Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Plus Ca Change Plus La Meme Chose


The shadow foreign affairs portfolio has now passed from Tanya (Rogue state? What rogue state?) Plibersek to Penny ("I was struck by the challenges of Israel's leaders having to juggle the work of government with managing a constant existential threat"*) Wong.

Penelope, of course, is eminently qualified for the post, having been rambammed in 2014. (Which explains her fluency in Ziospeak.) I for one simply cannot wait for more of her penetrating insights on this and other over-the-hills-and-far-away matters.

[*See my 9/6/14 post Israeli-Occupied Labor.]

Monday, July 25, 2016

Gutless Journalism at the SMH

Sydney Morning Herald journalist, Nick Miller, wrote the following, clearly under duress:

"He was in Gaza for a year, and for 11 months it was 'fairly routine', but the final month was Operation Cast Lead, a three-week conflict between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel, which the Palestinians called a massacre. The opening assault was followed by a ground invasion. it ended with more than 1000 Palestinian deaths and a subsequent United Nations mission accused both sides of war crimes." (Buried under the rubble, Nick Miller, 23/7/16)

Fear of the Israel lobby is palpable in every word.

Just to correct the record:

An even stevens conflict?

Really? Why then did the UN's Goldstone Report describe it as "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population..."? (1893)

Only the Palestinians call it a massacre?

Bullshit, only the brass-necked Israelis would call it anything other than a massacre.

More than 1000 Palestinian deaths?

Too bloody right! Add another 400 to that.

UN accused both sides of war crimes?

And also said that it did not "equate the position of Israel as the occupying Power with that of the occupied Palestinian population or entities representing it." (Goldstone Report, 1876)

In the same issue, the Herald's rambammed political editor Peter Hartcher outs himself as a PEP (Progressive Except Palestine).

While he's quite capable of getting Australia right - "British Australia was built on the ruins of Aboriginal Australia, and the modern nation federated on a consensus of racial exclusion." (She's no threat - there's an opportunity, 23/7/16) - don't in a million expect him to write anything like this:

'Israel was built on the ruins of Arab Palestine, and constituted as an exclusively Jewish state.'

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trump This


"Stepping up for a job he's toyed with since the 1980's, New York developer and reality TV star Donald Trump has accepted the Republican Party's presidential nomination with a dark speech that parsed the US and the world as mean, chaotic and dangerous for Americans - whose governments had failed to defend and protect them... He promised to 'defeat the barbarians of ISIS' and to knock into line countries that didn't respect the US - including Iran, China and any country that figured the US would protect it without being paid." (Trump whips up frenzy built on fear, Paul McGeough, Sydney Morning Herald, 23/7/16)

Let me get this straight: the United States routinely rampages around the world, intervening in the affairs of others, both overtly and covertly, and showers arms and treasure on assorted authoritarian and apartheid regimes, and those once felicitously described as 'our sons-of-bitches', Trump sums up the resultant mess as 'mean, chaotic and dangerous for Americans', and then promises to continue rampaging around the planet, etc.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

JSIL/ISIL: Nothing New Under the Sun

Barbara Board (1916-86) was a British freelance journalist who reported on developments in British Mandate Palestine during the 1930s and 40s for British and Canadian papers. Here she describes the social makeup of that notorious Zionist terrorist outfit, the Stern Gang* - a sort of Jewish State in the Levant (JSIL) if you will:

"From what sections of the Jewish community in Palestine were the gangsters drawn? Under what guise did they masquerade as a cover to their other activities. My Hadera informants gave me varied answers. Many of the gangsters, they told me, had come from the [Zionist] colonies themselves. They were potential criminal types who had avoided joining the armed forces in 1940 and had managed to resist Zionist pressure to enrol at the recruiting centres set up in the following months. These youths, ironically enough already trained in self-defence, found it an easy matter to work out operations for attack. They formed themselves into self-contained gangs. Then, not as individual members but as units, they allied themselves with Stern. Not all the gangsters however were ex-colonists. A large proportion came from the ranks of the unemployed - pitiful groups of derelict young Jews who between the beginning of the war and the opening of War Department installations in Palestine roamed the streets of Tel Aviv and Haifa, penniless and starving. They had provided ripe material for militant propagandists. Yet other members of the gangs, neither colonists nor unemployed, believed in terrorism as their national creed. They were fascists culled from various sections of the Jewish community - sons of wealthy families, clerks, shop assistants, waiters, factory hands, labourers." (Reporting from Palestine: 1943-1944, 2008, p 34)

I was reminded of Board's description by the words of Australia's national counter-terrorism co-ordinator, Greg Moriarty, writing on the subject of so-called 'lone wolf' terrorism, linked to (or inspired by, however tenuously in same cases) today's Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL):

"For some, the attraction is ideological and absolute. They believe in a narrow and extreme interpretation of Islam where there can be no compromise with the West or with other Muslims who do not accept the righteousness of ISIL's cause and submit to its will. But we also face another challenge from those who are not necessarily deeply committed to and engaged with the Islamist ideology but are nonetheless, due to a range of reasons, including mental health issues, susceptible to being motivated and lured rapidly down a dangerous path by the terrorist narrative. For some of these people, the warped views which ISIL propagates can, to their own distorted way of thinking, justify their anger at society and give meaning to their existence." (Security threat review, David Wroe, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/7/16)

[*For an account of the Stern Gang's terror campaign in Britain see my 6/7/12 post Anyone Remember the Stern Gang's London Offensive?]

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Whited Sepulchres

Not one, not two, but three Zionist lobbyists in three days in the mainstream press. Top that!

And all pointing the finger at, and pontificating on, the likes of Pauline Hanson, Sonia Kruger and 'Islamism', while of course ignoring the evils of the apartheid state, the defence of which is their real shtick.

Never has Matthew 23:27 seemed more appropriate: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

1) The Executive Council of Australian Jewry's Peter Wertheim:

"Hanson has often denied that her views and her party's policies have anything to do with racism and bigotry, but it is difficult to see how else one can characterise her numerous public pronouncements attributing negative behaviour and traits to groups of people on account of their ethnic or religious background..." (Perils of Pauline far from unique, The Australian, 18/7/16)

You mean like the numerous public pronouncements attributing negative behaviour and traits to Palestinian Arabs regularly heard in Israel?

2) The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council's Colin Rubenstein:

"This ideology is best described as Islamism, a violent, totalitarian ideology which argues all political and social problems can be resolved by returning to an imagined version of the Islamic caliphate which existed in the time of the prophet. This ideology is a political belief system - like communism or fascism - and not at all the same as the religion, Islam." (Let's speak clearly on Islamism, Sydney Morning Herald, 20/7/16)

You mean like political Zionism, a violent, totalitarian ideology which argues all political and social problems can be resolved for Jews by returning to an imagined version of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah which existed in the Iron Age?

3) The Australia/ Israel & Jewish Affairs Council's Mark Leibler:

"As a person of the Jewish faith, racism and its consequences are etched into my soul. Racism robs a people of their choices and opportunities, their homes, their livelihoods and their sense of confidence and security." (Lurches to the right reveal racism is the problem, not the solution, The Australian, 20/7/16)*

You mean like Zionist apartheid robs the Palestinian people of their choices and opportunities, their homes, their livelihoods, and indeed their very lives?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How France 'Shaped' Modern Syria

The following understatement is a classic of its kind:

"'We tend to forget that history is still important,' said Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic Studies and International Studies in Washington. 'France is the country that shaped modern Syria... " (France's colonial history puts it in the sights of terrorists, Julian E. Barnes & Matthew Dalton, The Wall Street Journal/ The Australian, 18/7/16)

France "shaped" Syria.

Before France, Syria was without form and void. After France, hey presto, Syria! (Trot out that mocking line: What did the Romans France ever do for us?)

So how did La Belle France "shape" Syria?

As follows:

1) In the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, France (& Britain) decided to chop up Greater Syria (today's Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan) with Syria and Lebanon going to France, and Palestine and Transjordan to Britain. (Of course, the British had already promised, in 1915, that most of Greater Syria would become part of an independent Arab nation.)

2) At the San Remo Conference of 1920, under the pretext of 'accepting' a League of Nations' 'mandate', France declared its intention to take control of Greater Syria (minus the British bits). This was despite the existence of a popular, constitutional Arab monarchy under King Faisal based in Damascus. Syrian resistance was promptly smashed by a vastly superior French force at the Battle of Maysalun, and Faisal was forced to flee. General Gourard, the 'hero' of Maysalun, reportedly kicked the tomb of Saladin in Damascus, and said, Wake up, Saladin. We have returned. My presence here consecrates the victory of the Cross over the Crescent.

3) Gourard then tore off Mount Lebanon, adding to it the coastal cities of Tyre, Beirut and Tripoli, and the inland Biqa Valley, and proclaimed the new entity Greater Lebanon (Grand Liban).

4) With Palestine and Transjordan already hacked from the bleeding corpse of Greater Syria, and Lebanon likewise, Gourard then set about slicing what was left of it into statelets: the state of Damascus; the government of Aleppo; the autonomous Alawite district; and the autonomous Mountain of the Druzes.

5) A nationalist uprising (1925-26) was brutally quelled, with French forces shelling Damascus twice. Thousands of Syrians died in the process.

6) In 1939, France cut off  the northern Syrian province of Hatay, handing it to the Turks to keep them sweet during World War II.

That, in brief, is how La Belle France "shaped" Syria.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Now I Get It

From the long-suppressed - December 2002 - missing 28 pages of the US Congressional Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before & After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001:

"20. Finding: While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support and assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. There is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of these individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers. The Joint Inquiry's review confirmed that the Intelligence Community also has information, much of which has yet to be independently verified, indicating that individuals associated with the Saudi Government in the United States may have other ties to al-Qa'ida and other terrorist groups. The FBI and CIA have informed the Joint Inquiry that, since the September 11 attacks, they are treating the Saudi issue seriously, but both still have only a limited understanding of the Saudi Government's ties to terrorist elements. In their testimony, neither CIA nor FBI witnesses were able to identify definitively the extent of Saudi support for terrorist activity globally or within the United States and the extent to which such support, if it exists, is knowing or inadvertent in nature. The FBI's Washington Field Office created a squad devoted to... [redaction]. Only recently, and at least in part due to the Joint Inquiry's focus on this issue, did the FBI and CIA establish a working group to address the Saudi issue. In the view of the Joint Inquiry, this gap in US intelligence coverage is unacceptable, given the magnitude and immediacy of the potential risk to US national security."

Oh... so that's why the United States took on Saudi Arabia Iraq in 2003. Now I get it.