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Month: February 2016

Despite Backlash, Haaretz Editorial Board Opposes Israeli Apartheid Policies

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Haaretz is often described as one of Israel’s most influential newspapers, frequently compared to the U.S. “paper of record,” The New York Times.

Both papers share a similar, liberal Zionist viewpoint, but with a major exception: Haaretz is one of the few mainstream media outlets in either country to openly equate Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its occupation of Palestinian territory with apartheid.

Last August, Haaretz correspondent and senior editor Bradley Burston wrote an editorial entitled, “It’s Time to Admit It. Israeli Policy Is What It Is: Apartheid.” Burston explained that while he once objected to the comparison between Israel and Apartheid South Africa, he now accepted the term could be applied to his home after repeated war crimes and human rights violations:

LA Times Runs BDS Ad Advising Top Oscar Nominees To #SkipTheTrip To Israel

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Today, the Los Angeles Times published the #SkipTheTrip advertisement, sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which Variety rejected last week.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of JVP, praised the LA Times decision in a press release. “We know that when people have access to information about Israeli policies and their impacts on Palestinian lives, they are more willing to speak out for justice. This is a small and important step toward that goal.”

Top Rubio Donors Include Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Tech Billionaire Larry Ellison

Posted in Archive, Journalism, and MintPress News

Although he’s not a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio nonetheless has many wealthy donors eager to support his political ambitions.

When he launched his presidential campaign, Rubio was likely already holding onto a generous campaign war chest from supporters of his congressional campaigns. MapLight, a nonpartisan organization that tracks the influence of money on politics, recorded $18,693,554 in campaign contributions between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2015.

Rubio’s biggest donor during that period was the Club for Growth, which gave $362,826. According to Right Wing Watch, the organization “touts itself as the inheritor of Ronald Reagan’s ‘vision of limited government and lower taxes’ and it advances this anti-government vision through its support of political candidates who hew to its right-wing economic orthodoxy.”

BBC Report Explains How US & UK Weapons Flow To Al-Qaida & Other Extremists In Syria

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Western weapons and equipment flow freely between the so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria and their close allies from extremist groups like al-Qaida, according to an investigation from a BBC reporter.

In a Dec. 17 episode of the BBC Radio series “The Report,” investigative journalist Peter Oborne documented disturbing evidence that the United Kingdom and United States continue to support the the Syrian opposition, particularly the Free Syrian Army, despite ample evidence that they work closely with extremist groups NATO has traditionally thought of as enemies.

Oborne reported that at least two Westerners who were accused of aiding extremist groups in the region, found their charges rapidly dropped when they argued that by seeking to destabilize Syria and depose its president, Bashar Assad, they’d fought on the same side as the U.K.

He also explained how the U.S. has aided al-Qaida’s efforts to “rebrand” its Syrian branch, the Nusra Front, as a moderate group able to be safely financed and “managed” by the U.S.

As Oborne noted, government officials as high-ranking as the vice president have admitted that ”[t]he United States and al-Qaida are on the same side, at least when it comes to fighting Assad.”

A New Look For Approx. 8,000 Words

Posted in Journalism, Life, and Website

If this isn’t your first visit, you may notice that my website changed in the past month.

I created this website when I finally got tired of keeping a LiveJournal and decided it was time to launch a real online identity. I’ve been a writer in various genres since my teens, but 8 years ago I was mostly focused on writing fiction. In 2008, I designed Approximately 8,000 Words to look like an old-fashioned manuscript format submission that a writer might send to an editor.

It’s halfway through a new decade, and I’m now working full time as a journalist. My homepage was overdue for a new look. I’m still fine-tuning things, and slowly crossposting most of my reports for MintPress News and other sites, but I hope you enjoy what you see.

Despite Anti-War Claims, Sanders Endorses President Obama’s Foreign Policy

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

On Sunday, Bernie Sanders endorsed President Barack Obama’s violent, expansive foreign policy in an effort to distance himself from accusations of inexperience in matters of war.

At the beginning of an interview on CBS’ “Face The Nation” between John Dickerson and the Vermont senator, Dickerson noted:

“Senator, while you were in New York, North Koreans launched a long range missile. As President, you’d face that kind of thing all the time, very often. And what Secretary Clinton is saying is that you don’t have the experience to be ready for those kinds of challenges on day one.”

Sanders responded: