Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Israel-Hamas Ceasefire - On Victor and Victory

Supporters of Palestinians have been quick to shout out 'victory'. This is inaccurate
and dangerous.   The defeat was in the court of public opinion, the
outrage against Israel's brutality and the killing of civilians and
destroying infrastructure was the only reason Israel stopped - for now,
because of pressure from outside.  It was the dead children, the
disproportional use of force that put a stop to the present conflict.  

The only reason Netanyahu stopped slaughtering the Gazans was because of
the international pressure, not HAMAS muscle.  Israel is taking a
breather.  Israel and Palestine signed a cease fire for an indefinite
period that basically puts them back where they were in 2012, and before
that in 2008, with the exception of thousands more dead and Gaza
completely destroyed.  Military victory by definition is accomplishing
one's goal. The blockade has been eased before.  

The world sided with Gaza as a people trapped in an open air prison, of
indiscriminate killing, of a grossly uneven battle.   To cheer for
military victor of Hamas puts Hamas on the same footing as one of the most
powerful armies in the world.  It opens the door for further Israeli
aggression in the future paving the way for a war between two sides where
as this is only a resistance to occupation - at a very high cost, only to
go back where they were 2 years ago with more negotiations pending.  In a
month, when further negotiations are supposed to be taking place, all
Congressional members will be busy trying to win Israel's backing for the
mid-term elections.

This 'victory' is a halt to killing of Gazans, a political move by Israel
to rebuild goodwill and pressure allies.  To discourage the BDS, and to
rebuild its image.  The only victory would be for crimes against humanity
to be acknowledged, for genocide to be acknowledged, and Israel punished.  
As it is, they are busy building more settlements and exporting Gaza's
gas.  This is not victory.  It is a pause.
More aid going to Israel from US.  I

All this bragging, and without Israel  being held accountable, will only
make the next battle more deadly, Israel more aggressive.   Israel needs
Hamas as an enemy to expand.  Before Hamas it was the PLO.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Unpublished Interview with Fars - 8/9/2014

As you know well, the crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL militants took control of Mosul in a lightning advance on June 10, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) Northwest of the capital, Baghdad.
The terrorist group is making great advances in Iraq’s north. The whole is worried at the situation particularly people of Middle-East. You are kindly requested to contribute to this interview so that we can raise world’s awareness regarding this issue and those funding and supporting them. The interview will be published at Iran’s leading news agency Fars News:

1)       What do you think are the ultimate objectives of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant? Why have they embarked on a project of rabblerousing and igniting sectarian conflict in the region?

To try and determine what the objectives of ISIL are, it is important to understand how they came to being.  It has been widely reported and established, correctly, that had it not been for the actions of the United States, be it the illegal war against Iraq or the arming of the militants to overthrow the Assad government, there would be no ISIL threat today. America’s contribution to these terrorists included arms and training. Britain also participated in arming and training anti-Assad rebels.   

In June, Obama sought hundreds of millions for dollars for “moderate rebels” in Syria!  Losing arms Iraq, Afghanistan.

But the aforementioned is the most obvious fact, which even US officials openly admit to. This degree of rare honesty serves to conceal and distract from the hidden agendas of which there are many.

The initial occupation of Iraq and the support of anti-Assad elements had a two-fold strategy.  One was to re-establish American hegemony over the region, in particular the Persian Gulf – the lynchpin of U.S. strategy and its ambitions of global domination. 

In addition to its presence and control of the region, America also wanted control of the resources – oil and water.

While the US’ import of oil from the region is negligible, the control of the system and the oil would give it the upper hand, especially with regards to Europe and Japan. In other words, US control of the oil flow from the Persian Gulf directly or through proxies, would give it leverage over its allies. 

In 2012, the majority of Israel's crude oil imports came from Russia and Azerbaijan via tanker vessels.

In addition, the US would be able to safeguard Israel’s energy demand and reduce costs given that at the time, Israel relied on Russian oil.  According to a 1975 Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel,  America guaranteed Israel’s energy demands.

A far more vital resource in that part of the world is water of course.  In essence, another reason for the intervention in Iraq and Syria is water to create hydraulic security for Israel.   The Tigris and Euphrates rivers provide Iraq and Syria with their water and depend essentially on agreements with Turkey where both rivers originate.  Plans have been in the making to divert this water to Israel (and in some measure, to Southern Persian Gulf states).    

These resources, water and oil, demanded compliant governments in Iraq and Syria.  In 2013, Netanyahu publicly hinted at arming Syrian “rebels” .  (

ISIL serves these agendas in many ways.  Foremost, it serves to weaken the central governments.  For as long as they are busy fighting an enemy within, their capacity would be too diminished to fight the greater enemy without.   

Second, ISIL falsely promotes the Western narrative of a Sunni-Shia divide in order to weaken the internal resistance.  In fact, ISIL is killing all Moslems, Christians, and others.

The gruesome killings that are taking place and tweeted around the world, serve to direct hatred and anger at Moslems, regardless of the fact that the roots and origins of these terrorists.  Curiously, this group does not target Israel.  

The brutality of ISIL has painted a false image of Moslems and underscored – inaccurately – the Israeli narrative that it must fend itself against “Islamic terrorists”.

Perhaps the most important aspect of ISIL, in my view, is that it is waging a total war against Islam.   Not long ago, the world learnt in horror that future leaders of America were being taught to wage a “total war” against 1.4 billion Moselms in order to “protect America against Islamic terrorists”. 

The total war included transformation of Islam to “cult status”, bombing and starvation while reinforcing the notion that mainstream” Muslims are dangerous, because they’re “violent” by nature.   U.S. military did concede that some of the tactics would be considered “politically incorrect”.   It seems to me that ISIL has solved the problem for them.

So at the end of the day, you have to ask who created, armed and trained the terrorists?   And who stands to gain from their butchery.  

2)       Can we consider the threat of the disintegration and balkanization of Iraq serious? Is the ISIL capable of realizing its plans for dominating Iraq and Syria and destroying their sovereign governments?
The threat of disintegration and balkanization of Iraq is very real and very serious.  The US has long sought to balkanize the entire region, not just Iraq.  There is a plethora of literature on these plans introduced by neocon Bernard Lewis  who proposed a plan for redrawing the borders of the larger Middle East into a mosaic of competing mini-states, thereby weakening the power of the existing republics and kingdoms.  In 2006, Joe Biden openly called for Iraq to be divided into 3 parts.   Everything that is happening today has been long in the making.
We cannot lose track of  the fact that none of this would have been possible without the Iraq invasion.  ISIL would not be a threat had the United States (Britain and regional allies) had not armed and trained them.

In January 2014,  ISIL (then referred to as al-Qaeda affiliate) seized Fallujah.  In February, the United States sent heavy weaponry, intelligence gathering drones, missiles, thousands of contractors to train the Iraqis and help with intelligence gathering.   In spite of American training and sophisticated weaponry, a few short months later, fewer than 1000 ISIL fighters sent some 30,000 soldiers into retreat.  Surely then, we must either accept that the United States with its sophisticated weaponry, its intelligence gathering and highly paid contractors is absolutely useless; in which case we must question the deployment of special forces and the aerial “humanitarian bombing” , or, concede that ISIL has been the beneficiary – deliberate or not.  Which only underscores America’s role in all this.   Curiously, the same month that 1000 ISIL members defeated 30,000 US trained soldiers, America asked for millions more in funds to arm rebels in Syria, even as (US) government officials have conceded that the US had armed ISIL in Syria.
In spite of promoting the false narrative of a Sunni-Shia divide, America was not able to balkanize the region.   ISIL provides the opportunity to accomplish these goals – and more.  If you look at everything that ISIL has accomplished to date, you will note that they have only served the United States and Israel at the expense of the region and Moslems as a whole. 
This is a serious threat that needs to be taken seriously.  I don’t believe that assistance from the US is the answer, as clearly indicated above, it would have he exact opposite effect.   Without any military knowledge or training, I cannot really address what would be the best course of action.    But it is important that every citizen, regardless of their ethnicity and religion see this group as a direct threat.  

3)      Do think that ISIL is the co-product of the US and Israel?  Can we say that the ISIL and the Al-Nusra Front are being funded and equipped in part by the Israeli regime?

 Please see above.    In 2013, in a BBC interview, Netanyahu hinted at the possibility of arming Syrian “rebels”.    In fact, former Israeli Intelligence Chief, Amos Yaldin  told the audience at the  Israel Policy Forum in February 2013:  “And this military [Syrian], which is a huge threat to Israel, is now also weakening and, in a way, disintegrating.  We still have risk from Syria-- a risk of being an AlQaeda country, a Somalia-type country -- but from military point of view, each one of these are less dangerous than the Syrian regular army."   In essence, these rebel terrorists are weakening sovereign armies while killing the populations of both Syria and Iraq (not to mention others such as Palestinians).

4)       Do you consider the current crisis in Iraq and Syria the result of a division between the Shiites and the Sunnis?

Not at all.   This is how the Western media would like to project it.  

5)      It’s reported that around 3,000 of the ISIL fighters in Syria and Iraq are foreigners. Aren’t the United States and the European countries afraid of the returning of these terrorists to their countries? How do they justify the presence of their citizens in the ranks of terrorists fighting in a distant country thousands of miles away?
The West now has the perfect excuse not to let in refugees of wars they have created, to promote fear, and to crack down on liberties in their respective countries.   The threat of ISIL is a fine propaganda tool for US and allies.  At a minimum, the United States and Europe can take comfort in the fact that not once has ISIL threatened Israel.    Which makes ISIL all the more questionable!    This lack of hostility toward Israel and what is happening in Gaza mirrors bin Laden in 200-2009.  While the world was supposed to believe he was still alive and an enemy and threat to the West, he was completely silent as Israel massacred Gazans  in Operation Cast Lead.  Important facts not discussed in the media.

6)      Who is equipping ISIL and providing it with the state-of-the-art armament it currently possesses? Is it really possible for a fundamentalist cult to conquer and gain control over so many cities and provinces without the support and sponsorship of foreign powers  - please refer to question 2.   ISIL is serving the American/Israeli agenda – deliberate or coincidental, is for the intelligent reader to judge.

7)      You know that US government has changed its approach towards ISIL as its warplanes conducted two rounds of strikes on ISIL artilleries on Friday. What’s behind this sudden change of approach? Is this related to Erbil?  

Possibly several reasons.  There are many American forces in Erbil.   And of course there is an oil and gas conference scheduled in Erbil in December 2014.    There have been huge demonstrations around the world with regards to what Israel is doing in Gaza and Americans have not been immune from the news.  Now once again, US is attempting to show that it is concerned with and involved in humanitarian crisis.  Frankly, this is all propaganda.    And America’s standing in the world  relies on propaganda. 

But one must also not rule out the possibility of a full scale return to Iraq.   From the onset, US build enduring bases in Iraq, mini cities.  These were for permanent occupation.  US did not plan on leaving.  The Abu Gharib scandal and American actions untied Iraq against their occupiers.   Even with the false narrative of a Shia Sunni divide and the false flags, America was tossed out of the country by Maliki.    This could be an opening for the US to return to Iraq (occupy by other means) and to justify such actions to the American people.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blowback in Ferguson

Blowback in Ferguson

The fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager and the ensuing protests in Ferguson, Missouri has rocked America. Even the mainstream media with its aversion to the truth, has been forced to address the militarization of the police in America – albeit years too late.

This is a short call from informing the mainstream media that the country has been living under pseudo martial law for decades.

On April 13, 2013,  the ACLU (Shasta Chapter) invited me to be their keynote speaker to talk about government secrecy, drones and militarization of America.    The Ferguson shooting and its coverage it the media prompted me to highlight some of the points made during that talk as they relate to today’s events.

Historians and political scientists have warned about dangerous war fever sweeping the United States.  America’s entanglements overseas, its imperial ambitions, and the more recent “global war on terror”, a war of indefinite duration against an ill-defined shifting enemy, with no specific definition of victory,  poses a grave danger to the very character of American government and society, unraveling the fabric of the Constitution.

The framers of the Constitution recognized such dangers when they carefully subordinated the military to civilian authority and attempted to limit the power of the President to initiate war.   Gregory Foster, a former Army officer and West Point graduate who now teaches national security studies at the National Defense University in Washington said that the principle of civilian control of the military—an early building block of American democracy-  has been reversed and become the  civilian subjugation to the military.  

Over half a century ago,  Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson concluded   "by giving way to the passion, intolerance and suspicions  of wartime, it is easy to reduce our liberties to a shadow, often in answer to exaggerated claims of security."  
That day is here.   Aside from constant surveillance, and the notorious “kill list”, war has been internalized and the militarization of the police force has put every American in danger.  The biggest threat to Americans now comes from those who are paid to protect them.  A threat which has been building for decades.
During the Clinton administration  Congress passed what's now known as the "1033 Program.   The 1033 Progam formalized  Reagan administration's directive to the Pentagon to share surplus military gear with domestic police agencies. Since then, millions of pieces of military equipment designed for use on a battlefield have been transferred to local cops -- SWAT teams and others -- including machine guns, tanks, and armored personnel carriers.   The Pentagon's 1033 program has exploded under Obama. 
Clinton also created the "Troops to Cops" program, which offered grants to police departments who hired soldiers returning from battle, contributing even further to the militarization of the police force. But what is most alarming about the militarize police their training. 
Althuogh the role of the police is to ‘protect and to serve’,  they are being taught to kill.  Lt. Col David Grossman (retired U.S. Army) is one such teacher.  Grossman, unapologitacally, told Front Line:
Prior preparation is the heart of what I do. I teach law enforcement. Today I just came from a conference where I trained 700 SWAT cops. And most of what I do is I train military and law enforcement in what I call the bulletproof mind. Just as today we have body armor that the guys in World War II didn't have, the same way we can have mental preparation that they didn't have. And this bulletproof mind is vital. Prior preparation is that one variable in the equation that we can control ahead of time, and one of the key things is embracing the responsibility to kill.”
“I tell my soldiers, I tell my cops: "You've got the most difficult decision any human being will ever face. You have to decide whether or not to kill another human being."

Well equipped, trained, and encouraged by the likes of [now former] Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City police commissioner Raymond Kel who proudly brag of “hav(ing) my own army in the NYPD” and who used that army to spy on peaceful Occupy Wall Street protestors.”, it should come as no surprise that a SWAT team should blow a hole in a 2-year old, or the police kill an unarmed teenager, and all other horrific acts of violence we witness every day being committed by the cops. 

So why has the media been silent on the militarization of police up to this point?  Well,  they are the watchdogs of acceptable ideological messages, responsible for manufacturing consent - Their goal is to control the news and information available to society by using censorship and propaganda.  Big media is not designed to serve the welfare of the public. 
So why break the silence now? The internet has made it virtually impossible to hide facts, and quite possibly,  mainstream media has decided to do some damage control and take over the reins in order to control the flow of information.  Regardless of what big media wants us to believe,  what we witness is a blowback.  Our wars have come home to roost.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What do ISIL, Israel, and Evangelicals have in common?

A lot!

Washingtons Blog has an article on Israel claiming that it is losing support among its biggest ally – the Evangelicals.  This is excellent news. But if we look at the timeline of this write up, it starts in January and again March. It is within this timeline timeline that ISIL and its atrocities were brought into our living rooms via tweeter, youtube, and nightly news. Not a coincidence. The end of the Cold War left Israel in an awkward place. According to The Jerusalem Report, in 1991, the idea that radical Islam would replace communism had taken seed among the Israeli right. The basis of the idea was founded on the neoconservatives fear 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. This seems almost like a redux – a recycled policy - It worked then, why not now? So ISIL not only puts Islam in a terrible light, but the ruthless terrorists killing everyone in their path (though they seem to have no hostility toward Israel!), is once again in obvious view  and in fact, overshadowing the barbarity of Israeli actions.   I don't believe in coincidences.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ohio Water Problems and the Israel Connection

Here is a coincidence.  Needs to be carefully examined.   Top of the news is the Ohio water problem.  Toxic water and over half a million people told not to drink the water.

Guess who is in charge of the water?

Yep, Israel.

“Ohio, for example, has long used Israeli water tech to save water and prevent waste. In 2012, the City of Akron signed a deal with Mei Netanya, the water distribution company in the city and its surroundings, for the development of joint projects. A number of Israeli water technology companies have set up operations in an incubator run by the city. Among the Israeli companies working with Akron is Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, which in 2012 signed a deal with the city bring the company’s water monitoring and conservation methods to Akron.”

Not the fist of such incidents.  Probably not the last.

Friday, August 1, 2014

RT interview on Gaza and temporary ceasefire July 31

Israel gets signals from the US that it can do whatever it wants, so Tel-Aviv keeps refurbishing its weapons so that it could kill more Gazans, independent researcher and writer Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich told RT.
RT:What are the chances that the ceasefire will hold?
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich: It seems that we are having incremental ceasefires for an incremental genocide. One has to understand the thinking that is behind all this as much as one does regret a single death; I do not care on which side. It is against the Zionist ideology to have a truce as Yitzhak Shamir said in 1997. So to think that they will give up the notion of taking over the whole of the land which they consider the Greater Israel - it is just not going to happen. What happens is we keep having these little ceasefires and then again the killings start anew. It also gives room to Israel to breath because international public opinion has turned against them, it now gives a kind of sense of credibility that they are really going to step back and allow you to take away the dead while they still continue to do destroy the tunnels which are the life saver for the Gazans, and at the same time come back and bomb what is left of you. It is really a travesty of justice and it is in violation of every human rights law and international law. I am just amazed at the UN for not calling it as it is which is genocide, if you look at the convention for prevention of genocide and punishment, and specifically in the Article 2. Everything that is happening in Gaza indicates it is genocide, and Mr. Ban Ki Moon's predecessor Kofi Annan in 2004 addressed the UN Commission of Human Rights and he said part of his biggest regrets was that he did not stop the Rwanda genocide and the warning signs were there.
RT: The Israelis and Palestinians are set to hold negotiations in Egypt. Washington is also sending a delegation to Cairo. Do you think we can expect the U.S. to increase pressure on its ally?
SS: Frankly, I don’t think the US will ever increase pressure on Israel, but I have to point out that Egypt is not an honest broker and it is the last place you would want to have these negotiations in. If I were a Palestinian I would object to it. You have to understand that General Al-Sisi was held as a hero to all Jews. Do you think he will be an honest broker, especially since about three-four months ago the Israelis and the Egyptians signed an agreement whereby the gas has been stolen from the Palestinians, Israel was sending it through Egypt to a liquification plant and Egypt will benefit from this, and gas will be exported all over the world including Europe. To think for a moment that there is any good that will come out of the Egyptians brokering the so-called truce is being very naïve. I think that either Hamas is being played or maybe they too are buying time. Again, all other truces will not go anywhere unless any political solution is found and that political solution will only happen if the blockade is lifted, if the Gazans and Palestinians are allowed to live in peace. They are the ones who have been occupied and we cannot lose trace of this fact - they are leaving under occupation.
A Palestinian woman carries her belongings from her destroyed house in the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 1, 2014. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
A Palestinian woman carries her belongings from her destroyed house in the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 1, 2014. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

RT: As one of the conditions to a permanent truce, Hamas demands that Israel lift the blockade of Gaza. Israel calls this a non-starter. What solution do you see here?
SS: There is not a solution. There is no real solution until an international community, not US allies, but the global community, makes demands on Israel. And they are doing that, they are speaking out. But to think that the blockade will not be lifted – this is a crime. I do not particularly like Hamas but I do stand with them firmly on this.
RT: Does the responsibility for the situation fully lie on Israel?
SS: The day the ground invasion of Gaza started was the day that the Malaysian plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine. I think as analyst we need to sit and connect all these links. And in fact Russians in January offered to develop the gas fields for Gaza. At the time of the 2009 assault on Gaza the British offered to develop the gas for the Gazans and the Israelis said “we will never buy gas from them.” They attacked and took over everything again. So this is not more about land, about water, about power and it will not go anywhere until Israel has stopped. In 1947 Israel killed a representative of the UN Bernadotte, and it told the world that it wouldn’t have limits. In 1967 it killed American crew members of the USS Liberty, the American government covered it up. This also signals to Israel that “you can do whatever you want and we’ll have you back.” And they do. They are refurbishing their weapons so that they could kill more Gazans. If anybody here is more guilty than the Israelis, it is the Americans. It is America that is responsible for what is happening 100 percent. We cannot just point finger at Israel. Nothing will be stopped until America stops its support.
RT: What should the US do then?
SS: If America wanted the negotiations to go anywhere, instead of condemning what’s happening which is massacring children America would say “I will stop all aid to you until you can to the table, until you negotiate.” America is not saying that, it is sending more weapons.
Egypt is not honest in all this, Egypt has a lot to gain aligning itself with Israel, which it has done. Saudi Arabia is supporting this regime in Egypt that is not on the side of the Palestinians, they are in fact siding with Israel. You can go and negotiate with people if there is something to be negotiated, if you trust in their honesty and good will of the persons that are at the negotiating table. Egypt is not, United States is not. The US government is beholden to Israel.
A Palestinian girl carries a child across rubble from a building that police said was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in the Burij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip August 1, 2014. (Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly)
A Palestinian girl carries a child across rubble from a building that police said was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in the Burij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip August 1, 2014. (Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly)

You look around and it is just shocking that in America a Jewish woman was arrested for reading out the names of children that were killed in Gaza by Israel. This is the country that is promoting itself as promoting democracy and human rights. The fault lies here and America needs to change its course in order for Israel to change course. Otherwise we will be having this conversation 3 weeks from now, 3 months from now, 3 years from now. It’s just a slow death for the Palestinians. We have this truce in place, we have these peace talks and then there is need for more settlements and then something comes out and it is just all over again.
The world has become so desensitized because it’s not new. They are so used to this going on, that they disregard it and look the other way at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Hamas as a terrorist, but they really have lost interest in wanting to save human lives and this blows in the face of all international laws. If there are no laws in this world that we need to abide by at the international arena, then why should we have laws at home. If there is somebody coming and killing me, well... there are no laws.
I think this matter is far more serious than we give it credit. It is a news item, but it’s [also] a humanitarian item, it’s all about humanity and it really needs to be. It will either be resolved with half of the global community, people that are speaking out and Israel will be stopped or else they will not be stopping it, it will be too late.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.