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Battleground Youtube: Israel Moves to Control Online Image

Youtube Becomes Israel's New Battleground Against Palestinians
by Jonathan Cook - CounterPunch

Once it fell to politicians and diplomats to solve international conflicts. Now, according to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, responsibility lies with social media.
 
Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, headed off to Silicon Valley to meet senior executives at Google and its subsidiary YouTube late last month. Her task was to persuade them that, for the sake of peace, they must censor the growing number of Palestinian videos posted on YouTube.
 
Netanyahu claims these videos spur other Palestinians to carry out attacks, exemplified by the weeks of stabbings and car rammings against Israeli soldiers and civilians.
 

Nothing to Fear But Everything: Updating FDR

We have nothing to sell but fear itself 
by Greg Palast

December 8th, 2015  

Fear is the sales pitch for many products: from war on the Euphrates to billion-dollar submarines. Better than toothpaste that makes your teeth whiter than white, this stuff will make us safer than safe. It’s political junk food, the cheap filling in the flashy tube.

True security for life’s dangers—from a real national health insurance program to protecting teachers' jobs, would take a slice of the profits of the owning classes, the Lockheeds, the JP Morgans.
 
The War on Terror has become class war by other means.
And who will get us next? Don’t assume they’ll be clutching Korans. Until September 11, 2001, the deadliest terror attack in American history was carried out by an all-American Gulf War veteran. 
 
Original Art by Winston Smith,
(updated with Trump)
 

Trumping Franklin Roosevelt

More American Fascism: Trump’s Bigotry Relies on Legal and Historical Precedents
by Ted Rall - CounterPunch

December 10, 2015

 George Stephanopoulos, ABC News: “You’re increasingly being compared to Hitler. Does that give you any pause at all?”
 
Donald Trump: “Because what I’m doing is no different than what FDR [did]. FDR’s solution for Germans, Italians, Japanese many years ago. This is a president who was highly respected by all. He did the same thing — if you look at what he was doing it was far worse.”
 
When it comes down to core values, you can never make an exception. This week shows why.
 
 
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
 
After Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called for a ban against Muslims to enter the United States — all Muslims, including businesspeople, college students, athletes, performers, even U.S. citizens currently living abroad — corporate media and the experts in their contact lists called the idea outlandish.
 
Primarily, they said it was crazy because it is unprecedented.
 

Whitewhale: Canary in a Fish Bowl

The Beluga’s Culture Shock: Seeing the world through the ‘Bubble’— musings from East Scotland
Culture shock is something usually associated with a human being feeling a sense of alienation or confusion when arriving in a place that is strange and new. It would be no surprise then, if difficulty in adapting cropped up as a culture-shock after-effect.

But what if the concept of culture-shock was applied to, say, placing the Beluga whitewhale in a ‘Bubble’ such as an Aquarium setting — whose ancestors had lived in the Ocean Wide for thousands of years?

Without falling into a debate about anthropomorphism, I would like to us to ‘problematize’ the idea of the ‘strangeness’ of having a huge Whitewhale in, arguably, a fishbowl.
 
 
 
 

Tangled Webb: Killed Journalism in America

A Day When Journalism Died
by Robert Parry - Consortium News

Looking back over my four decades in the national news media, it’s hard to identify one moment when American journalism died.

The process was a slow and ugly one, with incremental acts of cowardice accumulating until mainstream reporters were clearly part of the problem, not anything to do with a solution.

But the date Dec. 9 has a special place in that sad progression.

It was on Dec. 9, 2004, when the mean-spirited mainstream media’s treatment of investigative journalist Gary Webb led him – his career devastated, his family broken, his money gone and his life seemingly hopeless – to commit suicide. It was a moment that should have shamed all the big-shot journalists who had a hand in Webb’s destruction, but it mostly didn’t.
 Journalist Gary Webb holding a
copy of his Contra-cocaine article in
the San Jose Mercury-News.

Webb’s offense was to have revived the shocking story of the Reagan administration’s tolerance of cocaine smuggling by the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contra rebels in the 1980s. Though the scandal was real – and had been partly exposed in real time – the major newspapers had locked arms in defense of President Ronald Reagan and the CIA. The sordid scandal apparently was deemed “not good for the country,” so it was buried.
 

Flash Opening at Rafah Egypt's Nod to Humanity

Open Rafah Now: Siege on Gaza is a Cruel and Political Failure 
by Ramzy Baroud  - PalestineChronicle.com

When Egypt decided to open the Rafah border crossing which separates it from Gaza for two days, December 3 and 4, a sense of guarded relief was felt in the impoverished Strip.
 
True, 48 hours were hardly enough for the tens of thousands of patients, students and other travelers to leave or return to Gaza, but the idea that a respite was on its way helped to break, albeit slightly, the sense of collective captivity felt by entrapped Palestinians.
 
Of course, the Rafah border crisis will hardly be resolved by a single transitory decision, mainly because Gaza is blockaded for political reasons, and only a sensible political strategy can end the suffering there or, at least, lessen its horrendous impact.
 
 
 

Clearing the Overburden: Making the New Sunnistan

Destroying Syria to Create Sunnistan
by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch
 December 9, 2015

What is the connection between the US bombing of a Syrian military base in Ayyash, Syria, and the Turkish invasion of northern Iraq?
 
Both of these seemingly isolated events are part of a larger plan to Balkanize the Middle East, to strengthen Washington’s grip on dwindling resources, to draw Russia into a costly and protracted war, and to ensure that ME oil remains denominated in US dollars.

Author Joseph Kishore summed it up like this in a recent post at the World Socialist Web Site.
 
He said:

“The basic force behind the war in Syria is the same as that which has motivated the imperialist carve-up of the Middle East as a whole: the interests of international finance capital. The major imperialist powers know that if they are to have a say in the division of the booty, they must have also done their share of the killing.” (“The new imperialist carve-up of the Middle East“, World Socialist Web Site)

Bingo. Ultimately, the war on terror is a public relations fig leaf designed to conceal Washington’s attempt to rule the world. It’s impossible to make sense of goings-on around the globe without some grasp of how seemingly random acts of violence and terror fit within the broader and more comprehensive geopolitical strategy to create a new unipolar world order, to crush all emerging rivals, and to extend US full-spectrum-dominance across the planet.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ken Boon, Kevin Pina, Janine Bandcroft December 9, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

 
Ten thousand kilometers from the Peace River Valley, as the purple martin flies, Brazil's embattled environmental authority has authorized the construction of the Belo Monte Dam; despite the fact the dam does not comply with IBAMA's, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, own legislated prerequisites guaranteeing the quote: "conditions necessary to guarantee the life, health and integrity of affected communities."

It's an international disgrace; one Antonia Melo, leader of Movimiento Xingú Vivo para Siempre says is simply a crime. The Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) says:
 
“The authorization clearly violates Brazil’s international human rights commitments, especially with respect to the indigenous communities of the Xingú River basin. Those affected populations are protected by precautionary measures granted in 2011 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which the Brazilian government continues to ignore.”
 
Listen. Hear.

And yet, the project is going ahead; clearly a case of government corruption and a callous disregard for the rights of indigenous people and the environment they depend upon for survival. Meanwhile, at the other end of the martin's migration another dam, but the story is the same.
 
Ken Boon is president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, the group challenging a BC Supreme Court decision to allow the project proceed in hopes of stopping destructive preparatory work.
 
Ken Boon in the first half.
 
And; as predicted, Haitians are not accepting the massive fraud masquerading as democracy. October's presidential election was farcical, even by Haiti's standards; standards so low, the poll preceding this latest, long-delayed vote, was overturned by edict of foreign powers occupying the Caribbean island. This time around, opposition parties say more than 10,000 Haitian police, aided by as many as 2,500 U.N. personnel from Minustah interfered with voting stations, and are accused of stealing and stuffing ballots. 
 
Kevin Pina is an American filmmaker, journalist, educator, and broadcaster with Pacifica Radio's public affairs program, Flashpoints. Pina's film credits include: 'El Salvador: In the Name of Democracy,' 'Berkeley in the Sixties,' 'Amazonia: Voices from the Rainforest,' 'Haiti: Harvest of Hope,' 'Haiti: The UNtold Story,' and 'HAITI: We Must Kill the Bandits.' Kevin has lived in and reported from Haiti, and was jailed by the infamous Baby Doc Duvalier for reporting on the abuses of that nefarious regime. I spoke with Kevin in September about the then-coming presidential elections.
 
Kevin Pina and a Haitian deja vu at the ballot box in the second half.
 
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of the coming week for our city's streets, and beyond there too. But first, Ken Boon and Site C, damning the people's will.
 
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
 

"Just Blame Russia!" - Absurdist State Department Trumps Trump

Pentagon Blames Russia for Its Airstrikes on Syria's Military
by Stephen Lendman - Aletho News

A previous article explained Syria’s Foreign Ministry reported US-led warplanes bombed its army camp in Deir ez Zor province – killing three soldiers, injuring 13 others, as well as destroying three armored vehicles, four military vehicles, an arms and ammunition depot, along with 23mm and 14.5mm machine guns.
 
The Pentagon denied being caught red-handed in its latest attempt to push back on Russia’s effective intervention against ISIS and other terrorists groups in Syria.
 
It blamed Moscow for its provocative aggression. An unnamed Pentagon spokesman lied, claiming it’s “certain” a Russian warplane carried out the attack.

“We’ve got a radar track showing a Backfire bomber flying directly over the town that the Syrians named a few minutes before the first claims that we killed some Syrian troops.”
 
 

The Hoped for War Against Evil Sequel

America’s Reckless War Against Evil: Why It’s Self-Defeating and Has No End
by Ira Chernus  - TomDispatch

 

 
Oh, no! Not another American war against evil!

This time, it’s the Islamic State (IS). After the attacks in Paris, Barack Obama, spokesman-in-chief for the United States of America, called that crew “the face of evil.”
 
Shades of George W. Bush. The “evildoers” are back. And from every mountaintop, it seems, America now rings with calls to ramp up its war machine.

By the way, George W., how did that last war against the “evildoers” work out for you? Not quite the way you expected, right?
 
I bet you didn’t imagine that your Global War on Terror would plant the seeds of an Islamic State and turn significant stretches of Iraq (and Syria) into fertile soil in which IS would grow into a brand new, even more frightening enemy.

But that’s the way wars against evil always seem to work. 

 

First Person: Surviving the MSF/Doctors without Borders Bombing

Kunduz MSF Hospital U.S. Bombing Survivor, “I want my story to be heard.”
by Dr Hakim - Our Journey to Smile

8th December 2015

I feel very angry, but I don’t want anything from the U.S. military,” said Khalid Ahmad, a 20 year old pharmacist who survived the U.S. bombing of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz on the 3rd of October;

“God will hold them accountable.”

The actions of the U.S. military elicit the same contempt from Khalid and many ordinary Afghans as the actions of the Taliban or the ISIS.

Khalid was a little wary when Zuhal, Hoor and I were introduced to him in a ward of Emergency Hospital in Kabul, where he has been recuperating from a U.S. shrapnel injury to his spine that nearly killed him.

Former MSF Kunduz Hospital 
pharmacist, Khalid Ahmad, 
recuperating at Emergency 
Hospital in Kabul

But, immediately, I saw his care for others. “Please bring a chair for him,” Khalid told his brother, not wanting me to be uncomfortable in squatting next to him, as we began our conversation in the corridor space outside the ward.
 

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