Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 2015

 

He didn’t do much of anything this candidate to the Presidency

A short list of the assassinations committed by Samir Ja3ja3, the leader of the Lebanese Forces militia during Lebanon civil war.

-1-  He assassinated late Rasheed Karami, prime minister of Lebanon.

– 2- He killed Tony Franjieh , the son of late president of Lebanon  Suleiman Franjieh, along with his wife and daughter.

– 3- He  murdered Danny Cham3oun , the son of late president of Lebanon Camil Chamoun, along with his wife and 2 children.

– 4- He butchered Mgr Albert khrysh, secretary of  late Maronite  patriarchate, and his body was dumped in  a bucket in the woods of Ghazir.  The body  was supposed to be dropped  in Broumana to point fingers at Amine Gemmayel.

– 5- He massacred 23 civilians on the bridge of Nahr Mawt in the suburb of Beirut. This was a peaceful candle-light vigil procession

– 6- He ordered the assassination of the Gen. in the Lebanese army Khalil Canaan.  Alek Iliya was the assassin who was killed shortly after to hide the evidence.

– 7- He used axes to dismember the Captain in the Lebanese army Antoine Haddad in February 1990,

– 8- He killed Lieutenant in the Lebanese army Joseph Nehmet. Tony Rahmeh executed the assassination. (Most of the Rahmeh family members worshipped this Samir who was from their hometown Bsharre and they never denied it even today.

– 9- Butchered the commander of Ashrfieh garrison Moris Fakhoury: They cut his penis and introduced it in his mouth and left the body for days in the streets of this Christian quarter.

– 10- He killed Commander Emile Azar of the Berjawi garrison in beirut.

– 11- He killed the military Unit Commander Michel Israili and dumped the body in the sea.

– 12- Attempted assassination by deadly poisons of the three officers in the Lebanese army:  Shamel Roukoz, Fadi Dawoud, and dany Khawand.. They had to receive  treatment outside Lebanon in April 1990. (Sharon must have learned from Samir when he poisoned Arafat)

– 13- Assassination of the citizen Khalil Fares  in Ashrafiyeh

– 14- He killed Ghaith Khoury, Phalange chief of Kisrouwan, and achieved his wife Nora in the hospital after she escaped the attempted assassination.

– 15- He killed his own infantry Commander of the Lebanese Forces Dr. Elias Zayek

– 16- He killed Charles Korban, his own Lebanese Forces commander of the armoured division. Korban was snatched from Hotel Dieu Hospital and then shot and body dumped in the sea.

– 17- Court marshalled and shot his officer Samir Zeinoun for suspicion that he liked the Lebanese army.

– 18- Attempted to assassinate his leader of the Lebanese forces, Dr. Fouad Abu Nadr.

– 19- Failed in assassinating Naja7 Wakeem,  deputy in the parliament

– 20- Failed assassination attempt of Michel Murr, deputy in parliament .

– 21- Abducted and murdered four Iranian diplomats at the Barbara checkpoint. Abdo Raji, known as Captain, was manning this checkpoint.

In addition to the genocide perpetrated in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, Israel Mossad made good use of Samir’s criminal creativity .

We cannot forget the scandal of the Zeitouny quarter incident where he ordered 50 veiled women to get naked and march in the street and then his companions raped them .

And you have many blokes clamouring that Samir is the A’s among the candidates.

Actually, Samir is the worst military commander of all times: He never won a single battle, in the Chouf, East Saida, Metn…Everywhere he lead his troops the Christians were forced to vacate the region after the frequent massacres on the Druze or Muslims

Samir Asmar shared Firas Al Ashek‘s photo and link on FB.
'‎جعجع مش عمل شي- 1 – قتل رشيد كرامي رئيس وزراء لبنان السابق.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 2 – قتل ابن رئيس لبنان السابق سليمان فرنجية، طوني فرنجية مع زوجته وابنته.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 3 – قتل ابن رئيس لبنان السابق كميل شمعون، داني شمعون مع زوجته وأطفاله.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 4 – قتل أمين سر البطريركية المارونية المونسينيور البير خريش ورمي جثته في حرش غزير. وكان من المفترض أن ترمى الجثة في برمانا لكي يصار إلى لوم الرئيس أمين الجميل.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 5 – قتل 23 مدنياً على جسر نهر الموت في ضاحية بيروت وذلك لقيامهم بتظاهرة سلمية كانوا يحملون خلالها الشموع. أعطيت الأوامر لحميد كيروز لرشهم بالرصاص.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 6 – قتل العميد في الجيش اللبناني خليل كنعان. أليك إيليا كان المسؤول عن تنفيذ المهمة و قُتِل لاحقاً لإخفاء الدليل.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 7 – قتل النقيب في الجيش اللبناني أنطوان حداد في شباط 1990، حداد قُتل بالفؤوس.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 8 – قتل الملازم أول في الجيش اللبناني جوزف نعمة. نَفَذَ العملية طوني رحمة.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 9 – قتل قائد ثكنة الأشرفية العسكرية موريس فاخوري بالفؤوس. في وحشية لم يسبق لها مثيل في حيّ مسيحي في بيروت. قُطِع قضيبه ووضع في فمه ورميت جثته في الشارع لأيام.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 10 – قتل إميل عازار قائد ثكنة البرجاوي العسكرية في بيروت.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 11 – قتل قائد الوحدة العسكرية ميشال إسرائيلي الذي رمي في البحر لتغطية الدليل.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 12 – محاولة قتل ثلاثة ضباط في الجيش اللبناني هم : شامل روكز وفادي داوود وداني خوند الذين سمموا بشكل مميت. كان عليهم السفر إلى خارج لبنان للمعالجة في نيسان 1990.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 13 – اغتيال المواطن خليل فارس في شوارع الاشرفية.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 14 – قتل رئيس إقليم جبيل الكتائبي غيث خوري بعد إرسال فوزي الراسي في أثره خلال الليل. زوجته نورا قُتلت في المستشفى، بعد أن نجت من محاولة الاغتيال.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 15 – قتل قائد المشاة في القوات اللبنانية الدكتور الياس الزايك.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 16 – قتل شارل قربان قائد الفرقة المدرعة السابق للقوات اللبنانية. قربان الذي كان يعالج في مستشفى أوتيل ديو اقتيد من هناك ثم أطلق النار عليه ورميت جثته في البحر.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 17 – إعدام الضابط في القوات اللبنانية سمير زينون ورفيقه.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 18 – محاولة اغتيال قائد القوات اللبنانية، الدكتور فؤاد أبو ناضر.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 19 – محاولة اغتيال النائب في البرلمان اللبناني نجاح واكيم.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 20 – محاولة اغتيال النائب في البرلمان اللبناني ميشال المر.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>- 21 – قتل الدبلوماسيين الإيرانيين الأربعة الذين اختطفوا في نقطة تفتيش حاجز البربارة العسكري التابع للقوات اللبنانية تحت إشراف عبدو راجي المعروف باسم “الكابتن”.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>بالإضافة إلى مجزرة صبرا وشاتيلا التي إختار الموساد الإسرائيلي سمير جعجع لتنفيذ تلك العملية نظراً لإبداعه في المجال الإجرامي.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>أيضاً لا نستطيع أن ننسى فضيحة الزيتونة أو وسفالة الزيتونة حيث جمّع جعجع ما يزيد عن 50 محجبة وجعلهم يمشون في الشارع عاريات من دون أي لباس ثم من معه قام بالإغتصاب‎'

جعجع مش عمل شي- 1 – قتل رشيد كرامي رئيس وزراء لبنان السابق.

– 2 – قتل ابن رئيس لبنان السابق سليمان فرنجية، طوني فرنجية مع زوجته وابنته.

– 3 – قتل ابن رئيس لبنان السابق كميل شمعون، داني شمعون مع زوجته وأطفاله.

– 4 – قتل أمين سر البطريركية المارونية المونسينيور البير خريش ورمي جثته في حرش غزير. وكان من المفترض أن ترمى الجثة في برمانا لكي يصار إلى لوم الرئيس أمين الجميل.

– 5 – قتل 23 مدنياً على جسر نهر الموت في ضاحية بيروت وذلك لقيامهم بتظاهرة سلمية كانوا يحملون خلالها الشموع. أعطيت الأوامر لحميد كيروز لرشهم بالرصاص.

– 6 – قتل العميد في الجيش اللبناني خليل كنعان. أليك إيليا كان المسؤول عن تنفيذ المهمة و قُتِل لاحقاً لإخفاء الدليل.

– 7 – قتل النقيب في الجيش اللبناني أنطوان حداد في شباط 1990، حداد قُتل بالفؤوس.

– 8 – قتل الملازم أول في الجيش اللبناني جوزف نعمة. نَفَذَ العملية طوني رحمة.

– 9 – قتل قائد ثكنة الأشرفية العسكرية موريس فاخوري بالفؤوس. في وحشية لم يسبق لها مثيل في حيّ مسيحي في بيروت. قُطِع قضيبه ووضع في فمه ورميت جثته في الشارع لأيام.

– 10 – قتل إميل عازار قائد ثكنة البرجاوي العسكرية في بيروت.

– 11 – قتل قائد الوحدة العسكرية ميشال إسرائيلي الذي رمي في البحر لتغطية الدليل.

– 12 – محاولة قتل ثلاثة ضباط في الجيش اللبناني هم : شامل روكز وفادي داوود وداني خوند الذين سمموا بشكل مميت. كان عليهم السفر إلى خارج لبنان للمعالجة في نيسان 1990.

– 13 – اغتيال المواطن خليل فارس في شوارع الاشرفية.

– 14 – قتل رئيس إقليم جبيل الكتائبي غيث خوري بعد إرسال فوزي الراسي في أثره خلال الليل. زوجته نورا قُتلت في المستشفى، بعد أن نجت من محاولة الاغتيال.

– 15 – قتل قائد المشاة في القوات اللبنانية الدكتور الياس الزايك.

– 16 – قتل شارل قربان قائد الفرقة المدرعة السابق للقوات اللبنانية. قربان الذي كان يعالج في مستشفى أوتيل ديو اقتيد من هناك ثم أطلق النار عليه ورميت جثته في البحر.

– 17 – إعدام الضابط في القوات اللبنانية سمير زينون ورفيقه.

– 18 – محاولة اغتيال قائد القوات اللبنانية، الدكتور فؤاد أبو ناضر.

– 19 – محاولة اغتيال النائب في البرلمان اللبناني نجاح واكيم.

– 20 – محاولة اغتيال النائب في البرلمان اللبناني ميشال المر.

– 21 – قتل الدبلوماسيين الإيرانيين الأربعة الذين اختطفوا في نقطة تفتيش حاجز البربارة العسكري التابع للقوات اللبنانية تحت إشراف عبدو راجي المعروف باسم “الكابتن”.

بالإضافة إلى مجزرة صبرا وشاتيلا التي إختار الموساد الإسرائيلي سمير جعجع لتنفيذ تلك العملية نظراً لإبداعه في المجال الإجرامي.

أيضاً لا نستطيع أن ننسى فضيحة الزيتونة أو وسفالة الزيتونة حيث جمّع جعجع ما يزيد عن 50 محجبة وجعلهم يمشون في الشارع عاريات من دون أي لباس ثم من معه قام بالإغتصاب

 

The real Story Not Taught in Schools: Irish-American and St. Patrick’s day

“Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or get pinched.”

That pretty much sums up the Irish-American “curriculum” that I learned when I was in school.

Yes, I recall a nod to the so-called Potato Famine, but it was mentioned only in passing.

Today’s high school textbooks continue to largely ignore the famine, despite the fact that it was responsible for unimaginable suffering and the deaths of more than a million Irish peasants, and that it triggered the greatest wave of Irish immigration in U.S. history.

Nor do textbooks make any attempt to help students link famines past and present.

Yet there is no shortage of material that can bring these dramatic events to life in the classroom. In my own high school social studies classes, I begin with Sinead O’Connor’s haunting rendition of “Skibbereen,” which includes the verse:

… Oh it’s well I do remember, that bleak
December day,
The landlord and the sheriff came, to drive
Us all away
They set my roof on fire, with their cursed
English spleen
And that’s another reason why I left old
Skibbereen.

By contrast, Holt McDougal’s U.S. history textbook The Americans, devotes a flat two sentences to “The Great Potato Famine.”

Prentice Hall’s America: Pathways to the Present fails to offer a single quote from the time. The text calls the famine a “horrible disaster,” as if it were a natural calamity like an earthquake.

And in an awful single paragraph, Houghton Mifflin’s The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People blames the “ravages of famine” simply on “a blight,” and the only contemporaneous quote comes, inappropriately, from a landlord, who describes the surviving tenants as “famished and ghastly skeletons.”

Uniformly, social studies textbooks fail to allow the Irish to speak for themselves, to narrate their own horror.

These timid slivers of knowledge not only deprive students of rich lessons in Irish-American history, they exemplify much of what is wrong with today’s curricular reliance on corporate-produced textbooks.

First, does anyone really think that students will remember anything from the books’ dull and lifeless paragraphs? Today’s textbooks contain no stories of actual people. We meet no one, learn nothing of anyone’s life, encounter no injustice, no resistance.

This is a curriculum bound for boredom. As someone who spent almost 30 years teaching high school social studies, I can testify that students will be unlikely to seek to learn more about events so emptied of drama, emotion, and humanity.

Nor do these texts raise any critical questions for students to consider.

For example, it’s important for students to learn that the crop failure in Ireland affected only the potato—during the worst famine years, other food production was robust.

Michael Pollan notes in The Botany of Desire, “Ireland’s was surely the biggest experiment in monoculture ever attempted and surely the most convincing proof of its folly.”

But if only this one variety of potato, the Lumper, failed, and other crops thrived, why did people starve?

Thomas Gallagher points out in Paddy’s Lament, that during the first winter of famine, 1846-47, as perhaps 400,000 Irish peasants starved, the British landlords exported 17 million pounds sterling worth of grain, cattle, pigs, flour, eggs, and poultry—food that could have prevented those deaths.

Throughout the famine, as Gallagher notes, there was an abundance of food produced in Ireland, yet the landlords exported it to markets abroad.

The school curriculum could and should ask students to reflect on the contradiction of starvation amidst plenty, on the ethics of food exports amidst famine. And it should ask why these patterns persist into our own time.

More than a century and a half after the “Great Famine,” we live with similar, perhaps even more glaring contradictions.

Raj Patel opens his book, Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World’s Food System: “Today, when we produce more food than ever before, more than one in ten people on Earth are hungry. The hunger of 800 million happens at the same time as another historical first: that they are outnumbered by the one billion people on this planet who are overweight.”

Patel’s book sets out to account for “the rot at the core of the modern food system.”

This is a curricular journey that our students should also be on — reflecting on patterns of poverty, power, and inequality that stretch from 19th century Ireland to 21st century Africa, India, Appalachia, and Oakland.

Students ought to explore what happens when food and land are regarded purely as commodities in a global system of profit.

But today’s corporate textbook-producers are no more interested in feeding student curiosity about this inequality than were British landlords interested in feeding Irish peasants.

Take Pearson, the global publishing giant.

At its website, the corporation announces (redundantly) that “we measure our progress against three key measures: earnings, cash and return on invested capital.” The Pearson empire had 2011 worldwide sales of more than $9 billion—that’s nine thousand million dollars, as I might tell my students.

Multinationals like Pearson have no interest in promoting critical thinking about an economic system whose profit-first premises they embrace with gusto.

As mentioned, there is no absence of teaching materials on the Irish famine that can touch head and heart. In a role play, “Hunger on Trial,” that I wrote and taught to my own students in Portland, Oregon—included at the Zinn Education Project website— students investigate who or what was responsible for the famine.

The British landlords, who demanded rent from the starving poor and exported other food crops?

The British government, which allowed these food exports and offered scant aid to Irish peasants?

The Anglican Church, which failed to denounce selfish landlords or to act on behalf of the poor?

A system of distribution, which sacrificed Irish peasants to the logic of colonialism and the capitalist market?

These are rich and troubling ethical questions. They are exactly the kind of issues that fire students to life and allow them to see that history is not simply a chronology of dead facts stretching through time.

So go ahead: Have a Guinness, wear a bit of green, and put on the Chieftains.

But let’s honor the Irish with our curiosity. Let’s make sure that our schools show some respect, by studying the social forces that starved and uprooted over a million Irish—and that are starving and uprooting people today.

Bill Bigelow taught high school social studies in Portland, Ore. for almost 30 years. He is the curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools and the co-director of the Zinn Education Project.

This project offers free materials to teach people’s history and an “If We Knew Our History” article series.

Bigelow is author or co-editor of numerous books, including A People’s History for the Classroom and The Line Between Us: Teaching About the Border and Mexican Immigration, and most recently, A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis.

Note 1: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/st-patricks-day-what-is-wrong-a-lie-a-misrepresentation-misconception/

Note 2:

Andrew Bossone shared this link on FB

Certainly some lessons to learn: “The school curriculum could and should ask students to reflect on the contradiction of starvation amidst plenty, on the ethics of food exports amidst famine. And it should ask why these patterns persist into our own time.”

“Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or get pinched.”
commondreams.org

 

 

 

 

 

Retired Four-star general: Stanley McChrystal talked

 Leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure

Ten years ago, on a Tuesday morning, I conducted a parachute jump at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It was a routine training jump, like many more I’d done since I became a paratrooper 27 years before.

We went down to the airfield early because this is the Army and you always go early. You do some routine refresher training, and then you go to put on your parachute and a buddy helps you.

And you put on the T-10 parachute. And you’re very careful how you put the straps, particularly the leg straps because they go between your legs.

And you put on your reserve, and then you put on your heavy rucksack.

And then a jumpmaster comes, and he’s an experienced NCO in parachute operations. He checks you out, he grabs your adjusting straps and he tightens everything so that your chest is crushed, your shoulders are crushed down, and, of course, he’s tightened so your voice goes up a couple octaves as well.

Then you sit down, and you wait a little while, because this is the Army.

You load the aircraft, and then you stand up and you get on, and you kind of lumber to the aircraft like this, in a line of people, and you sit down on canvas seats on either side of the aircraft.

And you wait a little bit longer, because this is the Air Force teaching the Army how to wait.

1:22 Then you take off. And it’s painful enough now — and I think it’s designed this way — it’s painful enough so you want to jump.

You didn’t really want to jump, but you want out. So you get in the aircraft, you’re flying along, and at 20 minutes out, these jumpmasters start giving you commands. They give 20 minutes — that’s a time warning.

You sit there, OK. Then they give you 10 minutes. And of course, you’re responding with all of these. And that’s to boost everybody’s confidence, to show that you’re not scared.

Then they give you, “Get ready.” Then they go, “Outboard personnel, stand up.” If you’re an outboard personnel, now you stand up. If you’re an inboard personnel, stand up.

And then you hook up, and you hook up your static line. And at that point, you think, “Hey, guess what? I’m probably going to jump. There’s no way to get out of this at this point.”

You go through some additional checks, and then they open the door.

2:10 And this was that Tuesday morning in September, and it was pretty nice outside. So nice air comes flowing in.

The jumpmasters start to check the door. And then when it’s time to go, a green light goes and the jumpmaster goes, “Go.”

The first guy goes, and you’re just in line, and you just kind of lumber to the door. Jump is a misnomer; you fall.

You fall outside the door, you’re caught in the slipstream. The first thing you do is lock into a tight body position — head down in your chest, your arms extended, put over your reserve parachute.

You do that because, 27 years before, an airborne sergeant had taught me to do that. I have no idea whether it makes any difference, but he seemed to make sense, and I wasn’t going to test the hypothesis that he’d be wrong.

And you wait for the opening shock for your parachute to open. If you don’t get an opening shock, you don’t get a parachute — you’ve got a whole new problem set.

But typically you do; typically it opens. And of course, if your leg straps aren’t set right, at that point you get another little thrill. Boom.

3:15 So then you look around, you’re under a canopy and you say, “This is good.” Now you prepare for the inevitable.

You are going to hit the ground. You can’t delay that much. And you really can’t decide where you hit very much, because they pretend you can steer, but you’re being delivered.

So you look around, where you’re going to land, you try to make yourself ready. And then as you get close, you lower your rucksack below you on a lowering line, so that it’s not on you when you land, and you prepare to do a parachute-landing fall.

Now the Army teaches you to do five points of performance — the toes of your feet, your calves, your thighs, your buttocks and your push-up muscles. It’s this elegant little land, twist and roll. And that’s not going to hurt.

In 30-some years of jumping, I never did an elegant one.  I always landed like a watermelon out of a third floor window.

4:09 And as soon as I hit, the first thing I did is I’d see if I’d broken anything that I needed. I’d shake my head, and I’d ask myself the eternal question: “Why didn’t I go into banking?” 

And I’d look around, and then I’d see another paratrooper, a young guy or girl, and they’d have pulled out their M4 carbine and they’d be picking up their equipment. They’d be doing everything that we had taught them. And I realized that, if they had to go into combat, they would do what we had taught them and they would follow leaders.

And I realized that, if they came out of combat, it would be because we led them well. And I was hooked again on the importance of what I did.

4:55 So now I do that Tuesday morning jump, but it’s not any jump — that was September 11th, 2001.

And when we took off from the airfield, America was at peace. When we landed on the drop-zone, everything had changed. And what we thought about the possibility of those young soldiers going into combat as being theoretical was now very, very real — and leadership seemed important.

But things had changed; I was a 46-year-old brigadier general. I’d been successful, but things changed so much that I was going to have to make some significant changes, and on that morning, I didn’t know it.

5:34 I was raised with traditional stories of leadership: Robert E. Lee, John Buford at Gettysburg.

And I also was raised with personal examples of leadership. This was my father in Vietnam. And I was raised to believe that soldiers were strong and wise and brave and faithful; they didn’t lie, cheat, steal or abandon their comrades.

And I still believe real leaders are like that. But in my first 25 years of career, I had a bunch of different experiences.

6:10 One of my first battalion commanders, I worked in his battalion for 18 months and the only conversation he ever had with Lt. McChrystal was at mile 18 of a 25-mile road march, and he chewed my ass for about 40 seconds. And I’m not sure that was real interaction.

But then a couple of years later, when I was a company commander, I went out to the National Training Center. And we did an operation, and my company did a dawn attack — you know, the classic dawn attack: you prepare all night, move to the line of departure. And I had an armored organization at that point. We move forward, and we get wiped out — I mean, wiped out immediately.

The enemy didn’t break a sweat doing it. And after the battle, they bring this mobile theater and they do what they call an “after action review” to teach you what you’ve done wrong. Sort of leadership by humiliation. They put a big screen up, and they take you through everything: “and then you didn’t do this, and you didn’t do this, etc.”

I walked out feeling as low as a snake’s belly in a wagon rut. And I saw my battalion commander, because I had let him down. And I went up to apologize to him, and he said, “Stanley, I thought you did great.” And in one sentence, he lifted me, put me back on my feet, and taught me that leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure.

7:27 When 9/11 came, 46-year-old Brig. Gen. McChrystal sees a whole new world.

First, the things that are obvious, that you’re familiar with: the environment changed — the speed, the scrutiny, the sensitivity of everything now is so fast, sometimes it evolves faster than people have time to really reflect on it.

But everything we do is in a different context.

More importantly, the force that I led was spread over more than 20 countries. And instead of being able to get all the key leaders for a decision together in a single room and look them in the eye and build their confidence and get trust from them, I’m now leading a force that’s dispersed, and I’ve got to use other techniques.

I’ve got to use video teleconferences, I’ve got to use chat, I’ve got to use email, I’ve got to use phone calls — I’ve got to use everything I can, not just for communication, but for leadership.

A 22-year-old individual operating alone, thousands of miles from me, has got to communicate to me with confidence. I have to have trust in them and vice versa. And I also have to build their faith. And that’s a new kind of leadership for me.

8:41 We had one operation where we had to coordinate it from multiple locations. An emerging opportunity came — didn’t have time to get everybody together. So we had to get complex intelligence together, we had to line up the ability to act. It was sensitive, we had to go up the chain of command, convince them that this was the right thing to do and do all of this on electronic medium.

We failed. The mission didn’t work. And so now what we had to do is I had to reach out to try to rebuild the trust of that force, rebuild their confidence — me and them, and them and me, and our seniors and us as a force — all without the ability to put a hand on a shoulder. Entirely new requirement.

9:30 Also, the people had changed.

You probably think that the force that I led was all steely-eyed commandos with big knuckle fists carrying exotic weapons.

In reality, much of the force I led looked exactly like you. It was men, women, young, old — not just from military; from different organizations, many of them detailed to us just from a handshake.

And so instead of giving orders, you’re now building consensus and you’re building a sense of shared purpose.

Probably the biggest change was understanding that the generational difference, the ages, had changed so much.

I went down to be with a Ranger platoon on an operation in Afghanistan, and on that operation, a sergeant in the platoon had lost about half his arm throwing a Taliban hand grenade back at the enemy after it had landed in his fire team. We talked about the operation, and then at the end I did what I often do with a force like that.

I asked, “Where were you on 9/11?” And one young Ranger in the back — his hair’s tousled and his face is red and windblown from being in combat in the cold Afghan wind — he said, “Sir, I was in the sixth grade.”

And it reminded me that we’re operating a force that must have shared purpose and shared consciousness, and yet he has different experiences, in many cases a different vocabulary, a completely different skill set in terms of digital media than I do and many of the other senior leaders. And yet, we need to have that shared sense.

11:21 It also produced something which I call an inversion of expertise, because we had so many changes at the lower levels in technology and tactics and whatnot, that suddenly the things that we grew up doing wasn’t what the force was doing anymore.

So how does a leader stay credible and legitimate when they haven’t done what the people you’re leading are doing?

And it’s a brand new leadership challenge.

And it forced me to become a lot more transparent, a lot more willing to listen, a lot more willing to be reverse-mentored from lower.

And yet, again, you’re not all in one room. Then another thing. There’s an effect on you and on your leaders. There’s an impact, it’s cumulative. You don’t reset, or recharge your battery every time.

12:12 I stood in front of a screen one night in Iraq with one of my senior officers and we watched a firefight from one of our forces.

And I remembered his son was in our force. And I said, “John, where’s your son? And how is he?” And he said, “Sir, he’s fine. Thanks for asking.” I said, “Where is he now?” And he pointed at the screen, he said, “He’s in that firefight.”

Think about watching your brother, father, daughter, son, wife in a firefight in real time and you can’t do anything about it. Think about knowing that over time. And it’s a new cumulative pressure on leaders.

12:45 And you have to watch and take care of each other. I probably learned the most about relationships.

I learned they are the sinew which hold the force together. I grew up much of my career in the Ranger regiment. And every morning in the Ranger regiment, every Ranger — and there are more than 2,000 of them — says a six-stanza Ranger creed. You may know one line of it, it says, “I’ll never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy.”

And it’s not a mindless mantra, and it’s not a poem. It’s a promise. Every Ranger promises every other Ranger, “No matter what happens, no matter what it costs me, if you need me, I’m coming.” And every Ranger gets that same promise from every other Ranger. Think about it.

It’s extraordinarily powerful. It’s probably more powerful than marriage vows. And they’ve lived up to it, which gives it special power. And so the organizational relationship that bonds them is just amazing.

13:48 And I learned personal relationships were more important than ever.

We were in a difficult operation in Afghanistan in 2007, and an old friend of mine, that I had spent many years at various points of my career with — godfather to one of their kids — he sent me a note, just in an envelope, that had a quote from Sherman to Grant that said, “I knew if I ever got in a tight spot, that you would come, if alive.” And having that kind of relationship, for me, turned out to be critical at many points in my career.

14:21 And I learned that you have to give that in this environment, because it’s tough.

That was my journey. I hope it’s not over. I came to believe that a leader isn’t good because they’re right; they’re good because they’re willing to learn and to trust.

This isn’t easy stuff. It’s not like that electronic abs machine where, 15 minutes a month, you get washboard abs.

And it isn’t always fair. You can get knocked down, and it hurts and it leaves scars.

But if you’re a leader, the people you’ve counted on will help you up. And if you’re a leader, the people who count on you need you on your feet.

Patsy Z  shared this link on FB

“Leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure.”

Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military.
t.ted.com|By Stanley McChrystal

 

 

Varieties of uniforms worn by housekeepers in Lebanon

Lebanese families, Arabs and their housekeepers, it can be something right out of a horror flick.

Our very own modern take on slavery.

On Tuesday, the Labor Ministry announced it was investigating a maid agency after the company sent out a text message advertising a Mother’s Day “special” on Ethiopian and Nigerian nationalities.

Beirut.com posted this March 19, 2015

Minister Sejaan Azzi is quoted as calling the SMS “an insult to human rights and dignity” and pledged to shut down the business if the text turned out to be real.

One of the most disgusting aspects of the housekeeper-employer relationship in the Arab world, and in Lebanon in particular, is the high levels of control the employers exert on these women – to the point of playing dress-up with their bodies.

The employers feel as though housekeepers are not just their property, but believe what their domestic workers wear somehow reflects their economic status as a whole.

Here are the different ways Lebanese people dress their housekeepers, from least to most degrading:

5. Human Clothing

(Image via telegraph.co.uk)

It is rare that a Lebanese woman would allow her housekeeper to dress in human-style jeans and T-shirts.

If Kumari looks like a human, onlookers might embarrassingly mistake her for one of Ghada’s daughters … or worse – a friend.

4. The Apron

(Image via gingerbeirut.com)

This is where an apron is layered over human clothing, to ensure that nobody will confuse the housekeeper for a normal person; you need to keep her in her place.

Marking her with a scarlet letter in the form of an apron is the perfect way to do that! For all of you simple-minded apron defenders who are bound to say, “Aprons are useful!” You’re wrong. You’re wrong and stupid, actually – because the only functionality an apron has it to keep your clothes from getting dirtied by food while you cook, which begs the questions:

why are you asking your housekeeper to wear an apron while she serves you coffee, cleans your room, wipes your asshole child’s asshole, etc?

3. Rags and Scraps

(Image via Al-Akhbar English)

This get-up is only slightly less dignified than the apron, because the apron is layered over human clothing.

In this version of dress-up, the employer (usually a gross woman that has a penchant for slavery,) takes her children’s ratty old clothing and gifts it to her housekeeper as one final stop before the garbage can.

Whether the employer’s children are aged 1-7 or 5-10, it doesn’t matter – because what woman wouldn’t want to wear short bellbottoms bedazzled with words like “cute” and “diva” across their thigh?!

2. Semi-Uniform

(Image via CNN)

This dress code is for the “Masters” and “Madames” of the world that convince themselves that they’re being generous, good-hearted human rights activists by allowing half-human clothing to be worn.

The other half of the outfit is taken from a poster displayed outside of a maid’s office named Golden Maids – yes, this is a real place.

1. Full Uniform + Hat

(Image via farfahinne.blogspot)

This is based on a very real thing I saw in Beirut Souks last year.

There was a family with a bratty child who was being tended to by a young girl who was dressed in a pink housekeeping uniform.

The best part was that they also had her wear a tiny French maid’s hat. I’m pretty sure that the hat came from the employer’s lingerie drawer. Who actually buys those things in real life?

 

Syria: In a besieged hospital

 This impossible luxury of sleeping and resting

Noor Khalil shared this link on FB. March 13, 2015

“Three years of non-stop surgery under tough circumstances – I have maxed out.

I’ve had enough of scenes of misery, but we have no other choice. People here need us.

They are in desperate need of all kinds of medical care, from the most simple to the most complicated.”
Dr. S is a young surgeon who graduated shortly after the outbreak of the crisis in Syria.

 
Dr S. working in a makeshift hospital that received MSF support tells the story of his medical journey.
 An experience that parallels the war in the country.
msf.org

Dr. S is a young surgeon who graduated shortly after the outbreak of the crisis in Syria. He now works in a makeshift hospital in a semi-rural neighbourhood located to the east of Damascus. This is a facility that received dedicated MSF support and supplies throughout the period of siege, support that continues on a regular monthly basis to this day. He tells the story of his medical journey – an experience that parallels the war in the country.

A temporary truce that death could not penetrate

There was a pregnant woman who was trapped during the time we were under full siege. She was due to deliver soon. All negotiation attempts to get her out failed. She needed a caesarean operation, but there was no maternity hospital we could get her to, and I had never done this operation before.

A few days before the expected delivery date, I was trying to get a working internet connection to read up information on doing a C-section. The clock was ticking and my fear and stress started to peak. I wished I could stop time, but the woman’s labour started.

The atmosphere was tense already, with mad shelling hammering the area.

The bombardments had reached a deafening level. We brought the woman into the operating theatre and I did the operation. Joy overwhelmed me when we knew the baby girl was healthy, and her mother too.

In this madness, our work as surgeons is to save as many lives as we can. Sometimes we succeed, and sometimes we fail.

It is as if we repair the damage that the war left. But this operation was not the usual damage repair; it helped bring new life to this earth. It was a magical moment; a temporary truce that death could not penetrate.

I chose a deserted school as my hospital

I graduated as a surgeon shortly after the crisis started in Syria.

In the Summer of 2011, with the acceleration of events and medical needs increasing, I started working in small private hospitals.

A few months later, I was arrested, as were many of my colleagues. At the beginning of 2012 I was out, and I returned to treat people and carry on my general surgery specialization.

I was working in improvised field hospitals, operating in conditions that were largely unsuitable for medical work.

We worked in the east of Damascus and then in the Ghouta area, where the medical need was urgent.

At the end of 2012, a semi-rural neighbourhood located to the east of Damascus witnessed violent clashes. The area was packed with displaced people at the time, without any medical centre to treat wounded people. I went there and decided to set up a field hospital.

Following a search, I chose a deserted school that had previously been hit. The upper floors were damaged, but the ground floor, as well as the basement, were in a good shape.

Despite the daily, continuous shelling on the area, and the constant fear and stress, the medical team with which I worked managed to provide tremendous medical care to those who needed it the most.

The siege

A healthy man walked out, and few moments later, he came back with shards of metal in his body.

One day in July 2013, around 10:00 am, the hospital was hit by a rocket. The massive explosion turned the place upside down and its pressure tore out the wooden walls. Medical tools and people were thrown in all directions. Soon a dust cloud settled over the building and made it impossible to see.

The explosion was like nothing before. I thought that worse could follow and this explosion might be only the beginning of something very bad.

Indeed, shells rained on the area and we could hear the clashes getting worse.

As we were getting over the shock, one of the hospital workers collapsed.

She lived near the hospital. Her young boy was at home and the area was coming under heavy shelling. She could not keep it together and she wanted to save her child. A medic offered to go out and look for the child. I did not like the idea because we did not know what was going on outside.

As soon as the medic was out of the hospital door, he saw a tank with its gun facing towards him. A healthy man walked out, and few moments later, he came back with shards of metal in his body. It was only then that we realized the severity of the situation outside. We decided to evacuate the hospital – two medics per patient to carry them – and we got out of the back door.

It was apocalyptic!

We tried to walk fast towards a small medical centre not far from there. Shelling was hammering the fields around us. I was expecting the worst with every shell we heard. We managed to arrive at our destination unharmed.

It was like a miracle. We had left our equipment in the evacuated hospital, but we did not dare to go back there.

Over the next days, we heard that the fighting was moving away from the area around the hospital.

Under heavy bombardment, we decided to go back and bring our equipment. We had to do that to be able to treat people. Taking turns to do the trip, we managed to retrieve as much as possible after ten days.

From then, we were under siege – impossible to get in and out of there. This was also true for medical supplies.

We received a flow of injured people since the first day of the siege. I often operated on two people at once.

We worked around the clock. Sleeping and resting were an impossible luxury. We managed to stop for few moments before dawn to eat some food and drink some water, before getting back to work.

Most days heavy shelling and raging fighting brought us more injured people, leaving us no chance to rest.

The numbers of injured people were way beyond what we could handle, and that forced us to make painful clinical decisions.

After the siege

We were under siege for eight months, up until February 2014.

Eight months of suffering and stress, followed by a ceasefire, during which many people managed to go back to their homes. It became easier to get hold of supplies, and that helped us to continue providing medical care to people in need. Nevertheless, the humanitarian situation remained bad.

There were still often clashes at the edges of the this area and the shelling was still frequent.

This formal ceasefire did not change the nature of our work, but we finally found enough time to expand the hospital. People returning to the neighbourhood meant an increase in the needs, thus more pressure on us. We setup an obstetrics department and clinics to provide basic medical care and chronic diseases management.

We could start doing bone, internal and urinary surgeries; all operations we could not perform before because we had suffered critical shortages of supplies and we had been prioritizing life-saving operations.

MSF continued to provide us with much of what we needed. We even received laboratory kit, which allowed us to carry out diagnostic tests.

And we received an incubator for the obstetrics unit. Little by little, we could start to respond to all the basic general medical needs for the people in the area.

It has to stop, one day

Three years of non-stop surgery under tough circumstances – I have maxed out. I’ve had enough of scenes of misery.

I was on the phone recently with my surgery professor and he said: “regardless of the operating conditions, your work during these three years matches my whole 30 years’ experience as a doctor. You have reached retirement in just three years.”

And indeed, every moment of every day I feel I have had enough, but we have no other choice.

People here need us. They are in desperate need of all kinds of medical care, from the most simple to the most complicated. We cannot add another reason for the deterioration of this already disastrous situation.

Today, I am almost certain that, when the war is over, I will quit medicine. Any human being would make that decision after living what I have lived through.

I look forward to the end of this war. It has to stop, one day. Then, I can choose what to do. Only then, will we be truly alive again.


Although Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders is currently able to run six health facilities in the north of Syria, in most of the country the organization cannot have teams working directly on the ground providing hands-on medical care.

But in order to ensure some continuity of medical provision in the midst of this war, MSF supports over 100 medical centers across Syria where medical help is needed the most, with a focus on besieged communities and active conflict areas where there is little or no other medical support being provided.

Public speaking tips before you go on stage?

The weekend before a TED conference, each speaker rehearses their talk in the TED theater.

It’s a chance for the speakers to get to know the space, for our curators to give last-minute suggestions on talk content, and for our speaker coaches to give advice to help each speaker feel their absolute best the day of their talk.

During this time, we overheard speaker coaches Gina Barnett, Michael Weitz and Abigail Tenenbaum give a few extraordinarily helpful tips that we’d never heard before.

We asked Gina Barnett, longtime TED speaker coach and author of the upcoming book Play the Part: Master Body Signals to Connect and Communicate for Business Success (to be released in June), to share some specifics:

  1. Start drinking water 15 minutes before you start talking. If you tend to get dry mouth — that scratchy feeling where it’s hard to swallow — start drinking water 15 minutes before you go onstage. Why? Because the microphone will pick up that sticky, clicky sound. “When you close your mouth, don’t let your tongue hit the roof of your mouth,” Barnett offers as a pro tip to avoid popping audio. “Imagine a half a plum on your tongue, which will keep a vacuum from forming.”  (Must be hard for speaker with high blood sugar content?) .
  2. Psych yourself up, not out. Barnett warns that negative self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. So don’t stand backstage thinking, “What if I mess up?” Think more like an athlete before a big game, she says. Psych yourself up with phrases like, “I’m so excited!” “It’ll be great!” “I can’t wait to share this idea!” Basically, whatever key phrase makes you feel happy. “Even just thinking the word ‘YES!’ over and over — feel how the thought enters your body and boosts your confidence,” she says. (It can become very tiresome quickly, this unrealistic positive mood)
  3. Use your body’s nervous energy for good. Don’t try to contain all your nervous energy. Let it move through you and energize you for your talk. Do isometrics while you waiting backstage if it helps. Shake your hands out. Barnett remembers one TED speaker who found a private corner backstage to put on headphones and dance — and that speaker walked onstage feeling like a rockstar. And, if nothing else, always remember TED star Amy Cuddy and how to power pose.
    .
  4. Focus on your breath when you feel the adrenaline. What should you do if you feel the panic of nerves? “Breeeeeathe,” says Barnett, extending the sound. “Weʼre often not aware of how shallow our breath becomes when weʼre nervous or stressed.” The exercise Barnett recommends: “Take three or four conscious, evenly-paced, smooth inhalations and exhalations. Let the belly go and let the breath go all the way down into your abdomen. This can center your energy and focus your thoughts.”
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  5. Beware of repetitive motion. On stage, people often deal with adrenaline by unconsciously swaying or shifting their weight from foot to foot. This is not good. “Repetitive movements are distracting and set up a lullaby pattern in the audience’s brain,” says Barnett. The best way to make sure you aren’t doing this? Rehearse in front of people, who can point it out to you. And also rehearse out loud in front of a mirror to self-diagnose.
    .
  6. Think about how to use movement wisely. “You can walk,” says Barnett, “but not pace. You can step forward and or back, but not rock.” These are just as bad as swaying — they create that lull. Barnett has a great tip for how to make sure that you move in a way that adds to your talk rather than detracts from it. “Practice moving to make a new point,” she says. “Try coming closer to the audience when the content of your talk calls for it.” One technique she likes for this — rehearse while standing on newspapers spread out on the floor. You’ll be able to hear your movement as the paper crunches so you can really move “with intention and purpose.”
    .
  7. Use your tone to strengthen your words. Merge your tone with the topic of your speech, says Barnett. Don’t deliver great news in a monotone voice or serious news too excitedly, as disjunctions like that will distract the audience. Barnett recommends going through your script and tagging what each piece of news means. By doing that, you can focus on how your tone can strengthen the message, rather than undermine what you are trying to get across.
    .
  8. Give people a chance to adjust to your accent. Everyone has an accent — at least, when someone else is listening. Luckily, TED has a global audience and is very comfortable with hearing different varieties of speech. That said, speakers can make their accents more accessible to listeners all over the world. Barnett’s advice: keep your opening sentences slow and over-enunciated, so the audience can adapt to the way you speak. “Our ears are trained to adjust to accents,” says Barnett.
    .
  9. Focus on something outside of yourself. Barnett has a favorite exercise for someone who is just about to go onstage: she calls it “focusing out.” She explains: “Pick anything — like the color green — and look all around you to see where you spot it in the room. Or pick an object to observe. Notice what shoes people are wearing, or whoʼs wearing a watch. Or try paying attention to how light reflects off surfaces.” Doing something like this will shift the focus from what’s going on in your body and mind to something outside. It can definitely help you relax.
    .
  10. Remember that the audience likes you. As Barnett says, “The TED audience — as big, scary and remote as they may seem — is totally on your side. They want you to have a good time up there, they want to hear your ideas, even if they don’t agree with them, and they want you to succeed.” Enough said.
  11. And finally, no matter how well you prepare — be okay with the unexpected. You may forget a word; someone may drop something backstage; there might be a technical difficulty. Take a moment, breathe deeply and just roll with it. As one TED speaker laughed today as her slides spiraled out of order in rehearsal: “It’s just about having fun, right?”
Patsy Z sent this link on FB 

 

Here’s what we tell speakers to think about before they take the stage. ‪#‎TED2015‬

What to think about before you step onstage.
t.ted.com

 

Don’t tell me how adventurous you were when young: It does not count

Now that you are a tad older, tell me how you resolve your few handicaps every time you have to step out of your comfort zone.

Youth will never get the patience to listen to how older people body lose its adaptability, flexibility and power of recuperation.

All you are saying on physical difficulties is totally irrelevant to youth: They are not that real and they cannot fathom this decrepit state you are complaining about.

Did I mention the frequent stops for pissing?

This need for farting uncontrollably?

That when you say ‘I have to go”, it means exactly what you said.

This difficulty of getting out of bed when it feels cold?

The lengthy breathing exercises to clear up your lungs

How you manage to overcome the numerous aches in your joints?

“There was a time I felt life was sweet. I just realized it was only  my youth that was sweet” Attar

“At term, all that will remain of your existence is a story. Make sure the story is a good one” Afzel

We are all lions on banners. We act and move as the wind flaps the flag (Mesnevi)

A person of high values mingles with common people. Persons with low values shoot for pre-eminence. (Sahabi)

Young and old decrepit bodies hide inside veils. (Saadi)

A bite of bread, a bottle of wine, a book of poems and you singing by my side under a green tree: This solitude is my kind of paradise. (Omar Khayyam)

Life is snow, exposed to the scorching July sun. (Saade)

In time of great distress, not a single one will be around to come to your rescue. (Senay)

O children of Adam. You are members of one body. When misfortune ache a single part, there is no rest for the other members.

O you who refuses to worry of the pains of the others, you are not entitled the name of Man. (Coran)

 

How much of a lie? Over $6bn yearly USA aid to Israel. A third of total foreign aids. And more from Europe

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 1997, Pages 43-45

The Cost of Israel to U.S. Taxpayers

Mind you that the initial colonies in Israel were established with the massive infusion of financial aids coming from the USA.

True Lies About U.S. Aid to Israel

By Richard H. Curtiss

For many years the American media said that “Israel receives $1.8 billion in military aid” or that “Israel receives $1.2 billion in economic aid.”

Both statements were true, but since they were never combined to give us the complete total of annual U.S. aid to Israel, they also were lies—true lies.

Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that “Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid.” That’s true. But it’s still a lie.

The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees.

So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000.

One can truthfully blame the mainstream media for never digging out these figures for themselves, because none ever have.

They were compiled by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But the mainstream media certainly are not alone. Although Congress authorizes America’s foreign aid total, the fact that more than a third of it goes to a country smaller in both area and population than Hong Kong probably never has been mentioned on the floor of the Senate or House. Yet it’s been going on for more than a generation.

Probably the only members of Congress who even suspect the full total of U.S. funds received by Israel each year are the privileged few committee members who actually mark it up.

And almost all members of the concerned committees are Jewish, have taken huge campaign donations orchestrated by Israel’s Washington, DC lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or both. These congressional committee members are paid to act, not talk. So they do and they don’t.

The same applies to the president, the secretary of state, and the foreign aid administrator. They all submit a budget that includes aid for Israel, which Congress approves, or increases, but never cuts.

But no one in the executive branch mentions that of the few remaining U.S. aid recipients worldwide, all of the others are developing nations which either make their military bases available to the U.S., are key members of international alliances in which the U.S. participates, or have suffered some crippling blow of nature to their abilities to feed their people such as earthquakes, floods or droughts.

Israel, whose troubles arise solely from its unwillingness to give back land it seized in the 1967 war in return for peace with its neighbors, does not fit those criteria.

In fact, Israel’s 1995 per capita gross domestic product was $15,800. That put it below Britain at $19,500 and Italy at $18,700 and just above Ireland at $15,400 and Spain at $14,300.

All four of those European countries have contributed a very large share of immigrants to the U.S., yet none has organized an ethnic group to lobby for U.S. foreign aid.

Instead, all four send funds and volunteers to do economic development and emergency relief work in other less fortunate parts of the world.

The lobby that Israel and its supporters have built in the United States to make all this aid happen, and to ban discussion of it from the national dialogue, goes far beyond AIPAC, with its $15 million budget, its 150 employees, and its five or six registered lobbyists who manage to visit every member of Congress individually once or twice a year.

AIPAC, in turn, can draw upon the resources of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a roof group set up solely to coordinate the efforts of some 52 national Jewish organizations on behalf of Israel.

Among them are Hadassah, the Zionist women’s organization, which organizes a steady stream of American Jewish visitors to Israel; the American Jewish Congress, which mobilizes support for Israel among members of the traditionally left-of-center Jewish mainstream; and the American Jewish Committee, which plays the same role within the growing middle-of-the-road and right-of-center Jewish community.

The American Jewish Committee also publishes Commentary,one of the Israel lobby’s principal national publications.

Perhaps the most controversial of these groups is B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League. Its original highly commendable purpose was to protect the civil rights of American Jews. Over the past generation, however, the ADL has regressed into a conspiratorial and, with a $45 million budget, extremely well-funded hate group.

In the 1980s, during the tenure of chairman Seymour Reich, who went on to become chairman of the Conference of Presidents, ADL was found to have circulated two annual fund-raising letters warning Jewish parents against allegedly negative influences on their children arising from the increasing Arab presence on American university campuses.

More recently, FBI raids on ADL’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices revealed that an ADL operative had purchased files stolen from the San Francisco police department that a court had ordered destroyed because they violated the civil rights of the individuals on whom they had been compiled.

ADL, it was shown, had added the illegally prepared and illegally obtained material to its own secret files, compiled by planting informants among Arab-American, African-American, anti-Apartheid and peace and justice groups.

The ADL infiltrators took notes of the names and remarks of speakers and members of audiences at programs organized by such groups.

ADL agents even recorded the license plates of persons attending such programs and then suborned corrupt motor vehicles department employees or renegade police officers to identify the owners.

Although one of the principal offenders fled the United States to escape prosecution, no significant penalties were assessed.

ADL’s Northern California office was ordered to comply with requests by persons upon whom dossiers had been prepared to see their own files, but no one went to jail and as yet no one has paid fines.

Not surprisingly, a defecting employee revealed in an article he published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs that AIPAC, too, has such “enemies” files.

They are compiled for use by pro-Israel journalists like Steven Emerson and other so-called “terrorism experts,” and also by professional, academic or journalistic rivals of the persons described for use in black-listing, defaming, or denouncing them.

What is never revealed is that AIPAC’s “opposition research” department, under the supervision of Michael Lewis, son of famed Princeton University Orientalist Bernard Lewis, is the source of this defamatory material.

But this is not AIPAC’s most controversial activity.

In the 1970s, when Congress put a cap on the amount its members could earn from speakers’ fees and book royalties over and above their salaries, it halted AIPAC’s most effective ways of paying off members for voting according to AIPAC recommendations. Members of AIPAC’s national board of directors solved the problem by returning to their home states and creating political action committees (PACs).

Most special interests have PACs, as do many major corporations, labor unions, trade associations and public-interest groups. But the pro-Israel groups went wild. To date some 126 pro-Israel PACs have been registered, and no fewer than 50 have been active in every national election over the past generation.

An individual voter can give up to $2,000 to a candidate in an election cycle, and a PAC can give a candidate up to $10,000.

However, a single special interest with 50 PACs can give a candidate who is facing a tough opponent, and who has voted according to its recommendations, up to half a million dollars. That’s enough to buy all the television time needed to get elected in most parts of the country.

Even candidates who don’t need this kind of money certainly don’t want it to become available to a rival from their own party in a primary election, or to an opponent from the opposing party in a general election.

As a result, all but a handful of the 535 members of the Senate and House vote as AIPAC instructs when it comes to aid to Israel, or other aspects of U.S. Middle East policy.

There is something else very special about AIPAC’s network of political action committees. Nearly all have deceptive names. Who could possibly know that the Delaware Valley Good Government Association in Philadelphia, San Franciscans for Good Government in California, Cactus PAC in Arizona, Beaver PAC in Wisconsin, and even Icepac in New York are really pro-Israel PACs under deep cover?

Hiding AIPAC’s Tracks

In fact, the congressmembers know it when they list the contributions they receive on the campaign statements they have to prepare for the Federal Election Commission. But their constituents don’t know this when they read these statements. So just as no other special interest can put so much “hard money” into any candidate’s election campaign as can the Israel lobby, no other special interest has gone to such elaborate lengths to hide its tracks.

Although AIPAC, Washington’s most feared special-interest lobby, can hide how it uses both carrots and sticks to bribe or intimidate members of Congress, it can’t hide all of the results.

Anyone can ask one of their representatives in Congress for a chart prepared by the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress, that shows Israel received $62.5 billion in foreign aid from fiscal year 1949 through fiscal year 1996.

People in the national capital area also can visit the library of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Rosslyn, Virginia, and obtain the same information, plus charts showing how much foreign aid the U.S. has given other countries as well.

Visitors will learn that in precisely the same 1949-1996 time frame, the total of U.S. foreign aid to all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean combined was $62,497,800,000—almost exactly the amount given to tiny Israel.

According to the Population Reference Bureau of Washington, DC, in mid-1995 the sub-Saharan countries had a combined population of 568 million.

The $24,415,700,000 in foreign aid they had received by then amounted to $42.99 per sub-Saharan African.

Similarly, with a combined population of 486 million, all of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean together had received $38,254,400,000. This amounted to $79 per person.

The per capita U.S. foreign aid to Israel’s 5.8 million people during the same period was $10,775.48. This meant that for every dollar the U.S. spent on an African, it spent $250.65 on an Israeli, and for every dollar it spent on someone from the Western Hemisphere outside the United States, it spent $214 on an Israeli.

Shocking Comparisons

These comparisons already seem shocking, but they are far from the whole truth. Using reports compiled by Clyde Mark of the Congressional Research Service and other sources, freelance writer Frank Collins tallied for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, all of the extra items for Israel buried in the budgets of the Pentagon and other federal agencies in fiscal year 1993.Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,news editor Shawn Twing did the same thing for fiscal years 1996 and 1997.

They uncovered $1.271 billion in extras in FY 1993, $355.3 million in FY 1996 and $525.8 million in FY 1997. These represent an average increase of 12.2 percent over the officially recorded foreign aid totals for the same fiscal years, and they probably are not complete. It’s reasonable to assume, therefore, that a similar 12.2% hidden increase has prevailed over all of the years Israel has received aid.

As of Oct. 31, 1997 Israel will have received $3.05 billion in U.S. foreign aid for fiscal year 1997 and $3.08 billion in foreign aid for fiscal year 1998. Adding the 1997 and 1998 totals to those of previous years since 1949 yields a total of $74,157,600,000 in foreign aid grants and loans.

Assuming that the actual totals from other budgets average 12.2 percent of that amount, that brings the grand total to $83,204,827,200.

But that’s not quite all. Receiving its annual foreign aid appropriation during the first month of the fiscal year, instead of in quarterly installments as do other recipients, is just another special privilege Congress has voted for Israel. It enables Israel to invest the money in U.S. Treasury notes.

That means that the U.S., which has to borrow the money it gives to Israel, pays interest on the money it has granted to Israel in advance, while at the same time Israel is collectinginterest on the money. That interest to Israel from advance payments adds another $1.650 billion to the total, making it $84,854,827,200.

That’s the number you should write down for total aid to Israel. And that’s $14,346 each for each man, woman and child in Israel.

It’s worth noting that that figure does not include U.S. government loan guarantees to Israel, of which Israel has drawn $9.8 billion to date. They greatly reduce the interest rate the Israeli government pays on commercial loans, and they place additional burdens on U.S. taxpayers, especially if the Israeli government should default on any of them. But since neither the savings to Israel nor the costs to U.S. taxpayers can be accurately quantified, they are excluded from consideration here.

Further, friends of Israel never tire of saying that Israel has never defaulted on repayment of a U.S. government loan.

It would be equally accurate to say Israel has never been required to repay a U.S. government loan. The truth of the matter is complex, and designed to be so by those who seek to conceal it from the U.S. taxpayer.

Most U.S. loans to Israel are forgiven, and many were made with the explicit understanding that they would be forgiven before Israel was required to repay them.

By disguising as loans what in fact were grants, cooperating members of Congress exempted Israel from the U.S. oversight that would have accompanied grants. On other loans, Israel was expected to pay the interest and eventually to begin repaying the principal.

But the so-called Cranston Amendment, which has been attached by Congress to every foreign aid appropriation since 1983, provides that economic aid to Israel will never dip below the amount Israel is required to pay on its outstanding loans. In short, whether U.S. aid is extended as grants or loans to Israel, it never returns to the Treasury.

Israel enjoys other privileges. While most countries receiving U.S. military aid funds are expected to use them for U.S. arms, ammunition and training, Israel can spend part of these funds on weapons made by Israeli manufacturers. Also, when it spends its U.S. military aid money on U.S. products, Israel frequently requires the U.S. vendor to buy components or materials from Israeli manufacturers.

Thus, though Israeli politicians say that their own manufacturers and exporters are making them progressively less dependent upon U.S. aid, in fact those Israeli manufacturers and exporters are heavily subsidized by U.S. aid.

Although it’s beyond the parameters of this study, it’s worth mentioning that Israel also receives foreign aid from some other countries. After the United States, the principal donor of both economic and military aid to Israel is Germany.

By far the largest component of German aid has been in the form of restitution payments to victims of Nazi attrocities. But there also has been extensive German military assistance to Israel during and since the Gulf war, and a variety of German educational and research grants go to Israeli institutions.

The total of German assistance in all of these categories to the Israeli government, Israeli individuals and Israeli private institutions has been some $31 billion or $5,345 per capita, bringing the per capita total of U.S. and German assistance combined to almost $20,000 per Israeli.

Since very little public money is spent on the more than 20 percent of Israeli citizens who are Muslim or Christian, the actual per capita benefits received by Israel’s Jewish citizens would be considerably higher.

True Cost to U.S. Taxpayers

Generous as it is, what Israelis actually got in U.S. aid is considerably less than what it has cost U.S. taxpayers to provide it. The principal difference is that so long as the U.S. runs an annual budget deficit, every dollar of aid the U.S. gives Israel has to be raised through U.S. government borrowing.

In an article in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, for December 1991/January 1992, Frank Collins estimated the costs of this interest, based upon prevailing interest rates for every year since 1949. I have updated this by applying a very conservative 5% interest rate for subsequent years, and confined the amount upon which the interest is calculated to grants, not loans or loan guarantees.

On this basis the $84.8 billion in grants, loans and commodities Israel has received from the U.S. since 1949 cost the U.S. an additional $49,936,880,000 in interest.

There are many other costs of Israel to U.S. taxpayers, such as most or all of the $45.6 billion in U.S. foreign aid to Egypt since Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979 (compared to $4.2 billion in U.S. aid to Egypt for the preceding 26 years). U.S. foreign aid to Egypt, which is pegged at two-thirds of U.S. foreign aid to Israel, averages $2.2 billion per year.

There also have been immense political and military costs to the U.S. for its consistent support of Israel during Israel’s half-century of disputes with the Palestinians and all of its Arab neighbors.

In addition, there have been the approximately $10 billion in U.S. loan guarantees and perhaps $20 billion in tax-exempt contributions made to Israel by American Jews in the nearly half-century since Israel was created.

Even excluding all of these extra costs, America’s $84.8 billion in aid to Israel from fiscal years 1949 through 1998, and the interest the U.S. paid to borrow this money, has cost U.S. taxpayers $134.8 billion, not adjusted for inflation. Or, put another way, the nearly $14,630 every one of 5.8 million Israelis received from the U.S. government by Oct. 31, 1997 has cost American taxpayers $23,240 per Israeli.

It would be interesting to know how many of those American taxpayers believe they and their families have received as much from the U.S. Treasury as has everyone who has chosen to become a citizen of Israel.

But it’s a question that will never occur to the American public because, so long as America’s mainstream media, Congress and president maintain their pact of silence, few Americans will ever know the true cost of Israel to U.S. taxpayers.


Richard Curtiss, a retired U.S. foreign service officer, is the executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

 

 

 

Millennial people: Numbers show they are more Racist than they think

Young whites have the same level of racial stereotypes as their parents

Just look at the numbers.

News about race in America these days is almost universally negative.

Longstanding wealth, income and employment gaps between whites and people of color are increasing, and tensions between police and minority communities around the country are on the rise.

A few claim there’s a glimmer of hope: The next generation of Americans, they say, is “post-racial”—more tolerant, and therefore more capable of easing these race-based inequities.

Unfortunately, closer examination of the data suggests that millennials aren’t racially tolerant, they’re racially apathetic: They simply ignore structural racism rather than try to fix it.

Millennials Are More Racist Than They Think

In 2010, a Pew Research report trumpeted that “the younger generation is more racially tolerant than their elders.”

In the Chicago Tribune, Ted Gregory seized on this to declare millennials “the most tolerant generation in history.”

These types of arguments typically cling to the fact that young people are more likely than their elders to favour interracial marriage.

But while millennials are indeed less likely than baby boomers to say that more people of different races marrying each other is a change for the worse (6 percent compared to 14 percent), their opinions on that score are basically no different than those of the generation immediately before them, the Gen Xers, who come in at 5 percent.

On interracial dating, the trend is similar, with 92 percent of Gen Xers saying it’s “all right for blacks and whites to date each other,” compared to 93 percent of millennials.

These questions don’t really say anything about racial justice: After all, interracial dating and marriage are unlikely to solve deep disparities in criminal justice, wealth, upward mobility, poverty and education—at least not in this century.

(Black-white marriages currently make up just 2.2 percent of all marriages.)

And when it comes to opinions on more structural issues, such as the role of government in solving social and economic inequality and the need for continued progress, millennials start to split along racial lines.

When people are asked, for example, “How much needs to be done in order to achieve Martin Luther King’s dream of racial equality?” the gap between white millennials and millennials of color (all those who don’t identify as white) are wide.

And once again, millennials are shown to be no more progressive than older generations: Among millennials, 42 percent of whites answer that “a lot” must be done to achieve racial equality, compared to 41 percent of white Gen Xers and 44 percent of white boomers.

The most significant change has been among nonwhite millennials, who are more racially optimistic than their parents.

(Fifty-four percent of nonwhite millennials say “a lot” must be done, compared with 60 percent of nonwhite Gen Xers.)

And this racial optimism isn’t exactly warranted. The racial wealth gap has increased since the 2007 financial crisis, and blacks who graduate from college have less wealth than whites who haven’t completed high school.

A new paper by poverty experts Thomas Hirschl and Mark Rank estimates that whites are 6.74 times more likely to enter the top 1 percent of the income distribution ladder than nonwhites.

And Bhashkar Mazumder finds that 60 percent of blacks whose parents were in the top half of income distribution end up in the bottom, compared with 36 percent of whites.

As to how well whites and nonwhites get along, only 13 percent of white millennials say “not well at all,” compared with 31 percent of nonwhite millennials.

(Thirteen percent of white Gen Xers and 32 percent of nonwhite Gen Xers agree.)

In a 2009 study using American National Election Studies—a survey of Americans before and after each presidential election—Vincent Hutchings finds, “younger cohorts of Whites are no more racially liberal in 2008 than they were in 1988.”

My own analysis of the most recent data reveals a similar pattern: Gaps between young whites and old whites on support for programs that aim to further racial equality are very small compared to the gaps between young whites and young blacks.

http://cf.datawrapper.de/GP6dW/1/

And even though the gaps within the millennial generation are wide, as with the Pew data, there is also evidence that young blacks are more racially conservative than their parents, as they are less likely to support government aid to blacks.

Spencer Piston, professor at the Campbell Institute at Syracuse University, used ANES data and found a similar pattern on issues relating to economic inequality.

He examined a tax on millionaires, affirmative action, a limit to campaign contributions and a battery of questions that measure egalitarianism.

He says, “the racial divide (in particular the black/white divide) dwarfs other divides in policy opinion.

Age differences in public opinion are small in comparison to racial differences.” This finding is, he adds, “consistent with a long-standing finding in political science.” Piston finds that young whites have the same level of racial stereotypes as their parents.

Sean McElwee is a research associate at Demos. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMcElwee.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/millenials-race-115909.html#ixzz3UGghK6l6


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