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by CTuttle

The ‘Eager Lion’ Roars…

6:40 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

“If you want peace, you prepare for peace. If you want war, you prepare for war.” ~Dennis Kucinich in House floor testimony against HR 4310 and sec.’s 1221 and 1222 …

Straight from the Lions’ den… Eager Lion commanders hold press conference…

The generals addressed topics ranging from the number of countries participating to the exercise’s focus on irregular warfare.

They also clarified that the exercise has no connection with any real-world events, including the unrest in Syria.

This exercise does not target anyone – none of the neighboring or world countries,” Edwan said.

“The message that I want to send from this exercise is that we have developed great partners throughout the region and really from across the world that have the same interest and that is ensuring that we have the ability to operate together when called upon by our nations’ leadership to meet challenges that are common to our nations,” Tovo said.

There are 19 nations participating in Eager Lion 12 which include: Australia, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, France, Italy, Iraq, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Spain, Romania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States…

Remember, It’s all just a ‘coincidence’

…Experts in the region said the exercises were most certainly more than just building bridges between different countries.

Report: Syria rebels get better weapons as US boosts support

“You can’t honestly say that there is not a message when you get 19 nations together in multilateral force less than 50 miles away from the Syrian border,” Michael Stephens of London-based military and security think tank RUSI told from Qatar.

“There is no possible reason as to why the Americans wouldn’t want a joint operation held close to Syria,” he added. “It enhances deterrence (and) the Americans could’ve quietened it down if they wanted to.”

Media reports in Jordan claimed that the exercises were a message not only to Syria but Iran.

Syria violence spills into streets of Lebanon’s Tripoli

However, American and Jordanian military officials strenuously denied that there were operations taking place close to Syria.

It’s not about Syria, it’s just a pure coincidence,” U.S. Central Command Maj. Robert Bockholt told from Jordan. “Eager Lion 12 has been pre-planned.“…

Now, seriously, where is that proverbial carrot of ‘diplomacy’ again, Miz Starr started off with…? It’s been nothing but stick, I mean really… US Officials: IAEA-Iran Deal Won’t Interrupt Sanctions…

And, straight from the horse’s ass mouth… U.S. to keep heat on Iran over nuclear work – W.House…

Meanwhile, hot off the AP wire… UN nuclear chief : Deal with Iran reached on probe…

…Amano’s talks included Jalili as well as Iran’s foreign minister and other officials including the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Fereidoun Abbasi.

Iranian lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahtpisheh told The Associated Press on Monday that Tehran will likely accept more inspections of Parchin “if it feels there is good will within the (IAEA).”

But Falahtpisheh warned that this new openness will likely come with expectations that the West would in return ease international sanctions on Iran.

“In opening up to more inspections, Iran aims at lowering the crisis over its nuclear case,” he said. “But if the sanctions continue, Iran would stop this.”

A political analyst in Tehran, Hamid Reza Shokouhi, said Iran is carefully watching to see if the West shows more “flexibility and pays attention to Iranian demands” during Amano’s trip.

“Then Iran will show flexibility, too,” Shokouhi said…

I wouldn’t hold my breath…!


by CTuttle

Boys Who Throw Stones

4:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Palestinian youth abducted by police in E. Jerusalem

…In the shocking footage below(above), taken with a surveillance camera last Friday, July 22,(2011) Palestinian teens playing soccer in the street are suddenly abducted by Israeli soldiers in an undercover vehicle and hauled away. Whether guilty of stone throwing or not, this is not the way to go about conducting justice in a country’s capital…

Today, the UK’s Independent published this explosive article…

How Israel takes its revenge on boys who throw stones

Video seen by Catrina Stewart reveals the brutal interrogation of young Palestinians

The boy, small and frail, is struggling to stay awake. His head lolls to the side, at one point slumping on to his chest. “Lift up your head! Lift it up!” shouts one of his interrogators, slapping him. But the boy by now is past caring, for he has been awake for at least 12 hours since he was separated at gunpoint from his parents at two that morning. “I wish you’d let me go,” the boy whimpers, “just so I can get some sleep.”

During the nearly six-hour video, 14-year-old Palestinian Islam Tamimi, exhausted and scared, is steadily broken to the point where he starts to incriminate men from his village and weave fantastic tales that he believes his tormentors want to hear…

…”The problems start long before the child is brought to court, it starts with their arrest,” says Naomi Lalo, an activist with No Legal Frontiers, an Israeli group that monitors the military courts. It is during their interrogation where their “fate is doomed”, she says…

…”Israel has no business arresting these children, trying them, oppressing them,” Ms Lalo says, her eyes glistening. “They’re not our children. My country is doing so many wrongs and justifying them. We should be an example, but we have become an oppressive state.”

Child detention figures

7,000 [Figure corrected, with apologies for earlier production error.] The estimated number of Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in Israeli military courts since 2000, shows a report by Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP).

87 The percentage of children subjected to some form of physical violence while in custody. About 91 per cent are also believed to be blindfolded at some point during their detention.

12 The minimum age of criminal responsibility, as stipulated in the Military Order 1651.

62 The percentage of children arrested between 12am and 5am.

This really is nothing new, as Haaretz’s Nir Hasson had reported last year…

Israel using strong arm tactics against young Palestinian stone-throwers

Haaretz, B’Tselem collected testimonies from teens suggesting police are treating them violently.

…The police and Border Police activity follows complaints by the Jewish residents of the two buildings and by the guards hired by the Housing Ministry to protect them.

They say there has been an increase in children throwing stones at their houses and cars.

“The interrogator kept asking me the same question for an hour and every time I denied it, he swore. He swore at my mother and sister. He slapped me and wouldn’t let me go to the toilet or have a drink of water,” a 14-year-old told B’Tselem…

…Parents who try to argue or block their children’s arrest are treated harshly or attacked, said Jaballah Rajabi, many of whose family members have been arrested.

“I tried to talk to them and they hit me, sprayed me with gas. Fifty of them come for every child. This isn’t police, it’s a mafia,” he said.

“These incidents constitute a most severe breach of minors’ human rights,” attorney Yael Stein of B’Tselem wrote to Jerusalem District Commander Aharon Franco.

“A military-like crackdown in the middle of the night to interrogate 12- to 14-year-old children on suspicions of throwing stones runs contrary to all reason, and cannot be justified. It’s hard to imagine the security forces taking such measures against Jewish minors,” she wrote, accusing police of breaking the law governing treatment of youth.

The Jerusalem Police denied using violent measures and said the arrests and interrogations were carried out lawfully.

I’ve covered some of the more egregious episodes before. For instance, from this past February… IOF Invades Playground, Arrests 13 Kids.

B’tselem had recently produced another compelling report… No Minor Matter: Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors Arrested by Israel on Suspicion of Stone-Throwing, July 2011

Even Stephen Lendman paints a very bleak picture…

Israeli Persecution of Palestinian Children

…Against Palestinians, even children, torture and other forms of abuse are commonplace. Of the 45 cases studied, two were children aged 11 or younger, one was 12, 22 were 14 or 15, and 22 were 16 or 17. Twenty-eight of them were accused of stone-throwing. Under Military Order 1651, Section 221, it’s punishable as follows:

– against people or property, it carries a maximum 10 year penalty; for children aged 13 or younger, it’s six months; and

– throwing stones or other objects against moving vehicles brings up to 20 years imprisonment; for children 13 or younger, it’s six months.

In fact, children most often get sentences ranging from two weeks to 10 months. However, none should get 10 minutes or ever have be arrested and prosecuted. In detention, they’re subjected to the following:

Hand ties – 98%

Blindfolds – 91%

Physical violence – 87%

Detention inside Israel in violation of Fourth Geneva’s Article 76 – 76%

Confession during interrogation – 69%

Arrested between midnight and 5:00AM – 62%

Verbal abuse – 60%

Strip searched – 56%

Threatened – 38%

Taken to detention on vehicle’s floor (a painful process sometimes taking hours) – 33%

Signed/shown documents in Hebrew – 29%

Held in solitary confinement (from one to 20 days) – 9%

Honestly, how in good conscience can anybody justify such illegal actions…?