Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Daily Beast:
"An investigation by The Daily Beast on the ground in Somalia appears to confirm that American soldiers were involved directly in the deaths of 10 innocent civilians. ... The US lead operation that began on Aug. 25 would result in the death of 10 civilians, including at least one child, and become the largest stain on U.S. ground operations in the country since the infamous Black Hawk Down incident in 1993.

In the operation’s aftermath, hundreds of people in the nearby town Afgoye flooded the city’s streets demanding justice for those killed, and survivors on the farm refused to bury their dead until the Somali government recanted its allegations that they were members Al Shabaab, and offered an apology. ...

Carrying the weapons out of the home, the Somali soldiers then placed them beside the bodies of the other villagers. He and Goomey also saw three of the American men, who Goomey describes as one tall man with two shorter men next to him, taking pictures of the bodies with the weapons placed beside them."

-->No mention of this massacre by the NYT, although its website includes Reuters and Associated Press stories covering US Military denials that the massacre had happened. The empire is moving into Africa, but the details are hushed up by our media.

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The Guardian UK:
"Amnesty International is calling for a criminal investigation into the oil giant Shell regarding allegations it was complicit in human rights abuses carried out by the Nigerian military.

A review of thousands of internal company documents and witness statements published on Tuesday points to the Anglo-Dutch organisation’s alleged involvement in the brutal campaign to silence protesters in the oil-producing Ogoniland region in the 1990s.

Amnesty is urging the UK, Nigeria and the Netherlands to consider a criminal case against Shell in light of evidence it claims amounts to 'complicity in murder, rape and torture' – allegations Shell strongly denies."

-->The NYT did not cover this story, but did include a Reuters report on the newspaper's website. Our newspaper of record does its best to avoid bad press about major oil corporations.

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The Intercept:
"CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS are frequent victims of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. They face physical abuse by Israeli military forces and are shuffled through an unfair court system without access to legal counsel or even their parents. The United States has long subsidized these abuses, giving billions of dollars in military aid to Israel every year. Now, a group of Democratic members of Congress is saying enough is enough.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and nine co-sponsors on Tuesday introduced legislation that would require the U.S. State Department to certify every year that American military aid is not being used to fund the systematic abuse of Palestinian children.

If passed, the bill — titled the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act — would explicitly prohibit U.S. aid from being used by Israel to support the administrative detention or physical abuse of Palestinian children. The bill says that detention of Palestinian children is 'inconsistent with the values of the United States.' ”

-->There is almost no US coverage of this remarkable bill making its way through Congress. The NYT, as usual, avoided even mentioning the legislation. The story will come out in Israel before it gets picked up by American media. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The New York Times:
The recent NYT article, "Yemen’s War Is a Tragedy. Is It Also a Crime?," stresses suffering and famine but fails completely when it comes to whose crimes may be involved. 

->The closest our newspaper of record gets to mentioning the US military, financial, and diplomatic support for the genocidal bombings is a mention of the "Saudi led coalition." Who is in the coalition? The NYT hopes its readers don't ask.

No action verbs here either. The Yemenis are "starving" rather than being starved. Yemen is "on the brink of famine" rather than being blockaded. When it comes to decimating the health care sector, "war" is the culprit, not the refueling of Saudi bombers by the US Air Force.

Finally, The NYT article asks "Will anyone be held accountable?" It is a rhetorical question because it never mentions the planes and bombs sold to Saudi Arabia by the US. In fact, it doesn't even mention the Saudis, except to say that the country is blocking a formal inquiry by the International Criminal Court.

The NYT is in it's usual role as apologist for imperial genocide. 

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The Guardian:
"Rules of war 'need urgent review' as civilian deaths hit record high. Germany and Austria urge UN member states to tackle ‘devastating harm’ caused by airstrikes and bombs in urban areas.

The record number of civilians killed or injured by explosive weapons in worldwide conflicts last year has prompted calls for UN member states to conduct an urgent review of military rules of engagement. ...

More than 32,000 civilian deaths or injuries were caused by explosive weapons in 2016, which represents 70% of all deaths and injuries, according to a paper submitted by Germany to the UN’s convention on certain conventional weapons (CWW)."

-->Why wouldn't the NYT cover this story, given the number of countries the US is now bombing. Obviously, the Pentagon does not want an urgent review of military rules of engagement. Just as obviously, the NYT almost always supports the empire. 

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Mondoweiss:
"Liberal Israeli leaders were contemplating genocide in Gaza already in 1967. That is what Israeli Prime Minster Levi Eshkol said in 1967 about Gaza, as revealed in newly declassified documents from the time. Ofer Aderet of Haaretz reported about this today.   

As I have already written, Eshkol, the leftist ‘liberal Zionist,’ was very willing to send Palestinians to the moon: 'I want them all to go, even if they go to the moon', he said. 

As is widely known, the standard UN definition of Genocide includes 'Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part'.

These newly declassified documents reveal that the genocidal policy was indeed there already in 1967. This is important, because it sheds light on later policies, such as Israel’s siege of Gaza, which is part of an ‘incremental genocide,’ as historian Ilan Pappe has been calling it since 2006, and it puts the notion of a 'huge concentration camp', the term Haaretz journalist Amira Hass has used for Gaza, in historical perspective."

-->Almost no US media covered this story. Like with Saudi Arabia's genocide, every attempt is made to hide the facts. Is the American media in love with murderous theocracies in the Middle East?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Common Dreams:
"Millions on Brink of Death in Yemen, But Members of Congress Can't Be Bothered With Questions. Despite warnings about the intensifying humanitarian crisis in war-ravaged Yemen, members of the U.S. Congress dodged questions from an Intercept reporter this week about why lawmakers haven't voted on U.S. support for the Saudi-led military coalition that is bombing the impoverished country while also imposing a blockade of urgently needed aid. ...

As Fang [Intercept reporter] notes in his related article, while the coalition battles Houthi rebels, 'Saudi Arabia relies heavily on the U.S. military for intelligence sharing, refueling flights for coalition warplanes, and the transfer of American-made cluster bombs, rockets, and other munitions used against targets in Yemen' - which continues in spite of the fact that 'coalition warplanes have repeatedly struck crowded markets, hospitals, power plants, and other civilian targets.' ...

Meanwhile, about 20 humanitarian agencies and the U.N. are warning of a 'nightmare scenario,' as Common Dreams reported Wednesday, after the Saudi-led coalition closed all air, land, and sea ports to the country, cutting off millions of civilians from life-saving aid."

-->The empire's media doesn't cover genocide when it is being committed by US allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Maybe the American people wouldn't put up with it if they knew.

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The Guardian UK:
"Ex-Israeli PM introduced Harvey Weinstein to former Mossad spies.
Ehud Barak admits referring movie mogul to private investigators who reportedly helped to suppress sexual abuse allegations. ...

On its website, Black Cube describes itself as a 'select group of veterans from the Israeli elite intelligence units that specializes in tailored solutions to complex business and litigation challenges'.

Barak’s statement coincides with dates in the New Yorker article which claims that Weinstein approached Black Cube in autumn 2016, to seek their assistance in silencing the emerging sexual abuse allegations against him."

-->The NYT doesn't like printing stories that make Israel look bad. Ehud Barak and the Black Cube didn't make it into print.

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Common Dreams:
"Nation That Says It Can't Afford Medicare for All Has Spent $5.6 Trillion on War Since 9/11. Because, as new study notes, wars force the question: 'What we might have done differently with the money spent?' A new analysis offers a damning assessment of the United States' so-called global war on terror, and it includes a 'staggering' estimated price tag for wars waged since 9/11—over $5.6 trillion.

The Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Center says the figure—which covers the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from 2001 through 2018—is the equivalent of more than $23,386 per taxpayer.

The 'new report,' said Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action's senior director for policy and political affairs, 'once again shows that the true #costofwar represents a colossal burden to taxpayers on top of the tremendous human loss.' "

-->The NYT didn't think this report warranted media attention. Its readers didn't find out about the empire's staggering military costs.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Common Dreams:
"At a Harvard University Institute of Politics event on Monday, Tony Fabrizio—the chief pollster of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign—argued there is 'no question' that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would have defeated Trump in the general election had he emerged victorious from the Democratic primary.

'I think Sanders beats Trump,' Fabrizio concluded. 'I think Sanders would have had the ability to reach a lot of the less than college-educated, low-income white voters.'
Fabrizio's comments are consistent with polls conducted in 2016 showing that in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up with Trump, Sanders would have prevailed handily. More recent polls have produced similar results.

-->The NYT, along with much of the mainstream media, have long assumed just the opposite, that Hillary was the best way to beat Trump. The NYT continued its distortions of reality by not printing this article. 

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Common Dreams:
"In an explosive and 'deeply disturbing' piece for Politico Magazine on Thursday, former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Donna Brazile drew upon her brief experience at the organization's helm to reveal the extent to which the 2016 nomination process was "rigged" in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In her account, Brazile details the deep 'internal corruption' of the DNC, the role the ostensibly neutral governing body played as a 'fundraising clearing house' for the Clinton team, and how those dynamics unfairly handicapped primary challenger Bernie Sanders. ...

'Since the election, it is not clear that the DNC has dealt with these problems yet,' writes Clio Chang of Splinter News, building on King's point. 'Tom Perez was installed as DNC chair over Keith Ellison, a move that was largely seen as giving Democratic elites more control over the party....The DNC is not doomed to repeat the problems of the past, but from Brazile's account, it's clear that the organization requires a major reckoning.' "

-->The NYT didn't cover this story so much as warn against Democrat "infighting." The NYT, in a recent Op-Ed, questions whether it is the "right time to start a three-alarm [fire]" when unity is needed to defeat the Trump agenda. In fact, no time is the right time to challenge corporate dominance of the Democratic Party, according to our newspaper of record.

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Common Dreams:
"Seminal Moment as ICC Chief Prosecutor Seeks Probe of US War Crimes in Afghanistan. ...

In a move that could implicate U.S. military forces and the C.I.A., the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor on Friday said she would be asking the Hague-based body to begin a probe of possible war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

'This is a seminal moment for the ICC,' said Solomon Sacco, head of international justice at Amnesty International. 'Justice for victims of the Afghanistan conflict has taken far too long to arrive, but investigations like this one are the reason the Court was set up—to provide a last chance for justice when states parties have failed to deliver it.' "

-->The US mainstream media doesn't do stories about war crimes if they involve the Empire. The NYT, the Empire's most important propaganda arm, didn't print this story.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The Guardian UK:
"In an analysis (pdf) published Thursday that throws into stark relief the 'unjust and unsustainable' nature of what economists have termed the New Gilded Age, the Swiss financial firm UBS found that the wealth of the world's billionaires grew by 17 percent in 2016, bringing their combined fortune to a record $6 trillion—more than double the gross domestic product of the United Kingdom.

The report also found that there are 1,542 billionaires in the world and more than 563 in the United States alone, more than any other country.
Josef Stadler, lead author of the UBS analysis, told the Guardian that the firm's findings demonstrate that the world is 'now two years into the peak of the second Gilded Age.' ...

But despite insistence from leading economists and institutions like the International Monetary Fund that raising taxes on the wealthy is necessary to shrink the growing gap between the billionaires and everyone else, many global powers are doing precisely the opposite."

-->The NYT didn't run this story. Nor did much of the US media. On to more tax cuts for the billionaires!

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Common Dreams:
"Human Rights Watch is calling for a congressional inquiry into an executive order aimed at the warrantless monitoring of U.S. citizens and permanent residents after obtaining new documents that raise serious and troubling concerns about the extent of such surveillance.

The human rights group used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain training materials used by the Defense Department to implement Executive Order 12333's guidance, in which agencies are directed to monitor potential "homegrown violent extremists. ...

On its website on Wednesday, HRW raised concerns 'about the methods and criteria the government may be using to define and identify 'homegrown violent extremists,' and particularly about the risk that people who are exercising their legitimate free-expression rights will be targeted for monitoring in a discriminatory or arbitrary manner.' "

-->The NYT didn't print this story either. Apparently, our newspaper of record is OK with warrantless monitoring.

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Common Dreams:
"Amid an ongoing battle within the Democratic National Committee between its progressive wing and the more 'centrist' establishment, a Harvard-Harris poll (pdf) published Tuesday found that a majority of Democrats think their party should be embracing grassroots movements, ditching its current leadership, and moving to the left. ...

The Harvard-Harris poll found that 69 percent of Democratic voters between the ages of 18 and 34 believe the party should embrace the leftward shift pushed by grassroots movements urging Democrats to back Medicare for All, free public college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, and a bevy of other progressive goals.

'Those results, taken together, appear to bolster the left's broad critique of the Democratic Party, which accuses the party of focusing too much on feuding with Trump and not enough on building a coherent vision for the left,' concluded Mic's Andrew Joyce."

-->The NYT doesn't focus on what the majority of Democrats want their party to do. It avoids running stories about reforming the party so it can give more space to Trump's feuding. The mainstream media does not want the corporate controlled Democratic Party to change. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Common Dreams:
"Sparking concerns that party leadership is making the same mistakes that have rendered them increasingly powerless and without an inspiring vision, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is reportedly carrying out a massive staff shake-up in which veteran progressives are being purged and 'left out in the cold.'

"This doesn't bring the party together, it deepens the divide at a time we need all hands on deck," James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute and prominent Sanders supporter who was ousted from the DNC Executive Committee, wrote on Twitter Thursday. ...

According to Alex Seitz-Wald of NBC News, Zogby is hardly alone. '[S]everal key longtime officials have lost their posts since the staff changes began,' Seitz-Wald writes, a fact that many have interpreted as 'retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.'

-->The neoliberal faction of the Democratic Party is getting rid of progressives, and the NYT didn't think it newsworthy. Our newspaper of record likes the corporate wing of the party. Why tell on them?

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Common Dreams:
"Documents Reveal Active U.S. Support of Indonesian Mass Killings in 1960s.
While some describe the newly-released cables as showing the U.S. 'stood by' as atrocities were committed, documents show American support amounted to active involvement.

Newly declassified files from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta confirm the extent to which American officials supported the killings of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians in the 1960s, as the U.S. worked to keep Southeast Asia from falling into Communist control.

This narrative emboldened the Indonesian military, paramilitaries and others to oversee the killings of 500,000 Indonesians who were suspected Communists, including students and union members."

-->The NYT takes stories like this and sends them down the memory hole. No wonder most Americans see US foreign policy as benevolent. The rest of the world knows better.

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Common Dreams:
"Carnage in Somalia Was 'Revenge' for Children Killed in US Raid: Report
Suggesting blowback, investigators say bomber may have had very personal reason for attack: the killing of civilians by U.S. forces earlier this year.

New details emerged Tuesday about the possible motivations behind a bomb attack that killed more than 300 people in the Somalia capital of Mogadishu over the weekend—the deadliest such violence in the nation's history—with the information suggesting the bombing may been in direct retaliation for a raid by U.S. soldiers this summer that left 10 civilians, including children, dead."

-->The NYT never reports stories like this. If the real reasons were given print space, the US empire might begin looking like the cause of world terrorism rather than the solution. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Common Dreams:
"The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to challenge a Kansas law that requires any company or individual who contracts with the state to sign a statement certifying that they are not actively engaged in boycotting Israel.

'This law is an unconstitutional attempt by the government to silence one side of a public debate by coercing people not to express their beliefs, including through participation in a political boycott,' said ACLU attorney Brian Hauss. The law took effect July 1, 2017. 'From the Boston Tea Party to the Montgomery bus boycott to the campaign to divest from businesses operating in apartheid South Africa, political boycotts have been a proud part of this country's constitutional tradition.'

The lawsuit could have sweeping consequences nationally. Kansas' law is similar not only to laws adopted by other states but also to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act that has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate."

-->When it comes to Americans' freedom of speech, the NYT takes the side of the Israel Lobby. It didn't report this story.

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The Guardian UK:
"Over half of all police killings in 2015 were wrongly classified as not having been the result of interactions with officers, a new Harvard study based on Guardian data has found.

The finding is just the latest to show government databases seriously undercounting the number of people killed by police.

'Right now the data quality is bad and unacceptable,' said lead researcher Justin Feldman. 'To effectively address the problem of law enforcement-related deaths, the public needs better data about who is being killed, where, and under what circumstances.' "

-->Are the US Police hiding the number of murders being committed by them? The number of killings could easily be twice what is reported. The NYT wasn't interested in printing this story, and readers had to find it in the UK Guardian. 

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972 Magazine:
"Jewish students feel unsafe on campus? A new study says otherwise. In recent years numerous studies have created the impression that university campuses across the United States are a hotbed of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment. These studies describe Jewish student experiences on campus, painting an alarming portrait of a politically unsafe climate for Jewish students who are ill equipped to deal with these challenges. ...

A new study published by Stanford University Graduate School of Education contests these beliefs, arguing not only that campuses are a safe place for Jewish students, but also that students are alienated by the very nature of the debate on anti-Semitism and the Israel-Palestine conflict. This groundbreaking new qualitative study, called 'Safe and on the Sidelines,' is based on a 10-month study of Jewish students on five campuses across California. ...

Contrary to what we often hear about Jewish experience on campus, the report argues that 'students reported feeling comfortable on their campuses, and, more specifically, comfortable as Jews on their campuses.' ... In the study, less than 10 percent of respondents articulated the belief that anti-Israel sentiment is, by definition, anti-Semitism."

-->The NYT often conflates anti Israel sentiment on US campuses with anti-Semitism. Too bad our newspaper of record didn't report this new study.