As the Labour Party holds a conference in the fortress that is the Excel Centre in London, WMD Awareness asked local residents what they think about the cost of renewing the UK’s nukes.

(tl;dr - not fans)

(Source: facebook.com)

  • Iran has no nuclear weapons.
  • Since 2007, US intelligence has thought that Iran hasn’t got a programme to develop nuclear weapons.
  • The IAEA does not assert that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons programme.
  • Iran doesn’t breach the Non-Proliferation Treaty - it’s acting just like Brazil is.
  • Iran’s nuclear facilities are open to IAEA inspection, but those of Israel and India (allies of the United States) are almost entirely closed to the IAEA. Iran faces ferocious sanctions and threats of military action; Israel (with perhaps as many as 400 nuclear bombs, and the capacity to deliver them anywhere in the Middle East) is the object of more than $3 billion a year of US military aid.
  • Iran never threatened to “wipe Israel off the map”.

Really amazing article on Iran, and how similar the media climate is to pre-Iraq’s “cheerleader for war” shitstorm.

Drops a ton of truth bombs about the USA’s influence on the IAEA, repeated misleading by world leaders about the issue, and more.

Boom.

This is even more ridiculous than the normal story about the US funding and training terrorist cells.

According to a “new, multi-sourced report from The New Yorker‘s Seymour Hersh”, the Bush administration trained the Iranian dissident group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK).

The MEK are the group that’s probably behind the recent assassinations of Iranian scientists. They’re also being funded and trained by Israeli intelligence agencies.

Just… ugh.

Drums of war: The US media’s ‘Iranian threat’

Has journalistic culture changed since the huge clusterfuck of lies over Iraq?

No, not really.

(Source: aljazeera.com)

"I think the pressure of the sanctions, I think the pressure of—diplomatic pressures from everywhere—Europe, the United States, elsewhere—is working to put pressure on them, to make them understand that they cannot continue to do what they’re doing. Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us. And our red line to Iran is, do not develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us."

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta admitting that Iran is not trying to develop a nuclear weapon (appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation”)

of course, it’s much more fun to insinuate that they are trying, because how else would you get sanctions against them?

(Source: democracynow.org)

Palestine/occupation news round-up

Settlers ‘beat elderly farmer’ near Nablus

Israeli settlers assaulted a 60-year-old man cultivating land in the northern West Bank on Saturday morning, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Najih Abdul-Qadir was tilling his fields near the illegal Itamar settlement east of Nablus when a group of ultra-orthodox Israelis approached him and beat him severely, PA settlement monitoring official Ghassan Doughlas told Ma’an.

Read more

If this was a settler, what do you think the media coverage would have been like?

Poll: Israeli Jews want no nuclear weapons

A strong majority of Israeli Jews support a Middle East where neither Iran nor Israel nor any other country has nuclear weapons, according to a poll published on Thursday.

"By a ratio of two to one, Israelis support an agreement that would make the Middle East a nuclear weapon free zone, including Iran and Israel," said the poll published by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

Read more

PA: Israel closes 4 Palestinian NGOs in Jerusalem

Israeli authorities have extended the closure of four Palestinian NGOs in Jerusalem for another year, the Palestinian Authority said Friday.

Police sealed the entrance of the four NGOs on Wednesday, said a statement calling the action reflective of a policy to control and undermine the role of Palestinian civil society in Jerusalem.

The NGOs provide services for Palestinian community in Jerusalem, the PA says.

The statement listed the closed institutions as the Shua’a Women Association, the Al-Quds Development Foundation, Work Without Borders, and the Saeed Educational Center.

"The closure of the four NGOs is not an isolated incident of socio-cultural repression in East Jerusalem," the statement added. Since 2001, Israel has closed some 28 organizations serving the Palestinian community.

The closure of these and other institutions is part of a “broader policy through which the Israeli authorities seek to stifle Palestinian development in Jerusalem” and increase their control of the city, the statement said.

East Jerusalem is recognized under international law as a part of the occupied Palestinian territory over which the Palestinian people are entitled to exercise their right to self-determination, it added.

The Shua’a Women’s Association had been going since 2008, that had been trying to “empower women in Jerusalem to achieve their social, political and economic rights”. Sounds pretty dangerous, right?

A day with fugitives in Gaza’s fishing waters

It’s 6.30am when Ahmad’s fishing boat leaves the Gaza City fishing port. Together with his three nephews and a friend, he will stay at sea for 48 hours, trying to catch as many fish as possible within the Israeli-imposed 3 nautical-mile limit.[1] Ahmad (Abu Mahmoud) Sha’ban al-Hissi turned 60 a week ago and has been working as a fisherman since he was 18 years old. As we look back and see how Gaza City becomes smaller and smaller, Ahmad speaks about the hardship he has faced in his four decades as a fisherman: “The sea is like a prison. We can’t move here freely. Our entire lives have become like prisons.”

Read more

"

According to his close examination of the evidence, Japan was not poised to surrender before Hiroshima, as the revisionists argued, nor was it ready to give in immediately after the atomic bomb, as traditionalists have always seen it.…Americans, then and today, have tended to assume that Japan’s leaders were simply blinded by their own fanaticism, forcing a catastrophic showdown for no reason other than their refusal to acknowledge defeat.…But Hasegawa and other historians have shown that Japan’s leaders were in fact quite savvy, well aware of their difficult position, and holding out for strategic reasons.


Their concern was not so much whether to end the conflict, but how to end it while holding onto territory, avoiding war crimes trials, and preserving the imperial system. The Japanese could still inflict heavy casualties on any invader, and they hoped to convince the Soviet Union, still neutral in the Asian theater, to mediate a settlement with the Americans. Stalin, they calculated, might negotiate more favorable terms in exchange for territory in Asia. It was a long shot, but it made strategic sense.

"

Why Did World War II End? (Mother Jones)