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Israel Upside Down

Miko Peled has written a perfect book for people, including Israelis, who have always heard that the Israeli government can do no wrong.  The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine is partly an account of the author's father's life.  His father, Matti Peled, was an Israeli general, war hero, military governor of the Gaza strip, member of Parliament, professor, and columnist who turned against the occupation of Palestine. 

Largely, however, the book is an account of Miko Peled's own life, and the evolution of his thinking about Israel. This autobiographical narrative, by a very likable and moral author, takes us step by step from unquestioning Zionism to condemnation of Israeli war crimes.  For those who would condemn the morality of this intellectual journey, there are two obvious responses.  First, read it. 

Second, the false accusations of hating Israel that often result from any sensible proposal to protect Israel from its government cannot easily apply here, by the accusers' own logic, because the author dutifully performed his Israeli military service, and his father killed a huge number of people in the name of Israel.

Such shallow prejudices have no place in this book, which respectfully and non-confrontationally persuades the reader gradually, through the course of a self-questioning life's story, that much of what is commonly assumed about Israel is in fact the reverse of reality.  The Peled family's military history is of less interest as superficial immunity from false accusations, than as a starting place for an argument that runs its course from the necessity of brutalizing Palestinians all the way through to the necessity of Israelis and Palestinians living together as friends and family.

Miko Peled grew up in Jerusalem believing that Israel had always been a little David struggling honorably against an Arab Goliath.  His grandfather, Avraham Katznelson, had been an important figure in the founding of Israel.  His father, Matti Peled, had in 1948 fought in either the War of Independence or the Catastrophe, depending on which label one prefers.   Matti Peled was also a leader of the Six-Day War of 1967, when Miko -- born in 1961 -- was a child.

Why is Rahm Emanuel's Police Department Framing the NATO Three?

More Than Entrapment, More Than a Frame-Up, the Crucifixion of the NATO 3, Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly.  The NATO 3 are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, June 12.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, rarely in history has so much been so wrong with a case in which so much is at stake. The story of the NATO 3 is either the story of the most inept, harebrained terrorists in history meeting the Keystone Cops, or a terrifying retaliation by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's police department for the posting of a Youtube video which documented illegal police behavior.  

More TSA rights abuse porn

by Amy Alkon

I’m not offended by traditional porn — the kind with naked people and and kinky this and that (as long as it isn’t kiddie porn and as long as the participants are consenting adults).

What I am offended by is the obscene constant daily violation by the TSA of Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to not be searched without probable cause. There was yet another disgusting TSA-inflicted ball-grabbing — that became an intense disgusting TSA-inflicted ball probing — of the husband of conservative commentator Dana Loesch:

Insurgents Named Responsible for Syrian Massacres

  Insurgents Named Responsible for Syrian Massacres

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A Syrian documentary aired on June 9, and a June 7 report by Germany's leading broadsheet provide more evidence. Both refutes Western and scoundrel media misinformation. More on the latter below.

 

Palestinian Hunger Strikes Continue

  Palestinian Hunger Strikes Continue

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Over 2,000 Palestinian hunger strikers redefined courage. Their willingness to die for justice was unprecedented.

 

On May 14, an Egyptian brokered deal was reached. Strike leaders and Israel Prison Service (IPS) officials agreed on terms. They included:

Stepped Up Media War on Syria

  Stepped Up Media War on Syria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

When America goes to war or plans one, media scoundrels march in lockstep. Journalism is the first casualty. Managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure.

 

Targeting Bahraini Human Rights Lawyer Mohammed Al-Tajer

  Targeting Bahraini Human Rights Lawyer Mohammed Al-Tajer

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Since anti-Al-Khalifa protests began early last year, Al-Tajer was persecuted for defending human rights and denouncing Bahraini repression publicly.

 

Killer Capitalism - Greek crisis produces fatal medicine shortages

By Michael Collins
Here is perfect example of crony capitalism.  Greek leaders do a very bad deal in secret with the help of the geniuses on Wall Street.  It turns out badly for he Greek people by creating an economic crisis.  As he crisis worsens, predicted shortages of medicine and exponential price increases emerge.  Patients with multiple sclerosis, cancer,diabetes and other critical diseases face drug shortages and out of control price increases.

"On Thursday, the [Greek] multiple sclerosis patients' association warned that if the problems persisted, sufferers could be 'led to their deaths'. Associations representing cancer, diabetes and kidney disease patients have also spoken of the gravity of the situation. 'Finding medicines,' said the MS association, 'has become a marathon for people with chronic illnesses.'"  The Independent, June 9

What happens if multiple sclerosis is untreated?

"Conclusions: This first large study in untreated patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) with different disease subtypes shows that brain atrophy proceeds relentlessly throughout the course of MS, with a rate that seems largely independent of the MS subtype, when adjusting for baseline brain volume." Assessing brain atrophy rates in a large population of untreated multiple sclerosis subtypes, Neurology, January 31, 2012

America's Student Loan Racket

  America's Student Loan Racket 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

This writer's recent book titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War" includes a chapter on America's student loan racket. It discusses the issue in detail.

 

David Sanger's War on Iran

  David Sanger's War on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Sanger is New York Times chief Washington correspondent. Previously he held other posts. He's reported on foreign policy, globalization, Asian issues, and nuclear-related ones.

 

Cooperatively with other Times correspondents, he won two Pulitzer Prizes. Its board might consider retracting them.

The Spread of Sacrifice Zones

Chris Hedges' and Joe Sacco's new book, "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt," is a treasure. Hedges wrote the plain text. Sacco produced the text-heavy cartoon sections and other illustrations, which even I -- not a big fan of cartoon books -- found to enrich this book enormously.

House votes down proposal to stop putting TSA in police-like uniforms

by Deborah Newell Tornello

All the airport’s a stage, and all the blue-clad men and women merely players.

Actors often remark on the power of costume in terms of bringing a character to life: before donning the white-blonde wig, the pirate’s eye-patch, or the Batsuit, they say, it’s just line-reading and imagination. But once they emerge from wardrobe, Presto! The make-believe becomes near-reality.

Elmer in Dairyland

 

By Charles M. Young

Between college and graduate school, I worked for a year in a factory in Verona, Wisconsin, which is a few miles and a paradigm shift outside of Madison. It wasn’t the worst place to work. We had a union. We had benefits. We chopped, folded and riveted large sheets of metal and turned them into the air diffusers that you can see in the ceilings of theaters and other large buildings.

More Syrian Blood on Obama's Hands

  More Syrian Blood on Obama's Hands

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Morning headlines again falsely accused Assad of mass killings in Qubeir village in central Hama province.

 

Houla-style slaughter was repeated. Reports said as many as 78 civilians were killed. Half were women and children. Around 35 members of one family were murdered in cold blood. 

Endangered Press Freedom in Israel

  Endangered Press Freedom in Israel

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America and Israel both wage wars on free and open expression. Whistleblowing journalists are targeted. Threats give others pause. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange understand Washington's wrath.

 

So dooes Israeli journalist Anat Kam and Haaretz's national security reporter Uri Blau.

Follow the Implications of Obama's "Kill List"

Thanks for the response to my column last week on giving Obama "more time" for what? As I prepare for the American Humanist Association conference this week in New Orleans, where I'll be speaking on the theme "Humanity and the Planet Come First: Stop the Crimes of Our Government," I'm reading more on Obama's "Kill List" - and I recommend you look further into it as well.

TSA waste and fraud

by Bill Fisher

Each week there are reports of the TSA groping children and harassing the elderly, along with stories of internal corruption and theft. To divert attention from this continual bad publicity, the TSA likes to place stories trying to show that its employees sometimes do their job and find a weapon that a passenger forgot to remove from a carry-on bag. (Though how doing one’s job is somehow newsworthy is puzzling. Imagine if Domino’s issued a press release every time it delivered a pizza.)

READ THE REST HERE.

Remembering Bob Chapman

  Remembering Bob Chapman

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On June 4, longtime market expert, analyst, Progressive Radio News Hour regular, International Forecaster owner and editor, and valued friend succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

 

He endured a protracted struggle to recover from what took him. He'll be sorely missed.

Walker Wins, Wisconsinites Lose

  Walker Wins, Wisconsinites Lose

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Morning headlines read more like obituaries than reason for anyone to celebrate. Despite pre-election polls suggesting either candidate could win, odds greatly favored Republican Scott Walker.

 

Can We Get Along Without Authorities?

Some years ago, I watched a screening of a film about Daniel Ellsberg and the release of the Pentagon Papers.  The film was shown in the U.S. Capitol, and Ellsberg was present, along with others, to discuss the movie and take questions afterwards. 

I've just read Chris Hayes' new book "Twilight of the Elites," and am reminded of the question that progressive blogger and then-Congressman Alan Grayson staffer Matt Stoller asked Ellsberg.

What, Stoller wanted to know, should one do when (following the 2003 invasion of Iraq) one has come to the realization that the New York Times cannot be trusted? 

The first thing I thought to myself upon hearing this was, of course, "Holy f---, why would anyone have ever trusted the New York Times?"  In fact I had already asked a question about the distance we'd traveled from 1971, when the New York Times had worried about the potential shame of having failed to publish a story, to 2005 when the New York Times publicly explained that it had sat on a major story (about warrantless spying) out of fear of the shame of publishing it.

But the reality is that millions of people have trusted and do trust, in various ways and to various degrees, the New York Times and worse.  Ellsberg's response to Stoller was that his was an extremely important question and one that he, Ellsberg, had never been asked before. 

It's a question that Hayes asks in his book, which can be read well together with Chris Hedges' "Death of the Liberal Class."  Hedges' book goes back further in U.S. history to chart the demise of liberal institutions from academia to media to labor.  Hayes stays more current and also more conceptual, perhaps more thought-provoking. 

Hayes charts a growing disillusionment with authorities of all variety: government, media, doctors, lawyers, bankers.  We've learned that no group can be blindly trusted. "The cascade of elite failure," writes Hayes, "has discredited not only elites and our central institutions, but the very mental habits we use to form our beliefs about the world.  At the same time, the Internet has produced an unprecedented amount of information to sort through and radically expanded the arduous task of figuring out just whom to trust."  Hayes calls this "disorienting."

While I have benefitted from Hayes' brilliant analysis, I just can't bring myself to feel disoriented.  I can, however, testify to the presence of this feeling in others.  When I speak publicly, I'm often asked questions about how to avoid this disorientation.  I spoke recently about the need to correct much of what the corporate media was saying about Iran, and a woman asked me how I could choose which sources of news reporting to trust.  I replied that it is best to watch for verifiable specifics reported by multiple sources, to begin by questioning the unstated assumptions in a story, to study history so that facts don't appear in a vacuum, and to not blindly trust or reject any sources -- the same reporter or outlet or article could have valuable information mixed in with trash.  Such critical media consumption may not be easy to do after a full day's work, I'll grant you.  But it's not any harder to do than reading the New York Times and performing the mental gymnastics required to get what you've read to match up with the world you live in.

Have Afghan women made "progress" under NATO?

Amnesty International ran ads and sent a letter signed by Madeline Albright supporting the absurd claim signed by the heads of state at the NATO summit in Chicago: “In the ten years of our partnership the lives of Afghan men, women and children, have improved significantly in terms of security, education, health care, economic opportunity and the assurance of rights and freedoms. There is more to be done, but we are resolved to work together to preserve the substantial progress we have made during the past decade.”

Recent facts to the contrary include:

Talk Nation Radio: Chase Madar on the Passion of Bradley Manning

Chase Madar discusses his new book "The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in U.S. History."  Madar is a civil rights attorney.  He writes for the London Review of Books, Le Monde diplomatique, the American Conservative, CounterPunch, and TomDispatch.  He discusses with host David Swanson the voluminous information that Manning is accused of providing to Wikileaks and to us, and some of the startling insights it gives us into what our supposedly representative government has been up to. The show also looks at the official and public responses to Manning, his mistreatment, his legal status, and the fate of whistleblowers under the Obama administration.

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.org or AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy or RadioProject.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Embed on your own site with this code:

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Facing Facts in Wisconsin: Progressives and Workers Were Sold Out by Obama and the Democratic Party

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

There will be all kinds of dancing around the issue of why progressives lost the recall campaign against union-busting Tea Party Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin on Tuesday, with the Obama campaign trying to claim that it was not a reflection on him or his popularity, the Democratic Party saying it was not their battle, and the labor movement, sadly, blaming it all on right-wing money. They’ll all be saying that it doesn’t matter, and that the important thing is to focus on helping Democrats win in November.

 

Iran: Facts vs. Fantasy

Sorting Out the Facts about Iran

By Ray McGovern

Editor Note: Neocons, including the Washington Post’seditors, keep playing games with the facts regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The plan apparently is to guide the United States into a military confrontation whether President Obama and the American people want one or not.  McGovern will discuss these issues at 6:00 PM Thursday, June 7, at Random Row Books, 315 West Main St., Charlottesville, Virginia.

On the issue of Iran’s “nuclear ambitions” you hear one thing on Monday, a different thing on Tuesday. “It’s a puzzlement!” to quote Yul Brunner’s famous line in The King and I. But in this case, the confusion is hardly insignificant.

Heated Anti-Assad Rhetoric Promotes War

  Heated Anti-Assad Rhetoric Promotes War

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Increasingly war looks likely. Earlier Obama said "the Assad regime must come to an end."

 

In early June, White House press secretary Jay Carney said "bloody sectarian war will be diminished if Assad removes himself from power or is no longer in power."

Israeli Commanders Face Trial in Turkish Court

  Israeli Commanders Face Trial in Turkish Court 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A previous article discussed arrest warrants issued for four ex-IDF senior officers. 

 

From the Land of No-Poetry

 

By Gary Lindorff

 

Welcome to the Land of No-poetry.

If I succeed in writing this poem

No one will understand me.

It will be like talking backwards.

It will be like autism.

 

There is no music here,

Except what you buy.

 

The weather is predictable.

Frogs are two-headed or one-legged

But it doesn’t mean anything.

Up means up, down means down.

The Voice of a Quaker Hawk: Scott Simon, NPR & The Empire

The Voice of a Quaker Hawk

Scott Simon, NPR & The Empire

by DAN KOVALIK

As a matter of habit, I listen to NPR nearly every morning, including to Scott Simon’s “Weekend Edition” program on Saturday mornings. However, like most habits, it is not a good one, leading almost inevitably to feelings of anger, sadness, and regret for time ill-spent.

While most of my liberal friends love Scott Simon for his old, folksy charm, and his interest in cultural icons of the left (such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Studs Terkel), I know him for what he truly is: an unapologetic shill for imperial violence against Third World peoples.

READ THE REST HERE.

 

Crisis Economic Conditions

  Crisis Economic Conditions

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Global economic data signal trouble. Headlines reflect worsening conditions.

 

The Financial Times said America's dismal jobs report and world economic weakness raise "fears of a sharp global slowdown" or worse.

 

Reason for Hope and Despair in Palestine

  Reason for Hope and Despair in Palestine

 

By Stephen Lendman

 

First the good news.

 

On May 24, Haaretz headlined "Turkey issues arrest warrants for ex-IDF officers," saying:

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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