Shamus Cooke The fall of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, to an al-Qaeda linked militia elicited a curiously muted response from the Obama administration. Yes, Obama “denounced” the terrorist invasion, but when the Iraqi government asked for U.S. airstrikes to repel ...Read More »
The same people who got the US into the mistaken Iraq War are now urging President Obama to use military force in Iraq again. Republican hawks are using the violence in Iraq as a political tool that is escalating pressure ...Read More »
While the death toll among civilians is growing in Ukraine the United States continues its policy aimed at escalation of the conflict. It offers all kinds of support to Kiev including military aid. Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow said the ...Read More »
And so the inevitable is unfolding: a possible collapse of the U.S.-imposed Iraqi state, the apparent triumph of the most brutal extremists in the world, and more to come in Syria, Afghanistan, and possibly Jordan, Mali, Libya, and who knows ...Read More »
The Obama Administration is Trying to Cover up the VA Scandal by Issuing Subpoenas to Whistle-Blower Sites
One of the most significant realizations to emerge since the Edward Snowden revelations, is the understanding that we need more secure tools for would be whistle-blowers to more easily provide sensitive information in a secure and anonymous manner. As such, ...Read More »
Over 250 MPs are claiming more in expenses to pay rent on their second homes than the maximum a normal person living in Westminster is allowed to claim in housing benefit. According to campaign group Generation Rent, over £5 million ...Read More »
It is in everyone’s long-term interest to stop purposefully undermining developing democratic processes. Most western governments and some observers argue that the elections that took place in Syria on June 3, 2014 were not legitimate, because not all Syrians were ...Read More »
The Pentagon has an awful lot of leftovers, but luckily for law enforcement agencies across the United States they aren’t going to waste. Millions of dollars’ worth of military gear is distributed to local police forces on an annual basis, ...Read More »
School investigators find no sign of Birmingham extremism but PM promises ‘robust’ response DAVID CAMERON stood accused of whipping up Islamophobia yesterday after promising a “robust” campaign to monitor Muslim community schools. The Prime Minister continued to ramp up his ...Read More »
The experience of humanity is driven and defined by our own consciousness, which is a product of our sophisticated brain functions. We are consciousness in every way shape and form. Control of this miracle of consciousness is sought by a few individuals ...Read More »
Former White House hopeful and longtime lawmaker Ron Paul says United State President Barack Obama’s recent major foreign policy speech was a “disappointment” to anyone holding out for change from the current administration. Responding to the president’s recent address at the US ...Read More »
Web of Deceit: The Bilderberg Group and Elite Powerbrokers Linked to the UK’s Stealth Internet Censorship Coup
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As the Bilderbergers gather in Denmark to discuss this year’s agenda, James Corbett presents “Why We Must Oppose Bilderberg” to the We The People Anti-Bilderberg Conference taking place in Copenhagen. Learn more about the history, aims, and goals of the ...Read More »
As President Obama inches closer to entering the final half of his second term, speculation is emerging that the current first lady may pull a Hillary Clinton and run for a Senate seat. In a Thursday column for Reuters, Keith ...Read More »
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Unfortunately, it takes the media mouthpiece of the Russian government to tell the truth about Hillary Clinton and the War Party. You’ll never get the truth from the U.S. government’s media mouthpiece who self-righteously and disingenuously claim they are independent ...Read More »
Leaked documents pertaining to the case against an American computer hacker currently serving a 10-year prison sentence have exposed discrepancies concerning the government’s prosecution and raise further questions about the role of a federal informant. The documents — evidence currently ...Read More »
White House says it ‘looks forward to working with’ Al Sisi despite severe crackdown on dissent Sarah Lazare The Obama administration said Wednesday that it “looks forward to working with” Egypt’s new president, Abdelfattah Al Sisi—the country’s former army chief who oversaw ...Read More »
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According to the Chinese zodiac, the heavens circle around every 12 years. The Year of the Snake, the creature that sheds its skin to emerge anew, marks a time of great transformation. Indeed, for the last quarter century, the world ...Read More »
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David Cameron will make one more attempt to get his plan for a in/out EU referendum by 2017 into law before the 2015 general election. The prime minister’s tried last year to get his pledge on to the statute book via ...Read More »
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Defying threats of violence, tens of thousands of ordinary Syrians went to the polls to cast a vote that was more about Syrian dignity and self-determination than any of the candidates on the ballot. After three years of unimaginable atrocities ...Read More »
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The excuse-making on behalf of President Obama has always found its most extreme form when it came time to explain why he failed to fulfill his oft-stated 2008 election promise to close Guantanamo. As I’ve documented many times, even the promise itself ...Read More »
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The White House has officially admitted that fake vaccination programs have been used by the United States as a cover for covertly stealing DNA samples from the public as part of the so-called “war on terror.” The aim of the ...Read More »
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Bill Van Auken The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation mandating sanctions against Venezuela as officials there presented evidence of US involvement in a plot to bring down the government of President Nicolas Maduro. The bill, passed in a ...Read More »
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Tony Gosling In medieval times the most crooked arch-dukes and barons could gather in an imposing castle of their choice and plot the demise of their kindly neighbors, without anyone knowing what they were up to. But have we come ...Read More »
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The National – 26 November 2013
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu made what was presumably intended to sound like a historic peace gesture towards the Palestinians last week.
He invited Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to Jerusalem to address the Israeli parliament, echoing Menachem Begin’s invitation to Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, in 1977. That visit was the prelude to a peace agreement concluded the following year between Israel and Egypt.
Should Mr Abbas accept, it would pose a dilemma for his host. According to Israeli law, the right of foreigners to address the parliament is reserved to visiting heads of state.
As one Israeli commentator pointedly observed, Mr Netanyahu would have either to hurriedly change the law or to recognise Mr Abbas as the head of a Palestinian state. We can assume he is about to do neither.
In reality, Mr Netanyahu’s offer was as hollow as his previous utterances about Palestinian statehood.
Begin, a rightwing hawk too, welcomed Sadat to the parliament, where Israeli legislators listened intently to the Egyptian leader’s vision of peace.
More than 35 years later, Mr Netanyahu and his cohorts are not in the least interested in Mr Abbas’s terms for an end to the conflict, even in the midst of the current nine-month peace talks. They want him to come only if he is ready to concede terms of surrender – recognising as a Jewish state whatever enlarged borders Israel demands.
Coincidentally, the Israeli prime minister made his insincere offer while French president Francois Hollande was in the parliament calling for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Mr Hollande was wildly feted during his three-day visit to Israel, if less so during his half-day meeting with Mr Abbas in Ramallah, but his public statements offered little more than platitudes.
Saying he favoured “two states for two peoples”, Mr Hollande warned each leader that they would have to make sacrifices: the Palestinians by abandoning the dream of the refugees’ return, and Israel by ending settlement-building.
The problem is that Mr Netanyahu is not listening even to his friends. This month his housing minister, Uri Ariel, unveiled plans for 24,000 new homes in the occupied territories, the largest spike in construction in more than a decade.
The proposals include 1,200 homes in the so-called E1 area of the West Bank, a strategic strip of land next to Jerusalem that would further erode the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state. Washington views Israeli development there as a stake through the heart of the peace process.
Facing pressure from the White House, Mr Netanyahu put the plans on ice but has not cancelled them. On Sunday, a new batch of more than 800 settler homes was approved.
The serial humiliation has proved too much for Palestinian negotiators, who have proffered their resignations. Mr Abbas, however, has promised the United States that he will participate to the bitter end of the talks, due in April.
Strangely, Mr Netanyahu’s offer to Mr Abbas to follow in Sadat’s footsteps came as the CIA declassified documents from the 1978 Camp David agreement between Israel and Egypt. They provide an illuminating window on the current negotiations.
The then-US national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, privately warned that Israel had less interest in reaching a deal than either Sadat or the US president of the time, Jimmy Carter. “The risk,” he wrote to Mr Carter, “is that you could lose control of the talks and be diverted from the central issues either by Begin’s legalisms or Sadat’s imprecision.”
An almost-verbatim memo should have been sent to Barack Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, before these peace talks began last July. Instead the White House has kept its distance, leaving Israel to dictate both the agenda – Israel’s security – and the molluscular pace.
Aware that no progress has been made, the US is finally preparing to put forward a “framework proposal” in January in the hope of extracting a deal by the April deadline.
There has been speculation that, following the deal struck between the world’s main powers and Iran at the weekend over its nuclear programme, Mr Obama will finally be emboldened to stand strong against Israel and Mr Netanyahu’s intransigence towards the Palestinians.
Any optimism is likely to prove misplaced. It emerged last week that Martin Indyk, US envoy to the talks, had quietly recruited to his team David Makovsky. His roots, like Mr Indyk’s, lie in the hawkish pro-Israel political lobbies that have dominated Washington for decades.
In the summer, Mr Makovsky used a column in the New York Times to berate the European Union for failing to “talk tough” to the Palestinians and dispel their hopes of return for the refugees.
Mr Makovsky has probably been chosen because of his expected usefulness in the talks’ impending endgame. Specialising in the kind of detail valued by Mr Brzezinski, he has drawn up precise maps designed to provide the basis for a final agreement, one premised on extensive land swaps.
Israeli leaders have shied away from setting down on paper their vision of a Palestinian state precisely because they know it would not look much like any kind of state. Mr Makovsky is not so reticent.
His maps annex to Israel the vast majority of the illegal settlements in the West Bank, leaving a series of fingers of Israeli territory throttling a future Palestinian state and compensating the Palestinians with areas of desert, mostly near Gaza.
As the Israeli analyst Noam Sheizaf has observed, Mr Makovsky’s guiding principle in drafting these maps has been “to satiate Israel’s growing appetite for land”.
Washington has learnt nothing from its past success with the Egyptians nor from its more recent failures with the Palestinians. Mr Makovsky may add some necessary clarity, but it is exactly the kind of detail no credible Palestinian leader can ever be persuaded to accept.
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