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Mon, 04 Dec 2023
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After Hitting Obstacles in Greece, Canadian Ship Ends Bid to Reach Gaza

© The Canadian Press / The Associated Press
Passengers are seen on the deck of the Canadian boat Tahrir, shortly after the boat was returned to the port by the coast guard in Agiios Nikolaos, northeastern Crete, Greece on Monday, July 4, 2011. Canadian activists trying to deliver aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip have decided to put off their voyage for now. Organizers announced the decision Saturday after the Canadian ship, known as the Tahrir, had been prevented from leaving a port in Greece for several weeks.
Canadian activists trying to deliver aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip have decided to put off their voyage for now.

Organizers announced the decision Saturday after the Canadian ship, known as the Tahrir, had been prevented from leaving a port in Greece for several weeks.

Greece has banned vessels heading to the blockaded strip, citing safety concerns.

After inspections and administrative delays, the Canadian ship tried to leave for Gaza on Monday but was quickly turned back to shore by the Greek coast guard.

Organizer David Heap, who was aboard the Tahrir, said he's disappointed the ship wasn't able to bring aid to Gaza.

But the group succeeded in drawing attention to the conditions there, he said.

"Obviously some individuals are disappointed," he told The Canadian Press in a phone interview from Greece on Saturday.

"But we have had remarkable success.. in getting this issue into the spotlight."

Bad Guys

The "War On Drugs" Is A $2.5 Trillion Racket: How Big Banks, Private Military Companies And The Prison Industry Cash In

After detailing the "War on Terror" racket, many readers emailed asking us to cover the profiteering that is occurring within the "War on Drugs." As we work hard to dig up dirt on all the major problems confronting us, we have compiled a database of thousands of the most hard-hitting and informative news reports. So ask and you shall receive. Here you go.
War on Drugs
© Unknown

Anyone who researches the "War on Drugs" already knows that it has been a very costly disaster. As the Global Commission on Drug Policy recently reported:
"The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world....

Vast expenditures on criminalization and repressive measures directed at producers, traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs have clearly failed to effectively curtail supply or consumption....

Government expenditures on futile supply reduction strategies and incarceration displace more cost-effective and evidence-based investments in demand and harm reduction."

War Whore

House Passes $649B Defense Spending Bill

The House on Friday overwhelmingly passed a $649 billion defense spending bill that boosts the Pentagon budget by $17 billion and covers the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The strong bipartisan vote was 336-87 and reflected lawmakers' intent to ensure national security, preserve defense jobs across the nation and avoid deep cuts while the country is at war.

While House Republican leaders slashed billions from all other government agencies, the Defense Department is the only one that will see a double-digit increase in its budget beginning Oct. 1.

Amid negotiations to cut spending and raise the nation's borrowing limit, the House rejected several amendments to cut the Pentagon budget, including a measure by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to halve the bill's increase in defense spending.

Star of David

"Air Flotilla" successful in exposing Israeli blockade of West Bank

Ben Gurion International Airport
© N i c o_
Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv
Israeli authorities deployed hundreds of police officers to arrest and deport pro-Palestinian visitors. The Minister of Tourism announced that "good tourists" will be greeted with flowers

Panic. There is no other way to describe the Israeli reaction to a plan organized by a few activists - no more than a thousand, according to the most generous estimates - to try and travel to the West Bank via Ben Gurion International Airport. A handful of those visitors arrived (five of them have already been deported), and it seems that the whole country has gone mad.

Haaretz has reported a special deployment of hundreds of police officers and special units both inside and outside the terminals, "in case one of the arrivals tries to set himself on fire." The Petach Tikva court, in charge of the airport area, is to have more arrest judges on alert, and the minister for Hasbara (propaganda) Yuli Edelstein demanded that the government take no chances, "because we should remember what happened on 9/11."

All this, lets not forget, in order to welcome between a few dozen to a few hundred Westerners (most of them quite old, according to reports), who would arrive on separate flights and on different hours, who went through extensive security checks before boarding their planes, and who openly declared their intentions to visit the Palestinian territories. This is the national threat that has captured all the headlines for some days now in a country armed with one of the strongest armies in the world as well as an extensive arsenal of nuclear bombs.

While events at the airport are more absurd than tragic (there is a torrent of jokes on twitter about this, like: "attention all units, attention all units, a Swedish woman is now getting off flight 465″, or "security personnel have been ordered to report all those not singing 'Heve'nu Shalom' at landing"), one cannot watch the government's handling of this situation and not question the judgment of Israeli decision makers, or wonder about the things they are capable of doing if and when they sense a more substantial threat. One of the sole voices of reason was Yedioth's Eitan Haber, former secretary of Prime Minister Rabin, whose commentary today had the title: "We simply lost it" ("ירדנו מהפסים").


Malaysia Cracks Down on Protesters

Many opposition activists were held for participating in Friday's rally, declared illegal by the government
Police use tear gas and arrest more than 600 as thousands rally in Kuala Lumpur to demand electoral reforms.

Police in Malaysia have fired tear gas and arrested hundreds of protesters in the biggest opposition-backed rally in years.

More than 20,000 demonstrators massed across Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, demanding electoral reforms, activists said.

The federal police force said that it detained 644 people in a clampdown called Operation Erase Bersih, referring to the Bersih coalition, the group organising the rally.

Those arrested included several senior opposition officials.

"The public is reminded not to be involved in any demonstration," the federal police force said in a statement and warned of "stern action ... against those who disobey".

Witnesses said riot police armed with batons charged at some protesters and dragged them into trucks.

Numerous restaurants and stores were closed because of the transportation disruptions and fears of violence.

The government had declared the demonstration illegal, and police had sealed off parts of the capital in advance.


Iran Accused of Arming Anti-US Militias in Iraq

Adm Mullen confirmed that despite threats to escalate attacks if the Americans did not leave, the United States was in negotiations to leave thousands of troops in Iraq beyond the deadline.
The United States' most senior military officer has accused Iran of pouring arms into anti-American militias in Iraq as the two powers battle for influence in the country.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said Iran was responsible for arming militant Shia groups responsible for a recent upsurge in killings of American servicemen.

"Iran is very directly supporting extremist troops which are killing our troops," he said at a Washington briefing.

The weapons the Pengtagon believe are being smuggled into the country by the Revolutionary Guard include improvised mortars and an armour-piercing bomb known as an explosively formed penetrator, or EFP.

Two American servicemen were killed by an EFP outside their base in Baghdad in an attack on Thursday, on top of 14 killed across the country in the previous month, the highest figure for two years.

The last American troops are due to leave Iraq at the end of this year, having been pulled out of combat operations last August. But American strategists and Washington's allies in the Gulf fear that withdrawal will leave a strategic gap into which Iran will step.

Che Guevara

New Protests Rage Across Egypt

Demanding faster reforms and prosecution of Mubarak era officials, protesters gather to put pressure on military rulers.

Thousands of demonstrators have flooded Cairo's now-iconic Tahrir Square and other rallying points across the country to demand immediate reforms and swifter prosecution of former officials from the toppled government of Hosni Mubarak.

Friday's "March of the Million", as protesters are calling the new uprising, is expected to be the biggest demonstration since the fall of Mubarak on February 11.

Many Egyptians feel that little has changed since the regime was forced out, and the nationwide protests are the latest calls for the country's interim military rulers to provide a roadmap towards democracy, jobs and infrastructure improvements.

Most of Egypt's political parties and coalitions, including the Muslim Brotherhood, supported widespread calls for the protest to be staged across Egypt. Hundreds of protesters gathered in Suez and Alexandria, among other locations.

"The main frustration here is over the release of the officers accused of killing protesters during the revolution is the main focus of the people here," said Al Jazeera correspondent Sherine Tadros from Suez. "What people here are asking for is justice and faster trials of those responsible for the killings of protesters.

Tadros added that the military is trying to maintain control and show a visible presence in Suez.

"However, they are careful not to overshadow the protesters to make it out in many ways that they are here to stop the protest," Tadros said.

Five months after the revolution, many activists behind Friday's protest say few of the goals of the original uprising have been achieved. One rallying point is the claim that military rulers have failed to provide justice for the victims of the former regime.


Bank Of America Freezes Customer's Accounts After Nearly $3 Million In Mysterious Overdrafts

© Unknown
An unemployed single mom in Orlando either managed to overdraft nearly $3 million from her accounts at Bank of America or the bank's computers went haywire and mistakenly debited each of her three accounts to the tune of around $900,000. Regardless, the woman says BofA is attempting to close those accounts, leaving her and her family in dire financial straits.

When she attempted to log onto her account via the BofA website, the woman found she'd been locked out of her account. So she went to the bank to find out what was going on.

"They wouldn't give me any of my money and said they were in the process of closing my accounts and would send me a check in 10 to 15 business days," she tells Orlando's WESH TV.

Star of David

Dual Citizenship -- Loyal to Whom?

michael chertoff
© Unknown
Michael Chertoff, an Israeli citizen, the son of an Orthodox rabbi and a pioneer of the Mossad, headed the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice in 2001, and as such was responsible for the retention and destruction of all evidence regarding the 11th of September - from Pentagon cameras to World Trade Center beams. It is to him also that the "dancing Israelis" owe their discreet repatriation. In 2003, he was appointed to head the new Department of Homeland Security in charge of counter-terrorism on U.S. territory, which allows him to control dissent while continuing to restrict access to the file of Sept. 11 through the law of Sensitive Security Information.
Someone wrote and asked me, "Why are there Israeli- but not Mexican-American Dual Nationals?"

Well, here's my take on this. I'd also like your views and opinions.

Before I begin I'd like to say something important. There is a new law -- the so-called "Hate Speech" law, that just passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate and become law very soon. It was originally designed to guard against discrimination of oppressed minorities but was soon recognized as a way for Israel to forever end any criticism of the state of Israel and Zionism. When it is law, this page, and many like it will be deleted from the internet as yet another mile marker of the infringement of truth and free speech by certain dual-nationals at the expense of true and patriotic Americans. Enough said.

Unless we are Native American Indians, all Americans have their origins in some other country. Both of my parents were from England. They were proud to be "British" but they were most proud of achieving their American citizenship. Sure, we had pictures of the Queen and nick-nacks with the Union Jack on them. My mother even celebrated the traditional 4 o'clock tea time and was good at making Yorkshire Pudding. In the late 60's my older brother served in the US Army and did his tour in Viet Nam. When it came down to "allegiance," we were all patriotic Americans. Period.

The word "allegiance" means that we promise loyalty. It also carries with it the expectation that this loyalty will be exclusive and unrestrained. In the case of a declared war or real threat or conflict, for example, our allegiance to America should preclude any other interest, be it another country or political ideology.

When they took their oath to become American citizens, my parents had to pledge their "allegiance" exclusively to America and renounce their allegiance to "any and all foreign governments." That included Great Britain, one of our strongest allies.

Before Viewzone asked me to research the meaning of "dual citizenship," I had never heard of the term. How could someone be a citizen of two countries at the same time? But I was just ignorant. Dual nationalities and citizenships are quite common.

Card - VISA

Visa Again Blockades WikiLeaks' Credit Card Donations

wikileaks graphic
© n/a
U.S. credit card provider Visa said Thursday that a payment processor in Iceland briefly opened the floodgates to donations to secrets outlet WikiLeaks, so they took the necessary steps to close them again.

Icelandic payments processor DataCell had said the blockade was lifted yesterday after months of stalling from Visa and MasterCard, who cut off all funding for WikiLeaks in Dec. of last year.

The firm had contracted with another payments processor to enable WikiLeaks donations for a few brief hours, before Visa noticed and ordered it shut down.

DataCell previously threatened legal action against Visa and MasterCard over their blockade of WikiLeaks' payments, which they said had hurt their business. They did not file the necessary paperwork, however.