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Israeli Anti-Freedom Flotilla II Propaganda - by Stephen Lendman
On June 27, its press release headlined, "GAZA, WE ARE COMING. Despite pressure and threats of violence, flotilla will sail."
On June 27, A US Boat to Gaza Audacity of Hope press conference reiterated a determination to sail despite threats, pressure and other measures used to stop it.
Participants on board all 10 ships haven't come this far to turn back or let imperial viciousness deter them, especially when their mission is vital and just.
In response to spurious claims that passengers may have chemicals to attack Israeli commandos, perhaps the same ones responsible for the May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre, Flotilla participants signed a declaration of nonviolence. Spokesman Dror Feiler told Army Radio that if Israel has other information, it should inform Flotilla organizers.
The Business of America is War - by Stephen Lendman
Noted trends analyst Gerald Celente said it, and it's true. In fact, America's business is war, more war, multiple wars, permanent wars, pillaging one nation after another for wealth, power, and dominance, while homeland needs go begging.
America never was and isn't now the "land of the free and home of the brave." In fact, it's become a "Let 'em eat cake" society.
Whether or not Marie Antoinette actually said it, France's 1789-99 revolution was very real, delivering guillotine justice, not promised "Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite," a status now destroying what's left of American freedom, heading for the trash bin of history if not already there.
Earlier articles discussed Washington's wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen, as well as numerous proxy ones in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants, and working households.
On September 18, 2009, seven former heads of the CIA publicly told President Barack Obama not to prosecute CIA torturers. On April 16, 2009, Obama had already publicly told Attorney General Eric Holder not to prosecute CIA torturers. On September 18th, Holder publicly reassured the CIA.
The coast was clear. The books started flowing. George W. Bush and John Yoo put their books out in 2010, Donald Rumsfeld in 2011, and Dick Cheney's also later this summer.
Just as the torture techniques drifted down the chain of command from these dealers in death to the rank and file, so too the book contracts. The cogs in the machine are now documenting their bit parts in the past decade's torture epidemic with pride and publishing deals.
By Dave Lindorff
The United States Military is spending $20.2 billion a year for air-conditioning the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Read that again please: $20.2 billion just to provide air-conditioning for our troops in these two desert countries.
How much is $20.2 billion?
Well, I live in Pennsylvania, where the eighth-largest school district in the country, here in Philadelphia, is about to lose 1300 of its 11,000 teachers--that’s 12% of the teaching staff in an already overcrowded school system, because the state’s Republican governor and legislature want to cut some $500 million in education funding from the state’s $27-billion budget. That military air-conditioning bill could not only restore those teachers by closing the $400 million budget deficit facing the Philadelphia School District. It could almost fund the entire budget of the state! In fact, it could probably fund the school budget deficit in almost all the school districts in the nation.
FBI Entraps Two More Muslims - by Stephen Lendman
By now, the familiar storyline sounds more like a film plot than criminal indictment, especially when Muslims are involved, and the most recent case repeats the same scenario used last December.
Then it involved Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, accused of plotting to attack an armed forces recruiting center. An undercover FBI agent lawlessly entrapped him, supplying an inert bomb, then stopping him after he allegedly tried to detonate it by remote control. A previous article discussed him, accessed through the following link:
By Laura Leigh
You learn many interesting things traveling on public lands following the wild horse issue in the American West.
You learn that after standing in sub-zero temperatures, attempting to document winter roundups, that returning to the relative warmth of your parked vehicle can make your glasses crack. You learn that chemical toe warmers are good as wrist, neck and “slip into your coveralls attach to your underwear” warmers as well. You learn that rattlesnakes don’t always rattle.
You learn the maneuvers the federal government will attempt to hide their actions when “managing” America’s wild herds: Maneuvers that range from lying about facility contracts to a roadblock on a remote dirt road operated by armed men who stop three woman from seeing the wild horses being captured.
On June 19, 1971 both houses of Congress passed the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro, act without a single dissenting vote. That act read:
Urgent posting on behalf of Kathy Kelly, who is now on the US Boat to Gaza.
June 27, 2011
Last week, newly-arrived in Athens as part of the US Boat to Gaza project, our team of activists gathered for nonviolence training. We are here to sail to Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in our ship, "The Audacity of Hope." Our team, and nine other ships' crews from countries around the world, want Israel to end its lethal blockade of Gaza by letting our crews through to shore to meet with Gazans. The US ship will bring over 3,000 letters of support to a population suffering its fifth continuous decade of de facto occupation, now in the form of a military blockade controlling Gaza's sea and sky, punctuated by frequent deadly military incursions, that has starved Gaza's economy and people to the exact level of cruelty considered acceptable to the domestic population of our own United States, Israel's staunchest ally.
For the majority of people in the United States -- a majority does not vote, a majority believes the government is broken, a majority thinks our public policy is headed in the wrong direction -- the fact that we call this place a democracy is apparently outweighed by the fact that our national government almost never does what a majority of us want done. Some of the things we don't want done include the destruction of the planet's environment, the mass slaughter of war, the spreading of violence, and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny aristocracy while millions at home and billions abroad suffer horrifically for lack of readily available resources.
Breaching Gaza's Siege Update - by Stephen Lendman
Israel keeps exerting pressure to block humanitarian efforts to deliver vital to life and other essential aid to besieged Gazans.
Endorsing Israeli lawlessness, the State Department issued a June 22 "Travel Warning - Israel, the West Bank and Gaza," saying in part:
"The Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and about threats to themselves and to US interests in those locations," adding "avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip."
Access the full statement through the following link:
On June 23, Secretary of State Clinton added:
Israel Toughening Conditions for Palestinian Detainees - by Stephen Lendman
On June 24, Haaretz writers Barak Ravid and Revital Hoval headlined, "Netanyahu: Israel to toughen conditions for Palestinian prisoners," saying:
On June 23, Netanyahu announced plans "to toughen the conditions of Palestinian security prisoners," meaning all of them wanting Palestine to be free, yet few committed crimes warranting imprisonment.
During his Jerusalem Israeli Presidential Conference, he said:
"We will give them all that they deserve according to international law, but nothing beyond that," despite systematically brutalizing detainees ruthlessly. More on that below. He added that:
"We will stop, among other things, the absurd practice in which terrorists who murdered innocent people enroll in academic studies. There will be no more 'doctors of terror' - the celebration is over."
Part III: My Cuba Years (1987-92)
(This article is Part II of journalist Ridenour’s political autobiography, "Solidarity and Resistance: 50 Years With Che.")
Grethe Porsgaard and I fell in love, in 1979. She was from Denmark and vacationing in Los Angeles. I traveled to her homeland, in 1980, where we married. At my behest, we made a go of it in her country. A major factor in that decision was that my former wife had taken our children, whose upbringing we had been sharing, from me, and had turned them against me. It would have been a negative way to begin a new love life living close to that madness. Although Grethe and I ended our marriage after several years, we remain friends.
We kind of take electricity for granted, until you have appendicitis or are having a baby and your doctor is working in the dark, because there is no electricity. Sure, there are generators, but what if there is no fuel for the generators? Not to mention basic medical supplies like disinfectant, clean bandages, and surgical instruments.
Banker Occupation of Greece - by Stephen Lendman
Economist Michael Hudson calls it "Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy" in a June 5 article by that title, saying:
After being debt entrapped, or perhaps acquiescing to entrapment, the Papandreou government needs bailout help to pay bankers that entrapped them. Doing so, however, requires "initiat(ing) a class war by raising its taxes (harming working households most), lowering its standard of living - and even private-sector pensions - and sell off public land, tourist sites, islands, ports, water and sewer facilities" - in fact, all the country's crown jewels, lock, stock and barrel, strip-mining it of everything of worth at fire sale prices.
Violating Palestinian Rights - by Stephen Lendman
Besides its Knesset, security forces and intelligence services, Israel's High Court and Civil Administration ravage Palestinian civil society repressively. Two examples illustrate the problem.
On June 22, a B'Tselem press release headlined, "Sharp increase in West Bank home demolitions," saying:
Through late June, Israel's Civil Administration, its Judea/Samaria (West Bank) governing body, illegally "demolished more Palestinians homes....than in all of last year." Most often, soldiers and Border Police accompany them, forcefully evicting longtime residents.
Over the most recent seven day period, 33 residential buildings were demolished in Jordan Valley Fasayil, al-Hadidiyeh, and Yarza communities, as well as southern Hebron Hills Khirbet Bir al-'Id. As a result, 238 Palestinians, including 129 minors, lost homes.
Breaching Gaza's Siege - by Stephen Lendman
Suffocating besieged Gazans, Israel is committing slow-motion genocide. Global activists are determined to stop it and hold Israeli officials accountable for decades of crimes of war and against humanity - unspeakable atrocities financed by criminal co-conspirators in Washington.
In May 2010, Israeli commandos illegally interdicted six Freedom Flotilla ships in international waters, massacring nine activists aboard the Mavi Marmara mother ship.
Nonetheless, global activists are determined to break Gaza's siege, the first step to ending it altogether and freeing nearly 1.7 million people, isolated in the world's largest open-air prison.
By John Grant
Two veteran friends of mine will be on one of the ships planning to leave Athens next week to challenge the Israeli sea blockade of Gaza. The Israeli government, after attacking a previous flotilla in May 2010 and killing nine people, has said it will use violence if necessary to prevent the ships from entering what any reasonable person by now should agree are Palestinian waters.
This confrontation should not be necessary. The Israeli military occupation over Palestinian life should have been eased and sovereign rights established for Palestinians long ago. The crisis of Palestinian status has reached the level of a disaster, and like the creation of Israel itself it is more than a Jewish problem: It is a world problem.
Now he tells us:
A House Democrat warned Friday that the U.S. president is becoming an "absolute monarch" on matters related to the authority to start a war.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Congress must act to limit funding for military operations in Libya in order to correct that trend.
Constitution Must Not be a Doormat, Congress Must not Be a Rubber Stamp
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 24, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led bipartisan opposition to the war in Libya, today addressed the House, urging his colleagues to take a two-step approach to ending the U.S. involvement in the war in Libya.
Congressman Kucinich will also be sending messages encouraging his colleagues to end the war with two votes. Step 1; Vote YES for H.R. 2278, which ends U.S. direct hostilities immediately, and Step 2; Vote YES for the Kucinich-Amash resolution to the FY 2012 Department of Defense Appropriations bill to end all involvement in the war by October 1, 2011.
The full text of Congressman Kucinich’s address follows:
“We have been in Afghanistan for ten years at a cost of over a half trillion dollars, in Iraq for eight years at a long term cost of at least three trillion.
Fifty years ago, freedom riders traveled by bus into the U.S. South. Now American freedom riders are joining their allies from around the world on a flotilla bound for Gaza. The U.S. ship is called The Audacity of Hope.
The heroes on this ship have pledged to sail unarmed and to refuse to use violence. The Israeli military, which continues to illegally blockade Gaza, causing endless suffering to the Gazan people, has pledged to use violent force to prevent the ships getting through.
Last May, the Israeli military, in international waters, illegally boarded another ship on a similar mission, the Mavi Marmara, killing nine people, including one American, and wounding dozens. Israel claimed, in its defense, that the Mavi Marmara carried no humanitarian aid, that all such supplies were on other ships in the flotilla.
The 36 American passengers (plus 4 crew and 10 members of the press) on board The Audacity of Hope have publicly stated that they will carry only letters: "thousands of letters of support and friendship from people throughout the U.S. to the women, children and men of Gaza."
This selfless courage will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with these freedom riders. Some of the ones I know best and am deeply concerned for the safety of are Ann Wright, Ray McGovern, Kathy Kelly, Medea Benjamin, Paki Wieland. These are people who habitually take risks for others. One comes to expect it of them, but also to expect them to always be there doing it. Robert Naiman will be on this ship, and Alice Walker, and Hedy Epstein. Below are videos of 17 of these heroes explaining why they are going.
The Freedom Riders of 1961 asked the U.S. government to protect them. Its efforts to do so were too little too late. The Freedom Riders of 2011 have also asked the U.S. government to protect them, and thus far received no such commitment. We can ask the U.S. State Department to ask Israel (recipient of billions of dollars in U.S. weaponry every year) not to assault this flotilla, and to allow those transporting aid and letters of good will to reach the suffering people of Gaza unharmed.
CONTACT THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
You have urged our fellow citizens not to participate in an unarmed nonviolent humanitarian mission to Gaza by sea.
But have you urged Israel not to interfere with ships in international waters?
Have you urged Israel not to harm unarmed activists engaged in an actual humanitarian mission, the very thing your government pretends its wars are?
Have you urged Israel to lift the illegal and murderous blockade of Gaza?
We encourage you to take these steps to ensure the safety of Americans on board The Audacity of Hope sailing for Gaza in the Freedom Flotilla. And we encourage you to pressure Israel in the way that only a nation providing Israel with billions of dollars worth of weapons every year can, by threatening to cut them off.
We look forward to your response.
Videos and other resources at the same link.
Turkish - Israeli Relations - by Stephen Lendman
In May 2010, Israel's Gaza Freedom Flotilla Mavi Marmara mother ship attack, killing nine Turkish citizens, stoked tensions between the two countries.
At the time, Turkey warned it might sever diplomatic relations unless Israel apologized, consented to an independent international investigation, and ended its Gaza siege.
Israel, however, refused and stonewalled. Frayed ties followed. In fact, they began deteriorating earlier in the new millennium despite years of closer military, economic, political, technological, cultural, academic, and practical relations.
The 1993 Oslo Accords, in fact, facilitated them based on (false) notions that Israel sought peace. Even so, relations were less than entirely cordial. Underlying tensions persisted that grew as peace proved illusive, Israel choosing confrontation that erupted during the September 2000 Al-Aqsa (second) Intifada.
Permanent US Iraq and Afghanistan Occupations Planned - by Stephen Lendman
Nothing reveals Washington's imperial agenda better than its global empire of bases. Sixty-six years post-WW II, America maintains dozens in Germany, Japan, Italy, and South Korea alone.
In total, known Pentagon bases way exceed 1,000, as well as perhaps hundreds of other shared and secret ones in about 150 countries on every continent despite no enemies anywhere justifying them.
In his 2006 book, "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic," Chalmers Johnson discussed the known numbers at the time by size and branch of service. He also highlighted the fallout, including oppressive noise, pollution, environmental destruction, expropriation of valuable public and private land, and drunken, disorderly, abusive soldiers committing rape, murder, and other crimes, often unpunished under provisions of US-imposed Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs).
McCain/Kerry Support Imperial War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
On November 6, 1971, a remorseful John Kerry told Washington, DC's WRC-TV that "I gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals," protesting against America's Vietnam War involvement.
On April 22, 1971, Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), saying in part:
He came to discuss an investigation involving "over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans," who admitted committing Southeast Asian war crimes, explaining:
US-Led Terror Bombings Target Civilians - by Stephen Lendman
US air and ground operations strategically target civilians, Pentagon (and NATO) denials notwithstanding. They lie despite clear evidence refuting them. Their latest crime claimed 19 Libyans, all civilians, including women and eight children, apologies not forthcoming and deceitful when they do.
NATO (code for the Pentagon) duplicitously called it a "precision strike on a legitimate military target - a command-and-control node which was directly involved in coordinating systematic attacks on the Libyan people."
False! It targeted Gaddafi ally Khweildy al-Hamidy's private estate, murdering civilians inside beneath the rubble, government spokesman Moussa ibrahim saying:
"This is very twisted logic. So you kill children. You kill mothers. You kill fathers, aunts and uncles, and then you try to explain it by twisted political military logic."
The Money Party is a very small group of enterprises and individuals who control almost all of the money and power in the United States. They use their money and power to make more money and gain more power. It's not about Republicans versus Democrats. The Money Party is an equal opportunity employer. It has no permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests. Democrats are as welcome as Republicans to this party. It’s all good when you’re on the take and the take is legal. Economic Populist