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[Feb 23, 2020] Sick trash by PaulR

Notable quotes:
"... In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what? We're trying to build a completely new society.' ..."
"... And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their 'minimum level of human development'. ..."
Feb 18, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

I'd never heard of the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG) until today, even though it turns out that one of its members has the office next door to mine. Its website says that it seeks to respond to the challenge of East-West tensions by convening 'former and current officials and experts from a group of Euro-Atlantic states and the European union to test ideas and develop proposals for improving security in areas of existential common interest'. It hopes thereby to 'generate trust through dialogue.'

It's hard to object to any of this, but its latest statement , entitled 'Twelve Steps Toward Greater Security in Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic Region', doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. The 'twelve steps' the EASLG proposes to improve security in Eastern Ukraine are generally pretty uninspiring, being largely of the 'set up a working group to explore' variety, or of such a vaguely aspirational nature as to be almost worthless (e.g. 'Advance reconstruction of Donbas An essential first step is to conduct a credible needs assessment for the Donbas region to inform a strategy for its social-economic recovery.' Sounds nice, but in reality doesn't amount to a hill of beans).

For the most part, these proposals attempt to treat the symptoms of the war in Ukraine without addressing the root causes. In a sense, that's fine, as symptoms need treating, but it's sticking plaster when the patient needs some invasive surgery. At the end of its statement, though, the EASLG does go one step further with 'Step 12: Launch a new national dialogue about identity', saying:

A new, inclusive national dialogue across Ukraine is desirable and could be launched as soon as possible. Efforts should be made to engage with perspectives from Ukraine's neighbors, especially Poland, Hungary, and Russia. This dialogue should address themes of history and national memory, language, identity, and minority experience. It should include tolerance and respect for ethnic and religious minorities in order to increase engagement, inclusiveness, and social cohesion.

This is admirably trendy and woke, but in the Ukrainian context somewhat explosive, as it implicitly challenges the identity politics of the post-Maidan regime. Unsurprisingly, it's gone down like a lead balloon in Kiev. The notorious website Mirotvorets even went so far as to add former German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger to its blacklist of enemies of Ukraine for having had the temerity to sign the EASLG statement and thus 'taking part in Russia's propaganda events aimed against Ukraine.' Katherine Quinn-Judge of the International Crisis Group commented on Twitter, 'As the idea of dialogue becomes more mainstream, backlash to the concept grows fiercer.' 'In Ukraine, prominent pro-Western politicians, civic activists, and media, have called Step 12 "a provocation" and "dangerous",' she added

Quinn-Judge comes across as generally sympathetic to the Ukrainian narrative about the war in Donbass, endorsing the idea that it's largely a product of 'Russian aggression'. But she also recognizes that the war has an internal, social dimension which the Ukrainian government and its elite-level supporters refuse to acknowledge. Consequently, they also reject any sort of dialogue, either with Russia or with the rebels in Donbass. As Quinn-Judge notes in another Tweet:

An advisor to one of Ukraine's most powerful pol[itician]s told us recently of his concern about talk of dialogue in international and domestic circles. 'We have all long ago agreed among ourselves. We need to return our territory, and then work with that sick – sick – population.'

This isn't an isolated example. Quinn-Judge follows up with a couple more similar statements:

Social resentments underpin some opposition to disengagement, for example. An activist in [government-controlled] Shchastye told me recently that she feared disengagement and the reopening of the bridge linking the isolated town to [rebel-held] Luhansk: 'I don't want all that trash coming over here.'

In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what? We're trying to build a completely new society.'

And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their 'minimum level of human development'. You can fiddle with treating Donbass' symptoms as much as you like, เ la EASLG, but unless you tackle this fundamental problem, the disease will keep on ravaging the subject for a long time to come. In due course, I suggest, the only realistic cure will be to remove the patient entirely from the cause of infection.

Mao Cheng Ji says: February 18, 2020 at 5:02 pm Yeah, but that's just their standard narrative.

See here, for example:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uNupUPjLdUI?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

And it's been there, either officially or beneath the surface, since forever. Since the Habsburgs, probably, when it was first introduced in Ruthenia.

Guest says: February 21, 2020 at 5:27 am

This person speaks so casually of genocide!!!

It's disgusting that such people have been empowered and such ideas are mainstream.
Calling people sick trash is the start on the road to genocide

Mao Cheng Ji says: February 22, 2020 at 1:46 pm

He's still there, working. Popular journalist and blogger.

dewittbourchier says: February 18, 2020 at 6:01 pm
All that you have described above is very sad, but not very surprising – which is itself very sad. I think Patrick Armstrong is right that a lot of the reason Ukraine is not and has never been a functional polity is because much if not most of the population cannot accept that the right side won WWII.
Mikhail says: February 18, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Hypocritically denounces the USSR, while seeking that entity's Communist created/inherited boundaries

akarlin says: February 18, 2020 at 6:48 pm

Contempt and loathing towards the Donbass is a pretty popular feeling amongst Ukrainian svidomy. E.g., one of the two regular pro-Ukrainian commenters on my blog.

To his credit, he supports severing the Donbass from Ukraine (as one would a gangrenous limb – his metaphor) as opposed to trying to claw it back. Which is an internally consistent position.

Mikhail says: February 18, 2020 at 10:13 pm

Same guy who doesn't consider Yanukovych as having been overthrown under coup like circumstances, while downplaying Poland's past subjugation of Rus territory.

Lyttenburgh says: February 19, 2020 at 8:18 pm

In Part I and II we saw how much truth is there in Herr Karlin's claim of being a model of the rrrracially purrrre Rrrrrrrussian plus some personal views.

Part III (this one) gives a peek into his cultural and upbringing limits, which "qualify" him as an expert of all things Russian, who speaks on behalf of the People and the Country.

Exhibit "A"

" I left when I was six, in 1994 , so I'm not really the best person to ask this question of – it should probably be directed to my parents, or even better, the Russian government at the time which had for all intents and purposes ceased paying academics their salaries.

I went to California for higher education and because its beaches and mountains made for a nice change from the bleakness of Lancashire.

I returned to Russia because if I like Putler so much, why don't I go back there? Okay, less flippancy. I am Russian, I do not feel like a foreigner here, I like living in Moscow, added bonus is that I get much higher quality of life for the buck than in California ."

Exhibit "B"

"I never went to school, don't have any experience with writing in Russian, and have been overexposed to Anglo culture , so yes, it's no surprise that my texts will sound strange."

Vladimir says: February 20, 2020 at 8:46 am

The Russian branch of Carnegie Endowment did a piece on this issue. It mostly fits your ideas, but the author suggests it was a compromise, short-term solution – what steps can be taken right now, without crossing red lines of either side – but compromise is unwelcome among both parties. The official Russian reaction was quite cold too.

"Удаленные 12 шагов. Почему в Мюнхене испугались собственных предложений по Донбассу"
https://carnegie.ru/commentary/81093

Mikhail says: February 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm

Upon a quick perusal of the website of the org at issue, Alexey Arbatov and Susan Eisenhower have some kind of affiliation with it, thus maybe explaining the compromise approach you mention.

This matter brings to mind Trump saying one thing during his presidential bid – only to then bring in people in key positions who don't agree with what he campaigned on.

In terms of credentials and name status, the likes of Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, Stephen Cohen and Jim Jatras, are needed in Trump's admin for the purpose of having a more balanced foreign policy approach that conforms with US interests (not to be necessarily confused with what neocons and neolibs favor).

Instead, Trump has been top heavy with geopolitical thinking opposites. He possibly thought that having them in would take some of the criticism away from him.

The arguably ideal admin has both sides of an issue well represented, with the president intelligently deciding what's best.

Guest says: February 21, 2020 at 5:23 am

On the BBC and on other media there are films of Ukrainians attacking a bus with people evacuated from China. These people even wanted to burn down the hospital where the peoplew were taken (along with other unrelated patients)

This is a sign of a degraded society – attacking people who may or may not be ill!!!

Ukraine will eventually break up
The nationalist agenda is just degrading the society.

-The economy is failing
-People who can, are leaving
-The elected government has no control over the violent people who take to the streets

It's clear Zelensky is a puppet no different to Poroshenko – this destroys the idea that democracy is a good thing.

It's very sad that the EU and the Americans under Obama – empowered these decisive elements and then blame Russia.

Crimea did the right thing leaving Ukraine – Donbass hopefully will follow.

Lyttenburgh says: February 21, 2020 at 11:16 am

"And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass"

[ ]

Only them?

[ ]

Yesterday marks yet another milestone on the Ukrainian glorious шлях перемог and long and arduous return to the Family of the European Nations. The Civil Society ™ of the Ukraine rose as one in the mighty CoronavirusMaidan, against the jackbooted goons of the crypto-Napoleon (and agent of Putin) Zelensky. Best people from Poltava oblast' (whose ancestors without doubt, welcomed Swedish Euro-integrators in 1709) and, most important of all, from the Best (Western) Ukrajina, who 6 years ago made the Revolution of Dignity in Kiev the reality and whom pan Poroshenko called the best part of the Nation, said their firm "Геть вiд Москви!"

to their fellow Ukrainian citizens, evacuated from Wuhan province in China

The Net is choke full of vivid, memorable videos, showing that 6 years after Maidan, the Ukraine now constitute a unified, эдiна та соборна country. You all, no doubt, already watched these clips, where a brave middle-aged gentleman from the Western Ukraine, racially pure Ukr, proves his mental acuity by deducing, that crypto-tyrant (and "не лох") Zelensky wants to settle evacuees in his pristine oblast out of vengeance, because the Best Ukrajina didn't vote for him during the election. Or a clip about a brave woman from Poltava oblast, suggesting to relocate the Trojan-horse "fellow countrymen" to Chernobol's Zone. Or even the witty comments and suggestions by the paragons of the Ukrainian Civil Society, " волонтэры ":


Shy and conscientious members of the Ukrainian (national!) intelligentsia had their instincts aligned rrrrrright. When they learned about that their hospital will be the one receiving the evacuees from Wuhan, the entire medical personell of that Poltava oblast medical facility rose to their feet and sang "Shenya vmerla". Democracy and localism proved once again the strongest suit of the pro-European Ukraine, with Ternopol's oblast regional council voting to accept the official statement to the crypto-tyrant Zelensky, which calls attempts to place evacuees on their Holy land "an act of Genocide of the Ukrainian People" (c)

Just the headlines .

[ ]

That's absolutely "normal", predictable reaction of the "racially pure Ukrainians" to their own fellow citizens. Now, Professor, are you insisting on seeking or even expecting "compromise" with them ? What to do, if after all these years, there is no such thing as the united Ukrainian political nation?

Like Like Reply

Lyttenburgh says: February 21, 2020 at 2:12 pm

"Ukraine's democracy is flourishing like never before due to the tireless efforts of grassroots, pro-democracy, civil-society groups. Many Ukrainians say their country is now firmly set on an irreversible, pro-Western trajectory. Moreover, the country has also undertaken a top-to-bottom cultural, economic, and political divorce from its former Soviet overlord.

Today, Ukraine is a democratic success story in the making, despite Russia's best efforts to the contrary."
– Nolan Peterson, a former special operations pilot and a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is The Daily Signal's foreign correspondent based in Ukraine

International recognition of the fact:

[Feb 23, 2020] Welcome to the American Regime

Highly recommended!
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

4 hours ago

Is America a 'regime'?

In the language of the American Oligarchy and it's tame and owned presstitutes on the MSM, any country targeted for destabilisation, destruction and rape – either because it doesn't do what America tells it do (Russia), because it has rich natural resources or has a 'socialist' state (Venezuela) or because lunatic neo-cons and even more lunatic Christian Evangelicals (hoping to provoke The End Times ) want it to happen (Syria and Iran) – is first labelled as a 'regime'.

That's because the word 'regime' is associated with dictatorships and human rights abuses and establishing a non-compliant country as a 'regime' is the US government's and MSM's first step at manufacturing public consent for that country's destruction.

Unfortunately if you sit back and talk a cool-headed, factual look at actions and attitudes that we're told constitute a regime then you have to conclude that America itself is 'a regime'.

So, here's why America is a regime:

4 hours ago

America's Military is Killing – Americans!

In 2018, Republicans (AND Democrats) voted to cut $23 billion dollars from the budget for food stamps (42 million Americans currently receive them).

Fats forward to 21 December 2019 and Donald Trump signed off on a US defense budget of a mind boggling $738 billion dollars.

To put that in context  --  the annual US government Education budget is sround $68 billion dollars.

Did you get that  --  $738 billion on defense, $68 billion on education?

That means the government spends more than ten times on preparations to kill people than it does on preparing children for life in the adult world.

Wow!

How ******* psychotic and death-affirming is that? It gets even worse when you consider that that $716 billion dollars is only the headline figure – it doesn't include whatever the Deep State siphons away into black-ops and kick backs. And .America's military isn't even very good – it's hasn't 'won' a conflict since the second world war, it's proud (and horrifically expensive) aircraft carriers have been rendered obsolete by Chinese and Russian hypersonic missiles and its 'cutting edge' weapons are so good (not) that everyone wants to buy the cheaper and better Russian versions: classic example – the F-35 jet program will screw $1.5 TRILLION (yes, TRILLION) dollars out of US taxpayers but but it's a piece of **** plane that doesn't work properly which the Russians laughingly refer to as 'a flying piano'.

In contrast to America's free money for the military industrial complex defense budget, China spends $165 billion and Russia spends $61 billion on defense and I don't see anyone attacking them (well, except America, that is be it only by proxy for now).

Or, put things another way. The United Kingdom spent £110 billion on it's National Health Service in 2017. That means, if you get sick in England, you can see a doctor for free. If you need drugs you pay a prescription charge of around $11.50(nothing, if unemployed, a child or elderly), whatever the market price of the drugs. If you need to see a consultant or medical specialist, you'll see one for free. If you need an operation, you'll get one for free. If you need on-going care for a chronic illness, you'll get it for free.

Fully socialised, free at the point of access, healthcare for all. How good is that?

US citizens could have that, too.

Allowing for the US's larger population, the UK National Health Service transplanted to America could cost about $650 billion a year. That would still leave $66 billion dollars left over from the proposed defense budget of $716 billion to finance weapons of death and destruction   --  more than those 'evil Ruskies' spend.

The US has now been at war, somewhere in the world (i.e in someone elses' country where the US doesn't have any business being) continuously for 28 years. Those 28 years have coincided with (for the 'ordinary people', anyway) declining living standards, declining real wages, increased police violence, more repression and surveillance, declining lifespans, declining educational and health outcomes, more every day misery in other words, America's military is killing Americans. Oh, and millions of people in far away countries (although, obviously, those deaths are in far away countries and they are of brown-skinned people so they don't really count, do they?).

Time for a change, perhaps?

[Feb 23, 2020] General Butler speeches

Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

3 hours ago

No link to one of his speeches or book. Worth your time.

9 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3_EXqJ8f-0

Full audio book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26O-2SVcrw0

4 hours ago

This article fails to mention his most important contribution . He tipped off Roosevelt that a fascist plot was being prepared to take over the American government "

The Wall Street Putsch, as it's known today, was a plot by a group of right-wing financiers.

"They thought that they could convince Roosevelt, because he was of their, the patrician class, they thought that they could convince Roosevelt to relinquish power to basically a fascist, military-type government," Denton says.

4 hours ago

The US foreign policy was never about Spreading Democracy, it's always about elevating the dictator we can do business with.

Always.

4 hours ago

Surprisingly, Butlers book The Plot to Seize the White House, where a cabal of bankers sought to use Butler as a front man to oust FDR getS little to no notice.

[Feb 23, 2020] Where Have You Gone, Smedley Butler The Last General To Criticize US Imperialism by Danny Sjursen

Here's a link to a free online copy of War is a Racket if anyone wants to read it. It's a short read. Pretty good too. https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html
From comments (Is the USA government now a "regime"): In 2018, Republicans (AND Democrats) voted to cut $23 billion dollars from the budget for food stamps (42 million Americans currently receive them). Regimes disobey international law. Like America's habit of blowing up wedding parties with drones or the illegal presence of its troops in Syria, Iraq and God knows where else. Regimes carry out illegal assassination programs – I need say no more here than Qasem Soleimani. Regimes use their economic power to bully and impose their will – sanctioning countries even when they know those sanctions will, for example, be responsible for the death of 500,000 Iraqi children (the 'price worth paying', remember?). Regimes renege on international treaties – like Iran nuclear treaty, for example. Regimes imprison and hound whistle-blowers – like Chelsea manning and Julian Assange. Regimes imprison people. America is the world leader in incarceration. It has 2.2 million people in its prisons (more than China which has 5 times the US's population), that's 25% of the world's prison population for 5% of the world's population, Why does America need so many prisoners? Because it has a massive, prison-based, slave labour business that is hugely profitable for the oligarchy.
Regimes censor free speech. Just recently, we've seen numerous non-narrative following journalists and organisations kicked off numerous social media platforms. I didn't see lots of US senators standing up and saying 'I disagree completely with what you say but I will fight to the death to preserve your right to say it'. Did you?
Regimes are ruled by cliques. I don't need to tell you that America is kakistocratic Oligarchy ruled by a tiny group of evil, rich, Old Men, do I?
Regimes keep bad company. Their allies are other 'regimes', and they're often lumped together by using another favourite presstitute term – 'axis of evil'. America has its own little axis of evil. It's two main allies are Saudi Arabia – a homophobic, women hating, head chopping, terrorist financing state currently engaged in a war of genocide (assisted by the US) in Yemen – and the racist, genocidal undeclared nuclear power state of Israel.
Regimes commit human rights abuses. Here we could talk about…ooh…let's think. Last year's treatment of child refugees from Latin America, the execution of African Americans for 'walking whilst black' by America's militarized, criminal police force or the millions of dollars in cash and property seized from entirely innocent Americans by that same police force under 'civil forfeiture' laws or maybe we could mention huge American corporations getting tax refunds whilst ordinary Americans can't afford decent, effective healthcare.
Regimes finance terrorism. Mmmm….just like America financed terrorists to help destroy Syria and Libya and invested $5 billion dollars to install another regime – the one of anti-Semites and Nazis in Ukraine…
Highly recommended!
Some comments edited for clarity...
Notable quotes:
"... But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. ..."
"... "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." ..."
"... Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests. ..."
"... When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars. ..."
"... The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques. ..."
"... Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star. ..."
"... At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had. ..."
"... One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day. ..."
"... That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington. ..."
"... Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity... ..."
"... Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads. ..."
"... Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw). ..."
"... Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended! ..."
"... "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels ..."
"... The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti: ..."
"... The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. ..."
"... If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. ..."
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Danny Sjursen via TomDispatch.com,

There once lived an odd little man - five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet - who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country's most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.

Raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and educated in Quaker (pacifist) schools, the son of an influential congressman, he would end up serving in nearly all of America's " Banana Wars " from 1898 to 1931. Wounded in combat and a rare recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, he would retire as the youngest, most decorated major general in the Marines.

A teenage officer and a certified hero during an international intervention in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion of 1900, he would later become a constabulary leader of the Haitian gendarme, the police chief of Philadelphia (while on an approved absence from the military), and a proponent of Marine Corps football. In more standard fashion, he would serve in battle as well as in what might today be labeled peacekeeping , counterinsurgency , and advise-and-assist missions in Cuba, China, the Philippines, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, France, and China (again). While he showed early signs of skepticism about some of those imperial campaigns or, as they were sardonically called by critics at the time, " Dollar Diplomacy " operations -- that is, military campaigns waged on behalf of U.S. corporate business interests -- until he retired he remained the prototypical loyal Marine.

But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. He began to blast the imperialist foreign policy and interventionist bullying in which he'd only recently played such a prominent part. Eventually, in 1935 during the Great Depression, in what became a classic passage in his memoir, which he titled "War Is a Racket," he wrote:

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."

Seemingly overnight, the famous war hero transformed himself into an equally acclaimed antiwar speaker and activist in a politically turbulent era. Those were, admittedly, uncommonly anti-interventionist years, in which veterans and politicians alike promoted what (for America, at least) had been fringe ideas. This was, after all, the height of what later pro-war interventionists would pejoratively label American " isolationism ."

Nonetheless, Butler was unique (for that moment and certainly for our own) in his unapologetic amenability to left-wing domestic politics and materialist critiques of American militarism. In the last years of his life, he would face increasing criticism from his former admirer, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the military establishment, and the interventionist press. This was particularly true after Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland and later France. Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind, hindsight undoubtedly proved Butler's virulent opposition to U.S. intervention in World War II wrong.

Nevertheless, the long-term erasure of his decade of antiwar and anti-imperialist activism and the assumption that all his assertions were irrelevant has proven historically deeply misguided. In the wake of America's brief but bloody entry into the First World War, the skepticism of Butler (and a significant part of an entire generation of veterans) about intervention in a new European bloodbath should have been understandable. Above all, however, his critique of American militarism of an earlier imperial era in the Pacific and in Latin America remains prescient and all too timely today, especially coming as it did from one of the most decorated and high-ranking general officers of his time. (In the era of the never-ending war on terror, such a phenomenon is quite literally inconceivable.)

Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests.

Nonetheless, whereas this country's imperial campaigns of the first third of the twentieth century generated a Smedley Butler, the hyper-interventionism of the first decades of this century hasn't produced a single even faintly comparable figure. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Why that is matters and illustrates much about the U.S. military establishment and contemporary national culture, none of it particularly encouraging.

Why No Antiwar Generals

When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars.

Instead, the principal patriotic dissent against those terror wars has come from retired colonels, lieutenant colonels, and occasionally more junior officers (like me), as well as enlisted service members. Not that there are many of us to speak of either. I consider it disturbing (and so should you) that I personally know just about every one of the retired military figures who has spoken out against America's forever wars.

The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques.

Something must account for veteran dissenters topping out at the level of colonel. Obviously, there are personal reasons why individual officers chose early retirement or didn't make general or admiral. Still, the system for selecting flag officers should raise at least a few questions when it comes to the lack of antiwar voices among retired commanders. In fact, a selection committee of top generals and admirals is appointed each year to choose the next colonels to earn their first star. And perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that, according to numerous reports , "the members of this board are inclined, if not explicitly motivated, to seek candidates in their own image -- officers whose careers look like theirs." At a minimal level, such a system is hardly built to foster free thinkers, no less breed potential dissidents.

Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star.

Mainstream national security analysts reported on this affair at the time as if it were a major scandal, since most of them were convinced that Petraeus and his vaunted counterinsurgency or " COINdinista " protégés and their " new " war-fighting doctrine had the magic touch that would turn around the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Petraeus tried to apply those very tactics twice -- once in each country -- as did acolytes of his later, and you know the results of that.

But here's the point: it took an eleventh-hour intervention by America's most acclaimed general of that moment to get new stars handed out to prominent colonels who had, until then, been stonewalled by Cold War-bred flag officers because they were promoting different (but also strangely familiar) tactics in this country's wars. Imagine, then, how likely it would be for such a leadership system to produce genuine dissenters with stars of any serious sort, no less a crew of future Smedley Butlers.

At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had.

More than just helping to squelch civilian antiwar activism, though, the professionalization of the military, and of the officer corps in particular, ensured that any future Smedley Butlers would be left in the dust (or in retirement at the level of lieutenant colonel or colonel) by a system geared to producing faux warrior-monks. Typical of such figures is current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley. He may speak gruffly and look like a man with a head of his own, but typically he's turned out to be just another yes-man for another war-power -hungry president.

One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day.

What Would Smedley Butler Think Today?

In his years of retirement, Smedley Butler regularly focused on the economic component of America's imperial war policies. He saw clearly that the conflicts he had fought in, the elections he had helped rig, the coups he had supported, and the constabularies he had formed and empowered in faraway lands had all served the interests of U.S. corporate investors. Though less overtly the case today, this still remains a reality in America's post-9/11 conflicts, even on occasion embarrassingly so (as when the Iraqi ministry of oil was essentially the only public building protected by American troops as looters tore apart the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in the post-invasion chaos of April 2003). Mostly, however, such influence plays out far more subtly than that, both abroad and here at home where those wars help maintain the record profits of the top weapons makers of the military-industrial complex.

That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington.

Of course, he served in a very different moment, one in which military funding and troop levels were still contested in Congress. As a longtime critic of capitalist excesses who wrote for leftist publications and supported the Socialist Party candidate in the 1936 presidential elections, Butler would have found today's nearly trillion-dollar annual defense budgets beyond belief. What the grizzled former Marine long ago identified as a treacherous nexus between warfare and capital "in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" seems to have reached its natural end point in the twenty-first century. Case in point: the record (and still rising ) "defense" spending of the present moment, including -- to please a president -- the creation of a whole new military service aimed at the full-scale militarization of space .

Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

Of course, Butler didn't exactly end his life triumphantly. In late May 1940, having lost 25 pounds due to illness and exhaustion -- and demonized as a leftist, isolationist crank but still maintaining a whirlwind speaking schedule -- he checked himself into the Philadelphia Navy Yard Hospital for a "rest." He died there, probably of some sort of cancer, four weeks later. Working himself to death in his 10-year retirement and second career as a born-again antiwar activist, however, might just have constituted the very best service that the two-time Medal of Honor winner could have given the nation he loved to the very end.

Someone of his credibility, character, and candor is needed more than ever today. Unfortunately, this military generation is unlikely to produce such a figure. In retirement, Butler himself boldly confessed that, "like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical..."

Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity...

2 minutes ago
Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads.
14 minutes ago
TULSI GABBARD.

Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw).

The US Space Force has been created as part of a plan to disclose the deep state's Secret Space Program (SSP), which has been active for decades, and which has utilized, and repressed, advanced technologies that would provide free, unlimited renewable energy, and thus eliminate hunger and poverty on a planetary scale.

14 minutes ago
14 minutes ago

ALL wars are EVIL. Period .

29 minutes ago

Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

This is why I feel an oath keeping constitutionally oriented American general is what we need in power, clear out all 545 criminals in office now, review their finances (and most of them will roll over on the others) and punish accordingly, then the lobbyist, how many of them worked against the country? You know what we do with those.

And then, finally, Hollywood, oh yes I long to see that **** hole burn with everyone in it.

30 minutes ago
Republicrat: the two faces of the moar war whore.
32 minutes ago

Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind

Do tell, from what I've read the Nazis were really only a threat to a few groups, the rest of us didn't need to worry.

35 minutes ago
Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended!

Why are we sending our children out into the hellholes of the world to be maimed and killed in the fauxjew banksters' quest for world domination.

How stupid can we be!

41 minutes ago
(Edited) "Smedley Butler"... The last time the UCMJ was actually used before being permanently turned into a "door stop"!
49 minutes ago
He was correct about our staying out of WWII. Which, BTW, would have never happened if we had stayed out of WWI.
22 minutes ago
(Edited) Both wars were about the international fauxjew imposition of debt-money central bankstering.

Both wars were promulgated by the Financial oligarchyof New York. The communist Red Army of Russia was funded and supplied by the Financial oligarchyof New York. It was American Financial oligarchythat built the Russian Red Army that vexed the world and created the Cold War. How many hundreds of millions of goyim were sacrificed to create both the Russian and the Chinese Satanic behemoths.......and the communist horror that is now embedded in American academia, publishing, American politics, so-called news, entertainment, The worldwide Catholic religion, the Pentagon, and the American deep state.......and more!

How stupid can we be. Every generation has the be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the eternal maw of historical ignorance to avoid falling back into the myriad dark hellholes of history. As we all should know, people who forget their own history are doomed to repeat it.

53 minutes ago
Today's General is a robot with with a DNA.
54 minutes ago
All the General Staff is a bunch of #asskissinglittlechickenshits
57 minutes ago
want to stop senseless Empire wars>>well do this

War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit.. If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start? 1 hour ago

Here is a simple straightforward trading maxim that might apply here: if it works or is working keep doing it, but if it doesn't work or stops working, then STOP doing it. There are plenty of people, now poorer, for not adhering to that simple principle. Where is the Taxpayer's return on investment from the Combat taking place on their behalf around the globe? 'Nuff said - it isn't working. It is making a microscopic few richer & all others poorer so STOP doing it. 36 seconds ago We don't have to look far to figure out who they are that are getting rich off the fauxjew permawars.

How can we be so stupid???

1 hour ago

See also:

TULSI GABBARD

1 hour ago

The main reason you don't see the generals criticizing is that the current crop have not been in actual long term direct combat with the enemy and have mostly been bureaucratic paper pushers.

Take the Marine Major General who is the current commander of CENTCOM. By the time he got into the Iraq/Afghanistan war he was already a Lieutenant Colonel and far removed from direct action.

He was only there on and off for a few years. Here are some of his other career highlights aft as they appear on his official bio:

In short, these top guys aren't warriors they're bureaucrats so why would we expect them to be honest brokers of the truth?

51 minutes ago

are U saying Chesty Puller he's NOT? 1 hour ago
(Edited) The purpose of war is to ensure that the Federal Reserve Note remains the world reserve paper currency of choice by keeping it relevant and in demand across the globe by forcing pesky energy producing nations to trade with it exclusively.

It is a 49 year old policy created by the private owners of quasi public institutions called central banks to ensure they remain the Wizards of Oz doing gods work conjuring magic paper into existence with a secret spell known as issuing credit.

How else is a technologically advanced society of billions of people supposed to function w/out this divinely inspired paper?

1 hour ago

Goebbels in "Churchill's Lie Factory" where he said: "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels, "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik," 12. january 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel

1 hour ago

The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti:

Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.

https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/imperialism.html

49 minutes ago
"Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders."

Why would it when they who control academia, media and most of our politicians are our enemies.

1 hour ago

"The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; ..."

Yep, Wilkerson, who leaked Valerie Plame's name, not that it was a leak, to Novak, and then stood by to watch the grand jury fry Scooter Libby. Wilkerson, that paragon of moral rectitude. Wilkerson the silent, that *******.

sheesh,

1 hour ago
(Edited)

" A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."

James Madison Friday June 29, 1787

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_629.asp

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789])

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendIIs6.html

1 hour ago

A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps. - M. PARENTI, Against empire

See Alexander Parvus

1 hour ago

Collapse is the cure. It's too far gone.

1 hour ago

Russia Wants to 'Jam' F-22 and F-35s in the Middle East: Report

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russia-wants-jam-f-22-and-f-35s-middle-east-report-121041

1 hour ago

ZH retards think that the American mic is bad and all other mics are good or don't exist. That's the power of brainwashing. Humans understand that war in general is bad, but humans are becoming increasingly rare in this world.

1 hour ago

The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort.

https://truthout.org/articles/the-dangers-of-american-fascism/

2 hours ago
The swamp is bigger than the military alone. Substitute Bureaucrat, Statesman, or Beltway Bandit for General and Colonel in your writing above and you've got a whole new article to post that is just as true.
2 hours ago
(Edited) War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit..If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start?
2 hours ago [edited for clarity]
War is a racket. And nobody loves a racket more than Financial oligarchy. Americans come close though, that's why Financial oligarchy use them to project their own rackets and provide protection reprisals.

[Feb 22, 2020] The Coming Constitutional Crisis Over Iran

Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sakineh Bagoom , Feb 22 2020 2:35 utc | 73

Sorry OT.
Great read, by professor Bruce Ackerman.
Had to share. Amazingly succinct.
The Coming Constitutional Crisis Over Iran
https://prospect.org/justice/trump-pelosi-coming-constitutional-crisis-over-iran/

[Feb 22, 2020] Was anyone aware that in 1991 in the Ukraine almost 100% of the population had indoor running water, but as of 2014 that was down to 87%?

That's typical deterioration of the standard of living for the country that was converted into the debt slave and de facto US colony
Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Feb 22 2020 11:56 utc | 9
Was anyone aware that in 1991 in the Ukraine almost 100% of the population had indoor running water, but as of 2014 that was down to 87%? I'm talking of the western portion of the Ukraine here and not the part being attacked by neo-Nazis where it is unsurprising that infrastructure is being destroyed.

I was curious what happened to the Ukraine's infrastructure since the Soviet Union was dissolved so I asked some Ukrops what was up. Apparently Putin himself has been sneaking into the Ukraine at night and stealing the plumbing right out of people's houses. I kid thee not! Putin did it! Ukrops wouldn't lie about that, would they?

If you think what Putin is doing to America is bad, then just be thankful you are not in Ukropistan! Over there Putin causes people to stub their toes on the furniture when they get out of bed to take a leak at night. He tricks people into not bringing their umbrellas on days that it rains. He even causes babies to foul their diapers right after they were changed. Putin's evil knows no bounds!

[Feb 16, 2020] Ultimately, a soldier would be diagnosed with a concussion because the soldier (who has financial benefits to gain) says so, and a physician does not dispute it.

Feb 16, 2020 | www.unz.com

The Scalpel , says: Website Show Comment February 13, 2020 at 7:04 am GMT

I posted this on an earlier thread, but it is relevant here.

I have been a working full time in Emergency Medicine for over 20 years. I was a "Flight Surgeon" in the Army. Soldiers are notorious for playing up any combat related injury in order to qualify for disability and the financial benefits that flow from being categorized as being disabled. As far as we know, the most serious claimed injuries were "concussions." As a practicing specialist in Emergency Medicine, I can explain that the diagnosis of "concussion" means, by definition, that no abnormality is seen on CT scanning of the brain. The diagnosis is made based on the injured person's purely subjective complaints, i.e. whatever the allegedly injured person says. If the allegedly injured person says the right things, then a physician may call the symptoms that of a concussion.

So, ultimately, a soldier would be diagnosed with a concussion because the soldier (who has financial benefits to gain) says so, and a physician does not dispute it.

I have seen hundreds if not thousands of diagnoses of "concussion". That diagnosis does not have to be supported by any specific findings or even a proper understanding of the diagnosis. It simply has to be entered in the record by a licensed physician. Once that diagnosis is on the medical record, it is up to subsequent providers to refute that diagnosis if they desire to do so.

This is something subsequent providers are very unlikely to want to dedicate the time and effort required to accomplish. There is usually no financial or professional incentive to do so – often the opposite. There is no specific test to definitively say one way or the other if a person had a "concussion". Like PTSD it is a "functional" diagnosis based mainly on subjective symptoms and not objective test results. This is not to say such things do not exist. They do exist. It is only to say that they can be faked or misinterpreted and that will happen if there is a financial incentive to do so.

Intelligent Dasein , says: Show Comment February 13, 2020 at 3:26 pm GMT
@The Scalpel I'm sure your assessment is accurate, and is symptomatic of a much more general problem affecting the axis of medicine, insurance, pharma, and state pension systems (military or civilian), not to mention all corporations and agencies to various degrees.

When doctors' medical opinions are considered sacrosanct and sufficient to secure payouts, excuse time off from work, and add one's name to the list of medically "made men," they are certain to be pursued like bounty on the high seas. No small number of doctors are content to play along with this system, as it secures a steady stream of income for them as well. Foreign doctors, who are often perfectly comfortable with graft and fraud, are especially bad in this regard.

Employers are left with no recourse except to eat the cost of malingering employees and ever swelling pension rolls, which no employeer can long afford at the micro level and which society itself cannot afford at the macro level.

Another complicating factor is added by the cultural obsession with business efficiency. When the VA scandal broke in 2014, a lot of people were upset by the thought that veterans were receiving shoddy care and insisted that "more must be done," not realizing that this very insistance was at the root of the problem. I said at the time that the real lesson here was that the VA had been "Six-Sigma'ed" by incompetent management who demanded faster claims processing and unrealistic expenditure reductions.

These schizophrenic cultural trends -- viz. , on the one hand, greater and greater demands for doles by an aging and sickening population; and, on the other hand, the feckless attempts to mitigate the very real unaffordability of this by an oligarchic business philosophy that knows only how to downsize, offshore, and automate based on a naive reliance on the dubious benefits of technology -- are going to culminate in an epic breakdown of social functioning over the next decade.

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment February 13, 2020 at 7:19 pm GMT
@The Scalpel Perhaps you need to return to medical school for a refresher. A "concussion" may, or may not, be seen as an abnormality, usually subdural haematoma, on a CT scan. The reason for requesting the CT scan would be from the patient reported complaints, but also from the objective medical examination for things like pupils and reaction. Radiation is not good for you. If you are ordering CT scans before examination, you've got it backwards.
Max Payne , says: Show Comment February 13, 2020 at 10:37 pm GMT
There are no causalities you guys over estimate the steadfastness of the US military.

Purple heart = disability cheque.

No one can disprove a concussion.

And that's the real embarrassment that the Pentagon is trying to hide.

These guys (US forces) teach other how to fake PTSD to get on disability. I've seen it countless times in Western armed forces. Its how I know Iran will never be invaded or even bombed back to the stone age. You have to have balls for that and clearly the West and Israel have none. (Bush invaded Iraq on the premise of an empty vial; the Iranian counterattack was a legit no-shit missile attack on US forces and . NOTHING HAPPENED).

As for reality I have colleagues who are so disconnected from international politics that reality (past their 9-5 job) means nothing. Reality won't kick in until it comes home to bite them in the ass. It's that simple. A programmer who does nothing for 10 years but play games and write software, what does he care about causalities in Iraq? Seriously. For him that was a 20 second twitter feed which entertained him on his way to work and that's it.

GuestAug , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 12:10 am GMT
This should be no surprise. "The first causality of [any] war is the truth."
The Scalpel , says: Website Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 3:12 am GMT
@Curmudgeon Perhaps you have heard the old proverb, "It is best to keep your mouth shut and have people suspect you are ignorant, than to open it and prove to people that you are ignorant"

A subdural hematoma is (let me say this slowly for you) a sudural hematoma. A concussion is (again slowly) a concussion. They are two separate diagnoses.

Concussion: ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code S06.0
Traumatic Subdural Hematoma: ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code S06.5X0A

Pretty good chance you don't know what these codes mean. If not, there is this thing called Google. Look it up.

"things like pupils and reaction"

WTF? I think you might be trying to describe testing for pupils being reactive to light (the normal state of affairs.) Abnormally reactive pupils are not required for the diagnosis of concussion and, in fact, are not usually present.

Radiation is not good for you. If you are ordering CT scans before examination, you've got it backwards.

That, in fact, is all true. What is not true is that I made any sort of suggestion at all to order tests before an exam. You need to lay off the hash pipe.

FYI:

Concussion: A concussion is a type of brain injury. It is a short loss of normal brain function in response to a head injury. Concussions are a common type of sports injury. You can also suffer from one if you suffer a blow to the head or hit your head after a fall. After a concussion, you may have a

headache or neck pain. You may also experience nausea, ringing in your ears, dizziness, or tiredness. You may feel dazed or not your normal self

for several days or weeks after the injury.

https://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/S00-T88/S00-S09/S06/S06.0-

All these symptoms are subjective, i.e. they are basically what the patient reports – truthfully or not.

FWIW, I have found the most reliable symptom in diagnosing concussion is short term memory loss. The patient asks the same question over and over as if he never got an answer.

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 8:14 pm GMT
@The Scalpel I'm well aware of what a CT is, I was doing them more than 40 years ago, likely before you were in med school. I know what a concussion is, I've had one, and went through the examination. If you actually read my response, I did not say that every concussion resulted in a subdural haematoma.
Patient reaction includes memory loss. Dizziness is what a patient reports. Of course what patients report is subjective, just as pain tolerance is, but it doesn't invalidate them.
The Scalpel , says: Website Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 8:47 pm GMT
I never said or implied that you did not know what a CT scan is. I think I get it now. You really are a curmudgeon (as in elderly) and your cognitive abilities are flagging. I am sorry for being rude earlier. As you may recall, the point being made was that a simple concussion is not visible on CT scan. A subdural hematoma is visible – as well as many other traumatic brain injuries, . A concussion is not visible. Subjective complaints are not invalid. They are as honest as the person making the complaint.
Buck Ransom , says: Show Comment February 16, 2020 at 3:36 pm GMT
@The Scalpel Are you suggesting that The Greatest Fighting Force in the Galaxy in All of History, the military of the world's Exceptional Nation, is riddled with grifters?

[Feb 16, 2020] The highwater mark in SEAsia was the helicopters evacuating the last invaders from Saigon. The highwater mark in the ME is going to be similar scenes in Iraq.

Feb 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Dungroanin ,

It seems that history is about to repeat. The highwater mark in SEAsia was the helicopters evacuating the last invaders from Saigon. The highwater mark in the ME is going to be similar scenes in Iraq.

A final warning has been issued to US troops there – 40 days after Soleimanis assassination – the Resistance is ready to move, an irresistible force about to meet a not so immovable object.

Along with Idlib and Allepo its been amazing start to 2020. And its not even spring!

[Feb 16, 2020] Understanding the Ukraine Story by Joe Lauria

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Imagine if we substitute the U.S. for Russia and the country "invaded" was Canada, rather than Ukraine, the government overthrown was in Ottawa and not Kiev, and the provinces embroiled in a foreign-backed civil war have been Nova Scotia and New Brunswick rather the provinces of Eastern Ukraine? This report, written in 2016, may make it easier to understand what has been really going on in Ukraine. Clicking on the links is key to understanding the real story. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Versions of this article first appeared on ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

The impeachment hearings and trial of Donald Trump were filled with talk of Russian aggression against Ukraine and threats to the United States. But what would it be like if we switched the roles of Russia and the U.S.?

Imagine if we substitute the U.S. for Russia and the country "invaded" was Canada, rather than Ukraine, the government overthrown was in Ottawa and not Kiev, and the provinces embroiled in a foreign-backed civil war have been Nova Scotia and New Brunswick rather the provinces of Eastern Ukraine? This report, written in 2016, may make it easier to understand what has been really going on in Ukraine. Clicking on the links is key to understanding the real story.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

T he United States has "invaded" Canada to support the breakaway Maritime provinces that are resisting a Moscow-engineered violent coup d'etat against the democratically elected government in Ottawa.

The U.S. move is to protect separatists in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia after Washington annexed Prince Edwards Island in a quickly arranged referendum .

The Islanders voted over 90 percent in favor of joining the United States following the Russian-backed coup. Moscow has condemned the referendum as illega l.

Hard-liners in the U.S. want Washington to annex all three Maritime provinces, whose fighters are defying the coup in Ottawa after Moscow installed an unelected prime minister.

Russian-backed Canadian federal troops have launched so-called "anti-terrorist" operations in the breakaway region to crush the rebellion, shelling residential areas and killing hundreds of civilians.

The violent coup.

The Canadian army are joined by Russian-supported neofascist battalions that played a crucial role in the overthrow of the Canadian government. In Halifax, the extremists have burned alive at least 40 pro-U.S. civilians who had taken refugee in a trade union building.

Proof that Russia was behind the overthrow of the elected Canadian prime minister is contained in a leaked conversation between Georgiy Yevgenevich Borisenko, foreign ministry chief of Moscow's North America department, and Alexander Darchiev, the Russian ambassador to Canada.

According to a transcript of the leaked conversation, Borisenko discussed who the new Canadian leaders should be six weeks before the coup took place.

Russia moved to launch the coup when Canada decided to take a loan package from the IMF that had fewer strings attached than a loan from Russia.

Russia's Beijing ally was reluctant to back the coup. But this seemed of little concern to Borisenko who is heard on the tape saying, "Fuck China."

Minister handing out cookies in the square.

Weeks before the coup Borisenko was filmed visiting protestors who had camped out in Parliament Square in Ottawa demanding the ouster of the prime minister. Borisenko is seen giving out cakes to the demonstrators.

The foreign ministers of Russian-allied Belarus and Cuba also marched with the protestors through the streets of Ottawa against the government. Russian media has portrayed the unconstitutional change of government an act of "democracy." Russian senators have met in public with extreme right-wing Canadian coup leaders, praising their rebellion.

Borisenko said in a speech that Russia had spent $5 billion over the past decade to "bring democracy" to Canada.

Senator meeting far-right coup leaders.

The money was spent on training "civil society." The use of non-governmental organizations to overthrow foreign governments that stand in the way of Russia's economic and geo-strategic interests is well documented, especially in a 1991 Washington Post column, "Innocence Abroad: The New World of Spyless Coups ."

The United States has thus moved to ban Russian NGOs from operating in the country.

The coup took place as protestors violently clashed with police, breaking through barricades and killing a number of officers. Snipers fired on the police and the crowd from a nearby building in Parliament Square in which the Russian embassy had set up offices just a few floors above, according to Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

Son Gets Job After Coup

Russian lawmakers compared President Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler for allegedly sending U.S. troops into the breakaway provinces and for annexing Prince Edward Island in an act of "American aggression." The Maritimes have had long ties to the U.S. dating back to the American Revolution.

Russia says it has intelligence proving that U.S. tanks have crossed the Maine border into New Brunswick, but have failed to make the evidence public. They have revealed no satellite imagery. Russian news media only reports American-backed rebels fighting in the Maritimes, not American troops.

Washington denies it has invaded but says some American volunteers have entered the Canadian province to join the fight.

Russia's puppet prime minister now in charge in Ottawa has only offered as proof six American passports of U.S. soldiers found in New Brunswick.

Son gets job on energy company board after his father's government backs violent coup.

The Maritime Canadian rebels have secured anti-aircraft weapons enabling them to shoot down a number of Royal Canadian Air Force transport planes.

A Malaysian airlines passenger jet was also shot down over Nova Scotia killing all on board. Russia has accused President Obama of being behind the incident, charging that the U.S. provided the anti-aircraft weapon.

Moscow has refused to release any intelligence to support its claim, other than statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Canada's economy is near collapse and is dependent on infusions of Russian aid. This comes despite a former Russian foreign ministry official being installed as Canada's finance minister, only receiving Canadian citizenship on her first day on the job.

Despite installing a Russian to run Canada's economy, President Putin told the U.N. General Assembly that Russia had "few economic interests" in the country. But Russian agribusiness companies have already taken stakes in Albertan wheat fields. And Ilya Medvedev, son of Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, as well as a Lavrov family friend joined the board of Canada's largest oil company just weeks after the coup.

Russia's ultimate aim, beginning with the imposition of sanctions on the U.S., appears to be a color revolution in Washington to overthrow Obama and install a Russian-friendly American president.

This is clear from numerous statements by Russian officials and academics. A former Russian national security advisor whom Putin consults on foreign policy said the United States should be broken into three countries.

He has also written that Canada is the stepping stone to the United States and that if the U.S. loses Canada it will fail to control North America.

Versions of this article first appeared on The Duran and Consortium News in 2016.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


mary floyd , February 15, 2020 at 13:20

The most important takeaway in this article for me was that the US should be broken into three separate entities!
That would work well for most Americans. All in all, this is a great piece, Mr. Lauria!

Dao Gen , February 15, 2020 at 02:28

Joe, you are The Truth. The only thing you left out, no doubt for reasons of space and time, was the immortal statement made by a leading member of the Russian Duma, who said during a stirring and well-received speech that, “Canada is our crucial first line of defense against the US. If Canada weren’t there to stop the Americans, we’d have to fight them right here on our own doorstep.”

Herman , February 14, 2020 at 18:52

A very creative way of making the point. Still do not understand the depth of what often appears to be heart felt hate for Russia by very powerful and smart people. Remember reading a comment by Phil Girardi early in the Trump tour when he remarked at the depth of dislike of Russia within the spook community. He wrote he was surprised and had, I think, been part of that community.

Eddie S , February 15, 2020 at 14:51

RE: “…depth of dislike of Russia within the spook community”.
While I have no ‘special knowledge’ of the so-called ‘intelligence community’, there’s a few reasons for this that come to-mind:
— Job preservation. The most obvious. The US wouldn’t need ~80% of those spooks if there
weren’t big scary Russians/Chinese/Iranians/N.Koreans constantly plotting against the
peaceful, benevolent US.

— Spooks believe in what is mainly a distractionary ploy by US oligarchs/plutocrats. These
wealthy interests don’t want to lose some of their wealth to social reforms, so they constantly
financially support scare-mongering, which some spooks unquestioningly accept.

— The profession tends to attract some of the more paranoid elements in our society, so
they’re inclined that way by nature/personality.

robert e williamson jr , February 14, 2020 at 17:51

Well one thing for sure we would not be seeing a female anchor on CNN bemoaning the fact the because of the coronavirus many popular kids toys might not be available here in the U.S. for the up coming holidays (?).

Yes it did happen, hell I couldn’t make that up.

DARYL , February 14, 2020 at 15:45

…or better yet, substitute Central America for Ukraine, and Panama(canal) for Crimea, then you have the makings of an even more salient parallel.

Realist , February 14, 2020 at 15:42

The difference is that under your scenario the world would be a smoking heap of radioactive ashes already as the exceptional nation, unlike the ever cautious Russians, would have immediately made bombastic threats and then launched military attacks to protect its “security interests.” (Warring to “protect” security interests has replaced invasion and occupation to save souls.) Things would have escalated from there to its predestined thermonuclear climax, as they will in the real world if Uncle Sam doesn’t get a grip on his uncontrolled aggression, demanding whatever he wants whenever he wants it at the point of a gun. The world seems to be circling the drain whether or not Washington is allowed to micromanage the affairs of Russia, China, Iran and every last duchy, principality and people’s republic in addition to its own monumental mess it calls domestic affairs. We’ve only got two political parties in this madhouse and they are both equally bent on destroying civilisation if they can’t rule it all, which seems to be the only point they agree on. Each party thinks it preferable to allow an obscenely rich oligarch (what else should we call Trump or Bloomberg?) from the other side to rule rather than a “communist” like Bernie Sanders or a “naive peacenik” like Tulsi Gabbard to be elected president. If the space aliens land tomorrow and start recruiting colonists to populate newly terraformed planets in other solar systems, sign me up. Yeah, it’s become that absurd down here.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , February 14, 2020 at 15:22

Simply imperial rot and corruption of power on all sides.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have an exclusive on those qualities.

Mark Thomason , February 14, 2020 at 12:37

This is a useful approach. It needs added to it the language and culture element: as if the part that wants out of the Moscow coup shares our own language and culture, while the rest of Canada does not, and the rest of Canada had gone on a spree to suppress that language and culture. It is hard to find a parallel in Canada to those facts, but it is what happened in Ukraine.

It is important to understanding to put oneself in the shoes of the other guys. It was once called walking a mile in the other guy’s moccasins, and given a Native wisdom attribution.

David G Horsman , February 14, 2020 at 12:01

I do this exercise mentally fairly often. This is the first time I saw it done in print. I would like to do an automated process.

[Feb 16, 2020] Imperialism and Liberation in the Middle East Feb 14, 2020 Written by P l Steigan, translated by Terje Maloy

Notable quotes:
"... Imperialism – the highest stage of capitalism ..."
"... Without the natives' consent and without the neighbouring countries approval, Moroccans, Somalis, and later Afghans and Syrians, found home in the EU thanks to madame Merkel. ..."
"... How ligitimate is that? ..."
Feb 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org

At the moment, the United States has great difficulty in retaining its hegemony in the Middle East. Its troops have been declared unwanted in Iraq; and in Syria, the US and their foreign legion of terrorists lose terrain and positions every month. The US has responded to this with a significant escalation, by deploying more troops and by constant threats against Iran. At the same time, we have seen strong protest movements in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.

When millions of Iraqi took to the streets recently, their main slogan was "THE UNITED STATES OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST!"

How should one analyze this?

Obviously, there are a lot of social tensions in the Middle East – class based, ethnic, religious and cultural. The region is a patchwork of conflicts and tensions that not only goes back hundreds of years, but even a few thousand.

There are always many reasons to rebel against a corrupt upper class, anywhere in the world. But no rebellion can succeed if it is not based on a realistic and thorough analysis of the specific conditions in the individual country and region.

Just as in Africa, the borders in the Middle East are arbitrarily drawn. They are the product of the manipulations of imperialist powers, and only to a lesser extent products of what the peoples themselves have wanted.

During the era of decolonization, there was a strong, secular pan-Arab movement that wanted to create a unified Arab world. This movement was influenced by the nationalist and socialist ideas that had strong popular support at the time.

King Abdallah I of Jordan envisaged a kingdom that would consist of Jordan, Palestine and Syria. Egypt and Syria briefly established a union called the United Arab Republic . Gaddafi wanted to unite Libya, Syria and Egypt in a federation of Arab republics .

In 1958, a quickly dissolved confederation was established between Jordan and Iraq, called the Arab Federation . All these efforts were transient. What remains is the Arab League, which is, after all, not a state federation and not an alliance. And then of course we have the demand for a Kurdish state, or something similar consisting of one or more Kurdish mini-states.

Still, the most divisive product of the First World War was the establishment of the state of Israel on Palestinian soil. During the First World War, Britain's Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour issued what became known as the Balfour Declaration , which " view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

But what is the basis for all these attempts at creating states? What are the prerequisites for success or failure?

The imperialist powers divide the world according to the power relations between them

Lenin gave the best and most durable explanation for this, in his essay Imperialism – the highest stage of capitalism . There, he explained five basic features of the era of imperialism:

The concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; The merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this "finance capital", of a financial oligarchy; The export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; The formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves; The territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.

But Lenin also pointed out that capitalist countries are developing unevenly, not least because of the uneven development of productive forces in the various capitalist countries.

After a while, there arises a discrepancy between how the world is divided and the relative strength of the imperialist powers. This disparity will eventually force through a redistribution, a new division of the world based on the new relationship of strength. And, as Lenin states :

The question is: what means other than war could there be under capitalism to overcome the disparity between the development of productive forces and the accumulation of capital on the one side, and the division of colonies and spheres of influence for finance capital on the other?"

The two world wars were wars that arose because of unevenness in the power relationships between the imperialist powers. The British Empire was past its heyday and British capitalism lagged behind in the competition. The United States and Germany were the great powers that had the largest industrial and technological growth, and eventually this misalignment exploded. Not once, but twice.

Versailles and Yalta

The victors of the First World War divided the world between themselves at the expense of the losers. The main losers were Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia (the Soviet Union) and the Ottoman Empire. This division was drawn up in the Versailles treaty and the following minor treaties.

Europe after the Versailles Treaties (Wikipedia)

This map shows how the Ottoman Empire was partitioned:

At the end of World War II, the victorious superpowers met in the city of Yalta on the Crimean peninsula in the Soviet Union. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin made an agreement on how Europe should be divided following Germany's imminent defeat. This map shows how it was envisaged and the two blocs that emerged and became the foundation for the Cold War.

Note that Yugoslavia, created after Versailles in 1919, was maintained and consolidated as "a country between the blocs". So it is a country that carries in itself the heritage of both the Versailles- and Yalta agreements.

The fateful change of era when the Soviet Union fell

In the era of imperialism, there has always been a struggle between various great powers. The battle has been about markets, access to cheap labor, raw materials, energy, transport routes and military control. And the imperialist countries divide the world between themselves according to their strength. But the imperialist powers are developing unevenly.

If a power collapses or loses control over some areas, rivals will compete to fill the void. Imperialism follows the principle that Aristotle in his Physics called horror vacui – the fear of empty space.

And that was what happened when the Soviet Union lost the Cold War. In 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist, and soon the Eastern bloc was also history. And thus the balance was broken, the one that had maintained the old order. And now a huge area was available for re-division. The weakened Russia barely managed to preserve its own territory, and not at all the area that just before was controlled by the Soviet Union.

Never has a so large area been open for redivision. It was the result of two horrible world wars that anew was up for grabs. It could not but lead to war." Pål Steigan, 1999

"Never has a so large area been open for re-division. It was the result of two horrible world wars that anew was up for grabs. It could not but lead to war." Map: Countries either part of the Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc or non-aligned (Yugoslavia)

When the Soviet Union disintegrated, both the Yalta and Versailles agreements in reality collapsed, and opened up the way for a fierce race to control this geopolitical empty space.

This laid the foundation for the American Geostrategy for Eurasia , which concentrated on securing control over the vast Eurasian continent. It is this struggle for redistribution in favor of the United States that has been the basis for most wars since 1990: Somalia, the Iraq wars, the Balkan wars, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria.

The United States has been aggressively spearheading this, and the process to expand NATO eastward and create regime changes in the form of so-called "color revolutions" has been part of this struggle. The coup in Kiev, the transformation of Ukraine into an American colony with Nazi elements, and the war in Donbass are also part of this picture. This war will not stop until Russia is conquered and dismembered, or Russia has put an end to the US offensive.

So, to recapitulate: Because the world is already divided between imperialist powers and there are no new colonies to conquer, the great powers can only fight for redistribution. What creates the basis and possibilities for a new division is the uneven development of capitalism. The forces that are developing faster economically and technologically will demand bigger markets, more raw materials, more strategic control.

The results of two terrible wars are again up for grabs

World War I caused perhaps 20 million deaths , as well as at least as many wounded. World War II caused around 72 million deaths . These are approximate numbers, and there is still controversy around the exact figures, but we are talking about this order of magnitude.

The two world wars that ended with the Versailles and Yalta treaties thus caused just below 100 million dead, as well as an incredible number of other suffering and losses.

Since 1991, a low-intensity "world war" has been fought, especially by the US, to conquer "the void". Donald Trump recently stated that the United States have waged wars based on lies, which have cost $ 8 trillion ($ 8,000 billion) and millions of people's lives. So the United States' new distribution of the spoils has not happened peacefully.

"The Rebellion against Sykes-Picot"

In the debate around the situation in the Middle East, certain people that would like to appear leftist, radical and anti-imperialist say that it is time to rebel against the artificial boundaries drawn by the Sykes-Picot and Versailles treaties. And certainly these borders are artificial and imperialist. But how leftist and anti-imperialist is it to fight for these boundaries to be revised now?

In reality, it is the United States and Israel that are fighting for a redistribution of the Middle East. This is the basis underlying Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century", which aims to bury Palestine forever, and it is stated outright in the new US strategy for partitioning Iraq.

Again, this is just an updated version of the Zionist Yinon plan that aimed to cantonize the entire Middle East, with the aim that Israel should have no real opponents and would be able to dominate the entire region and possibly create a Greater Israel.

It is not the anti-imperialists that are leading the way to overhaul the imperialist borders from 1919. It is the imperialists. To achieve this, they can often exploit movements that are initially popular or national, but which then only become tools and proxies in a greater game.

This has happened so many times in history that it can hardly be counted.

Hitler's Germany exploited Croatian nationalism by using the Ustaša gangs as proxies. From 1929 to 1945, they killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma people. And their ideological and political descendants carried out an extremely brutal ethnic cleansing of the Krajina area and forced out more than 200,000 Serbs in their so-called Operation Storm in 1995.

Hitler also used the extreme Ukrainian nationalists of Stepan Bandera's OUN, and after Bandera's death, the CIA continued to use them as a fifth column against the Soviet Union.

The US low-intensity war against Iraq, from the Gulf War in 1991 to the Iraq War in 2003, helped divide the country into enclaves. Iraqi Kurdistan achieved autonomy in the oil-rich north with the help of a US "no-fly zone". The United States thus created a quasi-state that was their tool in Iraq.

Undoubtedly, the Kurds in Iraq had been oppressed under Saddam Hussein. But also undoubtedly, their Iraqi "Kurdistan" became a client state under the thumb of United States. And there is also no doubt that the no-fly zones were illegal, as UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali admitted in a conversation with John Pilger .

And now the United States is still using the Kurds in Northern Iraq in its plan to divide Iraq into three parts. To that end, they are building the world's largest consulate in Erbil. What they are planning to do, is simply "creating a country".

As is well known, the United States also uses the Kurds in Syria as a pretext to keep 27 percent of the country occupied. It does not help how much the Kurdish militias SDF and PYD invoke democracy, feminism and communalism; they have ended up pleading for the United States to maintain the occupation of Northeast Syria.

Preparations for a New World War

Israel and the US are preparing for war against Iran. In this fight, they will develop as much "progressive" rhetoric as is required to fool people. Real dissatisfaction in the area, which there is every reason to have, will be magnified and blown out of all proportion. "Social movements" will be equipped with the latest news in the Israeli and US "riot kits" and receive training and logistics support, in addition to plenty of cold hard cash.

There may be good reasons to revise the 1919 borders, but in today's situation, such a move will quickly trigger a major war. Some say that the Kurds are entitled to their own state, and maybe so. The question is ultimately decided by everyone else, except the Kurds themselves.

The problem is that in today's geopolitical situation, creating a unified Kurdistan will require that "one" defeats Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. It's hard to see how that can happen without their allies, not least Russia and China, being drawn into the conflict.

And then we have a new world war on our hands. And in that case, we are not talking about 100 million killed, but maybe ten times as much, or the collapse of civilization as we know it. The Kurdish question is not worth that much.

This does not mean that one should not fight against oppression and injustice, be it social and national. One certainly should. But you have to realize that revising the map of the Middle East is a very dangerous plan and that you run the risk of ending up in very dangerous company. The alternative to this is to support a political struggle that undermines the hegemony of the United States and Israel and thereby creates better conditions for future struggles.

It is nothing new that small nations rely on geopolitical situations to achieve some form of national independence. This was the case, for example, for my home country Norway. It was France's defeat in the Napoleonic War that caused Denmark to lose the province of Norway to Sweden in 1814, but at the same time it created space for a separate Norwegian constitution and internal self rule.

All honor to the Norwegian founding fathers of 1814, but this was decided on the battlefields in Europe. And again, it was Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War that laid the geopolitical foundation for the dissolution of the forced union with Sweden almost a hundred years later, in 1905. (This is very schematically presented and there are many more details, but there is no doubt that Russia's loss of most of its fleet in the Far East had created a power vacuum in the west, which was exploitable.)

Therefore, the best thing to do now is not to support the fragmentation of states, but to support a united front to drive the United States out of the Middle East. The Million Man March in Baghdad got the ball rolling. There is every reason to build up even more strength behind it. Only when the United States is out, will the peoples and countries in the region be able to arrive at peaceful agreements between themselves, which will enable a better future to be developed.

And in this context, it is an advantage that China develops the "Silk Road" (aka Belt and Road Initiative), not because China is any nobler than other major powers, but because this project, at least in the current situation, is non-sectarian, non-exclusive and genuinely multilateral. The alternative to a monopolistic rule by the United States, with a world police under Washington's control, is a multipolar world. It grows as we speak.

The days of the Empire are numbered. What this will look like in 20 or 50 years, remains to be seen.

This article is Creative Commons 4.0. Pål Steigan is a Norwegian veteran journalist and activist, presently editor of the independent news site Steigan.no . Translated by Terje Maloy. Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest WhatsApp vKontakte Email Filed under: 20th Century , historical perspectives , latest Tagged with: Croatia , Egypt , historical perspectives , imperialism , Israel , Jordan , Lenin , Middle East , Pal Steigan , Palestine , russia , Saudi Arabia , Stepan Bandera , Terje Maloy , ukraine , WWII can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

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George Mc ,

Off topic – but there's nowhere else to put this at the moment:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/feb/16/fran-unsworth-bbc-election-coverge-licence-fee

The BBC was taken aback by leftwing attacks on its general election coverage

No idea what they are talking about. They patiently explained that Corbyn was Hitler. What more could they do?

Dungroanin ,

Ok roll up the sleeves, time to concentrate. I've had enough of being baited as a judae- phobe.

The 'Balfour Declaration' – he didn't write it and it was a contract published in the newspapers within hours of it being inveigled.

Ready?

'Balfour and Lloyd George would have been happy with an unvarnished endorsement of Zionism. The text that the foreign secretary agreed in August was largely written by Weizmann and his colleagues:

"His Majesty's Government accept the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object and will be ready to consider any suggestions on the subject which the Zionist Organisation may desire to lay before them."

Got that – AUGUST?

Dungroanin ,


The leading figure in that drama was a charismatic chemistry professor from Manchester, Chaim Weizmann – with his domed head, goatee beard and fierce intellect. Weizmann had gained an entrée into political circles thanks to CP Scott, the illustrious editor of the Manchester Guardian, and had then sold his Zionist project to government leaders, including David Lloyd George when he was chancellor of the exchequer.

Dungroanin ,

Author(s)
Walter Rothschild, Arthur Balfour, Leo Amery, Lord Milner

Signatories
Arthur James Balfour

Recipient
Walter Rothschild

Dungroanin ,

'In due course the blunt phrase about Palestine being "reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people" was toned down into "the establishment of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine" – a more ambiguous formulation which sidestepped for the moment the idea of a Jewish state. '

Dungroanin ,

'Edwin Montagu, newly appointed as secretary of state for India, was only the third practising Jew to hold cabinet office. Whereas his cousin, Herbert Samuel (who in 1920 would become the first high commissioner of Palestine) was a keen supporter of Zionism, Montagu was an "assimilationist" – one who believed that being Jewish was a matter of religion not ethnicity. His position was summed up in the cabinet minutes:

Mr Montagu urged strong objections to any declaration in which it was stated that Palestine was the "national home" of the Jewish people. He regarded the Jews as a religious community and himself as a Jewish Englishman '

Dungroanin ,

'Montagu considered the proposed Declaration a blatantly anti-Semitic document and claimed that "most English-born Jews were opposed to Zionism", which he said was being pushed mainly by "foreign-born Jews" such as Weizmann, who was born in what is now Belarus.'

Dungroanin ,

The other critic of the proposed Declaration was Lord Curzon, a former viceroy of India, who therefore viewed Palestine within the geopolitics of Asia. A grandee who traced his lineage back to the Norman Conquest, Curzon loftily informed colleagues that the Promised Land was not exactly flowing with milk and honey, but nor was it an empty, uninhabited space.

According to the cabinet minutes, "Lord Curzon urged strong objections upon practical grounds. He stated, from his recollection of Palestine, that the country was, for the most part, barren and desolate a less propitious seat for the future Jewish race could not be imagined."

And, he asked, "how was it proposed to get rid of the existing majority of Mussulman [Muslim] inhabitants and to introduce the Jews in their place?"

Dungroanin ,

Sorry for the length of this bit – but it only makes sense in the whole:

'Between them, Curzon and Montagu had temporarily slowed the Zionist bandwagon. Lord Milner, another member of the war cabinet, hastily added two conditions to the proposed draft, in order to address the two men's respective concerns. The vague phrase about the rights of the "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" hints at how little the government knew or cared about those who constituted roughly 90 per cent of the population of what they, too, regarded as their homeland.

After trying out the new version on a few eminent Jews, both of Zionist and accommodationist persuasions, and also securing a firm endorsement from America's President Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George and Balfour took the issue back to the war cabinet on 31 October. By now the strident Montagu had left for India, and on this occasion Balfour, who could often be moody and detached, led from the front, brushing aside the objections that had been raised and reasserting the propaganda imperative. According to the cabinet minutes, he stated firmly: "The vast majority of Jews in Russia and America, as, indeed, all over the world, now appeared to be favourable to Zionism. If we could make a declaration favourable to such an ideal, we should be able to carry on extremely useful propaganda both in Russia and America."

This was standard cabinet tactics: a strong lead from a minister supported by the PM, daring his colleagues to argue back. And this time Curzon did not, though he did make another telling comment. He "attached great importance to the necessity of retaining the Christian and Moslem Holy Places in Jerusalem and Bethlehem". If this were done, Curzon added, he "did not see how the Jewish people could have a political capital in Palestine".'

Dungroanin ,

Dates again crucial and the smoking gun:

'securing a firm endorsement from America's President Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George and Balfour took the issue back to the war cabinet on 31 October.'

Dungroanin ,

The two conditions had bought off the two main critics. That was all that seemed to matter, even though the reference to the "rights of the existing non-Jewish communities" stood in potential conflict with the first two clauses about the British supporting and using their "best endeavours" for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people".

Dungroanin ,

There is MORE but I'll pause and see how many are really interested in FACTS, as opposed to invented History, Economics and Capital instead of the only real human motivations of the ages – Money and Power.

George Mc ,

the only real human motivations of the ages – Money and Power.

If this is true then we are all doomed.

Dungroanin ,

Not if we are aware of it George.

Dungroanin ,

Ok a summary fom Brittanica:

'Balfour Declaration Quick Facts

The Balfour Declaration, issued through the continued efforts of Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow, Zionist leaders in London, fell short of the expectations of the Zionists, who had asked for the reconstitution of Palestine as "the" Jewish national home. The declaration specifically stipulated that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." The document, however, said nothing of the political or national rights of these communities and did not refer to them by name. Nevertheless, the declaration aroused enthusiastic hopes among Zionists and seemed the fulfillment of the aims of the World Zionist Organization (see Zionism).

The British government hoped that the declaration would rally Jewish opinion, especially in the United States, to the side of the Allied powers against the Central Powers during World War I (1914–18). They hoped also that the settlement in Palestine of a pro-British Jewish population might help to protect the approaches to the Suez Canal in neighbouring Egypt and thus ensure a vital communication route to British colonial possessions in India.

The Balfour Declaration was endorsed by the principal Allied powers and was included in the British mandate over Palestine, formally approved by the newly created League of Nations on July 24, 1922.

In May 1939 the British government altered its policy in a White Paper recommending a limit of 75,000 further immigrants and an end to immigration by 1944, unless the resident Palestinian Arabs of the region consented to further immigration.

Zionists condemned the new policy, accusing Britain of favouring the Arabs. This point was made moot by the outbreak of World War II (1939–45) and the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.'

Dungroanin ,

But what about the timing?

Well there are twin tracks, here is the first.

'But talking about the return of the Jews to the land of Israel was only meaningful because that land seemed up for grabs after the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany in 1914. For Britain, France and Russia – though primarily focused on Europe – war against a declining power long dubbed the "Sick Man of Europe" opened up the prospect of vast gains in the Levant and the Middle East.

The Ottoman army, however, proved no walkover. In 1915 it threatened the Suez Canal, Britain's imperial artery to India, and then repulsed landings by British empire and French forces on the Dardanelles at Gallipoli. Although Baghdad fell in March 1917, two British assaults on Gaza that spring were humiliatingly driven back, with heavy losses. Deadlock in the desert added to Whitehall's list of woes.

In this prescribed narrative of remembrance for 1914-18, what happened outside the Western Front has been almost entirely obscured. The British army's "Historical Lessons, Warfare Branch" has published in-house a fascinating volume of essays about what it tellingly entitles "The Forgotten Fronts of the First World War" – with superb maps and illustrations. The collection covers not only Palestine and Mesopotamia (roughly modern-day Iraq and Kuwait), but also Italy, Africa, Russia, Turkey and the Pacific – indeed much of the world – but sadly it is not currently available to the public. '

Dungroanin ,

The second track is the 'money' track and what everything is about and why we live in such a miasma of blatant lies.

IT can only make sense by asking questions such as :

Can we follow the money?

When was the Fed set up? Why? By whom?
How much money did it lend &
to whom?

When was the first world war started?

When did US declare war?

When did US troops arrive in numbers to enter that war?

What happened in Russia at the same time?

And in Mesopotamia?

How did it end?

How did it fail to end?

What happened to the contract?

Etc.

I have attempted to research and answer some of these already above.

Next I will attempt to walk the other track but be warned that opens more ancient tracks.

Dungroanin ,

'On 2 November, Balfour sent his letter to Lord Rothschild.

7 November, Lenin and the Bolsheviks had seized power in Petrograd. ransacked the Tsarist archives, they published juicy extracts from the "secret treaties" that the Allied powers had made among themselves in 1915-16 to divide the spoils of victory.
The same day the Ottoman Seventh and Eighth Armies evacuated the town of Gaza

9 November Letter published in Times.

Mid November – The Bolsheviks did not discover that the British were also playing footsie with the Turks. In the middle of November 1917, secret meetings took place with Ottoman dissidents in Greece and Switzerland about trying to arrange an armistice in the Near East. The war cabinet recognised that, as bait, it might have to let the Ottomans keep parts of their empire in the region, or at least retain some appearance of control. When Curzon got wind of this, he was incensed: "Almost in the same week that we have pledged ourselves, if successful, to secure Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people, are we to contemplate leaving the Turkish flag flying over Jerusalem?"

End November. The Manchester Guardian's correspondent in Petrograd, Morgan Philips Price, was able to examine the key documents overnight, and his scoop was published by the paper at the end of November. It revealed to the world, among other things, that the British also had an understanding with the French – the Sykes-Picot agreement of January 1916 – to carve up the Near East between them once the Ottoman empire had been defeated. In this, Palestine was slated for some kind of international condominium – not the British protectorate envisaged in the Balfour Declaration.

11 December Allenby formally entered Jerusalem. '

So just a few loose ends left to tie up anyone actually want to go there?

George Mc ,

No.

Dungroanin ,

🤣

Dungroanin ,

Ok on the back stretch:

https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/feds_formative_years

The paramount goal of the Fed's founders was to eliminate banking panics, but it was not the only goal. The founders also sought to increase the amount of international trade financed by US banks and to expand the use of the dollar internationally. By 1913 the United States had the world's largest economy, but only a small fraction of US exports and imports were financed by American banks. Instead, most exports and imports were financed by bankers' acceptances drawn on European banks in foreign currencies. (Bankers' acceptances are a type of financial contract used for making payments in the future, for example, upon delivery of goods or services. Bankers' acceptances are drawn on and guaranteed, i.e., "accepted," by a bank.) The Federal Reserve Act allowed national banks to issue bankers' acceptances and open foreign branches, which greatly expanded their ability to finance international transactions Further the Act authorized the Reserve Banks to purchase acceptances in the open market to ensure a liquid market for them, thereby spurring growth of that market.

President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913.

The task of determining the specific number of districts, district boundaries, and which cities would have Reserve Banks was assigned to a Reserve Bank Organization Committee.

On April 2, 1914, the Committee announced that twelve Federal Reserve districts would be formed, identified the boundaries of those districts, and named the cities that would have Reserve Banks.1 The Banks were quickly organized, officers and staff were hired, and boards of directors appointed. The Banks opened for business on November 16, 1914.
..

The Federal Reserve Act addressed perceived shortcomings by creating a new national currency -- Federal Reserve notes -- and requiring members of the Federal Reserve System to hold reserve balances with their local Federal Reserve Banks.

World War I began in Europe in August 1914, before the Federal Reserve Banks had opened for business. The war had a profound impact on the US banking system and economy, as well as on the Federal Reserve.

War disrupted European financial markets and reduced the supply of trade credit offered by European banks, providing US banks with an opening. Low US interest rates, abundant reserves, and new authority to issue trade acceptances enabled American banks to finance a growing share of world trade.

Dungroanin ,

So the denouement :

It appears that the 'first world war' was designed to diminish European banks and boost the US banks.

However the fuller history of the US bankers is worth knowing- the Jekyll Islanders story is widely publicised.

Into this time track enters the Balfour Declaration addressed to Lord Rothschild, steered by Milner (heir to Rhodes empire building and the old EIC), approved by the potus Wilson (another hireling) that finally sent US troops to overwhelm the Germans, while the great gamers took out the Romanovs and the Ottoman Empire.
-- --

When we try to understand such facts and timelines and are attacked as Judaeo-phobes, because we identify Bankers and Robber Barons, it becomes even clearer how deep and wide they have controlled history and it has NOTHING to do with RELIGION (except perhaps Ludism). Nothing to do with Judaism (except perhaps Old Jewry in the City, but Lombard Street was most powerful!) and EVERYTHING to do with POWER and it's representation MONEY. The obscuring of that through various Economic theories including Marxism is the work of the same old bastards who are responsible for all our current malaises.

Thankyou and good evening, if anyone made it this far!

😉

George Mc ,

Well OK Dunnie, let's say I go along with you and assume that all the shit we are facing has nothing to do with religion or all that "Marxian porridge" (as Guido Giacomo Preparata called it). The question is: What do we do about it?

Speaking of GGP , it seems to me that you and him have much in common. He also goes on about "Power" but seems to be on the verge of referring this "Power" to mystical entities in a disconcertingly Ickean manoeuvre. Not that I'm attibuting such a thing to yourself. (No irony intended.)

Dungroanin ,

George – i don't want you or anyone to just go along with me.

I want everyone to make their minds up on FACTS. That is the only way humanity has actually progressed by inventing the only self correcting philosophical system and method of the ages that goes beyond 'personal responsibility teligions' – SCIENTIFIC METHOD – that takes away arbitrary power to rule, from these that inhabit the top of the human pyramid by virtue of being born there and having control over the money and so the power to remain in these positions, which does not benefit the totality of humanity or all life on Earth.

I am not a messiah, I am angry as fuck and I am not going to sit around enjoying whatever soma has been handed to us to keep compliant and leave this Planet worse than I found it. That is the scientific conclusion I have reached.

I suppose some proto buddhist / zoroastrianism / animalist / Shinto / Jain & Quakers seek religious truth in inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality.

I suppose Ghandi's non-violence rebellion against Imperialists is a model as are various peasants revolts – the Russian / Chinese / Korean / Vietnamese couldn't have survived without the literal grassroots!
..

As for Guido Giacomo Preparata that you have introduced to me – i had nevet heard of him before this morning – my first take on him is that he seems to have arrived at similar conclusions by similar methodology. He seems to have a lot of formal education and a enviable career so far – i'll have to look into him further but the interview that i just read seems to indicate concurrence with what i said above. I see no Ickean references – please give a link.

-- -

As a observation do you not find it funny that there is not a single objection to the verity of the facts which I have presented above?

Good luck George if you are a real seeker of truth. If not insta-karma awaits.

George Mc ,

The Preparata statement I was referring to is in this interview:

https://www.larsschall.com/2012/06/10/the-business-as-usual-behind-the-slaughter/

The statement itself is this:

Power is a purely human suggestion. Suggested by whom? That is the question. The NSDAP thus appeared to have been a front for some kind of nebula of Austro-German magi, dark initiates, and troubling literati (Dietrich Eckhart comes to mind), with very plausible extra-Teutonic ramifications of which we know next to nothing. Hitler came to be inducted in a lodge of this network, endowed as he seemed with a supernatural gift of inflaming oratory.

This is a theme that I am still studying, but from what I gathered, the adepts of the Thule Gesellschaft communed around the belief of being the blood heirs of a breed that seeks redemption / salvation / metempsychosis in some kind of eighth realm away from this earth, which is the shoddy creation of a lesser God -- the archangel of the Hebrews, Jehovah. It all sounds positively insane to post-modern ears, but it should be taken very seriously, I think.

Admittedly it isn't quite interdimensional reptiles but there is a distinct metaphysical flavour there.

I wouldn't go along with everything Preparata says but he is a wonderful writer and I have bought almost everything I can find by him. His "biggie" is "Conjuring Hitler". It was Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed that brought GGP to my attention via that book.

milosevic ,

images on this website look terrible, with very little colour. the problem seems to be caused by this rule, from the file "OffGstyle.css":

.content-wrap-spp img {

filter: sepia(20%) saturate(30%);

}

Open ,

This sepia effect usually works well with Off-Guardian articles, but with these maps in today's article it is definitely terrible. Why have maps if they don't want to show them clearly?
(any extra steps for the user to see the pictures clearly is not the answer)

Another area neglected on this website is crediting photos. The majority of images carry no atribution/credit, despite it [crediting photos] is the best ethical practice even for public domain pictures. I wish Admin gets expert advice on this.

Open ,

Look at the language used by the americans:

On feb. 12 [2020], Coalition forces, conducting a patrol near Qamishli, Syria , encountered a checkpoint occupied by pro-Syrian .. forces .

So, the supremacist unites states' army has found that Syrian forces are occupying Syrian land .. wow wow wow .. according to this logic, Russian forces are occupying Russian land. Iranian forces are occupying Iranian land (how dare they?!). But american forces are not occupying any land, and Israel is not occupying Palestinian and Syrian lands.

This language needs to be known more widely.

Open ,

The americans always use the term 'Coalition forces' when they talk about their illegal presence in Syria. I tried to search online for what countries are in this coalition. I recall I was able to find that in the past, but now, it seems this information is being pushed under wrap.

What are they afraid of? What are they hiding?

Joe ,

Just bring about the end of "Israel" and there'll be peace in the Middle East, and probably in the wider world, too.

Open ,

Ending the Israeli project is certainly a step in the right direction to improve global stability. However, alone, it will not bring about peace because the British/Five-Eyes/Washington's doctrine of spreading disorder and chaos permeates (saturates) the planet.

In fact, current disorders are the results of convergence of Israeli interests with those of Western White Supremacy's* resolve to dominate, erh, eveything.

* Western White Supremacy can also be called Western White Idiocy and Bigotry.

Israel manipulates the West's political and military might. The West also uses Israel to spread Chaos and Disorder.

Antonym ,

Right, back to the good old peace of the graveyard inspired by Mohamed's male sex riot ideology and plunder legitimization before the Westerners showed up with their superior (arms) tech legitimization for their plunder.
Before Israel's 1947 creation the world was a bed of roses .

Open ,

"srael's 1947 creation"

Without the natives' consent and without the neighbouring countries approval, Ukranians and Germans, and later South Americans, found home in the Middle East.

How ligitimate is that?

Antonym ,

Without the natives' consent and without the neighbouring countries approval, Moroccans, Somalis, and later Afghans and Syrians, found home in the EU thanks to madame Merkel.

How ligitimate is that?

Open ,

"Moroccans, Somalis, and later Afghans and Syrians .. etc.."

Do these comments reflect the Zionists' perspective? This is important because they prove that the whole existence of Israel is based on total fabrication and lies.

Maggie ,

Did you have to practice at being THAT stupid! Or did they lobotomise you in Langley?
Somalis, Afghans, Syrians would not have had any cause to leave their homeland had it not been for your employers the CIA/MOSSAD facilitating the raping and pillaging of their homes by the Oil Magnates, leaving them starving and desolate.
https://www.hiiraan.com/op2/2007/may/somalia_the_other_hidden_war_for_oil.aspx
and where does our Aid money go?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5OInaYenHkU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent
But of course Antonym, if you were in their situation, you would just stick it out?
Shame on you .

To those who care, read "The confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins" to understand how this corrupt system is conducted.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Its 'creation' in blood, murder, rape and terror, in a great ethnic cleansing-the sign of things to come, ceaselessly, for seventy years and ongoing.

paul ,

Ask the people in Gaza about the Zionist "peace of the graveyard."

Antonym ,

Gaza before 2005 was relatively peaceful + prosperous. After the Israeli withdrawal the inhabitants messed up their own economy but kept on making lots of babies just like before.
Quite the opposite of a graveyard or a Warsaw ghetto or a Dachau.

George Mc ,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_disengagement_from_Gaza

Despite the disengagement, the United Nations, international human rights organisations and most legal scholars regard the Gaza Strip to still be under military occupation by Israel, though this is disputed by Israel and other legal scholars. Following the withdrawal, Israel has continued to maintain direct external control over Gaza and indirect control over life within Gaza: it controls Gaza's air and maritime space, and six of Gaza's seven land crossings, it maintains a no-go buffer zone within the territory, and controls the Palestinian population registry, and Gaza remains dependent on Israel for its water, electricity, telecommunications, and other utilities.

Interesting definition of "withdrawal". It's amazing those Gazans even managed to have babies!

Richard Le Sarc ,

You would have made a grand Nazi, Antsie-cripes, you have!

paul ,

Gaza was, and is, a huge Zionist concentration camp hermetically sealed off from the outside world and blockaded just like the Warsaw Ghetto. With Zionist thugs and kiddie killers shooting hundreds of kids in the head for the fun of it with British sniper rifles and dum dum bullets, and periodically dropping 20,000 tons of bombs at a time on it, a higher explosive yield than Hiroshima. With parties of Jews going along to hold barbecues and picnics to watch all the fun. Nice people, those chosen folk.

Richard Le Sarc ,

I rather think that Epstein, Weinstein, Moonves and all those orthodox and ultra-orthodox who are such prolific patrons of the sex industry in Israel, know a bit about 'male sex riot ideology', Antsie.

Dungroanin ,

Pathetic.
'Nandy won a major boost when members of the Labour affiliate Jewish Labour Movement gave her their backing after a hustings, saying she understood the need to change the party's culture.'
From the Groaniad

How many members? How many by denomination?

As for the Balfour Contract there were actual English Jewish establishment figures against its premise. Actual imperial servants. The declaration was a stitch up by the new banking powers in the US which then sent in the yanks to stop the Germans in 1917.

History is rewritten daily to memory hole such facts.

Capricornia Man ,

The 'Jewish Labour Movement' is so Jewish that most of its members are not Jewish. And it is so Labour-affiliated that it did not support Labour in the December general election. But it has no shortage of money. It exists solely to prosecute the interests of a foreign power. Much the same could be said for any politician who accepts its endorsement.

Rhys Jaggar ,

Given that Jews are vastly outnumbered by non Jews, the simplest way to stop Jewish manipulation of politics is to form a party from which Jews are specifically banned.

You will not propose any policies harming Jews in any way, you will just make it clear that this is a party free from any Jewish influence in its constitution.

If Jews cannot accept that, then they are utterly racist and must be dealt with without sensibility.

Maggie ,

A better solution Rhys would be to form a party that denies all and any dual citizens
That way all the Zionists would be barred.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Full public financing of political parties would end Zionist control.

paul ,

Thornberry has just thrown in the towel.
She will now have more time to "get down on her hands and knees" and "beg forgiveness" from the Board of Deputies.
Those good little Shabbos are so easily trained.

Dungroanin ,

BoD's??? Another random organisation!

Who are they? Who do they represent? How many people? Which people? How did they get elected? How can they be fired?

Richard Le Sarc ,

The next world war has already started, with the bio-warfare atttack on China aka Covid19.

lundiel ,

Why no comment on the government reshuffle? I don't agree with the Indian middle-class uplifting but totally agree with neutering the ultra-conservative treasury.

Maggie ,

I think it's a case of who gives a fck. We now know that our elections are rigged, and so there is no point in us being involved. My family and I all realised and voted for the last time.
They are all bloody crap actors reading their scripts and playing their parts, whilst the never changing suits in the background pull the strings.
I had to explain to my 10 year old Grandson how politics work, and he said "Why doesn't anyone know the names of, or see the suits?"
What I want to know is why no-one ever asks this question or demands an answer?

tonyopmoc ,

Completely Brilliant Article, but it is Valentines Day, so as I am 66 years old, and in love with my wife (nearly 40 years together = LOVE), I wrote this in response to Craig Murray, who has banned me again.

It may be off topic for him, but it ain't off topic for me. I am still in Love.

"Churchill's mental deterioration from syphilis – which the Eton and Oxford ."

Never had it, and she didn't either. We were young and in love, but we didn't know, if either of us had sex before, but I had a spotty dick, and went to the VD clinic. I had a blood test, and they gave me some zinc cream.

She also had the same thing, and showed her Mum.

We were both completely innocent, and had a sexually transmitted disease called Thrush. It is relatively harmless, but can also give you a sore throat.

We both laughed at each other, and nearly got married.

Natural Yoghurt, is completely brilliant at preventing it.

Far better than Canestan.

Happy Valentines Day, for Everyone still In Love.

Let us all look forwad to a Brighter Day for our Grandchildren.

Tony

Loverat ,

Hey Tony

Dont worry. Craig Murray might not like you but I do. Your stories, here and elsewhere have entertained me for many years.

Mind you, if I were your other half I would have chucked you years ago.

paul ,

Tell him how much you like haggis and tossing your caber.

Dungroanin ,

Without Stalins say so Poland would not have had its borders at the end of ww2.
Also,
On these maps just off the right hand edges is missing Afghanistan.. which the imperialists invaded in 2002 as the Taliban wiped out the opium crops. Back to full production immediately after invasion and 18 years later secret negotiations to hand over to Taliban while leaving 8,000 CUA troops delivering the huge cash crop.

binra ,

Seeking possession and control – in competition with those you see as seeking to dispossess and control or deny you – is the identity or belief in 'kill or be killed'.
This belief overrides and subordinates others – such as to subsume all else to such private agenda that will seek alliance against common threat but only as a shifting strategy of possession and control.

One of the things about this 'game' of power struggle, is that it loses any sense of WHY – and so it is a driven mind or dictate of power or possession for it own sake that cannot really ENJOY or HAVE and share what it Has. The image of the hungry ghost comes to mind here. It will never have enough until you are dead – and even then will offer you torment beyond the grave.

Until this mindset is recognised and released as an 'insanity' it operates as accepted currency of exchange, and maps our a world of its own conflicting and conflicted meanings.

The willingness to destroy or kill, deny or undermine and invalidate others in order to GET for a private agenda set over the whole instead of finding balance within the whole – is destructive to life, no matter how ingenious the thinking that frames it to seem to be progressive, protective, or in fact powerful.
But in our collective alignment and allegiance with such a way of thinking and identifying – we all give power to the destructive – as if to protect the life that it gives us.

The hungry ghost is also in the mass population when separated from their land and lives to seek connection or meaning in proffered 'products and services' instead of creating out of our own lives. Products and services that operate a hidden agenda of possession and control or market and mind capture under threat of fear of pain of loss in losing even the little that we have.

Having – on a spiritual level is our being – and not a matter of stuffing a hole.
Madness that can no longer mask as anything else is all about – and brings a choice to conscious awareness as to whether to persist in it or decide to find another way of seeing and being.

This is not to say there is no place to call upon or seek to limit people in positions of trust from serving an unjust outcome by calling for transparency and accountability – but not to wait on that or make that the be all and end all.

If there is another way and a better way than war masking in and misusing and thus corrupting anything and everything, then it has to be lived one to another.

Everyone seeks a better experience – but many seek it in a negative framing. Negative in the sense of self-lack seeking power in the terms of its current identity. Evils work their own destruction, but find sustainability in selling destructive agenda or toxic debt as ingeniously complex instruments of deceit – by which the targeted buyer believes they have or shall save their 'self' or add to their 'self' rather than growing hollow to a driven mindset of reactive fear-addiction.

I don't need to 'tell this to those who refuse to listen' – but I share it with any moment of a willingness to listen. In the final analysis, we are the ones who live the result of choices in our lives, whatever the times and conditions.

The 'repackaging' of reality to self-deceit, is not new but part of the human mind and experience throughout history. The evil changes forms – as if the good has and shall triumph. But truth undoes illusion by being accepted. It doesn't war on illusion and thus make it real – and remain truth.

Judgement divides to rule.
Discernment arises from the unwillingness to division.
One is set apart from and over life as the invocation of an alien will, dealing death, and the other as the will of true desire revealed.

The idea of independent autonomy is relative to a limited sphere of responsibilities in the world.
The idea of living our own life is an alignment within the same for others and the freedom to do so cannot take from others without becoming possessed by our denials, debts and transgressions – no less so in the driven mind of ingeniously repackaged and wilfully defended narrative identity.

In our own experience, this is not a matter of applied analysis, so much as awareness or space in which to seek and find truth in some willingness of recognition and acceptance or choice, while the triggering or baiting to madness is loud or compelling as the dictate of fear seeking protection and grievance seeking retribution – as if these give freedom and power rather than locking into a fear-framed limitation as substitution for life set in defiance and refusal to look on or share in truth – and so to such a one, war is truth, and love is weakness to exploit, use and weaponise for getting.

paul ,

If you look at the proposed new map of the Middle East, it mirrors Kushner's Deal Of The Century for Palestine – because it has the same Zionist authorship.
The same old dirty Zionist games of divide and rule – break up countries in the region into tiny defenceless little statelets setting different ethnic and religious groups at each others' throats, so that they can rule the roost and steal whatever they wish.
You see this in the past and the recent past. The way Lebanon was torn away from Syria. Or Kuwait from Iraq. Or the Ruritanian petty Gulf dictatorships like Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai.
Trump was being honest for the first time in his miserable life when he said none of these satellites and satraps would last a fortnight if they were not propped up by the US.

paul ,

George Galloway described the whole region as a flock of sheep surrounded by ravenous wolves.

At the same time, there is more than a grain of truth in the Zionists' contention that the people of the region are to some extent the authors of their own misfortune.

They always fall for the divide-and-rule games of outside powers, Britain, America, Israel, who invade, bomb, slaughter, humiliate and exploit them. If they had been united, Israel would not have been created. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, would not have been destroyed and bombed back to the Stone Age. These countries would be genuinely independent and at peace.

When I speak to ordinary moslems, it is surprising and depressing to see how much visceral hatred they express for Shia moslems. They seem blind to the way they are being manipulated to serve outside interests.

So we see moslem Saudi Arabia trying to incite America and Israel to destroy Iran, and offering to pay for the whole cost of the war. Or S. Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, UAE et al, in bed with Israel, paying billions to bankroll the terrorist head choppers in Syria. Or Egypt, which does not even protest, let alone lift a finger, when Israeli aircraft use its air space to carpet bomb Gaza. Or going further back in history, when countries like Egypt and Syria sent troops to join the 1991 US invasion of Iraq. Even though Iraq had sent its forces to the Golan Heights in 1973 to fight and die to prevent Syria being overrun by Israel. How contemptible is all that? Yet those are just a few of many examples of all the backstabbing that has occurred over the years. If these people don't respect themselves, why should anybody else?

paul ,

And this has been going on for hundreds of years.
1096 marked the beginning of The Crusades, a disaster for the region on a par with the creation of Israel.
At that time, London was a little village of 25,000. Baghdad and Alexandria and Cordoba were sophisticated modern cities with populations of hundreds of thousands. They dismissed the Crusaders as mere bandits who would do some looting, steal some cattle, and go home. But 3 years later Jerusalem had been conquered and its inhabitants slaughtered, the start of a 200 year disaster for the region. How? Why?
Because the Arabs were so busy fighting a civil war at the time they barely noticed the foreign invaders. The old, old story. Civil war between Sunnis and Shias.

One day, they will wake up and realise that they have to hang together, or hang separately.
But I wouldn't hold your breath.
There seems to be an endless supply of quisling stooge dictators ready to do the bidding of hostile outside powers. The Mubaraks, the Sisis, the King Abdullahs, the Sinioras, the MBS's, to name but a few.
Conforming to all the worst stereotypes about Arabs and moslems.
You could argue that they deserve all they get, when they are ever ready to bend over and drop their trousers.
Is it really any surprise that they have been invaded, slaughtered, bombed back to the Stone Age, robbed, exploited and humiliated from time immemorial.
Maybe one day they will discover an ounce of dignity and self respect. Who knows?

Maggie ,

"1096 marked the beginning of The Crusades, a disaster for the region on a par with the creation of Israel.
At that time, London was a little village of 25,000. Baghdad and Alexandria and Cordoba were sophisticated modern cities with populations of hundreds of thousands. They dismissed the Crusaders as mere bandits who would do some looting, steal some cattle, and go home. But 3 years later Jerusalem had been conquered and its inhabitants slaughtered, the start of a 200 year disaster for the region. How? Why?"
Because despite the mendacious lies that are told about Muslims, they are tolerant and forgiving. They believe in one God, and live exemplary modest, generous lives in the belief that they will enter in to the kingdom of heaven.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_2LEgowbzSc?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGz6nrWTsEI

And these are the people we are being encouraged to hate and fear? To enable the neo cons to invade and destroy everything in their path to get their oil.

Hundreds of millions of Muslims the world over 'live in democracies' of some shape or form, from Indonesia to Malaysia to Pakistan to Lebanon to Tunisia to Turkey. Tens of millions of Muslims' live in -- and participate in' -- Western democratic societies. The country that is on course to have the biggest Muslim population in the world in the next couple of decades is India, which also happens to be the world's biggest democracy. Yet a persistent pernicious narrative exists, particularly in the West, that Islam and democracy are incompatible. Islam is often associated with dictatorship, totalitarianism, and a lack of freedom, and many "well paid" analysts and pundits claim that Muslims are philosophically opposed to the idea of democracy .

Richard Le Sarc ,

'Democracy' as practised in the neo-liberal capitalist West, is a nullity, a fiction, a smoke-screen behind which the one and only power, that of the rich owners of the economy, acts alone.

Gall ,

I know. These Zionist morons droning on about how violent Islam is as religion yet ignoring the fact that the Bible is based on the God of Abraham granting them Canaan (like Trump giving the Israelis the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) and urging them to commit complete and utter genocidal annihilation of the inhabitants by not leaving a single living thing breathing.

No violence there folks. Nope. The book of love my ass!

paul ,

Their God was a demented estate agent, rather like Trump or Kushner.

Gall ,

Personally I believe that the chapters of the bible were written after their genocidal blood lust simply to justify their despicable acts. Claiming that God made 'em do it.

Loverat ,

My experience of muslims in the UK is many express support for the Palestinians but don't identify or understand those states which still speak up for their rights, Syria, Iran and a few others.

Sadly like the general UK population they have been exposed to propaganda which excuses evil and mass murder carried out by Saudi Arabia and their lackeys and Israel. This is changing however. People are gradually waking up. Muslims and the general UK public if they really knew the extent of this would be out demonstrating on the streets.

The realisation these policies have exposed all of us to nuclear wipe out in seconds should be enough motivation for any normal person.
The wipe out or (preferably) demonstrations will happen. Just a question of when. You can see why the establishment and people like Higgins, Lucas and York are so active recently. These idiots, blinded by their pay checks can't see the harm they are causing through their irresponsible lies even to their own families. Perhaps they all have nuclear shelters in their back garden.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Saudi Arabia is NOT 'Moslem'. It is Wahhabist, a genocide cult created by doenmeh, ie crypto-Jewish followers of the failed 17th century Messiah, Sabbatai Zevi, which is homicidally opposed to all Moslems but fellow Wahhabists.

milosevic ,

I thought it was created by the British Empire, in order to provide reliable stooges and puppet regimes.

Richard Le Sarc ,

What people must realise is that,for the Zionassty secular and Talmudic religious leaderships, by far the dominant forces in Israel and among many of the Diaspora sayanim, the drive to create 'Eretz Yisrael', '..from the Nile to the Euphrates' (and some include the Arabian Peninsula as well), is a real, religious, ambition-indeed an obligation. With the alliance with the 'Christian Zionist' lunatics in the USA, the fate of humanity is in the hands of the Evil Brain Dead.

BigB ,

I despair. This is why there is 'No Deal For Nature' because the hegemonic cultural movement is to extend cultural hegemony over nature. We cannot seem to help it or stop ourselves. Do we suppose a glossy website will change that? Or empty sloganneering subvertisements? Or waiving placards outside banks? Or some other futile conscience salving symbolic gesture?

No, we have to subvert the cultural hegemony over nature at every point at every chance. Which is thankless because cultural normativity is ubiquitous. And it's killing us. And BRI is the very antithesis of alternative an eternal return into the cultural consumerism and commodification that is the global hegemony at least at an elite level. And we are among that elite – in terms of consumption and pollution. We are the problem. If we seek to extend or preserve our own Eurocentric priviliges and consumptions we can only do so by extracting evermore global resources and maldeveloping the Rest. Which is also what Samir Amin said: following Wallerstein's World Systems Theory.

The progressive packaging of all our sins and transferring them to something called 'American Imperialism' is nothing less than mass psychological transference to a Fetish. By which we maintain autonomy from any blame in the ecological disaster we are co-creating. Which is why it is a powerful cultural narrative constructivism. 'We' do not have to reform: the scapegoated Otherised 'they' do. Whilst we all sit smugly in our inauthentic imaginary autonomy: the ecological destruction caused entirely by our collectivist consumption carries on. 'They' have to clean up 'their' act – not us. 'We' align with the 'counter-hegemonic alliance': the alternative BRI. 'We' are so bourgeois and progressive in our invented independence and totally aligned with the destructive forces of capitalist endocolonised culture because of our own internalised screening discourse. Which is why there is #NoDealForNature. 'We' don't actually give a flying fuck not beyond some hollow totemic gestures in transference of our own responsibility.

'We' are pushing for the financialisation of nature: as the teleology of our particular complicit cultural narratives. It's not just 'them'. Supply and demand are dialectically exponential. Who is demanding less, more fairly distributed North to South? Exponential expansionism via BRI is no more alternative than colonising the Moon or Mars. For nature to have a deal: we have to stop demanding growth. And in doing that: become self-responsible right through to the narratives we produce. For which every person in the global consumer bourgeoisie – that's us – will have to change their imperatives from culture to nature. Which means a new naturalised culture: not just complicitly advocating the 'same old, same old' exponential expansionism of the extractivist commodification of every last standing resource. Under the guise of new narrative constructions like this. That's not progress: it's capitalist propaganda and personal self-propaganda. We are among the consumer elite. Which is driving the financialisation and commodification of everything. For us.

#NoDealForNature until we take full and honest self-responsibility to create one with our every enaction including speech-enactivism.

Gall ,

I'm sure Thomas Robert Malthus and Charles Darwin are smiling upon you my child from their very special place in hell.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Charles Darwin? What on Earth are you on about?

Gall ,

Ever heard of social Darwinism? This is how the elite justify genocide and theft of resources. It is one of the basics of Neoliberalism.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Darwin had NOTHING to do with 'social Darwinism'. It's like blaming Jesus for the KKK.

Gall ,

Uh huh:

"With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage."
― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

BigB ,

Every appraisal from a cultural POV extends the cultural hegemony over nature – with no exceptions. If we do not address the false dichotomy of culture and nature – and invert the privileged status of cultural domination over nature – this never changes. If nothing changes its going to be a very short century the last in the history of culture.

I'm expressing my own private POV with the intention of at least highlighting the issue of only ever expressing the distorted cultural-centric POV. It would be nice if we could all agree to do something other than waste our privileged status and access to resources for other than meaningless sarcasm. It's not like we'd all benefit from a change in POV and the entailed potential in a change of course that can only happen if we think of nature first, is it? 😉

Gall ,

The only thing I don't like about the environmentally "woke" is that many are easily manipulated by the neoliberal elite. Greta is a perfect example.

That is they go after the little guy while the Military and big industry continue to pollute unhampered.

George Mc ,

I despair.

Well that's what you do.

Dungroanin ,

The M5 highway is secured. Allepo access points too and Idlib is surrounded- where are the US backed /Saudi paid / Tukish passport holding Uighars and various Turkmen proxy jihadist anti Chinese / anti Russian, Central asian caliphate establishing mercenaries supposed to go now??

Pompeo is buzzing around Africa now like a blue bottomed cadaverous fly, non-stop buzzing from piles of shot, trying to find them homes – no Libya doesn't want anymore of them, nor the UAE and Saudis, or Turks maybe dump them in Canada with all these ex Ukrainian still nazis? Its a big country nobody will know!
Or bring them to the US and give them a ticker tape parade?

Or let them surrender and have them testify as to how the fuck they let themselves be bought for $$$$ maybe just fry them with the low yield nuke and blame Assad for it!

Dumbass yanks, fukus, 5+1 eyed gollum and Nutty- 'it's the Belgian airforce bombing Russian weapons in Syria' -yahoo!

Up-Pompeos farce and buzzing is about to sizzle in the blue light of death for dumbfuck poison spreading flies.

normal wisdom ,

so much disrespect here hare here.

these takfiri these giants these beards are hero

of the oded yinon plan

they raped murdered and stole
dustified atomised the syriana so
is rael can become real

the red heffers have been cloned the temple will grow

the semites must leave for norway,sweden wales scotland and detroit
already

the khazar ashkanazim need the land returned to it's true owners from the turkic russio steppe

tonight back to back i watch reality
fiddler on the roof and exodus and schindlers lists.
i watch bbc simon scharmas new rabbi revised history of mighty israel.
every day it grows massive every day hezbollah become weak husk

shirley you can sea more that

my life already

Francis Lee ,

Very interesting and informative article. Lenin's 5 conditions of the imperialism of his time have been matched by similar conditions in our own time, as listed by the Egyptian Marxist, Samir Amin. These conditions being as follows.

1. Control of technology.

2. Access to natural resources.

3. Finance.

4. Global media.

5. The means of mass destruction.

Only by overturning these monopolies can real progress be made. Easily said. But a life and death struggle for humanity.

The collapse of the Soviet Union opened up the space for increased penetration of Europe to the East by the US and its West European allies in NATO. At that time the subaltern US powers in Europe were the UK and West Germany, as it then was. There was a semblance of sovereignty in France under De Gaulle, but this has since disappeared. Europe as a whole is now occupied and controlled by the US which has used EU/NATO bloc to push right up to the Russian border. Most, if not all, the non-sovereign quasi states, in Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, are Quisling-Petainist puppet regimes regardless of whether they are inside our outside of the EU. (I say 'states' but of course if a country is not sovereign it cannot be a 'state' in the full meaning of the word).

A political, social and economic crisis in Europe seems to be taking taking shape. Perhaps the key problem, particularly Eastern Europe, has been depopulation. There is not one European state in which fertility (replacement) rates has reached 2.1 children. Western European imperial states have to large degree been able to counter-act this tendency by immigration from their former colonies, particularly the UK and France. But this has not been possible in states such as Sweden and Germany where the migration of non-christian guest workers from Turkey to Germany and Islamic refugees
from the middle-east hot-spots have had a free passage to Sweden. This has become a serious social and economic problem; a problem resulting from a neoliberal open borders policy. The fact of the matter is that radically different cultures will tend to clash. Thank you Mr Soros.

British immigration policy was successful in so far as immigrants from the Caribbean were English speakers, they were also protestant Christians, and the culture was not very different from the UK. Later immigration from the Indian sub-continent and Indian settled East Africa were generally professional and middle-class business people. Again English speakers. Assimilation of these newcomers was not unduly difficult.

However it wouldn't be exaggerating to say that Eastern Europe is facing a demographic disaster. This particular zone is literally bleeding people. Ukraine for example has lost 10 million people since 1990. Every month it is estimated that 100,000 Ukrainians leave the country, usually for good. In terms of migration – no-one wants to go to Eastern Europe, but everyone wants to leave, asap. This process is complemented by low birth rates, and high death rates. These are un-developing states in an un-developing world. But now we have new kids on the bloc. A counter-hegemonic alliance. No guesses who.

BigB ,

Rubbish. There is no 'counter-hegemonic alliance' to humanities rapacious demand for fossil fuels and ecological resources. Where are the material consumption resources for BRI coming from – the Moon, Mars? Passing asteroids? Or from the Earth?

When its gone: its gone. Russia and China provide absolutely no alternative to this. China's consumption alone is driving us over the brink. To which the real alternative is a complicit silence. As we all align with culture-centric capitalist views: there is no naturalistic 'counter-hegemonic alliance'. Just some hunters in the Amazon we are having shot right now so we can have the privilige of extending cultural hegemony over nature.

When it's gone: it's gone. And so will we be too. Probably as we are still praising the wonders of the 'counter-hegemonic alliance' that killed us.

Gall ,

Actually there is a naturalistic alliance forming but it seems you haven't been paying attention because you seem stuck in some Malthusian mind set. In order to defeat capitalism you have to defeat Globalism so you first have to eliminate the Anglo-American Hegemony and get back to a multipolar world.

Ranting on about like Gretchen doesn't do any good.

BigB ,

Resources are finite and thermodynamics exist. These are the ineliminable, indisputable, and rock solid epistemology of the Earth System. Everything else is metaphysics – literally 'beyond nature; beyond physics'. Or, as it is more commonly known – economics. The imaginary epistemology of political economics and political theory. 'Theory' is the non-scientific sense of unfounded opinion and non-sense. A philosophical truth-theory that is not and cannot ever be true. Hypothetical non-sense.

I get my information from a wide range of sources that realise these foundational predicates. That is: a foundational set of beliefs that require no underpinning. I can only paraphrase Eddington on thermodynamics: "if your theory is found to be against the second law I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation."

Which is to say all modern political theory and economics – and by extension all opinions based on its internalisation – is the product of vivid and unfounded imagination. To which a naturalised epistemology is the only remedy.

There are lots of people working on the problem: but not in the political sphere. Which is why we are stuck in a hallucinated metaphysical political-economic theatre of the absurd and absolutised cultural non-sense. Which is not beyond anyone to rectify: if and when we accept the limitations of the physical-material Earth System. And apply them to our thinking.

#NoDealForNature until we accept that the thermodynamics of depletion naturally limit growth. Anything anyone says to the contrary should be treated with scepticism and cause a collapse into deepest humiliation of any rational thinker.

Richard Le Sarc ,

'Depopulation' is only a problem if you believe in the capitalist cancer cult of infinite growth on a finite planet, ie black magic. If you value Life on Earth, and its continuance, human depopulation is necessary. Best done slowly and humanely, by redistributing the wealth stolen by the capitalist parasites. The process seen in the Baltics and Ukraine is the capitalist way, cruel and inhumane. Even worse is planned for the Africans, south Asians and Chinese etc.

Gall ,

They don't for a minute believe in "infinite growth". They believe in the "bottom line","instant gratification" and "primitive accumulation". "Infinite growth" is a sales pitch that they use to sell the unwary on their rapaciousness. That is all. If they actually believed in "infinite growth" they've be investing in renewable resources not fracking, strip mining and other environmentally unfriendly practices.

Gall ,

The problem for Imperialists is that they only know how to plunder, rape and destroy thus all their weaponry and tactics is used for aggression they know nothing about actual defense which is their weak point. General George C Custer found this out some time back and so did Trump just recently when the American were assaulted by a barrage of missiles they couldn't stop.

Iran, Russia and China have one of the most advanced arsenal of defensive weapons ever developed such as the S- series of air defense system that can turn a Tomahawk attack into a turkey shoot. What was it? I think it was 100 Tomahawks fired on Syria after that false flag chemical attack and only 15 or so got through and this was the earlier version of the S missile defense S-300. They've already developed 500 which practically makes them impervious and is a true iron dome compared the iron sieve that the Israelis got for free during GW1 and then repackaged and sold back to the US Military for 15B with very few improvements except maybe for a pretty blue bow.

Not only that but they can return fire with hypersonic weapons that are unstoppable and can turn a base or Aircraft Carrier into a floating pinnate.

lundiel ,

Very well presented. Excellent article.

Gall ,

Actually the US proudly waving the banner of the East India Company is following in the footsteps of the deceased British Empire into the boneyard of empires which is Afghanistan. Iraq, Syria and Ukraine are just side shows. America can not escape history no matter what it does now since its days of empire are now numbered. Just as they were for the late unlamented Soviet Union.

The "New American Century" is ending preemptively early like Hitler's "Thousand Year Reich" and we can all breath a sigh of relief when it does.

Frank ,

The only thing that will get the bastard yanks out of the middle east is dead Americans.

Lots and lots of dead Americans.

Enough dead Americans to make the braindead jingoistic American masses notice.

Enough dead Americans to touch every family that produces grunts that serve their criminal state by raping and pillaging foreign countries.

Enough dead Americans to make dumbfuck Americans who say, 'Thank you for your service" squirm in literal pain at the words.

Dungroanin ,

They got brain damage in their bunkers in the best US base in the ME from just a handful of Kinetic energy missiles.

Their low yield nuke is their response.

The Israelis keep prodding the Bear – they even targeted a Russian Pantir system in Syria!

I suppose only a downing or infact destroying on the ground of a squadron of useless F35's with a threat to escalate into a full blown mobilisation is ever going to stop these imperialist chancers. Or a fully coordinated assassination campaign of the leads and their heirs as they frolic on their superyachts and space stations and secret Tracey islands.

And they can pay their taxes in full.

The Third world war is already fought – this really is a world war rather than some Anglo Imperialist bankers playing king of the castle – and they have LOST – the Empire is dead.

Long live the new Empire – the first not beholden to the bankers.

wardropper ,

Even with a new empire, our godless world would soon enough breed another generation of bankers to which we would be beholden.
That's what the fundamentally dishonest people in any society do.
Something wrong? Oh, well, we'll form a committee to discuss it, and in future we will look into creating a banking system which will enable us pay ourselves high wages for our invaluable contribution to human evolution.
It's MORALITY which is lacking today, not more legislation or a new constitution.

Gall ,

All one has to do is move off the centralized banking system developed and controlled by the Rothschilds that is totally based on creating finance out of thin air and return to a commodity based currency (not gold!!) that represents actual value like scrip or wampum or barter and the bankers will eventually starve.

Actually this system is starting to take hold in the US to a small extend to avoid the depredations of the IRS since Tax is based mostly on currency.

Stop using fiat currency and the problem's solved.

After WW II the French didn't have a press to press Francs so their standard of exchange became cigarettes and chocolate. It worked quite well until the presses started churning out paper again.

wardropper ,

My fear is that without the Rothschilds, some other over-ambitious family would simply step in and fill their shoes. It's the motivation to be greedy and wicked which needs addressing. How that would be done, of course, I have no idea.

Gall ,

This is only if you embrace the concept of centralized banking and the "magic" of compound interest. Current "banking" is all smoke and mirrors that favors the parasite who lives on the production of others through what is called "unearned income".

wardropper ,

I agree. But how to stop it?

Gall ,

Ignore the bastards instead. Just go off the grid.

wardropper ,

I can't deny the wisdom in that.

Dungroanin ,

The Red Shield ancient silk road trader and slaving company employees are only a family as say the Vatican is a family

wardropper ,

I know, but "only a family" with the wealth to buy whole nations
I find that very unsettling, to say the least.

Dungroanin ,

Indeed but there is always hope as the poet saw – THEY are the few, we are many.

Gall ,

Actually the Israelis are going a little slower now that isolated reports indicate that those flying turkeys AKA F-35s are getting popped out of the skies of Syria by antiquated Soviet SAMs. Of course there is no mention of this in the Mainstream Press. Just like there wasn't a word of a IDF General and his staff taken out by a shoulder launched RPG fired by Hezbollah in retaliation for attacking their media center in Beirut.

Antonym ,

Anybody who believes that the Israeli tail wags the US mil-ind. complex dog is contributing to the Jewish superiority myth.

Ken ,

They're not superior, but they do wag the US MIC dog in and ebb-and-flow kind of way. That 9/11 thing was quite the wag. Read Christopher Bollyn and study other aspects of the event if you're not sure of this.

Antonym ,

Langley and Riyadh love you; you fell for their ploy. See: Tel Aviv is much worse them.
The CIA/FBI failure explained.

The Mossad loves you too: for keeping mum on this Entebbe Mach 2.0 on their familiar New York crap they got huge US support in the ME.
Makes them look invincible too as a bonus .

5 dancing guys was all the proof needed – cheapest op in history.

Ken ,

"5 dancing guys was all the proof needed – cheapest op in history"

Oh please, that was such a minor bit of evidence of any Zionist/Israeli involvement, which spanned nearly every facet of the event and its aftermath.

The list of false flagging Zionist Jews in love with you is too long to list.

Gall ,

Oh please. What about the close to 200 Israelis who were arrested that day? Not to mention the helpful warning by Odigo which was only given to citizens of Israel?

Also one has to act who benefitted? Definitely not the Saudis or the Americans leaving Sharon who was trying to suppress a Palestinian uprising that he arrogantly started.

Speaking of your friendly five doing a fiddler on the roof on top of an Urban Moving Van that just happened to owned by another Israeli who fled the country. Didn't they say something stupid when arrested like "we are not your problem. It's the Palestinians who are your problem!"?

A pathetic frame up attempt but a frame none the less. Speaking of frame ups wasn't Fat Katz at SiteIntel (propaganda) who posted some stock footage of Palestinians celebrating which has been proven to be false since the only people who seem to celebrating that day was your friends the Dancing Israelis which doesn't prove their mental superiority at all but their arrogant stupidity,

Richard Le Sarc ,

The three, the USA, Saudi Arabia and the USA, are allies in destruction-the Real Axis of Evil. The dominant force, these days, given the control of the USA by Israel First Fifth Columnists, in the MSM, political 'contributions', the financial Moloch etc, is most certainly the Zionassties. Why don't you, like so many other Zionassties, glory in your power, Antsie. Nobody believes your ritual denials.

Gall ,

They don't really wag the dog by themselves. They have a lot of help from the Stand with Israel brain dead Christian Zionists who like Israelis consider themselves the chosen ones as well.

Ken ,

@Gall Yep! I had a long time friend who went Pentecostal and we drifted apart but still kept in touch. I lost him completely just after telling him that Israelis played a big part in 9/11.

Gall ,

Chuck Baldwin and a few other it seems have seen the light and are now questioning their colleagues undying support of Israel. Maybe you could show this article to your friend who seems enthralled by the terrorist snake er I mean state:
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/02/13/emperor-trump/

Ken ,

Thanks for that article. Were I ever able to get it in front of my estranged friend, it would make his head explode and kill him. Baldwin does seem to nail it. Chuck for president! I came across this rather intersting piece on 9/11 while at VT for your article.
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/02/10/9-11-the-bottom-line-an-open-letter-to-all-researchers/

Gall ,

Yes that pretty much sums up how 9/11 was carried on. Both Heinz Pommer and VT have done some excellent research based on facts not fantasy.

As far as your friend and many Christian Zionists in general. They seem to live in some alternative universe and dislike being confused by such irrelevant things as facts.

binra ,

It is a story that can be told in some detail – but when you say myth do you actually mean fallacy – ie – are you saying that Jewish power doesn't exercise considerable influence – if not control over US social and political and corporate development across of broad spectrum of leverages?

Richard Le Sarc ,

Yes-all those addresses of Congress, by Bibi, where the Congress critters compete to display the most extreme groveling and adulation, are just the natural expression of reverence and awe at his semi-Divine moral excellence. Denying the undeniable is SOP for Zionassties.

normal wisdom ,

what jews?
i do not see any jews
just a sea of khazar ashkanazim pirates
a kaballa talmudick race trick
a crime syndicate pretending to be semite
jew is just the cover
init

[Feb 15, 2020] Shifting narrative: Trump administration now Justifies Killing Soleimani for Past Actions, not Imminent Threat by Dave DeCamp

Notable quotes:
"... Although the memo says one purpose of the action was to "deter Iran from conducting or supporting further attacks against United States forces," it does not cite any specific threats. Both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the killing was done to prevent imminent attacks and led on like they had the intelligence to prove it. ..."
"... The New York Times recently reported that Iraqi military and intelligence officials believe the December 27 th rocket attack that killed a US contractor was likely carried out by ISIS, not the Shi'ite militia the US blamed and retaliated against. This attack led to a series of provocations that resulted in the assassination of Soleimani. Iraqi officials do not have proof that ISIS carried out the attack, but this possibility makes the US justification for killing Soleimani even more flimsy. ..."
"... Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) responded to the White House's memo in a statement on Friday, "The administration's explanation in this report makes no mention of any imminent threat and shows that the justification the president offered to the American people was false, plain and simple." ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

The White House released a memo on Friday to Congress justifying the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Despite earlier claims from the administration of Soleimani and his Quds Force planning imminent attacks on US personnel in the region, the memo uses past actions as the justification for the killing.

The memo says President Trump ordered the assassination on January 2nd "in response to an escalating series of attacks in preceding months by Iran and Iran-backed militias on United States forces and interests in the Middle East region."

Although the memo says one purpose of the action was to "deter Iran from conducting or supporting further attacks against United States forces," it does not cite any specific threats. Both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the killing was done to prevent imminent attacks and led on like they had the intelligence to prove it.

The New York Times recently reported that Iraqi military and intelligence officials believe the December 27 th rocket attack that killed a US contractor was likely carried out by ISIS, not the Shi'ite militia the US blamed and retaliated against. This attack led to a series of provocations that resulted in the assassination of Soleimani. Iraqi officials do not have proof that ISIS carried out the attack, but this possibility makes the US justification for killing Soleimani even more flimsy.

Lawmakers from both parties criticized Trump for killing Iran's top general without congressional approval. The memo argues that Trump had authority to order the attack under Article II of the US Constitution, and under the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (2002 AUMF).

Congress is taking measures to limit Trump's ability to wage war with Iran. The Senate passed the Iran War Powers Resolution on Thursday, and the House voted to repeal the 2002 AUMF in January.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) responded to the White House's memo in a statement on Friday, "The administration's explanation in this report makes no mention of any imminent threat and shows that the justification the president offered to the American people was false, plain and simple."

[Feb 15, 2020] US assassinated Suleimani to quash Iran s talks with Gulf monarchies by Bill Van Auken

Feb 15, 2020 | www.wsws.org

The Trump administration ordered the January 3 assassination of Major General Qassem Suleimani, one of Iran's most senior officials, not because he posed some "imminent threat," but rather in a calculated bid to disrupt Tehran's attempts to reach an accommodation with Washington's allies in the region.

This is the inescapable conclusion flowing from a report published Thursday in the New York Times , citing unnamed senior officials from the US, Iran and other countries in the Middle East.

It recounts the arrival last September in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, of a plane carrying senior Iranian officials for talks aimed at achieving a bilateral peace agreement between the two countries.

The trip came in the context of a steady sharpening of US-Iranian tensions as a result of Trump's abrogation of the Iranian nuclear agreement in 2018 along with the imposition of a punishing sanctions regime tantamount to a state of war. This was followed by a major escalation of the US military presence in the region a year later.

While the US dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group and a B-52-led bomber task force to the region in May of last year, the same month saw the use of limpet mines to damage four oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic "chokepoint" through which 20 percent of the world's oil is shipped.

In June of last year, the Iranians downed a US Navy spy drone over the same area, with the Trump White House first ordering and then calling off retaliatory air strikes against Iran. And in September, Saudi oil installations came under a devastating attack from drones and cruise missiles.

Washington blamed both the attacks on the oil tankers and the strike against the Saudi oil installations -- for which the Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility -- on Iran, charges that Tehran denied.

As early as last August, there were reports indicating concerns within Washington that the UAE was veering away from the anti-Iran front that the US has attempted to cobble together, based upon Israel and the Gulf oil sheikdoms. The Emirates' coast guard had signed a maritime security agreement with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the UAE had clashed openly with Saudi Arabia over the control of southern Yemen's port city of Aden. At the time, the Washington Post warned that the UAE "is breaking ranks with Washington, calling into question how reliable an ally it would be in the event of a war between the United States and Iran."

According to the Times report, the meeting with the Iranian delegation in Abu Dhabi, which had been kept secret from Washington, "set off alarms inside the White House ... A united front against Iran -- carefully built by the Trump administration over more than two years -- seemed to be crumbling."

Both the Emirati monarchy and its counterpart in Saudi Arabia had become increasingly distrustful of Washington's Iran policy and concerned that they would find themselves on the frontline of any confrontation without any guarantee of the US defending them.

Saudi Arabia also began a secret diplomatic approach to Tehran, using the Iraqi and Pakistani governments as intermediaries. Suleimani played the central role in organizing the talks with both Gulf kingdoms, the Times reports.

In October, according to the report, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Tel Aviv for a meeting with Yossi Cohen, the chief of Mossad, who warned him that "Iran was achieving its primary goal: to break up the anti-Iran alliance."

Last month's assassination of General Suleimani was initially defended by Trump and administration officials as a preemptive strike aimed at foiling supposedly "imminent" attacks on US personnel or interests in the Middle East. This pretext soon fell apart, however, and the US president and his aides fell back to justifying the extra-judicial murder of a senior state official as revenge for his support for Shia militias that resisted the US occupation of Iraq 15 years earlier and retaliation for a missile strike that killed an American military contractor last December.

That strike was launched against a military base housing American troops in the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk. Iraqi security officials have since contradicted the US claim that an Iranian-backed Shia militia was responsible for the attack. They have pointed out that the missiles were launched from a predominantly Sunni area where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is active, and that Iraqi intelligence had warned US forces in November and December that ISIS was preparing to target the base.

The US responded to the missile strike on the base in Iraq by targeting Iraqi Shia militia positions on the Syria-Iraq border, killing 25 members of the Kataib Hezbollah militia. The attack provoked an angry demonstration that laid siege to the US embassy in Baghdad on December 31.

Two days later, a US Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy at Baghdad International Airport, killing Suleimani along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a central leader of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces, the coalition of militias that constitutes an arm of Iraq's security forces, as well as eight others.

In the wake of the drone assassinations, US Secretary of State Pompeo sarcastically told the media: "Is there any history that would indicate that it was remotely possible that this kind gentleman, this diplomat of great order -- Qassem Suleimani -- had traveled to Baghdad for the idea of conducting a peace mission? We know that wasn't true."

As the Times report indicates, that was precisely what Suleimani was doing in Baghdad, the US knew it and that is why it assassinated him. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said at the time that General Suleimani had flown into the country, on a commercial flight and using his diplomatic passport, for the express purpose of delivering an Iranian response to a message from Saudi Arabia as part of talks aimed at de-escalating tensions.

The more that emerges about the assassination of Suleimani, the more the abject criminality of his murder becomes clear. It was carried out neither as a reckless act of revenge nor to ward off unspecified attacks. Rather, it was a calculated act of imperialist terror designed to disrupt talks aimed at defusing tensions in the Persian Gulf and to convince the wavering Gulf monarchies that Washington is prepared to go to war against Iran.

This is the policy not merely of the Trump administration. Among the most significant moments in Trump's State of the Union address earlier this month was the standing ovation by Democratic lawmakers as he gloated over the murder of Suleimani, a war crime.

The resort to such criminal actions is a measure of the extreme crisis of a capitalist system that threatens to drag humanity into a new world war.

[Feb 14, 2020] More Lies on Iran The White House Just Can t Help Itself as New Facts Emerge by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... It soon emerged that the Iranian was in fact in Baghdad to discuss with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi a plan that might lead to the de-escalation of the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a meeting that the White House apparently knew about may even have approved. If that is so, events as they unfolded suggest that the US government might have encouraged Soleimani to make his trip so he could be set up and killed. Donald Trump later dismissed the lack of any corroboration of the tale of "imminent threat" being peddled by Pompeo, stating that it didn't really matter as Soleimani was a terrorist who deserved to die. ..."
"... It now appears that the original death of the American contractor that sparked the tit-for-tat conflict was not carried out by Kata'ib Hezbollah at all. An Iraqi Army investigative team has gathered convincing evidence that it was an attack staged by Islamic State. In fact, the Iraqi government has demonstrated that Kata'ib Hezbollah has had no presence in Kirkuk province, where the attack took place, since 2014. It is a heavily Sunni area where Shi'a are not welcome and is instead relatively hospitable to all-Sunni IS. It was, in fact, one of the original breeding grounds for what was to become ISIS. ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | www.unz.com

Admittedly the news cycle in the United States seldom runs longer than twenty-four hours, but that should not serve as an excuse when a major story that contradicts what the Trump Administration has been claiming appears and suddenly dies. The public that actually follows the news might recall a little more than one month ago the United States assassinated a senior Iranian official named Qassem Soleimani. Openly killing someone in the government of a country with which one is not at war is, to say the least, unusual, particularly when the crime is carried out in yet another country with which both the perpetrator and the victim have friendly relations. The justification provided by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking for the administration, was that Soleimani was in Iraq planning an "imminent" mass killing of Americans, for which no additional evidence was provided at that time or since.

It soon emerged that the Iranian was in fact in Baghdad to discuss with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi a plan that might lead to the de-escalation of the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a meeting that the White House apparently knew about may even have approved. If that is so, events as they unfolded suggest that the US government might have encouraged Soleimani to make his trip so he could be set up and killed. Donald Trump later dismissed the lack of any corroboration of the tale of "imminent threat" being peddled by Pompeo, stating that it didn't really matter as Soleimani was a terrorist who deserved to die.

The incident that started the killing cycle that eventually included Soleimani consisted of a December 27th attack on a US base in Iraq in which four American soldiers and two Iraqis were wounded while one US contractor, an Iraqi-born translator, was killed. The United States immediately blamed Iran, claiming that it had been carried out by an Iranian supported Shi'ite militia called Kata'ib Hezbollah. It provided no evidence for that claim and retaliated by striking a Kata'ib base, killing 25 Iraqis who were in the field fighting the remnants of Islamic State (IS). The militiamen had been incorporated into the Iraqi Army and this disproportionate response led to riots outside the US Embassy in Baghdad, which were also blamed on Iran by the US There then followed the assassinations of Soleimani and nine senior Iraqi militia officers. Iran retaliated when it fired missiles at American forces , injuring more than one hundred soldiers, and then mistakenly shot down a passenger jet , killing an additional 176 people. As a consequence due to the killing by the US of 34 Iraqis in the two incidents, the Iraqi Parliament also voted to expel all American troops.

It now appears that the original death of the American contractor that sparked the tit-for-tat conflict was not carried out by Kata'ib Hezbollah at all. An Iraqi Army investigative team has gathered convincing evidence that it was an attack staged by Islamic State. In fact, the Iraqi government has demonstrated that Kata'ib Hezbollah has had no presence in Kirkuk province, where the attack took place, since 2014. It is a heavily Sunni area where Shi'a are not welcome and is instead relatively hospitable to all-Sunni IS. It was, in fact, one of the original breeding grounds for what was to become ISIS.

This new development was reported in the New York Times in an article that was headlined "Was US Wrong About Attack That Nearly Started a War With Iran? Iraqi military and intelligence officials have raised doubts about who fired the rockets that started a dangerous spiral of events." In spite of the sensational nature of the report it generally was ignored in television news and in other mainstream media outlets, letting the Trump administration get away with yet another big lie, one that could easily have led to a war with Iran.

Iraqi investigators found and identified the abandoned white Kia pickup with an improvised Katyusha rocket launcher in the vehicle's bed that was used to stage the attack. It was discovered down a desert road within range of the K-1 joint Iraqi-American base that was hit by at least ten missiles in December, most of which struck the American area.

There is no direct evidence tying the attack to any particular party and the improvised KIA truck is used by all sides in the regional fighting, but the Iraqi officials point to the undisputed fact that it was the Islamic State that had carried out three separate attacks near the base over the 10 days preceding December 27th. And there are reports that IS has been increasingly active in Kirkuk Province during the past year, carrying out near daily attacks with improvised roadside bombs and ambushes using small arms. There had, in fact, been reports from Iraqi intelligence that were shared with the American command warning that there might be an IS attack on K-1 itself, which is an Iraqi air base in that is shared with US forces.

The intelligence on the attack has been shared with American investigators, who have also examined the pick-up truck. The Times reports that the US command in Iraq continue to insist that the attack was carried out by Kata'ib based on information, including claimed communications intercepts, that it refuses to make public. The US forces may not have shared the intelligence they have with the Iraqis due to concerns that it would be leaked to Iran, but senior Iraqi military officers are nevertheless perplexed by the reticence to confide in an ally.

If the Iraqi investigation of the facts around the December attack on K-1 is reliable, the Donald Trump administration's reckless actions in Iraq in late December and early January cannot be justified. Worse still, it would appear that the White House was looking for an excuse to attack and kill a senior Iranian official to send some kind of message, a provocation that could easily have resulted in a war that would benefit no one. To be sure, the Trump administration has lied about developments in the Middle East so many times that it can no longer be trusted. Unfortunately, demanding any accountability from the Trump team would require a Congress that is willing to shoulder its responsibility for truth in government backed up by a media that is willing to take on an administration that regularly punishes anyone or any entity that dares to challenge it

That is the unfortunate reality in America today.



AnonStarter , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 12:25 am GMT

Well, the 9/11 Commission lied about Israeli involvement, Israeli neocons lied America into Iraq, and Netanyahu lied about Iranian nukes, so this latest news is just par for the course.
KA , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 12:59 am GMT
@04398436986 lets stay focused.

Pompeo had evidence of immediate catastrophic attack. That turned out to be a lie and plain BS.
Why should we believe Pompeo or White House or intelligence about the situation developing around 27-29 Dec ? Is it because it's USA who is saying so?

anonymous [307] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 1:12 am GMT
[it would appear that the White House was looking for an excuse to attack and kill a senior Iranian official to send some kind of message, a provocation that could easily have resulted in a war that would benefit no one.]

The Jewish mafia stooge and fifth column, Trump, is a war criminal and an ASSASSIN.

... ... ...

melpol , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 1:13 am GMT
War with Iran is off the table. Carpet bombing Iran would lead to the destruction of Israel and its nuclear facility...
Sean , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 2:23 am GMT

Worse still, it would appear that the White House was looking for an excuse to attack and kill a senior Iranian official to send some kind of message, a provocation that could easily have resulted in a war that would benefit no one.

Soleimani was a soldier involved in covert operations, Iran's most celebrated hero, and had been featured in the Iraq media as the target of multiple Western assassination attempts. He did not have diplomatic status.

As it happens Iran did not declare war on America and America did not declare war on Iran. If Americans soldiers killed in Iraq should not have been there in the first place, then the same goes for an Iranian soldier killed there too.

KA , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 2:30 am GMT
@04398436986 There is western assertion and western assertion only that Iran influences Iraqi administration and intelligence . It can be a projection from a failing America . It can be also a valid possibility .

But lying is America's alter ego . It comes easily and as default explanation even when admitting truth would do a better job .

Now let's focus on ISIS 's claims . Why is Ametica not taking it ( claim of ISIS) as truth and fact when USA has for last 19 years has jailed , bombed, attacked mentally retarded , caves and countries because somebody has pledged allegiance to Al Quida or to ISIS!!!

It seems neither truth nor lies , but what suits a particular psychopath at a particular time – that becomes USA's report ( kind of unassigned sex – neither truth nor lies – take your pick and find the toilet to flush it down memory hole) – so Pompeo lies to nation hoping no one in administration will ask . When administrative staff gets interested to know the truth , Pompeo tells them to suck it up , move on and get ready to explain the next batch of reality manufactured by a regime and well trained by philosopher Karl Rove

AnonStarter , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 4:06 am GMT
@04398436986 conspiracy mongers

To what "conspiracy" are you referring? It's a well established fact that your ilk was, at the very least, aware that the 9/11 attacks would occur and celebrated them in broad daylight. No conspiracy theory needed. Mossad ordnance experts were living practically next door to the hijackers. Well established fact.

It's also undeniable that the 9/11 Commission airbrushed Israeli involvement from their report. No conspiracy theory there, either.

Same goes for Israeli neocons and their media mandarins using "faulty intel" to get their war in Iraq. "Clean Break"? "Rebuilding America's Defenses"? Openly written and published. Judith Miller's lies? Also no conspiracy.

And Israel's own intelligence directors were undermining Netanyahu's lies on Iran. Not a conspiracy in sight.

contemplating the outcome of normal everyday competition, influenced by good & bad luck, is just too much truth for some psychological makeups

That's one of the lamest attempts at deflection I've seen thus far, and I've seen quite a few here.

Those who deny the official version of 9/11 are in the majority now:

https://www.livescience.com/56479-americans-believe-conspiracy-theories.html

We've reached critical mass. Clearly, that's just too much truth for your psychological makeup. Were we really that worthy of ignoring, your people wouldn't be working 24/7/365 to peddle your malarkey in fora of this variety.

JUSA , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 5:23 am GMT
I have thought that Trump's true impeachable crime was the illegal assassination of a foreign general who was not in combat. Pence should also be impeached for the botched coup in Venezuela. That was true embarrassment bringing that "El Presidente" that no one recognizes to the SOTU.

USA is basically JU-S-A now, Jews own and run this country from top to bottom, side to side, and because of it, pretty much run the world. China-Russia-Iran form their new "Axis of Evil" to be brought in line. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Covid-19 is a bioweapon, except not one created by China. Israel has been working on an ethnic based bioweapon for years. US sent 172 military "athletes" to the Military World Games in Wuhan in October, 2019, two weeks before the first case of coronavirus appeared. Almost too coincidental.

animalogic , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 6:20 am GMT
@Sean He wasn't there as a soldier -- he was there in a diplomatic role. (regardless of his official "status"). It also appears he was lured there with intent to assaninate.
Your last para is not only terrible logic but ignores the point of the article. Iran likely was not responsible for the US deaths. Even had it been responsible it would still not legitimate such a baldly criminal action.
Sean , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 6:29 am GMT
@JUSA

[I]illegal assassination of a foreign general who was not in combat

Lawful combat according to the Geneva Convention in which war is openly declared and fought between two countries each of which have regular uniformed forces that do all the actual fighting is an extremely rare thing. It is all proxy forces, deniability and asymmetric warfare in which one side (the stronger) is attacked by phantom combatants.

The Israeli PM publically alluded to the fact that Soleimani had almost been killed in the Mossad operation to kill Imad Mughniyeh a decade ago. The Iranian public knew that Soleimani had narrowly escaped death from Israeli drones, because Soleimani appeared on Iranian TV in October and told the story. A plot kill him by at a memorial service in Iran was supposedly foiled. He came from Lebanon by way of Syria into Iraq as if none of this had happened. Trump had sacked Bolton and failed to react to the drone attack on Saudi oil.

Iran seems to have thought that refusal to actually fight in the type of war that the international conventions were designed to regulate is a licence to exert pressure by launch attacks without being targeted oneself. Now do they understand.

Ace , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 8:41 am GMT
@Sean American troops invaded Iraq under false pretenses, killed thousands, and caused great destruction. Chaos and vengeful Sunnis spilled over into Syria where the US proceeded to grovel before the terrorists we fret about. Soleimani was effective in organizing resistance in Iraq and Syria and was in both countries with the blessing of their governments.

How you get Soleimani shouldn't be there out of that I have no idea.

Zen , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 12:04 pm GMT
@04398436986 Yet you ignore that the Neocons have lied about virtually every cause if war ever. Lied about Iraq, North Korea and Iran nuclear info actions, about chem weapons in Syria, lied about Kosovo, lied about Libya, lied about Benghazi, lied about Venezuela. So Whom I gonna believe, no government, but a Neocon led one least of all
Vojkan , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 1:05 pm GMT
@Sean American soldiers went there uninvited. Soleimani went there because he was invited. That makes a hell of a difference.
Robjil , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 1:05 pm GMT
It is common knowledge that ISIS is a US/Israeli creation. ISIS is the Israeli Secret Intelligence Service. Thus, the US/Israel staged the attack on the US base on 12.27.2019.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/isis-is-a-us-israeli-creation-top-ten-indications/5518627

ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation: Indication #2: ISIS Never Attacks Israel

It is more than highly strange and suspicious that ISIS never attacks Israel – it is another indication that ISIS is controlled by Israel. If ISIS were a genuine and independent uprising that was not covertly orchestrated by the US and Israel, why would they not try to attack the Zionist regime, which has attacked almost of all of its Muslim neighbors ever since its inception in 1948? Israel has attacked Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, and of course has decimated Palestine. It has systemically tried to divide and conquer its Arab neighbors. It continually complains of Islamic terrorism. Yet, when ISIS comes on the scene as the bloody and barbaric king of Islamic terrorism, it finds no fault with Israel and sees no reason to target a regime which has perpetrated massive injustice against Muslims? This stretches credibility to a snapping point.

ISIS and Israel don't attack each other – they help each other. Israel was treating ISIS soldiers and other anti-Assad rebels in its hospitals! Mortal enemies or best of friends?

Coward Corps , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 1:07 pm GMT
The MQ-9 pilot and sensor operator will be looking over their shoulders for a long time. They're as famous as Soleimani. Their command chain is well known too, hide though they might far away.

And who briefed the president that terror Tuesday? The murder program isn't Air Force.

Eek , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 1:25 pm GMT
Hey now, you learn to put the best gloss on things when your troops are pathetic little timmies scared of rocks and 12-year olds. Bunch of pussies.

https://southfront.org/dumbfucks-russian-troops-react-to-us-forces-using-firearms-against-syrian-villagers/

The IRGC is going to make mincemeat of these chumps.

Moi , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 1:36 pm GMT
@anonymous The kind of crap Trump pulled in the assassination of Soleimani is what he should be impeached about–not the piss-ant stuff about Hunter Biden's job in the Ukaranian gas company and his pappy's role in it.
Sick of Orcs , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 1:49 pm GMT
We're really benefitting, carrying water for (((our greatest ally.)))
Really No Shit , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 1:59 pm GMT
Iraq an ally of the United States! Is it some kind of a joke? How can a master and slave be equal? We, the big dog want their oil and the tail that wags us, Israel, want all Muslims pacified and the Congress, which is us wether we like or not, compliant out of financial fears. Unless we curb our own greedy appetite for fossil fuels and at the same time tell an ally, which Israel is by being equal in a sense that it can get away with murder and not a pip is raised, to limit its ambition, nothing is going to be done to improve the situation. Until then it's an exercise in futility, at best!
anonymous [307] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm GMT
@Ozymandias You are so ignorant.

Iran has NO choice but to defend itself from the savages. It has not been Iran that invaded US, but US with a plan that design years before 9/11 invaded many countries. Remember: seven countries in five years. Soleimani was a wise man working towards peace by creating options for Iran to defend itself. Iran is not the aggressor, but US -Israel-UK are the aggressor for centuries now. Is this so difficult to understand. 9/11 was staged by US/Israel killing 3000 Christians to implement their criminal plan.

Soleimani, was on a peace mission, where was assassinated by Trump, an Israeli firster and a fifth column and the baby killer Netanyahu. Is this difficult to understand by the Trump worshiper, a traitor.

Now, Khamenie is saying the same thing: "Iran should be strong in military warfare and sciences to prevent war and maintain PEACE.

Only ignorant, arrogant, and racists don't understand this fact and refuse to understand how the victims have been pushed to defend themselves.

The Assassin at the black house should receive the same fate in order to bring the peace.

anonymous [307] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Moi I totally agree with you. Both parties are a fifth column and criminals.
Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 2:57 pm GMT
When does Amerikastan *not* lie about anything? If an Amerikastani tells you the sun rises in the east, you're probably on Venus, where it rises in the west.
DaveE , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 3:05 pm GMT
I think this article is getting close to the truth, that this whole operation was and is an ISIS (meaning Israeli Secret Intelligence Service) affair designed to pit America against the zionists' most formidable enemy thus far, Iran.

I'm of the opinion that Trump did not order the hit on Soleimani, but was forced to take credit for it, if he didn't want to forfeit any chance of being reelected this year. The same ISIS (Israeli) forces that did the hit also orchestrated the "retaliation" that Mr. Giraldi so heroically documents in this piece.

As usual, this is looking more and more like a zionist /jewish false flag attack on the Muslim world, with the real dirty-work to be done by the American military.

Ahoy , says: Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 3:17 pm GMT
The dealer in the M.E. poker game is Putin. This is what drives the very elite crazy. How could this have happened? We had conquered Russia in 1917.

Well, you must have made a small mistake along the way. Trumpstein can't save you. Soon the dollar won't have any value. There is nothing behind it.

The new policeman in the M.E. will be Iran. The legacy of Lawrence of Arabia has died long time ago.

Greg Bacon , says: Website Show Comment February 14, 2020 at 3:33 pm GMT

It soon emerged that the Iranian was in fact in Baghdad to discuss with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi a plan that might lead to the de-escalation of the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a meeting that the White House apparently knew about may even have approved.

It's now obvious that the slumlord son-in-law Jared Kushner is really running the USA's ME policy.
Kushner is not only a dear friend of at-large war criminal Bibi Nuttyahoo, he also belongs to the Judaic religious cult of Chabad Lubavitcher, whom make the war-loving Christian Evangelicals almost look sane. Chabad also prays for some kind of Armageddon to bring forth their Messiah, just like the Evangelicals.

One can tell by Kushner's nasty comments he makes about Arabs/Persians and Palestinians in particular, that he loathes and despises those people and has an idiotic ear to cry into in the malignant form of Zion Don, AKA President Trump.

It's been said that Kushner is also a Mossad agent or asset, which is a good guess, since that agency has been placing their agents into the WH since at least the days of Clinton, who had Rahm Emmanuel to whisper hate into his ear.

That the Iranian General Soleimani was lured into Iraq so the WH could murder the man probably most responsible for halting the terrorist activities of the heart-eating, head-chopping US/Israel/KSA creation ISIS brings to mind the motto of the Israeli version of the CIA, the Mossad.

"By way of deception thou shalt make war."

Between Trump's incompetence, his vanity–and yes, his stupidity– and his appointing Swamp creatures into his cabinet and allowing Jared to run the ME show, Trump is showing himself to be a worse choice than Hillary.
If that maniac gets another 4 years, humanity is doomed. Or at least the USA for sure will perish.

[Feb 14, 2020] The Right-Wing Pro-Israel, Evangelical Agenda has Taken Over Trump's Middle East Policy

Notable quotes:
"... Until recently, President Donald Trump's pro-Israel policy was centered on taking steps related to fulfilling campaign promises and strengthening his standing domestically with his evangelical base. Chief among these steps was his decision to pull out of the nuclear accord with Iran, and the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (and at the same time announcing moving the American embassy to Jerusalem). Trump also signed a presidential proclamation recognizing "Israeli sovereignty" over the Golan Heights. ..."
"... By deciding to carry out this assassination operation, Trump has brought his pro-Israel policy to an entirely new, and dangerous level. ..."
"... Israel may have found in the Trump administration the perfect ally when it comes to the demonization of Iran and the groups it supports. ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

Until recently, President Donald Trump's pro-Israel policy was centered on taking steps related to fulfilling campaign promises and strengthening his standing domestically with his evangelical base. Chief among these steps was his decision to pull out of the nuclear accord with Iran, and the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (and at the same time announcing moving the American embassy to Jerusalem). Trump also signed a presidential proclamation recognizing "Israeli sovereignty" over the Golan Heights.

All of this has changed, however, with the assassination of the commander of the Quds Force in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Qassem Soleimani and the deputy head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Abu Mehdi Al-Muhandis.

By deciding to carry out this assassination operation, Trump has brought his pro-Israel policy to an entirely new, and dangerous level.

Targeting the IRGC and PMF: An Israeli policy

It is worth remembering that Israel set the precedent for carrying out lethal operations in Iraq by targeting elements of the IRGC and the PMF.

Israel began these operations last year, with the first taking place on July 19 near the Iraqi town of Amerli. Iranian media later reported that senior IRGC commander Abu Alfazl Sarabian had died in the attack.

Another Israeli attack on August 25 led to the death of a senior PMF commander in the Iraqi town of Al-Qaim near the border with Syria, while 21 PMF members were killed in an Israeli operation near the city of Hit in Iraq's Anbar province on September 20.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even admitted that Israel was behind these attacks.

"We are working against Iranian consolidation in Iraq as well [as in Syria]" remarked Netanyahu on August 22.

Trump administration officials adopt the Israel line of demonizing Iran

The Israeli fingerprints on U.S. policy could also be seen in the apparent stances taken by U.S. officials following the assassination of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis.

According to the New York Times , Trump administration officials have compared the assassination of Soleimani to the killing of former ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Such a comparison is no doubt to Israel's liking.

Not only has Israel long sought to equate the IRGC and its allies, including the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iraqi PMF, with terrorist groups like al-Qaida and ISIS, it has even described the latter groups as being the lesser of the two evils.

According to sources in Washington, one of the most common complaints made by visiting Israeli officials over the past years was that the U.S. was focusing too much on fighting Sunni Jihadist groups (al-Qaida, ISIS, etc.) and not enough on fighting Iran and its network of allies.

Israel's former ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren referred to this dynamic in an interview with the Jerusalem Post back in September 2013, where he summed up the Israeli policy regarding Syria. "The initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted (President) Bashar Assad to go" he stated, further adding; "we always preferred the bad guys who weren't back by Iran (al-Qaida affiliates) to the bad guys who were backed by Iran".

For his part, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon referred to an " axis of evil ' comprising Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.

Yaalon made those remarks during a meeting with former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey in August 2013, underscoring that this "axis of evil" must not emerge victorious in Syria.

Israel may have found in the Trump administration the perfect ally when it comes to the demonization of Iran and the groups it supports.

Hard-core evangelicals like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence have a strong ideological affinity for Israel and its anti-Iranian agenda.

During a Senate hearing last April, Pompeo repeated the long-debunked claim that Iran and al-Qaida have cooperated for years. "There is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and al-Qaida. Period, full stop," Pompeo asserted.

Pence, meanwhile, has even gone so far as to claim that Soleimani was involved with 9/11 . Following the assassination, Pence tweeted that Soleimani had "assisted in the clandestine travel of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States."

American troops in danger as a result of the Israeli evangelical agenda

With the assassination of Soleimani and Al-Muhandes, Israel and its Christian evangelical allies in Washington appear to have succeeded more than any time before in steering Trump's foreign policy. Their success, however, may have placed U.S. troops in the region in grave danger.

In a speech commemorating the death of Soleimani and Al-Muhandes, the leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah warned that retaliation would be aimed at U.S. military assets.

In remarks which brought back the memories of the 1983 attacks on the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Nasrallah suggested that the U.S. military presence in the region would become a target for suicide bombers.

"The suicide attackers who forced the Americans to leave our region in the past are still here today and in far greater numbers," Nasrallah asserted.

[Feb 14, 2020] Is Apartheid the Inevitable Outcome of Zionism? by Henry Siegman

Highly recommended!
Actually any supremacist ideology produces something like an apartheid regime for other nationalities.
The current situation looks like a dead end with little chances of reconciliation, especially after recent killing of protesters by Israel army/snipers. But in general, it is iether a two state solution of equal rights for Palestinians and Jews in the same state. The elements of theocratic state should be eliminated and right wing parties outlawed as neofascist parties which threatens democracy.
Notable quotes:
"... The peace process and the two-state solution failed because America -- the only country on which Israel could count on for generous diplomatic, military and economic support, and therefore the only country that has the necessary leverage to influence Israel's policies -- allowed it to fail. Consequently, most Israelis, including many belonging to the Blue/White party, headed by General Benny Gantz, oppose granting any future Palestinian entity the most basic features of sovereignty, including control of its own borders. Gantz refused to form a unity government with the Likud because of Netanyahu's indictment for multiple crimes, not because of differences over peace policy. What doubts anyone might have had on this subject were removed when Gantz just announced that he embraces Netanyahu's intention to annex the Jordan Valley to Israel. ..."
Jan 22, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

The threat of a new war with Iran that might have replicated what has been the worst disaster in the history of America's international misadventures -- George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq based on fabricated lies -- sucked the air out of all other international diplomatic activity, not least of what used to be called the Middle East peace process.

Yet the failure of the peace process has not been the consequence of recent mindless and destructive actions by Donald Trump and of the clownish shenanigans of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was charged with helping Israeli hardliners in nailing down permanently the Palestinian occupation. For all the damage they caused (mainly to Palestinians), prospects for a two-state solution actually ended during President Barack Obama's administration, despite Secretary of State John Kerry's energetic efforts to renew the stalled negotiations. They were not resumed because Obama, like his predecessors, failed to take the tough measures that were necessary to overcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's determination to prevent the emergence of a Palestinian state, notwithstanding his pledge in his Bar-Ilan speech of 2009 to implement the agreements of the Oslo accords.

Yes, Obama and Kerry did warn that Israel's continued occupation might lead to an Israeli apartheid regime. But knowing how deeply the accusation of an incipient Israeli apartheid could anger right-wingers in Israel and in the U.S., they repeatedly followed that warning with the assurance that "America will always have Israel's back." It was the sequence of this two-part statement that convinced Netanyahu that AIPAC had succeeded in getting American presidents to protect Israel's impunity. Had Obama and Kerry reversed that sequence, first noting that the U.S. had always had Israel's back, and then warning that Israel is now on the verge of trading its democracy for apartheid, the warning might have had quite different implications for Israel's government.

The peace process and the two-state solution failed because America -- the only country on which Israel could count on for generous diplomatic, military and economic support, and therefore the only country that has the necessary leverage to influence Israel's policies -- allowed it to fail. Consequently, most Israelis, including many belonging to the Blue/White party, headed by General Benny Gantz, oppose granting any future Palestinian entity the most basic features of sovereignty, including control of its own borders. Gantz refused to form a unity government with the Likud because of Netanyahu's indictment for multiple crimes, not because of differences over peace policy. What doubts anyone might have had on this subject were removed when Gantz just announced that he embraces Netanyahu's intention to annex the Jordan Valley to Israel.

For the Palestinians, territory is the most critical of the final status issues. The current internationally recognized borders that separate Israel and the Occupied Territories reduced the territory originally assigned to Palestinians in the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947 from roughly half of Palestine to 22 percent. Israel, which was assigned originally roughly the other half of Palestine, now has 78 percent, not including Palestinian territory Israel has confiscated for its illegal settlements.

No present or prospective Palestinian leadership will accept any further reduction of territory from their promised state. Given the territory they already lost in 1947, and again in 1949, and given Israel's refusal to accept the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel, is it really reasonable to expect Palestinians to give up any further territory? Where else other than the West Bank could Palestine refugees return to?

The one-state solution that is preferred by many Israelis is essentially a continuation of the present de facto apartheid. It is not the one-state alternative any Palestinian would accept. Repeated polling has shown that a majority of Jewish Israelis are unprepared to grant equal rights to Palestinians in a one-state arrangement. This opposition is unsurprising, for the inclusion in Israel's body politic of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state, for Israel's non-Jewish citizens would then outnumber its Jewish ones, and may already do so. Of course, Israel could contrive a non-voting status for the West Bank's Palestinians, something many Jewish Israelis and political parties actually advocate, but that would not deceive anyone. It would mean the formal end of Israel's democracy.

The foregoing notwithstanding, I have long maintained that if Israel were compelled to choose between one state that grants full equality to Palestinians now under occupation and two states that conform substantially to existing agreements and international law, and no other options were available to it, the majority of Israelis would opt for two states. Why? Because as noted above, the overwhelming majority of Israelis oppose any arrangement that might produce a Palestinian majority with the same rights Israeli Jewish citizens enjoy. Of course, Israel has never been compelled to make such a choice, nor will they be compelled to do so by the international community.

However, they could be compelled to do so by the Palestinians, but only if Palestinians were finally to expel their current leadership and choose a more honest and courageous one. That new leadership would have to shut down the Palestinian Authority, which its present leaders allowed Israel to portray as an arrangement that places Palestinians on the path to statehood, of course in some undefined future. Israel has deliberately perpetuated that myth to conceal its real intention to keep the current occupation unchanged. The new Palestinian leadership would have to declare that since Israel has denied them their own state and established a one-state reality, Palestinians will no longer deny that reality. Consequently, the national struggle will now be for full citizenship in the one state that Israel has forced them into. I have argued for the past two decades that the one-state option is far more likely to open a path to a two-state solution, however counter intuitive that may seem to be. Palestinians rejected it categorically from the outset, but younger Palestinians have come around to accepting it -- even preferring it to the two-state model.

Unlike the struggle for a two-state solution, a goal that has so easily been manipulated by Israel to mean whatever serves their real goal of preventing such an outcome -- and also so easily allowed international actors to pretend they have not given up their efforts to achieve that outcome, an anti-apartheid struggle does not lend itself to such deceptions. South Africa has taught the world too well what apartheid looks like, as well as how the international community could deal with it. Of course, South Africa has also shown how long and bloody a struggle against apartheid can be, and the terrible price paid by the victims of such a regime. But Palestinians already live in such a regime, and have for long been paying a terrible price for their subjugation.

Yet deeper and more troubling questions are raised by the choices that now face Israel, including whether the original idea of the Zionist movement of a state that is both Jewish and democratic is not deeply oxymoronic, a question that not only Israelis but Jews outside of Israel must address. That question is underscored by the challenges to India's democracy posed by its prime minister's decision to turn his country into a Hindu nation. It is a question that did not escape some of the founders of the Zionist movement, who argued that Zionism should define the state as Jewish only in its ethnic and secular cultural dimensions. But that this is not how Jewish identity is treated in Israel is undeniable.

Imagine if Israel's laws defining national identity and citizenship, as recently reformulated by Israel's Knesset, were adopted by the U.S. Congress or by other Western democratic countries, and if Christianity in its "cultural dimensions" were declared to be their national identity, with citizenship also granted by conversion to the dominant religion, as is now the case in Israel, where arrangements for Jewish religious conversions are part of the Prime Minister's office.

Is this not what America's founders, and the waves of immigrants, including European Jews, sought to escape from? And how would Jews react today to legislation in the U.S. Congress that would explicitly seek to maintain the majority status of Christians in the U.S.? Are Jews to take pride in a Jewish state that adopts citizenship requirements that mirror those advocated by white Christian supremacists? These supremacists have already proclaimed jubilantly that Israel's policies vindicate the ones they have long been advocating.

It is true, of course, that for some Jews, aware of the history of anti-Semitism that has spanned the ages, and especially the Holocaust, Zionism's contradictions with democratic principles are an unpleasant but inescapable dilemma they can live with. As a survivor of the Holocaust, I can understand that. But I also understand that the likely consequences of these contradictions are not benign, and can yield their own terrible outcomes, particularly when they lead to the dalliances by the prime minister of a Jewish state with right-wing racist and xenophobic heads of state and of political parties that have fascist and anti-Semitic parentage.

Legislation proposed in the U.S. Congress and by Trump, and recently celebrated by his son-in-law Kushner in a New York Times op-ed, proposing that criticism of Zionism be outlawed as antisemitism , would be laughable, were it not so clearly -- and outrageously -- intended to deny freedom of speech on this subject. Yet laughable it is, for its first target would have to be Jews -- not liberal left-wingers but the most Orthodox Jews, known as Haredim, in Israel and in America.

At the very inception of the Zionist movement 150 years ago, not only the Haredim but the overwhelming majority of Orthodox Jewry everywhere was opposed to Zionism, which it considered to be a Jewish heresy, not only because the Zionists were mostly secularists, but because of an oath taken by Jewish leaders after the destruction of the Second Temple following their exile from Palestine, that Jews would not reestablish a Jewish kingdom except following the messianic era. Zionism was also bitterly opposed by much of the world's Jewish Reform movement, many of whose leaders insisted that Jewishness is a religion, not a political identity.

Much of Orthodox Jewry did not end its opposition to Zionism until after the war of 1967, but many if not most Haredis continue to oppose Zionism as heresy. Most of its members refuse to serve in Israel's military, to celebrate Israel's Independence Day, sing its national anthem, and do not allow prayers in their synagogues for the wellbeing of Israel's political leaders. Trump, Kushner, and the U.S. Congress would have to arrest them as anti-Semites.

I have no doubt that Trump's rage at the Jewish chairmen of the two Congressional committees that led the procedures for his impeachment will sooner or later explode in anti-Semitic expletives. The only reason it has not done so yet is because of Trump's fear of jeopardizing Evangelical support and Sheldon Adelson's mega bucks. After all, Trump already told us that the neo-Nazi rioters in Charlottesville declaiming "Jews will not replace us" included "very fine people." Netanyahu never criticized Trump's statement, for he too does not want to jeopardize certain relationships, namely the "very fine people" he has embraced -- leaders in Hungary, Poland, Austria, Italy, Brazil, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere.

If Trump's son-in-law is searching for anti-Semites, he should have been told they are far closer at hand than in America's schools, for they are ensconced in the White House. They are also to be found in Jerusalem where they are being accorded honors by Netanyahu. The anti-Semitic dog whistling contained in Trump's attacks on the two Jewish congressmen were not misunderstood by his hardcore supporters -- who now include the entire leadership of the Republican party -- who Trump needs to take him to victory in the coming presidential elections, or to keep him in the White House were he to lose those elections.

If apartheid is coming (or has come) out of Zion, it should not shock that what may come out of Washington is a repeat by Trump's Republican shock troops of what occurred in Berlin in 1933, when the Bundestag was taken over by the Nazi party and ended Germany's democracy.

[Feb 14, 2020] From the very beginning conscious plan to destroy Greece! Defend Democracy Press

Feb 14, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

From the very beginning: Α conscious plan to destroy Greece! 10/02/2020

Seven years of demanding the impossible in Greece

By Yiannis Mouzakis
16/02/2017

In a recent presentation of his book, Laid Low , which examines the International Monetary Fund's role in the eurozone crisis, author and journalist Paul Blustein disclosed a memo dated May 4, 2010, from the IMF's then head of research Olivier Blanchard, to Poul Thomsen, who headed the Greek mission at the time.

In his missive, Blanchard warned that the cumulative fiscal adjustment of 16 percentage points being demanded of Greece in such a short period of time and with such a high level of frontloading had never been achieved before.

. @PaulBlustein : in 2010, @ojblanchard1 warned austerity cld go awry,even if done to plan. DSK broached debt restructuring: Trichet said "no!" pic.twitter.com/1cFFPsKszf

-- Trineesh Biswas (@TrineeshB) January 31, 2017

According to Blanchard, not only was the task unprecedented, but Greece was being asked to achieve the impossible in unfavourable external circumstances, when everyone was barely recovering from the 2008 global financial crisis and without any other policy levers (low interest rates or exchange rate adjustment).

Blanchard foresaw what became a reality only about a year later: Even with "perfect policy implementation" the programme will be thrown off track rather quickly and the recession will be deeper and longer than expected, he warned.

Blanchard's scepticism and warnings were ignored. Instead, political limitations took hold of the decision-making process and domestic-focussed calculations pushed Greece into trying to achieve the impossible.

This week, the former IMF chief economist admitted on Twitter that although he was not the one that leaked the memo he was not unhappy that the truth has been revealed because "it is seven years and still there is no clear/realistic plan" for Greece.

I did not leak, but am not too unhappy that it did leak :). 7 years already, and still no clear/realistic plan. https://t.co/8mCzO3TYvL

-- Olivier Blanchard (@ojblanchard1) February 14, 2017

Athens is currently under pressure to adopt another 2 percent of GDP in new fiscal measures, which relate to the tax-free threshold and pension spending. Since 2010, Greece has adopted revenue-raising measures and spending cuts that are equivalent to more than a third of its economy and more than double what Blanchard had described as unprecedented almost seven years ago.

Read also: Decoding Trump

The Greek economy has been burdened with 35.6 billion euros in all sorts of taxes on income, consumption, duties, stamps, corporate taxation and increases in social security contributions. When totting all this up, it is remarkable that the economy still manages to function.

During the same period, the state has also found savings of 37.4 billion euros from cutting salaries, pensions, benefits and operational expenses. Discretionary spending is now so lean that even the IMF argues that in certain areas it needs to increase if Greece is to meet the minimum requirements in the provision of public services.

When this misery started, Greece had to correct a primary deficit of 24 billion euros. But the painful fiscal adjustment Greeks have had to endure had turned out to be three times as much.

The IMF's Thomsen, now the director of its European Department, recently argued that Greece doesn't need any more austerity but brave policy implementation. Somehow, though, the discussion has ended up being about finding another 3.5 billion euros in taxes and cuts to pension spending. Bravery is nowhere to be seen.

Published at http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora.5256

[Feb 14, 2020] Paul Thomsen, the Danish hitman who destroyed Greece Defend Democracy Press

Feb 14, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Paul Thomsen, the Danish hitman who destroyed Greece 10/02/2020

Poul Thomsen, the IMF assassin of Greece leaves with a pension of more than 18.000 Dollars. He contributed, along with German leaders, to the death of thousands of Greeks who committed suicide and to the destruction of the life of millions of Greeks. More than half of Greek pensioners are living now on pensions less of 500 euros, in a country where prices are the same as in France or Germany and the social protection network much worse. All Thomsen's estimations have been proven wrong. In fact they were not errors, they were necessary to pursue the program of "execution" of Greece and its people, by an alliance of the "Empire of Finance" and German and other European elites, through EU, ECB and IMF. Thomsen, a white collar international criminal has also worked and contributed to the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia and of Russia before getting busy with Greece.
DK Wikileaks: Thomsen/Velkouleskou. Greek Default and Brexit "is going to be a disaster"

Wikileaks has just published the records of a discussion between the IMF director of European Affairs Paul Thomsen and the Mission Chief in Greece, Delia Velkouleskou. In it, the two officials share their worry that the third bailout deal will end up in disaster, in fact foreseeing a synchronism between a Greek default and a Brexit. Read the piece by Julian Assange

by Julian Assange
April 2, 2016

Today, 2nd April 2016, WikiLeaks publishes the records of a 19 March 2016 teleconference between the top two IMF officials in charge of managing the Greek debt crisis – Poul Thomsen, the head of the IMF's European Department, and Delia Velkouleskou, the IMF Mission Chief for Greece. The IMF anticipates a possible Greek default co-inciding with the United Kingdom's referendum on whether it should leave the European Union ('Brexit').

"This is going to be a disaster" remarks Velkouleskou in the meeting.
According to the internal discussion, the IMF is planning to tell Germany that it will abandon the Troika (composed of the IMF, European Commission and the European Central Bank) if the IMF and the Commission fail to reach an agreement on Greek debt relief.

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Thomsen: "Look you, Mrs. Merkel, you face a question: you have to think about what is more costly, to go ahead without the IMF–would the Bundestag say 'The IMF is not on board?', or [to] pick the debt relief that we think that Greece needs in order to keep us on board?"

Remaining in the Troika seems an increasingly hard sell internally for the IMF, because non-European IMF creditor countries view the IMF's position on Greece as a violation of its policies elsewhere of not making loans to countries with unsustainable debts.

In August the IMF announced it would not participate in last year's €86 billion Greek bailout, which was covered by EU member states. IMF Chief Christine Lagarde stated at the time that the IMF's future participation was contingent on Greece receiving "significant debt relief" from creditors. Lagarde announced that a team would be sent to Greece, headed by Velkouleskou.

Thomsen said internally that the threat of an imminent financial catstrophe is needed to force the other players into a "decision point". For Germany, on debt relief, and In the case of Greece, to accept the IMF's austerity "measures," -- including raising taxes and cutting Greek pensions and working conditions. However the UK "Brexit" referendum in late June will paralyse European decision making at the critical moment.

"I am not going accept a package of small measures. I am not " said Thomsen. "What is going to bring it all to a decision point? In the past there has been only one time when the decision has been made and then that was when [the Greeks] were about to run out of money seriously and to default. [ ] And possibly this is what is going to happen again. In that case, it drags on until July, and clearly the Europeans are not going to have any discussions for a month before the Brexits "

Read also: Ecuador – and the IMF's Killing Spree

Last year Greek Finance Minister Tsakalotos accused the IMF of imposing "draconian measures," including on pension reform. While Velkouleskou concedes in the meeting that "What is interesting though is that [Greece] did give in they did give a little bit on both the income tax reform and on the . both on the tax credit and the supplementary pensions."

But Thomsen's view is that the Greeks "are not even getting close [to coming] around to accept[ing] our views." Velkouleskou argues that "if [the Greek government] get pressured enough, they would But they don't have any incentive and they know that the Commission is willing to compromise, so that is the problem."

Velkouleskou: "We went into this negotiation with the wrong strategy, because we negotiated with the Commission a minimal position and we cannot go further [whereas] the Commission is just starting from this one and is willing to go much further. So, that is the problem. We didn't negotiate with the Commission and then put to the Greeks something much worse, we put to the Greeks the minimum that we were willing to consider and now the Greeks are saying [that] we are not negotiating."

While the Commission insists on a Primary Government Budget Surplus (total tax minus all government expenditure excluding debt repayments) of 3.5%; the IMF thinks that this target should be set at 1.5% of GDP. As Thomsen puts it, "if [Greece] come around to give us 2.5% [of GDP in tax hikes and pension-wage-benefits cuts] we should be fully behind them." -- meaning that the IMF would, in exchange for this fresh austerity package, support the reduction of the Primary Surplus Target imposed upon them from the 3.5% that the European Commission insists on to 1.5%.

Read also: The global war on journalism

These targets are described as "very crucial" to the IMF. The IMF officials ask Thomsen "to reinforce the message about the agreement on the 2.5%, because that is not permeating and it is not sinking very well with the Commission."

At one point, Velkouleskou refers to an unusual solution: to split the problem into two programs with two different targets: "The question is whether [the Europeans] could accept the medium term targets of the Commission, for the purposes of the program, and our targets for the purposes of debt relief." Thomsen further explains that "They essentially need to agree to make our targets the baseline and then have something in that they hope that will overperform. But if they don't, they will still disburse."

The EWG [Euro Working Group] needs to "take a stand on whether they believe our projections or the Commission's projections." The IMF's growth projections are the exact opposite of the Commission's. The Commission projects a GDP growth of 0.5%, and the IMF a GDP decline of 0.5% (even if Greece accepts all the measures imposed by the IMF).

You may find the original post here

Published at https://thepressproject.gr/wikileaks-thomsenvelkouleskou-greek-default-and-brexit-is-going-to-be-a-disaster/

SOURCE thepressproject.gr

[Feb 10, 2020] Stench of Netanyahu in attack on K-1 base near Kirkuk: Did Washington Use a False Pretext for Its Recent Escalation in Iraq?

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times's ..."
Feb 08, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

In a key piece of actual extensive, on-the-ground reporting , the New York Times's Alissa Rubin has raised serious questions about the official US account of who it was that attacked the K-1 base near Kirkuk, in eastern Iraq, on December 27. The United States almost immediately accused the Iran-backed Ketaib Hizbullah (KH) militia of responsibility. But Rubin quotes by name Brig. General Ahmed Adnan, the chief of intelligence for the Iraqi federal police at the same base, as saying, "All the indications are that it was Daesh" -- that is, ISIS.

She also presents considerable further detailed reporting on the matter. And she notes that though U.S. investigators claim to have evidence about KH's responsibility for the attack, they have presented none of it publicly. Nor have they shared it with the Iraqi government.

KH is a paramilitary organization that operates under the command of the Iraqi military and has been deeply involved in the anti-ISIS campaigns throughout the country.

The December 27 attack killed one Iraqi-American contractor and was cited by the Trump administration as reason to launch a large-scale attack on five KH bases some 400 miles to the west which killed around 50 KH fighters. Outraged KH fighters then mobbed the US embassy in Baghdad, breaking through an outside perimeter on its large campus, but causing no casualties. On January 2, Pres. Trump decided to escalate again, ordering the assassination of Iran's Gen. Qasem Soleimani and bringing the region and the world close to a massive shooting war.

The new evidence presented by Rubin makes it look as if Trump and his advisors had previously decided on a broad-scale plan to attack Iran's very influential allies in Iraq and were waiting for a triggering event– any triggering event!– to use as a pretext to launch it. The attack against the K-1 base presented them with that trigger, even though they have not been able to present any evidence that it was KH that undertook it.

This playbook looks very similar to the one that Ariel Sharon, who was Israel's Defense Minister in summer 1982, used to launch his wide attack against the PLO's presence in Lebanon in June that year. The "trigger" Sharon used to launch his long-prepared attack was the serious (but not fatal) wounding of Israel's ambassador in London, Shlomo Argov, which the Israeli government immediately blamed on the PLO.

Regarding London in 1982, as regarding K-1 last December, the actual identity of the assailant(s) was misreported by the government that used it as a trigger for escalation. In London, the police fairly speedily established that it was not the PLO but operatives of an anti-PLO group headed by a man called Abu Nidal who had attacked Argov. But by the time they had discovered and publicized that fact, Israeli tanks were already deep inside Lebanon.

The parallels and connections between the two cases go further. If, as now seems likely, the authors of the K-1 attack were indeed Da'esh, then they succeeded brilliantly in triggering a bitter fight between two substantial forces in the coalition that had been fighting against them in Iraq. Regarding the 1982 London attack, its authors also succeeded brilliantly in triggering a lethal conflict between two forces (one substantial, one far less so) that were both engaged in bitter combat against Abu Nidal's networks.

Worth noting: Abu Nidal's main backer, throughout his whole campaign against the PLO, was Saddam Hussein's brutal government in Iraq. (The London assailants deposited their weapons in the Iraqi embassy after completing the attack.) Many senior strategists and planners for ISIS in Iraq were diehard remnants of Saddam's formerly intimidating security forces.

Also worth noting: Three months in to Sharon's massive 1982 invasion of Lebanon, it seemed to have successfully reached its goals of expelling the PLO's fighting forces from Lebanon and installing a strongly pro-Israeli government there. But over the longer haul, the invasion looked much less successful. The lengthy Israeli occupation of south Lebanon that followed 1982 served to incubate the birth and growth of the (pro-Iranian) Hizbullah there. Today, Hizbullah is a strong political movement inside Lebanon that commands a very capable fighting force that expelled Israel's last presence from Lebanon in 2000, rebuffed a subsequent Israeli invasion of the country six years later, and still exerts considerable deterrent power against Israel today

Very few people in Israel today judge the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to have been a wise move. How will the historians of the future view Trump's decision to launch his big escalation against Iran's allies in Iraq, presumably as part of his "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran?

This article has been republished with permission from Just World News .

[Feb 09, 2020] As someone born in Latin America, we never saw the US as anything but a brutal predator, whose honeyed words were belied by their deeds

Aug 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The essential facts are these. In April 1898, the United States went to war with Spain. The war's nominal purpose was to liberate Cuba from oppressive colonial rule. The war's subsequent conduct found the United States not only invading and occupying Cuba, but also seizing Puerto Rico, completing a deferred annexation of Hawaii, scarfing up various other small properties in the Pacific, and, not least of all, replacing Spain as colonial masters of the Philippine Archipelago, located across the Pacific.

That the true theme of the war with Spain turned out to be not liberation but expansion should not come as a terrible surprise. From the very founding of the first British colonies in North America, expansion has constituted an enduring theme of the American project. Separation from the British Empire after 1776 only reinforced the urge to grow. Yet prior to 1898, that project had been a continental one. The events of that year signaled the transition from continental to extra-continental expansion. American leaders were no longer content to preside over a republic stretching from sea to shining sea.

In that regard, the decision to annex the Philippines stands out as especially instructive. If you try hard enough -- and some politicians at the time did -- you can talk yourself into believing that U.S. actions in the Caribbean in 1898 represented something other than naked European-style imperialism with all its brute force to keep the natives in line. After all, the United States did refrain from converting Cuba into a formal colony and by 1902 had even granted Cubans a sort of ersatz independence. Moreover, both Cuba and Puerto Rico fell within "our backyard," as did various other Caribbean republics soon to undergo U.S. military occupation. Geographically, all were located within the American orbit.

Yet the Philippines represented an altogether different case. By no stretch of the imagination did the archipelago fall within "our backyard." Furthermore, the Filipinos had no desire to trade Spanish rule for American rule and violently resisted occupation by U.S. forces. The notably dirty Philippine-American War that followed from 1899 to 1902 -- a conflict almost entirely expunged from American memory today -- resulted in something like 200,000 Filipino deaths and ended in a U.S. victory not yet memorialized on the National Mall in Washington.

Why Do We Still Have War Booty From the Philippines? Time to Break Up With the Philippines

So the Philippine Archipelago had become ours. In short order, however, authorities in Washington changed their mind about the wisdom of accepting responsibility for several thousand islands located nearly 7,000 miles from San Francisco.

The sprawling American colony turned out to be the ultimate impulse purchase. And as with most impulse purchases, enthusiasm soon enough gave way to second thoughts and even regret. By 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt was privately referring to the Philippines as America's "Achilles heel." The United States had paid Spain $20 million for an acquisition that didn't turn a profit and couldn't be defended given the limited capabilities of the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. To complicate matters further, from Tokyo's perspective, the Philippines fell within its backyard. So far as Imperial Japan was concerned, imperial America was intruding on its turf.

Thus was the sequence of events leading to the Pacific War of 1941-1945 set in motion. I am not suggesting that Pearl Harbor was an inevitable consequence of the United States annexing the Philippines. I am suggesting that it put two rival imperial powers on a collision course.

One can, of course, find in the ensuing sequence of events matters worth celebrating -- great military victories at places like Midway, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, culminating after 1945 in a period of American dominion. But the legacy of our flirtation with empire in the Western Pacific also includes much that is lamentable -- the wars in Korea and Vietnam, for example, and now an intensifying rivalry with China destined to lead we know not where.

If history could be reduced to a balance sheet, the U.S. purchase of the Philippines would rate as a pretty bad bargain. That first $20 million turned out to be only a down payment.


Eliseo Art Silva Mark Thomason • 6 hours ago

No. Absolutely not. We would have been much better off had the US not violently dismantled the first Republic of the Philippines.

The canard that our greatest generation of Filipinos (Generation of 1898) was not fit to govern us was a product of US Assimilation Schools designed to rid the Philippines of Filipinos- by wiring them to automatically think anything non-Filipino will always be better (intenalized racism) and to train the primarily to leave and work abroad and blend -in as Americans (objectification) and never stand out as self-respecting Filipinos who aspire to be the best they can be propelled by the Filipino story.

Our multiple Golden Ages only occurred prior to US invasion and colonization.

YES, the USA owes us. We are every American's 2nd original sin.

Eliseo Art Silva Mark Thomason • 5 hours ago
We do not owe US anything. The USA owes us a great big deal, More than any other country on earth.

THEY (USA) owes us:
1) For violently dismantling the first Republic of the Philippines at the cost of over a million martyrs from the greatest generation of Filipinos.

2) For US Assimilation Schools denying us the intensity of our golden ages prior to their invasion as our drivers for PH civilization, turning us into a country that trains its people to leave and assimilate in US culture and become workers for Americans and foreigners abroad. This results in a Philippines WITHOUT Filipinos.

3) For US bombs turning Intramuros into dust- the centerpiece of the Paris of the East, with treasures, publications and art much older that the US- without consent from any Filipino leader. And for dismantling our train system from La Union to Bicol.

4) For the US Rescission Act which denied Filipino veterans due recognition, dignity and honor- vets who fought THEIR war against Japan on our soil.

5) For the canard that Aguinaldo, our 29-year old father and liberator of the Republic of the Philippines, is a villain and a traitor, even inventing the heroism of Andres Bonifacio which ultimately resulted in "Toxic Nationalism" which Rizal warned us about in the persona of Simoun in El Filibusterismo who will drive our nation to self-destruction and turn a paradise into a desert by being automatically wired to think anything non-Filipino will and always be better.

The core of colonial mentality is the misguided belief that we cannot have been a greater country had the US not destroyed the first Republic of the Philippines- a lie that was embedded in our minds by the US discrediting Aguinaldo and the Generation of 1896/1898- the greatest generation of Filipinos.

bob balkas • 18 hours ago
It does seem to me that every country which was able and could afford to expand its territory did so. In Europe, exceptions to that a wish were Switzerland, Slovakia, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Slovenia, Ukraine, ?Romania and Chechia.
So, US had company!
Romulus • 11 hours ago
President William McKinley defends his decision to support the annexation of the Philippines in the wake of the U.S. war in that country:

"When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them. . . And one night late it came to me this way. . .1) That we could not give them back to Spain- that would be cowardly and dishonorable; 2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany-our commercial rivals in the Orient-that would be bad business and discreditable; 3) that we not leave them to themselves-they are unfit for self-government-and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's wars; and 4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died."

Making Christians of a country that had its first Catholic diocese 9 years before the Spanish Armada sailed for England, with 4 dioceses in place years before the English sailed for Jamestown.

Tommy Matic IV Romulus • 6 hours ago
Not to mention a full fledged university older than Harvard.
Michael Brand • 7 hours ago • edited
Dan Carlin did an outstanding podcast on the choices America faced after acquiring the Philippines. McKinley was anti-empire, but the industrialists in his administration hungered to thwart the British, French and Dutch empires in the Pacific by establishing a colony all of our own.

Worth a listen

Adriana Pena • 7 hours ago
As someone born in Latin America, we never saw the US as anything but a brutal predator, whose honeyed words were belied by their deeds. I wonder if it began with the Philippines. There was the Mexican war first, which wrested a lot of territory from Mexico. And then there was the invasion of Canada to bring the blessings of democracy to Canadians (it ended with the White House in flames). I suspect that the beliefe that you are exceptional and blessed by God can lead to want to straighten up other people "for their own good", and make a profit besides - a LOT of profit.

[Feb 09, 2020] Following the US assassination of Soleimani, the Trump administration is leading American conduct abroad into a zone of probably unprecedented lawlessness by Patrick Lawrence

Notable quotes:
"... In our late-imperial phase, we seem to have reached that moment when, whatever high officials say in matters of the empire's foreign policy, we must consider whether the opposite is in fact the case. So we have it now. ..."
"... Lawlessness begets lawlessness is the operative (and obvious) principle. In a remarkable speech at the Hoover Institution last week, Pompeo termed the Soleimani assassination "the restoration of deterrence" and appeared to promise other such operations against other nations Washington considers adversaries. Ominously enough, Pompeo singled out China and Russia. ..."
"... Against the background of the events noted above, it is clear from this speech alone that our secretary of state is a dangerously incompetent figure when it comes to judging global events, the proper responses to them, and the probable consequences of a given response. If we are going to think about costs, the heaviest will fall on Americans in months to come. ..."
"... Immediately after the U.S. drone that killed Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport, Mohammad Javad Zarif sent out a message whose importance should not be missed. "End of US's malign presence in West Asia has begun," Iran's foreign minister wrote. These few words, rendered in Twitterese, bear careful consideration given they come from an official whose nation had just sustained a critical blow. ..."
"... Gradually but rather certainly now, the community of nations is losing its patience with late-phase imperial America. With exceptions such as Japan and Israel, the Baltics and Saudi Arabia, this is so across both oceans and more or less across the non–Western world. In the Middle East, the American presence will remain for the time being, but we are now in the beginning-of-the-end phase. This was Zarif's meaning. And we now know the end will come neither peaceably nor lawfully. ..."
"... Amazing how the US government is bringing back the old days: "Slave markets" See: reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-rights/executions-torture-and-slave-markets-persist-in-libya-u-n-idUSKBN1GX1JY "Pillage", as pointed out in this article. ..."
"... To have such a person as the top diplomat in the USA shows how low the USA has sunk. For him to pretend to be some sort of Christian is sinister and extremely dangerous for everyone. There is NO reason for the US animosity towards Iran except subservience to Israel, which, again without real justification, claims to be terrified of Iran, which unlike Israel is NOT attacking others and has not for centuries. ..."
"... SecStae's remarks about deterrence befit a military commander, NOT a diplomat. Paranoia, grandiosity and violence begin with potus and cascade downward and about. Congress does its part in investing in machinery of war. ..."
"... Pompeo reminds me of the pigs in Animal Farm. He is a grotesque figure, steely-eyed, cold-blooded, fanatical, and hateful. "We lied, cheated, and stole" Pompous Maximus will get his comeuppance one of these days ..."
"... Pillage as policy. The Empire has fully embraced gangster capitalism for its modus operandi. ..."
"... Here is an interesting article that explains how governments have changed the rules so that they can justify killing anyone who they believe may at some point in time have the potential to be involved in a terrorist plot: viableopposition.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-bethlehem-doctrine-and-new.html ..."
"... This rather Orwellian move gives governments the justification that they to kill any of us just because they feel that we might pose a threat and that is a very, very scary prospect. It is very reminiscent of the movie Minority Report where crimes of the future are punished in the present. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Special to Consortium News

Of all the preposterous assertions made since the drone assassination of Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 3, the prize for bottomless ignorance must go to the bottomlessly ignorant Mike Pompeo.

Speaking after the influential Iranian general's death, our frightening secretary of state declaimed on CBS's Face the Nation , "There was sound and just and legal reason for the actions the President took, and the world is safer as a result." In appearances on five news programs on the same Sunday morning, the evangelical paranoid who now runs American foreign policy was a singer with a one-note tune. "It's very clear the world's a safer place today," Pompeo said on ABC's Jan. 5 edition of This Week.

In our late-imperial phase, we seem to have reached that moment when, whatever high officials say in matters of the empire's foreign policy, we must consider whether the opposite is in fact the case. So we have it now.

We are not safer now that Soleimani, a revered figure across much of the Middle East, has been murdered. The planet has just become significantly more dangerous, especially but not only for Americans, and this is so for one simple reason: The Trump administration, Pompeo bearing the standard, has just tipped American conduct abroad into a zone of probably unprecedented lawlessness, Pompeo's nonsensical claim to legality notwithstanding .

This is a very consequential line to cross.

Hardly does it hold that Washington's foreign policy cliques customarily keep international law uppermost in their minds and that recent events are aberrations. Nothing suggests policy planners even consider legalities except when it makes useful propaganda to charge others with violating international statutes and conventions.

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Neither can the Soleimani assassination be understood in isolation: This was only the most reckless of numerous policy decisions recently taken in the Middle East. Since late last year, to consider merely the immediate past, the Trump administration has acted ever more flagrantly in violation of all international legal authorities and documents -- the UN Charter, the International Criminal Court, and the International Court of Justice in the Hague chief among them.

Washington is into full-frontal lawlessness now.

'Keeping the Oil'

Shortly after Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria last October, the president reversed course -- probably under Pentagon and State Department pressure -- and said some troops would remain to protect Syria's oilfields. "We want to keep the oil," Trump declared in the course of a Twitter storm. It soon emerged that the administration's true intent was to prevent the Assad government in Damascus from reasserting sovereign control over Syrian oilfields.

The Russians had the honesty to call this for what it was. "Washington's attempt to put oilfields there under [its] control is illegal," Sergei Lavrov said at the time. "In fact, it's tantamount to robbery," the Russian foreign minister added. (John Kiriakou, writing for Consortium News, pointed out that it is a violation of the 1907 Hague Convention. It is call pillage.)

Few outside the Trump administration, and possibly no one, has argued that Soleimani's murder was legitimate under international law. Not only was the Iranian general from a country with which the U.S. is not at war, which means the crime is murder; the drone attack was also a clear violation of Iraqi sovereignty, as has been widely reported.

In response to Baghdad's subsequent demand that all foreign troops withdraw from Iraqi soil, Pompeo flatly refused even to discuss the matter with Iraqi officials -- yet another openly contemptuous violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

It gets worse. In his own response to Baghdad's decision to evict foreign troops, Trump threatened sanctions -- "sanctions like they've never seen before" -- and said Iraq would have to pay the U.S. the cost of the bases the Pentagon has built there despite binding agreements that all fixed installations the U.S. has built in Iraq are Iraqi government-owned.

At Baghdad's Throat

Trump, who seems to have oil eternally on his mind, has been at Baghdad's throat for some time. Twice since taking office three years ago, he has tried to intimidate the Iraqis into "repaying" the U.S. for its 2003 invasion with access to Iraqi oil. "We did a lot, we did a lot over there, we spent trillions over there, and a lot of people have been talking about the oil," he said on the second of these occasions.

Baghdad rebuffed Trump both times, but he has been at it since, according to Adil Abdul–Mahdi, Iraq's interim prime minister. Last year the U.S. administration asked Baghdad for 50 percent of the nation's oil output -- in total roughly 4.5 million barrels daily -- in exchange for various promised reconstruction projects.

Rejecting the offer, Abdul–Mahdi signed an "oil for reconstruction" agreement with China last autumn -- whereupon Trump threatened to instigate widespread demonstrations in Baghdad if Abdul–Mahdi did not cancel the China deal. (He did not do so and, coincidentally or otherwise, civil unrest ensued.)

U.S. Army forces operating in southern Iraq, April. 2, 2003. (U.S. Navy)

Blueprints for Reprisal

If American lawlessness is nothing new, the brazenly imperious character of all the events noted in this brief r้sum้ has nonetheless pushed U.S. foreign policy beyond a tipping point.

No American -- and certainly no American official or military personnel -- can any longer travel in the Middle East with an assurance of safety. All American diplomats, all military officers, and all embassies and bases in the region are now vulnerable to reprisals. The Associated Press reported after the Jan. 3 drone strike that Iran has developed 13 blueprints for reprisals against the U.S.

Lawlessness begets lawlessness is the operative (and obvious) principle. In a remarkable speech at the Hoover Institution last week, Pompeo termed the Soleimani assassination "the restoration of deterrence" and appeared to promise other such operations against other nations Washington considers adversaries. Ominously enough, Pompeo singled out China and Russia.

Here is a snippet from Pompeo's remarks:

"In strategic terms, deterrence simply means persuading the other party that the costs of a specific behavior exceed its benefits. It requires credibility; indeed, it depends on it. Your adversary must understand not only do you have the capacity to impose costs but that you are, in fact, willing to do so . In all cases we have to do this."

Against the background of the events noted above, it is clear from this speech alone that our secretary of state is a dangerously incompetent figure when it comes to judging global events, the proper responses to them, and the probable consequences of a given response. If we are going to think about costs, the heaviest will fall on Americans in months to come.

Immediately after the U.S. drone that killed Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport, Mohammad Javad Zarif sent out a message whose importance should not be missed. "End of US's malign presence in West Asia has begun," Iran's foreign minister wrote. These few words, rendered in Twitterese, bear careful consideration given they come from an official whose nation had just sustained a critical blow.

24 hrs ago, an arrogant clown -- masquerading as a diplomat -- claimed people were dancing in the cities of Iraq.

Today, hundreds of thousands of our proud Iraqi brothers and sisters offered him their response across their soil.

End of US malign presence in West Asia has begun. pic.twitter.com/eTDRyLN11c

-- Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 4, 2020

Gradually but rather certainly now, the community of nations is losing its patience with late-phase imperial America. With exceptions such as Japan and Israel, the Baltics and Saudi Arabia, this is so across both oceans and more or less across the non–Western world. In the Middle East, the American presence will remain for the time being, but we are now in the beginning-of-the-end phase. This was Zarif's meaning. And we now know the end will come neither peaceably nor lawfully.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Please donate to the Winter Fund Drive.


Jeff Harrison , January 21, 2020 at 19:38

Well, there's two relevant bits here. Bullshit walks and money talks. Our money stopped talking $23T ago. What goes around, comes around. Whenever, however it comes down, it's gonna hurt.

Antiwar7 , January 21, 2020 at 13:46

Amazing how the US government is bringing back the old days: "Slave markets" See: reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-rights/executions-torture-and-slave-markets-persist-in-libya-u-n-idUSKBN1GX1JY "Pillage", as pointed out in this article.

rosemerry , January 21, 2020 at 13:28

To have such a person as the top diplomat in the USA shows how low the USA has sunk. For him to pretend to be some sort of Christian is sinister and extremely dangerous for everyone. There is NO reason for the US animosity towards Iran except subservience to Israel, which, again without real justification, claims to be terrified of Iran, which unlike Israel is NOT attacking others and has not for centuries.

Even if the USA hates Iran, it has already done inestimable damage to the Islamic Republic before this disgraceful action. Cruelty to 80 million people who have never harmed, even really threatened, the mighty USA, by tossing out a working JCPOA and installing economic "sanctions", should not be accepted by the rest of the world-giving in to blackmail encourages worse behavior, as we have already seen.

"It requires credibility; indeed, it depends on it. " This is exactly what should be rejected by us all. These "leaders" will not change their behavior without solidarity among "allies" like the European Union, which has already caved in and blamed Iran for the changes -Iran has explained clearly why it made- to the JCPOA which the USA has left.

Abby , January 21, 2020 at 20:15

The only difference between Trump and Obama is that Trump doesn't hide the US naked aggression as well as Obama did. So far Trump hasn't started any new wars. By this time in Obama's tenure we had started bombing more countries and accepted one coup.

dfnslblty , January 21, 2020 at 12:43

SecStae's remarks about deterrence befit a military commander, NOT a diplomat. Paranoia, grandiosity and violence begin with potus and cascade downward and about. Congress does its part in investing in machinery of war.

Cheyenne , January 21, 2020 at 11:49

The above comment shows exactly why bellicose adventurism for oil etc. is so stupid and dangerous. If we continually prance around robbing people, they're gonna unite to slap us down.

Hardly seems like anyone should need that pointed out but if anybody mentioned it to Trump or any other gung ho warhawk, he must not have been listening.

Dan Kuhn , January 21, 2020 at 13:08

Trump and Pompeo seem to have entered the Wild West stage of recent American history. I think they watch too many western movies, without understanding the underrlying plot of 100% of them. It is the bad guys take over a town, where they impose their will on the population, terrorizing everyone into obediance. They steal everything in sight and any who oppose them are summarily killed off. In the end a good guy ( In American parlance, " a good guy with a gun" shows up . The town`s people approach him and beg him to oppose the bad guys. He then proceeds to kill off the bad guys after the general population joins him in his crusade. it looks as though we are at the stage in the movie where the general population is ready to take up arms against the bad guys.

The moral of the story the bad guys, the bullies, Pompeo and Trump, are either killed or chased out of town. But perhaps the problem is that this plot is too difficult for Trump and Pompeo to understand. So they don`t quite get the peril that there gunmen and killers are now in. They don`t see the writing on the wall.

Caveman , January 21, 2020 at 11:30

It seems the only US considerations in the assassination were – will it weaken Iran, will it strengthen the American position? On that perspective, the answer is probably yes on both counts. Legal considerations do not seem to have carried any weight. In the UK we recently saw a chilling interview with Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It was clear that he saw the assassination as another nail in the coffin of the Iranian regime, simply furthering a policy objective.

Vera Gottlieb , January 21, 2020 at 11:19

What is even sadder is the world's lack of gonads to stand up to this bully nation – that has caused so much grief and still does.

Michael McNulty , January 21, 2020 at 11:01

The US government became a crime syndicate. Today its bootleg liquor is oil, the boys they send round to steal it are armies and their drive-by shootings are Warthog strafings using DU ammunition. Their drug rackets in the back streets are high-grade reefer, heroin and amphetamines, with pharmaceutical-grade chemicals on Main Street. They still print banknotes just as before; but this time it's legal but still doesn't make them enough, so to make up the shortfalls they've taken armed robbery abroad.

paul easton , January 21, 2020 at 12:55

The US Government is running a protection racket, literally. In return for US protection of their sources of oil, the NATO countries provide international support for US war crimes. But now that the (figurative) Don is visibly out of his mind, they are likely to turn to other protectors.

Gary Weglarz , January 21, 2020 at 10:34

One need not step back very far in order to look at the bigger longer range picture. What immediately comes into focus is that this is simply the current moment in what is now 500 plus years of Western colonialism/neocolonialism. When has the law EVER had anything to do with any of this?

ML , January 21, 2020 at 10:31

Pompeo reminds me of the pigs in Animal Farm. He is a grotesque figure, steely-eyed, cold-blooded, fanatical, and hateful. "We lied, cheated, and stole" Pompous Maximus will get his comeuppance one of these days. I hope he plans more overseas trips for himself. He is a vile person, a psychopath proud of his psychopathy. He alone would make anyone considering conversion to Christianity, his brand of it, run screaming into the night. Repulsive man.

Michael Crockett , January 21, 2020 at 09:40

Pillage as policy. The Empire has fully embraced gangster capitalism for its modus operandi. That said, IMO, the axis of resistance has the military capability and the resolve to fight back and win. Combining China and Russia into a greater axis of resistance could further shrink the Outlaw US Empire presence in West Asia. Thank you Patrick for your keen insight and observations. The Empires days are numbered.

Sally Snyder , January 21, 2020 at 07:28

Here is an interesting article that explains how governments have changed the rules so that they can justify killing anyone who they believe may at some point in time have the potential to be involved in a terrorist plot: viableopposition.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-bethlehem-doctrine-and-new.html

This rather Orwellian move gives governments the justification that they to kill any of us just because they feel that we might pose a threat and that is a very, very scary prospect. It is very reminiscent of the movie Minority Report where crimes of the future are punished in the present.

[Feb 09, 2020] US troops have stolen tens of millions in Iraq and Afghanistan

Many of these crimes grew out of shortcomings in the military's management of the deployments that experts say are still present: a heavy dependence on cash transactions, a hasty award process for high-value contracts, loose and harried oversight within the ranks, and a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there.
Notable quotes:
"... "this thing going on" ..."
"... a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there. ..."
May 09, 2015 | slate.com

The Fraud of War: U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have stolen tens of millions through bribery, theft, and rigged contracts.

U.S. Army Specialist Stephanie Charboneau sat at the center of a complex trucking network in Forward Operating Base Fenty near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that distributed daily tens of thousands of gallons of what troops called "liquid gold": the refined petroleum that fueled the international coalition's vehicles, planes, and generators.

A prominent sign in the base read: "The Army Won't Go If The Fuel Don't Flow." But Charboneau, 31, a mother of two from Washington state, felt alienated after a supervisor's harsh rebuke. Her work was a dreary routine of recording fuel deliveries in a computer and escorting trucks past a gate. But it was soon to take a dark turn into high-value crime.

She began an affair with a civilian, Jonathan Hightower, who worked for a Pentagon contractor that distributed fuel from Fenty, and one day in March 2010 he told her about "this thing going on" at other U.S. military bases around Afghanistan, she recalled in a recent telephone interview.

Troops were selling the U.S. military's fuel to Afghan locals on the side, and pocketing the proceeds. When Hightower suggested they start doing the same, Charboneau said, she agreed.

In so doing, Charboneau contributed to thefts by U.S. military personnel of at least $15 million worth of fuel since the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. And eventually she became one of at least 115 enlisted personnel and military officers convicted since 2005 of committing theft, bribery, and contract-rigging crimes valued at $52 million during their deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a comprehensive tally of court records by the Center for Public Integrity.

Many of these crimes grew out of shortcomings in the military's management of the deployments that experts say are still present: a heavy dependence on cash transactions, a hasty award process for high-value contracts, loose and harried oversight within the ranks, and a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there.

Charboneau, whose Facebook posts reveal a bright-eyed woman with a shoulder tattoo and a huge grin, snuggling with pets and celebrating the 2015 New Year with her children in Seattle Seahawks jerseys, now sits in Carswell federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, serving a seven-year sentence for her crime.

[Feb 09, 2020] Infamy at Sea Israel s Attack on the USS Liberty 50 Years Later by Jeffrey St. Clair

Notable quotes:
"... Only hours after the Liberty arrived it was spotted by the Israeli military. The IDF sent out reconnaissance planes to identify the ship. They made eight trips over a period of three hours. The Liberty was flying a large US flag and was easily recognizable as an American vessel. ..."
"... Soon more planes came. These were Israeli Mirage III fighters, armed with rockets and machine guns. As off-duty officers sunbathed on the deck, the fighters opened fire on the defenseless ship with rockets and machine guns. ..."
"... Attack on the Liberty ..."
"... Attack on the Liberty ..."
"... Dangerous Liaison, ..."
"... In January 1968, the arms embargo on Israel was lifted and the sale of American weapons began to flow. By 1971, Israel was buying $600 million of American-made weapons a year. Two years later the purchases topped $3 billion. Almost overnight, Israel had become the largest buyer of US-made arms and aircraft. ..."
"... Perversely, then, the IDF's strike on the Liberty served to weld the US and Israel together, in a kind of political and military embrace. Now, every time the IDF attacks defenseless villages in Gaza and the West Bank with F-16s and Apache helicopters, the Palestinians quite rightly see the bloody assaults as a joint operation, with the Pentagon as a hidden partner. ..."
Jun 02, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

In early June of 1967, at the onset of the Six Day War, the Pentagon sent the USS Liberty from Spain into international waters off the coast of Gaza to monitor the progress of Israel's attack on the Arab states. The Liberty was a lightly armed surveillance ship.

Only hours after the Liberty arrived it was spotted by the Israeli military. The IDF sent out reconnaissance planes to identify the ship. They made eight trips over a period of three hours. The Liberty was flying a large US flag and was easily recognizable as an American vessel.

Soon more planes came. These were Israeli Mirage III fighters, armed with rockets and machine guns. As off-duty officers sunbathed on the deck, the fighters opened fire on the defenseless ship with rockets and machine guns.

A few minutes later a second wave of planes streaked overhead, French-built Mystere jets, which not only pelted the ship with gunfire but also with napalm bomblets, coating the deck with the flaming jelly. By now, the Liberty was on fire and dozens were wounded and killed, excluding several of the ship's top officers.

The Liberty's radio team tried to issue a distress call, but discovered the frequencies had been jammed by the Israeli planes with what one communications specialist called "a buzzsaw sound." Finally, an open channel was found and the Liberty got out a message it was under attack to the USS America, the Sixth Fleet's large aircraft carrier.

Two F-4s left the carrier to come to the Liberty's aid. Apparently, the jets were armed only with nuclear weapons. When word reached the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara became irate and ordered the jets to return. "Tell the Sixth Fleet to get those aircraft back immediately," he barked. McNamara's injunction was reiterated in saltier terms by Admiral David L. McDonald, the chief of Naval Operations: "You get those fucking airplanes back on deck, and you get them back down." The planes turned around. And the attack on the Liberty continued.

After the Israeli fighter jets had emptied their arsenal of rockets, three Israeli attack boats approached the Liberty. Two torpedoes were launched at the crippled ship, one tore a 40-foot wide hole in the hull, flooding the lower compartments, and killing more than a dozen American sailors.

As the Liberty listed in the choppy seas, its deck aflame, crew members dropped life rafts into the water and prepared to scuttle the ship. Given the number of wounded, this was going to be a dangerous operation. But it soon proved impossible, as the Israeli attack boats strafed the rafts with machine gun fire. No body was going to get out alive that way.

After more than two hours of unremitting assault, the Israelis finally halted their attack. One of the torpedo boats approached the Liberty. An officer asked in English over a bullhorn: "Do you need any help?"

The wounded commander of the Liberty, Lt. William McGonagle, instructed the quartermaster to respond emphatically: "Fuck you."

The Israeli boat turned and left.

A Soviet destroyer responded before the US Navy, even though a US submarine, on a covert mission, was apparently in the area and had monitored the attack. The Soviet ship reached the Liberty six hours before the USS Davis. The captain of the Soviet ship offered his aid, but the Liberty's conning officer refused.

Finally, 16 hours after the attack two US destroyers reached the Liberty. By that time, 34 US sailors were dead and 174 injured, many seriously. As the wounded were being evacuated, an officer with the Office of Naval Intelligence instructed the men not to talk about their ordeal with the press.

The following morning Israel launched a surprise invasion of Syria, breaching the new cease-fire agreement and seizing control of the Golan Heights.

Within three weeks, the Navy put out a 700-page report, exonerating the Israelis, claiming the attack had been accidental and that the Israelis had pulled back as soon as they realized their mistake. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara suggested the whole affair should be forgotten. "These errors do occur," McNamara concluded.

***

In Assault on the Liberty , a harrowing first-hand account by James Ennes Jr., McNamara's version of events is proven to be as big a sham as his concurrent lies about Vietnam. Ennes's book created a media storm when it was first published by Random House in 1980, including (predictably) charges that Ennes was a liar and an anti-Semite. Still, the book sold more than 40,000 copies, but was eventually allowed to go out of print. Now Ennes has published an updated version, which incorporates much new evidence that the Israeli attack was deliberate and that the US government went to extraordinary lengths to disguise the truth.

It's a story of Israel aggression, Pentagon incompetence, official lies, and a cover-up that persists to this day. The book gains much of its power from the immediacy of Ennes's first-hand account of the attack and the lies that followed.

Now, decades later, Ennes warns that the bloodbath on board the Liberty and its aftermath should serve as a tragic cautionary tale about the continuing ties between the US government and the government of Israel.

The Attack on the Liberty is the kind of book that makes your blood seethe. Ennes skillfully documents the life of the average sailor on one of the more peculiar vessels in the US Navy, with an attention for detail that reminds one of Dana or O'Brien. After all, the year was 1967 and most of the men on the Liberty were certainly glad to be on a non-combat ship in the middle of the Mediterranean, rather than in the Gulf of Tonkin or Mekong Delta.

But this isn't Two Years Before the Mast. In fact, Ennes's tour on the Liberty last only a few short weeks. He had scarcely settled into a routine before his new ship was shattered before his eyes.

Ennes joined the Liberty in May of 1967, as an Electronics Material Officer. Serving on a "spook ship", as the Liberty was known to Navy wives, was supposed to be a sure path to career enhancement. The Liberty's normal routine was to ply the African coast, tuning in its eavesdropping equipment on the electronic traffic in the region.

The Liberty had barely reached Africa when it received a flash message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to sail from the Ivory Coast to the Mediterranean, where it was to re-deploy off the coast of the Sinai to monitor the Israeli attack on Egypt and the allied Arab nations.

As the war intensified, the Liberty sent a request to the fleet headquarters requesting an escort. It was denied by Admiral William Martin. The Liberty moved alone to a position in international waters about 13 miles from the shore at El Arish, then under furious siege by the IDF.

On June 6, the Joint Chiefs sent Admiral McCain, father of the senator from Arizona, an urgent message instructing him to move the Liberty out of the war zone to a position at least 100 miles off the Gaza Coast. McCain never forwarded the message to the ship.

A little after seven in the morning on June 8, Ennes entered the bridge of the Liberty to take the morning watch. Ennes was told that an hour earlier a "flying boxcar" (later identified as a twin-engine Nord 2501 Noratlas) had flown over the ship at a low level.

Ennes says he noticed that the ship's American flag had become stained with soot and ordered a new flag run up the mast. The morning was clear and calm, with a light breeze.

At 9 am, Ennes spotted another reconnaissance plane, which circled the Liberty. An hour later two Israeli fighter jets buzzed the ship. Over the next four hours, Israeli planes flew over the Liberty five more times.

When the first fighter jet struck, a little before two in the afternoon, Ennes was scanning the skies from the starboard side of the bridge, binoculars in his hands. A rocket hit the ship just below where Ennes was standing, the fragments shredded the men closest to him.

After the explosion, Ennes noticed that he was the only man left standing. But he also had been hit by more than 20 shards of shrapnel and the force of the blast had shattered his left leg. As he crawled into the pilothouse, a second fighter jet streaked above them and unleashed its payload on the hobbled Liberty.

At that point, Ennes says the crew of the Liberty had no idea who was attacking them or why. For a few moments, they suspected it might be the Soviets, after an officer mistakenly identified the fighters as MIG-15s. They knew that the Egyptian air force already had been decimated by the Israelis. The idea that the Israelis might be attacking them didn't occur to them until one of the crew spotted a Star of David on the wing of one of the French-built Mystere jets.

Ennes was finally taken below deck to a makeshift dressing station, with other wounded men. It was hardly a safe harbor. As Ennes worried that his fractured leg might slice through his femoral artery leaving him to bleed to death, the Liberty was pummeled by rockets, machine-gun fire and an Italian-made torpedo packed with 1,000-pounds of explosive.

After the attack ended, Ennes was approached by his friend Pat O'Malley, a junior officer, who had just sent a list of killed and wounded to the Bureau of Naval Personnel. He got an immediate message back. "They said, 'Wounded in what action? Killed in what action?'," O'Malley told Ennes. "They said it wasn't an 'action,' it was an accident. I'd like for them to come out here and see the difference between an action and an accident. Stupid bastards."

The cover-up had begun.

***

The Pentagon lied to the public about the attack on the Liberty from the very beginning. In a decision personally approved by the loathsome McNamara, the Pentagon denied to the press that the Liberty was an intelligence ship, referring to it instead as a Technical Research ship, as if it were little more than a military version of Jacques Cousteau's Calypso.

The military press corps on the USS America, where most of the wounded sailors had been taken, were placed under extreme restrictions. All of the stories filed from the carrier were first routed through the Pentagon for security clearance, objectionable material was removed with barely a bleat of protest from the reporters or their publications.

Predictably, Israel's first response was to blame the victim, a tactic that has served them so well in the Palestinian situation. First, the IDF alleged that it had asked the State Department and the Pentagon to identify any US ships in the area and was told that there were none. Then the Israeli government charged that the Liberty failed to fly its flag and didn't respond to calls for it to identify itself. The Israelis contended that they assumed the Liberty was an Egyptian supply ship called El Quseir, which, even though it was a rusting transport ship then docked in Alexandria, the IDF said it suspected of shelling Israeli troops from the sea. Under these circumstances, the Israeli's said they were justified in opening fire on the Liberty. The Israelis said that they halted the attack almost immediately, when they realized their mistake.

"The Liberty contributed decisively toward its identification as an enemy ship," the IDF report concluded. This was a blatant falsehood, since the Israelis had identified the Liberty at least six hours prior to the attack on the ship.

Even though the Pentagon knew better, it gave credence to the Israeli account by saying that perhaps the Liberty's flag had lain limp on the flagpole in a windless sea. The Pentagon also suggested that the attack might have lasted less than 20 minutes.

After the initial battery of misinformation, the Pentagon imposed a news blackout on the Liberty disaster until after the completion of a Court of Inquiry investigation.

The inquiry was headed by Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd. Kidd didn't have a free hand. He'd been instructed by Vice-Admiral McCain to limit the damage to the Pentagon and to protect the reputation of Israel.

The Kidd interviewed the crew on June 14 and 15. The questioning was extremely circumscribed. According to Ennes, the investigators "asked nothing that might be embarrassing to Israeland testimony that tended to embarrass Israel was covered with a 'Top Secret' label, if it was accepted at all."

Ennes notes that even testimony by the Liberty's communications officers about the jamming of the ship's radios was classified as "Top Secret." The reason? It proved that Israel knew it was attacking an American ship. "Here was strong evidence that the attack was planned in advance and that our ship's identity was known to the attackers (for it its practically impossible to jam the radio of a stranger), but this information was hushed up and no conclusions were drawn from it," Ennes writes.

Similarly, the Court of Inquiry deep-sixed testimony and affidavits regarding the flag-Ennes had ordered a crisp new one deployed early on the morning of the attack. The investigators buried intercepts of conversations between IDF pilots identifying the ship as flying an American flag.

It also refused to accept evidence about the IDF's use of napalm during the attacks and choose not to hear testimony regarding the duration of the attacks and the fact that the US Navy failed to send planes to defend the ship.

"No one came to help us," said Dr. Richard F. Kiepfer, the Liberty's physician. "We were promised help, but no help came. The Russians arrived before our own ships did. We asked for an escort before we ever came to the war zone and we were turned down."

None of this made its way into the 700-page Court of Inquiry report, which was completed within a couple of weeks and sent to Admiral McCain in London for review.

McCain approved the report over the objections of Captain Merlin Staring, the Navy legal officer assigned to the inquiry, who found the report to be flawed, incomplete and contrary to the evidence.

Staring sent a letter to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy disavowing himself from the report. The JAG seemed to take Staring's objections to heart. It prepared a summary for the Chief of Naval Operations that almost completely ignored the Kidd/McCain report. Instead, it concluded:

that the Liberty was easily recognizable as an American naval vessel; that it's flag was fully deployed and flying in a moderate breeze; that Israeli planes made at least eight reconnaissance flights at close range; the ship came under a prolonged attack from Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boats.

This succinct and largely accurate report was stamped Top Secret by Navy brass and stayed locked up for many years. But it was seen by many in the Pentagon and some in the Oval Office. But here was enough grumbling about the way the Liberty incident had been handled that LBJ summoned that old Washington fixer Clark Clifford to do damage control. It didn't take Clifford long to come up with the official line: the Israelis simply had made a tragic mistake.

It turns out that the Admiral Kidd and Captain Ward Boston, the two investigating officers who prepared the original report for Admiral McCain, both believed that the Israeli attack was intentional and sustained. In other words, the IDF knew that they were striking an American spy ship and they wanted to sink it and kill as many sailors as possible. Why then did the Navy investigators produce a sham report that concluded it was an accident?

Twenty-five years later we finally found out. In June of 2002, Captain Boston told the Navy Times: "Officers follow orders."

It gets worse. There's plenty of evidence that US intelligence agencies learned on June 7 that Israel intended to attack the Liberty on the following day and that the strike had been personally ordered by Moshe Dayan.

As the attacks were going on, conversations between Israeli pilots were overheard by US Air Force officers in an EC121 surveillance plane overhead. The spy plane was spotted by Israeli jets, which were given orders to shoot it down. The American plane narrowly avoided the IDF missiles.

Initial reports on the incident prepared by the CIA, Office of Naval Intelligence and the National Security Agency all reached similar conclusions.

A particularly damning report compiled by a CIA informant suggests that Israeli Defense minister Moshe Dayan personally ordered the attack and wanted it to proceed until the Liberty was sunk and all on board killed. A heavily redacted version of the report was released in 1977. It reads in part:

"[The source] said that Dayan personally ordered the attack on the ship and that one of his generals adamantly opposed the action and said, 'This is pure murder.' One of the admirals who was present also disapproved of the action, and it was he who ordered it stopped and not Dayan."

This amazing document generated little attention from the press and Dayan was never publicly questioned about his role in the attack.

The analyses by the intelligence agencies are collected in a 1967 investigation by the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations. Two and half decades later that report remains classified. Why? A former committee staffer said: "So as not to embarrass Israel."

More proof came to light from the Israeli side. A few years after Attack on the Liberty was originally published, Ennes got a call from Evan Toni, an Israeli pilot. Toni told Ennes that he had just read his book and wanted to tell him his story. Toni said that he was the pilot in the first Israeli Mirage fighter to reach the Liberty. He immediately recognized the ship to be a US Navy vessel. He radioed Israeli air command with this information and asked for instructions. Toni said he was ordered to "attack." He refused and flew back to the air base at Ashdod. When he arrived he was summarily arrested for disobeying orders.

***

How tightly does the Israeli lobby control the Hill? For the first time in history, an attack on an America ship was not subjected to a public investigation by Congress. In 1980, Adlai Stevenson and Barry Goldwater planned to open a senate hearing into the Liberty affair. Then Jimmy Carter intervened by brokering a deal with Menachem Begin, where Israel agreed to pony up $6 million to pay for damages to the ship. A State Department press release announced the payment said, "The book is now closed on the USS Liberty."

It certainly was the last chapter for Adlai Stevenson. He ran for governor of Illinois the following year, where his less than perfect record on Israel, and his unsettling questions about the Liberty affair, became an issue in the campaign. Big money flowed into the coffers of his Republican opponent, Big Jim Thompson, and Stevenson went down to a narrow defeat.

But the book wasn't closed for the sailors either, of course. After a Newsweek story exposed the gist of what really happened on that day in the Mediterranean, an enraged Admiral McCain placed all the sailors under a gag order. When one sailor told an officer that he was having problems living with the cover-up, he was told: "Forget about it, that's an order."

The Navy went to bizarre lengths to keep the crew of the Liberty from telling what they knew. When gag orders didn't work, they threatened sanctions. Ennes tells of the confinement and interrogation of two Liberty sailors that sounds like something right out of the CIA's MK-Ultra program.

"In an incredible abuse of authority, military officers held two young Liberty sailors against their will in a locked and heavily guarded psychiatric ward of the base hospital," Ennes writes. "For days these men were drugged and questioned about their recollections of the attack by a 'therapist' who admitted to being untrained in either psychiatry or psychology. At one point, they avoided electroshock only by bolting from the room and demanding to see the commanding officer."

Since coming home, the veterans who have tried to tell of their ordeal have been harassed relentlessly. They've been branded as drunks, bigots, liars and frauds. Often, it turns out, these slurs have been leaked by the Pentagon. And, oh yeah, they've also been painted as anti-Semites.

In a recent column, Charley Reese describes just how mean-spirited and petty this campaign became. "When a small town in Wisconsin decided to name its library in honor of the USS Liberty crewmen, a campaign claiming it was anti-Semitic was launched," writes Reese. "And when the town went ahead, the U.S. government ordered no Navy personnel to attend, and sent no messages. This little library was the first, and at the time the only, memorial to the men who died on the Liberty."

***

So why then did the Israelis attack the Liberty?

A few days before the Six Days War, Israel's Foreign Minister Abba Eban visited Washington to inform LBJ about the forthcoming invasion. Johnson cautioned Eban that the US could not support such an attack.

It's possible, then, that the IDF assumed that the Liberty was spying on the Israeli war plans. Possible, but not likely. Despite the official denials, as Andrew and Leslie Cockburn demonstrate in Dangerous Liaison, at the time of the Six Days War the US and Israel had developed a warm covert relationship. So closely were the two sides working that US intelligence aid certainly helped secure Israel's devastating and swift victory. In fact, it's possible that the Liberty had been sent to the region to spy for the IDF.

A somewhat more likely scenario holds that Moshe Dayan wanted to keep the lid on Israel's plan to breach the new cease-fire and invade into Syria to seize the Golan.

It has also been suggested that Dayan ordered the attack on the Liberty with the intent of pinning the blame on the Egyptians and thus swinging public and political opinion in the United States solidly behind the Israelis. Of course, for this plan to work, the Liberty had to be destroyed and its crew killed.

There's another factor. The Liberty was positioned just off the coast from the town of El Arish. In fact, Ennes and others had used town's mosque tower to fix the location of the ship along the otherwise featureless desert shoreline. The IDF had seized El Arish and had used the airport there as a prisoner of war camp. On the very day the Liberty was attacked, the IDF was in the process of executing as many as 1,000 Palestinian and Egyptian POWs, a war crime that they surely wanted to conceal from prying eyes. According to Gabriel Bron, now an Israeli reporter, who witnessed part of the massacre as a soldier: "The Egyptian prisoners of war were ordered to dig pits and then army police shot them to death."

The bigger question is why the US government would participate so enthusiastically in the cover-up of a war crime against its own sailors. Well, the Pentagon has never been slow to hide its own incompetence. And there's plenty of that in the Liberty affair: bungled communications, refusal to provide an escort, situating the defenseless Liberty too close to a raging battle, the inability to intervene in the attack and the inexcusably long time it took to reach the battered ship and its wounded.

That's but par for the course. But something else was going on that would only come to light later. Through most of the 1960s, the US congress had imposed a ban on the sale of arms to both Israel and Jordan. But at the time of the Liberty attack, the Pentagon (and its allies in the White House and on the Hill) was seeking to have this proscription overturned. The top brass certainly knew that any evidence of a deliberate attack on a US Navy ship by the IDF would scuttle their plans. So they hushed it up.

In January 1968, the arms embargo on Israel was lifted and the sale of American weapons began to flow. By 1971, Israel was buying $600 million of American-made weapons a year. Two years later the purchases topped $3 billion. Almost overnight, Israel had become the largest buyer of US-made arms and aircraft.

Perversely, then, the IDF's strike on the Liberty served to weld the US and Israel together, in a kind of political and military embrace. Now, every time the IDF attacks defenseless villages in Gaza and the West Bank with F-16s and Apache helicopters, the Palestinians quite rightly see the bloody assaults as a joint operation, with the Pentagon as a hidden partner.

Thus, does the legacy of Liberty live on, one raid after another.

A version of this essay appeared in The Politics of Anti-Semitism by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.

[Feb 09, 2020] Bush older acted as a gangster in Kuwait war: he was determined to "seize the unipolar moment."

Bush older was the first president from CIA. He was already a senior CIA official at the time of JFK assassination and might participate in the plot to kill JFK. At least he was in Dallas at the day of assassination. .
Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 5:20 pm GMT

That Iraq is to say the least unstable is attributable to the ill-advised U.S. invasion of 2003.

Nothing to do with 9 years of sanctions on Iraq that killed a million Iraqis, "half of them children," and US control of Iraqi air space, after having killed Iraqi military in a turkey-shoot, for no really good reason other than George H W Bush seized the "unipolar moment" to become king of the world?

Maybe it's just stubbornness: I think Papa Bush is responsible for the "imperial pivot," in the Persian Gulf war aka Operation Desert Storm, 29 years and 4 days ago -- January 17, 1991.

According to Jeffrey Engel, Bush's biographer and director of the Bush library at Southern Methodist University, Gorbachev harassed Bush with phone calls, pleading with him not to go to war over Kuwait

https://www.c-span.org/video/?310832-1/into-desert-reflections-gulf-war

(It's worth noting that Dennis Ross was relatively new in his role on Jim Baker's staff when Baker, Brent Skowcroft, Larry Eagleburger & like minded urged Bush to take the Imperial Pivot.)

According to Vernon Loeb, who completed the writing of King's Counsel after Jack O'Connell died, Jordan's King Hussein, in consultation with retired CIA station chief O'Connell, parlayed with Arab leaders to resolve the conflict on their own, i.e. Arab-to-Arab terms, and also pleaded with Bush to stay out, and to let the Arabs solve their own problems. Bush refused.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?301361-6/kings-counsel

See above: Bush was determined to "seize the unipolar moment."

Once again insist on entering into the record: George H Bush was present at the creation of the Global War on Terror, July 4, 1979, the Jerusalem Conference hosted by Benzion and Benjamin Netanyahu and heavily populated with Trotskyites – neocons.

International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, Benjamin Netanyahu, ed., 1981.
(Wurmser became Netanyahu's acolyte)

Z-man , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 7:05 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

I think Papa Bush is responsible for the "imperial pivot," in the Persian Gulf war aka Operation Desert Storm, 29 years and 4 days ago -- January 17, 1991.

Yes I remember it well. I came back from a long trip & memorable vacation, alas I was a young man, to the television drama that was unfolding with Arthur Kent 'The Scud Stud' and others reporting from the safety of their hotel balconies filming aircaft and cruise missiles. It was surreal.
You are correct of course.

[Feb 09, 2020] Trump Secretly Threatened Europe With Auto Tariffs If It Didn t Declare Iran In Breach Of Nuclear Deal

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's threats of auto tariffs to gain trade concessions with the Europeans is certainly nothing new, but using the same to dictate foreign policy is, notes WaPo's diplomatic correspondent John Hudson. ..."
"... Interestingly, in Wednesday's joint statement the European signatories attempted to distance their drastic action away from Washington's so-called "maximum pressure" campaign. "Our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran," they said . ..."
"... The statement also underscored Europe hopes to use the mechanism "to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA" and in the words of one official quoted in The Guardian to prevent nuclear advancement to the point that the Iranians "learn something that it is not possible for them to unlearn" . ..."
Jan 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

A bombshell revelation from The Washington Post a day after France, Britain and Germany took unprecedented action against Iran by formally triggering the dispute resolution mechanism regulating conformity to the deal, seen as the harshest measure taken by the European signatories thus far. The European powers officially see Iran as in breach of the deal which means UN and EU punitive sanctions are now on the table.

But according to The Post , how things quickly escalated to this point is real story : " Days before Europeans warned Iran of nuclear deal violations, Trump secretly threatened to impose 25% tariff on European autos if they didn't," says the report.

This came as a "shock" to all three countries, with one top European official calling it essentially "extortion" and a new level of hardball tactics from the Trump administration.

After the US leveraged the new tariffs threat according to the report, European capitals moved quick to trigger the mechanism, which involved the individual European states formally notifying the agreement's guarantor, the European Union, that Iran is in breach of the nuclear deal.

This followed the Jan.6 declaration of Tehran's leadership to no longer be beholden to uranium enrichment limits. And that's where things got interesting as Washington's pressure campaign dramatically turned up the heat on Europe.

"Within days, the three countries would formally accuse Iran of violating the deal, triggering a recourse provision that could reimpose United Nations sanctions on Iran and unravel the last remaining vestiges of the Obama-era agreement," the report continues .

However, the report notes France, the UK, and Germany were already in deep discussion on moving forward with triggering the mechanism. "We didn't want to look weak, so we agreed to keep the existence of the threat a secret," a European official cited by WaPo claims.

Trump's threats of auto tariffs to gain trade concessions with the Europeans is certainly nothing new, but using the same to dictate foreign policy is, notes WaPo's diplomatic correspondent John Hudson.

Interestingly, in Wednesday's joint statement the European signatories attempted to distance their drastic action away from Washington's so-called "maximum pressure" campaign. "Our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran," they said .

The statement also underscored Europe hopes to use the mechanism "to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA" and in the words of one official quoted in The Guardian to prevent nuclear advancement to the point that the Iranians "learn something that it is not possible for them to unlearn" .

Now that the mechanism has been enacted, the clock starts on 65 days of intensive negotiations before UN sanctions would be reimposed if no resolution is reached. Specifically a blanket arms embargo would be imposed among other measures, and certainly it would mark the deal's final demise, given the Europeans are Iran's last hope for being equal partners in the deal.

Also interesting is that in the hours before The Washington Post report was published, Iranian FM Zarif charged that the EU investigation into Iran's alleged non-compliance meant Europe is allowing itself to be bulled by the United States .

Indeed the new revelation of the secret threats attempting to dictate Europe's course appear to confirm precisely Zarif's words to reporters earlier on Wednesday : "They say 'We are not responsible for what the United States did.' OK, but you are independent" he began. And then added a stinging rebuke: "Europe, EU, is the largest global economy. So why do you allow the United States to bully you around?"

[Feb 09, 2020] The Deeper Story Behind The Assassination Of Soleimani

Highly recommended!
Looks like the end of Full Spectrum Dominance the the USA enjoyed since 1991. Alliance of Iran, Russia and China (with Turkey and Pakistan as two possible members) is serious military competitor and while the USA has its set of trump cards, the military victory against such an alliance no longer guaranteed.
Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Days after the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, new and important information is coming to light from a speech given by the Iraqi prime minister. The story behind Soleimani's assassination seems to go much deeper than what has thus far been reported, involving Saudi Arabia and China as well the US dollar's role as the global reserve currency .

The Iraqi prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, has revealed details of his interactions with Trump in the weeks leading up to Soleimani's assassination in a speech to the Iraqi parliament. He tried to explain several times on live television how Washington had been browbeating him and other Iraqi members of parliament to toe the American line, even threatening to engage in false-flag sniper shootings of both protesters and security personnel in order to inflame the situation, recalling similar modi operandi seen in Cairo in 2009, Libya in 2011, and Maidan in 2014. The purpose of such cynicism was to throw Iraq into chaos.

Here is the reconstruction of the story:

[Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq] Halbousi attended the parliamentary session while almost none of the Sunni members did. This was because the Americans had learned that Abdul-Mehdi was planning to reveal sensitive secrets in the session and sent Halbousi to prevent this. Halbousi cut Abdul-Mehdi off at the commencement of his speech and then asked for the live airing of the session to be stopped. After this, Halbousi together with other members, sat next to Abdul-Mehdi, speaking openly with him but without it being recorded. This is what was discussed in that session that was not broadcast:

Abdul-Mehdi spoke angrily about how the Americans had ruined the country and now refused to complete infrastructure and electricity grid projects unless they were promised 50% of oil revenues, which Abdul-Mehdi refused.

The complete (translated) words of Abdul-Mahdi's speech to parliament:

This is why I visited China and signed an important agreement with them to undertake the construction instead. Upon my return, Trump called me to ask me to reject this agreement. When I refused, he threatened to unleash huge demonstrations against me that would end my premiership.

Huge demonstrations against me duly materialized and Trump called again to threaten that if I did not comply with his demands, then he would have Marine snipers on tall buildings target protesters and security personnel alike in order to pressure me.

I refused again and handed in my resignation. To this day the Americans insist on us rescinding our deal with the Chinese.

After this, when our Minister of Defense publicly stated that a third party was targeting both protestors and security personnel alike (just as Trump had threatened he would do), I received a new call from Trump threatening to kill both me and the Minister of Defense if we kept on talking about this "third party".

Nobody imagined that the threat was to be applied to General Soleimani, but it was difficult for Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to reveal the weekslong backstory behind the terrorist attack.

I was supposed to meet him [Soleimani] later in the morning when he was killed. He came to deliver a message from Iran in response to the message we had delivered to the Iranians from the Saudis.

We can surmise, judging by Saudi Arabia's reaction , that some kind of negotiation was going on between Tehran and Riyadh:

The Kingdom's statement regarding the events in Iraq stresses the Kingdom's view of the importance of de-escalation to save the countries of the region and their people from the risks of any escalation.

Above all, the Saudi Royal family wanted to let people know immediately that they had not been informed of the US operation:

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia was not consulted regarding the US strike. In light of the rapid developments, the Kingdom stresses the importance of exercising restraint to guard against all acts that may lead to escalation, with severe consequences.

And to emphasize his reluctance for war, Mohammad bin Salman sent a delegation to the United States. Liz Sly , the Washington Post Beirut bureau chief, tweated:

Saudi Arabia is sending a delegation to Washington to urge restraint with Iran on behalf of [Persian] Gulf states. The message will be: 'Please spare us the pain of going through another war'.

What clearly emerges is that the success of the operation against Soleimani had nothing to do with the intelligence gathering of the US or Israel. It was known to all and sundry that Soleimani was heading to Baghdad in a diplomatic capacity that acknowledged Iraq's efforts to mediate a solution to the regional crisis with Saudi Arabia.

It would seem that the Saudis, Iranians and Iraqis were well on the way towards averting a regional conflict involving Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Riyadh's reaction to the American strike evinced no public joy or celebration. Qatar, while not seeing eye to eye with Riyadh on many issues, also immediately expressed solidarity with Tehran, hosting a meeting at a senior government level with Mohammad Zarif Jarif, the Iranian foreign minister. Even Turkey and Egypt , when commenting on the asassination, employed moderating language.

This could reflect a fear of being on the receiving end of Iran's retaliation. Qatar, the country from which the drone that killed Soleimani took off, is only a stone's throw away from Iran, situated on the other side of the Strait of Hormuz. Riyadh and Tel Aviv, Tehran's regional enemies, both know that a military conflict with Iran would mean the end of the Saudi royal family.

When the words of the Iraqi prime minister are linked back to the geopolitical and energy agreements in the region, then the worrying picture starts to emerge of a desperate US lashing out at a world turning its back on a unipolar world order in favor of the emerging multipolar about which I have long written .

The US, now considering itself a net energy exporter as a result of the shale-oil revolution (on which the jury is still out), no longer needs to import oil from the Middle East. However, this does not mean that oil can now be traded in any other currency other than the US dollar.

The petrodollar is what ensures that the US dollar retains its status as the global reserve currency, granting the US a monopolistic position from which it derives enormous benefits from playing the role of regional hegemon.

This privileged position of holding the global reserve currency also ensures that the US can easily fund its war machine by virtue of the fact that much of the world is obliged to buy its treasury bonds that it is simply able to conjure out of thin air. To threaten this comfortable arrangement is to threaten Washington's global power.

Even so, the geopolitical and economic trend is inexorably towards a multipolar world order, with China increasingly playing a leading role, especially in the Middle East and South America.

Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia together make up the overwhelming majority of oil and gas reserves in the world. The first three have an elevated relationship with Beijing and are very much in the multipolar camp, something that China and Russia are keen to further consolidate in order to ensure the future growth for the Eurasian supercontinent without war and conflict.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is pro-US but could gravitate towards the Sino-Russian camp both militarily and in terms of energy. The same process is going on with Iraq and Qatar thanks to Washington's numerous strategic errors in the region starting from Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011 and Syria and Yemen in recent years.

The agreement between Iraq and China is a prime example of how Beijing intends to use the Iraq-Iran-Syria troika to revive the Middle East and and link it to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.

While Doha and Riyadh would be the first to suffer economically from such an agreement, Beijing's economic power is such that, with its win-win approach, there is room for everyone.

Saudi Arabia provides China with most of its oil and Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, supply China with most of its LNG needs, which lines up with Xi Jinping's 2030 vision that aims to greatly reduce polluting emissions.

The US is absent in this picture, with little ability to influence events or offer any appealing economic alternatives.

Washington would like to prevent any Eurasian integration by unleashing chaos and destruction in the region, and killing Soleimani served this purpose. The US cannot contemplate the idea of the dollar losing its status as the global reserve currency. Trump is engaging in a desperate gamble that could have disastrous consequences.

The region, in a worst-case scenario, could be engulfed in a devastating war involving multiple countries. Oil refineries could be destroyed all across the region, a quarter of the world's oil transit could be blocked, oil prices would skyrocket ($200-$300 a barrel) and dozens of countries would be plunged into a global financial crisis. The blame would be laid squarely at Trump's feet, ending his chances for re-election.

To try and keep everyone in line, Washington is left to resort to terrorism, lies and unspecified threats of visiting destruction on friends and enemies alike.

Trump has evidently been convinced by someone that the US can do without the Middle East, that it can do without allies in the region, and that nobody would ever dare to sell oil in any other currency than the US dollar.

Soleimani's death is the result of a convergence of US and Israeli interests. With no other way of halting Eurasian integration, Washington can only throw the region into chaos by targeting countries like Iran, Iraq and Syria that are central to the Eurasian project. While Israel has never had the ability or audacity to carry out such an assassination itself, the importance of the Israel Lobby to Trump's electoral success would have influenced his decision, all the more so in an election year .

Trump believed his drone attack could solve all his problems by frightening his opponents, winning the support of his voters (by equating Soleimani's assassination to Osama bin Laden's), and sending a warning to Arab countries of the dangers of deepening their ties with China.

The assassination of Soleimani is the US lashing out at its steady loss of influence in the region. The Iraqi attempt to mediate a lasting peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been scuppered by the US and Israel's determination to prevent peace in the region and instead increase chaos and instability.

Washington has not achieved its hegemonic status through a preference for diplomacy and calm dialogue, and Trump has no intention of departing from this approach.

Washington's friends and enemies alike must acknowledge this reality and implement the countermeasures necessary to contain the madness.


Boundless Energy , 1 minute ago link

Very good article, straight to the point. In fact its much worse. I know is hard to swallow for my US american brother and sisters.

But as sooner you wake up and see the reality as it is, as better chances the US has to survive with honor. Stop the wars around the globe and do not look for excuses. Isnt it already obvious what is going on with the US war machine? How many more examples some people need to wake up?

Noob678 , 8 minutes ago link

For those who love to connect the dots:

Iran Situation from Someone Who Knows Something

Not all said in video above is accurate but the recent events in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa are all related to prevent China from overtaking the zionist hegemonic world and to recolonize China (at least the parasite is trying to hop to China as new host).

Trade war, Huawei, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet ..... the concerted efforts from all zionist controlled media (ZeroHedge included) to slander, smearing, fake news against China should tell you what the Zionists agenda are :)

............

Trump Threatens to Kill Iraqi PM if He Doesn't Cancel China Oil Deal - MoA

The American President's threatened the Iraqi Prime Minister to liquidate him directly with the Minister of Defense. The Marines are the third party that sniped the demonstrators and the security men:

Abdul Mahdi continued:

"After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, so that the third party (Marines snipers) would target the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from the highest structures and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement, so I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement and when the defense minister said that who kills the demonstrators is a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened me and defense minister in the event of talk about the third party."

.........


The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission found George W. Bush guilty of war crimes in absentia for the illegal invasion of Iraq. Bush, **** Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.

... ... ..

Thom Paine , 9 minutes ago link

When Iran has nukes, what then Trump?

I think Israel's fear is loss of regional goals if Iran becomes untouchable

TupacShakur , 13 minutes ago link

Empire is lashing out of desperation because we've crossed peak Empire.

Things are going downhill and will get more volatile as we go.

Buckle up folks because the final act will be very nasty.

Stalking Wolf , 12 minutes ago link

Unfortunately, this article makes a lot of sense. The US is losing influence and lashing out carelessly. I hope the rest of the world realizes how detached majority of the citizens within the states are from the federal government. The Federal government brings no good to our nation. None. From the mis management of our once tax revenues to the corrupt Congress who accepts bribes from the highest bidder, it's a rats best that is not only harmful to its own people, but the world at large. USD won't go down without a fight it seems... All empires end with a bang. Be ready

[Feb 09, 2020] The Oil War by Jean-Pierre Séréni

Notable quotes:
"... The Iraq war was about oil. Recently declassified US government documents confirm this ( 1 ), however much US president George W Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their ally, the British prime minister Tony Blair, denied it at the time. ..."
Mar 06, 2013 | www.zcommunications.org

Source: Le Monde Diplomatique

The Iraq war was about oil. Recently declassified US government documents confirm this ( 1 ), however much US president George W Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their ally, the British prime minister Tony Blair, denied it at the time.

When Bush moved into the White House in January 2001, he faced the familiar problem of the imbalance between oil supply and demand. Supply was unable to keep up with demand, which was increasing rapidly because of the growth of emerging economies such as China and India. The only possible solution lay in the Gulf, where the giant oil-producing countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, and the lesser producing states of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, commanded 60% of the world's reserves.

For financial or political reasons, production growth was slow. In Saudi Arabia, the ultra-rich ruling families of the Al-Saud, the Al-Sabah and the Zayed Al-Nayan were content with a comfortable level of income, given their small populations, and preferred to leave their oil underground. Iran and Iraq hold around 25% of the world's hydrocarbon reserves and could have filled the gap, but were subject to sanctions -- imposed solely by the US on Iran, internationally on Iraq -- that deprived them of essential oil equipment and services. Washington saw them as rogue states and was unwilling to end the sanctions.

How could the US get more oil from the Gulf without endangering its supremacy in the region? Influential US neoconservatives, led by Paul Wolfowitz, who had gone over to uninhibited imperialism after the fall of the Soviet Union, thought they had found a solution. They had never understood George Bush senior's decision not to overthrow Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf war in 1991. An open letter to President Bill Clinton, inspired by the Statement of Principles of the Project for the New American Century, a non-profit organisation founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, had called for a regime change in Iraq as early as 1998: Saddam must be ousted and big US oil companies must gain access to Iraq. Several signatories to the Statement of Principles became members of the new Republican administration in 2001.

In 2002, one of them, Douglas Feith, a lawyer who was undersecretary of defense to Rumsfeld, supervised the work of experts planning the future of Iraq's oil industry. His first decision was to entrust its management after the expected US victory to Kellog, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of US oil giant Halliburton, of which Cheney had been chairman and CEO. Feith's plan, formulated at the start of 2003, was to keep Iraq's oil production at its current level of 2,840 mbpd (million barrels per day), to avoid a collapse that would cause chaos in the world market.

Privatising oil

Experts were divided on the privatisation of the Iraqi oil industry. The Iraqi government had excluded foreign companies and successfully managed the sector itself since 1972. By 2003, despite wars with Iran (1980-88) and in Kuwait (1990-91) and more than 15 years of sanctions, Iraq had managed to equal the record production levels achieved in 1979-1980.

The experts had a choice -- bring back the concession regime that had operated before nationalisation in 1972, or sell shares in the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) on the Russian model, issuing transferrable vouchers to the Iraqi population. In Russia, this approach had very quickly led to the oil sector falling into the hands of a few super-rich oligarchs.

Bush approved the plan drawn up by the Pentagon and State Department in January 2003. The much-decorated retired lieutenant general Jay Gardner, was appointed director of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, the military administration set up to govern post-Saddam Iraq. Out of his depth, he stuck to short-term measures and avoided choosing between the options put forward by his technical advisers.

Reassuring the oil giants

The international oil companies were not idle. Lee Raymond, CEO of America's biggest oil company ExxonMobil, was an old friend of Dick Cheney. But where the politicians were daring, he was cautious. The project was a tempting opportunity to replenish the company's reserves, which had been stagnant for several years, but Raymond had doubts: would Bush really be able to assure conditions that would allow the company to operate safely in Iraq? Nobody at ExxonMobil was willing to die for oil. (Its well-paid engineers do not dream of life in a blockhouse in Iraq.) The company would also have to be sure of its legal position: what would contracts signed by a de facto authority be worth when it would be investing billions of dollars that would take years to recover?

In the UK, BP was anxious to secure its own share of the spoils. As early as 2002 the company had confided in the UK Department of Trade and Industry its fears that the US might give away too much to French, Russian and Chinese oil companies in return for their governments agreeing not to use their veto at the UN Security Council ( 2 ). In February 2003 those fears were removed: France's president Jacques Chirac vetoed a resolution put forward by the US, and the third Iraq war began without UN backing. There was no longer any question of respecting the agreements Saddam had signed with Total and other companies (which had never been put into practice because of sanctions).

To reassure the British and US oil giants, the US government appointed to the management team Gary Vogler of ExxonMobil and Philip J Carrol of Shell. They were replaced in October 2003 by Rob McKee of ConocoPhilips and Terry Adams of BP. The idea was to counter the dominance of the Pentagon, and the influential neocon approach (which faced opposition from within the administration). The neocon ideologues, still on the scene, had bizarre ideas: they wanted to build a pipeline to transport Iraq's crude oil to Israel, dismantle OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and even use "liberated" Iraq as a guinea pig for a new oil business model to be applied to all of the Middle East. The engineers and businessmen, whose priorities were profits and results, were more down-to-earth.

In any event, the invasion had a devastating impact on Iraq's oil production, less because of the bombing by the US air force than because of the widespread looting of government agencies, schools, universities, archives, libraries, banks, hospitals, museums and state-owned enterprises. Drilling rigs were dismantled for the copper parts they were believed to contain. The looting continued from March to May 2003. Only a third of the damage to the oil industry was caused during the invasion; the rest happened after the fighting was over, despite the presence of the RIO Task Force and the US Corps of Engineers with its 500 contractors, specially prepared and trained to protect oil installations. Saddam's supporters were prevented from blowing up the oil wells by the speed of the invasion, but the saboteurs set to work in June 2003.

Iraq's one real asset

The only buildings protected were the gigantic oil ministry, where 15,000 civil servants managed 22 subsidiaries of the Iraq National Oil Company. The State Oil Marketing Organisation and the infrastructure were abandoned. The occupiers regarded the oil under the ground as Iraq's one real asset. They were not interested in installations or personnel. The oil ministry was only saved at the last minute because it housed geological and seismic data on Iraq's 80 known deposits, estimated to contain 115bn barrels of crude oil. The rest could always be replaced with more modern US-made equipment and the knowhow of the international oil companies, made indispensible by the sabotage.

Thamir Abbas Ghadban, director-general of planning at the oil ministry, turned up at the office three days after the invasion was over, and, in the absence of a minister for oil (since Iraq had no government), was appointed second in command under Micheal Mobbs, a neocon who enjoyed the confidence of the Pentagon. Paul Bremer, the US proconsul who headed Iraq's provisional government from May 2003 to June 2004, presided over the worst 12 months in the oil sector in 70 years. Production fell by 1 mbpd -- more than $13bn of lost income.

The oil installations, watched over by 3,500 underequipped guards, suffered 140 sabotage attacks between May 2003 and September 2004, estimated to have caused $7bn of damage. "There was widespread looting," said Ghadban. "Equipment was stolen and in most cases the buildings were set on fire." The Daura refinery, near Baghdad, only received oil intermittently, because of damage to the pipeline network. "We had to let all the oil in the damaged sections of the pipeline burn before we could repair them." Yet the refinery continued to operate, no mean achievement considering that the workers were no longer being paid.

The senior management of the national oil company also suffered. Until 1952 almost all senior managers of the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) were foreigners, who occupied villas in gated and guarded compounds while the local workforce lived in shantytowns. In 1952 tension between Iraq and Muhammad Mossadegh's Iran led the IPC to review its relations with Baghdad, and a clause of the new treaty concerned the training of Iraqi managers. By 1972, 75% of the thousand skilled jobs were filled by Iraqis, which helped to ensure the success of the IPC's nationalisation. The new Iraq National Oil Company gained control of the oilfields and production reached unprecedented levels.

Purge of the Ba'ath

After the invasion, the US purged Ba'athist elements from INOC's management. Simply belonging to the Ba'ath, Iraq's single political party, which had been in power since 1968, was grounds for dismissal, compulsory retirement or worse. Seventeen of INOC's 24 directors were forced out, along with several hundred engineers, who had kept production high through wars and foreign sanctions. The founding fathers of INOC were ousted by the Deba'athification Commission, led by former exiles including Iraq's prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, who replaced them with his own supporters, as incompetent as they were partisan.

Rob McKee, who succeeded Philip J Carrol as oil adviser to the US proconsul, observed in autumn 2003: "The people themselves are patently unqualified and are apparently being placed in the ministry for religious, political or personal reasons... the people who nursed the industry through Saddam's years and who brought it back to life after the liberation, as well as many trained professionals, are all systematically being pushed to the sidelines" ( 3 ).

This purge opened the door to advisers, mostly from the US, who bombarded the oil ministry with notes, circulars and reports directly inspired by the practices of the international oil industry, without much concern for their applicability to Iraq.

The drafting of Iraq's new constitution and an oil law provided an opportunity to change the rules. Washington had decided in advance to do away with the centralised state, partly because of its crimes against the Kurds under Saddam and partly because centralisation favours totalitarianism. The new federal, or even confederal, regime was decentralised to the point of being de-structured. A two-thirds majority in one of the three provinces allows opposition to veto central government decisions.

Baghdad-Irbil rivalry

Only Kurdistan had the means and the motivation to do so. Where oil was concerned, power was effectively divided between Baghdad and Irbil, seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which imposed its own interpretation of the constitution: deposits already being exploited would remain under federal government control, but new licenses would be granted by the provincial governments. A fierce dispute arose between the two capitals, partly because the KRG granted licenses to foreign oil companies under far more favourable conditions than those offered by Baghdad.

The quarrel related to the production sharing agreements. The usual practice is for foreign companies that provide financial backing to get a share of the oil produced, which can be very significant in the first few years. This was the formula US politicians and oil companies wanted to impose. They were unable to do so.

Iraq's parliament, so often criticised in other matters, opposed this system; it was supported by public opinion, which had not forgotten the former IPC. Tariq Shafiq, founding father of the INOC, explained to the US Congress the technical reasons for the refusal ( 4 ). Iraq's oil deposits were known and mapped out. There was therefore little risk to foreign companies: there would be no prospecting costs and exploitation costs would be among the lowest in the world. From 2008 onwards, Baghdad started offering major oil companies far less attractive contracts -- $2/barrel for the bigger oilfields, and no rights to the deposits.

ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Total, and Russian, Chinese, Angolan, Pakistani and Turkish oil companies nevertheless rushed to accept, hoping that things would turn to their advantage. Newsweek (24 May 2010) claimed Iraq had the potential to become "the next Saudi Arabia." But although production is up (over 3 mbpd in 2012), the oil companies are irritated by the conditions imposed on them: investment costs are high, profits are mediocre and the oil still underground is not counted as part of their reserves, which affects their share price.

ExxonMobil and Total disregarded the federal government edict that threatened to strip rights from oil companies that signed production-sharing agreements relating to oilfields in Kurdistan. Worse, ExxonMobil sold its services contract relating to Iraq's largest oilfield, West Qurna, where it had been due to invest $50bn and double the country's current production. Baghdad is now under pressure: if it continues to refuse the conditions requested by the foreign oil companies, it will lose out to Irbil, even if Kurdistan's deposits are only a third of the size of those in the south. Meanwhile, Turkey has done nothing to improve its relations with Iraq by offering to build a direct pipeline from Kurdistan to the Mediterranean. Without the war, would the oil companies have been able to make the Iraqis and Kurds compete? One thing is certain: the US is far from achieving its goals in the oil sector, and in this sense the war was a failure.

Alan Greenspan, who as chairman of the US Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006 was well placed to understand the importance of oil, came up with the best summary of the conflict: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil" ( 5 ).

[Feb 08, 2020] Is Iraq About To Switch From US to Russia

Highly recommended!
Feb 08, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 8, 2020 8:56 pm

NSC Russia expert freshly appointed Andrew Peek, who was walked out like Vindman, with him only freshly appointed after Fiona Hill and the Tim Morrioson resigned.

There is a big problems with "experts" in NSC -- often they represent interests of the particular agency, or a think tank, not that of the country.

Look at former NSC staffer Fiona Hill. She can be called "threat inflation" specialist.

NSC tries to usurp the role of the State Department and overly militarize the USA foreign policy, while having much lower class specialists. It is a kind of CIA backdoor into defining the USA foreign policy.

I would advocate creating "shadow NSC" by the party who is in opposition, so that it can somehow provide countervailing opinions. But with both parties being now war parties, this is no that effective.

Cutting NSC staff to the bones, so that such second rate personalities like Fiona Hill and Vindman are automatically excluded might also help a little bit.

The size above a dozen or two is probably excessive, as like any bureaucracy, it will try to control the President, not so much help him/her.
( https://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA00/20160908/105276/HHRG-114-FA00-Transcript-20160908.pdf ):

One common explanation is that the NSC mission creep results from the NSC staff growing too large and the easy solution is to limit the size of the staff. I am sympathetic to that feeling because we don't want it to
be too large and we don't want it to be usurping things that the State Department or the Agency should do.

[Feb 07, 2020] How They Sold the Iraq War by Jeffrey St. Clair

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon. ..."
"... This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception." ..."
"... During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted. ..."
"... When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. ..."
"... Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war." ..."
"... The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. ..."
"... Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The war on Iraq won't be remembered for how it was waged so much as for how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management, where loaded phrases, such as "weapons of mass destruction" and "rogue state" were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us.

To understand the Iraq war you don't need to consult generals, but the spin doctors and PR flacks who stage-managed the countdown to war from the murky corridors of Washington where politics, corporate spin and psy-ops spooks cohabit.

Consider the picaresque journey of Tony Blair's plagiarized dossier on Iraq, from a grad student's website to a cut-and-paste job in the prime minister's bombastic speech to the House of Commons. Blair, stubborn and verbose, paid a price for his grandiose puffery. Bush, who looted whole passages from Blair's speech for his own clumsy presentations, has skated freely through the tempest. Why?

Unlike Blair, the Bush team never wanted to present a legal case for war. They had no interest in making any of their allegations about Iraq hold up to a standard of proof. The real effort was aimed at amping up the mood for war by using the psychology of fear.

Facts were never important to the Bush team. They were disposable nuggets that could be discarded at will and replaced by whatever new rationale that played favorably with their polls and focus groups. The war was about weapons of mass destruction one week, al-Qaeda the next. When neither allegation could be substantiated on the ground, the fall back position became the mass graves (many from the Iran/Iraq war where the U.S.A. backed Iraq) proving that Saddam was an evil thug who deserved to be toppled. The motto of the Bush PR machine was: Move on. Don't explain. Say anything to conceal the perfidy behind the real motives for war. Never look back. Accuse the questioners of harboring unpatriotic sensibilities. Eventually, even the cagey Wolfowitz admitted that the official case for war was made mainly to make the invasion palatable, not to justify it.

The Bush claque of neocon hawks viewed the Iraq war as a product and, just like a new pair of Nikes, it required a roll-out campaign to soften up the consumers. The same techniques (and often the same PR gurus) that have been used to hawk cigarettes, SUVs and nuclear waste dumps were deployed to retail the Iraq war. To peddle the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and company recruited public relations gurus into top-level jobs at the Pentagon and the State Department. These spinmeisters soon had more say over how the rationale for war on Iraq should be presented than intelligence agencies and career diplomats. If the intelligence didn't fit the script, it was shaded, retooled or junked.

Take Charlotte Beers whom Powell picked as undersecretary of state in the post-9/11 world. Beers wasn't a diplomat. She wasn't even a politician. She was a grand diva of spin, known on the business and gossip pages as "the queen of Madison Avenue." On the strength of two advertising campaigns, one for Uncle Ben's Rice and another for Head and Shoulder's dandruff shampoo, Beers rocketed to the top of the heap in the PR world, heading two giant PR houses: Ogilvy and Mathers as well as J. Walter Thompson.

At the State Department Beers, who had met Powell in 1995 when they both served on the board of Gulf Airstream, worked at, in Powell's words, "the branding of U.S. foreign policy." She extracted more than $500 million from Congress for her Brand America campaign, which largely focused on beaming U.S. propaganda into the Muslim world, much of it directed at teens.

"Public diplomacy is a vital new arm in what will combat terrorism over time," said Beers. "All of a sudden we are in this position of redefining who America is, not only for ourselves, but for the outside world." Note the rapt attention Beers pays to the manipulation of perception, as opposed, say, to alterations of U.S. policy.

Old-fashioned diplomacy involves direct communication between representatives of nations, a conversational give and take, often fraught with deception (see April Glaspie), but an exchange nonetheless. Public diplomacy, as defined by Beers, is something else entirely. It's a one-way street, a unilateral broadcast of American propaganda directly to the public, domestic and international, a kind of informational carpet-bombing.

The themes of her campaigns were as simplistic and flimsy as a Bush press conference. The American incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq were all about bringing the balm of "freedom" to oppressed peoples. Hence, the title of the U.S. war: Operation Iraqi Freedom, where cruise missiles were depicted as instruments of liberation. Bush himself distilled the Beers equation to its bizarre essence: "This war is about peace."

Beers quietly resigned her post a few weeks before the first volley of tomahawk missiles battered Baghdad. From her point of view, the war itself was already won, the fireworks of shock and awe were all after play.

Over at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld drafted Victoria "Torie" Clarke as his director of public affairs. Clarke knew the ropes inside the Beltway. Before becoming Rumsfeld's mouthpiece, she had commanded one of the world's great parlors for powerbrokers: Hill and Knowlton's D.C. office.

Almost immediately upon taking up her new gig, Clarke convened regular meetings with a select group of Washington's top private PR specialists and lobbyists to develop a marketing plan for the Pentagon's forthcoming terror wars. The group was filled with heavy-hitters and was strikingly bipartisan in composition. She called it the Rumsfeld Group and it included PR executive Sheila Tate, columnist Rich Lowry, and Republican political consultant Rich Galen.

The brain trust also boasted top Democratic fixer Tommy Boggs, brother of NPR's Cokie Roberts and son of the late Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana. At the very time Boggs was conferring with top Pentagon brass on how to frame the war on terror, he was also working feverishly for the royal family of Saudi Arabia. In 2002 alone, the Saudis paid his Qorvis PR firm $20.2 million to protect its interests in Washington. In the wake of hostile press coverage following the exposure of Saudi links to the 9/11 hijackers, the royal family needed all the well-placed help it could buy. They seem to have gotten their money's worth. Boggs' felicitous influence-peddling may help to explain why the references to Saudi funding of al-Qaeda were dropped from the recent congressional report on the investigation into intelligence failures and 9/11.

According to the trade publication PR Week, the Rumsfeld Group sent "messaging advice" to the Pentagon. The group told Clarke and Rumsfeld that in order to get the American public to buy into the war on terrorism, they needed to suggest a link to nation states, not just nebulous groups such as al-Qaeda. In other words, there needed to be a fixed target for the military campaigns, some distant place to drop cruise missiles and cluster bombs. They suggested the notion (already embedded in Rumsfeld's mind) of playing up the notion of so-called rogue states as the real masters of terrorism. Thus was born the Axis of Evil, which, of course, wasn't an "axis" at all, since two of the states, Iran and Iraq, hated each other, and neither had anything at all to do with the third, North Korea.

Tens of millions in federal money were poured into private public relations and media firms working to craft and broadcast the Bush dictat that Saddam had to be taken out before the Iraqi dictator blew up the world by dropping chemical and nuclear bombs from long-range drones. Many of these PR executives and image consultants were old friends of the high priests in the Bush inner sanctum. Indeed, they were veterans, like Cheney and Powell, of the previous war against Iraq, another engagement that was more spin than combat .

At the top of the list was John Rendon, head of the D.C. firm, the Rendon Group. Rendon is one of Washington's heaviest hitters, a Beltway fixer who never let political affiliation stand in the way of an assignment. Rendon served as a media consultant for Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter, as well as Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Whenever the Pentagon wanted to go to war, he offered his services at a price. During Desert Storm, Rendon pulled in $100,000 a month from the Kuwaiti royal family. He followed this up with a $23 million contract from the CIA to produce anti-Saddam propaganda in the region.

As part of this CIA project, Rendon created and named the Iraqi National Congress and tapped his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the shady financier, to head the organization.

Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon handed the Rendon Group another big assignment: public relations for the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. Rendon was also deeply involved in the planning and public relations for the pre-emptive war on Iraq, though both Rendon and the Pentagon refuse to disclose the details of the group's work there.

But it's not hard to detect the manipulative hand of Rendon behind many of the Iraq war's signature events, including the toppling of the Saddam statue (by U.S. troops and Chalabi associates) and videotape of jubilant Iraqis waving American flags as the Third Infantry rolled by them. Rendon had pulled off the same stunt in the first Gulf War, handing out American flags to Kuwaitis and herding the media to the orchestrated demonstration. "Where do you think they got those American flags?" clucked Rendon in 1991. "That was my assignment."

The Rendon Group may also have had played a role in pushing the phony intelligence that has now come back to haunt the Bush administration. In December of 2002, Robert Dreyfuss reported that the inner circle of the Bush White House preferred the intelligence coming from Chalabi and his associates to that being proffered by analysts at the CIA.

So Rendon and his circle represented a new kind of off-the-shelf PSYOPs , the privatization of official propaganda. "I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician," said Rendon. "I am a politician, and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager."

What exactly, is perception management? The Pentagon defines it this way: "actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective reasoning." In other words, lying about the intentions of the U.S. government. In a rare display of public frankness, the Pentagon actually let slip its plan (developed by Rendon) to establish a high-level den inside the Department Defense for perception management. They called it the Office of Strategic Influence and among its many missions was to plant false stories in the press.

Nothing stirs the corporate media into outbursts of pious outrage like an official government memo bragging about how the media are manipulated for political objectives. So the New York Times and Washington Post threw indignant fits about the Office of Strategic Influence; the Pentagon shut down the operation, and the press gloated with satisfaction on its victory. Yet, Rumsfeld told the Pentagon press corps that while he was killing the office, the same devious work would continue. "You can have the corpse," said Rumsfeld. "You can have the name. But I'm going to keep doing every single thing that needs to be done. And I have."

At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories, this image war was lost. It failed to convince even America's most fervent allies and dependent client states that Iraq posed much of a threat. It failed to win the blessing of the U.N. and even NATO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington. At the end of the day, the vaunted coalition of the willing consisted of Britain, Spain, Italy, Australia, and a cohort of former Soviet bloc nations. Even so, the citizens of the nations that cast their lot with the U.S.A. overwhelmingly opposed the war.

Domestically, it was a different story. A population traumatized by terror threats and shattered economy became easy prey for the saturation bombing of the Bush message that Iraq was a terrorist state linked to al-Qaeda that was only minutes away from launching attacks on America with weapons of mass destruction.

Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon.

Of course, the closest Saddam came to possessing a nuke was a rusting gas centrifuge buried for 13 years in the garden of Mahdi Obeidi, a retired Iraqi scientist. Iraq didn't have any functional chemical or biological weapons. In fact, it didn't even possess any SCUD missiles, despite erroneous reports fed by Pentagon PR flacks alleging that it had fired SCUDs into Kuwait.

This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception."

During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted.

What the Pentagon sought was a new kind of living room war, where instead of photos of mangled soldiers and dead Iraqi kids, they could control the images Americans viewed and to a large extent the content of the stories. By embedding reporters inside selected divisions, Clarke believed the Pentagon could count on the reporters to build relationships with the troops and to feel dependent on them for their own safety. It worked, naturally. One reporter for a national network trembled on camera that the U.S. Army functioned as "our protectors." The late David Bloom of NBC confessed on the air that he was willing to do "anything and everything they can ask of us."

When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. Of course, nearly every detail of her heroic adventure proved to be as fictive and maudlin as any made-for-TV-movie. But the ordeal of Private Lynch, which dominated the news for more than a week, served its purpose: to distract attention from a stalled campaign that was beginning to look at lot riskier than the American public had been hoodwinked into believing.

The Lynch story was fed to the eager press by a Pentagon operation called Combat Camera, the Army network of photographers, videographers and editors that sends 800 photos and 25 video clips a day to the media. The editors at Combat Camera carefully culled the footage to present the Pentagon's montage of the war, eliding such unsettling images as collateral damage, cluster bombs, dead children and U.S. soldiers, napalm strikes and disgruntled troops.

"A lot of our imagery will have a big impact on world opinion," predicted Lt. Jane Larogue, director of Combat Camera in Iraq. She was right. But as the hot war turned into an even hotter occupation, the Pentagon, despite airy rhetoric from occupation supremo Paul Bremer about installing democratic institutions such as a free press, moved to tighten its monopoly on the flow images out of Iraq. First, it tried to shut down Al Jazeera, the Arab news channel. Then the Pentagon intimated that it would like to see all foreign TV news crews banished from Baghdad.

Few newspapers fanned the hysteria about the threat posed by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction as sedulously as did the Washington Post. In the months leading up to the war, the Post's pro-war op-eds outnumbered the anti-war columns by a 3-to-1 margin.

Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war."

The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. Anything to punish Iran was the message coming from the White House. Donald Rumsfeld himself was sent as President Ronald Reagan's personal envoy to Baghdad. Rumsfeld conveyed the bold message than an Iraq defeat would be viewed as a "strategic setback for the United States." This sleazy alliance was sealed with a handshake caught on videotape. When CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre replayed the footage for Rumsfeld in the spring of 2003, the secretary of defense snapped, "Where'd you get that? Iraqi television?"

The current crop of Iraq hawks also saw Saddam much differently then. Take the writer Laura Mylroie, sometime colleague of the New York Times' Judy Miller, who persists in peddling the ludicrous conspiracy that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

How times have changed! In 1987, Mylroie felt downright cuddly toward Saddam. She wrote an article for the New Republic titled "Back Iraq: Time for a U.S. Tilt in the Mideast," arguing that the U.S. should publicly embrace Saddam's secular regime as a bulwark against the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran. The co-author of this mesmerizing weave of wonkery was none other than Daniel Pipes, perhaps the nation's most bellicose Islamophobe. "The American weapons that Iraq could make good use of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines and counterartillery radar," wrote Mylroie and Pipes. "The United States might also consider upgrading intelligence it is supplying Baghdad."

In the rollout for the war, Mylroie seemed to be everywhere hawking the invasion of Iraq. She would often appear on two or three different networks in the same day. How did the reporter manage this feat? She had help in the form of Eleana Benador, the media placement guru who runs Benador Associates. Born in Peru, Benador parlayed her skills as a linguist into a lucrative career as media relations whiz for the Washington foreign policy elite. She also oversees the Middle East Forum, a fanatically pro-Zionist white paper mill. Her clients include some of the nation's most fervid hawks, including Michael Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, Al Haig, Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, and Judy Miller. During the Iraq war, Benador's assignment was to embed this squadron of pro-war zealots into the national media, on talk shows, and op-ed pages.

Benador not only got them the gigs, she also crafted the theme and made sure they all stayed on message. "There are some things, you just have to state them in a different way, in a slightly different way," said Benador. "If not, people get scared." Scared of intentions of their own government.

It could have been different. All of the holes in the Bush administration's gossamer case for war were right there for the mainstream press to expose. Instead, the U.S. press, just like the oil companies, sought to commercialize the Iraq war and profit from the invasions. They didn't want to deal with uncomfortable facts or present voices of dissent.

Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. The network's executives blamed the cancellation on sagging ratings. In fact, during its run Donahue's show attracted more viewers than any other program on the network. The real reason for the pre-emptive strike on Donahue was spelled out in an internal memo from anxious executives at NBC. Donahue, the memo said, offered "a difficult face for NBC in a time of war. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives."

The memo warned that Donahue's show risked tarring MSNBC as an unpatriotic network, "a home for liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." So, with scarcely a second thought, the honchos at MSNBC gave Donahue the boot and hoisted the battle flag.

It's war that sells.

There's a helluva caveat, of course. Once you buy it, the merchants of war accept no returns.

This essay is adapted from Grand Theft Pentagon.

[Feb 07, 2020] The Facts About Iran and Terrorism by Larry C Johnson

Jan 10, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The Facts About Iran and Terrorism

When emotion rules the day facts do not matter. Sadly, that is the reality we confront when it comes to talking about Iran and terrorism. The U.S. Government and almost all of the media continue to declare that Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism. That is not true. That is a lie. I realize that calling this assertion a lie opens me to accusations of being an apologist for Iran. But simply look at the facts.

Here is the most recent U.S. State Department claim about Iran and terrorism :

Iran remains the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism. The regime has spent nearly one billion dollars per year to support terrorist groups that serve as its proxies and expand its malign influence across the globe. Tehran has funded international terrorist groups such as Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It also has engaged in its own terrorist plotting around the world, particularly in Europe. In January, German authorities investigated 10 suspected Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force operatives. In the summer, authorities in Belgium, France, and Germany thwarted an Iranian plot to bomb a political rally near Paris, France. In October, an Iranian operative was arrested for planning an assassination in Denmark, and in December, Albania expelled two Iranian officials for plotting terrorist attacks. Furthermore, Tehran continued to allow an AQ facilitation network to operate in Iran, which sends fighters and money to conflict zones in Afghanistan and Syria, and it has extended sanctuary to AQ members residing in the country.

You notice what is absent? A list of specific attacks that caused actual casualties. Plans and plots are not the same as actions. If Iran's malevolent influence was so powerful, we should be able to point to specific attacks and specific casualties. But you will not find those facts in the U.S. State Department report because they do not exist. The statistical annex that details the attacks and the groups responsible reports the following:

The Taliban was responsible for 8,509 deaths and 4,943 injuries, about 25 percent of the total casualties attributed to terrorism globally in 2018. With 647 terrorist attacks, ISIS was the next-most-active terrorist organization, responsible for 3,585 fatalities and 1,761 injuries. Having conducted 535 attacks, al-Shabaab was responsible for 2,062 deaths and 1,278 injuries. Boko Haram was among the top-five terrorist perpetrators, with 220 incidents, 1,311 deaths, and 927 injuries. It should be noted that local sources do not always differentiate between Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa.

Not a single group linked to Iran or supported by Iran is identified. Look at the this table from the statistical annex:

Table-3.1.-Top-10-Known-Perpetrator-Groups-With-the-Most-Incidents-2018

No Hezbollah and no Hamas. If a country is going to "sponsor" terrorism then we should expect to see terrorist attacks. The attacks that are taking place are predominantly from Sunni affiliated groups that have ties to Saudi Arabia, not Iran.

The State Department's explanation about Iranian support for terrorism exposes what the real issue is (I am quoting the 2016 report but, if you read the 2017 or 2018 versions there is no significant difference):

Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity in 2016, including support for Hizballah, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various groups in Syria, Iraq, and throughout the Middle East. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps‑Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. Iran has acknowledged the involvement of the IRGC-QF in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria and the IRGC-QF is Iran's primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.

In 2016, Iran supported various Iraqi Shia terrorist groups, including Kata'ib Hizballah, as part of an effort to fight ISIS in Iraq and bolster the Assad regime in Syria. Iran views the Assad regime in Syria as a crucial ally and Syria and Iraq as crucial routes to supply weapons to Hizballah, Iran's primary terrorist partner. Iran has facilitated and coerced, through financial or residency enticements, primarily Shia fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan to participate in the Assad regime's brutal crackdown in Syria. Iranian-supported Shia militias in Iraq have committed serious human rights abuses against primarily Sunni civilians and Iranian forces have directly backed militia operations in Syria with armored vehicles, artillery, and drones.

The United States is upset with Iran because it has thwarted the U.S. covert action in Syria. It was the United States, along with the U.K., Saudi Arabia and Turkey, that helped ignite and escalate the civil war in Syria. Why? The Saudis and the Israelis were growing increasingly concerned in 2011 about Iran's spreading influence in the region. And what enabled Iran to do that? We did. When the United States removed Saddam Hussein and destroyed the Baathist movement in Iraq, the Bush Administration thought it was a dandy idea to install Iraqi Shia in positions of leadership. Not one of the key policymakers on the U.S. side of the equation expressed any qualms about the fact that these Iraqi politicians and military personnel had longstanding relationships with Iran, which included financial support.

Iran also had a longstanding relationship with Syria. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton decided that if we could eliminate Bashir Assad, the Syrian leader, then we would weaken Iran. This was a policy that many Republicans, most notably John McCain and Lindsey Graham, supported. But the scheme to weaken Iran backfired. Iran, along with Russia, came to the aid of the Government of Syria in full blown counter-insurgency campaign. Iran, the Russians and the Syrian Government were fighting radical Sunni islamists, many of whom were funded by the Western alliance.

Iran's military support for the Government of Syria clearly rankles U.S. policymakers, but it is not "terrorism." It is pure counter insurgency.

Wikipedia offers additional evidence about the true nature of international terrorism. I have reviewed the lists of incidents, which includes the description of the attacks, the perpetrators and the number of casualties for 2016-2018. I have only been able to put the 2016 incidents into a spreadsheet. Here are the actual facts.

In 2016 there were seven terrorist attacks that caused at least 100 casualties. All were attributed to ISIL aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Not one was linked to Iran or any group receiving financial support from Iran. There were a total of 1753 terrorist attacks and at least 15,993 deaths during 2016.

Here is the monthly breakdown for 2016:

The U.S. State Department continues to insist that Iran is providing indirect support to Al Qaeda. That is pure nonsense. Iran is fighting and killing Al Qaeda forces inside Syria. They have no ideological affinity with Al Qaeda.

I wish the American people would take the time to be educated about the actual nature and extent of "international terrorism." There was a time in the 1980s when Iran was very active in using terrorism as weapon to attack U.S. military and diplomatic targets. But even those attacks were focused in areas where Iran's perceived national interests were at stake. I am not excusing nor endorsing their actions. But I do think we need to understand that terrorism usually has a context. It is not the actions of a mentally ill person who is angry and lashing out at the nearest available target. Those attacks were planned and very calculated.

The real issue that we should be focused on is whether or not we can halt the expansion of Iran's influence in the Middle East. This remains a major concern for Israel and Saudi Arabia. U.S. policymakers are betting that isolating Iran diplomatically, ratcheting up economic pressure and using some military power will somehow energize the regime opposition and lead to the overthrow of the Mullahs. We tried that same policy with Cuba. It did not work there and will not likely work now in Iran.

Iran has options and is pursuing them aggressively. China and Russia, who are facing their own bullying from the United States, already are helping Iran tweak the the nose of the Trump Administration. In late December 2019, Iran, Russia and China carried out a joint military exercise . The Iranians were very clear about their view of this cooperation:

"The most important achievement of these drills . . . is this message that the Islamic republic of Iran cannot be isolated," vice-admiral Gholamreza Tahani, a deputy naval commander, said. "These exercises show that relations between Iran, Russia and China have reached a new high level while this trend will continue in the coming years."

The Trump Administration needs to stop with its infantile ranting and railing about Iran and terrorism. The actual issues surrounding Iran's growing influence in the region have little to do with terrorism. Our policies and actions towards Iran are accelerating their cooperation with China and Russia, not diminishing it. I do not think that serves the longterm interests of the United States or our allies in the Middle East.

[Feb 05, 2020] Stumbling Into Catastrophe by Daniel McAdams

Feb 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Daniel McAdams via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

There is a real danger for foreign policy advisors and analysts – and especially those they serve – when they are in a bubble, an echo chamber, and all of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs. Needless to say it's even worse when they believe they can create their own reality and invent outcomes out of whole cloth.

Things seldom go as planned in these circumstances.

President Trump was sold a bill of goods on the assassination of Iran's revered military leader, Qassim Soleimani, likely by a cabal around Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the long-discredited neocon David Wurmser. A former Netanyahu advisor and Iraq war propagandist, Wurmser reportedly sent memos to his mentor, John Bolton, while Bolton was Trump's National Security Advisor (now, of course, he's the hero of the #resistance for having turned on his former boss) promising that killing Soleimani would be a cost-free operation that would catalyze the Iranian people against their government and bring about the long-awaited regime change in that country. The murder of Soleimani – the architect of the defeat of ISIS – would "rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the [Iranian] regime depends for stability and survival," wrote Wurmser.

As is most often the case with neocons, he was dead wrong.

The operation was not cost-free. On the contrary. Assassinating Soleimani on Iraqi soil resulted in the Iraqi parliament – itself the product of our "bringing democracy" to the country – voting to expel US forces even as the vote by the people's representatives was roundly rejected by the people who brought the people the people's representatives. In a manner of speaking.

Trump's move had an effect opposite to the one promised by neocons. It did not bring Iranians out to the street to overthrow their government – it catalyzed opposition across Iraq's various political and religious factions to the continued US military presence and further tightened Iraq's relationship with Iran. And short of what would be a catastrophic war initiated by the US (with little or no support from allies), there is not a thing Trump can do about it.

Iran's retaliatory attack on two US bases in Iraq was initially sold by President Trump as merely a pin-prick. No harm, no foul, no injuries. This despite the fact that he must have known about US personnel injured in the attack. The reason for the lie was that Trump likely understands how devastating it would be to his presidency to escalate with Iran. So the truth began to trickle out slowly – 11 US military members were injured, but it was just "like a headache." Now we know that 50 US troops were treated for traumatic brain injury after the attack. This may not be the last of it – but don't count on the mainstream media to do any reporting.

The Iranian FARS news agency reported at the time of the attack that US personnel had been injured and the response by the US government was to completely take that media outlet off the Internet by order of the US Treasury !

Last week the US House voted to cancel the 2002 authorization for war on Iraq and to prohibit the use of funds for war on Iran without Congressional authorization. It is a significant, if largely symbolic, move to rein in the oft-used excuse of the Iraq war authorization for blatantly unrelated actions like the assassination of Soleimani and Obama's thousands of airstrikes on Syria and Iraq .

President Trump has argued that prohibiting funds for military action against Iran actually makes war more likely, as he would be restricted from the kinds of military-strikes-short-of-war like his attack on Syria after the alleged chemical attack in Douma in 2018 (claims which have recently fallen apart ). The logic is faulty and reflects again the danger of believing one's own propaganda. As we have seen from the Iranian military response to the Soleimani assassination, Trump's military-strikes-short-of-war are having a ratchet-like effect rather than a pressure-release or deterrent effect.

As the financial and current events analysis site ZeroHedge put it recently:

[S]ince last summer's "tanker wars", Trump has painted himself into a corner on Iran, jumping from escalation to escalation (to this latest "point of no return big one" in the form of the ordered Soleimani assassination) -- yet all the while hoping to avoid a major direct war. The situation reached a climax where there were "no outs" (Trump was left with two 'bad options' of either back down or go to war).

The Iranians have little to lose at this point and America's European allies are, even if impotent, fed up with the US obsession with Saudi Arabia and Israel as a basis for its Middle East policy.

So why open this essay with a photo of Trump celebrating his dead-on-arrival "Deal of The Century" for Israel and Palestine? Because this is once again a gullible and weak President Trump being led by the nose into the coming Middle East conflagration. Left without even a semblance of US sympathy for their plight, the Palestinians after the roll-out of this "peace" plan will again see that they have no friends outside Syria, Iran, and Lebanon. As Israel continues to flirt with the idea of simply annexing large parts of the West Bank, it is clear that the brakes are off of any Israeli reticence to push for maximum control over Palestinian territory. So what is there to lose?

Trump believes he's advancing peace in the Middle East, while the excellent Mondoweiss website rightly observes that a main architect of the "peace plan," Trump's own son-in-law Jared Kushner, "taunts Palestinians because he wants them to reject his 'peace plan.'" Rejection of the plan is a green light to a war of annihilation on the Palestinians.

It appears that the center may not hold, that the self-referential echo chamber that passes for Beltway "expert" analysis will again be caught off guard in the consequence-free profession that is neocon foreign policy analysis. "Gosh we didn't see that coming!" But the next day they are back on the teevee stations as great experts.

Clouds gathering...


Minamoto , 23 minutes ago link

It is hard to believe that Trump has any confidence in Jared Kushner. Yet, he does enough to go public with a one-sided plan developed without Palestinian input.

francis scott falseflag , 41 minutes ago link

a real danger for foreign policy advisors and analysts – and especially those they serve – when they are in a bubble, an echo chamber, and all of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs.

The same is true of the economists and financial analysts who live in the bubble of the NSYE and the echo chamber of Manhattan. All of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs.

Ruler , 1 hour ago link

The problem all incompetent leaders have, is seeing how their opponents see them.

Bokkenrijder , 1 hour ago link

If Trump continues to be 'dumb' enough to consistently hire these people and consistently listen to them, and if his supporters continue to be dumb enough to consistently believe all the lies and excuses, then Trump and his supporters are 100% involved in the neoCON.

RafterManFMJ , 1 hour ago link

Dude, it's 666D chess!

The Real John Bolton

[Feb 03, 2020] Trump, Netanyahu Dictate Terms of Palestinian Surrender to Israel

| theintercept.com

Flanked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but no Palestinian leader, President Donald Trump unveiled “a vision for peace” in the Middle East on Tuesday which permits Israel to annex much of the occupied West Bank immediately, offering the Palestinians only local control in isolated Bantustans surrounded by Israeli territory.

As many Israeli political observers noted, the timing of the announcement, just hours after Netanyahu was indicted on corruption charges in Jerusalem, looked like an effort to boost the prime minister’s bid to win reelection in March, his best hope for avoiding prison.

A US President facing impeachment and an Israeli Prime Minister indicted for corruption, leading an interim minority government, are about to announce a plan to solve the conflict with the Palestinians, without any Palestinian present. Unbelievable farce. — Anshel Pfeffer (@AnshelPfeffer) January 28, 2020

The release of the 180-page plan — which was drafted by aides to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and an old family friend of Netanyahu — was staged as a celebration, and acted as a dual campaign rally, with the American president and the Israeli prime minister boasting of all they had achieved for Israel to a room filled with far-right supporters of the Jewish state, including business magnate Sheldon Adelson, the Republican and Likud megadonor who spent millions of dollars to elect both leaders.

Trump, who intervened in a previous Israeli election campaign on Netanyahu’s behalf — by recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights last year — gave the embattled prime minister a podium at the White House to detail conditions imposed on the Palestinians which sounded like terms of surrender.

To start with, Netanyahu said, the Palestinians would be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, cede the entire Jordan Valley, disarm Hamas, and abandon hope for both the return of refugees who fled homes in what is now Israel and for a capital in Jerusalem’s Old City.

pic.twitter.com/RmKVVWh9F2 — Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 28, 2020

“Your peace plan offers the Palestinians a pathway to a future state,” Netanyahu told Trump. “I know that it may take them a very long time to reach the end of that path; it may even take them a very long time to get to the beginning of that path,” he added.

??????: ???? ???? ??? ???? ?? ????????? ?? ???? ?????? ?????. ?????? ????? ?????? > https://t.co/uNITb9vblN pic.twitter.com/JR6LzrKTz8 — ?????? (@NewsChannelIL) January 28, 2020

In fact, as Crisis Group analyst Tareq Baconi observed, “The plan sets out parameters that are impossible for Palestinians to accept, and effectively provides Israel with a blueprint to sustain the one-state reality that exists on the ground.”

That sentiment was echoed by Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group that monitors the occupation. “What the Palestinians are being ‘offered’ now is not rights or a state, but a permanent state of Apartheid. No amount of marketing can erase this disgrace or blur the facts,” El-Ad wrote. “The reality on the ground is already one of full Israeli control over the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and everyone living in it. It is a reality of one, inherently undemocratic, state.”

The plan was rejected by Palestinian rights activists in the region and abroad.

Netanyahu logic: If Palestinians agree to land theft, annexation, no refugee return, subjugation and no means of defense, Israel will negotiate with us. — Diana Buttu (@dianabuttu) January 28, 2020

They want to put us in permanent, high-tech cages and call it peace. #DealOfTheCentury #ApartheidDeal #Palestine #PalestinianFreedom — Noura Erakat (@4noura) January 28, 2020

CNN interviews Palestinian human rights attorney on the Trump plan. "This is not a deal, this is a plan to consolidate Israel's colonial takings." @4noura https://t.co/dFfNuKnH08 — Mairav Zonszein ??? ??????? (@MairavZ) January 29, 2020

The US is a colonial state trying to broker a "solution" which favors another settler-colonial state. The only message is, commit enough massacres, create enough judicial procedures, create enough diplomatic jargon, and all is allowed. #Palestine #TrumpDeal — ???? ???????? (@MariamBarghouti) January 28, 2020

#Palestinian refugees in Lebanon's Ein El-Helweh camp who have been deprived of a homeland for years protest and say NO to the so-called #DealOfTheCentury and tell Trump: Our fate is not for you to decide. pic.twitter.com/Y7We93iIRA — We Are Not Numbers #Gaza (@WeAreNotNumbers) January 28, 2020

“An impeached and bigoted President works in tandem with a criminally indicted and racist Prime Minister to perpetuate the reality of apartheid and subjugation,” Jamil Dakwar, a Palestinian American who was born in Haifa and now leads the ACLU’s human rights program, wrote on Twitter. “Palestinians will not be coerced to give up their human rights to live as free and equal human beings.”

Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization, described the plan delivered by Kushner to Trump as “100 percent the ideas I personally heard many times from Netanyahu and his negotiators. I can assure you that the American so-called peace team have only copied and pasted Netanyahu’s and the settlers’ councils plan.”

Amid accusations that his plan was largely based on concepts and details dictated by Netanyahu, Kushner cast himself as an independent expert on the conflict in an interview with Sky News Arabia on Tuesday. “I’ve been studying this now for three years,” he told Sky News Arabia, “I’ve read 25 books on the subject.”

At least one of those books appears to have been written by Netanyahu, however. As Dylan Williams of the liberal, pro-Israel group J Street pointed out, Kushner’s plan appeared at one point to borrow language from one of the Israeli prime minister’s books.

On the left, an excerpt from Netanyahu’s book “A Durable Peace.”

On the right, the Trump/Kushner “peace” proposal.

I don’t know an academic integrity panel at any university that would let this fly. pic.twitter.com/NvgzWOsL2r — Dylan Williams (@dylanotes) January 29, 2020

In a subsequent interview, Kushner even seemed unaware of the length of the proposal released by his team, referring to the 181-page document as “an over 80-page proposal.” He appeared to be echoing an error made by Trump during his prepared remarks the White House ceremony when he said, “our plan is 80 pages.”

Speaking in Ramallah, at a rare gathering of leaders of the major Palestinian factions, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the proposal was not “the deal of the century,” as Trump and the Israelis described it, but “the slap of the century.”

“Trump, Jerusalem is not for sale. Our rights are not for sale. Your conspiracy deal will not pass,” Abbas said, in comments reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

While Trump said that Palestinians could eventually have a capital in Jerusalem, the plan suggested that this would be outside of the city, in a neighborhood close to, but not in the city, as Telegraph correspondent Raf Sanchez pointed out.

IMPORTANT: the detail plan of the plan confirms that Palestinians will not get any part of Jerusalem inside the security barrier.

That means they get a few far-flung eastern neighbourhoods as their capital but none of the Old City or areas where most East Jerusalemites live. pic.twitter.com/ZL6AJVJ565 — Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) January 28, 2020

Within hours of the plan’s release, Netanyahu said that his government would move on Sunday to formally annex the 131 Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, all of which are illegal under international law, as well as the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea. The plan’s map of the newly expanded Greater Israel, and the fragmented Palestinian enclaves, were shared on Twitter by Trump.

??? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ?????????? ?????? ?? ????? ?? ????? ???????. pic.twitter.com/CFuYwwjSso — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2020

In his remarks, Trump said that Netanyahu had “authorized the release of a conceptual map” showing the contours of the land to be annexed, and their two governments would soon form a joint committee “to convert the conceptual map into a more detailed and calibrated rendering so that recognition can be immediately achieved.”

Because the Israeli settlement blocs, which are home to more than 400,000 settlers, are stitched together with a network of roads and checkpoints that restrict the freedom of movement of Palestinians, the territory Trump said his plan “allocated” for a future Palestinian state would exist only as a series of enclaves inside Israel.

As Ben Silverstein of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington, explained, the “conceptual map” included in the plan gave an “appearance of contiguity” that facts on the ground would make impossible.

This map is verrrrry generously shaded to give appearance of contiguity.

100% final map will appear closer to archipelago map on the right. pic.twitter.com/pLcaWak4R2 — Ben Silverstein (@bensilverstein) January 28, 2020

Yousef Munayyer, who directs the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, noted on Twitter that the reality would look a lot more like what the French illustrator Julien Bousac sketched out more than a decade ago for Le Monde Diplomatique to show the impossibility of a functioning state compromised of enclaves.

The West Bank Archipelago pic.twitter.com/FBIeOKmnUd — (((YousefMunayyer))) (@YousefMunayyer) January 28, 2020

Daniel Seidemann, director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, pointed out that previous administrations had privately accepted the erosion of Palestinian hopes for a contiguous state.

Perspective, for those who think this started with Trump.

This is a slide/map, I presented to a senior official in the Obama White House. His chilling response: you’re probably right, but the sun still will rise, birds sing, and life will go on.

Sound familiar? Look familiar? pic.twitter.com/mJ2ZQPzgef — Daniel Seidemann (@DanielSeidemann) January 28, 2020

Shibley Telhami, a scholar of the region at the University of Maryland, pointed to another disturbing detail of the plan: a provision to further ethnically cleanse Israel by revoking the citizenship of Palestinians living in one section of the state, and forcing that region to merge with those parts of the West Bank not annexed by Israel.

One shocking feature of Trump's "American" plan is that Israel would carve out Israeli-Arab towns in the "Triangle" region, strip them of Israeli citizenship, and place them under Palestinian jurisdiction -- something majorities oppose. Un-American Plan. https://t.co/eQNFzRLvdG pic.twitter.com/bn143hVSRr — Shibley Telhami (@ShibleyTelhami) January 28, 2020

Trump’s plan was denounced by both Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, among the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump for the presidency. While Sanders called the plan “unacceptable,” Warren went further, promising to “oppose unilateral annexation in any form — and reverse any policy that supports it.”

Trump's "peace plan" is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state. Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn't diplomacy, it's a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it. — Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 28, 2020

It must end the Israeli occupation and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent state of their own alongside a secure Israel. Trump's so-called 'peace deal' doesn't come close, and will only perpetuate the conflict. It is unacceptable. — Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 28, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden, a staunch defender of Netanyahu who reportedly frustrated Obama administration efforts to confront him over the occupation, did not immediately comment on the plan.

Politico reported on Tuesday that the Democratic Majority for Israel, a pro-Israel super PAC led by the Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, plans to run an attack ad in Iowa this week “that raises concerns about Bernie Sanders’ 2019 heart attack and calls him too liberal to beat President Donald Trump.”

As I reported earlier this year, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the conservative pro-Israel lobbying group known as AIPAC, paid for a pressure campaign on Facebook targeting Sanders, who would be the first Jewish president of the United States — one who has expressed concern for Palestinian rights and described Netanyahu as “a racist.”

[Feb 02, 2020] The US calls for apartheid and ethnic cleansing in its primary ME protectorate

Feb 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

paul , Feb 2 2020 16:56 utc | 5

The US calls for apartheid and ethnic cleansing in its primary ME protectorate. Global powers supposedly concerned with uphholding international law smile knowingly and applaud gently. Yes it was always going to end this way. Mmmmmm. Might Makes Right. Mmmmmmm. That alone is international law. Mmmmmmm. More champagne? More vodka?

Walter , Feb 2 2020 17:01 utc | 7

Paul, I'm not so sure. Dynamite has a two state solution.

Might is not a static circumstance, and neither are the interests of the numerous "voters"- those with power.

The one thing that never stops, despite the pols' great effort, is Time.

I try to keep in mind that world affairs is perhaps similar to a multi-body problem with an insane Alice-in Wonderland mathematics.

[Feb 02, 2020] Kushner's "peace plan" is just another real estate scam

Feb 02, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"The Arab League rejected Trump's plan, saying in a communique it would not lead to a just peace deal and adding it will not cooperate with the United States to execute the plan.
The ministers affirmed Palestinian rights to create a future state based on the land captured and occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, with East Jerusalem as capital, the final communique said.
Israeli officials expressed hope Saturday that the League's rejection could bring the U.S. closer to green-lighting unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank, in light of the fact that Jared Kushner opposed immediate steps toward annexation because he thought the Arab League might support the plan. " Haaretz

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Well, pilgrims, the truth is that nobody in the States who matters gives a damn about what happens to the Palestinians and it was always thus. Kushner's "peace plan" is just another real estate scam. pl

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/arab-foreign-ministers-meet-in-cairo-to-discuss-trump-s-mideast-plan-1.8475812

Posted at 01:24 PM in Israel , Middle East , Palestine | Permalink | Comments (1) But..but...Jared said that he had read 25 books on the conflict!!!

King Salman called Abbas to reassure him of Saudi support on the agreed upon outline drawn up long ago. MbS thinks otherwise, and he is the one who really runs Saudi policy.

Posted by: Jane | 01 February 2020 at 02:50 PM

[Feb 02, 2020] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/30/opinion/middle-east-peace-plan.html

Feb 02, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

Opinion Every Time Palestinians Say 'No,' They Lose Things rarely go well for those who try to live history backward.
By Bret Stephens SimonEsposito 2 days ago ( Edited ) Functionally, this proposition makes no sense. The imbalance of power is so great that Palestinians couldn't stop any amount more of encroachment on the occupied territories. So why would the encroachment stop at this arbitrary point?

It's absurd to think that the settler movement is going to be stopped by the proposed four-year freeze. (I view that as a booby-trap planted by Likud - and they surely must be expecting a fair chance of defeat - to make the next government quickly use up its political capital fighting media-savvy settlers.) Max21c 3 days ago If these things are decided on the basis of "might makes right" then the position of the PRC to take sea-space in the South China Sea is acceptable to Washington and its supporters? Similar per a variety of other territorial disputes around the globe? Max21c 3 days ago ( Edited ) Prior UN Resolutions hold precedent until such times as the parties themselves agree upon a mutually agreed solution.

Modus Vivendi not Modus Dictatum! Max21c 3 days ago The United States Senate ratified the United Nations Charter on July 28, 1945. Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States maintains that "all treaties made...under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land..." The United States is a signatory to the UN Charter and it has passed the US Senate. There is no Treaty which transfers the Golan Heights to the State of Israel. There is no Treaty which transfers Palestinian lands to the State of Israel. The Constitution of the United States of America does not construct, create, convey, or confer the power or authority to the President of the United States of America to change the borders of other peoples, lands, or countries. An American President can say whatever they want as to policy. The United States is not necessarily bound by such situ per statements, proclamations, declarations, pronouncements, announcements, dictatum, et cetera. There is a well known and existing mechanism for the exchange of lands and territories between nation states via diplomacy, diplomatic negotiations, resolution of the dispute by treaty, or genuine negotiations & diplomacy and resolution in accordance with International law, et cetera. An American President holds exclusive authority over foreign policy and diplomacy with the exception of passage of a treaty by the US Senate. The existing mechanisms and ways of International Law and diplomacy are brought into American Constitutionality by way of the Supremacy Clause, thus, there exists a potential exclusive instance of an exclusion to a President's authority per differentiation between the "policy" of an Administration or pronouncements thereof and the "laws of the land." Thus one could well surmise that the United States is on an ongoing basis bound by the laws of the land rather than the pro tempore policy statements in this instance. An American President is neither a Global Sovereign nor King of the World. Border disputes generally remain the domain between the corresponding sovereigns, sovereign nations, or bordering parties. The role of the United States as a third party is generally limited to diplomacy. The United States can assist, facilitate, or provide guidance on the potential resolution of the dispute. The United States can propose solutions, fanciful or not, well meaning or not, realistic or reasonable or not, reasoned or not, genuine or not, bonne foi or not, yet it cannot impose such solutions unless the agreement of the parties be gained according to the fashion, manner, and mechanisms that are well know and existing under International law and well recognized within the realm of the community of nations and the diplomacy therein. zbarski 3 days ago ( Edited ) UN resolutions are not treaties. The former are generic opinions or recommendations, which have no legal effect, unless accepted by a sovereign.

Treaties, unlike UN resolutions, become laws of the land once ratified by a sovereign's parliament.

So, all your UN resolutions on Israel and fake Palestinians are pieces of toilet paper. Max21c 3 days ago It's none of Washington's business. They should let the parties themselves work out an agreement if they can. It's not up to Washingtonians to impose a solution.

If the parties cannot come to a settlement at this time then the status quo prior borders remain. Washington should abide by the existing regimen and provisions thereof until or if the parties themselves alter such by mutual agreement. The borders can only be changed by agreement between the parties.

There are long established, longstanding, and well know mechanisms for discussing and possibly resolving territorial disputes and those pathways and methods should be followed by both sides.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report zbarski 3 days ago ( Edited ) First, you come up with bogus definitions. Next, when I take apart those, you respond: it's none of Washington's business. LOL.

The fact stands: UN resolutions are generic/advisory/opinions. The have no legal significance, unless accepted by a sovereign. Last time I checked, Israel has not accepted any... .

Having said that, I agree with you that Washington should leave the issue to the parties. It is the US, which has been preventing Israel from resolving the territorial dispute. Any other country would have resolved the issue long time ago. That Israel can't or won't do it, is a crime against the Jews.

Think of this: what would the US do, if let's say, Quebec had separated from the rest of Canada and then started launching rockets at Vermont? Hint: Quebec would have been nuked...
Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report Max21c 3 days ago Washington should abide by International law and respect the existing UN resolution per lands/borders until such time as the parties themselves resolve the situ.

The US should not become a party to the dispute.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report GLA 3 days ago you are right. the United States is not a world government. Our government can make recommendations and offer support. that is it.

The United Nations is an organization formed to promote peace among nations. It is not a world government, it is not a legislative body, and it has no lawmaking authority.
Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report GLA 3 days ago Palestinian leadership should develop and present their own peace plan. That is their right. Palestinian leadership should hold town hall meetings in Gaza and the West Bank on their peace plan and give voice to every Palestinian. That is their right. Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report Mike_71 2 days ago But the Palestinian leaderships of both Hamas and Fatah have never done that, as allowing the average Palestinian to participate in nominating and electing their own candidates and publicly voicing their own opinions, particularly when they contradict those of the leadership, is no more tolerated in the Palestinian Territories, than it is in the Peoples' Republic of China. The leadership of the soon to be dissolved "Palestinian Authority" will be by "President for Life" Mahmoud Abbas, now in the 16th year of the four year term to which he was elected in 2005. Likewise, Ismael Haniyeh, Yoyo Sinwar and others in Hamas, have never faced a Palestinian electorate at the ballot box.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Orville 3 days ago One thing Mr. Mackey leaves out is the US's treating the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, rather than occupied Syrian territory. Mike_71 2 days ago While International Law unequivocally condemns initiating wars of aggression for the purpose of acquiring territory, it is silent when the victim of that aggression retains land captured in a "defensive war of necessity." Thus, like the Soviet Union retaining land captured in the "Great Patriotic War" until 1991, Israel's retaining the Golan Heights, likewise captured in a "defensive war of necessity," the 1967 "Six Day War," does not violate International Law. As the victorious belligerent in a "defensive war of necessity," Israel may retain the Golan Heights until such time as possession is modified by treaty. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uti_possidetis
(Latin: As you possess, you may possess henceforth) Note that the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, likewise captured by Israel in the "Six Day War," was returned to Egyptian sovereignty after an agreement was negotiated and after a withdrawal period, pursuant to the terms of the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement. As in the instance of the Egyptian Sinai, the Golan Heights could be returned to Syria, were the Syrians willing to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report xochtl 3 days ago

Settler colonialism, white supremacy, and the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel 10 March 2015
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions/From our Staff and Members/Voices of JVP February 24, 2015 talk by JVP Deputy Director Cecilie Surasky at Portland State University from Environmental Destruction and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement: a panel on international resistance

1. The 'special relationship' between Israel and the United States is rooted in our common national narratives and founding mythology. 2. Settler colonialism and white supremacy is the right, holistic frame with which to understand Israel and Palestine, as well as the U.S. -- it helps us understand what we're really struggling against, and holds us accountable to ways we may inadvertently be serving the status quo. 3. If the basis of the special relationship is a common narrative of 'manifest destiny', and the feelings of superiority over others that it engenders, then to resist we must counter that narrative. One question we often ask ourselves is why Americans so easily accept the dominant Israeli narrative without question, and I think the answer is obvious. We have literally been primed, for generations, by our own national narrative ttler colonialism, white supremacy, and the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel We all are well versed with language about the "special relationship" between Israel and the United States. And in fact, it is real. Over time, no other country in the world has been the recipient of more economic and military aid from the U.S., or from any other country for that matter. Furthermore, many of us hold a power analysis which says that the key to ending Israel's ongoing occupation and oppression of Palestinians is ending that unconditional special relationship -- so understanding the roots of this relationship is not idle curiosity. It's essential if we are to ever achieve a just and durable peace, for both peoples. There are many reasons for this so-called special relationship, and it has evolved over time, but I think the foundational aspects of it relate to remarkably similar national narratives which shape, in an ongoing way, how we see and understand ourselves and our actions as representatives of a collective national identity -- how we justify killing, extraction, land theft, and so on, in transcendent moral terms. We have mythical national narratives of two settler colonial peoples, who both believe that we have a divine mandate, to settle a so-called empty or savage land, and make it into a kind of heaven on earth. Ethnic cleansing, even genocide -- these are all divinely justified. Israel is to be a light unto nations. What would become the United States, a kind of heaven on earth. Both peoples believe ourselves to be somehow specially chosen by God. As Donald E. Pease, Dartmouth literary critic wrote about this land, in The New American Exceptionalism: "Virgin Land" depopulated the landscape in the imaginary register so that it might be perceived as unoccupied territory in actuality. The metaphor turned the landscape into a blank page, understood to be the ideal surface onto which to inscribe the history of the nation's Manifest Destiny". "Virgin Land narratives placed the movement of the national people across the continent in opposition to the savagery attributed to the wilderness as well as the native peoples who figured as indistinguishable from the wilderness, and, later, it fostered an understanding of the campaign of Indian removal as nature's beneficent choice of the Anglo-American settlers over the native inhabitants for its cultivation " Sounds familiar doesn't it? The Zionist version is the famous slogan -- a Land with No People for a People with No Land. And Israel's "miraculous" military victories have always been seen as signs of God the adjudicator's hand. Of course, that notion of heaven on earth, or A Light Unto Nations, is predicated on a system of racial and ethnic superiority -- who gets to be human and "civilized", and who is subhuman. Who exists, and who is invisible or must be disappeared. Who can claim the land, and who has no rights to it. And the fundamental root of all that we like to call the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is this essential fact -- it was a land with people. And specifically, the wrong people who by definition could not be part of an ethnic exclusivist state. Remember that the original violence of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of the land of Palestinians, continues on a daily basis to this day. The process of colonization never stopped. Although today we call them "facts on the ground", and Palestinians are talked about, not as equal human beings with the same hopes aspirations and rights to freedom, but rather as a "demographic threat."

European Colonialism and White Supremacy What makes this issue so complex and deeply challenging is that early European Zionists, who first started coming to Palestine in the late 1800s, had themselves suffered from a profoundly long history of fierce Christian European anti-Jewish oppression -- forced conversions, ghettoes, pogroms, institutional repression and discrimination and so on, which as we know, culminated in the horrific genocide during World War II, the Holocaust or Shoah. They believed the only solution to this history was for Jews to have a state of their own. But while all genocides and acts of violence have their unique features, and they must be studied and understood, I believe it is critical to situate the genocide of Jews, in a broader context -- and not as an exceptional, metaphysically unique event. Some 6 million Jews died, but another 5 million people were also targeted for annihilation because they were considered less than human, including the Roma people, gays, Poles, Ukrainians and so on, totaling 11 million. In Poland alone, Nazis murdered 3 million ethnic Poles and 3 million Polish Jews. Had they not been stopped, those numbers would have been infinitely higher in their march to the East. Further, to state the obvious, the Holocaust did not mark the sudden and inexplicable birth of the white European capacity to commit genocide. No one knows this better than the indigenous people of this continent, or the descendants of enslaved Africans. Or the people of the Congo, where 10 million died under the rule of King Leopold of Belgium. I could go on. I could also go on about U.S. Empire. In Europe, while the specifics looked different, one could be Jewish or a colonized subject and be called an insect, vermin, an animal -- subhuman. In other words, it is important that we situate what is happening in Israel and Palestine today, and the work we must do in the US for justice, as part of a lengthy historical cascade of impacts rooted in European colonialism, white racism, US Empire, anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish oppression, corporate greed and so on. I'm underscoring this because similarly, even though we understand that historic Palestine was colonized by the British, there is a tendency to also remove the story of Israel and Palestine from broader historical contexts and the sweep of history and to see it as somehow utterly unique, beyond time, and as saying something essential about Jews and the Arab world especially. The extreme and bigoted versions of this essentializing view is: -- you either believe that the only story that matters is that the world and especially Muslims hate Jews and always will, that the hatred of Jews is an essential part of humanity -- or you believe that Jews are exceptionally powerful and devious, and have managed to manipulate an otherwise beneficent and inherently just and reasonable U.S. foreign policy establishment into doing wrong by the Palestinians. Talk about divide and conquer. If we believe either of these stories, all of us who are natural allies in the struggle against corporate greed, the destruction of our world, systemic racism and settler colonialism and so on -- we remain divided from each other. We literally can't build a unified and strong movement. We create a circular firing range, and we unwittingly become the agents of that which we should be fighting against. Which is why understanding our struggles as connected -- which is what's happening on campuses throughout the U.S. and world today -- is so unbelievably powerful, and threatening. I have seen these views manifest in the movement for Palestinian liberation: sometimes people chant "2-4-6-8 Israel is a racist state", or decry the disappearance 400 Palestinian villages when Israel was created, without even a hint of irony or self-reflection that one is literally standing on land built on slavery and the (still happening) genocide of indigenous peoples. In some cases, we have seen Israeli human rights advocates try to emphasize the growth of Israeli racism by comparing it unfavorably to racism here, where presumably, they suggest we have mostly won the battle. All of that said, what is also absolutely clear is that Early Zionist leaders were simultaneously both the victims of, and willing agents of white supremacist colonialism. In fact, they made their case quite explicitly to British colonizers who they knew did not want Jews at home but who did want to maintain colonial designs on the Middle East. As the Israeli analyst Tom Segev reports in One Palestine Complete: "The Jewish state in Palestine, Theodor Herzl wrote, would be Europe's bulwark against Asia. "We can be the vanguard of culture against barbarianism." And about early Zionist leader and writer Max Nordau: "..Max Nordau believed the Jews would not lose their European culture in Palestine and adopt Asia's inferior culture, just as the British had not become Indians in America, Hottentots in Africa, or Papuans in Australia. "We will endeavor to do in the Near East what the English did in India. It is our intention to come to Palestine as the representatives of culture and to take the moral borders of Europe to the Euphrates River." Early Zionist leaders actually appealed to the anti-Jewish hatred of European colonizers, making the case that helping to create a Jewish state elsewhere was a win-win because it would help them get rid of the Jews. Theodore Herzl wrote, "the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies" And they internalized the same white supremacist hierarchy which had been used against them. The "new Jew" was blond, blue eyed, healthy and muscular, vs. the shtetl Jew who was small, dark, hunched over, religious, an embarrassment. I want to recognize there is sensitivity about even raising this issue- but this has nothing to do with Jews specifically and everything to do with human beings. Virtually every colonized or oppressed group internalizes the eyes, in some way, of their oppressors, as Frantz Fanon wrote about so eloquently. Women can be the agents of the patriarchy, blacks can internalize white supremacy, LGBT people can internalize transphobia and homo-phobia. In a sense, we're all colonized in some way. This shouldn't be a controversial observation, it's just fact about what it means to be human. The fact remains that many early European Zionist leaders' disdain for the local Arab populations was only matched by their disdain for other Jews from the Middle East. The founder of Zionist Revisionism, precursor to Likud, Zev Jabotinsky wrote: "We Jews have nothing in common with what is called the 'Orient,' thank God. To the extent that our uneducated masses have ancient spiritual traditions and laws that call the Orient, they must be weaned away from them, and this is in fact what we are doing in every decent school, what life itself is doing with great success. We are going in Palestine, first for our national convenience, [second] to sweep out thoroughly all traces of the 'Oriental soul.' As for the [Palestinians] Arabs in Palestine, what they do is their business; but if we can do them a favor, it is to help them liberate themselves from the Orient.'" (One Palestine Complete, Tom Segev) And the effort was "successful". As Arab Jewish scholar Ella Shohat has written, "in a generation or two, millennia of rooted Oriental civilization, unified even in its diversity," had been wiped out. Jews from Arab countries were forced to choose between being either Arab or Jewish, but they could not be both. ( Ella Shohat, "Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the Standpoint of its Jewish Victims," Social Text, No.19/20 (1988)) Of course those Jews who survived had the right to their homes after they were ripped from their homes, and their world literally obliterated -- but it wasn't Palestinians or the Arab world that owed them reparations or a homeland. It was Europe. But thanks to settler colonialism, it has been Palestinians who have been forced to pay the price ever since.
The Manipulation of Jewish Trauma I can't underscore enough the extent to which the profound Jewish trauma over genocide and oppression has been manipulated and deliberately retriggered over and over by people and institutions who have instrumentalized Jewish suffering to justify Israeli expansionism and repression. Everyone from Abraham Foxman and the Anti-Defamation League to the Simon Wiesenthal Center perform this role effectively through a steady-drip of "the world hates us" iconography, statements, and Boy-Cries-Wolf overwrought hysteria, which of course cheapens the charge of anti-Semitism. I grew up with a tante who would literally shake with rage when she described her childhood in Poland. My father didn't talk about his family story, so as kids we didn't understand. But later we learned the horror stories, realized it was our own extended families in those pictures of pogroms and prisoner camps, and we internalized the sense of perpetual fear. After the war, Jews did not talk about the Holocaust, there was much shame. But it eventually became our central access to our identity, thanks in no small part to efforts to give the young nation of Israel a perpetual free pass. And in the process, it was given a kind of mystical exceptionalism. Rather than teaching us lessons about systems of oppression, it became the horror to end all horrors, which cast a shadow over history's other horrors. Many children would be taught to ask, not Why throughout history groups of people hated other groups? or Why do governments oppress people? We were taught to ask instead, "Why does everyone hate the Jews? " Further, from a U.S. Empire perspective, it makes sense that the Shoah is commemorated in a massive museum on the Mall in DC, while there is still no national slavery museum or indigenous genocide museum. Better to point the finger elsewhere, while shoring up our sense of collective superiority as heroic Americans. To this day, Jews and our aspirations for freedom have been unwittingly made a tool of Empire- the struggle against anti-Jewish hatred has been coopted into the effort to demonize the Arab and Muslim world in order to justify US wars and intervention- for profit. And of course, to justify Israeli expansionism. When Netanyahu encourages Danish or French Jews to mass migrate to Israel -- he's cynically exploiting real fear and trauma to push his expansionist agenda -- new immigrants will be sent to settlements, not inside 67 borders. Similarly, classic anti-Semitism itself is a tool of Empire– Jews are scapegoated as a 'secret cabal' that controls the world's finances, conveniently distracting potential resistance movements from the actual corporate, government and military sources of global economic exploitation and control. In the end, if we don't fight this, we all lose. Rather than joining together to resist power, we instead end up fighting each other over manufactured hatreds and bigotries. Narrative If the root of this special relationship is not as much AIPAC and money, as much as it is our national narrative and the feelings it engenders -- and an unquestioning belief that Israel has an infinite right to expand onto other people's land, then it is narrative that holds unconditional support in place, and our resistance must also be at the level of narrative. So let's start with ourselves. All of us in this movement have to decolonize our minds -- and it is a constant process, we stumble all the time -- because we are fighting the very air we breathe. But here is our work: We must insist that Israel does not get a free pass, and nor do I as a white Jew, or anyone else, only because of a personal or collective history of oppression. We all have to be held accountable to the power we hold when we hold it, like anyone else, like any other country. Because it is not only possible but likely that many of us will hold multiple positions at one time- marginalized in some ways and possessing power and privilege in others. We have to be mindful of Orientialism on the left: just as the left has projected on, fetishized, related transactionally to many native peoples, it happens in this movement. There is a tendency to want all Palestinians to either be helpless grandmothers waiting for a Great White Hope (heroic in the streets activists) -- or Che Guevera. Well , Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are also sports fans, software developers, and capitalists. Freedom is freedom. The Palestinian struggle is not simply an excuse for us to reflect on how moral the Jewish or Christian or leftist or (fill in the blank) people are. It is not the surface on which we write our own story, or a mirror that interests us only because it shows us our own reflection. We have to simply be allies who love, yes love, our Palestinian friends and colleagues enough to simply say: Tell me how I can support you? Knowing, also, with humility, that in the past, present or future–we too need support in our struggles. And for those of us given a platform because we are "safe" because we are white or Jewish, for example, we have to know when to shut up, and cede the platform to our Palestinian friends. Most important, rather than framing the story of Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice in a historical and political vacuum -- as many do -- and as a unique and exceptional story, for example, about a reasonable US foreign policy hijacked by an all-powerful Jewish lobby, we should understand it as part of a much longer unfolding of Christian European Colonialism, greed, and white supremacy -- that continues to this day and operates everywhere. Narrative's power is not just about knowing facts, it is a means to exert psychological control, and to dampen the will to resist. Palestinian American scholar Steven Salaita wrote in The Holy Land in Transit, Colonialism and the Quest for Canaan: Ethnic cleansing is the removal of humans in order that narratives will disappear .a blinding of the national imagination so colonial history will be removed along with the dispossessed. It is only through ethnic cleansing that the average American can accept without nagging guilt the history of her nation, which is known to all but decontextualized from its present " The same is true for the Jewish settler, living in a home that once belonged to a Palestinian family. Salaita goes on: "It is a mistake to conceptualize ethnic cleansing simply as a physical act. It's importance lies in its psychological power." Which is why in the US, we are waging this struggle at the level of narrative. And why universities are on the very front line of this battle. As even Zev Jabotinsky wrote about years ago, this is war of attrition. Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaigns create a moral crisis, and replace either a conspiracy of total silence, or the monologue of the Israeli narrative masquerading as a dialogue -- and it places the Palestinian story right where it belongs -- up front. One of the beautiful elements of the BDS movement is the way that is has challenged the engineered invisibility of the Palestinian narrative and analysis -- divestment and boycott votes demand real communication, revealing that what often passes for dialogue, is monologue. We have to reprogram our neural pathways -- through social media, through BDS campaigns, through reinterpreting, re-covering and re-writing our own religious and cultural language. Campuses are the front line, but so are artists and religious practitioners and community-builders. And we must rewrite our own language. We began with a slogan -- a land with no people for a people with no land. But now I'll leave with a new slogan to help us tell a new story -- a rewriting we have embraced in my community of Jews -- all of us unwavering in our belief that never again means never again for all people, unwavering in our pursuit of justice and freedom unwavering in our belief that Jewish liberation and Palestinian liberation are not opposed, but intertwined That new slogan is: All people are chosen, All land is holy. NationalismSettler-Colonialism Jewish Voice for Peace is a national member-driven organization dedicated to a U.S. foreign policy based on peace, human rights, and respect for international law.

Respect 3 Reply Share link Copy Report Wnt 3 days ago I still would like to see an actual graph: Palestinian land area as a function of time, number of Palestinians as a function of time. We should be able to extrapolate not if but when a final solution to the crisis becomes inevitable.
Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report lchabin 3 days ago Stop whining. The Palestinians haven't accepted any offers of peace. They could have had their own state a long time ago. Wake up folks; a number of Arab states seem just fine with this peace proposal. Israel isn't going anywhere, and they get it.

@Richard Pierce - so much bile and ignorance. Yes, Israel is a democracy, and Iran not a democracy. It takes a lot of hate and/or ignorance not to understand that. Seeing a few of your posts, my money is on hate. Respect 3 Reply Share link Copy Report zbarski 3 days ago

It takes a lot of hate and/or ignorance not to understand that
It also takes a few missing chromosomes.
Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report Richard_Pearce 3 days ago No, just takes being old enough to remember when folks used your sort of 'reasoning' to call the White State in South Africa an 'island of civilisation amongst savages', the Shah the 'beloved leader' of Iran, Saddam Hussein AND Osama bin Laden good guys, Nelson Mandela a radical terrorist, and spent a few years dealing with guys who's survival often came down to their ability to lie to others convincingly, and who's ability to look in the mirror and see something they didn't hate came down to their ability to reject reality even more fervently than supporters of the Israeli regime have to, street addicts.
That results in a finely honed male cow patty detector, as well as robust immunity to bullying and peer pressure.

Respect 4 Reply Share link Copy Report Richard_Pearce 4 days ago If you present the American population a choice between the 'one state solution' (one country 'between the river and the sea' with equal rights for all) and the 'two state solution' (which requires voiding the Geneva Conventions, the UN charter, close to a dozen human rights laws, barring the ICC and ICJ from exerting jurisdiction, and the rewriting of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and 2002 Rome Statute of the ICC) they're about equally split.
Guess what happens if you tell them the truth, that the 'two state solution' is a fraud that will never be accepted and therefore is not an option.
If you guessed that the vast majority of the American population chooses to support the same solution that the 'terrorist' Hamas and the 'genocidal' Iranian government support.

Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report Mike_71 2 days ago If you prefer the "one state solution" with equal rights for all citizens living between the river and the sea, then Israel has been that "single state" since June 10, 1967, when it prevailed in a "defensive war of necessity" against Palestinian and Arab invaders. Since that time, the Palestinians have rejected all Israeli offers for negotiating for peace and a state of their own, which Palestinians rejected in 1967, 2000, 2008 and more recently. There is no "Apartheid," or "ethnic cleansing" in Israel, despite Palestinian efforts to impose them there. In an "Orwellian Inversion (war is peace, poverty is plenty and ignorance is strength)," Palestinians seek to impose a 20% minority "Arab Supremacist Apartheid Regime," over a 75 % Israeli Jewish majority population. How that would differ from the former "Apartheid South Africa," once ruled by a 10% minority "White Supremacist Apartheid Regime" over a 90% Black and Mixed Race African majority, they refuse to explain, or justify. Just as South Africans are entitled to democratic and majority rule in their nation, Israelis are entitled to those same rights in theirs.

Have you ever studied the founding documents of both the P.L.O. and Hamas? Both call for the "ethic cleansing"of Jews from their ancestral homeland in which they were indigenous for over 3,000 years. Read them here:

The P.L.O Charter: https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/plocov.asp

The Hamas Covenant: https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

In rejecting the two state solution, as provided under UNGAR 181 in 1947 and numerous Israeli offers since, the Palestinians have forfeited all rights to statehood, thus by default making Israel the "one state" solution, with equal rights for all Israeli citizens, Arabs, Christians, Druze and Jews. Preferring to remaining stateless to having a state of their own, Palestinians have sealed their fate. There is no "two state" solution, as Palestinians never wanted it.

Palestinian "rejectionists" seek to accomplish by propaganda that which they are unable to achieve through war and terrorism. The Palestinians violated the 1949 Geneva Conventions during the "Second Intifada" in deliberately targeting and killing over 1,000 Israeli civilians in bus and cafe bombings in acts defined as "War Crimes, " violating the human rights of Israeli citizens. The I.C.C has no jurisdiction, as Israel was never a party to the Rome Statute creating the Court, and "Palestine" is not a "state," as required to become a signatory to the Rome Statute. Having failed in all other means, including war and terrorism, Palestinians are grasping at straws to try to achieve statehood, which they can only obtain through direct negotiation with Israel. The conflict will continue until such time as Palestinians adopt the requirements of UNSCR 242 and 338, which require:

"Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of every state in the area and the right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from fear or acts of force."

The Palestinian demand for a "one state" solution has backfired on them, making Israel the "one state" solution, while making themselves stateless, impoverished and isolated in a rapidly changing Middle-East.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Richard_Pearce 4 days ago If the propasals the US has put forward are 'peace plans', then this https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/79/278375333_dfc587574c.jpg is brain surgery. Dysnomia 4 days ago The U.S. itself is a settler-colonial state that only exists because of its genocide of Native Americans. U.S. victory over the native population, and U.S. control from the Atlantic to the Pacific, is now a fait accompli, and that's exactly what they want for Israel. Max21c 4 days ago ( Edited )

Lebensraum. Definition: the territory that a state or nation believes is needed for its natural development. The German concept of Lebensraum comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s.
Strikingly ironic that they seeks lands in the East!
Irredentism: a policy of advocating the restoration to a country of any territory formerly belonging to it.
Both sides are wrong. Both sides yield to or harbor irredentist notions, practices, policies, factions, groups, and beliefs. Some Israelis want to practice irredentist beliefs and restore the lands of ancient Israel or its Kingdoms. Other Israelis want to harken back to their heyday when they had freshly captured Gaza and the West Bank and return to or retain some form of the status quo that prevailed from winning battles. There are various other groups that want some degree or flavor of irredentism. Some Palestinians want the Israelis gone entirely and an end to the Israeli state. Some want a return to earlier borders. The "right of return" is in itself a form of irredentism as those seeking are essentially seeking political power and control within Israel.
Trump plan is dead. It's DOA DEAD. It's double DOA dead! Hopefully, it won't lead to too many deaths or be the cause of future warfare or wars.
There are alternatives. There are alternate paths. Peace can be built in the region. Just not this way and likely not now. There are good and better pathways that can at some point be explored in the search for peace! mgr 4 days ago Sounds not unlike the way the neocons of the Bush admin plunged headlong and chest out into the briar patch, er, Iraq, where grateful citizens waited eagerly to throw flowers on these conquering heroes as they marched on to Iran. Castles made of sand... Toots 4 days ago OK, we know how the Palestinians will feel about this, but what cards do they hold? 4 days ago The only card the Palestinians hold is resistance.

Maybe it's time for the PLO to withdraw from the Oslo Accords, and the PA to be dissolved. Everyone knows that the PA/Fatah is a collaborationist organization. The illusion of Palestinian sovereignty in PA-"controlled" areas is too useful to Israel. It lets them pretend they don't really exercise full control from the river to the sea and deny they're running an apartheid system. Let there be no illusions.
Respect 4 Reply Share link Copy Report Richard_Pearce 4 days ago The same one that the Bantus held.
It's only one card, undervalued, dismissed, at least when genuine (The forgeries, ironically, are over valued and loudly proclaimed, but their fake nature causes them to turn to dust) but durable enough to wear all the others to dust over time.

Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report REALITYCHECK 4 days ago They did the experiment on giving land back to Islamists in Gaza and Lebanon. They wont be making that mistake again. Respect 3 Reply Share link Copy Report TheManj 4 days ago Spare us your tired lies. Respect 3 Reply Share link Copy Report Krasny 4 days ago Women and homosexuals are protected in Israel...if you care about them.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report PerfunctoryUsername 4 days ago Pfft. Just yell "SQUIRREL" and save everyone some time. Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Art 4 days ago

They did the experiment on giving land back to Islamists in Gaza and Lebanon.
Gaza? The world's largest open-air prison?! HA! Some "give back," with thousands of innocents assassinated while peacefully protesting their captivity.

You condone murder and assassination.
Respect 5 Reply Share link Copy Report REALITYCHECK 4 days ago Progs and other useful idiots, you are going to have to learn to live with Islamist control of only 99.8% of the land area of the Middle East and 51 Islamic Apartheid nations. Need a hankey? Respect 3 Reply Share link Copy Report TheManj 4 days ago 'Hankey' is the Hebrew spelling, I suppose. Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Orville 3 days ago Fortunately, the Islamists only control Saudi Arabia, portions of Libya, chunks of Afghanistan and Pakistan, various segments of Africa, and (thanks to Syria, Iran, and Russia) a declining amount of Syria. Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report ljg500 4 days ago Disgusting. It is tragic that a nation forged under the horrific tragedy of the Holocaust, should now bow to virulent racism- obliterating its legitimacy in exchange for puerile and cynical politics. Respect 7 Reply Share link Copy Report Alex 3 days ago NOW?? LEGITIMACY??

It's time to wake up and realize that Zionism has always been an extremely racist, supremacist, violent form of European settler-colonialism which is exactly the reason this creation never had any legitimacy at all.

The Zionist plans for the violent colonisation and ethnical cleansing of Palestine from it's native population have been made decades before Hitler even appeared on the political stage. Actually the reason that Zionists and Nazis cooperated so well, were their common believe that members of a self-declared master race are free to steal and murder sub-humans.

Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Mike_71 2 days ago Zionism is the National Liberation Movement of the Jewish people. Like the Vietnamese National Liberation Front, it has had to fight racist, colonialist, supremacist, bigoted and Imperialist forces to win national independence. In the pre-state periods of their respective national struggles, in 1946 David Ben Gurion and Ho Chi Minh met in Paris, where the two founders of their respective nations developed an affinity, with Ho offering Ben Gurion a Jewish homeland in Vietnam. Ben Gurion declined Ho's offer, as the indigenous Jewish homeland was in the Middle-East, not Vietnam. In 1975, Vietnam finally won its national struggle and since a border clash with China in 1979, Vietnam has not engaged in war since. For Israel, however, the "armed struggle" continues!

Don't believe this historic meeting of two revolutionary founders? Google Israeli-Vietnamese relations and learn about the Gallil (assault rifle) factory Israel built in Vietnam and negotiations for joint Israeli-Vietnamese army training and operations. You will be amazed and educated!
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report CraigPurcell 4 days ago Do I detect foreign influence (like Trump) in the campaign against Sanders ? With Facebook ads and all the rest. No doubt business would pay many to get rid of Sanders. Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report SimonEsposito 4 days ago One point that maybe isn't being brought out adequately is that this deal won't satisfy Jewish nationalists either. This is one of those situations where everything you need to assess the situation is obvious from just one wide-scale map. Nationalists will still see this as a territorial threat at the heart of Israel, and the use of settlements as an unofficial security strategy will continue.

And, in any case, the allocated Palestinian territories are not just broken into dozens of islands, they will be subject to years of being negotiated down even further. No-one will stop the settler movement continuing to encroach in the meantime, especially because the territories shown have no stable logic or legal viability to them. (The last remotely viable territorial unit is 1967.)

So it's actually a plan to formalize and stabilize the gains made so far in the making of one single territorial state in Palestine. Rinse and repeat.

I like that Elizabeth Warren is emphatically supporting the legitimate status quo - for the purposes of the two-state solution - of international law and traditional US policy. It should not be for outsiders to impose the one-state solution, which is what Western far-right politicians know they are doing. This is opening Israel-Palestine up to the hazards of historic struggle, and the potential for great suffering, to decide the character of its one state. What they are unleashing is no more likely to end in ethno-religious apartheid (as some on the far right explicitly want) than it is in an inclusive constitutional democracy.

For all practical purposes, by this plan, there will soon be two equal and coterminous sovereignties in the lands from the Jordan River to the sea (including Gaza and Golan). No involuntary shrinking of Palestinian sovereignty beyond 1967 borders has moral force, and in fact the unilateral abrogation of 1967 leaves the entire territory constitutionally up for grabs.

Progressive politics in the US can at least start articulating the characteristics of a state that deserves a continuing security guarantee from the US, or at least continuing aid. For me it's common rights for all the inhabitants of Israel-Palestine, under a constitution built on the spirit of Israel's declaration of independence, based on a belief that the best friends the Jews and non-Jews of Palestine could ever have in the world are each other.
Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report SimonEsposito 4 days ago One of the most difficult problems in a dignified constitutional settlement, where international help would be needed (for Jordan and Lebanon as well as Israel-Palestine) - and where international aid needs to be directed - is to agree on some form of negotiated-down right of return, with just compensation. The Kushner-Netanyahu plan appears to simply cancel the right altogether, unilaterally. Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report Art 4 days ago

What they are unleashing is no more likely to end in ethno-religious apartheid...
I hate to have to break it to you but unfortunately Israel is already an Apartheid state.
Respect 4 Reply Share link Copy Report SimonEsposito 2 days ago I guess, to be really precise about it, what it is now is "proto-apartheid". It's a piecemeal collection of segregationist measures, failures to administer existing law justly, and the perverse outcomes of repeated decisions by the US to veto efforts to uphold the 1967 "reference standard". The Kushner-Netanyahu plan is a scheme to break 1967 forever, legitimize settlements, and create a permanent apartheid structure embedded in international law.

The only way two states can work is on the basis of 1967. And actually I don't see why a Palestine on pre-1967 borders couldn't include a large Jewish minority, in a mirror image of Israel. So when Elizabeth Warren re-affirmed the "reference standard" without equivocation, there's an subtle radicalism there. The settler movement can't finally extinguish 1967, as a theoretical option at least, unless it forms a Jewish majority in the occupied territories.

To be generous to the administrations that used the veto, I think it was originally intended to protect the ability of the Zionist left to win the case for two states in friendship. The veto protection should really have been ended before 2000. On the other hand, it was always likely that the Israeli far right would win the political contest.

So, however this works out, the best anyone can do is allow Israel-Palestine's future to be the result of self-determination by its inhabitants. That doesn't exclude boycotts and sanctions, though, or the suspension of various forms of aid, because that is the sovereign decision of other polities about who is "fit and proper" to deal with. (Conciliation within the South African system was still fundamentally self determined, despite the steady pressure of boycotts.)

It remains the case that Jewish nationalists are the ones with the deep choice to make: accept the unalterable reality of 1967 for the foundation of two states, or open up a long struggle to determine the character (and level of isolation) of one state with its competing sovereignties. Respect Reply Share link Copy Report Mike_71 2 days ago But, the Palestinians seek to impose a minority dominated "Arab Supremacist Apartheid Regime," over a conquered and subjugated Jewish majority population, which would then be subjected to "ethnic cleansing." As the Palestinians have unequivocally rejected the concept of "two states for two peoples," in favor of a "single state," the question thus becomes will it become a "majority ruled" state, as 75% of the Israeli population is Jewish, or a "minority ruled" state, like the former "White Supremacist Apartheid Regime" of South Africa, as only 20% of the Israeli population is Arab. It becomes more an issue of minority rule vs majority rule, as opposed to "Apartheid vs "Non-Apartheid." Minority ruled racist regimes, such as the former "White Supremacist Apartheid Regime" of South Africa, tend to be unstable and subject to violent internal revolts, such as those led by Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, as would a minority ruled "Arab Supremacist Apartheid Regime. Minority ruled racist "Apartheid Regimes," like that of South Africa, cannot last when subjected to repeated popular revolt!
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Art 2 days ago It's the zionist Jewish colonialists who have - or should have - no rights to the place whatsoever.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Mike_71 22 hours ago Even the United Nations, today hardly a rampant pro-Zionist organization, recognized the rights of the Jews to a significant part of their ancestral homeland in 1947, pursuant to UNGAR 181, the UN partitioned the former British Mandate into two proposed states, "one Arab and one Jewish." The Israelis accepted the proposal, while the Palestinians, joined by the Arab League member nations, rejected it by declaring war on Israel. They lost that war, as well as the subsequent 1967 "Six Day War," resulting in the capture of all West Bank land, for which the Palestinians refused to negotiate peace to obtain its return. See my discussion concerning about the difference between "wars of aggression" for the purpose of territorial expansion and territory captured in the course of "defensive wars of necessity" and the comparison of land captured by the U.S.S.R. in the "Great Patriotic War" and Israel in the 1967 "Six Day War." If the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict is strictly a "one to the exclusion of the other" proposition, and a compromise through direct negotiations is not an option, as specified in the founding documents of both the P.L.O. and Hamas, then Israel is entitled to the entirety of the land captured in the 1967 "Six Day War," a "defensive war of necessity." One does not "colonize," or "occupy" one's ancestral homeland of over 3,000 years. "From the river to the sea, Palestine will never be!"

Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Art 59 minutes ago Ardent Zionists like you will never acknowledge anything like justice for Palestinians.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report The_Wolf 4 days ago Wow, only 7 comments. Guess there are other things going on. Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report Toots 4 days ago You're smart. You think just like me. Respect Reply Share link Copy Report Art 4 days ago I guess the zionists are busy on other comment boards. But don't worry, they'll come back here in a day or so.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Mona 4 days ago "How I How Israel exploits Holocaust Remembrance Day" https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-israel-exploits-holocaust-remembrance-day

Surviving Auschwitz
Esther Bejarano, now in her nineties, was sent to Auschwitz as a girl. There she played in the women's orchestra – as long as the camp commanders were happy, she and her fellow musicians avoided being murdered. She is still a performing musician today. Her parents Rudolf and Margarethe Loewy did not survive. They were murdered by the Nazis in Lithuania in 1941. After the war, Bejarano emigrated to Palestine, but eventually returned to her native Germany, disgusted at how Palestinians were being treated. She says that even she – an Auschwitz survivor – has been labeled an anti-Semite for speaking out for Palestinian rights. Yet she is not deterred. Refusing to be silent, she told The Electronic Intifada in 2018 that Israel's government is "fascist" and that she supports BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – if it helps challenge Israel's persecution of Palestinians. Jacques Bude, a retired professor from Belgium, survived the Nazi genocide because he was saved by farmers who hid him as a child. His parents were deported and murdered in Auschwitz. After the war, he was sent to Palestine against his will as a Zionist settler. "I really felt in exile," Bude told The Electronic Intifada in 2017. "I was destroyed by German militarism and I came to Israel and again encountered militarism." He returned home to Belgium. The Nazi ideology "led to the genocide of the Jews, the Roma, the Sinti, homosexuals and the mentally disabled," Bude said. "It is the worst dehumanization that happened until today. It was industrial and they went all the way. They dehumanized them completely, to a pile of hair and gold." "So the duty of memory is to say never more dehumanization," Bude added. "If we say 'never again,' we have to decide where we stand and condemn it." And that includes condemning Israel's crimes: "I am against ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, which is a form of dehumanization." Hajo Meyer was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. After surviving the war, he returned to the Netherlands where he had a long career as a physicist. He was also a fierce anti-Zionist and staunch supporter of Palestinian rights. That made him a target of relentless smears from Israel's supporters, even after his death in 2014. But he too was never silenced by such attacks. In his last interview, which was with The Electronic Intifada, Meyer urged Palestinians "not to give up their fight," even if that meant armed struggle. The lesson Israel wants us to take from the Holocaust is that it has the right to do whatever it wants to Palestinians with impunity in the name of protecting Jews. But the right lesson to take – and it is more urgent than ever – is that all of us must stand together against racial and religious hatred and oppression, no matter who its victims are.
Respect 14 Reply Share link Copy Report Art 4 days ago Good excerpt.
Respect Reply Share link Copy Report AtheistInChief 4 days ago The control over Palestinians is SO complete, that Palestinians don't have rights not only to the water under their feet, but also to the earth's magnetic field that passes through the air (lest they make electricity out of it). But you'd have to read Max Blumenthal to find that kind of stuff out, definitely not the apartheid complicit NYTimes.
Respect 4 Reply Share link Copy Report Andrew_Nichols 4 days ago The Euros will mumble some indignation ...and then pursue business as usual...beating up on Palestinian rights like BDS , selling Irrael more weapons anmd inviting them to join NATO training. ...all to be expected from cowardly vassals. Respect 6 Reply Share link Copy Report photosymbiosis 4 days ago If anything demonstrates the sheer scale of propagandistic media control in the United States and around the world, it's the Israel story. It's just the same old tedious boilerplate narrative, from the 'left' to the 'right'. The glaring issues just are not allowed to get any air. These issues are:

1) Israel has a 'covert' nuclear weapons program, and under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it's a violation of the treaty to for a nuclear signatory to that treaty to assist another country with their nuclear weapons program ; the USA's NNSA (DOE division) has close relations with the Israeli nuclear weapons program. There are other treaty violations with other countries relating to the Pakistani and Indian nuclear weapons programs as well, but the silence on Israel is pretty hilarious. They've got over 100 ballistic-weapon capable boosted fission-fusion nukes with working delivery systems! Yes, they're not going to give them up, fine, but at least make them admit to it in international forums. And about that $4 billion a year in U.S. taxpayer money... why do they need that, again?

2) Israel and Saudi Arabia, the closest US Empire allies, are not democracies. You cannot claim to be a democracy while giving special rights to one religious or ethnic group , and the only way Israel would become a real democracy is to grant the Arab Muslim population the same rights as the European Jewish population has, on immigration, land ownership, and yes, that means giving all the human beings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip voting rights in the Israeli national elections, I mean that's just common sense. Okay, you then have parity between Jews and Muslims, who cares, it's like the Protestants vs. the Catholics in medieval Europe, and ditto for the Sunnis and Shias in Saudi Arabia. Why are we involved with these backwards feudal assholes anyway? We don't need the oil, we don't need the money, we don't need the entangling relationships with dictators and crooks, just get out already.

Even from the whole imperial perspective, I mean, the whole rationale for being involved in the region was control of the oil and the money from the oil, and since the world is getting off oil, the Middle East will soon become as economically attractive as sub-Saharan Africa, so why not just limit involvement to arms-length diplomacy and let the maniacs try to solve their own problems themselves?

As far as all the anti-Semitism claims, how about a proposal to spend oh, $2 billion year rebuilding all the synagogues the Nazis destroyed across Europe instead, and cut off all aid to Israel? Now, that would really piss off the real anti-Semites, wouldn't it?
Respect 13 Reply Share link Copy Report Art 4 days ago Yep, good post.
Respect 3 Reply Share link Copy Report Wnt 4 days ago A cute idea, but technically rebuilding synagogues would be establishment of religion, whether inside or outside the U.S., and therefore unconstitutional. But our politicians don't seem to have any problem with not being racist against blacks while not giving them money, and they were impoverished by our version of nazis, not nazis from europe.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report The_Wolf 4 days ago ( Edited ) Establishment of religion is an American constitutional precept. Not sure about European countries in which the Nazis destroyed synagogues.

Good points otherwise, and in fact the Nazis from Europe actually looked to the segregated American south and Jim Crow as a model for how to impose their racist ideology on the people of Germany and the countries they were to conquer in Europe.

Bill Moyers: You begin the book with a meeting of Nazi Germany's leading lawyers on June 5, 1934, which happens, coincidentally, to be the day I was born. James Whitman: Oh boy, you were born under a dark star.

[...snip...]

Moyers: A stenographer was present to record a verbatim transcript of that meeting. Reading that transcript you discovered a startling fact. Whitman: Yes -- the fact is that they began by discussing American law. The minister of justice presented a memorandum on American race law that included a great deal of detailed discussion of the laws of American states. American law continued to be a principle topic throughout that meeting and beyond. It's also a startling fact that the most radical lawyers in that meeting -- the most vicious among the lawyers present -- were the most enthusiastic for the American example.

https://billmoyers.com/story/hitler-america-nazi-race-law/

Respect 3 Reply Share link Copy Report mgr 4 days ago ( Edited ) photo: Well put. Slightly related, I understand that Tom Perez, in addition to lobbyists, added a number of Israeli-firsters to the DNC nomination council for the 2020 election.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report Wnt 4 days ago I think the acid test of any such plan would be an airport. I mean, in theory "Palestine", the nation, can have an international airport, right? Somebody can get on board a plane in Russia, land in "Palestine", walk through Customs & Immigration, make a claim for asylum or citizenship at the courthouse, right?

I think it would be interesting if the Palestinians would try this, just to see whether the Israelis have the courage to shoot down civilian airplanes on regular flights in the name of stopping terrorism. I have little doubt they would disappoint ... my expectations, that is.

Any word on whether the "peace" plan explicitly would ban this?
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report zbarski 4 days ago ( Edited ) If they do, you can take all commenters above with you (take Mackey + Electronik Intifada too) and go on that flight. If the plane doesn't get shut down, you could walk through the customs and ask for polutical asylum.

Indeed, it'll be interesting to see...
Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report Wnt 4 days ago With millions of their own citizens locked on the wrong side of a border for almost a century simply because they fled to avoid a war zone for a little while, I think Palestine's immigration agency, if they ever get one, is going to have quite a backlog to clear before they get around to any actual foreigners.
Respect 1 Reply Share link Copy Report zbarski 3 days ago

if they ever get one, is going to have quite a backlog to clear before they get around to any actual foreigners.
Ahh. What a pity. Such a deserving crowd above.
Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report Alex 3 days ago What happened to Gaza Airport? Donor nations invested millions, it operated about 2 years under israeli control and then the Judeonazis bombed it....

There is absolutely no reason to believe, that anything invested/built in Kushner's "Palestinian State" would meet a better fate.

Respect 2 Reply Share link Copy Report zbarski 3 days ago Still recovering from your:

The story that Iran shut down the Ukranian airliner is BS. Iran is perfectly capable of distinguishing between civilian and military objects.

[Feb 01, 2020] the Houthis have imposed a massive defeat on the Saudis at Marib - 3500 Saudi forces killed, wounded or captured, along with 400 trophie

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yonatan , Feb 1 2020 16:29 utc | 106

In other news, the Houthis have imposed a massive defeat on the Saudis at Marib - 3500 Saudi forces killed, wounded or captured, along with 400 trophies. It is bigger than the earlier massive defeat at Najran.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW1cRRtH9Vc

or for those that don't want to log in:

https://www.nsfwyoutube.com/watch?v=lW1cRRtH9Vc

[Feb 01, 2020] U.S. envoy warns Palestinians against raising opposition to U.S. peace plan at U.N.

Feb 01, 2020 | news.yahoo.com

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft warned the Palestinians on Friday that bringing their displeasure with the U.S. peace plan to the world body would only "repeat the failed pattern of the last seven decades."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will speak in the U.N. Security Council in the next two weeks about the plan, Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour said on Wednesday, adding that he hoped the 15-member council would also vote on a draft resolution on the issue.

However, the United States is certain to veto any such resolution, diplomats said. That would allow the Palestinians to take the draft text to the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, where a vote would publicly show how the Trump administration's peace plan has been received internationally.

Craft said that while the Palestinians' initial reaction to the plan was anticipated, "why not instead take that displeasure and channel it into negotiations?"

"Bringing that displeasure to the United Nations does nothing but repeat the failed pattern of the last seven decades. Let's avoid those traps and instead take a chance on peace," she told Reuters.

Craft said the United States was ready to facilitate talks and that she was "happy to play any role" that contributes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

Mansour said on Thursday: "There is not a single Palestinian official (who) will meet with American officials now after they submitted an earthquake, the essence of it the destruction of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people. This is unacceptable."

Israel's U.N. mission signaled on Tuesday that it was preparing for the Palestinians to pursue U.N. action, saying in a statement that it was "working to thwart these efforts, and will lead a concerted diplomatic campaign with the U.S."

[Jan 31, 2020] Kushner: Palestinians Have Never Done Anything Right in Their Sad, Pathetic Lives

Jan 31, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Jan 31 2020 13:53 utc | 178

Kushner: Palestinians Have Never Done Anything Right in Their Sad, Pathetic Lives

The first son-in-law has warned Palestinians not to "screw up this opportunity" at peace that he's so graciously given to them.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/01/jared-kushner-peace-plan-palestinians

[Jan 31, 2020] Isn't it interesting

Jan 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Propagandist

that since the day Trump was inaugurated there have been continuous and unending propaganda and political warfare themes and memes launched against him in the interest of either outright overthrow or of dirtying him up so much that he cannot be re-elected. As soon as one effort goes down, another immediately surfaces.

Think about that pilgrims. Think about it.

As a former practitioner on behalf of the US government of similar dark arts in covert warfare I recognize this pattern of behavior.

What has been ongoing is a well funded IO operation that IMO draws on funds provided by the people and factions that you all can name.

IMO there is an operations center or "war room" somewhere that researches political vulnerabilities and serves them up seriatim to "the resistance. " pl

Posted at 11:35 AM in Politics | Permalink

Reblog (0) Comments Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post. scott s. I know there is a human tendency to find patterns where none exist, but it is interesting how things like the Kavanaugh accusations, the Ukraine call whistle blower, and now the Bolton book all seem to come out timed for max impact.

Posted by: scott s. | 28 January 2020 at 12:13 PM turcopolier Scott S
I have been well known for a long time for NOT seeing patterns where they do not exist. At the same time, a gestalt view of evidence is necessary to know the truth.

Posted by: turcopolier | 28 January 2020 at 12:42 PM ambrit Sir;
This fits the definition of sedition, does it not?

Posted by: ambrit | 28 January 2020 at 12:51 PM Keith Harbaugh sundance attributes much of the legal/propaganda effort to the organization Lawfare ,
which would seem to be motivated by ideology.
Wikipedia defines the word "lawfare" as

Lawfare is a form of war consisting of the use of the legal system against an enemy, such as by damaging or delegitimizing them, tying up their time or winning a public relations victory.
which sounds very much like what you described.
Just who is funding the organized group Lawfare ?

On the issue of finances, I asked earlier if anyone knows how much General "Jolting Jack" Keane is paid to be Chairman of the Board for the "Institute for the Study of War".
I got no answer. Anyone reading this know?

Please also note sundance's 2020-01-02 post
2020 Resistance – Dem Operatives Open New Leak Clearing House ,
in particular:

Understanding this ongoing process is the key to understanding a new "Leak Clearing House" created with this intent in mind.
The clearing house is JustSecurity.Org .

The "Just Security" group is similar to the "Lawfare" group.
Their purpose is to receive and then distribute leaked material.
They will be leaking material from Mueller, via the House teams, as well as material from current insider operations from the resistance.

The Just Security group will leak material which will then be picked up by specific Democrat politicians and used as evidence to attack and undermine President Trump.

Posted by: Keith Harbaugh | 28 January 2020 at 01:13 PM Eric Newhill Whoever is in that war room ain't too bright and, yes, they're very obvious. All they have done, for all of the effort, is increase the resolve of Trump's base and increase Trump's campaign finances - and make the Democrats look like the corrupt loser fools that they are. They want witnesses because of Bolton? Great, bring out the Bidens et al. and put them under oath. These anti-Trump strategists are indeed like Wile E Coyote.

If I was in Trump's war room, as a counter measure to the opposition, I'd deploy armies of noisy social media bots and trolls to tell the opposition that they're doing great and more of the same will be even better. It's not like they're going to get contrary info from, you know, real [stinky] Americans in diners, churches and Walmarts. Keep them in a self licking ice cream cone, delusional razzle berry flavored, until election day. That seems to me to be what has happened either by accident or design (or a little of both).

Posted by: Eric Newhill | 28 January 2020 at 01:29 PM Sbin Long history of such behaviour overseas.
Some chickens coming home to roost.
Seems like some people need to be held accountable before such nonse3 will stop.
Had hoped Barr would start that important work.

Posted by: Sbin | 28 January 2020 at 01:29 PM Richard Very interesting. I recall that possibility being raised earlier on this blog. And I thought about it immediately upon seeing the Bolton book headlines. The Bolton stories were clearly timed to embarrass Trump and his lawyers after they made their opening defense.

So many of these 'bombshells' seem timed and staged for maximum impact. If there is indeed centralized planning behind the scenes, it wouldn't surprise me. After all, this is outright political warfare against an elected president, who, as far as I can tell, hasn't broken any law.

The alignment of most of the Dems and the Neocons is remarkable -- and terrifying.

Posted by: Richard | 28 January 2020 at 02:02 PM Diana Croissant I see what you see also. I don't find it interesting. I find it sad and juvenile.

I hold to the belief that our founders were adults, not jealous people who have not matured mentally or emotionally since their "glory days" as teenagers.

Or....I can re-read Marshall McLuhan and re-educate myself about the "re-tribalization" of our national culture.

Posted by: Diana Croissant | 28 January 2020 at 02:13 PM akaPatience I seem to recall it being said that the Obamas were establishing their post-presidency DC residence as a kind of war room headquarters. More recently it's been reported it was the Obama administration that exponentially increased the staffing of the NSC from a only a few to several hundred. As a sellout to the warmongers, it would seem Obama is more than trustworthy enough to aid resistance efforts.

Then there are the Clintons, Bill wearing his purple tie and Hillary sporting tacked-on purple lapels (establishing purple as symbol of the resistance efforts they were launching) when she finally made her concession speech in November, 2016. They've courted the MSM for decades, an MSM that couldn't conceal its devastation when she suffered her colossal defeat. Obviously journalistic ethics be damned in order to help the resistance.

Surely IC efforts to remove Trump require at least some political backing to have a chance at success, which the Obamas and Clintons and their MSM and bureaucratic loyalists are able to amply provide. It's really shocking for an average person like me to see such efforts carried out so blatantly, with impunity.

Posted by: akaPatience | 28 January 2020 at 03:14 PM Artemesia I've long suspected the nerve center is at the home of a Nobel prize winning game theorist http://www.ratio.huji.ac.il
Trump harassment and/or impeachment is not the main show, it is the leash, and the distraction for the masses.

Posted by: Artemesia | 28 January 2020 at 03:20 PM Aurelius I am as skeptical as they come when it comes to conspiracy theories but on this I think you are correct. I am no great fan of Trump but that may change if this continues.

Posted by: Aurelius | 28 January 2020 at 04:21 PM Haralambos Col,
Is it possible to see all comments updated on the site? If so, how may I do it? Thank you.

Posted by: Haralambos | 28 January 2020 at 04:42 PM walrus If you perhaps drew a Venn diagram, it would show as an overlap between think tanks, the IC and FBI, the Universities, the foundations and Washington legal firms.

There exists software (American and at least thirty years old) that can pinpoint the kingpins in the conspiracy, it's communication channels and physical location very quickly. You feed it meta data - phone records, registration plates, addresses, email addresses, memberships, career details, alumni records, whatever you have, and it automatically finds the linkages, kingpins, channels and locations very quickly.

I've only seen graphics of it once on a TV report, it was "borrowed " from the IC to resolve a huge Australian tax fraud scheme in the 1990's called "the bottom of the harbor scheme" that involved the use of highly convoluted company networks to hide taxable revenue. The Australian ABC documentary included investigators boasting about the software and some images of the tracing diagrams.

The NSA knows the answer to your question.

A story about the use of metadata is at this link:

https://www.theverge.com/2014/1/17/5319534/paul-revere


https://www.theverge.com/2014/1/17/5319534/paul-revere

Posted by: walrus | 28 January 2020 at 04:59 PM steve Every president faces attacks. Nothing new here. People forget they impeached Clinton. Non-stop investigations of Obama and his admin. 8 alone on Benghazi. Lots of false claims about GWB. Constant personal attacks on GHWB.

Posted by: steve | 28 January 2020 at 05:32 PM turcopolier steve

BS! There is a calculated and coordinated ferocity about this not seen for a very long time.

Posted by: turcopolier | 28 January 2020 at 06:10 PM John Merryman What really would be their end goal?
The Democrat's had the opportunity to take the high road against Trump, try legislating around him and act like the institution is bigger than any one man. Yet they chose to take the low road and spend the last three years slinging more mud than even Trump is able.
If there is a plan, it would seem to be all tactics and no strategy. Is it the best defense is a good offense? That they simply need to deflect attention from their own scams? Are they just spoilt five year olds and having a fit about not getting the toys to play with? Are they really just that focused on the need for boogeymen to validate all the money spent on the military and Trump isn't doing his job, ie, going against "consensus?"
I can certainly see there might appear to be some coordination, but it certainly doesn't show much intelligence, as to any purpose.
My theory? It's all being planned by Trump, so that he gets kicked out of the tent, as the imploding debt collapses it and he gets to say I told you so and start his own party.

Posted by: John Merryman | 28 January 2020 at 06:32 PM different clue If there is so much as a single Democratic Senator or even a single Democratic-Party-aligned Senator who recognizes this, and is not a part of it, and objects to it; that Senator can show his/her opposition to it by voting No on Convict and No on Remove.

Such a vote would be a high profile symbolic rejection of the Get Trump operation, and would also be a measure of practical obstruction and perhaps even a little disorienting confusion to the Get Trump operators.

Posted by: different clue | 28 January 2020 at 06:34 PM jerseycityjoan I would assume that if this is something the Democrats (officially or unofficially) are doing against the Republicans that we'll find the same thing happening against the next Democratic president.

There's a segment of the politically active in both parties that wants their own way too much.

This leads people to do things that they shouldn't. This leads to making "winning" the one and only consideration. This leads to a lot more propaganda. This is both a sad and worrying trend.

There was an article recently about a collection of Bernie Sanders Facebook posters that on their own put out propaganda against other Democratic candidates.

"The volume and viciousness of the memes -- portraying Warren (D-Mass.) as a snake, a backstabber and a liar -- reflect how Facebook identifies and rewards emotionally charged content to generate reactions from its billions of users. ... But it also, in the view of experts who study Facebook's effect on political speech, distorts democratic debate by confirming biases, sharpening divisions and elevating the glib visual logic of memes over reasoned discussion.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/01/24/facebook-is-inflaming-divides-tearing-democratic-party/

Posted by: jerseycityjoan | 28 January 2020 at 06:46 PM Timothy Hagios I recall how former Ukrainian president Yanukovich's party turned against him and wonder if Trump will get the same treatment. Trump's situation isn't the same (thankfully, there are no snipers shooting people), but the spectacle seems familiar.

Right now, Trump's position is being weakened via constant innuendo and accusations, such as the Bolton "bombshell." This has given a handful of "principled moderates" the chance to break ranks. What I suspect we'll see next is a last-minute mega-bombshell (like an out-of-context audio clip or a high-level defection) that will drive the media to an apoplexy and force the Republicans to vote to convict.

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | 28 January 2020 at 07:07 PM Personanongrata Isn't it interesting?

The Mighty Wurlitzer grinds on.

Italicized/bold text was excerpted from cia.gov from a book review titled:

The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America

Once upon a time, the Central Intelligence Agency ran a world-wide covert action campaign to counter such nonsense in societies in which communism might take hold. Almost every CIA station had case officers dedicated to working with labor unions, intellectuals, youth and student organizations, journalists, veterans, women's groups, and more. The Agency dealt directly with foreign representatives of these groups, but it also subsidized their activities indirectly by laundering funds through allied organizations based in the United States. In short, the Agency's covert political action depended on the anti-communist zeal of private American citizens, only a few of whom knew that the overseas works of their ostensibly independent organizations were financed by the CIA until the campaign's cover was disastrously blown in 1967.

Why is this important? Because scholars and graduate students will someday follow Wilford's lead. His judicious approach should set the standard for their studies. Second, it matters because some quarters inside and outside government argue today that America needs to replicate the successes of the CIA's covert political action campaign for the Global War on Terror. The Mighty Wurlitzer might not convince them that that's a bad idea, but Wilford's observations should give them pause to consider the risks and unintended consequences of projects that they are unlikely to be be able to control completely.

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol52no2/intelligence-in-recent-public-literature-1.html

Italicized/bold text was excerpted from freedomofthepress.net a report titled:

Journalism And The CIA: The Mighty Wurlitzer

OSS veteran Frank Wisner ran most of the early peacetime covert operations as head of the Office of Policy Coordination. Although funded by the CIA, OPC wasn't integrated into the CIA's Directorate of Plans until 1952, under OSS veteran Allen Dulles. Both Wisner and Dulles were enthusiastic about covert operations. By mid-1953 the department was operating with 7,200 personnel and 74 percent of the CIA's total budget.

Wisner created the first "information superhighway." But this was the age of vacuum tubes, not computers, so he called it his "Mighty Wurlitzer." The CIA's global network funded the Italian elections in 1948, sent paramilitary teams into Albania, trained Nationalist Chinese on Taiwan, and pumped money into the Congress for Cultural Freedom, the National Student Association, and the Center for International Studies at MIT. Key leaders and labor unions in western Europe received subsidies, and Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty were launched. The Wurlitzer, an organ designed for film productions, could imitate sounds such as rain, thunder, or an auto horn. Wisner and Dulles were at the keyboard, directing history.

There have also been official announcements that the CIA is mission-creeping into economic intelligence and computer-age information warfare. This might reflect a bit of nostalgia for the job security and moral clarity of the Cold War, or it could be a premonition that the American Century is over and the masses are expected to get uppity. Perhaps the First Amendment has always been something of a con -- a matter of "freedom," but only for those who own the presses, or for those who lived in an earlier century, before psywar and public relations experts.
https://www./journalismandtheciathemightywurlitzer.htm

Posted by: Personanongrata | 28 January 2020 at 08:25 PM different clue I read once an article about how various Social Media enable and guide people to feed eachothers' rage and hate in the various online and Social Media forums. The schools and shoals of raging haters attract more schools and shoals of raging haters who are drawn to the negative psychic energy.
Here is the essay.
https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/12/17/the-toxoplasma-of-rage/

I have read that Twitter and Facebook ( and You Tube within its constraints) deliberately on purpose feed and focus this process of chain-reaction hatred-amplification because it causes more clicks and views and allows Twitter and Facebook to sell more ads and sell more user data to ad-crafters.

So Twitter and Facebook would certainly encourage and drive that kind of behavior regarding " Bernie memes" as much as with every other subject which those two black hat bad actors encourage such behavior in order to monetize it for their own business.

That said, I can imagine another force leading to all those hateful " Sanders memes". And that would be paid Twitter and Facebook employees, as well as pre-programmed bots, seeding those Facebook pages with "Sanders memes" in order to get highly lucrative toxoplasmic hatestorms under way.

Posted by: different clue | 28 January 2020 at 08:38 PM Eric Newhill Trump excoriates Bolton in tweets this morning:
"For a guy who couldn't get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn't get approved for anything since, 'begged' me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying 'Don't do it, sir,' takes the job, mistakenly says 'Libyan Model' on T.V., and ... many more mistakes of judgement [sic], gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?"

IMO, Trump is a fantastic POTUS for this day and age, but he wasn't on his A game when he brought Bolton onboard. He should have known better and, was, apparently, warned. Maybe Trump thought he could control him and use him as a threatening pit bull. Mistake. Bolton is greedy as well as vindictive.

Posted by: Eric Newhill | 29 January 2020 at 09:30 AM Re I agree with you. I saw elements of the color revolution that the previous administration used to destabilize governments being used in the U.S. at that time. It seems the man behind the curtain is using skilled rhetoric, linguistics, NLP, persuasion principles and hypnosis tactics. These tactics are are also pointedly being used, to get around the law and and any meaningful accountability. This appears to being done in a coordinated, organized and continuous method.

This gave meaning to the quote from Larry Johnson from "Intelligence: The Human Factor" by Col Lang. "Be quick to ask ask why and insist on hard empirical evidence to corroborate or refute a statement claimed as fact. Hopefully, you will discover that National Security is not based on on deploying the the most technologically sophisticated metal detector or hiring new thousands of new specialists -- but on freedom and " the rule of law". The freedoms we enjoy belong to citizens who know their rights and understand how their government works."

This Youtube breakdown of Adam Schiff's closing statement, gives insight into some of the tactics I am speaking of, better than I could explain it.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U0ipS5gjmDc


Posted by: Re | 29 January 2020 at 06:55 PM Harry Totally agree and think I have observed the same thing. And yet I think they will fail.

I think the GE will be Bernie vs Trump. Trump will win. I would describe my views as democratic socialist.

Posted by: Harry | 30 January 2020 at 05:55 PM Keith Harbaugh There is a highly relevant article closely related to the subject of your post,
that unfortunately is from an author who is radioactive to many people.
If you, Colonel, deem it best not to post this comment for that reason,
or to at some point in time delete it,
I will certainly understand.
I do not want to make your site (too) radioactive.

However, the article is so relevant, significant, and I, for one, believe accurate,
here it is for people's information:
"The Trump Impeachment: A Clash Between America's Competing Elites?" by Kevin MacDonald, 2020-01-26.

I think the points he makes are valid and should be discussed.
The effort to prevent their discussion often amounts to some form of "guilt by association".

Posted by: Keith Harbaugh | 31 January 2020 at 03:18 PM Verify your Comment Previewing your Comment

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[Jan 31, 2020] How Washington Liberates Free Countries by Andre Vltchek

Notable quotes:
"... Presently, the West is trying to overthrow governments in several independent countries, on different continents. From Bolivia (the country has been already destroyed) to Venezuela, from Iraq to Iran, to China and Russia. The more successful these countries get, the better they serve their people, the more vicious the attacks from abroad are, the tougher the embargos and sanctions imposed on them are. The happier the citizens are, the more grotesque the propaganda disseminated from the West gets. ..."
"... In Hong Kong, some young people, out of financial interest, or out of ignorance, keep shouting: "President Trump, Please Liberate Us!" Or similar, but equally treasonous slogans. They are waving U.S., U.K. and German flags. They beat up people who try to argue with them, including their own Police Force. ..."
"... So, let us see, how the United States really "liberates" countries, in various pockets of the world. ..."
"... Let us visit Iran, a country which (you'd never guess it if consuming only Western mass media) is, despite the vicious embargos and sanctions, on the verge of the "highest human development index bracket" (UNDP). How is it possible? Simple. Because Iran is a socialist country (socialism with the Iranian characteristics). It is also an internationalist nation which is fighting against Western imperialism. It helps many occupied and attacked states on our planet, including Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia (before), Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, to name just a few. ..."
"... Washington is getting more and more aggressive, in all parts of the world. It also pays more and more for collaboration. And it is not shy to inject terrorist tactics into allied troops, organizations and non-governmental organizations. Hong Kong is no exception. ..."
"... Thank god the US is heading, quite unmistakably now, down the same flush which swallowed the USSR! ..."
"... Yep. America bringing "freedom and democracy" to the world one bomb and bullet at a time. Pretty soon they'll be nobody left to freedomize and democratize. ..."
"... The Democrats deplore humanitarian reasons prior to invading a sovereign nation-state, while Republicans says militarism will keep us safe, however, in actuality the objectives of the political duopoly as reflected in the military/security/surveillance corporate state is rather consistent they're interested in usurping precious resources by acquiring hegemony over significant geostrategic territories. ..."
"... Orwellian speech aside, everything currently boils down to genuine freedom in all its forms not just physical slavery (like in the neoliberal/neocon/zionist wars and its outcomes) but also the mental slavery that leads us to physical slavery. Unfortunately we do not live at the best of times currently, the net of complete neo- slavery is almost upon us and we only have a small window of opportunity to try to stop it. The Smart Grid/IoT system is almost on top of us. Let's fight it with sharing info; and hopefully as a very large population make the establishment listen to us through sustained, strategic non-violent civil disobedience.
"... After 500+ years of Western colonial & now neocolonial plunder and mayhem, maybe it's time to look a bit deeper into how Western cultural narratives have shaped a way of seeing ourselves, others and the world not shared by literally most of the human family. The WEIRD research is an illuminating and interesting examination of some of these differences and how they challenge the very concept of "human nature" associated with Western societies. ..."
"... "Closely related to the depoliticising practices of neoliberalism, the politics of social atomisation and a failed sociality is the existence of a survival of the fittest ethos that drives oppressive narratives used to define both agency and our relationship to others. Mimicking the logic of a war culture, neoliberal pedadogy creates a predatory culture in which the demand of hyper – competitiveness pits individuals against each other through a market based logic in which compassion and caring for the other is replaced by a culture of winners and losers" ..."
"... Neo-liberalism ends in neo-feudalism, with 99.9% of humanity serfs and villeins, and a tiny ruling elite controlling EVERYTHING. The project proceeds apace, with road-kill like Corbyn and the 500,000 'antisemites' who joined Labour littering the road to Hell on Earth. ..."
www.slate.com
Jan 29, 2020 | off-guardian.org

There are obviously some serious linguistic issues and disagreements between the West and the rest of the world. Essential terms like "freedom", "democracy", "liberation", even "terrorism", are all mixed up and confused; they mean something absolutely different in New York, London, Berlin, and in the rest of the world.

Before we begin analyzing, let us recall that countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States, as well as other Western nations, have been spreading colonialist terror to basically all corners of the world.

And in the process, they developed effective terminology and propaganda, which has been justifying, even glorifying acts such as looting, torture, rape and genocides. Basically, first Europe, and later North America literally "got away with everything, including mass murder".

The native people of Americas, Africa and Asia have been massacred, their voices silenced. Slaves were imported from Africa. Great Asian nations, such as China, what is now "India" and Indonesia, got occupied, divided and thoroughly plundered.

And all was done in the name of spreading religion, "liberating" people from themselves, as well as "civilizing them".

Nothing has really changed.

To date, people of great nations with thousands of years of culture, are treated like infants; humiliated, and as if they were still in kindergarten, told how to behave, and how to think.

Sometimes if they "misbehave", they get slapped. Periodically they get slapped so hard, that it takes them decades, even centuries, to get back to their feet. It took China decades to recover from the period of "humiliation". India and Indonesia are presently trying to recuperate, from the colonial barbarity, and from, in the case of Indonesia, the 1965 U.S.-administered fascist coup.

But if you go back to the archives in London, Brussels or Berlin, all the monstrous acts of colonialism, are justified by lofty terms. Western powers are always "fighting for justice"; they are "enlightening" and "liberating". No regrets, no shame and no second thoughts. They are always correct!

Like now; precisely as it is these days.

Presently, the West is trying to overthrow governments in several independent countries, on different continents. From Bolivia (the country has been already destroyed) to Venezuela, from Iraq to Iran, to China and Russia. The more successful these countries get, the better they serve their people, the more vicious the attacks from abroad are, the tougher the embargos and sanctions imposed on them are. The happier the citizens are, the more grotesque the propaganda disseminated from the West gets.

*

In Hong Kong, some young people, out of financial interest, or out of ignorance, keep shouting: "President Trump, Please Liberate Us!" Or similar, but equally treasonous slogans. They are waving U.S., U.K. and German flags. They beat up people who try to argue with them, including their own Police Force.

So, let us see, how the United States really "liberates" countries, in various pockets of the world.

Let us visit Iran, a country which (you'd never guess it if consuming only Western mass media) is, despite the vicious embargos and sanctions, on the verge of the "highest human development index bracket" (UNDP). How is it possible? Simple. Because Iran is a socialist country (socialism with the Iranian characteristics). It is also an internationalist nation which is fighting against Western imperialism. It helps many occupied and attacked states on our planet, including Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia (before), Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, to name just a few.

So, what is the West doing? It is trying to ruin it, by all means; ruin all good will and progress. It is starving Iran through sanctions, it finances and encourages its "opposition", as it does in China, Russia and Latin America. It is trying to destroy it.

Then, it just bombs their convoy in neighboring Iraq, killing its brave commander, General Soleimani. And, as if it was not horrid enough, it turns the tables around, and starts threatening Teheran with more sanctions, more attacks, and even with the destruction of its cultural sites.

Iran, under attack, confused, shot down, by mistake, a Ukrainian passenger jet. It immediately apologized, in horror, offering compensation. The U.S. straightway began digging into the wound. It started to provoke (like in Hong Kong) young people. The British ambassador, too, got involved!

As if Iran and the rest of the world should suddenly forget that during its attack on Iraq, more than 3 decades ago, Washington actually shot down an Iranian wide-body passenger plane (Iran Air flight 655, an Airbus-300), on a routine flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai. In an "accident", 290 people, among them 66 children, lost their lives. That was considered "war collateral".

Iranian leaders then did not demand "regime change" in Washington. They were not paying for riots in New York or Chicago.

As China is not doing anything of that nature, now.

The "Liberation" of Iraq (in fact, brutal sanctions, bombing, invasion and occupation) took more than a million Iraqi lives, most of them, those of women and children. Presently, Iraq has been plundered, broken into pieces, and on its knees.

Is this the kind of "liberation" that some of the Hong Kong youngsters really want?

No? But if not, is there any other performed by the West, in modern history?

*

Washington is getting more and more aggressive, in all parts of the world. It also pays more and more for collaboration. And it is not shy to inject terrorist tactics into allied troops, organizations and non-governmental organizations. Hong Kong is no exception.

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, China, Venezuela, but also many other countries, should be carefully watching and analyzing each and every move made by the United States. The West is perfecting tactics on how to liquidate all opposition to its dictates.

It is not called a "war", yet. But it is. People are dying. The lives of millions are being ruined.


Rhisiart Gwilym ,

Thank god the US is heading, quite unmistakably now, down the same flush which swallowed the USSR!

Gall ,

Yep. America bringing "freedom and democracy" to the world one bomb and bullet at a time. Pretty soon they'll be nobody left to freedomize and democratize.

Hey we voted against all this BS but what does that matter in what they call "democracy" or even "republicanism" in the land of the free fire zone?

Charlotte Russe ,

The Democrats deplore humanitarian reasons prior to invading a sovereign nation-state, while Republicans says militarism will keep us safe, however, in actuality the objectives of the political duopoly as reflected in the military/security/surveillance corporate state is rather consistent they're interested in usurping precious resources by acquiring hegemony over significant geostrategic territories.

Norn ,

150 years ago, The US saw Korea as too isolationist and decided to [what else?] ' liberate ' the Koreans.

Western Disturbance in the Shinmi 1871 year – Korea

On 10 June 1871, about 650 American invaders landed [on korean shores] and captured several forts, killing over 200 Korean troops with a loss of only three American dead.

Tallis Marsh ,

Orwellian speech aside, everything currently boils down to genuine freedom in all its forms not just physical slavery (like in the neoliberal/neocon/zionist wars and its outcomes) but also the mental slavery that leads us to physical slavery. Unfortunately we do not live at the best of times currently, the net of complete neo- slavery is almost upon us and we only have a small window of opportunity to try to stop it. The Smart Grid/IoT system is almost on top of us. Let's fight it with sharing info; and hopefully as a very large population make the establishment listen to us through sustained, strategic non-violent civil disobedience.

To make a start: are you as confused as I am/was about why too many of the general public are just not informed, not 'awake? Why they do not seem to know the reality about the lies & corruption by a small global-establishment; how our world is really run; who is running it; and what their plans and ultimate agenda is? The following video so precisely pin-points how & why; it would be a terrible shame if people did not watch it and share it. Thank you to a leader who did share it – so much appreciated!

The Eight Veils:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/oPNI1-n_szQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

tonyopmoc ,

Tallis Marsh, Great video, and I agree with a lot of it, but I think the numerology stuff is bollocks, as is the idea that "the elite" have this secret very advanced technology, and can perform "magic powers", beyond the basic principles of physics and maths.

However, the Truth is quite horrendous. I personally felt, I had been physically kicked very hard in my guts, and to the depths of my soul, when in a moment, I became personally convinced that the Official US Government story of 9/11 was impossible, because it did not comply with the basic principles of physics and maths.

I understood all the implications in that moment in February 2003. It was not an alien culture, that I did not understand, that did this atrocity, it was my culture, and I knew almost exactly what was going to happen.

Most people, don't want to know, and won't even look, because they are not mentally capable of tolerating the horror. The truth will send many such people mad. They are better off not knowing, carrying on their lives as best they can. Most people are good, and not guilty of anything. It's just that they won't be able to cope with the truth, that it is our culture, our governments, our institutions, and our religions, which are so evil.

Why isn't Tony Blair on trial for War Crimes Against Humanity?

Its because the entire system is rotten to the core, and will eventually collapse.

Tony

Tallis Marsh ,

I have a few questions (that imo are vital). How would you define magic/magick?

What about magic/magick being the manipulation of sound and vision to influence/control others?

Observe our industries like the publishing industry – newspapers, academic books, brands, logos, internet; tv, film internet video industry; music industry Who founded and instituted all these industries using the particular system of 'words', numerals, symbols, music and sounds – these are now all-pervasive in our world; who is using them to manipulate us and for what purposes? What are the meanings of these sounds and symbols, etc? E.g. What are the hidden meanings of words/parts of words e.g. el as in elder, elite, election, elevate ? Traditionally 'el' was Saturn.

What is the real history of our world, country, local area (and who is in charge of academia, publishing of all kinds – are they the ones who have rewritten history in order to keep almost all of us in the dark)? How can we find out the true history of our world and know its accuracy? E.g. Why are the worshipers of El/Saturn; and all their Saturnalian symbols around us in the world? e.gs: black gowns worn by the judiciary, priests, graduates; black cubes/squares found on hats of religious leaders, graduates' hats and black cubes found as monuments in such culturally-different places around the world like Saudi Arabia, NYC, Denmark, Australia?

Note: I do not have the answers (I'm still researching) but are these not good questions to explore because the more you look/hear, the more you see that many of the things mentioned above seem to be related; and some would call this magic/magick. To be clear, I am not superstitious and I do not believe in or practice these things myself but as far as I know, a group with immense power do seem to believe these things described.

Tallis Marsh ,

For symbols, a good place to start for research is geometry and alchemy. Traditionally, a major part of elite education studied/studies geometry (including 'sacred geometry') and ancient education studied alchemy/chemistry and subjects like astrology/astronomy? Part of the Seven Liberal Arts (the trivium and quadrivium combined), I think.

For history, it is good to research the ancient places and cultures of Phoenicia, Canaan, Ur, Sumeria and Babylon (apparently all of which were brought together into a hidden eclectic culture through the elites which moved into ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and then moved into/by Celtic/Druidic culture in Central and Northern Europe and now practised in various forms (some hidden but apparent in symbols) in major religions, the freemasons and modern royalty?

Tallis Marsh ,

Re: Saturnalian symbols. Forgot to mention – almost all, if not all corporate brand logos (which companies buy for extortionate prices?! Who and why gives out the ideas for brand logos?) seem to be a variation of Saturnalian symbols like the planet's rings, the colour black, cubes, hexagrams; and parts of these things like XX, swish, etc

Tim Drayton ,

Not confused, frankly. The ruling classses must always devote massive resources to promoting the dominant ideology that underpins their rule or else they are finished. The hight priests who pump out this ideology have always had high status – look at Rupert Murdoch.

nottheonly1 ,

Just remember one 'thing(k)':

EVERYTHING you know was told to you by another human.
Everything human believes in was made up by human to suit his needs.
Human makes stuff up as it goes.
God/religion/the unknown – is all evidence for 'not knowing'.

For it is the one who sees and hears 'thinks' the way they are.
That everything is and human has absolutely no clue as to why.

No whatsoever clue. But lots of all kinds of stories.

There is only one veil – the veil of delusion. To be deluded enough not
to understand that 'The Universe' is an Organism (with all kinds of organs)
that lives and grows.

On Earth, this Organism has cancer. Mankind is that cancer on The Universe.
Mankind is Earth's cancer.

Those who have the porential to look through it all – already do.
Those who don't have the potential to look through it all – never will.

One day, the 'history' of mankind will also become just another story.
With no one to listen to.

Gary Weglarz ,

After 500+ years of Western colonial & now neocolonial plunder and mayhem, maybe it's time to look a bit deeper into how Western cultural narratives have shaped a way of seeing ourselves, others and the world not shared by literally most of the human family. The WEIRD research is an illuminating and interesting examination of some of these differences and how they challenge the very concept of "human nature" associated with Western societies.

https://psmag.com/social-justice/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135

https://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~henrich/pdfs/WeirdPeople.pdf

lundiel ,

I like it but I don't know how to achieve it.

Dungroanin ,

"To date, people of great nations with thousands of years of culture, are treated like infants; humiliated, and as if they were still in kindergarten, told how to behave, and how to think."

As happenned right HERE in the UK last month at the polls – when they were offered the first REAL hope of lifting the yoke of the ancient imperialist forces for over half a century- the election of a GENUINE social democratic Labour government.

"..the West is trying to overthrow governments in several independent countries, on different continents." confirms Vltchek.

As the West (the ancient imperialists to be exact) DID overthrow what should be the current UK government BEFORE it could take office – a Advance Coup – avoiding all the nastiness of having actual military parking its tanks in Whitehall and having Betty supporting it as beardy gets dragged off for crucifixion.

Achieved by the dirtiest election EVER in UK history using the combined forces of the 5+1 eyed Empire ordered into action, by Up Pompeo Caesar General, who visits his latest victorious battlefield today. Here to collect his tributes for delivering his Gauntlet to stop the Corbynite Labour government taking office – by vote rigging using the favourite DS big data Canadian company CGI and its monopoly, of the privatised postal vote system of the UK.

Here to celebrate a brexit so long planned and also to deliver the final final solution victory for a Israeli APARTHEID state – which like a lightning rod is doomed to be struck by such forces.

A coup. A junta. At the heart of a diseased, decrepit, shrinking Empire – doomed just like Rome.

Morbidly persuing a 'last ditch' master plan to reverse the decline from ever deeper bunker mentality and hoping to form a Singapore on Thames to keep its ancient City home.

Huzzah! the crowds lining the grand avenues sceam as he arrives to claim his triumph.

In his dreams.

UP POMPEO! UP YOURS!

Francis Lee ,

"As happenned right HERE in the UK last month at the polls – when they were offered the first REAL hope of lifting the yoke of the ancient imperialist forces for over half a century- the election of a GENUINE social democratic Labour government."

Errrm the Labour party is not a genuine social-democratic formation. It is a pantomime horse consisting of the party in the country and the Parliamentary party – a parliamentary party that is thoroughly Blairite and shows no signs of becoming anything other. Moreover, there is the 'Labour Friends of Israel' a zionist-front organisation consisting of a majority in the Parliamentary party which takes its its foreign policy cue from Tel Aviv. In this respect it has accepted the IHRA definition of anti-semitism. Jewish members of the Labour have been expelled for alleged anti-semitism. Bizarre or what.

You see the problem with the Labour party is that it wants to be thought of as being respectable, moderate, non-threatening and so forth. Therefore, it is Pro monarchy, pro-NATO, pro-Trident, pro-FTTP, pro-Remainer and consists of a Shadow cabinet key positions of inter alia, Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, John MacDonnell, who seems to have had a Damascene conversion. The position left vacant by the departure of Tom Watson is still unfilled. Is this the team that is going to lead us to the social democratic society. In short it is a thoroughly conservative (small c)political party and organization being pulled in several different directions at the same time. It has only gained office (I say office rather than power) by detaching itself from its radicalism and then sucking up to a new constituency of the professional and managerial middle class, which is precisely where its leadership is drawn from.

But socialism or even social-democracy if it wants to be taken seriously as a movement which fundamentally change the landscape of British politics must cease this sucking up to the PTB and playing their game and stop being nice, cuddly and respectable. Unfortunately I do not see any sign of this happening, now or in at any time in the future.

Dungroanin ,

Ah Francis "Errrm the Labour party is not a genuine social-democratic formation."

I would guess you would say the same of the 1945 Labour party too.

You 'Marxist' tools of the bankers since the C19th have like a religious order been insistent on promoting nationalist rebellion against a social democratic world.

Thats why you sell not just brexit but a HARD brexit while incantating Marxsist creed – for your Banker masters if two centuries.

Enjoy your damp squib celebrations in two days – 11 pm,not midnight, because the bankers don't even control time anymore!

As the FartAgers embarrassed us all with their willy waving union jocks the rest of the EU held hands and sang Auld lang syne to us.

Lol.

paul ,

Labour is a waste of space and a waste of a man's rations. The sooner it consigns itself to oblivion the better.

nottheonly1 ,

There are obviously two Andre Vitschek.

But if you go back to the archives in London, Brussels or Berlin, all the monstrous acts of colonialism, are justified by lofty terms. Western powers are always "fighting for justice"; they are "enlightening" and "liberating". No regrets, no shame and no second thoughts. They are always correct!

It is much worse. The fascists rewrite history as we type. Everywhere. Soon, WWII was started by Russia and brave American murderers taught the Bolsheviks a lesson: Get Nukes!!!

Here is the Holy Grail of fascism. The God of fascism. The real 'uniter'. All the lies about how bad Hitler was are Bolshevik propaganda and character defamation – against which a dead person cannot protest.

Some say that not all humans are like that. Like those who recklessly and generously dispose off the well being of others, including their lives. Someone, however, must have told them that it is okay to perpetrate crimes against humanity when you call them 'collateral damages'. But there is truth to that.

Humanity will experience the collateral damages of the religious freaks that are – see above – ready to follow the worst dictator ever – or others – into ruins. Based on the story that there is an 'Afterlife'. People who seriously believe in someone standing there at a gate in the sky dtermining if you are allowed to eternally be with virgins, or do whatever is now worthless, because there are no one-sided situations in a world of action and reaction.

Homo Sapiens is dead. He was replaced by Homo Consumos, Homo Gullibilitens, Homo Terroristicus, Homo Greediensis, Homo Friocorazoniens and Homo Networkiens Isolatiens et insane al.

This is not working. Because close to eight billion people are helpless, because it would take one billion to remove the one million that have hijacked the evolution of Homo Sapiens into a being that better goes extinct before it can further spread.

That's the little fact that goes a very long way.

Samsara, so to speak.

Gall ,

All ya gotta do is read Mein Kampt to realize that uncle 'Dolf was nuttier than a fruit cake and a total loony tune and that he should have been transferred from Landsberg to the nearest sanitarium but then they took him seriously and as they say the rest is history

Gezzah Potts ,

Millions upon millions of fellow human beings dead due to the direct consequences of imperialism, neo colonialism, sanctions and rampant neoliberal economic policies that destroy people's lives and the notions of solidarity and compassion.

Today, one of my mag customers said to me: "people have become disposable and forgotten about now, especially those struggling to survive". I couldn't have said it better myself. It's all like a dog eat dog race to the bottom for most of us. So many human beings just disposable and thrown on the scrap heap to die while the billionaires gorge themselves from the rank exploitation and deaths of so many people.

How many of them would have shares in the merchants of death like Raytheon or Lockheed Martin or the Big Banks? Such dizzying levels of vast wealth and opulence next to grinding poverty, despair and chasms of inequality.

Here's a quote from an article called 'Depoliticization Is A Deadly Weapon of Neoliberal Fascism' by Henry Giroux:

"Closely related to the depoliticising practices of neoliberalism, the politics of social atomisation and a failed sociality is the existence of a survival of the fittest ethos that drives oppressive narratives used to define both agency and our relationship to others. Mimicking the logic of a war culture, neoliberal pedadogy creates a predatory culture in which the demand of hyper – competitiveness pits individuals against each other through a market based logic in which compassion and caring for the other is replaced by a culture of winners and losers"

And meanwhile, most of us stare, trance like, at our digital screens or we shop shop shop till we drop, or sadly, the more sensitive souls fully lose themselves in drugs or gambling or alcohol to deaden the gnawing pain of living in a dystopic, cruel, neoliberal society.

Or as Thatcher said: 'there is no such thing as society'. Bitch. And things are only going to get worse. I really really get your anger and frustration Andre.

nottheonly1 ,

Or as Thatcher said: 'there is no such thing as society'. Bitch.

There is a song (electronic music) by Haldolium that uses a Thatcher impersonator to repeat throughout the song:

"Yes, I am with You all the way – to the end of the government."

We are witnessing the transfer of governance into private hands. The hands of the owner class. Let's see how they see the problems of the many, the masses. Oh? They're not even looking?

Yes, this is a Dead End.

lundiel ,

Don't rely on music. Stormsy & Co won't liberate you. They are supporting the establishment. I who love R&B, the music of struggle, know corporate bursaries to enter the class system when I see them.

Gezzah Potts ,

N probably already told you, but there's a huge site called Neoliberalism Softpanorama with many hundreds of linked articles (if you have lots and lots of spare time!). Every subject imaginable related to this warped cancer, espec the role of the media presstitutes.

Will check out that song later. Music helps keep me sane, as well as venting my spleen here and elsewhere! Bands such as Hammock, Whale Fall, Maiak, Hiva Oa, Yndi Halda. Six Organs Of Admittance to name just a handful in my collection. Highly contemplative and soothing. Especially knowing how things are and what's coming, what most of us see.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Neo-liberalism ends in neo-feudalism, with 99.9% of humanity serfs and villeins, and a tiny ruling elite controlling EVERYTHING. The project proceeds apace, with road-kill like Corbyn and the 500,000 'antisemites' who joined Labour littering the road to Hell on Earth.

Gezzah Potts ,

Yes it does. You see where all this is heading. I see where all this is heading (tho can be a bit naive at times) and except for our pet trolls who visit here, nearly everyone else at OffG can see where all this is heading.

It's bloody frustrating that the large majority refuse to open their eyes, even when you explain what is happening, and direct them to sites like here or The Saker or The Grayzone, etc.

Things are going to get really ugly and brutal, tho they already are for the tens of millions just discarded like a bit of flotsam, all the homeless, and those living in grinding poverty, those one or two paychecks away from losing their homes . Society has become very callous and judgemental and atomised. Just how the 0.01% planned it.

Richard Le Sarc ,

It's like the Protocols. Whether a 'forgery' by the Russians, or created as a pre-emptive fabrication by certain Jewish figures (in order for the truth to be distorted and denied)it describes behaviour that we do see. Just as all the 'antisemitic conspiracy theories' that are denounced, concerning the attempts by Jewish and Zionist elites to control the West, are attested by evidence that is impossible to deny. Except it MUST be denied. It is like the JFK, RFK hits, the 9/11 fiasco and countless other examples. The truth is out there, and it does NOT come anywhere near the Official Version. Meanwhile the Sabbat Goy Trump, and the Zionist terrorist thug, simply eviscerate International Law in Occupied Palestinians, and NOT ONE Western MSM presstitute scum-bag dares to say so. That is power.

Gezzah Potts ,

Yes, the much heralded, deal of the century, Peace Plan, another stinking pile of lies and garbage to further (if that's possible) screw the Palestinians into the dirt and rob them of everything.
With scores more dead kiddies blown up or shot in the head or burned alive by the settler fascists, and the World's most moral army. Kiddie killers.
I'll have a look at Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada shortly.
This outrage, decade after decade, is another main reason I boycott the whore filth masquerading as . 'journalists'.

paul ,

People talk about the Protocols either as a genuine document or a forgery.
I think it is more likely to have been something of a dystopian piece of writing, like Orwell's 1984.
– This is what lies in store for you if you don't watch out, etc.

Looking at the Zionist stranglehold over the world today, the author would probably say, "You can't say I didn't warn you."

Fair dinkum ,

Andre, Chris and Mr Fish are on the same page here>>
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-disaster-of-utopian-engineering/

lundiel ,

Seriously, how do we get the "woke" generation to stop dicking around with identity and "social media influencers" and see just what they've bought into? It's not like it's even hard to understand, there seems to be a miasma over Britain with the old seeking solace in social conservatism and the young resigned to neoliberalism, debt, multiple careers, impossible targets, performance evaluation, micromanagement, Specific, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic and Time specified goals (SMART) for your "stakeholders and customers". It's all so Disney. No wonder people are going mad.

Fair dinkum ,

Just when I thought business jargon couldn't get any slimier.
'SMART' sounds like an MBA having a wet dream.

Harry Stotle ,

When working men and women were sent off to die in the trenches during WWI most, I suspect, would have known virtually nothing about the geopolitics driving the conflict.

Now we have boundless information streams yet the public is more outraged by some dickhead sounding off on Twitter than they are about cruelty and trauma arising from brutal regime change wars.
Surely it is glaringly obvious that this kind of carnage is orchestrated by amoral politicians acting at the behest of rapacious corporations and a crazed military?

What has gone wrong: unlike earlier generations they do not have the excuse of saying we didn't know what has happening?
They do, or should know, for example, that around 3 million Vietnamese were killed because of a childish theory (the domino theory), yet to them Twitter etiquette seems the more pressing issue.

Gall ,

Twatter's useless. Jack and his team of imperial censors shadowban anything that might upset the comfortable applecart of consumerism. This is why you don't see anything relevant other than the latest football, basket ball and baseball scores. If I was into sports betting I'd be on twatter otherwise it's a waste of time.

nottheonly1 ,

You should stop dicking around with identity.

Fair dinkum ,

The history of (mainly) white men and their religions, whether they be Christian or Mammon, is a history of exploitation, human and ecological.
As a white western male I am ashamed.
Extinction will be too good for us.

Jasper ,

As a brown western male, I can say that you should not be ashamed. You are also one of the exploited, the 'cannon fodder' during the wars contained high proportions of white western males and we can see the contempt with which white working class communities are treated in the west today.

Gall ,

True what they call "white trash" are beat up multiculturally as well as by the self righteous white limousine liberal elitists. I'd say they are the most oppressed group in the country right now.

Some of their trailer parks have worse poverty than Pine Ridge and that's saying something. Many of them go to the city looking for gainful employment end up living on the streets or in their cars even when they have job because the cost of living exceeds their income.

San Francisco is a perfect example.

Peter Charles ,

Not "The history of (mainly) white men "

People only think that because that is the modern (edited at that) history we are familiar with. Look a little deeper and we can see it is the history of Man, period, throughout our existence. Man, black, white, yellow or anything in-between is and always has been greedy, acquisitive, violent and jealous, it is our innate nature, likely the exact reason we are the most successful animal species on the planet. Probably because we developed our intelligence during the drastic changes that drove our predecessors from the trees to the plains and then out of Africa. Civilisation and a satisfactory quality of life somewhat tempers these natural urges but as soon as things get difficult we revert.

At the same time we have a small proportion of people that make these characteristics the bedrock of their lives and for the majority of people they are the pack alphas they all too willingly look up to and follow.

Fair dinkum ,

Most successful?
Reckon the cockroach family might prove that wrong.

Peter Charles ,

Hence the reason I included 'animal' in the phrase, or do you maintain that there has been another animal more successful than Man?

Fair dinkum ,

Point taken Peter.

Rhisiart Gwilym ,

"Successful", Peter? "Man"? Really?

anonymous bosch ,

"Throughout our existence, Man, black, white, yellow or anything in-between is and always has been greedy, acquisitive, violent and jealous, it is our innate nature, likely the exact reason we are the most successful animal species on the planet."

Firstly, so that is our 'innate nature' ? I wonder how many would agree with that assertion ? Secondly, in respect of "we are the most successful animal species on the planet", I must question the use of the word "successful" here – for what have "succeeded" in doing right up until now has actually brought us to the brink of extinction – are you suggesting that our "innate nature" is to bring an end to everything ?

Ramdan ,

greedy, acquisitive, violent and jealous, it is our innate nature

,

To be closer to truth this is just one side of the "innate nature". We are not black OR white (inside) we are BOTH. that means we are also loving, compassionate, collaborative creatures. Like in that native american tale: there are two wolves (black&white) the one you feed is the one that prevails.
Unfortunately, humanity-from the very beggening- fed the black wolf : the rapacious predator and elevated the most egregious of all beigns to positions of leadership. They were made kings, presidents, prime ministers.
Meanwhile, the white wolfs were given a cross and placed at an almost unreachable distance venerated with our tongue, desacrated with our actions.
This behaviour has reached its peak and today, competition, killing, betrayal, economical success, hedonism have been elevated to the level of virtues.

Interestingly, those characteristic you mention (greedy, acquisitive, violent and jealous) Buddha calls them: poisons of the mind, the defining symptom of a deranged mind ..but well, that was another white wolf: Buddha, a MAN not a HU-man.

We'll do well and not wrong, if we took some time for internal exporation . To continue to postpone our internal growth means postponing humanity's survival.

Gall ,

Not true. Some cultures are more willing to share with others. What you're are talking about are those who have embraced the Social Darwinist "philosophy" of survival of the fittest which is dominated mainly by whites but there are also other races who embrace this twisted 'philosophy" then there are those who consider themselves the "chosen ones" 'cause the bible or torah or talmud tells them so.

Antonym ,

As China is not doing anything of that nature, now.

Only if you close your eyes

How China Is Interfering in Taiwan's Election

Who is hiding behind bully no.1, the CIA/FED US?
Bully no.2, Xi / CCP-China.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Coming from an apologist for the planet's Number Two bully-boy, Israel, with its hatred of others, belligerence, aggression, utter hateful contempt for International Law, dominance of industries of exploitation like arms trafficking, surveillance methodologies and equipment, 'blood diamonds', human organs trafficking,sex trafficking, pornography, 'binary options', online gambling, pay-day lending etc,that takes real CHUTZPAH.

Antonym ,

All that with just 6.5 million Israeli Jews in total; Compare that to 1.3 billion Chinese in China or 1.4 billions Sunnis.
Dyscalculia much?

Fair dinkum ,

The Chinese do not claim to be perfect, but then they also make no claim to be the chosen.

Antonym ,

No, China just calls itself modestly "Zhongguo" Central or Middle Kingdom, while for Sunnis all others are infidel s.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Chinese civilization aims for harmony within society and between societies. Talmudic Judaism sees all non-Jews as inferior, barely above animals, and enemies. Chalk and cheese.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Yes, you really are busy little beavers, aren't you. With perhaps 40% of Israeli Jews actually opposed to Israeli State fascism and terror, the numbers become even more stark. But what counts is the money, the 'Binyamins' as they say in Brooklyn, and the CONTROL that they purchase.

Antonym ,

Sure, plenty of Jews are not happy with Netanyahu's hard line. Your number reduces the supporting Israelis to 3.9 million, even less. One big city size in the ME.

Money / control: Ali Baba's cave with gold and treasure is not in Lower Manhattan -paper dollars + little gold- but along the Arabian West coast- real oil and gas. The Anglo American and Brit 0.1% know that, but you don't apparently.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Very poor quality hasbara. The Sauds are rich, the petro-dollar vital to US economic dominance, but compared to Jewish elite control of Western finances, of US politics, of US MSM, of the commanding heights of US Government and of the Ivy League colleges, it is PEANUTS. And, in any case, the Sauds are doenmeh.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Jewish control of the West is mediated by the number of 'Binyamins' dispensed to the political Sabbat Goyim, not the numbers of Jewish people. You know that-why dissemble? Can't help yourself, can you.

paul ,

Olga Guerin at the state controlled, Zionist BBC, is apparently the latest Corbyn style rabid anti-semite to be unmasked by the Board of Deputies.

In her coverage of the Holocaust Industry's Auschwitz Jamboree, she made a very brief passing reference to Palestinians living under occupation, and apparently that is unpardonable anti Semitism.

Capricornia Man ,

Rich. you forgot to mention gross, systematic interference in the politics of the UK, US, Australia and who knows how many other countries.

paul ,

There are some grounds for optimism despite the utter undisguised barbarism of the US, Israel and their satellites.
These vile regimes are having their last hurrah.
The US is on the brink of imploding. It will collapse politically, financially, economically, socially, culturally, morally and spiritually.
When it does, its many satraps and satellites in the EU, the Gulf dictatorships, Israel, will go down with it. It will be like eastern Europe in 1989.
All it takes is for the front door to be kicked in and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down. Some sudden crisis or unforeseen event will bring this about. A sudden unwinding of the Debt and Derivatives time bombs. Another war or crisis in any one of a number of destabilised regions, Iran being an obvious favourite. There are many possibilities.
And the blueprint for a better world already exists. In fact, it is already being implemented.
Russia, China and Iran have survived the aggression directed against them. They have been left with few illusions about the nature of the US regime and the implacable hatred and violence they can expect from it.
These are the key players in the Belt And Road, which provides a new template for development and mutual prosperity throughout the planet.
China has built infrastructure and industry in Africa and elsewhere in a single generation which colonial powers neglected to provide in centuries of genocide, slaughter, slavery and rapacious exploitation. It is not surprising that these achievements have been denigrated and traduced by western regimes, who seek to ascribe and transfer their own dismal record of behaviour to China.
The Zio Empire is lashing out like a wounded beast. It is even attacking its own most servile satellites and satraps. It just has to be fended off and left to die like a mad dog. Then a better world will emerge.

George Cornell ,

Taiwan has been a US vassal for a very long time and its location next to China, its history as a part of China and its lack of recognition should not be ignored. Its people are ethnically Chinese, speak Chinese and follow most Chinese customs. For you to equate this to the presence of American bases all over the world, meddling in hundreds of elections, assassinating elected leaders who won't kowtow, invading country after country and causing millions of deaths for "regime changes" is absolutely ridiculous.

paul ,

Taiwan is just another part of China that was brutally hacked off its body by rapacious western imperial powers. Like Hong Kong, Tsingtao and Manchuria.

paul ,

Or Shanghai. No self respecting nation would accept this, but China has been a model of restraint in not using force, but patient diplomacy, to rectify this imperial plunder.

Antonym ,

Or the Tibet, Aksai Chin, the Shaksgam Valley or the South China Sea. What's next, Siberia?

paul ,

Tibet was Chinese before the United Snakes or Kosherstan even existed.
The South China Sea was recognised as Chinese until 1949, when the US puppet Chiang Kai Shek was booted out and skulked around on Taiwan.
Then suddenly the SC Sea was no longer Chinese. Lord Neptune in Washington decreed otherwise.

Martin Usher ,

I remember the downing of flight 655 because it was on the evening news in the US. Literally. The Vincennes, the ship that shot down the airliner, had a news crew on board and they recorded the entire incident, the excitement of the incoming threat, the firing of a couple of Standard missiles at the threat, the cheering when the threat was neutralized followed by the "Oh, shit!" moment when they realized what they had done. This was in the pre-youTube days and the footage was only shown once to the best of my recollection so its probably long gone and buried. The lessons learned from that incident was that the crew needed better training -- they appeared to be near panic -- and you shouldn't really have those sorts of weapons near civilian airspace. Another lesson that's worth remembering is that this was 30 years ago, far enough in the past that the state of the art missile carrier has long been scrapped as obsolete (broken up in 2011). Put another way, we (the US) have effectively been in a state of war with Iran for over 40 years. Its expensive and pointless but I suppose the real goal is to keep our aerospace companies supplied with work.

johny conspiranoid ,

Yes, I remember that news clip as well. It was shown in the UK. There was one young 'dude' on a swivel seat working the aiming device and a bunch of people cheering him on, then "oh shit!" as you say. I also wonder if the whole thing was staged latter though, for damage limitation.

Grafter ,

It's all here .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onk_wI3ZVME

Frank Speaker ,

I remember seeing clips at the time, but this documentary is excellent, thanks for sharing. The Capt of the USS Vincennes should have been put behind bars.

Richard Le Sarc ,

But he got a medal! The Vincennes returned to the USA to a 'heroes' welcome'. 'Warriors' one and all.

Gall ,

No surprise. Many of the low life cretins that were responsible for the Wounded Knee Massacre received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Ironic that many of the post humous awards and the Purple Hearts received were those wounded or killed by the 7th's own "friendly fire".

[Jan 31, 2020] Two "nice" Americans

Jan 31, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Norn ,

"nice" Americans: .. Here is a sample of nice Americans who want to control our breath: Pompeo , Fri 24 Jan 2020: "You Think Americans Really Give A F**k About Ukraine?"

Michael Richard Pompeo (57 y.o.) is the United States secretary of state. He is a former United States Army officer and was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 2017 until April 2018

Nuland , earlier than Feb 2014: "Fuck the EU."

Victoria Jane Nuland (59 y.o) is the former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State. She held the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest diplomatic rank in the United States Foreign Service. She is the former CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and is also a Member of the Board of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

[Jan 30, 2020] Impeachment's Biggest Absurdity Our Toxic Fixation On Useless And Corrupting Ukraine Aid

They are not helping Ukraine citizen of which after 2014 live in abject poverty. So in now way this an aid. They are arming Ukraine to kill Russians and maintain a hot spot on Russian border.
The USA, specifically Brennan, Nuland and Biden create civil war out of nothing pushing far right nationalist to suppress eastern population by brute forces (they burned alive 200 hundred or more people on Odessa and killed people in Mariupol before Donbass flared up)
They are despicable MIC bottomfeeders. Neocon calculation is that Russia will not respond to this provocation, because it is too weak after the economic rape of 1991-2000. While Putin is a very patient politician they might be wrong.
Notable quotes:
"... Authored by James Bovard via JimBovard.com, ..."
"... "corruption is positively correlated with aid received from the United States." ..."
"... "I think it makes no sense to give aid money to countries that are corrupt." ..."
"... " remains skeptical after a history of broken promises [from the Ukraine govt]. Kiev hasn't successfully completed any of a series of IMF bailout packages over the past two decades, with systemic corruption at the heart of much of that failure." ..."
"... "Most foreign aid winds up with outside consultants, the local military, corrupt bureaucrats, the new NGO [nongovernmental organizations] administrators, and Mercedes dealers." ..."
"... James Bovard is the author of " ..."
"... Attention Deficit Democracy ..."
"... The Bush Betrayal ..."
"... Terrorism and Tyranny ..."
"... ," and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at ..."
"... www.jimbovard.com ..."
Jan 30, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by James Bovard via JimBovard.com,

The campaign to convict and remove President Donald Trump in the Senate hinges on delays in disbursing U.S. aid to Ukraine. Ukraine was supposedly on the verge of great progress until Trump pulled the rug out from under the heroic salvation effort by U.S. government bureaucrats. Unfortunately, Congress has devoted a hundred times more attention to the timing of aid to Ukraine than to its effectiveness. And most of the media coverage has ignored the biggest absurdity of the impeachment fight.

The temporary postponement of the Ukrainian aid was practically irrelevant considering that U.S. assistance efforts have long fueled the poxes they promised to eradicate – especially kleptocracy, or government by thieves .

A 2002 American Economic Review analysis concluded that "increases in [foreign] aid are associated with contemporaneous increases in corruption" and that "corruption is positively correlated with aid received from the United States."

Then-President George W. Bush promised to reform foreign aid that year, declaring , "I think it makes no sense to give aid money to countries that are corrupt." Regardless, the Bush administration continued delivering billions of dollars in handouts to many of the world's most corrupt regimes .

Then-President Barack Obama, recognizing the failure of past U.S. aid efforts, proclaimed at the United Nations in 2010 that the U.S. government is " leading a global effort to combat corruption ." The following year, congressional Republicans sought to restrict foreign aid to fraud-ridden foreign regimes. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wailed that restricting handouts to nations that fail anti-corruption tests "has the potential to affect a staggering number of needy aid recipients."

The Obama administration continued pouring tens of billions of U.S. tax dollars into sinkholes such as Afghanistan, which even its president, Ashraf Ghani, admitted in 2016 was "one of the most corrupt countries on earth ." John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), declared that "U.S. policies and practices unintentionally aided and abetted corruption" in Afghanistan.

Since the end of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has provided more than $6 billion in aid to Ukraine. At the House impeachment hearings, a key anti-Trump witness was acting U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr. The Washington Post hailed Taylor as someone who " spent much of the 1990s telling Ukrainian politicians that nothing was more critical to their long-term prosperity than rooting out corruption and bolstering the rule of law, in his role as the head of U.S. development assistance for post-Soviet countries." A New York Times editorial lauded Taylor and State Department deputy assistant secretary George Kent as witnesses who "came across not as angry Democrats or Deep State conspirators, but as men who have devoted their lives to serving their country."

After their testimony spurred criticism, a Washington Post headline captured the capital city's reaction: "The diplomatic corps has been wounded. The State Department needs to heal." But not nearly as much as the foreigners supposedly rescued by U.S. bureaucrats.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 31 that the International Monetary Fund, which has provided more than $20 billion in loans to Ukraine, " remains skeptical after a history of broken promises [from the Ukraine govt]. Kiev hasn't successfully completed any of a series of IMF bailout packages over the past two decades, with systemic corruption at the heart of much of that failure."

The IMF concluded that Ukraine continued to be vexed by " shortcomings in the legal framework, pervasive corruption, and large parts of the economy dominated by inefficient state-owned enterprises or by oligarchs." That last item is damning for the U.S. benevolent pretensions. If a former Soviet republic cannot even terminate its government-owned boondoggles, then why in hell was the U.S. government bankrolling them?

Transparency International, which publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, shows that corruption surged in Ukraine in the late 1990s (after the U.S. decided to rescue them) and remains at abysmal levels. Ukraine is now ranked as the 120th most corrupt nation in the world -- a lower ranking than received by Egypt and Pakistan, two other major U.S. aid recipients also notorious for corruption.

Actually, the best gauge of Ukrainian corruption is the near-total collapse of its citizens' trust in government or in their own future. Since 1991, the nation has lost almost 20% of its population as citizens flee abroad like passengers leaping off a sinking ship.

And yet, the House impeachment hearings and much of the media gushed over career U.S. government officials despite their strikeouts. It was akin to a congressional committee resurrecting Col. George S. Custer in 1877 and fawning as he offered personal insights in dealing with uprisings by Sioux Indians (while carefully avoiding awkward questions about the previous year at the Little Big Horn ).

Foreign aid is virtue signaling with other people's money. As long the aid spawns press releases and photo opportunities for presidents and members of Congress and campaign donations from corporate and other beneficiaries, little else matters. Congress almost never conducts thorough investigations into the failure of aid programs despite their legendary pratfalls. The Agency for International Development ludicrously evaluated its programs in Afghanistan based on their "burn rate" – whether they were spending money as quickly as possible, almost regardless of the results. SIGAR's John Sopko "found a USAID lessons-learned report from 1980s on Afghan reconstruction but nobody at AID had read it ."

After driving around the world, investment guru Jim Rogers declared: "Most foreign aid winds up with outside consultants, the local military, corrupt bureaucrats, the new NGO [nongovernmental organizations] administrators, and Mercedes dealers." After the Obama administration promised massive aid to Ukraine in 2014, Hunter Biden jumped on the gravy train – as did legions of well-connected Washingtonians and other hustlers around the nation. Similar largesse assures that there will never be a shortage of overpaid individuals and hired think tanks ready to write op-eds or letters to the editor of the Washington Post whooping up the moral greatness of foreign aid or some such hokum.

When it comes to the failure of U.S. aid to Ukraine, almost all of Trump's congressional critics are like the " dog that didn't bark " in the Sherlock Holmes story. The real outrage is that Trump and prior presidents, with Congress cheering all the way, delivered so many U.S. tax dollars to Kiev that any reasonable person knew would be wasted. If Washington truly wants to curtail foreign corruption, ending U.S. foreign aid is the best first step.

* * *

James Bovard is the author of " Attention Deficit Democracy ," " The Bush Betrayal ," " Terrorism and Tyranny ," and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at www.jimbovard.com Tags Politics


Pair Of Dimes Shift , 12 minutes ago link

ALL foreign aid is a kickback scheme.

End it!

Savyindallas , 27 minutes ago link

paying billions to corrupt Jewish Ukranians is just another way to support Israel. Christian Zionists understand and approve of this. So what's the big deal? It's free money. Money that grows on trees. What does it cost to print billions of free money by a few electronic entries? Nothing. We should print more. Free **** is a beautiful thing.

We can postpone judgment day for at least another decade or so. By then, all the smart Harvard educated guys and gals at Goldman Sachs and Wall Street will figure out how to kick the can down the road for another decade or so.

When it all collapses, half of India and Africa and central America will already have replaced what used to be the American population. The few remaining Americans aside from the immigrants will be unrecognizable anyway. many will have left. Many more will have been reduced by failure to procreate and replace themselves. Christians will be a despised,(even the idiotic Zio-Christians who looked the other way on important issues as long as we were bombing and killing for their beloved Israel) We will have a dying population as many will have chosen the gay LGBTQ lifestyle and we are replaced by subservient obedient, uneducated immigrants who are happy to work for $8 an hour and live in a single room apartment they share with other immigrant families.

NosferatuZodd , 27 minutes ago link

Ukraine was a failed state since day one and it got much worse since US/EU instigated coup. I don't see any light at the end of tunnel. Zielensky is a more friendly face, but that's it. He obviously doesn't have power to change the course. He can promise anything while abroad, but he has to appease the nazis at home or they will get rid of him. In other words Ukraine is doomed.

SadhakaPadma , 19 minutes ago link

Zielensky is more than friendly face...he signed many deals with Putin and behave as responsible politician who wanna bring normalization and peace. Same forces overthrow Yanukovitch will try it with Zielensky, because they not wanna peace, but their interest is war....so Zielensky is in danger.

various1 , 31 minutes ago link

TF are you talking about, idiot!

Ukraine has biggest potential of all countries. Has richest on a planet soil, educated European population, is poor so money go long way. And of course bridge to forcing Russia being our ally, and adhere to nationalism, vs being corrupted by globalists.

chunga , 45 minutes ago link

No ****, it's absurd. The Wretched City was practically unanimous in the screeching about sending weapons to Ukraine because Crimea voted to join Russia, something they describe up there as being "annexed". Especially so now because since then Iraq voted to kick the US out of their country and has been ignored, themselves being "annexed".

This is something that is accepted to a certain degree as a result of Bob Mueller.

wehadtopullit , 5 minutes ago link

3 words: Victoria J. Nuland

John Hansen , 49 minutes ago link

Certainly makes you wonder if there was a reason the Russians only took Crimea.

Corruption ridden Ukraine certainly is a "gift" that keeps on giving.

SadhakaPadma , 47 minutes ago link

Crimea is military important for their security...that why they had naval base there..they cant afford lose this point and Black Sea....

Soviets were not willing to colonize these satelites like Poland, Czechoslovakia etc. they were relevant after ww2 and Russians were scared of another war...day they become irrelevant thanks of new weapons they abandon these states.

Russians are not hurry up into wars.

John Hansen , 45 minutes ago link

You are missing the point.

Ukraine is a corrupt, corrupting mess, now it is the West's mess.

SadhakaPadma , 43 minutes ago link

I know they are corrupted one...but USA is careless toward Ukraine fortunes...they use them to provoke conditions to create cold war two...military industry need big enemies for sake of hundreds bilions usd profits...how would you explain your citizens you pay one third of budget and no enemies??? so Deep state want cold war two.

More than milion Ukrainians left to Russia...while EU has closed Ukrainian borders...so who care more of Ukrainian people?

John Hansen , 37 minutes ago link

They could have had their cold war for MIC without absorbing the Ukraine. The whole cold war thing is obvious and academic.

The Russians wanted the West to have Ukraine. It is like the Americans giving the aboriginals the Small Pox blankets.

The corruption in the Ukraine is like a virus and it has spread West, just look at how it has infected the US political process.

SadhakaPadma , 29 minutes ago link

Russians were victims of all of this...red line was Crimea...and Putin did right...otherwise Russian nuclear security would be doomed if you allow NATO troops to Crimea.

US politicians not do it first time...did you know most wealthy Kosovian is Magdalene All Bright?? i live in postcommunist state and whole my life witness western proxies stealing all valuable stakes here....Communism created state ownership of big industries...domestic politicians alongside western snakes steal it very ugly way.IN SO CALLED PRIVATIZATION..wheather it is Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania etc. even information networks are owed by westeners....we are absolutely blackmailed.

Russians and partly Ukrainians did not allow foreigers to entry ...they tried it..here and there something got, whole 90s was going on this big fight among Russians and plus western snakes for stakes....Putin created order in it alongside Russian oligarchy and normalization....that why Russians like him.

bismillah , 51 minutes ago link

Are these idiotic Democrats and Russia haters crazy?

Russia has a population and GDP roughly the same as Mexico and they're on the other side of the planet (unless you're in Alaska). There is exactly zero chance Russia will invade or attack Western Europe or the USA.

The USA should be concerned with the USA, and not whether Russia will act to safeguard its border.

SadhakaPadma , 53 minutes ago link

When Soviet Union left...military industry for sake of their profits needed to create big enemy....they created terrorism and islamic wars......now as it failing apart they need new enemies..big one to explain you why is necessary to give one third of your taxes into military toys...so they create conflicts around China and Russia with hope to dig in into cold war two.

Russians and Chinese have not big corporate bussines behind their military...their spending is tiny compared to US military industry profits....so they have no interest in wars...while US seek them.

Be aware Americans...your military is not only milking you, but risking of whole humanity throwing into military disasters even as an accidents . Putin explained it many times...computer supersystems can be activated so easily if some misteps happen...

MushroomCloud2020 , 56 minutes ago link

If Quid Pro Que is legal, then the swamp is drained. The swamp isn't doing anything wrong. They have been following the law all this time. Ask the president.

[Jan 30, 2020] The Nazis made a primitive and unforgivable error in thinking it was the Jewish population was the "problem", when the problem resided in the Jewish/banking and intellectual elites (e.g. Rothchilds).

Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kabobyak , Jan 30 2020 14:35 utc | 21

A P , Jan 30 2020 14:58 utc | 22

To Florin 3, and then all who replied:

YES, YES, YES!

Words matter, they can be as precise as scalpels or as blunt as a sledgehammer. In skilled hands, a word-tool can be either be a scalpel or a sledgehammer.

Jewish ethnonationalism (Zionism) was well underway from the mid-1800s, and well-supported (at least in terms of "solving the Jewish problem") in some elite circles in the early 1900s as the Balfour Declaration proves. The Nazis erred in thinking it was the Jewish population was the "problem", when the problem resided in the Jewish/banking and intellectual elites (e.g. Rothchilds).

AIPAC etc. shows this malignant ideology continues to grow in scope and influence.

We here at MoA should adopt Florin's more correct terms and use them here at MoA AND ANYWHERE ELSE WE POST... From and acorn of an idea, a mighty oak of understanding may grow. But it won't grow if we don't nurture it.

Semitism refers to speakers of Semitic languages, of which Hebrew-speakers are but one part... most of the rest are Arabic speakers. The term antisemitism was hijacked in the early 1800's.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/anti-Semitism

"... also antisemitism, 1881, from German Antisemitismus, first used by Wilhelm Marr (1819-1904) German radical, nationalist and race-agitator, who founded the Antisemiten-Liga in 1879; see anti- + Semite.

Not etymologically restricted to anti-Jewish theories, actions, or policies, but almost always used in this sense. Those who object to the inaccuracy of the term might try Hermann Adler's Judaeophobia (1881). Anti-Semitic (also antisemitic) and anti-Semite (also antisemite) also are from 1881, like anti-Semitism they appear first in English in an article in the "Athenaeum" of Sept. 31, in reference to German literature. Jew-hatred is attested from 1881. As an adjective, anti-Jewish is from 1817."
---------

Words matter as the Israel Project's "Global Language Dictionary"(IP-GLG) demonstrates, the Jewish ethnonationalists (Zionists) use words to hide their intentions. Why not call the IP-GLD "Propaganda Language to support the theft of, and genocide in, Palestine"? It's a far more accurate description of the contents and intents... but being honest and transparent is not what the international Jew/Israel Lobby/elite is all about.
https://www.transcend.org/tms/2014/08/global-language-dictionary/

[Jan 30, 2020] For Israel, a rejection of this ultimatum benefits them far more than any Palestinian acceptance.

Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter , Jan 30 2020 18:19 utc | 67

Here a view by someone who since his stance against the Iraq war as an UN inspector I respect very much
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/479422-israel-palestine-deal-ultimatum/

Trump and his Israeli partners are betting on Palestine's Arab friends to recognize the finality of the window of opportunity that has presented itself and prevail upon the Palestinian people to act accordingly.

For Israel, a rejection of this ultimatum benefits them far more than any Palestinian acceptance. This fact, more than anything else, opens the door to the possibility that the Palestinians can be dissuaded from their current hardline position rejecting the deal.


<

[Jan 30, 2020] Kushner deal makes me think of a mobster saying Nice home you have there, be a shame if something happened to it

Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bubbles , Jan 30 2020 18:37 utc | 72

Posted by: Peter | Jan 30 2020 18:19 utc | 67

The so called deal makes me think of a mobster saying Nice home you have there, be a shame if something happened to it.

Watch this interview with Kushner, if you can stand it, and see what comes to mind.

https://twitter.com/BradCabana/status/1222299392574537730

[Jan 30, 2020] Most see this deal as cover for Israel's annexation of Occupied Palestine. The deal was made public yesterday. Bibi rushed home today for the vote on Sunday to annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank Settlements.

Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Jan 30 2020 19:30 utc | 82

Kushner lost his hymnal. Contradicts Bibi.

Most see this deal as cover for Israel's annexation of Occupied Palestine. The deal was made public yesterday. Bibi rushed home today for the vote on Sunday to annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank Settlements. This agreement was constructed for the occupiers and negotiations did not include proprietors of the land.
Read on it is for the sole benefit of Israel.
Why the rush?
Kushner said not so soon...wait a month. but in Israel ......


"We have been working on this for three years, hundreds of hours, to bring the best agreement in Israel," the source noted, adding that Trump's move to recognize the application of Israeli law to the Jordan Valley, the Northern Dead Sea, Judea and Samaria was "a huge thing" and an undeniable success for Israel.

The source clarified that the US side had preferred an Israeli annexation of these territories "all at once" instead of a slice-by-slice approach, calling this a "technical problem" but emphasizing that there was "no argument about the essence" of the matter.[.]

Well, King Donald Trump giveth. The same king who abrogates international treaties has no respect for the rights of others.

Ok btw. Mike Bloomberg is not really running a campaign to be president. He said, "I am spending my money to get rid of Trump." Thing is whoever comes after must be approved by the landlords.

[Jan 30, 2020] There is no shortage of great intellects in the Middle East to follow in his extraordinary footsteps

Notable quotes:
"... I think they were trying to start a war when they killed Soleimani, and the Iranians decided to use it against them instead. Which is smart. Neocons talk a lot but they are not smart. They are bullies and cowards. ..."
Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Jan 30 2020 22:27 utc | 117

Thanks b, that is a mighty good post:

This man had a mighty wish too

There is no shortage of great intellects in the Middle East to follow in his extraordinary footsteps.

Bemildred , Jan 30 2020 23:27 utc | 126

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 30 2020 23:02 utc | 124

I think they were trying to start a war when they killed Soleimani, and the Iranians decided to use it against them instead. Which is smart. Neocons talk a lot but they are not smart. They are bullies and cowards.

At present what I notice is what you do, there is a lot going on, but you won't find it in the MSM. They are busy reducing their audience share with propaganda.

They kicked the jams out when they droned Soleiman. No more "deals".

But I expect Iran to do these things while this is going on:

1.) Annoy Trump and his minions and USG political class as much as possible, stay in their face.
2.) Watch, and help their "proxies" work on making life unbearable in the Middle East for us.

The Houthis seem to have just kicked the shit out of the Saudi coalition again. Quite a few damaged ships and down aircraft reports too, not just Afghanistan.


[Jan 30, 2020] Bush-era Iraq war authorization voted out by US House

Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Jan 30 2020 21:45 utc | 108

Visions and intentions in reverse. For this news, with b's blessing, any thread is appropriate: Guess this goes with the impeaching-

Bush-era Iraq war authorization voted out by US House
The House of Representatives has voted along party lines to repeal a 2002 law authorizing the US to wage war on Iraq. The law was used by the Trump administration to justify the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The House voted 236 to 166 to kill the 2002 Authorization for Military Force (AUMF) on Iraq. The law was drafted during the presidency of George W. Bush to authorize the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has been used by subsequent administrations to continue military activity in the country – most recently to justify the US drone assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad earlier this month.[.]

The bill was one of two pieces of legislation passed by the House on Thursday aimed at curbing Trump's warmaking powers. Prior to its passage, a bill prohibiting Trump from using federal funds for "unauthorized military force against Iran" cleared the House floor, again along party lines, with a vote of 228-175.[.]

[Jan 29, 2020] Pompeo Iranian Proxy Mobilizing in America's Backyard

Notable quotes:
"... Yet the U.S. has little real insight into what happens in hostile regimes like Maduro's, and "Pompeo is probably the least reliable person in the world when it comes to information about Iran or its proxies," said Abrahms. "He has a terrible track record; he is an ideologue. He is the opposite of an impartial empiricist. I would never accept anything he says without corroborating sources." ..."
"... According to what we know, a Hezbollah agent conducted years of surveillance on potential targets , and alleged sleeper agents within U.S. cities have so far not been activated, even in the wake of Iranian Quds force General Soleimani's death and the series of crippling sanctions the Trump administration has put on Iran. ..."
Jan 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Why is Pompeo suddenly directing increasingly heated rhetoric towards Iran and its proxies in South America?

"Anti-Iran hawks like Pompeo like to emphasize that Iran is not a defensively-minded international actor, but rather that it is offensively-minded and poses a direct threat to the United States," said Max Abrahms, associate professor of political science at Northeastern and fellow of the Quincy Institute said in an interview with The American Conservative. "And so for obvious reasons, underscoring Hezbollah's international tentacles helps to sell their argument that Iran needs to be dealt with in a military way, and that the key to dealing with Iran is through confrontation and pressure."

Stories highlighting the role of Hezbollah in America's backyard "are almost always peddled by anti-Iran hawks," he said.

Like Clare Lopez, vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, who aligns with the argument that Hezbollah has been populating South America since the days of the Islamic revolution.

"From at least the 1980s, many Lebanese fled to South America, and among that flow Hezbollah embedded themselves," she told The American Conservative in a recent interview. Their activity "really expanded throughout the continent" during the presidencies of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

During that time, Lopez added, "there was a really strong relationship that developed Iranians established diplomatic facilities, enormous embassies and consulates, embedded IRGC cover positions and MOIS (intelligence services) within commercial companies and mosques and Islamic centers. This took place in Brazil in particular but Venezuela also."

Iran and Hezbollah intensified their involvement throughout the region in technical services like tunneling, money laundering, and drug trafficking. Venezuela offered Iran an international banking work-around during the period of sanctions, said Lopez.

Obviously security analysts like Lopez and even Pompeo, have been following this for years. But the timing here, as the Senate impeachment inquiry heats up, looks suspicious.

Last week, just as it looks increasingly likely that former national security advisor John Bolton and Pompeo himself will be hauled before the Senate as witnesses about the foreign aid hold-up to Ukraine, Pompeo praised Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala for designating "Iran-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization," and slammed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for embracing the terrorist group.

Hezbollah "has found a home in Venezuela under Maduro. This is unacceptable," Pompeo said when he met with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido last week.

Asked by Bloomberg News how significant a role Hezbollah plays in the region, Pompeo responded, "too much."

From the interview:

Pompeo : " I mentioned it in Venezuela, but in the Tri-Border Area as well. This is again an area where Iranian influence – we talk about them as the world's largest state sponsor of terror. We do that intentionally. It's the world's largest; it's not just a Middle East phenomenon. So while – when folks think of Hezbollah, they typically think of Syria and Lebanon, but Hezbollah has now put down roots throughout the globe and in South America, and it's great to see now multiple countries now having designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It means we can work together to stamp out the security threat in the region."

Question: "I'm struck by this, because even hearing you – what you're saying, right, now – I mean, to take a step back, an Iranian-backed terrorist organization has found a home in America's backyard."

Pompeo: "It's – it's something that we've been talking about for some time. When you see the scope and reach of what the Islamic Republic of Iran's regime has done, you can't forget they tried to kill someone in the United States of America. They've conducted assassination campaigns in Europe. This is a global phenomenon. When we say that Iran is the leading destabilizing force in the Middle East and throughout the world, it's because of this terror activity that they have now spread as a cancer all across the globe. "

Pompeo has also been publicly floating increasing sanctions on Venezuela. He called the behavior of Maduro's government "cartel-like" and "terror-like," intensifying the sense that there is a real security "threat" in our hemisphere.

Yet the U.S. has little real insight into what happens in hostile regimes like Maduro's, and "Pompeo is probably the least reliable person in the world when it comes to information about Iran or its proxies," said Abrahms. "He has a terrible track record; he is an ideologue. He is the opposite of an impartial empiricist. I would never accept anything he says without corroborating sources."

There's no question that Hezbollah has a presence in South America, said Abrahms, "but the nature of its presence has been politicized."

According to what we know, a Hezbollah agent conducted years of surveillance on potential targets , and alleged sleeper agents within U.S. cities have so far not been activated, even in the wake of Iranian Quds force General Soleimani's death and the series of crippling sanctions the Trump administration has put on Iran.

"What this underscores is that Iran could pull the trigger, it could bloody the U.S., including the U.S. homeland, but tends to avoid such violence. I think the question that needs to be asked isn't just, 'where in the world could Iran commit an attack?' but whether Iran is a rational actor that can be deterred," said Abrahms. "Interestingly, this administration as well as its hawkish supporters tend to emphasize their belief that Iran can in fact be deterred," since that is the logic behind "maximum pressure" against Iran, after all. "The main causal mechanism according to advocates of maximum pressure, is that it will force Iran as a rational actor to reconsider whether it wants to irritate the U.S By applying economic pressure through sanctions, [they hope to] succeed in coaxing Iran to restructure the nuclear deal and making additional concessions to the west and reigning in its activities in the Persian Gulf and the Levant. At least on a rhetorical level, the hawks say they believe Iran can be deterred," he said.

It would not be the first time that a president reacted to an intensifying impeachment inquiry by redirecting national focus to threats abroad. In December 1998, as the impeachment inquiry into then-President Bill Clinton heated up, Clinton launched airstrikes against Iraq. We should therefore apply some caution when we see decades-old threats amplified by administration officials.

Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered, a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill, UK Spectator, and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter

[Jan 29, 2020] Turkey isn't amused

Jan 29, 2020 | twitter.com

"Turkey: The goal of American peace is to destroy and plunder Palestine."

"Turkish Foreign Ministry:
The fake US plan for peace in the Middle East was born 'dead'.
We will not allow actions to legitimize Israeli occupation and oppression."

Yet another cord in the knot tying Turkey to the West is severed. Word is the Turkish convoy has turned around and will not be constructing another OP near Saraqib.

This may surprise some people :

"Denouncing Trump Plan as 'Unacceptable,' Sanders Declares It Is Time to 'End the Israeli Occupation:'

"'Trump's so-called 'peace deal,' warned the White House hopeful, 'will only perpetuate the conflict, and undermine the security interests of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians.'"

But isn't that exactly what the plan's supposed to do?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2020 21:12 utc | 33

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 28 2020 21:23 utc | 35 Laguerre @28--

Here's UAE's response via tweet :

"Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba Statement on Peace Plan:

"The United Arab Emirates appreciates continued US efforts to reach a Palestine-Israel peace agreement. This plan is a serious initiative that addresses many issues raised over the years. (1/3)"

From what I've read, Egypt also favors the plan, although I've yet to read anything official from Egypt's government. But Hezbollah's correct, IMO.

"The only way to guarantee a lasting solution is to reach an agreement between all concerned parties. The UAE believes that Palestinians and Israelis can achieve lasting peace and genuine coexistence with the support of the international community. (2/3)"

"The plan announced today offers an important starting point for a return to negotiations within a US-led international framework. (3/3)"

Part of Hezbollah's response :

"This deal would not have taken place without the collusion and treason of a number of Arab regimes, both secret and public. The peoples of our nation will never forgive those rulers who forsook resistance to maintain their fragile thrones."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2020 21:26 utc | 36

Oman and Bahrain join UAE :

"Trump greenlights Netanyahu to annex at least 1/3 of the West Bank.

"Never forget that Oman, Bahrain and the UAE were present in that room [where the speech was made]."

I'm very surprised at Oman. This indicates to me both the Iranian and Russian collective security proposals are now dead and the situation will now escalate further.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2020 21:41 utc | 39

But isn't that exactly what the plan's supposed to do?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2020 21:12 utc | 33

"In the remaining weeks before the March 2 Israeli elections, and the few months left until elections in the United States, Trump's peace plan will primarily serve the goal for which it was designed: election propaganda for Israel's right-wing."

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/01/israel-us-palestinians-iran-donald-trump-benjamin-netanyahu.html#ixzz6CMb2xwxV

+Bonus prize = Stay out of jail card for Netanyahu if he remains Prime Minister.


"In the near term, the 80-page plan is most likely to stir up Israeli and American politics. Mr. Trump is sure to cite the plan's pro-Israel slant on the 2020 campaign trail to win support from conservative Jewish Americans in Florida and other key states, along with the Evangelical Christians who are some of his strongest backers and support Israeli expansion in the Holy Land."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/world/middleeast/peace-plan.html

Let's not forget the far right Zionist money men AIPAC members who lavish millions on trump and GOP campaigns. ie Sheldon Adelson was seated in the front row when trump and netanyahu made their announcement. I would say these are the things it's intended to do.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 28 2020 21:44 utc | 40

[Jan 29, 2020] Trump's l-P 'Deal of the Century' Unveiled

Jan 29, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Via RT.com Jan. 27, ' Iran slams Trump's 'delusional' Middle East peace plan, calls on US to accept Tehran's proposal instead'

Instead of a delusional "Deal of the Century" -- which will be D.O.A. -- self-described "champions of democracy" would do better to accept Iran's democratic solution proposed by Ayatollah @khamenei_ir :A referendum whereby ALL Palestinians -- Muslim, Jew or Christian -- decide their future .

-- Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 27, 2020

"In anticipation of a strongly pro-Israeli plan, Palestinian leaders in Ramallah and Gaza have also condemned the upcoming deal and called for a "day of rage" on Tuesday. They urged Palestinians to boycott American goods, and remove all US symbols remaining in the West Bank."

'Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu of the State of Israel Upon Arrival', January 27, 2020 , whitehouse.gov (a stomach-churning read, but not as much as the joint presser in the Rose Garden above)

The jerusalem post has some very partial transcripts:

'Deal of Century establishes Palestinian state, Jewish control of Jerusalem; "I have to do a lot for the Palestinians or it just wouldn't be fair.", Jan 28, 202O

"US President Donald Trump unveiled his "Deal of the Century" together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House on Tuesday.

The peace plan, which Trump said was already supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival Blue and White head Benny Gantz, would give Israel full control of the settlements and its undivided capital in Jerusalem.

"If they are genuinely prepared to make peace with the Jewish state," Netanyahu said, "Israel will be there. Israel will be prepared to negotiate peace right away."

Trump said that the United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over any land that "my vision provides to to be part of the State of Israel" and will require the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and to agree to solve the refugee problem outside of Israel.

The plan also establishes a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem .

As part of the plan, Trump will reveal a map delineating Israeli and Palestinian state borders. He said the map will make clear the "territorial sacrifices that Israel is willing to make for peace."

Trump said the plan will "more than double Palestinian territory No Palestinians will be uprooted from their homes."

Moreover, he said that although Israel will maintain control of Jerusalem, the status quo will remain on the Temple Mount and Israel will work with Jordan to ensure that all Muslims who want to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque will be able to do so.

The president said that if the Palestinians choose to accept the plan, some $50 billion will be infused into this new Palestinian state.

"There are many countries that want to partake in this," he said. "The Palestinian poverty rate will be cut in half and their GDP will double and triple." He then called for "peace and prosperity for the Palestinian people."

But Trump noted that the transition to the two-state solution will present "no incremental security risk to the State of Israel whatsoever.

But Trump noted that the transition to the two-state solution will present "no incremental security risk to the State of Israel whatsoever.

"Peace requires compromise, but we will never require Israel to compromise on it security," he continued.

Netanyahu in his speech said that he has agreed to negotiate peace with the Palestinians on the basis of Trump's peace plan. The prime minister noted several key reasons, but namely that rather than "pay lip service to Israel's security," the president "recognizes that Israel must have sovereignty in places that enable Israel to defend itself by itself.

"For too long, the heart of Israel has been outrageously branded as illegally occupied territory," Netanyahu continued . "Today, Mr. President, you are puncturing this big lie. You are recognizing Israel's sovereignty over all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria – large and small alike."

However, Israel agreed that it will maintain the status quo in all areas that the peace plan does not designate as Jewish for four years to allow for an opportunity for negotiation. At the same time, as per the plan, Israel will immediately apply sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and other areas that the plan does recognize as Israeli .

'The 'Deal of the Century': What are its key points?', jpost.com, Jan. 28, 2020

Borders: Trump's plan features a map of what Israel's new borders will be should it enact the plan fully. Israel retains 20% of the West Bank, and will lose a small amount of land in the Negev, near the Gaza-Egypt border. The Palestinians will have a pathway to a state on 80% of the West Bank. Israel will maintain control of all borders. This is the first time a US president has provided a detailed map of this kind.

Jerusalem: The Palestinians will have a capital in Jerusalem based on northern and eastern neighborhoods that are outside the Israeli security fence – Kfar Aqab, Abu Dis and half of Shuafat.

Settlements: Israel would retain the Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, in the broadest definition possible, meaning not the municipal borders of each settlement, but their security perimeters. This also includes 15 isolated settlements , which will be enclaves within an eventual Palestinian state, unable to expand for four years. The IDF will have access to the isolated settlements . In order for the settlement part of the plan to go into effect, Israel will have to take action to apply sovereignty to the settlements.

Security: Israel will be in control of security from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The IDF will not have to leave the West Bank. No change to Israel's approach to Judea and Samaria would be needed.

Palestinian State: The plan does not include immediate recognition of a Palestinian state; rather, it expects a willingness on Israel's part to create a pathway towards Palestinian statehood based on specific territory, which is 80% of Judea and Samaria, including areas A and B and half of Area C. The state will only come into existence in four years if the Palestinians accept the plan, if the Palestinian Authority stops paying terrorists and inciting terror, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad put down its weapons . In addition, the American plan calls on the Palestinians to give up corruption, respect human rights, freedom of religion and a free press, so that they don't have a failed state. If those conditions are met, the US will recognize a Palestinian state and implement a massive economic plan to assist it.

Refugees: A limited number of Palestinian refugees and their descendants will be allowed into the Palestinian state. None will enter Israel ."

On the other hand, from mondoweiss.net: ' The 'Deal of the Century' is Apartheid, Sheena Anne Arackal January 28, 2020 (some outtakes)


"With great fanfare, President Trump finally unveiled his long-anticipated Middle East peace proposal. The proposal was labeled 'The Deal of the Century' because it was supposed to offer an even-handed and just solution to one of the world's most intractable conflicts. Instead it does something very different. The 'Deal of the Century' resurrects and restores grand apartheid, a racist political system that should have been left in the dustbins of history.

Under President Trump's newly unveiled peace plan, the Palestinians will be granted limited autonomy within a Palestinian homeland that consists of multiple non-contiguous enclaves scattered throughout the West Bank and Gaza. The government of Israel will retain security control over the Palestinian enclaves and will continue to control Palestinian borders, airspace, aquifers, maritime waters, and electromagnetic spectrum . Israel will be allowed to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish communities in the West Bank. The Palestinians will be allowed to select the leaders of their new homeland but will have no political rights in Israel , the state that actually rules over them."

'Trump unveils peace plan, promising more land and control for Israel', Yumna Patel, January 28, 2020 , mondowiess.net (a few snippets)

"The room was filled with familiar faces -- Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Jason Greenblatt, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sara Netanyahu, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer -- and dozens of Israel's supporters, who clapped and cheered throughout the announcement.
..
"After the press conference, reports surfaced saying that Netanyahu would be announcing Israel's full annexation of the settlements in the West Bank on Sunday, and that Ambassador Friedman expressed that Israel was "free to annex settlements in the West Bank at any time "

While Trump boasted that his plan would promise a contiguous Palestinian state, doubled in size from its current form, the "conceptual map" released by his administration shows a fragmented and dwindling territory, connected by a series of proposed bridges and tunnels."
..
"We are asking the Palestinians to meet the challenges of peaceful coexistence," Trump said.

"This includes adopting basic laws enshrining human rights, protecting against political and financial corruption ending incitement of hatred against Israel, and ending financial compensation to terrorists," he said, referring to pensions paid by the Palestinian Authority to the families of prisoners and martyrs.

In his speech, Netanyahu demanded that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish State , and that Israel will maintain military control of the entire Jordan Valley to establish a permanent eastern border in the area."
..
"Throughout his speech, Trump repeatedly praised Israel for "wanting peace badly," and praised Netanyahu for "willing to endorse the plan as the basis for direct negotiations."

He boasted about everything he has done for Israel, listing off the recognition of Jerusalem as its capital, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights."

"Over the next 10 years, 1 million great new Palestinian jobs will be created," he said, adding that the poverty rate will be cut in half, and the Palestinian GDP will "double and triple."

"Our vision will end the cycle of Palestinian dependency on charity and financial aid. They will do fine by themselves. They are a very capable people ," he said."

What none of the above coverage had included was that in the video Bibi had high-fived Trump for ridding the Middle East of the greatest terrorist in the world (or close to that, meaning the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani. Bibi'd also laughed and said 'It takes someone [like Trump] who knows real estate'.

The White House is pleased to share President @realDonaldTrump 's Vision for a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. https://t.co/7o3jPHpcLv

-- The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 28, 2020

The so-called "Vision for Peace" is simply the dream project of a bankruptcy-ridden real estate developer.

But it is a nightmare for the region and the world

And, hopefully, a wake-up call for all the Muslims who have been barking up the wrong tree. #LetsUniteForPalestinians pic.twitter.com/j2CJ9JaH9c

-- Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 28, 2020

(cross-posted from Café Babylon ) Tags: continuing war crimes against Palestinians up 5 users have voted.

Comments

humphrey on Tue, 01/28/2020 - 5:57pm

The Onion gets it.

White House Rolls Out Middle East Peace Plan https://t.co/Cke1QOPW6d #WhatDoYouThink ? pic.twitter.com/eXWDjAmvhn

-- The Onion (@TheOnion) January 28, 2020

[Jan 29, 2020] Palestinian Rejection End of Oslo Peace Process and the Trump-Netanyahu Apartheid "Steal of the Century" by Juan Cole

Jan 28, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca
Informed Comment 27 January 2020 Region: Middle East & North Africa , USA Theme: Law and Justice In-depth Report: PALESTINE

The Palestinian leadership has entirely rejected what is known of the Trump plan for Israel and Palestine, and warned that they see it as destroying the Oslo Peace accords. The Trump administration did not consult the Palestinians in drawing up the plan, which gives away East Jerusalem and 30% of the Palestinian West Bank to Israel. The Palestinians may as well, Palestine foreign minister Saeb Erekat said, just withdraw from the 1995 Interim Agreement on Oslo.

Trump appears to have decided to unveil the Israel-Palestine plan on Tuesday to take the pressure off from his Senate impeachment trial and to shore up his support from the Jewish and evangelical communities. A majority of Americans in polls say they want Trump impeached and removed from office.

Trump's plan may also bolster beleaguered Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu , who has been indicted for corruption and is fighting for his political life as Israel's third election in a year approaches. Rushing the details of an important policy like Israel and Palestine for the sake of politics, however, could backfire big time.

Erekat also warned that the plan virtually assures that Israel will ultimately have to absorb the Palestinians, and give them the vote inside Israel. Mr. Erekat may, however, be overly optimistic, since it is much more likely that the Palestinians will be kept in a Warsaw Ghetto type of situation and simply denied a meaningful vote entirely.

The Future of Statehood: Israel & Palestine

Al-Quds al-`Arabi reports that Donald Trump attempted to call Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas during the past few days and that Mr. Abbas refused to take the call.

The plan, according to details leaked to the Israeli press, will propose a Palestinian statelet on 70% of the West Bank, to be established in four years. The hope is apparently that Mahmoud Abbas will no longer be president of Palestine in four years, and his successor will be more pliable.

This so-called state, however, will be demilitarized and will lack control over borders and airspace, and will be denied the authority to make treaties with other states. In other words, it will be a Bantustan of the sort the racist, Apartheid South African government created to denaturalize its Black African citizens.

Netanyahu has pledged that there will be no Palestinian state as long as he is prime minister.

Palestinians are under Israeli military rule and are being deprived of basic human rights, including the right to have citizenship in a state. They do not have passports but only laissez-passer certificates that are rejected for travel purposes by most states. Israeli squatters continually steal their land and property and water, and Palestinians have no recourse, being without a state to protect them.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan and an adjunct professor, Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University. He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires . Follow him on Twitter at @jricole or the Informed Comment Facebook Page

The original source of this article is Informed Comment Copyright © Juan Cole , Informed Comment , 2020

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[Jan 28, 2020] 'Mideast Peace Plan Trump Unveils His 'Deal of the Century'

Notable quotes:
"... Trump was adamant that Palestinians would be forced to accept his plan in the end. "We have the support of the prime minister, we have the support of the other parties, and we think we will ultimately have the support of the Palestinians, but we're going to see," he said on Monday. ..."
"... Trump has largely outsourced the creation of the plan to his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. The initial idea was to publish it after the April 2019 election in Israel, but the uncertainty hanging over the Knesset over the past year has delayed the announcement. ..."
Jan 28, 2020 | sputniknews.com

The announcement comes after Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main political rival Benjamin 'Benny' Gantz. The Palestinian authorities have repeatedly objected to the plan, as its details were trickling out, and mass protests are expected in the Palestinian territories as Israel tightens security measures. US President Donald Trump has unveiled his long-anticipated Middle East plan – effectively his administration's vision for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump said that under his plan Jerusalem will remain Israel's 'undivided' capital.

Israel's West Bank settlements would be recognised by the United States.

However, Israel would freeze the construction of new settlements on Palestinian territories for four years while Palestinian statehood is negotiated. Trump said that the US will open an embassy to Palestine in East Jerusalem.

The US president said that his Palestine-Israel map would "more than double" the Palestinian territory.

"I want this deal to be a great deal for the Palestinians, it has to be. Today's agreement is a historic opportunity for the Palestinians to finally achieve an independent state of their own," Trump said. "These maps will more than double Palestinian territory and provide a Palestinian capital in Eastern Jerusalem where America will proudly open its embassy."

He added that the US and Israel would create a committee to implement the proposed peace plan.

"My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel's security," Trump said during a press conference.

On Monday, Donald Trump held separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz. Neither of the two managed to achieve a decisive victory in general elections in April or September last year, and a third vote is scheduled for March to break the impasse.

Benny Gantz, the leader of the centre-right Blue and White alliance, praised Trump's plan following Monday's meeting in Washington and promised to put it into practice if he wins the March election. Netanyahu has not commented publicly on it yet.

There has been some speculation in the media that Trump wants Netanyahu and Gantz to work together toward implementing the plan.

No Palestinians at the table

Trump had not met with any Palestinian representatives prior to the announcement; Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had reportedly turned down several offers to discuss the proposal.

Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza have called for mass protests against the peace plan, prompting the Israeli military to reinforce troops in the Jordan Valley.

President Abbas reportedly greenlighted a "Day of Rage" over the Trump plan on Wednesday, paving the way for violent clashes between protesters and Israeli forces. He is currently holding an emergency meeting of the executive bodies of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Fatah party.

Palestinians have also floated the possibility of quitting the Oslo accords, which created the Palestinian Authority and regulate its relations with the state of Israel.

The Oslo accords, signed in the 1990s, officially created the Palestinian Authority as a structure tasked with exercising self-governance over the territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

A long path behind
Trump was adamant that Palestinians would be forced to accept his plan in the end. "We have the support of the prime minister, we have the support of the other parties, and we think we will ultimately have the support of the Palestinians, but we're going to see," he said on Monday.

Trump has largely outsourced the creation of the plan to his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. The initial idea was to publish it after the April 2019 election in Israel, but the uncertainty hanging over the Knesset over the past year has delayed the announcement.

Jared Kushner unveiled the economic portion of the plan this past summer at a conference in Bahrain, but failed to shore up support from Palestinians and faced widespread condemnation instead.

Israelis and Palestinians have been embroiled in a conflict ever since the State of Israel came into existence. Previous American administrations, in line with the United Nations's approach, had long favoured an arrangement that envisaged an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with its capital in East Jerusalem.

The Trump administration reversed that policy and made a series of decidedly pro-Israel moves in the past three years. Those included moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognising the Golan Heights (which it annexed illegally from Syria) and Israeli settlements in the West Bank (illegal under international law) as parts of Israel.

[Jan 28, 2020] Trump's Annexation and Apartheid Plan

Jan 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Donate

[Jan 28, 2020] the "American" interpreter's death that triggered the Soleimani assassination was a dual US/Iraqi citizen... doesn't the US often offer citizenship to useful locals in return for betraying their home country? Sometimes treason doesn't pay.

Jan 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A P , Jan 27 2020 21:39 utc | 64

Unless the operatives on the US spy plane were carrying ID the Taliban can find, we'll never know who they really were. As if we could trust that either. (remember Colonel Flagg from MASH? New fake/cover ID every time he showed up) And funny how those "soldiers" with brain damage from the Iranian missile strikes have disappeared of the MSM news cycle... And the "American" interpreter's death that triggered the Soleimani assassination was a dual US/Iraqi citizen... doesn't the US often offer citizenship to useful locals in return for betraying their home country? Sometimes treason doesn't pay.

[Jan 28, 2020] US plane crashes in Ghazni, killing scores of officers

Jan 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Jan 27 2020 16:43 utc | 7

One of the main Taliban Twitter accounts, @Zabehulah_M33 , has posted the following tweets (machine translated):
US invasion plane crashes in Ghazni, killing scores of officers

Following a raid today in Sadukhel district of Dehik district of Ghazni province, a US special aircraft carrier was flying over an intelligence mission in the area.

The aircraft was destroyed with all its crew and crew, including the major US intelligence officers (CIA).

It is noteworthy that recently, in the provinces of Helmand, Balkh and some other parts of the country, large numbers of enemy aircraft and helicopters have fallen and fallen.

( source )

# Important News:
A Ghazni helicopter crashed in the area near Sharana, the capital of Paktika province, this evening after the Ghazni incident.
The helicopter crew and the soldiers were all destroyed.

( source )

So Taliban has not taken responsibility for the E-11A crash (although many news outlets are reporting it, including Russian ones). Meanwhile, yet another helicopter crashed after the E-11A crash, so it's two crashes in one day.


c1ue , Jan 27 2020 16:17 utc | 4

If the $1.6 trillion cost of the US military being in Afghanistan is correct, then the loss of 4 helicopters and even the E11 won't significantly increase US overall spend there. $1.6 trillion over 18 years is a tad under $250 million per day
Piotr Berman , Jan 27 2020 17:15 utc | 13
When a colonial war goes wrong, one salient question was: who sold guns to the savages?

Among more recent examples, who explained technologically inept Iraqis how to make IEDs?

In the case of smaller weapons, the usual suspect is responsible. NYT By C. J. Chivers Aug. 24, 2016

... In all, Overton found, the Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns. These transfers formed a collage of firearms of mixed vintage and type: Kalashnikov assault rifles left over from the Cold War; recently manufactured NATO-standard M16s and M4s from American factories; machine guns of Russian and Western lineage; and sniper rifles, shotguns and pistols of varied provenance and caliber, including a large order of Glock semiautomatic pistols, a type of weapon also regularly offered for sale online in Iraq.

----

That said, one needs something more sophisticated against helicopters and planes. I suspect that even if Iran were inclined to provide them to Taliban, it would not give them their own products, and, for sure, they cannot purchase Western missiles on regular markets. However, as valiant freedom fighters in Syria are provided with such weapons while being woefully underpaid...

[Jan 27, 2020] The Dangers of Conflating and Inflating Interests

Notable quotes:
"... Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this? ..."
"... The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them ..."
"... To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do. ..."
"... These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem. ..."
"... Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security. ..."
Jan 27, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

ormer ambassador William Taylor wrote an op-ed on Ukraine in an attempt to answer Pompeo's question about whether Americans care about Ukraine. It is not very persuasive. For one thing, he starts off by exaggerating the importance of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to make it seem as if the U.S. has a major stake in the outcome:

Here's why the answer should be yes: Ukraine is defending itself and the West against Russian attack. If Ukraine succeeds, we succeed. The relationship between the United States and Ukraine is key to our national security, and Americans should care about Ukraine.

Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this?

The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them. The danger of exaggerating U.S. interests and conflating them with Ukraine's is that we fool ourselves into thinking that we are acting out of necessity and in our own defense when we are really choosing to take sides in a conflict that does not affect our security. This is the kind of thinking that encourages people to spout nonsense about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here." If we view Ukraine as "the front line" of a larger struggle, that will also make it more difficult to resolve the conflict. When a local conflict is turned into a proxy fight between great powers, the local people will be the ones made to suffer to serve the ambitions of the patrons. Once the U.S. insists that its own security is bound up with the outcome of this conflict, there is an incentive to be considered the "winner," but the reality is that Ukraine will always matter less to the U.S. than it does to Russia.

If this relationship were so important to U.S. security, how is it that the U.S. managed to get along just fine for decades after the end of the Cold War when that relationship was not particularly strong? As recently as the Obama administration, our government did not consider Ukraine to be important enough to supply with weapons. Ukraine was viewed correctly as being of peripheral interest to the U.S., and nothing has changed in the years since then to make it more important.

Taylor keeps repeating that "Ukraine is the front line" in a larger conflict between Russia and the West, but that becomes true only if Western governments choose to treat it as one. He concludes his op-ed with a series of ideological assertions:

To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do.

These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem.

Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security.

[Jan 27, 2020] American Pravda Mossad Assassinations by Ron Unz

Jan 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

From the Peace of Westphalia to the Law of the Jungle

The January 2nd American assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani of Iran was an event of enormous moment.

Gen. Soleimani had been the highest-ranking military figure in his nation of 80 million, and with a storied career of 30 years, one of the most universally popular and highly regarded. Most analysts ranked him second in influence only to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's elderly Supreme Leader, and there were widespread reports that he was being urged to run for the presidency in the 2021 elections.

The circumstances of his peacetime death were also quite remarkable. His vehicle was incinerated by the missile of an American Reaper drone near Iraq's Baghdad international airport just after he had arrived there on a regular commercial flight for peace negotiations originally suggested by the American government.

Our major media hardly ignored the gravity of this sudden, unexpected killing of so high-ranking a political and military fig