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Showing posts from October 24, 2014

The Battle for Palestine

By William R. Polk

What we call the “Palestine Problem” is really a European Problem. No European society treated Jews as full members, and most have ugly records of anti-Semitism. Even relatively benign Western governments exploited, segregated or banished Jews (and such other minorities as Gypsies, Muslims and deviant Christians). Less benign governments practiced pogroms, massacres and expulsions. European history reveals a pervasive, powerful and perpetual record of intolerance to all forms of ethnic, cultural and religious difference.

Jewish reaction to the various forms of repression was usually passivity but occasionally flight interspersed with attempts to join the dominant community.

When Jews were attacked by Christian mobs during the Crusades, they suffered and tried to hide; when they were thrown out of such medieval cities as Cambridge, they fled to new refuges; when they and the Muslim Arabs were forced out of Spain in 1492, most found refuge in Muslim countries which were…

Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia

Exclusive: An international community of resistance has formed against pervasive spying by the U.S. National Security Agency with key enclaves in Moscow (with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) and in London (with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange), way stations visited by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

In early September in Russia, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told me about a documentary entitled “Citizenfour,” named after the alias he used when he asked filmmaker Laura Poitras to help him warn Americans about how deeply the NSA had carved away their freedoms.

When we spoke, Snowden seemed more accustomed to his current reality, i.e., still being alive albeit far from home, than he did in October 2013 when I met with him along with fellow whistleblowers Tom Drake, Coleen Rowley and Jesselyn Radack, as we presented him with the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video pos…

‘World’s wealthiest terror org’: US vows to cut ISIS revenue sources

Reuters / Yaser Al-Khodor

Oil sales, ransoms and extortions help ISIS “generate tens of millions of dollars” monthly, the US Treasury estimates, promising to undermine the group’s finances and to impose sanctions on anyone attempting to do business with the extremists.

The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has “amassed wealth at an unprecedented pace” and is now “probably the best-funded terrorist organization” the US has confronted, according to Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, David Cohen.

The bulk of the group’s wealth comes from oilfields in Syria and Iraq that are under the IS control, with oil sales earning the group “approximately $1 million a day,” the official said on Thursday, speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The vice-president for the Endowment, Marwan Muasher, said the Islamic State is now "considered the world's wealthiest and most financially sophisticated terrorist organization," AFP report…

Pyongyang Calls South Korean Leaflet Campaign ‘De-Facto Declaration of War’

South Korean activists regularly launching balloons, carrying leaflets, transistor radios, DVDs, and even Choco Pies to the north.© AP Photo/ Ahn Young-joon

Pyongyang has referred to the leaflet campaign, launched by South Korean activists and aimed at criticizing the North’s leadership and system, as a “de-facto declaration of war”, Yonhap news agency reports, citing the North’s reunification committee.

“It's a de-facto declaration of war to insult and slander our supreme self-dignity and system with every kind of false and fabricated information,” North Korea's Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a white paper, as quoted by Yonhap.

“If another leaflet scattering operation is conducted despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK and opposition and rejection of the public at home and abroad, the inter-Korean relations will be pushed to an uncontrollable catastrophe and the situation will reach an alarming phase,” the North Korean news agency…