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Friday, January 30, 2015

The U.S, Israel and the Palestinians - The Unvarnished truth

Nightmare in Gaza:

“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs... Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

“Actually—and this was where I began to feel seriously uncomfortable—some such divine claim underlay not just 'the occupation' but the whole idea of a separate state for Jews in Palestine. Take away the divine warrant for the Holy Land and where were you, and what were you? Just another land-thief like the Turks or the British, except that in this case you wanted the land without the people. And the original Zionist slogan—'a land without a people for a people without a land'—disclosed its own negation when I saw the densely populated Arab towns dwelling sullenly under Jewish tutelage. You want irony? How about Jews becoming colonizers at just the moment when other Europeans had given up on the idea?” 
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

“People who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction.” 
― Noam Chomsky

“Israel's demonstration of its military prowess in 1967 confirmed its status as a 'strategic asset,' as did its moves to prevent Syrian intervention in Jordan in 1970 in support of the PLO. Under the Nixon doctrine, Israel and Iran were to be 'the guardians of the Gulf,' and after the fall of the Shah, Israel's perceived role was enhanced. Meanwhile, Israel has provided subsidiary services elsewhere, including Latin America, where direct US support for the most murderous regimes has been impeded by Congress. While there has been internal debate and some fluctuation in US policy, much exaggerated in discussion here, it has been generally true that US support for Israel's militarization and expansion reflected the estimate of its power in the region.

The effect has been to turn Israel into a militarized state completely dependent on US aid, willing to undertake tasks that few can endure, such as participation in Guatemalan genocide. For Israel, this is a moral disaster and will eventually become a physical disaster as well. For the Palestinians and many others, it has been a catastrophe, as it may sooner or later be for the entire world, with the growing danger of superpower confrontation.” 
― Noam Chomsky

"Israel rejects a settlement of these terms and for many years has been devoting extensive resources to ensuring it will not be implemented with the unremitting and decisive support of the United States — military, economic, diplomatic and ideological."


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Today we spend the hour with Professor Noam Chomsky, world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author. He’s Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he’s taught for more than half a century. In October, more than 800 people packed the hall of the U.N. General Assembly to see Noam Chomsky—ambassadors and the public alike from around the world. The event was hosted by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Professor Chomsky gave a major address, and I followed with a public interview. First, the speech.
NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s a pleasure to be here to be able to talk with you and discuss with you afterwards.
Many of the world’s problems are so intractable that it’s hard to think of ways even to take steps towards mitigating them. The Israel-Palestine conflict is not one of these. On the contrary, the general outlines of a diplomatic solution have been clear for at least 40 years. Not the end of the road—nothing ever is—but a significant step forward. And the obstacles to a resolution are also quite clear.
The basic outlines were presented here in a resolution brought to the U.N. Security Council in January 1976. It called for a two-state settlement on the internationally recognized border—and now I’m quoting—"with guarantees for the rights of both states to exist in peace and security within secure and recognized borders." The resolution was brought by the three major Arab states: Egypt, Jordan, Syria—sometimes called the "confrontation states." Israel refused to attend the session. The resolution was vetoed by the United States. A U.S. veto typically is a double veto: The veto, the resolution is not implemented, and the event is vetoed from history, so you have to look hard to find the record, but it is there. That has set the pattern that has continued since. The most recent U.S. veto was in February 2011—that’s President Obama—when his administration vetoed a resolution calling for implementation of official U.S. policy opposition to expansion of settlements. And it’s worth bearing in mind that expansion of settlements is not really the issue; it’s the settlements, unquestionably illegal, along with the infrastructure projects supporting them.
For a long time, there has been an overwhelming international consensus in support of a settlement along these general lines. The pattern that was set in January 1976 continues to the present. Israel rejects a settlement of these terms and for many years has been devoting extensive resources to ensuring that it will not be implemented, with the unremitting and decisive support of the United States—military, economic, diplomatic and indeed ideological—by establishing how the conflict is viewed and interpreted in the United States and within its broad sphere of influence.
There’s no time here to review the record, but its general character is revealed by a look at what has happened in Gaza in the past decade, carrying forward a long history of earlier crimes. Last August, August 26th, a ceasefire was reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. And the question on all our minds is: What are the prospects for the future? Well, one reasonable way to try to answer that question is to look at the record. And here, too, there is a definite pattern: A ceasefire is reached; Israel disregards it and continues its steady assault on Gaza, including continued siege, intermittent acts of violence, more settlement and development projects, often violence in the West Bank; Hamas observes the ceasefire, as Israel officially recognizes, until some Israeli escalation elicits a Hamas response, which leads to another exercise of "mowing the lawn," in Israeli parlance, each episode more fierce and destructive than the last.
The first of the series was the Agreement on Movement and Access in November 2005. I’ll give a close paraphrase of it. It called for a crossing between Gaza and Egypt at Rafah for the export of goods and the transit of people, continuous operation of crossings between Israel and Gaza for the import and export of goods and the transit of people, reduction of obstacles to movement within the West Bank, bus and truck convoys between the West Bank and Gaza, the building of a seaport in Gaza, the reopening of the airport in Gaza that Israel had recently destroyed. These are essentially the terms of successive ceasefires, including the one just reached a few weeks ago.
The timing of the November 2005 agreement is significant. This was the moment of Israel’s disengagement, as it’s called, from Gaza—the removal of several thousand Israeli settlers from Gaza. Now, this is depicted as a noble effort to seek peace and development, but the reality is rather different. The reality was described, very quickly, by the Israeli official who was in charge of negotiating and implementing the ceasefire, Dov Weissglas, close confidant of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. As he explained to the Israeli press, the goal of the disengagement—I’m quoting him—was "the freezing of the peace process," so as to "prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state" and to ensure that diplomacy "has been removed indefinitely from our agenda."
The reality on the ground is described by Israel’s leading specialists on the occupation—a historian, respected historian Idith Zertal, Israel’s leading diplomatic correspondent Akiva Eldar, wrote the major book, the standard work on the settlement project, called Lords of the Land, referring to the settlers. What they say about the disengagement is this: They say, "the ruined territory"—and by then, it was ruined, largely part of the reason for the removal of the settlers—"the ruined territory was not released for even a single day from Israel’s military grip, or from the price of the occupation that the inhabitants pay every day. After the disengagement, Israel left behind scorched earth, devastated services, and people with neither a present nor a future. The settlements were destroyed in an ungenerous move by an unenlightened occupier, which in fact continues to control the territory and to kill and harass its inhabitants by means of its formidable military might." Now, that’s an accurate description from the most respected Israeli source.
The Oslo Accords, 20 years ago, established that Gaza and the West Bank are an indivisible territorial unity, whose integrity cannot be broken up. For 20 years, the United States and Israel have been dedicated to separate Gaza and the West Bank in violation of the accords that they had accepted. And a look at the map explains why. Gaza offers the only access to the outside world of Palestine. If Gaza is separated from the West Bank, whatever autonomy might ultimately be granted in the West Bank would be imprisoned—Israel on one side, a hostile Jordan, ally of Israel, on the other side, and in addition, one of Israel’s slow and steady U.S.-backed policies is to take over the Jordan Valley, about a third of the West Bank, much of the arable land, which would essentially imprison the rest even more tightly, if Gaza is separated from the West Bank. Now, that’s the major geostrategic reason for the Israeli insistence, with U.S. backing, on separating the two in violation of the Oslo agreements and the series of ceasefires that have been reached since November 2005.
Well, the November 2005 agreement lasted for a few weeks. In January 2006, a very important event took place: the first full, free election in the Arab world, carefully monitored, recognized to be free and fair. It had one flaw. It came out the wrong way: Hamas won the Parliament, control of the Parliament. The U.S. and Israel didn’t want that. You may recall, at that period, the slogan on everyone’s lips was "democracy promotion." The highest U.S. commitment in the world was democracy promotion. Here was a good test. Democracy: Election came out the wrong way; the U.S. instantly decided, along with Israel, to punish the Palestinians for the crime of voting the wrong way; a harsh siege was instituted, other punishments; violence increased; the United States immediately began to organize a military coup to overthrow the unacceptable government. That’s quite familiar practice, I won’t go through the record. The European Union, to its shame and discredit, went along with this. There was an immediate Israeli escalation. That was the end of the November agreement, followed by major Israeli onslaughts.
In 2007, a year later, Hamas committed even a greater crime than winning a fair election: It preempted the planned military coup and took over Gaza. That’s described in the West, in the United States, most of the West, as Hamas’s taking over Gaza by force—which is not false, but something is omitted. The force was preempting a planned military coup to overthrow the elected government. Now, that was a serious crime. It’s bad enough to vote the wrong way in a free election, but to preempt a U.S.-planned military coup is far more serious. The attack on Gaza increased substantially at that point, major Israeli onslaughts. Finally, in January 2008, another ceasefire was reached. Terms were pretty much the same as those that I quoted. Israel publicly rejected the ceasefire, said that it would not abide by it. Hamas observed the ceasefire, as Israel officially recognizes, despite Israel’s refusal to do so.
Now, that continued until November 4th, 2008. On November 4th, which was the day of the U.S. election, Israeli forces invaded Gaza, killed half a dozen Hamas militants. That led to Qassam rockets attacking Israel, huge Israeli response, lots of killings—all Palestinians, as usual. By the end of December, couple of weeks later, Hamas offered to renew the ceasefire. The Israeli Cabinet considered it and rejected it. This was a dovish Cabinet, led by Ehud Olmert—rejected it and decided to launch the next major military operation.
That was Cast Lead, which was a horrible operation, so much so that it caused a very substantial international reaction, investigations by a United Nations commission, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch. In the middle of the assault—the assault, incidentally, was carefully timed to end immediately before President Obama’s inauguration. He had already been elected, but he wasn’t inaugurated yet, so when he was asked to comment on the ongoing atrocities, he responded by saying that he couldn’t do so, the United States has only one president, and he wasn’t president yet. He was talking about lots of other things, but not this. The attack was timed to end immediately before the inauguration, so he therefore could respond to the questions by saying, "Well, now is not the time to look at the past, let’s look forward to the future." Diplomats know very well that that’s a standard slogan for those who are engaged in serious crime: "Let’s forget about the past, let’s look forward to a glorious future." Well, that was right in the middle of the assault.
The Security Council did pass a resolution—unanimously, U.S. abstaining—calling for an immediate ceasefire with the usual terms. That was January 8th, 2009. It was never observed, and it broke down completely with the next major episode of "mowing the lawn" in November 2012. Now, you can get a good sense of what was going on by looking at the casualty figures for the year 2012. Seventy-nine people were killed, 78 of them Palestinians—the usual story.
AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky, speaking in the hall of the United Nations General Assembly in an event hosted by the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. We’ll return to his speech and our conversation in a minute.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we return to Noam Chomsky, world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author. In October, MIT professor Noam Chomsky spoke in the hall of the United Nations General Assembly. He talked about the aftermath of the November 2012 Israeli assault on Gaza.
NOAM CHOMSKY: After the November assault, there was a ceasefire reached with the usual terms. I’ll describe what happened next by quoting a leading specialist, Nathan Thrall. He’s a leading Middle East analyst for the International Crisis Group. As he writes, Israel recognized that Hamas was observing the terms of the ceasefire, and "therefore saw little incentive" in doing the same. The military attacks on Gaza increased, along with more stringent restrictions on imports. Exports were blocked. Exit permits were blocked.
That continued until April 2014, when Palestinians committed another crime: Gaza-based Hamas and West Bank-based Palestinian Authority signed a unity agreement. Israel was infuriated—infuriated even more when the world mostly supported it. Even the United States gave weak, but actual, support. Several reasons for the Israeli reaction. One is that unity between Gaza and the West Bank, between the two movements, would threaten the long-standing policies of separating the two, for the reasons that I mentioned. Another reason was that a unity government undermines one of the pretexts for Israel’s refusal to participate in negotiations seriously—namely, how can we negotiate with an entity that is internally divided? Well, if they’re unified, that pretext disappears. Israel was infuriated. It launched major assaults on the Palestinians in the West Bank, primarily targeting Hamas. Hundreds of people arrested, mostly Hamas members. Also Gaza, also killings.
There was a pretext, of course. There always is. The pretext was that three teenagers, Israeli teenagers, in the settlements had been brutally murdered, captured and murdered. Israel claimed officially that they thought that they were alive, so therefore launched a long, several weeks’ assault on the West Bank, alleging that they were trying to find them alive. Meanwhile, the arrests, attacks and so on. It turns out that they knew immediately that they had been killed. Now, they also knew immediately that it was very unlikely that Hamas was involved. The government said they had certain knowledge that Hamas had done it, but their own leading specialists, like [Shlomi Eldar], had pointed out right away that the assault—which was a brutal crime—was very likely committed by members of a breakaway clan, the Qawasmeh clan in Hebron, which was not given a green light by Hamas and had been a thorn in their sides. And that, apparently, is true, if you look at the later arrests and punishments. Anyway, that was a pretext for this assault, killings in Gaza, too. That finally elicited a Hamas response. Then came Operation Protective Edge, the one which was just completed, and more brutal and destructive even the ones that preceded it.
The pattern is very clear. And so far, at least, it appears to be continuing. The latest ceasefire was reached on August 26th. It was followed at once by Israel’s greatest land grab in 30 years, almost a thousand acres in the Gush Etzion area near what’s called Jerusalem, Greater Jerusalem, about five times the size of anything that Jerusalem ever was, taken over by Israel, annexed in violation of Security Council orders. The U.S. State Department informed the Israeli Embassy that Israeli—I’m quoting it now—"Israeli activity in Gush Etzion undermines American efforts to protect Israel at the United Nations," and urged that Israel shouldn’t provide ammunition for "those at the [United Nations] who would interpret [Israel’s] position as hardening." Actually, that warning was given 47 years ago, in September 1967, at the time of Israel’s first colonization, illegal colonization, of Gush Etzion. Israeli historian Gershom Gorenberg recently reminded us of this. Little has changed since, in the last 47 years, apart from the scale of the crimes, which continue, without a break, with constant U.S. support.
Well, as for the prospects, there is a conventional picture. It’s repeated constantly on all sides—Israel, Palestine, independent commentators, diplomats. The picture that’s presented is that there are two alternatives: either the two-state settlement, which represents an overwhelming international consensus, virtually everyone, and if that fails, there will have to be one state—Israel will take over the West Bank, the Palestinians will hand over the keys, as it’s sometimes said. Palestinians often have favored that. They say then they will be able to carry out a civil rights struggle, maybe modeled on the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, fight for civil rights within the whole one state controlled by Israel. Now, Israelis criticize that on the grounds of what is called "the demographic problem," the fact that there will be too many non-Jews in a Jewish state—in fact, pretty soon a majority. Those are the alternatives that are presented, overwhelmingly, hardly an exception.
My own opinion, which I’ve written about repeatedly—without convincing many people, apparently, but I’ll try to convince you—is that this is a total illusion. Those are not the two alternatives. There are two alternatives, but they’re different ones. One alternative is the international consensus on a two-state settlement, basically the terms of January 1976. By now, it’s virtually everyone—the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic States, includes Iran, Europe, Latin America—informally, at least, about everyone. That’s one option. The other option, the realistic one, is that Israel will continue doing exactly what it is doing right now, before our eyes, visible, with U.S. support, which is also visible. And what’s happening is not a secret. You can open the newspapers and read it.
Israel is taking over what they call Jerusalem, as I mentioned, a huge area, maybe five times the area of historic Jerusalem, Greater Jerusalem, big area in the West Bank, includes many Arab villages being dispossessed, destroyed, bringing settlers in. All of this is doubly illegal. All the settlements are illegal, as determined by the Security Council, advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. But the Jerusalem settlements are doubly illegal, because they’re also in violation of explicit Security Council orders going back to 1968, with the U.S. actually voting for them at that time, barring any change in the status of Jerusalem. But it continues. That’s Greater Jerusalem. There are then corridors extending to the east. One major corridor extending from Jerusalem almost to Jericho, virtually bisecting the West Bank, includes the Israeli town of Ma’ale Adumim, which was built largely during the Clinton administration, Clinton years, with the obvious purpose of bisecting the West Bank—still a little contested territory, but that’s the goal. There’s another corridor further to the north including the town of Ariel, partially bisecting what remains. Another one further to the north including the town of Kedumim. If you look at the map, these essentially break up the West Bank into pretty much cantons. It looks, from a map, as though a large territory is left, but that’s misleading. Most of that is uninhabitable desert. And that’s separate from what I mentioned before, the slow, steady takeover of the Jordan Valley to the east—again, about a third of the arable land, the country.
Israel has no official policy of taking it over, but they’re pursuing the policy in the way that has been carried out now for a hundred years, literally—small steps so nobody notices, or at least people pretend not to notice, establish a military zone. The Palestinians who live there have to be displaced because it’s a military zone, no settlement allowed, and pretty soon there’s a military settlement, Nahal settlement, and another, then, sooner or later, it becomes an actual settlement. Meanwhile, dig wells, dispossess the population, set up green zones—a large variety of techniques which have, by now, reduced the Arab population from about 300,000 in 1967 to roughly 60,000 today. As I mentioned, that essentially imprisons what’s left.
I don’t think Israel has any intention of taking over the Palestinian population concentrations, which are left out of this, these plans. There are analogies often made to South Africa, but they’re quite misleading. South Africa relied on its black population. That was 85 percent of the population. It was its workforce. And they had to sustain them, just like slaveowners have to maintain their capital. They tried to sustain the population. They even tried to gain international support for the bantustans. Israel has no such attitude toward the Palestinians. They don’t want to have anything to do with them. If they leave, that’s fine. If they die, that’s fine. In standard neocolonial pattern, Israel is establishing—permitting the establishment of a center for Palestinian elites in Ramallah, where you have nice restaurants and theaters and so on. Every Third World country under the colonial system had something like that.
Now, that’s the picture that’s emerging. It’s taking shape before our eyes. It has so far worked very well. If it continues, Israel will not face a demographic problem. When these regions are integrated slowly into Israel, actually, the proportion of Jews in Greater Israel will increase. There are very few Palestinians there. Those who are there are being dispossessed, kicked out. That’s what’s taking shape before our eyes. I think that’s the realistic alternative to a two-state settlement. And there’s every reason to expect it to continue as long as the United States supports it.
AMY GOODMAN: Professor Noam Chomsky, speaking in October in the hall of the United Nations General Assembly in an event hosted by the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. If you’d like a copy of today’s show, you can go to our website at democracynow.org. After Chomsky spoke, I interviewed him in front of an audience of 800 at the U.N. We’ll play highlights of that conversation after this break.


  1. A normal person cannot listen to this without feeling disgust and dismay at the criminality committed by the State of Israel, supported by the US government.

    1. A normal person?

      Norm Chomsky?

      Give it a break.

      Oh wait you can't.

      Well good news, Israel will not commit suicide to make you happy.

      AND if the arabs want to continue to war? they will die.

      Happy weekend...

      Just think of all the arabs that are murdering arabs this weekend...

  2. Ah the no comment sign and the Chomsky Card is played. Chomsky, the guy that denied the Cambodian holocaust, among other of his absurdities.

    You're not convincing anyone.

    Why not talk about the Super Bowl?

    It might come down to the tight ends............

    Both Quarterbacks have said they've never studied harder for a game. It's a think game, a graceful intelligent ballet of hard hitting athleticism.

    It's a toss up.

    And the Officials have established some security over the balls.

    1. I have challnged that lie before with the facts on Chomsky and Cambodia.

    2. For you, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson


      For your 'fix' of Pro football, it is the opiate of the dumbass class

  3. Q to Chomsky - You were heavily criticised for some of your views of the KR, and some accused you of being favourable to the KR. Were you unfairly criticised?

    A. It's ridiculous -- in fact, there has been a massive critique of some of things that Edward Herman and I wrote -- and my view is that they were some of the most accurate things that were written in history.

    Nobody has been able to find a missed comma, which is not surprising. Before we published the chapter -- we had it reviewed by most of the leading specialists on the topic, who made some suggestions, but basically nothing.

    Our main conclusion was: You have to tell the truth -- don't lie about our crimes denying them, and don't lie about their crimes exaggerating them. In fact, what we actually did ... the main thesis is a comparison between Cambodia and East Timor. And it's a natural comparison -- massive atrocities going on in the same part of the world -- the same years -- East Timor went on for another 25 years afterwards, and relative to population, they were about at the same scale. And what we found was that there was massive lying, but in opposite directions. In the case of East Timor, it was ignored and denied. In the case of Cambodia, it was wild accusations without a particle of evidence. So what was the fundamental difference between the two cases -- in Indonesia we were responsible, and we could have done something. But in the other case, an enemy was responsible.

    Q. But at the end of the East Timor occupation in the Clinton years, didn't the US urge Indonesia to pull out of East Timor?

    A. Absolutely not -- those are some of the most grotesque propaganda lies of the current period -- the US supported the invasion fully -- it provided decisive support for it, military, diplomatic and so on, and the British joined it, and it started to peak in 1978, and the massacres escalated in 1999, right before the referendum, the US continued to support it fully, Britain continued to support it fully, and they were much worse than anything reported in Kosovo at the same period. And the US continued to support it, even at the height of the massacres in Dili in late August, 1999 -- finally, Clinton came under such intense domestic pressure -- much from the right wing and the Catholic Church, that he just told the Indonesians quietly, "okay, the game is over" and they went home -- instantly. That shows what could have been done for the past 25 years. And Britain lagged -- it kept supplying Indonesia with military hardware, even after the UN peacekeeping force went. I mean, these are the most outrageous claims.

    Q. A major trade delegation recently visited Cambodia from Israel. Should Cambodia be embracing this, or do you back a boycott of Israeli trade and investment?


  4. {...}

    A. It's the same moral issue that arises all the time -- even with the trials. I mean yes, Israel is doing terrible things. Why? Because the US is supporting it -- its like Indonesia and East Timor -- as soon as Clinton told the Indonesians that its over -- they didn't have bomb or boycott -- they just told them its over,. They withdrew instantly. If the US stopped providing decisive military, economic, ideological support, Israeli couldn't do what it's doing. Well why doesn't anyone talk about boycotting the US? Because it's too powerful.

    Q. You seemed to defend the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1979, despite UN resolutions passed against the Vietnamese. In contrast, you criticise the Israelis for their occupation on the grounds of UN resolutions passed against the Israelis. Why were you able to look the other way with the Vietnamese?

    A. I didn't defend it, I criticised it. If you look at that same book that Herman and I wrote in 1979 -- it criticises the invasion. It's not a very harsh criticism because it did have a very positive consequence -- it got rid of the KR, and if you look at it, the Vietnamese had plenty of provocation -- the KR were attacking across the border and killing Vietnamese. By our standards it was fully justified, nevertheless, we did criticise it. If you want to look at humanitarian interventions since the war -- I mean interventions that had a humanitarian consequence whatever their motive was -- there are really only two major examples. The Indian invasion of East Pakistan in 1971 and the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. And they are never touted because the US was against them.


  5. The "Usual Subjects" and the usual lies.


  6. “You must understand. The leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Russians. They Hated Christians. Driven by ethnic hatred they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse…

    More of my countrymen suffered horrific crimes at their blood-stained hands than any people or nation ever suffered in the entirety of human history.

    It cannot be overstated. Bolshevism committed the greatest human slaughter of all time.

    The fact that most of the world is ignorant and uncaring about this enormous crime is proof that the global media is in the hands of its perpetrators.”

    ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Russian Patriot

  7. ISIS retreats by attacking the Kurdish stronghold city of Kirkuk -



    This is the third or fourth time I've seen Chomsky on The Propaganda Hour here.

    I'm about ready to play my Martha Gellhorn card.

    But won't because it's on my old computer and I'd have to go look it up.

    As for the Palestinians wanting peace, see the Hamas Charter.

    1. Daesh attack all around Kirkurk, to take pressure off of Mosul, but with Coalition air support in the skies above, the Daesh are unable to advance on Kirkurk, losing another fight to the Security Forces of the Iraqi government.

      Actually, the Daesh may have taken a page out the Vietnam book ... launching an entire series of raids across the length and breadth of the battle space.

      Police in Kirkuk province said the militants launched mortars and attacked positions of Kurdish fighters in four districts.

      Militants later detonated a car bomb at a hotel in Kirkuk city centre and clashed with peshmerga forces.

      A peshmerga officer told Reuters his forces had recaptured the district of Mariam Bek but said clashes were ongoing in Tal al-Ward, Maktab Khalid and Mullah Abdullah.

      Kurdish military sources said the peshmerga had repelled dawn attacks by Islamic State at different points along a more than 1,000 km frontline, including Khazer, west of Arbil, and Makhmur, further south.

      "Maybe they are afraid the fight for Mosul has started so they are trying to show they can operate close to Arbil or Kirkuk," Roj Nuri Shaways, Iraq's deputy prime minister and a peshmerga commander, told Reuters.

      Islamic State attacks Kurdish outposts across Iraq

      Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State was inadequate and said U.S. policy would at best contain the resilient and carefully structured group.

  8. >>>Chomsky

    Linguist Noam Chomsky was among the academics who attempted to refute the allegations of massive Khmer Rouge atrocities by Barron, Paul, Ponchaud, and Lacouture. On June 6, 1977, Chomsky and his co-author Edward S. Herman published a review of the books by Barron and Paul, Ponchaud, and Porter and Hildebrand in The Nation. Chomsky and Herman attributed the numerous reports of Khmer Rouge atrocities as an attempt to "place the role of the United States in a more favorable light" by telling "tales of communist atrocities."[13]

    Chomsky and Herman called Barron and Paul's book, Murder of a Gentle Land, "third rate propaganda...which collapses under the barest scrutiny." They said Ponchaud's book Year Zero was "serious and worth reading" but "the serious reader will find much to make him somewhat wary." Chomsky and Herman wrote that the refugee stories of Khmer Rouge atrocities should be treated with great "care and caution" as no independent verification was available.[14]

    In the American edition of his book, Ponchaud responded to Chomsky.

    "He [Chomsky] wrote me a letter on October 19, 1977 in which he drew my attention to the way it [Year Zero] was being misused by antirevolutionary propagandists. He has made it my duty to 'stem the flood of lies' about Cambodia -- particularly, according to him, those propagated by Anthony Paul and John Barron in Murder of a Gentle Land."[15]

    By contrast, Chomsky portrayed Porter and Hildebrand's book as "a carefully documented study of the destructive American impact on Cambodia and the success of the Cambodian revolutionaries in overcoming it, giving a very favorable picture of their programs and policies, based on a wide range of sources." Refuting Chomsky on the question of documentation, researcher Bruce Sharp found that 33 out of 50 citations in one chapter of Porter and Hildebrand's book derived from the Khmer Rouge government and six from China, the Khmer Rouge's principal supporter.[16]

    1. Chomsky and Herman dismissed reports by the "mass media" of extensive Khmer Rouge atrocities and instead cited "analyses by highly qualified specialists...who have concluded that executions [by the Khmer Rouge] have numbered at most in the thousands." They cited the "extreme unreliability of refugee reports."[17]

      Veteran Cambodia correspondent Nate Thayer said of Chomsky and Herman's Nation Article that they "denied the credibility of information leaking out of Cambodia of a bloodbath underway and viciously attacked the authors of reportage suggesting many were suffering under the Khmer Rouge.[18]

      Journalist Andrew Anthony in the London Observer, said later that the Porter and Hildebrand's book "cravenly rehashed the Khmer Rouge's most outlandish lies to produce a picture of a kind of radical bucolic idyll."[19] Chomsky, he said, questioned "refugee testimony" believing that "their stories were exaggerations or fabrications, designed for a western media involved in a 'vast and unprecedented propaganda campaign' against the Khmer Rouge government, 'including systematic distortion of the truth.'"

      Beachler cited reports that Chomsky's attempts to counter charges of Khmer Rouge atrocities also consisted of writing letters to editors and publications. He said: "Examining materials in the Documentation Center of Cambodia archives, American commentator Peter Maguire found that Chomsky wrote to publishers such as Robert Silver of the New York Review of Books to urge discounting atrocity stories. Maguire reports that some of these letters were as long as twenty pages, and that they were even sharper in tone than Chomsky’s published words."[20] Journalist Fred Barnes also mentioned that Chomsky had written "a letter or two" to the New York Review of Books. Barnes discussed the Khmer Rouge with Chomsky and "the thrust of what he [Chomsky] said was that there was no evidence of mass murder" in Cambodia. Chomsky, according to Barnes, believed that "tales of holocaust in Cambodia were so much propaganda."[21]

      Journalist Christopher Hitchens defended Chomsky and Herman. They "were engaged in the admittedly touchy business of distinguishing evidence from interpretations."[22] Chomsky and Herman have continued to argue that their analysis of the situation in Cambodia was without error based on the information available to them at the time. In 1993, Chomsky acknowledged the Cambodian genocide in the documentary film Manufacturing Consent. He said, "I mean the great act of genocide in the modern period is Pol Pot, 1975 through 1978 - that atrocity - I think it would be hard to find any example of a comparable outrage and outpouring of fury."[23]<<<


    2. I have a linen artwork in a series of scenes, by a Laotian or Cambodian woman, not sure which, she had no English, refugee to Moscow, Idaho showing her village being attacked by men with Ak-47 guns and the villagers fleeing across the river and into the country - some got away, some didn't, according to her depiction.

    3. To bad you were not there, to help them.
      Oh, yeah, the Draft Dodger had more pressing priorities, you were studying English Lit

  9. Rod McKuen dies.


  10. Hagel and McCain both are speaking of invading Iraq, again.

    Legionnaire Q could soon be yearning for the 'Good Old Days' when the US embraced the Rat Doctrine and did not commit US troops to the front lines of the sectarian civil wars of the Middle East.

  11. January 30, 2015
    Biden tells the truth
    By Thomas Lifson

    Never missing an opportunity to put his foot in his mouth, Joe Biden commits the classic Washington gaffe, defined by Michael Kinsley as accidentally telling the truth, this time among friends at the House Democratic caucus, meeting in Philadelphia. C-SPAN was there with its cameras.

    Daniel Halper captured the magic moment for the Weekly Standard: VIDEO

    "To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country. "And they've been really tough for our party. Just ask [former DCCC chair] Steve [Israel]. They've been really tough for our party. And together we made some really, really tough decisions -- decisions that weren't at all popular, hard to explain."

    As they say down South, “Bless his heart!”



    On that truthful note, I'm gonna take a nap.

  12. WASHINGTON: A US-led coalition air strike killed a chemical weapons specialist with the Islamic State group in Iraq who once worked for Saddam Hussein, US military officers said on Friday.

    The air raid carried out last Saturday near Mosul took out Abu Malik, whose training "provided the terrorist group with expertise to pursue a chemical weapons capability," the military said in a statement.

    Malik had worked at a chemical weapons production plant under Saddam's regime and later forged an affiliation with Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2005, before joining the extremist IS group, according to Central Command.

    "His death is expected to temporarily degrade and disrupt the terrorist network and diminish ISIL's ability to potentially produce and use chemical weapons against innocent people," it said.

    US officials had not publicly referred to Malik previously as a key figure.

    There has been no sign that the IS group possesses a major chemical weapons arsenal. But there have been allegations the jihadists have employed chlorine gas, which is classified as a "choking agent," though not as lethal as nerve agents.

    Abu Malik, also known as Salih Jasim Mohammed Falah al-Sabawi, had been "involved in operations to produce chemical weapons in 2005, and planned attacks in Mosul with AQI (al-Qaida in Iraq)," said a defense official.

    "Based on his training and experience, he was judged to be capable of creating harmful and deadly chemical agents," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    "We know ISIL is attempting to pursue a chemical weapons capability, but we have no definitive confirmation that ISIL currently possess chemical weapons," the official said.

    The US-led coalition has carried out more than 2,000 air raids against the IS group in Syria and Iraq since August 8, including some bombing runs that targeted senior militants.

    Another One Bites de Dust

  13. Iraqi Kurdish forces said they had beaten back the assault, but a well-known commander of the Kurdish peshmerga, Brig. Gen. Sherko Shwani, was among at least seven Kurdish fighters reported killed in fighting in and around the city.

    Dozens of militants were reported killed in the various attacks.

    The Islamic State strike came as the extremist group has suffered a series of battlefield setbacks in Iraq and neighboring Syria, puncturing the indomitable image that the group has tried to project.

    The militants this week retreated from the northern Syrian city of Kobani after failing to overrun the Kurdish-controlled town on the border with Turkey.

    In northern Iraq, Kurdish forces have been steadily closing in on the city of Mosul, an Islamic State stronghold. Some speculated that Friday’s attacks on Kirkuk may have been an effort to divert or stretch Kurdish manpower.

    Several Islamic State attacks were also reported Friday on Kurdish positions south and east of Mosul. The Kurdish news site Rudaw reported that heavy fog had prevented deployment of aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition that has been bombing extremist positions for months


    1. ... reinforcements were reportedly being rushed to Kirkuk, a long-contested city in the middle of an oil-rich stretch of Iraq.

    2. Iraqi officials called the assault on Kirkuk a sign of Islamic State’s desperation as its momentum has been halted.

      “It comes as a cover for the successive defeats that have befallen the terrorist Daesch organization,”
      Salim al-Jaboori, head of the Iraqi Parliament, told Iraqi state television, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

  14. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson yearns for the days of the Tet Offensive.
    Forgetting, if he ever knew, lightning won't strike twice.

    The US has already withdrawn, back to the beginning.
    The Iraqi will not invite US back.

  15. .

    Legionnaire Q could soon be yearning for the 'Good Old Days' when the US embraced the Rat Doctrine and did not commit US troops to the front lines of the sectarian civil wars of the Middle East.

    After Sinjar, when the US decided to stay, I said escalation was inevitable. Then there was the Mosul dam, then Syria, Kobane, the Haditha dam, abadabadu-Falluga.

    We went from 500 troops to 1,600 to 3000. The Jordanians are reportedly secretly fighting in Iraq/Syria. The Canadians. Obama has asked Congress a new AUMF for this war.

    Drip. Drip. Drip.

    The escalation will continue. More troops will be sent. Only a fool would think they won't end up in combat situations.

    I hope I am wrong.

    I doubt I am.


  16. If those troops do find their way into direct combat with the Daesh, that's the end of the Rat Doctrine.

  17. We have, already, had some troops (trainers in that Al Anbar Air Base) have to fight off an attack. There will be others. In fact, we will, probably, somewhere along the line (most likely, Mosul,) sustain a few casualties.

    But, that's not the point. The point is, 99.999% of the ground action is going to be handled by the local forces. And, with our air support they are not only going to be successful, they are going to win fairly easily (and, quickly.)

    I know this is upsetting to some people, here, but that's just the way it is.

  18. Quick and easy.

    4th of July 2015

    Won't be an ISIS fighter left in all of Iraq.

    We can all sleep easy.

    General Ruf says it's peasy.

    That's just the way it is.


    Cheers !