domingo, 15 de abril de 2018

HYPOCRITES USA & UK & France vs Peace & Common Sense

Russians warn about the danger of covering up

“Big noise on the stairs, but nobody comes into the room,” runs an old Chinese saying. This is an apt description of the very limited airstrikes on Syria launched by the US, Britain and France overnight, which came after apocalyptic tweets from President Trump and threats of military retaliation by Russian diplomats.
In the event, the fears of a “Russian-American clash” and runaway confrontation leading to a “third world war” have turned out to be overblown. They did not look quite so exaggerated earlier in the week when Trump tweeted about US missiles: “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart’.”
The Russians hinted that their retaliation might include American targets.
Of all the options available, the US-led coalition chose the one involving minimal action and geared not to provoke Russia or Iran. This was a one-off attack on three suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities, one in Damascus and two west of Homs. It was more of a gesture of disapproval than an attempt to damage President Bashar al-Assad’s military machine. Hours after the missiles had struck, his supporters were understandably demonstrating their defiance in the centre of Damascus.
Trump, reportedly under pressure from his military chiefs, may have chosen the most cautious option, but in fact there were no good options. Assad has all but won the civil war. Even if it was possible to weaken him, this might present opportunities to Isis and al-Qaeda, which are battered but not entirely out of business.
The attacks may or may not deter Assad from using poison gas in the future, but they will not change the balance of power against him. Chemical weapons are only a small part of his arsenal and have played only a minor military role in the war. Out of the half million Syrians who have died in the conflict over the last seven years, just 1,900 are estimated to have been killed by chemical weapons, and there is no proof that they have been used by Assad's military..
Yet the military balance of power really has changed in Syria over the last week, although the reason for this has largely passed unnoticed internationally because of the focus on the gas attack in Douma and its consequences. The big development is that Douma, the last armed opposition stronghold in Eastern Ghouta, surrendered to the Syrian armed forces on 8 April. The remaining Jaysh al-Islam fighters have been taken by bus to Turkish-held territory in northern Syria during the course of the week. This is Assad’s greatest victory of the war, surpassing in importance even the recapture of East Aleppo at the end of 2016.
The Syrian army began its so-called Rif Dimashq offensive against the towns and villages of Eastern Ghouta on 20 February. For seven years, the survival of this opposition enclave in east Damascus had been a sign that Assad did not control all of his own country. There were rebels within mortar range of the heart of his own capital who regularly bombarded the Old City. In the past there were other such opposition enclaves, but they have fallen one by one.
Eastern Ghouta had a population of 400,000 and was partly agricultural so could feed itself to some degree. It was at first blockaded rather than besieged, with supplies coming in through a vast tunnel network and permissive or corrupt government checkpoints.
But in the last year the government has closed entry and exit through its checkpoints and has blocked the tunnels. Inhabitants started to suffer from an acute shortage of food, fuel and medical supplies. The scarcity got worse when the government began its offensive in February. Much of the population took refuge in basements where they could only see in the dark by using small torches. Those who lived there complained of the lack of fresh water and food, the stench because of broken sewage pipes and the presence of venomous scorpions.
Let's not forget that in 1998, Bill Clinton, to create discretion from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, stroke the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, which he salsely claimed produced VX nerve gas for bin Laden. The US wiped out Sudan's supply of veterinary drugs, including one crucial in preventing spread of parasites to children. It was State terror, then and again.
If, this time, the White Helmets are not lying, and Syrian government used chlorine gas in Douma, it was certainly because of its frustration at the actions of part of Jaysh al-Islam, the Saudi-backed terrorist movement active in the city. And if the Syrian government’s purpose in launching a chemical weapons attack was to force the final surrender of the Douma terrorists, then it succeeded. Within hours of it happening, Russian military police moved into Douma to supervise the departure of rebel fighters and to suppress looting by government forces. On 12 April, the Syrian national flag was finally raised over a building in central Douma and the long siege was over.
And the population was cheering the military, not hiding from them.

Roger Waters on White Helmets in Syria

Israel: white phosphorus in Gaza
Oh, the hypocrisy of it. The ignoble aims. The distraction. The outrageous lies and excuses.
Trump telephoned Macron, when Theresa May thought she’d won his hand. What is this nonsense?
Macron has now hitched his own wagon to the Saudis against Iranian “expansionism” – and no doubt arms sales to the Kingdom have something to do with it. But how sad that the desire of young French presidents to act like Napoleon (I can think of a few others) means that they devote themselves to joining in a war, rather than pleading against it.
Now we have Western spokespersons and ministers raging about the need to prevent the “normalisation” of chemical warfare, to prevent it becoming a part of ordinary warfare, a return to the terrible days of the First World War.
This does not mean any excuses for the Syrian government – though I suspect, having seen Russia’s Syrian involvement with my own eyes, that Putin might have been getting impatient about ending the war and wanted to eradicate those in the last tunnels of Douma rather than wait through more weeks of fighting. Remember the cruelty of Grozny.
But we all know the problems of proof when it comes to chemicals and gas. Like depleted uranium – which Western countries used to use in our munitions – it doesn’t, like a shell fragment or a bomb casing, leave a tell-tale hunk of metal with an address on it. 
But it’s a different war that I’m remembering today. It’s the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988, when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. When the Iranians re-crossed their own border and stormed into Iraq years later, Saddam used gas on thousands of Iranian soldiers – and civilians, for there were nurses and doctors at the war front.
Funny how we forget this now. We don’t talk about it. We have forgotten all about it. Talk about the “normalisation” of chemical warfare – this was it!
But in our desire to concentrate minds on Syria, we’re not mentioning the Iran gassings – Iran being another one of our present-day enemies, of course – and this may be because of our lack of official memory.
More likely it’s because of what happened: the institutionalisation of chemical warfare, the use of chemicals by Saddam who was then an ally of the West and of all the Gulf Sunni states, our frontline Sunni hero. The thousands of Iranian soldiers who were to die were referred to on Iraqi radio after they crossed the frontier. The “Persian insects” had crossed the border, it announced. And that’s how they were treated.
For the precursors for the Iraqi gas came largely from the United States – one from New Jersey –  and US military personnel later visited the battlefront without making any comments about the chemicals which were sold to the Iraqi regime, of course, for “agricultural” purposes. That’s how to deal with insects, is it not?
Yet not a soul today is mentioning this terrible war, which was fought with our total acquiescence. It’s almost an “exclusive” to mention the conflict at all, so religiously have we forgotten it. That was the real “normalisation”, and we allowed it to happen. Religious indeed, for it was the first great battle of the Sunni-Shia war of our time. But it was real.
Of the thousands of Iranians who were asphyxiated, a few survivors were even sent to British hospitals for treatment. I travelled with others on a military train through the desert to Tehran, the railway compartments packed with unsmiling young men who coughed mucus and blood into white bandages as they read miniature Korans.
They had blisters on their skin and, horrifically, more blisters on top of the first blisters. Whoever wrote articles about this obscenity were told that the articles were “not helpful”.
No such discretion today. No fear of being out to get Saddam then – because in those days, of course, the good guys were using the chemicals. Don’t we remember the Kurds of Halabja who were gassed by Saddam, with gas which the CIA told its officers to claim was used by the Iranians?
For this war crime, Saddam should have been tried along with Western leaders who had sold him the poison. But he was hanged for a smaller massacre with conventional weapons – because the USA and the UK didn’t want him exposing his gas warfare partners in an open court.
So there we are. In London, Theresa May held a “war cabinet”, for heaven’s sakes, as if British losses were mounting on the Somme in 1916, or Dorniers were flying out of occupied France to blitz London in 1940.
People should be more worried about what happens if Trump does turn away from the Iran nuclear deal.
This is a very bad moment in Middle East history – and, as usual, it is the Palestinians - who have been victims of  Israel's chemical weapons - who will, once again, suffer; their own tragedy utterly forgotten amid this madness.
So , Trump, May, Macron, you want to go to “war”, do you?
And how do we all get out of this war once you have started it?
Any plans, anyone?
What if there’s a gigantic screw-up, which wars do tend to usually produce? What happens then?
Well, I guess Russia comes to the rescue, just as it did against the Nazis and for Obama when gas was used for the first time in the Syrian war the United States and Israel fabricated from day one.

Althoug the Pentagon lied that zero of its missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defense. Multiple videos suggest otherwise. Syrian air defences intercepted 71 of 103 missiles fired by USA/France/UK. Good publicity for Russian weaponry.
As for Trump&May&Macron attacks themselves, Putin had warned that there would be “consequences” for the US-led airstrikes on Syria, with a high-ranking Russian politician comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. In a strongly worded statement, Russia’s ambassador to the United States described the air strikes, carried out jointly by the USA, France and the UK, as a direct threat to Moscow and said insulting President Vladimir Putin was “unacceptable and inadmissible”. We are being threatened,” said ambassador Anatoly Antonov. “We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.”
Antonov accused the US of hypocrisy, saying it had “no moral right to blame other countries” when it was in possession of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons in the world.
Which is true.
It is quite wrong to argue that these attacks are the price of non-intervention. In fact, foreign military intervention from all sides, mostly from the United States and England arming and supporting self called "rebels" and the suspicious White Helmets has only served to deepen and prolong the war in Syria rather than 

backing the gung-ho foreign policy of the inflammatory US President, France and England should be seeking political and diplomatic solutions to the tragic situation in Syria, and to avoid anything that can escalate further the conflict in the region.
Before the Attack the USA, Britain and France made the case for military action against Syria at a UN security council meeting on Friday. However, Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the three countries had ulterior motives and just wanted to “oust the Syrian government and to deter, contain the Russian Federation.
Which is true. However, from the rallies of solidarity with the Syrian Army that we have seen in Syria yesterday, the USA strike was hailed as a Victory by Damascus since the Syrian military's losses were almost negligible. If anything Assad just got a boost to his support base.
There can be no justification for chemical weapon attacks, or for the despicable bombing which targets civilians as we have seen Israel doing, repeatedly, in Palestine, without any retaliation from Western powers.
What happened in Douma is tragic, but further military intervention is not the solution and can only extend the appalling suffering of the people of Syria. Further chaos in the Middle East is the last thing the world needs.
And besides the risk spreading the war across the Middle East there is the frightening possibility of direct confrontation between nuclear armed powers. 


This is what happens at the protest camp when the IDF isn’t shooting — and when the world isn’t looking: 

Thousands demonstrated at Gaza border in ‘Burn Israeli Flags’ again Friday. And for the third consecutive Friday, Deema Abu Sharekh preferred to spend her school weekend participating in the weekly march east of Gaza city instead of entertaining herself with friends and neighbors in the Shejaiya neighborhood, which suffered dozens of deaths and widespread destruction during the 50-day conflict between Israel and Gaza in 2014. The 7-year-old, blonde and rosy-cheeked due to the sun, arrived at the rally with her dad at noon and went to ‘Malaka’; one of four other protest locations along the Gaza-Israeli border, which is set to end in mid-May on the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, in which nearly 700,000 Palestinians were displaced from their original villages by Israeli forces in 1948 war. “I came today for the third time, to tell the Israeli soldiers that if my grandfather was unable to return to Al-Majdal, [where the Israeli city of Ashkelon now stands] then my father will do it, and if my father fails, I will return one day over there,” Deema said. “I do not know anything about Al-Majdal, but my grandfather and dad say it is our original town and I am not afraid of these gas bombs or bullets. Today I will not let the Israelis stop me from return,” she said while holding a poster reading: “I am a child of Al-Majdal“.

As manifestações na Faixa de Gaza são contra o sítio em curso, mas também para o "direito de retorno" dos refugiados e seus descendentes ao que hoje é Israel. A terceira das planejadas seis semanas de marchas estava agendada hoje com o tema de queimar amplamente a bandeira de Israel e levantar a bandeira palestina na cerca da fronteira para protestar contra a limpeza étnica que Israel está executando na Palestina.
Desde o início dos protestos da Grande Marcha de Retorno, os soldados de Israel mataram 31 palestinos e feriram mais de 2.700, incluindo cinco jornalistas locais. Um deles, Yasser Murtaja, que usava o colete que claramente o identificava como jornalista, foi baleado no dia 6 de abril e morreu no dia seguinte.
Por que os soldados de Israel foram instruídos a atirar nas costas, para matar ou aleijar adolescentes fugindo da cerca, jornalistas, camponeses e manifestantes desarmados? Será que o estado mais militarizados do oriente tem medo de uma simples marcha pacífica? Tem.  Os regimes colonialistas expõem sua fraqueza ao usarem violência crua contra os povos indígenas.
Quando os colonizadores estão em controle, conseguem manter a fachada de "estado democrático" (embora sejam tudo menos isso). Israel está temendo o que todos os projetos coloniais temem - o  questionamento de sua legitimidade, e os protestos em massa na Faixa de Gaza mostram que Israel não é um estado legítimo e sim colonial, construído sobre um genocídio (massacres, expulsão forçada, roubo de terras ) dos donos legítimos do país, os palestinos.
O projeto sionista de desapropriação da Palestina começou no final de 1800 na Europa Ocidental através de uma ideologia da supremacia branca, arquitetada primeiro por Herzl e depois por Jabotinsky. Em 1948, 78% das terras palestinas foram violentamente colonizadas para criar o chamado Estado de Israel. Em 1967, os 22% restantes (a Cisjordânia e Gaza) foram invadidos e ocupados. A população de Gaza é, em sua maioria, de refugiados da terra palestina histórica que foi colonizada em 1948 e novamente em 1967. Alguns gazauís foram feitos refugiados por Israel várias vezes. O roubo de terras continuou na Cisjordânia, no deserto de Naqab, outras partes do que agora é chamado Israel, e ocupou Al Quds (Jerusalém) até hoje. E está em andamento um plano de demolição de toda a cidadezinha beduína de Umm al-Hiran entre os dias 15 e 29 de abril a fim de construir, sobre os escombros, uma colônia judia ilegal. Há também um projeto de construção de 1.600 novas unidades de colônia a nordeste de Al Quds. Apenas nesta semana, colonos armados forçaram os agricultores palestinos a deixar suas terras em Al Khader (ao sul de Beit Lahem (Belém)). A lista continua e continua. A Nakba não terminou. Está em marcha até a limpeza étnica total. O que resta da Palestina para os palestinos é apenas cerca de 4% da Palestina histórica que supostamente está sob controle palestino. E mesmo nesses 4%, os palestinos não têm soberania. Eles estão sujeitos a ataques militares, prisão de líderes políticos, nenhum controle do espaço aéreo, nenhum controle de direitos minerais ou de água e sob o controle de checkpoints que monitoram e cerceiam o movimento de palestinos dentro e fora desta área de 4% que já está dividida em pequenos guetos. E os palestinos deslocados internamente que vivem em condições de apartheid no que hoje é chamado de Israel são tratados da mesma forma.

While Palestinian journalists are shot dead
wearing bullet proof vests Inside Gaza,
their Israeli counterparts can work unprotected
because Gaza's is really a peaceful event
repressed by the rogue Israely army. 
A Faixa de Gaza tem estado sob bloqueio israelense por terra, naval e fome por 11 anos. Isso impede que alimentos, remédios e materiais de reconstrução entrem no enclave que já foi militarmente invadido por Israel quatro vezes nos últimos 12 anos - em 2006, 2009, 2012 e 2014. Durante a invasão de 2014, mais de 2.200 palestinos em Gaza foram mortos, mais de 11.000 ficaram feridos, mais de 500.000 pessoas foram deslocadas das 11.000 casas  destruídas.
Hoje, 96 por cento do abastecimento de água de Gaza é insalubre. Os moradores recebem energia por cerca de três horas por dia. 80 por cento da população vive na pobreza. As taxas de desemprego são superiores a 40% (as mais altas do mundo) e a taxa de insegurança alimentar é de cerca de 50%. O sistema de saúde está próximo do colapso. 40% das crianças sofrem de anemia e desnutrição.
Por que o cerco a Gaza foi tão brutal e, ao mesmo tempo, quase invisível para o Ocidente (exceto quando seus aspectos mais notórios penetram na consciência ocidental)? Porque vidas negras e marrons não importam muito para os governos dos EUA e da Europa, contanto que essas pessoas negras e marrons morram em silêncio. Os palestinos se tornam visíveis quando morrem ou são baleados em grande número porque ignorar um massacre ofende as sensibilidades ocidentais de quererem parecer "justos" e, mesmo assim, os relatos na mídia de mortes e feridos são na voz passiva e desumanizam, além de amenizarem os crimes de guerra que Israel comete.

Os manifestantes palestinos "morrem em confrontos" em vez de assassinados por um Estado ilegítimo que os concentra na maior prisão do planeta, em violação direta do direito internacional. Ou então os palestinos são citados na imprensa, quando se defendem, de “militantes” (algo que os governos ocidentais e especialmente os regimes colonialistas e imperialistas abominam). Robert F. Williams, um líder do movimento de libertação dos negros, disse que o "militante é um 'militante' porque ele se defende, sua família, seu lar e sua dignidade. Ele não introduz a violência em um sistema social equilibrado - a violência já existe e sempre esteve lá. É precisamente essa violência incontestada que permite que o sistema social racista se perpetue ".
Embora o governo de Israel queira que o mundo acredite que é a resistência palestina que é o problema, considere isto: a resistência palestina incluiu historicamente a não-cooperação, protestos, greves de trabalho, boicotes, greves de fome e resistência armada aos militares e aos colonos. . No deserto de Naqab, os beduínos palestinos protestaram sem violência contra o roubo de suas terras por décadas, e continuam sendo violentamente removidos dela por Israel, quase invisivelmente para o resto do mundo.
Nos EUA e na Europa, estão legislando de maneira a proibir até de falar sobre a ilegitimidade de Israel e para punir legalmente aqueles que se engajem na campanha de boicote, desinvestimento e sanção. A resposta do opressor a todas as formas legítimas de resistência em qualquer nível, desde a liberdade de expressão, a uma criança que joga pedras para defender-se de um tanque, a protestos em massa, boicotes à luta armada, sempre foi a mesma - calculada, brutal e impiedosa. Não há nada que Israel não faça para impedir qualquer tipo de resistência palestina. A Política do Punho de Ferro é um exemplo perfeito - incluía quebrar os ossos das mãos das crianças palestinas que atirassem pedras durante a Primeira Intifada. Para Israel, o problema não é como os palestinos resistem e sim que eles resistam, simplesmente.
E que não venham com a estória que o problema é de um governo reacionário e não de uma população progressista. Os israelenses votam em massa durante as eleições. As políticas violentas, repressivas, ilegais e racistas do governo de Netanyahu têm apoio maciço em Israel. A violência estatal em curso contra os palestinos testemunhada pelo mundo prova que a maioria de sua população de colonos apoia.
O fato de os palestinos receberem atenção da comunidade internacional é certamente um passo na direção certa, mas o movimento de protesto sozinho não resolverá os problemas do colonialismo na Palestina histórica. Uma ativista palestina lembra: "Assata Shakur disse uma vez: "Ninguém no mundo, ninguém na história, nunca conseguiu sua liberdade apelando para o senso moral das pessoas que os oprimem". E quem quer tenha conhecimento prático de história anticolonial mais profunda do que a versão Hollywoodiana- Ben Kingsley de Gandhi sabe disso. Como todos os povos indígenas que resistiram historicamente ao colonialismo, para que os palestinos se safem, será necessário que todos os tipos de resistência trabalhem em paralelo".
Quanto à atual Marcha de Retorno, os palestinos sabem que a atenção das platéias ocidentais é curta. A cobertura da mídia dada ao sofrimento de seu povo acabará daqui a pouco (já divide a atenção com as distrações Netanyahu/Trump na Síria) e Israel voltará a expandir seu projeto colonial em Jerusalém, na Naqab e no resto da Palestina histórica. “Acredito que precisamos da resistência palestina armada para tornar os assentamentos em expansão inóspitos aos colonos. Ninguém quer viver em zona de guerra se não precisar, e os colonos não precisam. Eles têm escolha entre viver tranquilos em seu país ou em sobressalto em terra alheia. A resistência armada é uma das poucas formas de resistência que já demonstrou desacelerar o projeto de assentamento, que é a violência real que está lenta e metodicamente matando nosso povo”, disse a jovem ativista.
E Israel não constitui um problema apenas para os palestinos. Colonizou a Palestina, mas também vem se envolvendo na opressão de outros povos no mundo todo. Seus setores de “segurança” e tecnologia têm uma longa história de apoio a regimes repressivos nas Américas Central e do Sul (inclusive o nosso governo ilegítimo), desenvolvendo políticas e formas de tecnologia altamente repressivas e treinando a polícia de vários países da América, sobretudo dos EUA.
O que podem fazer os ocidentais que se preocupam com o que está acontecendo em Gaza podem fazer? Entregue-se à sua humanidade.
O projeto colonial na Palestina histórica, como todos os projetos coloniais, é um beco sem saída. Não há humanidade nisso. Não há como torná-lo "mais justo". Será sempre injusto. Para os palestinos terem justiça, eles têm de recuperar seu território nas fronteiras de 1967. Todos os palestinos sabem disso e Israel também, e é por isso que Tel Aviv tenta evitar essa discussão atirando em manifestantes desarmados, jornalistas e camponeses.
Para quem diz que os fatos no terreno tornam a descolonização na Palestina impossível, lembre-se que os franceses pensavam o mesmo na Argélia. Charles de Gaulle disse que “a Argélia sempre será francesa”, porém com coragem e firmeza em muitas formas de resistência (incluindo a resistência armada apoiada popularmente) o povo argelino livrou-se do colonialismo francês. O "sempre"  de De Gaulle terminou em 1962.
“Em última análise, o povo palestino se libertará, cedo ou tarde, mas os na comunidade internacional que estão horrorizados  com os recentes acontecimentos em Gaza, ainda podem fazer sua parte”, concluiu a ativista gazauí. “Se você rejeitar a supremacia das superpotências e importar-se com a justiça, deve rejeitar a legitimidade de Israel como estado colonialista e apoiar o movimento BDS de boicote, desinvestimento e sanções contra Israel. Apoie o direito do povo palestino de recuperar seu território nas fronteiras de 1967; apoie o direito dos refugiados palestinos de, finalmente, voltarem para casa e, nas palavras de Malcolm X, apoie o direito do povo palestino de resistir “por todo meio necessário”."

Apartheid Adventures


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