A TERRORIST SPEAKS OF ISIS AND HAMAS IN ONE BREATH

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The rise of ISIS and its rivalry with other groups does pose a challenge but in a less direct way than Netanyahu suggests. In a visit earlier this month to Jordan, I found Da’ash (as ISIS is known according to its Arabic acronym) on everybody’s lips regardless of an individual’s political affiliation. Those of an Islamist bent regarded the upstart as a challenge and a rival, not an ally.

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Netanyahu’s Convenient Lies About ISIS and Hamas

By Nathan Brown

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Benjamin Netanyahu, left; anti-ISIS fighter, right / Getty Images

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Speaking at the General Assembly this week, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated a refrain he has sounded for three decades (since his days as Israeli ambassador to the U.N.) — that all forms of terrorism are different sides of the same coin and have civilization as their target:

So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. And what they share in common all militant Islamists share in common. Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabab in Somalia, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Al-Nusra in Syria, the Mahdi army in Iraq, and the Al-Qaida branches in Yemen, Libya, the Philippines, India and elsewhere.

The startling assortment of groups; the lumping of a Shiite movement (Hezbollah) with those that can treat Shi‘a as apostates; the linking of Israel’s enemies with those now targeted by the United States — all this is politically convenient. But is it accurate?

Well, yes of course — in the same sense that France’s François Hollande, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Israel’s HaPoel Tel Aviv all spring from the same socialist movement. It’s not clear how such claims aid understanding, analysis or policy.

The rise of ISIS and its rivalry with other groups does pose a challenge but in a less direct way than Netanyahu suggests. In a visit earlier this month to Jordan, I found Da’ash (as ISIS is known according to its Arabic acronym) on everybody’s lips regardless of an individual’s political affiliation. Those of an Islamist bent regarded the upstart as a challenge and a rival, not an ally.

There seems to be some level of sympathy for Da’ash not because of the barbarity of its behavior but for its ability to threaten an international order that is seen as unjust. I spoke with Jordanian officials who seemed more concerned with the interest Da’ash generated among disaffected Jordanians than its actual core supporters.

But that places the leadership of some of the groups Netanyahu identifies in a very awkward position. On the one hand, they reject Da’ash’s ideas, methods, textual interpretations and agenda. On the other hand, they note that Da’ash defiance strikes some chords among the youth and that its actions grab agenda-setting attention. Their response is therefore somewhat guarded — to criticize Da’ash’s deeds and doctrines but in tones that fall far short of the horrified revulsion expressed elsewhere. The result sounds cagey and calculated — because it is.

Recent U.S. moves to engage Da’ash militarily may help these groups square the circle — not because the groups are all the same but because of the way in which they are rivals jostling for position. By turning their critical words against the U.S. — and thus shifting focus to the deeply unpopular U.S. military and security presence in most of the region — such rivals can maintain their distance from Da’ash without losing those whose inclinations might otherwise gravitate to more radical or disgruntled forces.

In two conversations with Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood leaders — one whose extremely hawkish views landed him in prison once and the other whose extreme dovish views have led to his estrangement from the movement — I was struck by the identical way they referred to Da’ash. They both brought it up (I was interviewing them for utterly unrelated work I’m doing on Islamic legal debates) and went on to describe it as a violent movement whose ways they found wrong but still saw as a product of the violence and occupation inflicted on the region. Such a stance was sincere — but also politically adept.

All actors are caught making some difficult political choices. Da’ash’s opponents of various stripes are trying to figure out how much they share and how much they can combat their foe militarily without aggravating the situation politically.

Israel likewise faces some difficult political choices with Hamas. Netanyahu’s formulation of the problem to an international audience may be politically useful in garnering sympathy for Israel in some circles. But when Israel turns its attention from speechifying to hard realities, it will likely conclude that its Hamas problem does not get easier by making it so much larger.

Nathan Brown is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.

 

The views expressed in this article is the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

WORSE THAN ISIS???

'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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WASHINGTON – While the Islamic State group is getting the most attention now, another band of extremists in Syria – a mix of hardened jihadis from Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Europe – poses a more direct and imminent threat to the United States, working with Yemeni bomb-makers to target US aviation, American officials said.

 

Full AP Report HERE

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Compliments of Michael Rivero @ WRH

Compliments of Michael Rivero @ WRH

NEW IRAQI VIDEO SHOWS HOW ISIS WAS ‘BORN’

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The video presented below was intended as satire ….. BUT, the symbolism is as real as it can get. ISIS was born out of a union of Satan (USA) and Israel …. but we already knew that ;)

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In a promo for the soon-to-come anti-ISIS show, broadcast several times daily on Al-Iraqiyya, we meet a Jewess adorned with a big Star of David necklace. “I hope to get a ring on my finger by someone who will destroy the country,” she says, then points to the red-clad devil, who says, “We will name our child ISIS.” The subtext here is a conspiracy theory, currently circulating in Iraq and elsewhere, that suggests Zionists created ISIS with the intention of ruining Islam.

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Full report HERE

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Also see THIS post

WHY DID THE WEST CREATE ISIS WHEN THEY ALREADY HAD ZIONISM?

Even Jon Stewart can’t take the ISIS ‘threat’ seriously …. why should we? More and more people are waking up to the fact of who the real enemy really is.

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ISIS: ‘American-Zionist Tool’ for Dismembering Iraq (Sotal Iraq, Iraq)

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 If America had been truly serious about putting Iraq on the right path and instituting a genuine democracy, it would have issued legislation to protect human dignity and the right of the people to live within a framework of liberty, peace, security and safety! Instead, the United States did just the opposite, disrupting Iraq’s civilizational project.

“Strangely enough, America today is fighting ISIS, and has sent experts to Iraq for that very purpose. For whom? For the love of Iraqis? And for whose benefit does America support ISIS and provide it with weapons in Syria? For whose benefit does it support the al-Nusra Front? … Today it is essential for us to stand against, pay careful attention to, and analyze carefully, all American and Israeli plans. We must all join to defeat their criminal designs for undermining Iraq, and their tool of implementation, ISIS.”

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Globe & Mail, Canada

Globe & Mail, Canada

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By Ali Abed Al Ghazzi 

Translated By Lina Barakat-Masroujeh

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No observer of events can justifiably describe America’s role in the Middle East as one of a neutral advocate of liberty and peace, because the U.S. shows no concern for Arabs or Islamic interests. It is entirely concerned with securing its hegemony over the entire region to ensure the protection of its own economic interests and the security interests of Israel.

Following the 2003 occupation of this ancient society, which has well-established roots and stretches far back in history, America employed a reckless and cunning policy of spreading sectarianism in order to dismember and dissociate Iraq’s social and intellectual fabric.

The United States knew how to sow its malicious ideas with the rules and regulations imposed by the notorious [U.S. Proconsul] L. Paul Bremer. Bremer dissolved the Army, and his de-Baathification allowed militias to integrate into the armed forces, which fostered sectarianism and religious, ethnic and racial strife, establishing a system that encouraged the division of Iraq. Ultimately, that was the key objective.

If America had been truly serious about putting Iraq on the right path and instituting a genuine democracy, it would have issued legislation to protect human dignity and the right of the people to live within a framework of liberty, peace, security and safety! Instead, the United States did just the opposite, disrupting Iraq’s civilizational project.

Strangely enough, America today is fighting ISIS, and has sent experts to Iraq for that very purpose. For whom? For the love of Iraqis? And for whose benefit does America support ISIS and provide it with weapons in Syria? For whose benefit does it support the al-Nusra Front?

Everyone should be aware that America, with its policies of double standards, its purely demagogic methods, and its changing of colors in the region, are in place only to serve its own special interests. What does America and its Zionist and Freemason allies want from Iraq after the catastrophes of Mosul and Tikrit? [ISIS overran both cities and continues to occupy them].

Today it is essential for us to stand against, pay careful attention to, and analyze carefully, all American and Israeli plans. We must all join to defeat their criminal designs for undermining Iraq, and their tool of implementation, ISIS. And we much take special care not to exclude any of Iraq’s religions, ethnicities, or races. Iraq is in dire need of a nation that stands with our armed forces to deter these traitors and ISIS scum.

For the sake of protecting Iraq’s land, sky, and water, and maintaining the cohesion of the nation, remember that Allah never forsakes those who believe in Him, and that defending the homeland is a sacred duty in all religions.

 

Original report in Arabic HERE

 

Source

9/11/14 ~~ THE BAR MITZVAH OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

Goldstone barred from grandson's Bar Mitzvah Published in Mail & Guardian on 22 Apr 2010

Goldstone barred from grandson’s Bar Mitzvah
Published in Mail & Guardian on 22 Apr 2010

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Actually, the demonization of Islam started earlier than 13 years ago, but 9/11/01 was the official date that it became America’s ‘proud baby boy’. Islamophobia took its place in history to replace the Cold War which ended shortly before the demise of the Soviet Union itself. America needed a new enemy so it created one, with a little help from its friends.

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'Demonization of Islam' "Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Demonization of Islam’
“Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Some of those friends were even caught dancing in the streets of New York in celebration of the Twin Towers’ attack …

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The mentally challenged US President at the time of the attack was seen reading a book to children … UPSIDE DOWN!

Duh!

Duh!

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We still do not have the answers to the role he played in the attacks … but he had enough warning  not to be in the White House when they occurred.

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"Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

“Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

There are still over 100 unanswered questions that can be found HERE

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Why does America refuse to admit that others are victim to the same forces of hatred and terrorism that attacked them thirteen years ago today? Worse yet, why does America continue to hide the fact that it is they who are orchestrating those very forces?

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al-qaeda-taliban-isis

'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

 

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Thirteen years ago today America was attacked. Civilians died. Thirteen years later it is still making headline news….
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Gaza is attacked every day. Civilians die every day. It never makes headline news in the West. It’s as if it never happens…. BUT IT DOES.
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A pro Palestinian blogger posted the following a few years ago, it says it all!

Dear America, your 9/11 is our 24/7.

Sincerely, Palestine.

That’s the entire post, short and very much to the point.
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The plight of those in Gaza and the rest of Palestine is not only omitted in the media, it is hidden from the eyes of the Western population altogether. Palestine, Gaza in particular, simply does not exist.
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To date, one of the best reports I have seen regarding 9/11 was written by my son Peter six years ago …
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I am Not a Conspiracy Theorist: 9/11 Facts or Fictions?

By Peter Amsel

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Living in the world today can be quite difficult, especially if you feel the need to avoid the moral and intellectual pitfalls that “modern” life provides. However, this is something that only becomes difficult if you feel a need to avoid compromising your moral compass (assuming such exists), otherwise it should not be a serious impediment. There are many things about myself and my character that I like to believe are true and reasonably noble, amongst that list would be that I am willing to take correction from others when I make mistakes and that I try to be as generous of my time, energies and resources as much as I am able. While these are not the only traits that I would like to trumpet, humility is also a trait that I am aware that I have, but am in need of more.

Having said that, there is one thing that I am truly thankful that I possess, and that is the ability to reason. This is by no means a unique gift as it defines our species in our ability to look at information and make decisions based on the facts that have been presented to us. Being reasonable means that we are able to look at information and ideas even if they come to us from people and sources that we may not immediately trust and assess that information. We look at material without prejudice, allowing the truth to be revealed, allowing the obfuscations and machinations of the special interest groups, lobbyists and anyone else with something to gain by the perpetration of lies to be shut out through the acknowledgement that the truth shall, indeed, set you free.

Unfortunately, alas, that is not how the “real world” seems to operate. Alas, that seems to be just the opposite as to how things work. Before anything else is said, there is one other trait that I am very proud to possess: I am not, in any way, shape or form, a conspiracy theorist. I believe that men walked on the moon. I believe that a lone man, using a single rifle (having been trained as a Marine by the United States and having attained sharp shooter status) assassinated JFK. I believe that Area 51 is, in fact, a Top Secret (UMBRA) Military Base used for the testing and development of new aircraft for the USAF (including the U2, SR71, B1, B2, F117, F22, F35, and the UCAV’s that are currently being deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan).

I am not a believer in conspiracies.

We have not been told the truth about 9/11; we have been lied to and the people that have told the lies know that the truth has been concealed from the public; furthermore, they know that the truth is not “out there”, it has been examined by experts in their field, experts that are willing to openly dispute the “findings” of the “9/11 Commission”, a work of fantasy and fiction that fed the American people a pile of obfuscation that stank of the stench of the rotting corpses trapped in the rubble of Ground Zero.

I will never be able to forget that morning; I was in the basement working on the computer when the phone rang. My step-father’s frantic voice told me to turn on CNN; a plane had just crashed into the WTC. The rest of that day I watched. I watched, prayed, wept, cried, sobbed, prayed, and cried some more. My parents are from New York and I spent the majority of my summer vacations visiting family there; even though I had been born and raised in Canada, this felt like an attack on my own home. I was talking to a friend in Toronto when the first tower collapsed. It seemed wrong then, too fast, too symmetrical … too … perfect. Then the second tower fell.

 

Continue reading this at his BLOG

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There are still other unanswered questions …. WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?

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Uncle Sam still wants us to believe that 9/11 is a thorn in his side

'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ ISIS THE TROJAN HORSE

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Just look who’s hiding inside ….

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#OperationFailedCeasefire ~~ WHY ISRAEL FAILED TO ACHIEVE ITS GOALS THROUGH TERROR

With the end of the ceasefire and the failure of permanent truce negotiations mediated by Egypt, Israel resumed its full-scale massacre in Gaza, killing 22 people on Wednesday.

Why did the truce talks break down? I discussed this question on Al Jazeera English on Wednesday evening, explaining that Israel rejected far-reaching and generous Palestinian offers.

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Video: “Israel has failed to achieve its goals through terror,” says Ali Abunimah

#STOP ISRAELI TERRORISM

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Perhaps if I start my own Hashtag, some attention might be brought to the newest round of collective punishment and atrocities carried out by the Israeli government, all in response to the disappearance of three Israeli teens presumably kidnapped.

Israel has been appealing to every nation in the world to justify their actions …. actions that will surely guarantee that these boys will never see their families ever again.

Hate begats hate! That is exactly what we are witnessing. Innocents on both sides of the wall will suffer. No family should go through the anguish of not knowing where their child is. No family should go through the anguish of burying their child. There is anguish on both sides of that infamous wall.

Individual Israelis have launched their own counter campaigns to bring the teens home. Their FaceBook and Twitter pages and videos are going viral on the Net …

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Here are just a few links of the most recent actions by Israel …

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 West Bank operation delivers a strategic blow to Hamas

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IDF Re-Arrests 50 Terrorists Freed in Shalit Deal

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Israel detains 40 Palestinians as search for teens continues

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Those are the reports that the International Community views … BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS ??

Does anyone get to see this??

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Help us get that video viral as well …. let the world see what is really going on. Join forces with my Hashtag to #STOP ISRAELI TERRORISM!

LAX SHOOTING // IT WASN’T A MUSLIM SO IT ISN’T TERRORISM

Despite the government having fairly clear definitions of what constitutes an act of “terrorism,” the terms “terrorist” or “terrorism” are used not to describe actions but to label people.

It is clear these are racialized terms, applied in a discriminatory way to people perceived as Muslim, Arab or nonwhite. And as such they are terms that stigmatize entire groups of people and to justify the government’s increasingly unaccountable power.

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Why isn’t the government calling the LAX shooting “terrorism?”

Ali Abunimah 

LAX shooting suspect Paul Ciancia

 (AP/FBI)

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“Paul Ciancia, the alleged gunman who paralyzed much of Los Angeles International Airport [LAX] in a Friday shooting spree, could have turned the nation’s third-busiest airport into a massive killing zone had it not been for the quick response by airport police,” officials told USA Today on Saturday.

Using an assault rifle, Ciancia allegedly shot and killed Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer, and injured two more TSA officers and two civilians before he was stopped.

Ciancia was shot and injured by police and taken into custody. He has been charged, among other offenses, with killing a federal officer.

Based on available information, Ciancia’s alleged actions amount to a textbook case of “terrorism” according to the US government’s own definitions. But for some reason neither media nor officials are describing it that way.

It is instructive to look at how the US defines “terrorism” and compare the reaction to the LAX shooting to the aftermath of last April’s Boston Marathon bombing.

US definition of “terrorism”

As I’ve noted previously, the US government has no single definition of “terrorism” but the National Institute of Justice at the US Department of Justice points to two influential standards that are in use, one enshrined in law and the other provided by the FBI:

Title 22 of the US Code, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Both definitions of terrorism share a common theme: the use of force intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal. In most cases, NIJ researchers adopt the FBI definition, which stresses methods over motivations and is generally accepted by law enforcement communities.

These definitions, it should also be noted, are carefully crafted to avoid including state violence as “terrorism” even when in every other respect, except the identity of its perpetrator, it fits the descriptions.

Ciancia’s alleged motive

Based on information released by officials, Ciancia’s intent was not in doubt. USA Todayreports:

Investigators recovered a rambling note from the bag the shooter allegedly was carrying, which detailed an intent to “kill” TSA officers, said two federal law enforcement officials familiar with the message’s contents.

[FBI Special Agent David] Bowdich said the handwritten note made it clear that the suspect intended to kill “multiple” TSA employees and to “instill fear into their traitorous minds.

The officials, who are not authorized to comment publicly, told USA TODAY that the note was written in a way that suggested the author expected to lose his life.

One of the officials described the incident as a suicide mission.

The Associated Press described the materials that were allegedly in Ciancia’s possession as “Patriot movement propaganda.”

There is no doubt Ciancia’s alleged actions clearly meet the government definition of “terrorism”: there is evidence of premeditation, a clear anti-government motivation and an intent to “instill fear.”

If any example of violence deserves to be treated as “terrorism” then it is hard to think of a more clear-cut example.

Is it “terrorism” yet?

And yet, neither major media nor public officials have, as far as I can determine, applied the terms “terrorism” or “terrorist” to what happened at LAX.

While the incident received major news coverage, there has been no national panic on the scale that followed the 15 April Boston Marathon bombing.

Recall that after that attack, media and officials all rushed to declare the incident a “terrorist” attack.

President Barack Obama, after initially hesitating, described the Boston bombing as an “act of terrorism” the very next day even before the identities of the suspects were known.

With the “terrorism” panic in full force, the city of Boston was placed under an unprecedented curfew – effectively martial law – with thousands of police scouring the streets and invading people’s homes as the search for the suspects went on.

After 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured by police, Obama made astatement declaring: “We will investigate any associations that these terrorists may have had. And we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.”

He followed up with a video address to the nation, declaring that “an act of terror wounded dozens and killed three people at the Boston Marathon.”

Members of Congress demanded publicly that the surviving Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, be treated as an “enemy combatant.”

In fact officials of Obama’s Justice Department deprived Tsarnaev of his basic civil rights by questioning him for an extended period after he was taken into custody without reading him his Miranda rights. This violation met with broad public and elite approval.

After all, weren’t we dealing with “terrorism?”

Contrast

Contrast this with Obama’s silence after the LAX shooting. There’s no statement about it on the White House website as of today.

Obama has kept a low profile, speaking to officials by telephone, but saying nothing publicly to reassure an alarmed nation of his resolve against “terrorism.”

What’s important to remember is that in the Boston case, unlike the LAX shooting, there was and is no clear evidence of a political motivation that would meet the government’s definitions of terrorism.

The only “evidence” was that Dzhokar and his older brother Tamerlan, killed during the manhunt, were of Chechen ancestry and Muslim background.

Despite massive efforts, the government has found no credible evidence that the Tsarnaevs were acting on behalf of any group.

(More than a month after the bombing an anonymous official source claimed – rather incredibly – that the heavily bleeding Dzhokar had scrawled a note on the side of the boat he was hiding in when he was captured, stating the attack had something to do with US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan).

Meanwhile, police have uncovered evidence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved in a triple homicide in 2011, suggesting a hardened criminal who did not kill from a political motivation.

Not if it’s a white guy…

By now it should be clear that there is a pattern: acts of spectacular violence, predominantly by white men, are rarely termed “terrorist” even when all the evidence points in that direction according to the government’s own standards.

The LAX shooting is not an isolated case. Recall that on 18 February 2010, Andrew Joseph Stack flew an aircraft into an Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas, in an apparent suicide mission.

Stack killed himself and an IRS worker, Vernon Hunter. And just like Ciancia allegedly did, Stack also left a note explaining his anti-government motivations.

Yet even as information about Stack emerged, the Obama White House and various public officials refused to label his suicide mission a “terrorist” attack.

Similarly, Obama refused to term the August 2012 massacre of six persons at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin a “terrorist” attack.

The shooter, Wade Michael Page, was a US army veteran and white supremacist.

Blaming “mental illness”

Instead of the “terrorism” label, the media immediately begin to pursue a line of thought suggesting that the suspect (if white) is “mentally ill” or a “disturbed” loner.

This is already happening with Ciancia, whom The New York Times described today as “a troubled 23-year-old, with an assault rifle and an apparent grudge against the government.”

Ciancia, we are informed, attended a Catholic school, but there’s no speculation about what role religious education might have played in his alleged actions.

“Several family friends, neighbors and classmates described him as having been a reserved, quiet boy who, along with his younger brother, Taylor, seemed to be scarred by his mother’s long battle with multiple sclerosis and her death in 2009,” the Times reports.

It quotes a 21-year-old server in a local diner in the family’s New Jersey hometown claiming that the Ciancia brothers “had some depression issues, and they both got obsessive.” The Times does not explain what qualifications the server had to make such a clinical diagnosis.

Aside from stigmatizing mental illness, the absence of this knee-jerk reaction when Muslims are accused reflects a bizarre belief that only white people can be “disturbed” or “mentally ill.”

“Terrorist” as a racial term

Despite the government having fairly clear definitions of what constitutes an act of “terrorism,” the terms “terrorist” or “terrorism” are used not to describe actions but to label people.

It is clear these are racialized terms, applied in a discriminatory way to people perceived as Muslim, Arab or nonwhite. And as such they are terms that stigmatize entire groups of people and to justify the government’s increasingly unaccountable power.

 

Written FOR

10 WAYS TO REDUCE THE THREAT OF TERRORIST ATTACKS ON AMERICANS

This 10-point plan would significantly reduce terrorist threats, save taxpayers billions of dollars and make Americans more loved and admired in the world.
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10 ways to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks on Americans
Medea Benjamin

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drone
Pakistani tribesmen show a poster of drone strike victims. (Photo: Getty Images via CNN)
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  1. Declare a moratorium on drone strikes: The head of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is calling on jihadists to retaliate for US drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. The Yemeni group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), where the US says the threats are emanating from, is also calling for retaliation for drones strikes (there have been four strikes in Yemen since July 28). Drone strikes have become the number one recruiting tool for extremists. By grounding the drones, we will stop creating new enemies faster than we can kill them.

  1. Close the US drone base in Saudi Arabia: One of the reasons Osama bin Laden said he hated the United States was that the US had military bases in the Holy Lands in Saudi Arabia. President Bush quietly closed those bases in 2003 but in 2010 President Obama secretly reopened a base there for launching drones into Yemen. It’s a national security threat ripe for blowback. So are many of the over 800 US bases peppered all over the world. We can save billions of taxpayer dollars, and make ourselves safer, by closing them.

  1. Free the 86 Guantanamo prisoners cleared for release: The US treatment of Guantanamo prisoners, holding people indefinitely without charges or trials and brutally force-feeding the hunger strikers, is an affront to people throughout the Muslim world and a blatant hypocrisy of our American values. Of the 166 prisoners left in Guantanamo, 86 have been cleared for release, meaning the US government has determined they represent no threat to our nation. President Obama can use the waiver system, certifying to Congress that it is in the US national interest to release them. He just did this, for the first time, for two Algerian prisoners. He should do this for all 86 cleared prisoners, then bring the remaining prisoners to the US for trials.

  1. Apologize and compensate innocent victims: There is a perception in the Muslim world that the US government does not value their lives. Airstrikes have killed many innocent people and only in the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq has there been a way, albeit woefully inadequate, for aggrieved families to seek redress. The US should agree to apologize and compensate the families of innocent people who have been killed or maimed by the US armed forces or CIA.

  1. Go for the “zero option” in Afghanistan: withdraw all US troops: The 11-year US occupation of Afghanistan has provided fodder for the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, while propping up an unpopular and corrupt regime in Kabul. And if the US troops were not in Afghanistan, the Taliban would not be trying to cross the Pakistani border to kill US soldiers. President Obama promised to end the US occupation by the end of 2014, but is now weighing options for keeping thousands of troops  and military contractors behind. Bad idea.

  1. Sit down and talk: The Taliban opened an office in Qatar in June to finally start long-delayed talks with the US. But due to President Karzai’s objections, the talks were nixed. It’s long past the time to talk to the Taliban, and then move on to talk to those elements in Al Qaeda who are more rational and open to negotiations. If you look at the Rand Corporation’s study of the demise of 268 terrorist groups, 43% dissolved by joining the political process, 40% from  better policing, and only 7% through military action. We’ve been using military action for over a decade; it’s time for another approach.

  1. Stop supporting dictatorships and repressive militaries: The US recently signed the largest arms deal in history with the monarchy of Saudi Arabia, the same government that rolled its tanks into neighboring Bahrain to crush the democratic uprising there. In Egypt, US weapons and tear gas were used for decades against peaceful demonstrators, and continue to be used against peaceful protesters supporting ousted Muslim Brotherhood. While weapons sales to undemocratic and/or unstable regimes might be good for US weapons manufacturers, they are bad for the reputation and security of the American people.

  1. Support non-violent democracy movements: Terrorists thrive best where there is chaos and instability. Nurturing democratic institutions and non-violent civil society are key to thwarting the growth of extremist movements. The US needs to do more than support these efforts; it also needs to listen to them. In Yemen, the US is helping to fund the 6-month experiment in democracy called the National Dialogue Conference, where 565 extremely diverse members of society are meeting daily to map out the nation’s future. The Conference recently passed, by overwhelming vote, a resolution declaring drones strikes and all extrajudicial killing illegal. Unfortunately, the US has refused to abide by the popular will thus far.

  1. Adhere to the international rule of law: In its war on terror, the US has been killing terror suspects with blatant disregard for international law and national sovereignty. A July 18 Pew poll of 39 nations found fierce global opposition to US drone strikes, particularly in the Muslim world. If the US wants help and sympathy in rooting out would-be attackers, it has to show the world it will stop using extrajudicial assassinations and start adhering to international law.  

  1. Spend foreign aid money on education, healthcare and lifting people out of poverty: For a fraction of the money we keep wasting each month on the failed war in Afghanistan or supporting the already wealthy Israeli military, we could be building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, helping Yemenis find a solution to their water shortages, and providing humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees. We’ll make a lot more friends building clinics, wells, electrical grids and schools than vaporizing people with Hellfire missiles.

This 10-point plan would significantly reduce terrorist threats, save taxpayers billions of dollars and make Americans more loved and admired in the world. After a decade of wielding the military stick, it’s time for some carrots.

Written FOR

RUSHING TO JUDGEMENT IN BOSTON

Two related reports ….
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Obama’s rush to judgment: Was the Boston bombing really a “terrorist” act?

 Ali Abunimah
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President Obama has repeatedly claimed that the Boston Marathon bombing was an “act of terror” and that its alleged perpetrators are “terrorists.”

It may seem pointless to quibble with this description: after all what could be more “terroristic” than setting off bombs at a peaceful sporting event killing three persons, one a child, and injuring or horrifically maiming dozens more?

But in fact how the act is described is very important in determining government, media and wider societal responses, including ramping up racism and bigotry against Muslims, Arabs or people of color.

There can be no doubt that the Boston Marathon bombing was a murderous act, but does it –– based on what is known –– fit the US government’s own definitions of “terrorism”?

It is important to recall that other, far more lethal recent events, including the mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and the school massacre at Sandy Hook, Connecticut havenot been termed “terrorism,” nor their perpetrators labeled “terrorist” by the government. Why?

Obama’s changing descriptions

In his first statement shortly after news emerged of the bombing in Boston on 15 April 2013, Obama pointedly did not describe the attack as “terrorism.” The term is totally absent from his statement. He does say, “We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.”

It was only the next day on Tuesday, 16 April, that Obama first called the bombing an “act of terrorism” after media had pressed the White House on the issue.

Last night, after 19-year-old suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev was captured by police, Obama made a statement declaring: “We will investigate any associations that these terroristsmay have had. And we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.”

In his weekly video address today, Obama reaffirmed, “on Monday an act of terrorwounded dozens and killed three people at the Boston Marathon.”

Official definitions of “terrorism”

The US government has no single definition of “terrorism” but the National Institute of Justice at the US Department of Justice points to two influential standards that are in use, one enshrined in law and the other provided by the FBI:

Title 22 of the U.S. Code, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Both definitions of terrorism share a common theme: the use of force intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal. In most cases, NIJ researchers adopt the FBI definition, which stresses methods over motivations and is generally accepted by law enforcement communities.

What was the “political” or “social” goal of the Boston bombing?

Based on these definitions, what distinguishes a “mass shooting” such as Aurora or Sandy Hook on the one hand, from an act of “terrorism” on the other, is that the mass shooters have no political goals. Their act is nihilistic and is not carried out in furtherance of any particular cause.

So far, however, absolutely no evidence has emerged that the Boston bombing suspects acted “in furtherance of political or social objectives” or that their alleged act was “intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal.”

Nor is there any evidence that they are part of a group.

Neither of the suspects is known to have made any statement of a political or other goal for their alleged action and there has been no claim of responsibility. Obama, in his statement last night, admitted as much:

Obviously, tonight there are still many unanswered questions. Among them, why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and our country, resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help?

So why is Obama calling them “terrorists?

Since Obama has no idea why the alleged suspects may have resorted to violence and no one else has offered an evidence-based explanation, why is Obama already labeling them “terrorists” when he himself warned against a “rush to judgment?”

The only explanation I can think of is the suspects’ identification as ethnic Chechens and Muslims, even though there is no evidence that they acted either in relation to events in their ancestral homeland or were motivated by any Islamist ideology.

Obama seems to be going on the careless, prejudiced assumption so common on cable television: they’re Muslims, so they must be “terrorists.”

This may be the easy and populist way of looking at it, pandering to prejudice as Obama so often does, but it is irresponsible and violates official US policy that Obama seemed, at least on the first day, willing to observe.

How acts are labeled is highly political: recall the controversy over whether Obama was quick enough to label the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last September as “terrorism,” and the continuing demands that the government designate the November 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, allegedly perpetrated by Major Nidal Hasan, as “terrorism.”

All of these cases reinforce the widely noted observation that acts of violence, especially mass shootings, carried out typically by white males are immediately labeled as the acts of “disturbed individuals” while the acts of a person identified as “Muslim” are to be labeled “terrorism” regardless of the facts.

These are unsafe assumptions and foreclose the possibility of full understanding. Moreover, by reinforcing popular stereotypes, they give new force to the anti-Muslim backlash that seems only to be growing stronger and more poisonous as the 11 September 2001 attacks recede into the past.

It is also important to note the contrast between Obama’s eagerness to label the Boston attack as “terror” and its alleged perpetrators as “terrorists” – without evidence – and hisreluctance to label last August’s mass murder at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin as “terrorism” despite the identification of the shooter as having a history of white nationalist and supremacist activism.

Perhaps the first serious consequence of labeling Boston a “terrorist” attack was the Obama administration’s decision to deprive the suspect who was captured of his constitutional right to receive a Miranda warning on arrest, a further thinning of the already threadbare pretense of “rule of law” in post 11 September 2001 America.

Could this be another “Columbine?”

Let’s consider another possibility. Exactly 14 years ago today, 20 April 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold executed a carefully-planned attack on Columbine High School in Colorado, using guns and bombs.

The two seniors murdered 12 fellow students and one teacher before shooting themselves.

Like the Boston Marathon bombing allegedly was, the Columbine attack was carried out by two persons, and it involved some of the same methods: homemade explosives.

But the Columbine attack is remembered as a “school shooting” or a “mass shooting” – perhaps the most iconic of a sad litany of such events – but not a “terrorist” attack.

In his essential 2009 book Columbine, Dave Cullen tells the story of the attack in meticulous detail, debunking many of the popular stereotypes that persist to this day that the attack was meant to avenge bullying by “jocks.”

The evidence that emerged is that Harris was a clinically sadistic sociopath who had no ability to empathize with other human beings. Klebold was a depressive whom Harris was able to manipulate. These facts lay at the heart of what happened.

It is definitely not any more desirable in the wake of such atrocities to have a media frenzy stigmatizing all people with mental illness as potential killers any more than we want them to stigmatize all Muslims as potential terrorists – in fact people with mental illness are no more likely to be violent than anyone else, and are indeed more likely to be victims of violence. And contrary to popular stereotypes fed by the media it is exceptionally rare for Muslims to become “terrorists.”

What we do need is patient, serious and informed analysis: could the relationship between the Boston suspects be similar to those of the Columbine killers? What other factors are at at play? I don’t know, but I cannot rule anything out.

Just like President Obama, I do not know what drove the alleged Boston bombers. What I do know is that when the media and the government, egging each other on, rush to judgment, the possibility of alternative scenarios is ruled out and getting to the truth is harder.

If Boston was “terrorism” based on the little that is known, then we must be able to answer these questions: can only white or Christian males be sociopaths, or suffer from other mental illnesses that under certain conditions lead to violence?

Can only two white Colorado high school students act as a pair without “terrorist” motives? Can “Muslims” or ethnic Chechens, or Arabs never be subject to the same kind of conditions or analysis?

Surely the survivors and families of the Boston bombing deserve no less of an accounting of what happened than the victims of Columbine?

We cannot and should not rule out that evidence will emerge that the alleged Boston bombers had a political motive. But it hasn’t so far.

What we have seen is the usual rush to judgment that has left Muslims and many people of color once again fearing collective blame and the governmental and societal retribution that comes with it.

 

Written FOR

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And of course, the anti-Muslim backlash …

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So here we are, nearly 12 years after September 11 unleashed a new wave of anti-Muslim hate. 44 percent of Americans say they have an “unfavorable” view of Muslims, according to a recent poll–and that was before the Boston bombings. How little has changed.

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Boston Marathon bombings unleash a new wave of Islamophobia

by Alex Kane
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Sharia
An anti-Park 51 protester in New York City in September 2010
(Photo: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons)
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It’s happening again: another collective freakout steeped in Islamophobia. The Boston Marathon bombings have unleashed the anti-Muslim sentiment that bubbles under the surface and always shines bright in times of national hysteria. The current wave of Islamophobia the country is perpetuating and experiencing–and it’s only the beginning–is the first since the Park 51 fracas in 2010.

The news that the main suspects in the bombing are Chechen Muslims will fuel the ugly hate that has intensified since September 11. But the hate was unleashed immediately after the attack, even before the public knew that Muslims were involved. How little is needed for the brash and bigoted side of this country to come out swinging against the “Muslim enemy” we have been been so trained to fear.

It’s very easy to see the most blatant manifestations of the ugly phenomenon of Islamophobia, which casts collective blame on all Muslims. The right-wing is always the place to start. But it’s also emanating from our mainstream institutions and figures, where it’s a little more difficult to identify the Islamophobia. It’s there, though. Powerful institutions and figures are focusing on Muslims and trying to justify even more animus and surveillance targeting the Muslim community in the United States.

Let’s begin with the easiest of places: the Islamophobic media. The New York Postled the charge on this front. In the immediate hours after the Boston attack, the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid fingered a “Saudi national” who was injured in the blast as a suspect. It turns out he had nothing to do with the attack.

The other easy place to see anti-Muslim hate is, of course, the Islamophobic blogosphere. Pamela Geller went from freaking out about the Saudi to freaking out about two innocent people featured on the Post’s front page to freaking out about a missing university student to finally arriving at where everybody else is: freaking out about the Chechen suspects. What tied them all together was they all looked “Muslimy,” the term Wajahat Ali aptly used in Salon, and denotes how Muslims have become racialized in this country. There was also Steve Emerson, the faux terror “expert” welcomed by AIPAC with open arms, who opined about the “Saudi national” on television, as Ali Gharib documented.

And then there are the anti-Muslim hate crimes. ColorLines has chronicled some of them. They include: a white man punching a Palestinian woman who wears a hijab in Massachusetts; and Latino men beating up a Bangladeshi in the Bronx because he looked “Arab.”

But how easy anti-Muslim sentiment migrates over into the mainstream. Sure, this form of Islamophobia is not as blatant as Pam Geller’s. But it’s just as dangerous–if not more so, since more people imbibe what the mainstream tells them.

The mainstream media is busy speculating about whether Islam played a role in the decision to blow up the bombs at the Boston marathon. I heard one reporter ask the uncle of the suspects whether they were “radicalized” in a local mosque, apparently not knowing that the vast majority of mosques in the nation are nowhere near “radical.” This is the soft bigotry the mainstream is engaging in.

Another culprit that has bought into Islamophobia, and therefore legitimizing it, is law enforcement. Return back to the Saudi national story. As The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson writes, “he was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in ‘a startling show of force,’ as his fellow-tenants described it to the Boston Herald, with a ‘phalanx’ of officers and agents and two K9 units.” Davidson goes on to ask: “Why the search, the interrogation, the dogs, the bomb squad, and the injured man’s name tweeted out, attached to the word ‘suspect’?” The question answers itself. He was Saudi. He was Arab. That’s enough for a lot of people, including law enforcement. It speaks volumes that the only injured person to have his home searched by law enforcement was the Saudi national.

Finally, let’s look at the man who runs the city that suffered the nation’s most catastrophic terrorist attack. Mayor Michael Bloomberg sought to reassure New York City in the aftermath of the Boston attacks. But he ended up exploiting the attacks for his own political purposes. At a press conference on Tuesday, he crassly said: “The moment that we let our guard down, the moment we get complacent, the moment we allow special interests to shape our security strategies, is the moment that the terrorists are waiting for. As a country, we may not be able to thwart every attack. We saw that yesterday. But we must do everything we possibly can to try.”

“Security strategies.” It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Bloomberg is referring to the New York Police Department’s tactic of spying on Muslim communities with no regard as to whether people are innocent or guilty of any crime. Don’t get complacent: stop criticizing the NYPD, the mayor says. They’re doing their job, and their job is to map Muslim communities, eavesdrop on conversations and catalog innocent people in police documents related to terrorism. And those “special interests”? That’s a clear as day reference to the Muslims who are fighting back against the spy program and to the allies who have joined them in that fight.

What Bloomberg doesn’t acknowledge is that the police department itself has admitted in court that their surveillance program has not stopped a single act of terrorism. Not one. Which begs the question: how can the “security strategies” Bloomberg is defending help prevent the next Boston? They can’t. But Bloomberg wants to justify a program that is Islamophobic at its core.

So here we are, nearly 12 years after September 11 unleashed a new wave of anti-Muslim hate. 44 percent of Americans say they have an “unfavorable” view of Muslims, according to a recent poll–and that was before the Boston bombings. How little has changed. 

 

 

Written FOR

 

ISLAMOPHOBIA GETS A NEW INFUSION

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
3-faces-of-islamophobia
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Even before the suspects in the Boston bombing are apprehended, the verdict has already been handed down and it apparently has been decided that they are Moslems.
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Needless to say, the corporate media is having a heyday with this  …
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According to several Muslims interviewed by the media, when a white man carries out a crime, he is looked at as an individual, but when the suspect is Muslim, the entire Muslim-American community is labeled.

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After Boston attack: US Muslims reliving post 9-11 experience

Some 6 million Muslims live in US, and in days following Boston Marathon attack, they say they are experiencing anew harassment and anxiety which took place after 9/11. Says one Muslim youth who was at marathon finish line and whose photo was posted online, ‘I’m afraid to go to school’

Yitzhak Benhorin*

Muslims in the US are living in fear, praying that those responsible for the bombings in Boston will be apprehended and shown to be non-Muslim. Over the last few days, reports of harassment of Arabs and Muslims have been coming up throughout the US, especially at places of employment and in schools.

Apprehensions were raised among Arabs and Muslims after the New York Post published the photos of two Muslim teens, who the paper’s headlines claimed, were wanted by authorities for questioning in relation to the Boston bombings.

A short time after the attack, the main headline on the newspaper’s site had stated that at least 12 people had been killed and that the main suspect was a Saudi who had been arrested by Boston Police. Law enforcement quickly denied the reports, saying they had not arrested a Saudi national, or anyone else.

On Thursday, the New York Post published a photo of the two youth, both 17. The paper wrote that Salah Eddin Barhoum and his friend, Yassine Zaime, had been seen close to the marathon finish line. Later the paper retracted its earlier report, saying the two were not the ones being looked for and that the FBI had identified other suspects.

But Salah Barhoum, a son of Morrocan immigrant parents and a high school track runner, was so shocked by the publicity, that when he noticed someone in a car outside his high school watching him and talking on a phone, he quickly ran back into the school.

הרגעים שלאחר הפיגוע בבוסטון (צילום: AP)

Police, runner react to explosion (Photo: AP)*

Barhoum said that after his photo appeared on the cover of the Post, he received over 200 messages, one from someone in Oregon saying, “How could you do that? Did you even think about the consequences?”

In an interview with the AP, Barhoum said he will not feel safe until the party responsible for the attack is caught. “I’m going to be scared going to school. Work wise, my family, everything is going to be scary.”

The Barhoum family emigrated from Morocco to the US five years ago, and the father, El Houssein Barhoum said he is afraid someone will shoot his son, and that he worries about the safety of his wife and daughters. He himself admits he is afraid to go to his job at a Boston bakery.

The BBC also spoke with several random Muslims they met on US city streets. One 10-year-old boy, identified only as Yusef, said when he arrived at his Ohio school after the attack, he was asked questions by classmates regarding his family. During a class discussion on the attacks, another student asked whether Yusef would blow up the school. The teacher, who did not understand Yusuf’s reply, pulled him aside and held him back until his school locker was checked.

Since the Monday attack,US Muslims are experiencing an intense change in the treatment they receive from others, as they did after September 11. Memories from 2001 are resurfacing for the estimated 6 million Muslims throughout the nation.

The greatest apprehension for Muslims following 9/11 was brought on by the fact that the attackers did turn out to be Muslim.

According to several Muslims interviewed by the media, when a white man carries out a crime, he is looked at as an individual, but when the suspect is Muslim, the entire Muslim-American community is labeled.

From

OBAMA’S BIGOTED SYMPATHIES

In 2010, when he traveled to India, Obama refused to visit the main shrine of Sikhism, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, because he did not want to be photographed wearing a Sikh headcovering and be confused for a Muslim by illiterate Americans back home.

Obama was pandering to racists then, as he is despicably doing now. The difference now is that blood has been spilled in Wisconsin, and the time for this kind of cowardice ought to have passed.

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Obama more sympathetic to Israelis killed in Bulgaria than to Sikh Americans murdered in Wisconsin

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 

President Barack Obama during a phone call from Air Force One on 1 August 2012.

 (White House Photo)

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As soon as news came of a bomb attack that killed Israeli tourists in Bulgaria on 18 July, US President Barack Obama condemned it in the most strident terms – even though, then, as now, the perpetrator and his motive remain unknown.

Obama’s statement left no room for ambiguity:

I strongly condemn today’s barbaric terrorist attack on Israelis in Bulgaria. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured, and with the people of Israel, Bulgaria, and any other nation whose citizens were harmed in this awful event. These attacks against innocent civilians, including children, are completely outrageous.The United States will stand with our allies, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack. As Israel has tragically once more been a target of terrorism, the United States reaffirms our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security, and our deep friendship and solidarity with the Israeli people.

Such sentiments at the killing of innocent people are understandable. But why has Obama so far refused to condemn in equally strong terms Wade Michael Page’s murderous rampage that killed six people at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin yesterday?

Obama won’t call it “terrorism”

In one White House statement yesterday, Obama called the Wisconsin massacre “a senseless act of violence.” In another, he called it “a tragic shooting.”

It has since been confirmed that the FBI is treating the attack as “domestic terrorism” and it has now become clear that the killer has a long history of white supremacist views and activism.

Yet in further comments today, Obama treated the attack as just another (all too awful) mass shooting as happened in Aurora, Colorado on 20 July.

As ABC reports:

President Obama said today that he is “heartbroken” by the deadly shooting at the Sikh religious center in Wisconsin and renewed his call to reduce violence across the country.

“I think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul searching and to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office when asked about the gunman who killed six people in Oak Creek Sunday.

The president made similar remarks after the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colo., last month, but is not proposing any additional gun controls. “What I want to do is bring together law enforcement, community leaders, faith leaders, elected officials at every level to see how we can make continued progress,” he said today.

Obama reluctant to point to racism

Obama continued, according to ABC:

“We don’t yet know fully what motivated this individual to carry out this terrible act. If it turns out, as some early reports indicated, that it may have been motivated in some way by the ethnicity of those who were attending the temple, I think the American people immediately recoilagainst those kinds of attitudes,” the president said. “It will be very important for us to reaffirm once again that in this country, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we worship, we are all one people and we look after one other and we respect one another.

The president’s comments came as he signed the “Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act” at the White House.

Page was a veteran of the United States Army.

Silence in the face of racist incitement

Obama’s shameful timidity in forthrightly condemning what happened in Wisconsin is hardly surprising. After all, this is a president with a “kill list” for Muslims including Americans.

But even for show, could he really not muster the kind of outrage he did for Israelis, for his own fellow citizens?

Is it appropriate that Obama condemned what happened to Israelis in Bulgaria as “barbaric terrorism” while he is merely “heartbroken” at the slaughter in Wisconsin, as if he is a mere bystander and not the president of the United States?

When Obama declares that “we are all one people” who must look after one another regardless of what we look like, it is he who needs to practice what he preaches.

Obama has been consistent in his refusal to confront the racism unleashed by his candidacy and subsequent election that came atop post-9/11 Muslim-bashing and dehumanization of people of color inherent in warmongering abroad.

His reponse to accusations that he’s Muslim is never ‘so what if I were?’ but always along the lines of ‘no, no I’m a Christian like you.’

Two summers ago, right-wing activists invented the fake “Ground Zero mosque” controversy to generate fear and hatred in the run-up to the 2010 mid-term elections. What I always found more frightening than the noise from Islamophobic clowns was the silence of elected officials, especially Democrats who purport to uphold liberal and inclusive values.

With their silence, they gave consent, and the crescendo of racist fearmongering – that targets more than just Muslims – has continued to rise.

Neither Sikhs nor Muslims are collectively guilty

Sikhs were among the first victims of the racist backlash after 9/11. It is common to say they are mistaken for Muslims who are the real targets of such attacks. This is wrong. Muslims are no more collectively guilty than Sikhs or any other group. But more importantly violent racists are not interested in distinctions.

In 2010, when he traveled to India, Obama refused to visit the main shrine of Sikhism, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, because he did not want to be photographed wearing a Sikh headcovering and be confused for a Muslim by illiterate Americans back home.

Obama was pandering to racists then, as he is despicably doing now. The difference now is that blood has been spilled in Wisconsin, and the time for this kind of cowardice ought to have passed.

Written FOR

STILL WAITING TO HOLD ISRAEL ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MURDERS ON THE MAVI MARMARA

Nine Turkish families, including the parents of an American citizen buried their loved ones two years ago, all victims of Israeli terrorism at sea. May they never be forgotten. May their memory serve as an inspiration for all seeking Justice and Peace throughout the world. May their murderers never be forgiven for their crime against humanity.
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Putting Names To the Faces

Furkan Dogan, 19. Born in the USA with dual Turkish-US citizenship. Student at Kayseri High School, planning to study medicine. Two siblings.


Necdet Yildirim, 32. From Malatya. IHH aid worker. Married with a three-year-old daughter.


Cevdet Kiliçlar, 38. From Kayseri. IHH aid worker, former journalist. Married with two children. You can see some of his photos
at Flickr.

Ali Haydar Bengi, 39. From Diyarbakir. Graduate in Arabic Literature by Al-Azhar University, Cairo. Married with 4 children.

Cengiz Akyüz, 41. From Iskenderun. Married with three children.

Fahri Yaldiz, 43. From Adiyaman. Firefighter. Married with four children.

 

Cengiz Songür, 47. From Izmir. Married with seven children.

 

Çetin Topçuoglu, 54. From Adana. Former taekwondo champion, coach of Turkey’s national taekwondo team. Married with one son. (Link to his Facebook page)



Ibrahim Bilgen, 61. From Siirt. Electrical engineer. Member of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers of Turkey. Married with 6 children.

 

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Literally adding insult to injury, YouTube allowed the following ‘parody’ on its site despite saying it would be removed …. two years later it’s still there.

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Views of our Associate, Mazin Qumsiyeh (from the archives)
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Time to hold Israel accountable

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Israeli government refuses an International probe into its illegal piracy and massacre of Gaza humanitarian aid ships and ‘accidentally distributed a video mocking the humanitarian activists. The Israeli occupation forces admitted doctoring one audiotape from the Mavi Marmara ship. The lies are beginning to crumple with testimonies from survivors (see below). But we will not drop this case because it may yet prove to be the straw that breaks the back of International complicity. Today in Beit Jala, we had a mock coffin, a mock ship, Turkish and international flags and of course the obligatory Israeli tear gas and harassment. One Israeli peace activist, Roni Barkan, was arrested. We are dismayed that Palestinian security in coordination with Israeli security decided to prevent us from going to demonstrate from downtown Beit Jala (or to return to downtown) but we keep going from another location and we show Israeli war criminals that we care about the land and we care about the people of Gaza and we care about the victims of the massacre committed at sea Monday.

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May they never be forgotten: Meet the victims of the Israeli massacre: names, pictures and brief biographies


And here are interviews and reports of the injured and kidnapped that contradict Israeli stories

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(By the way, Israeli forces have stolen passports and belongings from dozens of activists)

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Even in Israel within the green line, there were demonstrations against the massacres, this one in Tel Aviv drew 15-20,000 participants (and right-wing thugs tried to attack 86 year old Uri Avnery after the crowds dispersed)



and watch the Knesset fascists try to stop an Arab member of the Knesset from speaking and then attacking her (Haneen Zuabi has received many death threats and hundreds have signed onto a facebook page calling for her execution; so much for ‘democracy’ in the racist apartheid state)



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The protests MUST continue and grow….

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ACTIONS: Protest at Israeli missions, Israeli government appearances, and write to media, and politicians to demand that Israel be held accountable and end the siege on Gaza. Call the representative to Israel.


Call or send an email to US representatives


Call the White House: 1.202.456.1111, Department of State: 1.202.647.4000


Finally and most importantly, support the call from Palestinian Civil Society for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel




ISRAEL HAS BECOME WORLD JEWRY’S WORST ENEMY

Tragedy has once again struck as innocent children were gunned down outside their school in southern France. When ANY innocent person is murdered it is a tragedy, no matter where, no matter when, especially if the victim is a child. 
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman leveled harsh criticism Tuesday against EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Catherine Ashton over her comparison of the terror attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, to the situation in Gaza, calling them “inappropriate.”
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Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of Palestinian youths in Brussels on Monday, Ashton said: “When we think about what happened today in Toulouse, we remember what happened in Norway last year, we know what is happening in Syria, and we see what is happening in Gaza and other places.”
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Above taken FROM ….. FM: Ashton’s Toulouse-Gaza comparison inappropriate
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Lieberman blasts EU’s foreign affairs commissioner’s remarks equating attack on Jewish schoolchildren in France to IAF operations in Gaza; says she should ‘worry about Israeli children who live under constant fear of Gaza rockets’*
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Are we to believe from that racist doubletalk that the lives of Jewish or Israeli children are more precious than any others? I beg to differ!*

Are we also to believe that every whim of the Israeli government must be supported by the rest of the world even if it wrong? That’s what is happening today making Israel the number one enemy of the Jewish people throughout the world.

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Presented here are two VALID points of view, the first from HaAretz ….
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Thanks to Netanyahu’s babble, an attack on Iran will inflame global anti-Semitism

The State of Israel, which was established as a haven for Jews from those who hate it, may instead wind up becoming a threat to Jews.

By Akiva Eldar*

The murderer who shot students in a Jewish school in Toulouse yesterday, like the one who shot black-skinned French paratroopers a few days earlier, required no motive other than hatred of foreigners and those who are different. Chronic sufferers from anti-Semitism and xenophobia need no special pretexts for their racism.

Nevertheless, an Israeli attack on Iran that sent gas prices soaring would be seized by by right-wing extremists like those who support Marine Le Pen. Thanks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s babble in Washington, even if the United States is the one that ultimately attacks Iran’s nuclear reactors, the bill will (also) be submitted to Jewish communities abroad. The State of Israel, which was established as a haven for Jews from those who hate it, may instead wind up becoming a threat to Jews.

What do you do when the polls show that a solid majority of Israelis refuse to risk being among the 500 casualties of retaliatory Iranian missile strikes on which Defense Minister Ehud Barak is prepared to gamble? The Prime Minister’s Office takes comfort in polls showing increasing American support for military action against Iran. Netanyahu’s spokesmen managed to sell this dramatic headline to several important media outlets as a personal accomplishment by their boss.

Indeed, a Wall Street Journal/CNN poll published the day after Netanyahu’s address to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC showed that 52 percent of Americans favored a military strike on Iran if the only other option were standing idly by. But when the respondents were presented with a larger range of options, a completely different picture emerged.

Fully 49 percent said the United States should either “take no action unless Iran attacks the U.S. or its allies” or “take stronger diplomatic and economic action to put pressure on Iran but should take no military action.” Only 21 percent supported direct military action to destroy Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons, while 26 percent responded that America should support an Israeli attack. The Wall Street Journal chose to headline the report on the poll with the unequivocal statement, “Americans Prefer Diplomacy Over Military Action To Prevent Iran From Acquiring Nukes.”

American Jewish peace activists say the poll also reflects the prevailing mood in the Jewish community. They advise us not to be led astray by AIPAC’s enthusiastic response to Netanyahu’s calls for war, and propose that we instead heed the voices emerging from the J Street Conference that will take place this week in Washington.

This young pro-peace organization is warning about the effect of efforts by Netanyahu and his conservative friends in the Jewish community to drag President Barack Obama into a new war in the Middle East. J Street leaders support Obama’s policy of sanctions and diplomacy. But the American president – like the Israeli president, not to mention the Israeli prime minister, all of whom lined up to speak at the AIPAC conference – is shunning the conference of an organization that seeks to promote negotiations on a two-state solution and even protested the Palestinians’ application for UN recognition as a state. If they had just one billionaire like Sheldon Adelson on their list of donors, everything might look different.

Stop sowing panic

For over four years, an eye-opening position paper on the Iranian nuclear threat has been on the desk of senior defense officials and politicians. The paper was written by Maj. Gen. (ret. ) Herzl Shafir, a former head of the Israel Defense Forces’ headquarters, GOC Southern Command and police commissioner. In recent years, Shafir has served as a consultant to the defense establishment on home front issues.

Following Netanyahu’s aggressive speech in the Knesset last week, in which he recalled times when Israeli leaders defied American positions, Shafir updated the document and decided to increase its circulation. Here are the document’s main points:

* Declarations that Israel is weighing a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities help the government in Tehran convince its citizens that nuclear development should continue despite the sanctions and threats, in order to deter the Israeli and American aggressors. Israel must therefore stop threatening. Instead, it should make it clear to Iran’s citizens that it is not an enemy, remind them of the good old days when it helped Iran, and demonstrate a sincere desire to open a different kind of dialogue.

* Even though the Iranian leadership makes no secret of its wish that Israel would disappear from the map, there has never been a direct Iranian threat to use force or nuclear weapons. Iran’s primary reasons for wanting nuclear weapons are to achieve regional military and diplomatic hegemony, to protect the regime against external threats, and to establish a balance of fear with other countries in the region that possess nuclear weapons.

In July 2008, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded to the question of whether Iran would destroy Israel by saying, “Iran will not act militarily … The Zionist regime in Israel will bring itself down in the end.” When asked if he would support a two-state solution, he said, “If the Palestinians accept this, legally and of their own free choice, we will respect their decision.”

* A military attack would turn Iran into Israel’s permanent enemy. In the current era of the Arab Spring and regional uncertainty, this might alter the strategic balance in the Middle East to Israel’s detriment.

* Israel has no way to prevent Iran from retaliating in the Gulf region if its nuclear facilities are attacked. Therefore, Israel must act responsibly and refrain from an independent attack. It also shouldn’t contribute to an American attack. Only the United States is capable of paralyzing Iran’s ability to inflict punishment on Israeli civilians in response to an attack on its nuclear facilities.

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Our Associate Khalid Amayreh presents a related point of view …*

Netanyahu: Israel’s mouthpiece of lie*

In his reaction to the tragic shooting incident outside a Jewish school in France Monday, Israeli Prime Minister invoked “Palestinian terror.”

“I haven’t heard any condemnation from the UN, but one of its bodies, the human rights council, invited representatives of Hamas who condemned the US for killing Osama bin Laden and kills Jewish men, women and children. This is who UNHRC invites today. I have one thing to say to the UNHRC: What do you have to do with human rights? You should be ashamed of yourself.”

Netanyahu is elaborate about the death of a few Jews in occupied Palestine, for which nefarious Zionism is solely responsible (responsible because Zionism brought these Jews into Palestine from their original homelands in Eastern Europe elsewhere to live on a land that belongs to another people), but quite dismissive or completely silent about the pornographic killings of non-Jews at the hands of the “holy tribe” or “Master race.”

In fact, as the pathological liar was speaking about the regrettable incident in France, his dirty hands were being stained with the innocent blood of Palestinian children.

Netanyahu and other Israeli political and military leaders got accustomed to giving Israeli Jews a “present” on major Jewish holidays in the form of killing Arab civilians, particularly children, in cold blood.

This happened last week in Gaza when Israel’s war machine wreaked havoc on Palestinian homes throughout the coastal enclave, killing farmers, workers, school children and women.

The Palestinians are mostly helpless and defenseless people, and ganging up on them using state-of-the-art of the American technology of death is analogical to the Third Reich embarking on the extermination of Jews during WWII.

It is also an expression of ultimate cowardice to attack people, especially innocent people, who don’t have the means to defend themselves and protect their children.

During its genocidal onslaught against the people of Gaza four years ago, Israel massacred, maimed and incinerated thousands of innocent Palestinians. The mini-holocaust killed hundreds of children and babies and destroyed thousands of homes, mosques, hospitals, and other public buildings. Children and women fleeing the Dresden-like fire storms over their neighborhoods were mercilessly killed by sadistic Israeli soldiers who were told by their rabbis that non-Jews were actually animals and that one didn’t have to harbor a guilty feeling upon killing a “goy”

The United Nations put the number of Palestinian children killed during that genocidal blitz, knowingly and deliberately, at more than 360.

Just imagine 360 Jewish children getting killed in 21 days and how vociferous and hysterical the shipyard dogs of Zionism would be.

Hamas has killed Israelis, including civilians, but it did this in the context of a national liberation struggle against a Nazi-like colonialist occupation that seeks the annihilation of the very existence of the Palestinian people.

Throughout human history People didn’t throw roses and chocolates at invaders and foreign occupiers. They threw hand-grenades and petrol bombs, they fought them with all the means at their disposal. Didn’t the Russians lose 20 million people defending their country against the invading Nazi armies in the course of the Second World War? Didn’t the French do the same to liberate their country? Didn’t Patrick Henry say “give me freedom or give me death?”

Besides, Hamas has not gone to UNHRC in order to wage a crusade against Jews or anyone else. The truth of the matter is that a small Hamas delegation went there in Switzerland in order to brief the world community on the pornographic oppression being meted out by Israel to the Palestinian people, including the open-ended detention of Palestinian citizens for years without charge or trial.

Let me ask Netanyahu the following question: where in the world, especially in a democratic country worthy of the name, a university professor, a medical doctor or an elected lawmaker is napped from his home and family at the middle of the night and dumped in detention camps and dungeons for 10 or 12 years without charge or trial? As far as I know, this happens only in Israel, the nation that calls itself a light upon the nations!!!

Netanyahu calls Palestinians terrorists for resisting their tormentors and children’s killers. But he ignores the fact that the Jewish wehrmacht, the Jewish SS, and the Jewish Gestapo have murdered and maimed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, Lebanese and other Arabs that whatever the Palestinians have done seems absolutely negligible in comparison to the slow-motion holocaust Zionist Jews have been carrying out against the native people of Palestine .

Mr. Netanyahu, you have stolen the Palestinians’ homeland, you have destroyed their homes and towns and villages, you have expelled the bulk of their people to the four winds; and now you have the chutzpah to call them terrorists?

We don’t know the identity of the attackers in Toulouse , but regardless of this, the attack is outrageous and must be condemned in the strongest terms.

But having said that, it should be made clear to all and sundry that Israel ‘s murderous behaviors make such attacks on Jews, probably by some fanatical groups, inevitable.

I say inevitable, not justified.

Just imagine someone whose entire family has been exterminated by Israelis, how he or she would behave when seizing the chance for revenge? Did Jews behave like angels would vis-à-vis the Nazis following the downfall of the Third Reich? Haven’t Jews been scouring the entire world ever since, hunting for Nazi killers?

Whether you like it or not, Israel is the Palestinian people’s Nazi Germany. Yes, Zionists control much of the western media, control the American government and congress, and are quite influential in today’s world order. But this doesn’t mean that they are clean or kosher. In the final analysis, when Jews think, behave and act like Nazi Germany thought, behaved and acted, they become full-fledged Nazis even if they carry Jewish names and don kippas on their heads.

RUMBLINGS FROM DOWN UNDER ABOUT HOME-GROWN TERRORISM

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Home-grown terrorism, depoliticising violence and human rights

 

Prepared by Antony Loewenstein

In July this year, Anders Breivik, a right-wing activist, murdered more than 65 Norwegians in an act of political violence. His manifesto, all 1500 pages of it, provides an insight into the dark but increasingly mainstream views of the West since 9/11. Being against immigration, Muslims and multiculturalism and being for Israel, racism and white pride isn’t simply a fringe belief in 2011. And many in the mainstream political and media elites have fuelled this resentment and bigotry.

This month sees the launch of a new book, On Utøya: Anders Breivik, right terror, racism and Europe, that tackles all these questions. It is a collection of essays by a range of British and Australian writers, including me (book extracts here and here), on the attempts to depoliticise what was a direct political event. It should serve as a warning of where our politics is heading. On Utoya is the necessary Left response to it.

It is available as an e-book with a hard copy (and updates) hopefully coming in 2012.

In other news:

- Review in Sydney Morning Herald on a former UN insider detailing war crimes in Sri Lanka.

- Analysis for ABC online about the Palestinian UN statehood bid.

- Review in Sydney’s Sun Herald on a book about child trafficking in Asia.

- Response to article in the Spectator magazine attacking me for supporting Palestinian rights and BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] against Israel.

- Interview on ABC radio about Palestine, the UN statehood bid and a one-state solution.

- Interview on ABC Radio National about BDS and growing alliances between the far-right and Zionism.

- Essay on ABC about using the Commonwealth to hold Sri Lanka to account for war crimes.

- Review in Sydney’s Sun Herald on a book about the explosive false CIA mole in Afghanistan.

- Interview on The Wire radio current affairs show about the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and Israeli kidnapping of Palestinians.

For a daily dose, see my website, Twitter and Facebook.


FOR GAZANS, EVERY DAY IS 9/11

Why does America refuse to admit that others are victim to the same forces of hatred and terrorism that attacked them ten years ago today? Worse yet, why does America continue to hide the fact that it is they who are orchestrating those very forces?

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Ten years ago today America was attacked. Civilians died. Ten years later it is still making headline news….
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Gaza is attacked every day. Civilians die every day. It never makes headline news in the West. It’s as if it never happens…. BUT IT DOES.
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A pro Palestinian blogger posted the following this morning, it says it all!

Dear America, your 9/11 is our 24/7.

Sincerely, Palestine.

That’s the entire post, short and very much to the point.
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The plight of those in Gaza and the rest of Palestine is not only omitted in the media, it is hidden from the eyes of the Western population altogether. Palestine, Gaza in particular, simply does not exist.
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The suffering of the children, in particular, is hidden from the public eye as can be seen in the following which was sent to me this morning by;
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The Children Lose, Again

by Abby Zimet

A California museum has cancelled an exhibit of art by Palestinian kids in Gaza, reportedly after pressure from pro-Israel groups in the Bay Area. The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland had been working for months with the Middle East Children’s Alliance on the project, “A Child’s View of Gaza,” set to open in two weeks. Does it really need to be said: Kids shouldn’t have to pay for the appalling cruelty and stupidity of adults. Look at this art.

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“The only winners here are those who spend millions of dollars censoring any criticism of Israel and silencing the voices of children who live every day under military siege and occupation.” – Barbara Lubin of MECA.

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Also see THIS report

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Why does America refuse to admit that others are victim to the same forces of hatred and terrorism that attacked them ten years ago today? Worse yet, why does America continue to hide the fact that it is they who are orchestrating those very forces?

The photos in THIS link speak volumes about that hatred… DON’T click on the link if you are weak at heart, they will make you sick!

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Again, why does America refuse to publicise those photos? They represent the reality that Gazans have to live with every day of their lives. For Gazans, every day is 9/11.

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Here is Carlos Latuff’s take on 9/11

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PHOTO ESSAY ~~ISRAELI TERRORISM REVEALS ITS UGLY FACE AGAIN

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Dozens suffered asphyxia and dozens of olive trees were burned in Bil’in today

Today, dozens of demonstrators suffered asphyxia during the weekly march organized by the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in. Those participating included dozens of Palestinians dozens of international activists, and Israeli peace activists.
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The march began after Friday prayers from the center of the village and headed to the land that was restored and the private Abu Lemon nature reserve. Participants raised Palestinian flags and chanted national slogans calling for the end of the occupation and destruction of the apartheid wall along with the constant principles of Palestine.
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Upon the arrival of the demonstrators to the Abu Lemon preserve, they walked along the concrete wall and addressed the settlers through loudspeakers to leave the settlement and leave the Palestinian territories to Palestinians. During this, the occupation forces who were stationed behind the concrete wall fired tear gas at the participants. This led to the asphyxiation of dozens of participants. It also set fire to the olive groves, burning dozens of ancient olive trees. Palestinian civil defense crews were called to extinguish the fire but the fire gutted dozens of acres of cultivated olives before it could be controlled and extinguished.
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Photos by Hamza Bornat and Rani Bornat
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TEN YEARS AFTER 9/11 ~~ WAS IT THE ‘5 DANCING ISRAELIS’ OR ‘ AL-QUAEDA’?

I’ve never been one to follow or swallow conspiracy theories, facts are much more reliable…
BUT, the fact that the ADL is making such a fuss over this leaves much food for thought.
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ADL: 9/11 anti-Semitic theories ‘alive and well’

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Jewish group shows how conspiracy theories surrounding attacks have grown and evolved over past decade, including claim that Jews or Israel perpetrated attacks instead of al-Qaeda

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The report can be read HERE, below is an excerp;

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‘5 dancing Israelis’

The conspiracy theories, which surfaced immediately after 9/11, have continued to circulate widely on the Internet, where conspiracy-mongers and anti-Semites have found a built-in audience for their ideas. These theories are promoted and shared on conspiracy-oriented web sites, social networking sites, and video sites. In addition, there is a flood of books and DVDs that proclaim that Jews and/or Israelis were behind the 9/11 attacks.

Certain conspiracy theories have increased in popularity over the past decade, according to ADL. The most prevalent anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that initially circulated following the attacks alleged that “4,000 Israelis” or Jews were forewarned and told to stay home from the World Trade Center on 9/11. While this theory has largely receded into the background, other major anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have come to the forefront.
According to ADL, the most popular conspiratorial allegations include the following:
  • Variations of this theory assert that the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was behind the 9/11 attacks; the “proof” is in the “five dancing Israelis” arrested on 9/11 who were allegedly celebrating as the Twin Towers burned. Today, the theory claims that the five Israelis were actually directing the attacks and began dancing when they realized that their mission of creating a “false flag” operation had been accomplished.
  • Proponents of this theory claim that neo-conservative American officials of Jewish faith within the Bush Administration methodically worked out a plan, with the assistance of the Mossad, to carry out the attacks to benefit Israel. This theory alleges that these officials orchestrated a plan well before 9/11, with the goal of invading Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries to allow the US and Israel to seize control of resources in that area.”
  • The “truth” about Israeli and Jewish involvement in the 9/11 attacks will not be allowed to emerge, claim conspiracy theorists, since Jews are or were in charge of the 9/11 Commission report and control the media and government.
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Mike Rivero of What Really Happened will be a featured guest at the following symposium to be held in New York on 9/11…
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If you cannot see the above banner (it is being blocked by some ad blockers) then click this link to see the information.

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Clicking the above banner will take you to the web page for the event in New York on 9-11-11. The conference is being organized by INN World Report and will also be covered at WRH and on Jeff Rense Radio.
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If you’d like to make a reservation for this year’s event, please email your name to innworldreport@gmail.com and we will add you to the reserve list.

FILLING IN THE BLANKS ON ‘TERROR’ ATTACK

STILL TOO EARLY TO TELL WHAT HAPPENED IN ISRAEL …. SO LET’S MAKE UP THE STORY

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We’ve even learned how to ‘doctor’ photos ;)
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It is still too early to tell whether the terrorists who carried out Thursday’s attacks exited Egypt, passed through Sinai and headed south toward the region of Eilat, or if this was the action of a terrorist cell of Islamic origins, acting for some time already in Sinai. In any case, it is clear that the Egyptian revolution that began in Tahrir Square and spread through other Arab states has now made its way into Israel.
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That’s not the version we were fed yesterday by the Israeli press… now it’s ‘We don’t know what happened’.
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Mubarak’s fall will lead to Israel’s demise? Is that what they want us to believe now? Read the following from HaAretz to see this viewpoint…
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Mubarak falls, Sinai terror rises

The series of terror attacks near Eilat on Thursday indicate that the Egyptians are losing their grip on Sinai.

The series of terror attacks that took place early Thursday afternoon on the road leading from the Israeli-Egyptian border to Eilat did not come as a surprise to Israel’s senior security officials. They had expected it would occur at some stage or another.

The escalating security situation in the Sinai Peninsula, continuous work on the new border barrier and the frustration of terror groups within the Gaza Strip who – for some time now – have not managed to successfully carry out a terror attack from within the Strip, all pointed at the likelihood of an attempt to attack via the Egyptian border.

It is still too early to tell whether the terrorists who carried out Thursday’s attacks exited Egypt, passed through Sinai and headed south toward the region of Eilat, or if this was the action of a terrorist cell of Islamic origins, acting for some time already in Sinai. In any case, it is clear that the Egyptian revolution that began in Tahrir Square and spread through other Arab states has now made its way into Israel.

Over the past few months, Israel has allowed the Egyptian army to increase its forces in Sinai a number of times, allowing much larger Egyptian forces there than the Camp David Accords allowed for, including the entry of thousands of Egyptian soldiers and tanks in the El Arish region and northern Sinai, within the framework of a widespread mission against al-Qaida. It is now evident that the Egyptian efforts alone are not enough, and that the Israel Defense Forces – who over the past three decades has been able to reduce its forces along the Egyptian border, focusing instead on reinforcing the northern border, West Bank and Gaza Strip – will now have-to strengthen its presence in the south.

This is not just a case of transferring security forces. There is a far greater need to complete the construction of the southern border and its fortification via advanced observation posts, which requires hundreds of millions of shekels in increased funding for the security budget. The Finance Ministry’s spin two days ago about halving the security budget ended within 48 hours, as the gunmen opened fire near Eilat.

Beyond the financial aspect, Israel’s security heads will need to get used to a state in which, as it seems, they cannot depend on its ally, the Egyptian army, to protect its southern front.

Source

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‘Terror Timetable’ … also from HaAretz

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Timeline / Eight hours of terror in southern Israel

A series of terrorist attacks took place near Eilat on Thursday, killing at least six people and wounding dozens.

* 12:00 P.M. – Terror cell fires at Egged bus from a private vehicle, 7 hurt

* 12:30 P.M. – IDF forces called to the scene of the attack hurt by explosive device

* 12:35 P.M. – Mortar shells fired from Egypt into Israel, no one hurt

* 13:10 P.M. – Terror cell fires anti-tank missile toward private vehicle near border, 7 hurt

* 13:11 P.M. – Another anti-tank missile fired toward private vehicle, six people killed

* 18:00 P.M. – IDF begins military strike on Gaza, killing at least six Palestinians

* 19:00 P.M. – Fresh firefights erupt in southern Israel, 2 people gravely injured

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Solution….. BOMB GAZA!

Why?

Because they can!

 

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Photo Essay of Victims of Israeli strike on Gaza ( click HERE to view)
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