Category Archives: The Rift

Libya: ICC prosecutor seeks warrant for Gaddafi

The leaders of Western democracies have bombed and killed more civilians in the last decade than the regime of Muammar Gaddafi but ICC prosecutors will not issue arrest warrants for those that are ensconced in the position of leadership and protected by a legacy to dictate the course of the UN. One wonders if the lives the UN has mandated to protect in Misrata are more important than the many Libyans that reside in Tripoli – Gaddafi’s stronghold. Further, why is the court so silent to the atrocities that are committed against innocent civilians in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan? Justice for our world is not only selective but the communication that supports it is absurd. We are told that a bomb delivered by a suicide bomber that kills civilians is an act of terrorism but a Tomahawk missile or Drone that kills the innocent serves to end terrorism. Such communication is foolish, lacks credibility, and is seen in the eyes of the independent public for what it is -- rubbish!

BBC

The International Criminal Court chief prosecutor is seeking the arrest of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi and two others for crimes against humanity.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Col Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi bore the greatest responsibility for “widespread and systematic attacks” on civilians.

ICC judges must still decide whether or not to issue warrants for their arrest.

The Libyan government has already said it will ignore the announcement.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Kaim said the court was a “baby of the European Union designed for African politicians and leaders” and its practices were “questionable”.

Libya did not recognise its jurisdiction, like a few other African countries and the United States, he added.

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Sorry about all the bombs

Newsweek

It’s the original guide to “everything illegal,” from pot loaf and hash cookies to tear gas, dynamite, and TNT. There are frank tips on demolition, surveillance, sabotage, and the gorier parts of hand-to-hand combat, including how to behead a man with piano wire and make a knife “slip off the rib cage and penetrate the heart.” In the introduction, the then-teenage author makes clear his wish that the book be of more than just theoretical use. “I hold a sincere hope that it may stir some stagnant brain cells into action,” he wrote.

William Powell, author of The Anarchist Cookbook, succeeded all too well. His slim, 160-page volume democratized the nuts and bolts of terror. Published in 1971, it would sell more than 2 million copies worldwide and influence dozens of malcontents, mischief makers, and killers. Police have linked it to the Croatian radicals who bombed Grand Central Terminal and hijacked a TWA flight in 1976; the Puerto Rican separatists who bombed FBI headquarters in 1981; Thomas Spinks, who led a group that bombed at least 10 American abortion clinics in the mid-1980s; and the 2005 London public-transport bombers.

Just last spring, after a father-son team of British white supremacists drew on the book to make a jar of ricin, a London judge joined police in calling for a ban on the title and the many copycat volumes it has inspired. But retailers refused, and the book’s Arizona-based publisher, which acquired the rights in 2001, declined to comment. So the work lives on, and so does its author. Just not in the way you might expect.

Powell, now 61 years old, long ago renounced the best-selling terrorist bible he penned.

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Related story:
Why there should be a case against George W. Bush under torture law

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Constitution Will Be Victim In Zealous Effort to Go After Assange and Wikileaks

InfoWars

Kurt Nimmo

InfoWars

It looks like Obama’s Justice Department may not prosecute Julian Assange. Fact of the matter is that Assange and Wikileaks are beyond the reach of the Justice Department.

Experts on whistleblower leaks and internet security issues say the Obama administration faces a daunting and perhaps insurmountable series of legal and practical challenges if it wants to take out Wikileaks.

Because the the 1917 Espionage Act is problematic and its use failed when the government tried to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon Papers case, a number of politicians have decided to enact legislation criminalizing the act of whistle-blowing.

The so-called Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination (Shield) Bill was introduced by Peter King, a Republican from New York, who will become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when the new House of Representatives with a Republican majority convenes in January.

The bill is ostensibly designed to make it illegal to publish the names of military or intelligence community informants. It mirrors a previous bill introduced by in the Senate by Joe Lieberman, Scott Brown and Susan Collins. Both bills seek to criminalize ex post facto the activity of Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

Hearings on the bills will not begin until a new Congress convenes in January. However, according to officials, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to begin work this Thursday on how the Espionage Act might be modified to give prosecutors the ability to go after enemies of the state who dare leak information to the American people.

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Kuwait shuts down Al Jazeera office

Al Jazeera

Kuwaiti authorities have closed the office of Al Jazeera over coverage of a police crackdown on a public gathering.

“Today, I received a phone call from the information ministry informing me that the office has been closed immediately and our accreditations have been withdrawn,” Saad al Saeedi, al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Kuwait City, said.

Ministry officials had delivered the office a letter that stated the reason for the closure was “the latest developments and your interference in Kuwait’s internal affairs,” Saeedi said, quoting the letter.

“Al Jazeera vows to continue to cover Kuwaiti affairs with full professionalism and balance.”

Al Jazeera had aired extensive coverage of the police crackdown on a gathering held by the Kuwaiti opposition on Wednesday.

It showed footage of police beating activists and aired interviews with members of the Kuwaiti opposition following the clashes in which four Kuwaiti members of parliament and a dozen citizens were hurt.

Al Jazeera denies the charge of meddling in Kuwaiti affairs, saying it was just doing its job.

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Is Treason a Civic Duty?

Julian Assange’s mother has said that she is worried about her son as “massive forces” are working against him and insisted that there is “no way” he is guilty of rape, which he is charged with in Sweden.

Thomas Darnstädt

Der Spiegel

Since 9/11, press freedom in the West has come under attack as governments argue that national security is more important than transparency. But the hunt for WikiLeaks is a greater danger to democracy than any information that WikiLeaks might reveal.

Why do we need freedom of the press? The framers of the United States Constitution believed that such a guarantee would be unnecessary — if not dangerous. There are freedoms that we don’t secure through promises, but which we take for ourselves. They are like the air we breathe in a democracy, whose authority is built on public opinion. The democracy that was founded on the basis of such insights is the American democracy. It is an indication of the American revolutionaries’ healthy mistrust in the power of this insight that they would later incorporate freedom of the press into the US Constitution after all.

Today, more than 200 years later, this old idea seems naïve to all too many people in the Western world. Since becoming embroiled in the war against terrorism, the US government has transformed itself into a huge security apparatus. The Washington Post recently reported that 854,000 people in the US government, or more than one-and-a-half times the population of Washington, DC, hold top-secret security clearances — and this under a president who came into office promising a new era of openness in government. An estimated 16 million government documents a year are stamped “top secret,” or not intended for the eyes of ordinary citizens.

In the crisis, the countries of Old Europe are also putting up the barricades. Germany’s constitution, known as the Basic Law, has a far-reaching guarantee of press freedom and was created after World War II on behalf of the US liberators and in the spirit of the American and French revolutions. But in the 10th year after the 9/11 attacks, one German conservative politician has even pondered whether it might not be a good idea to prohibit journalists from reporting on terrorism in too much detail.

Such people would have been beheaded in revolutionary Paris and probably locked up in Philadelphia. When citizens were revolutionaries, the act of demanding freedom of speech was a revolutionary act. Today, in more peaceful times, we would characterize freedom of speech as a civic virtue.

Read more>>>

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For Whom the Bell Tolls: Will the U.S. meet the challenges of the 21st Century

The U.S. Future Is In Jeopardy

Francis Anthony Govia

The Muffin Post

A View of Manhattan from Forest Hills

By now it is well circulated the article by Paul Krugman “America Goes Dark”, New York Times. Mr. Krugman paints a picture of what is perceptibly the decline of the United States as a nation. According to Krugman “the lights are going out all over America — literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno. “

Most of us would accept a little dimming of the lights in the United States was it not for a more troubling reality expressed by Krugman. Cash strapped systems are cutting back on seemingly everything. Teachers are being laid off. Educational programs are being cancelled – and services that were provided by the government for generations have apparently become not so essential after all – they are no longer being offered.

The near future does not bode well for Americans either. Planned austerity measures by state and local governments are expected to be “a major drag on the economy’ and lead to even more “devastatingly high unemployment,” says Krugman. This is what the citizens of this great nation have to expect in an economy already rocked by 9.5 % unemployment and a stubborn recession that refuses to go away.

Only a short walk down the block in the neighborhood, and there are many “For Rent” signs in a place once teaming with business. Jobs are being offered at half the salary they used to be offered a few years ago, and when they are offered at all, there are so many qualified applicants from whom to choose it becomes harder for the unemployed to get back on their feet. So how is it possible that America is going so backward?

Krugman’s case for the U.S. stepping backward – when other nations are doing otherwise — is attributed to the many decades of rhetoric by voters demonizing waste and big government. The voters are somehow responsible for the roads that will not be paved, the investments that cannot be made in education, the lights that are being extinguished, and the “essential services” that are being halted. But isn’t that awfully generous a conclusion – for some? Krugman appears to have absolved the government, special interests groups, and bureaucrats who dictate policy for the U.S. of the problems that now plague our ability to move forward.

Krugman’s conclusion is not an error of judgment. It is a voice of careful calculation. The fact is most of us are tired of hearing what has caused the U.S. to decline, or at least, are unwilling to accept it. Scholars must find new ways to define failure, and where to assign the responsibility for it. Every writer is guilty of assigning too much blame on one thing or another.

Not many want to hear that the country’s military expenditures and war effort have sprung out of control. We do not want to accept a conclusion that if we do not rein in costs we will go the way of the Soviet Union — a country buckled by the sheer weight of those who planned for war. For reasons of special interests, partisanship, or simple ignorance, some of us refuse to accept that the U.S. lost a grand opportunity at the close of the Clinton era (when our nation had a budget surplus) to keep putting her best foot forward. It chose to invest in an unnecessary war in Iraq instead of investing in its people where it would have gotten a better return. Like any bad investment made by an investor, the nation now sees more red. Our purpose to do better simply got derailed.

The war in Iraq was one we could have done without. The war in Afghanistan, considering the unprincipled attack on the World Trade Center and the pseudo-military attack on the pentagon, was a war of necessity. Managing these two wars have placed an unmitigated burden on our economy and society. We must fast lose our appetite for war or the nation will decline at an even faster rate.

The priorities we made for our war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have so tapped our treasury, and have given so little in return, that the U.S. is digging itself an early decline and it is hastening the rise of China. To meet new challenges and overcome our current fiscal handicap, the U.S. will have to do the following. It must ignore hawks and special interest groups who advocate war with Iran. It must give priority to its domestic programs over its foreign policy initiatives, and allocate more of its funds to the former. It must consider earnestly whether the nation can bear the burden of any new taxes before they are instituted. It must curtail expenditures dedicated to its current theatres of conflict, and give more priority to diplomacy. It must cut costs at home.

By count of the National Priorities Project, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost the U.S. $1.9 trillion, of which $741 billion have been spent in Iraq. These war funds do not include requested funds for fiscal year 2011, and that will be evident when Congress completes their budget process in the fall. Wise heads would think that in order to invest in education, health, infrastructure development, and social services, the country must at least wind down and eventually curtail its effort in Iraq, and stubbornly refuse to engage in any new major war effort. The Federal, State, and local governments could then concentrate on putting resources (including the best of the young) into projects where they would likely get a better return. Not so. While there is hope for cutting the war effort in Iraq, Afghanistan is likely to cost the U.S. more in the near future. USA Today published an article by Richard Wolf in May which revealed that for the first time since 2003, the war in Afghanistan had outpaced Iraq’s. As president Obama ratchets up his administration’s plan to defeat a resurgent and tenacious Taliban in Afghanistan, it is expected that costs will surpass the $105 billion allocated to it in 2010 fiscal year.

Is there a way to get out of this fiscal quandary, manage current wars, and improve our society? The Nation’s brightest have now turned to the past for answers. They advocate that we will have to ask the richest 2% of Americans to go back to paying the tax rates they paid during the Clinton-era boom to end the regression. The “U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know It” read the headline written by Boston University professor of Economics, Laurence Kotlikoff in an article published by Bloomberg last Tuesday. With due respect to professor Kotlikoff, and other fine scholars who acknowledge the same, the U.S. is bankrupt and we know it because many of us are feeling the pains. We hope for change. No one knows for sure if rolling back the tax benefits given to the rich by George W. Bush – a recommendation implied by Krugman – will improve the “F” given to the U.S. by the International Monetary Fund in its recent review. Is that the change we need? According to Kotlikoff, the U.S. will need “an immediate and permanent doubling of our personal-income, corporate and federal taxes as well as the payroll levy set down in the Federal Insurance Contribution Act” to accomplish that goal. Such a tax hike will give the U.S. “a surplus equal to 5% of its Gross Domestic Product this year – a standard the U.S. must maintain for many years to come to meet spending” that is scheduled.

So how do we meet the obligations of the nation staggering under $130 trillion in debt? It order to meet those obligations, National Review recently cited an article in Forbes written by Bruce Bartlett that says the country needs an 81% increase in taxes. See, “The Other National Debt” by Kevin D. Williamson. That recommendation spells disaster to most. Which American family can afford to pay double its current taxes? Who can afford to pay – that much more in taxes?

The case for maintaining the U.S. eminence in the world cannot be settled by a mere doubling of taxes, or by increasing the tax burden on the rich. Such an aspiration can only be achieved by the redoubling our efforts at home, cutting some of our costs here and even more of that we spend for our military ventures overseas. Americans must look inward, and tackle what ails us at home. We must give up the mentality of hawks and special interest groups who are trying to impress the world with our military projections and accoutrements but ignore that the true strength of a nation is what is developed within. Societies grow rich during times of peace, and not when they are systematically engaged in conflict.

It appears that U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates agrees with this fierce reality. Last Monday he announced a number of measures intended to cut costs in the Pentagon’s budget. See, “Pentagon Plans Steps to Reduce Budget and Jobs”, New York Times. By his analysis, the “U.S. is unlikely to repeat a mission on the scale of those in Afghanistan and Iraq anytime soon.” The nation simply cannot afford to undertake any more “forced regime change followed by nation building under fire.” Gates appears to subscribe to a new military doctrine that calls for “building partner capacity”: “helping other countries defend themselves or, if necessary, fight alongside U.S. forces by providing them with equipment, training, or other forms of security assistance.” He warned against a “creeping militarization” of U.S. foreign policy, and advocated a strengthening “for diplomacy and development and for greater emphasis on civilian programs.” See, “Helping Others Defend Themselves” by Robert Gates, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2010. But by far, it seems, the U.S. needs to change its way of thinking, and do away permanently with minefields that occupy too much of the nation’s time and resources.

Minefields in our past that threaten to derail our future are known to most people before the words are written. Specifically, the Middle East is the zone of conflict that presents the most danger to the U.S. standing as a superpower.

U.S. commitment to the Israel’s security, considering Palestinians’ aspiration for nationhood, is a minefield. The U.S.-Iran impasse over the nuclear refinement, or what could also be easily defined as the bookends of a U.S.-Iran-Israel standoff, absorb too much us of the nation’s energy. That too is a major minefield.

The cessation of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian people is important to the U.S. For that goal to be realized, Palestinians who live in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem must receive the acceptable compromise leading to the building of Palestinian state. Israel and the United States cannot continue to prepare for war indefinitely, and if history has thought us anything, technological superiority in military terms have never been a sure purveyor of peace.

Moreover, the militarization of Israel’s foreign policy, and its ‘freedom of action” to use force unilaterally whenever it wants, is of considerable angst to the U.S., and a danger to our interests. They engender a whole host of negative factors, and could at any moment interfere with the world’s access to cheap and unmitigated flow of fossil fuels that the permutations of conflict would inevitably bring. The U.S. must devote considerably fewer resources to its allies, including Israel. Should the Palestinians achieve nationhood soon, the U.S. and Israel would disrupt a strategy on which the fundamentalists in the region thrive through grievances and misuse.

The U.S. Iran impasse over the refinement of nuclear fuel is even more critical, and dangerous to the U.S. in the near future, especially if it leads to the war for which the hawks agitate. The U.S. should absolutely not get into a war with Iran for such an undertaking will have a disastrous effect on the economies of the world that are already burdened with increased costs of energy – battered into stagnation and recession, and a whole other list of symptoms that are negative, and resultant from the war in Iraq.

War with Iran will cause the U.S. in excess of what it has already spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will expose us to a whole new level of terrorist activity. Even if the U.S. were to achieve its military purpose, the nation will have the burden of managing a country more than three times the size of Iraq and with over twice the population.

Despite the fantasies of the hawks, the costs of war with Iran would be detrimental to the U.S. standing as the world’s lone super power. The likely beneficiaries of such a war would be China and/or Russia, which is exactly the opposite result those interested in U.S. national security would hope to result. War with Iran goes totally against the grain of what Robert Gates foresee as a possible doctrine for U.S. military engagement in the hour of now. It is counterproductive to our need to rebuild the nation, balance the nation’s budget, and pay down its debt.

While wise heads would hope that the U.S. would sidestep that possible minefield, they are many (including the Tea Party) who have endorsed the U.S. getting entangled in a war with Iran. They are pushing the U.S. into making the same mistakes, and to undertake the same faulty analysis that lead to war with Iraq. A case for war was made by Jeffrey Golberg in an article published by Atlantic entitled “The Point Of No Return”. This article is worthy of examination considering the nation’s appetite for war. Writers Fynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett have since debunked Golberg’s argument in their article published by Foreign Policy. See, “The Weak Case for War with Iran”.

Goldberg and company believe that a war between the U.S. and Iran is necessary to Israel’s security, and should be undertaken “so that Israel won’t have to” which appears an implausible reason to sacrifice American lives as any most have heard. The Leveretts counter that American lives are not dispensable. They cautioned against the U.S. going to war with Iran for what has been described as a necessity to save Israel from experiencing “a dilution of quality” or “an accelerated brain drain” over perceived security concerns. The U.S. should not go to war to bolster “Israelis’ perception regarding their country’s raison d’être” implied the authors.

The Leveretts stated the most compelling reasons for the U.S. to maintain a commitment to non-military engagement in regard to Iran. In the light of those who would have the U.S. relinquish its rights to dictate the terms and chain of events leading to this nation’s engagement in another major war, the U.S. should state clearly and succinctly to the Israelis that it does not condone the bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities by Israel, and should that nation move unilaterally against the U.S. wishes and take such steps, it will do so without help, and its efforts will be obstructed. The U.S. should never have to act as any other nation’s bouncer in a bar room.

Consider the U.S. has to now constructively engage in diplomacy with allies and foes alike, it should roll back sanctions against Iran, and manage the issue of nuclear proliferation within the strict understanding of Article IV of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It must capitalize on Iranians’ psyche that have long abhorred the use of weapons of mass destruction through its experiences at the receiving end of that form of military aggression by Saddam Hussein. It is within reason that the U.S. preserves its empire and standing among nations.

LISTED & SUGGESTED READING:

“America Goes Dark” by Paul Krugman, New York Times, August 8, 2010.
“Afghan War Costs Now Outpace Iraq’s” by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, May 13, 2010.
“U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know It” by Laurence Kotlikoff, Bloomberg, August 10, 2010.
“The Other National Debt” by Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, June 21, 2010.
“Pentagon Plans Steps to Reduce Budget and Jobs” by Thom Shanker, New York Times, April 9, 2010.
“Helping Others Defend Themselves” by Robert Gates, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2010.
“The Point of No Return” by Jeffrey Goldberg, Atlantic, September 2010.
“The Weak case For War with Iran” by Flynt Leverett, Hillary Mann Leverett, Foreign Policy, August 11, 2010.
“After Iran Gets The Bomb” by James Lindsay & Ray Takeyh, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2010.
“Iran’s Nuclear Programme: The Western Opposition is more Geo-political than Legal” by Dr. Subhash Kapila, South Asia Analysis Group, September 27, 2005.
“Iran Sanctions: The Road does not Inspire Confidence” by Bhaskar Roy, South Asia Analysis Group, June 17, 2010.
“Iran’s Nuclear Program” by The New York Times.
“Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” IAEA.
“Decline and Fall” (When the American Empire Goes, It is likely to Go Quickly) by Niall Ferguson, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2010.
“The Geography of Chinese Power” by Robert D. Kaplan, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2010.


Francis Anthony Govia received a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Boston University where he studied U.S. National Security and Foreign Policy with teachers who inspired him, such as General Fred F. Woerner (Ret.), Ambassador Stephen R. Lyne (Ret.), and Joseph Fewsmith. He received a law degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a contributor to Activist Post.

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Canada Post halts service to Gaza bound mail

A bedeviled people are at work to isolate and weaken the resolve of the deprived citizens of the Gaza. Canada Post has now suspended its service to Palestinians that live in the enclave. The Post Office of the Government of Canada said it has been informed by Israel Post that mail service to the coastal Palestinian territory is unavailable “due to circumstances beyond their control.” See communiqué here. One wonders what more injustice can be exacted by the Israeli government on the citizens of Gaza while their lackeys in Governments of the West sit in the shadows and approve. Who are the real terrorists? Are they the misguided Palestinians who loft a missile occasionally at Jews who occupy lands that are not their own? Or are the terrorists the government of Israel, and its Allies of Folly who support and sanction the isolation, starvation and killing of 1.5 human beings in the Gaza strip — those that remain to exist within one centimeter above starvation in accordance with the Red Line document?

Only 24,000 people of Palestinian decent reside inside Canada. Outside Gaza and the West Bank, a great number of Palestinians reside in Jordan, Israel, Chile, and Syria. See dispersion of the Palestinians here. So what purpose does an organ of the government of Canada serve in making this decision? Can mail from Canada not flow to the Gaza through Egypt? Does Canada Post have to wait for the de facto rulers of the Palestinians in Tel Aviv to approve the resumption of mail service to the Gaza? Is there no will within the people of Canada to tell their government we want you to do what is right and impartial? Your actions seem to suggest that the needs of Palestinians are not important to Canadians.

Those who have power should be principled in making decisions as leaders. Tomorrow their position may not be so lofty, and they may have to rely on the gratitude of others that is in reserve. Those who beat the drum of the proud and the powerful should remember that no nation or people rule forever. Just look at history. You too will be judged by how you treated others. As they say, what goes around comes around.

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Nations that lose the high ground

Francis Anthony Govia

The Muffin Post

This article was published by Activist Post and carried by Uprooted Palestinians.

Map of Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights

There is a compelling movie called The Diary of Anne Frank that is recommended. It is about a Jewish girl and her family who spent over two years in an attic hiding from Hitler’s goons. Anne Frank survived for much of that time through the generosity of former employees of her father who risked their own lives to bring food to these outcasts. Like many Jews in Hitler’s Germany, their fate was not uplifting. Anne’s mother, sister, father and friends were betrayed to the powers that be, and with exception of her father, died after being transferred to concentration camps. Her father lived near forty years longer, but can you imagine the memories that tormented him before his physical being expired? History says that Hitler killed six million Jews while the civilized governments of the West tried to appease him. Were it not for a blunder that lead his armies to attack Russia, and a similar miscalculation by the Japanese in bombing Pearl Harbor (incidents which galvanized support amongst the Allied Powers and led to the fall the Axis Powers), it is possible that Germany would have become Europe’s ruler, and not a partner in what is today the earth’s most esteemed political union.

The descendants of Jews who experienced the sickness, deprivation, and chaos of World War II are the catalyst for some of today’s stories of injustice. So History has an uncomfortable way of repeating itself, but sometimes the protagonists and the antagonists are different. Jews who were once vilified and murdered are now accomplished political and military forces in at least two parts of the world (Israel and the United States). The State of Israel which has an umbilical cord tied to the mightiest nation on earth (the United States) is a de facto sixth permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, and uses its power to intimidate, threaten, kill and deprive the Palestinian people of the basic necessities of life, suffrage, and ownership rights to which every human aspire.

The Jews of Israel are rewriting History in such a way that they have lost the high ground, and are committing crimes as heinous as Hitler’s. They blockade and falsely imprison 1.5 million Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians survival depends on those who burrow under the borders of Egypt to risk life and limb to bring in necessities like food. Yet irresponsible publishers print articles intended to support that life in the Gaza Strip is functioning normally. How can life be normal in the Gaza Strip when its people are denied access to the outside world by a cruel and oppressive regime in Israel? Are theirs the life that human beings are content to live anywhere else on earth?

Only the foolish could believe that a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip is necessary for the security of Israel, a mighty and effective military force in the Middle East, against Hamas, a force weaker than Lebanon, a nation that Israel threatened recently with retaliation if it so much as allow a ship laden with humanitarian good to sail from its ports to the Gaza. Only a fool could believe that Israel is afraid of Hamas when the Jewish state is saber rattling and willing to take on Iran, an enemy with a potent military establishment that dwarfs Hamas. The Gaza Strip is an ambitious dream of Israel for territorial expansion and destruction of Palestinians.

Like Anne Frank, a Palestinian child knows what it is like to be persona non grata. A Palestinian life can be altered dramatically by a decision made in Tel Aviv, or through a powerful Jewish lobby in Washington DC. All that a Palestinian has can be destroyed or taken away by a government in Israel whose actions will only be appeased by the governments of the West. The government of Israel has no legal authority over the peoples of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank but it dictates the life they live.

The Special Envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East, Tony Blair

There is doubt that the governments of the West and Russia intend to bring about a lasting and permanent peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Were these governments to be interested in a satisfactory and permanent solution to that cinder box they helped to create they would not have appointed Tony Blair as the Special Envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East. Mr. Blair served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom which is one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. During his time as Prime Minister, Mr. Blair’s esteemed office was consumed by an ineffectual foreign policy, and the nation’s energy was exhausted while assisting President George W. Bush in creating another quagmire for the West in Iraq. Mr. Blair’s appointment to negotiate and facilitate solutions to do away with the stalemate in Palestine establishes that the West is interested in keeping the status quo as it now stands on the ground in the Middle East. For there to be a cessation of hostility between Israel and the people of Palestine four important and necessary steps must be implemented. First, the West must appoint a respectable and neutral person to Mr. Blair’s position with the authority and understanding that a Palestinian state is to be realized even if it is to be imposed on Israel. Second, the West should move speedily to implement sanctions against Israel and its industries should it continue to encroach on Palestinian lands, and break International Law. Third, humanitarian aid must flow unhindered in the Gaza Strip. Fourth, Palestinians of the Gaza Strip must have free access to the outside world.

Israel will not comply with any condition placed on it as long as it knows that there are no consequences to its actions. None of us will be truly free from the burdens of the Middle East until we solve the problem that was created when the British foisted the idea of a Jewish State on the residents of Palestine that lead to formation of Israel in 1948. The walls that are being built around Israel will not bring peace, freedom or protection from those they consider their erstwhile enemies. Walls are mere fixtures, and over time they become as ineffective as the Great Walls of China, and those that tumbled down in Berlin, for they are too immobile to deal with a dynamic and continuously shifting situation such as life.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu writes about transfiguration in his book entitled ‘God Has A Dream’

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once wrote of his experience of Apartheid in South Africa that freedom is indivisible. No one is free until we are all free. The slave owner was not free until his slaves became free for it is true that much of his energies were consumed trying to prevent his slaves from revolting and killing him. The whites of South Africa and the United States were not free until they understood that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights as Thomas Jefferson wrote, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. During Apartheid in South Africa and segregation in the United States everyone were trapped by a condition of fear. The Jews of Israel and the United States will never be free until the Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are treated with the same respect as their Jewish brothers, and the Palestinians too realize their dream of freedom and nationhood. This is a process that Desmond Tutu kindly refers to as transfiguration; the earth is renewed when goodness reigns supreme as a rite of passage. The Archbishop in his wisdom seems to suggest that transfiguration occurs even to the most unlikely situation. Maybe his pragmatism will outlast the views of the cynics that now run our government and justice system whose laws criminalize the humanitarian effort. These leaders are not securing our safety. They are prolonging our servitude to fear. They have acquired the disease of the mind like foreign terrorists that now paralyze our nation. They devalue the universal pragmatism that charity turns weapons into ploughshares.

The governments of the West are responsible for the deprivation that Palestinians know. Our civilized nations of the West have said that Israel has the right to self defense, but do not acknowledge that the Palestinians should and need a similar right. Our esteemed governments of the West sit idly and speak with forked tongues while Israel’s creeping policy of genocide is exacted on Palestinians whose traditions and people have existed in a territory since biblical times.

Our great country of the United States has allowed innocent blood to fall recklessly in Palestine. The great Presidential office of the United States has become impotent when dealing with an Israel it has tied to its umbilical cord which hinders our ingenuity and maneuverability. So too is the functioning of our senate ineffective when the leaders in the two most important parties in our nation, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have no new advice to give our President. They are messengers of a foreign power. They say to our President that the United States must stay the course of a failed foreign policy that will not punish the irresponsible actions of a rogue Israel that we sustain with the blood of our children. Instead of taking the high ground, the greatest nation on earth chose to live in the gutter of a tiny nation’s foreign policy.


Francis Anthony Govia received a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Boston University where he studied U.S. National Security and Foreign Policy with teachers who inspired him, such as General Fred F. Woerner (Ret.), Ambassador Stephen R. Lyne (Ret.), and Joseph Fewsmith. He received a law degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a contributor to Activist Post.

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Israel’s senseless blockade of the Gaza Strip is extreme

The Gaza Strip

By Govia The belief that the United States needs Israel as a reliable ally in the Middle East is fallacious. The United States does not need Israel. It is Israel that needs the United States.

It is not from Israel that the United States conducts its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our efforts in those theaters of conflict are supported by logistics in other nations, many of them who follow the teachings of Mohammad. Should Israel become a rogue nation, the United States will have other reliable allies in the Middle East. Policies that suggest otherwise are fostered by those with religious adherence to Judaism and family ties to Jews, and those who refuse to see otherwise. Really, the conviction of these who support the “Jewish State” are so strong, and in some cases so radical, that American values such as those that support the freedom of speech, liberty, equality, and justice for all, are trampled upon. The pro-Israel groups work to ensure that even the most myopic policies of the “Jewish State” are unchecked, and unquestioned. Such is the condition that Washington’s policy for the Middle East seems to be run run by Tel Aviv or heads in our own backyard that are more “Jewish” than American.

Against this backdrop it is unlikely that there will be peace anytime soon in the Middle East, and the senseless imprisonment and destruction of the homeland of 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip will continue unabated until the pressure cooker blows up. It is not just the Israelis who blockade the Palestinians of Gaza from the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, medicine, education. So too are an immoral lot of Egyptians that tacitly support Israel’s policies to the Palestinians, and profit from the desperate need of a people who burrow holes under the border of Egypt to smuggle food into the Gaza Strip. So too are a scurrilous and an immoral lot the nations of the world who stand quietly while 1.5 million people are maimed, killed, starved, and dispossessed of their land and homes by extremists who do not see the value of peace.

It is true that the Palestinians have their share of extremists but it is also equally true that Palestinians cannot match proportionally Israel’s attack or retaliation upon that weak and impoverished people.

Many Jews have the tendency to believe that those of us who criticize Israel hate Jews. Yet Peace activists (some of whom are Jews) and commentators who speak out against the embargo of the Gaza Strip are against tyranny and oppression. We are against the false imprisonment of 1.5 million people in the Gaza, and believe that the time for a Palestinian State is long overdue. No one hates Jews for practicing Judaism any more than we hate Catholics for practicing Catholicism. It is when religion becomes so muddled within a group that it dictates who they are, and becomes so dangerous and extreme that they cannot think outside that box, that others become alienated from extremism that offends the sensibilities. Israelis, Egyptians, Americans, and others alike, have to realize that no one can carry out a policy of tyranny and oppression against a people without having to shoulder the consequences of it, and the refutation of it. Those in a position of power have to set good examples that the rest of us may be inclined to follow.

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Financially Hung Bunny continues to Bounce!

Financially Hung Brande Roderick

The website for Star of Celebrity Apprentice and former Playboy Playmate of the Year Brande Roderick reveal that a book penned by the star in collaboration with Liz Topp entitled Bounce Don’t Break is forthcoming.

In the book Roderick “shares the tips of the trade she’s learned along the way, and encourages women everywhere not to let self-doubt stand in the way of their success.” In short, a woman should maximize her assets, acknowledge her faults, emphasize hard work, self-reliance, and entrepreneurial fortitude in order to succeed.

Roderick’s appearance on the Celebrity Apprentice Season 2 was testimony to the characteristics she seems intent on presenting in her book, and was one of the best sources of entertainment and talent on the show for the Trump organization. Her grit, poise and enduring qualities were constant thorns in the sides of Joan and Melissa Rivers; the latter whose unceremonious departure from the Celebrity Apprentice was cause for drama. Read about it here.

Roderick’s book deal was negotiated by the Literary Group out of New York City and Prince Marketing Group and published by Running Press.

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