Black Agenda Report 23 June, 2010: No Solution to U.S. Crises / Black Politics Ends / U.S. Social Forum Begins / Fascism Enters Through "Terror" Door

23 June, 2010 — Black Agenda Report

America Can’t Solve Crises Because It’s a Company-Owned Town

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The Great Gusher in the Gulf is a political, not simply an economic and environmental, crisis. “No amount of public disgust at BP has moved Obama to behave as if he is beholden to the majority that elected him – for the simple reason that he is not.”

Freedom Rider: The Death of Black Politics

by BAR editor and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

New York Rep. Charles Rangel is among the many Black elected officials that make periodic political and physical pilgrimages to Israel, swearing undying loyalty. In a shamelessly groveling performance last week, Rangel took part in a Times Square press conference where he “claimed a bizarre connection between the freedom flotilla and the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.”

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From Great Man to Great Screwup: Behind the McChrystal Uproar By Norman Solomon

23 June, 2010 — Norman Solomon

When the wheels are coming off, it doesn’t do much good to change the driver.

Whatever the name of the commanding general in Afghanistan, the U.S. war effort will continue its carnage and futility.

Between the lines, some news accounts are implying as much. Hours before Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s meeting with President Obama on Wednesday, the New York Times reported that “the firestorm was fueled by increasing doubts — even in the military — that Afghanistan can be won and by crumbling public support for the nine-year war as American casualties rise.”

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Israel: A History of Impunity By Yousef Munayyer

22 June, 2010 — Jerusalem Fund – Palestine Center

Palestine Center Brief No. 205 (22 June 2010)

Policy Brief

Last week the government of Israel announced the launch of an investigation into the events surrounding the deadly Memorial Day flotilla raid which left nine activists dead. Many international bodies including the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), as well as human rights groups like Amnesty International, are calling for an independent and impartial, international investigation into the incident. In fact, The UN Human Rights Council has already called for an investigation and chosen a principle investigator. Turkey too has decided to launch its own investigation. The Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah, which can in no way be construed as a pro-Hamas entity, also slammed the Israeli investigation.

There are obvious questions that arise when an alleged perpetrator, in this case the government of Israel, is left in charge of investigating themselves. To mitigate such concerns, Israel has allowed two international observers to participate. One of them, David Trimble, raises questions on his own. He has a Nobel Peace Prize on his resume, but he is also known for having antipathy towards human rights groups whom he has accused of aiding terrorists, and was recently part of an initiative to launch a pro-Israel campaign in his native land. The other observer, Ken Watkin, is the former head of Canada’s military judiciary.

But for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the international observers can keep any biases they may have out of their deliberations. Will they be able to come up with an accurate assessment of the events? It’s not likely, since any information “almost certain to cause substantial harm to [Israel’s] national security or to the State’s foreign relations”[1] will not be made available to the international observers. Basically, the international observers, hand-picked by the state of Israel, are only permitted to observe what the state of Israel wants them to observe. A farce, if there ever was one.

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Action Alert – NYT, WaPo Misremember Gaza War

21 June, 2010 — FAIR

Blaming Hamas rockets bolsters Israeli PR

In the aftermath of Israel’s May 31 raid on the Gaza humanitarian aid flotilla that killed nine activists, the Washington Post and New York Times have propagated an inaccurate historical context that serves to bolster Israeli claims.

The conventional rendition is that Israel invaded Gaza at the end of 2008 in order to stop a near-constant stream of rockets fired by Hamas. This history signals to readers that Israel was merely reacting to intolerable and persistent acts of violence. But that is wildly misleading. For much of the second half of that year, a truce between Hamas and Israel largely eliminated rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel; the remaining handful of rockets were launched by rival Palestinian groups. That cease-fire was essentially shattered on November 4, when an Israeli incursion killed several Hamas members (Guardian, 11/5/08). Efforts to renew the cease-fire failed, and the ensuing violence culminated in the full-scale Israeli invasion (FAIR Media Advisory, 1/6/09).

But the papers’ revisionist history has been common throughout the flotilla coverage:

“…Israel’s three-week military campaign in Gaza, which began in late December 2008, after years of rocket fire against southern Israel.”
(New York Times, 6/18/10)

“Hamas and other groups fired rockets from the territory toward Israeli towns until Israel launched a large-scale offensive against the strip in December 2008, an operation that killed more than 1,000.”
(Washington Post, 6/16/10)

“Israel…invaded in late 2008 to stop a flow of rockets and destroyed thousands of buildings.”
(New York Times, 6/11/10)

“With Hamas unable to send bombers into Israeli cities with the tightening of the blockade in 2007, rockets became the main form of violence until the war in Gaza. Since the three-week war ended in January 2009, there has been a lull in rocket fire, leading some to suspect that Hamas is rebuilding its arsenal.”
(Washington Post, 6/7/10)

“The crisis is the latest in a series of Israeli decisions devised to secure the nation…. Those actions included…invading Gaza in response to Hamas rocket fire.”
(New York Times, 6/3/10)

“The shift came after Israel invaded Gaza in December 2008, saying it needed to retaliate after thousands of rockets had been fired into civilian neighborhoods.”
(New York Times, 6/2/10)

What’s most interesting is the fact that their current reporting contradicts the papers’ coverage of the rockets just before Israel’s assault on Gaza. On December 19, 2008, the Times’ Ethan Bronner reported that Hamas had been “largely successful” in seriously curtailing rocket fire from Gaza, adding that “Hamas imposed its will and even imprisoned some of those who were firing rockets.” And the Washington Post editorialized on November 2, 2008, that thanks in part to “a cease-fire deal with Hamas, Israel has been more peaceful in recent months than it has been in years.”

So why do outlets that have previously reported these facts accurately no longer recall them? Part of Israel’s strategy of defending its attack on the humanitarian flotilla has been to stress the dangers posed by Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip; those PR efforts should not persuade news outlets to rewrite relevant history.

ACTION: Ask the New York Times and the Washington Post to correct their inaccurate reporting on the cause of the Gaza War.

New York Times Public Editor

Andrew Alexander
Ombud, Washington Post

Information Clearing House 21 June, 2010: Are U.S. Warships Gearing Up for a Confrontation With an Iranian Aid Flotilla?

21 June, 2010

Millions Face Starvation in West Africa, Warn Aid Agencies
By Henry Foy
Starving people in drought-stricken west Africa are being forced to eat leaves and collect grain from ant hills, say aid agencies, warning that 10 million people face starvation across the region. Continue

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Statewatch News Online, No 2: 21 June 2010

Home page:
Statewatch European Documentation Centre (SEMDOC):

1.   LIBYA-UNHCR: Migreurop statement: the bid is rising, migrants pay the price
2.   EU-TRAFFICKING: Council: Latest draft: preventing and combating trafficking in human beings
3.   UK: Stop and search used illegally against thousands
4.   EU: UK monitors suspected radicals as part of European surveillance project
5.   UN: BC Civil Liberties Association/ICLMG: Rights groups challenge United Nations blacklist in court
6.   USA: Physicians for Human Rights: Experiments in torture: ‘Enhanced’ Interrogation Program
7.   EU: Eurodac Supervision Coordination Group (EDPS): Coordinated Supervision of Eurodac: Activity Report
8.   EU: Commission: Annual Report 2009: On Relations between the Commission and National Parliaments
9.   EU: Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) report: Becoming vulnerable in Europe
10. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 3-4 June 2010
11. EU: Commission: “Action Plan Implementing the Stockholm Programme”
12. UK: Statewatch: UK Government’s “clumsy, indiscriminate and disproportionate” approach to DNA retention
13. Italy: Statewatch analysis: Shocking death spotlights prisoners’ plight
14. EU: EU-US and Member States 2010 Declaration on Counterterrorism
15. UK: Statewatch: Shock and anger at the violent policing tactics used at the G8 Summit
16. Italy: Statewatch: The internal and external fronts: security package and returns to Libya
17. Germany: Statewatch: Federal Republic’s security services from the Cold War to the “new security architecture”
18. EU: Musical chairs in Brussels
19. Slovakia/Algeria: Expulsion contravenes ECtHR orders
20. UK: Bill to abolish ID cards published: Identity Documents Bill

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Protesters Picket Israeli Cargo Ship

20 June, 2010 — Tom Vee Videos

In Oakland, California an Israeli ship was blocked by protesters for the first time in history. 700-1000 protesters blocked three different gates at 5:30 A.M. keeping dockworkers from unloading the Israeli cargo.

ILWU members refused to cross picketline – citing “health & safety” provisions of their contract. Management demanded “instant arbitration.” The arbitrator took a look at the picketlines at each gate to the SSA Terminal and ruled that ILWU members were justified in refusing to cross.

All dockworkers were sent home with FULL PAY.

Special thanks to the Brass Liberation Orchestra for their performances today.

The Final End of the Hydrocarbon Fuel Paradigm By Dr. Tom Termotto

19 June, 2010 – Dissident Voice

These are the realities on the ground (undersea floor), in the water (Gulf of Mexico & Seven Seas), and in the air (atmosphere) in the wake of the Oil & Gas Industry operations around the globe, as it has operated for well over 100 years. For illustration purposes let’s just focus on the northern Gulf Coast of Mexico, since that is where Mother Earth has directed our collective attention. We can do this quickly by consulting the following map of the oil and gas platforms that were in operation throughout the Gulf of Mexico in 2006 (per Wikipedia).

Please be aware that oil and gas exploration, drilling and extraction have been conducted for many decades in the Gulf. Therefore we know that there are an untold number of vast empty caverns which have been emptied of their oil and gas. We also know that, when a repository has been emptied very quickly, there is a shock of sorts to the system, or geological formations that exist around and contiguous to these prospects. One can easily imagine how the entire balance of the undersea ecosystem and sub-seafloor geology can be irrevocably affected by the relentless intrusions and profoundly invasive techniques conducted by this industry.

Let’s now contextualize this state of affairs by fast-forwarding to 2012. As Mother Earth rocks and rolls in preparation for her rejuvenation, we are all witnessing huge and unprecedented changes to her beautiful form. For instance we know there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of earthquakes and volcanoes, both on land and undersea around the world. We know that global climate change has been occurring for decades and has manifested in some places as global warming, others as global cooling, and still others as global deluges and global droughts, etc. Regardless of where you domicile, we can all agree that things are really changing. And very fast, due to the various accelerations and compression of time which occur during the final phase of the galactic creation cycle per Mayan calendrics and cosmogony.

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