Monday, September 30, 2013

Israel Almost Used Nuclear Weapons Twice

By Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman

So far, in the 65 years of the State of Israel’s history, more relevantly, in what we’ve learned is a 46-year period of possessing nuclear weapons  have Israeli authorities ever come close to using “the bomb”?  Yes.  Twice.

One occasion, long rumored, came during the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 — this time of year, 40 years ago. That is the statutory period that permits the State Archives in Jerusalem to declassify many official papers from that period.

Egypt and Syria, in a coordinated attack on two widely separated fronts, had taken Israel’s celebrated and cocky military by surprise.

The defense minister, the eyepatch-wearing General Moshe Dayan, panicked. Other military officers and officials of the time had the clear impression that he believed Israel might lose — and losing might mean the end of Israel.

We — and some other historians — already reported that Dayan suggested “the end of the Third Temple” was nigh. Now the State Archives confirm that.

Official documents, just released now thanks to the passage of four decades, show that Defense Minister Dayan and General Rehavam (“Gandhi”) Ze’evi both hinted at the need to use “the strategic weapons.”

The declassified papers don’t use the word “nuclear,” but the meaning is clear: a very drastic step, using a weapon to that point totally hidden, to turn back the seemingly unstoppable invaders (the Egyptians, having crossed the Suez Canal and heading eastward through the Sinai, perceived perhaps as more surprisingly dangerous to Israel than the Syrians on the Golan Heights).

The papers show that Prime Minister Golda Meir and the military chief of staff, General David (“Dado”) Elazar rejected the idea of unsheathing “the strategic weapons.” Meir and Elazar were forced to resign in 1974, when an investigatory commission revealed severe mistakes made in the run-up to the 1973 war; and Elazar died of a heart attack while swimming (in 1976) at age 50.

The first occasion when a plan was developed for using a nuclear weapon was in 1967, just after Israel built its very first atomic bomb — according to sources who decline to be named but have helped establish unofficial chronologies of Israel’s secret nuclear program.  Here is an excerpt from our book, Spies Against Armageddon (Chapter 11):

The scientific and technical breakthroughs that made it possible for Israel to build an atomic bomb came—by coincidence—just before the Six-Day War of June 1967. Only a few people knew that the Jewish state became the sixth country to achieve nuclear weapons capability, joining the United States, the Soviet Union, France, Britain, and China in that exclusive club.

Israel’s undeclared status nearly came into play during the three-week crisis that led up to the outbreak of war on June 5. Israeli political leaders and military chiefs were very concerned by the expulsion of United Nations peacekeepers from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. It was also impossible to dismiss Cairo’s raucous psychological campaign that claimed Arab armies would smash Israel and throw the Jews into the sea. Fears of another Holocaust were fueled by the fact that Egypt’s military had just used chemical weapons in Yemen’s civil war.

Against that background, some defense ministry officials and scientists in Tel Aviv deliberated over nuclear strategy.

Ben-Gurion had insisted on developing the world’s most dangerous weapons, but no one had clearly decided when they might be used. Forty-six years later, the results of these discussions continue to be secret and, according to sources close to the participants, surprisingly ambiguous.

The emerging picture is that Rafael, the official Israeli company for developing armaments, mobilized all of its top engineers and technicians during the weeks of crisis in 1967. According to Lt. General Tzvi Tzur, a former IDF chief of staff who was then a special adviser to the defense ministry, those men and women “worked around the clock and neared total collapse” to assemble Israel’s first nuclear device.

Tzur told oral historians: “A committee of two was set up, in the days leading to the war, to connect a few wires.” This was a big bomb, not ready to be fit into a missile or even dropped from an airplane.

Around the same time, the commander of the Sayeret Matkal commando unit, Lt. Colonel Dov Tamari, was summoned to headquarters for a meeting with a general. Tamari was ordered to prepare a team of Sayeret soldiers to fly by helicopter into the Sinai. They would be carrying “a thing,” which the general did not specify.

The mission sketched out would have the troops place Israel’s first nuclear bomb and some kind of detonation mechanism on a high peak—perhaps for maximal psychological effect choosing Mount Sinai, where the Bible says Moses received the Ten Commandments. If Egypt’s army, already massing in the Sinai, were to cross into Israel and threaten Tel Aviv or other major cities, the Israelis would shock the invaders by turning the mountain into little more than rubble under a mushroom cloud.

The plan was dropped, in large part because Israel won the June 1967 war so easily.

French Interior Minister: Throw Out Roma People

French police stand guard as they evacuate a Roma encampment near Lille, on September 18, 2013 (AFP, Denis Charlet)

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has defended his controversial call to deport tens of thousands of ethnic Roma people from the country, amid widespread criticism both from colleagues and the EU.

Valls said on Wednesday that he has "nothing to correct" and that the remarks "only shocked those who do not know the subject." 
"The majority (of Romas) should be delivered back to the borders," said Valls adding, "We are not here to welcome these people. I'd remind you of (former Socialist premier) Michel Rocard's statement: 'It's not France's job to deal with the misery of the whole world'."
The remarks came a day after Valls said any non-working Romas in France should be sent back to the borders, describing their way of life as "extremely different from ours," and claiming they will never integrate into French society. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

FBI: Populace With 9/11 Doubts Potential Terrorists

A Department of Justice memo instructs local police, under a program named "communities against terrorism," to consider anyone who harbors "conspiracy theories" about 9/11 to be a potential terrorist.
The memo thus adds 9/11-official-story skeptics to a growing list of targets described by federal law enforcement to be security threats, such as those who express "libertarian philosophies," "Second Amendment-oriented views," interest in "self-sufficiency," "fears of Big Brother or big government," and "Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties."
A newly released national poll shows that 48 percent of Americans either have some doubts about the official account of 9/11, or do not believe it at all.
The FBI memo entitled "Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Sleepers" says that people who should be 'considered suspicious' of possible involvement in "terrorist activity" include those who hold the "attitude" described as " Conspiracy theories about Westerners." The memo continues: "e.g. (sic) the CIA arranged for 9/11 to legitimize the invasion of foreign lands."
Section of FBI circular to local police   Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Sl...
Section of FBI circular to local police, "Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Sleepers."
"Sleepers" refers to "sleeper cells," in FBI jargon, which are terrorists awaiting orders to be activated into terrorist activity.
In 1998 it was declassified by the Pentagon that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had approved a plan, in 1962, to attack and kill US citizens to "provide justifications for US military intervention in Cuba." The plan was code-named Operation Northwoods, the face page of the declassified document is below.
Face page  Operation Northwoods memo.
government archives
Face page, Operation Northwoods memo.
The plan was signed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Lyman Lemnitzer. It was rejected by President John F. Kennedy, who demoted Lemnitzer.
According to the polling firm YouGov, 38% of Americans have some doubts about the official account of 9/11, 10% do not believe it at all, and 12% are unsure about it.
The FBI memo, issued by the Department of Justice Assistance, an arm of the US Department of Justice, is posted at, among other departments, the Columbus, Ohio, police department website. The citizen's watchdog has also posted a copy. The FBI document also includes as reason for suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities:
"Excusing violence against Americans on the grounds that American actions provoked the problem."
The latter is an apparent reference to thinking such as the "blowback" doctrine, which criticizes US foreign policy and links alleged errors in that policy, such as the invasion of iraq, to terrorist activity.
US Army Major General Albert Stubblebine
US Army Major General Albert Stubblebine
The document cites "fury" at the "global policies of the U.S."
Among well-known doubters of the official 9/11 account are many military officerslaw enforcement personnel, firefighters, and pilots, all working through affinity groups. One is US Army Major General Albert Stubblebine, who has said of the three buildings which fell on 9/11:
"They didn't fall down because airplanes hit them. They fell down because of explosives went off inside. Demolition."
Most recently, former Fox News anchorman Ben Swann has questioned the official 9/11 story.
This September 11th a group of citizens, architects, and engineers, led by families of 9/11 victims, unveiled an international ad campaign questioning the official version of 9/11. The campaign is sponsoring signs and billboards around the world which ask the question: "Did you know a third tower fell on 9/11?" billboard in Dallas. billboard in Dallas.
The 9/11 issue has been actively pursued on the Internet, and largely excluded by the major media. However, news organizations such as Time have covered the architects and engineers billboard campaign, sponsored by a group called 2,000 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Bloggers and other citizens have long argued that the science employed by the official story is impossible, and that the three towers must have been destroyed by some other means. As the FBI memo states, some argue that 9/11 was planned by a covert, relatively small but well-placed coup faction within the US government "to legitimize the invasion of foreign lands," notably Iraq and the Middle East. In 2005 General Wesley Clark, former presidential candidate, said that he was given a copy of a memo by a ranking member of the Bush administration that revealed that war hawks in the Pentagon planned on attacking "seven countries in five years," with Iraq only the beginning.
Other federal law enforcement agencies have been criticized for sweeping characterizations of potential terrorists, which demonize Constitutionally protected activity. In 2011, 18-year law enforcement veteran James Wesley Rawles warned that the Department of Homeland Security was being trained to consider as potential terrorists, among other people, those who had expressed "libertarian philosophies, "Second Amendment-oriented views," "Self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies,) "Fear of economic collapse," "fears of Big Brother or big government," and "Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties." Since Hurricane Katrina, food stockpiling consultants and merchants have reported greater-than-ever activity and interest in storing long-term supplies of non-perishable food and water supplies.
in 2009, an uproar was created when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report describing returning Iraq veterans as potential terrorists. Public outcry prompted Speaker of the House john Boehner to denounce the characterization as "offensive." In 2012, reported on an entire set of "Communities Against Terrorism" circulars coming out of the Bureau for justice Assistance.


Artist: Armand Amar

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Honored At The U.S. Supreme Court

Chemical Weapons: A Quiz

1. Which of the following is the most accurate statement?
1. chemical weapons were first used during the First World War
2. chemical weapons were invented and first used in the 19th century
3. chemical weapons have been around since prehistoric people first put poisons on arrowheads
4. the first real chemical weapon was “Greek Fire” invented by the Byzantines in the 7th century
5. chemical weapons were first produced in the 18th century, based on formulae found in Leonardo da Vinci’s rediscovered writings
2. An international conference in 1899 produced the Hague Treaty, which bans the use of projectiles containing poison gas in warfare. Only one country’s representative dissented. What country was this?
1. Russia
2. U.S.
3. United Kingdom
4. Japan
5. Union of South Africa

3. In the First World War, what percentage of fatalities were due to chemical weapons?
1.  4%
2. 12%
3. 39%
4. 51%
5. 59%

4. In April 1917, British forces used poison gas against German and Ottoman forces in
1. Turkey
2. Germany
3. Austria
4. Libya
5. Palestine

5. Who made the following comment in May 1919, regarding the use of mustard gas against Mesopotamian Arabs?
“I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas…I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes… It is not 
necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.”
1. Benito Mussolini
2. Winston Churchill
3. Georges Clemenceau
4. Woodrow Wilson
5. Ibn Saud

6. Mustard gas was invented in 1917 by a scientist in
1. U.S.
2. Austria
3. Norway
4. Germany
5. Japan

7. During the First World War, Germany was the largest producer of chemical weapons. What country was number two?
1. U.K.
2. U.S.
3. Japan
4. Italy
5. France

8. 88,000 people died due to chemical weapons during the First World War. 56,000 of these were in one country. What was it?
1. Russia
2. Japan
3. China
4. Germany
5. France

9. At the Washington Arms Conference of 1922 which country opposed inclusion in a treaty of an article banning chemical weapons?
1. France
2. U.S.
3. U.K.
4. Russia
5. Japan

10. Over 60 U.S. merchant seamen were killed by mustard gas in an Italian port in December 1943. Why did this happen?
1. The ship was accidently attacked by a British submarine, with torpedoes armed with mustard gas
2. German troops attacked with gas
3. Italian guerrillas attacked with gas
4. The gas was aboard their ship and released when German forces bombed it
5. None of the above

11. How many tons of chemical weapons material did the U.S. at peak inventory?
1. The U.S. never built or stockpiled such weapons
2. 10,000 tons
3. 30,000 tons
4. 50,000 tons
5. 110,000 tons

12. Napalm was invented
1. by the ancient Greeks
2. by a Swedish scientist in 1876
3. by scientists at Harvard University in 1943
4. by Dow Chemical Corp. during the Vietnam War
5. by the Japanese military during World War II

13. Which president announced that the U.S. would not be the first to use chemical weapons?
1. Wilson
2. Eisenhower
3. Kennedy
4. Nixon
5. Carter

14. Napalm is:
1. A mix of petroleum plus a gelling agent that sticks to skin and causes severe burns when ignited
2. A gas that causes asphyxiation
3. A type of explosive bullet
4. An invisible gas released at low altitude by helicopters
5. A kerosene-based jet fuel used in firebombs

15. Over 2 million tons of napalm were used in World War II. Between 1965 and 1973 how many tons of napalm were dropped on Vietnam by U.S. forces?
1. 1 million
2. 2 million
3. 5 million
4. 8 million
5. 15 million

16. Up to March 1992, according to a Senate study, the U.S. licensed export of anthrax and VX nerve gas to which country among the following?
1. Zimbabwe
2. South Africa
3. United Kingdom
4. Iraq
5. Canada

17. In March 1988 Iraqi forces attacked Kurds in northern Iraq with chemical weapons, killing over 3000. How did the U.S. react?
1. The State Department stated its belief that Iran was behind the attacks
2. Pres. Reagan declared Iraq in violation of international law and asked Congress for permission to punish it
3. U.S. officials openly argued that since Saddam Hussein was a firm ally against Iran the U.S. had to overlook his war crimes
4. The U.S. placed Iraq back on its list of terror-sponsoring nations
5. The U.S. halted military cooperation with Iraq in its war with Iran

18. Which of the following countries are believed to possess stockpiles of chemical weapons?
1. Russia, China, France, U.K., Russia, Syria
2. Egypt, Israel, Syria, North Korea, Russia, U.S.
3. Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, China, France, Russia, U.S.
4. Iran, Syria, Russia, U.S., India, Egypt
5. Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, Russia, U.S., Germany

19. The U.S. claims that Syria possesses about 1000 tons of chemical weapons. How many tons does the U.S. still possess?
1. 500
2. 1000
3. 2000
4. 2500
5. 3000

20.  What countries continue to refuse to ban chemical weapons?
1. Syria, Israel, Zimbabwe, South Korea, North Korea
2. Angola, Egypt, North Korea, South Sudan
3. Syria, Israel, U.S., Russia, China
4. Syria, Iran, Zimbabwe, North Korea
5. Angola, Syria, Egypt, North Korea, South Sudan
Bonus question:
The Chemical Weapons Convention approved by the UN General Assembly that bans use of chemical weapons was first signed by participating nations in what year?
1. 1945
2. 1968
3. 1974
4. 1993
5. 2003
1. 3 (Salon of Athens poisoned the Spartan water supply. Henry III used quicklime against the French. In 1675 the French and Germans agreed to stop using poisoned bullets. Chemical warfare is not only modern.)
2. 2 (The U.S. representative wanted no curbs on U.S. inventiveness.)
3. 1 (Remarkably small proportion.)
4. 5 (Mostly British versus Germans, with the latter winning.)
5. 2 (Churchill the consummate colonialist.)
6. 4 (Germany’s chemical industry led the world.)
7. 5 (The U.K. and U.S. produced chemical weapons too, but France was far ahead.)
8. 1 (Compare 9000 Germans, 8000 French, 8000 British Empire, 1500 U.S.)
9.1 (Not surprising, since France was then the world’s leading manufacturer of chemical weapons.)
10.  4 (News of this was hushed up.)
11. 3 (Now down to 3000.)
12. 3 (The scientists were doing war-related research. Napalm was soon used; on March 9, 1945 napalm dropped on Tokyo killed over 87,000 people.)
13. 4 (Nov. 25, 1969 statement.)
14. 1 (From naphthenic palmitic acids.)
15. 4
16. 4 (As part of cooperation during the Iran-Iraq War.)
17. 1 (At the same time anonymous government officials opined that there was no law preventing someone from using weapons of mass destruction on his own people.)
18. 2 (Israel argues that its chemical weapons serve as a deterrent to Syrian attack.)
19. 5 (Russia has about 9000 and plans to destroy it all by next year.)
20. 2 (Now that Syria has signed the treaty, just four countries remain outside it.)
Bonus: 4 (There are now 189 signatories.)
GARY LEUPP is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Jaguar Attacks Caiman

When a jaguar pounces, sometimes one bite is all it takes to get a meal. National Geographic has exclusive video of a jaguar taking down a caiman in Brazil's Pantanal wetlands, photos of which went viral earlier this month. Luke Dollar, a conservation scientist who helps manage National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative, explains the hunt and explosive moment of predation.

Read the article from National Geographic News:

VIDEOGRAPHERS: Kedar Hippalgaonkar and Parul Jain
NARRATOR: Luke Dollar
EDITOR: Will Halicks
RESEARCH: Joe Lemeris

America’s Tricky Relationship With Chemical Warfare


By Veena Trehan

Above photo from Defense Dept website, 1996 press release about chemical weapon stockpiles awaiting destruction.
The United States has awakened to the Syrian crisis and wants to help.  But you hear little from our leaders about the suffering of 6 million Syrians – proportional to 80 million Americans – who have fled their homes. The 2 million international refugees and 4.25 million internally displaced are becoming what United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called “a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions in recent history”.  Instead the chest-thumping, misleading speeches of the American war machine advocate for airstrikes to punish President Bashar al-Assad’s use of toxic chemicals with which we have an on-again, off-again love affair.  We hear little of a Syrian pipeline Assad won’t agree to, or Julian Assange’s assertion that documents show we have been looking to interfere in Syria for several years. Instead, US leaders advocate action that will likely be incendiary or ineffective, with poor international and popular support, and no legal basis. Clearly playing the world’s rogue cop is a relatively easy, high-profile role. But long term, challenging, collaborative work to provide funds, food, doctors, aid workers, and political leadership –like championing a resolution to refer Assad’s actions to the International Criminal Court – are more likely to achieve a lasting, positive legacy.
What specifically of unending chatter about the red line? First, killing breeds hatred regardless of techniques, as a classic scene from “The Princess Bride” teaches kids through the swashbuckling, Spanish fencer’s chant: “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” (no clarification on weaponry needed). Are we to believe the Syrians’ return to the brutal killing modes responsible for 99 percent of their dead represents “mission accomplished”?  Even more problematic is the shift-shaping propaganda machine, a la President Bush. Early American rationales for military action in Syria were numerous: strikes as part of a larger strategy, agreed to facts, an international coalition, international law, and the offense’s legality. Now military strikes are rationalized mainly with the notably poor defense, “Because I said so.”  The US account of the suburban Damascus attack and their estimate of 1,429 dead (the highest to date) isn’t backed by intelligence available to other countries or our public, even Congress sees very little. Secretary of State John Kerry says only three “tyrants” have used chemical weapons, while ignoring four American presidents – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush –  who either assisted or used weapons of mass destruction.  Leaders talk of a longstanding international norm. But chemicals have killed and maimed on at least 10 occasions since 1925. Retaliatory, unilateral military action from outside actors has been illegal and rare.
A review of the major treaties governing the use of chemical warfare and the nations who have used them proves illustrative.
World War 1: Both Central Powers and Allies takes advantage of a new era of poison gases. Chlorine, phosgene, and most famously mustard gas terrify the military and civilians alike, although they are responsible for a small percentage of total deaths.
Geneva Protocol: The 1925 treaty broadly prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons. About two-thirds of the countries have signed on. The United States, which had an extensive chemical weapons program for decades, takes 50 years to ratify the protocol, choosing to sign it in 1975 rather than the more comprehensive Chemical Weapons Convention developed that year.
World War II:  Adolf Hitler uses gas chambers to kill Jews, Gypsies, and other groups. The tyrant, who was gassed in World War I, does not use chemical weapons in military attacks.
World War II:  America/ President Franklin Delano Roosevelt firebomb 67 Japanese cities using napalm (jellied gasoline) destroying half or more of 33 cities. General Curtis LeMay who was responsible for the bombing, said that “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.” (a violation of the Hague Conventions, among others).  ”I think he’s right,” comments Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, in “The Fog of War”.
America/President Franklin Delano Roosevelt drop two nuclear bombs that flattenNagasaki and Hiroshima. Approximately 185,000 people are vaporized, crushed or burned to death immediately, while others are tormented by bone marrow syndrome, excessive diarrhea and vomiting, burns, and other torturous conditions before dying.  While these weapons operate by nuclear rather than chemical reactions, the International Court of Justice has stated using the weapons is clearly contrary to international military and humanitarian law.
The US has built 65,000 nuclear warheads in total; 7700 remain today. Excluding Russia, which holds 8500, the US arsenal is seven times that of all other nuclear powers combined.
Vietnam War:  America/President Lyndon Johnson uses 20 million gallons of herbicides and defoliants during the Vietnam War.  About half a million children suffer from severe physical or mental disabilities as a result of the highly toxic Agent Orange. About 3 million have been affected altogether. A joint Vietnamese-US panel recommended in 2010 the US government, corporations and other donors spend $300 million to compensate Vietnamese victims and clean up their ecosystems. So far, the US government has not pledged such compensation. Similarly, many Congressmen appalled by the Syrian attack have failed to champion the House’s “Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act” introduced three months ago.
Chemical Weapons Convention: The 1975 international treaty prohibits the use and production of chemical weapons and sets a timetable for their destruction. To date, seven countries in the world, including Israel and Syria, have either not signed or not ratified it. The United States signed the treaty in 1997, basically gutting its provisions through limits. The US also missed the deadlines established in the convention for destroying the vast majority of their chemical weapons. Needless to say, the treaty does not allow military force to be taken in case of noncompliance.
Side note on international treaties: Other countries could not legally bomb the US for violating treaties that it has not ratified (or has unsigned) that are agreed to by the vast majority of the world. A few include the Convention of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Yet action without United Nations Security Council approval would violate international law.
Iraq-Iran War: Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush sell Saddam Hussein toxic poisons and biological viruses which Iraq uses in the Iraq-Iran War. The American government knows and approves of this use. In fact, the Reagan administration provides intelligence to Iraq to identify Iranian targets for chemical warfare.  Additionally, Saddam Hussein uses chemical weapons against the Kurdish people in 1987.
Gulf and Iraq Wars: America/George Bush uses white phosphorus in Fallujah, Iraq, reportedly melting the skin of Iraqis and causing a higher incidence of birth defects, cancer, leukemia, and infant mortality than after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The United States also used weapons and munitions containing mildly radioactive and toxic depleted uranium in both the Gulf and Iraq Wars, causing cancer and birth defects, while leaving toxic land behind for the Iraqi citizens to live in.
Israel-Palestine Conflict: Israel uses the chemical white phosphorus in Gaza in the 2008-2009 war. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch found white phosphorus was used in civilian areas, inflicting major injuries and chemical burns. Israel initially denied the chemical was used, but later admitted to it.
Syrian Civil War: Assad forces are widely believed to have used chemical weapons on August 21. The report from a United Nations inspection is an estimated two weeks away. Initial reports suggest the chemicals were obtained legally from Britain.
(Other chemical warfare that is omitted for space include Italy’s use of chemical weapons against what is now Ethopia, Japan use against China (clean up is still underway), and Egypt use in Yemen, among others).
“When you point one fingers, three finger points back at you,” according to a popular quote.
In the long term, a planet without chemical weapons – and many manmade chemicals – would be a much better world.  Indeed, using less chemicals would help restore the integrity to our environment and health to our bodies. Much of this is achievable by employing viable strategies to shift to organic food, eliminate toxic chemicals from garment production, and transition to renewable energy. Such a move would eliminate the confusion over civilian versus military uses.  Additionally, a helpful step towards reducing arms stockpiles and violence would be for President Obama to sign and the Senate to ratify the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, and champion and agree to other international arms covenants. For now, America’s decision to view Syria mostly through the lens of a chemical weapons attack that merits bombing blinds us to a more meaningful role. Our Nobel Peace Prize winner president should work with the international community committed to alleviating suffering, and using diplomacy and international courts. Such a commitment to peace would evince true leadership.

Keef Trouhi

Artist: Issa Ghandour

U.S., Britain & Israel Have All Used Chemical Weapons Within The Last 10 Years

Courtesy Of Washington's Blog
We condemn all use of chemical weapons.
But the U.S. used chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq in 2004. Evidence herehereherehere,herehere.
Israeli also used white phosphorous in 2009 during “Operation Cast Lead” (and perhaps subsequently).  Israel ratified Protocol III of Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (“Protocol III”) – which outlaws the use of incendiary devices in war – in 2007. So this was a war crime.
Moreover, the 1925 Geneva Protocol (which is different from Protocol III) prohibits “the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases”.
The use of White phosphorus (“WP”) may also be a war crime under other international treaties and domestic U.S. laws. For example, the Battle Book, published by the U.S. Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, contains the following sentence: “It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets.”
Indeed, it is interesting to note that the U.S. previously called white phosphorous a chemical weapon when Saddam used it against the Kurds.  Interestingly, it has just come out that the U.S. encouraged Saddam’s use of chemical weapons.
Moreover, the U.S. and Britain have been dropping depleted uranium in virtually every country they fight, which causes severe health problems. See thisthisthis and this.
University of California at Irvine professor of Middle Eastern history Mark LeVine writes:
Not only did the US aid the use of chemical weapons by the former Iraqi government, it also used chemical weapons on a large scale during its 1991 and 2003 invasions of Iraq, in the form of depleted-uranium (DU) ammunition.
As Dahr Jamail’s reporting for Al Jazeera has shown, the use of DU by the US and UK has very likely been the cause not only of many cases of Gulf War Syndrome suffered by Iraq war veterans, but also of thousands of instances of birth defects, cancer and other diseases – causing a “large-scale public health disaster” and the “highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied” – suffered by Iraqis in areas subjected to frequent and intense attacks by US and allied occupation forces.
And Israel has been accused of using depleted uranium in Syria.
Two wrongs don’t make a right.  But it is hypocritical for the U.S., Britain and Israel to say that we should bomb Syria because the government allegedly used chemical weapons.
Note: The U.S. sprayed nearly 20,000,000 gallons of material containing chemical herbicides and defoliants mixed with jet fuel in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia. Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects as a result of its use.   The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that up to 1 million people are disabled or have health problems due to Agent Orange. But that was some 50 years ago.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Brooklyn's Finest

Starring: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Will Patton, Vincent D'Onofrio


This a response to the EPIC FAIL of a video by Steven Crowder in his desperate attempt to gain attention. It's always best to ignore such videos, especially since the whole "Islamophobia" thing is getting old now, but in certain instances it's good to clarify where he went wrong in terms of the misconceptions he put forward.
This video deals with the obvious criticisms of Islam and brings light to their reality.

1) The Marriage of Aisha with Muhammad (pbuh)
2) The issue of polygamy and multiple wives in Islam
3) The punishment of adultery in Islam
4) The concept of Jihad and fighting
5) The final words and death of Muhammad (pbuh) the best man to walk this Earth.

We will defend our beloved and noble Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) until our last breath. We are used to this already.

"They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it." Quran 61:8


Artist: Kaoma

ياكاتب التاريخ اسمعني وقل لي ما الخبر

ياكاتب التاريخ اسمعني وقل لي ما الخبر
 هل راح عهد النصر أم ولّى الظفر؟

خالد ينادي ، أين سيف ابي بكر؟
وابن الزبير اراه يبكي من قهر

عذرًا رسول الله
إذ ليس فينا عُمْر

ياكاتب التاريخ مهلًا لا تغلق الصفحات
أحفاد خالد قد اتوا ومحمد ما مات 

يا كاتب التاريخ مهلًا لاتغلق الصفحات 
احفاد حمزة قد اتوا ورسولنا ما مات رسولنا ما مات

اني أراهم قادمين ويحملون مصحاف الجيب الصغيرة .. يقرأون .. يرتلون.. يرددون .. الله اكبر ومحمد ما مات

أنى أراهم قادمين.. يسبحون .. يمجدون.. يرفعوا أكفهم لله بعد الصلوات.. يهللون.. يمجدون .. يكبرون 

الله اكبر و محمد ما مات

إننا أبناء سعد إنما دماؤنا وفيه وإذا دعا داعي الجهاد فإنما أرواحنا هدية
إننا أبناء حمزة إنما دماؤنا وفيه وإذا دعا داعي الجهاد فإنا أرواحنا هدية

وليشهد التاريخ دوما أن غزة حرة أبيّة

وليشهد التاريخ دوما أن سوريا حرة أبيّة

Sonnet 29

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

[William Shakespeare]

Thursday, September 26, 2013

American's Defend Muslims

This powerful social experiment set out to show us a glimpse of the disturbing discrimination many Muslims sadly face every day in America. I began watching this video thinking I would be left feeling disheartened and angry, but the words the soldier says at 5:05 are so powerful that I wish all people who held prejudice could hear him speak.

Egypt Threatens Hamas Will Military Strike

"If we feel that there are parties in Hamas or other parties trying to violate Egyptian national security, our response will be severe," said Nabil Fahmy, foreign minister in the army-installed cabinet that came to office after Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's military coup.
Asked whether any response would include a closure of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, Fahmy said: "Options are military-security."
Hamas denounced the threats and responded by stating:
"We were expecting an Egyptian position supporting the Aqsa Mosque and preventing its division, and not a threat by the foreign minister of Egypt to attack Gaza. We affirm that such remarks undermine Egypt's ethics and role in protecting our people."
"We will remain defenders of the Arab and Muslim nations' pride and dignity, and our main struggle is only against the Israeli occupation, the greatest threat to Egypt and Palestine."
It also said that this new Egyptian position only serve the Israeli occupation regime which has taken advantage of the military coupe and are trying to drive a wedge between Gaza and Egypt.

It highlighted that Gaza and its resistance would always remain the first line of defense for Egypt and the whole Muslim nation and a protector for Egypt's national security and borders.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


If I am what I have and if I lose what I have, who then am I?
[Erich Fromm]

8 Stages Of Genocide

Genocide is a process that develops in eight stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At each stage, preventive measures can stop it.
The later stages must be preceded by the earlier stages, though earlier stages continue to operate throughout the process.
The eight stages of genocide are:
1. Classification 2. Symbolization 3. Dehumanization 4. Organization 5. Polarization 6. Preparation 7. Extermination8. Denial
All cultures have categories to distinguish people into “us and them” by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality: German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi. Bipolar societies that lack mixed categories, such as Rwanda and Burundi, are the most likely to have genocide. The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend ethnic or racial divisions, that actively promote tolerance and understanding, and that promote classifications that transcend the divisions. The Catholic church could have played this role in Rwanda, had it not been driven by the same ethnic cleavages as Rwandan society. Promotion of a common language in countries like Tanzania or Cote d’Ivoire has also promoted transcendent national identity. This search for common ground is vital to early prevention of genocide.
We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We name people “Jews” or “Gypsies”, or distinguish them by colors or dress; and apply them to members of groups. Classification and symbolization are universally human and do not necessarily result in genocide unless they lead to the next stage, dehumanization. When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups: the yellow star for Jews under Nazi rule, the blue scarf for people from the Eastern Zone in Khmer Rouge Cambodia. To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be
legally forbidden (swastikas) as can hate speech. Group marking like gang clothing or tribal scarring can be outlawed, as well. The problem is that legal limitations will fail if unsupported by popular cultural enforcement. Though Hutu and Tutsi were forbidden words in Burundi until the 1980’s, code-words replaced them. If widely supported, however, denial of symbolization can be powerful, as it was in Bulgaria, when many non-Jews chose to wear the yellow star, depriving it of its significance as a Nazi symbol for Jews. According to legend in Denmark, the Nazis did not introduce the yellow star because they knew even the King would wear it.
One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder. At this stage, hate propaganda in print and on hate radios is used to vilify the victim group. In combating this dehumanization, incitement to genocide should not be confused with protected speech. Genocidal societies lack constitutional protection for countervailing speech, and should be treated differently than in democracies. Hate radio stations should be shut down, and hate propaganda banned. Hate crimes and atrocities should be promptly punished.
Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, though sometimes informally (Hindu mobs led by local RSS militants) or by terrorist groups. Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Plans are made for genocidal killings. To combat this stage, membership in these militias should be outlawed. Their leaders should be denied visas for foreign travel. The U.N. should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations, as was done in post-genocide Rwanda.
Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda. Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism targets moderates, intimidating and silencing the center. Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups. Assets of extremists may be seized, and visas for international travel denied to them. Coups d’etat by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions.
Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying symbols. They are often segregated into ghettoes, forced into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved. At this stage, a Genocide Alert must be called. If the political will of the U.S., NATO, and the U.N. Security Council can be mobilized, armed international intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance to the victim group in preparing for its self-defense. Otherwise, at least humanitarian assistance should be organized by the U.N. and private relief groups for the inevitable tide of refugees.
Extermination begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called “genocide.” It is “extermination” to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. When it is sponsored by the state, the armed forces often work with militias to do the killing. Sometimes the genocide results in revenge killings by groups against each other, creating the downward whirlpool-like cycle of bilateral genocide (as in Burundi). At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection. The U.N. needs a Standing High Readiness Brigade or a permanent rapid reaction force, to intervene quickly when the U.N. Security Council calls it. For larger interventions, a multilateral force authorized by the U.N., led by NATO or a regional military power, should intervene. If the U.N. will not intervene directly, militarily powerful nations should provide the airlift, equipment, and financial means necessary for regional states to intervene with U.N. authorization. It is time to recognize that the law of humanitarian intervention transcends the interests of nation-states.
Denial is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern until driven from power by force, when they flee into exile. There they remain with impunity, like Pol Pot or Idi Amin, unless they are captured and a tribunal is established to try them. The best response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts. There the evidence can be heard, and the perpetrators punished. Tribunals like the Yugoslav, Rwanda, or Sierra Leone Tribunals, an international tribunal to try the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and ultimately the International Criminal Court must be created. They may not deter the worst genocidal killers. But with the political will to arrest and prosecute them, some mass murderers may be brought to justice.
By Gregory H. Stanton (Originally written in 1996 at the Department of State; presented at the Yale University Center for International and Area Studies in 1998)
 Copyright© 1998 Gregory H. Stanton
Genocide Watch
P.O. Box 809
Washington, D.C.
20044 USA
Ph. 703-448-0222 Fax 703-448-6665