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Showing posts from February, 2012

"New Obama Campaign Co-Chair: 'The President Is Wrong'." By Amy Goodman

"New Obama Campaign Co-Chair: 'The President Is Wrong'." By Amy Goodman
“The president is wrong.” So says one of the newly appointed co-chairs of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Those four words headline the website of the organization Progressives United, founded by former U.S. Sen., and now Obama campaign adviser, Russ Feingold. He is referring to Obama’s recent announcement that he will accept super PAC funds for his re-election campaign. Feingold writes: “The President is wrong to embrace the corrupt corporate politics of Citizens United through the use of super PACs — organizations that raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations and the richest individuals, sometimes in total secrecy. It’s not just bad policy; it’s also dumb strategy.” And, he says, it’s “dancing with the devil.”

In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt said to Congress, “All contributions by corporations to any political committee or for any political purpose should be forbidde…

NYPD Commissioner Defends Mass Surveillance of Muslims -- News from Antiwar.com

NYPD Commissioner Defends Mass Surveillance of Muslims -- News from Antiwar.comSpeaking today in an interview on AM radio, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly defended revelations that the NYPD has been conducting massive surveillance of random Muslim citizens in and around New York, saying that the critics of the program “have short memories as to what happened here in 2001.”

Transforming Finkelstein BDS attack into opportunity

Transforming Finkelstein BDS attack into opportunityThere have been a number of thoughtful and incisive rebuttals to the recent video interview in which Norman Finkelstein absurdly calls the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against apartheid Israel a “cult,” and admonishes Palestinians to limit their struggle to the “two-state solution” (“Video: Arguing the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign with Norman Finkelstein (interviewed by Frank Barat),” 9 February 2012).

However, Finkelstein’s attack on the BDS movement is not, as some of his critics have suggested, merely an indication of personal demoralization, faulty legal analysis, or political shortsightedness. Rather, it reflects a stubborn attempt to rationalize his rejection of Palestinian demands — especially full equality and refugee rights — that challenge the legitimacy of a “Jewish state.”

Israel Approves Construction of 695 Housing Units in West Bank -- News from Antiwar.com

Israel Approves Construction of 695 Housing Units in West Bank -- News from Antiwar.comIsrael on Wednesday approved the construction of 695 new housing units in and around the West Bank settlement of Shiloh, north-east of Ramallah.

Up to 121 of the housing units already exist – 93 of them without government authorization. These Israel retroactively “legalized.” The remaining 574 units have yet to be built.

The United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, called the decision “deplorable and moves us further away from the goal of a two-state solution.”

Settlements on Palestinian territory and the related destruction of Palestinian homes has been constantly recognized as illegal by the international community. The United Nations recently called on Israel to immediately halt the destruction of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, as it also violates international law. Israeli forces destroyed 622 Palestinian homes in the West Bank in 2011, forcibly displ…

U.S.-Backed Bahraini Forces Arrest and Deport Two American Peace Activists Acting as Human Rights Observers

U.S.-Backed Bahraini Forces Arrest and Deport Two American Peace Activists Acting as Human Rights ObserversOn Saturday, Bahrain arrested and deported two U.S. human rights lawyers, Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath, for their role in recent protests. They were deported Sunday and returned to New York last night. Both Arraf and Sainath are human rights lawyers and members of the Witness Bahrain initiative, which places international observers in the country in the hopes of preventing violence by security forces. Their arrest comes just ahead of the one-year anniversary of the popular uprising against the U.S.-backed monarchy. In the past year, Bahraini security forces have killed dozens of demonstrators, and hundreds more have been arrested or fired from their jobs. "[We] also were getting reports of journalists and human rights organization representatives being denied entry into the country in the lead-up to the first anniversary of the Bahrain revolution. And this caused great …

Banks Avoid Liability In 49-State Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

Banks Avoid Liability In 49-State Foreclosure Fraud SettlementFebruary 09, 2012 "FDL" --  Forty-nine states, every one but Oklahoma, as well as federal regulators will participate in a foreclosure fraud settlement that will release the five biggest banks (Wells Fargo, Citi, Ally/GMAC, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America) and their mortgage servicing units from liability for robo-signing and other forms of servicer abuse, in exchange for $25 billion in funding for legal aid, refinancing, short sales, restitution for wrongful foreclosures and principal reduction for underwater borrowers. The announcement will be made on Thursday.

Israel Teams With Terror Group to Kill Iran's Nuclear Scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News

Israel Teams With Terror Group to Kill Iran's Nuclear Scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC NewsFebruary 09, 2012 "NBC" -- Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, sa…

BDS victory: Cat Power cancels show in Tel Aviv

BDS victory: Cat Power cancels show in Tel AvivHer announcement came after she sent out a few tweets asking her fans to “find a show in Ramallah … for the people of Palestine.” However, it is against the Palestinian-led BDS call to support an artist seeking to mitigate the apartheid policy by “balancing” their performance in Tel Aviv with a performance in the occupied West Bank.

Regardless of her attempt to find a venue, Cat Power ended up canceling her gig in Tel Aviv anyway. Cat Power joins a growing list of artists, musicians and performers who have canceled their appearances for audiences in Israel, and should be commended for her action.

Likud leaders to go to Al-Aqsa, call for "cleansing" Jerusalem and building Jewish temple on mosque's "ruins"

Likud leaders to go to Al-Aqsa, call for "cleansing" Jerusalem and building Jewish temple on mosque's "ruins"Leaders and members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party are leading an incursion and rally into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – which Israel calls the “Temple Mount” – in eastern occupied Jerusalem this Sunday to call for its destruction and building a Jewish Temple on its “ruins.”

Top Official: Drone Critics are Al Qaeda Enablers

Top Official: Drone Critics are Al Qaeda EnablersA senior American counterterrorism official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, questioned the report’s findings, saying “targeting decisions are the product of intensive intelligence collection and observation.” The official added: “One must wonder why an effort that has so carefully gone after terrorists who plot to kill civilians has been subjected to so much misinformation. Let’s be under no illusions — there are a number of elements who would like nothing more than to malign these efforts and help Al Qaeda succeed.”

British Terror Plot: Four ‘Islamists’ Planned to Try to Blow Up a Toilet -- News from Antiwar.com

British Terror Plot: Four ‘Islamists’ Planned to Try to Blow Up a Toilet -- News from Antiwar.comFour British citizens, referred to as Islamists by some reports, have confessed to making vague plans to blow up a toilet at the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The four reportedly got the idea from Inspire Magazine, released online by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Christians 'face deportation' in Saudi Arabia - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Christians 'face deportation' in Saudi Arabia - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
Dozens of Ethiopian Christians are facing deportation from Saudi Arabia after authorities raided a private prayer service in Jeddah, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The group was reportedly arrested in a private home in Jeddah in mid-December. Most of the 35 detainees are women, and three of them told the US-based group that they were strip-searched by police.

HRW said it spoke to three detainees, two women and one man, by telephone from prison. 

One of them said the men were beaten, and also complained of inadequate medical care and poor sanitation at the jail.

"Two of the women said that officials there forced the women to strip, and then an officer inserted her finger into each of the women’s genitals, under the pretext of searching for illegal substances hidden inside their bodies," the report said.

"Officers also kicked and beat the men in Buraiman prison, and insulted them a…

Is Israel on the road to “self-destruction”? - Alan Hart

Is Israel on the road to “self-destruction”? - Alan HartIf there comes a time when it seemed to them that the Zionist state’s self-destruction was imminent, Israel’s leaders would respond in the same way as they would if their state was in danger of being defeated on the battlefield. As readers of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews know, that response was put into words by Golda Meir in the course of one of my BBC Panorama interviews with her when she was prime minister. In a doomsday situation, she said, Israel “would be prepared to take the region down with it.”