Published time: August 25, 2014 12:56
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer for the UK's MI5, who resigned in 1996 to blow the whistle.
She is now a writer, public speaker and a Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Two horrors have dwelt in my mind for the last twenty years, ever since I read reports about terrorist groups while an impressionable young intelligence officer.
The first involves the use of power tools as instruments of torture; drills, industrial sanders, angle grinders. This is no secret now and the meme has been much used and abused by Hollywood and series such as “24”, but I still feel uncomfortable every time I am dragged into the “boy toy” section of a home improvement mega-store.
Published time: August 25, 2014 12:56
The second has recently hit the news as a grim result of ISIS, the ultra-violent Sunni sect that has swept across much of Syria and Iraq, imposing the most draconian form of Sharia law in its wake upon the hapless citizens of formerly secular states. I pity the poor women, and I pity still more the men of these communities faced with the option of submission or gruesome murder.
For this is the other image that haunts me: in 1995 six western tourists were abducted by a Kashmiri separatist group, Al Faran. One of the abductees, a Norwegian called Hans Christian Ostro, was found decapitated; his head had been hacked off with a knife. The sheer horror, the terror the poor man must have experienced, has haunted me ever since.
You can probably see where I am going with this. I have not watched, nor do I have any intention of ever watching, the ISIS video of the gruesome murder of US journalist James Foley, whether the Metropolitan Police deems it a crime to do so or not. I just feel horror, again, and a deep well of sorrow for what his family and friends must be going through now.
Yet this is nothing new – we have known for months that ISIS has been beheading and crucifying people as they rampage across Syria and Iraq. There has been a steady stream of delicately pixilated heads on spikes in the western media, and the outrage has been muted.
And indeed, such beheadings have long been carried out and filmed during the earlier insurgencies in Iraq – I remember a young film maker friend who had stumbled across just such a sick propaganda video way back in 2007 – he could not sleep, could not rid his mind of the images either.
It is barbarity pure and simple, but it is also effective within the boundaries of its aims.
So, what are these aims? I just want to make two points before the West gets swept up in a new wave of outrage to “bomb the bastards” for beheading an American – after all, many hundreds if not thousands of people across the Middle East have already suffered this fate, with a lack of any meaningful Western outcry.
Firstly, ISIS has clear aims (indeed it published its five-year plan to great media derision a couple of months ago). It is effectively using hideous brutality and propaganda to spread terror ahead of its war front – this is a 21st century blitzkrieg, and it’s working. The sheer horror of what they do to any who attempt to resist is so great that apparently whole armies abandon their weapons, banks have been left to be raided to the tune of half a billion dollars, and entire villages flee.
This is the pure definition of terrorism, and we can see that it is working. ISIS is doing all this to build a new state, or caliphate, in the way that their warped fundamentalist interpretation of religion sets out for them.
Secondly, and here’s the contentious bit, how precisely is this different from the terror that the Israelis have been visiting upon the many innocents killed in Gaza? The Dahiya Doctrine of disproportionate violence to stun and quash resistance was exposed by WikiLeaks – the Israeli “shock and awe”.
And also, how is this different from what the US has been meting out to the peoples of Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan over the last few years with their drone attacks?
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, asserted that the Zionist enemy started Gaza war and that the resistance surprised it with displaying its military readiness to encounter the aggression.
"We must not bet on the path of the negotiations," Shallah stressed, "Israeli warplanes buried Oslo agreement under the debris of Gaza buildings."
Shallah noted that Gaza battle is not the last, adding that it will prepare for the mother of the battles.
The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement greeted the steadfastness of the Gazans and the resistance, highlighting the importance of the Palestinians to encounter the upcoming challenges.
Source: Al-Manar Website
|26-08-2014 - 22:17|
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
Hezbollah asserted that what has been achieved in Gaza is a major victory for the Palestinians in the context of seeking its basic rights which can be attained only by the resistance.
Hezbollah stressed that the importance of the "historical" achievement in the course of the conflict with the Zionist enemy presents a prelude to additional key triumphs.
Hezbollah congratulated, in a statement, the courageous Palestinian people, resistance factions, and the martyrs' as well the prisoners' families for achieving this major victory through imposing the ceasefire on the Zionist enemy and compelling it to meet the demands set by the Palestinian leaders.
The will and steadfastness of the resistance as well as the sacrifices of the Palestinian people during the Zionist aggression led to the victory, according to the statement.
Hezbollah hailed the efforts of the concerned countries and committees to meet the victory's conditions, including opening the crossings which form vital lifelines for the besieged Palestinian people and reconstructing the sacrificial strip.
Source: Hezbollah Media Relations
|26-08-2014 - 23:23 Last updated 26-08-2014 - 23:2|
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
Dear Mr. President Putin,
Government and our Media. The facts concerning MH17 are twisted to defame you and your country.
We are powerless onlookers, as we witness how the Western Nations, led by the United
States, accuse Russia of crimes they commit themselves more than anybody else. We reject
the double standards that are used for Russia and the West. In our societies, sufficient
evidence is required for a conviction. The way you and your Nation are convicted for
‘crimes’ without evidence, is ruthless and despicable.
You have saved us from a conflict in Syria that could have escalated into a World War. The
mass killing of innocent Syrian civilians through gassing by ‘Al-‐Qaeda’ terrorists, trained
and armed by the US and paid for by Saudi Arabia, was blamed on Assad. In doing so, the
West hoped public opinion would turn against Assad, paving the way for an attack on
Not long after this, Western forces have built up, trained and armed an ‘opposition’ in the
Ukraine, to prepare a coup against the legitimate Government in Kiev. The putschists
taking over were quickly recognized by Western Governments. They were provided with
loans from our tax money to prop their new Government up.
The people of the Crimea did not agree with this and showed this with peaceful
demonstrations. Anonymous snipers and violence by Ukrainian troops turned these
demonstrations into demands for independence from Kiev. Whether you support these
separatist movements is immaterial, considering the blatant Imperialism of the West.
Russia is wrongly accused, without evidence or investigation, of delivering the weapons
systems that allegedly brought down MH17. For this reason Western Governments claim
they have a right to economically pressure Russia.
We, awake citizens of the West, who see the lies and machinations of our Governments,
wish to offer you our apologies for what is done in our name.
It’s unfortunately true, that our media have lost all independence and are just mouthpieces
for the Powers that Be. Because of this, Western people tend to have a warped view of
reality and are unable to hold their politicians to account.
Our hopes are focused on your wisdom. We want Peace. We see that Western Governments
do not serve the people but are working towards a New World Order. The destruction of
sovereign nations and the killing of millions of innocent people is, seemingly, a price worth
paying for them, to achieve this goal.
We, the people of the Netherlands, want Peace and Justice, also for and with Russia.
We hope to make clear that the Dutch Government speaks for itself only. We pray our
efforts will help to diffuse the rising tensions between our Nations.
Historical claim shows why Crimea matters to Russia (http://goo.gl/kGuKPm)
Professor Cees Hamelink
Why you shouldn’t believe what is in the papers?
Dank U - Thank You - Spasibo - to author: Professor Cees Hamelink.
Dank U – Thank you – Spasibo – to Wiet van den Brink, who sent me this link!
The same letter in Russian at topwar.ru:
Голландцы просят прощения за ложь Запада. Открытое письмо Президенту РоссииRiver to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
A Palestinian boy surveys the destruction caused by Israeli airstrikes in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, 12 August. (Mohammed Asad / APA images)
: “…the pictures out of Gaza are heart wrenching and painful, the painful pictures of children dying… and the thousands of refugees. What goes through your mind when you see that?” Bibi’s answer is not the “banality of evil” that Hanna Arendt saw as she witnessed Eichmann’s answers at his trial, an evil of “stupidity” that excluded rational thought.
“Hamas targets civilians, we don’t… They want to pile up as many dead as they can…the more dead the better” (Netanyahu interview with Wolf Blitzer, 8/20/2014).
This is a calculated response to transfer the evil to the victims of Israel’s superior power, to blame Hamas, the government of the people, for their own slaughter. It is indeed an intended deception to cloak the true intention that every living Gazan man, woman and child was and will be for the rest of their lives impacted by this horror so calculatingly leveled against a defenseless people, an evil that is decidedly not banal, it is an insidious, barbaric, malicious, merciless evil perpetrated by methodically guided intelligent, deceitful men, Zionists, both on the people of Gaza and on true Jews in Israel and all true Jews around the world.
There is need today to comprehend the mentality of those who rule in Israel. That mentality has dominated the international scene for the past 45 days and counting in Gaza. The mentality governing Israel is most visible through its Prime Minister, a man caught in the vice of a system that forces the continuation of the administration in power to accede to the demands of its radical elements if it is to stay in power, and the necessity of the PM to self-promote his value by promoting actions diametrically opposed to human rights and international law.
Gaza stands as a glaring mirror of human suffering visible to the whole world wherein they see themselves suffering and join the mothers and fathers in sympathy for the oppressed in Gaza; yet that suffering is not visible as such to the vast majority of Israelis; it is as though they cannot see beyond their own internal selves, as though no other humans exist beyond their own conception of self, as though what they believe dictates the conditions and justifies the conditions irrespective of world values and morals. The suffering of Gazans is not theirs to see; what they suffer is not caused by Israel; indeed, Hamas has used Israeli weaponry to destroy their own people without the permission of the Israelis, to have the world condemn Israel and sympathize with the Palestinians, and to force Israel to unwillingly join their insidious end.
Netanyahu’s response ignores international law that allows for the oppressed to act against their occupiers; he hides the truth of Hamas’ rockets under a deluge of obfuscation as though the entire civilian population of Israel had a few seconds to escape death as rockets rained down on the whole of Israel, and not mention that one was killed.
It is a sin of omission, a decidedly deceptive omission of relative facts, that he, Netanyahu, stopped the negotiations for peace, that he chose to send missiles in the thousands (more than the 13000 tons of explosives (TNT) of one of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945) into Gaza to intentionally destroy them, their sewage, their water, their commercial buildings, their farms, their fishing boats, their schools, their mosques, missiles that did not miss their intended targets and that did indeed rain down on the whole of Gaza (see “How many bombs has Israel dropped on Gaza?” Ali Abunimah, August 18, 2014. Electronic Intifada).
“The easiest type of munition to estimate is artillery shells. On 14 August, Haaretz published the following information, sourced to a “senior official of the general staff” of the Israeli army (emphasis added):
The estimated cost of the total ammunition used in Gaza fighting is estimated at about 1.3 billion shekels [$370 million]. According to the army’s figures, 39,000 tank shells, 34,000 artillery shells, and 4.8 million bullets were supplied during the fighting. Senior military figures estimate that land forces alone used at least 60 percent of the 5,000 tons of ammunition given to them, but the IDF [Israeli army] cannot yet evaluate it accurately.
According to the same senior staff officer, most of the ammunition came from Israeli production lines. Some of the ammunition was purchased from the US during hostilities, within the “advance placement” program. Additional ammunition and fighting equipment, along with medical equipment, were also ordered during hostilities, using an expedited procedure via the Defense Ministry.
Israel expert Dena Shunra notes that the concern here is cost – this is a move in budget negotiations in which the army seeks more money – and that is the context in which the numbers are revealed.
If, as reported, 60 percent of the stores were used, that would mean 23,400 tank shells, 20,400 artillery shells and 2.9 million bullets. That is almost two bullets for every man, woman and child in Gaza.
This section of an article devoted to the explosives dropped on Gaza tells only a portion of the devastation inflicted on the people. But statistics reflect only a means of measuring the tonnage of TNT inflicted on the strip, they do not analyze the why of the strategy Netanyahu and his government used to punish the people of Gaza. Why this excessive power, why kill so many innocents, why devastate once again this piece of land completely controlled by occupation forces? Why tell the world over and over again that Israel “gave up land in Gaza and gave complete control to the Gazans when they left, when it is so blatantly a lie?
The purpose of this article is not to contrast rockets versus state of the art military weapons or to use one to justify action against another people. My intent is to attempt to comprehend the mindset that allows such criminal action to take place.
Israel began to build its case against Hamas when the agreement between Hamas and Fatah was signed. That signaled for Netanyahu the probability that Israel would now have to work out a settlement between all Palestinians and not with Abbas who had played along with the US and Israel as a legitimate representative of Palestinians. Without Gaza in the negotiations Israel could continue to pock mark the West Bank with settlements and settlers and apartheid roads with impunity (as it in fact is doing even as they wage relentless war against Gaza; see Uri Avnery 8/23/2014). Gaza would be isolated even further and, with Egypt as a complicit partner, could be totally controlled and eventually subjugated.
Faced, however, with a united Palestine potentially capable of bringing Israel before the international courts, Netanyahu needed an excuse to topple Hamas; hence the strategy to condemn it as a terror organization, an illegitimate government, and anathema to the western attempt to bring democracy to the mid-East. But he needed an excuse to attack, an excuse that would rally the people of Israel against an organization that threatened the individual’s security. The kidnapping of the three Settler teens provided that spark, especially if it was strategically used. By withholding the knowledge that the boys were killed from the parents and gagging the press the day of their kidnapping, he was able to mount an intense campaign of hatred against Hamas even though he had no legitimate evidence that Hamas was guilty. In insidious ways he forged even more hatred by claiming that Gazans taught their children to hate Jews making no reference to the prior invasions that resulted in a devastating report to the UNHRC that itemized in detail the destruction of 1400 lives, a third of whom were children, actions that would instill anger in those who suffered the onslaught. Sustained in their impunity from acts against humanity by the US veto, they were able to avoid official condemnation. [see at the end of this article text and pictures that show the facts on the ground today in Gaza.]
It is this manipulation of his people that must be considered. Why instigate such hatred against a neighbor unless you intend to make life for Gazans so horrific that they would grovel at the feet of Netanyahu seeking “calm” rather than unending destruction of their homeland. This evisceration of human rights to avoid creation of a state for Palestinians would serve Israel’s purposes even as it mocks the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It demonstrates for all member states of the UN that Israel is willing to defy any document regardless of world opinion to satisfy its own aggression and needs.
Netanyahu knew he could raise the ire of the far right rapid settlers by appealing to their “chosen-ness” that gave them rights to slaughter those who threatened the state of Israel. After all didn’t Hamas’ charter say exactly that. But he didn’t mention, and no one does, that on January 11, 2006, the Guardian newspaper reported: “Hamas has dropped its call for the destruction of Israel from its manifesto for the Palestinian parliamentary election in a fortnight, a move that brings the group closer to the mainstream Palestinian position of building a state within the boundaries of the occupied territories” (Chris McGreal). Why tell the truth if it undermines your lies?
Should Netanyahu desire to curtail construction of tunnels in Gaza, would one not think it easier to locate and destroy them from inside Israel than to invade the country and its consequent destruction of life and property? Egypt reportedly destroyed the tunnels in the Rafah area and maintained a closing of the Rafah exit without invading Gaza, without killing one Palestinian, without destroying one building. Why not Israel? Obviously because Israel wanted to kill Gazans. For Netanyahu to claim that Hamas wanted to kill its own people reflects either absolute idiocy or intended deception to force blame on Hamas. There is blatant arrogance in making such an assertion, an arrogance that believes it can manipulate peoples’ thought and belittle the host who asked the question knowing that Blitzer would not laugh at such nonsense.
How explain this mindset? How controlled is this man by his own self-devoted professional promotion to believe he can convince the people of the world that his use of flechette bombs that explode above the ground spreading their steel needles into anything within striking distance, bombs designed to kill and mutilate living beings, mock his pretend weeping before Blitzer when asked “what goes through your mind?” and he says “Very sad,, we’re sad for every civilian casualty, they’re not intended…Hamas targets civilians…” But there he stands contradicted by the weaponry employed, yet he shows no signs of remorse, no acceptance of his own guilt, no shame at the amorality of his actions, no mercy.
Here is a mind capable of erasing all semblance of human sympathy as he wraps himself in the only defense he can muster, “my enemy made me do it.” Thus do those who have no missiles but homemade ineffective rockets that at best can declare to the occupying power, we are not dead nor have we capitulated; we have rights and spirit and hopes and dreams that someday we can live free of occupation, of constant harassment, of never ending spying, of locked gates, of checkpoints, of denial of a homeland that gives rights of citizenship, of all that others have, and for that brazenness they are condemned as the perpetrators of the inhuman acts of the Israeli military. This is a world gone mad.
Ultimately it is not just one man, the PM of Israel, that must bear the blame for these 45 days of mass destruction on a defenseless people unable to walk, run, fly or swim away from Gaza as they are pummeled from aircraft thousands of feet above their homes, fired at with missiles from navy vessels, and shot at point blank by thousands of Israelis in tanks, personnel carriers and seized buildings where the residents are forced to stay as shields to protect the soldiers, as devastation is wrought on their schools and mosques, caught at every turn, even when told where to go to seek a safe haven, a UN school for example, while the world witnesses the horror on iphones and note pads and weeps.
Yet the citizens of Israel take lawn chairs and drinks and cameras and family to the viewing of Gaza under siege, a safe distance from the fray to ensure that the military is defending the people of Israel, oblivious to the dangerous rockets pouring down upon them, and snapping the smiles and laughter that erupts as the hapless victims are mutilated or die. This is a mentality that looks at the suffering of others and does not see the suffering that their own endured at the hands of a merciless power just 65 years ago; they have become eyeless to the havoc they impose, senseless to the weeping of children, bereft of all human sympathy that cries in the wilderness of distance witnessing the glee they allow themselves because their beliefs have encrusted their souls with a Teflon bitterness that wipes away the blood pouring from the baby’s mouth, blinds them to the shattered head with a face yet visible but its bloodied innards dripping over the father’s arm, a child on her knees above the dead body of her mother, hundreds running, stumbling, crawling over the shattered ruins of homes and hospitals and schools and mosques attempting to hide from the enveloping death that surrounds them unable to grapple with the minds that willingly accept as their right the genocide of a neighbor. This is indeed a world gone mad.
Nonetheless these are, as Netanyahu explains to Blitzer, only “telegenic images” that Hamas captures for publicity purposes to instill in the viewers a sympathy for Gazans; they are not Israel’s fault, they are but the accidents of “war.” One must not weep over them for they were unintended casualties. We are after all a civilized society greater than all other developed nations. After all, we have been able to surreptitiously gain control of the governments of Britain, of Canada, of Australia and of the United States ensuring that they will support whatever we do even if it defies international law. That we have as a consequence also disabled the democratic processes in these countries by pirating their representatives thus denying the American citizen his or her rights is simply demonstrating how clever we are. It’s not that we cannot see, we simply see what we want to see. After all, a state that sees itself as unique, as special, as exceptional must not see others as equals with whom they must share the world, or they lose the only thing that differentiates them from all, the belief they have fostered that gives them free reign to control all. This is a Zionist world gone mad.
The following information is provided to show the reality on the ground.
What is not in doubt – given the vast scale of killing and destruction inflicted in Gaza, as documented in UN satellite images – is that it is indeed an enormous number.
Detail from UN satellite imagery showing total destruction of buildings in Khuzaa, Gaza Strip. (UNOSAT)
In one of the most severely hit areas, Khuzaa and al-Qarara in the southeastern Gaza Strip, the UN counted 2,493 destroyed structures, 1,243 severely damaged structures and 2,014 impact craters.
The Israeli military itself states that between 8 July and 5 August, “aerial, naval and ground forces struck 4,762 terror sites across the Gaza Strip.”
Of course we know that Israel defines everything it bombs as a “terror site,” so this number includes thousands of civilian homes, mosques, businesses and other civilian objects and infrastructure.
We also know that Israeli munitions factories were “working in shifts, 24 hours a day” to provide enough ammunition and shells to forces attacking Gaza.
During the attack, the Obama administration also replenished Israeli stocks from a one billion dollar weapons stockpile the US keeps in Israel. This included 120 mm mortar rounds and 40 mm grenades.