Wednesday, October 21, 2009

“Green” Hoax-Mongers Dupe Major Media (Again)

Charlatans posing as representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a press release, sent out emails, and held a press conference at the Washington, D.C. National Press Club today, announcing the Chamber’s new “Free Enterprise Climate Policy” pushing for “strong climate legislation.”

One mystery is how Reuters and other news agencies could have been taken in by a statement (also posted on a fake webpage, here) peppered with such fractured logic and head-scratchers as:

The Chamber believes that if we do not help to prepare a strong climate change bill for the President, we will face a new foreclosure crisis, due once again to the shortsightedness of a few, and their quest for immediate lamb at the expense of long-term wool.

Presumably it’s because the media—and teachers, students, and the general public—have been trained to accept without question endlessly repeated but unsubstantiated proclamations, such as:

Climatologists tell us that if we don’t enact dramatic reductions in carbon emissions today, within 5 years we could begin facing the propagating feedback loops of runaway climate change. That would mean a disruption of food and water supplies worldwide, with the result of mass migrations, famines, and death on a scale never witnessed before.

The release fails, however, to disclose the predicted disruptions to a continuation of current historically high life expectancy rates and global food production that enacting Al Gore-enriching “cap and trade” legislation and the China-enriching Copenhagen treaty would result in.

Instead of facts that might actually feed informed decision-making—including temperature data from the government’s own National Space Science and Technology Center showing that global temperatures peaked with 1998’s el Nino and have been falling ever since; the squelched internal EPA report skeptical of claims about global warming, including whether carbon dioxide must be strictly regulated by the federal government; and evidence that polar bear populations are rising—anti-human “environmentalists” can only resort to ever-more bold campaigns of disinformation and outright lies to further their one-world-government, Copenhagen treaty agenda.

As the historical record shows, the Malthusian activists’ solution—more control of the world’s resources by governments—has resulted in far greater environmental degradation than the “business” interests they villify. Alternatively, when individuals have been free, they have, time and again, devised innovative solutions that no central planner could ever imagine.

Yet lies continue to sell, and facts continue to be buried and apparently largely unread in musty tomes as the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, such as this easily-accessible and readable article, “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” —a virtual goldmine of data, detailing everything from the correlation between solar activity and global temperatures, to actual data on severe storms in the 20th century, sea levels, and CO2 levels, to analyses of the IPCC computer models underlying the hypothesis of anthropomorphic global warming, to the increase in U.S. forests in the past 50 years, the relative costs and benefits of alternative energy forms, and much more. As the scientist authors point out:

Across the globe, billions of people in poorer nations are struggling to improve their lives. These people need abundant low-cost energy, which is the currency of technological progress.

In newly developing countries, that energy must come largely from the less technologically complicated hydrocarbon sources. It is a moral imperative that this energy be available. Otherwise, the efforts of these peoples will be in vain, and they will slip backwards into lives of poverty, suffering, and early death.

Energy is the foundation of wealth. Inexpensive energy allows people to do wonderful things. For example, there is concern that it may become difficult to grow sufficient food on the available land. …

Energy provides … an even better food insurance plan. Energy-intensive hydroponic greenhouses are 2,000 times more productive per unit land area than are modern American farming methods. Therefore, if energy is abundant and inexpensive, there is no practical limit to world food production.

Fresh water is also believed to be in short supply. With plentiful inexpensive energy, sea water desalination can provide essentially unlimited supplies of fresh water.

During the past 200 years, human ingenuity in the use of energy has produced many technological miracles. These advances have markedly increased the quality, quantity, and length of human life. …

Were this bright future to be prevented by world energy rationing, the result would be tragic indeed. In addition to human loss, the Earth’s environment would be a major victim of such a mistake.

The Copenhagen treaty—which today’s merry pranksters hope to foist upon their duped audience—would directly result in such world energy rationing, making victims of the environment, and especially the world’s poor. So why, if the Truth will set us free, are we so eager to instead be enslaved by lies?

Source: The Beacon

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How South African Jews ‘protected’ their youth from the Shministim

It is not surprising that the same quarrels among Jews that we see here in the US are also at play in other parts of the world. Take for example South Africa, the land that gave us the word Apartheid.

Check out this cartoon, that appeared in the Mail and Guardian last week…Zapiro cartoon at South Africa\'s Mail and Guardian

Before anyone goes running to the hills, shouting ‘Anti-Semitism,’ let’s clarify… the cartoon was drawn by South African leading cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (aka “Zapiro”), who is Jewish and whose kids go to the Herzliah school depicted in the cartoon.

What’s going on here?

I’ve already reported on the cold shoulder that the institutional Jewish community gave the three Shministim — young Israeli concientous objectors — as they visited South Africa.

Here’s how the event organizers, Open Shuhada Street, describe the welcome the Shministim got there.

The Shministim were called cowards and traitors. Their Jewish identity was questioned. Someone shouted “They should be lynched”, another shouted “Knock some sense into them.”

And here’s the local Jewish weekly describing the event (South African Jewish Report, Oct 16, p.5):

Despite repeated appeals for calm and respectful debate which fell largely on deaf ears, there were frequent interjections from hecklers who disagreed vociferously with the speakers’ stance.

After the stormy meeting, this reporter was approached by an aggressive young individual who demanded that photographs taken of him be deleted “immediately, before I smash your camera against the wall”. Security was tight and the two speakers were escorted from the hall through a side entrance after angry audience members mobbed them following the formalities.

In a letter to the Jewish Board of Deputies, the tour organizers call things by their name:

We consider these incidents antisemitic because the hatred reserved for Jews who criticise Israel is more intense than the ill-feeling towards others who do so, and because Jews who criticise Israel are sometimes blamed for all subsequent criticism of Israel. They were in our view directed against Jews for being Jews. Their vehemence was exacerbated by the belief by these right-wing elements in the community that the Jewish members of Open Shuhada Street and the Shministim are traitors.

They further explain how this environment of verbal and physical hostility was not only condoned, but encouraged:

Before the meeting, David Hersch, a senior office bearer in the South African Zionist Federation, sent out a widely circulated email … It all but directly called for a disruption of the Albow centre meeting. In it he stated, “Fanatics just get stronger in their beliefs and agenda the more they are opposed and confronted, but oppose them and let them know they cannot operate with impunity we all must.”

David Hersch’s complaint about the ‘fanatics’ in the Jewish community are ironic given the fanatic tone of his email. It turns out that he published the names, work numbers, home numbers, and cell phone numbers of the members of the Jewish Board of Deputies and Zionist Council, and asked anyone who would listen,

Phone all these people, not just one. Make sure you speak to them and voice your concerns and opinions. If they do not take your calls or call you back, then they have no right to sit on these bodies as representatives of our fine community and should be replaced or voted off…

Why should they be voted off?

Let me spell out their treason: they issued a public statement to the media condemning the Shministim, but that was not enough. They made sure that no Shministim talk took place in any Jewish school in South Africa, but that was not enough.

Their opposition to the Shministim was not ferocious enough, according to Hersch.

Whatever you do, never give your cell phone number to this fanatic guy, David Hersch!

As I mentioned, the Shmnistim held a meeting with 60 young people at a cafe opposite the 1,800-student Herzlia School, since they were barred from speaking at the school.

Here’s the opinion of Daniel Shalem, a 12th grader in a Johannesburg Jewish school. I reprint almost in full the letter to the editor he sent to the South African Jewish Report — the country’s Jewish weekly.

Please read it and judge by yourself whether South African Jewish youth needed to be protected from the message of the Shministim…

Although I disagree with their refusal to join the Israeli army, I went to the discussion with an open mind (hoping that others would do the same) in order to give them a chance to explain their side.

I was interested in hearing their views because I have been predominantly exposed to a one-sided view of the Israeli conflict regarding its occupation, because I grew up in an Israeli home in which I was exposed predominantly to one side of the conflict.

In addition, I attend King David (Linksfield) High School. A school is a place in which one should be encouraged to learn about academia as well as the world. But how can I formulate opinions about matters in the world when I only hear one side?

The school refused the Shministim permission to present their argument to us. How dangerous is that!

The danger is evident when people formulate uninformed opinions due to the fact that they have only been exposed to one side. I realised this at the Jabula discussion.

We struggled to hear one another on a very basic level. We could not even engage in a constructive discussion. The reason I was shocked during the discussion is because people started attacking the Shministim on a personal level.

They had no interest in what these Shministim had to say. They had no interest in listening to their journey and experiences. They had no interest in hearing about their experience in jail or the atrocities they have witnessed at the tender age of 20.

It is almost as if those being opposed to them, came to the discussion with the sole intention of attacking the Shministim.

I find that we have one idea drilled into our heads and the thought of an opposing idea being valid is simply an impossibility.

I was unaware of how far away from peace we are. Never mind the conflict in Israel, we have our own conflict here, in South Africa: and lack of respect for one another. This is the first challenge.

The Shministim came here with many goals: to learn but also to teach. They taught me the true meaning of the concept of listening to both sides before reaching conclusions.

They also taught me about the conflict. Things are occurring in this conflict that would shock every single human being with a conscience. Yet they occur on a daily basis.

The Shministim believe that all we need to do to begin preventing these atrocities and paving the way forward is to listen to the other side. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is - we cannot even listen to
each other in a small room in the Jabula Centre in Sandringham!

It must be reminded that I disagree with many aspects of the Shministim’s struggle. However, I agree with others. This allows me to formulate a more informed opinion. This is what constructive discussion is about.

Last word to the Shministim themselves. This is the speech they gave at the Ashley Kriel Memorial lecture at the University of the Western Cape. The lecture is given in memory of the murdered 21 year old anti-apartheid activist who was a model for youth struggle and principled resistance. Here are the Shministim in their own words.

– Sydney Levy

Source: Jewish Voice For Peace: Muzzle Watch

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The ultimate assault on free speech

Law firm Carter-Ruck’s super-injunction to attempt to stop the reporting of a question on the Trafigura affair in Parliament has galvanised MPs and other bodies to take up the fight for freedom of expression. John Kampfner reports

The unremitting assault on free speech in the UK finally hit the heart of the establishment last week. The story of the Guardian, the oil trader Trafigura, the law firm Carter-Ruck and its super-injunction threatened to override centuries of parliamentary sovereignty.

The story could be seen as an aberration, an example of hubristic lawyers tying themselves in knots. At an emergency meeting on Thursday, a cross-party group of MPs, journalists and campaigners debated whether Carter-Ruck had simply made a mistake — parliament’s rights are supreme and nobody would have the temerity to challenge that in a court. If only it were that simple.

Possibly because their interests are at stake, MPs have woken from their slumber. That meeting is due to be followed by one today with Carter-Ruck, and by a debate on Wednesday. The Conservative MP, Peter Bottomley, has promised to report Carter-Ruck to the Law Society. The new speaker, John Bercow, declared that “there is no question of our own proceedings being in any way inhibited”.

However, a closer look suggests a more complicated picture. Paul Farrelly, the Labour MP and former Observer journalist, ensured that his question was tabled only by carefully not drawing the attention of the Commons authorities to the actual case in question. The irony is that Carter-Ruck’s insistence on secrecy through the super-injunction worked to his advantage. The Commons authorities apparently had no idea what case Farrelly was referring to when they let his question through.

Jack Straw, the justice secretary, is now being lobbied to clarify the situation and to restate the right of the media to report whatever is said or written in the Commons or Lords, no matter what the circumstances.

Even though the super-injunction was lifted late on Friday, the episode should galvanise MPs to see the bigger picture – the seemingly inexorable march towards greater censorship and self-censorship in the UK. A combination of zealous law firms, pliant and sometimes ignorant judges, cash-strapped news organisations and a public that is encouraged to think the worst of the media has produced a situation where strong, investigative journalism is in jeopardy.

The list of infringements is long. The most egregious example is so-called “libel tourism”. Britain is seen as a pariah by the US Congress, which has followed several states in indemnifying Americans from the excesses of English courts.

The chilling effect is hard to quantify, because beyond the prosecutions and the injunctions lie stories that are never written for fear of an angry legal fax.

Many well-intentioned legal changes introduced in recent years have been manipulated, resulting in the opposite effect of the one envisaged. Conditional Fee Agreements —”no win, no fee” — were designed to help the impecunious to mount a claim when wronged. Instead they allow lawyers representing the wealthy to string cases along for as much as possible, knowing the other side cannot afford the fight. One editor told me recently he had been advised by his bosses to “lay off the oligarchs” for purely financial reasons.

The so-called Reynolds Defence, in which a journalist can claim to have acted professionally even where errors are made in publication, is used to stop publication. As soon as the other side is contacted for a comment, the threats begin, and publication can be inhibited.

The biggest challenge is the rise of super-injunctions and the misinterpretation by judges of the right to privacy as enshrined in the Human Rights Act. This part of the legislation was supposed to allow people to protect themselves and their families from unwarranted intrusion. Now “reputation” is being opened to corporations, who, through their lawyers, have been able to persuade judges to agree pre-emptive injunctions to protect their brands. The use of gagging orders appears widespread.

The current libel case that is attracting most attention is that of the science writer Simon Singh. In one of the few positive developments of recent days, he was given leave to appeal against the action brought by the British Chiropractic Association.

Set against this atmosphere of fear is a mood of defiance on the blogosphere and social networking sites. Carter-Ruck’s actions were undone in large part by the extraordinary response on Twitter to the Guardian’s predicament. Many stories that cannot be commented on in a UK domain can be read on foreign-hosted websites. This has produced the crazy situation of people in other countries being better informed about our country than we are.

Index on Censorship and English PEN have jointly conducted an inquiry into libel and curbs on free expression. A number of round-table discussions with editors, broadcasters and senior lawyers produced a heartening show of unity and a determination to lobby for change. Our recommendations will be published on 10 November.

A few weeks later, the culture, media and sports select committee will publish the long-awaited results of its own inquiry into libel, privacy and press standards. There are signs that recent developments may have put some steel into its spine.

The battle is not about allowing journalists to pry with long-lens cameras; it is not about abolishing libel or the right to redress when maliciously wronged. It is about redressing the balance, about removing the stigma from a judicial process that has rendered English law the laughing stock of the western world and the enemy of free expression.

Source: Index On Censorship

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In a war for democracy, why worry about public opinion?

Escalation in Afghanistan is aimed at rescuing the credibility of western power, whatever Afghans or westerners might want

Whoever is in charge, it seems, the war on terror has truly become a war without end. Eight years after George Bush and Tony Blair launched it, with an attack on Afghanistan under the preposterous title of "operation enduring freedom" and without any explicit UN mandate, Gordon Brown has agreed to send yet more British troops to die for a cause neither they nor the public any longer believe in.

Granted we are only talking about an extra 500 troops on top of the 9,000 already there, and the decision is hedged with qualifications. Brown has nevertheless bowed to pressure from the US administration, the British military establishment and the warmongering wing of the media, anxious to exploit the government's Afghan failures in the runup to the general election.

But if any more proof were needed that foreign wars are not regarded as any business of the voters, this is surely it. Yesterday's batch of polls confirm public opposition to the Afghan imbroglio is becoming ever more entrenched. There has been a 7% increase since last month in support for immediate withdrawal, according to a Populus poll for the Times, with 68% wanting troops out within the year and strongest backing for a pullout among Labour voters.

That is feeding the growing disaffection among serving soldiers towards what many see as a futile sacrifice, supposedly on behalf of a hostile population in Helmand province. The public opposition of Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, scheduled to face a court martial next month after refusing to fight what he regards as an illegal war in Afghanistan, clearly reflects a wider sentiment in the army. Stop the War Coalition activists drumming up support for next week's national demonstration have reported sympathetic approaches from off-duty squaddies and their families across the country. It's the kind of climate that saw parents of soldiers killed in Iraq tell the official inquiry on Tuesday they want to see Blair indicted as a war criminal.

Reports are multiplying of a similar mood among American soldiers in Afghanistan, as US opposition to the war has also hardened. As in Britain, the rampant rigging in August's presidential election was a tipping point: dying for Afghans' right to take part in a fraudulent sham is scarcely the noble cause for which Nato forces were assured they were the standard-bearers.

But the signs are that Barack Obama is once again preparing to send more troops – even if not the 40,000 demanded by his senior commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal. Last week, the US president explicitly ruled out any significant reduction in troop numbers or switch from a "counter-insurgency" to "counter-terrorist" remit (targeting al-Qaida, rather than the Taliban), let alone military withdrawal.

Instead, the hints are of schemes to buy off Taliban footsoldiers in an attempt to repeat the trick that created US-sponsored Sunni militias out of elements of the Iraqi resistance during the 2007 US surge. The Iraq analogy is not a happy one, however. Those Iraqi "awakening councils" are already falling apart, notably in what was supposed to be their showcase of Anbar province, where a string of deadly attacks has taken place in recent days.

Add to that the fact that there is no equivalent Shia or Iranian-style threat to the Taliban in the Pashtun areas where they are strongest, and the new wheeze's potential looks a good deal less impressive. As Gilles Dorronsoro of the Carnegie Institute puts it: "You cannot break an insurgency that strong with money. It's not a mercenary force." In fact, the Taliban now effectively controls up to 70% of the country, according to Pakistan government estimates, its support fuelled by nationalist anger and the thousands of Afghan civilian casualties inflicted by Nato forces.

Meanwhile, years of occupation and intervention in Afghanistan are yielding ever more bitter fruit in Pakistan. The war with the local Taliban is expected to escalate next week into a full-scale US-sponsored assault on South Waziristan, retaliatory attacks are spreading in the cities, US drone attacks have exacted a relentless civilian death toll and two million have already been made homeless by the spillover war.

Yet one after another, the official aims and justifications of the war in Afghanistan have failed or been discredited. It was a war fought to kill or capture Bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, but both are still at large. It was a war fought to destroy al-Qaida, whose leadership simply decamped and set up new bases from Pakistan to Iraq. It was a war for democracy, women's rights, development and opium eradication – all successively demonstrated to be a hollow joke.

Now we are told it is a war to prevent al-Qaida-inspired terrorism on the streets of London, which shamelessly turns reality on its head. There were no such attacks before 2001, and both bombers and intelligence agencies have repeatedly identified the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan as a central motivation for those who try to launch them. Last week, General Richards, new chief of the general staff, conjured up an even more lurid justification: if Nato pulled out of Afghanistan, the Taliban and al-Qaida would seize Pakistan and its nuclear weapons.

The opposite is the case. It is the Afghan war that is destabilising Pakistan and driving the Pashtun rebellion there. The last remaining argument, that withdrawal from Afghanistan would risk "undermining the credibility of Nato" and the "international community", used by Brown last month, is the closest to the truth. In the wake of its strategic defeat in Iraq, it would certainly signal that the US and its allies can no longer impose military solutions on recalcitrant states at will, as they have done since the end of the cold war.

Which is why US, British and other Nato soldiers are likely to go on dying in Afghanistan, along with thousands of mostly unreported Afghans. The alternative is not to "walk away" from the country, as often claimed by supporters of the occupation, but the negotiated withdrawal and political settlement, including the Taliban and regional powers, that will eventually end the war. That's what most Afghans, Britons and Americans want. But political pressure will have to grow stronger – including, grimly, from a rising soldiers' death toll – if it's going to be achieved any time soon.

Source: The Guardian

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So each day more stunning facts come out about Nozette, the latest Zionist Spy operating for Israel inside America. Truly amazing how they are so willing to sell out the country in which they were born, raised, provided for, educated by, employed by, and where they received a whopping $225,000.00 annual salary from. Yet, they are willing to sell out America and their fellow Non-Zionist Americans to a foreign power with such ease.

Regarding Nozette, America’s latest and more “recent” Israeli spy; I found it quite “odd” that some of the very first statements within any of the articles was this statement:
Senior government officials in Jerusalem said Israel does not gather intelligence nor is it involved in any espionage activities in friendly states, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.
And America chimed in as well with this statement:
The government’s complaint doesn’t allege that Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed a crime.
There now folks, no worries, move along, nothing to see here, America and Israel "in sync" on this "breaking" story. I don’t buy it, not one little bit. My reasons can be summed up in two very troublesome paragraphs being reported, notice the dates:
1. Nozette's most sensitive position appears to have been as a contractor working from 2000 to 2006 for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

2. Nozette was employed as a technical consultant for Israel Aerospace Industries, the government owned aerospace company, between 1998 and 2008
It’s the “overlap” Stupid! He was actually employed in top secret work for the US government at the SAME time he was also employed by Israel Aerospace Industries. So for a whopping SIX years he worked for BOTH agencies. Now, he may be a “rocket Scientist” and I may NOT be a Rocket Scientist, but I don’t need to be one to notice the correlation between those dates. . AND IF YOU DON'T THINK THERE WAS SOME TRANSFERENCE OF INFORMATION DURING THAT TIME THEN I HAVE SOME SWAMP LAND TO SELL YOU....Additionally, just “where” is this secret “Country A” anyway??? Why would that be withheld and kept “secret” It’s named in the documents of the case as “Foreign Country A” followed by a comforting excuse that gets Israel off the hook, see below.
The complaint alleges that Nozette traveled to a country that is not Israel -- "foreign country A" -- in January of this year
I don’t buy this “Foreign Country A” bit either. I think “Foreign Country A” is actually Israel, or perhaps a designated stopping point, outside of America, where he was to meet his “Israeli Mossad Counterpart” and hand over the goods. Which he clearly returned without. I also believe that the US was well aware in advance of this case coming to fruition and that Israel was well informed of this fact, in advance. Hence the “Quietness” of the Israeli Government to wade in vocally on this subject. I also believe the US government is now using this against Israel to:

1. Exhibit to the Israeli Government that the US is on top of their spy rings. And

2. A “whip or a carrot” to help to push Israel into a peace process (on the heels of goldstone) The whip option would have been the US spilling the beans in the first place, The Carrot option is the one agreed upon by Israel and the US. Where the US does not involve the Israeli Government and instead Obama gets a peace process. (Which suddenly TWO days ago the settlements have been agreed upon and Netanyahu is all about "Talking to the Palestinians")

I say this because of the timing of events here. First we have the Goldstone report, which, if the US wanted to play hardball with the Zionists, they could abstain from voting in the next phase of the Draft Resolutions process. The US could also “not be so vocal” on supporting Israel at the UN as well. Without the US, Israel has no hope of quashing this resolution OR report. Also we have the sudden agreement on the "settlements" issue between Obama and Netanyahu, just DAYS ago. Follwed by Netanyahus statements of now wanting to "Talk to Palestinians" It's all WAY too convenient for me.

Perhaps it is finally time that America begins to examine it’s relationship with Israel. But that would prove difficult as the Israelis have managed to infiltrate into the highest ranks of the US Government, via AIPAC and it’s millions of contributions to US politicians at all levels and in all areas. America needs to be very worried about these inside Israeli foreign spies. America has already been attacked once; it could happen again if the information Nozette had access to was then conveniently transferred to a foreign power that would “very much” like to shape America’s future foreign policy towards the Arab and Muslim regions of the Middle East. In order to ensure it suits Israel’s needs instead of America’s needs. This could be done easily enough by some “Event” taking place on Americans that can then be “parlayed” into another Muslim “kill them all” hate fest. Remember the USS Liberty? From the BBC:

Source: Irish4Palestine

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cast lead

How’s this for Chutzpah?
Not only do Israelis rewrite history, they are now trying to change the present and the future.

Israel wants law of war changed after damning UN Gaza report

By Ron Bousso

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his government on Tuesday to draw up proposals to amend the international laws of war after a damning UN report on its war in Gaza.

The security cabinet did not, however, discuss calls made by ministers for an internal investigation into the 22-day offensive at the turn of the year that killed some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, an official told AFP.

“The prime minister instructed the relevant government bodies to examine a worldwide campaign to amend the international laws of war to adapt them to the spread of global terrorism,” his office said in a statement.

Israel was dealt a heavy diplomatic blow with the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of the report that accused both Israel and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip of war crimes.

Israel’s closest allies, the United States, Britain and France urged it to investigate war crime allegations raised by the fact-finding missions headed by Richard Goldstone, a former international war crimes prosecutor.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak backed Netanyahu’s call for a diplomatic campaign, saying that Israel should propose changes in the international laws of war “in order to facilitate the war on terrorism,” an official quoted him as saying.

“It is in the interest of anyone fighting terrorism. We must give the IDF (Israeli army) the full backing to have the freedom of action,” Barak said.

Netanyahu dismissed the Goldstone report on the Gaza war and vowed that Israel would not give up its right of self-defence.

“We are struggling to delegitimise the ongoing attempts to delegitimise Israel… We must persistently fight this lie, which is being spread by the Goldstone report,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying.

“I want to make it clear: no one will weaken our ability and right to defend our children, citizens and communities.”

Meanwhile, hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, reiterating Israel’s stance that peace talks with the Palestinians could not progress amid international support for the Goldstone report.

Lieberman said Palestinian support for the report “raises real questions about the true intentions of the Palestinians: Is it the establishment of a Palestinian state or the destruction of the State of Israel?” he said according to a statement from his office.

Goldstone, the respected South African jurist who led the UN fact-finding team, recommended that the conclusions of the report be forwarded to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court at The Hague if the two sides fail to conduct credible investigations into the conflict within six months.

Israel has slammed it as a “diplomatic farce” and warned that it risked sinking the stalled Middle East peace process.

Goldstone, who has faced a storm of personal attacks inside Israel since the report’s publication, dismissed the argument and urged the Jewish state to comply with the recommendation to investigate the war.

“It’s a shallow, utterly false allegation,” Goldstone said during a meeting with a group of rabbis in the United States, remarks aired on Monday by Israeli public radio.

“What peace process are they talking about? There isn’t one. The Israeli foreign minister doesn’t want one,” Goldstone said.

Source: Desert Peace

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A Nobel winner who showed freedom works

Pundits and politicians act as if government can solve almost any problem. At the slightest hint of trouble, the ruling class reflexively assumes that knowledgeable, wise and public-spirited government regulators are capable of riding to the rescue. This certainly is the guiding philosophy of the Obama administration.

So how remarkable it is that this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in economics was shared by Elinor Ostrom, whose life's work demonstrates that politicians and bureaucrats are not nearly as good at solving problems as regular people. Ostrom, the first woman to win the prize (which she shared with Oliver Williamson of UC-Berkeley), is a political scientist at Indiana University. The selection committee said that she has "challenged the conventional wisdom that common property is poorly managed and should be either regulated by central authorities or privatized. Based on numerous studies of user-managed fish stocks, pastures, woods, lakes and groundwater basins, Ostrom concludes that the outcomes are, more often than not, better than predicted by standard theories. She observes that resource-users frequently develop sophisticated mechanisms for decision-making and rule enforcement to handle conflicts" (emphasis added).

Ostrom's work concentrates on common-pool resources (CPR) like pastures and fisheries. Policymakers assume that such situations are plagued by free-rider problems, where all individuals have a strong incentive to use the resource to the fullest and no incentive to invest in order to enhance it. Analysts across the political spectrum theorize that only bureaucrats or owners of privatized units can efficiently manage such resources.

Few scholars actually venture into the field to see what people actually do when faced with free-rider problems. Ostrom did. It turns out that free people are not as helpless as the theorists believed.

She writes in her 1990 book, "Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action," that there is no shortage of real-world examples of "a self-governed common-property arrangement in which the rules have been devised and modified by the participants themselves and also are monitored and enforced by them."

In other words, free people work things out on their own.

Not only is government help often not needed, Ostrom says it usually screws things up because bureaucrats operate in an ivory tower ignorant of the local customs and the specific resource.

Political theorists assume away the problems of political control, but the problems are real. There is no reason to believe that bureaucrats and politicians, no matter how well meaning, are better at solving problems than the people on the spot, who have the strongest incentive to get the solution right. Unlike bureaucrats, they bear the costs of their mistakes. Moreover, as the prize committee pointed out, "Rules that are imposed from the outside or unilaterally dictated by powerful insiders have less legitimacy and are more likely to be violated."

Some of Ostrom's readers think that she is as critical of the free market as she is of government management. She writes, "(N)either the state nor the market is uniformly successful in enabling individuals to sustain long-term, productive use of natural resource systems." But what those readers miss is that the resource-management arrangements Ostrom documents are voluntary agreements that people themselves devise, monitor and enforce. These agreements are part of the free market, even if the resource is not formally divided into privately owned units. Fundamental for advocates of freedom is not "the market" narrowly conceived, but the broader realm of consent and contract.

I was amused to see the lengths to which the New York Times went to spin Ostrom's (and Williamson's) selection in an anti-free-market direction. Reporter Louis Uchitelle wrote, "Neither Ms. Ostrom nor Mr. Williamson has argued against regulation. Quite the contrary, their work found that people in business adopt for themselves numerous forms of regulation and rules of behavior – called 'governance' in economic jargon – doing so independently of government. ..."

Please. Rules of behavior that are independent of government are not what anybody means by "regulation." Advocates of regulation say people can't devise methods of "governance" that leave politicians out of the picture, but Ostrom shows they are wrong.

We libertarians aren't against rules – we are against top-down rules imposed by out-of-touch bureaucrats. People generate better rules when the state leaves us alone.

Source: World Net Daily

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