Wednesday 24th of April 2024

time mag got the wrong person of the year — we restore reality....

What Time’s 2023 Person of the Year reveals about the West

Taylor Swift’s victory, and her mostly unimpressive competitors, is a PR disaster for the establishment



by The Cradle

During a visit to the Israeli army headquarters, officers said an “invisible hand” deleted military surveillance videos & audio of the events of October 7.

An Israeli military surveillance video from the border with the Gaza Strip dating from October 7, the day of the surprise Hamas attack, has disappeared, the Israeli news site reported on December 3 Walla.

During the visit of a senior officer of the General Staff of the Israeli army to the various division headquarters, senior officers of the reserve remarked that an "invisible hand" deleted the videos of various military surveillance cameras showing the events of that day, the site said in Hebrew.

The videos were removed from the military network known as "ZeeTube", potentially to prevent their use in a further investigation into how thousands of Hamas fighters managed to cross the border fence and escape. infiltrate Israel to carry out the attack.

«We spoke with one of the generals and were going to show him a video of one of the events, when we found out that someone had deleted themsaid a senior reserve officer from one of the divisions, adding: “It was very embarrassing. Suspicions then fell on why someone would have done this. And finally, excuses were made to justify the decision to grant special privileges to certain officers to view the footage. Do officers in our ranks need privileges? It looks like a war between generals and officials. It feels like everyone is now trying to protect themselves for the day when the investigation into the events of that day takes place».

Israeli officials, including top brass and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have acknowledged that the Hamas attack, in which 1200 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed, was the result of an intelligence failure. However, they insist that the events of that day can only be investigated after the end of the war in Gaza, in which some 20 Palestinians were killed by Israeli bombing.

Gaza Division officials said there was also a “disruption” in the recordings of audio communications starting October 7.

According to them, "some recordings disappeared or were simply downloaded from the network and transferred elsewhere on orders from commanders. Someone decided to forward or delete them so that no one would hear them. The recordings tell the full story of what happened that day, what we did, particularly in the first eight hours and then».

In response to these claims, an Israeli military spokesperson told Walla that no videos were removed from operational systems after the events of October 7. The videos would have been inaccessible to unauthorized persons in order to avoid being viewed out of curiosity or voyeurism. The videos would all be kept in the interest of the thorough investigation that Israel said it wanted to conduct on the matter for the parties concerned, the spokesperson said.

A military official was quoted as saying:

«In the system in question, videos are automatically deleted after a few days. If necessary, save them in a separate folder. In this case, all videos have been saved».

source: The Cradle via globalization


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By Patrick Lawrence
Original to ScheerPost


My award for courageous elocution of the week goes hands-down to Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations, who addressed the General Assembly last week on the topic of Israel and its barbaric attacks on the Palestinians of Gaza. 

His remarks, which Consortium News reproduced, were appropriately lengthy. Here I draw from his introductory paragraphs:

“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela robustly condemns the Israeli aggression against the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territories. This is an operation of mass expulsion of an entire people in order to annex their territory by the occupying power. It’s a new cycle of expansionist terror, of so much that has been suffered by the Palestinian people over 75 years of occupation….

It is repugnant to see how, despite the cruelty of the facts that are on view to the world, the government of the United States of America and its satellites aim to justify the unjustifiable:

That the occupying power is carrying out a genocide against the Palestinian people as defined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court. We ask ourselves where are those who in other cases rush to apply the responsibility to protect but now are ignoring the human rights of Palestinians submitted to the Israeli occupation?”

[See: A Blunt Message for Israel]

It is one thing, I have to say, for publications such as ScheerPost and Consortium News to publish commentary of this kind, or for many thousands of honorable people to march in the name of decency and justice. It is quite, quite another for a sovereign state to denounce Israel and the U.S. in a chamber such as the General Assembly. 

It all counts, everything we do. But Moncada and the government he represents just elevated the condemnation of apartheid Israel to the level of global diplomacy and state-to-state relations.  

Jump-cut to the Land of Eire. Members of the Dáil, the lower house of Ireland’s national assembly, were the first in Europe — and remain alone in this — to speak for Palestinian rights and against the Israel Defense Forces’ savagery after Hamas’ Oct. 7 incursion into southern Israel (which the Dáil also denounced). 

As noted previously in this space, the Dáil voted last month on expelling the Israeli ambassador and referring Israel to the ICC. These motions were defeated, narrowly. But the government’s counter motions nonetheless “deplore the escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory since [Oct. 7].” 

As to the ICC referral, the government pointed out that an investigation into Israeli war crimes has been in train since 2021 — so, no point.

These are specific cases suggesting a larger whole. After the U.S., in February 2022, finally succeeded in provoking Russia to intervene in Ukraine, we recall, 90 percent of humanity declined to line up behind Washington and its European client states. 

“The international community” whose support the Biden regime incessantly cited, turned out to be the 20–odd nations we refer to as the West.

Hamas’ attacks on noncombatants on Oct. 7 have been more or less universally condemned, as they should be. But Israel’s unrestrained response and the Biden regime’s unrestrained support of it have again divided the world. 

The trans–Atlantic alliance, with the U.S. per usual in the lead, is full-tilt behind Israel’s outright genocide. Support for it is scarce in the non–West, while expressions of support for the Palestinians of Gaza are many if in some cases muted.

Exceptional Ireland 

Ireland is, of course, an exceptional and interesting case, I should pause to note. The government of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar won the day in the Dáil last month, yes, but Ireland’s identity is nonetheless as non–Western as it is Western. The Irish know Western colonialism firsthand and have not forgotten their time under it. 

During the Troubles, the Irish Republican Army insisted Ireland must be understood as a Third World country. If you want to go further back, Ireland lay beyond the Roman walls; Rome never attempted to conquer it. 

These historical realities are often detectable in Dublin’s foreign policies and certainly, I would argue, in its position on the Israel–Gaza crisis. How fine it is to know the Dublin City Council began Wednesday to fly the Palestinian flag atop it for a week.

As to the rest of “the rest,” Moscow proved notably quick out of the gate after the Oct. 7 events. Vladimir Putin waited all of three days to assign the U.S. responsibility for the Hamas attack and the Israelis’ disproportionate response, which was then gathering momentum. 

“I think that many will agree with me,” the Russian president said in talks with Mohammed Shia` al–Sudani, the Iraqi premier, “that this is a clear example of the failed policy in the Middle East of the United States, which tried to monopolize the settlement process.” Two weeks later Moscow announced it would host a Hamas delegation for a round of talks. 

Moscow Sees a Role 

Since then, Putin and various senior Russian officials have pushed the idea that Moscow has a role to play in sponsoring or co-sponsoring settlement talks between Israel and the Palestinians. 

“We have very stable, businesslike relations with Israel, we have had friendly relations with Palestine for decades. Our friends know this,” Putin said on an Arabic television channel a few weeks into the war. “And Russia, in my opinion, could also make its own contribution to the settlement process.”

Getting straight to Putin’s point, he made a swift, one-day trip to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday. On Thursday the Russian president hosted President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran at the Kremlin. 

This is starting to remind me of the diplomatic blitz China began earlier this year, notably with its sponsorship of an historic diplomatic rapprochement between Tehran and Riyadh. 

[See: Seismic Iran-Saudi Rapprochement Isolates US]

China has sent the same signals, if more measuredly. It has said repeatedly that it encourages a ceasefire and settlement talks and wants to count among the sponsors of such talks whenever they may begin.

It has not been clear lately where Beijing’s efforts to assert itself on the Israel–Gaza question stand, but it is entirely in keeping with the People’s Republic’s determination to raise its profile as a political and diplomatic presence. 

Let’s not get lost in the idea of selfless altruism as the prevailing sentiment in Moscow and Beijing. While their positions on Israel and the Palestinians are as stated, it seems plain that these two powers see this crisis as an opportunity to advance their efforts to enlarge their presence in the Middle East. 

Hence Putin’s complaint that Washington has for too long “monopolized the settlement process.” My prediction: We are watching a transformation in global diplomacy that will exert a significant influence on 21st century statecraft. 

Not to be missed, Russia and China also put this latest Mideast crisis in the context of the new world order they both espouse. And they are altogether correct in this, not only in my view but, as I read them, in the views of other non–Western powers.

It has been widely reported that numerous nations, notably in Latin America and the Middle East, have recalled their ambassadors to Tel Aviv; Bolivia has severed relations altogether. 

South Africa Sees Netanyahu Arrest Warrant  

Now the South Africans are taking things further. After recalling its ambassador in early November, Pretoria [along with four other countries] has since referred Israel to the ICC for an investigation into what it, South Africa, considers war crimes and genocide in Gaza. 

There’s no Leo Varadkar to blunt the message this time: It was South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who made this announcement. Here is Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, whose title is minister in the presidency, explaining the South African position to reporters after Ramaphosa made public the ICC referral: 

“Given that much of the global community is witnessing the commission of these crimes in real time, including statements of genocidal intent by many Israeli leaders, we expect that warrants of arrest for these leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, should be issued shortly.”

Maybe, maybe not, given the extent to which the U.S. has corrupted international public space. But South Africa’s admirably unambivalent position is up there with Venezuela’s, I would say. You cannot be surprised, given South Africans’ bleak memories of their own 40–odd years under Afrikaner apartheid. 

Once again, the history of imperial colonization returns to bite the West on its backside.

There are India and Brazil to consider, both among the larger and more powerful members of what we now call the BRICs–Plus group, originally comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 

The India of Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again proves a disappointment. After decades of support for the Palestinian cause, Modi, a religious fanatic in thin disguise, has offered Israel more or less unalloyed support in what New Delhi calls a “counterterrorism operation” against Hamas. It is craven, reflecting the Indian PM’s Hindu-nationalist Islamophobia and his desire to stay on the Biden regime’s good side. 

[Related: 10 Problems With India’s Stance on Gaza]

Brazil’s Lula Openly Critical 

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who returned to power as Brazil’s president last year, initially sought the middle ground from which he typically seeks to advance Brazil as a global diplomatic influence: Hamas’ Oct. 7 incursion into Israel was a terrorist act, Israel’s response has been disproportionate, we must support a two-state solution, etc.

But since the U.S. vetoed Brazil’s call for a humanitarian pause in the Security Council last month, Lula has moved toward an open critique of Israel and the Biden regime. “This is not a war, it is a genocide,” he said in a much-noted remark in mid–November. In an interview with Al Jazeera last week Lula asserted:

“There’s no leadership in the world today…. So we have a clear case of human insanity…. We have about 16,000 people dead, among them 6,500 children. We have 35,000 people wounded, we have 7,000 missing, and we have more than 40,000 houses destroyed, hospitals destroyed. In behalf of what? Humanity is going insane…. I can’t understand that a man as powerful as President Biden has not got the sensitivity to stop this…”

Domestic political balances, one or another kind of indebtedness or fear of the U.S., Hamas’ unjustifiable attacks on Israeli civilians: Factors such as these tend to temper some non–Western responses to the Gaza crisis.

But I detect beneath all the official statements, varied as they are, a certain unity of sentiment among the nations of the Global South. Of what is this unity made? From whence does it arise?

“We can frankly say that the dictatorship of one hegemon is becoming decrepit,” Putin said at a Russian forum on world affairs late last month. “We see it, and everyone sees it now. It is getting out of control and is simply dangerous to others. This is now clear to the global majority.”

I draw this quotation from an excellent piece by John Helmer, the longtime Moscow correspondent whose Dances with Bears website makes consistently good reading.   

Putin has an advantage, if this is my term, when it comes to making blunt observations of this kind. His relations with the West are so far down the crater that he has nothing to lose in speaking his mind.

He is also gifted, as his speeches often make clear, with an exceptionally acute understanding of history and our moment as a passage in it.  Does he speak for the non–West when he says such things as I have quoted? 

This would be to take the thought too far, as non–Western nations are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves. But I am certain that Putin’s view of the “one hegemon” and the dangers it presents are commonly shared beyond the fence posts that separate the West from the rest. 

Israel’s abominable campaign against the people of Gaza and Washington’s unabashed encouragement of it are two displays of the same phenomenon. 

As the Gaza crisis unfolds, the world witnesses two nations that rely on power alone, raw, unadorned power, to advance what their leaders insist are their interests. In both cases, the one more or less a creation of the other, power and violence, or the threat of the latter, have for years been the fundament of their relations with others.

If this was obscured pre–Oct. 7, it is obscured no longer. It is the high visibility of the brute exercise of power that has catalyzed reactions such as those I have reviewed. 

History, a history the U.S. and the rest of the West would rather the world forgot, also figures into non–Western responses to the Mideast crisis. As all the former colonies know well, empire does not have any care for humanity. 

Empire is interested only in the continued projection of its power along with, in most cases, capital accumulation and profit extraction. These are empire’s raisons d’être.

The non–West, by dint of its shared experience and collective memory, sees Israel, which is nothing if not an imperial outpost, in this context. If Palestinians have asked for anything over the past 75 years, it is “a fairer world” — a phrase drawn from Putin’s recent speech — in the face of Israel’s relentless exercise of power over them. 

Let us entertain no illusions as to the place in the world order of nations such as South Africa, Brazil, or others standing against Israel’s daily atrocities in Gaza. With the exceptions of China and Russia, they are not first-rank global powers. Even these latter two cannot match the West’s collective power. 

But we must note a distinction I have drawn for many years: There are strong nations and there are the merely powerful. 

Strong nations, among their many attributes, have an authentic ethos that consists of more than words, to the advance of which they dedicate themselves. They have a coherent vision of the future. They have, in a phrase, a genuine purpose, a cause, which is, however it computes out in practice, the human cause — the cause of a fairer world. 

The merely powerful, whatever they may once have stood for, have hollowed themselves out by way of their reliance on violence, coercion, or the threat of either. The powerful usually prevail, if you have not noticed. Power prevails in Gaza as we speak. 

But let there be no question of the merely powerful winning anything. They have already lost by way of all they have given up. 

Zionism’s obsession with land and its attendant hatred of those dwelling on it are destroying Israel in real time. America’s seven-decade obsession with global preeminence has led it into a state of — but precisely — decrepitude. 

History’s wheel does not turn in such nations’ favor. 

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Journalists and Their Shadowsavailable from Clarity Press or via Amazon.  Other books include Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. 

TO MY READERS. Independent publications and those who write for them reach a moment that is difficult and full of promise all at once. On one hand, we assume ever greater responsibilities in the face of mainstream media’s mounting derelictions. On the other, we have found no sustaining revenue model and so must turn directly to our readers for support. I am committed to independent journalism for the duration: I see no other future for American media. But the path grows steeper, and as it does I need your help. This grows urgent now. In  recognition of the commitment to independent journalism, please subscribe to The Floutist, or via my Patreon account.




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lied to....

We Were Lied Into the Gaza Genocide. Al Jazeera Has Shown Us How

Myth-busting documentary finally breaks the stranglehold of Israel and its western media acolytes over the story of what happened on October 7


by  Posted on April 02, 2024


For weeks, as Gaza was battered with bombs and the body count in the tiny enclave rose inexorably, Western publics had little choice but to rely on Israel’s word for what happened on 7 October. Some 1,150 Israelis were killed during an unprecedented attack on Israeli communities and military posts next to Gaza.

Beheaded babies, a pregnant woman with her womb cut open and the foetus stabbed, children put in ovens, hundreds of people burned alive, mutilation of corpses, a systematic campaign of indescribably savage rapes and acts of necrophilia.

Western politicians and media lapped it up, repeating the allegations uncritically while ignoring Israel’s genocidal rhetoric and increasingly genocidal military operations these claims supported.

Then, as the mountain of bodies in Gaza grew still higher, the supposed evidence was shared with a few, select western journalists and influencers. They were invited to private screenings of footage carefully curated by Israeli officials to paint the worst possible picture of the Hamas operation.

These new initiates offered few details but implied the footage confirmed many of the horrors. They readily repeated Israeli claims that Hamas was “worse than Isis”, the Islamic State group.

The impression of unparalleled depravity from Hamas was reinforced by the willingness of the western media to allow Israeli spokespeople, Israel’s supporters and western politicians to continue spreading unchallenged the claim that Hamas had committed unspeakable, sadistic atrocities – from beheading and burning babies to carrying out a campaign of rapes.

The only journalist in the British mainstream media to dissent was Owen Jones. Agreeing that Israel’s video showed terrible crimes committed against civilians, he noted that none of the barbarous acts listed above were included.

What was shown instead were the kind of terrible crimes against civilians all too familiar in wars and uprisings.

Whitewashing genocide

Jones faced a barrage of attacks from colleagues accusing him of being an atrocity apologist. His own newspaper, the Guardian, appears to have prevented him from writing about Gaza in its pages as a consequence.

Now, after nearly six months, the exclusive narrative stranglehold on those events by Israel and its media acolytes has finally been broken.

Last week, Al Jazeera aired an hour-long documentary, called simply “October 7”, that lets western publics see for themselves what took place. It seems that Jones’ account was closest to the truth.

Yet, Al Jazeera’s film goes further still, divulging for the first time to a wider audience facts that have been all over the Israeli media for months but have been carefully excluded from western coverage. The reason is clear: those facts would implicate Israel in some of the atrocities it has been ascribing to Hamas for months.

Middle East Eye highlighted these glaring plot holes in the West’s media narrative way back in December. Nothing has been done to correct the record since.

The establishment media has proved it is not to be trusted. For months it has credulously recited Israeli propaganda in support of a genocide.

But that is only part of the indictment against it. Its continuing refusal to report on the mounting evidence of Israel’s perpetration of crimes against its own civilians and soldiers on 7 October suggests it has been intentionally whitewashing Israel’s slaughter in Gaza.

Al Jazeera’s investigations unit has gathered many hundreds of hours of film from bodycams worn by Hamas fighters and Israeli soldiers, dashcams and CCTV to compile its myth-busting documentary.

It demonstrates five things that upend the dominant narrative that has been imposed by Israel and the western media.

First, the crimes Hamas committed against civilians in Israel on 7 October – and those it did not – have been used to overshadow the fact that it carried out a spectacularly sophisticated military operation on 7 October in breaking out of a long-besieged Gaza.

The group knocked out Israel’s top-flight surveillance systems that had kept the enclave’s 2.3 million inhabitants imprisoned for decades. It smashed holes in Israel’s highly fortified barrier surrounding Gaza in at least 10 locations. And it caught unawares Israel’s many military camps next to the enclave that had been enforcing the occupation at arms’ length.

More than 350 Israeli soldiers, armed police and guards were killed that day.

A colonial arrogance

Second, the documentary undermines the conspiracy theory that Israeli leaders allowed the Hamas attack to justify the ethnic cleansing of Gaza – a plan Israel has been actively working on since at least 2007, when it appears to have received US approval.

True, Israeli intelligence officials involved in the surveillance of Gaza had been warning that Hamas was preparing a major operation. But those warnings were discounted not because of a conspiracy. After all, none of the senior echelons in Israel stood to benefit from what unfolded on 7 October.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is finished politically as a result of the Hamas attack, and will likely end up in jail after the current carnage in Gaza ends.

Israel’s genocidal response to 7 October has made Israel’s brand so toxic internationally, and more so with Arab publics in the region, that Saudi Arabia has had to break off plans for a normalization agreement, which had been Israel and Washington’s ultimate hope.

And the Hamas operation has crushed the worldwide reputation of the Israeli military for invincibility. It has inspired Yemen’s Ansar Allah (the Houthis) to attack vessels in the Red Sea. It is emboldening Israel’s arch-enemy, Hezbollah, in neighboring Lebanon. It has reinvigorated the idea that resistance is possible across the much-oppressed Middle East.

No, it was not a conspiracy that opened the door to Hamas’ attack. It was colonial arrogance, based on a dehumanizing view shared by the vast majority of Israelis that they were the masters and that the Palestinians – their slaves – were far too primitive to strike a meaningful blow.

The attacks of 7 October should have forced Israelis to reassess their dismissive attitude towards the Palestinians and address the question of whether Israel’s decades-long regime of apartheid and brutal subjugation could – and should – continue indefinitely.

Predictably, Israelis ignored the message of Hamas’ attack and dug deeper into their colonial mindset.

The supposed primitivism that, it was assumed, made the Palestinians too feeble an opponent to take on Israel’s sophisticated military machine has now been reframed as proof of a Palestinian barbarousness that makes Gaza’s entire population so dangerous, so threatening, that they have to be wiped out.

The Palestinians who, most Israelis had concluded, could be caged like battery chickens indefinitely, and in ever-shrinking pens, are now viewed as monsters that have to be culled. That impulse was the genesis of Israel’s current genocidal plan for Gaza.

Suicide mission

The third point the documentary clarifies is that Hamas’s wildly successful prison break undid the larger operation.

The group had worked so hard on the fearsome logistics of the breakout – and prepared for a rapid and savage response from Israel’s oppressive military machine – that it had no serious plan for dealing with a situation it could not conceive of: the freedom to scour Israel’s periphery, often undisturbed for many hours or days.

Hamas fighters entering Israel had assumed that most were on a suicide mission. According to the documentary, the fighters’ own assumption was that between 80 and 90 per cent would not make it back.

The aim was not to strike some kind of existential blow against Israel, as Israeli officials have asserted ever since in their determined rationalization of genocide. It was to strike a blow against Israel’s reputation for invincibility by attacking its military bases and nearby communities, and dragging as many hostages as possible back into Gaza.

They would then be exchanged for the thousands of Palestinian men, women and children held in Israel’s military incarceration system – hostages labelled “prisoners”.

As Hamas spokesman Bassem Naim explained to Al Jazeera, the breakout was meant to thrust Gaza’s desperate plight back into the spotlight after many years in which international interest in ending Israel’s siege had waned.

Of discussions in the group’s political bureau, he says the consensus was: “We have to take action. If we don’t do it, Palestine will be forgotten, totally deleted from the international map.”

For 17 years, Gaza had gradually been strangled to death. Its population had tried peaceful protests at the militarized fence around their enclave and been picked off by Israeli snipers. The world had grown so used to Palestinian suffering, it had switched off.

The 7 October attack was intended to change that, especially by re-inspiring solidarity with Gaza in the Arab world and by bolstering Hamas’ regional political position.

It was intended to make it impossible for Saudi Arabia – the main Arab power broker in Washington – to normalize with Israel, completing the marginalization of the Palestinian cause in the Arab world.

Judged by these criteria, Hamas’s attack was a success.




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it's time for being earnest.....