Adonis Diaries

 

PARENTS OF KILLED U.S. NAVY SEAL

TELL OBAMA

”YOUR COWARDLY LACK OF LEADERSHIP HAS LEFT A GAPING HOLE’

YOU ARE NOT UP TO THIS JOB. YOU KNOW IT. WE KNOW IT. THE WORLD KNOWS IT.

After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.

My offering was my only son — Aaron Carson Vaughn.

Aaron was a member of SEAL Team VI. He was killed in action when a CH47D Chinook, carrying thirty Americans and eight Afghans was shot down in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.

aaron-carson-vaughn-navy-seal-team-6

Many times over the past three years, I have been asked what drove my son to choose his particular career. What made him want to be a Navy SEAL? My answer is simple.

Aaron Vaughn was a man who possessed the courage to acknowledge evil. And evil, once truly acknowledged, demands response. Perhaps this is why so few are willing to look it in the eye. It is much simpler — much safer — to look the other way. (Time to describe Evil in terms not related to religion or cultural ideosyncracy)

That is, unless you are the leader of the Free World.

As Commander-in-Chief, your actions — or lack thereof — Mr. President, cost lives. As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies,your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe.

Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.

Please vacate the people’s house and allow a man or woman of courage and substance to seize the reigns of this out-of-control thug-fest and regain the balance we, America, have provided throughout our great history.

Thanks to your “leadership” from whatever multi-million dollar vacation you happen to be on at any given moment, the world is in chaos. What’s been gained, you’ve lost. What’s been lost, you’ve decimated.

You’ve demolished our ability to hold the trust of allies. You’ve made a mockery of the title “President.” And you’ve betrayed the nation for which my son and over 1.3 million others have sacrificed their very lives.

But this should come as no surprise, since your wife uttered a vile statement on Feb. 18, 2008, during the primary campaign — one that speaks volumes of your true convictions.“For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” she said.

I am sure my deceased son thanks you for that, Mrs. Obama. Oh, and you’re welcome.

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such despair and such growing fear that the world’s last best hope, America, has finally been dismantled. Perhaps the better word is transformed — fundamentally transformed. Come to think of it, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to believe things haven’t gone exactly as you planned, Mr. President.

barack-obama-michelle-traitors-killed-aaron-carson-vaughn

Amazingly, in five short years, your administration has lurched from one disaster to another.

You spearheaded the ambitious rush to end the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan — with no plan on how to do so effectively. Also, the release of “the Taliban five” in exchange for one American — without consulting Congress — is also on your shoulders.

You have been at the helm during unprecedented national security leaks — including, but not limited to the outing of SEAL Team VI on the Bin laden raid, the outing of the Pakistani doctor who provided the intelligence for that raid, the outing of Afghanistan’s CIA station chief, and the outing of your personal “kill list” to make you look tough. In addition, 75% of American deaths in Afghanistan and 83 percent of Americans-wounded-in-action have occurred on your watch, according to icasualties.org.

And now, we have this recent, heinous event: the beheading of an American citizen by a barbaric organization you foolishly referred to as “the JV team” in your statements to the New Yorker magazine in January.

You, sir, are the JV team. It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters.

Note: Obama speech on the US strategy to defeat ISIS was not convincing either.

If your allies are the ones who funded and supported ISIS, how can you convince the world community that your objective is actually to confront terrorism?

America has always been exceptional. And she will be again. You, Mr. President, are a bump in our road.

 

​Israel & Palestine: A tragedy in three acts

Israel did not arise from the struggle of a settled indigenous people fighting for territorial independence from Western colonial powers.

That was the case in dozens of nations throughout the Americas, Africa, Levant and Asia over the past two centuries.

Israel is no ordinary state. It’s in a class by itself.

Israel was born of the iron will of a small, very close-knit and highly organized ethnic group bent on occupying a specific territory in obedience to ancient religious tradition and highly doubtful historical continuity.

(Or more likely, a spear-head replacement colonial state to destabilize this oil-rich region in the Middle East)

<!–Adrian Salbuchi–> a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina, published this August 04, 2014
A Palestinian man salvages gas canisters from the ruins of buildings destroyed by what police said were Israeli air strikes and shelling in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip August 3, 2014. (Reuters)

A Palestinian man salvages gas canisters from the ruins of buildings destroyed by what police said were Israeli air strikes and shelling in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip August 3, 2014. (Reuters)

Prologue

Cosmopolitan Ashkenazim and Sephardic Jews combined their leaders’ immense political, financial, media and diplomatic clout to ensure European Jews would, against all odds, get their homeland in Palestine.

This entailed ignoring the interests and lives of millions of Palestinians living there for many generations, which for the past eighty years has meant untold suffering and millions of dead, maimed and injured throughout the Middle East; today, it even means risking a new global war.

The fight for a Jewish homeland is rooted in 19th Century movements promoting “Zionism”: the forced emigration of Central European Jews – notably from Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Germany – into Palestine, as well as North and South America.

The undisputed founding father of International Zionism was Viennese lawyer Theodor Herzl who convened the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1898. His seminal book, Ein Judenstaat (“A Jewish State”) published in 1896 sets out the rationale, method and plan for founding a sovereign Jewish State, discretely leaving the door open for founding not just one but two Jewish states.

Act I: Persecuted European Jews in need of a place to settle

The Time and Place: 19th Century Eastern, Central and Western Europe.

Historically, Christian Europe discriminated against the Jews. For centuries they were second-grade citizens and were systematically expelled from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Britain, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Russia, Belorussia, Poland, Ukraine and many other nations.

Scorned by both Catholics and Protestants, they were segregated inside ghettos from where they focused on retailing and, with time, became Europe’s foremost international bankers.

A Palestinian protester kicks a burning tyre during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, outside Israel's Ofer military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah August 1, 2014 (Reuters)

A Palestinian protester kicks a burning tyre during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, outside Israel’s Ofer military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah August 1, 2014 (Reuters)

Resistance against them regularly flared, often into bloody pogroms. Zionist activists took advantage of this state of affairs to rally their flock into their movement.

This centuries-long targeting of Jews is called “Anti-Semitism”, and can only be explained in two basic manners:

  • Either the majority of Europeans, throughout its vast cultural and national geography and for centuries at a time, suffered a psychological pathology called “Anti-Semitism” which led them to recurrently attack and expel this tiny roaming community from their midst; a mental illness to which the Jews themselves were obviously immune; or
  • There exist certain recurrent traits and characteristics of Jewish social behavior that systematically generate rejection by a wide variety of peoples in all of Europe.
  • In such a case, “Anti-Semitism” should be reclassified as an irrational, unwanted and improper defense mechanism. Theodor Herzl himself spelled it out in his foundational book explaining that Anti-Semitism “exists wherever Jews live in perceptible numbers”.

Though “Anti-Semitism” certainly has its religious overtones, its root cause in modern times is not so much religious as it is social.

Contrary to Islam and Christianity which many times rose up in Holy War and Crusading to convert the heathen, Judaism never seeks to convert anybody by force.

Quite the contrary: Jews are such by birth; by blood; by genetics. Religious conversion is therefore not an option. In fact, historically there is only one example of conversion en masse to Judaism: the 8th Century Central Asian nomadic tribe of the Khazars who did so in order not to fall under the powerful sway of neither Constantinople’s Christianity nor Baghdad Caliphate’s Islam.

These converted Khazars are the forefathers of modern-day Ashkenazim Jews who slowly made their way into Europe through Poland and Germany.

Today, they form Jewry’s elite core in Israel, America and Europe. They do not, however, have any significant blood relationship with the Semitic Israelites and Hebrews of the Old Testament.

Within this backdrop, the Zionist Movement came to life as a Pan-European movement.

A Palestinian protester throws stones toward Israeli troops during clashes following a protest against the nearby Jewish settlement of Qadomem, in the West Bank village of Kofr Qadom near Nablus May 16, 2014. (Reuters)

A Palestinian protester throws stones toward Israeli troops during clashes following a protest against the nearby Jewish settlement of Qadomem, in the West Bank village of Kofr Qadom near Nablus May 16, 2014. (Reuters)

 

Act II: The long, hard road to Jerusalem

The Time and Place: 20th Century Europe and the Middle East

For centuries, Jews would part company with the hope-filled greeting “Next year in Jerusalem”. Gathering in Zion was a leitmotiv of their hope to one day achieving nationhood in the land of Moses, Abraham and David.

Theodor Herzl, Leon Pinsker, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben Gurion and other founding fathers fought to create Israel however at the turn of the 20th Century; the Holy Land was just not an option.

When Zionists petitioned Ottoman Turkey’s Sultan who reigned over Palestine to give them their state he simply refused. But they continued lobbying, leveraging and promoting their ideas and ideals, whilst through academia and the press they nurtured increasingly liberal social conditions necessary for them to flourish.

By then, extremely powerful European bankers with deeply embedded contacts and into every government, directly and indirectly consolidated and promoted the Zionist ideal.

They used long-term rather than short-term strategies; their names are symbols of the burgeoning international finance over-world: Rothschild, Warburg, Schiff, Lazard, Bleichroeder, Belmont, Hirsch, Montefiore, Goldschmidt, Oppenheimer, Goldman, Sachs, Erlanger, Speyer, Mendelssohn and many other powerful European bankers, brokers and traders who extended their power and influence throughout Europe and the Americas.

German billionaire Maurice Hirsch supported Herzl’s plans founding the Jewish Colonization Association that promoted emigration of Eastern European Jews to America, notably Argentina, a country ranking very high on Zionism’s priority list.

In fact, Herzl’s seminal Ein Judenstaat, includes a key chapter whose title says it all: “Palestine or Argentine?”

In it Herzl points out that that Argentina in one of the most fertile countries in the world, extends over a vast area, has sparse population…” and would “derive considerable profit from the cession of a portion of its territory to us…” for which Zion’s bankers could “assume part of its public debt…” (The Jewish State, Dover, NY, 1988, Page 95).

A general view of the Jewish settlement of Brukhim which is located near the West Bank village of Kufr al-Deek near Salfit May 26, 2014. (Reuters)

A general view of the Jewish settlement of Brukhim which is located near the West Bank village of Kufr al-Deek near Salfit May 26, 2014. (Reuters)

But then a century ago came World War I, which Germany, Austria and Ottoman Turkey lost in 1918 to France, Britain and the US, leaving Palestine as a British Mandate.

The year before, UK Baron Walter Rothschild secured from Britain’s Foreign Secretary Sir Arthur James Balfour a “Declaration” whereby Britain “would favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object” subject to nothing being “done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” This triggered a new wave of European Jewish emigration to Palestine.

The 30’s and 40’s, however, brought a new wave of persecution under the Third Reich and World War II, generating in its aftermath renewed support for a Jewish homeland. That was finally achieved in 1948, not so much as recognition of Zionists’ right to impose a Jewish State upon Palestine, but due to unrestricted Western support for the Zionist Plan. Ever since, Israel enjoys a blank check from the West.

Since then, Palestinians have been brutalized and expelled from their homes by terrorist organizations, notably the Irgun Zvai Leumi, which infamously blew up British Military Mandate headquarters in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 (led by Menachem Beguin, later Israeli PM and Nobel “Peace” Prize laureate); the Stern Gang (led by Yzakh Shamir who also became PM), which in 1948 assassinated UN Envoy Count Folke Bernadotte in Jerusalem as he tried to negotiate a two-state solution) and the Hagganah. In 1948 these three terror groups merged forming the IDF (Israel Defense Force).

The key question no one dares address in the West is: if European regimes persecuted European Jews in the 30’s and 40’s, why were the Palestinians forced to pay the unbearable price of having their country taken over and all but destroyed?

Act III: Zionism reinvents itself?

The Time and Place: 21st Century, the world.

Former Harvard University Dean Stephen Walt and Chicago University Professor John Mearsheimer in their 2007 book “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy” describe in convincing detail how AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) and other pro-Israel lobbies wield huge media, banking, diplomatic and political power in the United States in Israel’s favor, leading to its having its way time and again.

In recent years, however, something seems to be changing. Global public opinion looks on in horror as Israel commits genocide. Rending their garments to the cries of “Anti-Semitism!” and “Holocaust!” doesn’t hold up anymore. As so often in the past, common people everywhere are once again growing very weary of Jewish behavior.

The writing is on the wall.

Surprisingly, in August 2012 a paper entitled “Preparing For A Post-Israel Middle East” commissioned by the US intelligence community comprising 16 agencies (including Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, DIA, DEA, FBI, NSA, CIA, Homeland Security and Pentagon), concluded that Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because of its nature and actions preventing normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries.

Then, in September 18, 2012, Rupert Murdoch’s The New York Post quotes arch-Zionist Henry Kissinger saying ‘word for word’,

“In Ten Years there will be no more Israel.” Adding that “Kissinger’s statement is flat and unqualified. He is not saying Israel is in danger, but could be saved if we just gave it additional trillions of dollars and smashed enough of its enemies with our military…. He is not saying that if we bomb Iran, Israel might survive…. He is simply stating a fact: In 2022, Israel will no longer exist”.

Jewish immigrants build prefabricated houses somewhere in Palestine, in 1948. (AFP Photo)

Jewish immigrants build prefabricated houses somewhere in Palestine, in 1948. (AFP Photo)

 

Since this short article spans three centuries, it might be poignant to mention what 19th Century insider and 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason Albert Pike (a Lieutenant General in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War) is said to have written in an oft-(mis)quoted letter to Italian fellow-Mason Giuseppe Mazzini. He spoke of “three major global conflicts” to be unleashed over the next 150 years in order to “achieve the Masonic panacea of World Government.”

  • First, a World War whose primary goal would be to destroy the German, Austrian and Russian royal families, leading to Communism;
  • A Second War, pitting Nationalists against Zionists, leading to the erection of a Jewish State in Palestine;
  • Lastly, war between “political Zionists” and the Islamic World, sparking a Third World War, finally leading to the world government.

Epilogue

Here then lies a key question: is the fact Israel is totally out of control, a miscalculation, a huge mistake or is it part of a long-term ongoing process with its respective “achievements and transitory goals”?

Israel has cornered itself into a dead-end street; as it stands it is no longer a viable state.

Are Zionists about to accept a change in Israel’s status in exchange some other extremely attractive – even if less historical – far-off “Promised Land” where 70 or 80 percent of Israeli population can be re-settled in utmost comfort, security, wealth and peace?

Is Argentina’s (and Chile’s) Southern Patagonian expanse that Promised Land as founding father Herzl imagined and proposed back in 1896?

Is Theodor Herzl’s “Project Palestine or Argentine” about to become “Palestine and Argentine”? Will Palestinian Israel become a huge military nuclear garrison? An impregnable “Fortress Israel” controlling the Middle East?

Patagonia: immense, under populated, and incalculably rich in all natural resources. Patagonia: where since decades, tens of thousands of Israeli youths spend their sabbaticals right after military service.

It’s certainly taboo to even mention this in Argentina, a country defeated by the US/UK Alliance militarily (in the Falkland Islands), and by powerful global mega-bankers pushing it yet again to financial collapse.

Thankfully, Chile which shares a strip of Patagonia is far more conscientious.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Bank of Rothschild 

Nalliah Thayabharan commented on a post of mine:

Abraham Lincoln worked valiantly to prevent the Rothschild’s attempts to involve themselves in financing the Civil War.

Interestingly, it was the Czar of Russia who provided the needed assistance against the British and French, who were among the driving forces behind the secession of the South and her subsequent financing.

Russia intervened by providing naval forces for the Union blockade of the South in European waters, and by letting both countries know that if they attempted to join the Confederacy with military forces, they would also have to go to war with Russia.

The Rothschild interests did succeed, through their agent Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, to force a bill (the National Banking Act) through Congress creating a federally chartered central bank that had the power to issue U.S. Bank Notes.

Afterward, Lincoln warned the American people:
The money power preys upon the nation in time of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of our country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed. ”

Lincoln continued to fight against the central bank, and some now believe that it was his anticipated success in influencing Congress to limit the life of the Bank of the United States to just the war years that was the motivating factor behind his assassination.

Modern researchers have uncovered evidence of a massive conspiracy that links the following parties to the Bank of Rothschild.

Lincoln’s Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, John Wilkes Booth, his eight co-conspirators, and over 70 government officials and businessmen involved in the conspiracy.

When Booth’s diary was recovered by Stanton’s troops, it was delivered to Stanton. When it was later produced during the investigation, 18 pages had been ripped out. These pages, containing the aforementioned names,were later found in the attic of one of Stanton’s descendants.

From Booth’s trunk, a coded message was found that linked him directly to Judah P. Benjamin, the Civil War campaign manager in the South for the House of Rothschild.

When the war ended, the key to the code was found in Benjamin’s possession. The assassin, portrayed as a crazed lone gunman with a few radical friends, escaped by way of the only bridge in Washington not guarded by Stanton’s troops.
“Booth” was located hiding in a barn near Port Royal, Virginia, three days after escaping from Washington. He was shot by a soldier named Boston Corbett, who fired without orders. Whether or not the man killed was Booth is still a matter of contention, but the fact remains that whoever it was, he had no chance to identify himself.

It was Secretary of War Edwin Stanton who made the final identification. Some now believe that a dupe was used and that the real John Wilkes Booth escaped with Stanton’s assistance.

Mary Todd Lincoln, upon hearing of her husband’s death, began screaming, “Oh, that dreadful house!”

Earlier historians felt that this spontaneous utterance referred to the White House. Some now believe it may have been directed to Thomas W. House, a gun runner, financier, and agent of the Rothschild’s during the Civil War, who was linked to the anti-Lincoln, pro-banker interests.

Another myth that all Americans live with is the charade known as the “Federal Reserve.” It comes as a shock to many to discover that it is not an agency of the United States Government.

The name “Federal Reserve Bank” was designed to deceive, and it still does. It is not federal, nor is it owned by the government.

The Federal Reserve Bank is privately owned. It pays its own postage like any other corporation. Its employees are not in civil service. Its physical property is held under private deeds, and is subject to local taxation. Government property, as you know, is not.

It is an engine that has created private wealth that is unimaginable, even to the most financially sophisticated.

It has enabled an imperial elite to manipulate our economy for its own agenda and enlisted the government itself as its enforcer. It controls the times, dictates business, affects homes and practically everything.

It takes powerful force to maintain an empire, and this one is no different. The concerns of the leadership of the “Federal Reserve” and its secretive international benefactors appear to go well beyond currency and interest rates.

Andrew Jackson was the first President from west of the Appalachians. He was unique for the times in being elected by the voters, without the direct support of a recognized political organization.

He vetoed the renewal of the charter for the Bank of the United States on July 10, 1832.

In 1835, President Andrew Jackson declared his disdain for the international bankers:

“You are a den of vipers. I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God I will rout you out. If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”
There followed an (unsuccessful) assassination attempt on President Jackson’s life. Jackson had told his vice president, Martin Van Buren, “The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me….”

Was this the beginning of a pattern of intrigue that would plague the White House itself over the coming decades? Was his (and Lincoln’s) death related by an invisible thread to the international bankers?

President James Abram Garfield, our 20th President, had previously been Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and was an expert on fiscal matters. President Garfield openly declared that whoever controls the supply of currency would control the business and activities of all the people. After only four months in office, President Garfield was shot at a railroad station on July 2, 1881.

President John F. Kennedy planned to exterminate the Federal Reserve System.

In 1963 he signed Executive Orders EO-11 and EO-110, returning to the government the responsibility to print money, taking that privilege away from the Federal Reserve System.

Shortly thereafter, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The professional, triangulated fire that executed the President of the United States is not the most shocking issue. The high- level coordination that organized the widespread coverup is manifest evidence of the incredible power of a “hidden government” behind the scenes.

In the 70′s and 80′s, U.S. congressman Lawrence McDonald from Georgia, spearheaded efforts to expose the hidden holdings and intentions of the international money interests. His efforts ended on August 31, 1983, when he was killed when Korean Airlines 007 was “accidentally” shot down in Soviet airspace. A strange coincidence, it would seem.

Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Senator Steven Symms of Idaho, and Representative Carroll J. Hubbard, Jr. of Kentucky were aboard sister flight KAL 015, which flew 15 minutes behind KAL 007; they were headed, along with McDonald on KAL 007, to Seoul, South Korea, in order to attend the ceremonies for the thirtieth anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty.

The Soviets contended former U.S. president Richard Nixon was to have been seated next to Larry McDonald on KAL 007 but that the CIA warned him not to go, according to the New York Post and TASS.

Senator Henry John Heinz III and former Senator John Goodwin Tower had served on powerful Senate banking and finance committees and were outspoken critics of the Federal Reserve and the Eastern Establishment.

On April 4, 1991, 52-year-old Henry John Heinz III, Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, crashed in a Piper PA60 Aerostar when it collided with a Bell 412 helicopter near Philadelphia. Burning wreckage fell on the grounds of an elementary school in nearby Lower Merion Township; two of the dead were children playing outside at noon recess.

On the next day, April 5, 1991, John Goodwin Tower was also killed when twin-engine turbo-prop Atlantic Southeast Airlines plane flying from Atlanta went down in a thickly wooded area within view of motorists on Interstate 95. The coincidences seem to mount.

A commuter plane – Flight Atlantic Southeast 2311- twin-engine turbo-prop Atlantic Southeast Airlines plane flying from Atlanta carrying 23 people, including former 65-year old Republican Senator John Tower of Texas, crashed and burned in a thickly wooded area within view of motorists on Interstate 95 – a mile and a half short of the airport killing everyone on board.

Attempts to just audit the Federal Reserve continue to meet with failure.

It is virtually impossible to muster support for any issue that has the benefit of a media blackout. The bizarre but tragic reality that the American people suffer from a managed and controlled media is a subject for another discussion.

For many years, numerous authors have attempted to sound the alarm that there exists a hidden “shadow government” that actually rules America. Most of us have dismissed these “conspiracy theory” views as extremist and unrealistic. The ignorance in America is overwhelming. Indeed, the contrast in general awareness of world affairs between the average American and the average European is striking. The concentration of power in America is frightening.

 

The Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006 and the Ceyhan-Haifa Pipeline

You can download a free copy of this essay in pdf, mobi or epub format from Smashwords at:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/476001

The Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline

I have written a lot in my previous essays about the Baku-Ceyhan and the Baku-Supsa pipelines (white lines on the map), as the only American success in the Caspian Sea region, a region which is controlled by the Russians and the Iranians.

With the help of the only NATO friendly country of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, the Americans managed to construct a pipeline that bypassed both Iran and Russia, using the energy corridor Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey, transferring Caspian energy to the Mediterranean Sea  (Ceyhan) and to the Black Sea (Supsa).

(note Azerbaijan was the primary oil producer in the world of over 50% up to 1910)

Ceyhan Eilat100

They did so, in order to provide the European markets with an alternative to the Russian energy, thus decreasing the Russian influence over Europe, hoping that eventually they would manage to influence some of the other corrupted dictators of the Caspian countries too, who are currently under Russian influence, since Azerbaijan’s energy reserves are clearly inadequate to compete with the Russian ones.

At the following table you can see the Caspian region reserves by country.

Caspian Oil Reserves and Natural Gas

As you can see at the above table, the Americans and the Europeans need the oil rich Kazakhstan in order to fill their oil pipelines, and they need the natural gas rich Turkmenistan in order to fill their future natural gas pipelines, if they finally develop a natural gas pipeline network.

Alternatively they can take Iran on their side, since Iran is twice as rich as Russia in terms of oil, and its natural gas reserves amount to 2/3 of the Russian ones, and therefore Iran can clearly compete with Russia.

The Ceyhan-Haifa Pipeline

Moreover they planned to construct a new underwater four leg pipeline from Ceyhan to Haifa, which would carry crude oil, natural gas, electricity and water from Turkey to Israel, which would distribute it in the whole region, but also to the port of Eilat and then to South Asia, again bypassing Iran (red line on the map).

You can read about the Ceyhan-Haifa pipeline at the above European Commission link, pages 10 and 11, tables 3.2.3 and 3.2.7, or you can see it visually at the following map.

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/observatory/doc/country/2009_12_turkey.pdf

Ceyhan Haifa Pipeline 2JPG

Source:

http://geopoliticsrst.blogspot.gr/2012/04/complexity-of-eastern-med-energy-

games.html

Also note that the rich in oil Kirkuk in North Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), is also connected to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, with the pipeline Kirkuk-Ceyhan (yellow line on the map). Therefore the underwater Ceyhan-Haifa connection would actually be a connection of Baku and Kirkuk with the Israeli port of Eilat in the Red Sea, and finally to South Asia (Pakistan, India, China) bypassing Iran.

After describing the Ceyhan pipelines and before turning to the Israel-Lebanon War of 2006, I must also say a few words about the economic and geopolitical implications of these pipelines.

An obvious consequence of the Baku-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa pipelines was that the Russians were very angry, since the Americans and the Europeans could compete with them in Europe if they finally manage to reach countries rich in oil and natural gas. Another consequence was that Iran was even angrier than Russia, since the Baku-Eilat pipeline would transfer Caspian energy to South East Asia bypassing Iran.

As you can see on the map, the shortest way to provide Caspian Energy to South Asia is through Iran.

However with the Baku-Ceyhan and the Ceyhan-Haifa-Eilat  pipelines, another financially viable route was created, in order to provide Caspian energy to South Asia bypassing Iran, since for most of the distance (Baku-Eilat)  only pipelines would be used, which is a very efficient way of transferring energy, and tankers would only be used from the port of Eilat. This was of course very bad for Iran’s exports, but also for its geopolitical significance.

I have said many times in the past how important it is for Iran to construct a pipeline network that would connect it to Pakistan, India and finally China (black line on the map), since it would make Iran much more competitive than Saudi Arabia, its main competitor in oil markets, and Qatar, its main competitor in natural gas markets, since as you can see on the map, Saudi Arabia and Qatar cannot be connected to South Asia with a pipeline network.

Geographically it is only possible for Iran to do so. For a detailed description on the war against Iran, in order to prevent it from connecting itself through pipelines to Pakistan, India and China, see my previous essays.

Therefore the Saudis and the Qataris do not want a pipeline connection between Iran, Pakistan, India and China, since it would make Iran more competitive in these markets which are currently dominated by the Saudis in oil sales and by the Qataris in natural gas sales. Moreover the Americans do not want this to happens, since it would connect China to the Persian Gulf, and it would enable China to obtain Persian Gulf energy bypassing the Indian Ocean which is dominated by the American Navy, which makes it possible for the Americans to ‘unplug’ China very easily in the case of a war. China partially fixed this weakness

with the 400 billion dollar mammoth deal with Russia, according to which Russia will supply China with natural gas for the next 30 years.

The Indians, who are a key connection between Iran and China, do not want to be so heavily dependent for their energy imports on the politically unstable Persian Gulf, since there is always the possibility of a ‘hot’ war, which would prevent access to the Persian Gulf and to energy supplies.

They have therefore been constantly looking for the past years for a competitive alternative to the Persian Gulf energy supply. Moreover having access to many energy sources is not only good in terms of energy security, but it also ensures better energy prices.

Ceyhan Eilat100

For Indians the Iran-Pakistan-India-China pipeline was one of the Persian Gulf alternatives, since even if access to the Persian Gulf by sea was prevented due to a war, supply could continue through the pipelines, and they have therefore many times in the past tried to promote this project, without however so far being successful. On the other hand this pipeline would pass through Pakistan, India’s main enemy, and it had its own weakness in terms of energy security.

Therefore the Baku-Eilat connection would offer India an alternative to the Persian Gulf, which would have nothing to do with Pakistan. The following Asia Times article calls the Ceyhan-Eilat pipeline a ‘lifeline’ for India, since it is an alternative to the Persian Gulf and at the same time it is a source of energy independent from Pakistan.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JB27Df03.html

You can also read about how important the Ceyhan-Eilat pipeline would be for India in the following Times of India article.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Turkey-offers-alternative-to-Iran-pipeline/articleshow/2770237.cms

This is one more article on the subject from Pakistan Defence, but you can find many other articles if you simply google ‘Ceyhan-Haifa Pipeline and India’ or something similar.

http://defence.pk/threads/turkey-offers-alternative-to-iran-pipeline.9754/

Therefore the Baku-Eilat pipeline would not only bypass Iran, but it would reduce the pressure on the part of the South Asian countries for promoting the badly needed for Iran project of the Iran-Pakistan-India-China pipeline. Could it be worse for Iran? That’s why Saudi Arabia and Qatar did not object to the Ceyhan-Eilat connection, because they realize that if the South Asian countries do not have an alternative to the Persian Gulf, they will press harder for a land connection with Iran.

The Saudis and the Qataris can compete with oil and natural gas flowing from Eilat to South Asia, but they cannot compete with oil and natural gas flowing from Iran to South Asia through pipelines. After this large introduction I can finally turn to the Israel-Lebanon War of 2006.

The Israel-Lebanon War of 2006

As you can read at section ‘Inauguration’ of the following Wikipedia link, the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, it was inaugurated at its Ceyhan terminal on 13.7.2006.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku%E2%80%93Tbilisi%E2%80%93Ceyhan_pipeline#Inauguration

As you can read at the following Wikipedia link on 12.7.2006, one day before the Ceyhan inauguration, Hezbollah terrorists attacked the Israelis starting the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Lebanon_War

More specifically, the second paragraph of the above link says:

‘The conflict was precipitated by the Zar’it-Shtula incident. On 12 July 2006, militants from the group Hezbollah fired rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humveespatrolling the Israeli side of the border fence. The ambush left three soldiers dead. Two Israeli soldiers were abducted and taken by Hezbollah to Lebanon. Five more were killed in Lebanon, in a failed rescue attempt.

Hezbollah demanded the release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel in exchange for the release of the abducted soldiers. Israel refused and responded with airstrikes and artillery fire on targets in Lebanon.

Israel attacked both Hezbollah military targets and Lebanese civilian infrastructure, including Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a ground invasion of southern Lebanon. Israel also imposed an air and naval blockade. Hezbollah then launched more rockets into northern Israel and engaged the IDF in guerrilla warfare from hardened position’

At the end of the first paragraph of the above link you can read the following:

‘Due to unprecedented Iranian military support to Hezbollah before and during the war, some consider it the first round of the Iran–Israel proxy conflict, rather than a continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict.’

In section ‘Contacts with Hezbollah’ of the following Wikipedia link, you can read the following:

‘Russian intelligence agencies have a history of contacts with Lebanese Shia organizations, such as Amal Movement and Hezbollah Russian-made anti-tank weapons played significant role in Hezbollah operations against Israel Defense Forces during 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.

It was claimed that “Russian Fajr-1 and Fajr-3 rockets, Russian AT-5 Spandrel antitank missiles and Kornet antitank rockets“have been supplied to Hezbollah through Syria and Iran Muslim GRU detachments from Chechnya were transferred to Lebanon independently of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon to guard the Russian military engineers (sent to Lebanon to restore the damaged roads) and “to improve Moscow’s image in the Arab and Muslim world.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia_and_the_Iran%E2%80%93Israel_proxy_conflict#Contacts_with_Hezbollah

In section ‘Arab League’ of the following Wikipedia link you can read:

‘The Arab League has called Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel “unexpected, inappropriate, and irresponsible acts,” in the words of Saudi Arabia’s foreign

‘The Arab League has called Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel “unexpected, inappropriate, and irresponsible acts,” in the words of Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, PrinceSaud Al-Faisal. The Arab League says they have “fears of widening of tension and possible Israeli strike against Syria,“ “It’s up to the resistance — both the Lebanese and the Palestinian — to decide what they are doing and why are they fighting.

Following a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on 16 July, Secretary-General Amr Moussa declared that “The Middle East process is dead” and that “The only way to revive the peace process is to take it back to the Security Council’.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_reactions_to_the_2006_Lebanon_War#.C2.A0Arab_League

At section United States of the following Wikipedial link you can read:

‘Following the Zar’it-Shtula incident, the United States government condemned what it called Hezbollah’s “unprovoked act of terrorism”, and called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of the soldiers.

The United States rushed a delivery of satellite and laser-guided bombs to Israel, at Israel’s request. The shipment was not publicly announced.

In addition, the United States has thus far rejected what it considers to be meaningless calls for a cease-fire . “The Bush administration has openly rejected calls for a ceasefire. The New York Times reports that U.S. and Israeli officials have agreed the bombings will continue for another week. “On Tuesday [18 July 2006] Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice rejected an immediate ceasefire and said one could only occur once certain conditions are met.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_reactions_to_the_2006_Lebanon_War#.C2.A0United_States

At section Iran of the following Wikipedia link you can read:

‘Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi condemned Israel’s response stating, “The Zionist regime is desperate because of the resistance put up by regional Muslim nations and is now resorting to blind tactics against the innocent people of Lebanon with full US backing.”[27] Iran also adds that an Israeli attack against Syria would be considered an attack against the entire Muslim world and it would bring about a “fierce response.”[28] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, quoted by the Iranian News Agency, said “The Zionists think that

they are victims of Hitler, but they act like Hitler and behave worse than Genghis Khan.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_reactions_to_the_2006_Lebanon_War#.C2.A0Iran

At section Iraq of the following Wikipedia link you will read that Iraq condemned the Israelis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_reactions_to_the_2006_Lebanon_War#.C2.A0Iraq

Even though the pipelines were good for Iraq, since Iraq could export its oil to South Asia bypassing Iran, Iraq condemned Israel.

The reason is that after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, an Iraq had a Shiite governmnt, and even though it was pro-American, it was very closely cooperating with the Shiites of Iran, and Iraq did not feel that there was any need to bypass its ally.

At section Russia of the following Wikipedia link you will read that Russia condemned the Israelis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_reactions_to_the_2006_Lebanon_War#.C2.A0Russia

However for the Russians things were more complicated than the Iranians, because the Russians were of course against the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, but I do not think that they were against the Ceyhan-Haifa four leg pipeline, since Russia and Turkey are very well connect with pipeline networks, because Russia is the main natural gas supplier of Turkey, and Russia could use the Ceyhan-Haifa pipeline to sell its own natural gas.

There is already the Blue Stream natural gas pipeline that connects Russia and Turkey under the Black Sea, and they are planning the construction of the Blue Stream 2 pipeline, that would connect Samsun to Ceyhan as you can see on the following 2 maps.

Ceyhan Haifa Pipeline

Source:

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Turkey-Israel-to-build-Mediterranean-pipeline-2498862.php

Blue Stream 1

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Stream

Therefore the Russians could sell to the whole region their natural gas through the route Samsun-Ceyhan and Ceyhan-Haifa.

However this is back in 2006, and the problems in the American-Israeli relations are not present yet nor is the Israel-Russia rapprochement, and therefore the Russians have to support their traditional allies i.e. Syria, Iran and Lebanon.

It is therefore quite simple to explain the Middle East wars if you look at the oil and natural gas that is always hidden in the background of these wars. However the Israelis have some problems of their own with Lebanon, since their natural gas supplies are near the Israeli-Lebanese borders, and the Lebanese claim that a part of these natural gas reserves belong to them as you can see at the following two maps.

Israel Leviathan Gas Filed

Source:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2012/07/120703-israel-new-natural-gas/

Cup Isr Gaza EEZ Foreign Affairs Colors

Source:

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139069/yuri-m-zhukov/trouble-in-the-eastern-mediterranean-sea

Therefore the Israelis and the Lebanese, besides all the disputes I have mentioned so far, have the natural gas disputes too. However it is mainly Iran that owns Hezbollah, since it is Iran that provides for Hezbollah funding and weapons, and it is on Iran’s orders that Hezbollah acts. Iran has done with Hezbollah, what Qatar has done in Gaza with Hamas. Qatar owns Hamas. It provides its funding and weapons and through this funding Hamas managed to provide financial support to the people of Gaza and won the elections in 2006, and did not conduct other elections since that time.

Therefore in the same way that Iran bought Hezbollah at the northern border of Israel, Qatar bought Hamas at the Southern borders of Israel (Gaza). For the relationship between Qatar and Hamas and Iran and Hezbollah you can simply google ‘Qatar Hamas’ and ‘Iran Hezbollah’ to find hundreds of articles.

The main dispute between Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah is natural gas. Israel is trying to provide an alternative source of natural gas to Europe, either through Cyprus and Greece or by liquefying its natural gas and exporting it with ships. Iran and Qatar are the 2nd and 3rd richest countries in the world in terms of natural gas reserves, and Israel is closer to Europe and would provide a cheaper alternative even though it has far less reserves, and why not in Africa too. Recently I wrote an essay about the 15 billion dollar natural gas agreement between Israel and Jordan.

Therefore even though the Shiite Muslims of Iran and the Sunni Muslims of Qatar are the 2nd and 3rd richest countries in the world in natural gas reserves, and therefore hate each other as we can see with the war in Syria and Iraq now, they both do not want Israel to provide an alternative to the natural gas markets of Europe and Africa, with the help of other Mediterranean countries too, like Egypt, Greece and Cyprus.

This is the reason Qatar is pushing so hard for the Muslim Brotherhood to come back to power in Egypt, since the Brotherhood is under its influence. With the Muslim Brotherhood in power Qatar could ensure that Egypt would not undercut its prices.

Therefore in the same way that Iran bought Hezbollah at the Israeli-Lebanese borders (black circle in the following map), Qatar bought Hams in Gaza (blue circle), and in the same way the Sunni Muslim terrorists of Hamas take orders from Qatar and Turkey, the Shiite Muslim terrorists of Hezbollah take orders from Iran. Therefore Qatar and Iran can use Hamas and Hezbollah to launce energy wars on Israel whenever they want.

As you can read at the following article, Hamas and Hezbollah had very good relations, until the great war between the Sunni Muslims of Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the Shiite Muslims of Iran and Iran broke out, as I was saying in my essay ‘The Energy War Between U.S.A. and Russia’.

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/islamists/article/the-marriage-and-divorce-hamas-and-hezbollah

Hamas Hezbollah

Source:

http://www.nektarinanonprofit.com/2012/03/israel.html

Therefore it can be seen that the Israel-Lebanon War of 2006 was another hot energy war, in the sequence of the hot and cold energy wars taking place in the Middle East for the last one hundred years. Any analysis about the wars in the Middle East that is not based on oil and natural gas is always totally inadequate.

Top Art Design Bookstores? 

For lovers of art and design, a travel itinerary should always include a good bookstore among its listings of local museums and art galleries. After all, a great bookstore is often a destination unto itself. Here are of ten of the most sensational bookstores around the world where the selection of books on contemporary art, design, architecture, fashion and photography is unsurpassed.

1. Daikanyama Tsutaya Books T-Site, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese glossies and international art titles stack up on tables and fill wall racks in a long row known as “Magazine Avenue” at this enormous bookstore. Branching off to the right, an excellent assortment of design and architecture books offers an afternoon’s worth of browsing, while the art section on the other side is filled with fabulous rare finds. Brimming with style, the architecturally stunning three-building complex also houses two cafes.

2. Do You Read Me?!, Berlin, Germany

In a chic corner of Mitte, the cultural heart of the former East Berlin, a wonderfully curated collection of books, journals, and magazines is carefully arranged in a shoebox of a shop. The main wall is covered in an ever-changing tableaux of esteemed international titles like L’Officiel, Numero, and Apartemento as well as independent, freshly launched editions, while the back table features a hand-selected cache of contemporary art, architecture, photography, and design books.

3. Artazart, Paris, France

Beyond the dynamic orange facade of this vibrant bookshop on Paris’ Canal St. Martin, a smorgasbord of colorful tomes invites a lengthy browse. Dedicated to art and design, the spectacular selection ranges from books about fashion and photography, to graphic design and landscape architecture, to graffiti and urban art.

4. Printed Matter, New York, NY

Founded 38 years ago by Sol Lewitt and Lucy Lippard, this revered New York non-profit features over 37,000 titles by artists and small presses. In the midst of the Chelsea gallery district, the street level storefront houses a precious stock of limited edition publications, out-of-print materials, and rare books by celebrated artists and emerging creatives.

5. Arcana, Culver City, CA

With a loyal customer base of industry insiders and discerning bibliophiles always on the lookout for a new gem to add to their burgeoning book collections, this esteemed store stocks a massive trove of new and used books on art, fashion, photography, film, design, and architecture. Its new location in the Helms Bakery complex provides a bright, airy space for perusing rows of metal shelves full of exquisite books.

6. Lia Wolf, Vienna, Austria

Beyond a magical secret courtyard, arched windows offer a glimpse into a book lover’s paradise in central Vienna. Run by former literature student Lia Wolf, the enchanting bookstore is chock full of beautifully bound hard-cover art classics as well as newly pressed volumes from an international array of photography, advertising design, graphic design, typography, and fashion book publishers.

7. Artland Book Company, Taipei, Taiwan

Sifting through Artland Book Company’s massive trove reveals titles like “World Shopfront Design,” “New Brazilian Gardens,” and “One Hundred Seashells.”

The art book importer has been offering the most comprehensive collection of art and design books in Taiwan since 1985, and it’s all arranged in a sleek, luxurious, den-like space.

8. Art Metropole, Toronto, CA

A groundbreaking initiative with roots that go back to Canada’s 1960s conceptual art scene, Art Metropole is hallowed ground for media art devotees.

Initially established to archive and document “pictures,” the venerable non-profit has evolved into an eclectic venue where art events and exhibitions take place among an exclusive stock of artist-created books, publications, videos, and audio recordings.

9. Freebook, Sao Paulo, Brazil

From Kenzo to Brancusi, this long-standing, family-run livraria features a wide range of books on art and design icons.

Publishing heavyweights like Assouline, Rizzoli, Taschen and other international presses line the shelves of the industrial-chic space accessible by a ring of the doorbell.

Past Freebook’s edgy facade, a private library stocked with Sao Paulo’s most amazing selection of art and design books awaits.

10. Papercup, Beirut, Lebanon

Owner Rania Naufal opened her elegant and inviting bookstore in Beirut’s Mar Mikhael neighborhood five years ago.

Eye-catching children’s books, graphic novels, and travel guides compliment her excellent collection of art and design titles, which fill the floor to ceiling shelves on one wall, while across the room, two hundred magazines sweep down the length of the shop. She also serves coffee, tea, and homemade cake.

Explore more of ARTPHAIRE’s Top 10 lists here.

Celeste Sunderland has lived in New York, Berlin, Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area.

A graduate of The University of Rhode Island’s Journalism School, she spent nearly a decade working in digital media production, and has been writing professionally for print and online publications for over fifteen years.

In addition to writing for ARTPHAIRE, Celeste has her own blog Tidepooler.com, Inspired by a photograph by the German photographer Olaf Otto Becker.

Israel’s refuseniks. Unit 8200 in the intelligence: ‘you can’t run from responsibility’

Three signatories of the 41 Israeli military intelligence refusenik letter agreed to be interviewed by the Guardian to discuss what motivated their concerns.

They are all members of Unit 8200 – known in Hebrew as Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim – Israel’s largest signals intelligence gathering unit, active both abroad and in the Palestinian territories.

All three are now on the active reserve list and have said they will not do reserve service relating to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Of the three, “A”, aged 32, and Nadav, 26, are sergeants, while “D”, 29, is a captain.

Letter of Unit 8200 explains why they refuse to work in Palestinian territories

Three Israeli intelligence veterans talk about their experience in Palestinian territories

By agreement with the letter’s signatories, material relating to specific claims regarding the unit was provided in statements that they chose to disclose to the Israeli military censor.

In face-to-face interviews they agreed to discuss what motivated them to sign the letter, declining to discuss specifics.

Below is a transcript of the Guardian’s interview conducted earlier this week in collaboration with several other media outlets. It has been lightly edited for repetition, brevity and sense.

Two minor amendments were made at the request of the soldiers to clarify meaning.

How did you organise the letter?

D: For a couple of months friends [have been] joining and [it’s been] growing slowly … most of them are still active. We’ve been thinking about it for maybe a year.

It was a difficult dilemma. We were worried that this action would be seen only as a response to the war in Gaza and it is important to us to make it clear this is about the ‘normal’ situation [of the occupation].

A: We didn’t want it to be interpreted only in this context. We decided before the recent war to do this. For me there wasn’t any particular trigger. It was a long process of realising …

When people talk about the role that intelligence services play in non-democratic regimes usually their hair stands on their back a bit and they shudder.

And that’s not the way I thought about the military service that I did [at first].

It was a gradual realisation that this was me [as well]. That I was playing that role. That made me see in a different light what I’ve done and take this action.

I still feel very committed to how I was raised, and that’s what makes it so difficult. I still feel part of [Israeli] society.

N: I think because we are part of [Israeli] society is the reason [that] we are doing it. It is not an act against everything that is done …

A: We feel it as an act of taking responsibility for the things we take part in. But we also see it as part of a deep concern for the society we live in. We’re not trying to break away from it or anything like that.

Maybe you can say something about yourselves?

D: I currently live in Jerusalem. I’m a student. I’m doing a master’s in computers. I joined the military in 2003. I stayed until 2011.

I was an officer. An intelligence officer. And I stayed for a couple of years extra. I was a team leader, then a section leader. A captain.

A: I was enlisted in 2001 after half a year of pre-military courses which I volunteered for. Afterwards I also stayed on for an extra period.

I volunteered to become an instructor and then a team leader. Full time I was [there] five years. Since then I’ve been a student also in the Hebrew University.

Now I live in Tel Aviv and my wife and I are expecting our first daughter. I’m studying maths.

N: I enlisted in 2007. I was in the army for almost four years. I was also an instructor. I finished the military in 2010.

Now I live in Tel Aviv. I’m a student in the Open University and I’m studying literature and philosophy.

When you think about intelligence work, people think about it as “clean” because it’s not about running after people in alleys of refugee camps and shooting at protesters.

What’s not “clean” about intelligence work that you wouldn’t want to be involved in?

N: The intelligence gathering on Palestinians is not clean in that sense. When you rule a population … they don’t have political rights, laws like we have.

The nature of this regime of ruling over people, especially when you do it for many years, it forces you to take control, infiltrate every aspect of their life.

D: [This is] one of the messages we feel it is very important to get across mostly to the Israeli public because that is a very common misconception about what’s intelligence and I can say for myself and for many of the participants – refuseniks in our letter – that this is something [we also felt] when we were enlisting in the military.

Not being aware of the conflict as much as we are aware of it today … [believing] our job was going to be minimising violence, minimising loss of lives. That made the moral side of it feel – be – much easier.

A: I distinctly remember before I was recruited, I felt very fortunate that I had this job that was so clean of moral dilemmas. [Because] our job was to make the work smarter.

We were supposed to minimise the casualties both fighting terrorism. And when Israel is forced to strike back, we would be able to make sure only the bad guys get killed.

And I think recent events … but this is not just about the recent war [in Gaza] … our experience after the past 10 years have made us see this is simplistic.

N: In the last month there were two occasions of this in newspapers that reflect this [point] exactly.

There was a [Palestinian] parliament member in Ramallah. The army told her she had to move to Jericho because she was supporting demonstrations.

That’s just one example of the things intelligence does that is not really to do with terrorism or anything like that.

D: A significant part of what the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] does is not the “title” [ie defence]. The “title” of what the IDF does in the occupied territories is ruling another people.

One of the things you need to do is defend yourself from them, but you also need to oppress the population.

You need to weaken the politics, you need to strengthen and deepen your control of Palestinian society so that the [Israeli] state can remain [there] in the long term … We realised that that’s the job of the intelligence.

Was there work they did not object to?

D: I think a lot of what the unit does, doesn’t have anything to do with Palestinians, we’re not only not against that, we’re all in favour, we think it is the right and duty of the state of Israel to defend its citizens.

We took that very seriously while we were in the unit and we still take it seriously. That’s what makes this decision much more difficult because it’s not a black and white situation.

Did you feel your were violating people’s rights?

N: Definitely. In Israeli intelligence regarding Palestinians, they don’t really have rights. Nobody asks that question. It’s not [like] Israeli citizens, where if you want to gather information about them you need to go to court.

A: The only limitation is the limitation of resources. There’s no procedural questions regarding who can and cannot be surveilled. Everybody is fair game.

N: An 18-year-old soldier who thinks: “We need to gather information on this or that person” – that 18-year-old kid [in Unit 8200] is the one that decides.

A: It is well known that the intelligence is used. People are arrested in the Palestinian territories. Sometimes without trial. And even when they are taken to trial it’s often with evidence that can’t be exposed [in court] because it is classified.

And the intelligence is used to apply pressure to people, to make them cooperate with Israel. These are all things that are known.

It’s no secret that Israeli intelligence is producing the target database that is used in the air strikes …

There was a big media outcry after [Hamas military leader] Salah Shehade was assassinated [in 2002] and 14 members of his family were killed.

There was a big story around that and the commander of the air force then – Dan Halutz – said to the pilots:

You did well. You’re not responsible. Your job is to deliver the ammunition to the target in the most professional and accurate way you can, and you did that and your hands are clean”.

D: And you don’t see the big picture …

A: The question [is] who does see the big picture? Who does provide this information to these pilots? And the answer is clear [ie Unit 8200].

[There was] a famous incident. It was when “Lieutenant Alif” [Lieutenant A, a former member of their unit] refused to pass on information regarding the capacity of a building. The idea was to destroy a building and its inhabitants – and what I’m telling is not the story we were told in the unit – it was a story that was exposed by journalists in Israel years later.

D: In 2003 [during the second intifada] there was this general routine for the IDF to bomb buildings at night as a response to terrorist attacks or to pass a message or … whatever you like.

After an especially bad terrorist attack in south Tel Aviv by the old bus station there was a decision that the response had to be more harsh this time.

The action that was decided upon was to destroy from the air a building belonging to Fatah, which wasn’t the organisation that was responsible for the terrorist attack.

And the building wasn’t related in any way to military activity. It was some kind of welfare centre where they were giving out pay cheques.

Unlike previous times, an essential part [of the operation] was that building wouldn’t be empty and there would be people there, no matter who. Someone had to be there in order to die.

The role of our unit was to give the green light for this attack. To say when the building isn’t empty. So this lieutenant – whose name wasn’t published – refused.

At first he tried to get the action cancelled. And then he spoke with his commanders but still found himself in real time being asked for that information.

And even when he knew that now the building is not empty and was supposed to give the green light he said: “I’m refusing, I’m not doing it.” He got the operation cancelled.

The response of all the senior commanders – in the unit and in the military – was to be shocked by him daring to refuse a direct order that he had received. That was the only kind of inquiry that was taken into the matter. There were some reports – just days after the incident, in the Israeli media – but they were wrong. They changed the goal of the operation and said the goal was a targeted killing of …

A: I remember that it was the talk of the unit because it was in the news and we all had briefings about it. We were told he was “confused”. He didn’t understand what was asked of him. And the general message was there’s no such thing as a manifestly illegal order in the unit.

D: What’s important is that it wasn’t only the interpretation … the media and soldiers inside the unit were told a lie about what was the target of the operation. … The [fact that] the ultimate goal was to kill innocent people was hidden. I joined the unit several months after. The response was to kick [the lieutenant] out of his job – not the unit – until he finished his military service.

I received a lesson in the course where we discussed this [case]. As a person who spent many years in the unit, who took my job there very seriously, I was very motivated to be a part of this unit and to do our job and I feel very betrayed by this lie. I feel the worst thing about it is, it isn’t the momentary decision of a completely illegal, immoral operation, but the fact that for more than a decade later the unit still prefers not to deal with it …

N: To deny what really happened …

D: … to say that according to senior officers this operation was looked into before the order was given. Legal officers checked the order to make sure it was an OK operation to carry out. So according to these senior officers this was all OK. There was no problem. When they were asked in [this article] in 2011 they could not even understand what was the issue. They say “Leave us alone” to the reporter.

A: But you talked to the people who were there …

D: I did speak with people who were there. I don’t want to say exactly who. People who were in the room …

A: The reason I brought up the whole Lieutenant Alif case was to emphasise that on the one hand the pilots are not responsible and on the other hand we – who are providing the information – are not responsible. The feeling is that it’s never possible to point any fingers. There is no one who is responsible.

N: And when you look at what happened this summer when building after building was destroyed on the inhabitants and hundreds of innocent people were killed. No one raised an eyebrow as opposed to just one decade ago when a killing of a family of a commander of Hamas [Salah Shahade] – then people were shocked. It was a huge story in Israel.

D: The story [of Lieutenant Alif] is very important and representative of the response of senior commanders of the unit to this incident I was referring to. [The fact] that the incident is used to give soldiers in the unit the message: “You’re not responsible.” There’s no such thing as a definite illegal order.

And we think this message has been well understood in the unit, which we think is a part of the fact that in the recent decade we’ve seen a decline in how much the soldiers and the Israeli public cares that innocent people are dying.

A: It’s important to say, the reason I decided to refuse. I decided to refuse long before the recent [Gaza] operation. It was when I realised that what I was doing was the same job that the intelligence services of every undemocratic regime are doing. That I’m part of this large mechanism that is trying to defend or perpetuate its presence in the [occupied territories] …

N: … it is part of the effort to save the status quo.

A: To preserve and hold and deepen our hold on the Palestinian population. And I think for most of us this was the main reason for doing this. And of course the operations and the wars – the ongoing periodic wars are part of this.

How did the letter come about?

D: At first it was just a small group of people meeting and discussing both our political opinions and also going through a process of realising what we’ve been involved with. You have to understand that being in the unit is very, very secret. It is not only that we keep secrets from the outside but we keep secrets from each other.

The whole culture is very secretive. It is very difficult to just be in a situation where you meet with each other to reach a position of productive discussion. So for all of us just coming out with our thoughts was in itself very difficult.

Slowly we discussed it with more friends – with friends from the unit we thought would be interested – and just expanded it.

A: You sort of feel around to see how people feel about doing reserve service.

D: First when we approached people we didn’t say: “Look this is our plan, what’s your opinion?”

A: I should say there are a lot of people who, when they leave the military service they start seeing Palestinians as people not just as sources of information, and getting a bigger picture of what’s happening and a lot of people … there’s very different levels of commitment and enthusiasm in doing the reserve service and a lot of people taper off.

D: It was clear from the beginning we wanted to do everything legally. We went to a lawyer and said we don’t want to commit an offense or say anything not allowed to can you help us figure out what we would be allowed to say.

N: We’re not telling secrets about what we did or the way the unit works. We don’t want to do that. We don’t want to hurt national security, we just want to say what is wrong with the things we did and the unit does.

We want people to know that being in intelligence is not clean, and to control a population of millions you can’t just do counter-terrorism and hurt the people who want to hurt you.

D: I think another aspect is the personal aspect. Our decision as individuals that we morally can’t continue to participate in these actions in military service. In theory there is the option of just avoiding the service, not going public but that brings me to – if I had to answer the question what are we doing this for – for me, it is to take responsibility.

I am very acutely aware that I was a part of the cycle of violence, in perpetuating it. I feel like in many moments in this long process I felt maybe just drop it. Maybe just forget about it. You can be leftist, you can go to demonstrations if you want. But I realised that is running away from responsibility because I am already a part. I’ve been a part for almost eight years of these actions that I disagree with.

What at the personal level influenced each of you?

D: During my military service, especially during my last years, I advanced through the ranks and I understood more about what is happening. About the unit’s role in the occupied territories. That was one stage.

After I left in 2011 it the summer of the famous social protests, and I think that was a moment of political awakening for a lot of people despite quite a lot of cynicism in Israel about the impact of that. I felt it put me in a more responsible and involved mindset.

I had questions from my military service I couldn’t really deal with. But it was my whole life. My friends, my daily job. I wasn’t in a position where I could question then properly …

Then I went back to things I was involved in. Thought about it. That was a bit of a Pandora’s box to open because I felt the moment I asked myself these questions I couldn’t run away from responsibility.

Another important realisation for me was that our unit was the intelligence side of an oppressive military regime [in the occupied territories]. Realising it in those terms also brought it much closer to me because my dad was Argentinian, and he was imprisoned by the military dictatorship in 1977.

I think this comparison – and that’s not at all to say the actions of this Argentinian dictatorship is at all similar [to Israel] – but it’s this realisation that we were imagining Palestinians as just plain enemies.

We didn’t realise there was a difference between [the Palestinians we rule over] and citizens of any other country that is the enemy of Israel. My hard realisation was when I realised our function is both to be the regime and also to gather this intelligence … It isn’t like a military issue where you need to know how many airplanes the enemy has.

The targets of this intelligence are specific people and the consequences that this intelligence have are very, very serious and encompass many different areas of their life, because it is also [gathered] by the same regime that controls their lives.

And in this aspect it is the same thing as the dictatorship in Argentina that imprisoned my dad.

A: I identify with a lot of what D said. We are told, and we like to think about Palestinians as enemies in a symmetrical conflict. I started going on tours in Hebron and around Jerusalem and I started to see the reality of the people living there. And you are basically providing them with water and electricity.

And you give them job permits. On the one hand, you decide whether they can work their land or not. And on the other hand, they don’t want you there.

And in this complicated situation you are bound to be drawn to do the all-encompassing surveillance that D has talked about. I’m the person who is doing it … [and I came to] see myself in the light of other oppressive regimes and the role that intelligence plays in these regimes was the turning point.

N: I have to say I was very proud when I first enlisted. I thought it was a very important unit. I am still proud of some things that I did there. I’m not saying that everything done is wrong. The thing that led me to take this decision is that during my service I started realising that we don’t only do things meant to ensure the security of Israel in the sense that these people want to hurt us, but more and more to do with innocent people.

There were times when I raised the question with my fellow soldiers in the unit, with the commanders, that maybe some things were wrong. The answer I was given all the time was: “No, it’s OK.” These questions kept arising in my head. Now as the years go by, and I see it from the outside, I realise that there are some things that are really problematic.

Intelligence can be gathered about everyone.

A: It’s not just a procedural objection that we have. It is the deeper issue that we are part of a regime that is denying Palestinians their rights. It’s been going on for almost 50 years.

D: The problem is that we realised what the actual role of the unit is, that’s what we are bothered about. We don’t think fixing the legal procedures a bit or caring a bit more about Palestinians would be a solution. We think it is a cause of the unit of the job.

A: I think we have said that some of the things that the IDF does really does deserve the title defence forces, but there is a significant proportion of what it is doing that does not deserve this title. It’s in the interests of perpetuating a regime that is oppressive. That is not democratic. It is these things we are trying to bring to the attention of Israeli public first and foremost. To create a discussion and think critically about it.

So you won’t serve across the Green Line in the occupied territories?

D: That is the exact parallel. It’s important to us, if it was up to us, our full names would be on the [published] letter. We are not allowed to reveal it because of secrecy laws.

When you look at [things] in terms of intelligence you can broadly say that there are two types of intelligence in the world. One is gathered – say in a democracy – that a regime collects against its citizens. For example, as an Israeli the government might collect intelligence on me but it has severe limitations on how to do that, and the way that it can use it against me is very limited.

Even if it is taken to court in the end if there is a punishment it is only a punishment directly related to the offence I committed. So that you can, if you like, call civil intelligence.

Then there is military intelligence, which a country collects on another country. Then there’s no laws governing that, only diplomacy and international relations. That’s intelligence. It’s pretty dirty.

But that’s the inherent rules of the game. The other country can defend itself to some extent. In most cases this kind of intelligence won’t have direct consequences for the actual civilian citizens in the other country that might be the target of this intelligence.

[But] in this situation, what’s common to the Palestinian situation – and the situation in Argentina [under the military dictatorship] – is that people get the worst of the two types of intelligence. On the one hand, there are no rules about collecting the intelligence, but at the same time this intelligence might have severe consequences regarding all areas of their life.

You realise that this might have consequences for you – socially and for future employment? You might pay a price for this?

N: This is a price I’m willing to pay. This is very important. You can’t run from responsibility.

D: It’s a serious dilemma for a lot of people I know who decided not to sign the letter. One of the main reasons was this: everyone of us sees the risk a bit differently. I think we are all worried about it but I feel like there is no other choice.

 

Meet the Muslims who sacrificed themselves to save Jews and fight Nazis in World War II
Given recent history, it’s a story that deserves retelling.

Note: For over a century, Muslems were ignored and dehumanized. It got worse after the Soviet troops vacated Afghanistan in 1989. Since then, Muslems were viewed by the west as “terrorists”. Obama is trying to say “Muslems are not representative of ISIS or Daesh since these extremist factions have no religion. This is the same mantra for all religions: the terrorists are the “black sheep“.

The following article is basically trying to wrap Muslems as forming an entity, regardless of their various initial nationalities they are from.

Michael Wolfe published this September 8, 2014

Britain issues a stamp to commemorate Khan. (Courtesy of the Royal Mail)

Noor Inayat Khan led a very unusual life. She was born in 1914 to an Indian Sufi mystic of noble lineage and an American half-sister of Perry Baker, often credited with introducing yoga into America.

As a child, she and her parents escaped the chaos of revolutionary Moscow in a carriage belonging to Tolstoy’s son. Raised in Paris in a mansion filled with her father’s students and devotees, Khan became a virtuoso of the harp and the veena, dressed in Western clothes, graduated from the Sorbonne and published a book of children’s tales — all before she was 25.

One year later, in May 1940, the Germans occupied Paris. Khan, her mother, and a younger brother and sister fled like millions of others, catching the last boat from Bordeaux to England, where she immediately joined the British war effort. In 1942, she was recruited by Churchill’s elite Special Operations Executive (SOE) to work in Paris as a wireless operator. Her clandestine efforts supported the French Underground as England prepared for the D-Day invasions. Among SOE agents, the wireless operator had the most dangerous job of all, because the occupation authorities were skilled at tracking their signals. The average survival time for a Resistance telegrapher in Paris was about six weeks.

Khan’s service continued from June 1943 until her capture and arrest by the Gestapo in October. Her amazing life and eventual murder in Germany’s Dachau prison camp in September 1944 are the focus of a PBS film I co-produced that is airing this week. In researching her story, I came across quite a number of other Muslims who bravely served the Allied cause — and sometimes made the ultimate sacrifice. History is rich with examples of their daring heroism and split-second decisions that helped defeat the Nazis.

Behic Erkin, the Turkish ambassador in Paris, provided citizenship papers and passports to thousands of Jews (many with only distant claims to Turkish connections) and arranged their evacuation by rail across Europe. One fateful day, Necdet Kent, the Turkish consul-general in Marseille, stymied the shipment of 80 Turkish Jews to Germany by forcing his way onto a train bearing them to their likely death and arranging for their return, unharmed, to France.

Abdol-Hossein Sardari used his position at the Iranian consulate in Paris to help thousands of Jews evade Nazi capture. Later dubbed the Iranian Schindler, he convinced the occupying Germans that Iranians were Aryans and that the Jews of Iran had been Iranian since the days of Cyrus the Great — and, therefore, should not be persecuted. Then he issued hundreds of Iranian passports to non-Iranian Jews and saved their lives.

Ahmed Somia, the Tunisian co-director of the French Muslim Hospital outside Paris, organized weapon caches, facilitated Resistance radio transmissions, treated wounded Resistance fighters, and helped save many downed U.S. and British pilots by hiding them in fake T.B. wards where Gestapo and French gendarmes feared to go.

Khan was posthumously decorated with the highest British and French civilian and military honors, but so were other Muslims, including standout heroes among the 2.5 million British Indian troops fighting Axis forces around the globe.

In this largest volunteer army in recorded history, Muslims (roughly one-third of the force), like Hindus and Buddhists, played prominent roles.

In a letter to President Roosevelt during the war, Churchill pointed out that Muslim soldiers were providing “the main army elements on which we [the British] must rely for the immediate fighting.”

In 1944-45, the French Army of Africa, joined to de Gaulle’s Free French Forces, was expanded to 260,000 men, of whom 50% were North African, the great majority being Muslim, while another substantial group were Senegalese Muslim riflemen. These forces invaded Italy and helped liberate southern France.

According to American historian Juan Cole, fighting these dark-skinned Africans in “Aryan” Europe, and losing to them, dismayed many German soldiers steeped in trumped-up theories of racial inferiority.

Eastern Europe offered more examples.

In the Balkans, for instance, only 200 Jews lived in Albania before WWII. Yet by war’s end, almost 2,000 Jews lived in the country, because so many had fled Greece, Austria and other locations in Europe to take shelter there among the predominantly Muslim population, which hid and protected them.

As Cole wrote elsewhere, commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day: “While a few Muslims did support the Axis, out of resentment of Western colonialism and hopes that the rise of an alternative power center would aid their quest for independence, they were tiny in their numbers compared to the Muslims who not just supported the Allies… but actively fought on their behalf.
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One of the jobs of documentary film is to rescue stories that fall out of the history books.

Khan’s account, and others like it, seems at odds with the history of the modern Middle East, whose combatants — whether Arab, Turkish, Iranian or Israeli — may want for their own reasons to bury stories about Muslim-Jewish collaboration.

But these tales should be remembered and honored. It is my sincere hope that with the story of Noor Inayat Khan, we have done just that.

“Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story” will air on PBS stations nationwide on Tuesday, September 9th. Viewers should check their local listings.

(Michael Wolfe is a poet and the co-founder of Unity Productions Foundation. His latest film is “Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story.” He is also author of “The Hadj: An American’s Pilgrimage to Mecca.”

adonis49

adonis49

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