Thursday, June 18, 2015

Daily Mail UK:
Russia last night warned that it will build up weaponry on the EU's borders if the US stations tanks and heavy arms in Poland. A Moscow defence ministry official called the US plans reported in Washington 'the most aggressive step by the Pentagon and Nato since the Cold War'. General Yuri Yakubov said: 'Russia will have no option but to build up its forces and resources on the western strategic front.'

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman declined to comment on the issue, because the reported US proposals had not come from an official announcement by government. But General Yakubov said Putin would order reinforcement of troops 'along the whole perimeter of Russia's western border, including new formations of tank, artillery and aviation units'.

He spoke as a pro-Moscow rebel leader in eastern Ukraine warned that the country's conflict is on the brink of turning into a 'major war'. "

-->The US media calls attention to the new Cold War, but generally blames Putin instead of Nato's arms buildup around Russia. Meanwhile, The NYT engages in wishful thinking rather than questioning Nato's warmongering: "Russia, given its economic problems, probably cannot afford even the weapons that Mr. Putin has pledged to deliver by 2020." But Russia's procurement of weapons isn't the problem; the world can't afford a new Cold War and The NYT should at least point out the dangers of Nato's policies.


Common Dreams:
"The Israeli cabinet over the weekend passed a controversial bill that approves the force-feeding of hunger striking prisoners—an act that is widely considered torture, including by the Israeli Medical Association. ...

Force-feeding, which has been compared to water-boarding, involves the painful insertion of tubes and pumping of food and can cause stomach damage and asphyxiation. The U.S. military's routine force-feeding of peaceful protesters at Guantánamo Bay was condemned by the United Nations human rights office as torture and a violation of international law.
Yet, Israeli officials have openly referenced the U.S. practice to justify the bill. When advocating for the legislation last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly cited the U.S. policies at Guantánamo Bay."

-->Nice to know that the US is setting a high standard for human rights around the world. Of course, such influences never make it into the US media.


Common Dreams:
"In a decision that may have long-lasting repercussions for the university's reputation, a leading university group on Saturday voted to censure the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for firing Professor Steven Salaita after he made comments critical of Israel's attack on Gaza last summer.

The university rescinded Salaita's tenured faculty appointment at school's the American Indian studies program after he issued a series of Tweets condemning those who defended Israel's military actions against Palestinians in Gaza.

'If it's antisemitic to deplore colonization, land theft, and child murder, then what choice does any person of conscience have?' was among the comments made last July. The school board's dismissal of Salaita received widespread condemnation by groups accusing the university of having a pro-Israel bias."

-->The NYT did not print this story, but posted an Associated Press version of the censure on-line. Any news that makes the Israel Lobby look bad is usually kept out of the spotlight in this manner.

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