Friday, November 9, 2012

US Violates Agreement; Punishes Iran

In its latest act of blatant hypocrisy, the Obama administration has sanctioned Iran over internet and media censorship.  The Administration’s pretentious concern for the Iranian peoples’ welfare is all the more offensive in light of the harsh, illegal, and life-threatening sanctions imposed on that nation, aptly described by The New England Journal of Medicine as a “war against public health” (Gowans).  The Obama administration would have us believe that it is concerned about human rights and freedom of expression where it has no regard for life itself, much less freedom.

President Obama is not alone or the first in this contradictory policy.   In one of the more recent events relating to the topic,  Mr. Obama’s champion during the 2012 presidential race,  Bill Clinton, revealed America’s lack of concern and compassion for human life during the Rwandan genocide when he refused to "neutralize" Radio Mille Collines  with "counter-broadcasts".   Well before the Rwanda genocide,  UN officials and other non governmental officials had asserted that radio transmissions were playing a central role in inciting ethnic tension and "ethno-political" murder.   Although these broadcasts were an important component of the implementation of genocide,  counter-broadcasts urging the perpetrators to stop never took place.

A reason given by Washington for the failure to interfere was state sovereignty and international law as it related to the broadcasts.  In other words, state sovereignty and international law were placed above human life.  In an about face,  Washington is further punishing Iran for not giving America a free hand in undermining its state sovereignty and international law, and the violation of a bilateral agreement.   

International Law & State Sovereignty

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a guarantee of freedom of expression:  “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions, without interference, and to seek, receive and impact information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”  

However, in the same Article, there are provisions for restrictions:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

Furthermore, Article 2(4) of the UN Charter states that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”  

The United States has continuously violated the territorial integrity and the political independence of Iran, starting with the 1953 coup against the democratic government of Mossadegh.   The continuation of these policies,  another coup was attempted shortly after the Iranian Revolution to overthrow the newly formed government of Iran.  Faced with the failure of the Nojeh Coup in 1980, Washington started its broadcasts into Iran from neighboring countries.

The Carter administration’s clandestine radio broadcasts into Iran from Egypt at a cost of some $20-30,000 per month, called for Khomeini's overthrow in support of Iran’s last Prime Minister under the Shah – Shahpur Bakhtiar.  Later, under Reagan’s watch in 1986, the CIA pirated Iran's national television network frequency and transmitted Reza Pahlavi’s address “I will return” on Iranian television[i].

Piracy and broadcast not only violated Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, but also violated a bilateral agreement.

Bilateral Agreement

The January 19, 1981, the United States government and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran concluded the Algiers Accords.  (Although the Accords was re-classified by George W. Bush, a review of it is accessible at Columbia Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 4 (May, 1981), pp. 822-90).   Article 1 of the agreement is as follows:

I: Nonintervention In Iranian Affairs 1. The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs.”

Since its very inception, the United States has violated this bilateral agreement.  It has continued its relentless propaganda into Iran through the Voice of America, Radio Farda, and other State-funded media outlets such as BBC Persian which receives significant funding from the US government.   Launched in early 2009, the BBC Persian as well as Voice of America played a significant role in instigating violence post 2009 Iranian Presidential elections.

It is abundantly clear that America is not a ‘Good Samaritan’ State, and its policies are not driven by compassion.   Ironically, with drones spying on Americans,  network neutrality undermined, and internet censorship abound at home, the Obama administration demands that Iran open itself to further sabotage and subversion guised as compassion.   In other words, embrace the implementation of Donald Rumsfeld’s Information Operations Roadmap – namely, computer network attacks, psychological operations, "maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum", and US ability to  "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum".   

One would be hard-pressed to believe that the newly imposed sanctions on Iran are a reflection of care and concern for the Iranian people, but rather, they are punishment for resisting the net war.  Edmund Burke was quite right to say that “As People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have must to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.”

[i] Stephen Shalom – citing David Binder, “U.S. Concedes It Is Behind Anti-Khomeini Broadcasts”, New York Times, 29 June 1980, p.3 and . Tower Commission, p. 398; Farhang, "Iran-Israel Connection," p. 95

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Moslem World’s Rage; Justified or Misplaced?

Media outlets are abuzz with news of the Moslem world’s rage over the release of the provocative film “Innocence of Moslems”.  Pundits are quick to condemn the protests across 20 nations, and the gullible and callous citizens of the “West”, mimicking pundits who are paid to mislead and misinform,  are placing the blame on the aggrieved Moslem community – they simply don’t understand how “free speech” works in America.  But those who are not intellectually blind see a different reality – the fallacy of free speech.   

There is a precedent to curbing free speech when deemed harmful.  In a landmark Supreme Court hearing -- Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919), the actions of Schenck, an anti-war individual who had printed and distributed leaflets in order to  discourage enlisting servicemen, was not afforded protection under the First Amendment.   The issue before the court was whether Schenck's actions (words, expression) were protected by the free speech clause of the First Amendment.   The Court ruled:

 "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing panic.” Holmes argued that “The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

Since the events of  9/11, the whole Moslem community has been engulfed in panic, death, and destruction through such provocative expressions of “free speech”.    The United States government, in defiance of this  precedent has decided not to prevent such “substantive evils”.    

The desecration of the Koran in 2002 by Guantanamo prison guards revealed in 2005, caused riots globally and took the lives of 15 people.   The lack of inaction by the authorities may have given Florida pastor Terry Jones reason to be encouraged and to burn a Koran on March 20, 2011.  Pictures which were posted on his church’s website.    Shortly thereafter, protests broke out in Afghanistan where a U.N. building was attacked and 12 people killed.   The government inaction continued.  As such, it did not come as a surprise that in February 2012,  US forces in Afghanistan burnt copies of Korans at U.S. bases.   Angry protests ensued resulting in 30 deaths.  There were no criminal charges against the troops, only unspecified administrative punishment.

While the First Amendment enabled insults to be hurled at Moslems, Moslems living in the United States were deprived of “free speech”.  Moslem students at California State University in Irvine (UCI) were suspended for a year for interrupting the speech of the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren.  The same state allowed the censorship of professors who spoke out against the bombing of Gaza and slaughtering of the Palestinians (see link).         

On October 16, 2004, President George W.  Bush signed the Israel Lobby's bill, the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act. This legislation requires the US Department of State to monitor anti-Semitism world wide.  (It is noteworthy that 4 years later, Republican candidates ran on a platform of promoting hatred of Islam - -see HERE).   In line with policies of selective “free speech”, and in the same month that no criminal charges were brought  against troops in Afghanistan for burning Korans and urinating on Afghan corpses, August 2012, California passed a resolution  (House Resolution 35) against criticism of Israel.    What is perhaps more revealing than the Resolution itself, is the desire and the power to curb “free speech” (read Resolution).     

In light of the recent examples, is the Moslem world’s anger at the United States misplaced when clearly the United States government has the power to curb speech (the most recent case in point being the State of Georgia’s denial of KKK group's application to “Adopt a Highway”)?   Perhaps for the protestors, it is hard to understand that the President’s kill list allows  the assassination of American individuals ‘based merely on patterns of behavior  yet he is not able to exercise power to curb speech denigrating Islam.   

Why has there been no will to put a stop to these insults and the ensuing violence?  One may never know the answer.   What is clear is that although the Moslem countries have been grossly violated, their cities bombed, their men, women, and children killed, their spirit has not been crushed.  As was brilliantly depicted in a different kind of movie -- Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1965 production of “The Battle of Algiers”, bombs and guns can crush a man’s frail body but not his resistant spirit; ideology will always prevail over bullets.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

NAM Summit in Tehran - August 2012

Interview with RT

Terrorists Supported by NATO Target Syria and Algeria

Superb Global Research article by Tony Cartalucci

Terrorists Supported by NATO Target Syria and Algeria

Western policy makers admit that NATO's operations in Libya have played the primary role in emboldening Al Qaeda's AQIM faction (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution's Bruce Riedel in his article, "The New Al Qaeda Menace," admits that AQIM is now heavily armed thanks to NATO's intervention in Libya, and that AQIM's base in Mali, North Africa, serves as a staging ground for terrorist activities across the entire region.
Image: NATO's intervention in Libya has resurrected listed-terrorist organization and Al Qaeda affiliate, LIFG. It had previously fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now has fighters, cash and weapons, all courtesy of NATO, spreading as far west as Mali, and as far east as Syria. The feared "global Caliphate" Neo-Cons have been scaring Western children with for a decade is now taking shape via US-Saudi, Israeli, and Qatari machinations, not "Islam." In fact, real Muslims have paid the highest price in fighting this real "war against Western-funded terrorism."

AQIM, like their Libyan counterparts, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) are both listed by the US State Department as "Foreign Terrorist Organizations." Likewise, both the UK Home Office (.pdf, listed as GSPC) and the UN recognize both organizations as terrorists. 

Despite this, military intervention in Libya was pursued by the West and condoned by the UN with full knowledge that the militants leading so-called "pro-democracy uprisings" were in fact merely the continuation of decades of violent terrorism carried out by Al Qaeda affiliates. The West had full knowledge of this, primarily because it was Western intelligence agencies arming and supporting these militants for the last 30 years, in Libya's case, while coddling their leaders in Washington and London.

Additionally, the US Army itself meticulously documented foreign terrorists fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, noting that the highest percentage per capita emanated from Libya's cities of Benghazi and Darnah, the so-called "cradle" of 2011's "pro-democracy uprisings" in Libya.
What unfolded was a premeditated lie - where placard waving "activists" overnight turned into battle-hardened heavily armed, tank driving, jet flying militants waging a nationwide battle against Libyan leader, Muammar Qaddafi. In reality, it was the fruition of 30 years of covert support the West has poured into militant groups across the region - support that would not end with the fall of Qaddafi.
LIFG terrorists promptly turned both east to Syria and west to Mali beyond their borders - a logistical matter they had perfected during their operations in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade. LIFG commander Abdul Hakim Belhaj, as early as November 2011, arrived on the Turkish-Syrian border to provide cash, weapons, and LIFG terrorist fighters, overseen by Western intelligence along with US funding and arms laundered through Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) members such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Since then Libyan militants have been confirmed to be leading entire brigades of foreign fighters inside Syria.

And as Bruce Riedel of Brookings concedes, these weapons went west to Mali as well. Algeria had feared just such a scenario unfolding with NATO's intervention in Libya - a fear now fully realized. Ironically, Riedel, in August 2011, had tried to make a case for Algeria being "next to fall" in an article titled literally, "Algeria Will Be Next to Fall."

A year ago, Riedel attempted to argue that it would be the so-called "Arab Spring" that would spread into Algeria after having taken root in neighboring Libya. He had eluded to, and it has now become abundantly clear, that by  "Arab Spring," Riedel meant, US-backed subversion, and more specifically NATO-armed Al Qaeda-brand militancy and terrorism.

With the US now openly arming, supporting, and literally "cheering" Al Qaeda in Syria, it is clear that the "War on Terror" is an unprecedented geopolitical fraud perpetuated at the cost of millions of lives destroyed and an incalculable social and economic toll. NATO, with full knowledge of the consequences is literally carving out of North Africa and the Middle East, the so-called "Caliphate" Western leaders had held over their impressionable people's heads as the impetus to perpetually wage global war. Torn from the pages of Orwell's 1984, an artificial war has been created to carry forward corporate-financier machinations both abroad and domestically. The so-called threat to Western civilization is in fact a foreign legion of Western corporate-financier interests, executing Wall Street and London's foreign policy on a global scale where and in a manner traditional Western forces cannot.

NATO's terrorist blitzkrieg across the Arab World will not end in Syria. It will continue, if allowed, into Iran, through the Caucasus Mountains and into Russia, across China's western borders, and even across Southeast Asia. The price for ignorance, apathy, and complicity in supporting the West's so-called "War on Terror" will ironically reap all the horrors and then some in reality, that were promised to us if we didn't fight this "Long War."

Our support of both the political gambits of our politicians, as well as our daily patronage of the corporate-financier interests driving this agenda have already reaped an unprecedented and still growing regional safe haven for terrorists - and as moderate secular governments continue to be undermined and toppled, we can only imagine the blowback, retaliation, and other consequences as this destructive foreign policy unfolds. To imagine that such meddling will not end up being visited back upon us, even if in the form of a false flag attack dwarfing 9/11, would be folly.

Already, we are suffering economic devastation and an increasingly stifling security apparatus at home, and as long as we capitulate to this current agenda instead of asserting a more rational one of our own, it will only get worse.

Tony Cartalucci is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Tony Cartalucci

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Temple and a Mosque: Worship in America

On August 5,  a Sikh temple in Southern Wisconsin was attacked.  Six worshippers lost their lives before the gunman was killed.   There was an outbreak of condemnation – rightly so.  President Obama ordered flags at public buildings to be flown at half-staff and Mrs. Clinton called her Indian counterpart. Mitt Romney offered his prayers to the families of the victims.   Left ignored, was the burning down of a mosque in Missouri -  predictably so.  Worship in America is a political prerogative in sink with U.S. policies.  

But India and Indian Sikhs have privileges; so why were Sikh worshippers targeted?  It may well be that the perpetrator, Wade Michael Page who allegedly had links to the white supremacist movement ignored the political relations in favor of his ideology -- white supremacy,  articulated by President T. Roosevelt who said of America: “Democracy has justified itself by keeping for the white race the best portion's of the earth's surface."

Or perhaps, as CNN opined, “Sikh's "unfairly" mistaken for Muslims and targeted.” This would not be the first time, and as Public Radio International (PRI) has reported, since the events of 9/11, Sikh men have been targeted as Moslems.  Even the cordial relations with India could not prevent the perception that an Indian Sikh resembles a Moslem and fair target. 

Scapegoating Moslems had been planned as early as 1991 (see full article here).   The end of the Cold War had left neoconservatives fearful that with the demise of the Soviet Union, and the splintering of the America’s right wing faction, there would no longer be an unconditional support for a U.S.-Israel alliance.  The threat of communism was replaced with the threat of Islam.  The promotion and branding of Islam as an enemy came to fruition with the events of 9/11.

In line with this neoconservative strategy, the mainstream media in the US framed September 11 within the context of Islam, ignoring all other inquiry, including the fact that a new U.N. Human Rights Council assigned to monitor Israel was calling for an official commission to study the role neoconservatives may have played in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (New York Sun[i]).   As neocon Bernard Lewis was busy teaching the concept of ‘jihad’ versus‘crusade’[ii]Moslem bashing, Moslem killing, and Mosque burning became fair game.
The strategy of demonizing Islam was so successful that in 2008 the presidential candidates centered their qualification for Office on Moslem-bashing.  Former New York mayor and the hero of 9/11, Rudy Giuliani, made the threat of 'Islamic terrorism' the centerpiece of his campaign.  Podhoretz also joined Giuliani (later he joined McCain), as did John Deady who resigned after it came out that he said the following of Giuliani: "He's got, I believe, the knowledge and the judgment to attack one of the most difficult problems in current history and that is the rise of the Muslims. Make no mistake about it, this hasn't happened for a thousand years, these people are very dedicated and they're also very, very smart in their own way. We need to keep the feet to the fire and keep pressing these people until we defeat or chase them back to their caves or, in other words, get rid of them."  Renowned Evangelical Pat Robertson gave Giuliani his endorsement[iii].
Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, allegedly dissuaded contender Mike Huckabee from “reaching out” to the 'Muslim world'.   Mitt Romney, a contender in 2008 and the 2012 GOP presidential hopeful, raised eyebrows when he suggested that mosques be wire-tapped[iv].   For almost a decade, U.S. military officers were being taught to wage a ‘total war’ on Islam and target civilians.  
The Sikh Temple shooter, Wade Michael Page, a former U.S. Army veteran, is condemned for the violent and meaningless murder of innocent worshippers, but is he alone responsible for this act of insanity?  If these killing were truly a case of mistaking Sikhs as Moslems,  should those who implement seeds of hatred not be held accountable aslo? 

Who will persecute those who taught army officers to kill Moslems -  the  Commander-in-Chief hopefuls and their advisors who promoted hatred and persecution of Moslems, and the neoconservatives who planted the seeds of hatred among us?  Will their deeds be buried with Page? What of all the other hate crimes against Moslems, the burnt mosques? As Jonathan Swift said: “I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”

[i] Eli Lake, “U.N. Official Calls for  Study of Neocons’ Role in 9/11”,  The New York Sun, 10 April 2008
[ii] Bernard Lewis, ‘Learning the Lingo. Jihad vs. Crusade. A Historian’s Guide to the New War’, Wall Street Journal (27 Sept. 2001).
[iii] “The Religion Card; GOP Candidates Play on anti-Muslim Sentiments”The Progressive, Biography Resource Center, USC Feb 2008
[iv] The Religion Card, Ibid.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sanctions: Diplomacy’s Weapon of Mass Murder

In 1945, the United States of America dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagaski immediately killing 120,000 civilians.  The final death toll of the horrendous bombings has been conservatively estimated at well over 200,000 men, women, and children.   To this day, the world continues to be shocked and horrified by  the visual images that captured the death and destruction caused by the bombs.   The negative impact prompted America to devise a different weapon of mass murder – sanctions.

Unlike the shock and horror which accompanied the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, there were no images of the 500,000 Iraqi children whose lives were cut short by sanctions to jolt the world into reality.     Not only has America taken pride in the mass killing of innocent children, but encouraged by silence and the surrender to its weapon of choice, it has turned diplomacy’s weapon of mass murder on another country – Iran. 

There has been little resistance to sanctions in the false belief that sanctions are a tool of diplomacy and preferable to war.  Enforcement of this belief has been a major victory for American public diplomacy.   The reality is otherwise.  Sanctions kill indiscriminately – they are far deadlier than “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” – the two atomic bombs that took the lives of over 200,000 people.  In the case of Iraq, the United Nations estimated 1,700,000 million Iraqi civilians died as a result of sanctions.  1.5 million more victims than the horrific atomic bombs dropped on Japan.   Diplomacy’s finest hour.

Even though Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations,  and many other top officials resigned from their posts in protest to the sanctions saying: "The policy of economic sanctions is totally bankrupt. We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and as terrifying as that", the murders continued.   In 1999, seventy members of Congress appealed to President Clinton to lift the sanctions and end what they termed "infanticide masquerading as policy."   But America continued its lead with its diplomatic death dance.

America, a morally bankrupt nation and the self-appointed global morality police, obeying the wishes of the pro-Israel lobby groups, has for years now pointed its deadly weapon of mass murder at Iran -- sanctions disguised as diplomacy.   The misinformed and misguided global community indulges itself in the false belief that war has been avoided, without thought to suffering and death.   

In fact, the notion that economic sanctions are always morally preferable to the use of military force has been challenged by Albert C. Pierce, Ethics and National Security professor at the National Defense University.   His analysis showed that economic sanctions inflict great pain, suffering, and physical harm on the innocent civilians--so much so that  small-scale military operations were sometimes preferable (Ethics and International Affairs,1996).   

But America prefers not to engage in battle.  Not only would military confrontation bring global condemnation, but history has shown us that while America can win battles, it cannot win wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan…..).  It therefore resorts to sanctions- a coward’s ruthless “diplomacy” tool in order to disguise  its role as the enemy with the purpose of  depriving the target  nation of self-defense against such horrendous aggression.  Sanctions, the warfare by an enemy unidentified by a military uniform is intended to eliminate resistance, to attack women and children, the weak and the old,  to being about regime change, without fear of retaliation or censure by the ‘peace-loving’ community.

In this election year, as in the past, appeasement of the pro-Israel lobbies takes precedent to humanity, to the well-being of Americans, and to the security of the global community. 
A 2005 report developed by economists Dean DeRosa and Gary Hufbauer demonstrates that if the United States lifted sanctions on Iran the world price of oil could fall by 10 percent translating into an annual savings of $38-76 billion for the United States alone.   The current global recession would dwarf the figures cited.  

At war even with  itself to please the lobbies,   House passed  H.R. 1905 - Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act. Putting aside the oxymoron of sanctions and human rights for now, America is demanding that the world community not only partake in deadly sanctions,  but to do so in direct opposition to the national interests of each and every sovereign nation.  This is a sharp departure from the arguments presented by AIPAC in 1977 in response to the Arab league boycott.  

AIPAC successfully defined the Arab League boycott as " harassment and blackmailing of America, an interference with normal business activities ... that the boycott activities were contrary to the principles of free trade that the United States has espoused for many years … and the Arab interference in the business relations of American firms with other countries is in effect an interference with the sovereignty of the United States."[i]

However, the United States has successfully blackmailed other nations to be its accomplice in suffering and mass murder -  diplomacy’s weapon of choice.    To believe that Iran (or Syria) is the only target of these sanctions is as na├»ve as believing that sanctions are diplomacy put in place to avoid war.   The global  impact of the lethal weapon – sanctions -- is simply cushioned in diplomacy ;   A brilliantly and ruthlessly executed diplomatic coup.

[i] H. Alikhani, Sanctioning Iran, Anatomy of a Failed Policy, New York, 2000, p.321

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Militarization Of Education

In his brilliant article “The Perversion of Scholarship”, Chris Hedges exposes factors which have destroyed most major American universities.  Hedges writes: “Fraternities, sororities and football, along with other outsized athletic programs, have decimated most major American universities. Scholarship, inquiry, self-criticism, moral autonomy and a search for artistic and esoteric forms of expression—in short, the world of ethics, creativity and ideas—are shouted down by the drunken chants of fans in huge stadiums, the pathetic demands of rich alumni for national championships, and the elitism, racism and rigid definition of gender roles of Greek organizations. These hypermasculine systems perpetuate a culture of conformity and intolerance.  They have inverted the traditional values of scholarship to turn four years of college into a mindless quest for collective euphoria and athletic dominance.”    Left unmentioned is the militarization of the American educational system.  

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers are coming to a campus near according to a blaring headline: “Served in IDF? US universities want you!" (Ynet News, July 4, 12).   According to the report, among the recruiters were representatives from Stanford, Brandeis, Duke, UC Berkeley, Kellogg, Harvard, NYU, UCLA and Tuck at Dartmouth have gone to Israel to interview and offer scholarships to soldiers who have served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers -- on your dime.  There are specific “scholarships designated for Israelis and among them are those that include military service as criteria for receiving the scholarship”. [This and similar factors seem to have escaped Mitt Romney when he made his racist remarks in Israel].

Disturbing as this news is, the idea of militarizing education is nothing new.  The New Yorker staff writer, George Packer opined in his July 2007 piece “Guns and Brains” that after the sixties, “intellect and patriotism went separate ways, to the detriment of both.”  No doubt. At the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, antiwar demonstrators clashed with the police, and the images of police beating students shocked television audiences. Violence peaked at an antiwar protest at Ohio's Kent State University in May 1970 when National Guard troops gunned down four student protesters. 

9/11 provided the perfect opportunity for the intellectuals and the military to reconcile – according to Packer who writes: “September 11th made military service more attractive to the kind of college students who used to find it unthinkable.”  He cites
General Petraeus’ degree in humanities and the engineers and social scientists in Iraq as evidence of this mindset.    

But if the “brains” and the “guns” are no longer at odds with each other, why are representatives from American universities recruiting soldiers who have served in the IDF – especially at a time when there are slashes in education budget across the country and the high/unaffordable cost of education?  

Perhaps George Packer’s concluding remark that “[s]ome intellectuals find the war and the Administration so objectionable that they regard associating with the military as a kind of crime” is a clue to the answer.  Since its founding in 2003, across the country, Campus Antiwar network (C.AN.) has chased military recruiters off.    Perhaps it is these counter-recruitment protests  that have necessitated the recruitment of former IDF soldiers.

While May 2012 figures estimate homeless US veterans to be at 60,000 (Daily Stripes),  American universities are offering scholarships to former IDF soldiers to enroll in MBA (Masters of Business Administration) programs.   Given that GOP Presidential contender, Mitt Romney, has assured us that Israel has a “culture of economic vitality”, why are their soliders receiving scholarships from American schools to engaged in business administration?  Whatever the reason,  undoubtedly, neoconservative Daniel Pipes and his “Campus Watch” will welcome Israeli soldiers into their fold. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Israel And The Temple Mount

On July 23, 2012, in a scathing attack against the Wagf (literally translated to endowment), the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) opinion piece’s opening paragraph stated: “This year, as Israel observes the traditional period of national mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple on Tisha b’Av (which starts at sundown on Saturday), it has again been revealed that the Islamic Wakf is carrying out unsupervised work at the Temple Mount, potentially causing irrevocable damage to Judaism’s holiest site[i]”. 
A December 2011 al-Akhbar article fully elaborates on the Israeli attacks against the Islamic Waqf (see link[ii]) for the purpose of land grab which includes homes, shops, and even Moslem cemeteries.    But there is another dimension to these attacks – a messianic aspect which is far more alarming than just stealing land from their rightful owners.   The inherent danger from the Israeli obsession over the Temple Mount was first elaborated in an article dated June 2010 called “Nukes And Temples” – highlights of which is as follows.
Evidently, American presidents wish to continue to guard Israel's nuclear "secret".   Today, the secrecy continues, as does the aid -- perhaps towards a messianic return - the building of the Third Temple.

In 2006, the Israeli government began work on an exact replica of the Hurva synagogue on its original site. The story of the Hurva has received little attention other than coinciding with Joe Biden's visit to Israel and that government's insistence on building more illegal settlements.  But Hurva is the beginning of the end.

As the United States protects Israel and pushes for more sanctions on Iran, thereby distracting the international community from the more pressing problem at hand, rabbis are being tailored for the special kind of garments they will be wearing in a "rebuilt temple". These rabbis believe that the return of Jews to Jerusalem are the obvious signs - "Less obvious are the more subtle realities that add up - the rebuilding of the Jewish Quarter, Jews steadily moving into the Old City, even the Temple Mount tunnel excavations. But alas, those big mosques are still situated on the Temple Mount. For now."[iii]

Attempts to fulfill the prophecy are not new.  In 1990, there was another attempt by the 'Temple Mount Faithful' to bring a cornerstone for a reconstructed Third Temple to the site.  In 1996, the opening of an archaeological tunnel adjacent to the Mount led to the first outbreak of widespread violence across the territories between Israelis and Palestinians since the signing of the Oslo accords.  In 2000, Ariel Sharon staged a provocative visit to the Temple Mount and said: "The Temple Mount is in our hands and will remain in our hands. It is the holiest site in Judaism and it is the right of every Jew to visit the Temple Mount,".

It took four years to complete the work on Hurva.  When presidential candidate, Barack Obama  promised AIPAC an undivided Jerusalem in 2008, the building of the Hurva synagogue was well on the way -- which signaled continued future attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque to make way for construction of the Third Temple.  Past wars and future was waged against other countries based on unfounded accusations has distracted the international community from the reality of this construction and its implications - the messianic era.  As importantly,  Israel's stockpile of nuclear weapons - a nation more likely than any other to use their nuclear weapons based on their deep religious ideology.
Of particular concern is the Gush Emunim, a right-wing religious organization, or others, hijacking a nuclear device to ‘liberate’ the Temple Mount for the building of the Third Temple.  The completion of the Hurva synagogue has increased these chances.  On April 6, JTA reported that "Our Land of Israel" party had put posters on 200 city buses in Jerusalem showing an artist's rendition of the Third Temple on the site now occupied by the al-Aqsa Mosque with the slogan, "May the Temple be built in our lifetime."

Equally disturbing, a 1997 article reviewing the Israeli Defense Force repeatedly stressed the possibilities of, and the need to guard against, a religious, right-wing military coup, especially as the proportion of religious in the military increases[iv]. The warming was not unfounded.  The once secular army now has combat units filling with those who believe Israel's wars are "God's wars".

This small nation with unimaginable influence in the Western world,  enabled by the United States continues to commit crimes against humanity,  instigates conflicts and unleashes terrorists in the region and beyond, while it distracts the global community with Iran and its non-existent nuclear program, presenting it as a threat while the zealots prepare  for the Messiah's Temple - unhindered.  Heaven must be hell.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is a Public Diplomacy Scholar, independent researcher and blogger with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups. 

[i] Haim Richman, “Op-Ed: Stop Islamic Wakf’s work on the Temple Mount”, JTA, July 23, 2012

[ii] Mya Guarnieri, “Destruction of Waqf: The Grave Offences of the Israeli State”; alakhbar, December 19, 2011

[iii] Tom MountainPreparing for the Third Temple Jewish AdvocateBoston:Aug 22, 2008.  Vol. 199,  Iss. 34,  p. 9 (1 pp.)

[iv] (Blanche, Ed, “Is the Myth Fading for the Israeli Army? — Part 1.” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 8, no. 12 (December 1996).    

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It Takes a Village, and Some…, The Recent Attacks Against Israelis

On July 18, 2012,  attack on an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria took the lives of 5 Israeli nationals, a Bulgarian, and the mysterious suicide bomber.  It is reported that the suspect, a young Caucasian, had a fake Michigan driver’s license.  According to Israeli Haaretz, a top Bulgarian official warned that it would be a “mistake” to blame a specific country or organization for the attack.   However, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had other ideas.

Quick to point the finger at Iran, Mr. Netanyahu called it an “Iranian terror network spreading throughout the world”.  He added: "Exactly 18 years after the attack on a Jewish community center in Argentina, the Iranian terror continues to hurt innocent people."  Apparently, it takes a village and some to set Iran up.

These serious allegations with a potential for disaster, demand scrutiny on several levels.  The most fundamental question which needs to be addressed is who benefits from these attacks.  One must question the location – location, location, location.  And finally, analyze the empirical data.   

Who Benefits? 

In spite of Israel and its Washington lobbies pushing for a war against Iran,  of late,  prominent voices have adopted a less bellicose stance towards Iran and its nuclear program.  The possibility of any military action against Iran which would undoubtedly lead to a closure of the world’s most important oil chokepoint, the Strait of Hormuz, has prompted politicians around the globe to opt for a diplomatic solution to end the impasse with Iran.   

Somewhat optimistically, Iran is investing its efforts in diplomacy.   While continuing to work towards a mutually acceptable solution with the P5+1, Iran is making extensive preparations for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit it will be hosting in Tehran in August.   Over the past three centuries, Iran has never initiated a war and it would seem unlikely that at this juncture Tehran would resort to terrorism and solicit condemnation and possibly war.   On the other hand, the targeting and killing of Israeli citizens by Iran would serve to support and justify Netanyahu’s call for military action against Iran. 

For Netanyahu,  domestic dissatisfaction aside, Israel’s policy of settlement expansion, a policy which government appointed jurists called legal, has brought international condemnation.   With the moderate Kadima party pulling out of government, leaving Netanyahu in charge of  hard-line coalition opposed to Middle East peace, Israel needs support from its allies more than ever.    Undoubtedly, Israel would have greater support as a victim instead of an aggressor.

Location, Location, Location

In addition to the Bulgaria attack, Mr. Netanyahu has blamed Iran for attacks in other countries, including the apparent  foiled attack in Cyprus and  the accusations leveled against Iran for plotting an attack in Kenya.   

Bulgaria - Bulgaria and Israel have very cordial relations.  In July 2011, an Israeli-Bulgarian declaration pledged wide range cooperation.  A year later, on July 8th,  Bulgaria’s former foreign minister Solomon Passy told The Times of Israel that Israel should aggressively seek to join NATO and the EU.   Passy said: “Israel is part of Western civilization and of the Euro-Atlantic political culture and that’s why Israel shouldn’t be shy to vocally say that it wants to become a member of NATO, the EU and OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe],”.    Ten days later, an attack against Israel took place in Bulgaria. 

ThailandThailand and Israel have had cordial relations with moderate and steady trade.  In January 2012, Thailand recognized Palestine as an independent state.  A month later, Israel blamed Iran for “terrorist attacks” in Bangkok.  Allegedly, one of the perpetrators had carried his “Iranian” passport on him to carry out the mission. 

India -  India and Israel have had very amicable relations.   On July 17, 2003, JINSA’s executive director delivered a speech in Washington to the USIndia Political Action Committee International Conference on Terrorism in India in which he put Israel, the United States, and India in the same boat – as the number one on the terrorist hit list (Bonney 2008).  In 2008, India launched Israel’s spy satellite into orbit.  In spite of its close ties to Israel, India has not stopped trade with Iran.  In fact, two days prior to the  Israeli embassy staff in India were targeted on February 13, 2012, India defended its oil trade with Iran.

GeorgiaIsrael’s relations with Georgia are unique.  It was widely reported in 2008 that Israel had the green light to attack Iran from Georgian territory.   Israel is thought to have played a prominent role in the Russian-Georgian conflict (see link for full details of the relationship.   In 2010, Georgia and Iran entered a new phase in their relationship and Nino Kalandadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister expressed that “ties will further deepen”.  As with India, Iran was blamed for the bomb attempts in Georgia.   

Given the nature of Israel’s relations with these countries, one cannot definitively conclude why these countries were picked by the perpetrators of these crimes.  Perhaps these Israeli allies are not safe for Israelis, or they are safe for false-flag operations.

Empirical Data

Mr. Netanyahu made a clear reference to 1994 saying: “Exactly 18 years after the attack on a Jewish community center in Argentina, the Iranian terror continues to hurt innocent people."   The 1994 bombing in Argentina was blamed squarely on Iran without any evidence while all other voices were silenced. Prominent voices such as Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles who suggested that [Argentine] government and military figures may have sought to embarrass the Menem government because of its decision to release the files” being investigated in the AMIA building at the time.  An important project being carried out at the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building was a review of previously secret government files that reportedly reveal how Nazis entered Argentina following World War II helped by Argentine officials. The review of the files had gone on for two years, but had not been completed at the time of the bombing.  “Speculation centered on the possibility that former Argentine government and military officials, fearful of exposure, were responsible for the bomb attack.”[i] 

This is but one of the many instances where allegations against Iran have been made without any proof.   However, there have been many instances where Israeli false flag operations have come to light.
Many reports as well as a detailed account (“Operation Cyanide”) reveals the Israeli plan to kill everyone on board the USS Liberty in 1967 and put the blame on Egypt.  The survivors prompted President Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara to order the investigation to conclude the attack was a case of mistaken identity.
Israel has always had a knack for stealing passports and other IDs to carry out false flag operations.  According to The New Zealand Herald (September 21, 2004)[ii], Mossad agents tried to steal  New Zealand passports, causing friction between New Zealand and Israel.  It is not the first time this has come to light, according to the same source.  Mossad agents had stolen Canadian passports to assassinate a Jordanian leader.   These are not isolated cases.

In January 2012, it came to light that Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, while toting U.S. passports and posing as CIA officers, they recruited Jundallah operatives.   One month later, in February, NBC reported that according to US officials, Israel  armed and trained the terrorist MEK. 

While there is plenty of empirical data to support that Israelis are not shy about false flag operations, one would be hard pressed to accept that Israel would carry out a false flag operation and kill its own.  Not so.

The 1976 Operation Entebbe was a great tribute to Israeli courage and praise of Israeli commandos of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) who rescued Israeli citizens at Entebbe airport in Uganda.   But newly released British government documents reveal that the 1976 rescue of hostages, kidnapped on an Air France flight and held in Entebbe  was a false flag operation – the file claims that Israel itself was behind the hijacking.   

This “rescue operation” which became known as “operation Jonathan” in honor of the unit’s leader – Yonatan Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister’s brother.  Yonatan was killed in the false flag operation – as were four other Israelis.   

When it comes to Israel’s  political agenda, no sacrifice is too great.   A move against Iran will reverberate throughout the world.  It is important for political leaders around the globe to understand that it may take a village to implement a political agenda, but it is up to them to make sure that the agenda does not destroy the global village.    

[i] Jewish Center Bombed in Argentina. The Christian CenturyChicago:Jul 27, 1994.  Vol. 111,  Iss. 22,  p. 716 (2 pp.)