Category Archives: Palestine

Saudi Arabia: the Useful Idiots

As Christopher Davidson makes clear in his 2016 book ‘The Shadow Wars’; the extremist ideology of wahhabism – an ‘offshoot’ of Islam, is deeply imbedded in the Saudi regime. That sectarian brutal regime could not have come to power and retained  its military domination over the Arabian peninsula, without the unconditonal support of first the British and latterly the United States. Their Wahhabist dogma states that all who don’t believe in their version of Islam are heretics and should be forcibly converted or put to death.

This dogma is the foundation of Al Qaeda and ISIS ; and these groups, along with fanatical wahhabist ideology promoted  in many Saudi  funded  Sunni mosques around the world, has been actively promoted by those in power in Riyadh since they were effectively installed by the British in the First World War to counter the Turkish Ottoman Empire’s reach..

As Davidson meticulously notes in his book, the support of the British and then the Americans for this fanatical regime, has never wavered; even after the 9/11 terror attack and now the genocide occuring in Yemen. The ongoing U.S. and British support for wahhabist terror to further Western agendas can be taken as a given.

As Human Rights Watch notes (2017) Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam and systematically discriminates against Muslim religious minorities, notably Twelver Shia and Ismailis, including in public education, the justice system, religious freedom, and employment. Government-affiliated religious authorities continued to disparage Shia Islam in public statements and documents.

And now we see a Saudi  attempt to completely eliminate any Shia  influence within the  ‘kingdom’  in  their ongoing brutal  crackdown  of the minority Shia population in Awamiya  on the Arabian peninsula.

Because of the huge amounts of money flowing from the Saudis into Washington and other Western ‘think-tanks’ ( ie propaganda outlets) , both Western media mainstream media and the Washington and London ‘intelligence’ communities are largely  uncritical of this despotic regime and its outpourings of hatred and violence to any Muslims and other Middle Eastern religions who do not espouse their Wahhabist ideology. As long as the Wahhabists remain useful in the cause of eliminating any threats to Israel, countering an independent Iran  or eliminating other Middle Eastern states critical of the United States or the United Kingdom- then that is all good!- regardless of the loss of lives or the devastation left behind…The destruction of the Shi-ite state of Iran is a priority of both the Saudis, Israel, as well as the U.S. and U.K. The re-appropriation of Iranian assets and oil by Western interests is looked upon longingly.

Saudi Arabia funds many wahhabist sect mosques throughout the Western world; whose aim is to preach hate and sectarian discord and promote the killing of others who do not accept their extremist views. Given that this sectarian dialogue is visible open and blatant, how is it that those western mosques have not been closed and the Saudi funnelling of money towards Wahhabists has not been blocked?

Or is this ‘minor’ irritant of localised terrorism and hate in Western states ‘worth it’, when the majority of the mosques’ gullible and disenfranchised indoctrinated young adherents can be shunted off to the Middle East with the assistance of Western intelligence agencies, so that Shi-ite or non secular non U.S. aligned states can be destroyed?

We have reached a rather surrealist situation where the previously hidden long term ‘agreement’ to divide the Middle East according to their respective spheres of influence between Israel and Saudi Arabia has now become completely visible, and now means that ISIS has needed to apologise to Israel for their unintended attack on Israeli ‘Defence’ forces. For many Arabs this apology is a clear signal of the betrayal by the Saudis of the Palestinians and their 60 year brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel military forces. Taken in conjunction with their genocidal war against the impoverished Yemen people by massive Saudi military forces, and with the total support of the U.K. and U.S., Saudi credibility has reached an all time low amongst Arab populations across the Middle East.

Once can only hope that the end of the brutal ‘reign’ of the House of Saud is nigh.


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/saudi-arabia

https://off-guardian.org/2015/12/10/saudi-arabia-leads-the-jihadist-nations-u-s-assists-them/

https://www.sott.net/article/308121-Investigating-Saudi-Arabias-sponsorship-of-Turkish-politics-terrorism-and-the-frenzied-conflict-in-Syria

http://intpolicydigest.org/2015/11/29/why-isis-exists-the-double-game/

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_5717157.html You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Shadow Wars-The Secret Struggle for the Middle East, Christopher Davidson 2016

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/christopher-davidson-ian-sinclair/christopher-davidson-interview-what-is-role-of-west-in-middle-e

http://thesaker.is/who-are-the-sunnis-a-lamentation/

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/war-with-iran-seems-likely-as-trump-cosies-up-with-saudi-arabia/


Postcript  Links

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201705201053811797-abu-trump-al-amriki/

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/manchester-attack-salman-abedi-salafi-jihadism-wahhabism-isis-al-qaeda-islam-muslim-suicide-bombing-a7754301.html

The Syrian Propaganda War: (Stage Two)

Now that Eastern Aleppo has been  finally retaken by  Syrian government troops and their allies  after 4 years of war there, we see a curious phenomenon in  the Western press. Rather than applauding the  return to  peace for the millions of civilians  in Western  Aleppo  and a  potential  return to  some normalcy   for the few remaining in Eastern  Alleppo,  we are instead  treated to   ongoing accusations  from ‘rebel’  sources  of massacres; statements that  cannot be verified in  any way because  the reporters  are not on the ground in  Syria, and statements which  are intended to  undermine the Assad victory. We are also told in  each of these mainstream  reports that ‘the war will  go  on regardless’-  one might be forgiven for thinking that those journalists and media  outlets  are actually wanting the war to continue?
We know that  Western  governments  and the Gulf State dictatorships have poured  millions of dollars,  not only into arming and training the ‘rebels’ of any affiliation  in Syria over the past five years-  but also  poured millions into  a  huge propaganda network designed to  convince the Western  public that  Al Qaeda  in Syria is in  fact moderate and cuddly and that  only the Syrian  government forces do  terrible things.
This is a brutal  war   without question. Both sides have committed atrocities  and enormous devastation: to pretend otherwise is to  be blind to the costs of war.
But  it is absolutely clear that without the ongoing  Western  government resourcing of salafist extremists in Syria this war would have been long over.
This war was not inevitable; it was a deliberate decision by  Western governments to overthrow Assad;  firstly ,  because the Syrian  government opposes the ongoing  Israeli  occupation of Palestine and the Syrian  Golan  Heights  heights  and secondly because their allies; the Gulf dictatorships of  Saudi Arabia , Qatar and UAE  see a secular Syria  under Assad as a threat  to  their support for the  Wahhabist sunni  extremist  doctrine espoused by  Al Qaeda and ISIS, and thereby  alters their power  play against shi-ite Iran.
I for one,  hope that peace will  prevail over the dogs of war.
Postscript
As of 15th December, mainstream media are  now reporting that Chinese green buses are now transporting some of the remaining  East  Aleppo  rebels and their families to Idlib province  and possibly Turkey. This is going to make the ongoing reporting of massacres and  pictures of carefully  cement dust covered babies, that much harder for Western PR  agencies to make plausible for the western public. The ruthless evil  dictator Assad granting amnesty to  the poor defenceless rebels?- that doesnt  quite add up…? hmmm

Patriotism: The Refuge of Scoundrels

The blog heading is one of Mark Twain’s quotes. But here is  a much  better one from Mr Clemens.

Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”- with his mouth.
– “The Lowest Animal”- Mark Twain

Today, in my little part of the world; it is once again  Anzac Day, originally  commemorated to  mark  the bloody  failure  of the  British  Empire’s coordinated attack on Turkish  positions in the Dardanelles at  Gallipoli   in World War One, but now, ( supposedly) it ‘acknowledges the sacrifice of all those who have died in warfare, and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.” Strangely however  this commemoration of all  who  have died in  wars is marked by   artillery salutes, marching uniformed men and much  fanfare about  this country’s patriotism. We are encouraged to  believe that Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war, and a real respect for those who have endured warfare on behalf of the country we live in. (New Zealand Government).

I for one,  am  appalled  that  the majority consensus in New Zealand appears to  be that  ‘plucky little New Zealand’  became a real  country  with its own  identity, and not just  a member of the British  Empire, by  maiming and killing its way through  a series of foreign “adventures”.  The one possible exception to this catastrophic jingoistic litany of murder and mayhem, is New Zealand’s very  real  contribution to  the war  against  Nazi Germany and  Japan  during the Second World War, when  a New Zealand invasion by  the Japanese Imperial Army was a high  probability at  one point.

Every  other war  we have fought, we have fought at  the behest  of others-  from  the genocide inflicted on the Boers during the Boer Wars as part of the British  Imperial  Army’s need to maintain  control of South African assets, the First  World War’s bizarre clash of European monarchies , the  staggering level  of genocide  inflicted on Koreans  by  the “Allies’ (including New Zealand naval  bombardment  of civilian areas) during the Korean War, our implicit involvement in American  genocide in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, our explicit connection to  rendering of Afghan suspects to   U.S. torture centres in Afghanistan, and our ongoing  complicity in the Five Eyes  intelligence project,  which  currently serves American  and U.K. interests in  promoting terrorism  around the world and destroying  human rights.

All in all,  it is not a record I for one am proud of.  Our ongoing subservience to  the  paranoid and psychopathic American  war machine and its  business interests, serves no-one’s interests  on this planet, other than  a few  crazed right wing  American  idealogues and the military/industrial  complex.

I was proud of my country  when our prime minister of the time, Norman Kirk, sent frigates to  Muroroa Atoll  in the south Pacific,  to protest  the French  destroying that island with nuclear bombs and contaminating the environment for thousands of miles.  I was proud when  our prime minister of the day,  David Lange, announced we would henceforth  be a nuclear-free nation, and even a little proud when prime minister Helen Clark refused to send   significant ground troops to Iraq  to  support the American  invasion there.  But we have sunk to new lows since those times, in obsequiously following our U.S.  masters into Iraq once more, to   fight a stupendously foolish  war  in Afghanistan,  and to  mouth support for America’s duplicitous  ‘war on terror’   while  unconditionally  supporting the key  centres of terror in the world; Saudi Arabia and Turkey,  along with support for the 60  year  old  brutal  Israeli  occupation of Palestine .

Despite successive  New Zealand governments’ posturings that  we are now a sovereign nation  because of Anzac Day, when are we truly going to be a proud and  independent nation  who  stands in truth  for peace and international justice?

 

 

Israel: In the death throes of a racist dream: Susan Abulhawa, Middle East Eye

A haunting and wrenching account of the brutal  rascist occupation of Palestine by  an Israeli entity embued with  that  sense of “exceptionalism” which is the downfall  of all  empires.  http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/seeing-other-israeli-side-803375093


Links

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/obama-backs-israel-5-more-palestinians-are-killed

http://www.countthekids.org/

Oily Euphemisms and Weasel Words

The courageous ex U.N Special  Rapporteur for Palestine, Richard Falk once again notes  the slick cynicism of those in positions of power in the West  and East who  clothe   the evils of Israeli occupation of Palestine  in  what Richard Falk  beautifully describes as “oily eupehemisms”, but which  in  my homeland we would simply call  “weasel  words”: i.e. cloaking evil  in nice words to  ensure  our privileged place is not compromised.

The  murder, theft, torture   and terror that  Palestinians have had to  ensure at  the hands of an occupation  government that has been  wholeheartedly supported  in their  70 years of genocide by  every  Western government, has been  completely unfettered . However just  as with apartheid South Africa, and  the wholehearted Western  support for   a “good”  white government “battling the darkies”; the reality of the despotism  of  this  undisputed pure and simple   rascism, is finally hitting home to  many in  the West.

Now that the tide is slowing turning, and Western populations are progressively becoming to  realise the enormity of these  human  rights violations  by  “poor little Israel”, we have increasing numbers of those governments now cynically attempting  to  divert the tide of public opinion by recognising   Palestine as an independent state. In its current  geographical  boundaries , which  have  been progressively sliced  and walled away by  the Israeli  occupation every  year, Palestine  is a completely nonviable state entity.

Because of the actions of  the Israeli military  and their government  over  this 70  years of depredation,  a single state solution is now the only answer. A single state where all  its occupants have equal  rights, where lands stolen over the past 70  years are restored, where  Palestinians forcibly  exiled have full  right of return and full  compensation from  those who  have destroyed their livelihoods, homes, orchards  and family members.

Maybe then the oily euphemisms can  be replaced with truth  and honesty.

Postscript

Here, we  have  a most wonderful  example ( were it not so  appalling and disgusting) commentary from  an Israeli apologist supreme, a David P Goldman  who argues , with such  authencity, that  all  those Gazan  women and children murdered by Israeli  soldiers in  their last onslaught  against the ghetto of Gaza, did so because Hamas  forced them to  stand up  and be bombed shot and strafed . Oh those Palestinians brought it on themselves didn’t they  Mr Goldman?

Read the account of “Jerusalem Day ” this year from  Electronic Intifada or see the resulting “Death to  Arabs” march  by  Israeli  children

And for those who  may  doubt the  barbarism of the Israeli  ongoing assault on Palestine and its tiny Gaza enclave-it may be useful  to  read the  testimonials of Israeli  soldiers in their recent  “Protective Edge” or “Stalwart Cliff” assault on Gaza here  at  Breaking the Silence

And, let us never forget, there are many  Jewish  voices internationally  resisting the Zionist  agenda of subjugation of occupied peoples- particularly the Jewish Voices for Peace movement

And a further piece of evidence of the  now desperate  responses from  those attempting to shore up  the  sordid reputation of the Israeli  occupation forces, from  the Israeli  newspaper Haaretz, noting among other points that:  A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. But the website is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret. “It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” a female narrator intones in a slick video posted to the website’s YouTube account. Called Canary Mission, the site has posted profiles of dozens of students and recent graduates, alongside those of well-known activists like Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement…..

Je suis …. une Charlie?

Firstly, it needs to be unequivocally stated that  any  murder, violence or threats of violence  need to  be condemned, and repeatedly  condemned, until  such  actions no  longer occur on this planet.  Violence in any form is a primitive and non-productive way of achieving one’s aims.  Because human beings are  predominantly social  beings,  intra-species violence  cannot create long-term positive outcomes for either party.

The killings by  religious extremists  of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists/ journalists and subsequent deaths in other parts of Paris, purportedly because  those cartoonist’s denigrated the Prophet, are an abomination, and certainly appear on the face of it, to be designed to  inhibit   further ridiculing of Islam, or more probably, to  incite   disenfranchised  white  males to  commit crimes against   local  Muslim populations to again  encourage French muslims to  rise against   the French  state.

But there are, in my view, three things to  consider here:

Nous sommes hypocrites from  https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7J15OGCAAMrB1F.jpg:large
Nous sommes hypocrites from https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7J15OGCAAMrB1F.jpg:large

One, is the  equity of the Western public and media response to  these killings in comparison  with  the ongoing murders of thousands  of people in the Middle East by  Western  state war-machines.    Just  one example of this hypocritical  perspective is  the disgusting and appalling  treatment of Palestinians by  the Israeli  state to  which  every  Western  country  has not only turned a blind eye in  the last  67  years, but almost all  have   actively supported the ongoing atrocities against  that imprisoned population.  Where are the “je suis une Palestinian” mass rallies I wonder? or where were those demonstrators when the United States  for instance delivered “targeted strikes’  into  the hotel rooms of    Al Jazeera  journalists  while they  were staying  in Baghdad in the second Iraq War ? These organised Parisian  mass rallies,  with  their  identical  laser printed placards, smack  of hypocrisy , selective judgement and useful  scapegoating.

JesuiunePalestinian

Secondly, why  is the media so  keen to portray  these killings as organised, premeditated killings by   well-trained terrorists?. Losing your ID card in the getaway car does not particularly strike me as the work  of  a well-honed  hit -squad. More than likely (as with so  many other “terrorist” attacks) , these pathetic young men  were likely supported and encouraged by   (in this case) French intelligence services.  And before you  snarl  about “conspiracy  theories”, it is worth noting that much of   the “terrorist” activity during the French/Algerian war was in  fact  undertaken by French  intelligence;  they  are no strangers to  false flag operations. As The Intercept notes, many Western “law enforcement” agencies have provenly been active in the past few years  in  recruiting and fomenting “terrorist plots for their own ends.

This blog has noted many times the  multitude of advantages to  state security apparatus of hyping up  some “existential” threat  to  the population.  And if, as some reports suggest, the killers had recently been in Syria fighting with the rebels, then they  are most certainly  the product  of Western   tactical  and resource support for anti-Syrian government rebels.

This attack  also comes at a convenient time, when the President of France ,  the inept ‘socialist’  Francoise Hollande, appeared to be weakening in  his resolve to  support U.S. demands for continued sanctions against  Russia because of the  deleterious impacts on  the French  economy of those sanctions.

Thirdly, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists were, and are, hardly  the epitome of Western liberal tolerance and fair-play. Their cartoons are often racist, and inflammatory. That is of course, no  excuse for violence against  such  bigots, but neither does it provide a rationale to  eulogise such people.  Western democratic values presume that  everyone has the right to insult anyone  on the basis of their actions or beliefs, with  the opportunity to  address  outstanding concerns in  a court of law.  This is largely a civilised approach to  working through  dis-harmony: one to which  Western governments  publicly  subscribe to in the media, while  in reality  wreaking indiscriminate destruction and murder in other parts of the globe. The assumption of a  “free” media in the West, is  however, by and large, true.  Notwithstanding  Slate’s narrative that   “despite its 18th-century constitutional provenance, the First Amendment did not play a significant role in U.S. law until the second half of the 20th century. The First Amendment did not protect anarchists, socialists, Communists, pacifists, and various other dissenters when the U.S. government cracked down on them, as it regularly did during times of war and stress, non libelous  anti-government points of view, are  in most cases, allowed free dissemination. Western governments rely on the fact  that   wide spread dissemination of news requires large amounts of  financial resources. Those  financial resources, by definition, come from  those who  support the status-quo. Non status-quo points of view are therefore in the vast minority and largely invisible to  the public.  Status-quo  views,  even when  blatantly  and obviously lies, can  steam-roll  the public to  accept them  as truth through  the sheer volume and multiple sources of the “un-truths”.  George Monbiot’s  recent  examples on Canadian  and UK media’s “selective journalism” illustrates this argument well.

Charlie Hebdo  journalism falls into  that category of being some what  right -wing and subtly supporting the  conservative status-quo, with  simplistic  judgements of those who  are different from  “us”. Interestingly however, Stéphane Charbonnier, who was murdered in the attack, described the newspaper’s positions in 2012 as left-wing, secular, and atheist.

As noted in the Common Dreams article below. As the late great Molly Ivins said, “Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel — it’s vulgar.”

I for one, am not  a “Charlie”.

 


 

Links

http://aanirfan.blogspot.co.nz/2015/01/mossad-attacks-paris.html

http://www.occurrencesforeigndomestic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Madsen-on-Hebdo-false-flag-clues.pdf

Who Profits from Killing Charlie? -Pepe Escobar

I Will Grieve. I Will Laugh. But I Am Not Charlie

15 Signs The Charlie Hebdo Attack Was A False Flag

Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism

In Solidarity With a Free Press: Some More Blasphemous Cartoons

 

 

The Funny Little Ways of Western Governments…

(a shortened version of this  post was rejected  as a letter to  the editor of my local newspaper….)

The ongoing media and political  frenzy  about the sudden  emergence of ISIS as the new international  terrorist  threat would be laughable if it were not tragic for those  who  stand in  the path of both  ISIS and  the Western  military “response”.
The reality is that  ISIS, like most of the previous terrorist threats before them, are Western  and  Arabian Gulf state creations.
As with  Osama bin Laden before them (funded if not trained by  the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan) , the members of ISIS have been trained, financed and equipped  by  the US, the UK, France and Saudi Arabia, Turkey   and Qatar to  fulfill  other agendas;  namely  the dismemberment of functioning middle eastern states who  cannot be relied upon to agree to  US demands; eg Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and  Syria .  This  trail  of failed states, brought about first  by Western funded terrorism  and then by Western aerial bombing campaigns, has brought death,  destruction, starvation  and  fear to  their populations  with no  positive  outcome in  sight. While Western governments  will deny their direct  involvement with  ISIS and pretend they  are financing “moderate” islamacists, the reality is that those  men in  the training camps in Turkey and  Jordan  run  by  western governments and Gulf dictatorships, are indeed one and the same men  who  sign up  to  ISIS or who  share resources, kidnapped  people and equipment with ISIS.
See this delightful  CNN interview of former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark, who  clearly doesn’t have a clue about anything much at  all..

For Turkey particularly, the opportunity to  both eliminate the Kurdish  threat  within  its own borders using ISIS, whilst   enabling the ‘necessity’ for  ‘humanitarian’ border corridors and no-fly zones  along the Syrian/Turkey border which  can then lead to  further incursions by Turkish  or even NATO  troops into Syria , is a double win for the Turkish  government.
For Israel, actively supporting  ISIS with  bombardment of Syrian government position on the Golan  Heights and  shooting down  Syrian   military  aircraft attacking ISIS military  positions,  furthers their long-term agenda of destabilizing any  Arab (or Iranian) state that  could potentially threaten Israel’s   territorial  integrity at  some time in the future.
For Western governments and their ‘intelligence’ agencies, hyping up  the threat  of ISIS terrorists re-invading the West and blowing up  defenseless white people, is a wonderful  method to  maintain  the level  of fear and hysteria in the public’s mind. and hence the rationale for more and more  “defence” purchases,  and more  surveillance and control of those who  do not abide by  the corporate agenda.  A new “thirty-year war” by  the U.S. is promised against   a rag-tag bunch of psychopaths and mercenaries. The reality is  that turning off the tap  of funding from  Western supported agencies, closing the supply routes and “rat-lines”,  and shutting down  the training camps would turn current ISIS victories into  a rout within  weeks.
 For Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the dream is  the predominance of  the Sunni   Wahhabi  ideology in the middle east  and beyond,  the destruction of  Shi-ite Iran, and ultimately the elimination of the Shi-ite sect .   ‘Perhaps’ ironically,  it is those Shi-ite ‘terrorists’ ;  Syria, Iran,  and Hezbollah who  are actually making the difference in  eliminating the threat  from  ISIS.
This cynical reality is  well-known to  most of the middle eastern public . The destruction of those states and their infrastructure  who  do not  toe the Western party line, and who  have resources than  can  be appropriated by  Western  companies, or who  might possibly threaten Israel’s hegemony in the region at  some future date, is the  grim  reality for the men women and children who inhabit those desolated countries  and who therefore must  be made to  suffer.


Links

The Howling Dogs of War

On the 15th  August, Shaun Walker, a reporter for the British Guardian news paper reported that  a Russian  military  convoy had  crossed the border  into Ukrainian territory, using a rough dirt track and clearly crossing through a gap in a barbed wire fence that demarcates the border. 

The Kiev government subsequently  claimed that this Russian convoy had been partially destroyed by  Ukrainian artillery.

Mysteriously,  Shaun Walker only posted one photograph in his world exclusive on  the Russian invasion of Ukraine- a photo of the tail end of  one  armoured personnel  carrier on a road in some unidentified location. The  Kiev government like-wise produced no  photographs of the destroyed Russian military hardware or any evidence of the mauled remainder of the  Russian military  convoy.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen  subsequently accused Russia of an incursion into  Ukrainian territory,  a claim  strenuously denied by  the Russian authorities who  speculated that the  military  convoy was a Ukrainian  one which  had been hit by  friendly fire .

Like so  many of the multitude of the claims by  the Kiev Government  about Russian military  invasions over the past few months; none of them have been able to be verified by  satellite imaging , or military  personnel, or by journalists  on  the ground.

In the face of absence of  verification, it is more than likely that none of these Russian incursions occurred. The absence of Russian military  advisers and equipment  and troops appears to  be also  substantiated by the rapidly deteriorating military  situation for the rebels in Eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s demoralized and ill-equipped troops and  reluctant  conscripts,  along with the rag-tag band of neo-con funded neo-nazi brigades,  would prove no match for  Russia’s modernised military hardware and elite troops.

So  why  then  would Shaun  Walker produce such  a report; knowing full  well that his  article could have led to  Word War 3?   Shaun, despite his   fluency in Russian, is well  known for his Russophobic   and anti-Putin tendencies, along with other Guardian  reporters such  as Luke Harding.  And additionally,   was the Kiev  Government media simply responding in its less than honest  way to  more  media rumour and supposition,or was this something else?

Either way, Shaun Walker’s credibility as a reporter has been severely compromised.

But his  tendency  to play  with the facts is no by  no means unusual in Western media. In its most blatant example of media dishonesty,  Western,  and particularly US mainstream media, have for years portrayed Israel  as some tiny  vulnerable  island in a sea of hateful  hordes of Arabs. The truth  of that   nasty  little narrative is only now becoming  known  to Western  audiences, as the alternative press construction of  the real scale of systemic long -term brutality and genocide by  the Israeli  military and governmental machine  against   largely defenceless Palestinians, becomes  disturbingly apparent.   And why?; because the pressure on editorial  boards from those who  support Israel, has  over the previous 66 years eliminated the alternative and honest  narrative.  One can only assume that the  anti-Putin  and anti-Russian hysteria whipped up  reporters like Shaun  Walker is  similarly driven  by external editorial  influences.

And who  might those influences be, one wonders?

And what  should the repercussions be for media  reporters and media agencies  who  incite war and violence?

 

 

 

 

 

Open letter to Mr. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon: stand for law and Justice or resign! : Richard Falk and others..

Open letter to Mr. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon: stand for law and Justice or resign!

(what  follows is the  transcript of an open letter to  The UN Secretary-General on the Genocide in Gaza-posted by  Richard Falk,  former UN Human Rights Representative for Palestine,  on his website at  http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/palestinian-open-letter-to-unsg-ban-ki-moon-on-gaza/ )

5 August 2014

For humanity and the little remained credibility of international law:

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, stand for law and Justice or resign!

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,

We, the under signed Palestinian human rights and community-based organizations are extremely disappointed by your performance, notably by your biased statements, your failure to act, and the inappropriate justification of Israel’s violations of IHL, which amount to war crimes. Until today, you have taken no explicit and tangible measures to address the recent Israeli attacks in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 13 June. Moreover, your statements have been either misleading, because they endorse and further Israeli false versions of facts, or contrary to the provisions established by international law and to the interests of its defenders, or because your words justify Israel’s violations and crimes.

You have undeniably assumed a biased position toward the current attack on Gaza and Israeli violations in the West Bank by failing to clearly condemn Israeli unlawful actions in the OPT, while, on the other hand, not hesitating to accuse – sometimes mistakenly – Palestinian combatant in Gaza of violations of international law. This bias can be noted in the following excerpts:

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the killing today of at least 10 Palestinian civilians in shelling outside of an UNRWA school in Rafah providing shelter to thousands of civilians. The attack is yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law, which clearly requires protection by both parties of Palestinian civilians, UN staff and UN premises, among other civilian facilities.

Such statement, by failing to name the perpetrator (Israel), is not only biased, but also offensive to UNRWA, itself a UN agency, as well as to other UN agencies and international organizations the struggle to provide relief and protection to Palestinians in Gaza. UNRWA, which has lost nine staff in Gaza since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, hosts around 270,000 internally displaced (25% of Gaza’s population) in its shelters. UNRWA’s preliminary analysis on a previous attack against one of its schools has indicated that it had been hit by Israeli artillery, constituting an indiscriminate attack and likely a war crime.

Moreover, by condemning the storage of weapons in UNRWA schools without offering a complete details and a proper account on international law, your statements endorse Israeli excuses to unlawfully, indiscriminately target such civilian objects.

In addition, by condemning

the reported violation by Hamas of the mutually agreed humanitarian ceasefire which commenced this morning. He is shocked and profoundly disappointed by these developments,

the Secretary-General reveals a reckless endorsement of Israeli version of facts, blaming Hamas for violating the cease-fire, even though admitting that “[t]he Secretary-General notes that the UN has no independent means to verify exactly what happened”, and, still, demanding “the immediate and unconditional release of the [falsely allegedly] captured soldier”.

The following statement further illustrates the Secretary-General’s ignorance of facts on the ground:

The Secretary-General has learned with concern that leaflets are reportedly being dropped by the Israeli Defence Forces in the northern Gaza Strip this evening, warning tens of thousands of residents to leave their homes and evacuate to Gaza City.

If true [our emphasis], this would have a further devastating humanitarian impact on the beleaguered civilians of those areas of the Gaza strip, who have already undergone immense suffering in recent days.

The drop of leaflets had been a known practice since the beginning of the Israeli operation in Gaza, contributing to a scenario of more than 480,000 internally displaced.

In the same statement,

The Secretary-General strongly urge[d] all sides to avoid any further escalation at this time[, noting] that all sides must meet all obligations under international humanitarian law, both towards civilians ahead of impending attacks, as well as maintaining proportionality in any kind of military response,

Revealing an undue equalization of the two sides of the conflict and failing to address the greater impact of violations committed by Israel, which has killed at least 1,814 the vast majority of whom are civilians, during its operation in Gaza.

Secretary-General,

When you make no distinction between oppressors and victims, in all your statements,

When you name Palestinian combatants as perpetrators of violations and war crimes while you ignore naming Israel, as you used to do in referring to specific actions,

When you avoid codifying Israeli actions amount to war crimes, while you insist on prescribing Palestinian reactions as grave breaches of IHL,

When you always advocate unlawfully the Israel right to self-defense, while having not pointed out the Palestinians legitimate and legal right to resist occupation, colonization and institutionalized discrimination,

When you adopt and advocate Israeli false stories, while not mentioning Palestinians’ narrative,

When you disregard facts on grounds clearly resulting from Israeli attacks, while you seek the immediate and unconditional release of a falsely captured soldier who was in the battle field,

You do not maintain peace and security; nor do you ensure human rights.

By reviewing yours statements, it becomes evident you have not been fulfilling your mandate. In contrary, your statements have not only allowed the continuance of Israel’s killing our people, but also, encouraged States to continue providing Israel with impunity. As you cannot say the truth,we advise you to either drastically change your positioning – not only in words, but also in your efforts to, through the UN, effectively end the current conflict – or to resign. For us, if you continue playing this role, you prove what our people feel, that you are a partner in, or at least an enabler of, the ongoing violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel against our, families, children, women, elders – against our people.

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Signatures
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Individuals:
 • Richard Falk Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
 • Luisa Morgantini Former Vice President of the European Parliament
 • Ahmad Muhaisen – President of The association for twining French cities and Palestinian refugee camps
 • Breyten Breytenbach Poet, writer, painter and activist
 • John Pilger is a journalist, film-maker and author

Palestinian and international human rights and civil society organizations:
 • BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights – Bethlehem
 • Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI) – Biet Sahour
• The Alternative Information Centre (AIC) – Biet Sahour
• ADDAMEER Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association – Ramallah
• Palestinian Non-Governmental Network (Umbrella for 133 organizations)
• Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions
• General Union of Palestine Workers
• General Union for Health Services Workers
• General Union for Public Services Workers
• General Union for Petrochemical and Gas Workers
• General Union for Agricultural Workers
• Union of Women’s Work Committees
• Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions National Committee (BNC). The Committee includes the following organizations: Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), Palestinian National Institute for NGOs, Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition, Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS), Federation of Independent Trade Unions, General Union of Palestinian Workers, Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, General Union of Palestinian Women, Union of Palestinian Farmers, General Union of Palestinian Teachers, General Union of Palestinian Writers, Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE), Union of Professional Associations, General Union of Palestinian Peasants, Union of Public Employees in Palestine-Civil Sector, Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (STW), National Committee for Grassroots Resistance, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba, Civic Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, Coalition for Jerusalem, Union of Palestinian Charitable Organizations, Palestinian Economic Monitor, Union of Youth Activity Centers-Palestine Refugee Camps, Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Initiative.
• The Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and the YWCA of Palestine (JAI) – Biet Sahour
• Baladna- association for Arab Youth – Haifa
• Hamleh – Arab center for media development – Haifa
• Al Zahra’ Society for Women Empowerment – Sakhnin
• Assiwar- The Feminist Arab Movement in Support of Victims of Sexual Assault – Haifa
• Association for the defense for the Rights of the Internally Displaced in Israel – Nazareth
• Alsebat association for heritage Preservation – Nazareth 
• The Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) – Beit Sahour
• Yabous Cultural Center – Jerusalem
• The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music – Jerusalem
• Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
• Gaza BDS Working Group
• University Teachers’ Association in Palestine
• Medical Democratic Assembly
• Pal-Cinema (Palestine Cinema Forum)
• Youth Herak Movement
• Union of Women’s Struggle Committees
• Union of Synergies—Women Unit
• Union of Palestinian Women Committees
• Women’s Studies Society
• Working Woman’s Society
• One Democratic State Group
• Youth Against Israeli Settlements – Hebron
• Health Work Committees – Biet Sahour
• Land Research Center (LCR) – Hebron
• Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies – Ramallah
• Popular Struggling Coordination Committee (PSCC) – Ramallah
• Lajee Center, Aida Refugee Camp – Bethlehem
• The EJ-YMCA Rehabilitation Program and the Beit Sahour YMCA – Beit Sahour
• Ibrahim Al Khalil Society – Hebron
• The Palestinian Prisoners Society – Bethlehem
• The Palestinian Center of Youth Action for Community Development (LAYLAC) – Dhiesheh Refugee Camp – Bethlehem
• Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall) – Ramallah
• Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People – Biet Sahour
• Amaan Center for social health, Counseling and Development – Hebron
• Popular Committee for Refugees, Qalqeliah
• Popular Committee for Refugees, Salfit
• Social Youth Center, Aqbat Jaber Refugee Camp – Jericho
• Social Youth Center, Aida Refugee Camp – Bethlehem
• Social Youth Center, Al Arroub Refugee Camp – Hebron
• Al Arroub Popular committee – Al Arroub Refugee Camp – Hebron
• Progressive Youth Union – Al Arroub Refugee Center – Hebron
• The Phoenix Center – Al Arroub Refugee Camp – Hebron
• Al Fawwar Social Center – Al Fawwar Refugee camp – Hebron
• Social Youth Center, Far’a Refugee Camp – Nablus
• Shu’fat Child Center – Shu’fat Refugees Camp – Jerusalem
• Shoruq Association, Dhiesheh Refugee Camp – Bethlehem
• Al Awda Center for Youth and children Rehabilitation – Tulkarem
• Ansar Center, Al Walajeh – Bethlehem
• Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights “Hurryyat”
• The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee – Bethlehem
• Bethlehem Farmers Society – Bethlehem
• Ibda’a for the Development of Children Capacity, Dhiesheh Refugee Camp – Bethlehem
• The popular committee – Dhiesheh Refugee Camp – Bethlehem
• The women Centre – Dhiesheh Refugee Camp – Bethlehem
• The popular committee – Al Azza Refugee Camp – Bethlehem
• Al Phoenix Center – Dhiesheh Refugee Camp – Bethlehem
• Al Walaja Women Center – Al Walaja – – Bethlehem
• Not to Forget – Jenin Refugees Camp – Jenin
• Environmental Education Center – Beit Jala
• The National Charitable Society – Al Khader
• The Right of Return Committees in Bethlehem – Bethlehem
• Al Walaja Popular Committee – – Bethlehem
• Al Walaja Sports Club – Al Walaja – – Bethlehem
• Al Walaja Agriculture society – Al Walaja – – Bethlehem
• The Palestinian anti-Wall and Settlements committees – Ramallah
• MA’AN Development Center – Ramallah
• The Association of Palestinian prisoners and x-prisoners – Bethlehem
• Susya Popular Committee – Hebron
• Dair Abu Misha’al Popular committee – Ramallah
• Al Tawasul Forum Society – Gaza Strip
• The International Solidarity Movement.
• The Refugees Rights Center –‘Aidoon – Lebanon
• Association Najdeh – Lebanon
• Ajyal Association – Lebanon
• The Refugees Rights Center –‘Aidoon – Syria
• Union of Arab Jurists – Jordan
• The National Institution of Social Care & Vocational Training – Jordan
• Australians for Palestine – Australia
• Women for Palestine – Australia
• Collective urgence Palestine – Switzerland
• Palestina Rossa – Italy
• Fronte Palestina – Italy
• The Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
• International Educational Development, Inc
• International Lawyers – Switzerland
• Tamkeen-Arab group – Switzerland
• The BDS campaign in France – France
• The association for twining French cities and Palestinian refugees camp – France
• The International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
• International society for Human Rights
• Czech Friends of Palestine
• Initiative for a just peace in the Middle East – Czech Republic
• Nord-Sud XXI
• International Association Against Torture
• The Palestine Solidarity Allegiance South Africa
• Palestine Legal Action Network
• Russell Tribunal on Palestine
• Campaign BDS France,
• 14 Friends of Palestine (Marin, CA)
• Canada Palestine Association
• Voice of Palestine
• People for Peace, London, CA
• United States Palestinian Community Network
• Labor for Palestine NY
• Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
• US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
• Palestine Human Rights Campaign Auckland
• Al-Awda NY
• Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
• Jews Against genocide
• Palestine Solidarity Alliance, South Africa
• Assopace
• Boycott! Boycott From Within
• Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign – Vancouver
• BDS Switzerland

 

Link

http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/palestinian-open-letter-to-unsg-ban-ki-moon-on-gaza/

Operation “Protective Edge”- The Never-Ending Nakba in Palestine

(note that this post  is  a short updated summary  of the issues previously outlined in other posts  on  this site)

Many articles in  mainstream media  regarding the current  violence in Gaza portray  the  conflict  as a Hamas terrorist vendetta against  Israel and Jews.
The reality is somewhat different.
Al jazeera notes as of 17th  July,  that  “of the 214 Palestinians killed so far in Operation Protective Edge, at least 67 were women and children and 11 were elderly, according to Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry. Over 1,500 have been injured, and Gaza hospitals have reported severe medical-supply shortages. (In contrast)the first Israeli death was reported Tuesday, after shrapnel from a rocket hit a civilian handing out food to soldiers near the Gaza border. The disproportionate  death  and casualty rate between the two  sides in  this conflict  clearly illustrates the overwhelming destructive power of the Israeli  military  machine against  this tiny  isolated ghettoised non-state. Israel, as the occupying force, has a UN mandated obligated to protect  those people’s whose lands   it  has  occupied.
As the history  books show, Israel  has pursued a  violent and illegal  process of the elimination of the ‘Palestinian problem’  since its brutal   occupation of Palestinian lands  in 1948, when  hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were  driven from  their houses and lands by  the Israeli  Army, in what Palestinians  call the ‘Nakba’ -the Catastrophe. That  process of occupation and removal  of people who  have lived in the area for thousands of years, is ongoing.  Operation ‘Protective Edge” is just  one more step  along the way  to  finally eliminating  those troublesome Arabs who  persist in trying to  subsist  in  the homeland of their forefathers.

Shrinking Palestine

Along with  that  occupation goes an ongoing  military ever-tightening noose around Gaza and the West  Bank,  which  has seen Gaza literally strangled by  Israeli occupation  forces into  a primitive society where sewage, water and health  systems are largely nonexistent.  Palestinian  children continue on a daily basis to  be arrested, tortured and thrown  in Israeli  jails for crimes such  as  stone throwing or protesting the occupation. Since the beginning of  2000, 1407 Palestinian  children alone  have been killed by  Israeli  forces.
And this ignores the many  thousands of adults tortured jailed and murdered in Israeli prisons for daring to  resist  the occupation.  And let us  not forget  all  the Palestinian  homes and orchards bulldozed by  armoured bulldozers to make way  for Israeli  “settlers”,  on  a daily basis.
Israel  is one of the largest and most well resourced militaries in  the world (fourth largest);  courtesy  of the United States, who  since 1948  has blindly  promoted and applauded each  atrocity committed by  the Israelis in  the face of overwhelming international  condemnation.
Certainly   no  violence can be supported from  either party in  this horrendous and savage  conflict,  but readers of this post  should not need to wonder why  Hamas is angry and violent in  response to  this  brutal  and seemingly never-ending tragedy.
The only way  forward  is a  one-state solution,  where fair  compensation for lives  and lands lost  is given to  those hundreds of thousands of Palestinians forcibly expelled from  their homeland;  and all the resident populations-whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, learn to create a peaceful  and sustainable future in a new and just  Palestine.
And lastly, lets look  at  who  supports this ongoing terror by the Israeli  war machine ( note an abstention means tacit support for the status quo  of more war).
Postscript:
Note the chilling banner  at  the end of Craig Murray’s blog here on the Gaza genocide
Israeli banner
The banner reads: “There are no innocents in Gaza“

Links

 

Netanyahu’s War-What  it is Good For
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24893-netanyahus-war-what-it-is-good-for

Human Rights Watch, taking Israel’s side (again)
http://justworldnews.org/?p=3946

 The War on Gaza and the Cycle of Impunity
http://www.thenation.com/article/180683/war-gaza-and-cycle-impunity?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=email_nation&utm_campaign=Email%20Nation%20%28NEW%29%20-%20Headline%20Nation%20Feed%200717%2F2014&newsletter=email_nation#

Gaza News – “At least they wont breed”
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/07/july-16-gaza-news.html

Understanding the Gaza Tragedy
http://www.williampfaff.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=687


http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/joint-declaration-by-international-law-experts-on-israels-gaza-offensive/