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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Under the microscope: Why was a US military drone flying over Crimea and Donbas?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sam Power: Silence in the face of Atrocity

"It is clear that the United States must come up with some very serious actions. What actions, I can not say now, but what I saw today, unfortunately, was very concerning, as my American colleague Samantha Power behaved very strange at the least," - said Russia's permanent representative to the UN Churkin on the results of the consultations of Security Council in connection with Western coalition air strike on Syrian government forces in Deir ez-Zor, which broke the ceasefire and emboldened ISIL forces.

The move was in keeping with the State Department's obsession with ousting Bashar Assad, despite administration comments to the contrary.

According to Churkin, when he began to share with the audience his concerns over Syria (a US strike in Deir ez-Zor on SAR troops), Samantha Power did not listen. Instead, she walked out to talk to the press, where she began to spit out nonsense about Russian-bombed hospitals and a breach of agreements - saying the moderates are bombed. Clearly, the woman had a hangover, had nothing to say, but did not have the energy to listen to criticism. So she exploded."

Power: War crimes okay in Yemen, Gaza, not Syria

Supreme arrogance.

These are some of the descriptors social media used to describe US Ambassador Samantha Power's breathtaking performance at the UN Saturday evening in a Russian-called emergency session of the UN Security Council to mull a US airstrike on Syrian Army positions killing 80 near Deir Ezzor airport Saturday.

The strike shattered a 'cessation of hostilities' agreement struck up by the US, Russia and Syria last week and violated another key component of ongoing cooperation, that is, the US would abandon it's regime change strategy and refrain from targeting the Syrian Army, instead focusing on the shared objective of destroying ISIS.

"The United States promised the Syrian government that the airstrikes would not affect the position of the Syrian armed forces," said Russian Federation Envoy Vitaly Churkin in a tense presser after the special called session adjourned.

Calling the strikes highly suspicious, both in timing and tactics, Churkin adding, "That did not put the US fully in line with international law because the Syrian government did not grant permission...but the fact the US committed not to strike the position of the Syrian government created certain conditions for cooperation."

Conditions allowing the US, Syria and Russia to focus on a shared enemy: Daesh, or ISIS.

While lamenting a lack of transparency and resistance to fully cooperating with Russia, Churkin noted the US failure to delineate between "moderate" forces it alleges to support and those associated with terrorism such as Jabhat al nusra.

The inability of the US to control these numerous"moderate" militia forces was also a point of concern for Churkin, who noted at least 20 of these groups had declared they would not honor the ceasefire.
"The big question is, who is in charge? Is it the White House or the Pentagon? Because we have heard statements from the Pentagon that simply fly in the face statements we've heard from President Obama and Sec. Kerry.  This is not accidental...the genie is out of the bottle, it appears they (Americans) have lost control of the situation."
Particularly noteworthy was Sam Power's chastisement of Russia, which dominated all but the first 60 seconds of her 13 minutes of comments.

Absolutely non-plussed and flippant at the Russian temerity to call attention to the US' unilateral ceasefire violation and return to attacking Syria - which emboldened ISIS to seize back the territory - Power was incorrigible, coming off as more of an inconvenienced mall rat than a global dignitary.

"Seriously? And they're calling this emergency meeting. Really?" Powers flung her hair back in disdain at the very thought of Russia's "stunt".

Powers was convinced the press conference was called as a distraction to what she termed "what's really going on", in other words, the press conference, not the "errant" bombing, was the item most worthy of  outrage.

A notorious neocon - she supported Hillary Clinton's interest in regime change in Libya - Power went on to embarrass herself further, chastising the Russian Federation for being overly-concerned with US war crimes and insufficiently concerned with those of the Syrian regime, wading into a mire of hypocrisy Ambassador Churkin said he had not seen in his 40 years of dealing with the Americans.

"Some of the most systematic atrocities we have seen in a generation yet, in the face of none of these atrocities has Russia expressed outrage, much less called for an emergency Saturday night consultation in the security council on any of these practices."

Power elucidated: "Not only are they not interested in seeing these crimes investigated, they have used their veto on the security council to block meaningful action...have self-adopted some of the regimes worst practices. Hitting hospitals, hitting refuge camps, hitting markets. Seriously…they’re calling this emergency meeting?"

Curious to mention the UNSC veto, a favorite tool of the US to shield investigation and sanction of Israeli war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza.

But Power would not be deterred Indicating Russia would do better looking after its barbaric proxy in Syria, rather than calling attention to US breaking agreements and bombing the wrong side.

But her next quip did her in.
Imagine how often this council would be meeting if we were to gather every time the regime or Russia struck a hospital or a school or a bread line...
Goodness, lets see, if we include the US and the Saudi regimes' bloodbath in Yemen, the council had better clear its calendar.

Perhaps inconveniently for Power, the Guardian detailed the ongoing US-backed Saudi assault quite thoroughly just the day before the US bombed the Syrian Army, blanketing deaf ears with what may soon rival Syria for scale of civilian targeting and displacement.

  • More than one-third of all Saudi-led air raids on Yemen have hit civilian sites, such as school buildings, hospitals, markets, mosques and economic infrastructure, according to the most comprehensive survey of the conflict.
  • The independent and non-partisan survey, based on open-source data, including research on the ground, records more than 8,600 air attacks between March 2015, when the Saudi-led campaign began, and the end of August this year. 
  • Over the course of the war, the survey lists 942 attacks on residential areas, 114 on markets, 34 on mosques, 147 on school buildings, 26 on universities and 378 on transport.
  • Saudi Arabia intervened in March 2015 to support the Yemeni government against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in control of the capital, Sana’a. The UN has put the death toll of the 18-month war at more than 10,000, with 3,799 of them being civilians.
And the commensurate outrage and influence Power proposes Russia exert over Syria is wholly missing from the US/Saudi joint effort in Yemen. Indeed, nothing much has changed since Obama blew off a Saudi strike that took out a wedding party of 70 civilians last year.
In almost every case (of civilian targeting), the Saudi coalition has either denied responsibility for the killings or blamed Houthi militants. Saudi Arabia has also sought to head off a mission to Yemen by human rights investigators with the United Nations who would look into violations by all the warring parties.”
The Obama administration, which has supported the Saudi war effort by providing intelligence and logistical support, has avoided any direct public rebuke of the Saudis, while calling on coalition planners to investigate reports of civilian casualties.

As much as Power rightly cast shade Assad's way, it appears the US made a habit of breaking the promise of "precision strikes" massacring at least eight wedding parties from 2001 through 2013, according to this Nation piece reporting on what was believed to be the first wedding attack in Yemen.
...this is at least the eighth wedding party reported wiped out, totally or in part, since the Afghan War began, and it extends the extermination of wedding celebrants from the air to a third country—six destroyed in Afghanistan, one in Iraq, and now the first in Yemen. And in all those years, reporters covering these “incidents” never seem to notice that similar events had occurred previously.  
Sometimes whole wedding parties were slaughtered, sometimes just the bride or groom’s parties were hit. Estimated total dead from the eight incidents: almost 300 Afghans, Iraqis and Yemenis. And keep in mind that, in these years, weddings haven’t been the only rites hit. US air power has struck gatherings ranging from funerals to a baby-naming ceremony.
Power is no stranger to getting bloody herself. This April her speeding motorcade made quick work of a 7-Year old child in Mokolo, Camaroon. Power offered the equivalent of $1,700, flour, soap, and two cows as compensation: a show of  "deep regret" that had many of us echoing the ambassador's refrain,  "Really?"

While the good Ambassador Power may delight in her juvenile disdain for the Russian's and their proxy slaughters, she seems to have a gift for pulling it off with remarkable hubris in keeping with the State's broad reliance on the "memory hole" of history.

The rest of us may resist the urge to weep. Or vomit.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

KSA and Israel; US Client States Have Their Priveleges

"The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen has launched the country into a humanitarian crisis. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia has imposed a strict blockade on Yemen, which previously imported 90 percent of its food and medicine. According to UNICEF in May, the conflict has left 21 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, and more than 300,000 children under 5 at risk of severe malnutrition."

Amid continuous bipartisan hand-wringing regurgitation of Putin's international sin of annexing Crimea in 2014 and increased presence in Ukraine, increased bombing runs in Syria. All for the heinous act of supporting an ally who the US is actively trying to overthrow.

Still, few care to contrast the infinitely more brutal US supported civilian massacre in Yemen. 

The primary reason of course is to fight terrorism though ISIS and Al Queda of the Arabian Peninsula were non existent in the region in any real sense prior to US drone strikes beginning in earnest 2009-2010.

A New York Times Editorial lamenting America's 'complicity' in the Saudi onslaught of civilians in Yemen, and calling for suspension of weapons sales to the House of Saud, has got the pundits yapping and that's good. But where was this sane rational chorus call for 'control via withdrawal of support', during the 2014 Gaza invasion and civilian slaughter by Israel?

In that conflict, the NYT preferred to manufacture consent for Israel; Effectively, supporting and justifying the regime dropping the bombs. On a people under military occupation. Imagine the Nazis opening an air campaign on the Polish Resistance. 

When it comes to Israel's transgressions, zero shits are typically given about Palestinian civilian casualties.

Through this lens we can begin to see both the hypocrisy of the US media regarding "necessary wars" in Gaza and Yemen as two accounts of regional aggression by US allies and how this type of aggression wether Israeli or Saudi, is treated differently than Russian or Iranian "aggression".

In Yemen, the Saudis are our "imperfect" Arab allies. They are good because, with the help of American indifference (HRC weapons deals, UN Veto power, unified against a rising Iran), the Saudis  are probably the most obvious representation of  those "Muslim partners" politicians like to invoke as the solution to fighting ISIS.

Saudis get more opportunities to advance regional hegemony (see Yemen), the US gets a foothold in the radical Wahabee


 rest of the crazy and unpredictable (desiring self-determination); In Gaza, the Israelis. What makes the difference is the luxury to which we grant allowances for crimes against humanity to our 'western' allies, of which the House of Saud, is not. We are tight with the Saudis, but not so close as to have the US Congress cheering them on. 

Though similar in many ways, Gaza and Yemen are not alike. 

But the real reason, beyond even concerns of alleged Iranian influence via the Houthis is to thwart and undermine any authentic moves toward Arab Nationalism.

It is instructive to note the concern over Arab Nationalism is equally opposed by Saudi Arabia as it is by Israel.

Neither the House of Saud nor Likud Israeli regime is interested in neighboring with a regime dedicated the rights and concerns of its Arab non-Jewish population, but rather, the sublimation of those interests to Western concerns and business interests.

It is here then, that an overlapping of interests occurs between the three: Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States with the US continuing to tighten its grip over the Middle East.

Israel and KSI provide convenient sledgehammers on either end of the "Arab Israeli" ideological spectrum.

Military dictatorships have been the preferred option in the post-coup environment. In Argentina and Chile and Guatemala and most of Latin America, US backed death squads and authoritarian governments were the "go to" setup after the overthrow of the legitimate democratically elected government.

Turkey has reverted to this, as has Egypt. Client state governments can exist in any form so long as they perform their useful function to punish Arab resistance before it becomes another 'Arab Spring' and thereby "threatening" it's stability for the US and Western domination abroad.

KSI's slaughter of the Yemeni civilian population - an struggle pitting the region's most wealthy nation against its most vulnerable and impoverished - reminded me of another, another blockade, another humanitarian crisis, another chance for the United States to take a different road.

Gaza is to Israel what Yemen is to the Saudis - an isolated poor population carrying out violence in direct response to the violence carried out against them.

Recall Gaza the summer of 2014 during Israel's assault on the strip. The difference being Hama' mostly symbolic and strategically useless rocket attacks into Israel, adding another empty "threat" to which Israel could respond with disproportionate force behind the charade of self-defense.

With Israel demonstrating record levels of impunity across the two Obama terms, especially in Gaza - Operation/s Caste Lead, Pillar of Defense, the Mavri Mamara Flotilla Massacre, Netanyahu's public opposition to Iran nuclear deal, bicameral address of US Congress, efforts to sabotage deal behind the scenes. 

Caping it all off will likely be a $4-5 bn 10 year guaranteed weapons aid package for Israel, a state with free health care. This will put this aid beyond reach, a move Israel will not misinterpret.

Yet we must look to our ever more brazen "ally" to the west to see where all this impunity is likely to go. 

It is becoming clear, specifically with the latest Saudi Bombing of a Doctors Without Borders Hospital yesterday, a bombing, the Saudi Arabia is not left behind in regional brutality. The Doctors without borders strike killed 15 civilians. The shells, Made in the USA.

The fourth Doctors without Borders Hospital to be hit in 17-month conflict. Yet the US remains silent.

The Saudis recently elbowed their way onto the UN Human Rights Commission, instantly rendering it irrelevant. KSI also blatantly coerced the UN into removing Saudi Arabia - a move similar to what the US Congress did when Israel was threatened inclusion on the same report.

And with a looming Clinton presidency - HRC saw through historic arms sales to the Saudis and accepted 10's of millions from the House of Saud on behalf of The Clinton Foundation - it does' t take the mind of Seuss to imagine even more "special treatment" for our Saudi friend.

We are likely to see a newly emboldened KSI, patterned on Israeli impunity that has characterized the region for decades.

All with a stern condemnation followed by a wink and a nod from the State Department.

Monday, July 18, 2016



The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; c ) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states. 
Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States

In the months that followed, Israel continued to reject the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. Speaking to the Assembly on February 7, 1949, Moshe Shertok was adamant in reiterating Israel's position that the subject of Arab refugees must be excluded from any discussions on a peace agreement. The refugees should forget about returning to their homes, he suggested, and just resettle elsewhere.[xiii]The Chairman of the Conciliation Commission, Claude de Boisanger of France, adopted the Zionists' position, urging a solution requiring the refugees to give up the hope of ever returning home. He favored a solution that could be "worked out practically and not by adhering to rigid law and principle."[xiv]

Saturday, June 11, 2016

"A Stone and A Sling"...Soundgarden for Palestine?

Released exactly one day prior (Nov.13, 2012) to Israel's devastating operation "Pillar of Defense" (Nov. 14, 2012) in Gaza after assassinating a democratically elected Hamas leader, calling the response aggression and "reacting" according to the Dahiya Doctrine - Soundgarden released its 6th studio album: King Animal.
Operation Pillar of Defense (Hebrewעַמּוּד עָנָןʿAmúd ʿAnán, literally: "Pillar of Cloud")[22] was an eight-day Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip, which began on 14 November 2012 with the killing of Ahmed Jabari, chief of the Gaza military wing of Hamas.[23][24][25][26]
I am no stranger to philosophical interpretations of Chris Cornell's lyrics.

From Cornell's manic/paranoid delusions of young love/lust :

"Pretty noose is pretty hate"

or tales of it's slow, suffocating decline:

"Close the door and pull the shades and climb the walls".

Jesus Christ Pose
Hunting Down
Black Hole Sun
Non-State Actor
Louder than Love

Cornell is a master of the obscure and opaque. However, I feel his verses on Non-State Actor -  second track on King Animal - are particularly compelling. Especially given the onslaught that will initiate the day after.

Pillar of Defense

Without further ado, Non State Actor, Soundgarden. Emphasis added. Enjoy.
Coin in every pocket
More mouths to fill
So weak in the land
Strong in the will (need)
I'll be your beast of burden
I'll be the seed
I bring you the healer
Feel your disease
I bring dirty water
And make it clean (young)
And you are the cure
I am the drug
And we settle for
A little bit more than everything
We're not elected, But we will speak
We're not the chosen, But we believe
And we settle for a little bit more than everything
Bullets, guns and missiles
A stone and a sling
A motherless country
Of thee I sing (song)
You are the tank and rockets
I am the bomb
I teach you a lesson
Sword for a pen
Reading turn the pages
A history of man (look)
You are tabula rasa
I am the book
And we settle for a little bit more than everything
We're not elected, But we will speak
We're…Watch Soundgarden perform Non State Actor...

What do you think??

Saturday, May 21, 2016

On the eve of the next Gaza massacre, cue the Israeli apologists

In yet other Israeli shill piece, long on the false equivalency and misdirection, short on facts and context, columnist glibly reminds us that a new collection of essays documenting life under occupation fails to adequately account for Arab rejectionism and...

The fact that Israel already withdrew from Gaza, resulting in reign of terrorist outfit, Hamas, and the suspension of peace talks and...

The fact that there are so many 'worse' human rights violators out there, why pick on Israel?

Perhaps this inexcusable omission is matched only by what your own column leaves out.

Some examples of what readers will not learn from Lawrence J. Hass - senior fellow at the "conservative", read defense industry sect, American Foreign Policy Council - include:

1) Readers will not learn that Israel rejects both a Palestinian "unity government" in which the PA and Hamas negotiate as one (most recently abandoning peace talks in March 2014) AND a divided government (the reason Israel rejected previous post-Hamas talks) making negotiations impossible. 2) Hamas - dedicated to Israel's destruction (whatever plays into the 'victim' hand) - was also democratically elected by Gazans at which point all diplomatic relations were cut off by the US and Israel. 3) Israel may have withdrawn its settlements from Gaza in 2005, but it still effectively controls the strip, controlling airspace, implementing a crushing embargo on Gaza's only connection with the outside world, limiting water and electricity access and closing all crossings into Israel and its new client, Egypt. 4) Hamas ousted the PA as a result of a W. Bush/Condi Rice coup attempt to remove Hamas from power through the PA and Fatah. The coup was thwarted, and PA expelled committing the second most grave crime against the US and it's ME allies (the first being voting the wrong way). 5) Israel fears "withdrawing" from the west bank could lead to another terrorist organization being democratically elected. Though, Israel has never withdrawn control of Gaza and will never "withdraw" from the west bank - see Illegal settlements housing 500,000 Jewish extremists. 6) Expansion of Illegal settlements. Declared Illegal by the ICC and UN security council and every UN member nation, US included, except by the colonial power: Israel. Under Oslo, Gaza and the West Bank are ONE - therefore, land theft in one part of Palestine is legitimately dealt a kick in the pants by Hamas in Gaza. It's called self-defense against violent aggression, displacement and dispossession. 7) The tale of the tape: No party is less committed to a "just" peace except as defined by Israel: ie. Israel gets everything it wants. As evidence Israel violates every ceasefire conjured with Hamas, often within hours. The eventual Hamas 'retaliation" is used as context for the next Gaza invasion. Like clockwork. Israel historically is the rejectionist party, typically pulling out of talks when they actually start to move in a direction toward Palestinian autonomy and human rights.

Perhaps (American Jewish author Michael) Chabon's led a sheltered life, for the occupation in Hebron and elsewhere in the West Bank hardly compares to humanitarian horror in North Korea; political suppression in China, Russia and Cuba; and the lack of fundamental human rights across the Arab world.

1) The United States does not GIVE these Other "worse" human rights violating countries $4 billion/year in arms sales to repress native populations.Expressly against both US and International Law. That is key, though Israel certainly belongs in that company of regimes, including Saudi Arabia. See Foreign Policy Journal Editor Jeremy Hammond's concise dissection of the most common myths of the Palestine/Israeli conflict. Full piece: The Next anti-Israel temper Tantrum

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The case "against" Israel

Since the Gaza 2014 massacre, I've endeavored to inform myself to the best of my ability on this issue to help inform others. I've come across writers of grace and fluidity and others of clunky perseverance all of whom have assisted me in confirming that everything I had been told about this "conflict" was wrong.

Here are a few of the most helpful links, articles and websites I've come across and compiled throughout the years, though there are certainly an infinite number of ways to approach this. Israel is the worst kept secret in modern history! It is tolerated because it serves the interest of power.

The irony is breathtaking and heartbreaking.

@bds @freepalestine @stand with israel @apartheidisrael



Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention Declaration 

“Agree to…the illegality of the settlements in the said territory and of the expansion thereof and of related unlawful seizure - See more at:


NGO Reports:

International report on casualties from Gaza 2014
Israeli Physician report:

United Nations Report on Gaza 2014

Very Explicit DC analysis concerning the Leahey Law - US ban on weapons sales to states with a history of human rights concerns.

The Hill War Crimes:

Breaking the Silence Gaza 2014- IOF targeting of civilians was normal rules of engagement say soldiers



Took a lawsuit to get this one. Report is called "Critical Technology Issues in Israel and NATO Countries," written nearly three decades ago. It is not classified.Critical Technology Issues in Israel and NATO Countries,1987 - Released in 2015

How the US helped Israel with H-bomb - 1980s report declassified - RT


Watch Stone Cold Justice - Israeli Settlers

Documentary concerning the UNICEF Report Below. Australian crew shooting footage what would not be allowed into the United States due to Zionist Control.

19:11 - Zionist Extremist Settlers beating up Palestinian children as IOF soldiers look on.

19:40 Settler Fires live ammunition hitting Palestinian Youth in the Side of the Head

26:35 - Israeli Children accused of stone throwing are abducted in the middle of the night, taken to an Israeli prison (against international law of transporting juveniles across borders) kept imprisoned without telling the parents where child is located are shackled and hung up on crosses, feet just touching the floor, sometimes  left for 5 hours, “specialist” psychologist brought in to threaten them with rape and murder to break them down so they will talk. To have hungry snarling attack dogs eat lunch meat off his head and crotch.

Report on above:

UNICEF Children in Israeli Military Detention 2013:

Settlement Study:

"Trigger Happy in the West Bank". Amnesty International - A sickening look at the hyper violent Israeli Settlement culture. Lots of breathtaking youtube vids on line concerning this as well.

World Council on Churches -EDUCATION UNDER OCCUPATION, 2013

Human Rights Watch - Violence against Palestinian Women and Girls, 2006:

Settler Violence- Burned to death in the West Bank:

An 18-month-old Palestinian baby has burned to death after settlers set fire to his family house in Duma village, south of Nablus city, in the occupied West Bank.

Jewish Land Ownership 1945:

Myth Of UN Creation of Israel 

Reports all confirm what a terrible terrible idea it would be to give away the Palestinians homeland to the European Jewish Zionists for theirs.

The running sore was foreseen!

Churchill White Paper: AND

Peel Commission Report: AND

British White Paper: AND

King Crane Commission:

TEARS OF GAZA, documentary 2013. Required viewing  for every United States taxpayer. Sweet dreams.

< Film: Birds Fly Trailer:

A heartbreaking documentary film during Operation Cast Lead. The mot terrifying moment occurs at. The family candlelight shimmers as the girl’s eyes avert upward as the Israeli Air Force begins bombardment of Gaza 2009.

Young Turks
Watching the UN official break down in tears detailing Israel’s intentional targeting of civilians in shelters and schools is unnerving. Essential Feinstein viewing.

Bibi Step down!

200 generals call for Bibi’s ouster? You’d think this would have amounted to some media attention?

Israeli occupation training of US Police.

Israeli army's use of Human Shields:

Israel's poor forgery of a "Hamas" human shield how-to


Palestinian Natural Gas:
But in 2007, a year before Operation Cast Lead, Ya'alon's concerns focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $4 billion.

CIA recommends dumping Israel Tomorrow!

Former CIA Agent Michael Schemer lays down the case that Israel is not in America’s best interest. Notable quotes at.

"I’d dump the Israelis tomorrow:"

Norwegian Dr. Madds Gilbert risks his life at Al Shiffa hospital every couple of years when Israel decides it’s time to ‘mow the lawn’. Witnessed the use of banned weapons such as flechette cluster munitions and white phosphorous.

"Mr. Goldstone cannot be trusted."

Enlightening post Goldstone report interview with Richard Goldstone by International Bar Association in which Goldstone reveals the Israelis had set their sights on taking him down. Only post-Goldstone-Report-retraction I am aware of.

Don't punish Palestinians for Israel's war crimes

Ridiculously blatant bullying of the PLO by Israel, not to petition the ICC on behalf of War Crimes during the 2014 Gaza slaughter. Israel withheld Don’t punish Palestinians for joining ICC:

Always useful grasp of the the incitement and escalation source.

Israel’s History of Breaking Ceasefires:


Interesting quote that seems to indicate that 80 years prior to 1922 - Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in peace in Palestine.

A special Commission, headed by Sir Walter Shaw, a retired Chief Justice of the Straits Settlements, investigated this outbreak. The Shaw Commission observed:

"In less than 10 years three serious attacks have been made by Arabs on Jews. For 80 years before the first of these attacks there is no recorded instance of any similar incidents. It is obvious then that the relations between the two races during the past decade must have differed in some material respect from those which previously obtained. Of this we found ample evidence. The reports of the Military Court and of the local Commission which, in 1920 and in 1921 respectively, enquired into the disturbances of those years, drew attention to the change in the attitude of the Arab population towards the Jews in Palestine. This was borne out by the evidence tendered during our inquiry when representatives of all parties told us that before the War the Jews and Arabs lived side by side if not in amity, at least with tolerance, a quality which to-day is almost unknown in Palestine". 87/

Compilation OF  all links seen here.

Ceasefire Violations: Six decades of Israeli impunity, incitement and escalation

Despite Clinton’s repeated assertions that “Hamas provokes Israel” to defend itself, frequently referring to her 2012 brokered ceasefire between the two as Secretary of State, the record is quite the contrary.
Since Israel's creation in 1948, Israeli political and military leaders have demonstrated a pattern of repeatedly violating ceasefires with their enemies in order to gain military advantage, for territorial aggrandizement, or to provoke their opponents into carrying out acts of violence that Israel can then exploit politically and/or use to justify military operations already planned.
Though fighting never really "ends" there are periodic ceasefires, all of which are violated by Israel. Let’s begin with that much touted “Clinton-brokered” ceasefire.

2012 - On November 14, two days after Palestinian factions in Gaza agree to a truce following several days of violence, Israel assassinates the leader of Hamas' military wing, Ahmed Jabari, threatening to escalate the violence once again after a week in which at least six Palestinian civilians are killed and dozens more wounded in Israeli attacks.

Israel’s uses Hamas’ retaliation as pretext for launching offensive “Operation Pillar of Defense”.

2012 - On March 9, Israel egregiously violates an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and assassinates the head of the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, sparking another round of violence in which at least two dozen Palestinians are killed, including at least four civilians, and scores more wounded. As usual, Israel claims it is acting in self-defense, against an imminent attack being planned by the PRC, while providing no evidence to substantiate the allegation. Following the assassination, Israeli journalist Zvi Bar'el writes in the Haaretz newspaper:
"It is hard to understand what basis there is for the assertion that Israel is not striving to escalate the situation. One could assume that an armed response by the Popular Resistance Committees or Islamic Jihad to Israel's targeted assassination was taken into account. But did anyone weigh the possibility that the violent reaction could lead to a greater number of Israeli casualties than any terrorist attack that Zuhair al-Qaisi, the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees, could have carried out? "In the absence of a clear answer to that question, one may assume that those who decided to assassinate al-Qaisi once again relied on the 'measured response' strategy, in which an Israeli strike draws a reaction, which draws an Israeli counter-reaction."
Just over two months prior, on the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israeli army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz tells Israel's Army Radio that Israel will need to attack Gaza again soon to restore its power of "deterrence," and that the assault must be "swift and painful," concluding, "We will act when the conditions are right."
Christian Science Monitor
MARCH 9, 2012
Gaza militant assassinated by Israel, sparking fears of wider violence
Israeli confirmed its targeted assassination of Zuhair al-Qaissi was the chief of the Popular Resistance Committees, a pro-Hamas militant group that has threatened retaliation.
GAZA CITY, GAZA — An Israeli air strike today killed the chief of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a pro-Hamas militant group that today declared it will no longer honor the tenuous cease-fire with Israel.

2011 - On October 29, Israel breaks a truce that has maintained calm for two months, killing five Islamic Jihad members in Gaza, including a senior commander. The following day, Egypt brokers another truce that Israel proceeds to immediately violate, killing another four IJ members. In the violence, a total of nine Palestinians and one Israeli are killed.

2008 - In November, Israel violates a ceasefire with Hamas and other Gaza-based militant groups that has been in place since June, launching an operation that kills six Hamas members. Militant groups respond by launching rockets into southern Israel, which Israel shortly thereafter uses to justify Operation Cast Lead, its devastating military assault on Gaza beginning on December 27. Over the next three weeks, the Israeli military kills approximately 1400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including more than 300 children. A UN Human Rights Council Fact Finding Mission led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone subsequently concludes that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the fighting, a judgment shared by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

2002 - On July 23, hours before a widely reported ceasefire declared by Hamas and other Palestinian groups is scheduled to come into effect, Israel bombs an apartment building in the middle of the night in the densely populated Gaza Strip in order to assassinate Hamas leader Salah Shehada. Fourteen civilians, including nine children, are also killed in the attack, and 50 others wounded, leading to a scuttling of the ceasefire and a continuation of violence.

2002 - On January 14, Israel assassinates Raed Karmi, a militant leader in the Fatah party, following a ceasefire agreed to by all Palestinian militant groups the previous month, leading to its cancellation. Later in January, the first suicide bombing by the Fatah linked Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade takes place.

2001 - On November 23, Israel assassinates senior Hamas militant, Mahmoud Abu Hanoud. At the time, Hamas was adhering to an agreement made with PLO head Yasser Arafat not to attack targets inside of Israel. Following the killing, respected Israeli military correspondent of the right-leaning Yediot Ahronot newspaper, Alex Fishman, writes in a front-page story: "We again find ourselves preparing with dread for a new mass terrorist attack within the Green Line [Israel's pre-1967 border]... Whoever gave a green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman's agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide bombings inside the Green Line..." A week later, Hamas responds with bombings in Jerusalem and Haifa.

2001 - On July 25, as Israeli and Palestinian Authority security officials meet to shore up a six-week-old ceasefire, Israel assassinates a senior Hamas member in Nablus. Nine days later, Hamas responds with a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem pizzeria.

1988 - In April, Israel assassinates senior PLO leader Khalil al-Wazir in Tunisia, even as the Reagan administration is trying to organize an international conference to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The US State Department condemns the murder as an "act of political assassination." In ensuing protests in the occupied territories, a further seven Palestinians are gunned down by Israeli forces.

1982 - Following Israel's invasion of Lebanon in June, and after PLO fighters depart Beirut under the terms of a US-brokered ceasefire, Israel violates the terms of the agreement and moves its armed forces into the western part of the city, where the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila are located. Shortly thereafter, Israeli soldiers surround the camps and send in their local Christian Phalangist allies - even though the long and bloody history between Palestinians and Phalangists in Lebanon is well known to the Israelis, and despite the fact that the Phalangists' leader, Bashir Gemayel, has just been assassinated and Palestinians are rumored (incorrectly) to be responsible. Over the next three days, between 800 and 3500 Palestinian refugees, mostly women and children left behind by the PLO fighters, are butchered by the Phalangists as Israeli soldiers look on. In the wake of the massacre, an Israeli commission of inquiry, the Kahan Commission, deems that Israeli Defense Minister (and future Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon bears "personal responsibility" for the slaughter.

1981-2 - Under Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel repeatedly violates a nine-month-old UN-brokered ceasefire with the PLO in Lebanon in an effort to provoke a response that will justify a large-scale invasion of the country that Sharon has been long planning. When PLO restraint fails to provide Sharon with an adequate pretext, he uses the attempted assassination of Israel's ambassador to England to justify a massive invasion aimed at destroying the PLO - despite the fact that Israeli intelligence officials believe the PLO has nothing to do with the assassination attempt. In the ensuing invasion, more than 17,000 Lebanese are killed.

1973 - Following a ceasefire agreement arranged by the US and the Soviet Union to end the Yom Kippur War, Israel violates the agreement with a "green light" from US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. According to declassified US documents, Kissinger tells the Israelis they can take a "slightly longer" time to adhere to the truce. As a result, Israel launches an attack and surrounds the Egyptian Third Army, causing a major diplomatic crisis between the US and Soviets that pushes the two superpowers to the brink of nuclear war, with the Soviets threatening to intervene to save their Egyptian allies and the US issuing a Defcon III nuclear alert.

1967 - Israel violates the 1949 Armistice Agreement, launching a surprise attack against Egypt and Syria. Despite claims Israel is acting in self-defense against an impending attack from Egypt, Israeli leaders are well aware that Egypt poses no serious threat. Yitzhak Rabin, Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli army during the war, says in a 1968 interview that "I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it." And former Prime Minister Menachem Begin later admits that "Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."

1956 - Colluding with Britain and France, Israel violates the 1949 Armistice Agreement by invading Egypt and occupying the Sinai Peninsula. Israel only agrees to withdraw following pressure from US President Dwight Eisenhower.

1949 - Immediately after the UN-brokered Armistice Agreement between Israel and its neighbors goes into effect, the armed forces of the newly-created Israeli state begin violating the truce with encroachments into designated demilitarized zones and military attacks that claim numerous civilian casualties.

Finally, between Clinton's much ballyhooed ceasefire treaty in 2012 leading up to the latest, and most deadly Gaza incursion by Israel, Operation Protective Edge, Israel racked up 191 ceasefire violations as reported by Counterpunch.
From November 2012 through July 7, 2014, Visualizing Palestine tallied 191 Israeli violations to 75 Palestinian violations. The Israeli violations were far more deadly. Israel was responsible for 18 fatalities and dozens of injuries, while Palestinians were responsible for 0 fatalities and 3 injuries.
With such gross bias', disregard for parity, justice and human rights in Palestine, Clinton's support from African American and Latino Civil Rights leaders remains a mystery.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Do Palestinian lives matter? Not to Hillary

Just when you thought colonial dehumanization was going out of style, here comes Bernie on Palestine. 
Here Bernie is heralded for his "bravery" and "unprecedented" moxie for daring to suggest Israelis be made to treat the Palestinians with respect and dignity. 
Heaven forfend!
As somebody who is 100 percent pro-Israel, in the long run -- and this is not going to be easy, God only knows, but in the long run if we are ever going to bring peace to that region which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.

God only knows it is going to be a lot to ask, Sanders conveys. Please Bernie, let's leave God out this time. That was the whole problem in the first place. 
Yet as 'revolutionary' as his "recognize Palestinians and human beings" policy, Bernie fails to tell us that Gaza and the West Bank are essentially "one Palestine". What happens to one population happens to all four million Palestinians collectively. 
Which would have put together the recent spate of stabbings and Hamas rocket attacks as reactions to continued and expanded settlements throughout the West Bank in direct contravention of international law. 
This would have shed further light on Israel's alleged "over reactions" and "disproportionate" response in context of being used against a displaced and dispossessed people who resist.
The introduction of these 500,000 heavily armed and guarded Zionist extremists onto land designated as the future Palestinian State could be classified as "incitement", some would argue.
Now, if you're asking not just me, but countries all over the world, "was that a disproportionate attack," the answer is that I believe it was, and let me say something else. 
"I believe it was. Shhhhh"

Remarkable state of affairs when the same former secretary of state who counts as one of her heroes South African Apartheid Leader Nelson Mandela is content that Israel has complied with the US's own Leahy Act which bars weapons sales to countries that have a track record of human rights abuses.

In fact, Clinton - an alleged gun violence activist - had no problem helping Obama beat the Bush Administration in arms sales. In fact, the Obama admin in its first five years - of which Clinton belonged for four - sold more weapons than any US Administration since World War II.
There is enough evidence to convict the state of Israel three times over for war crimes in the last three Gaza incursions alone. The PLO, as a cosignatory to the Rome Statute, was last reportedly making such an appeal to the International Criminal Court over the 2014 Israeli incursion "Protective Edge".
The massacre over which the two were sparring over Israel's disproportionate use of force. In which 1500 civilians including 500 children were murdered. A massacre brought on by Israel breaking the ceasefire Hillary Clinton negotiated after Israel's 2012 "Pillar of Defense" assault.

Links to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and UN reports.
Clinton succeeded in blocking the most famous - the (Richard) Goldstone Report on Operation Caste Lead 2008-2009).- at the UN was followed by a brisk and ruthless Israel-led character assassination of the respected S. African Jurist.
The report, released on 15 September 2009, concluded that both sides had committed violations of the laws of war. It stated that Israel had used disproportionate force, targeted Palestinian civilians, used them as human shields and destroyed civilian infrastructure. Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups were found to have deliberately targeted Israeli civilians and sought to spread terror in southern Israel by mounting indiscriminate rocket attacks. The report's conclusions were endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council.[63]

After a barrage of precise personal attacks, Goldstone - a Jewish Zionist - recanted his report in an embarrassing and confused op-ed in the Washington Post almost two years later. 
Some commentators have endeavored to prove by parsing his words that Goldstone did not actually recant. While there are grounds for making this argument on a technical basis, such a rhetorical strategy will not wash. Goldstone is a distinguished jurist. He knows how to use precise language. If he did not want to sever his connection with the Report he could simply have said “I am not recanting my original report by which I still stand.” He must have known exactly how his words would be spun and it is this fallout—not his parsed words—that we must now confront.

Yet these are not the concerns of Hillary or Bernie.

War crimes charges would automatically shut off the $3.7 billion/year military aid to Israel.

That would set off a chain of catastrophic events that would hit US and Israeli weapons manufacturers hardest. The subsidies are cash cows for the Master's of War who depend on the establishment for their taxpayer blood.

What are we to make of Hitler's admiration of the "American Holocaust" - the extermination of the natives of the Americas. And his attempt at same with the Jews? 

And of Israel's settlement of the West Bank?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

No Hillary, it's Israel not Hamas that violates ceasefires

Click for study
In order to get anywhere in the Israel - Palestine debate, there is one thing that must be made clear.

This is not a normal conflict.

Typically when imagery is called to mind of one side "raining down rockets" on the other, the casual reader tends to visualize a traditional somewhat symmetrical conflict. Complete with opposing armies.

Not the struggle of a people under occupation.

We can split hairs about Geneva Four all day long, but those protections are in place to guard against prolonged occupation. If the occupying power is responsible for not only the health and well being of populations - in this case, the roughly 4 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza - and uncontroversially disallowed to annex land and transfer populations, long term occupation would be highly avoided.

Which is precisely the point.

So despite Hillary Clinton's wife-beater-shielding assertion that Israel "does not want this" and the Palestinians and their leaders "incite violence" by playing the aggressor, the record seems to indicate the contrary. With no-one to play the arbiter, Israel can fire into Gaza without accountability, provoke a response and then claim self-defense after using disproportionate force. That is the history.

Because the Palestinians are accountable to Israel and Israel can decimate with impunity using the most powerful state of the art weaponry in the region as explained by Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund.

Munayyer's organization tracked all Israeli ceasefire violations SINCE Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state,  negotiated the end of the 2012 Gaza slaughter known as "Pillar of Defense":

From the 2012 ceasefire Israel violated the [Clinton brokered] agreement 120 times in one year. More importantly, in an analysis of the New York Times' coverage, 87 of these violation were not covered at all. The ones that were, alleged the offensives were made in self-defense.
So how have these cease-fire dynamics been covered? We’ve tracked New York Times coverage of the cease-fire during this period. The New York Times is representative of the mainstream and extremely important for shaping public discourse on events and thus an important window into broader mainstream coverage. The Times also has multiple reporters covering these events including a bureau in Jerusalem and a correspondent in Gaza. Finally, we simply can’t track everything so the Times, with its easily searchable history, is an effective example to use.
Of the nearly 120 Israeli cease-fire violations during this period the New York Times reported on 17 of them. Additionally, most of these stories (eleven) came either during the first week of the cease-fire, when the issue was still fresh in readers’ minds, or since the escalation on December 20th. That means for the bulk of this period, during which Israel committed 87 cease-fire violations and causing some 91 Palestinian casualties over nearly a one year period there were only six stories on the topic. This represents a systematic failure to cover Israeli cease-fire violations.
Israel says it wants Hamas to control projectile fire from other factions and yet it persistently violates the truce putting Hamas in a position of having to defend Israel’s violations. By targeting groups other than Hamas and by expecting Hamas to crack down on their responses, Israel is playing a dangerous and deadly game of divide and conquer in Gaza that will likely lead to the unraveling of the cease-fire. Once again, Israel has proven security is not its aim, subjugation is. 
One more consideration. As if drone assassinations of Hamas leaders and mass incarceration without charge of hundreds of Gazans at will without consequence, both Gaza and the West Bank are to be considered "one" Palestine.
Click to watch
In fact, the Bill Clinton brokered disastrous Oslo Accords - in which Arafat was manipulated into signing away almost everything but the deed, which he refused to do - stipulated the two areas were to be geographicaly connected.

This vision died when Israel build it's famous "apartheid wall" separating the west bank from Gaza and West Jerusalem from East Jerusalem and settlements have quadrupled since 1993.

Still, the concern remains. With land expropriation and home demolition in the west bank on the rise, a military response from Gaza is warranted under international right of self-defense. What happens to one half of Palestine happens to all of Palestine.

But continued settlement expansion - now complete with some 500,000 specially protected Jews in the West Bank - somehow went unchallenged in the New York debate as they have gone unchallenged by the United States.
Click for "Trigger Happy in the West Bank"

When we look at causal factors in this ongoing destructive conflict, we must not ignore Israeli impunity, whether raiding or bombing Gaza or defying international law by continuing illegal settlement building on land set aside for a free Palestine, as a continued source of instigation.

Clearly Clinton's 2012 negotiated ceasefire between Hamas and Israel - will go down as yet one more success for Israeli foreign policy, one more colossal blunder for US credibility.