Tag Archives: Change

Nobel Peace Prize & Merchants of Death

Obama peaceMy first reaction when I heard the news was disbelief and  spontaneous laughter – the absurdity of  it all is too much and can perhaps best be expressed with paraphrasing Eric Margolis (he was referring to the Afghan elections) : ..”a fraud wrapped up in a farce”.

The PR-industry who invented the brand “Obama” (“Hope & Change” Trademark) has more reason to celebrate….

That any US president should get a “Peace Prize” is utterly ridiculous but in the case of Obama it is plainly absurd because he has done NOTHING for a peaceful world except delivering eloquent speeches.

As many other commentators have pointed out already, Obama is basically continuing the foreign policy of GWB – the only difference is style: he is intelligent, polite, articulate and conciliatory (in his rhetoric) and “offers a hand” to those states whose learders are willing to concede that defying the interests of the United States of Arrogance (by executing policies in the interest of the population)  in the long run is a bad idea and must stop ASAP.

The recent “intervention” of the Obama administration at the UN – to postpone / avert an urgent UNSC discussion of the devastating Goldstone Report on Israeli war crimes in Gaza  is just one absurd example of  …”a  [a new US-] policy  [of] exporting peace and stability to the world…”

But this incredible farce (even the “naked emperor” tale pales in comparison) can also be seen in another, more realistic light which suddenly makes Obama (as US president) a suitable candidate for the prize:

All these awe-inspiring talks about the “Nobel-Prize” are very deceptive because nobody talks anymore about the basis for all this money:

The Nobel family made a fortune with  (possibly the first) “weapons of mass destruction”:  a new class of explosives   that killed thousands of people. Alfred Nobel’s father “made a killing” (excuse the pun) in the Crimean War and the American Civil War – he was perhaps the first mass manufacturer of mines . Alfred Nobel believed in the idea of “deterrence”- not “education for peace” through values like solidarity and working for economic & social justice.

1999_Bertha_von_SuttnerHis life-long (but unfulfilled) love was  Baroness Bertha von Suttner, the first international female peace activist who probably inspired the Nobel Peace Prize. She worked for a short time as his private secretary and became famous with the publication of her novel “Lay Down your Arms”  in 1889 which sold hundreds of thousands of copies and was translated in many languages. The book was sensational not only because of its female aristocratic author but  because it depicted in graphic detail the horrors of war in an era of nationalism, where “the military and patriotic duties to the fatherland” were considered sacrosanct.

She called war “commanded mass murder”, denounced the deceptive language of “patriotism” and  was also aware of the connection between  (systemic) economic / social injustice and war; she also correspondend with the famous Russian novelist Leo Tolstoi, who supported her work. For Tolstoi “the people lead a slave-like existence to serve the interests of a rich minority who lived at their expense” (that was long ago, one might argue but isn’t the “bank bailout” in the trillions yet another symptom for the refeudalisation of society, for serving the interests of a financial aristocracy?)

Bertha von Suttner also travelled to the United States and one of her comments about America is  still highly relevant today: (.. here the circle to Wall Street supporting Obama and Obama supporting Wall Street …. is closed…)

„While talking about doomed monarchies and the constitution of republics, we build  in the “ideal Republic America” a monetary monarchy , which is more absolute than the power of the Russian tsar…”

Bertha von Suttner received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905. She died shortly before the outbreak of World War I.

Before Alfred Nobel actually died, a premature obituary appeared in a French newspaper titled  “Le marchand de la mort est mort(“The Merchant of Death is Dead”) referring to  Nobel as the man “who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before”.

From this perspective, awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the (current) President of the United States makes a lot of sense. To give this award to  the “Commander in Chief” of the mightiest military machine in the world and to the president of a “superpower” whose economic, financial and military elite sees no problem in demanding  global “full spectrum dominance” – no matter what the moral, social and human cost –  seems quite logical to me.

che statliberty with gun

The profits of one  “Merchant of Death” are being used to reward another MoD, the leader of a country that spends more money on weapons (designed for mass murder)  than all other states combined (but always kills for a “good cause” of course)… and at the same time, we have a government unwilling to provide affordable health insurance to all its citizens (another way to increase suffering and death) because this would means lesser profits for the private health insurers who basically run their business as a racket.

(On “Full Spectrum Dominance” and America’s “role in the world”, how it sees itself” – see also (the second part of) the Nobel Prize speech by Harold Pinter with the theme “What is true and what is false?” and the conclusion: “We are surrounded by a vast tapestry of lies…and if we let this situation of organized deception  prevail, humanity and human dignity are doomed… )

This also resonates with Ghandi’s  concept of “Satyagraha” : the power of truth, to fight for truth, hold on to truth, etc. (…. not to be confused with non-violence…)

Coming back to the Goldstone Report and its instant “burial” by the media, followed by the US-supported demise from the UNSC agenda – Ghandi must be turning in his grave… What did he say about Zionism during his lifetime (in 1938)?

“The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine.
Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood?
Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war.

Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians born in France are French.

[…]  If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German might, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this I
should not wait for! the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance, but would have confidence that in the end the rest were bound to follow my example…

[…]  And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it in the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under  the hadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart.

The same God rules the Arab heart who rules the Jewish heart… They will find the world opinion in their favor in their religious aspiration. There are hundreds of ways of reasoning with the Arabs, if they will only discard the help of the British bayonet. As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.” […]

So much for “non-violence” under all circumstances…

But the astounding “act of hypnosis” (which Pinter referred to in his speech) ist still working: no matter how many “reports” about war crimes or crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli government are being published:  they are followed by –   silence.

How is that possible?  The two involved “Merchants of Death”, the US and Israeli government have eternal impunity, no human law can apparently touch them… they seem to be  a  (immoral) class of their own… as the following dialogue between a professor of international law and a former legal counsel to the IDF, which really took place)  shows:

You have inflicted Nuremberg crimes on the Palestinians”. How can you justify that?

“Military necessity.”

That argument was rejected at Nuremberg”.

We have PR-people in the United States who handle these matters for us.”

(Case closed.)

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No Change but “Concerned” Complicity

Obama:

“We will  actively and aggressively seek lasting Middle East peace”

“Let me be clear – America is committed to Israel’s security and

we will always support Israels right to defend itself against legitimate threats.”

(Obamas actual words (in red Italics) and my “heretic” ideas about real change…)

CHANGE: Let me be clear: For years we have been parotting the lines about “Israel’s security needs” but what about the security and right of self-determination of the Palestinian people? Why have they been ignored for more than 60 years? We all know the answer: Because the Zionist influence in this country and in other parts of the world is immense and incompatible with democratic decision-making and the rule of law.

The civilian population of Gaza is considered a BIG THREAT in (to) Israel because it produces more offspring than the Israelis. The birth rate is much higher so the democraphic balance is more and more tilting in favour of the Palestinians. From a legal and moral standpoint of course this can never be the justification for the kind of massacre we have just been witnessing (bombing and shelling densely populated civilian neighbourhoods, schools, mosques, police academies, shelters (UN schools) and UN warehouses) and using new diabolical weapons like DIME. The Israeli military leadership and the government must be held accountable for these war crimes and crimes against humanity and the  production and export of these inhumane weapons in (from) the US must stop immediately.

For years Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at innocent Israeli citizens.No democracy can tolerate such danger to its people. Nor should the international community and neither should the Palestinian people themselves, whose interests are only set back by acts of terror.”

CHANGE: For decades Israel has violated the rights of the Palestinian people. In 1948 hundreds of thousands of innocent people were expelled from their homeland, hundreds of villages were destroyed and thousands were killed when they tried to defend their rights. Even before the state of Israel existed, violent Zionist underground movements committed acts of terror against the British administration and the Arab native population.

Terrorist organisations like the Irgun and the Stern Gang (who called themselves “legitimate resistance” became known and feared for their ruthless tactics and complete disregard for the sanctity of human life. (see Ilan Pappe and other historic accounts)

Israel accepted the UN- partition plan of 1947 but never intended to abide by its rules that is to say – accept the borders. They provoked a war against the Arab neighbours, knowing very well that their own military strength and a pact with King Abdullah of Jordan would ensure the desired outcome: military victory and expansion of the territory the UN had consigned to their state: the partition plan gave them 56% of Palestine (although two thirds of its population were Arabs) but only one year later they had taken another 20 % from the Palestininans.

In 1967 they launched another war to seize the West Bank, Jerusalem, the Gaza strip and the Sinai. They never recognized the rights of the Palestinians as human beings or owners of the land. In open disdain of countless UNSC-Resolutions Israel has encouraged new  illegal “settlements” in the West Bank (Galilee) and even pays huge sums to the settlers as an incentive to move to a territory that belongs to Palestinian families who have been living there for generations and in many cases peacefully with Jewish (not Zionist) and Christian families.

They made sure, that the lives of the P. In the OT would be become hell: roadblocks, checkpoints, illegal arrests, daily humiliation and harassment, collective punishment, wilful destroying of houses and property, detaining and killing of children, degrading treatment and torture, in a nutshell:  use the occupation to terrorize the people so much so as to “encourage them to leave” as the euphemism for this structural form of ethnic cleansing would go.

Overview OCHA Reports Focus:  Settler Violence  

VIDEO:  Jewish and Palestinian Voices

They are “justifying” (excusing, rationalizing) their own atrocties by stripping the Palestinians off their humanity and dignity – the same thinking the Nazis had towards the “Jews”. They became so dehumanized and were turned into such a big scapegoat for all kinds of fears and frustrations that in the end there were only perceived as a huge “threat” to the health and security of the state and therefore had to be stripped of their rights and finally be eliminated. The same “reasoning” is going on in the heads of the Israeli leadership, especially the military and the “intelligence” services. (what a misnomer!)

No democracy can tolerate such danger and treatment of its people and this of course applies also to the democratically elected Palestinian government, represented by Hamas who took over complete control of Gaza after a failed coup by Fatah traitors, arranged and paid for by the US and Israel. Mahmoud Abbas does not represent the majority of the Palestinians who voted for Hamas in 2006 because they were fed up with the corrupt and brutal “Palestinian Authority” after Israel “disposed of” Arafat who fell into the trap called “Oslo agreements”.

“To be a genuine party to peace the quartett has made it clear that Hamas must meet clear conditions:

  • Recognize Israel’s right to exist
  • Renounce violence
  • Abide by past agreements”

CHANGE: As a lawyer I find it unbearable that conditions are only imposed ON ONE PARTY in this conflict and its the abused victim not the original perpetrator! So if this is supposed to bring us just one inch closer to peace, ….to be a genuine party to peace  Israel must meet clear conditions:

  • Recognize the Palestinians as equal human beings and respect their right for self-determination.
  • Renounce state-terrorism (end the occupation, go back to the status quo ante (pre 1967 borders)
  • For heavens sake show the world that the word honesty does exist in Hebrew and has not lost its meaning
  • Respect international law or be expelled from the UN and the “international community”
  • Treat others as you want to be treated (that would be Kant, wouldn’t it?)

“Going forward, the outline for a durable ceasefire is clear:

  • Hamas must end the rocket fire.
  • Israel will complete the withdrawal of its forces from Gaza.
  • The US and our partners will support a credible anti-smuggling and interdiction regime so that Hamas cannot rearm. “

CHANGE: Going forward, the outline for a durable ceasefire is clear:

Hamas will end the rocket fire as soon as Israel stops acting like a rogue and fascist state.

Israel must not only withdraw from Gaza, it will pay reparations for the huge damage it has done and respect the fact that the huge Gas reserves  (discovered in 2002 along the coast of Gaza) belong TO THE PALESTINIANS and not to ISRAEL. This war was not “only” launched to kill as many P. As possible, (show Israeli voters how “tough” you are) remove Hamas from power and destroy all signs of their civilian administration but also TO TAKE CONTROL OVER THESE GAS FIELDS

As long as Israel does not stop its violent and criminal actions (state-terror, systematic land expropriation) Hamas is perfectly entitled to defend itself and the population of Gaza (and the West Bank for that matter). Besides a huge number of arms fell into the hands of Hamas when the attempted coup (arranged by the US and Israel) failed and the weapons smuggled in from Egypt were left behind. But of course you are not supposed to know that.  Firing rockets at civilians is not a legitimate defense against the occupiers but given the huge disparity in military power what else can they do, except use guerilla warfare? Jewish “resistance” / “terror”-groups used not only the same but worse tactics to get rid of the British authorities (and they had a legal mandate!) and to this day they have been admired for it (see Livni (both her parents were members of the Irgun – probably the worst terror group at the time (1930s till 1948)

“We look forward to Egypt’s  continued leadership and partnership in laying a foundation for a broader peace through a commitment to end smuggling from within its borders.”

CHANGE: Hosni Mubarak is a cruel and corrupt dictator who wants to stay in power as long as he lives.and does not give two hoots about democracy. This is not compatible with “American values” but as another president said before me “He is a SOB, but he is OUR SOB.” So there you go: we prop up corrupt Arab leaders who oppress their people because it is so much easier for our investors and corporate sponsors to do business (especially arms trade) with these people.  Yeah, I know that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (Hamas is their offspring) became stronger every year because the poverty and corruption (which always get worse when empires like us intervene)… made the people turn to religious leaders to find some moral authority – but as Rummy said: stuff happens….

“Just as the terror of rocket fire aimed at innocent Israelis is intolerable so too, is a future without hope for the Palestinians. I was deeply concerned by the loss of Palestinian and Israeli life in recent days and by the substantial suffering and humanitarian needs in Gaza.

Our hearts go out to Palestinian civilians who are in need of immediate food, clean water and basic medical care and have faced suffocating poverty for far too long. “

CHANGE: Talking about the “terror” of rocket fire in Israel we forgot to mention that the balance of “terror” (Israeli style: first steal their land, humiliate them, provoke resistance, dehumanize them, then kill them) stands as follows:

Another "terrorist" target....More than 5.000 Palestinians have been killed since 2000 ; the great majority of them civilians. Since the Palestinians are a very young people (average age 17) the number of dead children is also very high. According to B’tselem: more than 1,000 children have been killed by Israel since the second intifada (which means “to shake off”).

The “settlers” (criminal colonists) in the West Bank  have managed to kill more than  130 innocent civilians in the last 2 years alone and Israeli  violence- not only from the settlers – is steadily increasing: (In 2007 for every Israeli death there were 25 Palestinian deaths; in 2002 the ratio was 1:2,5) Israel has repeatedley  violated ceasefire agreements (honoured by Hamas) and killed several hundred Palestinians since the staged “withdrawal” from Gaza. (The UN is quite clear about this act of deception: Israel removed the Jewish colonists and military stations but retained complete control over Gaza (land, sea, air, economy) so according to international law it must still bear all responsibilities as the occupying power.)

The most recent war of aggression was planned a long time ago (even during negotiations about a truce) and was carried out with inhumane brutality and criminal means (use of WP, DU and DIME weapons). It is clear that such an attack on the most densely populated area in the world, on starving and frightened people, many of them children living in a ghetto where all border crossings are controlled by Israel, constitutes a  war crime and  a crime against humanity.

Being “concerned” about the suffering Palestinians is not  enough. These innocent people were killed with our weapons, our F16s, our Apache helicopter-gunships, our “Bunker-Buster” bombs, etc. We did not only build them, we (I mean you) also paid for them with our taxes: every year between 3-5 billion dollars are transferred to Israel, a criminal state,  as “aid”.  This means we are sponsoring terror, state terror, to be precise. So this has got to stop now. No more military or other aid for Israel until it abides by international law and the UN declaration of Human Rights. Universal law means there are no exceptions:  you cannot strip human beings of their rights simply by putting them in a certain category – “terrorists”, “communists”, (“Jews” under the Nazis, “Niggers” in the US before the civil rights movement, etc.)  Palestinians are equal human beings and their rights must be respected – no matter whay ancient religious text you may quote.  Humanity is not negotiable.

“Now we must extent a hand of opportunity to those who seek peace

As part of a lasting ceasefire Gaza’s border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce with an appropriate monitoring regime with the international and Palestinian authority participating. Relief efforts must be able to reach  Palestinians who depend on them. The US will fully support an international donors conference to seek short term humanitarian assistance and long-term  reconstruction for the Palestinian economy. This assistance …. will be provided to and guided by the Palestinian Authority.”

CHANGE: Now it is clear to anybody with an IQ above room temperature and the ability to look at the facts that Israel is not seeking peace. It never has and it never will as long as the world is looking the other way when state terror and systematic crimes are being committed. Moral and ethical behaviour are the pillars of humanity and any state which does not respect universal laws must be punished for it by the international community. All this stupid talk about “firing rockets into Israel” and “the right of self-defense” leads nowhere. It’s only goal is to give Israel’s political leadership carte blanche for the next severe violations of international law under the guise of “security”.

States who respect international law and fundamental human rights have no problem with “security”.

The silly phrase about “no democracy can tolerate such behaviour (rockets from Hamas) serves only to distract from the real question: WHY would any state want to fire rockets at us? Because they are “religious extremists”? (So are the Jewish settlers in the West Bank) Because they hate all Jews? BS – the Arabs have lived peacefully with Jewish neighbours for centuries (see also Andalucia) but with the arrival of the Zionist colonialists this was no longer possible.

Stealing other people’ s land and claiming you have a right to do so does not foster peace, does it? What would Americans say if one day foreign settlers appeared, claiming that they found an ancient peace of paper which entitled them to occupy the land and expel the families who had lived there for many generations?  And pleeeeze, stop saying this is God’s will? God cannot be found in the old testament -a weird collection of horror stories (see Thomas Paine: The Age of Reason) but perhaps in the new testament and most likely in the ten commandments….

Hamas as a political party, was democratically elected and no matter how much we dislike this outcome we have no right to strip them of their legitimacy and punish the people for having elected the “wrong party”. Mahmoud Abbas is despised by a majority of Palestinians and his “Presidency” expired on January 9 this year. So they ought to be new elections now but Israel (among other goals) wants to prevent another confirmation for Hamas so with the recent massacre they have successfully destroyed the probability of elections  in the near future.

Lasting peace requires more then a long ceasefire and that is why I will sustain an active commitment to seek two states living side by side in peace and security. Senator Mitchell will carry forward this commitment as well as the effort to help Israel reach a broader peace with the Arab world that recognizes its rightful place in the  community of nations. (Arab peace initiative acknowledged) ….now is the time for Arab states to act on the initiative’s promise by supporting Abbas….. by taking steps towards normalizing relations with Israel and by standing up to extremists that threaten us all...” ….we must  make it clear to all nations in the region that external support for terrorists must stop.”

CHANGE: For God’s sake let us forget all this crap about “the peace process”. There is no peace process, there never was one (which deserved the name) because Israel has always used these talks to gain more time. Even during and after these “Peace talks” did the expansion of illegal “settlements” continue and after Oslo it even accelerated to an unprecedented level.

Perhaps the greatest charade of all is the crazy talk about “a two-state-solution“.  If any Israeli polititican had any real inclination to work towards a Palestinian state they could have achieved that a long time ago (it’s been more than 60 years now…). But they never wanted such a state and have done everything to prevent its existence: grab more and more land in the West Bank, terrorize the natives so they eventually give up and leave,  encourage the rise of Hamas (yes, it’s true) to create a rival to the PLO (Fatah) and ensure that  “divide and rule” tactics will  weaken the Palestinian resistance so that you can present its leadership to the world als “unfit to govern” and “unfit for peace talks”, etc. Hamas is the result of Israel’s cunning policies not its origin The rise of Islamist groups in the ME is mainly the outcome of the shady alliances between corrupt secular Arab leaders and  “Western interests”.

Israel has expanded its territory from the very beginning (even before 1948 it had plans to do so) and will not stop before it has achieved “Eretz Israel”. Of course rational, grown-up people would not even dream of claiming a property right out of an ancient collection of stories whose authors were never verified, and treating them like a kind of land register. But we are supposed to think that Israeli leaders are rational and Hamas are fanatic madmen – perhaps it is the other way round? Hamas uses strong words in its founding charter but they are not idiots and know perfectly well that Israel will not go away and that they must find an arrangement to live together.

Hamas leaders have repeatedly said that they are willing to negotiate on the basis of the pre 1967 borders and some form of compensation for the “refugees” (who were driven out in a series of ethnic cleansing operations after the state of Israel came into being in 1948).

As long as Israel does not respect the rights of the Palestinian people and treats them like shit – why should the Arab states reach out to it? And even when they do – as with the Peace initiative by the Arab League  – Israel will reject any such offers.

As long as Israel behaves like a rogue state, ignores international law and keeps blaming the Palestinian resistance (the result of its own immoral behaviour) for all troubles (increasing violence which culminated in suicide bombings) I cannot find any justification for accepting Israel into the community of nations.  Yes, it’s true – extremists threaten us all, but the deception is, that they are not only to be found in Islamist circles they also exist in Christian and Jewish communities and we all know that Zionism  is the root cause for the catastrophe that has unfolded in Palestine and Israel in the last 60 years.

As Noam Chomsky put it so nicely: The best form of self-defense for Israel is STOP COMMITTING CRIMES AND RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIANS.

My thoughts: ISRAELI VIOLENCE IS NOT MORALLY SUPERIOR TO PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE (INCLUDING HAMAS)

BY GRANTING ISRAEL EXCEPTION FROM ALL MORAL CODES AND INTERNATIONAL LAW  WE HAVE BECOME COMPLICIT IN THESE CRIMES. THIS INCLUDES THE HYPOCRITES IN THE EU WHO TALK ABOUT “EUROPEAN VALUES”.

Jewish intellectual voices on the conflict:

HERE and  (a debate) HERE

New perspectives on apparent “old truths”:


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