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The Consequences of American Hypocrisy
Sweden, Palestine and the United States
(by ROBERT FANTINA) - 21-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 -Sweden’s new Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, has announced that that nation will be the first of the European Union to grant official recognition to Palestine. To date, 134 of the 193 member states of the United Nations recognize Palestine. This is a reasonable step that will, hopefully, set the example for other European nations to do the same. The United States, Israel’s best friend in all the world, and that bottomless pit of financial assistance for Israel, is, not surprisingly, seriously displeased. A spokeswoman for President Barack Obama said this: "We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature. We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues and mutual recognitions by both parties."

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The Civil War and 150 Years of Forgotten US Military Atrocities (by JAMES BOVARD) - 21-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - ... The failure to recognize how wars routinely spawn pervasive brutality and collateral deaths lowers Americans’ resistance to new conflicts that promise to make the world safe for democracy, or rid the world of evil, or achieve other lofty sounding goals. For instance, the Obama administration sold its bombing of Libya as a self-evident triumph of good over a vile despot; instead, chaos reigns in Tripoli. As the administration ramps up bombing in Syria and Iraq, both its rhetoric and its tactics echo prior U.S. misfires. The proclaimed intentions of U.S. bombing campaigns are far more important than their accuracy....

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79 Yr. Old Drone Protester, Sentenced to Three Months in Prison (Syracuse Peace Council) - 21-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - John "Jack" Gilroy, 79, of Endwell, NY and Upstate Drone Action, was sentenced to three months incarceration, three years probation, and $1000 fine by De Witt (NY) Town Judge Robert Jokl. "It's time for our justice system to identify the real criminals...not those who carry the message to stop the killing to the gates of Hancock Air Base," said Gilroy in his sentencing statement. Gilroy was convicted by a six-person jury on July 15th of trespass and obstructing government administration after a two day jury trial. The trial was based on Gilroy’s participation in a solemn funeral procession and die-in outside Hancock’s main gate. The event symbolized the terrorizing and killing of innocent people by MQ9 Reaper drone missiles and bombs piloted by Hancock’s 174th Attack Wing...

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Israel police brutality remains unchecked 14 years after massacre of Palestinian citizens (Patrick O. Strickland) - 21-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - Jameela Asleh, better known as Um Aseel, witnessed the killing of her eldest son Aseel one October fourteen years ago when Israeli police opened fire on unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Israel. "I witnessed his execution with my own eyes," the 62-year-old mother told The Electronic Intifada. Just seventeen years old at the time, her son was among the thirteen Palestinian citizens of Israel killed during demonstrations that spread throughout present-day Israel in early October 2000....

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ISIS in Washington
America’s Soundtrack of Hysteria
(By Tom Engelhardt) - 21-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - It happened so fast that, at first, I didn’t even take it in.
Two Saturdays ago, a friend and I were heading into the Phillips Museum in Washington, D.C., to catch a show of neo-Impressionist art when we ran into someone he knew, heading out. I was introduced and the usual chitchat ensued. At some point, she asked me, "Do you live here?" "No," I replied, "I’m from New York." She smiled, responded that it, too, was a fine place to live, then hesitated just a beat before adding in a quiet, friendly voice: "Given ISIS, maybe neither city is such a great place to be right now." Goodbyes were promptly said and we entered the museum. All of this passed so quickly that I didn’t begin rolling her comment around in my head until we were looking at the sublime pointillist paintings of Georges Seurat and his associates. Only then did I think: ISIS, a danger in New York? ISIS, a danger in Washington? And I had the urge to bolt down the stairs, catch up to her, and say: whatever you do, don’t step off the curb. That’s where danger lies in American life. ISIS, not so much....

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Nothing about us without us: The token Palestinian and authentic narrative (by RAMZY BAROUD) - 21-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - In the post-Edward Said Palestinian intellectual landscape, however, it is unfathomable that Palestinians are largely excluded from shaping their own discourse, or are used as convenient fodder in someone else’s. This is not an exclusively Palestinian issue. Far from it. But rather the role through which the western intellectual spaces continue to operate in relation to other nations. In the case of Palestinians, however, the problem is compounded by the fact that the exclusion of a real Palestinian narrative is also cemented by those who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. However, their sympathies are conditioned, although at times inadvertently, on excluding the Palestinian from his own story....

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Challenging Drone Warfare in a U.S. Court (by Kathy Kelly) - 20-nov-2014

October 7 , 2014 - On October 7, 2014, Kathy Kelly and Georgia Walker appeared before Judge Matt Whitworth in Jefferson City, MO, federal court on a charge of criminal trespass to a military facility. The charge was based on their participation, at Whiteman Air Force Base, in a June 1st 2014 rally protesting drone warfare. Kelly and Walker attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the Base Commander, encouraging the commander to stop cooperating with any further usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, (drones) for surveillance and attacks...

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Knesset shell game: Aid meant for Israeli towns affected by Gaza war sent to illegal settlements instead (Orli Santo) - 20-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - The residents of Israel’s southern periphery, bordering the Gaza Strip, are among the Israelis who suffered the most from Operation "Protective Edge." Thousands were forced to leave their homes for weeks, while those who remained were confined to bomb shelters. Properties were damaged, tourism was annihilated, work days were lost, and many small businesses went bankrupt. By the end of the Operation, it was clear that residents of the embattled south — one of Israel’s poorest regions to begin with — were in dire need of the state’s aid. Yet money designated for the rehabilitation of the south is apparently being diverted to bolster West Bank settlements — again....

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Guantanamo force-feeding trial continues today (Reprieve) - 20-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - The first-ever trial to assess the legality of force-feeding methods at Guantanamo Bay will continue today in federal court in Washington, DC.
Lawyers Cori Crider and Alka Pradhan, from international human rights NGO Reprieve, are representing Syrian Abu Wa’el Dhiab who has been cleared for release since 2009 and is a long-time hunger striker protesting his indefinite detention. Mr Dhiab has been waging a high-profile challenge to his abusive force-feeding at Guantanamo since June 2013....

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Opinion: The Houthis have opened Pandora’s Box (Diana Moukalled) - 20-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - It was not just an isolated photograph or image, but a slew of videos that showed several fighters entering the homes—even bedrooms—of their enemies, which they proudly pillaged and plundered in front of the camera, on numerous occasions. These fighters, restrained by no one, stood in the middle of the bedrooms in the homes they had stormed, taking photographs of themselves, and quickly uploading them onto their personal social network accounts. Some of these shocking pictures posted online showed fighters belonging to the Houthi movement raiding the homes of a number of Al-Islah Party figures, bearing down with their weapons on whole families while chewing leaves of the psychoactive stimulant plant Qat. One of them even had time to take a photograph himself wearing a dress he found, while others went through private underwear cabinets belonging to the families, who quickly fled the Yemeni capital Sana’a after its takeover by the Houthis...

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Government can't demand more surveillance powers without giving answers on drone strikes (Reprieve) - 20-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - In an interview with today's Guardian focusing on surveillance powers, the head of the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) said that "the public [needs to] consent to losing some freedoms in return for greater safety and security." Commenting, Reprieve legal director Kat Craig said: "It seems wrong-headed to be demanding yet more powers for the most secretive parts of our state when we have yet to see proper oversight and accountability put in place. State surveillance is not just about snooping on your emails or Facebook profile. Because of our close intelligence-sharing relationship with the US, providing data has in the past led to killing-by-drone of people who are considered 'threats' but have never stood trial...

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Is Joe Biden Turkey "roast" is a feast for Assad? (Clay Claiborne) - 20-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - ...By making the Syrian government the victim in his analysis, Biden was saying that the regime of Bashar al Assad was not the biggest problem "we" - he was speaking as an executive representative of the United States - face, in Syria. That may well be the position of the Obama Administration, but it is certainly not the reality that millions of Syrians and all the countries bordering Syria have had to deal with as Assad's brutal crack down on pro-democracy protesters turned into a civil war in which that regime has used the most vicious tactics and committed war crime after war crime as it has attempted to crush any opposition to its forty plus years of dictatorship. The "inconvenient truth" revealed in Biden's remarks is that such dictatorships and such tactics have never been a problem for the US government and they don't really oppose them now in Syria either...

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Saving Iran… again (Olivier Guitta) - 20-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - ...Also, one has to understand that even though the initial reason for the US airstrikes was to save the Yazidis, the ongoing strikes are now viewed by many as only serving Shiites. For some Sunnis – extremist or not – there is a sense of injustice that when it came to saving Sunnis in Syria, nobody came, but when it was for the Shiites, the West intervened. This is a very strong sentiment that has many convinced that the West has lost its neutrality and chosen the Shiite/Iran camp over the Sunnis in the centuries-long conflict between the two sects. The recent photo-ops at the UN between Western leaders, including Prime Minister Cameron and President Hollande, with Iran’s President Rouhani have only added fuel to the fire.
Iran will have the last laugh. For the third time in the past 13 years, the West has unintentionally come to save Tehran – first against the Taliban in 2001, then against Saddam Hussein in 2003 and now against ISIS....

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The Houthis have opened Pandora’s Box (Diana Moukalled) - 20-nov-2014

October 7, 2014 - ...
Sana’a is certainly not the first Arab capital or city to be violated in this manner. But what made the matter even worse was that while these citizens’ homes were being broken into and looted, with the accompanying pictures brandished proudly all over the Internet, numerous "opposition" media outlets throughout the region ran headlines such as "A revolution in Yemen" following the Houthis’ seizure of the capital. The pictures on the Internet, meanwhile, showed us the true, uncivilized face of this "revolution." They showed us how Yemenis cowered in their homes, fearful and shocked to see the destruction of their country before their very eyes. They swapped laments on Facebook and Twitter about how far, and how quickly, the situation had deteriorated, interspersed with personal stories about what they had endured the last few days—all while the "opposition" media hailed the snowballing chaos which accompanied the "revolution" in Sana’a....

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Is Israel Guilty of Genocide in Its Assault on Gaza? (Richard Falk) - 20-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 - On September 24, a special session of the Russell Tribunal critically scrutinized Israel’s summer assault on Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, from the perspective of international law, including the core allegation of genocide. The process involved a series of testimonies by legal and weapons experts, health workers, journalists and others, some of whom directly experienced the fifty days of military assault. A jury composed of prominent individuals from around the world, known for their moral engagement with issues of the day, assessed the evidence with the help of an expert legal team of volunteers that helped with the preparation of the findings and analysis for consideration by the jury, which deliberated and debated all the issues raised-above all, the question of how to respond to the charge of genocide...

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Syria News - October 6, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 20-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 - By the end of Monday, LCC were able to document 69 martyrs including 8 children and 4 women and 1 martyr under torture: 23 martyrs were reported in Daraa, 16 in Damascus and its suburbs, 14 in Idlib, 10 in Aleppo, 2 in Hama, 2 in Deir Ezzor and 2 in Homs. In a related context, LCC documented 9 air strikes at Syria that were focused at Deir Ezzor province. There were 7 night-time air strikes by the International Coalition at Deir Ezzor: 2 at the Tawoos mountain in Shmetiyeh, 2 others at the Salt Mine in the Tabny town. In Khareta area, there was 1 air strike and another one at ISIS' Guiding Unit in Zgheer AlSham village. In the town of Sour, the coalition air combats targeted positions of ISIS whereas in Raqqa, the coalitions targeted Tabaqa city with 2 air strikes...

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Two arrests, three detentions and over 100 tear gas grenades used against children in Hebron since the school year began (International Solidarity Movement) - 20-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 - "The child are having problems concentrating on their school work due to their emotional state and the stress due to the daily attacks by the occupation forces, which are continuously escalating." Stated Hebron teacher, Shukri Zaroo, to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Children in al-Khalil (Hebron) are forced to pass through a military checkpoint each morning and afternoon in order to reach and leave their schools. International activists try to monitor these military checkpoints, both to document the events and to stand with the children...

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Israel refuses to renew travel documents for Jerusalemite in Canada (Charlotte Silver) - 20-nov-2014

October 6, 2014- In May of this year, Tamam Zubaidi received deeply disturbing word from the Israeli consulate in Toronto. Her travel documents would not be renewed and her permanent residency status in Jerusalem had expired.Tamam, a Palestinian from occupied East Jerusalem, had moved to Vancouver with her husband, Sobhi, and their five-year-old daughter, Kenza, in 2006. Sobhi was studying for a doctorate at Simon Fraser University. With the expiry of her permanent residency status, Tamam had lost her only tether to any state. This meant she would lose her travel documents and could not renew the visa on which she had been living in Canada for the last eight years...

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Iraq snapshot - October 6, 2014 (The Common Ills) - 20-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 ...Barack's plan is getting attention today -- for so many reasons. Reasons like the bombing in Hit which has resulted in 42 people being injured and 24 killed.What you can see above with your own eyes and what medical sources in Hit report isn't good enough for the US military command. Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell (Los Angeles Times) quote CENTCOM spokesperson Major Curtis J. Kellogg insisting, "We have seen the media reports alleging civilian casualties in Hit, Iraq. However, based on our current assessment, we believe them to be false and have seen no evidence to corroborate these claims. I can assure you that prior to any mission, every precaution is taken to ensure we do not harm civilians or civilian facilities. However, we take all such reports seriously and look into them further." By all means, look further at the photo and maybe take some time to speak with the local hospital....

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Watch: testimonies of atrocities in Gaza from the Russell Tribunal (Rania Khalek) - 20-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 - The Russell Tribunal on Palestine convened an emergency session in Brussels last month to examine whether Israel committed war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip during "Operation Protective Edge," the summertime military assault that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including more than 500 children, and left Gaza in ruins. After hearing testimony from journalists, eyewitnesses, legal scholars and physicians present during the onslaught, the twelve-member jury, made up of world-renowned intellectuals and international law experts, found Israel guilty of "war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide."...

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Writing to overcome trauma in Gaza (Nora Barrows-Friedman) - 20-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 - In early August, Israeli warplanes bombed the prestigious Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), the academic home to 20,000 Palestinian students, repeating similar attacks in December 2008. As The Electronic Intifada’s Rami Almegari — who lectures at IUG — wrote on 4 August, the American Studies Association condemned Israel’s attacks on IUG and "has correctly observed that the bombing of Palestinian universities is not only an abuse of academic freedom, it is an attempt to prevent us from enjoying the basic necessities that we need to get by."The start of the academic year in Gaza was heavily delayed because of the enormous destruction of infrastructure, homes, schools and universities, but classes have resumed in the last few weeks...

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Syria News - October 5, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 19-nov-2014

By the end of Sunday, LCC were able to document 48 martyrs including 6 children, 3 women and 1 martyr under torture: 19 martyrs were reported in Idlib, 12 in Daraa, 11 in Damascus and its suburbs, 3 in Hama, 2 in Aleppo and 1 martyr in Homs...

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Daily Updates from Anbar - Monday, October 6, 2014 (Al-Iraq Al-Hurr) - 19-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 -The most prominent Anbar development today has been the bombardment of a number of districts in Hit township. The bombardment has killed 15 residents, including seven members of one family. Their funerals have taken place a short time ago. Gunmen activity has resulted in their seizure of large areas of western Anbar and large sections in the western and northwestern sectors of Hit Town. The seat of Hit's provincial council and a number of police stations have also been blown up.Intermittent fierce clashes have also been taking place between the gunmen and tribal forces supporting the military. The Anbar local government has issued an urgent call to the central government to provide support, especially from the air...

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‘Secular’ Assad Alters Curriculum… To Erase Sunnism? (Ben Allinson-Davies) - 19-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 - As Assad’s slaughter of the Syrian people goes on unabated, with the world either passively watching (or actively collaborating with it), an interesting revelation has appeared from all4Syria.info, which I thought was well worth posting here. Since the regime has apparently concluded that it will never be able to hold onto power without drastic measures, due to how widely hated it is, at the behest of Iran, it has decided to take on measures which, for a regime which ostensibly espouses "resistance", smack rather strongly of Zionist methods of consolidating their own power in areas cleansed of Palestinians: namely by expelling the original population, and importing in those who will be openly loyal to their regime....

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Judge orders release of Guantánamo force-feeding footage (Reprieve) - 19-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 -US federal judge Gladys Kessler has today ordered that videotapes of Reprieve client Abu Wa'el Dhiab being force-fed in Guantánamo Bay are to be made public. Around eleven hours of previously secret video is to be redacted for "all identifiers of individuals" other than Mr. Dhiab, and then released to the public. The footage is known to show Mr. Dhiab being hauled from his cell by Guantánamo's 'Forcible Cell Extraction' team - a group of military police in riot gear - and being force-fed. The decision comes after 16 major US media organizations, including the New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and others, intervened in the litigation seeking to unseal the video tapes. Mr. Dhiab supported the media's intervention and has specifically stated he wishes as many Americans as possible to see the reality of force-feeding at Guantánamo Bay...

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Rise of the Reapers: A brief history of drones (By Chris Cole) - 18-nov-2014

October 6, 2014 - Although some trace the ancestry of today’s drones back to the V-1 rockets ('doodle bugs’) of the Second World War, or even to the use of hot air balloons laden with explosives in the middle of the 19th Century, the real origins of today’s drones lie in the development of the first recoverable and reusable radio-controlled aircraft in the 1930s. The Royal Navy, looking for aircraft to shoot at for gunnery practice, developed out of the De Havilland Tiger Moth a remote-controlled aircraft dubbed 'the Queen Bee’. Over 400 of these were built and used for target practice by the Royal Navy in the 1930’s and 1940’s.[1] Similarly (and possibly from this aircraft although that is disputed) the US developed a radio-controlled drone for gunnery practice in the late-30s...

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