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Here are the latest essays and articles written by myself for this site. I started this site with my own work and continue to write for it as much as I can. To read all my work check out the My Articles menu link. For other posts and latest news from a wide range of diverse sources please visit the news section.

Tell the UK Government to pressure the Israelis to stop the killing in Palestine

July 28th, 2014
Tell the UK Government to pressure the Israelis to stop the killing in Palestine By Dark Politricks 38Degrees are trying to get the UK Parliament to actually act on the current Israeli conflict with the Palestinians rather than keep their nose up the USA's ass hole. You can help by signing a petition to tell our UK Foreign Minister, Philip Hammond.... [read more]

The MH17 Malaysian Plane Crash – Hallmarks of a stitch up?

July 27th, 2014
The MH17 Malaysian Plane Crash - Hallmarks of a stitch up? By Dark Politricks Now believe it or not, I'm not a CIA stooge for writing about Putin's involvement in the Ryazan apartment bombings that brought him to power in the corrupt days of post USSR. This was during a time where US economic hitmen were running the show, and the majority of KGB became... [read more]

Help the jailed Pirate Bay creators – Use The Pirate Bay

July 12th, 2014
Help the jailed Pirate Bay creators - Use The Pirate Bay By Dark Politricks Gottfrid Svartholm Ward and Peter Sunde Help these two prisoners by sending them comfort items whilst they rot away in prison. Gottfrid can only receive letters whilst Peter can get letters, books and vegan candy! So why not help these two out whilst they are stuck in... [read more]

Why do Americans still celebrate the 4th of July?

July 7th, 2014
Why do Americans still celebrate the 4th of July? By Dark Politricks On the 4th of July there is only one question that needs to be asked by all Americans who are actually celebrating this holiday. "What are you actually celebrating and why?" You may not be ruled by King George any-more but the recent 2 Presidents have acted far more like Kings... [read more]

An interview with Dimitri Khalezov about the 9.11 nuclear attack

June 14th, 2014
An interview with Dimitri Khalezov about the 9.11 nuclear attack By Dark Politricks If you know about Dimitri Khalezov you will know he is an ex Soviet Union Nuclear Weapons specialist and a former commissioned officer of the “military unit 46179”, otherwise known as “the Special Control Service” of the 12th Chief Directorate of the Defense... [read more]

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Tell the UK Government to pressure the Israelis to stop the killing in Palestine



Tell the UK Government to pressure the Israelis to stop the killing in Palestine

By Dark Politricks

38Degrees are trying to get the UK Parliament to actually act on the current Israeli conflict with the Palestinians rather than keep their nose up the USA’s ass hole.

You can help by signing a petition to tell our UK Foreign MinisterPhilip Hammond. what you think of this situation.

This is what 38Degrees say about the situation:

In the past 20 days of fighting in Gaza and Israel more than 1000 people have been killed and tens-of-thousands have been injured – many of them children [1]

Yesterday there was a brief 12 hour truce. Foreign ministers from around the world, including Philip Hammond MP, met in PARIS to try to reach a long-term ceasefire. Fighting started again overnight. [2] But just this morning both sides agreed to a further 24 hour truce. It’s not clear yet if it will hold. [3]

38 Degrees is a movement which stands for peace. In the news day after day we’ve seen men, women and children from both sides being killed. The natural reaction is to want to help – to do something.

The war is over 2,300 miles away from the UK. The conflict is long, bloody and seemingly never ending. It’s easy to feel powerless. 38 Degrees members have been sharing feelings of frustration and despair at what’s happening.

“The killing of innocent people, in particular children, totally unacceptable regardless of the argument.” Aidan

“If we could persuade our government to change course, against immensely powerful lobbyists, many other governments would probably capitulate, bringing a well deserved peace to the region at last.” Robin

I am a 38 Degrees member and really concerned by the general apathy of the UK and European governments in the face of Israeli aggression in Gaza…Ashley

David Cameron has urged “restraint” from both sides. [4] And Philip Hammond MP, our foreign minister, has said that “the necessity right now is to stop the loss of life.” [5]

Many 38 Degrees members are demanding a stronger response from the UK government. Some think this should take the form of sanctions, others think we should be pushing for war crimes investigations. Some of us think the UK should stay out of it altogether.

Philip Hammond represented us at the talks yesterday in Paris. And he will continue to represent us until a peace deal is agreed by all sides.

Whatever your view, Philip Hammond and the government should hear what we expect of them. 38 Degrees members haven’t written to the new foreign minister before, but with the death toll increasing by the day, now is the time to tell him what you think.

Click here to send Philip Hammond a personal email: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/middle-east-crisis

The situation in Gaza and Israel is complex. But we fail as humankind if we don’t devise a way to bring peace to this long troubled region. Let’s stand together with people all over the world calling for an end to the violence – for good.

With hope for peace,

Belinda, Maddy, Ali, Susannah and the 38 Degrees team

PS: If you want to see what other 38 Degrees members are saying and join the conversation, then you can on the 38 Degrees blog: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/gaza-israel

PPS: Here’s some context:

- A twelve-hour truce was agreed by both sides and began at 5am yesterday morning. An offer to extend the truce was rejected by Hamas. [6]
- This morning a 24-hour ceasefire was agreed by both sides. [7]
- The new UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, has called for a swift ceasefire. [8]
- Thousands took part in a protest on the streets of London yesterday against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza [9]
- On Friday, the World Health Organisation has demanded a humanitarian corridor in Gaza. [10]
- Last week, the UN Human Rights Council voted to pass a resolution to investigate Israel for possible war crimes. The UK was one of 17 countries to abstain. [11]

NOTES
[1] The Independent: Israel-Gaza conflict: Death toll hits 1000 amid 12-hour ceasefire:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelhamas-ceasefire-at-least-60-bodies-found-in-gaza-after-12hour-truce-begins-9630309.html
[2] BBC: Hamas fires rockets into Israel after Gaza truce bid:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28504509
[3] BBC News: Hamas announces new 24-hour Gaza ceasefire with Israel:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28511075
[4] The Scotsman: Gaza: Cameron urges Israel to ‘exercise restraint’:
http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/gaza-cameron-urges-israel-to-exercise-restraint-1-3483946
[5] BBC News Philip Hammond on ceasefire: ‘stop the loss of life’:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28503866
[6] Sky News: Israel resumes Gaza fighting after rocket fire:
http://news.sky.com/story/1308147/israel-resumes-gaza-fighting-after-rocket-fire
[7] BBC News: Hamas announces new 24-hour Gaza ceasefire with Israel:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28511075
[8] Huffington Post: Philip Hammond warns the West is ‘losing sympathy’ with Israel over Gaza:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/07/24/gaza-philip-hammond_n_5616408.html
[9] Evening Standard: Thousands line London’s streets for pro-Palestine protest during 12-hour Gaza ceasefire:
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/thousands-line-the-streets-in-london-for-propalestine-protest-as-12hour-ceasefire-is-held-in-gaza-9630516.html
[10] Yahoo! News: WHO calls for humanitarian corridor to evacuate Gaza wounded:
http://news.yahoo.com/calls-humanitarian-corridor-evacuate-gaza-wounded-090902490.html
[11] UN News Centre: As civilian casualties rise in Gaza, UN Rights Council agrees probe into alleged ‘war crimes’:
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48330#.U9I0dYBdWDp

This is my own response to the petition:

 

Hello

First some figures:

Israeli Death Toll = 42 (soldiers)
Palestinian Death Toll = 1000 and 5,870 injured (nearly all civilians, women and children)

I am shocked at the indiscriminate and deliberate shelling of hospitals, mosques, schools and farms in Palestine.

Yes the Hamasfirecracker” rockets are indiscriminate as well but then two wrongs do not make a right and the size of the two opposing “armies” is not exactly equal is it.

On one side a huge conscripted army of many Jewish people who are brought up to believe Muslims are all evil terrorists and therefore treat them so.

Examples include this beatings of teenagers (even US citizens) like 15 year old Tariq Khdeir. You can watch it here:

Watch on youtube.com here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDENWwEDGr4&list=UU_TjGD1xtca2nHUJddjCNWQ

This was taken from the Israeli newspaper http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.603184

Tariq was the cousin of Muhammed Abu Khdeir a 16-year-old who was kidnapped and burned alive in revenge for the 3 Israelis who were kidnapped and killed > http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/middle-east-unrest/three-israelis-admit-killing-palestinian-mohammed-abu-khdeir-cops-n155316.

Why was there no media outrage about this beating caught on tape by supposed “Israeli Defence Forces” or the sadistic killing of Muhammed Abu Khdeir as there was with the Israeli trio?

Are the lives of Israeli’s worth more than Palestinians?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/20/video-indicates-killed-palestinian-youths-no-threat-israeli-forces

Then we have a small enclave of people with nowhere to hide that is constantly bombed and shelled by the IDF.

The IDF say they drop notes before the bombings warning them of the attacks but if someone gave you a note at your door saying they would blow your house up in 10 minutes would that be fair or legal?

Also because the Gaza Strip is so small and built up there is nowhere for these people to hide.

Even the places they are told to wait are attacked by the IDF as the Goldstone report showed about the last big IDF attack on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead. Some main findings were:

  • Shooting unarmed and even tied up civilians.
  • Shooting teenagers who were carrying wounded civilians.
  • Bombing Hospitals and homes.
  • Collective punishment of a whole population for the misdeeds of some.
  • Israel was also accused of using banned weapons in civilian areas such as the White Phosphorus attack on the UN compound and on civilian areas which is expressly forbidden by international law.

The IDF say that they target schools, hospitals and mosques as well as people’s houses because Hamas fire rockets from these buildings.

Usually these firing zones are detected very easily and very quickly by flying IDF planes scanning for them. These firing places are then met with an IDF missile on the firing zone, which is usually someone’s house. Probably someone who had no say whether Hamas could use their home or not.

Many people in Gaza are scared of Hamas but because they are their rulers, many secretly hate or are scared of showing their true feelings about them in case they are killed.

This is exactly the same with most despotic governments.

Of course many Palestinians see them as the only people fighting for their freedom, resistance fighters who are trying to liberate their land and all because the International and Arab community are doing nothing to help them. They see Hamas as the only people willing to die to secure their freedom.

So many people cannot say no when a Hamas firing team come to their home to use it as a launch pad and then its blown to bits along with their family by an IDF missile minutes later.

So is it always fair that the US press always calls these people “sympathizers” and “collaborators” of Hamas when they haven’t even interviewed them to find out what happened. I guess it’s hard when the people you want to interview are dead but still at least try to get a balanced perspective on the actions of the people on both sides of the conflict.

Personally I think the problem is religion and people who abuse and mis-use that religion for their own ends.

Muslims are evil, Jews are scum, Christians are infidels and so on.

How we can reverse that I don’t know but we can stop powerful armies attacking smaller weaker groups of people who are locked in what is basically a ghetto with no way to get out and whose territorial waters are not actually their own.

Many flotillas to bring in food and medicine which the people of Gaza need badly are stopped in what should be Gaza’s own water and then arrested and treated as terrorists.

Even when the IDF execute and kill US citizens on these flotillas such as the murder of Furkan Dogan which you can actually watch here, the USA does nothing.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxMExwhO6jQ

Why did the US ignore the assassination of one of their own citizens in international waters, in what was basically an act of piracy?

Would we let UK citizens be killed and beaten like the US has? Even when it has been caught on camera?

Are we that scared or Israel?

Can we not even say what we truly think about this situation or are we subservient to US/Israeli policy on the matter?

It sure looks like the latter to me.

Please change this and do something about the slaughter in the Middle East.

Remember:

Israeli Death Toll = 42
Palestinian Death Toll = 1000 and 5,870 injured.

Is this a  fair and balanced war or is it a genocide we are supporting by our indifference and subservience to US/Israeli foreign policy?

Thanks

From 38Degrees

Sign the petition here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/middle-east-crisis

Posted in Anti War & Peace, Dark Politricks Articles, Ethics & Morality, Government, Israel & Zionism, Middle East, Speeches & Appeals, Television Video & Film.

Tagged with 38Degrees, Collective punishment, Free Gaza, Free Palestine, Gaza, Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Israeli Death Toll, Mavi Marmara, Muhammed Abu Khdeir, Operation Cast Lead, Palestinian Death Toll, Palestinians, PARIS, petition, Philip Hammond, pro-Palestine, Protest, resistance fighters, Stop the war, Tariq Khdeir, UK Foreign Minister, War, War on terror, West Bank, World Health Organisation.


New York Times: Palestinians Are Trapped and Can’t Escape Israeli Bombing



New York Times: Palestinians Are Trapped and Can’t Escape Israeli Bombing

By WashingtonsBlog
washingtonsblog.com

Nowhere to Go

The New York Times reports:

As civilian casualties mounted on Monday in the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, Israels military reminded the world that it had warned people living in targeted areas to leave. The response from Palestinians here was unanimous: Where should we go?

United Nations shelters are already brimming, and some Palestinians fear they are not safe; one shelter was bombed by Israel in a previous conflict. [And Israel has also repeatedly bombed UN shelters for civilians - killing scores of women and children - in this conflict.]

***

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in 2010 called Gaza an open-air prison, drawing criticism from Israel. But in reality, the vast majority of Gazans are effectively trapped, unable to seek refugee status across an international border. (Most are already refugees, those who fled from what is now Israel and their descendants.)

***

One of the most densely populated places in the world, Gaza is surrounded by concrete walls and fences along its northern and eastern boundaries with Israel and its southern border with Egypt. Even in what pass for ordinary times here, Israel permits very few Gazans to enter its territory, citing security concerns ….

Egypt has also severely curtailed Gazans ability to travel, opening its border crossing with the territory for only 17 days this year. During the current fighting between Israel and the Hamasmilitants who control Gaza, only those with Egyptian or foreign passports or special permission were allowed to exit.

Even the Mediterranean Sea to the west provides no escape. Israel restricts boats from Gaza to three nautical miles offshore. And Gaza, its airspace controlled by Israel, has no airport.

During the current conflict, Israel has also taken away 44% of of Gaza land – and herded Gazans into the remaining area

View the original article at Washingtons Blog

Posted in Analysis & Review, Israel & Zionism, Mainstream Media, Middle East.

Tagged with Britain, Egypt, Mediterranean Sea, Palestinians, Prime Minister David Cameron, the Gaza Strip, The New York Times, United Nations, Washingtons Blog.


In Gaza, International Law Is Up in Flames



In Gaza, International Law Is Up in Flames – In a flagrant violation of international law, Israel’s assault on Gaza has killed hundreds of civilians and devastated civilian infrastructure

Antiwar.com
Phyllis Bennis

As Israels assault on the Gaza Strip rages on, ceasefires come and go. Most last just long enough for Palestinians to dig out the dead from beneath their collapsed houses, get the injured to overcrowded and under-resourced hospitals, and seek enough food and water to last through the next round of airstrikes.

There is nothing left but stones, Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer quoted an old woman saying as she searched desperately through the rubble of what had been her home.

Casualties are soaring. By late July, Israel had killed more than 1,100 Palestinians at least 73 percent of them civilians, including hundreds of children. Fifty-six Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, have died too.

A July 28 poll shows that 86.5 percent of Israelis oppose a ceasefire. Yet we continue to hear that Israelis want peace.

Its true that at least some of them do. An Israeli protest in Tel Aviv brought 5,000 people into the street. Thats good though a far cry from the 400,000 who poured into the streets to protest Israels invasion of Lebanon back in 1982.

And when a young Palestinian teenager was kidnapped and tortured to death burned alive in Jerusalem after the bodies of the three kidnapped young Israeli settlers were found, many Israelis tried to distance themselves from the horrific crime. In our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed.

But in fact, there is a place for those who call for murder at the highest political and military levels of Israeli society.

Meet Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Knesset Israels parliament. She belongs to Israel Home, a far-right party in Netanyahus governing coalition. She issued on Facebook what amounts to a call to commit genocide, by deliberately killing Palestinians, including women, children, and old people.

The entire Palestinian people is the enemy, Shaked posted. In wars, the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.

The Knesset member went on to say that the mothers of Palestinians killed should follow their dead sons to Hell: They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

Her language reminds me of a chapter in our own history the genocidal Indian Wars. U.S. military leaders had called on their troops to wipe out all the Native Americans. Col. John Chivington was asked on the eve of the Sand Creek Massacre about killing Cheyenne children. Kill and scalp all, big and little nits make lice, he replied.

Shakeds comments also echo the words of an Israeli colonel who testified under oath at the wrongful death trial of Rachel Corrie, a young U.S. peace activist killed by an Israeli soldier driving an armored bulldozer in Gaza. In a war zone there are no civilians, said the military officer who was responsible for training Israeli soldiers to serve in the occupied territories.

Theres no question that Hamas primitive rockets violate international law. They cant be accurately aimed at military targets. But that doesnt justify Israels violation of its own obligations under international law as the occupying power in Gaza.

Israel has the regions strongest military, the only nuclear weapons arsenal in the Middle East, and the unconditional backing of the United States. Its assault on Gaza violates the Geneva Conventions. Israel is imposing collective punishment against all Gazans, attacking hospitals, and using disproportionate force.

Israeli officials know full well that the best way to protect their citizens is to implement a real ceasefire a breakthrough that would require opening Gazas borders. Some of them also know the best way to keep their citizens safe long term is by ending the occupation altogether. Problem is, not enough of them will admit it.

U.S. taxpayers also have a stake in this conflict because Washington keeps sending Israel billions of our tax dollars and refuses to push Tel Aviv to stop violating international law.

For real peace, both of those things must change.

Read the original article at Antiwar.com

Posted in Analysis & Review, Israel & Zionism, Middle East.

Tagged with death, Geneva Conventions, Hamas, John Chivington, Knesset Israels, Lebanon, Mohammed Omer, Native Americans, Palestinians, power, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rachel Corrie, Sand Creek Massacre, tax, Tel Aviv, the Gaza Strip, United States, Washington.


Turkey PM slams Israel for ‘Hitler-like fascism’



Turkey PM slams Israel for Hitler-like fascism

RT.com

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AFP Photo / Ozan Kose)

If you support this cruelty, this genocide, this Hitler-like fascism and child murderer regime, take your award back, Erdogan said in the eastern province of Van, referring to an award he had received from American Jewish Congress in 2004.

The organization’s head, Jack Rosen, earlier this week, wrote an open letter to Erdogan asking him to return the honor as a consequence for his “dangerous rhetoric” that promotes violence against the Jewish people.

What is the difference between Israeli actions and those of the Nazis and Hitler? Erdogan asked the audience on Thursday. How can you explain what the Israeli state has been doing in Gaza, Palestine, if not genocide? he said, as reported by Arabnews. This is racism. This is fascism. This is keeping Hitlers spirit alive.

Referring to the sanctuary given to Jews by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century when they were banished from Spain, Erdogan wondered: Who stood up for Jews at a time when they were expelled from their home countries? It was our ancestors, it was the Ottomans.

Arent you embarrassed? How immoral you are…. It is us who protects the Jews on our soil and lets them live safely.

Earlier Serdar K’l , Turkey’s ambassador to US, responded to Rosen’s request saying that “in view of the foregoing as well as the regrettable stance adopted by the present leadership of the American Jewish Congress vis-a-vis the recent attacks on the innocent civilians in Gaza, Prime Minister Erdogan will be glad to return the award given in 2004,” Dailysabah quotes.

The ambassador added that Turkish PM should not be expected to turn a blind eye to Israeli occupation, blockade and destruction.

In 2004, the Turkish premier received a Profile of Courage award from the New York-based American Jewish Congress for his efforts to seek peace in the Middle East.

“Attempts to depict Prime Minister Erdogan’s legitimate criticisms of Israeli government attacks on civilians as expressions of anti-Semitism is an obvious distortion and an effort to cover up the historical wrongdoings of the Israeli government,” the response read.

On Monday, Erdogan told the Daily Sabah that he spoke with Turkeys Jewish citizens leaders and stated that they should adopt a firm stance and release a statement against the Israeli government. He urged them to criticize Israeli aggression, telling the community that the Israeli government abuses all Jewish people around the world for its fraudulent policies.

It was not the first time that Erdogan resorted to harsh criticism of Israeli actions. Earlier this month while campaigning in Ordu province, he was quoted by Hurriyet Daily News as saying, Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism Terrorist state Israel has attacked Gaza once again, hitting innocent children who were playing on a beach.”

The rhetoric of the Turkish Prime Minister in comparison of Israel’s offensive in Gaza to the Nazis was “anti-Semitic in tone,” the Israeli PM said earlier this month.

I heard the things the prime minister of Turkey said, words of the utmost gravity,” Benjamin Netanyahu said. “I told [US Secretary of State] John Kerry, [these are] anti-Semitic statements, they have an anti-Semitic tone.”

Public opinion in Turkey seems to have been fueled by Erdogan’s anti-Israeli statements. This month, Tel Aviv decided to reduce its diplomatic delegation in Turkey to the minimum required after violent pro-Palestinian protests at the Israeli diplomatic missions in Turkey were dispersed by police using tear gas.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry blamed the Turkish authorities for failing to provide protection for its diplomatic staff, calling it a “blatant breach of diplomatic regulations.” It also said that envoys’ families are being repatriated in light of the violence caused by the Israeli military operation in Gaza. The Foreign Ministry also advised Israelis against “non-essential” travel to Turkey.

Read More: Israel reduces diplomatic staff in Turkey following violent pro-Palestinian protests

Relations between Israel and Turkey hit a low note with Erdogan heading the Turkish government. Most notably, the relations deteriorated after the 2008 09 Gaza War and the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, in which eight Turkish nationals were killed as the ship tried to penetrate Israeli blockade of Gaza. In March 2013, Israel apologized for the incident.

The presidential election in Turkey is scheduled to take place on August 10. The two other main presidential contenders Ekmeleddin hsano lu and Selahattin Demirta have condemned Israel but have restrained their language.

View the original article at rt.com

Posted in Analysis & Review, Ethics & Morality, Israel & Zionism, Middle East, Politics, War.

Tagged with AJC, American Jewish Congress, anti-Semitic, anti-Semitism, Daily Sabah, Gaza, Gaza War, Hitler, Hurriyet Daily News, Israel, Jews, Middle East, Nazis, Ottoman Empire, Palestine, Prime Minister Erdogan, pro-Palestinian, Selahattin Demirta, Terrorist, Turkeys Jewish Citizens, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.


Why are we rushing recklessly to war with Russia?



The West’s Reckless Rush Towards War with Russia

By WashingtonsBlog
washingtonsblog.com

We’re Taking Big Risks for Unclear Reasons

By Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity.

For reasons that have no rational explanations at this time, the US and Europe have embarked on a concerted program to demonize Putin, ostracize Russia, and bring the world as close to a major conflict as it’s been since the Cold War, a time hardly memorable to many in the current crop of our elected officials.

Within hours of the MH-17 plane crash, the United States pinned the blame on Russia generally, and Putin particularly. The anti-Putin propaganda (and if there were a stronger term I’d use it) has been relentless and almost comically over-the-top (see image above, and those below).

The US and the UK in particular, are leading the charge. Indeed, the UK’s Daily Mail managed to crank out an article on the MH-17 affair within just a few hours on the very same day it occurred with this headline:

The blood on Putin’s hands…

Jul 17, 2014

The world may have averted its gaze towards Israel and Gaza, but this week the rumbling warfare in eastern Ukraine has been erupting into something growing daily more dangerous.

Meanwhile the Russian bear, still pretending to be an innocent party despite blood dripping from its paws, has begun stealthily rebuilding its forces on the border.

Now we may well have witnessed the kind of shocking event that happens when heavy armaments are placed in the hands of untrained and desperate militias.

That’s really an amazing piece of journalism to have managed to have figured out the who, the what and the why of a major catastrophe without the benefit of any evidence or investigation. One wonders who the author’s source was for obtaining what have become very crisp talking points that both the US and Europe are echoing as they exert increasing pressure on Russia?

Nearly two weeks later, neither the US nor Europe has provided substantial evidence of any sort to support their assertions that Ukrainian separatists and/or Russia are to blame for the MH-17 catastrophe. There’s literally been nothing.

In the meantime, very important questions surrounding the shoot-down have gone entirely unaddressed by US officials and the western media. Why? Perhaps because they raise the possibility that there could be an alternative explanation:

So far, the entire case made by the US State Department and Obama administration boils down to a few highly-questionable social media clips gathered right after the incident, plus several out-of-date low-resolution satellite photos taken from a private company (DigitalGlobe) along with a bevy of ‘trust us’ statements.

Nonetheless, despite the lack of solid, verified and credible evidence, the current narrative has now been embedded firmly in the media cycle and nearly everyone on the streets of the US, UK and most European nations will tell you that Putin and/or Russia was responsible.

Similarly, in 2007, years after all the facts were verified and known, when asked “Do you think Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?” 41% of Americans answered ‘yes’ when the proper answer was (and remains) ‘Absolutely not.’

It’s a fact of modern life that most people really don’t pay close attention to important world events. Due to that lack of engagement, even the most patently obvious lies can quickly become entrenched in the public mind as truth if touted by mainstream news outlets.

Here now in July 2014, there is a rush towards war similar to those that proceeded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Important questions are not being asked by the media, our once again missing-in-action fourth estate, and unsubstantiated and unverified political talking points are simply being reprinted as facts.

But this time the war fervor is being directed at a nuclear powerhouse, not a derelict Middle East country. And the stakes could hardly be higher. For Europe, even if things don’t progress much further than they already have, economic damage (we don’t know how much yet, or how much worse it may get) has already been done to its fragile recovery. The people of Europe really ought to be asking what exactly they’re hoping to achieve by attempting to box Putin into a corner.

After all, that might not even be possible. He enjoys an 83% approval rating in Russia, a level beyond the fantasies of most western politicians, plus his country supplies a vast amount of Europe’s natural gas and a hefty percentage of the world’s exported oil. Temporary loss of either would be a painful body blow to Europe, while a sustained loss of oil exports would be crippling to the world at large.

In all of the thousands of column inches I’ve read demonizing Putin over the developments in Ukraine and MH-17, I’ve yet to identify a single compelling answer to this question: What vital US interest is at stake if Russia keeps Crimea and helps to defend the Russian-speaking people along its border? To my knowledge, it’s not yet been articulated by anyone at the State Department or White House.

At this stage, all we know is: the West thinks that Russia is bad, and Putin is worse. But, given the stakes involved, we all deserve to know more than that. A lot more. We deserve proper and complete answers.

There’s a lot of context to this story. It involves broken promises, desirable resources, power plays, and a dangerous lack of diplomatic sophistication by the current US administration.

Diplomacy and Statesmanship

My greatest concern in seeing this rush towards judgment before the facts are in — or worse — war, is that the people running the show in the White House and the US State Department are not cut from the same cloth as the old-school diplomats that preceded them.

After all, extremely dangerous conflicts transpired in the past (the Cuban Missile crisis, anyone?) and yet talks between sides were held and resolutions reached, preventing the more dire of outcomes from coming to pass.

In that spirit, I found this recent piece by Pat Buchanan (someone I’ve not always agreed with in the past), to be spot on:

Is Putin Worse Than Stalin?

When then did this issue of whose flag flies over Donetsk or Crimea become so crucial that we would arm Ukrainians to fight Russian-backed rebels and consider giving a NATO war guarantee to Kiev, potentially bringing us to war with a nuclear-armed Russia?

From FDR on, U.S. presidents have felt that America could not remain isolated from the rulers of the world’s largest nation.

Ike invited Khrushchev to tour the USA after he had drowned the Hungarian Revolution in blood. After Khrushchev put missiles in Cuba, JFK was soon calling for a new detente at American University.

Within weeks of Warsaw Pact armies crushing the Prague Spring in August 1968, LBJ was seeking a summit with Premier Alexei Kosygin.

After excoriating MOSCOW for the downing of KAL 007 in 1983, that old Cold Warrior Ronald Reagan was fishing for a summit meeting.

The point: Every president from FDR through George H. W. Bush, even after collisions with Moscow far more serious than this clash over Ukraine, sought to re-engage the men in the Kremlin.

Whatever we thought of the Soviet dictators who blockaded Berlin, enslaved Eastern Europe, put rockets in Cuba and armed Arabs to attack Israel, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush 1 all sought to engage Russia’s rulers.

Avoidance of a catastrophic war demanded engagement.

How then can we explain the clamor of today’s U.S. foreign policy elite to confront, isolate, and cripple Russia, and make of Putin a moral and political leper with whom honorable statesmen can never deal?

(Source)

That’s really an amazing piece of context. Past US presidents managed to hold dialogs with Stalin, who killed millions, and Khrushchev, who directly threatened the US with nuclear missiles.

What exactly has Putin done to surpass the excesses of past Russian/Soviet leaders? What the US still refers to as the “illegal annexation of Crimea” was actually the result of a heavy turn-out vote by the Crimean people where 97% of the votes cast were in favor of rejoining Russia.

So, to recap, Crimea’s people voted overwhelmingly to shape their future in the way they best saw fit, and not one life was lost during the annexation. That sounds pretty peaceful and democratic if you ask me. What would Washington DC prefer? To undo that particular vote and have the people of Crimea be forcibly reunited with Ukraine? For what purpose? To prevent map makers from having to once again redraw Ukraine’s wandering borders?

More likely — and this is the part that concerns me — is that the current people in power in Washington DC are just not the equals of the statesmen of old.

In researching this piece, I came across this 1998 interview with George Kennan that I found both illuminating and troubling:

His voice is a bit frail now, but the mind, even at age 94, is as sharp as ever. So when I reached George Kennan by phone to get his reaction to the Senate’s ratification of NATO expansion it was no surprise to find that the man who was the architect of America’s successful containment of the Soviet Union and one of the great American statesmen of the 20th century was ready with an answer.

”I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,” said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home.

”I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.”

”What bothers me is how superficial and ill informed the whole Senate debate was,” added Mr. Kennan, who was present at the creation of NATO and whose anonymous 1947 article in the journal Foreign Affairs, signed ”X,” defined America’s cold-war containment policy for 40 years.

‘‘I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe. Don’t people understand? Our differences in the cold war were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime.

And Russia’s democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we’ve just signed up to defend from Russia,’‘ said Mr. Kennan, who joined the State Department in 1926 and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow in 1952.

”It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are — but this is just wrong.”

(…)

As he said goodbye to me on the phone, Mr. Kennan added just one more thing: ”This has been my life, and it pains me to see it so screwed up in the end.”

(Source)

The master statesman pretty much nailed it. Instead of bringing Russia into the fold, a petulant strain of ‘diplomacy’ took over that goaded and threatened Russia and now we are, in fact, being treated to endless repetitions of oh you know – that’s just how Russians are. Instead we might also note that the current debate seems superficial and ill-informed.

As I recently wrote in the piece on the Ukraine Flashpoint, the expansion of NATO to the east towards Russia happened even though the US had previously struck an explicit agreement not to progress any further. Not one inch, was the vow. That vow was consciously and repeatedly broken. So who exactly is it that has cause not to trust the other?

The West had the opportunity to bring Russia and its extensive abilities and resources closer into partnership. But for some reason (Military industrial complex anyone? Campaign contributions from same?), the decision was made during the Clinton administration to violate the NATO agreement instead and move many millions of inches eastward.

The last encroachment both brought NATO right to Russia’s borders and placed millions of culturally-Russian people under the heavy-handed rule of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists. Some of these same ultra-nationalists were caught on tape recommending that the 8 million Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine should be “nuked”.

Perhaps an idle threat. However, one of the first actions of Kiev’s new government this February was to immediately revoke legal equality for the use of Russian language:

Perhaps the most obvious of the new Kiev government’s mistakes came last week, when deputies in the nationalist party Svoboda, or Freedom, pushed through the cancellation of a law that gave equal status to minority languages, such as Russian.

The previous law had allowed regions across the country to use languages other than the official national language, Ukrainian, on commercial signs, in schools and government documents. When it passed in 2012, it was seen as a victory for the areas where Russian was the dominant language, particularly in the east and south.

(Source)

Suffice it to say, there’s a very long list of very good reasons why the Russian-speakers in the east of Ukraine might want nothing to do with being under the rule (thumb?) of western Ukraine.

Propaganda

Propaganda is information that is designed to mislead and provoke an emotional response. The covers of western newspapers and magazines have been absolutely choked with anti-Putin propaganda. After such yellow journalism, what sort of dialog, what rapprochement, can be proposed with Putin?

Would not Obama (or any other leader) be seen as ‘siding with the enemy’ if he engaged in dialog with Putin after all this?

That Newsweek cover with the darkened face and mushroom clouds reflected in the glasses is especially ominous. Exactly what’s the message being represented there? Well that’s easy. It’s Armageddon.

Before you take Newsweek’s views too seriously, you need to know that the once respectable publication went through some hard times, went out of print for while, was bought and is now run by these folks:

Moonies, Messiahs and Media: Who Really Owns Newsweek?

Aug 4, 2013

On Saturday, news broke that IBT Media, a company that runs the online business (at least, in theory) newspaper International Business Times, had purchased Newsweek from IAC. So IBT Media now owns Newsweek. But exactly who controls IBT Media?

IBT Medias corporate leadership site lists two cofounders: Etienne Uzac, the companys CEO, and Johnathan Davis, its chief content officer.

But some say that the company is actually controlled by or at least has very close undisclosed ties to someone whose name appears nowhere on the site: David Jang, a controversial Korean Christian preacher who has been accused of calling himself Second Coming Christ.

Before founding IBT, Mr. Davis was the journalism director at Mr. Jangs Olivet University.

(Source)

So Newsweek may or may not have a larger agenda to push beyond just getting the facts out. It’s another case where knowing that an editorial slant exists can be helpful in maintaining a healthy stance of skepticism.

But beyond Newsweek, the entire suite of publications ranging from the NYTimes, Washington Post, Financial Times, and nearly every other main pillar of the Fourth Estate have been running with the “Putin’s responsible” meme.

And, it bears repeating, all without any solid evidence, none(!), plus a host of legitimate serious questions that are being met with zero investigative vigor by the mainstream media and complete radio silence from the government agencies that should be examining and addressing them.

This relentless campaign of propaganda directed against Russia (generally) and Putin (specifically) is now at a fever pitch. My caution to you is that you should be actively suspicious of any media outfit that chooses to run this propaganda.

Perhaps their travel and dining sections can be trusted; but I’d advise reading the front section with a huge grain of salt.

Poking the Bear

With all of that background, we’re now at the point where we can understand just how annoyed Russia must be at the sanctions that have been recently levied against it, various of its industries, and in certain cases, specific wealthy and influential citizens.

Since the MH-17 downing and all of those resulting accusations of Russian responsibility, Russia has been accused of firing artillery and rockets across its border into Ukraine. The only “evidence” to this is the aforementioned crude satellite photos taken by a private company. These photos were then drawn upon (literally) to show trajectories the missiles *could* have followed. These very non-rigorous images were then tweeted out of the account of one Geoffrey Pyatt as hard fact. If his name isn’t familiar to you, he’s the US Ukrainian ambassador who was famously caught on tape with Victoria Nuland (Asst. Sec. of State) discussing the imminent coup against then-Ukrainian President Yanukovych.

Next, a western tribunal in The Hague suddenly ruled that the former shareholders of the dismantled Russian oil giant Yukos were entitled to $50 billion in compensation to be paid by the Russian government. Surprise!

In chilling response, a person close to Putin reportedly said, There is a war coming in Europe. Do you really think this matters?

Following that, the US accused Russia of violating the 1987 nuclear arms treaty by testing ground based missiles in…wait for it…2008. I’m sure the timing of this is in no way connected to the dust-up over Ukraine…

And most recently, both the US and the EU levied additional sanctions on Russia and certain Russian individuals:

Obama Joins Europe in Expanding Sanctions on Russia

Jul 29, 2014

WASHINGTON President Obama announced expanded sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, just hours after the European Union imposed its most sweeping measures yet penalizing Moscow for its role in supporting separatists in neighboring Ukraine.

The latest American actions took aim at more Russian banks and a large defense firm, but they also went further than past moves by blocking future technology sales to Russias lucrative oil industry in an effort to inhibit its ability to develop future resources. The measures were meant to largely match those unveiled earlier in the day in Europe.

Today is a reminder that the United States means what it says and we will rally the international community in standing up for the rights and freedom of people around the world, Mr. Obama said on the South Lawn of the White House.

(Source)

While one could be forgiven for thinking that the “rights and freedom of people” might include the freedom to vote for the future one wants, and the right not to be ruled over by people hostile to one’s language and customs, apparently the Obama administration has other ideas for the people of Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

The final act of hostility by the US towards Russia that bears mention here concerns a Senate bill introduced by the ranking member of the foreign relations committee, Sen. Bob Corker, that outlines what would happen if Russia does not ‘comply’ and leave Crimea and Ukraine entirely within seven days of the act’s passage:

A GOP Ultimatum to Vlad

Jul 29, 2014

Corkers bill would declare Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine major non-NATO allies of the United States, move NATO forces into Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, accelerate the building of an ABM system in Eastern Europe, and authorize U.S. intelligence and military aid for Ukraines army in the Donbass war with Russian-backed separatists.

U.S. aid would include antitank and antiaircraft weapons.

S. 2277 would direct the secretary of state to intensify efforts to strengthen democratic institutions inside the Russian Federation, e.g., subvert Vladimir Putins government, looking toward regime change.

If Putin has not vacated Crimea and terminated support for Ukraines separatist rebels within seven days of passage of the Corker Ultimatum, sweeping sanctions would be imposed on Russian officials, banks and energy companies, including Gazprom.

Economic relations between us would be virtually severed.

In short, this is an ultimatum to Russia that she faces a new Cold War if she does not get out of Ukraine and Crimea, and it is a U.S. declaration that we will now regard three more former Soviet republics Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia as allies.

(Source)

Poor George Kennan. Once again the US Senate is operating without the benefit of either humility or historical perspective.

The people of Russia are not in any mood to be bullied by the US Senate, just as the US Senate would refuse to be dictated to by the Russian parliament. That’s just common sense.

It’s completely obvious that the impact of any such Act passed by the US legislature would be to further erode, if not collapse, relations and economic ties between Russia and the US.

The main conclusion here is that not only is the US poking the bear, but it is doing so with increasing frequency and upping the ante dangerously with each step.

In Part 2: How The Coming Confrontation Will Unfold, we examine the most likely scenarios for where the current tensions between the West and Russia may head. Whichever path we head down, there will be at least some degree of pain experiences by the West, which Europe will feel first and worst (though the US will not be immune). And, sadly, it’s safe to say that this East-West conflict will only accelerate the coming correction of the unstable over-leveraged, bubblicious world markets.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

View the original article at Washingtons Blog

Posted in Analysis & Review, Civil Rights and Privacy, Mainstream Media, Middle East, Politics, Russia.

Tagged with anti-Putin, Armageddon, Crimea, Cuban Missile, George Kennan, Georgia, Kiev, MH-17, MOSCOW, NATO, NATO expansion, Newsweek, President Obama, Propaganda, satellite, Senate, the cold war, the MH-17 affair, the MH-17 plane crash, the Russian bear, the State Department, Ukraine, Ukrainian President Yanukovych, United States, Victoria Nuland, Vladimir Putins, White House, World War.


Suppression and Information



Suppression and Information

dissidentvoice.org
By Binoy Kampmark

“With this order, the worst in living memory, the Australian government is not just gagging the Australian press, it is blindfolding the Australian public.”

Julian Assange, July 29, 2014

The Westminster system has always been seen, in some select circles, as a model for freedom and expression. It has been everything but. In Australia, whose institutions do still pride themselves on an antiquated obsession with aspects of English gagging, suppression orders do retain a certain mystique. They certainly do in the Australian state of Victoria, which is said to throw suppression orders around like confetti.

The absurdity of its application has become all too evident with the publication by WikiLeaks of the super injunction covering allegations of corruption dealing with leaders from Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. All had multi-million dollar dealings of a purportedly inappropriate nature with subsidiaries of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

These supposedly involved the alleged bribery of foreign officials concerned with banknote printing contracts. The top brass from these countries, including, for instance, any current or former Prime Minister of Malaysia , Truong Tan San, currently President of Vietnam , Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, currently President of Malaysia (since 2004) , and Megawati Sukarnoputri, a former President of Indonesia.

The suppression order has formidable currency in the English law canon. It is used to shut people up. It is used to keep silence golden. It is intended as a self-censoring measure that uses the cudgel of the law to keep people, and the media, in tow. WikiLeaks has fronted this legal remedy before, notably in the case of Trafigura, a multinational which had been more than happy to use African bases as dumping grounds for its toxic waste. The company attempted, unsuccessfully, to keep discussion of its exploits under wraps.

In the post-analogue age, it remains to be seen how far such orders can genuinely go there is more than enough oxygen for publicity to go around, and social media has proven positively inflammatory on the subject of the money printing order. Any prosecution against either a social media user or publisher for discussing the case would not only be futile but dangerous. Because of the threat, Australia journalists have been tiptoeing like ballerinas on the subject of what to reveal.

This has meant that journalists in Australia can report that WikiLeaks has released a document disclosing details on a suppression order, but are unable to discuss it without legal consequences. Such details cannot be disclosed, despite the absurd situation of a global conversation taking place on that very order. (Witness, for instance, a vigorous discussion taking place on the order in the Malaysian press.) As with all matters regarding censorship, absurdity, and a good degree of spinelessness, tend to be the only victors.

The super injunction has had several famed appearances. The absurdity was well exposed when it came to such programs as the British quiz show Have I Got News For You. There, the super injunction has been discussed, only to disappear at the behest of legal advice to participants on the program. Ian Hislop, veteran editor of the hilariously wicked Private Eye tended to, as he still does, sail close to the legal wind on several occasions.

The super injunction has certainly been the favoured form of restraint on the press from celebrities. The situation with such figures is far less relevant than that of political subjects what Ryan Giggs, former Manchester United player did or did not so in his sex life can hardly be said to be a matter of grand public interest.

Such figures, in their dubiousness, are certainly entitled to what shreds of privacy they might have left, even if the resort to the Human Rights Act 1998 may seem gratuitous. The same cant be said for political representatives who use their offices to pursue goals outside the remit of their election. Their relationship with constituents is both bond and undertaking.

There are always concessions to be made when allegations are reported. Material alleged has to be material proved. The respective evidentiary onus on the parties has to be discharged. This will happen, it is hoped, in the fullness of time, insofar as time is generous in such proceedings.

But the assumption that the province of law is somehow meditative and hermetic, that it exists outside the time and workings of politics, is at best a childish notion. Embarrassment masquerades as matters of national security.

As the document itself states, The purpose of these orders is to prevent damage to Australias international relations that may be caused by the publication of material that may damage the reputations of specified individuals who are not the subject of charges in these proceedings. Naturally, terms such as justice are used liberally, though the primary object is less justice than the necessity to prevent prejudice to the interests of the Commonwealth in relation to national security.

The governments in question those of Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam want silence on the matter. Canberra is particularly worried, feeling that their business partners might be unnecessarily impugned. They have managed, in part, to secure that reticence through the channel of Australian, and more specifically Victorian, law. They are desperate to chill, if not kill, the matter. Alleged misconduct has effectively been cloaked from public scrutiny.

Time and time again, orders of restraint and injunctions have been sought to restrain the publication of information that would have informed public discussion on matters of crucial political performance. That discussion can still, as it should, take place irrespective of whether the charges are proven in court. The very fact that the governments in question are all receiving the comforts of immunity in an Australian court room needs to be seriously questioned. Dont expect Australian media outlets to heed that point.

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne and can be reached at: [email protected]. Read other articles by Binoy.

View the original article at dissidentvoice.org

Posted in Analysis & Review, Civil Rights and Privacy, Freedom of Speech, Public Figures.

Tagged with Australia, Binoy Kampmark, British, Commonwealth Scholar, Have I Got News For You, Human Rights Act, Indonesia, journalists, Julian Assange, justice, Malaysia, Manchester United, President, Prime Minister, Private Eye, Reserve Bank, social media, suppression orders, Vietnam, WikiLeaks.




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