*******Jon Stewart Takes Down Rep. Trey Radel For Drug Use Hypocrisy
Suppressing the Truth on Syria: Mother Agnes Mariam and Britain’s Self Proclaimed “Antiwar Movement”
Global Research, November 27, 2013
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Here’s what it looks like when a respected reporter tweets about his blackmail note to an established anti-war organization regarding the organization’s upcoming conference in a tweet on November 15:
I’ve informed organizers of @STWuk that I will not participate in their conference if Mother Agnes is on the platform.
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) 15 Novembre 2013
The reporter is Jeremy Scahill, who was booked as the keynote speaker and to show his film “Dirty Wars” (based on his book “Dirty Wars”) at the November 30 International Anti-War Conference in London, put on by Stop the War Coalition (STWuk), which was first organized in 2001 in opposition to an American attack on Iraq. More than 12 years later, the coalition notes dryly on its webpage for the conference, “We need more effective anti war resistance internationally. This conference is a chance to analyse, build links and lay plans.”
Scahill’s threat to boycott the conference soon became moot the following day, when the dreaded Mother Agnes withdrew from participation. Her letter read, in part:
“It has come to my attention that my participation in your conference has become a matter of serious contention, even prompting some other speakers to consider withdrawing. This is apparently due to a campaign of cruel and unsubstantiated accusations which seek to work against my efforts and those of the Musalaha (Reconciliation) Initiative in Syria.
“The basis of our work toward peace is reconciliation and forgiveness. This means extending an olive branch to some who may initially refuse it, and accepting an olive branch from others who are despised, even by our friends....
“Some may feel that an injustice will be done if I speak at your conference. Others may think that injustice will be done if I do not. Because my participation in your conference may be used by some to distract from your valuable efforts towards peace, non-violence and reconciliation, I believe it best to withdraw from participation.”
Why did Stop the War invitation to nun working to stop war raise objections?
Push comes to shove, and Mother Agnes is an apparent pushover. She’s also not flogging a movie. And the abuse she’s suffered online was as real as the pressure on Scahilll and others to have nothing to do with her. It’s hard to find any evidence that Mother Agnes has committed anything worse than what others consider thought-crimes and politically incorrect observations, some of which are actually correct.
Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross is a Carmelite nun and mother superior of the Monastery of James the Mutilated in Qara, Syria, which has a community of three monks and twelve nuns. Born in Lebanon in a refugee camp 61 years ago, she is Palestinian on her father’s side and has worked in Syria for about 20 years. She is the spokesperson for the Catholic Information Center in Beirut, where the Musalaha Initiative also has its office. Mother Agnes became a nun at 19, after several years in the late 1960s as a self-styled “hippie,” traveling to Europe, India and Tibet. Unlike others with an equally public profile, Mother Agnes has no Wikipedia page.
In June 2012, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire praised Mother Agnes as a peacemaker:
“In her community her voice has been clear, pure and loud. And it should be so in the West. Like many people in Syria she has been placed in life threatening situations, but for the sake of peace she has chosen to risk her own existence for the safety and security of others. She has spoken out against the lack of truth in our media regarding Syria and about the terror and chaos which a ‘third force’ seems to be spreading across the country. Her words confront and challenge us because they do not mirror the picture of events in Syria we have built up in our minds over many months of reading our newspapers and watching the news on our televisions. Much of the terror has been imported, we learn from her. She can tell us about the thousands of Christian refugees, forced to flee their homes by an imported Islamist extreme.”
What makes her controversial to people around Stop the War Coalition is their perception of her as a supporter of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Clear reasoning behind this perception is hard to come by. The reality for Christians in Syria is that their choice of friends is limited: the government represses them along with everyone else, but some rebel groups have taken to massacring Christians. With rebel groups numbering 1,000 or more, none is likely to be a reliable protector.
Mother Agnes’s heretical view of the Damascus chemical attack
In August 2013, when the world learned of the still murky chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb, Mother Agnes questioned the prevailing western view that the Assad government carried out the attack. She prepared a 50-page report questioning the authenticity of videos of the aftermath and submitted her findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council. As the New York Times of September 21 reported:
“When Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, wanted to bolster his argument that rebels had carried out the poison gas attacks near Damascus on Aug. 21, he pointed to the work of a 61-year-old Lebanese-born nun who had concluded that the horrifying videos showing hundreds of dead and choking victims, including many children, had been fabricated ahead of time to provide a pretext for foreign intervention.
“’Mr. Lavrov is an intelligent person,’ said the nun, Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross, with a wide smile in a recent interview in this Lebanese mountain town. ‘He will never stick his name to someone who is saying stupidities.’”
Taking a position on the chemical attacks that is supportive of the Assad government has led to intensified criticism of Mother Agnes as an Assad pawn. French reporters have written a book accusing her of conspiring with the government to kill another French reporter in 2012. She has sued the authors for libel.
The Syrian uprising started with peaceful protests in March 2011, but soon turned violent. Mother Agnes accuses the West of fomenting the violence to create a pretext for military intervention and re-ordering Syria. In November 2011, she wrote an open letter to President Assad, challenging the government over its treatment of hospital patients and prisoners, as reported in Vatican Insider in November 2011:
“Dear Mr. President, I have lived and worked in Syria since 1994, and I have learned to esteem the unique position Syria holds in the world of culture and of religions. But I am shocked to learn from Amnesty International that in the hospitals run by the government the wounded suffer discrimination and maltreatment because of their ideology. And I am saddened to find that, in the prisons, there are people there who have never been tried in court, or even accused of anything.... I ask for a serious inquiry into the hospitals and prisons, under the supervision of the International Red Cross, together with the creation of a committee to accelerate the exercise of justice.”
In late October, Mother Agnes, through the Musalaha Initiative, was involved in establishing a cease-fire and evacuating some 5,400 civilians from Moadamiya, a rebel-held city near Damascus.
Mother Agnes is currently on a six-week speaking tour in North America, largely ignored by most media. In Cleveland on November 14, she received a special peace award from the mayor, a congressman, and a senator. The tour ends December 4.
Jeremy Scahill has yet to explain his own behavior, but columnist Neil Clark, writing for Russia Today, blames “liberal hawks and neo-cons” for silencing the nun because:
“Mother Agnes’ testimony reveals that the so-called ‘War on Terror’ is a sham – that in Syria, the western countries and their regional allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel, are on the same side as the extremist Islamic terror groups that we are told are our greatest enemies.”
Copyright © 2013 Global Research*******
The Huffington Post
Posted 21 November 2013
On Thursday's "Daily Show," Jon Stewart took aim at Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.), who took a leave of office yesterday after his charge of cocaine possession was made public. Stewart took issue not only with Radel's cocaine use, but his seeming total misunderstanding of how cocaine functions in public life.
First of all, Radel billed himself as a "hip-hop Republican" -- which, in his understanding, draws on the philosophy of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," except the power being the federal government.
Oh, and his favorite vacation spot is Cartagena, Colombia. "Anything that could have tipped us off he was a cocaine user?!" Stewart asked sarcastically.
But a Republican's confusion about rap and his love of South America is hardly unique, nor a reason to remove them from office. What is more significant, according to Stewart was his public policy stances that included asking welfare recipients to pass a drug test before finding themselves eligible for food stamps.
UK Prime Minister Covers Up Crimes Against Humanity – Lectures Sri Lanka on Crimes Against Humanity
Global Research, November 19, 2013
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“Hypocrisy, the most protected of vices.” Moliere (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, 1622-1673.)
“Hypocrisy, the most protected of vices.” Moliere (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, 1622-1673.)
Last week a little more was learned as to the circumventions in Whitehall and Washington delaying the publication of the findings of Sir John Chilcot’s marathon Inquiry in to the background of the Iraq invasion.
The UK’s Chilcot Inquiry, was convened under then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to establish the decisions taken by the UK government and military, pre and post invasion. It ran from 24th November 2009 until 2nd February 2011 and cost an estimated £7.5 million. The as yet unpublished Report is believed to run to 1000,000 words.
The stumbling block – more of an Israeli-style “separation barrier” in reality – has been the correspondence between Tony Blair and George W. Bush, prior to an invasion and occupation, which former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan finally told the BBC was: “illegal” and that: “painful lessons” had been learned. (BBC 16th September 2004.) “Lessons” clearly not learned by the current British government.
The communications, in Sir John Chilcot’s words to former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell related to: “The question when and how the Prime Minister (Tony Blair) made commitments to the US about the UK’s involvement in military action in Iraq, and subsequent decisions on the UK’s continuing involvement, is central to its considerations.”(Guardian 17th July 2013.)
Further: “Chilcot said the release of notes of the conversations between Blair and Bush would serve to ‘illuminate Mr Blair’s position at critical points’ in the run up to war.”
The Inquiry had also been seeking clarification from O’Donnell’s successor Sir Jeremy Heywood regarding inclusion of references to: “the content of Mr Blair’s notes to President Bush, and to the records of discussions between Mr Blair and Presidents Bush and Obama.” The wall remains in place.
Sir Jeremy Heywood, now the country’s most senior civil servant, was Tony Blair’s Private Secretary during the period of the trans-Atlantic lies that led to the Iraq war and during the creation of the Blair regime’s “dodgy dossiers.”
Interestingly too: “O’Donnell had consulted Blair before saying the notes must remain secret.” Effectively, one of the accused, in an action which has destroyed a country, lynched the President, murdered his sons and teenage nephew and caused the deaths of perhaps one and a half million people, decides what evidence can be presented before the Court. Chilcot, has seen the documents but seemingly needs the accused permission to publish them.
A stitch-up of which any “rogue” or “totalitarian” regime, would surely be proud.
Center to the dispute between the Inquiry, Cameron and his ennobled gate keepers is material requested for inclusion in the final Report: “to reflect its analysis of discussions in Cabinet and Cabinet Committees and their significance.”
The documents being denied to the Inquiry include twenty five pieces of correspondence sent by Tony Blair to George W. Bush and one hundred and thirty documents relating to conversations between these lead plotters of Iraq’s destruction. Additionally: “dozens of records of Cabinet meetings.”(i)
Ironically on 31st October 2006, David Cameron voted in favour of a motion brought by the Scottish National Party and Wales’ Plaid Cymru (“The Party of Wales”) calling for an Inquiry into the Blair government’s conduct of the Gulf war.
On 15th June 2009, in a parliamentary debate, the terms of the Chilcot Inquiry were presented in detail, duly recorded in Hansard, the parliamentary records.(ii.)
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Blair’s successor stated: “In order that the committee is as objective and non-partisan as possible, the membership of the committee will consist entirely of non-partisan public figures acknowledged to be experts and leaders in their fields. There will be no representatives of political parties from either side of this House.”
David Cameron, then Leader of Opposition stated piously:
“The whole point of having an Inquiry is that it has to be able to make clear recommendations, to go wherever the evidence leads, to establish the full truth and to ensure that the right lessons are learned ... in a way that builds public confidence.”
Cameron was particularly concerned about: “openness.” How times change.
Further, said Cameron:
“The inquiry needs to be, and needs to be seen to be, truly independent and not an establishment stitch-up ... The Prime Minister was very clear that the inquiry would have access to all British documents and all British witnesses. Does that mean that the inquiry may not have access to documents from the USA ... On the scope of the inquiry, will the Prime Minister confirm that it will cover relations with the United States ...”
Cameron concluded with again a demand for “openness and transparency.”
In response, Gordon Brown stated:
“ ... I cannot think of an Inquiry with a more comprehensive, wider or broader remit than the one that I have just announced. Far from being restricted, it will cover eight years, from 2001 to 2009. Far from being restricted, it will have access to any documents that are available, and that will include foreign documents that are available in British archives. (Emphasis mine.)
However, four years is a long time in politics and last week, as David Cameron traveled to Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, it transpired that the documents Sir John Chilcot had been pursuing and been denied for six months have been also blocked by: “officials in the White House and the US Department of State who have refused to sanction any declassification of critical pre-and post-war communications between George W. Bush and Tony Blair.”
David Cameron is apparently also blocking evidence: “ ... on Washington’s orders, from being included in the report of an expensive and lengthy British Inquiry.”(iii) Confirmation, were it ever needed, that Britain is the US 51st State, whose puppet Prime Ministers simply obey their Master’s voice.
However, “shame” clearly not being a word in Cameron’s lexicon, he landed in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon, a British Colony 1815-1948) as the above shoddy details broke, in full colonial mode.
Spectacular welcoming ceremonies barely over, he launched in to an entirely undiplomatic, public tirade, at this gathering of the “Commonwealth family of nations” alleging that his host, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was guilty of war crimes during the civil war with the Tamil Tigers. Not disputed is, as any conflict, that terrible crimes were committed on both sides. But these are accusations from the man both covering up the genesis of massacres of genocidal magnitude – and who enjoined in the near destruction of Libya, the resultant lynching of the country’s leader, the murder of his sons and small grand children and uncounted others in another decimation of a country who had threatened no other.
Cameron’s Libya, is Blair’s Iraq. As Iraq, the dying continues daily.
The pontification also from a Prime Minister backing funding for the cannibalistic orientated insurgents in Syria, the beheading, dismembering, looting, displacing, kidnapping, chemical weapons lobbying, child killing, infanticide-bent crazies, including those from his own country.
In Sri Lanka he demanded the country ensure: “credible, transparent and independent investigations into alleged war crimes” and said if this did not happen by the March deadline he arbitrarily imposed, he would press the UN Human Rights Council to hold an international inquiry. Further: “truth telling”, he said, was essential. To cite hypocrisy of breathtaking proportions has become a redundant accusation, but words are failing.
In the event Cameron: “ ... left Colombo having failed to secure any concessions from President Rajapaksa or persuade fellow leaders to criticise Sri Lanka’s record in a communique”, reported the Guardian (16th November.)
As the Prime Minster slunk out, President Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered an apt, withering reaction: “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”, he responded.
Ironically, in spite a tragic recent past, Sri Lanka is the only country in South Asia rated high on the Human Development Index. The UK and “allies” recent victims, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan barely make it to the bottom.
David Cameron returned to Britain still having to grapple with how to evade delivering truth to the Chilcot Inquiry.
Hopefully he will read a letter from writer Lesley Docksey (Independent, 18th November 2013.)
“It was British taxpayers’ money that funded the Chilcot Inquiry, and this taxpayer wants her money’s worth. All the British government papers concerning the sorry affair of an invasion of another country belong to this nation, not to the United States, not to Tony Blair, not to the current government. Taxpayers aren’t here to save the faces of politicians.
“Nor is it, in the words of the Cabinet Office, ‘in the public’s interest’ that exchanges between the UK Prime Minister and the US President are kept secret’ – sorry, ‘privileged’ – from those who are paying their wages. The phrase ‘in the public interest’ only ever means the interests of the government of the day.
“Unless Sir John Chilcot and his team can publish a full and honest report, no lessons will be learnt by future governments. But then, if those lessons were learnt, and we the public knew (as in fact we do) what they were, this country would find it difficult to ever invade anywhere ever again.
“So, Sir John, in the words of a former PM, the Duke of Wellington, ‘Publish and be damned!’
Oh, and as David Cameron was lecturing Sri Lanka on “transparency”, the Conservatives were removing: ‘ a decade of speeches from their website and from the main internet library – including one in which David Cameron claimed that being able to search the web would democratise politics by making “more information available to more people.”
“The party removed records of speeches and press releases from 2000 until May 2010. The effect will be to remove any speeches and articles during the Tories’ modernisation period ...” (iv.)
Comment again redundant.
Copyright © 2013 Global Research
Copyright © 2013 Global Research
Hypocrisy and Contradictions in American Society Today
By Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
October 14, 2013
October 14, 2013
Although a great number of people will say that they believe in the Biblical teaching, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," the fact of the matter is that hypocrisy and contradictions are rampant in American society today. For example, many liberals support racial balance busing, which purports to defend the civil rights of minorities, yet by mathematical definition it discriminates against them by requiring that they be bused in inverse proportion to the majority race.
Not too many years ago, those on the left were expressing their regret at the loss of life at Tienanmen Square in China, but their outrage is nothing compared to what it has been when right-wing dictators have gone on killing rampages. Some years ago, liberals demanded Noriega's ouster in Panama, but the activities of left-wing dictators such as Ortega in Nicaragua and Castro in Cuba did not similarly bestir them. More recently, supporters of President Obama did not demand swift justice for the Libyan rebels who massacred blacks there who hadn't even been proven to have fought for Gaddhafi.
Violence, whether foreign or domestic, is bemoaned by network news anchors, yet the same networks in their "soaps" and prime time programming offer a steady diet of violence as well as illicit sex, interrupted at times only by the hyper-reality of ads that mimic drug videos. If one objects to such viewing fare, he or she is righteously accused of censorship by those on the left, who consider themselves the guardians of our First Amendment right of free speech. That is, of course, unless one is talking about voluntary school prayer or requiring the scientific evidence against evolution to be included in school texts (try to find in your local public schools the fact that there are no transitional life forms in the fossil record). Then the left shouts "separation of church and state," but they have not similarly vociferated when the text THIS SIDE UP advocated Hindu chanting to get "high."
These hypocrisies and contradictions are unfortunately pervasive in American life, including business, politics, social issues and education. Many companies owe their success to what the United States has provided them, yet in the May 21, 1989 edition of THE NEW YORK TIMES, the chief financial officer at Cogate-Palmolive was quoted as saying: "The United States does not have an automatic call on our resources. There is no mindset that puts this country first." The extent to which the mindset of some corporations is laughably contradictory may be found in the book CORPORATE NETWORKING (1986), in which one finds a double contradiction in the following single sentence: "Our world's greatest problems are the boundless constraints of our expanding limitations" (the number of constraints may be boundless, but the constraints themseles are not, and the same is true about limitations).
In politics, many on both sides of the aisle make promises they do not keep, but the liberal side is especially guilty of deploring "litmus tests" by conservatives, but hypocritically applying their own "litmus tests" to conservative nominees for Cabinet and judicial appointments.
Concerning social issues such as abortion, those on the left who argue that the right to abortion is a private matter in which government should not intervene and not "impose morality" then hypocritically ask government to impose their morality upon all taxpayers by requiring them to fund this deadliest form of child abuse. When I spoke to an honors class at a local university on the subject of abortion, I was told by more than one student that these aborted children were "unwanted," and I wondered if they realized this was the same mindset Hitler used to kill first the handicapped and then the Jews.
Of course,, those on the left always claim they are advocates for the poor, but this advocacy does not usually interfere with their own pursuit of self-fulfillment and sexual license. They also have expressed their abhorence of a rising crime rate, but not sufficiently enough to abandon their slogan, "Don't impose a particular morality." A NEW YORK TIMES headline some time ago read: "Ethics Classes Avoid Teaching Right and Wrong," so don't be surprised if one day a youth accused of shoplifting, for example, appears in court and tells a judge he has been taught in school to make his own decisions regarding all matters based upon the individual situations, and no one should impose any particular morality upon him!
In the textbook, CONTEMPORARY LIVING, subjects such as shoplifting and buying drugs illegally have been covered in a chapter titled, "It's Your Decision," and elsewhere in the same textbook students have been advised that "If you follow the guidance of your parents, you might risk the criticism of your peers. The best approach is to try to combine family and peer influences...." All parents, though, are not innocent of hypocrisy either, for how many parents have told their children to obey the laws and then turned around and exceeded speed limits, "permanently borrowed" supplies from their workplace, "fudged" on their taxes, or padded their expense accounts?
Pertaining to the field of education, there was a major push some years ago for "Peace Education" while fewer texts have included Patrick Henry's famous call to "Give me liberty, or give me death." For liberal educators, the "basics" include more sex education, while in truly basic areas such as math, proven successful methods like those John Saxon developed some years ago (and which achieved remarkable results when tried in the Dallas, Texas school system) were then not allowed in a number of states.
Likewise, when the reading scores of first graders in one school in a state almost doubled after introducing the Spalding method of phonics instruction, liberal educators were still reciting that worthless truism that not every student learns to read best in the same way.
Whether in education or foreign policy or some other area, have you ever noticed that whenever there is a problem or crisis, a Commission is appointed and the members of the Commission are often the same people who have been in leadership positions during the 10-20 years the problem has been getting worse? Doesn't it stand to reason that these should be perhaps the last people to be consulted regarding how to solve the mess they have allowed to develop?
These are but a few of the contradictions and hypocrisies that exist in American society, and if we do not do something to correct them now, matters will only continue to get worse.
© 2013 Dennis Cuddy - All Rights ReservedDennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.
Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or edited twenty books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs USA Today and CBS's Nightwatch.
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