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reve
20-01-2014, 04:21 PM
(Hi fg just saw your post and will respond)

One Marine’s View: Keep Syria Secular, Pluralistic, and Free of Foreign Insurgents
By Brad Hoff
Global Research, January 19, 2014
levantreport.com
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: Politics and Religion
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO'S NEXT WAR?
Only a couple of major newspapers in the world have bothered to regularly cover the plight of Syria’s diverse religious and ethnic minorities living in rebel held areas. Lebanon’s The Daily Star and Al-Akhbar newspapers have featured consistent coverage of Syria’s Armenians, Kurds, Iraqis, Druze, Christians, and Ismailis – and the threats these communities face in opposition held parts of Syria. Read the latest Al-Akhbar coverage of two Armenian Christian business owners who dared to stay in Northern Syria, attempting to hold on to their family livelihood in a rebel controlled area. They were arrested, forced to convert, executed with bullets to the head, and denied burial.
The Syrian opposition was sold to the world by mainstream Western press from day one of the Syria conflict as representing democracy, freedom, and a pluralist future for a new Syria. But the last couple of years testify the complete opposite. Anyone who actually spent time in Syria prior to the conflict knows that Ba’athist Syria has always been unique in the region for the high degree of freedom that minorities exercise.
I’ve personally seen the very public way that Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities comfortably fit in to Syrian society. One can see crosses everywhere in nearly every Syrian urban center, or hear church services transmitted over loudspeakers in competition with the Muslim call to prayer echoed from nearby mosques. The multi-colored #HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druze_star" \l "Religious_symbol"Druze star is visible in suburbs of Damascus and all over villages in the south of the country. Any visitor to Aleppo immediately notices the very public Armenian presence with Armenian script proudly displayed in market places.
In the Hauran region, one can visit a recently erected huge government sponsored memorial to the Druze patriarch Sultan al-Atrash, who famously said, “Religion is for God, the fatherland is for all.” In the dozens of hotels around the Damascus city center, one encounters Kurdish bellhops who are proud to tell visitors of their Kurdish identity. One of the largest Christ statues in the world was recently erected over the ancient village of Saidnaya. The Orthodox monastery that sits at its base was, in the last months, the recipient of rocket attack by rebel insurgents hoping to gain control of the mountain that dominates the surrounding villages.
Speaking of Saidnaya, on one of my visits in the mid-2000′s I was shocked to see special media coverage on SANA – Syria’s national TV news station, of a reported miracle connected to the village’s 6th century Our Lady of Saidnaya Monastery. A wealthy Saudi Muslim man was attacked and robbed while driving to visit the Christian monastery (revered even among area Muslims as a place of spiritual healing). The man’s throat was slit and he was stuffed into the back of his car and left to die. When the police found him, the man swore that the Virgin Mary came to him, healed his slit throat, and restored him to health there on the spot. The story made national prime time news. Perhaps the most miraculous aspect to the episode for me was the fact that the story of a miracle connected to a Christian village aired on national news in a country that was 70-75% Sunni Muslim.
This is a side of Syria only known to those who have spent a significant amount of time there. Sadly, the standard narrative of the Syria conflict has been constructed by reporters, pundits, and politicians who have hardly stepped foot inside Syria, if at all. This is why, even aside from the silly singular reliance on rebel sources for information, subtle but hugely significant mistakes are made with even the basic facts of Syrian society and history. Hugely influential outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, or CNN routinely identify the regime as ”Shia-dominated” – or alternately, Assad as “pro-Shia”. From this, they construct and over-emphasize their narrative of “Shia vs. Sunni” sectarian civil war.
Anyone who knows anything about the esoteric Alawite identity and faith knows it is nothing close to Shi’ism, whatever the historical roots might be. Syria’s close relationship with Iran is, and has always been, a matter of convenience as part of a self-imagined “axis of resistance”. This has little to do with Shia religious ties and identity.
During the 2006 Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon, I was walking through the Christian section of Old City Damascus. I walked past the window of a prominent Christian bakery and saw large Hezbollah cakes. The cakes featured Hezbollah’s green and yellow AK-47 and clenched fist emblem glazed in icing, as well as small images of a burning Israeli battleship. The cakes were commemorating Hezbollah’s recent successful drone attack of an Israeli warship stationed off the Lebanese coast. That a Christian baker would make and promote such a cake had nothing to do with being “pro-Shia” – but was about a shared feeling and identity of “resistance”. The idea that Assad (or his regime) is Shi’ite with a supposed pro-Shia mission is based in ignorance and disinformation.
Based on my experience living in Syria, my many contacts with Syrians inside the country and abroad, and my personal grappling with the tragedy that has befallen a beautiful country, I’ve come to one certain conclusion:
The fight in Syria is between those that want to continue Syria’s pluralistic and secular identity – those that want to ensure a high degree of personal social and religious freedoms, and those that want to erect fanatic Sunni rule along the lines of a Taliban or Saudi religious police state model. The latter, among actual Syrian nationals (as opposed to the mass flux of foreign fighters), are in the minority; and this means that the current “rebel opposition” is in reality an aggressive terrorist insurgency (and this was so much earlier than the major media pundits will ever recognize). Sadly, this insurgency is only made strong through its significant Saudi, Qatari, and NATO support and funding. I say all of this while fully acknowledging that there have been real crimes and shortcomings of the regime.
The Western pundits don’t know what to make of Assad’s continuing to stay in power – a reality contrary to their every prediction of his immediate demise sounded every few months over the past two years. Since it is they who’ve attempted to frame the narrative in purely sectarian terms, they ought to be asked: why hasn’t Damascus, with its clear majority Sunni population, thrown off the “hated” dictator?
The answer is simple. The majority of Syrians, whether Sunni, Shia, Alawi, Christian, Kurd, Ismaili, are sane individuals – they’ve seen what life is like under the “alternative”. They recognize that there is a real Syrian national identity, and it goes beyond mere loyalty to the current ruling clique that happens to be in power, but in Syria as a pluralistic Levantine society that doesn’t want to model itself on Saudi Arabia.
Brad Hoff served as a Marine from 2000-2004 at Headquarters Battalion, Quantico. After military service he lived, studied, and traveled throughout Syria off and on from 2004-2010. He currently teaches in Texas.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/one-marines-view-keep-syria-secular-pluralistic-and-free-of-foreign-insurgents/5365458


The event and timeframe Graham predicts are extraordinary, and so are the signs that Billy Graham cites as evidence for the second coming. While Billy Graham talks about how the signs of the end times are everywhere, he tends not to be very specific, and he doesn’t put them in one place. Instead, Billy and Franklin Graham prefer dropping vague hints in media interviews.
“What are the signs of [Christ’s] second coming?” Franklin asked in a 2011 interview, and then continued to enumerate the signs that had not yet converged:
escalating war
escalating famine
escalating earthquakes (and specifically Fukushima)
Unfortunately for Franklin, he’s wrong about these signs. None of these signs are escalating, and in fact, they’re in decline. War and violence has been on the decline in modern times.
World hunger is also on decline. And the USGS assures us that earthquakes aren’t on the rise.
Most importantly, there is the significance of the prophet himself. End time prophets are a dime-a-dozen, and no one pays attention to them. But this prophecy is coming from none other than the Reverend Billy Graham
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frankschaeffer/2013/11/why-is-christianity-today-ignoring-billy-grahams-end-times-prophecy/

Sorry but war is escalating, so is famine, earthquakes are rocking us regularly but add in floods and wildfires, worries about the volcanoes and now the sun, passing comets and asteroids, pollution, nuclear war….. All around , all possible.

‘The prophet Daniel spoke of “the time of the end.” The apostle Peter said, “there shall come in the last days scoffers.” Paul said, “In the last days perilous times shall come.” Christ’s disciples asked Him about “the end of the world.” Has this time come? Can you be sure?’
http://rcg.org/books/attld.html?s_kwcid=TC|19911|end%20time%20prophecy| |S|e|35529587401&gclid=CIOSrP3sjLwCFdShtAodhAgAyg

‘ Obama says “Less than 50% chance of Israeli-Palestinian peace”
Posted on January 19, 2014
Chances are that the current round of talks between Israelis and Palestinians will end without a final agreement, said President Barack Obama. “‘Obama told me that in all three of his main initiatives in the region—with Iran, with Israel and the Palestinians, with Syria—the odds of completing final treaties are less than fifty-fifty,” wrote Remnick. “‘On the other hand,’ he said, ‘in all three circumstances we may be able to push the boulder partway up the hill and maybe stabilize it so it doesn’t roll back on us. And all three are connected. I do believe that the region is going through rapid change and inexorable change. Some of it is demographics; some of it is technology; some of it is economics. And the old order, the old equilibrium, is no longer tenable. The question then becomes, What’s next?’” Obama also said, while discussing Iran, that “members of Congress are very attentive to what Israel says on its security issues.” The president promised to veto any Iran sanctions bill that reached his desk.
Obama expressed no regrets over his decision to back down from a strike on Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. “I am haunted by what’s happened,” said the president. “I am not haunted by my decision not to engage in another Middle Eastern war. It is very difficult to imagine a scenario in which our involvement in Syria would have led to a better outcome, short of us being willing to undertake an effort in size and scope similar to what we did in Iraq. And when I hear people suggesting that somehow if we had just financed and armed the opposition earlier, that somehow Assad would be gone by now and we’d have a peaceful transition, it’s magical thinking.” Obama also emphasized that the interests of Israel and the Sunni Arab states are “very closely aligned.” “What’s preventing them from entering into even an informal alliance with at least normalized diplomatic relations is not that their interests are profoundly in conflict but the Palestinian issue,” he explained, “as well as a long history of anti-Semitism that’s developed over the course of decades there, and anti-Arab sentiment that’s increased inside of Israel based on seeing buses being blown up. If you can start unwinding some of that, that creates a new equilibrium. And so I think each individual piece of the puzzle is meant to paint a picture in which conflicts and competition still exist in the region but that it is contained, it is expressed in ways that don’t exact such an enormous toll on the countries involved, and that allow us to work with functioning states to prevent extremists from emerging there.” The Times Of Israel
http://endtimeheadlines.wordpress.com/page/2/

Obama also said he does not view cannabis as any more dangerous than alcohol. An enlightened man. He still advises his children against it and views it negatively as many of us old smokers do, but most of us do not view it as anything like as harmful as the legislation against it which only makes organised crime richer than the nations in the world, more powerful and thus able to control its policies.

Luke Chapter 21 (think Syria):

And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Etc etc.

There are so many of them in many cultures. We have to see that the predictions are uncanny - even to the microchipping that we are doing to animals and the numbers we all have and need to get benefits! As for the beast - well what does control the world if not a ‘beast’ with replaceable heads whether it is this ‘organised crime’ or the multinationals. No one can stop them and no one can say that what they are doing is ‘good’. It has brought us to this. And so we have a choice. Either we ditch them or we are doomed. Wars are made by them. The media is controlled by them. The governments are vigorously lobbied by them. What can we do?




reve

reve
20-01-2014, 10:06 PM
Mon 20 Jan 2014
The disillusioned defectors joining Assad's forces
by Dan Rivers - ITV News Correspondent - last updated Mon 20 Jan 2014 Some of the men ITV News were told had defected from rebel forces Photo: ITV News
They emerged from the shadows of a rubble-strewn street, hands raised and stripped to the waist to ensure they weren’t wearing suicide vests.
But this wasn’t a trap or a staged piece of propaganda. These were defectors from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) who had been besieged for more than a year and had had enough.
We happened to be in the area as the defection was being orchestrated.
It took several hours of negotiation to be allowed to film the moment the fighters lay down their weapons in the silent alley.
The regime forces were nervous about us filming such a sensitive operation and insisted we blurred the faces of the soldiers involved.
The men had been convinced to make the perilous journey across sniper-scrutinised streets over several days by another defector, 33-year-old Mamoun Al Khateeb.
He had become steadily disillusioned by the increasing presence and influence of Islamist forces on the rebel front lines.
Men, he claimed, preached Sharia law, while looting houses, stealing food from civilians and raping women.
We were given hundreds of photos of Khateeb and his former comrades in arms – showing them posing with weapons and the black and green flags associated with Islamist groups like the Al Nusra Front.One of Khateeb's photos appearing to show rebel fighters posing with an Islamist flag Credit: ITV News
They give an astonishing insight into the hidden world of the Islamist rebels a few blocks away from where we had been filming.
Some showed the men prone at sandbag defences, assault rifles in hand.
Others gave clues about how the men are living in the warzone, relaxing with a shisha-pipe, even cooling off in a half-filled swimming pool of a villa. The defectors are stripped to the waist to ensure they are not carrying bombs Credit: ITV News
Khateeb said numerous foreign fighters had joined the rebels in the area where he had been fighting.
Saudis, Libyans, even German Muslims had flooded to this suburb in recent months. He claimed more than 70 per cent of the rebel gunmen in the suburb were Islamist in their ideology.
He described the streets as a lawless jungle where competing factions fight each other for food, weapons and territory. Before the war he had worked in his family’s shop - a business that had been looted by the Al Nusra Front.
He claimed the weapons supplied to the rebels were smuggled in through Jordan, paid for by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. ITV News correspondent Dan Rivers with the defectors behind him Credit: ITV News
Khateeb appears to be free, but the fate of the other men, whose defection we watched, is less clear.
Officially, the government has offered an amnesty to FSA rebels if they surrender now, but the Islamist fighters are unlikely to enjoy such freedom.
Of course, this fits perfectly with the narrative being pushed by the regime of President Assad, which is keen to go to the Geneva 2 talks this week to talk about controlling terrorism, rather than establishing a transitional authority, which excludes the President.
http://www.itv.com/news/2014-01-20/the-disillusioned-defectors-joining-assads-forces/

Meanwhile the man with no name tells us a different story about Assad and invents a bit of election history for Syria (no wonder he wants to remain anonymous but claims to speak for the US. When stable and monitored elections can be held let them elect who they want. A ‘transitional’ government will not be elected will it, nor will it ever permit ‘free’ elections:

‘ US dismisses Assad idea to run in elections
(AFP) – 53 minutes ago
Washington — US officials Monday scoffed at the notion that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could organize free and fair elections in which he could run next year.
In an exclusive interview with AFP on Sunday, Assad said there was a "significant chance" he will seek a new seven-year term in the presidential elections due to be held in June.
If there is "public opinion in favor of my candidacy, I will not hesitate for a second to run for election," Assad said, speaking to AFP in his presidential palace.
"In short, we can say that the chances for my candidacy are significant."
But top US officials, on a conference call with reporters, dismissed the idea as "ludicrous," issuing a scathing denunciation of Assad who has waged a brutal war on an uprising which erupted in March 2011.
"This is a guy who has used Scud rockets. This is a guy who's used chemical weapons on several occasions, killing literally thousands of people. This is a guy who has surrounded cities and starved them," said one senior State Department official, asking not to be named.
"If you look at the Homs opposition revolution Facebook page yesterday, you will see pictures of bodies of people who have allegedly starved. It looks like people who have come out of concentration camps in World War II, these emaciated bodies," he said.
"This is a man who is using this kind of force to stay in power."
The official said that during the decades since 1970 that the Assad family has ruled Syria "they have never had a free and fair election in the country."
Assad was elected in a referendum following the death of his father, Hafez, in 2000 and won another seven-year term in 2007.
"The idea that international observers could go into Syria in the middle of a war and manage an election process in which the family controls the election machinery is ludicrous," he added.
A further problem was that a third of the country's population has been displaced either inside the country or have fled across the border.
"How you would arrange for voter registration, how you would arrange for candidate registration is entirely unclear during a war," the official said.
"So you have a variety of both technical issues and .... credibility issues."
The United States has been one of the prime movers behind an effort to bring together the regime and the opposition in talks due to open on Wednesday in Switzerland.
The US maintains the aim is to install a transitional government, something the Assad regime is resisting.
"He may present himself as a candidate, but I cannot imagine that it would be in a free and fair election, and it certainly would not stop the fighting," the US official concluded.
He acknowledged the talks would be a "long, hard...and grinding process."
But he said the opposition, even though it was badly divided and Monday suspended their decision on whether to attend, had some proposals to put on the table.
"They have had a team working on different proposals. They have had a series of international legal firms working with them, for example, that they?ve hired. And they have developed some fairly detailed proposals," the US official said.
This week's talks would be "an occasion for the opposition to present a vision and to present a plan for how to get out of" the war.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jQHLlGrui0NfirNJq2FFYZXu_QGg?docId=937c4df2-4718-46f2-b481-e403ace68805

And another defector probably in then pay of the wealthy opposition appears at a good time. I recall the chemical weapons general defecting and telling how Assad insisted he use chemicals but how he swapped them for bleach late at night. We never heard more of that nonsense. If they rightly face war crimes prosecutions what about the opposition and those funding them? And the other war criminals in our world who happen to be on the right side?

‘ The defector, who for security reasons is identified only as Caesar, was a photographer with the Syrian military police. He smuggled the images out of the country on memory sticks to a contact in the Syrian National Movement, which is supported by the Gulf state of Qatar. Qatar, which has financed and armed rebel groups, has called for the overthrow of Assad and demanded his prosecution for war crimes.
The 31-page report, which was commissioned by a leading firm of London solicitors acting for Qatar, is being made available to the UN, governments and human rights groups. Its publication appears deliberately timed to coincide with this week's UN-organised Geneva II peace conference, which is designed to negotiate a way out of the Syrian crisis by creating a transitional government.
Caesar told the investigators his job was "taking pictures of killed detainees". He did not claim to have witnessed executions or torture. But he did describe a highly bureaucratic system.
"The procedure was that when detainees were killed at their places of detention their bodies would be taken to a military hospital to which he would be sent with a doctor and a member of the judiciary, Caesar's function being to photograph the corpses … There could be as many as 50 bodies a day to photograph which require 15 to 30 minutes of work per corpse," the report says.’
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/20/evidence-industrial-scale-killing-syria-war-crimes

Are these really rebels who have been photographed or government troops?


reve

reve
20-01-2014, 10:10 PM
I do not know him fg but see that he is an atheist and is very unusual, certainly as a leader. He is poor and gives 90% of his money away. He legalised cannabis, the only country to do that. He thinks isolating Iran is a big mistake. I can imagine they hate him all over the place, how will organised crime make a living with that kind of thinking? There are good people in the world.

reve

reve
20-01-2014, 10:19 PM
' Eighty-five people control the same amount of wealth as half the world's population.
That is 85 people compared with 3.5 billion.
A new report from Oxfam has been published in time for the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.
It shows the world's ultra-wealthy have not only recovered from the global financial crisis, they have positively blossomed.
Advertisement
The report shows the wealth of the 1 per cent richest people in the world is worth about $110 trillion, 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world's population.
It also shows the world's richest 85 people control about $1.7 trillion in wealth, equivalent to the bottom half of the world's population.
And far from hindering the wealthy, the political response to the global financial crisis - including the actions of central banks and the austerity measures introduced by national governments - has made the rich fabulously richer.
In the US, the wealthiest 1 per cent of the population grabbed 95 per cent of post-financial crisis growth between 2009 and 2012, while the bottom 90 per cent became poorer.
But an Oxfam survey of six countries - the United States, UK, Spain, Brazil, India and South Africa - has found that the majority of people believe laws and regulations are skewed in favour of the rich, so people are noticing.
It has called on the world's powerful meeting in Davos to try to stem the tide of rising inequality.
It says seven out of 10 people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in 30 years.
''Given the scale of rising wealth concentrations, opportunity capture and unequal political representation are a serious and worrying trend,'' the report says.
''This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems.''
Economists say the rise in global inequality is not surprising.
The US Federal Reserve's multi-billion dollar bond-buying program was singled out as a major driver of the increase in wealth inequality.
"The distribution of wealth has been widening, both before and after the financial crisis,'' Bank of America chief economist Saul Eslake said.
''And although I don't criticise the policies on these grounds, I think it's fairly apparent that the policies that are being pursued, particularly by central banks, in an attempt to revive major advanced economies after the financial crisis, have probably contributed to widening the distribution of wealth.''
Frank Stilwell, Emeritus Professor at Sydney University, said he was not surprised there was inequality of that magnitude, but he wondered if Davos would be the forum to address it.
''It should be a matter of public concern, within and between nations, because this concentration among the ultra-wealthy I think is pretty well documented within countries,'' Professor Stilwell said.
''The bigger question is if the World Economic Forum and its member participants can do anything about these trends is another matter.''

Sydney Morning Herald
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/richest-85-boast-same-wealth-as-half-the-world-20140120-314vk.html#ixzz2qyYarv7v

How did we let this happen?

reve

reve
21-01-2014, 11:20 AM
Syria's Assad accused of boosting Al-Qaeda with secret oil deals
Western intelligence suggests Bashar al-Assad collaborating with jihadists to persuade West the uprising is terrorist-led
By Ruth Sherlock, in Istanbul and Richard Spencer
7:53PM GMT 20 Jan 2014
The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has funded and co-operated with al-Qaeda in a complex double game even as the terrorists fight Damascus, according to new allegations by Western intelligence agencies, rebels and al-Qaeda defectors.
Jabhat al-Nusra, and the even more extreme Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS), the two al-Qaeda affiliates operating in Syria, have both been financed by selling oil and gas from wells under their control to and through the regime, intelligence sources have told The Daily Telegraph.
Rebels and defectors say the regime also deliberately released militant prisoners to strengthen jihadist ranks at the expense of moderate rebel forces. The aim was to persuade the West that the uprising was sponsored by Islamist militants including al-Qaeda as a way of stopping Western support for it.
The allegations by Western intelligence sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, are in part a public response to demands by Assad that the focus of peace talks due to begin in Switzerland tomorrow be switched from replacing his government to co-operating against al-Qaeda in the “war on terrorism”.
“Assad’s vow to strike terrorism with an iron fist is nothing more than bare-faced hypocrisy,” an intelligence source said. “At the same time as peddling a triumphant narrative about the fight against terrorism, his regime has made deals to serve its own interests and ensure its survival.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10585391/Syrias-Assad-accused-of-boosting-Al-Qaeda-with-secret-oil-deals.html


The UN is forced to uninvite Iran due to pressure that Russia says comes from those who are aiming at regime change. Obviously Assad tortured prisoners. I remember some British people who worked in Saudi Arabia being framed for bombings being conducted by extremist groups. They were quite innocent but tortured to make confessions, later released. Torture happens everywhere and the west has much to answer for as a result because the rest of the world has seen that we do it.

Today it is also said that Muslim troops from places like Malaysia will enter the country to support the transitional government chosen by 'mutual consent'.

It all speaks of desperation and a complete lack of ethics and indeed common sense. It makes me realise how close we, who post on this forum, are to being in serious trouble in our western democratic countries. And how far we are from the media publishing serious and accurate analysis, let alone the truth.

And with that all one can see is a headlong plunge over the cliff for this world because reading through the news today, apart from fairly muted and predictable comments from Russia and Iran on the uninvitation, there is not one voice speaking out against this regime change conspiracy. Blaming Assad for Al Qaida takes the biscuit in my opinion. Blame him for all the troubles in the world, the Palestinian troubles and everything else. Mr Scapegoat.

So a wake up call here too. Tony Blair was eating dinner in London last night when someone tried to make a citizen's arrest! So what is he responsible for?

' From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

White and red flags, representing Iraqi and American deaths, sit in the grass quad of The Valley Library on the Corvallis, Oregon campus of Oregon State University. As part of the traveling Iraq Body Count exhibit (not related to the Iraq Body Count project) the flags aim to "raise awareness of the human cost of the Iraq War." The exhibit uses The Lancet as its primary source.
The Lancet, one of the oldest scientific medical journals in the world, published two peer-reviewed studies on the effect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent occupation on the Iraqi mortality rate. The first was published in 2004; the second (by many of the same authors) in 2006. The studies estimate the number of excess deaths caused by the occupation, both direct (combatants plus non-combatants) and indirect (due to increased lawlessness, degraded infrastructure, poor healthcare, etc.).

The first survey published on 29 October 2004, estimated 98,000 excess Iraqi deaths (with a range of 8,000 to 194,000, using a 95% confidence interval (CI)) from the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq to that time, or about 50% higher than the death rate prior to the invasion. The authors described this as a conservative estimate, because it excluded the extreme statistical outlier data from Falluja. If the Falluja cluster were included, the mortality estimate would increase to 150% over pre-invasion rates (95% CI: 1.6 to 4.2).

The second survey published on 11 October 2006, estimated 654,965 excess deaths related to the war, or 2.5% of the population, through the end of June 2006. The new study applied similar methods and involved surveys between May 20 and July 10, 2006. More households were surveyed, allowing for a 95% confidence interval of 392,979 to 942,636 excess Iraqi deaths. 601,027 deaths (range of 426,369 to 793,663 using a 95% confidence interval) were due to violence. 31% (186,318) of those were attributed to the Coalition, 24% (144,246) to others, and 46% (276,472) unknown <these three values need to be re-evaluated as they exceed 100%>. The causes of violent deaths were gunshot (56% or 336,575), car bomb (13% or 78,133), other explosion/ordnance (14%), air strike (13% or 78,133), accident (2% or 12,020), and unknown (2%).' Wikipedia

The truth comes out even if no one cares to look at it or comment. The ICC is being asked to look at evidence of abuse by our soldiers in that conflict too. Iraq is now overrun by Al Qaida, perhaps we should blame Saddam. The figures certainly put the Syria conflict in perspective and history will laugh or more likely cry at the suggestion that this was a popular revolution. What it will see is every journalist who joined the conspiracy and exactly why Assad had to go. One word: Hezbollah.

If 10 million Syrian families were not starving as a result we would not need to do so much about this but we cannot be led by liars and gangsters and expect to survive. Obama can do better than this and will possibly be the one to come out in shining armour if he can tackle the problem that surrounds him. As for Creation the countdown to our destruction has started. Unless we amnesty everyone and start again this will never end. I can think of some countries at the talks who never had an election in their history yet not one western leader has ever mentioned the fact although decrying the elections that Assad held.

Blame ourselves as we elected them. Or did we?

reve

if I am wrong about all of these things posted here I will retire and cease commenting after making a massive apology.

reve
21-01-2014, 03:49 PM
Sir Desmond Da Silva was on TV this morning and likened the torture in Syria and the victims to those seen at Belsen after the end of WW2. He did not liken them to Japanese prisoners of war however or any other nation’s abused and starved prisoners. This is emotive language being used today for a reason. Have a look at the report which is on line. It makes dreadful reading as does this whole war. We know the rebels have prisons too and have used torture and summary executions, but for some inescapable reason they are omitted from mention. I have also copied the wiki article on torture around the world and you will note that those screaming loudest about the abuse in Syria practise this too, perhaps not on the same scale although the fatalities following our illegal invasion on Iraq were so vast that it begs the question of which war is worse for the civilians maimed and killed. Are the ICC going to prosecute Blair for this, as this prosecution of Assad will be the precedent for that? Until we all stop lying, stop this hypocrisy, stop defending some nations that do it while berating others, until we stop all these abuses and agree publicly to do that we will never do this again to anyone for any reason then how can we move on from the catastrophic state we find ourselves in. And again I say the media bears most of the responsibility for this, they are the ones hiding some torturers while exposing others and indeed ‘judging’ evidence that could have come from anywhere. The story of the ‘defector’ in Syria who produced these images suggests that this report may well be either fabricated or have been waiting till today to expose the regime for a political regime changing purpose, not because anyone cares a damn for the victims.


‘In a report commissioned by Qatar and published by CNN and The Guardian, three international lawyers show “direct evidence” of what they describe as the Syrian army’s “systematic torture and killing” of some 11,000 prisoners.
Professor David Crane, who indicted President Charles Taylor of Liberia in a Sierra Leone court, told CNN that the report, which is based on pictures of prisoners, could suffice to bring a case to a human rights court. “Any prosecutor would like this kind of evidence — the photos and the process. This is direct evidence of the regime’s killing machine,” he said.
Sir Desmond Da Silva, one of the report’s authors, described the photos of the starved prisoners’ bodies as “reminiscent of the pictures of those [who] were found still alive in the Nazi death camps after World War II.”


Read the full article: Verbatim Jan. 14-21 - All News Is Global
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Britons told they cannot sue Saudi Arabia in torture case
European court rules against claim for compensation by four men who say they were beaten and torturedOwen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent
theguardian.com, Tuesday 14 January 2014 13.51 GMT

Ron Jones was held following an explosion in Riyadh: an investigation later showed he could not have carried out the bombing. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian
Four Britons have been told by the European court of human rights they cannot sue Saudi Arabia in the UK courts for compensation over alleged torture.
The majority decision by judges in Strasbourg is a blow to the long-running campaign for justice brought by the four men, who claim they were subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation and rape, and forced to take mind-altering drugs during 2001.
By a majority of six to one, the judges declared: "The court is satisfied that the grant of immunity to the state officials in the present case reflected generally recognised rules of public international law.
" … [Granting] immunity to the state officials in the applicants' civil cases did not therefore amount to an unjustified restriction on the applicant's access to a court. There has accordingly been no violation of article 6 of the convention [a right to a fair trial] in this case. However, in light of the developments currently under way in this area of public international law, this is a matter which needs to be kept under review."
The case highlights the distinction between criminal cases of torture, which can be heard in UK courts even if such offences have been committed in other countries, and civil claims about torture committed abroad, which UK courts will not consider.
Human rights groups, including Amnesty International, Redress, Justice and Interights, condemned the ruling for sending out a signal "to would-be torturers that international law condemns their behaviour but is not willing to police it effectively".
http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/jan/14/saudi-arabia-torture-human-rights-britons

Substantial cooperation between states in the methods and coordination of torture has been documented. Through the Phoenix Program, the United States helped South Vietnam co-ordinate a system of detention, torture and assassination of suspected members of the National Liberation Front, or Viet Cong. During the 1980s wars in Central America, the U.S. government provided manuals and training on interrogation that extended to the use of torture (see U.S. Army and CIA interrogation manuals). The manuals were also distributed by Special Forces Mobile Training teams to military personnel and intelligence schools in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru. The manuals have a chapter devoted to "coercive techniques".
The southern cone governments of South America – Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil – involved in Operation Condor co-ordinated the disappearance, torture and execution of dissidents in the 1970s. Hundreds were killed in coordinated operations, and the bodies of those recovered were often mutilated and showed signs of torture. This system operated with the knowledge and support of the United States government through the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department.[8]
The United States government has, at least since the Bush administration, used the tactic of legal rendition in which suspected terrorists were extradited to countries where they were to be prosecuted for crimes allegedly committed. In the "war on terror" this has evolved into extraordinary rendition, the delivery of prisoners or others recently captured, including terrorism suspects, to foreign governments known to practice torture are Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Afghanistan. Human rights activists have alleged that the practice amounts to kidnapping for the purpose of torture, or torture by proxy. A related practice is the operation of facilities for imprisonment, and it is widely believed torture, in foreign countries. In November 2005, the Washington Post reported —- citing administration sources —- that such facilities are operated by the CIA in Thailand (until 2004), Afghanistan, and several unnamed Eastern European countries.[9] Human Rights Watch reports that planes associated with rendition have landed repeatedly in Poland and Romania.[10]
Recent instances of torture in selected countries[edit]
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
The use of torture is geographically widespread. A review by Amnesty International, which did not use the United Nations Convention Against Torture as its definition of torture, of its case files found "reports of torture or ill-treatment by state officials in more than 150 countries from 1997 to 2000". These reports described widespread or persistent patterns of abuse in more than 70 countries and torture-related deaths in more than 80.[11]
Afghanistan[edit]
Torture has been reported in Afghanistan under each of its recent governments. Under Najibullah's Soviet-backed regime, beating and electric shocks were widely reported.[12] After the mujahidin victory, Afghanistan fell into a state of chaos, and, according to Amnesty International, "Torture of civilians in their homes has become endemic ... In almost every jail run by the armed political groups, torture is reported to be a part of the daily routine".[13] The Taliban are likewise reported to have engaged in torture.[14] Since the U.S. overthrow of the Taliban, torture has been reported on several occasions, both by Afghan groups and by U.S. troops. In the Herat region, dominated by the warlord Ismail Khan, Human Rights Watch reported extensive torture in 2002.[15] Torture by US troops has been alleged in news reports by the New York Times.[16] In March 2008 the U.K. Ministry of Defence claimed that that they and the Afghan army had uncovered a Taliban torture chamber where two individuals were believed to have been beaten.[17]
Albania[edit]
Under Enver Hoxha's People's Socialist Republic of Albania, torture was widely used.[18] Since its fall, Amnesty International has reported police abuses amounting to torture;[2] the government says it has "made efforts to punish all acts of torture under the Albanian criminal justice system".[3]
Algeria[edit]
According to Pierre Vidal-Naquet in "Torture; Cancer of Democracy" and "Les Damnees de la Terre" by Franz Fanon, torture was practiced endemically by the French forces, commanded by General Jacques Massu, bringing together the experience of "Les Paras" in the Indo-China War and German troops in the French Foreign Legion. Between 1 million and 1.5 million were killed, often using torture techniques based on electricity and drowning techniques.[citation needed]
Angola[edit]
In Angola's 27-year civil war, according to Amnesty International, "many were tortured" by both sides.[19][20] Since that time, AI has also reported that "unarmed civilians are being extrajudicially executed and tortured"[21] in Angola's war against Cabindan separatists.
Argentina[edit]
Further information: Dirty War
During the so-called "Dirty War" carried out in the 1970s, in particular, but not only, by the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, tens of thousands of Argentines were "disappeared" by the junta, many never to be seen again. The National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons concluded:
In nearly all the cases brought to the attention of the Commission, the victims speak of acts of torture. Torture was an important element in the methodology of repression. Secret torture centres were set up, among other reasons, to enable the carrying out of torture to be carried out undisturbed.[22]
Bahrain[edit]
Further information: Torture in Bahrain and Torture during the Bahraini uprising (2011–present)
Torture has been used frequently by the Bahraini government in the 20th century. Notable cases include that of Ian Henderson, a former colonial officer employed in Bahrain who was accused by multiple witnesses of torturing prisoners.[23] Adel Flaifel, a notorious security officer identified by many detainees as having overseen torture,[24] was given immunity under Royal Decree 56 of 2002. Between 1980 and 1998, 9 people died in detention as a result of torture, with 5 more died shortly after being released as a result of injuries sustained from torture. Reports released by Amnesty International[25] and Human Rights Watch[26] in the 1990s point to the widespread use of torture in Bahraini prisons.[27](p35)
During the Bahraini uprising, torture was described by many human rights reports as widespread and systematic. Up to 1866 who make up 64%[28] of detainees reported cases of torture.[27](p37) Three government agencies, namely the Ministry of Interior, the National Security Agency and the Bahrain Defence Force, were involved in interrogating detainees in relation to the events of the uprising. The NSA and MoI followed a systematic practice of physical and psychological mistreatment, which in many cases amounted to torture.[29](p298) Only four of the individuals who alleged torture were arrested by the BDF.[29](p283) The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry have attributed the deaths of five individuals to torture.[29](p287–288)
Brazil[edit]
Torture was used regularly by the Brazilian dictatorship regime from 1964 to 1977 against dissidents. It included torturing their children, some of whom were less than 2 years old at the time.[citation needed]
Chile[edit]
Further information: Chile under Pinochet
The regime of Augusto Pinochet in Chile in the 1970s used torture extensively against political opponents. Chile's National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture (Comisión Nacional sobre Prisión Política y Tortura) concluded in 2004 that torture had been a systematically implemented policy of the government, and recommended reparations. The commission heard the testimony of more than 35,000 witnesses, whose testimonies are to be kept secret for fifty years.[30][31] Among those tortured were future president Michelle Bachelet, who was held along with her mother at the notorious Villa Grimaldi detention center in Santiago.
China[edit]
Further information: Human rights in the People's Republic of China #Torture
Although torture was outlawed in China in 1996, a UN investigator found it to still be widespread in 2005, particularly because the narrow definition of the law, leaving a mark, does not comply with the UN definition.[32]
Cuba[edit]
Main article: Torture in Cuba
Day and night, the screams of tormented women in panic and desperation who cry for God's mercy fall upon the deaf ears of prison authorities. They are confined to narrow cells with no sunlight called "drawers" that have cement beds, a hole on the ground for their bodily needs, and are infested with a multitude of rodents, roaches, and other insects. These female prisoners lack all sort of necessary personal possessions and almost always have no water, even for bathing, often drinking this precious liquid full of insects. The food distributed to them is terrible, smells rotten, and is stored in receptacles lacking in hygiene. Even prison officials have complained of the small quantities served. In these "drawers" the women remain weeks and months. When they scream in terror due to the darkness (blackouts are common) and the heat, they are injected sedatives that keep them half-drugged.[33]
People imprisoned by the communist regime are reportedly tortured.[33][34]
France[edit]
Further information: Torture during the Algerian War and Human rights in France
During the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962), the French military used torture against the National Liberation Front and the civilian population. The French interrogators were notorious for the use of man-powered electrical generators on suspects: this form of torture was called (la) gégène.[citation needed]
That France has provided a pivotal role in the evolution of western torture practices is the central thesis of the French film Death Squadrons: The French School by Monique Robin. The French had themselves developed practices in defence of its declining empire through the 20th century, setting up torture "universities" at Paolo Condor – an island off Vietnam (then French Indo-China, subsequently taken over by the United States) and at Phillippeville in Algeria.[citation needed]
Police abuse remains a reality in France today, while France has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the conditions of detention in prisons, including the use of torture on detainees.[citation needed] Although the law and the Constitution prohibits any kind of torture, such practices happen. In 2004, the Inspector General of the National Police received 469 registered complaints about illegitimate police violence during the first 11 months of the year, down from 500 during the same period in 2003. There were 59 confirmed cases of police violence, compared to 65 in the previous year. In April 2004, the ECHR condemned the government for "inhumane and degrading treatments" in the 1997 case of a teenager beaten while in police custody. The court ordered the government to pay Giovanni Rivas $20,500 (15,000 euros) in damages and $13,500 (10,000 euros) in court costs.[35] The head of the police station in Saint-Denis, near Paris, has been forced to resign after allegations of rape and other violence committed by the police force under his orders. Nine investigations concerning police abuse in this police station were carried out in 2005 by the IGS inspection of police.[36][37] These repeated abuses are said to be one of the causes of the 2005 civil unrest.[38] Conditions in detention centers for illegal aliens have also been widely criticized by human rights NGOs. In 2006 a young 20-year-old Serbian girl accused a policeman of attempting to rape her in such a centre in Bobigny, in the suburbs of Paris, the year before.[39]
Germany[edit]
Torture was used commonly during the Third Reich. In the German Democratic Republic in east Germany, torture & inhumane and degrading treatment were systematically used by the security forces, including the Stasi secret police, against suspected opponents of the regime.[40]
Guatemala[edit]
During the Guatemalan civil war and the repression by the army against civilians and suspected opponents of the military dictatorship, murder (even genocide), torture, rape and inhumane and degrading treatment was systematically used by the Guatemalan armed forces and police. There is evidence that the CIA, in anticommunist campaigns during the 1980s, was involved in these tortures (in Latin America the threat of communism was often used as justification for dictatorship during the Cold War). Thousands of victims were tortured and murdered. For example, Dianna Ortiz, an American nun who was teaching poor Mayan children in the Guatemala highlands, claims that U.S. personnel were present in interrogation and torture rooms in Guatemala City in 1989 when she was kidnapped, taken to a secret prison and repeatedly raped and tortured by Guatemalan right-wing forces. Ortiz survived because of her American citizenship. Sister Ortiz chronicled her experiences and recovery in a book, The Blindfold's Eyes.[41] "There were other people in the clandestine cell, the clandestine prison, as well, and I could hear terrible screams. Many were killed. I saw some bodies. There were children, as well", wrote Dianna Ortiz.
India[edit]
India has not ratified the UN treaty against torture. Custodial deaths and extra judicial killings are on the rise. The Asian Centre for Human Rights released its report, Torture in India 2010, at a press conference in New Delhi and stated that taking 2000 as the base year, custodial death have increased by 41.66% persons under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)[42] government between 2004–2005 to 2007–2008. This includes 70.72% increase of deaths in prison custody and 12.60% in police custody. India will now bring the anti torture act 2010 so it can ratify the UN convention against torture. The bill provides up to a 10-year sentence for physical or mental torture by the police.[43]
Iran[edit]
Main article: Human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Article 38 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic forbids "all forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or acquiring information" and the "compulsion of individuals to testify, confess, or take an oath." It also states that "any testimony, confession, or oath obtained under duress is devoid of value and credence."[44][45] The Islamic Republic itself vehemently denies the existence of torture by the government.
Nonetheless, human rights groups and observers, such as Amnesty International, the United Nations, and Human Rights Watch, have complained that torture is frequently used on political prisoners in Iran.[46][47][48][49][50]
A substantial number of Iranians have been tortured and imprisoned by the religious police. Arya Aramnejad, a singer, was jailed for his song "Ali Barkhiz" where he denounces the Islamic regime's crimes during the 2009 Ashura protests. During his time in prison, he was reportedly tortured (sexually humiliated – photographed naked, laughed at, obliged to walk barefooted on aids' patients blood).[51] Farzad Kamangar was repeatedly tortured in prison. Amnesty International reports that Kamangar was repeatedly beaten, flogged, and electrocuted, and that he now suffers from spasms in his arms and legs as a result of the torture.[52][53] After she died in the custody of Iranian officials, Zahra "Ziba" Kazemi-Ahmadabadi, an Iranian-Canadian freelance photographer, was found to show obvious signs of torture, including a skull fracture, broken nose, signs of rape and severe abdominal bruising.[54] Ehsan Fatahian, an Iranian Kurdish activist, was tortured for confession before being executed.[55] Zeynab Jalalian, also a Kurdish activist, is currently ill due to prison conditions and torture. She has been sentenced to death.[56] Other notable victims include Behrouz Javid Tehrani,[57] Habibollah Latifi,[58] Houshang Asadi,[59] Saeed Malekpour,[60] Shirkoh (Bahman) Moarefi,[56] Hossein Khezri,[61] and Akbar Mohammadi.[62][63]
In a study of torture in Iran published in 1999, Iranian-born political historian Ervand Abrahamian included Iran along with "Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, and early modern Europe" of the Inquisition and witch hunts, as societies that "can be considered to be in a league of their own" in the systematic use of torture.[64]
Torture techniques used in the Islamic Republic include:
whipping, sometimes of the back but most often of the feet with the body tied on an iron bed; the qapani; deprivation of sleep; suspension from ceiling and high walls; twisting of forearms until they broke; crushing of hands and fingers between metal presses; insertion of sharp instruments under the fingernails; cigarette burns; submersion under water; standing in one place for hours on end; mock executions; and physical threats against family members. Of these, the most prevalent was the whipping of soles, obviously because it was explicitly sanctioned by the sharia.[65]
Chronicle of Higher Education International, reports that the widespread practice of raping women imprisoned for engaging in political protest has been effective in keeping female college students "less outspoken and less likely to take part" in political demonstrations. The journal quotes an Iranian college student as saying, "most of the girls arrested are raped in jail. Families can't cope with that."[66]
Several bills passed the Iranian Parliament that would have had Iran joining the international convention on banning torture in 2003 when reformists controlled Parliament, but were rejected by the Guardian Council.[67][68]
Iraq[edit]
The government headed by Baathist Saddam Hussein made extensive use of torture, including at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.
The post-invasion Iraqi government holds thousands of people in prison. After investigating from July to October 2004, Human Rights Watch found that torture was "routine and commonplace." According to their report,
Methods of torture or ill-treatment cited included routine beatings to the body using a variety of implements such as cables, hosepipes and metal rods. Detainees reported kicking, slapping and punching; prolonged suspension from the wrists with the hands tied behind the back; electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body, including the earlobes and genitals; and being kept blindfolded and/or handcuffed continuously for several days. In several cases, the detainees suffered what may be permanent physical disability.
— Human Rights Watch, [69]
Despite apparently credible claims that people were fed into Saddam Hussein's plastic shredder (most likely within Abu Ghraib) prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, no such device was found after the war. In October 1990, it was alleged that Iraqi soldiers had "thrown babies from incubators" during the invasion of Kuwait. This story was supposed to have come from the 'eye-witness testimony' of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, Nurse Nayirah. Years later it emerged that she was the daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah, Kuwait's ambassador to the United States, and that the story was the creation of the Hill & Knowlton public relations firm employed by the Kuwaitis.[70]
Israel[edit]
After investigation of continued allegations of torture, the Supreme Court ruled in 1999[71][72] that all torture – even moderate physical pressure – was illegal. This decision was praised by human-rights organizations.
However, the left-wing human rights group B'Tselem has made allegations that some Palestinian detainees suspected of terrorism are subject to prolonged sleep deprivation; prolonged sight deprivation or sensory deprivation; forced, prolonged maintenance of body positions that grow increasingly painful; confinement in tiny, closet-like spaces; exposure to temperature extremes, such as in deliberately overcooled rooms; prolonged toilet and hygiene deprivation; and degrading treatment, such as forcing detainees to eat and use the toilet at the same time. Such acts violate Article 16 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. In January 2000, B'Tselem claimed that the Israeli General Security Service's (GSS) methods of interrogation amounted to the five techniques: "[The] GSS used methods comparable to those used by the British in 1971, viz. sleep deprivation, infliction of physical suffering, and sensory isolation. But the GSS used them for much longer periods, so the resulting pain and suffering were substantially greater. In addition, the GSS used direct violence... Thus,... in practice, the GSS methods were substantially more severe than those used by the British in 1971..."[73]
Lebanon[edit]
Suspected Hezbollah guerrillas, their families and Lebanese civilian internees were previously detained in the South Lebanon Army (SLA) prison at Khiam in the then Israeli-occupied Southern Lebanon. Torture, including electric shock torture, by the SLA was routine. This was detailed after the end of the occupation in 2000, when Lebanese who freed the prisoners found instruments of torture.[74][75]
Nigeria[edit]
In 2005, Human Rights Watch documented that Nigerian police in the cities of Enugu, Lagos and Kano routinely practice torture. Dozens of witnesses and survivors stepped forward to testify to repeated, severe beatings, abuse of sexual organs, rape, death threats, injury by shooting, and the denial of food and water. These abuses were used in campaigns against common crime.[76]
Systematic torture was used in conjunction with military occupation in an attempt to quell anti-oil protests by the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta, according to a World Council of Churches report.[77]
Christian pastors in Nigeria have been involved in the torturing and killing of children accused of witchcraft. Church pastors, in an effort to distinguish from the competition, establish their credentials by accusing children of witchcraft. When repeatedly asked to comment about the matter, the Church has refused to comment.[78]
North Vietnam[edit]
From 1961 to 1973, the North Vietnamese and Vietcong held hundreds of Americans captive. Hanoi's Ministry of Public Security's Medical Office (MPSMO) was responsible for "preparing studies and performing research on the most effective Soviet, French, Communist Chinese and other ...techniques..." of extracting information from POWs. The MPSMO "...supervised the use of torture and the use of drugs to induce [American] prisoners to cooperate." Its functions also "...included working with Soviet and Communist Chinese intelligence advisors who were qualified in the use of medical techniques for intelligence purposes."[79]
See Con Son Island for accounts of US torture practices.
Palestinian Territories[edit]
The Palestinian Authority has reportedly practiced torture in the occupied territories over the years. Amnesty International found: "Torture [by the Palestine Authority] of detainees remained widespread. Seven detainees died in custody. Unlawful killings, including possible extrajudicial executions, continued to be reported."[80]
In 1995, Azzam Rahim, a naturalized American citizen, was arrested by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. He was subsequently taken to a prison in Jericho where he was tortured and killed.[81] Rahim's family attempted to sue the PA and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, but the Supreme Court ultimately ruled against them.[82]
More than 100 cases of torture by Palestinian security services were reported in 2010. Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said: "The reports of torture by Palestinian security services keep rolling in. President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad are well aware of the situation. They need to reverse this rampant impunity and make sure that those responsible are prosecuted."[83]
At least six Palestinians have died under torture in PA prisons. According to a report by the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain, the PA has used torture on a systematic basis for years. Methods include beatings with cables, pulling out nails, suspension from the ceiling, flogging, kicking, cursing, electric shocks, sexual harassment and the threat of rape. The report went on to say “Every one of those detainees has been subject to humiliating and degrading treatment and stayed in cells for more than 10 days. The analysis shows that an astonishing 95 percent of the detainees were subjected to severe torture, others feeling the detrimental effects on their health for varying periods.”[84] The Shabeh, which involves detainees being handcuffed and bound in stress positions for longs stretches of time, is the most widely used form of torture.[85]
In 2012, after allegedly selling a house in Hebron to a Jewish family, Muhammad Abu Shahala was arrested by the Palestinian Authority, tortured into a confession, and sentenced to death.[86]
Human Rights Watch reported 147 cases of torture by Hamas in the West Bank during 2011 and that none of the perpetrators had been prosecuted "despite consistent allegations of severe abuse." It further stated that "Some men said they had needed medical care due to torture and sought to obtain medical records as evidence that they had been tortured, but that hospital officials refused to provide them. Hamas’s rival in the West Bank, the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, arrests and detains Palestinians arbitrarily, including Hamas members or sympathizers, and similarly subjects detainees to torture and abuse."[87]
In another report, Human Rights Watch "documents cases in which [Palestinian] security forces tortured, beat, and arbitrarily detained journalists, confiscated their equipment, and barred them from leaving the West Bank and Gaza." HRW also reported an incident in which "the Hamas Ministry of Interior summoned a journalist who published an article on torture by Hamas authorities in secret detention facilities, threatened to take legal action against him if he did not publish an apology for the article, and warned him to correct his 'biased' reporting."[88]
Russia[edit]
The Constitution of Russia forbids arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment. Part 2 of Article 21 of the Constitution states that "no one may be subjected to torture, violence or any other harsh or humiliating treatment or punishment…".[89] However Russian police are regularly observed practicing torture – including beatings, electric shocks, rape, asphyxiation – in interrogating arrested suspects.[90][91][92][93]
Torture and humiliation, or dedovshchina, are also widespread in Russian army, according to Human Rights Watch.[94] This is essentially the Russian version of bullying or hazing that is practiced in the American military, however it is often much more brutal. Many young men are killed or commit suicide every year because of it.[95] Amnesty International reported on allegations of Chechen locals, that Russian military forces in Chechnya rape and torture local women with electric shocks, when electric wires are connected to the straps of their bra on their chest.[89]
In the most extreme cases, hundreds of innocent people from the street were arbitrarily arrested, beaten, tortured, and raped by special police forces. Such incidents took place not only in Chechnya, but also in the Russian towns of Blagoveshensk, Bezetsk, and Nefteyugansk.[96][97][98]
Saudi Arabia[edit]
Saudi Arabia officially considers torture illegal under Islamic Law; however, it is widely practiced, as in the case of William Sampson. According to a 2003 report by Amnesty International, "torture and ill-treatment remained rife."[99] Hanny Megally, Executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch, stated in 2002 "The practice of torture in Saudi Arabia is well documented",[100] According to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2003, "Torture under interrogation of political prisoners and criminal suspects continued",[101] and the 2006 report notes that "Arbitrary detention, mistreatment and torture of detainees, restrictions on freedom of movement, and lack of official accountability remain serious concerns".[102]
Soviet Union[edit]
Torture was widely practiced by the Soviet secret police during the Stalinism era to extract confessions from suspects often called enemies of the people. One of the most prevalent types of torture was sleep deprivation, nicknamed "conveyor" due to interrogators replacing one another to keep the inmate from sleeping.[103] The use of torture was authorized by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and personally by Joseph Stalin. During the Doctor's Plot, Stalin ordered falsely accused physicians to be tortured "to death".[104]
Spain[edit]
The Spanish government categorically denies the existence of torture.[105]
However, the Spanish authorities consistently fail to implement recommendations by the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and the UN Committee Against Torture to combat the use of torture in detention. The UN committee expressed its concern "about the length of judicial procedures and made reference to reports that indicated that five years had sometimes passed between crime and sentence. The Committee warned that this problem reduces the effect of penal action and discourages people to file complaints." It further indicated that "all members of the Committee were also deeply concerned about the legal practice of five days incommunicado detention" (since October 2003, a reform of the Criminal Procedure Code has extended that period to a maximum of 13 days).[
Syria[edit]
Torture has reportedly been used in the Adra Prison near Damascus.[108] In 2010, the prison held 7,000 prisoners, a dozen of them women.[109] The Tadmor Prison in Palmyra was known for harsh conditions, extensive human rights abuse, torture and summary executions. It was closed in 2001 and all remaining political detainees were transferred to other prisons in Syria. However, Tadmor Prison was reopened on 15 June 2011 and 350 individuals arrested for participation in anti-regime demonstrations were transferred there for interrogation and detainment.[110]
A number of captured Israelis have been tortured in Syria. This includes Eli Cohen, who was executed in 1965.[111] In 1955, five Israeli soldiers were captured in a covert operation on the Golan Heights and brutally tortured in a Syrian prison.[112] One of the soldiers, Uri Ilan, committed suicide when falsely informed by his captors that his comrades had been killed.[113] Ilan became a symbol of courage and patriotism in Israel.[114][115] During the Yom Kippur War, many Israeli prisoners said that they had been tortured by Syrians,[116] and one POW, Avraham Lanir, was tortured to death.[117][118]
Following the Syrian uprising, reports has been made of widespread and systematic torture used by Syrian security forces.[119] This includes electrocution, brutal beatings and sexual assault. Amnesty said of the situation : "Torture and other ill-treatment in Syria form part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population, carried out in an organized manner and as part of state policy and therefore amount to crimes against humanity."[120]
United Arab Emirates[edit]
In April 2009 a video emerged of a United Arab Emirates Royal Sheik, Sheik Issa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (a son of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan) directing the torture of an Afghan grain dealer Mohammed Shah Poor The video includes the man being tortured with a cattle prod to his genitals, sand in his mouth and being run over by a Mercedes SUV. A man in a UAE police uniform is seen on the tape tying the victim's arms and legs, and later holding him down. The official response of the UAE government was that Sheik Issa is the man shown in the video but he did nothing wrong. The incidents depicted in the videotapes were not part of a pattern of behaviour, the Ministry of the Interior said.[121][122]
United Kingdom[edit]
1969–1972, Northern Ireland[edit]
In 1978 in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) trial "Ireland v. the United Kingdom" (Case No. 5310/71) the facts were not in dispute and judges court published the following in their judgement:
These methods, sometimes termed "disorientation" or "sensory deprivation" techniques, were not used in any cases other than the fourteen so indicated above. It emerges from the Commission's establishment of the facts that the techniques consisted of ...wall-standing; hooding; subjection to noise; deprivation of sleep; deprivation of food and drink.
— European Court of Human Rights
These were referred to by the court as the five techniques. The court ruled:
167. ... Although the five techniques, as applied in combination, undoubtedly amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment, although their object was the extraction of confessions, the naming of others and/or information and although they were used systematically, they did not occasion suffering of the particular intensity and cruelty implied by the word torture as so understood. ...


168. The Court concludes that recourse to the five techniques amounted to a practice of inhuman and degrading treatment, which practice was in breach of [the European Convention on Human Rights] Article 3 (art. 3).
— European Court of Human Rights
The ECHR case was a ruling on British policy before the "Parker report" which was published on 2 March 1972 and had found the five techniques to be illegal under domestic law:
10. Domestic Law ...(c) We have received both written and oral representations from many legal bodies and individual lawyers from both England and Northern Ireland. There has been no dissent from the view that the procedures are illegal alike by the law of England and the law of Northern Ireland. ... (d) This being so, no Army Directive and no Minister could lawfully or validly have authorized the use of the procedures. Only Parliament can alter the law. The procedures were and are illegal.
— Parker report
On the same day (2 March 1972), the United Kingdom Prime Minister, Edward Heath, stated in the House of Commons that the techniques would not be used in future as an aid to interrogation. As foreshadowed in the Prime Minister's statement, directives expressly prohibiting the use of the techniques, whether singly or in combination, were then issued to the security forces by the government. These are still in force and the use of such methods by UK security forces would not be condoned by the government.
21st century[edit]
On 23 February 2005, British soldiers were found guilty of abuse of Iraqi prisoners arrested for looting at a British Army camp called Bread Basket, in Basra, during May 2003. The judge at the military court, Judge Advocate Michael Hunter, said of photographs and the soldier's behaviour:
Anyone with a shred of human decency would be revolted by what is contained in those pictures. The actions of you and those responsible for these acts have undoubtedly tarnished the international reputation of the British Army and, to some extent, the British nation too, and it will no doubt hamper the efforts of those who are now risking their lives striving to achieve stability in the Gulf region, and it will probably be used by those who are working against such ends.
— Judge Advocate Michael Hunter
At the court martial,[123] the prosecution alleged that in giving the order to "work [the prisoners] hard", Captain Dan Taylor had broken the Geneva Conventions. Neither Taylor, nor his commanding officer Lt-Col Paterson (who was briefed on the operation "Ali Baba" by Taylor), was sanctioned and, indeed, during the period of time between the offence and the trial, both were given promotions. All the leaders of the major British political parties condemned the abuse. Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, declared that the pictures were "shocking and appalling". After sentencing, the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson, made a statement on television and said that he was "appalled and disappointed" when he first saw photographs of the Iraqi detainees and that[124][125][126][127]
The incidents depicted are in direct contradiction to the core values and standards of the British Army ... Nevertheless, in the light of the evidence from this trial I do apologize on behalf of the army to those Iraqis who were abused and to the people of Iraq as a whole.
— General Sir Mike Jackson
On 7 December 2005, the House of Lords reversed the deportations of Muslims convicted on "evidence procured by torture inflicted by foreign officials", and cited the 1978 case in ruling that centuries of common law and recent international conventions made torture anathema in the country's courts. Lord Bingham said it was "clear that from its very earliest days the common law of England set its face firmly against the use of torture"; Lord Nicholls said "Torture is not acceptable. This is a bedrock moral principle in this country"; Lord Hoffman said "The use of torture is dishonourable. It corrupts and degrades the state which uses it and the legal system which accepts it."; Lord Hope said it was "one of most evil practices known to man"; Lord Rodgers said "the unacceptable nature of torture ... has long been unquestioned in this country."; Lord Carswell referred to the "abhorrence felt by civilised nations for the use of torture"; and Lord Brown said that "torture is an unqualified evil. It can never be justified. Rather it must always be punished.".[128]
On 13 March 2007, the six-month court martial of the seven soldiers – including Colonel Jorge Mendonca and Major Michael Peebles – over the detention of Iraqi prisoners in Basra during May 2003 ended with all but one, Corporal Donald Payne, being acquitted.[129][130] On 30 April 2007, Payne, Britain's first convicted war criminal found guilty under the provisions of the International Criminal Court Act 2001, who had pleaded guilty to mistreating prisoners, was jailed for a year and dishonourably discharged from the army.[131][132][133]
In March 2008, the Ministry of Defence admitted breaching the human rights of Baha Mousa, who died in British custody in Basra, and of eight other Iraqi men held at the same facility, opening the way for a multi-million-pound compensation package for the relatives of Baha Mousa and the other men injured during illegal interrogations.[134] On 14 May 2008, Defence Secretary Des Browne announced in the House of Commons that there would be a public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa in which "no stone [will be left] unturned in investigating his tragic death."[135]
On 26 July 2008, the Joint Committee on Human Rights accused Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram in 2004 and Lieutenant-General Robin Brims, Commander Field Army, in 2006 of misleading the committee when they declared that conditioning practices (based on the five techniques, banned since their use in Northern Ireland in the 1970s) were not being used. It has now emerged that such techniques were being used by some troops deployed abroad. The BBC reported that "Labour MP Andrew Dismore, chairman of the committee, said he hoped the public inquiry [into the death of Baha Mousa] would give some indications as to why they were given 'wrong evidence'. Earlier this month, the MoD agreed to pay almost £3m in compensation to Mr Mousa's family and nine Iraqi men after admitting breaching human rights".[136]
United States[edit]
 This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2009)

Main article: Torture and the United States
While the United States is a party to international conventions against torture, a proponent of human rights treaties and a critic of torture by other countries, torture has been alleged to have taken place within its borders and on its government's behalf outside of its borders.
A police officer was sentenced to thirty years in prison for sodomizing detainee Abner Louima with the handle of a bathroom plunger.[137][138]
The Chicago Police Department's Area 2 unit under Commander Jon Burge repeatedly used electroshock, near-suffocation by plastic bags and excessive beating on suspects in the 1970s and 1980s. The City of Chicago's Office of Professional Standards (OPS) concluded that the physical abuse was systematic and, "The type of abuse described was not limited to the usual beating, but went into such esoteric areas as psychological techniques and planned torture."[139] The Supermax facility at the Maine State Prison has been the scene of video-taped forcible extractions that Lance Tapley in the Portland Phoenix wrote "look[ed] like torture."[140]
In 2003 and 2004 there was substantial controversy over the "stress and duress" methods that were used in the U.S. War on Terrorism that had been sanctioned by the U.S. Executive branch of government at Cabinet level.[141]
Amnesty International and numerous commentators have accused the Military Commissions Act of 2006 of approving a system that uses torture, destroying the mechanisms for judicial review created by the Supreme Court ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, and creating a parallel legal system below international standards.[142][143][144]
In an interview with the Washington Post, the convening authority of military commissions, Susan J. Crawford, a retired judge, who was responsible for reviewing practices at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, said of one Guantanamo Bay detainee, "his treatment met the legal definition of torture, and that is why I did not refer the case" for prosecution, and then went on to describe treatment not meeting the legal definition of torture.[145] The U.S. Government denies that torture is being conducted in the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay.[146][147]
It was reported in June 2008 that, according to human rights lawyers, the USA was "operating floating prisons to house those arrested in its war on terror":
"According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as 'floating prisons' since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed. Ships that are understood to have held prisoners include the USS Bataan and USS Peleliu. A further 15 ships are suspected of having operated around the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which has been used as a military base by the UK and the Americans.
... The Reprieve study includes the account of a prisoner released from Guantánamo Bay, who described a fellow inmate's story of detention on an amphibious assault ship. 'One of my fellow prisoners in Guantánamo was at sea on an American ship with about 50 others before coming to Guantánamo ... he was in the cage next to me. He told me that there were about 50 other people on the ship. They were all closed off in the bottom of the ship. The prisoner commented to me that it was like something you see on TV. The people held on the ship were beaten even more severely than in Guantánamo.'"[148]
See also:
Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
Bagram torture and prisoner abuse
Criticisms of the War on Terrorism
Uzbekistan[edit]
After an investigating visit to Uzbekistan, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Theo van Boven concluded:[149]
Even though only a small number of torture cases can be proved with absolute certainty, the copious testimonies gathered ... are so consistent in their description of torture techniques and the places and circumstances in which torture is perpetrated that the pervasive and persistent nature of torture throughout the investigative process cannot be denied.
— Theo van Boven
Forms of torture frequently cited include immersion in boiling water, exposure to extreme heat and cold, "the use of electric shock, temporary suffocation, hanging by the ankles or wrists, removal of fingernails, punctures with sharp objects, rape, the threat of rape, and the threat of murder of family members.[150] (For example, see Muzafar Avazov.)
In 2003, Britain's Ambassador for Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, said that information was being extracted under extreme torture from dissidents in that country, and that the information was subsequently being used by Britain and other western, democratic countries which disapproved of torture.
Wikipedia


Awful, awful, awful - karmic actions that are destroying us as the souls of these agonised victims scream in the after life for justice and an end of our world. Organised criminals also routinely torture victims and it has been happening up here where I live. Mankind has gone mad.

Incidentally I watched an immigration programme on TV recently showing Britain stopping various people at its borders. One was a Lithuanian man who had an arrest warrant out for his arrest from Austria for participating in a ram raid there. He and the immigration officer, using an interpreter that it turned out he did not need, had a chat about this. He also admitted two offences of some sort of violence in Ireland. The man said he had been offered a quick profit in Lithuania for the job in Austria. Why did he not refuse he was asked. You do not say no to these people he said. He had just come out of the army. I do not know if he was granted entry or not but could understand his position. You do not say no to these people. That is our world. That is the situation of very many people in Syria and elsewhere. But taking orders as Eichmann discovered is no excuse. We have let organised crime take over so many people in our world who cannot say no. What would I do if they came to my home and insisted I drive a car to some place where they would torture someone? I would rather say no but most would not and our families would perhaps prefer us not to bring the violence onto them. Try to see how evil works and why we have to talk to the heads of organised crime and regimes to change, to work with us, to save our world and stop this karmic nightmare approaching us. It worsens day by day and gets closer to your door too. To your workplace, to your friends.

We will be at war soon and having to send a good million US and NATO troops to a battlefield where they too will be held in such prisons and where in revenge they will do terrible things in our name. This ‘final’ war has had its advocates trying for years to get us to commit to it, a regime change too far. It could be stopped now but look at how the peace talks for Palestine/Israel, Iran nuclear and Syria are going. Honesty has been thrown out of the window for confrontation and a bitter one sided view that means we must destroy any country disagreeing with it. And what is this all about? Really about?

The end of this world and its beautiful nature because we have given control of it to the psychopaths.

reve

reve
21-01-2014, 04:01 PM
I disagree with him on the point he made about the abuses that the ICC are looking at which were allegedly caused by Britons. He denied the ICC was necessary as these abuses were either being investigated or had been and compensation paid. Compensation is not an answer to this but prison is. Unless you imprison those who did this, who ordered it, who covered it up then it will never stop because they do not pay the compensation, the taxpayer does. So can we face the ICC on this and get our war criminals imprisoned if they really are guilty or show the world that our hands are clean. We cannot demand that the ICC imprison men like Assad but protect our own can we?

Yes of course we can, and will, and do and always have done which is what makes this all the more obscene. Wlliam Hague and David Cameron were not involved in that war and should not seek to protect those that were and did such evil in our names. I can understand their concerns but not the denial of true justice for some very cynical men whose actions, and deceits to the British people, resulted in well over half a million deaths and many instances of abuse which have tarnished our country's fine reputation irreversibly. That is why the bad apples need to be tried.

I cut an apple the other day. I give them to our parrot who likes them peeled and sliced neatly and for the first time in a long time cut one in half and found the entire core rotten, yet on the outside it had looked fine. There was perhaps half an inch by the peel that would have been edible but I threw it onto the compost in horror. If that is our world I think our creator will do the same thing to all of us good and bad unless we deal with the problem first and are seen to do so. Not just a bit of the rotten core, the whole thing that is spreading inexorably outwards to infect us all.

reve

reve
21-01-2014, 08:09 PM
The first time I saw him mention the torture victims on TV today he likened them to the concentration camp victims at Belsen but this time it was Auschwitz. Perhaps people do not know Belsen as well. Who is he making this point to?

It seems that some are very worried about public opinion prior to talks tomorrow. A child's story told by the head of Save the Children was harrowing. A tank firing on children (both sides have them) a sniper at the funeral killing his friend (both sides have them). The resulting impression is that Assad is personally responsible.

My impression is that they could have stopped the insurgency as soon as it was clear that so many would be killed and made homeless if they did not. But they continued to pour money and troops into Syria making the case that it was a war against barbarism although it was supposedly a protest by some Syrian citizens who refused to vote in the 2012 elections claiming that it was pointless. In reality Assad banned religious parties including the Muslim Brotherhood because he ran a secular nation of many ethnicities and religions that lived peacefully together. The opposition did not like that. And some Gulf States did not like it being pointed out that they do not hold elections. women cannot stand in them and women cannot vote. Iran also has elections which is how a moderate was elected this time. This does not go down well.

This whole episode is clearly showing what international politics are really about and it is tragic to behold.

Isn't it curious that the only data produced showing the fatalities in the Iraq invasion were actually over 600,000 was from the most celebrated 5 star medical journal, the Lancet. No one has been able to accuse them of lying. They just ignore the figure and it never gets a mention by the media. That is our world. That is why the afterlife is such a shock and politicians are dragged away screaming. But we need justice on this side - not revolution but justice for the victims of these regime changes that have been so evil and unnecessary.

reve

reve
21-01-2014, 08:20 PM
The gamechanger was of course finding out that the opposition is in fact Al Qaida fronted by a few well paid Syrian faces supported by the Gulf states. But they keep trying to make the game end the way they want it to - regime change and resulting chaos in a once happy and prosperous nation that was heading for real democracy.

Syria 'torture photos' be a game-changer for peace talks?
By Nic Robertson, CNN
January 21, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
The horrific new report accusing Syria's embattled regime of torturing and killing thousands of detainees in government custody may not be a game-changer for the peace talks set to open in Switzerland on Wednesday, but they may well shift the narrative -- if only for a day.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has played some powerful cards ahead of the Geneva 2 talks. He has cranked up the airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria's biggest city and one of the main flashpoints of the three-year civil war that has devastated the country. And he sent Foreign Minister Walid Moallem to Moscow last week to announce a cease-fire proposal in an attempt to set the stage for opposition groups to look bad if they don't agree to the deal.
But when Syrian officials step in front of the cameras in Switzerland this week, the questions won't be about ceasefire deals. They'll be about the report, first revealed by CNN and the Guardian in an exclusive on Monday, alleging systematic "crimes against humanity" being committed against prisoners in Syrian jails.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/21/world/meast/syria-torture-game-changer/

A last minute game changer indeed paid for by Qatar not allowing any time for the photos or anonymous defector known as ‘Caesar’ (interesting code name meaning much) to be verified. They may be true but there is something very not right about how and why this is being done today and it seems that they think that our populations are idiots as usual. If asked whether we would attack Syria based on this the politicians would still find 90% (those who actually would have to fight or send their children) would say a resounding NO but they live in hope. Why are they so crude?

reve

reve
22-01-2014, 01:54 PM
Well it is all kicking off in Montreux and I watched the Syrian Coalition talking just now. How he can discuss wanting to end a one party state and a minority governing a majority while supported by Saudi Arabia I cannot fathom and the Saudi delegation were possibly shuffling their feet under the table. He blames Assad for importing the Al Qaida fighters and seems to disown all the foreigners fighting there. So we are in for a long haul and constant inconsistencies with the real facts.

‘ The Syrian Foreign Minister accused opposition fighters of being traitors and agents of its enemy Israel, as bitter accusations from both sides marred the beginning of peace talks aimed at bringing the conflict to an end. The summit, which is being held in Montreux, Switzerland, is discussing the Geneva II document which lays out a political transition plan for Syria. Chaired by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the talks have brought members of the Syrian regime and opposition around the table for the first time since 2011.
Walid al-Moallem, Syria's Foreign Minister, said in his opening speech that neighbouring countries have worsened the situation by arming opposition forces.
In his opening remarks, during which he clashed with Mr Ban over whether he had exceeded the 20-minute time period allocated to each speaker, Mr Muallem said some of the states attending the summit had "Syrian blood on their hands".
Directly addressing the US Foreign Secretary, John Kerry, he also said that only Syrians have the right to remove President Bashar al-Assad.
Mr Kerry had earlier said that President Assad could have no place in a transitional government. "We see only one option, negotiating a transition government born by mutual consent," Mr Kerry said. "That means that Assad will not be part of that transition government. There is no way, no way possible, that a man who has led a brutal response to his own people can regain legitimacy to govern."
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-un-peace-talks-syrian-foreign-minister-calls-opposition-fighters-traitors-9076574.html

There are some disturbing thoughts that arise from seeing many coincidences, things which always arouse suspicion. For example few ever thought that Syria would agree and then act to remove all chemical weapons, let alone produce the data required the next day and open the stores to inspectors. Nor did many think that Iran would allow inspection and agree to stop refining uranium. But both did this seemingly with good will. Had they not of course things would be very different and Syria would have been invaded last year as well as Iran. Was that what some were banking on when these Geneva talks started? And looking deeper at that probability, that the talks were ultimatums expected to lead to war, were both invasions the price of a negotiated settlement in Israel? If so it is unravelling fast and no wonder the chances of that are falling day by day.

Forcing one country to change its regime because it is described as 'totalitarian' while allowing its neighbours to retain their completely undemocratic regimes is both illegal and unethical. Using foreign mercenaries to invade a country under the guise of a struggle for democracy while elections are taking place (2012) is whatever you want to call it. But for western governments to support these deceits is very unwise and almost certainly plays into the hands of the Jihadists, who have banned music in the areas they control in Syria and elsewhere while forcing conversions and executing those who do and those who do not. How can we sit in the same room as such people? Let alone make speeches that practically idolise them while pretending that the nasty side of their alliance is something that Assad is paying for with his oil revenues.

William Hague is calling for perpetrators of torture to be prosecuted. Has he forgotten Britain’s rather shaky record here and the rendition of Al Qaida members to countries where they were tortured? Even the surviving Mau Mau members in Kenya remember us as torturers. And Iraq is presenting allegations against Britain even now. So the victims of our war crimes, if war crimes they be, would look very like the photos being shown around town today from Syria, and if I remember correctly, would also display burns and signs of severe beatings. The strangulation marks, presumably a final hanging, will possibly be absent. I would be calling for an amnesty and starting again. Certainly I would not be likening these men who were fighting for the insurgents with the civilians that Hitler consigned to death camps because they were Jewish, gay or gypsies. The equation with what Japan did to allied prisoners is more apt - starvation, lack of medical aid, constant beatings, torture and execution. The same story is true all over the world and we need to be honest about that first if we really intend to stamp it out. But as far as I know we do not intend to stamp it out as torture is still seen to have its uses, especially if hidden and not photographed.

Britain is having problems getting its ’lobbying’ bill passed. The Lords objected, predictably. The idea is to make it more transparent and they are blaming the charities! Of course if the charities are against the bill we should look at some of their highly paid Chief Executives who belong to that particular club. The bill is weak and cosmetic and will do nothing to stop media barons dictating our drugs policies, choosing our leaders and getting them elected. As they say there is no such thing as a free lunch, not in that world.

What really worries me here is the very inept way that our governments are acting and their assumption that the real electorate will not know they are being devious. Also that they rely on, and publish, the support given to them by the very men who need to be reined in. It shows that they are not really up to the job. The call for transparency (Glasnost as it was called when it broke open the Soviet Union) is barely necessary. Their actions are transparent, but they are absolutely wrong when targeting the poor to reward the rich, or helping dubious allies in their illegal activities. The dreadful fact is that we have no choice as all three major parties do the same thing. Labour attacked Iraq and killed over half a million people in their illegal war, supported by the Conservatives. Both love the rich and hate the poor that they describe routinely as scroungers when in fact they are all people deprived of a fair share of the country’s resources.

It is a most embarrassing time to be British as our politicians make obscene speeches on TV as though they are honest and God fearing men, rather than manipulators of situations for the short term gain of the rich donors on whom they depend and who got them elected. It is disgracing democracy and has made them all extremely cynical, which will not allow them to do what really needs doing now, not next month. We have 9 million in poverty in our country. 5 million Palestinian refugees. 6 million Syrian refugees. Children sold into sex slavery all over the world. Laws that make organised crime the biggest business in the world, able to corrupt governments and police forces. Illegal wars. And 85 billionaires who own more than half the planet - more than 3,500,000,000 people - who are getting richer by the day as those billions get poorer and starve. And what do our politicians do? Ignore all of that and provide figures they say are leading to our economic recovery. As they age they will becoming increasingly fearful of death itself and of course are doing all they can to avoid any real justice on this side too. How foolish can a well educated and privileged person be? But as soon as they ask Syria to remove its chemical stockpiles it responds, as soon as they ask Iran to stop the very idea of heading for nuclear capability it responds - and these governments are then demonised as that was not the response they really wanted! How about asking India to stop the sale of girls to gangs running the prostitution in their cities. To house the people living on and renting space on pavements dependent on begging? They may respond. In fact if asked every nation may respond by dealing with its internal issues that make our world appear so evil. We could ask the multinationals to stop exploiting Africans, polluting the seas, destroying nature. We could ask the heads of religions to stop promoting war and violence by promising a heaven or paradise they know does not exist for murderers and rapists. Call it Geneva 4, start asking and threaten invasion and regime change if not mega sanctions if there is no response. It works wonders. See how quick they have elections in Saudi Arabia and the illegal settlements get vacated.

reve

reve
22-01-2014, 04:15 PM
We need to get good at snap referendums for serious matters that are not covered in manifestos prior to elections. It is not impossible but needs work to enable the electorate to have a swift say on particular things. The most obvious is war. You may have noticed that when invited to invade a country or send in missiles we are hurried to make a decision for no very good reason except to undermine proper debate. Such requests scarcely give our leaders time to ask the Parliament but in the light of Iraq and the House of Commons agreeing to an illegal war based on lies we all need consulting. Also in my mind are the US representatives trying to get approval from the Senate and Congress to automatically support Israel should it wish at any time to attack Iran. If we are actually attacked then the response should be fast and automatic, but in the event of a third party starting a war? Traditionally that is built into a treaty or alliance but it evades democratic consultation when it actually occurs and fast referendums can deal with that and the need to hold them should be built into all treaties. As it is quite likely that Israel and Saudi Arabia will attack Iran given automatic back up and support from the US it is nothing less than encouragement for them to bypass the UN anyway. The rhetoric so far says it all and the consequences would be massive. It seems that such a move would bypass public opinion likely to be very much against it. Of course they know that which is why they need prior approval,

Our leaders must be more accountable to us. Although I can personally draw a line under what has happened so far it disturbs me that Tony Blair persists with justifying his war against Iraq. also that the documents and correspondence with George Bush prior to that have not been published. That is not democracy or anything like it. Any leader taking a nation to war based on lies needs to be held accountable, the facts laid out for inspection and guarantees built in to stop it happening again. Great credit must be given to Cameron for even consulting parliament about Syria although he was clearly upset when they decided against another illegal war bypassing the Un altogether this time.

So in future we need to be consulted even if the results are not what these men want. It is not for them to decide to kill half a million innocents in our name to enable a regime change that undermines all the stability we have achieved in the world. As long as we try men and women for murder, we must try leaders for genocide and decide whether their explanations and ALL the facts justify them. So how can we have snap referendums within a week?

reve

reve
22-01-2014, 05:43 PM
I wonder if I can mention the recent demand that Palestinians recognise the State of Israel’s Jewish identity. It has never been demanded before but is suddenly a ‘precondition’. Another buzz word regularly appearing these days and used to undermine genuine negotiations. Sadly the US are getting used to preconditions especially for transitional governments - which is a clever way of saying ’regime change no discussion’.


Peres: Recognition of Israel as Jewish state 'unnecessary'

In recent conversations with diplomatic officials, President Shimon Peres says PM Benjamin Netanyahu's insistence on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is a possible impediment to peace • Netanyahu: Recognition is at core of the conflict.
Shlomo Cesana, Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=14907

Obviously Israel is a ‘Jewish’ State just as Britain is a Christian one but only in the sense that Christianity is the state religion in Britain and Judaism in Israel. However the terms are a bit out of date, somewhat misleading and exclusive when so many are either secular or of different faiths in both countries, not to mention the 5 million refugees anxiously awaiting permission to return home.

Following on from that would be Saudi Arabia proclaiming it is a Sunni state and here is the problem in Syria which was a secular state and has Shiites, Christians and Sunnis in its population with slightly more Sunnis, while its neighbour Iraq has slightly more Shiites. Adopting a religion to describe one’s state can only lead to sectarian violence. Is Northern Ireland ‘Protestant’? We have had a long running battle with the IRA just about that as the majority are, just as in Ireland to the South the majority are Catholic.

This demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State is clearly designed to make it impossible for the Palestinians to accept. But saying that is probably the definition of ‘delegitimising’ Israel. They might just as well demand that the world and the Palestinians accept that Jews have a historic claim to all the land. But they do not any more than those who consider themselves Celtic have a claim to the whole of Britain. Red Indian tribes may well have a historic claim to the whole of the US. Historic claims have to be consigned to history and cannot be resurrected 2000 years later to justify taking land away from people who have lived on it for the last thousand years.

Then we get the biblical claim. This one really needs to be properly investigated soon if it is to be used as any justification. What is claimed is that God gave this land to the Israelites, but now the Israelites are to be considered only those who profess Judaism which even in ancient history was not the case. There are many contradictions and it flies above the head of many devout people who seem to accept this interpretation of ancient scriptures unquestioningly. It has to be mentioned because it is the reason for much otherwise unreasonable behaviour. In fact it is stated quite often by the Prime Minister of Israel and others as though it cannot be contested. So who is going to get out the scrolls and check where the evidence is for this assertion. What a scribe writes on a piece of paper is far from a fact especially where God is concerned.

I see Fox TV are making a film about Assad in Israel! What have they done with the programme they made about 9/11 and the claims that it was a conspiracy? I heard that the programme was made but shelved. Perhaps they will make the Assad film and shelve it too.

reve

reve
22-01-2014, 08:59 PM
not going according to plan?

I will start this by saying again that Assad is not a good man. But after the revolution started he became a dreadful man when fighting for his country as he saw it. However I would point out that even the patriot Ariel Sharon was accused of killing thousands of civilians. The Middle East is governed by repressive leaders for a reason. None of them take kindly to protest, let alone civil war which always seem to cause vast numbers of civilian deaths and abuses. But in this case a forensic look at the conflict will help. There are no reporters backing Assad at present although there is a growing realisation that Syria post-Assad will be a haven for terrorism. So who are the opposition and why will they be better is one thing we might ask. Secondly is this really a civil war or what we know now as regime change by armed insurgency backed by other countries?

Before it started Syria had had a drought for over 3 years and a million farmers had crowded into already crowded cities. There were also 1.2 million refugees from Iraq (from when we invaded it). Assad was looking after them but there was widespread discontent about the whole situation. It can be noted that the ‘rebels’ especially targeted Iraqis in Syria killing many of them. It is suggested that this was because they were mostly Shiites. There were around 50,000 Iraqi women, many widows, working as prostitutes in Syria just to survive (wikipedia figures).

The Arab Spring started on 18 December 2010 and immediately spread to Syria. Was that intentional and coordinated - it seems to be ’coincidental’ and very fast. Here is what wikipedia say happened there in the year from January 2011 to January 2012.

‘ The conflict initially began as a civil uprising, evolved from initially minor protests, beginning as early as January 2011, as a response to the regional Arab Spring, government corruption, and human rights abuses. Large-scale unrest began on 15 March in the southern city of Daraa, sometimes called the "Cradle of the Revolution", and later spread nation-wide. The government responded to the protests with large arrests, torture of prisoners, police brutality, censorship of events, and some concessions. In May 2011, Assad released hundreds of political prisoners from prison including Islamists, some of whom went on to play leading roles in the armed opposition, such as Ahrar ash-Sham – an islamist group whose first brigades had been formed before the revolution started.
However, the protests continued to grow. In late-April, Assad began launching large-scale military operations against restive towns and cities. The operations involved the use of tanks, infantry carriers, and artillery, leading to a large number of civilian deaths.
Following military crackdowns, many soldiers defected to protect protesters. Many protesters also began to take up arms. The first instance of armed insurrection occurred on 4 June 2011 in Jisr ash-Shugur, a city near the Turkish border in Idlib Governorate. Angry protesters set fire to a building where security forces had fired on a funeral. Eight security officers died in the fire as demonstrators took control of a police station, seizing weapons. Clashes between protesters and security forces continued in the following days. Some security officers defected after secret police and intelligence agents executed soldiers who refused to shoot civilians.
In April 2011, the Syrian Army was deployed to quell the uprising and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of military sieges, the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.
Protests and armed insurgency (29 July–October 2011)
On 29 July, a group of defected officers announced the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), an umbrella group which would later represent the main opposition army. Composed of defected Syrian Armed Forces personnel and civilian volunteers, the rebel army seeks to remove Bashar al-Assad and his government from power. The establishment of the group formally marked the beginning of armed resistance to the Assad government. The FSA would grow in size, to about 20,000 by December, and to an estimated 40,000 by June 2012. Nevertheless, the group remained without centralized leadership until December 2012. The FSA, along with other insurgent groups, rely mostly on light weapons, including assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
On 31 July, a nationwide crackdown nicknamed the "Ramadan Massacre" resulted in the death of at least 142 people and hundreds of injuries. Some besieged cities and towns were described as having famine-like conditions.
An FSA fighter walking among rubble in Aleppo, October 2012
On 23 August, a coalition of anti-government groups was formed, the Syrian National Council. The group, based in Turkey, attempted to organize the opposition. However, the opposition, including the FSA, remained a fractious collection of political groups, longtime exiles, grass-roots organizers and armed militants, divided along ideological, ethnic or sectarian lines.
Throughout August, Syrian forces stormed major urban centers and outlying regions, and continued to attack protests. On 14 August, the Siege of Latakia continued as the Syrian Navy became involved in the military crackdown for the first time. Gunboats fired heavy machine guns at waterfront districts in Latakia, as ground troops and security agents backed by armor stormed several neighborhoods. The Eid ul-Fitr celebrations, started in near the end of August, were muted after security forces fired on protesters gathered in Homs, Daraa, and the suburbs of Damascus.
By September 2011, organized units of Syrian rebels were engaged in an active insurgency campaign in multiple areas of Syria. A major confrontation between the FSA and the Syrian armed forces occurred in Rastan. From 27 September to 1 October, Syrian government forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, led a major offensive on the town of Al-Rastan in Homs Governorate, in order to drive out army defectors. The 2011 battle of Rastan between the government forces and the FSA was the longest and most intense action up until that time. After a week of fighting, the FSA was forced to retreat from Rastan. To avoid government forces, the leader of the FSA, Col. Riad Asaad, retreated to the Turkish side of Syrian-Turkish border. Many of the rebels fled to the nearby city of Homs.
By October, the FSA started to receive support from Turkey, who allowed the rebel army to operate its command and headquarters from the country's southern Hatay Governorate close to the Syrian border, and its field command from inside Syria. The FSA would often launch attacks into Syria's northern towns and cities, while using the Turkish side of the border as a safe zone and supply route. A year after its formation, the FSA would gain control over many towns close to the Turkish border.
In October 2011, clashes between government and defected army units were being reported fairly regularly. During the first week of the month, sustained clashes were reported in Jabal al-Zawiya in the mountainous regions of Idlib Governorate. Syrian rebels captured most of Idlib city as well. In mid-October, other clashes in Idlib Governorate include the city of Binnish and the town of Hass in the governorate near the mountain range of Jabal al-Zawiya. In late October, other clashes occurred in the northwestern town of Maarrat al-Nu'man in the governorate between government forces and defected soldiers at a roadblock on the edge of the town, and near the Turkish border, where 10 security agents and a deserter were killed in a bus ambush. It was not clear if the defectors linked to these incidents were connected to the FSA.
Escalation (November 2011 – March 2012)
In early November, clashes between the FSA and security forces in Homs escalated as the siege continued. After six days of bombardment, the Syrian Army stormed the city on 8 November, leading to heavy street fighting in several neighborhoods. Resistance in Homs was significantly greater than that seen in other towns and cities, and some in opposition have referred to the city as the "Capital of the Revolution". Unlike events in Deraa and Hama, operations in Homs have thus far failed to quell the unrest.
November and December 2011 saw increasing rebel attacks, as opposition forces grew in number. In the two months, the FSA launched deadly attacks on an air force intelligence complex in the Damascus suburb of Harasta, the Ba'ath Syrian Regional Branch youth headquarters in Idlib Governorate, Syrian Regional Branch offices in Damascus, an airbase in Homs Governorate, and an intelligence building in Idlib. On 15 December, opposition fighters ambushed checkpoints and military bases around Daraa, killing 27 soldiers, in one of the largest attacks yet on security forces. The opposition suffered a major setback on 19 December, when a failed defection in Idlib governorate lead to 72 defectors killed.
Riot police in central Damascus, 16 January 2012
In January 2012, Assad began using large-scale artillery operations against the insurgency, which led to the destruction of many civilian homes due to indiscriminate shelling. By this time, daily protests had dwindled, eclipsed by the spread of armed conflict. January saw intensified clashes around the suburbs of Damascus, with the Syrian Army use of tanks and artillery becoming common. Fighting in Zabadani began on 7 January when the Syrian Army stormed the town in an attempt to rout out FSA presence. After the first phase of the battle ended with a ceasefire on 18 January, leaving the FSA in control of the town, the FSA launched an offensive into nearby Douma. Fighting in the town lasted from 21 to 30 January, before the rebels were forced to retreat as result of a government counteroffensive. Although, the Syrian Army managed to retake most of the suburbs, sporadic fighting continued. Fighting erupted in Rastan again on 29 January, when dozens of soldiers manning the town's checkpoints defected and began opening fire on troops loyal to the government. Opposition forces gained complete control of the town and surrounding suburbs on 5 February
…. Wikipedia

We can compare this with Iraq in some ways but the other way round - invasion followed by insurgency :

‘The Iraq War was an armed conflict in Iraq that consisted of two phases. The first was an invasion of Iraq starting on 20 March 2003 by an invasion force led by the United States. It was followed by a longer phase of fighting, in which an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the newly formed Iraqi government. The U.S. completed its withdrawal of military personnel in December 2011. However, the insurgency is ongoing and continues to cause thousands of fatalities.

Prior to the war, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom claimed that Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed a threat to their security and that of their coalition/regional allies….Some U.S. officials also accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of harboring and supporting al-Qaeda, but no evidence of a meaningful connection was ever found. Other stated reasons for the invasion included Iraq's financial support for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, Iraqi government human rights abuses, and an effort to spread democracy to the country. On 16 March 2003, the U.S. government advised the U.N. inspectors to leave their unfinished work and exit from Iraq. On 20 March the American-led coalition conducted a surprise military invasion of Iraq without declaring war….. The invasion led to an occupation and the eventual capture of President Hussein, who was later tried in an Iraqi court of law and executed by the new Iraqi government. Violence against coalition forces and among various sectarian groups soon led to the Iraqi insurgency, strife between many Sunni and Shia Iraqi groups, and the emergence of a new faction of Al-Qaeda in Iraq…..A meeting between George W. Bush and Tony Blair took place on 31 January 2003, in the White House. A secret memo of this meeting purportedly showed that the Bush administration had already decided on the invasion of Iraq at that point. Bush was allegedly floating the idea of painting a U‑2 spyplane in UN colors and letting it fly low over Iraq to provoke Iraqi forces into shooting it down, thereby providing a pretext for the United States and Britain to invade. Bush and Blair made a secret deal to carry out the invasion regardless of whether WMD were discovered by UN weapons inspectors, in direct contradiction with statements Blair made to the British House of Commons afterwards that the Iraqi regime would be given a final chance to disarm. In the memo, Bush is paraphrased as saying, "The start date for the military campaign was now pencilled in for 10 March. This was when the bombing would begin." Bush said to Blair that he "thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups" in Iraq after the war……According to General Tommy Franks, the objectives of the invasion were, "First, end the regime of Saddam Hussein. Second, to identify, isolate and eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Third, to search for, to capture and to drive out terrorists from that country. Fourth, to collect such intelligence as we can related to terrorist networks. Fifth, to collect such intelligence as we can related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction. Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian support to the displaced and to many needy Iraqi citizens. Seventh, to secure Iraq’s oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people. And last, to help the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative self-government."……Lancet Survey: 601,027 violent deaths out of 654,965 excess deaths
Wikipedia

At the time (2003) there was no great zeal in the populations to go to war. There were major protests however the media mostly supported the governments who supported the war on the grounds puit before them

‘ Poll results available from Gallup International, as well as local sources for most of Europe, West and East, showed that support for a war carried out "unilaterally by America and its allies" did not rise above 11 percent in any country. Support for a war if mandated by the UN ranged from 13 percent (Spain) to 51 percent (Netherlands).’ Wikipedia

‘“For apparently the first time in modern history, the US government seems poised to go to war not only lacking the support of many of its key allies abroad but also without the enthusiastic backing of the majority of major newspapers at home,” Ari Berman, now at The Nation, and I wrote at Editor & Publisher on March 19, 2003. Berman had just completed his fifth and final prewar survey of the top fifty newspapers’ editorial positions.
I had certainly been critical of overall press coverage of the war—and the editorial writers and pundits largely backed the adventure for years—but at least there was some sense of protest on the eve of the invasion.
Following Bush’s forty-eight-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein on March 17, newspapers took their last opportunity to sound off before the war started. Of the forty-four papers publishing editorials about the war, roughly one-third reiterated strong support for the White House, one-third repeated their abiding opposition to it and the rest—with further debate now useless—took a more philosophical approach.’
http://www.thenation.com/blog/173317/surprise-ten-years-ago-many-top-newspapers-did-oppose-us-war-against-iraq#

Well they are certainly united against Assad this time although Saddam was quite as brutal if not more so. Assad has really become violent during a war while Saddam was objected to before it.

reve

reve
22-01-2014, 09:09 PM
'
Concerns about future violent protests over the Government’s austerity measures have prompted chief constables to ask Theresa May, the Home Secretary, for authorisation to deploy water cannon in mainland Britain for the first time.


Chief constables have concluded the machines would be a valuable addition to their armoury after carrying out detailed research, including a scientific analysis of injuries that members of the public can suffer when hit by the powerful water jets.


Documents disclosed by the Association of Chief Police Officers show plans have been drawn up for the cannon to be used against protesters and rioters in the future.


Police warn they expect water cannon will be required because “the ongoing and potential future austerity measures are likely to lead to continued protest”.


They claimed the machines would have given them an “operational advantage” in the 2011 riots'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10590615/Water-cannon-set-to-be-deployed-across-Britain-amid-fears-of-more-riots.html

If only Assad had used them but he was short of water.

reve

reve
23-01-2014, 11:01 AM
Last year in a beautiful park in Glasgow there was a ‘party’ attended by a few hundred or a thousand perhaps, ending in violence and 21 arrests. The scene they left, many being students at the University, was appalling. Thousands of plastic bags and rubbish littered the park although it has bins every 20 yards. The pavements all over Britain’s towns are smeared with dog faeces as more and more irresponsible dog owners take to the streets and Councils cut the street cleaners. But as the Government crows with delight at the TV programme ‘Benefits Street’ which shows a street where many take drugs, shoplift and worse and generally appear to ‘cheat’ the system, and while the Government Minister Mr Duncan-Smith trumpets that his reforms and throwing people off benefits is justified by this one programme, I take a different view.

The Government is responsible for the ghettos we have, the addicts, the fact that people cannot survive legally on benefits, the fact that so many could not be offered work of any kind, the whole anti-social vibe taking over and the resulting crime. On the programme we have also seen that there are organised criminals who want to kill the man now in prison for stealing from their cannabis farm. We have seen the young men taking crack. If the Conservative Government think these people are a separate species and have nothing to do with them how wrong and blind they are.

We have a vast number of young people who cannot compete, get no support with drug habits, the direct result of the ‘war on drugs‘, which rewards organised criminals and gets young people hooked on crack, cheaper than cannabis. Cut off their benefits and what do they think will happen? Should these people starve on the streets or take to shoplifting? They do what they can and that is not much with addled brains. Putting them in prison with other criminals is not at all helpful, just a short term action and we are likely to follow the US by keeping them there indefinitely. For what? Stealing some clothes?

While they get water cannon ready to tackle ‘protestors’ they should be looking at the real gangsters. The bankers who cheated and stole and loan sharked in the US giving mortgages to people who could not afford them to hike up property prices. These men bankrupted the world yet this month are being rewarded with mega bonuses again. We have Chief executives earning hundreds of thousands or millions who are throwing more and more employees out of work and then taking people on zero hour contracts at the minimum wage. We have more enforcement on people littering or fouling the streets than on the multinational corporations fouling the sea.

When I was young there were plenty of tigers and I remember seeing Prince Philip on an elephant shooting one. The seas were clean and round here full of herring and cod. Land was cheap and farmers did not use chemicals to make things grow but kill the bees, nor routinely fed antibiotics to keep flocks in unsanitary cramped cages alive. We had discipline in schools. It was a different world but it has been destroyed in just one generation. And the terrible fact they will not admit is that the governments have done this to the world by making billionaires of their friends and causing 9 million now to live in poverty in a prosperous country like Britain, branding them all anti-social and deserving of this.

We have known for years this could not go on but it has not resulted in any politicians grappling the real problems and showing compassion, indeed accepting the blame. The world is about to end irrevocably and so unnecessarily. The media will not tell us this as it is as bad as the politicians who allowed it to be taken over by their billionaire chums and multinationals. The politicians will not tell us. But we know. Still we allow the last few tigers and rhino to feed the vile habits of rich Chinese men who believe they help their libido. And it is a picture in miniature of the whole world and how it is run. I guess we have just over a year left until the world descends into chaos and becomes uninhabitable. Not 20 years or a century. It makes no difference as they are not going to change, cannot change anyway. The men who lead us cannot see what they have done or how to put it right and do not even want to. They like the quick autocratic fix, their wars on drugs and terror which hide what they are doing. They champion the gangsters, the real gangsters who destroy our world with impunity. And never was it clearer than reading about Benefits Street and Mr Duncan Smith who created it with his phoney austerity programme that enables ludicrously low taxes for his friends and is today starving children all over the country. Has he no compassion for them? Do they have to attend Eton to be of any value in the world they want to create?

It is too late and environmentalists have been warning us for as long as I can remember in vain. The human has destroyed the habitat of almost every species in its search for money for the elite. There is no other way to put it because that is exactly why they have done it and been allowed to. They took democracy and made it a travesty of what it was to be. It was not government by the people for the people but by an elite as they like to think they are but in reality by gangsters for the gangsters. Those who have taken more than they needed and made so poor most of the world’s population, enslaving them to work in their factories to barely survive, while taking vast profits for themselves and doing very little work to justify it. We can do nothing, we are poor, peaceful and unarmed. They are not but their madness and greed has destroyed us all and you will hear them blaming us for that as around the world they send out armies to kill us in our millions, police to beat us into submission, throw us in prisons and take from us the food we grow to fill their stomachs. That is how they are seen in the afterlife - here they are the most respected and privileged ones driven by chauffeurs in grand cars divorced from the reality of the life and sufferings of the billions due to their negligence.

It amazes me that so many serious journalists can write this up to make these people look good. Have they sold their souls to this devil, a better salary than anyone else? What a way to end the world!

reve

reve
23-01-2014, 09:07 PM
You will have seen a little about the protests in Ukraine, and from the Arab Spring realise that these are significant. Protestors in squares have started revolutions from France in 1789 to the Russian revolution, Tianamen Square and currently Thailand. They may start with a tiny and angry minority but turn into something much more significant very fast. Governments fear them and either disperse them immediately or make concessions. Britain is poised for them this year and possibly the US as what happens here spreads so fast there.

Russia is accusing the EU of meddling with Ukraine and that cannot be discounted when you consider the little known facts about this remarkable country. Let us look at its history which means going back to the cradle of human civilization 40,000 years ago. It is known that the horse was domesticated there and that in itself led to every nation in the world being conquered from Egypt to the Americas. These were the people who destroyed Rome.

At the end of the Soviet Union it had a vast army and nuclear arsenal 93rd largest in the world) which it subsequently disposed of. But even now it has the 2nd largest army in Europe after Russia. It also hosts the Russian navy at Sevastopol on a lease arrangement. It was the 3rd largest grain exporter in the world in 2011, has a huge economy and vast industries. It makes spacecraft. Its population is 46 million.

So that is why the EU is interested and why NATO has a standing invitation for it to join at any time. It has a weakness and that is ‘energy’, having to import much of its gas from Russia which has caused problems and shortages at certain times. But while courted by the EU, which has persuaded its population how much better off they would be (Britain isn’t!) in the EU, its President has decided to stay closer to Russia and signed a deal for gas from them instead.

How the protest started I cannot say but it was seemingly over this decision. What has made it now even more serious is the death of an activist, indeed of 5. Martyrs always make these demonstrations go viral and what started in Kiev is breaking out all over Ukraine. That is why Britain’s police need water cannon that do not kill. Start shooting looters and protestors and expect a whole nation to rise up in fury. That is exactly what happened in Syria, what was calculated would happen there and why it is in the state it is. The EU should not meddle in Ukraine and nor should any countries do that in Syria, but they have and the whole Arab Spring was supported by foreign governments, possibly directed by them - we will never know for sure. If so we have a very heavy responsibility as Iraq was also on that list and killed over 600,000 violently.

Now it is hard to comprehend how what starts with some local people angry at the shooting of a man by police can result in the riots we had in Britain. If however you also consider the number of extremists we have here including Al Qaida it does not take much imagination to see how riots, indeed major protests are an immense danger to our stability. So are having 9 million in poverty and an austerity programme aimed solely at the poor and working classes, as these revolutions are the most deadly of all and take a century to calm down and to allow the restoration of say democratic government. Cambodia was a terrifying example where everyone with an education was killed and all were forced back to work on the land.

So I go back to politicians. Our intelligence agencies will have been warning our governments for a long time now of the enormous risks they are taking. The whole Iraq invasion was more than a disaster and populations like ours will never again trust politicians. I remember during the invasion reading some very worrying ‘revolutionary’ or ‘seditious’ posts and posted myself that we should get behind our troops and leaders while they were putting their lives on the line for us. In a war I could not imagine supporting the enemy, certainly not Saddam. But when the truth began to emerge (it has certainly not all emerged) I felt completely betrayed like so many. I could not have comprehended that Tony Blair would do that to 60 million Britons and the entire population of Iraq for reasons that still do not add up. That single act and the way he bullied all his ministers and Parliament to follow and trust him, the dossier that he got Alastair Campbell to create whose conscience must be as heavy as Bush and Blair together, and then put in the mouth of his head of intelligence - all this practically destroyed western democracy and has made heroes of Al Qaida in the minds of billions. As Tony now gets a huge income and is off the hook scot free what do we think the world thinks of us, what do our leaders think we think of them for protecting the men involved in lying to us and committing genocide in our names?

So to carry on with this behaviour would be madness, as is supporting the expanding settlements on the West Bank and keeping the Palestinian millions in camps for generations. It is never going to go away and has brought us to the point where a Caliphate of billions will soon confront us, a very cruel and unforgiving force which will ruthlessly suppress any objections in the areas under its control. We cannot carry on justifying what we have done just because most of us had good intentions. We have named the angry protestors ‘terrorists’ and have killed them all over the world, arrested and tortured them. They therefore are ‘martyrs’ in the most dangerous sense of the world. Like the man shot by police in Tottenham. Whether he was criminal, deserved to die or not he became the spark for a mini revolution in the last country in the world you would expect to find one. Those riots making certain more and bigger ones to come. And that is what our war on terror has created in the countries that will become this Caliphate.

We need to show that we are disgusted and not as evil as they think. For many years they have been terrified of saying what they think. In the face of a war on terror who wants to be labelled a supporter of terrorism? Look at the sanctions we impose on countries whose leaders do this, how we invade them and execute them. But the tide is turning as it does when a revolution starts. Massive numbers of protestors make protest feel safe and encourage more and more dissent. Then all that repressed anger is released in a sudden outpouring, even as facts or even distorted facts are released to fan the flames. No good can ever come of it as countries and populations are destroyed and the angry and violent take control. The gang in your neighbourhood who have machine guns will tell you what to do and kill you if you do not. They may be eastern Europeans, British as you, perhaps even Chinese. Armed gangs rule, fight each other and carve up our world. Our army is accused of war crimes as they take them on and our homes are blown to pieces. No water comes out of taps, no gas, no electricity, no food in shops. People then get very, very angry.

This is why I predict an end to our orderly world if politicians continue the game playing. They do not believe things can fall apart like this as they have armies and police forces. In some nations very heavily armed ones. But martial law is what destroys democracy and everything we treasure. That is when normal and moderate men turn into fanatic arsonists. Read the history of revolutions if you do not believe me.

This thread was started because of what I personally could see fomenting. It may be hard to liken our country to Syria but if like me you have been into the homes of the desperately poor on the most deprived estates in our cities you will know they are exactly like Syria. They could not be further removed from the cosy clubs and pubs and nice suburban palaces our comfortably off inhabit. If you also know them as I do, and those I have known since my school days, you will know just how ignorant they are. How they do use words like ‘plebs’ to describe the poor they think of as scum. Bankers who use vast amounts of cocaine may turn their noses up at crack heads but they are identical and both turn happily to crime to fund their habits. But the banker needs a good police force to make his voyage home, indeed to keep his home safe. The crack head is altogether a tougher cookie. Guess who will be at the forefront of the revolutionaries.

Why are we here? Our politicians still prefer to listen to their friends and reward even foreign corporations rather than deal with the inequality they have created. Our armies are depressed at their treatment and what they have seen. So are the police who will be more worried about their families on that black day than dealing with the riots. One can plead for the politicians to show some compassion and common sense, to show a sense of justice, but they are not for listening and in history never do until it is far too late. But this is our world that will be destroyed, our great achievements that will crumble into the dust, our culture that will replaced, our women who will lose all rights and be raped. Where will we be able to run? What countries will take in our millions of refugees?

We are much closer to Syria that any seem to realise, much closer to the end but I assure you our intelligence agencies have been telling them until they are blue in the face. Perhaps it is this God that has hardened their hearts. There is a solution, a justice for all but it is not welcome where it is needed.

reve

reve
24-01-2014, 11:18 AM
There are some interesting articles to mention today. CNN discusses the trip that the Syrian government took them on to see Aleppo, the front line and parts that have been liberated, supporters of Assad showing their support, soldiers talking about Al Qaida as the most difficult enemy facing them and the surprising sight of shops with food in them, cafes and restaurants, indeed very normal life yards from the front line. The lethal barrel bombs get a mention but we all forget that when facing the Viet Cong even the mighty US army eventually had to resort to napalm, the chemical agent orange and cluster bombs (millions of unexploded bomblets still killing all these years later in Laos).

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/23/world/meast/syria-aleppo-pleitgen/

The furore about the as yet unverified photographs of Assad’s torture victims seems to have not brought about what was intended, an immediate invasion of Syria. People are too cynical now and distrust this kind of timed announcement specifically aimed at their senses by hard men who could not give a damn about the civilians caught up in this sponsored terrorist nightmare they have lived with for 3 years.

Meanwhile in Davos the Iranians are promising an end to their nuclear activities, want to reengage with the west’s industries, and show no anger about the withdrawal of their invitation to Montreux but feel sorry for Ban Ki Moon and the UN being humiliated and rightly say that there must be fair elections in Syria for the Syrians alone to decide on their own government and that Iran will support and abide by that decision whatever it is. Netanyahu at the same conferences suggests that they are lying and we are all being taken in but this is called diplomacy and he could learn much from it. He makes himself look like a spoiled child not getting the best toy when he really should be trying to engage with Iran if worried about their intentions. He leaves Iran in no doubt of his. If he wants them to look bad in the eyes of the world that would be the only way - them spurning his overtures of friendship. Rouhani also makes sense when he says that the terrorists in Syria will wreak havoc in the whole region and we can note that the recent Israeli arrests in Jerusalem are called an Al Qaida cell, while the targets of air raids in Gaza this week were ‘Jihadists’.

http://www.euronews.com/2014/01/23/global-conversation-iran-s-president-rohani-on-syria-s-terrorists-change-and-/

If only the UK and US politicians would stop making absurd statements that are becoming increasingly hypocritical in regard to terrorism and indeed Syria. Their PR men are just not up to date and they all look tired and somewhat reminiscent of the old Soviets, don’t break the part line even though everyone knows it is nonsense. In our world either people who are being repressed have a right to retaliate (The Syrian ‘opposition’ and therefore the Palestinians) or they do not. Which is it this week? The media are also doing this and look increasingly ridiculous as they publish barefaced propaganda as news.

But I will copy out this article by a very well educated young man. It shows, if evidence were required, that a satisfactory solution in Israel for the Palestinians is impossible now. The only likely solution will be one that more or less rubber stamps the status quo. Haaretz had written about the martial law on the West Bank and how Palestinians there are all subject to army decisions on every aspect of their lives without any genuine way of appealing. One way or another the occupation will remain in place and the martial law too, so will the (currently illegal) settlements and camps that house 5 million Palestinians. Whether Israel will gain the whole of Jerusalem is hard to foresee, but if not that too will stay under their military control - in case of terrorism. Abbas may agree if he gets his own state out of this but how he can be seen to speak for those in the camps and Gaza if he does agree is not clear. In which case nothing will change really. But that seems to be all that might come of these talks that have been on and off since Oslo 30 years ago which promised the Palestinians much more. This article suggests that it could be a lot worse for the Palestinians than that if some get their way and as such stuff is being published one can see that ‘opposition’ will only move towards the Syrian model, indeed may cause an alliance between Al Qaida and the moderates. God help us.

‘ Michael Wolfowicz
The writer has a BA in Security, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism and is currently completing a double MA in International Security Studies along with an MA in Policing, Intelligence, and Counter-Terrorism, with a specialization in Counter-Terrorism

Op-Ed: What Are We Negotiating?
Published: Friday, January 24, 2014 6:51 AM
Does Israel really need an alternative? Does Israel need to formally annex the territories?

Recently, as many as 100,000 readers were delighted to receive their copy of the second issue of the new ‘Sovereignty’ political journal. This publication was started by Nadia Matar’s Women in Green movement and was made available in both Hebrew and English. The need for such a publication, and the important void which it has filled was long overdue.
For decades the right has left the war of ideas to the left and instead has focussed on changing facts on the ground. In light of the most recent push—led by US Sec. of State Kerry—to give up our heartland for the creation of another Arab state, the time has most definitely come to dispel the rhetoric that has plagued and infected the Israeli discourse for decades.
Even Bibi has apparently bought in to the left’s traditional arguments. Israel basically has two options, according to the now broadly accepted premise: Carry out a ‘two state solution’ in the creation of a ‘Palestinian’ state and in turn maintain Israel’s Jewish and Democratic character. Fail to do this and end up with a bi-national state in which either the Jewish or Democratic features will ultimately have to be sacrificed.
What Sovereignty has done, and is doing, is highlighting the fact that Israel need not be constrained to such a choose-one-or-the-other’ fate. It has thus far presented a number of different ideas that could be alternatives to the ‘two state solution’. Arguably the most right-wing alternative is Annexation of Judea & Samaria, and then coming up with solutions about how to maintain the desired characters of the state following that step. This idea denies that Israel must give citizenship to all 1-2 million Arab residents following annexation (something that is not outrageous by any means).
Does Israel really need an alternative? Does Israel need to formally annex the territories? I believe that after the nationalist camp has advertised the fact that alternatives do in fact exist, it will eventually need to band together around one single plan in order to succeed against those who would eagerly give up our land, our rights, and our sovereignty. There is that word again, ‘sovereignty’, and this is the idea—as is the name of the political journal—around which the right can and should be rallied.
The state of Israel, created in 1948, can trace its foundation back to a single and regularly overlooked document, the San Remo document of 1920. This document describes the outline of the ‘Land of Israel’, (or ‘Jewish National Home’) an important term when dealing with subsequent documents relating to Israel, the State of Israel, and Israeli law. The ‘Land of Israel’ was never changed in international law after San Remo, only facts on the ground changed, the most important of which was the creation of Trans-Jordan (Jordan), which cut off some 70% of the ‘Land of Israel’ (together with modern day Israel constituting the British Mandate for Palestine).
In 1948, following the War of Independence, Ben Gurion used an interesting law in order to formerly incorporate—not ‘annex’—territories held by the Israeli forces that fell outside of the 1947 partition plan lines. This included places such as Beer Sheva, where the world today doesn’t dare question Israel’s sovereignty.
Unfortunately and erroneously, on June 27, 1967, Section 11B of the Law and Administration Ordinance was enacted. Disregarding the 1967 victory, and till today, the law states that:
“Any law applying to the whole of the State of Israel shall be deemed to apply to the whole of the area including both the area of the State of Israel and any part of Palestine which the Minister of Defence has defined by proclamation as being held by the Defence Army of Israel”
Since Judea and Samaria were part of the British Mandate for Palestine, they are also part of the Jewish National Home as defined at San Remo, and since the IDF had declared its hold over the area by proclamation, both in 1967 and until this day by way of action, the law of the State ought to have been applied to it - and could have been applied to it, but wasn't.
According to the late legal expert Howard Grief, Israel thus
“failed at the appropriate moment to utilize the leading precedent established in his [sic Meir Shamgar] own country when, during the War of Independence, additional areas of the Land of Israel were recovered by the IDF, that were thenceforth subject to the law of the State. The above facts and precedent were simply ignored or never even thought of”.
If the precedent law would have been followed, or if it were to be followed, then another Israeli law would make the act of annexation at this juncture unnecessary.
Israel’s Basic Law-Israel Lands reads:
The ownership of Israel lands, being the lands in Israel of the State, the Development Authority, or the KKL, shall not be transferred either by sale or in any other manner.
It is unlikely that in 1967 the Eshkol government, acting on the advice of its top legal authority Meir Shamgar, could have foreseen the predicament we face today. While it is undoubtedly important and overdue to express counters to the ‘Two-state solution’, Israel’s right must rally around a single idea if they wish to see that form of national suicide defeated. And that idea is sovereignty, the rights enshrined at San Remo and later supported by Israel’s own laws.
Could it be that based on this rendition it is actually illegal vis-à-vis Israeli law for anyone to try and transfer any parts of the Jewish National Home to any other entity? Have all governments since 1967 that have negotiated parts of the Jewish National Home been acting in contravention to Israeli law?
After all, what is actually being negotiated at the moment? Our sovereignty.
In the late 1970’s, former Indonesian FM Malik said in reference to demands on the Philippines for Mindanao sovereignty; ‘no sovereign state worthy of the title could agree to such a thing’. "

*(Note:I must credit the great work of the late Howard Grief, ZT"L for his excellent research on the legalities of Israel's borders).
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/14433#.UuI8IZ1FBkB

So there you are if you were looking for a legal basis to take Palestine away from the Palestinians although most of us were not looking that hard and had missed this.

reve

reve
24-01-2014, 11:59 AM
This 'communique' has become the latest mantra and the 'opposition' insists upon it, Kerry says it states that Assad must go. It seems as though Geneva 1 had all the answers so what exactly does it say?

' June 2012 Geneva "action group"

An "action group" conference (now referred to as Geneva I Conference on Syria) was held on Saturday 30 June 2012, in Geneva, initiated by the then UN peace envoy to Syria Kofi Annan, and attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, a representative of China, British Foreign Secretary Hague, and Kofi Annan. Mr Annan, issuing a communiqué , said that the conference agreed on the need for a "transitional government body with full executive powers" which could include members of the present Syrian government and of the opposition. William Hague said that all five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Russia, China, France and the UK – supported Mr Annan’s efforts. Clinton however suggested that Syrian President Assad could, in such transitional government, not remain in power, which immediately was contradicted by Lavrov.

The final communiqué states that any political settlement must deliver a transition that:
Offers a perspective for the future that can be shared by all in Syria.
Establishes clear steps according to a firm time-table towards the realization of that perspective.
Can be implemented in a climate of safety for all, stability and calm.
Is reached rapidly without further bloodshed and violence and is credible.

The key steps in the transition should include:
Establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers that could include members of the government and opposition, and should be formed on the basis of mutual consent.
Participation of all groups and segments of society in Syria in a meaningful national dialogue process.
Review of the constitutional order and the legal system.
Free and fair multi-party elections for the new institutions and offices that have been established.
Full representation of women in all aspects of the transition.'
Wikipedia

So suggesting that Assad going is a precondition was certainly not agreed, and if it had been there would be no talks now. Why did Hilary say it had been and Lavrov deny this immediately? It is a big problem and prejudges the whole situation. What it does not say is anything about the foreign forces - those financed by Saudi Arabia and the West and those sent by Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah. That is because at the time of Geneva 1 they did not know about the foreign fighters, the opposition did not admit to them, nor did anyone know that the Saudis were financing the whole insurgency. Well obviously they did know that but did not want us to know it.

You may not know much about the man who is liaising between the two groups that are in separate rooms at Montreux (separate worlds in reality). Originally Algerian and one of the distinguished group off statesmen called the 'elders' he is no stranger to this work for the UN:

' ...Brahimi suggested that the Iraq Interim Governing Council should be dissolved, and that most of its members should not have any role in the new government. Though the council was in fact dissolved early, some of its members will have major roles in the new government. The president, one of the two vice-presidents, and the prime minister are all from the council. Most prominently, his criticism of Ahmed Chalabi has led to Chalabi's claim that Brahimi is an Arab nationalist who should have no role in determining the future of Iraq. At the same time, close allies of Chalabi have been pushing claims that various world leaders and the UN took bribes from Saddam Hussein under the Oil for Food program.

In May 2004, Brahimi was supposed to play a large advisory role in the appointment of candidates, which ended up selecting as Iraq's new interim President and Prime Minister: Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer and Iyad Allawi, respectively. However, Brahimi expressed serious disappointment and frustration about his role. "Bremer is the dictator of Iraq, He has the money. He has the signature. ... I will not say who was my first choice, and who was not my first choice ... I will remind you that the Americans are governing this country." According to a person who spoke with him, "He was very disappointed, very frustrated," al Dulame said. "I asked him why he didn't say that publicly (and) he said, `I am the U.N. envoy to Iraq, how can I admit to failure?'" Brahimi announced his resignation, resulting from "great difficulties and frustration experienced during his assignment in Iraq", at the UN in New York on 12 June. While serving as the United Nations envoy to Iraq, he described Israel's policy towards the Palestinians as "the big poison in the region". Wikipedia

Given the above, if accurate, it is surprising he was given this role. He may be the right man to pull it off but he needs to learn to be more honest and outspoken about the hurdles placed by superpowers in his way or we may as well dispense with the 'UN' here and call it what it is. Certainly his boss who is also at Montreux, Ban Ki Moon, should remind the players that the Geneva 1communique did not stipulate the removal of Assad however much it was hoped that it would and that Russia made that clear at the time. But Ban Ki Moon has already been put in his place for daring to invite Iran to the preliminary talks earlier this week, a presence that almost everyone knows is essential for a genuine settlement. Fortunately Iran is being very supportive of transition and genuine elections to decide the new government of Syria. Raising the question of whether some there want a genuine settlement or the more likely target - just regime change. That would mean that elections in Syria would not be required of course and we could all move on to changing the regime in Iran.

reve

reve
24-01-2014, 01:14 PM
Perhaps as there are now 10 million displaced Syrians we should look closer at the Palestinian refugees. Not all are termed as living in ‘camps’ and many live in ghettos. I think that if the situation were reversed and these were Jewish refugees there would have been an outcry every day but the international community do not much care now for a completely intractable problem they have allowed. It is hard not to think that the real death camp and ghetto victims of the Nazis would not have some sympathy with those who are denied citizenship, huddled in designated areas - some like Gaza the most populated spaces on earth - living in abject poverty with many children forced to beg, and with no rights at all, and are treated like second or third class citizens by those who inhabit the land which once belonged to their families. But there is an easy straightforward solution that would allow Israel to keep what it has taken and ease the situation for all the refugees. It is called compensation.

Why? History needs to be looked at and international law although they are currently only applied to the Jews who wish to return to their historic homeland and certainly do not seem to apply to these unfortunate stateless people.

‘ The number of UNRWA registered Palestine refugees by country or territory in January 2010 were as follows:
Gaza Strip 1,106,195
West Bank 778,993
Lebanon 425,640
Syria 472,109
Jordan 1,983,733’ wikipedia

Britain is currently debating and arguing over whether to take a few hundred Syrian refugees! These countries above at least gave them some space and the UN provide aid for them to survive from day to day. But we cannot expect this to continue and we should ask whether any of them will be consulted on a Peace Settlement prior to its approval, indeed who will be consulted on the Palestinain side, because it will have a permanent affect on the lives of this 5 million disadvantaged group of people who for far too long have been discriminated against by virtue of their ethnicity. So what is the issue?

‘The Palestinian right of return (Arabic: حق العودة‎, Ḥaqq al-ʿawda; Hebrew: זכות השיבה‎, zkhut hashivah) is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees and their descendants, have a right to return, and a right to the property they or their forebears left or which they were forced to leave in what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories (formerly part of the British Mandate of Palestine), as part of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, a result of the 1948 Palestine war and due to the 1967 Six-Day War.
Proponents of the right of return hold that it is a "sacred" right, as well as an inalienable and basic human right, whose applicability both generally and specifically to the Palestinians is protected under international law. This view holds that those who opt not to return or for whom return is not feasible, should receive compensation in lieu. Opponents of the right of return hold that there is no basis for it in international law, and that it is an unrealistic demand.
The government of Israel regards the claim as a Palestinian ambit claim, and does not view the admission of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in Israel as a right, but rather as a political claim to be resolved as part of a final peace settlement


The number of Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war is estimated at between 700,000 and 800,000, and another 280,000 to 350,000 people were refugees of the 1967 war. Approximately 120,000-170,000 among the 1967 refugees are believed to have also been refugees from the 1948 war, fleeing a second time. Today, the estimated number of Palestinian refugees, including both first-generation refugees and their descendants, exceeds four million


The first formal move towards the recognition of a right of return was in UN General Assembly Resolution 194 passed on 11 December 1948 which provided (Article 11):
Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.
UN General Assembly Resolution 3236, passed on 22 November 1974 declared the right of return to be an "inalienable right".
However, General Assembly resolutions are not binding in international law, and the Oslo Agreements deliberately omit any mention of these resolutions Wikipedia

Well it will not happen. Israel and the US and indeed probably Europe will not allow them ever to return. So what about compensation? Can Israel compensate them? Can they perhaps be awarded as compensation all the revenues from the natural gas off the coast of Israel and Gaza for a while? That might enable them to be absorbed into other nations if given full citizenship and enable the purchase of homes in exchange for those they lost. It would not satisfy the Israelis in their position as they are so attached to the land and the rights they claim to it but we need to end the squabble over this land once and for all.

‘Some also regard as a massive injustice the fact that Jews are allowed to immigrate to Israel under Israel's Law of Return, even if their immediate ancestors have not lived in the area in recent years, while people who grew up in the area and whose immediate ancestors had lived there for generations are forbidden from returning -
The Israeli Law of Return grants citizenship to any Jew from anywhere in the world and is viewed by some as discrimination towards non-Jews and especially to Palestinians that cannot apply for such citizenship nor return to the territory from which they were displaced or left.’ wikipedia

This is the problem and injustice that requires compensation at the very least. Otherwise any settlement allows this racist discrimination to stand. In this world we cannot have one law for one and another for another based on religion and ‘historic biblical rights’. If we do then we are an evil hypocritical world, which of course we are, but we have this final opportunity to show we are not.


‘n 2007, both the US Senate and House of Representatives passed a resolution to
Make clear that the United States Government supports the position that, as an integral part of any comprehensive peace, the issue of refugees and the mass violations of human rights of minorities in Arab and Muslim countries throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf must be resolved in a manner that includes (A) consideration of the legitimate rights of all refugees displaced from Arab and Muslim countries throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf; and (B) recognition of the losses incurred by Jews, Christians, and other minority groups as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict.[108]
U.S. President George W. Bush
On July 16, 2007, US President George W. Bush affirmed that the Israelis "should be confident that the United States will never abandon its commitment to the security of Israel as a Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people." Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael B. Oren considered this "the rejection of the Palestinians' immutable demand for the resettlement of millions of refugees and their descendants in Israel. America is now officially dedicated to upholding Israel's Jewish majority and preventing its transformation into a de facto Palestinian state." Wikipedia

The problem is that the US do not yet own the world and certainly do not have the moral right to dismiss the refugees' historic rights in favour of the Jewish historic rights. But they are in the driving seat,. Not international law, ethics, compassion or justice.

We are a rich world so let us put a price on resolving the main incitement to war and terrorism that faces us bearing in mind the countless billions we spend on this. There are 5 million refugees from Israel and Israel wants their land. They will never be allowed back and the future Palestinian state does not include them. Therefore we could argue that if a sum of say $20,000 per head might satisfy them and encourage their integration around the world. That is $100 billion. No fortune when the UK recently bailed out the RBS bank with considerably more. So we could negotiate much more if necessary without breaking the bank. The money can come out of the trillions of cubic metres of natural gas reserves off the coast for the contribution that Israel should make to compensate them solely for the land they have acquired from these families. They have a historic right to that anyway do they not? The land is obviously worth much more as Israeli property prices are sky high. The UN should not have to feed these people forever as we now have 10 million displaced Syrians to shelter. There are billions living in poverty in our world and much disease to fight so we really need to sort this out at the talks and ask the refugees whether they will accept this as a final settlement.

reve

reve
24-01-2014, 03:41 PM
I have been unkind and inaccurate to my bank the RBS above suggesting they were bailed out for over $100 Billion. Perhaps I was thinking of Northern Rock , although we certainly poured many billions into the RBS and Lloyds too but:

' A bank rescue package totalling some £500 billion (approximately $850 billion) was announced by the British government on 8 October 2008, as a response to the ongoing global financial crisis. After two unsteady weeks at the end of September, the first week of October had seen major falls in the stock market and severe worries about the stability of British banks. The plan aimed to restore market confidence and help stabilise the British banking system, and provided for a range of short-term loans and guarantees of interbank lending, as well as up to £50 billion of state investment in the banks themselves' Wikipedia

That would work out at £100,000 for each Palestinian refugee! Meanwhile BP is on course to compensate the US and those affected for its oil spill of well over $40 Billion, including the rice factory 40 miles from the coast! Ongoing and future class action suits might considerably add to that sum. I therefore think a good compensation paid to Palestinian refugees would be exceedingly good value for Israel and the rest of the world, and even avoiding one world war would make it look like small change.

But if it is world war that some are after this might call their bluff.

reve

reve
24-01-2014, 08:12 PM
January 24, 2014
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has ramped up criticism of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling him a "one-man super-magnet for terrorism" that "will never earn back legitimacy" to bring his country back together.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Friday in Davos, Switzerland, Kerry said that if the goal is to have peace in Syria, Mr. Assad needed to step down because the opposition would never stop fighting while he is in power. He said the embattled president has brought "havoc" on Syrians, unleashing bombs and "gassing his own people in the dead of night."

Kerry added the world has seen how forceful diplomacy can achieve goals in Syria, as a man who once refused to admit he had chemical weapons has now removed them from his arsenal.

Meanwhile, Syria's government threatened to walk out of peace talks with the opposition if the two sides do not begin what it called "serious sessions" by Saturday.

The ultimatum, aired on Syrian state television, came as the two parties failed to meet face-to-face, as expected, Friday, the first day of formal peace talks in Geneva.

http://www.voanews.com/content/kerry-calls-assad-supermagnet-for-terrorism/1837043.html

So a President of Syria must step down is a fractured opposition containing mostly Jihadist and Al Qaida elements not attending the talks continue to receive Saudi funding for the battle until he goes. And the claim of killing his own people is made again as if killing someone else’s people, a speciality of certain western invaders is ok. Moreover he does not congratulate the man for ridding the country of chemical weapons but criticises him for having denied having them, an extraordinary thing to say.

The question is what president whose governments are there would do anything different. Nixon stood down when found to have bugged his political opponents. Did the NSA not bug its own politicians on both sides? The US used chemical weapons in Vietnam and depleted uranium in Iraq but are still standing fortunately. Do the opposition have no responsibility for human abuses? We know they do so how can they be legitimate? Even if Assad stands down that transitional government was intended to be formed by both sides. Those who are part of Assad’s government will therefore be allowed to be in it even though they ‘gassed their own people in the dead of night’. Which is something we now know was done by the rebels.

Why is John Kerry still talking like this? Saudi Arabia has expressed rage again at the US attitude to Syria, not having attacked it and unlikely to do so. Everyone at Montreux knows that without Saudi support the insurgency would have fizzled out years ago but the US cannot say this. They are supporting Al Qaida but Kerry does not even appear to have mentioned the main enemy of the US fighting for the opposition.

This kind of analysis, ignoring the main elements because they are inconvenient, is quite simply weird. It is certainly not helpful. I am reminded of the general who said that invading Iraq was to bring democracy to the area. So would that justify regime changes in the Gulf and invading Saudi Arabia. The communique of Geneva 1 stated that women were to be included in the elections. Not only did Assad allow women the vote but 760 stood for election. Women in Saudi Arabia cannot vote, they only have elections for municipalities and women cannot stand, nor drive cars.

What does John Kerry really think when he is at home? We all know this dispute is bloody and that both sides have done what they do in that part of the world. However Al Qaida’s form of government is not what Geneva 1 had in mind is it? No music and no rights for women at all. What is the opposition saying about their mighty military partner? What has Turkey got to say about finding these rebels in their country with sarin gas containers last March?

The whole conference if reduced to this level is absolutely ridiculous but very important. If the real facts cannot even be mentioned and instead we must listen to sound bites at an almost kindergarten level - you started it, no I didn’t - is that how we want to be seen by history?

Alliances now are so important, so valuable in financial terms, that the truth must be hidden, the truth must never be spoken, the truth must be distorted. A chemical attack by rebels must always be spoken of as a chemical attack by the government. Al Qaida’s presence in Syria must be attributed to Assad trying to discredit the opposition by paying Al Qaida with oil revenues to join the rebels. The ’opposition’ must never be considered to be in alliance with Al Qaida. Abuses must always be laid at the government’s door. No one must ever state publicly that before the insurgency Syria was a secular state tolerating many ethnicities and religions, noted for so doing for many years. That it was holding elections but would not allow the Muslim Brotherhood to stand in them or any other religious party. That this is about the fact that Assad is Shiite and Saudi Arabia which is Sunni does not want the Shiites or Iran having any influence in the Gulf. But heaven help the US if they mention this aloud because Saudi Arabia has already warned them they are very unhappy and their relationship with the US has been damaged. That this is about the suspicion that Assad supports Hezbollah and like Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and most of all Iran might be an existential threat to Israel one day.

Is this really the 21st century? This is the real tragedy and exactly what has led to 10 million having to leave their homes, 120,000 plus killed, many beheaded in town square public executions that children were forced to watch. Don’t mention that either. But do mention the photographs circulated the day before the conference started allegedly taken of Assad’s prisoners by a defector who cannot be named but who had a contact (relative) in Turkey from the beginning of the insurgency. Which dossier was commissioned, paid for, by Qatar who are supporting the rebels. Everyone has accepted this as evidence. Where are the photographs of the atrocities, tortured victims from the prisons run by the rebels? We know they have them and they are certainly no better than Assad’s. Has anyone established whether the photographs come from them or even asked the question?

I am appalled that not one western politician will say it, not one major newspaper will report it and I have to stick my head on a block to write here what we do now know but must not mention. Emperors are walking around naked telling us that God has clothed them and we are dangerous, ignorant and of the wrong faith if we dare to ask where are your clothes.

Not much hope of a just end so far but I live in hope of a brave man breaking the taboo which fools no one, but frightens everyone

reve

reve
24-01-2014, 11:12 PM
although the game is not over and there is still time to come up the inside straight it seems that the US and John Kerry have upset:

Iran by disinviting them
Saudi Arabia by not invading Syria
Israel by not invading Syria and killing off Hezbollah
Syria's government by supporting the rebels
The rebels by not invading Syria
Russia for insisting the communique means Assad must go
Qatar for not using their photographs to invade Syria
Assad for saying he must go
Hezbollah perhaps
Al Qaida for getting the rebels to take them on and of course not invading Syria when they did the chemical false flag attack

Of course France and Britain are not too upset with him but across
the road in Davos, Larry Summers had a go at Osborne which upset Britain.

Some protestors outside Montreux are also a bit upset with John Kerry.

I have decided to support him as he has a very difficult job getting people to talk, not fight, and he has not invaded Syria. He is a very decent man and I am sorry if I have been a bit unkind. Banging these heads together cannot be much fun can it. Of course Assad must go eventually but let's have an election first giving them a choice. I think they all must go - fighters and the rest, government and opposition. Send in the UN peacekeepers - Ukraine perhaps as they do this kind of thing quite well and have such a big army, quite tough and are having a revolution themselves so have a good idea of this kind of thing.

Sorry John! No hard feelings

reve

reve
25-01-2014, 11:42 AM
Today in Al Arabiya is an article with the ‘Turkish perspective’ on the Syrian War. It decries the torture in Syria, the violence meted out to protestors and suggests that the Muslim peacekeeping force should be led by Turkey with its unparalleled record. As this is quite likely the prelude to UN sponsored Turkish occupation of Syria on humanitarian grounds, although they have promoted the insurgency, harboured Al Qaida and still do not mention capturing Al Qaida rebels armed with sarin gas canisters in March 2013 I though we might look at their history of use of chemical weapons, violence, torture and their prison system first. This kind of article is certainly government sponsored and designed to ‘legitimize’ the coming occupation. Muslim peacekeeping troops are the last that should be considered as they are hardly impartial, will all be Sunni Muslims and many of these countries have dreadful records on torture and dealing with their own insurgencies. Particularly noteworthy below is the objections made by Turkey against Assad when he ceded Syrian territory to the Kurds. Turkey has had a long running and bloody war with their Kurds. I have copied Wikipedia extracts on all of these things to skim through:


The widespread and systematic use of torture in Turkey was first observed by Amnesty International (AI) after the 1971 Turkish coup d'état.[1] The government under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared zero tolerance against torture in 2004,[2] but according to one source there is a slight increase in complaints of violence or ill-treatment since 2005
Over a quarter of a million people were arrested in Turkey on political grounds since 1980 and almost all of them were tortured.[13] The Human Rights Association (HRA), founded in 1986 put the figure at 650,000[14] and in 2008 the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) spoke of one million victims of torture in Turkey.[15]
One of the first measures after the 1980 coup d'état was to extend the maximum period of detention from 15 to 30 and then to 90 days.[9] (see the relevant section below). Amnesty International has repeatedly documented that, in practice, incommunicado detention is often longer than legally permitted.[16] Specialized teams in İstanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakır were responsible for the interrogation of specific organizations and groups. İsmail Hakkı, for instance, said that between 1979 and 1985 he worked in the place called political department (at the time "first department") of Istanbul Police HQ in the "K" section (which may be the abbreviation of komünist = communist), the "group for interrogation and operations against illegal organizations" and later at the same place in Erzurum. All people in that wing were professionals. They could guess what organization had carried out which action just because of the way it was carried out and the way the militants had escaped.[17]
In the 1980s particularly Amnesty International issued many reports and urgent actions related to allegations of torture in Turkey. Some quotes are:
May 1984, File on Torture: The Turkish authorities have persisted in the torture of prisoners during the present decade."
July 1985, Testimony on Torture: "Torture is widespread and systematic in Turkey."
February 1986, Violations of Human Rights in Turkey: Political prisoners and common criminals are tortured or subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, while in police custody."
July 1987, Continuing Violations of Human Rights in Turkey: "AI continues to be concerned about the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience, systematic torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners..."[
Suspects are blindfolded and handcuffed immediately after detention. Even common criminal suspects are stripped naked during interrogation and left like that, often after being hosed with ice-cold water or left on the concrete floors of cells in harsh conditions of winter.[1] The HRA and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) determined 37 torture techniques, such as electric shock, squeezing the testicles, hanging by the arms or legs, blindfolding, stripping the suspect naked, spraying with high-pressure water, etc. These techniques are used by the special team members and other interrogation teams.[21] Foot whipping (Turkish: falaka) was the method most frequently applied, until Prof. Dr. Veli Lök discovered a method of bone scintigraphy that enabled him to detect effects of it a long time after torture
In an attempt to obtain detailed information Amnesty International submitted 110 cases to the Turkish authorities between September 1981 and October 1984.[26] On 10 June 1988 AI sent a list with 229 names to the Turkish authorities and in September 1998 received answers on 55 cases.[26] Only after a list of 144 names of prisoners suspected to have died under torture was published in the Turkish press[27] the Turkish authorities provided further information. They indirectly admitted that torture could have caused the death of 40 prisoners. Amnesty International knew of another seven cases in which alleged torturers had been convicted raising the figure of confirmed deaths in custody to 47 between 1980 and 1990.[28]
In September 1994 and September 1995 the HRFT published two reports on Deaths in Custody (14 and 15 years since the military take over) presenting a list of 419 deaths in custody (in 15 years) with a suspicion that torture might have been the reason. Another 15 deaths were attributed to hunger strikes while medical neglect was given as the reason for 26 deaths.[29] On the basis of this list Helmut Oberdiek compiled a revised list for 20 years (12 September 1980 to 12 September 2000) and concluded that in 428 cases torture may have been the reason for the death of prisoners.[30] In 2008 alone the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey reported of 39 deaths in prison. In some cases torture was involved.[31]
In
Some prisoners were beaten to death including:
İlhan Erdost, on 7 November 1980 in Mamak Military Prison, Ankara
Ali Sarıbal, on 13 November 1981 in Diyarbakır Military Prison
Bedii Tan, on 17 May 1982 in Diyarbakır Military Prison
Necmettin Büyükkaya, on 23 January 1984 in Diyarbakır Military Prison
Engin Ceber, on 10 October 2008 in Metris Prison, İstanbul
There are numerous reports by international bodies and national and international NGOs on the problem of torture in Turkey.
The report on a visit between 16 and 24 July 2000 concluded:
The information gathered during the visit from various sources suggests that resort to some of the most severe methods of ill-treatment encountered in the past by CPT delegations has diminished in recent times in the Istanbul area.[52]
As of October 2009 the latest report on torture in custody concerns a visit in 2005
The information gathered during the CPT’s December 2005 visit would indicate that the curve of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials remains on the decline. However, there are clearly no grounds for complacency, all the more so as reports continue to appear of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials in different parts of the country

The Kurdish–Turkish conflict[note] is an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and various Kurdish insurgent groups,[62] which have demanded separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan,[45][63] or to have autonomy[64][65] and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds inside the Republic of Turkey.[66] The main rebel group is the Kurdistan Workers' Party[67] or PKK (Kurdish: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan), which is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States,[68] the European Union[69] and NATO.[70][71] Although insurgents have carried out attacks in many regions of Turkey,[72] the insurgency is mainly in southeastern Turkey.[73] The PKK's military presence in Iraq's Kurdistan Region, from which it launches attacks on Turkey, has resulted in the Turkish military carrying out frequent ground incursions and air and artillery strikes in the region,[74] because the Kurdistan Regional Government claims it does not have sufficient military forces to prevent the PKK from operating.[75] The conflict has particularly affected Turkey's tourism industry[76] and has cost the Economy of Turkey an estimated 300 to 450 billion dollars

On 1 June 2004, the PKK resumed its armed activities because they claimed Turkish government was ignoring their calls for negotiations and was still attacking their forces.[81][102] The government claimed that in that same month some 2,000 Kurdish guerrillas entered Turkey via Iraqi Kurdistan
Turkish-Kurdish human right activists in Germany accused Turkey of Using Chemical Weapons against PKK. Hans Baumann, a German expert on photo forgeries investigated the authenticity of the photos and claimed that the photos were authentic. A forensics report released by the Hamburg University Hospital has backed the allegations. Claudia Roth from Germany's Green Party demanded an explanation from the Turkish government.[185] According to analysts 2011 showed a sharp increase in violence and was one of the bloodiest years in recent history of the Kurdish–Turkish conflict
On summer 2012, the conflict with the PKK took a violent curve, in parallel with the Syrian civil war[187] as President Bashar al-Assad ceded control of several Kurdish cities in Syria to the PYD, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK,[188] and Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused the Assad government of arming the group
According to official figures released by the Turkish military for the 1984–2008 period, the conflict has resulted in the capture of 14,000 PKK members, and the death of 32,000 PKK members, 6,482 soldiers, and 5,560 civilians,[227] among which 157 are teachers.[228] From August 1984 to June 2007, the Turkish government put the total casualties at 37,979. The Turkish military was said to be responsible for the deaths of 26,128 PKK fighters and the PKK was said to be responsible for the other 11,851 people deaths. A total of 13,327 soldiers and 7,620 civilians are said to have been wounded and an additional 20,000 civilians killed by unknown assailants
According to human rights organisations since the beginning of the uprising 4,000 villages have been destroyed,[53] in which between 380,000 and 1,000,000 Kurdish villagers have been forcibly evacuated from their homes.[232] Some 5,000 Turks and 35,000 Kurds,[53] including 18,000 civilians[51] have been killed, 17,000 Kurds have disappeared and 119,000 Kurds have been imprisoned by Turkish authorities.[52][53] According to the Humanitarian Law Project, 2,400 Kurdish villages were destroyed and 18,000 Kurds were executed, by the Turkish government.[232] Other estimates have put the number of destroyed Kurdish villages at over 4,000.[75] In total up to 3,000,000 people (mainly Kurds) have been displaced by the conflict,[55] an estimated 1,000,000 of which are still internally displaced as of 2009


On 12 September 1980 the military seized power in Turkey and the five generals (General Staff) announced martial law in all of the then existing 67 provinces. Members of armed and unarmed left and right organizations that had been engaged in bitter fighting were charged at military courts and in some places held in military prisons. The military prison Mamak in Ankara, Metris Prison (in Istanbul) and the prison in Diyarbakır[4] (often called dungeon) gained notoriety.
Because of the large number of prisoners new prisons were built. In a report of November 1988, Amnesty International said that the number of prisons had increased to 644 and their capacity had been raised from 55,000 to more than 80,000.[5] Since 1986 relatives of prisoners organized in the Human Rights Association (HRA) or in groups in solidarity with certain prisoners such as TAYAD).[6] With their help the prisoners tried to make their demands for improved prison conditions for which they frequently went on hunger strike (often also called death fast) public.
In April 1991 Law 3713 on Fighting Terrorism (called Anti-Terror-Law, ATL) was passed. Article 16 provided that all prisoners charged under this law had to be held in high security prisons.
The time since 2000[edit]
In 1996 the political prisoners succeeded in their objection to be transferred to the first high security prison in Eskişehir (it was called "special type prison"). Their death fast resulted in the death of 12 prisoners. In 2000 a similar action against the high security prisons (now called F-type Prisons) was not successful, although the death toll was much higher.[7] There are currently 13 F-type prisons (14, if the prison on İmralı Island is added) and two D-type prisons (also high security prisons).
In June 2010 Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin answered a question tabled by Batman deputy Bengi Yıldız. He stated that between 2010 and 2015 a total of 86 new prisons with a capacity of 40.026 prisoners were to be built’ Wikipedia

The article:

‘A Turkish perspective on Syria after the Geneva talks
Saturday, 25 January 2014
The Syrian crisis has become a Gordian knot that cannot be easily disentangled. As daunting as the crisis looks, there is a cost to inaction; human suffering, regional instability and a lost generation of the children of Syria. In this light, every action taken on the path to peace has to be supported. Will it suffice? Can the talks offer a genuine and workable solution to Syria?
This week on the Syrian front started with the release of 55,000 photos revealing the torture the Assad regime systematically engages in on prisoners. Even though this came as a shock to many, we are talking about a regime which has already killed more than 130,000 of its citizens, dropping barrel bombs on civilian-populated districts on a daily basis, has carried out various kinds of chemical weapon attacks on innocent people and has been using starvation as a systematic tool of war.
Moreover, this is not the first time that torture in the prisons of the Assad regime has been documented: A comparison of the human rights records of member states of the Arab League places Syria at the extreme end of a spectrum of repression; arguably, only Saddam’s Iraq was worse.
Horrific system
While the 1982 Hama Massacre is frequently cited to highlight the viciousness of the Assad regime, less well known were the horrors of Syria’s prison system. A 1996 Human Rights Watch report on Tadmor Prison describes “deaths under torture” and “summary executions on a massive scale.” One former inmate described the place as a “kingdom of death and madness” whose emaciated prisoners were compared to “survivors of Nazi concentration camps.”
The core aspirations of the protestors in Syria in 2011 were the same as the rest of the people who rose against their regimes in the Arab Spring: hurriya (freedom), adala ijtima’iyya (social justice) and karama (dignity)
Ceylan Ozbudak
So far, the killing of over 130,000 people and the plight of over six million refugees has elicited sympathy from the international community, but not much more. It has long been suggested that negotiating with Damascus and engaging Russia and Iran in diplomacy offers the only way out of the Syrian predicament. Upon closer examination, however, they represent a fundamental misreading of the events in Syria since the core element of the ongoing events is the very nature of the Assad regime.
Core aspirations
The core aspirations of the protestors in Syria in 2011 were the same as the rest of the people who rose against their regimes in the Arab Spring: hurriya (freedom), adala ijtima’iyya (social justice) and karama (dignity). Nader Hashemi described what was different in the book “The Syria Dilemma”: the nature of the regime they faced.
Some analysts insist that Assad started slaughtering the Syrian people after the radical groups started to take their place in the not-so-civil war. Let’s not forget that in the first six months of the uprisings, BEFORE the establishment of the Free Syrian Army and WELL BEFORE there was an Al Qaeda presence in Syria, more than 2,000 civilians were killed and 10,000 were already jailed by the regime, despite the efforts of the regime to blame it all on the rebels.
New legacy of sentiments
The longer the devastation goes on the more difficult it will be to put Syria back together, and failing to do so will leave Syria as a state at war with itself.
Since the beginning of the systematic mass murder of Syrian civilians, eyes turned to the Western powers for action. However, it is understood that in a case of an Iraq or Afghanistan-like intervention, the number of casualties will rise and the whole point of saving innocent lives will be ultimately lost, leaving behind simply a new legacy of anti-American sentiments.
In ideal circumstances, a humanitarian intervention of the U.S. along with the EU allies would have to be instituted via the U.N. Security Council but Russia’s veto will keep standing in the way of this option for as long as possible.
Cause for intervention
Negotiations only offer a solution after the fire is put out. The circumstances have brought us to the only solution to end this crisis: a peace force consisting of Muslim countries can be established to intervene in Syria, as Adnan Oktar explained months ago. A humanitarian intervention to end the crisis, the use of force for humanitarian means. If all Muslim countries only assign one division for the intervention, a mighty army of volunteers can be put together not to fight and kill the various factions, but to take the country out of the hands of both the regime and the rebels, restore order and leave the country so that free elections can take place.
Since the peace force will be consisting of Muslim countries, it will create no ideological backlash from either side of the conflict, as we would expect from a Western oriented peace force. If this intervention includes the diplomatic supervision of the US and the EU states, the international community will also be at ease with the methods of the intervention. Yes, we keep hearing Syria right now is a Gordian knot, but there is a way to solve every knot.
We saw an example of this in our recent history. In the Kosovo intervention in 1999, the ethnic slaughter of Milosevic was stopped by the largest number of participants since WWII. NATO forces allied and entered Kosovo, and the large combined force compelled Milosevic to surrender without fighting.
This was the idea of Tony Blair; he had to convince then President Clinton to have America send Kosovo forces, knowing only a large number of soldiers intervening altogether at once could make Milosevic surrender without a fight. Not a single bullet had to be used, and no one was hurt. It was merely a deterrent force.
Enter Turkey
Such a complicated task can be led by Turkey. Turkey is a NATO ally and has been a trusted partner for NATO members. Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu brought the Syrian opposition to the table in Geneva and also convinced Iran into participating.
In the volatile turn of everyday events in the Middle East, Turkey seems to have a fluid foreign policy. Some complain about this fluidity but they also have to remember one thing: Turkey is not Liechtenstein or Monaco, situated in the safest part of Europe, which does not even require an army of its own, protected by Eurozone countries from all outside threats against stability.
Turkey is situated in the most volatile place on Earth, the Middle East, and has been dealing with outrageous predicaments from some of the most difficult regimes to deal with.
Even in this environment, Turkey has been able to remain on good terms with Iran and Russia, the two countries which have diametrically opposed opinions about the Syrian crisis. Since the Syrian civil war began, Turkish exports to Iran have been surprisingly on the rise contrary to common expectation.
Most popular
In polls conducted in 2011 and 2012 in 16 countries in the Middle East, Turkey topped the list for the most popular country. The same poll, conducted by the Turkey Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) in 2013 and made public on December 3, shows that Turkey’s popularity has dropped from 78 percent to 59 percent (still a very high number); however, sixty percent of those polled said they supported a greater role for Turkey, and 64 percent said Turkey was becoming more influential each year.
One out of two people polled said Turkey was a model for the Middle East. While we have seen occasional setbacks in Turkey’s foreign policy with certain countries, she also knows how to get things back on track.
The bitter relations with Israel have been improving this year and Turkey and Israel restarted commercial and charter flights between the countries, reestablishing diplomatic ties through ministerial visits and working on further improving ties from where they left off.
Turkey has also been renewing its dialogue with Iraq. The Iraqi Foreign Minister’s visit to Ankara, followed by Ahmet Davutoğlu’s visit to Baghdad, has decreased tensions between the two countries and plans are being made for Erdoğan’s visit to Baghdad this month.
Back on track
With Erdogan’s Brussels visit, ties with the EU have been put back on track. While the Turkish government might fine-tune its policies, this does not mean it will retreat to its corner. Turkey has also been mediating between Iran and the Gulf Arab countries and making both sides start a new line of diplomatic contacts.
While the waters seem volatile sometimes, let’s not forget Prime Minister Erdoğan has hosted 23 heads of state, 10 heads of parliament, 25 Prime Ministers and 21 ministers from abroad in 2013 alone; he also travelled to 27 countries just last year.
Complimented
Not only at the Geneva Convention but also in Davos, the amount of humanitarian aid Turkey lent to the refugees, the calls to world leaders to provide relief for those who are suffering, and Turkey’s leadership in the organization of talks was complimented.
Syria was the subject of the agenda both in Geneva and in Davos. As I am writing this article, the U.S. Secretary of State Kerry was giving signals for a peace force including Muslim countries to intervene in Syria as well. It has become clear that the crisis can come to an end only through a peace force, with the participation of Muslim countries under the supervision of NATO.
When innocent people are being mercilessly slaughtered, those who can act, must act. The people of Syria so far have shown great courage, but it is up to us now to help solve an entangled problem and save them from a brutality they did not invite.
__________
Ceylan Ozbudak is a Turkish political analyst, television presenter, and executive director of Building Bridges, an Istanbul-based NGO. As a representative of Harun Yahya organization, she frequently cites quotations from the author in her writings. She can be followed on Twitter via @ceylanozbudak’

Terrible as it is in Syria we must not make it worse by licensing invasion anmd widespread vengeance on the Shiites there. Very few would return to the country with a Muslim ‘peacekeeping’ force in charge and the prisons will budge, the executions soar. But we are unlikely to be told much about this until much too late. The completely undemocratic Gulf states have nothing to offer on the matter of how the government should be run either. Al Qaida membership and suicide bombings (Egypt yesterday) will also rocket.

reve

reve
25-01-2014, 03:25 PM
An Israeli official says the Tel Aviv regime is considering replacing the al-Aqsa Mosque in al-Quds (Jerusalem) with a temple.
Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel on Friday called for the construction of what he called "the Third Temple" to replace the holy site.
Ariel says the first and the second temples were destroyed many years ago, so the third one needs to be built now.
“Al-Aqsa Mosque is currently in place of the temple,” he claimed.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is considered the third holiest site in the Muslim world.
Palestinians have denounced the plan as desecration.
They say it is part of the Israeli regime’s ongoing attempts to distort the Arab and Islamic history.
Palestinians argue that al-Quds is the capital of a future Palestinian independent state, and that its heritage should remain intact.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/01/25/347605/israel-mulls-replacing-alaqsa-mosque/

During the Sukkot festival in 2006 Ariel ascended to the Temple Mount, saying he was preparing a plan to build a synagogue on the mount.[4] The proposed synagogue would not be built instead of the mosques but in a separate area in accordance with rulings of the prominent Rabbis. Ariel said he believed that this would be correcting a historical injustice and that it is an opportunity for the Muslim world to prove that it is tolerant to other faiths
Wikipedia

See:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/minister-calls-for-third-temple-to-be-built/

Speaking at an archaeological conference next to the West Bank settlement of Shilo and quoted by Maariv, Ariel called for a third Temple to be built on the site, which today is home to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque and is considered Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third holiest.
“We’ve built many little, little temples,” Ariel said, referring to synagogues, “but we need to build a real Temple on the Temple Mount.”
The Jerusalem site was home to Judaism’s first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed, the second one in 70 CE. The idea of building a third Temple, while popular among some religious and right-wing Jews, is considered outside mainstream Israeli discourse by most.
Last year, Jewish Home MK Zevulun Orlev also called for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, saying that removing the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque would mean that the “billion-strong Muslim world would surely launch a world war.” However, he added, “everything political is temporary and there is no stability.”
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/minister-calls-for-third-temple-to-be.html

For some time I have been saying this will happen. It is the reason that Israel is so nervous about ’existential threats’ because as soon as they decide to do it any Muslim country with the capability will try to destroy it. That would also mean a risk to the Israeli Messiah who will appear at that time of the building’s completion. No risk of course if he is also the Mahdi of the Muslims, both Shiite and Sunni. And if he is not then he is the predicted false messiah who will cause world war. Evangelical Christians are very excited about the prospect and will not need this man to be the Mahdi, the Maitreya of the Buddhists or the return of Shiva for the Hindus either. Were there to be a real religious figure uniting all religions war would finish, but the more likely false candidate will destroy us all. As for the Mosque they want to remove - it is a priceless antique and a wonder of the world. That will not stop a bulldozer or impress the architects.

‘ l-Aqsa Mosque (Arabic:المسجد الاقصى al-Masjid al-Aqṣā, IPA: [ʔælˈmæsdʒɪd ælˈʔɑqsˤɑ] ( listen), "the Farthest Mosque") also known as Al-Aqsa and Bayt al-Muqaddas, is the third holiest site in Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. The site on which the silver domed mosque sits, along with the Dome of the Rock, also referred to as al-Haram ash-Sharif or "Noble Sanctuary,"[2] is the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, the place where the Temple is generally accepted to have stood. Muslims believe that Muhammad was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to al-Aqsa during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad led prayers towards this site until the seventeenth month after the emigration, when God directed him to turn towards the Kaaba.
The mosque was originally a small prayer house built by the Rashidun caliph Umar, but was rebuilt and expanded by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik and finished by his son al-Walid in 705 CE. After an earthquake in 746, the mosque was completely destroyed and rebuilt by the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur in 754, and again rebuilt by his successor al-Mahdi in 780. Another earthquake destroyed most of al-Aqsa in 1033, but two years later the Fatimid caliph Ali az-Zahir built another mosque which has stood to the present-day. During the periodic renovations undertaken, the various ruling dynasties of the Islamic Caliphate constructed additions to the mosque and its precincts, such as its dome, facade, its minbar, minarets and the interior structure. When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, they used the mosque as a palace and church, but its function as a mosque was restored after its recapture by Saladin in 1187. More renovations, repairs and additions were undertaken in the later centuries by the Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans, the Supreme Muslim Council, and Jordan. Today, the Old City is under Israeli control, but the mosque remains under the administration of the Jordanian/Palestinian-led Islamic waqf.’ wikipedia

Thus the US is expected to make a settlement which will enable this, keep a tight military control on all opposition to the possibility and ensure no one talks about it! Syria would have been a great danger as they would have thrown everything at Israel as soon as the bulldozers arrived. So would Iraq have done and Libya and Egypt at one time. Certainly Iran will hence the ‘existential threat’ there.

reve

reve
25-01-2014, 05:24 PM
This post will offend most of you. Without much work on the spiritual life it will not make a lot of sense but I must explain some background to the temple building and what it implies and requires. The God of our major religions although usually described as a peaceful god is, if you look at the religious histories, a war god, indeed a god of genocide and one that requires sacrifices. Christians do not equate their Sunday roast with a 'sacrifice' but the paschal lamb on which it is based was just that. The story of Christianity is that of human sacrifice, Jesus, supposedly on the very hill where they wish to build the third temple. The cross is as much the crusader sword as the tree it is sometimes called. Islam’s symbol of the crescent moon above the mosques is also the scimitar sword and Islam is famous as the religion that converts by the sword. Millions of sheep are used in its ritual sacrifices each year. Sacrifice is also required in the Temple and the oxen have already been chosen for the sacrifices required in this Third Temple project. They have to have their throats slit and blood is then liberally sprinkled all over the posts. This is essential for the creature as much vampire as anything else. Sprinkling blood on the door posts was the basis of Passover when this 'angel' killed all the first born whose front doors were not so daubed with blood. That is the Passover meal that Jesus and his disciples ate at the last supper. The spring born lamb bled to death to paint the door posts in Egypt which genocide, they wrote a thousand years later, persuaded Pharaoh to let the Hebrews slaves go to Israel where they killed all the inhabitants and took their land, promised to them by this 'God'.

If that was it I would suggest that these archaic sacrifices were remnants of our heathen past , one littered with human sacrifices and even kingly sacrifice. But it is not all. The god of war needs millions of human victims to be empowered and this is achieved by war and massacre. Your Sunday roast is in fact a ‘holocaust’ or what that word means literally ‘burnt offering‘. That is probably ringing alarm bells. The Second World War is famous for that particular sacrifice and some say it was necessary to purge the populations. That is abhorrent to any real human. .This God is the same for all three major religions which he sets against each other to achieve a constant supply. He is often termed a fallen angel, indeed one of around 200. He particularly delighted in the thermo nuclear devices that ended the last great war and brought hundreds of thousands all at the same time, burned to his liking. That weapon can deliver millions as we know.

He does not want any peace in this world and can manipulate all his religious zealots to ensure he does not end up a God of Peace. This temple that he wants now will require millions or billions to be sacrificed in an otherwise pointless war, one that the whole thread is trying to awake people to. It makes no sense and is not believable that in the 21st century serious educated, and in many cases secular, politicians would subscribe to such horror but as this whole forum shows they are all manipulated by something bigger than them and hidden. Call it what you like, its mission is to make the third temple where there is now the most holy mosque so that billions of Muslims will rise up against the billions of Christians who will die before allowing them to kill the Jewish people in their homeland.

Even writing about it is asking for trouble. Every religion employs those who deal with such heresy. But I would rather die that be part of such a sacrifice, something that is detestable in the human story and completely unnecessary. But ask a person to give up eating meat and see how they squeal. The eastern religions also have a bloodthirsty tradition but some recognise what I have written above and its true adherents serve something else that asks for the human to rise above such bestiality to survive and achieve what we call enlightenment, a term hijacked by thugs and carnivores these days. But that is our world of ‘false flags’ and religions that preach war but masquerade under ‘peace’. Religions that lead their followers to hell but promise them paradise.

reve

reve
26-01-2014, 11:56 AM
Imagine a new kid at school whose dad owns the big factory in town and is on the school’s board of governors. His company are a big donor for the school. When this kid complains to his mum that other kids have done this or that, she has a go at dad who goes round to the other dads and sorts them out, or the headmaster who dare not offend him. New kid loves this power and struts around the playground - my dad will get you. Not popular obviously there are the odd sneaky tricks played on him. One day someone puts a snail in his lunchbox and dad goes bananas. All the other parents are terrified of him, some work for him. They tell their kids to be nice to the kid, not to offend him. But you know kids. Mind you he can get his own back and sometimes gets other kids blamed for things in class and in trouble. It gets worse and worse and he is known to be a bully, parents complain to the headmaster and the matter often gets raised at school meetings but his dad overrules every complaint and the headmaster worries that he may even get the school closed down. Dad knows if he doesn’t support his kid through thick and thin that his wife at home will kick him out and it is her dad’s factory. He does not want to see another dad doing better what she wants. But the kid becomes increasingly isolated and angry at school. There are some kids who suck up to him and he gives them sweets but they are also unpopular. That is what playgrounds are like at school. Both parents know there is a problem but he is their darling. However trouble is brewing…………..

Israel is fuming with the EU and criticism of its settlements. The US is torn between ardent support and loathing but the Mayor of New York yesterday announced that supporting Israel was part of his job description. Here are two very different articles. One from Al Arabiya (I copied their ‘Turkish perspective’ yesterday). And the other from the Washington Post about Canada’s PM who visited with his largest ever retinue, over 200 people. They are worlds apart but we are in the same world. One article reflects what has happened to a people who were there long before the immigration of European Jews in this last half century. They have no vote, few rights and live under martial law. The other shows why this is tolerated internationally. But really unless one understands that they need to build their Temple very soon and know exactly what anger this will cause and so are building a ring of protection from settlers, to ‘housing’ policies. to support in other countries enforced by the most powerful lobbies in modern times, it does not make sense. Many Jews around the world are not looking for this temple and a war. Their position in places like Europe will be very uncomfortable when the bulldozers smash down the mosques. The Temple could be built in Tel Aviv, why build where there are this ancient , iconic and beautiful pair of Mosques? There will be a world war and Al Qaida will get their Caliphate. The Gulf monarchies will fall, Al Qaida will own the oil. Billions of women will be enslaved and disenfranchised. But they must build this Temple soon. And like your Christmas present it has to be a ‘surprise’. Iran knows and that article I posted was from their news station. Trouble is brewing, but what is Daddy going to do about it? Close the school?

Condemning Israel’s occupation is not enough
Sunday, 26 January 2014
Last week Israel announced plans to build more than 1,800 new settler homes in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Israeli Housing Ministry announced plans for 1,076 units in annexed Jerusalem and 801 in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has expressed deep concern about Israel’s announcement of further settler homes in Palestinian territories.

However, the mere condemnation by world powers of the Israeli occupation and its construction of colonial settlement units in the West Bank including the occupied city of Jerusalem is criminal. There should be strong measures taken to stop the gangs of colonial Israeli settlers trying to infiltrate Palestinian territory. The separation barrier, settlements and the planning and zoning restrictions on Palestinians in occupied Palestinian territory are all blatant violations of universal human rights laws.
It is against human rights to keep seven million Palestinians as refugees or displaced people and to blockade the Palestinian territories and create “people warehouses.”
Since the 1967 war, the Israeli government has annexed nearly 70 sq. km of the occupied area to Israel, which includes East Jerusalem, as well as 64 sq. km of surrounding West Bank territory. The annexed area was subsequently added to the Municipality of Jerusalem.
Heartbreaking
East Jerusalem has always been the center of political, commercial, religious and cultural life for the entire Palestinian population of the occupied Palestinian territory. It is heartbreaking to watch the Israeli government’s municipal policies of harassment and abuse against 270,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
World leaders must address the national rights of Palestinians and not just pay lip service to core issues, such as the right of return, ethnic cleansing, dispossession, and Israeli apartheid policies
Samar Fatany
Since 1967, Israel has undertaken measures to alter the status of East Jerusalem, contrary to international law, in particular land confiscation, settlement building and construction of the separation barrier. These policies undermine the residency status of the Palestinian population and its access to education and health services. Palestinians are deprived of any opportunity to plan and develop their own communities.
Israeli apartheid policies restrict Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from residing within the Israeli-defined municipal boundary, which they can only do through a process of “family unification.” Since the early 1990s, non-Jerusalem Palestinians have been forced by the Israeli authorities to obtain permits just to enter the city, even to visit places of worship during Ramadan and Easter.
Furthermore, the number of permits granted is very limited, and permit holders have to endure a humiliating experience through four checkpoints before entering East Jerusalem, compounding the separation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. East Jerusalem today is becoming increasingly separated from the remainder of the occupied Palestinian territory – physically, politically, socially and culturally.
Pending a final status agreement, East Jerusalem remains an integral part of occupied Palestinian territory. However, Palestinians living in the territory are deprived of access to basic health and educational facilities, work, cultural and family relationships and the ability to worship at Muslim and Christian holy places in East Jerusalem.
Right to reside
The right to reside in East Jerusalem is restricted to those Palestinians who are living within this expanded municipal boundary. However, East Jerusalem Palestinians are defined as permanent residents of Israel rather than citizens.
Extended stays by Jerusalem Palestinians outside the city has often resulted in the revocation of their Jerusalem ID cards. Approximately 14,000 East Jerusalem Palestinians have had their residency revoked since 1967, of which over 4,500 were revoked in 2008.
Moreover, if a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem wishes to marry someone from another part of occupied Palestinian territory and reside in the city, he or she must undergo the arduous process of applying for family reunification status, which the Israeli occupiers have made virtually impossible to achieve. In addition, the children of such “mixed residency” status marriages later face difficulties in registering for permanent residency.
Major violation
The Israeli policy of planning, zoning and demolitions in East Jerusalem is another major violation of human rights. Since 1967, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have not been provided with basic housing and infrastructure needs. Only 13 percent of the annexed municipal area is currently zoned for Palestinian construction. It is only within this area that Palestinians can apply for building permits, which does not begin to meet the existing demand for housing.
Furthermore, the requirements for land registration make it impossible for Palestinians to apply. As a result many residents have been left with no choice other than to build structures “illegally” and, therefore, risk demolition and displacement. This is how Israel continues its designs to preserve a demographic majority of Jewish residents vis-à-vis Palestinians in the city.
Since 1967, Israel has continued to implement the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements over one third of the area within the extended boundary of East Jerusalem and in the wider metropolitan area beyond. Today, criminal settler organizations continue to target land and property within Palestinian residential areas in the so-called “Holy Basin” area. These settlements have created restrictions on Palestinian public space, residential growth and freedom of movement.
Under a pretext
Israel in 2002 began erecting a separation barrier in the greater Jerusalem area under the pretext of deterring suicide bombers in the West Bank from entering Israel. Today, this barrier is effectively redrawing geographical boundaries and compounding the separation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
Consequently, certain Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem find themselves on the “West Bank” side of the barrier, and residents now need to cross checkpoints to access the health, education and other services to which they are entitled as residents of Jerusalem. In addition, West Bank neighborhoods and the suburbs of East Jerusalem are completely cut off from the urban center with devastating social and economic consequences.
While all of this is happening, international powers are reluctant to take a firm stand against these racist and unjust Israeli colonial settlement policies. World leaders must address the national rights of Palestinians and not just pay lip service to core issues, such as the right of return, ethnic cleansing, dispossession, and Israeli apartheid policies in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Jan. 24, 2014.

________________
Samar Fatany is a chief broadcaster in the English section at Jeddah Broadcasting Station. Over the past 28 years, she has introduced many news, cultural, and religious programs and has conducted several interviews with official delegations and prominent political personalities visiting the kingdom. Fatany has made significant contributions in the fields of public relations and social awareness in Saudi Arabia and has been involved in activities aiming at fighting extremism and enhancing women’s role in serving society. She has published three books: “Saudi Perceptions & Western Misconceptions,” “Saudi Women towards a new era” and “Saudi Challenges & Reforms.
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2014/01/26/The-heartbreaking-way-the-Israeli-government-treats-Palestinians.html


It’s official. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the number one Israelophile among world leaders. In truth, at least since George W.

Bush has been gone, Harper has merited the title, pulling Canada from its previous (self-imagined) status as an “honest broker” in an unabashedly pro-Israel direction. But in his speech this week in the Knesset, Harper outdid even himself. He reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to sanctions against Iran and hinted at his contempt for an Iran policy based on their pledges rather than concrete activities.

He condemned boycotts in no uncertain terms.

He called Israel a bastion of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. He praised Israel as the home of the Jewish people.

A cynic might say that this is all part of the Conservative party’s minority outreach strategy, which did succeed in turning Jewish ridings that had never voted for a party other than the Liberal party of Canada Conservative in the 2011 elections. But even still, no minority outreach policy requires the extent of Harper’s passion. Few political figures, Israeli or otherwise, have said anything quite like this: “Most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state.

Think about that. Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that: a state, based on freedom, democracy and the rule of law, that was founded so Jews can flourish, as Jews, and seek shelter from the shadow of the worst racist experiment in history, that is condemned, and that condemnation is masked in the language of anti-racism. It is nothing short of sickening. But this is the face of the new anti-Semitism.”

Just leave it to a bland Canadian economist, always trying and failing to spruce up his image with successive pairs of garish designer glasses. For Canadians like me who grew up with cowardly equivocation from successive governments on Israel, Harper’s turn is as stupefying as it is impressive.

What, then, explains Harper’s passion? Shrewd commentators, have noted that Israel fits within Harper’s principled political conservatism. While benefitting from a broadly consensual cross-party economic consensus (not to mention the good luck of a growing China for a resource-based economy like Canada), in political terms Harper has surely shifted Canada to a British commonwealth version of conservatism over his near decade tenure in office. He has re-asserted Canada’s ties to the monarchy and reintroduced the “royal” in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Where his predecessors spoke of tolerance and multiculturalism as the alpha and omega of “Canadian values,” Harper has reintroduced “freedom” and “rule of law” into the Canadian lexicon. And, in foreign forums, the Harper government has consistently stood for liberty (while also trying, it is true, not to piss off the Chinese). And, of course, Harper’s government has defended Israel when she has been singled out in international institutions and forums. The defense of Israel, it has been said, fits within Harper’s principled defense of liberal democracies against their enemies.

What else is at work is Harper’s moral identification with the story of the State of Israel itself. Born into a middle class protestant family in Toronto, the young Harper, it is worth recalling, was a kind of runaway. While he finished high school in Toronto, he dropped out of the University of Toronto after a few months and went West – to Calgary, Alberta, where he worked in a mailroom, and eventually resumed his studies. Americans are fanatically mobile, and it is hard to understand that going West in such a fashion is not something nice middle class Torontonians typically do, and surely not in the late 1970s.

Whether or not Harper’s intellectual yearnings as a young man were evangelical, as has been said, Harper clearly felt bored and depressed by the prospects of the humdrum, comfortable but non-political life available in Toronto. Harper left this behind, for the West. Unlike so many young men and women who make such an escape, however, Harper used this voyage not to dispense with what he had been given at birth in favor of some great unknown or frivolity but to build something legitimately new in light of moral ideas.

Out there in the West, Harper found the excitement, opportunity, and, above all, politics which were lacking in Toronto. His abandonment of a typical Toronto urban life was followed by a true political education. Harper would go on to earn a master’s degree in economics and meet the western political guru Preston Manning. The rest is history.

How does Israel fit into all of this? The greatest Israeli diplomat, Abba Eban, noted in his autobiography that the “pioneering” countries – Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada – had a much stronger natural affinity with Israel than those stodgy, settled countries like France and England.

As a pioneer-prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper naturally sees Israel’s immense achievement over considerable obstacles. Through his own interesting moral journey out West, Harper has glimpsed the beauty and morality of the Jewish journey out East. If only there were more moral pioneers like Stephen Harper.

The author is a Tikvah Fellow and a PhD candidate in history at the University of Cambridge.


http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/My-heart-is-in-the-East-and-West-339342

Build that temple in Tel Aviv or at Shiloh where it truly belongs, make peace not war.

reve

reve
26-01-2014, 10:43 PM
This may be a ‘gamechanger’. No one said there were 30,000 Al Qaida in Syria and they are not even at the talks. The Syrian Opposition attending are meaningless as they are not therefore the real opposition so why hand power to them? But look how Israel intends to get involved in Syria and they are not at the talks either. Chilling. This is the first real assessment of Al Qaida Mk 2, that has been brought to life by Western and Gulf funding and now the monster is endangering Israel. Intended to destroy Assad and Hezbollah, then Iran it seems to be turning on its funders and allies. That is no surprise. If you buy the services of a professional hitman and he sees you take his money out of a vast sack full of billions of oil revenues do you expect him to walk away? Do the business for his measly cut and then vanish? Here is yet another existential threat that must be attended to. But there need not be any threats. Personally I would advise Israel to keep its head down and stay out of this while the potential threats wear each other down. We have been fighting Al Qaida for 13 years now with massive armies and trillions but all that has happened is they have got bigger. We have a small chance of pinning them down now in Iraq and Syria, cutting off their funding and preventing millions more from joining them but as soon as they realise Israel are their enemy, not Assad, Iran or the west, they will explode in size and danger. Israel is a small country and there is no time to work out a new way of fighting them without bombing the civilian areas they inhabit. Fighting street by street against suicide bombers in their millions will not be nice. They have anti tank armaments and chemicals. We were silly enough to change regimes that were fighting them to regimes supporting them. Isn't it time to decide who is making all the mistakes around here before leaping off the cliff when they shout 'jump'. Vietnam and Afghanistan, even Iraq, tell a story that no one seems to want to hear. How do you disarm al Qaida? (1) stop arming them (2) stop giving them things to be angry about.

Israeli officer: With 30,000 Al Qaeda fighters in Syria, Israel re-evaluates its neutrality in civil war
DEBKAfile Special Report January 25, 2014, 7:03 PM (IST)
In a special briefing to foreign correspondents Friday, Jan. 24, a high-ranking Israeli intelligence officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that more than 30,000 al-Qaeda-linked fighters are active in Syria, a huge increase over the 2,000 jihadis present there two years ago. With jihadis in control of Syrian territory on Israel's northern borders, the high-ranking officer said “many discussions are taking place behind closed doors about the possibility of rethinking its strategy” of neutrality in the Syrian civil war.
The inference drawn from this disclosure is that, for the first time in Syria’s three-year civil conflict, Israel is ready to embark on cross-border military action to stem this direct threat.
In his briefing, the Israeli officer stressed that the Islamic rebel groups massing in Syria have openly threatened to turn their sights on Israel after toppling Assad.
He went on to report that another 1,200 Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters have taken up a presence in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Furthermore, coordination has deepened among Al Qaeda’s branches in Syria and Egyptian Sinai, where its local Salafist supporters have formed a jihadist coalition calling itself Ansar Beit al Maqdis (the Jerusalem Front).
This front carried out four terrorist attacks in Cairo Friday, killing at least 6 people and injuring more than 60. It exhibited for the first time a capacity for coordinated terrorist attacks inside the Egyptian capital.
Last week, Sinai Salafists fired two Grad missiles at the Israeli town of Eilat, after a rash of attacks on Israeli forces and a numerous lethal assaults on Egyptian military targets in Sinai.
The IDF has never before released figures on the scale of Al Qaeda’s deployment in Syria, or revealed its concentration on the Israeli border. The policy overhaul the officer described offered the rationale for potential Israeli intervention in Syria in order to push the jihadist menace back from its northern towns and villages.
Israel targeted after Syria and Iraq
Thousands of foreign fighters from across the Muslim world, as well as Europe and North America, have flocked to Syria to bolster the al-Qaeda-linked groups operating in Syria. They have big plans to establish a big independent Islamic state at the heart of the Middle East. This is the conclusion of intelligence experts, according to debkafile’s counter-terror and military sources. This state is intended in the first instance to devour large swathes of Iraq and Syria, before the founders turn their sights on Israel and Jordan.
However, if their first goal of toppling the Assad regime is frustrated by the Russian-Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah alliance, they are ready to reverse this order and go straight for Israel.
Four radical Islamist fighting groups are active in the Syrian civil war:
1. Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front, operates under direct orders from the top, the Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zuwahiri.
Wednesday, Jan. 22, the Shin Beit reported foiling a plot he had hatched for a mixed team of jihadists to carry out three terrorist operations in Israel. Local Palestinians and al Qaeda terrorists coming in from Turkey or Syria and the Russian Caucasian republics were to blow up the US Embassy in Tel Aviv as well as the Convention Center and a bus route in Jerusalem.
This disclosure provided the background for the briefing the IDF offered foreign correspondents Friday.
2. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which has captured large areas of eastern Syria, including some of its oil fields, and seized strategic districts of western Iraq, including the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi.
3. Ahram al Sham (Islamic Movement of the Free Men of the Levant). Though less known in the West, this organization has raised a force of 15,000 combatants from Al Qaeda and various radical Salafist movements. It heads the newly-formed Islamist Front of seven anti-Assad terrorist groups.
While this front has separated itself from Al Qaeda and is funded and armed by Saudi Arabia, it shares the same ideology and dedication to Israel’s destruction.
Ahram al Sham’s relations with al Qaeda have been the subject of speculation among US and Israeli intelligence specialists. The guessing was laid to rest in early January, when the group’s leader Abu Khalid al-Syria admitted for the first time that he is a member of al Qaeda.
4. Jaish al-Islam (the Army of Islam). This is the largest Syrian rebel force present in the Damascus area, and Riyadh’s favored group for assistance, judging from the fact that, in addition to arms and funds, Saudi intelligence has sent Pakistani military instructors to train its members.
Israel’s military options
Although the IDF officer did not go into Israel’s military plans for tackling the burgeoning Al Qaeda threat, debkafile’s military sources project some options.
a) Carving out secure buffer zones, permanent or temporary, on the Syrian side of the border. This would be contingent on the cooperation of local Syrian militias willing to rid their lands of Al Qaeda incursions.
b) Air and ground strikes against jihadist border concentrations.
c) Deep thrusts inside Syria and Iraq to block al Qaeda forces’ advances to threaten the Kingdom of Jordan.
d) Targeted assassinations of top al Qaeda commanders.
e) Thwarting jihadist drives to extend their conquests of strategic areas of Syria for use as springboards against Israel. One example is Jebel Druze, whose population has preserved neutrality and stayed out of the Syrian civil war.
Israel’s recourse to military action against the jihadist threat from Syria would require learning US military tactics for combating terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The IDF has no experience of this kind or scale of warfare. It would have to re-write its war doctrine and retrain substantial commando forces in preparation for long years of close-up combat against the jihadist enemy.
Israel would also need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of a military campaign against al Qaeda’s Syrian deployment, taking into consideration that resorting to a campaign against al Qaeda would ease the pressure on the Assad regime and its allies, Iran and Hizballah. That is a hard call to make.
http://www.debka.com/article/23627/Israeli-officer-With-30-000-Al-Qaeda-fighters-in-Syria-Israel-re-evaluates-its-neutrality-in-civil-war


reve

reve
27-01-2014, 07:22 PM
Good intentions may be better than bad intentions but cut no ice in the afterlife. Actions, or karma, are all that count. Nations also develop karmic debts, along with national debts, deficits and trade gaps. But karmic debts are harder to service let alone pay off and invariably lead to the annihilation of empires and dynasties eventually. The west can do something about its karmic debts but as they carry no political or financial appeal are unlikely to. However given some good arguments any politician would enjoy a real legacy. Karmic debts accrue over generations so what you see now may not be what we owe for what we have done. They can be seen quite simply as suffering caused, although there is more than that.

An example could come from any country. I do not know about the intentions of Blair and Bush when Iraq was invaded but 600,000 people died violent deaths unnecessarily in their rush to invade, while ignoring advice and genuine intelligence. Sometimes I think Blair wants to be our Messiah and that influenced his judgement, also that perhaps he influenced Bush not vice versa. But whatever the case, that invasion is bad karma for all of us and one that grows worse year by year. No good came of it to balance that. When the US were in Vietnam they probably had good intentions, saving Asia from the savagery of Mao. Ho Chi Minh may have had good intentions too but so many civilians died, so many were burned and tortured and after all that the country is scarcely less repressive that it was. Bad karma all round. The US, like now, needed to target the insurgents. These hid in the jungle and were fed by villages along their routes. The idea may have been good - destroy 20% of the jungle with agent orange and then destroy food crops with agent blue. Monsanto and others merely did what was asked of them and no one thought the chemicals dangerous but 400,000 Vietnamese died, birth defects are still recorded and of the million servicemen going out there many US veterans came back with dioxin in their systems, suffered cancers like Hodgkins Lymphoma, and there were again many birth defects as a result. Meanwhile since the war 100,000 have died in Vietnam from the unexploded bombs and landmines out there, as they do in Laos. Quite a high cost to set against the people saved from Mao. But not unrepayable. However the US Courts will not agree compensation as they state there was no intention to poison anyone. They have paid $40 million to clean up an airbase in Vietnam that is heavily contaminated, as a goodwill gesture. That needs looking at against the $42 Billion BP are paying for not intentionally polluting the Gulf of Mexico. However financial compensation will not really address the karmic accounts.

Britain may have done much to save Indians from the Rajahs and Africans from the Chiefs and witchdoctors, but just took their place. They built railroads, admittedly for their armies and corporations exploiting the colonies. The abolition of slavery saved many from that, not by any means all, but we had already been big time slavers. There are pros and cons, but the big pro has often been the ethics and justice that we brought to the world. There were billions that we saved in WW2 from the Nazis, the living testimony, although many do not admit this, being those living freely now in Israel. We freed China from Japan but they ended up with Mao instead and are scarcely now free of repression. But the debts are mounting. Someone is responsible for the Syrian war, possibly for what is coming in Ukraine and Thailand. But what we face if we do not start paying the interest on our karmic bill is extinction. First we may see, revolution that will ensure no Conservative Party ever rules Britain again and the end of a free US. However the leaders will not see this coming until as usually happens, it has already happened. After five centuries of repression and injustice even the empire of the Dalai Lama has crashed and he should have seen this if anyone could. But even he will not admit the karmic debt he inherited from his line of dynastic rulers who abused ordinary farmers and people. He blames China for ruthless oppression but omits mention of that caused by those who ruled Tibet before that invasion. A country’s leaders who pretended to be devoted to Buddha did not do what Buddha instructed and that is what they got back from him - the end of his support. Had the Dalai Lama freed his people from his rule (in exile) and not urged opposition to China, many more would be alive and their lives would be better. China would not have felt the need to dilute the Tibetan population of its traditional sacred territory with ethnic Han people.

So this national karmic debt will not only be disputed by all, mostly by religious leaders who have caused the most violence and suffering, but also never gets paid and those who suffer at the hands of these tyrants are invisible here, but very audible in the afterlife. We have to do something but for 5000 years have not found a way to make karmic repayments acceptable to our leaders. Hitler reaped his karmic reward fast, Stalin’s empire took a bit longer to fall. We are taking even longer. But in the UK there is an interesting debate right now. It was suggested by Labour that those with the broadest shoulders bear more of the responsibility to pay off the deficit, hence an increase of tax from 40% to 50% was suggested for high earners. An immediate response from them was hostile and suggested that they would not come to Britain, or would leave. France is trying out 75% meanwhile so perhaps the French high earners will all pour into the UK. But anyway the bottom line is that our Financial Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is telling us and the rest of Europe to cut benefits to the poor instead and allow the rich to create jobs and growth. Such nonsense, but they will say anything to justify their policies which have so far resulted in the 9 million in poverty here. ‘Economic growth’ as it will be under their system will see that rise to 15 million but you cannot tell them, nor the karmic effect of this as they do not believe in that sort of thing.

Labour are just as bad as the Conservatives but in rather different ways. The days of Old Labour are long gone and none of them care about poverty or they would talk about it. It did not suddenly appear with Cameron and Blair did much to make this a fact of life in Britain while selling anything owned by the state, a policy eagerly followed by Cameron. They hate public ownership whether health services or now ‘public land’. ‘Everything must go’ is their Sale sign. And these unending sales of not for profit enterprises are making many more millionaires, the rich much richer, while ensuring increasing poverty. This land was once owned by the Crown when our kings and barons owned everything, violently taken from the previous landowners they invaded at various times. In fact that is how the monopoly game works. But ’revolutions’ tend to take it all back and put industries, land and resources into government, hence ‘public’ hands. It is a see saw of economic realities. Neither one can hold onto everything for long as neither work effectively, but a mixture has got us to this point. And so it is with karma. We have got to this point by a mixture of evil and good. The one tending to create the other. The villain and hero.

The ways we have to influence our leaders are many. We can bribe them, coerce them, enlighten them and blind them. They tend to offer up a range of policies before they start and tailor them to get enough approval to put them in office. That tells us how they intend to get where they are going. Where they are going is bluntly not to our survival but to the benefit of their friends (possibly those who voted for them but more likely those who financed them and manipulated the media to get them elected). Their various ways of governing are for example championing public ownership and the ‘nanny state’ or its opposite, outright capitalism. We suffer a bit of tunnel vision with the choices offered. What can change everything is a war. That makes a different set of rules and we do not always understand what it is for. Perhaps a population reduction? A need for someone else’s resources. Resisting their need for ours. Who can say as we cannot even work out what Iraq was really about. But it is always dressed up as evil against good and it always end up with a vast karmic debt. If we really were freeing the world from religious bigotry, the sale of girls to old men, the destruction of nature, the cruelty of mankind in any of its forms - brutal police, gangs, slave owners etc then there might be a karmic benefit. But it very seldom is there except as a stated intention. Then we send in bombers and kill civilians, or starve them. Were we sending in kitchens and hospitals, schools and homes rather than bombers and soldiers, our invasions would be much more welcome. But what we do is reconstruct nations we have destroyed and ensure vast profits for the bomb maker and reconstructing corporations.

It is almost impossible for a leader or even the group of all our leaders, to agree on how to repay the human debt to nature, let alone our debt to the generations coming (if any are). Compensating the victims of the last 50 years would bankrupt every single nation. But continuing as we are is coming to the end of our usefulness. The ‘word’ is that we are at the end. They call these the end or latter days for good reason. Is it really impossible to change that? I think the only way is to bribe our leaders, to give them the ready made arguments that appeal to their funders and especially to the fantasies of their own personal legacies. They do not want to be remembered as Hitlers, or most do not. But what arguments can be given them by their speech writers and ‘think tanks’ that would enable policies that really do make good karma? Most live under the illusion that they are doing that. So Cameron for example concentrates on ’growth’, the small businesses that are the spine of the country he says, the difficult decisions he is not afraid to make. In reality he is concentrating on the multi-national corporations that are exploiting us but he would see that as a very cynical view.

It is very clear from the rhetoric of the Middle East and Israeli politicians that they see a future which requires war to achieve. If they wanted peace and cooperation they could achieve that today just be being friendly and talking to each other. By releasing from destitution those that are displaced, disadvantaged, ruled by an iron rod. They cannot think like that or act like that. In Syria the opposition and government, if either really wanted a good life for all Syrians, would stop fighting today and give it to them. They do not. One cynical bunch of politicians want power that another bunch are holding onto.

The best that might be on offer is what the Syrians had in 2009 before this all happened. There is no ‘freedom’. Not one country around there, including Turkey, has that or intends to have that for all its people. And more disturbingly if one did it would be brought down by the others as a bad example, a way to end the control that a few people hold over the billions.

So what is the karmic revolution? Really it is just that. It is the force of good karma asserting itself over every other force and political agenda. It has numerous benefits for humanity and for the leaders who usher it in. They will have afterlives undreamt of because for endless generations their actions will achieve ‘liberation’. We might try to make this for ourselves, and some teachers try for a few students, but never was there a greater possibility men like Obama, Putin and Cameron to free the world, for the executives of vast corporations to save it. And it is something more important for these people than any material wealth. So there they are arguing with each other when every one of them holds the most important and valuable gift in their hands. Each one can liberate their nation and be greater heroes than even those of old. Eternal life may be an elusive thought although preached endlessly and erroneously, but the title ‘saviour’ is something far more extraordinary and any or all of our leaders can have this appellation if they will make good karmic action the national priority and start putting things right . They do not know how to do that obviously but if they would accept guidance and send in the kitchens, schools, hospitals and homes now it could be done. Nature is our absolute priority, our many species and their delicate balance. The last thing we should do is tinker with her blueprints.

The bottom line however is that this is all too subtle for our leaders. The multinationals will never agree to divert all profits to alleviating poverty and all make their aim saving the planet for posterity. Which brings me to my main point. I am told it really is the end, too late for more warnings. I have been looking at the revolutions to date. A few angry people always seem to be able to hold nations and their leaders to ransom. I suppose all ‘would be revolutionaries’ are looking at Ukraine where the peaceful demonstrators are guarded by security, the ultra football fans as they are called. Like the ‘rent a mob’ of the 60’s, the skinhead professional protestors etc. these are fearsome men who incite the police to violence. Ukraine had an army of 750,000 not long ago and very many citizens were trained in it. Many are angry and poor. For a modern country its treatment of the disabled, orphans, Aids afflicted is horrible. Somehow the protestors have already been offered the posts of Prime Minister and Humanitarian Minister (transitional government?) but want more. They are not afraid of the army which is afraid to start killing them. Peaceful protestors occupied the Justice Ministry but 100 armed ones occupied the Energy Ministry. There is an ultimatum. Then what? It is a question for all wealthy countries faced by an angry and probably poor part of its population. And this is how the rich lose everything. How much better to share what they have than face what usually happens. The Communist countries all now have billionaire oligarchs (except North Korea). It is the inequality that enrages people to rebel, the billionaires who taunt them, and the laws made to protect the rich and make them richer. But they cannot stop themselves. These revolutions can spring up all over Europe at the same time and then what will we do? It is said that the soldiers of Assad who refused to kill unarmed protestors were themselves shot. Would the UK do such a thing? What would a coalition offer the 9 million in poverty to get them to go home peacefully? What would the protestors accept? Probably no less that a total redistribution of wealth which is pure fantasy. All of us will suffer but it seems that this is coming like an express train and all the politicians are avoiding the issue. Martial law will bankrupt every corporation - they run on the finest margins and could not survive anarchy. Is this how we come to the end ?

reve

reve
28-01-2014, 11:16 AM
One must expect that there will be many articles coming out around now in defence of what is coming. By that I mean aggressive articles seeking to transfer blame, seeking to brand opponents and offering consolation to those who take what belongs to others. For example in the Jerusalem Post there is an article today that explains the boycott of West Bank Israeli goods. No one else is treated like this and it is the new form of anti-Semitism in hiding, which incidentally is described as Europe’s determination to blame the Jews for Auschwitz, a psychological ploy designed to ease the EU conscience. It is in fact the world making decisions on whether they are for or against the illegal occupation and settlements, and although some think we are all Nazis who supported the Holocaust, we are ordinary people who were shocked by it and whose countries fought the Nazis at extreme cost and loss of life. Nor were Jewish people the only targets of Hitler in a war that killed 60 million people. As long as anyone is being brainwashed by the media to believe that the EU is anti-Semitic there will be problems, but for anyone reading this thread they will have noted that the most scathing articles written here about Israeli policies against the Palestinians have been written by Israeli Jews and Jewish people around the world. Hence the ‘delegitimization’ word was being used instead which has been put away again as it has caused even more problems while defending illegal occupation. Anyway propaganda is used by all sides and is not unusual but here is an article that says criticism of the rich (just that - criticism) is like the persecution by the Nazis of Jewish people at the beginning of Hitler’s abhorrent treatment of European Jews. It is accepted that many Jewish people are rich but many more are not and many very rich people are not Jewish. However the warning signs are there.

In Britain the 10% tax rise being debated for the very rich is now said to be able to destroy the economy, lose jobs, stop investment. We are only talking about 50% tax on the very rich but already the protests on the media are that it means they will pay over half their earnings and are already paying a lot! This is not the 95% tax we had in the 1960’s and we all know if they are taxed more they will pay themselves much more. Executive salaries rise by more than 10% a year while front line pay goes down year on year and in my experience is now less that it was in 1993. But if they have to pay themselves so much more to cover the extra 10% tax hence predicted job losses. But the idea was that they ‘share’ the load of the financial crash they caused. Meanwhile the taxpayer owned bank RBS, my bank, have declared an £8 Billion loss and need to pay £3 Billion in compensation for various mis-sold services in the past. They are asking the ‘shareholders’ for permission to pay their highest paid executives bonuses of two times their vast salaries. Not only is this a sign of the end coming so fast at us, it is also a declaration of war on the 9 million in poverty as this comes out of the country’s money and ultimately from the cuts in benefits to our poorest, now being given food by ‘food banks’. This article was published by the Daily Telegraph:

(‘ The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper, published in London and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in June 1855 as The Daily Telegraph and Courier, and since 2004 has been owned by David and Frederick Barclay. It had a daily circulation of 552,065 in early 2013, down from 634,113 in July 2011. In comparison, The Times had an average daily circulation of 441,205, down to 400,060
…Sir David Rowat Barclay and Sir Frederick Hugh Barclay (both born on 27 October 1934), commonly referred to as the "Barclay Brothers", are British businessmen. The identical twin brothers have very substantial business interests primarily in media, retail and property. The Sunday Times Rich List of 2013 estimated their wealth at £2.35 billion. They have earned a reputation for avoiding publicity, and are often described as reclusive’ Wikipedia)

...lest you think I dredged it up from some tatty ‘Communist’ newsletter.


"Silicon Valley billionaire compares treatment of America's rich to Nazi persecution of Jews
Venture capitalist Tom Perkins sparks outrage after suggesting America is facing a 'progressive Kristallnacht'
By Nick Allen, Los Angeles
9:10PM GMT 26 Jan 2014
A billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist has been condemned for "ghastly and disgraceful" comments after he compared criticism of America's rich to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
Tom Perkins, 66, wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal, which was published, in which he likened the Occupy movement to Kristallnacht, the infamous pogrom of Nov 9-10, 1938.
In his letter titled "Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?" Mr Perkins said: "Writing from the epicentre of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its 'one per cent', namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one per cent, namely the rich.
"From the Occupy movement to the demonisation of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one per cent."
Mr Perkins cited the antipathy in San Francisco towards luxury "Google buses" that carry technology workers to their well paid jobs, and growing anger over rising house prices caused by wealthy buyers employed by internet companies.
"This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking," he wrote.
"Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?"
During Kristallnacht, translated as the Night of Broken Glass, Jewish shops were smashed, hundreds of synagogues were destroyed, 91 Jews were murdered and 30,000 arrested, with most of them sent to concentration camps.
Mr Perkins, a graduate of MIT and Harvard, was once married to the author Danielle Steel and he wrote a book called "Sex and the Single Zillionaire".
In 2006 he paid $150 million (£90.9m) for a super yacht called The Maltese Falcon.
He was a founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm, and has sat on the boards of a string of high profile technology and media companies.
In a statement KPCB said he had not been involved with the company for years. It added: "We were shocked at his views and do not agree."
On Twitter, the San Francisco-based social media tool, users described the comments as "revolting" and ridiculed the businessman as a "rich idiot" living in a "serious rich dude bubble". The Los Angeles Times described the letter as "ghastly, vulgar and disgraceful
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10598265/Silicon-Valley-billionaire-compares-treatment-of-Americas-rich-to-Nazi-persecution-of-Jews.html"

I think the victims and survivors of the Holocaust must be appalled at the way they are constantly used to defend the indefensible and to attack the very people who gave so many lives and fought so hard to free them from Nazi oppression. I would not want to be one of the people doing that as one day they will come face to face. But for Britain there would be no State of Israel which was envisioned by the British Prime Minister Balfour before WW2. And but for Chamberlain stalling Hitler's attack on Britain (called 'appeasement') while we built the Spitfire planes which saved us, and trained an army and airforce that still had ancient WW1 biplanes, the Blitz would have reduced the last resistance to the Nazis in Europe and the US would not have joined the War later. No Jews would have survived and the EU would be an impregnable Fascist or Nazi State. I am amazed that our politicians are so afraid to tell it as it is and was and to honour the brave men who died fighting genuine oppression. Also that they can ignore or defend the policies that have had well over 5 million Palestinians in ghettoes and camps, many for the last 50 years. But the kind of comments being made about the 'appeasement' and EU fascism are designed to have them cowering in corners. How worried they must be that their wealthy donors are now being criticised by gutter snipes like me, but that will soon change as forums like this are taken offline.

reve

reve
28-01-2014, 11:18 AM
I refuse to copy any of it out but this is where it can be found:

http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-Features/Why-Europe-blames-Israel-for-the-Holocaust-Post-1945-anti-Semitism-339571

reve
28-01-2014, 04:46 PM
"Lutz and Lutz cited the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland as terrorism; "The draconian laws applied by Oliver Cromwell in Ireland were an early version of ethnic cleansing. The Catholic Irish were to be expelled to the northwestern areas of the island. Relocation rather than extermination was the goal." Daniel Chirot has argued that genocide was originally the goal, inspired by the Biblical account of Joshua and the genocide following the Battle of Jericho" Wikipedia

Since the 16th century there have been a vast number of burnings, massacres, tortures and enormous discrimination by both Protestants and Catholics against each other. In Glasgow and Northern Ireland there is still sectarian violence and rhetoric which is incited by the marches of Protestants through Catholic areas, football matches and inequality - Protestants usually being the more prosperous and the ghettoes more populated by Catholics. We have seen terrorism by the IRA and their opposite numbers, the police accused of bias and are just about getting a hold on this age old problem.

We have also been getting a hold on anti-Semitism in all its forms and it is 40 years since I heard a joke made about a Jew, or indeed a Paddy (Irish Catholic) or Pole. I certainly have not seen any in the media and no one I meet socially ever makes such remarks. If they ever did they were challenged. The last thing we need is incitement to resurrect such idiocy and bigotry. The Christian sectarian violence is terrible and goes back to the Roman amphitheatres and the Crusades. Millions had died violently even before Hitler was born. His attacks on the Jews cannot be compared with anything else in history for its sheer scale. In my mind he wanted their land, houses, money, art collections, jewels and precious metals as well as wanting them all removed. He also targeted Gypsies, gays and other ethnicities but the Nazi party will evermore be remembered for anti-Semitism. The thought therefore that this may be on the increase is profoundly disturbing. Today’s thugs and football fans would be hard put to explain it anyway. Our icons and heroes from Bob Dylan to Spielberg, Weinhouse to Streisland show that in fact we idolise our Jewish compatriots. Is it possible that we may now be witnessing anti-Semitism, incitement to it and even, unbelievably, false flag sectarian attacks. It is hard to conceive that anyone would do such a thing without catastrophic fall out. We have enough trouble with the Sunni and Shiite populations leading us to world war. Wearing the wrong colour in Glasgow at the wrong time in the wrong place can lead to a severe beating and is hard enough to deal with but in other countries armed gangs are bombing each other over such triviality.


I may as well give my psychological perception of what is happening. The continuing occupation of the West Bank, and even ancient Shiloh is now an illegal settlement there, is a foregone conclusion but many Jewish people and indeed Israelis are opposed to what they know will cause eternal war and terror against them. Therefore some may see it is essential to harden their attitude. There is opposition in the EU to the settlements and this is likely to spread to the US and Russia if not checked. But how can one stop ordinary people objecting and even refusing to but food labelled as coming from the West Bank?

Since there are articles now appearing that show the thinking that Britain failed to take action against Hitler when he started rounding up European Jews and took them from their farms into ghettos in the cities and thence to camps - how can we relate that to the fact that Palestinians were forced off their farms, herded into ghettos and camps and have been there ever since, without expecting Europe to reel in horror, eventually. Before the WW2 action was taken too late. The US of course knew all about this but chose to remain neutral, or in isolation, but offering support and supplies:

‘Following the surrender of France in June 1940, Britain and its Commonwealth were the forces engaged in war against Nazi Germany. Britain had been paying for its material in gold under "cash and carry," as required by the US Neutrality Acts of the 1930s, but by 1941 it had liquidated so many assets that it was running short of cash.
During this same period, the U.S. government began to mobilize for a war, instituting the first-ever peacetime draft and a fivefold increase in the defense budget (from $2 billion to $10 billion). In the meantime, as the British began running short of money, arms, and other supplies, Prime Minister Winston Churchill pressed President Franklin D. Roosevelt for American help. Sympathetic to the British plight but hampered by the Neutrality Acts, which forbade arms sales on credit or the loaning of money to belligerent nations, Roosevelt eventually came up with the idea of "Lend-Lease." As one Roosevelt biographer has characterized it: "If there was no practical alternative, there was certainly no moral one either. Britain and the Commonwealth were carrying the battle for all civilization, and the overwhelming majority of Americans, led in the late election by their president, wished to help them." As the President himself put it, “There can be no reasoning with incendiary bombs” Wikipedia

The Us were therefore quite well prepared when they did get involved after Japan destroyed the Pearl Harbour naval base. Be that as it may the ‘appeasement’ criticism currently in vogue is made against Britain in particular and Europe. But Europe had already been conquered by the Fascists and Nazis and could do nothing, so really the criticism is against Britain which has until now been extremely supportive of Israel. It would be bewildering unless there were some ulterior motive for this to be dredged up at this particular time. It certainly is an incitement to those of a certain generation who actually fought the Nazis and remember that time.

Perhaps there is someone thinking that nothing hardens the attitude of the critical Jewish populations more than the notion that the opposition to the annexation of the West Bank is by rabid anti-Semites who wish for the destruction of Israel and nothing less. This view represents much of the current rhetoric in the media aimed at the Jewish communities. By including any criticism aimed at the rich as being anti-Semitic in origin too makes this an even wider problem that needs dealing with.

Here I will also bring in a curious item:

“ Israel 'Must Lead Battle' Against 'Quenelle'
Sky News-27 Jan 2014
Israel must lead from the front in banning the use of Nazi language and symbols if it expects other countries to take tough measures against ...
http://news.sky.com/story/1201461/israel-must-lead-battle-against-quenelle

Dieudonne is a French ‘comedian’ who is considered anti-Semitic and banned from performing in all of France except his own club. I have never seen his act, or even seen it reported, so cannot comment but note he and his fans deny that. There have for many years been two particular hand and arm gestures that signify ‘up yours’. One is the single finger pointing upwards and the other is gripping one bicep with the other hand and jerking that arm upwards with a clenched fist, a bit like a giant finger. They are very crude anti-establishment gestures, usually personal, and to my knowledge it has never, ever been suggested they are anti-Semitic or Nazi in origin. Dieudonne says his ‘quenelle’ is the latter,butg without jerking the whole arm upwards and was used by slaves as a gesture of emancipation from their slave owners in Algeria. It was controversially used by his friend the footballer Anelka, also descended from a slave family in North Africa, a man described by Dieudonne as a prince of his people so successful has he been, and he used it after scoring a goal. Footballers do many silly personal things after scoring and this was his. As a result the enraged sponsor of his football club withdrew his funding for the team and the Football Association have starred an investigation and disciplinary action against the player. This has enraged many football fans who can be the most bigoted people on the planet at times. Although starting a small thing many are now making this gesture too in acts of defiance against the club and FA and the media published photos of some youths doing so outside Auschwitz. It will become viral and I am sure is intended to be so, fortifying opinion that Britain’s youth are neo-Nazis. Dieudonne was very surprised by the photos, even angered, and wants to know why these youths did this outside Auschwitz. If it was on his example the gesture would be against the Nazis, not against the camp victims. But that is not the impression that is being published and the whole incident is being made out to be a sign of growing anti-Semitism. Unfortunately that is what it will turn into if it is blown up out of all proportion. Put next to the sectarian abuse and violence of the Catholic and Protestant football fans in Glasgow it is ridiculous but it will outgrow that if the media play this game. Doubtless they set up the Auschwitz photos, certainly they found and published them.

As the outrage against delegitimization and general anti-Semitism increases so does the possibility of justifying Israel’s biblical right to the whole of Palestine. The Palestinians are therefore seen as terrorists and the opposition in the world anti-Semitic. This anti-Semitism today is perceived as a form of anger against the guilt of the Holocaust. The media is having a field day with all of this and the inevitable annexation of the West Bank is perhaps to be justified as something that is long overdue but has been prevented by the EU as part of its racist agenda. One could note about all of this that although genuine anti-Semitism is not only universally loathed, it is legally banned and cannot be published in Europe. But this rubbish can be and is. I could sympathise with any victim of anti-Semitism or any racist policies and do. But the Palestinians in camps have never received public or national support and it is time they were. If that support is made into an Anti-Semitic act it becomes impossible for the media to oppose the coming annexation without falling into that trap of inciting anti-Semitism. Hardly anyone will find that acceptable. Boycotting goods in Europe was what brought Apartheid down in South Africa and is extremely worrying for the occupiers of the West Bank now. History shows them exactly how this grows into a storm of protest that leads to an end of an apartheid dream. But many Israelis including the late Ariel Sharon, support complete withdrawal from the West Bank and that is even more worrying.

So is this why we are seeing something that was dead and buried coming out of its grave to haunt us? Another article I have read discusses how John Kerry had explained to him the great significance of certain sites on the West Bank and thus why they must be part of Israel. One I have mentioned is Shiloh where the Ark of the Covenant was said to have been kept. It was kept in a tabernacle, or tent. It is significant that this Ark was kept in a kind of Bedouin tent as the Israelites wandered around for 40 years and then for another 400 years until Israel decided they wanted a king, not Judges that God had ordained. And the kings decided they wanted a stone built temple like other countries not then tent he had insisted they keep it in until the dates back to n. Shiloh was one of the first illegal settlements in the West Bank dating back to 1978 and has a stone built copy of the original tent where they believe that tabernacle once sat. Archaeology shows the bones of many sacrificed animals so it may be the place. It is significant for the ancient prophecy ascribed to the Patriarch Jacob, or Israel as he was renamed who said to one of his many sons, Judah (ancestor of the Jews) as he lay dying:

“ Genesis 49.10
Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

It is hugely significant as it is considered a messianic prophecy and that this is that time prophesied - the gathering of the people = return to Israel from dispersion. But note that it specifically states that Judah will not be the lawgiver after Shiloh comes. Another interpretation is here:

You are a lion's cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness - who dares to rouse him?
The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs [ Or until Shiloh comes; or until he comes to whom tribute belongs ] and the obedience of the nations is his.

But whatever it means Shiloh is very important and it is extremely inconvenient that it is on the wrong side of the green line apportioning Palestine to Jews and Arabs, even more inconvenient is that fact that two mosques sit on ’Temple Mount’ which was also given to the Palestinians. But here is what is called the ’Wailing Wall’ sacred to Jews as the only remaining part of their last temple which was mostly built by Herod, the puppet Jewish ruler for the Romans whose biblical infamy results from his decision to kill all male children under two years of age in an attempt to kill baby Jesus, oddly not recorded anywhere else and missing the cousin of Jesus who was 9 months older, the hugely popular John the Baptist. beheaded by Herod so that he could give the head on a platter to his dancing girl Salome. The Ark of the Covenant had been missing from temple for over 500 years at that point, taken by the Babylonians. And shortly after the temple was completed, perhaps two years afterwards, the Romans levelled it because of a Jewish uprising. Not a happy history.

But perhaps as a result the West Bank will be annexed, the latest plan, and Jerusalem West and East kept by Israel in its entirety. The Third Temple will possibly then replace the two mosques and there will be a war. Blame those anti-Semites for that. They should have apportioned the whole of Palestine for the returning Jews and re-homed the Palestinians living there far from this area. Or perhaps one could blame the scribe writing that ancient scripture to justify the Hebrews in captivity in Iraq being able to return to Israel to displace those who had moved in when they were taken away. Which is blasphemy as it was of course the word of God himself who wrote it.

reve

reve
28-01-2014, 08:26 PM
This Haaretz article speaks volumes by itself:

Is Israel's defense establishment a giant interest group?
The so-called security networks serve their own budgetary and other needs by keeping the public quaking in its boots with threats of war.
By Guy Rolnik | Jan. 28, 2014

‘……Are the generals, terrorism experts and academics who are managing the discourse on “security” not simply a giant clique that's living off the conflict and the “peace process” – a clique that has built-in incentives to highlight and even create certain security risks, so as to be able to continue raising money for defense, terrorism, espionage, weapons and the peace industry?
“Indeed all the generals, defense consultants, terrorism experts and academics engaged in security are a sort of unorganized club. But it is an informal one and would better be called a ‘security network’. There is no question they make a good living from conflicts …
“Indeed, these people will stress the security risks related to the conflict to preserve their status, function and influence,” Sheffer says, adding that beyond serving themselves, they also enable the defense establishment to raise money.
Does the state of tension and terrorism alongside a protracted peace process serve the interests of the regimes in Israel, the U.S. and the Arab nations, which would rather distract people from social issues: the cost of living, the quality of life, education and so on? Maybe the best way to do that is to create a security debate about topics that most people can’t really understand and can’t judge?
“A protracted conflict like with the Palestinians, and the lip service that is paid to resolve it, serve the government and ‘security’ people any way you look at it. The security network people … want to entrench the people’s lack of knowledge and understanding about the state of the conflict and the ways to resolve it, which influences the resources they get. Without a doubt, the conflict in which the state is embroiled distracts the public from the [issue of] allocation of resources to defense, which comes at the expense of spending on health care, education, housing and more,” the political scientist says, noting that censorship also helps serve that purpose.
Is the debate between hawkish elements in the security network who want to increase deterrence, and dovish ones who seek a diplomatic compromise actually an artificial debate reflecting power struggles between groups over control of the defense establishment and the public’s political opinions?
“I don’t feel the hawkish and dovish elements are necessarily stable and unchanging. Like all networks, the security network isn’t homogenous and the positions of its members may change … Not all have a personal or group interest in perpetuating the conflict. Their argument over policy isn’t artificial. It is based on their fundamental opinions.”
Isn’t the biggest security problem the security networks themselves, which make politicians, decision-makers and society see all policy problems through a gun sight, via military analysis – not based on the needs and perceptions of the public itself, which doesn’t want war and does want a better quality of life, as the Arab Spring protests showed?
“The existence of the networks is a problem for the countries in which they operate. Clearly some of the networks will aspire to perpetuate internal and external conflicts. The security issue has an affect on social protest, like that in Israel in 2011, which evaporated because of the Iranian threat and the emphasis the security network put on it.”
Sheffer explains that the Americans, especially President Barack Obama and the U.S. military complex, have largely abandoned the tendency to encourage and to participate in intensive military activity to advance the interests of the security network. As evident in Syria and Iran, the U.S. isn’t throwing itself into battle, or rushing to join Israel in any action against those two countries.
That’s surprising, given the gigantic amounts of money involved, which have made a lot of ex-soldiers and spies very rich.
“The huge budgets the U.S. devotes to espionage and security equipment depend in part on personal interests … but the considerations are also security ones of the U.S. and Israel. It is very difficult to definitively state how much of the budget is determined by the desire to gratify the senior officers and other members of the networks, and how much by the genuine security needs of these nations.”
Asked if any senior officers admit this, Sheffer says he hasn’t heard of any doing so. Moreover, although the left-wing doesn’t to hear it, apparently the endless peace process spares governments the need to address civilian and democratic issues.
http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.570985

This is our 21st century! And why it is coming to a premature end

reve

reve
29-01-2014, 11:30 AM
An interesting article in Moneyweek telling the few who are interested what most of us know. The 'recovery' is faker. What is being pointed out is that the many trillions that have been added to the stock exchange values are not represented in any real gains at all. And the whole thing is poised for a mighty crash.

http://moneyweek.com/bill-bonner-this-recovery-is-fake/

We live in a gangster run world, not that our politicians know that but they are merely ships blown by the wind and the wind is created by disturbing elements. If the article about 'security' is true then we are told of the imminent dangers to us so that ex-army men and intelligence analysts can earn fortunes and intelligence agencies raise what funds they can (dealing drugs? - ever wondered how every nation is still flooded by cocaine and heroin as though there were no borders and countries can still make this stuff while we throw billions into the phoney war against drugs?). Of course the war against crime also makes a lot of people rich in an underworld way and fuels corruption. Well the new addition is the 'austerity' war. We all suffer, see our earnings fall year by year, get redundant. Another NHS manager was given £370,000 redundancy and then moved to new job in the NHS reported today - did not happen for me or anyone I know though. They are selling off the NHS and the men doing this are making millions, organised crime will benefit the most obviously). But as we suffer and the poor get their benefits cut, get thrown off the unemployment register so they can show falls in the unemployed each month, hey presto the shares rise and the rich cream off not billions but $21 Trillion. From where? Selling drugs perhaps as that money floods back into the system. Fine some British and EU banks for laundering money and pretend it is not happening. Printing money. Telling lies.

It is all so silly. Like cheating at the Monopoly game, what on earth is the point of destroying the planet and our culture so you can win a vast hoard of paper money that is worthless. There is nothing left to buy so what is it for? That is why the UK Government are selling everything they can including public land and doubtless Buckingham Palace which is now being discussed.

But while on the fairy tale side I may as well look at this mix of fact and fiction. In 900BC Homer told the story of Troy, a town that did exist in Turkey. Long after the real events he described he added a variety of characters and inventions. A wooden horse, Achilles' and his heel, Hercules was there, it was about a golden apple thrown by a god and three goddesses getting jealous, Helen the most beautiful woman, Odysseus fighting sea monsters, one eyed giants and witches, Aeneas later suggested leaving to found the Roman Empire. It was a story but not one Greek alive now thinks it was real.

400 years another writer wrote genesis and the rest of the bible. There were a collection of writings all put together. Like Homer they put in all sorts of interesting things - a Garden of Eden, the first man whose wife talks to a snake, the Plagues and Red Sea parting which Egypt forgot to mention and some mythical men that God gave land to. Abraham and Jacob (Israel). Yet 40% of Americans they say believe every word of this book. This is what you get by brainwashing people for thousands of years. Abraham supposedly was with the angels who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. People will point to the sites of these cities but...

' In the early to mid 20th century leading scholars such as William F. Albright and Albrecht Alt believed the patriarchs and matriarchs to be either real individuals or believable composite people living in the "patriarchal age", the 2nd millennium BCE. In the 1970s, however, new conclusions about Israel's past and the biblical texts challenged this portrait. The two works largely responsible were Thomas L. Thompson's The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives (1974), and John Van Seters' Abraham in History and Tradition (1975). Thompson's argument, based on archaeology and ancient texts, was that no compelling evidence pointed to the patriarchs living in the 2nd millennium and that the biblical texts reflected first millennium conditions and concerns; Van Seters, basing himself on an examination of the patriarchal stories, agreed with Thompson that their names, social milieu and messages strongly suggested that they were Iron Age creations.[6] By the beginning of the 21st century, and despite sporadic attempts by more conservative scholars such as Kenneth Kitchen to save the patriarchal narratives as history, archaeologists had "given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac or Jacob credible 'historical figures' Wikipedia

Jerusalem was a small village 3000 years ago as archaeologists know well. For the last 2000 years it was under various rulers but mostly a Muslim capital for Palestine. But the fairy story is what will see it given to Israel as its eternal capital. undoubtedly it is worth a lot of money and the demolishing of the mosques will cause endless wars but if you live in fairy land that is what you get. No parents in the UK believe in Santa Claus but many small children have been told about him by them. I cannot believe that any senior politicians actually believe the story they are spinning us but we are expected to believe it and have laws to ensure we do not speak up against it, let alone publish the facts that dispute such nonsense.

At this week's conference the vision of the Palestinians and Israelis were aired together and both clashed. this is what an Israeli minister said:

' "A Palestinian state will overflow the State of Israel with refugees. Millions of Palestinian refugees - you think their brothers in Nablus will want to share their land with them? You think? They'll send them straight to Israel!" he said.

He also had harsh words for anyone willing to cede land as part of a peace deal.

"The western area of Israel is not just a territory; it is the Land of Israel," Bennett said, referring to the West Bank. "It was ours 4,000 years ago and it will continue to be ours for the next 4,000."
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4482215,00.html

that is why there is no way to stop the world falling off the cliff as in Syria where age old cultural treasures and heritage sites and now bomb sites and the opponents are more like drug cartels competing violently with each other for control of the resources. they have nothing in common with the people any more that the Ukrainians fighting to control that country, some of the leaders in that fight having been convicted of abuse of power and syphoning off oil revenues. It is not a 'popular uprising' but a cartel seeing Russia as its protector and another wanting to join the EU protection racket.

'Gangsters' own our media, run our governments, our police forces, our towns and Councils. People can do nothing. Our situation is just like that of those poor South Americans living in places run by cartels fighting other cartels and 'government' forces, and advisors sent in by other countries. They try to get on with life as usual and make the best of their poverty while the gangsters have billions in vaults. Killing is a daily fact of life. The truth is not. But what can they do? revolution is not an option and is always fomented by competing cartels, hijacked by other gangsters.

This is the end and pitiful are our politicians who know this so well yet protect these monsters. The beast that destroys and in whom at its inevitable end (the game has run out of cash and assets) is found to contain the blood of saints, the good people it has killed in its greed and anxiety to find hell where it did not expect it. The afterlife. They need to listen and change as they are the ones who can save us, odd though it sounds. But in fairy tales such things happen.

reve



'

reve
29-01-2014, 01:02 PM
In 1000BC when David was said to have ruled Israel, writing had been in existence for 2000 years. Buildings around the Middle East were covered in it (check out the British Museum) tablets were all over the place for international trade, sale receipts, religious purposes and history. But although more archaeology has been done in Israel than anywhere else they have never found proof of Solomon or David, that they lived and ruled from Jerusalem, not even the first temple. However they are determined to find them and this is about the search for King David’s palace as described 500 years later by some scribe who never saw it. Egypt and Iraq and even Syria built fortresses here and administered the country in turn, but where are the self governing Israelites and their written records from that time? It is sad to read but here is what they are doing to claim Palestinian land as Israel’s heritage:

Jan 2014:

Secret Location of 'King David's Castle' to be Revealed
A major archaeological find points to a Davidic royal castle in Nahal Refaim. Location was secret, until now.
AAFont Size
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/7/2014, 1:01 PM

Statue of King David, King David's Tomb
Flash 90
The location of a major archaeological find that was kept secret until now will be revealed to the public on Friday, next week. The find is being touted as a royal castle that could have belonged to Israel's most celebrated king – the Bible's King David.
The find is a decorated carved stone known as "a proto-aeolic capital" that is connected to a column. Only 30 such capitals have been found in Israel so far, and only five of them were found in areas in which Biblical-era kings lived.
Unlike all of the other proto-aeolic capitals found in Israel – this one is not separate from the column but connected to it. The weight of the column and capital are estimated to be about five tons.
"For reasons that are not completely clear," wrote newspaper Makor Rishon when the find was first announced, "several authorities in Israel have decided to silence the find, which may mark a breakthrough in the perception of the period of King David and his son, Shlomo [Solomon], and of the entire Judean kingdom."
The site was identified by Binyamin Tropper, of the Kfar Etzion Field School, as he descended into a cave in the area of southern Jerusalem. The capital "apparently indicates that an entire temple or castle is buried beneath it," the newspaper added.
Mysteriously, when Kfar Etzion Field School Director Yaron Rosental contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority to inform them of the find, the person he spoke to reportedly simply said – "Yaron, good for you. You found it, but we already are aware of it. Now forget about the whole thing and keep your mouth shut."
Rosental said that he later found out that the IAA had known about the site for 18 months.
According to Rosental, excavation of the site has potential for uncovering a complete castle and possibly an entire neighborhood from the Judean kings' period, for the first time ever. "We appear to have a complete castle here," he said. "Those who lived here after it did not know of its existence and thus, instead of using its stones to build a new building as was the usual practice, left it intact." The details found inside could be "amazing."
The IAA confirmed to Makor Rishon that the find is an important one that appears to date to the period of Judean kings. However, the IAA added, the subject is "sensitive" and "requires serious and responsible handling."
The Kfar Etzion Field School has announced that it will disclose the location of the find next Friday, January 17, right after a joint Jewish-Arab event for planting trees along the proposed route of the section of the security barrier that is to be constructed nearby. The field school vehemently opposes the construction and says that it will cause irreparable damage to nature, harm the livelihood of local residents and create tensions between Jews and Arabs.
In addition, the planned route of the fence would leave the site of the archaeological find outside of Israeli-controlled territory, in the hands of the Palestinian Authority.
The IDF points out that the barrier is the last section of the security fence that remains to be built for protecting Jerusalem. It has also offered to assist the IAA in moving the proto-aeolic column into Israel.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/176020#.UujrPp1FBkA


We reported last year on the discovery of an ancient biblical-era palace probably dating back to the time of King David himself that was subsequently covered up for political reasons.
Now, the group that stumbled upon the unprecedented find tells Israel National News that they will publicly reveal the location of the buried palace next Friday, January 17, an event that is likely to cause a diplomatic earthquake.
Israel's Makor Rishon Hebrew daily reported last April that a major biblical archeology find in the Judean hills south of Jerusalem was apparently being covered up by the government.
At the time, a member of the Kfar Etzion Field School in the Eztion Bloc of Jewish communities had stumbled across an ancient ornate pillar as he descended into a cave in the Judean hills. The pillar and its attached capital clearly belonged to a royal structure, and local archaeologists said it certainly dated back to the times of the Judean kings, if not David himself.
The undisturbed nature of the find suggested that a large part of the ancient palace was probably buried intact beneath where the pillar was found.
"We appear to have a complete castle here," Kfar Etzion Field School Director Yaron Rosental told the newspaper. "Those who lived here after it did not know of its existence and thus, instead of using its stones to build a new building as was the usual practice, left it intact."
But, when Rosental contacted Israel's Antiquities Authority, he was harshly rebuffed and told to "keep [his] mouth shut" about the find.
The Antiquities Authority later confirmed to Makor Rishon that the find exists, and had actually been first discovered the year prior, but that political sensitivities had prevented archaeologists from exploring the site.
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=24359

July 2013
Archaeologists in Israel have solved a 3,000 year-old mystery – uncovering the palace of King David, the ruler most famous for defeating the Philistine champion Goliath as a young man.

Heralded in the Bible as an ancestor of Jesus Christ, David was famously depicted by Italian sculptor Michelangelo.

Now archaeologists believe that they have unearthed the remains of his palace in southern Israel, alongside a large royal tax office. The discovery points to a vast, luxurious residence with evidence of metal-working as well as pottery and alabaster craftsmanship within the palace bounds.

It had been previously thought that David ruled from Jerusalem, but the excavation of the site – known as Khirbet Qeifaya – suggests a centre of influence closer to the Mediterranean, collecting taxes from across Israel.



[Related: Mysterious Mayan tablet reveals secrets of "snake queen"]

The palace is believed to have been destroyed in battle at around 980BC. David’s rule was largely spent in bloody conflict with the Philistines, who occupied a number of cities including Gaza.

The dig at Khirbet Qeiyafa, in a region known as the Judean Shephelah took place over the past seven years. It was jointly carried out by the Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority, and sheds new light on an important chapter in biblical history.

Remnants of a 1000 square metre palace have been discovered, as well as a storeroom measuring 15m by 6m, containing jars that would have been used for storing taxes – received in the form of agricultural produce.

The remains have been dated to match the rule of King David, and can be identified as belonging to the biblical city of Shaarayim. The name means ‘two gates’; a distinctive feature at a time when most cities only had one. David was the second King of the United Kingdom of Israel, and is commonly held to have lived from 1040 to 970BC.

Professor Yossi Garfinkel, from the Hebrew University, and Sa’ar Ganor from the Antiquities Authority, described it as ‘the best example to date of a fortified city from the time of King David’.

The buildings discovered at Khirbet Qeifaya are the largest ever found from this period, and the palace’s dominant situation with views stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to Jerusalem reinforces its importance – lines of sight would have been essential for communicating with fire signals.

Earlier finds had suggested that David ruled from a palace in the City of David area of Jerusalem, but the discovery of a palace and evidence of organised tax collection in the Judean Shephelah are ‘unequivocal evidence of a kingdom…which knew to establish administrative centres at strategic points’, according to Garfinkel and Ganor.

As a result of the size and importance of the discoveries, the Israeli government has cancelled a proposed construction project nearby, choosing instead to promote the area as a site of historical importance and designating it as a national park.
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/ruined-palace-of-bible-s-king-david-solves-3000-year-riddle-155746848.html#Zvfcz99

JERUSALEM A team of Israeli archaeologists believes it has discovered the ruins of a palace belonging to the biblical King David, but other Israeli experts dispute the claim.
Archaeologists from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Israel's Antiquities Authority said their find, a large fortified complex west of Jerusalem at a site called Khirbet Qeiyafa , is the first palace of the biblical king ever to be discovered.
"Khirbet Qeiyafa is the best example exposed to date of a fortified city from the time of King David," said Yossi Garfinkel, a Hebrew University archaeologist, suggesting that David himself would have used the site. Garfinkel led the seven-year dig with Saar Ganor of Israel's Antiquities Authority.
Garfinkel said his team found cultic objects typically used by Judeans, the subjects of King David, and saw no trace of pig remains. Pork is forbidden under Jewish dietary laws. Clues like these, he said, were "unequivocal evidence" that David and his descendants had ruled at the site.
Critics said the site could have belonged to other kingdoms of the area. The consensus among most scholars is that no definitive physical proof of the existence of King David has been found.
Biblical archaeology itself is contentious. Israelis often use archaeological findings to back up their historic claims to sites that are also claimed by the Palestinians, like the Old City of Jerusalem. Despite extensive archaeological evidence, for example, Palestinians deny that the biblical Jewish Temples dominated the hilltop where the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest site, stands today.
In general, researchers are divided over whether biblical stories can be validated by physical remains.
The current excavators are not the first to claim they found a King David palace. In 2005, Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar said she found the remains of King David's palace in Jerusalem dating to the 10th century B.C., when King David would have ruled. Her claim also attracted skepticism, including from Garfinkel himself.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/archaeologists-claim-to-have-found-king-davids-palace-in-israel/


reve

reve
29-01-2014, 05:41 PM
We saw a rainbow today which was magnificent. You may not know about these but Genesis tells us (chapter 9 verse 12) that God spoke and

' 12 God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; 13 I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14 "It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud'

I have even made them using a garden hose sprinkler. I wonder if anyone has ever taken the time and trouble to decide what in the bible is definitely false and what may be true. Then what the religions who believe it is all true have to say about that. If one thing is untrue why believe the rest? Of course if you can claim that God gave you a country and removed the inhabitants for you that might be an incentive to believe it. Or perhaps the unthinkable - God was telling a fib. Personally I think it more likely the anonymous scribe was, who also mentioned the patriarchs living so exceptionally long - 365 years (Enoch who did not die but went to live with God), some around 900 years (Methuselah) etc which enables us to date the creation of the world to almost exactly 4000BC.

reve

reve
29-01-2014, 05:58 PM
(Reuters) - A pending U.S. framework proposal to propel stumbling Israeli-Palestinian peace talks forward chipped away on Wednesday at a troubled alliance between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an ultranationalist ally in his governing coalition.
No date has been announced for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to unveil his blueprint, but new skirmishing between the prime minister and far-right partner Naftali Bennett suggested crunch time was near.
Bennett's Jewish Home party advocates annexation of some of the West Bank - occupied territory that Palestinians seek for a state - and it has threatened to end its partnership with Netanyahu if, he says, any handover of land of biblical significance to Jews were in the offing.
In a hard-hitting speech to an international security conference on Tuesday, Bennett aired veiled criticism of Netanyahu - sending a signal that he believed the Israeli leader was primed to accept Kerry's peace guidelines.
"Neither our forefathers nor our descendants will forgive the Israeli leader who gives away our land and divides our capital," said Bennett, an Orthodox Jew who often emphasises a biblical connection to the West Bank and Jerusalem.
In a speech at the same Tel Aviv security forum, Netanyahu said Kerry would offer "American positions" and that "Israel does not have to agree to anything the Americans present".
Reuters

David Cameron has refused to rule out reducing the top rate of tax to 40p when he was grilled by Ed Miliband during Prime Minister's Questions.
The Labour leader asked Mr Cameron three times if the Government was planning to cut the 45p rate to 40p for people earning more than £150,000.
In his first attempt, Mr Miliband said to the Prime Minister: "Can I ask you who said this just before the election, and I quote: 'Showing that we're all in this together means showing that the rich will pay their share, which is why the 50p tax rate will have to stay'?"
Mr Cameron responded: "The fact is, under this Government, the richest will pay more in income tax in every year than any year when you were in office. That is the truth.
"I want the richest to pay more in tax and under this Government they are because we are creating jobs, we're creating growth, we're encouraging investment.
"And what we heard from Labour over the last 48 hours is they want to attack that growth, they want to attack those jobs, they want to attack those businesses.
"We now have in Britain an anti-business, anti-growth, anti-jobs party."
The 50p - or 50% - "additional rate" tax, which is payable on income above £150,000, was cut to 45% in April last year.
http://news.sky.com/story/1203071/cameron-refuses-to-rule-out-tax-cut-for-rich

I keep quoting the wrong figures here as I had assumed the top rate already was 40%. The richest pay very little tax as they are using tax havens and clever tax avoidance schemes. The poorest are starving.

reve

reve
30-01-2014, 12:22 AM
No one will do anything about this. It is the tragedy of a country's government that left ethics and kindness behind it long ago but expects the world to sympathise with its predicament and which brands any who dare to criticise them.

Judges 6:1

‘ The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.’

Only this time it is likely to be into the hands of Al Qaida. How evil do they wish to be in the sight of the Lord who is for all people but especially the poor and downtrodden? So what has got me all het up again?



Israel 'Must Divide' Ancient West Bank Village
A court in Jerusalem hears claims that Israel has "no alternative" but to extend a wall to divide the West Bank village of Battir
By Tom Rayner, Middle East News Editor, Jerusalem

Israel's Defence Ministry has told a court that it has "no alternative" but to extend its controversial separation barrier through a potential world heritage site.
At a hearing at Israel's Supreme Court in Jerusalem, lawyers for the Ministry said it had made all the security concessions possible, but it remained necessary for the barrier to divide the land of the ancient West Bank village of Battir.
Battir, which straddles a valley in the Bethlehem hills, just miles from Jerusalem, is famed for its unique terraced hills which have been built by hand over millennia.
The fertile lands of the Palestinian village are filled with vegetables, fruit crops and olive groves, all fed by natural spring water which flows through Roman irrigation systems, built more than 2,000 years ago.A Palestinian farmer irrigates her land in the West Bank village of Battir
However, plans put forward by Israel's Defence Ministry to extend the separation barrier - which in some areas nearby is an eight-metre-high concrete wall - would divide the village off from around 35% of its ancestral land.
The area under threat lies on the opposite side of the valley, across the 1949 armistice line which separates Israel from the West Bank, known as the "green line".
Residents of Battir were guaranteed continued access to the land by the Israeli state after the 1948 war, in return for a pledge that the railway which runs along the line would not be vandalised.
The creation of the wall along the proposed course would end that agreement, and cut the land off both from the water that irrigates it, and the residents of Battir who tend to it.
Israel claims the wall is necessary for security, and says it has prevented suicide attacks in the country.
But many in the international community, as well as the Palestinians, see it as a means of appropriating land beyond Israel's pre-1967 borders.
Akram Badir, the head of Battir Village Council, said claims the routing of the wall through Battir was necessary for security were misplaced.Battir is famed for its unique terraced hills built by hand over millenia
"This village is living in peace. Destroying this site and taking off nearly 40% of the land of Battir means destroying the peace situation as well as the landscape," he said.
Over the last few years, new Israeli settlements, deemed illegal under international law, have been constructed on hills overlooking the village.
The construction of the separation barrier is also coming closer.
It is already at the gates of the nearby village of Walaja, which has led to a gathering of momentum in the battle to protect Battir.
But there has been some annoyance among residents of the village that more has not been done by the Palestinian Authority to assist them in their bid to protect the land.
As a member of Unesco, the Palestinian Authority has the ability to make an emergency application to the UN body to grant Battir world heritage site status.
Given that Battir has already been awarded a prize by Unesco identifying it as a place of unique importance, there is thought to be a good chance such an application would be swift and successful.The barrier would cut the land off from the water that irrigates it
World heritage site status would almost certainly rule out the possibility of Israel's barrier being routed through the village's land.
Yet those involved in the lobbying effort to the Palestinian Authority say the application process has been held back for fear of disrupting peace negotiations with Israel, due to an agreement on withholding approaches to UN agencies.
In the meantime, the village has won support from an unlikely quarter - the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority.
The body has backed the appeal against the Defence Ministry's planned routing of the barrier - the first time one arm of the Israeli state has publicly opposed another on this matter.
At earlier court hearings Israel's Defence Ministry insisted residents of Battir would still be able to access the land through special security gates and that the barrier would take the form of a fence, rather than a wall, but Gidon Bromberg, an Israeli spokesman for Friends of the Earth Middle East, said such a plan risked the cultural and environmental importance of the land.
He said: "This site is so unique that we must protect it, not just for Israelis and Palestinians, but for humankind as a whole. We can meet the legitimate security concerns by alternative means."
Construction of Israel's separation barrier, which Palestinians call the "apartheid wall", began in 2002 in the midst of a wave of suicide bombings inside Israel during the Palestinian uprising known as the Second Intifada.
As of July 2012 Israel had completed construction of 62% of the planned 439-miles of separation barrier, and 85% of the route is beyond the "green line" inside the West Bank.
A final ruling in the case of Battir, and other villages in the Bethlehem area, has been delayed to a later date.
http://news.sky.com/story/1202574/israel-must-divide-ancient-west-bank-village


Making a thing like the Berlin Wall is one thing. Being allowed to do it in this century another. Running it through the middle of ancient villages is a travesty. But offending karmic law is the greatest of the madness by these angry and unpleasant wall builders and those who support this, the constant stealing of land, despoiling the olive groves that have been there for thousands of years, and the pretence that security is justification when we all know it is not for security. How can the moderate Israelis stand this? How long must the Palestinians hold their peace in the face of this? Yes this happens all over the world - in Vietnam ethnic farmers are expelled from their traditional homelands by their corrupt government too. Is that a good reason to offend God? He must be so ashamed. They have been kicked out of Israel several times according to their scriptures, each time for doing evil in his sight. Will they never learn?

reve

reve
30-01-2014, 11:03 AM
For my whole life Russia has had vast numbers of nuclear missiles pointing at me, that is London and now Glasgow where we keep ours for the submarines. Over the years the situation escalates with Star Wars, now satellites, rows over putting more US ones in Europe etc. It is a fact that if we cross that red line, perhaps a submarine fires at Moscow by accident, we will be destroyed. Russia is in the same position. At times this Cold War (back in the 16th century Nostradamus wrote about the London premier putting a 'cold' thing in Scotland in a clear 'end times' reference) has threatened to erupt and we know it ends badly for everyone. But we talk to each other and try not to make too many, or cross the 'red lines'. We do not blow up the nuclear silos that endanger us!

Israel deals with threats against her in a different way. She does not talk and her actions usually amount to more incitement. They need to ask the question as to why Hezbollah feel the need to arm themselves and threaten Israel at all. Many are refugees. Lebanon's population are stuck in the middle and has had to endure violence and terrorism, kidnappings and assassinations for many years as all the sides involved squabble but never talk or make peace. This is the time of the peace talks so why is there so much incitement - announcements of more illegal settlement building, annexation, wall building through ancient villages, eviction of Bedouins from their towns, overt threats to Iran, a message that Jerusalem will be Israel's eternal capital and the Palestinians will not be there any more, threats against the two ancient mosques there......? It can only be to incite the Palestinians to act aggressively thus enable the peace talks to be put away for another 30 years. Here is yet another incitement, this time an existential threat aimed at civilians living near Hezbollah in Lebanon. Is John Kerry going to say something about this? Does the US support such actions?

This brings up the whole problem of fighting terrorists who are prepared to die and live and fight in residential districts. Assad has destroyed thousands of homes (reported today) and the media of course call that his punishment of the civilians who house the terrorists. It is in fact to make places where the terrorists cannot cross or move into, not that this is any excuse. But faced with 30,000 Al Qaida heavily armed men what is he to do? Israel builds wall and creates buffer zones. They should all learn to talk. But you cannot talk to 30,000 foreign Jihadists who have gone to Syria to kill, rape and die. You can talk to the Palestinians and Iranians, if you talk peace and withdrawal from Palestinian land. The refusal to do this is ominous but that word applies to the whole world. It is a fact of death that when cancer invades the body it kills the whole living organism after causing havoc in particular hotspots, and does this in 90% of cases by transmitting cancer cells to other organs. Humanity is so infected, will do nothing to address the problem and is about to die.

' IAF chief: Israel will destroy Hezbollah bases in Lebanon, even ones in residential areas
By REUTERS
01/29/2014
Israel accused Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas on Wednesday of putting "thousands" of bases in residential buildings and said it would destroy these in a future conflict, even at the cost of civilian lives.
The unusually explicit threat by air force chief Major-General Amir Eshel appeared to be part of an effort by Israeli officials to prepare world opinion for high civilian casualties in any new confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Related:
Gantz: Threat of war has not disappeared; Syria to remain unstable regardless
Intelligence head: 170,000 rockets and missiles threaten Israel
Israel says Iran and Syria have supplied improved missiles to Hezbollah, which fought the technologically superior Israeli military to a standstill in a 2006 war in Lebanon.
"We will have to deal aggressively with thousands of Hezbollah bases which threaten the State of Israel and mainly our interior," Eshel said in a speech, citing Beirut, the Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon among the locations of the bases.
Other Israeli officials have alleged that Hezbollah uses Lebanese civilian homes as missile silos or gun nests. Eshel said the guerrillas sometimes had entire floors of residential buildings ready, under lock and key, to be used in combat.
"Above and below live civilians whom we have nothing against - a kind of human shield," he told the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, a think-tank near Tel Aviv.
"And that is where the war will be. That is where we will have to fight in order to stop it and win. Whoever stays in these bases will simply be hit and will risk their lives. And whoever goes out will live."
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Tuesday that Hezbollah now had around 100,000 missiles and rockets, or 30,000 more than figures given in official Israeli assessments in 2013.
Last year, Ya'alon showed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon an Israeli map of alleged Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanese villages, apparently to demonstrate the risk of a high civilian death toll in any new war.
Hezbollah does not comment on its military capabilities but says these have been honed and expanded since the 2006 fighting, in which 1,200 people in Lebanon and 160 Israelis were killed. It says it needs its arms to defend Lebanon from Israeli attack.
Eshel said Israel's military was "dozens" of times more powerful than Hezbollah and had more capabilities than in 2006.
"Our ability today to attack targets on a large scale and with high precision is about 15 times greater than what we did in the (2006) war," he said, saying such intensity was required to keep the fighting short "because the more protracted the war, the more missiles we'll be hit with here".
Much of Hezbollah's attention is now devoted to Syria, where its fighters have been helping President Bashar Assad battle an almost three-year-old insurgency.
While content to watch Hezbollah and the Islamist-led Syrian rebels fight each other, Israel worries that its Lebanese foes will obtain more advanced weaponry from Assad's arsenal.
On at least three occasions last year, Israeli forces allegedly bombed suspected Hezbollah-bound arms convoys in Syria.
Asked whether Israel had done too little to intercept such transfers, Eshel said Israeli forces still had the upper hand.
"I don't think this is a failure," he said. "I think the State of Israel has extraordinary deterrence which should not be discredited - significant deterrence, bought in blood."
http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IAF-chief-Israel-will-destroy-Hezbollah-bases-in-Lebanon-even-those-in-residential-areas-339773


reve

reve
30-01-2014, 11:43 AM
makes Syria his business.

January 29, 2014, 1:52 pm Comment
A Dutch Jihadist in Syria Speaks, and Blogs
By ROBERT MACKEY
…………..“Nieuwsuur,” the Dutch jihadist said that he was fighting for an Islamic state and to liberate “the oppressed Syrian people,” but firmly rejected the idea that he or the other foreign fighters he has been training in marksmanship have any interest in returning to their home countries to carry out terrorist attacks.
“No, no,” he said, “I came to Syria for Syria only. I didn’t come to Syria to learn how to make bombs, or this or that and to go back. That’s not the mentality many of these fighters here have. We came here — basically, and I know it sounds harsh, but many of the brothers here, including myself, we came here to die…. So, us going back is not part of our perspective here. I mean it’s a big sacrifice and there’s a lot of work to do, so why should I even think about Holland or Europe? It’s a closed chapter for me.”

…Although the former soldier denied that he was a terrorist in his interview with Dutch television, his blog posts include words of praise for rebels fighting for the Qaeda-linked militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, considered dangerous extremists by other Syrian rebels. Yilmaz also includes sharp, sectarian denunciations of followers of the Sufi and Shiite strains of Islam.

….Yilmaz insisted that Western journalists were wrong to assume that “whoever comes to Syria, as a foreigner, is by definition Al Qaeda. In my case, there is no such thing. The brothers of Al Qaeda, they’re here, they’re fighting, it’s known, everybody knows this — but me being here in Syria does not mean per definition that I’m part of Al Qaeda.”

“I think the main goal of many, many people here,” he said in reference to the foreign fighters he has trained and fought alongside, “is protecting and defending the innocent people of Syria. I mean, it’s been almost three years now, enough is enough. When is it going to end?”
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/a-dutch-jihadist-in-syria-speaks-and-blogs/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

“When is it going to end?” - when people like you stop coming out to Syria to massacre the Shiite population and when the West and Saudi Arabia stop supporting you in this illegal invasion of what was formerly a peaceful, secular if repressive country that tolerated many religions and forms of Islam. But the news does not look good with announcements of more support for the rebels even while the two sides were negotiating at Geneva. It says it all and Al Qaida must be laughing all the way to the bank. Europe will regret this until its dying breath at the hands of such maniacs unless we act against them now. How can we resist an army of 200 million Jihadists on our doorstep (ie Turkey and the Balkans) prepared to die now for some sectarian division dating back 1400 years, and next in a Jihad against Judaism and Christianity? What madman thought of this Syrian 'insurgency'?

reve

reve
30-01-2014, 12:44 PM
I was curious when I saw the front page of my free local newspaper was commemorating the 95th anniversary of an event I did not know. They are attempting to get the prison sentences revoked, rather late in the day. One convicted was the esteemed politician Manny Shinwell who died years ago. It was called Bloody Friday. Worth reading up on as we are poised at such a point now, perhaps why they are celebrating 95 years rather than waiting until 2019.

‘The "Battle of George Square", also known as "Bloody Friday" and "Black Friday", was one of the most intense riots in the history of Glasgow; it took place on Friday, 31 January 1919. The dispute revolved around a campaign for shorter working hours, backed by widespread strike action. Clashes between the City of Glasgow Police and protesters broke out, leading to the British government sending English soldiers and tanks to the city to prevent any further gatherings due to their fear of a Bolshevist uprising. It was described as a "socialist revolution" by supporters, as had happened in the 1917 Russian Revolution, and was occurring in Germany and in the Austro-Hungarian Empire while the 'Forty Hours' strike unfolded.
Forty Hours strike
Before the First World War, the standard working week was 54 hours. National negotiations had established a 47-hour working week for men in the shipbuilding and engineering trades, to be introduced in 1919. A Joint Committee of shop stewards, members of the Scottish TUC and Clyde Workers' Committee however proposed a campaign to limit working-hours to 30 per week, which was altered to 40 per week after the Glasgow Trades Council became involved. It was, however, opposed by the Amalgamated Society of Engineers and most other unions.]
The immediate objective was to alleviate unemployment, exacerbated by the post-World War I recession, by sharing out available working hours more widely at a time when unemployment was rising as war contracts were completed and when tens of thousands of ex-servicemen were returning to the civilian labour force. Many workers also resented the fact that the new 47-hour week agreement removed their traditional morning break.]
A strikers' meeting was called for Monday, 27 January, and more than 3000 workers gathered at the St. Andrew's Halls; 40,000 Glasgow workers came out on strike that same day. By Friday 31 January, the number had swollen to "upwards of 60,000". It was Scotland's first mass picket since the Radical War of 1820. The strike culminated in a mass meeting in George Square on the Friday to hear Lord Provost Sir James Watson Stewart issue a response from the British government to the unions' request for government intervention in the dispute. Emanuel Shinwell, the Glasgow Trades Council president was amongst those to address the crowd.
Riot
The fierce fighting between the City of Glasgow Police and protesters began while a Clyde Workers' Committee deputation was in the Glasgow City Chambers meeting with the Lord Provost of Glasgow. On hearing the ensuing riot that was taking place in George Square, CWC leaders David Kirkwood and Emanuel Shinwell moved outside in an effort to quell the riot. Before they could reach the crowds outside however, Kirkwood was knocked to the ground by police and he, William Gallacher and Shinwell were arrested and charged with "instigating and inciting large crowds of persons to form part of a riotous mob". Sheriff MacKenzie's attempts to read the Riot Act proved unsuccessful as the crowd tore his copy of the Act from him as he was in the process of reading it.
The exact cause of the riot has been disputed – some sources indicate it was caused by an unprovoked baton charge by the police, while others indicate that strikers attempted to stop trams traveling through the square. Pitched battles took place between police and strikers in the streets around the square. Iron palings were pulled up and used as a defense against the police truncheons, while bottles were mobilized from a passing lorry to serve as missiles. The police's efforts to disperse the crowd from the Square were unsuccessful. Eventually there was a re-grouping and the workers began to move off from George Square to march towards Glasgow Green. Police were again unsuccessful in their attempts to disperse the strikers.]
For the rest of the day and into the night, further fighting took place throughout the city. Many people, women and children among them, were injured. More than a dozen strikers were taken to Duke Street Prison and later tried at the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh.
Military intervention
Medium Mark C tanks and soldiers at the Glasgow Cattle Market in the Gallowgate
The failure of the police to control the riot prompted the Coalition Government under David Lloyd George to react, after Scottish Secretary Robert Munro described the riot as a "Bolshevist uprising". Ten thousand troops armed with machine guns, tanks and a howitzer arrived on the Friday night and Saturday to occupy Glasgow's streets. A 4.5 inch Howitzer was positioned at the City Chambers, the cattle market was transformed into a tank depot, Lewis Guns were posted on the top of the North British Hotel and the General Post Office, armed troops stood sentry outside power stations, docks and patrolled the streets. They were deployed for a week, to deter any further gatherings.
No Glaswegian troops were deployed, with the British government fearing that fellow Glaswegians, soldiers or otherwise, would go over to the workers' side if a revolutionary situation developed in Glasgow. Under the orders of Field Marshal Sir William Robertson, Scottish regiments were transported from other parts of Scotland and stationed in Glasgow specifically to avert this possible scenario. Troops from the Highland Light Infantry were also transported from Maryhill Barracks from Maryhill Central railway station to Buchanan Street railway station but without their Glaswegian men. Other troops, including the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Gordon Highlanders and Seaforth Highlanders arrived from Stirling Castle, Redford Barracks and Fort George into Queen Street Station.
Consequences]
Manny Shinwell, William Gallacher and David Kirkwood were jailed for several months.[citation needed] The striking workers returned to work with the guarantee of a 47-hour week, ten hours less than they were working beforehand.
In the General Election of 1922, Scotland elected 29 Labour MPs, including the 40 Hour Strike organisers and Independent Labour Party members Manny Shinwell and David Kirkwood. The United Kingdom general election, 1923 eventually saw the first Labour government come to power under Ramsay MacDonald. The region's socialist sympathies earned it the epithet of Red Clydeside. Wikipedia

The Riot act is read aloud before police are authorised to shoot to kill ‘rioters’. the barracks is still in Maryhill. A friend who is a police sergeant was transported with colleagues down to London to police the 2011 riots there. They seemed to think the Scottish police would have more success as they do not tolerate some of the behaviour their London colleagues have got used to - aggressive youths, fearsome dogs etc. recently many people have complained they are working in excess of 60 hours a week just to pay their bills!

reve

reve
30-01-2014, 01:35 PM
Cut taxes and benefits, increase millionaires and poverty:

'
(Reuters) - Britain cut the tax bills of many of its biggest companies by about a quarter last year, a survey showed on Thursday, as government efforts to cut the nation's debt stir controversy over spending cuts and tax breaks.

Corporate taxation has risen to the top of the political agenda in Britain in the past 18 months, amid revelations that companies i Apple and Google reap billions in profit thanks to UK customers but pay little tax in the country.

A group including most of the biggest UK companies said their corporation tax bills fell 26 percent last year, adding to big drops in earlier years, after the government cut tax rates.

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to ensure all companies pay their fair share but has also slashed tax rates to levels well below large European peers, to try and encourage businesses to invest and create jobs.

In the year to March 2013, the 100 Group of major companies, which includes most of those in the FTSE 100 Index of major businesses, had a tax bill of 6.0 billion pounds, a survey conducted by business consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the group said.

In addition to lower tax rates, PwC said weak profitability and a drop in North Sea oil and gas production reduced tax payments.

The 100 Group's tax bill has fallen steadily since 2006, when the survey estimated members paid 12.6 billion pounds in corporation tax, the British form of corporate income tax.

The latest survey showed the burden of some taxes rose, including the levy on banks - imposed to help pay for the financial crisis - property-related taxes and higher labour taxes as employment and wages rose. However, overall, the total taxes borne by the group fell 6 percent in the year.

The Conservative-led government has gradually cut the corporation tax rate from 28 percent, when it was elected in 2010, to a planned 20 percent next year, to encourage investment.

"Corporation tax will continue to contract, the rate being an influence on that, but that is not to say that there isn't a considerable amount of economic activity that's helping the overall tax take increase," he said.

Before the election, chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne predicted his planned corporate tax cuts would not hit revenues because they would be offset by cuts in capital allowances and other corporate tax breaks.

A spokeswoman for the finance ministry said:

"Our major corporation tax reforms, part of the government's long-term economic plan, are supporting jobs, growth and investment, and playing a critical part in delivering a sustainable economic recovery."

(Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

They must be mad or sociopathic

reve

reve
31-01-2014, 10:12 AM
As John Kerry heads to Israel again one can only sympathise with the job he has. Not only must he get the Palestinians on board with their corrupt leadership which is not the fault of the people, but also his own Government which is firmly on Israel’s more extreme side and Israel‘s government, itself divided between extremists and more extreme -ists.

The deal details are sneaking out and seem better than Palestinians could hope for. Not fair but better than no deal. The Old City and Mosques under an international mandate, but cut off from Palestine. The old 1967 borders with adjustments so that some settlements remain Israeli in exchange for land. Palestine will also be required to recognise that Israel is a Jewish state, something no other country in the world has been required to accept. Kerry’s problem is getting this past Israel without much more severe concessions that will make the whole world angry. He has warned them about that, continued delgitimization he calls it. The journalist Sam Kiley who knows a thing or two calls it the A bomb, Apartheid but warns it may be a damp squid if used.

It may bring peace and that is all we can ask. There is no way of forcing a fair deal on Israel. And Israel may well decide to bomb Lebanon, Syria and Iran. That equates with a major war. Russia may not object as they have an ambivalent view about things that Israel does, a very close relationship in fact. But the situation would be become global the moment the US were involved and they would have to be with Iran’s inevitable reaction. A peace made now might stop that all. Might not.

For the world it is a fact that we are at an advanced stage in our disease. It is no longer a case of stopping smoking. It is whether we are up to the chemotherapy and radiotherapy we need to control but not cure the cancers that haves spread from the lungs. Our immune system is trashed. Natural remedies will not stop this now. The chemo is useless without a complete change that means that we need to stop driving cars and planes now, stop producing electricity, stop burning coal and oil and gas. It is hardly possible for our corrupt governments to stop the trashing and start the cleaning up, never mind make such an enormous change.

If you have been faced with terminal illness and the only option is palliative care (TV suggesting nothing is wrong while you all die, alcohol and drugs) then you may know that this is precisely the time when people turn to religion and miracle cures. They have hardly ever worked for such advanced illness but you will see busloads of invalids descend on Lourdes or the Brazilian jungle or whatever. And of course many quacks and conmen descend on such invalids with their snake oils. That is inevitable.

Too late for remorse. We should have listened to the watchmen. For forty years now I have known what was coming and spoken out, written about and argued all these things along with millions of environmentalists and peace activists, people who campaign for the poor etc. Not one change really resulted from any of that. It is like the doctor asking if you smoke. Most patients are in denial. He knows anyway but few ever stop at his warning stage. I have even seen the terminally ill standing outside hospitals with fags in their mouths, a man last year with a tracheotomy tube in his throat as he smoked in his pyjamas. Or pleading with visitors for a smuggled cigarette in the hospice. This is why so many do not want to go to hospital and would rather die at home.

I do not think we can expect a miracle cure if we cannot even stop smoking. If we are making it worse for the poor day by day. Still making wars for the most devious reasons. Arming maniacs who behead innocent men, women and children. In fact the religions that will now say they offer some hope will probably call for even more violence to achieve the illusory cure. They will say God is angry with the Shiites or the Protestants or Jews. That is like saying that our organs need ripping out. They used to say in the 60’s that if you had cancer you needed your teeth to be taken out. It did not work but did not stop them saying that.

But in our dying days let us at least have peace, some comfort for the poor, support for countries as they are afflicted - places to stay for those who are homeless, flooded, burned, at risk of worse. Care for the wildlife and animals. Die decently not in some rabid angry anarchy that blames people, even though many are to blame. So some peace settlement in Israel is a beginning and the most essential today. It must not be prevented by a few madmen on either side of the Atlantic. If it is we will all have most unpleasant deaths and see the inhuman faces of humanity triumph.

reve

reve
31-01-2014, 01:57 PM
Let is have a good look at HS2. This is the most expensive project imaginable for what it will return - a saving on train journey times for certain commuters to London. I am printing various articles on this - the official line is it will cost £21 Billion and in some extraordinary way return £42 Billion to the country. My suspicion is that it will make a few more billionaires, money will go missing wholesale and that both parties are implicated in a ridiculous project when we have grotesque poverty and more benefit cuts coming. This is to please the big lobbies that elect our governments. So what is the real predicted cost and what is it?

‘ High-speed rail is supported in principle by the three main UK political parties. The Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government formed in May 2010 stated in its initial programme for government its commitment to creating a high-speed rail network. In January 2012, the construction of phase 1 between London and Birmingham was approved. Construction is set to begin in 2017 with an indicated opening date of 2026. In January 2013, the preliminary phase 2 route was announced with a planned completion date of 2032. The cost is estimated by the Department for Transport to be £43 billion; a study by the Institute of Economic Affairs suggested a total cost of £80 billion. On English soil a comparable development is HS1.’ Wikipedia

Well £80 Billion and the rest is the cost. A report was made following investigation of the cost benefits to the country but the publication of this requested under the Freedom of information Act has been blocked by the Government as ‘not being in the public interest’. Do they mean the crazy project or the results which showed major problems and no cost benefits at all. The blocking should be setting off alarm bells and the reasons given - that people gave their views in confidence and must not be exposed - is what I would expect of a bunch of gangsters not our parliament and Government. It raises the question as to who actually governs us and what they are doing with our money. But here is the official line:


‘Creating jobs
The operational scheme for Phase Two is expected to provide 1,400 permanent jobs in operation and maintenance and up to 10,000 jobs during construction. In addition, Phase Two would be expected to support a further 48,700-70,300 jobs.
It will also support the creation of between 5,200 and 7,600 homes.
Western leg
Station-supported employment: Manchester Piccadilly 29,700-42,900 jobs; Manchester Airport 300-700
Station-supported housing: 3,100-4,100 (Manchester Piccadilly)
Eastern leg
Station-supported employment: East Midlands Hub 1,500-1,600 jobs; Sheffield Meadowhall 4,000-5,400; Leeds New Lane 13,200-19,700
Station-supported housing: East Midlands Hub 150-800; Sheffield Meadowhall 250-300; Leeds New Lane 1,700-2,400
For every £1 invested, the wider economic benefits of HS2 will return £2
Source: HS2 Ltd economic case
Costs and benefits
The cost of the Government’s proposed route, station and depot options for Phase Two is currently estimated to be £21.2 billion (in 2011 prices), as recently set out in the Government’s Spending Round 2013. This estimate includes an allowance of £8.7 billion for risk and contingency, which reflects the early stage of the project and the variety of factors that can affect projected costs, which are summarised below. The cost estimate is a prudent planning assumption and we would expect the final cost for Phase Two to be below the estimated funding level.
The Government is committed to managing the cost of HS2 and to securing maximum value for money. The latest available estimates suggest that HS2 will return around £2 worth of benefit for every £1 invested. In looking at the likely impacts on their economies, several of the cities to be served by Phase Two have estimated benefits substantially greater than this.
As with all major projects, the Government will continue to keep the value for money of HS2 under review. As a next step, an update of the economic case for HS2 will be published later in 2013.
Principal stations – journey times
These tables show the projected journey times from London and Birmingham to proposed HS2 stations and beyond.
Eight of Britain’s largest cities will be better connected, with a total of 18 served either by HS2 itself or by onward-running services from HS2 stations
http://www.hs2.org.uk/phase-two/facts-figures

Almost certainly the major contracts will go to foreign companies, and the money. Where is the official line on that? There is opposition but not in Parliament which is all agreeing to one of the biggest scams of all time. Royal Mail was sold for a fraction of this. How come we have the money to pay for something that clearly is not absolutely necessary?


‘Anti-HS2 campaigners have suffered a setback after ministers blocked a report into the controversial high-speed rail scheme.
The 2011 Whitehall document is a warts-and-all analysis of how HS2 was progressing at the time.
It is reportedly full of frank comments from people working on the scheme, who were encouraged to let rip even if it meant criticising bosses.
The government said it was not in the public interest to release the paper.
Ministers took advantage of a rarely-used law to block its release.
Campaigners had applied for access to the report under Freedom of Information laws and had been supported in a ruling by the Information Commissioner.
Veto
The government used a rare veto - seen as the nuclear option in this sort of case - to keep the report under wraps.
It is a veto that was last used to stop publication of cabinet minutes on the Iraq war and private letters from the Prince of Wales to ministers.
Ministers argue that they were all promised those comments would never be made public and say that publishing the report would undermine future reviews because staff would be more guarded.
A spokesperson for the government said: "The Major Projects Authority will not be truly effective if officials fear that their frank advice to ministers could be disclosed.
"We have already published project-level data in our annual report of major projects and have no plans to go further.
"The government has decided that it is not in the public interest to release this report."
'Sure footing'
The government also points out that the information is more than two years out of date, and that the project is on a much surer footing these days.
But campaigners have accused them of hiding bad news.
Richard Houghton of HS2 Action Alliance, the biggest national HS2 opposition campaign, said: "If the MPA report was supportive, then it would have been published like a shot.
"Secrecy and withholding of information kills governments - especially in an era when public and business alike are deeply suspicious of politicians.
"That is something which should be carefully considered, not just by the current government but any likely future Labour-led government."
The information commissioner, Christopher Graham, called it a "disappointing decision".
He said: "I'll be studying the secretary of state's explanation to understand why this has been ruled an exceptional case.
"There's important legal issues to be considered here, and I'll be highlighting our view of them in an open letter to the justice committee in due course."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25962733

I think this must be added to the ‘war on the poor’ but it actually exposes much more serious failings. It equates to hate the poor and flaunt money being burned in front of the noses of all the hard pressed Britons struggling to pay off the financial bills laid on them by the rich financiers. It moves a serious chance of revolution much closer as it also suggests that not one politician in Westminster intends to stand up for the 9 million Britons who are living in poverty. I find it extraordinary but exactly what cancer does to the body. It grows obese and sucks the life out of the system to make big ugly lumps where the organs are failing. The billionaires sitting on our financial system. As for the doctor - he gave up on us long ago and is prescribing morphine in massive doses. The end is so near. Meanwhile the only way they will be able to pay for this is to sell off our free health service, once the envy of the world, now being bankrupted deliberately - starved of resources. And the land that belongs to the nation. Places where we walk which will be fenced off - trespassers will be prosecuted and big fracking mines behind the barbed wire making some foreign corporation extremely rich while they pollute our water and add to the carbon emissions big time.

reve

reve
31-01-2014, 05:30 PM
I dare say you noticed that the official website for HS2 quoted that returns from the rail line would be £42 Billion. I could not see their workings but in their desire to show returns of £2 for every £1 spent I can imagine the lengths they went to. The people who will be employed for example will be saving billions in benefits they would have got on the dole added to the tax they will pay over the next 30 years. The extremely valuable time that will be saved for the travellers perhaps - thousands of people saving hundreds of pounds each on every train. The taxes the companies will pay who are making everything for this railway. The increase in the value of the land bought for the railway which we can then sell to some foreign corporation or pension fund in Canada as we did with the HS1 track. The vastly increased fares that will be paid for the privilege of rushing to London. Can you not just imagine the brainstorming creative sessions that went into inventing this 2 for 1 return? There will be no returns on this at all, just endless expense and profits made abroad by multinational corporations who pay hardly any UK tax on them!

All for nothing of course as even if we ever did get £42 Billion back it now looks as though it will cost £80 Billion plus to build. That is four times what was estimated two years ago. By the time it is built at this rate it will be more like £800 Billion. Will that stop them rushing to give the contracts out to their friends? No. And as Labour has to support any possibility of creating jobs for its rail Union friends they will agree. But I foresee that when built people will be in a rush to get out of London never to return, not the other way round. Empty shops, no food and gangs of thugs mugging anyone they do not know. Because the country is bankrupt, the pound artificially supported, the poor doubling in size every couple of years. The first casualty will be the City of London and the financial sector - on which the country is completely reliant and which brought us to this perilous state. Whose workers must be paid million pound bonuses every year or they will walk away and work for some other country so they say. Then the service industries which make up the figures that show us increasing our economy. To be dependent on the people servicing our boilers and cars brought from abroad, and those trying to sell us mortgages we cannot afford, lending us money we cannot afford is a recipe for disaster. But they dare not look down as they carry us across this high wire. There is no safety net, no common sense, no compassion for the harm they do to the poorest.

So they will block publication of reports promised to us by the Freedom of Information Act especially those that really are in the public interest that they pretend are not. They will make judicial orders that government papers must be sealed for 60 years by which time the culprits of the scams are dead and cannot be help to account. And they will continue to pretend we live in a democracy. It is heartbreaking to see such a vibrant country destroyed by vain and greedy men, perhaps by organised criminals. If only one politician from Westminster would stand up and tell the truth to the electorate. If only one party stood for the truth and was electable. If only…… we had given up smoking 40 years ago

reve

reve
31-01-2014, 09:22 PM
I understand where Hirsh is coming from. I was born in South Africa and our family had to leave in 1954, 60 years ago. However he fails to mention 5 million refugees not allowed to return, the youths shot for throwing stones, the children terrorised when arrested, the many more Palestinians killed. The more than 1000 civilians massacred on Sharon’s watch in Lebanon, the blockade on Gaza and the effects, the wall, the martial law, the dreadful inequality in income and treatment, the disenfranchised millions, and that unlike South Africa which was colonised in the 17th century Israel has done this since 1948, and unlike South Africa has no intention of handing the land and government back. So the point he is making is lost in a complete and deliberate misinterpretation and delusion. In effect if this were the liberal view of Israelis there really would be no hope that they will ever be introspective enough to understand what they have done. What was the Israeli involvement for example in the invasion of Iraq with the subsequent violent death of over 600,000? Was that not all about the threat of WMD that it was suggested Saddam might launch at Israel at any time? You must judge for yourselves but unless we are all honest there is little point having a debate, let alone complaining about criticism of Israel on the grounds that other countries are worse. Yes they are. That for example is why Britain fought the last war, why they released the Arabs, Palestinians and Jews living in what are now Israel and Jordan from centuries of Turkish (Ottoman) domination. Even Saudi Arabia owes its independence to us.

‘ In 1916, with the encouragement and support of Britain (which was fighting the Ottomans in World War I), the Sharif of Mecca, Hussein bin Ali, led a pan-Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire to create a united Arab state. Although the Arab Revolt of 1916 to 1918 failed in its objective, the Allied victory in World War I resulted in the end of Ottoman suzerainty and control in Arabia.’ Wikipedia


How Israel Is Losing the Propaganda War
By HIRSH GOODMANJAN. 31, 2014 JERUSALEM — On Feb. 4, 1965, as a teenager, I left South Africa, the country of my birth, for a new home in a place I’d never been — Israel.
I loved South Africa, but I loathed the apartheid system. In Israel, I saw a fresh start for a people rising from the ashes of the Holocaust, a place of light and justice, as opposed to the darkness and oppression of apartheid South Africa.
Now, almost 50 years later, after decades of arguing that Israel is not an apartheid state and that it’s a calumny and a lie to say so, I sense that we may be well down the road to being seen as one. That’s because, in this day and age, brands are more powerful than truth and, inexplicably, blindly, Israel is letting itself be branded an apartheid state — and even encouraging it.
In apartheid South Africa, people disappeared in the night without the protection of any legal process and were never heard from again. There was no freedom of speech or expression and more “judicial” hangings were reportedly carried out there than any place on earth. There was no free press and, until January 1976, no public television. Masses of black people were forcibly moved from tribal lands to arid Bantustans in the middle of nowhere. A “pass system” stipulated where blacks could live and work, splitting families and breaking down social structures, to provide cheap labor for the mines and white-owned businesses, and a plentiful pool of domestic servants for the white minority. Those found in violation were arrested, usually lashed, and sentenced to stints of hard labor for a few shillings per prisoner per day, payable to the prison service.
None of this even remotely exists in Israel, or the occupied territories. But, increasingly, in the mind of the world it does. This is because of Israel’s own actions and a vigorous campaign by those who oppose its occupation of Palestinians’ land and, in some cases, Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. They understand that delegitimization is Israel’s soft belly and apartheid the buzzword to make it happen.
International isolation is potentially more dangerous for Israel than the Iranian nuclear program. The Palestinians and their supporters, particularly the young generation, some of whom have graduated from the best universities in the world, have come to realize that the stones of the first intifada and the suicide bombers of the second are yesterday’s weapons in yesterday’s war.
Boycott, divestment and sanctions are now the way they seek to end the Israeli occupation or Jewish Israel itself (at least an Israel that calls itself a democracy). Their message has started to resonate with trade unions, churches, universities and international companies in Europe and the United States, who see Israel as oppressing Palestinians and violating their human rights.
A Dutch pension giant’s decision last month to divest from Israel’s five largest banks because of their ties to occupation rang warning bells in Israel’s business community and the Treasury. According to the finance minister, even a partial European boycott would cost Israel 20 billion shekels (about $5.7 billion) in exports and almost 10,000 jobs. But the greatest damage is self-inflicted.
The “apartheid wall,” “apartheid roads,” colonization, administrative arrests, travel restrictions, land confiscations and house demolitions are the clay apartheid comparisons are made of, and can be neither hidden nor denied, for as long as Israel continues with the status quo. Military occupation comes with checkpoints, antiterrorist barriers, military courts, armed soldiers and tanks. That’s the reality, no matter what your politics, and just the ammunition the Palestinians and their supporters need in their new war.
In the coming weeks, the United States is expected to put forward a framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry. The Palestinians have said that if the talks fail to produce an agreement, they will take the battle against Israel and for their independence to the International Criminal Court and the United Nations and its various organizations, and fight for sanctions and boycotts, which they hope will force Israel, like apartheid South Africa before it, to its knees. As South Africa learned in the 1980s, possessing nuclear weapons may deter foes on the battlefield, but it doesn’t help you win a propaganda war.
Unfortunately, Israel is doing almost everything it can to help its opponents achieve their goal. Instead of focusing on peace talks, Israel continuously signals its intention to build more settlement housing, most recently on Jan. 10, when plans for 1,400 new homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank were announced. Instead of welcoming Eritrean and Sudanese refugees seeking asylum, the way that a former Likud party prime minister, Menachem Begin, did in 1977 with the Vietnamese boat people, saying they reminded him of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, Israel is confining today’s asylum-seekers to a camp in the desert, providing reams of footage to those who want to prove Israel is a racist society.
And it didn’t help when, on Dec. 15, a ministerial committee approved a bill that would impose heavy, punitive taxes on groups like B’Tselem, which tracks alleged human rights violations in the occupied territories, and Adalah, the legal center for minority rights in Israel.
As anyone who has bought a “Gucci” bag in a Bangkok market can tell you, it’s all in the label. And the apartheid label is beginning to stick — fair or not. It carries with it huge consequences for Israel, one that the country’s inward-looking leaders seem impervious to. They have yet to understand that on this new battlefield, tanks don’t count and the use of force, sure to be televised, plays into the hands of the enemy. It’s a war Israel cannot win unless it makes peace.
Hirsh Goodman is the author, most recently, of “The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival.” He was editor in chief of The Jerusalem Report from 1990 to 2000.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/opinion/sunday/how-israel-is-losing-the-propaganda-war.html?_r=0

He is right that it is a propaganda war but the more serious ethical war was long ago lost and few seem to want to fight it anymore. But some do and Haaretz leads the way in showing us how understanding, compassionate and intelligent Israelis really are. If only their journalists were in the Government all would be well.

reve

reve
01-02-2014, 07:40 PM
There are numerous reasons why the world cannot be changed for the better. Why politicians will allow one country to be a repressive dictatorship and trade with it, while a neighbour is invaded. Why lies are routinely told on the international and domestic stages. Why the UN is powerless or used as a repressive tool. Why poverty cannot be alleviated and torture still used routinely. Why pollution cannot be stopped. Always a good example are the alarming fact that we have yet another president who admits having used cannabis and a Prime Minister yet are still ruining lives of so many by throwing them into prison for doing this. Below are the many politicians who admit using it but do nothing about this and the even worse fact that in the US drug incarceration is clearly racially unfair, but Obama can do nothing about it. Some states have legalised it but others will imprison users and the federal DEA position is that it is all illegal. Al Qaida gets much of its finance from the heroin trade and the organised crime syndicates exist because of the drug laws. Still no change possible. This last week a Coroner decided that a woman was the first person to die from cannabis use as she had moderate levels in her system when she had a cardiac arrest. This happened at a time when again Brighton is debating whether to open cannabis cafes and is not coincidental perhaps. I do not use it but did for many years and detest the fact that it outlawed me and most people I knew - friendly, constructive and hard working mostly.




.Cannabis cafes set to open all around Britain as law changes
Anthony Browne
The Observer, Sunday 17 March 2002
More than a dozen Dutch-style cannabis cafés are being planned from Brighton to Glasgow in a major movement across the country. They range from converted warehouses to upmarket cafés in London with budgets of £250,000.
Less than a week after the Government's top drugs advisory committee called for cannabis to be downgraded from Class B to Class C - severely reducing penalties for possession - campaigners are setting up coffee shops confident that such a move is now all but inevitable. Last week the Liberal Democrats became the first mainstream party to adopt a policy of legalising the drug.
The cannabis entrepreneurs setting up the coffee shops include an affluent retired businessman, an internet pioneer and a wheelchair-bound victim of multiple sclerosis living on disability benefits. Many have been attending a special course in the Netherlands to teach British people how to run a coffee shop, including how to tell the difference between types of weed and the best tactics for dealing with police and local authorities.
The movement has taken its cue from the Dutch Experience, Britain's first cannabis coffee shop in Stockport, which has been raided by police three times since opening last September. However, repeated mass protests made the police back off, and the coffee shop still attracts around 200 people a day. In the next fortnight, Dutch Experience 2, which is in the process of being decorated, is to open its doors in Bournemouth.
Other coffee shops are set to follow in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cumbria, Liverpool, Rhyl, Anglesey, Milton Keynes, Braintree, Brighton, Taunton, Worthing, and Lambeth and Hoxton in London. Britain is on course to follow the Netherlands in having a public cannabis café culture.
The campaigners have been encouraged by rapidly changing attitudes to the illegal drug, and the prospect of the Government downgrading it from Class B to Class C. All say they would like to co-operate with police and local authorities, but are prepared to go to prison if necessary.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/mar/17/drugsandalcohol.immigrationpolicy



John Harris
The Guardian, Sunday 15 December 2013 19.29 GMT
Ben Duncan is one of the alleged watermelons, and the councillor who accused Kitcat of betrayal in his blogpost. A former journalist who now works for a Green party MEP, Duncan has floated a handful of provocative ideas, including a "tourist tax" on some of the city's bigger hotels, a possible boycott of one of the taxi firms opposed to the Greens' 20mph speed limit, and the possibility of Brighton allowing the opening of cannabis cafes and becoming the British version of Amsterdam. When asked on Twitter if he himself inhaled, he said this: "I only smoke weed when I'm murdering, raping and looting!" It was, he says, a reference to the famous anti-cannabis film Reefer Madness, but his political enemies didn't seem to get the joke.
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/dec/15/greens-blown-it-in-brighton

Classification credibility
Some 42,000 people in England and Wales are sentenced annually for drug possession offences and about 160,000 given cannabis warnings, it says, which "amounts to a lot of time and money for police, prosecution and courts".
The commission says giving people cautions and criminal records for having small quantities is not "proportionate" and suggests imposing civil penalties, such as fines, or drug treatment orders instead.
It also recommends individuals who grow a small number of cannabis plants should be treated leniently, to undermine organised crime networks that produce stronger types of cannabis.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19942378

Politicians that have admitted to recreational use following prohibition include, Members of Parliament, Home Secretaries and other Ministers, Peers, and Mayors.
Name Lifetime Highest position Party Ref.
Peter Ainsworth b. 1956 Shadow Secretary of State Conservative [9]
Baroness Ashton of Upholland b. 1956 High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy & Leader of the House of Lords Labour Party [10]
Hazel Blears b. 1956 Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Labour Party [11]
Andy Burnham b. 1970 Chief Secretary to the Treasury Labour Party [11]
Charles Clarke b. 1950 Home Secretary Labour Party [12]
Vernon Coaker b. 1953 Minister of State Labour Party [11]
Yvette Cooper b. 1969 Secretary of State Labour Party [13]
Bruce Crawford b. 1955 Minister for Parliamentary Business Scottish Nationalists [14]
Alistair Darling b. 1953 Chancellor of the Exchequer Labour Party [11]
John Denham b. 1953 Secretary of State Labour Party [10]
Fergus Ewing b. 1957 Minister for Community Safety Scottish Nationalists [14]
Caroline Flint b. 1961 Minister for Europe Labour Party [11]
Thomas Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde b. 1960 Hereditary elected peer to the House of Lords Conservative [9]
Harriet Harman b. 1950 Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Leader of the House of Commons Labour Party [11]
John Hutton b. 1955 Secretary of State, Cabinet Minister Labour Party [11]
Fiona Hyslop b. 1964 Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Scottish Nationalists [14]
Bernard Jenkin b. 1959 Member of Parliament Conservative [9]
Boris Johnson b. 1964 Mayor of London Conservative [15]
Jon Owen Jones b. 1954 Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Welsh Office Labour Party [16]
Ruth Kelly b. 1968 Secretary of State Labour Party [11]
Susan Kramer b. 1950 former Member of Parliament Liberal Democrats [17]
Norman Lamont, Baron Lamont of Lerwick b. 1942 Chancellor of the Exchequer Conservative [18]
Oliver Letwin b. 1956 Member of Parliament & Shadow Home Secretary Conservative [9]
Tricia Marwick b. 1953 Member of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Scottish Nationalists [14]
Tony McNulty b. 1958 Minister of State Labour Party [11]
Francis Maude b. 1953 Member of Parliament, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Conservative [9]
Stewart Maxwell b. 1963 Minister for Communities and Sport Scottish Nationalists [14]
Mo Mowlam b. 1949 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Labour Party [17]
Archie Norman b. 1954 Member of Parliament Conservative [9]
Shona Robison b. 1966 Minister for Public Health and Sport Scottish Nationalists [14]
Jacqui Smith b. 1962 Home Secretary Labour Party [11]
Nicola Sturgeon b. 1970 Deputy First Minister of Scotland Scottish Nationalists [14]
Matthew Taylor b. 1963 Shadow Minister for Social Exclusion, Cabinet Office Liberal Democrats [17]
Chuka Umunna b. 1978 Member of Parliament Labour Party [19]
David Willetts b. 1956 Member of Parliament Conservative [9]
Tim Yeo b. 1945 Shadow Secretary of State Conservative [9]

Parties
Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats Scottish Nationalists


David Cameron, the current Prime minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative party, does not appear on the above list because he has not clearly communicated whether he has used cannabis but he has clearly stated that he is “not issuing denials” about the stories on the front pages of several national newspapers claiming that he had. He did however, while Leader of the Opposition, say, that he supports the legalisation of medical cannabis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_politicians_who_admit_to_cannabis_ use

No information is available in the UK on just how many Prisoner’s have been convicted on Drugs Charges. Though it is estimated that between 50,000 – 75,000 inmates occupy British jail’s because of their involvement with Marijuana. Whether these prisoner’s have been caught using the herbal plant or dealing it to other’s, statistics have overwhelmed both the Home Office and the general public.
If any other News Media Group can gain access to this sought after information with REAL figures up to 2009 or 2010, it would be very much appreciated. Thank you
http://hashexpress.wordpress.com/the-hash-express-news-2010/marijuana-prison-statistics/


“The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate and total prison population in the world. At the start of 2008, more than 2.3 million people were incarcerated, more than one in every 100 adults. The current rate is about seven times the 1980 figure, and over three times the figure in Poland, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country with the next highest rate. African American males are jailed at about six times the rate of white males and three times the rate of Hispanic males. The country's high rate of incarceration is largely due to drug sentencing guidelines and drug policies.
The present state of incarceration in the U.S. as a result of the war on drugs arrived in several stages. By 1971, different stops on drugs had been implemented for more than 50 years (for e.g. since 1914, 1937 etc.) with only a very small increase of inmates per 100 000 citizens. During the first 9 years after Nixon coined the expression "War on Drugs", statistics showed only a minor increase in the total number of imprisoned.
After 1980, the situation began to change. In the 1980s, while the number of arrests for all crimes had risen by 28%, the number of arrests for drug offenses rose 126%. Among the prisoners, drug offenders made up the same percentage of State prisoners in both 1997 and 2004 (21%). The percentage of Federal prisoners serving time for drug offenses declined from 63% in 1997 to 55% in 2004. The US Department of Justice, reporting on the effects of state initiatives, has stated that, from 1990 through 2000, "the increasing number of drug offenses accounted for 27% of the total growth among black inmates, 7% of the total growth among Hispanic inmates, and 15% of the growth among white inmates." In addition to prison or jail, the United States provides for the deportation of many non-citizens convicted of drug offenses.
In 1994, it was reported that the "War on Drugs" resulted in the incarceration of one million Americans each year. Of the related drug arrests, about 225,000 are for possession of cannabis, the fourth most common cause of arrest in the United States.
In 2008, 1.5 million Americans were arrested for drug offenses. 500,000 were imprisoned.
Marijuana constitutes almost half of all drug arrests, and between 1990–2002, marijuana accounted for 82% of the increase in the number of drug arrests.] In 2004, approximately 12.7% of state prisoners and 12.4% of Federal prisoners were serving time for a marijuana-related offense.
Federal and state policies also impose collateral consequences on those convicted of drug offenses, such as denial of public benefits or licenses, that are not applicable to those convicted of other types of crime.
Sentencing disparities
Main article: Race and the War on Drugs
In 1986, the U.S. Congress passed laws that created a 100 to 1 sentencing disparity for the possession or trafficking of crack when compared to penalties for trafficking of powder cocaine, which had been widely criticized as discriminatory against minorities, mostly blacks, who were more likely to use crack than powder cocaine. This 100:1 ratio had been required under federal law since 1986. Persons convicted in federal court of possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine received a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years in federal prison. On the other hand, possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine carries the same sentence. In 2010, the Fair Sentencing Act cut the sentencing disparity to 18:1.
Crime statistics show that in 1999 in the United States African-Americans were far more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and received much stiffer penalties and sentences, than non-minorities. Those same statistics also suggest that such events were far more likely to take place in areas with high minority crime: low income housing neighborhoods, city projects, etc.
Statistics from 1998 show that there were wide racial disparities in arrests, prosecutions, sentencing and deaths. African-American drug users made up for 35% of drug arrests, 55% of convictions, and 74% of people sent to prison for drug possession crimes. Nationwide African-Americans were sent to state prisons for drug offenses 13 times more often than other races, even though they only supposedly comprised 13% of regular drug users
Wikipedia

So who is stopping a more enlightened view?

reve

reve
02-02-2014, 12:31 PM
We all know that the NHS is being privatised and needed thousands of very highly paid managers to enable that, crippling it financially and deliberately destroying it so that inspectors could claim it needs reform, as they have today. That means being taken over by US companies as promised to the Donors before elections of both Tony Blair and David Cameron (both sides of the House). When it was run by clinicians and matrons it was both clean, effective and financially more sound. Why would an ignorant manager run a hospital? Because that is what they do.

Private education is very expensive. For a boy or girl to go through the system it will cost a parent about£250,000 to get each one to university. They are far more likely to get there than a state school child. This is why Chief Executives need such vast salaries. They are unlikely to have family education al trusts left by their ancestors these days and most are also servicing mortgages on £1 million pound homes, which in the Home Counties around London, let alone within it, will only be modest homes as far as they are concerned.

The last massive industry that can be sold is the education system which is why the current row is underway about replacing the head of the school inspectorate with a Tory Donor. They will do what the NHS has done and gradually make the case for reform, selling the buildings and schools to probably US educational businesses. Children will then find as university students have that they need Student loans to pay the fees, which can be repaid out of a lifetime’s earnings. The country would be up in arms if this were ever mentioned but as with the N Hs is progresses stealthily with ‘Academies’ started by Blair being the way forward. If the Tory Donor mentioned gets the inspectorate job it is worth noting he currently runs the Academies:

The Telegraph quotes Gove (Minister for Education):

‘ He refused to rule out the appointment of Theodore Agnew, the private equity boss who has given £144,000 to the Tories. Mr Agnew is the chairman of the Department for Education's academies board.
Asked if Mr Agnew will replace Baroness Morgan, Mr Gove said: "No one should be ruled out on basis of political allegiance".


So what is Gove? He is a Scotsman who is only just a millionaire but comes from a good Labour hardworking family. He is Christian - claims the Bible the most important book and sent every school one inscribed as presented by the Secretary for State of Education on its 400 year anniversary of publication by King James 1. They all have them anyway. He also licensed 3 ‘Creationist’ Schools which will appeal to the US. This is an extract from wiki:

‘ Gove proposed that the invasion of Iraq would bring peace and democracy both to Iraq and the wider Middle East. In December 2008, he wrote that declarations of either victory or defeat in Iraq in 2003 were premature, and that the liberation of Iraq was a foreign policy success.[93]
The liberation of Iraq has actually been that rarest of things – a proper British foreign policy success. Next year, while the world goes into recession, Iraq is likely to enjoy 10% GDP growth. Alone in the Arab Middle East, it is now a fully functioning democracy with a free press, properly contested elections and an independent judiciary ... Sunni and Shia contend for power in parliament, not in street battles. The ingenuity, idealism and intelligence of the Iraqi people can now find an outlet in a free society rather than being deployed, as they were for decades, simply to ensure survival in a fascist republic that stank of fear.
—Michael Gove, Michael Gove: Triumph of freedom over evil[93]
Tariq Ali once recalled how, at the time of the Iraq War, he "debat[ed] the ghastly Gove on television [… and found him] worse than most Bush apologists in the United States."
He had to be calmed down by parliamentary colleagues in August 2013 after shouting, "A disgrace, you're a disgrace!" at various Conservative and Liberal Democrat rebels who contributed to defeating the coalition government's motion to attack Syria in retaliation for the 2013 Ghouta attacks. He later claimed he was reacting to the manner in which Labour MPs celebrated the outcome of the vote.
Michael Gove has described himself as "a proud Zionist", and supports the United Jewish Israel Appeal's fundraising activities.
Gove has been accused of harbouring hostile attitude towards Islam after the publications of his book Celsius 7/7, though he distinguishes between "the great historical faith" of Islam, which he says has "brought spiritual nourishment to millions", and Islamism, a "totalitarian ideolog[y]" that turns to "hellish violence and oppression" in the same manner as National Socialism and Communism’ wikipedia

The men who sold the world

reve

reve
02-02-2014, 11:13 PM
Conservative 307 seats 10,726,614 votes
Labour 258 seats 8,609,527 votes
Liberal Democrat 57 seats 6,836,824 votes
Democratic Unionist Party 8 168,216
Scottish National Party 6 491,386
Sinn Fein 5 171,942
Plaid Cymru 3 165,394
Social Democratic & Labour Party 3 110,970
Green 1 285,616
Alliance Party 1 42,762
UK Independence Party 0 919,546
British National Party 0 564,331
Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force 0 102,361
English Democrats 0 64,826
Respect-Unity Coalition 0 33,251
Traditional Unionist Voice 0 26,300
Christian Party 0 18,623
Independent Community and Health Concern 0 16,150
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 0 12,275
Scottish Socialist Party 0 3,157
Others 1 321,309
Turnout 29,691,380

After 650 of 650 seats declared.
Population 63.7 million

These were the 2010 election results in Britain and the main reason why the Liberal Democrats wanted proportional representation because as you can see they took 23% of the votes but got less that 8% of the seats. But this is democracy in the UK. But as we have a coalition of two parties who together polled 59% of the votes cast, and over 27% of the total population (including children), we are run in a democratic way. Even if the 9 million living in poverty voted for the Poverty party, and of course many of them are children with no vote, they would not be able to form a government. But this is the problem. A government that represents the well off, or better off, part of a country will not represent the poorest and they will have no effective say in what happens until their numbers are sufficiently high to be a majority. Which leads to many injustices in the world. Who represents the homeless poor in the US or Europe?

It is a dangerous way to live. Minorities in democratic countries often feel left out by the system and thus seek change in undemocratic ways. In Syria for example they have chosen insurrection supported by outside countries. In Ukraine many of the protestors and their leaders represent far right parties as they are politely termed, are a minority but are supported by the EU and US much to the annoyance of Russia. Neo Nazis others would say. In Israel the Palestinians have no say at all, and the Arab Israelis who do have a vote are a minority. Children in this world have no votes or real say in what will one day be their world.

But to compound the problem the elected governments are influenced by a tiny minority of powerful people, and the media is owned by a few men in the world who have the greatest influence of all. Which is why it is often suggested that the world is run by a few families.

It could be worse - we could all be governed by one psychopath and history shows us how often that has happened. But what we have never been governed by is wisdom that is not bullied by lobbies and represents what is in all of our interests. If we were there would be no poverty, no war and indeed no over population or destruction of nature and our habitat. That was supposed to be the United Nations. B ut the United nations is run by the Security Council and that works by allowing each of them a veto if they wish to block resolutions by all the other countries. The permament members are China, Russia, US, UK and France.

I do not know how serious are the complaints being made by Israeli politicians about John Kerry and the US as being biased towards the Palestinians when the exact opposite is true. But one today even branded John Kerry as anti-Semitic:

‘ John Kerry labelled 'anti Semite' for warning of possible boycott of Israel
US Secretary of State has been labelled an 'anti Semite' for warning of a possible economic boycott if Israel failed to reach a peace accord with the Palestinians
John Kerry, the US secretary of state, triggered an angry backlash from Israeli leaders on Sunday after warning Israel faces an economic boycott if it failed to reach a peace accord with the Palestinians.
The uproar came as Mr Kerry held cordial talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif in Munich at which the pair vowed to intensify nuclear diplomacy.
Ministers in Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet accused Mr Kerry of effectively endorsing "anti-Semitic" efforts to impose sanctions on Israel by issuing the warning.
"The risks are very high for Israel," Mr Kerry told the conference. "People are talking about boycott. That will intensify in the case of failure.
"Do they want a failure that then begs whatever may come in the form of a response from disappointed Palestinians and the Arab community?"While the US secretary of state's remarks were made against a backdrop of new EU regulations barring deals with Israeli businesses based in West Bank settlements, they provoked accusations that he was threatening Israel in on-going peace talks with the Palestinians.
Yuval Steinitz, the intelligence and strategic affairs minister and a close ally of Mr Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said America's top diplomat was "holding a gun to [Israel's] head".
"The things Kerry said are hurtful, they are unfair and they are intolerable," Mr Steinitz told reporters.
"Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with a gun to its head when we are discussing the matters which are most critical to our national interests."
Naftali Bennett, the industry minister and leader of the far-Right Jewish Home party, said: "We expect of our friends in the world to stand by our side against the attempts to impose an anti-Semitic boycott on Israel, and not to be their mouthpiece."
His comments were echoed by Adi Mintz, a senior official in the Settler's Council, who accused Mr Kerry of "an anti-Semitic initiative".
"The anti-Semites have always resorted to a very simple method - hit the Jews in their pockets," he told Israel's Channel 10 TV station.
Mr Netanyahu was more restrained, telling Sunday's cabinet meeting that efforts to impose a boycott were "immoral and unjust" and doomed to fail.
The apparently choreographed chorus of criticism drew a sharp response from the US state department, which denied that Mr Kerry - who is currently trying to draw up a framework agreement between Israel and the Palestinians - was backing an international embargo.
"His only reference to a boycott was a description of actions undertaken by others that he has always opposed ," said Jen Psaki, a state department spokeswoman.
"[Mr Kerry] expected opposition and difficult moments in the process, but he also expects all parties to accurately portray his record and statements."
The row overshadowed a meeting on Sunday between Mr Kerry and Mr Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, to discuss forthcoming talks on Tehran's nuclear programme, scheduled to resume in Vienna this month.
Mr Kerry told Mr Zarif that existing international embargoes would remain in place, despite an interim deal concluded in Geneva last November that gave Iran limited sanctions relief in exchange for suspending some of its nuclear activities. The upcoming talks are aimed at achieving a definitive long-term agreement.
Mr Zarif told the Munich conference that Iran had the political will to reached a "balanced" long-term agreement with the six world powers of America, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.
"I think the opportunity is there, and I think we need to seize it," he said.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/10613055/John-Kerry-labelled-anti-Semite-for-warning-of-possible-boycott-of-Israel.html

It may be part of a game to make out that the ‘framework’, a word now superceding the old ‘roadmap’, is more favourable to the Palestinians than the Israelis when it is in fact much more likely to be very close to the ‘status quo’ with the exception that at long last the Palestinians will be allowed their own state. What Kerry was warning of was the current fad of ‘delegitimizing’ Israel, a description perhaps of what you will find on this thread. However I maintain that we are all allowed to criticise what we see happening and that is in my view the taking of land that was awarded to the Palestinians by the UN when Israel was created. And I also maintain that the situation would never have got as bad as it is if the Un had been allowed to deal with it, but constant vetoes by the US have protected Israel, perhaps fairly, and in doing so may have given them encouragement to think that they can do more or less what they like. The article above did not say it all and this is what was actually said:

‘ The implication that US Secretary of State John Kerry is motivated by anti-Semitism was not personal, MK Mordechai Yogev explained in a letter he penned to US Ambassador Dan Shapiro Sunday.

Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) said he wrote the letter after Shapiro asked that he apologize to Kerry.

“I don’t know Mr. John Kerry personally. This isn’t a personal matter, it is one of deep significance, which I thought was important to express,” Yogev wrote. “These negotiations don’t have a partner, neither for peace nor for security, and there is no demographic problem or apartheid, just American and European pressure seeking to bring our enemies to the dangerous 1967 lines and evict the Jewish people from its land.”

According to Yogev, “Mr. John Kerry doesn’t understand the situation. Maybe the expression “anti-Semitic” was inappropriate, but since he showed his pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel opinions in the past, John Kerry cannot be a fair broker in the Israeli-Palestinian matter.”

Yogev’s letter came after an interview with Israel Radio Thursday, in which he said that Kerry is not a fair mediator in peace talks because he has “anti-Israel roots.”

“Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is acting under Kerry’s obsessive pressure, which may have anti-Semitic undertones,” Yogev told Israel Radio. “Kerry is not here to reach a compromise. He wants to decrease the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel and create a Palestinian state.”

In Sunday’s letter, Yogev thanked the US for its cooperation and aid over the years.

However, he wrote that the “obsessive process” Kerry is leading seeks to remove Jews from the Land of Israel “out of a desire to establish a Palestinian terror state on Israeli land.”

Yogev emphasized five points in his letter. First, that the Jewish people have a “Godly and eternal” connection to the Land of Israel. Second, that Kerry is prejudiced against Israel. Third, that Kerry does not understand the Middle East. Fourth, that it is immoral for the US to expect Israel to release terrorists when it will not release Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. Finally, Yogev wrote that Kerry “threatened boycotts and delegitimization” “These are things that are hard to hear, but I thought that even to our great friend the US we must tell the truth that most of the Israeli public thinks and feels,” Yogev added.

The Bayit Yehudi lawmaker asserted that the Torah explains that the Jewish presence in Israel is just, and that justice is “written in blood on the pages of history.”

A Bayit Yehudi source said of the letter: “It is unfortunate that MK Yogev chose a threepage clarification over a one-sentence apology.”

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Bayit-Yehudi-MK-who-implied-Kerry-is-anti-Semitic-It-wasnt-personal-340129

But the real problem is not political, it is religous:

‘ Yogev emphasized five points in his letter. First, that the Jewish people have a “Godly and eternal” connection to the Land of Israel. Second, that Kerry is prejudiced against Israel…..The Bayit Yehudi lawmaker asserted that the Torah explains that the Jewish presence in Israel is just, and that justice is “written in blood on the pages of history.”

It puts a government that has been very supportive of Israel throughout its existence since 1948 in a very difficult position. A tiny minority hold this view - not all Jews and not all Israelis. But how many Americans? Because whatever John Kerry puts on the table is done in their name, and in deed as these peace talks are really being managed by the US because the UN is considered hostile by Israel, they are really to represent all the people in the world. Somehow in this case democracy as such has to step aside to make sure that both sides agree to live peacefully with each other. But I would suggest that if people do not want to buy goods made on the West Bank by settlers that is a democratic choice, neither immoral nor hostile. It is a peaceful way of saying that one cannot support the policy that caused the creation of a product. It is much better than war. So is criticism. John Kerry is being sensible and far sighted because if the peace talks fail due to an extreme religious bigotry then people of the world will make choices that upset these extremists. It is not ‘delegitimization’ at all, but a legitimate and peaceful choice that pours scorn on the idea that a fair God rejoices to see poor people dispossessed.

Which is something that all our politicians need to take on board eventually because most countries in this world make many of their population live in poverty while the politicians live in luxury. We are lucky in the UK as we can vote and campaign and donate. And before rushing to attack Syria, David Cameron consulted Parliament who to his immense surprise told him that they were aware that 80% of us did not want to do that. It is a good system if allowed to work. Apartheid policies never are good systems and make governments despised but many countries practise them. In some ways the UK does as there is such a divide between the privileged rich and the desperately poor. For example a local golf course demands a £60,000 deposit before allowing anyone to play golf there. It is clearly to separate isn’t it? To keep apart.

reve

reve
03-02-2014, 07:55 PM
Corruption across the Europe costs £99 billion (€120bn) a year, the European Commission has estimated in a report that urged Britain to do more to fight foreign bribery.
In its first annual report, the commission declined to set out any ranking of corruption levels country by country and decided to suppress findings on fraud within European Union institutions.
Cecilia Malmstroem, the European home affairs commissioner, described levels of corruption across the EU as "breath-taking" and criticised governments for failing to tackle the problem.
"One thing is very clear: there is no 'corruption-free' zone in Europe. The political commitment to really root out corruption seems to be missing," she said. "The price of not acting is simply too high."
Britain was among countries criticised for failing to clean up and regulate the financing of political parties, a problem that the commission defined as a major factor in corruption.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/10614864/EU-corruption-costing-economy-100bn-a-year-report.html

Today it was reported that people who lost their jobs for a project that failed and cost the UK population £100 million got massive payouts.

‘ MPs also asked Caroline Thomson, the BBC's former chief operating officer, about her pay-off, which saw her leave the corporation with around £700,000 and a £2 million pension pot.
Asked if she would return some of that money, she said: "No."
She told the committee: "I was made redundant, I was made redundant, I didn't want to be made redundant. I wanted to stay and work.
"I was paid a lot of money, I completely accept that, but it was my contractual entitlement and no more."
Asked to justify her pay, Ms Thomson said: "I did a very big responsible job, I could have earned a lot more if I was working for ITV."
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/exbbc-chief-mark-thompson-apologises-for-failed-100m-digital-media-project-9105209.html

While millions are starving in the UK!

The scale of the EU corruption is mind boggling. Is this going to organised crime or bureaucrats? It has long been known that the Mafia take vast amounts of money for building projects that do not exist. It seems that they cannot check these things, or send the wrong people! They need to talk to organised crime and see if they can get them involved in something more constructive but still rewarding. But of course they will not as the status quo is suiting them all down to the ground. We have got used to these figures of billions quoted so often - imagine £80,000,000,000 for a faster train line so some rich people can get to work a bit faster and making out that the country will profit from this. The BBC lost millions were over the transfer of video to digital storage it seems. I can do that on my little laptop so what was the problem? It seems that the BBC suffers, like the NHS, from senior executives who authorise mind boggling amounts of money while cutting the budgets of the actual programme makers. It may be corrupt or it may just be mishandled on a dreadful scale but I think someone paid £100,000 a year could do the job better and sign a contract agreeing to go if they don’t.

Compromise agreements mean that sacked people cannot discuss anything about what went on. They are routine which is why you do not hear football managers telling us about the clubs they worked for who paid them off. Nor about the corruption and inefficiency in banks, health services or anything else. I wrote about the Freedom of information request denied by the government over the investigation of the HS2 line. Look at what Mr Gove was accused doing of in this Wikipeduia article:

‘ Gove has been the subject of repeated criticism for alleged attempts to avoid the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. The criticism surrounds Gove's use of various private email accounts to send emails that allegedly relate to his departmental responsibilities. The allegations suggest that Mr Gove and his advisers believed they could avoid their correspondence being subject to Freedom of Information requests, as they believed that their private email accounts were not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. In September 2011, the Financial Times reported that Gove had used an undisclosed private email account – called "Mrs Blurt" – to discuss government business with advisers. In March 2012 the Information Commissioner ruled that because emails the Financial Times had requested contained public information they could be the subject of a Freedom of Information request and ordered the information requested by the paper to be disclosed. Gove was also advised to cease the practice of using private email accounts to conduct government business. Gove disputed the Information Commissioner's ruling and proceeded to tribunal, but the appeal was subsequently withdrawn.
It was also alleged that Gove and his advisors had destroyed email correspondence in order to avoid Freedom of Information requests. The allegation was denied by Gove's department who stated that deleting email was simply part of good computer housekeeping’ Wikipedia

Still in his job I see as he lectured us all today on our state schools but what exactly was the stuff that we are not allowed or able to see? Assuming this article is correct.

It seems that we are being taken for a ride by a vast number of people.

reve

reve
03-02-2014, 09:19 PM
the link is this. there are 80 million, including children, living in poverty in the EU. Corruption costs the EU 120 million Euros, which equates to 1,500euros for each impoverished citizen. That 30 euros a week is enough to feed them

reve
04-02-2014, 11:10 AM
Today they announced a personal care crisis for the elderly as cuts mean they do not get the help they need to stay in their own homes. I am copying an excellent article by a carer whose experience is very similar to mine. And first I need to write about that or the crisis does not make sense.

In 1993 I joined Islington Council as one of their few male home carers. I was paid about the equivalent of the minimum wage and worked at a neighbourhood office near my home with a team and a manager who took all the phone calls, assessed new clients and gave us our rotas. We got paid by the office which was the base for rents and property management for the Council Housing in the area.

Our team were all women, some young and almost all committed Christians. There were some single mums but also married women and spinsters. We all had good training in moving people safely, cleaning them, cooking for them etc. We worked well together, covered each other’s jobs if away and were absolutely loved by our clients. They were mostly old, I had one over 100, lived in homes that they had been in for many years but included some people with disabilities - one of my clients lived with AIDS. What they had in common was that they needed help with various tasks to stay in their homes and to relieve the burden on residential care which none of them wanted. A few had family and friends to help out.

What I did was their cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping, and washing them. I made or changed their beds and helped them to the toilet, paid their bills and kept their families aware of things they needed to know. We were supplemented by the Twilight nurses who put many to bed between 8pm and 10pm. The clients could be anyone in our area and they paid nothing for the service - they were Council Tax payers and that was where our budget derived.

The experience changed my life and I came to love older people. I discovered what their Victorian lives had really been like, the wars and real poverty before our welfare state. I also came to realise how spiritual some of them were and humorous. One of my old dears was dying, with her family all around her in her home. It was not unexpected and she had chosen a good time. I arrived shortly after she had died and her son, himself quite an old man, told me just before she went one of them said ‘ she is turning blue’ to which she retorted ‘ I must be becoming Conservative’. Her last words.

Some of my colleagues had been in the business since the days they made up fires in the morning. We took such pride in our work for our clients, and although there was the odd difficult, grumpy person we felt appreciated. We would know if they needed a doctor to visit, ring and arrange that and let them in. We kept keys to their homes at the office or on us if we went every day, or at the weekend. We also handled their money so had to be trustworthy. Thursday would be shopping day and we would be doing 4 lots of shopping at a time. Wednesday pension collections. Tuesdays we would be in and out of the launderette. Few had washing machines.

But after Tony Blair was elected in the late 90’s he decided to privatise our home care service. Everything changed and the service no longer allowed carers to do what their clients really needed or wanted to stay in their own homes. No cooking, cleaning, shopping, and very seldom any ‘personal care‘ like changing soiled clothes/pads and washing . Visits became almost all 15 minutes by many different people using a key held in a little safe box on the outside wall. But what an expensive service it had become and certainly not ‘free’. The average pay for carers is still the minimum wage but the agencies now make a profit, have expensive admin costs and it has become unaffordable. I suppose you could say that our Council home care costs were about £7 an hour. Now they are £15 for a quarter of an hour. The service is hopeless as I discovered in my later jobs and when my mother had a succession of carers rushing in and out, microwaving some ready meal then throwing it in front of her, complaining they were behind with their work. But what has grown exponentially are the residential homes that mean people must sell their houses to pay their costs. Owned by billionaires. That was where my mother ended up and soon died when norovirus swept through her home. She had not wanted to leave her rented Church pensioner home but the Council decided it was a cheaper option for them. We appealed and were turned down, then again to the final stage where a barrister chairing the appeal committee decided the Council was right and she should not be allowed a proper 'care package' to stay in her home. She would be safer in a private residential home. If only.

This is our gangster culture that has destroyed so much of value for no ‘good’ reason but to make the rich richer. Blair killed the Councils that cared for their older people. That had ‘blitz cleaners’ who would come in and declutter homes, clean dirty homes properly free. Repair services for the elderly. 24 hour Alarm services for the elderly who could press a button and get help if they needed personal care free. Day centres where they could meet and socialise free, free sheltered housing wardens to help them, and most importantly free residential homes. Most Council older people services, apart from the social workers who I fear will be privatised soon too, are now provided by companies that do this for profit. Our poor get poorer, but older people with savings are now being fleeced too.

I was glad to read this today;

13 September 2013

Caroline has worked as a professional carer for 25 years. She got in touch with us through Unison to tell her story:
In the beginning
When I first started as a home help I worked for the local council, I was asked how many hours I wanted to work and what time did I need to start and finish. I had set hours and a full rota of service users that I visited on a regular day and time. I had a set wage, sick pay, pension and holiday pay. I was given training and this was on-going throughout my in-house service.
I was given time to meet the needs of the people I helped, without rushing. I had time to listen to their concerns and worries so they would feel comfort in their own environment, and we would build up a relationship. This was a good service.
Then about 10 years ago the local council opted out of homecare, I was turned over to a non-profit organisation and care workers lost their holiday pay, sick pay, pension and had their hourly rate cut.
The cuts
The cuts were massive and we lost more than half of what we had. Also the people I visisted had their time cut. For example, if you had one hour to do personnel care breakfast, this was cut to 45 minutes. So we had to do the same work in less time. This meant no more time to hear their worries and concerns but instead having to get things ready as soon as you walked in the door.
This affected the people I saw, they said no one cares about them, “we can't rush, we are old”.
Then just over two years ago we got transferred to a profit making company, as the non profit lost the contract. Carers lost what little sick pay and contract hours we had. We were put on zero contract hours, were not paid for travel time but just paid on client contact. Once again the time I was able to spend with people was cut, you now had to do personnel care and breakfast in half an hour.
This had a very big impact on my clients: they are rushed, they get upset and depressed and they feel no one cares for them and that they are forgotten because they are old.
My mum had a stroke and with the help of her local in house cares we managed to keep her in her own home. It pains me to say if she was alive today I would give up homecare to look after her as I know she would not receive the care she and all service users should have. This should be time to care time and time to do your work as it should be done.
Vulnerable adults
These service users are known as vulnerable adults. How vulnerable do they have to been to get a good service? If they were children and receiving a bad service people would be up in arms because you can't do that to children. But we do it to our older people even though their needs are the same, they need help to wash, dress and have their breakfast. Don't be fooled by the word adult and think everyone can cope. They can't and that's why they need the service.
The Care Bill currently progressing through Parliament states that professional care workers should have the training to enable them to do their job to the best of their ability and adequate time in which to perform their tasks. If you want to support this Bill take a look at www.ageuk.org.uk/careincrisis to see what more you can do to get involved with the campaign.
http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/campaign-for-better-care/care-in-crisis-blog/dates/2013/9/carolines-blog/

Is it not time to put Blair’s damage right and not extend it under Cameron to every other free service in the country?

reve

reve
04-02-2014, 12:23 PM
It will happen to you or family. The scam is that the huge costs of the many residential homes (a few are managed by charities) are either paid by the tax payer or the resident. They cost a fortune and many are terrible places where the few staff can barely manage. You need to visit them to know what they are like. There are special wards for those with (EMI wards) dementia where they are locked in to stop them wandering. Some private ‘nursing homes’ are lovely but far more expensive than good hotels. The others are not like nice hotels at all but cost as much. I have written here previously about the corporations that own them and how they are in many cases avoiding paying UK tax on the profits. This is where vast amounts of taxpayers money goes and in many cases quite unnecessarily. But growing numbers are finding that they have saved and bought homes only to lose it all here before they die. As most never see the inside of these places they have no idea what is going on. I remember taking s social worker to one and her coming out with tears in her eyes and swearing that she would never allow a relative to end up there. Many older people I know say they would rather kill themselves than get to the state where that is what they need. Why? Because they have visited relatives or friends in them. The carers do their best but as with farms end up needing to have industrial solutions for the personal care all the residents need and the short staffing thrust upon them by the owners who do this for profit.


‘The cost of residential care can vary hugely by location and depends on whether you require nursing care, which your care needs assessment will determine. If you do require nursing care, this increases your care home costs considerably. It is important to bear in mind that although you may not need nursing care now, this could change in the future. On average you can expect to pay more than £27,200 a year in residential care costs, rising to over £37,500 a year if nursing care is necessary.

Residential care costs are not the same in all parts of the UK, there are significant regional variations. See the table below for more information on average regional annual care home fees around the UK for 2011/12.
Region/Cost per annum Care Home Fees
East Midlands
£26,312
East of England
£29,328
London
£31,096
North East
£24,492
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
South East
South West
Wales
West Midlands
Yorkshire & Humber

Source: Laing & Buisson, Care of Elderly People Report 2012/13.Please be aware the above figures are regional averages. Some care homes may charge considerably more.

http://www.payingforcare.org/care-home-fees


Who Pays for What?
When moving into, or helping a loved one into a care home, fully understanding what the State provides and being certain about costs and affordability is essential for all involved. Seeking specialist advice is important, however, here we seek to answer some of the most commonly asked questions.
State Funding
Who qualifies for local authority financial assistance?
If you have been assessed as needing a care home place and your capital is below £23,250, you should be entitled to financial support from your local authority. If you have capital below £14,250 you will be entitled to maximum support although you will still contribute your income less £23.90 per week retained for personal expenses. If you have capital between £14,250 and £23,250 you will also pay a capital tariff of £1 per week for each £250 or part thereof between these two figures.
If your assets, which may include your property, are calculated to be above £23,250 you will, in most cases, be expected to privately pay for your own care. See the below section on Self-Funding for further information.
If the State is paying do I have a choice of care home?
Yes and it can even be in a different county. The home you choose must be suitable for your assessed needs, comply with any terms and conditions set by the authority and, not cost any more than they would usually pay for someone with your needs.
What if the home costs more than the local authority is prepared to pay for?
The local authority will allow the fees to be topped up by a third party so long as they are able to do so over the long term. You are not allowed to top up the fees yourself from your capital below £23,250.
My partner needs care, how does this financially affect me?
Only the partner requiring care should be means tested. Property occupied by a partner is disregarded and only fifty percent of any private pension should be taken into account. The local authority will take into account 50% of any joint savings. Therefore, to accelerate financial help, it is better to have separate single accounts meeting care costs paid from the account of the person needing care.
Self-Funding
If you are self funding your care because you are not eligible for local authority funding, there are other forms of financial assistance you may be entitled to.
Will the Social Services pay my fees whilst I am selling my former home?
If, apart from your property, your other capital is below £23,250 the local authority will help as above with the costs during the first twelve weeks of permanent care. Beyond that period any financial help will be charged against the value of your former home and recovered from the eventual sale proceeds.
Do I have to sell my property?
No, the Social Services can lend you the money to pay for your care charged against your property value. However, they may limit how much they will pay and it could adversely effect your welfare benefit entitlements.
Alternatively you could consider letting your property, though this may not provide the guaranteed level of income required and you will retain the responsibility and costs for maintaining the property.
Do I have to pay council tax on an empty property?
If you move into a care home and your property is left empty then you should receive full exemption from Council Tax until it's sold.




‘The widening gap between the actual cost of providing a place in a care home and the fees charged to those who pay for themselves is clear in figures published by the Telegraph today.
They show that on average those people who fund their own care – because they do not qualify for assistance from their local authority – pay on average 13pc above the "real cost" of providing their care, in England.
The "real cost" figure, which is generated from in-depth research into the constituent costs of providing food, accommodation and basic help, also includes a reasonable profit margin for the care home operator.
The price paid by a local authority on behalf of someone who does qualify for State help is lower than this "real cost".
The conclusion, highlighted in a separate report by charity Independent Age, also published this week, is that middle-class residents with modest property or other assets, who are thus forced to pay for their own care, are further subsidising those paid for by the public purse.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/insurance/longtermcare/10435265/Care-home-fees-the-scandal-of-secret-mark-ups.html

reve
04-02-2014, 05:32 PM
It is not about being on the side of Israel or the Palestinians, or even the millions of refugees. The State of Israel in its present incarnation was created by the UN not by God. The only logical agreement that can be made is one based on truth and justice, not a ‘God‘ entirely on Israel‘s side for some undisclosed reason. Such an agreement should really be voted on by the entire UN, not necessarily either by Israel or the Palestinians. If an agreement is to be brokered by the US then ideally the US citizens should be asked in a referendum about the solutions that they support, rather than relying on the lobby influenced politicians. But it is not a US decision in my book. If there is no peace made then what is left of the West Bank will be swallowed up by more and more Israeli settlements. It needs doing now and Israel’s security needs a guarantee as much as the agreement needs enforcing. Both things are best achieved by the presence of the Us army in a buffer zone with a no fly zone by any military aircraft other than USAF. Security cannot be achieved by Israel’s occupation of the entire region anyway. So back to basics - what did the UN intend in 1947?

‘On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of a plan to partition Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, and the City of Jerusalem. Each state would comprise three major sections, linked by extraterritorial crossroads. The Arab state would also have an enclave at Jaffa. The territory of the proposed Jewish state was to include the fertile eastern Galilee and coastal plain, where most of the Jewish population lived, as well as most of the Negev desert. The Arab state was to have the central Galilee, the mountainous area later known as the West Bank, and part of the southern coastal area, extending into the Negev, where 5% of the Arab population lived.
The Jews, roughly 33% of the population and owning approximately 7% of the land, were to get 55% of the Mandatory territory. The Palestinian Arabs, about 67% of the population and owning roughly 47% of land, would be allotted 43% of the territory. The bulk of the proposed Jewish State's territory, however, consisted of the Negev Desert. In consideration of its religious significance, the Jerusalem area, including Bethlehem, with 100,000 Jews and an equal number of Palestinian Arabs, was to become a Corpus separatum, to be administered by the UN. The Jewish leadership accepted the partition plan as "the indispensable minimum", glad to gain international recognition but sorry that they did not receive more. Nevertheless, Menahem Begin, leader of the Irgun (IZL) rejected this, considering nothing was more sacred than the integrity of the whole territory of "Eretz Israel" Arguing that the partition plan was unfair to the Arabs with regard to the population balance at that time, the representatives of the Palestinian Arabs firmly opposed the UN action and rejected its authority to involve itself in the matter at all.’wikipedia

There is talk about the 1967 lines:

‘ While in the Partition Plan about 42% of historic Palestine was destined for the Arabic state, the Palestinian territories constitute only some 23%. The last figure is including all space occupied by Israeli settlements, walls and roads’

So not only has the area intended for the Palestinians almost halved it now contains the ‘settlements’ usually considered to be illegal. They and various closed areas represent a large proportion of the land that is still left:

Areas off-limits to Palestinian use in Area C
Area in hectares Percentage of Area C Percentage of entire West Bank
Settlements and regional councils 211,666.8 63.50% 36.60%
"State land" 121,846.9 36.40% 21%
Closed military zones 101,714.2 30.50% 17.60%
Nature reserves and national parks 46,466.9 14% 8%
Area closed off by Separation Barrier 11,623.3 3.50% 2%
Total (after decucting for overlap) 234,301.3 70.30% 40.50%

http://www.btselem.org/area_c/taking_over_land
40% of the entire West Bank.

But if the following article is to be believed Israel intends to take it all:

First Publish: 2/4/2014, 2:42 PM

Minister Uri Ariel
Israel news photo: flash 90
Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) sent a clear message to the US Tuesday: that Israel will not tolerate threats - economic or political - and will not give up land.
"Across the Jordan river there will be only one state, and that is the State of Israel," Ariel stated at Arutz Sheva's 11th Jerusalem conference. "All this talk of two states will not succeed and will not weaken our nation. This is a nation which has survived Pharaoh, survived hardship and will also survive this."
Ariel attacked the extreme Left for pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to sign a peace deal to "save" Israel's economy.
"Our nation is strong and will not give up land just for money," he stated.
"This pressure will pass. There are external pressures which are not logical and which don't advocate shalom (peace) based on its root word, shleimut (completion)," he added, using a Hebrew play on words to illustrate what he saw as the illusory nature of any US-brokered deal.
"I say to our dear friends overseas: be logical in your demands, and don't threaten us - not with boycotts and not with ostracisms," he continued.
"We don't have a 'partner for peace' and we don't have a nation to conduct talks with," Ariel stressed, referring to the Palestinian Arabs.
Ariel called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to stay strong in the face of international pressures. "Do not bring us into temptation and into contempt," he stated, using a phrase found in Jewish liturgy. "[Don't cause us] to bring papers that no one can agree to. Jewish Home, headed by Naftali Bennett, will not sign any paper which means that Israel will make concessions."
US Secretary of State John Kerry's comments at the Munich Security Conference Saturday, during which he threatened Israel with international boycotts, have sparked an immense backlash from the Israeli government.
He said then, "today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable. It’s illusionary," Kerry stated. "You see for Israel there’s an increasing de-legitimization campaign that has been building up [. . .] there are talk of boycotts and other kinds of things. Are we all going to be better with all of that?"
Similar threats were echoed by EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen Monday.
"There is a risk that you will face increasing isolation [if talks fail]," Faaborg-Andersen said, in a statement to Channel 2. "Not necessarily as a result of European Union policy, but Israel has to realize that economic relations are established by private economic actors - be it consumers, be it companies - and we, as a government, has no influence on the private decisions that private citizens and companies are making."
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/177084#.UvDw7p1FBkA

If the settlements in the West Bank were to be handed back to Palestine there is much concern that this would not be physically possible. The settlers are not for moving and there would be violence. But of course they would feel quite differently about this if offered alternative sites in Israel, more grants, and if the water and services they currently receive were similar to those that the Palestinians receive, who get a trickle of water once a week. Not enough for the swimming pools and showers in the settlements. If the settlers had to pass through Palestinian check points as the Palestinians must pass through Israeli ones, taken many hours sometimes, they would also be encouraged to leave eventually. The fact is that they have considerable incentives to remain where they are although these settlements have turned world opinion against Israel, something seen as delegitimizing it. In the real sense of the word that is true as the illegal settlements certainly make Israel look illegal and increase opposition to its policies. Some US troops in the area rather than Israelis would make all the difference and the Palestinians have supported this possibility even if all Israelis have not. Many would. The UN should fund that.

So there is a possibility of a solution that may not be attractive to the extreme right of Israeli society or indeed the extreme left of the Palestinians - and the refugees who may wish to be granted the farms they left in Israel. But we need a just solution by April and this is probably what is ‘just‘.. It is not what the UN Mandate awarded the Palestinian Arabs, considerably less in fact, but that is a fact of life. Jerusalem should certainly be split East and West. There is absolutely no reason why this should not be so. Temple Mount can remain an international religious site as it is so sensitive to both sides and religions. Failure to achieve a just solution favours more illegal occupation, tension and indeed war. All parties know that in their hearts. In my opinion the above solution would find favour with almost all countries at the UN and almost all citizens in the US were they to be asked. I hope this is what Kerry intends as his framework. Surely an overwhelming majority of the peoples should be respected, not a few extremist views. If the God of Israel does not like it he should talk to the God of the Muslims. Genocide may have worked thousands of years ago but our secular, and religious world, does not need it now.

reve

feralgoose
05-02-2014, 04:53 AM
Found this (translated from spanish) after hearing yesterday that Nick Clegg admitted a war on drugs isn't winnable:

MONTEVIDEO -. Britain showed interest about the recent legalization of marijuana in Uruguay and made ​​inquiries about a Uruguayan authorities yesterday through a videoconference.

Specialists in the field explained the minister for crime prevention in Britain, Norman Baker, rationale and implementation-still ongoing-the law governing the production and sale of marijuana in Uruguay.

"We received the proposal to have a video conference with British Minister of Interior, (who) was very interested in knowing firsthand the basics of the law recently approved by Parliament and (...) how can we implement this law" , said the Ministry of Communication of the Uruguayan Presidency Diego Canepa, who chairs the National Drug Board Uruguay.

During the conversation, which lasted over an hour, the two discussed "what are the impacts on the law can have not only public health but also in security," said Canepa. The British ambassador to Uruguay, Ben Lyster-Binnis, also participated in the videoconference.

Uruguay last December became the first country to pass control of the cannabis market and its derivatives, an unpublished project promoted by President José Mujica .

Under the law, those over 18 can access the drug through self-cultivation, consumer clubs or buying in pharmacies, in all cases with limits and prior registration with the state.

Although the standard is already in force the Executive Branch works in its regulations, which define from the way licenses are granted to plant up how will the user registry to buy in pharmacies.

Canepa also noted that authorities invited Britain to join the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the standard, which has attracted controversy and interest worldwide.

"There is a very large international debate at this time, not only in the region but also in Europe and United Nations level," he said, but added that Uruguay does not want "to model no."

"Uruguay believes this is best for Uruguay and Uruguayan conditions, it is a decision to improve the health (...) and we are confident that it will improve some aspects related to security. But not everyone has the same reality" he emphasized.

As authorities prepared the regulation of the law, which should be ready no later than April autocultivadores cannabis are prepared to participate in the production and sale of marijuana and official Uruguayan scientists announced that they will begin to investigate the effects of the drug on sleep and wakefulness.

Meanwhile, Cánepa admitted earlier this month that foreign laboratories looked at the Uruguayan government on future production of marijuana in the country to buy cannabis for medicinal use.

reve
05-02-2014, 11:39 AM
the war on drugs keeps the banks afloat, awash with criminal money being laundered and new corporations flourishing. Legalising just cannabis even will destroy that lucrative business on which our economy depends. They all know that. If for example users started growing their own cannabis the economy would crash. They do tax the drug proceeds but by the cost of laundering the money for them and making them invest the proceeds in the stock markets. Legalising cocaine and heroin would be very difficult. Users of these drugs are already protected. In Glasgow we give addicts of heroin free Methadone every day at chemists that make vast amounts of money from this business. It is stronger and more addictive than heroin. Cocaine fuels the City of London. I have seen senior executives at it every Friday just as Nigella Lawson said. A very lucrative and protected business. How many CEO's do you see in court?

reve

reve

reve
05-02-2014, 11:39 AM
One of the few good things that came from the invasion of Afghanistan was that we managed to rescue some of the women. The Taliban had taken it back to the dark ages and girls were being handed over to old men and their hard family mothers. They were enslaved, treated appallingly and beaten constantly. I saw a young woman describe being taken to an orchard by her ‘husband’ and three men who tortured her and left her for dead. How she survived is a miracle and she was taken to one of the refuges we enabled to be set up for all victims of domestic abuse. We are handing all these women back. And today they passed a law, even before the Taliban take back control. It is to protect the violent men from any prosecution for their actions against the women. If we brought all these women to the west it would be something but we will not. They will face revenge and honour killings and be taken back into slavery and torture. Our politicians know that very well but are not even mentioning this half of the population.

We have caused great violence in Iraq too. And in Libya. It is almost as if everywhere we go with our democratic ideals all we do is feed the corrupt men who make millions and condemn the women. We do not need to leave Afghanistan until Al Qaida and the Taliban are destroyed because they only offer violence and ignorance. It is very attractive to certain brutal men. Why are we doing this now? You will never find a politician admit that well over half a million Iraqis were killed in that illegal war. That when we left Iraq the bombings of innocent women shopping in markets began. I have not heard one person ask for us to stay in Afghanistan to protect the people who supported us and the women. It dishonours every serviceman and woman who died there. It was not just a waste of time and a smokescreen for 9/11, but a way of making things so much worse for the entire area. Al Qaida are rejoicing, especially as we support them in Syria and Libya.

The storms lashing Britain, the floods. Just a beginning as the weather systems start to explode. The response just a sign of how our governments consider £42 billion rail tracks more important. As fracking begins they tell us how many jobs will be created and do not mention the ground water poisoned for centuries by the chemicals pumped in. Do not mention the earthquake they caused in the very place they are starting to frack again. The storms will create more jobs than fracking and will be British workers employed not foreign contractors. They have lied about climate changing and the effect of deforestation (the Amazon may soon emit more carbon than it absorbs as happened in the 2005 drought and then we will all die). Corporations turned on the science and scientists in their race to exploit our world merely for their profit. Our governments support and encourage them as they support and encourage our politicians. One could not write a better scenario for ending the world within a year. It would be impossible if we did not allow gangsters to control every significant part of the planet. How can we trust them? Look at their rush and desire to bomb Syria after the rebels released sarin there. How even now they deny that and try to justify themselves by the violence caused by this foreign sponsored invasion that could have been stopped at any time. But in their pettiness they wanted Assad removed for a reason they cannot even mention in public. Take the beam out of your own eye!

Those who destroy our world will never be able to justify that and face the most dreadful experience in our after life. Why even now every country is not being urged to save the world, to create jobs just to plant trees and shrubs that absorb carbon, to ration electricity and close down the worst emitters. To water the deserts with the water wasted as it pours from river mouths into the sea and is rich in nutrients. With desalinated waters produced by plants fuelled by s8unlight. Reduce air travel to necessity. Clean the seas and stop vast tankers polluting and dominating it. Save the dying fish stocks. Why will they not do this? Because some rich men will lose money! Tell that to those you meet when you die.

reve

reve
05-02-2014, 12:05 PM
the war on drugs keeps the banks afloat, awash with criminal money being laundered and new corporations flourishing. Legalising just cannabis even will destroy that lucrative business on which our economy depends. They all know that. If for example users started growing their own cannabis the economy would crash. They do tax the drug proceeds but by the cost of laundering the money for them and making them invest the proceeds in the stock markets. Legalising cocaine and heroin would be very difficult. Users of these drugs are already protected. In Glasgow we give addicts of heroin free Methadone every day at chemists that make vast amounts of money from this business. It is stronger and more addictive than heroin. Cocaine fuels the City of London. I have seen senior executives at it every Friday just as Nigella Lawson said. A very lucrative and protected business. How many CEO's do you see in court?

reve

I need to clarify 'economy crashing'. Every country is different but in the UK our 'growth' has been small and as the figures last month showed was mainly in the 'service industry', not manufacturing. In Glasgow it was said recently that many of the nail bars and tanning studios popping up all over the place were laundering money for the drug gangs we have here. That is no one gets their nails done but they still bank thousands of pounds a week in cash. The same might be true of pubs. It is a costly business really, needing accountants, premises, staff and paying tax on profits. But it cleans money and means drug barons can buy Bentleys and join exclusive golf clubs because they own a string of 'legitimate' businesses. No one wants to disturb that apple cart or our growth targets will not be achieved. Then we will lose our AAA rating and confidence will dive.

But bear in mind that recently our big banks were find billions in the US for laundering money. perhaps the US banks want to launder their own as no one can pretend they do not have trillions of drug money and other crime funds there too. But the case clearly showed that our banks were doing this knowingly. The UK main business is our financial sector and it retains its independence in the City of London, much envied. It is like a club with many banks and investment brokers. If the money dried up it would die.

The same is clearly true in the far east and Europe. Everywhere. If there is corruption worth hundreds of billions in Europe it is scarcely unique and the money has to go back into the system. You cannot buy a corporation with billions of used notes.

Therefore no one, least of all politicians, dare disturb the system they have inherited. That is fine in my opinion if organised crime would stop polluting and poisoning drugs, stop the running gun battles, stop the necessity to spend billions on the phoney war and if courts would stop imprisoning young men and women who end up buying the stuff. In fact if they would allow the coffee shops like Amsterdam to be opened here too businesses would boom. Those Amsterdam shops were supposedly owned by the crime syndicates anyway and certainly banked a lot of money. Tourism was the beneficiary. People were happy except a few mean old men who put a stop to that. The whole war has nothing to do with 'health'. Legal Alcohol and tobacco destroy that on their own.

reve

reve
05-02-2014, 03:28 PM
There are a lot of estimates of the money spent in Britain on illegal drugs, almost all vast underestimates. It is likely to be around £500 million per week. An average drug user spends at least £50 a week, a cocaine or heroin user much more. There are at least 10 million using drugs regularly. Ask a school kid if you know any. It is a vast amount of money dwarfing what is spent on other areas of the ‘service’ industry. To expect honesty from politicians and those in the media who have carefully protected the drugs industry under the cover of a ‘war on drugs’ is to expect too much. The drugs market is growing steadily and professionals dealing with the families decimated by it are struggling and finding budgets cut every year. Here are some articles from today and the last few months on various aspects. You will find the real godfathers are the most respected financiers these days and the trail leading to their door impossible to uncover.

Updated: 11:46, 05 February 2014
The UK’s powerhouse services industry — spanning hairdressers to accountants — is in its most upbeat mood for almost four years, putting the economy for faster growth today.
Despite a January blip for the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply’s activity index, which eased from 58.8 to a seven-month low of 58.3, the survey remains strongly in growth territory. Following upbeat data from construction and manufacturers the surveys are consistent with quarterly growth of 0.8% — faster than the 0.7% seen in the final three months of last year.
“Even with the easing seen in January, the sector is still expanding at a rate that bodes well for another strong GDP reading in the first quarter,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at survey compiler Markit.
Confidence is growing at its fastest since March 2010, with firms planning to keep hiring and raise investment amid rising hopes for a sustained recovery. Work backlogs are rising at their fastest rate since May 1997, prompting firms to push up prices, Cips added.
Rob Wood at Berenberg said January’s slowdown was “little surprise and no cause for worry”. He added: “Combined with a manufacturing PMI way above past averages and an outright booming construction sector, today’s services reading signals continued strong growth. Monetary policy is getting traction, employment is booming, and the UK’s main trading partner is moving further into expansionary territory.”
http://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/service-sector-is-sizzling-at-four-year-high-9108992.html

London’s Metropolitan Police Service is warning that gangs operating in the capital are spreading their criminality across the UK. Officers say 54 gangs have so called ‘tentacles’ in other towns and cities where they sell drugs. VoR's Juliet Spare reports.

The UK’s largest cities are no stranger to gang-related crime: London, Birmingham and Manchester. Add Glasgow and Liverpool to that list and you have a group of the cities in the UK that are identified as having the most serious of gang problems. Six years ago, 65% of all gun deaths in England and Wales took place in and around these areas.
The Met Police recently searched twelve addresses across London in an attempt to arrest some of the city’s most notorious gang leaders. Officers also raided nine properties outside of London and two in Scotland. Officers believe the London gang is operating all around the UK – and not just in the big regional cities. A Detective Chief Inspector at the Metropolitan police says gangs are spreading their wings and going into other counties to deal drugs. But this, according to one former London gang member, Sheldon Thomas, is nothing new: "They've been doing it for a long time." People in the community know this, and government and police need to listen more to the locals, he believes.
Sheldon Thomas now runs GangsLine, a charitable organisation that helps young men and women involved in gang culture.
"A young kid aged 12 is being paid £40-50 a week - no parents have got that kind of money, most of these kids are living in a single household, their mum ain't gonna be giving them 40 quid pocket money, that's the problem - gangs can afford to pay them to do this kind of work, that's when you find kids not coming into school, leaving school..."
Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/uk/news/2014_02_03/UK-drug-gangs-We-havent-even-begun-to-put-a-dent-in-this-problem-5628/

The suburbs and rural towns of Britain have long been the main users of drugs!!!

Half a million cannabis growers in UK homes: Criminals are switching over from harder drugs because of more lenient jail sentences
Hundreds of thousands of suburban homes have been converted into marijuana factories by gangs switching from hard drugs
They are taking advantage of more lenient penalties which say they won't be jailed if they are caught growing fewer than ten plants in a single house
Even growing nine plants is enough to make around £40,000 a year
By Jack Doyle
PUBLISHED: 01:18, 15 October 2013 | UPDATED: 07:56, 15 October 2013
Police say gangs are switching from large production warehouses to dozens of smaller growing centres. These can be set up in hours in converted lofts or garages. Often rented properties are used for a short time then abandoned, leaving huge power bills.
Superintendent Mark Harrison of Merseyside Police said ten houses with 30 plants each would give ‘the same yield and the same profitability’ as large commercial sites.
Neighbours can be alerted by blacked-out windows, hot walls, condensation, a pungent smell and visitors at unusual times. Police use thermal imaging cameras to see the heat given off from the powerful lamps that help the plant to grow indoors.
Forces in the North West of England have reported growing tension between cannabis gangs, resulting in a surge in reported shootings.
In London, police seized cannabis worth £2.6million in a single month of raids in August and made more than 350 related arrests.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2460163/Half-million-cannabis-growers-UK-homes-Criminals-switching-harder-drugs-lenient-jail-sentences.html#ixzz2sSJxqNzv
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

It goes without saying that many of the men in prison for growing cannabis are not the gangsters but their unwelcome competition, private growers, many university students/graduates that do not pay bribes to the police. They are easy to spot - helicopters can see the grow lights used in lofts and electricity providers report any unexpected rises in electricity use which is why many risk their lives rewiring the lights to miss out the meters. Meter readers report unusual smells and signs of tampering. Gangs still flood the country with imported and contaminated drugs - disguised as genuine businesses using containers that somehow pass through borders without being searched. The enemy in the press has been ‘skunk’ because this is the product of local growers. Crack, cocaine and heroin barely get a mention but are killers. How unpleasant it must be to be a journalist writing up these articles that protect the drug cartels. And how many silly and uninformed politicians there are who know nothing about drugs at all, are used by the cartels unwittingly, and enforce this ‘war’ whose casualties are our own bright young people either given permanent criminal records when barely out of school or poisoned as a result of a war that costs us billions (£100 Billion in policing in the UK over the last decade they say but add much more - the prison costs, court costs, human costs, policing and border costs).

The money we pay for imports of cars, electronics, food and drugs is bankrupting us as we export a fraction. the sterling these exporters earn is then spent buying up our country's assets, property and businesses. the power these people we owe money to is so great they can send us to wars we do not need and do not involve us. When did you last here any politician talk publicly about the 'trade gap'? This has nothing to do with the deficit and all to do with our survival and the fact we must pay twice as much now for public services and our fuel as they actually cost, making the gangsters ever richer and the number of those living in poverty here ever greater.

Come on Mr Cameron have a bit of courage and address with Mr Miliband and President Obama the real issues in our world. Our world boat is almost at the falls, when it tips over them we are all finished. The boat's captain seems to be drunk and the crew do not believe there are falls. Can we not pull over to the shore and find out rather than heading full steam into the abyss?

Our gangster world!

reve

reve
05-02-2014, 03:41 PM
This is our fault and the price we will pay for Iraq, Libya and Syria. Pakistan will next feel the force of an insurgency supported by wealthy countries as Al Qaida and their friends extend their Caliphate. Iran is perhaps the only major Muslim force opposing them and look at how we treat Iran. How will we deal with a Caliphate at Europe’s door?


‘ISLAMABAD: Negotiators representing Taliban insurgents said Wednesday there was no chance of peace in Pakistan until the government embraces Islamic sharia law and US-led forces withdraw completely from neighbouring Afghanistan.

The tough conditions appear to deal a blow to hopes that talks with the Pakistani government could end the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) insurgency that has rocked the nuclear-armed country since 2007.

Initial peace talks failed to get under way on Tuesday when the government delegation refused to meet the militants' negotiators, citing confusion about the make-up of their team.

The two sides are expected to try to meet again on Thursday or Friday, though no definite arrangements have yet been made.

Washington and Kabul have been deadlocked over a pact known as the Bilateral Security Agreement, which would allow some US troops to stay on in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign it at present.

Its supporters say the pact is crucial to Afghanistan's stability after the bulk of NATO forces pull out.

But Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, the head of the TTP's three-man talks team, told AFP there could be "no peace" in the region while there were still US troops across the border.

His comments were echoed by his fellow TTP negotiator Maulana Abdul Aziz, who also said the TTP's long-held commitment to impose sharia law across Pakistan was not open to debate.

"Without sharia law, the Taliban won't accept (the talks) even one percent," he told AFP.

"If some factions accept it, then the others won't accept it." The government has insisted that Pakistan's constitution must remain paramount. Given the gulf between the two sides, there has been scepticism about what the talks could achieve.

Local peace deals with the militants in the past have quickly fallen apart.

"Their real agenda is sharia," Aziz said, suggesting that all Pakistan's secular courts based on the common law system be abolished.

"I don't think the government will accept this but they should, because war isn't the way forward."

Government efforts to start peace talks last year came to an abrupt halt in November with the killing of TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's announcement last week that he wanted to give peace talks another try caught many observers by surprise.

The start of the year has seen a surge in militant violence, with more than 110 people killed, and many had expected the military to launch an offensive against TTP strongholds in Pakistan's tribal areas.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/No-peace-until-Pakistan-embraces-Islamic-law-Taliban-negotiators/articleshow/29912496.cms

reve
05-02-2014, 06:01 PM
A question we might ask is why since 9/11 when they became ‘public enemy number 1’ have the chief Muslim opponents of Al Qaida been removed one by one. In fact if we are to believe the story, the ‘list’ was drawn up even before Afghanistan was invaded.

So who were they? Saddam Hussein was an Al Qaida enemy and now Iraq is struggling after many years of insurgency. Gaddafi was the next and now Libya too recoils under Al Qaida gangs fighting for control. Assad was next and Al Qaida are not only in his country fighting him but we have been supporting the rebels in alliance with them, even arming them. The final and most powerful enemy of Al Qaida is the Ayatollah and constantly we are asked to attack him and remove that regime in Iran too.

So the question we might ask as we hand back Afghanistan, even as the Taliban issue threats at Pakistan which is a country that could easily fall to these insurgents who have enormous support in the north. A country with a nuclear war chest - .is how have Al Qaida managed to do this?

One answer to that may be that their homeland - Saudi Arabia - although against them, is also said to have been funding them. Another answer is that the main opponents of Al Qaida were also seen to be the main threats against Israel which up till now has not really suffered at their hands. So these two great allies of the US have been clamouring for action against their enemies - Iraq, Libya, Syria (Hezbollah) and Iran and have almost got all of what they asked for. But the cost to the world is enormous. The cost to women throughout the Middle East indescribable as country after country is on the verge of succumbing to ‘Sharia Law’, or the Qaida corrupt version of this.

What will it take before all who supported the rebels start to see how the Al Qaida threat to themselves has been magnified so greatly? That the foreigners rushing to join up with this bloodthirsty menace have no love of peace, intend to die fighting, and no love for Saudi Arabia, Gulf Monarchs or Israel either. Therefore even if Al Qaida’s leadership had ever decided to exempt Saudi Arabia from its missions in exchange for covert support, or support from any rich Saudi men if not the state, that can change as quickly as the leadership. Al Qaida has been forced last week to disown ISIS - its Iraqi version or branch. But it is not an ideological split. It surely has more to do with that fact that ISIS is becoming uncontrollable and consists of men from Europe who have no scruples about fighting either the traditional enemies or others who control oil wells. In fact it has looked for some time that Al Qaida are guns for hire. Long ago Bin Laden offered to help his country Saudi Arabia fight Iraq which had invaded Kuwait and looked certain to roll next into the kingdom of Saud. He met with King Fahd and begged him not to allow the US into his holy country to fight Saddam. They declined his offer and he was forced into exile in Sudan. But the anti-Shia ideology of Al Qaida is extremely attractive to the opponents of Iran.

Unless we rid the world of these maniacs we will suffer a Caliphate dominated by them, so vast that we will have to make humiliating terms with them and face seeing many of our cities go under Sharia Law, even in our own countries. When will we learn there is no defence against insurgencies like this with men who want to die, suicide bombers on every street armed with the anti-tank missiles we have given them? Too late at this rate I suggest. They are in Syria doing dreadful things, and in Iraq. It would be much easier to deal with them now than allow exponential growth and support. But the rhetoric sounds as though we will do the exact opposite. If only we had a good record of making wise international decisions but in this century that is exactly what we do not have. Afghanistan was a disaster, Iraq too. 600,000 killed in our invasion only to find no WMD. What benefit is there to us with Libya’s new regime? What was so wrong with Syria that it warranted complete destruction? Iran elected a moderate government at last and its people show every intention of becoming more rational and friendly at last. But still we are shaking our fist at them. And we have allowed Israel to build away in the West bank,. Everyone asking them not to but unable to stop this incitement to every Muslim in the world. A fertilizer for the growth of Al Qaida if ever there was one as it clearly shows that the UN and West will not deal with the problem fairly.

Does the media agree with this analysis? Seemingly not, nor the politicians. All the more worrying in my view as the threat seems so blatant. But so does global warming, deforestation, inflicting more austerity on so many in the west already living in poverty and blamed for it, indeed everything written about here. Because really making money is all our leaders seem to care about, for their countries, for the multinationals, for the rich. Not one comes on TV from either party and really tackles anything important. If only Labour would go on and on about the 9 million in poverty then we might wake up to the ghastly truth of our economy and bankers’ bonuses. But they are all in thrall to these men, to the media barons who elect our governments, to the rich nations that own so much of us.

reve

reve
05-02-2014, 09:12 PM
' Israeli officials have given final approval for 558 new apartments in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.

Jerusalem city council said its planning committee approved building permits in the neighbourhoods of Har Homa, Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev.

The units are to be erected on land Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed.

Settlements built there are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

'Provocation'

Palestinian officials said the decision undermined fragile US-brokered peace talks, which resumed in July.

BBC map showing location of Jerusalem
"Israel is engaging in the deliberate provocation of the Palestinians, to drive them to leave the negotiations in protest of Israeli violations, and therefore should be blamed for the destruction of the peace process," senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

A dispute over settlement construction led to the collapse of the last talks.

There has been little sign of progress from the latest direct negotiations, mediated by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

A city council spokeswoman said the plans for the apartments were approved "years ago" and that new building in Arab areas of Jerusalem was also approved on Wednesday.

About 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

An estimated 200,000 settlers currently live in East Jerusalem, alongside 370,000 Palestinians.

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war, and formally annexed the area in 1980.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its eternal and undivided capital. However, Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26056608

Be interesting to see what John Kerry says about this and their 'eternal capital'. Delegitimization.

reve

reve
05-02-2014, 10:24 PM
' Niger: France and US should intervene in Libya Associated Press

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 11:32 AM
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Niger's interior minister says France and the United States should intervene in southern Libya "to eradicate the terrorist threat" in the region.

In an interview with Radio France Internationale broadcast Wednesday, Massoudou Hassoumi said southern Libya had become "an incubator for terrorist groups" and that countries involved in the 2011 overthrow of Libya dictator Moammar Gadhafi "need to provide an after-sales service."

He was responding to a question about remarks by top U.S. intelligence official James Clapper last month concerning the terrorist threat facing countries in Africa's Sahel region including Niger.

Admiral Edouard Guillaud, France's top military officer, said last month he favored an international operation to battle a security "black hole" in southern Libya, saying the region should not become "the new center of gravity of terrorism."
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/niger-france-us-intervene-libya-22377714

Interestingly the news coming out this evening from various sources is that far from taking on the Al Qaida Jihadists by stopping aid to them and letting Assad deal with them, renewed pressure is being put on Obama to invade as in Iraq, the feeling being that Russia will be too busy to object as it hosts the Winter Olympics. Coinciding with this is news that Assad is torturing children and has only shipped out 4% of the chemical weapons. Two good reasons to invade as 'Russia will be too embarrassed to refuse' and now it is clear the real threat is Al Qaida. If they have just realised that they should not be in their jobs. Meanwhile it is also reported, as mentioned here a while ago, that Israel and the US will invade South Syria to build a security zone protecting Israel. All of this is due to the frustration felt in not getting the US and UK involved after the false flag chemical attack and it is depressing, predictable and exactly what al Qaida need to recruit millions more to its fight against us.

Russia will not be too busy with the Olympics (who thinks of this stuff) to be happy seeing its last ally in the area invaded by the US. It is raging at what is happening in the Ukraine with calls by paid protestors for Ukraine to join the EU immediately and Russia today expressed concern at the mounting debt for gas. Ukraine has also turned up a tortured protestor who says he was 'crucified' but whose story of kidnap by men 'with Russian accents' is increasingly doubted. It sounds intended to make the protest some Christian war against torture too. Russia's warning is the prelude to cutting off the gas to Ukraine, again in winter, so that the protestors can be seen for what they are by the freezing population and why the President signed a deal with the gas supplier Russia not the EU. The object with Syria is possibly provocation which seems to be so popular just now and thus to provoke Iran so they can be invaded which is what they really wanted all along. That and the destruction of Hezbollah which Iran is saying can be disarmed to become a purely political party if there is a successful solution in the peace talks.

The predicted invasion by the US and allies may well result in 200 million Jihadists in a Caliphate from Morocco to Pakistan, and perhaps then they will be saying that we need to use nuclear weapons. International policy is blown by the strongest wind and fuelled by media reports like the starving and tortured children, the unshipped chemicals or whatever else they think might cause enough outrage to start a war without any end, and without any genuine interest for the waging western parties - US and Nato. This is being made up as it goes along by complete madmen. One day it is an eternal capital but believe it or not this is an eternal war, prophesied, warned about and leading to the complete destruction of Israel and our world. Why would anyone want to make that happen when all that is needed is to pull out the rebels from Syria and allow new elections, while talking to Iran and Russia who can make that a reality. But if you can fathom it 'talking to Iran' is what has caused this latest madness. Bodybags flying endlessly into US airbases. UK servicemen dying by the hundred trying to cope with Al Qaida without killing all the civilians surrounding them. For security????



reve

reve
06-02-2014, 01:48 PM
The rabbis warned that the secretary must cease such activities, to avoid divine punishment.
Related:
Bayit Yehudi MK: Kerry pressure on Israel has anti-Semitic undertones
The letter was sent by the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel – an activist group opposed to any political accords with the Palestinians involving territorial concessions – founded by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, who also founded the far-right Our Land of Israel party.
“Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’s terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe! For G-d awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time,” the letter reads.
The rabbis argue that Kerry’s plan endangers Israeli Jews by bringing them within close range of potential rocket and missile fire from the West Bank should it be ceded by Israel to the Palestinians.
“If you continue on this destructive path, you will ensure your everlasting disgrace in Jewish history for bringing calamity upon the Jewish people,” continued the rabbis, comparing Kerry to Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar II and Roman commander and future emperor Titus, the two enemies of the ancient Jewish kingdoms who destroyed the temples in Jerusalem and Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel along with them.
“By the power of our Holy Torah, we admonish you to cease immediately all efforts to achieve these disastrous agreements – in order to avoid severe heavenly punishment for everyone involved,” they threatened.
The letter was signed by Rabbi Wolpo, along with four other rabbis including Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the founder and chairman of the Temple Institute; Rabbi Yigal Pizam, the dean of a yeshiva and a leader of the Chabad community in the Haifa neighborhood of Kiryat Shmuel; Rabbi Gedalya Axelrod, the emeritus head of the Haifa Rabbinic Court; and Rabbi Ben Tziyon Grossman from the town of Migdal Ha’emek.
http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Kerry-has-declared-war-on-God-say-hardline-rabbis-warn-of-divine-punishment-340419

Ok let’s look at the promises ‘God’ made in the actual Bible even though scholars doubt that Abraham and Jacob ever existed:


Genesis 12:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

Both Palestinians and Jews claim descent from Abram. And indeed many other tribes.


‘On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” Genesis 15:18-21

Note that Abram had an older son (Ishmael*) before Isaac (so called ancestor of the Jews through his son Jacob, also called Israel, and one of his sons named Judah) was born and he is just as much a descendant. This man is considered by many Muslims as their Patriarch.

‘ Traditional Jewish interpretation, and that of most Christian commentators, define Abraham's descendants as Abraham's seed only through his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, to the exclusion of Ishmael and Esau. This may however reflect an eisegesis or reconstruction of primary verses based on the later biblical emphasis of Jacob's descendants. The promises given to Abraham happened prior to the birth of Issac and were given to all his offspring signified through the rite of circumcision’ Wikipedia


Genesis 28:13
New International Version (NIV)
‘13 There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.’

What land were they lying on? The whole of what is called Greater Israel? No

Exodus 23:31
New International Version (NIV)
‘31 “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you.’

There is no promise that this is eternal, nor does it include Jerusalem.

As for Abram’s oldest son Ishmael:

‘ Abram and Sarai tried to make sense of how he would become a progenitor of nations since after 10 years of living in Canaan, no child had been born from Abram's seed. Sarai then offered her Egyptian handmaiden, Hagar, for Abram to consort with so that he may have a child by her, as a wife. After Hagar found she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress, Sarai. Therefore, Sarai mistreated Hagar, and Hagar fled away. En route, the angel of the LORD spoke with Hagar at the fountain in the way to Shur. He instructed her to return and that her son would be "a wild ass of a man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren." She was told to call her son Ishmael. Hagar then called the LORD who spoke to her "El-roi", ("Thou God seest me:" KJV). From that day, the well was called Beer-lahai-roi, ("The well of him that liveth and seeth me." KJV margin). She then did as she was instructed by returning to her mistress in order to have her child. Abram was eighty-six years of age when Ishmael was born. (Genesis 16:4–16)’ Wikipedia
So why will no one challenge this nonsense about the land promised to ‘Israel’ which has led to all the illegal settlements and continued threats against the original inhabitants? It is very simple if the rabbis rely on what is written. However common sense and justice ought to prevail, the original Mandate by the UN from 1947 ought to prevail, and until an American Secretary of State has the courage to do deny the biblical claims there will be continuing injustice and ‘terrorism’.

I do think all this talk of ‘God’ and what he intended is asking for trouble. This is from Micah and says it all:

‘ Micah 6:8
King James Version (KJV)
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’

Justice is not one sided nor does it favour the thief and the liar. The Ten Commandments explain exactly what ‘God’ thinks of them. A little humility would not hurt anyone making these outrageous and provocative statements. A sense of true Justice is essential if there is to be a resolution in the ‘Holy Land’

But it seems that it is all too little, too late.

reve

reve
06-02-2014, 02:24 PM
Lest I be accused of bias towards the farmers of ancient olive groves in what is now Israel here is another view:

‘A common misperception is that the Jews were forced into the diaspora by the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D. and then, 1,800 years later, suddenly returned to Palestine demanding their country back. In reality, the Jewish people have maintained ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years. A national language and a distinct civilization have been maintained.
The Jewish people base their claim to the land of Israel on at least four premises: 1) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham; 2) the Jewish people settled and developed the land; 3) the international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people and 4) the territory was captured in defensive wars.
The term "Palestine" is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people who, in the 12th Century B.C., settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what is now Israel and the Gaza Strip. In the second century A.D., after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans first applied the name Palaestina to Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the West Bank) in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word "Filastin" is derived from this Latin name.
The Twelve Tribes of Israel formed the first constitutional monarchy in Palestine about 1000 B.C. The second king, David, first made Jerusalem the nation's capital. Although eventually Palestine was split into two separate kingdoms, Jewish independence there lasted for 212 years. This is almost as long as Americans have enjoyed independence in what has become known as the United States.
Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in Palestine continued and often flourished. Large communities were reestablished in Jerusalem and Tiberias by the ninth century. In the 11th century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea.
Many Jews were massacred by the Crusaders during the 12th century, but the community rebounded in the next two centuries as large numbers of rabbis and Jewish pilgrims immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee. Prominent rabbis established communities in Safed, Jerusalem and elsewhere during the next 300 years. By the early 19th century-years before the birth of the modern Zionist movement-more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what is today Israel.
When Jews began to immigrate to Palestine in large numbers in 1882, fewer than 250,000 Arabs lived there, and the majority of them had arrived in recent decades. Palestine was never an exclusively Arab country, although Arabic gradually became the language of most the population after the Muslim invasions of the seventh century. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in Palestine. When the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton University Prof. Philip Hitti, testified against partition before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, he said: "There is no such thing as 'Palestine' in history, absolutely not." In fact, Palestine is never explicitly mentioned in the Koran, rather it is called "the holy land" (al-Arad al-Muqaddash).
Prior to partition, Palestinian Arabs did not view themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted:
We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.
In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: "There is no such country [as Palestine]! 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria."
The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations submitted a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947 that said "Palestine was part of the Province of Syria" and that, "politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity." A few years later, Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, told the Security Council: "It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria."
Palestinian Arab nationalism is largely a post-World War I phenomenon that did not become a significant political movement until after the 1967 Six-Day War and Israel's capture of the West Bank.
Israel's international "birth certificate" was validated by the promise of the Bible; uninterrupted Jewish settlement from the time of Joshua onward; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947; Israel's admission to the UN in 1949; the recognition of Israel by most other states; and, most of all, the society created by Israel's people in decades of thriving, dynamic national existence.

Sources: Moshe Kohn, “The Arabs’ ‘Lie’ of the Land,” Jerusalem Post, (October 18, 1991); Avner Yaniv, PLO, (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Study Group of Middle Eastern Affairs, August 1974), p. 5; Encyclopaedia Judaica.
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/The_Jewish_Claim_To_The_Land_Of_Israel.html

reve
06-02-2014, 02:52 PM
There are many news articles appearing on the net and most represent one side or another, few of these stories make it to the mainstream media but there is no surprise there. One must take care when reading things to know who publishes them and why. But even wikipedia, which in its article on the chemical attack gives both sides of the coin, does not mention the BBC article I copied here many months ago which showed that Turkey had arrested militants in March 2013, 5 months before the attack in Ghouta, and found they were carrying sarin gas in canisters. Had that been announced when there was a rush to invade or attack Syria in August almost everyone would have questioned who actually launched the attack and why, and also why ‘intelligence’ proved beyond doubt it was Assad which is now discredited. However this revision of the story is still not coming out in the media as it would be profoundly embarrassing to all who urged the attacks then, and those nations whose intelligence must have been the basis for camouflaging a false flag incident that when discovered should have turned the whole world against the rebels. So silence reigns on the matter as that is not what the world wanted then or now.

Syria didn’t launch nerve gas attack
Syria accused of delaying chemical arms removal (Jan. 31)
With reference to this article, it should be pointed out that the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin attacks are now widely believed to have been carried out by a rebel group in Syria, not by the Syrian government. A letter to President Barack Obama by a dozen former U.S. intelligence agents made this point some time ago, and the claim has recently been supported by a careful investigation by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh (London Review of Books, December, 2013).
Two weeks ago, an MIT Working Group released a report substantiating this conclusion. The report is based on careful scientific analysis and is entitled, Possible Implications of Faulty U.S. Technical Intelligence in the Damascus Nerve Agent Attack of August 21, 2013. It now appears that Syria's divestment of its chemical weapons stockpiles is being carried out on the basis of false accusations. Under these circumstances, it seems a bit "over the top" for the U.S. government to complain that the Syrian government is not moving quickly enough.
Graeme MacQueen, Dundas
http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/4352253-syria-didn-t-launch-nerve-gas-attack/


On Syria we find in the Times of India:

Saudi Arabia cracks down on youths joining Syria jihadis
Financial Times-4 Feb 2014
A royal decree aiming to stem the flow of fighters and money to radical Islamist groups in the Syria civil war gives three to 20-year jail terms for ...


But in wnd (WorldNetDaily (WND) is an American web site that publishes news and associated content from the perspective of U.S. conservatives and the political right. It was founded in May 1997 by Joseph Farah with the stated intent of "exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power" and is headquartered in Washington, D.C - Wikipedia)


WASHINGTON – A captured member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claims that the ISIL and other Islamic militant groups in Syria not only are supported by a member of the Saudi royal family but that individual actually heads the ISIL.
In a video admission, a captured member of the ISIL said the radical Islamic group actually is led by Prince Adbul Rahman al-Faisal, the son of the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and the brother of the current Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal.
The revelation suggests a high level of direct involvement by the Saudi royal family in terrorist activities not only in Syria but in other locations where Sunni Islamic militants are operating.
The captured ISIL jihadist said his group was monitoring the movements of the Free Syrian Army, which forms the main opposition to the Shiite-Alawite government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which is allied with Shia Iran.
This revelation suggests the Saudi leadership is directly funding the Islamic militant groups, which have basically taken over the opposition forces, since the FSA isn’t regarded as being capable of ousting Assad.
The ISIL captive said he was under orders to do so “from the leadership of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
Asked who in the leadership of the ISIL gave him the orders, the captured jihadist said without hesitation, “Prince Abdul Rahman al-Faisal, who is also known as Abu Faisal.”
ISIL, also known as ISIS, is the al-Qaida branch in Iraq and Syria. Its battlefield commander is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is considered to be ruthless and has been attacking other Islamic militant groups that he believes aren’t as strict as his.
As WND recently reported, the development has prompted al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to repudiate Baghdadi’s ruthlessness and his desire to bring in another al-Qaida-affiliated group, the Jabhat al-Nusra, under his wing.
In turn, Baghdadi has become openly defiant of Zawahiri.
The revelation that high levels of the House of Saud are behind the Islamic militant groups in Syria and elsewhere comes as President Barack Obama prepares to visit Saudi Arabia in March in an effort to smooth out U.S.-Saudi relations strained over the U.S. stance on Syria and Iran.
The Saudis turned on the U.S. after Obama decided not to take military action against Syria’s chemical weapons in an effort to oust Assad. In addition, Obama decided to press forward with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, which the West and Israel believe is a cover for the development of nuclear weapons.
The Saudis, in effect, felt betrayed and decided on the basis of the U.S. approach to Syria and Iran to undertake an independent foreign policy aimed at changing the Syrian leadership and halting Iran’s entire nuclear program.
The move led to Saudi Prince Bandar bin Saud’s financing and provision of weapons to Islamic militant groups. Many are direct affiliates of al-Qaida, not only in Syria but in areas spanning from Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East, North Africa and the Maghreb.
Bandar is the Saudi intelligence chief and heads the Saudi National Security Council.
The extent to which Obama can convince the Saudis to halt their support for the Sunni Islamic groups, including al-Qaida itself, is questionable, since the jihadists have vowed to attack U.S. interests and ultimately the U.S. homeland.
According to U.S. intelligence, more than 50 Americans are fighting in Syria on the side of al-Qaida and the other Islamic radical groups. The concern is that they will return to the U.S. and undertake attacks, based on their experiences on the Syrian battlefield.
The potential threats against U.S. interests, with much of it paid for and supplied by the Saudi royal family, will put the spotlight on what Obama can accomplish in his visit to Riyadh next month.
Prince Abdul Rahman al-Faisal is a graduate of the Sandhurst military academy in Great Britain. In addition to being the brother of the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, he also is the brother of Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, who was the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and the Great Britain and for years was head of Saudi intelligence. He also was known to have a relationship with the late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
Obama’s relationship with Saudi Arabian officials started out in 2009 on a far different note.
WND reported when he greeted the king of Saudi Arabia with a full bow from the waist, a move one commentator described as a violation of protocol and not worthy of the office he holds.
“I am quite certain that this is not the protocol and is most unbecoming a president of the United States,” wrote Clarice Feldman in an American Thinker commentary.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/02/smoking-gun-saudis-running-jihadists-in-syria/#IL5lcHFlEJM6wXyC.99
http://www.wnd.com/2014/02/smoking-gun-saudis-running-jihadists-in-syria/

And:

An independent Jordanian news agency says the United States and the Israeli regime are working on a joint plan to occupy southern Syria.
The JBC News said the militant groups, which the US calls moderate opposition, will help occupy two regions in southern Syria.
The regions will then unite to finally create a security belt around Israel.
The report said the groups picked by Washington will be equipped with US-made arms such as Tow anti-tank missiles.
They will also be provided with intelligence gathered by Israeli and US spying agencies.
‘Moderate groups’ is a term used by the US administration for part of the militants fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Washington had used the same term for Taliban militants in Afghanistan, in an effort to give them legitimacy in the face of the former Soviet Union forces.
On Tuesday, a US airplane carrying a weapons cargo for foreign-backed militants fighting in Syria reportedly landed in Jordan’s Mafraq Airport, some 80 kilometers Amman.
In January, US security officials disclosed that the Congress has funded the delivery of weapons, in votes behind closed doors, through the end of government fiscal year that is September 30, 2014.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
Reports indicate that over 130,000 people have been killed in the violence.
The foreign-backed militancy has also displaced a total of 7.8 million Syrians, more than 1.8 million of whom are living in neighboring countries, mainly in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-israel-plan-to-occupy-south-syria-report/5367494

So are we really backing men who launched a chemical attack on civilians and their own fighters in an attempt to get the US and UK to attack Assad with Cruise missiles, so that the real chemical attackers could take over Syria? Did intelligence agencies really lie to our governments to encourage that? Do we not care after making all that fuss about it at the time? Would we only be angry if it was Assad? Are we going to invade the country anyway?

Time will tell but as always a bit late to do anything about it.


reve

reve
07-02-2014, 10:46 AM
If you had wondered about what Syria’s insurgency is about and why the West is supporting the rebels, most of whom are Al Qaida, look no further. As for any peace coming out of the proposals and conditions mentioned here we can all forget it:


Amidror: No Accident that Hezbollah Didn't Receive Missiles
Most Syrian shipments to Hezbollah did not make it and that "wasn’t an accident," says former National Security Adviser.
AAFont Size
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/7/2014, 2:44 AM

Yaakov Amidror
Flash 90
It was no accident that some Syrian shipments of advanced missile systems to Hezbollah did not make it to their destination, former National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror told the Tablet magazine.
In the interview, published Wednesday, Amidror was asked about advanced Russian missile systems that have made their way from Syria to Lebanon and replied, “Some of these systems did make their way into Lebanon, but most of them did not reach Lebanon. And that wasn’t an accident. This is our policy. And the Russians don’t agree with us, but at least they know all the details of our policy.”
“I think it’s important that in this dialogue with the Russians, we are telling them the truth: They are providing one of the most dangerous enemies of the State of Israel, namely Hezbollah, with capabilities that might endanger Israel’s ability to defend itself, and we will not let it happen,” he added.
“And we keep our promises, and the Russians know it. At the end of the day, Russia is a sovereign state, and they are making their own decisions. But at the same time, Israel is also a sovereign state, and we are making our own decisions.”
Amidror said that he believes an Al-Qaeda-controlled Syria would be “better” for Israel than if President Bashar Al-Assad, who is backed by Iran and Hezbollah, would remain in power.
“We don’t cooperate with the Assad regime. At the end of the day, on one side you have the combination of Iran, Hezbollah and Assad. And on the other side you have Al-Qaeda-like organizations. I think that from the Israeli point of view, both sides are bad—very bad. So then you ask yourself a very interesting question: If you have to make a decision between the two, which one is worse? It’s a very, very interesting question, and you can hear many voices in Israel offering opinions,” he said.
“My personal view, and it’s entirely personal, is that, at the end of the day, Hezbollah, with the backing of Iran, which is a huge and very strong state, is more dangerous than Al-Qaeda, which, as extremist as they are, lacks the backing of any state. But both are very, very bad,” said Amidror.
The interview also referred to the American efforts to secure peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Asked whether he believes those efforts will be successful, Amidror told Tablet, “That depends on the details of the final proposal. If the Americans succeed in bringing to the agreement all of the elements that are needed - namely, to make sure that there is a secure buffer between the Palestinian state and the Arab world, that there is not going to be a new Gaza in Ramallah, and that Israel will have satisfactory arrangements to deal with emerging terrorist capabilities within the West Bank - if all of these elements will be in the agreement, and will be part of a clear understanding between us and the Palestinians, and are guaranteed by America, and if we will have the opportunity to keep those security arrangements until it will be understood by us, not by anyone else, when it is time to change them, then I think the agreement will be something that Israel can live with.”
He clarified that “there is no way to get there without Israeli forces along the Jordan River. There is no question about that. This is the minimum, without which there is no way to have the necessary capabilities in our hands.”
Amidror rejected PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s proposal that the new Palestinian state be secured by NATO forces instead of an army.
“One of the principles that Israel has been very clear about since the founding of the state is that we are not outsourcing our security to anyone. We don’t expect, and we don’t want, others to do the job for us,” he told Tablet.
Abbas’s insistence that Israeli military presence in the Palestinian state be limited to a period of three to five years is indicative of the fact that “he does not understand the professional needs in this area of security,” said Amidror.
“It’s not a question of time. It’s a question of capabilities, and the determination to use the capabilities,” he added. “And when the Palestinians will have the capabilities, which they don’t have today, and the determination to use those capabilities, which they also don’t have today, and when both those criteria are met, then, in the future, we might come to a situation in which Israeli troops will not be needed.”
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/177188#.UvSpEp1FBkA

reve

reve
07-02-2014, 11:59 AM
Our world has been a cruel place for the poor and for women for well over 5000 years. We have been ruled by kings and emperors who saw to it that we were exploited and suppressed us in the cruellest ways imaginable. This is the darkness and there are few exceptions. But a light was beginning to shine in the last century. Of course there is darkness still over most of the world and little has changed for the afflicted innocents. There was always a wealthy class that exploited them, enslaved them in factories and farms. And from this there has arisen what we call culture - some beautiful artifacts and ideas.

My concern however is for the light. Whether you like it or not Britain was a light bearer and tried to resolve the biting conditions for the poor. Created free health care, unions that represented workers, built decent housing for them and put into practise the ancient concept of democracy.

Britain had blood on its hands after WW2 although its stand against the Nazis was what brought yet another evil regime down. But even so we fell below the standards we detested by carpet bombing German cities packed with civilians. We needed to improve after the war to take the light to other nations. To inspire the Commonwealth countries to love their poor and protect the justice systems we exported. Also to inspire the UN. Much good came of it all and although Britain was not the main mover with many organisations like the Red Cross and the humanitarian relief organizations, it was clear that the world was struggling forward.

There were enormous expectations for the 21st century. It is long and slow work ridding a world of dictatorship and slavery. Most of our systems depended on them. Armies were controlled by them. But we were to lead from the front. Disappointments in the last century suggested that the other great light bearer, the US needed to make enormous strides too. Vietnam was a stain hard to clean - chemicals and napalm burning civilians, cluster bombs even now taking their toll and hundreds of thousands of civilians dying as a result of a pointless war. But if it did anything the surviving and returning GI’s were determined to build a better way and the flower power that welcomed them home suggested that was happening.

So as the new century dawned we were anticipating a new dawn for humanity. We did not need to wait long to find that was not going to happen. The turning back point illustrates so much. Some Israeli men were captured as they filmed the 9./11 attacks on the WTC. Laughing and joking as they captured this for posterity. It was immediately clear to the authorities that the incident had been known about well in advance but these men were filming it, not urging evacuation. Some were warned in advance and they know it. Some profited from it by a flurry of trades on the stock markets, and they know it. The men were returned to Israel and seemingly their point was that we in the west would now know what living with terror was like. A wake up call. And as a direct result of the attack, whoever planned it, we began the war on terror and turned back the clock on personal freedom. The media was as much to blame as any government. They never have published these facts which are not hard to find on Wikipedia, if obscured by ridiculous conspiracy theories designed to discredit any view other than the official explanation - Al Qaida. But many influential people know the truth and remain silent.

Within a couple of years the light bearers - the UK and US had not only invaded Afghanistan but Iraq killing more innocents (over 600,000) than our carpet bombing achieved in WW2, than even the nuclear explosions in Japan killed. Again the media was complicit. Worse in fact because a true democracy requires truth reporting for its populations to be able to decide on actions taken in their name. A new order had taken over our two countries and this was now impossible.

The next iconic moment was what we call the Arab Spring. While we allowed the insurgents to kill Gaddafi, our scapegoat for every ill yet a cruel man no worse than ours and who gave so much to Libya, we also allowed the media to pretend that there was a peaceful uprising in Syria. It was in fact a heavily financed and supported invasion by none other than Al Qaida and we knew it. But it did not go according to plan and with support from Iran, Assad managed to fight back, albeit by devastating his wonderful country, displacing 10 million and seeing perhaps 200,000 thousand killed in the crossfire. We who had done such harm to Iraqis and Vietnamese so recently were particularly harsh in our criticism of him, not of the ‘rebels’ we are supporting who are the cruellest killers and rapists on the planet. Then last August we and the media were complicit in a particularly nasty war crime, one which certainly overstepped the red line. It was the staged killing of over a thousand civilians by sarin gas, chosen for its Holocaust connections and intended to get the whole world to recoil in horror. Several western countries conspired to pin the blame on Assad and we were geared up for yet another Iraq type invasion, regardless of the consequences and knowing full well, as did the media, (the BBC no less reported that the rebels were using sarin months before) that our rebels had done this.

I could add many other injustices. The country held up as the one true democracy in the Middle East - Israel, does not allow its ethnic Palestinian millions any say in the government imposed by an army upon them, supported by us and whose war crimes are also hidden by our media. But these are merely international things.

In our own countries the number of people living in poverty has sharply increased. The rights we had granted them in the last century were taken away. We are dismantling fast any support structures the poor have. As a bank like Barclays today announces how it will defy the EU regulations and pay over £2 billion in bonuses, extra millions for thousands of very rich men and women, we have a population dependent on food banks and charity. We have a government cutting benefits to the poorest citing many inaccurate reasons for doing so and greatly rewarding the rich. And still the media is complicit, indeed responsible. It is propaganda that has destroyed the last vestige of true democracy and hides the crimes of our ruling class.

Indeed so corrupt has our system become that we are no better than many Third World countries that we officially despise. There is no turning back. There is no possibility at all that we will change. Even the US with its thousands, millions of empty properties, has a growing number of millions of poor and homeless. Obama tried to entitle them to free health care and there was revolution in his Congress at the very thought. There is no possibility that we are on the brink of change. We are more likely on the brink of exterminating those with the courage to stand up and tell the truth.

All of us are complicit. We have allowed this to happen under our noses. As I said there are many in New York who know the truth of that day at the beginning of this century. Who got a phone call not to go to work. Who put money on shares they knew would benefit as a result. And many in the government who know the truth, many in the media who know it. But all allowed 600,000 innocent Iraqis to die without saying a word. Be they frightened or corrupt, or even happy with the situation they find themselves in, they are not merely complicit like the rest of us, but responsible for destroying the light.

Perhaps our leaders want a better world but day by day the lies ring out, the condemnation of the innocent and the support for the evil. There has been genocide in Africa to help make multinational corporations richer. To make us richer. A world of wildlife needlessly destroyed for the rich. The forests cut down and land stolen to reward the rich. And the protests against this are confined to the middle pages in certain media outlets most cannot afford.

So the true face of the human emerged in this century, darker and more evil than ever but dressed this time in fine western ‘democratic’ clothes. And we are all part of that. We see the hundreds made redundant in our work places, harassed by Human Resource departments that idolise the executives and wipe out any criticism. We learn that average wages have increased, although we know frontline (slave) pay has fallen to its lowest and any increases are for the overpaid and cruel men exploiting them. We say nothing as we do not want to lose our jobs. We vote for the people who promise us the most and avoid the poorer areas because of a fear of crime. But we are the criminals. Enter the home of a single mother on benefits, whose ‘man’ has beaten her, deals drugs, has other women, takes the little she has when he pleases. Tell me she is to blame for this and that we should condemn her children to Victorian poverty. She is the direct result of all our vile policies, our war on drugs, our war on women, our war on the poor, on children.

And so there is nothing to save the human and we are damned. Worse than ever we were. Do not blame the leaders because we put them there. All you can blame is what is called humanity. There are good people in this world but not enough to make the whole human race better. We have destroyed this world and live a lie. Now we face destruction as Creation has no place for us. How different it could have been if we had had just two ethical men guiding us in 2000, but those we had started the century by destroying all the good done over the previous hundred years. The 2012 prophecy did in fact explain that there were two possibilities. But our race chose the darkness and that is what we will get very soon. It cannot be stopped.

reve

reve
09-02-2014, 10:43 AM
Most things work according to fairly simple rules which is why analogies can often explain what is in the hidden worlds. The analogy used for the world of international politics, intelligence and the most powerful element in our world, the military is the ‘Great Game’.

Firstly it has to be accepted that without a strong military force and certain rules Africa would be mayhem, the cold war would have been hot or seen millions of soldiers flooding into Europe, Israel would have been wiped out long ago by national leaders who use that country as a scapegoat.

Football is the analogy best suited. Here you will find that fans take sides and actively hate other sides, very little different to their own. They may be sectarian as in Glasgow’s two dominant teams but they may be local or resulting from good PR like Manchester United which has world wide support.

Certain eras have seen certain teams dominate but over all certain teams and countries are always more successful. But in the game that is not all. There are lower leagues just as fiercely supported and amateur sides kicking a ball around in parks.

Tactics are often criticised. In the 60’s Leeds did well but kicked the opposition off the park literally. Some players cheat, dive to get opponents sent off (false flags). Teams but the best players in other teams to undermine them. Money is a huge factor in success. Increasingly teams are owned by Arabs who do not do as well in playing the game but have some notable players.

But one thing they are all subject to is the World Football organisation, often deemed corrupt. The rules of the game change little, but change a bit. Fans may hate other teams and delight in their misfortunes and scandals but ultimately are a bit lost when they are not there. In Glasgow the two main teams - Celtic and Rangers ( catholic & protestant) were the ultimate rivals and had all the money. But when Rangers were dismantled after bankruptcy Celtic were lost without a real rival, the game lost its magic. The new formed Rangers is slowly rising from the bottom leagues again and in a few years will be back. Perhaps one can see the great Soviet Empire here.

What all would agree is that the game, even when taken extremely seriously and involving billions, is a ’game’. If it stopped being one there would despair. So it is in our world. We need some rules and we need the big teams. There are always a few surprises and upsets. But we need a world we can play in and that is the greatest danger to our sport right now, one which needs us all to pull together.

So if I am critical of some tactics here, it does not mean that I see a world without the military ultimately keeping it all together. I am not a footballer or a soldier so my comments are a spectator’s view. Not always right however I can see a big problem brewing for all the teams.

reve

reve
10-02-2014, 12:08 PM
If one wants to worry there are plenty of reasons. Sadly the extremists in our world are very powerful. If they are not sending suicide bombers or firing rockets they are building illegally and both sides threatening peace talks. Is Israel a ‘Jewish’ state? It should be multi-ethnic, all with equal rights living happily together. To declare it a Jewish State has somewhat racist overtones. Meanwhile in Australia someone encouraging a boycott is being prosecuted for racism. What is racism in reality? Certainlty the denial of rights for one ethnicity by another. Not criticism unless it is biased.

Meanwhile things are hotting up on the Iranian front as you will see below. Here is a nation that can certainly be aggressive and its rhetoric in the past shows that. But it must also be said that it, like Israel, is also threatened with invasion and attack. Does it have any rights in that respect? Can it also protest and threaten retaliation? Others do. For many years it has been sanctioned - effectively boycotted by the world although many other nations with nuclear capabilities are not and no one can say that they do not also use aggressive rhetoric. Sanctions have brought poverty. This last week three people starved to death queuing for bread. The media just does not show us these things. This was what happened to innocent Iraqi children:

‘Researcher Richard Garfield estimated that "a minimum of 100,000 and a more likely estimate of 227,000 excess deaths among young children from August 1991 through March 1998" from all causes including sanctions. Other estimates have put the number at 170,000 children. UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said that….Wikipedia’

But to us in the West sanctions are ‘necessary’ and sound very bland. Blockades are anything but bland. Assad‘s blockade of Homs and what happened to Gaza being two that show this clearly outside the use of international ‘sanctions‘. Some in the US even want to increase them in Iran while it complies with the restrictions on its nuclear development. So do the Iranians have any right to get upset or to envisage a response to a seemingly inevitable attack and war, regime change? I saw a good ‘Hard talk’ programme with William Hague on Friday night and respect his position on Syria and Assad and the difficulty internationally about doing anything to stop the war. But I also noted how he failed to put the other side of the coin down - what had Syria done wrong to warrant invasion by western supported Jihadists fronted by a ‘moderate opposition’, in fact anything but moderate? So in that sense what rights did Assad have when that happened to his country? Being one sided is a major failing in international diplomacy and the media, and like so many policies this one sidedness is effectively a denial of democracy and bordering on 'racism'.

Anyway here are some extracts from the PR offensive underway:


Op-Ed: Judea and Samaria are Israel
Published: Monday, February 10, 2014 10:58 AM
Ten great quotes affirming the writer's opinion.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR
The author is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR Agencies in the US.
Arabs want to use peace to destroy Israel piece by piece.
Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) belong to Israel. These areas are Jewish areas of the State of Israel. Period. While John Kerry and others pressure Israel to return these so-called disputed territories, the reality is that the conflict in the Middle East is about the fact that the Arabs cannot accept a Jewish state. (And even if Israel did return these territories, there wouldn’t be peace – for the Arabs want to use peace to destroy Israel piece by piece.)
The world must understand that our people are called Jews because we come from Judea. The fact remains that these territories are an integral part of the State of Israel, and have always been connected to the Jewish people.
Ten great quotes affirming that this region belongs to Israel:
• Yoram Ettinger, a consultant at the Ariel Center for Policy Research: “Many world-renowned travelers, historians and archeologists of earlier centuries refer to ‘Judea and Samaria,’ while the term ‘West Bank’ was coined only 60 years ago. Jordan gave the region this name when it occupied it after Israel’s War of Independence. No nation on earth other than Britain and Pakistan recognized Jordan’s claim to Judea and Samaria. … Even the Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as official British and Ottoman records until 1950, used the term Judea and Samaria, and not the West Bank.”
• The San Remo Resolution of 1920 “recognized the exclusive national Jewish rights to the Land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine. The outcome of this declaration gave birth to the ‘Mandate for Palestine,’ an historical League of Nations document that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.” (This document clearly establishes that Israeli settlements are completely legal.)
• Books and history which detailed Judea and Samaria include “H. B. Tristram (The Land of Israel, 1865); Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867); R.A. MacAlister and Masterman (“Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly”); A.P. Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, 1887); E. Robinson and E. Smith (Biblical Researches in Palestine, 1841); C.W. Van de Velde (Peise durch Syrien und Paletsinea, 1861); and Felix Bovet (Voyage en Taire Sainte, 1864).”
• “Israel’s days without Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are gone and will not return.” Yitzchak Shamir, former Prime Minister of the State of Israel
• “Israel won the war – after they were attacked by Arab nations. In the real world, winners win – and even when the Jews win, they keep the land.” Ronn Torossian
• “[S]ince the territories of Judea and Samaria were never a legitimate part of any Arab state, including the Kingdom of Jordan, it is impossible to determine that Israel is an occupier in Judea and Samaria in the accepted legal definition. What’s more is that the Jewish people have a historic, legal, and physical link to Judea and Samaria.” – Col. (res.) Daniel Reisner, former head of the international law department in the Military Advocate General’s Corps
• “Israel’s presence in the West Bank is not occupation, the Israeli settlements are legal under international law[.]” – The 2012 Edmund Levy Report
• “[We must] operate out of a sense of advancing our rights, the rights of the Jewish people as an indigenous nation in its land. The Jews are the oldest nation here, but the State of Israel rarely mentioned this. It has rarely mentioned the fact that these are territories where we have had rights from time immemorial. It has rarely mentioned international documents like the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Declaration, the U.N. Charter, and the British Mandate as approved by the League of Nations, all of which are very relevant as they relate to our rights here. … [T]hat what we are dealing with is not occupation … It is inconceivable that the entire world will repeat the mantra about Judea and Samaria being occupied territory when from a factual standpoint there is no legal basis for this. … When Kerry claims, even before the negotiations ended, that we have no rights in territories over which negotiations are being held and where settlements are illegitimate, he is in essence adopting the Palestinian position and harming the negotiations. If the negotiations are intended to determine the fate of the settlements, then by all means. Even if you are the secretary of state, don’t prejudice the negotiations by stating beforehand that they are illegitimate.” – Alan Baker, an attorney & former Israel Ambassador to Canada
• “If Judea and Samaria should ever be given up to the Arabs by any imposed Mideast peace settlement, Jerusalem the capital, Tel Aviv and the Coastal Plain would be in jeopardy.” – Dani Dayan, Council of Jewish Settlers
• “The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel has lasted for more than 3,500 years. Judea and Samaria, the places where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, David and Solomon, and Isaiah and Jeremiah lived are not alien to us. This is the land of our forefathers.” – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Indeed, what Israel should remember always is that the Jewish right to Israel is eternal. Politics – and politicians – too shall come and go.
As the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky said many years ago: “Do not say, so what if we concede Hebron, Nablus and beyond the Jordan — this concession is not comprised of words devoid of meaning, and everyone will understand this to be the case. Do not underestimate the power of a concession! … Do not underestimate the power of a right, and don’t exaggerate the value of a building that is being built. I, too, respect the construction of a building, but woe upon us if we extract the basis of our right to exist from it.”
Zionism and Israel is moral and just and the Jewish right to the entire Land of Israel is eternal.
This article appeared in Frontpage Magazine
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/14513#.UvilyJ1FBkA

Who has a right to Britain I wonder - Then Celts, Britons, Saxons, Angles, Vikings, Romans, Normans? All invaded, lived here and in a sense still do and share the land. What shall we do about the Native American tribes who lost their historic right to North and South America? As soon as I see the word ‘eternal’ in the process and justification I see madness! So what do other Israelis think?


Israel's West Bank policy: In thrall to settlers - not justice
The government is now on its fourth policy to combat illegal settlement construction in the West Bank. None has yet to be implemented, and this one won’t be any different.
By Chaim Levinson | Feb. 10, 2014

In November 2008, the then head of the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration in the territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai (now the coordinator of government activities in the territories), presented an affidavit on the priorities for demolishing illegal construction in the West Bank.
The goal was to head off a High Court of Justice petition concerning construction in the illegal outposts of Kiryat Hayovel and Haresha. To do so, a plan had to be presented that would make it look as if there was logic behind the chaos. The first step was to implement court orders, and the second was tackling new construction. Third came construction on private property.
It should be clear that nothing in the affidavit was actually implemented.
In 2011, in response to a different High Court petition, a new policy was formulated. Whatever illegal construction was on private property would be demolished, and whatever was on other land would be legalized.
The state later came up with a new policy in response to further High Court petitions: Whatever was on private property and someone had filed a lawsuit against would be demolished, and everything else would remain. In other words, for the state to do a favor and demolish a house without a permit, there needed to be a Palestinian property owner who would petition the High Court – and only then would the state be ready to move.
Now the state has a new policy, its fourth. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is proud of a letter he forced out of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, in which he states that all new construction will be demolished before it is occupied.
It is clear that nothing of this sort will happen. The only question is whether Ya’alon and Weinstein are fooling themselves, or us.
A short trip to the territories yesterday revealed the widespread illegal construction. There is nowhere that is not being built upon. Inspectors from the Civil Administration appear, issue demolition orders and take pictures. The chances of anything being destroyed are zero.
The settlers long ago understood that the threat of demolition is a joke. In 2008, Palestinian landowners and the NGO Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights petitioned the High Court to demolish nine homes without permits, built on privately owned land in Ofra (in the northern West Bank). The state said the houses would not be demolished but that from then on, they would be especially strict in enforcing the planning and building laws in the settlement. Since then, Amana – the construction arm of the settlement movement, headed by Ze’ev Hever – has started construction of a new neighborhood there, with dozens of housing units. Instead of demolishing houses, the state instead promised to issue Hever with building permits. Twenty-five other building violations weren’t dealt with.
We cannot expect anything from the Civil Administration. When Hever – the greatest of construction law violators – runs around freely in the Civil Administration and brings gifts to the departing heads of the Civil Administration, the message is passed on to the inspectors below. Imagine a major crime boss being invited for a toast in the offices of the fraud squad. The political leadership is being held captive by the settlers.
Last week, the Civil Administration demolished the home of Sagi Kreizler, near the illegal outpost of Kida. The major Likud vote contractors in the West Bank immediately announced their cancelation of support for Ya’alon; he, for his part, invited them for a meeting. Kreizler has justifiable complaints about the destruction of his home – there are others higher up the priority list. But if that is the response to just one house being demolished, imagine what the response will be to the demolition of many more homes.
The alternative to demolition is criminal proceedings, like those against criminals within Israel. Here, the ball is firmly in Weinstein’s court. For the past year and a half, he has been sending agitated letters on the matter. But such proceedings are at least two years off. Instead of ordering the police to investigate Hever and Amana, to seize documents and close down construction (the case against Hever was recently closed), Weinstein prefers to organize meetings between the heads of the police, Ya’alon and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
He has also learned that it is easier to send letters than to confront powerful political interests.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.573318

It does not take much for this man to ‘slam Iran’ does it? Which makes us all wonder when he and Saudi Arabia will be doing just that and how Iran will inevitably respond. We all live in this world and we civilians are the ones who get caught in the crossfire of angry megalomaniacs.


Israel PM slams Iran move to send ships towards US
Last Updated: Monday, February 10, 2014, 09:41


Jerusalem: Israel on Sunday denounced an Iranian announcement that it was sending naval ships towards the United States as further evidence that loosening sanctions on Tehran was counterproductive.

The move to send warships to the Atlantic was announced by the commander of Iran's northern naval fleet on Saturday, who described it as a "message."

The ships "have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa," said Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, in remarks quoted by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.

Iranian media reported that two ships -- a destroyer and a helicopter transport vessel -- had been dispatched on January 21.

It was not clear how close the ships would travel towards the US maritime border or when they would arrive.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the dispatch of the warships was clear evidence of Iran's "aggression" and proof it had not moderated its policies following a landmark deal with world powers to roll back its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

"The easing of sanctions against Iran by the international community has not caused Iran to moderate its international aggression - the complete opposite has occurred," Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting in remarks relayed by his office.

Israel, the region's sole if undeclared nuclear-armed state, has long viewed Iran's controversial atomic programme as a threat to its existence and has not ruled out military action to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.

Iran has always insisted its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, and President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate elected last year, has vowed to allay Western concerns about it.

In September 2012, Iran said it was planning to send naval forces to the Atlantic to deploy along US marine borders to counter a beefed up US naval presence in the Persian Gulf, Fars reported, with the navy chief saying the buildup would begin within several years.

In December, the Pentagon said it was not planning to scale back its vast military presence in the Gulf despite the six-month interim nuclear deal.

AFP
http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/israel-pm-slams-iran-move-to-send-ships-towards-us_910292.html

WATCH: Iran state TV airs simulated attack on Israel
By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
02/09/2014

Iranian state television on Friday aired a documentary which featured a computerized simulated attack on Israeli cities.
The clip, which was posted on YouTube, is a hypothetical scenario which envisions the Iranian response to an Israeli or American military offensive against Iran's nuclear installations.
The title of the film, "Nightmare of Vulture," features footage of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei speaking to cadets in 2011.
“Anybody who thinks of attacking the Islamic Republic of Iran should be prepared to receive strong slaps and iron fists from the Armed Forces,” Khamenei is seen saying. “And America, its regional puppets and its guard dog – the Zionist regime – should know that the response of the Iranian nation to any kind of aggression, attacks or even threats will be a response that will make them collapse from within."
The documentary's computerized simulation shows how the Iranians envision an attack on Tel Aviv, Haifa, and the USS Abraham Lincoln.
The film is yet another propaganda salvo unleashed by the Iranian regime, which has escalated its rhetoric in the past few days.
On Friday, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted an Iranian naval commander as saying that warships were making their way across the Atlantic Ocean and toward the United States' maritime border.
"Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” Adm. Afshin Rezayee Haddad of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet was quoted as saying.
On Saturday, Khamenei said on Saturday the United States would overthrow the Iranian government if it could, adding Washington had a “controlling and meddlesome” attitude towards the Islamic Republic, Iranian media reported.
In a speech to mark the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Khamenei, the most powerful figure in Iran, added that officials seeking to revive the economy should not rely on an eventual lifting of sanctions but rather on homegrown innovation.
“American officials publicly say they do not seek regime change in Iran. That’s a lie. They wouldn’t hesitate a moment if they could do it,” he was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
Khamenei made no mention of talks between Iran and world powers intended to settle a decade-old dispute about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
But he reiterated that in dealing with “enemies,” Iran should be prepared to change tactics but not compromise on its main principles.
http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/WATCH-Iran-state-TV-airs-simulated-attack-on-Israel-340809

Every major nation seeks regime change of every nation that does not agree with them. It is a fact of life and they all try to achieve that in various ways. The media is certainly one way and what is above represents that. Priorities get lost. We in the UK will get a fast rail line costing many billions when what we need are sea defences like they have in Holland. The world needs to plant trees, not cut them all down. But we cannot expect the media to agree can we?

reve

reve
11-02-2014, 09:49 AM
The devastating floods have caused a political row, One side is blaming the Environmental Agency who are blaming the Treasury for reducing their budget. They clearly want an acceptable scapegoat and blaming the fierce cuts in budgets all over the country while cutting tax for high earners is not a candidate for any blame. So we saw a man in the House of Commons denying he had ever blamed the heroic Environmental workers who are doing everything possible while the Treasury workers sit in offices making cuts, then TV showed us his actual criticism. The Prime Minister and now the Defence Minister meanwhile are saying we must all work together on this. Well most of the work has been by communities and volunteers and no one cared in the government until it became political dynamite and Cameron suddenly appeared at some of the scenes of flooding. They are also saying 'now is not the time for blame'. Yes it is, now is exactly the time for blame and working out whether we want a new fast railway for rich commuters coming into London - £ 82 Billion, or to save the country - flood relief has been granted at £ 130 Million. In fact whether we want a government that cares more for a few rich men than the 9 million living in poverty and the institutions we have left that are not designed to make profit for the few rich but are being sold to them to do just that.

reve

reve
11-02-2014, 10:02 AM
"Contrary to the widely disseminated narrative of a rebellion that began with peaceful protests, many in Zahra recall a wave of violence engulfing Homs amid a chilling rebel slogan: "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin!" As the war ground on, Alawites who say they faced expulsion or death in other areas fled to Zahra for safety, swelling the population"

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-homs-divisions-20140210,0,3309129.story#ixzz2swGtqxCW (whole article very interesting and suggests a lot of the rebel fighters were whisked away by the UN even though the ceasefire terms were that all men of fighting age were to undergo a Syrian 'judicial process' if they were evacuated from Homs)

Things are slowly coming out now about what is really going on and why this invasion started. They are not happy at how it is progressing either as it was widely assumed that Assad would have been taken out long ago, regime changed and HEZBOLLAH isolated prior to the peace talks. As you will have seen there is now talk of a US/Israeli invasion of South Syria to create a safe buffer zone (ie disrupt Hezbollah supply chain). I do not know what started as an 'Arab Spring' but think that a truly 'moderate opposition' changes things without using Al Qaida to invade its own country, does not practise sectarian genocide or behead people it does not like. Sharia Law is not moderate either and is only wanted by a small proportion of the Sunni population at the great expense of everyone else.

I would like to hear more from our politicians on why they are supporting an illegal invasion again. An explanation from them which does not mention a president 'gassing and killing his own people'. Do they favour this kind of political uprising in their own countries, which like Syria actually have elections and women standing for office and voting, but are not quite as democratic as they suggest? This war can be stopped as soon as the rebels are withdrawn and the funding these foreign nationals receive is also withdrawn. Then the Syrian people can return and have an election and help from their wealthy neighbours to repair the damage done. That is the truth of the peace talks in Montreux but not one the west is interested exploring. History will do it for them and shame us all.

reve

reve
11-02-2014, 03:11 PM
I suppose this is the most worrying article I have yet read about extremism taking over Israel. Last week I posted an Israeli article seriously suggesting that if Lebanon is taken over by Al Qaida, bad as they are it will be good for Israel, better than what rules Lebanon at present. Apart from the fact that this raises questions about who Al Qaida actually are, it also shows the callous disregard for Arab lives. Could such views really be taking over a country once full of kind and moderate people who despised oppression in all its forms. The Israeli author writing here (below) for Haaretz is suggesting that moderates and those who do not hate the Palestinians are now leaving the country in droves. What have we done? Every criticism or suggestion of the increasing racism in the country in the last year was either branded anti-Semitic or delegitimizing Israel and our top politicians have agreed with these assessments. Yesterday I posted an article (one of very many now appearing) which clearly shows that Israelis on the right intend to take all of the West Bank and are building furiously on it. This will not bring lasting peace to anyone on this planet, just hasten the end fast approaching which is how Sefi starts his article:

Fire of incitement is destroying Israel
The fate of the country lies in the hands of two people: Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni. If they fail, it's the end of days.
By Sefi Rachlevsky | Feb. 11, 2014


‘This is how the end looks. The Israeli regime has become Kahanist***. The culture minister praises Sapir Sabah with a big “like.”
Sabah, the high school student who decided that her teacher, Adam Verete, is a traitor, and that traitors deserve a death sentence. Sabah, who is an open Kahanist, who celebrates with the most extreme Kahanists from the height of physical belligerence, of the kind that led to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
This after the leading members of the regime, like Ministers Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett and Limor Livnat, stood enthusiastically behind a Kahanist singer who sang a song of praise to God for the death sentence thanks to which Rabin was assassinated and the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon collapsed.
And so, shamelessly, a revolution was carried out. They praise a singer who praised Rabin’s death sentence, and praise the enthusiastic disciple of Kahanist Michael Ben Ari. Meanwhile, not only is the municipal rabbi who forbade selling and renting apartments to Arabs not dismissed, but he is about to be promoted to rabbi of the capital city.
In her eulogy to entertainer Sefi Rivlin, Sports and Culture Minister Limor Livnat said, “For anyone who loves the country, it’s not easy to be in the artists guild.” The culture minister. According to her, most artists hate the country. Most artists are “traitors.”
When the government lights the fire of incitement, it spreads rapidly among the public. That’s why this week the spark of hatred for the left reached its highest point since Rabin’s assassination.
Political leaders’ enthusiastic embrace of Kahanism has a tremendous influence. It’s similar to the influence of the legitimization for violence that was granted by Benjamin Netanyahu when he orchestrated the demonstrations against Rabin that led up to the assassination ("In blood and fire we will expel Rabin").
Those who paid attention this week, whether on the Internet or in real life, could have seen what many are suppressing: the results of the incitement against “the Arabs,” and, even more so, against “the traitorous left.” A video on the popular news and entertainment website Walla showing settlers with cudgels beating a pro-human rights Israeli led to hundreds of immediate responses by real people, who were angry that it was only a beating. Leftists should be killed, not just beaten, these commenters insisted. And they should be dealt with before even the Arabs.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni — who are holding the Kahanist regime in their hands, given that without their parties the governing coalition would not have a majority — refuse to understand that the spirit of the country is the main thing.
While Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Livni’s Hatnuah parties are in cahoots with a peace process that won’t actually be implemented, with a prime minister who makes incessant declarations, the spirit of the country is being poisoned every day here. Israel is changing overnight.
There’s a reason that Israel has been overcome with a craze for Spanish passports over the past two days: Citizens want to flee from fascist regimes. Incitement can create hatred of the other and fan murderous intentions toward so-called traitors, but it cannot generate love. Not love for a place, for its people, for its culture or for its trampled language.
This is a serious and immediate warning. The fire of racism is changing Israel forever. After the betrayal of the citizens’ outcry against a cannibalistic and ideological governmental capitalism that doesn’t enable people to live, public frustration is being diverted to two places, as happened in Europe during the rise of fascism: dreams of escape, and hatred of others and of “traitors.”
Israel’s fate is in the hands of two people: Lapid and Livni. As of now, they have the power to join Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and cause the downfall of the Kahane regime. If the two continue to close their eyes and cooperate with Kahanism, everything will be consumed by the fire.
Eighty years ago, the six seals of the racist apocalypse were opened, and the resulting enmity was poured over the heads of millions. Now the seventh seal has been opened. The one on the inside. These are the last moments in which the process can be brought to a halt. The last moments for realizing that preventing a Kahanist state is the only mission. Everything is secondary to it. Every second in which the public is poisoned by the regime is changing our lives forever. ‘
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.573499

*** 'Kahanism is a nationalist ideology based on the views of Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League and the Kach party in Israel, who said that the State of Israel must defend itself against its enemies. Kach has been designated as a terrorist organisation by Israel, Canada, the European Union and the United States.

The central claim of Kahanism is that the vast majority of the Arabs of Israel are now, and will continue to be, enemies of Jews and Israel itself, and that a Jewish theocratic state, governed by Halakha, absent of a voting non-Jewish population and including Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, areas of modern-day Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and even Iraq should be created.
According to Kahane, the term "Kahanism" is used primarily by those ignorant of Torah Judaism to discredit his ideology, which he asserted to be rooted in Halakha[citation needed] and the same as Torah Judaism. "Meir Kahane did not hate the Arabs – he just loved the Jews", said his widow Libby in her November 20, 2010 TV interview’ Wikipedia

Note that ‘Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq’ and what has happened to them since the ‘Arab Spring’, for example the military coup in Egypt financed by Saudi Arabia and the role of the Jihadist ISIL (or ISIS) in Iraq and Syria said recently to be controlled by a Saudi prince. Saudi Arabia’s main interest seems to be delivering a mortal blow to the Shiite regimes in Iran and Syria, although Iraq is also majority Shiite. For some time it has therefore seen Israel as an ally and vice versa. Quite where the West and US in particular stand on the above is hard to say. Kahanists are terrorists, but so are Qaida and we seem to be supporting groups who are working with them and calling them ‘brothers’. Are our intelligence agencies and politicians asleep or have we missed something about the real world politics now? Is the bigger picture only just emerging?

reve

reve
11-02-2014, 03:18 PM
Third shipment of chemical weapons leaves Syria - UN
BBC News-43 minutes ago
A third shipment of chemical weapons materials has left Syria, with some destroyed inside the country, the global chemical weapons watchdog ...

Syrian chemical weapons stalling tests limits of US - Russian deal
Reuters UK-8 hours ago
Syria missed a first deadline to give up the most dangerous toxins on ... and Washington over how to respond to Syria's lack of progress

British Muslims 'carried out torture' in Syria
Telegraph.co.uk-2 hours ago
British Muslims have carried out acts of torture and possibly executions in Syria, according to new video footage posted on social network sites.

Rebel Attack on Syrian Alawite Village Kills 40
ABC News-5 hours ago
Extremist Islamic rebels who overran a village in central Syria populated by the Alawite minority have killed at least 40 people, activists said ...


Saudi Arabia calls for urgent UN meeting on Syria
Al-Arabiya-10 minutes ago
A man reacts at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the ...
By Staff writer | Al Arabiya News
Sunday, 9 February 2014
Saudi Arabia has called for an “emergency” meeting over what is happening in Syria, citing “growing evidence pointing to war crimes,” and the lack of implementation of previous agreements regarding the conflict, a letter sent to the U.N. General Assembly dated Feb. 7 showed.
“U.N. officials have been repeatedly expressing their frustration and disappointment at the lack of progress in addressing the grave humanitarian situation and growing body of evidence pointing to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” it said.
It also went on to say that there was a “lack of full implementation of the Security Council presidential statement date Oct. 2, 2013,” which is “unacceptable.”
In a 2013 statement, the Security Council repeated its calls for the immediate humanitarian assistance to Syrians, especially those who live across the conflict lines…..

West faces new terror threat from Syria border
The Times (subscription)-7 hours ago
An aid truck crosses the Turkish border into Syria. The 566-mile border poses such a threat to the West it is inundated with spies from the CIA, ...

“HOMS, Syria — The international community is lauding a United Nations-brokered deal to provide relief to Homs' long-blockaded Old City, but the aid plan is far from universally welcome in this battle-scarred and profoundly divided city.
The relief effort has stirred deep animosities among many government supporters, who view it as a sellout to opposition forces — "terrorists," in official terms — hunkered down in the ruins of the Old City.
"This is basically giving the terrorists food and medicine and letting them go free," said Rihab Ismael, a dairy worker who lives in the Zahra district, a sniper-plagued zone less than a mile from what remains of the rebel-controlled Old City. "We desperately need help here too. Why is everything concentrated on the ones who made our lives unbearable?"
More than 600 people were evacuated Sunday from Old Homs under U.N. auspices, an exodus that unexpectedly included 130 fighting-age men, many accompanied by their families. The initial deal applied only to civilians and stipulated that any men ages 16 to 54 who chose to leave could face a judicial process.
Some Syrian soldiers providing security were visibly dismayed to see men who could be their rebel adversaries apparently headed to freedom under U.N. patronage.
The possibility that rebels were among the evacuees seemed likely to complicate the Old City aid process — and to further stoke fury among those who already view the deal as a betrayal.
Nowhere is the outrage more evident than in Zahra, where most residents are Alawites, the sect of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Syria's Alawite minority is generally fiercely loyal to the government; likenesses of Assad and the Syrian flag are ubiquitous in Zahra. As the Syrian conflict has turned more sectarian, many Alawites view the war as a question of survival against Sunni Islamist militants who regard Alawites and members of other Muslim sects as apostates. Rebels clutching the severed heads of Alawite men as gruesome war trophies have become a staple of opposition images posted on the Internet.
Hundreds of civilians in Zahra have been killed by sniper fire or shelling originating from the Old City and other rebel-held districts, residents say; others have been kidnapped and never heard from again. Many also have perished serving in the army and security services.
Stylized color posters of "martyrs" line the streets of Zahra; one image mourns a family that lost 19 members to "terrorists," including several allegedly kidnapped and executed.
The accounts of rebel atrocities mirror those from pro-opposition activists who accuse government forces of massacres of Sunni Muslim families and bombardments of Sunni districts.
Contrary to the widely disseminated narrative of a rebellion that began with peaceful protests, many in Zahra recall a wave of violence engulfing Homs amid a chilling rebel slogan: "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin!" As the war ground on, Alawites who say they faced expulsion or death in other areas fled to Zahra for safety, swelling the population.
Syrian forces have gradually pushed the rebels back in Homs; the Old City, now surrounded by government troops, is one of two remaining strongholds inside the city limits. Government forces keen to cut rebel supplies have kept aid out of the encircled Old City. Two truckloads of food, medicine and other supplies delivered Saturday were the first outside assistance to reach the Old City in 20 months.
On Sunday, the third and last day of the U.N. aid operation in the Old City, six would-be evacuees were killed in a mortar strike, said Yacoub El Hillo, U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Syria. The day before, four people were killed in strikes. It was not clear who fired the deadly mortar rounds, El Hillo said.
Cease-fire violations occurred on all three days of the aid operation. Officials were mulling a possible extension, El Hillo said.
The extensive street fighting and shelling have reduced the Old City and a number of areas, including the adjacent Khalidiya district, to ghostly, rubble-strewn wastelands. Along the remaining commercial strips in Homs, street stalls hawk appliances, furniture and other items looted from abandoned and ransacked homes.
Homs, Syria's third-largest city, shuts down in the evening amid the thud of mortars and the crackle of gunfire.
For more than two years, all streets from the Old City east to Zahra have been blocked with alternating rows of makeshift anti-sniper barriers built of cinder blocks, metal dumpsters, sand bags and other material. The barriers, the tallest about 30 feet high, are pockmarked from bullets and shelling. They are placed like huge dominoes along the vulnerable thoroughfares.
"That man is in danger of being sniped," Mustafa Abbout, mukhtar or district leader of one area of Zahra, told a reporter Sunday, pointing to an elderly man using a cane to navigate a street exposed by a gap between two cinder-block walls. "We've tried to arrange the barriers to connect the streets, so children going to school can pass safely. But it's still not completely safe."
Like other Zahra residents interviewed, Abbout is shocked that the Syrian government, under international pressure, is allowing food and other staples into the Old City. He acknowledges that some of the estimated 2,000 civilians inside are being forced by the rebels to remain there as "human shields," a deterrent against military bombardment. But he and others interviewed in Zahra insist that most inside the warren of rubble-strewn streets and alleys are rebels or their families, people who back the rebellion and deserve no mercy.
"Anyone who wasn't with them left a long time ago," said Abbout, 41, who pulled back a cracked cinder block from one barrier to expose a sliver of the devastated Old City, a cemetery in the foreground, unseen snipers somewhere in the blasted cityscape.
Inside Abbout's nearby apartment, a wall in the living room has become a shrine to a younger brother, Amer Abbout, whose smiling visage gazes down from a photograph. A taxi driver, Amer was kidnapped two years ago, the family says; he hasn't been heard from since.
"He's inside the Old City somewhere; we don't know if he's alive or dead," said Abbout, as his elderly mother gazed forlornly at the image of her lost son. "He is in God's hands."
The mukhtar leads visiting journalists to the roof of his five-story building, offering panoramic views of the skeletal remains of Homs' ancient quarter. Safety dictates staying low, moving quickly and crouching behind satellite dishes that provide some cover from snipers. Chickens scamper about, pecking at decaying bits of lettuce and other greens left on the roof; people started keeping fowl when it was too dangerous to go out for food, Abbout explains. A clutch of pigeons takes wing as a shell detonates in the distance.
"We suffer and no one helps us, but the terrorists inside are getting everything they need," says Abbout. "I don't see any justice in that."


http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-homs-divisions-20140210,0,3309129.story#ixzz2swH1qRQ3

Who can we believe? Why do we support the ‘moderate opposition’ if they or their friends are beheading Shiites, Christians and Alawaites? Is that moderate?

reve

reve
11-02-2014, 09:42 PM
It is worth looking at the extremely strong lobby currently pressing Obama to attack Syria. It is reminiscent of the one urging Bush to attack Iraq. With the attack on Syria I am posting a link to a fascinating article in the Financial Times. It is basically blaming Obama’s inaction for the humanitarian catastrophe and suggests that action now, targeting Al Qaida (as if that was the intention), setting up buffer or no fly zones ete must happen now. In a sense it is quite convincing but look at the author. He urged the attack on Iraq and Libya. Does he recognise the deaths of perhaps 700,000 civilians as a result, the fact that both countries are now being bombed daily by Jihadist gangs? No and one has to suspect that behind this humanitarian appeal is a very hard headed desire to see regime changes that benefit no one in those countries but benefit who? The author is described as a historian and author and here are some extracts from Wikipedia - not representative extracts but ones which reveal the possibility that he may have an undeclared mission. These sort of articles are being released in many major newspapers now in readiness for the inevitable attack on Assad and common sense. There are very few articles which reflect the opposite view. I also note an article also linked below suggesting that the US will downgrade their war on Al Qaida now it has changed, or that is what I read into it. Make up your own minds. So the first author - Max Boot:



Max Boot (born September 12, 1969) is an American author, consultant, editorialist, lecturer, and military historian.[1] He has been a prominent advocate for American power. He once described his ideas as "American might to promote American ideals."….. He is now Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written for numerous publications such as The Weekly Standard, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and he has also authored well-reviewed and best-selling books of military history…..He serves as a consultant to the U.S. military and as a regular lecturer at U.S. military institutions such as the Army War College and the Command and General Staff College…. His writings with the Council appeared in several publications such as The New York Post, The Times, Financial Times, and International Herald Tribune in 2002.
Boot wrote Savage Wars of Peace, a study of small wars in American history, with Basic Books in 2002. The title came from Kipling's poem 'White Man's Burden'.[11] James A. Russell in Journal of Cold War Studies criticized the book, saying that "Boot did none of the critical research, and thus the inferences he draws from his uncritical rendition of history are essentially meaningless."….The World Affairs Councils of America named Boot one of “the 500 most influential people in the United States in the field of foreign policy" in 2004.… During Rose's interview, Boot praised President Obama's decision to appoint General David Petraeus as the ground commander of the Afghanistan campaign, and he said that the conflict is winnable…. He particularly argued that President Obama's health care plans made maintaining the U.S.' superpower status harder, that withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq occurred prematurely while making another war there more likely, and that the initial U.S. victory in Afghanistan had been undone by government complacency though forces could still pull off a victory…..Boot co-wrote with Brookings Institution senior fellow Michael Doran a New York Times op-ed titled "5 Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now", advocating U.S military force to create a countrywide no-fly zone reminiscent of NATO's role in the Kosovo War. He stated first and second that "American intervention would diminish Iran’s influence in the Arab world" and that "a more muscular American policy could keep the conflict from spreading" with "sectarian strife in Lebanon and Iraq". Third, Boot argued that "training and equipping reliable partners within Syria’s internal opposition" could help "create a bulwark against extremist groups like Al Qaeda". He concluded that "American leadership on Syria could improve relations with key allies like Turkey and Qatar" as well as "end a terrible human-rights disaster"….Boot vigorously supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the 2007 surge. He wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed in April 2011 arguing that it is "in America's Interest to Stay in Iraq" because "[h]aving active bases would allow us to project power and influence in the region."….During the Gaza war, Boot stated that Israel was morally justified to invade the Gaza Strip. …Boot supports what he calls American imperialism based on nation building and the pursuit of spreading democracy across the non-Western world. He sees this as the only way to prevent another event like the 9/11 attacks…. Woods also commented, "Since in my judgment Max Boot embodies everything that is wrong with modern conservatism, his opposition is about the best endorsement I could have asked for….John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's controversial 2007 book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy named Boot as a neo-conservative 'pundit' that represented the Israeli lobby's positions, notably within the Council of Foreign Relations. The authors argued that Boot and other figures dishonestly warp American foreign policy away from its national interest…..In response to the 2011 Libyan civil war, Boot wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the United States should send an aircraft carrier with "34 F/A-18F Super Hornets and 10 F/A-18C Hornets along with a full complement of electronic-warfare aircraft" to Libya in order to establish a no-fly zone over that country. In addition, he argued that "It may also be necessary to send arms and Special Forces trainers to support the rebels," and that inaction would "reduce American power and prestige in ways that will do us incalculable long-term harm." Replying to Boot's arguments, Will Wilkinson of The Economist wrote that "there is no question that serious people do not deliberate like this" and that "crediting this sort of keyboard brinkmanship has already done Americans (and Iraqis and Afghans) incalculable harm." Wikipedia

So what does Mr Boot have to say about Syrian policy today?

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/22625362-9276-11e3-8018-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2t31OXLZv

February 10, 2014 6:40 pm
Obama’s Syria policy is a deadly mistake
By Max Boot
The president’s strategy towards the country has failed but options remain, writes Max Boot
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/22625362-9276-11e3-8018-00144feab7de.html


Al-Qaeda’s expulsion of Islamist group in Syria prompts U.S. debateBy Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller, Tuesday, February 11, 1:33 AM E-mail the writers
The Obama administration is engaged in a debate about the extent of the president’s powers to use lethal force against terrorist organizations, and the deliberations have been accelerated by al-Qaeda’s recent decision to sever ties with a violent Islamist group in Syria.
The focus of internal discussions is whether a law giving the president authority to attack al-Qaeda affiliates still applies to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group that was disavowed last week….

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/al-qaedas-excommunication-of-islamist-group-in-syria-prompts-high-level-us-debate/2014/02/10/339d8654-8f4e-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.htmlkeep

Both articles well worth reading for those who want to keep abreast of the fast changing attitudes and the increasing desperation to remove Assad. This kind of rush is exactly what we saw with Saddam and Gaddafi, as though they were the only despots in the Middle East. But they were only removed because the Us became involved which causes armies to shrink in terror or defect and this is exactly why they want the Us to get involved in this deadly civil war which can of course be stopped with one phone call to Saudi Arabia.

reve

reve
12-02-2014, 02:23 AM
Whoever the few real Kahanist terrorists are it is clear that like all violent extremists they use any weapons available to achieve their goals and must be hidden as they are branded a terrorist organisation. It is really only now that we are becoming aware of them not least because of the bravery of some Israelis who see the real threat. It is necessary to look again at their tenets contained in those few lines above.

The main enemy to them at this stage is the moderate Jew. They therefore have to ensure they do not get in the way and this was why Rabin was assassinated. Haaretz also included Sharon. But looking further one can see that they consider the US a very dangerous enemy too. The US wields far too much power over their aspirations and this is probably why in Israel Kerry has recently been branded anti-Semitic. Obama they have also included in that category. The world laughs at this but the settlers do not and it is laughable as only 9 years ago Kerry discovered his Jewish ancestry. He is a true friend to the real Israel and an American through and through - exactly what makes him enemy number one to the Kahanist this week.

They were long aware of the destruction that war with Iran would bring on the US. And that has been made almost certain. Iran is not their real enemy at all - but will embroil the US in a battle they cannot win against not only a very large country but also China and Russia. Invasion now would also anger the rest of the world. However it is essential for them to occupy Syria and Lebanon and this is only achievable by destroying Iran. Iraq and Jordan are also on the list but like Egypt can easily fall. The essential part to that is getting Saudi Arabia to help them unwittingly.

Remember that there are very few Kahanists and that they use many people and organisations. So do not for a moment think that anyone who is making the points that build up to the Kahanist vision have any idea what it is. For them they see the danger of Syria left uninvaded as a humanitarian catastrophe that will infect the whole area around Israel. They see Iran as eventually delivering nuclear bombs into the heart of Israel, perhaps using Hezbollah. It is quite easy to persuade gullible and patriotic people as long as they do not know what the real intention is.

The US must therefore be delivered a massive blow to stop them making it impossible to achieve their dream. And Israel must be weakened in the face of the few Kahanists controlling the real agenda. The word Kahanism must never be mentioned. Anyone standing in the way must be branded anti-Semitic or delegitimizing Israel. Sadly many people are for one reason or another dependent on being seen as true supporters of Israel and they are very averse to being seen as antagonistic to it, let alone supporting any nation hostile to it.

It did not make sense that peace talks were being so undermined but in reality it is likely they will be successful up to the point where they are put to a referendum. Then the Kahanist agenda will ensure there is no possibility of the terms for peace being accepted he majority. War with Iran, triggered by the attack which Saudi Arabia are expecting and indeed hoping for as part of the bargain, will make the whole area around Israel very dangerous and requiring occupation. Al Qaida seem to have been encouraged at just the right time as thet are the red flag for the US people. A chemical attack did not work but imagining Al Qaida building up to launch another major attack on the US is unthinkable. However the suggestion made by the Jordanian article was that this time the occupation of Syria would be with Israeli forces, an absolutely essential part of the plan. Syria and Iraq would both need to be occupied eventually to engage them effectively as ISIL or ISIS is in fact based in these two countries, indeed considers them to be one ‘Levant’.

It is unlikely that now the cat is out of the bag analysts will not be able to see where this is going. No one in Congress or Senate for example would tolerate any threat to the US whther it was from Al qaida or Kahanism. Especially if the threat is because of its ideals and inevitable refusal to counter a Kahanist empire as large as the one they desire. No moderate or thinking Israeli would either. That is the problem with terrorists - they do not think things through. Al Qaida will grow exponentially in the face of this and there will indeed be an army of 200 million Jihadists hell bent on destroying Israel. Already there are divisions in Al Qaida suggesting that the control that has been there so long and which undoubtedly played into Kahanists hands, now sees it has different priorities which must be very upsetting to those who fund it. They want all the oil revenues in the Gulf, they want foreign Jihadists to join them, to reach the anger in Muslims from Morocco to Pakistan. The old Al Qaida did not. It was merely a tool to get the US and UK to invade and destroy the nations standing in the way. But so little does the Kahanist care for Arab lives they did not see how this bunch of mercenaries could ever become an unmanageable force.

The plot is far more subtle than I am portraying but so many elements that did not make sense before now do. The US needs to be extremely careful as does the UK. We have never recognised the mistakes we made in invading Iraq, nor really accepted that we could not win in Afghanistan against a small insurgency. No one wins in Afghanistan. We have always been great supporters, indeed the creators of Israel and Saudi Arabia and would never let anything get in the way of that friendship. But our politicians are susceptible to lobbies in this day and age and the Kahanist plot has used lobbies so effectively that no one ever suspected what really motivated them. They were the ones which warned us or coerced us, and the wealth that underpins them is also a tantalising incentive. But we are not our politicians and none of our politicians will be happy to have been so used, nor indeed the lobbyists.

Consider this. When did you discover that there was a Kahanist organisation that was intending to take not just the entire West Bank, but Iraq, Syria, Jordan , Lebanon and Egypt as well ? By putting them all under martial law as we have seen the Palestinians endure so long without any real chance of overthrowing that yoke. The only chance being the US involvement in trying to make a settlement agreeable to both sides. If you did not know then nor did any of those I have mentioned above, least of all the Jewish organisations in our continents.

It will not succeed but so nearly has and that is the key to this. What was apparent and did not add up was the increasing desperation to invade Syria using every trick in the book - a bloodthirsty despot killing peaceable protestors, the media, the UN, humanitarian organisations, the Hezbollah threat, chemicals, biologicals, and Al Qaida. But this desperation has brought them down and meant that many who were quietly hidden have now had to break cover. It has also meant that the strange alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia has now been put under the spotlight, and indeed 9/11.

Undoubtedly there have been some who saw this coming and tried in vain to warn our governments and military, but that was the problem. To do so implied either anti-Semitism or delegitimizing Israel and the media has been ready and waiting for any such moves to pounce upon. Furthermore there was never any real evidence as those who have been used by the Kahanists are almost certainly not members or ever would support them knowingly. As far as the public is concerned that madness was long ago put to bed after some crazed right wing settler shot his Prime Minister for being too soft on the Arabs.

So we must watch how this unfolds in these end days. This is perhaps our greatest threat - a world war as the superpowers see their chance to eradicate the US hold on the world, all that keeps it together in fact. And a descent into anarchy as major nations like Britain are either bankrupted or broken up by revolution starting as a popular uprising of course dealt with a bit too harshly. Uprisings where people are used, even financed, to set in motion a destruction that cannot be reversed. Ukraine certainly looks like this and what is happening there is causing a massive rift between the EU and Russia. All these things easily get out of hand and become excuses for exactly the wrong policies because nations are used and do not realise it. But certainly part of the Kahanist plot would be to ensure that the next step of occupation - what could really be called Greater Israel = is water off a duck’s back in the face of war with Iran and uprisings all across the EU and Russia, indeed China too.

Then we would see the real new order they had in mind. Is this fantasy? Is it even possible that just a few ultra devoted men and women could do this to our world in the belief that they would bring the Messiah home to a safe place. Because underneath all of that, this is all they want and what they genuinely see as necessary to save our world and usher in the Messianic Age. But they are misguided, fallen to a temptation that proved irresistible. Ands they would be ushering in the Anti-Christ age that destroys the planet so unnecessarily.

Anyway let us hope our politicians think twice about what they are doing, that they genuinely act in the interests of both their own people and world peace and accept advice from the intelligence agencies who investigate what is really going on. They also need to make sure they are not being controlled by this distorted vision. The best way is of course for us all to be aware of what a few extremists really have in mind for us. And to ensure that those who speak out against this are protected, not hunted down.

reve

feralgoose
12-02-2014, 11:30 PM
'The Wire' was an American drama from 2002 that did a good job of portraying the unseen side of the drug war in America, most of the stories are based in either true stories of the Baltimore streets and some more likely to be embellished urban legends. However this what I'm posting from it I don't think has any basis in truth (not the 'Hamsterdam' partt anyway) but shows how the drug war works by chain of command:

Howard "Bunny" Colvin is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by actor Robert Wisdom. Colvin is a wise and able Major in the Western District, alienated from the Baltimore Police Department and political system's concern with criminal statistics and career-climbing, to the consistent detriment of substantive case-work and the over-occupation with crude 'rip and run' tactics; that is, petty drug charges on low-level players. He often expresses nostalgia for policing in earlier decades, particularly for the way in which officers amiably integrated into and supported communities; something he holds in sharp distinction with the contemporary 'drug war', in which neighborhoods are treated like 'occupied territory'. Close to retirement, he secretly breaks chain-of-command and re-assigns his resources to create 'Hamsterdam', three zones within his district where drug dealing is pressured to non-violently conglomerate in exchange for informal legal sanction. Colvin also concentrates policing in these areas and attracts important ground-level social services, such as needle and condom distribution. Despite unprecedented statistical gains, Colvin meets reprimand, demotion (and thus lowered pension) and retirement, later to become a field researcher alongside academic Dr. David Parenti in Baltimore city schools. In this role, Colvin falls into the guardianship of Namond Brice.

Colvin joined the Baltimore Police Department around 1973 (according to Season 3, he had 30 years on) patrolling his home neighborhood in the department's Western District; one of his early posts was at Pensey and Fremont. Over his tenure, he advanced to the rank of District Commander (Major) in the Western District. Colvin's philosophy of policing involved protecting the community he served by making quality arrests through the use of trusted informants on his foot post. As a commander he insisted that his men learn their sense of direction, their foot post, and urged them to focus on doing real police work. Toward the end of his career, he began seeing the war on drugs as an ineffective waste of time and resources in his district that brought about too many unnecessary deaths.
Season two

Colvin was first seen as a Major and commander of the Western district in season two.[1] He attended the scene of the accidental shooting of a child during a drug turf war and was appalled at the senselessness of the killing. When ordered to crack down on the area, his second in command Dennis Mello stated that they waited too long to make the arrests they had while Colvin begins to question what it is they are really doing on their job.
Season three

In season three, Colvin was nearing retirement and decided to make a last effort to have a real impact on the community he had been policing for thirty years. He recognized that much of his time and resources were spent on policing addicts and low level dealers, which never seemed to improve the situation in his district and left little time for "real" police work. All of Baltimore's district Majors were under extreme pressure from the mayor's office to reduce the city's violent crime rate in preparation for the mayoral primary campaign. After Commissioner Ervin Burrell relieved Major Taylor of his post as the Eastern district commander for his poor performance, every other major began "juking" their stats to make crime rates appear to drop. Colvin refused to do this, and his stats honestly reflected a 2% rise in felonies. He was quickly berated for this by Deputy Rawls and his command post was threatened by Commissioner Burrell who claimed "I don't care how many years you have on this job, if the felony rates don't fall, you most certainly will."

Colvin wondered if there was a way for drugs to be made safe for low-level users to take them without facing punishment; comparing the city's drug problems to the illegal public consumption of alcohol, which was circumvented when people began keeping their beer in a paper bag. After the attempted murder of Officer Dozerman, Colvin finally decided that he would independently set up three "free zones" in his district where addicts and dealers were allowed to conduct their business under supervision but without interference. This would move the drug trade into a controlled, uninhabited area to protect the rest of his district. Colvin did not seek the permission or approval of any of his superiors before implementing his plan, and ignored the concerns of his subordinates Lieutenant Dennis Mello and DEU Sergeant Ellis Carver, who were charged by Colvin with ensuring no violence took place within the "free zones." One of these areas became known as "Hamsterdam", after Amsterdam's liberal drug laws. Because his retirement was imminent and he was guaranteed a major's pension, Colvin believed he would be free from any consequences should his plan be discovered. Although his project initially drew suspicion from the district's dealers, he convinced them to move their trade by brutally cracking down on any drug dealing outside of the free zones. Legalizing drugs in Hamsterdam allowed him to reassign police resources to solving quality felony cases elsewhere. After implementing the Hamsterdam plan for five weeks, Colvin delivered a cumulative 14% reduction in the felony rate, unheard of in the Western district's history.

Colvin was forced to take his vacation time immediately after revealing his experiment to the department's upper command. The mayor Clarence Royce considered trying to spin Hamsterdam as an enforcement strategy because of its success in lowering the crime rate. However, in the meantime, the existence of the free zones was leaked to the press. After realizing that public opinion was sharply against the free zones, and that there would be broader political ramifications, the Royce administration recanted and decided to end the Hamsterdam experiment. Commissioner Burrell offered Colvin to the mayor as a sacrificial offering and scapegoat. He and Deputy Rawls convinced Colvin to accept the responsibility silently by threatening to persecute his officers after he retired. They demoted him to lieutenant and thus lowered his pension. Burrell made things even worse for Colvin, having contacted Johns Hopkins University which had agreed to hire him as their deputy commander of campus security upon his retirement. Burrell personally informed them of his actions involved with Hamsterdam and they withdrew Colvin's job offer.

As a commanding officer, Colvin was well liked by his men. Colvin had a significant impact on Ellis Carver, convincing him to reassess his role as DEU sergeant and to take a more community-minded approach to policing. Colvin also reconnected with Jimmy McNulty, who had started out as a beat officer under his command. Colvin's last piece of detective work involved McNulty's major case unit — Stringer Bell contacted Colvin to inform against his partner Avon Barksdale and Colvin passed the information on to McNulty. In Colvin, Bell had seen a fellow reformer who felt his superiors were preventing useful work from being done. As Bell puts it, they are "both trying to make sense of this game," though from opposite sides of the law. [2]
Season four

As season four began, Colvin was supplementing his (diminished) pension by working as head of security for a downtown hotel. Colvin became disillusioned with the post when the hotel manager refused to let him arrest a wealthy client who had assaulted a prostitute in his hotel room. He left the job soon afterwards.

Colvin was approached with another job by his friend, The Deacon. The deacon had learned of a large grant to the University of Maryland School of Social Work to look at repeat violent offenders. The study was led by Dr. David Parenti. Colvin's reputation among academics as the man who attempted to legalize drugs in Western Baltimore secured him a job offer as a field researcher. Parenti initially planned to focus on 18-to-21-year-olds, but Colvin sensed that they would have to look at a younger group to effect any change. He convinced Parenti to look at Edward Tilghman Middle School for his target group.

Colvin identified for Parenti the two types of West Baltimore students: "stoop" kids, the kids who obey their parents' instructions to stay on the stoop or front steps of their house, go to school, and are respectful of authority; and "corner" kids, the kids who sell drugs on the corner, disrupt class, and are aspiring gangsters disrespectful of authority. Together, they isolated ten corner kids into a classroom where Parenti and UM doctoral student Miss Duquette studied them while Colvin acted as the mediator. In this classroom, the students were not allowed to be suspended, a punishment the students often utilized to get out of class intentionally.

Colvin began to take an interest in Namond Brice, one of the most disruptive students. He allowed Namond to stay at his home when Carver arrests Namond for selling drugs, and his mother was out of town. Colvin took him home the next day and sees first hand that his mother is pushing him into drug dealing. After seeing how Namond has progressed in school, Colvin sees Namond's potential. He realizes that Namond was never fit for the corners and will only end up being killed or in jail if he remains in his current household. Colvin then talks with Wee-Bey Brice, Namond's incarcerated father, explaining Namond could have a life outside of West Baltimore given the proper support from Colvin and his wife. After thinking it over, Wee-Bey tells Namond's mother to send him to live with Colvin as he wants him to have a future. Namond is seen to be living with Colvin and his wife at the conclusion of season four.[3]
Season five

Colvin appears briefly, late in the season ("Late Editions") with a gray and white goatee, attending Namond's high school competitive debate. He looks displeased when Mayor Carcetti visits the event, using it to burnish his political image. Outside the debate, Carcetti approaches Colvin and apologizes for being unable to support the Hamsterdam experiment from the third season, saying no politician could run with the idea politically, even though Carcetti hinted in season three that he supported Colvin's initiative. Colvin refuses to shake Carcetti's extended hand, and says nothing about his education plans which were similarly ignored by Carcetti's city hall in season four.

reve
13-02-2014, 05:16 PM
Interesting tale fg. Nick Clegg (UK Deputy Prime Minister) returned from his visit to Columbia hoping to change the UK drug laws having seen at first hand what they are doing to South America where the cartels are richer and better armed than the governments and murders are on an industrial scale. But he has little chance of achieving any change and our country is still awash with cocaine and crack as though we had never been at war with the drug and spending billions trying to stop it coming in (supposedly). The people who insist on a drug war are much more influential than Mr Clegg, know very well what it is doing and are sitting on billions of dollars and multi national corporate shares as a result of it. They seem to elect our government and its policies. We just vote for the people they tell us to.

Kahanists believe in revenge, not a hasty one though, a cold measured one. They certainly do not like me writing about them here. They are only supposed to take revenge on Gentiles, non Jews, but the distinction sometimes eludes them.

’ ….However, a 2013 study of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA, from the University of Huddersfield in England, suggests that at least 80 percent of the Ashkenazi maternal lineages derive from the assimilation of mtDNAs indigenous to Europe, probably as a consequence of conversion’ Wikipedia.

Ashkenazi Jews represent the larger proportion of world Jewry and are in essence the European Jews, not always regarded as Jewish by some. In fact through my mother I may well have a better claim to the Judaic line that many Kahanists, if we are talking about those who are actually descended from the Israelites of 1000BC. It needs to be determined genetically but so many thousand years later is really only determined by whether you and your parents claim to be Jewish, by birth or conversion.

To understand more about Kahanism and why it has become so incredibly powerful one needs to know more about Meir Kahane and what happened to him. You will see the beginning of Al Qaida here, a convenient scapegoat perhaps for an assassination that many others would have wanted, but for which would not have wanted the Kahanists to know their responsibility:

‘ Martin David Kahane (/kəˈhɑːnə/; August 1, 1932 – November 5, 1990), also known as Meir Kahane (Hebrew: הרב מאיר דוד כהנא‎), was an American-Israeli rabbi and ultra-nationalist writer and political figure, whose work became either the direct or indirect foundation of most modern Jewish militant and extreme right-wing political groups. He was an ordained Orthodox rabbi and later served as a member of the Israeli Knesset. Kahane gained recognition as an activist for Jewish causes, such as organizing Jewish self-defense groups in deteriorating neighborhoods and the struggle for the right of Soviet Jews to immigrate. He later became known in the United States and Israel for political and religious views that included proposing emergency Jewish mass-immigration to Israel due to the imminent threat of a "second Holocaust" in the United States, advocating that Israel's democracy be replaced by a state modeled on Jewish law, and promoting the idea of a Greater Israel in which Israel would annex the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In order to keep Arabs, who he stated would never accept Israel as a Jewish state, from becoming a numerical majority in Israel, he proposed a plan allowing Arabs to leave Israel and receive compensation for their property, and forcibly removing Arabs who refused.
Kahane founded both the militant group Jewish Defense League (JDL) in the USA and an Israeli political party Kach ("This is the Way"). In 1984 he became a member of the Knesset when Kach gained one seat in parliamentary elections. In 1988, the Israeli government banned Kach as "racist" and "anti-democratic" under the terms of an ad hoc law.
Kahane was killed in a Manhattan hotel by an Arab gunman in November 1990 after Kahane concluded a speech warning American Jews to emigrate to Israel before it was "too late". Some researchers, such as Peter Lance, consider him one of the first, if not the very first, victim of the then-nascent Al Qaeda as his killer is believed to have links to Osama bin Laden's network. The cell that Kahane's assassin belonged to had been training in the New York metro since the summer of 1989.
In 2007 the FBI released over a thousand documents relating to their daily surveillance of Kahane since the early 1960s.
Mr Kahane's name has come up as precedent in many court cases. Two examples are the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case, where the defense tried unsuccessfully to argue that informants 'Emad Saleem' and 'Ali Mohamed' had entrapped the conspirators, as had been done by the FBI to Kahane. In another case brought up at the Israeli Supreme Court, the banning of Kahane's political party first and then upheld in appeal, within the framework of the Israeli Democracy, can be used to ban other parties deemed 'racist' or which espouse racist views. The prosecution argued, that Arab MP Haneen Zoabi should be banned for denying the Jewish People's existence and was banned by the Central Elections Committee, using the Kahane precedent. A week later this was unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court, attempts at banning of Strong Israel, and Balad were overturned using the Kahane precedent unsuccessfully as well.
Some notable 1960s-era folk singers have made positive comments about Kahane. Woodie Guthrie's son Arlo described Kahane as "a really nice, patient teacher" who tutored him for his Bar Mitzvah. However, he felt that Kahane subsequently "started going haywire". Woody and his wife Marjorie had both met Kahane, and separately decades later Bob Dylan referred to him as 'a really sincere guy'.
Kahane was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York in 1932 to an Orthodox Jewish family. His father, Rabbi Yechezkel (Charles) Kahane, studied at Polish and Czech yeshiva religious schools, was involved in the Revisionist Zionism movement, and was a close friend of Zev (born Vladimir) Jabotinsky.
As a teenager, he became an ardent admirer of Ze'ev Jabotinsky and Peter Bergson, who were frequent guests in his parents' home, and joined the Betar (Brit Trumpeldor) youth wing of Revisionist Zionism. He was active in protests against Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Secretary who maintained restrictions on immigration of Jews (including Nazi death camp survivors) to Palestine after the end of the Second World War. In 1947 Kahane was arrested for throwing eggs and tomatoes at Bevin, as the latter disembarked at Pier 84 on a visit to New York. A photo of the arrest appeared in the New York Daily News. In 1954, he became the mazkir (director) of Greater New York City’s sixteen Bnei Akiva chapters.
Kahane’s formal education included elementary school at the Yeshiva of Flatbush and high school at both Abraham Lincoln H.S. and at the Brooklyn Talmudical Academy. Kahane received his rabbinical ordination from the Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and earned a B.A. in political science from Brooklyn College. He was fully conversant with the Talmud and Tanakh (Jewish Bible), and worked as a pulpit rabbi and teacher in the 1960s. Subsequently, he earned a Bachelor of Law – L.L.B. from New York Law School and M.A. in International Relations from New York University.
Serving as pulpit rabbi]
In 1956, Kahane married Libby, with whom he had four children. In 1958, he became the rabbi of the Howard Beach Jewish Center in Queens, New York City. The synagogue was traditional rather than strictly Orthodox but they installed a mechitzah, a partition that is used to separate men and women, before he took the position. At the Jewish Center, Kahane influenced many of the synagogue’s youngsters to adopt a more observant lifestyle and this angered their parents. He trained Arlo Guthrie for his bar mitzvah. His contract was not renewed and he soon published an article entitled “End of the Miracle of Howard Beach.” This was Kahane’s first article in the Jewish Press, American-Jewish weekly, for which he continued to write until his assassination in 1990. Kahane also used the pen name David Sinai and the pseudonyms Michael King, David Borac and Martin Keene.
Becoming Michael King and Infiltrating John Birch Society
At some time in the late 1950s, Mr. Kahane took on the persona of a non-religious individual, living a double life, shaving his beard and renamed himself Michael King. Kahane became a demagogue at this point according to most accounts, and re-imagined himself as virulently and violently anti-Communist and anti-hippie. He created the 'July Fourth Movement' which targeted left wing groups on US college campuses across the US, financed by the US Government. During this period Mr. Kahane attempted to rekindle his Brooklyn College friendship with Joseph Churba which resulted in them co-authoring the text, 'The Jewish Stake in Vietnam' together, which was an attempt to convince American Jews of the 'evil of Communism'. Kahane and Churba wrote "All Americans have a stake in this grim war against Communism.... it is vital that Jews realize the threat to their very survival [should Communism succeed]" from the introduction. Churba had a major falling out with Kahane over the use of para-militarism, and they permanently parted ways, he went on to pursue his own career, joining the US Air Force, writing many books on the Middle East, later becoming one of Ronald Reagan's consultants. Kahane chose a violent path, even attempting to acquire and grow biological weapons to use on a Soviet military installation but failed. Following the failure to get FBI training in the use of biological weapons, and the suicide of his 'Michael King' persona's non-Jewish mistress, he began using the phrase 'Never Again' (wrote a book with that title, a few years after his first article using that phrase appeared), also conceiving the Jewish Star and fist insignia, a similar symbol to the Black Panther party, though Kahane himself was against the Black Panther party due to anti-Jewish riots they has supported in Massachusetts as he saw it, and leftist leanings as he saw it.
In the late 1950s to early 1960s, Kahane's life of secrecy and strong anti-communist views landed him a position as a consultant with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to his wife Libby, his assignment was to infiltrate the anti-communist John Birch Society and report his findings back to the FBI. As reported by Michael T. Kaufman in The New York Times (and subsequently followed up by The Village Voice in the early 1980s), Kahane (under his pseudonym Michael King) allegedly had an affair with a non-Jewish woman, Gloria Jean D'Argenio. In 1966, Kahane/King allegedly sent a letter to D'Argenio in which he unilaterally ended their relationship. In response, D'Argenio jumped off the Queensboro ("59th Street", "Ed Koch") Bridge; she died of her injuries the next day. According to Kaufman, Kahane admitted to him that "he loved Ms D'Argenio and had sent roses to her grave for months after her death." He also established a foundation which carried the name she used in her modeling career, Estelle Donna Evans. Ads for the foundation appeared weekly in the Jewish Press, although the group never filed legally required financial documents detailing what it did with the money it collected.
Jewish Defense League
Main article: Jewish Defense League
Founded by Kahane in New York City in 1968, JDL's self-described purpose was to protect Jews from local manifestations of antisemitism. According to the Anti-Defamation League, Kahane "preached a radical form of Jewish nationalism which reflected racism, violence and political extremism" and those attitudes were replicated by Irv Rubin, the JDL successor to Kahane. In a 1971 interview, Bob Dylan made positive comments about Kahane. In Time Magazine, Dylan stated, "He's a really sincere guy. He's really put it all together." According to Kahane, Dylan did attend several meetings of the Jewish Defense League in order to find out "what we're all about" and started to have talks with the rabbi. Subsequently, Dylan downplayed the extent of his contact with Kahane.
A number of the JDL members and leaders, including Kahane, were convicted in relation to acts of domestic terrorism in the United States. In 1975, Kahane was arrested for leading the attack on the police outside the Soviet United Nations mission and injuring two officers, but was released after being given summonses for disorderly conduct. Later that same year, Kahane was accused of conspiring to kidnap a Soviet diplomat, bomb the Iraqi embassy in Washington, and ship arms abroad from Israel. His probation for a 1971 firebomb-making incident was revoked and Kahane was found guilty of violating probation and served a one year federal prison sentence. He also announced that the JDL planned to recruit a 150,000 member volunteer "army" of Americans to fight for Israel, even as such an "army" had no approval from the Israeli government. In a 1984 interview with Washington Post correspondent Carla Hall, Kahane admitted that the JDL "bombed the Russian [Soviet] mission in New York, the Russian cultural mission here [Washington] in 1971, the Soviet trade offices."
Immigration to Israel, Knesset service
Main article: Kach and Kahane Chai
In 1971, Kahane emigrated to Israel. When he moved to Israel, Kahane declared that he would focus on Jewish education. However, he soon began initiating protests advocating the expulsion of Arabs from Israel and the occupied territories. In 1972, Jewish Defense League leaflets were distributed in Hebron, calling for the mayor to stand trial for the 1929 Hebron massacre. Kahane was arrested dozens of times. In 1971, he founded the Kach party. In 1973, the party ran for the Knesset (Israeli parliament) during the general elections under the name "The League List". The party won 12,811 votes (0.82%), just 2,857 (0.18%) short of the electoral threshold at the time (1%) for winning a Knesset seat. The party was even less successful in the 1977 elections, winning 4,836 votes.
In 1980, Kahane was arrested for the 62nd time since his emigration and jailed for six months following a detention order based on allegations of planning armed attacks against Palestinians in response to the killings of Jewish settlers. Kahane was held in prison in Ramla, where he wrote the book They Must Go. Kahane claimed in the book's preface that a prisoner in the same wing was a Bedouin from the Negev about to be released after serving an eighteen-year prison sentence for the rape and murder of a Jewish girl.
In 1981, Kahane's Kach party again ran for the Knesset during the 1981 elections, but did not win a seat, receiving only 5,128 votes. In 1984, the Central Elections Committee banned him from being a candidate on the grounds that Kach was a racist party, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ban on grounds that the committee was not authorized to ban Kahane's candidacy. The Supreme Court suggested that the Knesset pass a law that would authorize the exclusion of racist parties from future elections, and the Anti-Racist Law of 1988 was later passed. In the 1984 legislative elections, Kahane's Kach party received 25,907 votes, enough to give the party one seat in the Knesset, which was taken by Kahane. Kahane refused to take the standard oath of office and insisted on adding a Biblical verse from Psalms, to indicate that when the national laws and Torah conflict, Torah (Biblical) law should have supremacy over the laws of the Knesset. Kahane's legislative proposals focused on transferring the Arab population out from the Land of Israel, revoking Israeli citizenship from non-Jews, and banning Jewish-Gentile marriages and sexual relations, based on the Code of Jewish Law compiled by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah.
As his political career progressed, Kahane became increasingly isolated in the Knesset. His speeches, boycotted by Knesset members, were made to an empty parliament, except for the duty chairman and the transcriptionist. Kahane's legislative proposals and motions of no-confidence against the government were ignored or rejected by fellow Knesset members. Kahane often pejoratively called other Knesset members "Hellenists" in Hebrew (a reference to Jews who assimilated into Greek culture after Judea's occupation by Alexander the Great). In 1987, Kahane opened a yeshiva (HaRaayon HaYehudi) with funding from US supporters, for the teaching of "the Authentic Jewish Idea". Despite the boycott, Kahane's popularity grew among the Israeli public, especially among working-class Sephardi Jews. Polls showed that Kach would have likely received three to four seats in the coming November 1988 elections.
In 1985, the Knesset passed an amendment to Israel's Basic Law, barring "racist" candidates from election. The Central Elections Committee banned Kahane a second time, and he appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court. This time, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the committee, disqualifying Kach from running in the 1988 elections. Kahane was thus the first candidate in Israel to be barred from election for racism.
Assassination
Main article: Assassination of Meir Kahane
In November 1990, following a speech to an audience of mostly Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn, as a crowd of well-wishers gathered around Kahane in the second-floor lecture hall in midtown Manhattan's Marriott East Side Hotel, Kahane was assassinated. He was shot to death by El Sayyid Nosair, an Egyptian-born American citizen who was initially charged and acquitted of the murder. Nosair was later convicted of the murder in United States district court incident to the trial for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Prosecutors were able to retry Nosair for the murder because the federal indictment includes the killing as part of the alleged terrorist conspiracy. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and later made a confession to federal agents. Kahane was buried on Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem. Kahane's funeral was one of the largest in Israel's history, where approximately 150,000 participated.
Ideology
Main article: Kahanism
Kahane argued that there was a glory in Jewish destiny, which came through the observance of the Torah, stating that "democracy and Judaism are not the same thing." Kahane also believed that a Jewish democracy with non-Jewish citizens was self-contradictory because the non-Jewish citizens might someday become a numerical majority and vote to make the state non-Jewish: "The question is as follows: if the Arabs settle among us and make enough children to become a majority, will Israel continue to be a Jewish state? Do we have to accept that the Arab majority will decide?" "Western democracy has to be ruled out. For me that's cut and dried: there's no question of setting up democracy in Israel, because democracy means equal rights for all, irrespective of racial or religious origins."
Kahane proposed the forcible deportation of nearly all Arabs from all lands controlled by the Israeli government. He framed this deportation as an "exchange of populations" that would continue the Jewish exodus from Arab lands: "A total of some 750,000 Jews fled Arab lands since 1948. Surely it is time for Jews, worried over the huge growth of Arabs in Israel, to consider finishing the exchange of populations that began 35 (50) years ago." Kahane proposed a $40,000 compensation plan for Arabs who would leave voluntarily, forcible expulsion "for those who don’t want to leave," and encouraged retaliatory violence against Arabs who attacked Jews: "I approve of anybody who commits such acts of violence. Really, I don’t think that we can sit back and watch Arabs throwing rocks at buses whenever they feel like it. They must understand that a bomb thrown at a Jewish bus is going to mean a bomb thrown at an Arab bus."
Kahane proposed that Israel expand its boundaries "according to the description given in the Bible". He said, "the southern boundary goes up to El Arish, which takes in all of northern Sinai, including Yamit. To the east, the frontier runs along the western part of the East Bank of the Jordan River, hence part of what is now Jordan. Eretz Yisrael also includes part of Lebanon and certain parts of Syria, and part of Iraq, all the way to the Tigris River. When critics suggested this would mean perpetual war between Jews and Arabs, Kahane answered, "There will be a perpetual war. With or without Kahane."
Following Kahane's death, no charismatic leader emerged to replace him in the movement, although the idea of transferring populations, mainly attributed to Kahane, was subsequently incorporated into the political platform of various political parties in Israel, such as Moledet (applying to Arab non-citizen residents of the West Bank) and Yisrael Beiteinu (in the form of population exchange). Two small Kahanist factions later emerged; one under the name of Kach and the other Kahane chai (Hebrew: כהנא חי, literally "Kahane lives [on]"), the second one led by his younger son, Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane. Neither one was permitted to participate in the Knesset elections by the Central Elections Committee, however.
In 1994, following the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre of Palestinian Muslim worshippers in Hebron by Kach supporter Dr. Baruch Goldstein, in which 29 Palestinian Muslim worshippers were killed, the Israeli government declared both parties to be terrorist organizations. The U.S. State Department also added Kach and Kahane Chai to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
On December 31, 2000, Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane and his wife Talya were shot to death by Palestinian gunmen while on their way to the Israeli settlement of Kfar Tapuach, where they lived. Five of their six children were wounded in the attack. Palestinian gunmen fired more than 60 machine gun rounds into their van.
In the 2003 Knesset elections Herut, which split off from the National Union list, ran with Michael Kleiner and former Kach activist Baruch Marzel taking the top two spots on the list. The joint effort narrowly missed the 1.5% barrier. In the following 2006 elections Jewish National Front led by Baruch Marzel, fared better but also failed to pass the minimum threshold. A self-declared follower of Kahane who was involved with Kach for many years, Michael Ben-Ari, was elected to the Knesset in the 2009 elections on renewed National Union list. He stood again in the 2013 elections as the second candidate on the list of Otzma LeYisrael, but the party failed to pass the minimum threshold.
Wikipedia

This is what he thought about ’revenge’ and various other matters affecting the world:

Meir Kahane Quotes
No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place.
Meir Kahane

Time, Revenge, Place
Love has its place, as does hate. Peace has its place, as does war. Mercy has its place, as do cruelty and revenge.
Meir Kahane

Love, Peace, War
Never, ever deal with terrorists. Hunt them down and, more important, mercilessly punish those states and groups that fund, arm, support, or simply allow their territories to be used by the terrorists with impunity.
Meir Kahane

Support, Used, Simply
Let us not suffer from a national amnesia that causes us to forget who and what we are.
Meir Kahane

Forget, National, Suffer
For so long as the Jew has even one ally, he will be convinced - in his smallness of mind - that his salvation came from that ally. It is only when he is alone - against all of his own efforts and frantic attempts - that he will, through no choice, be compelled to turn to G-d.
Meir Kahane

Alone, Mind, Choice
Above all, it is not decency or goodness of gentleness that impresses the Middle East, but strength.
Meir Kahane

Strength, Goodness, Above
Life is essentially a question of values.
Meir Kahane

Life, Question, Values
One of the great problems with Americans is that - being a decent people - they assume that everyone else is equally decent.
Meir Kahane

Great, Problems, Else
The Jew does not wish to be isolated. He fears being alone, without allies.
Meir Kahane

Alone, Wish, Fears
If we ever hope to rid the world of the political AIDS of our time, terrorism, the rule must be clear: One does not deal with terrorists; one does not bargain with terrorists; one kills terrorists.
Meir Kahane

Time, Hope, Political
Every man judges his own happiness and satisfaction with life in terms of his possession or lack of possession of those things that he considers worthwhile and valuable.
Meir Kahane

Life, Happiness, Valuable
Surely it is time for Jews, worried over the huge growth of Arabs in Israel, to consider finishing the exchange of populations that began 35 years ago.
Meir Kahane

Time, Growth, Israel
The observant Jew has his own sense of values. Torah Judaism is his blueprint for this life, his target for existence.
Meir Kahane

Life, Sense, Values
There is the illusion of the world and the reality of the Torah.
Meir Kahane

Reality, Illusion, Torah
I know that elections must be limited only to those who understand that the Arabs are the deadly enemy of the Jewish state, who would bring on us a slow Auschwitz - not with gas, but with knives and hatchets.
Meir Kahane

Enemy, Understand, State
It is incumbent upon us to understand our greatness and believe in it so that we do not cheapen and profane ourselves.
Meir Kahane

Understand, Greatness, Ourselves
Jews have been in Egypt since Biblical times, and Alexandria had once been, at least partially, a Jewish city.
Meir Kahane

Bible, Once, Times
Today, Jewish defense is an accepted thing.
Meir Kahane

Today, Defense, Jewish
We have our own values; we build our own special, our JEWISH life - and we are proud, so very proud.
Meir Kahane

Life, Special, Proud
The fact is, that with the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews fled Arab countries, almost all of whom left behind all their property for which compensation was never paid.
Meir Kahane

Fact, State, Almost
I see all this and know that if we are to save the Jewish state and its three-and-a-half million Jews from terrible horrors, we must rise up and demand a fundamental change in the very system of government.
Meir Kahane

Change, Government, Rise
The banding together by the nations of the world against Israel is the guarantee that their time of destruction is near and the final redemption of the Jew at hand.
Meir Kahane

Time, Together, Against
The difference is that if we turn from the Gentile first, we will have the Almighty as the immediate staff and our comfort. If not, we will have neither the Gentile nor, for a terrible stage, the Almighty.
Meir Kahane

Difference, Turn, Comfort
The Jew is upset because the nations of the world - the United Nations - lash him, brand him as racist and evil, hate him and openly demonstrate their desire to destroy him.
Meir Kahane

Hate, Evil, Desire
The Jewish nation is indeed, the heart of the world and there is no reason for the existence of empires, kings, rulers, masses or systems aside from their reaction to the Jewish people.
Meir Kahane
Copyright © 2001 - 2014 BrainyQuote® BookRags Media Network 
I would say this to the ultra religious. You do not know who your God really is but he hides in your paryers. The Egyptians called him Amen and his name means hidden, he is one of the 8 primordial Gods of ‘Thoth’ or Djhwty. Amen went to Israel with the Habiru:

" Habiru or Apiru or ˁpr.w (Egyptian) was the name given by various Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Mitanni, and Ugaritic sources (dated, roughly, between 1800 BC and 1100 BC) to a group of people living as nomadic invaders in areas of the Fertile Crescent from Northeastern Mesopotamia and Iran to the borders of Egypt in Canaan. Depending on the source and epoch, these Habiru are variously described as nomadic or semi-nomadic, rebels, outlaws, raiders, mercenaries, and bowmen, servants, slaves, migrant laborers, etc.
The names Habiru and Apiru are used in Akkadian cuneiform texts. The corresponding name in the Egyptian script appears to be ʕpr.w, conventionally pronounced Apiru (W,or u-vowel "quail-chick" being used as the Egyptian plural suffix). In Mesopotamian records they are also identified by the Sumerian logogram SA.GAZ. The name Habiru was also found in the Amarna letters, which again include many names of Canaanite peoples written in Akkadian. The Amarna letters written to Egyptian pharaohs in the 14th century BC document a time of unrest in Canaan that goes back before the battle of Kadesh to the time of Thutmose ‘ Wikipedia

This is why Amen is mentioned in all Jewish and Christian prayers, even the Muslims say ‘Ameen’. Most notable about this God worshipped by the Ancient Egyptians since antiquity and long before any Abraham, whether he existed or not, is that Amen is the God of poor people. The Habiru were the mercenary soldiers that the Pharaohs Thutmose 1, 2 and 3 (Moses) installed in Canaan to protect their supply routes from bandits. At that time ice from Mount Hermon in Lebanon was delivered to Pharaoh by
Caravans. An extraordinary luxury for the Egyptian that had never seen it. So was cedar wood, incense and various foods and drinks the pharaohs loved. But at various times Canaan was under the rule of the Babylonians and the Assyrians. Thothmose cleared them out quite cruelly and installed his own garrisons with the religion now followed by the 3 main religions in our world. No one has any greater claim to this, nor can anyone speak for ‘God’. And woe betide those who oppress the poor.

Finally the storms afflicting the US and UK. I have written elsewhere on this forum at the time of Hurricane Sandy (21 October 2012 - 2 days after some expected the end of the world and a time when many things were going down in the Middle East) that storms can be raised by the wicked men and women who practise ‘elemental magic’. The ‘tempestarii’ of the Middle Ages did this storm making, shamen in many cultures still do. Some try to avert storms and damage to crops by hail for example, but some form circles to raise the ‘elementals’ that can wreak havoc on a nation. Global warming has made this easier. It sounds daft but we often try to calm and make a break in rainstorms when taking our dogs for a walk. I have never raised a storm nor tried to make rain but have read those that did, including one man who was particularly proud of a storm he raised which caused fatalities. These elementals should never be unleashed, they are uncontrollable. But the terrorists use all weapons at their disposal and if you have read this thread will know that magic has been used, even by the rabbis credited with causing Sharon’s stroke just before he intended to return the West Bank to the Palestinians. There is much about the current storm cycle to suggest human malevolance. And another potent weapon in their armoury is the ability to bankrupt a nation. The US constantly comes close to such disaster as does the UK although both are ‘wealthy nations’. But for a long time our economies have been seriously and consistently undermined both by man made events (the sub prime crisis) and curious decisions forced by lobbies on our politicians (this high speed railway for example estimated to cost £82 Billion at a time of austerity) This could be all part of a plan to destroy the ones who gave birth to a nation, protected it and now threaten it by making sure it stays within the borders we intended for it. But it could be that any competing nation states or superpowers are trying to destroy us without an actual war of assured mutual devastation.

Hence there could be an element here of ‘revenge’ by the few dedicated Kahanist terrorists who remain hidden behind the well meaning people they use as a front for their activities and who do not realise what is intended. If only they were right and it would all end well, but the intention is entirely racist and does not.

reve

reve
13-02-2014, 10:08 PM
When wondering whether it is possible that there ever was a Kahanist conspiracy, let alone as enormous as suggested above there is one thing that might explain it. In theory it could not happen - we have far too many intelligent people for such a thing to go undetected, or even to occur at all. But if it did, or if part of it has, it is down to a particular habit we have developed.

If you look back at the article urging an immediate attack on Syria and telling us this should have happened long ago, it blames two world leaders for thinking they had to consult their parliaments. It was because Cameron asked the House of Commons in a free vote, and because the members knew the population was 80% against an attack, that it was narrowly prevented.

But the population is not to be told of some things and it is this that protects conspiracies and conspirators. It is like creating a moist, warm space where bacteria can grow. In the glare of public scrutiny such things cannot survive. But this is difficult for those who work in what are called secret services and even more difficult for politicians who do not wish to be embarrassed over decisions they have made that look not only ridiculous but completely against the national interest.

This coming war cannot be stopped unless the public stop it. If there is a conspiracy it will survive unless the public stop it. The politicians are not strong enough to stand up against the lobbies. Most of which work almost secretly and strike deals which would repulse anyone who is not a politician. The intelligence services have to do what they are told by the politicians running the government at any time. It is a closed shop and the conspirators not only know that, but have created that. This is why when history unravels the plots we are left incredulous at the duplicity and weakness of those who could have stopped them.

Easier to silence the boy saying the emperor is naked than explain why the courtiers never did. As soon as the whole general public is aware it is too late. But politicians do not trust the voters, or that is the excuse for the constant cover ups. We can only surmise that from films and TV sitcoms like ‘Yes Minister’. The memoirs they write do not tell us much.

It was not always so. In WW2 there was remarkable openness about our situation as we were all required to work together against almost insurmountable odds. And that is what the public is so good at. That is why the News on our Floods is showing how it has been the public that have been coping and supportive. The politicians have been taking the credit, dismissing any responsibility, failing to accept their mistakes and making promises we know they cannot fulfil. On TV in the Commons I noted Cameron, when asked why we are going ahead with HS2 the fast railway that will cost £82 billion + when the railway lines are all down in the West country, announced that three times as much as HS2 costs will be spent on the rail and road links to the west country. That shut everyone up. Not one of them is admitting that their sweeping budget cuts caused the rivers to be unable to cope now they are silted up. It all says two things. A bargain has been struck with the lobbies that want HS2 although hardly anyone in the country does and a referendum on the issue would show that very clearly. And politicians will never admit they have made mistakes especially on the recent budget cuts.
I do not blame Cameron but the system. All sides in the House are the same.

So you can imagine what they would say if told there had been a conspiracy that has been methodically destroying the west for 25 years. That is bankrupting the EU, UK and US and when it achieves that will enable China to mop up the Pacific, Russia to mop up Europe and the rest will be run by gangs of bloodthirsty hooligans calling themselves a Caliphate. It is not believable and is certainly not something that any politician or analyst will take responsibility for. These days they seem to lack the courage to stand up and be counted which is possibly precisely how and why they are picked for the jobs they do. I wish I was wrong and hope I am. I hope Obama and Cameron do talk to us and let us decide what to do and how to support them. It worked with Syria and will work with the bigger picture. Honesty pays and democracy (real democracy) works.

Otherwise we need some charismatic truth sayer to lead us away from the abyss which in fact endangers the whole planet and every nation. None will be spared although some may see short term bribes dangling enticingly before them. eg ‘you can have Europe’. This was what enabled the Yalta talks near the end of WW2 to carve up the world but things have changed. Ideally the UN should discuss what is really going on, decide whether there is some conspiracy that is driving us all over the cliff and do something about it collectively. But that will not happen either. The media need to be open with us and publish what is now known. Most unlikely. Let us hope Cameron and Obama have what it takes to save us all as I do not think anyone else will. But if they opt to hide all of the stuff that went down in the terms of their predecessors, I think any real change is unlikely and impossible. If they trust the world and its people in the end days it will be possible. We do not mind austerity and struggle if we know why and do not see billionaires gloating as they take the money we sacrifice. As it is people are asking ‘Where is the money? Why has it all gone? How can we get it back off the thieves who took it?’

But suggesting in a newspaper article that our leaders should not ask us, or our elected representatives, whether we wish to go to a war that has nothing to do with us and ignore Russia and China telling us not to - that says it all. About 'conspiracy', about the leadership we had till now in this world and the media, and indeed the shady goings on of people who want us embroiled in unjust wars one after another.

Please do not shoot the messenger or that little boy.


reve

reve
15-02-2014, 05:15 PM
The Government’s highly controversial badger cull has suffered a
further setback after it released figures which showed it had
exaggerated the case for the cull.
The Department for Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Defra) has admitted that an IT glitch meant it had overstated the number of cattle herds infected by tuberculosis in Britain to such an extent that there had actually been a decline in the year preceding the badger cull in September 2013, rather than the rise it had previously announced.
Revised numbers, calculated after an error was found in the system last month, show that the number of herds infected by bovine TB fell by 3.4 per cent in the year to September 2013, rather than rising by 18 per cent, as it previously said.
Defra also disclosed that the rate of new infections had been slightly exaggerated in both 2012 and 2013 – again undermining the case for the cull of badgers, which most scientists believe help to spread the disease between cattle.
Further undermining Mr Paterson’s case for the cull, new figures showed that there was a 13 per cent reduction in the number of cattle – as opposed to herds – compulsorily slaughtered in England because of bovine TB between January to November in 2013, compared to the same period the year earlier.
Together, these figures demonstrate that Environment Secretary Owen Paterson unwittingly misled Parliament about the case for the cull when he said in September “the disease is getting worse and is spreading across the country”.
Mark Jones, a vet and executive director of Human Society International-UK, said: “This is highly significant because it suggests that the measures being put in place such as tighter biosecurity, restrictions on cattle movements and a tougher testing regime are working better than we thought.”
“Owen Paterson used these figures to justify the cull but these figures contradict what he was saying,” Mr Jones added.
Dominic Dyer, policy advisor for animal charity Care for the Wild, said: “Once again we’re seeing reductions in all the key indicators around bovine TB and all before any impact from the badger cull will be seen.”
A Defra spokesman said the key headline incidence rate - the percentage of cattle with bovine TB - was unaffected by the revisions.
“Long term there are still unacceptably high levels of TB. We still have the highest levels in Europe. It’s a positive we’re seeing less cattle being slaughtered but it’s difficult to attribute it to anything in particular. The vaccination is only used in small areas so I don’t think this has any impact on the national picture,” the spokesman added.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-releases-figures-showing-badger-cull-case-was-exaggerated-by-flawed-bovine-tb-statistics-9130563.html


Well I am blowed. A mistake found which completely misled everyone! The fact is that the farmers and government wanted to cull the badgers whatever the figures as the badgers are the scapegoat for appalling farm practices and breeding that hacve brought this TB about. Scotland however is TB free so what does that say. We also have badgers but care for our cattle, which are hardier and not bred just to weigh more on the supermarket shelves.

Tony Blair has never apologised for invading Iraq and I have never heard him admit that over 600,000 were killed when he did. Politicians do not admit mistakes. It is tragic that they have drafted a man to advise on the National Health Service whose qualification was running Marks & Spencers, and not so successfully that he still has the job as far as I can see. It is suggested today that he will make millions if the Health Service is put in the hands of private companies which is what it is all about. Hardly anyone in the country wants that to happen but both labour and Conservative Governments have decided to do it anyway. We can hardly afford the free service so how will adding massive profits and high salaries make it more affordable? But that is not the point is it and for sure there will be no referendum asking us about this insult to our intelligence.

History comes out and tells us about all these mistakes. Here is another one we are making. No one wills ay out loud that the chemical attack was by the rebels and that we were deliberately misled - actually it will turn out one day that it was just a mistake I expect that we thought Assad had done it, long after he has gone. There is no ‘moderate opposition‘ which has become another buzz word for the media. There were no peaceful protests leading up to the invasion by foreign Jihadists either. But why let the truth get in the way. Russia is saying it was always about regime change. Why don’t we just admit this and stop looking ridiculous? We want to keep one side happy at the expense of another. No one really cares about the Syrians any more than they did about the Iraqis or the Afghan women we are leaving to the Taliban. But I would add that this is why the west has become so discredited and so immoral. And that is why the end comes as there is no other side that is better. The human is degenerate because it has made this strange situation where elected politicians do not tell the truth and commit mass murder in our name, allow the planet to be scourged of its wildlife and nature destroyed. All for a pile of paper money which is what will actually finish off the job.

Our politicians are thinking men, very intelligent, they know this so what is exactly their problem?


Obama considers tougher action against Syria
US president announces more help for King Abdullah and officials hint at more aggressive policy against Assad

….With peace talks in Geneva stalled, the US president and Abdullah met on Friday in California but Obama said he did not expect the conflict to be resolved any time soon and that “there are going to be some immediate steps that we have to take to help the humanitarian assistance there.”
“There will be some intermediate steps that we can take applying more pressure to the Assad regime and we are going to be continuing to work with all the parties concerned to try to move forward on a diplomatic solution,” Obama said
“There will be some intermediate steps that we can take applying more pressure to the Assad regime and we are going to be continuing to work with all the parties concerned to try to move forward on a diplomatic solution,” Obama said.
Obama did not disclose what steps he has under consideration, but US secretary of state John Kerry said earlier while traveling in Asia that a set of new options are under discussion.
“We have been ramping up our support to the moderate opposition and Jordan has its own strong role to play in relationship to the moderate opposition,” said a senior Obama administration official after Obama and Abdullah held two hours of talks at the Sunnylands retreat.
The official said the two leaders also discussed the rising extremist threat emanating from Syria and what might be done to counter it. …..

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/15/obama-tougher-action-syria-jordan-talks

I would urge you to take a look, but not so much at the whole article as the comments below it.

This one is very apt:


panpipes
15 February 2014 9:10am
Recommend 8
The Guardian threads are one of the places where Right and Left extremes can all gather together to vent their anger at one man - oftentimes for opposite reasons….

Here is another example:

‘15 February 2014 9:18am
Recommend 64
The most effective way of helping the Syrian people would be to tell Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop funding, training and arming foreign mercenaries and local Sunni rebels.
And while they're at it, they should also tell the gulf states to introduce real democracy and stop the persecution of women and minorities.
An international arrest warrant should be issued against Prince Bandar for inciting global terrrorism while the CIA and NSA should be openly investigated, along with various US so-called private security firms, for their support of various international terrorist organisations and engaging in the destabilisation of sovereign nations.
When this is done, and only when this is done, can President Obama invite President Assad to discuss bringing peace to Syria through the implemenation of true representative democracy. And perhaps Assad could offer his own opinions on how to bring true representative democracy to the US at the same time’

And its extreme opposite view:

‘15 February 2014 9:01am
Recommend 4
I think Jordan is very strong ally of USA in the region, but it has not played any role in the destruction of Syria.Syrians want the change through peaceful protesting at the beginning , but the regime faced these protesting with arms and killings; consequently people enraged more and they took the arms because they are being killed by the regime.
the regime could control the people, so he asked help from its allies in Iran, Iraq, and Russia ...etc so the flow of arms ,petrol and men came to Syria.
then the regime allowed the flow of extremists from the borders to give proofs that he is fighting not the Syrians but terrorists.
he used all kinds of weaponry from chemical gas , barrel bombs,slaughtering and all kinds of torture.
this is summary of what is going on in our lovely Syria and this what happened to Syrian children .
in the end Russia is finding a new ally in the middle east which is Egypt and I think it will support Alassad in the security council later.
in the end he will will will go to the hell in the end.’

What one sees is extraordinary - the many views of ordinary people and how for the most part they refuse to be bludgeoned into accepting some of the nonsense spun at them. But it also shows how successful we are at brainwashing. Humour plays a part here too and some extraordinary facts are related that few know at all.

reve
15-02-2014, 05:45 PM
I made above about the man who has been asked to advise the NHS. I should just stick to quotes:

' He was appointed to the position of Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer in May 2004 at the age of 56 and subsequently fought off several takeover bids by Philip Green for the Group. Rose appeared to be rejuvenating the Marks & Spencer Group as he did at Arcadia. In January 2007, he was named the "2006 Business Leader of the Year" by the World Leadership Forum for his efforts in restoring the fortunes of Marks and Spencer. He was knighted in the 2008 New Year Honours and was appointed Chairman of Business in the Community on 1 January 2008.

On 10 March 2008, it was reported that Rose was to become Executive Chairman of Marks & Spencer from 1 June 2008. However, in the light of a recent profits warning, which sparked an unprecedented thirty per cent-plus plunge in the company's shares, this appointment caused some concern to many shareholders. Nevertheless, they voted to re-appoint him at their annual meeting on 9 July 2008.

He stepped down as Chief Executive in May 2010, as Executive Chairman in July 2010, and as Chairman in January 2011 following the appointment of Robert Swannell.' Wikipedia

Personally I would rather see a medical person running and advising on medical things not a politician nor a retailer. But in this world such thoughts are outdated. Business now is everything and people count for very little in my view.

reve

reve
16-02-2014, 07:07 PM
Sadly it is not only our livestock and crops that have been badly bred. What has happened with them is bad enough. Livestock bred entirely for meat meaning that their short lives are dependent on being medicated from birth:

“In 1910 in the United States, a meat shortage resulted in protests and boycotts. After this and other shortages, the public demanded government research into stabilization of food supplies. Since the 1900s, livestock production on United States farms has had to rear larger quantities of animals over a short period of time to meet new consumer demands. Along with the new large animal densities came the threat of disease, therefore requiring a greater disease control of these animals. In 1950, a group of United States scientists found that adding antibiotics to animal feed increases the growth rate of livestock. American Cyanamid published research establishing the practice
In 2011 the National Pork Producers Council, an American trade association, has said "Not only is there no scientific study linking antibiotic use in food animals to antibiotic resistance in humans, as the U.S. pork industry has continually pointed out, but there isn't even adequate data to conduct a study." Similarly the National Pork Board, a Government-owned corporation of the United States, has said that "the vast majority of producers use (antibiotics) appropriately." Wikipedia

What we did to animals we did to crops. We used pesticides like DDT that killed us too, then we bred crops that produced bigger grains and unblemished fruits at the expense of good immune systems. Then we genetically modified them but the madmen who thought of that and most recently crops that exude fish oils for our health, did not think it through and have endangered us all too.

11 Jun 2013: Growing Number of Pests
Developing Resistance to GM Crops
An increasing number of pest species are developing resistance to crops genetically engineered to be toxic to insects, according to new research. In an analysis of 77 studies conducted in eight countries, a team of U.S. and French scientists found that five of 13 major pest species had become resistant to so-called Bt cotton or corn plants, which are genetically modified to exude a bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, that is toxic to insects. Three of the cases occurred in the U.S., where half of all Bt plantings occur, while the others were in India and South Africa. In one instance, early signs of pest resistance to the plants appeared within two years. While researchers say all insects inevitably adapt to threats such as pesticides
http://e360.yale.edu/digest/growing_number_of_pests_developing_resistance_to_g m_crops/3866/

n"(Reuters) - U.S. farmers are using more hazardous pesticides to fight weeds and insects due largely to heavy adoption of genetically modified crop technologies that are sparking a rise of "superweeds" and hard-to-kill insects, according to a newly released study.
Genetically engineered crops have led to an increase in overall pesticide use, by 404 million pounds from the time they were introduced in 1996 through 2011, according to the report by Charles Benbrook, a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University.
Of that total, herbicide use increased over the 16-year period by 527 million pounds while insecticide use decreased by 123 million pounds.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/02/us-usa-study-pesticides-idUSBRE89100X20121002

But it is the human genetics that are destroying us. I do not mean obesity although that is a good indication of what is going wrong:

“The number of overweight and obese adults in the developing world has almost quadrupled to around one billion since 1980, says a report from a UK think tank.
The Overseas Development Institute said one in three people worldwide was now overweight and urged governments to do more to influence diets.
In the UK, 64% of adults are classed as being overweight or obese.
The report predicts a "huge increase" in heart attacks, strokes and diabetes“.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25576400


“As much as 64% of the United States adult population is considered either overweight or obese, and this percentage has increased over the last four decades.” Wikipedia

What is going wrong I can best describe from what I saw as a child. The wrong people who are bred to be ‘successful’. the wrong people made prefects, heads of school, head teachers, bishops. The wrong people going into politics. And genetically compounding this is a big, bad way. Our politicians might easily be clones. They lie glibly. They are bred without consciences. It is something found in killers. After the first few killings they know they are beyond redemption and might as well kill a thousand as a dozen. They will be made military ‘advisors’ when we invade countries, pay killers and rapists to fight knowing full well what they are doing as our politicians tell us they are there for humanitarian reasons. Politicians who have done nothing to alleviate poverty and have no need or intention of doing so. Bred for the job to a man or woman, but in a sense mutants. Like the dogs we breed to show at Crufts by rejecting any that do not conform to kennel Club standards. Leading to them having genetic problems sometimes unable to breathe properly. Marry your sister and your children will be genetically deformed, as will often happen with cousins but we have countries that do that exclusively leaving health services to pick up the pieces.

I still see hope in Obama who brings new blood and genes to our emperors. Our aristocracies are now inbred. Our rich have the genetics of cruel and ruthless people as if bred to become bigger and richer day by day without any thought of the consequences. It is easy to look at how great empires fall and is invariably following a period of decadence and dependence on foreign troops. That is what happened to Rome, once a puritan and stoic society that fought its own wars but descending chaotically into a split empire run by the sons of sons of sons of once great men. Emperors who denied any calls for real democracy and in many cases were clinically insane.

It is a tragic fact that invading hordes rape as well as pillage and so many of us have the genes of crazed rapists somewhere within. Indeed so awful has our genetic mix become that we have doomed ourselves to be misgoverned so that mad scientists, billionaires and generals can have their way with us and our home. This is why the planet is on its last legs as a habitat for us and so many species are gone. This article explains part of this too:



“Scientists have mapped the genetic legacy of events of the past 4,000 years that have shaped populations, such as Genghis Khan’s expansion of the Mongol Empire, creating an atlas that extends our understanding of human health and history.
The atlas uses genetic data on 95 different populations to confirm known historical interactions between peoples and shows the impact of European colonialism, the Arab slave trade, the Mongol Empire, and trade near the Silk Road. The study, led by scientists at University College London and Oxford University, is published today in the journal Science.
When comparing a sample of DNA from one of the groups against other populations’ DNA, matching sequences indicate shared ancestry. The longer the uninterrupted matched DNA sequence, the more recent the occurrence of intermingling, said Garrett Hellenthal, lead author and research fellow at the UCL Genetics Institute. Shorter matches indicate that the mixing occurred in earlier periods, allowing the team to estimate when the interaction occurred, he said.
“It’s surprising that some of these signals are so clear, and that they happen in so many groups,” Hellenthal said in a phone interview. “Some 80 percent or more of our sample can be looked at as products of mixtures between two or more genetically distinguishable groups.”
For example, historical records suggesting that the Hazara people of Pakistan are partially descended from Mongol warriors were corroborated by evidence from the study showing that DNA entered the population during the period of the Mongol empire.
Bypassed Invasion
Conversely, analysis of the DNA of the Kalash people, also in Pakistan, show no evidence of mixing with the Mongols, lending support to the understanding that the region was bypassed by the invaders because of its isolated, mountainous geography, Hellenthal said.
Some members of the Kalash community believe they’re instead descended from Alexander the Great’s army, and the analysis didn’t contradict this assertion, given DNA matches with groups in northern and eastern Europe, he said.
While providing fresh insight into historical events, the new research may also have implications for understanding how DNA affects health and disease in different populations. Some populations are more at risk of certain diseases than others, and drug efficacy can also vary.
“Understanding well the genetic similarities and differences between human populations is key for public health,” said Simon Myers, a lecturer in bioinformatics at Oxford University and senior author of the study.
Future research may involve more detailed sequencing to spot rare genetic mutations linked with certain populations and diseases, Myers said.
The research was funded by Oxford University, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Royal Society.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-13/atlas-of-genetic-history-shows-mongol-warriors-reach.html

So hopeless, so unnecessary, so inevitable.

reve

reve
19-02-2014, 11:59 AM
A general election is looming and the figures they need are coming out. ‘Average earnings’ are up. Well of course they are as CEO, Director and senior manager pay has been going through the roof as the frontline are put on zero hour contracts and the minimum wage. The figure is meaningless as what has sharply risen is pay disparity between the top and bottom. This is why the bonuses are allowed. In fact poverty is so bad now that this article came out as well, hastily removed from public view:

Around one in six GPs have been asked to refer patients to a food bank in the past year, a snapshot poll suggests.
The survey of 522 family doctors for GP magazine Pulse found 16% had been asked to refer patients.
It comes after Pulse reported concerns among GP leaders that practices are being put in an "impossible position" by charities that require a referral before they will offer help.
Such referrals are aimed at making sure support reaches the most needy and can come from places such as schools, GPs and job centres.
Senior GPs have said the system can put a strain on the doctor-patient relationship, as well as taking up appointments.
Last year, Pulse also reported a 21% increase in requests for GPs to verify work capability due to cuts to the welfare system.
Professor Clare Gerada, former chair of the Royal College of GPs, said GPs were being caught up in the "hoops" the genuinely needy had to jump through to get help.
She said: "Poverty is an enormous workload issue and, again, it's the inverse care rule because it creates more work for GPs in poorer areas who don't get resourced for it so you end up with more work and less time.
"People do naturally turn to their GPs, they don't know where else to go, so they come to you. And because we get so much criticism, I get so fed-up.
"We're there trying to sort out everybody's problems and meanwhile the posh middle classes are complaining because they can't get access to us."
Pulse editor Steve Nowottny said: ''That a significant number of patients are now going to their GP asking to be referred to a food bank is clearly a concern - both because of the extent of need it suggests among patients, but also because of the knock-on impact on general practice, which is already stretched very thin.
"GPs often feel as though they are asked to do everything, and increasingly that includes acting as a support agency for patients who may be struggling as a result of the recession.
"Every GP is committed to doing whatever they can to help their patients - but with finite resources, this kind of work inevitably diverts GPs from the rest of their job and leaves them less time to spend with other patients."
Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust network of food banks, said: " GPs should have the ability to refer to a food bank when they come across a patient who they believe needs a food bank for health reasons, especially as levels of malnutrition are reported to be increasing.
"Some GPs are contacting food banks to ask them to help people visiting their surgeries who are suffering various sicknesses caused by not eating.
"GPs should not, however, be placed in a position to assess whether someone needs a food bank when the crisis is not health-related and they do not have enough information to make an accurate assessment of a patient's situation.
"Food banks work hard to partner with a whole range of relevant professionals in the community who can refer people to food banks.
"If a doctor is asked to refer a patient to a food bank for a reason that is not health-related, such as debt, it is better for the GP to suggest that the patient speaks to a relevant agency, such as a debt advice charity, who can help address the underlying cause of the crisis and who will also be able to refer to a food bank.
"Over 23,000 professionals nationwide are registered as food bank voucher holders, enabling them to refer to their local Trussell Trust food bank."
http://news.uk.msn.com/gps-asked-for-food-bank-referrals-1

The UK and France have laid all blame for the Syrian talks failing at Assad’s door again. They both know that the wages of the militants are being paid by the West and the Gulf States, that we are training, arming and supplying them in our desperation to unseat Assad even if it means Syria being governed by Jihadists, which will then require occupation. But my point here is to do with deceit.

When we die we are immediately faced by our ‘conscience’ for want of a better word, our personal watcher who testifies against us. But those we have harmed who have died will also be demanding justice and justice there is not what it is here. Punishment in the after life is therefore self inflicted and particularly horrible, there are no Human Rights and bent lawyers to help. Those who know this have warned for millennia to no avail. You have or had a conscience and if you parted company expect trouble.

For most who have caused no real harm and had hard lives the justice is not a major problem but is a disappointment. Afterlife is somewhat similar to what it is here. But for men who cause thousands of deaths it is dreadful. Why any politicians would do this to themselves in an effort to appease some ally or achieve some misguided aim is hard to say. I suppose one could say that there are those who turned from that and devoted their lives to saving, but I would disagree. We are all responsible in some way for the 600,000+ deaths with the Iraq invasion and the probable 200,000+ deaths in Syria. It was completely unnecessary but politically expedient at the time. As an empire we have descended to our lowest level, no better than those who were more open about their nastiness.

The war on the poor really seals their doom. It is loathed in the afterlife when well fed, well clothed and happy family men are held to account for the kids who were freezing and starved to achieve the level of comfort the rich require. Time and again the rich have been warned what awaits them. There is no excuse at the time of meeting your responsibilities. Why on earth would any man want to starve 9 million Britons and then lie about it? Why would any nation want that? Only if propaganda enabled it which it does and is why the media barons and editors are also dragged away screaming before they are continuously dismembered. Many of us would like a kinder afterlife but until there is a kinder world where women are not raped by soldiers, men not tortured, children dismembered in front of their families, populations displaced and deprived of food and safety …. We get what is in store.

reve

reve
20-02-2014, 01:16 AM
When we are young, and when we are at our first school - this is our life and it is hard to imagine that it is but the start of it, the preparation for it. After the age of 11 we change and soon are in a rush to be older. Of course our childhoods are vital but they should not be directed to the goal of wealth and success, playing to win rather than playing to learn.

But life is also only a preparation for the vast afterlife. You would probably need to be a host for spirits to believe that, in spite of so many religions founded on that basis. And again a life should not be directed to the goal of wealth and success as both are achievements that are worthless when you die, indeed worse - both are usually great impediments.

We are judged when we leave school by our exam system to see what we have learned and how useful we will be in later life. We are also judged when we die to see how useful we will be in the afterlife. But this judgement is to see whether we are honest. It is not the right word really as honesty in life is far from what it is at death. The exam is to discover the truth of us, what we really did. ‘Wealth’ says what we really did, as does what is considered to be ‘success’ in life.

The Judge after death is called Yama in Hindu and Buddhist texts. He is seen as a cruel god but not unjust. He has a habit of consigning almost everyone to what we would call hell. If you have time in a busy life, read about him and try to understand what is being said and why. He is a protector of dharma or truth and that is how he does it.

In life, before we die, there is another judge, said to be Yama’s brother and called Shani. He is also seen to be cruel and threatening and is also a protector of dharma or truth and this is how he does it. He warns people about their lives and what is expected of them.

It was long known, from the beginning in fact, that in our present age the human would have degenerated to a race for wealth and that dharma would be considered worthless in our world. This is why the God Shiva is seen as a destroyer. This is an evil world and only destruction can save the dharma. In this aspect Shiva too is seen to be cruel.

We know that our teachers were required to discipline us in some way when we were unruly children, if we were. In life unfortunately some sadistic people are drawn to that profession along with our most enlightened minds. But discipline is what is necessary sometimes and it is hurtful. When our parents do that to us we are mortified. When we are parents we realise why we have to do it for our children. But many parents do it because they have no time for their children.

Some wars in history have been disciplinary in this sense. Some disciplinary forces are necessary to guide us but most are there for the purpose of safeguarding the taking of wealth, exploiting the planet and populations and protecting corruption. However to see that we need to know the real reasons for things on earth, what we really do and not what we say we do. That is made extremely difficult in this particular age.

Destruction is coming, and so is discipline. It is not nice and will be hurtful to us. I do not suppose the dinosaurs liked it either but they were in the habit of making life just as hurtful for the other species around them. They too exploded their populations and ruled with terror.

Dharma is something very different and is found, usually after death, in the spiritual realm so few achieve. If you were not interested in real justice and alleviating suffering in life it will not really be on your shopping list. But as soon as you graduate from life you become aware of the lost opportunity. Being some idolised pop star is not that pleasant in life anyway, nor is being massively rich. Those that are usually suffer extreme insecurities and what is left of their consciences exacerbate that. The more influence you have the greater your responsibility. So much better to be a hermit wishing nature well, than one who has great responsibility for the chaos we have brought to the world.

So whatever you feel about yourself can be quite the reverse of what is required of you in fact. If you feel a failure for example, someone who has been pushed around without any major achievements of note you may be surprised to find that you are one whose conscience will stand up for you. That you did not destroy the world and oppress the poor and that you are in fact genuine. If you are proud of what you achieved you will probably be ashamed when it is revealed what you really did.

If our larger world understood this our politicians would never lie and would never support or tolerate inequality of any kind. Our laws and political manifestos suggest that to be the case but it is not. There would never be a war but that it was a warning to some despot to desist from exploiting nature, the poor and what we call dharma - truth and justice rolled into one. But in this age that is exactly what we do not get.

If rather than just worrying about ourselves we want the human race to survive, it is essential that it starts to meet the afterlife tests otherwise it is useless to the real powers of the universe. But as you can imagine it is impossible for us to turn things around. Not impossible in the dharmic sense as it could happen tomorrow. The rich could sell what they have and feed and clothe the poor. The angry ones could lay down their arms and help to rebuild the towns they have destroyed. The politicians could make alleviating suffering their absolute priority ensuring healthcare, food and shelter for all and also ensuring that it is equally distributed. They could save the planet tomorrow too, give nature back the wild spaces it needs and stop the horrors we inflict upon it. You will probably not like the suggestion that we all give up our dependence on eating flesh but that is part of this. You cannot take some and leave others as you please, any more than you can pass the after life test with your opinions rather than the facts.

I have been told for so long that our destruction is inevitable but have never stopped hoping that we can save ourselves and never stopped trying to find a way. The spirits I meet are more realistic. Perhaps long ago they might have thought we would change. I can imagine how hopeful they would have been at certain times in our history. But they are not hopeful now. When your team is losing massively and you enter the last few minutes of a game you more or less know all is lost. Mathematically there is always some possibility but less and less. But I cannot understand why we have been brought to this point by men and women who profess to be Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. I cannot really think of a leader who does not profess one of those, and all of those beliefs are strictly against dishonesty, killing, stealing, oppressing the poor and indeed creating more poverty in a rush for wealth.

But as I said it was known this is what we would be like in this age and it was also explained that if we were that would be the end for us. Now is that not the real existential threat to the world? So why do they go on about everything else? If only our leaders could see the previous generation of leaders being judged, see how wicked they were, how ashamed and terrified when found out and what has happened to them since. They would be sitting on pavements with begging bowls tomorrow, not lecturing us on economics and reasons to make war.

reve

reve
20-02-2014, 05:55 PM
-Although the Tibetan Book of the Dead is for the advanced sage hoping to achieve liberation or at least a favourable rebirth, there are lessons in it for all of us. The imagery is very Buddhist and it describes the first few days after death and the many traps for those who consider themselves enlightened, but even the great lamas have faults and pride. There are many beguiling things there and many dangers:-

‘He will see his relatives gathered there just as before and hear their cries. During this time, when the violent confused projections of karma have not yet appeared, and the terrors of the Lords of Death have not yet come , the instructions should be given….Do not take pleasure in the soft white light of the gods, do not be attracted to it or yearn for it…It is an obstacle blocking the path of liberation…Do not take pleasure in the soft smoky light of the hell beings. This is the inviting path of your neurotic veils, accumulated by violent aggression. If you are attracted to it you will fall down into hell, and sink into the muddy swamp of unbearable suffering from which there is never any escape….’ by Guru Rinpoche according to Karma Lingpa ,Shambhala, Boston & London 2000./

One can see how this is as true of life where it is so hard to bear the perceived hardship of living in the true way, and where it is so beguiling to fall away and be distracted from it, indulging one’s passions instead. Where lies are easier to tell than the truth.

The Eurofighter is made by France and the UK and they cost around £125 million each. Two days after France and the UK laid all the blame for the failed Syria talks at the door of Assad, and thus absolved Saudi Arabia of any responsibility although they pay the Jihadist rebels, support them, lead the battle against Assad and his elected government and can stop this insurgency at any time, it is announced that Saudi Arabia has agreed the price for 74 Eurofighters. Coincidentally. Do they not consider timing? Meanwhile Prince Charles appears on TV doing a sword dance with the Saudi princes. Is no one questioning the Saudi leaders on why they hold no elections for a non existent parliament, why women have no vote and cannot stand for the only elections they do have. Why women are not allowed to drive and people are still beheaded in public. Yet our same leaders publicly condemn Syria for a lack of democracy, even though they do hold elections, women stand in them and also vote.

Yesterday the UK Government declared a further fall in unemployment. It looks too good to be true and is. The reality of how the figures are manipulated is in an article here and this is just an extract:


A recent paper by researchers at the University of Stirling revealed that underemployment rose from 6.2% in 2008 to 9.9% in 2012. The rate hit 30% among 16 to 24 year olds.
We have also seen the rise of ‘zero hour’ contracts. Almost unheard of a few years ago, more than a million UK workers are now under these contracts. These contracts have no specified working hours – meaning that an employee is placed on permanent stand by until or unless the employer needs them. While classed as employed, the person has no wage security as they cannot guarantee their pay from one week to the next. They also receive no sick pay, leave or other basic terms and conditions.
The Resolution Foundation recently published a review of ‘Zero Hours’ contracts which found serious issues of the spike in their use:
Those on ‘Zero Hours’ contracts earn less than half the average wage (£236 vs. £482 per week) of those on proper contracts.
Workplaces using ‘Zero Hours’ contracts have a higher proportion of staff on low pay(within £1.25 of minimum wage) than those who do not.
These factors have allowed the UK Labour Market in recent years to combine a relatively high level of employment and an unprecedented squeeze on wages.
Those on ‘Zero Hours’ contracts work 10 hours a week less, on average, than those who are not (21hrs – 31hrs).
18% of those on ‘Zero Hours’ contracts are seeking alternative employment or more hours versus 7% of those in ordinary contracts
These factors have contributed to the rise in underemployment in the UK since 2008. An ONS survey last year revealed more than 1 million people had been added to the rank of the underemployed since the 2008 bailout of the banks.
‘Zero Hours’ contracts are hitting young people the hardest, with 37% of those on such contracts aged between 16-24.
‘Zero Hours’ contracts are more likely to be held by those without a degree, and with a GCSE as their highest level of education.
Non UK Nationals are 15% more likely to be employed on such a contract than UK Nationals.
It is not difficult to see the advantages of ‘Zero Hours’ contracts to employers – they can achieve maximum flexibility of their workforce, effectively retaining them on a pay as you go basis. It is also clear that in the short term, the government of the day also enjoy the advantage of hiding the true effects of their cut throat economic policies. But the ordinary human being seeking to meet the rising cost of living is losing on all counts.
Between 2008 and 2012, inflation rose 17% according to the Consumer Price Index, while incomes increased just 7% – this translates to a real terms pay cut of 10% for working people. But the Consumer Price Index measurement tracks the rising cost of an imaginary list of products and services that the poorest workers are unlikely to ever buy. The UK Essentials Index however tracks inflation of the bare essentials that would the poorest would buy – and these have risen by an eye watering 33% during the same period. This means that not only is the impact of unemployment hitting the country disproportionately, but underemployment and exploitative employment conditions are too – with the poorest being the worst affected.
https://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/08/06/1-million-jobless-left-out-of-uk-govt-unemployment-figures/

This manipulation of figures started under Thatcher and many devices are used. Throwing people off Jobseekers Allowance is one way, they then do not exist but have no money for food which is why 1 million use food banks and why half the Bishops have written to the government today to complain, but the government is not about to change and insist that attacking the poorest is the only way (of making further tax cuts for the richest). I get no benefits at all and have been out of work for two years since being made redundant. I cannot even get a job stacking supermarket shelves, have brilliant experience and training, good references and am a hard worker. I am not looking for a manager’s job these days, just an honest frontline post. Hundreds apply for every job that I apply for, sometimes I manage an interview but my age is against me. I am not in the figures of course and object to every government pronouncement suggesting that there is an improvement. People living near me cannot put their heating on, others are hungry. Most get clothes from charity shops around here. Why do the government hate the poor and lie? I think it is because it is easier to do that than tell the truth and lose the next election and all their valuable funding.

Meanwhile I hear our western leaders complain about Ukraine. They should be careful. What will they do if their city squares fill with angry protestors throwing petrol bombs at the police. Will they hold elections, make concessions, apologise and step down? Will they heck! Many Ukrainian protestors were in Afghanistan with the Russians. Many are neo-Nazis apparently, certainly the ’opposition’ is mainly from the far right and not at all ’moderate’. Are any of them? The protestors in many cases are ‘football fans’ -

‘ FIFA has rejected Ukraine's appeal against sanctions imposed after fans racially abused their own black player and made Nazi salutes at a World Cup qualifying match.
FIFA previously criticised the "shameful'' incidents at the September 6 qualifier played in Lviv, which is bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
FIFA said Wednesday that its appeals committee confirmed Arena Lviv is barred from staging qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. The stadium hosted three matches at the 2012 European Championship.
Ukraine must also play its first home qualifier on the 2018 program in an empty stadium….’ November 2013 http://www.aljazeera.com/sport/football/2013/11/fifa-uphold-ukraine-racism-charges-20131127145915205269.html

If our leaders could just be honest, we can save this world. Carry on like this and we cannot and the politicians are doomed in the afterlife. Most of us are, because of them.

reve

reve
21-02-2014, 12:30 PM
Luke 18.21

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, "There is still one thing you haven't done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Christians often imagine they will be saved after death but what Jesus was instructing is far from what they have done. It was what the early Christians did following on from the ascetic traditions further east. It is the only way to avoid hell for most of us who are surrounded by poverty whether the government admits it or not.

Now the Archbishop of Canterbury has turned on his old chum Cameron by supporting the angry bishops. Shades of Thomas a Becket there. He was an oil executive and still lives in a palace but hopefully he reads the bible and knows what to do.

My bank the RBS announces it will sack 30,000 people and its shares go up! What a world as the top bankers take millions in annual bonuses so they can leave the country and live in style when the crash comes that they are creating for us.

Is it true that the US has issued 2 billion hollow point bullets and hundreds of millions of body bags in case of revolution? Have they really spent $5 billion destabilising Ukraine and now criticising the policing of that revolution, as that is what it is, not a 'protest'? Would they use the bullets and tanks they are said to have issued FEMA? Would that amount to ethnic cleansing? What will the UK do? These are questions coming up on the net.

My question is really about why we are challenging Russia in this way at this time, in Syria, Ukraine and Iran. Yesterday a former UK ambassador to Ukraine was asked on TV about this uprising and said that Russia is full of unhappy people too! Are they hoping for a Russian Spring. Revolutions breed revolutions and we should be more careful. We do not like them either.

reve

reve
21-02-2014, 11:28 PM
It pays to check some of these outlandish claims. According to the Huffington Post it is only 1.6 billion bullets of assorted sizes over 5 years, cheaper to buy in bulk and only about 174,000 are hollow pointed (I think they blow up on impact and make big holes in you) which were not for Homeland Security anyway but for Social Security Administration who check up on benefit frauds etc. And they need the bullets because 15 million a year are used for training purposes. They also say it was Alex Jones who made a big thing about this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/homeland-security-bullets_n_2688402.html

And a truce and deal made in Ukraine.

We can breathe in peace

reve

reve
22-02-2014, 09:43 AM
If the above sounds cynical it is not. I think the US need to be able to deal with a revolution, so does the UK. Thugs (often with other country's help) taking over our countries is the worst thing that can happen. It did not work in Russia in the early 20th century, and the regime changes achieved with violence in this century have made matters much worse for the populations. It is exactly what gangsters love. A lot of well meaning young idealists will be there too chanting and singing but after the revolution will be dead.

If you have any kind of democracy you are lucky and what is needed is discussion and change. What many want is the perceived wealth of Europe and the US, but they should see the poverty more often on TV. If a country is ruled by despots then we should refuse to deal with them, and certainly not sell them arms until all adults are allowed to vote and govern their own countries. These despots steal the resources and have private armies.

The French Revolution and English Civil War were also particularly violent and achieved much less for the common people than is made out. But in a sense they led the way for political rule. Well look what we have got now - rule by the ultra wealthy in disguised democracy. It is difficult to resolve amicably but the last thing that will do it is revolution.

The world is also better led by the US than any other nation. But it is absolutely not ideal and the US needs to face up to the responsibility and behave more ethically. This century has seen a drop in standards although it is leaps above the rest - Russia as it is today and China.

So let us all change nicely and start by getting the truth told to us

reve

reve
22-02-2014, 11:03 PM
is paved with good intentions.

Well while everyone rejoices at the end of the violence in Ukraine perhaps we should remind ourselves of what has happened. Last week the head of the EU said that an independent Scotland would not be allowed in the EU. Scotland conforms to all the human rights and political requirements. Meanwhile a ‘quasi-Fascist’ and deeply indebted Ukraine will be welcomed even at the cost of greatly annoying Russia. This is from the Telegraph today:

‘By Tony Brenton, Former ambassador to Moscow
8:30PM GMT 22 Feb 2014
For exponents of the “New Cold War” view of European politics, the Ukrainian crisis has been a godsend.
The country is split between a Russian-oriented eastern end and an EU-oriented western end. The past few months have seen a sharp competition for influence between the European Union, offering a “Partnership Agreement”, and Russia, offering £9 billion of hard cash. When Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych went for the cash (unsurprisingly in view of the country’s parlous economic state) protests, largely driven from west Ukraine, erupted and have brought Mr Yanukovych down.
It is easy to see things going very badly from here. Mr Yanukovych was a rotten president – corrupt, brutal and incompetent – but he was regrettably representative of the Ukrainian political class. His most likely successor, Yulia Tymoshenko, newly released from political imprisonment, herself contributed to a period of bad and corrupt government which led up to Mr Yanukovych’s election in 2010. Meanwhile, east-west tensions within the country have undoubtedly intensified.
Quasi-fascist gangs from the western region are pressing their own form of violent extremism….

Certainly, Russia has been determined to keep Ukraine out of the Western camp. Of all the ex-Soviet states Ukraine is the one closest to Russia, historically, culturally and economically. The relationship, with its intimacies and tensions, is not unlike that between England and Scotland. Hence the £9 billion.

Russia, apart from the money, still exercises huge social and political sway and probably has particular influence with the shadowy Ukrainian security organs whose acquiescence could well be key to a successful solution.
The West offers a model of clean, democratic, law-bound government which is, rightly, a beacon for a very large number of Ukrainians….’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10656077/Ukrainian-revolution-It-is-vital-the-West-works-with-Putin-not-against-him.html

So the EU can absorb countries riddled with organised crime gangs, corruption and quasi-fascist ideals but not Scotland!

This political game playing all over the globe is a real problem. China may well have repressed Tibet but so have 14 generations of Dalai Lamas. The present Dalai Lama by setting up a ‘government in exile’ after fleeing the country for his own benefit has hurt Tibet badly. He could have stayed and helped it compromise with China amicably, after all he had met Mao and discussed exactly that as a young man. Obama meeting the Dalai Lama therefore rightly annoys China. Was it necessary or just a political jibe at China’s lack of human rights? Why not take a jibe at the lack of human rights in some Gulf states?

I know Obama means well but the leaked telephone call showing US manipulation in Ukraine is not helpful either. The media may portray the events in Independence Square as liberating, but Ukraine was democratic before this and the fascist opposition parties were not successful at the ballot box. If this is liberating it is also tempting other European disaffected and angry, thuggy minorities to start pushing their agendas too - violently.

We need to be speaking honestly in these end days but the media barons have a great aversion to that. The last thing any of them want is to heal the rift between rich and poor which is now the main problem in the world. Ukraine is all about money and the Monopoly Board. If the EU was such a great place to be would we have 9 million Britons living in poverty, needing referrals to food banks because they cannot afford food for their children? Ukraine will make that worse and Russia will cut off the gas it gave or lent them so the EU will have to buy some for them. At whose cost?

All the news is tragic now. The Syrians are suffering terribly while we support that ‘revolution’. The Iraqis are bombed daily thank to us supporting that ‘revolution’. Libya is infecting Africa with its lawless Qaida gangs since we supported that ‘revolution’. Where exactly is our foreign policy leading us as it seems it went off the rails long ago and the media are pretending we need to intervene all over the world to save populations while starving our own?

In terms of the Tibetan book of the Dead this is exactly what hell is. You think you are being attacked but you do it to yourself and end up for ever in a place of molten iron turning you to charcoal as a result. That is so like the nuclear war we seem to want to have, or at least the angry minorities/lobbies that rule us want us to have. Every time we see a hostile force berating us we get annoyed and angry and launch a war. But this is us, the reflection of what we are doing that our own media will not admit but those people suffering at our hands can. Then we pass laws to shut them up, cut off whatever aid they get, send in proxy warriors to rape and kill them. Dismember them. All vividly illustrated in a book the Dalai Lama should know and understand yet he allows his young nuns in Tibet to set themselves on fire in his name rather than admit that Tibet now belongs to China, the whole problem for that troubled land and which has caused it to be treated so badly. Does anyone seriously think the Dalai Lama is democratic?

reve

heartbeatsalute
23-02-2014, 12:01 AM
http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/photos/dalai-lama-vietnam-war/



http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/photos/dalai-lama-monks-robes/

reve
23-02-2014, 09:53 PM
"EU warns west must be ready to rescue Ukraine
Financial Times - ‎23 minutes ago‎
The EU's top economic official has warned that the west must be ready to rescue Ukraine from bankruptcy, filling the gap if the Kremlin drops its financial support for Kiev."

This was brought on our heads, perhaps to teach Russia a lesson for not allowing regime change in Syria. We have 9 million in poverty in the UK and are using food banks. Is the EU helping starving British families?

reve

Interesting articles on Dalai Lama, thanks

reve
24-02-2014, 09:56 AM
UK at the front of those offering money to Ukraine, EU following. TV media showing Ukrainians discussing the situation but missing the big picture. Ukraine heading to be the Syria in Europe as Russia discusses taking the Eastern part and keeping its naval base while already Europe and 'Ukrainians' in uproar' at such a compromise. President wanted for mass murder (some of the snipers may well have been planted by shadows). War in Europe that the EU and Nato cannot win without destroying us all - and that is the big picture. That there are very influential people trying to destroy the UK, US and EU and can only do this if we make all the wrong decisions, as we do for short term political gain while we masquerade as liberators for the world. We also have massive corruption, massive organised crime and massive poverty. No money for our poor but plenty to support Ukraine's move towards Europe.

Mad leaders with mad policies and evil hearts.

In the Buddhist tradition (before the Dalai Lama decided that it was ok for him to eat chicken and eggs and to break his evening fast, for his 'health' but not ok for his followers) real 'liberation' is something very rare and very difficult to achieve. It is not about to happen in Ukraine, war is far more likely and a quasi-Fascist and corrupt government.

reve

reve
24-02-2014, 10:47 AM
Do not forget Syria. Iraq, Libya and Syria are the blueprint for the lives that must be lost to remove ‘dictators’ that are unpopular in the west as opposed to all the dictators we support.

‘ ANTAKYA, Turkey — It appeared to be a huge step forward for the scattered rebel groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad of Syria: the creation of a central body of top insurgent commanders who would coordinate military campaigns, direct foreign support and serve as a unifying force for their diverse movement.
But 14 months after its creation, the body, known as the Supreme Military Council, is in disarray. Islamist groups have seized its weapons storerooms, its members have stolen or sold its supplies, and one prominent commander it armed and equipped has publicly joined an offshoot of Al Qaeda.
The council’s full dysfunction spilled into public view recently when a group of its members decided at a secret meeting to oust its chief of staff, Gen. Salim Idris, and put another man in his place.
While the opposition’s exiled leadership, the Syrian National Coalition, quickly congratulated the new leader, the move baffled many in the opposition, including the new leader himself, who had not even known he was in the running for the top job….’
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/world/middleeast/top-military-body-against-syrias-assad-is-in-chaos-undermining-fight.html?_r=0

There is no ‘moderate opposition’ never was and this was did not start with peaceful protests. Expecting the Syrians to hand over their country without a fight is like asking the US to do that. Would they not shoot a few armed protestors throwing petrol bombs at their police or shooting them from rooftops? Yes they would as would the UK. Protestors are usually funded and employed to lead movements and attract around them many innocent and gullible people, easily shocked by violence and intended for martyrdom in the media so that we can see how evil the governments are that will not cave in to the demands made by the thugs who work for foreign governments.

….. In articles like this:

‘ Ukraine, Syria and Vladimir Putin’s dictators
To understand why President Obama’s Syria policy has failed so badly, look no further than the brutal regime crackdown on political protesters in Ukraine, writes syndicated columnist Trudy Rubin.

To understand why President Obama’s Syria policy has failed so badly, look no further than the brutal regime crackdown on political protesters in Ukraine.
The link is Vladimir Putin.
U.S. officials foolishly banked on the Russian leader to squeeze Syria’s dictator into a political compromise at Geneva peace talks. But Putin — who prides himself on displays of bare-chested machismo — disdains political compromise. He prefers strongmen, whether in Syria, Ukraine or elsewhere, and will back Bashar al-Assad, no matter his war crimes.
Similarly, Putin encouraged Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, to unleash carnage on civilian protesters this week. By so doing, he has sent a message the Obama administration can’t ignore as it tries to find a new strategy for Syria: Putin plays hardball. He will only temper his support for dictatorial allies if he’s made to believe the cost is too high.
Putin’s modus operandi is clear in Ukraine. The current crisis began when the Ukrainian government seemed poised to sign an association agreement with the European Union in November. The accord appealed to citizens who hoped tighter ties to Europe would put brakes on a corrupt, nearly bankrupt government that was rushing toward dictatorial rule.
Putin, however, has dreams of creating a Eurasian Union, a vast political and economic bloc that relinks former Soviet states — including Ukraine. He offered Yanukovych a $15 billion bailout and cheap gas in return for spurning the EU offer. That sparked peaceful protests in Kiev calling for Yanukovych’s resignation and early elections.
The Ukrainian leader promised not to use force against demonstrators, but shifted gears after meeting with Putin in Sochi. On Monday, Russia gave Ukraine a $2 billion down payment, and Putin conversed by phone with Yanukovych. The next day came the crackdown.

The Ukrainian leader promised not to use force against demonstrators, but shifted gears after meeting with Putin in Sochi. On Monday, Russia gave Ukraine a $2 billion down payment, and Putin conversed by phone with Yanukovych. The next day came the crackdown.
Yanukovych appears to be going for “the full Assad” says the Brookings Institution’s Fiona Hill, co-author of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin.” “The idea was to have no compromise, even though there could have been a way out with the demonstrators.” A team of Russian “crowd control” experts was said to be aiding the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.
Russian government spokesmen are demonizing the Ukrainian opposition with the same language they applied to once-peaceful Syrian demonstrators, calling them “extremists” and “terrorists.” They also insist that the protesters are tools of the West.
But Ukraine is not Syria: Despite Putin’s blessings, Yanukovych can’t drop barrel bombs on Kiev. Even though Yanukovych reached a compromise with opposition leaders Friday, he risks driving Ukraine toward civil war, as protesters from the pro-Europe west and center of the country resist efforts to draw it back into Moscow’s grasp.
Indeed, says Adrian Karatnycky, a Ukraine expert and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, there are still ways to pressure Putin into recognizing the risks of backing Yanukovych. Prime among them: If the EU (with strong U.S. support) finally approves targeted sanctions against Ukrainian officials and its so-called oligarchs, superrich businessmen who still support the regime. Deprived of assets abroad, and visas to Europe and America, these key players might turn against their president.
Fear of offending Putin has previously inhibited EU officials from imposing such sanctions, which might have prevented the current tragedy in Kiev. But the Russian leader’s open disdain for Europe may finally have goaded them to act.
Meantime, says Karatnycky, harsher crackdowns will only accelerate protests around the country; the safety of pipelines carrying Russian gas to Europe could be at risk. Ukraine could soon become a drain on Russian resources. Putin’s dream of economic integration with Ukraine could “go by the boards, if Kiev becomes a quasi-Beirut.” As the costs of his neo-imperialism rise, Putin might consider an alternative candidate to lead Ukraine.
Forcing Putin to consider a compromise in Syria will be much harder after the administration’s feckless policy of the past three years.
When he was Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, John Kerry understood what was needed. “Assad won’t (change) unless the on-the-ground calculations change,” he said in May 2012. In other words: Neither Assad nor his Russian backers will bargain at the negotiating table unless they fear he might lose on the battlefield.
But the White House has refused for two years to provide military aid to vetted and moderate rebels, even as Islamist groups flourished with aid from private Arab sources. Meantime Putin (and Iran) shoveled funds, guns and manpower to Assad, who is winning on the ground.
As Obama reconsiders whether to help vetted Syrian rebels, he should recognize the lesson from Kiev:
The only way to dissuade Putin from backing dictators, whether in Syria or Ukraine, is to make the cost higher than he is willing to bear.
© 2014, The Philadelphia Inquirer

http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2022966060_trudyrubincolumnukraine23xml.html

Trudi is entitled to her view but where is she coming from? She is certainly experienced and knows what is happening:

‘Trudy Rubin is the foreign affairs columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and travels abroad frequently to South Asia and the Middle East. Her "Worldview" column appears twice weekly in the Inquirer and runs regularly in many other U.S. newspapers. She has special expertise on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, international terrorism, and U.S. foreign policy. She visited Afghanistan and Pakistan twice in 2009, most recently for three weeks in November; between 2003 and 2008 she made ten trips to Iraq and two to Iran and also wrote from Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, China and South Korea.

Before coming to Inquirer in December 1983, Rubin was Middle East correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, covering Israel and the Arab world, and lived in Jerusalem and Beirut….’
http://www.shesource.org/experts/profile/trudy-rubin

Trudi does not think the Syria war was caused by the countries supporting the foreign Jihadists but by a brutal crackdown. She does not think that the Ukrainian coup was started by meddling western governments either but blames Putin. Well Trudi how would you feel if Mexico reclaimed Texas in this way? If Russia decided to take back Alaska and the residents of both states were offered inducements and incentives to demonstrate against the brutal US crackdown that followed. Or eve a Russian sponsored revolution in Saudi Arabia because they do not let women drive? Who started this and why? Syria and Ukraine are very important Russian allies and no one knows that better than you. So where are you coming from? This last sentence of your’s is what pushes the ‘self destruct’ button:

‘The only way to dissuade Putin from backing dictators, whether in Syria or Ukraine, is to make the cost higher than he is willing to bear’

So Trudi do you think we should wage a world war to improve the prospects for people in Syria who actually had democracy and a good living in a stable country, unlike most Gulf States that are US and UK allies? Do you think the Ukrainian democracy was so evil that we should take on Russia over the fact that 3 Fascist parties did not get elected last time round? All the political leaders in Ukraine are corrupt. Why are you telling Americans this nonsense? 600,000 innocent Iraqis died when we changed their regime. Already far more than 200,000 Syrians have died and 10 million have been displaced by this regime change. You probably know what these regime changes are for so please tell us. I see them being devised by evil minds that want us to be destroyed by world war caused by invading Iran, attacking Russia’s vital interests and undermining China. While we have politicians who are willing to do what they are told so this can be achieved in our ‘messianic age’.

reve

reve
24-02-2014, 07:49 PM
I have been looking through various media reports on Ukraine and the dishonesty amazes me. More and more it looks as though this is really about Syria and enraging Russia. Our western diplomats appear to be playing the hypocrite big time. They must have forgotten the 600,000 who died in Iraq. I keep writing this as no one else cares to remember the poor people, the hundreds of thousands who endured sanctions and died because of them and then the invasion followed by consistent market place or Mosque bombings, paid for by neighbouring countries who think this is ok.

Anyway the best article is here and is in Gulf news, more or less guaranteeing no one in the west reads it. It says much about the whole sorry business. Reading this makes me feel less alone. Have our governments no shame, no sense of direction, no worries about the results of their meddling?

‘ Western meddling opens Pandora’s Box in Ukraine
Kiev is caught in a EU-Russian tug-of-war primarily because of western meddling
By Linda S.Heard | Special to Gulf News
Published: 20:00 February 24, 2014

While EU envoys to Kiev were patting themselves on the back for twisting the arm of Ukraine’s beleaguered leader, President Viktor Yanukovych had made a hasty exit. ‘Peaceful’ demonstrators in Independence Square were still baying for his blood even after he signed an agreement to early elections, a reversion to the 2004 constitution clawing back presidential powers – as well as the formation of a unity government!
The deal is now off. Parliament has voted to impeach the President, a move that has been welcomed by the White House, notwithstanding that its constitutionality is questionable. Yanukovych, who was democratically-elected, says he’s the victim of a parliamentary ‘coup’. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has blasted opposition leaders for reneging on their agreed obligations, accusing them of “following the lead of armed extremists and pogromists, whose actions pose direct threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and constitutional order”.
Former prime minister and icon of the 2004 Orange Revolution Yulia Tymoshenko was hastily released from prison, cutting short her seven-year sentence for abuse of powers. Hours later, she made an emotional speech to the crowds in the Maidan that pressed all the right buttons but was met with a lukewarm reaction. Some analysts believe the country is ripe for splitting into two with western Ukraine falling into the EU’s geopolitical orbit and the Russian-speaking east/southeast becoming closer to Moscow. Any move in that direction has its dangers. Russia isn’t going to fade away quietly. On Saturday, thousands of Yanukovych loyalists gathered in the southeastern city of Kharkov where local deputies vowed to reject the authority of Kiev in favour of their own alternative government. The Moscow Times quotes a Russian foreign policy official as saying, “We will not allow Europe and the US to take Ukraine from us…” The Financial Times spoke to a “senior government official’ who warned that Crimea that hosts Russia’s Black Sea fleet is a red line. “If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” he said. For the sake of argument, let’s imagine that an interim government delivers hope, the anger on the street dissipates and all sides kiss and make up. Then what? There remains a small problem that is largely skirted over by media, whose cameras have focused on starry-eyed idealists huddled in the Maidan braving icy temperatures for ‘freedom’, largely overlooking the masked neo-Nazis, ultra-nationalists and rent-a-mobs turning paving stones into missiles. France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius spelled it out, admitting the Ukrainian economy is ‘appalling’. If it’s bad now it’s likely to get worse, unless Brussels puts its money where its mouth is. The EU in partnership with the US, broke it, and should, therefore, be up to fixing it. That, of course is a tall order at a time when EU countries have been forced to tighten their belts.
Major gateway to Russia
It’s doubtful that further disbursements of Russia’s $15 billion(Dh55 billion) largesse will remain on the table under current circumstances and, indeed, Kiev owes Russian companies $2.7 billion in unpaid gas bills. Russia could pull the plug on Ukrainian exports, currently worth over $18 billion annually and rescind its offer of cheap gas.
Without hefty financial assistance from abroad, Ukraine will default on its debts and will struggle to borrow now that Standard and Poor’s has downgraded its credit rating. Severance from Moscow could also adversely impact Ukrainian industries bound up with Russian investment in the east and southeast, such as coalfields and steel plants.
Last week, President Barack Obama said US disagreement with Russia on Ukraine (and Syria) does not signal a new “Cold War chessboard” but that’s exactly what it looks like. The EU does not stand to benefit greatly from a closer relationship with Kiev, whereas Ukraine is not only historically, culturally, militarily and economically tied to its giant neighbour, as a major gateway to Russia it is set to be an integral player in the Russian Customs Union.
Ukraine is caught in a tug of war primarily because western capitals have been unable to shirk-off their Cold War mentality and are holding out false hope to 46 million Ukrainians. If Ukrainians believe they will now bask in the warmth of an EU embrace, they may be in for a disappointment. Full EU membership could take years, if not decades and Brussels won’t be in a hurry to permit Ukrainians visa-free travel around Europe. Furthermore if there is an EU aid package in the offing that would likely be contingent on an IMF loan attached to unpalatable strings.
Who can doubt that the US has been the puppet-master all along. The foul-mouthed US Assistant Secretary-of-State, Victoria Nuland* was heard drawing up Ukraine’s future during a tapped phone call to the US Ambassador to Kiev. And during a speech at the US National Press Club she proudly revealed that Washington had forked-out $5 billion over the years to encourage pro-western sentiment in Ukraine, which translates to fomenting revolution. Bravo! Her job in Ukraine almost done, she’ll leave the Ukrainian people to pick up the pieces. Never mind there’s plenty of scope for provocateurs in Venezuela!
Linda S. Heard is a specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She can be contacted at [email protected]


reve

reve
24-02-2014, 08:06 PM
Notice how this article also uses the term ‘Pandora’s box’. Who coined this first?

‘ Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
Published Monday, February 24, 2014 7:50AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 24, 2014 12:05PM EST
MOSCOW -- A successful Olympics behind him, President Vladimir Putin is facing what may become the most dramatic challenge of his rule: how to respond to the turmoil in Ukraine, a country he has declared vital for Russia's interests, which is home to millions of Russian-speakers and hosts a major Russian navy base.
Some in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east and south already have begged the Kremlin to help protect them against what they fear could be violence by the victorious protesters who toppled Ukraine's Moscow-backed leader. Putin has refrained from taking a public stance on Ukraine amid the Sochi Games, but the mounting tensions could quickly leave him with a stark choice: Stick to diplomacy and risk losing face at home, or open a Pandora's box by entering the fray.
If Moscow openly backs separatist-minded groups in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula that serves as the base for Russia's Black Sea Fleet, it could unleash devastating hostilities that Europe hasn't seen since the Balkan wars. And ignoring pleas for help from pro-Russian groups in Ukraine could shatter Putin's carefully manicured image of the tough ruler eager to stand up to the West, eroding his conservative support base at home, where his foes could be encouraged by the Ukrainian example……


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/putin-s-post-sochi-challenge-responding-to-crisis-in-ukraine-1.1700919#ixzz2uGfj7yE8


reve

reve
25-02-2014, 12:27 AM
I have read quite a few reports now that Russia has lost, even suggesting that it will fall next. Putin can do nothing etc. Always our journalists look at the little picture before them so let us look a little closer at the bigger picture that we cannot or will not see.

The Soviet Empire was unsustainable and not profitable for its Russian core. Russia is vast and has resources we can only dream about. History has shown us exactly what happens to those who dream of conquering it. Its people are fierce and loyal. And Putin is far from unpopular. In fact he is now even popular outside his country.

When Europe inherited the cast off states - many of which lay behind the iron curtain - East Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and soon Ukraine- it inherited their massive financial problems. It has had to pour money into these countries whose citizens and criminal gangs have flooded the European countries that were so much wealthier.

Britain is practically bankrupt and cannot afford a big army or even the equipment a small one needs. No aircraft carriers, Trident now doubtful, certainly no star wars. The EU is run by Germany which relies on us all buying its cars. Germany therefore has to pay more than it likes to its neighbours and does not boast a great army either.

As for the US - well ask China what it owes. It is hardly able to function without constant increases to its debt ceiling. Many see it moving to a state of isolation. Like the UK 20% of its population is extremely poor and very unhappy. It faces internal problems just as severe as the UK. Yet it is offering to pour money into Ukraine as is the UK, which will not please those who have greater needs within.

As for our allies. Saudi Arabia is an example of a mighty rich country that buys our arms yet could fall to a revolution tomorrow as it has no democracy at all. The EU is not an united force and reels under vast corruption. Any day the UK may decide to leave the EU whatever its politicians want because the population hates it. They did not like getting involved in Syria. Iraq was a huge mistake. No one I meet will want to send a penny to Ukraine. Our leaders are walking a tightrope only made possible by a tame media and constant threats to the BBC. A privatised National Health Service could lead to mass protests all over the country, and worse. It is on the way. As poverty rises towards 25% so do the certainties of internal strife. Angry, redundant armed service men and angry army leaders facing constant cuts, make a coup quite possible too.

We are shaky but it is Europe that I am focussing on. Putin had to put billions into Ukraine, now we will have to. £35 Billion now it seems. Ukraine is the country that welcomed Hitler, it is not at all what is being made out by the press. Look hard at the protestors if you can and at the politicians. It has a vast army. When it finds it has no gas for heating or its industry what will it do? This is a gun for hire and extremely dangerous to Europe.

Putin does not need to do anything as we, like the old Soviet Empire, are unravelling faster and faster and he is managing better and better. We complain that he is repressive and worry about our Greenpeace activists (all terrified of going back there). We think the Russians love Pussy Riot and gay rights so must be unhappy. Think again. If Russia has a problem it is alcohol. If the west has one it is obesity. If we need to rely on Cruise missiles for wars rather than ‘boots on the ground’, now so unpopular in the US that they have to guarantee there will not be any, then Russia and China have far too many missiles for comfort and far too many boots for that matter. China also has control of the space above us although no one likes to admit it. Last year:

‘ October 2, 2013 5:00 am
China last week conducted a test of a maneuvering satellite that captured another satellite in space during what Pentagon officials say was a significant step forward for Beijing’s space warfare program.
The satellite capture took place last week and involved one of three small satellites fitted with a mechanical arm that were launched July 20 as part of a covert anti-satellite weapons development program, said U.S. officials familiar with reports of the test.
One official described the satellite-grabbing spacecraft as a “mobile satellite launch vehicle.”
http://freebeacon.com/china-testing-new-space-weapons/

But Russia and China apart from vast armies have something else. A lack of concern for body bags coming back. These just incense them. In the US and UK it causes panic.

Financially we are in a total mess and they are not and we have not even begun to see financial war, or to talk about it. But as we sat at home with our computers and TV’s, the Chinese were making them and collecting our wage packets. Unlike Germany that has to spend the cash on propping up the EU, China has not spent a fortune on its nation. It is still a third world country in its rural areas. But it has bought farms all over Asia to feed itself. If we did not fear China so much Burma and North Korea would have been shut down long ago. As it is we lost in Vietnam and Cambodia and could do nothing about what happened to them either. Nor about Tibet for all our posturing.

Why therefore the EU, US and UK are so confident that they have achieved so much with the fall of the Soviet Empire, the fall of Ukraine and the regime changes is impossible for me to see. There is no obvious benefit with any of that. The UK has no aircraft carrier to stop Argentina taking the Falklands next time. Invading Iran is an impossibility, a hundred thousand times more difficult and dangerous than invading Afghanistan. But one way or another invading Iran is just around the corner. Or are we going to kill all the Iranians with nuclear missiles? Think again it cannot happen.

I mentioned the Kahanist plot last month and suggested that handing Putin Europe was the kind of thing that would enable the Kahanists to achieve their aim of destroying the EU and US. Remember how Troy was allegedly lost and how your computer tells your enemies everything about you. It is the Trojan Horse, the gift that destroys an impregnable Empire. That is Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria etc. Cyber warfare we cannot cope with. Armies we cannot fight. Countries we cannot even feed.

What I find curious is the complete absence of alarm bells ringing. I do not know if any of you ever played the 60’s game Risk. A very annoying game based on the old cold war and a map of the world. You gradually filled the board with your armies as you took over country after country. But just as you almost conquered the world something invariably happened and you lost the whole lot. This is true of everything in life. One day you have it all, then you are heard making a negative comment about the board that owns your company. You lose your job, no other company will touch you. You cannot pay your mortgages or your kids’ school fees. Your wife walks out. Your credit cards are rejected. Your car is taken away. Your friends do not answer your phone calls and say ‘No you cannot stay here’. Your drug dealer is looking for you.

Why are we playing this kind of cold war game in the Middle East and Europe? It is also happening in South America and Africa. We are living in glass houses and throwing stones. China and Russia need do nothing, or perhaps they can do something. Twist a few financial arms, pay the bills of a few professional protestors, publish a few frightening articles (like Money Week but worse). Call in their debts all at the same time. Mobilise the Eastern European and Triad criminals and cyber criminals. What then?

Our foreign policies are not decided by the populations, the politicians or the intelligence services more is the pity. They appear to be decided by shadowy organisations we do not know but which choose our senior politicians on both sides and invite them to their ‘meetings‘. Or by the lobbies of extremely wealthy organisations whose owners we do not know except that they are based abroad. Or by media barons quite likely to be based abroad too who trade support of political parties for particular policies they want.

Cameron’s big mistake (or big success) was to allow Parliament to reject his planned attack on Syria, the last thing he must have expected. Britain did not want to invade Iraq but Blair got Parliament to agree even if the UN would not. Next time they want to attack somewhere that we do not, will they ask us? It seems to me that the media make the case, the lobbies brief the politicians who then brief the Intelligence Agencies and Army. Perhaps I am wrong. But I cannot see how else we could be doing any of these crazy things. Why would Britain want to invade Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria or Iran? If this is for humanitarian reasons why not North Korea or Central Africa? If for terrorism, invasions are pointless as they make it worse.

But as for shaking our fists at Russia and China and thinking we will get away with it and they can do nothing how naïve can we be. We are the ones who can do nothing. They can do us immense harm. We cannot pay the bills, they can collect. Our whole western world is so precariously balanced and we need Russia and China to want the financial systems stable so they can benefit. But when they start losing influence in their neighbourhoods as a result of this system they recently engaged with, then the old enmities will return. China will not 'lose face' and nor will Putin. It is anathema to them and their cultures. But we are used to it and do not think.

So who wanted us to invade Iraq and why? That is when this nonsense started. Vietnam was just an extension of the Korean War, to stop China overrunning the whole of Asia. It was not a success, many civilians have died but it did stop China as did the threat of a nuclear holocaust. But Iraq was different and we cannot tell the truth about it even now and how big a failure it was. It turned us into mass murderers who had always been saviours, liars who were once honourable, and set us on this path to hell. That it was possible at all, in the face of the world wanting us to wait, is what can destroy us now. Who did this and why? Why the hurry? Why the 600,000 deaths covered up until the Lancet discovered the brutal truth? Why have we now taken Ukraine away from Russia? Why are we allowing Jihadists to destroy Syria with our blessing and support? Why do we constantly threaten and sanction Iran but not a nuclear armed and unstable Pakistan? Why do we humiliate China at every opportunity, taunting them with ‘human rights abuse’ as if we had no blood on our hands too?

There is a wicked whisper in our ear to do these things and we have not awoken to the fact that the whisperer is not doing this for our benefit. But who is it and why are they doing this? I am sure our Intelligence Services are worn out and worried sick. But what can they do when the politicians tell them exactly what business to mind. But they know who is telling the politicians what to do and where this madness will end. And we are all complicit and responsible too. At lunch over the weekend a man told me about the palace of the former President of Ukraine as though that was some justification for the revolution. Apart from Uruguay I cannot think of a president who does not live in a palace full of treasures. It is a national thing, not personal. But we do not think when we are shown these things on TV. We are fools and lap it up. Assad kills his own people so we must invade Syria and remove him! Iraq can launch a nuclear weapon in 45 minutes! Invade before they have a chance to do that. Gaddafi is a brutal man who possibly blew up our airliner! Invade and kill. Saudi Arabia does not hold elections and will not even let women drive! Protect. Israel builds on land belonging to the Palestinians! Protect.

I hear the whisper but think it is seriously demented. Insane. Schizophrenic and murderous. Personally I would not listen to such a voice in my head and do not like hearing it on my TV either. But what do I know?

reve

reve
25-02-2014, 08:55 PM
I thought this was interesting as it shows that Obama does not share the enthusiasm of some of the staffers he has inherited from Bush. Like Victoria Nuland (now famous for saying ‘**** the EU‘). One has to sympathise with Obama as he has a hostile Congress to deal with, very insistent and powerful lobbies not averse to trying to bully him and of course had all George Bush’s men in the Pentagon, CIA, US Embassies. This article I find encouraging



Wary Stance From Obama on Ukraine
By PETER BAKERFEB. 24, 2014WASHINGTON — Televisions around the White House were aglow with pictures of Ukrainians in the streets, demanding to be heard and toppling a government aligned with Russia. It was an invigorating moment, and it spurred a president already rethinking his approach to the world.
That was a different decade and a different president. While George W. Bush was inspired by the Orange Revolution of 2004 and weeks later vowed in his second inaugural address to promote democracy, Barack Obama has approached the revolution of 2014 with a more clinical detachment aimed at avoiding instability.
Rather than an opportunity to spread freedom in a part of the world long plagued by corruption and oppression, Mr. Obama sees Ukraine’s crisis as a problem to be managed, ideally with a minimum of violence or geopolitical upheaval. While certainly sympathetic to the pro-Western protesters who pushed out President Viktor F. Yanukovych and hopeful that they can establish a representatively elected government, Mr. Obama has not made global aspirations of democracy the animating force of his presidency.
“I just think this president is not going to lean forward on his skis with regard to democracy promotion,” said John Lewis Gaddis, a Yale University historian who advised the Bush White House as speechwriters worked on the former president’s January 2005 inaugural address promising to combat tyranny abroad. “If anything, he’s going to lean back and let natural forces take us there, if they do.”
Mr. Obama’s handling of Ukraine reflects a broader “policy of restraint,” as Mr. Gaddis termed it, keeping the United States out of crises like Syria, minimizing its involvement in places like Libya, and getting out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It reflects, he said, not only fundamental differences between the presidents but an underlying weariness on the part of the American public after more than a dozen years of war.
Turned off by what he saw as Mr. Bush’s crusading streak and seared by the dashed hopes of the Arab Spring, Mr. Obama, aides said, was wary of being proactive in trying to change other societies, convinced that being too public would make the United States the issue and risk provoking a backlash. The difference, aides said, was not the goal but the methods of achieving it.

“These democratic movements will be more sustainable if they are seen as not an extension of America or any other country, but coming from within these societies,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser. “For the longer term, it is better to let the people within the country be the strongest voice while also ensuring that at the appropriate times you are weighing in publicly and privately.”
To some critics, though, that justifies a policy of passivity that undercuts core American values.
“The administration’s Ukraine policy is emblematic of a broader problem with today’s foreign policy — absence of a strategic vision, disinterest in democracy promotion and an unwillingness to lead,” said Paula J. Dobriansky, an under secretary of state for Mr. Bush.
Mr. Obama’s commitment to democracy promotion has long been debated. Advocates say he has increased spending on projects that encourage democratic reform in places like Africa and Asia while directing money to support changes in the Arab world. At the same time, they said, he has cut back on democracy promotion in Iraq, Pakistan and Central Asia.
One of the strongest advocates for democracy promotion in Mr. Obama’s circle has been Michael A. McFaul, first the president’s Russia adviser and then ambassador to Moscow. But Mr. McFaul is stepping down. Mr. Obama’s nominee for the assistant secretary of state who oversees democracy programs, Tom Malinowski, has been languishing since July waiting for Senate confirmation.
Continue reading the main story
For Mr. Bush, the focus on spreading democracy preceded his decision to invade Iraq, but it was inextricably linked to the war after the failure to find the unconventional weapons that had been the primary public justification. The goal of establishing a democratic beachhead in the Middle East began driving the occupation, but it became tarnished among many overseas because of its association with the war.
After winning re-election in 2004, Mr. Bush decided to broaden his ambition by setting a “freedom agenda” for his second term. Even as he and his aides were working on his inaugural address, images of Ukrainian protesters wearing orange scarves and resisting a corrupt election exhilarated the West Wing. In January 2005, Mr. Bush declared it his policy to support democracy “in every nation” with “the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”
For a time, Ukraine was a model. The newly elected president, Viktor A. Yushchenko, was welcomed at the White House and addressed a joint session of Congress. “It was the poster child for ‘democracy can work, we’re on a roll,’ ” said Steven Pifer, a former ambassador to Ukraine now at the Brookings Institution.
Yet like other places, the heady days in Kiev eventually gave way to political paralysis and retrenchment. Mr. Yushchenko failed to consolidate support and ultimately was replaced by his nemesis, Mr. Yanukovych, in a democratic election. The unresolved debate over whether Ukraine should be more tied to Europe or Russia led back to a similar showdown over the past weeks and months, this time more violent, with more than 80 killed.
Mr. Obama privately told aides he admired Mr. Bush’s second inaugural as a piece of writing and expression of values, but thought it overpromised, raising expectations that could never be met. As the latest Ukraine protests got underway, Mr. Obama personally evinced little of the enthusiasm of Mr. Bush, but his administration has been heavily involved in seeking a settlement. Taking the lead has been Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who called Mr. Yanukovych nine times since November, and Secretary of State John Kerry, who has reached out to Russia repeatedly.
On the ground has been Victoria Nuland, an assistant secretary of state who previously worked for Mr. Bush’s administration and is passionate about anchoring Ukraine in the West. A leaked recording of a conversation she had during the height of the events showed her discussing ways to bring the opposition into the government.
Mr. Obama waited until last week, three months into the crisis, to make his first statement in front of cameras. Aides said he wanted to wait until the critical moment, and it came when Americans saw indications that Mr. Yanukovych might turn loose the military on the protesters. Mr. Obama followed with an hourlong phone call with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
Critics saw that as too little, too late. “Regrettably, the West viewed the situation as a crisis that needed to be tamped down rather than an opportunity for positive change,” said David Kramer, a former Bush administration official now serving as president of Freedom House, a nonprofit group that advocates democracy around the world.
Others said caution might be justified. “It doesn’t seem to me that the Obama administration is so invested in that democracy theme,” said Mr. Pifer, but that “may not be a bad thing.” He added: “Given how fluid things are in Kiev, I’m not sure it would be wise to jump in there with advice, and I’m not sure the advice would be welcome. This may be a time where a little restraint on our part is a good thing.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/world/europe/wary-stance-from-obama.html?_r=1

This article is chilling. They are testing the water - everyone knows they intend to build a temple where the mosque is now. Whether, like the Kahanists, they want Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt in a Greater Israel Empire (so they can re-house all the Palestinians and re-establish those mythical biblical borders) is hard to say. But as things move on it seems more and more likely.

Jordan opposition calls for Israel peace treaty to be frozen over al-Aqsa debate
Islamic Action Front urges Jordanian government to act as Knesset prepares to debate 'Israeli sovereignty' over mosque
theguardian.com, Tuesday 25 February 2014

Jordan's opposition Islamists have called on the government to freeze a 1994 peace treaty with Israel as the Knesset was set to debate Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound.
"We urge the government to meet the demands of people who have repeatedly called for freezing and eventually cancelling the peace treaty," the Islamic Action Front (IAF) said on its website.
The Israeli Knesset, or parliament, is due on Tuesday evening to debate a bill which envisages the "application of Israeli sovereignty" over al-Aqsa mosque compound. The bill was introduced by the MP Moshe Feiglin, a hardline member of Likud, the party of the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.
No vote is envisaged at the end of debate. Netanyahu is opposed to the bill and commentators say it is unlikely to attract much support.
But the IAF – the political arm of Jordan's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and main opposition party – said the planned debate "proves that Jordanian policies in dealing with the enemy [Israel] have failed".
Under the peace treaty, Jordan is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
"The custodianship is a Jordanian national interest and a sacred religious duty," said the IAF.
Jordanian officials were not immediately available for comment.
The IAF statement came as Israeli police entered the compound to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian protesters early on Tuesday, with an Israeli police spokesman speaking of "high tension".
The al-Aqsa compound, which lies in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem's Old City, is a flashpoint because of its significance to both Muslims and Jews.
Sitting above the Western Wall plaza, it houses the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosques and is Islam's third-holiest site.
It is also Judaism's holiest place, as it was the site of the first and second Jewish temples.
Earlier this month a panel of Jordanian MPs warned that "Jerusalem and al-Aqsa represent a red line".
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/jordan-opposition-israel-peace-treaty-al-aqsa

Kerry has his work cut out if the above is anything to go by. Some mad men think that such things can be done and the probable cost in human lives (millions maybe billions) is worth paying because they will not actually be paying this themselves. That they think this will bring the Messiah to life is deeply troubling.

reve

reve
25-02-2014, 10:54 PM
Here one can see an untold part of the Ukraine story. Note how the public utilities were sold off to Europe and Russia. This happened in Britain too. And the threats to health care and other social services not yet privatised, as is happening in Britain. And the wages of workers in free fall. as is happening in Britain. A taste of what is in store for us? A frightening world. Yulia Tymoshenko is a multi millionairess who made her fortune out of energy - the gas princess she was called until found guilty of ‘abuse of power’ and fined $180 million. All is not what it seems:

‘….While this mayhem has been raging in Ukraine, the western imperialist media had a field day with a well rehearsed script just like during the Arab revolutions, twisting and distorting the issues according to their vested interests and objectives, and almost completely turning a blind eye to neo-fascists’ involvement in the Euromaidan vigilantes with their far right slogans, incidents of torture, lynchings and beatings of the homeless. This is a story we have heard in one form or another again and again, particularly during Ukraine’s western-backed Orange Revolution a decade ago, but it bears only the sketchiest relationship to reality.
In normal times, there is a tendency amongst ordinary people to accept reports at face value without making an effort for deeper understanding or analysis of what is really happening with all its complexities. In a recent article in The Independent, Patrick Cockburn wrote, “A difference in the struggle between protesters and the government in Ukraine compared to those in Turkey and Thailand is that in Kiev they can expect backing from the United States and the European Union as can the government from Russia. The opposition has received an overwhelmingly good press from western television and newspapers, portraying the struggle as one between ordinary Ukrainians and a repressive government. The television-friendly version of the protests has little time for complicated stuff about the role of outside powers or the competition between oligarchs and the ruling family. Understandably it is the phrase ‘F*** the EU’ in the leaked phone call between Victoria Nuland the top US diplomat for Europe and Geoff Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine, that has attracted attention...these senior US officials saw themselves as determining who should form a future Ukrainian government.”
The new turn of events in Ukraine came on January 16, after the Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) introduced anti-protest laws aimed at criminalising protesters, which were supported by President Viktor Yanukovich and his Party of Regions, as well as by the Communist Party of Ukraine. They were passed without any debate. The demand for Ukraine to join the EU is in fact a distorted reflection of a desire for change amongst the masses — a desire to escape the desperate conditions faced by the masses over the last 25-year rule of the oligarchs, ex-bureaucrats and criminals running the country with devastating effects like mass factory closures, sale of public utilities to the EU, the US and Russia. It is anger at this grotesque corruption and inequality, Ukraine’s economic stagnation and poverty that has brought many ordinary Ukrainians to join the protests. As in Russia, Ukraine was destroyed by neoliberal shock therapy and mass privatisation of the post-Soviet years. More than half the country’s national income was lost in five years and it has yet to recover. Since the 1990s, the west has been trying to exploit the historic fault between the largely Russian-speaking east and south (where the Communist party still commands significant support), and traditionally nationalist western Ukraine.
The hypocrisy of the European bourgeoisie is typical. They were trying to reach a deal with Yanukovich and his premier Azarov, offering loans for austerity, as part of a German-led drive to open up Ukraine for western companies. It was Viktor Yanukovich’s rejection of the EU option and acceptance of Putin’s offer of a $ 15 billion bailout that triggered the protests. Within Russia, this generous offer from Putin will lead to attacks on healthcare, education, workers’ rights, further privatisation and dismantling all that remains of the social gains of the Soviet era. However, are EU leaders really prepared to break with the Kremlin and with Gazprom? Germany’s dependence on Russian raw materials is vital for its economy. European capitalists want Russian gas and oil, access to the Ukrainian market and workers for exploitation, while the Russian elite has its own designs on Ukraine.
In Ukraine, imperialist interference is part of a much bigger game. The Obama administration has stated quite categorically that its strategic interests are centred elsewhere in the world, and it has made Bush’s planned Eastern European missile defence system less of a priority. At the same time, Putin is aiming to play a bigger role, taking advantage of the decline in US influence and the divisions that have emerged within the West European powers.
Yanukovich is a representative of the eastern oligarchs, the owners of the coalmines in the Donbass region. He is looking for the best offer; the problem now is that the EU has very little to offer. When “pro-western” leaders took office after 2004, the economic policy they implemented was not very different from that of Yanukovich. There are no principles involved here, only different interests. That is why a compromise between Yanukovich and the more ‘reasonable’ opposition leaders is still a possibility, which would leave the extreme reactionary right-wingers freezing on the streets. However, it would remain a fragile deal, as Ukraine would still be a battleground between the proxies of different powers vying for their vested interests.
Is Ukraine on the road to Balkanisation? The idea of a breakup between the east and west of the country is hyped. The balkanisation of Ukraine would be a criminal, reactionary move that will devastate the living standards of the masses. Ukrainian workers are in a state of permanent poverty and destitution, with the only escape being emigration to another country. Wages are in free fall and the industrial crisis is spreading to the eastern regions. Agriculture has practically been destroyed in the provinces of Galicia and Volhynia. Industry in the east is dependent on Russian markets and would be crushed by EU competition. A deal with the EU would further destroy the internal market of the country, with German and Polish goods flooding into it, while a Customs Union with Russia would promote Russian goods. The masses have already experienced the disastrous effects of close economic ties with Russia. A Ukraine inside the European Union would equally be a nightmare for the masses, as the current situation in Romania, Poland and all the other countries of the former Soviet bloc clearly demonstrates.
On the other hand, Ukrainian Communist Party leaders, who have collaborated in the crimes of Yanukovich over the years, have done an immense disservice to the working class by identifying communism as a political force that has no alternative to pose to the present regime and simply backs one wing of the mafia elite. The working class will learn through experience that it must pose itself the task of emerging as an independent political force and struggle against the capitalist regimes devastating Ukraine and plunging its people into destitution.
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/23-Feb-2014/what-is-really-happening-in-ukraine

reve

reve
27-02-2014, 11:31 AM
How different the world today would be had it gone to plan. However as soon as Netanyahu unwisely took Romney’s side in the last election he was doomed to lose to Obama. And what had worried Americans was that Romney was for war. Not only against Iran either. Last year a republican US would have attacked Syria and this year Russia. The following articled explains much about that last sentence and the lunacy of the war mongers. Blair is the most unpopular man in Britain thanks to Iraq and that is why we refused to attack Syria, even though the planned attack was based on another cunningly and internationally contrived lie, this time that Assad had gassed his own people. That should never have come to light but things are going wrong all over the place.

Today Israel’s Foreign M ministry slams Amnesty international’s report on trigger happy border guards as ‘racist’. yesterday another article came out explaining how anti-Semitic current criticism of Israel is, written by a US Christian pastor. He used the fact that God had granted the land to Israel but also explained why Israel is not Apartheid, and failed miserably. The current ‘delegitimization’ is entirely Israel’s doing and it is because of the hard line policies that Israel is now pursuing. For example the US Congressman given a tour of Jerusalem was shown where the border should be and told his guide that he was crazy to think he could get away with it. The guide replied that they could never give up Jerusalem. The US Ambassador Shapiro was showered with angry comments by a right wing group accusing the US of not standing by Israel! These people again justify their hatred of the Arabs and Palestinians on ‘their land’ in biblical terms. God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites and a thousand years later a scribe wrote about this in a book. There is no archaeological evidence for the migration, no contemporary record in Egypt or elsewhere but billions of humans accept this impossible situation as fact and now justify ethnic cleansing by virtue of it.

It was expected that Romney would be enabling this with war but the reality is that Kerry is brokering a fragile peace giving land to both sides. As Shapiro had to explain to the settlers there are two peoples here not just Israeli Jews. But this is why the new demand is that Israel is ‘Jewish’. So the use of words like racist, anti-Semitic, delegitimizing are a sign of desperation now that they find Romney sidelines and Obama offended. But even though Romney did not win things were going down in the assumption that he would and suddenly the powers are worried. Merkel took the entire German cabinet to Israel last week to reassure Israelis. But they had expected the US war with Iran by now and Assad long since removed, Hezbollah disarmed and Lebanon occupied. Ass that has not happened they are on Plan B. they being Republicans and Evangelical Christians too. But Obama remains stubbornly anti-war even though attempt after attempt is made to force his hand in Congress and on the ground - reports of torture by Assad, his use of sarin and now the same stuff coming out of Ukraine. So why the rush to attack Russia? I can only see that this is lunacy which is quite acceptable to the maniacs who should know better and do not see the hidden hand behind a policy designed to destroy the US, UK and EU. Because after that anything goes in the world and the biggest armies will win all. We have seen 10 million Syrians evicted from their homes. That was just the beginning of displacing Arabs from fertile farmland and oil rich deserts. In the hands of Al Qaida place like Libya would have warranted ‘occupation’, Iraq and Iran too. It just has not gone to plan and only because at least 80% of Americans and Britons do not want another war, certainly not this one.

‘’–Analysis: Ukraine draws Obama into Putin’s long game
David Rohde
Reuters
Published Wednesday, Feb. 26 2014,
Days after his ally Viktor Yanukovych was ousted as Ukraine’s leader, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a 150,000 troop Russian military exercise on Ukraine’s border. The fall of Yanukovych – and Putin’s potential response to it – has reignited a debate in Washington on how to respond to the assertive Russian leader.
More Related to this Story
Putin rattles Western nerves with military drills near Ukrainian border
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Video: Ukraine: No new government before Thursday

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Video: A future in progress in Ukraine

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Video: Protesters cautious about Ukraine's future

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Video: Ashton places flowers at Kiev memorial
For Obama administration officials, Vladimir Putin is a concern but not a threat. Any talk of renewed Cold War-like Russian-American rivalry, they say, is reckless and counterproductive.
“This is a world where we need to work with the Russians,” a senior State Department official said on Tuesday. “This is not about the United States versus Russia.”
For Republicans, Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign declaration that Moscow was Washington’s “number one geopolitical foe” is being proven correct. Now is the time, they say, to confront Putin.
“Romney’s analysis of the Russian threat was actually spot on,” said Nile Gardiner, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former Romney adviser. “That has been demonstrated amply over Ukraine, Syria and Russia as well.”
Experts say Putin is still determined to include Ukraine in Russia’s self-declared “sphere of influence.” And he will continue to re-assert Moscow’s place on the world stage by obstructing American diplomatic efforts in Syria, Iran and other countries.
“Putin’s vision is not to restore the Soviet Union but to restore Russian greatness,” said Kathryn Stoner, a Stanford University professor and expert on Russia. “It’s the Russian empire, which is a very clear political and economic system.”
Stoner called that system “Putinism” and described it as a complex mix of de facto authoritarianism at home and anti-American obstructionism abroad. It is by no means a Soviet-scale threat to the United States. But experts describe it as a controlling, culturally conservative system that Putin actively promotes to counter what he sees as a degenerate and decadent West.
“They’re definitely setting themselves up in opposition to the United States,” said Fiona Hill, an expert on Putin at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “Being the leaders of a conservative coalition of countries who oppose gay rights and gay marriage and those who want to see less of a role for the church, more of a secular society.”
“IDEOLOGICAL WAR”
Gardiner, the former Romney adviser, criticized President Barack Obama for not expressing a Ronald Reagan-style message of “America advancing the cause of freedom” as a counterweight to Putin. He said an “ideological war” was underway and Putin is winning. Opponents of the United States are inspired by Putin, he said.
“Putin is viewed by American adversaries and competitors as someone who has stood up to American influence and gotten away with outflanking the United States,” he said. “Adversaries take note of this and they sense weakness and that’s dangerous. Dissidents also take note.”
The senior State Department officials said there was no “point in making hollow threats” toward Moscow. In the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public has no interest in getting into a direct – or indirect – military confrontation with Russia in the Ukraine, Syria or virtually any other nation. The better option is to quietly work with Putin where possible behind the scenes.
“What we’re trying to do is work through diplomatic channels with the Russians,” said one senior State Department official. “That doesn’t mean going public with some tough rhetoric that might please some domestic constituencies. This is not an era where tough talk gets the job done.”
Publicly baiting Putin could prompt him to launch a military operation in Ukraine to defend Russian citizens as he did in Georgia in 2008.
MAJOR PLAYER
At the same time, the United States and Europe must act urgently to aid Ukraine’s spiraling economy. Interim government officials say that they will soon run out of funds to pay state workers, and the country will need a staggering $35-billion in aid in 2014 and 2015.
Yet the American and European response to the crisis has been ponderous, critics say. The main mechanism for providing aid to the country’s new government is an International Monetary Fund loan program that would require punishing economic reforms, such as cutting long-running state subsidies that reduce average Ukrainians’ energy costs. That step could prove highly unpopular.
Putin, in turn, had offered $15-billion in aid to Yanukovich before he fell. The Russian aid came with no obvious strings attached.
Stoner, the Stanford professor, said Putin may wait for Ukraine’s new government and its Western backers to grow unpopular as they did after the country’s 2004 Orange Revolution.
“The Russian idea of control is stepping back, watching what others do and then moving at the right time,” she said. “We don’t do that.”
Hill, the author of a book about Putin, said the former Russian intelligence official has outmaneuvered Western leaders by waiting for the right moment and then acting forcefully when he sensed his adversaries were off-balance. She said Putin’s grip on power was firm and Moscow would be a major player in regional dynamics from Europe to the Middle East for years to come.
“You can’t ignore Russia,” Hills said. “We just have to get smarter at playing this game.”
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/analysis-ukraine-draws-obama-into-putins-long-game/article17122211/

Meanwhile Russia is now on a war footing, predictably and as intended, while Ukraine is riven with sectarian and religious civil war and armed gangs, predictably. It happens wherever this ‘regime change’ is underway and is exactly why Democracy is becoming a dirty word. But Republicans are not Democrats are they.

reve

reve
27-02-2014, 12:26 PM
I was surprised to see the invasion of the US by settlers in the 16th century used to justify Israeli policies in the West Bank. Australia was another example of aborigine people being forced to cede their ancient territories by Europeans anxious for farmland and minerals. India and Africa were mostly different as the inhabitants were occupied rather than displaced, but also exploited. Would we tolerate that in this century and are these invasions and ethnic cleansings justifiable and acceptable? I cannot see how it could be in our more enlightened times when we make a point of expressing outrage at human rights abuse. But equally we are not in any haste to recompense the survivors of these displaced people, and that seems to be the precedent for ignoring the fact that 6 million Palestinians still live in camps, or reservations.

What I wanted to highlight however was how the English under Elizabeth 1 used a myth to justify their claim to America. It is very similar to the use of the bible to claim Israel, as both ‘events’ used were only written about many centuries later and were in fact not only unlikely but impossible. A visitor arriving in a country does not have a right to it. How long will we put up with this biblical claim without taking any trouble to verify it? That seems the minimum that we should do but is something that no religion welcomes. After all if God did not part the Red Sea and then pour it back on the pursuing Egyptians, and indeed if there were no pursuing Egyptians nor fleeing Israelites, what about the other biblical claims? The talking snake in Eden? Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by angels? Let alone the miracles written about in the New Testament long after the man Jesus died, if he ever lived at all which is thought unlikely by many biblical scholars and priests. How can we live in a world where most of us are instructed to believe all these things without question? And where if we do question the preposterous stories we are branded anti-Semitic? Where men who believe the world is only 6000 years old sit in the most prestigious government and on it's scientific committee? Indeed a world that finds archaeology inconvenient and the truth unnecessary? We have a situation in our modern world where to challenge these ancient myths can be punishable by death, beheading, or the loss of one’s job and imprisonment. Very convenient for the cynical empire builders and land thieves who do not believe the myths either but ensure they are taught in all their schools from an early age:-

‘The myths of history can help in forging the attitudes people have about their culture, government, religion, and position in the world.
The Madoc myth is a case in point". A marginal story handed down by Welsh bards from the late twelfth century, it was not until the sixteenth century that the story was put into writing". It was at that point that the tale was seized upon by Elizabethan Empire builders and utilized in their arguments supporting British claims to the North American continent. John Dee, an Elizabethan polymath, was one of the first to seize upon the legend of Madoc and incorporate it into his polemical arsenal justifying British claims in the New World.
The Madoc myth was the tale of a twelfth century Welsh prince caught up and embroiled in interfamily rivalries over inheritance and titles. Madoc was a younger son, possibly illegitimate, of Owen Gwynedd, King of North Wales (1137-1169). Upon the death of the king there was neither an easy nor a peaceful transfer of power. The sons began to contest the inheritance of the title by the eldest son, Edward, who apparently had some facial blemish or defect that somehow disqualified him from the title. Edward apparently did nothing to assert his claim. Two of his younger brothers, David and Howell, contested the title, and unable to settle their claims peacefully resorted to war. In the conflict that followed Howell was slain, and David assumed the title of King of North Wales. That, however, was not the end of the story. At some subsequent, undisclosed time, another brother, Iowerth, made a bid for the throne and was thwarted by King David.
Thus, the state of affairs in the Kingdom of North Wales in the late twelfth century was turbulent and chaotic to say the least. It was against that backdrop that Madoc, rather than getting involved in interfamily political genocide, decided to relinquish any claims he might have to the Welsh crown and depart across uncharted seas in quest of greener pastures.
Madoc's first voyage—he would obviously have had to return to Wales at some point to tell of the expedition's success in reaching a new land—led to the supposed Welsh landing in Mobile Bay and the establishment of a colony in North America". Madoc apparently was so pleased with the newly discovered land that he immediately returned to Wales to solicit others—no doubt just as distraught with the state of affairs at home—to join him in his enterprise. Madoc must have done a good job selling his vision of a New World paradise to the Welsh because he would return to rejoin his former companions with no fewer than ten ships and several hundred persons. With the departure of that second expedition over the western horizon Madoc and his Welshmen faded into the western mist and into the stuff of legend. Nothing further was ever heard of Madoc and those who went with him.
The story of Madoc and his adventure would be told and retold by Welsh bards throughout the remainder of the Middle Ages through the Early Modern Period. Those tales would begin to take on a new dimension after Columbus's voyages and Spanish discovery and colonization of the America's. In the mad scramble that followed all the major states of Europe would become involved in schemes of territorial gain and aggrandizement in the Americas. It was to that end, and for that reason, that the Empire builders of Tudor England began to look for possible vantage points upon which to base their claims. The myth of Madoc and his Welsh adventurers inspired the English in general and the Welsh in particular". It was against that backdrop that John Dee began putting forth imperial claims in Elizabeth's name to a large segment of the North American continent.
English overtures toward New World territories became specifically connected to the Madoc myth at that juncture when realizes that the ruling Tudor dynasty had a Welsh affinity and that Dee himself was of Welsh decent with relatives living in Radnoshire". Dee readily and eagerly embraced the Madoc myth adding it to his arsenal of propaganda that attempted to bolster English claims to North America.’
http://www.ramtops.co.uk/madocdee.html

reve

reve
27-02-2014, 02:32 PM
Branding any criticism of crazed plans by Israel’s right wing government ‘anti-Semitic’ is taking its toll on the support it has always had from Jews around the world because most moderate Jews are appalled at what is going on and many moderate and liberal Israelis are too. It happens in this world that after elections our governments do whatever they please. But this whole rush to seize the whole of Jerusalem, including the site of two venerable and ancient Mosques threatened with destruction, and the West Bank at any cost in the name of ‘security‘ - really meaning continuing martial law and oppression - is taking its toll. The intended war against Iran was always madness as indeed are the sanctions that over the years have angered the entire Iranian population driving many to the brink of starvation, something we did to Iraq’s children too. But the Israeli lobby in the US has always been united and strong in its support of this. Until now:

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February 27, 2014 12:24 pm
Shifting US foreign policy views force rethink by Israel lobby
By Geoff Dyer in Washington
Most years, the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a textbook exercise in lobbying muscle.
After two days of speeches in a cavernous Washington conference hall the length of four football pitches**, thousands of members of the largest US pro-Israel group then fan out across Capitol Hill to take key messages to members of Congress.
Even though this year’s meeting is expected to draw a record 14,000 attendees, it is also likely to be a more muted occasion than normal. For the second time in two years, Aipac has found itself rebuffed by Congress on one of its key objectives, in this case a new Iran sanctions bill.
The opposition to new Iran sanctions is part of a broader trend where more hawkish policy views on the Middle East appear to be losing some of the backing they have enjoyed in Congress over the last decade, even while support for Israel remains rock solid.
Since the end of last year, Aipac has thrown its weight behind a bill that threatens dramatically tougher sanctions on Iran’s oil industry if it does not reach a final agreement over its nuclear programme in the coming months.
However, the bill has stalled after the White House threatened a veto and after some leading Democrats in the Senate sharply criticised it as an attempt to scupper diplomacy.
Rather than use next week’s meeting as a platform to lobby for the sanctions bill, Aipac has decided instead to sit on the fence, backing the legislation but arguing that now is not the right time for a vote.
“They are in a slightly weird position now, supporting the bill in theory but not actually wanting a vote,” said a Republican Senate aide involved in promoting the sanctions bill. “Nobody really knows where Aipac is, so they are somewhat irrelevant at this point.”
The Iran setback has not taken place in isolation. When the Obama administration asked Congress to vote last year on a military strike against Syria, Aipac vigorously lobbied for the resolution, only to see many of its usual allies come out against it. Sensing a humiliating loss, the administration grasped at a Russian proposal to take chemical weapons out of Syria.
Aipac also found itself caught in the middle of the nasty politics that surrounded the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be defence secretary. Amid accusations of anti-Semitism against Mr Hagel, Aipac tried to avoid taking sides but found itself criticised by more conservative pro-Israel groups for not opposing the nomination. Mr Hagel was eventually confirmed anyway.
For some observers, Aipac’s apparent stumbles represent a shift in both foreign policy attitudes and also in the discussion about Israel among American Jews.
“We are seeing an epic change in the political atmosphere in Washington,” says Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, a pro-Israel group founded in 2008 which advocates a less confrontational attitude on issues related to Israel. “It shows that you do not have to take the harshest and most conservative position if you want to be considered pro-Israel. You can support diplomacy with Iran and be pro-Israel and you can support a two-state solution and still be pro-Israel.”
When the new Iran sanctions bill was introduced to the Senate in December, it quickly gathered strong support, including several prominent Democrats and 42 of the 44 Republican senators. Aipac labelled the bill its top priority for the coming months.
However, a strong backlash has built up within the Democratic party against the bill, with ten prominent committee chairs registering their opposition. Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate intelligence committee, said the bill would “blow up” negotiations with Iran.
An Aipac official says the group has taken the “tactical decision” that this is not the right time to push for a vote in Congress. “You have to see the broader perspective,” the official said. “We have supported sanctions on Iran for 20 years. Aipac is one of the major reasons that the issue of Iran sanctions is front and centre.”
He said Aipac would adopt a “comprehensive” lobbying strategy on Iran next week, including support for the sanctions bill and for “another vehicle”. Another source close to Aipac said it was likely to propose members of Congress sign a letter to the president which would talk about the terms of a final agreement with Iran and which could be supported by many more Senate Democrats.
However, Senate Republicans are trying to force the issue anyway. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, introduced the sanctions bill this week as an amendment to another bill about healthcare benefits for veterans. Given the strong support for the sanctions bill among their caucus, Republicans might be able to filibuster the military bill if their amendment is rejected.
The downside for Aipac is that this tactic could further turn the Iran sanctions issue into a partisan political fight, exactly what the group has always tried to avoid as it has worked successfully to sustain Congressional support for Israel.’
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/da967edc-9f95-11e3-b6c7-00144feab7de.html#axzz2uWiKEvXH

Most of us would say 2 football pitches, not half the length of 4. This wording is typical of what goes on and how they try to make grandiose really rather pathetic arguments. 1.5% of the US population is considered to be Jewish (however The American Jewish Yearbook population survey had placed the number of American Jews at 6.4 million, or approximately 2.1% of the total population). Whether they all feel represented by AIPAC is debateable. By contrast 16.4% are Hispanic or Latino, 12.6% are African American, and 4.1% are gay. All things considered a tiny minority make a mighty noise and many political decisions. It would be foolish to push the war agenda when 80to 90% Americans are so against this. Especially as war with Iran brings no benefits at all to the US just a vast number of body bags which will if recent history is anything to go by be mostly African American.

I would point out however that in Britain our economic policy is decided by a much smaller minority of very wealthy and powerful men. And until ’democracy’ wakes up to these abuses it is really just a disguise for government by people that would never be elected but who fund those that are and pull their strings.

As for Ukraine it is pitiful to see the Parliament asking a few masked thugs in Independence Square whether they will accept the proposed policies of the new government. Any major western government faced with losing its naval base would take action like Russia. Britain does whenever it feels Gibraltar is threatened and went to war over the Falklands. The US would go crazy if their bases were threatened and only went to war with Japan after one was attacked. Yet the media is suggesting that Russia is being aggressive! Our media is a real problem and I have just seen Angela Merkel talking to the British Parliament in German (although I am sure she speaks very good English) talking about the importance of a free Press in Europe. Free to lie and deceive?

reve

reve
27-02-2014, 11:32 PM
It is fine if armed men and petrol bombing gangs take over town squares demanding their country join the EU. But when others do the same wanting to remain allied to Russia and are in the town where the main Russian naval base is situated it seems to be a cause for great concern. We cannot go on like this.

BBC:

' Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was "concerned about developments in Crimea" and urged Russia "not to take any action that can escalate tension".

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel told Russia "not to take any steps that could be misinterpreted, or lead to miscalculation, during a very delicate time".

Later US Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia had reaffirmed it would respect Ukraine's territorial integrity - but the US would look for action to back up the statements.

Both UK British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced their concerns at a joint news conference in London.

Earlier, Ukrainian interim President Olexander Turchynov warned Russia that any movement of its Black Sea Fleet beyond its base in Crimea would be seen as "military aggression"....BBC



A huge number of people have been killed in Iraq, and many more horrendously injured by bombers funded by Gulf States. We do nothing but brought this on the innocent Iraqis who are killed. We brought huge violence on innocent Syrians. Destroyed Libya. Imagine if this was a European country:

' BAGHDAD: Bombings in a Shiite-majority area of Baghdad and other attacks killed 37 people on Thursday, as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accused neighbouring states of backing jihadists in Iraq.

The government has failed to curb a year-long surge in violence that has reached levels not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal period of sectarian killings in which tens of thousands died.

In the deadliest attack on Thursday, an explosives-rigged motorcycle ripped through an area of motorcycle shops in the Shiite-majority Sadr City district of Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and wounding 40, the interior ministry said.

And a car bomb in Sadr City killed at least one person and wounded five, officials said.

Sunni extremists frequently target members of Iraq's Shiite majority, who they consider apostates.

The capital is hit by near-daily bombings and shootings, including periodic coordinated vehicle bomb attacks that leave dozens of people dead.

In Mishahada, north of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded near an army patrol, killing at least two soldiers and wounding three.

Other attacks hit areas in northern Iraq.

A roadside bomb exploded near a Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda militia patrol in the Sharqat area, killing two fighters and wounding four, while a roadside bomb near a police station in Tuz Khurmatu killed two people and wounded 15.

And three soldiers died in clashes with militants in Kirkuk province.

The latest violence came as Maliki accused foreign states of backing a powerful jihadist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq.

"Some states do not want ISIL, especially on their territory, but they want ISIL in Iraq" for "sectarian" reasons, Maliki said in an interview broadcast on Iraqiya state television.

"We know the details of ISIL and its foreign ties and the ties of states to it, and the funding that comes to it," Maliki said.

The premier was apparently referring to Sunni-majority Gulf states including Saudi Arabia, Iraq's neighbour to the south.

Militants in Iraq have been bolstered by widespread discontent among members of the country's Sunni Arab minority, who say they are marginalised and unfairly targeted with heavy-handed security measures, and by the bloody civil war in neighbouring Syria.

In a sign of the reach of militants and the weakness of security forces, the city of Fallujah -- just a short drive from Baghdad -- and shifting parts of Anbar provincial capital Ramadi, to its west, have been held by anti-government fighters since early January.

Maliki said in the interview that except for Fallujah, Anbar province was under government control, though militants in fact hold areas outside the city.

Of the situation in Fallujah, he said: "God willing, it will end soon."

Nationwide, violence has killed more than 710 people since the beginning of the month, and over 1,700 so far this year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/iraq-attacks-kill-37-pm/1014886.html

But it is not in Europe so we do nothing even though we know it is our ally who pays these mercenaries to kill civilians. It is racism at its worst. It is also why we are doomed as a world and cannot be justified any longer. That our leaders can make speeches about Russia today and ignore the victims in Baghdad again is devastating. What kind of creatures are they? Not fit to rule a household never mind a world. Look at the fuss over 9/11 and the constant reminders of that death toll. And the lies still spun about what happened then. Look at the killings here, a tiny fraction of those caused by the pretend war on drugs:

' By the end of Felipe Calderón's administration (2006–2012), the official death toll of the Mexican Drug War was at least 60,000, most of whom were criminals. although unconfirmed accounts set the homicide rate above 100,000 deaths, given the large number of people who have disappeared' Wikipedia

We will all die because we can do nothing to stop the real crimes in our world, all to do with making money for someone. Someone who frightens our leaders and on whose support they depend. Sick world, sick people, no cure in sight as in denial.

reve

reve
28-02-2014, 01:01 AM
If you get time you may wish to read this article by the Muslim scholar Timothy Winter (Abdal-Hakim Murad) - I have excised and copied here some interesting sentences as far as I am concerned:

‘www.masud.co.uk > Shaikh Abdal-Hakim Murad

Bombing Without Moonlight
The Origins of Suicidal Terrorism
© Oct 2004 Abdal-Hakim Murad


……President Reagan, while less captivated by end-time visions than his successors, could offer these thoughts to Jewish lobbyists:
You know, I turn back to your ancient prophets in the Old Testament and the signs foretelling Armageddon and I find myself wondering if we’re the generation that is going to see that come about. I don’t know if you’ve noted any of these prophecies lately, but, believe me, they certainly describe the times we’re going through.

… Here, for instance, is the verdict of John Gray, in his book Al-Qaeda and What it Means to be Modern:
No cliche is more stupefying than that which describes Al-Qaida as a throwback to medieval times. It is a by-product of globalisation. Its most distinctive feature - projecting a privatised form of organised violence worldwide - was impossible in the past. Equally, the belief that a new world can be hastened by spectacular acts of destruction is nowhere found in medieval times. Al-Qaida’s closest precursors are the revolutionary anarchists of late nineteenth-century Europe……

Traditional Sunnis intuit that al-Qaida is a Western invention, but one which cannot be defeated in a battleground where the logic is Western. This was one of the messages that emerged from the 2003 summit meeting of eight hundred Muslim scholars at Putrajaya. Al-Qaida is inauthentic: it rejects the classical canons of Islamic law and theology, and issues fatwas that are neither formally nor in their habit of mind deducible from medieval exegesis. ….

W.G. Sebald has been a recent and helpful contributor here. He writes lyrically of the vengeance visited by the RAF on Germany’s cities in the early 1940s, focussing on the thirty thousand who died in Operation Gomorrah (!) against the city of Hamburg. The object of such campaigns was military only in a very indirect way, for Churchill’s purpose in what he called ‘terror bombing’ (where it was not straightforward vengefulness) was to sap the morale of Germany’s civilian population. As Sebald shows, Parliament restructured the whole British economy to support the area bombing campaign, for one reason alone: it was the only way in which Britain could successfully strike back.
In 1930, the British population had generally shared the view of one politician that to bomb civilians was ‘revolting and un-English.’ But with its back against the wall, the population changed its mind with impressive speed. In 1942, Bomber Command’s Directive No. 22 identified the 'morale of the enemy civil population’ as the chief target. By the end of the war, a million tons of high explosive had rained down on German cities, and half a million civilians were dead. By that time a majority of Britons explicitly supported the bombing of civilian targets. As the MP for Norwich put it: ‘I am all for the bombing of working-class areas of German cities. I am Cromwellian - I believe in “slaying in the name of the Lord”,’ while after Operation Gomorrah, a popular headline crowed that ‘Hamburg has been Hamburgered.’ A third of the war economy was directed to serve this onslaught, with the development of new weapons of mass destruction, such as incendiary bombs, designed specifically to maximise devastation to private homes. Yet after Dresden, which the postwar official history hailed as the ‘crowning achievement’ of the bombing campaign, Churchill was forced to reconsider:
It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed. Otherwise, we shall come into control of an utterly ruined land.
This was no sort of repentance. To his last breath Churchill defended the terror campaign which he had instigated and which underpinned so much of his popularity. Mass destruction from the air of a target whose details were often obscured by clouds or the absence of moonlight, was not, for this icon of English defiance, a moral problem…..

After the war, the victors reset the moral template to its rhetorical default position, and their earlier fatwas in favour of terror bombing were relegated to an outer, uncomfortable edge of the national memory. Once again, England and America (which had carried on its own targeting of civilians in Japan) reverted to the traditional notion of civilian immunity, with its pre-Enlightenment roots. So five years later, the British press felt able to excoriate Menachem Begin as a terrorist, simply because, as he puts it in his memoirs: ‘our enemies called us terrorists […] but we used physical force only because we were faced by physical force.’ And today, who can claim that Al-Qaida’s logic is different? The 777 has become the poor man’s nuclear weapon, his own Manhattan Project. Again, he has turned traitor to the East by embracing the utilitarian military ethic of his supposed adversary. He, even more than the regimes, shows the cost of Westernisation.
In this light, how may we take the pulse of the West’s denunciation of ‘Muslim terror’? Let us recall Adorno’s First Law of sexual ethics: always mistrust the accuser.
4. Samson Terroristes
The targeting of civilians is more Western than otherwise; contemplating the Ground Zero of a hundred German cities, this can hardly be denied. Yet it will be claimed that suicidal terrorism is something new, and definitively un-Western. Here, we are told by xenophobes on both sides, the Islamic suicide squads, the Black Widows, the death-dealing pilots, are an indigenously Islamic product. And yet here again, when we detach ourselves from the emotive chauvinism of the Islamists and their Judeo-Christian misinterpreters, we soon find that the roots of such practices in the Islamic imagination are as recent as they are shallow. The genealogy of suicide bombing clearly stretches back from Palestine, through Shi‘a guerillas in southern Lebanon, to the Hindu-nativist zealots of the Tamil Tigers, and to the holy warriors of Shinto Japan, who initiated the tradition of donning a bandanna and making a final testament on camera before climbing into the instrument of destruction. The kamikaze was literally the 'Wind of Heaven', a term evocative of the divine intervention which destroyed the Mongol fleet as it crossed the Yellow Sea.
Hindu and Buddhist tributaries of Middle-Eastern suicide bombing are conspicuous, and it is significant that the Islamists, driven as ever by nativist passion, recoil from them in fits of denial. (How happily, in the sermons, hunud rhymes with yahud!) Yet some scenic images may be instructive for those who take the philosophy of isnad seriously. After describing the Christian martyr Peregrinus, who set fire to himself in public, Sir James Frazier records:
Buddhist monks in China sometimes seek to attain Nirvana by the same method, the flame of their religious zeal being fanned by a belief that the merit of their death redounds to the good of the whole community, while the praises which are showered upon them in their lives, and the prospect of the honours and worship which await them after death, serve as additional incentives to suicide.
But it was in South India that holy suicide seems to have been most endemic:
In Malabar and the neighbouring regions, many sacrifice themselves to the idols. When they are sick or involved in misfortune, they vow themselves to the idol in case they are delivered. Then, when they have recovered, they fatten themselves for one or two years; and when another festival comes around, they cover themselves with flowers, crown themselves with white garlands, and go singing and playing before the idol, when it is carried through the land. There, after they have shown off a good deal, they take a sword with two handles, like those used in currying leather, put it to the back of their necks, and cutting strongly with both hands sever their heads from their bodies before the idol.
The atmaghataka, the suicidal Hindu, was a familiar sight of the premodern Indian landscape, where ‘religious suicides were highly recommended and in most cases glorified.’ Suicide often functioned as the culmination of a pilgrimage: ‘the enormous Tirtha literature (literature on pilgrimage) curiously enough describes in detail suicide by intending persons at different places of pilgrimage and the varying importance and virtues attached to them.’ Ibn Battuta and al-Biruni, among other Muslim visitors, had been particularly shocked by Hindu customs of sacred suicide, particularly bride-burning and self-drowning. Altogether, in such a culture the development of suicidal methods as part of war is hardly surprising; they are deeply rooted in local non-monotheistic values.
Today’s Tamil extremists extend this tradition in significant ways. Each Tamil Tiger wears a cyanide capsule around his neck, to be swallowed in case of capture. The explosive belt, used to assassinate hated politicians as well as Sinhalese marines and ordinary civilians, predates its Arab borrowing: the first Tamil suicide-martyrs in modern times appear in the 1970s. The Tiger’s Hindu roots thus nourish the current Palestinian practice; as one observer notes: ‘the Black Tigers, as the suicide cadres are known, have been emulated by the likes of Hamas.’
But there is also a strong Western precedent, in pagan antiquity, in early Judaism, and in Christianity…..

The early rabbis typically accept self-immolation in situations of military desperation, to avoid humiliation and to impress the enemy. The deaths of Saul and Samson were regarded as exemplary. And in 'the Jewish Middle Ages, enthusiasm for martyrdom (at least in Ashkenaz - northern Europe) became so great that it proved a positive danger to Jewish existence.’ Religious voices raised in support of 20th century Zionism could link this tradition to their own militancy. Hence Avram Kook, the first Ashkenazy Chief Rabbi of mandate Palestine (in Walter Wurzburger’s words)
permitted individuals to volunteer for suicide missions when carried out in the interest of the collective Jewish community. In other words, an act that would be illicit if performed to help individuals, would be legitimate if intended for the benefit of the community.
In the nascent Christian movement, Jesus came to be presented as a suicide, albeit one who knew that he would be resurrected. Some historians are convinced that Jesus, having armed his band with swords (Luke 22:36), formed part of the larger Zealot movement against Roman oppression, while others adhere to the orthodox view that his deliberate death was to be a cosmic sacrifice for human sin; but in either case, the dominant voice in the New Testament presents him as going to Jerusalem in the awareness that this would bring about his certain death (see Mark 10:32-4). Hence the insistent courting of martyrdom by many early Christians praised by Tertullian (here in the words of a modern scholar):
In 185 the proconsul of Asia, Arrius Antoninus, was approached by a group of Christians demanding to be executed. The proconsul obliged some of them and then sent the rest away, saying that if they wanted to kill themselves there was plenty of rope available or cliffs they could jump off…….

For Islam, suicide is always forbidden; some regard it as worse than murder. Many Biblical stories are retold by Islam, but the idea of suicidal militancy is entirely absent from the scriptures. Saul’s suicide is not present in the Koran, nor do we find it in Tabari’s great Annals (which wish simply to record that he died in battle). The Koranic Jonah does not ask to be pitched overboard, and Job does not pray for death. Similarly, the suicidal istishhad of Samson is absent from the Koran and Hadith, no doubt in line with their insistence on the absolute wickedness of suicide. The same Islamic idealism that cannot accept David’s seduction of Bathsheba, or Lot’s incest, has here airbrushed out Samson’s killing of the innocent and his self-destruction.
Again, the point is clear: the scriptural and antique sensibilities which provided some cultural space for suicidal warfare in Western civilisation appear to have very thin foundations in Islam. Flying into a skyscraper to save the world is closer to the line which links Samson to Captain America, with a detour through the Book of Revelation, than to any Muslim conception of futuwwa.
Here are Buruma and Margalit, in their important study of Westernised anti-Westernism:
Bin Laden’s use of the word ‘insane’ is more akin to the Nazis’ constant use of fanatisch. Human sacrifice is not an established Muslim tradition. Holy war always was justified in defence of the Islamic state, and believers who died in battle were promised heavenly delights, but glorification of death for its own sake was not part of this, especially in the Sunni tradition. […] And the idea that freelance terrorists would enter paradise as martyrs by murdering unarmed civilians is a modern invention, one that would have horrified Muslims in the past. Islam is not a death cult.
Let us now move on to consider other hints of the Western roots of radical Islamism. One symptom may be detected in a shared fondness for conspiracy theories. The messianic importance of the hidden deliverer is emphasised by the machinations of the forces of darkness which are ranged against him…..

But here is the reality of Gaza:
‘Hamas operations are not directed and have never been directed against children,’ says Hamas political leader Ismail Abu Shanaab. ‘It is directed at military targets.’ When pushed, however, he goes further. ‘To be frank with you, there are a lot of the moralities which got broken in this war,’ he says. ‘They are letting the Israelis kill Palestinians and they want the Palestinians to be moderate, to be moral. We cannot control the game because it has no rules, it has no limits.’…..http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/moonlight.htm

I do not know what others will make of that but what I see is a world driving over a cliff in a suicidal act. It defies common sense but there must be some sense to it. Lemmings were said to do this and I remember a TV film of them going over some Nordic cliff when I was a boy. Is the sense that we are worthless, worth less than life, a danger to nature so must kill ourselves? This is the time of ‘Armageddon’ , the end days. We are as bad as it was said that we would be. Individually we are nice in most cases and humane. But collectively a menace and we allow criminal acts against humanity to be perpetrated for us, if not by us. Of course we also have the antidote, we understand all of this, we can change, we can feed the poor and stop the wars even that war on nature itself. But instead we have chosen to die and death will come swiftly if painfully. It is how we start to repay a karmic debt, the rest being an eternal torment in the afterlife. Personally I would rather feed the poor but it seems our leaders have a problem with that and today British ministers were arguing with each other about changing the definition of child poverty!!! Having worked with families in debt and dependent on benefits suddenly cut, I know how to define child poverty. It is any child who due to financial constraints does not get a nutritious diet, clothing, shelter, health care, education and protection and currently afflicts around 25% of western children alone. That it is argued about and expected to increase dramatically over the next few years while politicians and their lobbies find other matters more pressing and make further cuts to the incomes of our poor says we intend to kill our children, our culture and ourselves in a very horrible and needless way to protect the very rich.

reve

reve
28-02-2014, 01:28 PM
Timothy Winter did not mention two important killers of civilians. One is Genghis Khan who killed a million men, women and children before breakfast one day. He massacred whole towns and his genes are all over the Middle and Far East. But far more important is something I have raised here twice. Important because the biblical precedent is deemed especially relevant now in the Palestinian territories. It is that the scribe who wrote about Moses and Joshua followed on from his imaginative parting of the Red Sea to describe how they slaughtered all the inhabitants of the cities in what we now call Israel and Palestine. Egypt's armies only slaughtered soldiers at that time and it was new to the world. There is no archaeological evidence of any of this nor contemporary written records which exist for almost everything at that time - perhaps around 1500BC. But as a precedent it is deadly as it is suggested by this 'scribe' writing around 600BC that God commanded these slaughters. That very much influences the views held by the right wing Israelis concerning the value of non Jewish lives in what they deem is their land by divine right. If not corrected there are even worse precedents in store. The 'borders' of the land that God gave them are also a major problem. The way the land can be cleared and such borders achieved. The reliance on a civilian murdering army to do this another. The scribe suggests that the god of these people was not much for talking and making peace with non-Jews but was always becoming angry with his own people. What kind of God we are dealing with is clear. He is an absolute devil and certainly not a god of peace and justice, nor for all the nations. All tribes had such Gods at that time but few still call them the supreme god that the world must heed. Allah was only given this position in 600AD, and the Christian God was very different by nature. So why is this not challenged at a senior level both in religions and in the United Nations? A silly taboo. It ends badly because the real God - the karmic god - keeps evicting the murderous inhabitants of these regions and will do this to all humans soon. That certainly does not invoke a right of return, but if we do allow a return for those who claim to have been evicted in the first century AD then we must extend it to those evicted 60 years ago and now suffering in camps. No good god kills civilians or displaces them from the farms where they have lived for centuries. A bad god does and needs to be challenged.

Calling a god bad or good is problematic. But if we extend our grasp of ethics to the history of gods, the pagan gods of Britain who demanded human sacrifice etc, then we can make a judgement about the biblical gods. They are not fit for the purpose of our world, but nor are most of our leaders and religous leaders. War is the biggest problem in our world - on the poor, on nations, on Nature, on terror and crime and drugs. Surely it is time to have a God who does not insist on this. The War Gods of history are all a nightmare depending on vast sacrifices oif people and children. If they exist they need to be put away now. But what we are doing is threatening entire nations still with nuclear holocaust in their name.

reve

reve
28-02-2014, 11:48 PM
One of Britain's 3 naval bases, and the only one used for the nuclear submarines, is near Glasgow at Faslane. The Scottish referendum might threaten this. Many Scots do not like it as they think it makes us a target in a nuclear war, which may be why it is so far from London. If we vote for independence it was suggested it might remain English, or British, but not Scottish. That ruffled a few feathers but it is understandable until another one is built (at great and inconvenient expense).

The Crimean naval base is very important to Russia. It is Russian really but Kruschev who was Ukrainian decided to make the Crimea part of Ukraine perhaps to help his ethnic comrades. I am sure he never considered that Ukraine would one day want to leave Russia for Europe or that this would ever be allowed. It would make perfect sense for the Crimea to remain Russian. Most people there are Russian but the very thought is making the thugs who have taken over the country very angry.

That makes one wonder whether the revolution was all about this naval base. Of course Russia has to defend it. I wish I could write a bit more pro EU and US over this but it is very worrying as it can lead to war. Really I would like to know what Victoria Nuland intended to happen with the naval base. I am sure she did not think it would end up a NATO base but when supporting the protests there must have been some thinking about the base. Do we intend that Russia keep it? Everything else about Ukraine shrinks in comparison. The politicians there are so corrupt we cannot believe any of them are acting in any interests but their own, not in a sensible and honest national interest.

Ukraine has a large army and have just sacked the new head of it. They can attack the Crimea. Russia would have to fight back. This would be two big armies that are well equipped and have a reason to fight. If the EU supported the new government it would draw NATO into war with Russia. At first it looked like we were telling Russia to stay out and that rings all the alarm bells. No NATO base is up for grabs and would be allowed to be taken over by armed gangs that had just finished their petrol bombing in a town square. Nor a new government like the one they seem to have. Then there were calls for calm. But again tonight Russia is being painted as the villain.

Does someone want war in Europe which can end up a world war? Is that what the Kahanists want? The last two world wars were over fairly similar concerns. German expansion. The EU is run by Germany and this certainly looks like expansion. And of course Ukraine is renowned for its fascist elements, even in the political parties.

We cannot have a war but the niggle is what has been going on and why. Why for example has Ukraine with all its problems had a standing invitation to join NATO for years? I think pushing Putin over Syria and Ukraine at the same time is asking for big trouble so who is asking for that and why? The humanitarian excuse given for Syrian intervention is laughable. The chemical excuse sounded like a replay of the WMD in Iraq and we now know the truth - Al Qaida are running the rebels who used the sarin and are supported by us for some reason I cannot begin to understand.

Nor can I understand why we are in such a hurry to support the Ukrainian protestors. They had recently had a democratic election. It may not be perfect there but it is clear from the leaked phone call that we were behind the protests and trying to achieve the fall of the government. The whole business is mystifying as Ukraine needs a massive amount of money from Europe, is riddled with corruption and has racist politicians. Today the new government accused the last of stealing over $100 Billion! Not exactly fit to join the EU are they.

All the regime changes have been dubious and history then shows them up for what they are. This one has the hall marks of being just another in a long line that has destroyed one country after another. What on earth are we doing and why are our politicians rattling their sabres at Russia? It looks as though someone wants a war when our populations most certainly do not. I hope I am wrong and that all the world governments back Russia in keeping its naval base out of the hands of these armed Ukrainians or we will see a war spiral out of control for sure.

But this is Armageddon time and the world is run by cynics who for a long time have been trying to get us to war. I liken this to the ancient war gods who demanded human sacrifice and can see big ones on the horizon if we do not stop this madness. We can all live together, but some of our leaders seem to find that difficult. However most of them are just fronts for various lobbies that are raping the planet and exploiting the humans. They need to change fast or there will be nothing to exploit. World War will bankrupt all the multinationals -don't they realise that?

reve

reve
01-03-2014, 12:03 AM
Here is an article in the Toronto Star by an expert who explains the whole Ukrainian crisis and its history from WW2 onwards. How the fleeing President acted undemocratically in choosing aid from Russia over the EU. He does not mention that they need gas from Russia to survive the winters but he mentions the luxurious palace the President lived in as if all our leaders do not live in such houses, palaces and dachas. He says that there will be no split in the country. He discusses everything.

Except the naval base in the Crimea! And Victoria Nuland. Have a read and find out what it is all about or not about.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/02/28/dont_expect_ukraine_to_end_up_divided.html

reve

reve
01-03-2014, 12:21 AM
as the internet starts to say Russia is at war with Ukraine:

' Revealed: The forgotten treaty which could drag the US and UK into WAR with Russia if Putin's troops intervene in Ukraine

The agreement sees signatories promise to protect Ukraine's borders

It was signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma in 1994
Ukrainian parliament has now reached out directly to all the countries who signed the treaty
Putin currently has 150,000 troops on Ukraine's borders and it is reported some have crossed into the country
President Obama says he is 'deeply concerned' by the news

The US and Britain have both made 'crisis calls' to President Putin to warn him to respect territorial boundaries

By Jill Reilly

PUBLISHED: 18:05, 28 February 2014 | UPDATED: 23:09, 28 February 2014


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2570335/Former-British-Ambassador-Moscow-warns-Russia-invaded-Ukraine-difficult-avoid-going-war.html#ixzz2uf5okwcN
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A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin's troops cross into the country.

Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine - agreed to the The Budapest Memorandum as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Technically it means that if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.

Putin installed 150,000 troops along Ukraine's borders after the overthrow of Moscow ally Viktor Yanukovych by pro-European protesters.

On Friday, as pro-Russia gunmen patrolled Crimean streets in armored vehicles and took over airports there, President Obama delivered a blunt warnings to Moscow.

"We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine," he told reporters at the White House.

"Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing," he said in a brief appearance. "The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine."


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2570335/Former-British-Ambassador-Moscow-warns-Russia-invaded-Ukraine-difficult-avoid-going-war.html#ixzz2uf5vSZpM
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I think someone knew all about the treaty before fomenting a revolution here. Let us hope common sense stops this all now. Someone is tempting the world to end before the summer!

reve

reve
01-03-2014, 04:16 PM
and who to trust to tell us the truth:

While the US have been stabilising Ukraine they are warning Russia against destabilising it. War is at stake and we all need to be precise. What exactly has Victoria Nuland said and why is she thought to have been behind the Maidan protests? Below are extracts of the conversations attributed to her and thus to the US. At the bottom an article on Fox News today with all the familiar names (the ones insisting that the US follow up any unilateral attack made by Israel on Iran and also requesting tougher sanctions). Now they are suggesting sanctions against Russia if not action. Two fronts that will also involve Britain although we can barely cope with a few insurgents in Afghanistan at present. What are we thinking of by guaranteeing Ukraine’s borders against Russia? Perhaps we should ask John Major who signed the Treaty on our behalf. Did it really have anything to do with us?

First the speech where Victoria mentioned the $5 billion spent assisting Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. It is now clear that many Ukrainians do not have such aspirations but $5 billion can change a lot of minds. Was this investment helpful or moving us all towards war with Russia? Democracy usually implies voting and of course the Ukrainians did vote but elected a President who then made a deal with Russia not the EU. That is now seen as not being democratic. It is confusing to say the least:


Remarks
Victoria Nuland
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Washington, DC
December 13, 2013
Thank you, Roman. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here and for your continued support for the U.S.-Ukraine relationship, and thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. I’m still jetlagged from my third trip in five weeks to Ukraine and my days in Kyiv earlier this week.
I don’t have to tell this crowd that these are historic and challenging times for the people of Ukraine, the Ukrainian-American relationship, and for people everywhere who care about the future of that great country.
The world is watching the drama that is unfolding in the center of Kyiv.
The Euro-Maidan movement has come to embody the principles and values that are the cornerstones for all free democracies.
What began on November 24th as a protest against President Yanukovych’s decision to pause on the route to Europe has become much deeper and bigger. After blood was spilled by security forces on November 30th the movement also became about justice and civil rights and Ukrainians’ desire to have a government that respects them, that listens to them, that protects them, and that provides for them -- a modern democratic government. That was palpable when I made my first visit to the Maidan on December 5th.
When Ukrainians say they are European, this is what they mean. And as one very prominent Ukrainian businessman said to me, “The Maidan Movement’s greatest achievement is that it has proven that the people of Ukraine will no longer support any president -- this one or a future one -- who does not take them to Europe.”
Throughout this period the United States’ message has been clear and unequivocal. We stand with the people of Ukraine in their search for justice, human dignity, security, a return to economic health, and for the European future they have chosen and that they deserve.
As you know, and as Roman said, I returned to Ukraine for my third visit in five weeks last Tuesday in support of these very goals, this time conducting parallel, coordinated, high-level diplomacy with EU High Representative Cathy Ashton, with all of the key Ukrainian stakeholders.
Then halfway through our visit in the wee hours of [inaudible] December 10th, we witnessed the appalling show of force by government forces who turned riot police, bulldozers and tear gas on the Maidan demonstrators as they sang hymns and prayed for peace. Ukrainians of all ages and backgrounds flooded to the Maidan to protect it.
Secretary Kerry wasted no time in expressing the United States’ disgust at this decision of the Ukrainian government and by morning the riot police had been forced to retreat.
Later that same day, I spent more than two hours with President Yanukovych. It was a tough conversation, but also a realistic one. I made absolutely clear to him on behalf of the United States that what happened December 10th and more generally what’s been happening in security terms is absolutely impermissible in a European state, in a democratic state.
But I also made clear that the United States believes there is a way out for Ukraine, that it is still possible to save Ukraine’s European future, and that that is where we wanted to see the president lead his country.
That was going to require immediate steps to deescalate the security situation and immediate political steps to end the crisis and get Ukraine back into a conversation with Europe and the International Monetary Fund.
As you all know, and as I’m sure you just heard from Anders and other colleagues, Ukraine’s economy is in a dire state, having been in recession for more than a year and with less than three months’ worth of foreign currency reserves in place. The reforms that the IMF insists on are necessary for the long-term economic health of the country. A new deal with the IMF would also send a positive signal to private markets and would increase foreign direct investment that is so urgently needed in Ukraine. Signing the Association Agreement with the EU would also put Ukraine on the path to strengthening the sort of stable and predictable business environment that investors require. There is no other path that would bring Ukraine back to long-term political stability and economic growth.
We also commend the EU for leaving the door open on the Association Agreement and for continuing to work with the Ukrainian government on a way forward.
The Ukrainian parliament has already passed some 18 separate pieces of required legislation in advance of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. Although that was a missed opportunity, it would be a huge shame to see five years’ worth of work and preparation go to waste if the AA is not signed in the near future. So it is time to finish the job.
As Vice President Biden said in remarks last night, President Yanukovych has a choice. He can choose the path that leads to division and isolation or he can take a leap and take immediate tangible steps to diffuse his country’s crisis and start a genuine dialogue with the opposition and agree on a path that returns Ukraine to economic and political health.
While these are challenging times in many ways, we also can’t lose sight of the fact that this is a time for great optimism as well. You only have to be on the Maidan to feel the energy, to feel the hope of Ukrainians coursing through the center of Kyiv and across the country.
People are engaging because they know they have a stake in the future of their country. We see energy, we see optimism that simply didn’t exist in Ukraine 20 years ago. People of all ages, of all classes, of all walks of life are taking ownership of their future and coming out into the streets to demand a European future. They’re doing so peacefully, with great courage, and enormous personal restraint.
Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine.
http://ukraine.usembassy.gov/statements/nuland-conference.html

The next conversation is the apparently bugged conversation she had with the US Ambassador in Ukraine. This seems to be contrary to both democracy and the Ukrainians making up their own minds about things which is what is so evident in the rhetoric reported by Fox News beneath.

‘An apparently bugged phone conversation in which a senior US diplomat disparages the EU over the Ukraine crisis has been posted online. The alleged conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, appeared on YouTube on Thursday. It is not clearly when the alleged conversation took place.
Here is a transcript, with analysis by BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus:
Warning: This transcript contains swearing.
Voice thought to be Nuland's: What do you think?
Jonathan Marcus: At the outset it should be clear that this is a fragment of what may well be a larger phone conversation. But the US has not denied its veracity and has been quick to point a finger at the Russian authorities for being behind its interception and leak.
Voice thought to be Pyatt's: I think we're in play. The Klitschko [Vitaly Klitschko, one of three main opposition leaders] piece is obviously the complicated electron here. Especially the announcement of him as deputy prime minister and you've seen some of my notes on the troubles in the marriage right now so we're trying to get a read really fast on where he is on this stuff. But I think your argument to him, which you'll need to make, I think that's the next phone call you want to set up, is exactly the one you made to Yats [Arseniy Yatseniuk, another opposition leader]. And I'm glad you sort of put him on the spot on where he fits in this scenario. And I'm very glad that he said what he said in response.
Jonathan Marcus: The US says that it is working with all sides in the crisis to reach a peaceful solution, noting that "ultimately it is up to the Ukrainian people to decide their future". However this transcript suggests that the US has very clear ideas about what the outcome should be and is striving to achieve these goals. Russian spokesmen have insisted that the US is meddling in Ukraine's affairs - no more than Moscow, the cynic might say - but Washington clearly has its own game-plan. The clear purpose in leaking this conversation is to embarrass Washington and for audiences susceptible to Moscow's message to portray the US as interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs.
Nuland: Good. I don't think Klitsch should go into the government. I don't think it's necessary, I don't think it's a good idea.
Pyatt: Yeah. I guess... in terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I'm just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok [Oleh Tyahnybok, the other opposition leader] and his guys and I'm sure that's part of what [President Viktor] Yanukovych is calculating on all this.
Nuland: [Breaks in] I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the... what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in... he's going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it's just not going to work.
Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that's right. OK. Good. Do you want us to set up a call with him as the next step?
Nuland: My understanding from that call - but you tell me - was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context a... three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?
Pyatt: No. I think... I mean that's what he proposed but I think, just knowing the dynamic that's been with them where Klitschko has been the top dog, he's going to take a while to show up for whatever meeting they've got and he's probably talking to his guys at this point, so I think you reaching out directly to him helps with the personality management among the three and it gives you also a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it before they all sit down and he explains why he doesn't like it.
Nuland: OK, good. I'm happy. Why don't you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.
Pyatt: OK, will do. Thanks.
Nuland: OK... one more wrinkle for you Geoff. [A click can be heard] I can't remember if I told you this, or if I only told Washington this, that when I talked to Jeff Feltman [United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs] this morning, he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry did I write you that this morning?
Jonathan Marcus: An intriguing insight into the foreign policy process with work going on at a number of levels: Various officials attempting to marshal the Ukrainian opposition; efforts to get the UN to play an active role in bolstering a deal; and (as you can see below) the big guns waiting in the wings - US Vice-President Joe Biden clearly being lined up to give private words of encouragement at the appropriate moment.
Pyatt: Yeah I saw that.
Nuland: OK. He's now gotten both Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.
Jonathan Marcus: Not for the first time in an international crisis, the US expresses frustration at the EU's efforts. Washington and Brussels have not been completely in step during the Ukraine crisis. The EU is divided and to some extent hesitant about picking a fight with Moscow. It certainly cannot win a short-term battle for Ukraine's affections with Moscow - it just does not have the cash inducements available. The EU has sought to play a longer game; banking on its attraction over time. But the US clearly is determined to take a much more activist role.
Pyatt: No, exactly. And I think we've got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude, that the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it. And again the fact that this is out there right now, I'm still trying to figure out in my mind why Yanukovych (garbled) that. In the meantime there's a Party of Regions faction meeting going on right now and I'm sure there's a lively argument going on in that group at this point. But anyway we could land jelly side up on this one if we move fast. So let me work on Klitschko and if you can just keep... we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.
Nuland: So on that piece Geoff, when I wrote the note [US vice-president's national security adviser Jake] Sullivan's come back to me VFR [direct to me], saying you need [US Vice-President Joe] Biden and I said probably tomorrow for an atta-boy and to get the deets [details] to stick. So Biden's willing.
Pyatt: OK. Great. Thanks.
Jonathan Marcus: Overall this is a damaging episode between Washington and Moscow. Nobody really emerges with any credit. The US is clearly much more involved in trying to broker a deal in Ukraine than it publicly lets on. There is some embarrassment too for the Americans given the ease with which their communications were hacked. But is the interception and leaking of communications really the way Russia wants to conduct its foreign policy ? Goodness - after Wikileaks, Edward Snowden and the like could the Russian government be joining the radical apostles of open government? I doubt it. Though given some of the comments from Vladimir Putin's adviser on Ukraine Sergei Glazyev - for example his interview with the Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper the other day - you don't need your own listening station to be clear about Russia's intentions. Russia he said "must interfere in Ukraine" and the authorities there should use force against the demonstrators.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26079957

The next article is actually saying that some US lawmakers are suggesting that Russia be thrown off the UN Security Council. That would make things easier for an attack on Syria too. Are they serious? It was recently suggested that Israel be given a place on the Security Council. If so we might rename it Insecurity Council in my opinion. How can a country that bombs its neighbours routinely without any UN backing or resolutions be on the Security Council? That is why they are suggesting that Russia has no right to defend its naval base. What would we do if Jihadists or Al Qaida took over Saudi Arabia - abandon our bases there?

Lawmakers back Obama’s warning to Russia on ‘costs’ for Ukraine intervention
Published March 01, 2014
FoxNews.com
Key lawmakers backed President Obama’s warning to Russia Friday that "there will be costs" for any military intervention in Ukraine, and offered support for sanctions and other measures aimed at deterring Russia from escalating tensions in the region.
Obama, speaking to reporters at the White House, said that the U.S. government is "deeply concerned" by reports of Russian "military movements" inside Ukraine, warning that any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty would be "deeply destabilizing."
"There will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," he said, without specifying what those costs might be.
A bipartisan group of 12 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expressed support for U.S. assistance in Ukraine and raised concerns over the Russian government’s “provocative and dangerous tactics” in response to the upheaval in Ukraine.
“We do not seek confrontation with President (Vladimir) Putin and his government, but simply to ensure that Russia abides by its commitments and adheres to core principles of international law. A peaceful, democratic, stable, and sovereign Ukraine is in our national interest,” the senators wrote.
The lawmakers, which included Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said they are prepared to work with the Obama administration on imposing “targeted sanctions to “dissuade individuals who would foment unrest to undermine Ukraine's territorial integrity .”
“We are gravely concerned about the future of Ukraine and are committed to working with you to support a peaceful political transition that serves the interests of the Ukrainian people who have demanded that their voices be heard,” the lawmakers wrote.
Obama’s warning to Russia on Friday came amid reports that suspected Russian soldiers had landed at a military base in the Crimean peninsula. Officials told Fox News they see "evidence of air and maritime movement into and out of Crimea by Russian forces."
Later Friday, Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, issued a statement saying, "It appears that the Russian military now controls the Crimean peninsula. This aggression is a threat not only to Ukraine, but to regional peace and stability. Russia’s latest action is yet another indicator that Vladimir Putin’s hegemonic ambitions threaten U.S. interests and allies around the world."
A senior U.S. official told Fox News the Pentagon has not prepared "any military contingencies" for Ukraine. Officials say Obama may retaliate by canceling a trip to Russia this summer for an international summit and could also cut off trade discussions with Moscow. But it's unclear whether those moves will have any impact on Russia's calculus in Ukraine.
The administration is being pressed by members of Congress to act judiciously but firmly, out of concern that Putin is poised to flex his muscle in a bid to exert influence over the volatile power struggle in the former Soviet republic. House Republican Leader Eric Cantor called reports of Russia military movement of "grave concern."
"It is essential that the United States, our European and NATO partners, and the international community stand up to any aggression," he said. "We need strong American and European leadership now to forestall any further threats to international peace and stability. Russia's leaders must understand that military intervention and further interference in Ukraine's affairs are unacceptable, and would result in significant consequences for Russia."
Among those consequences, he urged sanctions for "Russian individuals and entities who use force or interfere in Ukraine's domestic affairs."
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, warned that Putin would not take Obama’s “vague threats” seriously and urged the administration to consider suspending Russian membership in the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Security Council.
“The United States should stand with Ukraine,” Cruz said.
Fox News' Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/01/lawmakers-back-obamas-warning-to-russia-on-costs-for-ukraine-intervention/

I wish they would mention the costs that we would incur if we do as they wish and invade Syria and Iran and support Ukraine against Russia. Costs that are human and vast for gains which are really irrelevant to the US and UK populations. A war we cannot win any more than we have in Afghanistan. Humanitarian catastrophes for the peoples we ‘free’ as in Iraq. Pity the Afghanis who helped us, and all the women especially those in refuges from domestic violence, when we leave them all to the Taliban this year. Better we never went there at all. Better for Iraq, Libya and the world had we stayed out of them too. All because of 9/11!

reve

reve
03-03-2014, 01:34 PM
If we end up at war I will close the thread as I am a patriot at heart, however we must do all possible to avoid any unnecessary wars if we can and think things through. Criticism is vital at such a time and a free press.

I have been reading across the spectrum and so far only found unbiased and rational reporting in the Guardian and BBC. But readers' comments posted on the FT for example are very revealing and vary from extremists on both sides to a middling more cynical view. For example it is suggested that the intention is to attack Russia’s ICBM’s from Afghanistan and Ukraine using stealth fighters, therefore Putin is likely to use them before he loses them. There is serious mention of a shadow government above the US insisting on this. Putin the danger man, etc.

Boycotting the Paralympics!!! Very mean - leave the Olympics out of murky politics. Typical of course.

China siding with Russia. Very worrying for the financial world as is the rhetoric about sanctions. Turning this into a financial war is asking for trouble and the losers will be the silly billionaires who wanted this in the first place and will now be screaming in rage.

Western rhetoric about what is happening could just as easily be used about Iraq. That suggests a complete lack of introspection and uneducated speechwriters, or they think we are all stupid.

Comments are coming out now which may or may not be true but reflect the danger in store which is that previous well hidden catastrophes will be unearthed now as the gloves are taken off. Did no one in the west think of this? An example I found in those comments on the FT (Financial Times) article (pro west) and have found here after looking:

‘ Between 1991 and 1998, reported Unicef, 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died. "If you include adults," said Halliday, "the figure is now almost certainly well over a million." In 1996, in an interview on the American current affairs programme 60 Minutes, Madeleine Albright, then US ambassador to the UN, was asked: "We have heard that half a million children have died...is the price worth it?" Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it."
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/09/chlorine_and_ch.html

The actual comment said 600,000 died from cholera which does not appear to be the case but the fall out ends up being the same as right wingers start to find out things they never knew about. Iraq was not worth any lives.

It has also been suggested and may well be the case that the media has suddenly banned the use of the words Nazi and Neo-Nazi, even limiting the use of ‘right‘. Israel moved to do this last month and it was curious to me:

‘Freedom of speech debate sparked by draft law to ban use of 'Nazi' in Israel
Bill would impose fine and jail sentence on anyone using the word other than in certain educational or artistic contexts
Associated Press in Jerusalem
theguardian.com, Friday 17 January 2014

Curious until I was directed to this article which at first I thought was a set up, but after finding some evidence in the more rational and truthful articles around the globe looks to be genuine. It describes just how Nazi the Ukrainian leaders now really are, their links to the real Nazis and the Ukrainian ’Fatherland’ party, and has an incredible photograph of the American woman who allegedly supported them standing proudly by their side. What is incredible is that she is Jewish and it seems inconceivable that the US would ever stand by such people for any reason. What do you think? I was amazed to find the link among the edited comments on a traditional Conservative newspaper and think that this shows how unsettled journalists and editors are with the official line being forced upon them. Or they like the new leaders!

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-u-s-has-installed-a-neo-nazi-government-in-ukraine/5371554

I caution that the authorship of this article may be extremely biased therefore the facts presented need to be checked, however there is no doubt of the Fascist side to the new leadership and one has to wonder at the wisdom of doing business with these people and endangering Europe and the world as a result. The publisher is

‘The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) is a think tank based in Montreal, Canada. It operates websites in English (globalresearch.ca) and French (mondialisation.ca) as well as other languages. It is also involved in book publishing, public conferences and lectures, and produces a weekly radio programme (The Global Research News Hour). According to its website, over 6000 authors have contributed to globalresearch.ca, which according to Alexa Internet was ranked in the top 15,000 websites globally as of 4 September 2013. Globalresearch.ca says that it "welcomes submissions", and whilst submissions are subject to "editorial review", it offers the disclaimer that "the views expressed in Global Research articles are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)".
A 2005 article in The Jewish Tribune criticized GlobalResearch.ca as "rife with anti-Jewish conspiracy theory and Holocaust denial." B'nai Brith Canada had complained that there were comments on a forum that questioned how many Jews died in the Holocaust. Website editor Michel Chossudovsky responded that there was a disclaimer that the website was not to be held responsible for the views expressed in the forum, and he had the comment removed. He also said that he was of Jewish heritage and would be one of the last people to condone antisemitic views. The same article also reported that B'nai Brith Canada wrote a letter to the University of Ottawa (Chossudovsky's former employer) asking for the university "to conduct its own investigation of this propagandist site."
CRG was described in 2011 as having "an intimate and wildly successful relationship" with the RT network (previously known as "Russia Today"). Contributors to CRG include Thierry Meyssan.
CRG is a registered non-profit organization in the Canadian province of Quebec. It accepts donations and offers a variety of paid "memberships" as a form of donation to support its work’ Wikipedia

So things are unravelling fast. William Hague our UK Foreign Secretary has no doubts about supporting the leadership in Ukraine and criticising, even warning, Russia. Today the Conservatives went even further by suggesting that Labour’s opposition to that attack on Syria led to this as it emboldened Russia. Incredible allegation because the chemical attack used to justify launching Britain at Syria is now known to have been caused by the rebels we are still supporting. So fast we find that our nations are being directed to do very silly things for no good reason as far as their populations are concerned. Inevitably one ends up wondering about shadow governments.

Next we find NATO backing Ukraine as though Ukraine was actually in NATO and ignoring that NATO promised not to expand up to Russia’s borders. This is what is enraging ordinary Russians today. NATO is also behaving in a seemingly irrational way.

The IMF are going to support Ukraine financially. This is perhaps the most corrupt nation in Europe and the leaders say $100 Billion has recently gone missing. The finances make no sense at all and this support will come at a very heavy cost to more deserving nations and increase the austerity inflicted on our poor. No other country in this situation would receive such support or promises of it, especially if the government was elected by a rabble in a town square. They say that the homeless in Kiev were given 50 Euros to protest and demonstrate or get beaten up. Are we really supporting this?

So millions of people this morning are wondering what this is really all about. Today a serious article suggested the Pentagon want the Crimean bases for their navy! It may look like that but that is obviously not the case any more than that a nuclear attack is about to take place on Russia. The reason why such things are most unlikely is that the fall out will kill the world and its financial institutions. I would love to see the ICBM’s destroyed. But the reality is that they are needed and tipping the scales of the balance of power in the world is not a good idea if not done gently and gradually. You would only blow up the bank if you had no further use for it. But I liken our world to the Monopoly board on the floor in millions of homes. When the billionaire can find no one to pay his ridiculous rents and the empty bank needs his support what always happens is that there is a big row about ending the game and the board gets tipped upside down prior to being put back in its box, some pieces eventually destined to be hoovered up. Is that the point we have reached? Do China and Russia want to keep going but the rest want to stop the game? Do the billionaires now feel that their massive riches cannot save them? Is overpopulation now at such a level that war is the only solution in the mind of the controllers?

This century has been extraordinary already. And there is no doubt that the train is coming off the tracks. Too many people are too intelligent for this nonsense. The politicians do not believe their spin, nor do the electorates and one wonders why they bother. Neither side has much to offer if it turns its back on the poor and the truth.

Stooping to methods you despise to beat an opponent is literally ‘self defeating’. Carpet bombing German civilians in WW2 did not defeat Hitler. Stalin murdered million of dissidents but did not stop them, nor Mao who starved millions of his. Nuclear bombing civilians did not defeat Japan. Torturing Al Qaida detainees did not defeat the Jihadist. Using undemocratic methods to install democracy does not work. What all these things do is bring you down to the level that you are fighting.

Many will argue with this. They will say that black ops and illegal bombings, false flag attacks have done much to make us secure. I would say that they are why we are facing imminent annihilation.

Take a hopefully entirely fictitious scenario which really only shows the vital importance of checking things out thoroughly before responding in anger. I note that Chamberlain is being criticised again today for making peace with HitlerStooping to methods you despise to beat an opponent is literally ‘self defeating’. Carpet bombing German civilians in WW2 did not defeat Hitler. Nuclear bombing civilians did not defeat Japan. Torturing Al Qaida detainees did not defeat them. Using undemocratic methods to install democracy does not work. What all these things do is bring you down to the level that you are fighting. Many will argue with this. They will say that black ops and illegal bombings, false flag attacks have done much to make us secure. I would say that they are why we are facing imminent annihilation.

The greatest danger is haste and anger. Again today Chamberlain is criticised for making peace with Hitler. This was genuine diplomacy that fooled Hitler then and many angry minds now. He gave us a year to prepare for a war we would have lost in days at that time. Of course there were costs but none as great as Germany invading a powerless Britain with no air force to stop him blitzing our cities. As it was we barely had time to make enough Spitfires and train pilots to hold the blitz off in the Battle of Britain. Dunkirk showed how hopeless our army was in the face of the Panzers and Stuka bombers, even with our European allies. We must ensure we calmly and thoroughly look at any incitements to war even now and so here is a very unlikely and fictitious scenario (ie only found in fiction but a good lesson in fact)
.

Someone thinks Britain needs to fight Russia. This could be a dissident Russian billionaire. An Al Qaida member wanting Britain destroyed. Someone who wants Russia distracted while they attack a Russian ally. A person who wants to sell munitions weapons to Britain. A maniac. Or indeed a person who can see that Russia is the great enemy of democracy and about to strike it’s heart. None of it makes a difference, Britain declaring war on Russia would please them all.

But how could that be achieved? Britain is too small to attack Russia or declare war unilaterally. However this person knows that there are red lines that would force that outcome, possibly force NATO to join in. What red line? Books have been written about this. It is simple. If tons of cocaine can enter our ports so can heavy machinery destined for Faslane Naval Base. It may warrant a cursory inspection. Nuclear thermo warheads are easy to buy they say. Easy to store in containers bound for a naval base, easy to explode when they get there. How does the person make Russia look the likely culprit? How could they make it look like a missile not a lorry delivering this? We saw how with the Syrian chemical attack. A mixture of false intelligence reports and massive media coverage. That is how simply a nuclear war could start as Britain must respond to such an attack - millions of Glaswegians will die. At such a highly charged time people are easy to manipulate as are parliaments. This is called a false flag attack. Stooping to such a method to ignite a war is hardly new but is what democracies and ethical governments are sworn never to do. When they do they are worse that any force on the planet. Evil beyond compare.

However we may have seen a fair few false flag attacks in our time and if so not one has been investigated openly, challenged legally or deterred in future because of punitive action taken against the real perpetrator. Only conspiracy sites really discuss them openly and if they do happen they are quickly covered up officially. The media absolutely hate to mention them or the conspiracies suggested. Which would make them a worthwhile way of doing business in this world. Alternatively there never have been any.

I suppose the chemical attack in Syria must be the main candidate recently. What is troubling is that so many major nations came out immediately, definitively accusing Assad. Supposedly based initially on intelligence from Germany‘s listening ship, French journalists, and Israel, backed up by the UK and US, all of whom rejected the Russian version of what happened. All failed to mention that 5 months previously Al Qaida agents were stopped in Turkey carrying sarin gas in containers, although the BBC reported that at the time. All ignored that it was not in Assad‘s interests to do this at all as Obama had pronounced this a red line. And we were given intelligence of the rocket‘s trajectory, told that the rebels did not have such a rocket or the gas to put in it, UN proof of gas used, the head of Assad’s Chemical Weapons defected and told ‘all’, and we were shown video of the victims within minutes of the attack. And we were asked to sanction an immediate rocket attack on Assad. But since then more intelligence has emerged that the rocket did come from rebel lines. The rebels did have these rockets and were the most likely culprits. Officially we have been told nothing and our governments have no intention of publicly investigating what was almost certainly a false flag attack to incite a reaction from the UK and US. Indeed I still hear politicians insisting Assad gasses his own people, not that the rebels do. At that time we were also advised that Al Qaida were a tiny part of the rebel group which we now know is a lie. 30,000 or 40,000 foreign Jihadists, many from Europe, is not a small part of the rebel alliance.

If this is the world leaders’ reaction, indeed the UN reaction to the chemical attack, how can we have any confidence in what we were told about the 9/11 attack, unanswered questions about that and programmes banned from broadcasting these. We all know the long running saga of the JFK assassination, Robert Kennedy’s assassination by a Palestinian, indeed many terrorist atrocities attributed to certain elements. And what this really says is that if any were known to be false flags our governments have stooped to the lowest of levels by hiding the facts. Where is the openness we should expect of a democratic world? Why can these questions not even be asked when so many aggressive policies resulted from attacks which are almost certainly not quite what they are painted to be?

The official view and line is that conspiracy theories are insane and that the questions they ask, even the questions that experts ask, are not to be answered anytime soon. Hardly a democratic reaction is it and this may explain why we are in such a perilous state where democracy has become an overused word, like many others these days, and often a barefaced lie. It may be the best the world has but if that is the best the world is damned by its karmic legacy.

Iraq was perhaps the clearest example of what was basically one lie used to massacre a population. Even that is not now discussed. There were no WMD, that is all we are told. No one mentions that Britain’s eminent surgeons commissioned a report by the Lancet showing that over 600,000 Iraqis died violently over that lie, although far more died from the sanctions which preceded that. We are still not told that it was a 'lie' even though before the attack grave doubts were raised, by the nuclear inspectorate no less, and were treated with disdain by two governments hell bent on hasty invasion. No apology has ever been expressed either. No compensation ever paid. Compare with the penalties faced by BP for an oil spill for which they were partly responsible at most. It says that Iraqi lives are worthless by comparison.

So why can the world not come clean? Why do they argue and then agree to bury all of these things, only for them to inevitably emerge all over again to haunt us? No deterrent means no end to it means we intend to keep it as a method we use and value! Honesty and real, open investigation, respect for the questions that need answering would mean that we really are high minded people who do not wish to stoop to the level of terrorists and despots. Sadly year on year our politicians have taken to treating their populaces with disdain as though only they know what is good for us, although really they all know it is what is good for them and we need to be last on the list of beneficiaries in foreign policy. Any good parent would tell their child that no good comes from being deceitful and a bully. But our politicians are the parents in our society and that is not their message.

End Times!

reve

reve
04-03-2014, 11:56 AM
We spend money on 'programmes' rather than give money to our poor. We look after and cosset our rich and despise our poor. This is in the two wealthiest nations, pity the starving children in the rest of the world our rich exploit. For what? What justification can there be for what we allow our governments to do, to lie about poverty in their own country while cutting tax for the wealthy men who own them? None - it disgraces humanity and the politicians love to discuss war in other countries as a risk they must reduce rather than the starving in their own.

'

(Reuters) - U.S. anti-poverty programs have failed, Republican Ryan says
By David Lawder
WASHINGTON Mon Mar 3,
The U.S. government has barely made a dent in poverty in the past 50 years despite massive spending on programs to aid the poor, House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said in a report on Monday.
The Wisconsin Republican, a potential presidential contender in 2016, released the report a day before President Barack Obama sends Congress his own annual budget proposals, expected to include several provisions for helping the poor.
By releasing the report, Ryan, a fiscal hawk who was his party's unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate in 2012, appeared to be presenting himself as being more committed to helping poor Americans hoist themselves into the middle class.
He said many of the 92 federal programs aimed at fighting poverty were "haphazard" and ineffective, despite a cost of $799 billion in fiscal 2012.
The report, compiled by the Republican staff of Ryan's committee, said the U.S. poverty rate of 15 percent in 2012 was down only slightly from the 17.3 percent in 1965, the year after President Lyndon Johnson launched his "war on poverty" with new spending on aid programs.
"A large problem is the 'poverty trap,'" the report said. "There are so many anti-poverty programs - and there is so little coordination between them - that they often work at cross-purposes and penalize families for getting ahead."
The report did not recommend specific cuts to individual programs, but Ryan said it was meant to launch a public debate about anti-poverty spending. He was expected to outline his proposals in a Republican budget plan due out in a few weeks………..

xyz2055 wrote:
<p=""His plan has been out for 3 years now..It’s called “Path to Prosperity” The problem is that they believe in “Trickle Down” economics. Which Ryan advocates in his plan by huge tax cuts for Corporates and the wealthiest individuals. This concept goes back to the Reagan years and all it’s done has made the wealthy, wealthier. Taxes on corporations and the wealthy are at historic lows. How more does it take for this concept to actually work. The correct answer is..that instead of trying to manipulate our economy they should be doing their job and living within the means they have. It’s laughable that Ryan is referred to as a “fiscal hawk”. Read what the CBO has to say about his latest version of “Path to Prosperity”.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/03/us-usa-fiscal-ryan-idUSBREA2224V20140303

In November 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau said more than 16% of the population lived in poverty, including almost 20% of American children, up from 14.3% (approximately 43.6 million) in 2009 and to its highest level since 1993. In 2008, 13.2% (39.8 million) Americans lived in poverty. Starting in the 1980s, relative poverty rates have consistently exceeded those of other wealthy nations. California has a poverty rate of 23.5%, the highest of any state in the country
….In 2011, child poverty reached record high levels, with 16.7 million children living in food insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels. A 2013 UNICEF report ranked the U.S. as having the second highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world (behind Romania)....Income levels vary along racial/ethnic lines: 21% of all children in the United States live in poverty, about 46% of black children and 40% of Latino children live in poverty. The poverty rate is 9.9% for black married couples and only 30% of black children are born to married couples (see Marriage below)…..Many sociologists and government officials have argued that poverty in the United States is understated, meaning that there are more households living in actual poverty than there are households below the poverty threshold. A recent NPR report states that as much as 30% of Americans have trouble making ends meet and other advocates have made supporting claims that the rate of actual poverty in the US is far higher than that calculated by using the poverty threshold. A study taken in 2012 estimated that roughly 38% of Americans live "paycheck to pay check Wikipedia




Microsoft founder Bill Gates has regained the top spot as the world's richest person, according to Forbes magazine's annual ranking of global billionaires.
Mr Gates' total net worth was estimated at $76bn (£45.5bn) this year, up from $67bn in 2013.
His rise in wealth knocked Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim off the top spot into second place.
In total, there were a record 1,645 billionaires, according to Forbes.
The funds needed to make it into the top 20 ranking are now $31bn, up from $23bn last year, Forbes said.
Mr Gates has been top of the list for 15 of the last 20 years, according to Forbes.Technology firms featured heavily in the list, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg becoming the biggest gainer in net worth.
His fortune more than doubled to $28.5bn, boosted by a sharp rise in the price of the social network's shares.
The social network's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, also made the list for the first time.
WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton entered the list at number 202 and 551 respectively, thanks to Facebook's $19bn purchase of the messaging app.
US continues to dominate
The world's largest economy, the US, continues to have the most billionaires, with 492.
By region, Europe boasted the most billionaires outside the US, with 468 in total, closely followed by Asia, which had 444 billionaires.
The list suggested that wealth was spreading, with four new countries featuring for the first time - Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda.
Nigeria's Aliko Dangote, Africa's richest man, became the first African to be listed in the top 25, with a net worth of $25bn.
Landlord Gerald Grosvenor and family were the richest British family to make the list, with a net worth estimated at $13bn.
Known formally as the 6th Duke of Westminster, he owns 190 acres in Belgravia, an area adjacent to Buckingham Palace and one of London's most expensive neighbourhoods.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26420414

Press release issued: 28 March 2013
Today 33 per cent of the UK population suffers from multiple deprivation — it was 14 per cent in 1983, and over 30 million people (almost half the population) are suffering some degree of financial insecurity. These are just some of the stark findings from the largest and most authoritative study of poverty and deprivation ever conducted in the UK.
The Poverty and Social Exclusion [PSE] project, led by academics at the University of Bristol and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC], publishes its first report ‘The Impoverishment of the UK’ today [28 Mar]. The study aims to help to find solutions to tackle the problems of poverty and deprivation.
http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2013/9270.html

A campaign aimed at highlighting the "humanitarian crisis" caused by poverty in Scotland has been launched by a group of charities.
The Scotland's Outlook campaign claimed hundreds of thousands of people were being "battered" by welfare reforms, stagnant wages, rising utility bills, higher living costs and job insecurity.
And it said many families were having to use food banks to feed themselves.
It called on people across the country to "join the fight against poverty".
The campaign is being run jointly by Macmillan, Shelter Scotland, Oxfam, Alzheimer Scotland, Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS), Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), the Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).With nearly a million people in Scotland living in poverty, we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands and we need everyone's help to tackle it”
It claimed more than 870,000 people in Scotland were living in poverty, with a fifth of children in Scotland living below the breadline and 23,000 people having turned to food banks in the past six months.
Martin Sime, chief executive of the SCVO, said: "With nearly a million people in Scotland living in poverty, we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands and we need everyone's help to tackle it.
"Thousands of people are turning to food banks, struggling to heat their homes, and to clothe themselves and their children. It's not right.
"We want people to wake up to the poverty storm that's engulfing Scotland and get active in the fight against it."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26424477


reve

reve
04-03-2014, 04:17 PM
Today we hear more good news for the rich and more cuts for the poorest who are not in work, cannot get work and pay no tax.


‘David Cameron has suggested that further public spending savings could be used to fund tax cuts.
"Every efficiency" found could help to provide a "bit of extra cash" for households, he said in a speech.
He also argued that spending cuts were part of an attempt to change the UK's "values" by making the country less reliant on debt.
But Labour said the PM had overseen tax cuts for the wealthiest while "everyone else is worse off".

Mr Cameron, who has made clear that he wants to reduce taxes if the Conservatives win a parliamentary majority at the 2015 election, said true security came from "having more money in our pockets".
Some senior Conservatives are calling for the 40% income tax rate threshold to be raised to £44,000 in the Budget to ease the burden on middle-class voters.

For Labour, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie said: "David Cameron has revealed his true values by the choices he has made.
"He's chosen to give the top 1% of earners a £3bn tax cut while everyone else is worse off.
"Working people have seen their wages fall in real terms by over £1,600 a year on average under David Cameron's government."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26427370

Insanity or cruelty - the kind of cruelty that calls the policies that are starving children ‘sanctions’ which we impose in the hope that populations will rise against their governments. But all that happens is that we kill children that we never hear about. 600,000 children dying as a result in Iraq in the 1990’s but as you will have seen in a previous post here Madeleine Albright (former US Secretary of State) thought that the sanctions causing that were worth it. Unless they affect her children of course. Blair must have thought they were worth it too as they did not affect his children. But most of the world never knew about that, or what is happening now in Iran. Insanity or cruelty which make the statements our leaders worthless. But they are owned by billionaires who collectively could end world poverty at a stroke but choose not to. And the $799 Billion spent in 2012 by the US on its federal programme to help the poor in the US (Around 40 million perhaps many more) amounts to $20,000 each, ie none of them would have been in poverty if it had actually reached them. The UK considers helping businesses and cutting taxes for the richest to be the way to help the poorest. The last Labour government was no better. Insanity or cruelty.

reve

reve
04-03-2014, 09:34 PM
I heard all the Security Council speeches, Kerry's speech in Kiev and read all the media. They all see it completely differently to me and the people I am so suspicious of are in fact freedom fighters and heroes so I will shut up as the whole world (apart from Russia) cannot be bought can they, nor be wrong on such an important matter.

I had worried about Ukrainians getting cold but see a white knight riding to their rescue and note the Congressmen suggesting this. No wonder the UK want to exploit their shale!

' Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine is bolstering the case for easing restrictions on exports of the U.S.’s booming natural gas production, according to energy analysts and industry groups.

Russia, the world’s second-largest producer of natural gas after the U.S., twice since 2006 has cut supplies of the fuel to Ukraine, a conduit for energy to Europe. Greater access to U.S. supplies would blunt the ability of Russia to use energy as a weapon, according to supporters of lifting export curbs.

“One immediate step the president can and should take is to dramatically expedite the approval of U.S. exports of natural gas,” House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said today in a statement....
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-03-04/ukraine-seen-building-support-for-u-dot-s-dot-natural-gas-export

Energy costs are breaking the bank in millions of British homes too. Anyway things seem to be settling down TG

reve

reve
05-03-2014, 12:59 AM
Israel is a wonderful country but is a land of extremes. I have just read an article by former Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon complaining that the UN and thus most of the world are unfairly biased against Israel. This is a problem he thinks because the world does not understand the real situation but believes that the UN does. Danny does not see why the UN is a bit biased against Israel, if it is, as he calls Israel the one true democracy in the Middle East, which ignores the problem of the majority of Palestinians who have no votes in it but also live there. But he is right about one thing which is that Israel has not silenced its media. And the Israeli paper Haaretz is ever campaigning for justice for all in Israel including the Palestinians. This article today challenges some fundamental Israeli beliefs and is written by an Israeli.

‘ Israel has become a state of snake-handlers
It's time for rational Israel to stand up and jettison toxic fairy tales like 'Torah study protects Israel.'
By Roy Isacowitz | Mar. 4, 2014

Hundreds of thousands – some reports say up to half-a-million – ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered in Jerusalem on Sunday in support of the proposition that Torah study protects Israel and those indulging in it should be regarded as providing a vital service to the nation. In other words, that yeshiva students perform a function similar to that of combat soldiers and should not be compelled to do military service as well; some conscripts are recruited by the army and others by God.
The beauty of the proposition that Torah study protects Israel is that it’s unprovable. Those who propose it are as unable to prove it right as I am to prove it wrong. Not only that, but once you subscribe to it, it’s infallible. Disasters are always due to insufficient Torah study, while the dangers it protects us from never materialize and therefore remain unknown. After all, we’re still here, aren’t we?
Were it not for the concern that the ultra-Orthodox are not “sharing the burden” (in itself a problematic proposition,) it would be easy to dismiss them as medieval relics who, thankfully, keep to their ghettoes mostly. But the real danger is their way of thinking – their conviction that the ineffable is also the real – which is already deeply ingrained in Israeli society. Far too many supposedly sane and rational Israelis either share that conviction to some degree or are unwilling to publicly call the emperor naked.
The Haredim trot out their ‘Torah study protects Israel’ drivel on TV and Finance Minister Yair Lapid counters with arguments about how the economy can’t sustain such a large group of people who neither serve nor work. Which may well be the case, but it’s not the point.
The point is that the Torah study argument is nonsense and we, rather than pointing out that it’s nonsense, accept it silently. Rather than counter it, we blunder on rationally, leaving the irrationality unexposed. And, in that way, sanctimonious and deceitful rubbish becomes part of our national consciousness; we begin to take it for granted. It becomes a supporting myth.
Zionist history is full of such myths, unprovable – and often outlandish – propositions that become part of the common wisdom because no-one bothers to contradict them when they are raised. They serve political purposes and most of the time we are quick to jettison truth and common sense in pursuit of our goals.
"God gave the land to the Jews" is one such myth and the "2,000-year exile" is another. The first relies on writings of unknown provenance and negligible historical accuracy and the second has no basis in history. They were both reborn as fact in the late 19th century, in order to provide a pseudo-historical foundation for the colonization of Palestine.
There are more contemporary myths as well: such as that the Jordan Valley is critical for the defense of Israel (refuted by men with impeccable security backgrounds, such as Meir Dagan,) or that the Palestinians want to push the Jews into the sea or that the IDF is a moral army – all flying in the face of reality and all accepted as foundational truths by the bulk of Israelis, secular as well as religious.
Which is why the Education Ministry has become a propaganda tool, rabbis are now involved in running the army and the Bennetts of this world find it necessary to establish public organizations dedicated to maintaining Jewish identity. The lies we have told over generations need to be fortified and sustained, because, were the truth to be told, the whole edifice could crumble.
Secretary Kerry isn’t after the truth; he just wants us to ease up on the myths a little. To accept 70% of the land promised by God instead of the whole lot; to rely on missile defenses to secure Israel’s eastern flank in the high-tech age, rather than settlements in the Jordan Valley. But even that is too much for the merry band of myth-sustainers in the Knesset, who found it necessary last week to both insult the American ambassador and belittle American support for Israel, which is one of the few concrete realities in our world today.
It all brings to mind a recent article about a Pentecostal preacher in the southern United States who died recently from a snakebite after conducting a religious service featuring “snake handling .” Pastor Jamie Coots died because he believed Scripture commanded him to “take up serpents” in church and then refuse medical assistance once he had been bitten. He paid for that belief with his life.
Most of us, I think, would find the pastor’s behavior unfathomable. How on earth does getting bitten by a snake prove one’s belief and devotion? But, in fact, there’s little difference between taking an obscure line about serpents in the New Testament at face value and believing that Torah study protects Israel – or that God gave the land to the Jews.
They are all unfounded and unprovable propositions that rest entirely on belief and are at odds with the science-based approach of the modern world. For all its sophistication and high-tech élan, Israel is no less backward than the Kentucky backwoods in which Jamie Coots operated. Most of us, secular as well as religious, are more than happy to believe the fairy tales we have been fed since birth.
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.577880

Although there is freedom of the Press in Israel the article will not be read by those that are demanding the land on which the Palestinians have lived for thousands of years and who today told Obama and the world that the 6 million Palestinian refugees will not be allowed to return and flood Israel. It is only Justice that demands that. Denying Justice creates a massive karmic debt. Danny Ayalon is right that there are many other countries which treat their populations worse that Israel, but they are not the Holy Land which is the centre of focus for billions of religious people. And it is religion and blind belief without any archaeological or indeed genuine historical evidence that is denying Justice itself. That is why it is so important that Justice is seen to return to this land along with the people who belong there. Not just the Jews and immigrants but the other Semites too - the Arabs who have lived there for so long and now sojourn in camps and ghettos. At least Haaretz and the many enlightened Israelis carry a candle for those who have been robbed of an honest life in this land.

History and archaeology prove that the so called Philistines, and their ancestors, always lived there and did so side by side with the Jewish and other tribes - when there was an Israelite presence and kingdom and for the thousands of years when there was not. What is known about the ‘Messiah’ is that he is for all people, Jew and Gentile alike, and demands Justice for the poor and exploited people particularly, while taking the kings (leaders) to task. If any there - Jew or Palestinian do not like the idea of sharing the whole land they should leave. Few of the immigrants over the last 50 years were stateless when they went to live in Israel, but most of the Palestinians in the camps are even now. Of course after the second world war there were many displaced and stateless people, many Jewish, and providing a home and sanctuary for them was vital. But kicking out the inhabitants to create a ‘Jewish State’ for so many who are citizens of other countries was never envisaged, is unjust and should not demand recognition from those they displaced.

If many of our leaders do not have the courage to challenge Injustice it is a fact that many countries in the UN do. Whether you call this anti-Semitic or delegitimizing is irrelevant. When the world supports Injustice it ‘delegitimizes’ the whole world. When one fighter is called a ‘Freedom fighter’ as today, but another who also throws a petrol bomb and demands rights is a ‘terrorist’, we need to look closely at the difference. Terrorists are hunted down while Freedom fighters receive support. Al Qaida one day is a Terrorist being hunted down but now in Syria appears to be a Freedom fighter receiving support. When a country invades another we also need to be sure where we stand. It has happened in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and this was deemed to be reasonable and pursing the ‘aspirations’ (new buzz word) of democracy and freedom even if it happened without UN authorisation. But other invasions are not so lucky. As for the people invaded they certainly suffer whoever invades them. I am sure we could change regimes without killing the inhabitants but we should ask them first, not afterwards. All countries that do not have elections should have sanctions levelled at the leaders who will not allow them, not the populations, until they do and the elections everywhere should be independently monitored, then if fair the results respected. That is how we spread and encourage democracy and it is a simple and bloodless way of doing so. It is not impossible to have a Just world but it seems to be impossible to agree to a way forward to that. A ‘free’ press is very important. A democracy that is not run by lobbies also. Election expenses should be the same for all candidates and paid from a central fund, not by wealthy individuals. It is not rocket science if you really want ‘democracy‘.

I would respect our world more if they admitted that democracy was not what they actually wanted, but plutocracy or autocracy. Some countries opt for those forms of government and ignore the populations. That is the world’s history. But if we all feel that in this century we should try ‘democracy’ for the entire world that would be fair. In which case we need to ensure that is what we have. But of course the plutocrats and autocrats will not be happy. Britain likes having a Queen but also favours a democracy, however it clearly has a plutocracy. When that is challenged the plutocrats call the alternative Communism. But the alternative is actually real democracy. Communism is nearly always a disguised autocracy. I am sure Saudi Arabia would like to keep its monarchy too, even perhaps its plutocracy, but we will not know if they do not ask the male and female population democratically. It is a bit childish to write such things as they are so obvious - until you hear our statesmen and realise that they cannot see that or if they do will not make the changes necessary to allow that. I bet if you had a referendum in Britain asking people whether they would like real democracy with election expenses allocated and funded centrally, and lobbies banned from interfering in policies, they would overwhelmingly say they do. Which is why they do not ask the most fundamental of questions. But underneath all of this is the assumption that private ownership of countries is permissible. That we can have 1000 billionaires legitimately while half the world lives in dire poverty. But sadly that adds up to Injustice and is exactly what enrages the ‘Messiah’ if the tales told about him have any accuracy. Which means that a genuine ‘Messiah’ is not exactly welcome at present.

reve

reve
05-03-2014, 04:22 PM
Here is the best article so far on Ukraine and oddly it is coming from the heart of the US. Readers' comments on many articles being written by right wing newspapers and published online suggest that most readers do not accept them to be factual at all. I have never seen this before so obviously. The current and overwhelming rush by the media to accept the nonsense and hypocrisy being spun is something that is mentioned here. It is indeed extraordinary and almost all reporters know very well that their articles are either propaganda or rubbish. It is not possible to deceive so many intelligent people any more although you can frighten your journalists with losing their jobs. What happens then though is the gradual destruction of the current ‘owned’ media and its replacement by something more meaningful. Readers will remember what their papers have done long after this is over.


Analysis
The Ukraine crisis through the whimsy of international law
Money and hard power count, and that's that
By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Mar 05, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 05, 2014 9:11 AM ET About The Author
Neil Macdonald
Senior Washington Correspondent
Neil Macdonald is the senior Washington correspondent for CBC News, which he joined in 1988 following 12 years in newspapers. Before taking up this post in 2003, Macdonald reported from the Middle East for five years. He speaks English and French fluently, and some Arabic.

Listening to U.S. President Barack Obama bang on this week about the importance of world opinion and obeying international law and respecting sovereignty and being on the right side of history, you had to wonder whether he didn't have a little voice in his head whispering: "Really? Seriously? I'm actually saying this stuff?"
This is the commander-in-chief of a military that operates a prison camp on Cuban soil, against the explicit wishes of the Cuban government, and which regularly fires drone missiles into other countries, often killing innocent bystanders.
He is a president who ordered that CIA torturers would go unprosecuted, and leads a nation that has invaded other countries whenever it wished, regardless of what the rest of the world might think.
Disclaimer here: Vladimir Putin's proclaimed justification for invading Ukraine — protecting Russian-speaking "compatriots" in that country from some imagined violence — stinks of tribalism.
His rationale is essentially ethnic nationalism, something responsible for so much of the evil done throughout human history.
Stated motivation aside, though, what Putin is doing is really no different from what other world powers do: protecting what they regard as national self-interest.
And so far, he's done it without bloodletting.
Imagine, for a moment, what Washington would do if, say, Bahrain's Shia population, covertly supported by Tehran, staged a successful uprising and began to push itself into Iran's orbit.
The U.S. Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, just as Russia's Black Sea Fleet is parked at its huge naval bases in the Crimea.
To pose the scenario is to answer the question of how America would react.
The same goes for all the other countries in America's political realm. The Philippines, South Korea, certain Persian Gulf nations. Imagine if Russia's military tried to return to Cuba.
The order of things
There is an order of things; it is disturbed at the world's peril.
And Ukraine, for better or worse — decidedly worse, those in the western portion of the country will tell you — has for centuries been in Russia's sphere.
Armed men, believed to be Russian soldiers, stand outside the civilian port in the Crimean town of Kerch on Monday. (Thomas Peter ?Reuters)
Crimea, the region of Ukraine now occupied by Russia, was part of the Soviet Union and was deeded to Ukraine in 1954 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of a treaty that bonded much of Ukraine to Tsarist Russia.
To suggest, as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso did this week, that Ukrainians "have shown that they belong culturally, emotionally but also politically to Europe," is just wishful thinking, even if some Ukrainians wish it were true.
Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was right when he pointed out that many of the countries denouncing Putin's intervention were actively involved in encouraging anti-Russia Ukrainians to overthrow an elected, if distasteful, president and government.
Victoria Nuland, a senior American diplomat, was caught in flagrante delicto a few weeks back, chatting with another American official about which Ukrainian opposition figures should and shouldn't be installed.
Washington's reply: It was unconscionable of Russia to intercept and leak that discussion.
More angry flailings
Incidentally, some of the Ukrainian opposition groups that have now ended up in power are thuggish, anti-Semitic, anti-Russian, extreme right-wingers.
Putin's description of them — ultranationalists — was mild. You just wouldn't know it listening to Western politicians.
In Obama's case, sitting beside him on Monday as he gave his lecture on international law from the Oval Office was close ally Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Israeli prime minister, having just engaged in a protracted, robust handshake for the cameras, presides over country that operates a military occupation in the West Bank, violating the "international law" Obama was demanding Putin obey.
The U.S. insists that Israel's occupation can only be solved by respectful negotiation between the parties themselves, and it vehemently opposes punishing Israel with the sort of moves currently being contemplated against Russia.
It's easy to go on and on in this vein — Britain's prime minister, who leads a nation that helped invade Iraq on a false pretext, denouncing Putin's pretext for going into Crimea. The NATO powers that helped bring about the independence of Albanian Kosovars complaining about the separatist aspirations of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, etc.
But that's diplomacy. Hypocritical declarations and acts are woven into its essence.
What's remarkable is the unspoken pact among the Western news media to report it all so uncritically.
When Obama spoke, the gaggle of reporters in attendance rushed to report his statements, mostly at face value.
Likewise, Western news reports seriously reported Russia's ridiculous threat to end the role of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, as though Russia's creditors will begin to accept rubles at whatever exchange rate Putin decrees.
On TV and in print, we hear serious talk about the possibility of economic sanctions against Russia — which would only trigger a devastating trade back-blast against European economies.

Republican Senator John McCain says it is Barack Obama's "feckless foreign policy" that is to blame for Russia's invasion of Crimea. However, he added, a military response is not on the table. (Reuters)
Other media analysts agree with the angry flailings of U.S. foreign policy hawks, who seem to think Obama should be much more aggressive with Putin, although they have few concrete suggestions. (A frustrated Senator John McCain demanded that rich Russians be barred from Las Vegas.)
The unspoken media-government arrangement is understandable, I suppose.
We must at least pretend there's international law and fairness and basic rules, because it reassures us that we live in a world where raw power doesn't ultimately rule.
But it's all just gibberish; through the looking glass. We might as well be reporting that slithy toves gyre and gimble in the wabe.
Money and hard power count, and that's that. The big players have it, and the smaller players play along. If we need the anaesthetic liquor of self-delusion to deal with it, well, drink up.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/the-ukraine-crisis-through-the-whimsy-of-international-law-1.2559980

Take a look at what can stop you standing for election - this is for the US but it is as true in the UK- if less expensive here. To get this funding either means selling your soul to a funder or being extremely rich. Rule by the rich is called plutocracy. Rule by the rich funders is also plutocracy. The whole system prevents the poor getting elected unless they support the agendas agreeable to those who pay to put them in office.

‘ U.S. Senate seat now costs $10.5 million to win, on average, while US House seat costs, $1.7 million, new analysis of FEC data shows
The price of power has risen to an all-time high for entry into the exclusive congressional club, says a new analysis by Maplight.org of data from the Federal Elections Commission.
Comments (4)
By David Knowles / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, March 11, 2013, 5:32 PM :

Perhaps not surprisingly, the price of winning a seat in Congress has risen since the 2008 election cycle. Four years ago, the average amount raised by a winning Senator was $9,211,992, FEC data shows. Winning House members, by comparison, raised $1,471702 during the came cycle.
Newman says that no shortage of the money raised by members of Congress comes from corporations.
“Most industries give money to members of Congress because it buys them access and influence,” Newman said. “And now, with Citizens United, corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money on these races. The result is that members of Congress are fearful about voting against corporate interests because there’s so much money at stake.”


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/cost-u-s-senate-seat-10-5-million-article-1.1285491#ixzz2v6LZjsDl

We need to stop using this democracy word so much.

‘ Campaign costs have risen steadily over time. In 1971, the cost of running for congress in Utah was $70,000. Since then, campaign costs have climbed. The biggest campaign expense is television ads, although campaign staff and materials are expensive too. By 1986, the average Senate race cost $3 million; average House races cost $350,000. By 1994, the cost to run for a congressional seat was about $500,000 on average; in 2004, a decade later, the cost was significantly higher. "Largely because of the ever-increasing cost of television advertising, the average price tag for waging a winning campaign is likely to zoom past the million-dollar mark this year for the first time, analysts say," according to one report. Money plays a huge role in congressional elections. Since fundraising is vital, "members of Congress are forced to spend ever-increasing hours raising money for their re-election" and "campaign costs continue to skyrocket." Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has treated campaign contributions as a free speech issue. Some see money as a good influence in politics since it "enables candidates to communicate with voters and parties to organize efforts to get out the vote." In the 2008 election, spending for all campaigns (including presidential) approached $2 billion in early 2008. Few members retire from Congress without complaining about how much it costs to campaign for reelection. Further, after being reelected, congresspersons are more likely to attend to the needs of heavy campaign contributors than to ordinary citizens. Some political scientists speculate there is a coattail effect when a popular president or party position has the effect of reelecting incumbents who get dragged along to victory as if they were "riding on the president's coattails", although there is some evidence that the coattail effect is irregular and possibly has been declining since the 1950s.
To be reelected, congresspersons must advertise heavily on television; unfortunately, this almost always requires so-called negative advertising which is considered by political operatives as necessary. Critics often point to attack ads that smear an opponent's reputation or make unfounded accusations without discussing issues as being unpopular with the public. The consensus is that negative advertising is effective since "the messages tend to stick." Attack ads are prevalent in most Congressional races today. Critics charge that candidates must spend heavily to get elected and races often cost millions of dollars. In recent years, the average victor in a Senate race spent close to $7 million, and the average House victor spent over a million dollars.
Wikipedia

The other challenge to real democracy is the party system. You need to be selected by one of the major parties to get elected, very few independents make it. The parties are also funded and sell their souls to the highest bidders but also to the media barons they need to get elected. It is so wrapped up that it will be impossible to change and yet many countries fund elections from a central budget to avoid these pitfalls. Why not the US and UK? Exactly. Because they are owned, like the media. We are owned.

reve

reve
05-03-2014, 04:37 PM
Ukraine is not in the EU or NATO. But NATO is beginning to treat it as if it is and this EU package is better than many genuine EU members get. Most of us pay in more than we get out. Visa free travel for the thugs and criminals that infest Ukraine and who we really do not need to join the other Eastern European organised criminals in our cities. Billions of EU cash although we have serious problems with poverty and this cost was incurred by the thugs throwing petrol bombs, wielding rifles (now not mentioned in the Press) and violently taking over the Independence Square, an example we certainly do not need. It was fomented by 'western governments' to provoke Russia and guess who will pay the cost? The poor in Europe as the austerity programme is ratcheted up to provide the funds. It is a disgrace and abuse of the EU Treaty. Hopefully Scotland will get out as this is leading to a very bad place for Europeans. The US has provided $1 Billion perhaps paid for by BP and British bank fines. Why can we not have the financially astute leadership the US has?

' EU to provide Ukraine with $15B aid package, will freeze assets of Ukrainians for fund misuse

Published March 05, 2014/
FoxNews.com




The European Union is proposing to provide Ukraine a $15 billion aid package in loans and grants over the coming years, the head of the bloc's executive arm said Wednesday, as it prepared to freeze the financial assets of 18 people held responsible of misusing state funds.

The package will include 1.6 billion euros in loans and 1.4 billion euros in grants from the EU budget and up to 8 billion euros fresh credit from the EU's financial institutions, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In addition, another 3.5 billion euros could "potentially" come from the bloc's assistance to neighboring countries through 2020, the European Commission said.

The package is "designed to assist a committed, inclusive and reforms oriented Government in rebuilding a stable and prosperous future for Ukraine," Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.

The EU's 28 foreign ministers also approved Wednesday the list of people who will have their financial assets in Europe frozen. The identity of those targeted was withheld pending the official publication in the EU's legal journal Thursday, at which point the sanctions will be effective for the coming 12 months.

Officials say releasing the names could give those targeted a last chance to pull their assets out of the 28-nation bloc.

The ministers said the sanctions also contain provisions facilitating the recovery of the frozen funds for Ukraine's new government "once certain conditions are met."

The United States announced a $1 billion aid package in energy subsidies Tuesday. Kiev estimates it needs $35 billion in international rescue loans over the next two years. The International Monetary Fund is expected to play a key role in providing those bailout loans.

The EU package foresees helping to modernize the country's gas transit system and providing technical assistance ranging from judicial reform to assistance in preparing elections, the Commission said. The package also calls for steps to accelerate achieving visa-free travel for Ukrainians to the 28-nation bloc.

That measure, if approved, would go down particularly badly in Moscow, since Russia has sought visa-free travel to Europe for its citizens for years. Suspending discussions on that project are among the punitive measures against Russia over its move against Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, which are being weighed by EU leaders at an emergency meeting Thursday.

Coincidentally, the headline figure of $15 billion for the EU's assistance package is the same amount that Russia was prepared to grant Ukraine in loans until the government of President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted last month.

Yanukovich took the Russian loans instead of a wide-ranging trade and economic agreement with the EU, which fuelled the protests that eventually led to his ouster.

Barroso insisted that agreement was still on the table, and the EU is prepared to provisionally grant Ukraine the benefits deriving from it before a full ratification.

The timeline over which the EU funds and loans would be disbursed varied from a few hundred million euros this year to multi-billions between now and 2020. But the details were left vague because the situation in Ukraine is still uncertain and negotiations between Kiev and the IMF are ongoing, EU officials said.

Most disbursements will likely hinge on the formation of a new government in Ukraine after the May elections and an agreement on wide-ranging economic reforms with the IMF. The fund will likely insist, among other things, on a currency devaluation and a sharp rise of natural gas prices, which Ukraine subsidizes heavily.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.'
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/05/eu-to-provide-ukraine-15-billion-aid-package-in-loans-and-grants/

reve

reve
05-03-2014, 05:09 PM
Here is the best article so far on Ukraine and oddly it is coming from the heart of the US............

CBC is of course Canadian but I trust you know what I meant

reve

reve
05-03-2014, 05:48 PM
Although not mentioned now, we knew some of the protestors were armed, others threw petrol bombs at the police. We knew police were killed. We suspected that protestors were shot by their own side deliberately to escalate the situation and it worked. The president was unlikely to order his men to shoot to kill and refused to order his elite riot police into the square. The truth comes out, as it did in Iraq and will in Syria. We will doubtless end up on the wrong side of it again. Why do we not learn that short term reactions have a long term detrimental effect if based knowingly on deceptions? Almost certainly our leaders knew it was Al Qaida who used sarin and that the Ukrainian protestors were anything but freedom fighters. Hired thugs and assasins hid in their midst.

' 15.17 Our correspondent, Damien McElroy, has spoken to the doctor at the centre of the claims that snipers that shot people in Kiev were hired by Maidan leaders:


Olga Bogomolets said she had not told Mr Paet that policemen and protesters had been killed in the same manner.


"Myself I saw only protesters. I do not know the type of wounds suffered by military people," she told The Telegraph. "I have no access to those people."

But she said she had asked for a full forensic criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred in the Maidan. "No one who just sees the wounds when treating the victims can make a determination about the type of weapons. I hope international experts and Ukrainian investigators will make a determination of what type of weapons, who was involved in the killings and how it was done. I have no data to prove anything.

"I was a doctor helping to save people on the square. There were 15 people killed on the first day by snipers. They were shot directly to the heart, brain and arteries. There were more than 40 the next day, 12 of them died in my arms.

"Our nation has to ask the question who were the killers, who asked them to come to Ukraine. We need good answers on the basis of expertise."

Mr Paet's assertion that an opposition figure was behind the Maidan massacre was not one she could share.

"I think you can only say something like this on the basis of fact," she said. "Its not correct and its not good to do this. It should be based on fact."

She said the new government in Kiev had assured her a criminal investigation had begun but that she had not direct contact with it so far.

"They told me they have begun a criminal process and if they say that I believe them. The police have not given me any information on it."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10677370/Ukraine-Russia-cris


The Telegraph is a Conservative paper - look at the first few comments after this article. Intelligent people are not being fooled by childish speeches and 'diplomacy' and it is doing indescribable damage to us. The Security Council speeches were ridiculous as though the speakers knew nothing about the history of this and the facts which came out at the time but then were erased from their minds. With Iraq etc. on our conscience how can we speak publicly like this without re-examining our role there? Without re-examining our reaction to 9/11 too? They are turning their own voters and their reporters against them very quickly. Is that deliberate?

comments:



Before I go I must share this from the BBC:

'US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says the US is stepping up joint aviation
training with Polish forces. The Pentagon is also increasing US participation in
Nato's air policing mission in some Baltic countries. The BBC's Washington
reporter Jane O'Brien says this is an attempt to reassure allies of the US
commitment to their defence
We need to distance ourselves from these mentalists in Washington before we wake up crisp and radioactive!

Andrew • 3 minutes ago



It is annoying to witness the consistent coverage rendered toward U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, when Condi Rice held this Office she was fluent in Russian and clearly understood the Russian mindset.

Let Kerry address the illegal landing of U.S. marines in January 1893 at Honolulu, Hawai'i and the U.S. Government's unlawful belligerent occupation of those islands to this day:

www.hawaiianindependence.com/
Fyrd Judge • 5 minutes ago




It is very disappointing that we have not Nuked Russia yet , why are my taxes being wasted on nukes if we do not use them?


Read comments on articles if you can as they are becoming very revealing as to what is really being said. Our governments may not be free to speak honestly, the media may also be restrained, but those restraining freedom of speech and thought are too crude for the job. They have no idea how silly they look to us. Naked.

reve

reve
05-03-2014, 08:55 PM
It gets worse and worse. They didn’t know. They didn’t know but don’t care. They knew and don’t care. It is the average Ukrainian that will be mortified to find their new leaders are the killers not their ousted scapegoat President. Expect our leaders to ignore this as if it does not exist, like the evidence linking the sarin attack to the rebels in Syria. But the karmic debt is enormous and this cynicism has almost caused a global war because Russia does now know and does care.

Ukraine crisis: bugged call reveals conspiracy theory about Kiev snipers
Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet tells EU's Cathy Ashton about claim that provocateurs were behind Maidan killings

A leaked phone call between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet has revealed that the two discussed a conspiracy theory that blamed the killing of civilian protesters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on the opposition rather than the ousted government.
The 11-minute conversation was posted on YouTube – it is the second time in a month that telephone calls between western diplomats discussing Ukraine have been bugged.
In the call, Paet said he had been told snipers responsible for killing police and civilians in Kiev last month were protest movement provocateurs rather than supporters of then-president Viktor Yanukovych. Ashton responds: "I didn't know … Gosh."
The leak came a day after the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said the snipers may have been opposition provocateurs. The Kremlin-funded Russia Today first carried the leaked call online.
The Estonian foreign ministry confirmed the leaked conversation was accurate. It said: "Foreign minister Paet was giving an overview of what he had heard in Kiev and expressed concern over the situation on the ground. We reject the claim that Paet was giving an assessment of the opposition's involvement in the violence." Ashton's office said it did not comment on leaks.
During the conversation, Paet quoted a woman named Olga – who the Russian media identified her as Olga Bogomolets, a doctor – blaming snipers from the opposition shooting the protesters.
"What was quite disturbing, this same Olga told that, well, all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides," Paet said.
"So she also showed me some photos, she said that as medical doctor, she can say it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it's really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don't want to investigate what exactly happened."
"So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition," Paet says.
Ashton replies: "I think we do want to investigate. I didn't pick that up, that's interesting. Gosh," Ashton says.
Russia Today, reporting the call, said: "The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online."
Last month, a recording was leaked in which US state department official Victoria Nuland was heard venting the White House's frustrations at Europe's hesitant policy towards pro-democracy protests. Speaking to the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland was heard to say "fuck the EU."
Asked about the emergence of a second embarrassing phonecall, a spokesperson for the US state department said: "As I said around the last unfortunate case, this is just another example of the kind of Russian tradecraft that we have concerns about."
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/ukraine-bugged-call-catherine-ashton-urmas-paet

It also makes all the difference. That is why we have got involved. That is why we have sided with the armed protestors not the elected government. And in Syria was why we were going to strike Assad. But of course it will make no difference as they were just excuses for what we were going to do anyway as were the Iraqi WMD. We need to stop behaving like this as it leads to big trouble.

reve

reve

reve
05-03-2014, 09:03 PM
That Guardian story was on Google News for less that an hour, now gone and replaced by all the stuff suggesting Putin is wrong and must back down etc.

reve

reve
06-03-2014, 11:17 AM
Poor woman I can imagine what a strain it was to anchor Russia Today in the US with a partner who is a doctor at a military base and to have a conscience. Most anchors do not need such things or they would all have resigned on air during Iraq or any time since. Liz did her resignation a bit dramatically - live on air which fuels speculation that it was just another brick in the wall. No mention of protestors killing each other in Kiev on the news today as the EU debate begins.

I guess if the conflict has done anything positive it has been to show forcefully to many that our media is not a free or honest press and that our politicians can still keep a straight face as they spin the propaganda. Now it seems that the dispute is actually all about a gas pipe. Incredible that such a thing could start WW3 if true. This pipe takes Russian gas to Europe (and Ukraine) and runs across the country. It seems the new government intends to charge for this and that will hike the cost of the gas. Thank goodness the US can ship gas to us in our hour of need and that even though it comes across the Atlantic it will be competitive by comparison. Also timely that the UK will frack the whole country. or should I say a European corpn. will frack Britain, we cannot expect the contract to go to a UK company can we?

' The impact was immediate – and not just in Ukraine. The country is crossed by a network of Soviet-era pipelines that carry Russian natural gas to many European Union member states and beyond; more than a quarter of the EU's total gas needs were met by Russian gas, and some 80% of it came via Ukrainian pipelines. Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Poland soon reported gas pressure in their own pipelines was down by as much as 30%.

While it was eventually resolved through a complex deal that saw Ukraine buying gas from Russia (at full price) and Turkmenistan (at cut price) via a Swiss-registered Gazprom subsidiary, the dispute gave the EU a fit of the jitters: a compelling demonstration, Brussels said, of the dangers of becoming overdependent on one source of supply. But three years later, the same row erupted again: Gazprom demanded a price hike to $400-plus from $250, Kiev flatly refused, and on New Year's day 2009, Gazprom began pumping only enough gas to meet the needs of its customers beyond Ukraine.

Again, the consequences were marked. Inevitably, Russia accused Ukraine of siphoning off supplies meant for European customers to meet its own needs, and cut supplies completely. As sub-zero temperatures gripped the continent, several countries – particularly in south-eastern Europe, almost completely dependent on supplies from Ukraine – simply ran out of gas. Some closed schools and public buildings; Bulgaria shut down production in its main industrial plants; Slovakia declared a state of emergency. North-western Europe, which had built up stores of gas since 2006, was less affected – but wholesale gas prices soared, a shock that was declared "utterly unacceptable" by Brussels.

So last weekend's news that Gazprom intends to start charging Ukraine around $400 per 1,000 cubic metres for its gas, as opposed to the $270-odd it has been paying since Yanukovych spurned Brussels for Moscow – sparking the demonstrations that led to his downfall – might seem alarming. Many industry experts, though, point out that the world has changed since 2009, and that there are any number of reasons why Moscow's natural gas supplies may not prove quite the potent economic and diplomatic weapon they once were.

For starters, we are not now in early January but in March, considered the final month of the continental European heating season, when demand is likely to be highest. Moreover, this has been a particularly mild winter – the mildest since 2008 – and higher than normal temperatures are forecast to continue for several weeks yet, significantly reducing demand for gas and leaving prices at their lowest for two years. Energy market analysts at the French bank Société Générale said in a briefing note last month that European gas demand in 2013 was at its lowest level since 1999. In the UK, gas consumption is currently approaching a 12-year low.

Partly as a result of weaker demand, but also because since the first "gas war" of 2006, many European countries have made huge efforts to increase their gas storage capacity and stocks are high. Some countries, such as Bulgaria, Slovakia and Moldova, which lack large storage capacity and depend heavily on gas supplies via Ukraine, would certainly suffer from any disruption in supplies. But Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), which represents the gas infrastucture industry, estimated that in late February European gas storage was 10 percentage points higher than this time last year and about half full; the National Grid puts Britain's stocks at about 25 percentage points above the average for the time of year.

"The conflict won't have any impact at all" on prices, a Frankfurt-based analyst told Bloomberg News. "The gas price is currently influenced by temperatures and storage levels, and both don't favour demand right now." Prices of gas for delivery next month have risen around 10%, but that reflects insecurities in the market about a possible military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine rather than worries about fundamental shortages of supply were Gazprom to turn off the taps, the analyst told the agency.

Other, structural changes have lessened the potential impact on Europe of a disruption to Russian gas supplies through Ukraine. New Gazprom pipelines via Belarus and the Baltic Sea to Germany (Nord Stream) have cut the proportion of Gazprom's Europe-bound exports that transit via Ukraine to around half the total, meaning only about 15% of Europe's gas now relies on Ukraine's pipelines. Gazprom is also planning to start work in 2015 on a Black Sea pipeline (South Stream), meaning its exports to Europe will eventually bypass Ukraine completely. Ukraine itself has cut its domestic gas consumption by nearly 40% over the past few years, halving its imports from Russia in the process.

Moreover, a boom in sales of US shale gas means longstanding gas exporters such as Russia now have to fight for their share of the market. Europe is increasingly installing specialist terminals that will allow gas to be imported from countries such as Qatar in the form of liquefied natural gas – while Norway's Statoil sold more gas to European countries in 2012 than Gazprom did. "Since the Russian supply cuts of 2006 and 2009, the tables have totally turned," Anders åslund, an energy advisor to both the Russian and Ukrainian governments, told the Washington Post.

Gazprom has no wish to see sales to Europe disrupted. At its annual meeting with investors in London on Monday, company officials were optimistic about its prospects despite a 13% fall in its share price triggered by recent events in Ukraine. Indeed, they predicted Russia's share of Europe's total gas supply would actually increase in future as overall consumption – and Britain and Norway's gas production – declines.

Europe accounts for around a third of Gazprom's total gas sales, and around half of Russia's total budget revenue comes from oil and gas. Moscow needs that source of revenue, and whatever Vladimir Putin's geo-political ambitions, most energy analysts seem to agree he will think twice about jeopardising it. Short of an actual war, the consensus appears to be, Europe's gas supplies are unlikely to be seriously threatened.

• This article was amended on 4 March 2014. An error during the editing process led to an earlier version suggesting that the South Stream pipeline would be operational in 2015. Work is expected to start then.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/03/europes-gas-supply-ukraine-crisis-russsia-pipelines

Expect journalists to start resigning en masse as the EU leaders finish today and our media whitewashes them

reve

reve
06-03-2014, 10:33 PM
Never lose the real moral high ground. This is what happens:-

If Blair was the Bush family poodle and Churchill a bulldog, Cameron looks like a bloodhound in the Master of the Hunt Obam'a pack. They are all going nuts about Russia and the country on its borders whose new government has decided to cancel the Russian naval base lease that was to run to 2042. As for international law it is claimed that Russia and Ukraine have an agreement to allow up to 25,000 Russian troops in the country at any time plus its ships. And some aircraft. They have 16,000 so far so that is within 'international law'. But the politicians are becoming more and more extreme and have even likened the Russian presence to Nazi invasions in WW2. To find Fox News turn on Obama is most surprising but I have noted that there is a great unease with what is going on and not just in the Press.

‘Monster Putin -- Could Ukraine standoff have been avoided by Obama?
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Published March 06, 2014
happens when the United States government participates meaningfully in toppling foreign governments in the name of spreading democracy? That behavior usually results in unintended consequences and often produces disasters.
When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, initially to search for weapons of mass destruction that we now know the Bush administration knew did not exist there, and eventually for regime change, the U.S. succeeded in changing profoundly the Iraqi government. But in the process, we lost 4,500 American troops, suffered 45,000 substantial injuries, borrowed and spent and have not paid back more than $2 trillion, caused the deaths of 650,000 Iraqis, displaced 2.5 million Iraqis, and unleashed into Iraq our public enemy, al-Qaida. Al-Qaida was not in Iraq before we invaded. Today, it controls one-third of that now unstable country.
In 2010, President Obama decided he no longer liked America’s favorite Middle Eastern dictator, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, even though he and his four immediate predecessors gave the Mubarak government about $4 billion annually. So our agents fomented revolution in the streets while Obama suggested openly that it was time for Mubarak to leave office. Then the hoped-for and promised free elections took place, and avowed enemy of the West and Islamic fanatic Mohammed Morsi became the first popularly elected president in Egyptian history. Then the U.S. decided it did not want him in power no matter the lawfulness and moral legitimacy of his election, and so the Obama administration encouraged a military coup.
Morsi was arrested by his own military commanders and is currently on trial for permitting his soldiers under those same commanders to kill nine people who were resisting the coup, even though the American-backed military plotters -- who now rule Egypt and are prosecuting Morsi -- have killed thousands of Egyptian civilians who attempted to resist the removal of Morsi from office. The result is a military dictatorship and murderous resistance far more odious than in the Mubarak years.
And in Ukraine in 2004, the Bush administration fomented the so-called Orange Revolution. This, too, was done by our diplomats and intelligence community, whose agents agitated demonstrators in the streets and liberally distributed American dollars to them. This resulted in a free election, which resulted in subsequent free elections, until the most recent of those produced a president who -- as an ex-communist -- was more drawn to Russia than to the U.S. or Europe.
When the Ukraine government needed cash and Russia offered it a better deal than the European Union, our imperial diplomats and lawless intelligence gurus were embarrassed. So, the U.S. fomented another revolution in the streets of Kiev. One of our diplomats, Victoria Nuland, acknowledged as much in a tapped and taped (complete with expletives) and eventually viral cellphone conversation. Then, Viktor Yanukovich, the popularly and lawfully elected Ukraine president, was toppled and fled to Moscow. The new unelected Ukraine president has received American recognition and help. Earlier this week, the U.S. offered him $1 billion in immediate cash.
Enter Vladimir Putin. He is the popularly elected president of Russia who has designs on reconstituting the old Soviet Union. Putin is also an ex-KGB agent; he is a torturer, a murderer, a tyrant and a monster. He often has lamented the demise of the former Soviet Union. Ukraine was a part of that union until the evil empire dissolved in 1991. It was the most economically productive part of that union. Today it enjoys a mostly free market and is highly entrepreneurial, though partly a welfare state. Roughly two-thirds of Ukraine identifies with Europe and one-third with Russia.
After Yanukovich showed up at Putin’s doorstep in Moscow, Putin flexed his muscles by sending 16,000 Russian troops, in uniforms without insignias and wearing black masks (you cannot make this up), over the border to occupy Crimea, a province of Ukraine, which had been part of Russia and the Soviet Union until 1954.
Putin’s invasion is profoundly unlawful, as it constitutes the introduction of military troops into a sovereign territory without governmental invitation or consent, and the absence of identifying insignia puts this invasion outside the protections of the Geneva Conventions and the rules of war. Hence the Russian troops are legally fair game for Ukrainian troops and civilian militias. But don’t expect that to happen. Russia has two times the number of tanks as Ukraine, 10 times the troops and 12 times the air power.
As well, don’t expect the Russians to leave. Most residents of Crimea are Russian speaking and actually welcome their invaders (again, you cannot make this up). And Putin’s track record in foreign incursions shows a pattern of retaining conquered territories. When he invaded Georgia in 2008, he kept two provinces, which are still occupied with more than 40,000 idle and costly Russian troops.
The U.S. and Europe are in no position to resist the Russian invasion, nor should they. Europe receives roughly 30 percent of its oil, natural gas and coal from Russia. If the U.S. tightens the economic screws on Russia, American banks will suffer, and the Russian oligarchs and Russian people will suffer, but no group will suffer as much as Europeans who have grown dependent on Russian fuel. And Putin is unmoved by personal embarrassment or human suffering.
The stated purpose of the Russian invasion is to protect predominantly ethnic Russians in Crimea from the mob-induced fate of Yanukovich. At first blush, this seems nonsense. But consider the view from Moscow of the American-induced expulsion of the popularly elected and Russian-oriented Ukraine president. And then consider this: What would the U.S. do if the Chinese had fomented a revolution in Mexico and installed a Chinese-friendly government there that solicited Chinese loans and invited the Chinese to help govern? Would the U.S. protect English-speaking American-friendly folks along the Texas-Mexico border?
And how is anyone in the U.S. harmed by Putin’s lawlessness? Should the United Sates government roam the world seeking monsters to slay, or should it learn from its recent grave mistakes? Nearly two centuries ago, President John Quincy Adams warned his successors against the foreign policies that would be manifest in the Bush/Obama years. “Americans should not go abroad to slay dragons that they do not understand in the name of spreading democracy.”
But the government is an old dog that cannot learn new tricks.
Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. He joined FNC in January 1998. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/03/06/monster-putin-could-ukraine-standoff-have-been-avoided-by-obama/

Other papers are picking up on stuff now too and even if our populations do not read them our analysts and journalists do. Our present leaders are risking humiliation at the hands of history and much sooner than they anticipate. They are replaceable heads of course - nodding dogs. Why have they knowingly done this? It is hard to say but it seems like mismanagement and a complete lack of understanding the people who matter in this world. Here are another couple of articles by different papers and media on the same theme as we have seen. Next will come Syria and then 9/11. Have they ever miscalculated, but they have made the statements that effectively accuse and try themselves. These things they are angry about are exactly what we have done in the first few years of this century. The Apocalypse or uncovering of the truth is most uncomfortable - how much better to be on the right side of it. That is to say how much better for history to see that you were honest.


Leaked call raises questions about who was behind sniper attacks in Ukraine
By Dana Ford, CNN
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 0452 GMT
(CNN) -- Don't read too much into the conversation.
That was the message Wednesday from Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet after a phone call between him and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was leaked.
In the recording, which was posted to YouTube and picked up by Russian media, Paet talks about his recent visit to Ukraine. He says a doctor named "Olga" told him opponents of Ukraine's ousted President may have been responsible for deadly sniper fire.
President Viktor Yanukovych fled more than a week ago in the wake of protests in Kiev's Independence Square, where snipers from nearby rooftops killed scores of people.

Intel officials take heat from lawmakers
"(Olga) can say that it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it's really disturbing that now the new coalition that -- they don't want to investigate what exactly happened. There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition," Paet told Ashton.
She replied: "I think we do want to investigate ... I didn't pick that up. That's interesting. Gosh."
Paet's office released a statement Wednesday that confirmed the authenticity of the recording. It said the call took place on February 26.
"Foreign Minister Paet was giving an overview of what he had heard the previous day in Kiev and expressed concern over the situation on the ground. We reject the claim that Paet was giving an assessment of the opposition's involvement in the violence," the statement read.
"It is extremely regrettable that phone calls are being intercepted," said Paet in the same statement. "The fact that this phone call has been leaked is not a coincidence."
Ashton's office declined to comment on the conversation, saying she does not discuss leaks.
CNN could not immediately reach the Ukrainian government for comment, nor could it confirm the identity of "Olga."
Russia's state-news agency RIA-Novosti said she was Olga Bogomolets, chief coordinator of medical aid at the main protest camp in Independence Square.
CNN has previously talked to Bogomolets. She volunteered last month to treat protesters and accused forces of shooting to kill, saying she had treated 13 people she believed had been targeted by "professional snipers."
"They were shot directly to their hearts, their brain and to their neck," she said. "They didn't give any chance to doctors, for us, to save lives."
The recording is the second such recent leak on Ukraine.
Early last month, a leaked audio recording of a phone call allegedly caught a U.S. diplomat to Europe using profanity to express strong frustrations with inaction and indecision by the European Union in resolving the crisis.
In the conversation, voices closely resembling those of Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discuss a plan to broker a deal between the Ukrainian government and the opposition.
At one point the woman, who sounds like Nuland, can be heard saying "f**k the EU."
The call could not be independently verified, and it was not clear when and where it was recorded.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/05/world/europe/ukraine-leaked-audio-recording/



Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry
Resource scarcity, competition to dominate Eurasian energy corridors, are behind Russian militarism and US interference
Images
Russia's armed intervention in the Crimea undoubtedly illustrates President Putin's ruthless determination to get his way in Ukraine. But less attention has been paid to the role of the United States in interfering in Ukrainian politics and civil society. Both powers are motivated by the desire to ensure that a geostrategically pivotal country with respect to control of critical energy pipeline routes remains in their own sphere of influence.
Much has been made of the reported leak of the recording of an alleged private telephone conversation between US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and US ambassador to Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt. While the focus has been on Nuland's rude language, which has already elicited US apologies, the more important context of this language concerns the US role in liaising with Ukrainian opposition parties with a view, it seems, to manipulate the orientation of the Ukrainian government in accordance with US interests.
Rather than leaving the future of Ukrainian politics "up to the Ukrainian people" as claimed in official announcements, the conversation suggests active US government interference to favour certain opposition leaders:
Nuland: Good. I don't think [opposition leader] Klitsch should go into the government. I don't think it's necessary, I don't think it's a good idea.
Pyatt: Yeah. I guess... in terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I'm just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok [Oleh Tyahnybok, the other opposition leader] and his guys and I'm sure that's part of what [President Viktor] Yanukovych is calculating on all this.
Nuland: [Breaks in] I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the... what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in... he's going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it's just not going to work.
[...]
Nuland: OK. He's [Jeff Feltman, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs] now gotten both [UN official Robert] Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.
Pyatt: No, exactly. And I think we've got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude, that the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it.
As BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus rightly observes, the alleged conversation:
"... suggests that the US has very clear ideas about what the outcome should be and is striving to achieve these goals... Washington clearly has its own game-plan.... [with] various officials attempting to marshal the Ukrainian opposition [and] efforts to get the UN to play an active role in bolstering a deal."
But US efforts to turn the political tide in Ukraine away from Russian influence began much earlier. In 2004, the Bush administration had given $65 million to provide 'democracy training' to opposition leaders and political activists aligned with them, including paying to bring opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko to meet US leaders and help underwrite exit polls indicating he won disputed elections.
This programme has accelerated under Obama. In a speech at the National Press Club in Washington DC last December as Ukraine's Maidan Square clashes escalated, Nuland confirmed that the US had invested in total "over $5 billion" to "ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine" - she specifically congratulated the "Euromaidan" movement.
So it would be naive to assume that this magnitude of US support to organisations politically aligned with the Ukrainian opposition played no role in fostering the pro-Euro-Atlantic movement that has ultimately culminated in Russian-backed President Yanukovych's departure.
Indeed, at her 2013 speech, Nuland added:
"Today, there are senior officials in the Ukrainian government, in the business community, as well as in the opposition, civil society, and religious community, who believe in this democratic and European future for their country. And they've been working hard to move their country and their president in the right direction."
What direction might that be? A glimpse of an answer was provided over a decade ago by Professor R. Craig Nation, Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, in a NATO publication:
"Ukraine is increasingly perceived to be critically situated in the emerging battle to dominate energy transport corridors linking the oil and natural gas reserves of the Caspian basin to European markets... Considerable competition has already emerged over the construction of pipelines. Whether Ukraine will provide alternative routes helping to diversify access, as the West would prefer, or 'find itself forced to play the role of a Russian subsidiary,' remains to be seen."
A more recent US State Department-sponsored report notes that "Ukraine's strategic location between the main energy producers (Russia and the Caspian Sea area) and consumers in the Eurasian region, its large transit network, and its available underground gas storage capacities", make the country "a potentially crucial player in European energy transit" - a position that will "grow as Western European demands for Russian and Caspian gas and oil continue to increase."
Ukraine's overwhelming dependence on Russian energy imports, however, has had "negative implications for US strategy in the region," in particular the strategy of:

"... supporting multiple pipeline routes on the East–West axis as a way of helping promote a more pluralistic system in the region as an alternative to continued Russian hegemony."
But Russia's Gazprom, controlling almost a fifth of the world's gas reserves, supplies more than half of Ukraine's, and about 30% of Europe's gas annually. Just one month before Nuland's speech at the National Press Club, Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas deal with US energy giant Chevron "that the ex-Soviet nation hopes could end its energy dependence on Russia by 2020." The agreement would allow "Chevron to explore the Olesky deposit in western Ukraine that Kiev estimates can hold 2.98 trillion cubic meters of gas." Similar deals had been struck already with Shell and ExxonMobil.
The move coincided with Ukraine's efforts to "cement closer relations with the European Union at Russia's expense", through a prospective trade deal that would be a step closer to Ukraine's ambitions to achieve EU integration. But Yanukovych's decision to abandon the EU agreement in favour of Putin's sudden offer of a 30% cheaper gas bill and a $15 billion aid package provoked the protests.
To be sure, the violent rioting was triggered by frustration with Yanukovych's rejection of the EU deal, along with rocketing energy, food and other consumer bills, linked to Ukraine's domestic gas woes and abject dependence on Russia. Police brutality to suppress what began as peaceful demonstrations was the last straw.
But while Russia's imperial aggression is clearly a central factor, the US effort to rollback Russia's sphere of influence in Ukraine by other means in pursuit of its own geopolitical and strategic interests raises awkward questions. As the pipeline map demonstrates, US oil and gas majors like Chevron and Exxon are increasingly encroaching on Gazprom's regional monopoly, undermining Russia's energy hegemony over Europe.
Ukraine is caught hapless in the midst of this accelerating struggle to dominate Eurasia's energy corridors in the last decades of the age of fossil fuels.
For those who are pondering whether we face the prospect of a New Cold War, a better question might be - did the Cold War ever really end?
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/06/ukraine-crisis-great-power-oil-gas-rivals-pipelines

I suppose what is really incredible is how the US is so enraged, even with Obama for being weak in the face of Putin and are demanding the EU leaders be angry too. So what about allowing people to decide for themselves, the core of the reason for intervention? The Referendum in Crimea is just that but as they are mostly Russian they will probably make the wrong decision. If they put on balaclavas and chuck petrol bombs in a square they might gain more 'legitimacy'. Scotland also has a referendum this year although the EU is going to great lengths to stop that too. I live in Scotland and up till last month most Scots I met did not want independence. That has changed and most now do. All because of English and EU bullying, being spoken down to, currency threats and silly incitements such as the EU demanding all the Scottish domiciled banks relocate in England. As they lose a fortune and pay no tax they are welcome to leave. The EU will not allow Scotland in it. The Oil companies are saying they will move out too. Good. Then we see what is happening in Ukraine and how Mr Cameron is behaving. They could not do more to achieve Scottish independence if they tried so perhaps that is what they want. What they do not want is Scotland to take possession of the North Sea oil and gas off its coast which has supported English overspending for nearly 40 years, and they do not want Scotland to close the submarine naval base. Does it not sound like Ukraine? Will we be the cause of WW3 or WW4? The Scots have always been the backbone of the British army, the ones who took on the tough jobs because they were tough. We will keep the Queen because in 1603 a Scottish king became king of England and the monarchy is therefore more Scottish than English anyway. She loves Scotland as did her mother and her husband is a 'Scottish' duke. Embarrassingly Blair, Brown and Cameron all have Scottish names and roots too.

reve

reve
06-03-2014, 10:59 PM
Even Haaretz is mentioning the deceptions on ‘both’ sides. Particularly worrying is that they are the first media to note that the Neo-Nazi thugs in Kiev beat up Jews and destroyed a synagogue. That will not please the US Jews at all when they wake up as this is the reality of the new government there. How can we support that?


From Washington to Moscow, everyone is lying about what’s happening in Ukraine
Putin’s statement about the crisis was full of distortions and manipulations. But in an usual paper meant to expose them, the U.S. State Department offered its own share of inaccuracies and half-truths.
By Ariel Danieli | Mar. 6, 2014
The U.S. State Department on Thursday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of lying about what is happening in Ukraine, and particularly regarding the circumstances leading to Russian military intervention in the Crimean Peninsula.
The paper the Americans issued is unusual in the diplomatic sphere, and refers to Putin’s statement two days ago to correspondents at his residence. It contains 10 points, about which, the State Department says, Putin lied. But apparently in some of the paragraphs they weren’t entirely accurate on the other side of the Atlantic either. They issued a version that suits U.S. interests. Especially grating, Washington ignored extreme right-wing elements in the new government in Kiev.
In Paragraph 3 the Americans seem to be choosing a very specific interpretation of the situation as it developed in Kiev late last month. “Mr. Putin says: ‘The opposition did not implement the February 21 agreement with former President Viktor Yanukovych.’ The facts: ‘The agreement presents a plan according to which the parliament must reinstate the 2004 constitution, as well as returning the country to a system that strengthens the legislative branch. Yanukovych was supposed to sign the legislation within 24 hours and to bring the crisis to an end peacefully. He refused to meet his commitment, and instead packed up the contents of his home and fled, and left behind evidence of extensive corruption,’” said the document.
In effect, there was chaos in the Ukrainian capital, and a substantial percentage of the anti-Russian opposition demonstrators rejected the agreement formulated by the warring parties with the mediation of the European Union. The developments from the moment of the signing until Yanukovych’s flight and his ouster from parliament is not entirely clear, nor is it clear why mention of his ostensible corruption is relevant to the question of the legitimacy of removing him by force.
In addition, the protest leaders still recognized him as president on February 25, and only said that he “is not actively leading the country as of now.”
In Paragraph 4 the Americans deal with the legitimacy of the new government, and with Putin’s claim that Yanukovych is still Ukraine’s legitimate leader. The document of the State Department in Washington notes that on March 4 Putin himself said that the ousted president “has no political future,” and that his party, the Party of Regions, voted in favor of removing him and installing the new government, and that the parliament in Kiev confirmed the swearing in of the government by a huge majority of 82 percent.
But the Obama administration ignored Paragraph 111 in the Ukrainian constitution, which states that parliament can oust the president only if he committed a crime. The initiation of an impeachment process must be approved by two-thirds of the legislators, with 75 percent of MPs voting in favor of the ousting itself. Those votes were not held, and therefore ratification of the new government, even with 82 percent support, was passed in contradiction of the constitution.
In Paragraph 8 the State Department wrote: “Mr. Putin says: ‘There were mass attacks against churches and synagogues in southern and eastern Ukraine.’ The facts: ‘The religious leaders in the country and activists who favor freedom of religion said that there were no attacks against churches. All the leaders of the Church in Ukraine support the new political leadership and called for national unity. Jewish organizations in southern and eastern Ukraine reported that there was no increase in anti-Semitic incidents.”
We found no evidence of attacks against churches in Ukraine, but in Haaretz we have already reported on a fear in the Jewish communities of an increase in anti-Semitism, as well as several incidents in which extreme right-wing gangs intensified their activity against synagogues and Jewish institutions. Our correspondent in Crimea, Anshel Pfeffer, reported that Jews were beaten in Kiev and a synagogue was destroyed there, and similar incidents occurred in the city of Zaporozhye in southeast Ukraine and in the Crimean capital of Simferopol.
Despite that, many pointed to the fact that Russia is trying to defame the new government in Kiev by portraying it as extremely rightist, anti-Semitic and Nazi in its entirety, and some people even wondered whether those incidents weren’t Russian provocations, in order to arouse opposition to the new government. Whatever the case, it can’t really be said that there were no anti-Semitic incidents at all in southeast Ukraine.
In the last paragraph, Paragraph 10, the United States claimed that Putin is lying about the fact that the Ukrainian parliament is influenced by extremists and terrorists. The Americans claim that the Rada (parliament) is the institution most representative of the Ukrainian public, and that extreme-right organizations that were involved in the clashes in Independence Square are not represented in it.
But the actual situation differs significantly from the picture Washington is trying to paint. It’s true that legislators from the pro-Russian parties voted in favor of the new government, but we cannot ignore the fact that many of their members fled from Kiev, so that it is hard to claim that the parliament provides optimal representation for the pro-Russian east. In addition, the far-right party Svoboda (Liberty) received 38 seats in the legislature in the most recent elections, and its members espouse extreme anti-Semitic and nationalist views.
In addition, the party received five portfolios in the new government, including justice minister and deputy prime minister. “The Right Sector, a small organization, armed and more extreme, which espouses a pro-Nazi ideology and is opposed to joining the EU, is not represented in parliament, but its leader Demytro Yarosh declared recently that his organization and Svoboda share many views and values," the paper stated. Incidentally, Yarosh was appointed in late February as the deputy head of the National Council for Defense and Security.
In Paragraph 6 the Americans tried to contradict the words of the Russian president to the effect that ethnic Russians in Ukraine live in fear of the new government in Kiev, and stated that there are no reliable reports on that. They also presented the fact that the interim president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, refused to approve a law limiting the use of the Russian language in the country, but forgot to mention that prior to that parliament had approved the law.
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.578397

Not looking good is it? Is it as bad as supporting Al Qaida in Syria though and making out it is a 'moderate opposition' that decided to start a war with Assad who is also an elected leader?

reve

reve
10-03-2014, 01:10 PM
Although I think the balance of power in the world changed with the drugs war and vast sums generated by it so that we are now governed by lobbies ultimately run by gangsters of various kinds, it is quite possible that I am completely off the mark. Locally and internationally there are all sorts of struggles. The worst thing about gangsters is their penchant for fighting each other and hurting and torturing civilians. There will be turf wars in your area and in much wider areas - designed to allow the free movement of drugs across nations that are ostensibly at war with them. Iran is difficult as it is vast and in the way of a major supply route, also it has no time for drug running and executes many caught doing this every year. Control of the Black Sea is vital for the mobs that sell us heroin. Etc.

Somehow interwoven in this was a decision taken some years ago that Russia was the enemy. It is no saint and perhaps this is just part of the turf wars. The money involved is too great to be ignored - far more than oil and gas can generate. So it is of some interest that coincidentally Russia is having problems with its navy. It does not have many ice free bases. The Black Sea base in the Crimea is one but Russian ships need to pass through Istanbul to reach the Med and Turkey is in NATO. They also have a Med base in Tartus which is in Syria and obviously like the Ukrainian base, now under threat. A new government could move them out overnight. In 2008 Gaddafi came to their aid and offered them a base in Libya. That as we know fell through. Is this more than coincidence?

One never knows who to believe and below is another case. The only problem with taking it at face value is the timing and sheer unlikelihood of it, as for example with Assad using sarin when inspectors from the UN were three miles away and Obama had issued a red line. But it seems to point the finger at all the right people at the same time. Statements are also now coming out which suggest that Iran finances Al Qaida in Syria and is hedging its bets! We know who is financing Al Qaida in Syria and it is not Iran so those suggesting that are obviously uninformed or somewhat suspect. But it sounds good if you want to distract one bunch and incite another. It is why we or anyone would want to do this that is my point. We survive through stability, not perfection. new products are destroying what is left of the ozone layer - will we ban them? No. Such things really tell us we are at the end and no saviour is in sight. Also that the 'shadow government' is blinded by greed. But as they were never elected we can do nothing.

' Iran's foreign minister has sharply rejected an Israeli allegation that Tehran tried to ship missiles to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, calling it a "lie".

Israel has said it captured a Gaza-bound ship on Wednesday carrying dozens of Syrian-made rockets "capable of striking anywhere in Israel".

The raid coincided with a high-profile US trip by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with President Barack Obama for discussions on a Middle East peace deal.

"Netanyahu is in Washington... and all of a sudden as a godsend, they capture a ship from Iran with missiles. Just a coincidence?" Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday during an official visit to Jakarta.

"If Netanyahu is a saint and can produce miracles I believe the Israelis themselves will be amused by that," he said.

"So if you cannot believe in miracles by Netanyahu, the only thing that you can believe is that this is a lie. And it is a lie."

The Israeli raid targeted a Panamanian-flagged ship in the Red Sea between Eritrea and Sudan.

"For the arms to go through Sudan and from Sudan back to somewhere and from that somewhere to Gaza - this is more like delusional thinking rather than even serious propaganda," he said.

During a visit to Los Angeles on Thursday, Netanyahu compared Iran's leadership to Adolf Hitler.

"He called then for the destruction of Israel and Iran today calls for the destruction of Israel," Netanyahu said.

"We shall not allow Iran to arm itself with the capability to destroy us."
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/03/07/iran-denies-shipping-gaza-weapons

It is all curious. The Israelis have known for months which is also curious. The missiles were made in Iran, went to Syria who sent them to Iraq, thence back to Iran and then were shipped by a circuitous route to Sudan but were intercepted off the coast. They were then to go by land through Egypt to Sinai and thence into Gaza through the blockade. A very difficult route to smuggle a small antique from Egypt let alone lorries carrying huge rockets. But logistics and probabilities are early casualties in PR coups whipping up a frenzy to attack Iran. And of course Iran may well be doing this. Who knows? But coincidences and timing always make me a bit suspicious because the big war in this world is the media war on the truth. It will never win it but it tries. Meanwhile our world is being destroyed and the wars of mankind merely prevent any action being taken against the real enemy - time and the afterlife karmic rage awaiting us for destroying so many innocent lives and using poverty as a global weapon when it could be stopped today.

reve

reve
10-03-2014, 08:21 PM
I may be missing something but since the protestors (who may or may not have shot their own people and the police killed by identical bullets and shots) caused the overthrow of the democratically elected President there has been no further election in Ukraine so the new government cannot really be described as democratically elected. If Crimea does have a referendum that will be the nearest thing to democracy yet. But Crimea being what this is all perhaps about - that does not suit everyone

' America's ambassador in Kiev said the US would refuse to recognise next Sunday's "so-called referendum" in Crimea, and said Washington would take further steps against Russia if it used the poll to legitimise its occupation.

Geoffrey Pyatt said Barack Obama and the US secretary of state, John Kerry, had spent the weekend talking to European leaders. Obama also spoke to Russia's president, Vladimir Putin. The ambassador said the US and EU were in complete agreement that stronger sanctions could follow after next weekend's referendum, adding: "There is no daylight between us."

The ambassador said the White House was unbending in its view that Crimea was part of Ukraine. He said that in the runup to Sunday's referendum "gangs of pro-Russian thugs" were roaming the peninsula, beating up activists and creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Without mentioning Moscow by name, Pyatt said there was also an "active campaign right now" to stir up dissension and division across the country.

Ukraine's interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is due to travel to Washington on Wednesday for talks with Obama. The trip would be an opportunity to reaffirm the US's strongest support for the "new democratic Ukraine'", its integrity and the Ukrainian people, Pyatt said. They would also discuss Russia's invasion of Crimea.

His comments came after David Cameron and Angela Merkel agreed that any Russian attempt to legitimise Sunday's referendum in Crimea would result in further consequences, implying stronger sanctions....'
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/10/ukraine-crisis-us-crimea-referendum-putin-ambassador

Here we are getting all het up about democracy in Ukraine but not about the absence of it in Saudi Arabia!

End times are renowned for injustice and hypocrisy and we will all die whether we were elected or not. If our leaders worried about the real existential threat to us all they would not be provoking a mighty nuclear armed country like this and perhaps would listen to Kissinger and Gates who know a thing or two:

' How the Ukraine crisis endsBy Henry A. Kissinger, Published: March 5






Henry A. Kissinger was secretary of state from 1973 to 1977.

Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is how it ends, not how it begins.

Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them.
.
Russia must accept that to try to force Ukraine into a satellite status, and thereby move Russia’s borders again, would doom Moscow to repeat its history of self-fulfilling cycles of reciprocal pressures with Europe and the United States.

The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then. Some of the most important battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709 , were fought on Ukrainian soil. The Black Sea Fleet — Russia’s means of projecting power in the Mediterranean — is based by long-term lease in Sevastopol, in Crimea. Even such famed dissidents as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Brodsky insisted that Ukraine was an integral part of Russian history and, indeed, of Russia.

The European Union must recognize that its bureaucratic dilatoriness and subordination of the strategic element to domestic politics in negotiating Ukraine’s relationship to Europe contributed to turning a negotiation into a crisis. Foreign policy is the art of establishing priorities.

The Ukrainians are the decisive element. They live in a country with a complex history and a polyglot composition. The Western part was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1939 , when Stalin and Hitler divided up the spoils. Crimea, 60 percent of whose population is Russian , became part of Ukraine only in 1954 , when Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian by birth, awarded it as part of the 300th-year celebration of a Russian agreement with the Cossacks. The west is largely Catholic; the east largely Russian Orthodox. The west speaks Ukrainian; the east speaks mostly Russian. Any attempt by one wing of Ukraine to dominate the other — as has been the pattern — would lead eventually to civil war or break up. To treat Ukraine as part of an East-West confrontation would scuttle for decades any prospect to bring Russia and the West — especially Russia and Europe — into a cooperative international system.

Ukraine has been independent for only 23 years; it had previously been under some kind of foreign rule since the 14th century. Not surprisingly, its leaders have not learned the art of compromise, even less of historical perspective. The politics of post-independence Ukraine clearly demonstrates that the root of the problem lies in efforts by Ukrainian politicians to impose their will on recalcitrant parts of the country, first by one faction, then by the other. That is the essence of the conflict between Viktor Yanu­kovych and his principal political rival, Yulia Tymo­shenko. They represent the two wings of Ukraine and have not been willing to share power. A wise U.S. policy toward Ukraine would seek a way for the two parts of the country to cooperate with each other. We should seek reconciliation, not the domination of a faction.

Russia and the West, and least of all the various factions in Ukraine, have not acted on this principle. Each has made the situation worse. Russia would not be able to impose a military solution without isolating itself at a time when many of its borders are already precarious. For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one.

Putin should come to realize that, whatever his grievances, a policy of military impositions would produce another Cold War. For its part, the United States needs to avoid treating Russia as an aberrant to be patiently taught rules of conduct established by Washington. Putin is a serious strategist — on the premises of Russian history. Understanding U.S. values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point of U.S. policymakers.

Leaders of all sides should return to examining outcomes, not compete in posturing. Here is my notion of an outcome compatible with the values and security interests of all sides:

1. Ukraine should have the right to choose freely its economic and political associations, including with Europe.

2. Ukraine should not join NATO, a position I took seven years ago, when it last came up.

3. Ukraine should be free to create any government compatible with the expressed will of its people. Wise Ukrainian leaders would then opt for a policy of reconciliation between the various parts of their country. Internationally, they should pursue a posture comparable to that of Finland. That nation leaves no doubt about its fierce independence and cooperates with the West in most fields but carefully avoids institutional hostility toward Russia.

4. It is incompatible with the rules of the existing world order for Russia to annex Crimea. But it should be possible to put Crimea’s relationship to Ukraine on a less fraught basis. To that end, Russia would recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea. Ukraine should reinforce Crimea’s autonomy in elections held in the presence of international observers. The process would include removing any ambiguities about the status of the Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol.

These are principles, not prescriptions. People familiar with the region will know that not all of them will be palatable to all parties. The test is not absolute satisfaction but balanced dissatisfaction. If some solution based on these or comparable elements is not achieved, the drift toward confrontation will accelerate. The time for that will come soon enough.'
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/henry-kissinger-to-settle-the-ukraine-crisis-start-at-the-end/2014/03/05/46dad868-a496-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html

reve


reve

reve
11-03-2014, 05:06 PM
Who can say what is happening? Either Iran is being very aggressive and foolish or it is being set up for an imminent attack. That is what I see. The ship caught with Iranian rockets destined for Gaza was followed by the Malaysian aircraft possibly downed. Very soon after the news of that Haaretz printed that they had been 'told' that passengers using false passports had them bought for them with cash by an Iranian man called Mr Ali. Today more news of Iranian connections in that atrocity. And walking through a supermarket I saw the daily Telegraph headlines with the photos of 4 Iranians and the news that an intelligence officer had told them what we all knew anyway which is that Lockerbie was downed by Iranians. It happened a couple of months after the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civil airliner with all on board perishing but rather than point out the obvious at that time, it being embarrassing and inconvenient, we were told it was a Libyan who did it and poor Mr Megrahi spent most of the rest of his life in a Scottish prison, his release when in the end stages of cancer greeted with outrage. Gaddafi paid compensation of over $1 Billion yet one family refused to accept it as they knew he was not responsible. The court case was flawed and did not even come up to the standards required for evidence in a medium criminal case. If an intelligence officer knew it is an absolute disgrace but one of more and more that have brought us down to the level of those we call evil. But it is again timing in this case, and the current demonisation of Iran which we all expected as we come up to calls to bomb its nuclear aspirations.

This world gets worse and worse and the media is much to blame So many journalists know what is happening but print nonsense which frames someone else. But so many intelligence officers and analysts know too and our politicians must too. So what does that all say if true? That we have dropped to an all time ethical low and it is the end. It is not just 600,000 innocent Iraqis killed by a lie, it is all that has happened before and after 9/11. Every Syrian that has been tortured or died too. I watched Interpol's chief mention the first attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993 today when complaining about false passports. Why mention that?

What will happen will happen and clearly few in the media or politics have the mind or courage to point out the inconsistencies and double standards at play. But every decent citizen should object to their governments covering things up, allowing false flag attacks and framing innocent countries. Why do that? The truth is bad enough. Is it all about money, resources and stealing land? Humanity is all of us, this is us - in the west and in the east. We are all guilty of war crimes if the above is true. And humanity is being judged on this and found guilty.

reve

reve
12-03-2014, 12:09 PM
I agree with this author/journalist that there is something odd about this:

‘……In the week since the capture of the rockets, along with scores of heavy mortar shells and 400,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, Israelis have voiced surprise, frustration and dismay at the international response to the operation. The wider world, it seems, had little or no interest in it.
Why not?
After all, news is supposed to be about confounding expectations, and it's not every day that, by international standards, Israel does something right.
Turns out, it's not that simple.
Here's what we know:
It's only natural that in a nasty new world of manicured reality, scripted reality, computer generated reality, unbidden, invasive "Suggested Posts" and full-on sham PR-as-reality, there's a healthy and reasonable suspicion of anything that smacks of worthiness, competence and even, or especially, virtue. It's only reasonable that we may quickly, self-protectively perhaps, feel the urge to just turn the channel, click elsewhere, emotionally log off.
Then there is the way journalism works. Early on, journalists learn that there's a much larger news hunger in this world for what goes very wrong, with no warning, than for what actually goes right. An airliner vanishes, a 21st century nation turns the Crimea into the 19th. We are, as the saying goes, only human. Not only is no news good news, but all too often for the journalist trying to sell a story, good news is no news.
Finally, there's the peculiar case of Israel, the Jews, and the Holy Land as a whole.
On the hard left, one of the surest signs that Israel has done something right is when prominent anti-Israel news sites and commentators ignore it altogether. So it was with the capture of the rockets.
On these sites, there is a strong sense that the road to everything Israel and Israelis do - including those things they do to help people in distress here and abroad - is paved with bad intentions.
There's a name, I've come to believe, for the idea that Israel and the vast majority of Israelis are incapable of doing good, and that all they do is motivated by selfishness and callous villainy: racism.
On the hard right, meanwhile, there is the Pollyanna Zionism of the pro-Israel-for-pay advocacy segment, lauding, applauding, showboating a fictional Greater Israel of their own imagination, while excusing away, blaming others for, or outright denying the myriad ways in which the real Israel, and flesh and blood Israelis, do objective and unjustified flesh and blood harm. There's racism here too, not least in giving Israelis a moral free ride, and ascribing to their rivals, every dark and menacing and malicious motive known to man.
In the end, the hard right does no better than the hard left at painting a valid and credible picture of Israel, managing to hold in their thrall only those who enthusiastically agreed with them in the first place.
The toughest sell for the journalist, is the unbearable idea that the whole truth and nothing but, is a swamp. No one really wants to hear that the reality of Israel is a murky soup composed, as the human soup is, of the truly honorable alongside the truly corrupt, and all shades in between. ….
http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/.premium-1.579199

But I think many are suspicious about this capture of what are now called Syrian made rockets at this particular time. David cameron is in Israel and under pressure to say that Israel is the historic homeland of the Jews, that is a Jewish nation which is something the Palestinians are also under pressure about. If he does he will offend many Arabs who lived there before the Jews arrived. If he does not he will offend many Israelis and Americans and ‘#Conservative donors‘. It is ridiculous to insist upon this as it is all to do with biblical beliefs.

‘ David Cameron urged to acknowledge Jewish state on Israel trip
Natasha Kaplinsky and Conservative donors join PM on two-day visit to Israel and Palestinian territories
David Cameron will arrive in Israel on Wednesday under pressure to acknowledge the country as the Jewish homeland.
Groups representing some British Jews hope Mr Cameron will acknowledge Israel’s status as the world’s only Jewish state on his first visit to the country in office.
The Prime Minister is on a two-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, accompanied by a delegation including Natasha Kaplinksy, the former BBC newsreader, and British business leaders including two Conservative party donors.
The visit comes in the middle of peace negotiations, led by John Kerry, the US Secretary of State.
The declaration is crucial because Israeli leaders are reluctant to acknowledge any Palestinian state until their counterparts say that Israel is historic homeland of the Jews, rather than an “alien” state that was imposed on the region in 1948.
It is a statement US, Canadian and German leaders have made but one the British Foreign Office has been hesitant to endorse, and Mr Cameron has shied away from making in speeches to supporters of Israel.
Palestinian leaders say enshrining the country’s “Jewishness” would compromise the right of refugees to return.
“As part of a negotiated peace agreement it would remove doubts that Israel is a legitimate, accepted part of the family of nations in the Middle East,” said Richard Pater, of the Israel advocacy group BICOM.
“This would also help ease concerns and reassure British Jews.”
Many British Jews will also expect Mr Cameron to show he has not been “fooled” by Iran’s apparent willingness to negotiate over its nuclear programme, Mr Pater said. The Tehran regime is still supplying missiles to terrorist groups aimed at Tel Aviv, with one shipment intercepted last week, Israel says….
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/10691157/British-voters-hope-Cameron-acknowledges-Jewish-state-on-Israel-trip.html

As for fooled by Iran what can one say. Israel want Iran attacked and say so regularly. Iran is sanctioned at great cost and has been for a long time. It endured a dreadful war against Iraq in which over 1 million were killed, a war fostered by the west. But it has made existential threats against Israel. One could argue that existential threats have been made against it too. It is certainly time to talk and change but attacking its ally Syria and paying Jihadists to kill Shiite civilians throughout the Middle East puts threats behind any words, whoever is responsible. Meanwhile the EU Catherine Ashton has been in Iran and very little was reported in the media about this. She discussed Syria, drug trafficking and this was notable also:

‘“Ashton can visit Iranian medical centers and think about the fate of patients who could face death because they do not have access to drugs,” it said in an editorial.
It was referring to curbs on financial transactions between Western firms and Tehran, making the procurement of medicine nearly impossible.


Read more: Visit by EU's Ashton draws praise in Iranian press | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/visit-by-eus-ashton-draws-praise-in-iranian-press/#ixzz2vkHSG9Ds
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

It is known that over 600,000 Iraqi children died under sanctions due to lack of medicines banned because of them. Is this how we wish to go on in this world? It is why we will not be allowed. No one talks about the real effects of sanctions on starving people. Silence in our media!!! But Iranians are dying in bread queues. Really

reve

reve
12-03-2014, 07:02 PM
One of the most dreadful things relating to the media over the last year has been that it ignored the fact that rebels in Syria had sarin, the rockets used to deliver sarin, were where the rockets actually came from and were the only people who stood to gain from a chemical attack which took place a few miles from UN Inspectors. The media also continues to cite the origins of the invasion of Syria as peaceful demonstrations when in fact snipers killed police and protestors, as it is now suggested happened in Ukraine, and as this was Syria inevitably started a severe retaliation by the government. That would happen all over the Middle East and in fact in Europe too. Nor did the media care to explain that without 30,000 Jihadists, many Al Qaida, the war would have been won by Assad long ago. Instead articles published recently suggest the Al Qaida forces are really working for Assad. Whether you believe any of this or not it is a fact that evidence does exist to support these statements and yet the media has towed a line that is in denial to such an extent it will not even mention the BBC report of rebels caught with sarin in Turkey 5 months before the attack. But they will publish statements affirming that Assad used chemicals on his own people without any cautions about this.

As far as Ukraine is concerned our western media has ignored any evidence or suggestion that the protestors were shot by radical elements within the protest, those hurling petrol bombs at police. They have ignored the fact that police were shot and killed too and that some protestors were armed. And they also ignore the fact that no western government would accept such protests in their capitals, let alone dissolve their governments in the face of them. That is how the media is of course and if one wants to know what is really happening one needs to look further afield than the mainstream reports of speeches made by western politicians to establish whether other voices disagree and why .

It was not always so but has happened slowly. Some papers like Haaretz and the Guardian reveal more unpopular facts. A free media is very desirable but not something that looks likely to happen in the current climate where all political parties agree that certain things should not be divulged to the public. It seems to be part and parcel of our new world where individuals need to be monitored but public interest is not served by revelations of what actually happens in the corridors of power, so certain papers and reports are sealed for 60 years and doubtless many conversations are not recorded or published at all. Quite whether the internet will be allowed to continue to provide a resource for comments on such matters remains to be seen but one can imagine how uncomfortable some are with that. Which in itself makes others uncomfortable about why they might not like that freedom in a democracy which has stood by free speech and thought. If one is being devious and deceitful one would not. If one’s actions cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people one certainly would not. What a fuss we are making about the latest missing airliner when the one full of Iranians and shot down by a western warship in July 1988 received virtually no press at all although 290 were killed, but the Lockerbie bombing in December 1988 killing 243 has ever since been written about. Some bombings receive more press than others. We are told constantly about the 140,000 killed in Syria but never about the 600,000 killed in the Iraq invasion by Blair and Bush. So be it but we do like to criticise other countries for their propaganda and repression of free press:

Cold War Media Tactics Fuel Ukraine Crisis
By CELESTINE BOHLENMARCH 10, 2014


PARIS — One of the fixtures of Cold War propaganda was a map flashed across television screens depicting menacing arrows moving toward the borders of an endangered homeland. The cutaway would be to newsreel footage of missiles being fired, marching soldiers or scenes of devastation from past wars.
In the past week, as the crisis in Crimea deepened, similar images have been running on Russia’s state-run television. Even for the Kremlin’s master propagandists, it is a tenuous stretch — but that’s of no matter. The enemy has been identified: It is the West, allied with “fascist mercenaries” in Ukraine.The scale of Russia’s propaganda effort in the current crisis has been breathtaking, even by Soviet standards. Facts have been twisted, images doctored (Ukrainians shown as fleeing to Russia were actually crossing the border to Poland), and harsh epithets (neo-Nazis) hurled at the demonstrators in Kiev — who President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia belatedly acknowledged had legitimate gripes against a corrupt and failed government.
If he weren’t the boss, such an open contradiction of the official line, made at a televised news conference, might have been censored.
Like so much about Russia’s actions in Ukraine, the massive propaganda onslaught seems strangely anachronistic in a time when access to the Internet was supposed to undercut the influence of state-controlled media.
It’s all the more puzzling since Russia boasts one of the world’s most active and creative blogospheres, not to mention a thriving community of independent hackers drawn from the same top math schools that feed the ranks of the modern-day successor to the K.G.B.
According to a government-sponsored survey conducted last January, almost half of Russia’s adult population uses the Internet; for those younger than 34, it is the most used medium, ahead of television. Internet penetration in Russia is proportionately lower than in Europe: The same survey found that 38 percent of small towns had no Internet access at all. Still, Russia now ranks among the top six countries in the world for Internet use.And yet the propaganda campaign seems to be working. Russian public opinion has been whipped into a nationalist fervor over the fate of Crimea, a patch of territory that most Russians regard as rightfully theirs, even after its administrative transfer to Ukraine in 1954. A poll taken on March 1 and 2 by the state-sponsored VCIOM agency showed that 71 percent believe that it is necessary to protect Russian-language speakers in Crimea more vigorously.
The main vehicle for the government’s message is still the main television news, loyally watched in areas at the core of Mr. Putin’s electorate.
Nor is the government ignoring the Internet: Access to 13 Ukrainian websites was blocked this week on VKontacte, Russia’s popular social network. Russia’s top opposition blogger, Alexei A. Navalny, now under house arrest, has been ordered not to use the Internet for two months.
The Internet itself is hardly a guarantor of healthy debate or accurate information. Users often go online to confirm their own views — only to have them amplified by a steady spewing of paranoid and xenophobic diatribes.
Some attitudes, steeped in history, predate the current crisis. A poll taken in 2009 found that 73 percent of Russians endorsed a more vigorous defense of Crimea’s majority Russian population.
Still, Boris Akunin, one of the country’s most popular writers and a member of the opposition with his own blog, is counting on the Internet to loosen the Kremlin’s grip on public debate.
“One shouldn’t confuse two different Russias: telerussia and internetrussia,” he said in an email. “The former is largely uninterested in politics; they eat what they are fed but they are passive politically. The latter Russia is predominantly anti-Putin — precisely due to the free flow of opinions and information on the net.”
He cited a poll, taken in early February, when state-controlled media were just warming up, which showed that 73 percent were against Russian intervention in Ukraine. The question now is how many of those have changed their minds, and why.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/world/europe/cold-war-media-tactics-fuel-ukraine-crisis.html?_r=0

In reality if one can use that word all that matters should be what is true. But it is not and unreality is far more potent. This is something that the sages over the ages have noted many times. That we now in the last days do not dwell in ‘reality’ or ‘truth’ or ‘dharma’. We inhabit a world of illusion and that is because of our media. We do not see the children slaving in factories when we but the products they make. We do not see the starving children, the cholera victims denied antibiotics when we talk about sanctions. We see much on the news about terrorism and peace talks but never see the 6 million living in camps in families that have been stateless and dependant on aid for 60 years. We do not see the hidden wars waged constantly out of sight or the victims of them. What we see is an illusion - that we live in peace and some prosperity. Only when we die do we discover the real facts and why we are damned.

reve

reve
13-03-2014, 05:26 PM
London football clubs may not be of much interest here but I will discuss anyway. A manager has criticised his team after failing to do as well as expected against another London team. This is a new manager as the last was sacked, in fact many of them have been sacked as they strive for success. The question put forward was whether managers should criticise their teams in public. I must note here that football clubs consist of owners, mostly foreign based and very rich who are in the football business entirely for money. Then there is the manager, often foreign and rarely black, who is appointed and sacked by them. Then the team. Mostly foreign, many black and bought by the owner using the club’s money or borrowing against its assets. And then come the fans who actually pay for everything but do not get much say. They should own the clubs.

Managers must never criticise owners as they get sacked. Even after sacking they must not do this as they sign compromise agreements to get the massive payouts that come with sacking. Players must not criticise managers or owners as they can lose their careers by doing this. Sometimes the fans get criticised and they are ardent critics of players, managers and owners but do not get listened to.

Owners = political billionaire donors. Managers = leaders, prime ministers, presidents. Players = politicians etc. fans = the electorate. I must also mention referees. Europe is consumed with corruption and organised crime. Unlike the players, managers and owners the referees earn little. Games are worth fortunes and are turned by a man being sent off for a foul or a penalty awarded or a goal disallowed. To suggest that referees are never corrupt yet make extraordinary decisions in game after game is naïve. But they must never be criticised by anyone in the game or they will be fined heavily, banned perhaps. The media is very important as it is in the political world.

Our leaders never admit their mistakes. Iraq is still not regarded as a mistake, nor Syria, nor Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine. But we are actively destroying the stability on which our lives depend. The careful balances of power which have kept us nuclear war free until now. And we are still making big mistakes which do not get criticised as they should be to ensure we change, which we will not. Syria and Ukraine are causing a massive problem for stability and are a facing down between Russia and the US/West . Iran is another tectonic hot spot where the great continents are pushing against each other causing quakes. Geographically, geophysical and politically.

I am always wary of WW1 language like the ‘big push’ which meant suicidal wave after wave of most unfortunate soldiers, pawns in a big game. More recently we have called these ‘surges’ which are just as ineffective and costly. This one will be too but I can imagine how it was sold as a win win situation at one time before it started going wrong (destroy Hezbollah, isolate or draw into combat Iran, make the Saudis happy, create a buffer zone for Israel’s security, kick the Russian fleet out of the Med - all in the name of democracy and we can use Arabs to kill each other to secure that. But it did not work out like that and one would have to be extremely naïve to think that altering the delicate balances of power will not have earth shattering results. Not only a vast conscription for the Jihadists but strengthening of Hezbollah, greater insecurity for Israel and great annoyance of the Saudis. 10 million refugees and no end in sight.

So some bright spark has an idea. Not to return to the stability we had with Syria before this manic insurrection but a ’big push’. God help us, but he will not as this is not a ’good’ thing to do and more innocents will die. We may also end up with nuclear war or a vast global Jihad in our own countries. Who thinks of such desperate things and why? They are wet be hind the ears and know so little about war, morality and how to win. These days we lose them all and give ourselves a worse and worse reputation. It makes our leaders look quite insane when they try to justify it too. But the owners of the clubs do not much care how silly their managers look and how desperate. They sack them. They are only interested in making money, and the players are cannon fodder.

‘ Syria war: new push against Assad being planned, reports suggest
Central to plan is drive to provide Syria's divided moderate, secular rebel groups with more support
Simon Tisdall in Amman
theguardian.com, Tuesday 11 March 2014
After months of battlefield stalemate in Syria, a flurry of reports from Washington, Jerusalem, Amman and the Gulf suggests a major new clandestine effort is under way to open up a "southern front" against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Central to the mooted plan is a renewed push to provide Syria's badly divided and often ineffectual moderate, secular rebel groups with additional funding, upgraded weapons and intelligence support.
What use they may make of such support, if indeed it fully materialises, remains to be seen.
The initiative, as reported in the region, is set against a backdrop of secret talks in the US last month between Susan Rice, Barack Obama's national security adviser, and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi interior minister in charge of covert action programmes in Syria.
According to the usually well informed Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, spy chiefs from Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and other regional countries also attended the discussions, focused on making a "stronger effort" to help the rebels.
This meeting has been linked in turn to last month's launching by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) of what they termed a spring offensive in the south of Syria. The offensive began days after they received new US weapons funding that may eventually total $31.4m (£18.9m), rebel commanders said.
After holding back for months owing to fears that new arms might fall into the hands of al-Qaida affiliates, unidentified American officials said Congress had given closed-door approval in January for renewed cash for light weapons intended for the moderate, secular opposition in the south.
The new US funding supposedly augments a fresh push by Gulf states to finance rebel operations in the southern region of Syria, which are ultimately aimed at Damascus. More than $1bn has been disbursed since last summer, much of it for weapons purchases in eastern Europe, according to Gulf government sources quoted by regional media.
The weapons, mostly supplied via Jordan, are said to include a variety of small arms, as well as some that are more powerful, such as anti-tank rockets. But as a result of American reservations, they do not include shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, known as Manpads, which could shoot down military or civilian aircraft. Saudi Arabia has stockpiles of Manpads and favours supplying them to the rebels, but the US disagrees.
According to various reports mostly based on rebel statements or official or semi-official leaks, the aim of the offensive is to push back government forces in the Daraa, Quneitra and As-Suwayda governorates in south-west Syria, so opening the road to Damascus.
The offensive has been dubbed Geneva Horan, a reference to the plains near the Jordanian border and Israeli frontier.
This new emphasis on military action along the southern front follows well documented concern that the predominance in northern and eastern Syria of jihadis belonging to the al-Nusra Front, which is linked to al-Qaida, and rival groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has become both destructive and counterproductive.
Detailed media reports claim the operational plans, supply routes and tactics for the new push are being overseen by a secret international operations command centre in Amman staffed by military officials from 14 countries, including the US, Britain, Israel and Arab states opposed to the Assad regime.
"Rebel fighters and opposition members say the command centre, based in an intelligence headquarters building in Amman, channels vehicles, sniper rifles, mortars, heavy machine guns, small arms and ammunition to Free Syrian Army units," the Abu Dhabi-based National newspaper reported.
Jordan denies the existence of the centre and of reportedly CIA-run rebel training facilities in northern Jordan.
"I have never heard of this," Zuhdi Janbek, director of Jordan's special branch, told the Guardian.
None of the western or Arab states that have intelligence and military staff working at the centre, the Military Operations Command (MOC), has publicly acknowledged it, but the centre's existence has become an open secret, the National claimed.
Whatever the accuracy of such reports, there is little doubt that Jordan's officially neutral stance over the Syrian war is threatened by the increasing importance of the southern front as the conflict enters its fourth year.
Despite Amman's denials, it is known to have close links with western intelligence agencies. It is also widely believed that its territory is being used by western and Arab backers of the moderate secular opposition to assist and direct anti-Assad operations.
In line with US and Saudi concerns, Jordan has stepped up arrests of jihadis transiting its territory to join hardline Islamist groups inside Syria.
Whether or not it amounts to a full-blown spring offensive, there has been increased fighting around the city of Daraa in recent weeks as the Syrian army attempts to pre-empt any rebel push towards Damascus, refugee and other sources say.
UN and EU officials in Amman say that as a result, the outflow of refugees into Jordan from southern and central Syria has doubled this month, to 1,000 or more a day. About 1.2 million Syrians are now living in Jordan, according to the Amman government.
In one reported clash last week, MOC commanders were reportedly on the brink of ordering Israeli air strikes against "strategic weapons" stored at the Tal al-Jabiyeh military complex in south-west Daraa for fear the weapons might fall into the hands of besieging al-Qaida-linked rebel groups.
According to unidentified sources, the "strategic weapons" were chemicals, possibly sarin gas. The complex was said to be less than 8km (5 miles) from Israel's border. In the event, the rebels backed off. This report could not be independently confirmed.
The apparent decision of the FSA to shift its main forces to the south coincides with a change in command. Colonel Abd al-Ilah al-Bashir, a respected battlefield leader based in the southern Quneitra governorate, replaced General Salim Idris as chief of staff last month. Idris had been blamed for failing to block the growth of jihadi influence in the north. Although President Obama says the US continues to pursue a diplomatic solution, the suggestion of increased covert US support for military action in southern Syria is plausible. There is much anger in Washington at the failure of the Geneva peace talks to make progress, in part because of Russia, Assad's most powerful ally.
These developments, if confirmed, also indicate a tentative rapprochement between the US and Saudi Arabia, the Syrian opposition's biggest regional backer, after a period when the two countries could not agree on tactics.
In a landmark visit, Obama will travel to Riyadh later this month for talks that will focus on Syria and Iran. In other recent meetings designed to coordinate policy, Obama discussed the Syrian crisis with Jordan's King Abdullah and Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/11/syria-war-international-effort-southern-front-assad

What ‘moderate’ opposition? Al Qaida already has sarin - see BBC report of those arrested in Turkey with it in March 2013.

reve

reve
16-03-2014, 11:21 AM
Revelations did not invent its two beasts. they existed in the Book of Enoch and Jewish folklore and scriptures. Enoch mentions the Lord of Spirits placing one beast - Leviathan in the sea and the other beast Behemoth on land having separated them. In revelations they are given power by the dragon but are consigned to the abyss. I note a tale about Gabriel and the twin dragons in an egg thrown in the sea. It is a story that suggests that Gabriel refused an order from God. There is one other curious fact about Leviathan which is that he is terrified of the kilbit which is a small worm that attaches to the gills of big fish and kills them.

Is there anything here for us? The twins that Gabriel was to kill at birth are most likely the two religions that he is credited with starting. Gabriel is the angel of snakes and possibly the dragon. Mohammed says that Gabriel dictated the Koran to him and Christians believe that he appeared to Mary before Jesus was miraculously conceived. They are two might religions now that have brought continuous war to the world. In Syria we see how fundamentalists called Jihadists act with the greatest cruelty, as do both sides. But so do Christians who carpet bombed a million civilians in Germany in WW2 deliberately causing fire storms in populated areas to destroy the work force. Have a look at Bomber Harris on wiki (Butcher Harris as they called him in the RAF). We had not changed much when we killed 600,000 Iraqis in the recent invasion. It is just that we like all religions consider ourselves to be of a higher moral character than our opponents. The root cause of evil and sectarian massacres, in this world./

It is time to put these awful creatures away. The news is terrifying at present as we close in on a nuclear war for no good reason at all. The media clearly shows us how one side is bad and the other which also does evil, is good. War is evil and to promote it is evil. We are all humans not just some. Haaretz writes a bitter article today about Israel wanting recognition of its Jewish character by its neighbours the Palestinians and all its citizens who are not Jewish.saying that it is reminiscent of dark days when people's ancestry was checked. It is not fit for our world as we have moved on. religion however rears its ugly head over us all suggesting we are sinners while being the greatest of all sinners, sanctifying war and the massacre of innocent people.

I am frightened for Britain and the US at present. They are bluffing and do not have the populations that will support a mighty war about nonsense any more. The bluff may well be called bringing war in Europe, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan - war we cannot begin to win. We may well get revolutions like those we are supporting - what do we do when petrol bombs are thrown at our police without being accused of illegal cruelty as we support such behaviour in Ukraine and Syria (and Libya etc)? I worry for Britain whose banks are being sued by the US over Libor. they are going for damages to cover the cost of the failed banks they bailed out. We also bailed our our banks over the US sub prime scam and our tax payers will bear the cost of the massive fines this time too (we own these banks). That will increase poverty and destroy our economy. The US needs the money it seems. If you bully your friends as has been happening in Europe, you end up without any. It is a lesson we all need to learn from our playground. We make big bullies into our CEO's and leaders and this is what we get. War.

If we are the beasts as is quite possible we are heading for the abyss. Alll it takes is a little 'kilbit'

reve

reve
16-03-2014, 01:06 PM
On the other hand to the ancient visionary leviathan was the nuclear armed submarine, the aircraft carrier and the kilbit the thing the crews dread - a torpedo or mine. Ziz is the air beast so perhaps the nuclear armed planes above, Behemoth the great armies. The clue is in Revelations:

Revelation 13:4


Viewing the King James Version. Click to switch to 1611 King James Version of Revelation 13:4.


And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

reve

reve
17-03-2014, 11:08 AM
We have quite a few wind farms in Scotland and they produce so much electricity that the National Grid cannot cope with it and has paid £80 million to turn them off. They will be able to produce 100% of Scotland's electricity and 40% of its heating needs. Exports of electricity will bring in billions. Does that not sound great? So many hate this and the revolt is led by those with interests in energy supply from other sources - nuclear, oil and imported gas. So the complaints are pouring in. The subsidies that have been paid. The noise (although you cannot hear them and no one lives very near them as if power stations did not have an environmental impact and were silent). What happens if there is no wind etc. It is so sad to see such a brilliant renewable energy slated in the press - all the papers carrying the story and equating this with Scotland's crazy desire to be independent. You may have noticed that the whole of Westminster and the world want Scotland to be dependent.

I despair at the factors conspiring to destroy our world and the root of them. Money for big business. I am sure this is behind the anger at Crimea and the 'sanctions' which will hurt Europe more than the US and are mostly at the US request. The US has kindly offered to provide the gas that we will need when Russia's gas is prevented from being sold but that will not happen until they have completed their liquefying gas plants and fracked the States furiously. Around 2015. I was not impressed to hear that being suggested as a way of helping Europe cope. Ukraine should never have been offered a EU berth or NATO and it is only a leaked phone call that seems to show this was a US idea. I bet they would not like Ukraine in the USA. The country is riddled with corruption and fascism of the worst kind. But so is Europe. Our anger with Russia merely compounds the reality of what we did in Iraq and why.

It was my local paper again which said that 20 of the passengers on the Malaysian flight worked with Stealth Fighter technology. The Texan company that employs them says they are a terrible loss. My paper is a bit off the wall but thought they might have made the plane invisible to radar. Until they find the plane such theories will proliferate. My Scottish Sunday paper also said the pilot's wife and children moved out of his home the day before the flight. These sorts of facts are not confirmed or denied on TV as far as I can see as they are not even mentioned. But if true I would start there. Terrorists usually like us to know. Hyjackers on TV films tell the airport controllers who they are and what demands they have. Bruce Willis sorts it out. Suicides usually leave a note. I hope Bruce can do it this time. But of course one airliner with 230 people on board is not really any more important in human terms than the 1000 that are bombed to bits each month in Iraq and the many more thousands hideously injured in the targeted markets that get no mention on the news at all. Why do we support the country that pays these people? Why do we? Why make a fuss about Russia while this is going on? Why start these dreadful revolutions in the first place and support the so called moderate opposition forces when we know they are stir crazy hoods?

Our world is dying because we cannot be honest. We belong to huge corporations that hate us. Our media belongs to them too. We cannot begin to save our world as a result and cannot even discuss this with the beasts. What are they going to do with all that money on a dead planet? They tell us that Iran is the demon or Russia or Assad or Gaddafi or Saddam. Those are tiny pawns - the demons are not even recognisable and change from one decade to the next. They are 'nominees' of vast corporations that we also know little or nothing about but which have very respectable offices somewhere. Corporations are just pieces of paper but they own us and do indescribably evil things to our world and population with immunity. They dictate to our leaders. Tell that to the afterlife when you get there and see whether that gets you off the hook. It has not worked so far. There are but a handful of people in this world that are prepared to stand up and say this for us and they are in great danger for doing so. But no one listens on this side of death.

End times, lambs to the slaughter for what?

reve

reve
17-03-2014, 11:26 AM
look no further than this. a project that will cost perhaps £100 Billion to save 20 minutes on journey time to London for a few commuters. that they say will repay the cost many times over - how? When we have such poverty in Britain and cannot afford benefits and pensions? They are worrying now that the next government will stop this project and that consultations will destroy it so what do they (the corporations and 'donors' that will be the only ones who benefit) do? They have consistently lied about the real costs and I have written here and copied articles about that. See wikipedia for more on both high speed rail scams.

' Sir David Higgins sets out plans to fast-track HS2 construction

17 March, 2014 | By Robyn Wilson




Construction of the northern section of the HS2 line must be sped up to allow both phases of the project to be completed six years early, according to a report published today by its chairman Sir David Higgins.


Sir David, who became HS2 chairman in January, called for ministers to start work on the project’s northern links to Manchester and Leeds as soon as possible and insisted both phases should be completed by 2027, six years earlier than first planned.

Under current plans, work on phase one of HS2, between London and Birmingham, is scheduled to start in 2017 and will open in 2026.

Work on phase two, split into an eastern and western leg to Manchester and Leeds, is not scheduled to open until 2032 or 2033.

Under Sir David’s proposals, the first phase would be extended by 43 miles further north than originally planned, to a new transport hub in Crewe.

Sir David said the £21.4bn allocated for phase one, with £3bn for trains (including contingency) was enough to deliver the project.

He said he has “resisted temptation ” to reduce the large contingency contained in the budget due to uncertainty around the projects legislative timetable and added that the same approach should be taken for the second phase of the project.

A hybrid bill for the first phase of the project, which would secure powers to build and maintain the project, is currently making its way through parliament.

However he suggested scrapping the proposed link between HS2 and HS1, which he said was “sub-optimal” and called for a revamp of Euston station, HS2’s London hub, which would involve the private sector building the station from property development funding.


Proposed revised HS2 timetable:

Phase One

2017 – Construction begins

2020 – Euston HS2 station building begins

2026 – Phase one opens

Phase Two

2014 – Formal consultation begins

2015 – Hybrid preparation and parliamentary process begins

2015 – Route announced

2015 – development partner contracts and professional consultant contracts awarded

Q1 2021 – Construction begins

March 2030 – Manchester leg completed

June 2030 – Leeds leg completed

2030 – Phase two opens

Sir David questioned whether the station was ambitious enough and highlighted developments at St Pancras and King’s Cross as successful regeneration projects.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin admitted this month that the hybrid bill will not pass through parliament until after the next election in 2015.

The chairman was tasked with reporting on how to reduce the pricetag for £42.6bn project, with an additional £7bn estimated for the trains, in November, after concerns were raised that the project’s budget was spiralling out of control.

At the time shadow chancellor Ed Balls said a Labour Party would not write a “blank cheque” for HS2.

His comments chimed with former chancellor Alistair Darling’s remarks to Construction News in October when he said that Mr Balls was being “entirely sensible and cautious” over HS2.'
http://www.cnplus.co.uk/clients/hs2/sir-david-higgins-sets-out-plans-to-fast-track-hs2-construction/8660232.article?blocktitle=Top-Story&contentID=8150#.UybK-Z1FBkA

It is a disgrace but I am glad of it because at last the real evil in our world is beginning to show its face and it's face is that of some silly man who earns far too much and does what he is told by a piece of paper that says grab as much cash as you can at any cost. Never mind the poor that have to pay for these things and always have. These people are 'inhuman' but face a hellish afterlife and are the first to scream in protest when they die and discover that. However that kind of justice will not save our planet and I find it to be far too cruel. These people are weak, that is all. We need a better education system on this side, one that tells the truth rather than indoctrinates myth.

reve

reve
17-03-2014, 12:08 PM
I keep seeing ‘Ukraine Crisis’ on TV. If it is a crisis it is because we are making it one. I wish I ever saw ‘Poverty Crisis’ on TV. As I write Catherine Ashton is explaining how Ukraine is 'obviously at the top of the European agenda'! Obviously Baroness Ashton and poverty will be at the bottom - of course - just below corruption:

‘ Britain’s five wealthiest families are richer than the poorest 20 per cent of the country’Monday 17 Mar 2014 9:34 am

Britain’s five richest families are wealthier than the poorest 20 per cent of the population according to a new study.
A report by Oxfam showed that the combined wealth of the top five is £28.2 billion – more than the total wealth of the country’s 12.6million poorest people, which is £28.1 billion.
The most affluent family in Britain, the Grosvenors, has a fortune of around £7.9 billion, largely derived from owning 190 acres of real estate in London’s Belgravia.
That is more than the total wealth of Britain’s poorest ten per cent, which is valued at £7.8billion, according to Oxfam’s Tale of Two Britains report.
The revelations throw Britain’s stark economic divide into the public eye ahead of chancellor George Osborne’s Budget on Wednesday.
Oxfam has called on politicians to address the widening gap, urging them to clamp down on tax avoidance and to explore greater taxes on extreme wealth.
Ben Phillips, Oxfam’s director of campaigns and policy, said: ‘Britain is becoming a deeply divided nation, with a wealthy elite who are seeing their incomes spiral up, while millions of families are struggling to make ends meet.
‘Increasing inequality is a sign of economic failure rather than success. It’s far from inevitable – a result of political choices that can be reversed. It’s time for our leaders to stand up and be counted on this issue.’
Britain’s five richest families:
1 The Grosvenors (real estate): £7.9billion
2 David and Simon Reuben (metals and property): £6.9billion
3 The Hinduja brothers (trucking and banking): £6billion
4 The Cadogan family (real estate): £4billion
5 Mike Ashley (founder of Sports Direct) £3.3billion
http://metro.co.uk/2014/03/17/britains-five-wealthiest-families-are-richer-than-the-poorest-20-per-cent-of-the-country-4620091/

In reality we have many more richer billionaires but they choose not to live here and pay UK taxes. But for 5 people to have more than 12 million and not to give up their massive wealth to save from poverty the millions of hungry children is quite sick. More afterlife problems than they or we like to think about. Our poorest are not worth £28 Billion and I am surprised that the article says that. They are in debt. Do they really think that those living in poverty have assets equivalent to over £2000 each, £10,000 per family? Not the ones I have met. To be in the Forbes top 19 Americans you need over $20 Billion. Shows how poor Britain is.

Go down to your local sink ghetto estate and look at it then wonder why we allow this cruelty. Corporations have much more money than people obviously. These are just the ones that are rewarded, although with the Grosvenors at the top of our list this is inherited wealth. One child is born into great wealth and privilege in Britain, 2 million into dire poverty. But Ukraine is a crisis and this is considered fair.

reve

reve
17-03-2014, 02:15 PM
When you see some tell tale pimples, some odd lumps, moles the wrong colour, pain where there should not be any….. that can seem like the problem. These days we know it is just a small symptom of something deadly. In the case of a virus it is small but deadly. With cancer it is just programming going wrong. To tackle the disease we need to understand its cause and we have made great progress with that in our modern world. Putting painkillers in the system or cream on the pimples is not the answer.

In our bigger world the symptoms are also things we try to treat but in most cases without investigating the real cause. Here it is different because in the bigger world the real cause does not wish to be discovered and has gone to enormous lengths to suggest scapegoats and indeed painkillers.

Drugs are one painkiller we have and where poverty is most acute we often find drugs. Poverty is a symptom - it is found in the wealthiest nations and in the poorest. The need for so many bombs that can destroy the whole world was an early and crude attempt to find a cure - like the early chemotherapies and radiotherapies it worked for a while but ultimately is as much a killer as the disease. Often behaviour and diet are the root cause. Many cancers for example are caused by eating meat, obesity is linked with animal fats and refined sugars. However far from treating that, food manufacturers go to great lengths to include these items in their addictive foods. There one can begin to see the underlying cause of all our world’s diseases.

The virus that has wreaked havoc in the world is indeed small. There is an antidote but it is not used, indeed it is derided. The virus is passed easily from one person to another and is taken to avoid what we see as poverty. None of us want that symptom but also seem to think it is unavoidable for some (many). However it is just one symptom. Deforestation, pollution, the over fishing of the seas, corruption, organised crime, pretend democracy, vast inherited wealth, propaganda, genetic engineering of foods, nuclear power stations everywhere before we have a solution for dealing with the nuclear waste and earthquakes etc., diets dependent on refined foods, pesticides and fertilisers used which we know are dangerous and killing bees, farmland owned by vast corporations, oil wars etc etc. These are all symptoms of a killer disease and that virus is in fact what we call ‘money’, long known as the root of all evil especially to the ancients who foresaw the end of this.

The antidote is exactly what no one in power wants to hear but is not the abandonment of money at all, just a restriction on how much anyone can have. Then we would all have enough to survive and there would be no incentive to murder, pillage, pollute, and destroy the planet. So those who espouse this are called vile commies, the worst kind of human. Which is why we will all die, even the rich. How secure will they feel having full food cupboards while thousands roam the world looking for food and prepared to kill to get it? That is where we are heading and all the politicians in the world with all the armies cannot stop it happening unless they deal with the disease that is leading us over the cliff. Their solution which is nuclear war will just hasten the end. We all know as soon as the taboo on using nuclear weapons is eroded by the first post WW2 justification for doing so, the first real use since WW2, then they will all use them in paranoia. Nuke one city and they will all be nuked. What is most worrying is that it has been claimed that the coming strike on Iran will require them. That it will happen while Russia and China are opposed to it. That the west seem to ignore the possible catastrophe in their thinking that hitting Iran is worthwhile indeed necessary. That Ukraine is worth the risk of cranking up the Cold War. It will not stop at Ukraine - there are tiny islands in the Pacific that can cause it. We live in a petrol soaked world awaiting the first spark.

It is particularly amazing that our many journalists and TV presenters do not even mention the possibility. (They may mention 'Cold War') Not because they do not see it but because they are paid to say something else. If you can, read the EU statement on Ukraine and shudder. Is the EU really so naïve? Does the world really think Assad’s removal justifies creating a Jihad of millions who wish to die fighting us? No - but some very wealthy corporations do. The same which thought killing over half a million Iraqi children with sanctions was worthwhile too and that nothing would ever come of it. What comes of it is repeating the formula until the Jihad is powerful enough to kill us all. Then out come nuclear warheads. Sanction Russia??? Who thought of that? Threaten Russia with destruction, especially with externally promoted 'internal dissent' as we have seen in Ukraine and Syria, and see what they do! Who thinks of such silly things?

Mutual Assured Destruction , MAD as it is, was never so close and every analyst knows it. Every politician has been told that. But they cannot stop because they take their orders from corporations that really do not care as they are not humans with emotions but pieces of paper which are a curse on humanity and intend to destroy it. Viruses often kill their host without really thinking about the consequences.

reve

reve
17-03-2014, 04:33 PM
Near'

The modern civilisation driven by industrialisation could collapse in just a few decades, a new study funded by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center says.

The study, to be published in the journal Elsevier, compares historical data from the collapse of several progressive and prosperous civilisations since ancient times - and found that even the most advanced societies are vulnerable to collapse.

"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally [if not more] advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent," study leader Safa Motesharri said, according to the Guardian.

The researchers say the collapse of modern civilisation will happen due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

These phenomena, he says, have led to the collapse of many complex civilisations over the last 5,000 years.

Regarding modern society, the study suggested that our civilisation could be imperilled by problems relating to population, climate, water, agriculture and energy.

The study further stresses the wide rich-poor divide leading to overconsumption of resources, largely by industrialised nations, would also be highly responsible.

"Accumulated surplus is not evenly distributed throughout society, but rather has been controlled by an elite," the researchers said.

"The mass of the population, while producing the wealth, is only allocated a small portion of it by elites, usually at or just above subsistence levels."

"Even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society."

According to the study, while a collapse seems difficult to avoid, control over population growth, less dependence on non-renewable resources and equal distribution of the resources could avert any disaster.

"Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion," the researchers concluded.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/nasa-study-collapse-modern-civilisation-near-1440625

Months not years. People have their itchy fingers on the nuclear triggers and are being threatened with destruction. Countries like the US and UK cannot survive on increasing credit much longer. Competing for the Russian market in gas in Europe may seem like a way to keep going but is a quick way to the end. Allowing our ozone layer to collapse, CO2 to destroy life in our oceans may seem a way to help corporations compete financially but brings death.
Overpopulation if a threat means a cull is likely - meaning nuclear war. Where does that cull end? It doesn't it lasts thousands of years after the last human dies with thyroid cancer.

idiots

reve

reve
17-03-2014, 04:47 PM
' HS2 too big a project to become political football, says chairman

Sir David Higgins makes comment as he outlines ways to complete phase two of project three years early'
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/17/hs2-scheme-too-big-political-football-chairman

The Australian charged with running the HS2 company (no Britons could do this could they?) might have a point. But he may be getting some unimaginably vast bonus for getting the project underway.

' A new chief executive has been appointed to run HS2 at a salary of £750,000 – six times that of the current boss of the high-speed rail project.

In one of his first acts as the new HS2 chairman, the outgoing Network Rail chief executive, Sir David Higgins, has recruited one of his old colleagues, Simon Kirby, the track operator's managing director of infrastructure projects, as chief executive.

Higgins was brought in to steer home the controversial £42.6bn scheme on time and budget, and pledged last week to make savings in the face of concerns that costs could rise. The budget was increased by £10bn last June and opponents fear it could go higher, although about £14bn is earmarked for contingencies....'
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/17/hs2-chief-executive-salary-rail

Note:

' Environmental Statement

Please note:

This consultation is now closed

The Environmental Statement consultation was hosted on GOV.UK.

You can find further information about this consultation on the GOV.UK website at:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-phase-one-environmental-statement



Parliament will now appoint an independent assessor to summarise the issues raised in consultation responses. This report will be made available to Members of Parliament before the Second Reading of the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill. This will be the first time that MPs will debate the main points of the Bill.

Further information on the purpose of the Environmental Statement can be found in our guide
'Understanding the Environmental Statement'

This document is also available on the GOV.UK website at the link above'

' The role of the Board is to:
•ensure effective governance of the company and that the company makes decisions, at the right time, and properly manage risks
•shape, challenge and direct the agenda for the company delivering stated priorities
•monitor performance and risk, making choices (or recommendations to ministers) on priorities / risk appetite
•oversee the health of our relations with our stakeholders and commercial partners

The Board meets monthly.

Click on the links below to skip to a profile:

David Higgins - Executive Chairman

Alison Munro - Chief Executive and Board Member

Andrew McNaughton - Executive Board Member

Beth West - Executive Board Member

Sir Brian Briscoe - Non-Executive Board Member

Duncan Sutherland - Non-Executive Board Member

Mike Welton - Non-Executive Board Member

Richard Brown - Non-Executive Board Member




David Higgins - Executive Chairman

On 1 January 2014, David Higgins was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd and became Executive Chairman on 1 March 2014.

On 1 April 2010, he was appointed a Non-Executive Director of Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd. On 28 September 2010, he was appointed Chief Executive of Network Rail Infrastructure Limited with effect from 1 February 2011.

David was appointed Chief Executive Designate of the Olympic Delivery Authority in December 2005 & appointed Chief Executive with effect from 30 March 2006. Prior to December 2005, he was Chief Executive of English Partnerships, the Government’s national regeneration agency, for 3 years.

David graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of Sydney & holds a Diploma from the Securities Institute of Australia. Following graduation, he spent time working in the UK & Africa, returning to Australia in 1981 & joined the Lend Lease Group, an international property & construction company, in 1985. In 1995, he was appointed Managing Director & Group Chief Executive of the Group.


Alison Munro - Chief Executive and Board Member

Alison Munro is Chief Executive of High Speed Two. Previously she was a Director in the Department for Transport. Alison also spent several years as a senior manager in the Department’s railways group, including as client for the High Speed 1 project, leading the arrangements for delivery of the second section from Ebbsfleet to London.


Andrew McNaughton - Executive Board Member

Andrew has been with HS2 Ltd since 2009, developing the principles, network and specific route design for high speed rail in Great Britain, as Chief Engineer and then Technical Director. Prior to that, from 2001 he was Chief Engineer of Network Rail responsible for the specification and development of the GB rail network, investment authorisation and overall system safety management. Andrew McNaughton has been engaged in railway construction, operation and management since 1973. He is Special Professor of Rail Engineering at Nottingham University and a Visiting Professor of Engineering at both Imperial College London and Southampton University. Andrew is Vice Chair of the EU Transport Advisory Group, Chair of the European Rail Research Advisory Council and Special Advisor on rail to the Australian Government. He has lectured on the transport, land use and economic planning effects of regional, freight and long distance rail development in North America, Asia and Australia as well as Europe.



Beth West - Executive Board Member

Beth joined HS2 Ltd in October 2012 as Commercial Director from Thames Water where she was Head of Commercial for the Thames Tideway Tunnel project. Prior to joining Thames Water Beth spent eight years at Transport for London (TfL). Beth started her career at TfL in the Corporate Finance team, where she led the refinancing of Tube Lines’ debt package. In 2005, Beth joined London Underground as the Head of Commercial Advisory and Risk, where she was responsible for providing commercial advice and strategy on the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts. In 2009, Beth became Head of Commercial Procurement and was responsible for delivering improved commercial capability for the business. Finally, in 2011, Beth became Commercial Director at Tube Lines where she was responsible for procurement, risk management, business planning and controls, and assurance. Before this Beth worked for eight years as a project finance banker in New York and London for Société Générale and Credit Suisse, covering the power and oil & gas sectors. Beth started her career on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, working for the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives.


Sir Brian Briscoe - Non-Executive Board Member

Sir Brian Briscoe is a widely experienced public sector leader, consultant and Board member, with a background in local government and planning. A Non Executive Director of High Speed 2 since March 2009, he has also chaired the Independent Transport Commissions for Reading and Cambridgeshire, and was a member of the Cabinet Office Capability Review team for the Department for Transport. Until June 2006 he was Chief Executive of the Local Government Association, having formerly been Chief Executive of Hertfordshire County Council and County Planning Officer for Kent.


Duncan Sutherland - Non-Executive Board Member

Duncan Sutherland has undertaken a number of senior development roles working with Local Authorities; as Director of City Development in Coventry, and as Chief Executive of the property and investment arm of the City of Edinburgh Council. For the last 12 years, he has worked with Local Authorities and developers to realise large scale, long term regeneration projects. He is also appointed by Scottish Ministers as a Non Executive Board Director of the Scottish Canals Board.


Mike Welton - Non-Executive Board Member

Mike Welton is a chartered civil engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Civil Engineers. Mike is Chairman of Southern Water and sits on the advisory board of Montrose Associates. Mike was previously Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty plc and is also a past Chairman of Hanson plc and the UK Government’s Railway Sector Advisory Group.


Richard Brown - Non-Executive Board Member

Richard Brown has held high level positions in and around the rail sector. Through his association with HS1 and Eurostar, he brings experience of the specification and delivery of major rail infrastructure, and ensuring longer term value for money. He is also able to add further value through his experience of running an operational high speed railway.


The role of the Executive Team is to:
•Provide effective support to the HS2 Ltd Board;
•Provide a forum for decision-making and issue resolution, and discussion of strategic issues;
•Make or obtain decisions in order to manage risks to effective operation of the company and delivery of its programme.

Click on the links below to skip to a profile:
•Alison Munro - Chief Executive
•Andrew McNaughton - Technical Director
•Ian Jordan - Phase Two Director
•Roy Hill - London to West Midlands Project Director
•Beth West - Commercial Director
•Kieran Rix - Director of Finance & Corporate Services
•Roger Hargreaves - Director of Hybrid Bill Delivery
http://hs2.org.uk/about-hs2-ltd/executive-team

Who will get what out of this project? Knowing that would educate us all on their motives for building such an unnecessary and hugely expense fast railway line when we have people starving in our country and dependent on food aid (charity food banks). Also knowing what foreign corporations will get what contracts. We pay vast salaries to these people, ever increasing while our front line workers earn less and less, no longer get pensions or any guarantee of employment. Where does HS2 Ltd. get its money from?

Why?

reve

PS it is called the war on the poor.

reve
18-03-2014, 09:41 AM
The Falklands and Gibraltar are only 'British' because that is what the inhabitants want. In Crimea they want to be Russian now. Ukraine should also have an election to find out if its population really want the new government thrust upon them by thugs in their city square as they elected the man who fled, not the one who has taken over with our help. Only after an election should the EU be offering to bring them into Europe but that still seems to be an aggressive policy and unwise. But the media does not share that view. Now we see what this may really all be about. Oil is at $100 a barrel. It is strange how fast we were assured of US help with oil and gas while denouncing Putin. Do people really not see how we are heading for war. Economic war with Russia first will destroy Britain. The City of London last week for the first time was overtaken by New York as the main financial centre in the world. But this will be a physical war as Putin will fight to the death to survive, as do all Russian leaders whose populations always fight.

History has one overwhelming lesson that destroyed two invincible leaders - Napoleon and Hitler. It could also be noted that Ukraine destroyed the Roman Empire. Do not ever, ever start a war with Russia. Like Afghanistan it is a war that the invader cannot win, but with Russia it is war that Russia always wins and they know that. Our clever strategists and analysts do not know their history or our limits. untried in war. The EU is not truly collective and its populations do not want war, let alone over Ukraine. The analysts just know where they think money can be made with a bit of hypocrisy. I have never known a time when all the world leaders do simply everything wrong let alone when our whole planet is threatened with imminent destruction!!!

However they are not our leaders. There is a dictatorship of corporations that are not human and which they serve. Read and weep:

' High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/35d6ae10-ab9a-11e3-90af-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2wIhHI6Qn



Release oil from US reserve to hurt Russia

By Philip Verleger...

Philip K Verleger Jr retired from the University of Calgary where he was the David Mitchell-EnCana Professor and now heads PKVerleger LLC; he was director of the Office of Energy Policy at the US Treasury in the Carter administration

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/35d6ae10-ab9a-11e3-90af-00144feab7de.html#axzz2wIgdyOfO

I will not copy this as they ask not to but please read it if you have time in a busy life that is now threatened with an early demise.

Was this not always the plan until gas is liquefied in sufficient quantities? LA had an earthquake today. Fracking caused one in Blackpool in England and stopped fracking for a year or two but now they are going to frack Britain again. They see more money in that than free wind energy and solar panels. Who sees more money in that? Corporations, not one that is British and not one that cares about earthquakes and poisoning the water table for subsequent generations. Meanwhile our great leaders gather to institute sanctions that they say may be similar to what we have done to Iran. These people are not fools so the obvious conclusion is they want a world war which will then cause China to take over the Pacific. Sounds like WW2 again with nuclear bombs and no inhibitions. WW2 was not a war we wanted it was forced on Britain and eventually the US became involved when Japan attacked them. But this time the US and UK lead the pack and will find there is no pack when the fighting starts.

The earth spirits are raging. Any genuine clairvoyant can tell you this. Watch out humans

reve

reve
18-03-2014, 12:16 PM
Someone is laughing all the way to the bank as EU countries shoot themselves unnecessarily. If one considers Saudi Arabia the only reason that no one dares to challenge its lack of democracy is that it is a cash cow for the west. It might just as well have a British or American king because it buys our expensive arms and planes whether it needs them or not, gives our oil companies masses of money, sends us oil at low prices and thereby keeps others’ prices low and most important keeps it's billions in our financial centres. A change of regime there would be a disaster for us. So if they ask us to wipe out Iran we are only too happy to oblige. Take out Syria? Certainly. Our problem, which has enraged the Saudis, is that our populations do not agree but they do not understand the cash side of things and must be discounted by those who do.

Ukraine is where all Russia’s gas pipes come through. A vast and growing market as Europe has none of its own gas or oil (except the North Sea). A big market if someone could get it. So are our financial centres. Nothing would induce the dictators and drug barons who keep them awash with cash to leave us - exc