NATO’s Secret Transatlantic Bond: Nuclear Weapons In Europe By Rick Rozoff

3 December, 2009 — Stop NATO

“Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and German pilots remain ready to engage in nuclear war.

“Nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO provide an essential political and military link between the European and the North American members of the Alliance. The Alliance will therefore maintain adequate nuclear forces in Europe.

“Although technically owned by the U.S., nuclear bombs stored at NATO bases are designed to be delivered by planes from the host country.

“The Department of Defense, in coordination with the Department of State, should engage its appropriate counterparts among NATO Allies in reassessing and confirming the role of nuclear weapons in Alliance strategy and policy for the future.”

Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike? Could the Belgians and the Dutch drop hydrogen bombs on enemy targets?…Germany’s air force couldn’t possibly be training to deliver bombs 13 times more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, could it?

The above is from the opening paragraph of a feature in Time magazine’s online edition of December 2, one entitled “What to Do About Europe’s Secret Nukes.”

In response to the rhetorical queries posed it adopts the deadly serious tone befitting the subject in stating, “It is Europe’s dirty secret that the list of nuclear-capable countries extends beyond those — Britain and France — who have built their own weapons. Nuclear bombs are stored on air-force bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands — and planes from each of those countries are capable of delivering them.”

Continue reading


4 December, 2009 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

One of our readers recently took us to task for a serious omission in our new book, ‘Newspeak in the 21st Century’ (Pluto Press, 2009). He asked how we could possibly have failed to include the BBC’s Newsnight presenter, Emily Maitlis. In August 2008, Maitlis opened Newsnight with these words about the conflict between Russia and Georgia:

“Hello, good evening. The Russians are calling it ‘peace enforcement operation’. It’s the kind of Newspeak that would make George Orwell proud.” (BBC2, August 11, 2008, 10:30pm)

When has a BBC journalist so much as raised an eyebrow while channelling US-UK propaganda about the “peace enforcement operation” in Afghanistan or Iraq? It is unimaginable that a Newsnight presenter would declare such claims “the kind of Newspeak that would make George Orwell proud”.

Our book devotes two whole chapters to the BBC: the first, exposing the magnificent fiction of BBC “balance”, and the second presenting a handy A-Z compendium of BBC propaganda.

Another ‘Newspeak’ reader was so keen for its arguments to be given a fair hearing that he paid for 100 copies of the book to be sent to the BBC. Thanks to his generosity, and the efforts of our publisher, a copy was sent to virtually all senior BBC news journalists and editors, members of the BBC Executive Board, as well as the BBC Trustees.

Continue reading

Armageddon, Straight Ahead By Rabbi Arik W. Ascherman

4 December, 2009 — Rabbis for Human Rights

It is 1:30 am, and I just came back from Sheikh Jarakh –I see Jerusalem in flames, and know than my words will not succeed in conveying the horror of what I saw or the dread in my heart.

Today the court ruled in favor of the settlers who had taken over part of yet another family’s home in Sheikh Jarakh. Because a lawyer for some of the families in the 1980’s recognized Jewish ownership in return for protected tenant’s status, the addition the El-Kurd family made to their home was deemed illegal. They had to ask permission from the “owners” to do it. Did the court order the addition demolished or a fine paid? Of course not. Why, anybody should be able to understand that the only logical thing to do was to let settlers move in to the extension.

All day the tension was palpable, sometimes breaking into physical violence. People warily looked at me to determine if I was friend or foe, until I got close enough to be recognized and greeted in Arabic the newcomers who didn’t recognize me., Palestinians backed by Israelis and internationals huddled around fires, keeping a watchful eye out, as Arab music reminded settlers huddled inside their new acquisition just where they were. Nasser Ghawi is closing in on his fourth month in a pitiful lean to across the street from where 6 settler families lived in his home, with a constant stream of visitors in and out. He asked me if there was any hope left. Usually full of optimism in even the most difficult situations, I could only mouth some meaningless platitudes about looking for new legal options. Yesterday Maya, our staff person who spends the most time in Sheikh Jarakh, asked me where justice was. I didn’t have an answer for her either.

Continue reading

Shock follows footage of settler running over Palestinian

2 December, 2009 — Ma’an News

Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – An amateur video shocked Palestinians on Tuesday, catching what appeared to be an Israeli settler repeatedly running over a wounded Palestinian at a gas station in Hebron last week.

The Palestinian, an unidentified man shot several times following an alleged knife attack at the station, appeared to be staggering when a silver Mercedes ran him down, stopped, reversed, and ran him over again.

The video was reportedly taken on Thursday, although at the time, Israeli representatives made no mention of the settler’s alleged attack, telling reporters only that a Palestinian man had been shot after he stabbed and lightly injured two settlers.

A military spokesman told Ma’an that after the two Israelis were hurt, a soldier shot and injured the Palestinian, who was taken to the Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem. The settler, on the other hand, was released under house arrest.

That evening, a hospital spokeswoman told Ma’an the Palestinian was undergoing surgery for serious wounds, but did not mention he had been run over and trapped under a car. He was transported by an Israeli ambulance, she noted.

What follows is a partial clip from Al-Jazeera. Click here for an uncut version of the same film.

Warning: contains graphic images.

more about “Shock follows footage of settler runn…“, posted with vodpod
The full video captures several soldiers standing by as the incident unfolds. Those who run up to the vehicle and appear to take the keys out of the ignition are armed settlers. The Palestinian is left underneath the car screaming as settlers extract the driver. Several seconds later, medics approach the injured man.

According to The Jerusalem Post, police believe the driver was David Mizrachi, an Israeli from the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba and the husband of one of the alleged stabbing victims. He may stand trial for attempted murder, the newspaper reported.

Both incidents come as tensions in settlements rise, with settlers vowing to defy recent orders to slow down certain West Bank construction. Soldiers have also shown an increasing aversion to cracking down on settler behavior, with some announcing their refusal to take part in missions that involve removing settlers from what Israeli courts determine are illegally occupied Palestinian homes or outposts.

Last fall in Hebron, dozens of soldiers were sent to evacuate the Ar-Rajabi home in Hebron, following which a rampaging settler from Kiryat Arba shot a Palestinian at almost point-blank range. The settler was briefly arrested and later released without charge.