Articles by The Independent

We found 288 results.


US Military Plan to Spread Viruses Using Insects, Which Could Create a ‘New Class of Biological Weapon,’ Scientists Warn
Josh Gabbatiss | The Independent – Reader Supported News, 8 Oct 2018

5 Oct 2018 – Insects could be turned into “a new class of biological weapon” using new US military plans, experts have warned. However, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), which is responsible for developing military technologies in the US, says it is merely trying to alter crops growing in fields by using viruses to transmit genetic changes to plants.

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How Long Are We Going to Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Robert Fisk | The Independent – Reader Supported News, 28 May 2018

26 May 2018 – Monstrous. Frightful. Wicked. It’s strange how the words just run out in the Middle East today. Sixty Palestinians dead. In one day. Two-thousand-four-hundred wounded, more than half by live fire. In one day. The figures are an outrage, a turning away from morality, a disgrace for any army to create.

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The Resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Is Not All It Seems
Robert Fisk | The Independent – Reader Supported News, 13 Nov 2017

10 Nov 2017 – He certainly did not anticipate what happened to him. Indeed, Hariri had scheduled meetings in Beirut on the following Monday – with the IMF, the World Bank and a series of discussions on water quality improvement; not exactly the action of a man who planned to resign his premiership

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With the US Distracted by Trump and the UK by Brexit, They’re about to See a Decline in Their Global Power
Patrick Cockburn - The Independent, 27 Feb 2017

One need only look to Yeltsin’s Russia to see how great powers fall. Both Trump and Yeltsin won power as demagogic anti-establishment leaders who won elections by promising reform. The result in Russia was calamitous national decline and the same thing could now happen in America

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India Just Banned All Forms of Disposable Plastic in Its Capital
Ian Johnston – The Independent, 13 Feb 2017

25 Jan 2017 – India’s capital city Delhi has introduced a ban on disposable plastic. National tribunal prohibits use of cutlery, bags and other plastic items amid concern over pollution of the sea and air.

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Amnesia at the UN: The Massacres Samantha Power Conveniently Forgot to Mention
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 26 Dec 2016

It was bizarre to watch Samantha Power at the UN conveniently forget to mention all the massacres done in America’s name. When she talked about ‘barbarism against civilians’ in Aleppo, I remembered climbing over the dead Palestinian civilians massacred at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982, slaughtered by Israel’s Lebanese militia friends while the Israeli army – Washington’s most powerful ally in the Middle East – watched.

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Donald Trump Will Cause US Power to Collapse Says Johan Galtung, Who Correctly Predicted Fall of USSR
Harriet Agerholm – The Independent, 12 Dec 2016

Norwegian professor Johan Galtung is known as the “founding father” of peace studies as a scientific subject and is recognised for correctly predicting numerous historical events, among them the Tiananmen Square uprising in China and the September 11 attacks. He attracted controversy in 2000 when he predicted US global power would collapse by 2025. But under the Bush administration he revised his forecast for the collapse to 2020.

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The ‘Rebels’ of Aleppo Are No Heroes
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 12 Dec 2016

We refer to them as ‘rebels’ – as if they were the Maquis fighting in the French resistance or Partisans freeing Yugoslavia from the Nazis or, indeed, the insurgents of Warsaw struggling for freedom from the German SS. Which they clearly are not. We know that they have executed their internal enemies, slit the throats of their prisoners and that – well, since Jabhat al-Nusra is al-Qaida (and has since changed its name yet again) – they have flown passenger aircraft into very tall buildings in New York.

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Angel of Peace, No More!
Eric DeCruz – The Independent [Singapore], 12 Dec 2016

Aung Sang Suu Kyi joins the list of Nobel Laureates, the likes of Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres and Woodrow Wilson, who have a dubious record of implementing peace programmes. Aung Sang Suu Kyi is an angel no more. She has become an angel of death instead.

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This Is Why Everything You’ve Read about the Wars in Syria and Iraq Could Be Wrong
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 5 Dec 2016

2 Dec 2016 – The Iraqi army, backed by US-led airstrikes, is trying to capture east Mosul at the same time as the Syrian army and its Shia paramilitary allies are fighting their way into east Aleppo. It is too dangerous for journalists to operate in rebel-held areas of Aleppo and Mosul. But there is a tremendous hunger for news from the Middle East, so the temptation is for the media give credence to information they get second hand.

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Burmese Soldiers Accused of Raping and Killing Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar
Esther Htusan, Martha Mendoza – The Independent, 7 Nov 2016

31 Oct 2016 – Just five months after her party took power, Burma’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is facing international pressure over recent reports that soldiers have been killing, raping and burning homes of the country’s long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims. ‘The big picture is that the government does not seem to have any influence over the military’.

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Compare the Coverage of Mosul and East Aleppo and It Tells You a Lot about the Propaganda We Consume
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 31 Oct 2016

In both countries, two large Sunni Arab urban centres – East Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq – are being besieged by pro-government forces strongly supported by foreign airpower. Yet the coverage is very different.

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Orders US Forces Out of Country, Cutting 65 Years of Military Ties
Alexandra Sims – The Independent, 17 Oct 2016

‘Do not treat us like a doormat because you’ll be sorry for it. I will not speak with you. I can always go to China.’

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Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker. I’ll Never Forget the Sight of Pouring Blood and Burning Bodies at Qana
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 3 Oct 2016

Peres said the massacre came as a ‘bitter surprise’. It was a lie: the UN had repeatedly told Israel the camp was packed with refugees.

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Colin Powell Leaked Emails: Israel Has ‘200 Nukes All Pointed at Iran’, Former US Secretary of State Says
Rachael Revesz – The Independent, 19 Sep 2016

The detail is the latest revelation to emerge from a cache of leaked communications which has set Washington on edge.

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We Love to Talk of Terror – But After the Munich Shooting, This Hypocritical Catch-All Term Has Finally Caught Us Out
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 25 Jul 2016

24 Jul 2016 – How come a Muslim can be a terrorist in Europe but a mere ‘attacker’ in south-west Asia? The frightful and bloody hours of Friday night and Saturday morning in Munich and Kabul – despite the 3,000 miles that separate the two cities – provided a highly instructive lesson in the semantics of horror and hypocrisy.

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Bilderberg Group Meeting: What Actually Happens at the World’s Most Secretive Gathering of Global Elites, and Who Is Attending?
Adam Lusher – The Independent, 13 Jun 2016

The list of the rich and powerful attending this year’s Bilderberg Conference has been released – it includes bankers, prime ministers and former heads of the CIA and MI6.

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5 of the Worst Atrocities Carried Out by the British Empire
Samuel Osborne – The Independent, 6 Jun 2016

In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Winston Churchill diverted food to British soldiers while a deadly famine swept through Bengal. Talking about the Bengal famine, Churchill said: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”

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The EU Refugee Rescue Mission Is a Triumph of Humanitarianism – Not That You’ll Hear about It
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 16 May 2016

If Operation Sophia was designed to ‘tackle the root causes’ of the refugee crisis, we need to talk about justice, dignity and freedom for the people of the Middle East.

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I’m on the Kill List – This Is What It Feels Like to Be Hunted by Drones
Malik Jalal – The Independent, 18 Apr 2016

Friends decline my invitations and I have taken to sleeping outside under the trees, to avoid becoming a magnet of death for my family.

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Roger Waters: Pink Floyd Star on Why His Fellow Musicians Are Terrified to Speak Out against Israel
Paul Gallagher – The Independent, 29 Feb 2016

“If they say something they will no longer have a career. The only response to BDS is that it is anti-Semitic,” Waters told The Independent, in his first major UK interview about his commitment to Israeli activism. “I know this because I have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite for the past 10 years.”

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A Plan Must Be Made for ‘Life after Isis’ in the Middle East
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 22 Feb 2016

In the Second World War, Allied leaders planned for the post-war world – a ‘United Nations’ – years before the conflict ended. We must do the same for the Middle East. I cannot stand the old clichés about “when the guns fall silent”. But schools and universities are going to be more deadly to Isis than any air-strike. That’s how you deal with nightmares.

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British Empire Compared to ‘ISIS on Steroids’ after UK Public Says It Is ‘Proud’ of Colonial Past
Adam Withnall – The Independent, 25 Jan 2016

20 Jan 2016 – After a new poll found that the British public is generally proud of the country’s imperial history, people have started comparing the worst atrocities of the Empire to the present-day horrors of ISIS.

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‘Regrettable’ Is As Far As UK Criticism of Saudi Arabia Is Allowed to Go
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 18 Jan 2016

It was instructive, also, to hear Kawczynski refer to executions as “certain domestic actions”, as if slicing heads off human beings was something to be kept within the family – which is true, in a sense, since the Saudi authorities allow their executioners to train their sons in the craft of head-slicing, just as we Brits used to allow our hangmen to bring their sons into the gallows trade.

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Anonymous Group Takes Down ISIS Website, Replaces It with Viagra Ad Along With Message to Calm Down
Andrew Griffin – The Independent, 30 Nov 2015

“Enhance your calm,” the full message read. “Too many people are into this ISIS-stuff. Please gaze upon this lovely ad so we can upgrade our infrastructure to give you ISIS content you all so desperately crave.”

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‘We Remain Blindfolded about Isis’ Says the Man Who Should Know
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 16 Nov 2015

So immediately after the Paris massacres, I sought for reason, clarity and wisdom from a man who spent four and a half years in the hands of Muslim kidnappers – 54 months wearing a blindfold, always waiting for death. Brian Keenan was held by Shia Muslims loyal to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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A New Book Reveals the Horrifying, and Fascinating, Details of Daily Life under Isis
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 9 Nov 2015

It details all of Isis’s cruelty, but places it in the context of a very bloody history.

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‘Isis Flag’ Picture That Claims to Show Refugees Attacking Police Goes Viral — And Is a Lie
Andrew Griffin – The Independent, 21 Sep 2015

It’s old, probably not an Isis flag and has nothing to do with refugees.

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Refugee Crisis: Where Are All These People Coming from and Why?
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 14 Sep 2015

Refugees have been seeking safe haven in the West for years. Recently however, thousands have become millions, as nation after nation succumbs to anarchy and fanaticism. Patrick Cockburn focuses on the increasingly uninhabitable region of fear and hatred which is driving this alarming exodus.

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London Is Now the Global Money-Laundering Centre for the Drug Trade, Says Crime Expert
James Hanning and David Connett – The Independent, 13 Jul 2015

Interviewed by The Independent on Sunday [5 Jul 2015], Mr Saviano said of the international drugs trade that “Mexico is its heart and London is its head”. He said the cheapness and the ease of laundering dirty money through UK-based banks gave London a key role in drugs trade.

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Trade Agreements like TISA, TPP and TTIP Will Sideline National Laws, WikiLeaks Says
Hazel Sheffield – The Independent, 8 Jun 2015

The Trade in Services Agreement exposed in a 17-document dump by WikiLeaks on Thursday [4 Jun] relates to ongoing negotiations to lock market liberalisations into global law.

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[Nobel Peace Laureate] Aung San Suu Kyi’s Silence on the Genocide of Rohingya Muslims Is Tantamount to Complicity
Penny Green – The Independent, 25 May 2015

There will be much more blood if the Burmese government is not stopped in its tracks. If we wait for Aung San Suu Kyi to speak out against this genocide, there will be no Rohingya.

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‘Any Person You See – Shoot to Kill’: The IDF Doctrine Which Causes the Death of Innocent Palestinians
Ron Zaidel – The Independent, 25 May 2015

As a former sniper with the Israeli army, I am calling for an investigation of the events that took place in Gaza last year.

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Brazil Plans to ‘Nationalise’ Rainforest in Pioneering Plan to Protect Amazon
Donna Bowater – The Independent, 18 May 2015

Proposal to put all natural resources in the forest under state control faces legal wrangles – but if passed could enshrine environmental protection.

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Britain’s Colonial Shame: Slave-Owners Given Huge Payouts after Abolition
Sanchez Manning - The Independent, 27 Apr 2015

The British government paid out £20m to compensate some 3,000 families that owned slaves for the loss of their “property” when slave-ownership was abolished in Britain’s colonies in 1833. This figure represented a staggering 40 per cent of the Treasury’s annual spending budget and, in today’s terms, calculated as wage values, equates to around £16.5bn.

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At Least One Country Agrees with Netanyahu: Saudi Arabia
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 9 Mar 2015

Who can the Saudis trust when they find themselves on Netanyahu’s side? In their golden palaces, the Saudis fear. They fear the Iranians. They fear the Shia. They fear Isis and al-Qaeda. They fear the Muslim Brotherhood. They fear American betrayal and Israeli plots. They even fear the “power” of tiny Qatar.

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Shah Suleyman: The Truly Byzantine Origins of Turkey’s Operation to Rescue a Long-Dead Body from the ‘Islamic Caliphate’
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 23 Feb 2015

To begin this wondrous tale at the start. Shah Suleyman was the king who drowned in the Euphrates River in 1236. He was the father of Ertugrul, who lived by the Sea of Marmara and whose own son, Osman, founded the Ottoman empire, which lasted for 700 years and ended after Ottoman Turkey made the fatal mistake of supporting Germany in the First World War.

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Chapel Hill Shooting: Three Young Muslims Have Been Executed, but the Media Ignored It Because of Religion
Sabbiyah Pervez – The Independent, 16 Feb 2015

The lack of coverage proves that the West’s dehumanisation of Muslims is almost complete.

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An Old Hand Is at Work in Yemen’s Bloody Civil War
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 26 Jan 2015

Yemen is not Syria. But America’s skewed comprehension of the Middle East has now produced a remarkably similar scenario.

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Greece Elections: Syriza and EU on Collision Course after Election Win for Left-Wing Anti-Bailout Party
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 26 Jan 2015

25 Jan 2015 – Greek voters have rebelled against the austerity programme imposed by Brussels and Berlin. The radical left Syriza party won a decisive victory in the general election today and is close to winning an absolute majority in parliament.

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Saudi Arabia’s History of Hypocrisy We Choose to Ignore
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 19 Jan 2015

The Saudis are special, aren’t they? Fifteen of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudis. Osama bin Laden was himself a Saudi. The Taliban were financed and armed by the Saudis; the Taliban’s Organisation for the “Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice” was identical to the Saudi-Wahabi religious police in Riyadh and Jeddah.

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Charlie Hebdo: Paris Attack Brothers’ Campaign of Terror Can Be Traced Back to Algeria 1954
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 12 Jan 2015

The six-year Algerian war for independence, in which perhaps a million and a half Arab Muslims and many thousands of French men and women died, remains an unending and unresolved agony for both peoples. Just over half a century ago, it almost started a French civil war.

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When Will Palestinians Learn? Turning to International Law Isn’t the Answer — Just Ask America and Israel
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 5 Jan 2015

If Palestine’s request is ‘entirely counterproductive’, what does that make Israel’s slaughtering of civilians last summer?

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A Greek Island – Yours for the Price of a London Apartment
Kitty Knowles – The Independent, 5 Jan 2015

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise.

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CIA ‘Torture Report’: Once Again Language Is Distorted in Order to Hide US State Wrongdoing
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 22 Dec 2014

The whole process of “enhanced interrogation techniques” is now called “EIT”. Like WMD – another whopper in our political vocabulary – the whole filthy business is wrapped up in a three-letter abbreviation.

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Iran Is Shifting from Pariah to Possible Future Policeman of the Gulf
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 1 Dec 2014

Iran’s crisis – our crisis with Iran, if you like – is about that great and historic nation’s future geo-strategic role in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

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The West Is Silent as Libya Falls into the Abyss
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 3 Nov 2014

In 2011, there was jubilation at Gaddafi’s demise. Not any more: the aftermath of foreign intervention is calamitous and bloody. “Your friends in Britain and France will stand with you as you build your democracy,” pledged Mr Cameron to the people of Benghazi. Three years later, they are words he evidently wants to forget.

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Death of Endangered Northern White Rhino Leaves Just Six of the Animals Left in the World
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith – The Independent, 3 Nov 2014

The northern white rhino has become a step closer to extinction after one of its last breeding males died in Kenya, leaving only six of the species now left in the world. Suni, 34-year-old, was found dead on Friday [17 Oct 2014]. Gangs of poachers ship their stolen ivory to Asia, where rhino horn was valued higher than gold or platinum last year.

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Number of Global Billionaires Has Doubled Since the Financial Crisis
Jamie Merrill – The Independent, 3 Nov 2014

The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam, the world’s rich are getting richer, leaving hundreds of millions of people facing a life “trapped in poverty” as global “inequality spirals out of control”.

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Sri Lanka Revisited: The Whitewashing of a War Crime by Corporate Lobbyists
Andrew Buncombe – The Independent, 27 Oct 2014

The Sri Lankan government is hurriedly trying to boost the country’s image by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire corporate lobbyists as it awaits a UN report into alleged war crimes.

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With US-led Air Strikes on Isis Intensifying, It’s a Good Time to Be a Shareholder in the Merchants of Death
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 20 Oct 2014

Last month American warships fired $65.8m worth of Tomahawk missiles within just 24 hours of each other. So who is winning the war? Isis? Us? The Kurds (remember them?) The Syrians? The Iraqis? Do we even remember the war? Not at all. We must tell the truth. So let us now praise famous weapons and the manufacturers that begat them.

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John Kerry’s Rhetoric on Isis Insults Our Intelligence and Conceals the Reality of the Situation in Syria
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 22 Sep 2014

Anyone who has studied Syria knows the moderate opposition doesn’t exist.

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They’d Find a Cure If Ebola Came to London
Dr John Ashton – The Independent, 11 Aug 2014

The spotlight needs to be on the poverty and squalor in which these epidemics thrive. With more than 700 deaths in West Africa since February [2014], Ebola has finally made it on to the front pages.

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Bombs Away! US to the Rescue – But Only of Certain Minorities, Not Muslims
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 11 Aug 2014

He wouldn’t bomb Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s bloody caliphate when it was butchering the majority Shia Muslims of Iraq. But Barak Obama is riding to the rescue of the Christian refugees – and the Yazidis – because of “a potential act of genocide”. Bombs away. And thank heavens that the refugees in question are not Palestinian.

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The Secret Report That Helps Israel Hide Facts
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 4 Aug 2014

The slickness of Israel’s spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by the pollster Frank Luntz .

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Dress the Gaza Situation up All You Like, but the Truth Hurts: The World Is Starting to Turn against Israel
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 4 Aug 2014

There was a time when our politicians and media had one principal fear when covering Middle East wars: that no one should ever call them anti-Semitic. That has changed dramatically.

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Students Offered Grants If They Tweet Pro-Israeli Propaganda
Ben Lynfield – The Independent, 4 Aug 2014

In a campaign to improve its image abroad, the Israeli government plans to provide scholarships to hundreds of students at its seven universities in exchange for their making pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets to foreign audiences.

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What If It Had Been 35 Palestinian Dead, and 800 Israeli?
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 28 Jul 2014

Sunday 27 July 2014 – Many hundreds of thousands of people – I wish I could say millions – around the world want an end to this impunity. Impunity is the word that comes to mind. Eight hundred dead Palestinians. Eight hundred. That’s infinitely more than twice the total dead of flight MH17 over Ukraine.

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Gaza: Médecins Sans Frontières Official Likens Job to ‘Patching Up Torture Victims in an Open-Air Prison’
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 21 Jul 2014

Comments by Senior Médecins Sans Frontières Official Expose Ethical Dilemma of Humanitarian Work in Conflict Zones.

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Iraq Crisis: How Saudi Arabia Helped ISIS Take Over the North of the Country
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 21 Jul 2014

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany.

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The True Gaza Back-Story That the Israelis Aren’t Telling This Week
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 14 Jul 2014

OK, so by this afternoon [9 Jul 2014], the exchange rate of death in two days was 40-0 in favour of Israel. But now for the Gaza story you won’t be hearing from anyone else in the next few hours. It’s about land.

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Jailing of Al-Jazeera Journalists: A Proxy in the War between Qatar and Saudi Arabia
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 7 Jul 2014

Must journalists endure the threat of imprisonment as well as the threat of death or serious injury? It is not just the outrageous, unfair, trumped-up crudity of the charges against the three Al Jazeera journalists sentenced to years of imprisonment in Cairo.

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UK Under Fire for Recruiting an ‘Army of Children’
Jonathan Owen – The Independent, 26 May 2014

Ministry of Defence finds itself in the company of countries such as North Korea over use of teenage soldiers.

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Yet another Betrayal of the Palestinians
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 28 Apr 2014

25 April 2014 – Dead in the water. Just as the entire world predicted – with the exception of Messrs Barack Obama and John Kerry and, I suppose, our favourite “peace” envoy Tony Blair – the whole fandango of an Israeli-Palestinian “peace” has collapsed again.

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The 1915 Armenian Genocide: Finding a Fit Testament to a Timeless Crime
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 7 Apr 2014

As the last survivors die out, academics must consider how best to create a lasting memorial to the 1.5 million who were murdered.

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Saudi Arabia Declares All Atheists Are Terrorists in New Law to Crack Down on Political Dissidents
Adam Withnall – The Independent, 7 Apr 2014

Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of new laws which define atheists as terrorists, according to a report from Human Rights Watch. The new “terrorism” provisions contain language that prosecutors and judges are already using to prosecute and convict independent activists and peaceful dissidents.

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Sinister Efforts to Minimise Japanese War Crimes and Portray the Empire As a Victim Must Be Exposed
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 7 Apr 2014

The “comfort women”, the Japanese military’s repulsive euphemism for the victims they turned upon with such sexual sadism, were gang-raped, used as prostitutes and often butchered by Japanese soldiers during their occupation of Korea and China in the late 1930s. These women – the few ageing survivors and the many dead – are a symbol of Japan’s wartime disgrace.

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Three Years after Gaddafi, Libya Is Imploding Into Chaos and Violence
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 17 Mar 2014

16 Mar 2014 – The Libyan former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan fled last week after parliament voted him out of office. Without a central government with any real power, Libya is falling apart. The Nato powers that overthrew Gaddafi did not do so because he was a tyrannical ruler, but because he pursued a nationalist policy which was at odds with western policies in the Middle East.

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Were It Not for the French, Hezbollah Would All Be Syrians Fighting on Their Own Government’s Side Inside Their Own Country
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 3 Mar 2014

And you thought the Middle East was a difficult place to understand. Try living here.

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Are Protesters Overthrowing a Brutal Despot, or Merely Bad Losers at the Polls?
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 24 Feb 2014

The Arab Spring model of protest, symbolised by Tahrir Square, is now destabilising democratically elected leaders.

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Ukraine’s Future Is Tied Up With Syria’s – And Vladimir Putin Is Crucial to Both
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 24 Feb 2014

No one in the Middle East will be studying Ukraine’s violent tragedy with more fascination – and deeper concern – than President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

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Star Wars to Become Reality as US Navy on Course to Arm Ship with Laser
David Sharp – The Independent, 24 Feb 2014

Some of the US Navy’s futuristic weapons sound like something out of Star Wars, with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds.

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The Role of Africa in Halting Supply of Illegal Ivory
Henry Oryem Okello – The Independent, 17 Feb 2014

Nations must co-operate and educate their citizens, says the Foreign Minister of Uganda. A growing demand for ivory from Asia – despite its sale being illegal in many Asian countries – is often cited as the root cause of the escalation in poaching of elephants and rhinos.

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Now It’s Middle Eastern Regimes Fighting Al-Qa’ida, while the US Ties Itself Up in Knots
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 6 Jan 2014

And so, for the first time in recent history, it seems that the “war against terror” – and specifically against al-Qa’ida – is being fought by Middle East regimes rather than their foreign investors.

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Mass Murder in the Middle East Is Funded by Our Friends the Saudis
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 16 Dec 2013

Everyone knows where al-Qa’ida gets its money, but while the violence is sectarian, the West does nothing.

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Israel and Apartheid: Confused? You Will Be
Mira Bar Hillel – The Independent, 16 Dec 2013

Accused of enacting ‘apartheid’ itself, in the past Israel aided the South African regime. Maps show how the Israelis plan to create bantustans for the Nomadic Bedouin in its southern Negev region. Tens of thousands of them would be forced into ghettoes to make way for new Jewish towns and military zones. A-word, anyone?

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US/Britain’s Policy on Syria Has Just Been Sunk, and Nobody Noticed
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 16 Dec 2013

All US, British and French miscalculations have produced in Syria is a re-run of Afghanistan in the 1980s, creating a situation the ruinous consequences of which have yet to appear. As jihadis in Syria realise they are not going to win, they may well look for targets closer to home.

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Revealed: UK Government’s Radical Plan to ‘Burn Up’ UK’s Mountain of Plutonium
Steve Connor , Science Editor – The Independent, 2 Dec 2013

A radical plan to dispose of Britain’s huge store of civil plutonium – the biggest in the world – by “burning” it in a new type of fast reactor is now officially one of three “credible options” being considered by the Government, The Independent understands.

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Ten Years after the Invasion: Iraq Helpless under Rain of Terror
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 2 Dec 2013

Iraq’s inability to help its own people when they are hit by natural disasters, despite oil revenues of $100bn a year, underlines the dysfunctional nature of the government 10 years after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

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Is The Hague Making a Mockery of Justice so the CIA and MI6 Can Save Face?
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 4 Nov 2013

Investigating an alleged double standard over two prominent Libyans accused of crimes against humanity.

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As Syria Disintegrates, So Too Does Iraq
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 4 Nov 2013

Where there are Sunni minorities in Iraq, they will be killed or forced to flee. Perhaps, the only way to exercise influence on al-Qa’ida and the 1,200 other rebel groups is to threaten them with closure of the 500-mile long Turkish border which they need to keep open if they are to continue to fight.

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A Syrian Solution to Civil Conflict? The Free Syrian Army Is Holding Talks with Assad’s Senior Staff
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 7 Oct 2013

Secret Approach to the President Could Reshape the Whole War – Six weeks ago, a two-man delegation arrived in secret in Damascus: civilians from Aleppo who represented elements of the Free Syrian Army, the rebel group largely composed of fighters who deserted the regime’s army in the first year of the war.

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Gas Missiles ‘Were NOT Sold to Syria’
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 30 Sep 2013

While the Assad regime in Damascus has denied responsibility for the sarin gas missiles that killed around 1,400 Syrians in the suburb of Ghouta on 21 August, information is now circulating in the city that Russia’s new “evidence” about the attack includes the dates of export of the specific rockets used and – more importantly – the countries to which they were originally sold.

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Assad’s Troops May Be Winning This War in Syria’s Capital – Untouched by Obama’s Threats
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 23 Sep 2013

Some questions are familiar. Why use gas when so much more lethal weaponry is being flung at rebel forces across the country? If the government wanted to use gas, why not employ it north of Aleppo where not a single government soldier or official exists? Why in Damascus?

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Cairo Massacre: After Today, What Muslim Will Ever Trust the Ballot Box Again?
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 19 Aug 2013

14 Aug 2013 – This marks a tragic turning point, from which it will take Egypt years to recover.

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Any Other ‘Statesman’ Who Negotiated Peace like John Kerry Would Be Treated as a Thief
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 19 Aug 2013

Has John Kerry no shame? Any other “statesman” – who told an occupied people that if they didn’t make peace their occupiers would steal even more of their land, would be regarded as an outcast, a fellow thief.

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Foreign Media Portrayals of the Conflict in Syria Are Dangerously Inaccurate
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 1 Jul 2013

World View: It is naive not to accept that both sides are capable of manipulating the facts to serve their own interests. The foreign media reporting of the Syrian conflict is surely as inaccurate and misleading as anything we have seen since the start of the First World War.

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The Lebanese Army Fears Rise of the Sunni Muslim Salafists
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 17 Jun 2013

10 June 2013 – As Shia Hezbollah fighters rush to Assad’s aid, Lebanon is fighting a desperate battle to stop the menacing advance of Sunni rebels in the opposite direction.

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Iran to Send 4,000 Troops to Aid President Assad Forces in Syria
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 17 Jun 2013

World Exclusive: US urges UK and France to join in supplying arms to Syrian rebels as MPs fear that UK will be drawn into growing conflict. For the first time, all of America’s ‘friends’ in the region are Sunni Muslims and all of its enemies are Shiites. The US is now fully engaged on the side of armed groups which include the most extreme Sunni Islamist movements in the Middle East [including Al Qaida].

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Just Who Has the Most to Gain if the Killing in Syria Goes On?
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 10 Jun 2013

World View: All the players have their own agendas, and none seems to involve a ceasefire… just yet. In a civil war of such savagery, diplomacy with any ambition to determine who holds power in future will founder because both sides believe they can still win. This is a cynical but probably correct explanation for why the US, Britain, France and the Sunni monarchies do not want the war to end until they can declare victory.

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Toxic Legacy of US Assault on Fallujah ‘Worse Than Hiroshima’
Patrick Cockburn – The Independent, 20 May 2013

Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.

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The Price of Pacifism: Refusing to Go to War Is Finally Being Recognised As a Brave Act
Holly Williams – The Independent, 20 May 2013

From the Second World War refusenik to the 19-year-old Israeli, Holly Williams talks to five people who risked shame and suffering to take a stand as conscientious objector.

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Syria and Sarin Gas: US Claims Have a Very Familiar Ring
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 6 May 2013

It all comes back to that most infantile cliché of all: that the US and Israel fear Assad’s chemical weapons “falling into the wrong hands”. They are frightened, in other words, that these chemicals might end up with the very same rebels, especially the Islamists, that Washington, London, Paris, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are supporting. And if these are the “wrong hands”, then presumably the weapons in Assad’s armoury are in the “right hands”.

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WikiLeaks Releases Kissinger Cables As Part of 1.7 Million US Diplomatic Records
Tim Walker – The Independent, 15 Apr 2013

At around 700 million words, the Kissinger Cables are almost five times the size of Cablegate, the set of some 250,000 US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks between 2010 and 2011. Much of the work was done personally by Assange, 41. The Kissinger Cables, he said, represent, “the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published.”

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When George Bush Invaded Iraq, Life Imitated Art
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 8 Apr 2013

Born-again Christians often don’t realise their ‘God-given’ right to invade Iraq destroyed one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East.

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World Focus: The Eyes of the World Are Trained on Israel – But Will There Be Anything to See?
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 25 Mar 2013

The winner of the Nobel Prize for Public Speech-making will be at least a super-tourist – with 10,000 armed Israeli and American tour guides in Jerusalem alone. Now that, Mr President, is the wall. No, not That Wall, we’re talking about the Ottoman palisade on each side of the city’s Damascus Gate.

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The Cost of War Must Be Measured by Human Tragedy, Not Artefacts
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 18 Mar 2013

What does heritage matter in the face of such tragic desolation? What is a child’s life worth against all the antiquities of Syria?

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John Kerry wants the Gulf to support the Syrian rebels. But which rebels? The soft, safe ones? Or those horrible, ‘terrorist’ Islamists?
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 11 Mar 2013

John Kerry has had a miserable time of it in the Gulf. He has to love them all – the kings and princes and emirs – and he needs their support against Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Because, of course, they are sending cash and weapons to the rebels. But which rebels? The soft, secular safe guys of the Free Syrian Army or the horrible ‘terrorist’ Islamists who are also fighting Assad and who, give and take a few thousands square yards, have just captured the Syrian provincial capital of Raqa?

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Alawite History Reveals the Complexities of Syria That West Does Not Understand
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 4 Mar 2013

Never once has a Western newspaper shown a map of Bradford with Muslim and non-Muslim areas marked off, or a map of Washington divided into black and white people. No, that would suggest that our Western civilisation could be divvied up between tribes or races. Only the Arab world merits our ethnic distinctions. The problem, of course, is that Syria – as secular and assimilated as any Arab nation before its current tragedy – doesn’t lend itself to this neat distribution of religious minorities.

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War on Terror Is the West’s New Religion
Robert Fisk – The Independent, 25 Feb 2013

But All the Crusading and Invading Simply Plays into Al-Qa’ida’s Hands – Just Ask the French

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