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Gandhi on Palestine [excerpt]

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“What is going on in Palestine now cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct…”

“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and in-human to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians born in France are French. If the Jews have no home but Palestine, will they relish the idea of being forced to leave the other parts of the world in which they are settled?  Or do they want a double home where they can remain at will? This cry  for the national home affords a colourable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews…..And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs….” Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi  (November 1938)

Complete Text  (Gandhi shows compassion for both Jews and Palestinians and desires for justice and human rights for all)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(see Palestine Remembered for more pix & info)

It is time to weep for Palestine…

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“Chemical Donald” Rumsfeld’s Hatred for Humanity: The Horrors of Aspartame

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Opinion:

http://www.naturalnews.com/026849_aspartame_health_Donald_Rumsfeld.html

Originally published August 15 2009 by Hesh Goldstein, citizen journalist

d(NaturalNews) The aspartame horror began in 1981 due to Donald Rumsfeld, as head of the G.D. Searle pharmaceutical company, when he used his political clout to put a known carcinogen on the market to poison a nation all in the name of money [and mind and population control].

In a Washington Post article of December 12, 2001 about Donald Rumsfeld, there was a one liner that was so incredibly relevant. That sentence was:

“He could be swilling Diet Coke with the secure knowledge that if not for his turnaround of Big Pharma giant G.D.Searle & Co. and successful touting of the sweetener aspartame, the beverage would not be possible”.

If Donald Rumsfeld had never been born think of how many millions of people the world over would not suffer headaches and dizziness. Thousands blind from the free methyl alcohol in aspartame would have sight, and there would be much fewer cases of optic neuritis and macular degeneration. Millions suffering seizures would live normal lives and wouldn`t be taking anti-seizure medication that won’t work because aspartame interacts with drugs and vaccines. Think of the runner, Flo Jo, who drank Diet Coke and died of a grand mal seizure. She, no doubt, would still be alive. Brain fog and memory loss, skyrocketing symptoms of aspartame disease, would not be epidemic.

Millions suffer insomnia because of the depletion of serotonin. Think of Heath Ledger. He took that horrible drug, Ambian CR for sleep, which makes your optic nerve and face swell and gives you horrible headaches. Plus, he drank Diet Coke and took other drugs and died of polypharmacy.

Since aspartame has been proven to be a multi potential carcinogen, would Farrah Fawcett still be alive?

Consider the constant plague of fallen athletes. Aspartame triggers an irregular heart rhythm and interacts with all cardiac medication. It damages the cardiac conduction system and causes sudden death. Thousands of athletes have fallen. Doctors H.J. Roberts and Russell Blaylock wrote these alerts:
http://www.wnho.net/aspartame msg scd.htm

and

http://www.wnho.net/aspartame and arrhythmias.htm

Epidemiological studies should be done on MS and lupus because of their link to aspartame use. Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from aspartame induced multiple sclerosis and lupus, and if not warned in time could lose their lives as many have. Hospice nurses have reported Alzheimer`s disease in 30 year olds as it skyrockets from Rumsfeld`s plague. Think of Michael Jackson, a former Diet Pepsi spokesman. He developed lupus, then came the drugs, then came the serious joint pain, and then he died of cardiac arrest which aspartame causes.

As the phenylalanine in aspartame deletes serotonin, it triggers all kinds of psychiatric and behavioral problems. The mental hospitals are full of patients who are nothing but aspartame victims. If Donald Rumsfeld had never been born, the revoked petition for approval of aspartame would have been signed by FDA commissioner Jere Goyan and the mental hospitals would house probably 50% less victims. Jere Goyan would never have been fired at 3:00 AM by the Reagan transition Team to over-rule the Board of Inquiry. Instead, FDA commissioner Jere Goyan would have signed the revoked petition into law. See: http:/www.mpwhi.com/fda petition1.doc. The FDA today would still be Big Pharma`s adversary instead of being their “hooker”.

If aspartame had not been approved, Lou Gehrig`s Disease, Parkinson`s and other neuro-degenerative diseases would not be knocking off the public in record numbers. Michael Fox, a Diet Pepsi spokesman, would never have gotten Parkinson`s at age 30. He would probably still be making movies, young and healthy. Aspartame interacts with L-dopa and other Parkinson drugs. Parcopa has aspartame in it and the pharmaceutical company refuses to remove it.

One has to take a deep breath when you think how heartless it is that there is not even a warning for pregnant women. Aspartame triggers every kind of birth defect from autism and Tourettes` Syndrome to cleft palate. Aspartame is an abortifacient (a drug that induces abortion). As an example, out of 9 pregnancies, 8 were lost and the one that survived is schizophrenic. Multiply that all over the world due to Rumsfeld`s Plague. ADD and ADHD would be rare instead of rampant.

It`s normal for young girls to look forward to marriage and children. Yet, many sip on diet soda or use aspartame products not realizing that aspartame is an endocrine disrupting agent, stimulating prolactin, which is a pituitary hormone that stimulates milk production at childbirth, changes the menstrual flow and causes infertility. Many go through life never knowing why they couldn`t have children. Aspartame even destroys marriages because it causes male sexual dysfunction and ruins female response.

Aspartame causes every type of blood disorder from a low blood platelet count to leukemia. Because aspartame can precipitate diabetes the disease is epidemic. To make matters worse, it can simulate and aggravate diabetic retinopathy and neuopathy, destroy the optic nerve, cause diabetics to go into convulsions and interact with insulin. Diabetics lose limbs from the free methyl alcohol; professional organizations like the American Diabetes Association push and defend this poison because they take money from the manufactures. How many millions would not have diabetes if Rumsfeld had never been born?

Aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal/Spoonful/E951/Candere/Benevia, etc) and MSG, another one of Ajinomoto`s horrors, are responsible for the epidemic of obesity the world over. Why? Because aspartame makes you crave carbohydrates and causes great toxicity to the liver.
http:/www.mpwhi.com/ aspartame makes you fatter.htm

The FDA report lists 92 symptoms from unconsciousness and coma to shortness of breath and shock. Medical texts list even more: “Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic”,www.sunsetpress.com by H.J. Roberts, M.D., and “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills” by neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., www.russellblaylockmd.com. There is simply no end to the horrors triggered by this literal addictive, excitoneurotoxic, genetically engineered carcinogenic drug. This chemical poison is so deadly that Dr. Bill Deagle, www.nutrimedical.com , a noted Virologist once said it was worse than depleted uranium because it is found everywhere in food.

The formaldehyde converted from the free methyl alcohol embalms living tissue and damages DNA according to the Trocho Study done in Barcelona in 1998. Even with this devastating study showing how serious a chemical poison aspartame is, the FDA has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to it. With Monsanto attorney Michael Taylor now appointed as Deputy Commissioner to the FDA by Obama, it`s nothing more than Monsanto`s Washington Branch Office. Even before the Ramazzini Studies showing aspartame to be a multi-potential carcinogen, the FDA knew it. Their own toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, even admitted that it violated the Delaney Amendment because of the brain tumors and brain cancer. Therefore, no allowable daily intake ever should have been able to be established. Aspartame caused all types of tumors from mammary, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic and thyroid to testicular and pituitary. Dr. Alemany, who did the Trocho Study, commented that aspartame could kill 200 million people. When you damage DNA you can destroy humanity.

Dr. James Bowen told the FDA over 20 years ago that aspartame is mass poisoning the American public and likewise in more than 70 countries of the world. No wonder it`s called “Rumsfeld`s Plague”.

Big Pharma knows all about aspartame and they add it to drugs, including the ones used to treat the problems caused by aspartame. Big Pharma has made America a fascist government. People are so sick from aspartame and yet they keep selling these dangerous pharmaceuticals at outrageous prices.

Dr. H.J. Roberts said in one of his books that you have to consider aspartame with killing children. We are talking about a drug that changes brain chemistry. Today children are medicated instead of educated.

Death and disability is what Donald Rumsfeld has heaped on consumers just to make money [and establish a fascist police state in America]. Think of the death of Charles Fleming who used to drink about 10 diet sodas a day. Then he used creatine on top of this, which interacts, and is considered the actual cause of death. Yet his wife, Diane Fleming, remains in a prison in Virginia convicted of his death, despite being the very one who tried to get her husband to stop using these dangerous products containing aspartame in the first place.

The list never ends. At least six American Airlines` pilots, who were heavy users of aspartame, have died with one in flight drinking a Diet Coke. When American Airlines was written about removing aspartame they said, “leave the flying to us”. Pilots too are sick and dying on aspartame, and when you fly your life is in the hands of the pilot. There was a case with a Delta pilot that died from esophageal cancer and had a history of consuming huge quantities of diet sodas. This was brought to the attention of the Delta management that refused the pilot`s wife`s request to alert other pilots.

Then there`s the Persian Gulf where diet sodas sat on pallets daily in temperatures in the 100 to 120 degree range for as long as 9 weeks at a time before the soldiers drank them all day long. Remember, aspartame converts to formaldehyde at 86 degrees; it interacts with vaccines and damages the mitochondria or life of the cell, and the whole molecule breaks down to a brain tumor agent.

There`s a book out there called, “Rumsfeld, His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy”, by Andrew Cockburn that will substantiate all of this. And fittingly, Rumsfeld appropriately lives in a place called Mount Misery.

In the video, “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World”, which you can view at www.healthtalkhawaii.com, attorney James Turner explains how Rumsfeld got his poison marketed for human consumption. To learn about how the CDC investigation was covered up – The Rumsfeld-Pepsi-Nixon Connection, go to http://www.sweetremedy.tv/pages/rum… or view it in its entirety atwww.healthtalkhawaii.com.

For over a quarter of a century there has been mass poisoning of the public in over 100 countries of the world by aspartame because Donald Rumsfeld, as he put it, “called in his markers”. The aspartame industry has paid front groups and professional organizations to defend them and push it on the very people it can cause the most harm to. A suit was filed against the American Diabetes Association in 2004 for racketeering but they got out of it.

The hands of physicians are tied. Most are clueless that a patient is using aspartame, and the drugs used to treat the aspartame problem will probably interact and may even contain aspartame. This is the world that Donald Rumsfeld is responsible for!

My eternal thanks to Dr. Betty Martini, Founder, of Mission Possible International for her undying efforts in exposing this heinous crime against humanity.

Her websites are:
www.mpwhi.com
www.dorway.com
www.wnho.com

About the author: Hesh Goldstein: Vegetarian since 1975, vegan since 1990. Moderator of a weekly radio show in Honolulu called, “Health Talk” since 1981. To obtain a state of good health, if it had a face or a mother or if man made it, don’t eat it.
For more information: www.healthtalkhawaii.com

NOTE: All this is in addition to Rumsfeld’s “career” as one of the most malevolent war criminals in history.… Another point: the original purpose

of Aspartame was as a chemical weapon; it’s a weapon that Rumsfeld has used against all the people in the world for 20 years. Why is he

getting away with it? He should be tried for crimes against humanity.

Obama @ the UN: The Overwhelming Arrogance of American Imperialism

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From WSWS.org

Obama at the UN: The arrogant voice of imperialism

By Bill Van Auken
24 September 2010

President Barack Obama used his speech at the United Nations General Assembly Thursday to defend US wars and state terror abroad and to proclaim that the economic crisis has been resolved thanks to his Wall Street bailout.

The US president received a noticeably tepid response from the assembled UN delegates. While in his first address to the body last year, he was able to pose as a fresh alternative to the crimes carried out by the Bush administration, by now it has become clear to most on the international stage that his administration’s policies are largely in continuity with those of its predecessor.

In its tone and its content, the Obama speech was the authentic and arrogant voice of US imperialism.

Parroting remarks delivered by George W. Bush from the same podium, Obama began by invoking September 11, 2001, once again exploiting the terrorist attacks of that day to justify the acts of military aggression committed by both US administrations in the intervening nine years.

In the same breath, he referred to Wall Street’s financial meltdown of September 2008, as an event that “devastated American families on Main Street,” while “crippling markets and deferring the dreams of millions on every continent.”

These two events were presented as the source of the core challenges confronting the US administration. Supposedly in response to the first, the Obama administration has continued and escalated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan-Pakistan, while reaffirming Washington’s “right” to carry out unilateral military aggression anywhere on the planet.

In response to the second, the administration continued the massive bailout begun under Bush, committing more than $12 trillion to propping up the US banks and financial institutions, while holding none of those involved responsible for the criminal forms of speculation practiced on Wall Street.

Obama claimed that the so-called Wall Street reform legislation passed by his administration would ensure “that a crisis like this never happens again.” It does nothing of the kind, placing no serious limits on the speculative activities and profitability of the big banks and leaving Wall Street to continue with “business as usual.”

“The global economy has been pulled back from the brink of a depression,” Obama told his UN audience. This statement flies in the face of the grim conditions confronting working people on every continent. This includes the US itself, where the official unemployment rate remains near 10 percent, the unemployed and underemployed account for 17 percent of the workforce, some 30 million people, and one out of every seven Americans is living below the poverty line.

While profits have returned to pre-crisis levels, the reality is that none of the underlying contradictions that have given rise to the deepest world economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s has been resolved. They have only grown in intensity. The response of the ruling classes throughout the world has been to redouble their attacks on the working class in an attempt to force it to pay for this crisis.

Obama followed his assertion about the economy being pulled back from “the brink” with an even more absurd claim that he would not “rest until these seeds of progress grow into a broader prosperity, not only for all Americans, but for peoples around the globe.”

In the US, throughout Europe and in much of the rest of the world, governments are pursuing unprecedented austerity policies that are ripping up basic social rights and dramatically lowering the living standards of working people. Meanwhile, Obama himself spoke before a global poverty summit the day before his speech, warning the world’s poorest that Washington was determined to break their cycle of “dependency.”

The US president’s lies about the economy were followed by the fraudulent claim that the military operations his administration is pursuing abroad are aimed at upholding “our common security.”

Obama said that he is “winding down the war in Iraq” and will pull out all of its occupation troops by the end of next year. At the same time, he declared Washington’s intention to forge “a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people,” by which he means maintaining a US protectorate over the oil-rich country in order to advance the geo-strategic interests of American capitalism.

He said that the drawing down US troops in Iraq had allowed the US military to be “refocused on defeating al Qaeda and denying its affiliates a safe haven” in Afghanistan. This is another lie. US military and intelligence officials acknowledge that there are no more than 100 al Qaeda members in all of Afghanistan. The nearly 100,000 US troops deployed in that country are not combating “terrorism,” but asserting US neo-colonial control in a bid to advance Washington’s quest for hegemony in Central Asia.

In one of the speech’s more chilling passages, Obama bragged that “from South Asia to the Horn of Africa, we are moving toward a more targeted approach” in the war on terror, that did not require “deploying large American armies.” In other words, while constrained in its ability to carry out another major military occupation, US imperialism is pursuing its policies by means of assassinations, drone missile attacks and the deployment of elite killing squads, and has arrogated to itself the right to target and kill its perceived opponents anywhere on the planet.

Obama used the speech to once again threaten Iran. Only days before his appearance at the UN, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech urging elements within the Iranian ruling elite to carry out regime change in the country. He reiterated the vow made in his speech last year that Iran “must be held accountable” for its alleged violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

At least a quarter of Obama’s address was dedicated to the US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks” that appear to be on the brink of yet another breakdown in the face of Israeli intransigence and provocation.

For all the hackneyed rhetoric about the “Holy Land” and “our common humanity,” the Obama administration is pursuing these negotiations as a means of solidifying support among the Arab regimes for its escalating threats of aggression against Iran and to further its domination of the Middle East.

The content of the speech made clear the US administration’s unwavering complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. Obama urged that a limited moratorium declared by the Israeli government be extended beyond September 26, when it is set to expire. He said Israel should do this because it “improved the atmosphere for talks,” not because the entire settlement activity in the Israeli-occupied West Bank is a violation of international law and multiple UN resolutions. In the same breath, the US president asserted that “talks should press on until completed,” presumably regardless of what Israel does.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has insisted that his government will not extend the moratorium, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had initially insisted that his delegation would be forced to walk out if it does not. An ever-pliant servant of Washington, Abbas has since indicated that he might back down on this threat.

The rest of Obama’s remarks on the Israeli-Palestinian question had an Orwellian flavor, in which Israel was presented as the victim. “The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance—it’s injustice,” Obama declared. He made no mention of the slaughter of 1,400 Palestinians in the US-backed siege of Gaza in 2008-2009 or the criminal attack on the Gaza aid flotilla that killed nine Turkish civilians last May. The day the US president spoke, the UN issued a report charging that Israel’s actions were illegal and employed an “unacceptable level of brutality,” meriting war crimes prosecution.

The US president concluded his speech with an exaltation of “democracy” and “human rights,” which again echoed similar language employed by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

In Bush’s case, this phony democratic rhetoric was employed to justify US imperialism’s drive for dominance in the Middle East, where Washington demonstrated its commitment to “human rights” by carrying out mass killings, the detention of tens of thousands without charges or trial, and the infamous acts of torture at Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Guantánamo.

In Obama’s case, the posturing as the global champion of democratic rights is no less contemptible. The target, however, appears to have shifted.

The Council on Foreign Relations, the establishment thinktank that enjoys close ties to the administration and the State Department, spelled this out. Noting Obama’s “full-throated endorsement of democracy as the best form of government,” it commented: “Yet the appeal of such an idea faces challenges at bodies like the UN. This is not, for example, the future world that Chinese leaders envision.”

Indeed, Obama followed his celebration of democracy by calling attention to his upcoming trip to Asia, ticking off the countries he will visit—India, Indonesia, Korea, Japan—and praising each for having promoted “democratic principles in their own way.” The itinerary includes the four largest countries that US strategists envision as bulwarks against the expansion of Chinese influence.

On the same day that Obama delivered his speech, the New York Times published a front-page article on the increasingly tense US-China relationship that was clearly based on the perspective of the US administration. The Times reported that “rising frictions between China and its neighbors in recent weeks over security issues have handed the United States an opportunity to reassert itself—one the Obama administration has been keen to take advantage of.”

It noted that Washington has inserted itself into territorial disputes between China and Southeast Asian countries, organized provocative joint military exercises with South Korea near Chinese waters and has solidified its alliance with Japan, largely in opposition to China’s influence.

Under conditions of rising conflicts between Washington and Beijing over currency and trade relations, Obama’s praise for “democracy” at the UN represents a thinly veiled threat of new and far more catastrophic eruptions of American militarism.

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Obama’s Speech Defects

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Empire Burlesque

Speech Defect: Emissions of Evil From the Oval Office

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 01:47 AM PDT

On Tuesday night, Barack Obama gave a speech from the Oval Office on Iraq that was almost as full of hideous, murderous lies as the speech on Iraq his predecessor gave in the same location more than seven years ago.

After mendaciously declaring an “end to the combat mission in Iraq” — where almost 50,000 regular troops and a similar number of mercenaries still remain, carrying out the same missions they have been doing for years — Obama delivered what was perhaps the most egregious, bitterly painful lie of the night:

“Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility.”

“We have met our responsibility!” No, Mister President, we have not. Not until many Americans of high degree stand in the dock for war crimes. Not until the United States pays hundreds of billions of dollars in unrestricted reparations to the people of Iraq for the rape of their country and the mass murder of their people. Not until the United States opens its borders to accept all those who have been and will be driven from Iraq by the savage ruin we have inflicted upon them, or in flight from the vicious thugs and sectarians we have loosed — and empowered — in the land. Not until you, Mister President, go down on your knees, in sackcloth and ashes, and proclaim a National of Day of Shame to be marked each year by lamentations, reparations and confessions of blood guilt for our crime against humanity in Iraq.

Then and only then, Mister President, can you say that America has begun — in even the most limited, pathetic way — to “meet its responsibility” for what it has done to Iraq. And unless you do this, Mister President — and you never will — you are just a lying, bloodsoaked apologist, accomplice and perpetrator of monstrous evil, like your predecessor and his minions — many of whom, of course, are now your minions.

I really don’t have anything else to say about this sickening spectacle — which is being compounded in Britain, where I live, by the sight today of Tony Blair’s murder-tainted mug plastered on the front of the main newspapers, as he makes the rounds pushing his new book, doling out “exclusive interviews” full of crocodile tears for the soldiers he had murdered in the war crime he committed and the “great suffering” of the Iraqi people which, goodness gracious, he never foresaw and feels, gosh, really bad about. All this laced with venomous comments about his former colleagues — those who, like Gordon Brown, sold their souls to advance Blair’s vision of aggressive war abroad and corporate rapine at home — along with, of course, earnest protestations of his God-directed good intentions, and his unwavering belief that killing a million innocent human beings in Iraq was “the right thing to do.” Pol Pot could not have been more blindly self-righteous than this wretched moral cretin.

I will say again what I have said here many, many times before: What quadrant of hell is hot enough for such men?

Words might fail me, but wise man William Blum has a few that put the “end of combat operations in Iraq” in their proper perspective. Let’s give him the last word here [the ellipses are in the original text]:

No American should be allowed to forget that the nation of Iraq, the society of Iraq, have been destroyed, ruined, a failed state. The Americans, beginning 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, killed wantonly, tortured … the people of that unhappy land have lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children to pick them up … an army of young Islamic men went to Iraq to fight the American invaders; they left the country more militant, hardened by war, to spread across the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia … a river of blood runs alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again.

II. Same Question, Same Answer
The piece below was written in the first few weeks after the invasion. Its scene is the same Oval Office where Barack Obama spoke last night. And the choice offered to the leader in this piece is the same one that Obama has been offered — and his decision has been the same one taken here, not only for Iraq, but for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and many other places around the world.

The Karamazov Question
Variation on a theme by Dostoevsky

A man appeared in the doorway of the Oval Office. He wasn’t noticed at first, in the bustle around the desk of the president, where George W. Bush was preparing to announce to the world that the “decapitation raid” he had launched on Baghdad a few hours before was in fact the beginning of his long-planned, much-anticipated invasion of Iraq.

A woman fussed with the president’s hair, which had been freshly cut for the television appearance. A make-up artist dabbed delicate touches of rouge on the president’s cheeks. Another attendant fluttered in briefly to adjust the president’s tie, which, like the $6,000 suit the president was wearing, had arrived that morning from a Chicago couturier. As for the president’s $900 designer shoes – which, as a recent news story had pointed out playfully, were not only made by the same Italian craftsman who supplied Saddam Hussein with footwear, but were also the same size and make as those ordered by the Iraqi dictator – they had been carefully polished earlier by yet another aide, even though they would of course be out of sight during the broadcast.

In addition to all of this activity, the president’s political advisors and speechwriters were also making last-minute adjustments to the brief speech, while giving the president pointers about his delivery: “Keep your gaze and your voice steady. Project firmness of purpose. Confidence, calmness, character. And short phrases, lightly punched. Don’t worry, the breaks and stresses will be marked on the teleprompter.”

It’s little wonder that no one saw the man as he advanced slowly to the center of the room. He stood there silently, until the sense of his presence crept up on the others. One by one, they turned to look at him, this unauthorized figure, this living breach of protocol. He was, in almost every sense, non-descript. He wore a plain suit of indeterminate color; his features and his skin betrayed no particular race. He had no badge, no papers; how had he come to be here, where nothing is allowed that is not licensed by power?

Then, more astonishing, they saw his companion: a two-year-old girl standing by his side. A mass of tousled hair framed her face; a plain red dress covered her thin body. She too was silent, but not as still as the man. Instead, she turned her head this way and that, her eyes wide with curiosity, drawn especially by the bright television lights that shone on the president.

A Marine guard reached for his holster, but the man raised his hand, gently, and the guard’s movement was arrested. The aides and attendants stepped back then stood rooted, as if stupefied, their ranks forming a path from the man at the room’s center to the president’s desk. The president, brilliant in the light, alone retained the freedom to move and speak. “Who are you?” he asked, rising from his chair. “What do you want?”

The man put his hand tenderly on the back of the girl’s head and came forward with her. “I have a question for you, and an opportunity,” the man replied. “I’ve heard it said that you are righteous, and wish to do good for the world.”

“I am,” said the president. “I wish only to do God’s will, as He in His wisdom reveals it to me. In His will is the whole good of the world. What is your question, what is your opportunity? Be quick; I have mighty business at hand.”

The man nodded. “If tonight you could guarantee the good of the world – peace and freedom, democracy and prosperity, now and forever; if tonight, you could relieve the suffering of all those who labor under tyranny and persecution, all those who groan in poverty and disease; if tonight, you could redeem the anguish of creation, past and future, now and forever; if tonight, you could guarantee such a universal reconciliation, by the simple expedient of taking this” – here the man suddenly produced a black pistol and held it out to the president – “and putting a bullet through the brain of this little one here, just her, no one else: would you do it? That is my question, this is your opportunity.”

With firmness of purpose, the president grasped the pistol and walked around the desk. With confidence, calmness, and steady hand, he pressed the barrel to the girl’s head and pulled the trigger. Her eyes, which had grown even wider with her smile at the approach of the nicely dressed man and his rosy cheeks, went black with blood in the instant shattering of her skull. Her body spun round from the force of the shot – once, twice, three times in all – then fell, her mutilated head flailing wildly, in a heap on the floor of the Oval Office.

At that moment, the man faded, like a dream, into nothingness. The aides and attendants, unfrozen, stepped back into their tasks. The room was again a whirl of activity, like a hive. The president – the dematerialized gun no longer in his hand – strode confidently back to his chair. He winked at a nearby aide and pumped his fist: “Feel good!” he exulted.

The speech went off without a hitch. The hair was perfect, the voice steady, the phrases short and lightly punched. No one saw the blood and bits of brain that clung to the president’s $900 designer shoes; they were, of course, out of sight during the broadcast.

First published in The Moscow Times on April 20, 2003.

Terry Crawford-Browne: To End the Occupation of Palestine, Target Israeli Banks

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A logical strategy for boycotting Israel is to begin with Israeli banks. Worth a read

Terry Crawford-Browne, The Electronic Intifada, 30 June 2010

Targeting Israeli banks will help bring an end to the occupation. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)

The international banking sanctions campaign in New York against apartheid South Africa during the 1980s is regarded as the most effective strategy in bringing about a nonviolent end to the country’s apartheid system. The campaign culminated in President FW de Klerk’s announcement in February 1990, releasing Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners, and the beginning of constitutional negotiations towards a non-racial and democratic society.

If international civil society is serious about urgently ending Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, including ending the occupation, then suspension of SWIFT transactions to and from Israeli banks offers an instrument to help bring about a peaceful resolution of an intractable conflict. With computerization, international banking technology has advanced dramatically in the subsequent 20 years since the South African anti-apartheid campaign.

Although access to New York banks remains essential for foreign exchange transactions because of the role of the dollar, interbank transfer instructions are conducted through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), which is based in Belgium. So, instead of New York — as in the period when sanctions were applied on South Africa– Belgium is now the pressure point.

SWIFT links 8,740 financial institutions in 209 countries. Without access to SWIFT and its interbank payment network, countries are unable either to pay for imports or to receive payment for exports. In short, no payment — no trade. Should it come to a point where trade sanctions are imposed on Israel, it may be able to evade them. Instead of chasing trade sanctions-busters and plugging loopholes, it is both faster and much more effective to suspend the payment system.

The Israeli government may consider itself to be militarily and diplomatically invincible, given support from the United States, and other governments, but Israel’s economy is exceptionally dependent upon international trade. It is thus very vulnerable to financial retaliation. South Africa’s apartheid government had also believed itself to be immune from foreign pressure.

Without SWIFT, Israel’s access to the international banking system would be crippled. Banking is the lifeblood of any economy. Without payment for imports or exports, the Israeli economy would quickly collapse. The matter has gained additional urgency with the bill now before the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to penalize any person who promotes the imposition of boycotts against Israel. Another important political factor is that SWIFT is not only outside American jurisdiction, it is also beyond the reach of Israeli military retaliation.

Israel has long experience in sanctions-busting since the 1948 Arab boycotts. Apartheid South Africa was also well experienced in sanctions-busting — breaking oil embargoes was almost a “national sport.” Trade sanctions are invariably full of loopholes. Profiteering opportunities abound, as illustrated by Iraq, Cuba and numerous countries against which for many years the United States unsuccessfully has applied trade sanctions. Iran conducts its trade through Dubai, which happily profits from the political impasse.

Suspension of bank payments plugs such loopholes, and also alters the balance of power so that meaningful negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians become even possible. This is because banking sanctions impact quickly upon financial elites who have the clout to pressure governments to concede political change. Trade sanctions, by contrast, impact hardest on the poor or lower-paid workers, who have virtually no political influence.

SWIFT will, however, only take action against Israeli banks if ordered to do so by a Belgian court, and then only in very exceptional circumstances. Such very exceptional circumstances are now well-documented by the UN-commissioned Goldstone report into Israel’s winter 2008-09 invasion and massacre in Gaza and by the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010. There is also a huge body of literature from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other organizations detailing Israeli war crimes and violations of humanitarian law.

The Israeli government, like that of apartheid South Africa, has become a menace to the international community. Corruption and abuses of human rights are invariably interconnected. Israel’s long military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, for example, has corrupted almost every aspect of Israeli society, most especially its economy. The Organization For Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported in December 2009 that the Israeli government lacks commitment in tackling international corruption and money laundering.

The international financial system is exceedingly sensitive about allegations of money laundering, but also to any associations with human rights abuses. Organized crime and money laundering are major international security threats, as illustrated by the United States subpoena after the 11 September 2001 attacks of SWIFT data to track terrorist financing. The website Who Profits? (www.whoprofits.org) lists hundreds of international and Israeli companies that illegally profiteer from the occupation.

Their operations range from construction of the “apartheid wall” and settlements to agricultural produce grown on confiscated Palestinian land. As examples, Caterpillar, Volvo and Hyundai supply bulldozing equipment to demolish Palestinian homes. British supermarkets sell fresh produce grown in the West Bank, but illegally labelled as Israeli. Ahava markets Dead Sea mud and cosmetics.

The notorious Lev Leviev claims in Dubai that Leviev diamonds are of African origin, and are cut and polished in the United States rather than Israel. They are sourced from Angola, Namibia and also allegedly Zimbabwe, and can rightly be described as “blood diamonds.” Israeli diamond exports in 2008 were worth $19.4 billion, and accounted for almost 35 percent of Israeli exports. Industrial grade diamonds are essential to Israel’s armaments industry, and its provision of surveillance equipment to the world’s most unsavory dictatorships. Such profiteering depends on foreign exchange and access to the international payments system. Hence interbank transfers are essential, and SWIFT — willingly or unwillingly — has become complicit, as were the New York banks with apartheid South Africa.

Accordingly, a credible civil society organization amongst the Palestinian diaspora should lead the SWIFT sanctions campaign against Israeli banks. And, per the South African experience, it should be led by civil society rather than rely on governments.

Each bank has an eight letter SWIFT code that identifies both the bank and its country of domicile. “IL” are the fifth and sixth letters in SWIFT codes that identify Israel. The four major Israeli banks and their SWIFT codes are Israel Discount Bank (IDBILIT), Bank Hapoalim (POALILIT), Bank Leumi (LUMIILIT) and Bank of Israel (ISRAILIJ).

Such a suspension would not affect domestic banking transactions within Israel and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip — or international transfers to Palestinian banks that have separate “PS” identities. The campaign can be reversed as soon as the objectives have been achieved, and without long-term economic damage.

What is required is an urgent application in a Belgian court ordering SWIFT to reprogram its computers to suspend all transactions to and from Israeli banks until the Israeli government agrees to end the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and that it will dismantle the “apartheid wall;” the Israeli government recognizes the fundamental rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and Israel recognizes, respects and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees.

The writer is a retired banker, who advised the South African Council of Churches on the banking sanctions campaign against apartheid South Africa. He spent October 2009 to January 2010 in East Jerusalem monitoring checkpoints, house demolitions and evictions, and liaising with Israeli peace groups. He lives in Cape Town.

ei: To end the occupation, cripple Israeli banks

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The Crucifixion of Kindness (again & again & again)

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The Crucifixion of Kindness

by Gilad Atzmon

Panic is detected in Israel. Strategic affairs minister, Moshe Boogi Ya’alon who served as acting PM during last week’s massacre in the high seas said yesterday that “someone failed to prepare a standard operating procedure.” A senior IDF official was quick to respond “If there wasn’t a standard operating procedure, why didn’t he make sure there was one. He was the acting prime minister and it was his responsibility.” War criminal Tzipi Livni is also unhappy with the Government for failing to take responsibility. Two days ago she led a no confidence vote in the Israeli Knesset.

Seemingly the Israelis are starting to blame each other. This may look like a positive move, however, not a single Israeli is yet to ask for forgiveness. Seemingly no one in Israel grasps the scale of the atrocity in the high seas. No one in Israel comprehends the level of outrage amongst the nations. Israelis, are instead concerned with their Hasbara failure, their military operational mistakes and so on. Up until now, they fail to see that in the high seas, they have managed to kill Christ again. [note a word to the wise: to avoid being called a Christ-killer, stop acting like one]

Killing Christ is realised symbolically as an assault on goodness, a crime against kindness and innocence. The cold blooded slaughter of peace activists in international waters has a very similar effect. It is an assault on compassion, righteousness and humanism. It is an attack on everything Christianity and Islam happen to value. As much as Israelis, Zionists and Neocons are insisting on  spreading the deceptive myth of a Judeo-Christian alliance, it is this last Israeli crime that made it clear that the Jewish State shares nothing with humanism, Christianity or Islam. Israel in fact stands against any recognised Western value.

Though the contemporary  Israeli has no ethnic or biological lineage to the  ancient  Israelites, the merciless ideology repeats itself.  Since, the Zionist project defines itself as  a revival of the  Biblical Israelite nation, it shouldn’t take us by surprise that the  lethal Biblical ideology  also comes to life. It is implemented daily  against Palestinian  women, children, elders and now against an international humanitarian convoy.

If we want to understand what happened to the Palestinian solidarity movement last week, we  could start by elaborating on a mass shift of consciousness. This goes beyond politics, psychology or sociology, it is actually a spiritual metaphysical shift. As I have been predicting for many years, we now start to see hope and liberation through the Palestinians and their righteous  struggle. We understand that the Palestinians are at the forefront of the battle against evil. And we obviously stand behind them as one person. Interestingly enough,  politicians are way behind. They still fail to notice the rapidly emerging worldwide public awareness that something is deeply sick in the Israeli society and its lobbies around the world. Our politicians will probably join us later, when their Zionist money runs out.

By equating Christ’s murder with last week’s massacre in the high seas, we can then understand the total failure of the Israeli Hasbara machine. Instead of standing up and admitting that something went horribly wrong at sea, Israeli officials reverted to the usual spin. The Turkish activists had become ‘Jew haters’, ‘Al-Qaeda terrorists’, and the Mavi Marmara had become a ‘Boat of Hate’. This tactic is unfortunately too familiar. It has been employed by Rabbinical Judaism for two thousand years, especially against the memory of Christ.

I guess that Christians and Muslims will be shocked and outraged to find out that Yesh’u (יש”ו), the Hebrew name for Jesus, is an abbreviation that corresponds to the “May his name and memory be blotted out”*,  an expression used for deceased enemies of the Jewish people like Hitler and Stalin. In the Hebraic culture, Jesus, the kindest of all people, the son of God, is regarded as the ultimate enemy. If Jesus is cornered with Hitler, it shouldn’t surprise us that Hasbara officials insist to stick Peace activists with Al-Qaeda. Seemingly, in the modern Israelite philosophy one becomes a Yesh’u hate  figure once hit by an Israeli bullet.

The Judaic hatred towards Jesus, as reflected by the Hebraic abbreviation Yesh’u is pretty revealing in the context of the latest Israeli massacre. Rather than accepting its crime and genuinely repenting, Israel attempted to portray the Turkish martyrs as the ultimate Jewish enemies. Seemingly, this attempt failed completely. The Free Gaza flotilla is now making it into a symbol of hope and compassion. Israel, on the other hand shoved itself into a corner. This is a tragic prophecy that fulfilled itself. Israel will never recover, it simply can’t.

*ימח שמו וזכרו