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Obama in New York

 

Obama in New York

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On September 25, Obama addressed the UN General Assembly. Duplicity, imperial arrogance, and belligerent were conspicuous.

 

Syria News - Sep 27

 

Suicide bombers strike outside Syrian military headquarters in Damascus, FSA claims responsibility in cooperation with an Islamist group, VIDEO - The Washington Post

Syrian Rebels : Damascus Attack a Preview of More Bombings to Come - The Daily Beast

Iranian reporter killed by sniper at scene of blasts targeting Syria military HQ in Damascus - CBS News

VIDEO: Syrian rebels bomb Damascus military building - euronews

VIDEO: Damascus car bomb aftermath aired on Syrian state TV - Telegraph

VIDEO: Last moments of Iranian reporter killed by rebel sniper - YouTube

Report: FSA Gunmen Kill Lebanese Man — Naharnet

West complicit in Syria “massacres,” rebel leader says - Now  Lebanon

Syrian rebel chief and other defectors abandon FSA and return to the Assad army - Now Lebanon

VIDEO: High figure of FSA defects to engage in dialogue with government - CounterPsyOps

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240 Christian hostages released by Syrian rebels in the village of Rableh - Vatican

Syria’s Suffering Christians Flood Neighboring Countries as Civil War Continues - NCRegister.com

Are the Syrian Christians vanishing? - National Post

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Putin: Use of Force without UN Approval is Road to Chaos, Unilateral actions or block agreements are unacceptable - RIA Novosti

VIDEO: Russian Foreign Minister defends support of Syria - CBS News

At U.N., Qatar emir calls on Arab nations to intervene in Syria - The Washington Post

Tunisia says would support Arab peacekeepers in Syria - Now Lebanon

India against unauthorised internal intervention - The New Indian Express

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Syria not to blame for surge in Turkey violence, analysts say - Now Lebanon

Turkish Opposition Party : Erdogan's Support to Terrorists a Constitutional Crime - SANA

Turks prefer Gul over Erdogan for president: poll - Yahoo! News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Teaching Torture

Michael Collins
Texas School District(s) Allow Male Administrators to Paddle Female Students

Sometimes keeping up with our societal decline becomes a bit too much. For example:

SPRINGTOWN, Texas — Like many schools in Texas, “spare the rod and spoil the child” might be considered the motto at Springtown High School.

But when two teenage girls there reportedly suffered bruises after being paddled by male assistant principals, some parents complained. They weren’t upset about the punishment itself, but instead that the school violated the policy requiring an educator of the same sex as the student to dole out the paddling. Associated Press, September 24 2012

The school board for Sprigtown, Texas responded by expanding official policy to allow male administrators to paddle female students. There were no restrictions on prurient motives or sexual arousal by male administrators while administering the structured beatings. AP failed to report any serious questioning of the process save those by People Opposed to Paddling Students, a Texas-wide organization opposed to corporal punishment. Seventy-five percent of Texas school districts allow paddling as punishment, some for minor offenses up the line of disciplinary. (Image:  The Faculty)

Talk Nation Radio: Comedy as Political Force

Lee Camp is a comedian / political commentator / online video ranter extraordinaire.   In the edition of Talk Nation Radio, we sample his rants and discuss with him the development and political value of his medium.  For more see http://leecamp.net

Lee Camp's new book is called Moment of Clarity: The Rantings of a Stark Raving Sane Man

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Embed on your own site with this code:

<object autostart="false" data="http://davidswanson.org/sites/davidswanson.org/files/talknationradio/talknationradio_20120926.mp3" height="100px" width="400px"></object>

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

TSA thumbs its nose at the law, courts say OK

Over a year ago, the TSA was ordered to hold a public comment period on the use of the strip-search scanners. The agency ignored that order.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Iran, Israel, and Existential Threats

I had dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday night in New York, along with dozens of other peace activists.  This is an annual event, and I've taken part in it more than once. 

There's some divergence of opinion on Ahmadinejad.  The New York Daily News on Tuesday called Ahmadinejad "a pure evil crackpot Holocaust denier who wants to see Israel obliterated from planet Earth." 

In contrast, a Jewish lawyer addressing the dinner gathering said that a friend had told him not to come on Yom Kippur when he should be home atoning for his sins.  "I'm going to go," he said he told his friend, "and atone for the sins of Israel."

The media tells us that Ahmadinejad is "an existential threat to Israel."  Let's consider that.

I start from the assumption that an existential threat to a human being is a greater concern than an existential threat to a government.  Denying a past existential threat to millions of human beings is offensive and dangerous.  Creating a new existential threat to millions of human beings is worse -- is, in fact, the danger we try to avoid by properly remembering the past.

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that no speech, not even a video attacking Islam, should be censored, and no speech can justify violence.  But the absence of speech, in Obama's view, can justify war.  The Democratic Party Platform calls for war on Iran if Iran does not cease violating the nonproliferation treaty.  Obama declared on Tuesday that if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons it would destroy the nonproliferation treaty.  It would start a nuclear arms race.  Iran would be, or rather it already is, a threat to Israel's existence.

But how exactly can Iran stop violating a treaty that it is not violating?  What can it say to prove it does not have what even the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates say it does not have and is not working to produce?  How can Iran prove a negative?  Many of us still recall that impossible task being assigned to Iraq in 2003.

As Ramsey Clark, the U.S. attorney general at the time the nonproliferation treaty was created, argued at the meeting with Ahmadinejad, the United States is itself violating the treaty -- a treaty that would be better called the nonproliferation and elimination treaty, as it requires the elimination of nuclear weapons.  Iran is a party to the treaty and in compliance with it.  Israel has refused to sign the treaty or to allow inspections.  Iran received its nuclear power technology from the United States, which also gave it the plans to build a bomb -- this through a CIA project that might fairly be characterized as pure evil crackpotism.  The United States has also spread that technology to India and Pakistan.  The nukes in Western Asia are in Israel and on U.S. ships off the coast of Iran. 

U.S. and Israeli forces have Iran surrounded, and are threatening war in violation of the U.N. Charter.  Israel and the United States have attacked Iranian computers, assassinated Iranian scientists, flown drones over Iran, imposed sanctions on the Iranian people (including cutting off oil supplies and clean energy technologies).  The United States has organized a massive military exercise off the coast of Iran, and has just taken the terrorist label off an Iranian terrorist group, opening the door to funding its operations.  The very real threat of war on Iran is an existential threat to millions of human beings, a threat -- in other words -- of mass murder.

What kind of threat is Iran to Israel?  According to Ahmadinejad, his religious and political leaders have made the possession or use of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons a terrible sin.  When attacked by Iraq with chemical weapons -- some of them supplied by the United States -- Iran refused to use such weapons in response.  Iran, which remembers chemical weapons as an argument for peace in the way that Japan remembers nuclear weapons, makes a distinction between defensive weapons and weapons that indiscriminately kill the innocent.  The latter are forbidden.  Iran this month persuaded 120 nations of the world to back a plan to do exactly what the nonproliferation and elimination treaty requires: eliminating nuclear weapons. 

Talking about the nuclear question, Ahmadinejad told us, has grown tiresome and repetitive.  Iran is in compliance with the law and has put the IAEA in charge of inspections.  The root cause of U.S. aggression toward Iran, he said, has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.  Why did the United States back Saddam Hussein in a war against Iran?  Because the Iranian people had overthrown a U.S.-backed dictatorship.  Why has the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran in the past, he asked, when nuclear enrichment was not an issue?  In the past year, he noted, the United States has sold over $70 billion in weapons to nations in the Persian Gulf, while Iran spends less one-fifth that amount.  How, he asked, is Iran the aggressor?

When U.S. headlines tell us that Ahmadinejad will destroy Israel, we picture Hiroshima, or Dresden, or Fallujah.  That's how we think of a nation ceasing to exist.  We think of its people destroyed from above.  But Ahmadinejad says he wants to end killing and injustice.  He speaks of peace and love, fairness and kindness.  How does this make sense?  Well, look at what he says on Israel:

"During a historical phase, they [the Israelis] represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated."

The Wall Street Journal follows that paragraph with this: "Note that word -- 'eliminated.' When Iranians talk about Israel, this intention of a final solution keeps coming up. In October 2005, Mr. Ahmadinejad, quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini, said Israel 'must be wiped off the map.' Lest anyone miss the point, the Iranian President said in June 2008 that Israel 'has reached the end of its function and will soon disappear off the geographical domain.'"

But in fact, when pressed on this, what Ahmadinejad has said is: "Our proposal is for everyone to allow people to freely hold elections and choose their governors. It's been 6 ½ to 7 decades during which the people of Palestine have been dislodged from their homes. And their territories are under occupation, and an occupying regime has been bullying them and forcing them into the current conditions. If such a fate would have come into the lives of ordinary Americans, what proposal would you have had for them? I am sure you would propose for their elimination of international bullying and occupation. Imagine in your mind that the occupation of Palestine has come to an end. What would there remain? So this is the essence of what we are saying."

In other words, were Palestine freed of apartheid and occupation, were all of its people permitted to freely determine their future, that future would not include a government that gives superior status to Jews.  Such a future could be horrible, or it could be more democratic and respectful of individual rights than Israel is, or than Iran is, or than the United States is.

"If there are other inhabitants there," Menachem Usshiskin said of Jewish plans for Palestine in 1930, "they must be transferred to some other place.  We must take over the land."  The occupation of Palestine is not so much an existential threat as an existential fait accompli.  The state of Israel was created through ethnic cleansing.  It was created as a state to privilege one religious group, something that states should not be. 

But two wrongs cannot make a right.  Evicting Israelis from their homes, inside or outside the Green Line, is not a solution.  Much less is killing them a solution or anything that Ahmadinejad is proposing.

Yehouda Shenhav's new book, "Beyond the Two State Solution: A Jewish Political Essay" tells the story of Israel's creation.  The language of the Green Line, Shenhav writes, is "a language through which Israel is described as a liberal democracy, while the Arabs (and Mizrahi and religious Jews to boot) are described as inferior and undemocratic.  This is the language of someone who came to the Middle East for a short while, not to integrate but to exist here as a guest.  The position it expresses is not only immoral with regard to the Palestinians, but also potentially disastrous for the Jews.  It commits them to life in a ghetto with a limited idea of democracy based on racial laws and a perpetual state of emergency."

This is an Israeli suggesting that the worldview of Israel agrees with Ahmadinejad's prediction for Israel.  Israel is not behaving as if it means to settle down and become part of the region it inhabits.  Shenhav wants to restore awareness of 1948, but not to try to reconstruct the world of 1948.  He does not propose eliminating Israel.  He does not propose uniting the people of Israel and Palestine into a single nation.  He does propose allowing Palestinians to return to their homes in a manner least disturbing to Israelis already living in those villages or buildings, including with compensation paid to residents evicted by an agreement with returning refugees.  He proposes a bilingual society, with a fragmented political federation.  He expects this to be very difficult, while preferable to any other approach.  And he rightly sees the first step as recovering honesty with regards to not-so-distant history.

Another book just released by Brant Rosen, a Rabbi in the United States, is called "Wrestling in Daylight: A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity."  Here we have a brand new genre: the transformation of a website, including blog posts and the comments under them, into a work of literature on the printed page.  Here we have an example of civil discourse, of diplomacy, of people with the views of the New York Daily News and the views of the Iranian government ceasing to speak past each other, coming to understand each other, realizing that neither wants to destroy the other.  I highly recommend reading it and emulating it.

A Mennonite speaking at Tuesday's meeting with Ahmadinejad said he wished others could travel to Iran, and that more Iranians could visit the United States.  He said that after decades of visiting Iran frequently, he not only viewed Iranians as friends but understood the source of tension to be the Iranian government's insistence on remaining independent of U.S. control.  As if to prove the value of his recommendation for personal interaction, the next person to speak, an evangelical pastor from Texas named Bob Roberts said that he used to be afraid of Muslims.  Then he met some in Afghanistan, and they became his friends.

Exiled critic of the Iranian government Shirin Ebadi released a message on Tuesday worth reading and signing on in support of.

I discussed these matters on New York's WBAI on Tuesday.  Here's that audio.

Agitate for Change

 

Agitate for Change

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Sitting on the sidelines accomplishes nothing. Indifference isn't an option. Nothing important changes without public involvement and activism. "We the people" must show we mean it.

 

Fatah Israeli Collaborators

 

Fatah Israeli Collaborators 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Call it an open secret. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, unelected Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and like-minded Fatah officials collaborate with Israel's occupation harshness.

 

You’re in Good Hands with Happy Hands Homeland Security

Political movements never succeed by one method or strategy alone. It takes many tactics, many plans, many approaches, many disparate–even at times conflicting–actions to get things done. And artists are always an important part of the effort.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Education and Democracy

 

Education and Democracy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Democracy and an educated citizenry go hand in hand. Public education is the great equalizer. America's founders believed it was insurance against loss of liberty.

 

Jefferson said:

 

Occupation Hell in Palestine

 

Occupation Hell in Palestine

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Forty-five years and counting. In 1977, John Pilger titled his documentary film "Palestine Is Still The Issue." It's no different today than then. In many respects, it's worse.

 

Iran War Weekly - September 24, 2012

Iran War Weekly

September 24, 2012

 

Hello All – The Iran/US/Israel conflict will take center stage this week, as the United Nations opens its new session.  While Presidents Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu, and Obama will be in the spotlight, much of the actual business among the contending players and their allies will take place off-stage, in the wings. For the Obama administration, the dramatic tension will be focused on keeping their re-election script undisturbed.  Presidents Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu, of course, have different roles.

 

The US is still Executing Teens and Locking Kids Up for Life

 

By Dave Lindorff


The United States never misses an opportunity to castigate other countries for “uncivilized” behavior, and certainly there is enough of that to go around almost anywhere you look in the world. But there’s plenty of it here in the U.S. too.


How close are we getting to a “papers, please” society? by Christopher Elliott

America is edging closer to becoming a “papers, please” society, at least when it comes to travel.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Stealing Palestinian Resources

 

Stealing Palestinian Resources

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel wants it all. For decades, it's been systematically stealing Palestinian land and resources. 

 

Privatizing Israel's Legal System

 

Privatizing Israel's Legal System

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel's Mandatory Arbitration Bill (MA) is troubling. Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman proposed it. It mandates compulsory arbitration for civil suits filed in Magistrate Courts.

 

Syria News - Sep 24

The US is the World's Biggest War-Monger

 

By Dave Lindorff


There is a massive deception campaign in the US, and in its global propaganda, which seeks to portray the United States as a poor set-upon nation that would like world peace but just has to keep a military stationed around the globe to “police” all the world’s “trouble spots.”


ACLU Sues CIA Over Drone Killings

 

ACLU Sues CIA Over Drone Killings

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been around since the Vietnam era. They were used as reconnaissance platforms. In the 1980s, Harpy air defense suppression system radar killer drones were employed. In the Gulf War, unmanned combat air systems (UCAS) and X-45 air vehicles were used.

 

QE Shell Game

 

QE Shell Game

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Now you see it. Now you don't. QE III is the Fed's latest scam. A previous article quoted PIMCO's Bill Gross. He called it money printing "till the cows come home."

 

Doing it won't resolve festering economic problems. They're getting worse while Bernanke, the ECB, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, Congress, Obama, and like-minded world leaders fiddle.

Score One for Hedges v. Obama

 

Score One for Hedges v. Obama

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong called his Apollo 11 landing "one step for man, a giant leap for mankind."

 

Hedges v. Obama perhaps reflects a baby step, if temporary, for justice.

 

Long Knives Target Iran

 

Long Knives Target Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Some background:

 

February 11, 2012 marked the 33rd anniversary of Iran's 1979 revolution. It ended a generation of repressive rule under Washington's installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

 

Syria News - Sep 22

 

 

VIDEO: Romney aide: Obama "dragged his feet" on Syria, President Romeny will work " with our allies - like the Turks, like the Saudis, like the Qataris" - CBS News

Saudi millions and special forces expertise turn Syria's rebels into a fighting force - Telegraph

The war on Syria is a war on Iran, says Iranian top military official - Al Arabiya

PM says Turkey will not take unilateral action on Syria - todayszaman.com

Biden presses Iraqi PM on arms to Syria - AFP

Iraq blocks Syria-bound North Korean plane, suspects weapons cargo - Reuters

Russia: Qatar, KSA behind Syrian Crisis, No Alternative for Political Settlement - sana

Swiss Say Grenades Sent to UAE Ended up in Syria - ABC News

No military intervention in Syria, says top NATO general - Now Lebanon

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Hundreds of Saudi funded takfiri militants from Pakistan are fighting in Syria with an anti-Semitic cause –  Haaretz

Mass grave of terrorists’ victims found in Damascus : Voice of Russia

VIDEO: Terrorist War Crimes - Mutilated Bodies Cover Field as they film - YouTube

VIDEO: How can Wahhabi vandalism be stopped? Wahhabis have a history of vandalising and destroying Islamic heritage sites - YouTube

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Prominent Kurdish Activist Assassinated in Syria - Rudaw

VIDEO: Syrian kurds demonstrating in honor of the assassinated activist - Liveleak

Iraqi Kurds raise money for Syrian Kurdish refugees - UPI.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Lies, Damn Lies, and Nuclear Lies

Remarks at protest at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the International Day of Peace, 2012

 

Our government likes to lie to us about nuclear weapons.  This poor impoverished nation halfway around the world is about to nuke us.  No, that one is.  The result, of course, is mass murder.  But there's another result potentially even worse.  We begin to think there's something wrong with being terrified of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.  There isn't.  This stuff should scare the hell out of us.  And the arrogant lunacy of imagining that even an honest and accountable authority, much less our government, could set up a commission to regulate the winds of hell and deadly substances with a half-life as long as the age of the Earth must give us serious pause.

US Media War on Islam

 

US Media War on Islam

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America never treated Muslims respectfully. US media and Hollywood play lead roles. Jack Shaheen's book "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People" documented how American filmmakers slander them.

 

Bailout Fraud and Unaccountability

 

Bailout Fraud and Unaccountability

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On December 8, 2008, the Senate confirmed Neil Barofsky's nomination as Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) watchdog. He assumed the post of SIGTARP (Special Inspector General for TARP).

 

Speaking Events

January 10 and 11:
Events in Washington DC to present a petition telling president elect to end wars:
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12501

January 20-21 Occupy the Inauguration
 
January 29 David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.
 
February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.
 
April 21-23 UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va.

April 29 possible multi-issue protest in DC.

Find Events Here.

 

 

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