Tag Archives | Middle East

Synopsis of Our Present Predicament: What the Future Holds

via chycho

refugees

In short, the main problem with our society is that our education system is designed to instill obedience, and it has done so extremely well. We have willingly consumed propaganda to the point where our hypnosis has turned us into servants of totalitarian regimes:

“The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin uses the term inverted totalitarianism in his book Democracy Incorporated to describe our political system. In inverted totalitarianism, the sophisticated technologies of corporate control, intimidation, and mass manipulation, which far surpass those employed by previous totalitarian states, are effectively masked by the glitter, noise, and abundance of a consumer society.”

Bill Hicks – JFK

Further information on the JFK assassination at: “Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City”, and “The Death Of John Kennedy: The Media helped sell the lie of the lone assassin”.

We have allowed poverty and inequality to flourish by believing in Wall Street’s mantra, practicing accounting magic of indefinite growth, and normalizing scarcity based economics.

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The Truth About Conspiracy Theories Is That Some Require Considering

Seal of the Islamic State in Iraq and the LevantAs an example of a conspiracy theory that he deems worthy of consideration, Patrick Cockburn writes at The Independent “For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war?”:

The Greeks tell a story against themselves about their tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. They relate how God decided that he would give every nation as a gift a special national characteristic. On the appointed day, representatives of the nations of the world entered the divine presence and were handed their gifts. The Americans received optimism, the French elegance, the British stoicism, the Russians courage, the Iranians cunning, and so on.

The Greek delegation was delayed and arrived late just as the other nations were leaving. God apologised and explained to them that he was sorry but he had already given away the most desirable characteristics and there were none left. The Greeks were enraged and protested furiously, shouting “so you too, God, have joined the plot against us as we always expected you would.

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Is the Media Selling or Telling: How Perception Management Works in Israel’s War on Gaza

Gz-mapThere is an art of war and there is an art to selling war–to one’s own people, and the world at large.

Israel is a master on both tracks. When we speak of the “only democracy” in the Middle East, it is often forgotten, perhaps deliberately, that a War or “Security” Cabinet runs the country. It is, and has been, in effect, a military regime with as many powerful religious fanatics as its Iranian nemesis.

Since proclaiming its “independence” in 1948, it has remained dependent on a large, now over $3 billion per annum and counting, “foreign aid” payment from the United States, far, far more than many poor countries that desperately need that aid but don’t get it.

Supplementing this subsidy, Israel has its own advanced military industrial and technology complex upgrading and customizing weaponry in military and aerospace industries.

Its current escalating war on Gaza is only the latest, following on the heels of seven “recognized” wars, two Palestinian intifadas, many reprisal operations and countless covert operations including interventions and assassinations.… Read the rest

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Back To Iraq, And Welcome To The Suicide State

Baghdad SignI feel like an Iraq war veteran not because I served in that still ongoing war.

No one thanked me for my service, and all praises be, I was not among those who were killed, wounded or traumatized on our side or theirs?

I was a veteran in the same sense that I was, as a journalist, for years, totally absorbed in the war from the building to the first shots fired and bombs dropped, as a daily blogger, a film maker that made WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception about the media war that was fought alongside the invasion and two books discussing that coverage in detail. Embedded (Prometheus Books, 2003) and When News Lies: Media Complicity and the Iraq War (Select Books, 2006). I later commented on the issues for Al Jazeera’s global website.

After such a deep immersion, I was burned out and delighted to focus on another issue, the war at home–the Financial Crisis.… Read the rest

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ISIS: More of a Corporation Than Gang of Brigands?

Territorial control of the ISIS

Territorial control of the ISIS

What The Media Misses: “The Barbarians Are At The Gates”

So writes Patrick Cockburn, the veteran Middle East correspondent for The Independent in London. A fierce critic of the US-British War on Iraq he is now urging the US and Iran to collaborate in stopping the ISIS or ISIL forces that are sweeping through Iraq, a country he loves more than any of the despotic politicians who have run it now or then.

The American media has taken up the cry—not for cooperation with Iran that has heartily denounced the latest round of US intervention in the country it warred with for seven years—but with lurid coverage of the force at first labeled “terrorists,” and now ”insurgents or just “militants.” The difference is that ISIS/ISIL seizes and holds territory operating like an army, not hit and run faction.

It is said to be connected to Al Qaeda but we don’t know how or if Qaeda still exists.… Read the rest

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Darwin Booking Flight To Middle East As Saudis Kiss Their Camels In Defiance Of MERS

You’ll get my camel when you pry its lips from my cold, dead MERS-infected mouth.

Saudi Arabia’s government issued a public health warning last week asking people to wear face masks and gloves around camels in order to halt the deadly surge in Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) cases.

International health experts believe camels are behind the spiraling infection rate of the disease, which has killed over 100 people in Saudi Arabia since it was discovered in the kingdom in 2012, according to NBC News.

But The Independent reports that the role of camels in the spread of the illness had been largely absent from debates inside Saudi Arabia.

With a strong historical attachment to their animals due to the kingdom’s nomadic past, some Saudi citizens have expressed disbelief and are posting photos of themselves on social media in very close contact with their camels.

via Saudis Kiss Their Camels In Defiance Of MERS Warning.… Read the rest

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KBR and Halliburton Can Be Sued For Iraq Toxic Burn Pits, Court Rules

PIC: PD

PIC: PD

A ray of light amongst a curtain of shadows.

Via CorpWatch

KBR and Halliburton – two major U.S. military contractors – can be sued for the health impacts of trash incineration on U.S. soldiers who served in the war in Iraq, according to a new court decision that allows a series of 57 lawsuits against the companies to go forward.

The two companies have been paid some $40 billion for services provided to troops serving in the U.S. War on Terror throughout Central Asia and the Middle East in countries ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq to Kuwait and Uzbekistan. (Most of the contracts were implemented by KBR which was a subsidiary of Halliburton until 2007 when it was spun off into a separate company)

Under the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract, KBR and Halliburton operated ten acre wide burn pits 24 hours a day on U.S. military bases throughout Iraq until the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act officially banned them.

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The Secret US Banking Operations That Fund Suicide Bombers

r_suicide_bomber1Good to see rising tech website Pando Daily veering into more general news following its acquisition of Paul Carr’s NSFW Corp. Here Adam Penenberg looks at a New York lawyer’s 10-year battle against the “cash for suicide bombing” industry:

The day before he blew himself up, Bassam Jamal Darwish al-Takruri wore a freshly ironed white shirt, blazer, and shiny shoes, as if he were on his way to a job interview. As he was about to leave home for the last time, his father gave him 10 shekels in pocket money, apparently unaware of his son’s plans.

Takruri, who lived in Hebron, was 18, boyish, thin, and studious – he dreamed of becoming an engineer — with doleful eyes, scratchy eyebrows, and a high, arcing forehead. He traveled to a secret location to record a video announcing his intent to become a “martyr” and offering glory to Allah. “My dear father, my affectionate mother, my dear brothers and sisters, do not say we lost that who is gone,” he said.

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A Music Video From Egypt With a Message: ‘Some People Are Dancing And Others Are Dying…’

cairokeevia chycho I came across the following music video from Cairokee on the Egypt subReddit. I don’t speak Arabic so I had no idea what the lyricist was saying, but I found the tone to be extremely powerful and really wanted to know what the message was, so I asked if anyone could provide a translation. I received a personal message with a draft translation which I greatly appreciated. As well, another user was kind enough to post a more detailed translation to the subReddit. Below you will find the translation of the lyrics and the music video. I believe the message will resonate not just with those struggling in the Arab world to dispose of their oligarchs and dictators, but with everyone across the globe struggling for freedom, social justice, equality, dignity, human rights, and with those who oppose the system. كايروكي - ناس بترقص و ناس بتموت Cairokee – “Some people are dancing and others are dying”
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The Blind Alley of J Street and Liberal American Zionism

J Street logoSince its founding six years ago, J Street has emerged as a major Jewish organization under the banner “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace.” By now J Street is able to be a partial counterweight to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The contrast between the two U.S. groups is sometimes stark. J Street applauds diplomacy with Iran, while AIPAC works to undermine it. J Street encourages U.S. support for “the peace process” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, while AIPAC opposes any meaningful Israeli concessions. In the pressure cooker of Washington politics, J Street’s emergence has been mostly positive. But what does its motto “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” really mean?

That question calls for grasping the context of Zionism among Jews in the United States — aspects of history, largely obscured and left to archives, that can shed light on J Street’s current political role. Extolling President Obama’s policies while urging him to intensify efforts to resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, the organization has staked out positions apt to sound humanistic and fresh.… Read the rest

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