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07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

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07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

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07.21 Of course Donald Trump is a racist – and his Wall Street enablers know it

07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]

07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

International & Futurism

07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

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  State Terror, Israeli Style

REPORT:

State Terror, Israeli Style

by Stephen Lendman
Thursday, 1 July 2010

Aid ship
The report's final comment wondered what kind of a world it'd be if other countries followed the path of Israel? What kind also when leaders committing these crimes aren't held accountable, including world leaders turning a blind eye to crimes of war and against humanity.

Ongoing since its May 14, 1948 "Declaration of Independence," Israel systematically reigned terror against Palestinians and neighboring states, always claiming self-defense - bogus then, bogus now, historian Ilan Pappe describing Israel as a "settler Prussian state: a combination of colonialist policies....manifested in the dominance of the army over political, cultural and economic life," then adding:

"You probably have to be born in Israel, as I was, and go through the whole process of socialisation (sic) and education - including serving in the army - to grasp the power of this militarist mentality and its dire consequences. And you need such a background to understand why the whole premise on which the international community's approach to the Middle East is based, is utterly and disastrously wrong," so much so that Israel is slowly self-destructing, preventable only by an entirely new mindset.

Public discourse won't admit it or that Palestinians "lost 80% of their homeland" in a few short months, about 800,000 of them either dispossessed or massacred. Then in 1967, "they lost the remaining 20%," not recovered after 43 years, nor have they received any measure of justice, Cast Lead and Gaza's siege the most extreme recent examples.

On May 31, no wonder Israeli commandos attacked peaceful activists trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Gazans. Defense Minister Ehud Barak once commanded a similar unit, and Benjamin Netanyahu's eldest brother, Yonatan (a martyr and national hero), led 100 commandos in Operation Entebbe, the July 4, 1976 hostage rescue mission at Uganda's Entebbe Airport.

That was heroic, not murdering unarmed, peaceful activists in international waters, an unconscionable crime, one the Turkish-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) calls a premeditated terrorist attack in a newly issued report titled, "graphic Palestine Our Route, Humanitarian Aid Our Load Flotilla Campaign Summary Report," saying:

"While Israel continues to distort the truth....this report provides information about (the flotilla's) purpose and content," its humanitarian mission, and "the Israeli attack it was subjected to, the way in which the attack took place and the losses" as a result.

Why Gaza?
City made into a dump-cemetary

Under embargo since Hamas' January 2006 election and a suffocating three year siege, 1.5 million Gazans (900,000 in eight refugee camps), have suffered months under a humanitarian nightmare, slow-motion genocide, acknowledged by Pappe and international law expert Francis Boyle, citing the provisions of the 1948 Genocide Convention, saying prior to the siege:

"Israel has indeed perpetrated the international crime of genocide against the Palestinian people (and a) lawsuit would....demonstrate that undeniable fact to the entire world," more than ever today after Cast Lead and Gaza's strangulation under siege.

Why a Humanitarian Aid Flotilla?

It tried "to pierce the blockade....with 9 ships full of humanitarian aid....to bring some (relief) to the people of Gaza, who have lived for many years in such deprivation....People from South America, Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East....the Far East (and North America) came together, people with different languages, religions and races, all came together to bring (desperately needed) aid...."

Items included were 10,000 tons of:

  • food;
  • clothes, towels, bedding, shoes, fabrics, carpets, kitchenware, quilts, blankets, couches and beds;
  • ultrasound scan devices, x-ray equipment, electric patient beds, dentistry units and gear, doppler echocardiography devices, regular and electric wheelchairs, electric scooters for the disabled, stretchers, deambulators, autoclaves, mammography devices, microscopes, blood circulating and hemodialysis machines, radiology monitors, crutches, ENT units, cat scan machines, operating beds, gynecological couches, and various medical supplies;
  • medicines;
  • 750 tons of iron;
  • 100 precast home units;
  • tiles, timber, fiberboard, cage, plumbing supplies, electric equipment, plastic window frames, glass, steel cables, measuring tools, hand carts, nails, mountings, bathroom fittings, paint, power distribution units, ladders, insolation materials, and other construction supplies;
  • 3,500 tons of cement;
  • 50 tons of ceramic tile adhesive;
  • units compromising 16 children's playgrounds;
  • two truckloads of wood;
  • two electrical power generators;
  • electric hand tools, machines, ovens, and other hardware supplies;
  • power units (one of 35 kws, five of 85 kws, one of 100 kws, two of 145 kws, six of 150 kws, and three of 165 kws;
  • another 80 one, two and five kws power units;
  • an ETC;
  • two desalination units; and
  • 20 tons of paper.

Israel confiscated the entire cargo, claiming it would deliver select items through the UN, meaning only permitted foods, fabric items, and some medicines, most everything in all categories strictly prohibited - thousands of non-military items in total.

Summary of Events - the Mavi Marmarra Mother Ship

Its 600 passengers were attacked in international waters after its Turksat satellite frequency and satellite telephone communications were blocked to prevent massacre reports getting out and connections to other ships.

Late at night, Israeli ships surrounded the Mavi Marmarra, including one or two submarines, after which helicopters circled overhead. After warning passengers, "masked, armed soldiers....tr(ied) to grab onto the boat with heavy grappling irons," at the same time live fire began, including high frequency sounds, machine guns, and loud noises resembling gas bombs, after which soldiers descended from helicopters, shooting before landing on deck.

There was no provocation, and no warning was given. Unarmed civilians were attacked, some at point blank range, at least nine of them murdered in cold blood, some shot in the head multiple times, perhaps more as bodies were dumped overboard, and some passengers remain missing. Dozens more were injured, at least 20 seriously. Everyone was taken prisoner.

The few Israeli soldiers hurt were treated by the ship's doctor. Confirming video showed it. On board, after hearing about civilian deaths, IHH President, Bulent Yildirim, told passengers over a loud speaker to sit in the lounge and not resist, except for medical workers continuing their work. He, in turn, removed his white shirt, waved it at soldiers, asking for a ceasefire. He was ignored.

Despite good faith efforts, "the Israeli soldiers, who had surrounded the lounge, continued" firing live rounds - even at medical workers treating their own injured comrades. A doctor providing aid was shot in the arm.

More soldiers boarded the ship with specially trained K9 dogs. Passengers were searched and handcuffed. Their possessions, including passports were confiscated. Women were seated on benches, men forced to kneel uncomfortably on deck. No one was allowed "to fulfill their most basic needs." It became a "long war of nerves...."

Throughout the ordeal, soldiers were hostile and abusive, "trying to agitate (passengers) to create problems." In control of the ship, they took it (and the others) to Israel's Ashdod Port, a trip taking 10 hours, passengers not knowing their destination or fate once they arrived.

En route, "Some of the wounded were purposefully mistreated, kicked and hit with weapons, while others were shot at, despite being wounded. Some wounded people" weren't taken to the hospital. Although bleeding and needing treatment, they were kept on board, doctors not allowed to help them.

At Ashdod, passengers were taken off in handcuffs, accompanied by policemen. Interrogations and security checks followed, including strip searches down to underwear, fingerprinting, and photographing. Then a health check, after which participants were told told to sign "certain documents," to be released. Otherwise, they faced prison and confinement for at least two months for entering Israel illegally despite being taken there forcibly.

Most refused, were put on freezing cold buses, taken to Beer Sheva prison, and placed in two to four-person cells, separated from others, given no information about them or allowed to make phone calls. Instead they were told: "This is now your home, forget going back."

Requests to meet consular officials were refused. Sleep was denied for two nights. Harassment was punishing, including repeated (day and night) interrogations to state their names, and explain where they came from, and why - besides being forced to "carry out every type duty," including "carrying things, distributing things, (and) cleaning up after dinner, etc."

After nearly a day, consular officials got in. Then by noon the next day, passengers began being released to be deported. Others waited an extra day, some longer. The entire procedure was made as arduous, demeaning, and degrading as possible, the slightest reaction met by blows.

Some participants "who had left the prison unharmed arrived at the airport with injuries." Others before and during detention were seriously beaten, some tortured. Five stayed behind hospitalized too injured to leave. The whereabouts of six or more remains unknown. Likely they're dead, murdered in cold blood.

Events on Other Ships

On May 30 evening and throughout the early morning May 31 hours, before the Mavi Marmarra massacre, the Defne was harassed, told to change course, and abandon its mission, what it and other vessels refused to do.

At 6:10 AM, commandos stormed the ship, took it to Ashdod, imprisoned its passengers, confiscated their possessions and the cargo. No one on board was killed, nor on other vessels who were treated like Defne's, all personal property and aid items seized, the entire ordeal (from boarding to imprisonment to deportation) made as uncomfortable and painful as possible, a lesson Israelis hoped would intimidate others from coming, an experience emboldening participants to come back, undaunted by their intimidating experience.

Eight of the nine known dead were Turks. The ninth was a Turkish American. Most of those wounded were also Turks or of Turkish or Arabic origin. Clearly they were identified in advance. Commandos had names and photos of assassination targets, ordered by top Israeli officials, including IDF commanders to commit cold-blooded murder.

A Final Comment

Besides violating maritime law in international waters, Israel massacred as many as 15 or more passengers in cold blood, injured dozens more, some seriously. In addition, ship communications were cut off, participants illegally arrested, repeatedly interrogated, initially denied consular contact, intimidated, imprisoned, and treated horrifically for two - three days, including harassment, humiliation, and physical abuse involving beatings, in some cases torture.

Further, their passports and personal possessions were stolen. Permission "to fulfill their basic needs" was denied. Humanitarian aid cargo was confiscated. Individual testimonies bore witness to Israel's lawless, callous, and degrading treatment.

Mevlut Yurtseven, the Mavi Marmarra's doctor, said dozens were wounded, at least 20 seriously. "They forced the wounded to stand up and tried to make them walk. They did not bring stretchers. Because I protested (I) was handcuffed."

Press TV - UK's Hassan al Banna Ghani said "They set attack dogs against me and another (UK) volunteer. They gave us nothing to eat for 20 hours on the ship. They stole our personal belongings and damaged them." Volunteers were treated violently.

UK emergency aid worker Nur Choodhury explained "We were physically abused: kicked, slapped, pinched, and elbowed. Our hands were tied tightly with cables; this was extremely painful and caused us to lose feeling in our hands." They were prevented from using toilets or phoning families.

Sema Islek, a Turkish nurse, called their "psychological oppression and physical torture....very great." Turks and other Muslims were treated the worst, former German MP Norman Paech said "Israeli soldiers displayed openly raci(st) behavior....treat(ing) us much better than the Turkish and Arab passengers."

Those waging war on peace will lose, the report concluded, legal professionals already enlisted to represent families of those killed, the injured, and everyone imprisoned, tortured, abused, robbed, and subjected to cruel and humiliating treatment - crimes against humanity by a nation mocking democratic freedoms, defiling the rule of law, affording rights solely to Jews, and endorsing racism, extremism, violence and torture as official state policies, including against peaceful activists bringing essential humanitarian aid to Gazans in desperate need.

The report's final comment wondered what kind of a world they'd be "if other countries....follow(ed) the path of Israel....? What kind also when leaders committing these crimes aren't held accountable, world leaders turning a blind eye, some providing active support, making them culpable - complicit in crimes of war and against humanity, including against activists bringing humanitarian aid.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on July 1, 2010.
 

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