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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gaza Offensive as seen from the Cradle of Arab Resistance




River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

1989, The year when the West did everything wrong, by Filo

The Saker

We are pleased to publish this first testimony of a francophone reader of vineyardsaker. Filo is of Yugoslavian origin. He emigrated to the West in the 70s, and tells us of his disillusionment on the Western model as well as that of an entire people.

The French Saker Editors 


1989, The year when the West did everything wrong, by Filo 
I was born, a long time ago, in a country that was said to be situated between two blocks: that of the East and that of the West. A non aligned country. Above all, an untroubled and peaceful country. I was born and lived there the first twenty years of my life. Enough for me to be able to perceive and understand the life of my country, engage in my studies and in my first experiences.

Monastery of Gornjak, in Serbia (14th century)
As early as 1960, socialist Yugoslavia was been forced by the West and the IMF to open itself to market economy, and to start making economic reforms. Poorly prepared and ill protected, State companies rapidly went into an economic crisis. Mass unemployment appeared. In short we became an easy prey, exploitable at will. The country was invaded by entrepreneurs and businessmen from Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, all attracted by low cost manpower.

Many Yugoslavians became « gastarbeiters », immigrant workers. When this situation reached its apex, there were in the West up to 2.5 million Yugoslavian workers according to estimates.

In 1970, I was among those who followed the course of it. I landed in the middle of an economic boom. I remember, my eyes wide open, being astonished by all of these ostentatious signs of wealth, by the presence of banks everywhere.

Although I was not born within capitalism, a question worried me: how can all of these banks be profitable? I finally understood, much later. I will not say more about it now because I would like to keep this topic for another article.

Inevitably, I compared this new world I was discovering to the world I had just left. I was first struck by the amount of falsehood and manipulation in the written or broadcast media. These media were full of glorification of the Western society, undoubtedly presented as being superior in every aspect. The others, Eastern countries, were systematically criticized and slandered. Yugoslavia often was simply lumped together with the other countries of the Eastern block. I had just discovered that the media of my country were much more objective, more moderate, less lying, and overall more democratic.

The period of illusions 
The year 1989, right after the Berlin wall had fallen, was meant to be the year « 0 » for the whole of mankind. At least, that was what we thought at that time. A new start for a world without wars, without poverty. A world of happiness for all, in which we were finally going to live together. No more divisions or hostility, no longer this imminent fear of a forthcoming war.

In the East, they had believed in it so much that, led by illusions, they began to dream with their eyes wide-opened of a new world of coexistence and sharing.

They imagined and persuaded themselves that the Western world was a world suspended between earth and sky. A myth that had suddenly become touchable, within hand’s reach.

They were probably in a state of mind similar to that of the Amerindians at the beginning of the conquest of the far West; very naive. Truly ingenuous.

Then, history did nothing else but repeat itself. Because history always repeats itself. Only the context changes.

Too bad the West did not understand, did not want to seize such historical opportunity to open itself and welcome, in full frankness and mutual respect, this world from the East that came peacefully seeking a reciprocal coexistence.

Lies and mental aberrations 

Since the end of World War II, Western propaganda, particularly the American one, has never ceased to aim at the East a quasi-obsessional hammering of idyllic messages and images of a Western world bathing into perfect happiness.

Applied equally in the west, this propaganda was mixed with images and stories of the world behind the « iron curtain », the reality of which was utterly distorted and darkened.

The goal was to create (and they succeeded) what was later called the « American leadership ». To define it, I offer to define « leadership » as a whole set of illusions and mental aberrations about the existence of a world to which everyone would like to belong. In reality, it is a world that does not exist and never existed. This world is also called « the American dream ».

In short, a game of fools. A fabric of lies in which we believed. Still today, it has become clear that the reality of yesterday and that of today are a permanent fabric of lies.

Americans, in particular live in a permanent lie and that, since their creation. It started with the myth of the Far West put into images by Hollywood in an idyllic manner. The reality is entirely different and has been occulted. Twenty million American Indians at the arrival of European settlers at the beginning of the conquest; at the end, less than a century later, only 60 000 were left. It is the largest genocide in human history. To date, no condemnation. The truth barely transpires today.

Check Point Charlie, in Berlin, at the time of the wall
Still now, the Western world is entirely acquired to the sleep-inducing image of « the American friend » wrapped into the aura of the savior the free world.

A friend who, according to the legend, first came to save Europe and the world during the first World War. What a blessing!

And who returned again, during the second World War. The American savior succeeded in stopping the evil Soviet at «Checkpoint Charlie». The whole Western world barely dodged a disaster. Pfew!

At this checkpoint the Americans and their European lackeys tried to create a myth to the Hollywood sauce. Big kitsch, yes!

At the beginning of this month of June 2014, during the commemoration of the Normandy landings, I was amazed to see how Americans continue to falsify history and to blatantly lie. With the help of European cowards of course.

To maintain a permanent psychosis, the Americans were threatening and provocative, as much towards their opponents as towards their own people and the population of the Allies. Such a behavior caused similar reactions among the opponent and so on, until the introduction on both sides of a true paranoia.

I believe that the Soviet intervention in Hungary in 1956, the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, and the crash of the "Prague Spring" in 1968 are direct consequences of this escalation of paranoia between the two blocks. The Americans can be credited for the direct initiative of this escalation.

One day we will know the truth about this period known as the "Cold War." We even have a duty to know the truth and the whole truth.

It is important to be reminded that the "walls" are foremost within our minds. But, regarding the other wall, fallen in 1989, it is clear that it is still there in the minds of today’s Western policymakers. It is not yet destroyed. This is especially the case with regard to the Americans, subject to a total mental aberration.

Back to reason: four examples 

Unfortunately, we were bound to quickly become disillusioned and understand that we would not enter into a new era of peace and prosperity. It was all lies and promises from the West. Their intentions were far from sincere and honest, and they never intended to deal with us as equals. Their only endgame was as Western conqueror, triumphant and vengeful. Wishing to enslave us in order to better exploit us. For them, we were only consumers of their capitalist products; a potential market, and nothing more.

To support and confirm my statements, I will take four examples, among many others:
  • In our "liberated" countries, Western manufacturers implemented a dairy and food industry, supplanting what was already there, regardless of the existing agricultural environment. The domino effect was instantaneous and the farmers of these countries were ruined.
  • We were discredited and treated as "sheep to shear" in favor of the capitalist banking and usurious system. Putting their hands onto the banks of the conquered countries, the "banksters" have imposed their methods and systems: Western type mortgages, but with interest rates sometimes up to five times higher than those of West. Self-authorized robbery, yes! Especially because they were loans in euros, Swiss francs or dollars, modeled on the fluctuation of exchange rates. The destructive effect was guaranteed within a year after such loans were made. Result: a lot of ruined people and exorbitant suicide rates.
  • The Westerners also robbed us of all of the wealth and raw materials contained in our soils. They systematically bought at a more than derisory price, often bribing local potentates, both the mines and the factories that reprocessed these raw materials. In return, they gave us vague promises of investments and employment for the local population.
  • More directly, they sent an army of occupation. Example of such a deceit: Kosovo and "Bondsteel", 40,000 m2, the largest U.S. base ever built in Europe. In 1999, the U.S. imposed on a puppet government in Pristina, a 99 years lease, where the subsoil is rich in mercury, silver and lead. I am convinced that Americans began looting it immediately. The day they leave, there will be nothing left in the sub-soil but gaping holes. The American army also uses this base as one of their secret prisons.
After blowing in like a hurricane, Westerners triggered a tsunami effect.

Western arrogance 
These Western acts of triumphal conquerors were particularly stupid. We were open to them, we wanted to learn from them, but also to pass on our knowledge. In the field of culture we could have had a very rich exchange: for us culture has always been very important, and we take great care of it. Contrary to this, we were treated with a wave of violence, spite and humiliation.

Curiously, I find some similarities between those events and those that occurred at the time of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, when savage conquistadors looted and destroyed civilizations that were far more advanced than their own.

I am deeply convinced that the West, in this year 1989, did not understand what had just happened. Together we could have built a new world, instead of just destroying what already existed. The confidence that was then lost will never be regained.

In that year of 1989, Westerners blew it! 
For example the Germans believed in the coming of a 4th Reich. Genscher, at the time Minister of Foreign Affairs and former SS officer, began to secretly visit the former Axis countries. And he was forcibly expelled from the Baltic countries by the Soviet.

Mitterrand's France was first opposed to German reunification. Backed as usual by the U. S., England was waiting for a signal from the Americans. The U.S. acted as if they had understood everything; they mainly pretended. They immediately applied (once more) their “shock doctrine”—immediate gains for sure, but very stupid on mid- to longer terms.

Those who saw through it all 

I think the only ones who got it all, in the year 1989, were the Russians. Not the Russia of Mikhail Gorbachev and his entourage, but the Russians in the background, the strategists who acted immediately and started to create today's Russia. They understood that German unification would be, at least for the next twenty years, like slamming an economic brake for the new reunified Germany and by extension a brake for the Western economy, and that this length of time would enable the modern and forthcoming Russia to recover economically and militarily.

Today one must admit that they were visionaries who were absolutely right. 

The stupidity and the greed of Westerners in general, Americans in particular, have led to where we are now, a dead-end without alternative.

Today the West has lost its hegemony over the world. The failure of its policy since 1989 is complete!

Recent events, such as those in Syria, demonstrate it.

The effects of this global deception 

"At the time, I was young, very naive and very stupid, and I sincerely believed that the Soviet Union was a deadly threat to Western Europe and that the only thing that stood between them, the evil communists, and we, the free world, was the military power of NATO, "the Saker stressed in a text published in March 2014 [1].

How true is this sentence of the Saker. Unfortunately we were young and naive, our naivety bordering on stupidity. Especially since the American style has always been the same, simple, too simple, downright simplistic.

The end of the USSR 

Mikhail Gorbatchev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1985 - 1991)

The Russians are a nation of spontaneous and naturally nice people; they voluntarily dropped "the wall" thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev’s naivety. Although ... regarding the naivety of Gorbachev, head of the USSR from 1985 to 1991, there are some doubts today. According to the latest news, an inquest has just started in Moscow to determine whether it is simple naivety or a case of high treason.

The only result produced by his "perestroika" (reconstruction) was an economic, military and political weakening of the USSR, and its disintegration. The ruble was becoming worthless and people were throwing it out of the windows. In spite of all this, even today, he says he is satisfied with what he did.

In 1990, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Later, with the collapse of the USSR, it was rumored that it was the reward of the Americans for “letting the fox enter the henhouse.”

Boris Yeltsin, first President of the Russian Federation

Then, another strike of bad luck for the Russians. Either a real string of bad luck, or the result of a large-scale corruption: the arrival of Boris Yeltsin. Notorious drunkard, yes. For eight years, it was an open door to all possible abuses and looting. Russia saw the appearance of vultures nicknamed "oligarchs." Enriched overnight, they became billionaires. Some of the best known among them: Khodorovski, Abramovich, Berezowsky, Navalny, etc. A real scourge for Russia.

Boris Yeltsin himself considerably benefited from the situation. In Switzerland, he has been investigated for corruption. He presumably received bribes from a civil engineering company in Tessin, led by an Albanian who was mysteriously contracted to renovate the Kremlin. During his reign, privatizations prevailed. All that could be privatized and sold cheaply went to either oligarchs or foreigners, in particular Americans. Hence, Americans treated themselves to buying a military industrial complex in the north of Russia. Immediately after this purchase, they froze all of the activities with the company, so as to harm the Russians. With Boris Yeltsin, a chronic alcoholic, Russia became the laughingstock of the West. Bill Clinton, at that time the U.S. president, was accustomed, at each meeting with Yeltsin, to laugh to tears. Forced but triumphant laugh of course!

The most famous giggle in history. Bill Clinton laughing to tears after Boris Yeltsin called the journalists a disaster. (From the collections of the workshop archives, www.atelierdesarchives.com)

Russia, a great heroic nation, saw its dignity trampled. Westerners, Americans in particular, stupid and vengeful, behaved like bulls in a china shop: looting, humiliation, harassment of all kinds, both towards Russia and towards other so-called communist countries.

The Ceausescu trial in Romania 
Coup in Romania. Sloppy and expeditious trial of the Ceausescu couple. Death sentence and immediate execution of the couple. Judgment by two judges who were taken by force to an improvised courtroom site that looked like a grade school classroom.

Shortly after the trial, the two judges committed suicide.

The destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 
Now, here is the height of Western stupidity: the destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, under the false pretext that the people who composed it no longer wanted to live together. A pretext as cowardly as it is deceitful. Witness of it is the fact that it took Westerners almost twenty years to destroy it (from 1991 to 2006). A great and beautiful country, a Europe in miniature. A country of 24 million inhabitants and a territory of nearly 260,000 square kilometers (half of France). A sweet mixing of populations, cultures, religions. An incredible diversity of cultures, arts and foods. During the Cold War, the country has perfectly fulfilled its buffer role between East and West. Unfortunately the West had ideas of conquest and domination. I'm sure that the West had always and only ever wanted to take advantage of the Yugoslav position between the two blocks, and that's all. As disposable as a Kleenex, discarded once it has served.

Thrown out to the dogs of Western wars, and that for the dough gained by their arm dealers.

Dough, the only real Western value! 
At the end of the Cold War, the old demons awoke. First, among the Germans and the Austrians (memories of 1st and 2nd world wars). But also at the Vatican, who saw an opportunity to settle disputes with the Orthodox Church. Westerners played on the antagonisms that were unique to this land in order to destroy it.

Such an act is cowardly, criminal and stupid, and it caused a lot of suffering, hundreds of thousands of deaths and as much destruction.

Remember that in a house there are walls that are said to be load-bearing. One should never touch them, because of the risk of seeing the house collapse. Yugoslavia, for Europe in any case, was one of those bearing walls. And our stupid Western leaders destroyed it.

Since then, the house has kept cracking and threatening to collapse.

I feel that the destruction of this country will be fatal to the destructors and that the Yugoslavian national anthem might as well be the Western funeral song. In the case of Yugoslavia, the West has shown a staggering political illiteracy and a stunning cultural ignorance.

And what about Russia in all this? 
The Russians have said, "Never again! ". And they kept their word.

Once Yeltsin was thrown to the dumpster of history, they chose the best among them.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the man that was needed

A president and a very talented and intelligent politician. Someone who holds life principles, which he applies. In less than 15 years, he managed to return its glory and power to Russia. Today, not only is his country no longer the laughingstock of the West, but on the contrary, Russia has become the main geopolitical actor on the world stage. On the military level, its role is just as important. The Russians have caught up and even surpassed the Americans in this area. NATO has found a Russian opponent, who managed to halt its progression towards the east. The lying behavior of Westerners in the face of Russia is now being turned against them.

« The day the sun will rise above Russia, NATO will melt » Slobodan Milosevic (former President of Serbia)said, who “committed” suicide in 2006 at the hand of his jailers in the prison of the ICC in The Hague. According to British media, his trial was moving inexorably towards a nonsuit, that is a dismissal of charges.

And finally, what about the West in all this? 
In 1989 a Russian visionary declared: "Communism and capitalism are the heads and tails of the same coin. Now we let down our communism. How long after that, do you think your capitalism will hold? "

Today, results agree entirely with him.

Conclusion 
Forty-four years have passed since my arrival in the West. I am a full citizen of my adopted country (Switzerland). From the beginning, I had the desire, and made the effort, to integrate into this country. But I always refused to assimilate.

Since the beginning, I was aware of the benefits of having been born and raised in another country, another political system, before arriving here. I have always taken advantage of this asset, and used it in every opportunity that presented itself. I especially used it to understand and analyze some features and paradoxes of the west.

For example, very quickly, I had to admit the evidence that Westerners were viscerally anti-communists, including towards such rather tempered form as that of Yugoslavian communism, which was quite diluted from its original form.

For years I asked myself the question why.

A paradox that I wanted to elucidate at all costs. And I finally understood.

It's huge, because in reality it is the keystone of the West itself. The cause is capitalism itself. Since its beginning, by its very definition, it is an economic concept that is not viable. Therefore, it was doomed to fail from the beginning.

The reasons and causes of its inevitable failure, I will address in my next article.

Filo, for vineyardsaker.fr 

June 2014

[1] http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.fr/2014/03/today-every-free-person-in-world-has-won.html 

Source: http://www.vineyardsaker.fr/2014/07/15/1989-lannee-ou-loccident-a-tout-rate-par-filo/
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Self-defense or provocation: Israel’s history of breaking ceasefires

Self-defense or provocation: Israel’s history of breaking ceasefires
Since Israel’s creation in 1948, Israeli political and military leaders have demonstrated a pattern of repeatedly violating ceasefires with their enemies in order to gain military advantage, for territorial aggrandizement, or to provoke their opponents into carrying out acts of violence that Israel can then exploit politically and/or use to justify military operations already planned.
The following fact sheet provides a brief overview of some of the most high profile and consequential ceasefire violations committed by the Israeli military over the past six decades.
2012 – On November 14, two days after Palestinian factions in Gaza agree to a trucefollowing several days of violence, Israel assassinates the leader of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, threatening to escalate the violence once again after a week in which at least six Palestinian civilians are killed and dozens more wounded in Israeli attacks.
2012 – On March 9, Israel violates an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and assassinates the head of the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, sparking another round of violence in which at least two dozen Palestinians are killed, including at least four civilians, and scores more wounded. As usual, Israel claims it is acting in self-defense, against an imminent attack being planned by the PRC, while providing no evidence to substantiate the allegation. Following the assassination, Israeli journalist Zvi Bar’el writes in the Haaretz newspaper:
“It is hard to understand what basis there is for the assertion that Israel is not striving to escalate the situation. One could assume that an armed response by the Popular Resistance Committees or Islamic Jihad to Israel’s targeted assassination was taken into account. But did anyone weigh the possibility that the violent reaction could lead to a greater number of Israeli casualties than any terrorist attack that Zuhair al-Qaisi, the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees, could have carried out? “In the absence of a clear answer to that question, one may assume that those who decided to assassinate al-Qaisi once again relied on the ‘measured response’ strategy, in which an Israeli strike draws a reaction, which draws an Israeli counter-reaction.”
Just over two months prior, on the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israeli army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz tells Israel’s Army Radio that Israel will need to attack Gaza again soon to restore its power of “deterrence,” and that the assault must be “swift and painful,” concluding, “We will act when the conditions are right.”
2011 – On October 29, Israel breaks a truce that has maintained calm for two months, killing five Islamic Jihad members in Gaza, including a senior commander. The following day, Egypt brokers another truce that Israel proceeds to immediately violate, killing another four IJ members. In the violence, a total of nine Palestinians and one Israeli are killed.
2008 – In November, Israel violates a ceasefire with Hamas and other Gaza-based militant groups that has been in place since June, launching an operation that kills six Hamas members. Militant groups respond by launching rockets into southern Israel, which Israel shortly thereafter uses to justify Operation Cast Lead, its devastating military assault on Gaza beginning on December 27. Over the next three weeks, the Israeli military killsapproximately 1400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including more than 300 children. A UN Human Rights Council Fact Finding Mission led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone subsequently concludes that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the fighting, a judgment shared by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
2002 – On July 23, hours before a widely reported ceasefire declared by Hamas and other Palestinian groups is scheduled to come into effect, Israel bombs an apartment building in the middle of the night in the densely populated Gaza Strip in order to assassinate Hamas leader Salah Shehada. Fourteen civilians, including nine children, are also killed in the attack, and 50 others wounded, leading to a scuttling of the ceasefire and a continuation of violence.
2002 – On January 14, Israel assassinates Raed Karmi, a militant leader in the Fatah party, following a ceasefire agreed to by all Palestinian militant groups the previous month,leading to its cancellation. Later in January, the first suicide bombing by the Fatah linked Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade takes place.
2001 – On November 23, Israel assassinates senior Hamas militant, Mahmoud Abu Hanoud. At the time, Hamas was adhering to an agreement made with PLO head Yasser Arafat not to attack targets inside of Israel. Following the killing, respected Israeli military correspondent of the right-leaning Yediot Ahronot newspaperAlex Fishmanwrites in a front-page story: “We again find ourselves preparing with dread for a new mass terrorist attack within the Green Line [Israel's pre-1967 border]… Whoever gave a green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman’s agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide bombings inside the Green Line…” A week later, Hamas responds with bombings in Jerusalem and Haifa.
2001 – On July 25, as Israeli and Palestinian Authority security officials meet to shore up a six-week-old ceasefire, Israel assassinates a senior Hamas member in Nablus. Nine days later, Hamas responds with a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem pizzeria.
1988 – In April, Israel assassinates senior PLO leader Khalil al-Wazir in Tunisia, even as the Reagan administration is trying to organize an international conference to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The US State Department condemns the murder as an “act of political assassination.” In ensuing protests in the occupied territories, a further seven Palestinians are gunned down by Israeli forces.
1982 – Following Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in June, and after PLO fighters depart Beirut under the terms of a US-brokered ceasefire, Israel violates the terms of the agreement and moves its armed forces into the western part of the city, where the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila are located. Shortly thereafter, Israeli soldiers surround the camps and send in their local Christian Phalangist allies – even though the long and bloody history between Palestinians and Phalangists in Lebanon is well known to the Israelis, and despite the fact that the Phalangists’ leader, Bashir Gemayel, has just been assassinated and Palestinians are rumored (incorrectly) to be responsible. Over the next three days, between 800 and 3500 Palestinian refugees, mostly women and children left behind by the PLO fighters, are butchered by the Phalangists as Israeli soldiers look on. In the wake of the massacre, an Israeli commission of inquiry, the Kahan Commission, deems that Israeli Defense Minister (and future Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon bears “personal responsibility” for the slaughter.
1981-2 – Under Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel repeatedly violates a nine-month-old UN-brokered ceasefire with the PLO in Lebanon in an effort to provoke a response that will justify a large-scale invasion of the country that Sharon has been long planning. When PLO restraint fails to provide Sharon with an adequate pretext, he uses the attempted assassination of Israel’s ambassador to England to justify a massive invasion aimed at destroying the PLO – despite the fact that Israeli intelligence officials believe the PLO has nothing to do with the assassination attempt. In the ensuing invasion, more than 17,000 Lebanese are killed.
1973 – Following a ceasefire agreement arranged by the US and the Soviet Union to end the Yom Kippur War, Israel violates the agreement with a “green light” from US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. According to declassified US documents, Kissinger tells the Israelis they can take a “slightly longer” time to adhere to the truce. As a result, Israel launches an attack and surrounds the Egyptian Third Army, causing a major diplomatic crisis between the US and Soviets that pushes the two superpowers to the brink of nuclear war, with the Soviets threatening to intervene to save their Egyptian allies and the US issuing a Defcon III nuclear alert.
1967 – Israel violates the 1949 Armistice Agreement, launching a surprise attack against Egypt and Syria. Despite claims Israel is acting in self-defense against an impending attack from Egypt, Israeli leaders are well aware that Egypt poses no serious threat. Yitzhak Rabin, Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli army during the war, says in a 1968 interview that “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” And former Prime Minister Menachem Begin later admits that “Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
1956 – Colluding with Britain and France, Israel violates the 1949 Armistice Agreement by invading Egypt and occupying the Sinai Peninsula. Israel only agrees to withdraw following pressure from US President Dwight Eisenhower.

1949 – Immediately after the UN-brokered Armistice Agreement between Israel and its neighbors goes into effect, the armed forces of the newly-created Israeli state begin violating the truce with encroachments into designated demilitarized zones and military attacks that claim numerous civilian casualties.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

The consent of Germany to economic sanctions against Russia will change Putin’s position and will accelerate Novorossiya’s victory

The Saker

by Pyotr AKOPOV

translated by 'A'

In the global conflict of Russia and the USA which consequence war in Ukraine turned out to be also, there is an important change which will affect all fronts where Russia resists to atlantist. Germany, some months resisting to pressure of the USA, conceded and agreed to enter economic sanctions. This step seriously will influence Putin's tactics in the Ukrainian events.

It is quite probable that sectoral sanctions against Russia will be agreed on Tuesday at a meeting of constant representatives of EU countries and will mention finance, power, arms, production of a dual purpose. If offers of European Commission are accepted, already in the next few days they will be approved at meeting of Council of EU. About introduction of new sanctions against Russia it was spoken and during Obama's conversation with leaders of England, France, Germany and Italy.

Last week there were doubts that Anglo-Saxons will manage to press through Germany, but statements of the German ministers and industrialists practically don't leave in recent days doubts that Berlin "ripened". Germany approves introduction of sectoral sanctions against Russia, the representative of the government of Germany declared on Monday to Christiana Virtts: "The government supports a concrete sectoral package of measures". And the president of Federal association of the German industry Ulrich Grillo told that it supports sanctions: "Policy time came".

Considering that Germany was the main obstacle for introduction of sectoral sanctions, now they become almost inevitable. It is clear that their first portion can be rather limited both on scale, and on time, but that the USA after all could force Europeans is important to join their policy not only political, but also the economic pressure and isolation of Russia, following which, Washington expects to force Moscow to give up on Ukraine. The rupture of Europe with Russia becomes even more important in the light of transatlantic partnership actively advanced by the USA, that is attempt to create the common Atlantic market, having connected two largest economic zones of the world and having put them under the Anglo-Saxon management. Thus, the decision of Germany and EU becomes truly historical – from the category such which define the direction and a history course.

Vladimir Putin also proceeded from such understanding of a role of Berlin, defining tactics of actions of Russia everything the last months when the Ukrainian crisis took already the form of real war. Putin threw down a challenge of the USA and to the Anglo-Saxon global project – without having attached the Crimea, and much earlier, having returned to the Kremlin in 2012. Attempt to take away Ukraine from the Russian world was the main answer of the West to return of Russia in big game. But from the very beginning of a sharp phase of the Ukrainian crisis Russia tried not only to prevent "stealing of Ukraine", but also to play on contradictions in the West – considering that interests of the USA and Europe, first of all Germany, don't coincide at all. Certainly, Putin didn't create illusions on independence of Germany – Germany represents the state with the limited sovereignty (and not only because of entry into the military block of NATO, and owing to a number of the obvious and secret mechanisms allowing Anglo-Saxons to control elite of this largest country of Europe). But he staked on acceleration of process of gradual release of Germans from dense Atlantic guardianship – the process, going already many years and gaining strength even before the Ukrainian crisis.

National conceiving part of the German elite perfectly understands that our two countries are objective partners the normal relations between which do a situation in Europe steady practically to any manipulations of Anglo-Saxon geopoliticians. Also remembers what exactly the wrong assessment of Russia from Germany (and in many respects thanks to suggestions of island strategists) twice for the last century led the country to national accident. There are no doubts that Anglo-Saxons are ready and to push off our two countries for the third time, having set Germany on Russia – this time economically. But in process of collecting of big Europe going now interests of Germany which in every possible way insists on deepening of political integration, in a root contradict interests of Anglo-Saxon globalizator which want to see in the European Union not independent, especially kontinentalno, German - the focused force, and obedient east wing of global "West", own world project.

Independence of Germany, as well as construction on this base of the building of the independent European Union, it is possible only when forming not hostile, partnership with Russia. With big Russia which will inevitably restore the borders and influence, let and in the form of the Euroasian union. And the global Berlin axis – Moscow – Beijing is at all capable to move the center of gravity in world geopolitics to the Euroasian continent, having buried present hegemonic claims of atlantist.

Crisis round Ukraine became manifestation of all these contradictions – it aggravated them and raised an edge many questions which in a peace time could be solved more slowly. Moscow staked on that the American game in isolation of Russia becomes the catalyst of process of emancipation of Germany. Certainly, nobody counts on a prompt gap – Putin's purpose was to achieve a conditional neutrality of Germany (so and Europe) in the conflict of Russia and the USA. For the sake of it Russia was ready to go to a lot of things – except, of course, delivery of national interests and refusal of fight for Ukraine. But peace, neutral Ukraine quite could would like to become for the next years a form of the Russian-European cooperation – if Europe was ready to define itself the policy concerning Kiev and would refuse support of plans of the USA on pull-in of Ukraine under the Atlantic umbrella. Alas, both in Brussels, and in Berlin weren't ready to admit that simple fact that Russia won't allow secession of part of the Russian world under the guise of eurointegration. The German dreams of fertile Ukrainian soil ("Chernozem"), desire to create one more buffer state under control of Germans and separating them from Russia , – all this together with urgings and manuals from Washington moved original national interests and cool calculation. It won't be possible for USA to tear off Ukraine from Russia – neither with help of Germany, nor without it. But to quarrel Germany with Russia is quite possible for Americans. That, as a matter of fact, they want to achieve. Really, after all, even in case of loss of Ukraine by them (that American realistic strategists are ready for long ago) Washington will have pleasant and very big prize – the possibility of the German-Russian rapprochement broken for many years. From the very beginning of the Crimean events Putin understood that chances of split of Germany and the USA are minimal – but they were, and he absolutely prudently tried to play on it. The intrigue with the German approval of sanctions and connection to blockade lasted some months and became one of the most intense secret fights in world history. Russia initially didn't do the main rate on disintegration of the united western front – we at once declared that in case the USA and EU will really try to organize isolation and blockade, we are ready to develop to the East and the South. Especially as Russia will build new, world architecture alternative to Anglo-Saxons – together with the absolute majority of the world community which long ago was already waiting the one who will throw down a challenge to owners of the Globalist Project.

Attack of the USA on Russia is not caused by Ukraine – on the contrary, the Ukrainian crisis turned out to be only consequence of America's desire to hold on the escaping world hegemony, to prevent restoration of historical Russia, the only force in the world, capable openly resist to the Anglo-Saxon project. Liberation of Germany from guardianship of atlantist is postponed, but not cancelled – if, of course, to recognize that the German people has the right for own future and wants to save itself from dissolution in a melting copper of globalization. But at this stage Germans (their elite is more exact) made the choice – and Russia is ready to resist to a uniform position of the West, continuing both to defend the national interests, and to increase approach on the world scene, building the front from civilizations and the states interested in new rules of global game. One of the most important consequences of policy of Putin on the German front was that with Novorossiya Moskva officially took a non-interference position in a situation – not to facilitate the USA their work on arm-twisting of Germany. Now the situation changes – Europe, that is Berlin, declares Russia war, let and economic, let and with reservations. In the war other laws work already, and Germans shouldn't be surprised when it will become clear that their decision to join the American blockade of Russia will lead to that Moscow recognizes Novorossiya soon.

And toughening of economic sanctions will lead not to a collapse of the Russian economy, but to fall of the Kiev's regime. In this world everything is connected, after all Vladimir Putin wasn't tired to remind it all the time to Berlin.

original Russian article: http://rusvesna.su/recent_opinions/1406607869
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Violating International Law in Gaza

Bennis-Destruction-of-Gaza-Creative-Commons
As Israel’s assault claims the lives of hundreds of Palestinian children, there’s no doubt that it’s a form of collective punishment
As Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip rages on, ceasefires come and go. Most last just long enough for Palestinians to dig out the dead from beneath their collapsed houses, get the injured to overcrowded and under-resourced hospitals, and seek enough food and water to last through the next round of airstrikes.
“There is nothing left but stones,” Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer quoted an old woman saying as she searched desperately through the rubble of what had been her home.
Casualties are soaring. By late July, Israel had killed more than 1,200 Palestinians, at least73 percent of them civilians including hundreds of children. Fifty-six Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, have died too.
July 28 poll shows 86.5 percent of Israelis oppose a ceasefire. Yet we continue to hear that Israelis want peace.
It’s true that at least some of them do. An Israeli protest in Tel Aviv brought 5,000 people into the street. That’s good — though a far cry from the 400,000 who poured into the streets to protest Israel’s invasion of Lebanon back in 1982.
And when a young Palestinian teenager was kidnapped and tortured to death — burned alive — in Jerusalem after the bodies of the three kidnapped young Israeli settlers were found, many Israelis tried to distance themselves from the horrific crime. “In our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed.
But in fact, there is a place for those who call for murder — at the highest political and military levels of Israeli society.
Meet Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Knesset — Israel’s parliament. She belongs to Israel Home, a far-right party in Netanyahu’s governing coalition. She issued on Facebook what amounts to a call to commit genocide, by deliberately killing Palestinians, including women, children, and old people.
“The entire Palestinian people is the enemy,” Shaked posted. “In wars, the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”
The Knesset member went on to say that the mothers of Palestinians killed should follow their dead sons to Hell: “They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
Her language reminds me of a chapter in our own history — the genocidal Indian Wars. U.S. military leaders had called on their troops to wipe out all the Native Americans andCol. John Chivington was asked on the eve of the Sand Creek Massacre about killing Cheyenne children. “Kill and scalp all, big and little, nits make lice,” he replied.
Shaked’s comments also echo the words of an Israeli colonel who testified under oath at the wrongful death trial of Rachel Corrie, a young U.S. peace activist killed by an Israeli soldier driving an armored bulldozer in Gaza. “In a war zone there are no civilians,” said the military officer — who was responsible for training Israeli soldiers to serve in the occupied territories.
There’s no question that Hamas’ primitive rockets violate international law. They can’t be accurately aimed at military targets. But that doesn’t justify Israel’s violation of its own obligations under international law as the occupying power in Gaza.
Israel has the region’s strongest military, the only nuclear weapons arsenal in the Middle East, and the unconditional backing of the United States. Its assault on Gaza violates the Geneva Conventions. Israel is imposing collective punishment against all Gazans, attacking hospitals, and using disproportionate force.
Israeli officials know full well that the best way to protect their citizens is to implement a real ceasefire — a breakthrough that would require opening Gaza’s borders. Some of them also know the best way to keep their citizens safe long term is by ending the occupation altogether. Problem is, not enough of them will admit it.
U.S. taxpayers also have a stake in this conflict because Washington keeps sending Israel billions of our tax dollars and refuses to push Tel Aviv to stop violating international law.
For real peace, both of those things must change.
Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Her books include “Before & After: US Foreign Policy and the War on Terrorism.”

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All of the Countries which the U.S. “Regime Changed” – Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – Have Descended into Brutal Chaos

Quantifying the Effects of Regime Change

Since 2001, the U.S. has undertaken regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
All 3 countries are now in chaos … and extremists are more in control than ever.

Iraq

In Iraq, hardcore Islamic jihadis known as ISIS have taken over much of the country – shown in red as the new “Islamic State” or self-described caliphate – using captured American weapons:
http://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/territorial_control_of_the_isis-svg.png?w=640&h=489
Christians are being rounded up and killed, and Christian leaders in Iraq say the end of Christianity in Iraq is “very near”. But as we documented in 2012, Saddam Hussein – for all his faults – was a secular leader who tolerated Christians.

Libya

Libya has also descended into absolute chaos.   We reported in 2012:
Al Qaeda is now largely in control of Libya.  Indeed, Al Qaeda flags were flown over the Benghazi courthouse once Gaddafi was toppled.
(This is – again – in contrast to toleration of Christians under Gadaffi.)
The Guardian noted in March:
According to Amnesty International, the “mounting curbs on freedom of expression are threatening the rights Libyans sought to gain“. A repressive Gaddafi-era law has been amended to criminalise any insults to officials or the general national congress (the interim parliament). One journalist, Amara al-Khattabi, was put on trial for alleging corruption among judges. Satellite television stations deemed critical of the authorities have been banned, one station has been attacked with rocket-propelled grenades, and journalists have been assassinated.
***
Ever since the fall of [Gadaffi's] dictatorship, there have been stories of black Libyans being treated en masse as Gaddafi loyalists and attacked. In a savage act of collective punishment, 35,000 people were driven out of Tawergha in retaliation for the brutal siege of the anti-Gaddafi stronghold of Misrata. The town was trashed and its inhabitants have been left in what human rights organisations are calling “deplorable conditions” in a Tripoli refugee camp. Such forced removals continue elsewhere. Thousands have been arbitrarily detained without any pretence of due process; and judges, prosecutors, lawyers and witnesses have been attacked or even killed. Libya’s first post-Gaddafi prosecutor general, Abdulaziz Al-Hassadi, was assassinated in the town of Derna last month.
***
When residents of Benghazi – the heartland of the revolution – protested against militia rule in June last year, 32 people were killed in what became known as “Black Saturday”. In another protest in Tripoli last November, 46 died and 500 were injured.
Under militia rule, Libya is beginning to disintegrate. Last summer forces under the command of the warlord Ibrahim Jadran took control of eastern oil terminals …. These forces which hijacked a oil tanker this month, prompting threats from Libya’s prime minister that it would be bombed until US forces captured it this weekend. Clashes have broken out in Jadran’s home town of Ajdabiya. In painful echoes of Iraq’s nightmare, a car bomb exploded at a Benghazi military base last week and killed at least eight soldiers, and Libya’s main airport was shut on Friday after a bomb exploded on its runway.
One of the great perversities of the so-called war on terror is that fundamentalist Islamist forces have flourished as a direct consequence of it. Libya is no exception, even though such movements often have little popular support. The Muslim Brotherhood and other elements are better organised than many of their rivals, helping to remove the prime minister, push through legislation, and establish alliances with opportunistic militias.
Ominously, Libya’s chaos is spilling across the region. The country is awash with up to 15 million rifles and other weapons, and a report by the UN panel of experts this month found that “Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons“. These arms are fuelling chaos in 14 countries, including Somalia, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Niger.
***
There is a real prospect of the country collapsing into civil war or even breaking up. Unless there are negotiated settlements to its multiple problems, Libya will surely continue its descent into mayhem, and the region could be dragged into the mire with it.
No wonder western governments and journalists who hailed the success of this intervention are so silent. But here are the consequences of their war, and they must take responsibility for them.
28-year CIA veteran Paul Pillar – who rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts – wrotein May:
Just when one might have thought the mess in Libya could not have gotten worse, it has.
***
Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states have evacuated their diplomats from Libya, the United States is preparing for possible evacuation of U.S. personnel, and the country appears on the brink of a larger civil war.
***
Those in Libya closest to being called secular liberals seem to be associated with military officers of the old regime.
***
The intervention already has negatively affected U.S. interests, particularly in providing a disincentive to other regimes to do what Gaddafi did in negotiating an end to involvement in terrorism and an end to production of unconventional weapons.
And things have only gotten worse since then.
(It should be remembered that the U.S. helped sew the seeds of chaos in several ways.  Not only did we engage in direct military intervention against Gadafi, but also – asconfirmed by a group of CIA officers – armed Al Qaeda so that they would help topple Gaddafi.)

Afghanistan

Opium production is at an all-time high under the American occupation of Afghanistan.
And the New York Times reports this week that the Taliban are currently making huge gains in Afghanistan … in some cases expanding even beyond their traditional areas of influence prior to 2001:
The Taliban have found success beyond their traditional strongholds in the rural south and are now dominating territory near crucial highways and cities that surround Kabul, the capital, in strategic provinces like Kapisa and Nangarhar.
U.S. troops are just now leaving, and so the worst may be still to come.  In addition – as we discuss below – the U.S. previously imposed regime change on Afghanistan … and the results were bad.

History Repeats

The U.S. carried out regime change in Iran in 1953 … which led to radicalization in the country. Specifically, the CIA admits that the U.S. overthrew the moderate, suit-and-tie-wearing, Democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953. (He was overthrown because he had nationalized Iran’s oil, which had previously been controlled by BP and other Western oil companies). As part of that action, the CIA admits that it hired Iranians to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its prime minister.
If the U.S. hadn’t overthrown the moderate Iranian government, the fundamentalist Mullahs would have never taken over. Iran has been known for thousands of years for tolerating Christians and other religious minorities.
Hawks in the U.S. government been pushing for another round of regime change in Iran for decades.
Hillary Clinton and then-president Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser have both admitted on the record that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Afghanistan in the 1970s by backing Bin Laden and the Mujahadin … the precursor to Al Qaeda.
And look how that turned out.

Syria

The U.S. has heavily backed the Islamic rebels in Syria in an attempt to implement regime change in that country.  The result?
As shown by the map above, they’ve taken a third of the country as part of their “caliphate”
And the jihadis are now busily crucifyingbeheading and slitting the throats of Christians. (Yup, Syria was previously known for tolerating Christians.)

Haven’t These Wars Made It Safer at Home?

But haven’t all of these wars made it safer here at home?   Nope … a top Pentagon officials says we’re no safer – and perhaps less safe – after 13 years of war.
As we’ve pointed out for almost a decade, security experts – conservative hawks and liberal doves alike – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See thisthisthisthisthisthis and this.

Regime Support

But the U.S. doesn’t always back regime change. Sometimes we work to support regimes …
… Unfortunately, they tend to be some of the most brutal tyrannies on the planet.
Postscript:  We can probably add Ukraine to the list of regime changed countries falling into chaos and murderous extremism, given that:
  • The U.S. State Department spent more than $5 billion dollars in pushing Ukraine away from Russia
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!