zaterdag 14 juli 2012

Syrie 57

Iets dat Nederlandse journalisten niet durven: het stellen van werkelijk kritische vragen aan autoriteiten:

VILE HYPOCRISY EXPOSED by reporter doing his job.

Israel. A Failed State 2

'Two faces of Israel: honest terrorist and corrupt pragmatist

By Uri Avnery

14 July 2012

Uri Avnery views two former Israeli prime ministers, Yitzhak Shamir, the recently-deceased terrorist leader, and Ehud Olmert, architect of the 2006 Lebanon war and the 2008/09 Gaza massacre, noting that whereas Shamir, “the dead honest fanatic, has many followers” Olmert, “the living corrupt pragmatist, has very few” – and that the current prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, “has the vices of both and the virtues of neither”.

Two former prime ministers of Israel are in the news these days. They represent two of the many faces of Israel.

They also raise a universal question: which is preferable – an honest fanatic or a corrupt pragmatist?

Yitzhak Shamir died two weeks ago and was buried in the cemetery of the “Great of the Nation” in Jerusalem. He was 97 years old and had been vegetating for years in a state of dementia. Most Israelis did not know that he was still alive.

”The most successful terrorist of the 20th century”

When I described him on TV as “the most successful terrorist of the 20th century”, the interviewer raised his eyebrows. But it was an accurate description.

Shamir was not a great thinker. In his teens he joined the right-wing Zionist youth organization of Vladimir Jabotinsky in Poland, and since then he did not change his worldview one iota. In this respect he was absolutely immovable. He wanted a Jewish state in all of the historical country. Period. No nonsense about Arabs and such.
We both joined the Irgun underground at the same time. I was too young to take part in actual terrorist actions, he, eight years my senior, carried them out. At the time, the Irgun killed scores of Arab men, women and children in attacks on Arab markets, in retaliation for Arab attacks on Jewish civilians. We defied the policy of “self-restraint” ordered by the Zionist leadership.
In the summer of 1940 the Irgun split. One of the commanders, Avraham Stern, founded the organization known to the British as the “Stern Gang”. (Eventually it was called LEHI, acronym for “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel”.)

Stern was a logical person. The aim was to set up a Jewish state in all of Palestine. The enemy was the British Empire. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Therefore, we must cooperate with the Nazis. He sent several emissaries to contact the Germans. Some were intercepted by the British, the others were ignored by the Nazis.
"As prime minister, his most outstanding achievement was to do nothing, except building settlements – quietly and unobtrusively...

"His other great achievement was preventing Jews from reaching the US. When the Soviet leadership allowed Jews to emigrate, almost all of them proceeded straight to the US. Shamir persuaded the White House to shut the gates, and thus compelled more than a million Russian Jews to come to Israel, where they now swell the ranks of the extreme right."
I could not accept this atrocious logic and did not join, though the temptation was there. Shamir did.

He was caught and imprisoned (unlike Stern himself, who was caught and shot on the spot). Within a short time, virtually all the members of the organization were killed or arrested. The group ceased to exist – until Shamir and a colleague, Eliahu Giladi, broke out. The two acted together and brought LEHI to life again. One day Shamir had Giladi tried and shot.

Giladi was not accused of treason, but, on the contrary, of excessive zeal. He made plans for revolutionary actions, such as killing David Ben-Gurion and the entire Zionist leadership. Shamir decided that his adventurous nature endangered the organization and that he must be removed. Afterwards Shamir named his daughter Gilada.

Many years later I asked him which historical personality he admired most. He answered without hesitation: Lenin. I understood that he admired him because Lenin ruthlessly followed the maxim “the end justifies the means”.

Shamir was one of LEHI’s three leaders. He was responsible for operations and organization, meticulously building a deliberately small group of selected individuals, executing incredibly daring actions. He himself planned every single operation in the greatest detail. The most famous was the assassination of Lord Moyne, the senior British functionary in the Middle East, in Cairo.

He was arrested again when the British shut down Tel Aviv and conducted a house-to-house search. Shamir was well disguised but could not hide his most obvious characteristic: he was very small, almost a dwarf, with a big, strong head. The soldiers were instructed to arrest every man below a certain height.

This time he was sent to a detention camp in Africa, from which he duly escaped. He reached French Djibouti and was brought by a French warship to Paris where he stayed until Israel came into being.

LEHI never amounted to more than a few hundred members. But it played a major role in driving the British out of this country.
In Israel, Shamir disappeared from view. For years he worked for the Mossad. It was rumoured that his speciality was sending letter bombs. When he resurfaced, he joined the party of his erstwhile competitor, Menachem Begin. He was appointed Knesset chairman.

Once I decided to stage a small demonstration in the Knesset. I wore under my jacket a t-shirt saying “Peace is better than a Greater Israel”. During the plenary session I took the jacket off. After some minutes of shock, an usher asked me politely to see the chairman in his office. Shamir received me with a big smile and said: “Uri, where would we be if every member did something like that? Now that you have made your point, would you please put your jacket on again?” Which I did, of course.

When Begin made peace with Egypt and even I voted for him, Shamir abstained. After Lebanon War I, when Begin resigned saying “I can’t go on any more”, Shamir took his place.

As prime minister, his most outstanding achievement was to do nothing, except building settlements – quietly and unobtrusively. Under American pressure, he attended the Madrid peace conference, determined not to budge an inch. As he remarked later, he was quite ready to negotiate with the Arabs for any length of time.

He did not dream of making peace, which would have drawn frontiers and barred the way to Greater Israel. His ideology was summed up by his most famous dictum, alluding to the old adage that the Arabs want to throw the Jews into the sea: “The Arabs are the same Arabs and the sea is the same sea.” Another famous statement: “It is permissible to lie for the fatherland.”

Remarkably, this man, who joined the Irgun (like me) in protest against “self-restraint”, exercised self-restraint par excellence when Saddam Hussein rained missiles on Israel during the Gulf War. Shamir was content to let the Americans do the job.

His other great achievement was preventing Jews from reaching the US. When the Soviet leadership allowed Jews to emigrate, almost all of them proceeded straight to the US. Shamir persuaded the White House to shut the gates, and thus compelled more than a million Russian Jews to come to Israel, where they now swell the ranks of the extreme right.

For a short time he was the mentor of the young Binyamin Netanyahu, but then he came to detest him. After Netanyahu made a small tactical concession to the Arabs, he called him “Angel of destruction”. One may assume that he was also disgusted by Netanyahu’s penchant for luxury. When not lying for the fatherland, Shamir was straight as a ramrod, living in utmost modesty. There never was – or could be – even the slightest hint of corruption.

Which leads us straight to Ehud Olmert.

”With peacemakers like this, who needs warmongers?”

“In his years in the Prime Minister’s Office, during which he initiated two dirty wars (Lebanon War II and Operation Cast Lead), he had plenty of time to make peace. He did indeed produce a peace plan – but only on the eve of his expected political demise.”
Once upon a time there was a minister of education, Zalman Aran, who was known for his dry humour. A party functionary once came up to him and said: “Ziama, you can congratulate me. I have been acquitted!”

“Strange,” Aran replied, “I have never been acquitted!”

Olmert has been acquitted many times. During his entire career, he has danced from one acquittal to the next.

This week it happened again. After a long trial, in which he was accused on five different counts of corruption, he was acquitted of four. One concerned his habit of letting himself be invited by several charity organizations to lecture in the US, and letting all of them pay separately for the same first class ticket (using the surplus for his family’s private outings). Another count: reporting to the state comptroller that his collection of expensive pens was worth a tenth of its real value.

The district court decided to acquit him on all counts for lack of proof, except one: that as minister of industry he had favoured the clients of his close friend, who obliged him by keeping a large amount of cash stashed away in his safe.

Olmert celebrated his partial acquittal as a great victory. The media – the same media which celebrated his indictment when it all started – are taking part in the celebration. He is still awaiting the outcome of an even bigger trial. The accusation, this time: taking bribes for the building of a huge multi-billion architectural monster in the centre of Jerusalem when he was mayor of the city. Everybody expects that he will be acquitted, as usual.

Among the outcries against the attorney-general in the media was the accusation that he, a mere civil servant, had toppled an incumbent prime minister on trumped-up charges. Worse, that he had done so just when Olmert was about to make peace with the Palestinians.

Nonsense. In his years in the prime minister’s office, during which he initiated two dirty wars (Lebanon War II and Operation Cast Lead), he had plenty of time to make peace. He did indeed produce a peace plan – but only on the eve of his expected political demise. With peacemakers like this, who needs warmongers?

However, Olmert is already hinting that after his next acquittal he will return to political life.

Shamir, the dead honest fanatic, has many followers. Olmert, the living corrupt pragmatist, has very few.

Netanyahu, their current successor, has the vices of both and the virtues of neither.'

vrijdag 13 juli 2012

Ban the Banksters 3

Banksters Take Us to the Brink

Every day brings more reminders of the terrible unfairness that besets our country, the tragic reversal of fortune experienced by millions who once had good lives and steady jobs, now gone.
An article in the current issue of Rolling Stone chronicles “The Fallen: TheSharp, Sudden Decline of America’s Middle Class” and describes a handful of middle class men and women made homeless, forced to live out of their cars in church parking lots in Southern California.
One of them, Janis Adkins, drove a van filled with her belongings to Santa Barbara, where she panhandled at an intersection with a sign reading, “I’d Rather Be Working – Hire Me If You Have a Job.” Once upon a time she had a successful plant nursery business in Utah that annually grossed $300,000. But two years after the nation’s financial meltdown her sales had dropped by fifty percent and the value of her land plunged even more. She tried to refinance but four banks turned her down flat. “Everyone was talking about bailouts,” Adkins told reporter Jeff Tietz. “I said, ‘I’m not asking for a bailout, I’m asking you to work with me.’ They look at you, no expression on their faces, saying, ‘There’s nothing we can do.’”
“Nothing we can do.” And yet it was banks like these who helped get people like Janis Adkins into such desperate jams in the first place. When faced with their own financial catastrophes, all those big-time bankers came running to the government and taxpayers for those aforementioned bailouts worth hundreds of billions of dollars, then scooped up big bonuses and perks for themselves, and went back to business as usual.
And what a business! You’ve most likely been hearing about the newest scandal in banking, centering on Barclays Bank in Great Britain and something called Libor. That stands for London Interbank Offered Rate and involves a group of bankers who set a daily interest rate affecting trillions of dollars of transactions around the world. Your home mortgage, your college debt, your credit card fees; all of these could have been affected by Libor.
Now you would think the rates would be set by market forces, right?Aren’t they what makes the world go ‘round?But it turns out some of those insiders were manipulating the index for their own gain, to make their banks look better off during the financial crisis, lower their borrowing costs, and raise their profits – by cheating. Picking our pockets and lining theirs.
The Economist magazine describes it as “the rotten heart of finance.” Here are some of the e-mails that have come to light: A banker in on the fix writes another, “Dude. I owe you big time! Come over one day after work and I’m opening a bottle of Bollinger.” One employee after being asked to submit false information, answered: "Always happy to help." And another, recruiting a colleague in the fix, wrote: "If you know how to keep a secret, I'll bring you in on it."
“This dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scams in the history of markets.”
Caught with its hand in the cookie jar, Barclay’s agreed to pay nearly half a billion in fines to British and American authorities, and as many as 20 other megabanks are under investigation, including Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, UBS, HSBC, and JPMorgan Chase. As one MIT authority on finance told CNN, “This dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scams in the history of markets.”
In the middle of this mess is an American named Bob Diamond. He was the CEO of Barclays and the man behind Barclays’ takeover of what was left of Lehman Brothers when, at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, Lehman filed for the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. His goal was to make Barclays a global investment powerhouse but his enormous salary -- his net worth has been estimated at $165 million -- and unrepentant defense of the financial industry’s behavior led one British government official to describe him as “the unacceptable face of banking.” Diamond did wind up apologizing for Barclay’s role in the Libor interest rate scandal, even offering to forfeit his annual bonus -- last year he received one worth more than $4 million. But in the end, under pressure from stockholders and public opinion, he was forced to resign.
Meanwhile, the ripples from the scandal continue to spread. The New York Times reports that the city of Baltimore, stricken by financial losses and layoffs, is in the midst of a court battle against the banks that set the Libor index and that, “Now cities, states and municipal agencies nationwide, including Massachusetts, Nassau County on Long Island, and California's public pension system, are looking at whether they suffered similar losses and are weighing legal action…
“American municipalities have been among the first to claim losses from the supposed rate-rigging, because many of them borrow money through investment vehicles that directly derive their value from Libor. Peter Shapiro, who advises Baltimore and other cities on their use of these investments, said that ‘about 75 percent of major cities have contracts linked to this.’”
What’s more, indications are that government agencies like the Bank of England and the British treasury also may have been involved, or at least looked the other way, raising questions whether other government agencies – including our own Federal Reserve -- may have played a role. That remains for the investigators to find out but according to The Washington Post, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said “it had received word as early as 2007 from the British bank Barclays about problems” with Libor.
“In testimony last week before the British Parliament, former Barclays chief executive Robert E. Diamond said the bank had repeatedly brought to the attention of U.S. regulators-- as well as U.K. regulators — the problems that the bank was experiencing in the Libor market.
“He said the bank’s warnings to regulators that Libor was artificially low did not lead to action. Barclays’ regulator in the United States is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which was run at the time by current Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.”
This week the Senate Banking Committee asked for meetings with the principals involved and the House Financial Services Committee sent a letter to the New York Fed asking for transcripts of a dozen phone calls with Barclays executives.
But how far will inquiries go, especially when both American political parties are so beholden to high finance for cash? Just hours after Bob Diamond’s resignation, Mitt Romney’s campaign announced that, sadly, the disgraced financier would no longer be hosting one of two Romney fundraising events for American expatriates being held in London later this month. But no worries. The Boston Globe notes that “still among those hosting the events is Patrick Durkin, a registered lobbyist for Barclays… Durkin, who has been a top Romney bundler, is one of seven chairs for the reception and among the 13 co-chairs for the dinner.
“Others involved in hosting the events are Dwight Poler, managing director at the European branch of Bain Capital, the firm Romney founded; Raj Bhattacharyya, managing director at Deutsche Bank; and Dan Bricken, a managing director at Wells Fargo Securities. “ Each guest at the dinner event will pay between $25,000 and $75,000 for the opportunity to sup with the Republican presidential nominee.
The non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics reports that through the end of May, Bob Diamond and other Barclays employees had donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars to the Romney campaign and of course, the entire securities and investment industry has been a major donor to the Republican, more than any other. They’re giving to President Obama, too; just not as much, although they’re Number 3 on the list of top ten interest groups sending cash to the president and the Democratic National Committee.
And you wonder why the banksters still roam free, like gunslingers in a Wild West town without a sheriff.

Information Clearing House 3

The news behind the news

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"Real information, subversive information, remains the most potent power of all-and I believe that we must not fall into the trap of believing that the media speaks for the public. That wasn't true in Stalinist Czechoslovakia and it isn't true in the United States." John Pilger

July 13/14, 2012
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The Syrian Opposition: Who's Doing The Talking?

Must Read - By Charlie Skelton

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Anyone who defends this "no acknowledgment" justification is defending the right of the President to order military action in foreign countries without the knowledge of the American people, or worse.

In case you missed it
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By John Pilger

"Real information, subversive information, remains the most potent power of all-and I believe that we must not fall into the trap of believing that the media speaks for the public. That wasn't true in Stalinist Czechoslovakia and it isn't true in the United States."

In case you missed it
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Video clip from the movie "Network"

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40 Second Video

Chavez is a people! Chavez are millions, You are also Chavez!.

One Day Like This

By Tom Feeley

Each day I cull the web in search of facts that I can share with you, so that we can better understand the world we live in and the people we share it with.

Hard News  
Fact or fiction:
Over 200 reported killed in Syria: "activists":  More than 200 Syrians, mostly civilians, were massacred in a village in the rebellious Hama region when it was bombarded by helicopter gunships and tanks and then stormed by militiamen, opposition activists said. 

Syrian Observers doubt motives behind General Tlass' defection:  According to certain leaders of the opposition, the childhood friend of Bashar Al-Assad played an important role leading the crackdown on protesters. 

Russia threatens to veto Syria resolution:  Russia said on Thursday it would veto a Western-backed UNSC draft resolution threatening sanctions on Syria if it comes to a vote - "If they decide this (a vote on Thursday), knowing that for us the text is unacceptable, then we will not allow it to pass," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Interfax news agency 

Russia urges Annan to work more 'actively' with Syrian opposition:  "Unfortunately, so far we don't see any practical results from his and his team's contact with the opposition," he added. Annan is widely expected in Moscow in the next few days although details of his visit have not been announced. 

Back to square one as Turkish jet incident turns into messy mystery:  A series of public statements meant to shed light on how a Turkish jet crashed off the Syrian coast in a June 22 incident have ended up raising a barrage of questions including whether the aircraft was shot down by the Syrian forces at all, and are set to create a headache for the government. 

War in August? US sends fourth aircraft carrier and dozens of underwater drones towards Iran:  The United States has already sent three massive aircraft carriers to the waterways outside of Iran, including the USS Enterprise, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS Abraham Lincoln, and will now add the USS John C Stennis to that fleet in August 

MI6 admits to covert operations against Iran:  In his second public speech since he was appointed to the head of MI6, Sawers told senior civil servants in London that MI6 agents had been actively engaged in conducting covert operations against Iran. 

Pakistan: Six killed, 10 injured in Quetta blast:  A powerful bomb went off in a busy market on the outskirts of Quetta city of southwest Pakistan on Friday, killing six people and injuring ten others, our sources reported 

Nato service member among three killed in Afghanistan blasts:  Two separate bombings in Afghanistan have killed a Nato service member as well as an official with the Afghan ministry of women's affairs and her husband. 

Mullah Omar can run for president:Karzai:  Afghan "President" Hamid Karzai called Thursday on Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar to give up fighting his US-backed government in return for the chance to run for president of the war-torn nation. 

Cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting:  The final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project "Costs of War" by Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. (www.costsofwar.org 

When reality outstripped satire at the Tony Blair mad-hatters banquet: Op-Ed -
The Iraq war will follow Blair wherever he goes. He lied, bullied, manoeuvred and deceived in order to get his way. But some now say that's in the long past and we should "get over it". 

Romney's Fundraiser With Cheney Highlights His Embrace Of A Bush-Era Foreign Policy:  Romney and Cheney already share controversial positions on matters like ending the Iraq war and whether the U.S. should torture terror suspects. Here's a quick rundown of their positions on some top issues: 

Israeli strike kills alledged Palestinian resistance member in Gaza Strip:  One "militant" has been killed and four people injured in two Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, Palestinians say. Three more people were hurt when a tank shell hit their vehicle near the city just hours earlier. 

Stateless Palestinians face indefinite detention in Cairo airport after being deported from US:  The brothers, originally from Gaza, were taken by ICE and the U.S. Air Marshalls from their children in Texas and sent to Egypt. 

Israeli organ trafficker sentenced to jail in US:  A New York-based Israeli is sentenced to prison for buying kidneys from vulnerable people in the Occupied Territories and selling them to patients in the US, while making USD millions in the process. 

New Zealand signs new defence agreement with US:  The New Zealand government sealed a comprehensive defence treaty with the United States last month, further upgrading military ties between the two countries. 

Sir John Sawers: US spies 'got so obsessed' with right answer they resorted to torture:
The head of the Secret Intelligence Service also admitted that some of the activity of British agents when questioning alleged terrorists was "close to the line". 

Bradley Manning treated more harshly than a "terrorist", lawyer argues:  Defence lawyer files motion that 'aiding the enemy' charge is stricter against US soldiers than it would be against terrorists 

WikiLeaks scores big win against Visa:/ Mastercard:  WikiLeaks declared victory Thursday in the first round of its campaign against the financial blockade imposed by Visa and MasterCard after an Icelandic court ordered their local partner to resume processing credit card donations to the secret-spilling site 

Runner-up in Mexico poll says it was rigged:
Claiming that the elections were not "free and fair", Lopez Obrador will ask for election results to be tossed out. 

Analysts Warn That HSBC's Money-Laundering Fine In U.S. Could Amount To $1 Billion:  Even if that amount exceeds HSBC's rake from illegal drug-peddling activities, the bank isn't troubled in the least, since it can easily cover the fine with the $3.5 billion backdoor bailout it received as an AIG counterparty. 

Dear Bankers....: Are you proud of yourselves?  Does it give you pleasure to see the less well off citizens suffering to pay your gambling debts, for that is what they are. 

The Battle for Healthcare Has Just Begun :  President Romney would strip healthcare access from up to 28 million Americans currently insured.

Mitt Romney's offer of government of billionaires, for billionaires, by billionaires:
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George Zornick: Ten Top Romney Donors Hold Billions Offshore:  Romney won't disclose what money he may be hiding overseas, but we do know where his donors put their billions. 

Exposing How Donald Trump Really Made His Fortune:  Inheritance from Dad and the Government's Protection Mostly Did the Trick 

Federal Reserve predicts new economic crisis:  A recent meeting of the US Federal Reserve revealed that members of America's central bank are not very optimistic about the future of the country's economy.

 "Let us be peace and joy"

Tom Feeley
Cost Of War
Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq "1,455,590"

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq:  4,883

Number Of  International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan :3,084
Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan
Total Cost of Wars Since 2001


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Voetbal Commentator stan van houcke heeft dit als repost geplaatst Marcel Van Silfh...