Saturday, May 30, 2015

US Rebukes Israel While Showering it with Arms and Favors

By Jonathan Cooke, Information Clearing House, May 29, 2015

Only a few weeks into Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government, the intense strain of trying to square its members’ zealotry with Israel’s need to improve its international standing is already starkly evident.

The conundrum was laid out clearly by Tzipi Hotovely, a young political ally of Netanyahu’s recently appointed to oversee the foreign ministry on his behalf.

She called together the country’s chief diplomats last week to cite rabbinical justifications for taking Palestinian land. Her broader message was that Israeli embassies abroad needed to stop worrying about being “smart” and concentrate instead on being “right”. Urging the country’s envoys into a headlong confrontation with the world community, she told them the “basic truth” was: “All the land is ours.”

Netanyahu is too experienced a politician to take Hotovely’s advice fully to heart himself. Having briefly spoken his mind to ensure he won the recent general election, he has now walked back a comment much criticised by the White House that he would never permit a Palestinian state.

Damage control was also the reason he quickly cancelled defence minister Moshe Yaalon’s plan to create separate buses for Jewish settlers and Palestinian labourers as they return to the occupied territories at the end of a day in Israel.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Southeast Asia: Home to Ethnic Cleansing, Slavery, and Hazardous Work

By: Walden Bello, teleSUR, May 28, 2015

  The sorry state of human and labor rights in the region was driven home by three events that captured the world’s attention in the last three months.

In the late 20th century, Southeast Asia was seen a region of “tiger economies” that were the envy of the world. That narrative has vanished. Today, the area is regarded by many as a site of ethnic cleansing, great inequality, and super-exploited labor.
 
The sorry state of human and labor rights in the region was driven home by three events that captured the world’s attention in the last three months.
 
Dominating the news was the appalling situation of several thousand Rohingyas fleeing violent persecution in Myanmar or Burma. Hiring smugglers to carry them to safety by sea, the Rohingyas found themselves floating in the high seas, unable to land as neighboring states refused to accept them.
 
As if the plight of the Rohingyas were not shocking enough, an island in Indonesia was revealed to have illegal fish factories operated with Burmese and Thai forced labor. Relatives of many those kept captive on the island of Benjina had given up hope that they would ever be found. The nightmare turned out to be merely the tip of a multimillion dollar industry built on the backs of slaves with the complicity of Thai and Indonesian authorities.
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

War criminal Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – Blair’s appointment was an insult
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Tony Blair’s time as Middle East envoy representing the US, Russia, the UN and the EU has finally come to an end. Eight years after he took up the role, Blair tendered his resignation and left one question: how come a war criminal ever became a “peace envoy” in the first place?

The people of the Middle East – and much of the world – have been asking this question ever since Blair was appointed the Quartet’s man in Jerusalem, solemnly and hopelessly tasked to bring “peace” between Israelis and Palestinians. Was his new mission supposed to wash the blood from his hands after the catastrophe of the Bush-Blair invasion of Iraq and the hundreds of thousands of innocents who died as a result?

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Monday, May 25, 2015

The Evils of Unnecessary US Wars


It is warped to commemorate America’s war dead by emphasizing the need to wage wars of choice. Why would anyone think that this is a suitable thought for today? One would like to think that the people most likely to support wars of choice would have some idea to judge whether the “likely benefits outweigh” the costs, but again and again the people that presume that the U.S. “must” intervene somewhere have an extraordinarily poor understanding of how great the costs of intervention will be. Iraq war supporters, including Haass, were very sure that invading Iraq and toppling the regime would yield enormous benefits at low cost. They were horribly wrong, and it was fairly obvious that they were very wrong at the time, but they were very sure of themselves and their estimates.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Atheism spreads in Saudi Arabia, despite official ban

enikos.gr,  21 May 2015

Atheism spreads in Saudi Arabia, despite official ban

In this country known as the cradle of Islam, where religion gives legitimacy to the government and state-appointed clerics set rules for social behavior, a growing number of Saudis are privately declaring themselves atheists.

The evidence is anecdotal, but persistent.
 
“I know at least six atheists who confirmed that to me,” said Fahad AlFahad, 31, a marketing consultant and human rights activist. “Six or seven years ago, I wouldn’t even have heard one person say that. Not even a best friend would confess that to me.”
A Saudi journalist in Riyadh has observed the same trend.

“The idea of being irreligious and even atheist is spreading because of the contradiction between what Islamists say and what they do,” he said.

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Saturday, May 09, 2015

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Chaos – not Victory – is Empire’s Name of the Game

Peter Koenig, ICH,  May 5, 2015

“Once again a country “liberated” by the West is sinking deeper and deeper into chaos.” – This could be anyone of the countries in conflict, where Washington and its Western and Middle Eastern stooges sow war – eternal chaos, misery, death – and submission.

This is precisely the point: The Washington / NATO strategy is not to ‘win’ a war or conflict, but to create ongoing – endless chaos. That’s the way (i) to control people, nations and their resources; (ii) to assures the west a continuous need for military – troops and equipment – remember more than 50% of the US GDP depends on the military industrial complex, related industries and services; and (iii) finally, a country in disarray or chaos, is broke and needs money – money with hardship conditions, ‘austerity’ money from the notorious IMF, World Bank and other associated nefarious ‘development institutions’ and money lenders; money that equals enslavement, especially with corrupt leaders that do not care for their people.

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