Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Netanyahu's Ugly Israel by Stephen Lendman



Netanyahu's Ugly Israel

by Stephen Lendman

Israel is a rogue terror state by any standard. No amount of speechmaking changes reality. Fascist lunatics run things. 

They want supreme hegemonic regional control. They want all potential challengers eliminated. 

They're willing to wage genocidal wars to achieve objectives - including use of nuclear, chemical, biological and other banned weapons.

Their Machiavellian extremism threatens world peace and stability. Netanyahu is the tip of the iceberg. Embedded fascist power runs Israel like America.

Netanyahu came to Washington to convince Congress, the US public and his own population about a nonexistent Iranian threat.

He knows Iran threatens no one. Its nuclear program is peaceful. It has no military component. His own Mossad says so. So does US intelligence annually.

Claiming an existential Iranian threat is a ruse - a Big Lie. None exists. Netanyahu is a serial liar. He wants pro-Western stooge governance replacing Iranian sovereign independence. 

He's willing to massacre millions of Iranians to rule the region unchallenged. His madness could launch nuclear war.

At the same time, his goon squads terrorize Palestinians daily. Media scoundrels ignore his worst crimes.

Every day is Kristallnacht in Palestine. So-called Israeli security forces terrorize Palestinians with impunity. So do radicalized settlers with full state support and encouragement.

Gaza remains lawlessly besieged. An Israeli caused humanitarian disaster worsens daily. 

West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinian communities are virtual war zones - subjected to daily terrorizing incursions.

Fear is pervasive. Collective punishment is official Israeli policy. So is institutionalized racism worse than anything experienced in apartheid South Africa.

Peaceful public demonstrations are brutally attacked. Free expression and movement are prohibited.

Population centers are isolated. Borders are closed. Militarized occupation prohibits normal daily life.

Palestinians face rascist discrimination, land theft, bulldozed homes, regular terror attacks, targeted killings, mass arrests, wrongful imprisonments, torture, punitive taxes, impoverishment, indentured servitude, ethnic cleansing and slow-motion genocide.

Palestinians wanting to live free on their own land in their own country are called terrorists. Fishermen are attacked at sea.

So are farmers working their land. Their crops, livestock and orchards are lawlessly destroyed. 

Israeli goon squads shoot Palestinian children for target practice. Fundamental civil and human rights are denied.

Few services are provided. Vital ones are lacking or inadequate. Palestinian lawmakers are imprisoned for belonging to the wrong party. 

Israeli democracy is pure fantasy. None whatever exists. When Israelis vote on March 17, embedded power will emerge victorious.

Business as usual will continue. Nothing fundamental will change. Conditions for Palestinians will remain cruel and unjust.

The whole world knows. Western leaders able to change things sit on their hands and do nothing.

Washington funds Israel's killing machine with billions of dollars annually, the latest weapons and technology, and bipartisan endorsement of its worst crimes.

Before Netanyahu left for Washington, Israel cut off power for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians twice in the dead of winter. 

It warned about further outages if PA officials don't pay millions of dollars in outstanding debt. 

Impossible because Israel won't release around $250 million in tax revenues belonging to Palestine - collective punishment for joining the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Israel punitively opened dams near Gaza's border. Flooding caused hundreds of Palestinians to flee water levels more than three meters deep.

Many others were affected - compounding the humanitarian disaster from Israel's summer war. 

Media scoundrels ignore a catastrophe affecting hundreds of thousands of Palestinians on their own with virtually no promised aid delivered.

While Netanyahu ranted to Congress, his goon squads destroyed thousands of acres of wheat, barley and other Bedouin Rakhama village crops.

Tractors protected by killer cops uprooted privately owned Palestinian land. One resident spoke for others saying:

"This is vandalism through which they plan to displace the Bedouins from the Negev so as to create a Jewish state free of Arabs." 

"(M)y message to them is that if you turn over the land a million times, and if you demolish our homes a thousand times we will continue to live on this land and won't allow anybody to take it from us."

Area bedouins were given land to compensate for forced 1954 displacement. Israeli agreements aren't worth the paper they're written on.

Bedouins live in so-called unrecognized villages - without essential services Israel refuses to provide. It wants Arabs displaced for exclusive Jewish development. 

It uses various means to remove them - including declaring privately owned Palestinian land closed military zones.

On Tuesday, radicalized settlers attacked Palestinian MK Hanin Zoabi. She was speaking at Ramat Gan college near Tel Aviv.

Lunatic Israelis attacked her with bottles and milk spilled on her. She sustained moderate injuries.

Reports indicated Israel's extremist right-wing ordered the attack. Without security intervention, she could have been killed.

On March 17, she's running for reelection. On February 18, Israel's High Court overturned a right-wing Knesset ruling disqualifying her from general elections.

She's condemned for participating in the May 2010 Mavi Marmara humanitarian Gaza mission. Israeli fascists call her a traitor for supporting right over wrong.

On March 2, a B'Tselem press release headlined "Incident in which soldiers set dogs on Palestinian youth was part of official policy."

Israeli goon squads routinely use vicious attack dogs against unarmed defenseless Palestinian civilians.

B'Tselem published video evidence "of two soldiers from the IDF dog unit filmed by another soldier after they had set dogs on a Palestinian boy." 

"The footage was first posted on former MK Michael Ben Ari’s Facebook page, but has since been removed from there." 

"The military’s official response read: 'Upon receipt of the footage, the Commander of the Airborne and Special Training Center ordered an immediate internal inquiry into the incident.' " 

" 'Upon completion of this inquiry, conclusions will be drawn and the necessary steps will be taken to prevent such incidents from recurring.' ”

So-called Israeli inquiries are whitewashes by any standard. Expect no change in official Israeli policy.

Superiors up the Israeli chain of command authorize killer attack dog terrorism.

B'Tselem "documented and publicized this incident about two months ago," it said.

Video evidence reveals "standard" IDF practice. Attack dogs are unleashed. They're ordered against Palestinians. They savagely bite into human flesh until handlers order release.

Sometimes dogs maintain killer grips, said B'Tselem. Handlers have to taser them to release victims.

Previous responses to B'Tselem complaints indicate so-called inquiries focus "only on how the dogs were used, and not on whether they should have been used at all," the organization said.

It wants all dog attacks stopped. Its only response gotten in 18 months is that this type unacceptable viciousness "is under review."

Israel continues numerous terror tactics against Palestinians no just society would tolerate. The incident in question occurred on December 23, 2014.

Palestinians threw stones in response to a confrontation Israeli soldiers initiated.

An eyewitness said they unleashed attack dogs on Palestinian youths. One dog savagely bit 16-year-old Hamzeh Abu Hashem.

He required hospitalization. His family said he was arrested, handcuffed, removed from the hospital and taken to Ofer Prison.

B'Tselem said he was sentenced to six months imprisonment. Similar incidents occur often.

Israel uses killer attack dogs as terrorizing weapons against Palestinians for virtually any reason or none at all.

Netanyahu's congressional rant didn't explain. Supportive House and Senate members didn't ask. Or express any outrage against Israeli viciousness.

One rogue state supports another. Millions of innocent victims suffer horrifically. 

Expect the worst ahead as long as criminal gangs run both countries. Their rule by terror threatens everyone.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

Assassination of Nemtsov a classic CIA tactic by Wayne Madsen



Assassination of Nemtsov a classic CIA tactic
by Wayne Madsen
The recent gangland-style assassination of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, in the very shadow of the Kremlin, is a classic Central Intelligence Agency frame up operation designed to further pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

The CIA, along with its friends in Mossad, recently attempted a similar frame-up in Argentina when Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead under suspicious circumstances. Nisman was investigating Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman when he died, reportedly from a "suicide" in his Buenos Aires apartment. However, the "investigation" was hatched by the Mossad and CIA stations in Buenos Aires, as well as by their embeds inside the Argentine Intelligence Secretariat, in order to force Kirchner from office. The attempt failed and Argentine judge Daniel Rafecas dismissed the case based on its flimsiness.

The January 2014 gangland-style assassination of former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her ex-husband also appeared to the Venezuelan government as a foreign plot to pin the blame on President Nicolas Maduro. Her assassination was followed a month later by a sniper hit on Venezuelan beauty queen and fashion model Genesis Carmona during an anti-government demonstration in Valencia, not far from where Spear was killed. Police investigators said the shot that killed Carmona came from the ranks of opposition protesters. Beauty queens and actresses are very popular in Venezuela and the CIA's coup engineers have long targeted such individuals to create havoc in countries undergoing destabilization operations.

In the cases of the murders in Moscow, Buenos Aires, and near Caracas, they were followed almost instantaneously by critical messages from Obama administration senior officials about the requirement for "thorough investigations" by the governments and small street protests obviously coordinated by the respective CIA stations, operating through George Soros-funded NGOs, in central Moscow, Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, and Caracas. In the case of the Nemtsov protests, signs bearing the new globalist agitators' phrase "Je suis Boris" suddenly appeared on the streets.

The Nemtsov provocation killing came after a news crew from Kiev's Espresso TV revealed that the February 10 reported rocket shelling of a passenger bus near the town of Volnovakha in the Donetsk region of Ukraine near a Ukrainian military outpost was not carried out by Russian-speaking separatists but by a Ukrainian Special Security (SBU) detail. The news media, including Espresso, reported that a bus was hit by a GRAD rocket fired from a separatist position. Twelve people allegedly died in the attack.

View image on Twitter
Bus bombed in Donetsk region on February 9 by a remotely-controlled mine. The Western media reported it as a GRAD rocket shelling by rebels the next day. Poroshenko used the false flag attack to gain sympathy in Paris.

An ex-employee of Espresso TV reported that the bus was destroyed the day before the alleged GRAD attack by a remotely-controlled bomb detonated by an SBU unit. The ex-employee stated in an email: "a. this wasn't shelling by Grad as Kiev claimed; b. the distance from the nearest disposition of the resistance was well out of the reach of weaponry they had; c. this had every trace of being distance controlled explosion of MOH-50 mine planted in advance." It is now apparent that the bus bombing was carried out by Ukraine to give its president, Petro Poroshenko, some sympathy "talking points" when he arrived in Paris for the memorial observance for the Paris terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdoand the Hyper Cacher market.

The video of the victims who survived the remotely-controlled detonation of the bus were interviewed by Espresso the day before the alleged GRAD rocket attack. The video disc of the interview was sent to anti-Kiev regime activists in Kharkov with the following message:

"To my friends in Kharkov, from A.S.

At long last I have an opportunity to say the truth, to which end I am sending to you these videos. Just imagine that we have been forced to shoot this video one day ahead of the explosion in Volnovakha! This is just horrible!

I can no longer take part in these fakes, I've had enough of this criminal government that lies and kills people! I want the people to know the truth!


We at Espresso TV, both the bosses and rank and file employees, are under permanent control of SBU (Security Service of Ukraine), who make us go against the truth, common sense and journalist ethics! This amount of lies is far to [sic] much! I don't want to assume responsibility for people dying. You really feel complicit in the murder!"
The victims interviewed in their hospital beds by Espresso all spoke Russian. At the end of the interview of one of the "victims" there is a surprise:

"W" (nodding, speaks Russian): "I was going home. I caught a bus, nearly missing it. We stopped on the check point and they started checking our documents. First I heard whistling sound of the shell in the air as when they shoot from GRAD, you know, and all around us started exploding - a shell exploded ahead of the bus. Another one next to the bus... We've been thrown by the blast wave, all the windows were smashed right away. I don't remember very well what happened next, everything is blurred, I only remember two soldiers thrown out of the bus. People lying in the aisle, so horrid, some wounded, others dead, may be, but no one even thought of checking it then, everyone was trying to get out. I hit my head so badly I couldn't even move. I thought I was finished. Then I remember someone take me by the hands and start taking me out of the bus and then threw me into some pit or trenches, I don't know. They shouted to me:"Don't move!", but it was hard for me to even wink. I ached all over. It was horrible, just horrible. Then there were more wounded people thrown into the trenches. There was a girl, I guess they couldn't save her, she was so heavily injured. She sat in front of me in the bus and was talking to someone all the time on the phone. I still have her before my eyes. I thought I could be in her place... God saved me, so now I pray and thank Him for my second birth, so to say. And they shot from the Dokuchaevsk direction. I know this area very well, now it's under terrorists' control. I don't know how one could think it was done by Ukrainian army because we were there and we saw where the shelling came from, and that was from the terrorists' side. We were on the Ukrainian army controlled territory, near the road check point, so these bastards shelled the civilians, their snipers hit the... I hate them, they shoot unarmed people, there were many young men in this bus, wounded and killed (wiping)
"M" (speaking Ukrainian, interrupting): "OK, great. Good for you, everything is fine, just fine."
"W" (changes to speaking Ukrainian: "I'm glad. Take this rubbish off my head, I really can't breathe with this on."

The standard question in such killings, cui bono, is germane. Putin and his advisers would have absolutely no sane reason to want Nemtsov assassinated in such a bold manner just as Putin had no reason to want other Russians who died suspiciously -- journalist Anna Politkovskaya,Forbes Moscow editor Paul Klebnikov, Alexander Litvinenko, and former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar -- to become martyrs for the neo-conservative and Atlanticist war against Russia. WMR reported on these efforts to destabilize Russia and all the murders pointed back to exiled Russian-Israeli oligarch Boris Berezovsky as the chief culprit. On March 23, 2013, Berezovsky himself fell victim to a suspicious death. Although Berezovsky is no longer on the scene, it is believed that exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky has assumed control over Berezovsky's old network of gangsters and professional assassins who benefit as "artful dodgers" by possessing a multitude of passports, including those from Britain, Israel, and Ukraine.

It has long been established that the Russian government's opponents are composed of organized crime bosses who have no appreciation for the value of human life. That has been apparent in the killing of Nemtsov to score points for the Russian opposition. The apparent false flag attack on the commuter bus in Donestsk fits a pattern of lies and disinformation flooding the media from multiple neocon quarters.

Putin and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev have called Nemtsov's assassination an attempt to destabilize Russia. However, their words are being drowned out by the hyperbolic official statements from the likes of Poroshenko, Barack Obama, and David Cameron. Poroshenko is cynically using the killing to press, once again, for the immediate transfer of U.S. weapons to Ukrainian forces.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

ISIL providing cover for Israeli looting of priceless antiquities by Wayne Madsen



ISIL providing cover for Israeli looting of priceless antiquities

The scenes are all-too-familiar in the Middle East. Jihadists witnessed destroying priceless artifacts in Arab museums and libraries. However, documenting a few vases of artifacts being destroyed actually masks the looting of these artifacts and their sale on an international black market with Israelis usually serving as the middlemen or ultimate buyers for their private collections.

Videos have appeared on the Internet showing Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) -- we prefer this term as does the United States government because it accurately reflects the similarity of the name to ISIL's main state sponsor - "Israel" -- jihadists taking sledgehammers and chain saws to ancient Assyrian artifacts at the Mosul museum in Iraq. In addition, ancient Assyrian churches in northeastern Syria are being ransacked and looted with priceless Christian artifacts and Assyrian language manuscripts written in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, feared sold by ISIL on the black market.

Although ISIL videos show jihadists destroying an Assyrian winged lion and a relief of a face, priceless archaeological finds from the Assyrian palace of King Sennacherib are believed to have been sold to black marketers just as other artifacts looted from museums and ruins in Egypt, Babylon, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, and Yemen have been sold to unscrupulous dealers of stolen antiquities, many of whom are based in Israel.

On January 31, 2011, WMR reported: "One thing is always true of the kleptocratic syndicate that runs Israel: never let a crisis go to waste. The 'made for television' looting of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, a museum established in 1902 to stem the tide of the systematic theft of Egyptian historical artifacts and relics by unscrupulous western nations, including Britain, may have masked the behind-the-scenes pillaging of artifacts located in museum store rooms, well-beyond the view of visitors." On February 14, 2011, WMR followed up our report: ". . .18 priceless artifacts were stolen from the Cairo museum on January 28, at the outset Egyptian revolution. Reports from Cairo indicate the thieves who stole the artifacts, after repelling from ropes through a broken window on the museum's roof, knew exactly what to steal."

This editor has tracked the systematic looting of Middle Eastern antiquities by suspected Israeli "hit teams" since 2003. After the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, U.S. troops stood idly by while professional teams of museum thieves made off with priceless artifacts from Iraq's National Museum in Baghdad. Some 170,000 priceless artifacts dating back thousands of years to the very cradle of human civilization in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, the fabled home of the biblical Garden of Eden, were looted. Only a few were destroyed in a perception management operation to make it appear that most were simply destroyed,just as is the case in Mosul and northeastern Syria.

On February 14, 2011, WMR followed up with details of the looting that occurred during the "Egyptian Spring" riots: "Reports from Cairo confirm that among the artifacts stolen were a limestone statue of Pharaoh Akhenaten; a sandstone head of a princess from Amarna; a stone statuette of a scribe from Amarna; eleven wooden statuettes of Yuya, an 18th dynasty figure; a statue of Queen Nefertiti; and two statues, one gilded, of boy king Tutankhamun. Another secure artifact storage site within the royal necropolis at Dahshur, south of Cairo, was also broken into."

Artifacts from the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, including those from the Umayyad, Abbasid, Tulunid, Fatimid, Ayubid, Mameluk and Ottoman eras, also ended up in the hands of black marketers, with many ending up in private hands in Israel or among Jewish fences in Europe.

On August 21, 2007, WMR reported on the Israeli connection to the looting in the Arab countries: "The Israeli media is reporting that Chief Superintendent Asher Ben-Artzi, the chief of Israel's INTERPOL branch, is under official police investigation for using his contacts at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem to help wanted criminals in Israel obtain visas to visit the United States . . . It is also being reported that Ben-Artzi is under investigation for receiving stolen "relics."

Even the hopelessly Zionist-oriented Jerusalem Post reported the following at the time: "Cmdr. Asher Ben-Artzi's office in Jerusalem has Artifacts spanning thousands of years - including clay pitchers, an ossuary and a collection of wood pipes - cover every surface of the spacious room, creating an atmosphere more suited to that of a museum than of the National Police Headquarters."
On August 17, 2007, WMR reported, ". . . the looting of Iraqi treasures has been surgical and accomplished by outsiders who know in advance what they wish to obtain. Arab interlocutors based in Beirut, Geneva, London, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai are laundering money made from the looting of Iraqi artifacts. Much of the money is being used to fund various right-wing and neocon causes in the United States, Europe, and other regions."
We can also add to this report that Israel has been one of the destinations for a number of stolen artifacts and relics from Iraq, especially relics that have historical significance dating from the 'Babylonian Captivity' of the Biblical-era Jewish people."

After the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, the Israeli gangsters showed up on the scene to pick clean wanted artifacts from the Al-Jamahiriyah National Museum in Tripoli, Roman and Phoenician ruins around the country, and smaller museums in cities like Benghazi and Sirte. Israeli and American pressure have prevented the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from pursuing the perpetrators of the looting and the ultimate purchasers of the stolen Libyan artifacts from the Neolithic, Berber, Garamantian, Phoenician, Punic, Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras, as well as looted artifacts from Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Yemen. The theft of the Libyan artifacts even included stealing prehistoric cave paintings in the Acacus Mountains, artwork dated at 14,000 years old. Highly professional teams of looters pressed silk cloth soaked in a special chemical solution on to the rock frescoes with the paint lifting from the walls and sticking to the cloth.

Other professional teams of looters, linked to Israel, hit the Abyan Museum in Zinjibar, Yemen. "Al Qaeda" leveled the museum but not before teams of looters picked the museum clean of hundreds of antiquities. It is feared that the National Museum in Sana'a suffered similar looting during recent fighting in the capital.

The same network of looters cleaned out museums in Syria. UNESCO reported that
"a group posing as security personnel removed a number of crates containing significant archaeological objects from the [Raqqa] museum’s warehouse under the false pretext of moving the crates to a secure storage facility." Such professional "lightning strikes" are a hallmark of the Israeli looting teams and in the case of Raqqa the looting took place under the eyes of ISIL. Similar professional teams struck the Museum of Folklore in Hama that saw the theft of priceless glassware, Baghdadi daggers, spears and other irreplaceable items. The Maarrat Museum was stormed by an armed group that looted small clay dolls and statues.

It is doubtful that any member of the Israel-centric U.S. Congress will mention Israel's central role in stealing thousands of artifacts when Binyamin Netanyahu comes calling.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Anti-Empire Report #137 By William Blum





The Anti-Empire Report #137

By William Blum – Published February 23rd, 2015

The Greek Tragedy: Some things not to forget, which the new Greek leaders have not.

American historian D.F. Fleming, writing of the post-World War II period in his eminent history of the Cold War, stated that “Greece was the first of the liberated states to be openly and forcibly compelled to accept the political system of the occupying Great Power. It was Churchill who acted first and Stalin who followed his example, in Bulgaria and then in Rumania, though with less bloodshed.”
The British intervened in Greece while World War II was still raging. His Majesty’s Army waged war against ELAS, the left-wing guerrillas who had played a major role in forcing the Nazi occupiers to flee. Shortly after the war ended, the United States joined the Brits in this great anti-communist crusade, intervening in what was now a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency (KYP in Greek).
In 1964, the liberal George Papandreou came to power, but in April 1967 a military coup took place, just before elections which appeared certain to bring Papandreou back as prime minister. The coup had been a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, the KYP, the CIA, and the American military stationed in Greece, and was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a “communist takeover”. Torture, inflicted in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States, became routine.
George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father, had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.
Andreas Papandreou was arrested at the time of the coup and held in prison for eight months. Shortly after his release, he and his wife Margaret visited the American ambassador, Phillips Talbot, in Athens. Papandreou later related the following:
I asked Talbot whether America could have intervened the night of the coup, to prevent the death of democracy in Greece. He denied that they could have done anything about it. Then Margaret asked a critical question: What if the coup had been a Communist or a Leftist coup? Talbot answered without hesitation. Then, of course, they would have intervened, and they would have crushed the coup. 
Another charming chapter in US-Greek relations occurred in 2001, when Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street Goliath Lowlife, secretly helped Greece keep billions of dollars of debt off their balance sheet through the use of complex financial instruments like credit default swaps. This allowed Greece to meet the baseline requirements to enter the Eurozone in the first place. But it also helped create a debt bubble that would later explode and bring about the current economic crisis that’s drowning the entire continent. Goldman Sachs, however, using its insider knowledge of its Greek client, protected itself from this debt bubble by betting against Greek bonds, expecting that they would eventually fail.
Will the United States, Germany, the rest of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – collectively constituting the International Mafia – allow the new Greek leaders of the Syriza party to dictate the conditions of Greece’s rescue and salvation? The answer at the moment is a decided “No”. The fact that Syriza leaders, for some time, have made no secret of their affinity for Russia is reason enough to seal their fate. They should have known how the Cold War works.
I believe Syriza is sincere, and I’m rooting for them, but they may have overestimated their own strength, while forgetting how the Mafia came to occupy its position; it didn’t derive from a lot of compromise with left-wing upstarts. Greece may have no choice, eventually, but to default on its debts and leave the Eurozone. The hunger and unemployment of the Greek people may leave them no alternative.

The Twilight Zone of the US State Department

“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop … the Twilight Zone.” (American Television series, 1959-1965)
State Department Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015. Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, questioned by Matthew Lee of The Associated Press. 
Lee: President Maduro [of Venezuela] last night went on the air and said that they had arrested multiple people who were allegedly behind a coup that was backed by the United States. What is your response?
Psaki: These latest accusations, like all previous such accusations, are ludicrous. As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We have seen many times that the Venezuelan Government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan Government to deal with the grave situation it faces.
Lee: Sorry. The US has – whoa, whoa, whoa – the US has a longstanding practice of not promoting – What did you say? How longstanding is that? I would – in particular in South and Latin America, that is not a longstanding practice.
Psaki: Well, my point here, Matt, without getting into history –
Lee: Not in this case.
Psaki: – is that we do not support, we have no involvement with, and these are ludicrous accusations.
Lee: In this specific case.
Psaki: Correct.
Lee: But if you go back not that long ago, during your lifetime, even – (laughter)
Psaki: The last 21 years. (Laughter.)
Lee: Well done. Touché. But I mean, does “longstanding” mean 10 years in this case? I mean, what is –
Psaki: Matt, my intention was to speak to the specific reports.
Lee: I understand, but you said it’s a longstanding US practice, and I’m not so sure – it depends on what your definition of “longstanding” is.
Psaki: We will – okay.
Lee: Recently in Kyiv, whatever we say about Ukraine, whatever, the change of government at the beginning of last year was unconstitutional, and you supported it. The constitution was –
Psaki: That is also ludicrous, I would say.
Lee: – not observed.
Psaki: That is not accurate, nor is it with the history of the facts that happened at the time.
Lee: The history of the facts. How was it constitutional?
Psaki: Well, I don’t think I need to go through the history here, but since you gave me the opportunity –- as you know, the former leader of Ukraine left of his own accord.
………………..
Leaving the Twilight Zone … The former Ukrainian leader ran for his life from those who had staged the coup, including a mob of vicious US-supported neo-Nazis.
If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War. None of the attempts were democratic, constitutional, peaceful, or legal; well, a few were non-violent. 

The ideology of the American media is that it believes that it doesn’t have any ideology

So NBC’s evening news anchor, Brian Williams, has been caught telling untruths about various events in recent years. What could be worse for a reporter? How about not knowing what’s going on in the world? In your own country? At your own employer? As a case in point I give you Williams’ rival, Scott Pelley, evening news anchor at CBS.
In August 2002, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told American newscaster Dan Rather on CBS: “We do not possess any nuclear or biological or chemical weapons.” 
In December, Aziz stated to Ted Koppel on ABC: “The fact is that we don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry.” 
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein himself told CBS’s Rather in February 2003: “These missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations [as to range] in Iraq. They are no longer there.” 
Moreover, Gen. Hussein Kamel, former head of Iraq’s secret weapons program, and a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, told the UN in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its banned missiles and chemical and biological weapons soon after the Persian Gulf War of 1991. 
There are yet other examples of Iraqi officials telling the world, before the 2003 American invasion, that the WMD were non-existent.
Enter Scott Pelley. In January 2008, as a CBS reporter, Pelley interviewed FBI agent George Piro, who had interviewed Saddam Hussein before he was executed:
PELLEY: And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?
PIRO: He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s, and those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
PELLEY: He had ordered them destroyed?
PIRO: Yes.
PELLEY: So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk? Why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade? 
For a journalist there might actually be something as bad as not knowing what’s going on in his area of news coverage, even on his own station. After Brian Williams’ fall from grace, his former boss at NBC, Bob Wright, defended Williams by pointing to his favorable coverage of the military, saying: “He has been the strongest supporter of the military of any of the news players. He never comes back with negative stories, he wouldn’t question if we’re spending too much.” 
I think it’s safe to say that members of the American mainstream media are not embarrassed by such a “compliment”.
In his acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter made the following observation:
Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.
But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognized as crimes at all.
It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

Cuba made simple

“The trade embargo can be fully lifted only through legislation – unless Cuba forms a democracy, in which case the president can lift it.” 
Aha! So that’s the problem, according to a Washington Post columnist – Cuba is not a democracy! That would explain why the United States does not maintain an embargo against Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Guatemala, Egypt and other distinguished pillars of freedom. The mainstream media routinely refer to Cuba as a dictatorship. Why is it not uncommon even for people on the left to do the same? I think that many of the latter do so in the belief that to say otherwise runs the risk of not being taken seriously, largely a vestige of the Cold War when Communists all over the world were ridiculed for blindly following Moscow’s party line. But what does Cuba do or lack that makes it a dictatorship?
No “free press”? Apart from the question of how free Western media is, if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control almost all the media worth owning or controlling?
Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. (They do not have direct election of the president, but neither do Germany or the United Kingdom and many other countries). Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since candidates run as individuals. Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Is it that they don’t have the Koch Brothers to pour in a billion dollars? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate. Would Ralph Nader finally be able to get on all 50 state ballots, take part in national television debates, and be able to match the two monopoly parties in media advertising? If that were the case, I think he’d probably win; which is why it’s not the case.
Or perhaps what Cuba lacks is our marvelous “electoral college” system, where the presidential candidate with the most votes is not necessarily the winner. If we really think this system is a good example of democracy why don’t we use it for local and state elections as well?
Is Cuba not a democracy because it arrests dissidents? Many thousands of anti-war and other protesters have been arrested in the United States in recent years, as in every period in American history. During the Occupy Movement two years ago more than 7,000 people were arrested, many beaten by police and mistreated while in custody.  And remember: The United States is to the Cuban government like al Qaeda is to Washington, only much more powerful and much closer; virtually without exception, Cuban dissidents have been financed by and aided in other ways by the United States.
Would Washington ignore a group of Americans receiving funds from al Qaeda and engaging in repeated meetings with known members of that organization? In recent years the United States has arrested a great many people in the US and abroad solely on the basis of alleged ties to al Qaeda, with a lot less evidence to go by than Cuba has had with its dissidents’ ties to the United States. Virtually all of Cuba’s “political prisoners” are such dissidents. While others may call Cuba’s security policies dictatorship, I call it self-defense.

The Ministry of Propaganda has a new Commissar

Last month Andrew Lack became chief executive of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees US government-supported international news media such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Asia. In a New York Times interview, Mr. Lack was moved to allow the following to escape his mouth: “We are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram.” 
So … this former president of NBC News conflates Russia Today (RT) with the two most despicable groups of “human beings” on the planet. Do mainstream media executives sometimes wonder why so many of their audience has drifted to alternative media, like, for example, RT?
Those of you who have not yet discovered RT, I suggest you go to RT.com to see whether it’s available in your city. And there are no commercials.
It should be noted that the Times interviewer, Ron Nixon, expressed no surprise at Lack’s remark.

Notes

  1. William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, chapters 3 and 35
  2. Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt”, Spiegel Online(Germany), February 8, 2010. Google “Goldman Sachs” Greece for other references.
  3. U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015
  4. Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List
  5. CBS Evening News, August 20, 2002
  6. ABC Nightline, December 4, 2002
  7. “60 Minutes II”, February 26, 2003
  8. Washington Post, March 1, 2003
  9. “60 Minutes”, January 27, 2008
  10. Democracy Now!, February 12, 2015, Wright statement made February 10
  11. Al Kamen, Washington Post, February 18, 2015
  12. Huffington Post, May 3, 2012
  13. New York Times, January 21, 2015
Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.