“plucky Israel attacked without motive by demonic foes”…

Blockading the Truth: Obama’s Big Lie About Gaza

At that time, we were told in many news reports about an Israeli “crackdown” in Gaza, including mass arrests, military operations and, finally, the killing of six Hamas members. It was after these operations and these killings — which were clear breaches of a ceasefire which Hamas had been honoring for 19 months — that Hamas began its retaliation against Israel’s unprovoked attacks.

(And no, the murder of the teenagers was not a “provocation” by Hamas, which disclaimed all connection to the crime. It was almost certainly carried out a rogue clan which has often — conveniently — staged provocations whenever it seems that some small movement toward peace might be made, and has been a thorn in Hamas’ side for a long time. What’s more, as Max Blumenthal reported, the Israeli government knew the teenagers had been murdered almost immediately, and who the likely culprits were; but the Netanyahu regime chose to wage a worldwide campaign of mendacity — and torment the boys’ parents — by claiming they might still be alive, and launching “search” missions for them.)

These are all undisputed facts. The narrative that dominates the Washington media and political discourse — “plucky Israel attacked without motive by demonic foes” — is, again, an obvious lie. But that has not stopped it from being repeated endlessly, all across the political spectrum and in every form of media, day after day after day.

It is impossible that Barack Obama does not know these undisputed facts. Standing at the apex of history’s most all-pervasive intelligence system — and receiving daily digests of news reports on volatile areas like the Middle East — he of all people knows that the Hamas rocket fire was a response to an Israeli military action, an Israeli violation of a long ceasefire.

How Israel Spins War Crimes

The booklet is full of meaty advice about how they should shape their answers for different audiences. For example, the study says that “Americans agree that Israel ‘has a right to defensible borders’. But it does you no good to define exactly what those borders should be. Avoid talking about borders in terms of pre- or post-1967, because it only serves to remind Americans of Israel’s military history. Particularly on the left this does you harm. For instance, support for Israel’s right to defensible borders drops from a heady 89 per cent to under 60 per cent when you talk about it in terms of 1967.”

How about the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948 and in the following years, and who are not allowed to go back to their homes? Here Dr Luntz has subtle advice for spokesmen, saying that “the right of return is a tough issue for Israelis to communicate effectively because much of Israeli language sounds like the ‘separate but equal’ words of the 1950s segregationists and the 1980s advocates of Apartheid. The fact is, Americans don’t like, don’t believe and don’t accept the concept of ‘separate but equal’.”

So how should spokesmen deal with what the booklet admits is a tough question? They should call it a “demand”, on the grounds that Americans don’t like people who make demands. “Then say ‘Palestinians aren’t content with their own state. Now they’re demanding territory inside Israel’.” Other suggestions for an effective Israeli response include saying that the right of return might become part of a final settlement “at some point in the future”.

Dr Luntz notes that Americans as a whole are fearful of mass immigration into the US, so mention of “mass Palestinian immigration” into Israel will not go down well with them. If nothing else works, say that the return of Palestinians would “derail the effort to achieve peace”.

The Luntz report was written in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009, when 1,387 Palestinians and nine Israelis were killed.

There is a whole chapter on “isolating Iran-backed Hamas as an obstacle to peace”. Unfortunately, come the current Operation Protective Edge, which began on 6 July, there was a problem for Israeli propagandists because Hamas had quarrelled with Iran over the war in Syria and had no contact with Tehran. Friendly relations have been resumed only in the past few days – thanks to the Israeli invasion.

Much of Dr Luntz’s advice is about the tone and presentation of the Israeli case. He says it is absolutely crucial to exude empathy for Palestinians: “Persuadables [sic] won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show Empathy for BOTH sides!” This may explain why a number of Israeli spokesman are almost lachrymose about the plight of Palestinians being pounded by Israeli bombs and shells.



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How propaganda works…

‘Fake’: Russian Defence Min rebuffs US sat image claims

This scheme is called “an informational merry-go-round,” Konashenkov added, using an expression commonly uttered in Russia relating to feeding the information to the media.

“It’s no secret to anyone that fakes like this are made by a group of US counselors staying in the Kiev building of the Security Council, led by General Randy Kee,” he noted.

The general outlined the cycle as follows: the US counselors in the Kiev feed the disinformation to the Ukrainian media, with the news being taken by the Washington official representatives and presented as statements.

Afterwards, the Ukrainian media cite the US authorities and publish articles … as “objective.”

The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts

Dr Luntz cites as an example of an “effective Israeli sound bite” one which reads: “I particularly want to reach out to Palestinian mothers who have lost their children. No parent should have to bury their child.”

The study admits that the Israeli government does not really want a two-state solution, but says this should be masked because 78 per cent of Americans do. Hopes for the economic betterment of Palestinians should be emphasised.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quoted with approval for saying that it is “time for someone to ask Hamas: what exactly are YOU doing to bring prosperity to your people”. The hypocrisy of this beggars belief: it is the seven-year-old Israeli economic siege that has reduced the Gaza to poverty and misery.

On every occasion, the presentation of events by Israeli spokesmen is geared to giving Americans and Europeans the impression that Israel wants peace with the Palestinians and is prepared to compromise to achieve this, when all the evidence is that it does not. Though it was not intended as such, few more revealing studies have been written about modern Israel in times of war and peace.

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Some reactions to AgitProp, mainly propaganda from US and Israel but Germany, too…

Blockading the Truth: Obama’s Big Lie About Gaza

It is simply a lie that Israel’s slaughter in Gaza is a response to an “unprovoked attack” by Hamas. Not only is it a lie, it is a transparent, brazen lie, whose falsehood is glaringly apparent to anyone who had given even a cursory look at coverage of the Israeli government’s response to the murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.

At that time, we were told in many news reports about an Israeli “crackdown” in Gaza, including mass arrests, military operations and, finally, the killing of six Hamas members. It was after these operations and these killings — which were clear breaches of a ceasefire which Hamas had been honoring for 19 months — that Hamas began its retaliation against Israel’s unprovoked attacks.

(And no, the murder of the teenagers was not a “provocation” by Hamas, which disclaimed all connection to the crime. It was almost certainly carried out a rogue clan which has often — conveniently — staged provocations whenever it seems that some small movement toward peace might be made, and has been a thorn in Hamas’ side for a long time. What’s more, as Max Blumenthal reported, the Israeli government knew the teenagers had been murdered almost immediately, and who the likely culprits were; but the Netanyahu regime chose to wage a worldwide campaign of mendacity — and torment the boys’ parents — by claiming they might still be alive, and launching “search” missions for them.)

These are all undisputed facts. The narrative that dominates the Washington media and political discourse — “plucky Israel attacked without motive by demonic foes” — is, again, an obvious lie. But that has not stopped it from being repeated endlessly, all across the political spectrum and in every form of media, day after day after day.

It is impossible that Barack Obama does not know these undisputed facts. Standing at the apex of history’s most all-pervasive intelligence system — and receiving daily digests of news reports on volatile areas like the Middle East — he of all people knows that the Hamas rocket fire was a response to an Israeli military action, an Israeli violation of a long ceasefire.

It is also impossible that a majority, if not all, of the 100 U.S. Senators who voted to endorse the Israeli slaughter in Gaza — including stalwart “progressives” like Al Franken and “socialist” Bernie Sanders — did not know the truth when they cast their ballots. It is impossible that the editors and reporters of the nation’s leading media organizations do not know these facts — which they themselves reported only a few weeks ago.

Does Russia (And Humanity) Have A Future?

The Russian government has finally realized that it has no Western “partners,” and is complaining bitterly about the propagandistic lies and disinformation issued without any evidence whatsoever against the Russian government by Washington, its European vassals, and presstitute media.

Perhaps the Russian government thought that only Iraq, Libya, Syria, China, and Edward Snowden would be subjected to Washington’s lies and demonization.

It was obvious enough that Russia would be next.

The Russian government and Europe need to look beyond Washington’s propaganda, because the reality is much worst.

NATO commander General Breedlove and Senate bill 2277 clearly indicate that Washington is organizing itself and Europe for war against Russia

The “friendly” Mr. Steinmeier

To start with, Steinmeier builds himself a position of moral superiority, by “abstaining from laying blame” – something he is not really doing, after all, but by the time we notice that, he has already made his point. He paints himself as a prudent person. That increases the value of what he is about to say. Finally, he takes care that there is ample room to wiggle (after all, the facts are anything but clear!), by making the statement that “it does not matter if the shoot-down happened fully intentionally or was a terrible mistake.” It seems obvious that he knew how unstable and ambiguous the American claims really were…

Emotional manipulation starts with the use of the words “such weapons.” He leaves things unsaid, open to interpretations we carry sub-consciously with us, which everybody will fill with the pictures and projections that scare him most. It is to be supposed that only a few were thinking of anti-aircraft-units BUK M-1 – but rather something in the form of a mushroom (which was used to re-activate long-forgotten remnants of the cold war); an additional amplification of this sentiment came with his phrase of “the possibility of disaster.”3

The real message, however, comes in the last sentence. The “Russian separatists” (look here – not “pro-Russian”, they have now magically transformed into real blood-and-bone Russians!), “thoroughly neglect the basic rules of our civilization”; barbarians, in other words, savages, cannibals, Untermenschen

Another phrase by Steinmeier in connection with the crash underscores this direction even more: “those who are responsible for this have forfeited any rights for concerns of their own in the name of human rights and humanity.”

No more rights for human treatment and behaviour towards them.

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Gaza: more than just Zionists against Palestinians…

How Netanyahoo Lied To Get His War On Gaza

All the three reports above did not name sources for the claims that Israel knew about the killing and that the murder was not Hamas related. Yesterday BBC journalist Jon Donnison was the first to get an on-the-record quote from an Israeli official:

Israeli police MickeyRosenfeld tells me men who killed 3 Israeli teens def lone cell, hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership1/2Seems to contradict the line from Netanyahu government. 2/2

Israeli police spokes Mickey Rosenfeld also said if kidnapping had been ordered by Hamas leadership, they’d have known about it in advance.

It is obvious that Netanyahoo’s war on Gaza, which has so far killed over 1,000 Palestinians, is a war of aggression justified with false claims about a crime which had no connection whatsoever with Hamas or the people of Gaza.

 

The Gaza war crimes and the bankruptcy of nationalism

Zionist ideology maintains that the dispossession of the Palestinians is justified by the Holocaust and the need to establish a safe haven for the Jewish people. Today, the Israeli government carries out crimes that more and more resemble those of the Nazis. The 1.8 million people in Gaza are imprisoned in a modern-day ghetto, enduring a hell on earth and deliberately deprived of clean drinking water, adequate food, electricity and health services in what can only be described as a genocidal policy.

The nationalist propaganda in Israel that the Zionist state represents all those of the Jewish faith cannot refute the reality that it is a capitalist society, divided by class and wracked by social antagonisms. The beneficiaries of Zionism are an oligarchy of capitalist billionaires and millionaires and a thoroughly corrupt political establishment. The richest 500 Israelis have tripled their wealth over the past 12 years, while the wages of workers have been slashed to maintain the competitiveness of Israeli corporations on the world market.

As in every country, Netanyahu’s government is directing a class war against the working class in response to the systemic global economic breakdown, imposing savage austerity cuts and tax hikes that impact most severely on the poor. The onslaught on Gaza is in large measure motivated by the desperation of the Israeli capitalist class to divert the insoluble crisis of Israeli society into anti-Arab chauvinism and war against the Palestinian masses.

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“debt bondage and the global economy”…

Fed Hubris: Central Bank Ignores That It is on Thin Political Ice

A shot across the Fed’s bow from Simon Johnson, former IMF chief economist and bank critic, on the surface looks to be a good bit of news. Johnson, in a recent Project Syndicate article, warns that the notoriously cloistered central bank is overly confident about its political position.

Although Johnson is constrained by both space limits and Project Syndicate’s anodyne style, his warning is clear: the Fed is more powerful than ever despite having been wretchedly incompetent in the runup to the crisis. Many would say it has compounded its incompetence by going into “if the only tool I have is a hammer, ever problem looks like a nail” mode with ZIRP and QE. The Fed was not only silent when its input would have mattered a great deal, in the fiscal stimulus fight of 2009, but Bernanke called for deficit cutting in 2012, even as he had his foot firmly on the not-very-effective QE accelerator. The result is a flaccid economy, bubbles in many financial assets and destabilizing hot money flows sloshing through developing economies.

As a result of this misrule, Johnson contends the central bank is much closer than it recognizes to losing its vaunted independence. Johnson points out that the right wing is keen about restricting the Fed’s freedom of action, and that they are a much more serious threat than the Fed appears to understand. What happens if the Republicans gain a majority in the Senate in the midterms?

Even though Johnson is in some ways very critical of the central bank, he if anything overstated its base of support. The hostility towards the monetary authority among conservatives is perverse, given how much the Fed has done for the wealthy by showing such solicitude about asset prices. Nevertheless, it is not just the right that is unhappy with the Fed. It is pretty much anyone to the left of mainstream Democrats. Orthodox folks tend not to recognize its existence since its members are seldom welcome in polite DC company. Remember, it was Ron Paul and Alan Grayson who teamed up on Audit the Fed. And both conservative and liberal senators were responsible for putting an unheard of five holds on Bernanke’s reappointment as Fed chairman. Obama had to whip personally to get Bernanke approved.

Vulture Funds trump Argentinian sovereignty


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