United for Peace of Pierce County, WA - We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy.

NEWS & COMMENT: White House bombs Islamic State positions with no one's by-your-leave

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In successive "waves," U.S. warplanes have unleashed 500-pound bombs and Hellfire missiles on the positions held by forces of the burgeoning Islamic State in northern Iraq, USA Today reported Friday.[1]  --  White House spokesman Josh Earnest declared that direct action against the burgeoning Islamic State (though the term he prefers is "ISIL") is justified "when they threaten our personnel and facilities," but he offered "no operational update," pleading that the president's plan is "very limited in scope."  --  "The president has not laid out a specific end date," Earnest said, however.  --  He also said the White House had contacted key leaders Thursday, and that the president and folks working for him "certainly welcome the partnership and support" of lawmakers.  --  COMMENT:  This language implies that their partnership and support are really supererogatory.  --  On the first day of this new military campaign, reporters had to rely on "a Pentagon official who spoke about the operation on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly on those details" for the heart of the story.  --  Who knows?  --  Perhaps, given the White House's attitude toward "leaks," the reporters and officials informing the public are in danger of being arrested.  --  If direct military action is justified whenever "our personnel and facilities" are "threatened," the president can make war whenever and wherever he wants.  --  And that is indeed the case, as you've no doubt noticed.  --  As Jeremy Scahill remarked about a year ago, "In foreign policy, the United States is effectively a dictatorship."  --  Scahill described Barack Obama as "a very hawkish, hard-hitting president when it comes to counterterrorism policies, when it comes to assassination, when it comes to the U.S. reserving the right to bomb countries that it’s not at war with, and, most importantly, when it comes to convincing the American people that these things are all lawful and right and are smarter than the Bush-era big wars."  --  All this is clear enough.  --  What's not so clear is why Michelle Obama thinks that the White House "is really the 'People's House' . . . a place where everyone should feel welcome." ...

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 August 2014 01:09 Read more...
 

POEM: Marble counters shine!

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Jim Robbins, Tacoma's Haiku Master, was provoked by UFPPC's most recent statement to compose a five-haiku suite entitled "How to Sink a Ferry."[1]  --  NOTE: Full appreciation of both the statement and the poem requires perusal of the New York Times investigative report on the causes of the Apr. 16 Korean tragedy published on Jul. 26, 2014....

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UFPPC statement: The ship of state heads into stormy weather

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UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

THE SHIP OF STATE HEADS INTO STORMY WEATHER

August 7, 2014

As the U.S. considers airstrikes to counter the advance of the Islamic State in northern Iraq, the time is ripe to review the panorama of disaster that post-9/11 U.S. policies have produced.  Each of these situations merits a lengthy discussion, but we shall be brief.

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ANALYSIS: Islamic State most radical change since Sykes-Picot, Shia domination in Iraq is finished

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The Islamic State now covers "an area larger than Great Britain and [is] inhabited by at least six million people, a population larger than that of Denmark, Finland, or Ireland," Patrick Cockburn noted in the London Review of Books (Aug. 21).[1]  --  The powers of the established order are, in general, in denial, hoping ISIS will fall victim to its own excesses.  --  It may, of course, but then again, it may not.  --  "For America, Britain, and the Western powers, the rise of ISIS and the Caliphate is the ultimate disaster.  --  Whatever they intended by their invasion of Iraq in 2003 and their efforts to get rid of Assad in Syria since 2011, it was not to see the creation of a jihadi state spanning northern Iraq and Syria run by a movement a hundred times bigger and much better organized than the al-Qaida of Osama bin Laden.  --  The war on terror for which civil liberties have been curtailed and hundreds of billions of dollars spent has failed miserably.  --  The belief that ISIS is interested only in ‘Muslim against Muslim’ struggles is another instance of wishful thinking:  --  ISIS has shown it will fight anybody who doesn’t adhere to its bigoted, puritanical, and violent variant of Islam.  --  Where ISIS differs from al-Qaida is that it’s a well-run military organization that is very careful in choosing its targets and the optimum moment to attack them." ...

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 August 2014 06:05 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: Expansion continues of Islamic State, 'transnational, fully militarized, and very rich'

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The Islamic State's efforts at state formation are proceeding apace, thanks to over $3 million a day in oil revenues and further military advances, the Washington Post reported Monday.[1]  --  On Sunday, the self-proclaimed caliphate took Sinjar, an Iraqi town of 23,000 located near the Syrian border where the opening sequence for "The Exorcist" was filmed in 1973, from Kurdish peshmerga defenders.  --  There is concern that the Islamic State may have taken or be about to take control of the Mosul Dam, the largest in Iraq, putting it in a position to cause catastrophic flash flooding....

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NEWS & COMMENT: Corporate media ignoring growing humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine

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Western corporate media are mostly keeping mum as Kiev's brutal military campaign against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine is creating a major humanitarian crisis there.  --  Reports on the displaced were common until about Jul. 25, but they have been few and far in Western media between since.  --  The last we have seen came on Jul. 29, when the BBC said:  "According to the U.N., at least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in the fighting in Ukraine since mid-April.  --  The violence has displaced more than 200,000 people, many of them fleeing to neighboring Russia."  --  Media organs unaffiliated with corporations, like Vatican Radio and Deutsche Welle conveyed the recent U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva's report that some 230,000 people have been displaced, but U.S. media did not.  --  The situation is likely soon to become dramatically worse.  --  The Washington Post reported Monday that the Ukrainian military "appeared to be readying a long-awaited major assault on the rebel stronghold of [the city of] Donetsk."[1] ...

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BACKGROUND: Conflict in Gaza reveals endemic racism in Israeli youth

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Racism has become so endemic in Israel among the young that "many Israeli teachers, particularly those who teach civics, have become afraid to even broach the issue of human rights in the classroom," the website VICE reported on Friday.[1]  --  "[M]ilitarism and nationalism have always been part of the Israeli education system," Philip Kleinfeld said, "but under Netanyahu’s watch, things seem to have gone further."  --  Palestinian perspectives have been expunged from school textbooks, and many Israeli youths have never known a Palestinian.  --  Education in civics has become "simplified stories and sheer indoctrination," said Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  --  These aspects of Israeli society are not really new, but in 2014 they have become more open and visible, creating a legitimation problem for the State of Israel outside of Israel.  --  This is because "[t]here is, particularly in the Jewish diaspora, a monumental gap between how Israel is represented and what is actually happening.   --  But in the present conflict, with over 1,000 dead in Gaza and youngsters pouring through Israel in violent mobs, these delusions may finally be coming undone."  --  Those unwilling to succumb to these currents of opinion are finding it difficult to express themselves.  --  "[S]ome people are weighing their options," Kleinfeld said.  --  'Two nights ago there was a big protest in Tel Aviv,' Sheen said.  --  'A long-time leftist was holding up a sign that said "flee while you can."  --  In conversations I’ve had with hardcore activists, everyone has said they are preparing an escape plan.  --  For people who have children or want to have children, this is no place to raise them." ...

Last Updated on Monday, 04 August 2014 06:06 Read more...
 

NEWS & COMMENT: Ban ki-Moon denounces Israel's strike on UN school as 'a criminal act'

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The carnage continued Sunday in Gaza, killing dozens of Palestinians.  --  A U.N. school in Rafah where 3,000 displaced persons were sheltering was shelled by Israeli artillery, killing at least 10 civilians.  --  U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denounced the act as a "gross violation of international humanitarian law," Reuters said.[1]  --  The U.N. chief called for those responsible for the shelling to be held accountable, saying:  "Israel Defense Forces have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites."  --  The United States also expressed outrage.  --  Time reported that a State Department spokesperson said:  "The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons."[2]  --  "Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties."  --  "Approximately six U.N. facilities have been hit by Israeli fire since the conflict began, the Associated Press reports," Nolan Feeney noted.  --  Ominously, given recent Israeli publications calling for the total ethnic cleansing of Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "Every option is on the table to ensure long-term quiet to the residents of Israel."  --  "I won’t say when we’ll finish and where we’ll go.  --  We have no obligation outside of our security concerns."  --  COMMENT:  As Netanyahu's comment makes explicit, but the State of Israel is increasingly a law unto itself, and Israel's contempt for the pronouncements of the United Nations is well-known, and the U.S. State Department is profoundly in error when it invokes Israel's "own standards."  --  Sunday's events are indeed an expression of Israel's "own standards," and there are historical precedents for its attitude.  --  Harvard Law School's D.F. Vagts wrote in a justly celebrated *American Journal of International Law* article published in 1990 entitled "International Law in the Third Reich" that that régime held the following view of international law:  "Firstly, international law was not binding on the German States; the Volk [i.e. 'people'] was the 'highest and finest institution of common life'; as such, 'there was nothing higher than the foreign relations law of the Volk, those rules which served its interests and which might from time to time coincide with generally accepted practices of States.  --  But where they diverged, the rule of the Volk would predominate.  --  Secondly, a wide range of justifications was developed for disregarding treaties.  --  Thirdly, international organisations were an object of concerted attack, and dismissed as 'Jewish, pacificist internationalism.'  --  Fourth, the laws of war did not apply, for instance, to the Reich's war on the Eastern front because such a war was so entirely different from the wars that had been envisaged by the authors of the Hague and Geneva Conventions.  --  Fifthly, the rules of occupation were disregarded -- through deportations and forced labour, for instance -- and prisoners were subjected to grave mistreatment.  --  No real legal justification was given for these abuses.  --  Sixthly, more broadly, the overall international law jurisprudence of the legitimisers of the Third Reich led to the inexorable conclusion that 'there could be no international law but only German foreign relations law'" (this is a summary of Vagts's conclusions that appears on pp. 22-23 of Antony Anghie's "'Hegemonic Internatonal Law' in Retrospect," which can be found in Pieter H.F. Bekker, Rudolf Dolzer, and Michael Waible, eds., Making Transnational Law Work in the Global Economy (Cambridge UP, 2010), 22-23.  --  As Norman Finkelstein has written, these coincidences are anything but accidental.  --  Political Zionism is in Finkelstein's view "a kind of Romantic nationalism fundamentally at odds with liberal values" (Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, 2nd ed. (2003), p. xxxix).  --  Indeed, "political Zionisms’s point of departure was the presumed bankruptcy of the democratic idea" (ibid., p. 8).  --  In many ways, "Zionism replicated the reasoning of the anti-Semitic political discourse" (ibid., p. 13)....

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COMMENTARY: 'Jerusalem Post' prints call for 'dismantling Gaza' & 'relocation of the Arab population'

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Proclaiming "the need for regrettably harsh but essential policies," a commentator declared in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday that "The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region."[1]  --  BACKGROUND:  The author of this piece, which is a call for ethnic cleansing on a grand scale, is Martin Sherman, who was born in South Africa and has many IDF connections.  --  Sherman served as an adviser to the government of Yitzhak Shamir and has taught at Tel Aviv University, and has founded (or is attempting to found) the Israel Institute of Strategic Studies as a U.S. non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity.

Last Updated on Sunday, 03 August 2014 06:09 Read more...
 

NEWS: 72-hour Gaza ceasefire breaks down in two hours

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A supposed 72-hour truce in Gaza collapsed after two hours, and "Israeli forces bombarded the town of Rafah in response to the apparent capture of one of its soldiers by Hamas . . . killing at least 65 Palestinians, many of them children, and wounding more than 350," the London Guardian reported Friday.[1]  --  Jason Burke, Julian Borger, and Paul Lewis said "The bombardment of Rafah appeared to reflect what the IDF called the 'Hannibal directive,' in which it responds to any capture of a soldier with heavy fire aimed at stopping the captors leaving the scene, even if it risks injury to the Israeli prisoner."  --  "[Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin's] fate was unclear, as Hamas issued conflicting statements about whether it had captured him."  --  "The United States and the United Nations supported Israeli accounts that Hamas had taken advantage of the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire to ambush Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers near the entrance to a tunnel outside Rafah, on the southern end of the Gaza Strip on the Egyptian border, killing two soldiers at the same time as seizing Goldin."  --  The Guardian noted that President Barack Obama, in a Friday afternoon news conference, said:  "I want to see everything possible done to make sure that Palestinian civilians are not being killed."  --  (It failed to note, however, that the U.S. commander-in-chief is resupplying Israel with the ammunition that is killing them.)  --  The Israeli rampage has produced one notable diplomatic development.  --  "Britain's deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, urged Israel to enter direct negotiations with Hamas.  --  Writing for the Guardian, he said:  'It is time for the Israeli government to talk to the Hamas political leadership in Gaza.'  --  Clegg has already gone much further than any Conservative government minister by saying Israel's actions appear to be disproportionate and a form of collective punishment."  --  Reuters noted Friday that "The Palestinian death toll [at least 1,555] is now higher than during the last major outbreak of hostilities in 2008-2009, when more than 1,400 died."[2]  --  Reuters also said that "Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, in a speech read out on his behalf on state television on Friday, accused Israel of committing 'war crimes against humanity' in Gaza." ...

Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 22:14 Read more...
 

VIDEO: What was really going through Mark Regev's mind...

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Mark Regev, born Mark Freiberg in Australia, Hebraicized his name when he moved to Israel in the 1980s.  --  He is now the chief spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, and has been since 2007.  --  A few days ago, in an imaginative use of video, a YouTube vlogger imagined what was really going through Regev's mind during a particularly tough BBC interview.[1] ...

Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 06:38 Read more...
 

NEWS: Three-day Gaza cease-fire & indirect talks in Cairo

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Israel, Hamas, and "all militant factions" in Gaza have agreed to a three-day cease-fire "set to begin Friday morning," a pause "considered long enough to get the parties to another country to start negotiations toward a longer truce," the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, twenty-four days after Israel began its attack, on Jul. 7.[1]  --  The negotiations are to take place in Egypt, and will be "led by the Egyptians, because the U.S. and Israel won't sit down at the table with Hamas representatives," Jay Solomon, Joshua Mitnick, and William Mauldin said.  --  "Gaza's health ministry said 1,428 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began on July 8.  --  [Valerie Amos, the U.N. humanitarian affairs chief] said more than 80% were civilians.  --  Fifty-six Israeli soldiers have been killed, according to the military, and three civilians have been killed by rockets fired into Israel."  --  Only hours before the 8:00 a.m. local time set for the cease-fire to begin (10:00 p.m. on Jul. 31, PDT), an Israeli strike killed a Palestinian family of ten, that the number of Palestinians killed passed 1,450, Al Jazeera's Gaza Blog reported.  --  In an article posted a few hours earlier, Al Jazeera reported that "Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. said there was 'little doubt' Israeli bombs killed 19 people at a U.N. shelter in Gaza on Wednesday, in its strongest condemnation yet of Israeli attacks on civilians in the Palestinian enclave.  --  White House spokesman Josh Earnest, said on Thursday that the shelling of the school in Jabaliya was 'totally indefensible.'"[2] ...

Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 05:34 Read more...
 

COMMENTARY: 'Crime (Israel) and Punishment (Russia)'

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On Tuesday, the Financial Times, in a prominently featured editorial comment, called Russia's view of events in Ukraine a "lie, propagated by Europe’s radical rightwing populists as well as by Moscow, that the E.U. and U.S. are responsible for the bloodshed in Ukraine."  --  For the arch-respectable London daily, doubts about what brought down MH17 are only "elaborate Russian disinformation."  --   Maybe so.  --  But Pepe Escobar, that free-wheeling enfant terrible of geopolitical commentators, thinks otherwise.  --  After all, the Russians have a point:  where is the evidence that proves it was a Russian-provided missile that shot down MH17?  --  Well, you have to take some things on faith.  --  The Americans "swore they had evidence.  --  As in 'We know.  --  Trust us.'"  --  Alas:  "The historical record for the past sixty years at least [an allusion to the Gulf of Tonkin charade, inter alia] shows they cannot be trusted."  --  Escobar's conclusion?  --   "There was never any evidence.  Just spin."  --  Consider the relation of evidence to punishment in the case of Russia, and then contrast it to that relation in the case of Israel.  --  "Not even Hollywood could come up with such a plot," Escobar marveled.  --  "Israel gets away with unlawful premeditated mass murder of civilians, while Russia gets framed for a (smaller-scale) airborne mass murder of civilians that has all the makings of being set up by the Kiev vassals of Russia's Western 'partners.'"[1]  --  As Kurt Vonnegut put it in Slaughterhouse-Five, "So it goes." ...

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 07:32 Read more...
 

PHOTOGRAPHY: Vice News publishes photos from Gaza mainstream media won't touch

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Mainstream media in the West, by filtering news of what is happening in Gaza and packaging it with Israeli justifications, is contributing to the Israeli war effort.  --  If mainstream media approached this story the way Vice News is approaching it and emphasized the fact that American dollars, American weaponry, and American diplomacy make the atrocities in Gaza possible, Israel would be forced to wrap up Operation Protective Edge.  --  It would have to conclude a military campaign whose vicitims, to the tune of about 80%, are Palestinian civilians.  --  Visit the link to the story below to view appalling photographs of scenes in the morgue of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City today, Monday, July 28, 2014.[1] ...

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ACTIVISM: In Tukwila, JVP protests Boeing as enabler of Israeli war crimes in Gaza

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For several hours on Monday morning protesters blocked the entrance to Boeing's Defense, Space and Security facility on East Marginal Way in Tukwila, near Seattle, to call attention to the role Boeing and other U.S. defense contractors are playing in the conflict in Gaza, which has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians this month, mostly civilians.  --  The protesters represented Jewish Voice for Peace.  --  The protest garnered coverage by local TV stations; the fullest written account appeared on The Stranger's SLOG website.  --  "The protesters today say Boeing must stop supplying missile systems, F15 software, Apache helicopters, and Joint Direct Attack Munitions to Israel, because those weapons are being used to commit war crimes," Jen Graves reported.[1]  --  No arrests were made, as police and Boeing officials coordinated "to prevent cars from running over the protesters."  --  NOTE:  Some members of UFPPC participated in the protest, including Sallie Shawl...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 06:21 Read more...
 

NEWS: US troops in Iraq up to 825

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On Wednesday Congress was told that the total number of U.S. military personnel in Iraq is now up to 825, the Wall Street Journal reported on Jul. 23.[1]  --  (This exceeds the number announced by the president about a month ago.)  --  Most U.S. military in Iraq (475) are said to be guarding the American embassy in Baghdad.  --  Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Brett McGurk said that the Islamic State is now a "full-blown army," not a terrorist group, Felicia Schwartz said.  --  On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 370-40 for a largely symbolic resolution "that would bar President Barack Obama from sending U.S. troops for any 'sustained combat role' in Iraq without congressional authorization," Reuters reported.[2]  --  Washington representatives Smith, Kilmer, and Reichert voted yea; Rep. Heck did not vote, the record shows....

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STATEMENT: 47 'Right Livelihood' winners denounce US for supplying weapons of death in Gaza

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Forty-seven recipients of the Right Livelihood Award so far, out of 153 who have received the honor in the thirty-four years of its existence, are signatories of a July 25, 2014, declaration denouncing "unacceptable violations of human rights" in Gaza.[1]  --  The current 12-hour cease-fire, which has now been extended unilaterally by Israel for 24 hours, came a day after this call for "an immediate ceasefire, lifting of the blockade of Gaza and to ask for the beginning of new peace talks."  --  The statement is notable in that it insists that those supplying weapons to the two sides bear some of the responsibility for the deaths in Gaza:  "Other governments are responsible either directly or indirectly through the transfer of weapons, military advice, and silence.  Such countries and the United Nations seem not to have learned from the past."  --  The United States is not explicitly mentioned, but any informed person reading the statement will understand that it refers principally to the U.S.  --  No other country has contributed as many of the weapons used in Gaza.  --  In 2009, when David Miliband was foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, he told parliament: "Estimates suggest that Israel buys over 95% of its military requirements from the U.S."  --  BACKGROUND:  The Right Livelihood Award is sometimes called the "Alternative Nobel Prize."  --  ACTIVISM:  What can you do?  --  You can communicate your desire that the United States cease to supply Israel with weapons to these individuals at these numbers:  --  President Barack Obama (202.456.1111);  --  U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power (212.415.4062);  --  Secretary of State John Kerry (202.647.6575, select "Option B");  --  Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer (202.364.5500);  --  Senator Maria Cantwell (202.224.3441);  --  Senator Patty Murray (202.224.2621);  --  Representative Adam Smith (202.225.8901);  --  Representative Derek Kilmer (202.225.5916);  --  Representative Denny Heck (202.225.9740);  --  Representative David Reichert (202.225.7761)....

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BACKGROUND: Elegant French businessman gets two years in Guinea corruption case

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Frédéric Cilins was described in this investigative New Yorker piece as "a tanned, gregarious Frenchman, with thinning hair, who lived on the Riviera, near Cannes."[1]  --  But as Patrick Radden Keefe pointed out, he also "spent a lot of time in Africa."  --  That time earned him two years behind bars in a New York court on Friday, the Financial Times of London reported.[2]  --  Cilins is well connected and the sentence came down despite his "lawyers’ entreaties -- backed by 35 letters from the Frenchman’s family and friends -- that he be sentenced to time served," Tom Burgis said.  --  The real culprit, though, may have been Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, for whom Cilins was working on getting his hands on one of the world's largest deposits of iron ore.  --  DEEPER BACKGROUND:  Keefe's article pointed out that Beny Steinmetz "hardly ever speaks to the press."  --  Perhaps that's why the New York Times has never once mentioned his name, a search of its database indicates.  --  So don't expect the Times to be interested in this case.  --  But if it were interested in understanding why "forty per cent of the private wealth in Africa is held outside the continent," as Keefe reports, it should.  --  Especially since "[a] recent study found that the easiest country in which to establish an untraceable shell company is not a tropical banking haven but the United States" (Keefe again)....

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 July 2014 07:45 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: 'Just when you think you’ve seen or heard it all and things can’t get any worse -- they do'

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On Wednesday Richard Silverstein discussed some indications of how the war in Gaza is bringing out the misogyny and racism that have become pervasive in contemporary Israel.[1] ...

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INTERVIEW: After Gaza 2014, there is no alternative to BDS (Ilan Pappé)

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Israeli historian Ilan Pappé said in an interview on July 19:  "I am a citizen, but I am dissident, too.  --  I love the country, but I object to the ideological regime on which the state is based as it racially discriminates against anyone who is not a Jew and half of the population this state controls today are not Jewish."  --  He endorsed the nine-year-old Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as "an effective and moral way of combating the violation of human and civil rights in Palestine."  --  "There is no alternative" to BDS, he said.  --  It is based on the valid assumption that there is no hope for change from within Israel and about the futility of an armed struggle.  --  It also has a successful historical precedent."[1] ...

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 05:31 Read more...
 

SPECULATION: Was MH17 rebels' 'terrible mistake' or Kiev's 'desperate gambit'?

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As Pepe Escobar sees it, writing for Asia Times Online on Jul. 23, Ukraine has become "the definitive do-or-die battleground" in an effort by the United States to "restor[e] its hegemony in the world-system."[1]  --  The reasons are many.  --  The U.S. would like to "diversify the 'pivot to Asia' by establishing a beachhead in Ukraine to sabotage trade between Europe and Russia; expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to Ukraine; break the Russia-China strategic partnership; prevent by all means the trade/economic integration of Eurasia, from the Russia-Germany partnership to the New Silk Roads converging from China to the Ruhr; keep Europe under U.S. hegemony."  --  So Escobar doesn't buy the theory being spread everywhere Western state- and corporate-owned media reaches that a surface-to-air Buk missile from Russia brought down MH17, killing 298.  --  He cites evidence that the plane was downed by an air-to-air missile instead.  --  Escobar also provides a link to a Russian media presentation indicating that there was a Ukrainian military plane near the Boeing 777 "monitoring the situation," at the least -- something Ukraine has denied.   --  The Russian military officer making the presentation also asserts that "the Russian Federation did not deliver to the rebels any anti-aircraft missile systems."  --  CNN's Tim Lister reported on Jul. 20 that "an expert at Janes IHS said that 'it's unclear whether the one suspected in the shoot-down was taken by rebels when they overran a Ukrainian base, or was supplied by Russia.'" ...

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Upcoming

2014 PEACE PICNIC! -- Sun., Aug. 31, 2pm-dusk @ Gig Harbor viewpoint on 5 Mile Drive in Point Defiance Park. -- Potluck; UFPPC provides charcoal fire, hot dogs, & hamburgers (meat or veg). -- Games (bring some!), Peaceful Pie Contest w/ ribbons to winners. -- Free door prizes and raffle tickets sold for prizes. -- See you there!

Meeting schedule

United for Peace of Pierce County meets 7:00-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of every month at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma (621 Tacoma Avenue South).

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