Welcome to Sott.net
Sun, 24 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Society's Child


Cornel West: Obama is 'war criminal' for supporting Israel's attack on Gaza

© Reuters / Suhaib Salem
A Palestinian woman sits on the remains of her destroyed house after returning to Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip August 5, 2014.
Professor and political activist Cornel West declared President Barack Obama a "war criminal," arguing that his support of Israel and his drone policy make him complicit in the deaths of innocent people.

The controversial activist made the comments at a pro-Palestinian rally in Washington, DC on Saturday, according to Talking Points Memo. West began his speech by pointing to the deteriorating situation in Gaza, where more than 1,800 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis have been killed, criticizing Israel's offensive in the region in front of a "Free Palestine" banner.

His comments regarding President Obama begin at around the three-minute mark in the video below.

"There's an intimate connection between mendacity and criminality, between lies and crimes against humanity," West said. "And what I want to say to my Black brother in the White House: Barack Obama is a war criminal - not because he's Black, or half-African and white - but because his drones have killed 233 innocent children, and because he facilitates the killing of innocent Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and it would be true anywhere else."

Comment: Notice how carefully West has chosen his words here. Though no doubt sincere and truthful about the fact that these are "human affairs" and that the rally he spoke at is "anti-Jewish-hatred," West also has to say these things to try and off-set any probable accusations of being anti-semitic.

Star of David

IDF's failure and Jewish ethics

Alimuddin Usmani interviews Gilad Atzmon:

Alimuddin Usmani: Israeli intelligence apparently underestimated the extent of the tunnels built by Hamas. Emerging from the tunnels, Palestinian fighters made some daring attacks that killed a number of Israeli soldiers inside Israel. Does this represent a major failure of the Israeli army?

Gilad Atzmon: The failure of the Israeli military is far greater than just the tunnels. The tunnels are not, in themselves, resistance but are, instead, a means of resistance. The tunnels did not lead Israel into this war they were a secondary military objective. The Israeli cabinet and the IDF made the tunnels an issue as soon as they realized that they were not able to articulate any other attainable objectives. In a desperate move, they made a secondary objective into a primary one so that they could depict an image of victory.

I was probably the first to predict an Israel defeat in this round of violence. I could read the map, I could see that Israel could not present its military objectives. This means that Israel's days are numbered. Living on someone else's land demands a willingness to sacrifice. But the Israelis are not willing to pay the ultimate price anymore. Israel is a spoiled western hedonist society. Yet Israelis are engaged in a fierce battle with Gazans - people who have been living for decades in an open air prison, are fighting for their dignity and have nothing to lose.

Comment: The virtue & necessity of deconstructing 'anti-semitism'


Migrants clash in Calais, France as camp tensions soar

© AP Photo/Thibault Vandermersch/File
May 28, 2014 file photo of migrants and activists scuffle with police officers after French authorities started to clear out makeshift camps in the English Channel port city of Calais, northern France, housing hundreds of illegal migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Africa.
Migrants flowing into Europe in unprecedented numbers are causing a tense summer in France, as clashes break out among asylum-seekers in overcrowded camps and police fire tear gas to quell the chaos.

Sudanese and Eritreans battled in the heat in France's port city of Calais, frustrations rising as the Africans jockey for space while trying to sneak into Britain - the dream destination some 30 kilometers (20 miles) away.

British police were on site in Calais trying to make sure they don't cross over. Their French counterparts fired tear gas Tuesday to break up the latest of three battles that left 51 injured, one seriously, the Calais prefecture said.

Migrants fleeing poverty and war in Africa and the Middle East arrive in Calais with hopes of crossing the channel on a ferry or on trucks laden with cargo. Their numbers in the city at the edge of the English Channel have swelled to up to 1,300, overwhelming the city, aid agencies and police.

Comment: Finanacial Times reported from Calais on July 2nd:


Reality too painful to hear? American media refuse to meet with Ukrainian servicemen who asked for asylum in Russia

Ukrainian soldiers in refugee camps in russia
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
American journalists accredited in Russia declined the invitation of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to visit the Russian-Ukrainian border and meet the Ukrainian servicemen that passed to the territory of Russia. Deputy Head of the ministry's Department of Information and Press Maria Zakharova wrote this on her Facebook page on Wednesday.

"This story happened the day before yesterday... In the morning, news agencies reported that over 400 Ukrainian servicemen addressed Russian border guards asking for asylum. Understanding the importance for journalists, especially the foreign ones, of the opportunity to communicate with the representatives of Ukrainian armed forces, to find out straight from the source about the real combat situation, about the motivation of Ukrainian soldiers, the real causes of their act, we decided on the same day to invite a group of foreign correspondents to the Rostov region. Luckily, a plane of Russia's Defense Ministry was heading there and was able to take 30 to 40 journalists. We started to call everyone immediately. About forty people gathered within an hour," Zakharova wrote.


Your taxes hard at work: Assange stakeout has cost nearly $12 million

Julian Assange house arrest
© AFP Photo / Andrew Cowie
Police stand guard in front of supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who are standing with banners outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 19, 2014
As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange marks his 777th day in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the Metropolitan Police has spent over $11.8 million on guarding the embassy.

Assange has been detained without charge for 1,337 days - and 777 of those days have been spent in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, according to the latest WikiLeaks statement.

Meanwhile, the price tag for guarding Assange hit over seven million British pounds (US$11.8 million) early on Wednesday, according to govwaste.co.uk counter.

Officers have been staking out the embassy around the clock since June 2012, with the cost to the London taxpayers surpassing $15,000 per day.

At any time of the day or night, there are three officers stationed outside the embassy, ready to arrest Assange if he tries to leave.

The bill is likely to keep climbing; Ecuadorian authorities have said Assange is welcome to stay in the embassy for as long as required.

The UK has refused to provide Assange safe passage to Ecuador ever since the Australian sought refuge inside the embassy.

Comment: Meanwhile ordinary people are hit with austerity measures, increased electricity and gas bills as the UK economy is staggering along on the edge of collapse.

Bizarro Earth

'Massive environmental disaster' in Canada as toxic tailing pond floods waterways

toxic tailing
© Image: Screenshot from Cariboo Regional District video
Water ban put in place as a tailing pond gives way and tens of millions of gallons of waste course through area rivers and lakes

A middle-of-the-night breach of the tailings pond for an open-pit copper and gold mine in British Columbia sent a massive volume of toxic waste into several nearby waterways on Monday, leading authorities to issue a water-use ban.

Slurry from Mount Polley Mine near Likely, B.C. breached the earthen dam around 3:45 am on Monday, with hundreds of millions of gallons - equivalent to 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to Canada's Global News - gushing into Quesnel Lake, Cariboo Creek, Hazeltine Creek and Polley Lake. An estimated 300 homes, plus visitors and campers, are affected by the ban on drinking and bathing in the area's water.

Chief Anne Louie of the Williams Lake Indian band told the National Post the breach was a "massive environmental disaster."

With salmon runs currently making their way to their spawning grounds, "Our people are at the river side wondering if their vital food source is safe to eat," said Garry John, aboriginal activist and member of the board of directors of the Council of Canadians, in a press release.

Heart - Black

Insurance broker pays out $21K settlement to 73-year-old in buckets of small change

Andres Carrasco
Andres Carrasco and his "settlement."
" What a bunch of a-holes.
Andres Carrasco filed a lawsuit in 2012 against Adriana's Insurance Service, Inc. alleging he was physically assaulted by one of the company's employees.
After agreeing to a settlement with Andres Carrasco in June, Adriana's Insurance decided to deliver the funds in the form of a check -- and buckets and buckets of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.
The guy is a senior citizen and recently had a hernia operation and is unable to lift the buckets. Apparently eight Adriana's Insurance Service employees arrived at Carrasco's lawyers office and just started dropping off buckets of loose change that amounted to around $21,000.
"I am disappointed by the way Adriana's treats their customers and the elderly," Carrasco said in the statement. "We might be poor, but we are people too."
Unsurprisingly, when contacted by the press, Adriana's Insurance Service was unavailable for comment.

Not really sure that they could say anything to defend such a cruel and childish action anyway.


'Bomb Gaza': Users call on Google Play to remove game that lets users carry out Israeli air strikes on Palestinians

bomb gaza game
© Google Play
Users have called on Google to remove the game, which has been available to download since 29 July

Google is facing criticism for continuing to allow Android mobile users to download a game called "Bomb Gaza", in which players are required to "drop bombs and avoid killing citizens".

The app, which was uploaded on 29 July, has been installed up to 1,000 times and received at least one report as "inappropriate". As of Monday evening, the game was no longer available on Google Play.

According to the game's description and a series of screenshots, users gain points by controlling aircraft marked with Israeli flags as they drop bombs on cartoon Hamas militants.

It comes as more than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Gaza conflict. Israel has confirmed that 64 of its soldiers have died in combat, while three civilians have been killed by cross-border shelling from Gaza.

Responding to the game in its review section online, Iqra Iqbal wrote that it was an "abomination", adding: "This is a violation of human rights. My beloved brothers and sisters are dying in Gaza and some stupid ignoramus decides to make a game like this.

Others said it was a "messed up game" and "disgusting", while Saadat Ali said: "Request all to scroll to the bottom and flag this app as inappropriate to Google."
bomb gaza_ google
People also took to Twitter to voice their criticism of the game, and user Elliott Clarkson wrote: "Google Play's approval process? Non-existent. So games like Bomb Gaza get through."

It is not the only game available on Google Play that involves bombing Gaza, including "Iron Dome", "Gaza Assault: Code Red" that tells users to "secure the region" by taking control of "an Israeli UAV equipped with powerful weapons in an attempt to secure the region".


New York courthouse overrun by fleas, forced to shut doors

© Orleanschamber.com
A flea infestation forced a courthouse in western New York state to shut its doors for the second straight day on Tuesday, officials said.

The Orleans County Courthouse in Albion, about 34 miles northwest of Rochester, is airing out after being flea bombed in recent days, said county spokesman Chuck Nesbitt.

"There needs to be a period of ventilation prior to re-occupation," Nisbett said.

It was unclear how the courthouse became overrun by fleas, Nisbett said. The problem was first reported late last week, according to local media.

Flea poison fumes would likely clear by Wednesday morning, making it safe to use the building again, Nesbitt said, noting that the final decision on when to reopen lay with court officials.

A statement on the New York courts website said that Orleans County Court matters scheduled during the closure would be diverted to a nearby Village of Albion office building. Court officials did not return calls on Tuesday.

Evil Rays

Florida police officer fired for taunting hungry inmate with food, then threatening to Tase him

© Hlntv.com
A Sanford, Florida police officer was fired after he taunted a jailed inmate with McDonald's french fries and later threatened the inmate with his service Taser while the inmate washed his patrol car, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

Nine-year-veteran Mickey Hinkley was placed on administrative leave when his superiors discovered the incidents on June 4, 2014, but was only fired yesterday after an investigation determined that he had violated departmental policy.

According to police documents obtained by The Sentinel, Hinkley forced inmate Victor Gonzaga Rivera to wash his patrol car. When Hinkley complained that Rivera had not put enough "tire shine" on his wheels, he also activated his service Taser, which caused an afraid Rivera to take off running.

Rivera was not hurt, and Hinkley told investigators that he was merely "testing" his Taser when he turned it on. The investigation also revealed that earlier that same day, Hinkley had taunted Rivera with a bag from McDonald's that he claimed contained french fries.