Middle East and Surrounds

Hunger strikers shake foundations of Israeli justice system

Adnan, who had been detained for four months, was never charged with a criminal offence or presented any evidence of wrongdoing. In addition, as part of the agreement that eventually led to his release, Israel had the ability to bring new evidence against him and put him on trial. By failing to do so in the nearly two months between the end of his hunger strike and his release, Israel tacitly admitted that it lacked such evidence to begin with. It has also exposed once more the ease with which a Palestinian can be taken from his or her home without charge and incarcerated for months or, in the worst cases, even years.

Indefinite detention without charge or due process is an absolute, in-your-face, violation of basic human rights, period, end of discussion.

How Israel can characterize itself as a democratic country, while practicing indefinite detention of Palestinians without charges or due process, is absolutely beyond all logic.

Obama escalates in Yemen , again

Beyond the moral aspect, which Serious People do not comment upon, since it implies that the U.S. does not have the right to kill whomever it wants: only strategic objections are permitted, it is crystal clear that, as usual, this aggression will only worsen the very problem it is ostensibly intended to solve. A Wall Street Journal article today quotes proponents of this policy as pointing out that “[Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] AQAP has grown stronger since one of its prominent leaders, American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed in a U.S. strike in September.” No kidding: it’s been the case for a full decade now, as the Pentagon well knows, that nothing strengthens Terrorism more than constant American aggression in that region.

I am reminded that one of the classical definitions of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, yet expecting a different outcome.

Unfortunately, this is simply a manifestation of the institutional insanity which passes for “enlightened” US foreign policy in the 21st century.

If the US government had a shred of sense, it would be providing civilian, rather than military, aid to a government which is legendary for its corruption, lack of transparency, and disdain for its people.

We would be providing food and medical aid; prodding Yemen’s government to seek foreign capital for infrastructure and development, and seeing that infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools get built.

Were Yemen not the next door neighbor to oil giant Saudi Arabia, whose sclerotic House of Saud is having unrest problems of its own, which it is putting down with absolutely brutal suppression, we would not be in Yemen in the first place.

“SYRIAN OPPOSITION”: Mossad, Blackwater, CIA Led Operations in Homs. Weapons from Israel



Syria, Waco, Occupy, and Los Angeles

So why is the West holding Syria to standards they themselves have demonstratively rejected? It goes beyond hypocrisy – it is a declaration to the world that the “international rule of law” exists solely as a means to justify the expansion of the West’s global hegemony. It is naked military conquest hiding behind the fig leaf of “humanitarian concerns.” Syria, as does any sovereign nation or individual on Earth, has the right to defend itself and restore order within its realm.

What Wall Street and London do through their “international institutions” from this point forward, is done as poorly disguised imperialism with their “humanitarian concerns” nothing more than the weakest sort of rhetoric in the long history of weak rhetoric used to propel the interests of empire.

The West and Israel simply wants regime change in Syria to facilitate the same in Tehran, most probably through military means.

But I really have to wonder if anyone in the bowels of power in DC or Tel Aviv have actually thought this through, relative to Iran.

Both the US and Israel appear to be indulging “magical thinking” regarding such a military confrontation against Iran. And in this “magical thinking” scenario, the targeting of alleged nuclear weapons program will not engender any retaliation on the part of the Iranian military; it will be a blitzkrieg, executed with deadly precision, few casualties, and will be over very quickly.

But what happens if this becomes a prolonged war? What happens if this becomes another Afghanistan, except with a military which has decent offensive and defensive weapons?!?

Both US and Israeli military personnel may sustain very high casualty rates, if Iran retaliates, which it will most certainly do, and there will be massive counterattacks against both Israel and US assets in the region.

Additionally, underestimating the military capabilities of Hezbullah in Lebanon, should such a military confrontation happen, would be hazardous in the extreme for the Israeli military.

And what is never stated, or even whispered, by American politicians or military personnel publicly, is the cold, stark, blunt reality that should the US either lead or join an Israeli attack against Iran, should the war be a long, dragged-out war, it may not go well at all for the US government, and for the following reasons: the US government doesn’t have the troop strength, the money, or the domestic manufacturing to insure a positive outcome to a prolonged war against Iran.

And recently, members of both civilian and military leadership in nuclear-armed Russia, Pakistan, and China have gone on record, publicly, stating that should Iran be attacked, these countries will come to its aid militarily.

So what we have here is the potential for a global thermonuclear war, over an alleged Iranian weapons program which cannot, to date, be proven to exist.

So a memo to all those in the bowels of power in DC and Tel Aviv: please, gentlemen and ladies: be careful what you wish for as an outcome in both Syria and Iran.

An attack against Iran could have unintended consequences which well may be both horrifically catastrophic, and irreversible.

Operation Cast Lead: It’s Zionese for Burning People

“Zionese” is the unofficial spoken language of the State of Israel. Most Israelis learn and use the Zionese language, but one need not be Jewish to speak it; today it is also the language that’s spoken in many Judeo-Christian and Messianic churches in America, often without church leaders realizing it.

The first cab driver I rode with in Israel pointedly called the Philistines “animals” in the course of polite conversation…that’s Zionese. He was cautioning me to keep away from Palestinians while in Israel. “They will kill you in there,” he told me, when he learned I was going into Gaza. More Zionese.

When I was a small child, attending that small school in Loudon, New Hampshire, I vividly recall one of the textbooks we were given. It was called “Our American Heritage” and it featured a painting of a steamboat on the cover. Inside was the usual propaganda for young impressionable minds about how great the United States was and how evil the communists were, how all communists everywhere dreamed of nothing but the destruction of the United States because … well, no real reason was given, just because. The message was remarkably similar to the one portrayed above. “They” hate us. “They” wish us nothing but ill. “They” will kill us given the chance.

Then, through my work at NASA I actually met real communists from the USSR, then again at SIGGRAPH when the Moscow university students started to attend. And finally I had a chance meeting with a Soviet flight crew when we were snowed in at the Frankfurt airport.

In hindsight, I should not have been surprised to discover they were just normal people like myself. They recalled the textbooks they had been given as children, that taught them about how great the Soviet Union was and how evil the capitalists were, how all capitalists everywhere dreamed of nothing but the destruction of the USSR because … well, no real reason was given, just because.

The lesson is simple; that all people can get along with each other, were it not for the charlatans and mountebanks who rule us all with lies about a remote enemy that hates us and from whom we need the protection offered by the rulers in exchange for obedience, wealth, and the lives of our children to be sacrificed in wars.

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