Arbitrated disagreement is being used in the courts to determine guilt or innocence The United States political system evolved into two parties that compete for the power to govern. Americans are avid fans of sporting events that pit skilled individuals and team players against each other. Businesses compete for market share and employees for promotions. Children compete for their parent’s affection. Nations compete for power and prestige and in our time there are even false flag competitions created by tyrannical governments to accomplish nefarious goals.
Libertarians have made a demi-god of competition by deifying the market while tyrants have learned they can accumulate power by murdering the competition. In 1950, UCLA Bruins football coach Henry (Red) Sanders said this, “Men, I’ll be honest. Winning isn’t everything” pause “Men, it’s the only thing!” Sports writers attributed the same statement to Vince Lombardi at his opening meeting with the Green Bay Packers. Many of our Christian leaders enjoy “broadening their phylacteries” by occupying a seat of honor at dinner, appearing on television, having the largest congregation or being seen as an authority. Competition is keen in Christian circles. Though little is accomplished for Christ’s Kingdom winners accumulate power and prestige while losers get the spoils.
Political parties quickly followed the drafting of the United States Constitution. George Washington, our first President, had no party affiliation but the division between the Federalists and anti-Federalists set the stage for political factions and parties resulted. Thomas Jefferson formed the first formal political party called the Democratic-Republicans. The name was intended to describe the will of the people restrained by the rule of law.
In 1828 President Andrew Jackson formed the Democratic Party which was intended to be a party of the people as opposed to the Democratic-Republicans which was the party of the elite. In the interests of the people as opposed to the elite, Jackson was noted for a successful battle against the money interests and their quest for a Central Bank.
Two political parties have controlled politics throughout United States history. Until recently both have maintained some regard for their oath to abide by the Constitution but as Executive Orders have given the President kingly powers congress has forsaken the Constitution and the good of the nation in favor of party affiliation and personal gain.
Political parties distort the intent of government by overlaying each consideration with a regard for the party. Religious affiliations are similar. Catholics in particular often refer to their religion as Catholic when Christian should be the proper term. We refer to our representatives as Democratic representative so and so or Republican representative so and so. Political parties and religious denominations create obstructions.
Political competition has deteriorated the concept of right and wrong by replacing the absolute with compromise. Compromise always produces something less than the best and over time results in national deterioration.
With the vigorous effort of Evangelical Christian polemics to find evidence of Christianity in the roots of our nation it is curious that if Christianity was uppermost in the minds of the Founders they did not encode it in the Constitution.
History records scant periods of freedom for the majority of the human race. Without an emphasis on individual responsibility governments become cancerous and freedom is lost.
For the most part the world lives under Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Individuals compete with each other within nations and nations compete with each other on the world stage. The winner accumulates more power resulting in progressive centralization.
At its founding the United States of America understood this principle and devised a governmental document that supported a diffusion of power to each individual state. When the secretive Philadelphia Convention was convened in 1787 its stated purpose was to amend the Articles of Confederation but powerful forces had already devised a Constitution that would be substituted as the centerpiece of the convention.
The duplicity involved at the Philadelphia meeting is obscured by substituting the word “Constitutional” for “Philadelphia”. This distortion tends to hide the manipulation. It is similar to the word Democracy, a misnomer almost universally used to describe our form of government. We live in a Republic, not a Democracy and it was the Philadelphia Convention not the Constitutional Convention.
When the Philadelphia Convention was convened the nation was over ninety-five percent Christian. Yet, the Constitution defied the Biblical pattern of dispersion by creating a document that centralized power.
The evil forces that control the United States of America have been working to destroy our country for at least a hundred years and since the Constitution forbids a religious affiliation it has allowed them free reign.
Family government can be seen in the structure of God’s creation; it is basic to the Biblical pattern. Keeping the family paramount defuses power and helps the federal government maintain its role as servant to society.
Not long ago someone sent me some interesting pictures of women factory workers producing munitions during WWII. The wide spread practice of women working outside the home struck a devastating blow to the family. When women are loosed into industry and the military they require the additional protection of laws against harassment that were not required when they were in charge of their own families. Women are often smarter than men but they are seldom stronger. A proper social order involves men being protectors of their wives and families; attempts to change this order are a foolish defiance of reality.
The problems that afflict our society cannot be fixed with Band Aids; additional framing will not stabilize a house built on sand. Education of children is a family responsibility and efforts to fix it at the public level will not succeed. Neighborhood schools controlled by the families that use them provide the bestpattern. A high quality private higher educational system is necessary but the government should not be involved in education.
If the Biblical pattern had been used to form the legal basis of our new nation it would have had a much better chance of survival. A Christian oath would have helped prevent the slide into humanism. Obedience to the oath might have tended to deteriorate but the immutable requirements of the Creator would provide a stark comparison.
Think of what change the Biblical law requiring honest weights and measures would make in our merchandising and political systems. Ignoring that Biblical standard has resulted in a nation that is afloat in lies, deception, and propaganda.
The family was formed and is still substantially used to procreate and nurture. Homosexuality has always existed but for much of history it has been restrained. It is illegal in Biblical law because it works against God’s basic family pattern. Feminism distorts the role of males and females in the creation and results in increased divorces and single parent homes.
Human ingenuity has produced an agricultural age, a mechanical age, and now an electronic age. The family structure was supported by a close association with the land. Mechanical inventions of the Industrial Revolution injured the family structure by making children a liability rather than an asset. God designed us for physical labor to be used in populating and subduing the creation. Today in the Western world, we waste our energies on treadmills, murder our children for convenience and limit our families with contraceptives. Separating families from the land has resulted in a loss of the strategic relationship between land and population. While third world nations multiply quickly Western civilization is failing to replace itself.
We are creating a disaster by distorting the proper use of what God has given us through abortion, war, birth control, and homosexuality. Instead of supporting the proper family structure and relating it to the earth, our only source of sustenance, we are working toward consolidating and centralizing. Centralizing power and tyrannizing the world population cannot result in the peace and justice God seeks for His creation.
Centralization results in wars and wars result in weapons. Weapons of mass destruction are a result of centralized power. Families do not develop atomic weapons, chemical weapons, foreign wars, genocide, drones, torture, invasions, murders, and mass propaganda. Neither will governments that serve the people instead of seeking the siren of power.
If we had made the One True God our King instead of a pagan government we would not be facing incipient tyranny.
“History’s verdict is that by defining marriage as monogamy and making extramarital sex immoral, the Biblical tradition laid down a foundation for stable families, strong women, children, economy, and society. By keeping his vows to a woman, made before God and community, a man learns to keep his word in other situations. When keeping one’s word becomes a strong cultural value, then trust becomes the foundation for social life.” Indian Christian, Vishal Mangalwadi. The Book That Made Your World” Pg. 294
And The Genre of American Society…
“We are no more free citizens in modern nations; for there are no nations and no free citizens. We are just grey and febrile pawns, volatile and nervous ants and cyber-cockroaches – name it as you want – lodging in a big technological concentration camp named the American matrix. An individual will be by no mean himself, for the old Christian subject is dead. For our ruling elites, who always lament the Russian resilience and threaten strangulated Iran, there are no nations, no races, no spirituality and no soul: there is just a cyber-personality in search of an ergonomic perfection and a global network of electronic prisons and ecological surveillance. As foresaw Job, the current man is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks upon a snare” Nicolas Bonnal, Pravda.
Many Americans are adamant about obedience to the United States Constitution. Our beloved country which is feeling the encumbrance of the elite power structure clamors for Constitutionalism and seeks redress in the courts. When Christians support a document that forbids allegiance to The One True God and ignores His writing they invite His wrath. The Constitution opens wide the door for pagan government by forbidding a Christian oath and making it legal for infidels to rule over the nation.
When I expressed doubts about the efficacy of the United States Constitution I was shunned by some of my readers. Many thought I had become a disciple of Reverend Ted Weiland (He has done excellent work in analyzing the pernicious nature of the United States Constitution.) or had forsaken R. J. Rushdoony. Neither is true. I began to question the Constitution when I learned who supported it, who wrote it, the secrecy and duplicity that was involved in the Philadelphia Convention and the tragic results of some of its content.
The wickedness of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is at least to some extent a result of the failure of the United States Constitution to set forth proper moral restraints. Diane Spignola writes: “The CIA’s activities, per the official government directive, included the following: propaganda; economic warfare; preventive direct action, including industrial sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrilla and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist or now anti-nationalist elements in countries around the world. Such operations should not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations.” She claims that, ”At least six million people had perished by 1987 as a result of the CIA’s covert operations. Not only is the CIA not an intelligence agency, it distorts information and perpetuates misinformation and disinformation to justify its own goals. This wide-range deception has resulted in organized terrorism throughout the world. Using the CIA, our government routinely dismisses or ignores national and international laws under the guise of ‘national security.’”
Wall Street and the money interests had their hand in the formation of the CIA. According to Kai Bird’s biography “The Chairman”, in1941 John J. McCloy asked Attorney General Robert Jackson for authorization to use wire taps to ferret out potential saboteurs. Jackson was against unauthorized snooping on private citizens and turned him down. McCloy actually envisioned an even more extensive organization that would operate secretly dispensing propaganda, collecting intelligence, and manipulating people and governments. He said, “I am somewhat obsessed with the necessity of establishing a propaganda or information bureau for our defense….It is more essential than artillery”.
McCloy’s request for wire tap authorization was backed by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. An attempt to get congressional approval was defeated by a vote of 154 to 146. At about the same time William J. Donovan who had first-hand experience with the British intelligence system and the ear of President Franklin D. Roosevelt was appointed Coordinator of Information (A name Bird attributes to McCloy.) a new function described as a means of bringing together the variety of intelligence gathering functions of the FBI, Army, Navy, and U. S. Department of State. The coordination effort met with considerable resistance but the organization provided a platform for another intelligence organization called the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
Both John J. McCloy and William Donovan were bright, industrious men from poor families; McCloy from Philadelphia and Donovan from Buffalo. Both were Wall Street lawyers. Both were studious and both were amoral.
Donovan played football in high school and was a star at Columbia University where he was known as “Wild Bill Donovan”. His undergraduate and law degree were both from Columbia. He was a war hero and a revered leader who rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. President Roosevelt, a sports fan, admired Donovan’s athletic ability and his war record. He gave Donovan wide authority in forming a new intelligence organization. In 1914 Donovan married Ruth, a member of the wealthy Rumsey family. He was seldom home and his dalliances became so common that his hosts often provided him with women.
President Bush, the younger, was not the first high ranking politician to refer to the Constitution as “just a piece of paper”, McCloy did it first. When McCloy and Robert Lovett worked for War Secretary Henry Stimpson he referred to them as the “Imps of Satan”. McCloy visited Adolph Hitler and for a time was an advisor to Benito Mussolini. He graduated from Harvard Law School and launched his career from the powerful law firm of Cravath, Henderson & de Gersdorff. Cravath’s partners included Otto H. Kuhn; Jacob Schiff’s son, Mortimer; Jerome J. Hanauer; Paul M. Warburg, married to Solomon Loeb’sdaughter, Nina; and Felix M. Warburg, married to Jacob Schiff’s daughter, Frieda. Paul Cravath, the firm’s founder, was an Anglophile internationalist who became a director and vice-president of the newly formed Council on Foreign Relations. Ultimately McCloy left the Cravath law firm and became a partner in Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. The Milbank firm was associated with the Rockefellers who were friends since his days at Harvard Law. Throughout his life McCloy maintained a close relationship with powerful Jewish bankers.
Allen Dulles was a third key figure in the CIA. Dulles headed the organization from 1953 to 1961 and under his direction it began to conform to the image Donovan and McCloy envisioned. Dulles began MK Ultra, a secret organization that makes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein look like child’s play. With extensive CIA financing it did experiments in torture and mind control that truly boggle the mind. He also financed Operation Mockingbird that successfully influenced the content of 25 or more strategic news sources.
Dulles was a libertine who was famous for his extramarital affairs. Under his leadership the governments of sovereign nations were disrupted with propaganda and economic sabotage. Democratic elections were disrupted, leaders were assassinated, military coups were launched, governments were undermined, genocide, scorched earth, and torture were all part of a frenzy of illegal activity.
In 1975 the Church Committee succeeded In reigning in some of the CIA excesses but the power to gain control over country after country was too good to be relinquished and other secret organizations were formed that took them up.
The brutal, Satanic policies carried out by the CIA mark the tenor of the elite money powers who are slowly bringing the world under their control. McCloy and Donovan were agents of those powers as is our President, our media, and many of our politicians. The United States of America and the War on Terror is being used as a tool to bring the remaining independent nations under the reigning world financial straight jacket. Our nation is being purposely destroyed in the process.
When comparing the conduct of our society with God’s legal requirements it is difficult to know where to start. Dishonesty is the main ingredient of our everyday life. Our personal conversations are inhibited by deception; our media distorts and edits the news; businesses regularly deceive customers with phony sales, exorbitant prices, and inferior merchandise; our political leaders lie to us, deceive us, and betray us. Our preachers describe a god that doesn’t exist and fail to mention the One that does. Our schools teach a debilitating humanism while we live, breathe, and have our being in a sea of mendacity with little effort to correct it.
Justice has vanished. It is a fearful experience to come before our courts. Receiving justice is like playing the lottery. Without the immutable anchor of God’s Law, justice is absent. Human law is always a product of diverse opinion and is enforced by power. Our legal system is as badly deteriorated as our honesty. God cannot be honored when crimes are against the State instead of against His Divine Majesty and justice is never served when restitution is forsaken. An adversarial system that ignores God’s Law cannot produce a just result. Adversity must be between behavior and His Law.
R. J. Rushdoony wrote: “All law is based upon morality, and morality is itself based upon religion. Therefore, when the religion of a people is weakened, so also is its morality undermined. The result is a progressive collapse of law and order, and the breakdown of society. Men, though, see law as a limitation on their liberty, and Christianity is held to be the most restrictive with its emphasis upon Biblical law as the foundation for morality and liberty. Humanistic man wants total liberty, but he does not realize that total liberty leads only to total anarchy, and that leads to the death of law and liberty. Unless every man’s liberty is limited by law, no liberty is possible for anyone.”
This is where we are going. We are slowly being brought under the control of the elite money powers and in the process our liberty is being lost in increments.
We need to take a personal inventory. Following is a shocking excerpt from a book by Nick Turse about atrocities our soldiers too often committed during the Vietnam War:
“The company stumbled upon an unarmed young boy. ’Someone caught him up on a hill, and they brought him down and the lieutenant asked who wanted to kill him…’ medic Jamie Henry later told army investigators. A radioman and another medic volunteered for the job. The radioman… ’kicked the boy in the stomach and the medic took him around behind a rock and I heard one magazine go off complete on automatic…’
“A few days after this incident, members of that same unit brutalized an elderly man to the point of collapse and then threw him off a cliff without even knowing whether he was dead or alive…
“A couple of days after that, they used an unarmed man for target practice…
“And less than two weeks later, members of Company B reportedly killed five unarmed women…
“Unit members rattled off a litany of other brutal acts committed by the company… [including] a living woman who had an ear cut off while her baby was thrown to the ground and stomped on…”
This is a weeping wound of sin in our nation, the sin of our soldiers, and the sin of our people. We support the savagery and murder that is fostered by unnecessary war. Soldiers are taught to be callus and cruel and the uncertainties of combat require they kill or be killed. As long as we don’t see it and our finger is not on the trigger we are happy to support murder’s macho image. Our women slither into abortion clinics and with impunity murder their helpless, unborn babies. We sanction murder in the name of selfishness. Our young men are urged to join the army and assist in the torture and mass murder that is part of modern warfare.
The United States Constitution allows men and women of disobedient character to be elected to leadership and not surprisingly these disobedient men and women disobey the law they have sworn to uphold. We protest disobedience to our Constitution but make no protest against disobedience to God’s Commandments. We go to church on Sunday; pray for our soldiers, profess the greatness of our nation, and wonder why we are losing our freedoms and why our leaders lie to us.
We have been deceived. Mendacity has invaded every nook and cranny of our nation. We live a lie in a sea of lies.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’” And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” From the Word of God.
Apparently, it’s a no-brainer. Mali holds 15.8 million people – with a per capita gross domestic product of only around US$1,000 a year and average life expectancy of only 51 years – in a territory twice the size of France (per capital GDP $35,000 and upwards). Now almost two-thirds of this territory is occupied by heavily weaponized Islamist outfits. What next? Bomb, baby, bomb.
So welcome to the latest African war; Chad-based French Mirages and Gazelle helicopters, plus a smatter of France-based
Rafales bombing evil Islamist jihadis in northern Mali. Business is good; French president Francois Hollande spent this past Tuesday in Abu Dhabi clinching the sale of up to 60 Rafales to that Gulf paragon of democracy, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The formerly wimpy Hollande – now enjoying his “resolute”, “determined”, tough guy image reconversion – has cleverly sold all this as incinerating Islamists in the savannah before they take a one-way Bamako-Paris flight to bomb the Eiffel Tower.
French Special Forces have been on the ground in Mali since early 2012.
The Tuareg-led NMLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad), via one of its leaders, now says it’s “ready to help” the former colonial power, billing itself as more knowledgeable about the culture and the terrain than future intervening forces from the CEDEAO (the acronym in French for the Economic Community of Western African States).
Salafi-jihadis in Mali have got a huge problem: they chose the wrong battlefield. If this was Syria, they would have been showered by now with weapons, logistical bases, a London-based “observatory”, hours of YouTube videos and all-out diplomatic support by the usual suspects of US, Britain, Turkey, the Gulf petromonarchies and – oui, monsieur – France itself.
Instead, they were slammed by the UN Security Council – faster than a collection of Marvel heroes – duly authorizing a war against them. Their West African neighbors – part of the ECOWAS regional bloc – were given a deadline (late November) to come up with a war plan. This being Africa, nothing happened – and the Islamists kept advancing until a week ago Paris decided to apply some Hollandaise sauce.
Not even a football stadium filled with the best West African shamans can conjure a bunch of disparate – and impoverished – countries to organize an intervening army in short notice, even if the adventure will be fully paid by the West just like the Uganda-led army fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia.
To top it all, this is no cakewalk. The Salafi-jihadis are flush, courtesy of booming cocaine smuggling from South America to Europe via Mali, plus human trafficking. According to the UN Office of Drugs Control, 60% of Europe’s cocaine transits Mali. At Paris street prices, that is worth over $11 billion.
General Carter Ham, the commander of the Pentagon’s AFRICOM, has been warning about a major crisis for months. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. But what’s really going on in what the New York Times quaintly describes as those “vast and turbulent stretches of the Sahara”?
It all started with a military coup in March 2012, only one month before Mali would hold a presidential election, ousting then president Amadou Toumani Toure. The coup plotters justified it as a response to the government’s incompetence in fighting the Tuareg.
The coup leader was one Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, who happened to have been very cozy with the Pentagon; that included his four-month infantry officer basic training course in Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2010. Essentially, Sanogo was also groomed by AFRICOM, under a regional scheme mixing the State Department’s Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership program and the Pentagon’s Operation Enduring Freedom. It goes without saying that in all this “freedom” business Mali has been the proverbial “steady ally” – as in counterterrorism partner – fighting (at least in thesis) al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Over the last few years, Washington’s game has elevated flip-flopping to high art. During the second George W Bush administration, Special Forces were very active side by side with the Tuaregs and the Algerians. During the first Obama administration, they started backing the Mali government against the Tuareg.
An unsuspecting public may pore over Rupert Murdoch’s papers – for instance, The Times of London – and its so-called defense correspondent will be pontificating at will on Mali without ever talking about blowback from the Libya war.
Muammar Gaddafi always supported the Tuaregs’ independence drive; since the 1960s the NMLA agenda has been to liberate Azawad (North Mali) from the central government in Bamako.
After the March 2012 coup, the NMLA seemed to be on top. They planted their own flag on quite a few government buildings, and on April 5 announced the creation of a new, independent Tuareg country. The “international community” spurned them, only for a few months later to have the NMLA for all practical purposes marginalized, even in their own region, by three other – Islamist – groups; Ansar ed-Dine (“Defenders of the Faith”); the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO); and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Meet the players
The NMLA is a secular Tuareg movement, created in October 2011. It claims that the liberation of Azawad will allow better integration – and development – for all the peoples in the region. Its hardcore fighters are Tuaregs who were former members of Gaddafi’s army. But there are also rebels who had not laid down their arms after the 2007-2008 Tuareg rebellion, and some that defected from the Malian army. Those who came back to Mali after Gaddafi was executed by the NATO rebels in Libya carried plenty of weapons. Yet most heavy weapons actually ended up with the NATO rebels themselves, the Islamists supported by the West.
AQIM is the Northern African branch of al-Qaeda, pledging allegiance to “The Doctor”, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Its two crucial characters are Abu Zaid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, former members of the ultra-hardcore Algerian Islamist outfit Salafist Group for Predication and Combat (SGPC). Belmokhtar was already a jihadi in 1980s Afghanistan.
Abu Zaid poses as a sort of North African “Geronimo”, aka Osama bin Laden, with the requisite black flag and a strategically positioned Kalashnikov featuring prominently in his videos. The historical leader, though, is Belmokhtar. The problem is that Belmokhtar, known by French intelligence as “The Uncatchable”, has recently joined MUJAO.
MUJAO fighters are all former AQIM. In June 2012, MUJAO expelled the NMLA and took over the city of Gao, when it immediately applied the worst aspects of Sharia law. It’s the MUJAO base that has been bombed by the French Rafales this week. One of its spokesmen has duly threatened, “in the name of Allah”, to respond by attacking “the heart of France”.
Finally, Ansar ed-Dine is an Islamist Tuareg outfit, set up last year and directed by Iyad ag Ghali, a former leader of the NMLA who exiled himself in Libya. He turned to Salafism because of – inevitably – Pakistani proselytizers let loose in Northern Africa, then engaged in valuable face time with plenty of AQIM emirs. It’s interesting to note in 2007 Mali President Toure appointed Ghali as consul in Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. He was then duly expelled in 2010 because he got too close to radical Islamists.
Gimme ‘a little more terrorism’
No one in the West is asking why the Pentagon-friendly Sanogo’s military coup in the capital ended up with almost two-thirds of Mali in the hands of Islamists who imposed hardcore Sharia law in Azawad – especially in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, a gruesome catalogue of summary executions, amputations, stonings and the destruction of holy shrines in Timbuktu. How come the latest Tuareg rebellion ended up hijacked by a few hundred hardcore Islamists? It’s useless to ask the question to US drones.
The official “leading from behind” Obama 2.0 administration rhetoric is, in a sense, futuristic; the French bombing “could rally jihadis” around the world and lead to – what else – attacks on the West. Once again the good ol’ Global War on Terror (GWOT) remains the serpent biting its own tail.
There’s no way to understand Mali without examining what Algeria has been up to. The Algerian newspaper El Khabar only scratched the surface, noting that “from categorically refusing an intervention – saying to the people in the region it would be dangerous”, Algiers went to “open Algerian skies to the French Mirages”.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Algeria last October, trying to organize some semblance of an intervening West African army. Hollande was there in December. Oh yes, this gets juicier by the month.
So let’s turn to Professor Jeremy Keenan, from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University, and author of The Dark Sahara (Pluto Press, 2009) and the upcomingThe Dying Sahara (Pluto Press, 2013).
Writing in the January edition of New African, Keenan stresses, “Libya was the catalyst of the Azawad rebellion, not its underlying cause. Rather, the catastrophe now being played out in Mali is the inevitable outcome of the way in which the ‘Global War on Terror’ has been inserted into the Sahara-Sahel by the US, in concert with Algerian intelligence operatives, since 2002.”
In a nutshell, Bush and the regime in Algiers both needed, as Keenan points out, “a little more terrorism” in the region. Algiers wanted it as the means to get more high-tech weapons. And Bush – or the neo-cons behind him – wanted it to launch the Saharan front of the GWOT, as in the militarization of Africa as the top strategy to control more energy resources, especially oil, thus wining the competition against massive Chinese investment. This is the underlying logic that led to the creation of AFRICOM in 2008.
Algerian intelligence, Washington and the Europeans duly used AQIM, infiltrating its leadership to extract that “little more terrorism”. Meanwhile, Algerian intelligence effectively configured the Tuaregs as “terrorists”; the perfect pretext for Bush’s Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Initiative, as well as the Pentagon’s Operation Flintlock – a trans-Sahara military exercise.
The Tuaregs always scared the hell out of Algerians, who could not even imagine the success of a Tuareg nationalist movement in northern Mali. After all, Algeria always viewed the whole region as its own backyard.
The Tuaregs – the indigenous population of the central Sahara and the Sahel – number up to 3 million. Over 800,000 live in Mali, followed by Niger, with smaller concentrations in Algeria, Burkina Faso and Libya. There have been no less than five Tuareg rebellions in Mali since independence in 1960, plus three others in Niger, and a lot of turbulence in Algeria.
Keenan’s analysis is absolutely correct in identifying what happened all along 2012 as the Algerians meticulously destroying the credibility and the political drive of the NMLA. Follow the money: both Ansar ed-Dine’s Iyad ag Ghaly and MUJAO’s Sultan Ould Badi are very cozy with the DRS, the Algerian intelligence agency. Both groups in the beginning had only a few members.
Then came a tsunami of AQIM fighters. That’s the only explanation for why the NMLA was, after only a few months, neutralized both politically and militarily in their own backyard.
Round up the usual freedom fighters
Washington’s “leading from behind” position is illustrated by this State Department press conference. Essentially, the government in Bamako asked for the French to get down and dirty.
And that’s it.
Not really. Anyone who thinks “bomb al-Qaeda” is all there is to Mali must be living in Oz. To start with, using hardcore Islamists to suffocate an indigenous independence movement comes straight from the historic CIA/Pentagon playbook.
Moreover, Mali is crucial to AFRICOM and to the Pentagon’s overall MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa) outlook. Months before 9/11 I had the privilege to crisscross Mali on the road – and by the (Niger) river – and hang out, especially in Mopti and Timbuktu, with the awesome Tuaregs, who gave me a crash course in Northwest Africa. I saw Wahhabi and Pakistani preachers all over the place. I saw the Tuaregs progressively squeezed out. I saw an Afghanistan in the making. And it was not very hard to follow the money sipping tea in the Sahara. Mali borders Algeria, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Guinea. The spectacular Inner Niger delta is in central Mali – just south of the Sahara. Mali overflows with gold, uranium, bauxite, iron, manganese, tin and copper. And – Pipelineistan beckons! – there’s plenty of unexplored oil in northern Mali.
As early as February 2008, Vice Admiral Robert T Moeller wassaying that AFRICOM’s mission was to protect “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market”; yes, he did make the crucial connection to China, pronounced guilty of ” challenging US interests”.
AFRICOM’s spy planes have been “observing” Mali, Mauritania and the Sahara for months, in thesis looking for AQIM fighters; the whole thing is overseen by US Special Forces, part of the classified, code-named Creek Sand operation, based in next-door Burkina Faso. Forget about spotting any Americans; these are – what else – contractors who do not wear military uniforms.
Last month, at Brown University, General Carter Ham, AFRICOM’s commander, once more gave a big push to the “mission to advance US security interests across Africa”. Now it’s all about the – updated – US National Security Strategy in Africa, signed by Obama in June 2012. The (conveniently vague) objectives of this strategy are to “strengthen democratic institutions”; encourage “economic growth, trade and investment”; “advance peace and security”; and “promote opportunity and development.”
In practice, it’s Western militarization (with Washington “leading from behind”) versus the ongoing Chinese seduction/investment drive in Africa. In Mali, the ideal Washington scenario would be a Sudan remix; just like the recent partition of North and South Sudan, which created an extra logistical headache for Beijing, why not a partition of Mali to better exploit its natural wealth? By the way, Mali was known as Western Sudan until independence in 1960.
Already in early December a “multinational” war in Mali was on the Pentagon cards.
The beauty of it is that even with a Western-financed, Pentagon-supported, “multinational” proxy army about to get into the action, it’s the French who are pouring the lethal Hollandaise sauce (nothing like an ex-colony “in trouble” to whet the appetite of its former masters). The Pentagon can always keep using its discreet P-3 spy planes and Global Hawk drones based in Europe, and later on transport West African troops and give them aerial cover. But all secret, and very hush hush.
Mr Quagmire has already reared its ugly head in record time, even before the 1,400 (and counting) French boots on the ground went into offense.
A MUJAO commando team (and not AQIM, as it’s been reported), led by who else but the “uncatchable” Belmokhtar, hit a gas field in the middle of the Algerian Sahara desert, over 1,000 km south of Algiers but only 100 km from the Libyan border, where they captured a bunch of Western (and some Japanese) hostages; a rescue operation launched on Wednesday by Algerian Special Forces was, to put it mildly, a giant mess, with at least seven foreign hostages and 23 Algerians so far confirmed killed.
The gas field is being exploited by BP, Statoil and Sonatrach. MUJAO has denounced – what else – the new French “crusade” and the fact that French fighter jets now own Algerian airspace.
As blowback goes, this is just the hors d’oeuvres. And it won’t be confined to Mali. It will convulse Algeria and soon Niger, the source of over a third of the uranium in French nuclear power plants, and the whole Sahara-Sahel.
So this new, brewing mega-Afghanistan in Africa will be good for French neoloconial interests (even though Hollande insists this is all about “peace”); good for AFRICOM; a boost for those Jihadis Formerly Known as NATO Rebels; and certainly good for the never-ending Global War on Terror (GWOT), duly renamed “kinetic military operations”.
Django, unchained, would be totally at home. As for the Oscar for Best Song, it goes to the Bush-Obama continuum: There’s no business like terror business. With French subtitles, bien sur.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at email@example.com
Source: Asia Times Online
The so-called conservative talking head at MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, railed that the Connecticut shootings “must change everything.” Scarborough’s inference is that America needs stricter gun control laws. He said, “They [politicians] must . . . be forced to defend our children,” by enacting more gun control laws. Scarborough went on to rant, “I say good luck to the gun lobbyists, good luck to the Hollywood lawyer who tries to hide behind twisted readings of our Bill of Rights.”
This is the same Joe Scarborough who was elected to Congress in 1994 from the First Congressional District of Florida. He ran as a staunch pro-Second Amendment conservative. He was elected to Congress by staunch Pro-Second Amendment conservatives. Now, Scarborough is joining the chorus of the anti-gun left by adding his voice for more gun control.
At one time, Joe and I were fairly close. I hosted a prominent radio talk show in Joe’s district at the time and did everything I could do to help him win that US House seat. At one time, Joe, and several members of his family, verbalized to me that had it not been for my support, he would not have won his congressional seat. At the time, I was proud to do it.
Joe was a different guy then. That was before he suddenly resigned his seat in Congress, before he landed a gig at MSNBC, and before he became a multimillionaire. Since then, I’ve watched Joe Scarborough morph into something different altogether. I no longer know Joe Scarborough.
I remember him telling me some 15 years or so ago that he had his sights set on the White House around the 2016 election. Is that what this is all about, Joe? Are you reading the tea leaves after the Connecticut shootings, and you think you’re going to ride an anti-gun wave to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? It ain’t gonna happen, Joe!
In the first place, the only anti-gun wave taking place in America is inside the Beltway and inside the establishment media, which is where it’s always been. In the second place, those of us who still believe in the Second Amendment are not the ones who have “twisted readings” of the Bill of Rights. Has anyone noticed the record gun sales that are taking place right now? Gun shops nationwide are literally wiped out of AR-15-style rifles, along with their accompanying magazines. Gun manufacturers are back-ordered into the indefinite future. Joe, do you now believe that all of these millions of honest, hard-working American citizens have a “twisted reading” of the Bill of Rights?
Joe, you used to quote the Second Amendment at your campaign rallies, remember? It reads, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Joe, you know as well as I do, that the right of people to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with hunting or target shooting. It has everything to do with “the security of a free state.” It has everything to do with the ability of free citizens within a free State to defend themselves against the potential oppression and tyranny of the federal government. That was the meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment. Minus and plus nothing! Humanly speaking, the only thing that separates free people from the tyrannical propensities of the federal government is a well-armed citizenry. One could even say that they only thing that separates the free people of the world from global tyranny is the well-armed citizenry of the people of the United States!
Beyond that, the number of innocent people whose lives are taken by some mentally-deranged wacko with a gun is miniscule compared to the number of innocent people whose lives are saved BECAUSE THEY HAD A GUN.
Nationally, some 8,000 people are killed by a gun annually, including a significant percentage of suicide deaths. Joe, 8,000 is the number of people whose lives are saved with a gun in TWO DAYS. That’s right, according to US Justice Department statistics, at least 4,000 people use a firearm to defend themselves and others against violent attacks EVERY DAY. Joe, why don’t you, and the rest of the national media, report that fact?
Something needs to change, alright, Joe! It’s time for the federal government and various State governments to stop denying people the right to defend themselves!
Have you ever noticed that these “crazy” killers always select a “gun-free” zone to do their killing? Gee! I wonder why? When is the last time you ever heard of a “crazy” guy opening fire on people at a shooting range? How about a gun shop? Or maybe a police station? Never happens! Why? Because the miscreant knows that people at those places are armed and will shoot back. Gun-free zones are actually free-to-kill zones!
If we really want to reduce the number of these mass killings, here is the way to do it:
1. Expunge the federal and State laws prohibiting teachers, principals, administrators, university students of age, etc., from being armed in the classroom and on school property. In other words, allow adults to do what adults should be allowed to do in a free society: defend themselves and those who are unable to do so.
Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of America’s founders, understood the need for honest men to be armed, which is why they included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Jefferson said, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. … Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.” And at no time did the Founding Fathers attempt to clarify or restrict the type of firearm people could possess.
Gun control laws definitely “make it worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.” Those federal and State lawmakers who passed laws restricting the right of people to arm themselves, along with those police agencies and private organizations that called for the disarmament of the citizens of Connecticut, certainly made it worse for those victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School and better for the murderer who took their lives. Had just one of those adults at the school been armed, the outcome of this tragedy could have been much different.
Larry Pratt is the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA). In a public statement, he said, “Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to insure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun.”
Speaking of the GOA, it is very disconcerting that their sister organization, the largest pro-gun advocacy group in the country, the National Rifle Association (NRA), has been totally silent on the Connecticut shootings. An NRA spokesman recently said that the organization would issue a statement on Friday.
I have to tell you, I have a sinking feeling in my gut that the NRA is fixing to cave-in to political correctness and compromise with gun control advocates on some sort of gun control legislation already being written. I hope I’m wrong. We will find out tomorrow.
2. Stop making celebrities out of these killers.
The truth is, Joe Scarborough, and the rest of the national news media, are encouraging these mentally unstable people like this Lanza creep to “go out with a bang.” The national media is obsessed with inundating the American citizenry with every little detail about these cold-blooded killers. Pat Buchanan made an excellent observation on this point.
Buchanan said, “This was a premeditated and purposeful act of mass murder, and the devil that did it knew exactly what he was doing and why.
“When he put four bullets into his mother’s head while she lay in bed, Adam Lanza wanted her life ended along with his. When he headed for Sandy Hook Elementary, with the Glocks and Bushmaster rifle, he knew he would encounter no armed resistance.
“Before he went into that school to shoot 20, 30 or 40 children, barely more than babies, he knew his slaughter would be so stomach-turning and heart-wrenching that the TV crews would come running.
“And by day’s end, the world would know who Adam Lanza was.
“Lanza kept firing at the children until he heard the sirens. Then he pulled out one of the Glocks, put it to his head and ended it, knowing he was on his way to becoming world famous.
“Just as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of Columbine are famous. Just as James Holmes, the ‘Joker’ of the Aurora ‘Dark Knight Rising’ massacre, is famous. Just as Jared Lee Loughner, the Tucson mass murderer who shot Gabby Giffords, is famous.
“A desire to be famous coupled with a dead conscience is the common thread running through these recurring atrocities. These loners and losers want us to know who they are. And, to succeed now, each almost has to outdo in horror those who went before.”
See Pat’s column at:
Anybody remember when “streakers” would run on the gridiron during nationally-televised football games? At first, network cameras would show the fellow running like a maniac around the field until an official or player would put him on the ground. Then they wised up: they stopped showing the idiot on national television. So, when is the last time you remember a nationally-televised football game being interrupted by a “streaker”?
The national attention that the mainstream media gives to these sick individuals is unconscionable. If Scarborough really wants to do something about reducing mass killings, he should use his position in the national media to stop making celebrities out of cold-blooded killers. Or is it really about ratings, viewership, and bottom-line profits, after all?
3. Restore a God-consciousness in the heart of America.
When prayer and Bible reading were expelled from America’s schools in 1962 and 1963, something else went missing: a consciousness of God.
I’m not talking about teaching religion; I’m talking about recognizing the moral soul of man and its responsibility to behave morally. Virtually every belief-system in the world teaches that mankind is accountable, in one way or another, to his Creator. It is a Natural Law that is as old as man himself. In simple terms, it’s called “the fear of God.” But since the US Supreme Court ordered prayer and Bible reading out of America’s public schools, our educational institutions are more than “gun-free” zones, they are “God-free” zones!
Will Joe Scarborough use the national platform he has been given to talk about restoring the fear of God in America? The national news media is as guilty as public schools in ignoring, or even belittling, the fear of God. If we are not created as moral beings, if there really is no such thing as right and wrong, if we really are nothing but soulless animals, why should we be shocked when we act like it?
Plus, there is a plethora of other issues that should be discussed when assessing the kind of barbarity that took place in Newtown, Connecticut. What about the medications that are being used so pervasively today? America has become a drugged society! Drugs are deemed the answer for everything. From the earliest years, millions and millions of America’s children have been given drugs, including behavioral modification drugs.
What about dark government operations? How many national disasters have the fingerprints of dark government on them? How would we know if they did? Who are those two guys outside Sandy Hook school whom police apprehended, handcuffed, and took into custody? Why did eyewitnesses to the shootings say there were at least two shooters? Is it true that the fathers of the mass-killers in both Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, were both slated to testify in the gigantic LIBOR banking scandal? And, if so, there is no way that this is a coincidence, so who is investigating and reporting on this part of the story?
In other words, who is conducting serious independent investigations today? Who in the national media takes old-fashioned investigative reporting seriously these days? Obviously, not Joe Scarborough.
Then, there is the issue of responsibility. We are taught from childhood that no one is responsible for anything. Everyone is a victim! It’s always someone else’s fault. From our eating and drinking habits, to our smoking or chewing habits, to the choices we make and don’t make, to the friends we hang out with, to the cars we drive, to the places we recreate, to the movies we watch, ad infinitum, we are all told that we are victims. It’s not our fault! So, now we’ve got to disarm the entire country, because one person behaved irresponsibly?
President Ronald Reagan nailed it when he said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Amen!
I am also reminded of when I was in Israel, I saw ordinary citizens (including teachers) carrying Uzi submachine guns just about everywhere. And in Switzerland, just about every man in the country is expected to keep rifles (including fully automatic ones) in their homes and train with them often. Furthermore, in Switzerland, the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept. Plus, the Swiss army even sells used guns to the general public when new models are issued. Gee! I wonder why we don’t hear about crazy people shooting up schools and movie theaters in those two countries?
Also think about this: how is it that so many of these do-gooders, who rail for more gun control, hide behind guns every day? They live in gated mansions with armed bodyguards protecting the property. They travel with armed bodyguards when they travel in public. How many guns protect Barack Obama every day? How many guns protect Nancy Pelosi? How many armed guards protect the newscasters and staff at the NBC studios where Joe Scarborough goes to work every day? It’s okay for the rich and famous to be protected by people carrying guns–including fully-automatic assault weapons–but average citizens like you and I are not afforded the same right.
So, who determines whose life is more valuable than others? Are the lives of the members of Congress and the national news media more valuable than the boys and girls in America’s schools? Are they more valuable than the lives of ordinary people who shop, go to movies, go to church, eat in restaurants, and go about their daily lives? The rich and famous in Washington, D.C., and New York City (how many guns protect Mayor Michael Bloomberg?) hire other people to protect them, and then they turn around and tell us that we don’t have the right to protect ourselves! I think there are at least a couple of words that describe such people.
Yes, Joe, something needs to change alright!
I’m amazed that so few Americans — most notably, so few liberals — have protested his secretive remote-control assassination program. Drones have killed 3,000 people in Yemen and Pakistan, including collateral-damage civilians, but the actual numbers are secret. So is the process. We don’t know anything about the rules of engagement, how people wind up on Obama’s hit list, who reviews the evidence, and what criteria are applied to that evidence.
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that “No person shall be . . . deprived of life . . . without due process of law.” Drones are inimical to due process. It would be nice to know how the administration’s lawyers have addressed that conundrum in legal memos. Those memos exist, but they remain classified. The Obama team is reportedly writing rules for itself, a set of standards and procedures, but we may never know whether these rules are scrupulously followed, or even what they are.
Back in May 2009, Obama vowed that his national security actions would be transparent, so that Americans could “make informed judgments and hold us accountable.” But nearly four years and hundreds of drone strikes later, his actions bring to mind the remark Michael Corleone utters near the end of The Godfather Part II: “If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it’s that you can kill anybody.”
Granted, we’re waging a global shadow war against bad actors who don’t wear uniforms. Drones often kill known terrorists who might otherwise murder innocent Americans. No weapon is flawless. And in war, even the good guys inadvertently kill civilians; during the D-Day invasion, the Allies killed an estimated 12,000 French and Belgian civilians who lived close to Nazi-controlled railroads.
But if George W. Bush were whacking thousands of foreigners (plus a few American citizens) using a hit list shrouded in secrecy, in apparent violation of the Fifth Amendment and in blatant violation of transparency promises, rest assured that liberal Democrats would be holding hearings and denouncing him on MSNBC.
They don’t seem disturbed, however, that Obama has tripled down on Bush’s nascent drone program, and that this president is doing so on the fly and in secret. Their partisan instincts appear to be trumping adherence to principle. But all presidents, regardless of party, need to be held accountable.
Speaking of drones on The Daily Show in October, Obama said that “one of the things we’ve got to do is put a legal architecture in place . . . to make sure that not only am I reined in, but any president is reined in.” It was a scary remark: It suggested that Obama has been waging unchecked war without that legal basis — with nothing to rein him in.
We don’t know what we don’t know. Obama said in September that the drones target known terrorists who pose “an imminent threat to the United States” (allowing us to invoke the doctrine of self-defense), but “imminent” appears to be a slippery term. Obama has reportedly authorized the use of drones in what the CIA calls “signature strikes” — those conducted against unidentified people who brandish guns in regions where militants are strong. In other words, drones are sometimes used preemptively, to kill those who might be a threat in the future. Obama is judge, jury, and executioner.
But who cares, right? This is all happening far away, to Muslims we will never know. Many liberals are fine with it because Obama is one of them, and many conservatives are mute because they know there’s no percentage in attacking a president for being too tough on terrorism. That also explains why Congress hasn’t lifted a finger to conduct any oversight. And most Americans would probably rather watch football than weigh the implications of drone warfare.
At least a few million Americans have also been watching the hot cable show Homeland, which is all about the unintended domestic consequences of a drone attack. The Showtime series features a hawkish vice president, in cahoots with the CIA, who authorizes a drone strike that destroys a Muslim school and kills the son of a known terrorist. The terrorist retaliates by plotting acts of revenge on American soil. Yeah, it’s just a TV show, but Homeland prompts the viewer to consider whether drones might inspire blowback and perpetuate the cycle of violence.
So, at a minimum, let’s ask: Is Obama authorized to kill anybody? Under what criteria? What’s in the legal memos? How is the evidence weighed? What checks and balances have been established to ensure that drones are not abused by this president and those to follow?
We don’t really know whether drones are the answer in the war against terrorism. But more of us should at least ask the questions.
Source: The Miami Herald
In this column last week, I took sportscaster Bob Costas to task for his inane comments regarding the murder-suicide deaths committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. Costas ignorantly and irrationally blamed the deaths of Jovan and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, on “our current gun culture.” Costas naively said, “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
See my column on Bob Costas at:
Well, here is another tragic story of an NFL player’s untimely death. This time the team is the Dallas Cowboys. USA Today covers the story:
“For the second time in a week, from one Saturday to the next, another young professional football player is dead at the age of 25 and another NFL team is grieving after allegations of a terrible and tragic crime.
“Last weekend, it was Kansas City. This weekend, it’s Dallas. The circumstances are different, but the results are eerily similar. Two players are gone: One by his own hand in front of his coach and general manager in the parking lot of the team’s practice facility; the second in the morgue after a night out with a teammate, who is now sitting in an Irving, Tex., jail cell while his teammates fly to Cincinnati for Sunday’s game.
“One week after Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed the mother of his nearly 3-month-old daughter and then killed himself, the Cowboys are mourning the loss of a teammate while another has been arrested for intoxication manslaughter.
“Nose tackle Josh Brent, who was to have started this Sunday against the Bengals, was arrested early Saturday morning after the car he was driving flipped over, killing his lone passenger, Cowboys practice-squad player Jerry Brown, who was Brent’s teammate not only in Dallas but also at the University of Illinois from 2007-09.”
See the report at:
So, why didn’t Bob Costas get on national television and say, “If Josh Brent didn’t possess a car, Jerry Brown would be alive today”? Why? Because Bob Costas doesn’t think critically, that’s why! He simply regurgitates the same antiquated anti-gun rhetoric he hears from his pro-gun-control buddies.
But it’s true: if the gun is to blame for Belcher and Perkins’ deaths, the car is to blame for Brown’s death.
And speaking of cars and guns, the total number of deaths nationwide from the misuse of firearms pales in comparison to the total number of deaths from the misuse of automobiles. Yet, I don’t hear the Bob Costases of the world screaming for “automobile-control.” Come on, folks, get real! Plus, as Larry Pratt and others have already noted, firearms in the possession of American citizens are actually used to protect the lives of people some 4,000 to 6,000 times A DAY. When Costas said, “Handguns do not enhance our safety,” not only was he wrong, he was miserably wrong! Handguns DO enhance our safety–not to mention our liberty!
Look at the city of Chicago. More people have been murdered in the city of Chicago this year than soldiers killed in Afghanistan. One hundred and forty-four US troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far in 2012, while 228 people have been murdered so far in 2012 in The Windy City.
According to The Huffington Post, “The war zone-like statistics are not new. As WBEZ reports, while some 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during that time, based on Department of Defense and FBI data.”
See the report at:
Yet, Chicago, Illinois, has some of the strictest gun-control laws in America. Then again, maybe that’s one of the reasons why so many people are killed in Chicago. The laws of this city forbid honest citizens from being armed and, thus, they are unable to defend themselves. Let the good guys start shooting back and one will see a dramatic lapse of courage among miscreants. Don’t believe that? Check out the violent crime rates in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, or Vermont.
This modern infatuation with blaming inanimate objects for acts of immorality and impropriety is nothing short of epidemic! Of course, the reason for this madness is it facilitates the expansion of government into the minutest details of our lives. Big-Government zealots have an innate fear of power and responsibility resting in individuals. They see government as the only suitable source of power. To big-government toadies, individuals are merely the property of government. To them, government bureaucrats can do nothing wrong, while individual citizens can do nothing right. Hence, to big-government hacks, only government officials have the right to keep and bear arms.
The same reasoning applies to America’s so-called “War on Drugs.” Marijuana, especially, is blamed for all kinds of immoral and unsavory conduct, even though the overwhelming evidence simply does not support the accusation.
My youngest son, Timothy, is a former Florida Assistant State Attorney who is now in private practice. Regarding marijuana as being a source of criminal conduct, he wrote, “Drawing from my own personal experience, I see the absurdity of the ‘war on marijuana.’ During my time as a prosecutor at the Florida State Attorney’s Office from 2004 to 2006 where I handled literally thousands of criminal cases and tried nearly 60 jury trials, I was never impressed that marijuana was the cause of any criminal activity. Oh sure, possession of marijuana charges comprised a large number of my criminal cases; but the criminal act was merely the man-made law of possession of marijuana. In fact, most criminal activities were in large part caused by alcohol, where one who consumed too much alcohol became violent; beat his wife; neglected his children; drove drunk and hurt someone; caused a disturbance of the peace; or other similar evils.
“I saw those alcohol-related cases every day. Yet, I cannot say the same regarding marijuana. I would estimate that of the thousands of cases I handled, at least half (if not more) were a direct cause of alcohol consumption or addiction. Yet, alcohol is legal and marijuana is illegal.”
See Tim’s column at:
In fact, marijuana was not even considered harmful or illegal in the United States until 1937, as Tim pointed out in his column. Most people would probably be surprised to learn that four out of our first five presidents not only promoted the use of the hemp plant, but also grew it. Can one imagine putting George Washington or Thomas Jefferson in jail for growing what we now call marijuana? Egad!
The idea that the use of marijuana is harmful because “it leads to hard drugs” is tantamount to saying that beer is harmful because “it leads to hard liquor.” But it’s just not true! There are tens of millions of people who drink responsibly, or who use alcohol medicinally (as prescribed even by Holy Scripture), who never become alcoholics. Likewise, there are tens of millions of marijuana users who use it responsibly or medicinally, who never go on to use hard drugs or become drug addicts. And when it comes to addictions, Americans’ addiction to sugar and laziness kills far more people than those addicted to alcohol–or even tobacco for that matter.
But by making marijuana responsible for all kinds of untoward behavior, and by ignoring the personal accountability of people to behave responsibly, it has helped provide the justification for government to trample the Bill of Rights and create huge bureaucracies, which swell the size and scope of government–especially the federal government.
The same is true for firearms. By making guns responsible for all kinds of untoward behavior, and by ignoring the personal accountability of people to behave responsibly, it helps provide the justification for government to trample the Bill of Rights (in this case the Second Amendment) and create huge bureaucracies (the ATF among others), which swell the size and scope of government–especially the federal government.
Marijuana is a convenient scapegoat. Firearms are a convenient scapegoat. Automobiles, on the other hand, are not so convenient! Hence, we hear nothing from Bob Costas about the need for more “automobile-control.” Plus, amazingly enough, neither did Costas say a word about bringing back Prohibition! In Costas’ world, only guns are sufficiently evil enough to warrant his righteous indignation.
The tragedies in Kansas City and Dallas cause all people of good will to grieve. We grieve for the people involved; we grieve for the families of the victims; and we grieve for the NFL players, coaches, and management. But what we must not do is use these tragedies as an excuse to justify and condone the suppression of our God-given liberties! In addition, it’s past time for America, at every level, to start re-emphasizing the primacy of personal responsibility. That’s something that isn’t being taught much in our nation’s schools, churches, or even families.
But the promotion and expectation of personal responsibility is what made America great; and it’s also what provides our nation with its liberties. If men cannot be expected to be accountable for their conduct, they can hardly be expected to be accountable for their freedom. This is why inanimate objects are used as scapegoats by big-government toadies: it diminishes the virtue of individualism and extols the necessity of governmentism.
In Kansas City, the problem was not the gun; the problem was Belcher. And in Dallas, the problem was not the car–or even the booze–the problem was Brent. Straighten out the man and one will have no need to worry about the objects that are at his disposal.
While watching the halftime show for the Sunday night NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday evening, I was stunned to hear NBC sportscaster Bob Costas drift from his sports commentary into using the tragedy of the murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher as a platform to promote yet another mindless assault against the Second Amendment.
Belcher had earlier shot and killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and then himself. Costas used the tragic killings as an excuse to launch his assault against the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Costas quoted from a column written by sportscaster Jason Whitlock, saying, “Our current gun culture ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it…If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
See the report at:
Let’s see. It seems to me that people have been murdering their fellow man ever since Cain murdered Abel. And would you know it: Cain had zero access to a .357 magnum revolver or .45 ACP pistol. And since when would a 240-pound linebacker need any help killing a woman half his size and strength? Does one really believe if someone is intent on murder, the lack of a firearm would deter him or her? How many people are killed with knives, clubs, axes, “blunt objects,” or even bare hands? Countless! And the fact is, firearms are used a minimum of 50 times more often in the protection of life against a violent attack than they are in the taking of a life.
My friend, Larry Pratt at Gun Owners of America, writes, “Perhaps Mr. Costas would have been disappointed if Ms. Perkins had had access to a gun and shot Belcher first? Would he then have thought there were too many guns? Actually, he might not have even heard about a self-defense shooting. Outside of the local press, self-defense shootings rarely make national news.
“To be sure, there are so many self-defense shootings each year that the national news would be carrying several accounts a day. Guns are used over 4,000 times a day (using conservative research findings) in self-defense. In fact, using those conservative figures given us by the Clinton Justice Department, guns are used 50 times more often in self-defense than to illegitimately take life.”
See Pratt’s column at:
Unlike Costas, who spouted out a sophomoric tirade of uneducated gibberish against the Second Amendment, a report in the New York Post more accurately describes the causes of this tragedy: “Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and former Long Island high-school star Jovan Belcher was allegedly battling football-related head injuries and booze, painkiller and domestic problems when he snapped and murdered his girlfriend before killing himself in front of two coaches Saturday.”
See the report at:
So, why didn’t Costas use the precious air-time he was given at NBC to call attention to the real causes of this tragedy? Why didn’t he talk about the on-going problem of chronic concussions being sustained by so many NFL players? It is well documented that too many head injuries are often speculated to be a cause of the rampant number of suicides among active and former NFL players–including the celebrated former superstar linebacker, Junior Seau? ABC News concluded its report about Seau’s suicide saying:
“Multiple former NFL players have committed suicide in recent years possibly as a result of brain injuries, including former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who also shot himself in the chest, ex-Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Terry Long, and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Andre Waters.”
See the report at:
Why didn’t Costas talk about Jovan’s obvious alcohol and drug abuse? The only answer is because Costas has a personal anti-gun bias and used the air-time granted him by NBC to vent his paranoia. Well, now at least we know what Bob Costas is all about: he is just another mindless gun-control nut.
If Bob is reading this column, he might want to read this news report out of San Bernardino, California. According to the local CBS affiliate, “The city attorney of San Bernardino is under scrutiny for telling residents to ‘lock their doors and load their guns’ during a city council meeting.
“The official explained that because the city is bankrupt and slashing public safety budgets people will need to start protecting themselves.
“City Attorney Jim Penman said he doesn’t regret what he said.”
The CBS report continued saying, “The city attorney said it’s important for people to be smart about protecting themselves and their families.”
See the report at:
Instead of advocating the disarmament of honest, law-abiding citizens, Costas would have been better off advising people such as Kasandra Perkins who are mixed up with violence-prone individuals to arms themselves for their own protection. Obviously, the city attorney of San Bernardino is a much more reasoned and rational public figure than Bob Costas. That’s because, Mr. Penman probably has better real-world experience than Mr. Costas, who obviously has lived in the insulated, plastic world of the media elite for much too long.
As for me, I will continue to watch Sunday Night Football, but I will never again listen to another word that Bob Costas has to say about anything. The mute button on my remote control was made for nincompoops like Bob Costas. Beyond that, if Costas is really serious about his anti-gun position and not a hypocrite, like so many other gun-control nuts, I suggest he move out from behind his barricaded mansion and post a large sign outside his personal residence that reads, “This house proudly has no guns in it.” Anyone think that will happen?
“…for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument?” — Shakespeare, Henry V
Even as the presidential candidates meet in ersatz agon to spew their self-serving lies and scripted zingers in a “debate” on foreign policy, the real campaign — the campaign of blood and bone, of death and terror, being waged in Pakistan by the American government — goes on it all its horror.
This week, the Mail on Sunday — one of Britain’s most conservative newspapers – published a story outlining, in horrific detail, the true nature of the drone killing campaign begun by George W. Bush and vastly expanded by Barack Obama. Coming on the heels of a recent report (“Living Under Drones“) by teams at Stanford and New York universities on this ongoing war crime, the Mail on Sunday story brings the humanity of the victims — and the inhumanity of perpetrators — to the fore. The story concerns legal action being taken in Pakistan on behalf of families of drone-murder victims by Pakistani lawyer and activist Shahzad Akbar and the UK-based human rights group, Reprieve. As the MoS reports, two court cases have been filed that could “trigger a formal murder investigation into the roles of two US officials said to have ordered the strikes.”
The MoS quotes the Living With Drones report to set the context:
…Between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed since the strikes in Pakistan began in 2004. The report said of those, up to 881 were civilians, including 176 children. Only 41 people who had died had been confirmed as ‘high-value’ terrorist targets.
As the paper notes, full figures on the killings are hard to come by, due to the convenient fact that “the tribal regions along the frontier are closed to journalists.” The true death count of civilians is almost certainly far higher.
So who are the thousands of people being slain by brave American warriors sitting at computer consoles on a military bases on the other side of the world? From the MoS:
The plaintiff in the Islamabad case is Karim Khan, 45, a journalist and translator with two masters’ degrees, whose family comes from the village of Machi Khel in the tribal region of North Waziristan. His eldest son, Zahinullah, 18, and his brother, Asif Iqbal, 35, were killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone that struck the family’s guest dining room at about 9.30pm on New Year’s Eve, 2009.
Mr Khan said: ‘We are an educated family. My uncle is a hospital doctor in Islamabad, and we all work in professions such as teaching. We have never had anything to do with militants or terrorists, and for that reason I always assumed we would be safe. Zahinullah, who had been studying in Islamabad, had returned to the village to work his way through college, taking a part-time job as a school caretaker. ‘He was a quiet boy and studious – always in the top group of his class.’ Zahinullah also liked football, cricket and hunting partridges. Asif, he added, was an English teacher and had spent several years taking further courses to improve his qualifications while already in work. Asif had changed his surname because he loved to recite Iqbal, Pakistan’s national poet.
Well, that’s what they claim, right? No doubt the button-pushing drone “pilot” parked safely in his cushy padded chair back in Nevada could ascertain through the computer screen that the quiet student and the poetry-loving teacher were actually “active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm America,” to quote the Nobel Peace Laureate in the White House, in his only public acknowledgement of the drone campaign. Such miscreants, said the Laureate, are the only people everkilled by this “targeted, focused effort.”
Mr Khan, who had been working in Islamabad at the time, hurried back to the village when he got the news. This is what he found:
He got home soon after dawn and describes his return ‘like entering a village of the dead – it was so quiet. There was a crowd gathered outside the compound but nowhere for them to sit because the guest rooms had been destroyed’.
Zahinullah, Mr Khan discovered, had been killed instantly, but despite his horrific injuries, Asif had survived long enough to be taken to a nearby hospital. However, he died during the night.
‘We always bury people quickly in our culture. The funeral was at three o’clock that afternoon, and more than 1,000 people came,’ Mr Khan said. ‘Zahinullah had a wound on the side of his face and his body was crushed and charred. I am told the people who push the buttons to fire the missiles call these strikes “bug-splats”.
‘It is beyond my imagination how they can lack all mercy and compassion, and carry on doing this for years. They are not human beings.’
In this, however, Mr Khan is wrong, and therein lies the tragedy: the people who killed his brother and thousands of other innocents, and have carried on doing it for years, are indeed human beings — all too human. The lack of mercy and compassion they exhibit is one of our endemic human traits — and one that has been assiduously, relentlessly, deliberately — and profitably – cultivated for years by our bipartisan elites, who sow fear and hatred and dehumanization to advance their agenda of domination, playing upon — and rewarding — what is worst in our common human nature, while mocking, denigrating and punishing what is best.
One of the officials targeted in the lawsuit is former CIA general counsel John Rizzo. As the paper notes:
Mr Rizzo is named because of an interview he gave to a US reporter after he retired as CIA General Counsel last year. In it, he boasted that he had personally authorised every drone strike in which America’s enemies were ‘hunted down and blown to bits’.
He added: ‘It’s basically a hit-list. The Predator is the weapon of choice, but it could also be someone putting a bullet in your head.’
That’s nice, isn’t it? Noble, worthy, honorable, isn’t it? Again, these are the mafia thug values being embraced, lauded, supported and reinforced at every turn by the most respectable figures throughout American politics and media, including of course the popular media, where TV shows and movies abound with tough guys “doing whatever it takes” to kill the dehumanized “enemy” and “keep us safe.”
The second case now before the Pakistani courts involves “signature strikes,” the policy of killing unknown people simply because you don’t like how they look or how they act. No evidence — not even false evidence, not even the thin scraps of rumor and innuendo and ignorance that constitute the overwhelming majority of “intelligence reports” — is required before the well-wadded Cheeto-chewer in Nevada crooks his finger and fires a drone. The MoS quotes a Pakistani official describing the signature strikes:
‘It could be a vehicle containing armed men heading towards the border, and the operator thinks, “Let’s get them before they get there,” without any idea of who they are. It could also just be people sitting together. In the frontier region, every male is armed but it doesn’t mean they are militants.’
One such signature strike killed more than 40 people in Datta Khel in North Waziristan on March 17 last year. The victims, Mr Akbar’s dossier makes clear, had gathered for a jirga – a tribal meeting – in order to discuss a dispute between two clans over the division of royalties from a chromite mine.
Some of the most horrifying testimony comes from Khalil Khan, the son of Malik Haji Babat, a tribal leader and police officer. ‘My father was not a terrorist. He was not an enemy of the United States,’ Khalil’s legal statement says. ‘He was a hard-working and upstanding citizen, the type of person others looked up to and aspired to be like.
“What I saw when I got off the bus at Datta Khel was horrible,’ he said. ‘I immediately saw flames and women and children were saying there had been a drone strike. The fires spread after the strike. The tribal elders who had been killed could not be identified because there were body parts strewn about. The smell was awful. I just collected the pieces that I believed belonged to my father and placed them in a small coffin.’
…He added that schools in the area were empty because ‘parents are afraid their children will be hit by a missile’.
This is another aspect of the drone campaign that I noted in a recent post here about the drone campaign: it is not just an illegal military operation, it is — and isdesigned to be — a terrorist campaign. It is meant to terrorize the population of the targeted regions, to keep the people there enslaved to fear and uncertainty, never knowing if the buzzing drone flying high and unreachable above their heads will suddenly spew out a Hellfire missile on their house, their school, their farm, their hospital, and blow them or their loved ones into unidentifiable shreds. It is a terrorist campaign — not a random attack here and there, not an isolated spasm of violence — but a continual, relentless, death-dealing campaign of terror designed to poison the daily lives of innocent people and force their cowed acquiescence to the dictates of domination.
It goes without saying that this story, or the Living Under Drones report, or the abominable implications of the terrorist campaign were not discussed during the “debate” Monday night between the two clowns who are fighting for the chance to drench themselves in human blood for the next four years. (For the most thorough — and harrowing — consideration of these implications, including the electoral implications, see this powerful piece by Arthur Silber.) The fact that the drone campaign is actually one of the greatest threats to the national security of the American people will not impinge upon the “debate.” Why should it? Neither candidate is the least bit interested in the security of the American people. In fact, both are firmly committed to imposing the drone terror campaign on the American people themselves (as Silber, again, notes here).
In a recent article, Daniel Ellsberg — a courageous and worthy dissident for many decades — shocked many by cataloging the many war crimes and moral atrocities of the Obama Administration, then ending with a fervent rallying cry for us all to …. support Obama. (Vast Left has more on this.) Here, Ellsberg echoes a familiar argument during this election cycle, voiced more vehemently not long ago by another honorable campaigner, Robert Parry. My response to Parry thenapplies equally to Ellsberg now, and to all those good progressives who advocate a ‘reluctant’ but ‘realistic’ vote for Obama:
Parry believes he is preaching a tough, gritty doctrine of “moral ambiguity.” What he is in fact advocating is the bleakest moral nihilism. To Parry, the structure of American power — the corrupt, corporatized, militarized system built and sustained by both major parties — cannot be challenged. Not even passively, not even internally, for Parry scorns those who simply refuse to vote almost as harshly as those who commit the unpardonable sin: voting for a third party. No, if you do not take an active role in supporting this brutal engine of war and injustice by voting for a Democrat, then it is you who are immoral.
You must support this system. It is the only moral choice. What’s more, to be truly moral, to acquit yourself of the charge of vanity and frivolity, to escape complicity in government crimes, you must support the Democrat. If the Democratic president orders the “extrajudicial” murder of American citizens, you must support him. If he chairs death squad meetings in the White House every week, checking off names of men to be murdered without charge or trial, you must support him. If he commits mass murder with robot drones on defenseless villages around the world, you must support him. If he imprisons and prosecutes whistleblowers and investigative journalists more than any other president in history, you must support him. If he cages and abuses and tortures a young soldier who sought only to stop atrocities and save the nation’s honor, you must support him. If he “surges” a pointless war of aggression and occupation in a ravaged land and expands that war into the territory of a supposed ally, you must support him. If he sends troops and special ops and drones and assassins into country after country, fomenting wars, bankrolling militias, and engineering coups, you must support him. If he throws open the nation’s coastal waters to rampant drilling by the profiteers who are devouring and despoiling the earth, you must support him. If he declares his eagerness to do what no Republican president has ever dared to do — slash Social Security and Medicare — you must support him.
For Robert Parry, blinded by the red mist of partisanship, there is literally nothing — nothing — that a Democratic candidate can do to forfeit the support of “the left.” He can even kill a 16-year-old American boy — kill him, rip him to shreds with a missile fired by a coddled coward thousands of miles away — and you must support him. And, again, if you do not support him, if you do not support all this, then you are the problem. You are enabling evil.
I confess I cannot follow such logic. But in his article, Ellsberg compounds the puzzlement when he tries to clinch his case by citing Henry David Thoreau, of all people. Ellsberg writes:
I often quote a line by Thoreau that had great impact for me: “Cast your whole vote: not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.” He was referring, in that essay, to civil disobedience, or as he titled it himself, “Resistance to Civil Authority.”
In other words, Ellsberg is using a call for resistance to civil authority to justify supporting a civil authority which he himself acknowledges is committing war crimes and destroying American democracy. Again, I find this “reasoning” unfathomable.
But I too often quote a line by Thoreau that has had a great impact for me. In fact, I would say that it encapsulates my entire political philosophy in this dirty, degraded Age of Empire:
“How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.”
If only more of our compatriots would say the same.
Source: Chris Floyd
“Around 38,000 people are living in deplorable conditions and unfit for humans.”
The killings of three Palestinian refugees this past week including Ahmad Qassim from Nahr al Bared ( ‘cold river’) camp near Tripoli and 15 year old Khaled al-Youssef from Ein el Helwe (‘ the beautiful eye’) 30 miles south of Beirut in Saida, and the wounding of more than a dozen others by the Lebanese army were not, as some Lebanese politicians are claiming, “ accidental security incidents”. They were avoidable negligent homicides as much so as Zionist occupation forces and settler/colonists in Palestine regularly commit.
It is true that Lebanon’s army, like the country itself, is confessionalized and as it has done before, the army will likely fracture if a civil conflict erupts. It is also undertrained, weak on discipline, and ill equipped. But from this observer’s experience and learning from friends in the army, the least that can be said on its behalf is that it is no worse and is probably more humane than some others in the region.
Some in the Palestinian community fear that the recent killings of refugees by the army represents a revival of what in the Lebanese army it has often meted out to Palestinians and that it may be intensifying 30 years after the massacre at Sabra-Shatila.
Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are the worst 12 of the 57 UN established camps in the Levant including Jordan, Syria, Gaza and occupied Palestine in terms of problems of poverty ( 65 per cent of Palestinian family living in camps in Lebanon live on less than six dollars a day), health, education, general living conditions, discrimination, isolation, joblessness, shanty housing and a lack of proper elementary and secondary schools, forbidden by law to enroll in state colleges, lack of adequate clinics, hospitals and sewage systems as well as essentially no potable water, little fresh air or sunlight in many areas of the camps, rising respiratory diseases, domestic abuse and psychological health issues. Contributing to all of the above is the outlawing of Palestinians enjoying the elementary civil right to work or the own a home.
During a recent visit to the camps, Muhammad Farwana, a member of Hamas’s politburo described the Nahr al-Barid camp in which “around 38,000 people are living in deplorable conditions and unfit for humans.” He added: “I visited Nahr al-Bared and no human being can lead a normal life in it. Not even animals can have a normal life in it.”
No refugees on earth are so targeted and discriminated against as Lebanon’s Palestinians and only some political help and negligible economic assistance sporadically arrives from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Not even the employees at the Embassy of Palestine in Beirut have been paid their salaries for the past two months due significantly to US and EU aid shrinkage aimed at forcing yet more concessions from the PA in favor of the Zionist occupiers of their country.
Every camp Palestinian family in Lebanon can recount cases of arbitrary arrests, beatings, false imprisonment and harassment from the army’s Military Intelligence unit, the supposedly disbanded Deuxieme Bureau. This Stasi type organization — supposedly reformed — hunted and terrorized Palestinians following the PLO departure from Beirut in August of 1982. According to long time PLO representative in Lebanon. Shafiq al Hout. in his wonderful book, My Life in the PLO, the Deuxieme Bureau was a major factor in 70,000 departing Lebanon in just1983 via Beirut airport.
The army initially suspected that the motor bike riders it stopped at Nahr al Bared camp had no ID. This was a reasonable assumption because thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have no ID because the country where they were born, Lebanon, refuses to provide them ID, thus depriving them of even the few rights given their fellow Palestinian refugees. Most Palestinians, for example, who arrived in Lebanon after being expelled from Jordan in 1970 never registered with the Lebanese barely functioning bureaucracy and despite a quarter century of promises by politicians here to remedy “the non-ID problem” it’s been just more idle talk with not action being taken. Once more the non-ID issue has become a deadly one and officials promising yesterday to solve the problem. Lebanon’s politicians will likely do nothing unless they see some significant personal benefit. Hence non-ID Palestinians will remain subject to arrest at any time, not able to register their marriages or get ID’s for their children or achieve a score of other civil acts that require a government issued ID.
While a meeting was held between a number of officers including the head of Army Intelligence, Edmond Fadel, with a delegation of Palestinian factions in order to restore calm in the camp there is little confidence that much was achieved except another pledge on behalf of Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji to uncover the details of the crime “through a swift investigation that will determine the perpetrators and prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.” Given past experience, few believe the investigation will be serious or even completed.
Compounding these problems is a number of politicians who lack the political will to provide a simple available solution. Lebanon’s Interior Minister on 6/20/12 told Akbar al-Youm news agency that “the disturbances” (army killing of Palestinian civilians) that occurred lately in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein al-Hilweh were not related to what had happened in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp… What happened in the two Palestinian camps has nothing to do with the security situation in Lebanon. They were just coincidence. The problems inside the camps have been resolved by the Lebanese army.”
This gross mischaracterization of what occurred at the camps this past week is inflaming passions even more. Every 9 year old anywhere in Lebanon knows that the “incident” in Ein el Helwe was a direct and predictable result of the army’s killing in Nahr al Bared. What is remarkable is the restraint shown by refugees in the other 10 camps and dozen ‘gatherings’.
Taking the opposite view from the Interior Minister, the Speaker of Lebanon’s Parliament chimed in with the observation that: “The incidents at the Palestinian camps and the targets against the Lebanese army are not coincidence and not innocent and call for concern. A foreign plot is present but there is an internal participation in it,” he warned, reiterating that the security incidents from the North to the South are not a coincidence.
Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn’s declaration on 6/20/12 “that attacking Army posts is dangerous and does not serve the interests of the Palestinian brothers at all” raised a question whether he was even aware what had happened at either camp. At least he rejected the foreign plot thesis designed to undermine Lebanese Army accountability.
What is clear is that local politicians will skew the facts to suit their political instincts and are incapable of analyzing the events objectively and that the killings at Nahr al Bared and Ein el Helwe are not the result of the Syrian chaos. It is perhaps remarkable that the camps have to date not exploded into violence while exercising their legitimate rights to protect themselves against those, including the Lebanese army, perceived as killing their children and families.
Were Lebanon politicians sincere in their hand-wringing claims to be seeking a solution to Army attacks on Palestinians they could make an immediate differences by implementing the following:
– Conduct a full transparent investigation of the army killings of refugees and amnesty for camp residents who have protested the past week unless it is proved that the refugees committed any crime by exercising their right of free speech.
-Take measures to remove army provocations, insults, and harassments of entering and exiting camp residents that are causing distress to the Palestinians in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp and to respect the refugee’s dignity and humanity.
-Pull the army from inside Nahr al Bared, where it acknowledges there are no weapons and withdraw to two kilometers from the entrances to the other five camps it surrounds thus removing the likelihood of bored and or malevolent troops harassing camp residents.
-Withdraw military deployment among the residents of the camp. End the army’s system of permits, which refugees are forced to secure in order to enter and exit their camp authorized originally in 1949 by the United Nations.
-End the practice, such as is the case at NAB camp of sending in Mabarrat (intelligence) personnel with every camp visitor to monitor conversations between the visitors and camp residents.
- Immediately order the army to vacate the camps public spaces including Nahr al Bared’s graveyard, the football field, and all residential buildings annexed by and currently occupied by the army.
- Release the foreign and domestic aid donated to Nahr al-Bared in order to rebuild the camp, after five years since its needless and vengeful destruction and to stop the media campaigns and fabricated news that are helping in igniting sedition and increasing tension to create “fake instability.”
And perhaps most fundamental and crucial:
Take a few hours during a current Parliamentary session to repeal the racist 2001 law outlawing home ownership for Palestinian refugees and grant immediately grant Palestinian refugees the internationally mandated right to work.
The American government also has a special obligation to remedy this crisis given its work to prevent the refugees from returning to their country. The White House should enforce the provisions of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act and cut aid to Lebanon, including its army, until it complies with international law in its treatment of refugees. The US would do well to desist from piling sanctions on Iran and Syria and apply a few to Lebanon until it grants civil rights to its unwanted guests from occupied Palestine.
Unfortunately when US Secretary of State Clinton telephoned Lebanon’s Prime Minister Miqati last week to lobby for Lebanese support against the Bashar Assad government in Syria, she omitted, as always, to insist that Lebanon comply, as a condition of future US aid, with its internationally mandated obligations toward its Palestinian refugees.
The ball is in the Lebanese Parliaments court. Time is running out for impunity relative to Lebanon’s refusal to grant elementary civil rights for their sisters and brothers from occupied Palestine.
The economic crisis across Europe has perhaps been most keenly felt in Greece, where people have taken to the streets in violent and emotional protests against the austeriy measures imposed on the nation.
In this heartbreaking dispatch from the streets of Athens, SUE REID finds mothers who have been forced to sell their own children in the battle for survival.
Once a month, usually on a Saturday, Kasiani Papadopoulou packs a bag with children’s presents and takes the bus from her one-bedroom flat in a dusty suburb of Athens up into the cool hills outside the Greek capital that overlook the sea.
The 20-mile journey is an emotional one for her, but she would not stop making it for anything in the world.
A young widow of 30, she travels to see her two daughters and son — aged 14, 13 and 12. Kasiani was forced to give them away a year ago when her money ran out and she was unable to pay for their food, her rent or send them to school with shoes or books.
Effects of austerity: Juliana Tsivra with her mother Maria. Maria used to work in a bakery but lost her job more than a year ago
At the charity home where the three are now cared for, the children excitedly shout ‘Mama’ as they run down the steps to greet her. Her eldest daughter, Ianthe, hugs her tightly and gives her a kiss.
When, a few hours later, it is time to say goodbye, Kasiani is always close to tears. The youngest, Melissa and Markos, cling to her before she leaves to go home alone.
‘It is not easy for a mother to leave her kids,’ she says to me, her voice cracking with emotion when I spoke to her this week in Athens.
‘At Christmas, at Easter, on their birthdays, I am always so sad because I do not see them. Some people judge me over what I’ve done — even my own family and neighbours — but they do not understand the truth. I’ve done what is best for my children.
‘I cannot count the number of doorbells I have rung of government departments, asking officials to help me and my family. They make promises but do nothing. They have no money either. Our country is in crisis.’
Tough times: Maria Tsvira, pictured with her daughter Juliana, is now forced to use the charity medical centre set up in Athens
Kasiani’s children were born in a country which has been brought to its knees by crushing debt. This was built up by Greece’s huge profligacy after joining the European Union and then milking the system for everything it could get.
The public sector wage bill doubled in the past decade as perks and fiddles reminiscent of Britain in the union controlled 1970s flourished. Paying taxes became optional for the middle and upper classes and corruption was rife.
Until two years ago, the big fat Greek gravy train carried on racing towards the buffers. Even pastry chefs and hairdressers were listed among the 600 ‘professions’ allowed to retire at 50 (with a state pension of 95 per cent of their final year’s earnings) on account of the ‘arduous and perilous’ nature of their work.
Now drastic austerity measures imposed by Eurozone finance leaders mean that benefits, state pensions and pay rates have been pared to the bone as taxes are hiked heavenwards in a last ditch attempt to balance the books and stop the country going bankrupt.
For example, the threshold at which personal tax has to be paid has been reduced to £3,000 a year, while Vat has soared to 23 per cent. There is a new annual levy on private property which costs the average homeowner £1,000 a year.
Sad: Sophia, a child who is now being looked after at the SOS children’s refugee in Athens after being abandoned
Even charities, including the one running the complex for 55 children where Kasiani Papadopoulou’s three now live, have been forced to hand over some of their donations to the empty Greek state coffers.
The price of such austerity, say many here in Greece, is too high to pay, because whatever tough measures are introduced, they will never cover the massive national debt of £366 billion, even with the help of the two bailout packages worth a combined £184 billion coughed up by other EU countries, including Britain.
A sign of the Greeks’ belligerent refusal to face up to reality is the rise of a grassroots movement called ‘We Won’t Pay’ that encourages the middle classes to break the law by taking public transport without validating their ticket or driving through tolls without paying. ‘We have already paid through our taxes so we should be able to travel for nothing,’ claims Konstantinos Thimianos, a 36-year-old activist protesting on the streets of Athens.
He wears a yellow vest with ‘total disobedience’ emblazoned on his back and, with other activists, chants: ‘We won’t pay for their crisis.’
Such opposition to the austerity measures is growing. In this week’s parliamentary elections, Greeks rejected the moderate parties that support the hard-line policies imposed by the EU.
Already, one in five adults is out of work, a fifth of Greek firms have closed, the standard of living has fallen by 20 per cent in two years, and the country which created the Olympic Games in 700 BC can only afford to send half of its athletic team to compete in the London Games.
In the leafy suburbs of Athens this week, I watched two smartly dressed elderly men rifling through rubbish bins at the side of a busy road.
One, who said his name was Georges, told me that their state pensions had been cut to £220 a month. He said: ‘We are looking for anything we can sell.’
He walked away sheepishly with a dented silver picture frame he had found in the bin.
Meanwhile, Government health spending has been slashed by a third. This means that medical care is no longer free for those who have not paid full national insurance contributions. Half of routine prescription drugs are in short supply.
No wonder that the queues at the Social Mission, a charity clinic set up this year by volunteer doctors and the Archbishop of Athens in the centre of the city, lengthen each day. In three months, 650 uninsured patients, many of them children, have come for treatment.
Protests: Political instability has resulted in huge social unrest and civil disturbance
One regular visitor is Maria Tsivra, 37, a divorcee and mother of a five-year-old girl called Juliana who needs routine vaccinations and fortnightly doctor’s appointments to treat a throat infection.
Maria is the daughter of an Athenian shopkeeper and used to work in a bakery. She comes from a hard-working family but lost her job more than a year ago, as the crisis started, and she took time off to care for her ill daughter.
‘The financial crisis was just an excuse to sack me. The bakery was facing more taxes and had less customers.
‘I was a victim like thousands of others in other jobs,’ she says in a solemn voice.
She and Juliana are staying for free in a friend’s house. She has no national insurance and no money to pay £40 for an appointment with a private doctor. ‘I cannot afford for Juliana to see the doctor or get her medicines. That’s why I’ve come to the Social Mission.’
More dramatically, she says: ‘I need help, but not as much as some who are even selling their children on the streets.’
Crisis: Greece has been brought to its knees by crushing debt which has plunged it into political and economic turmoil
She tells of a friend, a single mother who lived in a charity shelter with her baby daughter because she had no money and the State would not help.
‘She could not afford to keep her own child and gave her away to a couple who did not have a family of their own.
‘These kinds of things are happening now in Greece. There are many who are suffering and I wonder what the future holds for children of my daughter’s generation.’
The fate of once-booming Greece is changing fast. Soup kitchens are commonplace. The destitute wander the streets.
At three in the afternoon, on the sizzling Wednesday this week, I watched Father John, a 34-year-old priest from the Greek Orthodox Church, presiding over a long queue of Athenians, mixed with African and Arab migrants, in a square off Sophocles’ Street.
Women are ringing churches begging for money to help pay to have their children delivered
They were each waiting for charity workers to give them a bowl of lentils and a piece of bread. This area of Athens was, until a few years ago, a thriving financial sector. It is now home to cheap take-away food stalls and shabby shops offering to buy impoverished Athenian’s gold trinkets and jewellery.
Father John says he has never witnessed such poverty. ‘Only today I was helping a young couple, both 24, who are having their first baby. It is due any time now,’ he explains.
‘They went to the hospital this morning and the doctors said they had to pay a fee for the birth of their child. But they have no money, and can barely pay their rent at a small flat they share with friends.
‘The father used to be a professional footballer, the mother an office clerk. Now they are jobless. The mother suggested to doctors that she had a Caesarean.’
Sad: Father John, a priest from the Greek Orthodox Church, says he has never witnessed such poverty
Such operations are considered emergencies (because they are done to save a baby’s life) and are therefore carried out without charge. So their request for a Caesarean was a way of getting round the rules. However, the doctors refused.
‘They said the Caesarean was unnecessary and she should have a normal birth and pay for it herself. They also warned that she would have to leave the hospital in labour if she did not find the cash to pay.
‘She rang our church in horror and distress. We sent money to the hospital so she can have her baby.’
Church charity workers hand out 2,500 free meals a day in central Athens. Among the throng waiting for Father John’s hand-outs last week was Maria Sissmani, a beautifully dressed 82-year-old wearing designer glasses and with tinted hair.
She worked in Germany as a seamstress in the fashion industry for years and her only income is 208 euros (£172) a month, a pension paid by the Government there.
She gets nothing from her native Greece. Yet she counts her blessings. Her father, who ran a carpentry business, left her an office in a building near Sophocles’ Street where she sleeps on a mattress next to the empty desks. ‘I want to rent the office out, but because of the crisis that is difficult.
No one is doing business so no one needs an office. I have nothing, only debts, and the church told me not to be too proud to join the food queue. I do not feel so bad about it, for I am not alone,’ she says with a sad smile as she looks at the Greek men, women and children, hungrily waiting too.
Across the city, a shelter run by a charity called Klimaka provides meals and an occasional bed to the homeless. Many here are middle-aged and middle class like George Barkouris, a former radio producer and computer engineer.
A divorcee, George worked all his life until the Greek troubles began. When he lost his job because of the cutbacks, he soon ran out of money to pay his rent on a flat in Patissia, a middle-class neighbourhood of Athens. He was reluctant to ask his daughter, a doctor, for help.
‘I walked out of the flat with nothing. For the first week I slept in the park on a bench. It was a terrible shock. Like many Greeks, I felt angry, then depressed. I am 60, and need to work for another five years before I qualify for even a small State pension,’ he says.
‘When I plucked up courage and came here for help I got a big surprise. I found doctors, scientists, all the professional classes, were here, too.
‘Now this charity gives me a bed, and in return, I run their website. But there are plenty like me still sleeping in the park. They are called the ‘new homeless’ who once had money, a lifestyle, a career. Now they are ruined.’
Civil unrest: Pensioners burn emergency tax notices during an anti austerity protest
Just what will happen next is anyone’s guess. At the SOS Children’s Villages, a worldwide charity with a network of homes and social centres in Greece, which cares for Kasiani Papadopoulou’s three children, they believe things will get worse.
Over the past year, 1,000 Greek families have turned to SOS for help, two-thirds with huge money problems.
The numbers are way up and the families from every walk of life. One toddler attending a nursery school where the fees had always been paid by her mother, was recently abandoned in with a note saying: ‘I will not return to get Anna. I don’t have any money. I can’t bring her up. Sorry.’
It is the sort of case where SOS picks up the pieces. The national director of SOS, George Protopapas, predicts: ‘Next year I fear that more middle class families will fall into poverty here. I think this is just the beginning and we will have many knocks on our door.’
As for widow and mother Kasiani, she prays that one day she will be able to afford to get her children back. Her decorator husband, Angelo, died at the age of 47 of pneumonia — at exactly the same time as Greece’s economic problems began.
She took two jobs to make ends meet, one in the local Town Hall and another in a shop owned by a middle-class family in the town. She was cleaning all hours God sent.
Then the work ran out. Cleaners became a luxury.
‘I had to tell my children that I could not afford to keep them. I buy them those little things that only a mother knows they want. I do my best for them when I see them, although I have next to nothing.
‘But my life has no meaning without my children. I blame the Greek government for the catastrophe that has struck our family.’
Source: The Daily Mail
Many Americans still revere the Supreme Court. As one of the three branches of the Federal government, confidence in their conduct and authority is usually higher than Congress or the Presidency. Yet when a real or contrived constitutional crisis develops, the screams and indignation arise and point to a convenient culprit. The current Obamacare case before this court has all the trappings of a full-blown confrontation. The reason is simple. The underlying question before the Supremes is not purely a legal matter. At stake is whether this country is actually a government under laws. Alternatively, is it an authoritarian dictatorship nuisance by irritating lawful restraints?
Congressman Ron Paul intelligibly explains the merits of the case and the pit falls of judicial review. In an article, The Supreme Court and Obamacare, the following points are covered.
“The insurance mandate clearly exceeds the federal government’s powers under the interstate commerce clause found in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. This is patently obvious: the power to “regulate” commerce cannot include the power to compel commerce! Those who claim otherwise simply ignore the plain meaning of the Constitution because they don’t want to limit federal power in any way.
It is precisely this lawless usurpation of federalism that liberty-minded Americans must oppose. Why should a single swing vote on the Supreme Court decide if our entire nation is saddled with Obamacare? The doctrine of judicial review, which is nowhere to be found in Article III of the Constitution, has done nothing to defend liberty against extra-constitutional excesses by government. It is federalism and states’ rights that should protect our liberty, not nine individuals on a godlike Supreme Court.
While I’m heartened that many conservatives understand this mandate exceeds the strictly enumerated powers of Congress, there are many federal mandates conservatives casually accept. The Medicare part D bill– passed under a Republican President and a Republican House–mandates that you submit payroll taxes to provide prescription drugs to seniors. The Sarbanes-Oxley bill, also passed by Republicans, mandates that companies expend countless hours of costly manpower producing useless reports. Selective service laws, supported by defense hawks, mandate that young people sign up for potential conscription. I understand the distinction between these mandates and Obamacare, but the bigger point is that Congress routinely imposes mandates that are wildly beyond the scope of Article I, Section 8.”
Now one might read this analysis as an argument that favors no judicial review of Obamacare, but this viewpoint misses the essential element that has allowed the tyranny of the judiciary. The Role of the Supreme Court concludes:
“The depths of personal ignorance and societal denial about the nature of our own history are only superseded by the lust to destroy the unique American experiment in self-governance. The concept of Federalism, the sharing of distinct, defined and limited roles and scope for governmental authority is the basis of the U.S. Constitution. Arbitrary, contrived and manufactured jurisprudence that relies on court ruling to establish the Supreme Court as the final and ultimate authority is un-American to its core. But that is exactly the wish of the mainstream pretenders for the rule of law. The scam of righting legislative and executive wrongs from the bench is the harbinger of a tyranny that resides in black robe Jacobins.”
Remember that no one knows exactly how the Supreme Court will vote. However, it is eminently clear that little press coverage emphasizes the unethical role of Justice Elena Kagan’s refusal of recusal from the case. This slam-dunk example, where a former solicitor general and legal advisor on the Affordable Care Act in the Obama administration, from avoiding the case; is stellar.The current assessment that the initial vote among the nine jurists went against Obama is still speculation. What is clear is that the President reacted as a tin horn dictator with intimidation tactics against the court. Such conduct is not only unfitting, but also downright scary. Frightening not because it demonstrated just how ignorant the radical community organizer is, but because he is unqualified as a constitutional advocate.
Such a juridic mind needs a legal lobotomy. This indulgence by a lunatic lends weight to the assessment that Barry Soetoro is a CIA creation and a trained spook on a mission to turn the remains of the Republic into a third world junta.
When the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals demanded a legal position from Attorney General Eric Holder, that the government acknowledges the precedent of judicial review, the storm clouds thickened. Apparently, not even this despotic regime was willing to stick a rod in the eye of Lady Justice, at this time.
Fox News reports, the Obama psychic delusion.
“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” Obama said on Monday. “And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”
True judicial activism stretches the Constitution into a living perverted document. The illegitimate autocrat is preparing the public for non-legal means to implement the stages of Obamacare through executive decree. Just how far will a disturbed fanatic like Obama go to circumvent a negative decision by the Supreme Court?
Be aware that until any rendering of a final ruling, a death on the court could handily keep the extortion racket in tack. Is this too farfetched to contemplate? Then watch the Wall Street Journal’s analysis of the undercurrents with the court. What if SCOTUS Strikes Down ObamaCare?
Conventional wisdom says the President must eat humble pie. Well, we will all see. If a tyrant is blocked from stacking the court, why not just ignore the decision? This is a serious question in an age of the post Republic.
Outrage over this latest example of despotism comes from THE DICTATOR-IN-CHIEF DICTATES TO SCOTUS – WILL IT BACKFIRE?
“Who in the world died and made Barack Hussien Obama King of SCOTUS? Telling them they had better understand what all this means when it comes to their decision when it’s handed down in June.
There also have been rumors that Justice Kagan may have leaked the decision to the ‘Arrogant One’…we most likely will never know, but you can be sure that question was planted yesterday…and he was prepared for it and knew it was coming.
What Dear Leader did to the members of the Supreme Court during one of his State of Union speeches was ‘unprecedented’…what he did yesterday also was.
Personally, I’ve never seen anything like the audacity of this so-called man…how about you? As far as I’m concerned the only ‘activist‘ at this point of the game is the ‘Community Organizer‘, he has to go come November…he is one dangerous man to this nation through my Viewfinder in Life…how’s it lookin’ through yours?”
Sentiments like this should overtake the public. However, in the entitlement society, few have the intellectual integrity or the moral courage to turn down the “something for nothing” promises of a political class that has abandoned any connection to reality.
Judicial activism is no way to novena. In spite of this inappropriate labeling of a potential decision that overturns the Obamacare mandate as hypercritical overreach is not valid. Before folks break out the champagne bottles, prepare yourself for hostile responses. The whiner in chief is hell bent on becoming an absolute ruler.
Forbes offers a significant caveat that might be used to uphold Obamacare.
“Mandate advocates have had some success articulating one limiting principle in particular: that mandates are kosher when it comes to health care, because “health care is unique.” As Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a conservative star, put it in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the mandate involves “regulating how citizens pay for what they already receive.”
It isn’t true, of course: health insurance is about regulating how citizens pay for something that they might consume in the future, not something “they already receive.” But the point is, some conservatives in the lower courts have been persuaded by this argument.”
If some intellectually crippled conservatives buy into the all encompassing central government, just how can the Obama juggernaut be derailed? Since the Congress does not have the stomach to impeach the impostor, who will remove Barry Soetoro from office?
Relying on a national election to reflect the will of the people, when the process is a rigged game is foolhardy. Besides, the notion that Obama can actually win the presidential vote is even more alarming. Just what kind of country would willfully endorse a dictatorship? Maybe the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act will provide a hint of an answer.
Once the fabrication of all four of the alleged 9/11 crash sites (which I have documented in “9/11: Planes/No Planes and ‘Video Fakery”) begins to sink in, the question which invariably arises is, “But what happened to the passengers?” Since Flights 11 and 77 were not even in the air that day, it seems no stretch to infer that the identities of the passengers on non-existent flights were just as phony as the flights themselves: no planes, no passengers. But we also know that Flights 93 and 175 were in the air that day, even though–astonishingly enough, for those who have never taken a close look at the evidence–they were not de-registered by the FAA until 28 September 2005, which raises the double-questions of how planes that were not in the air could have crashed or how planes that crashed could still have been in the air four years later?
Pilots for 9/11 Truth has confirmed that Flight 93 was in the air, but over Urbana, IL, far from the location of its alleged “crash” in Shanksville, PA; just as Flight 175 was also in the air, but over Pittsburgh, PA, removed from the South Tower at the time it was purportedly entering the building, which–unless the same plane can be in two places at the same time–established that some kind of “video fakery” was taking place in New York, as I have explained in many places. As a complement to the new study of the Pentagon attack by Dennis Cimino, “9/11: The official account of the Pentagon attack is a fantasy”, Dean Hartwell, J.D., has considerably expanded our understanding of questions about the passengers, where the manifests may include a mix of the dead and the non-existent, as well as some who may have been killed by the government to make their Hollywood-style event a bit more realistic and emotional. In the methodical fashion of an attorney presenting his case, Dean outlines the crucial questions and the most likely answers, where problems nevertheless abound. My opinion is that these three studies constitute a “one-two-three punch” from which the “official account” can never recover. From beginning to end, 9/11 was a fabricated event.
And, in case anyone entertains any lingering doubts, two of the most powerful indications of fakery and fraud are to be found in the punishment trial of Zacharias Moussaoui, the alleged “20th hijacker”, in Arlington, VA, in April 2006, which Scholars wrote about at the time. He was convicted in April 2005 of having been involved in the 1993 attack on the Twin Towers, but in April 2006 he was being punished for having been involved in the 2001 attack–a federal judicial “shell game” of immense proportions. The trial was used to introduce emotional testimony about the passengers aboard Flight 93 plotting to use a drink cart to break through the cabin door, which was picked up by the Cockpit Voice Recorder. But, as Allan Green, a member of Scholars, noted, CVRs do not record voices in the passenger compartment. A second blunder was noticed by a Muslim member of Scholars, Muhammad Columbo. The last words the “hijackers” on the tape are recorded as having said are “Allah akbar! Allah akbar!” (“God is great! God is great!”). But as he explained, “The last words of a Muslim cannot be these! They are used in the call to prayer or in an attack at war. On the moment of death, a Muslim must confirm that ‘There is but one God, Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet!” Which means that those who were composing this script did not know enough to get it right.
The most telling indication that the Shanksville crash site was faked, in my opinion, is what was not done as opposed to what was. Flight 93 is supposed to have completely disappeared because the ground was very soft from past mining operations. Indeed, on some versions, the plane completely disappeared into an abandoned mine shaft. But we know what to do with miners who are trapped in mine shafts. We bring out the bright lights and heavy equipment and dig, 24/7, in the hope that, by some miracle, someone might have survived. That it was not done in this instance tells us that there was no point in even faking such an op, which would have exposed that there was no plane there and no passengers to rescue. Think of the spectacular television coverage had such a “rescue attempt” been undertaken. They even trimmed the burnt trees and shrubs to make sure that they could not be subjected to chemical analysis to determine whether the damage had been caused by jet-fuel based fires. Such were the efforts of the “first responders” to save the lives or recover the bodies of the passengers. Subsequent studies by the EPA of the crash site have confirmed that there was no residue from the jet fuel that would have been pervasive had a Boeing 757 actually crashed there. Research on the “crash sites” thus appears to be pure dynamite in blowing the “official account” of 9/11 out of the water.
DEAN HARTWELL: The 9/11 Passenger Paradox
According to the official version of events, forty-three people, including the crew members, boarded United 93 on the morning of September 11, 2001. The flight took off from Newark airport with San Francisco as its destination.
During the flight, four hijackers took over the aircraft. After making calls from the airplane to relatives, several passengers rushed the hijackers in an attempt to wrest control of the plane back. Ultimately, the plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing everyone on board.
Investigators found human remains in Shanksville and declared that the remains matched DNA samples given by the passengers’ families. Copies of the manifest and boarding passes show the names of passengers who took the flight.
Facts That Contradict the Official Story
The flight was airborne over the Midwest after the alleged crash in Shanksville (see below).
Wallace Miller, Coroner of Somerset County (which includes Shanksville) and one of the first to arrive at the “crash” scene, said of the area, “This is the most eerie thing,” he says. “I have not, to this day, seen a single drop of blood. Not a drop.”
Miller also reportedly said that it “looked like someone took a scrap truck, dug a 10-foot ditch and dumped all this trash into it…I stopped being coroner after about 20 minutes, because there were no bodies there. It became like a giant funeral service.”
No independent source has identified remains of any of the flight’s passengers.
Did the alleged hijackers use their real names?
David Ray Griffin speaks of the “hijackers” (whose names appear on the manifest available) in his first point in his book The 9/11 Commission: Omissions and Distortions. He states that at least six of the hijackers showed up alive and well after 9/11! Do we need any further reason to believe that anyone took over planes and used them in suicidal attacks that day?
MOST LIKELY SCENARIO: The fact that several of the “hijackers” turned up alive makes it obvious that some passengers boarded using the “hijacker” names. Instead of relatives saying that the “hijackers” called them, some of them said their relative was alive!
How Do We Know Who Boarded This Plane?
Jack White quotes expert pilot John Lear, who shared information that calls into question whether the manifest available for Flight 93 is the final one. He says that passenger flights have, as required by the Federal Aviation Administration, what is called “The Envelope.” The Envelope contains “the final passenger manifest, the destination, the amount of fuel on board, the names of the pilot and flight attendants, etc., and the time the DOOR OF THE AIRCRAFT WAS CLOSED.” According to Lear, the chief pilot signs the document.
Could changes in the flight manifest have been made between the time of the generation of the publicly available manifest, noted above, and the time of the aircraft door’s final closing?
White continues his recitation of Lear’s words:
The passenger manifest (a printout of pre-ticketed passengers) may be augmented by the chief flight attendant if passengers do not show up, or late arrivals are added. The manifest in THE ENVELOPE would include the names of hijackers, if pre-ticketed, or their written in aliases if added at the last moment by hand. In any event, every person on board would be accounted for.
Was there a second boarding or deplaning of any passengers before take-off?
This becomes a realistic possibility because there were two departure times for the flight – 8:28 AM (ACARS) and 8:42 AM (BTS). Phil Jayhan of the Internet forum, Let’s Roll Forums, explains why the BTS, the official record, only shows one:
“Why not two different times in the BTS database? We have two separate groups of passengers. One group of people that boarded flight 93 at the terminal boarding ramp. And another group of people which boarded on the tarmac. The way that the **ACARS system works in an airplane is that when the brake is released, whether there is movement to the aircraft or not, it records an away time. The morning of 9/11, there were two of these recorded for flight 93, which might simply be another confirmation that flight 93 picked up two groups of people on 9/11 at two separate locations at Newark International Airport.”
Hypothesis: After the passengers boarded the plane at the terminal (gate 17), the plane moved forward a short distance and then stopped at the tarmac. The passengers who would make calls deplaned at the tarmac. The pilot then released the brake at 8:28 AM (setting the departure time under ACARS) and moved to taxi, taking off (aka “wheels off”) at 8:42 AM, setting the BTS departure time then. The people remaining on the plane continued in flight after the “crash” in Shanksville.
The callers used cell phones from a ground location, which had a much greater chance of working than calls from the airplane. Some of these calls were recorded and provide proof that calls were made. Alternatively, the calls could have been recorded prior to the flight and played to relatives.
This hypothesis explains the long gap in time between the scheduled departure time of 8:01 AM and the BTS departure time of 8:42 AM. It also explains the other departure time frequently given for this departure (8:28 AM). The passengers likely boarded in anticipation of an 8:01 take-off. The callers then likely got up to leave.
The usual boarding issues and their explanation for leaving (perhaps illness) and the resulting shuffle to get them out the door on the tarmac stalled some of the time. According to media reports, a witness (NY Giant football player Clayton White who took flight to New Jersey after Monday Night Football in Denver the prior night), saw passengers on the tarmac during this time.
MOST LIKELY SCENARIO: Passengers boarded the plane but some of them deplaned from United 93 at 8:28 AM. The manifest and copies of boarding passes show the names passengers gave to the airline. Lear’s assertions on manifests and flight policy show the opportunity of how passengers could have boarded under false names and how names could have been altered.
Todd Beamer (air phone)
Mark Bingham (cell to aunt and air phone to mother)
Sandy Bradshaw (cell)
Marion Britton (cell)
Thomas Burnett (cell, recorded?)
Joseph DeLuca (?)
Edward Felt (cell)
Jeremy Glick (recorded?)
Lauren Grandcolas (air phone, recorded)
Linda Grunland (?)
Cee Cee Lyles (cell, recorded)
Honor Wainio (?)
Were Calls Possible from United 93?
David Ray Griffin explains the utter lack of consistency in the official explanations of phone calls on the planes associated with 9/11. He does a great job explaining how the FBI at first remained silent as to what phones were used from the planes.
He then shows the chronology of A.K. Dewdney’s report (which made it clear that cell phone calls at that time in history were only reasonably possible at altitudes of less than 2,000 feet) to the subsequent FBI report which changed many of the calls from cell to air phone.
From Griffin’s analysis of the work of researchers like Dewdney, we can easily surmise that the official story on the number of cell phones (now given by the FBI as mostly air phone) changed drastically after it became known publicly the difficulty in getting cell phones to work at typical airplane altitudes.
More issues about the alleged phone calls from United 93 arise upon inspection of information provided by the government at the Moussaoui trial in 2006:
(1) One call allegedly went past the time of the Shanksville “crash”, Todd Beamer’s last call on United 93. Furthermore, Beamer’s call could not have happened when it purportedly did because the government’s own records show him making this call and another call from the same phone AT THE SAME SECOND!
(2) No records of calls are sourced to the companies that provided them. This fact calls into question the authenticity of the calls.
(3) Lisa Jefferson, who reportedly took Beamer’s call, failed to mention the phrase “Let’s roll” in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette which introduced the heroics of Beamer and others on the flight. She also had never before heard Beamer’s voice.
(4) In fact, the FBI delayed bringing out the story of “Let’s Roll” and the passengers “fighting back” and apparently only did so to stop the story of a flight shoot-down from gaining momentum.
(5) The government, without saying as much, switched several calls in the official account from cell to air.
MOST LIKELY SCENARIO: There were no cell phone calls from the airplane of United 93. And air phones were not available on Boeing 757s in 2001. The additional consideration, even if one were to believe those calls were possible, regardless of type or where they came from, is in the substance of the statements alleged and their inconsistencies. The callers, whoever they were, whatever phones they used and wherever they called from, gave false information to passenger relatives at the behest of the plotters. No reliable records show any calls having gone to Lisa Jefferson. It is likely that Jefferson was persuaded or coerced to give false reports to the media.
Who are the Relatives?
The reaction of the relatives of the passengers to the news of the plane crashes can best be described as perplexing. None of the passenger’s relatives arrived at San Francisco airport, as is common when plane crashes take place. In an accident that took place in Taipei involving a plane that was destined for Los Angeles, the airport set up a Counseling Center for the relatives of the victims.
What then were the relatives’ roles?
If the passengers used real names and made calls, they had to:
a) deceive the relatives OR
b) participate in a simulation or otherwise work with the relatives in holding conversations under false pretenses
Deception of the relatives could have taken place. However, with all of the information out about the details of the phone calls, it would seem likely that at least one of the deceived relatives would question the 9/11 matter publicly. If the relatives had been deceived, they would have believed the passenger calls were real. Under this scenario, it is hard to believe that none of the relatives in the San Francisco area would show up as bereaved relatives usually do.
As there were many simulations on 9/11, the plotters may well have planned one for United 93 passengers. Knowledge on the part of the relatives of the plot could explain how this part of the plot worked easily (none of the relatives apparently questioned what they said or who they were). Of course, it adds to the number of people who must be paid off or killed.
The callers may have been asked to participate in a simulation of a plane hijacking. It would have required some acting skills. This challenge would explain several questionable statements allegedly made by some of them. Here are some examples that do not by themselves prove the calls were fraudulent, but certainly suggest it:
A caller claiming to be passenger Mark Bingham said:
Caller: “Mom? This is Mark Bingham. I want you to know that I love you. I’m on a flight from Newark to San Francisco and there are three guys who have taken over the plane and they say they have a bomb.”
Alice: “Who are these guys?
Caller: (after a pause) “You believe me, don’t you?
Alice: “Yes, Mark. I believe you. But who are these guys?
Another supposed caller, Jeremy Glick said, when asked if he and others were going to fight back against the hijackers, “I have my butter knife from breakfast.” According to Dewdney:
“This is strange because it implies that the caller had already finished breakfast, whereas meals are not normally served until the aircraft reaches cruising altitude, about the time that the alleged hijacking began.”
A caller who said he was Todd Beamer talked to a Verizon operator, Lisa Jefferson, for fifteen minutes instead of preparing to take on the “terrorists” with other passengers.
MOST LIKELY SCENARIO: The callers more likely made the calls as part of a simulation than as a flat-out deception of relatives. To believe in the theory of the use of deception, one would have to believe that (a) none of the relatives discovered they had been lied to and (b) the same relatives would agree to keep silent about the deception.
Why were the calls so important?
If the hijackings and plane crashes never happened, then what were the phone calls all about?
The calls were used to advance the “fact” that the hijackings and crashes happened. Of secondary importance are what phones were used and where the calls were made from.
These calls are part of what holds the official theory together. The plotters needed to make sure the calls got through and the information about hijackers was conveyed.
Whose Remains Were at Shanksville?
Here are the most relevant facts about the “crash scene” : There were no traces of the United 93 plane at that location.
Officials claimed there were sufficient human remains to match with DNA samples even though UA93 and UA175 were airborne after the times of their alleged “crashes”.
Several news articles report human remains identified at the scene of Shanksville.
We also know that the FBI was in charge of the area, giving the agency the authority to declare who could and who could not either approach or photograph the “crash scene”.
How were the victims at the Shanksville “crash” scene “identified”?
DNA testing requires a sample from a victim at the “scene” and a sample from the victim or a close relative from somewhere else (usually given by family).
An agent (of the plot) would likely retrieve sample from the “scene” of the victim’s death.
The Agent would give samples to the tester. (The tester, as one who would follow standard procedures, would not have any reason to go to the scene nor to question the Agent).
The agent would also go to the family to ask for samples (ex: hair, toothbrush, etc.)
The agent would then give the family sample to the tester.
If the tester were in on plot, the tests could be easily rigged. But the tester’s statements to the media are needed. If something “happened” to the tester, it would cause too much suspicion. The tester would be suspicious if “scene” samples did not have appearance of involvement in plane crash.
Elias Davidsson points to a lack of a “chain of custody.” This is a legal principle which directs those who investigate a crime to document (1) how and where they find evidence and (2) how the evidence got to the point of the hearing.
He states that “there is no indication that a proper chain of custody between the crash sites and the final disposition of bodily remains had been established by the FBI, as required in criminal cases. The 9/11 Commission did not refer to any such documentation.”
With no solid chain of custody, a prosecutor (the state) can conceivably bring just about any piece of evidence to the attention of the jury. And when the public is the jury with no judge to referee, the state can use this opportunity to perpetuate a false story.
Davidsson names the evidence that the government should have shown to us if it really had a case that could be proven as to the people that boarded the planes:
In order to prove that particular individuals actually boarded the aircraft and died at the known crash sites, at least three types of evidence could and should have been produced: Authenticated passenger lists (or flight manifests) displaying their names, identification of the suspects as they boarded the aircraft and identification of their bodily remains from the crash sites.
What appearance did the remains at Shanksville have?
Miller said it took several days to get good samples (i.e. body parts not recognizable) and that the passengers were “essentially cremated upon impact.”
The cremated remains could have been distributed around the Shanksville site with some FBI agents allowing the plotters onto the land.
Could the United 93 passengers have been killed and cremated for this purpose?
Probably not. Cremation by law must be done one body at a time and each body takes several hours. Even an unofficial “cremation” would take too long for the plotters, considering the number of bodies (43) needed.
Hypothesis: The plotters used cremation remains of those who died before 9/11.
Issue: How would plotters get the DNA ”samples” of the same deceased persons?
Answer: The plotters could have run a phony company that provides or cleans ceremonial caskets for the deceased prior to cremation. The company could have collected “hair samples” that would match those recently cremated:
“Many funeral homes offer a hardwood ceremonial casket for viewing or funeral services prior to cremation. The ceremonial (or rental) casket is specifically designed to provide a very aesthetically pleasing, affordable and environmentally prudent alternative to purchasing a casket for a cremation service.”
MOST LIKELY SCENARIO: The remains were planted at Shanksville. The remains could not have been those of the passengers. No plane with passengers crashed at Shanksville. It would also be hard to deceive the DNA testers.
What happened to United 93?
What if we could find out if messages were sent to the planes that flew and pinpoint when they were sent? What if we could ascertain whether the plane corresponding to this flight received any of these messages? What if any of the messages were AFTER the time the plane allegedly crashed?
We can do that! There is a device used to send messages to and from an aircraft. It is called ACARS, the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System.
Thanks to the work of Pilots for 9/11 Truth and others, we know that the ACARS messages sent to Flight 93 indicate that the plane was heading west over Illinois several minutes after it supposedly “crashed” in Pennsylvania! Pilots for 9/11 Truth found that messages sent after the time of the crash were received by United 93 at ground stations far away from Shanksville. They said that the aircraft would not have had messages routed through the ground stations that were actually used “if it were en route to crash in Shanksville, PA.”
For that reason alone, we know that United 93 did not crash in Pennsylvania. For that reason alone, we know that 43 people were not killed in a Shanksville crash. For that reason alone, we can call off the official story and continue our search for the real history of this day’s event.
There are other reasons to disbelieve the crash story. In the words of Col. George Nelson, USAF (ret.), had United 93 crashed in Shanksville “there would have [been] literally hundreds of serially-controlled time-change parts within the hole that would have proved beyond any shadow of doubt the precise tail-number or identity of the aircraft.” Yet, as with identification of the passengers, our government has not shown what would be easily understood and conclusive evidence.
MOST LIKELY SCENARIO: The evidence proves that United 93 flew to the Midwest and was last positively traced over Illinois minutes after the “crash” in Shanksville. The “footprints” of the plane and passenger ends here.
Where did United 93 and its passengers land?
From here on it is speculation. The best guess is Cleveland due to its proximity to United 93’s last known position and evidence of irregular activity there.
What happened? Plotters needed to make sure about 30 people did not get away. The passengers may not have been aware of what had happened during the time of the flight as they did not make calls.
They would have left the plane about 11:00 AM and may have been led to a NASA building. The plotters had to keep them away from their cell phones and the news for as long as possible. The plotters knew that the passengers would eventually find out that they had traveled on a flight that would be tied to the official story. At that point, the passengers would no longer have felt safe.
Can anyone tell us what happened to the passengers?
The passengers have not spoken and the plotters will not speak. That leaves the relatives as the only group of people who may know what happened.
Hypothesis I: The relatives received no notice before receiving the calls from the passengers.
If that is the case, then the relatives were left out of the plan and thus had no leverage as to the fate of the passengers. Most likely, the passengers are dead.
Hypothesis II: The relatives received notice about the calls before receiving them.
If that is the case, then the relatives may have been (coerced?) into a deal: for their silence, they would receive assurances that the passengers would not be harmed.
MOST LIKELY SCENARIO: Unknown. Only the relatives can tell us anything about this topic.
Conclusion: The Passenger Paradox
IF the passengers took the flights under their true identities, THEN: a) they were killed in Cleveland or b) they received new identities.
Problem with a) The relatives would be furious that the government lied to them about what happened and would be responsible for the deaths of the passengers. But the families appear to stand with the government.
Problem with b) The relatives would demand contact with the passengers, which could create difficulties in keeping what would be a secret. It would only take one “outed” passenger to ruin the whole cover story.
IF the passengers took the flights under assumed identities, THEN they could return to society in their old or different identities.
Problem: Close friends and family would know the old identities. In an era of the Internet and the availability of records, this might not be too hard for the public to discover.
IF the passengers deplaned United 93 at the tarmac, THEN they could return to society quickly provided that their identity as a passenger be different than their commonly used name AND the pictures shown of them are faked.
Problem: This would mean a lot of false passenger names and a lot of false relatives, though it does not foreclose the possibility of some real passengers who go to Cleveland (see the first paradox). The key for the plotters would be to make sure the fake pictures of “passengers” get to the public quickly to create images of people who do not exist. So the public would look in all the wrong places.
Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Dean Hartwell, J.D., is the author of PLANES WITHOUT PASSENGERS: THE FAKED HIJACKINGS OF 9/11(2011) and DEAD MEN TALKING (2009) on JFK, RFK and 9/11.
Source: Veterans Today
One of my all-time favorite pieces of literature is this section from Friedrich Schiller’s William Tell:
“By this fair light which greeteth us, before
Those other nations, that, beneath us far,
In noisome cities pent, draw painful breath,
Swear we the oath of our confederacy!
A band of brothers true we swear to be,
Never to part in danger or in death!
“We swear we will be free as were our sires,
And sooner die than live in slavery!
“We swear, to put our trust in God Most High,
And not to quail before the might of man!”
Another personal favorite is the St. Crispin’s Day speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V:
“This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered.
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother, be he ne’er so vile.
This day shall gentle his condition.
“And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”
Schiller and Shakespeare called it “Band of Brothers.” The Apostle Peter called it “Brotherhood.” (I Peter 2:17) Call it what you will: without it, no cause will prevail. And that is one of the biggest problems we face in America today: there is very little brotherhood among brothers.
No, not all brothers are part of the brotherhood. The Scripture acknowledges this in Proverbs 18:24, “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” And again in Proverbs 27:10, “Better is a neighbor that is near than a brother afar off.” A brother that doesn’t “stick close” is certainly not part of the brotherhood. Neither is a brother that is “afar off.”
The sad truth is, even in the vast majority of churches, brotherhood is virtually unknown. Sitting in a church congregation is no more indicative of brotherhood than sitting in a crowded football stadium. In fact, there might even be MORE brotherhood at a football game than there is in the average church today.
Churches today are literally eaten up with malice, jealousy, gossip, slander, backbiting, faultfinding, ad infinitum. (But the same is true with other establishment organizations as well.) For all intents and purposes, today’s churches make a mockery of all that Jesus taught regarding Christian love and brotherhood. On the whole, it simply does not exist today.
This past Sunday, I delivered a message simply entitled, “Brotherhood.” I encourage readers to watch or download this message at:
For the sake of this column, and for the freedom movement especially, let me issue a clarion call for all of us who call ourselves Patriots. It is absolutely critical that we recognize The Brotherhood of the Free.
After signing the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin said, “We must hang together, or we most assuredly will hang separately.” How right he was!
Our patriot-forebears, this “Band of Brothers,” were as diverse a group of men as would ever be found. They represented virtually every Christian denomination that existed in Colonial America. They also included men who identified with no Christian church or denomination. While most of our Founding Fathers were Christians, not all of them were. But they all joined shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight for liberty and independence. Christians were fighting for the freedom to worship God as they pleased, and non-Christians were fighting for the freedom to not worship God if they pleased. But both fought side-by-side for freedom. Why do Christians today have such a blind spot in this regard?
It doesn’t matter that Mitt Romney is a Mormon, or that Newt Gingrich is a Catholic, or that Rick Santorum is a Catholic. What matters is that not one of them is part of The Brotherhood of the Free. Not one of them has a clue as to what the real principles of liberty and constitutional government are all about. Not one of them recognizes the New World Order, the emerging police state, or the foolhardiness of perpetual war–whatever church they attend notwithstanding!
And that’s the problem with most of our Christian “brothers”: They just don’t get it! And when push comes to shove, most of them will join with the forces of darkness in persecuting real Patriots and freedom lovers. Don’t believe it? Look at how they are treating Ron Paul.
Say what you want about Ron Paul, he is an elder statesman in The Brotherhood of the Free. Ron Paul is in the Brotherhood. He knows what’s going on. He sees the danger. He cares about liberty. He understands the Constitution. He is my brother in the fight!
Do I agree with Dr. Paul about every issue? No! We will never agree with our fellow Patriots about every single issue–neither should we have to. We agree on the basics. We each love liberty and independence. We believe in constitutional government. We despise globalism, corporatism, socialism, and fascism. We recognize a police state when we see it. We recognize the right of free moral beings to make their own personal moral choices. As Christians, we know that only Christ can change the hearts (and thereby, the conduct) of men–NOT GOVERNMENT!
Does anyone find it more than interesting that men such as John Adams, Sam Adams, and George Washington joined with Benjamin Franklin in signing the Declaration of Independence? The Adams boys and Mr. Washington were well known far and wide as men of intense piety and personal morality, while Mr. Franklin was known by everyone to be an incurable ladies man–even in his old age. If John and Sam and George would have behaved as so-called Christians do today, they would have said, “If Ben is signing this document, count me out!” But there they were, side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, fighting for liberty and independence.
I, too, will gladly stand with my fellows in The Brotherhood of the Free. It doesn’t mean that I approve of all that they do. It doesn’t mean that I believe all that they believe. But it does mean as long as they are part of the Brotherhood and are willing to fight for the principles of liberty, I will stand with them!
Joining Ron Paul are thousands of men and women who should be recognized as part of this noble Brotherhood. As did our Founding Fathers, we come from varied walks of life, varied religious persuasions, varied belief systems, etc., but we all share a love of liberty and independence that burns deeply in our breasts.
Accordingly, I am glad to stand with (and to have stood with) Patriots such as Montana State Legislator Rick Jore, John McManus, Dr. Stan Montieth, Howard Phillips, Larry Pratt, Paul Walter, Herb Titus, Bill Olson, Ed Vieira, Judge Darrell White, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Pat Buchanan, Chelene Nightingale, Charley Reese, Scott Bradley, Joel Skousen, Tom DeWeese, Ezola Foster, Sheriff Richard Mack, Alex Jones, Governor Jesse Ventura, Sam Bushman, the late Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage, the late William Shearer, the late Joseph Sobran, the late George Putnam, and thousands like them.
My dear fellow Patriots, we are part of a Brotherhood. As Franklin said, “We must hang together.” If we do, the cause of liberty will prevail. If we do not, the cause of liberty will most assuredly perish.
Lebanese Politicians Still Block Palestinian Rights…
We all know it is not just American and Lebanese politicians who use Palestinian refugees as political footballs during electoral campaigns. But they are currently the two most egregious apart from most Zionist politicians in temporarily occupied Palestine.
In the US, it would not be a difficult task to find even more revolting and groveling intellectual “half-men” to borrow a phrase from Syria’s beleaguered President Bashar Assad than Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich during their recent “debate” in Jacksonville Florida.
While a high percentage of Republican Jewish voters will go to the polls in this winner take all primary, Mitt and Newt are also pondering their national fundraising networks as they gratuitously misrepresented history and betrayed their claimed religious and moral beliefs.
Romney repeated his screed that President Obama “threw Israel under the bus” by following international law, seven UN Security Council Resolution and World opinion by designating the pre-1967 borders as the starting point for peace talks. He also complained that America’s President “disrespected” Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu when Obama spoke recently at the UN and mentioned in passing illegal Israeli settlement building but did not discuss retaliatory rockets being fired from Gaza into occupied Palestinian territory.
Genuflecting just as obsequiously to the Zionist lobby, Gingrich insisted to Florida voters once again that “Palestinians are an ‘invented people who historically were considered Jordanians and Syrians.” No one in the audience was so impolite as to remind the claimed student of history that Jordan did not even exist until created by the pro-Zionist British occupiers of Palestine, well into the 20th Century, while Palestinians have lived in Palestine for more than 3000 years. While more than 95% of Zionist colonists have zero historical links to Palestine and their genealogical roots are in Europe, Russia and elsewhere, despite the fact that millions have invaded Palestine seeking free land and US government funded cash and housing handouts. Morally and legally these colonists have no right to even one grain of sand in Palestine.
Newt again promised his audience that on his first day as President, he will for sure issue an Executive Order moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, another violation of International law.
Florida’s nearly 640,000 Jews are just 3.4 percent of Florida’s population. But because they vote in extraordinarily high numbers, they are 6 to 8 percent of Florida’s general election turnout but not of course when it comes to Republican primaries. Yet one recent poll estimates that 52% of the state’s registered Jewish voters would support a Republican presidential ticket such is their mistrust of Obama and what he might do in a second term with respect to occupied Palestine.
As with his rival Mitt, President Newt’s first foreign trip will be to Israel. With these latter two pledges Newt joins 19 Presidential primary aspirants who since 1967 have made similar promises. Fortunately, for what is left of American Humanitarian values, not one has been elected President.
Lebanese style anti-Palestinian political speech is more sophisticated and subtle, like the Lebanese people themselves, and nearly always devolves to the gut wrenching warning, delivered with a straight face, that “if we allow Palestinian refugees the right to work or to own a home (as required by International Law and currently enjoyed by refugees in 192 other countries) it might encourage them to get lazy and become too comfortable in Lebanon and they might, God save us all, seek naturalization. And this could interfere with the Palestinian refugees internationally guaranteed Right to Return to their homes in occupied Palestine which Lebanese strongly support for their brotherly and sisterly guests.
Lebanese politicians, including every party and religious grouping bar none, except the Druze and the National Syrian Socialist Party, use voter’s fear of naturalization (in America think immigration) to undercut growing human rights pressure for Lebanon to give Palestinians elementary human rights.
A rare exception for a Lebanese politician shocked many here when earlier this month, to his eternal credit and honor, Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour became the first Lebanese Cabinet member to make an official visit to a Palestinian refugee camp in six years when he toured south Beirut’s Burj al-Barajneh camp before signing a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA). The agreement will enable UNRWA for the first time to work in coordination with the Social Affairs Ministry to provide some services to some of the most vulnerable people in the camps.
The lack of employment opportunities for Palestine refugee prolong and intensify their hardship and poverty. In the five Southern Lebanon camps, according to a recent Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and UN International Labor Organization study, more than 81 per cent of all refugees are living in abject poverty. Young people are particularly affected, with unemployment for Palestinians between 15 and 24 reaching 60%. The employments figures are not must better in the northern camps.
Speaking at the event, Minister Faour, a Druze and member of Walid Jumblatt’s Progressive Socialist Party, called on his fellow politicians to follow his lead and experience firsthand conditions in Lebanon’s 12 Refugee camps. “Whoever wants to rediscover his humanity has to see the living conditions in Palestinian camps in Lebanon” Minister Faour told Lebanon’s Parliament. “We are used to bringing Palestinians to discussions in fancy hotels and then sending them back to the misery in the camps. We decided to invert these traditions by coming to the camps.”
Unfortunately Minister Abu Faour undercut some of the positive contribution of his visit by emphasizing to the media “the difficult relationship between Lebanon and the Palestinian population. The Lebanese government has consistently declined to grant rights to Palestinian refugees for fear that it would pave the way to naturalization, which it argues would diminish their right to return to Palestine.”
It would be difficult to find one Palestinian in Lebanon, or any advocate of human rights here, who truly believes the Lebanese politicians claimed notion of concern for the sanctity of the Palestinians Right of Return justifies keeping a quarter million human being in the most degrading squalor while outlawing even the right to work or to own a home out of an altruistic concern to keep hallow some of the refugees other international rights. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon reject more than any of the politicians here any form of settlement, naturalization, implantation or tawtin. They have a county just across the southern Lebanese border and their goal, now in its 64th year, is to return without more delay.
Many Palestinians in Lebanon’s camp mention a new energy among their fellow refugees as a result of the continuing, broadening and deepening Arab and Islamic Awakening which erupted one year ago in Tunisia and whose spread continues.
The swelling bud of intifada! is also being observed by foreigners here and as Palestinian camp residents invite Pope Benedict to visit their camps in the Spring during his reported visit to Lebanon, one idea from kids at Ramallah school in Shatila Camp is for the Vicar of Christ to hold a Mass for tens of thousands in the new Cite Sportiff, on the edge this Camp. For it was at this sports center 30 years ago that part two of the Massacre at Sabra-Shatilla was organized by Israeli and Phalange troops on September 18th and for which, like the other 43 hours of uninterrupted slaughter, no one person has ever been held accountable.
It would be an enormously powerful historic event should Pope Benedict fill Cite Sportiff with people of good will, and there are many such people here like Minister Faour, from all the confessions and political parties, joined by all religious and civil society leaders in Lebanon, and with the Pope’s blessing and admonition for all of us to follow in the path of Mohammad and Jesus and their deciples, that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon might be granted even the most elementary human rights.
After I got my long hair caught in a vacuum cleaner the other day, my first thought was pure terror — like I had just been attacked by werewolves or vampires with claws! But then my second thought was, “Gee, at least I HAVE a vacuum cleaner”.
Despite the recent huge economic downturn, most Americans are still relatively well-off right now, even me. Sure, our infrastructure sucks eggs and we mostly have run-down schools and hospitals, but at least we still have them. Old and run down. But still functioning at least.
But wait! Perhaps help for our hospitals is finally on the way! Is it really true that American corporatists have recently decided to spend over nine billion dollars to build at least 20 brand new state-of-the-art hospitals in Georgia? According to RT News, yes indeed this is true.
The only problem here, however, is that the corporatists who currently own our country are now in the process of building these 20 wonderful new hospitals in the former Soviet-bloc state of Georgia — not in the American state with the same name that’s famous for peaches and Braves. http://rt.com/politics/us-
How bizarre is that news?
And now I’ve just read where American corporatists have recently sent in the U.S. Coast Guard to break up a strike by American longshoremen. That’s even more bizarre than getting one’s hair sucked into a vacuum cleaner — and even more painful. One can always just cut one’s hair off, but forcing America’s military to act like low-life strike-breaking scabs? That’s a cut to our democracy that may never heal.
ILWU members had been promised jobs in Longview as a priority condition for allowing corporatists to receive massive federal subsidies to build a new terminal at the Washington state port. But after the terminal was safely built, greedy corporatist slugs then fired the longshoremen’s union members point-blank — and not only got away with it but used the U.S. military as their own personal enforcers and thugs.http://www.
Am I the only one that finds this news a bit bizarre?
American coproratists seem to be getting away with EVERYTHING these days. Cheating on elections, throwing people out of their homes, never paying taxes, robbing our treasury blind, fighting undeclared wars for fun and profit on our dime, beating protesting citizens with clubs, buying off Congress, etc. But almost nobody in America seems to want to stop them.
Here’s more bizarre news — Stephen Cobert’s video explaining how corporatist superPACs steal our elections: http://www.colbertsuperpac.
Had enough yet? Or do you want to read some even more bizarre news about what corporatists are getting away with now? Yes? Then take a long look at this: The unassailable New York Times, the esteemed Gray Lady herself, recently reported that the IAEA had accused Iran of using its nuclear program to develop military weapons. But guess what? The IAEA had said no such thing. Now the esteemed Gray Lady has lied to us (again) in order to get us into a useless and unnecessary war (again) that would only benefit corporatists. http://publiceditor.blogs.
Very deja vu. Very bizarre.
But — to me (but apparently to nobody else) — this is the absolute most bizarre news of all: Perry, Santorum, Obama, Romney and even Newt Gingrich and JEB Bush are all running on a platform of being good Christians. Huh? What?
NO ONE who either calls for the bombing women and children in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and America — or is actually out doing it — can EVER call himself or herself a good Christian. Ever. These people are no more good Christians than was Attila the Hun.
Send drones to kill babies? Where in the Bible does it say that Jesus did that?
Leaving the meek of the earth to starve to death and the peacemakers of the world to be jailed? Jesus is down with that too? Not!
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” said Jesus. Beating down non-violent OWS protesters with pepper spray, tear gas and truncheons? NOT CHRISTIAN. Not Christian at all.
Yet no one seems to be calling these monsters out on their uber-hypocracy. No one calls them out at all. That’s bizarre.
And it’s also rather bizarre that all these corporatist presidential candidates are happily telling us that they are in favor of “Democracy”. There is NOTHING less democratic than a corporation. Face it, CEOs are tyrants. Corporatists worship the dictatorship model. To tell us that they want America to remain a democracy is absurd.
Corporatists by definition are top-down kinds of guys, “Do what I say or else you will lose all.” Corporatists by definition are bullying-type authoritarians who spit on America’s treasured democratic principles — and don’t you ever forget it!
Now let’s turn to the comic-page section of the news.
The average American today seems to more and more resemble that Peanuts cartoon character Charlie Brown — always trusting that somehow Lucy will let him finally kick the football. But guess what? No matter how many times you vote for the party of Bush-Obama-Romney-Santorum-
How’s that for bizarre news?
Liberal Hollywood is intentionally corrupting children’s morals via the movies and TV programs they produce for public consumption. Dictionary.com defines the word intentional in this way: done with intention or on purpose. In my opinion the harm Hollywood is doing to the minds and hearts of the next generation, which includes people of faith, is on purpose — and it’s criminal.
In my last article, Kids are being exposed to shocking levels of sexual content, I alerted parents to one of the plot lines in the popular TV show ‘Glee.’:
Fox Entertainment’s prime time Emmy nominated musical series ‘Glee’ is viewed by tens of thousands of teens, especially girls. On November 8 the hit show featured two high school age couples losing their virginity. One couple was heterosexual, the other homosexual. Not surprisingly the ‘gay’ couple was featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly with the headline: Gay Teens On TV – How a bold new class of young gay characters on shows like ‘Glee’ is changing hearts, minds and Hollywood.” The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) nominated ‘Glee’ for best TV comedy series that promotes homosexuality.
The Parents TV Council recently alerted the public to the Worst TV Show of the Week. Guess which TV show they picked? Yep, ‘Glee.’ Here’s why:
In a previous episode, Puck expressed his infatuation for Shelby in a fantasy-musical number of Van Halen’s “Hot for the Teacher.” In this episode, he basically serenades her with his classroom rendition of Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m the Only One.” Shelby rebuffs his advances until a medical emergency sends her reeling. Puck comes to her rescue, comforting her at the hospital after her adopted daughter (Puck and Quinn’s child) needs stitches due to an accidental fall. Suddenly, in Shelby’s vulnerable state, Puck ends up in her bed. Post coitus, Puck tells her, “You know, the advantage of a relationship with a younger dude is that I still got four more rounds in me before I need a steak sandwich and a Coke Zero.” Shelby immediately regrets what they’ve done and ushers him out.
Student-teacher sexual abuse has been spotlighted in the news lately due to recent legislation passed in Missouri designed to curtail contact between students and teachers via social networking. The Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, named after a student who was repeatedly assaulted by a middle school teacher, was signed into law in July, and has prompted school districts across the country to reconsider their social networking policies amid a rash of high-profile allegations of sexual misconduct between teachers and students. Just this past October an Ohio gym teacher, Stacy Schuler, was convicted of sexual battery for having sex with five male students.
Against this backdrop, the Puck-Shelby storyline is the height of irresponsibility. The show tries to skirt the legal issues by stating that Puck is 18 years old. But the show glosses over the inherent power imbalance of a student-teacher relationship. Regardless of who is the aggressor, any sexual relationship between a high-school student and a teacher is exploitative. (Online source)
You ask, why would the producers/writers of ‘Glee’ make light of a teacher and a student having casual sex? The answer is obvious. These people have no scruples! They couldn’t care less if young people in middle school have sex. The producers/writers simply lack a moral compass. You’d think adults would be aware of the downside of immature teens engaging in sexual relations. Does it not occur to them that market share and advertising revenue isn’t worth a story line that potentially will result in girls 15 and younger becoming pregnant?
At a very young age an unwed pregnant girl whose lover wants no part of the mess they’re in is forced to make some life changing decisions that require maturity beyond her years. Decisions such as: 1) Should I abort my baby; 2) Should I go through with the pregnancy; 3) If I go through with the pregnancy should I then allow a couple to adopt my baby; 4) Should I keep my baby and raise it myself; 5) Should I drop out of school.
Is it possible that this actually does occur to Hollywood elites but for them it’s all about pushing the envelope, making oodles of money, receiving awards — and most importantly, becoming famous. After all, it’s famous faces that get splashed across the covers of magazines, right?
There are other ramifications when teens engage in casual sex. For example, the ones who have loose morals are far more likely to contract diseases such as HIV/AIDS, human papillomavirus (genital warts or HPV), genital herpes, Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
Instead of encouraging young people to abstain from having sex, Tinseltown’s message to them is to practice ‘safe sex.’ In other words, use a condom. Problem is most teens (and a large number of adults) are unaware that condoms do not provide 100% effectiveness against some STDs.
So – is it any wonder that 25% of American teenage girls ages 14-19 have at least one STD? Currently there’s no cure for HPV. Moreover, this dreadful virus can lead to cervical cancer! Girls who have sexual intercourse before the age of 18 are unaware that they have an increased risk for developing cervical dysplasia which can lead to cervical cancer. That’s not all. Giving birth before the age of 16 increases the risk of developing cervical dysplasia. And for all you Gardasil fans, the vaccine protects against the types of HPV infection that cause most cervical cancers but it does not protect against all infections. Here’s more bad news. Many STDs have vague or no symptoms.
As if the health risks aren’t bad enough a recent study conducted by Ohio State University College of Medicine reports that teen sex may impair brain development! The study reveals, how social experiences during adolescence when the brain is still developing can have broad consequences. … Specifically, the animals that mated earlier in life had higher levels of depressive behaviors, changes to the brain and smaller reproductive tissues compared to those that had intercourse later or not at all.
“Having a sexual experience during this time point, early in life, is not without consequence,” study co-author John Morris, a doctoral student in psychology at Ohio State, said in a statement. (Online source)
Those who work in the entertainment industry are most responsible for sexualizing young people so I find it ironic that they promote safe sex! Earth to Tinseltown ! The so-called safety measures are not all that safe. And we now learn that teen sex may affect brain development!
Brent Bozell wrote a piece titled Hollywood’s Soda-Pop Statism. Bozell informs us that on a far left blog, former entertainment executive Laurie David offered this pre-holiday piece of encouragement:
“Thanksgiving Conversation Starter: Is It Time to Ban Soda Ads on Prime Time Television?”At the same time that the broadcast networks are allowing – even advocating – the removal of all limitations on nudity or profanity on TV, at any hour of the day, David is most upset about those old polar bear ads for Coca-Cola:
“Knowing what I know now about the effects of sugary drinks on children, the image of kids chugging down a Coke (or in this case polar bear cubs) evokes the same feelings I’d get if they were taking a deep drag on cigarettes.”
One wonders if a high school student engaging in sex with his/her history teacher would evoke a raised eyebrow from Laurie David. One also wonders if she’s concerned that students are learning about ‘gay’ sex despite the fact that sodomy is a high risk behavior.
Instead of children learning reading, writing and arithmetic in our tax funded public schools, teachers all across America are mandated to teach children that sodomy is “normal and natural.” Many Students graduate from high school unable to spell simple words or write a basic sentence, yet valuable class time is taken up to teach them the ends and outs of oral and anal sex?
Borrowing again from my last article, some of the health risks I pointed out inherent in ‘gay’ sex bear repeating. For one thing, the homosexual community is the most severely affected by HIV/AIDS and are the only risk group in which new HIV infections have been steadily increasing since the early 1990s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report titled HIV among Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men, in 2006 homosexuals accounted for 53% of all new HIV infections in the U.S. And Lorie David worries about youngsters imbibing soft drinks?
Getting back to ‘Glee’ the executives and sponsors of the show need to tune into the news once in a while. The program that spotlighted a teenage student having sex with his adult teacher was aired about the time that the story of former football coach Jerry Sandusky’s arrest for alleged child rape was making headlines. Which begs the question: Why is ‘Glee’ playing with fire by showing teacher-student sex? Okay, the student was 18. But a senior in high school nonetheless.
Hollywood…pushing the envelope…breaking taboos… desensitizing the public…tearing down the moral construct this country was built on…mocking the traditional family…rewriting history…disrespecting Judeo-Christian values…even blaspheming God. Where do they plan to go next? Could it be the normalization of pedophilia? No, they wouldn’t go that far, would they? Former child star Cory Feldman told CBS that pedophilia is Hollywood’s biggest problem. (Online source)
The larger question is why do people, especially those who self-identify as Christians, allow the entertainment industry and product advertiser’s filth into their homes? I believe it is because many parents are clueless as to what their children are being exposed to.
The apostle Paul wrote, And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:2)
There’s not enough space to cover what perverts are doing behind the scenes to normalize pedophilia. For those who want to know more about what the pervs are up to read Janet Shaw Crowse’s article Normalizing Penn State Pedophilia.
Being an outspoken Bible-believing Christian I’m bound to receive a flood of emails from pedophiles who feel the need to point out that Jesus Christ never mentioned the sick twisted perversion of man-boy sex (homosexuals use this argument too) so I’ll address what the Bible says here.
First off, the Apostle John states that Jesus said many things that were not written down (John 21:25). For example, our Lord didn’t mention abortion, homosexuality, rape, incest, or cannibalism. However, just because he didn’t address every sin throughout the Bible doesn’t mean He would approve. Secondly, Jesus considered the writings of the Old Testament to be both trustworthy and authoritative. Thirdly, Jesus addressed sex outside of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6. He said marriage is between one man, the husband and one woman, the wife. The bottom line is that the Bible condemns sex outside of marriage.
That said, anyone with an ounce of common sense understands that adult-child sex is an egregious sin. Men and women who rob children of their innocence for their deviant self gratification should not be free to prowl school yards for innocent victims. Moreover, anyone with an ounce of common sense will acknowledge that child rapists must be incarcerated.
I’ll close with some sage advice from Sam Blumenfeld in ‘Does God Exist?’:
“Imagine an America in which every child has a Bible and can study it in school! Do you think we’d have the moral chaos among teens we have today? That ought to be the great task of Christian missionaries today: to put a Bible in the hands of every child in America. Some won’t read it. But many others will.”