Thursday, April 17, 2014

U.N. rights investigator accuses Israel of 'ethnic cleansing'

In 2007 I read a book titled "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" by the renowned Israeli born Jewish scholar named Ilan Pappe.  He wrote a meticulously researched book that names names, dates, places and times. It exposes facts about how a radical faction of Zionists took approximately 400 Palestinian villages by brute force in between 1947-1949.

As I have spoken to many friends, acquaintances and political adversaries about this book over the years, it has been amazing to me how many people scoff at this book as propaganda by a self hating Jew, before they have even taken the time to read it. Most would not even try to read this truly inconvenient truth. Regardless of those who choose to keep their heads in the sand as to the facts, Pappe's book is a must read by anyone who wants to understand how Israel was really formed.

Last month, it was refreshing to the idea of fairness, truth and possible new paradigms, when a U.N. rights investigator by the name of Richard Falk, who happens to be Jewish, made the news when he accused Israel of 'ethnic cleansing' not in 1948, but in recent times by way of Israel's expansion of illegal settlements.

Falk, who is the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, told a news conference that Israeli policies bore "unacceptable characteristics of colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing".

Accepting as truth the claims of Falk and what Pappe wrote in his book is a bitter pill to swallow for far too many people, it seems.  However, what both Falk and Pappe are so clear about seems to get at the root causes of the Israel/Palestine conflict, regardless of what the propagandists have successfully promoted to the contrary.

Even Jimmy Carter has recently spoken up saying: "What is being done to the the Palestinians right now is horrendous..." See video of Carter speaking below.



As I connect the dots from studying the words of Pappe, Falk, Carter and other research resources on the subject, it has begun to become more clear that the Palestinians were the first ones who were wronged in the run-up and carrying out of this conflict. Prior to the ethnic cleansing referenced in Pappe's book, Jews and Palestinians were not in a feud and coexisted peacefully in the region, contrary to false propaganda that attempts to paint a different picture of thousands of years of strife between the two. However, in 1948, Palestinians lost their homes, land, farms, businesses, belongings and their way of life, when the narrative in Pappe's book lays out the Zionist's plans that were made and carried out between 1947-1949. The Palestinians call this period the Nakba, which is Arabic for catastrophe.

All this leads me to ask questions. Are the Palestinians who lost in this way not entitled to reparations at a present fair market value for their losses, at the very least?  Could this not help pull the downtrodden Palestinians out of the condition where they are today?  If Palestinians are never going to be entitled to a right of return, could reparations be a good place to begin when seeking peace?  After all, Germany has provided reparations to Jews who lost property in the Holocaust.  Isn't there a parallel here?

It is my opinion and that of this website that Pappe's book is a must read and of value to all citizens of the world who desire and seek peace and who want to know the facts vs. the fictional accusations by the so called Israel lobby in America. For far too long, the lobby and it's followers have propped up a false narrative that has led sheep like Americans to blindly support Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. This has also been at the great expense of truth, American tax dollars to the tune of billions of dollars per year along with our skin being in this game that supports the faux democracy of Israel and keeps our government and military wrongly meddling in the affairs of Israel's supposed enemies to everyone's detriment.

Speaking of the Palestinian experience, below is a film shot by a Palestinian man that is a must see for those who have interest in what Palestinian life is like.

5 Broken Cameras


"Five Broken Cameras" screened to Israeli youth

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How America was Neoconned by Liz Wahl's RT resignation

Not long ago, when Russia began it's escapade into Crimea, a reporter on the Russian funded U.S. branch of Russia Today, known to many as RT, resigned on air. Here is the clip.



But here is where the story gets juicy and that old rule may apply that nothing is ever what it seems on the surface, especially in politics and media. At this link is the investigative piece by TruthDig about how Americans may have been Neoconned by Liz Wahl's resignation from RT (Russia Today) that got her on the talk show circuit for her 15 minutes of fame.

As someone who has never agreed with the agendas of Neoconservative groups like the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and the tactics of it's war promoting zealots like Bill Kristol, it was a surprise that Wahl gave the scoop of her imminent departure to a former PNAC insider affiliated with it's reborn organization known as The Foreign Policy Initiative. FPI has a great new jingoistic mission statement which is really whitewashing what it really is. FPI points out all of the world's supposed troubles that we need to fight against, without taking into account U.S. actions that initially stirred up these troubles in the first place. FPI neglects to ponder upon cause & effect. They do not recognize the concept of "blowback". You would have only loved PNAC if you loved the policies of founder, former Vice President Dick Cheney. And you would only love PNAC and the newer Foreign Policy Initiative if you love the idea of the U.S. engaging in wars and propaganda missions, covertly, stirring up trouble on the ground in far away countries in ways that actually go against American values.

Something smells funny about Wahl and this entire story, but TruthDig's mission of drilling beneath the headlines and providing readers with in-depth stories often skimmed over or skewed by mass media was met on this one. Kudos.

Read the full Truthdig investigative story at: at http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/how_cold_war-hungry_neocons_stage_managed_liz_wahls_resignation_20140319

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

U.S. Continues Economic Terrorism Against Foreign Populations

It is well known, to those who study the facts, that the U.S. government routinely uses threats and outright actions of terrorism against countries whose leaders do not act the way the U.S. State Department, Executive Branch and/or Congress wants.

The U.S. wields power enough to impose economic sanctions, cutting off the ability of people, businesses and government agencies to do just about any kind of business, banking or trade it so chooses. In my humble opinion, such moves usually amount to a form of blackmail or coercion so disgusting and arrogant, I consider it to be "Economic Terrorism".

The U.S. sanctions imposed supposedly against Saddam Hussein did not really hurt Saddam Hussein much at all, compared to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians from shortages of everything from medicine to food to fuel that was needed to keep Iraq's economy going.

The U.S. is still at it, imposing crippling sanctions against Iran. Sanctions actually do little to harm Iran's leaders, but sanctions that hurt the innocent citizens of Iran. Such U.S. interventionism is counter productive and evil. We, as Americans with a conscience, should look in the mirror when we like to throw around the word "terrorist".

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rick Steves Lecture Traveling in Iran

Below are two excellent overviews of Iran today.

Rick Steves is a travel/tour operator, Public Television personality and producer of travel shows mostly focused on European travel.

In this first video below,  Rick Steves gives a very insightful lecture about his travels in Iran while making a documentary for PBS.  The lecture took place as a part of a Oklahoma City Town Hall Lecture Series at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, in September of 2013. I prefer this first presentation over his PBS documentary below, for his talk seems a bit more candid about his true feelings based on his experiences in Iran.

As far too many Americans misinterpret and fear Iran, Steves breaks down myths and shares a different world view.  It's about time!  However, when PBS aired the special that Rick Steves and his crew filmed in Iran, PBS was inundated with threats from those scared Americans who are still afraid of Iran and threatening to take PBS out of their last testaments and wills.  Who is backward?  Hmmm... Could it be us Americans who lack tolerance for other societies?



As someone who has consistently been suspect of the typical U.S. mainstream propaganda against Iran, it was nice to finally see this more objective view of Iran and it's people by Rick Steves.

I always wonder what Iran's government would be like today if the CIA had not led the way in overthrowing the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, when he attempted to nationalize Iran's oil away from foreign interests.  If you don't know what I am talking about, click here for a history lesson on U.S. Intervention in Iran from 1953 Until Present.

Just below is the full PBS special on Iran by Rick Steves.

IRAN Documentary - Yesterday and Today by Rick Steves

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What is your liberty worth?

I was directed to a website known as Police State USA of all things, which credits Washington Post for the tip on a important story that has to do with diminishing liberties at the behest of the growing police state in America.

I urge everyone to click and think about lost American liberty as you read the story at the following link: Manhunt leads to massive roadblock, warrantless car-to-car searches The bank's money was ultimately safe and sound, although the same could not be said of the rights of many innocent commuters.

It is the opinion of ThePresident.Com that what is at risk more than a bank losing money to robbers is the losses to our liberty doing warrentless searches of car trunks as described in the above linked story.

Even though there was a serious crime committed, where robbers had stolen $7000 from a bank, the overzealous police were out of line.

Is it worth further risk to innocent people for police to create roadblocks and point guns at innocent people in a traffic jam? For $7000?

We do not think so, and neither does Lady Liberty. Liberty is priceless.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Contrarian Assessments, Ideas and Possibile Solutions for U.S. - Israel Relations

This link will take you to a 8.25 hour series of lectures from a wide range of panelists discussing relations between the U.S. and Israel, many of the speeches or lectures are from those whose own candid points of view that run very contrary to the so called "Pro-Israel Lobbying" efforts in the U.S.

I have not yet viewed the entire 8+ hours, but from the segments studied so far, this is a must watch presentation. The panelists I remember most so far include former Republican U.S. Congressman Paul Findley of Illinois who was the opening speaker. He spent time explaining what his own bold plan would be with regards to U.S./Israeli relations on numerous levels. His ideas were creative and courageous. He claimed he wished he would have taken more of a bold stance when he was in office as a United States Congressman. He was confident in his views and was very serious.

One of the other contributing panelists was former U.S. Congresswoman and U.S. presidential nominee for the Green Party, Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. She gave a dismal synopsis of her experiences as a U.S. Congresswoman who felt marginalized and edged out by Pro-Israel lobbyists' money and influence during the election season that successfully unseated her from her U.S. Congressional seat.

Here is a description of the talks from C-SPAN 3's website:
MARCH 7, 2014
U.S.-Israel Relations
A diverse panel of experts examined the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, and the impact of lobbying groups on U.S. policy in the Middle East.

The "National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel ‘Special Relationship’ was held at the National Press Club by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy along with the Council for the National Interest, If Americans Knew, and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
Click the following link to view the entire video:  http://www.c-span.org/video/?318179-1/reassessing-usisrael-relations

Edward Snowden at SXSW

Edward Snowden speaks about privacy and technology with the ACLU's Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian at the 2014 SXSW Interactive conference.

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