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Fri, 02 Dec 2022
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War Whore

For Israel to go to war with Iran would be the height of folly

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© Getty Images

On standby: an Israeli F-15 fighter jet on manoeuvres in the Negev desert.
Judging by the rhetorical fusillades exchanged between Israel and Iran, the threat of war between the two adversaries becomes greater day by day. Meanwhile, the chances of formal diplomacy settling the confrontation over Tehran's nuclear ambitions have receded almost to vanishing point, with the failure of the most recent talks in Moscow in June.

But scratch beneath the surface, and the picture is very different: war is not around the corner and it might not happen at all. I claim no great insight and I could be proven wrong tomorrow if Israel were to begin air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. Yet the case against panic remains convincing.

First and foremost, war with Iran would be a terrible option for Israel. The Iranian people would probably respond to outside attack by rallying behind their leaders and strengthening a deeply unpopular regime.

Iran would hit back through Hizbollah in Lebanon and by trying to close the Strait of Hormuz, imposing civilian casualties on Israel and a grave burden on the global economy. In Syria, Bashar al-Assad would have the opportunity to pose alongside Iran as a dual victim of a Zionist plot.

Comment: Rational decision makers, one wonders what country is he referring to?

Iran has made clear on several occasions that it doesn't seek a nuclear weapon.


Bad Guys

Oil and Gas Companies Can Take Your Land

Cabot Oil & Gas has taken Ken Ely's land
© Scranton Times Tribune
Cabot Oil & Gas has taken Ken Ely's land, polluted his water and run over his dog in Pennsylvania.
No Person Shall Be Deprived of Life, Liberty or Property... Unless the Oil and Gas Industry Says So.
Eminent domain, the government's right to condemn (or take) private land for "public use," has at times been a highly contentious topic because it can displace people from their homes to make way for construction of different projects, like highways or roads, civic buildings and other types of public infrastructure. However, what some may not realize is that several states have granted eminent domain authority to certain private entities, including oil and gas companies. These companies are using it as a tool to seize private land, which increases profits and benefits their wallets.

According to the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment, in order to pursue eminent domain, the land must be taken for "public use" and the private property owners must receive "just compensation."

Chess

The Euro Is Not in Trouble. The Common People Are

Euro
© Unbekannt
One of the phrases frequently written in economic circles in the United States (and, to a lesser degree, in Europe) is, "The euro is going to collapse." Those who repeat that phrase over and over again do not seem to know how the euro was established, by whom and for whose benefit. If they knew the history of the euro, they would have noticed that the major forces behind the euro have done very well and continue to do so. As long as they continue to benefit from the euro's existence, the euro will continue to exist.

Let's start with the euro's history and the major reason it was established. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, it looked like East and West Germany could reunite and - as the Western German establishment wanted - become, once again, a united Germany. That possibility did not please democratic Europe. Twice in the 20th century, the majority of European countries had to go to war to stop the expansionist aims of a united Germany. The European governments were not pleased to see post-Nazi Germany reunited. President François Mitterrand of France even said ironically that, "I love Germany so much that I prefer to see two Germanys rather than one."

The only alternative these governments saw was to make sure the united Germany would not become an isolated country in front of everyone else. Germany had to become integrated into Europe. It had to become Europeanized. Mitterrand thought one way of doing this was to have the German currency, the mark, be replaced by a new European currency, the euro. This was thought to be a way of anchoring post-Nazi Germany to democratic Europe.

The German establishment, however, put forth conditions. One was to establish a financial authority, the European Central Bank (ECB), that would manage the euro and have as its only objective to keep inflation down. The ECB would be under the heavy influence of (that is, controlled by) the German Central Bank, the Bundesbank. The other condition was to establish the stability pact, which would impose financial discipline on member states of the eurozone. Their public deficits would have to remain lower than 3 percent of their gross domestic products (GDPs), even in moments of recession.

To understand why the other countries accepted these conditions, one has to understand that neoliberalism (which started with President Ronald Reagan in the United States and with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom) was the dominant ideology in those countries. A major position within that neoliberal dogma was to reduce the role of the states as much as possible, encouraging private financing and de-emphasizing domestic demand as the way of stimulating the economy. In this view, the main motor of the economy should be the growth of exports. These are the roots of the problem - not of the euro, which is in good health - but of the welfare and well-being of the population in those countries.

Hourglass

Israel's War Rhetoric against Iran Threatens Global Security

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© Fars News Agency
Eshaq Ale-Habib
Iran's Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Eshaq Ale-Habib in a letter to the UN Security Council President, Gerard Araud, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Zionist officials' war rhetoric against Tehran, cautioning that the Israeli threats are a flagrant violation of the UN Charter's basic principles.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran expresses, once again, its deep concern over, and strong condemnation of such a provocative, unwarranted and irresponsible statement by the Prime Minister and Defense Minister as well as other officials of the Israeli regime who frequently threaten Iran with military strike," the letter said.

The full text of the Iranian envoy's letter to the UN follows:

Red Flag

Intelligence bulletin prepared by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warn of possible anarchist activity at conventions?

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Law enforcement is concerned about potential violence by anarchists at upcoming political conventions

Law enforcement officials are concerned about possible violence by anarchist extremists at the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions, according to an intelligence bulletin prepared by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. The bulletin, which was obtained by CNN, says that anarchists could try to use improvised explosive devices.

It also says that, as of March, the FBI had intelligence indicating individuals from New York "planned to travel to Tampa and attempt to close" all of the Tampa Bay-area bridges during the Republican National Convention next week.

According to the document, the FBI's information as of March showed that anarchist extremists proposed "engaging in potentially destructive criminal activities against critical infrastructure outside the security perimeter throughout the Tampa Bay region because they expected access to the main RNC venue to be tightly controlled."

Megaphone

Amnesty International: US State Department Propaganda Machine, Betrays Real Human Rights

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From Amnesty International USA's website, "Free Pussy Riot." "Help Amnesty International send a truckload of balaclavas to Putin." This childish stunt smacks of US State Department-funded Gene Sharp antics - and meshes directly with the US State Department's goal of undermining the Russian government via its troupe of US-funded "opposition activists" including "Pussy Riot." That Amnesty is supporting the US State Department's agenda should be no surprise, it is run literally by the US State Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations, Suzanne Nossel.
Amnesty run by US State Department representatives, funded by convicted financial criminals, and threatens real human rights advocacy worldwide.

Mistakenly considered by many as the final word on human rights worldwide, it might surprise people to know that Amnesty International is in fact one of the greatest obstacles to real human rights advocacy on Earth. In its most recent 2012 annual report (page 4, .pdf), Amnesty reiterates one of the biggest lies it routinely tells:
"Amnesty International is funded mainly by its membership and public donations. No funds are sought or accepted from governments for investigating and campaigning against human rights abuses. Amnesty International is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion."
This is categorically false. Amnesty international is indeed funded and run by not only governments, but also immense corporate-financier interests, and is not only absolutely entwined with political ideology and economic interests, it is an essential tool used for perpetuating just such interests.

USA

Civilian Deaths from US Drone Attacks Much Higher than Reported

Gareth Porter: New investigative work shows that civilian deaths in Pakistan, including from second wave attacks, higher than Pentagon reports


Transcript:

Paul Jay, Senior Editor, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to this week's edition of The Porter Report with investigative journalist and historian Gareth Porter. Thanks for joining us, Gareth.

Gareth Porter, Investigative Reporter: Hi, Paul. Glad to be back again.

JAY: So what have you been working on this week?

PORTER: Well, this week I - over the weekend I just published a major investigative report on the real level of civilian casualties in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, as based on the actual data gathered by a Pakistani lawyer for the families of the victims of drone strikes, and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London based on their interviews with eyewitnesses and others in the areas where the strikes take place. This is really the first effort to come up with a set of data that can be compared with the data that's been published by the New America Foundation on its website, something they call "Year of the Drone", which keeps track of every strike that is covered in the news media and keeps a running tally on casualties. And so what we can do now is see that the New America Foundation has been systematically underestimating or underplaying, underreporting the number of civilian casualties in the U.S. drone war in Pakistan over the past three years.

Bad Guys

Are People Being Thrown Into Psychiatric Wards For Their Political Views?

padded cell
Mental Health Diagnoses Are Sometimes Politically-Motivated

Many psychologists and psychiatrists are good people, who are only trying to help their patients.

But the Nazi government substantially supported psychologists ... many of whom, in turn, espoused extermination of the people they considered to be "racially and cognitively compromised".

Soviet psychiatrists famously aided Stalin in applying fake insanity diagnoses to political dissenters. The official explanation was that no sane person would declaim the Soviet government and Communism.

American psychologists created the American program of torture which was specially-crafted to produce false confessions to justify U.S. military policy. And see this.

And authoritarian American psychologists are eager to label anyone "taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority, endorsing democratic practices, ... and displaying an inquisitive, imaginative outlook" as worthy of a trip to the insane asylum. (Those traits may also get one labeled as a potential terrorist.)

Bell

Yemen's Food Crisis: 10 Million Starving

With the world's media attention focused on Yemen's fight against Al-Qaeda, you would probably be forgiven for not knowing that Yemenis are facing the worst hunger crisis since records began. The term 'food insecurity' is increasingly being associated with the once self-sufficient but improvised Yemen. In fact over 44% of Yemen's population will face a lack of food to eat this year alone and the UN says that 5m Yemenis are considered "extremely food insecure". The causes of this crisis range from a lack of political stability caused the 2011 revolution, failure to control and plan on behalf of the Yemeni government and the inability of donors states such as the US to view Yemen beyond the 'terrorism goggles'.

As it currently stands there are no two ways about it, Yemen is no longer on the brink of a catastrophic food crisis, but rather is now in the midst of a food catastrophe. Oxfam last September warned that Yemen was at breaking point, today one can freely admit that Yemen has broke. For example in al Hodeidah and Hajjah, one in three children are malnourished, which is double the standard emergency level. While the UN estimates that 267, 000 Yemeni children are facing life threatening levels of malnutrition. Yemen's food crisis presents a number of challenges to Yemenis across the political, economical and social spectrum. The previously already poor are on the verge of death, the once slim middle class are finding it hard to pay for life necessities, whilst the rich and often elite, find it much easier to spend their wealth.But it is children who bear the brunt of Yemen's food price escalation, as mothers are reportedly taking their children out of school to beg on the streets.

Laptop

Australian government to collect all citizens' Internet records

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Modelled on the US example, the Australian psychopathic regime is doing its part for Global Pathocracy
Laws passed today will allow authorities to collect and keep Australians' internet records, including their web-browsing history, social media activity and emails.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the laws would help police track cyber-criminals around the globe, and would give authorities the power to find people engaged in forgery, fraud, child pornography, and infringement of copyright and intellectual property.

The laws will also allow Australia to accede to the Council of Europe Convention on Cyber-crime, which has 34 members.

''Cyber-crime is a growing threat that touches all aspects of modern life,'' Ms Roxon said. ''It poses complex policy and law enforcement challenges, partly due to the transnational nature of the internet.''