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Showing posts from September, 2014

Israel: Silencing dissent

Things must really be bad when even The New York Times - an Israel booster - publishes a piece on how dissent isn't really tolerated in Israel.

"I haven't seen anything quite like this in recent years from a a major media outlet.

The picture we are painted of Israel both by our politicians and in the U.S. media is one of a bravely struggling democracy, beset upon by threatening, radical autocratic regimes dominated by anti-democratic, militant Islamic ideologues.  Israel is the faithful guardian of human rights in this telling, a bastion of hope standing strong against tyrannical hordes at their border eager to snuff out this noble Western experiment.

U.S. Congressmen--Jewish and Gentile alike--are regularly feted with all-expense paid trips to the Holy Land, some to pay homage to their culture at the Wailing Wall, others to see the pathways where Jesus trod, still others to bathe naked in the sea of Galilee. When they return, egged on by an enormously powerful  political a…

Children fear blue skies......

FromCommonDreams:

"In the face of a largely silent media on the deadly subject of ongoing U.S. drone strikes - for news on the latest, he notes, you'll have to go to Iranian TV - John Oliver eviscerates an Obama administration program that kills people even though officials can't or won't tell us who, or why, or where, or how many, or under what rules of engagement that in any case boast legal loopholes so vast and surreal you can fly a drone through them anyway, which they are. Once again, so-called comedians are doing the work of investigative journalism so badly needed now."


The theme ("evil") for this year's war

It is interesting to reflect on, as have many informed commentators, the justifications trotted out by politocians for the various wars we have had since the turn of the century.      Matt Carr does so in this ope-ed piece "Hey Look: We’re At War Against Evil Again" on CommonDreams.

"With ‘reluctant warrior’ Barack Obama’s declaration of war against Islamic State, the United States has found another in a seemingly endless series of justifications for waging war in the Middle East. In 1990/91 it was saving Kuwait.  In 2003 it was weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Last year it was the chemical weapon ‘red line’ in Syria – an attempt that only failed because of vocal public opposition.  Now it’s ‘evil’ and ‘extremism’ and a ‘network of death’ and this time there is very little opposition at all.

Ostensibly, this war is directed against the IS ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria, and is being waged by a coalition that includes Arab states, but that coalition is essentially a f…

Obama rewrites history in his speech to the UN

Writing in "Obama Rewrites History at the UN" on CounterPunch, Garry Leech highlights the irony - some of it cruel - of what Obama said in his speech at the UN this week when viewed as against the facts as we know them.

One example (go here for the complete piece).....

“This is a vision of the world in which might makes right — a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might — that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones, and that people should be able to choose their own future.”
Where to begin with this one? Without a doubt the most graphic example of a nation’s borders being redrawn by another over the past half century is not ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but Israel in Palestine. Following World War Two, Palestinians lived in 94% of the territory known…

The Reluctant Bomber

Credited to Peter Brookes, London Times

A wake up call for a Dad....and $100 million later

It is not surprising that this piece in The Age newspaper has resonated with readers.  It's surely a salutatory lesson for many.

"As the head of a $2 trillion global investment fund, Mohamed El-Erian had scaled the heights of the financial world and, in the process, garnered a reputation as a world-renowned economic thinker.
But it was a simple conversation with his 10-year-old daughter about brushing her teeth that prompted him to quit his coveted post.


Mr El-Erian, 56, sent shockwaves through the financial world when he announced his resignation as chief executive of global investment firm Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) in January.
He has since revealed the reason behind his decision: a handwritten note from his young daughter outlining 22 milestones in her life he had missed that year due to his gruelling work schedule.


Mr El-Erain said the list was a "wake-up call" which called into question his priorities as a father. Among the momentous occasions he…

Snooping....and the slippery slide from many freedoms

Two pieces clearly show how on the one hand one country, Australia, is cracking down on personal freedom and curbing the people's right to know, as against a complaint in another country, the USA, where the FBI claims that new encryption software being employed by Apple and Google thwarts access to someone's phone.     In the last mentioned situation the Director of the FBI says that those who prevent access being gained to their mobile phone are putting themselves above the law.    A breathtaking and astounding assertion!

"FBI Director James Comey has responded to recent moves by tech giants Apple and Google to offer better encryption services on their handheld devices by suggesting that giving people the ability to protect their private communications from state law enforcement agencies is akin to lawlessness.

In recent weeks both companies have rolled out new software enhancements for their respective smartphones that make it harder for police or federal agents to obtai…

US comes to the aid of Syria's Assad?

Robert Fisk poses a question which calls for an answer from the White House.    Has Syria's Assad, last year's big bogey-man, now become an ally of the US as it, and its allies, seek to pound ISIS into oblivion?

The moment America expanded its anti-Isis war into Syria, President Bashar al-Assad gained more military and political support than any other Arab leader can boast. With US bombs and missiles exploding across eastern and northern Syria, Assad can now count on America, Russia, China, Iran, the Hezbollah militia, Jordan and a host of wealthy Gulf countries to keep his regime alive. If ever that creaking old Arab proverb – that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” – contained any wisdom, Assad has proved it true.

In his Damascus home, the Syrian leader can reflect that the most powerful nation on earth – which only last year wished to bomb him into oblivion – is now trying to bomb his most ferocious enemies into the very same oblivion. Sunni Saudis whose “charity” donations…

Edward Snowden honoured with the Alternative Nobel Prize

There will doubtlessly be politicians around the world gagging on their breakfast cereal when they read that Edward Snowden has been awarded with what is known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.....

"Whistleblower Edward Snowden is among a group of tireless and courageous people being honored with this year's Right Livelihood Award for their efforts "stemming the tide of the most dangerous global trends."

The winners of this year's award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, were announced Wednesday.

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation, which stated that it will fund legal support for Snowden, said his honorary award recognizes “his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights."

The impact of his revelations, the Foundation states, "have caused a worldwide re-evaluation of the meaning of privacy and the boundaries of rights."

Sharing the honorary awar…

One very remarkable man!

This "story" speaks for himself.    What is truly amazing in all of this is that the man can still want to "do" something so very positive notwithstanding the truly awful effect on his life arising from Israel's action in bombing Gaza some years ago.    MPS has met the doctor.    He is quite a remarkable man.

"Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish is a man on a mission. He wants to bring 100 wounded children from Gaza to Canada for medical treatment. The idea came to him while watching images on television of the Israeli bombings in Gaza this past summer, which he said broke his heart.

The scenes brought back gut-wrenching memories of his three daughters and a niece who were killed in a previous war in Gaza. "I see in these children, my daughters," Abuelaish told Al Jazeera, his eyes moist with tears. "We need to help them, to heal them, not to be disabled. I want the voices of these children to be heard."

His own story is both heartbreaking and inspiring…

The NSA and Israel at one

As the writer of this piece "Israel's N.S.A Scandal" in The New York Times rightly asks what should Americans and Israelis think about all of this.    They ought to be appalled.

"In Moscow this summer, while reporting a story for Wired magazine, I had the rare opportunity to hang out for three days with Edward J. Snowden. It gave me a chance to get a deeper understanding of who he is and why, as a National Security Agency contractor, he took the momentous step of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents.

Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.

Typically, when such sensitive information is transferred to another country, it would first be “minim…

The warning is there loud and clear

When will politicians and leaders around the world come to their senses and actually "do" something to address climate change, the causes for it and the ramifications we are all experiencing?     

Another call has gone out to those politicians attending a UN Conference in New York this week.

"World leaders must commit themselves to holding current rises in global temperatures to 2C. That is the stark message of experts and campaigners in the runup to the United Nations climate summit that will be held in New York later this week.

They say that 2C is the maximum temperature increase that the world can tolerate without causing environmental mayhem, and they insist that politicians attending the meeting, including Barack Obama and David Cameron, must agree to that upper limit."


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"Scientists say that humans have now poured around 1,950bn tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – by burning fossil fuels – over the last 200 years. If that total reaches 3,670bn …

What boots?

Credited to Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Yikes! The world's population is growing much faster than originally thought

The ramifications of it now being established that the world's population is growing at a much greater pace than originally thought, will affect us all, in one way or another.

"The demographers may have got it wrong. New projections say the population of the planet will not stabilise at 9 billion sometime this century. In fact, there is an 80% likelihood that, by 2100, it will reach at least 9.6 bn − and maybe rise as high as 12.3 bn.

The latest data, published in the US journal Science, has profound and alarming implications for political stability, food security and, of course, climate change, since greater numbers of people mean greater demands on agricultural land, water and fuel.

At the heart of the findings − led by Patrick Gerland, of the United Nations Population Division in New York, and backed by sociologists, statisticians and population scientists from Seattle, Singapore and Santiago in Chile − is both new data and a more sophisticated approach to the mathematical p…

US surveillance programs which undermine global human rights

There is no doubting that the US agencies and like bodies in other countries are hell-bent on pursuing surveillance on people whether it be legal to do so or not.    This piece from the Centre for Democracy and Technology reveals the extent of activities and programs the US is engaged in.   Very troubling!

"Every four years, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) evaluates all of a country’s human-rights commitments during a process called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).  During the UPR, the UN HRC examines the promises a country has made—i.e., in human rights treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—and evaluates to what extent that country is living up to its obligations.

We make it crystal clear that on a daily basis, US authorities are intercepting the private communications and other personal electronic data of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, the vast majority of whom are not suspec…

How corporations insidiously seek to influence what we eat

If this isn't insidious, it is hard to think what is!   As if it isn't bad enough that large corporations have such an influence, in all manner of ways, in what we eat, this piece highlights yet another dimension to that.

“Native advertising” has recently emerged as an important financing strategy for news publications in print and online. Recognizing that traditional Internet and print advertising is no longer very effective in motivating consumer demand, and that media fortunes depend on advertising revenues, the media and corporate advertisers have joined forces to combine journalism with advertising in the context of a single news story. What appears to be a traditional piece of news is actually an article sponsored by a corporate entity, designed to increase interest in that corporation’s products or services.  John Oliver’s funny and arresting coverage of this issue is definitely worth watching. Among the most noteworthy recent examples of native advertising are The Atlan…

Disability and poverty go hand-in-hand

Probably most of haven't given it much thought, but as this piece on CommonDreams spells out, disability and poverty are linked.

"Disability is both a cause and consequence of poverty.

It is a cause because it can lead to job loss and reduced earnings, barriers to education and skills development, significant additional expenses, and many other challenges that can lead to economic hardship.

It is also a consequence because poverty can limit access to health care and preventive services, and increase the likelihood that a person lives and works in an environment that may adversely affect health.

The result? Poverty and disability go hand in hand. The poverty rate for working-age people with disabilities is nearly two and a half times higher than that for people without disabilities. Indeed, recent research finds that half of all working age adults who experience at least one year of poverty have a disability, and nearly two-thirds of those experiencing longer-term poverty have a d…

Accused: Obama's White House engages in secrecy and intimidation

So much for the lawyer-professor and so-called liberal President of the USA.      This condemnation by the some key players in the American media of the White House seems comprehensive and all-encompassing.

"Some of the nation's top journalists are criticizing the White House for undermining journalism through lack of transparency and intimidation of sources, which they say has only gotten worse under President Barack Obama—the self-proclaimed "most transparent" president in history.

Criticism of Obama's administration on the issue arose during a joint convention this week of the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors and the Associated Press Photo Managers in Chicago. Brian Carovillano, Associated Press managing editor for U.S. news, said during a panel discussion that the government's increasingly tightening standards on access to information are setting a trend for secrecy for other organizations around the country.

"The Wh…

"We" behead people too

The West has been quick to condemn IS for its barbaric and abhorent behaviour.   Civilised society, our political leaders tell us, don't, for example, behead people as IS did so graphically and publicly recently.

But, wait!   It's not a case of "them" (the baddies) and "us" (the goodies).  One of the countries the Coalition (?) has lined up to join in the "fight" against IS engages in beheadings and other barbaric, inhumane and medieval conduct.

"Now that the United States is forming another military coalition to combat evil in the Middle East, maybe we should pause to take a closer look at the members of this coalition. Sure, ISIS is terrible and does awful things like behead people, but they’ve got nothing on Saudi Arabia, which beheads people as a matter of policy.

Between August 4th and 22nd, Saudi Arabia executed 22 people, bringing the yearly total to 34. (They executed 79 people in 2013 and killed 2000 people between 1985 and 2013.) They …

Which terrorist?

Credited to Signe Wilkinson, truthdig

A plea to save desperate people being murdered

No comment is called for in relation to this editorial in The New York Times - other than to say, that it is time to act and do something positive to save people fleeing various countries from being in harm's way and seeing borders "closed" to them.

"Refugees fleeing wars and conflict in Syria, Gaza and Africa know the journey in smugglers’ boats across the Mediterranean is fraught with perils. Add now the risk of mass murder by their traffickers.

According to the International Organization for Migration, citing testimony from Palestinian survivors, last week in waters near Malta smugglers deliberately rammed a boat carrying some 500 refugees who refused a transfer to a smaller boat they felt was not safe. The smugglers reportedly laughed as terrified men, women and children sank into the sea. Only nine people are thought to have survived.

This has been a deadly year for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. Roughly 130,000 people have made the journey to Europe, more t…

Norway's Refugee Secretary-General accuses the world community of lack of compassion or outrage

We are witness to all manner of horrors around the world.    They seem to be ever-more prevalent at the moment.   However, the media reports on it - well, most times - and then the "caravan" moves on and we are confronted with the next crisis or human outrage.

Norway's Refugee Secretary-General issues a blunt assessment of the world community in this interview on ABC Radio.

"The secretary general of Norway's Refugee Council says the refugee crisis is now worse than at any time since World War II but that, chillingly, the response of the world community is no longer one of compassion or even of outrage.

Jan Egeland is calling for a new approach to the international refugee response and says he wants to see Australia return to its once generous approach.

He spoke me this morning from New York.

Jan Egeland, how does the refugee situation you and your staff confront now compare to when you began your work?

JAN EGELAND: It is worse now than at any other time in the 35 year…

An insight into drones.....from a drone operator

Drones have become part of the military apparatus and arsenal.       They are fearsome in what damage they cause and inflict - often on many civilians totally uninvolved in an military action - but the effect on the operators of these insidious weapons cannot be underestimated either.

In this op-ed piece "Confessions of a drone veteran: Why using them is more dangerous than the government is telling you" on Salon, a drone operator effectively reveals all about drones and their operation.

"The White House sells drones strikes as legal, ethical and targeted to protect our military and innocent civilians from harm. These are questionable claims, made more dubious by the administration’s selectively leaking details of the drone program to assuage the public when reports arise of flawed legal reasoning, mistaken strikes or vastly underestimated civilian deaths.

CIA director John O. Brennan also told the American public that drones “can be a wise choice because they dramatically…

Obama ensnared by Assad?

Robert Fisk, in his latest piece in The Independent, suggests that the Assad regime is luring Obama into its web.    It very much looks like the US, and its allies, have been wrong-footed.  Yet again!    

The tragedy of it all is that there can be no doubt that IS is a force to be reckoned with and somehow or other has to be stopped in its tracks - but the actions now underway, and to come, confronting IS won't achieve whatever objective there now is in tackling IS, whilst at the same time "costing" the lives of many in the armed forces and subjecting those countries involved in the war-effort to spending a staggering amount of money.

"Syria has asked Washington to engage in military and intelligence collaboration to defeat their mutual enemy Isis, inviting US congressmen and senators to visit Damascus to discuss joint action against the jihadis who threaten both America and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

It’s an offer that President Barack Obama will have to…

Everything you wanted to know about Ebola

The WHO and UN have described the Ebola epidemic, presently confined to Africa as "catastrophic".

It is bad enough what is happening in Africa as the epidemic seemingly takes hold, but the potential ramifications of the disease spreading outside that continent doesn't bear thinking about.

The BBC has a good section on its web site, here, detailing, in all manner of ways, the whos and whys of Ebola.

IS. What is the real, actual, true threat?

The politicians are at it again.   Not that long ago it was Iraq's alleged WMD (a lie!) and not long after that Assad's chemical weapons (questionable), etc. etc.   

Now, the cynics amongst us might suggest that the so-called threat from IS politicians around the world are claiming is timely, given America's upcoming mid-term election in November.    It also suits Britain's and Australia's PMs to assert the threat to democracy and in the case of Australia's Attorney-General to even claim an "existential threat" from IS.  

Paul McGeough is a veteran reporter and journalist and one of the very few who reported from the thick of  (not a cosy hotel room) the Iraq War.    He writes, as Chief Foreign Correspondent for The Canberra Times....

"It was quite weird. When the Washington talking heads assembled on Sunday morning for their weekly agenda-setting TV talk show jamboree, the question hardly asked and barely answered was how real or credible was the …

Why they march.....as we all should!

From TomDispatch....

"On Sunday, September 21st, a huge crowd will march through the middle of Manhattan. It will almost certainly be the largest rally about climate change in human history, and one of the largest political protests in many years in New York. More than 1,000 groups are coordinating the march -- environmental justice groups, faith groups, labor groups -- which means there’s no one policy ask. Instead, it’s designed to serve as a loud and pointed reminder to our leaders, gathering that week at the United Nations to discuss global warming, that the next great movement of the planet’s citizens centers on our survival and their pathetic inaction.

As a few of the march’s organizers, though, we can give some sense of why we, at least, are marching, words we think represent many of those who will gather at Columbus Circle for the walk through midtown Manhattan.

We march because the world has left the Holocene behind: scientists tell us that we’ve already raised the planet’s…

Whew! The hottest ever August

Climate change?    The naysayers keep on challenging the overwhelming evidence produced by something in excess of 95% of the world's scientists.     More proof that the world is changing in all manner of different ways.....

"August 2014 was the warmest since records began in 1880, new data from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies reveals.

The month's combined global land and ocean temperature was 0.70 degrees C (1.26 degrees F) warmer than the average temperature from the baseline period 1951-1980.

Climatologist Gavin Schmidt, Director of GISS, stated to Huffington Post and Weather.com that it was important not to stress a particular month's temperature anomaly, noting that August 2014's data was statistically similar to other years' including 2011 and 2008; rather, he said, it is the long-term trend of warming that is important to note.

In January, NASA scientists emphasized this trend, stating that the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have …

Untold billions of dollars wasted in Afghanistan....all to no avail

The disaster of Afghanistan writ large......

"The top U.S. official for monitoring aid to Afghanistan painted a grim portrait of the country’s future Friday, saying it is riddled with corruption and graft.

With most Americans’ attention riveted on Iraq and Syria, John F. Sopko, the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan, said the United States’ unprecedented $120 billion reconstruction investment there is at risk.

“The country remains under assault by insurgents and is short of domestic revenue, plagued by corruption, afflicted by criminal elements involved in opium and smuggling, and struggling to execute the basic functions of government,” Sopko said in a speech at Georgetown University.

President Barack Obama’s vow that only 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan by year’s end, Sopko said, has left many Americans unaware the the United States will spend up to $8 billion a year on reconstruction projects for years to come.

“If corruption is allowed to continue unabated…

And America is a rich country?

America is viewed my many as a wealthy country.....and by the standards of many other countries it is.   However, the USA is a good example of a few controlling the wealth of the country whilst the majority just manage to get by - or not!     A study by Harvard just released actually paints a rather grim and realistic picture of things in America.

"The high cost of housing is making it difficult for older Americans to pay for vital needs, including healthcare and food, and forcing them to live in financial insecurity into their old age, finds a recent report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Entitled "Housing America’s Older Adults—Meeting the Needs of An Aging Population," the study notes that the population of older adults in the U.S. is rapidly growing, with those aged 50 and over expected to reach 132 million by 2030. But housing for this population, which the report states is "central to quality of life," is already proving exces…

Robert Fisk: On language and what Obama plans on doing in the Middle East

It takes someone like Robert Fisk - writer, commentator and journalist who has resided in Beirut for upwards of 30 years - to scrutinise and dissect what Obama announced he would be doing in the Middle East - and then put it all into proper language and historic context (in this op-ed piece "The Latest Evil Force, Since the Last Evil Force" in The Independent, republished onCounterpunch).

"Resurrection, reinvention and linguistics. Barack Obama did the lot. And now he’s taking America to war in Syria as well as Iraq. Oh yes, and he’s going to defeat Isis, its “barbarism”, “genocide”, its “warped ideology” – until the bad guys are “vanquished from the earth”. What happened to George W Bush?

But let’s go through this with a linguistic comb. First, Obama is going to resurrect the Sunni “Awakening Council” militias – a creature invented by a certain General David Petraeus – who were paid to fight al-Qaeda by the Americans during the US occupation of Iraq, but who then got bla…

Hello.... anyone home at the UN?

Wars are breaking out all over the place.  Whatever Obama and America's allies might call it, the recent announcement of pending attacks on ISIS in nothing else but war.    But, where is the UN Security Council in all of this?

"The U.N. Security Council (UNSC), the only international body empowered to declare war and peace, continues to remain a silent witness to the widespread devastation and killings worldwide, including in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine.

A sharply divided UNSC has watched the slaughter of Palestinians by Israel, the genocide and war crimes in Syria, the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, the U.S. military attacks inside Iraq and now a virtual invasion of Syria – if U.S. President Barack Obama goes ahead with his threat to launch air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The United States has refused to go before the UNSC for authorization and legitimacy – even if it means suffering a veto by Russia or China or bo…

Nixon & Kissinger closed a blind eye.....and Israel got the Bomb!

As if there weren't enough issues in the Middle East, the fact that Israel has the atom bomb - which it steadfastly continues to deny - is destabilising at the very least.      

A piece "Don't Like That Israel Has the Bomb? Blame Nixon" in FP reveals how Israel actually acquired the bomb.

"According to recently declassified government documents -- published on Sept. 12 by the National Security Archive, in collaboration with the Center for Nonproliferation Studies -- Deputy Defense Secretary David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, warned his boss, Defense Secretary Melvin Laird, that if Washington did not use its leverage to check Israel's nuclear advances, it would "involve us in a conspiracy with Israel which would leave matters dangerous to our security in their hands."

The overall apprehension was palpable for National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, who consequently signed off in 1969 on National Security Memorandum (NSSM) 40, a request fo…

Grim Prognosis: Disaster looms for the just announced "war on terrorism"

Jeremy Scahill, veteran investigative journalist, author and film-maker of "Dirty Wars"and writer with The // Intercept delivers a grim prognosis of the outcome of the just announced "war on terrorism," specifically related to ISIS.

"Investigation journalist Jeremy Scahill sat down with MSNBC's Ari Melber on Thursday to discuss President Obama's announced plan to escalate the U.S. military campaign against the group known as the Islamic State and offered a damning assessment of the administration's "strategy."  He said that not only is the militant group (also known by the acronym ISIS) the product of failed military adventurism but that continued attempts to bomb al Qaeda-like groups out of existence simply creates a cycle of "blowback" that is self-defeating and counter-productive.

Scahill's analysis of the current situation—including his criticism of the Obama administration's so-called "counter-terrorism strategy&…

The new world order!

Credited to Signe Wilkinson, truthdig

Gaza, Israel, IDF soldiers and ethics and morality

The headline of this post says it all!

First,  Dr Mustafa Barghouti, the Palestinian MP, member of the PLO’s Central Council, and General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, addressed Palestine Solidarity Campaign activists in London.   Dr Barghouti, a medical doctor, was in Gaza during Israel’s latest massacre.

"18,000 homes and buildings were destroyed completely, 41,000 houses partially damaged, 145 schools, eight hospitals, 13 health centres damaged. 180 mosques damaged, 71 destroyed completely. Even cemeteries were bombarded, 10 bombarded, nine Muslim cemeteries, one Christian cemetery. They bombarded the graves. The bones of the people came out of the graves."

****

"During these attacks, the Israeli army killed 2,153 people, and the number will still rise because we still have injured people who will not survive. 83% of those killed were civilians, 85% of them were killed inside their homes, 578 of those killed were children, 260 were women, 101 were eld…

Obama's long Middle East war gets underway....

The cynical amongst us might be tempted to think that the claims of terrorist threats and alerts being raised in several countries around the world provides a "cover" for the war which Obama, in effect, declared today.     Make no doubts about it is war on the Middle East! - and we are all in for the long haul, as the writer of this op-piece in The Nations says.  It all sounds so vague and reminiscent of what we all heard back before Iraq was invaded.  And look where Iraq now finds itself!

"Do not be misled by White House double-talk: the United States is embarking on another Long War in the Middle East. This one will belong to Barack Obama, and it may extend beyond his presidency. Secretary of State John Kerry said as much. “It may take a year. It may take two years. It may take three years. But we’re determined it has to happen,” Kerry vowed.

Actually, it may take ten years, or longer. Americans have heard this bold, brave talk before. It has led to costly failure for o…