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645 Palestinians, 29 Israelis Killed in Gaza Conflict, U.S./EU/HRW Condemn Hamas, ‘Concerned’ About Israel

3:42 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

Human Rights Watch logo

HRW and other US NGOs have a double standard on Gaza.

621 Palestinians, 80% of them (495) civilians, and 29 Israelis, all but two of them soldiers, have now died in the Gaza conflict. [Update: 633 Palestinians (about 505 civilians).] [Update 2: Now 645 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza (The Israeli figure remains at 29).] Notice which side is apparently being very careful not to kill civilians. And yet the EU, U.S. and Human Rights Watch ferociously and specifically condemn the ‘criminality’ only of Gaza’s rockets fired into Israel, while not condemning Israel. Instead, these moral cretins just advise it to ‘please be more careful’ as it launches round after round of collective punishment death into Gaza. Are they on the same planet, do they see the same photos, as you and I?


Human Rights Watch and its tricks

It is now standard. HRW can’t offer mild, qualified, lawyerly, and half-hearted criticisms of Israeli war crimes without coupling them immediately with categorical, unqualified, and unconditional criticisms of the population under occupation.

Angry Arab above is commenting on HRW’s report, Airstrike Deaths Raise Concerns on Ground Offensive, which refuses to outright condemn or even mention the Shujaiyah massacre. Nonetheless, it may be slightly more forthright on Israel than its first report on the Gaza war, which Norman Finkelstein has analyzed.


In a dramatic statement issued Tuesday evening, the 28 foreign ministers of EU member states called for the disarmament of Hamas [pay wall] and other militant groups in the Gaza Strip.

Here is the EU statement on Hamas and the side that has killed a total of two civilians:

The EU strongly condemns the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and militant groups in the Gaza Strip, directly harming civilians. These are criminal and unjustifiable acts. The EU calls on Hamas to immediately put an end to these acts and to renounce violence. All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.

Here is the EU statement on the side that has killed 505 civilians:

The EU condemns the loss of hundreds of civilian lives, among them many women and children. While recognizing Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against any attacks, the EU underlines that the Israeli military operation must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law.

Is the EU insane? Why, when Gaza is undergoing the latest in a series of debased and indiscriminate ‘collective punishment’ assaults, with hundreds of civilians dead, would the elected Gaza government, i.e., Hamas, disarm rather than defend its people? And why doesn’t the EU condemn Israel’s massive bombardment as “criminal and unjustifiable” like it does Gaza’s rocket attacks against Israel? Where is the phrase “collective punishment” in the EU report? You craven batch of sniveling cowards.

The U.S.

It’s even worse in the U.S. I really want to get this out and I think you kind of know just how horrible the disinfo is in the U.S. If not, start with ‘Israel Is Killing Hundreds of Civilians in Gaza, and American Elites Don’t Really Care’, and then read this brilliant column by Rami G. Khouri:

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496 Palestinians, 20 Israelis Die in Gaza Conflict; Why the Shujaiyah Massacre?

6:33 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

A donkey

In one article, a Washington Post writer seems more concerned with livestock than human lives.

Yesterday was the most deadly day in the Gaza conflict, and 496 Palestinians (80% of them civilians) and 20 Israelis (2 of them civilians) have now died. What made the numbers skyrocket was mainly Israel’s massive and indiscriminate shelling of the Gaza’s Shujaiyah neighborhood. The photos are grueling (some of the most heartrending and stark are here), as are written descriptions of the chaos and death:

An ambulance sat on shot-out tyres, shrapnel punched through its sides. A charred car lay flattened as if by a giant hand. Smoke rose from one end of the street in a dark billowing curtain.

Fallen trees, tangled electricity cables and drifts of rubble covered the road, smashed, chopped and torn apart by Israeli shells and bombs that slammed into this Gaza City district at a rate of one every five seconds on Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday.

A body was carried out of a ruined house, then a second and a third – seven in total from buildings within a hundred metres of each other during a brief agreed lull in the fighting to evacuate the dead and wounded. A little further along, bodies lay in the street where they had fallen, mostly scorched figures – one still in a yellow dressing gown – others missing limbs.

Inside the shelled neighborhoods, scores of people lay dead, others were wounded with scenes of entire buildings destroyed. Houses were still ablaze from the IDF onslaught, with corpses burnt almost beyond recognition, with the dead numbering both young and old, including small children. …

The injured from Shejaia were rushed to Gaza City’s central Shifa Hospital. Chaos reigned inside the hospital as wounded children were brought to the overflowing emergency room, forcing the medical staff to treat the wounded in a hallway.

Why did Israel let loose this hell on a residential neighborhood? One plausible theory (translated from the Arabic by the Angry Arab) is that its military was reacting angrily to the deaths of a surprising number of Israeli soldiers late Saturday and early Sunday:

Let us talk coldly and without agitation: by the admission of Israeli sources themselves–and they lie to the extreme to the extent that lying can be effective–the Golani Brigade lost more than 18 soldiers between yesterday and today, and most of them in the battle of Shuja`iyyah. The sources did not reveal the number of injured but they are in the tens, and may exceed a hundred. The horrible massacre against the people of Shuja`iyyah was a manifestation of Israel frenzy after the attack. …

The Gaza government called the Shujaiyah attack a “heinous massacre” and the Arab League described it as a war crime, but as for our West, “condemnation from international leaders was muted. Amid floundering efforts to start meaningful ceasefire talks, there was little sign of real pressure on Israel to lessen or halt the killing of civilians.”

Meanwhile, in propaganda watch:

The Washington Post is very outraged about the coverage of Gaza; the wrong victims are getting too much attention

‘The death of almost this entire herd went largely unreported in Israel and abroad, even though those who cared for the animals said they were traumatized by the sight of so much blood and carnage.’

Yeah, don’t you just love Angry Arab? And hate the Washington Post?

Angry Arab also links to an analysis that rings true on how most Arabs must be feeling right now, by Saudi Arabian writer Khaled Almaeena:

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53 Palestinians, 0 Israelis Die in Air and Missile Strikes …

5:54 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

Smoke rises from Palestinian buildings after air strikes.

Is the US media biased in its reports on Israeli airstrikes?

And yet still we get obscene propaganda from the mainstream ‘news’ masquerading as a headline:

Gaza rockets land deep in Israel as it bombards Palestinian enclave

The Reuters article above, with its propaganda headline, reports that 37 53 (see comment 39) Palestinians have died so far, but differing data on the dead and injured is provided in a more balanced article in the Guardian:

The air assault continued throughout Wednesday morning bringing the Palestinian death toll to 32 in two days, including several senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants. More than 150 people have been injured. There have been about 440 air strikes since the beginning of the week.

Palestinian medics in Gaza City said two women and four children had been killed in strikes in the north and east of the city near the border with Israel on Wednesday morning.

‘Four Palestinians were killed in air strikes, including two brothers who are 12 and 13 years old in Shejaiya, while a four-year-old boy and a woman were killed in a raid on Zeitun,’ emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told Agence France-Presse.

The Guardian reports that the U.S., which means Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, supports without reservation the air war on a largely defenseless population:

The White House condemned the rocket attacks against Israel. ‘No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks,’ said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Oh of course, the Gazans are vicious for killing no one, but ‘no comment’ on the Israeli air strikes that have killed 29 civilians according to Reuters.

I bet most Americans oppose Israel’s deadly civilian-killing response to being attacked by so far harmless unguided missiles. They would oppose Israel’s actions even more strongly if they were allowed to read and listen to unbiased/balanced news reports in/on the mainstream media. The thing is, I wish it weren’t an issue of whether the U.S. ‘supports’ or ‘doesn’t support’ Israel’s actions. My question is, why are we giving Israel so much money every year? Can’t we find more deserving nations for our charity?

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Ukraine Surreal: Western Media Calls Gov’t Surrender Demand a Peace Offer

1:27 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

An armed peace dove wearing riot armor

When is a “peace offering” not a peace offering?

In Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko has given the rebels (he calls them terrorists) in Eastern Ukraine another chance to surrender, the third such offer since he took office, and the rebels have rejected it. A real yawner, except for how the proposal has been reconstructed and blasted out from Western media headlines:

So we have another lesson in narrative construction when reality doesn’t fit the task, the lesson being, “go for it dude, nobody will notice!” The Western narrative is that the rebels of Eastern Ukraine are, in simpleton language, “the bad guys,” and bad guys always refuse offers of peace. And so Poroshenko’s offer has been reconstructed to seem exceptionally reasonable, since according to the headlines he offered it after consulting with Russia and Germany. Well, the rebels must really be “bad guys” to reject a reasonable peace!

OK, back to reality: here is Russia’s real opinion of the Poroshenko offer, from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov:

Instead of Poroshenko’s promised truce, we are now hearing from Kiev’s security officials, suggestions of a temporary ceasefire that would allow the so-called separatists to leave Ukrainian territory. … This is not a negotiation, and this is not a national dialogue involving all parts of the country. This, fundamentally, [is] a proposal that is close to* ethnic cleansing.

*Whether Lavrov said ‘ethnic cleansing’ or ‘close to ethnic cleansing’ is unclear.

Use of the term “ethnic cleansing” shows how strongly Russian opposes the proposal. In short, the offer is for the rebels to surrender, and Ukraine ‘promises’ not to prosecute them except for serious crimes, but Poroshenko’s courts get to decide what ‘serious’ means. Option two, former rebels can go into apparently permanent exile in Russia. So, as usual, a ‘you surrender and trust us’ offer was refused.

Lavrov also said the the ceasefire/surrender offer was of a piece with the failure of the gas negotiations. That failure, of course, has been reconstructed, in service to the ‘bad guys vs. good guys’ Western media narrative, as Russian economic war against Ukraine (Russia accused of destroying Ukraine as it cuts gas supplies). Lavrov commented (I apologize for the obviously poor English translation):

Ukrainian representatives to gas negotiations spoke the language of ultimatums, which demonstrated their belief either in their own exclusiveness or the exclusiveness of their sponsors, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

‘Ukrainian representatives conducted the gas negotiations in a manner of pure ultimatums, without exhibiting negotiating culture. They acted absolutely not in the European style,’ Lavrov told a press conference in Baku.

‘Probably, this is the behavior of those who believe in their own exclusiveness or the exclusiveness of their sponsors. And this is the source of permissiveness,’ the Russian foreign minister stressed.

Russia had offered Ukraine a roughly 25% discount, of a $100 per thousand cubic meters of gas, and it seems odd such an offer was rejected.

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Eastern Ukraine Referendum: Questions for Mainstream ‘News’

1:16 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

Posted at the once liberal and vaguely social democratic but now neo-liberal and neoconservative Guardian, at one time (perhaps?) a news service but now just another of the important mainstream propaganda sites:

What is wrong with having a democratic referendum on autonomy, on a federal rather than ‘Kiev controls all’ governmental structure for Ukraine? Why are pro-federalists called ‘pro-Russians’?

Why is it that the sponsors of the Kiev coup, we heard Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on the phone choosing the after-coup prime minister, aren’t subject to sanctions? Why aren’t we discussing sanctions for those providing massive economic and on-the-ground military support for the illegally installed junta?

What is wrong with opposing a government that openly employs armed fascists and neo-Nazis (Right Sector and Svoboda) in its National Guard? That employs tanks and heavy weapons against unarmed civilians (as anyone who can watch a youtube video can see)?

Why is the government that is explicitly and excruciatingly not involved in Ukraine unrest being subject to sanctions and asked to back its military 100s of miles away from its own border?

P.S. – Wow, this comment has more than doubled my previous ‘best’ at the Guardian: 280 recommends and counting. Never been a ‘Guardian Pick’ though, I have a clean record in that regard.

NY Times vs RT at Kramatorsk: Mob of militants or local citizens?

12:04 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

Three soldiers guard a cement roadblock.

What’s happening in Ukraine? Depends on which reporters you ask.

New York Times: ”Ukraine Military Clashes With Pro-Russia Militants in East

RT: “Those who don’t lay arms, will be destroyed – Ukrainian military op commander

The Ukraine military finally swung into action and took over a military airbase in eastern Ukraine near Kramatorsk. RT chose to emphasize a statement by the general leading the operation:

A Ukrainian general leading the operation against protesters in the east of the country has warned that activists who refuse to lay down their arms will be ‘destroyed.’

‘They must be warned that if they do not lay down their arms, they will be destroyed,’ General Vasily Krutov, first deputy head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) told reporters, as cited by AFP.

While NYT preferred a more traditional gung ho “storming” lead:

The Ukrainian military stormed an airport 25 miles north of this city on Tuesday, beginning what the president called a military operation to confront pro-Russian militants in the eastern part of the country.

RT: “protesters,” “activists”
NYT: “pro-Russian militants”

Both publications also reported on a confrontation between Krutov and a crowd at the base:


At length the commander of the Ukranian operation, Gen. Vasily Krutov, approached the crowd of about 500 gathered behind a barbed wire fence to urge the militants to disperse, to little or no effect. As he was walking away he was roughed up, people in the crowd said, shoved hard enough that his hat fell off.

The situation, described by local reporters as a ‘mob scene,’ persisted throughout the afternoon …


On Tuesday evening, Krutov, who personally supervised the operation in Kramatorsk, appeared before local residents gathered on the airfield. According to RIA Novosti, the SBU [Ukrainian Security Service] official attempted to explain to them that the military had arrived at the site to protect them from ‘terrorists.’ However, the crowd responded shouting they were ‘peaceful citizens.’ The activists then pushed Krutov several times, but were stopped by special forces troops who fired warning shots into the air.

NYT: It’s a “mob scene,” and Krutov simply wants “militants” to disperse, but is “roughed up” and victimized, shoved so hard “his hat fell off.” The reporter reports all of this second-hand, he apparently wasn’t there.
RT: Tells what the crowd said, that they are “peaceful citizens” and not “terrorists.” Apparently a first-hand account.


According to activists, four people were killed and two others injured on Tuesday as troops seized an airfield in the city of Kramatorsk, which had earlier been controlled by protesters.


Russian news media, citing members of the armed opposition to Kiev, reported that several members of a pro-Russian militia had been injured at the airfield in firefights with the Ukrainian military. Later, Russian news media reported four fatalities in the vicinity of the airport.

RT: Straightforward: says four people were killed and two injured, “according to activists.”

NYT: Buries the lead (four people allegedly killed), and apparently the reporter decided not to ask at the scene about deaths and injuries. Instead he chose to watch or read the Russian news media (that most NYT readers, he knows, will consider unreliable), which cited “members of the armed opposition to Kiev.”

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maya1971: “Don’t ruin my country. Please. Don’t sink its people in a bath of blood.”

1:39 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

We all should know the Western ‘news’ media has uniformly reached new lows in embarrassing imperialist propaganda on the Ukraine coup/putsch/revolution, so we must search in somewhat odd places to find non-biased stuff, words that have that gritty real feel. The comment below by (I very much think) an authentic Ukrainian — maya1971* — hits that spot, and deserves as many readers as it can find. It is comment #62 under the ‘liberal’ Guardian’s absurdly fear-mongering ‘news’ report, ‘Russia puts military on high alert ((NO IT DIDN’T**)) as Crimea protests leave one man dead’. I’ve made many corrections to the grammar, spelling and paragraphing of, and added links to, maya1971′s original comment:

26 February 2014 8:56pm
65 Recommend

I am a Ukrainian. Somebody has to be. I am not a cleaner or plumber or strawberries picker. Surprisingly, many of us have better aspirations in life and have managed to achieve them, but this is not the point.

I am appalled and shocked by what is happening to my country. We knew about corruption and abuse of power but to such an extent? But I am appalled even more so by how it is being ripped apart now. By a “democratic” opposition that lives in a bubble of luxury and absolute denial. By EU politicians who are now such frequent visitors to help us form the government. Absurd. Where else in the world do you see a representative of a foreign country, no matter how friendly and well-wishing, come to your country and tell you what sort of life you should have?

I suspect that these are all politicians who have failed badly in their own countries, with their own people, and are now trying desperately to secure their place in history, somehow, somewhere, by ruining and damaging a people already impoverished, deceived and betrayed by all.

They are offering a life of austerity to people who already live on 100 Euros a month. All of that will now be borrowed from people in other countries, equally living in the regime of austerity. Logic? If there is any?

And to the glamorous democratic opposition and your supporters! With no money in the budget, with the economy in ruins, the only thing you have done so far is to cancel the Russian language [See ‘The new Ukraine’s first law revokes Russian language rights’ and ‘Western media blacks out Ukraine’s revocation of Russian language rights’]. Why does it even matter? It does not seem to be a problem in civilized, calm and prosperous Switzerland with 3 languages. Or in Belgium with 2.

Has cancelling Russian miraculously increased your state budget? Created jobs? Or did it simply create smoke and mirrors as you are not capable of anything else? You did fight for power very hard, I can give you that. People died for you. But you must be terribly disappointed? There is nothing left for you to steal? So yeah, lets cancel Russian. One has to do at least something.

And have you forgotten that Maidan, even with thousands of people, does not represent 46 million? When some of you, our new “ democratic” leaders claim that the Nazi occupation was actually a liberation, have you asked my 77 year old mother whether she agrees with you? After all, she is a citizen of ‘a free and democratic Ukraine’(?) who survived 4 years of occupation as a child. She witnessed her village burnt to ashes by SS troops. Her father (my grandfather) was killed in one of those “mass-grave” battles in 1942. The same on my father’s side. My parents were the only people who survived out of their families. Have you asked many millions like her, which language does she want to speak, whether she wants you to shit on her memories?

Mind you, she is not an oligarch so her opinion does not count, does it?

Of course, she has only spent all her adult life, 55 years, working as a pediatric nurse. She survived war, ruins, hunger, cold, Stalin, communists, socialists, “perestroika”, collapse, capitalism, only so that people like you could come and steal everything from her. She survived again. So when there is nothing more that you can steal from millions like her, you want to rob them of their memories, and even their languages?

You claim that Ukrainian identity was robbed and ruined. Where? I grew up in Eastern Ukraine, often portrayed as pro-Russian. But in school, when it was still the Soviet Union by the way, I had as many hours of Ukrainian as of Russian. I speak both freely and fluently. (In fact, much better (grammatically and phonetically) than a famous boxer.)

And we never thought of ourselves as pro-this or pro-that. We just lived, studied, worked, moved forward. What were you doing all that time, I wonder? Why is there a need to label people as pro-this, pro-that? Did it not cross your arrogant and ignorant mind that they are simply scared, confused and once again betrayed?

If you want to write a new chapter in history of Ukraine like responsible and honest people, please do it. But if you want to re-write the whole history and rob people of their own, then no, you won’t get a vote from me.

Luckily for you, I don’t believe in violence and manipulations. So I guess you have won once again.

Oh yeah, there is Mr. Putin of course. I actually don’t know the guy or have ever seen him in Ukraine in all these years. It’s a tad tiring though, the same old story: “Will give you gas, will not give you gas.” Whatever, make up your mind. Seems we have an unlimited amount of tires to burn anyway. They have kept us really ‘warm’ all these long winter months.

I am Ukrainian. But above all, je viens de la Terre, I come from Earth. And so do you. All of you, regardless where you were born. Don’t ruin my country. Please. Don’t sink its people in a bath of blood. Don’t poison it by division, lies, hypocrisy and hatred towards each other. But if you can’t speak the truth, could you please just have a glass of wine and keep quiet.

*maya1971′s profile

**As I pointed out in a Guardian comment and as reported by Aljazeera, the Russian drills are routine. As with any drill, participants are supposed to act like its the real thing, to pretend to be on high alert, and so that may have given the Guardian the opportunity for its blatant fear-mongering headline. Here are the key portions of the Aljazeera report:

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued battle drills for army, navy and airforce troops based in Russia’s western military district, which borders Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, Finland and the Arctic. …

[Defense Minister Sergei] Shoigu said that “generally speaking, the drill is not in any way related to the events in Ukraine”.

Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow, said that similar inspections were made regularly in Russia to ensure readiness.

Here’s to a less prettied up, less distracted, less disguised 2014

11:43 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

Cartoon versions of Republican elephant and Democrat donkey

“In the new year could we be less distracted by the manufactured b.s. … designed to make us hate the Reds or the Blues?”

Great quote in yesterday’s Counterpunch from John Stauber:

Democracy is all but dead, snuffed out by centuries of a corporate economic system that has concentrated wealth and thus political power in the hands of an elite. That elite sits astride a self-destroying economy that is eating up the earth to churn out consumer crap and the vision of a shopping mall utopia. Nothing will get better for the poor or the planet until we individually and collectively come to grips with this reality, and any propaganda that disguises or pretties up this ugly situation is detrimental.

I wonder if in the new year we could be less distracted by the manufactured b.s. — produced by the Democratic and Republican Parties — designed to make us hate the Reds or the Blues? Just a little less? Or if we can keep our eyes on the prize more steadily, the prize being changing the economy into one that makes full employment at good wages our number one ‘left wing radical’ priority. Why is the latter so hard to achieve, when it is what any developed economy can achieve (don’t let the austerians fool you) and what everyone outside the wealthy elite wants?

Well, if you really want to know, not that it really matters: “Wall Street — the West’s financial hierarchy and the established wealth it represents — is destroying the world, a case of class warfare by one class against the others. So general moral bankruptcy is not destroying the earth, but the moral bankruptcy of one class is.” But why are they destroying the economies that make them rich? I think the answer is two-fold: 1) power over the economy and over all of us non-elites matters more to the elite than (even) a healthy, growing economy, and 2) they’re blinded by short-term profitability and are incapable of taking a long-term perspective on their wealth. These are just the _wrong_ people, worse than even the manufacturing ‘class’, to have controlling the world economy.

Oops, think I might’ve just gotten you and me off-track from eye-ing the prize … see how easy it is?

Okay, nuff said. Here’s to a less prettied up, less distracted, less disguised 2014. Eyes on the prize and happy new year people!

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St. Obama the Sadist

8:27 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

President Barack Obama is apparently past the point of no return, according to his Pentagon advisers/controllers, on bombing Syria. As he surely knows, this means bombing Syrian civilians, since military and civilian sites are woven together tightly there. So he knows he will maim and kill civilians. But that’s not why he’s a sadist.

What appears to be Obama’s goal is to prolong a brutal civil war — which seemed finally well on its way to ending, as it was being won by the Syrian government — and keep Syria fractured and impoverished for as long as possible. So there’s no realpolitik ‘balancing of evil for a greater good’ thinking going on here, the only goal is destruction and death. That’s why he’s a sadist.

These bombings will only prolong and increase suffering, impoverishment, and killing, and that is their point. Obama knows all this but calmly, without affect, he goes ahead anyway.

And yes, the President is doing exactly what the Israeli government wants done. But what those insane Likudniks or worse (have you _noticed_ how racist and far right things are in Israel now?) want is insanely anti-humanitarian: a long and vicious sectarian civil war and long and vicious economic sanctions that either never end or end up subdividing Syria into feeble and impoverished statelets.

And of course it’s the Israelis who supply Obama with the ‘intelligence’ that assures him Assad is guilty of the recent chemical weapons attack. Obama is so sure he doesn’t have to wait for the UN inspectors to finish their jobs in Syria. So certain is he of Israel-supplied evidence that he tried to block the UN team from doing those inspections.

Even though a chemical weapons attack on the very day UN inspectors visited Syria served only the desperate soon-to-be losers of the civil war: Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda, and their allies. The same Al Nusra Front that has used nerve gas already in Syria, according to the evidence seen by UN expert Carla Del Ponte.

P.S. — Anyone who still considers Amnesty International a humanitarian organization had better read their latest advice to the humanitarian bombers of Syrian civilians, including the comments. Hip tat to Angry Arab (“Western human rights organizations … truly are a mere propaganda arm of US foreign policy.”)

‘Lore’ and the mentality that probably infects Israelis

4:42 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

The new movie ‘Lore’ (a German-language film directed by Australian Cate Shortland) is a dark, fascinating reminder of the racist and ultimately murderous mentality generated by pervasive state propaganda and completely groveling media. Not that the film focuses on the media, it centers on the result, the debasement of most of the people into paranoid, Jew-hating murder machines, or at least (and ain’t it basically the same thing?) supporters of such murder.

Gawd I wish Roger Ebert were around to review it. He had a weakness for humane, populist films, especially those with a focus on children and how life corrupts them and how they resist that corruption. The central character here, fourteen-year-old (?) Lore, is going through that process in the worst of circumstances and sociopathically handicapped by her upbringing. Warped by her parents, true believer/hater concentration camp administrator a-holes, she’s still a kid who has of course retained a child’s idealism and desire to be a good person.

Lore and the film still haunt me a day after watching. Very good, but not a happy film.

Hip tat to Edward Teller’s The Only Occupied European Country to Save Its Jews from the Nazis Recognizes Palestine – Google It!, which has inspired good historical learning and pondering around here in recent days. The history-inspired theme continues in his The Weirdness of Zionist Reaction to Stephen Hawking Supporting Global BDS, which includes discussion of a famous 1938 Einstein speech opposing the establishment of a Jewish state: “my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish State, with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks …”