Sott Talk Radio logo
Broadcasting from deep in the heart of the American Empire, join your hosts Harrison Koehli and Elan Martin, and fellow editors, as they discuss everything from current events and the latest machinations and manipulations of the global elite to history, science, and religion, and how it all fits together.

This week, IMEMC's Alexandra Halaby is back to update us on the latest news from Israel and Palestine, including the recent Israeli elections. After that, we will be discussing current events, the background to the Syrian crisis, and more.

The Truth Perspective is brought to you by the SOTT Radio Network and, your one-stop source for independent, unbiased, alternative news and commentary on world events.

Live every Saturday from 2-4pm EST / 11am-1pm PST / 7-9pm CET.

Running Time: 01:37:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Harrison: Hello everyone. Welcome back to The Truth Perspective. I am Harrison Koehli. In the studio today, we've got:

Elan: Elan Martin

William: And William Barbe

Elan: Hey, everybody. We're really excited to have back with us today Alexandra Halaby from the IMEMC - or the International Middle-East Media Centre. It's a collective of independent journalists covering the Israel/Palestine situation.

Alexandra has been on numerous media outlets before - ABC radio among many others. We're very lucky to have her back with us to give us some of her insights as to the recent developments with the election in Israel, among other things.
Anyway, welcome back, Alexandra.

Alexandra: Hi guys. Thanks for having me.

Harrison: Hi.

Elan: So, just before the show, we talked a little bit with you on what seems to be one of the biggest stories concerning the conflict and it's regarding Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election to office in Israel. There's quite a lot to be said about that - it covers a lot of different areas. And we were just looking for your input on that - your feelings about it and what you feel some of the major things to note about it are.

Alexandra: Well, yeah, it's been quite a week in Israeli politics and if you're in the United States it's been quite a week in Israeli Politics on Fox Television, who seem to have mistaken Israel for being the 51st State. Fox News spent all of St Patrick's Day with "breaking coverage". They had their correspondents in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and polling places in Herzliya; so it was very interesting to see how Fox covered the Israeli election - as if Netanyahu was going to be OUR Prime Minister. So this was a really interesting week.

But, in all seriousness, Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu, definitely came from behind. I didn't see him being re-elected; a lot of Israelis didn't see him being re-elected; but he came from behind with a re-election victory this week. It was an "eleventh hour" turn of events that was fuelled by overt racism. He embraced an apartheid policy; he fear mongered about Arab voters showing up in droves - and that did the trick.

Also, it exposed a very ugly face of the Israeli electorate who got scared that the Arabs were coming and all of a sudden, people that may have been swing-voters decided that they were going to vote for Netanyahu.

But Prime Minister Netanyahu's re-election has put the US in a very difficult situation because so long as Netanyahu had been pretending that he was committed to democratic values, a two-state solution, the same rhetoric that he would say in English while saying something totally different in Hebrew - which is a charge that the Israelis levelled at the Palestinians many times over the years, that Chairman Arafat would say something in English and say something different in Arabic, and President Abbas would do the same - well, the same holds true for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who all along had been saying, "Let's increase the illegal settlements; let's continue to colonise the West Bank; there's no such thing as a two-state solution", he was saying this in Hebrew, while in English paying lip-service pretending to be committed to a two-state solution.

While all that was happening - as my friend Ryan Cooper wrote in The Week, in a great op-ed this week - so long as Netanyahu was pretending to be committed to the democratic values in America - alleged to uphold - then the Americans could look the other way or they could blame the Palestinians for the lack of progress with peace. But now, despite Netanyahu doing some back-tracking since his election, it's very clear who Netanyahu is.

At very best, Prime Minister Netanyahu is an unreliable partner for peace, if not an outright foe of an independent Palestine. And a lot of people have pointed out that the divergence of US and Israeli interests has never been more pronounced than right now.

The big question is how the US should adjust to this. The Obama administration indicated yesterday through their spokesperson, Josh Earnest, that the US may in fact support a UN resolution which would call for an independent state of Palestine along the '67 borders.
I think that if the US supports that resolution, it should go even further by cutting the US's massive subsidies to Israel and withdrawing diplomatic cover for Netanyahu's every move, you know. Don't you agree with that?

Elan: Absolutely. I mean, it speaks to "actions speak louder than words". If Netanyahu was sincere about a two-state solution, why continue to build settlements as he's negotiating peace, just for one.

William: And there's already whispers in Congress of starting to go back on some of these subsidies that they've been giving to Israel.

Alexandra: Umm hmm, and of course, there's been an unquestioning deference to Israeli priorities that's basically mandatory in US politics, even among promising American politicians who seem honest - like Senator Elizabeth Warren, who unfortunately supported Israel's barbaric attack on Gaza in the summer and lost incredible respect and demonstrated that she's just another politician - even Elizabeth Warren hasn't challenged Israel's priorities as far as growing a greater Israel.

But, if the Israeli prime minister is flat out admitting that the West Bank and Gaza will never be rid of the occupation, no matter what, then that deference will eventually become untenable: the mask has been removed. Now that the Iraq and the Afghanistan wars are winding down, as far as the US is concerned, Israel has reclaimed its spot now as the top recipient of American aid, dollars.

Just a little fact: in the 2015 budget, the Obama administration has requested now, and will almost certainly receive, 3.1 billion dollars in aid for Israel - that's 378 dollars for every Israeli citizen.

As Matt Yglesias recently reported, that means on a per-capita basis, this is six times what Afghanistan gets as the second-largest recipient of American aid and 94 times what America sends to Nigeria, and Nigeria is the fifth-largest recipient of American aid.

So, it's a mark of Israel's massive, massive influence in American politics that it keeps getting this money despite the fact that foreign aid is consistently the least popular kind of government spending with Americans, and doubly so because Israel's a rich country that doesn't need the aid.

So, what I'm getting at is that Israel's wealth also means that cutting aid off would not concretely harm its military readiness. The US cutting subsidies, the US cutting funding, those kinds of sanctions wouldn't really impact Israel. Israel's got plenty of its own money for that; there are plenty of very wealthy Zionists that are constantly funnelling money into Israel. Most of the USA money is spent on US military hardware anyway, so probably the only entities I think that would be significantly affected if the US cuts funding would be American defence contractors.

But, withdrawing aid is a symbolic act - it's a powerful one. Without an unquestioning American backstop Israel would be almost as isolated diplomatically as Iran. So, for now, Israel has nobody to blame but itself. Israel deserves Netanyahu. They've elected him; they've got what they deserve and now the world has seen his racism, they've seen his grand apartheid scheme that's being put into place.

More fundamentally, liberal American Jewish leaders have been arguing for years that if Israel were free from violent pressure, that it would jump at the chance for a durable peace - but it didn't. And even though the occupied territories have been quiet since last summer's bloody attack on Gaza, Israel has practically ignored the question for almost the whole election until Netanyahu turned to apartheid and race-baiting.

So, the bedrock of all of this election this week is fifty years of Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. This is an issue that looks less grey all the time: the occupation is wrong; it's a problem; Israel is responsible; and now Netanyahu's victory has discredited the liberal American Zionist groups like J Street. I've often asked how can one be liberal and a Zionist? One is fascism, one is not; they don't go together. But, nonetheless, J Street had hoped that Israel would accept a negotiated settlement; it didn't. It's increasingly impossible to avoid the conclusion, and even more moderates, like President Obama, that Israel will simply never agree to any Palestinian rights in the occupied territories unless it's forced onto it.

I think it's becoming very, very clear that diplomacy between the West and Israel is crumbling as a result of this election.

Harrison: Well, you mentioned a couple of things that I thought were very well put. The mask is coming off. Now the way I've always seen it has been that it's a mask that has been acknowledged tacitly by both sides. So, Israeli politicians and leaders will pay lip-service to the peace process or a two-state solution or just any kind of progress, however far in the future it may be or however much they may put it off, and the US sees that and just accepts that as a plausible front, or cover, in order to just continue with the financial aid and just all that kind of diplomatic speak and political speak in terms of 'humanitarianism' and the 'peace process', but there wasn't really anything behind it to really back it up in terms of actual convictions. Now that mask is taken away.

So, like you said, if the US stops giving so much aid to Israel, that's more of a symbolic gesture. Now, with something like a UN resolution, are there any teeth behind that? Do you think that there is any hope that this could lead to a good thing or will it just push Israel into a corner and will they just continue... like, can they be forced to engage in a peace process, basically?

Alexandra: Yeah, good question. There are already tons of UN resolutions which Israel has flipped its nose at.

In 2011, US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice - who is completely in the pocket of AIPAC and in fact is one of the most miserable, inadequate ambassadors the United States have ever appointed - Susan Rice vetoed the 2011 UN resolution which was essentially condemning the illegal settlement build-up. So, the United States was, at the same time, saying, "We feel like these illegal settlements that are being built up in the West Bank are a block in the path to peace." And then, when it came down to a UN resolution to condemn those settlements, the US vetoed it. I was flabbergasted. I remember it very clearly.

To answer your question, do these UN resolutions have teeth? Absolutely not. Israel doesn't abide by any UN resolutions. In fact, Israel's wonderful foreign minister, Mr. Avigdor Lieberman, who recently called for the beheading of Palestinians, he has called for the dismantling of the United Nations a number of times, and the Zionist Lobby in Washington has constantly lobbied for the de-funding of UNRA and of UN programmes that support Palestine refugees - these are refugees that were made that status by Israel's Nakba and removal and attempted genocide.
But, Tuesday's election delivered a really familiar result, even though I was shocked with it, it was another victory for Netanyahu whose Likud party absolutely walloped the leftist, Zionist Union, which again, I don't get this "Leftist Zionist"; there's no such thing as a leftist Zionist. To me, that's like saying a "Liberal Nazi" - that doesn't go together. And from my past conversation on this radio show, I don't like to use Nazi comparisons with Israel, but for that purpose...

But, still, the election was really strange. It's rare enough for the Israeli prime minister to give a speech before the US Congress; it's even rarer to do that with the objective of undermining a major American diplomatic initiative as part of a triple back-flip election manoeuvre, to distract from your nation's wretched economy, which is kind of what was going on - that the Republicans used it to... there was a lot of things that were coming out: funding for Homeland Security that the Republicans were pushing against; all of that. And then, here they parade in - Netanyahu, he's giving this speech like a king - and they're up and down, up and down, it's like a Catholic Mass. When are they going to stand and applaud this guy? Every word he says.

I also watched that speech. I was bored to tears; it gave me a headache. But, it was really disrespectful because at the very same time that Netanyahu was in the United States - the people's house - talking about the horrors of a nuclear Iran, the Secretary of the United States, John Kerry, was in Europe negotiating with the Iranians on the exact same topic. So, there was just no precedence for this, but that's exactly what Netanyahu did.

Following behind the centre-left Zionist Union in the polls over the last several days before the election, he turned extremely hard-right; he announced an explicit rejection of a Palestinian State; and then as voting approached, he really sank to the gutter to go to racism in an attempt to stoke the ultra-conservative vote, which he did. He warned on Facebook, "The Arab voters are going to the polls in droves. Left-wing organisations are bringing them in buses." Very much Bull Connor of Birmingham in the 1960's with black Americans going to the polls - "the Negroes are going to end up taking our State, our city", this kind of thing. It was very reminiscent of that.

The hidden upside of this rancid politicking is that Netanyahu did both America and Israel a favour by clarifying, in plain words, what was already the de facto reality in Israel and the Occupied Territories. And if America and Israel had any sense at all, they would seize this opportunity to stop heading down the road toward "grand apartheid".

Just to explain "grand apartheid": in South Africa, grand apartheid was this system of major racial separation that forced blacks out of the most developed parts of the nation, as opposed to "petty apartheid" consisted of smaller measures like a ban against interracial marriage, which is also illegal in Israel - there's the ban against inter-religious marriage.

The keystone of grand apartheid were the Bantustans, which were little, tiny, geographically non-contiguous so-called "homelands" for black tribes; they were set aside for the blacks while the white government could pretend it was doing separate, but equal, while it was taking all of the best land and exploiting a politically powerless, black working-class who were living in slums in the Bantustans.

Harrison: That sounds familiar.

Alexandra: Yeah; that's exactly what's happening in Israel. It took me a long time to get to saying "apartheid" as applied to Israel; I'm not sure why. I think I had hope for a long time. I had hope that the tide would change; that there would be a heart; that there would be a Messiah, a Moshiach; a good entity; a good politician who would come out in Israel and say, "We can't continue to subjugate; we can't continue to discriminate; we can't continue to occupy; and it didn't happen. The facts are there: Gaza and the West Bank have been dominated by Israel since 1967; the Palestinians who live there have very few rights; they already live Israelis worst nightmares. It's not democracy, to say the least. And now that Netanyahu openly says that there will never be a Palestinian State or an end to the occupation so long as he's prime minister - well, if that's not grand apartheid, then the word apartheid has no meaning whatsoever.

Netanyahu's recent comments are not only revealing but they could put America in quite a bind because if Netanyahu prevails with continuing with the occupation - continuing the build-up of settlements and colonisation illegally in the West Bank - then the nature of Israel's diplomatic alliance with the US will have to change. The US cannot continue to extend its UN veto to a country whose government has formally disavowed negotiations.

So, the world's eyes are not only on Israel. The world's eyes are on the US; the world's eyes are on the UK. This week, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, Nick Clegg, said that, "If truly Netanyahu opposes the two-state solution, then the UK will have no other alternative but to recognise an independent State of Palestine."

All of this mess has begun to poison Israel's reputation. Even the American Democrats are beginning to look stupid for continuing to support this apartheid, and an open embrace of grand apartheid policy would only accelerate the process.

The answer to this is to ramp up the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement: B.D.S. all the way. That's what individuals can do. If people feel like, "I can't do anything" - yes you can: you can avoid purchasing products that are made in Israel; you can avoid purchasing products that are made in illegally occupied West Bank; and you can avoid tourism to Israel, go to Palestine. The Siraj Center at Siraj, S. I. R. A. J., Center, C. E. N. T. E. R. dot org is sponsoring a wonderful summer tour of Palestine. People will get the opportunity to tour Bethlehem; they'll get the opportunity to sit in on lectures at Bethlehem University; there's a Christian context. For those who aren't interested in the religious aspects there are the daily visits to beautiful communities, including to Ramallah, to the Taybeh beer micro-brewery, which is the only beer brewery in the Middle-East and it's located in Palestine - we're very proud of that; there's a winery - a wonderful winery with wine-tasting; there are delicious restaurants. So, this summer is going to be wonderful for tourism in Palestine, particularly in the West Bank, and people can go to Siraj, S. I. R. A. J. Center dot org to find out more about that - what kind of documents they need and how they can get there.

But if people feel like there's nothing they can do, there's plenty: don't buy products that are made in Israel - Sabra Hummus, Coca-Cola - boycott Coca-Cola products because they're being bottled on illegal Palestinian land. Hewlett Packard: do not purchase Hewlett Packard products. Do not purchase cosmetics by Estee Lauder. Do not purchase Ahava. Do not shop at Sabon soap shops, which are very... there's one or two in Montreal, there's one or two or three in London.

Go to BDS Movement, google BDS Movement. The International Middle-East Media Center fully supports the BDS Movement; we support boycotting Israel; we support divestment from universities, academia and corporations and churches, divesting from Israeli products and companies and we support sanctions against Israel.

So that's what people can do: check out BDS movement.

William: Now, I wanted to get back with the Israeli elections. The Arab Party was very happy, gaining something like thirteen or fourteen seats, and I was curious what your thoughts about that was, how effective can they be or is that something to be proud of?

Alexandra: Yeah, it is something to be proud of. The Arab Party came together - which is hard to get Arabs to come together on anything, as we see quite often in every Arab country. But yeah, the Arab party came together; they formed the unified list and I'm very proud. I think it is something to be proud of. MK Tibi had a lot to say. Basically the Arab party gathered in Nazareth to watch the elections. Nazareth is basically the centre of Palestinian society in Israel and as the election results came in and it started to appear as the Arabs would get a few more seats each hour... yes, it's something to celebrate; it's definitely something to celebrate.

Now, I will say that the secretary general of the Palestinian People's Party has called on the Palestinian authority to reconsider the Oslo Agreements with Tel Aviv and stop abiding by them - especially under the current political developments in Israel and the escalated violations - that Israel has violated the Oslo Agreements something like a hundred times.

The Palestine People's party, which was recently attacked in Nablus - nobody was killed but the offices were shot at - the party released a press statement yesterday saying that the re-election of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud Party and other fundamentalist parties requires new policies and re-evaluations, especially since, like we said, Netanyahu clearly and repeatedly declared his rejection to the two-state solution, and his intention to continue the illegal construction and expansion of colonies in occupied Palestine.

The political scene following the elections in Palestine indicates that face of the Israelis has been unmasked to the Palestinians - of the Israeli people - because they overwhelmingly voted for this racist and so now, the Palestinians see much more the Israeli people as a right-wing, racist kind of people that have adopted a fascist sort of ideology, because it has infiltrated Israeli society, its political leaders, and Palestinian people and their leadership and the international community are required to act and to stop the Israeli violations and crimes; they've got to oblige Israel to abide by international law, to end the occupation. I don't know how that's going to come about, but please remember that April 1st - it's not an April fools joke - Palestine becomes an official member of the International Criminal Court. So, we'll see how that unfolds.

Elan: You know, one of the conclusions that I share with you, I think, is that this re-election is actually one of the best things to happen, in spite of Netanyahu, in a long time, for the Palestinians. And the reason is, as you were saying before, Alexandra, there's really no such thing as a left-leaning Zionist organisation, and that kind of brings us back to, was the Zionist Union, lead by Isaac Herzog, even a viable force for change or peace? I mean, you had Tzipi Livni, I think, as part of the party there, and she's maybe not as vehement sounding as Netanyahu or Avigdor Lieberman but, I think when it comes right down to it, would be willing to do many of the same things: attack Gaza; build West Bank settlements; and so, they would just have put a "nice face" on the occupation. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Alexandra: Well, I don't think that Tzipi Livni would put a nice face on anything. She is a wanted war criminal who can't travel in Europe. So, particularly when she was in charge of the 2006 attack on Gaza which killed thousands of people, that's not then forgotten. Tzipi Livni cannot travel to the United Kingdom; she's wanted by The Hague for war crimes. So if you consider that a nice face, then maybe...

But, just recently, a couple of weeks ago, the elderly statesman, President Shimon Peres - who's also a wanted war criminal - his plane was denied entry into Norway's airspace. You're not going to find an Israeli politician that can easily travel anywhere except the US or Canada without possibly being arrested. So that's why they don't go to Europe; they don't go to the UK, to Ireland; they send their diplomats who haven't been in charge of genocidal warfare.

Tzipi Livni is, like I said, a wanted war criminal; she's wanted in the UK; Interpol has had an arrest warrant for her for a very long time now. So if people consider that the liberal face of Israel and the left-leaning face of Israel, then my God, what monsters are we dealing with?

Harrison: Yeah.

Alexandra: I still have hope. I know good Israelis - despite so many that voted this time for an openly racist and fascist Netanyahu who rejects openly a two-state solution; who promised to continue the illegal, brutal occupation - I still know wonderful Israelis who are absolutely horrified that their country has become this. But I cannot continue to reconcile that I know some great Israelis with the fact that the country they're continuing to live in is turning into one of the most egregious violators of human rights, right up there with Iran and North Korea and Russia. It's becoming more difficult for me to reconcile that, and that's unfortunate.

I do separate personally my friends who are Israelis, many Israeli journalists, who are smart and funny and they're very clear on what's happening, but they continue to live there. And I guess somebody's got to live there in order to try and make change from the inside, but once again, we're boycotting Israel; we're boycotting Israeli products; we're calling on universities, academia, churches, synagogues around the world to divest from Israeli companies and to drop their bonds - sell off their bonds - get rid of any investments that they have with the State of Israel or companies that do business in Israel, and we're calling for governments around the world to sanction Israel.

That's something that we can do. It worked in Africa, it stopped apartheid in South Africa, and we have American politicians who support it.

There's a wonderful book by my friend, former American President, Jimmy Carter, has a great book called, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. That book should be read by everybody because it lays out...

Going back to the beginning of Zionism to Theodor Herzl, yes, there was at one point in history, in the 19th Century in classical Zionism, a need for Zionism; because there were pogroms that were taking place. The Jews had been sent by the Russian Tzar to the Pale of Settlement, which was the worst part of Eastern Europe, and the Jews were regularly blood-libelled and charged with ignorant things. There is a long history of anti-Semitism just based on people being Jewish.

So originally, Zionism as explained by Theodor Herzl, had an important role to play for the survival of the Jewish religion. What it has devolved into went beyond survival to subjugation of another people and this is not sustainable; it's really not a sustainable method of living in the holy land.

Elan: Speaking of the subjugation of another people, it just seems as though the situation in Gaza in particular has gotten worse and worse and worse since the IDF's operation last summer. Could you just say a few words on the situation on the ground there in Gaza at this point and what is or isn't being done to help alleviate the suffering that's going on there.

Alexandra: Yeah, sure. There remain over one hundred thousand people who are homeless in Gaza. These were already refugees before the war. They've endured a terrible winter where it's been unseasonably cold, they've had flooding and it's been really bad. There have been explosions of generators. There's no electricity; Israel purposefully targeted the electrical plant in Gaza, so people who do have electricity are operating on generators which require expensive fossil fuels which are difficult to obtain, so many people can only operate one or two hours a day with electricity in their house.

It has caused people to not be able to keep food stored in cold storage; it's caused shops to not be able to remain open. I was recently appointed as the international ambassador of the new NGO called Solar Gaza Lights. People can go to It's a programme that intends to bring solar energy panels into Gaza in order to provide a more efficient alternative. There are people in Gaza who need dialysis who have died because the dialysis machine didn't have the electricity to run; there are people who have died in the hospital because the electric respirators and ventilators didn't have the electricity to continue to operate; people have died of blood clots because of the leg-wraps that require electricity. It's a horrible thing.

Once again, I encourage everybody to... I'm very happy, I'm very honoured to have been appointed as the international diplo-ambassador for this project, the Solar Gaza Lights organisation and I encourage anyone to go to in order to learn more about what this programme is about. We're currently engaged with UNRA in order to affiliate with UNRA and with the United Nations to get more funding and more opportunities to bring more solar panels to Gaza.

But the situation in Gaza has not improved: there is still rubble; there is still destruction; there's disease; there's death all around; there are bodies that have never been recovered; neighbourhoods that are completely destroyed; and yet the spirit of the Palestinian people cannot be broken. Just the day before yesterday I saw some beautiful photography by my friend Jehad Saftawi, who showed the kids flying kites on the beach - the very same beach where the Bakr boys were shelled and killed in the summer. Life goes on. War is terrible - there's a terrible socio-psychological impact on the people of Gaza, but war doesn't stop flowers from blooming and birds from flying and the people of Gaza are Palestinian: they're resilient, and they've suffered greatly, but they continue to live, and that is an active form of resistance - just continuing to live.

One more thing that I wanted to say is that Egypt has successfully destroyed the southern city of Rafah which they consider that creating a buffer-zone. Of course, we understand Egypt is being run by an autocrat named Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who has jailed journalists - he's just horrible. And Egypt is complicit with Israel in its blockade and siege of Gaza by shutting the Rafah border.

One more thing, speaking of Rafah, this past week on the sixteenth was the twelfth anniversary of the killing of American activist, Rachel Corrie. She was an American from the pacific northwest who went to Palestine in order to show solidarity with the Palestinian people. In 2003 she was outside a doctor's house in Rafah which was set to be demolished by a caterpillar bulldozer with an Israeli driver and she was with a bullhorn: people remember seeing the iconic images and video of her with the bullhorn, saying "Do not destroy this house". The bulldozer driver dumped sand on her and then ran over her body, killing her.

Rachel Corrie was known to the International Middle-East Media Centre. In 2003, our centre in Beit Sahour served as a collective office for international journalists to go and to plug in and connect to the internet. The International Solidarity Movement at that time shared our office space and Rachael was a member of the ISM. And she wrote many of her pieces from our offices at the International Middle-East Media Centre.

We went on in November 2003 publishing our English-language daily news update. I wrote a piece remembering and recalling Rachael on the twelfth commemoration of her death. I didn't know Rachel, I talked to a lot of people in our organisation who did, and one thing that I can say is that Rachel Corrie's death, as much as her life, touched so many people around the world and demonstrated the brutality of Israel and how Israel cares not about nationality when it targets solidarity activists.

But Rachel's death only encouraged more International Solidarity activists to go to Palestine and to support the Palestinian people and to stand in solidarity. I think that Rachel Cory would have never dreamt that her final act of resistance would have been an image spread around the world and would have encouraged so many people to become aware of what was happening in Palestine. She's a martyr for the cause. I would much prefer her to be alive and to be talking with us on this radio show today. There are several streets in Palestine called "Rachael Cory Street"; she is forever remembered by the Palestinian people and, once again, her brutal death at the hands of the Israeli demolition crew has only increased the resolve of International Solidarity volunteers.

And anyone who's interested in going to Palestine as a solidarity volunteer can go to, they can go to pcr.ts, which is the Palestine centre for rapprochement. We have volunteer opportunities constantly. And they can go to for the summer tours that are coming up which will be an introduction to the context of the Nakba and to the occupation.

Elan: Alexandra, thank you so much for speaking with us today on The Truth Perspective. Your insights and feelings on the subject are valued and we hope to have you on again sometime soon to discuss developments there. In the meantime, folks, you can visit the website: - the International Middle-East Media Center. We wish you a lot of success with your ambassadorship of this new effort to bring solar energy to those in plight and we wish you well.

Alexandra: Well, thank you for having me; I always appreciate coming any time you'd like me to come. Please, certainly, let me know and I'll always make room in my schedule to come back. You have a wonderful programme. I've encouraged my followers on Twitter and Facebook and social media to tune-in, not only when I'm on but all the time because the stories that you all bring to light - the stories that aren't told, the voice that you give to the voiceless is so very important.
The Truth Perspective has become something that I listen to regularly...

Harrison: Oh, that's great, thank you.

Alexandra: and thank you very much for having me on. You guys have a great weekend and a great rest of your show.

Harrison: Okay, you too Alexandra, thank you.

William: Thank you very much.

Alexandra: Okay, bye bye.

Harrison: Bye. So yeah, we'll hopefully in the future be having Alexandra on semi-regularly to give us updates like that because if you go to the website you'll just see the amount of news that they cover and just on-the-ground events in Palestine and Israel and the big geopolitical stuff, so they and Alexandra herself are just a great resource, so we thank her again and we'll have her on in the future.

Now, moving on a bit, we'll stay in the Middle-East for a bit. Some interesting news out of Syria in the past week or so: Syrian air-defence apparently brought down a US drone over the Latakia province. Now, what's interesting about that is there is no ISIS or ISIL presence in that province of Syria. So, what was a US drone doing flying over that region? Well, you'll probably know if you've listened to the show before. But the US wouldn't confirm or deny. Jen Psaki just confirmed that they "lost control"' of a US drone over the region but she wouldn't confirm that it had been shot down by Syrian Air-Defence.

And so, Psaki went on to say, "We of course reiterate our warning to the Assad regime not to interfere with US aerial assets over Syria."

Just the gall of this woman... well, whoever writes her talking-points, because to say that to a sovereign nation that you are illegally conducting air-raids over just doesn't make any sense. Syria has every right to shoot down a foreign drone over a province that has nothing to do with the illegal attack on ISIS in that country, which the Syrian Government never agreed to. So that's all I have to say about that.

Elan: Well, also, never mind the fact that US arms are bombing Syrian infrastructure - all under the cover of attacking ISIS. It's gall, it's.... is there another word that surpasses gall??

Harrison: It's Psaki.

Elan: It's Psaki.

Harrison: Well, just to get into that a bit more, about Syria in general, just to give some context about what's been going on: if you read the news, they say, "It's a civil war in Syria" and that's what's going on and that Assad is the bad guy.

Well, say whatever you will about Assad, if you look at the history of the actual conflict, the biggest events started in around 2011, in March. Now, this was when there were some anti-government protests. Now, at first, with a lot of these protesters it seemed to be just a genuine peaceful protest - but that very quickly turned violent. So there were confrontations with the police - this was in the city of Daraa - and of course the media just had a field day with it because of the so-called Syrian police "crackdown" - the security forces cracking down on these protesters.

Well, it turns out at that protest, the protesters were well armed; they attacked security forces; they were destroying government buildings; there were also several pro-government demonstrations going on at the same time that were ignored by the Western media. A poll around that time showed that 55% of Syrians wanted Assad to stay in power - so a majority. Not a huge majority but a majority nonetheless. But that's how the protests started.

We'll get into some more details about that, but before that, if you look at US foreign policy, it's very convenient - or maybe it's just a big coincidence - that if you go back as far as 1991, it seems like this was just exactly what the US wanted. John Mearsheimer fittingly said that, "Promoting democracy is simply a means of putting pro-US and anti-Russian leaders in power."

Now, in 1991, General Wesley Clarke is on the record as quoting Paul Wolfowitz as saying, "One thing that we learned is that we can use our military in the Middle-East and the Soviets won't stop us. And we got about five or ten years to clean up those old Soviet client-regimes - Syria, Iran, Iraq - before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us."

So it was right after the break-up of the Soviet Union and they're already planning, "Okay, we've got to 'pick up' all those old Soviet regimes to establish ourselves to prevent a new superpower." Now, they've obviously failed at that because Russia is now a superpower. Then, again, Wesley Clarke, six weeks after 9/11, he's the guy that said that he was at a joint-chiefs meeting and the secretary of defence sent the so-called "seven countries in five years" memo, saying that they were going to go after Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and then Iran; and if you look at those countries - Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Iran and what's going on today? Well, Iraq has already been destroyed and turned into a pseudo-client-state for the US; Libya, destroyed - same thing; Iran, Syria, okay.

Now, so these protests started. It was only after the March unrest - March 2011 - in August that NATO said that they would now send weapons to the rebels. Tens of thousands of foreign-trained fighters, many of whom would later join ISIS, using Turkey. So, several months after these March protests, then NATO comes out and says that they're going to start arming these Syrian rebels and sending thousands of foreign-trained fighters into the country.

Now, that was for public consumption, because it turns out, obviously, that this was going on from the very beginning. Sibel Edmonds had a series of articles and kind of exposés that she put out showing that this covert training and supplying started at least in April. So, this is the month after the very first protests.

So, you could either say that this was a genuine protest movement that was immediately co-opted or it was mixed at the beginning - so there were genuine people that were protesting, because you'll get protests in any country with people that feel they have reasons for protesting. Unfortunately, that just opens them up to being co-opted in the so-called Colour Revolution scheme.

Now, there was a Stratfor - that kind of intelligence analysis group, Stratfor - there was a leak from them, I think it was put out by Wikileaks, that said, "The Syrian opposition remains largely non-violent", and then it goes on to say that, "The protest movements were incapable of large, armed resistance". Now, this is the kind that DEBKAfile had reported was already present. So, DEBKAfile is saying that there is large, armed resistance and Stratfor is saying that this isn't possible - without substantial foreign involvement. So "Without that involvement," that Stratfor leak said, "the opposition is very unlikely to overwhelm and topple the regime without substantial foreign, military and financial backing. Without financial backing, the opposition movement is unlikely to acquire enough money or gain enough traction to acquire large quantities of weaponry, let alone achieve regime change. The movement is simply too small and too ill-equipped."

There is an article up right now, on Syria - it's a Best of the Web - you can also check out "Sibel Edmonds", because there are a lot more quotes and sources - official, like 'confirmed sources' - saying all these things, that directly confirm that yes, NATO, the US, was supplying weapons and training and aid to the Syrian rebels from the very beginning, and tens of thousands of foreign fighters - like I said, many of whom would later join ISIS. So, what they needed to do and what they explicitly said in their kind of policy decisions what that they were to use 'humanitarian principles' as a type of cover - and that's pretty typical; they do that all the time. So, they couldn't frame it in such a way as, "We just want regime change", so they frame it in a way that anyone not in Syria, looking at the situation, will say, "Oh, look at that Assad - look at those atrocities; we've got to do something about it." And so, people will get behind it, when the real motives are anything but that.

So, everything coming out of Syria for the last four years has just been a total P.R. campaign - at least in my view. The casualty numbers for the people killed by the Assad regime are rebels - these are the same rebels that have been trained and armed and funded by NATO. And even the CIA will not confirm those numbers; even the CIA can't get behind them because they know they're just pulled out of thin air. In fact, the majority of people killed tend to be members of the official Syrian police or armed forces.

So, one of the other leaks had said just that: that "they need mass media attention on a massacre" in order to get across this humanitarian principles, and then after that, of course, we had the Syrian gas, Assad killing his own people, which didn't happen - it was the rebels that did that and the Western media and politicians pretty much flipped that around.
So, just a little update on that.

Elan: Yeah, you know, what's interesting is you have... the other day there was an article on SOTT, about the numbers of Syrian refugees who've had to make their way to Lebanon and some in Turkey and the numbers go into the millions. And these are basically a forgotten part of the population - not by Syria, who's trying to hold everything together as best they can - but if the US and the West were so adamant about protecting Syrians from being gassed, for instance, by Assad, which is what they were claiming, why aren't they lifting a finger to aid them?

Harrison: Yeah. Why aren't they sending some of that money that they send to Israel and putting it to a good cause?

Elan: Well, there you go. And not to digress too much, but what you mentioned about the Stratfor institute and their assessing what would be required to create a situation as we're seeing: this is the same institute that came out not too long ago to say that regime change in Ukraine is the most blatant coup in history. And you counter that with this DEBKA... group...

Harrison: DEBKAfile, yeah...

Elan: DEBKAfile, which is the kind of polar opposite - the bizarro version of Stratfor - you know, they come out with information that supports the imperial narrative. So, it's just interesting to see that there are groups out there who are occasionally coming out with information that is able to correct these pieces of bullshit that get fed us and that help support the ideas that in our minds we latch on to, like, "this is a humanitarian effort" or "we're bringing democracy to a certain area".

William: Well, the US is not stopping on that. I mean, Kerry, just this week, is again accusing Assad of using chlorine gas on his own people, so I can't wait to hear some more details about that - but it's just a replay, it's like, "well let's just keep pushing it and pushing it."

Elan: Well, it's sort of like Kerry is holding both the carrot and the stick over Assad. Didn't he recently make overtures for having some kind of new relationship with Syria in the aim of fighting terrorism? It's sort of like, "Well, you side with us on this and start playing our game as we want it, or we'll start talking about chemical weapons", which has long since been debunked.

Harrison: Well, I think what it comes down to - I don't know where it's going to go - but the strategy is pretty much failing in Syria, because it's been four years and they haven't been able to effect regime change. It turns out that the Syrians just have too much support and as many losses as they have to these foreign terrorist groups, ISIS just can't get enough of a foot-hold at this point to actually fulfil US foreign policy. So, we might be seeing some kind of switches in techniques and strategies on the US's part because it's just not working.

William: Yeah, we've already seen a little bit of that with the State department coming out and talking about, "Oh, well, I think we might need to have Assad in office in order to fight ISIS. We can't have the country falling apart", and that just sounds like a cover for their failure of their previous operation.

Harrison: Well, if we look at ISIS in relation to the concept of using humanitarian feelings and principles, in order to get what they want, I mean, they've perfected this strategy with ISIS because anything that's good, that you like, ISIS is totally against and they've got video to prove it. So, I mean, people like puppies and Nutella, and so you have ISIS using puppies and Nutella to 'lure our women' over to Syria and Iraq. They've even... and this is the big one for me at least... because ISIS recently in the last couple of weeks and beforehand, they've been kind of going on this museum rampage, going into museums and tearing down and smashing ancient relics and just like invaluable things that Indiana Jones would say, "Well, these things need to be in a museum" - well, they are in a museum and they're being destroyed. So, they're even going after the kind of intellectual nerds that like history and knowledge - because when I read about something like the burning of the Library of Alexandria, it makes me cry; just that idea of destroying a piece of history like that, that it's worth can't be measured just because it is history. So they've even managed to latch on to that feeling by having ISIS destroy all these ancient relics and it's just a masterful P.R. campaign because even if some of these statues they're destroying are replicas - not the originals - the Iraqis have come out and said that they have destroyed some originals, and just watching that, I mean, it's tough.

Elan: Well, this harkens back to the Taliban and what was happening in Afghanistan in the early 2000's. You had these incredibly old, well-known statues from antiquity being destroyed and I remember that as one of the images, I mean, it struck me as an incredible loss by these mindless crazies - 'Therefore, they must be attacked.' 'Therefore, we must engage with them militarily and correct this horrific situation in Afghanistan.' But you have to wonder if that wasn't part of the Zbigniew Brzezinski script, because why do it then? To what end? Why not do it five years earlier? Or why do it at all?

So, I think these things are just designed to capture the emotional attention and ire of Westerners.

Harrison: Yeah, they tap all potential markets. What do they call it? You have your "market audience". They're out to get every single one of them, and if you look at ISIS's P.R., that's just the direction that it goes.

There's an article that I read recently by Ulson Gunnar from the New Eastern Outlook. He said something - I think he put it very well; I'm going to read this paragraph:

He said, "ISIS could not be a more effective part of America's plans to overthrow the Syrian government and destroy the Syrian state if it had an office at the Pentagon. Having failed to achieve any of its objectives in Syria, it inexplicably invaded Iraq, affording the US military a means of easing into the conflict by first confronting ISIS in Iraq, then following them back across the border into Syria.

"When this scheme began to lose its impact on public perception, ISIS first started beheading, executing Western hostages including several Americans.

"When the US needed the French on-board, ISIS executed a Frenchman. When the US needed support in Asia, two Japanese were beheaded. And just ahead of President Obama's recent attempt to formally authorise the use of military force against ISIS," this was written a while back, "a Jordanian pilot was apparently burned to death in a cage in an unprecedented act of barbarity that shocked even the most apathetic."

So ISIS really does seem to... either they've just got no brains, and everything that they do just happens to fit right in with what US foreign policy wants, or there's something else going on there.

Elan: Well, you have to wonder what their next move will be. Maybe if we anticipate what the next need will be in the area, we can kind of write the script in a little bit and see if it fits.
But, who knows? It may just be that they're very close to outliving their use. I think we'll find out soon.

William: Alright. To, change topic a little bit, there's some interesting global-economics news going on. One of the big ones is this new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB. It's a new international financial institution that was proposed by China and it's a multilateral development bank, and it's to provide finance for infrastructure projects in Asian regions.

It's being regarded as a rival to the IMF and the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which are regarded as being mainly dominated by the United States.

This bank first appeared around October 2013. The Chinese government has been consistently frustrated with regards to the slow pace of reforms in governance and it wanted a greater input on the global, established institutions like the IMF.

The Asian Development Bank institute published a report in 2010 and said that the region requires eight trillion to be invested from 2010 to 2020 in infrastructure in the region.

So, that's quite an opportunity there to get a lot of work done, and they have 27 regional members, mostly Asian and Arab countries, and we now have seven non-regional members, and they're all from the EU. First we had New Zealand join up; then the United Kingdom decided to show up, of course, to the US's dismay; France, Germany and Italy followed up and now we have Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Harrison: And even Australia has now expressed interest in joining.

William: Yep, you've got Australia and even Japan is considering. Now, Taiwan also wanted to join, but they're not recognised as a country by China, but they're willing to join if they get an invitation from China - we'll see what happens there. Hong Kong is a member, so that's kind of interesting.

Now, the United States seems to be very concerned, but yet the World Bank - the President Jim Yong Kim and the president of the Asian Development Bank, Takehiko Nakao, said that they were all in favour of this new, huge infrastructure finance project. They see quite a bit of need and they're willing to collaborate. But the United States is just putting its nose up in the air and is expressing their concerns of whether the AIIB would have the high standards of governance and whether it would have environmental and social safeguards. And they're even putting diplomatic pressure against Australia for joining.

Now, it seems kind of interesting to me that they would point out these environmental and social safeguards and the importance of that, when we see the IMF who just really doesn't have that in mind at all. They rape and pillage countries regularly and it's pretty much well known.

And history shows that developing another bank like that isn't going to be a rival to the existing banks. As (Chinese Minister, Lou) stressed, "History revisited, the establishment of regional investment banks including the Asian Development Bank, The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, they did not weaken the established institutions. Rather, they reinforced the multilateral financial organizations and more vigorously pushed forward the global economy." So, it is curious to see why the US is feeling so threatened by this. We'll have to watch the developments on that.

Harrison: Well, I think it's part of just a bigger movement and push in global politics away from the US, because it's not just the AIIB; there's BRICS; there's all the kind of regional partnerships and groups that Russia's involved with, like with Belarus and Kazakhstan and countries in the Caucasus there. And there are hints or suggestions that the kind of global power structure is moving from the West to the East - to Russia and China. So Russia and China are establishing all these relationships with other countries and it's the US that's ending up isolated.

So it looks like possibly what they're trying to do is set up this alternative structure that can continue on if and when the US system just collapses, because the US is not an ideal economic basis.

William: And the currency could have something to do with that as well because I'm sure they're going to be using their local currencies like they're doing with all these other regions.

Harrison: And it looks like Russia is trying to back-up the Ruble with gold, so it'll be a gold-backed currency and that would mean that with the sanctions standing as they are, EU countries would be barred from by-passing the Ruble because of these sanctions. That would leave China open to just directly trade goods and services, by-passing the Ruble, but the EU would kind of be left in the dark. So now we're seeing these EU countries like France, Germany, Italy, UK and more in the future joining this AIIB, and you look at that on top of other developments, such as just the increasing number of countries that are expressing doubt about the sanctions on Russia. You've got the kind of uni-vocal response to the idea of the US sending arms to Ukraine - they're saying, "No, that's a bad idea."

So it's looking like even though all these European countries are pretty much client states of the US, they're at least taking some moves - they're testing the waters, I think, by saying these things and coming out against these US policies - and so it could be a sign of something bigger in the future - it just depends, I guess, on what France or Germany, like, which of the first of them will be to jump ship.

William: Umm Hmm. Speaking of gold, there's been some massive gold purchases from the central banks again. In 2014, they amassed a record 477.2 tonnes of gold, and it seems to be an attempt to reduce the influence of the US Dollar amid the global financial instability - and that's according to the World Gold Council. It's the biggest amount of gold purchases by central banks in nearly fifty years.

And something interesting with the gold as well: some top international banks are under investigation for price-fixing - there's ten of them - for their alleged manipulation of the precious metals market. Now HSBC seems to be one of the big ones in there and they've been subpoenaed, but they've said they're co-operating with officials.

Now, what's interesting is that there's now a new gold-pricing; it's going to go totally online, apparently. They're going to ditch the old way of using the London Gold Fix, which is something where four banks get together every Thursday afternoon and fix the price of gold through phone calls. So it's not very transparent; nobody knows what's going on or what's being traded. Apparently, this new electronic version is going to open that up and make it more visible and hopefully add more people to the gold fixing which is going to be done twice a day.

Now, the five banks that are going to be members of this are included in the ten that are under investigation for metals price-fixing! So, it's like, "Wait a minute..."

And China, which is the world's largest consumer of gold, they've been snubbed - they're not being invited or being asked to be a part of this thing.

Elan: And I bet some of those same banks are also involved in the Ponzi scheme of the derivative trading and high-risk trading that we fell victim to in 2008 and since that situation was never corrected properly, will probably be one of the nails in the coffin of the US economy coming soon.

William: Yeah, because they say this is designed and expected to be transparent, but we've heard that before and it seems like making electronic would make it much more easier for them to manipulate the price of gold.

And now to hit a little closer to home, dealing with cash withdrawals: imagine yourself going to a bank to withdraw some cash. You tell the teller, "I'd like to withdraw five thousand Dollars. She hesitates and wants to know why. You try to tell her politely that it's none of the bank's business - it's my money. The teller disappears for a few minutes, then she returns, telling you, "Ah, you can collect the money in a few days because we just don't have that much on hand." So of course, you're a bit irritated, but you head home, and as you pull into the driveway, two police officers would like to have a word with you about your current withdrawal.

Now, this is something that the Justice Department is asking banks to do more. Right now they have to file SARs which is something banks have to report any time there's transactions over - it used to be ten thousand - but now it's over five thousand Dollars. And apparently, they can be fined if they don't file; even bank execs and directors can be imprisoned; and there seems to be even a quota that banks have to meet to filling out these. But the US Justice Department wants the banks to go even further by alerting law enforcement which can possibly seize your funds and initiate an investigation.

Elan: So basically, you're kind of being criminalised for wanting to withdraw your money over a certain amount.

William: Umm hmm.

Elan: Okay...

William: SARs are "Suspicious Activity Reports".

Harrison: Yep. It's suspicious when people want their money!

William: Yes.

Elan: Yeah, why would they want their money?

William: So be on the lookout for that; it's just slowly creeping on.

Elan: It must be to support terrorism. Otherwise, why would you withdraw any money from the bank?

William: Or drugs, or any kind of criminal activity, yeah.

Harrison: Yeah, that's the only thing that people really need money for, is illegal stuff, right?

Elan: Yeah, we should have everything we need and buy it on credit.

Harrison: "Well, why wouldn't you want your money in our banks? Even if we don't actually have your money."

William: And don't pay you much interest.

Harrison: Yeah. I just think that's ridiculous, that the whole banking system, it just boggles my mind that on paper, or on your computer screen, it says you've got a certain amount of money. So, you go to the bank to get your money, but, "Oh, sorry, we don't have it."
"Well, where is it?"
"Well.... that's not the way it works..."
"Oh really?? That's not the way it works?! So where's my money?"
Well, I've got bad memories because I remember the first bank account I had, I remember my parents and I set it up. So, I had a little bit of savings in there and then I didn't use it for a while, and then I remembered, "Oh, I've got some money in the bank." And there was a toy that I wanted to buy, so I went into the bank with my Mom, and I wanted to withdraw the money that I had in there, and they said, "Oh, well, sorry - you don't have any money in there."
And I was like, "Well, where's my money??"
"Oh, well, you know, it just got eaten up in interest and fees and stuff", and so my balance was zero, and I was devastated! And my Mom was angry. But that's just the way that banks work: stealing little kids' money.

William: Stealing everyone's money.

Elan: Wow.

Well, I read an article this morning, on SOTT, and it was by a blogger named Joshua H., who writes for CopBlock. It's an organisation that basically tries to keep police accountable. It collects stories from individuals who've been abused and attempts to right the situations by addressing the police departments and institutions that are supposed to be keeping an eye on these cops who are ostensibly hired to serve and protect people.

Anyway, I thought it was pretty interesting, but maybe not for the most obvious reasons, so I'm going to read it - it's pretty short.
Joshua H. recalls: "About six years ago I had a pretty disturbing run-in with law enforcement and the justice system, which I talk about some in my author profile. During the course of these events, my bicycle was taken into custody and put into police storage. It took a few days before I was willing to go and face those horrifying monsters again in order to get my bike back. When I did walk all the way to the station to get it, I was told that it was 'actually probably' in another storage area a mile away and that I should walk there and someone would meet me. It was not accepted policy to have an officer transport me there. I had to walk there and then call them when I arrived. They made it clear they didn't want to waste even a moment of their time waiting on me, a wait that was necessitated by their hijacking of my main source of quicker transportation during a nightmarish episode just days before. As I sat there in the cold evening air waiting almost a half an hour for the officer to arrive I went over all of the awful scenarios in which I was about to be harassed for being a cop assaulter. I was sickly anxious, terrified and felt alone and helpless. At this point, my whole life seemed ruined.

"When the officer finally arrived to meet me, it was an older gentleman who was part of the Community Services Division. He immediately seemed kind and asked me how long I had been waiting and where my car was. When I told him I had walked from my house to the police station and then here and had been waiting for almost a half an hour he shook his head and said he had only gotten the call ten minutes ago. Furthermore, he cautioned, my bike was unlikely to be at our current location and was almost certainly across the street from the police station where I had been originally told that it would be. He motioned for me to get in his vehicle and looked perplexed when I hesitated. I asked if it was okay or if he could get in trouble for giving me a ride on non-official business without prior consent from his department superiors (which I had earlier been informed was absolutely necessary by the dispatchers at the station, who had sent me on this sadistic goose chase). He simply stated that it was just fine to ride along.

"As soon as I got into the vehicle he introduced himself. He asked me my name and what it was that I did in Iowa City, was I a student or did I work and live here full-time? I answered those questions and then he asked me what had happened to get my bike locked up. I was too nervous to make something up or even to tell the real story in a very concise way. Also, he seemed kind and trustworthy and I felt I did not have much to lose at this point. I gave him a crash course on the events and he shook his head and gave me a sympathetic look.

"It's not the same as when I worked these streets." he said. "I couldn't work with these young guys so I took partial retirement and do this part-time, now. I warn my own kids and their kids and everyone else I care about that they have to be very careful and not trust these cops these days. They are cutthroat. It's like a competition to them and they don't really care about the people or the community. I myself am scared of them and I was a cop here for almost thirty years."

"He told me that he was sorry about what happened to me and that he understood and that I shouldn't let it affect how I feel about myself. His were some of the most comforting and kind words a stranger has ever spoken to me. I was still anxious, but not sickly so. I was still terrified, but there was some hope. I no longer felt entirely alone and now the feelings of helplessness had a starting point from which they could begin to subside. My life was going to be very difficult to sort out, but I would find my way. What had happened was not abnormal. It was, in fact, so normal that the former colleague of the cop who assaulted me and then charged me with his crime was now reassuring me and sharing his own horror stories and warnings or advice. It gave me my dignity back and allowed me to transform this terrible experience into a voice and a message that might create the changes that will spare others similar or far worse indignities and suffering.

"The gentleman told me more tales of police ineptitude, immoral/unethical attitudes and behavior and just general ignorance, pettiness and narcissism. He was obviously very deeply concerned by these changes. He said that once it was possible to sort out the good cops from the bad ones, but that it had become almost impossible to do so as the entire system had become misguided at best; although quite honestly it had become increasingly corrupt, and un-American and tyrannical at its very core. As he had shown me empathy and understanding, I now returned it by realizing that the lives' work of many honest people were going to be irrevocably stained forever by a tragic turn in liberty and freedom. Not only would his life's work be unkindly remembered in the future, but he would have to help to destroy that positive image to keep his own loved ones safe from what his former occupation had become.

"I had heard similar stories from other people, more and more so recently. Have you had a similar experience in which a police officer or former police officer has lamented to you about the state of his occupation? Has a cop or former cop warned you about other cops? Are you a cop or a former cop who can sympathize with this story? Is somebody you love a cop or once was now afraid of what is happening with individual police and the growing police state happening around the country?"
And the blogger goes on to request similar stories or any stories relating, and it really put another dimension to what we're seeing in the US right now, available for me to understand. And it wasn't even so much the understanding that this old, retired officer had of what had happened. I think we've all pretty much come to the conclusion that what we're seeing is a pathocratic, pathological take-over of the entire policing system in the US. But I think what was most instructive to me about this was how much this sane, empathetic, compassionate police officer was able to restore a little bit of hope and dignity in this person who had been abused. And it wasn't reactive, it was really kind of thoughtful and caring and insightful.

William: It was.

Harrison: Well, we're going to end it there for today, everyone. Next week, we'll be back, hopefully with another guest - if not, the week after that for sure. So everyone take care, tune in tomorrow for Behind the Headlines and Monday for The Health and Wellness Show and yeah, everyone have a nice rest of your day.

Elan: Thanks for listening in.

William: Take care everybody.

Harrison: Alright. So, thanks everyone. And yeah, see you next week.