Thursday, October 20, 2016

Assad -- full Interview

Latuff and Syria -- Cold War?
I have no idea if the Swiss are going to try to complain about reposting this or not.  But here it is:

Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad stressed that protecting civilians in Aleppo necessitates getting rid of the terrorists.
Speaking in an interview with the Swiss SRF 1 TV channel, the President said "Of course, it's our mission according to the constitution and the law. We have to protect the people, and we have to get rid of those terrorists in Aleppo. That's how we can protect civilians."
He added that it goes without saying that the way to protect the civilians in Aleppo is to attack the terrorists who hold the civilians under their control and are killing them.
 Following is the full text of the interview:
Journalist: Mr. President, thank you very much for having welcomed Swiss Television and our program Rundschau here in Damascus.
President Assad: You are most welcome in Syria.
Question 1: First, please, allow me to clarify one thing: may I ask you every question?
President Assad: Every question, without exception.
Question 2: I'm asking because one of your conditions is that interview is being broadcast in its full version. Are you afraid that we might manipulate your statements?
President Assad: You should answer that question, but I think we should build this relation upon the trust, and I think you are worried about the trust of your audience, so I don't think so. I think you have good reputation in conveying the truth in every subject you try to cover.
Question 3: Do you see it as a lie, that the world considers you as to be a war criminal?
President Assad: That depends on what the reference in defining that word. Is it the international law, or is it the Western agenda or the Western political mood, let's say, that's being defined by vested-interests politicians in the West? According to the international law, as a President and as government and as Syrian Army, we are defending our country against the terrorists that have been invading Syria as proxies to other countries. So, if you want to go back to that word, the "war criminal," I think the first one who should be tried under that title are the Western officials; starting with George Bush who invaded Iraq without any mandate from the Security Council. Second, Cameron and Sarkozy who invaded and destroyed Libya without mandate from the Security Council. Third, the Western officials who are supporting the terrorists during the last five years in Syria, either by providing them with political umbrella, or supporting them directly with armaments, or implementing embargo on the Syrian people that has led to the killing of thousands of Syrian civilians.
Question 4: But we are here to talk about your role in this war, and the US
Secretary of State John Kerry called you "Adolf Hitler" and "Saddam Hussein" in the same breath. Does it bother you?
President Assad: No, because they don't have credibility. This is first of all. Second, for me as President, what I care about first and foremost is how the Syrian people look at me; second, my friends around the world – not my personal friends as President, I mean our friends as Syrians, like Russia, like Iran, like China, like the rest of the world – not the West, the West always tried to personalize things, just to cover the real goals which is about deposing government and getting rid of a certain president just to bring puppets to suit their agenda. So, going back to the beginning, no I don't care about what Kerry said, at all. It has no influence on me.
Question 5: You're the President of a country whose citizens are fleeing, half of your fellow citizens. The people are not only fleeing because of the terrorists, of ISIS, or the rebels, but also because of you.
President Assad: What do you mean by me? I'm not asking people to leave Syria, I'm not attacking people; I'm defending the people. Actually, the people are leaving Syria for two reasons: first reason is the action of the terrorists, direct action in killing the people. The second one is the action of the terrorists in order to paralyze the life in Syria; attacking schools, destroying infrastructure in every sector. Third, the embargo of the West that pressed many Syrians to find their livelihood outside Syria. These are the main reasons. If you can see that the second factor and the third factor are related, I mean the role of the terrorists and the West in undermining and hurting the livelihoods of the Syrians, is one and, let's say, is commonality between the terrorists and Europe.
Question 6: When you speak of terrorists, who do you mean by that? Surely ISIS, but also the "Free Syrian Army" or the Kurds?
President Assad: What I mean is like what you mean as a Swiss citizen, if you have anyone who carries machineguns or armaments and killing people under any titles, and committed vandalism, destroying public or private properties; this is a terrorist. Anyone who adopts a political way in order to make any change he wants, this is not a terrorist. You can call him opposition. But you cannot call somebody who is killing people or holding armaments, you cannot call him opposition, in your country, in my country as well.
Question 7: Well, you don't have any free opposition in your country.
President Assad: Of course we have, of course we have. We have real opposition, we have people who live in Syria, whom their grassroots are the Syrian people, they're not opposition who were forged in other countries like France or UK or Saudi Arabia or Turkey. We have them, and you can go and meet them and deal with them with your camera. You can do that yourself.
Question 8: How do you explain to your three children what is happening in
Aleppo? I'm sure that you are discussing about it at the family table.
President Assad: Yeah, of course if I'm going to explain to them, I'm going to explain about what is happening in Syria, not only in Aleppo, taking into consideration that my children are full-grown now, they understand what is going on Syria. But if you want to explain to them or to any other child what is happening, I'm going to explain about the role of the terrorists, about the role of Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia in supporting those terrorists with money, with logistic support, and the role of the West in supporting those terrorists either through armament or through helping them with the propaganda and the publicity. I'm going to explain to them in full what's going on.
Question 9: Do you, as a father, also say that you have nothing to do with the bombardments of the hospitals in Aleppo?
President Assad: Look, when they say that we are bombarding the hospitals, it means that we are killing civilians. That is the meaning of the word. The question is why would the government kill civilians, whether in hospitals or in streets or schools or anywhere? You are talking about killing Syrians. When we kill Syrians, as a government, or as army, the biggest part of the Syrian society will be against us. You cannot succeed in your war if you are killing civilians. So, this story, and this narrative, is a mendacious narrative, to be frank with you. Of course, unfortunately, every war is a bad war, in every war you have innocent victims, whether children, women, elderly, any other civilian, any other innocent who is not part of this war, he could pay the price, this is unfortunately. That's why we have to fight terrorism. When we don't say that, it's like saying – according to that question or that narrative, that you may reflect in your question – that the terrorists, Al Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS, are protecting the civilians, and we as government are killing the civilians. Who can believe that story? No one.
Question 10: But who else got airplanes or bunker-busting bombs besides your army?
President Assad: It's like you're saying that everyone who is killed in Syria was killed by the airplanes or aircrafts, military aircrafts! The majority of the people were killed by mortars shelled by the terrorists on them while they're at schools, in their hospitals, in the streets, anywhere. It's not related to the aerial bombardment. Sometimes you have aerial bombardment against the terrorists, but that doesn't mean that every bomb that fell somewhere was by airplane or by the Syrian Army. If you are talking about a specific incident, let's say, we have to verify that specific incident, but I'm answering you in general now.
Question 11: But you have the power to change the situation also for the children in Aleppo.
President Assad: Of course, that's why-
Journalist: Will you do that?
President Assad: Exactly, that's our mission, according to the constitution, according to the law; that we have to protect the people, that we have to get rid of those terrorists from Aleppo. This is where we can protect the civilians. How can you protect them while they are under the control of the terrorists? They've been killed by them, and they've been controlled fully by the terrorists. Is it our role to sit aside and watch? Is that how we can protect the Syrian people? We need to attack the terrorists, that's self-evident.
Question 12: May I show you a picture?
President Assad: Of course.
Journalist: This young boy has become the symbol of the war. I think that you know this picture.
President Assad: Of course I saw it.
Journalist: His name is Omran. Five years old.
President Assad: Yeah.
Journalist: Covered with blood, scared, traumatized. Is there anything you would like to say to Omran and his family?
President Assad: There's something I would like to say to you first of all, because I want you to go back after my interview, and go to the internet to see the same picture of the same child, with his sister, both were rescued by what they call them in the West "White Helmets" which is a facelift of al-Nusra in Aleppo. They were rescued twice, each one in a different incident, and just as part of the publicity of those White Helmets. None of these incidents were true. You can have it manipulated, and it is manipulated. I'm going to send you those two pictures, and they are on the internet, just to see that this is a forged picture, not a real one. We have real pictures of children being harmed, but this one in specific is a forged one.
Question 13: But it's true that innocent civilians are dying, in Aleppo.
President Assad: Of course, not only in Aleppo; in Syria. But now you are talking about Aleppo, because the whole hysteria in the West about Aleppo, for one reason; not because Aleppo is under siege, because Aleppo has been under siege for the last four years by the terrorists, and we haven't heard a question by Western journalists about what's happening in
Aleppo that time, and we haven't heard a single statement by Western officials regarding the children of Aleppo. Now, they are talking about Aleppo recently just because the terrorists are in a bad shape. This is the only reason, because the Syrian Army are making advancement, and the Western countries – mainly the United States and its allies like UK and France – feeling that they are losing the last cards of terrorism in Syria, and the main bastion of that terrorism today is Aleppo.
Question 14: Everything is allowed in this war for you.
President Assad: No, of course, you have the international law, you have the human rights charter, you have to obey. But in every war, every war in the world during the history, you cannot make sure a hundred percent that you can control everything in that direction. You always have flaws, that's why I said every war is a bad war. But there's difference between individual mistakes and the policy of the government. The policy of the government, to say that we are attacking civilians, we are attacking hospitals, we are attacking schools, we are doing all these atrocities, that's not possible, because you cannot work or go against your interests. You cannot go against your duty toward the people, otherwise you are going to lose the war as a government. You cannot withstand such a ferocious war for five years and a half while you are killing your own people. That's impossible. But you always have mistakes, whether it's about crossfire, it's about individual mistakes… bring me a war, a single war in the recent history, that it was a clean war. You don't have.
Question 15: Do you have made any mistakes too in this war?
President Assad: As President I define the policy of the country, according to our policy, the main pillars of this policy during the crisis is to fight terrorism, which I think is correct and we will not going to change it, of course, to make dialogue between the Syrians, and I think which is correct, the third one which is proven to be effective during the last two years is the reconciliations; local reconciliations with the militants who have been holding machineguns against the people and against the government and against the army, and this one has, again, proven that it's a good step. So, these are the pillars of this policy. You cannot talk about mistakes in this policy. You can talk about mistakes in the implementation of the policy, that could be related to the individuals.
Question 16: You still believe in a diplomatic solution?
President Assad: Definitely, but you don't have something called diplomatic solution or military solution; you have solution, but every conflict has many aspects, one of them is the security, like our situation, and the other one is in the political aspect of this solution. For example, if you ask me about how can you deal with Al Qaeda, with al-Nusra, with ISIS? Is it possible to make negotiations with them? They won't make, they're not ready to, they wouldn't. They have their own ideology, repugnant ideology, so you cannot make political solution with this party; you have to fight them, you have to get rid of them. While if you talk about dialogue, you can make dialogue with two entities; the first one, political entities, any political entities, whether with or against or in the middle, and with every militant who is ready to give in his armament for the sake of the security or stability in Syria. Of course we believe in it.
Question 17: There are news from Russia about a short humanitarian pause in Aleppo on Thursday, what does it mean this humanitarian pause, can you explain?
President Assad: It's a short halting of operations in order to allow the humanitarian supply to get into different areas in Aleppo, and at the same time to allow the civilians who wanted to leave the terrorist-held areas to move to the government-controlled area.
Question 18: This is really a step, an important step?
President Assad: Of course, it is an important step as a beginning, but it's not enough. It's about the continuation; how can you allow those civilians to leave. The majority of them wanted to leave the area held by the terrorists, but they won't allow them. They either shoot them or they kill their families if they leave that area.
Question 19: Russia is on your side, what does it mean for you?
President Assad: No, it's not on my side. It's on the international law's side.
It's on the other side which is opposite to the terrorists' side. This is the position of Russia, because they wanted to make sure that the international law prevails, not the Western agenda in toppling every government that doesn't fit with their agendas. They wanted to make sure that the terrorism doesn't prevail in that area, that would affect negatively the Russians themselves, Russia itself as a country, and Europe and the rest of the world. That's what it means for Russia to stand beside the legitimate Syrian government and the Syrian people.
Question 20: Mr. President, you use chemical weapons and barrel bombs in Syria against your own population, these are UN reports, you can't ignore it.
President Assad: You are talking about two different issues. The chemical issue, it was proven to be false, and they haven't a shred of evidence about the Syrian Army using chemical weapons, particularly before we give up our arsenal in 2013, now we don't have it anyway. Before that, it was fiction because if you want to use such mass destruction armaments, you're going to kill thousands of people in one incident, and we didn't have such incidents. Beside that, we wouldn't use it because you're going to kill your own people, and that's against your interest. So, this is a false allegation. We don't have to waste our time with it. You live in Syria, there is a traditional war, but there is nothing related to mass destruction armaments.
Journalist: But the UN report is not a fiction.
President Assad: The UN report never has been credible, never, and because they put reports based on allegations, based on other reports, on forged reports, and they say this is a report. Did they send a delegation to make investigation? They sent one in 2013, and it couldn't prove at all that the Syrian Army used chemical weapons. This is first. The second, which is more important, the first incident happened at the beginning of 2013 in
Aleppo, when we said that the terrorists used chemical weapons against our army, and we invited the United Nations to send a delegation. We, we did, and at that time, the United States opposed that delegation because they already knew that this investigation – of course if it's impartial – is going to prove that those terrorists, their proxies, used chemical armaments against the Syrian Army. Regarding the barrel bombs, I want to ask you: what is the definition of barrel bomb? If you go to our army, you don't have in our records something called "barrel bomb," so how do you understand – just to know how I can answer you – what a barrel bomb is? We have bombs.
Journalist: The destruction… it's the destruction, and it is against humanitarian law.
President Assad: Every bomb can make destruction, every bomb, so you don't have bomb to make nothing. So, this is a word that has been used in West as part of the Western narrative in order to show that there is an indiscriminate bomb that has been killing civilians indiscriminately and that opposes the Western narrative, I'll show you the contradiction: in other areas they say that we are bombarding intentionally the hospitals, and you mentioned that, and they are targeting intentionally the schools, and we targeted intentionally the convoys to Aleppo last month, those targets need high-precision missiles. So, they have to choose which part of the narrative; we either have indiscriminate bombs or we have high-precision bombs. They keep contradicting in the same narrative, this is the Western reality now. So, which one to choose? I can answer you, but again, we don't have any indiscriminate bombs. If we kill people indiscriminately, it means we are losing the war because people will be against us; I cannot kill the Syrian people, either morally or for my interest, because in that case I'm going to push the Syrian community and society towards the terrorists, not vice versa.
Question 21: I would like to mention the subject of torture prisons, Mr. President. Amnesty speaks of seventeen thousands dead. Regarding the prison of Saidnaya, there are still horrible reports. When will you allow an independent observer into that prison?
President Assad: Independent, and Amnesty International is not independent and it is not impartial.
Journalist: ICRC?
President Assad: We didn't discuss it with the Red Cross, we didn't discuss it. It should be discussed in our institutions, if you want to allow… if there is allegation, it could be discussed. We don't say yes or no, but the report you have mentioned, it was a report made by Qatar, and financed by Qatar. You don't know the source, you don't know the names of those victims, nothing verified about that report. It was paid by Qatar directly in order to vilify and smear the Syrian government and the Syrian Army.
Journalist: But there are a lot of eyewitnesses.
President Assad: No one knows who are they. You don't have anything clear about that. It's not verified. So, no.
Journalist: Then open the door for organizations like Red Cross.
President Assad: It's not my decision to tell you yes or no. We have institutions, if we need to discuss this part, we need to go back to the institutions before saying yes or no.
Question 22: Why are you sure that you are going to win this war?
President Assad: Because you have to defend your country, and you have to believe that you can win the war to defend your country. If you don't have that belief, you will lose. You know, part of the war is what you believe in, so, it's self-evident and very intuitive that you have to have that belief.
Question 23: If you walk through Damascus, your picture is everywhere, in every shop, in every restaurant, in every car, a symbol for a dictator, is this your way to fix your power?
President Assad: There is a difference between dictator and dictatorship.
Dictator is about the person. I didn't ask anyone to put my picture in Syria, I never did it. This is first. Second, to describe someone as a dictator, you should ask his people, I mean only his people can say that he is a dictator or he is a good guy.
Journalist: Thank you Mr. President for having answered our questions for Swiss Television and the Rundschau.
President Assad: Thank you for coming to Syria.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


@honestcharlie posted: "On the latest Nobel bit. "
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by @honestcharlie
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The Nobel 'Peace' Prize has become an annual joke .... now the Prize for Literature joins the frenzy ...
A post from 5 years ago by Nima Shirazi
The Call Bob Dylan Won't Heed:
BDS, Bullies, and Blowing Wind
A recent letter by the Israeli peace and justice group "Boycott From Within" (BfW) implores legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan to heed the Palestinian call for BDS and therefore not perform in Israel.
On the latest Nobel bit.
@honestcharlie | October 19, 2016 at 10:41 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:
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@honestcharlie posted: "Probably a better cause. "
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by @honestcharlie
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How one artist saw the truth when he refused to boycott Israel ....
Veloso describes how his visit to the Palestinian village of Susiya in the occupied Palestinian territory helped to shed light on the grim reality of living under Israel's decades-old regime of occupation and colonization. What Veloso heard there from Palestinian villagers being subjected to daily violent attacks by fanatic Israeli settlers, under protection from the Israeli occupation forces, made him reach the conclusion that, "all complaints from BDS have ground".
Probably a better cause.
@honestcharlie | October 19, 2016 at 10:43 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ship of Women Attack Zionists, Pussy v. Putin


Thanks to Latuff, sorry it took this long to put it up.

A documentary was made in 2014 of the concentration camps and released.  Actually, the U.S. And British war machines were producing it and they abandoned it and it was only lately that it was released.  I only saw this think this morning and reflected on how absolutely low and vile Israel has become when, a few hours later, I reflected again on its current practices and action against the Palestinians.  The temptation to link the two is too overwhelming to resist, so I'll leave that to you.  All we can really say is that Zionism today is a modern form of Nazism.  And lest anyone try the standard pitiful defense of "anti-semitism," present Zionism is in no way in keeping with any of the tenents of the Jewish faith and an overwhelming number of Rabbis concur.

83 billion dollars in military aid has been promised to Israel, by Obama, and they hate him because he is a "Schwartzer," and because he is "anti-semitic," or at least not supportive enough.  Imagine, thinking there is something wrong with the eviction on hundreds of Palestinians from their homes!  What a pussy!

Frankly, the whole topic disgust me to the extent that I can not continue.  I am putting an interview next that is more measured about how Israel "detain" a boat of women, 44 miles out in International waters, to protect the poor beleaguered oppressed Jewish people from these wild Amazons.

First, however, just a mild comment that was too long for twitter: Some academic, a visiting Professor from some eastern European country, a guy older, doesn't get out much, is buried in his books, put on the TV during the debates (he is not used to American Television either) was quoted as calling a colleague and saying "Otto! You haff to zee ziss.   A strange man is schtalking a voman on a schtage in Mizzouri!"

[No, I can't let it go that easy, not now.  The pussy grabber is making a major announcement on TV about how many liars there are and how the women are out to get him, but also we have the Clinton e-mails on Wikileaks.

Has Assange no shame?  Why we hear that Vlad Putin is behind all this and that makes Putin a pussy grabber enabler.  We can't have that.  Well, how do we know that the Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming are behind all this?  Well, because, anyway, the only real argument I've heard for that is the fact that they (probably that bastion of American Democracy, the NSA) found Cryllic letters in the code used and where would you get that kind of lettering?  Hmm? Y'all?  Where, here are a few in the following, using the paragraph just finished:

Имеет Ассанж не стыдно? Почему мы слышим, что Влад Путин стоит за всем этим и что делает Путину киске граббер активатора. Мы не можем этого. Ну, как мы знаем, что русские идут, Русские идут позади все это? Ну, потому что, во всяком случае, единственным реальным аргументом я слышал, что тот факт, что они (вероятно, что оплот американской демократии, АНБ) нашли Cryllic буквы в коде используется и где бы вы получить такую надпись? Хм-м? Y'all? Где, вот некоторые из них в дальнейшем, используя этот пункт только что закончил:

On the other hand, I've been given information that Ukranians are behind it.  See, Ukranians know that alphabet and that missle that hit the Malaysian airplane was made in Russia, after Kruschev, a Ukranian, gave Crimea to Ukraine.  I've been told that everyone knows that there are some great hackers in Odessa and Kiev and other places.  They do services for equipment that they want.  There was also a great deal of evidence concerning proxys and IPA addresses and other such geek speak that I didn't follow, but the case seems pretty solid given the source which of course is classified by me.]

But, after all, we need to get to the real story about the evil women on the boat that attacked Zion:

Und das is alles fur heute!


·                                 Palestine

·                                 Gaza

·                                 Gaza Flotilla


retired Army colonel and former U.S. diplomat. She was one of the 13 passengers on the Zaytouna-Oliva, the Women's Boat to Gaza attempting to break Israel's nine-year naval blockade of the territory. Wright's recent article is titled "Women's Boat to Gaza Participants See the Israeli Imposed Perpetual Darkness on Gaza." She is also the co-author of the bookDissent: Voices of Conscience.

This is viewer supported news

A flotilla bound for Gaza carrying food, medicine and other humanitarian aid was intercepted and seized last week by the Israeli Navy. The Women's Boat to Gaza had set sail from the Spanish port city of Barcelona in mid-September in efforts to break the ongoing Israeli blockade. Organizers say the Israeli military seized the boat and detained the 13 human rights activists aboard in international waters about 40 miles away from Gaza's shore. The Israeli military towed the boat to the Israeli port of Ashdod and detained the women for up to four days before deporting them. We speak to passenger Ann Wright, retired Army colonel and former U.S. diplomat. Her recent article is titled "Women's Boat to Gaza Participants See the Israeli Imposed Perpetual Darkness on Gaza." Wright spent 29 years in the military and later served as a high-ranking diplomat in the State Department.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A flotilla bound for Gaza carrying food, medicine and other humanitarian aid was intercepted and seized last week by the Israeli Navy. The Women's Boat to Gaza had set sail from the Spanish port city of Barcelona in mid-September in an effort to break the ongoing Israeli blockade. Organizers say the Israeli military seized the boat and detained the 13 human rights activists aboard it in international waters about 40 miles away from Gaza's shore. The Israeli military towed the boat to the port of Ashdod and detained the women for up to four days before deporting them.

AMY GOODMAN: We're joined now by one of the participants on the Women's Boat to Gaza, Ann Wright. She is a retired Army colonel, former U.S. diplomat. Her recent article is headlined "Women's Boat to Gaza Participants See the Israeli Imposed Perpetual Darkness on Gaza." Colonel Wright spent 29 years in the military, later served as a high-ranking diplomat in the State Department. In 2001, she helped oversee the reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, where she served as deputy chief of mission. In 2003, she resigned her State Department post to protest the war in Iraq.

Ann Wright, welcome back to Democracy Now!

ANN WRIGHT: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Describe this ship of women that set sail and why you did it and what happened.

ANN WRIGHT: Well, the mission of the Women's Boat to Gaza, of course, was to bring international attention to the continuing Israeli blockade, naval and land blockade, of Gaza, this 25-mile-long tiny strip, five miles wide, with 1.9 million people living in it, a brutal blockade which controls all the electricity, the food, the—everything to come into Gaza has to come through Israeli hands now. It used to—Egypt was a part of it, but they've really blocked their southern border. So, our flotilla was to bring international attention to this continuing blockade.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And what happened, if you could give us a sense of when the Israeli military confronted the boat?

ANN WRIGHT: Well, it was actually a confrontation 34 miles off the coast of Gaza. The Israelis have kind of learned a different lesson from having—after they've murdered nine people, and subsequently a 10th person died from the 2010 flotilla with the Mavi Marmara, and 50 other people wounded. They knew that this was a boat of women, of unarmed civilian women, trained in nonviolent action, led by a Nobel Peace laureate and two members of Parliament, one from Algeria, one from New Zealand. And over the course of the three legs of this trip, which was 1,715 miles—it was a long trip, let me tell you—almost three weeks of educational activities, though, in Barcelona, in Ajaccio, Corsica, France, and then down in Messina, Sicily, Italy. So, we were doing an educational thing as we were heading toward Gaza.

The Israelis boarded the boat. It was very interesting. There were 30 people on the Zodiac boat that came up next to us. And when they came up, it was—the front part of it, the bow of it, had women sailors on it. Women sailors were the first ones to board our boat.

AMY GOODMAN: These are the Israeli sailors.

ANN WRIGHT: The Israeli sailors, yes. They were not in combat gear. They had baseball caps. They had long-sleeved jerseys on, GoPros. So, the Israeli military has kind of learned a lesson. I wish they would learn the same in their treatment of Palestinians, though, because the treatment of us internationals was very different from what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to talk about the Nobel Peace Prize laureate you mentioned, Mairead Maguire, one of the 13 women on the Gaza flotilla. She released this prerecorded video message in anticipation of being detained at sea.

MAIREAD MAGUIRE: My name is Mairead Maguire. I am the Nobel Peace laureate from Northern Ireland. If you're listening to this, then you will know that myself and all of the women who sailed on the Women's Boat to Gaza have been arrested and are in detention in Israel. We were arrested, kidnapped illegally in international waters, and taken against our wish into Israel. This has happened to me before. We will be deported and, tragically, not allowed back to see our friends in Palestine and in Israel. This is totally illegal. As men and—as women from many countries, we uphold our freedom of movement in any part of our world.

So, for those who can help to call for the release of all those on the Women's Boat to Gaza, please do so. But even more importantly, because it's not about us, work for the freedom and human rights, the lifting of the blockade against the people of Gaza and for the freedom for the Palestinian people and peace in the Middle East. We can all do this together. It is not a dream. And we are here in person because we care for human rights, for human dignity for the Palestinian people.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire, one of the 13 women on the Gaza flotilla that was boarded by the Israeli Navy, women soldiers. And you were taken to Ashdod and then to a prison and then released, is that right?

ANN WRIGHT: Yes, that's correct.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, tell us, though, about the situation in Gaza, why you would risk doing this. One of the ships didn't even make it.

ANN WRIGHT: Well, that's correct. One of the ships had engine problems leaving Barcelona. And we had women from all over the world that had come in, and they were great people who continue to speak about the tragedy of Gaza. As we approached the coastline of Gaza, it was unbelievable. To the left, you could see all of the lights of Israel. To the right, a very distinct line, was darkness, all the way to the south, and that's Gaza.

And that exemplifies what's going on there, that the lack of electricity, usually less than four hours a day, the lack of medical supplies. Dr. Fauziah Hasan, who was our medical doctor from Malaysia, she said her organization, MyCARE Malaysia, is trying to reduce the time for operations, which—in Gaza, which now go on to 2025, there are people lined up. And they're trying to reduce the time that people who need life-saving operations have it. The issue of food, of water, of sewage—all of these things make for the United Nations now saying, by the year 2020, Gaza will be uninhabitable.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And yet the Obama administration, while continuing to increase its criticism of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, does nothing about the situation.

ANN WRIGHT: No, in fact, they give them $38 billion in military and other type of aid, which will be used to hammer the Palestinians both in Gaza and in the West Bank.

AMY GOODMAN: This $38 billion, the largest military funding package the U.S. has given any nation.

ANN WRIGHT: Any nation. And it will be used in the training fields of the Israeli military, which are in Gaza. Gaza is the place where military experiments are done, using U.S. military weaponry and done by the—by the IDF.

AMY GOODMAN: You're former U.S. military.

ANN WRIGHT: Yes, I'm a colonel, 29 years in the U.S. military. And I say the U.S. military and our government are complicit in the crimes against the people of Gaza and the West Bank by the use of our military hardware and by the training that the Israelis give us and we give them.

AMY GOODMAN: What happened to the aid on the boat?

ANN WRIGHT: Well, actually, it was—the aid was really minor. I mean, it was us coming as representatives of the international community. We only had a little 50-foot boat. We really weren't carrying substantial amounts of anything other than goodwill from the international community.

AMY GOODMAN: Were you deported?

ANN WRIGHT: Oh, yeah. Now I have a 20-year deportation, 10 years from 2010.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we're going to leave it there. Colonel Ann Wright, retired Army Colonel Ann Wright, former U.S. diplomat, was one of the 13 women on the Zaytouna-Oliva, the Women's Boat to Gaza, attempting to break Israel's nine-year naval blockade on Gaza.