News Release

* Israel Bombs Gaza * Japan Nixing Pacifism * Chile Fingers U.S.

JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN, amadea311 at earthlink.net
In the story “Is Israel Preparing New Military Offensive against Gaza?“, the Real News reports “Israel is punishing Gaza despite no evidence that shows Hamas was responsible for the deaths of the Israeli teenagers.”

Faculty associate in Middle East Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Loewenstein has spent extensive time in Gaza including witnessing attacks. She is now in touch with human rights groups there. She said today: “More than three times the number of the Israeli youths murdered near Hebron were murdered by the Israeli military in its terrorist rampage across the West Bank since the three [Israeli youths] went missing. But we will never see the handsome photos and bios of the dead Palestinians because they are ‘human animals’ according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unworthy of our grief. … Israel has been dying to arrest many of those it freed in deals over the last year or so, especially those connected to the Gilad Shalit case. … Clashes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood are growing more violent after the murder of a Palestinian teen by the Israeli military there. He was innocent of any crime. … Israel is already taking ‘justice’ into its own hands without any proof, real trial, or legal punishment of the accused. The accused teens’ families have already had their homes destroyed.”

TIM SHORROCK, timshorrock at gmail.com, @TimothyS
Reuters reports: “Japan takes historic step from post-war pacifism, OKs fighting for allies.”

Available for a very limited number of interviews, Shorrock is author most recently of the book Spies for Hire. He grow up in and has written extensively about Japan. He said today: “This has been pushed heavily by U.S. administrations of both parties since the 1950s. It’s been a carefully hidden but bipartisan policy in Washington to prod Japan to expand its military role in the U.S.-Japan security alliance. It means further exploitation by the U.S. military of the island of Okinawa, where the U.S. is expanding its Marine presence, and undercuts the will of the Japanese people, thousands of whom have been demonstrating against the changes in the peace constitution. That’s a tragedy, and President Obama should be ashamed for increasing rather than decreasing militarization in Asia.”

JOSEPH GERSON, jgerson80 at gmail.com
Gerson is director of programs for the American Friends Service Committee in New England, author of several books and has written extensively about Japan. He said today: “Japan has suffered a political coup. Black is now officially white. A constitution that clearly and forever renounces war and preparations for war, now means that the Japanese military can join the United States in its wars: for oil in the Middle East, with the U.S. — or the Philippines — under the guise of protecting the flow of its oil and natural gas; and joining in first-strike warfare in East Asia.”

From the Japanese Constitution: “Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

“In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

FERNANDO A. TORRES, fdotorrres at hotmail.com
PRI’s “The World” reports: “American journalist Charles Horman was murdered with the help of the US government, a Chilean court finds.

Torres is a short-story writer, poet and journalist, is associate editor and U.S. correspondent for the web magazine Dilemas.cl. Under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, Torres joined the Chilean resistance. In 1975 he was arrested by the regime’s secret police. Torres is currently writing a book of short stories based on his experiences as a political prisoner.

He said today: “That a Chilean court is now saying that Horman was killed with the help of the U.S. government confirms and reiterates in legally grounded terms something that everybody knew about the role of the U.S. government in the bloody Chilean military coup and speaks volumes about the chilling extremes U.S. government and its foreign functionaries can go to when plotting the overthrow of foreign governments (even killing one of their own). And — if we take into account recent events such the assassination of U.S. nationals abroad — U.S. leaders have learned little from blatant mistakes in international behavior and policies. One of those responsible was the promoter of the Chilean military coup and the obnoxious and murderous Condor Operation, Henry Kissinger.”