Puppet MastersS


Best of the Web: Hamas and Israel have opened the 'gates of hell' in Gaza yet again. And the number of journalistic cliches in hell is growing by the day

Everyday is 9/11 in Gaza.
'Surgical air strikes', 'rooting out terror', and 'cyber-terrorism' cannot conceal reality

Terror, terror, terror, terror, terror. Here we go again. Israel is going to "root out Palestinian terror" - which it has been claiming to do, unsuccessfully, for 64 years - while Hamas, the latest in "Palestine's" morbid militias, announces that Israel has "opened the gates of hell" by murdering its military leader, Ahmed al-Jabari.

Hezbollah several times announced that Israel had "opened the gates of hell" for attacking Lebanon. Yasser Arafat, who was a super-terrorist, then a super-statesman - after capitulating on the White House lawn - and then became a super-terrorist again when he realised he'd been conned by Camp David; he, too waffled on about the "gates of hell" in 1982.

And we journos are writing like performing bears, repeating all the clichés we've used for the past 40 years. The killing of Mr Jabari was a "targeted attack", it was a "surgical air strike" - like the Israeli "surgical air strikes" which killed almost 17,000 civilians in Lebanon in 1982, the 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, in 2006, or the 1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians, in Gaza in 2008-9, or the pregnant woman and the baby who were killed by the "surgical air strikes" in Gaza last week - and the 11 civilians killed in one Gaza house yesterday. At least Hamas, with their Godzilla rockets, don't claim anything "surgical" about them. They are meant to murder Israelis - any Israelis, man woman or child.

Eye 2

Best of the Web: Elites Will Make Gazans of Us All

palestinian flower
© Mr Fish
Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world's elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence. Many impoverished regions of the world, which have fallen off the economic cliff, are beginning to resemble Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians live in the planet's largest internment camp. These sacrifice zones, filled with seas of pitifully poor people trapped in squalid slums or mud-walled villages, are increasingly hemmed in by electronic fences, monitored by surveillance cameras and drones and surrounded by border guards or military units that shoot to kill. These nightmarish dystopias extend from sub-Saharan Africa to Pakistan to China. They are places where targeted assassinations are carried out, where brutal military assaults are pressed against peoples left defenseless, without an army, navy or air force. All attempts at resistance, however ineffective, are met with the indiscriminate slaughter that characterizes modern industrial warfare.

In the new global landscape, as in Israel's occupied territories and the United States' own imperial projects in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, massacres of thousands of defenseless innocents are labeled wars. Resistance is called a provocation, terrorism or a crime against humanity. The rule of law, as well as respect for the most basic civil liberties and the right of self-determination, is a public relations fiction used to placate the consciences of those who live in the zones of privilege. Prisoners are routinely tortured and "disappeared." The severance of food and medical supplies is an accepted tactic of control. Lies permeate the airwaves. Religious, racial and ethnic groups are demonized. Missiles rain down on concrete hovels, mechanized units fire on unarmed villagers, gunboats pound refugee camps with heavy shells, and the dead, including children, line the corridors of hospitals that lack electricity and medicine.

Light Sabers

Syrian Army kills 230 terrorists in Aleppo

© Unknown
The Syrian army killed 230 terrorists and destroyed 12 cars in heavy clashes with armed rebels in the Northwestern city of Aleppo.

The clashes took place near al-Kendi Hospital in Aleppo's al-Ghouta neighborhood.

Abu Hamzeh, a notorious terrorist commander, and several foreign nationals, including a Libyan and a Jordanian, were among those killed in the clashes.

Today, the Syrian army also killed dozens of terrorists with Saudi, Egyptian and Tunisian nationalities in the Western Homs province.

The terrorists were killed during the army's fresh operations to purge the Homs province of terrorists.


Israeli spokesperson admits to targeting journalists in Gaza

© (Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)
As is now widely known, in the early morning hours of 18 November during Israel's continued escalation of its military assault on Gaza, the army targeted two buildings in Gaza City that housed international and Palestinian media outlets. The attacks left at least eight journalists injured. Twenty-year old cameraman Khader al-Zahhar had his right leg blown off when a rocket shot through the roof. At the time of writing, Israel has killed 72 Palestinians - 26 just today - since Wednesday, 14 November.

According to a press release today by the human rights organization Adalah:

© Majdi Fathi / APA images)A Palestinian journalist inspects his car after an Israeli air strike targeted a media building in Gaza City, 18 November.
"The Israeli army bombed Al-Shoroq Tower (or the "Journalists' Tower") in Gaza City. The 15-story building housed both local Arab and international media agencies such as Al Arabiya, Al Quds TV, Sky News, France 24, and Russia TV. Local media sources reported that eight journalists were injured in the initial attack. According to [Palestinian human rights group] Al-Mezan field reports, building occupants later received warnings about the Israeli army's intent to demolish the entire building, and were told to evacuate."

By the Israeli army's own admission, they knew journalists were in the building at which they fired: "We obviously knew there were journalists in the building, so we did not attack other floors in the building. But my advice to journalists visiting Gaza is to stay away from any Hamas position, site or post for their own safety," army spokesperson Avital Leibovich told the press today (BBC Middle East Bureau Chief Paul Danahar recorded her admission).

Arrow Up

Best of the Web: The world must stand up against psychopaths in power, and most importantly stand up against the psychopathic regime in Israel! Ken O'Keefe nails it again

Comment: The most important book you can read nowadays!: Political Ponerology: The Scientific Study of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes


Flashback Israel's ethnic cleansing and apartheid in Palestine

Israel, Palestine, 1967
I just returned from my latest trip to Palestine, or at least to the part of Palestine I still have access to as a Palestinian Christian. You see, we Palestinians from the Bethlehem area (the birthplace of Jesus) are now denied entry to over 90 percent of Palestine and even to our capital and major economic center, Jerusalem (which is merely 7 miles from Bethlehem).

Israeli colonies dot the landscape from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan on land stolen from the native people. Six of the 10 million Palestinians in the world are now refugees or displaced people and the remaining Palestinians live in increasingly shrinking and impoverished ghettos (à la South African Bantustans at the time of Apartheid).


Flashback A Thanksgiving message from Gaza

As you Americans sit down with your family on this Thanksgiving Day, think of the Gazans that have nothing to thank you for. Think of the over 1500 citizens of Gaza that were murdered with weapons made in your country. Think of the additional 3 Billion dollars that will be spent on warplanes bound to Israel soon to continue the process of genocide.
little boy, missle
© Latuff 2009

Eye 1

Police State: California gets face scanners to spy on everyone at once

Facial recognition technology is expected to soon be the norm among law enforcement
In a single second, law enforcement agents can match a suspect against millions upon millions of profiles in vast detailed databases stored on the cloud. It's all done using facial recognition, and in Southern California it's already occurring.

Imagine the police taking a picture: any picture of a person, anywhere, and matching it on the spot in less than a second to a personalized profile, scanning millions upon millions of entries from within vast, intricate databases stored on the cloud.

It's done with state of the art facial recognition technology, and in Southern California it's already happening.

At least one law enforcement agency in San Diego is currently using software developed by FaceFirst, a division of nearby Camarillo, California's Airborne Biometrics Group. It can positively identify anyone, as long as physical data about a person's facial features is stored somewhere the police can access. Though that pool of potential matches could include millions, the company says that by using the "best available facial recognition algorithms" they can scour that data set in a fraction of a second in order to send authorities all known intelligence about anyone who enters a camera's field of vision.

"Live high definition video enables FaceFirst to track and isolate the face of every person on every camera simultaneously," the company claims on their website.

"Up to 4 million comparisons per second, per clustered server" - that's how many matches a single computer wired to the FaceFirst system can consider in a single breath as images captured by cameras, cell phones and surveillance devices from as far as 100 feet away are fed into algorithms designed to pick out terrorists and persons of interest. In a single setting, an unlimited amount of cameras can record the movements of a crowd at 30-frames-per-second, pick out each and every face and then feed it into an equation that, ideally, finds the bad guys.


Homeland Security spends millions for 'biosurveillance' of social networks

Homeland Security, DHS
© Reuters/Hyungwon KangU.S. Department of Homeland Security analysts work at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) located just outside Washington in Arlington, Virginia
The US Department of Homeland Security has signed a multi-million dollar contract with a global management consulting firm to boost the country's attempt to master biosurveillance using social networks.

Virginia-based Accenture Federal Services will receive $3 million in federal funds to spend during the next year as they assist with efforts from the DHS and the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) to improve the United States' ability to track health trends and potential pandemics by means of monitoring social media accounts and other online activity.

According to a statement from the company, Accenture will be working hand-in-hand with the OHA in order to test out a pilot program that hopes to manage, link and analyze crucial data submitted by individuals about diseases and perhaps even a biological attack by pulling feeds from social networks.

"Biosurveillance is the monitoring of public health trends and unusual occurrences, relying on pre-existing, real-time health data - data that is publicly available and easily obtained," says Joanne Veto, Accenture's director of media and analyst relations. "Because of the vast amount of data and information available and readily shared through social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) and the rapid pace information is shared, collecting and understanding information from these channels is critical."

Star of David

Deadly "mistake": IDF wipes out Palestinian family due to "technical error"

© Agence France-Presse/Marco LongariPalestinian men gather around a crater caused by an Israeli air strike on the al-Dallu family's home in Gaza City on November 18, 2012.
The Israeli Defense Force has confirmed that while targeting Hamas' rocket chief it mistakenly bombed the home of the Al-Dalou family, killing at least 11 civilians, four of them children and toddlers.

"Israel has killed a family of eleven people this evening, and many, many more. If Israel wants to stop its aggression, then we can talk. But before then, how could we consider any deal?" Salama Maroof, a senior Hamas spokesman told the Daily Telegraph.

IDF said the source of the error was either a failure to laser-paint the correct target or that one of the munitions in the strike misfired, Haaretz newspaper reported. The Israeli military is investigating the incident.

The Israeli military targeted Hamas' rocket-launching unit led by Yehiya Rabiah, but apparently hit the house of a neighbor, the newspaper noted. Rabiah seems to have survived the attack despite earlier claims that he was killed.