AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

AUSTRALIANS AT WAR
Now available. $20-00 including postage in Australia. Click on image above for details..... TELLING THE HISTORY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY AS IT REALLY WAS.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

NETANYAHU’S IDEA OF ‘TWO STATES FOR TWO PEOPLES’ IS DIFFERENT FROM OBAMA’S

When US President Obama in his speech to the people of Israel said: “Negotiations will be necessary, but there's little secret about where they must lead -- two states for two peoples”, he was referring to the West Bank becoming a Palestinian state. However, when Benjamin Netanyahu thinks about ‘two states for two peoples’, he’s thinking more in terms of West Jordan becoming the Palestinian homeland and the West Bank – which Zionists refer to as Samaria and Judea – becoming a part of Israel along with the Gaza Strip.

While Netanyahu has said that he is willing to ‘negotiate’ with the Palestinians, he has made it abundantly clear that it will be only on his terms – and his terms are that the Palestinians don’t present any terms or conditions by which negotiations can begin. And, all the while he is demanding there be no pre-conditions like suspending settlement building, he is rubber stamping even more building in the West Bank and demanding that Palestinians recognise the Jewish state of Israel before ‘negotiations’ begin. With the distinct possibility of Israel annexing all of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, together with all of the other areas in the West Bank that are under Israeli control, the Palestinians are hardly likely to recognise a state that would more than likely take the majority of lands that the Palestinians had earmarked for a Palestinian state.

For all of the rhetoric and diplomat speak, the net result is: there will be no Palestinian state while the world sits back and allows the likes of Obama and Netanyahu dictate what will be and not be for the Palestinians.

Clearly, Obama has backed off demanding a freeze on settlement building, rendering his words empty of meaning since he knows that the Palestinians will insist on a freeze at the very least before talking about talking.

There are now only three ways the impasse can be resolved: the Israelis could use force to get what they want using the pretext of a war against Iran to occupy and eventually annex the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; or the peoples of the world could pressure their respective governments to pressure in turn the Israelis to leave the West Bank and hand all of it back to the Palestinians; or, alternatively, the world could insist on a one state solution whereby there are two peoples in one state living together as equals with equal rights.

The Israelis have made it clear they will not be leaving the West Bank and the hatred of each other is so intense that a one state solution is hardly likely at the moment – though I believe that ultimately neither side will have a choice other than to come together as one state. The alternative is perpetual war.

Despite all the rhetoric of the past few days, the future for the Israeli and Palestinian people and the entire region is as dark and bleak today as it was before Obama’s visit.

Nothing has changed.

Give it another few days and war against Iran will back on the front burner once again.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

SENIOR ISRAELI THINK-TANK ACADEMIC CAUGHT LYING IN EFFORT TO PROMOTE UNILATERAL WAR AGAINST IRAN

Dr. Shmuel Bar, director of studies at the Institute of Policy and Strategy, an Israeli think-tank based in Herzliya, has been caught lying over US involvement in the bombing of Syria’s so-called nuclear reactor in 2007.


Shmuel Bar points out that Israel did not inform the US in advance of the attack on Osirak or its alleged attack on the Syrian reactor, and may take the same approach in attacking Iran, as a way of side-stepping a potential "red light" from the US altogether.

Shmuel Bar is flat out lying with regard to the Israeli attack on the Syrian ‘reactor’.

Not only were the US informed of the pending attack but, according to Elliott Abrams who was deputy National Security Advisor at the time and who handled the matter, the attack was carefully and jointly planned over a period of months. Abrams wrote a detailed article on the Syrian reactor affair in last months Commentary magazine in which he said – and I apologise for the lengthy quote:

In the middle of May 2007, we received an urgent request to receive Mossad chief Meir Dagan at the White House. Olmert asked that he be allowed to show some material to Bush personally. We headed that off with a suggestion that he first reveal whatever he had to National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and to me; I was then the deputy national-security adviser in charge of the Middle East portfolio on the National Security Council. Vice President Dick Cheney joined us in Hadley’s office for Dagan’s presentation. What Dagan had was astonishing and explosive: He showed us intelligence demonstrating that Syria was constructing a nuclear reactor whose design was supplied by North Korea, and doing so with North Korean technical assistance. Dagan left us with one stark message: All Israeli policymakers who saw the evidence agreed that the reactor had to go away.

There then began a four-month process of extremely close cooperation with Israel about the reactor, called al-Kibar. As soon as our own intelligence had confirmed the Israeli information and we all agreed on what we were dealing with, Hadley established a process for gathering further information, considering our options, and sharing our thinking with Israel. This process was run entirely out of the White House, with extremely limited participation to maintain secrecy. The effort at secrecy succeeded and there were no leaks—an amazing feat in Washington, especially when the information being held so tightly was as startling and sexy as this.

Faced with the overwhelming evidence from a senior US official that Israel did not bomb the Syrian ‘reactor’ unilaterally, one needs to ask why Shmuel Bar feels the need to practice such obvious deceit. The answer, of course, lays in the present day circumstances in which, as Shmuel Bar himself asserts, Israel may be able to launch an attack against Iran without a “red light” from the US.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

THE IRAQ WAR: WE KNOW ABOUT THE LIES, BUT NOW WE MUST ASK ‘WHY?’

About this time every March we remind ourselves that it is the anniversary of the invasion and destruction of Iraq. This year is the tenth anniversary and, for some reason, ten year anniversaries seem to hold a greater fascination for folk than other anniversaries and, as a consequence, this particular tenth year anniversary has renewed the debate over whether or not Western leaders deliberately lied in order to get their respective peoples to support the war.

As I have demonstrated in my previous post here, John Howard, one of the most dedicated of Western leaders determined to follow George W. Bush into war, has been proven to have lied. And, of course, if John Howard has been proven to have lied, than so too have George W. Bush and Tony Blair by virtue of them both having been privy to the same intelligence from the man who had actually destroyed Saddam’s WMDs – crucial intelligence that the rest of the world was denied.

But what’s missing from the debate is the real reason why lies needed to be told in the first place. In other words; if there was a need to lie about the reasons for the West to go to war against Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people, what were the real reasons?

In the aftermath of the invasion when it was discovered there were no WMDs afterall, the goalposts were shifted and the Western warlords told the world that the reason for the invasion was that Saddam was a nasty tin-pot dictator who abused his own people. Well, indeed he was, but then so what; the world is full of nasty tin-pot dictators who abuse their own people. Why pick on Iraq?

The answer is one that nobody wants to talk about, and nobody wants to talk about because…. they fear being labelled an anti-Semite.

Israel is the reason Iraq was invaded and Saddam ousted and it was the neoconservatives and their influence in the George W. Bush administration that powered the run up to the war. However, other players with different agendas were also keen to jump on the Iraq invasion bandwagon and together, in pursuit of their respective interests, they made it happen with total disregard to the consequences.

Saddam Hussein had for years been a thorn in Israel’s side. During the First Gulf War, Saddam had launched SCUD missiles at Israel. During the Second Intifada, which began when Ariel Sharon made a provocative visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on 28 September 2000, Saddam provided support to the Palestinians. As the Intifada progressed, the neoconservatives became increasingly bellicose toward Iraq and Saddam Hussein. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the neocons and their allies sought to implicate Saddam Hussein in the attack, as well as Osama bin Laden, demanding that the US and their allies effect regime change in Iraq.

Others that supported the call to war included the military industrial complex, whose nominal head was Vice-president Dick Cheney who also represented the invasion and post-invasion support logistics companies; nationalist Republicans who saw an opportunity to expand US regional hegemony; oil companies who believed that Iraq’s massive oil reserves could fall to their control; post-bellum ‘reconstruction’ contractors who saw a opportunity to make billions of dollars in rebuilding that which the military and subsequent war had destroyed; and the Christian Zionists who saw such a war as part of the great struggle against Islam. But it should be made clear that the primary reason for the invasion and destruction of Iraq was for the benefit of Zionist Israel. Without Israeli Zionists and their neoconservative US supporters there would have been no war.

It may take another ten year anniversary before the mainstream media plucks up enough courage to accept the reality that they were lied to by their governments – and that they became complicit in those lies – and then be able to confront the reasons why they were lied to.

Monday, March 18, 2013

HOWARD'S IRAQ LIES: 10TH ANNIVERSARY

This article was first published here on 13 June 2012 and was republished again on the 16 August 2012 in the light of a call being made by an eminent group of Australians led by Malcolm Fraser for an enquiry into the decisions that led to Australia joining the US-led invasion of Iraq on March 2003. Today, 18 March 3013, is the 10th anniversary of Howard's lies to the Australian people and the Australian parliament about Saddam's supposed WMD's and is republished yet again so that those lies are not forgotten.



During the lead up to the war against Iraq that began on 20 March 2003, Australian Prime Minister John Howard told the Australian people and the Australian Parliament that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. On the 18 March 2003 Howard told the Australian Parliament that these weapons were “a direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people” and, for this reason, Australia will be part of a coalition that will ‘disarm’ Saddam Hussein.[1]

Howard’s announcement that Australia would join the coalition to attack Iraq was the culmination of nearly 18 months of Western anti-Saddam propaganda and rhetoric that had begun soon after 9/11. During that entire period between 9/11 and prior to the announcement to the House of Representatives on the 18 March 2003, Howard had always denied that any decision had been made to join with the coalition in any attack on Iraq.

Howard’s decision to join the coalition to attack Iraq was, so Howard told the Australian people, based on the notion that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. This rhetoric was completely in line with the rhetoric of the other members of the coalition that also took part in or supported the attack against Iraq.

John Howard first mentioned Iraq just 10 days after the 9/11 attacks during an interview with Neil Mitchell on Radio 3AW on 21 September 2001:

MITCHELL:
Israeli intelligence is suggesting Iraq sponsored this attack, is that likely?

PRIME MINISTER:
Well, I wouldn’t rule that out but I’m not saying that I’m convinced that that was the case. We would have to have an open mind on that. There are documented and published suggestions of some of the hijackers having been in touch with people in Iraq. I read another report of that in one of the newspapers this morning.

MITCHELL:
I guess that expands the possibility of any military action from Afghanistan to include Iraq.

PRIME MINISTER:
Well, I have to be careful how I speculate in a situation like that but going back to basics once again, the American’s dilemma is that if they can’t, by diplomatic pressure and by the weight of world opinion, encourage those who are currently harbouring suspected terrorists to hand them over they then have to ask themselves what other alternative do we have. If they don’t then do anything at all then hasn’t terrorism scored a very significant victory?[2]

However, while this was the first mention of Iraq after the 9/11 event, Howard had already promised the US only the day after the attack, “that Australia will provide all support that might be requested of us by the United States in relation to any action that might be taken”.[3]

The statement was emphatic and, in typical Howard style, had been carefully considered. True to his word, Howard soon offered Australian troops to help with the US attack against Afghanistan. The Americans, together with the British, launched their attack against the Taliban and al Qaeda on 7 October 2001 and by 17 October 2001, Howard had announced Australia’s military commitment to the war against Afghanistan.[4]

The question of Iraq is next seriously discussed by Howard on 10 February 2002 in a TV interview with journalist Laurie Oakes. The discussion arose as a result of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address which had been delivered on 29 January 2002, just five months after 9/11, in which Bush had referred to Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an ‘Axis of Evil’.

In his discussion with Oakes, Howard attempted to discreetly back-pedal from his 12 September 2001 commitment of “Australia will provide all support that might be requested of us by the United States in relation to any action that might be taken” Oakes asked Howard:  “…does his [Bush’s] axis of evil statement commit Australia in any way?”

The conversation then ran thus:

PRIME MINISTER:
No, not ... no, it doesn't. We are only ... we will only commit our forces to any kind of action as a result of a separate, deliberative decision by the Australian government ...

OAKES:
So we're not going all the way with the USA?

PRIME MINISTER:
There is ... well, I'll, you know, let me define our relationship with the United States in a positive way. If there is an American request for Australian forces to be involved in future action, then that will be considered afresh. Our decision to be involved in Afghanistan does not automatically commit us to involvement elsewhere.
The Americans know that, the Americans don't presume on our friendship. We are close, there is no ally closer to the United States at present, and I think everything we have done has been in Australia's interests. And I think President Bush's speech was a first class one and I understood full well the language he used and why he did it.[5]

Clearly, in the heat of the moment in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Howard, on 12 September 2001, had made a unilateral decision to back Bush and the US no matter what and, despite Howard’s later comment about only committing forces to any kind of action being as a result of a deliberative decision by the Australian government, Howard remained firmly committed to his promise to Bush. Everything Howard said and did from then on was with a view to fulfilling his promise to Bush regardless of anything that might distract from that including, as it transpired, the wishes of the Australian people.[6]

For the next thirteen months right up to the eve of the invasion, Howard made every effort to deceive the Australian people and the Australian Parliament by claiming that, one, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which, two, Howard claimed were a “a direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people”; and, three, right up to the eve of war, he continued to claim that he had made no decision about committing Australia to go to war against Iraq as an ally of the US.

As shall be shown using bona-fide evidence, the first two of these claims by John Howard were patently and deliberately false. Both the circumstantial evidence and the balance of probabilities regarding the falseness of the third claim are compelling.

With regard to the first two claims, the second is contingent on the first. If Howard knew that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction prior to committing Australia to war against Iraq, then obviously Howard’s claim that they were “a direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people” could not be valid and, therefore, was a blatant lie.

With regard to the third claim, the circumstantial evidence clearly shows that Howard had made a decision to go to war long before the announcement on the 18 March 2003. However, this paper will confine itself to the verifiable evidence that relates to Howard’s deliberately false claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that they were a “direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people”.

The accusation that John Howard deliberately lied to and misled the Australian people and Parliament revolves around whether or not Howard knew that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his weapons of mass destruction after the First Gulf War which ended in 1991. 

On 7 August 1995, Hussein Kamel al-Majid and his wife defected from Iraq. Kamel was the son-in-law of Saddam Hussein. He was also the Minister of Industries and was responsible at various stages of his career for developing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and later, after the First Gulf War, for secretly destroying Iraq’s WMD’s in accordance with the allies demands after the war.

On 22 August 1995, Hussein Kamel was debriefed by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It was during this debriefing that Kamel disclosed what he knew about Saddam’s WMD’s and, crucially, that he had personally seen to it that all of Iraq’s WMDs had been destroyed.[7] The reason for the secrecy at the time was that Iraq did not wish it to be known to Iran that it no longer had any WMDs. Clearly, the US and their allies went along with the ruse since the debriefing was not made public at the time.

In the lead up to the attack against Iraq, it was Kamel’s disclosures about Saddam’s WMD’s that were primarily used to support the allegation that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Omitted, however, was Kamel’s insistence, in the same debriefing, that these weapons had been destroyed and, more to the point, that it was Kamel that had organised their destruction.

After the allies had consolidated their hold over Iraq, it soon became apparent that there were no WMD’s despite a concerted effort by the allies to find them. When Howard on 2 February 2004 was later confronted about the fact that there were no WMD’s to be found and asked if there would be an inquiry into the intelligence failures during the lead up to the war, Howard said:

You’ve got to bear in mind of course that almost all of the intelligence that came our way in relation to the war against Iraq pertained from British and American sources. It didn’t come from our own independent sources, obviously it was independently assessed and so forth but it was primarily British and American intelligence and I’ll see what the detail of that that statement is.[8]
      
Part of that intelligence that Howard says was gained from US and British sources was Hussein Kamel’s debriefing transcript. Indeed, Howard actually referred to it and to Hussein Kamel by name in his Ministerial Statement to Parliament on 4 February 2003 when he said:

There are 6500 chemical bombs - including 550 shells filled with mustard gas, 360 tonnes of bulk chemical warfare agent - including 1.5 tonnes of the deadly nerve agent VX, 3000 tonnes of precursor chemicals - 300 tonnes of which could only be used for the production of VX, and over 30 000 special munitions for the delivery of chemical and biological agents - all unaccounted for.
In 1995, the international community was confronted by Iraq's massive programme for developing offensive biological weapons - one of the largest and most advanced in the world.
Despite four years of intensive inquiries and searches, the weapons inspectors did not even know of its existence until Saddam's son-in-law, Hussein Kamal defected. Faced with its duplicity Iraq finally admitted to producing aflatoxin - which causes cancers, the paralysing poison botulinum and anthrax bacteria.
It admitted to manufacturing 8 500 litres of anthrax. A single gram is enough for millions of fatal doses. Dr Blix wants proof that the anthrax has been destroyed - and so do we.
Iraq must account for the large quantity of undeclared growth media for biological weapons and for all its SCUD B ballistic missiles. It must explain why it has rebuilt equipment and facilities destroyed by previous inspection teams.[9]

Clearly, Howard had access to Kamel’s debriefing transcript and was well aware that the material he was referring to in his statement had been destroyed by Kamel long ago and, contrary to Howard’s assertion otherwise, had, therefore, all been accounted for by Kamel.

Because Howard was eager to tell the Parliament and the Australian people about the WMD’s Saddam Hussein once had by presenting them as WMD’s that Saddam Hussein still had, Howard deliberately misled the Parliament and lied to the Australian people by failing to tell them that these weapons no longer existed and that, crucially, the source of this withheld information was the same source as the source he relied on to accuse Saddam Hussein of still having WMD’s.

In trying to defend himself against being touted as a liar, Howard may well say that he had not been advised that Kamel had said that he had destroyed Saddam’s WMD’s, but then that would lead to accusations that he had been deliberately mislead by our allies the US since the disclosure about having destroyed the WMD’s was part of the original statement about what WMD’s Saddam had.

No matter what way one looks at it, Howard is unable to escape the fact that he either misled Parliament and the nation or, alternatively, he and the Australian people were deliberately misled by President George W. Bush and his administration. Given Howard’s close relationship with Bush, however, the alternative is an unlikely scenario. 

 

ENDNOTES



 [1] John Howard, “Iraq Speech’, House of Representatives Hansard, 18 March 2003. p. 12506.
 [2] John Howard, “Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP interview with Neil Mitchell, Radio 3AW”, 21 September 2001. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2001/interview1248.html  Accessed 2 June 2012.
 [3] John Howard, “Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP, press conference – Ambassador’s residence, Washington, DC”, 12 September 2001. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2001/interview1239.html  Accessed 2 June 2012.
 [4] Media Release, “Force Deployment”, 17 October 2001. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Release/2001/media_release1342.html  Accessed 2 June 2012.
 [5] John Howard, “Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP, Interview with Laurie Oakes, Sunday Program”, 10 February 2002. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2002/interview1507.html  Accessed 2 June 2012.
 [6] 76% of Australians were against Australia taking part in the war against Iraq without UN approval. See: Brendon O'Connor and Srdjan Vucetic, ‘Another Mars-Venus divide? Why Australia said 'yes' and Canada said 'non' to involvement in the 2003 Iraq War’, Australian journal of International Affairs, Vol. 64, No. 5, pp. 526 — 548, November 2010.  p. 535.
 [7] ‘Testimony of General Hussein Kamel’, UNSCOM/IAEA, 22 August 1995. http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/docs/unscom950822.pdf  Accessed 12 June 2012.
 [8] John Howard, “Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP doorstop interview, Perth”, 2 February 2004. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2004/Interview666.html  Accessed 12 June 2012.
 [9] John Howard, “Ministerial Statement to Parliament on Iraq”, 4 February 2003. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Speech/2003/speech69.html  Accessed 12 June 2012.

Friday, March 15, 2013

WAR CRIMINAL BECOMES ISRAELI DEFENCE MINISTER

Moshe Ya’alon, an ex-Israeli Chief of Staff and now Member of the Knesset, has been appointed Israel’s Minister of Defence in Netanyahu’s latest government coalition. Ya’alon replaces Ehud Barak.

Ya’alon was Chief of Staff of the IDF in July 2002 when Palestinian activist Salah Shehade was murdered in the Gaza Strip by a one tonne bomb dropped by an Israeli Air Force F-15 jet. Fourteen Palestinian civilians were also killed in the attack.

In 2005 a group of relatives of victims of the 1996 Israeli shelling of the Lebanese town of Qana, where some 106 civilians died, filed a suit demanding a jury trial against Ya’alon in Washington DC. Predictably, the case went no further. A year later in 2006 Ya’alon was visiting New Zealand on a fund-raising trip when an Auckland court issued a warrant for his arrest on charges relating to the Gaza Strip deaths. The warrant was over-ruled by New Zealand’s Attorney-General and Ya’alon was able to return to Israel. Then in October 2009 Ya’alon was forced to cancel a trip to the UK for fear of being arrested on war crime charges, again relating to the 2002 killings in the Gaza.

This man, who is pro-settlement, stridently anti-Iran, and fervently against the existence of any kind of Palestinian state, will be Israel’s next Defence Minister. This war criminal will probably be shaking President Obama’s hand when the President visits Israel next week.

No doubt more crimes will be planned when they meet.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

NEW ISRAELI GOVERNMENT DESIGNED FOR WEST BANK SETTLERS

Just a quick observation today.

Ha’aretz commentator Barak Ravid today described the likely make up of the next Netanyahu government and it looks almost as though it has been exclusively designed to satisfy just about every desire of current and future Jewish settlers that want to live and expand in the West Bank.

The Palestinian people can kiss any prospect of a state of their own goodbye if the new Israeli government get their way.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

NEOCONS, ZIONISTS AND M.S.M. IGNORE PALESTINIAN CHILDREN KILLED BY ISRAELIS

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has recently released a preliminary report which has stated that a Palestinian child initially thought to have been killed by Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip was actually killed by an errant rocket that had been launched by Palestinian fighters.

Despite due reverence to the death of a child, neoconservatives and Zionists could barely disguise their joy at being handed a propaganda coup enabling them to demean their enemies. Jonathan Tobin writing at the neoconservative Commentary magazine certainly couldn’t let the opportunity pass, (and I warn that reading his nonsense runs the risk of causing self-frustration and anger). Daniel Halper, writing in the neoconservative’s flagship magazine The Weekly Standard, was another who couldn’t resist the propaganda opportunity as he blurted out his headline; ‘Actually, Hamas killed the Palestinian baby’.

But the neocons and Zionists weren’t alone in pointing out the UN report’s findings. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post and a myriad of other mainstream media outlets also were quick to tell the story. However, while such stories, of course, need to be told, one wonders why all of these outlets were unable to balance the story with the far more important news about the hundreds of children that have been killed by Israelis over the years.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NEOCON CHUTZPAH OVER TARGETTED ASSASSINATIONS

Before I launch into criticising neocons for their hypocrisy and double standards regarding targeted assassinations, I should point out that I am against any type of targeted assassination regardless of who is killing who.

Today in Commentary magazine, Jonathan Tobin, the magazines most prolific neoconservative propagandist, wrote an article criticising the honouring in France of the Palestinian fighter Majdi Rimawi who is imprisoned in Israel for assassinating Rehavam Ze’evi, who at the time of his assassination was Israel’s Minister of Tourism.

Tobin writes:

Bezons, [a suburb of Paris] which is not far from the city of light, is not exactly a tourist attraction. But it has now garnered some international attention due to an event held at the municipality last month that honored and granted honorary citizenship to Majdi Rimawi, a Palestinian who is currently imprisoned in Israel. According to Bezons Mayor Dominique Lesparre, a member of the French Communist Party, Rimawi’s only crime is to resist Israeli oppression. However, the ceremony omitted the salient fact that Rimawi was jailed for his role in planning the assassination of Rehavam Ze’evi, Israel’s Minister of Tourism in 2001.

Omitted by Tobin, however, is the salient fact that Ze'evi was much more than just a Minister of Tourism; he was an ultra-right wing Zionist general who planned many attacks against Palestinian fighters during the time when he was running the Sayeret Kharuv, an Israeli so called 'anti-terrorist' group within the IDF and was, therefore, a legitimate target for assassination even by Israel’s own standards.

If the IDF are able to assassinate Palestinians who the IDF believe are planning, or have planned, acts of violence against Israelis, then why should neocons have a problem with Palestinians assassinating Israelis who have planned acts of violence against Palestinians?

Hypocrisy and arrogance; the values that ‘they’ hate about ‘us’.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

DRONE WARS: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE OTHER SIDE DECIDES THAT IF IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE U.S. THEN IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEM?

The short answer is that the West will come over all holier-than-thou and claim that ‘right is on their side’ and that the other side ‘doesn’t have the right to use such weapons’.

As usual, it boils down to who has the biggest stick and the most convincing propaganda machine. Might, of course, will prevail and, no matter who ultimately wins, that side will claim righteousness. A deity of some sort is also likely to be invoked to support such claims.

The reality is that there are many consequences to face when a government decides that it has the right to extra-judicially kill anyone in the world, even in their own country. Not least of those consequences is the prospect of that government’s enemies deciding that, if it’s good enough for one side, then it’s good enough for the other. How long will it be before the enemies of governments that practice extra-judicial killings via drones decide that the political and military leaders of Western governments, by virtue of Western governments own reasoning, are also legitimate targets of extra-judicial execution in order to prevent them from planning the bombings and killings of civilians of countries the Western government are at war in?

As I have stated elsewhere at this blog, drone technology has become cheap and accessible and drones can be easily built from scratch. It’s only a matter of time before the Western government’s enemies begin to use drones in retaliation to the West’s use of them – and with just as deadly results.

There has been much talk recently about the legality of using drones to extra-judicially kill off-battlefield enemies, particularly against one’s own citizens who happen to support the West’s enemies. US Attorney General Eric Holder has given legal clearance to President Obama issuing death warrants and provided the legal argument supporting the President’s ability to make such decisions. However, since just because whoever is in power and wielding the biggest stick can make whatever laws that suit them, it does not mean to say that those determinations are morally right or even legally right under international law. Just as Hitler’s Nuremburg Laws were immoral despite becoming law (and, yes, I’m quite happy to mention Hitler because, in this case, it happens to be very appropriate) so Holder’s ruling, despite being ‘law’, is no more moral than Hitler’s race laws were in 1935.

The bottom line is: The rule of law is being abandoned together with concepts of due process and justice and is being replaced with arbitrary rulings made at the whims governmental individuals and groups. The moral high ground – if ever the West had held any – has now been lost and, furthermore, made life more dangerous for those who may equally become the targets of retaliatory and deterrent drone strikes launched by the West’s enemies.    

Thursday, March 07, 2013

EVEN BEFORE CHÁVEZ’S DEMISE, NEOCON JACKALS BEGAN TO SNIFF OUT OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE

The late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez isn’t even in his grave but already the neocon jackals are trying to ensure that the US will influence Venezuela’s political future by suggesting the US make demands of the interim and successive government before the US provides any support.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) produced a paper even before Chávez had actually died. Among their key demands are:

The respect for a constitutional succession;
The adoption of meaningful electoral reforms to ensure a fair campaign environment and a transparent vote count in expected presidential elections; and
The dismantling of Iranian and Hezbollah networks in Venezuela.


And I guess the day that the US dismantles Zionist and Israeli networks in America might also be the same day Venezuela reckons the Zionist threat to Iran and Hezbollah has passed.

The values that ‘they’ hate about ‘us’: Arrogance and hypocrisy.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

ANNUAL IRAN HATE FEST (A.K.A. AS THE AIPAC CONFERENCE) RATCHETS UP THE WARMONGERING

Last weekend’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference saw US vice-President Joe Biden threaten Iran with military action if sanctions and diplomacy didn’t work in preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. He told his audience:

If, God forbid, the need to act occurs, it is critically important for the whole world to know we did everything in our power, we did everything that reasonably could have been expected to avoid any confrontation.

Of course it is ‘critically important’; how else could the West con the world into accepting an attack against Iran without having exhausted all other avenues? But the big question is: Where is the evidence supporting Israel and the West’s claim that Iran actually has a nuclear weapons program.

Iran doesn’t deny it has a nuclear program; Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which means it’s quite entitled to have a civilian nuclear program that enriches uranium in order to produce energy and medical and research isotopes, but Iran has consistently denied that it has a nuclear weapons program or that it is looking to build a nuclear bomb and, despite years of rhetoric, Israel, the US and their Western allies have consistently failed to produce one iota of evidence to support their claims that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

After the fiasco that was the Iraq War it is, indeed, essential the US convince the peoples of the world that it has done all it could using peaceful means to stop Iran getting a nuclear bomb. The problem here, however, is that no matter what Iran does, it will not be able to stop the West accusing Iran of having  nuclear weapons program.

And the reason for that is quite simple: The West is not at all interested in Iran’s nuclear program; Iran hasn’t got one and the West knows that full well, and has done so for years. All the West really wants is an excuse to attack Iran, not to end its nuclear weapons, but to effect regime change in Iran while, at the same time, Israel deals with its enemies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Biden alludes to this in his address telling his audience:

But even preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon still leaves them a dangerous neighbor, particularly to Israel.  They are using terrorist proxies to spread violence in the region and beyond the region, putting Israelis, Americans, citizens of every continent in danger.  For too long, Hezbollah has tried to pose as nothing more than a political and social welfare group, while plotting against innocents in Eastern Europe -- from Eastern Europe to East Africa; from Southeast Asia to South America.  We know what Israel knows:  Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.  Period. And we -- and me -- we are urging every nation in the world that we deal with -- and we deal with them all -- to start treating Hezbollah as such, and naming them as a terrorist organization.

After all the lies the world was told in the run-up the Iraq War, the world is going to need a lot of convincing that Iran really has a nuclear weapons program before it agrees to an attack – so we can look forward to even more warmongering and lies from the usual suspects; Israeli Zionists and their neoconservative and right-wing allies throughout the West.

Finally, just one interesting incident in Biden’s address to the Zionists is worthy of note. Talking about the lies told in the run-up to the Iraq War, this rather embarrassing Freudian slip found its way into Biden’s official transcript:

Iraq's [sic] acquisition of a nuclear weapon not only would present an existential threat to Israel, it would present a threat to our allies and our partners -- and to the United States.  And it would trigger an arms race -- a nuclear arms race in the region, and make the world a whole lot less stable. 

They just can’t help themselves.