Prof. James Petras: Israel's Coming Civil War

The Haredi Jews confront the militarized secular Zionist State: Israel is heading towards a profound internal crisis. a Jew on Jew confrontation, which has major implications for its relations with the Palestinians, as well as its Arab neighbors. The conflict is between the highly militarized Zionist state, and the Haredi religious movement over a number of issues, including recent proposals by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, to end the religious exemption of Haradi youth, from serving in Israel's colonial armed forces. Even before the forcible founding of the state of Israel, the Haredim were opposed to Zionism. Today, the vast majority of Haredim in Israel remain staunchly opposed to Zionist state for religious, ethical and political reasons . Haredi religious teaching claims that the Jewish people are bound by three oaths: (1) not to settle in Israel by using force or violence, (2) not to make war with other nations and (3) not to act as if other nations of the world would persecute Israel. Haredim opposed Israel's violent ethnic cleansing of over 8500,000 Palestinians in the course of establishing the Israeli State, and continues to oppose Israeli settlers violently, while grabbing the land of Palestinians. Unlike other so called ultra Orthodox sects, who support Zionist colonialism, and bless the Israeli military, the Haredim maintain, that militarism corrupts the spirit, and that Zionists have transformed Jews from righteous followers of the Torah into rabid ethnocentric supporters of a militarist state. For the Haredim, state worship, especially the waving of the Israeli flag in the temple. is a sacrilege comparable to the renegade Jews condemned by Moses for worshiping the Golden Calf. The majority of Haredim boycott elections, organize their own schools, encourage students to deepen their religious studies, emphasize community and family values of a profoundly patriarchal sort, with numerous children, and strongly reject the Zionist states' efforts to conscript Haredi youth into their colonial occupation army, the so called Israeli Defense Force. All major Zionist political parties and the ruling colonial regime unite to demonize the Haredim, claiming they are shirking their patriotic military responsibilities.  

By Alex Kane: Inside the Bush Administration's Lawless

global torture regime, and how Obama remains complicit. You may not have heard of Mohammed al Asad, but the torture he suffered was carried out in your name, and his story is one of 136 such ordeals that were perpetrated by the Central Intelligence Agency. Those stories are told in a comprehensive report issued by the Open Society Foundations (OSF) this month. Titled "Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition," the report is the fullest accounting yet, of the Bush administration's global torture ring. The document aims to fully fill in the gaps of what people know about the Bush administration's torture program, which enlisted the help of 54 countries around the world. Al Asad is a Yemeni national, who was detained in Tanzania in 2003, by security forces in that country. He was then shipped off to Djibouti, where he was held incommunicado, before being transferred to a US "rendition team", which consisted of five people, all of whom wore black, with their faces covered. Then al Assad was shipped off to a third country, Afghanistan, where he was held in isolation, subjected to loud music, faced by harsh lights 24 hours a day, and had his diet manipulated. Finally, al Assad, by this time damaged by intense CIA led torture, was handed off to Yemen, his home country, and a repressive ally of the US, where he was imprisoned for using forged travel documents. He was finally released in 2006, without ever being charged with terrorism, the ostensible reason the CIA picked him up, and tortured him in the first place. Mohammed al Assad's ordeal was by no means unique. He was caught up in the dragnet of the CIA's global program of "extraordinary rendition," which liberally used torture on alleged terrorist suspects, though some were undoubtedly innocent. In total, 136 people were subject to either the CIA's "black sites" or "extraordinary rendition" operations. Authored by Amrit Singh, senior legal officer for national security and counter terrorism at the Open Society Foundations, the report fully exposes the shocking breadth of the CIA's lawlessness in the age of the war on terror. "There was a need for a comprehensive public record on the scale and scope of the CIA's secret detention, and extraordinary rendition operations, both in terms of the victims of these operations, and the associated human rights abuses, as well as the government's that were complicit," Singh told AlterNet.       

Dr. Franklin Lamb: Will Washington Grasp the Hand

being offered by the Iranian people? Will the US come to court? If Truth be told, this American observer has attended his share of international conferences, and has traveled in more than 70 countries. But never has he visited such a complex country, evolving culture, and striving energized society, populated by idealistic people of great warmth, sense of humor, and caring for those in need, as he experienced in the Islamic Republic of Iran, except when traveling in his own country. Being in Iran during these tense times, is to experience an epiphany, which is that Iranians and Americans have so very many needs and interests in common. Yes, even in our religious beliefs, that both people should immediately repair our countries relations, and return to the days when 60,000 Iranian students studied in the US, and thousands of Americans lived and worked in Iran, all in singular harmony, and with myriad mutual benefits. The deep connection among Muslims and Christians from the seventh century sacrifice at Karbala by Hussein bin Ali, and the first century sacrifice of one's self to resist injustice for the greater good of the community. This bond connects the two religions and their followers inextricably. There is probably no country more misunderstood in America than Iran, and its due almost entirely to politically motivated demonisations and misrepresentations, including, but not limited to, what President Ahmadinejad really said during speeches relating to the US and the West, and the historical imperative to liberate occupied Palestine, and every country's right to develop nuclear energy, and to live independently and free of US led western hegemony. Most American's perceptions of Iran, according to Iranian friends, are limited to images of President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad accused of delivering anti American speeches. Another example are the media reports of the 2/09/13 celebration of the 34th anniversary of the Iranian revolution, where the BBC, and most other media reported the crowds were "frenzied and chanting death to America." I was there, and this report is rubbish. I did hear from time to time a few chants mixed in with revolutionary songs, religious exhortations, and just plain fun. Helping others by offering water and heavy laden older citizens or kids was the motif.       


Feroze Mithiborwala: The message of '21/2 Hyderabad Serial Terror Attack' w

The strategic and political target of the terror attack is the historic 2 day strike of the Working classes, where more than 12 core or 120 million workers, both from the organized sectors participated and brought India to a halt. This working class strike surmounted all calculations, due to the scale at which the enraged working classes participated. This strike has shaken up the corporate political elite, and that is why they have struck back with a serial terror attack, where now more than 15 citizens have died, and 50 were grievously injured. The terror attack was orchestrated in Dilsukh Nagar, where there is a busy market and many cinema halls. If the working class unrest takes the proportions which we witness in many nations across the world, such as Greece and Spain, the ruling elite will witness a massive crisis, due to the growing burdens of price rise, decreasing wages, increasing scams, spiraling inflation, the growing insecurity of the peasantry, workers and laboring classes, as well as the ever widening rich poor divide. The sheer scale of the two day strike has taken the entire country by surprise, as Left Working class forces were supposed to have lost ground against the neo liberal corporate juggernaut. Even cities and towns in the Northern belts, where the working class movements have been historically weak, have witnessed massive marches and even militant struggles. Towns such as Noida and Gurgaon that adjoin New Delhi, have witnessed the most militant and popular mobilization. The nervous and cold blooded ruling corporate elite had to hit back, and they have promptly, without wasting a moment, as they can see trouble brewing in the distance. All it requires is for the black ops team to place the bombs in various parts of the city, and quietly walk away, and then sit back and watch the mayhem and terror on the TV screens, even while TV anchors call for the very same leaders, who know exactly what is going on, who address us calling for unity and calm, while chuckling to themselves within, and mocking at a frightened and gullible population. The other reasons for the terror attack also need to be analyzed. The false flag terror cell, again the handiwork of the Deep State and the Black ops cells that function within every Government and security apparatus.

Daily Kos: Oklahoma Legislator Says Students Can't be Penalized

for being ignorant of science. Nobody knows how this little fellow evolved, or what ecological niche he fills, so we're just going to say he's made of lost dreams and burning tires. I believe the problem here is that a certain Mr Gus Blackwell does not actually know what science is: On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Common Education committee is expected to consider a House bill, that would forbid teachers from penalizing students who turn in papers, attempting to debunk almost universally accepted scientific theories, such as biological evolution and anthropogenic human driven climate change. Gus Blackwell, the Republican state representative, who introduced the bill, insists that his legislation has nothing to do with religion, it simply encourages scientific exploration. "I proposed this bill, because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks," says Blackwell, who previously spent 20 years working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. "A student has the freedom to write a paper, that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations." The premise here, appears to be that instead of Oklahoma students writing a paper on the assigned topic of, say, the various evolutional precursors to the modern horse, students ought to just as easily be able to challenge the notion, that there were any such things at all,, and instead turn in a paper supposing that space aliens, with assistance from the Bilderberg Group, brought horses to earth in 1974, on the Space Mayflower. The teacher would then have to accept this paper, and grade it, without penalizing the student, for being entirely bat-shit wrong on the premise, because hey, the student is just questioning the science. Who are you, science teacher, to try to teach him otherwise? Here is where Mr Blackwell's problem lies. In his eagerness to teach "controversies" in science, (ie) stuff that science doesn't tell us, but Mr Blackwell believes anyway, he does not quite grasp that science consists of sifting through evidence, in order to come to provable hypotheses. It is not merely the ability to come up with hypotheses so sufficiently perfectly welcome to believe such things, but the entire rest of the planet is not obligated to look upon your own mental fetishism's as equally valid to, say, the work of Marie Curie, and grade accordingly.         

Tony Cartallucci: Destroying a Nation State: US Saudi Funded Terrorists

Sowing Chaos in Pakistan: Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's southwest Baluchistan province, bordering both US occupied Afghanistan as well as Iran, was the site of a grisly market bombing that has killed over 80 people. According to reports, the terrorist group Lachkar e jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the attack. Billed as a "Sunni extremist group," it instead fits the pattern of global terrorism, sponsored by the US, Israel, and their Arab partners Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The terrorist Lashkar e Jhangvi group was in fact created, according to the BBC, to counter Iran's Islamic Revolution in the 1980's, and is still active today. Considering the openly admitted US Israel Saudi plot, to use Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups across the Middle East, to counter Iran's influence, it begs the question, whether these same interests are funding terrorism in Pakistan, to not only counter Iranian sympathetic Pakistani communities, but to undermine and destabilize Pakistan itself. While the United States is close allies with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it is well established that the chief financier of extremist militant groups for the past 3 decades, including Al Qaeda, are in fact Saudi Arabia and Qatar. While Qatari state owned propaganda like Al Jazeera apply a veneer of progressive pro democracy to its narratives, Qatar itself is involved in arming, funding, and even providing direct military support for sectarian extremists from northern Mali, to Libya, to Syria and beyond. France 24's report "Is Qatar fueling the crisis in north Mali?" provides a useful vignette of Saudi Qatari terror sponsorship, stating: The MNLA, secular Tuareg separatists, al Quada linked Ansar Dine and MIJJAO, movement for unity and Jihad in West Africa, have all received cash from Doha. A month later, Sadou Diallo, the mayor of the north Malian city of Gao, which had fallen to the Islamists, told RTL radio: The French government knows perfectly well, who is supporting these terrorists. Qatar, for example, continues to send so called aid and food every day to the airports of Gao and Timbuktu. The report also stated: Qatar has an established network of institutions it funds in Mali, including madrassas, schools and charities, tat it has been funding from the 1980s, he wrote, adding that Qatar would be expecting a return on this investment. Mali has huge oil and gas potential, and it needs help developing its infrastructure, he said. Qatar is well placed to help, and could also, on the back of good relations with an Islamist ruled north Mali, exploit rich gold and uranium deposits in the country. 


Maximilian Forte: Libya, The Second Anniversary of a Bloody Coup!

This weekend, marking the second anniversary of the start of protests, that would usher in a bloody and prolonged NATO -led coup to overthrow the Libyan Jamahiriya and Muammar Gaddafi, offers many reasons to celebrate, for those whose intention was the demolition of Libyan self determination, African integration, and a domestic system of extensive social welfare and stability. In return, Libyans have won the right to live in fear, as they have won the freedom to be ruled by countless armed despots, each engaged in torture, abductions, and persecutions of minorities. In spite of what seems like an unstoppable momentum towards greater strife and social disintegration, romantic imperialists in the West, still insist on speaking in the most unwarranted terms of the street revolution, that has brought freedom and hope to millions of people. In the warm glow of fires that consume others, some among us find reason for a warming self congratulation. Symbolic of the depth of Western respect for Libya's new freedom, is this very statement, from the government of Canada itself, warning Canadian travelers: Do not criticize the country, its leadership or religion. Harsh penalties may be imposed. The few remaining pro revolution propagandists in the West are not only unwilling to simply state, that what they support is globalized regime change, and a new colonizing wave, that would make non Western self-determination and sovereignty principles something to be wrecked and thrown aside, they are equally immune to irony. After all, blessed Benghazi, which was to be saved at all costs, saved against all else, by Western military intervention, is now the same city from which Western interests flee, in order to save themselves. Few Westerners live in Benghazi, which has borne the brunt of a wave of violence against diplomats and international bodies, including the killing of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and a gun attack on the Italian consuls car this month. Britain's recent call to its nationals to leave immediately, due to a specific and imminent threat to Westerners, highlights the insecurity plaguing Benghazi. The assault on the US mission, for which no arrests were made, grabbed world attention. But there had already been attacks on British, Red Cross and UN properties here. Randy Robinson, principal of British School Benghazi, said: One of our staff was carjacked. Our residence last spring was robbed, with teachers in a room held at gunpoint, as thieves cleaned out the apartments. We have to take care!

Jim Fetzer: Why is the US targeting Iran?

An abundance of reasons: The situation with Iran is completely absurd, unless there is a hidden motive. Iran poses no military threat to the United States. Iran has not attacked any other country for more than 300 years. It has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It allows inspectors. In 2007, 16 US intelligence agencies converged, in the opinion that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, an opinion they reaffirmed in 2011. The Supreme Leader of Iran has declared, "Nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none", which is the policy of the nation. Whatever the motive for targeting Iran, it is not the development of nukes. If the issue were the possession of nuclear weapons, then we should be looking in another direction. Israel has not signed the Non Proliferation Treaty. Israel will not allow inspectors. Israel runs the largest concentration camp in the world in Palestine, and is known for the brutality of its treatment of the Palestinian people, where Israel Defense Forces are known for their practice of randomly shooting young Palestinian children. If there is a nuclear threat in the Middle East, that threat comes from Israel, not Iran. Moreover, one country appears to be using nuclear weapons in the Middle East, which is not Iran, but the United States. Dr. Christopher Busby, an expert on connections between cancer and birth defects, in relation to the use of nuclear weapons, has concluded, based on his study of anomalies in Fallujah, that the US has deployed a new type of nuclear weapon, probably a neutron bomb, in Iraq. While he came to the region in the expectation that he would discover the birth defects that have become so prevalent there, where 75% of live births suffer from serious genetic abnormalities, was from the use of depleted uranium weapons, what he found was more alarming: They were caused, not by a DU, but by enriched uranium from the use of a new class of weapons. Since Israel has a vast stockpile, and Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, any concerns about them ought to be directed at Israel, not Iran. A more likely explanation, therefore, is that the peaceful development of nuclear energy is the real problem, while Iran has the potential to produce nuclear fuel rods at a fraction of the cost of those produced by the US nuclear energy industry. This consideration is not even mentioned, much less discussed in the mass media in the United States, even though, upon reflection, the US industry must be panic stricken over the prospect that Iran is virtually certain to dominate the global market for nuclear fuel rods, and drive the US industry to bankruptcy.    

Colin Todhunter: GMO Agribusiness, and the Destructive

Nature of Global Colin Todhunter, with the Destructive Nature of Global Capitalism. Capitalism is based on managing its inherent crises. It is also based on the need to maximize profit, beat down competitors, cut overheads and depress wages. In the 1960's and 70s, in the face of increasing competition from abroad, the US began to outsource manufacturing production, to bring down costs, by using cheap foreign labor. Other countries followed suit. Even more jobs were lost through the impulse to automate. To provide a further edge, trade unions and welfare were attacked, in order to suppress wages at home. Problem solved. Or was it? Not really. As wages in the west stagnated or decreased, and unemployment increased, the market for goods was under threat. If people have less money to buy things, then what to do? New problem, new solution. Lend people money and create a debt ridden consumer society. Of course, it produced great opportunities for investors in finance, and all kinds of dubious financial derivatives, while products were created, sold to the public and repackaged and shifted around the banking system. That market became saturated, and the debt bubble burst. This time around, the solution is to print money, and give bailouts to the banks, to cover their gambling losses, and to get them lending once again. With a huge hole appearing in state coffers, due to the bailouts and national debt spiraling during the years of neo liberalism, the current crisis has become an opportunity for the finance sector to exert long term debt related control over sovereign states, including public asset stripping via austerity. On a global level, as local democracy is usurped by the influence of international finance, and powerful corporate interests under the guise of globalization, traditional agricultural practices and local economies have been structurally adjusted, via single crop, export oriented policies to earn foreign currency to pay off debt, dam building to cater for what became a highly water intensive chemical based industry, more loans and indebtedness, and the unnecessary shifting of food around the planet, and farmers forced from their land. The fact that such people can then at least swarm to some sprawling, overburdened city and, if lucky,, get a few dollars a day job in an outsourced sweatshop, or call center, is somehow passed off as capitalism's economic miracle!     


John McMurtry: The Moral Decoding of 9-11.

Beyond the US Criminal State, the grand plan for a new world order. We bring to the consideration of our readers this incisive and carefully formulated analysis by Canada's renowned philosopher Professor John McMurtry. I was skeptical of the 9-11 event from the first time I saw it on television. It was on every major network within minutes. All the guilty parties were declared before any evidence was shown. The first questions of any criminal investigation were erased. Who had the means to turn two central iconic buildings in New York into a pile of steel, and a cloud of dust in seconds? Other questions soon arose in the aftermath. Why as all the evidence at the crime scenes removed or confiscated? Who was behind the continuous false information and non stop repetition of foreign Arab terrorists, when no proof of guilt existed? Who was blocking all independent inquiry? Even 11 years on these questions are still not answered. But those immediately named guilty, without any forensic proof, certainly fitted the need for a plausible Enemy, now that the threat of the Soviet Union and communist world rule were dead. How else could the billion dollar a day military be justified, with no peace dividend amidst a corporately hollowed out US economy entering its long term slide? While all the media, and most of the people, asserted the official 9-11 conspiracy theory as given fact, not all did. A Bay Street broker, with whom I was improbably discussing the event in Cuba, had no problem recognizing the value meaning. When I asked what he thought about the official conspiracy theory, he was frank: You can call it what you want, but America needs a war to pull the people together, and expand into a new resource rich areas. That's what it has always done from Mexico on, and that is what it needs now. When I wondered why none in the know said so, he smirked: It would be impolite, adding, It affects the entire future prosperity of America and the West. And all the deaths? It had to be done far less than it could have been. The 19 Arabs with box cutters reducing the World Trade Center buildings to powder in a few seconds? He shrugged. Thus everyone  since 9-11 is prohibited nail clippers on planes, to confirm the absurd, including 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers being from Saudi Arabia, while several are apparently still alive, after crashing the planes into the buildings. As for the diabolical mastermind Osama bin Laden, he is never linked by credible evidence to the crime, and never claims responsibility for the strike, since the videos of him are fakes. Ground Zero is a double "entendre". All doubts are erased apriori.           

Meet The Next Female President of Afghanistan!

The Favored Daughter: One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future. Fawzia Koofi (born in 1975 or 1976) is an Afghan politician and women's right activist. Originally from Badakhshan province, she is currently serving as a Member of Parliament in Kabul, and is the Vice President of the National Assembly. She has also announced her intention to run as a presidential candidate in the 2014 elections in Afghanistan, causing a global political earthquake. Her story movingly captures the political and cultural moment in Afghanistan, causing a global political earthquake. Her story movingly captures the political and cultural moment in Afghanistan, a country caught between the hope of progress, and the bitter truth of history, and is documented in her brand new book: "The Favored Daughter: One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future. The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother, but she survived, and perseverance in the face of extreme hardship has defined her life ever since. Despite the abuse of her family, the exploitative Russian and Taliban regimes, the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and numerous attempts on her life, she rose to become the first Afghani woman Parliament speaker. Here, she shares her amazing story, punctuated by a series of poignant letters she wrote to her two daughters before each political trip, letters describing the future and freedoms she dreamed of, for them, and for all the women of Afghanistan. Youth and education: Born into a polygamous family of seven women, she was first rejected by her parents because of her sex. Her father, a member of Parliament, had married a younger woman, and Koofi's mother sought to have a son, to maintain her husband's affection. The day she was born, Koofie was left out to die in the sun. She managed to persuade her parents to send her to school, making her the only girl in the family to attend school. She subsequently graduated from Preston University in Pakistan with a master's degree in business and management. Her father was a Member of Parliament (MP) for 25 years, but died at the end of the first Afghan war (1979-1989), killed by Mujahideens. Koofi originally wanted to become a physician, but chose to study political science, and become a member of UNICEF. She worked closely with vulnerable groups, such as Internally Displaced People (IDP) and marginalized women and children, and served as a child protection officer for the organization from 2002 to 2004. Koofi began her political career in 2001, after the fall of the Taliban, promoting the right to education of girls in her "Back to school" campaign. 

Stephen Lendman: Chavez Returns!

He's home. He arrived on February 18 at 2:30 AM Caracas time. He announced his arrival via Twitter. "I have returned ti the Venezuelan homeland," he said. "Thank God!! Thank you beloved people! I will continue the treatment here." Separately, he thanked Fidel and Raul Castro. He praised Cuba's superb medical providers. "We will live, and we will overcome," he said. Fidel Castro wished him well on departure. He said in part: "Dear Hugo: I am extremely satisfied that you have been able to return to that piece of American land, which you love so much. A long and agonizing wait, as well as your astonishing capacity for physical resistance, and the total dedication of a team of doctors, as has been the case over the last 10 years, were necessary to achieve this objective. You learned a lot about life, Hugo, in those difficult days of suffering and sacrifice. Now that we will not have the privilege of receiving news from you on a daily basis, we will go back to the method of correspondence which we have used for many years. We will always live to fight for justice for human beings, consciously and humbly, without fear of the years, months, days or hours that we might have left to live in the most critical era of the history of our humanity. Our people, who are also your people, will know tomorrow of your return to Venezueala via this message. Everything had to be done with much discretion, so as not to give an opportunity to the fascist groups to plan any of their cynical actions against the Bolivarian revolutionary process. Global supporters "followed the health and news of Chavez." Until victory always! A firm hug! Fidel Castro Ruz. On arrival, Venezuelan Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas said reports about his recovery were true. Media scoundrels claimed otherwise. On state television, Villegas said "He's back, He's back. He's back. The ominous voices are defeated. Those who were calling into question the information emitted by the national government with respect to Chavez's health" were wrong. "A terrible machinery was activated to delegitimise, to call into question the information emitted by the national government with respect to Chavez's health"were wrong.    


Sartre Batr: Defense Cuts and the Global Empire!

The fundamental distinction between a legitimate national defense, and an aggressive global garrison Imperium, escapes the political elites. The War Party's entrenched power and control of their egocentric internationalist foreign policy, endangers the country. Military expenditures have increased substantially this century with little regard to The Real Threat to National Security. The "War on Terror" is a tired excuse that keeps precision smart weapon dominance deployed, which shells suspect bombers with impunity. The technologists that develop and refine methods for more killing machinery, hardly earn the honor of defenders of the nation. The mere suggestion that armed services cutbacks are unpatriotic, or places the homeland in peril, is an invented euphemism to disguise the true nature of the coercive global empire, that has replaced our Constitutional Republic. The Economics of Sequestration points out that, "while many auditors would agree that the bloated expenditures within the military industrial complex has much to do with an adventurist foreign policy, the architects of sequestration refused to do a straight across the board reductions in all budgets." For a detailed report on sequestration, download the GovWin analysis. Defense hit hard, but small elements of major accounts have been shielded. Agencies working capital funds are largely protected. Fund accounts with economic implications are largely exempted. Senate and House member compensation is exempt. Contractors and government will take hits, but how hard? States, and other grant holders will be impacted. John Barnett presents the political difficulty of actually cutting the military budget in the Brookings Institution video, How Will Military Spending Cuts Affect Us Down the Road? You can always depend upon establishment mouthpieces to exculpate, and argue for the military money machine. However, when pressed, an alternative approach comes from Lawrence J Korb, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, served as an assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, who proposes a small down payment on How to cut $100B from the defense budget.

Jonas E. Alexis: Dialogue with a Modern Trypho on Jewish

Historiography, ultimate reality, and the Holocaust: "There will be no other God, o Trypho, nor was there from eternity any other existing, but He who made and disposed all this universe. Nor do we think that there is one God for us, another for you, but that He alone is God, who led your fathers out from Egypt with a strong hand and a high arm. Nor have we trusted in any other, for there is no other, but in Him in whom you also have trusted, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob. For the true spiritual Israel, and descendants of Judah, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham, who in uncircumcision was approved of and blessed by God on account of his faith, and called the father of many nations, are we who have been led to God through this crucified Christ" Justin Martyr (AD 100-165), Dialogue with Trypho. During the fall of last year, I contacted David Turner of the Jerusalem Post, about specifically addressing his habit of making sweeping assertions with little or no evidence. Despite my strong disagreement with Turner, he certainly is to be applauded for granting me permission to put his ideas out there, so that they could be examined in light of reason, logic, and historical inquiry. I wish I was also granted permission to publish other interactions with some of the key figures in the Holocaust establishment. Critiques are invaluable for challenging you to reexamine the issues, and "iron sharpens iron." The interactions actually began, when I first asked Turner to provide the evidence for some of the claims he made in the post, including the extraordinary claim that "there was no historical record beyond Paul's epistles that refer to its central figure Jesus," leading readers to believe that the historical Jesus is a myth. Our email correspondence began, when Turner made the statement that "I check my 'facts', with a prominent first century scholar when in doubt as backup, when presenting my own 'interpretations' of events." I asked him to give me the name of the scholar, so that I could examine his work. Turner: "As I understand your focus, I cannot reveal my sources. You do seem somewhat more open than most engaged in what I see as your antisemitic anti-zionist agenda. And since you have already chosen to include me in your writings, but obviously I cannot expose my own sources to your agenda. I hope you understand?" Alexis: In a scholarly and academic research, and in the search for truth, sources are not only vital, but ought to be demanded. The whole fabric of Western civilization is built upon this premise. If I make an extraordinary claim, you ought to be able to say, "Provide the evidence." This is all I am asking, and this is why I would have liked you to give me the name of the "prominent scholar" you mentioned earlier, so that I can examine the intellectual honesty and academic integrity of his claims. I could care less about his name, I'm only interested in the evidence. Is that an "antisemitic antizionist agenda"? If not, what prompted you to say that I have an antisemitic agenda?    

Greg Grandin: Why Latin America Didn't Join Washington's Counterterrorism Posse;

As many of you know, Tom Dispatch was inaccessible to most computers late last week. We were, it seems, overwhelmed by our own popularity. Too many prospective readers did in TD. We are now hard at work strengthening the site, but this may take a while. In the meantime, we are attempting to post on a somewhat more limited basis, beginning today. Our apologies to all frustrated TD readers! Personally, I couldn't be happier to be back. Tom. There was a scarcely noted but classic moment in the Senate hearings on the nomination of John Brennan, the president's counter terrorism "tsar," to become the next CIA director. When Senator Carl Levin pressed him repeatedly on whether water  boarding was torture, he ended his reply this way: "I have a personal opinion that water boarding is reprehensible, and should not be done, and again, I am not a lawyer, senator, and I can't address that question." How modern, how twenty first century American! How we've evolved since the dark days of Medieval Europe, when water boarding fell into a category known to all as "the water torture"! Brennan even cited Attorney General Eric Holder, as one lawyer, who had described water boarding as "torture," but he himself begged off. According to the man who was deputy executive director of the CIA, and director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center in the years of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and knew much about them, the only people equipped to recognize torture definitely as torture are lawyers. This might be more worrisome, if we weren't a "nation of lawyers" though it also means that plummeting law school application rates could, in the future, create a torture definition crisis. To look on the positive side, Brennan's position should be seen as a distinct step forward from that of the Justice Department officials under the Bush administration, who wrote the infamous "torture memos", and essentially left the definition of "torture" to the future testimony of the torturer. "If a defendant has a good faith belief that his actions will not result in prolonged mental harm, he lacks the mental state necessary for his actions to constitute torture."    


Ellen Brown: How Congress Could fix its Budget Woes Permanently!

As Congress struggles through one budget crisis after another, it is becoming increasingly evident that austerity doesn't work. We cannot possibly pay off a $16 trillion debt by tightening our belts, slashing public services, and raising taxes. Historically, when the deficit has been reduced, the money supply has been reduced along with it, throwing the economy into recession. After a thorough analysis of statistics from dozens of countries forced to apply austerity plans by the World Bank and IMF, former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz called austerity plans a suicide pact. Congress already has its hands the power to solve the nation's budget challenges today, and permanently. But it has been artificially constrained from using that power to solve the nation's budget challenges today and permanently. But it has been artificially constrained from using that power by misguided economic dogma, dogma generated by the interests it serves. We have bought into the idea, that there is not enough money to feed and house our population, rebuild our roads and bridges, or fund our most important programs. There is no alternative but to slash budgets and deficits, if we are to survive. We have a mountain of critical work to do, improving our schools, rebuilding our infrastructure, pursuing our research goals, and so forth. And, with millions of unemployed and underemployed, the people are there to do it. What we don't have, we are told, is just the money to bring workers and resources together. But we do have it! Or we could. Money today is simply a legal agreement between parties. Nothing back it, but the full faith and credit of the United States. The United States could issue its credit directly to fund its own budget, just as our forebears did in the American colonies, and as Abraham Lincoln did in the Civil War. Any serious discussion of this alternative has long been taboo among economists and politicians. But in a landmark speech on February 6, 2013, Adair Turner, chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority, broke the taboo, with a historic speech recommending that approach. According to February 7th article in Reuters, Turner is one of the most influential financial policy makers in the world. His recommendation was supported by a 75 page paper explaining why handing out newly created money to citizens and governments could solve economic woes globally, and would not lead to hyperinflation.   

Alan Hart: What do Obama and Abbas Have in Common?

Short answer: Both like to grovel. The president of the United States of America demeans himself for the Zionist lobby, and its neo-con and Christian fundamentalist allies. The Palestinian president demeans himself to Obama , as well as Israel's leaders often. Obama and Abbas are idiotic twins, but now there is the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for that sort of thing, which should be awarded to Obama. If, when he leaves the office, Israel is still able to impose its will in the occupied and oppressed Palestinians, he should hand the Nobel Peace Prize back to the one who gave it to him. The idea for this article was inspired by Daud Abdullah, in a piece he wrote for the Middle East Monitor. His main point was, that the Palestinian national reconciliation talks have become a "process", and that like the peace process, "they are without progress and an apparent end" As long as Abbas continues to grovel to the Americans and Israelis, it will remain an illusion."The Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1843-1881) had one of his characters say, that the choice was "either to be a hero or in the mud. There was nothing in between." I'll get to my suggestion, about what Abbas could do to become a hero in a moment, but first let's explore the terminology. The Norsemen were early Scandinavians, and during the Medieval period, some of them traveled to the British Isles to trade, raid and settle. In the final decade of the 8th century, Norse raiders attacked a series of Christian monasteries located in the British Isles. In the most literal sense, lying or crawling on the ground in abject humility or fear. As perceived by people today, who use the terminology, they had to behave in a demeaning and servile slave to master way, often apologizing when no apology is needed. Put another way, when an American says "Kiss my ass"which is more or less what the Zionist lobby says to Obama from time to time, the one who responds positively says, I'll do whatever you want. So, to the question" What could Abbas do to end his groveling and become a hero? In the coming days, and the sooner the better, he could say, in the most polite and gentle way: If President Obama is coming here without a concrete plan to get a real peace process going, I regret to say there will be no point in me meeting with him."    

Sami Jadallah: Will Obama Say Break Down This Wall?

I am certain Israel will not dare to tear down President Barack Obama's comment as he crosses from Israel to the Israeli Occupied Territories, to prevent him from seeing the barbed wires, and the Apartheid Wall. Will President Barack Obama stop at the ugly gate step out of his car and say to Bibi Netanyahu: "Mr. Prime Minister, Tear Down This Wall? I don't think so. Perhaps the greatest moment of the late Ronald Reagan presidency was, when he gave his speech at the Brandenburg Gate on June 12, 1987, and challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall". It was only a few years later, that the citizens of Germany, including the East and West, tore down the Berlin Wall without having to wait for permission from Gorbachev. Several years ago, when I was the general counsel for a large Middle East construction company, I used to travel to West Berlin almost every other few weeks to our engineering office, and on a few occasions had the opportunity to travel and cross over to the former East Berlin. What a contrast! On my first trip to East Berlin, on a Saturday in late November, a cold and snowy day in Berlin. As the bus stopped at Check Point Charlie, the East German police directed the bus to a stop, and with mirrors inspected the under carriage of the bus, and checked both passengers luggage very carefully. Finding nothing, we proceeded to the East Berlin bus station. What a contrast? As if the cold wintery day were not enough, the miserable faces of East Berliners told the story. Perhaps the most memorable moment on my first visit was not the Soviet Memorial to the fallen Red Army soldiers, but the old woman carrying two bags, as she walked the long lonely road while light snow was falling. On many occasions, I also had the chance to cross Israel's Apartheid Wall, a wall built by Israel, not for its security from terrorists, but to rob Palestinians from their homes and land, to rob them of the underground aquifers, thereby robbing the Palestinians of water resources and a way to redefine and redraw the "provisional" borders of the state of Palestine. The Israeli Apartheid Wall is a racist wall, that defines the Zionist cultural and moral value system of Israel. It is built to inflict permanent damage for the Palestinians, and their properties. It separates Palestinian villagers from their land, from their only source of living, and is intended to humiliate Palestinians, by having them wait for hours, and days for permission to cultivate their fields, if they are not confiscated by Israel for "security reasons".     


Hardy Stone Columnist: Battle Tested. Send him into Battle!

It's often said, veterans are owed a debt, because they freely took a dangerous pledge, that by joining the service, maybe, just maybe, they would be asked to put their lives on the line. Eleven Bravo types don't even hesitate at the promise of challenging themselves, and protecting other members of their squad. The greatest and gravest danger for politicians, in an era of history, is to order men and women to stand in the line of fire, and risk their lives for the greater good. The good of their country, squad or anything worth protecting. It's flat out the worst imaginable order one can thrust on soldiers. That they may lose their life is a tough pill to swallow, and one that is very hard to choke down, if the ordering is done by someone who hasn't born the battle. Former Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell, understood the price of war, and that it was the final option between nations. No matter how bellicose. or how much a politician may say about it, he will never view battle as the horror that it truly is. He can never smell the blood of his troops on his hands, he never will understand what killing is like to the eighteen year old, or to the thirty five year old. Donald Rumsfeld didn't know. GW Bush did not have a clue, and Barrack Obama and Panetta, cannot feel the anxiety, the fear, the heartbreak, the end, the end. I'll bet Chuck Hagel can smell the oily smoke and the silent fear, and the desperate relief of knowing that the soldiers are alive. The endless headcounts he took as a squad leader in Vietnam, armed him with an understanding. An understanding that war is hell,to give an order to risk it all, is more pressure that any man should have to bear. In addition to the CIB, Sergeant Hagel was awarded two purple hearts, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, the Army Commendation Medal. He resigned in 1982 as Deputy Administrator for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Nimmo wanted to cut vital veterans programs. Robert Nimmo once compared the effects of Agent Orange to 'teenage acne.' Though Colonel Nimmo did serve in the Army Air Corps during WWI and II, he never experienced the human suffering as Chuck Hagel did in Vietnam. Republican Senators, let Hagel head DoD, he is the only man for the job, a man who knows that deadly decisions should not be left in the cold hands of the untested.      

Tony Cartalucci: War Crimes and the Global War on Terrorism!

US arms Al Qaeda in Syria. Mass Slaughter of civilians in Afghanistan. AFP has reported that a recent NATO airstrike in Afghanistan has killed over 10 civilians in all too familiar headline, glossed over by the Western media, in an exercise of depravity and hypocrisy. RT's article, "NATO airstrike kills 10 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, officials," notes in particular that up to 11,864 civilians were killed in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2011, and that civilian deaths before 2007  were not even tracked by the UN. Such facts reveal alarming hypocrisy, as the UN keeps almost daily, inflated tallies of civilian deaths elsewhere, in particular, in nations like Libya and Syria, where Western interests have been heavily involved in regime change, and in dire need of manipulating public perception worldwide. The United Nations had in fact, pieced together a dubious report crafted from "witness accounts" compiled not in Syria, or even beyond its borders in a refugee camp, but instead, in Geneva by "witnesses" supplied by the so called Syrian "opposition." Worse yet, that UN report was co-authored by Karen Koning AbuZayd, a director of the US Washington based corporate think tank, Middle East Policy Council. Its board of directors includes Exxon men, CIA agents, representatives of the Saudi Binladin Group, Osama Bin Laden's family business, former ambassadors to Kuweit, Oman and Qatar, US military and government representatives, and even the president of the US Qatar Business Council, which includes among its membership, Al Jazeera, Chevron, Exxon, munitions manufacturer Raytheon, who supplied the opening salvos during NATO's operations against Libya, and Boeing. In other words, the very under-writers of the armed militancy that is consuming Syria, are sitting along side the head of the UN commission, producing reports portraying the Syrian government as guilty of "war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The hypocrisy does not end here. The pretense of the US and NATO have used for over a decade to occupy, subjugate and slaughter the people of Afghanistan, in a conflict increasingly creeping over both Afghanistan's borders with Pakistan and Iran, is supposedly to fight "terrorism."    

Dr. Kevin Barrett: I am not an Israeli Journalist.

I'm an American journalist: AIPAC is trying yo blackmail Chuck Hagel with this photograph, which shows him standing in front of the wrong flag: My latest Press TV op ed begins: Chuck Hagel, President Obama's Secretary of Defense nominee, is in trouble. Why? Because he famously said: "The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. I'm not an Israeli senator. I'm a United States senator." On Friday, forty alleged American Senators blocked Hagel's nomination with a filibuster. Their message was loud and clear: "We are not United States Senators. We are Israeli Senators." Here is the ADL Lynching by ADL and "friends." Alan Hart, former BBC Mideast correspondent, expressed his disgust at the Israeli Senators' vote on my radio show, Thruth Jihad Radio, this Friday: "This is treason. Serving a foreign nation, rather than one's own, is not just wrong, it is treasonous." Ironically, my article could not be published by any American mainstream media outlet, so I had to send it to Iran based Press TV. Iran, according to conservative Catholic scholar Dr. Michael Jones, is now "the capital of the free world", while the US, now a fascist rather than a free nation, recently removed Press TV from its satellite platform, depriving the American public of access to information about who really controls their country. But still the word is getting out. The Homeland Security officers, who briefly questioned me upon my return from Iran on Thursday, nodded in agreement, when I explained how Israel controls the USA. They sincerely and enthusiastically wished me luck in my effort to awaken Americans to the truth about 9/11. To Abe Foxman's chagrin, even the Jewish comedy writers at Saturday Night Live, are embarrassed by the Israel lobby's ham handed strangle hold on America. Their recent Hagel hearings sketch, provides the last word on the moral character of those forty "patriotic Christian Republican senators" who blocked Hagel's nomination on behalf of Israel.