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Friday, 19 September 2014

8 Reasons Why Congress Should Vote No on Training and Funding Syrian Rebels

written by dennis j. kucinich
Mccain Terrorist
Today Congress will vote on the McKeon Amendment, a piece of legislation most Americans haven’t heard of. But the consequences of the vote today are grave: funding Syrian “rebels” will precipitate a new and wider war in the Middle East. Here are eight reasons why Congress should vote NO on the McKeon Amendment:
1. It is a waste of money.
We’d be on the hook for a projected $21 billion price tag over three years. The Pentagon plans to train 5,000 rebels in the next year, which at $1 million for each soldier could cost up to $15 billion dollars over the three-year war. The nearly 2,000 U.S. troops in Iraq will cost $6 billion over three years.
The last Iraq War added at least $5 trillion to the long-term deficit.
2. There are no “moderates.”
Historian Alastair Crooke, writing about the connection between Saudi Arabia and ISIS, recently described “moderate” insurgents in Syria as being “rarer than a mythical unicorn.” “Moderates” have a non-aggression pact with ISIS. “Moderates” captured an American journalist and sold him to ISIS, who beheaded him. Saudi Arabia, which, with Qatar funded the jihadists in Syria, is now offering to “train” the rebels. Congress is being asked to swallow this concoction: the sponsors of radical jihadists are going to train “moderate” jihadists.
3. The truth is, we don’t know who we are training.
The so-called “rebels” are mercenaries who come from over 20 countries. They constantly organize and reorganize into new groups with allegiances to whoever is paying them or supplying them with arms at any given moment. The U.S. has supplied weapons to the Iraqi government and to Syrian rebels which have ended up in the hands of ISIS. As a result, the U.S. Air Force has been bombing Humvees and armored troop carriers purchased with U.S. taxpayer money. ISIS has large quantities of U.S.-made assault weapons and ammunition. Is the U.S. Treasury now their piggy bank?
4. Those receiving U.S. money will turn on us.
Since the U.S. began its war on Iraq in March of 2003, over 1,000,000 innocent Iraqis (4 percent of the population) have perished and trillions of dollars in damage has occurred. Iraqis were stripped of their homes, their jobs, their social networks, humiliated beyond words, their country ruined. This is why America cannot expect to find any friends in Iraq.
5. Our troops would be in peril from the “rebels” we train, pay, and equip.
Congress’ own legislation, which would fund Syrian “rebels,” predicts U.S. troops will be attacked by those we are training. The McKeon Amendment, to be voted on today, anticipates so-called green-on-blue attacks and requires reports to be made and statistics to be kept on such attacks.
6. Congress is being kept in the dark.
No one is saying what the end game is here. Is the real end game to partition Iraq, between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, to help Western oil companies deal more profitably with the Kurds? Is it to partition Syria between Sunnis, Shiites and Alawites, including the establishment of a new Sunni Caliphate which combines territory in Iraq and Syria? And why was the administration so late in recognizing the plight of Christians who are a slowly vanishing presence in the region, thanks to the attacks by groups funded by the Saudis and Qataris?
7. A constitutional crisis is building.
The U.S. has already initiated a war without congressional authorization.
The Constitution requires that only Congress can commit the country to a state of war. Absent a declaration of war by Congress or a direct attack on the United States, the president does not have the power to take the country into war. Even (the constitutionally suspect) War Powers Act sets a 60 day limitation for unauthorized military action.
Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which created the Congress, is being shredded. The Framers of the Constitution were acutely aware of imperial abuse of power. That is why Congress was created in Article I, as a first among equals to the executive created by Article II. When any president of the United States ignores the constitutional imperative to abide by the proscriptions of Article I, that president violates the Oath of Office to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” and risks impeachment for such conduct.
8. Congress has it backwards.
Congress should not vote to fund a war it has not declared. The Congress must first vote for war before it votes to provide money for a war.
This is the moment when Congress must redefine our national security and take a stand to preserve, protect and defend the United States Constitution. Congress must put an end to the administration’s illegal interventions and misuse of the war power. Stop funding interventions and the overthrow of governments. Congress must put an end to perpetual war before the financial and social cost destroys our own nation. Congress can start today by denying funds and weapons to any and all groups or nations who have been or are in league with ISIS, its predecessors or its successors.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Hey Oil Arabs: Syria will not fall يا أعـراب الزيــت سوريـة لـن تسقـط



Russia Syrian Game

 أحمد الشرقاوي

إنتهى مؤتمر جدة الأمريكي الإستعراضي، وانتهى مؤتمر باريس الفرنسي الفلكلوري، حيث جسد الأول مدخلا لتحالف مشبوه لتغطية عودة الأمريكي عسكريا إلى المنطقة، فيما مثل الثاني مناسبة لتسويق عودة الفرنسي إلى العراق بعد أن انسحبت شركاته حين رفض الرئيس ‘شيراك’ المشاركة في إحتلال بلاد الرافدين زمن ‘بوش’ الصغير عام 2003.

والمؤتمران، لا يعدوان أن يكونا حملة ماركتينغ سياسي لتسويق الوجه الإنساني للعدوان الأمريكي الجديد، والذي من ضمن أهدافه، إيقاف الإنتصارات التي حققتها إيران وحلفائها في العراق وسورية ولبنان ضد “داعش” وأخواتها بتنسيق مع الجرال قاسم سليماني الذي لا يزال ممسكا بالملف الأمني في العراق وسورية ولبنان وفلسطين.. بخلف الإشاعات السعودية التي روجت لإستبداله، وما حدث، هو أن الإمام خامنئي خفف عنه الثقل فأوكل الملف السياسي إلى المسؤول عن الأمن القومي الإيراني، السيد علي شمخاني.
وكون أمريكا أعلنت عزمها ضرب “داعش” في سورية أيضا، فهذا لا يعني أنها ستغامر بالإحتكاك بالجيش السوري، هذا خط أحمر تعرف أن تجاوزه سينقلب جحيما عليها وعلى أدواتها في المنطقة.. وحقيقة هذا التهديد، هو وضع معادلة جديدة بعد فضيحة غزة، مؤداها: “إذا فتحت سورية وحزب الله جبهة الجولان، فإن أمريكا ستنفذ تهديدها المبطن بإسقاط دمشق”.. وهذا ليس بالأمر الجديد، لأن المقاومة سبق وأن وضعت ذات المعادلة عندما هددت أمريكا بضرب سورية إبان التصعيد الكيماوي، فكانت رسالة محور المقاومة تقول، أن الرد سيكون في فلسطين المحتلة، وذهبت إيران بعيدا حد التهديد بإشعال المنطقة برمتها، لتلاقيها روسيا معلنة إستعدادها تفجير حرب عالمية ثالثة إذا ضربت سورية.

وبالتالي، علينا أن لا ننسى أن هذه الحرب الأمريكية المسعورة التي قررت إشعالها الإدارة الأمريكية الغبية اليوم ضد محور المقاومة حتى لو استمرت لأكثر من ثلاث سنوات، جاءت بالأساس، لتكون ردا قاسيا على النجاحات التي حققتها روسيا في أوكرانيا، ومحاولاتها الذكية لإختراق الساحة المصرية بإستمالة النظام الجديد لمعسكرها، مقابل تعاون سياسي وإقتصادي وعسكري يجعل من مصر قلعة حصينة بمعية سورية في وجه الأطلسي، ويعيد لها دورها العربي والإفريقي من البوابة الصحيحة (في إنتظار أن يحسم السيسي أمره). وبالتالي، فالمخطط الأمريكي الغبي يرمي في جوهره إلى حرمان موسكو من عمقها الجيوستراتيجي في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إقريقيا.

وبالنسبة لسورية، كثيرة هي السيناريوهات التي يطرحها المحللون كل من وجهة نظره أو وفق عقيدة الجهة التي يمثلها.. لكن في خضم الكم الهائل من الكتابات التي تطالعنا بها الصحف والمواقع الإلكترونية الدولية والعربية، وزحمة الأخبار وتسارعها على مدار الساعة، ينسى هؤلاء أنه ليس من السهل الخوض في سيناريوهات إفتراضية بناء على تهديد الرئيس الأمريكي بضرب سورية، أو إنطلاقا من هذا التصريح أو ذاك، لأن الأمور ليست كما تبدو، وليس كل ما يقال يمكن عمليا أن ينفذ، لأن هناك حدود لمنطق القوة.
ذلك، أن أمريكا نفسها لا تملك خطة واضحة للتعامل مع روسيا في أوكرانيا ومنطقة الشرق الأوسط غير إستراتيجية “إدارة التوحش” من الخلف والحروب بالوكالة، إعتقادا منها أن الإرهاب هو السلاح الفعال الذي بإمكانه إحداث إختراقات دراماتيكية وخلق وقائع معقدة على الأرض يصعب التعامل معها بالحل الأمني والعسكري دون توافق سياسي مع من يدعمون الإرهاب ويوظفونه خدمة لأهدافهم المشبوهة.
وهدف أمريكا من الحرب على الإرهاب في سورية، هو إستنزافها وممارسة المزيد من الضغوط التصعيدية عليها لتغيير موازين القوى على الأرض، وإجبار الرئيس ‘بشار الأسد’ على القبول بتسوية سياسية وفق الوصفة الأمريكية على الطريقة العراقية واللبنانية، أي تقسيم البلاد إلى أقاليم طائفية ومذهبية بحكم ذاتي موسع، ما يمهد لأقامة فدرالية باعتبارها البوابة المؤدية إلى الكونفدرالية أو الإنفصال. وبذلك تحقق أمريكا بالسياسة في العراق وسورية ولبنان ما لم تستطع تحقيقه بالعدوان، فتهيمن على القرار السياسي والأمني والعسكري والإقتصادي في منطقة الشرق الأوسط برمتها بعد أن تعزل إيران عن عمقها الجيوسياسي العربي.

إيران مدركة لحقيقة ما تخطط له واشنطن للمنطقة، وتعمل على إفشال أهدافها بأسلوبها المتميز، وها نحن نرى في العراق جيشا رديفا لا تستطيع واشنطن التحكم في عقيدته التي تسعى لتغييرها بالنسبة للجيش العراقي الذي تعتزم تدريبه وتسليحه للمرة الثانية، بعد أن كلفت العراقيين في الأولى 40 مليار دولار لإعداد جيش بلا عقيدة، فاسد، سرعان ما انهار أمام بضع آلاف من الدواعش في الموصل وغيرها. ناهيك عن عصائب أهل الحق وفيلق بدر والكتائب الشعبية المسلحة.. فهل تستطيع أمريكا سرقة إرادة شعب تحول في غالبيته إلى مقاومة؟..

وبالنسبة لسورية، على المراهنين على الوهم أن يدركوا، أن آخر قلاع الصمود العربية لن تسقط مهما تطلب الأمر وكلف من تضحيات، لأن الرئيس ‘بوتين’ سبق وأن وضع مصداقيته ودور ومستقبل بلده على المحك حين تعهد بخطاب رسمي جوابا على تساؤل الرئيس ‘بشار الأسد’ إبان أزمة الكيماوي جاء فيه: “إن السلاح الكيميائي هو سلاح رادع من اي هجوم معادي، فما هي الضمانات بأن لا تتعرض سورية لعدوان خارجي في حال قبلت بالتخلي عن هذا السلاح؟”.. فجاء الرد الروسي خطيا يقول: “لن يقع أي هجوم عليكم، وسندافع عن دمشق كما ندافع عن موسكو”. وذكرت مصادر موثوقة في حينه بأن الجانب الأمريكي والأطلسي قد تبلغا رسميا بهذا التعهد ووافقا عليه قبل الموافقة على تسليم هذا السلاح للأمم المتحدة.. وهذا القرار الروسي لا يمكن إعتباره إلتزاما مؤقتا يتعلق بالملف الكيميائي حصريا، إلا من قبل من يلجأون لسلاح التأويل لخداع الرأي العام.

كما وأن تحذير إيران الأخير بأن أمريكا ستندم إذا ضربت سورية، يحمل في طياته رسالة واضحة مفادها أن سورية خط أحمر بالنسبة لإيران ومحورها أيضا، وأن أية مغامرة في هذا الإتجاه ستقابل بما سيقلب الطاولة على الأمريكي والإسرائيلي بل والسعودي أيضا، حسب ما فهم من هذا التهديد.
ما من شك، أن أمريكا وحلفها الأطلسي يخوضون اليوم مغامرة غير محمودة العواقب، بدون رؤية، ولا تخطيط، ولا قدرة على تحقيق أوهامهم على الأرض، سواء في الشرق الأوسط أو آسيا، باستثناء إستراتيجية زرع الفوضى الخلاقة لتخريب الدول المستهدفة من الداخل، لكنهم لا يضمنون أن مثل هذه الإستراتيجية الخبيثة لا تنقلب ضدهم وضد أدواتهم في المنطقة.

آخر المعلومات التي كشفت عنها المخابرات الروسية، تتحدث عن خطة أمريكية – سعودية – صهيونية يقوم بالترويج لها سرا الوزير الصهيوني ‘ليبرمان’ في صربيا، لتحويل هذا البلد إلى معقل للتكفيريين في آسيا، بهدف إشعال منطقة القوقاز.. وقد جائت هذه الخطة التي كانت موسكو تتوقعها، كجواب على قرار توسيع منظمة ‘شانغهاي’ لتضم إيران والهند وباكستان، وتعزيز دورها الأمني في محاربة الإرهاب في آسيا بالإضافة إلى الجوانب الإقتصادية والتنسيق السياسي.

وبالتالي، نحن أمام مشروع حرب كونية بحجم كارثي، قدرت له أمريكا 3 سنوات ليكتمل في الشرق الأوسط بموازات تفجير الوضع في القوقاز لإغارق روسيا والصين في مستنقع الإرهاب وإبعادهم عن منطقة الشرق الأوسط التي يتم تفكيكها على نار حامية. في حين طالبت السعودية بأن تستمر الحرب على الإرهاب لـ 10 سنوات قادمة.. وواضح أن للسعودية هدفين من وراء هذا التقدير:

الأول، يتمثل في تخصيص أطول وقت ممكن لأمريكا حتى تحقق كامل أهداف المؤامرة على محور المقاومة، المستهدف الحقيقي بالعدوان الأطلسي وليس “داعش”، بما في ذلك عزل إيران وإنهاء نفوذها وتهديدها لإسرائيل.

والثاني، قمع وإجهاض أي إنتفاضة شعبية في بلدان الخليج، سواء بالمنطقة الشرقية، أو البحرين، بل وحتى في اليمن، وإعتبار كل تحرك إجتماعي يرفع مطالب حقوقية مشروعة في ظروف الحرب على الإرهاب، إرهابا يجب التصدي له وقمعه بالقوة العسكرية الغاشمة، وسيغض الغرب الطرف عن ذلك، لأنه هو أيضا في حرب مع الإرهاب.

وفي إطار هذه العناوين الرئيسة، ستعمل السعودية وحلفائها الإقليميين على المستوى السياسي، على إعادة إنتاج الأنظمة الديكتاتورية القديمة بنكهة ديمقراطية جديدة سماها ‘أوباما’ “الديمقراطية السنية”.. إذ لا مكان في المنطقة بعد اليوم لشيىء إسمه شيعة أو دروز أو مسيحيين أو غيرهم، لأنه وفق هذا المفهوم “الديمقراطي” الجديد، لا يمكن للشيعة أن يكونوا مسلمين، فقط العرب هم المسلمون، والمسلمون هم من أهل السنة والجماعة حصريا.. ولا نستبعد في زمن العهر السياسي والدجل المفاهيمي أن نسمع أمريكا والسعودية يتحدثون غدا عن “القومية السنية”، ما دامت “القومية العربية” لم تعد سلوكا، بل مجرد شعور لا مصداق له على أرض الواقع.

سوف لن ندخل هنا في منقاشة هذا الطرح الجديد الذي لا يعرف له علم الإجتماع السياسي نظرية تذكر، وينم عن جهل فظيع بالدين والتاريخ والواقع، ويكشف لنا كثيرا من سوء النية السياسية من وراء ذلك، يمكن وضعها في إطار “إستراتيجية الضد النوعي” التي طورها دهاقنة الفكر الإستراتيجي البريطاني، لتعكس جوهر سياسة ‘فرق تسد’ لميكيافيلي في نسختها المعدلة، بحيث يصبح عنوانها الجديد “إسلام ضد الإسلام” الذي تحول بقدرة قادر إلى “إرهاب ضد المقاومة”.

وهذا هو معنى “استراتيجية الضد النوعي” التي تفيد حرفيا، أن الحرب على الإسلام والمسلمين يجب أن تكون من قبل المسلمين أنفسهم، لتخريب الإسلام من القاعدة، وإدخال المسلمين في عقود من الظلام والصراعات الدموية، ليذبح المسلم المسلم تحت يافطة تكفير الشيعة والنصيرية وما إلى ذلك من خطابات الحقد والكراهية والفرقة، ضدا في دين الله وتعاليم شرعه.. إنهم بالمختصر المفيد، يريدون أن يطفئوا نور الله بتآمرهم، والله متم لنوره ولو كره المجرمون.

ما نتحدث عنه هنا، بدأت تجلياته تبرز واضحة حتى للمغفلين، ويكفي التذكير بعملية تهجير المسيحيين من العراق التي تمت سنة 2003 من قبل أمريكا نفسها، واليوم يستمر ذات المخطط بالوكالة عبر “داعش”، بدليل قيامها بتهجير عشرات بل مئات الآلاف من المسيحيين من الموصل، بالإضافة للإيزيديين وغيرهم، والآتي أعظم.. في عملية تطهير عرقية وطائفية ومذهبية تشبه تلك التي حدثت إبان الحروب الصليبية أو تلك التي ضاعت بسببها الأندلس.

خاص بانوراما الشرق الاوسط - نسمح باعادة النشر شرط ذكر المصدر تحت طائلة الملاحقة القانونية
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Israel’s Ruthless Agenda

 
State terrorism is official policy. So is institutionalized racism, persecution, apartheid worse than South Africa's, and colonization.
 
Israel's occupation is lawless. It's the longest by far in modern times. Military orders control virtually all aspects of Palestinians' lives.
 
They have no rights whatever. They're not wanted. They're considered subhuman. 
 
Efforts are made to eliminate them. Israel seeks total Judaization.
 
Its wars are cold, calculated premeditated aggression. They're high crimes against peace. They're slow-motion genocide. Palestinian self-defense is called "terrorism."
 
Operation Protective Edge was the latest example. It had nothing to do with Hamas rockets. It wasn't about protecting Israeli security.
 
It had everything to do with preventing Palestinian self-determination, maintaining occupation harshness, continuing Gaza's blockade, sabotaging Fatah/Hamas unity, stealing Palestinian resources, preventing diaspora Palestinians from returning, and maintaining Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital.
 
Torture is official Israeli policy. It persists despite international law prohibiting it all times under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions.
 
On September 14, the Palestinian Center for Human Rightsheadlined "PCHR Follows up Detention Conditions of Palestinians Arrested by Israeli Forces in Latest Offensive on the Gaza Strip," saying:
 
"The lawyers of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) have visited 4 Palestinian detainees in Ashkelon Prison who were arrested in the latest 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip."
 
They "confirmed that the prisoners were subjected to various forms of torture during their detention period, including beating and shackling between two chairs for long hours (Shabeh)."
 
"According to PCHR's documentation, Israeli forces arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians during the offensive on the Gaza Strip; 31 of whom were transferred to Israeli prisons."
 
All those arrested committed no crimes. It didn't matter. Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners languish in Israel's gulag. It's one of the world's worst.
 
"Later, 4 of the aforementioned detainees were released while 27 remained in custody and were charged of being members of armed groups, except for one, Samir al-Najjar, who was charged of being an 'illegitimate combatant.' "
 
"…(M)embers of armed resistance groups are considered prisoners of war against whom no bills of indictment can be presented according to the international law."
 
"PCHR continues its efforts to pursue Israeli war criminals through international courts based on the principle of universal jurisdiction (UJ) to bring them before justice since torture is an international crime."
 
Under UJ, nations may investigate and prosecute foreign nationals when their country of residence or origin won't, can't, or hasn't for any reason." 
 
Israel used it to convict and execute Adolph Eichmann.
 
Britain used a Spanish court provisional warrant to apprehend Augusto Pinochet. It held him under house arrest for 18 months.
 
It set a precedent. It potentially makes other heads of state  vulnerable. So are top officials.
 
Pinochet's alleged ill health claim got him released. He returned home. He remained damaged and disgraced. 
 
From September 11, 1973 to March 11, 1981, tyranny was ruthless on his watch. He died in December 2006. He's not missed.
 
Article 7 of Nuremberg's Charter of the International Military Tribunal states:
 
"The official position of defendants, whether as Head of State or responsible officials in Government departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment."
 
No one deserves immunity for high crimes against peace. They demand accountability.
 
No nation or individual is above the law. They're made to be enforced. They're inviolable.
 
Holding Israel and America accountable for high crimes too grave to ignore is long overdue.
 
In its 2013 State of Israel report, Amnesty International (AI) said:
 
"Israeli forces responsible for the killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians (as well as) torture and other ill-treatment of detainees continued to evade accountability."
 
Periodic air strikes target Gaza. They're conducted for any reason or none at all. For ones Israel invents.
 
IDF commanders order "live ammunition to enforce the land and sea 'exclusion zones' inside Gaza's perimeter and territorial waters, killing at least six civilians and injuring others," said AI.
 
"The myriad restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on the movement of Palestinians amounted to collective punishment of the population of Gaza and the West Bank, in violation of international law."
 
Gaza's blockade remains ongoing. It's lawless. It's suffocating. It has nothing to do with Israeli security.
 
Palestinians are arrested for bogus reasons. Many are held without charges or trial. 
 
Freedom of expression, movement and assembly are denied. So are peace, equity and justice. 
 
Israel gets away with mass murder with impunity and then some. Rogue states operate this way. 
 
Israel and America elevated lawlessness to a new level. Don't expect Western media to explain. Or what the Electronic Intifada (EI) reported on September 15.
 
It headlined "Leaked email reveals ADL advice to universities urging anti-Palestine crackdown." 
 
It was sent to UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi's office. It was meant for her and other senior university officials.
 
The Anti-Defamation League is notoriously bigoted. Hate-mongering is longstanding practice. So is disseminating pro-Israeli propaganda.
 
Smear campaigns target its critics. They're conducted under the fraudulent pretext of fighting anti-Semitism.
 
ADL claims to support human rights. Its hate-filled agenda violates them egregiously.  
 
Its leaked email warned about an "upcoming day of action for Palestinian rights," said EI.
 
It called for "extra security and 'discipline.' "
 
It targeted the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). It's an advocacy group. ADL lied making "thinly-veiled allegations of anti-Semitism," said EI.
 
ADL's email said in part:
 
"We write to you today to provide information and recommendations about how to respond to conflicts that may arise on your campus due to the recent conflict in Gaza."
 
“In the wake of the recent crisis, anti-Israel organizations are placing increasing pressure on academic institutions to engage in ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS) activities." 
 
"Be aware of the discourse around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that takes place on your campus and the potential for escalation."
 
"Review student codes of conduct to ensure that activity which is detrimental to the free exchange of ideas is not allowed on campus."
 
AMP is called "the leading organization providing anti-Zionist training and education to students and Muslim community organizations around the country." 
 
It "advocates for a variety of BDS-related initiatives - all in an effort to isolate and demonize Israel and Jewish communal organizations."
 
Fact: AMP and Palestinian-led BDS supporters don't advocate targeting Jewish communal organizations, EI explained.
 
Fact: They want action against "institutions complicit with Israel's violations of Palestinian rights…"
 
Fact: They include academia, corporations, think tanks, numerous organizations and other biased institutions.
 
According to AMP chairman Hatem Bazian:
 
"The ADL has always been in the business of censoring Palestine’s narrative and promoting Israel and Zionism…"
 
It overstepped trying to "employ prior restraint on Palestinians' free speech."
 
Hate-mongering operates under its own rules. According to EI, expect "no let up (by Israeli lobbyists) to use all repressive means available to stigmatize…punish (and stifle) campus criticism of Israel's crimes."
 
On September 16, Mondoweiss headlined "US and Canada strengthen economic relationship with Israel following attack on Gaza," saying:
 
They consummated "a mutual customs agreement." It removes "screening barriers and tariffs." 
 
Washington and Canada support Israeli genocidal high crimes against peace. It's longstanding policy in both countries.
 
Canada is more pro-Israeli than America. During right-wing Prime Minister Stephen Harper's January visit to Israel, he praised its "great moral leadership."
 
Canada's special relationship is deep-rooted, he said. It's "nourished by shared values."
 
"(It's) reinforced at the highest levels of commerce and government as an outward expression of strongly held inner convictions."
 
It's the right thing to do, said Harper. He called enemies Israel invents "dark forces of the world."
 
He ignored Palestinian rights. He was silent about generations of occupation harshness, ruthless persecution and numerous other high crimes.
 
Post-Operation Protective Edge, Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid and his Canadian counterpart Steven Blaney discussed their 2010 Authorized Economic Operator Program.
 
"We share the same moral values (and) threat(s), Lapid claimed. He lied naming "Hamas in the south, Hezbollah in the north and now ISIS advancing from the east."
 
It bears repeating. Israel's only enemies are ones it invents. It does so to enforce occupation harshness. To steal all valued Judea and Samaria areas.
 
To deny Palestinians fundamental human and civil rights. To treat them like enemies of the state. To violate core international human rights laws in the process.
 
Lapid's comments focused more on Gaza than economics, said Mondoweiss. It quoted him saying:
 
"We must move to find a solution for Gaza based on a regional framework, through a regional summit which includes all the key partners including Canada." 
 
"For progress to be made we must ensure that rehabilitation occurs alongside demilitarization." 
 
"We are strengthened and encouraged by the support of our allies, and in particular with Canada which stands steadfast by our side."
 
Their "special relationship" ignores each other's high crimes. America and Israel operate the same way.
 
Rogue states replicate each other's worst practices. It's longstanding official Western policy.
 
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
 
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
 
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
 

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 
 
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When Scots ruled chunks of England

Victims of deadly shipwreck driven out of Gaza by war, unemployment


Published Thursday, September 18, 2014

Unemployed and shattered by the 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza, Yasser decided to seek a better life elsewhere, boarding a boat to Europe that sank off Malta last week.

In one of the deadliest migrant shipwrecks on record, the boat, with 500 people on board, was intentionally capsized by traffickers as it made its way from Egypt to Italy.

Only 10 people are known to have survived, among them four Palestinians from the 100 Gazans believed to have been on board. Yasser, a 23-year-old unemployed graduate, was not one of them.

Yasser's story is far from unusual and explains why some Palestinians in Gaza are ready to risk everything to flee war and poverty in the coastal enclave, which was battered by a devastating seven-week Israeli aggression that ended late last month.

His brother Osama told AFP by telephone from his home in the United Arab Emirates that Yasser had graduated from university in Gaza but struggled to find work.

"He graduated last year and since then, like all young people, he has been unemployed. There is no future for them in Gaza," Osama told AFP, asking that his family's name not be published.

The crippling blockade of Gaza by Israel - and more recently Egypt - and Israeli restrictions in the occupied West Bank limit Palestinians' ability to compete in export markets and contribute to an unemployment rate of almost 25 percent, the World Bank said in 2013.

"I tried to bring him to the Emirates but after seeing several of his friends reach Europe by boat, he decided to leave too," he said.

Yasser crossed from Gaza into the Sinai Peninsula via the Rafah crossing, paying some local Egyptians nearly $3,000 (2,300 euros) to fix his passage to Europe.

"You never know who you're giving the money too," Osama said.

The last time the brothers spoke was on September 5, the day before the boat carrying Yasser set sail from the port of Damietta in Egypt.

"Now I'm waiting to receive the list of survivors to know if he might still be alive," Osama said.

Escape through the tunnels

Exact numbers of those leaving Gaza and making their way to Europe are hard to come by.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), some 2,890 people who declared themselves to be Palestinians have reached Italy so far this year.

But even that number may not be credible as some migrants falsely identify themselves as Palestinians to avoid being repatriated to home countries that have extradition agreements with the European Union.
"We estimate that thousands of people have left the Gaza Strip clandestinely over the past two months, especially during the war," a local human rights worker told AFP.

"Due to the fact they left through tunnels to Egypt -- an illegal, secret way to leave -- we have no precise figure," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

With Gaza's own access to the Mediterranean tightly closed by Israel's naval blockade, those wanting to go to Europe would be forced to travel through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Rafah is Gaza's only gateway to the world that is not occupied by Israel, but it has been kept largely closed by Egypt for more than a year, with the only other way across via the handful of precarious cross-border smuggling tunnels.
(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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Jewish State and Islamic State, Like Breeds Like

Sep 16, 2014, Palestine Chronicle
By Ali Kazak
Sixty-six years after the establishment of the “Jewish State” in the Middle East, the world is witnessing the establishment of an “Islamic State” with many similarities. Both states were established by extreme ideologies exploiting religion, both were accomplished by mainly foreign elements to the region and by terrorism, brutal atrocities, horrifying massacres and ethnic-cleansing on ethno/religious grounds.
Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP, said in the House of Commons on 15 Jan 2009 “Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism.”
Short of conversion and selling women, very few differences exist between the crimes used by the Jewish and Islamic terrorists. ISIS beheads Muslims (both Sunnis and Shi’ites), Christian Arabs and Westerners, the Zionist Jews also killed Muslims and Christians as well as British; while they did not behead them in front of the cameras, they mutilated and executed their victims by lining them up against walls and shooting them and by hanging them as they did with the British soldiers.
In the course of the establishment of “the Jewish State” over 70 horrendous massacres were committed by European Jewish terrorists in Palestine against defenceless civilians in which more than 15,000 Palestinians were killed (out of a population of 1.4 million Palestinians at the time, this is equivalent to 345,000 Iraqis or 255,000 Australians or 3,360,000 Americans today).
On 22 October1979 The New York Times reporter David Shipler cited Red Cross and British documents on the massacre of Dir Yassin, as saying that the attackers “lined men, women and children up against walls and shot them.” Abu Mahmud, 70, said in an eye-witness testimony of the massacre which took place on the eve of 9 April 1948 and was published in full by the Gulf News newspaper on 9 April 1997, “The Jews used all sorts of automatic weapons, tanks, missiles, cannons. They used to enter houses and kill women and children indiscriminately… They took about 40 prisoners from the village. But after the battle was over, they took them to the quarry where they shot them dead and threw their bodies into the quarry.”
The Jewish terrorists looted the houses, shops, banks, factories, farms and everything that came under their control in Palestine. Women were raped and then killed. They destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villagesand hundreds of Mosques, Churches and cemeteries. They occupied 78% of Palestine and ethnically-cleansed 70% of the Palestinian nation and despite numerous UN resolutions, they refuse, until today, their right to return to their homeland on religious and racial ground because they are not Jews.
Splitting the Arab world is an Israeli strategy articulated in a document titled “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties.” It aims to encourage separatist groups to establish religious and sectarian states in the region in order to justify the establishment of its Jewish State and to weaken and destabilize the Arab countries, fuelling endless sectarian wars between Arabs and Muslims and to prevent Arab unity.
Revealed in February 1982 and published by the Department of Publicity/The World Zionist Organization, Jerusalem, the plan states that “Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.
“Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization.”
Now, 32 years later we are witnessing the implementation of Israel’s vicious strategic plan in the Middle East, thanks to the USA and its coalition’s destruction of Iraq in 2001. Additionally, the establishment of Israel as a “Jewish State” in the region is a motivation to the Islamic movement to establish an Islamic State.
In an article printed in the New York Times on 29 August 2014 by Mr John Kerry, the Secretary of State of the United States, describing the so-called Islamic State as a “cancer”, he said “The world can confront this scourge …no decent country can support the horrors perpetrated by the Islamic State, and no civilised country should shirk its responsibility to help stamp out this disease. …Extremists are defeated only when responsible nations and their peoples unite to oppose them.”
While the United States is lining up other countries to fight “the Islamic State”, it is the one, together with a handful of other Western countries, who is providing unconditional political, military and economic support and international protection to “the Jewish State”, without which Israel would not dare to unceasingly challenge the international community with its crimes in the Middle East.
No one possessing human values would be against confronting ISIS and it’s so called “Islamic State” by all means, and the abhorrent crimes it’s committing against humanity in the name of Islam, but the unbearable hypocrisy and double-standard of US policy when it comes to dealing with Israel’s crimes is what is harming the standing and interests of the US and its close allies in the Middle East and around the world.
The US behaves like a lion and a superpower with Russia, China and other countries but like a pussy cat and a banana republic when dealing with Israel.
US President Barack Obama said in his recent speech broadcast live to the nation “This is American leadership at its best: We stand with people who fight for their own freedom. And we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.” He should try saying this to the Palestinian people.
When the US and its allies say they are doing what is right by humanity, and by their values, the question begging to be asked is where is their humanity and values in regard to the Palestinian people, and why are they not equally doing what is right by humanity, and by their values towards “the Jewish State” and its aggression, crimes and gross violations of human rights, international law and resolutions?
- Ali Kazak is a former Palestinian ambassador to Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, East Timor and the South Pacific region. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.
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Gaza struggles to deal with 2.5 million tons of rubble after the war

Palestinian boys walk past buildings which were destroyed by Israeli strikes on their way to school in the Shujayeh neighbourhood of Gaza City on September 14, 2014 on the first day of the new school year. (Photo: AFP-Mohammed Hams)
Published Thursday, September 18, 2014
The dead were buried and the wounded are trying to heal while the rubble of the war on Gaza remains in place. Hundreds of thousands of tons worth of rubble, not to mention the environmental and health hazard they pose, remind the survivors of death every morning. Removing the rubble means finally beginning the process of reconstruction and a return to normal life.
Gaza – Despite the end of the war in Gaza, wherever its residents or visitors look, they are surrounded by the sight of rubble and ruin. Hundreds of thousands of tons of debris – remnants of the Israeli war – still block entire streets, prompting people to invent new bypass roads. Work has begun in some areas with the available resources to remove this rubble. However, delays in actual plans to clear all of it threaten the environment and health conditions of people here. Besides, some residents still search every day through the ruins of their homes, hoping to find something, or any of their belongings, especially important papers and documents.
According to preliminary figures published by the Ministry of Public Works, it is estimated that buildings destroyed during the 51-day war were reduced to 2.5 million tons of rubble. This figure is four times larger than that of the 2008-2009 Israeli war [on Gaza].



Gazan families are impatiently waiting for the removal of the piles of debris as they view it as a sign of the actual beginning of reconstruction. Otherwise, all the promises made are nothing but a smokescreen. This is the sense you get in the neighborhoods of al-Shujayeh in eastern Gaza, Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza and Khuzaa area in southern Gaza. Statistics also reveal that about 10,000 houses were totally destroyed and 30,000 were partially destroyed, including 5,000 houses that are in dire need of rehabilitation. The result is that 11,000 families are without shelter in addition to losing their basic resources.
Rubble for infilling parts of the sea and crushing it for reconstruction
Al-Akhbar contacted the under-secretary of the Ministry of Housing in Gaza, Naji Serhan, to ask what they are planning to do with the debris. He said that the government, in cooperation with specialized agencies, devised an emergency plan for 100 days to deal with this problem. The emergency plan includes clearing part of the rubble in addition to providing rent and alternative apartments for people whose houses were destroyed. “Temporary caravans were provided to shelter the rest of the families,” he added.
As for long-term plans, it is believed that part of the rubble will be crushed for use in building and construction. The rest will be used in building small dirt roads in the sea and consolidating the fishing port in Gaza, in addition to coastal areas overlooking the sea such as the eroded al-Shati Camp (Beach Camp), according to the under-secretary.
Serhan went on: “We can use the rubble in more than one area, but the most important thing is to remove it. Reusing it requires huge amounts of money that we currently do not have. Besides, building a port requires Israel’s approval. He pointed out that they were directly threatened by Israel when they built one dirt road in the sea before the war.



Despite these ideas, there is an ongoing public concern especially in light of the negative impact of the rubble. Abu Ali Darduna was one of the people who lost their homes in the war in addition to a small shop that constituted his livelihood. He is embarrassed because the rubble of his home is blocking a street which forces the rest of the area’s residents to take another road to get to their homes. He says no one came to check the debris to see if it contains hazardous materials. At the same time, he is worried that clearing the rubble quickly might lead to losing whatever is left of his belongings beneath it. Yet, he is afraid to look through the rubble in case there are unexploded ordinances.
Mouin Rajab, an economist in Gaza, believes that we can deal creatively with the tons of remaining rubble and benefit from it, “but there are more obstacles.” He estimates that to load and transfer this amount of rubble requires at least 60,000 trucks. He told Al-Akhbar that workers are going to face huge problems in crushing the rubble that is still held together “because it requires heavy equipment, especially in the case of the high-rise towers such as Basha Tower, Zafer Tower and the Italian Complex.”
Attorney and human rights activist at the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Salah Abdel Atti, thinks that we should let some of the destroyed sites stand as a testimony of Israeli crimes. He talked about the Lebanese experience as an example. “When some of the remnants of Lebanon’s civil war were left in the early 1990s to bear witness to the events and were only rebuilt after a while.” He went on to say: “I mean leave some evidence in a way that does not affect the people and the reconstruction project, especially the big towers.”
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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