Israel's prime minister describes Iran, ISIL and Hamas as part of a single team, and compares them to Germany's Nazis.
(Al Jazeera) Israel's prime minister has warned the United Nations that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a far greater threat than the armed group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which he compared to the Palestinian group Hamas.
Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu described Iran, ISIL and Hamas as part of a single team, and compared them all to Germany's Nazis in World War II.
"The Nazis believed in a master race, the militant Islamists believe in a master faith," Netanyahu said. "They just disagree who among them will be the master of the master faith."
"Make no mistake, [ISIL] must be defeated," Netanyahu added. "But to defeat [ISIL] and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war."
He also said that ISIL and Hamas are "branches of the same poisonous tree" and likened Israel's deadly bombings of Gaza to US-led airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
Iran, which is negotiating with Western powers to end economic sanctions, has rejected allegations that it is developing the capability to produce atomic weapons, and wants those sanctions lifted as part of any nuclear deal.
Netanyahu is expected to raise the same concerns when he meets with US President Barack Obama on Wednesday.Read More
Ben Swann appeared on RT International, Thursday to discuss U.S. airstrikes in Syria. Among the issues discussed, why the U.S. claims it is attempting to preserve oil fields in Syria while simultaneously striking those fields.
Swann spoke about what makes this “war with ISIS” truly unique. The U.S., he says, is creating a perpetual state of war by attacking ISIS on one hand while simultaneously funding ISIS indirectly though the Free Syrian Army.
AlterNet writer Max Blumenthal describes what he saw in Gaza following a humanitarian ceasefire from last month.
September 26th, 2014 | On September 25, in Brussels, Belgium, the Russell Tribunal gathered to examine allegations of war crimes and genocidal intent by the Israeli military against residents of the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge. I was among those invited to provide testimony before a jury that included Michael Mansfield, John Dugard, Roger Waters, Ken Loach, Vandana Shiva, Richard Falk, Ahdaf Soueif, and Ronnie Kasrils. The following day, I presented testimony in the European Parliament alongside Israeli journalist David Sheen and Mohammed Omer, a journalist from the Gaza Strip. (Two other invitees from the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Committee on Human Rights director Raji Sourani and filmmaker Ashraf Mashharawi, were prevented from leaving the besieged coastal enclave by the Egyptian regime.) Here are the prepared remarks I delivered on September 25 before the Russell Tribunal:
I arrived in the Gaza Strip at the onset of a five-day humanitarian ceasefire on August 14. With the cessation of violence, I was able to gain unfettered access to residents who had borne the brunt of the Israeli ground invasion in the hardest hit border areas, places like Khuza’a, Shujaiya, Beit Hanoun, Rafah, and the villages surrounding Beit Lahiya. I recorded testimonies from scores of residents of these areas, documenting war crimes committed by the Israeli armed forces. The atrocities formed an undeniable pattern, suggesting that the crimes committed by Israeli forces in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge were the product of stated military policies, or at least rules of engagement that enabled massacres, summary executions, wholesale residential destruction, the use of civilians as human shields, and abductions. I will describe these atrocities in as much detail as possible and allow the members of the jury to judge for themselves.
In the rubble of destroyed homes surrounding a dusty open field lined with destroyed homes in Shujaiya, my colleague Dan Cohen and I found a laminated map of the area left behind by invading soldiers in an ammunition box. This is the first time it has been publicly displayed. I have analyzed it with help from Eran Efrati, an Israeli combat veteran who testified earlier today on his interviews with participants in the massacre in Shujaiya. The map was produced by an Israeli company but as you can see in the upper-left-hand corner, it is dated according to American, not Israeli, standards — “7/17/14,” rather than “17/7/14.” To me this raises questions about assistance Israel received from America’s National Security Agency, especially given recent revelations about the longstanding relationship between the NSA and the Israeli military.Read More
Russell Brand The Trews (E153).
5 years after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and campaigning on a platform that endorsed having “a nuclear-free world” in the not so distant future, Barack Obama's policies will now reportedly see $1 trillion in new nuclear defence spending over the next 30 years.
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(RT) Monsanto’s experimental genetically modified wheat has been discovered growing in the second US field in Montana, about a year after the discovery of the company’s unapproved crop growing in Oregon disrupted US wheat exports.
Monsanto’s experimental genetically modified wheat has been discovered growing in a second field in Montana, about a year after the discovery of the company’s unapproved crop growing in Oregon disrupted US wheat exports.
The plants were discovered at a test site at Montana State University, where back in 2000-2003 Monsanto was conducting field trials of its wheat, genetically modified to tolerate Roundup herbicide.
Although the government believes the wheat never reached market, it has still opened an investigation into finding the rogue plants at a site that was not supposed to host any tests after 2003, USDA's Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service announced on Friday.
“We’ve now opened an investigation into this regulatory compliance issue,” said Bernadette Juarez, director of investigative and enforcement services for APHIS, adding however that “there are no safety issues with this wheat.”
The last such discovery in Oregon led to several international customers postponing US wheat deliveries, but this time exports should not be affected, US officials believe. “We remain confident that the wheat exports will continue without disruption,” Juarez said.
US industry leaders also hope that exports should not be hurt by the discovery of GMO wheat in Montana.
“We are in the process now of informing our international wheat buyers,” Alan Tracy, president of US Wheat Associates, said in a statement. “We do not expect any disruption in sales.”Read More
Omar Robert Hamilton 18 September 2014. Posted in News
On 26 August a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was agreed, bringing a fragile end to a war that killed 2150 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and 73 Israelis (mostly soldiers). Since then Hamas has not fired a single rocket, attacked an Israeli target, or done anything to break the terms of the ceasefire. Israel has done the following:
- Annexed another 1500 acres of West Bank land
- Seized $56 million of PA tax revenue
- Not lifted the illegal blockade (as required by the ceasefire)
- Broken the ceasefire by firing at fishermen on four separate occasions
- Detained six fishermen
- Killed a 22-year-old, Issa al Qatari, a week before his wedding
- Killed 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokrot with a rubber bullet to the head
- Tortured a prisoner to the point of hospitalisation
- Refused 13 members of the European Parliament entry into Gaza
- Detained at least 127 people across the West Bank, including a seven-year-old boy in Hebron and two children, aged seven and eight, taken from the courtyard of their house in Silwad – and tear-gassed their mother
- Continued to hold 33 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in prison
- Continued to hold 500 prisoners in administrative detention without charge or trial
- Destroyed Bedouin homes in Khan al Ahmar, near Jerusalem, leaving 14 people homeless, and unveiled a plan to forcibly move thousands of Bedouin away from Jerusalem into two purpose-built townships
- Destroyed a dairy factory in Hebron whose profits supported an orphanage
- Destroyed a family home in Silwan, making five children homeless
- Destroyed a house in Jerusalem where aid supplies en route to Gaza were being stored
- Destroyed a well near Hebron
- Set fire to an olive grove near Hebron
- Raided a health centre and a nursery school in Nablus, causing extensive damage
- Destroyed a swathe of farmland in Rafah by driving tanks over it
The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.
The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even after Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).
It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters it that it be at war, always and forever.Read More
(RT) Eight civilians, three of them children, have been killed in the US-led air strikes on Al-Qaeda Nusra front positions, Reuters reported, citing Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Washington carried a series of airstrikes on the city of Raqqa in the early hours of Tuesday. At least 30 militants died in the strikes, which were carried out on IS positions in Syria. Washington informed Damascus about the operation, according to a representative of Syrian Foreign Ministry.
"There is an exodus out of Raqqa as we speak. It started in the early hours of the day after the strikes. People are fleeing towards the countryside," one local resident told Reuters.
The strikes targeted residential buildings in Aleppo allegedly used by Al-Nusra Front, according to Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The US-led coalition’s targets also included training camps, headquarters and weapon supplies in northern and eastern Syria, with many IS locations "destroyed or damaged” around the cities of Raqqa, Deir al-Zor, Hasakah and the border town of Albu Kamal, Reuters reported.
In particular, "[Islamic State] fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles" were hit.
Raqqa (Al-Raqqa) is a city with a population of over 200,000 people, and is strategically located just 40km east of the largest Syrian dam. Raqqa is believed to be the IS headquarters.Read More
Few realize how expensive it is to keep Guantanamo Bay prison operational. The Joint Task Force (JTF) detention center, which opened in 2002, costs US taxpayers $140 million a year, breaking down to about $800,000 per detainee.
The JTF was never meant to be permanent, yet twelve long years after the first round of prisoners arrived, 149 prisoners remain detained there indefinitely.
The oft repeated lie that these men are the “worst of the worst” has clouded the reality that the vast majority are completely innocent, and were simply swept up in a dragnet in Afghanistan. 78 have already been deemed innocent and cleared for release, yet pure political theater keeps them imprisoned.
Moreover, only six of the 149 men have been formally charged with a crime. Five are being tried together as alleged co-conspirators of 9/11, although they all are alleged to have varying operational levels, and one alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. Yet the commissions process is completely corrupted by absurd levels of government secrecy, classification and intrusion.
A few weeks ago I traveled to Cuba to cover the continuing plight of these men and conduct an in-depth investigation for Breaking the Set. The report details how America came to host one of the most notorious prisons in Cuba, the brutal and systematic torture that took place, the sham of the 9/11 military commissions, the ongoing prisoner hunger strike and how Guantanamo Bay prison can be closed for good.Read More
This article originally appeared in The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter on August 16, 2014. To subscribe to the newsletter and become a member of The Corbett Report website, please sign up for a monthly or annual membership here.
As many have heard by now, the leaders of the so-called BRICS nations – Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa – used the occasion of the 6th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil to announce the creation of the long-awaited BRICS Development Bank. Formally the “New Development Bank,” it will be based in Shanghai and capitalized with an initial $10 billion in cash ($2 billion from each of the five founding members) and $40 billion in guarantees, to be built up to a total of $100 billion.
Immediately, the press began touting the new bank as a potential rival to the current IMF / World Bank system of infrastructure development and poverty reduction in the third world. “BRICS Development Bank Could Challenge World Bank and IMF” touts US News & World Report. “BRICS Ink $50 Billion Lender in World Bank, IMF Challenge” asserts Bloomberg. The World Bank, for its part, is downplaying the rivalry, with World Bank President Jim Young Kim openly welcoming the bank at a recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The only competition we have is with poverty,” he told reporters at the meeting.
But all of this talk about a potential rival to the IMF and World Bank have exposed the general public’s ignorance about what exactly these institutions are and what they do. While most are familiar with the IMF and its predatory lending practices (and those who aren’t are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the “IMF riot” strategy that was developed in the third world and is now being imported to Europe), the World Bank is less scrutinized and less well understood. What is it, what does it do, and why is it important for the BRICS to challenge its hegemony in the development and poverty reduction arenas?
For the answer to that, we’ll need to examine the World Bank’s history, both the official history that it touts to the outside world and the real history of its part in plundering the developing world that it is supposedly there to help.
The Official StoryRead More
Pentagon Notice Asks for Contractors Willing to Work Long-Term in Iraq
by Jason Ditz, September 07, 2014
Keeping the size of the official military deployment into Iraq to a relative minimum appears to be a goal that the Pentagon has in mind, with the Obama Administration adding troops in small numbers but continuing to insist there isn’t going to be a ground war, or that at the very least US troops won’t be fighting in it.
Still, that doesn’t mean the war itself is going to be heavily impacted, but rather means the Pentagon will be focusing on mustering an army of contractors for the ISIS conflict.
During the last Iraq War, the US at times had over 100,000 military contractors on the ground there. The exact figures haven’t always been easy to come by, but the message that contractors don’t count as real troops on the ground in omnipresent.
The Pentagon is already sending out feelers for assembling this new unofficial army, posting a notice seeking contractors who are willing to work long-term in Iraq, with a minimum 12-month “initial” contract to be followed by extensions.
The US continues to have over 100,000 contractors in Afghanistan, a number that officials say is likely to remain high even as the military presence there continues to draw down.Read More
The idea that the Obama administration has the budget deficit under control is a complete and total lie. According to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government has officially run a deficit of 589 billion dollars for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2014. But this number is just for public consumption and it relies on accounting tricks which massively understate how much debt is actually being accumulated. If you want to know what the real budget deficit is, all you have to do is go to a U.S. Treasury website which calculates the U.S. national debt to the penny. On September 30th, 2013 the U.S. national debt was sitting at $16,738,183,526,697.32. As I write this, the U.S. national debt is sitting at $17,742,108,970,073.37. That means that the U.S. national debt has actually grown by more than a trillion dollars in less than 12 months. We continue to wildly run up debt as if there is no tomorrow, and by doing so we are destroying the future of this nation.
The chart that I have posted below shows the exponential growth of the U.S. national debt over the past several decades. Anyone that would characterize this as "under control" is lying to you...Read More
An open letter to the BBC’s Director General, written by Palestine solidarity activists, is calling for the removal of BBC journalist Anthony Reuben from all reporting on Palestine following the publication of an online article in which he attempts to sanitize Israel’s killing in Gaza.
Reuben is the BBC’s “Head of Statistics,” a role created in February, he claims in his Linkedin profile, specifically for him.
Writing as “Head of Statistics” in August, Reuben authored an article for the BBC website headlined “Caution needed with Gaza casualty figures.”
When he wrote the article, 1,948 Palestinians had been killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza, the majority of them men.
Reuben uses the fact that more men than women had been killed as an opportunity to argue that Israel was carrying out targeted attacks, aimed only at fighting men, and wasn’t pursuing the wholesale slaughter of civilians and the wanton destruction of homes and infrastructure.
He writes: “If the Israeli attacks had been ‘indiscriminate,’ as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women.”
BBC gives credence to Israeli claims
It is an incredibly twisted use of statistics in an attempt to spin a story so it backs up the claims of the Israeli government, claims which were being visibly destroyed on television screens and social media on a daily basis.
So why did a supposedly impartial BBC journalist feel the need to try and give credence to those claims?
The answer may lie in Reuben’s journalistic background. His Linkedin profile shows that he completed an internship at The Jerusalem Post, a notoriously right-wing Israeli newspaper which is vocal in its support of Israel’s occupation.Read More