Saturday, July 05, 2014

Solitary Confinement for Praying: Aid Doctor Rafil Dhafir Suffering Still Bush Era Terror Witch Hunt

Please make time to help Rafil

by Dr. Dhafir Support Committee

Rafil has sent a request for help and, although understated, it’s one of the strongest requests for help I’ve seen from him in 10 years of correspondence. He’s been in Special Housing Unit (SHU) since 6/18/14 for praying (that’s what the SHU manager, Mr. Ford told him).


He doesn’t have stamps, so can’t write (Bob Elmendorf of the support committee got Rafil’s request for help through lawyer Kathy Manley - thank you Kathy). Rafil feels it’s an attempt to frustrate his 2255 legal work. Please take time to respond to this request and please keep at it until you reach someone, if calling.

FROM BOB ELMENDORF, DR. DHAFIR SUPPORT COMMITTEE:

Dear All; today I received the letter below from Rafil dated 6/24/14 which was mailed by Kathy Manley an Albany attorney who has helped Rafil and many others. I tried to scan it but it came out too dim. I think if the committee members called the prison 978-796-1000 and wrote to the warden asking that Rafil be released from the SHU, it would be very helpful.

You must give Rafil Dhafir’s inmate locator number 11921-052 in your phone call or letter. Remember that Ken Freeland previously has told us that Rafil's case manager is Mr. (Brian) Cincotta (pronounced "sin-COT-tuh"), whom you can reach by calling the general number, pressing 0 because the matter concerns a prisoner, and asking to get connected to Mr. Cincotta.

 I just tried calling the prison 3 times this morning, but the same woman answered each time and said she couldn’t find out if Rafil was still in the SHU and to call back on Monday when they had a full staff.

Warden Jeffrey Grondowski
FMC Devens
P.O. Box 880
Ayer, MA 01432
fax (978) 796-1118
dev/execassistant@bop.gov


Thank you for any effort you can make,
Bob
————————
DOCUMENTARY UPDATE:

Lana and I have worked 5 x 7 hour days straight, and many more to come as Lana is scheduled to leave the U.S. on the 16th July. We are still reviewing footage (much of it brilliant and a very good documentary is starting to take shape). It’s especially exciting as not only can we tell Rafil’s story powerfully, we also have good footage to link it in very well to the wider context (a few other cases, Project SALAM, and National Coalition for Protection of Civil Freedoms).

The problem is time: we are under pressure and I don’t sleep well when under pressure and being creative - last night I was up about 10 times scribbling down ideas, and although I got to bed around midnight, it was 4 a.m. before I got to sleep (two of the three previous nights, a similar story :O() But it’s still exciting because I started trying to make this documentary 8 years ago and we’re finally on the brink!

Lana and I are a formidable team: I have the knowledge and Lana has the know how. The timing is perfect as we should be able to show the movie before Rafil’s 2255 deadline in November, and it will raise awareness of his case at a very crucial time.

My best to everyone,
Katherine

Never give in!

World of Resistance Report: Davos Class Worried

Davos Class Jittery Amid Growing Warnings of Global Unrest

by Andrew Gavin Marshall - Occupy.com

In Part 1 of the WoR Report, I examined the “global political awakening” as articulated by arch-imperial strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski. In Part 2 published last week I took a more detailed look at the ways global inequality and injustice relate to the coming era of instability and social unrest. Here, in Part 3, I explore the warnings on inequality and revolt now coming from one of the premier institutions of the global oligarchy: the World Economic Forum.

As an annual gathering of thousands of leading financial, corporate, political and social oligarchs in Davos, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has taken a keen interest in recent years discussing the potential for social upheaval as a result of mass inequality and poverty.

A WEF report released in November of 2013 warned that a “lost generation” of unemployed youth in Europe could potentially pull the Eurozone apart. One of the report's authors, the CEO of Infosys, commented that “unless we address chronic joblessness we will see an escalation in social unrest,” noting that youth especially “need to be productively employed, or we will witness rising crime rates, stagnating economies and the deterioration of our social fabric.”

The report added:

“A generation that starts its career in complete hopelessness will be more prone to populist politics and will lack the fundamental skills that one develops early on in their career.”

In short, if the global ruling class – known affectionately as the Davos Class – doesn't quickly find ways to accommodate the continent's increasingly unemployed and “lost” youth, those people will potentially turn to “populist politics” of resistance that directly challenge the global political and economic order.

For the individuals and interests represented at the World Social Forum, this poses a monumental and, increasingly, an existential threat.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2013-2014, entitled “Assessing the Sustainable Competitiveness of Nations,” noted that the global financial crisis and its aftermath “brought social tensions to light” as economic growth was not translated into positive benefits for much or most of the planet's population. Citing the Arab Spring, growing unemployment in Western economies and increasing income inequality, there was growing recognition that dangerous upheaval could be on the way. The report noted:

“Diminishing economic prospects, sometimes combined with demand for more political participation, have also sparked protests in several countries including, for example, the recent events in Brazil and Turkey.”

The WEF report wrote that “if economic benefits are perceived to be unevenly redistributed within a society,” this could frequently result in “riots or social discontent” such as the Arab Spring revolts, protests in Brazil, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and other recent examples. The report concluded that numerous nations were at especially high risk of social unrest, including China, Indonesia, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, India, Peru and Russia, among others.

In early 2014, the World Economic Forum released the 9th edition of its Global Risks report, published to inform the debate, discussion and planning of attendees and guests at the annual WEF meeting in Davos. The report was produced with the active cooperation of major universities and financial corporations, including Marsh & McLennan Companies, Swiss Re, Zurich Insurance Group, National University of Singapore, University of Oxford, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. It included a large survey conducted in an effort to assess the major perceived risks to the global order atop which the Davos Class sits.

The report noted that the “most interconnected” risks were fiscal crises, structural unemployment and underemployment, all of which link to “rising income inequality and political and social instability.” The young generation now coming of age globally, noted the WEF, “faces high unemployment and precarious job situations, hampering their efforts to build a future and raising the risk of social unrest.”

This “lost generation” faces not only high unemployment and underemployment, but also major educational challenges since “traditional higher education is ever more expensive and its payoff more doubtful.”

Perceiving the innovations and skills of today's generation which are enabling the growing foment, the Forum noted:

"In general, the mentality of this generation is realistic, adaptive and versatile. Smart technology and social media provide new ways to quickly connect, build communities, voice opinion and exert political pressure... [youth are] full of ambition to make the world a better place, yet feel disconnected from traditional politics and government – a combination which presents both a challenge and an opportunity in addressing global risks."

The Global Risks 2014 report cited a global opinion survey on the “awareness, priorities and values of global youth,” which the authors refer to as “generation lost.” This generation, noted the survey, “think independently of this basic fallback system of the older generation – governments providing a safety net,” which “points to a wider distrust of authorities and institutions.”

The “mindset” of today's youth has been additionally shaped by the repercussions and apparent failures to deal with the global financial crisis, as well as increasing revelations about U.S. intelligence agencies engaging in massive digital spying. For a generation largely mobilized through social media, online spying has held particular relevance, as “the digital revolution gave them unprecedented access to knowledge and information worldwide.”



Protests and anti-austerity movements were able to “give voice to an increasing distrust in current socio-economic and political systems,” with youth making up significant portions of “the general disappointment felt in many nations with regional and global governance bodies such as the EU and the International Monetary Fund.” The youth “place less importance on traditionally organized political parties and leadership,” which creates a major “challenge for those in positions of authority in existing institutions” as they try “to find ways to engage the young generation,” adds the report.

According to the World Bank, more than 25% of the world’s youth, or some 300 million people, “have no productive work.” On top of this, “an unprecedented demographic ‘youth bulge’ is bringing more than 120 million new young people on to the job market each year, mostly in the developing world.” This fact “threatens to halt economic progress, creating a vicious cycle of less economic activity and more unemployment,” which “raises the risk of social unrest by creating a disaffected ‘lost generation’ who are vulnerable to being sucked into criminal or extremist movements.”

Noting that more than 1 billion people currently live in slums – a number that has been steadily increasing as income inequality rises – the report stated that “this growing population of urban poor is vulnerable to rising food prices and economic crises, posing significant risks of chronic social instability.” Growing income inequality is now being termed a “systemic risk,” according to the WEF. And in a stark admission from that institution representing the world’s major profiteers of global capitalism, the report acknowledged that globalization “has been associated with rising inequality between and within countries” and that “these factors render poor people and poor countries vulnerable to systemic risks.”

The four major “emerging market” BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China “now rank among the 10 largest economies worldwide.” But slow political reforms within these countries, coupled with external economic shocks (like financial crises caused by Western nations and their corporate institutions) could aggravate the “existing undertones of social unrest.” Within the BRIC nations and other emerging market economies, “popular discontent with the status quo is already apparent among rising middle classes, digitally connected youths and marginalized groups,” the report went on.

Collectively, these groups “want better services (such as healthcare), infrastructure, employment and working conditions,” as well as “greater accountability of public officials, better protected civil liberties and more equitable judicial systems.” Further, a “greater public awareness of widespread corruption have sharpened popular complaints.”

Both Brazil and Turkey have made universal healthcare systems a constitutional obligation, which was a stated ambition of other emerging market nations such as India, Indonesia and South Africa. The failure to create these healthcare systems “may arouse social unrest,” warned the WEF. The World Economic Forum’s chief economist, Jennifer Blanke, stated:

“The message from the Arab Spring, and from countries such as Brazil and South Africa is that people are not going to stand for it any more.” David Cole, the group chief risk officer of Swiss Re (one of the contributing companies to the WEF report) commented:

“The members of generation lost are not lost because they have tuned out. They are highly tuned in. They are lost because they are being left out or they are deciding to leave.” 

The World Economic Forum’s Risk report for 2014 was primarily concerned with “the breakdown of social structures” and “the decline of trust in institutions.” It warned of risks of “ideological polarization, extremism – in particular those of a religious or political nature – and intra-state conflicts such as civil wars.” All of these issues relate directly “to the future of the youth.”

It’s an interesting paradox for an organization to see the greatest threat to its ideological and social power being “the future of the youth” when it has already written off the present generation as “lost.” However, this is a view shared not only by the World Economic Forum but, increasingly, by other powerful institutions creating something of an echo chamber through the mainstream media. The head of the IMF has warned that youth unemployment in poor nations was “a kind of time bomb,” and the head of the International Labor Organization (ILO) warned in 2011 that the “world economy” was unable “to secure a future for all youth,” thus undermining “families, social cohesion and the credibility of policies.”

While there was “already revolution in the air in some countries,” as reported in the Globe and Mail, the dual crises of unemployment and poverty were “fuel for the fire.”

In April of 2014, the World Economic Forum on Latin America reported that the primary challenge for the region was “to reduce inequality,” noting that between 70 and 90 million people in Latin America had entered what were referred to as the "consuming classes," or "middle classes," over the previous decade. However, Marcelo Cortes Neri, Brazil’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, explained, “When we talk about middle class we think of the U.S. middle class, with two cars and two dogs and a swimming pool. That is not Latin American middle class or the world middle class.”

He added that the emerging so-called "middle class" in Latin America and elsewhere “could become a problem for governance,” commenting: “They are the ones that put pressure for better levels of education and healthcare; they are the ones that go to the streets to demand rights.” Neri then posed the question: “How prepared is Latin America to have a robust middle class?” In particular, youth between the ages of 15 and 29 raised specific concerns for Latin America’s elite, with Neri warning: “This is the group I am most worried about. They have very high expectations and so the probability they will get frustrated is enormous.”

When one of the world’s most influential organizations representing the collective interests of the global oligarchy openly acknowledges that globalization has increased inequality, and in turn, that inequality is fueling social unrest around the world manifesting the greatest potential threat to those oligarchic interests, we can safely say we're entering a new era of global instability and resistance.

Andrew Gavin Marshall is a researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada. He is project manager of The People’s Book Project, chair of the geopolitics division of The Hampton Institute, research director for Occupy.com’s Global Power Project and World of Resistance Report, and host of a weekly podcast show with BoilingFrogsPost.

Killers of Countries: Washington's Global and Multiple Mass-Murder Campaign

Washington Murders Countries, the US Constitution, and the Presstitute Media Makes Americans Complicit 

by Paul Craig Roberts - ICH 

Having Murdered Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and the US Constitution, Washington is now Murdering Ukraine.

Thanks to Op-Ed News contributor Eric Zuesse, I can bring to your attention these photographs (URL below) of what the Nazi Government in Washington is doing to Ukrainians who protest the Washington Nazis’ theft of their country.

On this Fourth of July Americans need to ask themselves just how much horror, how much evil, and how many lies they can accept from a government in Washington that has established itself independently of any input from citizens to which government in the US is allegedly accountable.

Before you wrap yourself in the flag this July 4th, realize that “your” government under Clinton, Bush, and Obama has destroyed in your name, in whole or part, eight countries, murdering, maiming, and displacing millions of civilians, and now is at work on Ukraine.

These massive crimes against humanity rival Hitler’s and have been completely covered up by the presstitute American media, a collection of whores who lie for money. How can you be a human when you sit in front of CNN, Fox News or read the New York Times and submit to the brainwashing?

Think about how you are propagandized, lied to, disinformed, and led into accepting “your” government’s murder of millions of peoples. Consider; isn’t it treason for Washington to so dishonor the flag that we love? Why do we tolerate it? What is wrong with us?

Our duty is to the Constitution, not to the criminals in Washington. A patriot is a person who defends the Constitution against enemies “foreign and domestic.” While we sat sucking our thumbs, shaking in our boots in fear of nonexistent “terrorists,” our Constitution was murdered by Washington.

Turn your backs and walk away from the militarist poison that will be spewed in July 4th speeches. Do you really want to support the Washington Nazis in their campaign to become known as the worst mass murderers in world history? Is mass murder to be America’s legacy to the world?

Here are the photos of Washington’s ruin of Ukraine. The evil demons in Washington, and Washington’s whore media, tell you that these devastated people are “terrorists.” If you believe that, you are not human.

Here is Erik Zuesse’s article about the Washington sponsored murders.

Read it and be so ashamed. Everything American has been totally dishonored by “our” government, which has become the epitome of total evil.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

Blessed Are the Haters: How SCOTUS Wheaton College Ruling Feeds American Sectarianism

Court and Caliphate: New SCOTUS Ruling Fuels Sectarian Rise

by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that a sectarian college in Illinois, Wheaton College, did not have to fill in a federal form to claim its exemption from regulations providing contraception coverage in its employee insurance programs.

Note that the issue was not a question of whether the college was exempt from the regulation, as in the Hobby Lobby case. As a sectarian institution, it was already exempt. What the college objected to was simply sending a form to the government regarding the exemption. This, they said, would involve them in "a grave moral evil," because notifying the government would make the college complicit in some other organization providing the contraception coverage. (The law stipulates that if a sectarian employer does not provide the coverage, the government will ensure that it is provided by someone else, usually the insurance company involved or some other third-party administrator of the program.)

Just four days before, the Court majority on the Hobby Lobby case made specific mention of this government form as a justification for exempting commercial enterprises run by sectarians from providing contraception coverage for their employees. The Hobby Lobby decision cited the form as constituting "an alternative that achieves all of the Government's aims while providing greater respect for religious liberty," as Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted in her dissent against Thursday's decision.

In other words, according to Justice Samuel Alito and his fellow conservatives in the majority, the Hobby Lobby case was a "win-win" all around; sectarian business owners did not have to dirty themselves with concerns about their female employees' reproductive health, while the government was free to ensure that contraception coverage was provided from another source.

But just four days later, the conservative majority has reversed course, and finds that the alternative they lauded on Monday is no longer good enough. They agree with Wheaton College that the alternative itself violates religious liberty and can be ignored. Sectarian organizations can merely send a letter to the government opting out, without filling out the form -- because the form would notify the insurance program's third-party administrator that the female employee was no longer covered for contraception.

(It is not known at this point if Wheaton College, like Hobby Lobby, covers Viagra and vasectomies for its male employees. But it would certainly make sense. We all know that the male member is more pleasing to the Lord, for it points upward toward Heaven -- and if it doesn't, there's always Viagra -- while the female reproductive parts dwell in darkness.)

Coupled with the Hobby Lobby case, the Wheaton decision means that all sectarian-ruled organizations, whether they are commercial businesses or non-profits, can not only opt out of providing contraceptive coverage to their female employees, they can also refuse to submit the form that would expedite the provision of such coverage from elsewhere, in accordance with the law. The result, as Sotomayor notes, will be administrative chaos:

Is HHS to undertake the daunting—if not impossible—task of creating a database that tracks every employer’s insurer or third party administrator nationwide? ... In addition, because Wheaton is materially indistinguishable from other nonprofits that object to the Government’s accommodation, the issuance of an injunction in this case will presumably entitle hundreds or thousands of other objectors to the same remedy. The Court has no reason to think that the administrative scheme it foists on the Government today is workable or effective on a national scale. The Court’s actions in this case create unnecessary costs and layers of bureaucracy.

But of course, that is very much the point of the decision -- which the conservative majority considered so overwhelmingly important that they invoked the rarely-used All Writs Act, normally used in cases where it is "indisputably clear" that a law will substantially harm the appellant in some way, in order to make Thursday's ruling, thus by-passing the lower courts, where the legal arguments of this not-at-all-clear case could be thrashed out. The point is to gut the contraception coverage provision in any way possible. Immediately after the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Court majority made it clear that their ruling applied not only to so-called abortifacients, such as the morning-after pill -- which were the ostensible reason for the case -- but to all contraception. And now they have demolished the alternative to the system -- the very alternative, as noted above, that they cited on Monday as a linchpin of their decision.

The rulings by the conservative majority on the Court are part of a relentless, decades-long effort to reassert control of women's sexuality. In this, America's super-patriotic, politicized right-wing Christians share a common cause with the Islamic sectarians they hate so much (and are so scared of). Women's sexuality is apparently the most volatile, dangerous force in the world -- much, much more dangerous than, say, nuclear war or the heat-death of the planet, which concern them not at all. The amount of time, energy, money -- and frenzy -- spent on repressing and controlling women's sexuality is truly extraordinary. Or rather, it is, tragically, all too ordinary, part of an effort that has been going on since homo sapiens first emerged.

2.

It is also part of a larger agenda by our homegrown, well-heeled religious extremists to supplant secular government with sectarian rule. Their ludicrous public panic about the danger of "Sharia Law" being imposed on the country is a hysterical projection of their own desires -- and their own designs. A growing sectarian hardcore believes that secular government has no legitimacy whatsoever; a Bible-based "Dominion" is the only proper form of government. Wheaton College's objections to the government form likely have as much to do with this larger agenda as it does with the sectarian extremists' deep-seated, fear-ridden hatred of women.

I have seen this belief and this agenda in action. It was almost 30 years ago, when the sectarian extremism that is now rampant across the land, controlling one major political party, parts of the military and bankrolled with billions of dollars, was still, for most people, a distant sideshow confined to rural backwaters. I was working at a newspaper in one of those "backwaters," a rural country in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. A local fundamentalist sect was growing toward "mega-church" status. It had its own television facilities -- very much a rarity in those days. It had a huge new church complex. Then the church's pastor decided he wanted to have a school. He added on to part of the already existing complex to make room for a finely-appointed private Christian school. The state had no objection, of course. All they wanted was for him to allow the school building certified as safe, according to fire codes and structural regulations. It was all very routine; and had of course been done for the television studio and other structures in the complex.

But the new sectarianism was already growing more virulent. Not long before, in a neighboring county, a mother had sued the local school board -- because her daughter was being "forced" to use her imagination in class. There was an exercise in an English class where children were asked to shut their eyes and imagine any kind of scene they wanted. This, the mother said, was witchcraft -- imagining things that weren't there! And so, according to her understanding of the wishes of an invisible deity, she pulled her daughter out of class and filed a lawsuit that cost local taxpayers a great deal of money. (Her expenses, of course, were paid by outside sectarian organizations.)

Now the pastor in our county was taking a similar stand. He could not allow the State of Tennessee to issue a permit certifying that his school building was safe because this would be an unconscionable encroachment of secular government on religious liberty. Even though the state wasn't trying to tell him what to teach in the school. (Which would no doubt include anti-imagination exercises in English class.) It wasn't trying to dictate his beliefs or encroach on them in any way. There wasn't even any real question that the building was structurally safe and sound. He simply refused to have anything to do with the state.

The case came to court. The local sectarian extremists were in a state of high excitement. (The rest of the populace -- almost entirely Bible-believing conservative Christians -- thought the pastor's stance was ludicrous.) I remember sitting in the courtroom right behind the pastor's college-student son and his friends. (The son was attending a state university; perhaps he planned to refuse to accept his diploma upon graduation.) The young man was particularly hyped up, squirming in his chair, combative, ready for the fight. Suddenly he smacked his fist into his palm and said, seething, "Man, wouldn't it be great if the Lord struck down this courtroom right now!" His friends all agreed.

The pastor took the stand and under questioning from his lawyer delivered a long oration on religious liberty and the exaltation of sectarian belief over secular government. He could not accept -- would not accept -- that the state had the authority to regulate or license anything associated with his religious activities. There were cheers from the college contingent.

Then the state's attorney got up. He asked the pastor if he had a driver's license. The preacher said, yes, he did. He asked him to show the license to the court. The preacher did so. The attorney then asked what entity issued the license. The State of Tennessee, was the answer. Finally came this question: Do you ever use your car on church business? Yes, of course, said the pastor.

That was pretty much it. The church lost the case. The pastor appealed, of course, and succeeded in getting a change of venue to an even more conservative county, where the church won the case. Then the state appealed, and it eventually went to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which ruled against the church. Tens of thousands of dollars were spent. The school got certified, it opened, and I assume the preacher spent many happy years pouring bile and fear and ignorance into his young charges. I was already gone by then.

But I remember very well the gathering ferment of this sectarian darkness in those days. To these sectarians, "religious liberty" didn't just mean the liberty to practice their religion as they saw fit; it also meant liberty from any vestige of secular government. It meant, ultimately -- and in those more obscure days, many of them were open about this -- the liberty to impose their religious beliefs on others and to supplant the secular government with sectarian rule. They didn't expect it to happen right away. (The Lord refrained from striking down the courthouse that day). They weren't even sure it would happen in their lifetime. But it was their goal, their dream -- and they have moved relentlessly and remorselessly toward it year after year, on every possible front.

So yes, our sectarians hate women (along with many other classifications of human beings), and they will cheer these rulings by the Supreme Court's conservative majority (which is itself dominated by sectarians). But what we see in the Wheaton College ruling is a Court-blessed manifestation of a hatred that goes beyond misogyny: a hatred of democracy, a hatred of any kind of human community or culture or social organization that is not under the "dominion" of their own narrow, stunted sectarian beliefs. What they seek is their own "Caliphate." And they are taking it, bit by bit. The Supreme Court has just handed them a large chunk of territory.

Sinking Lifeboat USA: Immigration and the End of the City on the Hill

Lifeboat USA – Sinking from Illegal Immigration

by Joel S. Hirschhorn

The epidemic of stupidity in the USA has risen to new heights with the widespread public, political and media support for the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from Central America invading the country from Mexico.  Those protesting the way the government is behaving are being attacked.

The narrative goes like this: Oh those poor children and mothers escaping incredibly awful conditions want nothing more than a decent life in the USA, and why not?  After all we are a nation of immigrants.  How could we deny giving these suffering kids and mothers a place in our nation?  Never mind the legitimate sanctity of our borders.

A sure sign of disgraceful and all too frequent media bias is use of the terms “migrants” and “undocumented immigrants” instead of illegal immigrants.

But here is where the real stupidity comes in. What could amount to from 50,000 to 100,000 of these illegal immigrants crashing into our nation at considerable expense is nothing compared to the many millions of kids and mothers in many places globally also suffering admittedly terrible conditions. What about all those in Africa, the Middle East and the desperately poor in India, for example? Sadly, in all too many places, children with or without their parents are plagued by disease, violence, starvation, exploitation and abandonment.

So it is rational to ask: What if millions of people, both parents and children, seeking nothing more than a better life in the USA were to make it across any of our borders? Should we not also let them come in and stay? Are those from a few Central American countries intrinsically deserving of better treatment? Are some illegal immigrants more deserving than others?

Can any nation maintain sovereign self respect and ensure its own economic future by allowing huge numbers of illegal immigrants to enter and stay in its country? I say absolutely NO!

I want to see a nationwide grassroots uprising that vigorously protests what is now happening. More Americans need to envision a lifeboat that sinks into the ocean because more and more floundering, desperate people beg to be let into the lifeboat and the idiots already in the lifeboat acquiesce. So they all sink and perish. Welcome to Lifeboat America.

Here is an idea for the insanely barbaric Islamic radicals filled with hatred for the USA:  Start to replace your many ideas on how to use violence to defeat the USA with plans to ship suffering kids and mothers by any means across any of our borders. Think big. Think in terms of sending a few million sufferers to the USA.  Get them on boats and airplanes. Don’t use explosives on airplanes. Use the worst off kids and mothers instead. Finance their transport to the USA. Then sit back and watch Lifeboat USA sink.

Wake up Americans. This illegal immigration situation is not about compassion and humanitarian assistance.  It is sheer illogical stupidity. If we do not rationally and intelligently control illegal immigration, we have no future for most Americans. Our political system is clearly dysfunctional. Too many politicians seek an advantage by being illegal immigrant friendly; too many people in the business sector want to ensure low cost labor.

We cannot expect immediate rational action from the two-party duopoly and greed driven oligarchy. Not unless many millions of Americans understand that illegal immigration is a life or death issue for the country they profess to love. A big picture, longer term perspective supports government policy that requires all new illegal immigrants be immediately sent back to their country of origin. Anything other than this creates widespread motivation in foreign countries and among those making money from transporting illegal immigrants to keep sending more and more illegal immigrants across our borders.  What would stop this madness? The longer it goes on, the more difficult it becomes to stop it.


Joel S. Hirschhorn was a full professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison and a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association; he is the author of four nonfiction books. 
Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through http://articlev.wix.com/statusquobuster

From Besieged Shuafat Refugee Camp

Reporting From Besieged Shuafat Refugee Camp

by TRNN

Following kidnapping and killing of 16 year-old Mohamed Abu Khdeir from Shuafat refugee camp, vigilante and army violence against Palestinians on the rise.

Abu Khdeir was kidnapped from the Shuafat refugee camp a day after the funeral of three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were found south of Hebron. The teenagers' kidnapping, allegedly by members of the extremist Qawasmeh clan loosely associated with the Hamas Party, sparked the biggest operation the Israeli army led in the West Bank in a decade.



All Palestinian cities and most villages were invaded, thousands of homes were searched and many destroyed, and more than 500 people arrested, not one of whom charged with the kidnapping. In the process six Palestinians were killed and another three elderly people died in various incidents. On Friday night, The Real News' Lia Tarachansky entered the besieged Shuafat refugee camp, where electricity has been shut and protests rage since Wednesday to speak to the youth protesting about the rise in vigilante and army violence this week, as many suspect the beginning of the Third Intifadah.

Lia Tarachansky is an Israeli-Russian journalist with The Real News Network reporting on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Born in the Soviet Union, Tarachansky grew up in a settlement in the occupied West Bank. She is the director of On the Side of the Road, a documentary on Israel's biggest taboo - the events of 1948 when the state was created. Tarachansky previously worked as a Newsroom Producer in The Real News' Washington D.C. and Toronto Headquarters, and her work appeared on BBC, Al Jazeera, USA Today, Canadian Dimension Magazine and others.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Sounds Like a Plan: Perported Rand Corp Memo Recommends Internment Camps, Executions for Ukraine Refuseniks

‘Leaked plan’ on E. Ukraine suggests internment camps, executions

by RT

A leaked memo suggests the Ukrainian govt should engage in an all-out war in the east, including placing citizens in internment camps and killing all who resist such actions. RAND corporation think tank however denies producing such document.

In the shocking letter, which has been leaked to online media, the advice offers a step by step brutal guide in how to deal with the population in eastern Ukraine. The authenticity of the document which bears the RAND corporation logo, however, could not be independently verified.

When asked to comment on the leaked ‘classified’ document, RAND corporation told RT it had nothing to do with that report and directed enquiries to the publicly available sections of its website.

“RAND has produced no such document,” RAND’s media relations director Jeffrey Hiday said in a written statement to RT. “To see RAND’s actual research and commentary on Ukraine and Russia click here or here.”

The RAND Corporation is non-profit global think tank which offers research and analysis to the US armed forces.

‘Military op’s advantages overweigh’


In the first line the memorandum notes that the peace plan outlined by new president Poroshenko is likely to fail. However, it soothes, the political and material downsides of the operation will be “outweighed” by the gains.

The chilling letter then lists the advantages that a full scale military onslaught against the two breakaway eastern Ukrainian regions would have.



The pro-Russian political movement, claims the advice, would become decimated and the pro-Russian voters would get disorganized.

Instead of upholding the region’s coal supplies as a source of future employment, it says the decimation of the coal industry in the fighting would mean they would be quickly shut down, thereby relieving the Ukraine of burdensome subsidy costs.

Shutting down the Donbass industries would also mean a reduction in Russian gas consumption and the destruction of the local oligarch Rinat Akhmetov’s clan and his political and economic clout.
Stage 1: Suspend Constitution, impose martial law

The shocking memorandum then lists a three stage military campaign to guarantee victory. Stage one, called the total isolation of the rebel regions, presuming that all civilians who have stayed behind are “complicit in the unrest or supportive of it.”




The body of a local resident killed in the Ukrainian armed forces'
 air attack on the village of Luganskaya on July 2, 2014
(RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov)

It proposes martial law should be imposed in the area with a strict curfew between 20:00 and 06:00, while all local authorities would have their competencies terminated and Constitution be suspended in the area.

The regions should then be encircled with troops with special attention being given to areas which border on Russia.

As regards the media it recommends that all broadcasting services, telephone and mobile communications and internet services in the region should be shut down and that the international media should be “subject to a special procedure.”
Stage 2: Internment camps for male adults, those who resist to be killed on the spot

Then begins Stage Two of the operation, called mop-up, which involves a gradual tightening of the circle of troops round the region, followed by airstrikes and then artillery and mortar assaults against the “enemy’s” strategic facilities.

ON THE GROUND:‘Thanks, Ukraine Air Force’: Bombarded villagers accuse Kiev of killing civilians

Without any apparent regard for human life the RAND authors then advise that the use of non-conventional arms should not be ruled out “to ensure smaller casualties among our own personnel”.

The authors, who seemingly have little or no knowledge of the situation in eastern Ukraine, then say that settlements should be liberated one by one with armor going in first, followed by infantry who should shoot to kill anyone bearing arms.




Reuters / Stringer

In what appears to be advising ethnic cleansing, all male adults should be removed to internment camps, while anyone who attempts to resist should be executed; children under 13 and people over the age of 60 should be moved to specially equipped facilities in other areas.

In a bizarre piece of advice that appears at best unrealistic and at worst deranged RAND then says that anyone with bruises, scuff marks, traces of gun powder or gun oil on their clothes should be tried in court for separatism and terrorism. Any lucky residents who don’t fall into these categories would be allowed to return home after a period of two months “of internment” and would then be slapped under surveillance by the security services.
Stage 3: Property of convicted and displaced to be nationalized

Stage Three, which is risibly called ‘Back to Normal’, says that all refugees “from the warzone” should then be allowed to return home. This is presuming that in the first place they would have a home to return to and in the second place they would want to return home to a region now so divided along Ukrainian and Russian ethnicities.




Ukrainian soldiers drive a military vehicle with a torn Ukrainian flag
at a checkpoint near Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine July 3, 2014
(Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

However men aged 18-60 shall be “checked” in internment camps, while the property of convicted and displaced resident of Donetsk and Lugansk regions shall be nationalized.

The area of the punitive operation shall be made “off limits” to foreign media, the memorandum concludes.
All according to plan?

Although the authenticity of the leak is yet to be verified, as well as whether the Ukrainian government is actually following the advice of the RAND corporation, much of what's happening on the ground in Ukraine already lines up perfectly according to the “plan”.

The region shall be encircled with troops and sealed off entirely from any flow of goods and persons, the memo says, which is exactly what is going on in the cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk in the recent weeks. Water and power supply has been disrupted effectively cutting all the communications and bringing the region to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe with people not getting essential goods and medications.

Last month Ukraine’s then acting Defense Minister announced the military would be “filtrating” the stream of refugees from eastern regions in special “camps.” The remark was immediately refuted by other Kiev officials as unacceptable for a new “democratic” Ukraine, while the minister was recently replaced by the new president’s nominee.

In the meantime Kiev authorities were apparently trying to make the area “off limits” to foreign media – particularly Russian – by barring journalists from entering the country and turning a blind eye to those killed by government troop shellings.

Ukrainian as well as Western media are indeed busy praising the "heroism and courage" of Ukraine's armed forces and the National Guard "saving civilians" from "separatists" at the same time completely ignoring the deaths of hundreds of innocents or blaming them on "terrorists."


The Unist’ot’en’s Call to the Land

RESIST: The Unist’ot’en’s Call to the Land

by a SIMPLE MATTERS FILMS production

RESIST; The Unist'oten's Call to the Land is a short documentary that was filmed in the summer of 2013 on unceded Wet'suwet'en territory, 1000 km north of Vancouver in northern BC (western Canada) over the duration of the fourth annual Environmental Action Camp, hosted by the Unist’ot’en (C'ihlts'ehkhyu/Big Frog) Clan.

Information on the Unist’ot’en and Wet’suwet’en can be found at unistotencamp.com

The focus of the film is on the Camp as a year-round resistance to exploitative industry, and what it represents in relation to indigenous sovereignty and the environmental, legal, and social issues surrounding pipeline projects in British Columbia. The film documents one of the most important resistance camps in North America at this time.


Interviews Film crew

Freda Huson Co-Director, Writer - Eli Hirtle

Toghestiy Producer, Writer - Hilary Somerville

Gordon O’Connor Co-Directer, Cinematographer, Editor - David Goldberg

Molly Wickham

Mel Bazil

Satsi Naziel Original music by Scott Johnson Gailey

Four years ago, grassroots members of the Wet’suwet’en people learned about the oil and gas pipeline projects being proposed through their territory without consultation or permission. They have built a log cabin, traditional pit-house, permaculture garden, and a bunk house for volunteers directly in the path of the Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP), Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline, and other projects’ routes. The Camp has so far been successful at turning away pipeline workers and surveyors trying to start work on the pipelines by setting up a “soft blockade” at the bridge over the Wedzin Kwah (Morice River) into their territory.

The intruders have been warned about trespassing on unceded land. The Unis'tot'en people are supported by their neighbours in the Likhts’amisyu Clan, the Gidem'ten Clan and other indigenous and non-indigenous allies.

We made this film to raise awareness and build solidarity for the camp. Please share it online, screen it with friends or host a fundraiser. Support the camp in any way you can. Volunteers and supplies are needed now and all year round.

To donate to the camp and learn more about how to get involved, visit VIC FAN/Wild Coast at forestaction.wikidot.com/

Crime and Sadism in Gaza: Settler and State Violence On Ramp

Ramping Up the Sadism in Gaza

by Eva Bartlett - In Gaza

Unsurprisingly, one hears little to no news of Gaza these days, and utterly distorted news on Palestine in general. The ongoing manufactured crises that the 1.8 million Palestinians of Gaza have been suffering since at least 2006 is old news, their misery only now and then newsworthy.


June 29 photo from Gaza.  photo: Fadi Badwan

There are murmurs from the usual suspects in the Zionist state’s administration about those damn rockets from Gaza, with the vitriol of Lieberman flowing, calling to re-occupy Gaza. The thing is, while they did pull their roughly 8,000 colonists out in 2005, the Israelis never stopped occupying Gaza and, contrary to their obligations as an occupier, the various genocidal policies Israel has implemented over the years have served to further the ethnic cleansing of Palestine they have shown such talent for.

The corporate media has ignored, under-reported, or distorted the following important news items on Palestine:

Palestinian teen abducted, killed in Jerusalem

“A Palestinian teenager from occupied east Jerusalem was kidnapped and killed early Wednesday, hours after Israelis rampaged through the city calling for Arabs to die in “revenge” for the deaths of three settlers by unknown assailants.

…the body, discovered in a forest in the area of Deir Yassin, was charred and showed signs of violence.

Ma’an also reported that the body had been burned.”

In Heinous Crime by Israeli Settlers, Palestinian Child Kidnapped, Tortured and Killed and His Body Mutilated in Occupied Jerusalem

“In one of the most heinous crimes committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the oPt, a group of Israeli settlers kidnapped Mohammed Hussein Abu Khudair, 16, from the vicinity of his family’s house in Shu’fat neighborhood in the north of occupied Jerusalem, subjected him to brutal torture, and then killed him.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, 02 July 2014, 5 Israeli settlers kidnapped the child from the vicinity of his family’s house in Shu’fat neighborhood in the north of occupied Jerusalem. A few hours later, the Israeli police declared that they found the child’s body in forest lands near “Givat Shaul” settlement, adjacent to Deir Yassin village, west of Jerusalem. The police confirmed that signs of torture and burns were seen on the child’s body.”

Israel air raids injure 11 in Gaza, as sweeping arrests continue in West Bank

“Eleven Palestinians were wounded Thursday when Israel pounded targets in the Gaza Strip with air raids.

…Overnight, Israeli troops arrested 13 Palestinians as it pressed on with an arrest campaign which began when three Israeli teenagers were snatched while hitchhiking on June 12. Their bodies were found on Monday with Israel blaming the triple murder on Hamas, a charge the movement has denied.

Since the disappearance of the three settlers, Israel has launched a ruthless campaign of house raids and mass arrests in the West Bank, which has been criticized as being tantamount to collective punishment.”

Israel demolishes eight West Bank homes

“Israeli bulldozers destroyed eight houses early Thursday in a northeastern West Bank village, Palestinian media reported.

…Roughly 94 percent of Palestinian applications for building permits are rejected, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

The group estimates that Israeli authorities have demolished about 27,000 Palestinian structures in the West Bank since 1967.

In different parts of the West Bank, Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinians protesting home demolitions, arbitrary arrests and the killing of Mohammed Abu Khudair.”

Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza; forces kill teen in West Bank

“In the West Bank, 16-year-old Yousouf Ibrahim was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers as they raided Jenin refugee camp.

The Israeli army said Ibrahim threw a grenade at their forces as they carried out the overnight raid, but Palestinian witnesses denied the claim.

“Me and Yousouf were walking, he was carrying a box filled with eggs. We were sitting here for a while, when we decided to go back home. Someone fired toward him,” …

…Sanabel Mohammed Tus, a 9-year old Palestinian, was reportedly injured Monday night when an Israeli settler hit her with his car near Bethlehem. The settler allegedly threw her into a hole in a nearby field, and she was in serious condition, the Palestine News Network reported.

Ashraf Noah Idris, 28, was also injured Monday night after allegedly being run over by a settler near Hebron. And the same night in Hebron, a 19-year-old Palestinian was assaulted and left with a serious head injury after dozens of Israeli settlers allegedly attacked Palestinians in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood. Both incidents were reported by Maan News.

…A 17-year-old Israeli was accused of attacking an Arab taxi driver in the city with tear gas and a number of Israeli youths also allegedly attacked a young Palestinian, who was hospitalized with injuries.

Late Monday night, Israeli forces reportedly blew up the Hebron homes of two Palestinians it said are suspects in the kidnappings, Maan News reported. An Israeli army spokeswoman said the homes “were not demolished,” but military sources said a fire caused by explosions used to break down the doors “got a little out of control.”

The Israeli military has also carried out hundreds of night raids since the Israeli teens’ abduction, allegedly damaging Palestinian homes. Two elderly Palestinians reportedly died from heart attacks. At least six others have been killed as part of the “Brother’s Keeper” operations carried out after the Israeli teens went missing.”

Israeli soldiers celebrate killing of Palestinian youth as “revenge”

“Israeli soldiers and other users in a popular Facebook group are celebrating the killing of a Palestinian youth in Jenin refugee camp last night and are urging more “revenge” for the deaths of three Israeli youths whose bodies were found in the occupied West Bank on Monday.

The youths were abducted on 12 June and since then Israel has waged a campaign of mass arrests and collective punishment against Palestinians.

…The administrator of the popular group, which has more than 70,000 “Likes,” shared a photo of the bloodied body of Yousef Abu Zagha with the caption, “This is the terrorist killed last night in Jenin.”

…Palestinian Red Crescent medics told Ma’an News Agency that 16-year-old Yousef Abu Zagha was shot by Israeli fire in the chest during clashes with troops who invaded the camp. Some media have reported his age as older.

With more than 1,000, “Likes,” virtually every one of more than 200 comments was approving. “Hahahaha, I’m happy,” wrote Noam Korobkov.

“Why only one? Why not another four million? Come on, someone needs to do the job,” wrote Robi Yaakov.”

Lieberman calls for full-scale war on Gazans

“Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called for major air and ground military operations in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The remarks come as Israeli military forces are gearing up for a possible all-out war on the besieged enclave.

Israeli forces have killed several Palestinians and arrested hundreds of others, including Hamas lawmakers, since the disappearance of the teenagers in Mid-June.

Israeli warplanes have already conducted a dozen airstrikes in central and southern Gaza over the past few days.”

Photo Essay: Israeli soliders destroy Qawasmeh and Aisha family homes in retribution attack

“Israeli Defense Forces raided the homes of Amar Abu Aisha and Marwan Qawasmeh in the city of Hebron on Monday evening, June 30th into the morning of July 1st. At approximately 12:00 am, soldiers set up explosives in both homes, detonating them after the families were evacuated. Israeli intelligence has accused both men of allegedly kidnapping the settler teens. The whereabouts of both men are unknown….”

2 Palestinians killed after missiles hit car in Gaza’s al-Shati camp

“Two Palestinians were killed and two others wounded on Friday afternoon after Israel’s air force bombed a car traveling near al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. A Ma’an reporter said that an Israeli plane targeted a black Kia vehicle with two missiles, killing Muhammad al-Fasih and Usama al-Hassumi.

Ashraf al-Qidra, the Gaza spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, said the bodies of the two men, who were residents of the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, were taken to Shifa medical center.

The killing is the first targeted assassination by Israel since the formation of the Palestinian national unity government at the beginning of June.”

Israeli Soldiers Publish Dozens Of Pictures, Posts, Calling For Murdering Arabs

“Israeli soldiers published dozens of pictures on social media networks calling for murdering the Arabs, and murderous acts of what they described as “revenge” against any person who is an Arab.

Most of the pictures that spread widely in recent days are actually for soldiers on active military duty, carrying Israeli-issued weapons, and calling on their government and political leadership “to declare an open season” for killing the Arabs.

One of the soldiers even called for “exterminating all Arabs” in a picture he posted, the Arabs48 news website has reported.

Most of the pictures published by the fanatic soldiers are “selfies”, taken by the soldiers themselves, in addition to pictures of military uniforms, weapons, and chains, and many wrote on the pictures threatening words such as revenge, or “what we want is revenge”, and some even wrote “give us the chance to wipe them out”.

Even before fanatic Israeli settlers abducted, burnt and murdered a Palestinian teen In occupied Jerusalem, on Tuesday at evening, Israeli security officials warned that Jewish extremists could be planning acts of abduction and execution of Palestinians.

The settlers also attacked, beat and injured several Palestinians, including children, and even tried to kidnap a number of children before they kidnapped and killed Mohammad Khdeir, 16, in occupied Jerusalem.

Hundreds of Israeli fanatics were tweeting slurs and threats such as “death to Arabs”, and acts of what they called revenge, and calling for more violence “to prevent the Palestinians from attacking Israelis”.

In addition, fanatic extremist settler, Baruch Merzel, who lives in an illegal settlement in occupied Hebron, called for using excessive force against the Palestinians, and for more of what he called “acts of revenge”.

Extremist Israeli Politician and former member of Knesset, Michael Ben Ari, also called for acts of revenge against the Palestinian people.

Many Twitter hashtags were created calling for revenge and acts of murders, some just stating “I want to murder”, and “I want weeping Palestinian mothers”, “I want Widows”, and “I Want Orphaned Palestinian Children”. …”

Some Deaths Really Matter – The Disproportionate Coverage of Israeli And Palestinian Killings

“The missing, ugly reality is that over the last 13 years, on average, one Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every 3 days. Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000, 1,523 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel’s occupation forces. Over the same time period, 129 Israeli children have been killed. Thus, the ratio of Palestinian children to Israeli children killed is more than ten to one. You would be forgiven for not having the slightest inkling of this from Western media coverage. Even in the past few days, in reporting the massive Israeli operation to find the teenagers, only the briefest of nods has been given to the ‘five Palestinians, including a number of minors, [who were] killed’ in the process.”

****

Daily sadism and unbelievable cruelty, hatred, towards Palestinians. Yet, nothing is done. Another UN resolution condemning Israel’s this or that is passed, to no effect; Ban Ki-Moon murmurs weakly now and then, and the US continues to send over $3 billion (plus untold “gifts”) in aid to Israel every year. (note: “Unlike any other U.S. aid recipient, Israel receives all of its aid in the first thirty days of the fiscal year, instead of quarterly installments. And unlike any other recipient of U.S. aid, Israel is not required to account for its expenditures.” –IMEU)

Regarding Israel’s Gaza policies, one striking document is that which was forced into the spotlight by Israeli rights group, Gisha, a document which explicitly notes that the siege on Gaza is not about “security” but is “economic warfare”… a rather important distinction.

McClatchy ran the story, noting “Sari Bashi, the director of Gisha, said the documents prove that Israel isn’t imposing its blockade for its stated reasons, but rather as collective punishment for the Palestinian population of Gaza.”

This has been painfully obvious for anyone observing (or living in) Gaza over the years, but the released document highlighted the malicious intent of Israel’s policies.

Given that the unemployment, poverty, power outages, sewage and medical crises have been manufactured by these policies, and that the sadism of their plans for Gaza reached the level of calculating the minimum number of calories in food aid the Palestinians of Gaza needed to not quite starve… and then allow in half that amount, it’s worth re-visiting statements of some of the top administration in recent years.

After the Israeli army relentlessly bombed all over Gaza for 23 days (the bombing continue after the Jan 18, 2009 cease-fire), killing over 1,450 Palestinians, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared in Feb 2009: “…let it be clear, we will not allow the opening of the crossings to Gaza and outside of Gaza to the extent that it will help them bring back life into a completely normal pace.” This was, in addition, after the Israelis had closed Gaza’s crossings in early November, 2008, exacerbating what was already a critical dearth of flour, medicines, cooking gas and fuel…and then bombed Gaza, targeting infrastructure on top of murdering civilians. All of that wasn’t enough; Palestinians in Gaza were to be further tormented.

When the Israeli army was waging another bombing campaign on the still-imprisoned population of Gaza in November 2012, deputy Israeli Prime Minister Eli Yishai thought it would be a great ideas for the army to “blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water”. Outdoing Yishai, Gilad Sharon demanded Israel “flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing”, finishing, “there is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip.”

Sharon wasn’t the first nor last to suggest Israel will be reoccupying Gaza (by the UN’s admissions, Israel does still occupy Gaza).

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in June 2013: “Hamas has no intention of reconciling with a Jewish presence in Israel. So we need to return to the Gaza Strip and conduct a thorough cleaning.”

A year later, in March 2014, Lieberman said: “There is no way to avert a full occupation of the Gaza Strip; only then can we ensure that these images do not recur,” referring to a recent volley of rockets into southern Israel, which the Times of Israel itself admitted had caused no casualties.

He was in good company. “The IDF will ultimately have no choice but to reoccupy the Gaza Strip for a limited period of time in order to deter Palestinian terrorist groups from firing rockets into Israeli territory,” Minister of Intelligence, Yuval Steinlitz, remarked.

But re-invading and “cleaning” Gaza are not the most foul threats uttered by Israeli leadership. The Guardian reports a conversation with Turkey’s Erdogan, who “chided the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who he said had threatened to use nuclear weapons against Gaza.”

Whether or not the Israeli army does attempt to re-occupy Gaza, the 1.8 million are suffering now, immensely, under crises caused by Zionist policies implemented precisely to cause wide suffering, as mentioned above.

On a daily basis, within as little as a mile or two off the coast, Palestinian fishers are attacked by Israeli navy machine-guns, missiles, water-cannons or a combination of the three. In contravention of Oslo, the Israelis have illegally-imposed a 6 mile limit—sometimes 3 miles—depriving Palestinians of deeper waters where fish can be found. Fishers are also routinely abducted, their boats stolen and if returned, they are devoid of equipment, and often badly damaged. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documents weekly the aggressions on Palestinians, including those against farmers and stone-gatherers in Gaza’s border region.

The Israeli authorities, again unilaterally, imposed an unclear “no-go zone”, theoretically a 300 metres from the border—on the Gaza side only—but in reality extending over 1.5 km, even up to 2 km in some areas. The off-limits areas are maintained by machine-gunning, shelling, and remote-control shooting. Standing with farmers being shot upon, I can attest this is not about security: the countless times farmers I was with came under fire, they were over 500 m from the border, were usually hunched over low crops of parsley, and women, elderly and children were present. [see Defence for Children International report on children in Gaza's border regions]

At least 214 Palestinians have been killed in attacks like these, and over 825 injured, according to a Mar 2014 EU Heads of Missions report.

These policies of attacking Palestinians and their ability to catch or produce food are just two of the insidious policies Israel has been implementing with impunity over the years, and two of many reasons poverty has sky-rocketed, along with and increase in diet-related health problems.

The health and poverty stats for Gaza are grim:

-20 % of children suffer from waterborne diseases; 68% aged 9-12 months anaemic as are 37 % of pregnant women [Unicef, MoH, WHO]

-40% of essential medicines are at zero stock (in Feb 2011, the Lancet reported that 100 of 260 cancer patients in Gaza were not being treated because required drugs not obtainable.)

Gaza’s water is 95% undrinkable; 80% of population depends on (paltry) food aid for their existence—57% are food insecure; there is insufficient entry of cooking gas and fuel; the entry of construction materials is extremely limited (Israel has flat-out banned construction goods for Gaza’s private sector); unemployment is at 41.5% as it has more or less been for the past 7 years, aggravated by Egypt’s demolition of the vast majority of the infamous “life-line” tunnels between Egypt and Gaza.

Because of the dearth of fuel to run the sole power plant, Gaza has for years suffered rolling power outages. In the past year they have worsened. The Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted in Mar 2014: “Gaza’s sole power plant has, since July 2013, been operating at approximately half of its capacity; rolling power outages of up to 12 hours per day….up to 16 hours a day.”

This affects the ability to pump water, and also the ability to pump sewage into the sea (the only solution in a Strip where Israel does not allow rehabilitation of the sewage infrastructure). In December, 2013, sewage holding pools throughout Gaza overflowed, mixing with torrential rain, leaving many cities’ streets flooded for weeks.

OCHA also notes the outages impact on hospital machinery (over 300 machines out of commission as of Jan 2014).

Gaza needs over 250 more schools—children go in 2 or 3 shifts. In the 2008/9 Israeli war on Gaza alone, 280 schools were damaged, 18 destroyed, as were 3 colleges, and 6 university buildings.

The Rafah crossing was closed for 41 continuous days as of Mar 22, depriving Palestinians in Gaza of their only viable entry and exit point.

Assaults on agriculture, fishing, sanitation, health, industry, education, exports…clearly the siege and these attacks are about more than the proclaimed “security” needs.

Phan Nguyen, in his “Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks”, crunched the numbers and also the Zionist propaganda. Penned in November 2012, Nguyen studied reports of rocket attacks since 2004, finding that “a total of 26 people have been killed altogether,” five of whom were non-Jews, two of whom were moving an unexploded Qassam rocket to salvage the metal.

Looking at the years 2006-2011 and the purported number of Israeli deaths from rockets, Nguyen notes: “For every year listed, the IDF’s rocket fatalities number is higher than what has been established,” further noting that the Israeli army’s claims even contradict those of Israel’s Shin Bet and Israel’s Terrorism Information Center (ITIC).

Further on in his extensively researched article, Nguyen notes that numbers of injured are also exaggerated or fabricated: “Gaza rockets have produced so few casualties that in the absence of deaths and serious injuries, Israeli authorities have resorted to detailing how many people were “treated for shock.”

If the tables were turned, in Gaza where over 90% of children suffer from mild to severe traumatic stress disorder (without the “post”), on top of the thousands of Palestinians injured in this same time span, those needing treatment for “shock” would be over a million, if not nearly the entire population. But Palestinian casualties, if mentioned period, include gunshot victims, shrapnel injuries, blast-amputated limbs, and yes, white phosphorous burns, to list but some.

Finally, Nguyen’s article is notable in exposing the lies of just how many rockets are fired at Israel, again noting that Israeli army figures contradict other Israeli agencies’ figures: “Note the wide discrepancy for almost every year, with the IDF numbers being significantly higher than the ITIC numbers.”

All of these points, and more, are significant because it is precisely this pretext of “security concerns” that the Zionist administration cites when asserting the “need” to enforce this brutal siege on Gaza, to shoot at farmers, to shoot at fishers, and to wage random, murderous, bombing campaigns on the 1.8 million people locked within the borders of a tiny strip of land.

Professor Michel Chussodovsky spells out in his Nov 2012 article, “The US-Israeli Attack on Gaza” that the US not only financially and politically supports Israel, but also worked closely with the Israeli military planners in the Nov 2012 attacks on Gaza:

“There is evidence that Operation ‘Pillar of Cloud’ was implemented in close liaison with Washington in the context of the broader process of allied military planning. Senior US military officials were on location in Israel working with their IDF counterparts in the days leading up to the attack. …Pillar of Cloud was planned well in advance. It had been ‘embedded’ into the structure of the joint US-Israeli war games.”

It’s time we dispel with Israel’s false pretext of “security” and Gaza rocket fire as being the reason for their genocidal policies and wars on an imprisoned population. And it’s time that we stop accepting any of these policies, nor that even after the “economic warfare” document was revealed no one challenged Israel on this. Their policies are slowly but most definitely killing Palestinians in Gaza, and are most definitely criminal.

The phoney narrative of “security concerns” should be flushed into Gaza’s sewage-polluted sea and the sadistic lock-down on Gaza be ended. For what of the security concerns of the Palestinians of Gaza, and their right to a just quality of life?

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Celebrating Aboriginal Title Decision with FONV

July 5th Celebration

by FONV

Hello All Friends of Friends of the Nemaiah Valley;

Following on the Supreme Court of Canada's historic declaration of Aboriginal title a week ago today (and what a week it's been!) we are having a celebration of this victory on Saturday, July 5th at an off-the-grid "cottage" up at Mt. Matheson, in Metchosin. This is a lovely house with a spectacular view and a lake perfect for swimming.

Come and celebrate with us. It's a potluck so bring something to share and something to drink. We will have a BBQ available if anyone wants to prepare something that way. Things get underway at 1:00 with swimming or hiking or talking on the deck. We'll eat around 5 or 6:00 so come any time.

If you are able to attend, please email info@fonv.ca and I will forward you the directions.

While we view the SCC ruling as a progressive step, others are unable or unwilling to move forward.:

"The times have changed, but TML (Taseko Mines Ltd.) is clinging to the past. The Tsilhqot’in Nation, with support from the Supreme Court of Canada decision and the majority of the Canadian public, is sending the message to TML, along with its President, Russell Hallbauer, that no mining will occur in our traditional territory unless it respects our laws, our culture and our vision for the future of the Tsilhqot’in people." (TNG News Release, July 3, 2014)

As Chief Russell Myers-Ross of Yunesit'in goes on to say, "The judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada makes it clear, through its emphasis on consent, ......that it is time for government and industry to forge equal partnerships and seek consent on projects of mutual benefit.”

Following on Chief Russell's words, our intent is to focus on the positive and to continue to work with the Tsilhqot'in people as they develop Indigenous land policies that incorporate their traditional values and a way of life they choose for themselves.

For now, please come and share with us as we celebrate this wonderful moment in history. We'll raise a glass to the strength of the Tsilhqot'in people and to Justice David Vickers and to Woodward and Company, all of whom have all made this day possible.

David Williams
info@fonv.ca
www.fonv.ca



Phone: 250.592.1088
www.fonv.ca

Ottawa Leaves Numavut Land Use Plan Funds in the Cold

Federal Government Blocks Completion of Nunavut Land Use Plan, Denies Funding For Final Public Consultation

by MiningWatch Canada

Ottawa MiningWatch Canada has received copies of sharply worded letters from Percy Klaboona, Chair of the Nunavut Planning Commission, that are addressed to Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Bernard Valcourt. The letters chastise the Minister and AANDC for failing to support the final public consultation process of the Nunavut Land Use Plan.

The planning process is a federal commitment under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. It has suffered from underfunding in the past, but the planning commission has managed to make do, until now. The process which has evolved over several years is almost complete with one of the final crucial steps being a public hearing scheduled for November of this year.

The letters to the Minister are clear about the implications of not completing the process:

“By continuing to not fund the NPC appropriately and not funding the public hearing and conclusion of the land use planning process the Minister will in essence silence the voice of Inuit, Dene and M√©tis”

Klaboona correctly notes that a properly completed land use plan, that has the support of Nunavumiut will proactively reduce conflicts over resource development by directing development activities away from sensitive areas.

“The people of Nunavut have the right to have the future use of the lands and waters of Nunavut determined in an orderly fashion and the pending Nunavut wide Land Use Plan is designed to provide that framework.”

A priority within the draft plan is the protection of the food resources that sustain northern communities. Under the plan, this would mean modest constraints on development in key areas like caribou calving grounds.

“If the federal Conservative government had any real intent of living up to its rhetoric around responsible resource development, funding the final hearing of the land use plan would be a no-brainer” commented Ramsey Hart of MiningWatch Canada. 
“Refusing to fund this last step in the process flies in the face of the federal government’s legal and policy commitments. It can only lead to future legal battles and conflicts over resource development projects in Nunavut. It’s a lose-lose situation” added Hart.

MiningWatch Canada urges Minister Valcourt to make the necessary funding available for the final hearing on the draft land use plan and ensure that the public has an opportunity to meaningfully participate in this important process.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ramsey Hart,
Canada Program Coordinator,
MiningWatch Canada

Lives That Matter, Deaths That Don't Count: Media Balance and Israeli vs Palestinian Casualties

Some Deaths Really Matter – The Disproportionate Coverage of Israeli And Palestinian Killings

by Media Lens

Israeli deaths matter much more than Palestinian deaths. This has long been a distinguishing feature of Western news media reporting on the Middle East. The recent blanket coverage afforded to the brutal killing of three Israeli teenagers highlights this immutable fact.

Channel 4's Alex Thomson offered a rare glimmer of dissent:

'Curious to watch UK media living down to the Palestinian claim that 1 Israeli life is worth 1000 Palestinian lives.'

Major broadcasters, such as BBC News, devoted headlines and extended reports to the deaths, and included heart-rending interviews with grieving relatives in Israel. The Guardian ran live coverage of the funerals for more than nine hours. But when has this ever happened for Palestinian victims of Israeli terror?

A reader challenged the Guardian journalist leading the live coverage:

'@Haroon_Siddique Did I somehow miss @guardian's live-tweeting of Palestinian victims' funerals & eulogies?'

Several nudges elicited the standard display of hand-washing:

'I'm not an editor so don't take decisions on future coverage.'

An extensive list of news stories and video reports appeared on the BBC website describing how Israel is 'united in grief', alongside stories titled, 'Netanyahu: "Wide and deep chasm" between Israel and enemies', 'Thousands gather for Israeli teenagers' funerals', 'Grief and anger after Israel teenager deaths', and 'On road where teens vanished'.

These all strongly, and rightly, expressed the broadcaster's empathy with the fact that something terrible had happened. But when has the BBC ever expressed this level of concern for the deaths of Palestinian teenagers? The question matters because consistent empathic bias has the effect of humanising Israelis for the public and dehumanising Palestinians. This is an extremely lethal form of media propaganda with real consequences for human suffering.

A Guardian editorial noted that the killings 'had shocked [Israel] to the core'. Western leaders had also expressed solidarity - an outpouring of concern that contrasted with the reaction to Palestinian deaths, which 'so often pass with barely a murmur'. But that was all the Guardian editors had to say.

The missing, ugly reality is that over the last 13 years, on average, one Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every 3 days.

Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000, 1,523 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel's occupation forces. Over the same time period, 129 Israeli children have been killed. Thus, the ratio of Palestinian children to Israeli children killed is more than ten to one. You would be forgiven for not having the slightest inkling of this from Western media coverage. Even in the past few days, in reporting the massive Israeli operation to find the teenagers, only the briefest of nods has been given to the 'five Palestinians, including a number of minors, [who were] killed' in the process.

Following the tragic discovery of the bodies of the three Israeli teenagers, corporate journalism gave headline attention to President Obama's condemnation of 'this senseless act of terror against innocent youth'. Significant coverage was given to the shocked reaction of prime minister David Cameron who said:

'This was an appalling and inexcusable act of terror perpetrated against young teenagers. Britain will stand with Israel as it seeks to bring to justice those responsible.'

But when have Obama or Cameron ever condemned the killing of Palestinian youths or children by Israelis in this vehement way?

We can easily see the contrast in media treatment of Israeli and Palestinian deaths by observing the lack of coverage, and the silence of Western leaders, about two young Palestinians, Nadim Nuwara, 17, and Muhammad Abu al-Thahir, 16, who were shot dead by Israeli security forces in May. The BBC did not entirely ignore the killings. But the deaths were presented as a murky event in which the truth was strongly disputed:

'A human rights group has released a video it says shows two teenage Palestinians being shot dead by Israeli security forces at a protest last week.' (Our emphasis.)

The BBC report was quick to present the Israeli viewpoint upfront:

'But the Israeli military said the video had been edited and did not document the "violent nature" of the incident.
'It also questioned a claim that live ammunition had been fired at the boys.'

A few days later, the Israeli military ordered the removal of the CCTV cameras that had captured the killings. The security cameras belonged to Fakher Sayed who ran a nearby carpentry shop. And the interest in this from BBC News and the rest of the corporate media? Zero, as far as we can tell.

Every violent death is a tragedy. But the disproportionate coverage given to Israeli and Palestinian deaths is symptomatic of a deep-rooted, pro-Israel bias. Why is it so extreme? Because of the intense pressure brought to bear on the media by the powerful Israeli lobby, and by allied US-UK interests strongly favouring Israel. As one senior anonymous BBC editor once put it:

'We wait in fear for the phone call from the Israelis.'


DC / DE

SUGGESTED ACTION

The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. If you do write to journalists, we strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

Please consider signing this petition set up at Change.org by activist Mark Nadim:

'Highlight the 1,500 Palestinian Children Killed by Israeli 'Defence' Force since 2000, and Restraint and Peacemaking rather than Condoning 'Inevitable' Collective Death Sentence!'

Write to:

Paul Royall, editor of BBC News at Ten, and BBC News at Six
Email: paul.royall@bbc.co.uk
Twitter: @paulroyall

Please blind-copy us in on any exchanges or forward them to us later at:
editor@medialens.org

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who kindly responded to our recent appeal for funds. There were too many people to thank individually, but we really do appreciate your support.