Dear Folks, We have had a long history of sharing opinions and editorials on the conflict in Palestine and Israel. The subject stirs many minds and many hearts. It appeared that a major academic institution was going to address a critical, and little considered issue this month--the legitimacy of the state of Israel. This as you know was to take place at a conference at Southampton University in the UK on the 17th and 18th of this month.
But it appears that even in academia we are not free to explore such ideas as they seem critical of the Israeli State. Silence and fear control the voices that would address this matter. Over the years I have published with you articles on this very issue. I have culled four from my past that seem to address this concern head-on.
I've attached a series of four articles taken from "Decade of Deceit: Reflections on Palestine," published by Lambert Academic Press in Germany in 2012, a collection of my pieces on the subject. Two cover the historical facts of the founding of Israel and two reflect on the consequences of that founding.
I thought that the limitations of time and the closure of the conference on relatively short notice necessitates that some presentation of the issues raised by the conference should be aired and the silencing of the academy be overcome. Should you agree with me, please use/offer these pieces to your readers so they can reflect on the issues that would have been discussed had the University President and its Board not capitulated to the power of the Zionists that forced closure. I considered the possibility that they might be used in sequence in separate issues or run together as you might determine. I can also understand that you may not want to run pieces already published, but thought that the cancellation of the conference made addressing the topic essential.
by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
April 7, 2015
U.S. intelligence veterans recall the real story of how New York Times reporter Judith Miller disgraced herself and her profession by helping to mislead Americans into the disastrous war in Iraq. They challenge the slick, self-aggrandizing rewrite of history in her new memoir.
On April 3, former New York Times journalist Judith Miller published an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Iraq War and Stubborn Myths: Officials Didn’t Lie, and I Wasn’t Fed a Line.”
If this sounds a bit defensive, Miller has tons to be defensive about.
The recent emergency hospitalization of Mumia Abu-Jamal arising from alarming failures to address his chronic illnesses has exposed the inaccuracy of an assertion long made by adversaries of this inmate whom many around the world consider a political prisoner.
His adversaries charge that Abu-Jamal receives special treatment in prison.
That’s true, but not in the way Abu-Jamal adversaries mean it.
Mumia Abu-Jamal as he looked before and after his
untreated diabetic crisis, during which he lost over 50 lbs.
When an ambulance delivered Abu-Jamal to the intensive care unit of a hospital outside of the Pennsylvania State prison where he is serving a life sentence, he was on the doorstep of a diabetic coma – a condition that is often fatal. Abu-Jamal’s blood sugar level was 779, which is just shy of the diabetic coma level of 800. Additionally, his sodium levels were also highly elevated, another condition with potentially dire medically results.
As wars and rumours of war continue, the so-called Obama Doctrine requires a level-eyed assessment. That "doctrine," as experienced in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, consists of arming everyone you believe an enemy of your enemy, and hoping for the best!
The result is disaster multiplied everywhere it is applied. Chaos, destruction, and death outright, with homelessness, hunger, and disease waiting in the wings. The ideals and best intentions of the project Washington and its allies intone mean nothing to the people caught in the maelstrom; their only hope is for the fighting to stop.
But thousands of miles removed from the suffering, the Pentagon, as announced yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, is readying for more war, "expediting" arms shipments to Saudi Arabia and its allies in the GCC to replenish their depleted stocks.
Anthony Fenton is an independent researcher, former journalist, author, and PhD candidate studying the political economy of Canada-Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC relations. Anothony co-authored, with Yves Engler, 'Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority,' and his many articles have been featured by the Asia Times Online, The Dominion, Foreign Policy in Focus, Inter Press Service News, Mother Jones, and Upside Down World.
Anthony Fenton in the first half.
And; were he an independent actor, perhaps Canada's prime minister would have a doctrine named for him too; but as it stands, quisling Stephen Harper's foreign policy is dictated to him from Washington, and elsewhere. What Mr. Harper's handlers are telling him to do is entangle Canada in war-fighting in the Middle East, regardless of the consequences, and in spite of the damage that does to both the locals living beneath the barrage, and Canada's international reputation.
Gail Davidson is a Member of the Law Society of British Columbia and founder of 'Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada.' An outspoken critic of the war against Afghanistan and those that have followed, Gail, and the international organization, Lawyers Against War, have argued against the legal "justifications" of the so-called Global War on Terror, and call for the arrest of the criminals waging them.
Gail Davidson examining the thin ice beneath Stephen Harper's assumptions of war-making legitimacy 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 good things to do on our city's streets, and beyond there too, in the coming week. But first, Anthony Fenton and Yemen; next in The Long War's crucible.
A kudo to President Obama. But just one. If he manages to pull off an agreement with Iran on limiting that country's nuclear fuel enrichment program in the fact of determined resistance from Republicans, Neocons, the Israel Lobby and the warmongers in both the GOP and his own Democratic Party, he will have finally earned at least some small portion of the gold in his Nobel Peace medallion.
We could reasonably ask why he thinks it's cool to negotiate with the "Axis of Evil" nation of Iran over the nuclear issue, but not with Russia over Ukraine.
America's latest presidential "peace" laureate
After all, Iran doesn't even have a nuclear weapon, and on the evidence, isn't trying to build one, so these negotiations aren't really even preventing a nuclear war; they're just calming the nerves of some trigger happy paranoids in Israel and Washington. But Russia does have nuclear weapons, and has made it clear that if the US pushes too hard at putting NATO weapons and forces near the Russian border, or if it tries to undo the annexation of Crimea, it will use them. Shouldn't that kind of thing call for cool-headed negotiation, instead of aggressive moves like sending offensive armaments to Kiev?
The United Steelworkers union’s isolation of striking oil workers continues as the employers at the few refineries that remain on strike seize upon last month’s national sellout agreement to push for even more draconian cuts, secure in the knowledge the USW will not lift a finger to defend these embattled workers.
Some 3,000 workers are still on strike at BP, Marathon and LyondellBasell facilities in Indiana, Texas and Ohio. Last Friday, the union pushed through a sellout local agreement at Marathon’s refinery in Catlettsburg, Kentucky where workers are expected to return next week.
The new contract was passed by a vote of 226-153 according to lead union negotiator David Martin, indicating a large opposition, even after two months in which the USW has sought to starve workers into submission. The deal includes meager raises contained in the USW national agreement that hardly keep up with the rate of inflation:
The new contract also contains “language that will limit routine maintenance contracting,” according Martin, the same vague language that will do nothing to stop the replacement of fulltime workers with lower-paid contractors with no job security or health and pension benefits. The union also agreed to implement an alternate work schedule, with 12-hour workdays.
It is a very short commercial but it speaks volumes about Canada’s supposedly leading news channel. In its fifteen seconds, Peter Mansbridge’s voice over says,
“I don’t make the news, I report it and at the end of the day if we’ve affected one person, one policy, that’s not a win, that is the news.”
Coming from the national CBC network, this is a rather pathetic self-serving mini infoclip. I had seen a longer clip that included a nice cliche about “the facts” but unfortunately tonight I cannot find a copy of that clip on line.
Regardless, the response is simple: yes, you do make the news. You make it by editing information, not using information, using descriptive language that either makes for a pejorative or ameliorative perspective.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing right in the Middle East these days. There seems to be no hope left, and no fervor. All that was pure was dragged through filth. All that was great here was stolen or smashed by the outsiders. Enthusiasm had been ridiculed, then drowned, or burned to ashes, or shattered by tanks and missiles.
Corruption thrives – corruption that inundated this entire region since the early days of Western colonialism, and then was sustained through the present-day imperialist global regime.
The land of the Middle East is tired; it is crying from exhaustion. It is scarred by wars. It is dotted with oil wells and rotting armor vehicles. There are corpses everywhere; buried, turned into dust, but still present in minds of those who are alive. There are millions of corpses, tens of millions of victims, shouting in their own, voiceless way, not willing to leave anyone in peace, pointing fingers, accusing!
This land is where so much began. Europe was nothing, when Byblos and Erbil stood tall, when a fabled civilization was forming in Mesopotamia, when Aleppo, Cairo and Al-Quds could only be rivaled by the great cities of China…
And this is where greatness, progress, decency and kindness were broken and bathed in blood by the crusaders, and later by the colonialist scum.
by Mazin Qumsiyeh - Popular Resistance We have several good news in the span of few days: the win of Netanyahu (which will accelerate the end of the apartheid regime), the Iran nuclear deal, the restructuring and maturing Palestinian leadership inside 1948 areas (including a march from Naqab to Jerusalem to recognize the "Unrecognized villages"), the foolishness of Saudi Arabia and Egypt getting into a quagmire in Yemen (even though Yemeni people suffer but they will win), the relief on not having the wall plan approved in Beit Jala/Cremisan area (see below), and Palestine joining the International Criminal Court (even though I think PA political leaders do not have the spine to actually bring cases before the court since they put themselves at the mercy of their occupiers).
Oppression though continues here with Israel destroying home shooting unarmed civilians, and kidnapping our people (including the honorable Khaleda Jarrar). Of all the new developments, I think the Iran nuclear deal will prove to be game changing.
Lifting the sanctions on Iran and beginning to normalize relations has many ramifications. I want to just address one of the most significant: it proves to the subservient Arab leaders that standing up to Israel and its lackeys in Washington is possible. The Iranian economy was and continues to be better than geographically and populationally similar Egypt (subservient regime to Israel) even when the former was subjected to various sanctions and restrictions for 36 years.
Here in Lexington federal prison's Atwood Hall, squinting through the front doorway, I spotted a rust-red horse swiftly cantering across a nearby field. The setting sun cast a glow across the grasses and trees as the horse sped past.
"Reminds me of the Pope," I murmured to no one in particular. "What's that?" Tiza asked.
I tried to explain that once, when I asked a close friend his opinion of the Pope, shortly after Catholic bishops had elected Pope Francis, my friend had said, "The horse is out of the stable! And galloping."
I love the image. Here is a Pope who, upon learning that a chaplain in a Chinese prison couldn't afford to buy the traditional "moon pies" for every prisoner to celebrate the harvest moon, cut a check to cover the remaining cost.
This Pope loves the tango dance. On his birthday, tango dancers filled St. Peter's Square at the time when ringing bells call on believers to kneel and recite the Angelus.
In September, 2015, Pope Francis will visit New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Tiza and I wondered if he would visit a prison.
"If he does, he should come here," Tiza insisted, "and not go to some showcase place!" I don't think he'll be able to put Kentucky on his agenda, but it's not outlandish to imagine the Pope visiting a U.S. prison. He consistently emphasizes our chance to choose the works of mercy rather than the works of war: to visit those who are sick, those who are in prison; to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, bury the dead. Never to turn our heads, say "it was their own damn fault"; never to choose wars and weapons, the burning of fields, destruction of homes, slaughter of the living.
[Mainstream U.S. news so in tank for post-coup Ukrainian government, anything negative – from neo-Nazi militias to apparent “death squad” operations – is ignored, including a string of mysterious deaths of anti-coup politicians, as William Blum notes at Anti-Empire Report.]
Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on Feb. 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of a Kremlin-directed political murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Russian President Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.
Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)
The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe. U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder.
The Resolution also called on President Barack Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia. In addition, it urged Obama to continue to sanction human rights violators in the Russian Federation and to increase U.S. support to human rights activists in Russia.