NIGHTWATCH Extract: US-Israel-Turkey-Hamas

02 Diplomacy, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Iran, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Proliferation, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, 11 Society, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices

Israel-Turkey-Hamas: Four ships from the Gaza-bound flotilla that was raided on 31 May Israeli naval forces have arrived at the port of Ashdod, Israel, accompanied by Israeli warships, Al Jazeera reported.

According to Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the Israeli soldiers that intercepted the Gaza-bound aid flotilla acted in self-defense, and violence aboard the Mavi Marmara, one of the aid ships, was instigated by those aboard the ship, The Jerusalem Post reported 31 May. Ashkenazi said passengers aboard most of the ships were activists but the Mavi Marmara, the only ship on which violence took place, was sponsored by what he termed an “extremist organization” the Turkish non-governmental organization Insani Yardim Vakfi.

International Reaction: Every country in the world that pays attention to the Middle East or contains a mosque has condemned or denounced Israel. Pakistan has called for Muslim countries to act in concert in peaceful coercion of Israel.

NIGHTWATCH Comment: NightWatch assesses that US diplomacy for a Middle East peace plan is the actual target of the Israeli naval action. Israel has just demonstrated that the US cannot control Israel, undermining any confidence Arab countries place in US promises relating to Israeli behavior. Israel refuses to be bound by US promises.

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Journal: The Iran Threat–Boogie Woogie Woo Woo

02 Diplomacy, 04 Education, 05 Energy, 05 Iran, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Proliferation, 10 Security, 11 Society, Collective Intelligence, Ethics, Government, Peace Intelligence

The Iran Threat in the Age of Real-Axis-of-Evil Expansion

by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson

It is intriguing to see how whoever the United States and Israel find interfering with their imperial or dispossession plans is quickly demonized and becomes a threat and target for that Real-Axis-of-Evil (RAE), and hence their NATO allies and, with less intensity, much of the rest of the “international community” (IC, meaning ruling elites, not ordinary citizens).  If and when the need arises, any bit of news that is damaging to the targeted state will be fed into the demonization process — and in the marvelous propaganda system of the West, the grossest distortions will be swallowed and regurgitated without much guilt or apology, even upon the exposure of exceptional gullibility and dishonesty. The dishonesty, gullibility, double standard, and hypocrisy are handled with an aplomb that Pravda and Izvestia could never muster in the Soviet era.

. . . . . . .

Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. Among his books are Corporate Control, Corporate Power (Cambridge University Press, 1981), The Real Terror Network (South End Press, 1982), and, with Noam Chomsky, The Political Economy of Human Rights (South End Press, 1979), and Manufacturing Consent (Pantheon, 2002).  David Peterson is an independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago

Phi Beta Iota: See the table at the Monthly Review Zine to truly appreciate the spectacular relevance of the total commentary by the lead author who with Noam Chomsky was a half-century ahead of the pack in understanding how Potemkin Democracy might be foisted on a deliberately disengaged public.

Journal: Iran, Sacred Nukes, & US Ignorance

05 Energy, 05 Iran, 08 Proliferation, 10 Security, 11 Society, Cultural Intelligence

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When Nukes Become Sacred

The psychology behind Iranian support for the country's nuclear program

Newsweek, Sharon Bagley, 8 January 2010

With sacred values, this cost-benefit calculus is turned on its head, explains anthropologist Scott Atran of the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, who has studied Islamic terrorist groups. When Atran asked Palestinians if they would be willing to give up their claims to Jerusalem (a sacred value) in return for their own state, most said no, and—here is where the topsy-turvy thinking caused by sacred values came in—when he then asked if they would give up Jerusalem if the U.S. and Europe also gave every Palestinian family substantial financial assistance for a year, even fewer said yes. That is in sharp contrast to the rational-actor perspective that has long dominated diplomacy (and economics).

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Journal: True Cost of War–Insanity & Murder at Home

07 Health, 08 Proliferation, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society, Reform, True Cost

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A Groundbreaking PTSD Court Decision

Week of November 02, 2009

A groundbreaking verdict for accused veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was decided recently in Canyon City, Ore. when former Soldier Jesse Bratcher, on trial for murder, was found guilty by reason of insanity.  It appears to be the first trial in the U.S. where a veteran's post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was successfully considered to mitigate the circumstances of a crime.  For more information on the case, visit the National Veterans Foundation website.