Archive | August 16, 2014

Why Obama Wanted Maliki Removed*

Why Obama Wanted Maliki Removed*

By Mike Whitney

The Obama administration is pushed for regime change in Iraq on the basis that current prime minister Nouri al Maliki is too sectarian. The fact is, however, that Maliki’s abusive treatment of Sunnis never factored into Washington’s decision to have him removed. Whether he has been “too sectarian” or not is completely irrelevant. The real reason he’s under attack is because he wouldn’t sign the Status of Forces Agreement in 2011He refused to grant immunity to the tens of thousands of troops the administration wanted to leave in Iraq following the formal withdrawal.  That’s what angered Washington. That’s why the administration wants Maliki replaced.

Check out this White House statement of support for new prime minister-designate Haider al-Ibadi (Maliki’s rival) by Vice President Joe Biden just hours after the change (coup?) was announced. The document is titled “Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi”.

“Vice President Joe Biden called Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi to congratulate him on his nomination to form a new government and develop a national program pursuant to Iraq’s constitutional process. The Prime Minister-designate expressed his intent to move expeditiously to form a broad-based, inclusive government capable of countering the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and building a better future for Iraqis from all communities. The Vice President relayed President Obama’s congratulations and restated his commitment to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government, particularly in its fight against ISIL. The two leaders also discussed practical steps towards fully activating the bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement in all of its fields, including economic, diplomatic, and security cooperation. Prime Minister-designate Abadi thanked Vice President Biden for the call, and they agreed to stay in regular communication as the government formation process proceeds.”  (White House)

Did you catch that part about the “bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement in all of its fields”. That’s the kicker right there. That’s what this is all about. Here’s one small section of that document under the heading of “Defense and Security”:

“…. Iraq Joint Military Committee (JMC),…. addressed issues such as border security, Iraqi military strategy, and engagement of Iraqi Security Forces in regional training exercises. The next JCC likely will be held in Washington this year.

Acting Defense Minister al-Dlimi signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Security Cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense. This agreement represents the strong military to military relationship between the United States and Iraq, and provides mechanisms for increased defense cooperation in areas including defense planning, counterterrorism cooperation, and combined exercises.

… The Iraq FMS program is one of the largest in the world and is an important symbol of the long-term security partnership envisioned by both countries. We remain committed to meeting Iraqi equipment needs as quickly as possible.” (US Strategic Framework Agreement, US Department of State)

This is just the camel’s nose under the tent. There’s no doubt that the administration’s ultimate objective is to put US “boots back on the ground” which, by the way, is the reason why Obama is allowing the terrorist militia (ISIS) to seize 30% of the Iraqi landmass, capture the nation’s second biggest city, and move to within 50 miles of Baghdad without lifting a finger to help. It’s because Obama wants to create a pretext for boosting troop levels in the country. What better way to redeploy thousands of US combat troops to Iraq, then to scare Iraqi policymakers into submission with visions of bloodthirsty terrorists (ISIS) lopping off heads and slitting throats at every opportunity. It’s all about persuasion. (Note: It’s easy to see that–while ISIS may not be directly under US control–its presence in Iraq certainly serves Washington’s overall strategic aims.)

Independent researcher and journalist, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, appears to be one of the few analysts who’s figured out what’s going on. Check out this clip from Iran’s Press TV from interview with Ulrich:

 “America has long-standing plans to be permanently present in Iraq, and in the Persian Gulf region as a whole”, said Ulrich.   “Domination of the Persian Gulf is the lynchpin of US strategy…the presence of ISIL helps them in this goal.”

After Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki forced American forces out of Iraq by refusing to sign a Status of Forces Agreement allowing the forces to stay on permanently, US found its way back again, she added.

The government of Maliki refused to grant immunity to thousands of US troops, who were to remain in Iraq beyond 2011 under the pretext of training local forces.

The government had agreed to allow some of the US forces to stay longer for “training” purposes, but refused to shield them from prosecution. As a result, that residual force was never deployed.

According to a 2008 bilateral security accord, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), all the US troops left the country by December 2011.

Ulrich said, “It’s very interesting that ISIL has captured towns and regions that have been vital for the US policy in the region — one is the oil-rich [region], America’s training and funding of Kurds, and Israel in fact started training of the Kurds in 2005 and the thinking that oil from Iraq would go to Israel, and it’s happening.”….

“I don’t believe for a moment that America has given up the idea of having Iraq and Syria and Iran under its full control,” the independent researcher and writer empathized.” (“‘US raises ISIL specter to stay in Iraq’”, Press TV)

Bingo. The “too sectarian” trope is a fraud. This is all about Washington stationing combat troops where the oil is. It always gets back to oil, doesn’t it?  U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel summed it up perfectly in July, 2007, when he said:

“People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.” (Washington’s blog)

So how does Obama’s bombing of ISIS jihadis outside of Ebril (N Iraq) fit with his earlier comments that he wouldn’t help defend Iraq unless their was movement on the political front? (In other words, until Maliki was removed from office.)

He sure changed his tune fast, didn’t he? But, why?

Oil, that’s why.   Let’s put it this way: There are 10 reasons why Obama bombed ISIS positions outside of Ebril. They are:

1–Exxon Mobil


3–Aspect Energy

4–Marathon Oil Corporation

5–Hillwood International Energy

6–Hunt Oil

7–Prime Oil

8–Murphy Oil

9–Hess Corporation

10–HKN Energy

So what’s the message here? What is Obama telegraphing to ISIS about US policy?

It’s simple. “You can kill as many Arabs and Christians as you want, but if you lay a finger on even one oil well, we’ll nuke you into oblivion.” Isn’t that the message?

Of course, it is. By the way, the reason the US exited Iraq to begin with wasn’t because Obama wanted to keep his campaign promise. Oh no. That was just public relations hype. The real reason was because Obama handed the Iraq Brief over to lunkhead Biden when he first took office, and Biden flubbed the deal.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?  Take a look at this blurb from the New Yorker:

“When I was profiling Biden last month, his advisers argued …that they had never favoured Maliki, and had backed him because he won the support of a majority in Iraq. But that reading of history underplays Biden’s activism. …. Biden predicted that Maliki would sign on to a Status of Forces Agreement to keep U.S. troops on the ground.

“Maliki wants us to stick around because he does not see a future in Iraq otherwise,” Biden said, according to the account. “I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA.”

Neither of those predictions came true. Maliki did not deliver, and U.S. forces left Iraq in December, 2011. As the crisis deepened this spring, the White House did not openly disparage Maliki, but made it clear that it was ready for a change. By all estimates, that sentiment was long overdue, and this week, America’s protracted divorce from Maliki is nearing completion. Obama has returned American military aircraft to the skies over Iraq, authorizing strikes to protect U.S. diplomatic missions and religious and ethnic minorities, and to prevent Sunni militants from advancing on the Kurdish city of Erbil. On Monday, another political sinkhole opened in Baghdad: the President nominated a new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, to replace Maliki. But Maliki has refused to give up power; on television, he vowed to use legal action to challenge the decision, while security forces loyal to him were seen taking up positions around the city.” (“Breaking Up: Maliki and Biden“, The New Yorker)

Read that passage over again; that’s the whole ball of wax, right there. Biden botched the SOFA agreement, so Obama decided to get rid of Maliki. Soon after, the plan to replace Maliki with Haider al-Abadi was put into motion.

It’s worth noting, that Obama has been blasted in the media for more than a year for withdrawing the troops from Iraq. A simple Google search of “Maliki Status of Forces agreement” will produce hundreds of articles lambasting Obama as the man “who lost Iraq”, or who “abandoned Iraq”, or the man who organized “the tragic withdrawal”. To America’s right wing pundits, the problem was never the war itself, but the way it ended.  They blame Obama for everything that’s gone wrong. That’s why Obama wants to remove Maliki and deploy troops back to Iraq. It’s an attempt to placate the right.

Naturally, the fact that Obama, Biden, Kerry and everyone else in the administration has expressed their support for the nearly-unknown Abadi, has led to suspicions that US Intel agencies (and perhaps the State Department) have been acting behind the scenes to depose Maliki. But Obama vehemently denies any involvement. Check out this article in the Guardian:

“American officials have denied participating in a plot to oust Iraq prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, despite a series of phone calls made by Barack Obama and Joe Biden to support the appointment of his successor…..

The Obama administration had become increasingly strident in its criticism of Maliki in recent weeks, accusing him of the current Islamic uprising by failing to govern in the interest of all Iraqis…..Obama had “instructed his diplomats in Washington and Baghdad to find an alternative” to Maliki. ….(Obama) also dangled the prospect of direct US military support against the Islamic State, the separatists also known as Isis or Isil, if the putative new prime minister Haider al-Abadi succeeds in forming a lasting government.

But officials rejected allegations on Monday that it was encouraging “regime change”, insisting instead that the US was merely supporting a constitutional process rather than favoring individual politicians in Baghdad.” ….(“US denies role in plot to oust Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki”, Guardian)

Let’s summarize:

Obama stepped up his criticism of Maliki in the last few weeks.


Obama blamed Maliki for the “current Islamic uprising” which was nurtured by US Intel agencies that armed, trained and funded the respective wahhabi crackpots who then moved into Iraq.


Obama says the US will not help to defeat the jihadi invasion unless Maliki is replaced.


Obama told” his diplomats in Washington and Baghdad to find an alternative” to Maliki.


At the same time, US “officials rejected allegations on Monday that it was encouraging “regime change”, insisting instead that the US was merely supporting a constitutional process.”

What a joke. If it walks like a coup and quacks like a coup; it’s a coup. It doesn’t matter what Obama says. It doesn’t matter what the media say. It’s painfully obvious that the US is involved.

On top of that, we have this from the New York Times:

“Other senior Obama administration officials said American representatives in Iraq had been increasingly and deeply involved in Baghdad discussions during the last 10 days to settle on an alternative to Mr. Maliki.” (“Iraqis Nominate Maliki Successor, Causing Standoff”, New York Times) 

Isn’t that an admission of guilt?  If “senior Obama administration officials” had been huddling for the last ten days to decide on a successor to the current Prime Minister, then how is that different than Victoria Nuland plotting the removal of Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovych  for US-puppet “Yats”? It’s the same thing, isn’t it?

Here’s something else from the NYT that’s worth mulling over:

“It was only during the past week that Mr. Abadi became a candidate. He is a onetime ally of Mr. Maliki’s, and because Mr. Abadi is from the same party his candidacy became attractive, as it recognized the legitimacy of the election victory for Mr. Maliki’s bloc in April’s national elections.

This is what “encouraged them to make a coup against Maliki,” said one of the Shiite negotiators, who asked to remain anonymous to discuss internal deliberations.”

Can you believe what they’re saying? So, it wasn’t Abadi’s position on the issues or his views on sectarianism that made him the “preferred” candidate at all.   He was chosen strictly on the basis that his candidacy had the greatest chance of success. That’s it. This isn’t democracy; it’s a “dump Maliki at all cost” campaign orchestrated by the Obama troupe.  That’s how desperate these people are.

But maybe Obama is right this time; is that what you are thinking, dear reader? After all, Maliki is a vicious, iron-fisted tyrant who has fuelled sectarian hatred and divisiveness. Maybe it would be better if he WAS gone. Maybe Obama is sincere in wanting  (as the New York Times says) “to  preserve Iraq’s cohesion while helping to stop ISIS’ avowed goal of creating a monolithic Islamic caliphate that ignores national boundaries.”

European Gas Dependence – Better Russia Or Iraq?

If that’s what you are thinking, you’re wrong – changing the man at the top, will not change the system, nor does Washington want to change the system. The US wants a savage, remorseless tyrant, (Have you taken a look at Egypt lately?) they just want one that will follow orders, that’s all. Maliki went off the reservation, so now he’s getting his pink slip.  That’s all there is to it.

The idea that Abadi will reunify Iraq is ridiculous. The de facto partitioning of Iraq has already taken place. It won’t be reversed. In fact, this is what many in the political establishment (including Joe Biden) wanted from Day 1. A separate Kurdish state that will sell cheap oil to Israel and refuse to pass its oil revenues on to Baghdad, is already a reality, just as the borderless Sunni heartland (that will eventually take shape over the next few years) is a reality. Abadi will not alter these facts on the ground. Iraq is being torn apart by forces too powerful for him to contain or control. His function is merely to sign on the dotted line and allow the US to reopen its bases, redeploy its troops and get on with the business of empire.

The United States does not want a strong, independent Iraq. The US wants oil. The US wants power. The US wants Arabs killing Arabs. The US wants to extinguish Arab identity, culture, pride, literature, science, poetry, etc; anything that could lead to a reemergence of Arab nationalism, anything that could lead to an independent, sovereign state, anything that could impede the looting of Arab countries.

This is just the way that empire’s work. Maliki got in Washington’s way, so now Maliki is going to vanish.  End of story.

Whether he was “too sectarian” or not, doesn’t make a damn bit of difference; his fate was sealed the moment he refused to sign the SOFA agreement.


Related Topics:

Blair’s Next Leg of The Global leaders Silence on the Palestinian Holocaust and Piping Gas to the E.U.

Zero Yazidis Stranded on the Mountain*

Oil Drives U.S. and U.K. Airstrikes in Iraq*

U.S. is Buying Disputed Iraqi Kurdish Crude Oil*

The Treasure at the Heart of Iraq

WWI and the Fruits of Victory in Middle East

192-mile March on NATO Summit*

Tribesmen Mobilise against ISIL after Killing an Iraqi Woman*

Muslims and Christians March against ISIL*

ISIS Weapons Made in Israel*

Veteran Who Raped and Murdered Iraqi Family Commits Suicide*

U.S. Rape and Sodomy of Iraqi Women and Children*

SOS – Five Hospital Ships Needed to Save Gaza’s Children*

SOS – Five Hospital Ships Needed to Save Gaza’s Children*

Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University and volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (

The statistics are just beginning to be analyzed—by UN agencies and a myriad of NGO’s whose mandates include salvaging young lives from the nearly incalculable ravages of the five-week (and counting) Zionist aggression upon Gaza.

It is of course the third aggression in six years against the 1.8 million Palestinians, sardine-canned into what is increasingly referred to as history’s largest open air prison, but the outcome this time is looking particularly cruel and grim.

As the Netanyahu regime announced (on 8/10/14) that its attacks on Gaza would continue, increasing numbers of obscene calls—for Israel to “finish the job” and “go all the way” etc.—are floating in the Zionist state’s malodorous public echo-chamber, emanating from such figures as the Knesset’s deputy speaker, who advocates driving Palestinians into the Sinai desert and resettling Gaza with Jews.

In Khuza’a “the Israeli military had trapped at least 32 people in a home and then prevented the Red Cross from evacuating them before shelling the area,” reported Lebanese-American journalist Roqayah Chamseddine. Hoping for safe haven, the people in the house sought refuge in the basement of a neighbour’s home, where they found additional families already inside.

“By that point we were 120 people, 10 men and the rest women and children,” Kamel al-Najjar recalled for Human Rights Watch.

After dawn and without warning (no polite leaflets or knocks on the roof apparently), Israel struck the house, killing three people and wounding 15 others.

The toll of the war on Gaza’s children has been “catastrophic,” according to UN agencies. At least 450 have been killed, and those not having their physical bodies buried have found their innocence entombed. It is another casualty in the war—a war against all things daring to live and resist in Gaza. According to Chamseddine:

“Israel has forced the children of Gaza to lay flowers atop headstones, and watch helplessly as coffins that are filled with not only their most beloved family members, teachers, neighbours, and friends but also their most treasured memories, lullabies, lessons learned and those that will never come, descend into the belly of the earth. Their lips will memorize and form prayers for the dead and the stars that defied the siege that flickered freely high above them will be snatched from their skies.”

Families are killed in their homes or UN centres… and Israel blames Hamas

Increasingly it is being heard from Gazans that “Israel has stolen everything beautiful in our lives,” and Israel’s barbarity confirms this sentiment.

Middle East analysts point out that it is difficult to recall a time in modern history when there has been so much sustained slaughter of this region’s civilian population, with more than two-thirds of the victims being women and children.

For the past year, UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations have lamented a simple reality—that there is not a sufficient level of international aid to save lives and treat those in need of emergency and longer term medical care.

But now something is changing.

The horrors we have just witnessed, especially with respect to traumas inflicted on children, is producing, as should be the case, a major and rapidly growing international focus on salvaging young lives. Descriptions and evaluations of the consequences of Gaza wars are being published and urgently discussed. Some analysts and government officials, including Pentagon planners, are calling for a ‘Medical Marshall Plan,’ to save Gaza’s children. One proposed first step is the dispatching of a humanitarian support group of hospital ships that would sail to Gaza without further delay.

What can and must be done, by the United States and other countries with the naval and medical capacity to do so, is to organize a Hospital Ship flotilla to break the siege of Gaza, to anchor offshore, and to begin caring for the medical needs of all, with a special focus on children and their psychological well-being.

Call it a Mercy Mission. Initially it could include the following countries—all well known for their hospital ships with up-and-running medical staffs: the USA, UK, France, China, Russia, Spain, Argentina, and Australia. Within this group of nations are ships with hundreds of patient beds and fully stocked pharmacies.

Moreover, it is a group not likely to be interfered with by those who have imposed the inhumane blockade of Gaza (and of course it even includes some of their collaborators in the region), but perhaps most importantly, every country on the list possesses one or more hospital ships that are fully staffed and available to act.

France is reportedly ready to join such an effort and is also working on a related crisis—in Iraq, where it plans delivery of first aid equipment “in the coming hours,” according to the office of Francois Hollande. The French president has “reaffirmed the will of France to stand by the side of civilian victims of continued attacks” in Iraq, and his spokesmen said that “France will do the same thing for Gaza.”

“The European Union is called upon to also take necessary measures with great urgency to respond to immediate humanitarian needs,” the spokesman added.

Hundreds of EU citizens, with their specialized skills in fields of pediatric medicine and child psychology, are reportedly ready to help the children of Gaza.

Two fully stocked and staffed American medical ships, the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort, could contribute greatly to the effort.

Each ship’s hospital is a full floating medical treatment facility, containing 12 fully equipped operating rooms, a 1,000-bed patient capacity, digital radiological services, medical laboratory, pharmacy, optometry lab, and intensive care ward; each also has a dental clinic with full services, CT scanner, and two oxygen-producing plants.

Helicopter landing decks are available as well, for patient transports, and the ships also have side ports that could take on patients from Gaza fishing boats and other crafts at sea. In addition to these two mammoth-sized medical vessels, dozens of other US Navy ships also have hospitals on board.

For example, in one year, the medical department of the USS George Washington handled over 15,000 out-patient visits, drew almost 27,000 lab samples, filled almost 10,000 prescriptions, took about 2,300 x-rays, and performed 65 surgical operations—and nearly 100 other US ships are capable of doing the same.

Just one example with respect to capacity is illustrative. In April of this year, the USNS Comfort—a converted 70,000-ton tanker—sailed from Norfolk, Virginia carrying 900 doctors, nurses, and engineers, including staff from the U.S. military, civilian agencies, non-government charities, and even foreign navies.

The ship is designed to be deployed quickly for four month intensive full service medical assistance; yet similar capacities obtain in certain other US ships and in foreign navies as well. All of these resources must be put to immediate use to save Gaza’s children.

Palestinians fleeing from Khuza’a, Khan Younis. Photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

Looking at the longer term, the Pentagon should seriously consider ordering a sufficient number of catamaran transports and shallow-draft littoral ships to fill out the flotilla, vessels capable of delivering aid by sea via the relatively shallow Gaza coastline.

The success of breaking the siege of Gaza will likely give impetus to a UN Security Council decision to construct a seaport for Gaza, perhaps with a shipping channel to Cyprus.

Similarly, the UK hospital ship, RFA Argus, designated as a ‘Primary Casualty Receiving Ship,’ is moored in Falmouth, England, and is also uniquely designed for this type of humanitarian crisis; and it, too, is reportedly ready to sail once given the green light by Downing Street.

Five Hospital ships are urgently needed along Gaza’s shoreline at the following locations: opposite Jabaliya and North Gaza, Gaza City, Deir al-Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah.

Although attacking a hospital ship is clearly a war crime, the Israeli pattern of targeting medical facilities in Gaza is well known, and threats from the settler movement and the right wing Likud Party to “sink any ship that enters Gaza waters if judged to be aiding the terrorists” must be taken seriously. Yet one imagines the occupation regime would have to think carefully about sinking another US Navy vessel as it did in 1967 with the repeated bombing of the USS Liberty.

Instead of recycling raw combat power, the White House can best meet the demands of a war-weary American public through an emphasis on missions such as those the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort are designed for. Poll after US public opinion poll reveal that Americans believe their humanitarian values are best reflected when our navy is tailored for delivering humanitarian aid to places like Gaza, and not by delivering munitions to occupying colonial regimes.


Related Topics:

Protests and a 60k Signatures Despatches Royal Navy Hospital Ship to Gaza*

The Butcher of Khuza’a*

EU Backs Mission to Monitor Gaza’s Rafah Border..*

Israel Changes Bar Code To Avoid Boycott*

There’s a Truce on, so Do Everything Else, but Don’t Kill Palestinians*

Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Livni, Reveals Israel – Egypt Pact to Strangle Hamas*

Death Ray Unleased on Gaza*

Operation Protective Edge: Life without Water and Electricity*

Evidence Immaterial: Netanyahu’s wants to be Added to the Bush-Blair Club of War Criminals*

192-mile March on NATO Summit*

Mother Ashkenazi, Father Muslim – Dahlia Wasfi Argues Against Illegal Occupation

Global #GazaDayofRage as Israel Resumes Destruction of Gaza*

The Root Cause of the Never-Ending Conflict in Palestine; and How to Fix It*

WWI and the Fruits of Victory in Middle East

‘Deltapine’ the Name of Monsanto’s GM Cotton*

‘Deltapine’ the Name of Monsanto’s GM Cotton*

It was Ghandi who returned the art of cotton growing and weaving to India when colonial Britain undermined the Indian market by exporting the raw material to Britain, producing cotton fabrics and wears for export back to India, and preventing the home grown industry from flourishing as it did. That colonialism continues today through Monsanto and its likes…

By Christina Sarich

Maybe brand recognition isn’t always such a good thing – especially when you are one of the most hated companies on the planet. Monsanto has a new marketing plan, though. The company’s latest GMO cotton seed will be sold in India under the brand name Deltapine.

This isn’t the first time that Monsanto has hidden the extent of its seed monopoly by hiding behind other company names. Monsanto currently owns 100% of the Indian subsidiary operating under the ‘Paras Brahma.’ The GMO cotton seeds sold under this front were once delivered to struggling farmers under Emergent Genetics India Ltd, a firm Monsanto acquired more than a decade ago.

Jesus Madrazo, Vice-President (Corporate Engagement) of the St Louis, Missouri-headquartered company told Business Line:

“The introduction of the Deltapine brand from this year shows our commitment to growing the cotton hybrid seeds business in India.”

There is no plan, though, to phase out the ‘Paras Brahma’ brand. Instead, Monsanto looks to increase its current 4% market share of the estimated 45 million-packets-a-year Indian cotton hybrids seeds market.

Monsanto competes with Nuziveedu Seeds, Kaveri Seeds, Mahyco, Ajeet Seeds, Ankur Seeds, DCM Shriram Bioseed and Rasi Seeds, but all of these companies use Monsanto’s proprietary ‘Bollgard’ insecticide which is supposed to work with their GMO hybrid seeds. Companies pay Monsanto a 20% trait fee which amounts to about 20% of the retail price for seed.

The introduction of the ‘Deltapine’ brand is just Monsanto’s latest tactic to increase the use of patented Bollgard technology through licensing, as well as expand its direct marketing routes for GM cotton in India.

Monsanto India Ltd and MHPL, and American patents are currently responsible for cornering 72% of the Indian GMO corn market. If cotton is next, we should be extremely concerned for Indian farmers. Bt cotton has already been linked to numerous Indian farmer suicides, though Monsanto will deny it.

“Monsanto’s concentrated control over the seed sector in India as well as across the world is very worrying. This is what connects farmers’ suicides in India to Monsanto vs Percy Schmeiser in Canada, to Monsanto vs Bowman in the US, and to farmers in Brazil suing Monsanto for $2.2 billion for unfair collection of royalty.”



Related Topics:

GM Caused Crop Failure in India and Bangladesh*

Legal Action Against Monsanto for GM Aubergines

GMOs Are Mutating Microorganisms and Spawning Deadly New Life Forms‏

India Vetoes New WTO (TFA) Deal*

GMO Technology Brought Soaring Cancer, Birth Defects and Failing Farms to Argentina*

Pakistan Death by GM Contamination*

India: Bill Gates Financing Untested Vaccines that Spread the Disease It Claims to Cure!

PepsiCo’s Naked Juice Laced with Synthetic and GMO Ingredients

Coca-Cola Forced to Shut Bottling Plant in India*

Major UK Department Store to Sell School Hijabs*

Major UK Department Store to Sell School Hijabs*

The British retailer John Lewis is to offer the hijab in its school uniform range for the first time in stores in London and Liverpool.

John Lewis has signed contracts with two schools, one of which is in northwest London and was set up to educate Muslim girls only, while the other is in Liverpool and welcomes students from any religious or non-religious community.

The Islamia Girls’ School in northwest London was set up in 1983 by Yusuf Islam, better known as the singer Cat Stevens before his conversion to Islam in 1977.

The Belvedere Academy in Liverpool was founded 130 years ago and is a non-denominational school for girls. It was the first school in the UK to become an independent academy in 2007.It was recently judged by Ofsted, the UK schools watchdog, as “outstanding”.

The hijab is a type of Muslim headscarves that covers the head and chest and is worn by Muslim girls and women after puberty in the presence of men who are not members of in their immediate family.

Unlike the hijab, the niqab, which is a full face veil, or the burka, covers the entire face and body, just leaving a small mesh screen to see through.

In London the hijab will be sold for £9 ($15) with a teal blazer retailing at £65 ($108) and an ankle length grey skirt for £40 ($66). In Liverpool the hijab will be sold more cheaply, at £6, and will be available in navy or back alongside a formal uniform with a blazer for £40 ($66).

The fact that a mainstream, upmarket UK retailer such as John Lewis has started to supply the hijab will likely be welcomed by Muslim parents who until now have relied on specialist shops.

Last year the former Liberal Democrat Home Office minister, Jeremy Browne, called for a debate on if women and girls should be banned from wearing the veil in public places as is the case in France.

Most Muslim leaders in the UK rejected his remarks, with Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadan foundation saying “whatever one’s religion they should be free to practice it according to their own choices.”

In France a ban on wearing the full face veil, the niqab, in public places was introduced by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government in 2010. The penalty for doing so can result in a 150 euro fine as well as forced instruction on French citizenship.

The European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban earlier this year, refusing to accept the arguments of a 24-year-old French woman that the ban violated her freedom of religion and expression.

In Spain, Barcelona has introduced a similar ban, as have some towns and cities in Italy.

But in Britain, which prides itself on its tolerance of other cultures and religions, there has been far more concern about an alleged plot by Islamic extremists to infiltrate schools in Birmingham with large numbers of Muslim students to overthrow secular head teachers and replace them with staff sympathetic to their own Muslim beliefs.

The police have opened an inquiry, Operation Trojan Horse, into the allegations and separate investigations are being conducted by the Department of Education and Birmingham City Council.

It also emerged earlier this year that a secondary school in Bradford, which has a large Muslim population, has removed its entire board of Muslim governors after serious disagreements with the head teacher. This was the third time this has happened in the city in recent months.


Related Topics:

A Muslim Girl amongst the World’s 50 Smartest Teenagers” List*

The Veil of Discretion

Sexuality Beyond the Veil 

Gender Equity in Islam

Turkey Ends Hijab Ban*

Hope for Womanhood as Non-Muslims Sympathize with Attacked Pregnant Muslimah

Muslimah Takes Down Leading Islamaphobe*

Record Number of Parents Turn to Homeschooling*

Record Number of Parents Turn to Homeschooling*

By Ben Velderman

North Carolina officials say there has been a huge increase over the past two years in the number of Tar Heel families who have pulled their kids out of public schools and begun educating them at home.

The number of homeschools has jumped 27% since the 2011-12 school year, reports.

As of last year, 98,172 North Carolinian children were homeschooled; that’s 2,400 students more than the number who attended a private school.

While the sputtering economy is the reason families are choosing homeschooling over private schooling, the nationalized learning experiment (Common Core) is the main reason families are leaving the public schools in the first place.

“Common Core is a big factor that I hear people talk about,” Beth Herbert, founder of Lighthouse Christian Homeschool Association, told

“They’re not happy with the work their kids are coming home with. They’ve decided to take their children home.”

In-the-know parents understand that Common Core’s plodding approach to math instruction leaves students unprepared for college study in STEM courses – science, technology, engineering and math.

These same parents also realize that the nationalized learning standards’ emphasis of nonfiction, “informational” texts over classic literature is intended to mold students into drone-like workers, not out-of-the-box thinkers.

For some homeschool parents, it’s the Common Core-related standardized testing that they’re trying to protect their kids from.

Whatever the particular reason, it all adds up to a significant exodus from the public schools.

Homeschooling doesn’t mean kids have to miss all the social and sports-related aspects of traditional schools. Communities with a significant number of homeschoolers offer extracurricular activities for families.

Homeschooling was legalized by the state Supreme Court in 1985. In the days before Common Core, most homeschool families chose to leave the government-run schools because they were too secular, violent and crowded, the news site notes.

It’ll be interesting to see if the homeschool surge levels off once state education leaders revise and replace the worst parts of Common Core, as state lawmakers recently directed them to do.

But North Carolinians shouldn’t be surprised if it continues to grow, as homeschool parents share their success stories with others.

“It was scary at first,” homeschool parent Melissa Lopez told the news site, adding that her New York friends were skeptical when they heard her plan.

“Up North it’s not as common as it is down here so I always thought it was a crazy idea. But once I said, ‘I’m not asking for opinions – I’m doing it,’ they see it’s worked out for us,” Lopez said.


Related Topics:

The Essential Facts about How Common Core Became a Reality and Its Rebranding*

Homeschooled 16-year Old Graduates from High School and College in the Same Week*

Easing Homeschoolers out of Employment*

Seven Children Removed from Parents for Being Homeschooled*

The Butcher of Khuza’a*

The Butcher of Khuza’a*

By Richard Silverstein

People recovering the last body from the room where villagers say the mass execution has taken place. Photo by Lazar Simeonov for The Daily Beast

What goes around comes around. The circle of tragedy that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has come full circle in the years between 1948 and 2014. In the 1948 War, a young soldier who was to become one of the finest Israeli writers of his generation, served in Gaza and witnessed the atrocities of war from there.

S. Yizhar

Afterward, S. Yizhar (ne Yizhar Smilansky) wrote some of the most searing accounts of the brutality and immorality of Palmach tactics against the native Palestinian population. One of these was the novella, Hirbet Hiza. At the heart of this disturbing story is the unjust expulsion of the inhabitants of this Palestinian village from their homes. For every reader of this story, the accounts of the expulsions and extermination of the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust rung clearly in their minds as a historical precedent.

For those who served in the War and for all Israelis with a moral conscience, the story became a bell-weather. It was the equivalent of Hart Crane’s Red Badge of Courage in the context of the American Civil War.

In those days, when the Labor Party ruled Israel, a decorated hero and literary lion like Yizhar was welcomed into the political elite. He ran for Knesset and served several terms. He also taught at the prestigious Hebrew University. Today, of course, Yizhar would either have defanged his trenchant observations or he’d be persona non grata. There is no more tolerance of non-conformity within Israeli arts or society. You are either a cheerleader or you are in cherem. Israel has no more room for prophets, whether Biblical or literary.

Before bringing this story up to present day, I want to take a detour to 1982. In that year, Israel invaded Lebanon and there were many Lebanese villages treated by the IDF the way Hirbet Hiza had been treated. At the time, I was in graduate school at UC Berkeley enrolled in a PhD program in Comparative Literature. That was when I first read Yizhar’s powerful story. It was so riveting that I began translating it into English. I didn’t even know why I was doing it except that it struck me as a powerful moral indictment of Israeli hubris. I thought it was critical that this eyewitness testimony be read and known by English speaking readers.

I wrote to Yizhar and he expressed interest in seeing my work. After I sent it to him, I never heard a reply. No doubt, my Hebrew translation skills then (hopefully they’ve improved over the years) didn’t do justice to the majesty of his work. For this reason, I was both wistful and pleased to learn that a fine translation was finally published three decades later. This book deserves to be in the pantheon of great Hebrew literature and such a translation will help it get even more recognition than it already has.

In recent weeks, both Israelis and foreigners following the Gaza massacre have begun hearing of IDF massacres and mass executions in a Gaza neighborhood called Khuza’a. Here is Jesse Rosenfeld‘s account of one of those incidents, which provides a great deal of circumstantial proof that the IDF was the perpetrator of this mass murder.

Idan Landau, one of Israel’s finest moral and political bloggers writes about the village:

Khuza’a is a village in the southern portion of Gaza, east of Khan Younis, 500 meters from the border. On the opposite side of the fence is Kibbutz Nir Oz. In the village are 10,000 residents (some say 14,000) who earn their living primarily from agriculture.

It was. There was a village. There were residents. Now, everything is a shambles. Courtesy of the IDF. The State of Israel erased this place off the face of the earth. Tens, if not hundreds of the residents lie buried underneath the rubble. This happened less than a month ago, that is, ages ago. And all within spitting distance of the border. That is, beyond the mountains of darkness.

Now there is quiet in Khuza’a. The silence of death.

Here is how Jesse Rosenfeld described the scene based on his eyewitness reporting:

Suddenly journalists and local residents are shouting from a house on the edge of the front. The small family home is still intact but the stench of rotting flesh that comes from inside is overpowering.

A barefoot corpse in camouflaged khakis is being carried into the street, partially wrapped in rug, as I enter the house. His partly burned and partly decomposing face is unrecognizable as anyone who was ever alive and breathing. Witnesses say there were at least six bodies piled together inside this one tiled room where the air is poisonous with decay.

Blood and blackened remnants are caked on the bathroom floor. The walls have been drenched in blood and they are pocked with scores of bullet holes that look as if they were fired from an automatic weapon at waist level. Some of the bullet holes are in line, as if the gun were sweeping across its targets. There is also soot staining the tiles, suggesting the bodies were burned or there had been a small blast. Several tiles have fallen away from the wall. The house is filled with casings from the bullets used in assault rifles. They are marked on the bottom as “IMI” (Israel Military Industries).

What happened here? It is the kind of place and the kind of incident that may be studied for years. We may hear that…a lone Israeli soldier went mad and started murdering prisoners. It could be that members of an Israeli army unit at the center of the fighting decided to take out their rage on those they captured. There may be many theories. All I can tell you is what I saw and heard at the scene this day.

Twenty-one-year-old Naban Abu Shaar told me he was one of the first to find the bodies. He said they looked as if they were “melted” and piled on top of each other.

“When we entered the bathroom, I found the bodies of people slumped on top of each other in the corner,” he said, staring into the distance as if disconnected from his words.

Naban Abu Shaar told me he was one of the first to find the bodies. He said they looked as if they were “melted” and piled on top of each other.

The owner of the house, Mohammad Abu Al Sharif, said he couldn’t recognize the bodies but believed, because of their clothes, some of the dead may have been from his family. He did not say if any of them were fighters. The house had nine members living in it before Abu Al Sharif, his wife and four daughters escaped Khuzaa 20 days ago. He lost contact with those who stayed, he said.

Who was the overall commander who executed this abomination?

Who was the Butcher of Khuza’a?

His name will be familiar to anyone who’s been reading this blog lately. And now let it be immortalized forever in the pages of infamy: Col. Ofer Winter. The same who ordered his soldiers to fight a holy war against the Philistine/Palestinian defiler’s of the Israeli God. The same one who ordered one of his unit leaders to execute Lt. Hadar Goldin by throwing a hand grenade and firing indiscriminately into the tunnel into which he’d been dragged. The same one who ordered carpet bombing of Rafah that murdered 150 Palestinians in a matter of hours. The same one who refused to allow his troops to hear a female Israeli musical performer because Orthodox Jews believe a woman’s voice infatuates men.

Col. Ofer Winter (above), an Orthodox Zionist. He wrote a memo describing Operation Protective Edge as a holy war and in the same month he described this tactic for fighting Hamas in this metaphor: “I had the chance to tell the prime minister that there are two kinds of poisonous animals in Israel: snakes and scorpions. You grab a snake by the head, but if you grab a scorpion by the head, he’ll sting you. The trick is to know where to grab, and here I think we’ve grabbed them in the right place. If we go on, I think we’ll succeed in grabbing them in all sorts of other places, and we’ll wipe them out.”

Let this man (if he may be graced by that term) be forever known as the Butcher of Khuza’a. Let his name never be uttered again without it being associated with the word “butcher.”

Now, let’s close that circle we began with Hirbet Hiza in 1948, with the help again of Idan Landau:

Winter’s Khuza’a is S. Yizhar’s Hiza. 65 years separate the two, which are one. But even 1,000 years can’t close the ethical gap. Yizhar’s Hiza, which “only” suffered expulsion, rather than mass slaughter [like Khuza’a], stood for years as a remembrance of Israeli shame. In Winter’s Khuza’a, in which tens of innocent civilians were slaughtered in the full light of day, a true divine miracle occurred. No less than this: heavy clouds descended on the soldiers, clouds of His glory, which protected them. This is the new divine splendor of Israel, light years away from the forgotten shame [of Hiza of 1948].


Related Topics:

Trial of Murder Most Horrid of Palestinian boy starts in Israel*

Mother Ashkenazi, Father Muslim – Dahlia Wasfi Argues Against Illegal Occupation

The Root Cause of the Never-Ending Conflict in Palestine; and How to Fix It*

Deir Yassin, the Beginning of the Palestinian Holocaust. 1948*

Global #GazaDayofRage as Israel Resumes Destruction of Gaza*

Former Israeli Combat Soldier’s Life Threatened for Speaking the Truth*

ISIS Weapons Made in Israel*

US activists to block Israeli cargo arriving at West Coast Ports*

There’s a Truce on, so Do Everything Else, but Don’t Kill Palestinians*

Operation Protective Edge: The Dead Have Names*

Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Livni, Reveals Israel – Egypt Pact to Strangle Hamas*

Barclays Closed due to Investment in Israel*

192-mile March on NATO Summit*

Sunni Tribe Rises up against ISIL in Syria*

Sunni Tribe Rises up against ISIL in Syria*

By Waleed Abu Al-Khair

Members of the Sunni Shaitat tribe, one of Syria’s largest, gather in al-Kashkiyeh in Deir Ezzor province after announcing an uprising against ISIL. [Photo courtesy of Mohieddine al-Aqidi]

As alliances forged by the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) with tribes and factions in Iraq and Syria begin to crumble, local populations under the group’s control are losing their fear of fighting back, analysts and activists told Al-Shorfa.

The recent clashes between ISIL gunmen and fighters from the Sunni Shaitat tribe, one of Syria’s largest, have destroyed ISIL’s aura and broken the barrier of public fear, they said.

Violent clashes broke out at the end of July in rural Deir Ezzor after ISIL detained three tribesmen in a move the Shaitat viewed as violating an agreement which stipulated they would not be attacked.

The incident breached an agreement between ISIL and the Shaitat in which the tribesmen agreed to surrender their weapons and renounce fighting ISIL in exchange for the safety of the local population, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

In response, some members of the tribe launched a Twitter campaign titled “Shaitat rises up against ISIL”, AFP reported.

Rising against ISIL abuses

Media activist and Shaitat member Mohieddine al-Aqidi, 24, has been updating the tribe’s social networking pages.

“The recent clash was not the first, as it was preceded by tension in recent months over the abuses committed by ISIL elements and its continuous attempts to seize full control and dominate the tribesmen,” he said.

Agreements between ISIL and some tribes in Deir Ezzor do not represent a tribal pledge of allegiance to ISIL, al-Aqidi said.

“They are merely truce agreements between the two sides stipulating that neither side would attack the other, and principally that ISIL would not attack a tribe’s members, in exchange for [the tribe] handing over the heavy weapons in its possession,” he said.

Tension mounted between ISIL and al-Shaitat tribe when ISIL gunmen stormed a wedding party in al-Kashkiyeh on July 29th and arrested the groom, al-Aqidi said.

The next day, he said, gunfire was exchanged at an ISIL checkpoint when members of the tribe were detained, leaving dead on both sides.

“This tension was preceded by numerous attempts by ISIL to break the agreements pertaining to non-intervention in the affairs of villages belonging to the tribe, and consequently the clashes expanded to include the tribe’s villages and areas of influence, particularly Abu Hamam, al-Kashkiyeh and Ghranij,” he said.

Backlash reveals ISIL’s deception

The uprising against ISIL spread to other towns and villages, including Darnaj, al-Quraan, Shannan, Abu Hrdob, al-Tayyana, Jerthe and the city of Deir Ezzor, al-Aqidi said.

“ISIL launched a campaign of random detainment of tribal members in areas under its control, including a large number of civilians who had not taken part in the fighting, in an attempt to pressure tribal elders to stop the clashes,” he said.

ISIL snipers surrounded the tribe’s villages and have been shelling residents around the clock, he said, warning that a humanitarian disaster could ensue should the battle protract, as the supply lines are cut off and food reserves are insufficient.

Syrian journalist Mohammad al-Abdullah, who resides in Cairo, said ISIL’s battle with the Shaitat tribe will hurt the group in both Syria and Iraq.

The “degrading way” in which ISIL treats the tribe’s members and the recent tribal casualties will lead other tribes and groups to reconsider their alliances with ISIL, he said.

“The battles with the Shaitat tribe, which belongs to the Sunni sect, have deflated all of ISIL’s claims that it is fighting khawarij and infidel Muslims, which it uses to justify killing Muslims,” al-Abdullah told Al-Shorfa.

In August, ISIL beheaded three Shaitat fighters battling the group in Deir Ezzor, AFP reported.

ISIL decapitated the men and put their heads on display in Jerthe a day after seizing the town in Deir Ezzor province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A history of betrayal

The tension between ISIL and its presumed allies is not new, al-Abdullah said, for just as ISIL turned against al-Nusra Front after it began to expand in Syria, it is turning against its former allies in Syria and Iraq.

On June 21st, ISIL fighters in Iraq clashed with members of Jaish al-Naqshbandi, a faction that had initially allied itself with ISIL, in the village of Karshabak near Tal Afar in Ninawa province.

Anbar province officials also said ISIL was assassinating the leaders of armed factions that fought alongside the organisation but refused to swear allegiance to ISIL chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his newly declared “caliphate“.

“Depending on the political, military and logistical developments on the ground, ISIL begins to eliminate anyone who opposes it, albeit secretly, and works to deliberately weaken its allies’ strength to guarantee its existence and block any force that may cause future complications,” said military analyst and al-Qaeda affairs specialist Maj. Gen. Abdel Karim Ahmed, who is retired from the Egyptian army.

In Syria today, as it was in Iraq, yesterday’s allies become tomorrow’s enemies, he said.

Breaking the barrier of fear

The most important new development “is that the barrier of fear is broken and the aura that surrounds ISIL is beginning to fade”, Ahmed said.

“The tribes’ uprising against ISIL is of great importance,” he said, explaining that tribal uprisings are different from uprisings by other groups.

While these other groups are transitional, he said, and can be obliterated based on political or military equations, “the tribes are an active force on the ground and are historically and politically connected to the fabric of the Syrian and Iraqi societies”.


Related Topics:

President Bashar al-Assad’s Inauguration Speech*

Tribesmen Mobilise against ISIL after Killing an Iraqi Woman*

ISIS Weapons Made in Israel*

Snowden: Al Baghdadi was Trained By MOSSAD*

Zero Yazidis Stranded on the Mountain*

WWI and the Fruits of Victory in Middle East

Mother Ashkenazi, Father Muslim – Dahlia Wasfi Argues Against Illegal Occupation

EU Backs Mission to Monitor Gaza’s Rafah Border..*

EU Backs Mission to Monitor Gaza’s Rafah Border..*

As Egypt continues to block humanitarian aid from countries like Kuwait, Iran,  and even from Egyptians themselves, a welcome move for the suffering of Gazans maybe in the offing… However, there is a 60 year old question of sovereignty. Who are they (the  E.U. working on behalf of?

The European Union on Friday said it was willing to reactivate an EU mission on the Egypt-Gaza border to help stabilise the Palestinian enclave after weeks of war.

At talks in Brussels, foreign ministers representing the 28 EU countries welcomed a ceasefire in Gaza and said they could relaunch the EU Border Assistance Mission for the Rafah crossing point (EUBAM Rafah) and possibly expand its scope.

“The EU is ready to support a possible international mechanism endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, including through the reactivation and possible extension in scope and manadate of its EUBAM Rafah,” a statement following the EU meeting said.

EUBAM started to monitor the Rafah crossing point – the main window on the world for Gaza’s 1.8 million Palestinians – in 2005 as part of an accord aimed at easing Israeli security concerns after it pulled its troops and settlers from Gaza.

However, the operation was halted two years later when the Hamas movement replaced the Palestinian Authority in the coastal enclave.

To help reactivate the mission, the EU foreign ministers said they also supported the launch of a training programme for Palestinian Authority customs personnel and police for redeployment in Gaza.

Egypt, which was not involved in the negotiation of the 2005 agreement, has repeatedly shut the Rafah border over the past year, significantly increasing pressure on Gazans, who already face a rigid land and sea blockade imposed by Israel.

The EU ministers also raised the possibility that an international donors’ conference could be organised to help pay for reconstruction of Gaza after the conflict.


Related Topics:

Egypt Blocking Iran Humanitarian Aid to Palestine*

Operation Protective Edge: Life without Water and Electricity*

Protests and a 60k Signatures Despatches Royal Navy Hospital Ship to Gaza*

Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Livni, Reveals Israel – Egypt Pact to Strangle Hamas*

Turkish Medical Aid Reaches Gaza*

Military Expert: Israel is Using Three Internationally Banned Weapons*

Egyptian Ceasefire Initiative a U.S.- Blair Plot!*

DEBKA Report: Saudi, Egypt and Israel Orchestrated Palestinian Holocaust*

US Still Funding Repression in Egypt*

Israel Changes Bar Code To Avoid Boycott*

Demilitarization or Conditional Aid, the Goal Remains the Same for Gazans*

Global #GazaDayofRage as Israel Resumes Destruction of Gaza*