My Common Sense Politics
August 1, 2014, 5:36 pm
Yochanan Gordon Yochanan's father founded the Five Towns Jewish Times.
Judging by the numbers of casualties on both sides in this almost one-month old war one would be led to the conclusion that Israel has resorted to disproportionate means in fighting a far less- capable enemy. That is as far as what meets the eye. But, it’s now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war – because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.
I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems – and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate – that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live.
The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. But there’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings – because this is life or death.
Most of the reports coming from Gazan officials and leaders since the start of this operation have been either largely exaggerated or patently false. The truth is, it’s not their fault, falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change. Still however, despite their propensity to lie, when your enemy tells you that they are bent on your destruction you believe them. Similarly, when Khaled Meshal declares that no physical damage to Gaza will dampen their morale or weaken their resolve – they have to be believed. Our sage Gedalia the son of Achikam was given intelligence that Yishmael Ben Nesanyah was plotting to kill him. However, in his piety or rather naiveté Gedalia dismissed the report as a random act of gossip and paid no attention to it. To this day, the day following Rosh Hashana is commemorated as a fast day in the memory of Gedalia who was killed in cold blood on the second day of Rosh Hashana during the meal. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over. History is there to teach us lessons and the lesson here is that when your enemy swears to destroy you – you take him seriously.
Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?
News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian. If you’ll counter, that Hamas has been seen abusing civilians who have attempted to leave their homes in response to Israeli warnings to leave – well then, your beginning to come to terms with the nature of this enemy which should automatically cause the rules of standard warfare to be suspended. Everyone agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself as well as the right to exercise that right. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has declared it, Obama and Kerry have clearly stated that no one could be expected to sit idle as thousands of rockets rain down on the heads of its citizens, placing them in clear and present danger. It seems then that the only point of contention is regarding the measure of punishment meted out in this situation.
July 25th, 2014
Posted by Oriana Pawlyk
A military base in Poland could soon be repurposed to support NATO in its mission to reassure eastern European allies of its oversight amid the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
NATO’s top commander in Europe, Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, told a briefing in Naples this week that he plans to recommend “having capability in the forward area — preposition supplies, preposition capabilities, and a basing area ready to rapidly accept follow on forces.”
“How we man that in a rotational, or non-permanent, basis is what are we looking at now to propose in NATO, and we will be working on that with the [North Atlantic Council]. It needs to be all of NATO involved in this,” Breedlove said.
U.S. European Command spokesman Col. Martin Downie said in an email to Air Force Times that Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe is discussing options to repurpose an existing headquarters “to serve as an Article 5 focused rapid response.” Multinational Corps Northeast, in Szczecin, Poland, is also an option, he said.
Downie said more will be discussed at a September summit in Newport, Wales.
The Times (London) reported that Ukraine “is expected to be top of the agenda, along with the need for members to increase defence spending.”
The Times also reported that while the British have aided in air policing missions, Italy, Germany and France, remain cautious about “agreeing to tougher action.” More will be discussed in September, it said.
The move for a fully functioning headquarters due east would be intended to assure Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia of NATO commitment in light of recent events occurring in eastern Ukraine.
Money was intended to provide training for Ukraine's National Guard forces, in particular to train four companies of soldiers and a headquarters element
WASHINGTON, August 02. /ITAR-TASS/. The United States intends to provide $19 million to bolster Ukraine’s military operation, which pro-Kiev authorities conduct against militias in the southeastern regions of the country, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
Kirby said the money was intended to provide training for Ukraine's National Guard forces, in particular to train four companies of soldiers and a headquarters element.
The high-ranking US military official said the United States was supporting Ukraine with non-lethal aid.
“We are not assisting them with issues of targeting,” Kirby said. “We continue to review requests for military assistance from the government of Ukraine through an interagency process.”
Kirby also said that Russia was building up its military presence near the border of its neighboring Ukraine.
“It’s difficult to pin it down to a specific number but they continue to be reinforced,” he said. “And as I've said before, they are close to the border within 50 kilometers of the border.”
The White House earlier reported that Vice President Joe Biden held a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and the US official pledged more assistance to Ukraine.
“The Vice President also announced approximately $8 million in new assistance to the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service,” the White House said in its statement.
“This additional assistance includes engineering equipment for improving infrastructure along Ukraine's borders, transport and patrol vehicles, surveillance equipment to extend the visual range of border security patrols, and small boats to conduct maritime patrol and interdiction operations,” the statement said.
By Tom Boggioni
Monday, August 4, 2014 13:29 EDT
Google Play, the official app store for Android operating systems, is currently offering a side-scrolling game called “Bomb Gaza.”
The description of the game states: “Bomb Gaza – drop bombs and avoid killing civilians. new version uploaded. improved performance. added new israel’s theme music.”
In a screen shot shown on the page (seen below) Israeli jets can be seen flying over a terrain dotted with cartoon Islamic terrorists and women attempting to protect children.
The game currently has a 3.7 star rating among users, with 47 reviewers giving it the highest rating, 5 stars, and 22 giving it a 1 star.
Commenters on the page both praised and condemned the game, with one writing, “Spineless disgusting filth trying to profit from genocide of Palastinians (sic) Trying to profit from the sufferings of others. Scumbag of the worst kind. Would you be doing the same if a member of your family was murdered? Utterly vile filth of a game from a sick twisted individual.”
According to the Google Play Developer Program Policies regarding Hate Speech: ” We don’t allow content advocating against groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.”
There is no indication whether Google Play would consider the game “hate speech.”
The developer of the game, which was uploaded to Google Play on July 29, is listed as PlayerFTW.
The game can be downloaded to an Android device for free.
Administrative Note: Finally Google no longer allows the first link to work. Sadly it wasn't caught at the beginning. One more reason why we are run by a Corpwhorational Crapititalistic Control Complex
The Washington Times
Thursday, July 31, 2014
The CIA admitted to senators this week that the agency improperly snooped through congressional computers, backtracking from agency Director John O. Brennan’s vehement denials earlier this year and further denting the embattled intelligence community’s credibility with Congress.
An internal CIA audit found that its personnel did search a Senate computer system seeking an embarrassing document that the agency believed had been stolen, but which senators said the CIA had turned over to Congress.
At the time, Mr. Brennan called the accusations “spurious” and “beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we would do.”
This week, he had to retreat and apologize to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who initiated a Senate probe of the snooping, said the CIA’s behavior was “appalling and deeply threatening to our system of checks and balances” and that agency leaders need to take steps to restore trust.
“The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate intelligence committee computers. This grave misconduct not only is illegal, but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers,” said Mr. Udall, a member of the committee. “These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.”
The internal CIA audit was conducted by the agency’s inspector general. It remains classified, but agency spokesman Dean Boyd said it showed that employees “acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding” of how documents were to be treated.
Mr. Boyd said Mr. Brennan has formed an accountability board to look into the findings and that employees could be disciplined.
The showdown stemmed from a yearslong Senate investigation into harsh interrogation techniques used in the years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A key document known as the Panetta review, named after former CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, laid out a number of concerns including whether the interrogations were producing valuable information.
Sunday, July 27th, 2014
Irresponsibility on steroids is all we have seen from 95% of the Western statements coming out on the Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine.
The Kiev government, who can’t tell the truth about anything, is still comfortably in first place, soon to eclipse “Baghdad Bob” for the gold medal of bogus claims. Bob was Saddam’s press spokesman telling us that Iraqi forces were destroying the American invaders.
Without even a token amount of time allowed to sift through the evidence of this horrible tragedy right in the middle of a war zone, a totally unnecessary one, Western leaders and politicians have been tripping over each other playing Mr. Tough guy with baseless accusations and threats toward Russia before the dead were collected.
Whoever fired the missile or placed the bomb that blew up flight MH17 has now been outdone by salvos of hate fired east at Russia by Kiev and its new Western allies. At the top of America’s list is the rant by UN Ambassador Samantha Power that looked like she must have been on drugs or something. It ranks as one of the most incoherent statements ever made by a diplomat.
Her first mistake was to reference a Kiev-supplied social-media recording of the rebels celebrating shooting down an airliner. Normal protocol requires that no top government official ever use an audio recording in a major address until the CIA has determined that it was not a fake.
This one was compiled from three different clips, and done in a hurry. It seems a town 100 kilometers away from the alleged launch site is referenced. It is later discovered that these piecemeal recordings were discussing one of the earlier shoot downs.
With the US president standing beside her on the White house lawn, Power claimed East Ukraine separatists were the “most likely” culprits, yet allowed they did not have the skills, so Russia “probably assisted” them. But, she gave not a shred of real evidence.
That any major power would put a sophisticated high-altitude missile system in the hands of civil war participants, a hugely expensive one I might add… that idea is dead on arrival. It is inconceivable that any military chief of staff would allow something so crazy. Anyone who would even suggest such a thing would be sent out for mental observation.
The inference here is that the Russians had magically moved a SAM missile battery all the way from the border to the firing position.
But with US satellites monitoring all movements during this war, to supply itself, NATO and Kiev updated battlefield Intel, any move of Russian armor into Ukraine would have been spotted and Ms. Power would have shown us a nice big blowup photo, a la Cuban missile crisis, where the Soviet missile batteries were shown at the UN.
US and Russian spy satellites can track a tank shell being fired, not just see it fired, but see its flying through the air, and read a license plate, the uniforms of the troops… and yes, they can see everything moving at night. Both sides have huge digital maps showing the exact disposition of the forces on both sides.
A ground to air launch would be spotted in the first few seconds, the trajectory calculated and an emergency notice sent out with the GPS location to warn any aircraft in the area. The coordinates would immediately go to any commands capable of a counterstrike on the battery, so they could lock and load and wait for the order to fire. This is what the modern battlefield is like. Gaining a few seconds edge can be life or death in avoiding a disaster.
US satellites saw everything that happened, so the idea that an investigation is needed to determine the cause is a bad joke. You have not seen any overhead photos of the crash site, because the wide area of the wreckage is inconsistent with a missile shoot down, but something else they want to keep out of view.
The Russians let the cat out of the bag by admitting that their satellites had picked up a missile battery turning its tracking radar on. Of course they would have the GPS coordinates, and also the track of its firing, and the command intercept orders to do so, but did not disclose this.
It is known that both the US and Russia have all this, and neither the Netherlands nor Malaysia has demanded that the satellite information be released.
Ms. Power knows all of this, and with the president standing right beside her she was just lying to us all like we were just farm animals, versus citizens of an alleged democratic country.
Power should resign for her outrageous and incompetent performance, but Obama seems to have a fire proof staff, no matter how poorly they perform their jobs… a very dangerous situation when such people are at the helm of our national security, or insecurity, as the case may be.
As for our Congress and Western media, they are beneath contempt. It is like the real ones have been kidnapped and replaced with doubles as part of a science fiction psyops. They all spin the same pre-prepared talking points confirming who will be blamed, despite that being impossible to determine from the information they have at hand.
But they don’t care. It was simply a Russian bashing exercise for which they were primed anyway, and happy to get to time in front of the TV cameras.
This dramatic turn of events started with State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf claiming Monday that the State Department's certainty of Russian involvement in the apparent downing of the plane was primarily based on "social media" evidence.
That means with a likely budget of more than $100 billion, the US Intelligence Community is making decisions that may involve global nuclear war based on people's Tweets and YouTubes!
Asked in Monday's State Department briefing about US government evidence for its claims of Russian government involvement and separatist direct blame for the shooting down of the plane, Harf said:
You saw the Secretary yesterday speak very clearly about our assessment that this was an SA-11 fired from Russian-backed, separatist-controlled territory; that we know – we saw in social media afterwards, we saw videos, we saw photos of the pro-Russian separatists bragging about shooting down an aircraft.She added:
Based on open information which is basically common sense, right – we know where it was fired from, we know who has this weaponWho needs evidence — it's "common sense"! Right?
But then the Russian military command did an interesting thing. They held a press conference laying out the evidence they had, including information from air traffic controllers and satellites, and simply asked the US to do the same to prove its assertions of Russian complicity. They did not claim that the US-backed government in Kiev shot down the plane, they asked that government to explain why a jet fighter showed up on radar ascending rapidly toward the Malaysian plane shortly before it disappeared.
The Russians asked the US to share the intelligence upon which it based its claim that the Russians were directly or indirectly behind the attack on the passenger plane.
The State Department responded with its spokeswoman citing social media and secret information that could not be shared.
It was a near exact replay of similar US government claims about Syria's Assad using chemical weapons last year. That time, Secretary of State Kerry claimed dozens of times on television that "we know" Assad fired the chemicals into the village. Yet the US Intelligence Community refused to sign off on his claims and the Obama Administration was forced to release what it called a "Government Assessment" rather than the standard Intelligence Community consensus assessment.
Friday, July 25th, 2014
America today is the main sponsor of the Israeli regime and all its decades-old crimes against humanity. These crimes are once again on display in the most despicable and barbaric way. American citizens therefore have a heavy responsibility to bear. They must decide which side they are on: that of genocide or human rights.
US top diplomat John Kerry says a ceasefire deal in Gaza is close but there is still a way to go for one to be implemented.
What’s the hold-up? Men, women and children are being slaughtered in their hundreds. Hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, the wounded are being attacked against all norms of international law and morality.
The main Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, says that any truce must be the basis for further talks on the underlying issues of Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and by extension on other parts of Palestinian territory in the West Bank. That is inarguably reasonable and common sense.
But the Israeli regime doesn’t want to engage in discussions about the bigger issues. It says that a ceasefire should be negotiated first and then, at some unspecified later time, talks about underlying issues can be held. Of course, this seemingly two-part deal from the Israeli side is but a cruel, cynical joke. It will never talk to Hamas. Indeed, the Israeli regime will never seriously talk to any Palestinian faction about the wider issues. A ceasefire for them is just a punctuation mark in a long story of ongoing dispossession of Palestinians from their historic homeland.
This is where the American government and the European allies are exposed as being on the side of the Israeli aggressor and genocidal regime. Apparent expressions of concern and huffing and puffing about “trying to pursue a ceasefire” are contemptible in the present abominable context.
There is a genocide going on. Simple as that. A genocide. It has been going on for the past 66 years with sporadic gear changes that accelerate and decelerate that genocide. The Western media talk disingenuously about the present Israeli military onslaught in Gaza as being the fourth major operation over the past seven years, when Hamas was elected as the government in that enclave and Tel Aviv began its collective punishment blockade on the 1.8 million civilians there. That blockade is a crime against humanity. Full stop.
Monday, July 21st, 2014
Within hours of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashing into a wheat field in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine last Thursday, Western governments and media have gradually stoked a frenzy of accusations that Moscow had a hand in the disaster.
In a devastating twist to emerge over the weekend it now seems that the Malaysian civilian airliner downed over Ukraine was most probably brought down as a result of sabotage by the US-backed Kiev regime.
The purpose of this audacious act of mass murder – in which 298 lives were lost – was carried out with the intention of framing the Russian government. Washington, the chief sponsor of the Kiev regime, must have known about the plot, if not being fully complicit in it.
The key to this dramatic twist is the identification of incriminating audio tapes over the weekend as fake – tapes that were created initially to implicate Moscow, as part of a massive black operation involving the destruction of the civilian airliner and all those onboard.
Within hours of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashing into a wheat field in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine last Thursday, Western governments and media have gradually stoked a frenzy of accusations that Moscow had a hand in the disaster.
Nationals from more than 12 countries were onboard the doomed Boeing 777, most of them Dutch, Malaysian, Australian, as well as American, Canadian, British and several other European states.
Western fingers of blame began pointing at Russia the day following the crash when US President Barack Obama announced that unnamed American intelligence sources said that the suspected surface-to-air missile believed to have taken the jet down was fired from territory held by anti-Kiev self-defence militias. Or as Obama put it: «Russian-backed separatists».
The American president did not accuse Moscow outright then but he implied Russian involvement in the incident with the reasoning that Russia (allegedly) provided «technical assistance» in the firing of the sophisticated missile system, known as a Buk SA-11.
The missile system can fire warheads up to an altitude of 70,000 feet – well within range of civilian long-haul jumbo jets – with the armed projectile soaring at three times the speed of sound. The system is Soviet-era make, and is also used by the Ukrainian state forces.
House Members Vote To Limit Restrictions On State-Approved Marijuana Commerce
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Washington, DC: A majority of members of the US House of Representatives voted last week in favor of an amendment that restricts the Treasury Department's ability to take action against financial institutions that possess relations with businesses engaged in state-sanctioned activities specific to cannabis commerce.
The amendment, offered by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) states, "None of the funds made available in this Act may be used ... to prohibit, penalize, or otherwise discourage a financial institution from providing financial services to an entity solely because the entity is a manufacturer, producer, or person that participates in any business or organized activity that involves handling marijuana or marijuana products and engages in such activity pursuant to a law established by a State or a unit of local government."
Members of the House decided 231 to 192 in favor of the amendment. Forty-five Republicans and all but 12 House Democrats backed the measure. The amendment now awaits additional action by members of the US Senate.
In May, a majority of the US House of Representatives voted in favor of a budgetary amendment to the 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Appropriations Bill that restricts the Justice Department's ability to take action against those who are compliant with state medical cannabis laws. However, members of the US Senate have yet to take any action on the bill.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 483-5500 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting .