transmission of images of the lunar surface. Portions of the article cover the configuration of the Luna 9 spacecraft, its missions, and the implications of radiation measurements on the Moon for human safety.

Document 8: National Photographic Interpretation Center, NPIC/R-5017/66, Preliminary Analysis of Luna-9 Photography , June 1966. Secret.

Source: CIA CREST

In response to a request from the CIA’s Foreign Missile and Space Analysis Center, the agency’s National Photographic Interpretation Center produced a preliminary analysis of the photography transmitted by the Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft. The analysis focused on the spacecraft’s photographic system, the spacecraft, and identifying new information on the lunar surface.

Document 9: Carl Berger, USAF Historical Liaison Division Office, The Air Force in Space, Fiscal Year 1961, April 1966 (Extract). Secret.

Source: Air Force Freedom of Information Act Release

This extract titled “Man on the Moon – A National Objective” notes that the Air Force was concerned over “the apparent inadequacy of our current National Space Program” and reports that the “Air Force said that long-time studies showed convincingly that an orderly and phased lunar expedition culminating in a 1967 landing and return was perfectly feasible.”

Document 10: James Burke, “Seven Years to Luna 9,” Studies in Intelligence, 10 (Summer 1966), pp. 1-24. Secret.

Source: http://isulibrary.isunet.edu

This article also concerns the 1966 Luna 9 mission, examined more narrowly in earlier reports (Document 7, Document 8). Its purpose is “to tell the story of how intelligence kept track of that effort through the collection and analysis of telemetric and other information.” The author covers a number of events and activities leading up to the mission and the U.S. collection effort — the early lunar program, Soviet launch vehicles, collection and prediction through 1961, US. deep-space collection, Soviet planetary shots in 1962, and Soviet space launches in 1964 and 1965 — and then the Luna 9 mission itself.

Document 11: Frank Eliot, “Moon Bounce ELINT,” Studies in Intelligence 11, 2 (Spring 1967): 59-65. Secret.

Source: www.foia.cia.gov

While the moon figured in purely hypothetical plans to collect intelligence from the lunar surface, it was employed, in a different way, in an actual effort to gather intelligence on Soviet anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missile radars. That technique, recounted in this article, was based on the 1946 detection of a man-made signal reflected off the moon.

Document 12: National Photographic Interpretation Center, NPIC/R-5015/67, Analysis of Luna-13 Photography, July 1967. Secret.

Source: CIA CREST

As with Document 8, this NPIC report was a response to a request from the Foreign Missile and Space Analysis Center for an analysis of the video signals transmitted by a Soviet lunar spacecraft — focusing on the photographic system, the spacecraft, and the lunar surface.

Document 13: Sydney Wesley Finer, “The Kidnaping of the Lunik,” Studies in Intelligence, 11, 3 (Winter 1967), pp. 33-39. Secret.

Source: http://media.nara.gov

While a common source of intelligence on Soviet space, including lunar, efforts was collected through satellite photography and electronic intercepts, a more unusual and less frequent source is described in this article. It describes how the CIA “borrowed,” examined, and returned a Soviet Lunik spacecraft that was part of an exhibition touring several countries to promote Soviet industrial and economic achievements.

Document 14: N.C. Gerson, “SIGINT in Space,” Studies in Intelligence, 28, 2 (Summer 1984). Secret.

Source: Author’s collection

Among the topics discussed in this article is the author’s work on the “moonbounce” phenomenon and the possibility of establishing an intercept site on the moon.

Document 15: Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, From the Sea to the Stars: A Chronicle of the U.S. Navy’s Space and Space-related Activities, 1944-2009, 2010. Unclassified. (Extract)

Source: www.history.navy.mil/space/FromTheSeaToTheStars-2010ed.pdf

These pages from an official history discuss two attempts to use the moon as a communication relay — the establishment of a Communications Moon Relay (CMR) system in 1956 for transmission of teletype and facsimile messages between Washington, D.C. and Hawaii, and the Technical Research-Ship Special Communications (TRSSCOM) for “spy ship” communications.

Document 16: John O’Hara, “Luna 9, the First Soft Landing on the Moon,” Cryptologic Almanac, January – March 2003. Unclassified/For Official Use Only.

Source: www.nsa.gov

This article, from a National Security Agency journal, focuses on NSA’s role, and particularly that of the author, in intercepting and processing the images from the Luna 9 spacecraft — and in delivering them to the president’s desk that afternoon.

Notes

[1] William E. Burrows, This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age (New York: Random House, 1998), p. 330.

[2] William J. Broad, “U.S. Planned Nuclear Blast on the Moon, Physicist Says,” New York Times, May 16, 2000, p. A15; Keay Davidson, Carl Sagan: A Life (New York: Wiley, 1999), pp. 94-95.

[3] James Bamford, The Puzzle Palace: A Report on NSA, America’s Most Secret Agency (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Company, 1982), p. 219.

[4] Jeffrey T. Richelson, The Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 2001), pp. 89-90.

[5] On the Luna program see, William E. Burrows, Exploring Space: Voyages in the Solar System and Beyond (New York: Random House, 1990), pp. 160-163.

[6] A future National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book will cover U.S. Intelligence efforts focusing on the other elements of the Soviet space program.

Ukraine hasn’t said how it immediately knew rebels downed Malaysian plane, notes the Russian Foreign Ministry, as it unveils 10 awkward questions for Ukraine (and perhaps the US ‘snap judgment’) to answer about the MH17 disaster.

However, what is perhaps of greater concern for those “hordes of finger-pointers” is that:

RUSSIA HAS IMAGES OF UKRAINE DEPLOYING BUK ROCKETS IN EAST: IFX

RUSSIA: UKRAINE MOVED BUK NEAR REBELS IN DONETSK JULY 17: IFX

RUSSIA DETECTED UKRAINIAN FIGHTER JET PICK UP SPEED TOWARD MH17

Obviously, if there is proof that this is so, aside from CIA-created YouTube clips, these would deal another unpleasant blow to US foreign policy.

The Russian defense ministry during its press conference:

Here is the full clip of the Russian ministry releasing its own forensic analysis of what happened to flight MH17 (with English translation).

YouTube-Clip  28:47 min  –    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSpeo5RcQQo

Пресс-конференция представителей минобороны России по крушению Boeing-777

Russia wants to know why Ukraine moved its BUK missiles systems the day of the MH17 crash:

RUSSIAN GENERAL STAFF HAS SPACE IMAGES OF SECTORS OF UKRAINIAN FORCES’ POSITIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN UKRAINE, INCLUDING BUK MISSILE LUNCH SITES 8 KILOMETERS FROM LUHANSK – RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY – interfax

The day the Malaysian airliner crashed, the Ukrainian forces deployed an air defense group of three or four Buk-M1 missile batteries near Donetsk, Lt. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department, told reporters on Monday.

“These surface-to-air systems are capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 35 kilometers at an altitude of 22 kilometers. For what purpose and against whom were these missile systems deployed? As is known, the militia has no aviation,” he said.

Russia has the flight paths of the Ukrainian fighters and MH17.

Furthermore, it is asking the same question we asked last Thurday:

RUSSIA SAYS MH17 DIVERGED 14 KM FROM FLIGHT PATH NEAR DONETSK

And wants to know why. The image (as seen in the presentation above) allegedly shows Ukraine fighter jets near MH17:

And asks for US proof of their accusations:

RUSSIA SAYS U.S. SATELLITE FLEW OVER MH17 AT THE TIME IT WAS DOWNED… which would provide all the proof needed to show who is responsible  – so why hasn’t the US explained this or shown it?

RUSSIA ASKS U.S. FOR EVIDENCE ROCKET FIRED FROM REBEL-HELD AREA

RUSSIA: NO U.S. PROOF THAT MISSILE FIRED FROM REBEL-HELD AREA

DEFENCE MINISTRY SAYS RUSSIA DID NOT DELIVER ANY SA-11 BUK MISSILE SYSTEMS TO SEPARATISTS IN EASTERN UKRAINE “OR ANY OTHER WEAPONS”

And went on to rebuke all the Twitter photos created by Maidan to ‘prove’ the BUKs were moving in Russian hands.Summing it all up, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has 10 questions for Ukraine [9](google translated)[9]

The global public expects a speedy and independent investigation into the causes of the Malaysian aircraft disaster in the airspace of Ukraine. In order to conduct an objective investigation, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has asked ten questions to the Ukrainian side.

1. Ukrainian authorities immediately identified the militia as the perpetrators of the tragedy. What is the basis of such findings?

2. Could official Kiev to report all the details of using [BUKs] in a war zone? Most importantly – why these systems are deployed there, as the militia no planes?3. What are the causes of inactivity of Ukrainian authorities on the formation of an international commission? When such a committee will work?

4. Are the armed forces of Ukraine international experts to present papers on accounting for missiles, air-to-air and ground-to-air ammo and anti-aircraft missiles?

5. Whether these funds objective control on the movement of the Ukrainian Air Force aircraft on the day of the tragedy brought international commission?6. Why Ukrainian air traffic controllers allowed deviation of the route of the aircraft to the north side of the “anti-terrorist operation zone”?

7. Why was not completely closed to civilian aircraft airspace over the combat zone, especially because in this area there was no solid field of radar navigation?

8. Could official Kiev to comment on reports in the net, ostensibly on behalf of the Spanish air traffic controllers working in Ukraine, which shot down over the territory of Ukraine “Boeing” was accompanied by two Ukrainian military aircraft?

9. Why Security Service of Ukraine has begun without international representatives work with recordings of talks with Ukrainian crew dispatchers “Boeing” and Ukrainian radar data?

10. How were the lessons from previous similar disasters Russian Tu-154 in 2001 in the Black Sea? Then the leaders of Ukraine until the last minute denied any involvement of the Armed Forces of the country to the tragedy until irrefutable evidence showed no guilt official Kiev.

Unfortunately, there has been no response by the Ukraine side to these questions so far. We expect that there will be some answers.

Needless to say, this places Ukraine and The US (as main protagonist of “finger pointer”) in an awkward position as finally someone, somewhere will have to present some actual facts instead of merely continuing the “emotional appeals” propaganda.

A Palestinian boy wounded by Israeli shelling, receives treatment at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, 20 July.(Ali Jadallah / APA images)

Dozens of men, women and children were killed in the early hours of Sunday as Israel indiscriminately shelled the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya.

Some sixty bodies have already been removed from the rubble of homes and apartment buildings, and the number of injured is more than two hundred, Palestinian health ministry spokesman Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra told local media.

Smoke rises after an Israeli missile hit the Shujaiya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, 20 July.   (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

But the true death toll could be even higher. The International Committee of the Red Cross said it coordinated a two-hour “humanitarian truce” to allow the rescue of the injured and the removal of bodies.

Palestinian medics carries the body of girl killed during Israeli shelling, outside al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, 20 July.(Ashraf Amra / APA images)

The latest massacre brings to more than 420 the number of Palestinians killed in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, now entering its second week. More than 3,000 people have been injured and tens of thousands have fled their homes, with many seeking shelter in UN-run schools.

Palestinians flee the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City during heavy Israeli shelling on 20 July. (Ezz al-Zanoun / APA images)

Gaza is a small territory, home to 1.8 million people, and no place in the territory has been safe from Israeli land, sea and air attacks. Egypt’s military dictatorship, closely allied with Israel, has kept the Rafah crossing tightly sealed.

The bodies of Palestinians lie on the ground of al-Shifa hospital morgue in Gaza City on 20 July following a massacre in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiyeh. (Mohammed Asad / APA images)

Eyewitnesses to aftermath

Some journalists entered Shujaiya during the pause in the Israeli attack and tweeted images of what they saw. Others tweeted images from in or near Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the dozens killed were cameraman Khaled Hammad and paramedic Fuad Jaber, in a strike on an ambulance, while they were trying to evacuate the wounded from Shujaiya.

Medics at al-Shifa hospital mourn their colleague who was targeted and killed in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya neighbourhood earlier in the day on 20 July. (Anne Paq / ActiveStills)

NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin posted these images on his Instagram account today from the morgue at Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, where many of the massacre victims have been brought:

July 20, 2014 | Shifa Hospital, Gaza City. The legs of 2 year old Khadijah killed in an Israeli strike on Shejaiya. She was one of 30 bodies claimed by relatives at the morgue in a matter of minutes during a two-hour humanitarian ceasefire allowing for families to collect the dead off of the streets and treat the injured. #gaza #shejaiya #israel #palestine #aeom on Instagram
July 20, 2014 | Shifa Hospital, Gaza. A Palestinian mother falls into her sons arms after she identified the body of her other son at the morgue at Shifa Hospital. One of at least 30 bodies identified and recovered during a two hour humanitarian ceasefire in Shejaiya. The Israeli military issued a two hour humanitarian ceasefire allowing for medics and residents to collect the bodies of those killed off of the streets and treat the injured. Others used the two hours to come and identify, claim and bury the bodies of there relatives killed. #gaza #shejaiya #israel #palestine #aeom on Instagram

 

July 20, 2014 | Shifa Hospital, Gaza. Palestinians relatives waiting to identify bodies of those killed in Israel&#039;s shelling of Shejaiya. The morgue didn&#039;t have enough refrigerators to hold bodies so they had to place them on the floor and every where there was space. At least 30 bodies were identified and reclaimed by families for burial in a two hour humanitarian cease fire. The ceasefire allowed medics and residents to recover dead bodies off of the streets, reach the wounded and evacuate them for treatment. #Gaza #shejaiya #israel #palestine #aeom on Instagram

 

Dr Mads Frederick Gilbert (centre) at Al-Shifa hospital on July 17th, treating a wounded Palestinian child, after an Israeli air strike killed 4 children and wounded 5 others

Dearest friends,

The last night was extreme. The “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying – all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.

The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12-24 hour shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last 4 months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS!

Now, once more treated like animals by “the most moral army in the world” (sic!).

My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless, my closeness to the Palestinian “sumud” gives me strength, although in glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace – but we cannot afford that, nor can they.

Ashy grey faces – Oh NO! Not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding, we still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes,cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away … to be prepared again, to be repeated all over. More then 100 cases came to Shifa in the last 24 hrs. Enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: no electricity, water, disposables, drugs, OR-tables, instruments, monitors – all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterday’s hospitals. But they do not complain, these heroes. They get on with it, like warriors, head on, enormously resolute.

And as I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, my tears flow, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening!

An then, just now, the orchestra of the Israeli war-machine starts its gruesome symphony again, just now: salvos of artillery from the navy boats just down on the shores, the roaring F16, the sickening drones (Arabic ‘Zennanis’, the hummers), and the cluttering Apaches. So much made in and paid by the US.

Mr. Obama – do you have a heart?

I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe.

I am convinced, 100%, it would change history.

Nobody with a heart AND power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.

But the heartless and merciless have done their calculations and planned another “dahyia” onslaught on Gaza.

The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death.

Please. Do what you can. This, THIS cannot continue.

Mads Gilbert MD PhD
Professor and Clinical Head
Clinic of Emergency Medicine
University Hospital of North Norway

RAMALLAH – The Palestinian consensus government Monday condemned, in the strongest terms, the “heinous massacre committed by the Israeli occupation forces against innocent Palestinian civilians in the neighborhood of Shujaeya, which led to the death of more than 60 civilians and the injury of about 400 others.”

In a statement Monday, the government renewed “its demand for the international community to immediately intervene to stop the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people,” while it also called on “all international relief organizations to intervene and save our people in the Gaza Strip.”

The Government considered the continued Israeli massacres against our people in the Gaza Strip, most recently Shujaeya’s massacre, as “war crimes that require immediate international intervention to protect Gaza’s civilians under the four Geneva Conventions.”

Chile Cuts Ties With Israel

July 21st, 2014 by Global Research News

by Ronan Burtenshaw 

This week the Chilean government suspended free trade agreement negotiations with Israel over its continuing massacres in Gaza. Ronan Burtenshaw has a look behind the headline and finds historic and ethnic ties between Chile and Palestine.

It isn’t the first Latin American state to take a strong stance on the issue. In 2009, Venezuela severed diplomatic ties with Israel altogether and Bolivia limited them in the wake of Operation Cast Lead. In 2010, Nicaragua suspended ties and Ecuador recalled its ambassador after the raid on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. Cuba broke diplomatic ties in 1973 – and also contributed directly to the Palestinian liberation struggle by training PLO and PFLP fighters. By stark contrast to the European Union, firm responses to Israeli violence are commonplace in Latin America, particularly among its left-wing states.

Many have good reason – Israel sold arms to the military juntas and right-wing contras that repressed popular uprisings in the region throughout the 1970s and ‘80s.

But Chile is a special case. It is home to the largest Palestinian population outside the Middle East, a little-known and rarely discussed fact. Around half-a-million Chileans claim Palestinian roots following waves of emigration which began in the nineteenth century but accelerated rapidly in the twentieth as Palestinians were ethnically-cleansed from their homeland.

The majority of Chile’s Palestinian community are of Christian descent, many originating from the towns around Jerusalem. With the exception of Taybeh and Beit Jala few of these survived the Nakba and decades of colonisation since. Today, according to Bernard Sabella of Bethlehem University, there are more Palestinian Christians in exile than in the region itself.

Those in Chile have their traditional home in Patronato, Santiago’s Palestinian quarter, with its Orthodox Cathedral of San Jorge, Arab kebab skewers and nargila. They also have a football club called Club Deportivo Palestino – whose ultras call themselves Intifada. Twice champions of the Chilean Primera División they currently lie fifth with half the season remaining. Earlier this year Palestino released a jersey which used a map of historic Palestine as the number one on the back of the shirt, and kept this map on their latest jersey despite league censure.

Chile continues to take refugees from the Palestinian diaspora which Israel refuses to grant a right to return home. In 2008 it received over 100 refugees from Iraq who had been displaced by America’s occupation.

Against this backdrop a cross-party delegation from the Chilean parliament met with their Foreign Minister on Monday to demand action against Israel. They included the Communist Party’s Camila Vallejo, famed for leading mass student demonstrations in recent years, as well as Palestinian-Chileans such as Fuad Chahin of the Christian Democrats.

Michele Bachelet’s centre-left government condemned Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip last week but after Monday’s negotiations congressman Patricio Vallespin confirmed that the government had also frozen its free trade agreement. The Vice-President of the Senate Eugenio Tuma added that there was a commitment to take objections to the UN and to state “in the strongest possible terms”that Israel “must halt the killing of civilians that is happening in the Palestinian territories.”There were also talks about the future of the Chilean embassy in Tel-Aviv.

Meanwhile, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs sided with Israel in the Irish parliament yesterday and Tánaiste Joan Burton today refused attempts by Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and the Socialist Party to have the issue debated – brushing it off to committee and went on holidays for two months.

This marks a considerable deterioration in the position of the Irish state in relation to Israel’s occupation. When Micheál Martin served as Minister for Foreign Affairs he showed strong support for Gaza, calling its blockade a “medieval siege”, condemning Israel’s intervention on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, twice visiting the Gaza Strip and penning op-eds in the New York Times about the hardship Israel’s policies were causing there.

Across the European Union, Israel’s biggest trading partner, the response to the latest massacre in Gaza is much the same as Ireland’s Fine Gael-Labour government. Yesterday EU leaders said Israel should kill Palestinians “proportionately” and repeated the propaganda that this latest operation was an act of self-defence. Sweet-heart trading deals remain in place, as do multi-billion euro military partnerships.

While South African leaders are repeating calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel’s modern Apartheid, Latin America shows the way.

Copyright Ronan Burtenshaw,  Rabble.ca 2014

The US Congress is doing its part to escalate the tensions with Russia over Ukraine and a host of other issues. In so doing, the legislative and executive branches of the US Government work hand in glove to further the US-NATO agenda in Eastern Europe.

The bill, propagandistically titled the “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014,” (S.2277) was proposed by right wing Republican Senator Bob Corker, and has been cosponsored by a significant number of prominent Republicans in the Senate. While Democrats have yet to cosponsor the bill, they are almost without exception behind President Obama and his aggressive policy towards Russia and Ukraine. Indeed, this bill, though obviously partisan in its political character, represents the consensus within the US political establishment – a consensus that presumes US aggression in Eastern Europe to be defensive in the face of Putin’s “expansionism” and “imperial ambitions.”

It goes without saying that such a distorted world-view is par for the course in Washington, where upside-down logic is the predominant way of thinking about the world. However, the proposed legislation is less a response to perceived aggression from Moscow, and more of an attempt to capitalize on the crisis in Ukraine, using it as a convenient pretext for the expansion of NATO, continued militarization of Eastern Europe, promotion of corporate oil and gas interests, and much more.

Essentially, the bill provides a blueprint for US intentions in Ukraine and Eastern Europe for the coming years. Moreover, it reflects the greatest concern of all for Washington and its NATO allies: the loss of hegemony in the post-Soviet space. Seen in this way, S.2277 is not truly about punitive measures to punish Russia for its “aggression,” but rather is about pre-emptively attacking Russia politically and economically, while building up to a possible military confrontation. Needless to say, such dangerous and destabilizing actions are a reflection of the moral bankruptcy, not to mention utter insanity, of the US political establishment and the ruling class it serves.

A Close Reading of S.2277

In examining the language of the bill, one is immediately struck by the all-encompassing nature of the proposals, that is to say, the way in which the bill goes far beyond merely “punishing Russia,” instead advancing a militaristic agenda for all of Eastern Europe that will fundamentally remake the political and military character of the region. Indeed, far from punitive measures, the bill lays out strategic objectives that are designed to escalate the conflict, exacerbate tensions, and generally lead to some kind of disastrous confrontation. There is no conciliatory language in the bill, no concessions, no recognition of legitimate Russian interests in Ukraine or anywhere else for that matter, nothing to indicate that US political figures have learned anything at all from the last six months.

S.2277 “Directs the President to: (1) implement a plan for increasing U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, and other NATO member-states; and (2) direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO to seek consideration for permanently basing NATO forces in such countries.”

At the outset, the bill establishes the fact that US policy must be rooted in the strategy of NATO expansion and further militarization. The phrase “increasing U.S. and NATO support” is deliberately ambiguous. Rather than enumerating a clear strategy for NATO members in the Baltic and Poland, the bill rather provides an open-ended “support” which could include anything and everything Washington and NATO might want to provide, from advanced weapons systems and additional funding to “boots on the ground.” It should be noted that even the notion of additional military buildup in the Baltic states is an escalation and a provocation considering Russia’s naval fleet at Kaliningrad which, quite likely, would be seen by the Kremlin as under threat from NATO.

Of course, the greatest provocation comes in the second clause regarding consideration from Poland and the Baltic states for permanent basing rights. Such a development would be far more than an escalation, it would be a provocation of the highest order, an attempt to destroy the tenuous peace that has existed since the height of the Cold War.

Even during the tensest days of the US-Soviet conflict, military and political strategists on both sides of the Cold War understood the importance of maintaining a military and strategic balance, without which the world could easily teeter on the brink of yet another world war. It seems that McCain, Corker, and their right wing Republican colleagues, like their predecessors going back to the Truman administration, have not bothered to read George Kennan or heed his advice regarding “containment” and dialogue with Russia. Rather, they have chosen the path of conflict and saber-rattling, a guarantee that an amenable solution that is both pragmatic and desirable will not be found.

S.2277 “Directs the President to submit a plan to Congress for accelerating NATO and European missile defense efforts.”

As if to underscore the fact that these right wing warmongers seek confrontation, rather than dialogue with Russia, the issue of “missile defense” is placed front and center. Recognized by nearly all honest political observers as a means to intimidate and menace Russia, the so-called “missile defense systems” that Washington has been trying to place in Eastern Europe for nearly a decade are a “red line” for Moscow. Moscow made it clear back in 2007 that the deployment of such missile systems would upset the stability created by the nuclear deterrent, and would require a new arms race in which Russia would be forced to acquire and/or develop new, advanced missile systems that would be able to overcome the US “defenses.”

In other words, Putin made clear to Obama, and Bush before him, that any move to place those missiles in Poland, Czech Republic, or elsewhere in Eastern Europe would be regarded as an aggressive action that Russia would respond to. And so, this clause in the proposed bill should correctly be understood as a provocation for military buildup and, ultimately, war.

S.2277 “Directs the President to impose asset blocking and U.S. exclusion sanctions, if Russian armed forces have not withdrawn from Crimea within seven days after enactment of this Act” and “Directs the President to impose asset blocking and U.S. exclusion sanctions, if Russian armed forces have not withdrawn from the eastern border of Ukraine within seven days after enactment of this Act, or if agents of the Russian Federation do not cease actions to destabilize the control of the government of Ukraine over eastern Ukraine.”

These two clauses are particularly insidious as they are deliberately designed to give Washington carte blanche in terms of its economic sanctions against Russia, specifically the language specifying that “Russian forces must have withdrawn from Crimea within seven days of the enactment of the Act.” Of course, this is impossible for a number of obvious reasons, including the fact that Russian forces have been in Crimea, by internationally recognized treaty, for decades. So to “withdraw from Crimea” would mean that Russia would have to voluntarily give up its Black Sea fleet at Sevastopol; withdrawal is clearly an impossibility for Moscow. Secondly, it should be remembered that Crimea voted to reunify with Russia, which Russia ratified and accepted. So, to “withdraw from Crimea” means to withdraw from Russia, an utter absurdity and an obvious non-starter.

As for the demand that Russia “withdraw from the eastern border of Ukraine,” this is yet another manipulative, and deliberately vague, clause which is impossible for Russia to adhere to, even if it wanted to. It doesn’t take a PhD in geography to understand that the “eastern border of Ukraine” is, by definition, the Russian border. So, to demand that Russia remove its armed forces from its own border with a country raging in civil war is utterly ludicrous. No leader of any nation could be expected to accept such an insane demand.

It should also be noted that the clause presumes certain “facts” for which no evidence has been provided. The assertion of “Russian agents” destabilizing the government of Ukraine is false on a number of counts. Not only is there still no evidence, despite the propaganda drumbeat from Western media, of Russian agents operating in eastern Ukraine, it is still unclear what, if any, assistance Moscow has actually provided. If one were to even glance at Russian media and Russian opinion polls, it is obvious that not even the Russian people believe Moscow is doing enough to help their cousins in Ukraine’s East. So, how does one “cease destabilizing” in a place where they are not active? And, if Washington would like to again assert the claim of Russian agents, let them for once provide some evidence.

One should note too that the phrase “government of Ukraine” is problematic considering the boycott of the election by vast swaths of the population in the East whose preferred candidates and parties were intimidated, beaten, or otherwise prevented from participating in the elections. Therefore, the legitimacy of the Poroshenko government, including the imperial toadies Yatsenyuk and Turchinov, is in doubt. Furthermore, the genocidal campaign waged by Kiev against the people of Donbas has robbed the regime of whatever modicum of legitimacy it may have had. And so, Washington demands that Russia not only cease “aiding the resistance,” but de facto force itself and the people of the eastern Ukraine to accept it. This is obviously difficult to swallow, and Corker & Co. know it.

S. 2277 “Directs DOD to assess the capabilities and needs of the Ukrainian armed forces. Authorizes the President, upon completion of such assessment, to provide specified military assistance to Ukraine” and “Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should: (1) provide Ukraine with information about Russian military and intelligence capabilities on Ukraine’s eastern border and within Ukraine’s territorial borders, including Crimea; and (2) ensure that such intelligence information is protected from further disclosure.”

Essentially, the above clauses explicitly state that the US should provide military aid to the regime in Kiev. Considering the fact that Kiev is guilty of a number of war crimes, including the deliberate shelling of civilian targets, kidnappings and forced disappearances, and collective punishment, Washington would be wise to remember that Principle VII of the Nuremburg Principles states clearly that “Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.” By arming the Kiev regime, Washington would knowingly be engaging in a war crime. Naturally, the US has no compunction about committing war crimes, as the people of Iraq, Libya, El Salvador, Yemen and many other countries could attest to.

But this legislation suggests far more than military aid, as it presumes direct military collusion in intelligence-sharing, materiel support and more. And so, S.2277 would aim to engage the US deeply in the war itself, going far beyond the diplomatic and political row that is already raging; a dangerous development indeed. Furthermore, how would Russia respond if Russian citizens or troops were killed by US weapons supplied by Washington to its puppets in Kiev? Would this not likely be interpreted as an act of war? Or, at the very least, Moscow would hold Washington culpable, thereby complicating the current conflict ever more.

Of course, the military angle doesn’t stop there, as S.2277 also:

Provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services, …[and] “Directs the President to increase: (1) U.S. Armed Forces interactions with the armed forces of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; and (2) U.S and NATO security assistance to such states.”

The above language can be interpreted only as the de facto enlargement of NATO outside even NATO’s own procedures for new membership. By providing “defense articles” and “defensive services” to Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, these countries are essentially made into NATO protectorates in all but name. In doing so, Washington would be sending a dangerous message to Moscow, escalating the conflict in order to provoke the very much expected response from Moscow. This goes far beyond “brinksmanship” and into the realm of the completely unhinged.

And what exactly does “increase interactions” mean in the context of that long list of countries? It is not a stretch to interpret such language as, again, de facto NATO protectorate status for these non-NATO states. Were such a policy carried out, it would mean the absorption of nearly every country in Eastern Europe into the NATO orbit. Undoubtedly, the Kremlin would view this as yet another act of aggression and would be forced to respond in kind.

Toward the end of S.2277 one finds a seemingly innocuous clause that, when read carefully, may just be one of the most important in the whole bill. S.2277 Amends the Natural Gas Act to apply the expedited application and approval process for natural gas exports to World Trade Organization members,” and “Urges the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction to promote assistance to Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova in order to exploit natural gas and oil reserves and to develop alternative energy sources.”

It would seem then that the bill is not solely about Ukraine’s security, but also that of the major energy corporations who seek to make massive profits from the unrest in Ukraine. The clause provides that energy exports could be expedited, ostensibly as a means to undermine Russia’s energy dominance in Europe. As has been reported, major US officials and executives have been chomping at the bit to get their hands on the lucrative Ukrainian gas reserves, as well as its pipeline infrastructure. In this provision, the US congress would essentially provide the political cover for the major energy companies to do this. Hunter Biden, US Vice President Joe Biden’s son who sits on the board of Burisma Holdings Ltd., a major Ukrainian oil and gas company, as well as his high-powered colleagues from the energy sector, likely made sure that the legislation provided provisions for the exploitation of the energy sector. Now, with the international trade obstacles out of the way, it should be an easy, relaxing ride straight to the bank.

S.2277 “Directs the Secretary of State to: (1) strengthen democratic institutions, the independent media, and political and civil society organizations in countries of the former Soviet Union; and (2) increase educational and cultural exchanges with countries of the former Soviet Union” and “Directs the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Voice of America (VOA) to provide Congress with a plan for increasing and maintaining through FY2017 the quantity of U.S.-funded Russian-language broadcasting into countries of the former Soviet Union, with priority for broadcasting into Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.”

Last but not least are the provisions for the expansion of US soft power into Russia and the former Soviet space. Anyone who has studied how soft power functions, and specifically the role of “democratic institutions” and “civil society” then understands that these are code words for US-funded subversion. As has been seen in Russia, Venezuela, Ukraine, and a number of other countries, so-called “civil society” organizations such as NGOs represent a tool of US foreign policy, a means with which to foment unrest, stage political protests regardless of their lack of broad-based support, and generally control discourse to the liking of US foreign policy.

Voice of America has long been understood as the propaganda organ of the US State Department. To “increase the quantity of Russian language broadcasting” is merely a means of proliferating the US narrative into targeted countries. This is a direct result of the recognition that the West no longer maintains a monopoly on news, information, and media penetration. VoA has long since been regarded as a means of destabilization, and should continue to be regarded as such.

S.2277 should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following US conduct in Ukraine since the outbreak of the conflict. It is an attempt to legislate a confrontation with Russia in order to further the imperial agenda of the US and NATO. It is not the first, and certainly not the last, attempt by the political establishment in the US of escalating the conflict. Those of us interested in peace, stability, and opposition to US imperialism are certainly not shocked. That being said, S.2277 should remind us all that Ukraine is not the whole conflict, it is merely a theater in the larger war being waged by Washington – a war for power, hegemony, and another century of control. However, resistance to these forces continues. Exposing dangerous legislation such as S.2277 is merely a start.

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of StopImperialism.org and OP-ed columnist for RT, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

This is not the first time there has been a downing of a commercial flight, and, as in most such cases, there is more to the story of Malaysian Airlines MH17 than the first impression suggests. One particular case from the past gives us clues as to what this “more” might be.

On September 1, 1983 a Korean Airlines flight, KAL007 was shot over Kamchatka, Russia, whilst conducting a spy flight. It was piloted by a Captain Chun, who like many other key Korean Airlines pilots in the 1980s had been trained by Captain David H.

Adrian, a former U.S. Air Force flyer, commercial pilot for ONA [Overseas National Airline] and Evergreen and professor at The Citadel Military University.  (part one and two)345345

After the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 one of Captain Adrian’s now adult children recalled that Capt. Chun must have known that he was about 200 miles deep into restricted Soviet airspace, and that this could not have been accidental, but just kept on flying, like an automaton, with his crew and passengers completely unaware. Capt Chun realized by then that he was on a possible suicide mission, designed to create maximum international outrage and media manipulation during the Reagan years.

It is obvious that the fatal flight over Donetsk, which pilots know very well, is a war zone, and its shooting down were planned long ago. It doesn’t just happen that commercial flights pass over war zones, and Ukrainian International Airlines has suspended a number of routes in order to avoid doing so, as its in-flight magazine tacitly confirms. Furthermore, if the plane was downed by a rebel rocket system “locking on” to it, as has been reported, a lot more planes would have been shot down in exactly the same way.

Most of the world’s leading airlines rely on an organisation called Inmarsat for their aviation safety. This claims that through its 24/7/365 Network Operations Security Center (NOSC),  highly skilled and cleared personnel maintain onsite Communications Security (COMSEC) capabilities. It works closely with IA certifiers to ensure adherence to all government requirements. Significantly however it employs (U.S. and NATO cleared personnel in support of its customers’ Authority to Operate (ATO), Information Security (INFOSEC) and IA process requirements.

Therefore aeroplanes fly where the US and NATO tell them to. Did the US and NATO not know that Donetsk is in the middle of a war zone? If they didn’t, which general will lose his job?

The hidden hand

Inmarsat has a great many contracts with the UN, NATO, the Department of Homeland Security and national air traffic control towers. It also has the bulk of the world’s Controller/Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) contracts, and under these it ensures direct contact between flight deck and controller for in-flight re-routing, due to wind changes and other operational reasons.

Therefore, even if a commercial flight accidentally strays into a war zone, Inmarsat knows about it, supplies the equipment for ensuring something is done about it and can alert others of possible dangers. Yet for some reason there were three commercial jetliners in this dangerous air zone around the same time of the day. This might seem confusing. Maybe that was the point.

It is not unreasonable to speculate that another phantom plane, of much smaller dimensions – such as a fighter jet armed to the teeth with air-to-air missiles – was in the region awaiting a cash cow passenger airliner which could be a red heifer sacrifice. After all, that is what happened with KAL007.

On that occasion a shadow military reconnaissance plane of similar proportions and size “merged” with it in the air at the same time, totally baffling Soviet radar. Now systems are more sophisticated, it might need three planes which suddenly appear together over a war zone to achieve the same effect.

Black box and black propaganda

Much has been made of the non-appearance of the black box for the MH17 black box. The implication is that is has been stolen by the rebels and sent to Russia to prevent anyone finding out what happened. However, the KAL007 case suggests something different.

Following that crash it took forever for the world to be informed that the black box had been found – it was certainly in the possession of technicians long before that announcement, not the usual state of affairs. Furthermore, there are also accurate backup archive systems in Germany which could have been consulted, and still are today.

After the Soviets held the black box for a while the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s final report was heavily redacted. Present day technicians can pull out a much cleaner recording than those in 1983 could, but the ICAO, a United Nations agency based in Canada, has continually refused to let them.

Furthermore the CIA, FSB, Mossad, NATO and British Aerospace continually monitor the border of Russia-Ukraine with their best technology, from deep space and the stratosphere, due to the decision of Crimea’s electors to leave Ukraine and its potential to usher in World War 3. All these agencies are sitting on proof of the MH17 swerving deeper into the Donetsk region than any other commercial jet has in ages, probably sent there by a mysterious air traffic controller whose name we will never learn, most probably using Inmarsat communications channels.

However, the same agencies are trying to tell us that no one knows at this stage what actually happened. If the presence of those other planes is known, it seems very odd that nothing else can be ascertained when the plane was sent there by the same company they all employ, one way or another.

Who shot what

The weapon that can be responsible for the crash may as well be a BUK – still there is no evidence that the separatists have any capable of launching a missile. The Ukrainian Army has them. A team of 17 people is required to operate one effectively, and it is known that a number of US experts have been imported into what is left of Ukraine to support new president Poroshenko, via Blackwater, Academi and Carlyle.

What we do know is that a wing of the MH17 was blown in half. Though a missile could have done that, surface to air missiles do not explain the large holes blasted into passenger tube by what is clearly a machine gun. Nor do they explain the aircraft plunging to the ground in an open field, near a farmhouse, with its fuel section still somewhat intact, as a missile blast would certainly have ruptured it – as was proven when the body of the plane hit the ground and it exploded straight away.

Nor does a surface to air missile strike explain why body parts were falling from the sky BEFORE the explosion on the ground. If a missile had caused those deaths the plane would also have exploded in mid-air. People’s bodies don’t just fall apart during a plane crash, some form of explosion is necessary, and that would have ruptured the fuel tank, calling that to explode too. If flight MH17 had been shot down by another plane however, all the above would be consistent.

Exploiting the dead

456456We know who was on the MH17 because it has a passenger manifest. We know that amongst them were a number of Dutch doctors travelling to an AIDS conference.

Like all other passengers, these doctors would have been instructed to keep both their tickets and their passports with them throughout the flight. They would have to present them with their boarding passes when they got on the plane and keep them on their person, for security reasons, ready to display if needed if there were any security concerns on the plane itself.

The passports of the doctors have been recovered. They were not in the clothing of their bodies but in a separate box, all together. If there is some sort of procedure for collecting the passports of a particular group of passengers during flight and putting them together in a separate box it must be buried very deep in the Malaysian Airlines manual, along with the purpose of it. But it does conveniently show, in the event of a fatal crash, that not just one but a whole group of doctors died together in the line of duty.

Similarly there are now reports that people are looting the crash site and moving bodies around. Looting might be understandable, but for the fact that investigators are allegedly not being allowed near the crash site. If they can’t get to it, it is being guarded, so random looters won’t be able to access it either. Nor would the guards be looting, as this would destroy the point of guarding the site.

If bodies and objects are being moved around, it is right to suggest that somebody doesn’t want others to see certain things. Whoever shot the plane down is not going to be any further implicated by the contents of the passenger racks or the bodies of the dead. Unless there is some evidence that links people on the plane to anyone who might have shot it down. Given that it was an international flight, that evidence is less likely to point to Ukrainians, but to other forces from other countries.

Furthermore, people who enter a crash site can put tings there as well as take them away. As Gordon Duff of Veterans Today told me before this piece was sent off for publication, “we are also getting wild reports of planted evidence, some total hoaxes but some very much “nanothermite” type false leads designed to start a flood of bizarre internet stories.” Yet none of those stories yet implicate the US and its allies, only the rebels in Eastern Ukraine – so either this is a botched job, or a very thorough one.

So what happened?

The videos of the KAL007 incident show how laughable is the possibility of a lone Malaysian airliner suddenly descending deeper into dangerous war zone skies without any record of what happened to it, no documentation, no Inmarsat or similar failsafe tracking system record, no air traffic control records for the 30 minutes before and after the MH17 dropped off the radar, no truly revealing radar records.

It is also not difficult to understand why the Ukrainian side has not been given access to any of the “black boxes”, or flight recording equipment, from the plane. As Security Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said at a briefing in Kyiv on July 19, their location remains unclear. So it will continue to do, until the contents are deemed satisfactory by those who will have to release them – who are not the Eastern Ukrainian rebels.

It is incredibly stupid trying to blame the Russians. They have no possible motive. They have no reason to inflame the anger of the world by shooting down a civilian aircraft – they know the story of the Lusitania as well as anyone.

Hopefully forensic evidence will demonstrate part of what happened, if it is still there, and if not manipulated by outsiders for political reasons. So will all those mysteriously missing records and recordings. But if the story and accusations continue to run, the official version will demand that someone is held responsible to assuage public anger. That is what this tragedy is about – and once again, the callous disregard for human life involved is a far greater crime than anything that can be alleged about any possible culprit.

Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs together with Dutch National, On Special Assignment, Marcel Marie Brandsma, Holland  exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. 

 

 

            Empires are not easy to sustain given the multiple enemies that they provoke:  at the international level (imperial rivals and emerging new powers), at the national level (national resistance movements, unreliable clients and untrustworthy ‘Sepoy’ armies) and at the local level (boycotts, sabotage and strikes).  Imperial difficulties are multiplied when an empire is in economic decline, (loss of market shares with growing debt), facing domestic unrest as the economic costs to the taxpayers exceed the returns by a substantial margin; and when the political elite is internally divided between ‘militarists’ and ‘free market’ advocates.

            The US Empire today is in the midst of a long-term decline, during which it has suffered a series of costly defeats.  In addition, Washington has assumed long-term burdensome commitments to allies who have imposed their own ambitions of seeking ‘mini empires’ (Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia).

            The US White House has increasingly adopted a military definition of ‘imperial leadership’ at the expense of reconfiguring imperial relations to accommodate potential new political and economic partners.

            As the empire slides, the political elite, operating with a highly militarized mind set, has expanded its intrusive global intelligence networks to spy on allies, adversaries and its own citizens.  Washington has risked deepening hostilities among key allies (Germany and Brazil), and exacerbating conflicts with conciliatory competitors (Russia), by refusing to curtail its massive espionage.  Spying is a clear hostile act and part of the policy of military-driven empire building.

Empires Depend on Alliances 

            The entire edifice of the US Empire, like the earlier British Empire, is sustained through a series of complex alliances.

            US military forces are injected into a country to orient and ensure that local military and police forces efficiently control their population and become available as mercenaries to fight overseas wars for the US Empire.

            In the past two centuries, European colonial empires, especially the French and English, invaded and subjugated nations using colonial solders of color under the command of European imperial officers.

            Today, the US empire builders are making their transition back to the 19th century colonial model.  The Pentagon has been moving from reliance on US ground troops to recruiting colonial troops under US military command.

            To that end, Washington’s empire has turned toward creating alliances with regional powers to sustain imperial pre-eminence.  These ‘alliances’ are in place in Africa, Latin America, Asia and, in particular, in the Middle East.  The Empire’s Middle East alliances have been operative for decades, but in recent years, they have absorbed the greatest resources with devastating consequences to the Empire as we shall see.

            The Empire today operates and can only be sustained by these alliances or ‘axes of regional power’, which are therefore worth analyzing in greater detail.

The Axes of Power:  The Middle East

            The US Empire builders have constructed three regional axes of power in the Middle East. In order of importance, they are: the US-Israeli axis of power, the US-Saudi axis and the US-Turkey axis of power.

            The US-Israel axis of power is based on a longstanding agreement.  The US militarily and financially supports Israel’s colonial expansion into Palestine and Syria, while Israel backs US projections of military and political power throughout the region.  Thanks to US military and financial aid, Israel has become the dominant military power in the Middle East and the only nuclear power in the region.  The US has used Israel’s wars and invasions of its neighbors to secure several Arab collaborator client states (notably Jordan and Egypt).  More recently the US-Israeli power axis  has been expanded to include the client regime in Kurdistan (northern Iraq).  In addition, the US-Israeli axis has been deeply involved in financing and promoting collaborator opposition forces in Lebanon (currently the Hariri political formation), sectors of the armed mercenaries in Syria, Kurdish Peshmerga militias in Iraq and the so-called ‘Mujahedeen al Khalq’ terrorists in Iran. The US CIA and Israel’s Mossad engage in clandestine violent operations directly intervening to destabilize secular and Islamic nationalist regimes like Iran, to disrupt their communications and to assassinate Iranian scientists and leaders.  Israel has secured political and intelligence agreements with Egypt and Jordan to isolate and dispossess the Palestinians.  The US has secured military bases and operational platforms in Egypt and Jordan to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon, President Bashar al Assad in Syria and the Iranian government.

            However, while in the past each country benefited from the US-Israel axis of power, recently it has turned into a costly, asymmetrical relation, a zero-sum game, where Israel’s regional power increases as the US Empire deteriorates.

            This turn of events is easily understood if one examines the way in which Middle East policy is formulated in the US.  Over the past three decades, Israel has constructed the most formidable organized power configuration in the United States that has ever penetrated an imperial state in history.  Linked by tribal loyalties and blind obedience, over a half-million Jewish Zionists have embraced Israel’s interests and pursued them with a zeal and single-mindedness that is unmatched by any other foreign-based lobby.  Prominent Zionists have permeated key state institutions, from the US Treasury, Commerce and the Pentagon, to the White House and the National Security Council.  They dominate the US Congress, the ‘two party’ system, especially the nomination and electoral process, ensuring that only candidates who swear allegiance to Israel are allowed to run and be elected.  That way no political debate regarding Israel’s subversive influence is permitted.  They dominate the mass media ensuring that all news and commentary is favorable to Israel and all criticism of the Jewish state is excluded.

            Here we have the paradox of an imperial ally, Israel colonizing an imperial power and extracting tribute, with foreign aid to Tel Aviv exceeding $3.6 billion this year.  More importantly the Zionist power configuration plays a key role in waging wars against Israel’s designated enemies and providing diplomatic cover for the Jewish state’s ethnic slaughter of the people of Palestine.

            The Israel-US alliance has been set up wholly on Israel’s terms.  Even as Israel rains thousands of tons of bombs on the captive people of Gaza, to the horror of world public opinion, the White House applauds and the US Congress unanimously approves resolutions supporting Israel’s war crimes at the behest of the powerful Zionists ensconced in Washington.

            Whatever the US Empire has gained from Israel in the way of intimidating and humiliating Arab leaders in the region it has lost in economic terms.  Major oil companies have lost hundreds of billions of dollars in trade and investment from the wars in Iraq, Syria and Libya and from sanctions against Iran.  The US domestic economy has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in income and investment as a result of the high cost of oil imports resulting from the wars.

            Strategically, the asymmetrical US-Israeli alliance has turned the US into an ‘empire’ dominated by militarists, and one exclusively focused on the Middle East.  This transformation into a ‘military-driven’ Empire has resulted in neglect, decline and displacement of the imperial influence in the most dynamic growth sectors of the world economy – Asia, Latin America and Russia.

            It is a paradox where the lop-sided strength of the US-Israeli axis in the Middle East has profoundly undermined the US global economic and domestic foundations of empire.  Moreover, the brutal ‘colonial-style wars’ in the Middle East promoted by US Zionist strategists in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have destroyed any possibility of re-constructing viable client states and markets out of these conquered nations.  Israeli military strategists have long wanted these regimes destroyed, their state institutions dismantled and their societies embroiled in sectarian, tribal strife.  As a result, the US wars have not produced a single functioning client state:  the US military invaded, occupied and destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan while losing the wars in political terms.  This came at no cost to Israel, the unchallenged regional hegemon, while the US Treasury will struggle with a trillion dollar price tag and the US public will experience economic decline for generations.

The US-Saudi Axis of Power

            The second most important axis of power in the Middle East is the US-Saudi alliance.  From the perspective of the US Empire, the Saudi connection has many advantages, as well as costs.  Saudi financing, in collaboration with the US, was instrumental in recruiting, arming and financing the Islamist guerrillas, which overthrew the secular pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan.  Saudi links to the Pakistani intelligence services and military has ensured Pakistan will remain a client-state of the US Empire.  Saudi intervention in Yemen and Bahrain propped-up the pro-empire, anti-democratic puppet regimes while ensuring US access to its strategic military bases.

            Saudi Arabia is the principle backer of US sanctions and confrontation with Iran.  It provides air bases, military intelligence operations and the funding of anti-Iranian terrorists, like ‘Mujahedeen al Khalq’. Saudi Arabia is the biggest market for US military exports.  Saudi increased its oil output to compensate for a decline of oil in world markets due to the US embargo against and the destruction of oil production following the US attacks and devastation of Iraq and Libya.  In exchange Saudi Arabia’s absolutist monarchy obtains US protection, security and assistance in repressing its domestic unrest.  Saudi billionaires, no matter how brutal and corrupt, have full access to lucrative financial markets in the US.  The Saudi theocratic-monarchic dictatorship has clearly benefited from the US destruction of secular nationalist Arab regimes in the region.  Indeed, secular nationalism has been the Saudi’s primary target since its monarchy was set up by the British.

            Nevertheless, the Saudi-US axis is fraught with tensions.  The Saudi regime actively promotes Sunni extremist jihadi movements in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon undermining Washington-backed neo-liberal clients.  The Saudi-backed terrorists in Libya have destabilized the US proxies.  The Saudis promoted and financed the bloody military coup in Egypt of General Sisi.  The Saudi Royals support the brutal military overthrow of the elected President Morsi and the suppression of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood because of Morsi’s rapprochement with Iran.  This has ruined Obama’s more ‘moderate’ goal of setting up a Muslim Brotherhood-Egyptian military power sharing arrangement in Cairo.

            In other words, the US and Saudi axis converge in opposition to secular-nationalist regimes but diverge on the alternatives.  The Saudis tend to choose the most retrograde Islamic extremist groups excluding and antagonizing all other tendencies, from conservative-secular neo-liberals to democratic, nationalist and socialist parties and movements.  They end up with political polarizations unfavorable to US long-term imperial interests.  The Saudi choice of political alternatives tends to be minorities incapable of sustaining or overtly hostile to the US imperial order.  Moreover, Saudi Arabia opposes Israel on religious grounds, the principle US political partner in the region, even as it works with the Jewish state against the secular or nationalist governments Syria, Iran and Lebanon.

            Like its alliance with Israel, the US-Saudi axis comes at a very high cost.  Saudi financing of the Taliban and other Islamic groups has cost the US empire builders hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of military casualties and a humiliating retreat after a thirteen year war.

            Saudi funding for Sunni terrorists in Syria has decimated US-backed neo-liberal armed groups.  Equally damaging, the same Saudi-backed jihadi groups have severely destabilized the US-imposed Maliki regime in Iraq.  Saudi attacks on the US-Iranian nuclear negotiations have strengthened the Zionist-led opposition in the US Congress.

In other words the US-Saudi axis has buttressed the US Empire in the short-run, but has become a strategic liability.  Saudi’s overseas projection of its most reactionary internal politics undermines the US effort to create stable imperial clients.  Not to be overlooked is the Saudi role in financing Al Queda and its operatives in the attack on the US on September 11, 2001.

The US Turkey Axis

            Turkey has been a major US-NATO asset especially during the Cold War.  The secular-military regimes in Ankara mobilized the largest number of combat troops on the USSR’s border and provided the US with numerous air bases and intelligence centers.  In recent times, under an Islamist regime, Turkey has become the axis for the US and EU-backed mercenary invasion of Syria, providing military sanctuaries, training, arms and financing to overthrow the secular Baathist regime in Damascus.

            The Erdogan regime has sought to regain a pivotal role within NATO by backing the Empire’s effort to topple nationalist leaders and movements in the region.

            Turkey has worked closely with the US and Israel in building up the political, economic and military capacities of the Iraqi Kurds.  They are seen as a counter-force to the Saudi-backed jihadis, the failed Shia regime in Baghdad and Iraqi petrol-nationalists.

            While pursuing neo-liberal policies congruent with US imperial design and collaborating with Washington’s clients in ‘Kurdistan’, Turkey has its own regional ambitions.  President Erdogan supported the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt and opposed the military coup of General Sisi, fearing, perhaps, a similar coup by the Turkish military.  Up until quite recently Turkey had its own ‘mini-imperial’ agenda via trade and investment in Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan and Afghanistan.  The recent imperial conflicts and regional instability have undermined Erdogan’s dreams of a neo-Ottoman revival.  95% of Turkish public opinion supports the rights of the Palestinian people; this has forced Erdogan to pull away from the Israeli-US axis, at least temporarily.  Likewise the Turkish regime, while not in opposition to the Saudi dictatorship, has refrained from overt collaboration apart from trade and Gulf investments.

            With the US-EU in the process of isolating and demonizing Russia, it remains to be seen whether Turkey will once again become the military axis for NATO.  Russia is an important energy supplier and market for Turkish goods.  If Turkey decides to join the new US axis confronting Russia, it will lose out economically and will have to find alternative markets and energy sources in an increasingly unstable region.  A weakened Turkey may be more submissive to empire but it will be more vulnerable to internal opposition.

Conclusion

            The US Empire, like previous ones, depends on a host of alliances and axes of power to sustain it and compensate for military, political and economic limitations in resources and personnel.  With regard to the main region of direct US involvement, the Middle East, Washington has embraced three sets of alliances with partners who have played a paradoxical role in both sustaining and eroding the US Empire.

            Israel, the primary ally of the US, is largely a political and military construct of US policymakers over the past years.  It was originally designed to serve and police the region for the US.  Instead, over the years, the relationship has been totally reversed:  US imperial power has been subordinated to serve Israel’s ambitions to impose  unchallenged regional superiority over the Middle East.  For the first time in the history of empires, a satrap of empire has systematically penetrated the principle imperial institutions.  Decision-makers and elites loyal to Israeli interests have expended vast amounts of US military resources and American soldiers to wage wars with the goal of decimating Israel’s enemies.  Five hundred thousand well organized and financed American Jewish-Zionist activists have directed the global empire into focusing on one region:  the Middle East.  The mass media, US Congress and the principle advisory bodies (dubbed ‘think tanks’) in Washington are engaged in formulating US policies in line with Israel’s colonial interests with disastrous consequences for the American people.  In effect, the US state and society are ‘colonized’ by unconditional supporters of Israel.  The Zionist power configuration’s influence finds its most macabre expression in the US Congress unanimous endorsement of the Israeli slaughter of hundreds of trapped Palestinian civilians and children during the July 2014 terror bombing of Gaza.  This repugnant act is the culmination of the forced servility of an ostensibly global imperial power subject to the dictates of its lawless, genocidal ally.

            The Israeli-US axis has led the Empire into a blind ally:  A totally one-sided relation has inflated the military dimensions of empire in Israel’s interests.  Economically, this has become the most perverse of all imperial partnerships, where the satrap extracts billions of dollars a year in political tribute and advanced weaponry in return for nothing!  Strategically, the global decline of the US Empire, its loss of market shares and political influence in the most dynamic regions of Asia, Latin America and Africa, can be wholly attributed to its sustained focus on the Middle East.

The disastrous ‘exclusive Middle East focus’ can be attributed to the leadership, organization and policies of the Empire.

The US political leadership, beholden to unconditional supporters of Israel, has committed the most damaging policies in US history. First and foremost, these elite-educated policymakers have degraded the entire economic dimensions of empire by pursuing a relentless military agenda – destroying oil producers, raising world prices, sowing instability and by bleeding the US Treasury of trillions of dollars – with few returns.

            This self-proclaimed ‘best and brightest’, with advanced degrees from the most prestigious universities, includes policymakers who have committed the US to endless wars which only benefit Israel.  Most of these key policymakers, including Wolfowitz, Emmanuel, Feith, Libby, Abrams, Greenspan, Levy, Cohen, Frohman, Lew, Fischer, Bernanke and Yellen have deliberately pillaged the US Treasury in order to sustain Middle East wars for Israel and Wall Street bankers.  The ‘leading lights’ among the Zionist policy-makers, occupying influential positions in the imperial power structures, are responsible for an unmitigated disaster:  they have initiated failed wars, dismantled whole societies, fomented financial crises and promoted a one-way ‘partnership’ with a genocidal state.  If only they had pursued respectable and successful careers as dentists, doctors, investors, bankers or ivory tower academics – millions of precious lives would not have been destroyed….

            However, it is not only the empire’s alliance with Israel which is driving the empire to crisis.  The Saudi-US axis has given immense power to the most retrograde satraps and barbaric armed insurgents running amok in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  An empire, associated with the most parasitic Arab ‘rentiers’ who send their own fanatical offspring to self-immolate for a head-beheading new world order has scarce resonance in the modern world.

            An empire, organized around axes of evil and directed by political leaders loyal to satraps, has no material or moral foundations to justify its existence.

The Assault on Gaza: A Historic Crime

July 21st, 2014 by Patrick Martin

At least 100 Palestinians were killed Sunday as Israel escalated its savage land, sea and air attack on Gaza. In a single neighborhood on the east side of Gaza City, Shejaiya, Israeli bombs and artillery shells killed at least 62 people and wounded nearly 300 others. Among the dead were 17 women, 14 children and four elderly people. The corpses of women and children lined the streets of Shejaiya as people fled on foot and in overloaded vehicles.

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said more than 63,000 people had sought sanctuary in the 49 shelters it has set up in Gaza. “The number has tripled in the last three days,” UNRWA said, “reflecting the intensity of the conflict and the inordinate threats the fighting is posing to civilians.”

Hospitals in Gaza were overwhelmed by the wounded and other civilians seeking sanctuary from the relentless bombardment. Supplies of bandages and basic medicines were running out. In large parts of the besieged territory, water and electricity were cut off.

The Israeli military defended its use of flechette shells against the Palestinian population, saying it was permitted under the laws of war. Flechette shells spray out thousands of tiny metal darts with sharpened tips, designed to shred human flesh.

Human Rights Watch, a US-based organization generally allied to the American political establishment, released a report indicting Israel for deliberately targeting civilian facilities. “Israeli air attacks in Gaza investigated by Human Rights Watch have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war,” the report stated.

The Israeli state is carrying out mass murder in Gaza. Its troops, tanks, war planes and gunboats are perpetrating a massacre of defenseless Palestinians trapped inside a tiny, impoverished and densely populated territory. No one really knows how many have been killed in the two weeks of Israeli bombing and shelling. But Palestinian hospital officials as of mid-day Sunday put the figure at 436, with more than 3,000 wounded. The dead include more than 100 children.

If this is not a war crime, then what is?

The lies given out by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to justify this atrocity are beneath contempt. People are told not to believe what they are seeing with their own eyes in news reports and videos, despite the grossly distorted, pro-Israeli coverage provided by most of the corporate-controlled media. Israeli officials have the temerity to claim that their actions are a defensive response to aggression from Hamas. But the facts speak for themselves: the civilian death toll is heading rapidly toward 1,000 on the Palestinian side, while only two Israeli civilians have died as a result of Hamas’ crude rockets.

The measures taken by Hamas are the defensive response of an isolated and besieged people to a savage onslaught, the culmination of decades of unrelenting and ever-escalating Israeli violence. Nearly fifty years after the Six Day War and seizure of the occupied territories, the Zionist regime has utterly failed to crush the resistance of the Palestinian masses. The current paroxysm of violence is an expression of desperation rather than confidence in the future. For all its cynicism and brutality, the Israeli government gives the impression of a regime that has lost its bearings.

In its long and bloody history, Israel in the past four days has crossed a fundamental line. Its actions in Gaza are those of a society in a state of political and moral disintegration—the result of the dead end of Zionism.

It is now clear that the murder two weeks ago of 16-year-old Muhammad Khdeir in East Jerusalem by Jewish fascists, who poured gasoline down the youth’s throat and set him on fire, was only the precursor to a far broader crime, carried out by the highest authorities of the Israeli state.

More and more, Israel is looked upon around the world as a pariah state run by a combination of fascists and lunatics. Outrage against it is mounting among working people and youth internationally.

Israel could not carry out such a naked crime without the support, political and material, of the imperialist powers and capitalist governments around the world. The world is witnessing a globally orchestrated war crime, carried out with the enthusiastic and open support of the international capitalist class.

First and foremost is the United States, which has supplied Israel with the bulk of the weapons it is using to murder Palestinians. Last Wednesday, on the eve of Israel’s ground invasion, President Barack Obama appeared before the press in the White House and gave Israel his full support for the impending bloodbath.

Obama did not even bother to mouth the usual clichés about “restraint” and “limiting casualties.” Instead, he repeated verbatim the lying Israeli line, declaring, “There’s no country on earth that can be expected to live under a daily barrage of rockets.” This was said as Israeli missiles and bombs were killing Palestinians every hour.

He then blamed Hamas for “prolonging the conflict” by refusing to accept a phony ceasefire that was, in fact, a demand for abject surrender made for the purpose of creating a pretext for launching a ground war.

Interviewed Sunday on ABC Television’s “This Week” program, US Secretary of State John Kerry was asked to respond to the statement by Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi that what was happening in Gaza was a “massacre” and “war crime.” Kerry dismissed the charge as “Hamas rhetoric” and added cynically, “War is ugly and bad things are going to happen.”

Kerry knows full well that he is lying when he defends the Israeli onslaught on Gaza. His cynicism and duplicity were exposed on the “Fox News Sunday” interview program when the moderator played a clip of Kerry holding a cell phone conversation just before he went on air. Speaking of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, he said sarcastically, “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation… We’ve got to get over there.”

Then there are the European powers, all of whom are giving Israel their full support. The Socialist Party government of France has gone so far as to ban demonstrations against the Israeli onslaught on Gaza and mobilize riot police to attack protesters in Paris with tear gas.

The United Nations, as always, has fallen into line with the wishes of the major imperialist powers, calling on “both sides” to refrain from violence, in what is a completely one-sided slaughter.

The Arab bourgeois regimes are either openly or tacitly collaborating with Israel in the attack on Gaza. The US-client regime headed by the military butcher El Sisi in Egypt has sealed the border to prevent Gazans from fleeing the Israeli military and finding sanctuary in Egypt. El Sisi brokered the bogus ceasefire proposal to provide a pretext for the Israeli ground assault.

The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas is doing the dirty work for the Zionist state and US imperialism, conspiring against Hamas while suppressing anti-Israeli protests on the West Bank.

There is nothing left of the myth of Arab nationalism and unity. All of the bourgeois regimes and parties have been exposed as petty agents of imperialism.

Hamas is exhibiting undoubted courage in seeking to resist the murderous Israeli offensive. But it does not have a viable political perspective. Based on nationalism, it seeks the support of Arab regimes that are completely subordinated to the imperialist powers, leaving the Palestinian masses isolated and virtually defenseless.

The homicidal violence in Gaza that is being aided and abetted by governments around the world is a warning to the working class of every country. It is proof of the complete ruthlessness of imperialism. It will not shrink from any crime to eliminate whatever gets in the way of its global economic and geo-political ambitions.

The defense of the Palestinian people is the task of the international working class. Israeli workers, in the first instance, must separate themselves from the criminals who run their country. Large sections of the Israeli ruling class are implicated in vile crimes. And there are voices within the Israeli establishment who are openly talking about the physical extermination of the Palestinian people—a Nazi-like “final solution.”

The Jewish workers must oppose the slaughter in Gaza. They must turn to their natural allies, the Arab workers and oppressed masses.

The American, European and international working class must give a lead to the widespread outrage and revulsion felt by millions over what is taking place in Gaza. It must demand an immediate halt to the carnage. Demonstrations of protest and solidarity with the Palestinians must be called in every country.

The demand must be raised to hold accountable the war criminals in Tel Aviv and their accomplices in Washington and every other capital around the world. The struggle must be directed not only against the Israeli government, but against the imperialist and capitalist governments that facilitate its crimes.

 

The Obama administration is intensifying its propaganda campaign against Russia and pro-Russian separatists over the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Even as it is clear that the US does not know how MH17 crashed or what role Russia played in the tragedy, top administration officials are using the crisis to issue repeated ultimatums against the Russian government.

US Secretary of State John Kerry made multiple television appearances Sunday, issuing bellicose statements and threats. The shooting down of the airline was a “moment of truth” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, he told Fox News.

Kerry provided the US “case” that Russia gave the east Ukrainian forces weapons that could have been used to shoot down MH17.

“There was a convoy several weeks ago, about 150 vehicles with armored personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers, tanks, artillery, all of which crossed over from Russia into the eastern part of Ukraine and was turned over to the separatists,” Kerry told CNN. “So there’s an enormous amount of evidence, even more evidence than I just documented, that points to the involvement of Russia in providing these systems, training the people on them.”

Even if Kerry’s claims were true and Russia had provided weapons capable of shooting down MH17, this would not prove that the east Ukrainian forces in fact shot down the plane. Citing Mark Galeotti of New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, CNN said that the “evidence is largely circumstantial. NATO’s images did not show the tanks actually crossing into Ukraine.”

Asked on CNN whether Russia was “culpable” in the MH17 crash, Kerry refused to answer. “You know, culpability is a judicial term, and people can make their own judgments about what they read here. That’s why we’ve asked for a full-fledged investigation,” he said.

The recklessness of Kerry’s statements is staggering. The United States’ top diplomat is insinuating that Russia might have helped shoot down MH17, while issuing threats that could lead to international sanctions against Russia and an escalation of the civil war in Ukraine into a global war. As he advances these charges, however, he admits that the administration does not actually know what happened.

In reality, for the Obama administration, matters of fact—what actually happened and who shot down MH17, provided it was shot down—are beside the point. The event was seized on to press longstanding political aims. Washington continued to exploit the issue yesterday to pressure Russia and the United States’ imperialist allies in Europe to fall in line with US foreign policy.

Speaking on CNN, US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (Democrat of California) demanded that Putin “man up” and confess to shooting down MH17. She said, “I think the nexus between Russia and the separatists have been established very clearly. So the issue is, where is Putin? I would say, ‘Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say if this was a mistake, which I hope it was, say it.’”

Feinstein also called on the European Union to impose deep economic sanctions against Russia: “I think Europe has to come together. I think Germany, in particular, has to lead. I think we have to continue with sanctions. It’s difficult, because you need Russian help in so many things.”

For their part, Britain, Germany and France announced on Sunday that they would prepare to increase sanctions against Russia over the plane crash at a European foreign ministers meeting Tuesday.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Sunday said Russia “risks becoming a pariah state if it does not behave properly.”

Alluding to divisions within Europe over policy toward Russia—particularly, reluctance from sections of the German political establishment to follow in lockstep behind the US—Hammond said, “Some of our European allies have been less enthusiastic, and I hope that the shock of this incident will see them now more engaged, more willing to take the actions which are necessary to bring home to the Russians that when you do this kind of thing it has consequences.”

While it presses its propaganda campaign against Russia, the US appears to be hedging its bets about what actually happened. In comments Friday in which he denounced Russia, Obama himself made a peculiar reference to a lot of “misinformation” on the MH17 crash, saying that it was necessary for people to “sift through what is factually based and what is simply speculation.”

US claims that Russia is politically responsible for the crash of MH17 are a cynical fraud. Whether the plane was brought down by a missile fired by Ukrainian or Russian-backed forces, the central responsibility for this tragedy lies with Washington, Berlin and their European allies. The civil war raging in east Ukraine, in which one or another side shot down the jetliner, was provoked by their support for the installation of a far-right, pro-Western Ukrainian regime through the fascist-led putsch of February 22 in Kiev.

Since then, CIA officials, mercenaries from the firm previously known as Blackwater, and European intelligence operatives have worked closely with Ukrainian fascist militias, such as Right Sector or the Azov Battalion, to attack and terrorize east Ukrainian cities. It is unclear how much the White House, which has already claimed that the CIA spied on German officials and intelligence agencies without telling Obama, knows about these activities.

Under these conditions, it is impossible to place confidence in any statement coming from the Obama administration about the MH17 crash. While pro-Russian forces might have shot it down, it is also possible that Ukrainian army forces or fascist militias, working with Western intelligence units or mercenary groups, shot down the plane and blamed it on pro-Russian forces.

Significantly, what reports have emerged about missile batteries active in the region at the time of the MH17 crash point to involvement not by Russia, but by the US-backed regime in Kiev.

US intelligence has claimed that US spy satellites over Ukraine detected an SA-11 Buk missile battery firing a missile shortly before MH17 crashed. Both Russian and Ukrainian army units field Buk missile batteries, which were originally designed in the Soviet Union. The Kiev regime subsequently released a video clip of a Buk missile battery, which it said was being rushed towards the Russian border after the attack, ostensibly in order to escape detection after shooting down MH17.

According to Russian television coverage reported by NBC News, however, the serial number on the missile launcher in question—312—showed that it is in fact operated by the Ukrainian army.

Australia’s distance from major areas of political activity acts as stifling fetter and brilliant emancipator.  Its officials entertain visions of grandiose originality, finding out too late that they were derivative failures.  Those on the left of the political spectrum think that somewhere in the past, its settlers were pioneers who, when they were not banishing the indigenous peoples into history, were busying themselves in a social laboratory.

The history makers in Canberra have returned, though this record promises to be dismal.  Its central facet is plunder.  Climate change is one of those thorny issues that marks every box of indignation you can find. It affects pleasure. It provides discomfort. Only, of course, that it does so in marginal ways. Given that Australians are the greatest polluters per capita on a global scale, this should matter less – but for the conservatives in power, the issue of instance satisfaction and obliviousness to the future matter above all else.

The environment agenda of the Abbott government is distinctly reactionary, and stupendously polemical.   The Australian government has become the first in the industrial world to repeal a major tax regime on carbon.  Emitters of greenhouse gas will be doing the jig and funding their lobby circuits hoping to get a similar effect in other countries.  Polluters, instead of getting restrictions, will get incentives to move into the realm of “efficiency”.

Not that Australia has been a lone warrior in placing the matter of a precious economy before a neglected environment. The European system of carbon trading came in for severe treatment in 2013, given the manoeuvring of politicians over that very issue.  EU Commissioner for Climate Change, Connie Hedegaard, found herself under fire over the cost for an emissions certificate per metric ton of CO2, with 4.30 Euros hardly making an impression on incentives for industry.  At that price, old coal-fired power plants are actually returning to service, being cheaper to build than newer gas-powered plants.[1] But Hedegaard’s point remained valid: a Europe-wide system, rather than a piecemeal approach to reducing emissions, was indispensable.

There are numerous problems with a carbon tax, as there are with any tax.  But nothing bites more into income than an involuntary burden imposed across the economy, one that adjusts behaviour and encourages a changing disposition.  It works as a perverse form of revenue minimisation – you hope to pay less tax by using less energy.  Energy optimisation and efficiency is encouraged. Of course, it need not necessarily work that way, given the notoriously uncharitable way energy companies work.  A tax alone won’t work – “green” incentives have come with any such package.

The repeal of the tax has brought out the warriors of dedicated selfishness.  The illusion of lower living cost is advanced by such lobbies as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  Its head, Kate Carnell, claimed that, “The carbon tax was a dead weight on the Australian economy and abolishing it is a win for customers, a win for energy users and a win for business.”  Minerals Council of Australia chief mimicked the line, suggesting the tax was taking the edge off some mythical competitiveness.  “The removal of the world’s biggest carbon tax is an important step towards regaining the competitive edge that Australia lost over the last decade.”

The States have also followed the line, with premiers evoking that tedious language of “wins” for households.  Victorian Premier Denis Napthine called it a “relief to households and businesses across Victoria.”  NSW Energy Minister Anthony Roberts predicted that the average electricity bill would fall by 6 to 8 per cent.  All hail the credo of the plunderer!

The failure of the carbon tax to take hold in barren Australian soil is a demonstration about who owns, and controls, the way energy is distributed to consumers.  Raise the costs, bruise the users, and blame a tax which dares eat into income.  Notions of competitiveness tend to be rather rich, given that there is very little competition in digging up the earth’s supplies and sending it to a voracious China.  The carbon tax, in other words, has become the greatest alibi for raising fees in Australian history, used by climate change deniers as the big problem in policy.

For Roger Jones, Research Fellow at the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies, the repeal constituted “the perfect storm of stupidity.”  And some politicians, such as South Australian premier Jay Weatherill, feel that the repeal of the tax flew in the face of stunning, and gruesome reality.  “We believe that climate change is real.  We believe that taking action to address climate change is essential.”

What of the effects on pollution?  By the government’s own figures, pollution declined because of the carbon laws even as the economy and employment grew.  As John Connor of the Climate Institute explained (The Age, Jul 17), the National Green House Gas Inventory recorded the largest decline of emissions since records started being kept.  Two years of the carbon laws, according to a government report, would see a reduction of carbon by 40 million tonnes below normal rates.  By 2020, Australia would have reduced pollution to below 2000 levels by 15 per cent.

A feature of the debate that the Abbot government has always ignored is the rather unscrupulous way energy companies have managed to increase costs.  Removing the carbon tax will see a negligible influence in the bills Australians have to pay. Every energy company will nab their customer.  But it will be the green light for the plunderer’s bible, the code of misconduct that has governed this country since settlement.  The Abbott government is the regime of the contemporary, rather than one for the future.  It is an ill-gotten gains administration, and the consequences of its governance may well prove incalculable.  Welcome to a world of “post-truth politics”.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: [email protected]

NOTE

Downed Malaysian Jet Intensifies Russia Bashing

July 21st, 2014 by Chris Ernesto

In Thursday’s USA Today, self-described liberal Democratic strategist Bob Beckel wrote, “(Earlier) empires tried to dominate the world, mostly by military aggression.  The United States has never sought to be an empire.

You hope that most people would laugh at Beckel’s silly claim, but they probably won’t if they live in the US.

Earlier in the week, a Pew Research Center poll revealed that 51% of Americans side with Israel in their current offensive in Gaza, while only 14% side with Palestinians.  It seems illogical that Americans would have such a view, but given what they hear from their elected officials and from the establishment media, it is sadly understandable.

This naivety makes it easy to see how the US government will exploit the Malaysia Airline catastrophe and how the American people will willingly accept, without question, whatever story the government tells them about the crash.

The US has been demonizing, poking and prodding Russia for so long regarding Ukraine, it shouldn’t be surprising to see how quickly the tragic crashing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 has been exploited to further US goals in Central Asia.  And how most Americans will probably approve of whatever military action the US-supported government of Ukraine carries out in the eastern part of the country in the name of fighting Russian-backed rebels.

Indeed, on Friday, President Obama said pro-Russian fighters couldn’t have shot down the Malaysian aircraft “ without sophisticated equipment and sophisticated training, and that is coming from Russia.

The “working theory” in the U.S. intelligence community is that the Russian military supplied a surface-to-air missile system to pro-Russian rebels, a senior defense official told CNN.

Additionally, Ukraine’s state security chief accused two Russian military intelligence officers of involvement.  However, it turns out the audio may be a fake, as it was actually created one day before the crash.

Neither government mentioned that the Ukrainian military has several batteries of surface-to-air missile systems with at least 27 launchers, capable of bringing down high-flying jets, and that those systems were recently moved into eastern Ukraine.

Regardless of the facts, in the coming days, the US government will no doubt offer “proof” that the airliner was targeted by rebels who received the missiles from Russia.

They will then use this as justification for Ukraine’s military offensive in the east in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.  This is key because the US desperately wants Ukraine to regain control of Donetsk and Luhansk – two regions who recently had referendums declaring independence from Ukraine.  (Lucky for Poroshenko the Malaysian airplane incident occurred above Donetsk, the exact place in which he’s been planning a military offensive.)

And even though their claims will be just as dubious as the “evidence” they offered for Saddam Hussein’s WMDs and just as sketchy as the “proof” they had that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people, they’ll get away with it because of how well the US has demonized Russia.

In all likelihood, Ukraine will couch their military interventions into Donetsk and Luhansk as payback for the Malaysian Airlines crash, even though such plans have been in the works for weeks.  Most recently, on July 5 Ukrainian President Poroshenko tweeted: “My order is now in effect – tighten the ring around the terrorists. Continue the operation to liberate Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”

In fact, in the week prior to the Malaysian plane crash, at least 30 civilians were killed in Ukraine’s military offensive in the east.  This follows the Ukrainian government’s incursion into Slovyansk where hundreds of civilians were killed, and another military operation where 270 people who were killed in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk region in June.

Given the sanctions leveled on Russia by the US, the false claims of Russian troop buildups, and thescapegoating of Russia for deaths inside Ukraine, Putin has shown remarkable restraint.  He certainly knows that the US is trying to lure him into a trap.

In addition to revoking his authorization to deploy Russian troops inside Ukraine in June, Russia has repeatedly asked the UN Security Council to come up with a plan for a ceasefire.  But Ukraine never wanted a ceasefire, in part because the US has strongly backed Ukraine’s offensive against the mostly ethnic Russian rebels in the east.

“ Putin has continued to rely on diplomacy as his primary tool, especially with European officials fearful of the economic consequences of a full-scale confrontation between Russia and the West,” wrote Ray McGovern. “Putin, meanwhile, is maintaining a determined coolness in his public remarks.”

But the US has always wanted a conflagration in Ukraine.  It wants control, not peace.

 Russia is not responsible for the crisis in Ukraine. The US State Department engineered the fascist-backed coup that toppled Ukraine’s democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovych and replaced him with the American puppet Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former banker,” wrote Mike Whitney in April.

“The overriding goal of US policy in Ukraine is to stop the further economic integration of Asia and Europe. That’s what the fracas is really all about. The United States wants to control the flow of energy from East to West, it wants to establish a de facto tollbooth between the continents, it wants to ensure that those deals are transacted in US dollars and recycled into US Treasuries, and it wants to situate itself between the two most prosperous markets of the next century. Anyone who has even the sketchiest knowledge of US foreign policy particularly as it relates to Washington’s pivot to Asia knows this is so. The US is determined to play a dominant role in Eurasia in the years ahead. Wreaking havoc in Ukraine is a central part of that plan.”

And as John Pilger recently wrote, “ For the first time since 1945, a neo-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital.  No Western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism in the borderland through which Hitler’s invading Nazis took millions of Russian lives.”

(Indeed, just days after Pilger’s statement, the Irish Times reported that foreigners are joining the ultra-nationalist ranks within Ukraine – men who “share a faith in the strength of ethnically pure nations” and who reject immigration, multiculturalism, globalisation and liberalism.)

Pilger continued, “Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its NATO Enlargement Project. Reneging on a promise made to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that NATO would not expand one inch to the east, NATO has, in effect, militarily occupied Eastern Europe.  In the former Soviet Caucasus, NATO’s expansion is the biggest military build-up since the Second World War.”

The notion that the US has its imperial eyes focused on Ukraine and will use any tragedy as a way to achieve its goals can be easily understood by reading the words of Paul Wolfowitz in 1992 which were used to formulate the official Defense Planning Guidance from the Pentagon:

 Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

And if that means using the tragedy of a passenger jet going down in flames, so be it.  Looks like the US goal of bashing Russia is finally paying off.


Chris Ernesto is cofounder of St. Pete for Peace, an antiwar organization in St. Petersburg, FL that has been active since 2003. Mr. Ernesto also created and manages OccupyArrests.com andUSinAfrica.com.

By Abba Solomon and Norman Solomon

 Over the weekend, the New York Times sent out a clear signal: the mass slaughter of civilians is acceptable when the Israeli military is doing the killing.

Under the headline “Israel’s War in Gaza,” the most powerful newspaper in the United States editorialized that such carnage is necessary. The lead editorial in the July 19 edition flashed a bright green light — reassuring the U.S. and Israeli governments that the horrors being inflicted in Gaza were not too horrible.

 From its first words, the editorial methodically set out to justify what Israel was doing.

“After 10 days of aerial bombardment,” the editorial began, “Israel sent tanks and ground troops into Gaza to keep Hamas from pummeling Israeli cities with rockets and carrying out terrorist attacks via underground tunnels.”

 The choice of when to date the start of the crisis was part of the methodical detour around inconvenient facts.

For instance, no mention of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s June 30 announcement that the “human animals” of Hamas would “pay” after three Israeli teenagers kidnapped in Israeli-controlled territory in the West Bank were found dead. No mention of the absence of evidence that Hamas leadership was involved in those murders.

Likewise, absent from the editorializing sequence was Israel’s June “crackdown” in the West Bank, with home raids, area closures, imprisonment of hundreds of Hamas party activists including legislators.

Most of all, the vile core of the Times editorial was its devaluation of Palestinian lives in sharp contrast to Israeli lives.

The Times editorial declared that Hamas leaders “deserve condemnation” for military actions from civilian areas in the dense Gaza enclave — but Netanyahu merited mere expressions of “concern” about “further escalation.” Absent from the editorial was any criticism of Israel’s ongoing bombardment of homes, apartment blocks, hospitals, beaches and other civilian areas with U.S.-supplied ordinance.

At the time, there had been one Israeli death from the hostilities — and at least 260 deaths among Gazans as well as injuries in the thousands. The contrast illuminates a grotesque difference in the Times’ willingness to truly value the humanity of Israelis and Palestinians.

In the morally skewed universe that the Times editorial board evidently inhabits and eagerly promulgates, Hamas intends to “terrorize” Israeli citizens while Israel merely intends to accomplish military objectives by dropping thousands of tons of bombs on Palestinian people in Gaza.

A keynote of the editorial came when it proclaimed: “There was no way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was going to tolerate the Hamas bombardments, which are indiscriminately lobbed at Israeli population centers. Nor should he.”

While sprinkling in a handwringing couple of phrases about dead and wounded civilians, the editorial had nothing to say in condemnation of the Israeli force killing and maiming them in large numbers.

 Between the lines was a tacit message to Israel: Kill more. It’s OK. Kill more.

And to Israel’s patrons in Washington: Stand behind Israel’s mass killing in Gaza. Under the unfortunate circumstances, it’s needed.

When the editorial came off the press, the Israeli military was just getting started. And no doubt Israeli leaders, from Netanyahu on down, were heartened by the good war-making seal of approval from the New York Times.

After all, the most influential media voice in the United States — where the government is the main backer of Israel’s power — was proclaiming that the mass killing by the Israeli military was regrettable but not objectionable.

The night after the Times editorial went to press, the killing escalated. Among the calamities: the Israeli military shelled the Gaza neighborhood of Shejaiya throughout the night with nonstop tank fire that allowed no emergency services to approach. Eyewitness media reports from Shejaiya recounted scenes of “absolute devastation” with bodies strewn in the streets and the ruins.

Two days after the editorial reached Times newsprint, over 150 more were counted dead in Gaza. No media enabler was more culpable than the editorializing voice of the Times, which had egged on the Israeli assault at the end of a week that began with the United Nations reporting 80 percent of the dead in Gaza were civilians.

The Times editorial was in step with President Obama, who said – apparently without intended irony — that “no country can accept rockets fired indiscriminately at citizens.” Later, matching Israeli rationales for a ground invasion, the president amended his verbiage by saying: “No nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders or terrorists tunneling into its territory.”

An important caveat can be found in the phrases “no country” and “no nation.” The stateless people who live in Gaza – 70 percent of whom are from families expelled from what’s now southern Israel – are a very different matter.

 By the lights of the Oval Office and the New York Times editorial boardroom, lofty rhetoric aside, the proper role of Palestinian people is to be slaughtered into submission.

Abba A. Solomon is the author of “The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein’s Speech ‘The Meaning of Palestine Partition to American Jews.’” 

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

Kiev Attacks Donetsk, Headquarters for MH17 Response

July 21st, 2014 by Tony Cartalucci

Reuters reported that the NATO-backed regime in Kiev has launched an offensive on the eastern city of Donetsk, Donetsk province. In its article, “Fighting erupts in Ukraine as crash investigators arrive,” Reuters states:

Ukrainian army tanks were reported to be launching an assault to break pro-Russian rebels’ hold on the eastern city of Donetsk on Monday in the first major outbreak of hostilities in the area since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down last week.

A separatist leader said Ukrainian government forces were trying to break into Donetsk and fighting was under way near the railway station.

The provincial capital is being used as a headquarters to coordinate the cleanup, recovery, and investigation of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The attack on Donetsk by Kiev’s forces will further complicate efforts to recovery bodies, bring impartial, international investigators to the crash site, and arrive at the truth of what happened to the doomed flight.

Reuters would even admit, that even while Kiev’s forces assaulted the city of Donetsk, the first international investigators had arrived in the city:

Three members of a Dutch disaster victims identification team arrived in Donetsk and were expected to visit a railway station near the crash site where nearly 200 bodies have been stored in refrigerated wagons.

No mention was made by Reuters regarding the security conditions the Dutch team would be working under, or what measures, if any, Kiev was taking to ensure their continued incursions into eastern Ukraine did not hamper the response to MH17. An armed assault into a potential crime scene does, however, raise as many suspicions as it does legitimate questions as to why those who have benefited the most from the downed airliner are now interfering with attempts to investigate the site.

While the West mocks eastern Ukrainians for their limited resources with which to respond to the disaster, the regime in Kiev the West is backing, by launching an assault on Donetsk, currently constitutes the greatest threat to resolving the MH17 disaster.

Prolonging a Baseless Narrative 

While the West condemns efforts by eastern Ukrainians to respond to the downed airliner, it should be remembered that the region has been subjected to months of artillery barrages, air raids, and incursions by armored columns backed by Neo-Nazi militants from militias such as Right Sector. Much of the infrastructure the people of Donetsk would have responded to the downed airliner with has been exhausted after months of defending the province.

One article in particular by the Daily Mail titled, “A chilling echo of Nazi death trains as MH17 victims begin the grimmest journey,” goes as far as comparing the separatists to Nazis simply for utilizing refrigerated train cars to store dead bodies while awaiting international investigators who still have not arrived on the scene.

Image: Unbeknownst to the average Western viewer, the man whose picture was held by “Euromaidan” protesters throughout late 2013 and early 2014 was none other than WW2 Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. In the picture above, the blue and gold “three-fingered” Svoboda flag can also be seen – Svoboda being one of 3 main parties leading the “Euromaidan,” and unabashed Neo-Nazis. For the Daily Mail to compare the people of Donetsk to Nazis, when their ancestors fought them in WW2, and the current regime in Kiev collaborated with them, exposes the level of vile, amoral degeneracy the Western media is currently operating on.  
The dubious propaganda piece trying to compare storing dead bodies on a refrigerated train after an air disaster to the Nazis’ practice of putting live prisoners in boxcars to transport them to prison camps is particularly tasteless and misleading, considering many of the Nazi’s victims put on those trains were the ancestors of those in Donetsk today fighting the fascists in Kiev – fascists who openly venerate Nazism and WW2 Nazi collaborators like Stepan Bandera, whose image was ubiquitous during the so-called “Euromaidan” protests.

Image: The West mocks the people of Donetsk and their limited resources
as they struggle to respond to the downed MH17 airliner. No complaints
were heard from the West over the past several months while their proxies
in Kiev destroyed or exhausted the emergency infrastructure of Donetsk. 

If and when any meaningful investigation gets underway, the narrative the West has been baselessly propagating will begin to unravel, just as it did in Syria following the August 2013 Ghouta sarin gas attack. Attempts to frame Russia for the disaster without evidence continues unabated, as does the mockery of the people in Donetsk who are struggling to cope with their own limited resources and the “intentional community’s” sluggish and so far inadequate response.

With a renewed assault by Kiev and its NATO backers on the very city selected to coordinate the response to the MH17 disaster, it appears an effort is underway to delay any meaningful investigation or resolution to the disaster, thus prolonging the politically-charged climate of anger, emotions, and baseless accusations the West has been brazenly exploiting, for as long as possible.

It was the US itself that first demanded a ceasefire after the downing of MH17. In a report titled, “World leaders demand ceasefire,” it stated:

US President Barack Obama called for an immediate ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia separatists. He also called for a credible investigation.

“The eyes of the world are on eastern Ukraine, and we are going to make sure that the truth is out,” he said at the White House.

It now appears that the very regime the US has backed since they violently seized power in Kiev in late 2013-early 2014 have both broken the ceasefire agreement and are jeopardizing the truth the US demanded “comes out.” The continued contempt for truth, due process, justice, and the rule of law exhibited by both the West and their various proxies around the world betray the image of “international norms” and “law” Washington, London, and Brussels purportedly subscribe to.