Saturday, 5 April 2014

NHS Charges – The Slow Destruction of the NHS

New Labour’s Lord Warner & Tories Propose The Introduction of Fees

New Labour scum seek to reverse  the  major achievement of the post-war Labour government.
Lord Warner, former New Labour  Health Minister, advocates charging for NHS services.  Creatures like Warner infested Blair's government

Simon Stevens, a former vice-president of the US health-care giant United Health and former health adviser to New Labour, became NHS chief executive this week.  It is unlikely to have been a coincidence that former Blair Health Minister, Lord Warner, and the New Labour Reform think tank came out with proposals for NHS charges.

The silence of Miliband and New Labour has been deafening.

Jeremy Hunt, friend of the rich and Rupert Murdoch, is now Health Minister

The NHS was created under the Attlee government under Aneurin Bevin, based on the principle that access was free at the point of delivery regardless of one’s means.  People paid for the NHS through general taxation not individual charges.

Lord Howe, government Health Minister, scapegoats migrants, the  poorest in society -

The proposal to make everyone pay for a doctor’s visit or a stay in hospital was, as is normal, accompanied by the usual scapegoating of migrants.  For the past few months we have had a racist government campaign which suggests that migrants are to blame for the crisis in the NHS.  According to Jeremy Hunt they cost £2 billion a year.

The only result of Jeremy Hunt's fiddling of the statistics is that some migrants will prefer not to seek medical treatment and hope to recover by themselves.  Migrants will now pay for emergency care and A&E treatment.  The public health threat is obvious.  It is also an example of the inhumanity of modern capitalism.

free but for how much longer?

It is an example of a petty nationalist attitude that believes that British people never go on holiday or travel abroad.  It goes without saying that we expect emergency treatment if we fall ill, without paying for it.  But the government relies on racist scapegoating (it won’t affect European Union citizens or those in most of western Europe, with whom we have reciprocal arrangements), as a means to introduce the principle of charging.  As it is the NHS is being used as another branch of the immigration service, itself preventing people seeking treatment.

The NHS is or was the envy of the world.  Unlike the United States, your ability to receive care doesn’t depend on the size of your purse.  But to those like Simon Stevens, the NHS’s budget is ripe for cherry picking by those such as his former employer.

What we can do

New Labour and Miliband were the origin of many of these proposals.  We cannot rely on these people to support any campaign to defend the NHS.  New Labour has no principles which are not for sale to any private interest.

The only way to stop the government and their Lib. Dem partners-in-crime in their tracks is a nation-wide campaign against charging for NHS treatment.  If there is a crisis, then there should be massive investment in the NHS.  The buzzword of these think thanks is that supporting the NHS is ‘unsustainable’.  On that basis we should abolish the Army, the Monarchy and the banks.  It is all about political choices.

Cameron and Miliband will always have room for corporation and tax cuts.  Bailing out the banks to the tune of billions of pounds is no problem as bankers come from the same political class.  But to these people, the NHS is a waste of money.  If the poor cannot afford private treatment then they should go without.

The very idea of the NHS and ‘socialised medicine (which US Republicans and The Tea Party hate so much) is an affront to the  ‘values’ of capitalism.  What you get you should pay for.  The NHS is based on the socialist idea that you contribute what you can and take what you need.

It is not enough that 56% of people oppose charges and only 12% would pay for an appointment the next day.  Multi national corporations aren’t concerned with public opinion.  Only a determined campaign, that includes general strike action, will halt the campaign to privatise the NHS.
The rot started when Blair introduced private companies into the NHS to cherry pick services.  He called it 'choice'.  Next we had whole NHS services being handed over to private companies.  The logical result of this is full-scale privatisation and charging.  We will have only ourselves to blame if the one major gain left standing from the post-war settlement is destroyed.

Tony Greenstein

Monday, 31 March 2014

Open Letter to Left Unity

An Organisation that is Afraid to Campaign

 Left Unity was formed last  year with the many of the members coming from the fall-out in the SWP over Martin Thomas and the question of rape/sexual harrassment.  Others are relatively new to politics and of course there are those who are members of existing left groups - Socialist Resistance and the Communist Party of Great Britain.
 


 
At the Conference I attended in London 30th there were some of the same hard-boiled cooks that had played a role in other prominent left groups.  Andrew Burgin as Chair of Stop the War Committee, Liz Davies, who Blair stopped from standing in Leeds and who became Chair of the Socialist Alliance, acting as a cover for the SWP as it proceeded to destroy the SA, Kate Hudson of CND, ex-Respect.  LU has about 1,500 members but it is doing nothing with them other than involving them in interminable intra party elections and affairs.

I therefore send an Open Letter to LU members making my criticisms clear.  I have had a favourable response from a number of members but it is doubtful that the central leadership understands it.  Despite submitting it to the website a week ago, it has yet to appear
Founding Conference
There is, of course nothing wrong with internal elections, quite the contrary.  For ex-members of the various left sects it’s probably a novel experience.  But the intricacy and complication of the election process are self-imposed burdens.  Instead of simple elections, weighted to ensure that minority political opinion is represented there is a full-blown PR system.  Women won’t be elected of course in accordance with their politics but simply because of the biological fact that they are women.  We have yet to go down the UNISON road with every minority of a minority being represented (except the working class) but no doubt that that is a delight to come as the Left Unity confuses its own organisation with the society it is seeking to create.  No better example of the contempt for democracy that this breeds is the statement:  ‘There is no obligation on individual members to vote for at least 50% women in any section though members may of course choose to do so.’
BBC News Interview
I can remember when the demand for positive discrimination first raised its head, in the student group of which I was a member, the Socialist Students Alliance, in the 1970’s.  The SSA was dominated by the International Marxist Group (now Socialist Resistance) which had abandoned working class politics for ‘movementism’.  Positive discrimination encouraged clichés, slogans and a superficial support for socialism, in place of any deep commitment to opposing this system or involvement in campaigns at the sharp end of the battle with this capitalism.  Most of those women either became supporters of New Labour (Blair was a particular supporter of positive discrimination and all-women shortlists) or dropped out of politics. This was not true of all the men – especially the Irish and anti-fascist activists. We had 101 women (New) Labour MPs, who 75% of whom voted in favour of the Iraqi war (as opposed to 40% of men who did so).

Coupling this with the fact that the 30th November Conference devoted the whole day to drawing up a constitution and it appears ever more obvious that Left Unity is like the Malaysian Airline plane – destined to crash but we know not where, at least yet.

Left Unity is an organisation with a small number of members, yet it has a Rolls Royce constitution fit for an organisation of hundreds of thousands.   Indeed, until New Labour took over, it could be said that our constitution is more complicated and cumbersome than the Labour Party’s.
Some people are losing sight of the fact that the purpose of Left Unity is to make a political impact in and away from elections that the mass media and the establishment cannot ignore.  One thing that UKIP and to a lesser extent the Green Party have shown is that it is possible for parties that are determined and dedicated to succeed, even electorally, despite First Past the Post elections.  To translate the ideas and desires of the working class and chunks of other parts of society, into a vehicle for socialism.  A thoroughgoing debate on how to achieve it, what issues to prioritise, the targeting of resources on particular areas, the concentration on campaigns that epitomise everything which is wrong with market capitalism.  I’m thinking of the NHS and Welfare 'reform' in particular and above all steady and solid work over the lifetime of a parliament, with a possible focus on by-elections, are just a few example of this.  This will lead to steady but slow recruitment. A weekly paper (no not Socialist Resistance revamped!) But this hasn’t even been subject to any debate, nationally or in the local branches.  Instead the focus has been wholly internal.  The first thing you see on LU’s website is the absurd and trite slogan ‘Coming soon to a ballot paper near you!!’ with a picture of a cross on a ballot paper and the top three articles are  concerned with internal elections and then an equally trite article ‘A budget for UKIP not ‘hardworking people’ which, apart from anything else, is nonsense.

The term 'hardworking people' not the working class or marginalised or unemployed, is in itself a reflection of New Labour ideology.  Are the disabled 'hardworking people'?  Does it matter?

What is or should be the target for the website?  New Labour of course.  It is the beneficiary of the working class vote.  Articles hammering away at this would at least suggest that LU has some coherent strategy other than, as at present, being a mishmash of left and not-so-left ideas.  Attacking Miliband for support for the Benefits Cap, for following Gordon Brown’s strategy of engineering a boom via house prices inflation, the selling of council houses, privatisation of the NHS, the fact that the pension reforms will inevitably lead to growing poverty among the elderly, the pathetic suggestion of a 20 month prices freeze in utility bills when the real issue is nationalisation.  These are examples of what a focused and aimed political strategy might aim at.  But instead we debate the constitution and focus on internal elections!

There is also the absurd name – Left Unity.  What does it mean to people?  That the left is disunited?  Perhaps if we hadn’t faced a Hobson’s choice at the Conference, when suggestions could have been taken from the floor, we might have had ‘People Not Profit’ or something that sums up what LU purportedly stands for.

It is telling that no candidates came forward for the elections from Scotland, the North-East or South-West.  What does this say about LU’s present political trajectory and appeal?  Even the Socialist Alliance, before the SWP took it over and destroyed it had more political weight and substance.

One suggestion would be that national leaflets on renationalisation nd the NHS, Welfare attacks, the contrast between Bob Crow and the present TU leaders and privatisation, racism (G4S).  This would mean that LU becomes a vehicle moving in the same direction together.  How does LU achieve momentum and a critical mass?  This is of greater importance than interminable internal elections.  LU has a year at most before stagnation and decline set in.  It can either move forwards or backwards.   If it doesn’t start focusing on society out there as opposed to its own internal structures, it will lose any chance to do so.

I write a column every other week in the local free paper, the Brighton Independent, which has over 3 times the circulation of the daily Argus, a paid for paper, My articles have focused on disability, benefits, the closure of a children’s centre, Tony Benn and Bob Crowe, the parasites that Osborne represents, housing etc.   At present I would be loathe to even mention LU as I would be plugging a group that is unlikely to be around long and which is unable to live up to its own hype and pretensions.

Tony Greenstein

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Visiting the Middle East’s only ‘democracy’

Nobody knew where I was, nobody… I was simply disappeared’: An Italian tourist’s Ben Gurion nightmare

Andrea Pesce on March 22, 2014 5

My name is Andrea Pesce, I am 44 years old and I’m an Italian citizen.
 
For 15 years I had the chance to visit Israel and Palestine, thanks to my former job (I used to be a travel agent) and also because I’m interested in the political situation over there. I travelled as a normal person, without any official role or mission.

Last December I have been in Israel and Palestine for one week. I always stayed in a hotel in the Old city of Jerusalem and I went for one day visit to Bethlehem (twice), Ramallah and Nablus, always as a tourist. During my visit in Bethlehem I had the chance to learn about a non-profit organization, named Tent of Nations, which follows a non-violent approach to the conflict.

Between January and February I contacted Tent of Nations staff, and planned a visit in March to volunteer over there. Then I bought an El Al air ticket, from Venice to Tel Aviv and back, departure 18th March, return 16th April.

This is the background to my story and I want to say also that I have never participated in any event, manifestation or whatever against Israel, or have written something or declared something against Israel. On the contrary, in 1999 I wrote a book issued by a Italian publisher, specialized in Jewish Literature and subjects, (Casa editrice La Giuntina) with an afterword by Amos Luzzatto, who at that time was President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities.

Last 18th March, my day of departure, I arrived at Venice airport at 11 am, 3 hours before scheduled take off. For this kind of flight, there is an Israeli security staff interviewing passengers, according to an agreement between the Italian and Israeli governments. I waited around one hour, as Israeli staff are always allowed to pass Israeli passengers before me and other Italians waiting. Then one woman interviewed me, quite softly, but with some incredible questions like:
 
“You are going to stay one month away from home, isn’t your daughter sad because of this?”

There is no security reason behind this kind of question, not even to check if you get nervous because you have something to hide: it’s pure harassment, nothing more, nothing less.

I asked, “Why are you asking questions like this ? It’s too personal!”

She seemed to understand, and started to apologize.

Then I was told that my backpack had to be searched and that I cannot bring my camera (old fashioned) with me, it had to go in the hold. They checked everything, which included doing a body search on me.

Eventually they told me that maybe my baggage cannot arrive with me in Tel Aviv on the same flight: I complained a lot, saying that I had been waiting for two hours and I couldn’t understand why they waited so long. At the end they let me leave, I have to say, including my backpack.

During the flight I was tired but also happy: eventually everything was ok, and I was on the way to start my holiday and a wonderful life experience for one month in Israel and Palestine.
I couldn’t imagine what was waiting for me at Ben Gurion Airport.

Once I arrived, at passport control, I was told to wait in a corner of the hall, beside the “passport control office”. Several people were there already. I waited around one hour and then I had the first dialogue. It focused on what I was going to do during this month, I said “nothing special, I will go around”, ok, then wait again other half an hour, and then a second person interviewed me about my job, and what I was going to do it in Israel for one month, and I repeated the same answers again.
Then wait again around half an hour, and then the third interview with other people asking same questions, but in harder way, intimidating me and trying to scare me.

They argued that I was a liar because I didn’t say that somebody was waiting for me in Bethlehem, and that those who lie at the border will be not allowed to enter the country.

At that point I had been traveling for almost twelve hours, I was confused, tired and a little bit scared. But I had nothing to hide and I said, “check whatever you want, I’m a normal person, do what you have to do”. At that point it was pretty clear to me that they had read my emails and knew everything in advance.

Finally around 11.30 pm, I was interviewed by other people (they said they were from the Ministry of Internal Affairs) and after some minutes they told me that my entry was denied because I was a liar: I started to cry, more because of the stress itself, than for the final decision to reject me, even though it has been hard to me to accept the “destruction” of my travel, planned for months.

Andrea Pesci holding his passport with the Israeli “denied entry” stamp.

They started to laugh a little bit, saying that if only I said at the beginning I was going to volunteer they would let me in without any problem. But since I lied about it, I have to be rejected.
Until now, it was hard but not terrifying. But I still couldn’t expect what I was in for.

Around 1 am they brought me in another airport room where my baggage has been searched again and I had a second body search. Then they took away my backpack, empty, because they said that it was detained for security reason. They gave me a big plastic bag to put all my belongings in.
Funny detail: the bag has a broken zipper.

They brought me back to the same hall, where I was told to not go around. I had to stay near their office.

Please note that I could only drink some water because another tourist gave me some coins to buy a bottle water from a machine. And security staff gave me a sandwich only because I asked for it. In the meantime every request I made — to have some water or to make a phone call to my embassy or simply to alert my hotel in Jerusalem that I couldn’t go there — was refused. And refused is not the right word: I was not a normal person anymore, I started already to be seen like a second class person. I want to say that for the very first time I really felt what racism is.

As they decided to send me back to Italy, the problem was how and when: flights to and from Venice are only once per week. So I was told that I was going to stay in a separate facility, waiting for the flight back to Italy.

This is the beginning of the nightmare.

The separate facility is a “migration facility”, as they call it, which is actually a sort of prison. Around five minutes by car outside of Ben Gurion Airport, I was transferred to this “house” surrounded by iron net, with bars on windows. I was told to leave everything in a room, including my mobile. Strange, but I definitely realised I was under arrest when I was told I could not bring a ballpoint pen with me to my “room”. But actually it was not a room, it was a jail. So around 3 am on the 19th March started my new life experience: being detained in a prison.

I cannot express my feelings exactly: maybe I can say that, having fallen deeply into a total irrational system, the only way to avoid becoming crazy, was to start to think in a completely different way. But it wasn’t easy.

The jail has soundproof doors, so you cannot ask for anything, not even scream. You can only beat the door until somebody, maybe, is willing to listen to you. But you already feel completely unsafe and you are scared even to ask, because you know that they can do everything with you, about you. I cannot say what I thought and felt during that night.

By 7:00 am I was destroyed, I was imploring them to send me home. One man, never seen before just opened the door and screamed to me: “so you go tonight at 06.30 pm, okay or not ?!” I said “Okay, okay, please let me go, I didn’t do anything, I don’t even know why I’m here”. They say “Okay, you will go tonight”.

At that stage nobody knew where I was, nobody. I was simply disappeared.

At 9:00 am I was allowed to call the Italian embassy: an Italian official told me “once you are in that place we cannot do anything, you simply don’t exist for us if you are in that place”. She also expressed sympathy for what I was going through, but the fact I was leaving in the afternoon was decisive. She also called my wife in Italy, as I was not allowed to do it directly.

Then the wait for departure started: I was in another jail, alone, with the door open. But I couldn’t go out, and it’s hard to explain, but I was afraid to ask anything. When around noon they gave me some food (to consume it in the room, without any table, only sitting on the bed) I did ask for some water, they said “We will bring it to you.” They didn’t and I didn’t ask again.

All and all, during my 14 hours in the “migration facility” I had the chance to stay outside in the open courtyard for a total of around 40-45 minutes (in two visits during the morning, none in the afternoon).
From Andrea Pesci’s passport
Again: I cannot explain my feelings during the time between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm, knowing that my flight was scheduled for 6:20 pm. I was scared to death that they wouldn’t let me go….

It the end, at 5:35 pm they did open the door, let me take my belongings (always in their plastic bag), transferred me to the airplane and let me go. My passport was delivered to me by an Italian officer at Milan airport, after it was handled to him by the El Al staff.

I won’t share anything about the fact that being flown to Milan cost me more fatigue, finding a hotel that night and then catching a train to Venice the next day (20th March).

Nobody, never, in those 24 hours, declared their identity or role to me (they all have a badge, but it’s not easy to read and you don’t’ have the courage to show that you want to know their name). In the end there is no written proof of what they did to me, not even the reason for my rejection and detention. Nothing, nothing at all. I only have a stamp on my passport saying “entry denied”.

The lessons for me at this moment are two questions:

Why do you want me to hate you ?!

If you can do this to me, what you can do to the Palestinians ?!

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Ukraine - the Hypocrisy of the West

Neo-Nazis led ‘revolution’ in Ukraine

Israel remains silent when it comes to genuine anti-Semites

Andriy Parubiy of the Right Sector, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Committee,  meets Senator John McCain
Many people have been bemused at events in the Ukraine.  A challenge to the legally elected government, supported by the West and European Union, and the formation of a violent militia amongst the demonstrators.  The militia, which consisted primarily of far-right/neo-Nazi groups first engaged with petrol bombs and then live ammunition
Oleh Tyahnybok, Svobada leader which has 4 seats in government including security
When the Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement with Russia rather than the EU, as had been expected, that was the signal for a concerted attempt to install another regime in Ukraine.  The USA reportedly spent $5 billion a subverting Ukrainian democracy.
If Ukrainians in the Crimea and east of the Dnieper River wish to secede then they have the right to.  It’s called self-determination.

It is strange that when Kosovo wanted to secede from the Serbian/Yugoslavian Federation, the West enabled it to do so through a massive bombing campaign.  But in the case of Ukraine international law prevails!  The same international law that Israel has flouted for 46 years of occupation of the West Bank.  The same international law that prohibits pre-emptive wars.
Under Secretary of State Nuland gives her blessing to Ukrainian fascists
Pre-emptive war is clearly illegal under Article 2(4) of the UN Charter and the precedent of the Nuremberg laws.  The only exceptions are self-defence or collective action.  The Bush Doctrine effectively means that only the US is entitled to attack at will.  Self defence can only be exercised in this manner in the case of an overwhelming threat.  In this case, invasion because of the bogus allegations that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction was clearly illegal.  But as I’ve argued before, international law had no enforcement mechanism and cannot be considered the equivalent of domestic law.  Effectively the US defines what is and isn’t permissible in international law.   Thus it has exempted itself from the International Criminal Court rather than sending Bush and Blair to be tried for war crimes.
Fascist Ukrainian leader protected by thugs in balaclavas - not a picture the BBC would show!

Russia, quite rightly, fears the US and the EU are encircling them with a belt of NATO states.  As in Georgia a few years ago, Russian troops invaded in order to protect the secessionist state that they had helped form. According to an interview by John Robles with Prof Francis Boyle ‘Ukraine: The Brown (Shirt) Revolution’ -  the break-up of Ukraine would serve western interests very well as it would move the borders nearer Russia.  The US could come to an agreement with Russia not to install nuclear missiles on its doorstep but instead they tore up the Anti-Ballistic Missile System Treaty of 1972.  It was another achievement of George Bush. 
Mass demonstrations in Maiden Square
 An equivalent comparison was the Cuba Missile Crisis of 1962.   The US threatened to go to war with nuclear weapons if nuclear missiles were not removed from Cuba, 100  miles offshore.  But in the case of Russia it is expected to smile at the prospect of being ringed by US nuclear weapons.

The presence and participation of neo-Nazis is not in doubt.  In Ha'aretz it is reported that ‘Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, called on Kiev's Jews to leave the city and even the country if possible, fearing that the city's Jews will be victimized in the chaos, The chief rabbi of Kiev has told his congregants to get out.’

Below is an article by Paul Craig Roberts ‘Sleepwalking Again’  February 23, 2014

Add caption
On the 100th Anniversary of World War 1, the Western powers are again sleepwalking into destructive conflict. Hegemonic ambition has Washington interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine, but developments seem to be moving beyond Washington’s control.
Regime change in Ukraine for a mere $5 billion dollars would be a bargain compared to the massive sums squandered in Iraq ($3,000 billion), Afghanistan ($3,000 billion), Somalia, and Libya, or the money Washington is wasting murdering people with drones in Pakistan and Yemen, or the money Washington has spent supporting al Qaeda in Syria, or the massive sums Washington has wasted surrounding Iran with 40 military bases and several fleets in the Persian Gulf in an effort to terrorize Iran into submission.

So far, in Washington’s attempt at regime change in Ukraine large numbers of Americans are not being killed and maimed. Only Ukrainians are dying, all the better for Washington as the deaths are blamed on the Ukrainian government that the US has targeted for overthrow.

Fascist militia drove riot police off streets - almost  certainly the recipient of US money
The problem with Washington’s plot to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine and install its minions is twofold: The chosen US puppets have lost control of the protests to armed radical elements with historical links to nazism, and Russia regards an EU/NATO take-over of Ukraine as a strategic threat to Russian independence.

Washington overlooked that the financially viable part of today’s Ukraine consists of historical Russian provinces in the east and south that the Soviet leadership merged into Ukraine in order to dilute the fascist elements in western Ukraine that fought for Adolf Hitler against the Soviet Union. It is these ultra-nationalist elements with nazi roots, not Washington’s chosen puppets, who are now in charge of the armed rebellion in Western Ukraine.

If the democratically elected Ukraine government is overthrown, the eastern and southern parts would rejoin Russia. The western part would be looted by Western bankers and corporations, and the NATO Ukraine bases would be targeted by Russian Iskander missiles.

It would be a defeat for Washington and their gullible Ukrainian dupes to see half of the country return to Russia. To save face, Washington might provoke a great power confrontation, which could be the end of all of us.

My series of articles on the situation in Ukraine resulted in a number of interviews from Canada to Russia, with more scheduled. It also produced emotional rants from people of Ukrainian descent whose delusions are impenetrable by facts. Deranged Russophobes dismissed as propaganda the easily verifiable report of Assistant Secretary of State Nuland’s public address last December, in which she boasted that Washington had spent $5 billion preparing Ukraine to be aligned with Washington’s interests. Protest sympathizers claim that the intercepted telephone call between Nuland and the US Ambassador in Ukraine, in which the two US officials chose the government that would be installed following the coup, is a fake.

One person actually suggested that my position should be aligned with the “sincerity of the Kiev students,” not with the facts.

The friendly face of the US's friend
Some Trekkers and Trekkies were more concerned that I used an improper title for Spock than they were with the prospect of great power confrontation. The point of my article flew off into space and missed planet Earth.

Spock’s mental powers were the best weapon that Starship Enterprise had. Among my graduate school friends, Spock was known as Dr. Spock, because he was the cool, calm, and unemotional member of the crew who could diagnose the problem and save the situation.

There are no Spocks in the US or any Western government and certainly not among the Ukrainian protesters.

I have often wondered if Spock’s Vulcan ancestry was Gene Roddenberry’s way of underlining by contrast the fragility of human reason. In the context of modern military technology, is it possible for life to survive humanity’s penchant for emotion to trump reason and for self-delusion to prevail over factual reality?

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under Reagan and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. His latest books are, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and How America Was Lost. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org

Pravy Sektor ("Right Sector") are now camped out at the bottom of the Maidan.  The Kremlin points to Right Sector as proof that what happened in Kiev was an ultranationalist take-over.

Right Sector's deputy leader, Andriy Tarasenko, told the Guardian his organisation didn't want to be involved in post-revolutionary party politics. Rather, he said, it sought to "transform the relationship between people and power". What this meant was a little unclear. He also wanted Kiev's new interim government to introduce a law that would allow his members to carry arms.

Kiev's protesters: Ukraine uprising was no neo-Nazi power-grab
We are not dealing with a transitional government in which Neo-Nazi elements integrate the fringe of the coalition, formally led by the Fatherland party.

The Cabinet is not only integrated by the Svoboda and Right Sector (not to mention former members of defunct fascist UNA-UNSO), the two main Neo-Nazi entities have been entrusted with key positions which grant them de facto control over the Armed Forces, Police, Justice and National Security.

While Yatsenuyk’s Fatherland Party controls the majority of portfolios and Svoboda Neo-Nazi leader Oleh Tyahnybok was not granted a major cabinet post (apparently at the request of assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland), members of Svoboda and the Right Sector occupy key positions in the areas of Defense, Law Enforcement, Education and Economic Affairs.
Andriy Parubiy, co-founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine, (subsequently renamed Svoboda) was appointed Secretary of the National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU). (Рада національної безпеки і оборони України), a key position which overseas the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces, Law Enforcement, National Security and Intelligence. The RNBOU is central decision-making body. While it is formally headed by the president, it is run by the Secretariat with a staff of 180 people including defense, intelligence and national security experts.

Parubiy was one of the main leaders behind the Orange Revolution in 2004. His organization was funded by the West. He is referred to by the Western media as the “kommandant” of the EuroMaidan movement. Andriy Parubiy together with party leader Oleh Tyahnybok is a follower of Ukrainian Nazi Stepan Bandera, who collaborated in the mass murderer of Jews and Poles during World War II.
The Neo Nazi party also controls the judicial process with the appointment of Oleh Makhnitsky of the Svoboda party to the position of prosecutor-general of Ukraine. What kind of justice will prevail with a renown Neo-Nazi in charge of the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine?

Cabinet positions were also allocated to former members of the Neo-Nazi fringe organization Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense (UNA-UNSO):

“Tetyana Chernovol, portrayed in the Western press as a crusading investigative journalist without reference to her past involvement in the anti-Semitic UNA-UNSO, was named chair of the government’s anti-corruption committee. Dmytro Bulatov, known for his alleged kidnapping by police, but also with UNA-UNSO connections, was appointed minister of youth and sports.

Yegor Sobolev, leader of a civic group in Independence Maidan and politically close to Yatsenyuk, was appointed chair of the Lustration Committee, charged with purging followers of President Yanukovych from government and public life. (See Ukraine Transition Government: Neo-Nazis in Control of Armed Forces, National Security, Economy, Justice and Education, Global Research, March 02, 2014

The Lustration Committee is to organize the Neo-Nazi witch-hunt against all opponents of the new Neo-Nazi regime. The targets of the lustration campaign are people in positions of authority within the civil service, regional and municipal governments, education, research, etc.  The term lustration refers to the “mass disqualification” of people associated with the former government. It also has racial overtones. It will in all likelihood be directed against Communists, Russians and members of the Jewish community.

It is important to reflect on the fact that the West, formally committed to democratic values, has not only spearheaded the demise of an elected president, it has instated a political regime integrated by Neo-Nazis.

This is a proxy government which enables the US, NATO and the EU to interfere in Ukraine’s internal affairs and dismantle its bilateral relations with the Russian Federation. It should be understood, however, that the Neo-Nazis do not ultimately call the shots. The composition of the Cabinet broadly coincides with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland ” recommendations” contained in the leaked telephone call to the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Washington has chosen to spearhead Neo-Nazis into positions of authority. Under a “regime of indirect rule”, however, they take their orders on crucial military and foreign policy issues –including the deployment of troops directed against the Russian federation– from the US State Department, the Pentagon and NATO.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads: The structures and composition of this proxy government installed by the West do not favor dialogue with the Russian government and military.

A scenario of military escalation leading to confrontation of Russia and NATO is a distinct possibility. The Ukraine’s National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU) which is controlled by Neo-Nazis plays a central role in military affairs.  In the confrontation with Moscow, decisions taken by the RNBOU headed by Neo-Nazi Parubiy and his brown Shirt deputy Dmytro Yarosh –in consultation with Washington and Brussels– could potentially have devastating consequences.

However, it goes without saying that “support” to the formation of a Neo-Nazi government does not in any way imply the development of “fascist tendencies” within the White House, the State Department and the US Congress.

The U.S. has Installed a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine

 “The flowering of democracy” in Ukraine –to use the words of the New York Times– is endorsed by Republicans and Democrats. It’s a bipartisan project. Lest we forget, Senator John McCain is a firm supporter and friend of Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok.

US-Backed Neo-Nazi Party Given Key Roles in Ukrainian Government

Ukraine's New Leaders: From Neo-Nazis To A Muslim, A Jew And A Heavyweight Boxer

Huffington Post 3.3.14.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sodastream – a toxic brand – sees profits slump


Scarlett Johanssen doesn’t sell

Sodastream must rue the day that they opened what was going to be their first shop in Brighton.  It’s what’s called a loss leader.  No one goes in to buy their toxic drinks and the Zionist counter-demonstrators have done a good job in keeping the public away!
As usual an empty shop and a bored security guard

Sodastream is paying a high price for establishing a factory in the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim.

Palestinian demonstrators
Daniel Birnbaum, Sodastream's CEO, has engaged in non-stop PR to try and reverse the Boycott Sodastream campaign.  All he’s done is to dig a deeper hole into which his profits have flowed.
The big idea, buying Scarlett Johanssen, as a brand name has backfired.  She has shown how Hollywood stars place career and money in front of their human rights work.  In Johanssen’s case, it was just naked greed that was obvious to all.
the empty shop that adds to Sodastream's profit woes
Below are just some of the stories about their financial worries in mainstream and financial journals:


Now their profits have slumped and financial investors see it as irreversible.

SodaStream keeps the fizz going despite squeezed margins

BRENDA BOUW
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Feb. 04 2014

Shareholders in carbonated drink machine company SodaStream International Ltd. are looking for less controversy and more profit to prevent the stock from going flat.
James - one of the fundamental Christians who wanted to hasten the Rapture
SodaStream shares have fizzled out since the Israel-based company issued a profit warning last month that also coincided with a backlash for its decision to operate a factory in an Israeli settlement on the West Bank.  
Reality and my take: The Soda story has lost its fizz and is unlikely to get it back.
-- Written by Herb Greenberg in San Diego

Bubble trouble: SodaStream shares fizzle on profit warning

“We expected some weakness in U.S. sales but are surprised by the magnitude of the company’s gross margin and earnings miss,” Jim Chartier, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Company, said in a report cited by Bloomberg News yesterday.
 A clear message Occupation is not Green
He downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy. “While we continue to believe in the story longer term, we are moving to the sidelines until we have greater clarity on the company’s gross margin issues,” Chartier said.

Sodastream issues FY profits warning

SodaStream's NASDAQ shares plunged 25% yesterday after news of the profits warning. The stocks had dropped about 20% in the preceding three months.

SodaStream announces profit warning after 'challenging' Christmas

SodaStream loses fizz as forecasts are cut

Rising production costs and a poor festive season have seen profits slump

The Guardian, Monday 13 January 2014
a new Zionist who believes that the holocaust justifies Israeli racism
Shares of SodaStream International Ltd were down 21% at $38.96, at midday on Monday, in New York.
Palestinian supporter and ma Christian behind him
These are just some samples of the depth of the crisis facing Sodastream.  Brighton, the place where the Boycott of Sodastream took off (or its opportunistically named ‘Ecostream’) had made the campaign a national priority for Palestine activists.

Below there are photos of the Brighton Sodastream demonstrations for the last couple of weeks.
Picketing Sodastream

A few Zionists, weirdos and thugs, coupled with a few Christian Fundamentalists, the most dedicated of the lot, who would like to see all Jews perish in the battle of Armageddon to hasten Jesus’ return, are doing a good job in putting the people of Brighton off.  We gave in a petition of over 1,500 names to the local MP Caroline Lucas (who has been subject to some vile sexist abuse on leader Simon Cobb’s twitter a/c) – it was rapidly deleted but we got a screen print.
Shaker Rozanski, a lunatic Israeli, with the smiling fool beside him
When I come along, usually I can give only about ½ an hour because of health reasons, I get abuse of the ‘traitor’ ‘self-hater’ variety.  As I’ve pointed out to these dim Zionists, it was the Nazis who accused German anti-fascists of being ‘traitors’ and ‘self-haters’ because they literally hated their nation and race.  Once again Zionist bigots demonstrate that they have much in common with the Nazis,
Scarlett adds her voice to the Boycott
Cobbs called me a ‘kapos’ and self-hater a few weeks ago and when I responded he recorded the response only, since which time has made a complaint to the Police.  However the Police don’t seem that interested as I did get a request to be interviewed but after my solicitor intervened it seems to have been postponed sine die.

Another Zionist who made a complaint against me is an Israeli nutcase, Shaker Rozanski, who picks on one theme (‘traitor’, Syria etc.) and repeats it ad nauseum.  A few weeks ago I called him a Jewish Nazi and he complaint to no avail to the Police.  Last week he made a move across the path that people walk on in order to attack me, so I was forced to punch with with a left hook.   Shaker squealed and whined to the Police who have said they will no doubt want to talk to me about this too!  However the law on self-defence is quite clear.  If you perceive a threat of violence to you then you can act pre-emptively.

The Zionists fixate upon the Kapos, who the Nazis selected to carry out the supervision of other Jews.  However they had no choice.  Indeed it was the Kapos who initiated the rebellions at Auschwitz (where one of the crematoria was blown up), Treblinka, where many Jews escaped and Sobibor, where hundreds of Jews and others escaped.

It was the Jewish Councils, the Judenrat which provided the lists of who to round up and their accomplices in the Jewish police who were the real traitors and 66% of Jewish Council members were Zionists.  The Zionists, who were favoured by the Nazi government in Germany prioritised building their ghetto state to saving Jews.  Indeed they actively tried to prevent anyone else from rescuing Jews if the destination was not Palestine. One of Ben-Gurion’s most shocking statements concerned the attempts to rescue Jewish German children and send them to Britain.  Fortunately the Zionist attempts to sabotage the kinder transports came to nothing:
Scarlett Johanssen brings nothing but woe
“If I knew that it was possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, then I would opt for the second alternative.   For we must weigh not only the life of these children–but also the history of People of Israel." Lenni Brenner, p.149 'Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, citing Yoav Gelber, ‘Zionist policy and the fate of European Jewry 1939-42, Yad Vashem Studies, Vol. 12, p.199 and Tom Segev, p.28, the 7th Million.  Ben-Gurion to the Mapai CC, 7.12.38, Labour Party Archives, Bet Berl Tsofit., 22/38, Shabtai Teveth The Burning Ground, p.855.
Zionism was a favoured movement amongst the Nazis (see Lucy Dawidowic, p.118, War Against the Jews).  It is a movement of collaboration.  As Jewish and non-Jewish people recognise what Zionism is and its abuse of anti-Semitism as a weapon against its opponents, so Israel is facing a never increasing Boycott.
Jill Young - another mad Christian
It is important though to remember that whether or not Sodastream moves its factory from the West Bank, which is a distinct possibility, it will still be an Israeli company that should be boycotted.  The West Bank settlers have done nothing that the Zionists in Israel within the fictitious Green Line haven’t done before them.  As Israel Galili, a founder of Ahdut Ha'avoda, former Minister of Information and Minister without Portfolio and a member of Golda Meir's top Cabinet and a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Ministerial Committee for Settlement said:
"Our right in Gaza is exactly like our right in Tel Aviv. We are colonising Gaza exactly in the same manner in which we colonized Yafa. Those who doubt our right in Gaza should doubt our right in Tel Aviv as well." Israel Galili, quoted in Haaretz, April 18, 1972 as reprinted in Israel: Utopia incorporated, Uri Davis, Zed Press, London, 1977, p. 15.
Even were it possible to separate Israel from the West Bank, then Israel would still be the oppressor of the Palestinians and a reactionary gendarme of imperialism.  There can be no solution to the problem of Israel without de-Zionisation and the return of the Palestinian refugees.

Tony Greenstein

Netanyahu convenes ministers to discuss growing Israel economic boycott threats

Knesset ministers to consider whether to launch an aggressive public campaign or operate through diplomatic channels.

By Barak Ravid Feb. 9, 2014
Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Yuval Steinitz Photo by Daniel Bar-On
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting Sunday evening to discuss how to cope with the growing threat of the economic boycott on Israel in light of continued occupation and settlement construction in the West Bank.

Senior Israeli officials said prior to the meeting that the plan was to try to decide on a strategy and determine whether to launch an aggressive public campaign or operate through quieter, diplomatic channels.

The discussion had been scheduled to take place last week, but cancelled at the last minute due to the political row between Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. Sunday's meeting will take place amid a different confrontation – this time between Bennett and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The previous discussion was supposed to include a broad forum of ministers. The Science Ministry asked to separate the discussion on the economic boycott threat from a discussion on the academic boycott threat, since there is already a strategy for the latter, while the former has yet to be dealt with.
The discussion, scheduled to begin at 5:30 P.M., will only include Lieberman, Bennett and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is expected to present a plan his ministry has been working on.
According to plan, Israel should be proactive in its opposition to organizations who promote boycotts against Israel. The plan proposes to invest substantial resources in organising a public campaign.
Minister Steinitz is demanding a budget of 100 million shekels for implementation of the plan, which would include PR materials and aggressive legal and media campaigns against pro-boycott organizations.

The Foreign Ministry has a different approach. Diplomats think the non-governmental organizations pushing for a wide-ranging boycott against Israel and not strictly against the settlements are relatively marginal and that a public campaign against them will only play into their hands, bolstering them.
The Foreign Ministry thinks the public response to organizations promoting a boycott against Israel should be constricted. It wants to focus on less public diplomatic activity to combat such initiatives and believes advancing the peace process with the Palestinians will stave off a large portion of the boycott threats.

One of the issues to be discussed at the meeting is whether to file legal suits in European and North American courts against organizations that are proponents of the boycott divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Ministers will also consider whether to take legal action against financial institutions that boycott settlements, or boycott Israeli companies that are somehow operating in or connected to the settlements.

Another consideration is whether to activate the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S., specifically AIPAC, in order to promote legislation in Congress against the economic boycott of Israel, akin to the legislation that was passed in the 1970's against the Arab boycott.

One of the issues that will be raised during the discussion is that there is a lack of knowledge and inefficient tracking by Israeli intelligence of pro-BDS organizations.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry has provided the Israel Defense Forces' intelligence department a budget of several million shekels for the purpose of bolstering military surveillance of such organizations. However, the need for the prime minister to instruct the Shin Bet Security Service and the Mossad on the efforts is likely to come up.

A Taste of their own Medicine


Incompetent as well as Brutal and Sadistic

Israeli Soldiers Gas Themselves

Tear gas is used almost as a matter of course by the Israeli Occupation Forces against Palestinian demonstrations at Bil’in.  It’s nice to see them tasting their own gas!

Tony Greenstein















Photo credit: Hamde Abu Rahma
Date taken: February 7, 2014
Location: Bil’in, West Bank, Palestine


Israeli soldiers quickly evacuate a military jeep after setting off tear gas canisters inside of the vehicle. The soldiers had been deployed to confront protesters in the West Bank village of Bil’in where a weekly demonstration against Israel’s barrier wall is held.

Just moments earlier, the soldiers had been chasing demonstrators and firing tear gas canisters at unarmed protesters with the sole purpose of scattering crowds and prematurely ending the demonstration. These tear gas canisters have proven to be fatal in recent years. On April 17, 2009, Bassem Abu Rahmeh was fatally struck in the chest by a teargas canister. On December 31, 2010, Jawaher Abu Rahmah inhaled the tear gas and failed to respond to treatment, dying the following day.

Protests in Bil’in have been organized every week since early 2005.